Guess who’s back?

Hello! Let me reintroduce myself because it seems that I have been gone so long from the blogging world that I am sure some people forgot who I am (insert hand to the face emoji).

My name is Kileen Medearis.



Stay-at-home Mama to now TWO boys! (Can’t wait to write about this!)

Book Enthusiast.

and now… PODCASTER! (Cant wait to write about this either!)

You are probably asking yourself…. why the long leave of absence?

I can’t tell you how many times I had started writing a post but didn’t finish. Whether that be because my toddler woke up early from his nap, or the first trimester sickness kept me tied to the couch, or simply because I felt at a loss for words.

If I am honest with myself? It all stems from this immense dry season I had in my prayer life. If you are like me, it’s hard to find inspiration to write when you have cut off communication with the relationship that literally I N S P I R E S you. After a wake up call in the adoration chapel where through half closed eyelids (my husband chose the 9 pm adoration hour, needless to say, I am normally in bed) I confessed to Our Lord that now it felt like I was … bad at praying. Even in my busiest times in college I don’t think I have ever been this complacent when it comes to my prayer life.

What I have realized since that simple confession is that I have been staying in the same place with prayer and the enemy has been completely content, dare I say happy, about this. I gave into all sorts of ways to skip my prayer time and chose to sink into my own comfort.

Friends in Christ, the enemy wants us to stay put where we are. The enemy wants us to choose ourselves, day in and day out. The enemy wants us to put prayer on the back burner.

Last weeks revelation in the adoration chapel didn’t cure everything but definitely put everything into perspective for me. It was the jolt I needed to choose Christ more, especially in my prayer, each day.

It feels good to be back.

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever!


[Photo credit: Vilona Photography]

Breastfeeding: How I Came to Love One of My Greatest Struggles in Motherhood


Just the word can strike emotion into the hearts of new and veteran Mamas. For some? It was easy from the get go. For others? The struggle was R E A L.

I would like to start by making a disclaimer:

 A fed baby is BEST.

I don’t want to write this post as an argument that a Mother can only nurse her child. The reality is that many mothers, for a variety of reasons, are unable to nurse their children. THIS IS TOTALLY FINE! A fed baby is best!

What I would like to do in this post is give helpful tips and tricks which allowed me to nurse my baby one year and beyond and reflect on my experience as a whole!

You might be asking yourself, “Ok- so which Mama are you? The one that it came easy? Or the one who struggled?”

Oh, I struggled.

Then it got easy.

Then I struggled some more.

The reality for nursing Mamas (at least in my case) is that the breastfeeding journey can be like a rollercoaster. I struggled from the very beginning primarily due to the “trauma” I went through while giving birth to Theo. For those who are new to my blog or are interested in reading Theo’s birth story, click here.

Shortly after Theo was born I overheard the nurses say to me about three or four times, “you’ll need to feed him in 5 minutes or his blood sugar will go down..” While I am sitting there thinking … OK … well does anyone want to show me how to do that?

I actually didn’t learn to breastfeed until my older sister came into visit me and was able to show me some of the ropes. Crazy, right?

I had a VERY sleepy baby, trouble latching, and was overall fatigued from delivery. These components were the perfect recipe for  having a baby struggle to get back to birth weight. At the end of my hospital visit, I was informed that my baby had lost 6% of his birth weight and they would be putting him (and me) on a three step program which included pumping and using donated breastmilk.

My milk came in the day I left the hospital… so let’s just add engorgement onto the list of struggles.

I was so discouraged.

It wasn’t until I was feeding Theo every 2 hours during the day (waking him up if he was asleep) and every 4 at night (again, waking an angelic SLEEPING baby) that he was finally able to get back to birth weight and the stress of his weight loss could be off my shoulders.

By 4 months I was enjoying breastfeeding and the bond I was able to form with my baby. It became second nature…. 1. cover on 2. unstrap bra  3. Latch baby boy! Unfortunately intermittently I was plagued with horrible clogged ducts that made the breastfeeding journey feel like a very real rollercoaster.

Here are my top four tips & tricks for being able to nurse my baby successfully for 14 months:

Probiotic: Near the beginning, I was desperate to find something to help with the gas bubbles and frequent spit ups that Theo was having after feedings. A friend of mine suggested a probiotic and although it was pretty pricey (eeek), it was completely worth it! Gas can be a struggle for the nursing Mama because the little baby may have problems latching due to how bad the gas is or it can even throw their appetite off in general. I put a few drops on my breast before nursing Theo and he was able to consume all the wonderful benefits of a probiotic. (Also, my first pediatrician told me that although breastmilk contains HUNDREDS of amazing nutrients- it doesn’t contain probiotic unless the Mom is taking a probiotic supplement.) A probiotic helps with putting GOOD bacteria in the body and helping with digestion. It CAN’T hurt!

Gerber Soothe Probiotic Colic Drops

Water: This one was a tough one for me! After pregnancy I was looking forward to the stress free living of not having to down liters of water a day but I was sadly mistaken. In order to keep up a healthy milk supply make sure that you are drinking plenty of water!

Supply & Demand: This one is BIG and incredibly hard to control! There were months were my supply would go down because Theo wasn’t nursing as much but whenever new teeth were popping through my supply shot through the roof because Theo was nursing all.the.time. If you are trying to build supply- try getting your little one to nurse more. If you are trying to decrease supply- try to supply with other food (when they are old enough) or distract them from the constant desire to nurse. This can be a bittersweet thing!

Perseverance: The final tip I have is to not grow too discouraged and PERSIST PERIST PERSIST. I can’t even tell you how many times I thought of giving up- but I knew that I had a goal I wanted to meet and I was going to show myself AND my son that I could do it! There will be ups and downs in the process but if you truly desire it- keep trying and reach out to others who have found success or lactation consultants that can help.

IMG_8219(Popped a squat in Target to nurse my one year old. Gotta do what you gotta do Mamas!)

Weaning my son after 14 months was bittersweet. I operated for the duration of the time I nursed him on a “you never know when the last time will be” mentality where I tried my best to embrace every time I got to nurse Theo but – I was ready. If I really think hard about the “last time” I nursed my son… it will spiral me into a heaping amount of really ugly sobs. I am sure other Mom’s can attest to the tearful goodbyes of nursing in general or of a specific child. It comes with its roses and thorns.

My time with nursing Theo taught me: how to “roll with the punches”, sacrifice, persevere through difficulties, embrace all the moments and breathe in the littleness that babies offer.

The days are long but the years are short, my friends.



Cure for the Lazy Blogger + Major Book Goals

Hello readers!

I have realized that my blog has become an “occasional” “once a year” or “major life change happening” place of writing. I have become an exceptionally good L A Z Y blogger.

I admit it.

Well… in the spirit of living out my “word of the year”, discipline (you betcha’ I will be writing a post of how this word jumped out in prayer), I have decided to become a more faithful blog writer. My hope is to write blogs at least every couple weeks (if not weekly).

Also, I have developed a REAL big itch to read! Hence a monthly book goal has now commenced! Keep on the lookout for reviews of these wonderful books as I check them off my list…


MayOne Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler

JuneMy Sisters the Saints by Colleen Cambell (Ministry of Moms read!)

(maybe read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis if possible.)

JulyPraying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth by Ted Sri

AugustBrideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

September: Momnipotent: The Not-So-Perfect Woman’s Guide to Catholic Motherhood by Danielle Bean

OctoberThe Domestic Church: Room by Room by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

NovemberNorth and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

DecemberImitating Mary: Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom by Marge Fenelon

January: The Other Side of Beauty by Leah Darrow

FebruaryAn Immovable Feast: How I Gave Up Spirituality for a Life of Religious Abundance by Tyler Blanski

MarchLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott (who doesn’t love reading some classics!)

AprilThe Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (re-read)

Along with this book “feast” I will be partaking in I will still be leaving at least 10 minutes of prayer time in sacred scripture and will attempt to have a reflection from scripture at least every couple of weeks. (My bible is the ‘Blessed is She Catholic Journaling Bible’ and its AH-MAZING- get it here.)

Updates to come!

Prayers for you all! Please keep my little family in your prayers as-well.





The Mommy Bod and Struggle to “Bounce Back”

“By His wounds, we are healed.”


I have talked about them in blogs before when I talked about my struggle with disordered eating habits. For those that may not know, for several years I struggled with sitting down and having a full meal. I forced myself to starve, thinking I was being “healthy”. Moderation is key my dear friends.

By the grace of God, through the Holy Sacraments, and due to prayers from many – I recovered. I started to think less and less of myself and the vanity that I had been plagued with and changed my habitual thinking. My primary motivation for recovery was my deep desire to have children. At the time I didn’t know that anorexia could lead to infertility.

I remember looking in the mirror the day after I gave birth to my son.

Pale. My face swollen. My belly deflated but still looking 6 months pregnant.

I couldn’t look away fast enough.

I remember the embarrassment.

Turning away from my husband each time I got dressed. My body had completely changed. Granted, it changed when I got pregnant so I should have been used to it, right? Wrong.

For 9 months I was growing a beautiful baby boy inside. The weight gain, although scary for someone who struggled with an eating disorder, was for a purpose.

What I was unable to see in those early weeks after Theo’s birth was that my body was still beautiful.

Yes, the beauty had changed.

But it was still there.

Now, let’s reflect on Christ’s passion and resurrection…

He suffered during His passion more than we will ever be able to comprehend. He was beaten, broken, and removed of all modesty. Yet, on that glorious Sunday He emerged stronger. He was victorious. “Oh, death, where is your sting?” [1 Corinthians 15: 55] Even though Our Lord’s resurrected body was glorified, do you want to guess at what he still possessed?

His wounds.

His perfect and beautiful body still shown the marks of his suffering and of his sacrifice. The God of the universe could have very well had his glorified body erase the markings which brought him such sorrow, but instead they stand as a visible sign of his sacrificial love.

Child birth is a beautiful and immensely difficult experience. I remember crying after each and every push for hours. I remember the feeling of thinking that I couldn’t push anymore, that I didn’t have any strength left to give. Here was my first lesson in motherhood—

There’s A L W A Y S more room to give.

God gave me the strength to push beyond what I thought was possible. Giving birth was the vessel in which God was showing me, yet again, that I am enough. He was showing me that my body, strength, and will power could be victorious in the face of suffering.

The reality? My body will never go back to the way it was before and I never W A N T it to.

The loose skin, stretch marks, wider hips are all signs that I held LIFE inside of me. Christ embraced his wounds… why shouldn’t I embrace mine?

To those Mama’s who are standing in front of the mirror and critiquing your new body- instead- I encourage you to close your eyes, open your hands, and offer a quick prayer of thanksgiving.

“For you Jesus, I thank you for this body and for my baby. Be with me when I look at my reflection and allow me to see what You see. I offer it all to You sweet Jesus.”

Today, I don’t turn away or fear looking at the reflection in the mirror. Rather, I feel empowered.

“Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.” St. Augustine

On the Night You Were Born



If you were to have told me a year ago that exactly one year from now I would be a Mom, writing a blog post during one of my sons many midnight feedings, I wouldn’t have believed you.

But…. here I am. Writing this blog as I nurse my son at 12:30AM.

As some of you may recall- the news that my husband and I were expecting came as quite the shock. This was due largely because we knew that this little one was a wedding night baby. If you would like to read that story- click here.

Pregnancy is nothing short of a miracle. At the very earliest stage my little Theo was the size of a poppy seed— a POPPY SEED. That amazes me when I look at his little face and all the features that make it up. He is a m i r a c l e.

I loved being pregnant! Watching the belly grow and feeling my baby move inside of me was something that I will forever cherish and something that is indescribable. Although I loved being pregnant it didn’t mean that it was always easy. There was the lack of energy, nauseousness, and lack of mobility. Near the end of my pregnancy I was waddling so bad- I looked like a duck.

6 weeks before our due date my older sister gave birth to my little nephew, Leo. I had been through the experience before of waiting in the waiting room for my sisters to have their babies but this time felt very different. This time I was imagining myself going through the same experience so every time I saw my sister in pain I knew what was awaiting me in 6 weeks. Although watching my sister go through so much pain wasn’t fun, getting to see the end result and getting to hold my nephew and see his beautiful little face was something so incredibly amazing. I also knew THAT feeling awaited me in 6 weeks which was far more exciting than the pain.

The weeks came and went and same with our due date.

No baby yet.

This is totally normal for first time Mom’s and I was actually preparing myself throughout the entire pregnancy that I would at least be 41 weeks pregnant before I would have this baby.

Much to my surprise only one day after our due date, I went into labor.

The pain was real but I was ready. I truly felt that the Holy Spirit was helping me fight the contractions as much as I could throughout the night and to do it with a smile. With every contraction, I offered up a prayer for a family member or friend with specific intentions. Some contractions I just stared at my flash cards with the names and intentions of those individuals and tried to think of nothing else but gratitude that I was given the opportunity to suffer for them.

Giving birth to Theo was by far the hardest thing I have ever done.

I pushed for 3 1/2 hours before I heard the cry of my sweet boy and he was placed on my chest.

During the Mass there’s a particular part of the consecration that I have grown to appreciate more and more. The moment when the priest repeats the words of Jesus in saying, “this is my body given up for you.”

I love it even more now as I cradle my newborn son.

See, I never understood the kind of love that drew Christ to the cross – until now.

Labor and delivery was beautiful, difficult, and ultimately a little scary. After I had finally given birth to Theo, I needed only to look at my midwifes face to know that something was wrong. I was bleeding…. bad.

I had suffered not only a pretty bad tear but also what is called, “postpartum hemorrhage”. This is when a women suffers an immense amount of blood loss in labor and actually is the primary reason for maternal death (mother dying during labor) now-a-days. I didn’t know the severity of my condition until I saw the look on my family members faces when they saw me.

As I cradle this beautiful- BEAUTIFUL- gift of God (meaning behind the name Theodore), I can’t help but think of the words the Christ says, “this is my body given up for you….”

I always knew that I would give my life for my child but never knew how much my of my body I would have to give up. From the weight gain, stretch marks, and overall occasional discomfort- my child needed every bit of me and I wouldn’t change a single thing. I would do it over and over again.

A mother’s love is unlike anything in the world and in Christ’s words I see a tiny reflection of myself. I would give my body, my everything, up for my child.

To end this post (which has taken me f o r e v e r to write due to the nature of Motherhood) I want to steal a few lines from my favorite book that I read to Theo…

“For never before in story or rhyme (not even once upon a time) has the world ever known a you, my friend, and it never will, not ever again…

Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.” (On the Night You Were Born. Nancy Tillman)


That One Perfect Day


(photo courtesy of Joshua Paul Photography)

On June 18th, I married my favorite person. We had waited, prayed, and hoped that the day would come and when it finally did- it was completely surreal.

I remember the stress and worries about all the fine details on the night of the rehearsal but waking up on that beautiful (and HOT) Saturday morning I felt nothing but complete and total peace. I knew that God was with me, strengthening me, and about ready to change my entire life. It was so exciting!

This day- this ONE day- literally changed my entire life.

Before I get into that, I want to talk about something that we had been preparing for throughout our entire engagement, taking classes on, and having SO many conversations about- natural family planning. 

The Catholic Church has such a beautiful reflection on sexuality, marriage, and family planning but many, who don’t know the logic behind the church’s teachings, view the church’s teaching as a strict “no you can’t do this, no you can’t do that, NO NO NO.”

It’s true that the Church is all about abstaining from sex until marriage and is it true that the Church is strictly against the use of any contraceptives. What many don’t know is that the church has those beliefs not to say “no” but to give a more profoundly beautiful “yes” to life and authentic love.

Abstinence is not designed to torment the couple but rather empty themselves in service to one another and in some way die to themselves in their sacrifice. Much like what Christ did on the cross — all for the sake of love. We want to enter into marriage knowing that our beloved will be given all  of   us, all of our brokenness and vulnerability. Also, the physical act of “consummating” ones marriage is a physical reality of what happened during the couples marriage ceremony. In the exchanging of the rings, saying of the vows, and nuptial blessing the couple becomes one. In the same way, the couple physically becomes one as a physical sign of their commitment to each other and their vows. This is A LOT to take on before you have actually committed to one another in marriage! Saving that intimacy isn’t a way of torment but rather a way to ensure the couples center on Christ, His mission, and loving the way Christ loved… which was (and still is) through sacrifice.

During our vows, Tim and I promised to uphold all of the teachings of the church, raise our family according to the church, and accept children lovingly and freely. On the day of our wedding the reality of that last phrase didn’t really hit me until later- “accept children lovingly and freely”. 

I tell all of my students whenever we talk about theology of the body and marriage that marriage has two purposes: babies and bonding. As a couple we are living out the vocation of marriage in being intimate with one another but we also are living out our vocation by being open to the will of the Father in regards to children.

Tim and I were the last of 3 other couples to get married in 5 weeks- oh man- it was a busy few weeks! We were able to witness the marriages of many close friends and obviously had the opportunity to be engaged at the same time.

While being engaged with 3 other holy and beautiful couples- it came with its challenges. Many times all of us would sit and talk about our classes, how we are preparing through prayer, and yes– natural family planning. The other couples were practicing the ‘creighton’ family planning method while Tim and I were practicing the ‘sympto-thermal’ method. This brought up some really fruitful and interesting discussions.

All four couples, including us, had planned on waiting at least a year or two before starting our families. You know that thing about what God does when you make plans? Yep, He laughs.

The church, in her wisdom, gives us natural (and contraceptive free) methods to plan our family along with prayer and discernment from Our Lord. Natural family planning is very effective when used correctly and also allows for God’s will. God’s will can be for the couple to have a child unexpectedly or for the couple to wait, in joyful anticipation, for their family to grow. Natural family planning is all about teaching love and responsibility. 

Unfortunately, I felt that many discussions I had with other Catholic couples about the upcoming wedding day and plans for a family seemed to center on fear of pregnancy. All the women were charting and plotting when the potential ovulation date would be in relation to wedding dates. Many panicking at the thought of ovulating over the their wedding weekend. What I didn’t like about those conversations was the impression that the potential of a positive pregnancy test a few weeks later would be the ‘worst case scenario’. Are we even aware of how many women who would LOVE to be pregnant right now but maybe are not? Or those who continue to try and PRAY for that positive test?

As the weddings got closer, some women found out that they would in fact be ovulating either ON or close to their wedding date. Obviously this may present a challenge if you would like to both wait on starting your family AND consummate your marriage.

I was one of those women.

Many of us discussed and even prayerfully concerned what we would do- would we abstain on our wedding night to avoid pregnancy? Or would we consummate our marriage and “risk it”?

On June 18th, I have never felt the grace of God more in my entire life.

Our photographer and friend, Josh, had told us before the wedding that we should pray for all the graces of the sacrament on that day and that if we did that we would truly be able to FEEL them. Boy oh boy was he right…


(photo courtesy of Joshua Paul Photography)

We could feel our Lord’s presence as we said “yes” to the many challenges, joys, and sufferings in our life together. We understood that it wasn’t just the two of us – but as Fulton Sheen has so eloquently put, “it takes THREE to get married”. We needed Our Lord on that day and (God willing) the many after.

Marriage is about WAY more than just us. We know this now more than ever.

We were stepping into an unknown territory but one that would fulfill our greatest desires in life and push us to become the best version of ourselves.


(photo courtesy of Joshua Paul Photography)

True freedom relies in complete and utter trust in God’s will for your life. It is allowing God to be the writer of your story, and you the pen. True freedom lies in saying “yes” to Our Lord… together… and continuing to trust in His goodness.

On June 30th Tim and I, while on our honeymoon in Costa Rica, found out that we were expecting our first little one. I have never been filled with more fear or excitement.

On our wedding day we said “yes” to God’s plan for our lives and he provided us with the greatest gift we could ever receive — our first little baby.

My mother-in-law had a beautiful reflection on this gift by explaining that, “The greatest grace that a married couple can receive is the gift of a child. Therefore, the graces must truly have been flowing through your wedding to give you this tremendous gift.”

I have reflected on that statement so much in the past four months. Despite the fear, anxiety, and worry about our little one coming a little earlier than expected and having had only 12 solid hours of just Tim and I in our marriage- what an irreplaceable gift we have been given. Our baby is not ‘worst case scenario’ but rather ‘best case scenario’. After returning to the United States and telling our family, I was struck by an image I received while praying the rosary.

The image was of the visitation between Mary and Elizabeth but instead of Elizabeth being there- I was standing in front of Mary. She looked at me with such joy and just laid her hand on top of my stomach right where my womb is, smiling and giving me the reassurance that she was with me. I stood in front of her smiling and placing my hand over her womb, in total adoration of Jesus within her.

She rejoiced as I was rejoicing in the gift of life. 

As I sit here today, tremendously grateful for this tiny life, I reflect on the words that were sung as I walked down the aisle to Tim on our wedding day….

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. Let my faith be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”


(photo courtesy of Dana Sebastian)

Little one, you are loved more than you will ever know. We are grateful for you and the gift of realizing that our marriage is about way more than just us. 

I thought nothing would compare to seeing your Dad as I was walking down the aisle…. I was wrong. 

Seeing you for the first time on a big screen forever changed me. 



Finding Joy in the Unordinary Life of the First Year Teacher

I am a first year teacher.

I have tried to write this post 7 times. Each time I have tried to sit down and write, I find something that stops me. Some of those reasons could be; copies that need to be made, student conferences or issues, meetings, lesson planning, or grading- to name a few.

My life is consumed with early mornings finalizing lesson plans, constant questions, little answers, and 45 young eyes that watch my every move…. every single day.

I can’t seem to find the words that can perfectly explain what my life has been like for the last 3 months and how drastically it has changed, the only thing that I can think of is a phrase that is taken directly from the catechism…. “Jesus Christ makes man fully alive“. 

I have repeated this phrase many times when asked how my first few months of full time teaching has gone… “I have never felt more exhausted…or fully alive.” 

These last few months have been ones of tremendous change in my life… I moved out of my childhood home, started my career, got engaged (thank you, Jesus!), and am living by myself in Denver. There is so much I have to be thankful for…. However, I have never felt under so much spiritual attack.

Everyday there are 45 kids that come through my classroom who become my responsibility. They rely on me to teach them skills in writing and reading which can help them further their education. Yet, the most daunting task that I have felt is the responsibility of caring for the souls of my 45 students.

The battle has already begun for my students young souls and, in conjunction with the holy spirit, I am charged with the task of helping fill their souls with tools to help in their relationship with Our Lord and the bridegroom, the Church. I have never been so intimated before and on more than one occasion have cried thinking about how inept I feel to lead these young ones.

I am no Saint.

Saint’s are the ones who are supposed to do this, right? The “holy” ones are those who are meant to lead the young and nurture their souls to find Christ. Well, that’s not me… at least not yet.

I know full well what these students are going to face if they choose to follow Christ when they leave our tiny community.

How can I protect them when I myself am still trying to figure out this whole prayer thing?

They are going to face the enemy head on. The world outside the walls of our school and church are a playground for the enemy and it prowls, lurking behind every “pleasure” in the world, and seeking to break the strong.

Well, what I have learned in the past few months is that we are not living out our Christian faith if we don’t offer up every moment, little or big, in witness to Mary’s words at the time of the Annunciation and say “be it done unto me according to Thy word.”

It’s in our little “fiats” that we are truly becoming saints. It is in the everyday and mundane walks of life where we answer ‘yes’ to Christ’s call to us, that we are becoming not just who we are meant to be- but we are becoming fully alive in Christ Jesus.

I have never felt more fully alive than when I am with my students and encountering Christ alongside them. They are showing me Christ’s love in a real and profound way.

My students are teaching me the reality of Sainthood. I may not be totally enough for my them on my own, but I have help. The God that I fell so in love with is there with me each and every single day as I enter my school, as I collaborate with co-teachers, as I pray with my students, and as I fight for their souls. I am not alone.

1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”  

Please pray for me.