Catholic Husband

Love, Lead, Serve

Take Care of Yourself

Man eats a whole breakfast and enjoys his paper

Over the past nine months or so, I’ve really let my personal care slide. I’m normally really good about my oral hygiene, but there have been days when I didn’t brush at all. There have been many days when I haven’t showered. I haven’t been exercising regularly and I take almost no time to get dressed and ready for the day.Read Article

Commit Yourself to A Program

Person works on a checklist

What a privilege it is to live in the Modern era. No matter what goal I set for myself, someone has already achieved it, and their method is readily available to me. I want to lose weight, and there are plenty of plans out there to help me implement the proven program.Read Article

Momentum

Running shoes with a field in the background

A 10-day stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will drain you. Lucy’s stay was a bit unexpected, and very frustrating. I think any parent of a newborn shares these emotions. Read Article

Big Finishes Don't Require Big Starts

Race track starting line

I used to think that the running storyline in Forrest Gump was absurd. One day Forrest starts running. He runs to the end of his driveway, city limits, county line, state line, and eventually to the coast. Then he does it again. No plan, no idea, just a singular goal. December 18th, 2016 changed that for me.Read Article

Seeking Simplicity

Fresh cup of fancy coffee

Life has a way of coming full circle. Just five years ago, when I was young, free, and single, I obsessed over technology. My phone had over 100 apps in the early days of the App Store, and I was always looking for life hacks. I had this impetus to be more productive by using only the best tools. Like my conversion to Jazz (and now Classical) music, I made a major change over the weekend and deleted almost every app from my phone. Why did I feel this need to be free? It all started with a song.Read Article

Manage Your Care

Patient has their blood pressure checked

Having married a physician, most of my daily conversations revolve around the topic of medicine. It’s not a terrible set-up, as healthcare is a major component of our lives. There are plenty of interesting issues to discuss, questions to ponder, and scenarios to explore. A fascinating aspect of healthcare today is the pedestal that we as patients put our physicians on. Instead of being trusted counselors, they become the proverbial Catholic elementary school principal, waiting to rap us on the knuckles for being overweight, having a poor diet, and failing to manage our conditions appropriately. They speak in technical terms and prescribe interventions and treatment courses that we do not fully understand, and we fail to ask a single intelligent question. The fact remains that the patient has a great deal of control in the management of their care, if only they’d take advantage.
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Respect People

Two front doors next to each other

The Catholic Church’s position on life is unimpeachable. Every human person has inherent dignity and the right to live from the moment of conception to their natural death. Arguably, the Catholic Church is the biggest champion of human rights and dignity in our world today. There are no exceptions and the Church speaks out against violations of the dignity of the human person in all quarters. Whether it be immigration, human trafficking, forced sterilizations, abortion, pornography, IVF, or the poor, the Church fights valiantly on the international, national, regional, and local levels to correct injustices.
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I Hate Facebook. So I Did Something About It

Facebook app open on an iPhone X

I recently received an email from Facebook congratulating me on my 10 year anniversary on the network. While I’m sure they had a heavily researched intention behind the email, I found it to be both striking and frightening. In the first place, I found it striking how in such a fickle market, they’ve endured for so long. While others have come and gone, Facebook remains. In the second place, I found it frightening when I considered just how much of my life I’ve lost to Facebook.
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Sick of Reality TV

Bowl of popcorn spilled on a person holding a remote control

Television programming has the unique ability to bring people together. Perusing Twitter after an episode of “The Bachelor” or checking out the blogs after an explosive episode of any popular show gives one the sense of just how transcendent it can be. One of the more popular genres of television programming in the past decade has been the rise of so-called “Reality TV.” The thing is, none of it is real, and I’m sick of it.
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Education Happens Everywhere

Globe in a classroom

One of the great tragedies of the American educational system is the way that it compartmentalizes learning. Learning and education, so it suggests, can only happen in a specific place and in a specific way. Thus, students must be in a classroom with books and a teacher in order for learning to happen. The problem is not so much the standardized format of instruction, but rather the subtle message that it sends.Read Article

Family Time Activities



I love Spring. Nature reminds us of the joy of new life and it also signals the beginning of the outdoor season. Every member of the family values, to admittedly varying degrees, time spent together as a family. As humans, we crave connection, and family time gives us that in a very safe and stable way. Just as it’s important to provide a young child with a variety of activities, your family time shouldn’t be spent solely in your living room. Spring and Summer present a wide variety of outdoor fun that can bring joy to all members of your family.Read Article

The E Word

Person walks on a city street with an umbrella

One of our greatest shortcomings as men is our inability to express, process, or deal with emotions. We know two emotions: passion and anger. The depth of the human experience is lived through the vast spectrum of emotion, each eliciting a different set of responses and lessons. Our female counterparts are often blamed for being too emotional, but I believe that it’s precisely their ability to intuit and live through their emotions that they’re able to live more fully alive.Read Article

How Will You Use Your Fresh Start?

People ride an esclator into a metro

I love this time of year when I and every other writer on the Internet write about goals, resolutions, and fresh starts. It's part meeting a need and part recognizing that the New Year is the biggest time-based turning point in any given year.Read Article

The New Year Slump

Bike on a city street

It's about that time of year when people hit their New Year slump. The grand plans, resolutions, and goals have encountered the first wave of resistance and most will return to their old ways. To expect a perfect journey is unreasonable and, frankly, was more crazy than the goal to begin with. Resistance provides the opportunity to reinforce the "why" behind what you're doing.Read Article

Life in Sync

Clean and tidy room

I once read that we ought to make a major decision once and then manage it daily. That's decent advice. I want to live a life in sync where I have clear routines that ensure that I do everything that I want to do, and, most importantly, that my home stays clean. A clean, tidy home is necessary for me to work and make forward progress. Nothing slows me down more creatively than a house in disarray.Read Article

The Sky Rarely Falls

People have been predicting the end of the United States and the collapse of the dollar since the very beginning of our Nation. There are plenty of threats and things to fear out there, but the sky rarely falls. If you find yourself living in constant fear of the economic or political collapse of your society, then you've placed your trust in the wrong god.
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Discipline Trickles Down

Alison's schedule around Holy Days is always a little tricky. Our parish generally offers sufficient Masses, but they don't offer evening Masses on Holy Days (or Sunday). That means that we can be legitimately scrambling to get to Mass. This year, her schedule meant that we needed to go to Mass on December 31st, instead of January 1st. While praying before Mass, I decided to ask for a gift for the new year. I thought about plenty of options, but settled on one that I thought would bring about all. I asked for the grace of discipline.Read Article

Preserve Your Energy

Negativity is the biggest drain on our energy. Every day we encounter plenty of rabbit holes to go down; negative news stories, clickbait links, and even entertainment programs. I've just decided that it's not worth it to waste my time and energy on things that I have no control over and that are just going to bum me out.Read Article

Food Diaries Are A Pain

The tactic in weight management that I’ve found to be the most effective and also the most cumbersome is keeping a food diary. The concept is simple: record and monitor your intake. The data you record will help you to better understand the needs of your body, what foods should be cut out of your diet, and ultimately help you balance your calorie count in order to achieve your weight goal. While the concept is simple, the execution is not.Read Article

My Own Biggest Obstacle

When your thirst for change exceeds the threshold of your objections, things start to happen. We all have a series of objections when it comes to making changes in our lives. We like things the way they are, or the cost to make this particular change is too high. While it’s convenient to place the blame for our lack of change on external factors, the truth is that we’re our own biggest obstacle.Read Article

Change Requires Pain

There's something very real and raw about wanting to make changes in our lives. We all want to be better than we are today. We can see our future and (hopefully) we foresee brighter days with better financial security, better jobs, better opportunity, and better quality of life. The challenge is enduring the pains that it takes to get us from where we are to where we want to be.Read Article

Getting Back on the Horse

We underestimate the power of momentum. Momentum, as it builds, evolves into an unstoppable force. Decision making becomes easier when you step aside and let the momentum of the situation continue to push you forward. Getting it started, or reversing negative momentum, well that's a whole other story.Read Article

Where Do You Send Your Thoughts?

In a widely circulated Matthew Kelley talk, Matthew made the point that where you send your thoughts, your actions will follow. His point was that if you spend your time contemplating the things of God, your life will improve; if you spend your time contemplating sinful things, you will stay trapped in sin.Read Article

Do the Essentials

Daily schedules fluctuate a lot. Between work, appointments, shopping, and after-school activities, every day looks a little different. In fact, this fluctuation isn’t restricted to day by day comparison. In the evening, you may find that your day ended up looking remarkably different than it did when it started. These fluctuations mean that things that you planned on doing may not have gotten done. When I'm pressed for time, I often cut my essentials - reading, prayer, and exercise. This approach is all wrong. Instead of seeking to save a few minutes from the things that you consider to be essential each day, look instead at your to-do list and defer a few tasks for another time.Read Article

Listen to Your Body

I hate to admit it, but I'm losing ground to my migraines. Since they started in 2006, we've had an on again, off again relationship. At times, they have more control over my life than I do. At other times, they are virtually nonexistent. I've been doing all of the right things: solid sleep schedule, good eating, regular exercise, and plenty of water. Yet, from time to time, I get out of orbit. I've been in denial about my need for corrective treatment until two things happened. I started keeping a diary, as I should've the whole time, and frankly, the diary doesn't lie. Second, I became irritated that my daily choices had to conform to a rigorous daily regimen of preventative habits. Most days, it's fine, but what about when I'm on vacation and I want to sleep in or stay up late?Read Article

Walking for Health

Earlier this year, as the temperatures began to rise and Spring poked its head out, Benedict and I started seeing more and more residents along our street spending time outside. Some were just sitting on their porches, others were doing yard work, and still others were playing with their kids. More than a few came up and talked to us, for the first time, and noted how much they enjoyed seeing us out and about, even in the bitter cold winter months. As it turns out, Benedict and I are well known in our neighborhood.Read Article

The Beauty Around You

Spring is my favorite season. It's used to be Fall because I absolutely love cold, grey, steely October days. Yet, I'm a person who loves hope, promised, and newness, so therefore Spring must take the crown. Perhaps my favorite part about Spring is getting Spring Fever. On the first warm day of the season, I immediately want to get outside, wash the car, and pull out all of my summer clothes. While the nice weather is usually gone the following day, the sentiment is right. Get out of your house and enjoy being outside!Read Article

The Secret to Winning Your Morning

The past six months have been a time of great change in my daily routine. With Benedict now walking and the weather starting to get nice outside, everything about my routine has evolved. I'm thankful to finally be able to walk in the morning again and also that the pace of my work is picking up. All of these changes have had a significant impact on how I plan out my day, although Benedict ultimately holds a veto over the schedule. Essentially, I've found that getting my morning started with just the right mix of prayer, work, and family gives me the best chance of feeling satisfied when I lay my head down at night.Read Article

If You Don't Understand, Do Nothing

I'm very involved in the healthcare decisions of my family. I always ask lots of clarifying questions and want to make sure that I fully understand the recommendations, treatments, and procedures that anyone in my household will undergo. Thankfully, I have Alison as a great resource to answer any question I may have after an appointment. Yet, even though she is a qualified physician, I want to make sure that I understand everything. Read Article

Reset Occasionally

I keep rigorous track of my goals throughout the year. I've mentioned before that I use the HabitList app on my phone in order to keep tabs on how well I'm doing. HabitList uses a method called streaking in which the user attempts to repeat the same task for consecutive days with the goal of achieving the longest streak of days. After extended periods of failure and defeat, however, streaking can work against me. If I see that it's been a while since I've done a particular task, then I'm less inclined to do it. I fall victim to "one more day” thinking, in which it doesn’t matter if I skip today, because I can always do it tomorrow. Sometimes in life, and especially in the pursuit of a goal, it's ok to reset the clock.Read Article

Fighting Weight

Confession: I've let myself go. Since the beginning of the year, I've gained 15 lbs. Now, that's not how that's supposed to work. The weather is nicer, I should be more active. Yet, here I am. I've been lazy about my intake and even lazier about my output. For a while now, I've surrendered on my weight. I consider my condition to be temporary, but if I don't get my head in the game, it'll become permanent! The truth is, I'm having a hard time getting motivated.Read Article

Drink More Water

Growing up, my Dad drank a lot of water. So much so, that he had a Brita filter in the refrigerator that was for his use only. Of course, that rule only existed because my siblings and I loved cold water, but hated refilling the pitcher. For the longest time, I hated water and lived almost exclusively on milk. Yet, over the past few years, I've reversed course and moved almost exclusively to drinking water. We underestimate the importance of water in our lives, to our detriment.Read Article

Respect Your Limits

We all have limiting factors in our lives. It may be a health issue, fear, past hurts, or even bad relationships. These limits place constraints on our lives in one way or another. My main limiting factor is migraine headaches. There are jobs that I can't take, stores that I can't shop in, and even schedules that I cannot keep because of them. Most recently, I went to an amusement park with my family and realized that rollercoasters can be a trigger for me. In order to have a solid quality of life, it’s important to respect those limits.Read Article

Staring Down Medical Problems

In life, there may be nothing more disruptive than a major medical problem. Whether it's one that you're facing, or one that someone in your family is dealing with, medical problems consume the thoughts and time of those afflicted with them. This dilemma is one that is common in the human experience; despite our best efforts, we will get sick.Read Article

Turn Off the News

Since late last summer, I’ve had a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. It’s my first newspaper subscription, having before gotten the majority of news from websites. I must say, there have been a lot of unexpected difference in the print news as opposed to digital news. I’ve grown to hate 24 hour news networks.Read Article

Fight the Creeping Bulge

Winter is hard on me. During the spring, summer, and fall, I'm a regular exerciser. Benedict and I can be seen on our 4 mile circuit almost every day. When winter sets in, we're infrequent, if ever. I don't want to go out in the cold or the snow or on the salty road. Benedict, I'm sure, doesn't appreciate the cold wind on his face. It's usually during the middle of winter that I notice the creeping bulge.Read Article

Make Time to Read

There are limitless ways for us to use our free time during the day, but most activities leave us feeling empty. Watching a TV show can be entertaining in the moment, but when the moment has passed, it's plain to see that nothing really impacted you during the previous half hour. The plot may have been captivating and some of the lines may have even elicited laughs during the broadcast. Yet, once the credits start rolling, you're back to your life right where you were before you started watching.Read Article

Don't Press Snooze

I have three layers of alarms each morning. My Fitbit has 3 silent alarms scheduled each morning for 4:55am, 4:57am, and 4:59am. At those times, it vibrates on my arm until I press a button to dismiss it. At 5:00am the lights in my bedroom slowly come on. Finally, as a fail-safe, at 5:05am, a very loud, and very annoying, alarm on my phone goes off. Most days, all I need is the Fitbit. Some days, I need the lights to help. On a rare occasion, my phone is there to save the day from getting away from me.Read Article

Have Clear Motivations

There are a lot of things that I'd like to do. Almost every day, I get a new idea for some project or goal that I'd like to work on. It might be an area of my life or schedule that I want to improve, such as incorporating more reading time for Benedict. It might be a new book idea or some new app. All of these ideas are inspiring in the moment and really quite appealing. I'm often tempted to change direction or course and to charge at this new idea. After a few hours or a few days, most of the ideas subside and I'm left with the ones that really mean something to me.Read Article

End Month One

If you can believe it, we've already reached January 30th. Yes, just 30 short days ago we all experienced the hope, newness, and excitement of the New Year! I, along with pretty much the rest of the Internet, talked about some strategies for setting goals and making this your best year yet!Read Article

The Importance of Stable Sleep

The best indicator of how well your day is going to go is how well you slept last night. Sleep is the biggest contributor to your overall health, your happiness, your energy to make it through the day, and your emotional health. For such a big deal, we don't spend enough time working to improve our sleep.Read Article

Motivate Yourself

The New Year is always a popular time for fitness goals. Setting a fitness goal for yourself in 2015 is a brilliant idea. Your goals should encompass all areas of your life and physical health is one of the most important. Your overall health affects all other areas of your life, so making choices to improve it are a wise investment. The thing about your goals is that you need to do more than set them. You need to work on them.Read Article

Eat for Success

As a husband, your health takes on a new importance. As a single man, it didn’t matter much whether you were at the top of your game or slacking off. As a married man, you have people depending on you. Your health is tied to the length of days that you get to spend with your family. While exercise is a big part of your overall health picture, one thing that can’t be neglected is your diet.Read Article

Take Vacation

I want to begin this post by noting that I’m on vacation all this week. There will, of course, be new posts and some social media updates, but I won’t be writing and I won’t be actively working on any projects. It’s been a busy, and very successful 2014 thanks to both you and Alison. We’ve made huge progress on the Catholic Husband blog, published two books, and launched a podcast.Read Article

Family Walks

One of the best things that your family can do together is take an evening walk. Not only is a walk in the evening a great stress reliever, it can significantly increase the amount of time that you spend together each day.Read Article

Why You Should Meditate

I think one of the most devastating things in our modern era is that we’ve stopped being a reflective people. Instead of taking time to think about past actions or how we can improve as people, we run from one thing to the next. The consequence is that we keep making the same mistakes over and over again. This is why our confessions sound eerily familiar and we keep getting into the same fights with our spouses.Read Article

Take Control of Your Health

There are some things in the world that we have absolute control over. Your health is one of them.Read Article

Dedicate Yourself to Wellness

We have just one chance to take care of our bodies. Are you maximizing your physical wellbeing?Read Article

A Line in the Sand

Our lives are an experiment. We have one chance to live, and as a part of that experience, we have to find our way. Thankfully, we have wise parents to help us not make major mistakes. In large part, though, we’re able to quite easily fall into ruts.Read Article

Fatigue is the Worst

Fatigue is the worst, especially when you have a family depending on you.Read Article

Mutual Wellness

One of the best things you can do for your wife is to take care of your own health. Once you lose it, it’s extremely difficult to get it back.Read Article

Rest on the Sabbath

Every year, it seems to go the exact same way. Just a few days before Ash Wednesday and I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do for Lent. I know that Lent is coming, I know that I need to take time to consider what changes to make in my life, and I still don’t give it the time it deserves. This year, I went with something really special.Read Article

Overcoming Natural Barriers

In our daily lives, there are natural barriers that often interfere with our goals. They are things that easily prevent us from doing the things we need to do in order to be successful.Read Article

Keeping Yourself in Balance

Each stage of our lives has unique benefits. The single life brings freedom, but a lack of companionship. The married life brings companionship, but the inability to run from trouble. The life of a parent brings joy in new live, but difficulty in maintaining your own schedule.Read Article

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep. We all need it and many of us don't get enough of it. It effects every area of our daily life and yet we don't spend much time trying to improve it.Read Article

Support

We humans yearn to be connected.Read Article

Plateaus

Over the past year or so, I’ve been on a mission to lose weight. To date, I’m down about 26 lbs with 10 more to go.Read Article

You Are What You Eat

The old saying goes, “You are what you eat.”Read Article

Compartmentalization Kills

If you are living a fragmented life, you’re cheating yourself. In the 8thgrade, I watched the American Classic “To Kill A Mockingbird.” In the film, I will always remember the scene where Gregory Peck explains to his child how he cannot be one person at home and another at work.Read Article

Exercise Together

Now that the long winter is over, and summer is upon us, I've been spending a lot of time outside. One of the best things about summer is that you can exercise on a regular basis and enjoy nature at the same time.Read Article

It's Not Just About You Anymore

A few months before I got married, I joined a gym. Everyone asked the question, “Are you trying to look good in your wedding pictures?” It is a scene from any number of romantic comedies. Guy gets engaged and suddenly hits the gym. Are we really that shallow?Read Article

I Owe it to Myself

We cut ourselves a lot of slack. Many times, too much. We work hard and then use that as an excuse to be lazy. We come home, and expect our spouse to do all of the household chores. “I owe it to myself to take it easy tonight.”Read Article