Hi!  Welcome to Cherry Blossom Buds.  My name is Kelly Donahue.  I am the author and creator of the Cherry Blossom Buds Program.  I am so excited to share with you this new and exciting ministry aimed at helping girls discover the beauty of  the feminine design!

The Lady in Waiting Cycle Awareness Charting System and the Bloom Cycle Awareness Charting System have been approved for use in the Archdiocese of New Orleans by the Office of Marriage and Family Life.  Seminars are being taught at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Covington.  Moms all over the country can teach Lady in Waiting and Bloom to their daughters through our Home Instruction Programs.  Certified Natural Family Planning instructors are invited to sign up for our teacher training program and bring our cycle awareness systems to their dioceses.  The Cherry Blossom Buds Fertility and Chastity Education Program will be submitted for approval in 2021, followed by Revealed in 2023.  

Cherry Blossom Buds began in 2015 as an idea for a blogpost category on how to prepare girls for menarche, the first menstrual period. . .  As I brainstormed the topic, I reflected much on how important it is, not only to teach young girls about how their bodies work, but also to help them see that the feminine design is at the very core of God’s plan for womanhood.  

Our daughters are growing up in a culture that portrays to them a very distorted and confused definition of femininity.  It is a culture, that, in many ways, no longer sees innate differences between men and women, a culture that fails to see masculinity and femininity as complimentary and reciprocal ways of being a human person–each with a unique and vital role to play, one dependent upon the other.  Learning about how the gifts of fertility and femininity are innately intertwined is an important and vital part of a young woman’s journey of discovering who she, created female in the image and likeness of God . . .  As we teach our daughters how to safely navigate through the errors of modern culture, it is up to us as mothers to guide and protect them from the falsehoods of the times and give them a proper Christian formation in the role and dignity of their femininity so they may enjoy the freedom and happiness that God intends for them.

As a certified Natural Family Planning instructor, I have seen young adult women–who have been menstruating for 10 to 15 years–discover the beauty of the feminine design for the first time as they come to a Natural Family Planning class and learn how their bodies truly work.  Sadly, many of these young women are on the pill, embarrassed because they are faithful to Church teaching and not using it to avoid pregnancy, but rather are being “treated” for cycle irregularity.  I have seen other young women come to an NFP class merely to fulfill a requirement—without much Christian formation and very much influenced by the secular world, they are determined to use contraception.

Why is it, I wondered, that we wait so long to teach our daughters how their bodies truly work and enable them to discover the beauty of the feminine design?  As The Cherry Blossom Buds Program began to take shape, I thought:

What if our daughters are formed to understand the meaning of their femininity?  What if they come to learn, when they begin to menstruate, that the very physical design of the female body—their fertility—is part of God’s very plan for femininity, their womanhood?

What if the girls are given age-appropriate education to see how amazing the menstrual cycle is when they start menstruating, rather than keeping the secret hidden for 10 to 15 years?

What if our daughters had a cycle-awareness charting system all their own?  What if the girls had an age-appropriate way to track their cycles, accurately pinpoint and identify the menstrual period, and learn about how their bodies work?

What if mothers could use this system to monitor their daughters’ reproductive health?  What if mothers had a way to detect cycle irregularities early-on, so that they can get their daughters proper treatment, avoiding years of use of the pill and subsequent reproductive damage?

And, what if the girls learn this all from MOM?

And so, The Cherry Blossom Buds Cycle-Awareness Charting System became part of The Cherry Blossom Buds Program.

Kelly has been a certified Natural Family Planning instructor since 2010 and has a BA in theology from Franciscan University.  She is currently in training to earn her Health Coach Certification.  Kelly resides in New Orleans with her husband Jim and their five children.

I very much believe that cycle awareness is a fruit of Humanae Vitae.  Fifty years after the release of the document, there is a generation of mothers who have been faithful to the teachings of the Church and are eager to pass on the richness of what they’ve learned to their daughters!!  We are women of the JPII Generation; we do not want to wait until our daughters are adults to reveal to them the wonder and beauty of the feminine design.  Rather, we want them to have all of the benefits of truly understanding how they were created, as they grow and mature.  Cycle awareness takes the information that we have learned in Natural Family Planning and makes it age-appropriate, accessible, and usable for our daughters–even before they begin to menstruate.

Cherry Blossom Buds was written from the heart of a mother.  I created the program because I want my daughters to truly understand the meaning of their femininity.  I want them to come to see how their femininity and fertility are innately intertwined and to embrace the feminine design as a gift.   I want them to see that the gift of their fertility is to be reverenced, respected, cherished, and protected.  And finally, when they go to an NFP class for the first time, I want them to assent to the Church’s teaching with joy.

My girls really enjoy participating in The Cherry Blossom Buds Program.  They look forward to the special events of the Cherry Blossom Festival and the special time that we spend together learning about their femininity.  I really enjoy the guidance of the Church documents, finding that they continue to inspire and enrich my family life every time it grows and changes.

I hope that Cherry Blossom Buds will be a very special blessing to you and your daughters and that it will help you to create years of lasting memories.  I encourage you to participate fully in the program.  Please consider joining a Cherry Blossom Buds Association or starting one at your own parish.  I also invite you to submit your lesson plans to be posted on our website.  Your insights and ideas can be an inspiration for another mother.

And finally, if I may be of any assistance to you or if you have questions about the program, please do not hesitate to contact me.    kelly@cherryblossombuds.com