Showing posts from February, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday - February 28, 2014

--- 1 ---
Happy un-birthday to all the leap year babies out there! I think my aunt (who has been married for 20 years and has 3 kids) is turning 10 or so. :)

--- 2 ---
Violet turns 4 on Wednesday. Ack! Since her birthday falls on a penitential day of fasting and abstinence (poor kid - she was born on a Friday in Lent, too), we'll likely celebrate it the day before. I wish I could get her Frozen for her birthday but it doesn't come out for a few more weeks. (I could pre-order it, but she doesn't really understand the concept and would get upset that she couldn't watch it.) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes out on Friday, but I don't think she'd really appreciate that one, either. :P

--- 3 ---
Our parish apparently has a chapter of the Junior Catholic Daughters! They're hosting a mother-daughter tea this weekend, so the girls and I are going (Peter is also tagging along).

--- 4 ---
Chris Zajdzinski is speaking at our parish tonight, so we're going to go …

My Lenten practices

I've been putting a lot of thought into what I am going to do for Lenten practices this year.

I was toying with the idea of giving up Facebook, but I actually get a lot of spiritual edification from Facebook. A lot of my friends post inspirational quotes from saints or really good Catholic articles from around the blogosphere.

Plus it's my primary way of keeping in touch with my family in North Dakota, so I would be loathe to deprive them of cute kid pictures for 40 days.

While I was reading Heidi's excellent post (, I had an idea. I've been thinking recently that I really need to step up my private devotions, because I've been really deficient in that area for quite a while. At the same time, I don't want to set myself up for failure by trying to fly too high and make a Lenten commitment that is unrealistic, given my current schedule constraints.

So, I have decided to make the commitment to at…

Our Baby Names

How did I miss the baby names link-up at Team Whitaker?? I adore discussing baby names! Plus, I need a topic for day 3 of the 7 posts in 7 days challenge. (It's a link-up within a link-up!)

Elanor Mary 

It was important to us to choose a name that would fit our daughter as a child and as a woman. Also, we wanted something unique but not outlandish.

“Elanor” is a name from the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. (The books, not the movies!) The first reference is in The Fellowship of the Ring – an elanor is a golden, star-shaped flower that blooms in winter in the forest of Lothlorien. In Return of the King, Samwise Gamgee and Rosie Cotton name their firstborn daughter Elanor (the name is suggested to them by Frodo Baggins). Both Collin and I are huge Tolkien fans, and we both loved the name. Also, I liked the nickname “Elly” or "Ellie" for a little girl and thought that “Elanor” was an elegant name for a woman.

“Mary” is a reflection of our Catholic fait…

Happy Birthday, William!

Dear William, 
I can't believe it's been six years since your birth. I remember holding you in my arms several hours after you were born. It was the middle of the night, the lights were off, and your dad was snoozing on the couch in the hospital room. I couldn't sleep; I was still on a post-birth adrenaline high, and so enchanted with my new son.

I had secretly wanted a boy throughout my pregnancy but had convinced myself I was having a girl so I wouldn't be disappointed. When your dad announced, "It's a boy!" I couldn't believe that I was lucky enough to have a gorgeous daughter and now a beautiful son. You were our rainbow baby, conceived six months after we lost your brother or sister, Noel, to miscarriage. Your birth helped me heal.

You remain our smallest baby and our earliest baby. You were so tiny, all 6lbs 4oz of you, and once I realized my labor was "real" I was so scared you'd have to stay in the NICU since I was only 36 …

I've Got the Laundry Room Blues

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary and posting each day for seven days. They may not be good posts, or profound posts, but by God there will be posts!

Let's talk about chores. Specifically, laundry. How do you do it? I've had success following Nony @ A Slob Comes Clean in terms of getting the dishes under control, but she suggests having a single day in which you do a week's worth of laundry and I don't think that will work for me. The only days I have available are Saturday or Sunday, and it's not always logistically possible to do laundry all day on either of those days. I have a work from home day once per week, but it's always inconsistent and I can't put the clothes away until I'm done with work for the day. Depending on when I start, I may not have that much time once I'm done and have to go pick up the kids. 
Trying to get laundry done on weekday evenings seems impossible. No matter how hard I try there just isn't enough time after I…

NFP Saved My Life and My Marriage

The following is a series of blog comments posted by Heidi at Little Catholic Bubble. They were so good that I asked her if I could consolidate them into a guest post on my blog, and she graciously agreed. Heidi blogs at Bringing Theo Home, which is about her family's journey to adopt a little boy with Down Syndrome from Hong Kong.

I grew up in the deep South. Being Catholic was NOT the cool thing to do (I can go on and on about how we were treated, but let's just say you were the target of most of the Protestant religions. Masses were crashed and priests spit on, I was once the focus of an "intervention" by my friend's parents to "save" me, etc). My parents, who are very much "cafeteria Catholics", scrimped and saved to send me and my siblings to a Catholic high school. The only one in a 4 hour radius, to be exact. I am not at all exaggerating when I say that this decision on their part saved my life. I went through a DEEP de…

7 Quick Takes Friday - February 14, 2014

--- 1 ---
Best Valentine's Day gift ever, courtesy of my husband -- a ticket to The Edel Gathering in Austin, TX this July! I've already booked airfare (found a great deal - less than $300!) and hotel. My good friend Luisa is going too, and we're going to share a room! (Not at the venue - we're being frugal and going with a cheaper hotel.) I'm so excited! Peter will be tagging along, and it will be his first airplane ride plus my first time in TX!

I plan to bring my copy of Pope Awesome so I can get an autograph from Cari, and I need to buy a copy of Sex, Style, and Substance so I can get an autograph from Hallie, and I'm hoping Jen and I can bond over our harrowing tales of scorpion encounters (I want to get her book and autograph, too).

--- 2 ---
Kara and I went to Laugh4Hope last week and it was side-splittingly funny. Fabulous turnout, as well. Next year's event will be April 11, 2015 - save the date!

--- 3 ---
My grandma Violet is here for her annual visi…

Link-Up - Meatless Recipes for Lent!

Lent starts one month from today, people! That's right - this year, Ash Wednesday falls on March 5th (also Violet's 4th birthday). To help us all prepare, I thought I'd have a link up of meatless recipes to help get a head start on meal planning for meatless Fridays and days of fasting and abstinence (and to help some of us get out of our "mac 'n' cheese on Friday" routine). Happy linking!