Lots of General Blogging Chit Chat (set in the month of March)

The cycles and routines of life always continue, even in my absence to record them. It’s a really good thing I don’t blog professionally, nor do I make any sort of money writing whatsoever. But, I am happy to be here, now, typing up the adventures of our little family and recording the daily moments of joy and happiness, as well as the trials we must all face.

We all jumped into March and it seemed like only yesterday that we did so, but it’s already the twenty-second (isn’t that the way spring goes?)! I’ve been getting back into my planner and organizing my days, the housework, the meals, the money, etc. It’s like my brain is on a piece of paper.

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Saint Peg Doll Swap…

In addition to organizing life, I’ve been helping to organize some fun stuff with my mom’s group too! We are hosting a saint peg doll exchange (thanks to Amy for inspiring me!) and I’m doing Saint Paul the Apostle, so that’s very exciting! We won’t have the exchange until May (which I kind of need to start organizing) but we’ve ordered all of the dolls (fifteen people, fifteen dolls for each person) and sent out instructions.. I totally had thirteen dolls left over after I sorted the bags, so I really need to see if it was I or the factory who messed up the count, but I do hope no one is missing any dolls, although it is local, so not the end of the world if that is the case. I’m so excited about this event and it seems like everyone else is too. I’ve already met a bunch of new moms!

Getting social…

I’m also hosting my very first big play group (I’ve only done play dates with one friend for Eliot at a time) at the end of the month and definitely feel intimidated, but quite enthusiastic. I sort of just threw it out there in my mom’s group that I don’t have easy transportation but love hanging out, so a bunch of lovely moms responded and said they are coming with their kiddos! Aggh, scary! But, also, how exciting is it that right there, within the church, we have all of that wonderful community to walk this life and grow with as we live out our vocations? Anybody have any play date advice for me? I was thinking about keeping it simple and making a big batch of pancakes and having fruit since its a morning play date. It will be interesting to see how Eliot does in the sharing department. We’ve been working so hard with him on that one, because he really does want to share and is eager to please, but has become quite aware of the material world lately, and you can tell it’s difficult for him to see one of his beloved stuffed animals in the hands of a friend. We have this cute little devotional book that I try to read to him when he’s in the bath and we always focus on the one about sharing.

Community and the blessing of Church…

Speaking of wonderful community, I’ve gotten three separate batches of maternity wear, even nicer than I would buy for myself through the mom’s ministry at my church, and these are women that I barely know! I feel so blessed by their generosity, charity, and kindness. I’ve also received an entire box of little girl clothes for this little baby, and it’s been so fun dividing up the big dresser in Eliot’s room and sorting through them. I can’t believe I’m already six months and we don’t have long to wait before she arrives! I still barely feel pregnant most days. I was texting my sister and telling her how excited I was to have a little girl to put in dresses and such, and then I realized that my son, now twenty-two months, rarely wears any clothes. He’s always in a diaper (if even) and covered in sand. But one of my absolute favorite mom bloggers, Blythe, always lets her children be free in the clothing department (kids are kids) and is a big advocate of that, so she makes me feel more at ease! (I remember when someone left a nasty comment about her kids and she was so graceful about it, and so nonchalant that I realized right then that she’s one of my role models). Keep on keeping on, Blythe!

Edel!

And even MORE on mothers and community, I’m sad that I can’t make Edel this year (where all the cool peopleĀ and blogging friends meet to be awesome Catholics together and have a retreat.) simply due to budgetary reasons. NOT because I will have a one month old with me. Daniel and I were seriously considering it this year (and I totally got permission from the most protective papa bear ever) because it’s in Austin, and we could road trip! The guys could have a nice little out of town adventure exploring the city while I partied it up with the babe, but, alas, maybe in a future year! (As long as it doesn’t coincide with ACTUAL births.) But you should go! And meet my super cool blogging friend, JEN! She wants to meet new people and gets to go, and I’m so happy for her!

Nesting, crafting, gardening, and more nesting…

Jen is also doing a crochet-a-long with me this month, where we are crocheting the same pattern of granny square to make blankets and such. It’s been so fun to chat with her via text as we manage to make squares even in the midst of busy motherhood. I’m definitely a crafter-for-the-sake-of-sanity kind of person. Just today, I tried my hand at dying fabric! I’m hoping to make the baby some swaddles out of this cute cotton gauze material, and I gave purple a go today. I didn’t ruin my sink, either! šŸ˜‰

My container garden is really taking off, especially with the help of a certain almost two year old who loves to water my seedlings. I’ve got Lettuce, Zinnias, and Basil sprouting from seed, and a few herbs that I bought already started which have taken off. I also went nuts the other day and dug a tiny flower bed hedge in my courtyard and threw down some Sunflower seeds and more Zinnia seeds, so hopefully we will get some color this summer! Daniel is going to build some raised beds in our backyard, if the neighbor’s dog ever stops jumping our fence and hanging out back there… We’re hoping to have a fall vegetable garden back there and wanted to build the boxes before baby girl gets here this summer. He’s also going to build a little compost box for me so I can start messing with that before then. What can I say, I bought the man a saw for his birthday last month. We are both nesting like crazy. I really love that my husband nests right along side me every time we are expecting. We’re always a team, and I love that.

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Dying stuff

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The neighbor’s dog, in our backyard, for the upteenth time.

RCIA and church ministry…

There are about half a dozen other nesty sorts of plans in my head right now, but I always tend to overblog about projects, so I’ll leave that for another post, next time. RCIA is almost finished up as we near Easter, and I’m really excited! We’ve been going through a lot of rites at the church and had our first scrutiny, last Sunday, and it’s so neat to see all of this from the perspective of a Catholic Sponsor. I was overwhelmed when I went through it as a candidate, so it’s nice to take it slow. I do wish it was easier to be a sponsor as a mother, but I think I’m learning that itty bitty babies may not be the best time to be in that specific ministry, so Daniel and I are talking about him as a sponsor next time. The church is in desperate need of them! He’s sacrificed a lot so that we could serve the church in this way too, and just gave up choir for the cause. Practice and Sunday obligations were conflicting with the RCIA schedule and Eliot was being passed back and forth between us for a while, which just wasn’t doing the choir, or the RCIA group too much good. But he’s making the best of it and even told me today that he’s looking forward to hanging out with the boy tonight while I attend the meeting. I’m so lucky to have this guy as my teammate!

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7QT – nesting, reading, and domestic stuff

I wanted to do a chapter in the life post, but realistically, I knew I wouldn’t have the time to blog it. So I’ll stick to 7qt format and actually manage to blog a little. 

1) Tomorrow is Daniel’s birthday! I’ve forgotten it in years past so I made extra effort to remember this year and I actually have his gift already! I know, what a terrible spouse to forget a bday…in my defense, I was working a 10 hr shift that day and I remembered it by 5 pm!! I brought home balloons and dinner and the present was only a few days late… anyway, for this bday, we are celebrating with fire roasted hotdogs, pies, and good friends! I’m looking forward to it. 


2) I’m still doing Jen’s challenge but I probably won’t blog an entire post about week 3 because I’m so behind. But week 3 was about surprise and spontaneity for your spouse. While I wanted to go all out and book a trip to a drive through safari to feed exotic animals, the logistics just didn’t work out. So instead, I picked up a card and wrote him a letter’s worth of lovey wife stuff in it, and I could tell it made his day. Still focusing on the small stuff, I took Jen’s suggestion and told Daniel to go out sometime after work this week and do something he loves! Obviously it’s the movies. He will go either on Saturday or Tuesday and I’ll watch the kid, take care of the house and encourage him to get a beer after his movie. It seemed like the best rest for him since he’s been taking care of nighttimes with Eliot and has been wanting to go out with friends for a while. I’ve also been trying to keep the house clean and be as loving in that actions way as possible, because I truly feel that my taking on our life diligently with no complaint is a big surprise for Daniel, especially while pregnant. To be honest, I’m happy to do it. 


3) I’m still nesting big time. Want a list of tasks I feel I must accomplish in my nesting craze?

  • Paint the living room, kitchen, and dining area (Daniels totally helping big time)
  • Organize the baby clothes
  • Organize multiple mom’s group functions
  • Create a rope Moses basket for the baby by hand
  • Continue making baby hats like crazy
  • Plant lettuce, basil, zinnias, rosemary, and lavender 
  • Pin all the resources for raised garden beds
  • Decide on a paint color for the office
  • Rearrange Eliot’s room for the baby too
  • Decide on paint colors for the bathroom
  • Way too much research in EVERY KIND OF BACKYARD ANIMAL
  • Do all the laundry
  • Buy a new rug
  • Move furniture around
  • Arrange the gallery wall
  • Take and print family photos
  • Frame them
  • Etc, etc, ETC!!!

I have a sickness, y’all…


4) speaking of baby…want know what we are having? A BABY GIRL!!!! We are rounded out now 2 boys and 2 girls in the family. I can’t wait for her to get here! I sorted all of Eliot’s newborn clothes though and almost cried because mommy hormones are no joke combined with the realization that Eliot is no longer a baby. But I’m going to pass them on, minus a few pieces I’ll keep for future boys or for me to snuggle with and cry over when I’m an empty nester. I’m enjoying my stash of girl clothes though and my friend has invited me to go with her and her mom to a big children’s consignment sale in march, so I’m really looking forward to that!!


5) jen at Into Your Will and I are starting a crochetalong for the month of march doing a specific granny square pattern and I’m thrilled to start! I don’t even know what colors im going to do yet, but I’m excited!!


6) I’m still loving spring time and looking out my windows to see the beautiful blooms on the trees. I just love when they start budding and you can see life everywhere. Spring is such a wonderful reminder of the resurrection and of hope. It’s definitely my favorite season. 


7) I ordered “The Everyday Sacrament – the Messy Grace of Parenting” yesterday and I’m excited to FINALLY read it. I’m also finishing up “Good Families Don’t Just Happen.” It’s a really good book on family dynamic and raising wholesome children. “Parenting with Grace” is also on my currently reading shelf but I’m reading it with Daniel, so it’s a little slow. It’s the parenting book I recommend the most!


Thanks for reading today!!

A Month for Your Marriage week 2 (Affirmation via Acts of Service)

Hey guys! Here’s how I did for week 2 (as it’s really almost time to write about week 3—procrastinators gonna procrastinate).

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You know something really great? Jen’s challenge is really working. The point being that we spend this month enriching our marriage! But it doesn’t have to be one sided. I told Daniel about it, and he was very on board, and he has wanted to help too! So this week’s challenge, affirm your spouse with loving words, has actually been geared more toward me from Daniel! I took the challenge and changed it up a little for Daniel too because his love language has totally changed into Acts of Service, so I did more of the subtle acts during the week.

How did we do? Daniel spent a lot of time “hearing me out” and recognizing when I needed a little encouraging boost, although it’s hard to recall examples to write down. You know how sometimes you just feel more filled up than other times? I KNOW it had to do with how he was caring for me with all the loving words of affirmation!

Daniel’s language used to be words of affirmation, but sometimes I think it’s just dependent upon the season of life you are in. We were married while he was still in school, and he was in a season that needed a lot of encouragement! During that time, I worked, and didn’t need as much encouragement, but TOTALLY needed acts of service. When I got home, dog-tired, I didn’t want to do the dishes. I wanted to sit down and have someone affirm my value by recognizing exactly what I needed. I felt so loved when I would come home and the dishes would be done and our evening chores were taken care of for the most part! And Daniel needed lots of texts and letters and verbal encouragement during that time. It was hard for me to figure out how to speak his language since it just wasn’t mine! But now, we’ve completely flipped and he’s 100% acts of service and I’m words of affirmation.

Like I said, I think it’s because of the different seasons in our life. Staying at home with a toddler doesn’t afford a lot of verbal communication in general, and so sometimes I’m starved for it when Daniel gets home. And he works with kids, so he spends all day instructing and talking to his bosses and coworkers and is ready to relax when he gets home!

So I made a huge point to go out and get take-out one day so he just didn’t have to help figure out the meal. Sounds stupid and small, but I hate picking up take-out so Daniel does it most of the time, and this time, I went out, ordered from one of his favorite restaurants, and brought home the food, all while letting him hang out and play some video games. It was a really great day and I could tell he felt really loved by it.

Another way he feels loved and affirmed by me is if I listen to him in the morning as he tells me how he slept, and if it was a hard night, I let him sleep for another hour (we’re weirdos who wake up at the same time) and I hang out with Eliot. Eliot and I usually make breakfast together for Daniel and wake him up an hour later after he’s slept uninterrupted and feels better. I should mention, a reason Daniel doesn’t often sleep well is because he’s taken over the nights with Eliot ever since we got pregnant (and E sleeps almost the whole night by himself, but kicks Daniel the rest of the time after Daniel goes in to lay down with him).

So those are the simple things I did for this challenge, but I can tell it’s really helping Daniel and I to communicate better and to feel more full with each other. When we feel emotionally loved and filled up by each other, we argue way less and it’s like patience is just so much more increased within our relationship!

A Month for your Marriage link up (football togetherness)

Jen is doing a fabulous link up, called “a month for your marriage” and the link up for the first challenge is up until Monday! Go do it! Or jump in anywhere in the middle! She’s doing a new theme every week for the month of February and considering valentines is a few days away, this is the perfect thing for those February blues. Now, since I’ve procrastinated for several days already in posting about our first week, I’ll go ahead and stop to smell the roses on the old blog. 


The first challenge was about being together, spending time together and not allowing a “creeping separateness” come into play. She described how marriages can often fail because couples slowly drift apart and don’t focus on doing things together, but get more into the individual “my own hobbies and interests” mindset. Now anybody who knows me in person knows that I’m the clingiest person IN THE UNIVERSE, so Daniel would totally have to be trying to thwart me for us to have a creeping separation. Lol, sorry Daniel. I just loooove being with you!

But I took this challenge to mean, don’t just ask Daniel to spend time doing something I want to do, instead, focus on his interests too. I can’t say that we did much different than our average routine, mainly because I try to be with Daniel pretty constantly (I mean we had a couples wedding shower and a couples baby shower because we like to be together so much). But there are a few things I hold the line on in our marriage when it comes to “nope, I don’t wanna do that, I would rather be eaten alive by sharks.” Interestingly enough, it’s all tv stuff. I love watching tv. But I have always hated Batman movies and sports. And most movies. And guy shows. And “oh man, something else just blew up” movies. And shows… meh, you get the picture. 

So this past week, I decided to watch my first football game, attempt to understand and enjoy it, and spend time with my honey that way. We ate Super Bowl food, and I sort of understood the game, and I stayed for the whole thing! Daniel and I always watch formula one together, and we’ve never been big into other sports, but when Daniel told me that he wanted to get into football, I made the decision to join him so that we can spend more time together. I opened my mind enough to be able to enjoy the aspects that everyone can enjoy about football, food and commercials, and I feel like it was an enjoyable experience getting to be a part of Daniel’s life and getting to know him a little better. It was fun to watch him be a regular guy and enjoy the game! 

In addition to football, I also drove him to work a couple times this week just so that we could spend time together and talk in the car, (parents, y’all) and I could run my errands early. 

I’m excited to do this week’s challenge too and I’m loving this idea because I think marriage needs a support group and “check ins” from time to time. It’s nice to remember to focus on your spouse and keep him in mind. When doing something like this, it makes it so much easier to remember to pray for your spouse too since you’re thinking about him more during the day. I struggle to remember to pray for Daniel pretty often, but it is something I’m hoping to change this year. 

How we Celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

January 25th is the feast day of St. Paul, the apostle. He happens to be the confirmation saint of my dear husband, and so we make a point every year to remember his day, celebrate, and ask for the intercession of continuing conversion. When I have scoured the internet each year in search of ideas for the feast of Saint Paul’s conversion, I never really come up with anything, so we have gotten creative yet kept it simple. 


This year, we were fortunate to have beautiful weather for grilling and having a picnic, so we took advantage of it! Paul was born in Tarsus, so when in doubt, we try to make food in the likeness of the saint’s birthplace. Hence these Turkish kabobs, side of hummus, and bread. 


We read about Paul’s conversion in the Bible and prayed a litany, and then we just enjoyed a picnic on our patio. Simple feast days are my favorite. 


St. Paul the apostle, pray for us!

January days

January has been unseasonably amazing in the weather department. Eliot and I have been enjoying the beautiful sunshine and feeling inspired! We’ve had several park days, one including a picnic with friends, and we’ve been enjoying a couple of days out of the house running errands too. 

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a new planner that is perfect for the way I use planners! I need to show you the inside… it works as a day scheduler too! I have been using it to get organized in everything from laundry to meal planning and outings! Last year, I read “A Mother’s Rule of Life” and wrote a bunch of notes in my last planner on how I can be more intentional and organized, and I was able to reread the notes and use them to plan out stuff this year, and it’s really bringing me a lot of contentment and satisfaction. 

Eliot and I also went to the home improvement store and picked up some gardening stuff. It’s a little early in the season, but we are considering starting seeds inside until the last frost. For now, my little houseplant is soaking up all the “mother nurture” hormones from the pregnancy it can and I’m loving the ability to have an outlet for the extreme nesting feelings. 


After a very productive morning and outing with friends, I’m now lounging on the couch with a little Netflix during nap time and have grand plans of baking bread and cooking dinner AND preparing the ingredients for tomorrow’s feast day tonight. It involves marinating chicken. Delish!

Thoughts on Spring


You always hear about people who love fall. It’s a religion to some, fodder for comedy, great marketing for corporations, but there is something about the anticipation that comes with autumn. Advent, Christmas, the end of some things, the beginning of others. There is a feeling of accomplishing your goals and finishing the race, and it isn’t just about jumping in leaves and drinking pumpkin flavored things. I’ve loved fall all of my life, but as I grow older, I’m learning to love a new season, as much as it pains me to be in chilly weather. I’m not writing about winter, rather, I’m writing about spring.

Of course there are the cons, as with any season–allergies, swampy weather, the busy beginning of the new year… if you’re like me, you might not be a fan of temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit (even that is a light sweater!). I’m a Texan, you’ll have to forgive me (that should be our state’s slogan). Anyway, back to it, I think I’m loving spring more every year because it brings such newness, life, and hope! 

Recently, I was rocking my son to sleep and praying. I was meditating on the mystery of the resurrection in the warm, soft sunlight streaming through the window, and it just hit me like a load of bricks that spring is meant to remind us of the hope of the resurrection! It’s not a coincidence that we celebrate Easter time in the springtime. 

The sunshine comes down and coaxes life into the cold, hard ground. Into the old bones of the trees. Into the frozen bodies of water. It makes the rivers run again, it makes the flowers bloom, and it gently beckons the animals forth from their dens, and allows them the season to bring more life into the world. Just as the sunshine with the trees and the rivers, Jesus–his resurrection– brings life into our stone cold hearts, and beckons us to bring forth life in our spirits! 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Is that not the cry of our hearts at Easter? Is it not the time we choose to give things up and take on more holiness in our spiritual lives? A natural season, when we realize the ultimate sacrifice has been made. It is a natural season for newness, and cleanliness. 

We participate in spring cleaning and clear out the clutter in our homes and lives, and it is what the Lenten season helps us to do in our inner lives as well. Clean up our acts, clear out the sin, beg for mercy, ask for God to shine brighter within us. 

Spring is the season we have been gifted to use for new life, in that natural way that we see the earth around us use it. The rains come and wash everything dead and old away to make room for growth and mercy comes down to cleanse our souls. I’m going to RCIA every week and witnessing the beautiful people who will enter the Church come Easter Vigil. Imagine the newness, or if you’re like me, remember the newness that confirmation brings. 

The older I get, the more appreciative I am of the seasons and their natural guidance. I’m thankful for the Church year and the rhythms and routines that we’ve been given! What’s you’re favorite season, and why?