Now that it has been a month since any kind of life update I have shamefully come clicking back the blog for a Chapter in the Life (chapter two, though). In case any readers ever wonder, I am terrible at keeping up correspondences. I have to kick myself repeatedly to respond to an email, and I hardly every talk on the phone (I promise I don’t hate people, I’m just a face to face kind of girl). So with that knowledge, how could you expect me to update the blog all the time? Shame on you, shame! (kidding) When the idea for a series of life updates was born into my mind, I had hoped to post a Chapter in the Life every two weeks, and I will strive for that, but I think the more realistic option is that you will see a lifestyle post once a month…
Good Catholic Reading
Spring Stitch-a-Long – by Call Her Happy – So this one is not so much a reading post as it is an inspiring Catholic Lifestyle blog, and Jenna has some great Vlogs on Embroidery if you’re a beginner. This stitch-a-long is running until the end of May so you still have time. Go for it! You know you need a new hobby/stress reliever and her design is so pretty.
It’s Your Blog, You Set the Tone – by Carrots for Michaelmas – Haley always has wonderful posts and was, in fact, the first of all of these great Catholic blogs I ever discovered. I love her style, her kindness and charity, and her deep thoughts. She started this blogging series to help new (and seasoned) bloggers learn how to blog better. If you’re a blogger, this one is a worth a read.
In Defense of Fanny Price – by Carrots for Michaelmas – I think I may be the last person ever to link this post of hers (I’ve seen it linked everywhere) but here it is again anyway. If you’re not a blogger, but you are an Austen lover, this post is for you, whether you love or hate Fanny Price. I thought this was a very interesting read, and it is one of her more popular posts of late.
The Laundry Room – Better Than Eden – Mary outdid herself this time with her new Laundry room that she and her family revived together. I love DIY, and I love the fact that they bought an old classic house and fixed it up. It’s so beautiful (don’t even get me started on her gorgeous living room). I love reading Mary’s day to day posts even when they aren’t deep thinker posts. After all, this day to day life is Catholicism.
In Defense of the Hipster – Daniel Bearman – Daniel, husband of Haley (from Carrots of Michaelmas), wrote this hilarious post on hipsters that spawned conversation between Daniel (my Daniel) and myself about culture, hipsters, and life in general. Those are the best kind of posts. And this post achieved that whilst keeping everything lighthearted, so I love it even more.
Becoming a Family of Prayer – Carrots for Michaelmas – And if you’re wanting a post that has a little more weight in the subject matter, try this one! This post was guest posted by Kendra from Catholic All Year for Haley’s blog and talks about how Kendra’s family incorporates prayer into their days and what that looks like. I found this one deeply inspiring.
Let’s pick up where I left off last time… My niece was scheduled to visit and we had all sorts of grand plans! Unfortunately, illness reared its selfish head and the poor thing could not visit. I’m pretty sure all parties were devastated (Daniel was really looking forward to building that doll bed)! But we do have Summer break plans that allow her to spend a few more days with us than she was even going to get to over Spring Break. I had mentioned that my Mom was letting me borrow her Camera, and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it! So much fun, in fact, that in means it is Instagram Selfie of a Photo escapade to the park time!
Speaking of Instagram… I have delved into the wonderful world of photo posts with my very own account. In fact, I believe that is why the blog has been so quiet. It’s going to take a delicate balance between using Instagram to fill the black hole in my soul that Facebook left and never posting anything and you’re all like #whydoIevenfollowyou?! A little hashtag humor for you, my friends. In all seriousness, come try out that correspondence thing with me on Instagram if you fancy! I’ll try to be here…
When Daniel and I had gone in town to pick up my niece, we were also going to see a concert. My generous Uncle sent us two free tickets, plus parking and food fare! We felt spoiled and felt young again as we hiked what seemed like a mile or two to the Stadium from where we parked. It was interesting that in the young love story Daniel and I shared, we had never gone to a concert together. I thought we were out of “young love firsts” but I guess one smacked us in the face when we weren’t looking! We did all the normal things. Ate Nachos, sang along, fought the huge crowded bathrooms, stayed until the last song, leaned on each other and probably angered those behind us by our affectionate HOLDING HANDS. Anyway, we went purely because of the free tickets… it’s not like I even enjoy the band that played… I certainly haven’t been to two other concerts by them, and I definitely don’t sing at the top of my lungs on road trips to this band or dance like a crazy person at weddings to this band! Okay, okay, Maroon 5 is my guilty pleasure. It always has been and always will be. I’m pretty sure this could be applied,
“After all this time?
Okay, I’ll stop obsessing now. Moving on. I road tripped all by myself recently (a whole hour) to see an old friend that I hadn’t really gotten to sit and chat with since before my wedding two years ago… (See, I told you I’m terrible at keeping in touch!) We chatted as if no time had passed and stayed until they flicked the lights at us in the unique little Mexican restaurant we were in to tell us it was closing time. We parted and promised to try to connect more often since we only live an hour from each other.
One night recently, Daniel and I just felt discouraged and down, and after an hour of being in each other’s company after our work days, we realized we had a case of the small town blues! What did we do? We made some more discoveries. We’re young! We’re healthy! We had free time! It’s just the two of us right now! We just up and decided to road trip to Austin at 8 pm at night and grabbed a hotel. The freedom we felt just twenty miles away from home was such an intense feeling and we felt so liberated and as though our spirits were being revived. What did we do there? We ravenously ate some delicious Mediterranean food. We walked around two different art Museums. We ate more great food. We relaxed, read, and people watched together. It was a very nice and romantic trip – one I hope to duplicate in the future!
Around the blog world, I joined up with Jenna from Call her Happy on her spring stitch-a-long! I can’t reveal my full project yet (otherwise I will have no motivation to make it “hang on the wall ready.”) but here’s a little snippet of what I’ve done! (If you follow me on Instagram, you might get more snippets – hint, hint)
Daniel and I have plans to visit my parents for Easter and we’re both excited to be able to go to Easter Vigil Mass in the church that we were married in and celebrate with family.
I’ve got my hands in so many pies right now on the DIY front. What is one to do when watching shows? I cannot sit idle for very long, it drives me crazy. Let’s start with the first project.
This is my brother’s blanket. The one I promised him for his birthday last year… in August. I’ve got a long way to go on it, but I am now through three skeins of yarn and my excuse is that I need to buy more because I’ve used it all up. I’m trying to get this one done before his NEXT birthday. Note to the readers: If I ever give you a promise or a voucher on your birthday for some handmade item, expect it a year from the time it was supposed to be made!
Next up, we have the beginnings of a great masterpiece! Just kidding. But Daniel and I have started a painting together and we have been shocked to discover how much we enjoy the act of putting paint on a canvas. It’s so peaceful and therapeutic. We always have our deepest conversations together during that time. This painting with have a funny story behind it too… Want to hear it? Okay, well let me die of shame first. You guys… I am… a sleep talker. There, it’s out. I’ve said it! I had no idea I was a sleep talker until Daniel and I were married, so for the last two years, Daniel has been ever enduring my horrific topics of sleeping conversation. Recently though, I described a painting to him that I wanted to make in great detail. He recorded it and told me about it the next day. I had absolutely no memory of it until much later (like when you remember a dream) and we decided to set to work on the thing. If it comes to something, at least it will have a great back story to it. If not, we can just pretend I never said anything.
Lastly, we have the Crown of Thorns centerpiece Daniel helped me to make for a kitchen table during Lent and Easter. My poor parents almost killed themselves cutting a branch from the plant that has these spiked thorns on them and they brought them to us upon request when they visited last time. Daniel and I then wove it into a wreath, trimmed the thorns down a bit, and spray painted it black. It now sits upon our table reminding us of the greatest sacrifice. We were pleased with the way it turned out and all in all, it was a pretty easy project.
Becoming a Better Reader
Still plugging away on Villette but I’ve taken a little break on The Everlasting Man to work on a reading list I drafted up with a friend. I’m sure I’ll get back to it when I catch up on my reading list, but as of right now, I’m a bit behind and I have my nose in four different books. I’m almost finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis which is actually my first read through. I grew up knowing the stories from older siblings and of course I watched the recently made films by them, and I’ve listened to the audio recording, but I had never really read them all the way through. My reading list has me scheduled to complete each book within three weeks (which seems like not enough time since I cannot read while I’m working and my evenings are very often spent with my Husband). I was actually supposed to finish this one a week and a half ago, so that puts me way behind seeing as though I’m supposed to be halfway through Prince Caspian. Oh well. I’m also reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne for the list. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll catch up eventually! My goal tonight is to finish The Lion before bed, and I can take Prince Caspian home with me for some light Easter weekend reading.
I will conquer these books, no matter how many Merlin episodes I consume in a day! (I have been hopelessly addicted to them ever since the friend I visited suggested the series after hearing that I loved BBC productions…Before Merlin, it was Call The Midwife. Wow, I really need to smash my tv…)
Daniel has suggested a book for me which I hope to start by the end of May. It’s definitely a heavier read, more on the subject of Spirituality. And not to mention my recent readings on Joan of Arc.
Of course that one is a simple Children’s book but it has wonderful illustrations for a convert unfamiliar with Joan of Arc (like me). I picked up a thick historical volume from the University’s library as well so I’m going to try to read bits of that in my spare time (Ha.) before I return it in three weeks.
Faith and Spiritual Reflections
These last two years have been one of the greatest seasons in my life demanding courage and I’ve struggled. I found myself in constant prayer for courage in all things… Even small things. My character is not one of bravery and heroism. It isn’t even one of a little bit of spunk. I have always struggled with fear, anxiety, and worry in all things, but I believe that God laid it on my heart to give those things to Him. Way easier said than done. I had to have courage when I knew that He was guiding me to conversion into the Catholic faith (even to just talk to our Priest about it), I had to have it when I was without Daniel for two weeks (he was in Vienna on a School trip) because I hate to be alone. I have to have it in our marriage every day when I’ve done something wrong and when I need to forgive too. I think that people always underestimate courage. Maybe that is because they have a healthy dose of it and do not feel lacking? I’m not really sure, but I do know what my lifelong struggle has been, and I will always need courage. It’s not something I will ever achieve, it’s something I am achieving and will be achieving until I die. Anyway, a lot of typing to explain my next thought. I have been wondering if God is using my weaknesses (my lack of courage, my timidity, and my fear) to introduce me to an amazing woman. Maybe he is using this as an opportunity to gain healing and help from my crippling fear from Saint Joan of Arc. We all have our struggles, and I think He gives us the Saints to help us and guide us closer to Him.
Saint Joan was definitely courageous. And more than that, she was courageous in her youthful age! She listened to God’s calling for her life and obeyed Him. She faced it with such courage and rallied those around her! I can learn from her in the history books. I can learn from her obedience to God! But more importantly, I can ask her to pray for me in the areas that I lack. I need courage in the face of fear, and I think God might be giving me the gift of St. Joan of Arc.
Have you ever had an experience where you felt gifted with a Saint in a time of need?
I hope you all are having a fruitful Lent filled with Him and a reflective Holy Week.