Hello all! Once again, I’m late in posting the most recent Chapter! Sorry, but summer vacation waits for no one (spoiler!) and also, I’m pretty much always late on here… Kind of weird though, because when I go somewhere with Daniel (Mass, work, out to eat, a friend’s house) I always make us leave fifteen minutes before when we really need to leave, so we end up way early everywhere we go… Hmm… Anyway, let’s start, shall we?
Good Catholic Reading
How much money does gardening actually save you? and How to get the most out of a small garden – Daniel Bearman – Daniel (husband of Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas) wrote a few posts on the subject of Gardening and I found these posts very wise, helpful and honest. I definitely bookmarked them for when I actually have a backyard to fill up with garden beds. I love the fact that he mentioned that growing their own food promoted better eating habits! Hey, while we’re over at The Bearman’s blog, check out his post Jesus Meets a Jedi. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed! When picking my favorite posts from other bloggers for this line up, I wanted to post all of the recent posts by Daniel Stewart, but I held myself in check… They are all so wonderful, witty, and thought provoking! Still, Jesus Meets a Jedi gets honorable mention in my book!
Of Breastmilk and Suffering – Better Than Eden – (Note: Not for the squeamish, according to Mary) A reflection on patience and suffering through the beautiful journey of Motherhood. This is what it’s all about, guys!
Why Convert – Home to Catholicism – This is a post from (hey what do you know) another girl named Haley (are all awesome Catholics named Haley?) and I truly believe her blog is underrated in the vast expanse of the internet. I hope more people discover her! She has such great thoughts to share, always has an inspirational conversion post, and is very charitable to her readers! This is a fantastic post on why she converted and how important the Eucharist is (or should be) in our lives. Stop on by and leave her some love if you can!
I can’t wait to share the big news with you!
Daniel graduated! My super stinkin’ smart hubby walked across that stage (although I’m pretty sure he felt more like skipping) and shook hands like a pro (and now he is one)! He graduated Summa Cum Laude and now has a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance. We are both so thrilled and excited to move on to the next chapter (haha) of our life. He has been accepted into Grad School, so in some ways, it’s not too different, but we will be somewhere else and I have to say, I’m ready to be in a new part of Texas that is not East Texas.
As a reward for all of his hard work, his parents treated us both to a relaxing vacation to the Sunshine State for a few days! It was fantastic and although I discovered that I had been swimming next to a shark (thank you, father-in-law and husband… I’m glad I amuse you), I had a great time splashing around in the waves and we found some beautiful seashells. My poor face is still recovering from the wind burn.
We stopped in Louisiana on the way there and stayed at a cute little bed and breakfast on the Bayou. They were little rustic cabins and we really enjoyed staying there (except that when a full bed is involved, I tend to take up the entire thing and Daniel is left curled up in a tiny ball all night…) They had these whimsical lights strung up all over and were beautiful to look at after getting back from hearing some live Cajun music and eating the delicious food.
I sported my favorite lipstick at the restaurant. After watching all of those talented dancers just living it up to the music, I decided that I really must look into dance lessons for us in Dallas. It just looks like so much fun! It’s officially on my to do list.
The next morning, we woke up and hit the road and just kept driving until we found salty air and sunny beaches in the great state of Florida.
Ahh, beach life. Cool sand beneath your feet, the salty mist from the crashing waves, and dodging from the occasional shark. Fast forward a few days of that, and it was time to go home again. I was definitely sad to leave. We split the drive in two days again and on the way back the first day, we stopped at the U.S.S. Alabama and toured around the ship. I had to face my claustrophobia a bit, but all the history was very fascinating! My favorite part was descending into the depths of the ship to the base of one of the gun turrets (where they loaded them). It was really neat! My least favorite part was looking into the isolation room where they stuffed the people with diseases that they could not afford to spread to any of the crew.
The next morning, we fell out of bed extremely early and found a Catholic Church nearby to attend Mass. It was my first 6:30 a.m. Mass, guys! Also, my first time attending Mass at a church I’ve never been to while traveling. I love being Catholic! It was really amazing to think that there are people just like me all over the world that celebrate Mass the way we do. A unified feeling, and a feeling of being home, even when you’re not in your own state! The inside of this church was really beautiful and the Stations of the Cross on the walls were actually painted onto the bricks in a really gorgeous way. Mass really rejuvenated us and we made it home.
Remember the Call Her Happy Stitch-a-long? Well, I finished the piece and wrote a post on it. I also gave it to our friend and she seemed to like it!
I just bought new yarn for my brother’s blanket, but haven’t worked on it yet. I predict a mad scramble sometime in late July to finish it before his birthday in August, but I am DETERMINED to finish and give it to him for this birthday! Ugh, procrastination at its worst… We are also still working on our painting, but it’s a project we have to be in the mood to do. I’ve been taking my sketchbook with me in the car and drawing all sorts of things for fun and it’s made me come to realize how much I’ve missed creating. Crocheting, drawing, painting, watercolors, calligraphy, sewing, beading, just about anything and everything you can think of to do, I used to do! I will be so thrilled when we move and I will have a bit more space to work.
Becoming a Better Reader
Finished Prince Caspian! Started a historical book on Joan of Arc (I can’t remember the author) and finished it on the drive to Florida. I went to the church gift shop today and bought another book on Joan of Arc called, “Joan of Arc – A Spiritual Biography” by Siobhan Nash-Marshall. So far, it’s really good!
I started reading The Deceiver (Our Daily Struggle with Satan) which is the one that Daniel recommended for me and I’m eating that one up too. Right now, I feel like life is just a world of books and it’s been hard to get anything done! Although, I’m very glad to be reading again. If I think back to where I was several months ago, I hadn’t picked up a book in ages and was watching back to back episodes of tv (and that was it) when I got home from work. I definitely feel better in my mind and I’m glad to be using it!
Faith and Spiritual Reflections
To add on to what I was saying on the last Chapter in the Life and also to what I’ve been reading lately, I have been feeling like life has taken a little pause for me to meditate and learn about Saint Joan of Arc. The more I read about her, the more I love her. The more I love her, the more I have stumbled into a personal devotion. Perhaps I’ll write a post on it soon, but for now, I’ve just stopped my other reading to focus on her, and have been looking up all sorts of things I’ve had questions about. God is definitely using her to have me draw closer to Him. It’s neat how those things work out… I’ve never felt so much for a Martyr as I have for her and I really believe she’s an underrated Saint. People know about her, and she’s sort of one of the pillars of our Saints, but it’s almost as if people pass right over her because of the very fact that everyone knows a little about her in History.
Daniel and I are eagerly looking forward to her feastday (May 30th, don’t forget!) and have been planning a little celebration in her honor. There might even be some decadent French Pastries involved! If you have any resources for her day that you’ve come across, please send them my way!
Thanks for reading, guys! Don’t forget that you can find me on Pinterest if you fancy and you can always shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org