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?

A Chapter in the Life (Ch. 24) The edition that makes you want to shoot yourself from the length

Happy New Year! I cannot believe it’s 2017. 2016 was a year of growth, for sure! I was asked for a lot in 2016, and I don’t feel in my heart that I did my best in my spiritual life, for sure. There are a few things I want to watch out for this year and remind myself of so that I can better follow God’s will for my life. Rather than resolutions, I want to take some time to reflect and see things I want to work on. Resolutions seem to convey that things will change through sheer force of will, and I think our wills definitely have a place in change and growth, but I believe that God changes us and the true resolution is to just resolve to love God no matter what. I like the first of the year, it really allows for lots of inner reflection over a specific period of time!

Reflections, Lessons, and lots of Rambling on God’s goodness!

One reflection I’m having over the year is that I have done and seem to be willing to do anything to NOT have to trust God. I try so hard to be enough, be perfect, do it on my own, fix it, and not ask for help. What a strange realization to make too, because having known myself for twenty-four years, I’ve never ever been independent (quite the opposite), but I think I must be independent where God is concerned….Not a good kind of independence, let me tell you!

I wish I had recognized God’s guidance through the sufferings of the year and His requests for me to stop it all and just let Him handle it… If I had only trusted Him sooner with my health, I would have seen that He wanted to heal me through the hands of the doctor I was being pulled toward. Maybe I would have been healed sooner, maybe not, but I know I definitely would not have gotten so ill in my spirit and been so angry at God. With repentance, I was brought healing in my spirit and it’s really amazing to see the fruits of that in life too. Repentance sure does bring feeling to my stone, cold heart and I find myself overwhelmed with the love of Christ.

In addition to the distrust about my health, I also seem to distrust Him about my relationships, too. Again, and again, I seem to have to learn about people pleasing, yet in new aspects. I work so hard to hold my relationships together and just think if I hold onto each one really tightly, they can’t fail. I’m so unwilling to surrender them to God. I learned that with my marriage and relationship to my spouse, my family, countless friends, and I’m sure one day I’ll be learning that lesson about my kids too, but hopefully I can learn it in theory and not in practice… I imagine myself on the edge of a cliff holding the hands of my relationships while they dangle over the edge, and I think through the sheer force of strength (which often takes the form of excessive care and loyalty) I can keep everyone from falling. I can keep my relationships, no matter what God wants, I can save people from experiencing pain, and I can have my ducks in a row.

Also an interesting realization to make of myself, because I have NOT OFTEN been into control. In fact, I’ve been the person that gets incredibly anxious about control and leadership. Perhaps God is leading me into a leadership role through my role as mother, and maybe with those new skills, I need to learn to temper them with trust in God… Servant leadership (being the servant of God and doing his will to take more responsibility)  But that’s a whole different post. Apparently, I like to have control in my life, though. I’m realizing that I’ve been trying so hard to hold onto some things and be everything to some people, and I haven’t been allowing God to take it from me. Who knows what His plan is, but I think my time for being a part of some specific plans has come to an end, and I just didn’t want to let God fix problems. But I’m really okay, better than okay, when God takes these things. Almost every time I have surrendered (finally) to Him, he has blessed me immensely. I don’t know why I struggle to trust Him so much, His Goodness is vast!

One thing we are focusing on in my Mom’s group is when we become too eager to offer a yes that we don’t offer the right ones. Another lesson in discernment! The book we are reading shares an example of a mom who gives a yes outside of her family that causes her family to struggle a bit, because it really wasn’t the right yes. As moms and wives, we have to think of our families too, and I don’t think I’ve been doing a good job of that! I’ve been giving too many yes’s outside our home and not being able to keep up my home commitments and cares for those inside my home! Yikes. We can’t do it all. That’s something I would like to work on this year–Giving some of my yes’s to my family, and growing the peace and love inside our home. It seems simple now that I type it out. But I think the home is where God is calling me right now, and I want to help grow the love in our family so that the love we grow will bloom outside of the family and spread to all others! Who would have thought Hannah would have to learn that lesson… Introvert that I am, homebody, homemaker, home lover, family oriented–but I guess that goes to show that we should understand we are all capable of changing and we shouldn’t label ourselves. Clearly that seems to be the theme, so far!

That’s another little thing I want to remember this year—when we label ourselves as anything other than lovers of Our Lord, we get into trouble. Simply put, labels are kind of stupid. We aren’t a package of meat to buy at the store. We are dynamic, changing, growing, individuals. When we label ourselves as something, we stop growing and challenging ourselves, and we begin to value comforts and ease over virtue and becoming Christ-like. We sell ourselves to the nearest commodity or relationship instead of freely giving ourselves over to the love of Christ. Our hearts become cold and stone-like when we stop changing and growing. This year, I want to love God better and more fully. I want to spend more time with Him in prayer because at the beginning of 2016, I found myself craving prayer, being more than okay with silence in my heart, and waiting often to hear God’s voice there. I think that is my biggest goal for 2017. I’m really excited about this year!


 

On a less serious note, Eliot is throwing fries at me in between putting them in his little baby potty (don’t worry, it hasn’t been used). There, now that the tone is lighter, I want to throw out a few things that have been bringing smiles, joy, and happiness in the Salisbury household.

Santa Claus coming on Christmas morning and saying, “Ho, ho, ho, have you been a good boy, Eliot? I brought you two presents! …budget cuts…” We totally had my father in law dress up as Santa this year and I was impressed by his acting! 😉 Santa brought Eliot some blueberries too, because currently, berries are Eliot’s absolute favorite treat!

This song has been slaying us with laughter these days. I really love  A Bad Lip Reading channel. Don’t watch if you hate Star Wars. Or stupid humor. Because this is both. And Catchy! Eliot and I listen daily and have dance parties to it.

I particularly love telling Daniel at random opportunities “Don’t fall asleep” in my most whispering, intense voice.

We went to see Rogue One on Christmas day too sans the toddler and it was a magical date. I drank two dr. Peppers. The movie was good too!

We also got to go on another date for our anniversary when some generous and special friends came to babysit for us. Totally spoiled!

But our joys haven’t been completely sans little people!

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Baby Salisbury #2 is expected to arrive right around the fourth of July. Baby is going to be a little firecracker, apparently! We will find out the gender for this baby too, but so far, we are unified in thinking baby is a girl. My pregnancy has been a bit different this time around. For instance, I’m not nearly as emotional, I’m not eating everything in sight, and I definitely had a war with morning sickness for a while. It’s eased off, in addition to the aversions, which I only had a few of with Eliot. So what do you think? Girl? Boy? In any case, we welcome little baby Salisbury in excitement and anticipation! Some early nesting is just starting to set in! #allthecleanthings #organization #pinterestpinterestpinterest

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This guy is cracking me up pretty constantly, and is the sweetest, most sensitive little man ever. I love his heart and I’m so grateful to be his Mama! He now says “okay” for everything instead of “yes.” His “thank you” no longer sounds like “tiki” but has progressed to “danka!” He still signs “please” instead of saying it verbally, but it’s so cute! Right now, we are working on curing him of biting via time-outs which seem to be pretty effective three-quarters of the time. We are also working on getting through the toddler phase of mass, but that’s more our own attitudes rather than his behavior. Toddlers are toddlers! We do stand in the back a lot and are working on not distracting other littles and forging a toddler army.

My favorite things these days are all the extra snuggles he’s been offering (my little sensitive teddy bear) and how each morning, I ask him if he wants to say good-morning to the baby, and he nods. I lift my shirt up while we are still in bed waking up, and he leans his cheek up against my tummy and strokes it. Sometimes he kisses my belly-button too, and we have definitely delved into the Daniel Tiger episode about “the new baby” to help him understand! He’s come to almost all of the doctor appointments too and we explain how we are taking care of the baby. He has his own stethoscope and we play doctor for baby with his baby dolls and my tummy too!

I watched the new Gilmore Girls “A Year in the Life” and loved it. I loved the ending, I loved the beginning, I loved the middle, and I cried about Richard Gilmore. How much more can I say when something is just so perfect?

I’m reading “The 7 Secrets of the Eucharist” which is helpful for some of the conversations we are having in RCIA (I’m sponsoring right now) and shedding some light on some things and what my pre-Catholic hangups used to be. I’m still finishing up “True Devotion to Mary” because it’s jam packed with goodness and honestly I didn’t do much reading toward the end of the year because I put my energy in other places. But I’m totally ready to get back into reading (as I do every year in January).

Eliot’s grandparents definitely got the right idea for Christmas this year and there were a few fox themed gifts for our little Ellie Belly. Why? Because this kid adores “What Does the Fox Say” STILL! At this point, it’s funny, and I just keep thinking I’m going to have to outdo myself for most obnoxious song to get the new baby hooked on this year. Daniel and I may have to have a contest.

Daniel has turned our patio into a wonderland of Christmas lights and he definitely put them up before Christmas. I think it’s pretty magical though and with the little fire-pit we have out there, we have been enjoying some special evenings lately.

I have been crocheting like a crazy maniac and getting the itch to do some granny squares, but we will see if I allow myself the pleasure. I’m still trying to work out the kinks in a hat pattern and have some testers waiting on round two of the hats for their special bundles of joy. I’m grateful for their cooperation in testing out this pattern for me! Working out specific sizing is harder than you think!

All right, now that most of you are dead from the length of this long overdue update, I will leave you in your computer/mobile phone graves. Thanks for reading today! I’m going to go enjoy some read-aloud time with the cutest toddler around while he takes a bath and then enjoy re-watching Sherlock after he goes to bed. Peace be with you!

Hannah