Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Blessed Brunch!

Ever since Jenna posted her idea about Blessed Brunches, well, just about a year ago now, I've wanted to help host one. God, in His wisdom, knew that last year wasn't the year for me to do it - but I was priviledged to attend one in Berkeley - and I was so... blessed! (for lack of a better word).

But this year has been different! After hosting some lovely women for a weekly devotional during Lent (which just transformed our Lenten season), we all agreed that we would like to get together again. And I knew that a Blessed Brunch would be just the thing!

So today, on the Feast of the Visitation, we had our brunch. It was truly a spiritually refreshing time and a perfectly fitting way to celebrate this feast. This evening I sat down and wrote the women a little email to express my gratitude:

Hello Sisters in Christ,
I had a truly lovely time with you this morning, and I hope you did too! Thank you all for coming out, sharing food, and sharing your heart! When I got home this afternoon I was overwhelmed with your genorosity of spirit - I was grateful my littles went down for their naps with no trouble so I could sit and process and read a bit. Today's Gospel reading was the story of the Visitation, and what should I find in today's devotional, but this:
"But there’s another reality of the Visitation that was pressed hard in on me today, and it is that of Jesus. It would be easy to assume that Jesus was just along for the ride on Mary’s journey to Elizabeth, but that wouldn’t be true. Today’s Feast reminds us that it is as much about Jesus visiting Elizabeth and baby John as it is about Mary visiting Elizabeth.
"It is Jesus who compelled John to leap for joy in his mother’s womb. It is Jesus who prompts Elizabeth to praise and honor Mary. It is Jesus, quickening inside her, who compels Mary to sing her song of thanks to God.
"We, too, each live our own moment-to-moment Visitations... What is one way that Jesus has visited you this week? Make an act of gratitude for His visit to your heart."  
That's what this afternoon felt like to me: yes, I met you. But I also met Christ in you. And I am grateful.
Let's do this again soon!
With affection,

Friday, May 27, 2016

Keeping on, keeping on... (a Seven Quick Takes)

This post starts out lighthearted, then gets kinda deep, then ends on a few light notes again. A journey, if you will... we just keep on keeping on...

- 1 -

I've had a lot of deep thoughts over on the FB this week... Lesson #1

(The results are similar and both benefit from use of a wet-vac.)

Lesson #2:

(Oh the *smell*!)

#3: Many folks understand that summer is nigh when the weather starts to get hot... me? I judge it by whether school is out...

Judging from my replies to this post though, I guess there could be some debate on this way of reckoning time?

- 2 -

This blog recently turned 1 year old and I've begun to do some re-thinking: namely, should I keep this up? Has it fulfilled its purpose? Do I need to revamp its "mission statement" and keep it going? I don't know what the typical lifespan of a blog is, so I can't be sure, but is this like a mid-life crisis of a blog/blogger?

I don't really want to stop (so I guess that's reason enough to keep going) but I do want posts with purpose... so is my purpose giving friends and family a deeper look into our daily (faith) life? Is it posting all the weird/great stuff I'm learning about Catholicism? Is it about giving my fingers (and brain) something else to do besides picking up duplos for the umpteenth time? Is it all of the above? I don't have an answer yet - I'm just throwing these thoughts out into the wide world of the web. We'll see what comes...

- 3 -

Happy Memorial Day weekend (for those readers in the US of A)! This weekend celebrates both this holiday and the Holy day of Corpus Christi. I have no idea how to celebrate Corpus Christi here at home, but I read a post by Michele Chronister on Corpus Christi and the Mystical Body of Christ that gave me some food for thought. It's not nearly as deep/theological/academic as the title would suggest. It's more about family and love and loss and is actually quite touching.

- 4 -

Also filed under love, loss, Memorial day, and "quite touching," is this piece on Fr Emil Kapaun. What an amazing man of courage! It reminds me of the verse from Hebrews 11: "the world was not worthy of [him]." Truly worth reading. Truly.

- 5 -

This past weekend I attended a mothering blessing.

We had a lovely time making flower crowns, eating delicious food (mostly vegan, as the mom-to-be is vegan - but there was some faboolous brie there too!), and sharing words of blessing. I brought a poem from Carl Sandburg that I don't think is about being a mother - but gosh - it sure could be.
I love you for what you are, but I love you yet more for what you are going to be. I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals. I pray for your desires that they may be great, rather than for your satisfactions, which may be so hazardously little. A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall. The most beautiful rose is one hardly more than a bud wherein the pangs and ecstasies of desire are working for a larger and finer growth. Not always shall you be what you are now. You are going forward toward something great. I am on the way with you and therefore I love you.
Love you and baby too!
- 6 -

I've got a climber on my hands. If he can get a knee up, he's on it. And where the knee fails, his chin/mouth somehow seems to help (see as evidence, the small puddle on the platform of the slide):

 - 7 -

It's all good though, because I've got a reader on my hands too...
C.S. Lewis.  #raisingthemright
And that's the view from here! See more school-year-end reflections (as I call them! ha!) over at This Ain't the Lyceum.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Seeing Red...

What I've learned today: if you want a picture of your family all dressed in their lovely #RedForPentecost clothes, do it as early in the day as possible. Even if it involves grabbing an unsuspecting neighbor off the sidewalk - because... well, we all know why because.

(This is just my way of saying sorry folks. There will be no cute pictures of me or my kiddos today. Mea culpa.)

We celebrated two birthdays today - Grandad's and the Church's! Paul and I sang Happy Birthday to both parties - and the Spitfire didn't sing to either. (Little Dude did bang his fork for both - so I'm going to say that it was his way of providing some much needed percussion.) It was kinda nice to open and close the day with that song. We sang it in the morning while Skyping with Grandad and all our UK aunts and uncles; we sang it in the evening at dinner. And in between there was a whole lot of "readjusting expectations".  Case in point: for once we were totally ready for an on-time departure for church but when I turned the key in the ignition - the engine refused to cooperate. Really? This is how we're rewarded for trying to finally be to church on time? OK. Plan B - throw the kids in the stroller (but hey! It's red!) and walk to St Rose (Also red!) instead. So yes, plan A was thwarted but I think by doing this we were rewarded. We ran into friends that we haven't seen for a long time and afterwards, we got to stop at a coffeeshop for treats- which is something I *always* want to do after Mass but never do because kids. Carseats. Blah.

And of course, after that - we were already downtown - why not make an afternoon of it and go out to lunch? I'm sure the kids didn't mind having pizza one more time this week - it was also red (sauce)!

So why the red for Pentecost? Honestly, I can't remember - I'm sure you can Google it (Here let me Google that for you) But looking for red became a fun theme to my day, both online and off. Here, at least, are some of the high points of that search:


Rachel Held Evans wrote a guest post for Shauna Niequist - a beautiful reflection on the Holy Spirit:
We are born into a windy world, where the Spirit is steady as a breeze and as strong as a hurricane. There is no city, no village, no wilderness where you cannot find it, so pay attention.

I don't think my friend intended to do this - but I thought it was lovely and I included her photo in the #RedforPentecost tag along...

A photo posted by Kris K (@klotzwalkin) on


Like I said before, sorry there's no pictures of my own to add here - but Lord willing - we'll celebrate the church's birthday next year! How did you celebrate Pentecost this year?

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Seven Quick Takes (and No Witty Titles)

Happy Mother's Day weekend! Because this is now end-of-Saturday, I've had the luxury of being able to read a few other folks' 7QTs and see IG posts on how others are celebrating Mother's day. So, in return I thought I would share a few things that have been happening around here...

- 1 -
Mas-TI-tis!!! (Don't worry... it's non-infectious!)

Oh. Is that TMI? Well, then, don't watch this hilarious video from Hello Flo...

Yeah... I'll just leave that right there. Moving on!

- 2 -

So the day that I was flat on my back with, ahem, what was just previously mentioned, there was a really good webinar hosted by the Blessed Is She folks on "Living Liturgically for the Uncrafty Busy Family." It was really lovely! (And I got a little shout out at 2:38! Ha! :) ) Overall, I left encouraged and felt like I had received a confirmation in the things we have been doing. And since this year's word is LEARN, I attended looking for one thing that I could incorporate - and I think (much to my daughter's delight but husband's bane) - that I'd like to try and incorporate singing more. This will probably happen at next Advent (so Paul has time to adjust to the idea. ;) ) But music really is such a big part of *my* life - it only makes sense to incorporate that into our family worship. If you have the time/inclination, I would really recommend watching the webinar. It has a lot of good information in it. I hope Blessed Is She will do more in the future!

- 3 -

- 4 -

Everyone has heard of taco salad, right? Well this week, I had a whole bunch of lettuce, leftover chicken tikka masala, and some Indian style brown rice; so guess what I made? Tikka salad! Served with a little dollop of sour cream on top (just like its Taco cousin) and it was delicious. I know I can't possibly be the first person to think of this, but if I am, y'all need to tell me so I can go copyright it or something. So good.

- 5 -

Earlier this week, I learned about Rogation days - just in time to kinda observe them with the family. From what I understand, there are 4 Rogation days in the church year, 3 of them being the days that lead up to Ascension Thursday (which just passed). And because I learned about them, I also learned about Ember days (a 3 day period celebrated 4 times a year). Both these periods really appealed to Paul and I for their "yin and yang"ness. Basically, during the Ember days, we praise God for the beauty of nature and her seasons; and during the Rogation days, we ask for God's protection from nature's destructive abilities and for an increase in our crops. Well, the only "crops" we have at the moment are cherry tomatoes (shown above) - so we busted out the holy water (for the first time since the kiddo's baptism!) and got to work. We decided to bless every plant we could... Evelyn loved it.

- 6 -

We also decided to pray for the farmers who provide us with our veggies each week: Singing Frogs Farm. We love them and the farm so much! (As it turned out, praying for small farmers was also in line with Pope Francis's prayer intentions for the month of April - so, yay us!)

- 7 -

And this month his holiness's prayers are for women! Just in time for mother's day! ;) (Though I sincerely doubt that's why he chose that intention!) God bless you and your mama, tomorrow and always.

Head on over and wish Kelly a Happy Mother's Day