Monday, September 26, 2011

Out of the Deep Blue





If you've missed my blogging, I have a good reason. 

Promise.


You see...the past year or so, I've found myself replacing blog entries with status updates on Facebook...a completely private way to communicate with friends and family! I know...it sounds like I *just* discovered FB. I promise this isn't the case! I've been FB'ing since April '07. The reality is I became lazy...and I had a lot of obligations that sort of dog-piled my blogging mission. We started homeschooling, we had a baby last August...we started homeschooling at the SAME time we had a new baby...I decided to start my own group on Facebook of Catholic women, I started a business, and kept busy with whatever remaining "free time" on my parish Pastoral Council, the MOMs group, and our parish Adult Faith Formation - SHEW! It's a wonder I got ANY sleep, but I still managed to find time to cook {on occasion} and swish a few toilets and "warsh" a few loads of laundry. 


But...my biggest accomplishment as of late is really the real REAL reason why I'm writing a blog entry for the first time in nearly nine months! About a month ago, I started a new blog of women contributors, all representing different walks of the Catholic Faith. We have engineers, work-at-home moms, authors, journalists, technical writers, stay-at-home moms, homeschooling moms, Latin Rite, Eastern Rite, Tridentine Mass goers, Novus Ordo in English goers, skirt-only wearers, women who veil and one who *sells* veils. We have women with large families and some who struggle with infertility. We have young moms, older moms and grandmas. We have former atheists, evangelicals, lapsed, revert and cradle Catholics. My point in sharing is simply this. 


You have never seen a Catholic womens' blog like this. 

Sincerely. 


We are only 5 weeks old and the stories of each of the women are barely developing and over time, our readers will have a strong sense of what the Faith means to many. We are all bound by our love for the Faith and our adherence to Mother Church, but *how* we live out our Faith takes on different faces...and while it remains a challenge to understand that Christ has us in different places for a reason, it is always a good reminder in how to treat each other with charity at all times. 


So...I want to invite you to come visit my new blog called Catholic Sistas. In our short time, we have crossed 20K+ hits to the blog. Right now, we are holding a $35 giveaway to a Catholic online store called St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Store. All you have to do to enter is to simply comment in the "giveaway" post. That's it! So...come on over, read and enjoy the different perspectives of women who all love the Faith. Someone will speak to you in a way that will elevate your walk with Christ. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Nine years later and I still wow myself!

I'm a total hack when it comes to anything I put my mind to. Today, Paige insisted on retrieving the stockings from the garage and when she found them, she started to unload them. I took each one and started to look at these stockings I made over nine years ago. I had big shoes to fill. My great aunt Josie {for whom our Josie is named, btw} made all us primos handmade stockings. I scrutinized my own childhood stocking and set out, determined to make her proud of my creations.

The detail I put into each of the four stockings is still amazing. Once in a while I wow myself with the amount of energy I put into a project. I still have three more to make for Paige, Drew and Josie and nine years later I have yet to find the energy to do marathon stocking sewing. Days after Thanksgiving until Christmas 2001, I made all four of the stockings. To make three in such a short period of time makes my head and eyes hurt now, lol. For now I think I'll just marvel at my hard work and pray for the strength to make the others before the last of the kids are off at college. ;)

Here is the entry taken from December 2008:


Handmade stockings...four down, two to go

From Thanksgiving to Christmas of 2001 I worked tirelessly to make custom stockings for everyone in our family (at the time). And this was before we made the lovely investment of my sewing machine. I look back and wonder how in the world I managed to 1) not go blind 2) finish in time and 3) not go blind, lol. They've held up seven Christmases now and I love to think about all the hard work that went into creating them. The trouble is, each year I am reminded of how I have two more that I need to make. And I have all the supplies to make them too. I guess it's the thought of all that attention to detail that has me running scared. Paige is on her fourth Christmas and this will be Drew's second. They *do* have stockings, but they are store bought and pale in comparison to my masterpieces {sarcasm}.

Enjoy!
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

10-4 good buddy, I got my ears on!

{I's four months old today - dig my ears! You know you can't resist me!}


It hardly seems like four months has passed, and yet the weather is the first indicator that yes, time has flown by. I remember being preggies with Josie thinking wistfully to myself that she would soon be one...year old, that is. In my mind, they grow up so fast that I can barely keep up!

It's times like this that I remind myself that it's an incredible blessing to have these five miracles in the first place. Time is like grabbing at sand {are you hearing the theme song from Days of Our Lives in your head too?} and it's not lost on me. I don't take these moments for granted and it's taken five kids to realize this! I'm a slow one, I'll admit it.

Last month, Josie was all smiles - something I look forward to, but today she was more serious. I thought it contrasted well with her cute little ears.

Since it's been a while since I've done an 'anatomy of a photo shoot' entry, today I'll share some outtakes as well as my favorites from today. Hold onto your hat - it's gonna be a pic heavy post.

Ready??
{getting ready for my shoot - about to head to wardrobe - no makeup needed yet ;)}
{testing the lighting - just a tad overexposed, but those eyes are gorgeous nonetheless!}
{that cutesy little tongue!!}
{a definite frontrunner for the 4month winner}
{a reverse fist pump??}
{taking a break to check out - something}
{she's entranced again by something, lol}
{pouty lips}
{different pouty lips - still just as adorable!}
{another frontrunner}
{*another* frontrunner, lol}
{hmm, should I keep the ears?}
{I'm digging the ears!}

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Necessity is the mother of invention...

{yup...we can actually *eat* our Advent 'wreath' this year}

...or so they say. I'm not sure who 'they' are, but 'they' always seem to have things figured out when my own feeble brain fails.

What do cupcake liners, toilet paper holders, construction paper, tape, tea lights and jelly bellies have in common? Read on to find out...

My pursuit for new Advent candles began earlier this week. First I lacked the motivation, then when I found some {yesterday} I couldn't find any purple candles at Hobby Lobby. To tell you how bad it was, I couldn't even find *enough* 'purplish' or 'pinkish' scented candles to use as a makeshift for our wreath. This year we have incorporated the Advent candles into our dinnertime routine. I heard someone say how neat it was to add it at dinnertime because the first week, the light is scant. With each progressive week, the light gets stronger and brighter - symbolic as we prepare the way for the birth of the Christ Child. So our old candles weren't going to last this season lest we torch the wreath as the candle burned down. The hunt began for replacement candles.

Today after church, I took the girls with me to Gardenridge for what I was absolutely 100% convinced was a quick, run in and grab some candles and go, experience.

Big fat negatory on that one, little buddy.

They had ZERO colored taper candles, let alone the ones we needed. We scratched our heads and found scented small candles to buy, head to the checkout lane to discover that only one cashier was checking people out...and there were about fifteen people in front of us - honest to goodness! I weighed our options and we left the store, figuring we'd stop at the grocery store in one last attempt to get what we need.

We walk in and discover they have purple tea lights, no pink - basically nothing we can use. We talked about melting down our purple crayons {of which we don't even have enough to cover three candles to begin with-AAARRRGH!} when I get some kind of crazy wild idea to buy purple and pink jelly bellies and find a way to make it work.

When we got home, I got to work to find what we had around the house to make this work - after all, jelly bellies cost a fortune, especially when faced with the idea of having to restock the candles every day. ;)

Considering the difficulty of locating the right candles, I'd say we did ok and even earned an 'A' for effort. And maybe an 'E' for eating pleasure. :)

{you can see how 'makeshift' it really was - desperation or ingenuity - I'll let you decide}
{jelly belly brand jelly beans - when no other jelly beans will make your Advent wreath perfect}

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Intrigue of Advent

Blessed Advent, everyone!

For whatever reason, this year I decided to make a bigger effort to get all my shopping done prior to the start of Advent, which was this past Sunday, November 28. Normally I don't enjoy going to stores in, oh...September and seeing all the Christmas decor up at the same time as Halloween and Thanksgiving, but it doesn't bother me at all from the standpoint that I can get my shopping done early and focus on the pathway to Christmas, Advent.

We have made some strides in the 'making our own traditions' dept. over the years, but this year I wanted to pick up a few more that will make the season more memorable for the children.

In years past we have done the Advent wreath, complete with stories each Sunday and daily devotionals for each evening prayers. This year, we have added a couple of stellar ideas that friends have shared. The first is from a website of a local friend, Jen from Conversion Diary. Someone submitted an idea of collecting all Christmas/Advent books from around the house and wrapping them in tissue paper. Each evening the kids get to pick out a "new to them" book they haven't read in a while. This appeals to my pragmatic side because it means the books will be put away after the Christmas season is over and will make their appearance next year rather than sort of being shuffled in with our existing library for the kids.

The second idea is one that focuses more on a daily examination of conscience with a twist. The kids are asked to think of kind things they've done for each other, for Mom and Dad, acts of obedience and sufferings they can offer up for baby Jesus. Each evening, from youngest to oldest, they say what they've done to earn a piece of straw for each good deed or suffering or some other offering for the Christ Child. They take the straw and put it in the homemade manger we made. The idea is that by the time Christmas gets here, Baby Jesus has a nice soft bed made of our offerings and sufferings.