NCRegister Blog: Catholic Women Want Community (Even in a Blizzard)

Two of my friends and I set out one blustery Friday April afternoon from St. Paul, Minnesota for Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We were excited to spend a weekend together at the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls women’s conference despite the forecast a blizzard sweeping through the upper Midwest. We managed to make it to our hotel a couple of hours before snow began to fall, but when we woke up on Saturday morning the blizzard had arrived in full force. It took until the end of my sixth winter living in Minnesota to see my first real blizzard, and I ended up being in South Dakota for it. Perhaps the flatness of the prairie intensified the winds, but I heard that the Twin Cities looked about the same as Sioux Falls.

Read the rest at the National Catholic Register…

Garden Tour 2017

 I meant to post about the garden all summer long, but life was so busy that I had no time for this blog. I was first consumed in home school planning, then theological editing for the new small group studies published by Blessed is She (Blessed Conversations–link here), then we traveled, then we came home, had two weeks and then started school.

I also researched and wrote a Bible study to give at my home parish in every free moment I had between everything else. The monthly Bible study started last night, and there is a bit of relief as it went really well. I have always been intimidated by the idea of public speaking, but I guess being a writer makes people want you to speak. It seems to be a skill worth developing.

Now that everything is becoming beautifully Autumnal in Minnesota, it is kind of fun to peak back at the heights of our summer garden.

The gardens which I planted in May were lovely all summer and peaked in July and August. We added black-eyed Susans and a few other plants to our flower beds along the driveway, and they filled the garden so beautifully, that I am planning to put in black-eyed Susans and cone flowers along our front walk next summer. I am trying to pace myself with our garden additions even though I just really want my yard to be full of ALL THE FLOWERS now. I just love having flowers everywhere.

I have always put in annuals in the beds along the side of the house. They are so narrow, I do not think that I could put perennials here in addition to the tulips that come up every Easter. The girls helped me pick out the snap dragons, allysum, vinca, and marigolds. We also did our traditional morning glory window cover.

 I added some potted flowers to the edges of our patio, and I loved having flowers there. I can’t remember any of the names of these flowers, but the little purple ones were my favorites.

 I added some raspberry bushes along the edge of my yard (you can see our neighbor’s ferns and hydrangeas)

 In the first food garden bed we had an abundance of mint, oregano, and basil. I planted some cabbages that we will probably harvest this weekend. The squash plant you see to the left voluntarily grew out from under our compost pile and ended up taking over much of the garden and crept into the yard. It gave us gorgeous ornamental gourds in great abundance.

 Our tomato plants were so abundant that we made salsa (twice). We might can some green tomato pickles this weekend as well, since the frost will come eventually and this weekend we have time to can pickles. We also had the glorious time of harvesting a cucumber a day that we have been always delighted to have each summer. We just slice it, salt it, and eat it fresh!

 Our sugar snap peas and green beans did not do as well as I had hoped. We were out of town for most of the pea harvest, but the summer was so mild that the peas trickled on into early August. Our beans kind of wimped out, and I am thinking of not doing them next summer. Maybe double the peas and freeze the ones we can’t eat… though we can eat a lot of fresh garden peas.

 We also grew broccoli (which I have let bloom at this point), carrots (which the girls harvested and washed for me last week), and Swiss chard (which I largely neglected, but it is a forgiving plant and does not mind). I meant to plant collard greens, but never got to it. I also planted rows of lettuce between all of these things which finished up by July before these plants got too big.

The garden is slowly dying these days, and I am thinking about winterizing. I am always grateful for the end of the garden season where we can just sit tight inside and enjoy being warm. Yard work is wonderful in summer, but when it overlaps with school time, it makes things a little too busy.

My plans for the colder months are to focus more on being patient in home schooling and putting my energy into reading and writing. I also am looking forward to the liturgical season changes as we end this year in November and dive into Advent, then Christmastide, then Lent, and finally Easter. When Spring comes I am sure I will be daydreaming about what flowers to plant, what fresh foods I cannot wait to feast upon, and warm Summer days.

Seven Quick Takes: Tulips, Broccoli, and Scissors

1. Happy Friday! Home schooling has made me love Fridays more than ever. It makes my weekdays fuller, and makes the weekends more of a break. It reminds me of how life was when I was in school, except, no homework! Perhaps that is how all working adults feel as well.

2. I am also sooooo ready for summer break, but don’t tell that to my daughter; we have at least 6 more weeks of math to do. I am half contemplating hiring a mother’s helper to watch the kids for a few mornings a week so that I can do a little bit more writing guilt free. That would be nice. Patio writing with a cold-pressed coffee. That would be the life.

3. Speaking of warmer weather, I planted some seeds last week. Everytime I plant seeds I think of the Frog and Toad story where frog plants seeds and then panics that they will not grow. He goes out and reads to his seeds, sings, brings light at night. Well these seeds got watered by me twice, and then the Spring began to do the rainy thing, which is so much better than the snowy thing now that it is almost the end of April. I planted some carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and broccoli raab, lettuces, and snow peas. Once it is more consistently warmer I will do more.

4. Broccoli seedlings. Yay!

5. I love tulips; they are so happy.

6. My daffodils really are having the best year yet! I am glad I gave them another chance. I will have to find a good annual to throw in here once the daffodils are finished.

7. My three year old F informed me this morning that she is “going to cut off all [her] hair, and find some red hair, and sew it to [her] head, and make two braids” and be Anne of Green Gables. And to her sister L she is “going to cut off all her hair and find some black curly hair and sew it on her head and she will be Diana.” I think I better hide the scissors.

That’s all folks!

I am linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Seven Quick Takes for March

It has been a long crazy last couple of weeks here. A lot of things have happened, and I have had no time for blogging here! I thought I would sum it up in a few late quick takes, and join last Friday’s link up

1. First up: my dad. People ask me on occasion how my dad is doing since his emergency surgery after anaortic dissection two years ago. Since I only see him every couple of months it is easy for me to notice his steady improvement. It has been a long recovery, and there are some things that he will never recover from. His aorta did not heal as fully as the doctor hoped, and because of that he is not supposed to let his heart rate get to high. So my runner father is not allowed to run ever again. As you can imagine, this was very difficult for him. 

The most recent news on Dad is that one of his arteries (to which the dissection extended) did not fully heal and it is becoming enlarged. If it becomes too large and bursts, it will be fatal for him. In your charity please pray for my father’s artery to heal and for wisdom for the doctor on how to proceed to help prevent this from occurring. We have been praying to Jesus with a devotion to his right shoulder wound (the one he received while carrying the cross) for dad’s healing. So this Friday when we are remembering Christ’s Passion please say a prayer for Dad’s complete healing. 

2. Second: my fall. It has been five weeks since my tumble down the stairs, and I was pretty out of commission for about three weeks. I would do the bare minimum (home school, baby needs, and feeding people) and then lay down for ten minute stretches to rest my head. It became more and more evident throughout those weeks that I must have suffered from at least a moderate concussion. Even now (almost five weeks after the incident) I have a few lingering symptoms. I have an appointment with a concussion specialist tomorrow, so please pray for me and my complete healing. 

3. On to happier things! We had two birthdays in March in our home, and for M it was a particularly important one. With the help of awesome friends who did most of the food prep, I managed to throw him a surprise party in our house. He had no inkling of the fact until 90 minutes before party time when I asked him to do the taxes in his basement study. And he did not really know until he heard a whole lot of people hanging around upstairs. The party was a hit, and even the weather cooperated with a high in the 60s. We had cake and ice cream OUTSIDE in early MARCH in MINNESOTA. I am so glad to not have to sneak around planning a major event in our home without M to discuss it with. Though he claims that he is just going to let me do all the party planning from now on without him since it was a stress free planning for him. 

4. G had her 7th birthday, and I really cannot believe that I am the mother of a 7 year old. She is growing up way too fast. She is doing splendidly in first grade, is a loving big sister to the baby, and is really becoming independent. Her growing up really has taken me by surprise.

5. My parents came for a visit during the March birthday week, and they were able to help out with the craziness that has been this “spring” semester. I was able to leave the littlest kids at home for the dance classes, piano lessons, and our Little Flowers meeting. The girls had a great time with their grandparents around.  

6. The baby and I road tripped with my parents back to St. Louis so that I could help with my sister’s bridal shower. It was really weird being in St. Louis without the rest of my family, and I think the professor and the girls missed us a lot as well. Baby T was a good baby as usual, and made sure to revert to some of his bad sleep habits once we got there. He really likes his own bed and room! I had some good visiting with my parents and siblings, and helped my mom dress shop to be the mother-of-the-bride for her last time. My brother and I bonded over putting peanut butter on ice cream (he really has great taste). My sister (the one who is getting married) shared a room with the baby and I, and I am not sure how much she liked being woken up by him… But the shower was a success, and T and I flew home together without incident on an airplane full of businessmen. I amused myself thinking about how all of them were little active 9 month old babies once. 

7. We are all set to have a quiet Holy Week, with just our little family, making it to the liturgies that work best for us. After enjoying the spring flowers in St. Louis, we are having a slow, steady snow fall in Minnesota. I guess the warm weather we had in early March was too good to be true.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a blessed Triduum.

Seven Quick Takes: Friday, August 7–Summer, never leave me!

These all came from the garden. Yum!

1. I am really soaking up summer right now. I don’t really want it ever to end: sunshine, warm days, garden fresh veggies, flowers everywhere, barefoot children, and squishy bare baby legs. It does not really get better than this… please summer, don’t go away, ever…

2. This guy is smiling and cooing, and as F (2) says, “He is talking at you!” That is probably the most apt way to describe it: “talking at.” And we are getting some sleep at night, at least six hours most night of interrupted sleep is all I need as long as I can have my cold press coffee mid-morning after I have had my hot coffee with breakfast.

3. We checked out a beach at a local county park last Sunday. (The Twin Cities has amazing parks). It was perfect. The water was not too deep, there were umbrellas for shade for the baby, and the bathrooms were about 30 feet from where we laid our blanket. This was our plan for teaching the girls to swim this summer, but we might just have to give in and do lessons at some point. Anyway, the beach was nice and I did some coverless public breastfeeding to kick off World Breastfeeding Week (because everything needs a week I guess) and showed less skin than most of the other women on the beach, so there…

Not a nursing picture.

4. We have had the following conversation at dinner about 5 times in the last week:

G (6): “I still am going to be a nun when I grow up.”

L (4.5, and who previously expressed a desire to be a nun): “I think I might get married instead.”

F (2.5): “I am going to be a PRINCESS!”

Of course you are, F; dream big. Be who you want to be. You can keep the Disney Princesses out of you home, but your can’t take the dream out of their hearts. Actually, we do a lot of princess stories here, just sans Disney.

5. G came out of her room dressed like this the other morning.

Me (wondering if she is going emo): “You know, G, you are wearing all black.”

Her response?

“Some nuns wear all black everyday!”

Me: “True. Good point.”

6. Back in June, M and my mother took the girls strawberry picking. They came home with 30 lbs of strawberries, most of which we cleaned, crushed and froze. Well, last Sunday (the one before we went to the beach), we made a whole bunch of strawberry jam. So much so that we canned it in quarts and pints. With four kids we have moved up to club size canning!

7. And in case you don’t follow me on Instagram, check out these morning glories:

I love them!

That’s all folks… I guess this was a photo dump post…

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum!

Seven Quick Takes: Friday, March 27

1. Do you ever feel like your child does not really have a birthday unless you tell the whole internet world? G turned six nearly two weeks ago, and I am finally sharing her birthday cake photo with you. It is not even a real birthday cake. It is a peanut-butter-chocolate-creamy-delicious pie that we bought from a family restaurant, because I was on my retreat until 5:35 PM the day of her birthday. But don’t worry, she had a wonderful birthday week complete with presents, her grandparents visiting, planning a pink party, and having seven little girls over for a pink cupcake and pink lemonade party. So, really it was a great birthday for a sixth year old.

2. Does my description of my week after my retreat give me a valid reason for not blogging for two weeks? I am going to say yes. And I promise that I have been writing, just not for the blog. I was doing things like getting my devotions for Blessed is She finished and working on a project reviewing some films (which is coming soon and should be great!). At any rate, life has been busy and being in the third trimester means that it takes more effort to think clearly.

3.When my parents came for the birthday girl they also brought me my dried bouquet from my wedding, which my long suffering sister has had in her bedroom (the one we shared) for nearly seven years. I am thinking that I should really spray it with something to preserve it better. The mantilla/scarf is on from Segovia, Spain where my friend C and I were coerced by street merchants into purchasing one each and the from whom the rest of our group escaped from down a cliff side. I have had it stored away for years, but it seemed like an appropriate item to display with the bouquet.

4. My Christmas gift from M arrived just in time for the Annunciation. It is the original memoir of Laura Ingalls Wilder written previous to her publication of the children’s novels. The reason it cams so late is that the small publishing house that produced it has had to do several printings to keep up with the demand. It is heavily annotated (I am only to her life at age 4), and it is interesting to see the historical facts along side what she fictionalized for the sake of make good novels. Also, it is a beautiful, very nice book, and very large as the cover is about 10×10 inches. It will hopefully provide a nice diversion for a month or so as we wait and prepare for baby.

5. Look, it snowed again. I believe the label for this is “spring snow.” I knew that highs in the 60s were too good to be true for mid-March in Minnesota. I told the kids that it would snow again. They stopped believing me, and then along came an Alberta Clipper on Sunday night with 3 inches of snow. The children were not entirely happy about it. They refused to play in it, except to search the yard for a rock for a project we made on Monday. However, it is still getting above freezing everyday, so I will take that.

6. On Monday, we made a Calvary and tomb centerpiece, and I really hope that the grass seed (which has been sitting in the garage for a year) will germinate and give us some pretty, green grass by Easter. Otherwise, we are going to have to get fresh grass seed for next year and try again then… The large rock to the right is blocking the entrance to the tomb.

All of the rooms at the retreat center were named after different titles of Our Lady. This was mine… yep… awesome.

7. The last quick takes I wrote were right before a 48 hour silent retreat I took run by the priests of Miles Christi based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. It was extremely intense, but also worth it. I highly recommend taking a retreat if you can with them (you can see where they offer them at this link). While they think it would be a good idea to go annually, I am thinking that it is going to have to be a “whenever the baby is weaned” sort of thing for me. And if you cannot afford it, put ten dollars in a jar every month for two years (or 2.50 a week) and then take the plunge. Seriously, guys and gals, it is worth it.

As always, I am linking up with Kelly who hosts Seven Quick Takes at This Ain’t the Lyceum!

Seven Quick Takes, Friday, November 21

1. This week my mind has been largely elsewhere, thinking and praying for peace in St. Louis where I grew up, and praying for all of those in Buffalo, NY where we lived for four years. Both the places and the people in those places have my affection. It is hard to see suffering and to only be able to stay here in Minnesota and pray for them.

2. You know my first snow storm in Buffalo was a pretty big one. We maybe got 12 inches in the North towns, but the South towns got close to 24″. It happened about 5 days before Christmas, and I-90 (our route to visit relatives) was closed for a day due to the snowfall. I ended up going into work the day of the storm and being ignorant of snow driving decided to drive on the right side of the road rather than the less deep left side of the road. I got stuck. I was six months pregnant, barely ever had driven in deep snow conditions, and stuck. I saw a man shoveling his driveway a few houses down, and being the good neighbor Buffalonian that he was, he got my car unstuck. He showed me how to put on the gas and rock the car back and forth until you get it out. And I know that is the kind of stuff going on in Buffalo this week. People are helping each other.

Our yard before the spring thaw last year. These poor snowmen were frozen all winter and then went the way of Frosty.

3. I also know what it is like to have 4+ feet of snow melt from your yard in a short amount of time. That happened to us last spring, and we had a minor basement flood. It turns out that it is a good idea to shovel snow away from all around the level surfaces, especially patios that go right up to your foundation. This is much more easily done when you get your snow in 2-8″ layers over the course of a winter than in 48 hours. So, I will continue to pray as the snow in Buffalo melts this weekend.

A snow angel the size of a five year old girl. 🙂

4. Speaking of snow, we have a little ourselves. But could someone please explain to me why we are down in the single digits already? Yesterday when I was out with G, it was 9°F. It is only November. We are supposed to hit the 30s this weekend, but then look at Thanksgiving:

iPad screenshot, woot!

I am pretty sure that people should not have settled here. I might need to squeeze in a rereading of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter along with my Jane Austen, so I can realize that we have it a lot better than they did.

5. Another snow question, do you think we can convince our elderly neighbors to let us build a snowman on their rock? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

6. Do you think it is time to potty train when the two year old hears me mention the word and then tries to drag me to the bathroom yelling, “POTTY TRAIN! POTTY TRAIN!”? I am not sure if it is worth it five weeks before a long visit with family. Maybe it is. Maybe I should just let her do it before she loses the desire. I have never potty trained without a younger baby around, so maybe it will be a breeze. Plus, she takes a good long afternoon nap, so it would just be in the mornings that I would be doing it alone. hmmm…

7. Last of all, for some reason, my giveaway only has two entrants right now… Don’t be shy, enter the giveaway, even if you don’t have a girl of your own, I bet you know a girl who would love Christmas with Bernadette, and I bet you would enjoy the Advent features of the Magnificat Advent Companion App. 🙂

Linking up with Kelly who is filling in for Jen at Conversion Diary.

Seven Quick Takes: Friday, June 20

1. It was 97% humidity here when we woke up this morning. It was like breathing water. I am not sure how the weather manages to do that without us all being in a cloud. M said it felt like he had spiderwebs all over his skin. Things dried up as it warmed up, but at least it wasn’t that humid and 90 out like a certain city is all summer long. Tomorrow is the first day of summer…woohoo! It is time to soak in summer while we can, and get a good dose of heat and humidity before the six months of dry and cold.

2. I took G(5) and L(3) for haircuts today, and the stylists could not get over how cute L was. I mean all the kids are really cute, but L just has that extra cute personality that get to you and then you can’t stand how cute she is. It must be something like the charm that the Flyte family has in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. You simply cannot resist it. Her teenage swimming instructor kept on shooting me “your daughter is so cute” glances at the pool this morning. We are lucky that no one has thought she was so cute that they had to eat her up, you know.

3. M has decided that it is really important to make sure that our children do not fit into society at all, even when they grow up. The thing is, I never really felt like I fit into mainstream society, nor do I think I ever could. When I venture places like the hair salon, I can manage small talk about kids, but, nope, I am not really normal. When the stylist asked L about what she wanted her hair cut to be like L responded,

“I want to grow my hair all the way down to my feet!”
The stylist smiled and replied, “Oh, like the girl in Tangled.”
L gave her a blank stare.
I chimed in, “How about like Rapunzel. Do you want hair like hers?”
L then smiled and said, “Yeah! Like her! We read about her in a book!”
Yep, we are a little different, aren’t we?

4. M has been doing a little a lot more child watching since his break began, and F (19 months) is getting pretty used to him working while watching her. He came up from his study just before dinner the other night, and she had been whining at my feet in the kitchen. When he offered to help, I asked if he could watch F. He asked her what she wanted to do, and she led him down the stairs and into his study. She pointed at his chair and demanded, “Sit down!” Then she pointed at his books on his desks and said, “Do that!”

5. We are starting to get a harvest from our garden this week! I made our first pesto pasta of the season, and am so glad that I planted two basil plants this year. It is nice to be able to make pesto this early in the summer without using the whole plant! We also have been harvesting our lettuces. I read on some random website that you can do a later summer planting and Fall harvest of lettuce. Is this true for Minnesota?

6. I have been working through a couple of things parenting-wise this week. The first is how to deal with screaming children who want to argue whenever I say ‘no.’ I am learning to be more firm in my ‘no’ and not debate out the issue. I really do not want to be having arguments with a five year old about things she has no authority over. The second is gently encouraging less daytime nursing with F. She often asks when she is just hungry or thirsty. I have been offering foods and then informing her of when the next time she will nurse (which is usually naptime or bedtime).

7. And there was something I was going to write that I even told M yesterday about, and neither of us can remember. So, if we remember I will update this… if not… here is a really quick take. Take it or leave it…

Linking up to Seven Quick Takes Friday hosted this week by Kathryn.

Seven Quick Takes: Saturday, June 7

1. Friday is not my day for writing quick takes. We had a play date in the morning, which involved 14 children of philosophers. It was pretty intense, and for awhile there was a mob of three 3 year old and three five year old girls doing whatever little girls do in mobs. At one point they were comparing mosquito bites.

2. Congratulations to my husband for getting another article accepted into a peer reviewed journal! This will go towards the four he is supposed to have before going up for tenure, and is his tenth in his professional career. For those of you not familiar with the field, journal articles are hard to get published and take months of research and writing. This is a Big Deal!

Not a black bear, but young brown bears that once lived in the Buffalo Zoo.

3. So, a black bear was fatally shot about a mile from our house early this morning. It is kind of crazy. I guess I should be watching out for bears when the kids play in the backyard? When we were closing on our house the seller’s realtor told us a bunch of stories about people who live in our “city”, and he claimed to have grown up with a bunch of the police force. If they are anything like him when it comes to fishing and hunting, then I can say that I am confidant that the West St. Paul police can hunt down any bear that comes into our neighborhood. These police are real Minnesotans!

4. Speaking of Minnesotans, when I was at the optometrist’s yesterday, I heard a saleslady and a customer discussing the weather:

Saleslady: “How is it out there?”
Customer: “Oh, it’s toasty.”
Saleslady: “Oh, that is great! Don’t you just love it!”
Customer: “Sure do!”

When you live in Minnesota, it is best to embrace all weather to the fullest.

5. And since we are on the topic of weather, I have been trying to decided which things are worse:

Bundling children in snowsuits or in swimsuits and sunscreen?
Grocery shopping in a blizzard or grocery shopping in pouring rain?
Staying inside with hot tea or bug bites?

6. I went to a lovely concert on Thursday night called Harmony in the Park with two lady friends. We left our children at home and had a lovely evening on a blanket drinking wine and eating cheese, strawberries, and chocolate. It was great, and M is so awesome that he was okay with me leaving at 6pm and taking care of dishes, the childrens’ baths, and bedtime for all three alone.

7. If you were wondering how my dad is doing these days, I can tell you that he is well enough to visit us for a week with my mom. They are driving up tomorrow from St. Louis (and hopefullly with some Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in a cooler). I am excited to see them. Please keep my father in your prayers, since he is still slowly recovering and has nerve damage in his left hand. Some good news is that he is now allowed to drive, which was an issue with the narcotics he had been on since his surgery.

Linking up once again with Jen at Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes: Friday, May 9

1. Blogger’s Log (Stardate: today!): So, apparently I have to write quick takes every Friday, because my sister and brother so look forward to them. My sister, S, likes them as much as she likes my brother’s fun Star Trek like updates about studying:

I am not sure if they read anything else on my blog, or if anyone else likes my quick takes, but my sister and brother do, so these are for you two! (I bet my mom likes them, also.)

2. Let’s see… I guess we have hit storm season around here. How are things going down in St. Louis? We had sirens go off the other night at midnight for a thunderstorm warning, which was not really cool, because I don’t need sirens to tell me it is raining at night. G is pretty terrified of tornadoes, and any loud noise from outside or any clouds moving visibly in the sky are immediately under scrutiny. A few weeks ago on a clear, lovely morning, a white fluffy cloud moved through the sky in our direction. She flipped out and ran to the house yelling about it being a tornado. So, I was casually discussing this with our doctor yesterday morning (we have been going there a lot lately; this time it was a well visit), and she informed me that there was a tornado that touched about a mile from our current house. G stood there listening wide-eyed to the whole discussion. Now she is upping her prayers for safety from storms.

3. We have been so abundantly blessed by all our friends in the Twin Cities since our miscarriage. We have been showered in food, prayers, and friendship. While I do still do not feel fully recovered, it is nice to know that I don’t have to worry about several meals a week. Actually, most dinners this week have been covered by people bringing them over or the leftovers. Plus, we have a crazy amount of baked goods to consume. I just want to say thank you to all of my friends for all of your love and support. And to people who might be suffering in the same way we are, do not be afraid to share your sorrows with family and friends. Their love and support can help you through the difficult time.

4. M is off to Michigan for a conference this weekend. In fact, he is there now. I hope he enjoys his 48 hours in his home state. I was originally going to try to “go it alone” with the kids this weekend, but after last week, I feel pretty post-partum still and I am really grateful to my mother-in-law for flying in from Michigan to help me with the kids. She just did all the lunch dishes! What a great lady! M is home again Sunday morning, so he is not getting out of the Mother’s Day festivities…whatever we end up doing… Mass and food will definitely be involved.

5. We went to our last home school gym co-op of the year today. For some reason, I always find it exhausting. G is thrilled to be playing with other kids and doing her art class, but the L and F are just shy and clingy the whole time. I might be shy and clingy if I were them, also. We are in a huge gym full of scooters and mats and balls and really nice home schooled kids of all ages. When everyone is bigger than you, you just can’t handle things. Maybe we just need to do things with the home school crowd more than once a month to get the kids used to it. I don’t know, maybe it is just hard to be younger than school aged with a whole bunch of big kids. Plus, I am much more comfortable at home, and am not a huge fan of taking the kids places alone. Okay, I suppose I need to get over it and just take them places.

Blogger Susanna Spencer sporting
the no make up look.

6. I saw this article yesterday, saying that the “no-make up look is a new beauty standard”. My favorite part is the caption on the picture of a lady that says “Others who use the no make up look include blogger so and so.” I wrote about the morality of wearing make-up a couple of years ago, presenting a few arguments as to when using it could be immoral. What I finally concluded for me was that since my husband really does not like me in make up, I should honor him by not worrying about it. However, I do take the time to do things like groom my eyebrows and I use a nice face lotion to take care of my skin. Within the last year, M found another moral statement talking about using make up as okay when it is the “social custom.” Now, this NY times article says the movement is one inspired by feminism, which when I was first discussing make up with people who had real jobs, it seemed like a huge issue that women had to wear make up in the work force. I am not sure the feminists would agree with not wearing make up because my husband does not like it, plus I have never been a regular make up wearer.

7. I have 26 pages left of Something Other Than God, and it has been a book that I really enjoy reading. So much so, that when I was supposed to be napping on the couch after being up half the night with a sick child (allergic reaction to banana… woops), I could not stop reading. I have realized that as a cradle Catholic, my life will never be as cool as hip converts who have roof-top parties. But that is what it is…

Linking up with Jen and her Seven Quick Takes!