NCRegister Blog: Sometimes, Our Plans are not God’s Plans

It was a cold, icy drive into Detroit on the Feast of Stephen. It had been snowing for two days at my in-laws’ house, but that was not a hindrance for our annual visit to the giant five-story used bookstore in an old warehouse in the city. This year we added a new stop. Since the time of his beatification in November my husband and I had been planning a visit to the St. Bonaventure Chapel in which Bl. Solanus Casey is buried. According to the website the chapel was open that day, while the Center that tells about his life and work was not. We hoped to end a novena to him, asking for his intercession for a special family intention, beside his tomb.

As we approached the site of St. Bonaventure Monastery, the temperature registered in the single digits. We parked across the street, helped our well-bundled children out of the car and crossed the windy street, only to find the doors to the chapel locked…

Read the rest at the National Catholic Register…

Seven Quick Takes: Blogger Conference, Gluten, and more Gluten

1. In case you have not heard, or just forgot, or are still thinking about it, registration for the Midwest Catholic Women’s Blogger Network conference is still open until March 11. The conference is in St. Paul, MN on March 25 with awesome bloggers speaking, such as Haley Stewart of Carrots for Michaelmas, Nell Alt of Whole Parenting Family, and Laura Kelly Fanucci, published author and blogger at Mothering Spirit. The link will take you to the conference Facebook page, on which you can find information about registration!

2. It has been a couple of months since I wrote quick takes. The family has all been well, just living life, enjoying an extended Christmas season. We make a point to celebrate all the way until Candlemas/The Presentation of Our Lord. This year I have really been able to relax with the season, as I wrote about for the Register yesterday. We *only* traveled to see family for 12 days over Christmas this year, and it was just the right amount of time to visit with family and friends back at our homes and not go too crazy being on the road. Because of that we had over three full weeks to get back into the swing of things before the professor started the spring semester. We also managed to get our winter stomach flu after the New Year instead of before Christmas this year, which was kind of the flu if one can call the flu kind.

3. One of my Christmas gifts this year was a pasta roller from my mother-in-law. At the beginning o my marriage, when I was homesick for St. Louis, I endeavored to make homemade toasted ravioli, and it took FOREVER to roll out that pasta dough. Now, it is easy peasy. We have been having a lot of homemade pasta. I really need to not push myself, and be okay with using the dried store-bought stuff when time is tight or it is supposed to be a “quick” dinner prep. Anyway, the fresh pasta is really good. The professor gave me the best compliment the day after my first attempt saying, “It is just like eating leftover restaurant pasta!”

4. We have been joking lately that we are anti-trendy-diets, because last weekend we actually bought GLUTEN by itself. We made our first attempt at Ezekiel Bread, and one of the ingredients was plain old gluten. The reason for needing it was that whole wheat flour has a low gluten content, so you have to ADD SOME to help the bread hold itself together. Plus, for those of us who can eat gluten, it really tastes incredible when prepared well. I have gluten-ridden pizza dough rising right now as I type.

wheat, barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt in a single vessel…

5. Ezekiel Bread is based on the bread that God had the prophet Ezekiel make and eat in the Old Testament:
And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt, and put them into a single vessel, and make bread of them. During the number of days that you lie upon your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it.-Ezekiel 4:9

We went for the first time to our local co-op grocery (we take awhile to try new things) with all of the kids, and found all of our grains and the gluten in the bulk section. The professor and I worked on the bread all day, though most of it was waiting for things to rise and what not. This was my second attempt at homemade (not bread-machine) sandwhich bread. While it was really delicious, I think that I did not let it rise enough in the pans, because my bread was not nearly as tall as that of the blogger’s whose recipe I used.  So, we are going to try it again.  

6. I have a really picky eater in the house these days. Mr. T will only eat what he likes and will gag if you put anything he does not want to eat into his mouth. But he also likes the strangest things. His current obsession is with GrapeNuts. He eats (small) two bowls for breakfast everyday, and sometimes again after nap. However, since that cereal is packed with gluten and vitamins, I feel quite happy to give him however much he wants.

7. I leave you with a book recommendation: Silas Marner by George Eliot. I have read her Middlemarch and quite liked it, but I really loved Silas Marner. Maybe I just liked the simplicity of the main character, but I also really liked how Eliot demonstrated through her characters how to love one really is to will and act for their good. It is short as far as novels go. So, check it out, if you like a good novel. *links are Amazon affiliate links*

I am linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum for Seven Quick Takes!

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.

7 Quick Takes: Sick Days and Snowmen

I have been trying to come up with something interesting to say on the blog, and nothing really seems that interesting about life lately. Here we are, two days into Lent, the beginning-middle of of the longest February we have had in years, and the kids are sick. I figured that I might as well do some quick takes even if they are not that interesting.

1. Baby T, or Mr. Tumnus as he is sometimes called, has been doing one of those sleep regression things again. We got a little reprieve after our three week tour of the Midwestern USA and then six teeth decided to come in right when he got the worst cold topped off with an ear infection. The poor baby. When the baby is sick, though, daily life does not change much. He just is a bit sadder and my left shoulder becomes his favorite tissue. But he also sleeps worse at night.

2. When the baby does not sleep well, Mom does not sleep well. It makes sense, but I find myself getting into a sleep deprived funk, where I obsess over every minute of sleep I did not get and every minute that I did get. I make calculations in my head every morning, and declare it will be a good day if my sleep added up to 6 hours total or I got at least one three hour stretch of sleep. I also down my new favorite natural wellness things, like apple cider vinegar and elderberry syrup, hoping that I will somehow not get sick even though I am covered in baby snot. So far, not sick, but ask me tomorrow how I am… 

“Mom, is this T’s FIRST Ash Wednesday?” L in the middle of Mass. #ashtag

3. I took the kids to Ash Wednesday Mass, sick baby (had no idea it was more than a cold then) and all, and G’s second piano lesson, courtesy of the lovely Mrs. Coyne. At any rate, it was the first time I took all four kids to Mass without another adult to help. We sat in back and did pretty well.

4. Yesterday, after a bad’s night sleep with T, I decided to bless the children with Lourdes water and call the doctor. Only later did I realize it was the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. (The Lourdes water we have, M and I both brought back from Lourdes 10 years ago after our semester abroad.) T and I went into the doctor and got the ear infection diagnosed and now he is on antibiotics (and probiotics). The 24 hour mark is coming up when antibiotics are supposed to be working, and if it weren’t for teething I would have great hopes for tonight and getting better sleep.

5. At any rate, G and F both came down with fevers yesterday afternoon. As M had a talk to go to that evening, the girls got into pjs early, and we sat down to watch some Anne of Green Gables and eat popcorn. I love that they are old enough for me to share that movie with them; it has been my go to sick movie since I was a little girl.

6. Today the sick girls slept in while the sick baby was up at 6am, and rather than doing our normal Chronicles of Narnia radio plays for sick days, I searched my library audiobook app and found The Secret Garden. G has been following along when she has the energy, or just listening when she does not. F has mostly just slept. So, it has been a relaxing day despite sick children.  Hopefully, these girls will get over the cold faster than their brother, since they are better at taking it easy than a planking baby who can’t fall asleep without help.

All Spencer snowmen will be blogged about.

7. On a non-sick note, before the deep cold we have had this week set in, we spent last Sunday in the warm (30s) yard, building our snowman and rolling giant snowballs into a mini sledding hill for the girls. I think M and I had more fun than the girls playing in the snow. One of these days I will wake up and discover that I love winter, but I am not that Minnesotan yet. I will say that one of the things I love about home schooling is not having to leave the house in the winter if I don’t want to…

Testing the hill.

Linking up with Kelly @ This Ain’t the Lyceum. Click on over for more quick takes.

Candlemas Day, Pancakes, and Baby Picture

Candlemas day is one of my favorites, especially this year. I am really glad I live in a part of the world (Northern Hemisphere) where Christmas and Lent happen in the winter. Winter would be really strange without the special seasons of the liturgical year to carry us through it.

Our Lady of Lourdes found the infant Jesus.    

The main way we mark Candlemas is to enjoy our last day of Christmas things, like the few decorations we still have up (the tree came down on Sunday) and all of our favorite Christmas songs.

I love our cute little red crabapples.

Mother nature decided to celebrate in Minnesota this year with a blizzard, which makes me feel all Laura Ingalls Wilder-y. I mean I can’t experience a snowfall in the Northern Midwest without thinking about all the winters I read about in her books. So, it even looks like Christmas outside.

We did the traditional food thing with pancakes, and I decided that from now on chocolate chips in pancakes is a part of the Catholic St. Paul, Minnesota tradition. So, if you live here, make chocolate chip pancakes. We could make it a nationwide thing even. Everyone make chocolate chip pancakes for Candlemas next year. It will be awesome.

The girls and I spent lunch eating pancakes and singing “Go Tell it on the Mountain” as loud as we could. It was fun. I am not normally like that at lunch lest you think that I am some sort of cool mom. Candlemas just made me a little giddy.

And to top it all off, this guy turns eight months in two days. How did we get 2/3 to one year already?!?!?!?!?!

And Lent starts next week. If you are interested, here is the link to my Lenten Wreath and Stational churches.

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!

My Three Most Memorable St. Valentine’s Days


M and I our “first time dating” freshman year.
1. February 14, 2005—A serious discussion with a pre-theologate (not really a seminarian, I promise… he was just in the “discernment program”)
Freshman year at Franciscan University of Steubenville was a rough year emotionally. I happened to have a massive crush on a guy in the pre-theologate program, and the thing is, he was acting as if he had a crush on me. You know, hanging out together all the time (we were in the same group of friends), singling each other out for discussion, walking a friend back to her dorm across campus together so we could walk back to our adjacent dorms alone, on movie nights sitting right next to each other on the same couch, and there may have been some flirting.
Well it all came to ahead right around St. Valentine’s day (or Sts. Cyril and Methodius Day for those of you who prefer the new calendar). I was confused: was this guy really discerning the priesthood or did he like me? He was less confused about my affection and more confused about his discernment. I confided in a few good friends, including a wonderful couple who let me interrupt their date night in a common room to get advice. They advised me to talk to him and tell him that he was confusing me.

I called him up, and asked to go for a walk because “we needed to talk.” My plan was to tell him that I was attracted to him and to ask him to give me some space, so that I could get over him and he could go on discerning the priesthood. We met up on a rainy courtyard clad in rain jackets (what a mild February that must have been!). I dove right into my problem. “I am attracted to you,” I confessed to him. “Um, well, I am attracted to you,” he replied, and then we paused. What were we supposed to do? Well, I decided to tell him the entirety of my past crushes and involvements with boys; I am not really sure why. I think I wanted to let him know that I really needed him to be straight forward with me. By the end of our discussion we decided that we needed to put serious limits on our interaction since we had become way to close to be “just friends.”

That worked for one emotionally painful week, and then I guess he had had enough. He met with his formation director, told all, and then left the program. He was free to date. The next day he asked me out. There is a lot more that happened after that, but eventually we got married, well three years later, which seems like a long time when you are only 18. I will tell the rest of the relationship history another time.

8 months pregnant with our first. I was showing more than he was.
2. February 14, 2009—Star Trek marathon.
I was 8 months pregnant with our first, and we were 8 months into our marriage. We decided that St. Valentine’s day was the last night of our youth since we were going to be taking care of our baby in a month. We went out to dinner (I can’t remember where), and then went to the best grocery store on the face of the earth, Wegmans, bought some snacks or something, and took turns riding the cart in the parking lot. Yep, I rode a cart at 8 months pregnant; I was empowered by Bradley birthing classes. Then we went over to Blockbuster and rented three of the original Star Trek movies. We then proceeded to watch them one after another, eating food, and wondering if the baby was a boy because the baby sure liked all the sound effects. (She was a girl, or course.)

I think this was my favorite St. Valentine’s day. We spent the first year or so of G’s life watching Star Trek Voyager, and then went through all the other Star Trek shows. We are pretty nerdly.

My Valentines dates in 2012.
3. February 14, 2012—Me and my daiquri.
The winter of 2012 was one of the most stressful of our relationship. M was “on the job market,” and we were in a continual state of anxiety waiting for calls or emails about job interviews. February is the normal month for on campus interviews, and boy M had a lot of them (for which we were very blessed). It seemed like every couple of days he was called out to another interview. I think he was gone for two full weeks of that month.

Well on St. Valentine’s Day, while M was at an awkward job interview dinner with two potential colleagues (not for the position he ultimately accepted) at a restaurant full of couples out on dates, I was hundreds of miles away, at home, having a romantic dinner of what was probably scrambled eggs with a not yet three year old and a one year old. After I put them to bed, I read one of C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower novels and drank a daiquiri (I got pretty good at making daiquiris that month).

After M got back to his hotel and called me up to recap the dinner, he informed me that he had been offered two more interviews. I just about cried, as I was at my wits end with the single parenting stuff, and I am pretty sure my mom friends were tired of me spending half the days at their houses. I made emergency calls to my parents and in-laws begging someone to come stay with me for the last interview. My wonderful mother-in-law took pity on me, and I rewarded her with our traditional Mardi Gras dinner of strawberry filled crepes, ice cream, and bacon.

Much to our relief, M received a job offer on February 17, when he was back home, so even though he was going to be gone for a few more interviews, we had the relief of knowing he would have a job.


And that is it. The rest of the St. Valentine’s days of our relationship probably involve either dinner at some restaurant or staying home with the kids. I can’t really recall.

As for the patron saint of lovers himself, I looked him up in our awesome hardcover Septuagesima volume of Dom Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year, and it turns out that whatever legends we have of him are not part of the liturgical tradition. We know that he was a priest “who suffered martyrdom towards the middle of the third century,” and that “the ravages of time have deprived us of the details of his life and sufferings.” However, we should look to his martyrdom as a model who encourages “us to spare no sacrifice which can restore us to, or increase within us, the grace of God.”

Seven Quick Takes: Friday, February 13

1. We had an emergency grocery run yesterday. The things we were low on? Toilet paper, bread, and milk. So, since I had to go the store in the 2 degree weather with all three kids, I decided to make it a whole week grocery run. I am now contemplating what to do with a free Saturday morning… Anyway, I must look really pregnant even with my coat on, or people felt really sorry for me. I was a little cranky with the girls, who seem unable to listen these days, and also kept on dropping things. The thing is, every time I dropped something a stranger would come by and pick it up for me. I guess between the three kids, the big belly, the ridiculous cold outside, and my hair falling out of its ponytail, I looked a little desperate.

2. I am just going to say it, St. Valentine’s day is the one saint feast day that people don’t seem to mind celebrating with the old calendar. We always do our favorite old calendar saints on their old feast days, so it is normal for us.

3. We are trying childcare/date exchanges with some friends for the first time. They have three boys (expecting a fourth in June) and we have our three girls. Anyway, our date is tonight. Theirs was last night, and it went pretty well once we got the one year old to stop crying. If things go well tonight, I think we should do it again! It is hard to feel like we can afford to go out very often when you add the cost of the sitter to that of the meal.

4. Back to pregnancy, I passed my glucose test this week. Woohoo!! So, this means that my measuring big at every appointment is just that I have a bigger baby or the due date is a week off. Both are entirely possible given what I know about when this baby came into existence (charting win). 😉

5. Further, my friend R. wrote this great piece at the Federalist about adding a component of “danger” to one’s sex life. While she never stated it, it seems like a great example of what is missing in people’s intimate lives that they need things like that stupid, awful movie coming out tomorrow to entertain them. Really, there is a bit of fear involved when knowing you could be co-creating a new human being, plus all that comes with bearing, birthing, and raising that new human.

 We had 35 total, but the other are in the mail!

6. February has been a beast so far. Everyone has cabin fever. I decided to suck it up and make the month more interesting, so we spent every school day this week making St. Valentine’s day cards (braving the glitter glue!) to mail to family. It included handwriting of course, and gluing and cutting. We may have barely done much other school. We have been trying to get our more often. So, I took the girls to two different stores this week. I was actually enthusiastic about housework. We had a fun visit M’s office in a snowstorm, plus tried a burger place in St. Paul, Snuffy’s Malt Shop. They were super kid friendly, and while I prefer a shake to a malt, I even liked their malts. Anyway, we are trying to make February less dreary, and I plan to keep it up even with Lent coming up. Going out with the kids is easier now than it will be in June!

7. And to make it feel more like summer I am including a greenhouse photo. Our amaryllis is blooming, I bought a mini rose bush to fill things out, and the parsley is still green. The girls had me buy the little lady bug plant to give to our recently widowed neighbor for St. Valentine’s day, “We want her to know we love her soooo much!”


I am linking up once again with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum, the host of Seven Quick Takes!

A Little Bit of Summer on a Winterish Sunday

There is this really great place in St. Paul, the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.  (And it is free, with a really low suggested donation!) We usually go there in the warmer weather for the zoo part, but in the cool months we like to go see the plants.

We have only gone there once each past winter, but decided to go at least once a month after our early Sunday Mass this winter, just to keep ourselves sane during the long, freezing, barren winter.

These flowers smelled wonderful.

It is so refreshing to sit on a bench and just smell plants, to be with plants, to feel the humidity of plant life.

These koi were in one of the gardens.

They have five or so separate green houses with a sunken flower garden, more rainforest type plants, a spice room, a fern room, and one other more Japanese themed. We also ventured over to the rain forest house in the zoo and saw the fish and animals there.

Then we braved the cold, wet day and went around to a few other zoo exhibits before some children could not handle the outing any longer. I think we should probably go back more than once a month just to be with green things.

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.