Tuesday, September 30, 2014

On the last day of September ...

I have wanted to be here this month, but every time I think about popping over, something more urgent whisks me away. It is hard being a blogger. More specifically, it is hard being a blogger who took a two-year break and is trying hard to get back into a groove. This year has not been great for the writer within. I have been faithful to my writing commitment to CatholicMom.com, and I have loved every moment of it! But I have been lacking in my commitment to this space, and that leads to discouragement. I love to write, so why do I not make more time for it? Right now, I am feeling a bit like a failure in this area of my life, and I want so much to improve.

Outside my window ...
Fall is in the air! The weekend was warm, but now it is crisp and cool. The leaves are changing color. It is my favorite time of year.

Thanking God for ...
+ a 21-day health/wellness/fitness challenge I am doing with a group of women
+ a new school year, which includes my youngest going to preschool two days a week, which gives this mama six hours of solitude every week. I have not been alone for almost 12 years, and I have to admit, I am welcoming this new phase in my motherhood. Not that I don't love my kids, but I also appreciate the break from them, too.
+ the feasts of the Archangels and Guardian Angels as well as the feast of Sts. Therese and Francis ... all this week!

Me and Olivia (10) at our parish's Fall Festival 5K!
Thinking about ...
How to spend those six precious hours each week. As I have shared before, I am a perfectionist, so I am waiting to figure out the best way to utilize my time. However, what I need to do is use it wisely but in a way that is "good enough." No more waiting to figure it out. Just use it already!! Maybe one way is work on my writing! Another way may be just to read, knit and enjoy a coffee in quiet!

Wearing ...
My new jeans, a cream-colored cowl-neck shirt, my navy Bobs and gold leaf earrings.

Reading ...
I am reading Hannah Coulter for my Well-Read Mom book club. And I am LOVING it! I continue to read The Practice of the Presence of God, too, and that is one I can pick up and put down, and I am OK with it taking awhile.

Creating ...
All of the SAME knitting projects I've been talking about for months (maybe years when it comes to my husband's scarf ... poor guy)! A bit like my writing, this is a source of discouragement for me, because I just don't make the time to do this! Ugh!!

On the table ...
Not sure about tonight, but we had grilled pork chops, grilled veggies and quinoa for dinner last night, and it was delicious. All was part of my new 21-day program, and when I measured out my portions, I had more food on my plate than anyone else! It is empowering to know what a real portion looks like. Sometimes it's smaller than you think, but sometimes it's actually bigger than you think, too!

Plans for the week ...
+ Moms on the Run bootcamp tonight
+ volleyball game Thursday (my oldest two are on the same team!)
+ wedding on Friday
+ Rediscover: Catholic Celebration on Saturday

Praying for ...
+ my husband and children
+ special intentions within the St. Therese Novena
+ two young people suffering from Lyme's disease
+ Christians who are being persecuted for their faith

Thursday, August 28, 2014

An Interview With ... Me!

Writing has been part of my identity for a long time. I started writing when I was in junior high. I signed up for a journalism class, and through that class I learned the ins and outs of putting together a newspaper. I learned how to write, edit and layout a paper. I loved every moment of it, and by ninth grade, I was co-editor of our junior high paper.

I continued writing in high school and college, and I served as a section editor for my college paper. I was blessed to work in the public relations department in college, too, and I later went onto work in various communications roles, before settling into my vocation as wife and mother.

As a writer, part of the job is interviewing. Asking questions, taking notes and quoting sources are very important components of a good article. I have conducted a lot of interviews in my life. In fact, I just did one for my September post over at Catholic Mom.

Well, today, I am on the other side of the interview. Today, I am being interviewed for a series about Catholic bloggers. What fun! I hope you click on over to CatholicMom.com, to check it out!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Don't Ask More Than God Does

For awhile now, it has felt like I have been carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. At least my little corner of it.

As a wife, as a mother of six children, as a homemaker, I have realized that I put an incredible amount of pressure on myself to do it all. And to do it all really, really well.

Do you do this, too?

There is this unspoken, unwritten expectation that I put upon myself that is so high, that I very rarely meet it. If ever.

So what can a mom do? Join me over at CatholicMom.com, where I explore this topic and share what I am learning, in my latest article!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Five Years Later

I posted the following post five years ago, when Lucia turned four. Today, she turns nine! I have to admit, I was a little shocked that five years had gone by, and yet I remember putting together this post like it was yesterday!

Speaking of yesterday ... Yesterday, at our parish picnic, I talked with a couple of women about Jeff Cavins' Bible Timeline, and recalled that when I first went through it (with Jeff Cavins in person!), Lucia was a newborn baby, and I brought her with me to class each week! WOW! Nine years since I did the Timeline! I think I probably could use a refresher course!

Do you ever have those moments, when you can't believe how much time has gone by? What surprises you the most about time?


Here's the original post from five years ago:

Four years ago today, my third daughter entered this world at 9 pounds, 6 ounces, and almost 22 inches long! She was my biggest baby and also my hardest labor, because I was afraid ... That forgetfulness of what it's like never set in, because she's only 15 months younger than her older sister. But she also proved to be my easiest baby. The Lord blessed her to be a good sleeper, sleeping through the night her first week at home. (Thank you, God!)

She's always been really sweet!

So far, she's the only one who's broken any bones. She did this at 19 months, trying to climb out of her crib like her big sister ... Sigh!

She's a little sister to two, and a big sister to two. Smack dab in the middle of this family. Boy, is she a good sister—generous with her toys and other possessions; gentle with the babies; happy doing whatever anyone else wants to do, she just goes with the flow.

She is my sunshine ...

... even in the snow and cold.

She has a tender heart and a great joy for life. Her enthusiasm for simple childhood pleasures—like swimming lessons, ballet, puppies and bike rides—is contagious.

She is unique! She is funny! She is smart! And I thank God she is mine!

Happy 4th Birthday, Sweetheart! I love you so much! ~Mom

Friday, August 1, 2014

Where, Oh Where Has the Week Gone?

It is hard for me to believe it is Friday again! And as I write this point, Friday is more than half over. More over, we are at the beginning of a new month—August, and near the end of summer!

Will I ever cease being surprised at how quickly time flies by?

Last weekend, I finally made it to the St. Paul Farmer's Market! It is a fabulous farmer's market! Take a look at all the goodness. We made salad for lunch, and I tell you it tasted far superior to my usual salads. Fresh from the earth! And I also treated the family to farm-fresh eggs and sausage, and we had that for dinner one night! Fabulous!

This week, my husband had his second week of new-job training. Thankfully, he was in town for it, at the office where he will normally work. His new job has postponed our summer vacation by a couple weeks, and I hope it will work out for us to get in some get-away-time before school starts on the 25th!

Speaking of school, I purchased all of my children's school supplies (minus 13 boxes of tissues and one bottle of hand sanitizer ... and specific Scotch brand glue sticks). This included six boxes of crayons, three packs of markers, five colored pencil sets, and I am not going to begin to count the number of notebooks and folders that five school-aged children need! In addition, they needed 10 rolls of paper towels and 10 containers of disinfecting wipes. Whew! It is A LOT! But it also is fun to help them pick out their new notebooks and pencil cases. Even though they may not admit it, by the time August rolls around, they are starting to feel ready to get back to school.

I have been reading a bit more over the past few weeks, finishing a few books. My latest was The Rosie Project, which is really quirky and delightful. I very much enjoyed it! There is more language in it than I'd prefer, but it didn't take away from the wonderful story. (And it looks like the sequel will be available at the end of the year!)

I started knitting again on my mom's shawl, but I messed up royally, and I have not had the time or patience to fix it. Ugh.

I probably messed up, because while I knitted, I watched episodes of Cedar Cove on Netflix. Clearly, I cannot do two things at once.

I am making slow progress on my nesting projects. I haven't had much energy for them when I have the time to work on them, and I get ideas at these really random times when working on them is not feasible. I am trying to be OK with the undone, which is one of the author's wise encouragements in the book, The Nesting Place.

I do have curtains for the very first time in 12 years! And I love them! But note all the books that I am reorganizing for the repurposing of my bookshelves. (I think I may need more bookshelves!)

This upcoming weekend is low key, which is my favorite kind of weekend! I am going to coffee with my friend Molly this evening. She is about to have her seventh baby, so please pray for her! I will go to my parish's "morning of reflection for women" tomorrow, where a dear friend is the speaker and where I will be meeting up with a new friend who just moved here from Texas. And my sweet 6yo girl has tutoring tomorrow as well. Please pray for her, too, as she's struggling right now with reading.

What have you been up to? What are you doing this weekend? Oh, and do you have anything that you need prayers for? If so, let me know in the comments! If not, it's OK if you just want to say "Hi!"

Happy weekend! Happy August!
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