7 Super Short Quick Takes


Super short Quick Takes this week.  Super short is better than nothing at all, right?


We have company again this weekend!  Very fun! My brother has arrived yesterday and our favorite deacon arrived earlier today.  We are so happy we get to spend some time with them.


Peep is obsessed with Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.  His grandfather gave him a matching game based on the book and Peep is obsessed with it as well.  Excavator is is most favorite machine.  Peep took this picture himself.


This is Willy the Wooly Bear Caterpillar.  Peep and his daddy found this little guy a few weeks ago and Peep decided to keep him in his bug jar.  Initially I was in favor of this.  Peep is already familiar with the metamorphosis process thanks to Peep and the Big Wide World, so how exciting would it be to experience it in real life? Peep loved the idea too.

Unfortunately, Willy was ravenous.  I quickly figured out his favorite foods (dandelions and magnolia leaves), but I was not up for foraging for his favorite food every morning.  Also, apparently caterpillars are excellent producers of massive quantities of poop.  Dumping his poop every morning got really old really fast.  Unfortunately Peep was not interested in sharing responsilibty in maintaining his new pet.

After two weeks I realized Willy's rapid food consumption was decreasing and therefore he probably needed to get to work on making his cocoon.  Either we let him go now or supply him with a cocooning stick/mulch pile and commit to having him in all winter.  So for a few days we repeatedly asked Peep if he was ready to free Willy.  Everyday he said no.  One day Peep and I made it as far as the backyard and were preparing to set him free.  Then Peep broke down in tears.  He just couldn't do it.  He wanted to keep Willy.  Willy didn't need to go make a cocoon, Willy needed to stay.  It was a very piteous scene and the caterpillar remained captive. 

Then Peep's favorite Uncle showed up for the weekend.  Even though it was still so very hard, Peep took the initiative of  proudly showing him to his Uncle and then, with some coaxing, freeing Willy. We let him out in the grass near where he was captured.  We took lots of pictures with him and said goodbye.  Peep hoped to watch Willy make his cocoon, but Uncle and I explained that it takes too long to watch.  We promised Willy we'd look for him in the spring when he'd be a beautiful butterfly (er...moth).   
It's tough being a 3 year old melancholic.

Happy Friday!
Deep dark secret:  I wrote the majority of this on Friday but had to attend a crying Pebble before publishing, so this is getting posted on Sunday.  But you know what? I'm back dating it just because I can.   I don't want to have to rewrite things.


7 Quick Takes - The Rest of September Summed Up

After resolving to start blogging again, I missed 7QTs two Fridays in a row.  Instead of blogging I was playing way too many rounds of matching games with Peep.   I was also gearing up to have a house full of friends!

But now I have time to type as I sit here comforting Peep who just suffered his first busted-up lip.  There's nothing like a few episodes of Peep and the Big Wide World and Mama's arms to dull one's pain.

The Saturday before last these awesome people came into town and thus were the cause of great celebration.  We'd planned a nice little barbecue, but then upon remembering that the current grill in this household is about the size of a large book, we downgraded to just brats and hot dogs.  Dinner plans were further foiled when the thunderclouds rolled in, the heavens opened and the men got out of grilling while the ladies did the job on the stove.

Despite the weather, we had a great time!
Party Animals
I'm still impressed by how well the children played.  Peep was very excited for "ALL [his] friends" to come over.  Before the guests showed, we spent a little time roll-playing what to do when his friends wanted to play with his treasures. I was one proud mama because Peep's biggest meltdown was not over sharing but rather the scary lighting and thunder. 

This past weekend some of the party returned for an encore.  In addition to more fun times with fun people I managed to coerce my sister into running her first 5K!  Notre Dame Right to Life sponsored the race to benefit Women's Care Center. Irresistible!

Now I had not run since Pebble was conceived and barely started running again before that.  The last 5K I ran was high school.  My sister had never, ever run for fun.

With a firm belief (on my part) that this would be a fun challenge and no pressure to compete since "walkers [were] welcome" we signed up.

For having no training whatsoever, I think we did pretty darn good.  Our times weren't stellar, but we came in under my goal.  We ran almost the whole the first half and alternated walking and running for the second half.  My sister seemed shocked when I told her to leave me behind and keep going.  She didn't understand how she "had more energy" than me, the enthusiastic, former runner.  Well, my dear, the fact that there is a decent age gap and I am still less than 6 months postpartum might have a little something to do with it!

We look so confident pre-race. hahaha (photo: NDRTL)

The Sis hanging with her nephews post race.

Other gems from the last several weeks include the following:

In a most disappointed tone:
"Oh no.  My paper's been accepted."  - The resident theologian upon finding out he's 3 for 3 for conference paper acceptance.

Question of the week:

Should you frequently clean your preschooler's chair at the kitchen table.  Why yes you should:
Before. Ugh.

After. Ahh.

Will he keep it clean after you scrub it? Absolutely not. He will spill his drink all over it as soon as you take a picture.


You can't make this stuff up:

Boys playing happily together.  Mama takes advantage of the moment to send a work-related email. 
Sent!  Mama notices a strange reduction of noise in the other room.  Goes to investigate. 

Mom: Where's Pebble!? 

Peep giggling:  I put him in the closet!  He wanted to see my things.*

Mom opens the closet door to find a smiling, giggling Pebble.

Peep:  See! He likes it!

*the numerous toys not scattered on the floor.
Peep apparently likes locking people in closets.  I came home from work the other day to discover that Peep had locked his father in a closet too.  Thankfully Peep managed to unlock it before the door had to be kicked open.  Looks like I'm next in line...uh oh...

Happy Friday!

Linking up with Jen's 7 Quick Takes.


7 Quick Takes - Of Celebrations, Moving, and Football

Oh September.  It's been almost two months since I last posted.  There are several abandoned drafts, but nothing that's come of them.  So what have we been up to?


The rest of July and very beginning of August went fairly well - if I can remember correctly.  The dear husband worked on his dissertation, had his first conference paper accepted, and I picked up a few hours at work. 

As for the rest of August...

For a long time we had planned a glorious vacation to my home state to visit family, friends and some of the many historic and natural attractions of the region. I was so excited!  It would be so much fun and we would come back physically tired but emotionally refreshed and rejuvenated.

Our trip was severely shortened when my mother-in-law was offered and accepted a job not far from us. With such a quick turn around for her, the bulk of the moving process fell to her devoted sons (and me too).

The few days we had in Maryland were delightful (minus a lost/stolen wallet).  Short but sweet. While we did not get to sight-see half as much as I had hoped, we were able to attend two wonderful events in the lives of two dear friends.

While we were glad for all the friends we saw along the way (especially the three sweet babies we finally saw!) the frantic moving process left us more exhausted than we were when we started.

The rest of the month flew by as we settled my mother-in-law into her new place, our sisters came out to their respective South Bend colleges, and we helped my parents finish up the long-standing project of cleaning out my grandparents' house just outside of Detroit. 
My packing masterpiece - and nothing broke!

Go West!

Milestones passed in August included our 5th wedding anniversary, Peep's birthday and a fantastic visit to the B&O Railway Museum in Baltimore, and Pebble learning how to roll over.

Now September is here. Pebble is practicing sitting up and CANNOT wait for solid food. Peep has set aside rock and stick collecting in favor of photography. He spent a good deal of this evening taking family pictures complete with a tripod and specific instructions on how his subjects must pose.

Not posing. Pretending to be camera shy.

The return of Notre Dame Football has also been a great cause for celebration in these parts.  Peep is delighted he can hear his beloved Irish Band again.

I won't comment too much on our victory over the "Victors" since there's a rather sensitive Wolverine in the family.  But I will say I'm afraid that given his fussiness and tears shed throughout the game, I'm a little concerned that Pebble's loyalties may lie with his grandmother's.  Uh-oh.

Peep & his uncle


This weekend marks 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and penning of the Star Spangled Banner.

Fort McHenry holds a very dear place in my heart for a number of reasons.  I wish we could be there to celebrate!

I encourage you all to read all FOUR verses of our national anthem and the story of the amazing citizens and defenders of Baltimore.  I might be a little biased, but I truly believe that the Battle of Baltimore brought out some of the best qualities of humanity and was one of those rare moments where all people regardless of differences stood united.
Peep and Grandma on the ramparts of Ft. McHenry in August
O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

PS And this.

To end on a humorous note, these, my friends, are called ear-strings:
Ear Strings?
Happy Friday!

Linking up with Jen's 7Qts.


7 Quick Takes - The Peep Edition

I decided this week's Quick Takes needed a theme, and what better to focus on than my hilarious goofball firstborn?

As I'm sitting down to write, Peep and his Daddy are preparing  to mow the lawn.

Daddy (mostly to himself): Should I wear my tennis shoes or my boots?
Peep: You should wear boots so you don't get cuts.

Now if only Peep gave such great safety advice. If only he'd pay attention to it before he hops off furniture and stairs, slides like a baseball player, or deliberately trips himself.

"Sometimes it feels good to get hurt."

Blueberry season has arrived!  We have already gone picking twice at The Blueberry Ranch - the Midwest's largest (and only organic!) blueberry u-pick farm.  Yum.  We just can't get enough.  Peep once loved strawberries, and then he met his true love: blueberries!

Peep's love for blueberries is so passionate that in the last two days he has mastered a new skill: opening the refrigerator door. 

Over the summer Peep has become a stick connoisseur - carefully collecting and evaluating numerous sticks and twigs.  Often these fine specimens are turned into "beaver dams." Other times Mommy and Daddy surreptitiously stuff them into yard waste bags.  Occasionally Mommy and Daddy distract him from a recent find before it can be brought home. 

A blueberry stick to go with the blueberries

A few of the favs
Feeding the ducks...or collecting sticks?
Fr. Hesburgh up ahead in the library and Peep wielding a stick.

And then there's the rock collection too:

These are just a few.


Blueberries, sticks, stones...don't forget the trains.  Any sort of train.  He will do anything for trains.  We've read almost every book on trains we can find in the library.

On Wednesday, before Round #2 of blueberry picking, we met up with one of my co-worker friends and her kids for coffee and a play date at the Chocolate Cafe.  Her kids were gleefully climbing through the large cacco-tree themed playplace.  Peep refused to go up and opted to play in the smaller toddler zone.

"Peep, do you want to come up with me?" his friend asked.

"Umm no. Umm no thanks. I have to go somewhere soon." Peep responded.

You have nowhere to go but up that thing, kiddo.  That is precisely why I brought you here.

Eventually my friend's eldest spotted a model train that rode along a high up shelf from the store area into the play area and back out again through a tunnel in the wall.  The kids oohed and aahed. The moms continued talking.

Suddenly my friend stopped "Is that your son....up there?"

Sure enough Peep, skittish as he was, had darted up to the very top of the tower with her son to watch the train.

"Hi Mommy!  I'm up here!!"

Anything. Anything for trains.

Today Peep, Pebble and I took a walk around campus. After feeding the ducks, we headed over to the Grotto to light a candle and say a prayer.

As we approached Peep said softly, but excitedly: "There are candles!"

Then he crescendoed: "There are candles! But but BUT they aren't just candles! They're like, like, like  SACRIFICES! SACRIFICES!"

And he started to run full speed to the Grotto yelling "SACRIFICES!!!"

Okay. Who taught him that? Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty impressed and pleased.  That's pretty good theology. (Even if it was rather embarrassing at the moment.)  Surprisingly Dad said it wasn't him.  I'm looking at Grandpa...was it you? Uncles?  But really, what two year old runs around yelling "sacrifices!"  Given the average conversation in this house I'm not that surprised, but I didn't even know he knew the word.

Venite ad Me omnes (with your sticks)

This last take is the most exciting!

Earlier this week we heard that Peep's godfather, my brother-in-law, has been accepted as a seminarian for his home diocese!

We'd be grateful if you keep him in your prayers as packs his bags and continues to discern his calling.

Happy Friday!

Linking up with Jen.


7 Quick Takes: Mid July

Hang on, it's Friday?  Again?  I thought I just did this.... This week has simply flown.

The week opened with the visits of several old friends.  Three unrelated parties, all coincidentally in town at the same time.  It was lovely. 

To everyone else: if you're ever passing by Notre Dame, please don't forget we're still here!  We'd love to see you!

I really need to start writing down blog ideas as soon as they pop into my head.  Otherwise they just don't stick and I end up looking blankly at a blank screen.

Our copy of Notre Dame Magazine arrived this week.  Over lunch I read the article by Tom Coyne about writing and writers.  I will never consider myself a writer.  Never.

This blog is mostly an exercise to make sure my brain doesn't melt and seep out of my ears by the age of 30.  Don't let it fool you.

Pebble turned 12 weeks the other day.  He is a crazy kiddo.  If I was the betting type I'd wager he's going to be the family athlete. 

Every morning Mr. Pebble wakes up around 6:00 or 7:00 and goes running.  I kid you not.  Granted he's not actually running, but he lies in bed and pumps his legs up and down like a little marathoner.  He doesn't babble or fuss, he just runs.  He'll go for almost an hour - with some breaks - then he wants to nurse and goes back to bed for awhile before getting up for the day. 

It causes me to lose a good hour of sleep every morning, but it's hilarious.

Peep has been coming up with some fabulous quotes recently.  It's a shame I don't remember a single one.

He's also an aspiring photographer.  So in lieu of ridiculous quotes and actual pictures of the week, here are some of Peep's masterpieces:

He's obsessed with deliberately taking pictures of the floor.

I've been waiting for a blog update from my amazing little sister. But nothing's come.  I suppose she's just trying to enjoy the last days of her Parisian internship before coming home.   

You know, some of us just aren't as cosmopolitan...

Thankfully the ND School of Architecture is doing the work for her.  Join me in living vicariously through her and her classmates by reading about their recent visit to Romania here.

And right about now is when I start rethinking my policy of posting full-face photos of the boys...how easy it would be to just slap some of these cuties up here and call it a night.  I'll just head on over to Facebook and put them there.

Happy Friday!

Linking up with Jen's 7 Quick Takes!


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7 Quick Takes: Stormy Weather

This week has been quite eventful.  Here it is in 7 quick(ish) takes: 

Saturday we paid a lovely visit to the shores of Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. We discovered the Douglas Center on the west side of the park. If you have children you MUST visit sometime!  I'll be posting a review of the Center soon. 

Sunday was a beautiful day. I finished reading Something Other Than God.  Monday was wonderful too.  Monday was a very productive day.  I finally caught up on most of the housework.  Life was good.  I learned only one lesson that day: never put a jar of freshly made strawberry jam on top of the running washing machine unless you'd like to see it smash to the ground.

Finally!  That new normal I was looking for last week seemed to be here!

So the hubby and I decided to take it easy and watch something lighthearted and comical to celebrate the day.

The chosen film was Airplane.  That classic parody of all disaster films. A bit past midnight, as the final scene came on, we heard sirens.  Seconds later we realized those weren't part of the movie - they were real. 

Tornado sirens.

We grabbed the sleeping boys and ran down to the basement.  We rocked them and calmed them.  Everything was going to be okay.

Suddenly there was a roar like a freight train. Sudden darkness.  We hugged them close and Peep cried. Hail Mary, full of grace...Hail Mary, full of grace...My God, my God...Hail Mary...

Quiet.  Eerie quiet.  It was gone almost as soon as it had come.  There was only the sound of heavy rain.

A dog barked.  A neighbor's voice!  Is it over? Do we still have a house?

This is what we saw in the morning:

Most of our neighbors had roof damage.  Numerous trees looked as if someone had bitten off their tops.  These pictures hardly capture the immensity of the carnage.  Upturned trees, smashed cars and buildings. The neighborhood is barely recognizable in parts.

Clean up commenced immediately.  As soon as the heaviest rains passed we heard chainsaws at 2 AM. The night lead into a grueling day.  For all the devastation it was one of those really neat times where neighbors come out and are actually neighborly.  It gives you a little faith in humanity.

My proudest moment of the day was that despite the heavy clean up and lack of electricity I still managed to bake a birthday cake for a special someone! 

Did you know that a good old-fashioned canner or similar large pot and rack can make a makeshift oven?

Wednesday night, J went out to a going-away gathering for a friend leaving me behind with the boys and no electricity.  No problem.  Single moms have to put two kids down single-handly all the time, right?  

Oh my. 

Pebble was nearly asleep countless times and Peep would break down into a fit of crying because I wasn't attending to his needs swiftly enough. Over and over.  

I took the tearful Peep aside and sat him down for a little talk punctuated by his sobs:  "Look honey, I know, I know this has been a long day. I need to put your brother to sleep. I know you want the lights on.  I do to.  I know you just want to watch something, but we can't...."

A strange orange glow caught my eye.  It was coming from behind the closed door of the bedroom where Pebble lay. Either the aliens were abducting my baby or....OR.....POWER!!

"IT'S BACK!" I shouted.  "IT'S BACK! The power is ON!" I jumped with delight and gave Peep a hug.

Peep was terrified by his mother's crazed outburst and cried.  Then he realized what I just said.  Choking on his tears he said "I can watch something!"  

"Yes! Yes! You can watch something!"

And so I win the award for Best Media Limiting Mom.  Not.

The most difficult cleanup task was removing our black walnut tree.  The winds had pushed it towards the house.  And so it (and an awful lot of money) had to go.

So sad.  The yard feels like a blistering desert now.  I'm hoping to replace it.  Does anyone have any suggestions for a good, affordable shade tree that doesn't grow too tall?

Happy Independence Day!

Linking up with Jen.


7 Quick Takes: June 27

The new normal is slowly emerging.  Of course it is being foiled by the ever-changing sleep patterns of our newborn...and toddler.  Who's children are these who wake up at 6:00am?  There are no early birds in this family.  Someone must have abducted them and replaced them with these terrible early morning-risers.

The other day a friend asked for tips to keep her three year old from treating the furniture like a jungle gym.  I don't have the best answer for this one, but I do have this little exercise trampoline handed down to me by my parents.  They bought it to answer this very problem when I was a little rapscallion.

Most of the time Peep just jumps to his heart's content, but recently he's decided that maybe it would be really cool to combine the trampoline with the furniture.

Apparently the coolness is further increased by rearranging the furniture and dragging the trampoline as close as possible to Mommy and his nursing brother.
So for now I'm settling for him jumping off the furniture onto the trampoline rather than jumping up and down on the furniture.  It's something - right?

One of the few glories of my week has been edging the patio and sidewalk.  It's amazing how hard it is for grass to grow on the lawn and how easy it is for it to grow on concrete and brick.

 Inches!  Inches of reclaimed patio!

Snow boots in summer?  I've heard a lot of kids go through this. 

Speaking of winter, I felt a little guilty as I logged some Christmas books on Peep's reading list for our library's summer reading challenge.  He found them and we read them. Hopefully librarians don't judge.

Echoing Amy's post earlier today: "Here I am, former Notre Dame grad, now a completely brain-dead mom...."

After an embarrassingly long time, I've finally cracked open a book that doesn't have a picture on every page.  Fittingly my own summer reading, is Jen's book Something Other Than God.

I've had it in hand for two days, am about halfway through, and hate having to put it down.  Read: This book is AWESOME and without children it would have been finished in one day. 

Amy also reminded me that I actually own A Mother's Rule of Life. I started reading it while expecting Peep, never finished, and until today totally forgot about it.  Oops.  It might behoove me to find it.

I mentioned the children have been rising early.  They've also been going to bed late.  It's 10:30 and Peep just went to sleep.  Pebble is still up.  Yikes.

Linking to the fabulous Jen Fulwiler!


7 Quick Takes: Selected Thoughts & Finding A New Normal

Over the past several weeks there have been a million thoughts flying around my head, I've wanted to blog about so many of them, but it seemed impossible to find the time or concentration to turn a single one into a coherent post.

My dear husband can only sum up the last several months (and I think he'd be more accurate in saying the last year and a half) as "fighting a war."

We just returned home from our last major planned event - my sister-in-law's graduation. We have "nothing" on the calendar until August.*  

What was "normal" is gone.  Life has changed.  Now we have to find a new normal, and that is no easy task.

So here are 7 very quick takes that have been complied over the last several weeks:

My lap exists again and I'm happy Peep can sit on it. So is he. I'm also grateful my ankles and feet are not swollen to twice their normal size.

A visit to Holland, MI

Pebble started smiling at around the time he turned one month.  His full, open-mouthed, beaming face is heart-melting. (Now if only I could get a picture of it...)

On May 2, I wrote: Parenting two is interesting balancing act.  It is definitely going to take some getting used to.

Riding Lions with Friends
Recently #4 has grown to: It's not having a baby that's a challenge, it's having a toddler that's the hard part. 

It's astounding how different two brothers can be. Seeing Pebble's personality develop is fascinating.  His daddy and I agree that Pebble's temperament seems to be taking after his godfather uncle's.

"Put he in the oval so we can play traaaaiiins!!"

Peep loves trains, dogs, the zoo, playgrounds, being loud, climbing, bouncing, his aunts and uncles, his grandparents, his brother, and generally being a stinker.  We're not so sure he still loves Mommy and Daddy. 

If you haven't read my sister's blog you should.

Peep and his Aunt going on a journey

Lastly a question: If I can find the time, should I write Pebble's birth story/saga? Is there any interest in it?

Happy Friday!
Linking to Jen/Kathryn.

*I say "nothing" - but really I mean no "major life events," just heaps upon heaps of the "little" things - the kind that seem so infinitesimal until you're in the middle of them and just want to sleep. 


Welcome Little Pebble!

After a long wait, Little Pebble finally arrived!  Mr. Peep is learning how to be a big brother and Mommy and Daddy are learning how to parent two. 


Et habitavit in nobis

Angelus Domini nuntiavit MariƦ,
Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.
Ave Maria...

Ecce Ancilla Domini.
Fiat mihi secundum Verbum tuum.
Ave Maria...

Et Verbum caro factum est.
Et habitavit in nobis.
Ave Maria...

Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Today is one of my favorite days of the year:  The Feast of the Annunciation.

On Christmas the Word is revealed to the nations, but today He is made flesh.  Incarnate of the Virgin Mary.

Life begins at the moment of conception.

Every year I am in awe of the beauty and magnificance of this feast's events. Beyond the message of Gabriel there is tradition that March 25 marks both the Conception and Death of Our Lord.

Some good reading for the day:

The Annunciation and the One Ring - Br. Isaac Augustine Morales O.P

The Annunciation and Passion - by John Donne
TAMELY, frail body, abstain to-day ; to-day
My soul eats twice, Christ hither and away.
She sees Him man, so like God made in this,
That of them both a circle emblem is,
Whose first and last concur ; this doubtful day
Of feast or fast, Christ came, and went away ;
She sees Him nothing, twice at once, who's all ;
She sees a cedar plant itself, and fall ;
Her Maker put to making, and the head
Of life at once not yet alive, yet dead ;
She sees at once the Virgin Mother stay
Reclused at home, public at Golgotha ;
Sad and rejoiced she's seen at once, and seen
At almost fifty, and at scarce fifteen ;
At once a son is promised her, and gone ;
Gabriell gives Christ to her, He her to John ;
Not fully a mother, she's in orbity ;
At once receiver and the legacy.
All this, and all between, this day hath shown,
Th' abridgement of Christ's story, which makes one—
As in plain maps, the furthest west is east—
Of th' angels Ave, and Consummatum est.
How well the Church, God's Court of Faculties,
Deals, in sometimes, and seldom joining these.
As by the self-fix'd Pole we never do
Direct our course, but the next star thereto,
Which shows where th'other is, and which we say
—Because it strays not far—doth never stray,
So God by His Church, nearest to him, we know,
And stand firm, if we by her motion go.
His Spirit, as His fiery pillar, doth
Lead, and His Church, as cloud ; to one end both.
This Church by letting those days join, hath shown
Death and conception in mankind is one ;
Or 'twas in Him the same humility,
That He would be a man, and leave to be ;
Or as creation He hath made, as God,
With the last judgment but one period,
His imitating spouse would join in one
Manhood's extremes ; He shall come, He is gone ;
Or as though one blood drop, which thence did fall,
Accepted, would have served, He yet shed all,
So though the least of His pains, deeds, or words,
Would busy a life, she all this day affords.
This treasure then, in gross, my soul, uplay,
And in my life retail it every day.

A little trivia: The last time Good Friday fell on March 25 was 2005.  The next time will be 2016. 


7 Quick Takes - March 14

Well, back again.  Probably only for a brief time.  I'm nearing the 38 week mark here.  Full term! The baby bump is...well...huge.  I've been feeling very drained.  This winter has taken a lot out of me (see my last post - and that wasn't even all of it.)

Two weeks ago today my wallet was stolen.  Not fun.  Monetarily I lost very little.  What I really lost was my  sanity  flash-drives on which were projects for work, pictures of Peep, and all sorts of things.  I know I am a silly person for doing so, but I'm holding out hope that these things will some how be found and returned to me.  If you'd be so kind, could you say a prayer to Sts. Anthony and Jude for me? 

The day before my wallet was stolen, my cell phone decided to give up its ghost.  I took the leap and got a smartphone. I'm still getting the hang of using it.  I feel like such an old lady.  I miss the tactile nature of my old phone.  It's much easier to feel for buttons and go about your business than this touchscreen stuff that all feels so smooth, glossy and homogenous.  No wonder so many people walk around with their noses glued to their phones.  If you want to do anything, you have to take the effort to make sure you're touching the right area of the screen.

One of my favorite quotes from a good friend came up while J and I were phone shopping:  I want it to be my tool NOT my friend.

Speaking of this, Michele just so happen to address this issue yesterday.  Check it out.

Would you like to see my bump? Of course you would, because this is the age of over sharing!  See! See!  See how big it is?  A random old lady at a store came up to me yesterday: "Are you having TWINS!?!?!"  No, no, ma'am, I am not.  But thank you for at least not touching my tummy.

The above mentioned store happen to be Best Buy.  We were camera shopping.  You see, not only have the car, house, phone, wallet all taken hits over the last two months, but so has my camera.  And as you can see above, the camera on my new phone kind of stinks.

Do any of you dear readers have any camera recommendations?  Nothing too expensive or fancy or big.  I would like to find something very soon because I do very much want to take pictures of Baby when he comes!

From what I've looked at so far, I've been very annoyed by the seemingly endless menus you must plow through to find different settings.  Likewise the all these "smart" and "intelligent" cameras concern me.  want to be in control.  want to tell it what to do.  Again,  I want it to be my tool NOT my friend.

Any recommendations?

I would like to give a giant shout out to my awesome brother! He arrived late last night to spend a couple weeks with us entertaining Mr. Peep.  Peep just absolutely adores his uncle and has been begging for him to visit since we last saw him at Christmas time.

A lot of people have been raising eyebrows at this concept.  "Why is your brother coming out for the baby and not your mother?"

Well, for the record, my brother has not come out "for the baby" in the sense most people think.  He has come out for Peep.  Being a 2.5 year old boy with more energy than the Energizer Bunny and more bounce in him than Tigger, his favorite hobbies include sitting on the floor playing with trains, bouncing on anything that will bounce, riding on shoulders, "wraseling," tickle-fighting, and tackling.

Now who do you think is best suited for these games?  A large and tired me? My mother? My husband who is currently holed up in the library (see below)?  Or my awesome brother who excels at all of Peeps favorite hobbies?

THANK YOU, dear brother!  You are my hero!

And so I come to my final point:  My brother is not out here just because of the impending arrival of his second nephew, but also because on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this coming week J takes his written doctoral candidacy exams.   So much energy has been poured into the preparation.  So much stress.

Please keep J in your prayers! Thank you!

Sts. Patrick, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Joseph are good saints to look out for you.

Linking up with Jen.


In the Bleak Midwinter

Hello friends,

Long time, no post.  Life has been a little teensy bit hectic and to be totally honest, I have had zero motivation to write anything.  I can't believe it's been almost two months.

Christmas and New Year's found us traveling out east to visit with family.  Peep did very well in car.  The longest leg of our journey was 10 hours straight.  He was trooper.  We did do a fair bit of night driving so he was asleep.  The worst moment came within an hour of our destination (~1:30am) when he woke up and starting crying inconsolably. After every attempt to figure out what was wrong, he finally just burst out "My tired of driving! Why's Uncle []'s house so far away??"  We feel ya kiddo.

Once there, Peep loved every bit of visiting.

After hearing of the impending Polar Vortex, we decided to come home earlier than planned.  It was a very good thing we did.  It was also a very good thing that we picked up a gallon of milk as we arrived back.  In hindsight we should have picked up more than one, but at least we had one!

The Polar Vortex was epic.  Honestly, I kind of enjoyed it.  After all our hurrying and scurrying about the previous two weeks it was rather delightful to snuggle up and relax knowing that the entire world around us was stopped in its tracks.

- 2 Weeks ago  -
For those of you who don't know, that fire hydrant is extra tall.  There is at least 1 foot of pipe above ground before the hydrant itself.

The Polar Vortex definitely got me thinking about how much our American culture needs to simply chill out sometimes.  (Ok, bad pun...but seriously...) We are constantly on the go.  Even if an individual decides to take a vacation, everything else is still moving at breakneck pace.  We take a day off of work and come back with a stack of projects on the desk, a million emails to be read, phone calls that need to be returned - often we end up doing twice as much work to catch up on that one day that was missed.  On the other hand, it is so easy to spend a day off doing chores and errands.  The day is spent running around from place to place, making phone calls, trying to get the house clean (and it is never clean enough).

Maybe it's just me.  Maybe this is part of the problem of being a working mom (albeit part time). But I'm pretty sure that most of the good ol' US of A is in the same boat.

Other countries have real holidays and have them more often.  You know, days when everything closes down and you spend the time with family and friends, not with your unfinished business. A healthy society needs leisure. Leisure is the basis of culture (thank you, Joseph Pieper.)

A very blue picture of a (still now larger) snowman Peep and his "Datty" built.
But now we'll fast forward to this past week.  A week ago today we attempted to go for a nice Sunday drive to celebrate a baptism.  The route selected for the day trip is one that's very nice in the summer, but not so nice when the fierce wind is blowing snow across the highway to the point of reducing visibility.

We are blessed to be alive.  The car slipped, J lost control.  We nearly hit several other vehicles before spinning off the road and landing in the median ditch.  After sometime, two police cars came, a tow truck was called, and we were pulled out. 

The car needs some repairs (and by some, I mean expensive).   If only money grew on trees...

In the meantime the car is drivable, but we have been told not for highway driving.

And so we have been on pins and needles driving the compromised car on the icy, snowy streets. 

To make matters worse, snow keeps falling.

Yesterday the car got stuck as J was coming home.  Two hours later we got the car out.  I missed my evening activity because of it.

This morning, trying to go to Mass, the car got stuck again.  Four hours later, two neighbors helped J free it, only for it to get stuck again 20 feet later (the neighbors helped again).  It almost got stuck a third time before J got it to its parking space.

I enjoyed the snow at first, but this car business is getting old.  I just want to go to Mass!

- Today -

I have to say though, that I am so thankful that for all the snow the great Permacloud has not been as permanent of a fixture as usual.  There's been much more sun and blue sky this winter.  While that means lower temps, that is fine by me.  I'd rather have 0 degree weather than 23 degree weather (it's really not all that different in my book) if it means I can see the sun and blue sky.