Friday, April 24, 2015

Quick Takes #179: Birthday Tribute

  1. We spent last weekend in Richmond celebrating my Mom's birthday.  It was great to get together with family and friends to celebrate her; especially nice was the fact that her sister was able to come over from Belgium for the party.
  2. One of the things I most admire most about her is her strong personal faith.  I rarely found growing up in an interfaith home difficult because of the respect my parents showed each others beliefs but I also know that maintaining her faith practices in the face of an older, occasionally cynical spouse must have taken a great deal of inner strength of which I am so grateful. I realize that many people have found their to the Church as adults but am still very glad that I have known it all my life.
  3. My mother is Belgian and carries herself with a lot of European elegance but is also one of the hardest working people I know, thinking nothing of working up to three jobs to cover the bills when my Dad changed careers.  
  4. Both my parents loved the ocean and were great readers so my love of these things likely came from both. I enjoy very much exchanging book recommendations and reviews with her; and the times when life allows us to enjoy the ocean together are some of my favorite memories.
  5. She has taught me the great goodness in taking the time to enjoy friend and family's company over a piece of chocolate and some wine or whatever is available. Remembering to not rush away from the family table is a life lesson I hope to pass on to my children.
  6. She loves her grandchildren very much and makes an effort to play an active role in their lives; even those who live many states away.
  7. Wrapping up this all family ~ all the time post: A shout-out to my middle sister who spent the beginning of the week in St Louis being celebrated for being exceptional by her company at corporate headquarters!! And a shout-out to my youngest sister who earlier this week published her tenth book!!

My phone is currently resisting being downloaded so enjoy this picture from 2010 with 
6 of 8 grands pictured.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Quick Takes #178: States of Being

Was recently talking to someone about different states we had visited and was reminded that I have lived in 7 states so for a change of pace this week is a bit of biography by way of travelogue.

  1. Massachusetts: I was born in Providence, RI but came home to Massachusetts since while my parents met and married in Rhode Island they bought their first home in MA. We moved when I  was 2 so my memories of the state are of visiting family and friends and later my husband's family and friends since as life would have it as I would most summers be visiting in eastern Mass he was spending his summers on his grandparent's farm in western Mass.
  2. Rhode Island: When I was two we moved back and I do remember our house and living there.  I remember our street and neighborhood, going to the zoo in Roger William Park, and Galilee Beach.But since we moved south when I was four, again most of my memories in RI are when visiting others while on vacation.  Plus one especially poignant memories; off its coast in Galilee Cove is where we scattered my father's ashes.
  3. Maryland: We  lived for four years, for me ages 5-9,  where we were living when I started Kindergarten, learned to ride a bike, went to my first sleep-over.  Maryland is also the state that in a You Got Mail sense my sisters and I would wave to as we walked or biked on the George Washington Parkway across the Potomac.
  4. Virginia: Held the record for where I had lived the longest until just recently and is still where my mom and sisters live and so a state (or rather commonwealth) I return to often.  I lived there from 9-18, where I came home to during the college years, and then lived again while I went to graduate school at Georgetown. It is also the setting of one of my most favorite shows The Waltons.
  5. Pennsylvania: I first moved to Pennsylvania to attend college of the Univ. of Pennsylvania and then returned six years after graduation when my then fiancee (now husband) accepted a fellowship at the local children's hospital.  Despite living here for 18 years on and off there is still much I want to visit and explore ~ Gettysburg and Pittsburg to name two.
  6. Connecticut: Given that so many of my firsts happened in New England; first breath, first steps, etc, it was somehow appropriate I returned after college for my first grown-up job, first apartment and other 'I'm now a grown-up events'.
  7. Texas: While I only lived there a little under two years Texas will always hold a special place for me as it is the time and place where after 4 years of dating long-distance Charlie and I were able to see each other on a regular basis and make the decision to get married. That time is also significant for amazing food and great friends I cherish still today.
Funny aside: There are four commonwealths in the U.S. and huge parts of my life have been spent in three of them and ironically I've never step foot in the fourth.  Bonus points to anyone who can name it!!

Now please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Five Favorites: April 15th

Linking up at Call her Happy and sharing some faves:

1) Crocuses: There are none at the new house and I'm realizing by their absence how very much I love that particular sign of spring. I foresee some serious bulb planting this fall.

 2) Longwood Garden: I know I've written before about this wonderful garden about an hour from us, but spring has to be one of my most favorite times to visit.

3) Watching my kids playing together. Sometimes it feels like all day I'm refereeing and breaking up fights but then comes the times when everyone plays so nicely together; be it a sister's tea party or Lisbeth and Liam darting and hiding throughout the house 'cause they are playing secret agents.

4)ePantry: I've now been using the service for about 6 months and it is wonderful; I love the every two month e-reminder about dish soap and other cleaning or health products that fly under the radar until you need them and don't want to be out.   Like for example:

5)Yes to Grapefruit facial wipes: Leaves my face feeling clean with a wonderful wakeful slightly citrus scent; just right for when I need to start the day in a hurry.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Quick Takes #177: Easter Recap

  1. Triduum went very well given the current ages of the littles; Dr Daddy successfully sang at all the services he was suppose to and I got to participate a good amount and involve the kids as well.
  2. Holy Thursday; he sang at two Masses and once he got home I went to Adoration at two churches; next year I will aim for more if I again don't attend Mass.
  3. Good Friday; he again sang at two services with us all attending the first where the kids did reasonably and Lisbeth pleasantly surprised me by choosing to venerate the Cross by herself. We then stayed and shared a meal with Dr Daddy and the rest of his choir mates.  I then headed home to get the littles to bed while the choir prepared for the second service. 
  4. Holy Saturday was mostly spent preparing for the celebrations: dying eggs, grocery shopping and cleaning. We have for the last several years hosted any choir members who wanted to come for Easter Dinner.  I was sorry to miss the Easter Vigil but this was just one of those years where we didn't have good childcare options. According to Charlie and other choir members all went very well.
  5. EASTER was lovely with the fun of baskets in the morning, going to Mass all together and celebrating with friends and family that evening!
  6. Luckily the Easter Break extended into Easter Monday as the kids were up late enjoying the party and so slept in the next morning. Re-entry has been a bit rough as the weather has been lousy but yesterday included being a Mystery Reader for Lisbeth's class and today is Yellow Day at Liam's school.
  7. Pictures:

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Poem for Holy Saturday

A favorite poem by a favorite author:

Ready for Silence
Madeleine L’Engle

Then hear now the silence
He comes in the silence
in silence he enters
the womb of the bearer
in silence he goes to
the realm of the shadows
redeeming and shriving
in silence he moves from
the grave cloths, the dark tomb
in silence he rises
ascends to the glory
leaving his promise
leaving his comfort
leaving his silence
So come now, Lord Jesus
Come in your silence
breaking our noising
laughter of panic
breaking this earth’s time
breaking us breaking us
quickly Lord Jesus
make no long tarrying
When will you come
and how will you come
and will we be ready
for silence
your silence

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

WWRW: April 1st

Linking up at Jessica's and sharing what I've been reading

Recently finished Dragonfly in Amber the second book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  This one starts in 20th Century Scotland where our heroine Claire is visiting with her daughter, having decided following the death of her husband of that century (Frank) to find out what happened to Jaime her husband in the 18th century. During the visit after finding his grave Claire tells her daughter the story of traveling back in time; and we the readers find out what happens from the time the original books ends till she attempts to travel back to 1940's Scotland and the life she left.  Overall I felt this one dragged a bit more than the original but Gabaldon definitely writes a good dialogue and develops the characters solidly enough that through many twist and turns their actions seem to hold true. While I didn't like it as much as the first I did like it and will most likely at some point read the third but as each book averages 900 pages there are a few I'm planning on reading first.

For example at the moment North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell on the recommendation of Anne of Modern Mrs Darcy and as part of her reading challenge.

I also recently finished A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and wrote about here.

Now please head over to Housewifespice for more WWRW

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What I've been reading this Lent

  This Lent I've taken a sort of two prong approach and it has actually worked out really well. I got and have been using the Blessed is She journal which based around reflecting on a word inspired by the daily readings; reading the daily readings is something that had fallen away as more little people filled my home and day ~ and one I'm so glad to have returned to.  Often it worked best for me to read the readings in the afternoon and take the rest of the day to reflect and actually journal in the evening once everyone was tucked in for the night.

  The second part was a commitment to be intentional about reading about and reflecting on a saint featured in A book of Saints for Catholic Moms.  Initially it took me awhile to appreciate Lisa Hendley's wonderful book. I did like the format of biography, reflection, quotes from the saint, followed by a scripture passage and suggested activities; and the idea of spending the week with a given saint. Reading it straight front to back felt a bit dry, however once I went 'off-roading' so to speak and just let the book open at random I came to really appreciate the wonderful range of people the author chose to feature. Among the fifty-two are many I knew, such as Saint Joseph, Saint Francis of Assisi, and Saint Joan of Arc, but many more I'm meeting for the first time, such as Saint Margaret of Scotland, Saint Zita of Lucca, and Saint Sebastian.  Each is presented with attention paid to both their successes and failures. But what makes this book so much more than a collection of saints' biographies are the useful reflections that Hendley includes and the questions to ponder, building on the particular cause or charism of the saint being profiled. While these are aimed at mothers, the author does include suggested activities for the entire family to do, as they learn more about each particular saint.
   Another nice feature of the book are the indices in the back where Hendley lists all the saints first alphabetically, then according to their feast days and patronages, and finally by whether they could be considered companions of the heart, mind, body or soul.  With so much information the reader might meet the saints in the order they are presented in the book, at random, or according to a particular intention or struggle of the moment.  I'm truly happy to have this book in my library and look forward to mining its depths more and more over the years.

Linking up with Micaela of California to Korea

What have you been reading this Lent?