"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ties, photography skills, and forgiving even when it hurts

Whew, those readings today, eh?? So hard to hear sometimes. I've very much been the type of person that has struggled SO MUCH with forgiving people. My temperament tends to want to hold grudges, as well as holding people to these ridiculously high expectations.

Needless to say, that didn't make for very good relationships. And it certainly didn't make me happy - nor anyone else in my life - happy.

Honestly, sometimes I think I overcompensate for my natural tendency to hold grudges and want to just forgive people for everything and brush it under the rug and forget it never happened.

Well, that doesn't work out very well either. It just leads to me being resentful.

Since we're humans, we're bound to hurt each other, intentionally or unintentionally. And just because God is calling us to forgive over and over, it doesn't mean we have to put ourselves in the position to let people hurt us.

For a long time, I struggled with the whole forgiving 77 times verse. But why, Lord? Why do I need to keep forgiving when someone doesn't apologize? Why do I need to keep forgiving when they don't care that they keep doing the same thing over and over?

What I've learned, though, is that I can still forgive someone even when they don't want (or realize they need) forgiveness. And I can still choose to love someone when they keep hurting me over and over. (But gosh, that sure is easier said than done!) I hurt people too (we all do), and I would hate for them to withhold forgiveness from me. A relationship can't really continue without forgiveness.

Sometimes forgiving 77 times looks like setting boundaries, or taking a break from the relationship (not always possible if they live in your house!), or a million other scenarios. The important thing, though, is that we truly seek forgiveness and are at peace in our hearts. Forgiving is rarely easy - especially for a prideful person like myself - but it is always so worth it.

Well, I hope that made sense. Sometimes my brain works overtime and it doesn't always make sense when I get it all out. But now for some pictures! I finally remembered to take pictures before Mass so I'm linking up with Rosie for My Sunday Best.
 Sometimes they insist on wearing ties that do not match and I just roll with it. Couple of cuties!
 And this cutie wouldn't stop for a picture.
 I'm sporting the dress Logan picked for me on our Goodwill date a few weeks ago. 
 Landon's camera skills are pretty good, right?
Of course, Chase wanted a turn with the camera too and I'm totally impressed. Our boys have some mad photography skills!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Small pockets of prayer

It's funny how your prayer life changes depending on your current season in life. I know sometimes it feels like I have little to no time to pray and others where I have plenty of time. And still others where I have the time but not the motivation (thank you bedrest). (I'm not pregnant!)

I know that sometimes it feels like life goes a million miles a minute and stopping to pray feels so.dang.hard. I get it, I really do!

But I also know that somehow taking the time to pray, even when it feels like I have no time to do it, is what gets me through the rest of the day. Or heck, the next hour of the day, depending on how c.r.a.z.y of a day it is.
A few of my favorite prayer things lately

Over the last few months, I've been noticing there are several small pockets of prayer throughout my day. I've always taken advantage of longer car drives or nap time to pray the Rosary, and to pray Morning Prayer from Liturgy of the Hours before the kids wake up. But what other times could I squeeze in a little prayer?
  • While filling up your car with gas (a decade of the Rosary)
  • While waiting in line at the grocery store (maybe an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be or an impromptu prayer for the cashier or the person checking out in front of you)
  • While washing the dishes (I hate dishes, so offer it up, baby!)
  • While checking on your kids in their beds before you go to bed (am I the only one who does this? I try to say a Hail Mary for each of my boys as I admire their cute sleeping faces)
  • While waiting for the microwave to heat up your food (Okay, I don't really use a microwave - it's in the garage - but you might as well say a prayer while standing there waiting, right?)
  • While folding the laundry (A few times I've played a podcast of the Rosary when I haven't been able to squeeze in my Rosary for the day. But I try not to do that unless absolutely necessary.)
  • While rocking the baby to sleep (It's hard to get frustrated at him fighting sleep when I'm meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary! Thinking about Jesus carrying His cross really puts things into perspective sometimes)
  • Waiting in the doctor's office (Rosary, Liturgy of the Hours with an app on your phone)
  • Walking to the mailbox (thank God for all of his blessings)
  • While my kids play outside (many days this is when I say most of my Rosary)
  • As I lie in bed in the morning, willing my body to get up (Lord Jesus, help me!)
Let me just say that I absolutely think there's no substitute for set times of prayer throughout your day. But if you're having trouble with that, start with those small pockets of prayer! Gradually build up to longer periods of prayer. Replace some less-important activities (hello, social media scrolling) with the more important period of prayer.

I know sometimes the world seems to conspire against us when we try make time for prayer, and it's easy to throw in the towel. Just remember, a relationship takes work, and thankfully our merciful Lord blesses even the tiniest effort we give. Don't lose heart!

How about you? When do you sneak in more prayer throughout your day?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Plans vs. reality, and the catch-22 of social media

I had visions of life being pretty good once Landon started school. It would go as follows:

Wake up at 6am to pray, eat breakfast, and drink coffee. Maybe unload the dishwasher and start a load of laundry. Soak up the silence!!

6:45 - Wake up Landon to get ready for school.

7:15 - Wait for the bus.

7:30 - Go back inside and do a little housework before the other boys woke up.

INSTEAD, however, this was real life:

5am - baby screaming in his crib, bring him in bed with me.

6am - finally get up because baby never fell back asleep. Try to unload the dishwasher or start my coffee but baby is still screaming.

6:15 - Chase wakes up, begging for food (as usual)

6:30 - Landon wakes up. Baby finished his bottle and is screaming again.

Lots of whining, screaming, etc. by all parties until Landon gets on the bus.

....you get the picture.

I don't know why it always seems like the times I actually try to get my crap together (i.e. wake up before the kids, pray more, ditch social media, etc.) are the times that life seems to blow up in my face. Seriously. Why?

Thankfully, we've gotten into a pretty good routine, and even though a certain baby still messes up my morning prayer time a lot (ughhh), I try to just roll with it. Devil ain't gonna stop me!

Picture: happy and relaxed momma hanging out with her two chill and adorable babies while waiting for the oldest to get home from school
Real life: Two babies were especially needy all day and the baby freaked the heck out at Costco earlier and momma just really needed a shower but settled for some fresh air and was counting down the minutes until daddy got home (and was surprised at how cute said babies looked in the picture)

Just an example of how deceiving social media can be, amirite?

Speaking of social media, I've officially been off Instagram and Facebook for 3.5 weeks (with the exception of going on Logan's account to post on my blog page once), and I've noticed a few things.

The good:
1. I'm reading more (not like I need to, LOL, but whatevs).
2. I'm playing with my kids more.
3. I'm having more quality time with Logan.
4. I'm not missing it as much as I thought - even a couple of FB groups I thought I couldn't live without.
5. I'm less anxious. (This one surprised me!)

Basically, I'm distracted less, using my time more wisely, and well, life is good. I'm realizing that I have more time in my day - which means I've been taking advantage of some of it in the form of self-care (future post on that, perhaps?). And I'm also realizing that I was burdening my mind and soul with too much of what I was seeing on social media. (Thanks, melancholic temperament!) So not having that is helping me to invest more in the people right in front of me.

Of course, I - and our family - still have crosses in life that I'm trying to embrace, but overall, no social media has been oh so very good for my soul.

The bad:
1. I'm realizing I still get distracted by other things. Go figure.
2. I don't trust myself to reactivate IG and FB because I think I will fall back into my scrolling/time-wasting ways.
3. I'm struggling to see the good in social media, even though I know many aspects ARE good. (So obviously I need to just work on self-control and moderation and all of that. Sigh.)
4. It takes a little more effort to maintain certain friendships (perhaps not a bad thing, I guess...).

SO. Currently, I have zero desire to activate my accounts again. But I know that a big part of that is because it's easier for me - and my personality/temperament - to not have to deal with it. When I'm involved with something, I like to be good at it. I like to be consistent and stay involved (um, this blog has been alive and well for 8.5 years. I've been consistently journaling for over 14 years. CRAZY). With social media, that means posting - at least sometimes - and liking/commenting on other people's posts and being active in certain groups. But honestly, after these few weeks, I really don't want to spend my time doing that anymore. (I know this might sound ridiculous to some of you, specifically extroverts, but it's just how I'm wired.) (And GOSH, why do I use so many parentheses?? Sorry. My brain is complicated.)

I don't know if any of this is helpful or anything to anyone. Maybe half of you have clicked away by now. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Oh! I should also mention that I realized that social media was kind of taking the fun out of blogging for me. Maaaaybe that's why people seem to be doing one or the other these days?  Anyways, I don't think I'm giving up this blogging thing anytime soon.

BLOGGER FA LYFE. (Unless I discern otherwise, of course.)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Recent Reads (vol.8?)

If there's one thing that'll keep my blogging, it's....books. I know you're surprised. I officially completed by 2017 challenge of 36 books already by reading 38 books - which kind of blows my mind. But apparently reading is my self-care. I just love me a good book, you guys.

I don't think I'll be posting these monthly anymore, so we're sticking with "volumes" - perhaps quarterly. And maybe just with some (okay, 4 this time) of my favorites because I've read 10 books since my last post and that's just too much, right? Right. Onwards with some good recent reads!

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Lauren let me borrow this on our beach trip and it sucked me in good. I've only read one other Jodi Picoult book forever ago and hated it (The Pact - please don't read it) but this one changed my mind about her books. It's really really really relevant in our time right now - think white supremacy and racism and all that hard stuff that people don't like to talk about. It's told from 3 different view points which was interesting - a black female nurse, a white female attorney, and a white male supremacist. Ruth (the nurse) was my favorite. It was REALLY hard reading the chapters with the white male supremacist...fair warning. But all in all I recommend it.

Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West

Ashley's post about this book intrigued me, and whoa, I got sucked in too.  I didn't realize just how much I liked history until I read this book. And what's really neat is that when I was in Austin, Texas, for Edel, my friends and I visited the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum - and that was perfect while in the middle of reading this book! I think I annoyed my friends with all my "knowledge" about the First Family but oh well. If you're interested in the White House and/or the Presidents and their families you should totally read this. Mr. West covers the time span from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Richard Nixon, I think.

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle

This was written by a priest - who sounds like such a cool dude - about his work with gang members in Los Angeles. I listened to the audiobook, which I really liked, but there is some cursing FYI. Fr. Greg (or "G") had so many inspiring stories that really makes you think twice about stereotypes.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

I'm on a C.S. Lewis kick right now! This was a little haunting, in a way, because it makes you realize just how sneaky the devil can be. I listened to the audiobook, which was good because it was a British guy, but also a little creepy with him talking with such normalcy about evil and tempting people. It really made an impact on me, though. I would like to read the hard copy one day!

What's everybody reading this days? You know I love recommendations!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Edel, charisms, social media, and Goodwill has cute clothes

Well, August always seems to be the hardest month to make blogging happen for some reason. I don't understand. Now for some quick thoughts about a bunch of seemingly unrelated (or are they??) things.


I went with my sister-in-law, my roommate from college, and another close friend. So that in itself was already fun! The Edel Gathering didn't start until Friday night, but we drove in (8 hours!) on Thursday and played tourist during the day Friday. It was realllllly nice just driving around and deciding to do whatever we wanted at a moment's notice (like a pedicure! Because we didn't have kids with us!). It was the first time I left Aaron, as well as the longest I've been away from Landon and Chase, and while I certainly missed them, the weekend away did me so.much.good.

I met so many awesome ladies (including a couple fellow Louisianans who hung out with us all weekend!^^) and had so much fun. I have so many thoughts about the talks given at Edel - which were amazing - but I'm still processing much of it so no telling if those thoughts will ever make it onto this here blog. All in all, Edel was fun and I really hope they end up going on a tour with a stop in good ol' New Orleans.


Okay, so maybe I will mention one of the talks from Edel. It was about charisms (AKA spiritual gifts) and how to determine which ones you have - because everyone has some! I thought this was perfect timing for me as I've been discerning what endeavors to pursue right now and now I've been factoring in my charisms into my discernment. I may have gotten a little obsessed with the idea because I took 2 tests and was kind of surprised to get similar results. In case you're interested, here's one from a Catholic church and here's another one. They're both kind of long, FYI, but I found the results pretty interesting.

Social Media

I've been debating a break from social media and other Internet-related things. No big reasons, just a bunch of smaller ones, but don't worry - all is well. I might be deactivating Instagram and Facebook so don't freak out if you can't find me for a bit, okay? Okay.

Goodwill Date

Logan and I did something else clothing-related and slightly ridiculous. (He keeps seeing FB posts about things and insisting we do them too. It's kinda cute.) Along with another couple, we went on a date to Goodwill to pick out each other's clothes for less than $10 each. And then we went to dinner in those clothes.
 During....option 1. I felt like Jackie Kennedy.
 Option 2
 They barely had anything in Logan's size, so green shorts from Abercrombie & Fitch ($3!) was the winner. Plus a random shirt. I think this picture is hilarious for some reason.
Logan pleasantly surprised me by picking this cute dress ($6!!) that I would totally wear again. It's a bit shorter than what I'm used to but is flattering and has pockets! I was kind of nervous about the whole thing, since I was totally expecting Logan to pick something obnoxious with ruffles and maybe a tiara....but it was fun. Plus I am totally that person who washes EVERYTHING before I wear it, so the fact that I played along and wore this without washing first really proves that I love Logan. 😜 Oh, and we only spent $14.24 total! Not bad considering we plan to wear everything again except Logan's shirt.

To blog or not to blog

I've been thinking about this blog a lot lately and always thought I'd be blogging until I was old and gray. It's hard to explain but I've been thinking about the direction of this blog, possibly stopping or limiting my posts (or just taking an extended break), or maybe even starting something completely new. I don't know. I'm hoping to get some clarity by a much stricter Internet break than I did last year. Say a prayer for me please and I will pray for all of you!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

That time I let my husband pick my clothes

....for an entire week. And yes, we took the idea from this post. No shame.

Alternatively titled: how to make marriage fun when NFP sucks

Anybody who knows Logan knows that choosing my outfits is something he totally loves to do. And he did very much enjoy it for a week. (He was the one who really insisted I wear my pencil skirt to Mass last week, so when he saw the post about a husband picking outfits, he was like, babe, let's do it. And I was all 🤷🏼‍♀️)

Anybody who knows me knows that fashion is definitely not my thing. (I grew up a tomboy.) Sure, I like looking cute (who doesn't?) but it's just not something extremely important to me. I like wearing skirts and dresses more for the modesty aspect instead of the cute factor. And this summer I have definitely been living in shorts and tank tops because IT'S SO HOT and I like to be comfortable.

So. I was a little nervous about giving Logan free reign over my closet, because he always wants me to wear things that I don't want to wear and vice versa. But he did great! You shall see. So many pictures ahead. So many bathroom selfies.
 Thursday. Okay, first day...not bad. This is totally something I would wear on a normal day.

Friday. I might have inwardly groaned a little bit because honestly, I have never worn this. I bought it super cheap at Costco when I was pregnant, and it just never looked right on my big belly and then it wasn't really easy to nurse in. I actually put it on somewhat recently and quickly took it off because it didn't look right. But I ended up kind of glad Logan picked this because it made me realize it's kind of cute! And totally comfortable.

Friday night. I went out for dinner with friends that night so Logan picked yet another dress that I have never worn in public. Again, bought when I was pregnant (it looked pretty cute with my belly), never got a chance to wear it on a fancy date, and then it wasn't nursing-friendly. It's LuLaRoe's Julia, and honestly something I never would have picked for myself because it's kind of fitted. But Logan loves it, so there's that. (He wanted me to wear heels but I was like nope, it's not a nice restaurant. The dress was already too fancy!)

Saturday. Sigh. I'm feeling pretty dumb now because this skirt is something else I've never worn...LuLaRoe's Cassie. (Seriously, that's why I can't buy LLR anymore!!) But that's mainly because I couldn't find a shirt that went well with it, and Logan had a flash of genius with this ensemble (it's actually a tank top with a bolero over it). HOWEVER, I had to bring all 3 boys to a birthday party an hour away by myself, and this was not an ideal outfit. So I convinced Logan to let me wear it to vigil Mass later in the day. Which I did.

 Now this is definitely birthday party-friendly! And something I would totally wear normally. #flipflopsforever

Sunday. Logan had to work, so I stayed home with the boys all day and wasn't exactly thrilled to be wearing a dress. But it's cute, I guess. (He said the undershirt was optional, LOL. Right.)

Monday. Another inward groan when I saw another fancy dress laid out for me. Logan was off work, which I'm sure is why he wanted to see me in this all day. This is when this challenge started to get a tad bit annoying, because come on, tank tops and shorts! It's summer! I wore this to a wedding in June so it was kind of weird wearing it on a normal day.

Tuesday. Okay, this is actually one of my favorite shirts (The Loft, I think, been having it forever) and skirts (Target). So yay. But ughh I was packing this for Edel (leaving tomorrow!!) so that was kind of annoying.

Wednesday (today). Can you tell I'm totally over it by now? I was a little worried Logan would end the week with a bang, and um, yeah. I had never seen this dress before, and it turns out he got it from one of my friends. I ended up changing because it needed certain undergarments that were already packed, and honestly, I had so much to do (I still can't believe I'm leaving tomorrow!!) that I needed to be wearing something comfy. So, my usual tank top, shorts, and flip flops it was.

We didn't time it very well, since the closer I get to leaving on my trip made me more stressed and less likely to, um, cooperate. But! Overall, it was fun. And interesting. I recommend it as a serious trust challenge. 😉 Logan wants to do it again when the weather gets cooler. He totally offered for me to pick out his clothes for a week but I declined because, um, picking out my own clothes is enough, thankyouverymuch.

Things I learned:
  • Logan has better fashion sense than me (totally cool with that, by the way)
  • I need to trust Logan more
  • This challenge made Logan SO HAPPY
  • I can pull some clothes off that I didn't think I could
  • Many of my regret purchases are things Logan likes the best (go figure...he's probably the reason I bought them in the first place)
  • It was really nice not having to worry about picking my clothes for the first few days
  • It's not the end of the world to wear fancy clothes on a casual day

Things Logan learned:
  • That I trust him more than he thought
  • Women have too many choices of wardrobe
  • That's why I've gotten rid of most of my clothes
  • Picking out clothes can be stressful
  • I don't like wearing fancy dresses on a normal day

Now tell me! Would you let your husband pick your clothes out for a week? Why or why not??

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pencil skirts, parables, and blooming where you're planted

I've been having 2 pencil skirts for, um, awhile now. (LulaRoe's Cassie skirt, if you're familiar with LLR). And I haven't worn either one in public yet. I've tried them on SO many times, but I always change at the last minute. I haven't let myself buy anymore LLR in so long because a) budget, and b) I've had a few regret purchases....the Cassie skirts being one of them.

It's probably Logan's favorite skirt on me, but it's just not what I typically wear. And I know it's just really easy to get stuck in a rut - in so many areas of life, not just my wardrobe - so I decided to be brave today. I wore that dang pencil skirt to Mass.
Logan is sporting a coat from H&M, my shirt is a LLR Classic (knotted to the side...does it looks dumb? I wasn't sure), and my skirt is a LLR Cassie. Linking up with Rosie for My Sunday Best! (Chase decided to photo bomb at the last minute so he looks blurry, oh well)

I was feeling so brave I decided to leave my diaper bag at home too. Living on the edge, people. Living on the edge.

Mass was, well, interesting. Aaron (the baby) has a new spitting trick and decided to test it out during those brief quiet moments during Communion before the music started. He spit on Landon (the soon-to-be kindergartener), who thought it was HILARIOUS and couldn't stop giggling. Then after we went back to our pew after Communion, I knelt down to pray just to have Chase (the toddler) ask me to pull his finger so he could make a farting noise.

Boys are fun.

The priest (our pastor's friend has been celebrating many of the Masses lately) focused on the parable with the weeds and the wheat during his homily, telling about his childhood. He was one of nine kids, and they didn't go to church. In fact, when he told his mom he wanted to be a priest, she told him if he felt the same way in a year, he wouldn't be part of their family anymore.

To make a long story short, he (obviously) still became a priest and eventually his mom and three siblings converted (maybe his whole family did too and I missed it, because, kids be crazy). So even though he was wheat among weeds for so long, so to speak, it was all part of God's plan. Fr. M. led his family to the Lord. He let himself bloom where he was planted, I guess...even though it wasn't easy.

Lately I've been feeling pretty confused as to where God is leading me - or not leading me, I should say. After taking a break from teaching CCD at my church for a year, I just assumed I'd start teaching again in the fall, especially because we were planning on enrolling Landon too. And Logan and I just assumed we would sign Landon up for soccer in the fall too since he's finally old enough. And I just assumed, because Aaron is finally weaned, and we could use the money, that I would either start up my Etsy shop again or find a part-time job somewhere. One of my ideal places to work even had an available position!

But after praying about all of those situations, it became very clear to both Logan and myself that we weren't supposed to do any of those things. I don't know why God is calling me to do nothing right now (honestly, it's hard not get worried...what does the future hold??). 

So when I was sharing how I felt to Logan about not feeling called to anything right now, he pulled an awesome husband move and told me: "Even though you're not feeling called to anything else right now, you're always called to your family."

Boom. Nailed it, babe.

Now I'm not sure exactly how I thought this was related to the Gospel today....I guess because I'm feeling vulnerable, like wheat surrounded weeds. It's hard to see how staying put is the right thing to do. But I know it is. I know God has His reasons for our family not committing to much of anything right now. I can definitely see some fruit already. 

Gosh, this post is so all over the place. Sorry. Not sorry. Just taking things back to the old days of blogging - sharing crazy thoughts that I might regret later but YOLO, RIGHT??

Have a lovely Sunday!


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