Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Common, everyday blessings

After years... twelve years... of lamenting about not having Coldstone in Portugal I finally thought, "why don't I try making my favorite Coldstone icecream myself?" I have noooo idea why I never thought of that before. Enter: coffee icecream, caramel topping and oreo cookies. Divine. Just divine. Enough to start a blog post with.

Inspired by this post on Fountains of Home, I also got a milk frother for my hubbie for his morning coffee (never knew those existed!) and French wine for my weekly online grocery shopping.

I think I appreciate these homemade desserts because we seldom go out to eat and we appreciate these splurges because I've been trying not to buy anything extra. We've been trying to live even more simply and I've been trying to cut any extra activities.

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness -- just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder,
Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Wisdom and Virtues

We've been visiting my sister more often, who just had a baby and wasn't feeling too well. I wish I had more time and less distance to spend visiting people. But it has been nice to spend that extra time with her and a huge blessing for our kids to have cousins the same age.

And Addie and Davy are getting along better. Well, by that I mean her with him. Which is relieving. It's like he'll actually be an autonomous member of our family soon... exciting. He is crawling but still likes to be held most of the time. Absolutely nothing like his sister was. Momma's boy? Yikes.

I am busy trying to check things off my to do list... as usual... never feeling like I'm getting anything done. And trying to get in more daily habits. Prayer, as always the constant struggle. Plus reading, exercising and piano playing. Not really working. Alas. Kids are cute though, right?

Saturday, February 04, 2017


Friday, February 03, 2017

Little Catholic Bubble Book Club

I've joined a book club. An online/Facebook book club, but a book club nonetheless. I realize I've never been in a book club and I'm so excited. It really is adding a little pizzazz to my life right now. It's called the

and it's hosted by the blogger Leila Miller of the Little Catholic Bubble blog. I joined because I have lots of free time (wink wink ☺) and because they read one book a month and they are all books I really, really want to read. This month they're reading the book above by Sigrid Undset and I just couldn't resist because I wanted to read it and also because I read her other book, Kristin Lavransdatter, and didn't like it but would have liked to talk to someone while reading it.

Last night I read a chapter before bed and I hope I can keep it up. Being in a book club is good motivation. You should join too!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

On being run-of-the-mill

We try to listen to the Bible Geek every Sunday. He's great. Last Sunday he talked about how he was running up a hill, exercising that is, and passed a younger guy, which made him feel good about himself. Then a fifty or sixty-year-old lady whizzed by him and he felt it was God gently nudging him to be more humble.

That is totally reflecting my week. I have no idea what I'm doing. In life. I had a chance to re-do a presentation I did before Davy was born for that association it says I volunteer for on my sidebar. The first time around, I thought I was going to be PHENOMENAL... considering how my unique talent set and experience was perfect for the task at hand. But, my friends, I never fell so flat on my face in my life. I thought I would be able to just speak freely, improvising as I usually do, but when I got two or three sentences out I froze. I had nothing else left to say. It's terribly embarrassing to freeze in front of a group of people, even if it's a small group.

I re-did the presentation this week and it was better, but again only OK. And I realize that's ok! As long as I do my best and try to courageously do God's will in small things, I'm not supposed to be phenomenal. But yikes, it's tough being run-of-the-mill.

Same goes for parenting struggles this week. Davy is being a great baby and has started eating solids (yay!) (see pic above, eating a cooked carrot), but I still can't figure out how to meet his eating and sleeping needs. He always seems hungry or tired or just cranky for some unknown reason. I used to think I was a phenomenal mom when Adelaide was a baby. Now I'm thinking she was just a phenomenal baby (?). And I have no clue.   

"Calm yourself, O Father. Don't pay any attention to these vain and useless fears. Fill the emptiness of your heart with an ardent love for Jesus. Humble yourself always beneath the powerful hand of God, always accepting the tribulations that he sends us with serentiy of spirit and humility of heart, so that when he comes to visit us he will exalt us by giving us his grace. Cast all your cares onto him, because he cares for us more than a mother cares for her baby."
- Inspiration From the Letters of Padre Pio: Words of Light, n. 303

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It's all about motivation

This is our baby shark. Six teeth before he turned six months!
(PS Have you seen the baby shark video from super simple songs I linked to? I ❤ super simple songs)
Oh yes, and that is his hoodlum sister behind there.
Armed with bubbles. Watch out.

We had a particularly rough night the other night. I had just sent my mom a text message saying I was feeling better and the baby was sleeping much better and I was in bed by nine thirty. When the insomniac baby woke up at ten thirty and after several struggles and attempts (which included him peeing in my bed! Don't ask...) he only went back to sleep at two thirty. When I finally went back to bed I had a terrible coughing attack that wouldn't subside even when I tried cleaning my nose out with this salt water thingy twice... Long story short, I only went to sleep at about four in the morning. And the baby woke up before seven.

Yes, this is a long sob story just to get to the point that I realized I am living the hard life. Ok, so refugees and prisoners of war and other such people have it harder. A lot harder. Ok, so I eat excessive amounts of chocolate to cope. But it's still really hard work to have kids.

But that's attractive. I like reading blogs/books/etc about people who lead hard lives. I used to be obssessed with a friend from high school's blog about her raw, vegan diet and mad running skills. It was somehow inspirational to see pictures of her pink running shoes on a hiking trail and hear about how sore she was but how much farther she had run that day. I think I like moms' blogs for the same reason. It's crazy hard to have one kid and then another and another. Just like an athlete, you have to be super motivated and focused on the long-term. Otherwise you think, screw this having kids thing, I just want to sleep!

But it's this beautiful, messy, time-consuming, energy-sucking piece of artwork you are painting. I just pray it turns out.