Friday, March 30, 2012

Sixth Friday of Lent


"Let us quieten our hearts again; let them be peaceful. This is a great week that we are entering. It is a week of total kenosis, which means emptying oneself, in Greek. It is said that when Christ came down from heaven at Christmas he emptied himself and became a servant. So this theme of servant comes to us again. This is our week of kenosis. What he has done, we should do."   

-Servant of God Catherine Doherty, Season of Mercy 


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some Mad Men fashion to brighten a Thursday.


I'm an unabashedly devout fan of Mad Men. This weekend's season premiere was so much fun to watch, and I'm a little giddy that each Sunday night will be a nice dose of 60's fashion.

Megan of course is Don's new wife who has a fantastic sense of style. She's obviously the most Mod character, and Janie Bryant's dresses this episode were perfect. 

This black dress is out of control cool. Short but not revealing. Sheer but long sleeved. Black with a little sparkle. 



I've been dreaming about this ruffle polka dot blouse all week. I think its perfect. I'd wear it everyday if I could. However, I have a slight obsession with polka dots lately. I love how its worn with this racing stripe skirt.


And an orange and white chevron coat?! If this existed in any vintage shops I would buy it instantly. 
To sum up, I loved everything she wore. If this keeps up I may change my entire wardrobe to 60's garb.

(photos via 1, 2, 3)




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some Annunciation cuteness



Yesterday morning after we had said our little morning prayers I explained to the kiddies that today was the day we celebrated the angel telling Mary she would have baby Jesus.

 To which Gemma replied: "Thats just like how you found out you were going to have me as a baby!"
I replied, "Not quite, honey." 

But I held back telling her that in actuality I found out I was going to have her when we had to pull over to the side of the road on the way home from Mass so I could throw up in the ditch. Pretty much completely opposite to the Annunciation, but memorable none the less!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Fifth Friday of Lent


"My being born is not a mistake, then, but a grace. It is good to live even though I do not always perceive it. I am wanted; not a child of chance or necessity, but of choice and freedom. Therefore I shall also have a purpose in life; there will always be a meaning for me, a task designed just for me, there is a conception of me that I can seek and find and fulfill. When the school of life becomes unbearably hard, when I would like to cry out as Job did, as the psalmist did - then I can transform this cry into the word "Father" and the cry will gradually become a word, a reminder to trust, because from the Father's perspective it is clear that my distress, yes, my agony, is part of the greater love for which I give thanks."

-Pope Benedict XVI


side note: I've been posting my Friday's of Lent one week behind and I just noticed today! Yikes! So I went I corrected my lent-ignorance.



Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'm hitting the "Lent" wall people!



Ok, I think I've hit the "Lent" wall.

It seems like everything got much harder this week. And of course, I'm blaming Lent. Oh Lent. Why are you supposed to be so purifying? And so downright difficult!

I thought I was doing pretty well this Lent up until this week. I had done three weeks where I was concentrating more on fitting in more bits of prayer where I could. Less tv for all. More cuddles. More smiling when I felt irritated. More laughing at random potty accidents.

But apparently my road to sainthood can only last three weeks. This week everything seems ridiculously hard. Each day has been a "tough" mom day. Those days where you can't go 10 minutes without having to attend to a toddler crisis, a bad fight, discipline issue, or a fussy baby who needs you and only you. Obviously every mom has those days. I've had them before of course, and they're usually long and exhausting and sometimes send me into fits of bad mood-ness. But this week has been one tough day after another and has left me in a huge bad mood. The kind of bad mood that sees everything in life as a big problem to be dealt with.

Not only is it all the mom stuff, but its the me stuff too. I've got forgiveness issues. More like not wanting to forgive-issues. I've needed to go to Confession for at least two weeks, and each time I can get to Church the priest has been unavailable or I've had to do music for Mass. I'm feeling crumby everywhere.

And just for good measure I'm also going to blame the weather for not being sunny, warm, and spring-like. And of course the government for attempting to put through a ridiculous education law that just makes me plain angry. So that about covers the whole gamut of the blame game right?

But to be completely honest, doesn't all this tough stuff sound vaguely appropriate for Lent? Aren't I supposed to be welcoming the hard, purifying trails that make me holier? If only the trials that make one holier weren't the crumby, annoying, and difficult parts of everyday life. Its just more evidence that God is really trying to infuse more holiness in me, in my life, in my family. Lent is long, I've got a good couple weeks left, it might be this hard for the duration. Am I going to try and persevere to Easter? Absolutely. Will I get grumpy and ignore graces along the way? Absolutely. Am I alone in my life of small trials, am I  alone in my heart of sins, grudges, selfishness? Thankfully not.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring?!





via 


Its Spring! 
I mean, its spring?!?

Alberta in March is in reality, so far from spring its laughable. I always find it one of the toughest months to get through, because even though its warming up (for Alberta), and its officially spring, everything is still covered in old, crusty snow and the occasional blizzard still blows through every other day. So these fresh, pretty pictures are meant to cheer me. All of you who are in more glorious climes can just ignore them and look out your own windows!

The littles love it however, because they can readily find mud and water within seconds of leaving the indoors. So far Luke's walked across our front lawn with only one boot, all three have needed new pants and socks after each play outside, and only one of them have landed face first in a puddle! I guess that means spring really has sprung.








Friday, March 16, 2012

Fourth Friday of Lent



"Today, a Friday in Lent, let us gaze upon "him whom they have pierced," the one who died sinless and for us. Mirrored in his wounds we see ours sins and we see his name, the abundance of the divine justice. The dying Son does not do away with justice; he dies to preserve it-his justice is thus so abundant that it is sufficient for us sinners also."

- Pope Benedict XVI, Journey to Easter



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chesterton on a Child's Imagination



Of all of today's problems that Chesterton diagnosed and predicted 100 years ago there is another to add to the list: the war on childhood and the child's imagination.

In his essay "The War on Childhood" G.K. Chesterton points out how subtly, and usually in the name of "education", our children are forced not to create their own stories and tales from a tender age, but to get involved in organized games and even "Self-Government". I guess this means at least one thing, we can blame Victorians for having to sign our kids up for soccer, hockey, dance and piano all by the age of 3 or face societal rejection!

Chesterton already recognizes the loss of "that vast unrecorded output of more or less infantile imagination which used to fill the lives of almost every family and especially of every large family." If children are encouraged not to create their own stories and tales, otherwise known as imaginary play for toddlers and beyond, through the myriad of today's activities, play schools, early kindergartens etc, they are almost universally cut off from being born into a large family which facilitates this play.

I'm sure there are lots who will argue that a large family doesn't necessarily create an imaginative child but already in my own three toddlers its more than evident. My littles are just entering the wonderful stage of imaginary friends and scenarios. Just yesterday the telephone man had to put a telephone in jail. The day before that Dom had to save baby dolls from the throes of a bad witch. My boys regularly fight "bad guys" with swords and they all love nursing baby dolls back from the brink of deadly illnesses. And they naturally feed off one another. They mix and mash funny little ideas into great imaginary worlds already, and they're only 2, 3, and 4 years old.

I think that these "imaginary families with peculiar names but most pernicious vitality and will to live" that my babes are already creating are what make me so weary of scheduling in more organized activities into their lives. I inwardly wince at the idea of playschools on a daily basis. And I shudder when I know I've let my kids watch waaay too much tv in the course of a day. Even toddlers benefit from a little boredom to spur on some creative juices.

Chesterton goes on to make another powerful point that the imaginary games of our children are unique not only to the individual little toddler but to each family: "The mythology of the little Smiths at No. 6 was different from the mythology of the little Browns at No. 7, and different again from that of the little Robinsons at No. 8." So in a very beautiful way these imaginary tales become a unique bonding between tiny siblings. Their little imaginings are really building our family a little tighter.

And finally, Chesterton, who of course is the king of finding the wham-bam, completely awesome, gobstopping connection between two very radically different things, points to the lose of childhood imaginings to increased dependence on Big Government. "The Wireless and the Cinema, the newspaper and the newsreel, a score of such enormous modern machines of publicity, pour down their throats, or into their ears and minds, a flood of suffusion in which they have no co-operation, which they do not critics, and to which they cannot reply." We're constantly fed with media, products, and entertainment in today's society, and much of it is geared to children at increasingly younger ages. The beginnings of creative people who make, fashion, and build their own things, art, and lives are the ordinary people who begin imagining as children. But a people and society full of individuals who have not imagined, created, or entertained themselves become more dependent not only on social media and the entertainment industry for their entertainment and ideas, but in all areas of their lives. And so "Governments are ready to give anything and everything, if they can only be reassured with the soothing certainty that the people will give nothing."

Whoa, right? But on the very bright and beautiful side, isn't it amazing what repercussions of goodness we can create by just freeing our children to imagine and tell tales for themselves? Its a simple thing that has a lasting and important impact on the adults our little babes will become.





Wednesday, March 14, 2012

11 weeks old


Guess who's 11 weeks today? That's right this cute little bundle.
11 weeks? How did that happen so quickly?  I think I've been firmly implanted in that strange newborn time warp where everything seems like one and the same day and you don't notice the weeks and months passing by. 


So does this mean I'm approaching the end of the sweet newborn stage? I love the newborn stage of excessive sleeping during the day, and cuddles, and itsy bitsy clothes. He's been a pretty undemanding baby. And most definitely the easiest kid I've got at the moment. He just needs food and cuddles no discipline!


As he grows the only problem we have to solve is where he's going to sleep as we gradually bring in a little more sleep scheduling. I have to admit that he's been sleeping out in our living room in his swing until I feed him and then he'll sleep on the couch and finally my bed after my husband leaves for work. We've only got two other bedrooms, and I may be delusional enough to be thinking of just putting the other three in the same room. Which could turn out like putting a motorcycle gang in a closet. Loud. Boisterous. Possibly violent. We'll see what happens.





Monday, March 12, 2012

New Glasses!

I just got my new glasses! They're the huge, nerdy, retro kind that I apparently have been wishing for for a long while. As evidenced by my pinterest boards! I didn't know I was so obsessed until after I got the glasses and then looked at some of these cute pictures I'd saved. 





So this is the cuteness to which I aspire! And this is just a small sampling-follow me on pinterest for the full meal deal! So far I love my new glasses but don't feel like I can quite rock them in pictures yet, that and I look like a disaster today. 




Friday, March 9, 2012

Third Friday of Lent

(image via thevow.tumblr.com)

"To hear God’s word requires the cultivation of outward and inward silence, so that his voice can resound within our hearts and shape our lives. But Jesus teaches us that God also speaks to us, especially at times of difficulty, through his silence, which invites us to deeper faith and trust in his promises."

-Pope Benedict XVI, March 7 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman

I love a book you can sink into that has the kind of subject that takes you away from what you're used to thinking about and into something more refreshing and different. In this case, an excellent design book that sucks me into thinking about ironed sheets, where to hang expensive wallpaper, and how high my bed should be from the ground.


"Making a charmed and happy home is a noble endeavour."

But don't get me wrong, The Perfectly Imperfect Home, is really a well-written foray into basic design details which make a home not expertly designed but stylishly livable. That's what I'm in the business for. Surely, with 4 toddles running around I can't imagine fussy furniture or expensive trendy items. However, the importance of creating a beautiful home, is something a stay at home mom is challenged with everyday. Not only for herself, which I think is enough to make "working on pretty-fiying the house" up there on the to-do list, but also for providing a beautiful place for our children to grow up. I could go on about this, like diving into some "domestic church" ideas, but another day.

Already I've noticed how my little babes notice the beauty around the home. Like fresh flowers on the table, or adding a new framed photo somewhere, or rearranging furniture. They notice and they're very little people! They usually comment upon how BEAUTIFUL! something looks. Its so much fun showing them how to appreciate beauty. But that's another topic for another day too!


"Style is luxury, and luxury is simply what makes you happy."

I thought The Perfectly Imperfect Home a great tool at pointing out the little things that make a home stylish. Like embracing your quirky likes, including personal items whenever possible, using books in every room (of course my personal favourite!). But it also gives great ideas on uses of furniture which I wouldn't have thought of. The book isn't written towards frugality of course, but it doesn't patronize too much into the crazy world of the rich and design-y either. Her great tips can be applied in any home. 

The beautiful illustrations of Virginia Johnson make this book wonderful on its own! I loved how the illustrations made designer rooms appear timeless and beautiful. Thinking about a room in terms of a painting is a great idea. 

A great book for making me feel a little sunnier in this long Canadian winter, and great for making me dream of completely redesigning my house!







Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why, oh perfect bag, why?!




Good thing I gave up buying designer bags for lent...because I'm pretty sure this is my dream bag! And it comes in two of my favourite colours! 

Clearly, if I won a good $500 bucks on the lottery I don't play it would be going straight to Kate Spade for these lovelies!




Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Pick-Me-Up




I need a little pretty pick me up this morning! We were all sick with a cold this weekend, and this morning, although I'm feeling a bit better the two littlest boys are cranky and have very leaky noses. Here's hoping I can make it to nap time.

Aren't these abstract paintings beautiful? I think the colours are perfect, I'd love one for my bedroom! They're done by Linda Monfort, and here's her beautiful shop.

(All images Linda Monfort)




Friday, March 2, 2012

Second Friday of Lent


"Lent is here to remind us that the mercy of God is ours provided we embrace his law of love; provided we realize that its going to hurt, and hurt plenty, but that the very hurting will be a healing. That is the paradox of God, that while you hurt, you heal. That's true healing."

-Servant of God, Catherine Doherty

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