Friday, November 30, 2012

Seven Quick Takes vol. 25

Joining with the Takers again this week. Here comes random randomness. Make sure to see Jen and the cool people! I'm also so pumped for her show, I'm just praying it'll stream in Canada...please, please, please!


Its been a long week. Or its felt like a long week. Ever have times where you're sick of yourself? Ya know, when you're so tired of your own feelings and thoughts and general crumminess that you want to take a vacation from being you? This sounds much more dramatic and ridiculous than it feels, but am I far off in that description? 
I know I definitely need confession. And to go see my spiritual director. And a general influx of grace. But baring miracles its still a very long process ahead until I can imagine feeling generally chipper, peaceful, and having some faith...or so it seems. 
I'm hoping Advent will help me somewhat. I feel like I've been genearlly waiting on God for a couple months now, maybe I can better direct it through Advent?? Here's hoping!


So I haven't started anything Christmas-y in our house yet. I want to at least hold out till Advent begins to bring out any decorations. And this year I think we'll put off putting up our tree a little longer since Max is at the perfect age for all destruction of things that are at his level. Nothing will make him happier than the prospect of constantly pulling at a big, shiney, tree covered with mom's priceless very breakable ornaments. I know it would be truly adhering to the Advent protocol to hold out with the tree, but I compromise with a focus on Advent AND preparing for Christmas somewhat gradually with decorating and Christmas music. The kids just love it so much. And with the general Christmas spirit in the air I find its better to put a positive emphasis on Advent instead of the complete sparing of everything Christmas until December 25. But now this is sounding confusing. Maybe as the kids get older and begin to understand more the importance of Christmas we'll begin more rigorous purely Advent traditions. 
I'm sure we'll grow into it like all else as the munchkins grow.


We definitely have an Advent wreath and will be saying prayers around it every week as we light a new candle. I always try to put the Advent wreath at the top of the Christmas boxes but why does it always disappear into the nether-regions of those ridiculously large and crammed boxes full of Christmas decorations?! I swear its a law of nature or something. And my Christmas boxes are almost as big as I am so I might just fall in and get lost forever. 


Little HolyDays Link-up

And just a little plug for next week, I'm hoping to have a post about Advent music and will be linking up with these lovely ladies for a link-up about Advent and Holy Days. Its going to be awesome. Or at the very least somewhat Advent-y on my part.


Since we have Dominic's birthday at the end of November it kinda forces us, or me at least, to put all the Christmas stuff on the backburner and wait till Advent which is kinda nice. Dom and the kids always appreciate a little decorating for their birthdays. And they really freak out with just a few balloons hung up. Which is great, because its literally the least I can do. Another reason why I don't want them to grow up.


Since his birthday on Tuesday Dom's default greeting to everyone is now "Happy Birthday!" I open their bedroom door in the morning: "Happy Birthday!" See Grandma, "Hi, Happy Birthday!" Talk to someone on the phone, "Happy Birthday!" He somehow thinks its a greeting one can use universally while celebrating the week of one's birthday. I'm going to listen at Mass this weekend and see if he responds to "Peace be with you," with "Happy Birthday!"


We're off to see Santa tonight at the small town Christmas light-up. Gemma is still mortally afraid of going near Santa and we've tried talking her around by saying things like, "Santa wants to see you so he'll know you've grown," or "You've gotta talk to Santa  to tell him what you want for Christmas." Her solution yesterday was "Well, I like Santa, and I want him to bring me presents, but I don't actually want to see Santa. So could I just send him an email?" And I'm sure she doesn't know what an email is so I asked her, to which she replied, "An email is a letter that you don't have to write." Which is kinda true. It also points to her tendencies towards being lazy in practicing her printing, or a towards a love of telepathy. Either way really.

Hope you all have a stellar week-end! (I always say "week-end" now like the Dowager Duchess...)
And Happy Beginning of Advent!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Dom!

Happy Birthday to this cute guy! 
4 years old seems old for my sweet baby who's turned into a smart, sensitive, fun-loving, book-reading boy who reminds me of his daddy all the time. 
I'm glad we made it through 3 and are on to 4!

Dominic's told me for his birthday supper he would like "Dum-pa-lin's (potstickers), olas (olives), hotdogs, and chips." So we're in for a treat tonight!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What I Wore Sunday, vol. 6 (But for me vol. 2!)

All you girls were so sweet and very complimentary to my outfit last week that I'm joining up with Fine Linen and Purple again this week for What I Wore Sunday vol. 6!

So here we go. Its another "Let's try and hide the preggo, yet not quite cute and round bump stage" outfit. 
I also included these weird and unusual hand motions...I think I was explaining that if I looked horrible it was due to the husband's gravely lacking photography skills.

Then someone started doing something cute so I had to grab the real camera. 

But back to the actual outfit! Its a strange, sack-like top that's perfect for hiding all sorts of things. I wore this a lot while postpartum last year, oh I mean a couple months ago. Its got dolman sleeves and is actually quite cute and drapey. I won it from a blog giveaway which is always fun too.
The jeans are the perfect purple/mauve and I love them and don't want to stop wearing them, but they're officially becoming too painful. Its a sad day.
And you all can laugh at my hat, but I kinda love it! My husband makes fun of me every time I wear it, and today my 11 month old shot me a funny look when he saw me wearing it. 
The necklace is one of my owl necklaces. I find that this drape-y type top needs a longer pendent type necklace, and I really find long pendants seem to look better on me when I'm pregnant. I don't know why this is, but I've come to believe it to be true.

Here's an extra sassy-hat shot, and a shot of me mothering. They should count for bonus points!

Random stats:
It was almost completely dark by the start of Mass 5 pm. So sad!
Temperature outside: - 18 degrees Celsius...ridic.
25% of my children had poopy pants through Mass.
And I made the husband stop for eggnog so we're having eggnog lattes tomorrow morning! Ok, only those of us 5 years and up!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's much more exciting looks for today!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Seven Quick Takes + What I Wore on a the day that coincided with American Thanksgiving

Once again joining Jen for Quick Takes, go see her!


Ok, so I totally chickened out in solo posting this awful, awful picture of myself, but in the interest of providing a good laugh for everyone here's what I wore yesterday for Thanksgiving, aka in Canada: November 22. 

That's right. My normal, everyday, non-turkey eating attire. A riveting combination of purple yoga pants, black striped shirt, and a very purple grandpa sweater. Clearly, this was taken late at night so my fabulous shoes are missing, but they too were pretty amazing in being ginormous snowboots. 
Sweater: Superstore
Top: Superstore
Yoga Pants: Costco.

You're welcome, Grace


Can I just fully admit that I really love not having to celebrate a gigantic holiday less than a month before Christmas?! Because I really do love it. I really love not having to freak out about cooking and entertaining and not drinking too much in front of the in-laws, I mean, entertaining... all a few short weeks before we have to, HAVE TO, do it all over for Christmas. I'm pretty sure I lack a keen insight into the American mind because of this. Or maybe I'm the Thanksgiving version of the Grinch. 

I could totally go for some leftovers today though!


I can't believe this boy is almost walking. And by almost I mean, it could happen any month now. But still! He's going to be 1 in a month! Somehow this year flew by. It must have been all the diapers.

He's so darn cute. He loves mischeif and following the older babies around, finding trouble, and/or boxes of cereal to dump on the floor. Its a fun, troublesome, sometimes high-maintenence age, but I figure I should enjoy it while I can because its gone so fast. I feel some days like I can't even remember what the others were like at this age...which is crazy because it was like a year ago! 


Its also been really cold again this week, I so miss the days where the kids could just play out on the deck or the lawn and make noise away from me. Its the break from noise that is the biggest loss I think. The basement just isn't far enough away or soundproof enough. And winter lasts too long. Again, my long list of complaints for you. 


I just finished Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons and it is a classic for a reason! Such great writing, so very funny, and a great female character that should be as well known as Anne of Green Gables. Everyone should read it. 
Everyone should probably read it once a year!
How's that for a ringing endorsement??


I love how the James Bond movie has become the international movie of husband and wives going on a yearly date. For some reason women make a compromise in the action movie department? Yeah, the reason is Daniel Craig, I know. I thought it was pretty good. I don't know what people expect from a James Bond movie but I thought it was definitely an improvement from that really awful last one, that story was so long and boring and didn't make much sense so this one could only go up. And Javier Bardem plays the weirdest bad guys. Oh, and I really love the snotty, cardigan-wearing, Q. And I love Judi Dench.


I found this great pillow at HomeSense the other day and I pretty much love it. And I love it more because it was $13.99! 

That's all I've got this week. I feel as if I'm stuck in a bit of a rut of not being too interesting and a little shallow. I'll try and sleep and think deep thoughts this weekend for next time!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope

There's really nothing like Catholic spiritual writing. And I mean that not just because of the greatness contained therein, but also in just the plain variety that has been written. I guess that's what happens when you have over two thousand years of great minds writing about the same topic in thousands of different ways. No one has an excuse that there has never been something written to which they can relate.

The real great masters of spiritual writing, you know, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis de Sales, etc. really appeal and speak to everyone; everyone just hasn't yet given them a fair shot.

I never fail to be surprised that writings from such a long time ago can have such a piercing impact upon my life and heart today. But I also am periodically in the mood for something written in a contemporary spiritual light. We're living in a crazy society today, and it seems a singular time to be applying objective truths and living according to a "religion". Plus, its refreshing to know there are others out there seriously living their faith. Living it through highs and lows of spiritual emotion and feeling, through difficult times in life, and just living in today's toxic culture.

So thats my long by-way of an introduction to Amy Welborn's spiritual memoir of sorts I Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope. Amy puts into words her honest experience of grief after the sudden death of her husband. A few months after her husband's death she daringly takes her three youngest children on a trip to Sicily and describes the adventures of travelling great distances geographically while never leaving behind the difficulty of living without someone you love. Somehow Amy makes this a beautiful read, not simply by describing her pain and all the heart-wrenching difficulties that come after losing a spouse, but in documenting the times when grace pokes its way through the seeming darkness. She writes with a sense of humor and a great honesty that makes this such an approachable read for anyone struggling, not just those with a significant loss.

I think this is the best contemporary book of spiritual writings since Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts, (and mercifully it has far fewer uses of  "dashes" within its prose). (Although, for the record I've yet to get to Heather King's book which I mean to read as soon as the mood strikes.) Amy is a great writer who has a gift for describing spiritual challenges and realities in a straightforward and honest way that is truly relatable. No spiritual journey or acceptance of the loss of a dear husband happens in a straight line. There are no miraculous epiphanies that reveal the answers Amy wants or feels she needs, there are many times of doubt, and there are bouts with her own emotions that overwhelm her faith. All of which happen to some degree to each of us at some point when we encounter the difficult, painful, and unexplainable in our spiritual journeys. This book is really a must read because it details so beautifully the interaction of the difficult with the small graces that we often let slip by.

Anyone else read it yet?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What I Wore Sunday-or in my case, Saturday

I'm linking up today with the fine ladies of Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday!

Ok, I'm just trying to join in with the cool kids, but kinda in reverse because this outfit is definitely below average. 

But I think the important category of "Trying-to-not-seem-19 weeks-pregnant-to-strangers-at-Mass-while-being-half-hidden-behind-an-organ" needs to be represented!

Here's an age old question for you: why does layering look clever and chic on everyone but me? 
I blame the boobs.

And I desperately hate these sad jeggings...but they're so damn comfy...with so much plentiful elastic/spandexy-ness. I seem to not be able to find any new ones, but as this horrible picture as my witness, I'm going to try really hard! 

The bubble necklace is like cat nip to that small man-child, by the way.

And props to the Gemma for her first foray into photography!

And our Mass out here in the middle-of-no-civilization is on Saturday evenings due to the minuscule Catholic population and the sad fact our poor priest has to cover about 250 miles and 4 parishes per weekend. 

But really theres no excuses for in-house flash photography, or me taking selfies in my bathroom. But there ya go. 

Go view the real winners over at Fine Linen and Purple!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Seven Quick Takes vol. 23

I'm joining the wonderful, monk-loving Jen again this week!
But lower your expectations now, this is the impersonal wave from across a crowded room version of Quick Takes!


Well thank goodness its Friday. And I say that while having had a husband who worked only three days this week. Just another week on my crazy emotional roller coaster is enough to make it feel like a good couple months. And the weather's been relatively nice. And my children relatively non-uncontrollable. This is me trying to look on the brighter side folks.


This story is so troubling and awful. And it frustrates me beyond reason that such a medical tragedy and complete incompetence by horrible doctors is being used as a weapon by the pro-abortion cohorts. Calah has a wonderful post that I completely agree with so go read.


While you're out and about reading go check out my friend Mary's nice new column over at Catholic Insight! 


I. Cannot. Wait. For. This. Movie
I'm also dying to see Anna Karenina.
I love a good costume drama. 
And have you seen these photos from Vogue??


Oh! Random randomness: has anyone gotten into Up All Night, or even found it funny?
I've tried watching it a couple of times because Will Arnett deserves lifelong loyalty from Arrested Development. (Sidebar: How unbelievably unbelievable and horrible is that Will Arnett/Amy Poehler divorce right?!?) But this show just bugs me and I've not laughed out loud once. Which is saying something. Plus the name "Regan" for a girl annoys the pants off me, I hate how it sounds.


And this post and thread from Hallie over at Moxie Wife is so interesting. Most of the comments are wise, if a little sketchy at times in the NFP method department, but do women really know how to deal with this problem at all? I don't really know. I do know that its difficult for both husband and wife, and that a really good priest is necessary in navigating those waters. Really, a good priest is necessary in navigating NFP waters in general, which is yet another reason why NFP is so hard to practice. Of course, the whole discussion of abstinence is one that only comes up with NFP, it opens up a whole conversation of our sexuality that would never be discussed in the realm of artificial contraception, so I think if even the discussion of abstinence is causing conflict then there are a lot more deeper relational and/or personal issues that need to be dealt with. Again, another reason NFP is difficult is that it is so dependent upon relationship. Both with each other and with God. If any of those relationships are out of whack it immediately shows up in our sexual life. Which is good, because that's reality. Sexuality is not something that lives outside us, or only as a basic urge/physical need, it is at the very heart of us. Hence why its so difficult at times. Anyways, this is all fairly off the topic of Hallie's post and I'm veering into my NFP rant territory which is both uncharted and difficult to navigate!


Holy moly, the crazy baby-who-again-was-awake-for-no-known-reason-for-hours-last night literally just fell asleep in the last ten minutes of his scheduled nap. This bodes terribly for the rest of the afternoon. Or I just force my type A personality to abandon schedule and let him sleep for 4 hours straight with no regular meal if only for a little quiet? I'm living on the edge here. 

Everyone have a wonderful weekend, if you're watching Downton, I'm highly envious of your high-speed internet connection that is reasonably priced!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

G.K. of the Day!

"But if everything that is natural is right, why in the world is not the birth of a baby as natural as the growth of a passion? If it is unnatural to control appetite, why is it not unnatural to control birth? They are obviously parts of the same natural process, which has a natural beginning and a natural end. A man who thinks all natural things legitimate has no possible reason for interrupting it at one stage more than at another. As Nature is infallible, we must not question what progeny she produces. If Nature is not infallible, we have a right to question the passions that she inspires. And then comes the joyous culmination and collapse; of calling a baby an unforeseen consequence of getting married."

-G.K. Chesterton, G.K.'s Weekly, July 2, 1927.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Seven Quick Takes vol. 22

Joining the wonderful Jen again this week, be forewarned these were written on very little sleep, so apply a sense of humour!


Last night was one of those blissful times when the baby screams mysteriously for hours. 
I gotta say, my compassion-for-unknown-things-that-make-babies-and-toddlers-unhappy tank is about empty come 4 in the afternoon...2 am....not a lot of compassion coming from mommy. Somehow we all survived the night. So that's gotta count for something right??


the baby screamer

But!! Looking on the brightside of my crazy nights, this morning I woke up not wanting to give up on life. I take this as a huge sign I've advanced in motherhood. A couple years ago that small amount of sleep would have completely ruined my day and made me a horrible person to be around for about 5 days, but so far I've been fairly kind, almost cheerful. My children are thanking me.

But now mysterious screamer is squishing his breakfast between his fingers and making a total we'll see how long I last...


So that election....was. depressing.

It all boils down to that doesn't it? 


I finished What Alice Forgot  by Liane Moriarty this week and I really enjoyed it. Just out of pure enjoyment. And it wasn't even sad people!!

Its a wonderfully written story of a woman who gets a wee knock on her head and wakes up not remembering the last ten years of her life. She slowly realizes many things have changed, like her relationship with the husband she adored, her older sister has become distant, and she has no recollection of her three young children. This all sounds so melodramatic and soap opera like but the book is written in a straightforward and easy to read prose that makes it so enjoyable. I think what was really intriguing about the story is the thought that in ten years you can completely change and maybe not even like yourself all that much, and is that a good thing or a bad thing? Anyway, its a good, fun read if you've been waiting around for me to read something happy and not sad.


The husband got a new job yesterday! I guess that's news!

He'll be doing exactly what he's doing now, exactly where he's been working, but for more money, better benefits, and better chances for career advancement! So that all sounds great doesn't it? And its the job he's wanted for the past three years so good things all around.

Now he gets to break it to his boss that he plans on taking a swack of time off in April to have a fifth baby. Which will in turn blow more minds.


You guys it is so cold!! I don't want to be one to complain about winter, especially in November, but I'm doing it. I'm complaining. 

Its supposed to feel like -20 today. I've decided to boycott the outdoors. That'll show you weather!


Well, I've officially hit that point in pregnancy where I hate clothing. All clothing. Pretty clothing I can't wear and/or shop for, all the boring clothing I own but doesn't fit me, and of course all pants. Pants are evil. 

On that cheerful note I'll bid you all a wonderful weekend, enjoy if you've got a long weekend-I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I'm joining up with the wonderful Like Mother, Like Daughter today because the amazing Leila somehow inspired me to clean my bedroom this week-this could qualify for a miracle in the cause of her sainthood! 


Our room always becomes a huge pile of "stuff". Usually stuff I want to hide from toddlers. It amasses in no time and seems to hang around for I'm glad I finally got around to cleaning things out today. 

Its a nice motivator to think that a nice, clean, bedroom, even though its very far from my "perfect" bedroom can be a pick-me-up! I've made a strange promise to myself that I'm going to have my "perfect" bedroom by my 30th birthday...we'll see about that.

I'm also having houseguests this weekend, so this jumpstarted my cleaning, because we all know no one is going to clean their own bedroom when company is coming over, doesn't it always become a giant extra closet to throw stuff in??


Here's some books I keep in my bedroom, and of course some random necklaces I have no good storage for. Also, notice my brass ducks. I love those things. And half of my Nancy Drew collection! 

Overall, it all makes me happy.

I just realized theres really nothing here on our dresser that's my husband's but I bet if you asked him he wouldn't even remember the stuff I have on there...typical.


A little bedside table shot, and its funny because that is a lot of earplugs.
But truly a necessity for sleeping in this madhouse!


So I had to selectively clean in order to take some pictures. 
My bed was covered in clean laundry that needed to go places, and that basket is most definitely not clean laundry.

My view from my window wasn't too hot yesterday. Just a little blizzard.

And heres a couple bins full of the clothes the little mr. is constantly outgrowing. And various fabric samples. Some new pillow covers are in there too and I have to throw them on some pillows one of these days. I'm starting to question whether its even worth it storing this baby clothes...

But lets finish with a brass duck close-up because they're so cool. I hope everyone's laughing but be warned my first interior design book will be called "Decorating with Brass Birds" instant hit no?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Seven Quick Takes vol. 21

Thanks to Jen once again for taking these crazy takes!


First off, thanks to all of you lovelies and your kind words and prayers in response to my sad/crazy/sorta depressing/sorta news-worthy post the other day. Your prayers and support are really appreciated! 
And it was so nice that you all were so understanding, because I still don't understand, so good job everyone! So please keep me in your prayers if you remember, you can even bunch me with hopeless cases or something!


And just in case you all think I'm going to turn into Ann Voskamp or something around here (ok, I know no one was thinking that) I give you:

That's right. Don Draper reading Dante. It doesn't get more amazing than that does it??

I imagine he's ruminating over the second circle for sure...possibly feeling the breeze even.
I'm of the opinion that Mad Men is going to be the telling of Don Draper becoming a better person. So obviously reading Dante is a good step towards spiritual conversion. Right, right??


Here's my minions trick or treating the other night:

And yes, that is snow. And yes, they're all wearing multiple layers of winter clothing because it was that cold. Trick or treating in Canada is no joke. But I honestly think it was the coldest halloween I've ever experienced. Unless I'm just getting old. But the thermometer read -8 but with the wind it was easily -20. Not cool.


In addition to the cold on Wednesday, yesterday it snowed and snowed. We couldn't make it to All Saints Mass last night because the roads were so bad and we didn't attempt it. Our closest Mass was an hour away on country highways and at 6:30 pm, otherwise known as THE worst time of day to take toddlers to Mass. But still, its so sad not to make it. 


I've forgotten to mention I wanted to recommend Kingfisher's Catch Fire by Rumer Godden. Rumer Godden writes with such a rare ability to capture spiritual significance in everyday life. In this book the story centres upon Sophie, a British widow with two young children who tries to create a life for herself in remote Kashmir in the 1950's. Godden's description of Kashmir is so exotic and at times breathtaking that I think it in itself is worth reading this book. 

However, the conflict between Sophie's perception of the Kashmir people and the reality of the Kashmir people is really what the book is about. Sophie seems to approach them simplistically, yet with a genuine desire to treat them charitably as equals. Yet she ignores the warnings about the danger her approach to her family within the community. Somehow in all this Godden explores the personal and spiritual growth of Sophie, her complicated ideas of poverty and providing for her children, as well as her naive approach to her life as well as underlying pride. Godden is such a wonderful writer that I'm sure each reader will take away something different from this beautiful novel.


I'm glad this election business will be over Tuesday. I'm now in my political anxiety phase of the election process. I want it to be over because well, doesn't everyone?! But at the same time am nervous about the results. I'll watch the news on Tuesday night, but with a sense of impending doom. I'll be overly dramatic with each incoming poll, and drive my husband crazy until he forces me to turn it off.

Funnily enough I remember watching Obama getting elected with my seven month pregnant feet up. I've had three kids during his administration...lets keep it that way!


I have this curious desire to bake cinnamon buns today. Which sounds altogether too ambitious for me. I'm even surprised I want more sweets with chocolate bars still floating around. We'll see what happens, it is a crazy life I lead! 

Everyone have a wonderful week-end!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...