Friday, November 28, 2014

Seven Quick Takes vol. 108

Are there no quick takes because of American Thanksgiving yesterday?? Am I the only one doing this? Hello? Hello??


Another week, another child's birthday. And, oh look, my life is flashing by! But at least another kid is closer to the age of reason, looking on the bright side! 

My oldest son is 6! How can this be?! I was literally just birthing him, and now he's practically a man and...existential crisis! 

But hormonal freak-out aside, Dom is now a boy, not just a toddler or preschooler. And he's all the wonderful things that go with boys. Impetuous curiosity, loveable sense of humour at the silliest of potty jokes (even learning to read the word "but", and still laughing every time he reads it even though he knows it's not actually "butt"), amazing knowledge retention to the point of remembering each ad for a video game he's not allowed to have, or the names to sports teams I didn't know exist, an ability to willfully assert his will with a little newfound logic, rambunctious bravery to try new things (as long as they're not too messy) without the hinderance of pesky repercussions or injury. All in all having boys is really great.


I think Dominic's birthday party may be blizzard-ed out this weekend. It's been blowing and snowing so much the last couple days and it's only supposed to get colder I have a feeling we might be snowed in this weekend and not have any visitors willing to risk their lives to try and get out here. These are the downfalls of having winter birthdays in Canada. Maybe next weekend?


I'm sorry if this take either revolts/bores/enrages you but I just noticed everywhere I got there are small baby girl shoes. Nora's kinda a shoe-aholic already and she squeals with joy when she get shoes put on every day. It's hilarious. But her feet are so itsy-bitsy tiny that she has fit in the same shoes for almost a year. So naturally I've bought her a couple more pairs, and there's always boots, and Gemma hand-me-downs. Oh, and the small fact that I am a terrible housekeeper and let them pile up everywhere. Just look:

I know my husband and I complain that they're always everywhere, and I wish babies' things would just put themselves away most nights, but it's really sweet and wonderful to have baby shoes all over your house. I'm just stating this fact so that I burn it into my mind as a happy memory. It's such a drag to forget the cute stuff, right?


This week my hero Jen finally put her radio show up as a podcast for us cheapskates who don't go in for satellite radio and I'm been stalking binging my way through every episode. The other day I was listening to Jen's episode where she's so humorously and touchingly describing Edel, and how much fun we had, how very much needed it is for the weary Catholic mom etc. as I was driving the half hour into town for groceries that we desperately needed. I park at the post office, go to reach for my purse on the passenger side seat and see no purse. I hadn't even thought about it until I finally put the car into park half an hour from home. I'm not the definition of harried mom now am I?! I was on the verge of tears thinking about the time I'd have wasted and no groceries and baby's naps ending while they were at my mom's house and the cold and the bad roads when I thought to dig around the car and lo and behold found a book of cheques. I was saved. Because when you live in a small town the grocery store still takes cheques because they know where you live and can track you down if they bounce! It's a good thing I bought a ticket to Edel '15 was all I could think of, and then laughed a little at myself, then sorta wanted to cry...


I'm beginning to feel like should get my act together and think about Christmas gifts. I need to come up with some knock out ideas for my husband who is impossible to shop for...and my love language is not giving gifts...and I'm scouring Hallie's amazing list as we speak...

I also keep finding things that would be perfect gifts...for me...


Advent is upon us! I love Advent, let's all take a deep breathe and remind ourselves that the exact point of Advent it to chill out. Not for extra stuff. I'm just reminding myself, because I think the way we best celebrate and practice Advent is doing what comes natural to us and our families. It's a fine line sometimes, I know. Here's some of my past Advent posts if any strike your fancy:


I'm not sure what our weekend has in store for us with this terrible weather. I do know that I'm going to be digging out the Advent stuff if I'm not making birthday cupcakes. I'm going to be hauling out of Christmas and Advent picture books which will give me a kick towards organizing our kid books which are basically taking over the whole house. I think we need more bookshelves!

I'm also going to be working on a "How to Listen to Podcasts" tutorial for anyone who's wondering how to listen to podcasts or what are some of the best apps. It'll be at Fountains of Carrots soon hopefully, we'll also have a new episode out next week!

Hope everyone has a wonderful first weekend of Advent!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Finding What Sticks with Holy Heroes

A couple weeks ago Gemma and I were working through her catechism lesson and one of the questions was "What is the four week season that prepares us for Christmas called?", or something to that effect, and I believe her exact words were: "I don't know WHAT you are talking about!"

In other words, we're doing all sorts of things right over here!

That was a moment where I both wanted to freak out -- because Advent is one of the seasons we have actually practiced in all 7 years of Gemma's life -- and simultaneously needed to remind myself that we're not trying to shove our children full of facts, even religious ones in a year...or seven. Teaching kids really takes a childhood and we've got to try to remind ourselves that all the work we're putting in is meant for a long term goal; a person who has a well-rounded knowledge of the Faith and a real relationship with Christ and his Church.

Since we're in it for the long haul, it's especially nice to have different options that teach the faith to give our kids since we don't know what's going to stick when. (Like the term "Advent" for instance?)

I think Holy Heroes is a great resource for giving out kids different ways to learn about the faith. Holy Heroes has great stories on the saints on CD so that kids can listen to an entertaining story about great lives. We listen to Glory Stories in the car on our frequent trips to the city. The kids are strapped in and desperate for entertainment, and I'm desperate for some non-fighting, so this definitely kills two birds with a holy stone! I appreciate that the Glory Stories are meant for children, but that the lives of the saints aren't being watered down at all. We listened to the story of Blessed Miguel Pro this past weekend for his feast day and I learned a lot, I'm not gonna lie!

Another great option for kids to listen to are the Rosary CDs. These are especially great if the kids are having "quiet time" and playing with Legos, I find my kids will naturally slip into praying along with the cd and it's quite adorable.

This Advent Holy Heroes has come out with an Advent Adventure Activity book complete with activities for every day of Advent. This is pretty much perfect for Gemma who loves a good workbook. I think it'd work well for elementary age kids who are looking for a little more hands-on work along with Advent stories. The book is divided into two helpful levels so kids who just want to colour and pay more attention to the overall stories in the readings can colour and do activities, while the higher level offers great questions from what is the meaning behind the colour of the priest's vestments in Mass that Sunday, to crosswords with Advent words and more. I think this book is the perfect resource for kids who are beginning to want more than simple colouring pages and a little more "meat" to what Advent is all about. The activities are mercifully free of adult participation as well, which in my book is a plus!

I wanted to let you know about this great Advent resource now so you can get it by the beginning of Advent this coming weekend, Holy Heroes is also offering this 10% off coupon for all my readers, just use the code: "10foundations".

Holy Heroes provided me with these great books and cds seen here, but you're getting my good ol' honest opinion! 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Seven Quick Takes vol. 107

Joining the wonderful Jess, er, I mean Kelly for some quick ones today!


Thank you so much to everyone who listened to our first podcast this week! Both Haley and I are really blown away at how well it was received, especially since we were both very nervous and apprehensive to release upon the world our very unprofessional-feeling-to-us podcast that was full of "ums" and "likes". We think we get better, and we've got some really great episodes in the works that we think you'll love! 


This podcast business is what has been taking up the very small amount of free time I have and that's why I feel I've been neglecting to post much here. I ran up against a lot of annoying technical difficulties that I swear weren't because I'm completely technologically inept, but I think I may be cursed. Anyway, I wish I could say that I grew in patience but I doubt it. My husband said I hadn't encountered that much frustration and difficulty since my last giving birth to a human. And he's probably not wrong.


So. Wasn't a great week in our house. Or maybe just for me, (kids seem so impervious to strife sometimes it can be frustrating!) but I am really feeling toddler exhaustion. Is that a thing? Because I think it should probably be in the Journal of Psychology as a legit mental syndrome or something. But I've had seven years of constant toddlerness. I've had at least one toddler between the insane ages of 18 months and 3 years for that entire period and I am feeling so very weary of the constant battle that comes with having irrational, yet very independent and strong willed little people ruling my life. Yes, it's a stage they grow out of, but when I've always got a kid in that stage...well...what use are mothering platitudes?? 


It's not my first rodeo obviously with these two toddlers now, I've had a really great toddler, a fairly active one, a downright mischievous one, but I never knew how strong willed someone only two years of age could be until child number four. So stronger willed that he screams in anger as a default respond to asking him a question, a full on tantrum can begin simply by asking him to do something. It is so incredibly exhausting I just don't know how to describe it properly. I don't think it's anything other than a personality/behavioural issue because he can be incomparably sweet when he wants to be, and is very smart for his age. He seems to go in waves of difficult behaviour and when the bad wave hits which is probably a growth spurt or something it seems impossible to even love him. He's constantly pushing away, running away from positive attention, isn't even happy when his own outrageous toddler demands are met. It just leaves me felling so awful and frustrated and angry. 


Wow, my takes are so happy today aren't they?? We need something least it didn't snow 7 feet here this week! 


I'm writing over at Blessed Is She today! Do stop by and sign up for daily devotions alongside the day's Mass readings, it's such an easy way to add a little prayerful intention to your day.


I can't believe my little Irish twins are both 5 years old right now! It's amazing that they're so big so quickly. I mom moment...but when they were born and there was just a plethora of babies I couldn't imagine them being 5. I still can't imagine them any older now either. But they're so cute, fight like banshees sometimes, and are self-proclaimed "best buddies." Kinda the sweetest. 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Introducing....The Fountains of Carrots Podcast!

A long time ago my dear friend Haley and I happened to be talking about podcasts and how we really enjoyed listening to them. Especially podcasts that felt like conversations about great topics and life in general. We felt like podcasts were interesting and personal -- something to listen to while we're folding laundry that makes us feel as if we're not home with only little people, but actually carrying on a conversation with other adults.

Months passed, seasons changed.

But I kept feeling like it'd be great if there was an intelligent and cultured, yet fun and lighthearted podcast that would discuss faith along with the everyday. A podcast that could have deep conversations on important topics AND great interviews with women who are smart, funny and downright inspiring.

So Haley and I just decided to jump in and start one!

We bought microphones, started climbing a steep learning curve when it comes to technology, coordinated our international schedules that are separated by two time zones, and several months later we've got our first episode.

We hope that this podcast feels like a great conversation among friends. When you're stuck at home doing the laundry, washing the dishes, changing a lot of diapers or whatever you happen to be doing, we hope that this podcast can give a boost to your day while brightening your soul and engaging your mind. We want to be able to talk about faith in our lives, especially what makes us Catholic, and how to live our countercultural faith in and out of our homes. We will talk about family, motherhood, love, marriage and romance, as well as loss, natural family planning, and the challenge of raising kids. But we also want to have a great time, talk about books, tv, and movies we love along with anything and everything that we might find amusing and fascinating.

We hope that you'll give us a try, load us up on your phone, listen on your computer and join us for great conversations. We know we've had a good time making the first episodes and we are hoping to get better and have more fun as we go along.

You can listen right now, here, to our first episode!

If you'd like to subscribe to us on iTunes we're already there too, and if you use an Android device Stitcher Radio is great for listening to podcasts. We've also got a Facebook page for you to like so you can follow us for upcoming guests and new episodes.

We really hope you listen!

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Getting Real About Capsule Wardrobes...As A Mom

I've been on the fence about this whole Capsule Wardrobe phenomenon for a while now, but I'm here to report I cleaned out my closet and have a rundown of why it's a pretty common sense approach that most of us regular gals are almost practicing without even knowing it, and a couple perks to giving it a more whole-hearted go.

There has been a recent trend in fashion blogging and the online world in general towards capsule wardrobes; otherwise known as the general idea of paring down your closet to a select number of items, usually between 30-40, for a select time period or season (the forerunner of this idea is the amazingly fashionable and beautiful Caroline -- who's blog is a treat). After the cull of the closet the advantage comes in going out and buying actual useful pieces of clothing that can be worn with everything in your current "capsule".

I don't want to sound like a capsule hater, but in reading about it and reading about it and reading about it made me feel as if this were a common sense idea being blown truly out of proportion. I mean, I'm not a fashion blogger who gets heaps of free designer clothes.  I don't have the time and money to be buying lots of clothes no matter how much I love them. I've been pregnant for 45 months out of the past seven years, haven't lost any amount of weight that I'd prefer, and am really short, so my body cannot be easily thrown into whatever's currently on trend. I'm also a stay-at-home mom who loves looking good and wouldn't be caught dead wearing sweats in the grocery store, but also has no qualms whatsoever only wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt if I'm not leaving the house that day. With all that in mind I encountered the capsule phenomenon with such thoughts as, "Ooooo, how mind blowing -- dressing with only a few select items for more than a week!" or "Really, a trend that wants to make me get rid of the small sampling of clothes I do have?! Why?! Why?!"

the final cut or "capsule"

But, I needed to clean my closet last week so I thought, "Fine, I can do this capsule thing." I cleaned, pruned, and organized my closet and here's what realized while doing it and why you probably are like me, and are already basically wearing a "capsule wardrobe":

1. You Wear Clothes Seasonally

We'd all love to have the problem of living in California, but most of us live with some type of seasonal change. Even if we don't, it's really nice to dress seasonally to feel on-point fashion-wise and to change things up. So I'm guessing that most of us have seasonal clothing we only wear in a season or possibly two. Here in Canada my seasons are sharply defined. Which helps me out because I am a little OCD when it comes to dressing seasonally. This change of seasons already knocks down the number of clothing items we're currently wearing, so you might already be in a smaller capsule of your complete clothing accumulation.

As I cleaned out my closet and started to purposefully pick what I wanted to wear for the next three months I widdled things down to the clothes I like wearing the most during the winter. The hardest choices I had to make were giving up the skirts and dresses. I have to face facts that although I like wearing skirts and tights I don't wear them anywhere but Mass; it's just too impractical loading 5 kids into the car or grocery shopping when it's -20 out in tights no matter how cute the dress is. I didn't give any dresses away, and I'll try to wear them to Mass when the weather isn't frigid, but I'm not counting them in amongst my daily 26 items of the capsule. If I were going through my spring/summer clothes it'd be more skirts and dresses than jeans and pants.

2. You're Pregnant, Postpartum, or a Stay-at-Home Mom

If you're a mom of any sort you've had to adjust your wardrobe accordingly. We hopefully have purged clothes that simply don't fit us anymore and gotten rid of the sorry reminders that our hips are forever changed by bringing life into the world - sorry junior-size pants.

I feel as though pregnancy is a natural capsule wardrobe because you can't wear too much -- hopefully you've bought some things you like that don't cause you physical pain so you can wear the heck out of them. Then, after you've been pregnant you want to burn said clothes because that's all you wore for months upon months. Boom. You've just become much closer to having a "minimalist" closet.

Postpartum should have a few nice pieces to make you feel alive, but you don't have the budget to go whole hog in the hopes that you'll continue shrinking. That's a capsule wardrobe right that. If you're a stay at home mom you don't need a plethora of work attire and yoga pants are extremely hardworking. You're down a couple more items. If you're still working outside the home, hopefully that's given you opportunity to have a nice smaller collection of work clothes and home clothes. Totally normal, totally capsule-d.

3. We're Not Fashion Bloggers 

I don't know about you but even with the internet I don't get to shop as much as I want. I still am completely prone to Old Navy sales and have too many t-shirts as my capsule clean out proved, but I know that in being a mom I simply have no spare currency of time for excess shopping.

Money is also a great minimalist wardrobe help. We just don't got the change to spend a la fashion blogger. We also aren't being handed free clothes from all the greatest stores, so we probably aren't having that terrible battle of picking which designer top is prettier than the other pretty and free designer top (let's all remember to say a prayer for those poor, suffering fashion bloggers). Our choices are fairly limited, which should mean that we're keeping only the things we love and wear, or you may be like me and have the smallest closet in the world and can only fit so much.

(All reasons that now make us the cool ones now that the Capsule Wardrobe is sweeping the nation -- who's laughing now, fashion bloggers?!)




Common sense and reality is what sums it all up. But there are some definite perks to cleaning out your closet and trying out this radical (or not) clothing lifestyle:

1. You Know What You've Got and What You Need

As I went through my closet I was merciless. Why was I keeping all these pants I hate? Why was I keeping a sweater from 4 years ago that I haven't worn at all and don't want to wear again? Why do I have 12 t-shirts that do nothing for the belly that has encapsulated 5 human beings?

If you're forced to be merciless you figure out what you love, what fits, and what's working. Everything else should be let go -- sorry jeans from 2 babies ago. By knowing what I've got I know what I should be looking for when and if I get time to shop, if I'm watching the online sales and when I see things come up that fit my budget. This helps a lot, and it frees you to shop without so much mental clutter of what you think you should have or by whatever mythical shopping standards come into our heads as soon as we enter the store. Kelly had some great shopping tips yesterday in her post.

2. You Better Curate Your Closet

It's actually really great to see everything you own spread out. You see your general colour combos, things that work together, things that stick out like sore thumbs. Is it worth keeping that one item that only works once in a blue moon for a function that happens annually? It really boosts your confidence seeing for yourself that you have made choices about what you wear and that it all works together as a whole, as your style. Again, this will help a lot in our shopping, and a lot in our daily dressing because it eliminates so much wasted stress and only adds feeling good about ourselves and what we're wearing. A win-win-win!

It also gives you the impetus to create your own style, wear what you love, and to go looking for what you need and want. These are all really great things. It also reminds us that we shouldn't be hoarding all these extra clothes that don't fit, don't work, or that we don't like. Kendra's great post about her closet was right on target with this idea.

3. Wear The Clothes You Actually Love

I realized I've got a lot of clothes that I love that I don't wear very often, partly in fear of ruining them with kid-gunk, partly because I forgot about them. I love wearing clothes that I love, that look pretty, that fit well, that work. But if motherhood has taught us anything it's that our bodies change; we only live once and who knows, maybe this will be the best our bodies will ever be. We might as well live it up now and enjoy wearing pretty clothes even if we're only going to the store or the library, and not somewhere fancy or being photographed and put on Pinterest. Like I said earlier, I have no shame in wearing yoga pants around the house when I'm not going anywhere, which ends up being almost half the time, the other half of the time I figure I'm leaving the house I might as well look great and feel good too.


my beloved two cardigans

When all was said and done I made some tough decisions, got rid of a large garbage bag full of worn out, ugly, non-fitting, or never worn clothes and felt like I lifted the small burden of what I'm going to wear from my shoulders. Here's how my choices shook out:

  • 4 pairs of jeans
  • 2 pairs black ponte pants
  • 1 pair of cords
  • 4 shirts (2 chambray, 1 plaid, 1 polka dot)
  • 2 jackets
  • 7 sweater/sweatshirts
  • 4 t-shirts
  • 2 cardigans (I'm the cardigan queen, it still pains me to write only 2, I may cave and have to add more.)
A grand total of 26. This of course doesn't include my shoes, accessories, what I wear at home, or other sundries. Mainly because I was exhausted coming up with this. I'm going to try to not buy anything for three months to see if I can survive on just these items, but if I do shop I want to make sure that it'll be something I need that will fit in with what's going on here in the capsule. I'm looking at it like a strange experiment, and I'll be curious to see how I do.

The hard part is done. I cleaned, made decisions, and have decided to stick with it for at least three months. We'll see how successful I am and if these undramatic decisions really impact my life or if it seems like I'm just chugging along like normal.

And there we have it, my honest account of the "capsule wardrobe". Have you jumped on the bandwagon? 

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Seven Quick Takes vol. 106

Hitting you up with seven relatively quick ones.


This week was one of those plugging along kind of weeks. Where you're keeping your head above water, keeping everyone clothed and fed, maintaining a modicum of house-ly hygiene're still really exhausted. I don't know why this is noteworthy, because it's not, but sometimes don't you wish you had a more elaborate reason for why you're exhausted??


Of course, there's always damn daylight savings time!


Sometimes I dream of a land where I don't get asked superfluous questions for completely unnecessary requests every 3.7 seconds by five little people. I wish I could just flip a switch and hold Question Period, get everyones needs attended to, then have a five minute break. It seems like a fairly simple idea, but no matter how much I natter on about it they just don't seem to get the concept. It's like a constant barrage of talking and by lunch I honestly start telling everyone, no more talking! It doesn't work much either but it does lead me to need a break from talking, somehow. So people need to have quiet time, and go play outside, and just give me a few of not being talked to. Also why I don't want to talk on the phone anymore, or why I think I'm turning into an introvert. 


There is a wonderful Advent journal available from Blessed Is She that you should think about getting if you're looking for something to help you along with prayer and entering in to the mystery and preparation of Advent.  If you order soon you'll have it for the beginning of Advent, which believe it or not, begins the last Sunday of November this year. I think having a physical reminder to pray makes it easier to focus and pray during the day. Any help is great in this department if you ask me! 


Have you seen this amazing art installation at the Tower of London paying tribute to those who gave their lives in World War I? I think it's incredible. The poppies themselves are gorgeous, but to see the sea of them spilling from the tower walls is so impressive and poignant. 

World War I is a time in history that has always been so incomprehensible to me. I can't fathom that much loss over such an ill-fought, terribly planned, and unjustified war. I'm reading a novel right now that takes place in World War I that I'm actually enjoying, but it's still staggering to think it took place 100 years ago. I would love to be in London this Remembrance Day.


Did you watch Death Comes to Pemberley these past two weekends on PBS? I really enjoyed it and thought it extremely well done. I liked it better than the book, which you all know I panned fairly mercilessly, but the adaptation does a much better job at creating tension, moving the story along, and maintaining the mystery. I don't want to give any spoilers away...BUT...Elizabeth and Darcy may have had a sex scene...soooo what do you think about that?! 


I have decided I'm just going to pick someones whole week of meals this weekend from Nell's cool link-up. I am sick to death of expending brain time on what to make for dinner, I want someone to tell me, give me all the ingredients and then I'll cook it. The actual cooking part I have no problem with if I turn up my music loud enough to block out screaming children. It's the coming up with something every day that I despise. So someone is going to be the lucky winner from Nell's! Also; go link up so I can steal your recipes.

Hope you all have a wonderful week-end. We're expecting snow and really cold temperatures by Monday so I'm effectively battening down my mental hatches for cabin fever. 

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What I've Reading Lately...

I've been reading some good books so I thought I'd share with you, because you know I love to talk about books!

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

I really liked this one, guys. It's a dramatic, touching story about marriage, family, loss, and dealing with tragedies in life you could never imagine. But the author succeeds in making the story readable by creating an atmosphere that is completely engaging. I especially loved the sense of place that is created; how the Australian island, the lighthouse, the ocean, become vivid while reading. The plot itself follows a veteran of The Great War who becomes a lighthouse keeper after he returns to Australia, he thinks he can only deal with the ramifications of the War through being alone but falls in love with a woman who changes his life. I won't give the rest of the story away because I didn't know anything about the plot, but couldn't put the book down once I was a few chapters in and I cried multiple times until I finished. (There is a trigger warning to go along with this book however, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who has dealt with miscarriage or infant death - there are scenes vividly described, and I cried buckets.)

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

I admire and love Patchett's writing. She has a unique style that creates a world unto itself, but at the same time brings strong themes and ideas of how love and relationship impact different lives. This novel is the fantastical seeming journey of a research doctor to the depths of the Amazon. She searches for a research camp in hopes of finding her colleague who has gone missing among a tribe of natives who have no end to their fertility. There are many strange things that come from this, and though the main character sometimes grates the nerves, the story is so foreign and original you can't help but want to know what will happen to the characters, the research, the natives themselves. A whole other-world experience.

We Were Liars by E. Lockart

This book has been touted as the YA book of the year, but I can't help feeling somewhat disappointed by it. It's well written, describing the summers of a teenage girl who has had an accident and is piecing together the memories of what happened before her accident. Of course, the teenage girl spends her summers on a private island off Nantucket with her wealthy extended family so the cast of characters includes her mother, aunts, grandfather and mysterious cousins and a love interest. It's a good book if you're looking for a quick, creepy mystery story filled with a good helping of teenage angst.

Momnipotent by Danielle Bean

I have a feeling that this book would have been far more impressive to me if I had read this with a group of moms. The writing is straightforward, approachable, and perfect for the busy mom who doesn't have a lot of time to read for herself. The way Danielle Bean brings together important theological ideas from St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body with mothering is really superb and necessary for Catholic moms today, but I felt that reading it by myself I just breezed through it. This is a perfect gift for a new mom, a great book to read with a mom's group or just with a friend, and will encourage any mom in any stage of motherhood.

Emma by Jane Austen

I'm running a wee bit behind with The Motherhood and Jane Austen book club, so I just recently finished Emma. I love Emma for all the usual reasons; her wit, Knightley's dashing brilliance, the matchmaking, but what strikes me the most in Emma is the theme of truly loving and accepting those in our lives. I love that Emma loves and cares for her father, not out of duty or obligation, not in blindness to his faults, but because of his weaknesses and love for her she has a deep, tender love for him. I love that the book wants to show us that people in our lives no matter how much they drive us crazy deserve our love and respect all the time, not just when we feel like it. I need to be reminded of this often, but Austen's genius is that she reminds me in an entertaining, thoughtful, and completely enjoyable way.

And linking up with the Jenna for 5 Faves, because there are conveniently 5 books here...

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