Sunday, March 24, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: Holy Week!

It's Palm Sunday!  How are we already at Holy Week?!?!  We'll be hitting the road Thursday night and making the trek to TX for Easter.  And praying the kids sleep through the midnight car ride.  I feel like my to-do list before we go might explode, but this is Holy Week....

No matter how your Lenten sacrifice or commitments have gone up to this point, this is the week to lean in.  What Christ wants more than anything thing (and what we need more than anything this week), is to offer Him the sacrifice of our time.  Quiet moments, both literally and in our busy brain, to focus on Him.  His passion. His sacrifice.  His love....His incomparable love. 

Whether we're able to make it to the Holy Week masses or not, we can find ways to redirect our hearts even in the midst of the daily routine, and for us, amidst the packing!  I'll be searching for quiet moments to steal in between what's shaping up to be a crazy busy week.  I pray you can too!

And this is a "what I wore" post with the gals at Fine Linen & Purple, so here's this Sunday's ensam...
(Blazer & wedge heels: Target | Black skinnies & sequined tee: Old Navy | Bracelet: gift from my mom | Necklace: gift from my in laws)

When i got home, I traded the blazer for my comfy cardi, and I kind of love the purple and yellow combo.  Colors that make me feel like spring even though the high today was 48.  I know some of you have it worse, so I digress.

I hope you all have a blessed Holy Week! 


Friday, March 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 211)

1.  Seriously.  Thank you Jesus and Jen, for this link up.  Otherwise, during busy seasons of life like this, I may never update this blog. 

2.  A few weeks ago we officially moved Jack out of his crib
I would love to tell you that the big boy bed adventures have been wonderful, but that would be a big fat lie.  He does great at naps but night time has been horrific.  Just in the last couple nights has he gone to sleep after only getting up 1 or 2 times.  I'm sure I just jinxed myself by writing that. 

3.  A faint glimmer of hope in all this is that Jack decided since he's a "big boy" and all now, that he was going to start using the potty.  He's been doing great (mostly dry throughout the day and dry some mornings when he wakes up).  Well, TMI here but he's also been having to poop right before he goes to sleep....which he now uses as an excuse to get out of bed.  I feel like "mom of the year" when he says he has to go for the 17th time (and hasn't), so I make him get back in bed...where he promptly poops.  Delightful.

4.  My mom was in town for a visit over spring break.  We had a lot of fun playing and enjoying the great weather....but we also got our projecting on.  The victim?  The laundry room...

The walls are somewhat patched, the mismatched paint is gone, and those chartreuse mini-blinds (a certifiable bio-hazard) are gone!  We're working on a pedestal to raise up the W/D and a shelf to go along the top.  Wish us luck.

5.  We're heading to Galveston Beach over Easter, and I'm SO EXCITED!  Ready for some warm weather, ready for the beach, and ready to spend some time away from the daily grind visiting with family.  Here's a pic from the last time we were there:

Those curls!  I love what the TX humidity does to his hair.  Just not what it does to mine.

6.  Sully is dropping his nap and I'm kind of at a loss.  Some days I know he still needs one, as evident by the uber-emotional reaction to everything and the fits that accompany every request...and other days I know he's OK without one.  But what does one have a 3 year old that can't read on his own yet do for quiet time (when his little brother is napping in their room)?  Hhhmmm....

7.  I'll end by letting you know that as I've typed this, the sunny spring day that was gifted us has since vanished behind grey clouds and wind.  How much longer will you hide, Spring!?!  Sorry, I shouldn't end with whining.  Let me try again.....we had such a beautiful morning here and I'm so glad the spring is STARTING to show up! Better? 

Head over to Jen's for more!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Five Favorites

Call me a link-up junkie, or just call me uncreative, but I'm hopping on a fun new link-up party idea today.  Hallie's hosting a Five Favorites party.  Just share five of your favorites of the moment and link them up.  Here they are...

1.  This dress from Old Navy.  I have an unhealthy lure toward stripes, especially black and white.  I not only love how flirty and full the skirt is, but the length is the bee's knees.  Black and white is such a great combo, even in spring....throw some pops of color through a belt/jewelry/shoes and you're set!   Yes, I think a pair of yellow, teal, or pink shoes would do the trick.


Even better, it's on sale right now for $22.50.

2.  This recipe for sugar cookies.  Really, it's the bestest.

3.   Fresh flowers on my desk...

4.  Instagram - where that desk pic came from.

5.  This retreat.  I'm doing this with a couple close friends and it's been really amazing.  Unlike any other retreat or study I've done. 

A blurb from the kind folks at

" ...a personal Ignatian retreat is literally no farther away than your fingertips. This 34-week retreat can be started at any point in the calendar year, can be done anywhere, and can be experienced on your own or in conjunction with others....each of the weeks includes background information, a simple reflection, prayer helps, and Scripture readings, along with beautiful photography"

Each week leads you through a different aspect of Jesus' life or ministry and the reflection happens in the "background" moments of your day.  I'm about 2/3 of the way through (it's long!), and although I experienced a few weeks where I struggled to focus (that darn evil one), it has been incredibly rich and is growing a level of intimacy in my relationship with the Lord that I've never know.  Good stuff.  Favorite stuff even.

What's on your favorites list?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: The Irish Edition

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  You best believe we were are claiming all 25% of our Irishness today.  Maybe less, but who's really keeping track.

My mom is here visiting, so we thought we would attempt the rarely nabbed family photo.  Every single one turned out like this...
I'm not blaming the photographer.  They're just a goofy, blurry bunch.  At least they're smiling.

We tried to get a shot with Yiayia and the kids too.  We were lucky enough to grab ONE clear shot with all eyes open and looking toward the camera.

The rest looked like this....

I really need to find some better Photoshoping skills.

The last time I wore this shirt was on St. Patrick's day 5 years ago when Mia was just 6 months old.  I could not find the picture of the two of us from back then, but we tried to recreate the shot anyway.

After two decent shots, we got a little distracted.   Look at those toes...

Oh, hello photo-bomber, join the party.

Hey, where's that third kid? Does he have a spray bottle pointed at his face?

Yes. He does.  He has a water bottle pointed at his face and he's spraying himself repeatedly.

Stop spraying yourself in the face and drenching your entire front side.
A day in the life...
(Top: I think Target, over 5 years ago | Skinnies: Old Navy | Shoes: classic black pumps - shoe swap with a friend)

We had a full day of church, work, play and good eatin'.  James made a scrumptious shepherd's pie and we finished the night with these lucky ducks.  They are my sister-in-law's recipe - perfectly soft, cake-like sugar cookies.  Recipe will be up on the house blog tomorrow.

Hope you all had a great weekend and go pay Fine Linen & Purple a visit for more churchly attire.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: Purple and Spiritual Spring Training

Last week we missed the party over at Fine Linen And Purple, and just blogging over here at all because we were hit with yet another cold.  I don't think we've ever had a winter quite this bad when it comes to being down and out with some sort of cold or bug.

I tried to get everyone caught up on our clan's highlights yesterday via a Seven Quick Takes Friday post.  I seriously doubt I would have blogged at all here over the past few months if it weren't for that link up.  So, thanks Jen!

As for what we, Mia and I somehow managed to clad ourselves in purple without any real coordination.  It was also the first time I've worn this necklace of my Grandmother's.  You can see all her treasures my mom passed on to me, including a close up this one, over here.  It was actually warm enough to leave the coat at home AND wear open toed shoes.  Which of course, I did not grab a picture of.
Sweater: Target (3 or 4 years ago) | Necklace: Grandma Emily

Mia's purple outfit had a little more pizazz...

Then the clouds rolled in, so I ran to my grey skinnies and granny sweater.  I don't know what I'll do whenever my beloved house coat kicks the bucket.  My slipper boots that I wear around the house everyday, already sported two holes in the bottom.  If I ever have to chuck the sweater too, I just might crawl in a hole for a few days.  The kids will feed themselves, right?
(Cream sweater & Butterfly shirt: both old, both Old Navy | Grey Skinnies: Target clearance | Boots: Marshalls)

Last Sunday, a guest priest delivered the homily.  He stated that the word Lent actually means "spring".  For some reason this took me by surprise.  I guess I've always considered the season of Lent to be more of a winter, and Easter the great springtime.   He drew parallels of an athlete in spring training.....waking up his muscles to prepare for his upcoming season.  He also talked about the spring cleaning of our homes, where we purge of all the unnecessary things we've acquired and get down to the dirty business of cleaning the gunk that's accumulated.

Lent is the same for us.  It is our soul's spring training - the time to wake up those spiritual muscles and habits that may have become dormant through a spiritual winter.   To prepare for the work ahead and the call God has on our lives.

It's also our spring cleaning - the time to rid ourselves of the junk that has piled up, of all the things we've allowed to enter our lives that distract us from hearing, loving, and serving our Lord.  And yes, a time for a deep cleaning through prayer, fasting, and repentance. 

I will be honest.  So, far I have struggled through Lent.  I've struggled to keep my Lenten commitments each day and I've struggled to even desire them.   But this does not mean that my Lent has not or will not be fruitful.   It hurts to get our bodies back in shape.  Our muscles are sore after being woken up from their slumber.  It takes time and dedication for the athlete that's been out of physical shape to return to his peak.  There are many days he doesn't feel like going to work out.  But the soreness and fatigue are pain that is good.  The athlete knows that pain is a sign of progress.  And it fuels him to keep going. 

I'm choosing to see my Lenten failures (big or small) as the struggle the athlete experiences when he's getting back into shape.  He tries to do the things he used to do before, but he just can't do them as well and gets really tired after doing them.  It's because he's out of shape.  As he slowly gets into better condition those things will become easier and like second nature again.

I'm getting back into spiritual shape.  It hurts and I'm tired.  But it will get easier and the athlete will emerge in the end, if I continue to train.

*For more Lenten reflections go here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Seven Quick Takes: Still Here

Joining Jen for a Friday ritual after a week off the blogsphere...

 7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 209)

1.  So it's almost March and I'm pretty sure there has been at least one person sick in our family since Christmas.  Everyday since Christmas.  Didn't that sound dramatic?  Is my pity party and cries for sympathy completely obvious?  Ok, so it hasn't been EVERY day, but it's safe to say that we are wiped out.  And clearly feeling really sorry for ourselves.  

Jack's been diagnosed as mildly asthmatic, so anytime he gets a cold it tends to trigger those asthma symptoms.  This was the first time we couldn't get it under control with the nebulizer/breathing treatments we keep on hand.  He got a mac daddy steroid for one day and a wimpier steroid to take using the nebulizer for 2 weeks.  So, we've been doing a lot of this:

Such a sweet trooper.  I really have NOTHING to complain about.  He is doing so much better and everyone is healthy at this very moment.

2. In lighter Jack news, last night was his last night in his crib.  The big boy bed is set up and there's a big sweet boy in it as I type.  He was SO excited and has only gotten out of bed twice.  So far.  It's been 3 minutes.

We had a nice talk about rules for the bed.  Think this one's ready to set the supreme example of par excellence in big boy bed behavior?
More pics to come...

3.  I painted a door this week and didn't use a darker primer.  Red paint is officially the hardest color to get full coverage.  It took 6 coats to get this bad boy from pink to a coral/berry/red.   I'm not sure exactly what color it is.  Valspar calls it "Berrylicious" and I find it quite "licious" too.

4.  There are tulips on my table.  This makes me happy.

5.  Our house blog Fresh Coat of Paint had its one year blogiversary this past weekend.  Or is it blog birthday?  Or is it just really lame to even mark the date on the calendar?  Either way, we've been celebrating over there this week with a couple of giveaways.  If you could use some help in the organizing department, three $30.00 credits to the IHeart Organizing Etsy shop are up for grabs, and there's another giveaway for some pretty little things from Anthropologie.   Fun stuff, so go enter!

6.  If you hadn't noticed, I'm using a different camera this week.  I'm borrowing my friend's big girl camera for a kitchen project photo shoot.  I have no idea what I'm doing with it, but officially love it.  I do the best I can with our point-and-shoot but there's just no comparison in the quality of the shots. I will be saving my pennies for my very own.  One day...

7.  Mia turned 5 this year and she's really made some true friendships with some of the girls in her class and through our American Heritage Girls Pathfinder Unit.  It is so sweet to see the gifts they make for each other, the notes they exchange, and their genuine excitement to see each other.  It's a joy and terrifying all at the same time.

She loves her friends, so the possibility exists for her to be hurt even more deeply.  I've always wanted to protect Mia's sweet, sensitive spirit. (Don't tell her this is why I'm the Pathfinder group leader....that's my secret).  I know I can't keep her in a bubble forever, and these moments where it seems so hard to let her go and not guide her interactions are really the easy ones in the big scheme of things. She had so much fun playing and serving at our Parish's Soup & Supper with her fellow AHG girls tonight.  She didn't need me at all and that is both beautiful and trying for a Mama's heart.  But then again, maybe she didn't need me because she knew I was there. Yup, that's what I'm going to tell myself  ;)

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