7 Quick Takes – Cooking Parties, Fits with Ducks, and a Eucharistic Miracle

— 1 —

So, I’m going to my first ever cooking party tonight. Somehow, I didn’t really think about the invitation’s mention of groceries until this morning, and I missed the Facebook update where the long list of groceries was posted (envision a king’s squire, opening up a scroll, and the paper rolling, rolling, rolling across the floor). I also missed the post listing the prep work required prior to the party. It’s all totally logical – I should have realized that I would need a gob of groceries, and that I would need to do some prep work, and I should have planned ahead… but we’re talking about me here. So I didn’t. I was already planning to hit Aldi this morning, but many of these things Aldi won’t have. I have a lunch date with a girlfriend (researching a location I used in my book but have never actually visited), but I think I can hit Kroger after lunch, grab the kids, fulfill my promises to shop for new shoes and to take them to DQ (’cause I forgot to turn in their money to get DQ at school today), then get home, chop some food, boil some pasta, dry and crumble tofu, cook quinoa, divide all this stuff up according to instructions, make dinner, enjoy a lovely, peaceful and relaxing family meal, and be at my friend’s house at seven, right? While I’m at it, perhaps I’ll aim for cleaning out the oven, giving the kids baths, and doing three loads of laundry too!

— 2 —

I’ve mentioned before that we got a Kindle Fire for Christmas. As I was setting up the children’s profiles on FreeTime, I thought, “Geez, if I’m not careful, I could pretty much let this thing do all my parenting for me.” It will read to the kids, they can play educational (and not-so-educational) games, watch videos… Basically, enough stuff to keep a kid busy for hours on end. Guess what? I haven’t been careful. Boo is totally addicted, and when I suggest, “Oh, honey, let’s play Chutes and Ladders!” or “How about Mommy reads a few books to you?” she adamantly says, “No! I want to pway on da Kindle Fiwuh.” At which time I think about the blog post I’ve been wanting to write, the toilets I need to clean, laundry that needs folded, and edits that need to be finished on my book. And I say, “Well, OK, honey, but just for a little bit.” Two hours later, I feed her lunch and put her down for a nap.

— 3 —

Speaking of book editing, I’m done! It’s now in the hands of a friend and published author who is going to give it a critical review before I submit it to publishers. I’m antsy to get it sent out, and tempted to jump the gun, but I think patience is probably a good exercise in this instance! I enjoyed reading it as I was editing, and even got chills a few times, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign.

— 4 —

It’s so much fun to see the Spirit at work in my writing. As I read the book, I literally ran into a few passages where I thought, “Holy #@$%. That’s really beautiful. I didn’t write that!” And I did, but I didn’t. Those were the moments where I prayed before, during, and after I wrote, and allowed myself to be open to the Spirit. Those words would never have come from my fingertips without some heavenly help. Writers often speak of their muses. I’m thrilled to say that my muse is entirely the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I get to writing, and forget my muse, and my work’s not that great. But on those days where I rely on Him…

— 5 —

On Tuesday, the kids were off school, and I had to wonder, “Does every mom experience this?” Boo threw an hour long fit over her desire to have me help her use the potty, screaming, jumping up and down, and even punching, pinching, and biting me (she only got my clothing). I had decided to put my foot down because she’s been potty trained for a year and a half and her insistence on me doing everything, including lifting the lid of the toilet, is getting a little ridiculous. While she was screaming, kicking, and hitting, Bonita and her sweet friend came up with an adorable craft idea, made themselves into ducks, and stood at the bathroom door, flapping their wings, waddling, and quacking LOUDLY, so as to be heard over Boo’s fit. The Dude was vacillating between his instinct to yell at Boo for her behavior and his desire to handle the situation peacefully, as he saw Mommy doing (I was singing “Peace is flowing like a River…” to keep myself peaceful while encouraging her to just pee her pants. Yes, it really got to that point!) Bear was trying to get shoes and coat on to leave for a play date. In a word, it was CHAOS. Please tell me other mommies experience this?


— 6 —

Loved this post from Fr. John Hollowell, especially since the Homily to which he refers is the homily that he gave at Boo’s baptism. Surrounded by my wonderful Protestant family, I was so grateful for them to have an opportunity to hear why reception of the Eucharist is limited to Catholics.

Click here to see Fr. Hollowell’s post: Most Controversial Homily?

— 7 —


Speaking of the Eucharist, have you heard about the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in Argentina, when Pope Francis was Auxiliary Bishop there? I love the fact that science, which leads to so many people questioning the presence of God, has, in this case, been used to provide incontrovertible proof that, not only does God exist, miracles do happen, and Christ, is indeed truly present in the Eucharist!

Click here to read an article on the miracle, which converted the atheist doctor who helped investigate it.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


Surrender: A New One Word

Tuesday three weeks ago, we were snowed in and the adoration chapel was closed, leaving me to do my Tuesday scripture and prayer time in the cozy chair in the loft.  Seemingly on a whim, I decided to switch things up.  Rather than reading the daily Mass readings, and perhaps Morning Prayer from the Divine Office, I decided to read the Office of Readings.

It wasn’t long before I realized that this wasn’t just me randomly deciding to do things a bit differently.  This was a prompting by the Holy Spirit to read words that I needed to read.

The first antiphon:

“Surrender to God, and he will do everything for you.”


That word stood out like a beacon to me.  I let it play over and over again in my head, and with each iteration, I felt an overwhelming peace and calm.


Once I finally moved on from the antiphon, Psalm 37 spoke volumes to me.

“If you trust in the Lord and do good,
then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord,
he will grant you your heart’s desire.”


“Trust in the Lord.”  Surrender myself to him.  Surrender my need for control.  Surrender my need for things to go my way, how I think they ought to go.  Surrender my desire to be pleasing to the world.


Really, the list of things I need to surrender is endless, because I need to surrender it all to Him.

“Commit your life to the Lord,
trust in him and he will act,
so that your justice breaks forth like the light,
your cause like the noon-day sun.”


For so long, I’ve prayed, “Lord, make me yours.  Let me die to myself and live only for you.”

Surrender.  I must, in order to allow God to answer that prayer.

In that time, Tuesday morning three weeks ago, I knew that I had my One Word for 2014 wrong.

Not that intention is a bad One Word, it’s just not the One Word for me this year.

I’m actually going to keep it as a secondary word, which is totally against the whole concept of One Word, but I like to break the rules.  I do believe that I am being called to intention as well, since living with intention will be instrumental in my surrender.

Surrender took on a new meaning last week, as we mourned the loss of our friend and I strove to have the grace to be a constant loving and supportive presence for Ray as he grieved.  That’s a post for another day, but suffice to say that intention would not have helped me through that in any meaningful way.


Three weeks in, my new “One Word” has been an unimaginable blessing, and has already brought me to new heights in my relationship with Christ. 

“Surrender yourself to God, and he will do everything for you.”


Take, O Lord, and receive
my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will.
All that I am and all that I possess You have given me:
I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace;
with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more. Amen.

-Prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola

(Thanks, Maria, for sharing that prayer.  Love it!)

7 Quick Takes – About a Whole Lot of Nothing

At a bit of a loss as to what to write about today. We’ll see how this ends up…

— 1 —

The kids are on two hour delay.  AGAIN.  They should have had 15 days of school since Christmas break ended.  So far, 5 of those days have been cancelled, and at least three of them have been two hour delays – maybe more, it sure seems like more.  Normally I enjoy having the extra time with them, but at this time in my life when I’m trying to develop and stick to a schedule, so that I might live with intention… it is just really messing with my mojo.

— 2 —

Am I wrong, or did we go to school when it was below zero outside?  I do sympathize with these kids, and I realize that so many kids have to stand at the bus stop, but seriously, here.  The temperature in two hours, when I will actually take the kids to school, will be all of one degree higher than it is now, when I would normally be taking the kids to school.  Yesterday, the temperature was actually lower when they went to school.

— 3 —

I didn’t have holes in my shoes, and the route wasn’t uphill both ways, but I did walk to school, probably about a half mile.  Some days I did it with three layers of clothes and bread bags to keep my boots from leaking.  Kids these days…

— 4 —

And, like every other kid that walked in my school, I walked by myself, or with my siblings and/or friends.  None of this “Mommy has to walk with you stuff.”  OK, OK, my sister actually personally knows a teenager who was abducted on his way to school last year.  Sadly, in the world we live in, Mommy really does need to walk her kids to school, in the very rare instance that a child actually gets to walk to school.  It just seems kind of sad, this generation of kids that never gets to do anything by themselves.  It’s like we shelter them and shelter them, and then one day, suddenly, they get their driver’s license and have free reign.  Now what are they supposed to do with that?

— 5 —

Guess what has finally made it near the top of my “to-do” list for the day?  Take down the Christmas tree.  Can you believe it?  Some people have it down before Christmas day is even over.  I believe in keeping it up till at least Epiphany, and the Baptism of Jesus is even better, but (and I’m not looking at my calendar here) I think that was two weeks ago.  The kids even turned the lights on yesterday!  I totally don’t know why, but this year, I just have no motivation to take it down and put it all away.  The only reason that I’ve moved it to the top of the list is the prospect of possibly having people over here tomorrow who have never been to the house and whom I barely know.  Not really the image I want to present to the world – “The Weird Lady Who Keeps Her Christmas Stuff Up Year-Round.”

— 6 —

In the first 24 days of 2014, I’ve wrecked my car (OK, that was on New Year’s Eve, but close enough), my car battery has died, Ray’s car battery has died, the garage door broke, and a bolt from the same garage door, oddly unrelated to the break, embedded itself in my tire.  We’ve received a huge bill for Bear’s EKG (which was normal, praise God), school tuition is going up, and we must face the music that Ray needs a new car.  We had a small blizzard and some of the coldest temperatures we’ve experienced in our lifetimes.  Next week, we look forward to temps even colder than those we had a few weeks ago.  We’ve lost a dear friend and will say good bye to him tomorrow.  All this in 24 days.

It was laughable until last week.  Now, I confess, it does leave me to question what the rest of this year might have in store.

— 7 —

So, here’s hoping that all the bad was packed into January, that the remaining months of 2014 will be packed full of joy and blessings.  Here’s praying that, regardless, we will see God in every moment and remember his goodness, that he loves us more than we can possibly understand, and that he is always by our sides.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Lemons but No Lemonade

I ran into a friend last night who had read the post about last Sunday.  She asked,  “How was your day today?  I sure hope it was better than last Sunday!”

I was speechless for a moment, trying to process what had happened last Sunday that was so bad.  Because not much could have been worse than what happened this weekend.

I guess that was dress rehearsal.  Dealing with life’s little lemons with grace, so that when life throws a giant, ugly, awful lemon at you, you’re better prepared.

It’s still too raw to write about it, and I don’t really have the words, anyways.  Honestly, it’s not even my loss, and thus not mine to divulge. The kids are fine, my family is fine… physically.  But my husband suffered an unspeakable loss that’s left him hurting immeasurably, and left me hurting to see his pain, and angry to know that it shouldn’t have happened.

This isn’t the kind of lemon that you make lemonade with.  It’s a rotten, nasty, awful lemon that’s been shoved into your mouth, and you have no choice but to deal with the sour and the nasty.  There is no sweet.  This kind of lemon leaves your stomach sick, your head pounding, and your heart aching, and all you can do is hope and pray that the worst of it is over soon, but know that it will never go away entirely.  That life is changed and can never go back.

Last Sunday it was about smiling through adversity.  This Sunday, for the man I love, it was about just getting through so that someday he can smile again.

This is the kind of adversity that God doesn’t want, that tears His heart apart, but that He will use for good, if we allow Him to do so.

I pray that those most deeply affected by this tragedy will open their hearts and allow God to heal their hurt and mend their hearts.  I pray that they will let Him in, so that His Grace may flow and the good that He so desperately wants to give can come forth.

May our lost friend rest in peace, and may his loved ones know Christ’s peace.

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

7 Quick Takes – Smiling through Flat Tires, Run Away Dogs and Half Naked Kids

— 1 —

Little did I know how badly I’d need that closing quote from Last Week’s Quick Takes.  Boy, oh boy, did Satan try to limit my family’s praying on Sunday! First, as usual, we were running later than I’d like for 10:00 Mass. Then, we were a few hundred feet from the house when I noticed a funny sound coming from the driver’s front tire. What could that be? Oh.  A bolt that came out of the garage door was deeply embedded in the tire. Back home, we cleaned out the garage so Ray could change the tire, Ray changed clothes, I fed the kids lunch, Ray changed the tire, Ray changed back into his Mass clothes, and before we knew it we were cutting it close for noon Mass. The Dude volunteered to take the dog out before we left, and the dog ran away. Great. Definitely late for Mass, but this was our last opportunity, so we walked in ten minutes late, all eyes on us, or at least that’s how it felt. I was so embarrassed, I very nearly cried.  Then Boo misbehaved and I had to take her out during the Gospel. Honestly, I stood in the Narthex and seriously considered just calling it a day and leaving.

— 2 —

Fortunately, I didn’t, because I remembered: “Satan tries to limit your praying because he knows your praying will limit him.” So I bucked up, attributed my desire to walk away to pride and vanity, put my tail between my legs and resumed my seat near the back of the church. My smile was a bit tremulous during the sign of peace, because, yes, I was totally embarrassed to have come in ten minutes late with a badly behaved child, but I knew that I – for one – desperately needed the peace that only Christ can give. I knew that, momentarily, I would receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of my Savior, and I knew that – really – nothing matters more than that. Not a flat tire, not a lost dog, not my selfish desire to not look careless, lazy, and inept in front of my fellow parishioners. No. This great gift is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1324), and I won’t let a few mishaps prevent me from partaking. I certainly will not knowingly let Satan win. And so I stayed, and I smiled, and I was blessed.

— 3 —

Honestly, Sunday was a rough day in general. Having been stuck inside all week, the kids were just done with being at home. They fought, they whined, they cried, they refused to go to bed… on one of those nights when Mommy’s sanity was teetering precariously on the brink. By the end of it all, I couldn’t even look at Ray, let alone talk to him, I felt so tired, beaten, and downtrodden. The last thing I really wanted to do was walk the dog, but I knew that was the only way I’d pray my Rosary. When Ray offered to take the dog out for me, I barked, “NO!” then, in a *slightly* kinder tone, “I want to do it.” Petulant, selfish little Stephanie left, prayed, and, through God’s grace, was transformed back into a human being by the time she and the dog came home. I love the Rosary for many reasons, but the transformation it brings about will never cease to amaze me.

— 4 —

Monday, I embarked on living with Intention in a new way. I had developed my Mother’s Rule of Life, based on the book by Holly Pierlot I’ve started and stopped the whole “rule of life” concept several times before, but I keep feeling that God is calling me back to it. Monday, I lived by my Rule.  Monday was beautiful.

— 5 —

Being an imperfect daughter of God, my rule didn’t carry into Tuesday so well, Wednesday was crazy as usual, and Thursday and Friday have not seen me jump back on board, but I’ve learned something. When you pay attention to where every minute is going, you use those minutes more wisely, and with greater intention, and suddenly it’s like you have more time than you did before. Money works the same way, by the way. I choose to live with Intention. So, I’ll take some time over the weekend to flesh out the Rule a bit better, and give it another go next week. It’s hard when schedules are constantly changing and kids are so unpredictable, but I believe it’s how God wants me to live my life, and he’ll give me the grace to see it through.

— 6 —

Boy, these are some long quick takes, aren’t they?

— 7 —

A funny mommy story for you. This should probably be a post in and of itself, but it goes too well with Sunday.  Yesterday, when I went to pick the kids up from school, Boo informed me about three minutes after we’d left the house that she needed to go potty. The roads were bad, and I knew it would be at least ten minutes before we were at the school, which would put us in second pick up. I thought I could park the car in the line, run her into the school, and get back in time to not mess up the flow of traffic going in to pick up. Then, when we got to the school, she was asleep. I breathed a sigh of relief and gratefully picked up my journal to do a bit of writing. Four minutes later, a heard a murmur from the back. “I need go potty.” I glanced in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were still closed. I held my breath, hoping she’d go back to sleep. No such luck. Suddenly, her eyes were open wide and she was screaming, “I need go potty!! I need go potty!!” Next thing I know, she’s out of her car seat, beating on me, pinching me, jumping up and down, “I gonna potty in my pants! I need go potty!” My heart was breaking for the child, but I knew there was no way I could run her into the school at this point without causing a major traffic snafu. I offered a large baggy. No go. A cup? Uh uh. She continued to beat and abuse me, screaming at the top of her lungs, for the ten minutes that ensued before I finally had the kids in the car and was able to pull around to the front of the school. The poor child, had, indeed, pottied in her pants, but managed to hold it for the most part. Once she had found relief, she refused to put her wet pants back on. I felt the child had been traumatized enough, and acquiesced, carrying her out bare bottomed, covered only by her winter coat, which reaches just below the “cheeks.” Of course, I saw two teachers and a few moms on my way out. I could only laugh and thank God for the opportunity to give cheery example to my children of how we deal with adversity. With laughter and a smile. That’s how I dealt with that flat tire on Sunday, and the dog running away. It’s not how I dealt with being late to Mass or Boo misbehaving, when I really just wanted to cry. We all fall down sometimes. But we can all stand up, brush ourselves off, and begin again… with a smile.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes – The Week in Pictures

It’s been quite a week, and I believe that a pictorial summary is in order. Of course, I love hearing the sound of my own keyboard, and thus I will liberally add commentary.

— 1 —

It may be the only resolution I keep this year, but I am pleased to have already achieved one of my Silly Resolutions.  I did, indeed, have a blast playing with Ray and the kids at the indoor water park.

Ray and the Dude spent most of their time playing football. Not my idea of water park entertainment, but to each his own.

20140109-151824.jpg 20140109-151756.jpgBear thought the baby slide was a bit lame, but it topped Boo’s list of “All Time Fun”.

20140109-152036.jpgFortunately, Bear overcame his fear of the water and learned to love the lazy river.


Bonita loved it all.  Sadly, I couldn’t capture her coming off of the big water slide.  Here she is, posing for the camera, as usual.


— 2 —

Saturday brought us a sick kid.  It’s been a while since the Dude was last sick, and apparently he had forgotten the fine art of hitting the commode.  I’ll spare you those pictures.  Not that I actually took any, but the image is etched in a very dark and scary place in my mind.  On the bright side, his illness spared us from waking at the crack of dawn to drive to his basketball game in Timbuktu.  Even better, Ray and I got to leave the kids with my parents while we went to the IU Michigan game with friends.  IU lost, but we had a great time nonetheless, even if car trouble added an hour to our trip home.

IU v State game

— 3 —

The forecasters had warned us about Sunday. I woke at 7:30 and decided that my only chance at Mass might be the 8:00, since the snow was expected to pick up around 10:00.  I threw some clothes on and made it… a few minutes late.  I’m glad I went, although I do regret that the rest of the family wasn’t able to go with me (Dude was still a wee bit sick, and, anyways, motivating Ray to go to 8:00 Mass has happened… maybe once?).  It was pure [guilty] bliss to enjoy the Mass without children fighting over my lap, asking for Kleenex, or requiring trips to the potty.  I almost decided to just go ahead and stay for the 10:00, as long as I was already there.  Alas, life requires Mama at home, and I had a post-Mass errand to run.


I’m still amazed that Lowe’s had any snow shovels left.

As I write this, Mass and that trip to Lowe’s was the last time I was out of the house.  By the grace of God, I stopped and grabbed Starbuck’s on my way home.  I’m pretty sure that indulgence has carried me through these last five days in the house.

— 4 —

By the time I got home, we were living in a winter wonderland.  Here’s me when I got home from walking the dog – Keyser’s last hoorah before the cold temps hit.


And here’s me and the Dude building a sledding hill in the backyard, with Bear thwarting our efforts – but too cute to get upset with.  I very nearly threw my back out with this activity, but the Dude’s enjoyed the hill enough that it would have been worth it, even if I had.

20140109-160307.jpg 20140109-160318.jpg

— 5 —

 I’m willing to bet that lots of people took pictures like this earlier this week:

weather screen print

But I imagine that far fewer had cause to take pictures like this:



Yes, my friends, that ice is on the inside of our home.  This window was the worst, but nearly every window in our home exhibited some degree of frost.  In the windows’ defense, this was taken at a time when our heater was struggling to keep up and the house was only 63 degrees.  I thought maybe we needed to call the repairman, until we checked the filter… which was black.  The house was back up to our regular 67 degrees within a half hour, and the windows quickly lost their frost.

— 6 —

Here’s a “before” picture of the project I intended to start during these snowed-in days.  I thought, “What better way to clean out the craft closet, than to actually do some crafts with the kids?”  Alas, the closet remains untouched.

One day at a time, one drawer at a time… I will conquer this beast!  Eventually.

— 7 —

Last but not least, Starbucks indulgence aside, I am 100% certain that prayer has brought me through this week “stuck” in the house without ever feeling “stuck” in the house.  Here are sage words to remember when we think, “I could pray right now, but I think I’ll [fill in the blank] instead.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

(Oh, and I’ve gotta add that I just completed a second Silly Resolution!  I finished my 7QT Friday post on Thursday night!  Well… it’s Thursday night in Illinois and westward, at least. Oooooh, this feels good!)















Sock Fight!!!!!

We’ve skied on the Kinect, read books, played on the Kindle Fire and XBox, shot hoops in the basement, and watched four episodes of Little House on the Prairie. The girls painted their nails, put on fancy dresses, and adorned themselves in makeup. I’ve done laundry, sorted clothes, changed beds, and dusted areas of the house that rarely see a dust rag. We’ve been snowed in for two days, with one more day on the horizon.  What’s left to do?

Let the sock fight commence!

Similar to a snow ball fight, a sock fight is superior in many ways:

1. A sock fight may occur in the warmth of the house.

2. A sock fight may inspire children to help sort through the giant bag of unmatched socks to find and “ball” pairs.

3. A sock fight does not pose the risk of tightly packed snow balls bruising any faces.

4. A sock fight does not entail icy water dripping down your spine when all that snow gear fails to offer adequate protection.

So Bonita and I put on our war paint (mascara on our cheekbones) and ambushed the boys while they were playing xBox. The pictures are blurry, but I think you can make out the smiles on their faces.

What are you doing to keep the kids busy during these long days stuck inside?







Looking Back, Looking Forward

Seeing as how it’s January 5th, I figure it’s time to finalize my One Word for 2014, and to set some goals for the year to come.  This annual exercise would be meaningless, however, if I didn’t take the time to take an honest look back at 2013 to see how I performed.

Honestly, my first instinct was to attribute the word “mediocre” to my 2013 goal performance.  Among other things, I pledged to wake early every day, do an hour of personal reading every day, and become more punctual, most importantly getting to Mass early.  With the exception of Tuesdays, when I wake at 4:20, I’m lucky to be up before six most days, I’m lucky to do an hour of personal development reading in a week, let alone a day, and early to Mass only happens when I’m lectoring or doing Children’s Liturgy.  My One Word was “Self-Discipline,” and I feel that my failure to follow through on these goals is an indication that I still have lots of room for growth in the discipline arena.

However, it occurs to me that I am probably being too hard on myself, as friends often tell me I have a tendency to do.  I do get up at 4:20 every Tuesday, I did finish several personal development books in 2013, and I did, indeed, write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November, and finish the first draft of that same novel by the end of December.  Come to think of it, I prayed the Impossible Novena for nine months and only missed a handful of days.  Interestingly, in fact, I’ve had two people in the last month tell me that I’m the most self-disciplined person they know. Honestly, I think this is a sad testimony to the state of self-discipline in today’s world, but I also figure that I ought to accept that as evidence that I have grown in discipline in the past year, and stop knocking myself so hard.

Thus, I’m going to accept 2013 as better than mediocre.  Not stellar, but above average, at least, and I’m giving myself a little pat on the back, and offering up some big “thank you’s” to the people without whom I could not have experienced the growth that I did – namely, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as well as the Mother of God, who has graciously led me through this journey, bringing me so much closer to her Son.

All-in-all, it was a pretty good year, even though I wrecked my car on the very last day of the year… the very same day that we finally paid that puppy off.  Can you believe it?  I really can’t. Neither can Ray.  But, c’est la vie.  The good news is, the car is paid off… and I was calling 911 when I backed into that pole, and the fire trucks did make it to the scene of the apartment fire in time to help extract people from the building.

Anywho… time to look forward to 2014.  It could be an interesting year.  Ray’s planning to go back and finish his degree, I’ll be busy editing and submitting my manuscript to publishers, we are talking about a potential change in homes, and much more, I’m sure, that we have no idea is on the horizon for us.

Regardless, I’d like to continue to build on the growth of 2013, and thus I’ve decided on INTENTION as my One Word for 2014.

Thanks to Melanie at www.onlyabreath.com for the great graphic!
Thanks to Melanie at www.onlyabreath.com for the great graphic!

Last year, I finished my One Word 2013 post with:

Self-discipline will leave me living life with intention. And my intention is to

Put first things first

To serve God in all I do

And become the woman he made me to be.

“Athletes exercise self-[discipline] in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath,
but we an imperishable one.” 1 Cor 9:25


In 2014, my Intention remains the same, and I look forward to further pursuing the imperishable wreath in the year to come.  I hope you’ll join me on the journey!

7 QT Friday – 7 Silly Resolutions

Ever the procrastinator, I haven’t pinned down my real resolutions for 2014. So, here are seven silly ones.

— 1 —

My thumb is healing from yet another knife-cleaning incident, and having cut myself while cleaning knives far too many times in the last year, I resolve to stop cleaning sharp knives.  Let Ray do it, let mold and bacteria fester, or perhaps just start knawing through all of our food with my teeth – I’m just not gonna clean those knives anymore.  (Yes, this is a resolution that’s made to be broken.)

— 2 —

I realized the other day that my closet is almost entirely filled with gray and black.  Whether I’m attending a wedding or Easter Sunday Mass, I always look like I’m in mourning.  Therefore, I hereby resolve to buy only clothes with color this year.

— 3 —

And while we’re on the subject of clothes, I discovered a hole in the armpit of a favorite sweater today. I’m still wearing it, just like I wear several other items of holey clothing.  Thus, I have come to understand that resolving to buy colored clothes this year is not enough.  I resolve to buy clothes.  And I resolve that they will be colorful.

— 4 —

I am a serial resigner on Words with Friends (ree-zign-ur, meaning one who resigns by failing to play for extended periods of time).  Ergo, I resolve to finish at least ONE Words with Friends game this year.

— 5 —

I resolve that – at least one time in 2014 – I will have my 7 QT Friday post written on Thursday night.

— 6 —

I resolve to get my email address removed from all (OK, most) of those junk email lists.  My inbox currently says that I have 7,188 unread messages, and this seems a bit excessive.

— 7 —

Last but not least, I resolve to go and have a blast playing at the waterpark with the kids and Ray this afternoon. We’ll ignore the snow and bitter cold outside, and pretend we’re in Cancun for a few hours!

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