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Showing posts from 2016

Live Up to Your Name Dear Christian

Rejoice & Light the Rose Candle

I Look Into my Inbox and What Did I See?

I receive the weekly notes from the Catholic Match Institute since my unsuccessful dabble in Online
Dating some time ago (link) and today's included the face of one of my favorite priests. A man who helped me become the Catholic woman, for better or worse, that I am today. He is doing a series of five videos for CM through Advent. The first two are below ... I encourage you to watch them and stay tuned for the next three! Fr. Ananias, OSB - what an Advent treat!

The Season of Advent

The Christmas season has come to my house. I love having my tree up so much that it didn't get put away until Ash Wednesday last year ... I could blame traveling, but that wouldn't be the whole truth... Anyway, I put my tree up on Sunday after I started Advent with Mass. I know it's a little early. I used to have a rule that decorations didn't go up until after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, but last year someone gave me a tree on Thanksgiving weekend and I had to get it out of my hallway. I mean, I couldn't trip over it for two weeks. Plus since I traveled for about half the time it was up last year, I needed more time before Christmas to enjoy it. I promise to leave it up until at least February 2nd - the last acceptable day to have Christmas decorations up as it's the Feast of the Presentation.

This year as I was putting up my Nativity, a few mishaps happened. Well, a few years ago one of my wise men lost his head. Then last year another head fell …

Living the DIY Life Annie Sloan Style

When I purchased my house a little over two years ago, I decided I wanted to redo my kitchen cabinets because I disliked the gold knobs and wanted something different. Then, my entire downstairs was redone because of the flood of 2014 (remember when...) lots of other things happened instead. 
So this Fall, I decided that it was the time. It took me a month to make the decision and at the end of October, I went and took a class with my local Annie Sloan Stockist in South Charlotte to learn the techniques. When they asked what project everyone was planning, I told the teacher I was going to paint my kitchen cabinets. She replied, "Normally we recommend starting with a smaller project." Well, I say "go big or go home." So I went BIG at HOME!
So on November 8th I decided to clean everything and take all of the cabinets down and prepped my floors with paper. I did the cleaning with Krud Kutter and it took all kinds of things off the cabinets! This is fantastic stuff, b…

I'm not seeing what you're seeing

As I prepare for Thanksgiving, tonight a comment my cousin made to me last month kept coming to mine mind. I was together with tons of my family for my godmother's 50th Wedding Anniversary. Some of the siblings hadn't seen each other since their brother died. Others in the family it'd been more than a decade, maybe since my grandmother's passing in 1999. Although not everyone was present at the party, we did have a great time catching up.

My cousin was taking photos as everyone came into the party and had us put our names on them. After about 10 of the shots were done, she realized that there was a setting on the camera to make them lighter. It was an old Polaroid, so no adjusting after the shot is taken. I was one of the people who had to take their picture twice.

When I teased about having to take a second photo, she said "come on, you never take a bad photo - ever since we were little, you've always been photogenic." Hmm, I don't particularly love …

A Cast of Characters

Last night I was at dinner with a few friends when a guy who used to be interested in me came up in conversation. One of the people at the table wasn't around when this guy was around all of the time almost stalking me. Someone else at the table said "they weren't good for each other age-wise, physically, emotionally, etc..." But she was referring to the wrong guy - another character in this crazy cast.

I complain a lot about being alone - and this time of the year the feeling of being alone is exacerbated even more. But it was interesting having this conversation yesterday. The crazy cast of characters that have been on the first date list is wide and varied. But none of them have made the cut.

Why is that? Many have asked - in some pretty invasive ways to be honest. What's wrong with that one? Too old, too young, too jerk-ish, too full of them selves, too 'I want to be a priest,' too...

Looking to the future, I hope that he's just "too great to…

Have Courage and Be Kind

This is so good. I felt like I was reading a copy of my own journal. Courage ... may we both have a lot of courage!!


Confirmation Preparation

I have a confession to make: When I first started as the Middle School Youth Minister at St. Mark, I didn't know what the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit were or how many fruits there were ... and I was the Confirmation Coordinator. I didn't learn those things until about 30 minutes before my first Confirmation Parent/Candidate Sessions a year and half into the job either. And I did not actually learn all twelve fruits until about 3 years ago.

These are just two of the things I make my students memorize and learn now. Yesterday, my 8th class of Confirmation Candidates were just confirmed. My team has changed. My level of responsibility has changed. My parish has changed. My job has changed. And my understanding of the Sacrament of Confirmation has changed.

This year's group was prepared by some adults, some teens, a nun, and me. Quite the group!

I cannot believe that I've seen almost 600 students confirmed. Through it all each class has gotten better and better. They kn…

Being Creative in My Home

When I bought my townhouse, I was most excited about being able to decorate it the way I wanted, paint the walls the colors I like, and have an opportunity to explore my creative side.

On Wednesday, Mer and I went to IKEA to get me a full length mirror. We came up with so many great things, not including a mirror. I decided to buy a bedside night stand instead from the as-is bin that was more than 50% off. An excellent choice.

I also purchased a bunch (15) of white frames to decorate my office. I've filled three and ordered 12 other prints to be picked up at Target today to get hanging. I think that all but three will be great in my office and I'm going to use those ones to redo how my bedroom looks.

I've also decided to (finally) paint my kitchen cabinets. I'm going to an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint tutorial class tomorrow to get my technique down.

They had some curtains that are a beautiful blue fabric that I'm going to try to make into two roman shades for my dining…

Being an Alpha Female

I am a terrible person to plan a party with when you don't know what you want to do. One of my least favorite things is indecisiveness. I'm sure my friends can tell some tales about planning events, gatherings, dinners, coffees, or advice sessions with me. Although there are some things that I'm not decisive about, my future career for instance, most things I have an opinion about and know what I like.
That's usually the problem. Once when I was still working at the parish, Fr. C asked if I had a thought about something. I replied with, "Of course, I have an opinion about everything - that's the problem."

And it's true. I know what I like, and I've usually made a decision about something before I even begin speaking about it. I can brainstorm, but I have to tell myself that's what I'm doing before I begin so I don't get married to a particular thought, idea, plan, or way of doing things.

A few weekends ago I was with my family at my g…

I Think You're Just Saying That

I was talking with a woman at Church on Sunday about the busyness of my life and how things are going. Her life is way crazier than mine with the recent loss of her mother and the responsibility she's been given of her siblings who are dependent on others for everything they need in life. The busy travel schedule and hardship of being single seems like such an inconsequential issue in life.

I felt silly for even sharing what I perceive as my problems. That I'm still sleeping alone in my big girl bed, in the middle, and can't seem to find someone to share my life with - or even a hot meal or a cup of tea at bare minimum.

Although our conversation ended with a phrase I'm coming to dislike.

"He's Out There."

I used to say "I know, it's just not time yet" or "I can't wait until he gets here" or "Maybe his lost his GPS" or "His directions must not have printed out clearly" ... those last two are just my sarcastic…

Enjoy It While You Can

People say this to me a lot when I tell then about how much I travel for my job. "Enjoy it now while you still can."

I'm away a lot for work, but I also add time on to those trips to visit with family and friends in the area. Since Labor Day I've been somewhere almost every week and have been out of town every weekend for work or pleasure. I thought the rest of my year was going to be travel free but the next four weeks are already booked with trips.

One of my recent trips came through from American in my email like this, "Trip to United States of America":

Charlotte to New York to New Orleans to Cleveland to New York to Charlotte over 11 days. I came home for 4 days before leaving again for another 9 days.
I was hoping the rest of the year wouldn't include much travel, but in the last three days I planned 4 more trips, two of them include a lot of driving because flying would take so much longer and be incredibly inconvenient. That's probably not t…

Thoughts after Walking 150,000 steps to see Pope Francis

While I was in Poland for World Youth Day a friend shared this article which I thought was very good, until I read the comments, which (as per usual) infuriated me. This is a really bad habit of mine (reading comments) and I have been thinking about it ever since.

The article is a great piece about the English speaking event on Wednesday evening of World Youth Day at the Touren Arena, renamed "Mercy Center" for the week. The author commented how people came to adoration there to meet Jesus and experience Heaven. I was there, not even inside the building, and had this feeling. I have it whenever I attend World Youth Day - I've been four times now (Toronto, Cologne, Rio, Krakow). This is an amazing gathering of Catholics who are coming for the same reason. We all want to be close to our Holy Father, experience the Church, and meet people like us.

Now, not everyone who goes to WYD is SUPER CATHOLIC, that's true of any church event. Some people go to travel and see the w…

When People are Complaining about the Life you Want

It's not the first time, and I'm certain it won't be the last. Friends, acquaintances, random strangers on the internet are complaining or claiming something is the end of the world. Well, that happens all the time, probably the reason why Al Gore invented the internet (hahah, just a little political joke there). Then all you can think is "if only my life included just one of those things you don't seem to want..."
When I turned 30 I had some issues with expectations (on my actual BDay). I thought I would be a mother with some cute kiddos by then, or at least a wife. Not that I would be living alone, single, still long-term relationship-less. I had those same issues when I turned 31 this year. So much so I told my friends I didn't want to actually celebrate my birthday - especially not on the day. Which, if you're thinking "that's a bad idea" - then you'd be right. It was really hard the actual day of when the one day of the year whe…

Am I Inadequate?

This is a question that I ask myself all of the time. It's the default question when I'm asked to "talk" by my manager at work, when there's a guy who I might be interested in, and when a friend doesn't answer a voicemail or a text for a long time. It comes up a lot. It's also the devil's number one button to push. I know that, but I cannot refrain from asking it over and over again.

Just last week my managers asked to have dinner with just me before a big event, and all I could think all afternoon was "what did I do wrong now?" and "how will I recover from this?" It wasn't that at all. It was them offering me a promotion and additional duties at work because they think I'm great at my job.

How can I have such a different view of myself than other people do? Some might say that this is humility, not being boastful and proud about your accomplishments. However, I don't think it's that because if I was being humble, I…

A Southern Gal ... After 8 Years

I've been in Charlotte 7 years and 50 weeks now and although I have considered myself a southern girl for a while now today I had a craving for chicken and waffles that would only be satisfied with some southern cooking!
I'm a Southern Girl and there's no going back now!
Here's to an amazing eight years and to many more decades to come!

The Sound that Pierces Through the NIght

Yesterday I flew into Charlotte on a 7am flight from Baltimore. It was the 3rd very early morning flight I took this week and I was so tired! So I get home, answer a few emails, make a few calls, and then lie down for a few hours to get some sleep since I was over exhausted. That's when it begins.

A loud, piercing beep! So I check every smoke detector in my house - of which there are 4 in my very small 1200 square foot house. Why so many? I'm really not sure, but apparently the builders of this house were very fire safety conscious.

Less than a year ago, I had replaced 3 of the batteries after a similar situation and thought that the green light indicated "good" so I went to all 4 and looked for the green light. The one I didn't replace last time, in my office with the highest ceiling, is the only one without a green light. So I check with my friend who was coming over already and her tall husband was coming over with her before we went out last night. He was com…

The Hardest Days to be Single

I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately, especially since my grandmother's funeral last month. The times when it's most difficult to be a single person. Many people claim that holidays like Christmas are the most difficult to be single, but I disagree. Christmas, for my family at least, is when everyone is together and we're celebrating time together. We go to visit other family members around town. I typically spend a week or so at home and don't mind the downtime that I don't have to fill with entertaining someone else and finding things for us to do in a small town. Sounds weird, but Christmas isn't my most difficult holiday as a single person.

The most difficult are all of the other days of the year when people have family celebrations. Most of those days friends don't think to invite you over to enjoy dinner or a group event that involves friends. Days like Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day. In my experience, Thanksgiving and Easter are…

The Rudest Thing

I have a list of pet peeves a mile long. Anyone who knows me in real life could tell you that the littlest things can bother me. It’s mostly things that other people do that are inefficient and therefore bother me, but some of these are real things. For instance, not driving with your lights on when it’s raining or even foggy. This is one of my biggest driving pet peeves. It’s actually the law. I always think that the police should pull these people over. BUT then a few months ago I was driving and saw a car without its lights on in the rain and was telling them from my car to turn them on and I noticed it was a police officer IN a police car. I guess they don’t pull people over because they, themselves, have no idea that this is the law!!
I don’t consider this driving tick rude though – it’s just ignorant to other drivers and endangering other people’s safety! That’s all.
Today I’m writing about what I believe is the rudest thing one stranger can do to another stranger because it’s …

All I Do...

Do you ever feel like all you do is one thing? I feel like all I do is work on the computer. It's my work life - I'm sitting at my computer all day long working on websites, sending emails, making phone calls - LOTS of phone calls. Then in the evening, I'm working on our young adult stuff, writing this here blog, checking personal emails, or just wasting time online.

We live in such a digital society that it's almost unavoidable - or at least that's what I tell myself. Is that really the case or is it just my excuse?

I'm not really sure. And to be honest - I might want to be on my computer less, but I don't really want to cut out any of the things that I'm doing right now, so there's got to be some balance.

There are a few things I very rarely use digital media for and prefer the old fashioned way. One of these is books. I do have the kindle app on my phone and a Kindle that I find to be very useful for reading when I'm traveling. It's super …

Online Dating Adventures

“I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”
the beginning of Ephesians 4 Quite an Interesting Article
In the quest for a spouse, everyone from my friends to strangers to siblings to parents have told me that I should do online dating. A way to meet more people, expand my reach. I paid for an entire year's subscription and didn't have any bites - only one guy, who was pretty prejudice even progressed to an in-person meeting. Today as I was looking around my archived draft posts, I found this gem. The below is the real struggle of online dating. Maybe this was just the pool from Catholic Match, but I think it's a good representation of the weird things you see online. The advantage of online dating is that you can just copy & paste this crazy into a blog post as evidence. I'm not sure what my future spouse will look like or be like - but I think comments and profiles like this are off my list. Hopefully it doesn't make me too p…

Leaning In

Happy Feast! Today is Pentecost and that means that the Holy Spirit was the person of the Trinity on the stage during Mass today. Fr. C's homily got me thinking about my own plan. He was talking about how the Apostles received the Holy Spirit just like we have, but the manifestation of the spirit looks completely different in our lives than in theirs. I'm not speaking in tongues, moving the world, etc... He proposed a reason and asked us to think about all of the prayers we've ever prayed. Then take all of the prayers that sound like this "Lord I need help with X," "Please give me Y," and "Remove Z suffering from my life" and place them on one side of the scale. Then on the other side of the scale put every time you've whole-heartedly said "Lord do with me what you will."

This got me thinking about my life and my plan for it. More and more I think that the plan I see for my life is not what the Lord has in store for me. I have ha…

NAS :: Love Stories

What is your favorite love story? How did your favorite real-life couple meet? Which fictional love stories (from books, movies, plays, or songs) make your heart soar? What’s your favorite love story from the Bible?
I know it's Saturday and I'm writing for our Tuesday post ... but hey, it's my blog and I can do what I want! I'm sure Lindsay won't mind that I'm linking up late. Check out the other Love Story roundups over at the Lovely Lindsay's!
I'm a romantic comedy junkie. I love when everything turns out great in the end and the good guy and the good girl get together and live happily ever after. I know that most of the time (ie: ALL of the time) that's not real life. There's no hard work put in after marriage - sometimes, the movie ends when they finally have a first kiss - think You've Got Mail (with two of the most beautiful people :: Tom & Meg). But I still love them.
My favorite Rom-Com of all time is Yours, Mine, & Ours- the…

NAS :: Readiness

How ready do you think you are for your vocation? Are you ready to be committed to your vocation within the next year, or two years? That means being married (and maybe with a baby), taking religious vows, or telling people you’re not interested in marriage and plan to remain single for life. What do you still need to work on or change about yourself before you’re ready? Have you thought you were ready before? How have you become better prepared over time? Married ladies can chime in, too: how did you know it was the right time to get hitched?
Linking up with the ladies in the Not Alone Series this week as it's been way, way too many weeks. This group has been such an amazing help to me in the past few years with the amazing friends that I've met and the support system that they have become. This seems like a good topic to enter back into the writing mood and linking up with the group.
A few questions in this week's prompt strike me. Let's begin with Have you ever thou…

Being Single ... Still

I've been thinking about what I'm going to write here for a few days. I've been wanting to get my thoughts down, but can't figure out what I want to discuss. What I want to tell my future self about this time in my life. I watched the movie Spotlight on Friday and had some thoughts I wanted to share, but it's such a difficult topic that I'm not sure this is the place to discuss them or that I have them all worked out in my mind. Last night a friend and I watched War Room which was really great - and I thought about writing about that, but not really moved. I did listen to that book on the library Hoopla app a few months ago and it was just as good - I highly recommend that. In the past few weeks, I've been watching Friends on Netflix and I've had some thoughts about that as well, but doesn't seem like fuel for discussion here.

So this morning, I googled "writing prompts for single women" and found a blog by Mandy Hale, who sounds so familia…

Being a Single Gal in a Gaggle of Married Ones

I saw this article on Verily last week and thought it was really good. Then I read the comment below and was a little disappointed. It's not terrible - but is from a the perspective of a married girl. As I read it (probably not her intention) it implies that she is upset with the writer because the writer indicates somethings she wants her married friends to do to keep their relationship going after the wedding.

Now that would be a fine article to write - and I might even end up doing that here this evening - however, it is a two-way street. This is the nature of relationships. They are two-way streets. All relationships are about give and take - if they aren't, then they are usually contracts and one party is being paid. I don't know about you, but I don't pay anyone to be friends with me ... although sometimes that doesn't sound like a bad idea.

The author's ideas to share with her married friends are super simple and not invasive or even too taxing on her ma…

Expectations: Yours, Mine, and Ours

I've written about this a lot (here) or at least thought about it a lot in my mind. I think about the expectations I have for my life more than I probably should. How I'm perceived not only by others but by myself. This might sound strange, but it's one of the reasons I write in this space. It's great when others read it and comment about how I'm being ridiculous or how I'm saying the things they are thinking. But the main purpose is for me to look back and see where I've been and where I'm going.

When I first moved to Charlotte I wrote in a journal every day for an Advent thing and then just kept going for many years. I've gone back to read those and have enjoyed getting lost in my memories. I know that sounds like of silly - but writing things down as I'm feeling them helps me to understand more about who I am, what I'm really thinking and feeling, and how I've changed and grown over the years. I'm not someone who throws those type…