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Showing posts from 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday: December 12th

What this post was going to be called: "Things You Learned in 2nd Grade and then Forgot (probably)"

I think about these things a lot, probably more than I should.  Mostly every time I'm at Mass and am distributing communion.  Last week at our young adult Spirituality Group we were discussing something about how to receive communion regarding the communion rail at a neighboring parish we were going to be going to Adoration the following week.  It was then solidified that there are a LOT of things we were taught in 2nd grade when we first received communion that we were expected to retain!  There is no other time when this happens in our lives.  You're told something at the age of seven.  Then never reinforced again, not really.  Some Religious Education classes talk about the big things again, but since you learned it in 2nd grade, you don't need to really learn it again because there's more stuff to learn.

I'm reminded of these things each time …

Christmas Trees

In the 7 years I've been in Charlotte, I've had some interesting Christmas Tree creations.  The first two years, I was tree-less, no ornaments, just a Nativity.  Even the year I lived at Hope House as a resident adviser I had a nativity in my room, just for me!  But alas, no pictures of those ... so you just have the opportunity to re-live the last 3 years before bearing witness to this year's spectacular demonstration in the new house!

2011 Sister Gloria helped me cut down this beauty from the back path on the Church property.

It became this, just in time for our Ugly Sweater Party that year.

That is one of my favorite Christmas trees, and I have wanted a real tree again ever since.  But since I'm usually gone for two solid weeks at Christmas and New Year's, having a real tree doesn't make sense - it'd die while I'm away and the weeks after Christmas are the best part!  Last Year (2013), we had the 'tree' up until the beginning of February!


Advent Blog Hop :: Immaculate Conception & My Nativity

Thanks to Beth Anne for creating and hosting an Advent Blog Hop!  I'm excited to see what everyone comes up with over the next couple of weeks.  I love the books Annery at Home showcased, the prayers shared by Melody's Harmonies are so beautiful (and I love the beeswax advent wreath candles), This Domestic Church talked about incorporating Advent traditions slowly (super great advice), the St. Nick's Bag from over at 2 by 2 is an amazing idea (and her twins are so beautiful), Joe Sales Says talked about waiting - basically my theme song, the dialogue of Saint Nicholas on Tactical Catholic is fantastic,  and all that to say that you stopped by this gal's blog for some Advent inspiration is quite humbling!

I was going to tell you about how I always wait until the Immaculate Conception to decorate my house for Christmas.  I had great plans, then they all went south when I saw this picture from my friend Stephanie on FB Saturday morning when I got home from (super) early M…

7 Quick Takes Friday ... December 5th

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Well, there's a new host in town for Seven Quick Takes ... it's been a few weeks since I shared in on the link-up fun and I've got lots to say, well, if you know me, that's not really a unique statement ... to be entirely truthful.  Super excited to link up over at Kelly's - she's hilarious, inspiring, and just seems like super fun!  So here we go...

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Life has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster the last week or so.  Wrote a little about that on Sunday and my need for Validation.  The button that Satan uses ALL. OF. THE. TIME. for me ... trying to push him away before the doubt creeps in.

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Thanksgiving was last week as well - and the recipes we chose for dinner were all a great success ... planning a holiday dinner for your family or friends, these would be great additions to your table!

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MG and I tried our hand at making sushi last weekend too ... not as bad as you'd like for the first time!  Check out our successes:

Understanding Another Language

Have you ever tried to learn another language?  The answer is probably yes since most American High Schools and Colleges require students to have at least 2 years of a language.  I've tried to learn the following languages: Spanish, Italian, Greek, Latin, Portuguese, and French.  A few more serious than others - the first three in formal classroom settings: 3 years of Spanish in High School, 14 credits of Italian in College, and a Master's Level Seminary Class one semester for Greek.  Latin is sort of a side hobby as I learned more and more religious prayers, songs, and Mass parts throughout my faith journey.  Portuguese was a side business when I was going to WYD in Brazil last summer - basics like hello, goodbye, and thank you were mastered, only thank you was remembered - obrigada.  Regarding French, this was for my trip to the DR Congo in Africa.  I took it more seriously upon my return actually, but have since stopped doing my DuoLingo Lessons.  Mostly because I'm a s…


Have you seen this movie?

It was put out about six years ago and has one of my favorite actors, T.J. Thyne, from Bones.  I know it's a little long - almost 15 minutes actually.   And it's almost like a silent movie - no words.

I was thinking about it last night when I couldn't sleep.  Where do I get my validation from?  Who do I get my validation from?  What am I seeking validation for?

All of these are difficult questions have intellectual answers for me, what I should be thinking and telling myself to do.  Simply that I am a daughter of God, I am validated because I have dignity because I am a a beautiful creation of His.

But in the middle of the night when the doubts and probings from satan creep from the background into the foreground, my answers don't come out as clear.  They come out as messy, ugly lies (he knows my buttons very well).  That there's nowhere for me to be validated, no one willing to validate me, and everything needs to be validated by another …

Thanksgiving Recipes!

So MG and I cooked Thanksgiving for us and some friends of ours - the family who took me in when my house was rejecting me.  It was nice to have them and their 17 month old twins!  Great times were had by all.  Since we cooked all 'new to us' recipes, I'd thought I'd share them along to you, if you need some Christmas ideas!

Breakfast: Fresh Cranberry & Orange Scones from Two Peas in their Pod ... and there's enough for breakfast all weekend!  Score!

Our Thanksgiving table was quite beautiful!

Appetizers were some crackers and Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese (log from Aldi).

Crackers with Brie, Sugared Cranberries, Jam, and Mint adapted from Yummly Mummy Kitchen ... no maple syrup around here so we warmed white wine and honey for the berries to soak in overnight.

They were so beautiful!  And delicious!
For Dinner we had Buttermilk Brined Cornish Hens from Kitchen Confidante ... doubled the recipe to get 4.

Roasted Asparagus with Garlic and Parmesan from Bobbi…

NAS: Thanksgiving

In what ways are we thankful?! Write about anything you want under this theme! Do you have any family traditions that help you to be mindful of the blessings in your life?

I am a girl who loves stability and traditions.  I decided to go to a Benedictine College because of the vow of stability that the monks make, and I'm always looking for how my life will be the same in a few years.  Not that everything has to be the same, but it's hard for me to make decisions when everything is on shaky ground.  When something (like a house for my living situation) is on solid ground, all of the other decisions are somehow easier to make and the change is easier to adapt to.
I've been in Charlotte for 7 Thanksgivings now - well, 6 and Thursday makes 7.  The first year I was here my parents and baby brother came for Turkey Day.  The following year I went home to PA (and it was WAY too much traveling for the November/December time frame, so I decided never to go home for Thanksgiving agai…

Flabbergasted (a book & my life)!

A while ago a friend recommended for me to read Flabbergasted by Ray Blackston (amazon) so I put it on my library reserve list and waited.  Then a few weeks ago I got the email, picked it up, and started reading.  After a little while, I realized that I had previously read this book, but I couldn't remember the ending and I was stuck on a plane, so I kept going.

It was an interesting read.  The main character, Jay Jarvis, moves to Greenville, SC because he was relocated for work.  He begins attending Church for one reason - to find himself a nice gal.  He finds one, well sort of, and makes a lot of friends as well.  The girl he meets is a missionary who's heart is in South America so it seems like he ends up choosing between money and the girl ... but the ending is so dissatisfying that I remembered why I wasn't a huge fan of it in the past.

But as I was gathering the link from amazon for my post - I saw that it's just Book #1 - and there are two more books following …

NAS: When Struggles Come

What ways do you run to implore the Lord's help when you are struggling? Do you always spend time in Adoration? Do you dive into the bible? Automatically go to Confession? Could you be better? And what about those times when things are good and you are joyous? Do you still give the Lord your time?
I was contemplating whether I was going to write this week or not since I'm out of town for work.  I'm visiting at Our Sunday Visitor until Thursday, so today has been filled with lots of traveling, meeting new people, and even an on camera interview!  A pretty exciting day!
Then when we got back from dinner earlier than expected, I figured I would share what I do when I'm struggling...  Great Question!
Ever since I became more involved in my faith the Hail Mary has been my go to prayer in times of need.  So I usually go back there any time I'm struggling with the single life, scared in the middle of the night when I wake up to a startling sound in the dark, anxious at th…

7 Quick Takes Friday ... November 7th

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Welcome to November!  I cannot believe we are already in November, time seems to fly by!  I also cannot believe that I've been doing this Office Manager job for almost 2 years now ... we are in month 24.  What will the next two years look like?  More fun times as Office Manager? Or different fun times?  Only the Lord truly knows!

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Have you been listening to Serial?  If not, then you should start!  It's the best of NPR, This American Life, crime drama, and the criminal system all in one.  It's hard to describe, but Sara Koenig's reporting is fantastic.  I cannot tell if Adnan killed Hae or not - and if not, who did?  I'm dying to listen to this week's episode, but cannot wait until next week's What's the Deal with Jay?

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This week we were discussingDeal Breakers with the NAS gals ... it's been interesting!

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So it's November - and it's also Fall!  The last week has been WAY too cold for me, but there have been …

NAS: Deal Breakers?

We have chatted about our deal breakers/non-negotiables before (well, I didn't participate then, but the other ladies did), but how do you keep from letting your standards fall? What prevents you from just dating any guy out there? What keeps you going?
So for this topic, I just read the beginning of Jen's post and am totally going to steal this paragraph and say I completely agree and couldn't have typed it better myself: I am not going to date just any guy, because I want to date a godly man. I want to share in that together. For me, the biggest thing: sharing in the sacraments together. The Eucharist. Confession. It's a beautiful gift, but to experience those things together with your future hubby is truly incredible (I would imagine). The grace you receive in general is awesome, but also for your relationship?? It can only make it stronger and pointed toward Heaven. How do I not lose hope that the guy I think exists does in fact actually exist?  Well, because reall…

7 Quick Takes Friday ... October 31st

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Well, today is Halloween - my absolute least favorite holiday.  It has nothing to with the devil, religious reasons, calling it 'all hallow's eve' or any like that.  It's actually because I don't like dressing up or acting like someone I'm not.  I can appreciate what Kendra has as a tradition with her children - super scary, super cool saints and Halloween costumes.  I am also excited to see all of the babies in my life dressed up in super cute costumes - Doug, a puppy, and an old man are in the works for today!

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This week I had a chance to put some old pictures from CDs onto my computer and upload them up to my google photos ... check out some of these fun ones!

There are more, but you'll have to wait a few weeks!

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Brenda, over at Triple Braided Life, featured me on Tuesday as a Single Woman Making A Difference.  Pretty fun!

Nervously, I posted the link on Facebook to share ... it felt so scrazy (that's scary and crazy togeth…

NAS: Discernment Challenges & A Fun Surprise!

This is kind of exciting ... about two months ago Beth Anne posted about Brenda over at Triple Braided Life looking for Single Women who are making a difference to interview.  I reached out to her and now this is happening today!!!

Read the entire interview over at Brenda's place and then come back her for some NAS talk about Discernment, which I might look like I know something about but really - that's all smoke and mirrors, I am clueless!
Now that you're back - unless you never left - some stuff about discernment from the Not Alone Series gals (and me)...

We all agree that discernment is challenging. Figuring out what the Lord is calling you to do with your life can be frustrating and exhausting. But, then add on lack of family support, cultural pressures, and your personal expectations... ugh. And, this isn't just in relation to vocational discernment, but general life discernment, too! How do you keep going? What helps you to push through? How can we encourage one…

7 Quick Takes Friday, I mean Sunday ... October 26th

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I have spent the entire week recovering from last Saturday's smashing success at World Feast 2014.  It was a LOT of work, but totally worth it!!!  I posted a few great ones on Instagram on Saturday and was 'live posting' on Facebook all day to get people over to our campus ... and it must have worked because we had at least 1,000 people come to the FEAST.  Everyone had a blast, the food was amazing, and so many smiling faces!!!  That's why my Friday takes are on Sunday - either that or extreme laziness ... one or the other!

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Oh, and my parents were here to visit last weekend as well - they brought me this:

I had it tuned yesterday morning and am loving being able to play the piano again whenever I want - which I've never really been able to do, but alas, it's nice having a piano in my house - and the ability to play!  Makes it more of a home!

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For about a month now I've been doing yoga every morning - sometimes just 10-12 minutes a…

Happy Feast Day of John Paul II!

Some words of wisdom from The Catholic Company on Facebook today:

If you don't follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, they are a great company - posting all kinds of saint quotes, great pictures (many from my parish actually), and their products are awesome too.  The woman who does their social media is a good friend!
And today is the Feast Day for our Beloved John Paul II ... what a blessing!

One of my favorite quotes:

It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness.
In the design of God's Providence, there are no coincidences.

Now there are so many more, with the Theology of the Body, Love and Responsibility, and hundreds of letters, encyclicals, and speeches during his time as Holy Father - but for today, just three!

What would a Feast be without a great little joke!?!

The Pope Visits America

The Pope just finished a tour of the East Coast and was taking a limousine to the airport. Since he'd never driven a limo, he asked the chauffeur if he could drive fo…

NAS: Sex

Our culture is obsessed with sex. With anyone! At anytime! If you want to, just do it! But, the Church teaches that sex was created for the context of marriage. Why do you choose to abstain? Why aren't you going around having sex with just anyone? How would you encourage others to do the same? How do you remain strong when everything in our culture is encouraging you to abandon your convictions?

What a topic this week!  Could be controversial, but how can we not discuss the elephant in the room?  I'm going to quickly answer all of the questions and then dwell a little longer on the last one.  So here we go:
Why do you choose to abstain?  Because I believe the Church knows what will create the best marriage for me.

Why aren't you going around just having sex with anyone?  Because that sounds the least amount of fun ever ... why ... because I know how I become attached to men I am interested in and the random hook-ups sound like a recipe for heartache.

How do you encourage ot…