Friday, September 27, 2013

10QT: Saints & Fruits

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary. I've been thinking about the Fruits of the Spirit a bit lately and thought I'd couple them with some wisdom from those who have gone before us.

Also linking up with Micaela at California to Korea for her Catholic link-up. The saints have always imparted so much wisdom from the beautiful and fruitful lives they have lived. Always striving to be obedient to church teaching, all the while, living the gospel in ways that are encouraging and inspiring. Our church is so good to know these wonderful men and women who have gone before us and are now praying for us from Heaven.

Three things I most love about the saints are: the gift of their prayerful intercession and the beautiful relationship that comes from getting to know them, the gifts of their wisdom, and partaking with them in the glory and goodness of each Mass we attend. 

Enjoy seeing how the Holy Spirit blessed them with such insight and wisdom!


The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom;
whatever else you get, get understanding.
Proverbs 4:7


Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity.
-St. Vincent de Paul

Joy is a net of love by which we catch souls.
-Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
-St. Francis

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.
-Saint Francis de Sales

Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
-Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Goodness & Generosity
Pray with great confidence, with confidence based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray.
-St. Louis de Montfort

A soul enkindled with love is a gentle, meek, humble, and patient soul. 
-St John of the Cross

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
-Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Modesty & Chastity
A clean heart is a free heart. A free heart can love Christ with an undivided love in chastity, convinced that nothing and nobody will separate it from his love. Purity, chastity, and virginity created a special beauty in Mary that attracted God’s attention. He showed his great love for the world by giving Jesus to her.
-Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Those whose hearts are pure are the temples of the Holy Spirit.
-St. Lucy

I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of the hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.
2 Timothy 1:6-7

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary! And, for more reasons to see His Goodness in your Catholic Faith head on over to Micaela's!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

FF: Baby-Led Weaning

Since the food party has begun for our sweet Linus I thought I'd post 5 favorites about how we do solids in our home. I heard about baby-led weaning from a friend. From then on, I did some reading and internet researching to no end. Everything just made sense to me; so we gave it a go.

1. Get in my mouth!
I love how our babies learn! Their inquiring minds are inspiring! Littles around the age of birth are learning to live with each breath they take. They take the world in with all of their senses. At around 4-6 months, the little ones start sticking anything and everything into their mouths. It's what they do. It's how they learn about the things around them. Case in point below.
Bigfoot was a pro at sticking all things under the sun in his mouth. Whether he was teething and self-soothing his gums or just learning the ins and outs of a new toy.
So, I figured how better to learn about food than letting them do what they do at this age.

This age being 6 months and on only because you want your little to be decently sitting upright. Sitting up helps with digestion and there's no pressure on intake when you go this route. BLW really encourage the nursing relationship because of the awesome nutrition factor, but formula babies can do this also! The idea is they get nursed first and then onto the food party. 

Learning is living, and this method really lets that happen! And, I love it!

2. Exploring is Fun
Textures, colors, smells, touch, and so many other delicious to-dos! The little ones get to explore! And, exploring is FUN!

I loved watching Bigfoot explore his foods. And now we get to enjoy it again with Linus.
Their faces light up when a new taste or texture enters their little mouths! It's exciting, new, and refreshing.
So fun!

3. Baby-led made sense and was low-maintenance
Babies technically led the way in all things food from the time in our wombs. They've dictated how much and when for quite a while once we get to the point of solids. Even moreso since we were blessed to be able to exclusively nurse, Bigfoot and Linus have always been in charge of intake.
So, I figured, why change up things now. I've trusted them thus far, might as well keep on keeping on.
Bigfoot was great. He loved his foods. He loved trying new things. He knew when he liked something and when he didn't. Meanwhile, all of his major nutritional needs were continuously being satisfied by our nursing relationship.

Also, a major plus was that I didn't have to do any extra work of pureeing foods or buying jarred foods. Nice on the budget and the idea is the littles eat what we eat - age appropriate of course. In fact, doing things this way made sure we were having baked veggies with our meals a number of times a week. Baked veggies are good because they are just soft enough for our little ones to gum in the earlier days of learning to chew and swallow. After a few months of learning and exploring, Bigfoot was eating meals I made. Spices, textures, and so much more. I never had to cook to him, which was nice.

4. Hands-Free!
They feed themselves. No spoon feeding. Another plus for my low-maintenance self!

Bigfoot was always so good about waiting for his food because he was so used to us all sitting down and then getting our food at the same time. He would sit, wait, pray, then eat. Every once in awhile he would get fidgity but for the most part he was just always so excited about getting something new.

I can already see Linus falling in that pattern too. Both boys sit, wait, we pray, then we eat. As soon as Linus gets in his chair he gets excited and starts looking around in anticipation. Once I put something on his tray - it's go time!
Now in regards to silverware, Bigfoot isn't a total pro just yet, but we started him pretty early. He loved it and for the most part does pretty well. Allowing them to feed themselves earlier on helps out with their dexterity which is always a nice side perk.
And, sippy cup fun starts early. They start sippin' on some water. Linus does need some assistance with this, but for the most part he gets it, likes it, and knows what its for.

This one counts as a favorite, because I like my food too! And, come meal time I am usually ready to eat. Being able to give the boys their food and sit with them while we all enjoy our meal makes me a very happy and well-fed mama!

5. Family fun for all
And, my last favorite is the fun! Food is fun! It's wonderful! It's a gift! It's nourishing and good and should bring smiles and togetherness.

But, my absolute favorite aspect of the dinner table fun is that we are all together as a family, eating as a family, and enjoying as a family. It's a good time.
The two pictures (one above and one below) were taken yesterday. Linus has been eating solids for a week. He started his food adventure with avocados (my most absolute favorite thing to eat always & forever! Right up there with grapefruits!). Since then he has had banana, carrots, apple, puffs, and rice crackers. 

What I love about these pictures is how both boys are just sitting and enjoying. I was sitting and enjoying too (GeekMan was a little late for dinner that day because of work, but he would have been there otherwise!)! 
My absolute favorite moment as of recent was the first time we all sat down at the table to eat. We were all enjoying our food; nourishing ourselves with gifts from above. It was a good moment. A moment I love being  present for everyday, three times a day.

It's the little things for me. I know this little method isn't all kinds of fancy. And, I know all babies learn to eat and there is nothing wrong with one way or the other. But, this one works for us and really feels like an adventure. 

I've written more about our food journeys with Bigfoot here and have a number of links to resources on that post as well. Check it out if you're at all curious. And, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


the crown of creation, and in a certain sense its masterpiece;
that gentle creature to whose delicate hands God seems to have entrusted 
the future of the world to such an extent,
in so far as she is man's help;
the expression of all that is best, kindest, most lovable here below...

Pope Pius XII

Monday, September 23, 2013

CWA3: Fall

Thanking God for:
:: For His Grace, Mercy, and constant Love. I've been a mess this past week and there's nothing like a Father who just wants me to know that I am loved despite my craziness.
::For His Mother, our Lady.
::My Husband. He is kind and patient and constantly showing me that I am loved - despite my craziness. He reminds me that I need to get some sleep and that my craziness is for lack of sleep which helps me feel slightly less crazy. He listens to me and holds me. He sits with me and knows me. These are all good things.
::For two beautiful boys. They teach me about Joy, Wonder, and Awe on a daily basis.
::For new days. Today is a new day. A new start. A new beginning.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today.     Let us begin.”
-Blessed Mother Teresa
I am praying:
:The St. Therese of Liseuxe Novena. We're on Day 2. Such a sweet Saint that encouraged all to find love in little places. Little to-do's. Little ways. She is so dear to my mama heart because all the things that I do seem so little in the grand scheme of it all. We mama's do so many little things everyday. Join in the Novena here!
Jesus does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.
-St. Therese of Liseuix
::For a special intention.
::For Grace & Love.
::For my family.
::For my Uncle who lost his brother.
::For Wisdom.

I am pondering:
::The gift of woman. Typically when I start to struggle with something, I seek out the root - or try to - of who I am in the eyes of my Lord. All of this pondering has brought me to pondering the gift of woman, the gift of us in our femininity. Of motherhood, both spiritual and physical. How irreplaceable we are in a society that seems to think we are replaceable or not set apart from our male counterparts. A society that tells us in order to be considered successful we must do so in terms of men and what success looks like on them. We have our own feminine genius and it is beautiful.

I am reading:
::Meditations for Mothers By Fr. John Bartunek, LC

I am creating:
::A loving home as best I can.

I'm learning:
::a lot. Everyday. Slowly but surely. He is honing me. Meanwhile, I'm trying not to fight Him on it. To say my Fiat and to say it Joyfully.

In the Kitchen:
We're having this Balsamic Crockpot Chicken tonight on whole wheat tortillas and salad with some ranch dressing. Also, having a veggie along with these yummy potatoes from Pioneer Woman (note: the potatoes are amazing!!!). My tastebuds are thrilled.

I'm wearing:
A dress I got from Target a few years ago. So comfy and nurse friendly.

Look what I found:
::I found this fun Scarf Swap idea from my friend Britt. Britt blogged about it here. Hope to join next year!
::Katrina over at Cedars and Tiny Flowers wrote a post that I could have written today or everyday these past few weeks. Finding new blogs to follow is so fun. I'm still learning the ins and outs of the blogging community but there are just so many wonderful women sharing their faith, lives, and families out there! It's a community that definitely is nourishing for this mama's heart.
::This beautiful post about Love coming first. 
::This post about loving your post-partum body. Baby steps in that realm going on over here.
::And this incredibly beautiful post about having it all. Here words were whimsical and beautiful and oh-so-very-true. In fact, after this post I'm going to make sure I read it again.

I'm looking forward to:
::Fall. Fall weather. Fall clothes. Fall colors. Fall foods. Fall holidays. Fall feast days. Fall Smells! Fall everything!

Favorite quote of the day:
the crown of creation, and in a certain sense its masterpiece;
that gentle creature to whose delicate hands God seems to have entrusted
the future of the world to such an extent,
in so far as she is man's help;
the expression of all that is best, kindest, most lovable here below...
Pope Pius XII

One of my favorite things:
::Everything that comes out of Bigfoot's mouth. 
::& that Linus has been saying Mama with more intentionality since yesterday.

The week ahead:
::I'm breathing in and breathing out. I'm going to try and be beautiful and lovely and all things feminine. I'm going to try and be diligent, encouraging, and supportive. I'm going to enjoy my boys and love their father. I'm going to stick to the basics till I start getting a better hang of sleep (I think we're getting there, which is exciting!).

My heart. This was a few nights ago. I love these three!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Woman's Sensibilities

A woman's sensibilities play a great part in the life of a family and often actually determine its course,
and these same sensibilities should play their part in the life of the nation and of mankind as a whole.

Pope Pius XII

3-2-1: Love

3 things you would rather be doing right now
:: Reading. I'd love to have some nice coffee shop reading with some old classic jazz playing in the background with a delicious cup o' joe in my hand.
:: Would love for the rain to hit our area again so that we could just go outside and get soaked. Walk around. Dance around. And just let the water hit.
:: I would also love for that rain to come back and get in an awesome nap wrapped in a cozy blanket. 
2 people you would like to meet in heaven (and God is a given – we all get to meet Him!)
:: I want to see my grandparents again. I miss them.
:: Our Lady
1 thing you would like to be known for
:: I would love to be known for my love of our Lord and Lady. If I could just figure out how to best love them I know that love would pour fourth onto my family, friends, loved ones, and all who I met - sharing with them nothing but His Goodness, Joy, and Love. (Totally failing at this more often than not as of late.)

Head over to Cristina's at Filling my Prayer Closet to see more 3-2-1 fun. :)  And, thank you Jenny at Suscipio, for this sweet and simple link-up for my sleepy-mom brain!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There's a Party in my Mouth!

This is what I imagine Linus saying. Or more like, "Thank you for the party in my mouth!!".

We started our Baby-Led Weaning journey again. I'm so excited. I loved watching Bigfoot explore and just be so excited about food from the start. It was such a wonderful journey that we are still enjoying.

Little Linus is now ready to get his journey started and we all felt so excited and wonderful having him sit at the table with us during meal time. There really is something about sitting down as a family for meals. Linus joining us at the table is definitely a family favorite moment.
Whaaa??? Are you serious?!
Hi, my name is Linus. I'm a baby. What are you?
Avocado party!
I got this! Nom Nom!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
What is this amazing goodness??!
Such concentration!
Did you all really just let me do this?!

Thank's family! I love you!


We love you too, little one! And love having you at the table with us!

For more information on Baby Led Weaning check out this site and an old post I wrote when Bigfoot started his wonderful food journey!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This Sweet Face

This sweet face is 7 months (and counting)! Lots of new and fun things this month. Linus' personality just keeps on keeping on!
Your smile still melts the hearts of many. Thank you for sharing, sweet boy!

You are getting up on all fours and rocking.

You also love to chat.

You still are not the best of travelers, but did better this time around than you have on previous trips.

You roll ev-ery-where!

You've been army-crawling backwards and are on the cusp of moving forward.

You've been a major droolby-bot. I'm thinking you'll be cutting teeth in a matter of days.

You adore your Dada and brother. You go to them and always keep your eye on them ready to play.
You went to the beach and were pretty chill. Mama shared about our fun times here, here, here, here and here.

Spent lots of time with Nana and Papa Ram and briefly got to see Papa Wooley and Nonna.

You met the family on Papa Wooley's side!

You also got to see your great-grandma's!

You met Special K!

You seem to enjoy your sleep routine much more lately. As soon as I start singing The Servant Song you nuzzle into me and ease your way to your sleepy place. It's sweet.

You are at that age where you go to everyone and are just as happy as can be. Your big brother never experienced a clingy stage with mama, I'm praying you'll go down that route too. So far so fun! If you do get the need to be close to mama, we won't blame you. She is pretty sweet.

You are as ticklish as can be.

You are a master-nurser. 2-5 minutes and you are good to go! Still nursing through the night but we're getting better at getting some sleep now that we are co-sleeping.

For the most part, I'm pretty sure you wake during the night because you just love spending time with me and rather I'd spend time with you than with my friend sleep. Typically, you sleep in your pack-n-play from 9-11:30/12, nurse, then are back in your pack-n-play or in bed with me till the morn nursing anywhere from 1-3 times throughout. We're making progress. Slowly but surely.

On the bright side, you wake up as happy as can be every morning, which is such a gift (Mama needs to take note!).

Sweet Linus, I love you more and more each day. Even though I feel sleep-deprived a good majority of the time, you sure help my fuzzy brain snap out of it with your gloriously happy face and contagiously wonderful baby giggle.

Thank you for loving us in your little baby way. And, thank you Lord for sharing such a sweet and perfect life with little me.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Theme Thursday: Sleepless in the Mommyhood FAIL!

Remember the boy that decided he wanted sleep and I - two friends who have gotten along for so many years - to break up? Yes, the same sleep I consider to be a kindred spirit. My go-to friend for when I just need to rest, chill, hang, love, be happy, etc etc etc.

Well, the boy (also known as Linus around the blog-hood), is at it again. Yes, sleep and I are still trying to work things out during the night. That hasn't changed. Our relationship is touchy at best. And, during the day we don't even bother to hash out things via naps. We just don't have that luxury at the moment. So, Linus thought he'd venture a different route to further distance my friend and I.

See, Linus decided recently that it's high-time to conquer a mobility baby milestone. He is a wanderer during the day and night. The boy is army-crawling EVERYWHERE! And friends, as much as I am thrilled for my son and his milestone (I really am!), I completely underestimated how good he is at it! Let me explain.

I drink coffee. Everyday. Coffee and I are still friends. Very good ones, in fact. So, when I put my coffee down on the rug for 2-stinking-seconds, I did not think that the little one would high-tail it to the mug in 0.0 seconds! By arriving at the scene, an honest half-second after those little hands grabbed the mug, some of the yummy goodness had already spilled onto the rug and onto the attacker (A little aggressive of a word, I know. But it is what it is. He attacked the mug.).

At first, I thought, no biggie. Just a little wipe down for the little man, and a towel to soak up part of my morning-afternoon buddy (Because, let's be honest, no one has time to finish a cup o' joe at one sitting with littles around. Or at least, non-morning people such as me, don't.). But then I saw Linus thoroughly enjoying his right hand. The same hand that still smelled like coffee. Oye!

So questions have been circling my mind. Questions such as:

Will he be awake all night for the next week because caffeine was absorbed through his skin?

How much coffee is too much for a 7 month old?

Did he really get anything from sucking on the fist that had a few glob-drops of coffee?

He seemed pretty stinking HAPPY after sucking on his fist - does this mean that I've created a baby coffee addict?

If a babies' first taste, aside from breastmilk and rug fuzzies, is coffee will he never eat real food ever ever ever because coffee is so amazing????

I know. I know. I'm being a little over-reactive (right?). I'm just a little sensitive. You know, the whole sleep deprived thing and all.

So aside from my internal/blogternal freak-out, I'm really hoping this doesn't affect the little guy. We are starting solids this weekend! Naturally, something like this (which probably isn't a big deal, but is in my sleep-deprived brain) would happen the week before he is about to embark on his awesome taste journey!

At the very least, the little guy is incredibly cute! And, his coffee-smelling-fist which he sucked on more than I would have liked provided for some pretty awesome laughs, giggles, and smiles. I'm just praying that God give me the grace to graciously wake-up for my coffee-liking, teething, non-sleeping, sweet baby boy. That said, I'm calling this a little (depending on how the night goes, we may upgrade to major) Mommyhood FAIL! Teething, non-sleeping, sweet baby boys do not need to be within 10 feet of any mug of joe. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Lesson learned.
Hop on over for Theme Thursday at Clan Donaldson. The theme is text. There is text on the cuties onesie and coffee. This is his coffee smile.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

FF: Little Bit of This & a Little Bit of That

Alright family and friends, I'm linking up with Hallie via Grace over at Camp Patton for Five Favorites! There are a couple of other link-ups in the five so enjoy! Feeling a little link-up happy over here.

My crock-pot is a new favorite of mine. Or at least it's getting there. Some pretty delicious meals come from this big hunk of ceramic and stuff.

I say, getting there only because I loathe washing this big hunk of stuff. The food cooking is AWESOME!! The cleaning, not so much. It's heavy, food can get crusted after cooking for hours, and the heaviness of it makes for a clumsy clean on my part leaving other areas of my kitchen needing additional cleaning because my cleaning of the hunk got dirty else where. Boo!

All that aside, the crock-pot has served us up some of our favorite meals. 

In light of sharing, my kind-of-sort-of favorite I'm moving on to sharing a couple awesome Pinterest finds. One crock-pot related and the other Rice Krispie related (yes, get excited!). I'll be linking up these awesome finds with the Pinterest party over at Revolution of Love.

Now, I know I've mentioned our Bible Study before. It is filled with beautiful, faithful, families that are such God-sends and amazing blessings for our little family. As much as I've shared about our lovely friends, I have not shared about how we do what we do, which will help lead into my crock-pot recipe.

Every week we meet up on Thursdays. All families are on a rotation to host/lead. Since we all have kiddos, we have some trusty and amazing babysitters that come watch all 20-24 kiddos (mind you some are nurslings who stay with Mama/Dada and some are toddler who also hang around, and we don't always all show up.). Total, we are 9 families who are in and out given our season in life (new babies, start of school years, hectic schedules, etc). All in all, our little family has been abundantly blessed by this group and by this Bible Study (Love y'all!).

With that, when it comes time for our little family to host, I get excited! I love hosting, even if I'm overwhelmed or tired or whatever - hosting makes me happy. I like feeding people and sharing new foods that are yummy. It's a good time.

So, for my most recent yummy find, that my husband hearts, is a crockpot balsamic chicken. It has a rustic Italian taste to it. I put it on top of salad with a side of veggies and garlic bread, but it can be served so many different ways. For instance, we recently had it on whole grain tortillas with spring mix salad and some ranch dressing (SO GOOD!), and I've also served it with some buttered-garlic noodles. 
If you are a crock-pot-er, check out this beautiful website and recipe and give this meal a go. Your tastebuds and family will thank you for it!

Now, this next Pinterest find is my all-time most favorite and awesome find yet!!! It's Rice Krispie Treats done oh-so-perfectly! You may be wondering how these yummy treats can be spruced up any more than they already are - but let me tell you, they can!

This is my new go-to dessert always & forever! I found this recipe at Smitten Kitchen awhile back via Pinterest. Friends, try this and you will never go back to the box recipe. As yummy as the good ole box recipe is, this one is subtly wonderful and EASY! The difference is nothing complicated. Honestly, it's just a bit more TLC in the treat making process. Now, go check it out!



And last, I'm linking up with WWRW for the first time! I haven't been good about reading much of anything aside from blogs lately, but have definitely missed my books!

Below are the books that I pick up throughout the day, depending on the mood and time I have to spare to catch a glimpse of wisdom or two. This little link-up is going up as a favorite because one of my most favorite spiritual reads is in this stack.

Aside from Holy Scripture, The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin is pretty incredible. He has managed to combine the lives of number of beautiful saints. Martin explores and plots out their amazing journeys to Heaven by sharing and expanding on their wisdom at different stages of spiritual union with our Lord. It's beautiful, fruitful, and has been one of the most encouraging/inspiring/nourishing books I've read. I shared a few excerpts while writing about Sister Kathleen - the one who encouraged me to read this in the first place.

Thank you, Grace, for hosting Five Favorites! Looking forward to linking up next week!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sunshine Days Coming to a Close

These summer posts made my heart smile and so I thought I'd gather them into one now that our sunshine days are coming to a close.

Just click on an image to get whisked away to some of our little family's summer fun!


Linking up with Country Girl's Daybook for Highs of Summer 2013. 

motherhood // standing

  Never had I experienced true fear or anxiety till becoming a mother. Fragile little souls wrapped in beauty pla...