Friday, March 21, 2014

7QT: Guardian of the Incarnate Word


--- 1 ---
St. Joseph's feast day was this past Wednesday. It was a good day. It was a great day! We celebrated in little ways for our little man's name day and this mama finished praying the St. Joseph novena for my husband, husbands everywhere, my boys, and for thanksgiving.

My intentions for the novena were dear to my heart. All of them. But, this year, most especially the prayers of thanksgiving. Let me explain.

Last year I prayed this same novena. I asked dear St. Joseph to help us find our home and to help my husband find another job that better suits him (or that we have more peace about where he was then) in the near future (preferably before buying a house). These intentions were present to where we were then and pretty specific. Thankfully, our son's dear patron saint, heard me and took my petitions to our Sweet Lord.

Months after the novena, my husband found, applied, and accepted a job that is perfectly suited for him. This new job has been such a blessing to our little family. Such a gift!

Soon after he accepted his new job we began our house hunt. This house hunt went on for a little while. It was hard to trust. It was easy to get carried away with each house. But, thankfully we were  able to be mostly patient, trusting, and had so many people praying for us, including St. Joseph.


--- 2 ---
Eventually we stumbled upon a home that we were drawn too. There was an undeniable pull once we entered the doors. And, we really did just stumble upon it!

It's funny though because we initially weren't very interested. See, we had found an open house across the street and found out there was another home nearby that was also showing. This house wasn't necessarily on our radar. Just another house nearby. We called our Realtor and decided to head over since we had a good hour before Mass. It really was the best decision we could have made and Holy Spirit gently guiding us to our gift. 

We walked in and I immediately noticed a small figure of St. Joseph on the welcome table. I quickly noticed the figure and took to the owner. We started chatting about our Catholic faith. She shared how she had been praying for a young Catholic family with babies. She wanted new and precious family memories to be had in her home. She shared with me the beauty of the home, all it had to offer, and emphasized how wonderful it is that it has been prayed in for over 20 years. She got teary at the thought of our little family purchasing the home and so did I! My son took to her too and after leaving kept asking to go back to Mrs. Carolyn's house. She took to him as well seeing as his name is the same name that started us in conversation - Joseph. She also quickly shared that she had started a 30-day novena to St. Joseph the day prior and felt that he was working fast.

She was right. And, I could not be more grateful for our Lord listening to the petitions of St. Joseph, Guardian of the Incarnate Word!


--- 3 ---
{Pretty}
Now, onto our celebrating this wonderful Saint who was so integral in helping us find our home.
This picture was able to encapsulate a lot of what I found beautiful on this feast day. We were fortunate to have a friend and her two boys (one in utero) over to feast over dinner. Ultimately, she had come over to help let me pack up for our big move this weekend, and when I realized she would be here on St. Joseph's feast day I quickly let her know that we would be feasting and she and her sons would be joining.

She brought over a delicious St. Joseph salad. Our oldest boys are near in age so they had so much fun playing together. Many laughs were had and it was beautiful. Made me want to always celebrate feast days with family friends. Also, it was another reminder of just how blessed we are to have so many wonderful people in our lives and the lives of the boys.

The picture captures the richness of our faith. The joy. The celebration. The whole feast! Which is why I also included this photo for Abbey's Holy Lens Insta-project and Cari's Theme Thursday.


--- 4 ---
{Happy}
Bigfoot was so happy to pick and choose breakfast and lunch. Funny enough he was happy to keep it toddler-simple while I made more of a feast out of dinner.

St. Joseph Feast Day Menu

Breakfast
Blueberry muffins, cereal, and apples

Lunch
Chicken nuggets, Hummus & Carrots, blueberries

Dinner

(Another thank you to Catholic Cuisine for their awesomeness!)
We read our St. Joseph Story book during breakfast and lunch per the little man's request.

Enjoyed friends and food for dinner. The pasta that we ate was delicious! It was a perfect salty sweet and made me think of sawdust. Sounds weird, I know, but it did! The breadcrumbs mixed with sugar and crushed toasted walnuts had this sawdust look to them. A perfect opportunity to share about St. Joseph and his craft of carpentry!
And I coudn't get enough of this yummy St. Joseph's salad my friend Katey brought over!
Last, but not, I made theses yummy St. Joseph puffcakes. I ended up using blueberries because it's what I had (instead of rasberries). I also changed up the cream filling a tad by replacing the heavy whipping cream with shortening and almond milk since, again, that's what we had. These were so light and airy I kept wanting to call them puffcakes. Either way, they were a delightful little close to our feast day celebrations!


--- 5 ---
{Funny}
Linus decided to share some of his sweetness on during our feast.
Yesss...?
Mama, what are you doing?
Ah! You want take pictures of me and you want me to smile?
OK!
Was that good?
Ok, mama. I smiled already.
Alright, it's awkward...


--- 6 ---
{Real}
Thank you, thank you, thank you, dear St. Joseph, Gaurdian of the Incarnate Word. We are forever grateful for your prayers and look forward to continuing to get to know you better, precious Foster Father of the Son of God. 



--- 7 ---
All in all, it was a good day. A good day to celebrate answered and unanswered prayers. A good day to celebrate the patron saint of our oldest son and a good day to be thankful for all of our blessings. Blessings in our faith. Blessings in our new home. Blessings in our family. And, blessings in our friends here on earth and in Heaven.

We have lots to celebrate and I'm thankful that celebrating the beautiful lives that have gone before offer us special little ways to remember that.

Thanks for stopping by and for more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary! And visit Like Mother Like Daughter for more Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real posts!

round button chicken

Also, if you could pray for us! We are having our big and full move in to our new home-sweet-home tomorrow! From novena to novena, we have been heard and loved! ! So EXCITED!!!

St. Joseph, Head of the Holy Family, ora pro nobis.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cinquain: 13 months

Toddler.
One who toddles.
.
Walking, dancing, smiling.
Bringing joy to my heart always.
Linus.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Our Little Feast for St. Patrick

Happy (belated) Feast of St. Patrick!

We celebrated yesterday with little to-do's throughout the day. No crafting parties but a few fun foods to be had.

Menu

Breakfast
Green Apples & Irish Oatmeal

Lunch
Chicken Nuggets
Green Peas & Carrots
&
(Some Yummy Green Apple Popcorn that Lena from Joy Filled Family made. I found her recipe off of Catholic Cuisine. Love both of these sites!)

Dinner
Irish Corned beef & Potatoes
Green Broccoli
Beer
&
some more Good News Popcorn for dessert

Throughout the day I tried talking to the boys about St. Patrick. I showed them a few images from some Saint books we have and read to them little stories here and there.
I mentioned a few times that St. Patrick is not, in fact, Irish, and that we are celebrating with green and Irish culture because it was that beautiful place that St. Patrick brought God and our Catholic faith to. Haha. I felt this was a necessary component that needed emphasis since there were a number of people I saw on social media saying the Saint was Irish! As much as I'm sure Ireland would take him on, the Saint was not born there, and I figured it's never to early to start countering the mess that is thrown out in media today. Haha. Absurd, I know! But, that's how it went down yesterday!
Our little pot o' Good News Pop-gold wrapped in rainbow.
Meat & Potatoes. I'd share a recipe here, but I ultimately I just learned that I completely underestimate Worcestershire sauce and will never do it again. EVER! My slow cooked beef was a salty mess.
For the most part, I do think a few things stuck with Bigfoot, while Linus just did his new toddling thing. The evidence is in Bigfoot's conversations from today. He has been asking for God, and often. 

"I want to see God"
"Where's God right now?"
"I want to watch God."
"I wuvv God."
If I mention St. Patrick,"Right, Pad-trick and God.I want God."

I've enjoyed him asking for God throughout the day today. It's been sweet sharing with him about how God is always with us. How He was with St. Patrick and St. Joseph, and how they both loved God so very much. It's also been a sweet reminder for this mama.

As an added attempt at celebrating St. Patrick, I played an Irish station on my Pandora in the morning during breakfast, but that had to end real quick since the fast, up-beat music made my boys all kinds of hyper and ca-razy! I kid you not, Bigfoot managed to butt heads with Linus once, trip on something that resulted in some arm pain, and assisted in making his little brother cry at least three times. When he wasn't getting hurt or giving his brother a reason to cry he was running around with an I'm-going to-charge-at-you sort of AHHHH! yell, while shaking his head around like the craziness I mentioned earlier. Keep in mind I played the station for a good fifteen minutes at most. So, those of you with littles, consider yourself warned when it comes to the good ol' tunes of the Irish.

I pray to God to give me perseverance and to deign that I be a faithful witness to Him to the end of my life for my God.

― St. Patrick

There are a few things I love about St. Patrick. One is that he was so young when called. He endured so much in so few years and yet was beautifully obedient to His Call! Definitely a saint for our youth! I also love the incredibly beautiful prayers he left us. 

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me. 

― St. Patrick

All in all, it was a good day of celebration and getting to know dear St. Patrick. I love our Saints and am so grateful for the beauty and goodness they left us by answering His Call of love to them while on earth. 

My hope is that our little ones will grow to know and love these amazing saints God has shared with us - especially that whole obedience thing! Haha, just kidding! Kind of... Anyways, until then, here are some shots of them exerting every ounce of toddler obedience they can! Enjoy the sweetness!







Special thanks to Catholic Cuisine and Joy Filled Family for helping make our feast day a bit more special!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekends with Chesterton: Skirts

Linking up with Fine Linens and Purple today for What I Wore Sunday - a link-up I always think to do but never get around to getting the pictures!

Also, sharing some Chesterton goodness on skirts and dignity for Sarah's Weekends with Chesterton link-up.
Haha, every weekend Chesterton wins me over again and again! His gift for words are just magic!

I was able to snap a shot of what I wore today for Mass with my iPhone (not the fancy cam yet, as it just finished charging hours ago), and decided I would seek out some Chesterton words on women's clothing.

Off I went to Google Search and entered "Chesterton" and "Women's clothing" and this tidbit of fun came up. It made me smile. It made me happy. It made me think of the months last year that I decided I would wear skirts and/or dresses everyday for as long as I could. I was intentional and diligent up until October came around and life around here started getting cold. Being a Southern Texas girl who now lives in North Texas, my wardrobe isn't very lending. Even though I've been here for four years now, I haven't expanded my winter wear as much as I'd like. All this to say, I didn't know how to make skirts and dresses work when it started getting cold!

At the end of it all, I have to say, wearing dresses everyday was wonderful! I felt beautiful. I felt feminine in a more intentional way. Obviously, I am naturally feminine because I am a woman but the flow and twirl, the gentleness and softness were just lovely! It was fun and easy too! My boys love to play hard all day and wearing the long dresses or skirts was more fluid than I anticipated for our daily fun. I honestly have yet to really unpack all that being more intentional in my beautiful gift of femininity that God has blessed me with, but I do know that Chesterton was onto something when he said that the skirt means female dignity (Just think of all the wonderful Theology of the Body correlations this quote has!!).

Unfortunately, as temperatures decreased my wardrobe that could support this endeavor did too. I threw in the towel and started wearing my jeans and pants again along with skirts when I could manage it. I think they all have their place, but I will say that it was a special time when I was "skirting up" (as Feminine Genius, Inc. likes to call it) and fun!

Not sure if or when I'll skirt up again, but for now I'll keep on keeping on skirting up for Mass. Here below is what I wore today (Sorry about the blur!).
Dress: Gift from my Mama - Macy's 2013
Leggings: Target?
Boots: Mikarose

Thanks for stopping by and look forward to seeing more on Chesterton and what everyone else wore!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lent: Do you wish to rise?

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.

-Saint Augustine

An answer to our prayers.
Someday very soon I do want to write the story of our new home. It really is a beautiful one that we have been blessed with. So many little things happened that just showed His Hands holding and guiding us. Our home has been prayed in for years. It has been taken care of and loved by the previous owners. And, even though it was built in 1967 it is in much much better shape than so many other homes that we saw while searching. 

Lay first the foundation...

For now, I'll just grab some tidbits from our journey and say that here in the Dallas area the dirt is known for causing foundation issues even in the most newly built homes. I think it has something to do with the dryness of the soil. That aside, the home we bought actually has a solid foundation and has never had any work done prior (Yay for us!). The large majority of houses we saw had issues to varying degrees. If they didn't it was because they were built within the last 7-10 years or so.

There cannot be any other virtue...

It's crazy to think of all the damage that can be linked to a non-solid foundation. So many things can easily go wrong while building a new foundation at the start and throughout the years! There are a number of things, like: what if it wasn't built in a timely manner, was it tended to after the house was built, was it built during a good or bad season, too humid, too dry, to thick, not thick enough. All things that can be carefully managed through, but also things that can so easily alter the future of the home - from the floors all the way up to the roof. The reality of poorly built foundations has never been so visible till we started looking for our home.

Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.

-Saint Augustine

In hindsight, we are forever grateful that we did not pursue any house with major foundation issues to close, even though we know they can all easily be lived in because there are ways to mend all related issues. Honestly, we were so close to buying a home that ultimately was a structural mess because of the foundation, but with a lot of prayer and trusting, we moved on and found a home that exceeded our expectations. Prayers were answered beyond what we could have imagined!

Humility is the mother of many virtues because from it obedience, fear, reverence, patience, modesty, meekness and peace are born. He who is humble easily obeys everyone, fears to offend anyone, is at peace with everyone, is kind with all.

-St Thomas of Villanova

All this to say, it got me thinking a lot about foundations. Not only physcial, house-related ones, but also our spiritual ones.

St. Augustine and St. Thomas of Villanova share some beautiful words about humility (of course!). The foundation, our foundation needs to be firm. It needs to be tended to. It needs to be solid and withstanding so that it can remain firm in Him - no matter the weather, no matter the soil, no matter whatever conditions may come. Foundations are important and no easy task!

The more I seek to solidify my foundation in humility, I realize that humility can be grasped and grown in me little by little. Through stepping stones of service and love, my foundation can be tended to so that it may also withstand time. It's not an overnight thing. It's a work in progress. A work in progress that makes more sense in my sleepy-mama brain by keeping it simple, keeping it little, keeping it broken down by my daily tasks of love that my heart strives for.

When I see the saints sharing that humility is foundational to growing in all other virtues, it makes me look at my Lenten journey through a different lens. A lens that has helped me realize the weight this particular virtue has on all the hopes that I have for my Lenten season. The wisdom of the saints makes me realize that just like our new home was built strong and well enough to withstand time, we also have our spiritual foundation of humility that is wildly important to the structure of our wholeness in Him. If I want to rise with Him, I need to start at the bottom. Something my heart knows but doesn't remember on the day-to-day.

Little by little. Humility. Service. Love. Obedience. Fear. Reverence. Joy. Patience. Modesty. Meekness. Peace. Jesus.

St. Augustine & St. Thomas of Villanova, pray for us.

Linking up with Cari for Theme Thursday! And, thank you Abbey for the meditation prompts! I'm really enjoying your Lent-stagram project!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

moments of grace: Why Monday, Why?

Oh, Monday! What have I done to you??

These are the days that I wrote my Lenten post for. This day when everything seems to not want to go "right".

Or whatever right there can be with two littles, two and under.

Either way, I started this Moments of Grace yesterday only for it to be posted today. Better late than never, huh? I've also had my Chesterton quote to share since last week only to squeeze it into this daybook post.

Haha. But, that's alright. It's just where I am right now. We are forever in move mode. Not fully here but not fully there either. Both places quite the mess, which means my brain just must follow suit.

On that note, here we go with my Moments of Grace: Online Daybook, a day late.


Thanking God for...
:: love.
:: my husband and our boys.
:: His lessons.
:: His graces.
:: family and friends.
:: moments of grace.

Praying for...
:: my husband. I'm starting the St. Joseph Novena today. He and all husbands will be my intentions. Joining my prayers with Mary at Better than Edan and all women praying for their husbands with this novena.
:: my boys.
:: grace in my vocation.
:: family members near and far.
:: all who I have offered to pray for.
:: thanksgiving.

Pondering...

Linking this up with Sarah and all the other fun Chesterton wisdom that can be found at her site. This quote is so commonly found but always so profound. I especially appreciated him talking about the great ideals not being lived enough. What a challenge!

Praying that I be able to live my ideals enough. To the point that others will see that there is nothing left wanting when they truly embrace the fullness of His truth.

Listening to...
)


I discovered this fun on Monday. The boys and I have been joining in on the dancing and have been loving it. Oh, how I love to dance!

Reading...
Scripture
Mama blogs for day-to-day encouragement during this Lenten journey.
Catholic Education: Homeward Bound By Kimberly Hahn & Mary Hasson
What's Wrong with the World by G.K. Chesterton
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

In the Kitchen...
Making a simple pasta with apple chicken sausage. Cook sausage ground style, add a can of red beans, add cooked cauliflour, mix in cooked noodles with italian seasoning, garlic, and onion powder and Viola!

Captured...
Not as much as I would like, meaning nada, on my fancy cam. But, I've been getting some snapshots for the Lentstagram Photo A Day Challenge that I'll share here.

Hoping to charge my fancy cam battery (finally!) and get to practicing my mamatography skills soon!
Humbled: Can't wait to enjoy the fruits of the blessing we have in our new home, everyday!
What packing looks like.
Also, what packing looks like when you have a teething one year old.
We love our new backyard playground! Our full move-in can't happen soon enough! Praying the carpet gets put in sooner than later!!!

Thanks for stopping by! Linking up with Jenny and all the other Lovely's over at Plain Grace.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A cross, some dust, and some sweetness

"Jesus offers you the cross, a very heavy cross, and you are afraid of not being able to carry it without giving way. Why? Our Beloved Himself fell three times on the way to Calvary, and why should we not imitate Him?"
~St. Therese of Lisieux

Oh, sweet, sweet St. Therese! How sweet you always are! Thank you for reminding me of how He loves even our littlest attempts at carrying our crosses.

There a few things circling my little brain but for now I'm leaving you with the goodness of St. Therese and a picture of a prayer pillow cross that we got for Linus on his first birthday. Linus will play with it some, while Bigfoot loves to play Mass here and there with it. Look forward to see how they use it in the years to come!

This is my Holy Lens project insta-photo for today. Cross is the word and since there is some good ole dust (you know, the indoor dirt that flies and settles on everything and anything under your roof?) all over the coffee table, I'm also linking up with Cari for Theme Thursday. It's been awhile since I've joined Theme Thursday. Good to be back!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Light of Lent

"Once again, Lent is not just a time for squaring conscious accounts: but for realizing what we had perhaps not seen before. The light of Lent is given us to help us with this realization. 
Nevertheless, the liturgy of Ash Wednesday is not focused on the sinfulness of the penitent but on the mercy of God. The question of sinfulness is raised precisely because this is a day of mercy, and the just do not need a savior.” 
– Thomas Merton


The light of Lent. I love that! It truly is a time when light shines. His light shines on us revealing ways that we can grow closer to Him so that we can grow closer to others in love - His love! 

Such a good Lord we have. So gentle. Not only does he invite us to come closer, but He gives us time. 40 days. Or, I guess He technically does give us everyday, but in a special way we are invited to be intentional during the season.

Today, I was intentional about some of my time. I was intentional about capturing, loving, and being still. And, with His Grace, there will be more to come the rest of the day.

***

As a side note, I am joining Abbey at Surviving our Blessings for her Holy Lens Lent-stagram project. Everyday they have a word posted for us to capture. The idea is to capture the sacred found in our everyday. I love that too! Capturing the sacred. My hope is to share my Lent-stagram sacred finds on the blog as much as I find time to.

Today's word is fast.
I captured my small Lenten attempt at fasting for my Instagram post (as a nursing mama, my meal fasts won't be too demanding); but, in the end, I spent more time on the word itself. 

***

Fast. My boys are growing up so quickly! Time is not slowing down. Everyday there is something new. New skills. New words. New everything! And it is all happening fast. Fast! FAST!

Haha. And, not only are they growing fast, but they are lightning speed fast! I don't know what age it was that I lost speed, but I have never been more aware of it since my little toddler man has taken to the joy of running. The boy runs all. the. time! He loves it. The laughter and smiles that come from him when he's running are incredibly beautiful.

Meanwhile, little brother is too quick to follow in big brother's footsteps. He is a little speedy himself! He crawls and has taken steps. He will be walking any day now! The process that it took for him to get to where he is now shows such determination and patience. Perseverance and intention - from both of them! Fast is something that occurs daily.
Pray that I be able to follow in their footsteps during my Lenten journey. That I will be fast to meet them. Lightning fast to my duties of love and home. Quick to laugh and smile just like they are, so that my little Lenten light will grow a bit more bright with each day that passes. The little light that will help me be more like Him whom my soul was made for.

Prayers for a beautiful Ash Wednesday and start to your Lenten journey!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lent: My Little Fat Tuesday

"Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life..." 
- Pope Benedict XVI

The Lenten season has arrived. I have intentions. I have offerings. I have desires for this season. I want to be blessed and to bless. Fat Tuesday crept up on me (per usual) but my sweet husband came home with this little treat to let me have a little bit of an indulgence. My sweet tooth thanks him.

This season I'm going to do things a little different. Words are going to be me my focus and I pray that they encourage in me all that my soul is thirsting for.

Joy. Somewhere between marriage and having babies I feel that I've lost the sense of joy in my little day-to-day happenings. Or, if I am in a joyful spirit it can go from laughs and fun to a lost temper real quick. I really want to work on that. I want to keep joy in our home not only for myself but also for my boys and husband.

Diligence. I know I desire it, but I struggle with it. It's very easy for me to get caught up in my tendency to feel frazzled if things don't go according to the little plans I have in my head. I want to try to overcome that and be more diligent in my daily duties as a wife, mother, and CEO of our little home. I want to be diligent in not only making our home a home, but also in readings and meeting with my Lord. I want to be diligent in making time for him daily. Even if it's reading just one verse from scripture so that I can grow to know Him more. And, I pray that I am able to share this daily with my husband and the boys.

Reflection. I want to reflect. I want to reflect more, not only on the Cross and His Word, but also on myself in relation to both. I want to spend more time seeking out the areas that I need to prune, and prayerfully be able to prune from the root. I also want to spend more time reflecting on all the things that are present in my life that are cause for Joy and Thanksgiving to help prepare myself for His Resurrection.

Capture. I have a camera. I have a beautiful family that constantly provides for beautiful moments. I have a blog and am part of an amazing blogging community of women who strive to live a life for Him. I want to capture the beauty of my day-to-day more intentionally and I'd like to try and share that here on the blog.

So, there you have it. I'm off to enjoy my sweet wine and cupcake.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

{7in7} Weekends with Chesterton: Fear



I read this earlier and really appreciated the truth of it. I haven't organized my thoughts on it, but wanted to share it still.

And later today, I stumbled across this next quote from Chesterton. Such bold words. And, such an interesting conversation on how modernists tend to look towards the future and the reason he finds it to be so. The few paragraphs where he talks about our fear for the greatness that have gone before us really struck me. I've never given much thought to our tendency to the future. Futuristic movies. What it will be like in X years. Novels written with future ideals and so on.
But, what a gift all who have gone before us have given! Their boldness. Courage. Love of beauty and pursuits of virtue. The bars have been set. All the way back to Christ himself. 

Prayers for all of you while we humbly enter into this season of Lent. A season that invites us to walk alongside our Lord. Prayers that we all are able to boldly look back and endure the great responsibilities of love that our Lord has shared with us.


Also, I've been linking up with Jen for 7 posts in 7 days Challenge all week. I was able to make 6, which works for me. Thanks, Jen for encouraging us all to share more!

childhood // linus is four

Our resident knight turned four. He is the sweetest little gift jam-packed with adventure, bravery, love, fierceness, courage, creativity, i...