Saturday, February 28, 2015

finding beauty // fluffy dancing flurries

Despite the boys not feeling on par I made sure they had a chance to play with some snow! As much as I wanted to take them out to the magical flurry session that was right outside our walls, bowls of snow to play and handle was what they got.

Oh, and snow ice cream.

Pretty sure the snow ice cream ranked me as their favorite for the day. Or rather, their favorite until I took away all the melted sugar once it had sat around for a little.

I'm going to share my bits of beauty on our day of snow. I took more pictures today that I'm excited to share soon too.

But for now enjoy these photos of snow love from a few Texans who find the white stuff so novelty. I hope you can understand why capturing evidence is a must!

I am thankful for this snow. It really was so beautiful and had every bit of magic that these lovely dancing flurries strive to bring. Fluffy dancing flurries. Fun and whimsical. White and soft.

Cold and wet. And cold. Cold. Cold. 

So thank you fun flurries for the day. Yesterday. It was plenty for our warm Texan hearts. And I heard that you want to share more of your beauty in the coming days again. But I beg you to re-think this and...

Maybe come again next year?

On that note, how do you northerners do it??? All the cold! So many more prayers for y'all during our little winters will be coming your ways for many years to come from this little Texan.

It is beautiful, though.

Anyways, What beauty have you seen lately?

Linking-up with Aimee for Finding Beauty.

My Little Fiats


This Lenten season is rocking me. It's emptying me. It's challenging me and stretching me.
Naturally, one week (and some) into this journey and I'm struggling.

On the one hand, all things fasting related, I'm coping well enough. I feel my little sacrifices here and there slowly but surely emptying me from the inside out. Literally. I can sense that each time I say no to something I am saying yes to something greater. Someone greater. 

With each stand I grow stronger and it is so very encouraging.

With every small offering another little fiat is said.

All encouraging. All hard.
And yet, all that can be scrambled into a hazy fog of crazy real quick for this little soldier trying to carry on.

Tack on two doctors appointments in one week (...and that's not counting the other two doctors visits we had just two weeks ago.) and you can see just how disfigured my face can get real quick.

I mean. These boys.

I love them. I do. So very very very very very very much.

But whyyyyyy do they have to touch every. single. little. inch. of the waiting room only to enter the actual visit room to proceed to again touch every. single. little. infected. area that could possibly be touched.

Then. With these same hands they wipe their faces and their runny noses before I can get out my tissue for them. Then they proceed to touch me and all other things possible with all the germs they managed to acquire in .2 seconds FLAT.

And that's not even including the germs and random mystery limp we came in with. The very things that have my mama-heart in knots.

So, yes. Hazy fog of crazy.
Like I said, I love these boys. And it pains me that we have had to make these two visits. I hurt when they are sick. My heart struggles to balance loving compassion and charity along side the inevitable emotional and physical fatigue that my tired self meets every time some sort of illness makes its way into our home.

I struggle.

But as a mother, I carry on. One foot in front of the other. Wiping the noses, taking the temperatures, keeping them hydrated, snuggling, reading, holding, feeding, caring, worrying, on and on and on. I carry on. One little way at a time.

I wish I didn't meet this bit of motherhood with all the grumbles you can imagine. I really do. 

I wish I didn't make it all about me. But, there's sin. And there's me. And where sin and I meet. It's all about me. 

I...I...I...I... get the picture.

I have to remind myself that it is not I that I draw my strength from, but Him. It is not my will I should desire, but His. I have to remind myself that He sanctifies my little efforts. That He, and He alone can help me carry my little crosses.

And even though it is sooooooo hard to do it while in the moment, I really am trying.

Trying not to worry. Trying not to stress. Trying not to be prideful. Trying not to make everything about me. Trying to think outside of myself and turn towards Him and my family. Trying to embrace my vocation. The very same vocation that will bring me back to Him whom my soul longs for.

I'm trying.

At the end of this crazy week filled with a mystery limp, fevers, and doctors appointments, I am so glad I took these pictures!

There are lots of bright sides to celebrate here!

First bright side, they did have a blast playing with their dinosaurs, looking out the windows, and playing lunchtime while we waited an entire hour.

Second and most important bright side, the doctor believes that Linus' fever is unrelated to his mystery limp (Thank you, Lord!) and that we should just keep monitoring him. She felt his limp had lessened from one day to the next (And still is, thankfully!) and that he probably caught a new virus that was just starting to show itself (No, thank you. But I'll take it!).

After all this, another lesson learned. Again. Trust in Him.

My mom told me to stop worrying and to trust. My husband encouraged me not to worry. To be present. I could hear Sister Kathleen in the back of my mind saying that His plans are such a gift to us if we just let Him love us!

It is so hard for me to remember to seek Him in my times of troubles. It's hard to remember His 40 days spent in a dessert. His Cross. His Wounds. His Death. It's hard to remember that He knows this struggle. So much so He died on a Cross so that someday we would never have to know these pains again. All for love us.

My beloved Jesus, Your face was beautiful before You began this journey; but, now, it no longer appears beautiful and is disfigured with wounds and blood. Alas, my soul also was once beautiful when it received Your grace in Baptism; but I have since disfigured it with my sins. You alone, my Redeemer, can restore it to its former beauty. Do this by the merits of Your passion; and then do with me as You will."

~St Alphonsus Liguori

It's hard to remember, but I'm thankful for moments of grace and late night ramblings to help me see that He alone can restore me. 

If you stuck around for all the ramblings, you're amazing!

How has He been meeting you while on your Lenten journey? I'd love to know. Has it been obvious? Gentle? Hard? Walking along side you? Ahead of you encouraging you on? or Behind you nudging you along?

No matter how He has been meeting you during this season, I pray we all take heart and remember that He is with us.

Linking-up with Kelly for some quick-takes and Amy for Embrace the Ordinary and Dearest Love for Coffee Date for some highs and lows chat.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Meatless Friday: Curry Chickpeas over Rice with Fresh Baked Bread

I'm joining Gina from Someday Saints for her Meatless Friday series! We've been enjoying some yummy meatless meals over here so I'm excited to share! 

This meal I'm sharing is pretty easy to whip up. It's one of those dinners that happened after being low on all. the. groceries. We hadn't been grocery shopping in awhile which made life tricky last week. Thankfully I can report it turned out to be pretty yummy!

Curry Chickpeas over Rice with Fresh Baked Bread

Hope y'all get a chance to enjoy this meatless meal. If you do, please come by and let me know what you thought! I know curry isn't for everyone, so for those who give it a go, pray you enjoy it!

Gina, thanks so much for having me again! And thank you for this series that is helping me keep our Lenten Meatless Fridays exciting in little ways!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

the present moment // i shall not want

Currently: The boys are napping and there is snow melting outside. I'm sitting at our dining table happily rambling away my time.

My brain has been a scatter these past few days. A little foggy and I'm feeling in a rut. It just is. It happens sometimes.

At the start of the weekend, Linus started limping. I have a mystery limp on my hands and it's making me anxious. We have a doctor appointment scheduled for tomorrow, but there's just something about the unknown that just unnerves me. Almost paralyzes me.

We had mystery fever a few weeks back, and that unnerved me towards the later part of the week. And then as if it was always meant to be, his fever lifted and we moved forward.

Sometimes things like this happen and it's so easy to spiral into the realm of what if's or the surely there is something I'm missing or the did I do something to let this happen, etc. So easy to just rest in the insecurity of maybe I'm just not doing enough. So easy.

But then there's this...


"The present moment is always the ambassador who declares the order of God. The heart always pronounces it's fiat. The soul pours itself forth by all these means into its centre and goal; it never stops, it travels by all winds; all routes and methods advance it equally on its journey to the high sea of the Infinite. Everything is a means and an instrument of holiness; everything without any exception. The "one thing necessary" is always to be found by the soul in the present moment. There is no need to choose between prayer and silence, privacy or conversation, reading or writing, reflection or the abandonment of the thought, the frequentation or avoidance of spiritual people, abundance or famine, illness or health, life or death; the "one thing necessary" is what each moment produces by God's design. In this consists the stripping, the self-abnegation, the renunciation of the creature in order to be nothing by or for one-self, in order to remain as regards everything in God's order at his pleasure, finding one's only contentment in bearing the present moment, as if there were nothing else in the world to expect." 
-Fr. J.P. de Caussade, S.J.

His wisdom always makes the pathway to goodness and holiness seem so simple! Like, all I have to do is just be and my soul and heart will move me towards Him. Like I just have to be present and let my soul journey forth towards the high sea of the Infinite!

Maybe if I keep on reading all this amazingness I will fall into order of all the good even in my doubt and anxiety?

So much to think about every time I read any. little. thing. from this wonderful priest.

Doing: I'm putting one foot in front of the other. I'm moving forward, making the phone calls, and keeping the littles fed and tended to. I'm trying to do the same for myself and my husband. I'm trying. I'm moving. I'm taking steps. Little steps that feel big.

Right now, it's the little things. I'm doing them out of love. I know this because my heart is hurting a little for both my boys. I know this because I'm their mama and there's a piece of me that they will always carry. The one that wakes me up in the middle of the night at the slightest of slight sounds. The part of me that cringes with them when they take a fall and the same piece that gets pierced every time they cry.

I have one who has this mystery limp that doesn't impede any of his actions whatsoever (He's been climbing, running, skipping, and jumping with the best of them despite his random limp.) and I have another who's allergies have him and me chasing boogers that just do not seem to stop; in turn, bringing on the not-so-fun junky cough.

But I'm doing. I'm wiping. I'm watching. I'm calling. I'm reading and researching. I'm trying to stay settled and to sit in this place that I am.

Finding: I'm finding peace and comfort in Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade's book, Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence and music.

Yesterday the first song that came on while I took a little get-away shower was Audrey Assad's, I Shall Not Want. The whole time I was listening, my heart was saying, Yes. This.

Listening to:

Praying: Praying that our time at the doctor's office tomorrow is fruitful. Praying that the weather allows us to make it to said appointment!

**Apparently we are supposed to get near 4 inches of snow tomorrow. Now I know my Northern friends are probably laughing at this, but the thing is our roads and cars are not made for this weather. We had an inch of ice on our roads yesterday and we have no regular salt trucks or the chain thingies that would help us maneuver these conditions. So silly as we Texans may be, we really just don't have all the winter things in place to help us get around these random ice-magedons and bouts of snow fall. It was 80 degrees just last week!??**

Praying that Bigfoot's junky cough and runny nose let him sleep tonight. Praying for safe travels for everyone in these wintery conditions. 

Praying for all my pregnant and post-partum friends. My heart is with y'all in a special way. 

Praying in thanksgiving for family, friends, and community.

Praying for grace. Praying for love. Praying for peace.

And praying:
Suscipe (St. Ignatius of Loyola)
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own. 
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it. 
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me.

Captured: I haven't captured anything with the fancier camera but I have a few phone camera/Instagram captures to share.

Thanks for stopping by and reading along this little bit of a slow time we have going around here. 

How are things with y'all? Slow? Fast? Crazy? Normal?

What words of wisdom from the Saints or Scriptures nudge you along the slower times? I'm all ears!

Linking-up with Jenny for Daybook.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cheers to New Beginnings!


Silly me. Of course if I write and share that our week has been going fairly smoothly I would meet a Friday that could rival any Monday.

Stopping in for some quick-takes and beauty finds because this mama could do with some re-focusing.

Earlier this week, we fell into our rhythm. It was great. Good days. Lots of reading, smiles, fun, and chill. Then I went to bed late, twice, only to wake up to two grouchy-pants. I tried to rival this by meeting up with some awesome mamas at a fun little indoor play place, but Mr. Bigfoot decided to keep his grouchy-pants on. Such is the life of the little ones I suppose. Trying to navigate emotions and fun all at the same time. But on a day of fasting, I admit that my temper got the best of me when they decided to cry all the way home. All. The. Way...Oy!

Twas a long car ride.

But life took a turn when my husband came home for lunch with... Wait for it! ...a free iced-coffee from Chick-fil-a! Oh MY HEART! I can't even tell you the flood of love I had for him when he stepped in. I mean, I'm pretty sure I almost cried. True story.

Especially since, on my way to meet my friends I punched in Chick-fil-a in my Google Maps only to be taken to the middle-of-neighborhood-no-where. No, thank you Google. No, thank you. Ever.

I hadn't had coffee because I was wanting this tidbit of delicious mixed with caffeine but Google had other, more unpleasant plans for me.

See, the thing is, Lent is here. I have set my mind and heart on my offerings and sacrifices. This is definitely going to be one of the more trying Lenten seasons I've had in recent years and I'm thankful and excited for that. However, as many things as I am saying no to right now, coffee and creamer are just not one of those. I know myself and I know where we are in life right now and that would do more harm than good. And that's not what Lent is about. I will not be learning Love with an empty coffee mug this season. Perhaps another one in the future, but not this one. And that's okay.

But given the trials from today, small may they have been, I'm telling myself to begin again.
"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
I found these words from St. Therese last year. They mean something to me again this year. And probably will for the rest of my life. A reminder that has helped me transition today. Encouragement that made me stop earlier. Encouraging words and some jokes from my husband also helped me settle a ton too (THANK YOU, Love!).

Today I fell. I fell on the drive home from such a fun time and I fell while at home during lunch. But I'm determined to get back up again. To begin again. It's just what I need to do. It's just what needs to happen. And, with His Grace and Strength, it's going to happen!

On that note, the boys napped. I rested. I typed. I read. And now I'm sharing. We were invited to a Children's Stations of the Cross and a Lenten dinner. This will be good (fingers-crossed). Either way, I've had an attitude adjustment and will be determined to find the good and beauty in it. In our time with friends and our time sharing God with our little family. Time sharing in fellowship. It will be good.

And on another good note, I grabbed my camera the other day when we had some sunshine. These were my beauty finds. Finding beauty in our time together and throughout our week really helps me to slow down and have that peace that helps me get through my days.

Cheers to new beginnings and finding beauty. On the daily.

How is your Friday going? What encouragement have you found during your harder days that makes all the difference?

Thanks for stopping by! Linking-up with Kelly for some quick-takes and Aimee for Finding Beauty Friday! I've missed linking-up with you both! And linking-up with Amy for Embrace the Ordinary. Thanks for hosting during Lent, Amy! :)

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