Category Archives: musings

my random thoughts

7 Quick Takes Friday: Thankfulness

Here I am again…yes, it’s been two weeks since I had time to write, but I have a good reason!  For a week, we were stuck in a hotel (no internet access, save for our Droids, and I did not have the patience to do a blog post on my phone, Swype or no).  Stuck in a hotel because our house had a gas leak that needed to be repaired, then inspected no fewer than 2 times before we were allowed to have gas and therefore heat and hot water.  We survived (barely), but are so thankful to be back in our humble abode, that I decided to theme this week’s offering:  things I am thankful for!

1 – Our house.  Yes, it’s a rental, yes, it’s falling apart in places and needs a major upgrade.  But it’s got plenty of space, it’s reasonably priced, in a safe neighborhood convenient to hubby’s work and my activities, and in a place we love to live- and it now has working heat and hot water.  Can’t beat that!

2 – Late crawlers.  Babies, that is.  Several people have expressed surprise that the Bean is not crawling at nearly 9.5 months.  To that I say, woohoo!  We have not babyproofed a thing in the house and I am enjoying being able to sit her in one spot and there being a 95% chance that she will be in the same position when I return 1 minute later.  She is on the way to crawling, though- she does a little butt scooting, and will lean forward into a sort of 3-point stance, which guarantees that when placed on a bed or couch, there is a 100% chance that she will try and take a nose dive onto the floor- made the hotel stay that much more interesting.

3 – Snow!  We live in an area that allegedly does not get much snow.  Sure.  Last winter, we had 2 snowstorms with double-digit accumulations.  And right after Christmas last year, we got a good 6 inches.  But none since then, until today!  I missed the white stuff, and this snow was perfect- a few inches on the ground but hardly any on the road.

4 – Cloth diapers.  I switched to cloth about 1.5 months ago and love it.  Right now, however, the Bean is in disposables due to a nasty yeast rash and the accompanying creams.  Yes, I know I can get liners for the cloth ones.  But right around the time of the rash, I realized that I had detergent buildup and had to strip them (in the hotel laundry room, even!  Go me!).  I have to still treat them for yeast (I am going to try 4-5 drops of tea tree oil in the wash, I hear that works well) and we likely won’t go back to them until the wee yeasties are gone for sure- but having daily diaper blowouts made me realize how much I don’t miss disposables!

5 – A working kitchen.  We did have a kitchenette in the hotel, but no oven. I did not realize how much I had come to enjoy cooking and eating in most nights of the week, until we couldn’t.  I did the best I could with the kitchenette, but we still ate out a lot.  The first thing I made when we got back was Father Leo’s famous fusion fajitas (they beat Bobby Flay on Throwdown!).  YUM!

6 -The Sacrament of Reconciliation. Lately, the daily frustrations of being a SAHM with a busy husband and active baby have really been piling up (did I mention the hotel thing?  Oh, I did? Okay.).  I definitely could have handled it better, and I was relieved to complete a long-overdue confession last weekend.  I always leave feeling refreshed, even though I often still feel nervous before I go in- I think that’s a remnant from my conversion, honestly.  I was terrified of my first Reconciliation, but have never had a “bad experience”- so little by little, I have become accustomed to it, and even enjoy it (imagine that!).

7 – This one is frivolous, yes- Cable TV.  Love, love TV.  I have gotten a lot better lately and no longer leave it on all the time just because I have it, but man- I love me some cheesy cable shows.  Cake Boss and all the spinoffs, Dog Whisperer, House Hunters, Wild Justice even- that’s my new one- follows game wardens in California, busting poachers and illegal traders and pot growers- very interesting!  Anyway, I promised hubby I would give up cable for the sake of our budget when we move this summer.  So I am enjoying it while it lasts!

That’s it! Be sure to visit Jen’s original post to read some more great Quick Takes!

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7 Quick Takes Friday: Back to Blogging

…Or, Why I Thought This Might Have Been A Good Idea At The Time.

I thought, to help inspire me to write, that I would use this 7QT to focus on several blogs that I *always* click on when my Google Reader tells me there is a new post.  By default, first on the list is Conversion Diary, where this gem of an idea came from (but I am still going to share 7 more, in no particular order, mind you- because there are so many great blogs out there)!

1- Ask Sister Mary Martha

Sister Mary Martha is a feisty nun who answers reader questions about Catholic teachings and tradition, with a sharp wit and great humor.  I always learn something, and I almost always have a smile on my face after reading (sometimes she does write about serious things, after all).

2- I Have to Sit Down

In one of the internet circles I frequent (Catholic mommy types, if you must know), I have gathered that Simcha Fisher is quite famous. She has a lot of devoted followers and is amazingly snarky, which is why I love her blog.  The post I linked to, however, is a recent thoughtful one that I really liked.

3- Momopoly

This is the blog of Kate Wicker, who has 3 charming little girls and always makes me think with her well-thought-out posts.  She’s a great writer and has many funny/heartwarming mothering anecdotes.

4- wil wheaton: in exile

Yes, I am a geek. I manage to hide it well, mostly (not that I am ashamed or anything, it’s just that I don’t know many fellow geeks anymore and am tired of having to explain that there were more than two Star Trek TV shows, and no, the two that you do know were by far not the best ones, thanks).  Ahem.  Anyway, when I was a teen, Star Trek: The Next Generation was on, and Wesley was on, and did I mention that I was a geeky teenage girl? Instant crush.  So, Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley, is all grown up too (imagine that!) and has a blog.  I don’t share all his interests, but he’s also very funny (I am seeing a trend with my favorite blogs, are you?) and I love his descriptions of and stories about being an actor, since that is something I am completely unfamiliar with.

5- TV Guide Breaking News

This is the online equivalent of a People Magazine subscription, really.  I have an unhealthy addiction to NCIS (from the year when I had strep throat 4 times and got my tonsils out) and Psych, and I will admit that while I scan the headlines looking just for mentions of my favorite shows, I occasionally learn something about what “everyone else” is up to these days- what the kids are watching, who’s in the Superbowl, there’s some new singer called Lady Gaga, etc.

6- The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

I am a recent convert to cloth diapers for my 8 month old.  We have been using them for about a month, and it’s awesome.  And addictive!  I love reading about what everyone else does and likes about cloth, and this is one of my favorites.

7- The Consumerist

This website is somehow related to Consumer Reports, which I love- but I’m not sure how. I think of it like CR’s snarky 2nd cousin- it’s main interest is informing consumers, but they will not pass up even the most bizarre story in the name of saving you from your own stupidity.  Also, funny!

rejuvenation…

So, I am resurrecting the ol’ blog.  New pictures, too.  Let me know if the background is too busy. I’m not sure if I like it, I was just playing around with the theme options for the page.

Still divided on how “public” I want to be.  Part of the reason I gave up the blogging was because I wasn’t sure how much I could share without giving away too much personal information. I read enough blogs that tell me it can be done, but…perhaps I’ve been to too many of the military’s “the evils of social media” presentations lately.

I guess this is mostly a test post – nothing else springs to mind!

unnaturally calm?

Today I was told by a co-worker: “You know, for someone who’s getting married in a month, you’re awfully calm.”

I think this is kind of funny.  I mean, why *not* be calm?  It’s a big event. I’m super excited, sure- but I don’t see much to get all worked up about.  Lots of things to be planned, but all of that has pretty much been taken care of at this point.  (A MONTH!! SQUEE!!!)

Ahem.  So, in my current calm state, I thought I would share 3 blogs which have aided in my sanity as I have been planning this for the last 6 months. I tried to pick a representative post from each, and I think that even if you’re not about to get married, they can be interesting.

Here’s an idea for an alternative gift registry from Meg at A Practical Wedding.

Next, Sarah from My Catholic Wedding- a post from a while ago that reminds me of what I also learned at my own wedding prep classes: my job as a married person is to get my husband to heaven, and vice versa.  (He’s really got his work cut out for him, by the way…)

And- the first wedding website I found where other similarly sane brides gather: the lovely Offbeat Bride.  This post shows the talents of one bride who makes GORGEOUS button bouquets, which I seriously coveted for a few months of my planning process.  I ultimately decided to go with real flowers because so many people were freaked out by such a non-traditional choice.  Plus, custom bouquets = expensive!  Oh well.  Perhaps I could get one for an anniversary or something.

a good book…

I haven’t talked much here about the books I enjoy- and believe me, there are many- but here is a link to a book that I just reviewed on LibraryThing (an awesome website for fellow book nerds, by the way!).

Up next on my bookshelf: The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn.  Scott Hahn is one of my new favorite authors. I read his book “Rome to Home” when it was recommended to me by a friend who also converted to Catholicism.  My RCIA class instructors have recommended others of his books, and I am working on this one as we discuss the Eucharist (perhaps the highest hurdle I have to comprehend as a convert to the faith).  So far it’s very eye-opening, and even though it’s a tiny book, there is a lot packed into it!

finally….

I have decided to just pick a team. After years of loving the sport, but not having “a team” to root for.  

I can not just pick any team. It has to be a team that I have a reason to like, right? My hometown team…? NO! I have my reasons. My sister’s team? Nah. My buddy’s team? Well….OK so at least they are a good team, but…. I can’t just be a follower, can I?

So, I now reveal my chosen team: the Pirates! Wooo! (and you thought it was going to be football, didn’t you?)

FIRE….of a sort.

So, this past Saturday I saw the movie Fireproof.

It’s one of those rare movies.  It entertains, teaches, and moves you.  I feel like I won’t be able to really do it justice by describing it here, but I will try.  (If you want to skip my ramblings and go to more knowledgeable sources, check out the movie blog and/or the Fireproof Your Marriage site.)

My boyfriend and I went to see it more or less on a whim. I knew a little about the movie going in- that it was about marriage and related struggles, starring none other than Kirk Cameron (where has he been, anyway?).  Unfortunately, my BF didn’t know anything about it, and I think he thought it was actually about firefighters, so he was even more blindsided by its awesomeness than I was.

The movie details the marital struggles of Caleb (Cameron) and his wife Katherine, a couple on the brink of what looks to be a nasty divorce.  Even though I’m not married, their problems seem fairly common to me- distance, lack of respect, negativity, attraction to other people (but not full-out adultery, mind you).  The great part of the movie is how their problems are resolved, and how their marriage is strengthened as a result.

To make a long story short (and you can read it in other reviews anyway), Caleb’s father challenges him to complete the “Love Dare”, a day-by-day series of actions that ask him to respect his wife and treat her very differently than he has been doing.  At first Caleb is resistant, but then he begins to understand and enjoy changing his attitude towards his wife. Unfortunately, his wife is not on the same page as him through much of the movie, creating more conflict and problems for Caleb- until the happy ending, of course!

I don’t feel that’s it’s too much of a giveaway to reveal the ending, because the crux of the movie is the journey, the path Caleb (and, to a lesser extent, Katherine) takes to get there.  This is where the Christian message comes in, and don’t let it turn you off, as it would have for me even just a year ago.  Caleb realizes that he can’t really love his wife until he understands how he can love Jesus.  This realization comes in a very moving scene where Caleb is complaining viciously to his father about Katherine- how she doesn’t realize how he’s changing, she still reacts negatively to every new thing he tries, and she doesn’t recognize the sacrifices he is making. Basically, he asks: How can I love her when she won’t give me a chance?  At this moment, his father is standing underneath a cross- all he has to do is look at Caleb, and Caleb immediately recognizes the parallel between what he is frustrated about, and what Jesus did for us.  This was an incredibly well acted, well thought out, well presented scene that I cannot do justice to, and you must see it for yourself.

The second part of the movie that greatly affected me was after this turning point for Caleb.  As the beautiful song “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller plays in the background, we see a montage (no, not a cheesy 80’s one either!) of Caleb’s life as he carries on with the Love Dare, as his oblivious wife continues a flirtatious relationship that could spell the end of their marriage no matter what Caleb does, as Caleb goes about his job as Captain of the local fire station, etc.  The lyrics of the song are very moving, and the imagery in the film really pushes the song’s and the movie’s message. My favorite part was when, as Waller sings “I will move ahead, bold and confident/Taking every step in obedience,” we see one of the fire department’s trainees climbing a huge ladder into the sky- literally.  They’ve extended a ladder as high as it will go, and from the way the scene is shot, all you see is the fireman climbing to the top of the ladder which looks as if it just extends into the heavens.  It really fits wonderfully with the music.

There’s just not much else I can say.  You should go see it and experience it for yourself!