Tag Archives: faith

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!

book review: What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About the First Five Years of Marriage

Well, I have been married for less than a year so it remains to be seen how my husband and I will weather most of the issues in this book- but I did find it to be informative and give lots of helpful ideas about how to communicate, figure out what you want from your marriage, and work that out with your spouse.

I like the format- it is divided into chapters, each dealing with certain issues like money, time, and in-laws.  At the end of each chapter is a scripture reading and some questions for reflection.  The book is written in a casual, easy to read manner.

We had an excellent Pre-Cana preparation, but I know that not all couples do, and I think this book would be great for them. I think it may also work as a good “refresher” for us a couple years down the road.  Overall, I highly recommend the book.

*Note: This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About the First Five Years of Marriage.  The book was made available free in exchange for an honest review.

7 Quick Takes Friday- February 19

I really don’t know what I would do if I hadn’t discovered this blog meme (I think that’s the right term?), because otherwise I would never remember to update my own blog.  Please don’t prove me wrong by looking to see when my last 7QT was, though.  🙂  As always, this brought to you by/the brainchild of Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

1 – I was sad that I moved away from my home state in the Mid-Atlantic last year, even though I only moved a day’s drive into the upper South.  Mostly sad because I would miss the snow (and of course my family and friends).  Well, I didn’t have to worry because this year, my new home got record amounts of snow (10″ in one storm, PLUS snow for TWO weekends in a row!).  Not to mention, I had the good fortune to miss the “Snowpacolypse” that my old home was subjected to.  Best of both worlds!

2 – That being said, I am ready for spring. Perhaps because I know as soon as spring gets here, my baby will too (or should!) since I am due at the end of April.  My husband and I are REALLY excited and all we can talk about is baby stuff.  I hear that will get old eventually, but right now it’s so fun.

3 – Speaking of baby things, since I am mostly at home these days because my part-time work has been in a slow mode, I spend a lot of time online checking out information, etc. Now, being a former scientist and teacher, I tend to take almost everything I read online with a large grain of salt, but I thought I would share a couple websites I have found useful.  First, as far as the sites that send you weekly updates about your baby’s development in which they compare your unborn child to a fruit or vegetable (it’s cute until they get to “kumquat” and “rutabaga”, then you know it’s gone too far)- I like BabyCenter and Parents.

4 – I am also a voracious reader, and have read 3 pregnancy books cover-to-cover so far, as well as numerous others.  My favorite pregnancy book is You: Having a Baby by Dr. Oz.  It’s the newest and most scientific one I could find, and has a great sense of humor.  I also liked What to Expect When You’re Expecting, though the format is kind of random and not for everyone.  The other one that I just found “OK” is Your Pregnancy Week by Week.  It’s a little dry, and the information is divided up into weeks (duh) which means that you only get little bits at a time.  I like more information at once, so this wasn’t my favorite.

5 – Hubby and I have gotten a few new toys recently.  Carseat and stroller for the baby.  We ended up with this one, by the way.  A long, drawn-out decision because the travel system I originally registered for (recommended by Consumer Reports, my new best friend these days) looks like it’s being phased out and is nearly impossible to find.  Plus, I have done some reading recently suggesting that children do better when they are facing their parents in the stroller- they get more interaction, obviously.  So we decided to give it a shot, even though it’s so new it doesn’t have many reviews.

We also got a new digital camera, after much research.  We ended up with this one.  It’s really cool- I like the photo quality and that it’s got an animation on the front screen that supposedly makes it easier to get photos of babies actually looking *at* the camera.  That remains to be seen, in our case.  Hubby likes the touch screen, and we both like the LCD on the front that makes it really easy to take self-portraits since we are the type of people too shy to ask someone to take our picture.

6 – BIRDS!  Everywhere!  I don’t know if it’s the state where live, or the specific neighborhood, but we have WAY too many birds.  I know some of it is due to our pond, and I have complained about the ducks and geese before.  Of course, it doesn’t help that my new neighbor feeds the ducks, or that *my own husband* nearly caused a waterfowl riot when he fed an entire glazed donut to one duck, who was then set upon by a large number of other ducks and gulls, and who was too small to carry off the donut in the first place, poor thing.  (The environmental police are showing up any minute to revoke my environmental-science-teacher/aquarium-volunteer/recycler/caring-about-the-environment-in-general card, I am sure.)

Anyway, the point is, we also have mourning doves, pigeons, and crows- typical for the suburbs, I think.  As I was typing this entry, a gang of 3 pigeons landed on the railing to my deck, strutting around like they owned the place.  And then inspected my deck for the next 10 minutes.  Why?  There’s no food.  Can they see me in here?  I’m not eating or anything.  Just typing.  WHAT DO THEY WANT??  (I did try to take a pic with the fancy new camera, but they did not cooperate.)

7 – Lent has begun, and I am really excited.  Which seems odd, since Lent is the season of sacrifice and all that.  But it’s also a good period for reflection and rejuvenation, and at the end of it, our baby’s arrival will be imminent!  So I am definitely looking forward to it this year.  Check out this happy/cheesy song about the season that I found on Faith and Family Live.

holiday contest!

…no, not from me.  But from a great magazine with a really good website, Faith and Family.  It’s billed as “The magazine and daily blog of Catholic living”, which is pretty accurate.  They have some great bloggers over there that are fun to read.  Both serious and fun topics abound!  I discovered the website first, I don’t know how, then I got the magazine a couple of times in the bookstore.  Both are great, and if they are something you are interested in, please check them out!

As for the contest- they are giving away some really cool items. There are some requirements, so check out this post for details.

book review: Diagnosis Critical- The Urgent Threats Confronting Catholic Health Care

I think the title of this book is pretty self explanatory for its content.  It also  states on the back cover: “…an experienced professional delves into bioethical issues to assist everyone in navigating this minefield of moral questions pertaining to the mission of Catholic health care.”

It’s a very detailed book (at least 100 of the pages are devoted to footnotes) which does a good job of exhaustively inspecting the issues involved.  I thought it was a little too technical for what I was expecting, it almost read like a textbook.  That being said, I think it was thorough and readable.  I particularly liked the section where the author compared 2 Catholic health care groups, and how they have dealt with modernization and outside pressure.

I think the message of the book can be summed up by this quote: “It is possible for Catholic hospitals to be both successful businesses and maintain their Catholic identity.”  Evidence in the book shows that not all of them are doing this, but that it is possible.

*Note: This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Diagnosis Critical.  The book was made available free in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: What the Church Teaches About Sex

I recently started reading What the Church Teaches About Sex: God’s Plan for Human Happiness, by Robert L. Fastiggi.  I was interested in the book because I am a new Catholic and just about to get married (in 7 days, in fact!).  Also, from my perspective, the Church’s teachings have been much maligned and are fairly complicated, so I figured this book would clear some things up.

The foreward is by Dr. Janet E. Smith, who has a really good CD called “Contraception: Why Not?” that I got from my NFP class.  She does a nice job of outlining the book and explaining who the author is and where he is coming from.

The book itself is very informative. The author has a lot of background research to support his writing, from the Catechism, papal writings, etc.  It is fairly dry- I will admit that I had trouble getting through it and could only read a few pages a day.  It’s pretty dense reading and almost feels like a textbook. However, I did find it more understandable than say, Christopher West’s Theology of the Body, which I have tried to get through but is still very confusing to me.

The author includes a lot of great quotes from other sources such as this one from Pope Paul VI, that married love establishes a trust between partners that

“enables them ‘to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul…'”

Also, he does a good job of explaining that pesky term, concupiscense, which I heard in RCIA, Pre-Cana classes, and in Theology of the Body, but didn’t quite get until I read this book.

Overall, this is a good book, and it gives you the information that you would expect, but I don’t think it’s an easy read.

This review was written as part of the Catholic Book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on What the Church Teaches About Sex.