Monday, February 25, 2013

The Church Rocks Social Media

If you need a bit of cheering up about Papa B stepping down this week, then you have come to the right place! Our Church is really rocking social media during this tough time, and it makes me infinitely happy! I love to see people my age get so excited about the conclave and find creative, unique ways to show it. Maybe stuff like this happened during the last conclave too, but I wasn't nearly as in tune with my faith then, so I totally missed it. I paid attention to who was elected, and that was about it. This time around, I am having a lot of fun and seeing so many opportunities to pray! Check out these websites below, if you haven't already seen them, and I promise it will help your conclave experience!

Super Awesome Popey/Conclavey Sites

  • Adopt a Cardinal! You will be assigned a cardinal to pray for leading up to and during the conclave. What a great opportunity to pray for someone who will be part of a VERY big decision! I was doing some reading the other day about how we should pray not for the Holy Spirit to make the decision, but for the Holy Spirit to guide the decision, since God never takes away free will. I've been working on making that my prayer intention. 
  • Electing the Pope : This site gives great information for both Catholics and non-Catholics about the process, what exactly will be going on, and what it all means. It is the tiniest bit dry, but you will come away with a lot of knowledge. I could see this site being used to make trivia questions for a youth group.
  • Vatican Insider : Super amazing visual on the actual conclave! So informative and really well made. l've actually gone through it twice now, because there is a lot to absorb. This is great for kids, too!
  • Fantasy Conclave: I seriously saved the best for last. This website restored all my faith in the young generation of Catholics. We can be faithful AND fun! Websites like this go a long way in breaking down those stereotypes of Catholics being stuffy and boring. Pick who you think will become pope and make sure you pick the day of conclave! I somehow missed that so I got stuck with day 1.
I found all of these through facebook, but I know there are more! Are there any I just have to see? 

Friday, February 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes- Super Random Edition

--- 1 ---
Let's get all deep from the get go. I don't talk about it much on the blog, but I've had a hard time making friends the past few years since I've moved to Raleigh. I totally took for granted how easy it was to make friends in the college dorm and huge class setting, and again in the intimate grad school, everyone-thinks-the-way-you-do setting. Finding friends here is harder than it was finding my husband! I feel like it's a 'dating process' of its own. I've joined countless groups and meetups and have had a couple friendships that last a while, but never get deep. You know, that type of friend you can call just to talk to, or call last minute to see if they want to run errands with you. That is the type of friendship I miss. Those friends of mine are scattered throughout the country now. So I have the phone option, but not the other.

--- 2 ---
That take was bordering on not being quick, so I'm continuing it here. Anyway, I was very thankful to find Cathsorority, an online group of Catholic women who are faithful to the Magisterium (who make up the majority of my readership, probably!). We joke all the time about what our husbands must think of our 'online friends', because we value our friendships there SO much! I wanted something like that in person, too, though. I attended a Women of Grace session from last August until January every other Wednesday. There were only 13 women and it was really nice to have that in person contact. Well long story long, one of the girls contacted me about 6 of us getting together for a 'supper club' type thing. We are meeting for dinner next Wednesday, and I think we'll aim for monthly after that. I am SO excited. Of course I do wish we could do things that didn't cost money, or a lot of money, but I will suggest that as we plan out our next thing. This time, I'll suck it up and pay for dinner at the restaurant they chose, which is so fancy that Steven and I went their for a dating anniversary... with COUPONS lol! I am looking so forward to developing these relationships!

--- 3 ---
It's been a calm week on my blog, but that's because I was busy guest posting this week. I wrote about St. Felicity for Jenna, and reflected on the wife described in Proverbs 31 for Jen. I was really glad for those opportunities to write about faith related topics. It's been a while!

--- 4 ---
We are moving next week at work, and I got the biggest kick out of our moving boxes. This shows you just how well non-profits share! I am sure we will pass them on to another non-profit after we are through with them... except the ones that should have been retired 4 moves ago! I am enjoying my last few days in my very own office, which I have enjoyed for over 3.5 years now. My office mate is lovely (I hired her and "lovely officemate" was on the top of my requirement list), but there is still nothing like having your own office!

--- 5 ---
I don't mind going to doctor appointments, but I loathe calling to set them up. I've had the websites to the chiropractor and dentist pulled up in my browser for two weeks now, and still have yet to call. If I was rich, the first thing I would do is hire a personal assistant to make phone calls for me.

--- 6 ---
I just realized that we forgot to celebrate our engage-iversary this year and it made me so sad! I think we officially have so many -iversaries that we can't keep up. I may need to create a master list somewhere!

--- 7 ---
We might *MIGHT* have two ENTIRE weekends in a row together. Steven was already scheduled to be off for next weekend, but his boss is hoping to give him this weekend off too, because he (the boss) has been in the hospital so Steven has worked nine bajillion days in a row without a day off. Technically, he should have a 3 day weekend, but I'm only really excited about the 2 we get to spend together ;). So far I have planned a trip to the $2 theater and a trip to the Redbox. It's going to be a movie watching kind of weekend! What are your weekend plans?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Guest post alert!

It is just the week of guest posts, I suppose! Today I am over at Meditatio talking about the inspiration I draw in my role as wife from Proverbs. Please check out the whole series... it is such a wonderful collection of thoughts and reflections! Here is a little sneak peek, but you'll have to click over to see the rest!

"When I read verse 26, the first thing I thought was, “Yes, I am wise and I do speak with wisdom”. Just as soon as I finished patting myself on the back, I realized there was another half to that sentence. Not just that instruction should be on my tongue, but kindly instruction. See, this is where it gets iffy for me."

Wedding ABC's Part II

With less than 2 monthsh to go until our first anniversary (plans already made... details coming soon!), I figured I needed to get on part 2 of this series! Here is part 1 if you are interested.

I've written about our honeymoon before (and apparently never finished... oops), but it was one of the best weeks of our lives. We went to Curacao and stayed at an all inclusive resort. I still think back on it often. It wasn't that I needed it after the stress of the wedding (because, even though there was stress, I liked doing all the wedding stuff), but we needed that time to be totally disconnected from the world and revel in our new roles as husband and wife. It was fun, beautifully romantic, and far exceeded our expectations.

Invitations were fun to pick out but were defnitely a source of stress! We ordered them from Vistaprint to save money, which we did save a lot of money!, but we had to send portions of them back 4 times!!! They kept sending us ones with messed up ink or edges. They did replace them every time, and even sent us some extra AND credited our account with quite a bit of money, so that was nice. One of my favorite wedding planning memories was when my parents visited and we set up an assembly line of invitation stuffing. Watching my dad put the seal on the envelope and making sure he got it *just right* was about the sweetest thing ever.
(The invitations are purple and white. The color behind it is scrapbook paper that it is matted on. My cousin matted and framed it as a wedding gift, and we have it in our living room.)

Justice of the Peace
We had a deacon perform our ceremony, and did not have a Mass because only about 4 of us present were Catholic. We didn't want to make it awkward or exclusive feeling to our non-Catholic guests. We were originally going to have a priest preside, but he got sick. Our back up priest's father died about 2 weeks before our wedding and he had to leave town for the funeral. So then we got the deacon, who we already knew through RCIA. We met with him last minute before the wedding and LOVED talking to him. He and his wife had a beautiful story that he shared once we told him about our journey. It was one of those moments where it felt like it was all meant to be.

Keepsakes (letters before the wedding, favors)
We didn't like the traditional idea of doing gifts for each other before the wedding because 1) we didn't want to spend MORE money and 2) what better gift can you get than a spouse!? So we did letters instead. We met for breakfast on the day of our wedding, and exchanged our letters at the end. I brought mine back up to the hotel room to read, and managed to keep it together until the very last line. It was so sweet and heartfelt, and I love that we have them to look back on for all the years to come.

Lady's Night
After the rehearsal dinner and a little get together at the hotel bar with some out of town family members, my bridesmaids and I got together in my hotel room for games and snacks. My sister picked out my favorite snacks from Trader Joe's, and she knows my love of board games :). I was very tired, full, and my stomach was a bit nervous, so I don't think I was the best guest at my own ladies night, but it was so meaningful that she put it together for me, and I was so glad to not be alone that evening! It was nice to have something to take my mind off of getting married the very next day. I think we attempted a game, decided the rules were too hard, and then just chit chatted until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. Two of my bridesmaids spent the night with me that night.

We really enjoyed picking out the music for our wedding. I went back and forth between a few options, but ended up choosing Canon in D for the processional because I love the classic nature of it. I love classical music in general, and it was the only song that gave me goosebumps when I thought about hearing it as I walked down the aisle. In reality, I didn't hear ANYthing lol, but I just heard it again recently for the first time since the wedding and it choked me up! For the recessional, we really liked Psalm XIX (Marcello), so we requested that and then a mix of anything else the organist wanted to play. For our responsorial psalm, we chose Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 5. The response was "May the Lord bless us, may the Lord protect us, all the days, all the days of our life." Kinda obvious why we chose that :).


Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
My something old ,something blue, and something borrowed was a hanky that my great grandmother made. My mom gave it to me, but I told her that she was letting me borrow it until after the wedding, and then she could give it to me lol. My something new was my dress. 

Stay tuned for part III!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Guest post alert!

Today I am guest posting about St. Felicity over at Jenna's blog, It's Just Called Spicy. Her blog is great in general, so check out some of her other posts while you're there! Here is an excerpt, but you'll have to click over for the rest:

 "I would like to say that, through learning more about the saints, I chose one that I felt would guide me and that I could relate to....Nope, not how it happened. Remember the late 90's tv show Felicity? Yes, I'm sure you can see where this is headed."

Friday, February 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
So let's get the Papa B thing out of the way right up front. Am I sad that Pope Benedict XVI is leaving? Yes, I am. Am I upset/angry/mad/feeling abandoned? No. I trust the pope's judgment fully. This is not different to me than any other Catholic issue or teaching I struggle with. I know that he has thought long and hard, prayed unceasingly, and that this is where God has led him... what more could I ask for? I will miss him, but I know that he is doing what he feels is best for the Church. On a side note, my parents funded a trip for me to be in the audience of JPII in 2002 and B16 in 2007. After that, I set a life goal of being in the audience of every pope in my life time. I had better start saving my pennies...

--- 2 ---
I'm having a super low tech Catholic fiction book giveaway that closes tonight. So far there are only TWO entries! I would be delighted if either of those ladies won, but I would be equally delighted to see more
entrants! If you are stressed about the entry requirement, just tell me your favorite TOPIC I've blogged about :).

--- 3 ---
To those of you still hanging strong with the Catechism (to which I owe my success to my husband), can you believe we are 128 days into it!? I feel like we started much more recently than 128 days ago, and it will probably be over before we know it! I am ready to get into the nitty gritty stuff, though.

--- 4 ---
So, on the advice of Anne-Marie, I am definitely buying a grow box for next year. But I'm happy to announce that my plants survived yet another week. My husband especially enjoyed this week because I didn't say "Can you bring the babies inside?" even one time since it didn't freeze. Yes, I refer to my plants as babies. Crazy plant lady? Anyway, they are in a heavy terra cotta type planter so his back was grateful for the mild weather (which ends tonight. Sorry, love). He called me outside this morning to show me a plant growing in one of the tiny containers, where previously nothing has been growing. It was chilly, the ground was wet, and I had no shoes on. I got out there.... and it was fertilizer in the soil. LOVE HIM!

--- 5 ---
Our St. Valentine's was simple but wonderful, which is how we like to do most things. We had dinner out at Ruby Tuesday where I was a fatty with no qualms. In fact, I took the day off from counting points, which was nice, but I was craving my normal food by this morning. Steven got me a potted tulip, which he wins tons of points for since I can save the bulbs to plant in the yard. He didn't even know that it's the more "green" flower option! He also got me some balloons (why did I not know that I am totally a balloon girl until now?) and Reese's cups. Naughty...

Sorry for the hazy photo. That's what happens when you have to use the crappy front camera on your phone because there is no one to take your picture! 

--- 6 ---
Tonight we're supporting our local Knights of Columbus fish fry. Something feels wrong about having delicious fried food in place of meat but... hey, it's church approved! Steven is going to have fish but I'm opting for the mac n cheese/hush puppy plate. *Carb heaven* Me thinks next week's weigh in will not be pretty (down 11.8!).
--- 7 ---
I have sooo many posts to catch up on. I still have 2 partially written posts that I need to finish, and 2 guest posts that I haven't even started. I used to feel like I had all the time in the world for blogging, but lately I haven't gotten nearly as much done as I want to! How do you stay on top of your posts and what type of blogging rhythm do you have (if you have one)? 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, February 11, 2013


One of my goals this year was to host a giveaway for every 3 reviews I post, because we all know that giveaways are more fun than reviews! Yesterday made my 3rd one in a row. After today's giveaway, I'll have to slow down on my reviews until I acquire some more swagger ;). But for today, my husband's mistake is (possibly) your next favorite book! Before Christmas, my husband asked for a wish list. I directed him to my Amazon list. His mom then asked for ideas, and I told him to pick a few off the list that he wasn't giving me and pass them along to her. Well, wouldn't you know that I received Emily's Hope from both of them? Luckily, Amazon was nice enough to tell him to keep the book AND refunded him the money... that is good business practice right there! This isn't a business, but I figured I ought to pay it forward, so one lucky reader will win this and can look forward to some Catholic fiction being delivered to their mailbox. 

Since this isn't a sponsored giveaway, I can go old school (because I sort of hate rafflecopter). Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite blog post of mine is and I will have my husband draw the winner from a hat... or a grocery bag. This will help me know what type of posts to focus on for the future! Please only enter once. With that said, comment away! It will be open until 11:59pm on Friday the 15th. 

Giveaway has ended! My trusty raffle-husband/husband-copter chose Mary Beth! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Book Review: Frozen Footprints

In the last year or so, I've begun to dive into the world of Catholic fiction. I love almost ALL fiction, but it felt like a natural progression to read fiction that incorporated elements of my faith. As you'd probably expect, the Catholic fiction world is relatively small, but I'm very glad to see that it is growing! I was very excited to be given the chance to review Frozen Footprints by Therese Heckenkamp for a few reasons, but for one in particular... it is a Catholic suspense novel! The Catholic fiction I've read so far have been more in the drama or inspirational genres of fiction. I am glad to see someone branching into this genre!

The book is about a very well to do family, and the revenge that is taken on members of that family when the patriarch wrongs one of his employees. There are chases, scenes of captivity, and even a little gore! As someone who enjoys horror movies, this book was right up my alley! Therese did a wonderful job of mixing our faith into the book, showing a very realistic struggle some people have, and also showing instances of people being brought back to Catholicism through trials in their lives. Though the main characters can be a bit hard to identify with in some ways (language choice and familial background), the author builds them into well developed characters early on in the book. And the antagonist... oh, the antagonist! He is someone you hope to never meet in your very worst nightmares, yet is spine chillingly fun to read about when you are cozy in your own safe home. After getting about two chapters in, I found myself having trouble putting the book down and finding every excuse I could to get back to it! I won't ruin the ending, but let me just say that it is a jaw dropper that leaves you wanting more! You can find this book through the above website and it is priced very well, especially if you have a Kindle.

*I was given a free copy of Frozen Footprints in exchange for a review; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
Can you believe that Lent is NEXT week!? I am so not prepared for it this year, but ready or not, here it comes so I had better get ready! As is typical for me, I'll be deciding what to give up/add until the last minute. Right now I have two contenders and I am so not going to be heroic and do both. If I go to noon Mass, is it terrible to wipe the ashes off before I go back to work? I'm just not in a job where discussing religion is appropriate (I work with people with mental illness so religious talk is pretty much prohibited).

--- 2 ---
We are going out to Valentine's dinner next week (yes, during Lent... FOR SHAME!) because we have a gift card and two coupons.... one for an amount off the meal and one for a free dessert. YAY for free/extra free dinner! Steven is working til 7, so we are making reservations for 8 and hoping we get there on time. I am debating whether to count points that day. We rarely go to an actual restaurant so I may not be able to control myself and there is a VERY good chance I will

--- 3 ---
If you're keeping up with my vegetable planting saga (I know no one is), I planted peas, they immediately died when rain poured off the roof and into the big pot, then I planted peas again in little containers and they died when they fell off the ledge of the deck, and then, because I'm a glutton for punishment, I planted peas, carrots, and bell peppers (or squash?) back into the little containers. I planted 3 kinds of seeds in 5 containers and have no clue what I put in which container. Well, two of them are growing and needed to be re-planted, so I put them together in a big pot, since they look the same. I hope they actually turn into vegetables so I can find out what it is! Another of the little pots is growing into something, too, and the last two are DOA. Here are the peas I dug out of the pot from the first round after they met an untimely death:

--- 4 ---
You know how I've been excited the past few weeks about Steven being off on Sunday or Saturday? Well this week he is working all. seven. days. so I have no excitement to share. Unless you consider me taking on his chores this week (cleaning the bedroom and master bathroom and doing laundry) excitement. In which case, I'll be celebrating with a vinegar/water mix.

--- 5 ---
In exciting thyroid news, I had my 6 week follow up bloodwork and my thyroid is now normal! Ten points to Armour thyroid for doing the job! Although, I was eating coconut oil 1tbsp per day pretty religiously too, but I've slacked lately so I guess we'll see in 3 months if that effects it at all. The only bad part about taking a daily medication is that I have to set my alarm for 6, wake up and take the pill, and then have a second alarm set for when it's actually time to get up and get ready, since it works best if you don't eat for an hour. I don't want to fudge on that rule, because I really don't want to be on a higher dose than I need to. I'm pretty used to doing it, but it is a bit of a pain.

--- 6 ---
We had an HOA meeting this week and people from the town came to present to (all 7 of) us about a bond we are voting on in March. If it passes, in about 5 years we will be able to WALK to the newly located library and rec center, which will be about 1.5 miles from our house. OMGEEZERS! In 5-10 years, we would be able to walk to a commuter train stop which would take us to the next 3 cities over, that would be about a mile from the house. Annnnd they promised that the playground that is a mile from the house will be available to us no matter what happens to the old rec center. It was a happy meeting.

--- 7 ---
Thanks for the post ideas you gave me last week. This week, I wrote a beginner's guide to praying which also includes non-beginner level stuff. This week I have another faith post planned and, if I can get my act together to do more than 1 non-quick takes post, I am brainstorming a lifestyle post. I am wrapped up in a really good book right now, so I've been making less time for posting. I also will have a review post in the next few weeks and, since it's my 3rd one, I will follow it up with a giveaway! 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Beginner's Guide to Praying

One of my favorite things to do these days is to pray. I know that makes me sound like a brown noser, but you don't know the past struggle I've had with prayer! Most of my life, I just did the typical pray-on-Sunday, before dinner, sometimes before bed praying. When I went off to college and even after, my prayer life was almost non-existent. I still attended church (though not nearly as regularly as I wish I had), and that was about the only time I actually talked to God. So when I began my reversion, one thing I knew was that I wanted to revamp my prayer life and get closer to God. I wanted to be able to talk to Him! I was really intimidated by the idea of trying to have this prayer life that I'd never had... I didn't really know how to get there. I felt like I only saw extremes. People were either like me, or they were soooo pious and I felt that was unattainable.

Now, I pray a lot, and most of the time it doesn't even register as prayer. It's just me and God talking, and I will have days where I think I'm still not praying enough (really, will we ever be?), but then I have to stop and think of all the conversations I have with God throughout the day that don't feel like they "count", but most certainly do. So how did I get from a once a week pray-er to someone who loves it and it comes naturally for? Well, I have to say it didn't come naturally at first. Just like anything else, I had to build prayer habits. Without them, I don't think anything would have stuck, and certainly wouldn't have grown into the prayer life I have today. If you're looking to step it up a notch, or are even starting out from scratch in this department, hopefully the efforts and steps I took will be helpful to you. I would say it took about a year for my prayer life to completely transform with some hard work and lots of encouragement from people further on the path than I. These tips shouldn't all be used at the same time. If you find certain ones helpful, try doing one at a time until it is routine. Then you can add another. The best way to overwhelm yourself and give up is to try too much all at once! 

Tips to Build a Robust Prayer Life

Starting Out

  • A lot of people I know say that when they were little, they were told to say a Hail Mary any time they heard sirens. I can't recall when I started this, but I would say sometime within the last year. The idea being, of course, that you are praying for whoever is in need of those sirens and whoever is providing the public service to that person. It's not necessarily routine (because hopefully you aren't hearing sirens multiple times a day or even daily!), but can be a great reminder to pray for others. If you have children, tell them about this. They probably won't let you forget it!
  • Along the same lines, pray for the souls in purgatory when you pass a cemetery. You can either pray for ALL souls or specifically the souls in that cemetery... or it may remind you to pray for the soul of a loved one. If it's not a Catholic cemetery, it's likely that that souls could use a few extra prayers (though I know our cloistered brothers and sisters are praying fervently for them)! There is a cemetery on my way to work and every time I see a new tent up, it reminds me to pray for all the souls.
  • Lent is coming up, as you are probably well aware. What a great time to commit to more prayer! You don't have to give something up; you can instead add something that will bring you closer to God. Most churches give out free Lenten devotionals. If yours doesn't, I bet you can find one online (let me know if you need help!). A great way to build habit is by committing to daily prayer during Lent. They say 30 days makes a habit, so you will be ahead of the game!

  • The key to me for someone just starting out is to pick one or two times of day that you will always pray... ALWAYS. After a month or two of doing it, it will be complete habit and you will actually miss it if you skip a day. I don't mean miss it as in, "Oops, I forgot!". That will happen, but you'll actually begin to miss the quiet time with God. You could do something like pray at wake up and bed time, or meals. Make it something easy to remember!
  • Once that has become a habit, add to it. You can do this as much as you want, and as fast or slow as you want. You will find that after a while (and be patient!) that you won't have to consciously think about these prayer times because you will be in conversation with God throughout the day anyway. But you need the routine to get yourself to a place where you are naturally and frequently praying.
  • Work on praying with your spouse and children. If you are single, you may see if there is a friend or two who will pray for you. The more you normalize it (rather than saving it for something you do in private), the more you are likely to become used to it, do it often, and even enjoy it!
A Little More Intense
  • Build confidence in praying 'free style'. As Catholics, we rock recited prayers. And that's ok... good even! But free style praying is important too because it is in that that you will converse with God instead of just talking to him. My husband, having a Protestant upbringing, is very good at this. In fact, it's still something I struggle with and lean on him for. I can talk to God all day in my head, but it's harder when it's out loud. That's ok! Start with whatever makes you most comfortable. Ideally, you'll be doing some of both anyways.
  • Get to adoration. I will be honest. I feel bad saying this, but I used to feel pulled to go to adoration, but really felt like it was a chore. Now I find myself missing and craving it! Adoration is ideally spent with your mind totally open to God, but it takes a while to get there. I'm not there yet! Of my hour, I try to commit 20 minutes to that, and the other 40 is either spent saying the rosary or reading the Bible or other religious material. Back to the point though, adoration is a great way to increase your prayer life. If you are a mom, you might think about starting a kids adoration hour so you can have the opportunity to go and not worry if your kids are a little loud! You don't have to have an assigned hour to go. We usually go on random Friday nights, but not weekly.

  • Speaking of adoration, get out of your comfort zone. Have you ever been to Taize Prayer? I had never heard of it until last year, but now I am hooked. At the church that does it locally, the church is dark, with tons of candles on the floor of the altar and a big wooden cross in the middle. There is lots of beautiful, soul stirring chanting. Oh man, it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. Experiencing things like that can really shake up your prayer life because it's so different from how we normally pray. I'm sure there are other awesome prayer services out there that I don't even know about!
  • One of my favorite things to do that really helps me remember to pray is to offer my day up to a cause, person, group of people, or situation. I don't do this daily, but usually when I know I'm going to have a tough day. Once I've identified what I'm offering the day up for, I find myself thinking about that every time I get frustrated. Instead of dwelling on my emotions, I say a prayer, and it grounds and centers me almost every time. I would like to add this as a daily thing eventually but, regardless, it is a very good prayer tool!
  • Pray the rosary on car trips. We try (we aren't always successful) to pray the rosary or chaplet of divine mercy any time we'll be in the car for more than an hour. You're driving, so there are way less distractions than if you were sitting at home. I've heard moms say that it can really calm the kids down, too! Laudate is my go-to app for the rosary, but there are lots out there. You can also get a rosary CD. That way, you don't have to actually hold the rosary to keep up. Or, your spouse can hold/lead the rosary. Whatever works!

Remember what I said... don't look at these lists and think you have to do it all at once, or work up to doing it all. These are things that have worked for me during different times. Some things I am doing and will probably do for life, while others bridged me to more natural conversations with God. Try out a few of the suggestions and you'll find what works for you. We all come to God in different ways! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
Have you decorated for St. Valentine's Day yet? We love celebrating it, but in less of a commercial way and more of a saint's feast day... since that's what it is! Check out my post on decorating on the cheap and let me know if you have any good ideas, specifically towards those of us who are less inclined to be crafty!

--- 2 ---
Soo.... the last 3 weeks I have been doing double caseloads at work since my coworker left. Well, we hired someone and she is training today and should be up to full speed by the end of next week. I'm so excited!!! I really like her (which is good since we will be sharing an office when we move) and think she will be a great asset to our agency. Hiring her made my week!

--- 3 ---
Steven was off last Sunday and is also off tomorrow! He was off the two Sundays before last Sunday, too. I am starting to get pretty spoiled. We have a six month follow up with our Creighton instructor, followed by lunch out, and church. Other than that, I think we are just going to take it easy and relax. Since it isn't *that* often that we are off together we tend to either stay out all day doing fun stuff or stay in doing household projects.... sometimes you just need a day to kick back together and be useless. Kind of like this:

--- 4 ---
I finally have something growing, after my first two attempts  were dismal fails last week. The only problem is that I didn't label what I planted where, so I have no clue what is growing. Also, I think I started them too early because I am guessing they will need more room before the last frost. I might have to put them in my big clay planters and wrestle it out in the morning and inside in the evening. The things we do for cheap, organic veggies!

The middle and left front are definitely growing and the right front has a tiny piece of green poking out. I hope the back ones do something! 

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Today I have Italian chicken in the crockpot waiting for us to get home. It is my best pinterest find yet! I made it a few weeks ago and have been thinking about it ever since- even after eating multiple meals worth of leftovers! I am actually making a bigger batch this time. My secret ingredient is using Trader Joe's balsamic Italian dressing.... OMYUM! It is a must try.

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I heard some rumor that the Superbowl is this weekend. The only ONLY reason I care about the Superbowl is because, growing up, we had a tradition of having subs that day. So now, I still get a sub every Superbowl Sunday even though I don't have a clue who's playing!

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