Thursday, February 28, 2013

Theme Thursday: Happiness and Joy

Joining the crafty and clever Cari today for another great installment of Theme Thursday!

I am not even going to try to pretend that Chicagoland in February looks joyful or happy. 

I'm also not going to pretend that I am a good photographer.

What I can do is share with you (courtesy of my iPhone and InstaFrame) the 7 reasons for happiness that live in my home. Their names are Killian, Joe, Maeve, Jack, Eamon, Faith, and Will:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Beloved!

Today is Kyle's birthday! Yup, just a mere 2 days before Will's big day. So, today, I'd like to enumerate 10 things I love about my husband!

1) He's hilarious! Really! I grew up in one of the funniest families on the planet (we're in the Guinness Book of World Records -- go check!) and it takes some real talent to make me laugh every day. Kyle has done just that every day for the last 22 years. Partly, he's so good at it because he's my best friend, and knows better than anyone else does, but still, it's a stupendous feat!

2) Kyle is a romantic. I'm not a PDA-type, but Kyle has always known that holding my hand (especially when we're praying after Communion) is a gesture that communicates a lot about where his heart and mind are at the moment. He writes me an email every day talking only about us, just to let me know he's thinking of me even during the midst of his hectic day.

3) Kyle is a protector. Not OVER-protective, just the right-amount-protective. The first date we went on, he had to make a fast stop at an intersection where another car was running a red light. Instinctively, Kyle put his right hand in front of me to keep me from hurling forward. My dad had always done that, and he sets the bar when it comes to protectiveness. That's the day I knew Kyle was a keeper. From that day forward, he has sacrificed everything to keep me, our marriage, and our family safe.

4) Kyle is handsome. Period.

5) Kyle is practical. We both tend towards the practical side, but occasionally, I fall off the Practical Wagon, and do something cuh-RAY-zee. He is always there, calmly reminding me of what makes sense. Which brings me to...

6) Kyle is unflappable. In every sense and definition of the word. Believe me, I have tried to shake his calm resolve, and have only been able to crack it twice in 22 years. Do you know how reassuring (and aggravating?!) that is?

7) Kyle is gentle. It takes an extremely secure man to consistently exhibit the gentle part of his nature, while still remaining strong. THAT is Kyle. I have seen him discipline our kids a gazillion times, and he always reminds me of St. Joseph: loving, gentle, but firm.

8) Kyle is talented. He loves to woodwork, and has built us many gorgeous pieces of furniture over the years. He's also a master griller of meats and veggies. If the zombies ever attack, I'm sticking with him. Unless he becomes a zombie, then the vows are invalidated. I checked.

9) Kyle is (gulp) frugal. There, I said it. There are many times I curse his frugality and label it "stinginess", but he always keeps the wolf from our door and panic from my heart. Plus, being married to me makes it extra-challenging! He works hard to support our large family and really understands the value of every penny, so he budgets us carefully to make sure we have all we need and a lot of what we want. I hardly ever give him credit for that, but I'm doing it today.

10) Kyle is holy. Not just "go to Mass on Sunday and say grace before meals" holy, he's WHOLLY holy. He exemplifies Christ's teachings in small and big ways, in both his business and personal lives. He shows our children than if you want to be good and successful at LIFE, then, you pray -- always and in all things. He truly believes that God loves him and he loyally loves God right back. He teaches me so much about the loving acceptance of God the Father, and I know it's communicated to our kids in a very real way, too.

Happy Birthday, my love and my best friend! Your children and I honor you, bless you, and love you!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blessed Monday

Will's official (well, not REALLY official until 2016!) 1st birthday is this Friday, but we celebrated in style with family and friends this weekend. We are so blessed!

Friday, February 22, 2013

7 QTs! Look at this girl go!

1) Boooo-YAH! I'm joining in the Quick Takes fun for the first time! Let's all take a moment of silence to appreciate my first FIRST Quick Take evah!
::::cue crickets chirping::::

2) If the pictures don't match up with QT, you can blame Blogger and it's moronic, useless app. What up, Blogger? Y U no make a more better product???

3) I had fully intended to join in Cari's Theme Thursday yesterday (Architecture!) and I took some nice pics of the interesting architectural features of our Chicago-style bungalow on my big girl camera. My plan was to upload them to my husband's laptop, pretty them up, and post. However, God decided that His plans of dealing with a very tired 3 year old, a teething baby, and a couple of teens that needed some heart-to-hearts was much more important. He always wins, doesn't He?

4) I recently checked out these books from la bibliotheca, because I feel like I need a jump start on my weight loss journey. So far, interesting reads, but not sure how many different approaches I can incorporate without imploding the whole venture! Hey! Implosion may actually work! For all my #pray2lose peeps, I'm down 1.7lbs this week but I have no idea what/if I did differently. Hence, my continued quest.

5) A little bitty of a snowstorm hit us last night (3 inches? Borrrrring!), but it covered the old Christmas wreath and Christmas tree stand that have been SITTING ON MY PORCH SINCE THE EPIPHANY quite nicely.

6) Sorry, that last QT was for my beloved. He is a contemplative, so he has this awesome ability to walk (and shovel around!) past things multiple times without noticing them. The upside is that he's usually contemplating how much he loves me, so I forgive him. (Honey, seriously, please get that stuff off of our front porch?)

7) You know why I need the front porch prettied-up? Because we are celebrating Will's 1st Birthday tomorrow!!!!! As the kids keep reminding him, since he was born on February 29th, he has "no real birthday this year", so BIG par-TAY tomorrow and a sweet family dinner on March 1st. It's been a really rough and wonderful year, and I just want to savor my Sweet William and all his amazing growth and his many accomplishments! We are so blessed. We love you so very much, William Luke -- our own Leap Day William!

Mosey on over to Jen for more experienced QTs!

Monday, February 18, 2013

I knew it was coming...

But, I was stilled bummed out.


Just after Episode 1 aired, my sister sent me an article that included reassuring information about Maggie Smith signing a contract for Season 4. Also included in the article, but far less reassuring was the %*^*#|>€¥•|\{!!! information that both Sybil and Matthew were to be killed off in Season 3.
Even so, I cried when Sybil died and I chewed my fingernails in every subsequent episode waiting to see how they would get rid of Matthew.

When it happened in the last 2 minutes of the final episode last night, I was not shocked. Hey, I wasn't even sad. Too much. After all, the last scenes of Matthew alive made him look, um, less than manly. But, I felt decidedly ripped off.

Then, I read this morning in several different media outlets, that Dan Stevens ("Matthew Crawley") was so adamant about getting out of his contract permanently, that Julian Fellowes had no choice but to kill him off. I have to seriously question Mr. Stevens' ability to make sound decisions. AND, now I feel like Mr. Fellowes was way too kind in his method and mode of death for that character.

Whew! Glad that's out of my system!

Side note: what is with this family and their inability to name babies right away? Really?!?! I would think these families are so invested in their own histories that they have known their kids' names since before they were conceived.

Other notables:
- How could you not love Carson comforting Baby Sibby??? Too sweet!

- I am impressed that they found a character more despicable than O'Brien: Lady MacClare's lady's maid.

- yay on the friendship between Thomas and Jimmy???

- loved the Mrs. Hughes scenes with Branson and with Mrs. Patmore.

- stupid Edna. Now, stay gone!

Did I miss anything???

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

Linking up with the lovely ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for my first official What I Wore Sunday.

Dress: Club a la Targèt
Sweater: Marshalls
Tights: Club a la Targét
Boots: see Dress & Tights
Earrings: gift from a good friend
Necklace: Charlotte Russe

I need to expand my list of Stores at Which I Purchase My Clothing. 

Happy 1st Sunday of Lent!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Theme Thursday: Trees or leaves

Linking up with Cari the Cray-Cray over at Clan Donaldson for Theme Thursday, where we all get to share in a little photographic fun!

My big girl camera is in need of new batteries and I am in need of a functioning laptop that lives here all the time, so you will just have to make do with the pic from my phone.

This is a picture of our Fiona Tree in our backyard. It's a Flowering African Cherry tree (non-fruit-bearing, which our old Polish neighbor refuses to accept. She just knows that one day it will bear fruit. I tried to explain...). We planted it the week after Fiona passed away, and every year around her birthday, it has the most gorgeous pink flowers you've ever seen.

Go check out the other (better!) submissions!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's On Your Forehead?

"You've got something on your forehead..."

"Oh yeah? Well, you've got sin on your soul!"

I will not tell you who said that, in order to not bring scandal to anyone.

Fine! It was me. In college. In my defense, I attended a Catholic (in name) college and I was irritated that so many other students had pointed out the "dirt" on my forehead.

A couple of years have passed, and I've noticed a few things.

One thing I've noticed is that no one likes a Judgey McJudgerson. Even if that person happens to be technically correct.
It's much more gratifying to enlighten someone; perhaps gain a friend for yourself AND Jesus!

Another thing I've noticed is that there seems to be many more people walking around with ashes on their foreheads than there has been in the past. I don't know if that's actually true or just my imagination, but, in the interest of keeping me happy, let's just say it is true, mmmmmkay?

A third thing that has come to my attention is that I haven't received one of these comments about my forehead in a few years. It seems more and more, that people are getting used to seeing us Ash-Heads walking around this time of year. Do you think it's the Internet making people more aware of what's going on around them? Again, make me happy and say, "yes!".

What am I trying to say? I. Do. Not. Know.

Just my brain exploding all over this blog since I can't check out Facebook and Twitter. It will calm down in the next week or two, no worries!

I would also love to hear ideas for post topics! If you have any for me, just leave a comment or shoot me an email!

For those of you wondering how I posted this to Facebook and Twitter, the answer is: magic.
Or, maybe I just clicked that "share" button at the top of this page. Care to do the same? :)

Happy Fasting!

Friday, February 8, 2013

You Might Need A Social Media Break If...

  1. "Idiots" tweet/update stupid things and you feel an overwhelming urge to choke your smartphone.
  2. Their "idiot friends" comment/reply on/to these updates and you experience extreme eye-rolling to the extent that it brings on a migraine.
  3. Every blog post is either "rife with sniveling snark" OR the "most profound thing you've ever read!" -- there is no in-between.
  4. Not only do you ignore/postpone interactions with your kids, but you feel anger towards them when they interrupt a genius comment you are typing out re: nurturing motherhood.
  5. Husband? What husband?
  6. You get excited for bathroom trips because it means you can have uninterrupted time with the iPad.
  7. Ditto for nursing the baby.
  8. You can load the dishwasher AND play on Facebook at the same time.
  9. You realize you are justifying your time online with phrases that sound a lot like an alcoholic justifying her trips to the bar.
  10. People online have taken A LOT of precedence over your family and friends -- and, on most days, it seems like a relief.
If this sounds a lot like you, please consider joining me in giving up Facebook and Twitter for Lent.
Truthfully, I can't wait to see the way my life improves!