July 30, 2013

I blame it on my sisters

I was reading this lovely tribute Grace wrote for her best friend, and I as thinking to myself - a little sadly - that I've never really had a friend like that, and was wondering why.  Yes, I have very, very dear and close friends, but mostly due to the fact that I've usually lived a good 30 minutes from them at least, we've never had the hang out all the time-get together at the drop of a hat-be with each other constantly kind of best friendship.

Well, at least I always thought before that it was mostly the distance that was the issue there.  But then just now I realized another root of the problem.  These two right here.

I blame my sisters for my lack of the best friend that everyone else seems to have - because gosh darn if it they don't always seem to be there!  Whenever I want someone to hang out with, I need some one to talk to, whenever there's a hot British guy to scream over, something irritating to vent about, on the rare occasions I spontaneously decide I want to do something like go shopping or the library... they are the ones who are there to do it with.  Maybe I'm just lazy, but I guess when I have two such readily available sisters, I never felt the urge to go out looking for someone to replace them.

I'm pretty lucky in that way I guess.  A lot of girls don't have sisters close in age to them, or aren't close in relationship to the sisters that are.  And here I have not one, but two people that have been with me for the last 19-17 years and who will continue to be around for a good many more.

So yeah.  It's totally their fault that I don't have that one super close best friend.  I place the blame completely and irrevocably upon their shoulders.

I don't have a best friend.  I have my sisters.

July 28, 2013

A few thoughts from my retreat

And they will be in bullet point form, not detailed thought form because I'm tired and can't think that profoundly.

A few words on the retreat... well, it was absolutely nothing like a silent Ignatian Spiritual Exercises retreat, which is the only kind I'd ever been on before this weekend, but it was good.  This weekend was a definitely not silent young adult retreat.  I've never been big on the whole sharing my inner thoughts and struggles and all that... but I did at least speak up and share some things that stood out for me in the talks - which I hardly ever do either - and it was good to have a mini-break from life.

So here it goes.

On the Universal Call to Holiness

  • Matthew 5:48: "Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect".  The original Greek word used would actually be better translated to "Be whole as your Heavenly Father is whole".  I don't know about you - but being whole sounds much more manageable!  God's idea of perfect is different than our idea... so try to be the whole, complete human person that He created us to be.  
On Conversion
  • Conversion is the process of turning to God and letting Him mold our hearts to His.  
    • Step 1: Realizing we are sinners in need of conversion [Lk 5:31-32].  If we realize we are broken we are more willing to suffer in order to be made whole.
    • Step 2: Choose to convert [2 Cor 12: 9-10].  Make the decision to open yourself to God's grace.
    • Step 3: Make it a daily conversion [Lk 9:23].  Pick up our cross daily and pursue holiness!
    • Step 4: Life is full of conversions.  [Matt 5:48].  God gave us an impossible standard so that we would never stop trying fulfill it.
Finding Your Calling in the Universal Call: Marriage
  • Hold back nothing of yourself for yourself.
  • Don't believe what the world says about marriage being imperfect. Marriage is perfect.  When love overcomes fights, money issues, any other trials or concerns, then marriage is perfect.
  • Be passionate about what God has given you.  Don't focus on yourself and trying to find God's plan for you. Start living your life outside of yourself and for others.  Once you start doing that God's plan for you will find you.
  • Don't spend all your time on retreats!  Go out into the dark places of the world and show God's light.

July 27, 2013

Where is the line?

While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a link that a friend of mine had shared to this blog post.  Titled "OverExposed" by Heidi St John aka The Busy Mom it talks about the how our lives have become so open to anyone on our friends list, and the damages that that overexposure can cause.

She talked about the insecurities that can arise from how much we share our lives in social media.  That passage really stood out to me.

Facebook was making it appear as if I was hanging out with everyone under the sun—except her.  It wasn’t true of course; pictures are just a snapshot of what we do in a day.  A nano second. A moment. But these days, a picture sends a thousand different messages to those who see them via the Internet. And it’s all open for personal interpretation.
I get it. I’ve felt that way too.
An image of a gathering that I wasn’t invited to crossed my screen one night as I was surfing the Internet.
“I could’ve gone my whole life without seeing that picture,” I said to my husband.
“Why do you even care about it?” Jay asked.
I cringed. I’d been “unfriended” by the afore mentioned “friend,” which, as everyone knows, makes it official.  And there she was—my former friend—in a picture with my current friends. Insecurity flooded my thoughts.
I didn’t realize I was insecure like that.

I know that feeling all to well.  I hate feeling like that... because I know I shouldn't.  I know I have no reason to, I know that the intention was not to make me feel left out or ignored or excluded.  Yet one photo or post could show up in my newsfeed and a flood of insecurities and doubt can come flooding in and overwhelm me before I know what is happening.

I think we never lose that desire to be the "popular kid" that we had in our childhood.  We may think we've grown out of our longing to be the popular one, the one that everyone is friends with, the one that everyone wants to get to know and the first one people call up to hang out.  Yet we never do, and the overexposure of our lives on social media has a way of reminding us - sometimes in a very painful way - that all we really want is to be included and loved by everyone.

Personally, I struggle a lot with wondering if people really like me or if they're just friends because I am around.  If I were to disappear, would anyone even notice?  Do I ever cross anyone's mind if I'm not directly related to whatever they are talking or doing?  Deep down I know none of that is true... but I did say I was struggling.  Because I know how much it can hurt, I try to watch what I share and talk about on social media.

But where is the line between sharing your life and making your life overexposed?

July 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

It's been a super long time since I've done a quick takes, and I needed something to blog about today so.... here it goes.

The only retreat I've ever been on was a silent all women's retreat.  It was a beautiful experience, and I loved the silence and the freedom to be alone and not have to talk to anyone.  This weekend I'm going on a different kind of retreat - co-ed and not silent. I'm not quite sure what to expect, but I've heard from my friends who have gone before that it's an awesome experience, so I'm excited!

And don't worry!  I have prepared for my absence by scheduling a post for tomorrow.  Did you really think I would let you suffer through a day without my beautiful writing?  It's all taken care of!

I was looking through my Pinterest board for dinner ideas and came across this invaluable recipe.  I simply must share it with you... I don't know how I ever managed without it!  So HERE YOU GO.  Oh, and make sure you read the comments.  There are many helpful and insightful ideas that you simply can't miss.

Last night was my turn to make dinner and, as things had gotten moved around, I found myself with porkchops and no recipe assigned to them.  I didn't feel like digging through the porkchop recipes or doing something boring like barbecue sauce or breading and baking them.  So, I threw some spices into a bowl (salt, pepper, rosemary and orange peel - no specific measurements), dipped the porkchops in the spices, put them in a baking dish, poured pineapple juice and pineapple chunks over them and baked them in the oven.  It actually turned out pretty good!  Next time I'd go a little lighter on the pepper (my family isn't a spicy pepper family), but otherwise it was a hit!  Goes well with Hawaiian rolls.

Have you ever wondered with a conversation with a child might sound like if you were having them with another adult?  This dad wondered that question and ended up starting the Convos with my 2 Year Old series on YouTube.  Now you know.

So after hearing a few suspicious noises while sitting in our family room, we figured out that there is a nest of birds living in our chimney.  Probably living on top of the flu door or whatever that thing is that goes across to keep the draft out.  Hopefully they'll be able to fly out of there once they are old enough to fly and won't end up getting stuck and dying in there.

I don't even know what is up with the weather.  Last week was in the upper 90s and low 100s... and of course our air conditioning was still broken.  It finally, on the third try, got fixed this past Monday and since then it's been in the 70s and we haven't needed it.  Today a few of us are even in sweaters and socks walking around the house.  I give up already.

July 25, 2013


There are sometimes in life when all you can do is let go and say

and leave it in His hands, knowing that, somehow, everything is going to all work out.

July 24, 2013


Honestly, I have nothing to write about today.  But Jen claims:
Your readers want to hear from you. Maybe this is just me, but I love it when I see new posts from my favorite bloggers. I would rather them throw together a short, imperfect post than not update at all.
So fine.  Here is me trying to come up with something at least somewhat intelligent sounding and not entirely "well I am obligated to write (see post title) and so here.  Here is me writing about nothing.  Literally. Nothing."

I don't have any great life updates, I don't have any funny stories, I don't have any words of wisdom.  Because you know what, some days you are just - there.  Nothing special, just plain old you with nothing exceptional to offer the world.  I suppose some might offer profundities about trying to dig deep and seek out the amazing in the ordinary and the hidden moments of deep revelations and all that.  But no. Not me.  Not today.

Today, what you see is what you get.  I'm not going to try and pretend to be any great writer or deep thinker or something that I'm not.  Today I'm just little, plain me, and you can take it or leave it.

July 23, 2013

So fine. I'm jumping on the bandwagon...

and joining over 200 other bloggers in the 7 posts in 7 days link up over on Conversion Diary.  I suppose this post should have been yesterday's post, but I hadn't decided officially if I was going to do it or not.  But here it is.  Post #2 of 7.  Today will just be a brief rambly post about how I'm doing this because I don't have any better ideas.

This wasn't a part of the Link Up, but I decided to pick some bloggers from the link up to read and consider following.  Obviously I can't read through all 200+ blogs, so I went to the bottom of the list where no one else ever makes it to because most people start at the top and randomly picked out seven blogs.  I just finished skimming through them... and well here are their lovely links below so you can check them out yourself!

July 22, 2013

What about me?

I have been looking for a full time job for the last six months or so.  It's been a... frustrating process to say the least.  Look, and look and look and hand out my resume and look some more, a few interviews, look some more, looking, apply for a few jobs, get an interview, continue on looking. 

After a while I ran out of ideas and out of steam.  I watched my facebook newsfeed popping up with posts of "I'm looking for a job", soon followed by "I had an interview and they hired me!"  I felt like I was sitting in the back row of  a classroom, waving my hand and saying "Um, God? What about me?  I'm looking for a job too!"  I kept waving and trying to get His attention, trying to ask Him if I was headed in at least sort of the right direction.  There was nothing, and it seemed like God had forgotten that I was trying to find a job too.

As this continued on, I stopped waving and started thinking a little more.  Maybe God was answering me by not answering me... and I began to wonder if finding a full time job was really what I was supposed to be doing right now.  A friend of mine shared something her (very wise) mother said to her on her facebook wall: "Maybe God isn't telling you where to go because He wants you to be still."  So I tried to be still, and I tried to look around and figure out if there was something that I was missing.

The idea of going back to school and getting an associates degree had been brought of once in a while over the past few months, but I brushed it off because I thought what I needed was a full time job so I could save up for a car and a life and a future.  One of my mom's friends works for the local junior college and she kept telling us that we needed to come in and see what grant money we could get and take some classes.  My mom checked into it, and saw that if my sister and I both signed up we could get a pretty decent amount of grant money to cover tuition.  Still, I pushed it off for "later to fit in once I have a job."

I was becoming increasingly frustrated and worried about what was going to happen with my future.  My Knight in his wisdom suggested I pray a St. Therese novena since she's helped us out before.  I grumpily responded that I didn't even know what to ask for... but after a helpful period of adoration, I figured something out and am in the process of following his advice.  

Right now... I think I have an idea of what God wants me to do, and why He hasn't helped me to find a full time job yet.  I won't tell you yet, because I don't like telling people things before they are certain and then having to go back and say, "You know what I said that one time?  Well forget it because never mind."

I suppose the moral of this story is... if it seems like you've been jumping up and down for a long time and making yourself hoarse by shouting "God!  Hello God!  What about me? I'm still here!"  maybe you should stop shouting and figure out why God isn't answering you as fast or in the way you think He should be.  Maybe there is another option out there that He wants you to consider instead.

July 17, 2013

Twitterature (July 2013)

The short and sweet of it is: write up Tweet length book reviews of the books you've been reading in the last month and then link up with the Modern Mrs Darcy!

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Young adult dystopic novel that ended up being better than the Hunger Games.  Teens are selected from school to go through an intense testing process to be eligible for the University, and high level positions in society.  #prettygoodbook #butdarnitIthinkthereisalovetriangleinbook2

The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russel and Sherlock Holmes Series) by Laurie King
Retired as a beekeeper, Sherlock Holmes takes on young Mary Russell as his detecting apprentice and later partner.  Beekeeper was a little hard to get through, next two books in series were better. Eight or nine books total. #nottheSherlockHolmesIknow #mysisterlikedthembetterthanIdid

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Another Young Adult dystopic novel.  Set in Chicago, society has been divided into five factions each with specific characteristics.  Anyone who is Divergent can't be controlled and must be removed.  #yestheyarealreadymakingamovie #reallylikedthisbook #youshouldreadthis #hurrayforChicago

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Short, but very powerful story of a young boy chosen to be the Receiver of Memories in a dystopian society.  He realizes that he has the special ability to see the world as it really is and his life might not have been as perfect as he used to think it. #yesit'sanotherdystopicnovel #butthisonewasreallygood #thoughtfuldeepandeverythingyou'dexpectfromLoisLowry

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Yet another dystopic novel, that was very dark and interesting only in a disturbed so you keep reading sort of way.  Like George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. #skipit

Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut by Rebecca Bratten Weiss and Regina Doman
Cate Frank is a Jew turned Catholic and a fashionista turned philosopher out to earn her Masters Degree and find the Perfect Man.  I read it for the first time last year, and am re-reading it again because it's just that good.  #seeIdon'tonlyreaddystopicnovels

July 11, 2013

How the years fly by

It's amazing to think how fast the time can fly by.  A little over two years ago my Knight and I were simply good friends...

And then he wrote me a letter, asking me to be his girlfriend. Two years ago today... I wrote him a letter back, sent it to him via scan and an e-mail at midnight because I couldn't wait for the postal service, and I said yes.

The days sped by, and before we knew it we were celebrating one year of dating.  One year ago today... we were in Chicago, happy and relieved that he'd finally arrived after some flight difficulties and at the start of a beautiful visit.

And now it's a year later and I'm trying to figure out how the time went by so quickly.  A year has passed in what seems like a blink of an eye.  Today... we are separated by  986 miles (or 1,013, depending on which driving route you take), but being apart doesn't make this day any less special.  We were blessed to have another beautiful visit last week, and celebrate together a little early with a wonderful dinner date.

I have been blessed with the most amazing man in the world for my boyfriend.  I can't imagine there be anyone else out there who is as perfect for me, and who completes me as well as he does, and I thank God every day for giving me my Knight.

I love you dear.  Happy Anniversary!

July 8, 2013

Carrying on

"Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking 
But I stay strong and I hold on 
Cause I know... 
I will see you again, 
This is not where it ends.
I will carry you with me,
Till I see you again."

He's gone again... and now my world is a little less bright, a bit sadder, and life is harder.  It hurts and everything feels empty without him here.  It hits me most in the moments when I want to rest against him, or when I pray the rosary on the way home from the airport and find myself pausing to let him continue on with the response, or when I half expect him to come walking into the room.

It's hard not to cry, and I do sometimes, but then I comfort myself be replaying every minute of our visit.  I look through the pictures we took together and smile at the memories that they bring back.  I remember how his arms felt around me and how his kiss felt on my forehead.  I'm not going to deny that if I need to, I'm going to wrap myself in one of the scarves that he gave me, no matter how hot and humid it is.  And it helps.

We will see each other again soon, I know that.  We have done this before, and we can do it again.  It will be two years this week... it is so hard to believe that it has been this long already.  Time has flown by, and that is a comfort as well.  Because I know then that even when it feels like forever, time is still passing by and each day is one day closer to when I can see him again.   "It's only a passing thing, this shadow.  A new day will come, and when it does the sun will shine out all the clearer."

It is hard, so very hard... but he is worth it. And I will see him again soon.