Friday, August 15, 2014

Twitterature - August 2014

I love the Twitterature linkup, but I am not getting enough books read to have much to share in my own post!  And so, all I can give you is this:

Anne at Modern Mrs Darcy recommended this title, especially for fans of Eleanor and Park, and that stuck with me at my next trip to the library, where I found the book just sitting there waiting for me.  No interlibrary loan.  No waiting list.  It was just.....there.  Win!

I found the female protagonist fairly annoying in the beginning, but I stuck with the book and ended up enjoying it.  I don't want to say much about why I ended up appreciating it for fear of spoiling your reading experience.  I liked it.  I didn't love it like Eleanor and Park, but I liked the book, even more so after I finished it. I wish I could talk about why that is, but so it goes.

I would also like to take this opportunity to address how mature these high schoolers were in the last few YA books I've read.  Does anyone else feel this way? I read dialogue and scenes and thought: we were not like this in high school.  

Still, I can see why Anne said fans of E&P would like The Sea of Tranquility.  Worth a read.  And I definitely would be talking about the heavier themes in the book with any and all adolescents or teens of my own (not that I have any teens yet, but as a mom, I must say this).

What have you been reading?  Have you read this one?  What did you think? Tell me in the comments.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I want to organize a big, Catholic parade.

My dear, fellow Catholics:

Remember how I told you I like big, bold moves?  Dramatic things?

For quite some time now, I have wanted to organize a big, Catholic parade.  I am talking floats, bands, fellow Catholics cheering on the sides.  Wouldn't it be awesome?


....floats depicting the Joyful Mysteries.  (I call dibs on the Annunciation.) children wearing their Catholic school colors and plaids.


....someone dressed up as the patron saint of the parade.

....our favorite saints represented in costume.  St. Nicholas!  St. Patrick!  St. Gianna Molla!

....floats celebrating our seven sacraments.

....a big flatbed of homeschoolers gently (not hurling!) tossing candy!!!  Yeah!

(Marching dot com)

....the marching bands of local area Catholic high schools.

....beautiful pictures or statues of Our Lady and the Good Shepherd, Himself.

....prints of the only piece of stained glass in the entirety of St. Peter's:

(Andrew Gilbey)

Some of you are saying: but what about St. Patrick's Day?

Sure, that's a good day for celebrating our Catholicism.  It's a little (a lot?) about drinking in some cities.  Do we try anyway though?  Add a little (or a lot) more of our faith?  One could always apply to be in the parade!

Some of you are saying: but what about processions?

Sure.  Actually, I should attend more processions.  They already exist in my community.  Some of them are Eucharistic and require reverence and caution due to the Blessed Sacrament being present.  

What I'm thinking of can be found at time marker 2:53 and beyond in the dramatic, moving trailer of Fr. Barron's inspiring Catholicism series:

What I am thinking of is enthusiastic.  Bold.  Unafraid of being Catholic in a time where Catholicism is reviled.

What I am thinking of is joyful.

"The sure sign that God is alive in you is joy."
- Fr. Robert Barron


Archbishop Fulton Sheen is on his way to sainthood.  When it happens, that deserves a parade, right?

Call me.

Do you like big, bold events?  Would you enjoy such a parade?  Tell me your thoughts in the comments.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I'm so excited. I just can't hide it.

My actual old pom pons

I am a fairly excitable person.

I like bold steps, dramatic moves.

I like hearing about someone taking a step forward, and it's even better when I get to witness it.

I like tentative baby steps, too, particularly when they are put forth by someone bravely facing their fears.

Sometimes, I get so excited when talking to people, I start to see eyes widen, which chastens me for a while.

Bring it in.  Take a deep breath.  Stop talking 60 miles an hour.  

Or if I'm writing something, anywhere, I notice I have used seven exclamation marks in four sentences:  Hi!!  How are you?  That sounds so fun!  Thanks!!  You look great!!  

Sometimes, I think I should be a more demure version of me.  A little more crossed ankles and hands folded in laps, kind of me.  Periods instead of exclamation marks.

Do you know what I discovered when I took a sample Strengthsfinder test for fun?  My number two strength?


I let that sink in for a while because it struck me as odd.  I've taken all kinds of inventories and they usually say things like empathetic or good listener; cheerleader seemed like a funny word choice.  But then, I realized it made perfect sense.  I love cheering people on.  (Though it's wise to quietly ascertain the intensity and method of the cheerleading required.)  I like to see people going after their dreams, making things work, taking the next step, thinking out loud, sharing their gifts with the world.  It's jazzy, man.  Jazzy!

So, what are you working on?  What are you hoping to step forward into?  Do you need some encouragement?  You'll get it here!  Tell me in the comments.

P.S.  You know who else says be yourself?  Gretchen Rubin.  Great inspiration found in her books.

Friday, August 8, 2014

What I'm Doing in the Morning and Why

It has been a little while since I read Laura Vanderkam's What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and Home, and I have a renewed sense of the wisdom behind the following quotation and other useful tidbits in her book:

"If it has to happen, it has to happen first."

I've been reading books about self-improvement since college, and I understand much of what Vanderkam writes about in her book.  However, as humans go, I was not always putting the wisdom in practice.

What's different now?

My newborn baby is now six months old.  I have grocery shopped with all three children.  (Including a grocery shopping trip where I had to locate numerous new items!  Not an autopilot, regular selections trip!  Hurrah!)  I feel ready to lean into a little more activity, strengthen some habits, and renew focus on life goals.

What do you want to do?

I pray daily, but it can be spotty.

I don't exercise. (Well, I didn't.  I do now!)  At all.  Unless you count carrying around a baby, occasionally in a carrier.

I homeschool and spend quite a bit of time with my children.

We would like more kids.  We are near forty.  We need to be stronger, fitter to keep up with young children and thrive through long days and sleepless nights.

Thus, if we want to exercise and be fit for ourselves and for our kids, we have to make exercise happen first.  We need the strength and centering God graces us with through prayer to live how we want to live with our kids. 

Call me successful!  My morning walk combines:

- fresh air
- quiet, alone time (no headphones!  only sounds of nature and community right now)
- exercise
- prayer time (Yep, that's me talking to myself and occasionally consulting the prayer list on my iPhone.)
- time to think

Things could change, as always, but this is great for now.  I consider this a win.  Thanks for the inspiration, Ms. Vanderkam.  Check out her book.  It is well-written.

What about you?  Do you count carrying the baby as exercise?  My midwife didn't buy that as an exercise routine.  ;)  What's your morning routine?  Can you relate?  Are you looking at your habits?