Monday, February 29, 2016

8/52: What They Said

You'll forgive me for the out-of-focus shots as I adjust to my new camera lens, right?

Oh finally I got my hands on a 50mm lens! I've been wanting to upgrade since before Peter was born, but couldn't justify the expense... But when a whole bunch checks came in the mail all at one time, I splurged!

I've got a backlog of "what they said" quotes in my email drafts, so I'm going to try to clear those out and post them in these weekly posts:

Mary Claire, 3

Mary Claire attempts to sniff, but can't because her nose is too stuffy...

Me: What's wrong, Mary Claire?!
MC: My nose has no energy!!!

I suppose I can see why that would be so distressing...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

What I Wore Sunday: Keeping It Real

Hello friends! Holly is letting me host What I Wore Sunday here this week while she gets Fine Linen & Purple running. Thanks for joining me - she'll have it back up next week!

In true "keeping it real" What I Wore Sunday fashion, I'm going to give you a picture of me, blurry, with a messy house and a baby photobomber! Many thanks to my 6-year-old photographer. This is from January, which is why the Christmas stockings are still hanging up...

I wore one of my new favorite shirts - dolman sleeves are the best! It's got a banded bottom as well, so it doesn't move out of place during the wrangling I have to do during Mass.

Friday, February 26, 2016

7 Reasons to Take Awkward Selfies (and link up with What I Wore Sunday!)

More than 3 years ago (!!!) I started joining up with one of my favorite link-ups, What I Wore Sunday - it was a great way to "meet" fellow bloggers, foster online community, and provide a little accountability when it came to getting dressed nicely for Mass.

Since that time, the leadership at the original blog that hosted the link-up, Fine Linen and Purple, has changed. The link-up has lost a little bit of steam as schedules make it more difficult for the authors to host. But Holly and I would love to return the link-up to its former glory!

I'll be hosting What I Wore Sunday right here this Sunday and would love to have you join in - if you're not convinced, here are 7 reasons to join in the fun:


It's an opportunity to get out from behind the camera

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

7/52: Homestead News & Helpful Big Kids

It's not that life has been particularly busy around here, it's just that my free attention is mostly focused on reading about keeping bees (good news, Virginia residents! The beehive grant program is still going on!) and chickens (we just ordered a dozen chicks from our local feed store and the kids are DYING with anticipation) and garden stuff (where to dig the asparagus trench! where to plant the strawberries! why did John Paul click the "3" button for Okra seeds when he was helping me order things!).

So really, if you have helpful resources for any and all of those things, I'd love them!!! I still know basically nothing so you can assume ground zero for animal information :)

In the meantime:

We got a new-to-us laundry sorter for the kids and apparently it has inspired them to go to great lengths to do their laundry! Cecilia (5) dragged her bag downstairs and washed, dried, folded, AND put away her entire load! Plus she added the dish towels and wash cloths to it and got John Paul to fold THOSE and put them away.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Well, I didn't get a picture of *my* ashes on Ash Wednesday, but I got all theirs!

John Paul, 6.5

Friday, February 19, 2016

Easter Style Thoughts {7 Quick Takes}


The snow is (mostly) melted, the days are getting longer, we're in the throes of Lent and... Easter is coming! 

All Jesus talk aside, one of my favorite things about Easter is dressing to the nines with the family & taking one of our twice yearly pictures together:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Magical Hand Cream, Sanity Savers, etc {Five Favorites}

It's been ages since I've done a truly random, "Here are 5 things I love right now" post, so since I know you're SO curious... Here are 5 things I love right now!

Affiliate links included - thanks for helping fund my book buying!


These seed starting trays are the easiest ever. John Paul and Cecilia helped me start seeds in them last weekend and I didn't have to touch them at all except to lift them once the two of them were done (which is so great because I find it tedious planting each row, but they were SO into it!). They come with pellets that expand when you add water, which you can transplant directly without having to pop them out of the tray like the other kits we've used (which, when kids are helping, often results in the seedling getting yanked out of the soil completely...).

Friday, February 12, 2016


I tried getting pictures of each kid from above this week - I'm still learning where the good light is in our house, and sometimes the pictures end up blurry because I misjudged whether the light would be good or not!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Valentines for Lent

I've never been one to make a big deal out of Valentine's Day - I just don't particularly care about it beyond getting good deals on candy after the holiday's over. And it's like a sucker punch to the gut when it falls during Lent! All that candy, and no way to eat it... (Although Valentine's Day is on a Sunday this year, so if you're like me and indulge on Sundays, you're good!)

So, in an attempt to provide a product for an austere, penitent market that I know you readers are, I thought I'd make a niche product that seems to be missing:

Lenten Valentines!

Right click to download, or just screenshot them and share with friends. Hope you get a laugh out of one or two of these!

(And if you need *real* Valentines to print, Micaela and Kendra have you covered!)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fasting PSA for Pregnant & Nursing Mamas

Every year around this time I notice a common thread of questions in various facebook groups and online forums - "I'm pregnant/nursing - do I have to fast? Is it really that bad if I do? Should I just do it anyway even though I'm exempt?"

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Zelie & Co. Charity Auction

Many years ago, when I was just about to graduate with a very expensive degree from a highly-ranked college, it seemed obvious that my future husband and I would wait the appropriate 2 years before having children. We were married the week after I graduated, he was in law school, and I was jobless.

God had other plans. Four months after we were married, I was pregnant.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Belated Virtual Christmas Card

Happy Candlemas! The Christmas season is officially over, so we really have no excuse other than laziness for the fact that all our Christmas stuff is still out... Weekend plans, anyone?

Meanwhile, I realized I never actually posted our Christmas card pictures here. Want to know why?

Because we only *just* sent the last of the Christmas cards out on Monday.

Yikes. And I know we forgot some people, because that's what happens when you do half in December and the other half a month later. You don't mind, right? I hope not!

It all started one warm December day... I grabbed everybody an outfit with as much blue in it as possible and told them all we were taking Christmas card pictures. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, for one thing... We have five kids. Whoops.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Peter (14.5 months) loves to climb onto our battered Ikea children's chairs and smirk at me while he bounces up and down and refuses to get off. Hence the blurry picture.

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