Taking a Break

We’re taking a break from blogging while we work through some big changes at home. We’ll probably be back eventually. Thanks for your understanding and support.

Why Do I Write?

It’s 11:45 pm, and I should be asleep right now.

A younger me would have laughed at that sentence. I’m sure an older me will laugh even harder, considering how young I still am. I have a tendency to fall fast asleep with my little one promptly after reading bedtime stories, which usually ends up being somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30 pm.

So why am I writing when it’s way past my bedtime?

Oh, you know, just dealing with some meta questions.

Like why I write. [Read more...]

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

The Lord opened the understanding of my unbelieving heart, so that I should recall my sins.  -Saint Patrick

Poor Saint Patrick.

One of the most well-known saints (along with Saint Nicholas and Saint Valentine) and his feast day (March 17th) has become a day of drunken debauchery in the United States.

For those of you that don’t know the story of Saint Patrick, here it is in a nutshell: Patrick was born in 387 to a Roman Christian family in Great Britain. As a teenager, he was captured by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. [Read more...]

Lenten Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop

I never lack great thoughts or ideas…just time to get them on paper (or the blog).  With that being said, I am only four days behind on getting this post up.

Two weeks into the Lenten season and my zeal was waning.  Sacrifice was supposed to make me feel optimistic and hopeful, right? Well, it should, but I wasn’t.

(And here comes the amazing part of the story…the two wonderful priests at our parish (Father Carlos and Father Humberto) write homilies just for me! Not true, but it seems so. Every week, without fail, their homily touches on my struggles that past week – no lie! And this past Sunday was no exception, but I digress.)

The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent (Luke 9:28b-36) was all about Jesus taking Peter, John, and James up the mountain to pray. As you know from the Bible, many times people are called “up the mountain” to be closer to God as He often revealed Himself on the mountain-top.  Father Carlos’ homily drew on this and told us how when he first visited our city, he was given a tour by our Archbishop. On this tour, the Archbishop took him to the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Father was struck by how the Cathedral in our town sits as the highest point in the city — almost like the Cathedral sits atop a mountain.

BOOM!

There it was…my spiritual dryness could only be cured by a trip to the mountaintop, well, a trip to the Cathedral of Saint Paul. [Read more...]

The Reality of Lent with Special Needs Children

*This is going to be a bit of a lengthy post. The first half was written last night, as a reflection on what we’ve done so far this lent. The second half was written this morning, after I realized just how difficult this season can be with special needs children. If you’d rather just skip to the honest truth about the reality of celebrating Lent with special needs children, scroll down. – Tammy*

I have to admit, I am enjoying Lent. I have observed over 40 Lenten Seasons in my life, but this year, things are finally making sense.

I am finally understanding how wonderful it feels to make more room for God, and less room for me.

I want the family to live simply and austerely for the next forty days; to grow closer to God and truly appreciate how much He has blessed our family. I already mentioned how we are abstaining from all unnecessary, material purchase.  I also want each family member to step out of his comfortable (okay, call it what it really is: disrespectful or rude) interactions with the family and take these 40 days to make conscious efforts to grow and change they way we communicate and engage with each other. [Read more...]

Ready or Not, Here Lent Comes! Little HolyDays Link Up

This year we are ready for Lent! Well, maybe.  At least we’ve talked about it more than once before Lent, instead of the day after Ash Wednesday.  So that’s a good start!  We had our usual impromptu family meeting as lunch was wrapping up this Sunday, explaining the how and why of Lent. We gave a brilliant exhortation on a call for an increase in prayer, fasting and almsgiving, which was immediately followed by (or should I say interrupted) by the myriad of ridiculous questions like “can we give up brushing our teeth?” or “can we fast on only chocolate?’

In year’s past, our Lenten journey has been of a more personal or individual nature, but this year we are creating a Family Lenten Plan. Everyone has added ways they hope to grow in faith during this season. They also offered ways the family can incorporate more prayer into our lives.

These are some of the ideas we will using in our Lenten Plan to incorporate Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving: [Read more...]

Weekend Wrap Up #11

Hmm, is it too late to say where on Earth did January go? How is it possibly the second weekend of February already? I started school on Monday, and this week has been a bit of a blur.

I truly feel for those on the East Coast right now. Snow storms are no fun, and I hope everyone out there stays safe! On the bright side it seems that with everyone trapped inside, there’s plenty of time to make Harlem Shake videos. [Read more...]

Celebrating Saint Thomas Aquinas

Just as it is better to illuminate than merely to shine, so to pass on what one has contemplated is better than merely to contemplate.

- Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Source

 

God has granted us so many gifts, yet the one gift that is oft forgotten is the gift of the Communion of Saints. This wonderful group of saints is just like us – funny, quirky, and even cranky. They made mistakes like us and had plenty of trials and tribulations. They have walked the road before and are our cheerleaders, cheering us on to cross the finish line into heaven to join them.  Celebrating life each day with the saints is celebrating life with the family God gave us; perfect patrons for every occasion and every vocation. We will never be lonely or lost with the help of our intercessors!

In our family, we turn to the saints on many occasions for help, guidance, or just a friend to cry with.  Of course, Jesus is there too, but one true and good friend never detracts from another.  Oh, you good saints of God, thank you for your help! [Read more...]

January Twitterature: Book Reviews in 140 Characters or Less

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Linking up with Anne (with an e!) of Modern Mrs. Darcy for the very first Twitterature Link Up. You can read all about the link up here.

I know we’re supposed to keep it to 140 characters or less, but that is just way too hard. So, here are my books of 2013 (so far) in 140 words or less! [Read more...]

How I stopped being a hipster & finally gave e-books a chance: Part I

e-books

Lately, it seems like everyone has been writing about what books they read in 2012, what they want to read for 2013, and all sorts of other wonderfully bookish topics. I love it!

I’ve been a bookworm since I learned to read, and haven’t stopped since. When I was younger, maybe around 3rd or 4th grade, we used to make trips to the library almost every Saturday. Those trips weren’t nearly frequent enough for me, and I would spend hours making lists of all the books I wanted to check out. I would also pour over the huge city street map we had, planning the best route from our house to the library – on my bike, of course. Although I never had the chance to ride my bike to the library when I was younger (my parents thought a five mile bike ride, which included crossing a highway and two other very busy intersections, wasn’t the best idea for a girl of ten – how terribly unreasonable! ;) ), my love for the library, and all things involving books, was kindled.

Over the years, my life changed drastically, full of ups and downs, but there were always books to come back to. Books to read secretly under my desk during class when I thought I already knew everything the teacher was going to teach. Books to hide under my pillow, pretending to be asleep when my parents checked in on me at 9, only to pull out my book light and stay up for hours reading as soon as they had shut my door. It wasn’t just the stories, although that certainly is the main reason for my book love, but the books themselves were something I held dear. There’s just something so perfectly beautiful about opening a book, maybe well worn with age, maybe so new the pages still stick together. To this day, I am unable to pass by a garage sale without stopping to at least look at the books they might have.

You can imagine my dismay and hostility with the advent of the e-books. There was no way an e-reader, or a Kindle, or a Nook, or what have you, would ever sway my love for a real paper and ink book. No sirree  No e-books for me! I’d rather have a beautifully bound book. Preferably something old, (a first edition? my heart flutters at the thought!) with lots of character, and signs of wear from being read and re-read. I may have been a bit of a hipster about it, actually. I liked books before they were electronic.  [Read more...]