7 Quick Takes (vol. 6)

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My Lenten sacrifice already needs a jumpstart.  And this is where I get to brag about my awesome husband: who forced encouraged me to snag a morning workout for the last two days, even though it cuts into his work day and doesn’t fit perfectly in my “ideal” schedule.  Which still isn’t written on paper yet…  I’m getting to that!

Interesting historical fact - the term "jumpstart" comes from having to literally jump while cranking this style of car

Interesting fact – the term “jumpstart” comes from having to literally jump while turning the car’s crank

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Michael has been chatting non-stop about his favorite videos and games this week.  Currently on his favorites list are Angry Birds Star WarsPudding Monsters and Yoda.  It’s so cute how he explains the games and the movie story lines.  We can’t seem to catch his best moments on film though.  If I can manage to get a cute video out of him, I’ll make sure to post it for your viewing pleasure.

Yoda

Watch your back, Count Dooku

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I realized why Michael is so drawn to the Yoda character.  It’s because he is currently in the developmental phase that delights in small things wielding great power.  My Catechesis of the Good Shepherd classes keep reiterating this concept for children aged three to six.  That is why so many of the works focus on smallness and God using weak/insignificant subjects to highlight great truths.  Last week Michael’s class learned the Parable of the Mustard Seed.  What is a better example of God’s power than the smallest seed growing in the largest of plants?  Now I am seeing Michael’s natural inclination toward the small manifesting in other ordinary situations – like playing Star Wars with Daddy.  I find it fascinating to watch intellectual concepts play out in real life.

Did you know a Jerusalem mustard seed is significantly smaller than our American mustard seeds?

Did you know a Jerusalem mustard seed is significantly smaller than our American mustard seeds?

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Michael and I had the most amazing Pazcki (Polish Fat Tuesday dessert).  The dough was moist and chewy.  The powdered sugar so light and airy, with just a hint of sweet.  And the custard inside… to die for!  I’m still dreaming about it three days later.Pazcki

Pazcki

The child is pleased

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There was a lot of Valentine’s love going around yesterday.  Ryan bought me beautiful roses.  Then Michael and I decided to make Valentines for his friends and family.  (What else am I going to do with 32 wallet photos from his four year portraits?)  We also ate (more) doughnuts.  Who could ask for anything more?

Valentine's Day

Nothing says “love” like pink heart stickers

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Speaking of love, my sister is engaged!!!  Isn’t her ring totally sweet?!

Holly's ring

Holly's ring

Not sure what is that crazy thing behind her hand…

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My poor husband is nearly finished with stressful work week (not including weekend duty hours in the dorm).  Say a prayer for this hardworking guy!

Frazzled husband

Yes, he said I could post this pic

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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7 Quick Takes (vol. 4)

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This blog is back from a rather long hiatus!  I’m not sure why it’s taken two months to sit down and hash out my thoughts.  There was Advent, Christmas and post-Christmas chaos to be sure.  I was reintroduced to the FlyLady, which inspired me to focus maximum time/energy on providing a tidier home, if not an updated blog.  Honestly, however, I think I was under a serious mental block.  My last post spoke about trying to follow God’s will – and it took me nearly all this time to finish a task set before me in early December.  Now I am able to think freely again.  What a relief.

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What sort of task would hang over my head for months at a time? C’mon, admit it.  You want to know.  I think the prompting started with this blog – and wanting to share the story of my unborn children.  I felt compelled to introduce them into random conversations and public forums.  Throughout December I spoke of them to anyone who happened to ask about the size of my family.  Then I decided to include their names on the signature of our annual Christmas card.  If I was already telling perfect strangers about the hidden details of our family size, why not be open with the rest of our friends and family too?

As it often happens with promptings of the Holy Spirit, human plans go awry.  I ordered the cards early, but they arrived late – at the onset of holiday festivities.  They sat untouched until the New Year, waiting for an explanatory newsletter to join them.  For several weeks I wasn’t in the appropriate frame of mind to write the letter.  Then January drew to a close and embarrassment outweighed procrastination.  I cranked out the letter, stuffed the envelopes, and shoved the whole lot into a mailbox.  Too late to turn back now.

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It takes me forever to express my thoughts in words.  What made me think blogging would be an easy hobby to keep up with?!  Journaling seems to speed my pen along at warp speed.  But people on the other end of a computer might notice the grammatical and spelling errors – not to mention my crazy interior thoughts.  I should have foreseen the timing problem, as writing college papers also required an inordinate amount of time and energy. C’est la vie.  I still desire to finish this post!

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 Our family took a ski vacation last weekend.  Ryan used to ski in high school and has always wanted to share this sport with Michael and me.  So we gathered random gear from family, packed up the car and headed north to the “mountains”.  It turned out to be a super fun challenge.  I got the hang of skiing during my first afternoon (despite some unexpected adventures on the more advanced blue slopes).  Ryan used a harness to guide Michael, allowing him to gain experience on the real slopes from the start.  He also seemed to take to the sport quickly.  We closed our second day on the bunny hill so Michael could try skiing without the harness (his favorite part of the trip).  It was amazing to watch our son glide down the hill with confidence and ease.  I have a feeling that skiing will be a cherished family activity in the years to come.

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 Photos from our weekend:

Ryan and Michael

Daddy and Michael

Michael and mama

Michael and Mama

A very tired boy

A very tired boy

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 Ever heard of Cake Wrecks?  Go there.  Laugh.  You know you want to.

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Another fun website for your Friday Saturday night: Downton Abbey Facebook.  Episode 4 spoiler alert for Downton fans.  But seriously, if you haven’t already gone online to hunt down the rest of season 3 before it’s USA air time, can you really call yourself a fan?!  Just sayin…  This episode can also be legitimately found at Masterpiece (for a limited time).

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes: Family Edition

As this is my first every Quick Takes (and a brand new blog), I thought it might be fun to introduce my family. Here goes!

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Our wedding was June 10, 2006.  It was the most wonderful, joyful day of my life when I married my best friend, Ryan.  You see, the two of us grew up together in the same small town, same Catholic church, and same group of family friends.  However, Ryan and I didn’t really become close until high school.  He was my best guy friend, the one who listened to all my teenagery woes – until he wasn’t just my best friend anymore.  We survived five years of dating, a year apart in college and 20 months of engagement before this happy day could occur.

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Ryan is a man of many hats.  Six years ago he started out in grad school.  I, the ever dutiful wife, followed him into student housing and bided my time until we were blessed with a child.  Four years ago Ryan applied for a hall director job at a nearby college.  We have been living in a dorm apartment ever since! (It was a step up from the student housing, let me tell you.)  Two years ago the stars aligned and Ryan began an app development company with two buddies.  Last January he decided that it was time to walk away from grad school and dive into his quickly expanding company.  Between his jobs as hall director, app developer and computer consultant on the side, my husband spends his remaining free time in husband and daddy mode.

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The second most amazing day of my life occurred when Michael entered the world, December 19, 2008.  I spent his first few weeks just holding him, staring at his darling face and wondering where in the world did he come from?  Michael was a super chill baby who I carted around everywhere with me.  He was an instant favorite with the college kids, grandparents and aunties alike (not terribly difficult when you are the only baby on both sides of the family).  I also noticed rather quickly that he tended toward a flair for the dramatic.  After nearly four years, that personality trait still holds strong.  So does his love of companionship…

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What do I do with all of my free time?  Ha!  When you are a stay-at-home momma for a quality-time child, there really isn’t a lot of time to spare.  I keep busy with the general household duties, pathetic attempts at homeschooling and a couple of ministries around campus.  I am also training as a catechist for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  It’s so exciting to watch Michael experience the atrium while I am simultaneously learning the ropes as a future catechist.

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What is the most awesome part about living in a dorm, you ask?  Well, free rent and utilities definitely top the list.  Oh, and free babysitters – college girls love kids!  And there tends to be a lot of free food as well.  Free stuff.  That’s great.  Plus, if I want to get all serious on you, it’s so good to have easy access to daily mass and weekly Adoration.

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Since this is the family edition, I have to give shout-outs to our extended family too.  We are blessed to have a lot of our family living nearby.  Michael’s grandparents are all within an hour’s drive of our home – which means we get to see them a lot.  One of his aunties practically lives down the street (two more aunties did live across the street, but have since graduated from college and moved on).  Having extended family in town was a dream for me as a kid (everyone lived five hours away), and I am so pleased to make it a reality for Michael.

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Finally, our most recent family photo:

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!