22 May 2015


I'm getting married in about thirteen hours. It still hasn't really hit me yet. Family and friends have arrived, we had the rehearsal and I just talked to one of my bridesmaids for hours, but it isn't real. I don't know that it will feel real until I don my dress or I enter the church or I say my vows. My mind is still running at high speed thinking about breakfast plans, transportation and the procession order. I feel like I've been waiting for ages to get married, but now I just want all the planning to be done so I don't have to worry about anything.

Then a part of me realizes: I'm marrying my best friend. I'm standing in front of friends, family and God, stating my intention to be with this man for the rest of our lives, through good and bad, helping each other to Heaven.

It's hard to believe that five years ago I didn't know this man. It's hard to believe that our first hello was so recent. I feel as if I have known him all my life sometimes, while at other times I think about all the things we don't know because we have yet to experience them.

When I met Christopher, I was a younger, naive, bright eyed freshman in college. I remember the first time I ever saw him enter our classroom and could even pick out the shirt he wore. Now I am still a young, naive, but tired-eyed twenty something. The next time I see him, I will note the way his tie brings out the blue in his eyes. When we face each other for the vows, I will remember each time he has stood before me asking if he could take me home, asking if he could hug me goodbye, initiating our first kiss, grinning at me at the airport, waiting for me to take my first Communion when I was Confirmed, asking me to marry him in front of Notre Dame in Paris...

Our days together have already seemed so long and we have so much to look forward to. I have grown and learned so much by knowing him. Through all of life's highs, lows and question marks, I can imagine no one better to have at my side than Christopher.

Here's to us, C.

God grant that we may find mercy and grow old together. 
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20 May 2015

What Pre-Cana Was Like [And What I Wish It Was Like]

The idea I often get is that people respond one of two ways when it comes to Pre-Cana. Either a couple finds it just another thing to check off their list before the Church allows them to marry or a couple returns from their meeting/s gushing about all the great things they learned (TOB, anyone?). That is, of course, if one knows what Pre-Cana is in the first place. For those of you who don't know, Pre-Cana is a wedding preparation program which the Church requires a couple complete in order to marry. The aim of the program is to cover topics like conflict resolution, finance management and sexuality. I think the more important idea, though, is that couples know what they are getting into, namely, knowing what marriage is (you can't exactly retroactively claim you didn't know what the deal was when you sat down and received an explanation of the Sacrament).

All this said, I was pretty excited for Pre-Cana when I learned we would have to complete a session. Some part of me was excited for the potential opportunity to debate, look at Church documents...basically have a quick seminar on marriage. I did some research online of what the meeting would entail and what others' experiences were, but oddly I couldn't really find the latter (which is part of the reason I'm writing this post). Personally, I'd only known one other couple (the woman, M, of which was my Confirmation sponsor) who went through the Pre-Cana process. A couple weeks before our session, I talked with M about her experience. One of the words she used was "interesting."

Uh oh.

So I guess there are three ways people respond: "Eh," "I dig it," or "Interesting."

Only one of my most favorite paintings ever.

My take? A mix of all three. Let's get into it.

Conveniently, we could do all of our work in one day and there was Mass arranged afterward. C and I arrived at the parish school and sat in the cafeteria while couples steadily streamed in. One thing that I noticed was we were almost certainly the youngest couple there, which I found interesting. Monsignor started us all off with a prayer and then our sizable group (maybe twenty couples) moved into a classroom. There were to be four (somewhat interactive) lecture sections led by couples from this parish.

The first session was on communication. Most of it was common sense: be a good listener, work on compromising, respect each other. To be honest, I don't remember much of it anymore (yay, blogging procrastination). If you've read Verily/Thought Catalog "15 Things to Talk About Before Getting Married" articles, you've probably got a good idea of 90% of it.

Our second session was of more interest to me: conflict resolution. Specifically, couples went through a sheet together marking what type of conflict we saw growing up in our own families and what ways we deal with conflict in our own relationship. For example, I saw avoidance (eg. walking away, silent treatment) in my family and definitely do that in my relationship with C. On the other hand, he saw "triangling" (getting a third party to take your side) in his family, but neither of us bring that into our relationship. It was interesting to actually mark these things down and say, "Oh wow, I understand this now," or "Your family is weird. Let's not ever do that." Of course, C managed to make it humorous too when we saw "overwhelming with logic" was an item. "I do this," C admitted, "but I don't really think being logical is a bad thing, so..." (He totally does this; don't come unprepared to a verbal spar with him.)

A lunch break followed, during which we caught up with the priest who is celebrating our Nuptial Mass. He and C went to seminary (good thing C didn't finish that out, right?) together, so they've been friends for a good while now. At lunch we talked with the couple who was presenting for the next session on intimacy. The man gave the couples papers and asked us to write down what intimacy means to us. In my usual over-analytic nature, I sat staring at the paper thinking, "You want an exact definition? To me... so a subjective definition? Do you want examples? Are we reading these out loud? Are we trading them with our partner's? Are we seeing them all hung up and trying to find our partner's? Oops, I haven't written anything yet."

In the third session, we submitted our papers, which were read aloud but kept anonymous. That didn't stop me, though, from knowing which one belonged to C. Hello, definition (especially easy to pick out from all of the example-filled definitions). We were also prompted to write love letters to our future spouse to be read at a later date. Effusive as I can be, five minutes is not enough for a love letter, so I wrote a few nice things down and said I'd come back to it. C's love letter said, "I'll write you a letter later. IOU." (because of course we traded at the end of the day). The rest of the session continued and, while some of it was a little too saccharine for my comfort in a public setting, none of it was 8th grade health class awkward. No ridiculous diagram or strange conversation stories to relay here, thankfully. The couple curtailed the most chance for that by handing each couple a small NFP (natural family planning) booklet to read at their leisure.

Finally, the fourth session was on spirituality. I had been looking forward to this session the most because spirituality is one of the unusual aspects of Sacramental Marriage when compared to civil marriage. I can read articles and books, ask other people, view relationships in television or movies...but there isn't a guarantee that they're going to tell me how spirituality plays its part in marriage. This session was different from the ones before: while the previous three had been interactive and like a bit of a chat, this fourth session had the couple reading from pages they had printed out. "Okay," I thought, "they're just shy and not in love with public speaking. I dig that." But the format of the presentation quickly became less important than the content. This couple described their struggles individually and as a family as their son battled cancer. It was the shortest presentation, but it had the hardest impact, as the couple told the story of how they met, to how their son's cancer kept coming back, to the day their son died. Their presentation reminded us of the commitment, perseverance and hard work that are required in marriage. There's no walking away, not even when your worst fears become reality. This is a life-long commitment and you're going to need a lot of help and grace from God (or at least I will).

All the sessions completed, we went over to the rectory's chapel for Mass and afterwards received certificates saying we completed Pre-Cana. Phew!

So what did I like?
  • I liked when the sessions were interactive and got me to really think about what our relationship is like. The conflict resolution sheet was the best bit of paperwork I did all day.

  • I liked when the instructing couples gave us real life examples. A topic like marriage needs practical, not just theoretical, study.

  • I liked getting to see and talk with our celebrant, who is an awesome priest and friend. Father, C and I have similar senses of humor, too, which made lunch enjoyable. 
This is me when my academic spirit is crushed.

What would I change?

  • I would have liked to have less couples with more in depth discussion and more of a chance to learn from a variety of resources. The way this session was set up, though, makes me think that's just a different style for a different time and place.

  • I would have liked to do more interactive things with C, working individually and together, to really work through everything as one unit. That's what we'll be doing for the rest of our lives, right?

  • I would have liked more practical spiritual, especially Catholic, advice/ideas. As a convert, there are so many things I don't know about what it's like to have a Catholic family living a Catholic life keeping a Catholic home with Catholic practices. I may have to turn to some book and blogosphere resources for this.

  • I would have liked more discussion on NFP. They at least provided us with a small booklet of information, but maybe mentions of why NFP instead of birth control, or why not birth control in the first place, how it is not the "rhythm method," the nature of marriage and how sexual intimacy is tied up into it... If I didn't know the Church had good reasons against birth control and was just given a booklet and was already of a contraceptive mindset, I wouldn't have been encouraged to look beyond contraception based on that day.
All in all, not too bad. The student in me was a little disappointed, but we got the work done and are set to marry. For any disappointments, I can still do independent reading and research and talk with other Catholic couples I know. We're now at two days to go. [TWO!! How did that even happen?] I'm pleased we're prepared on this front.

10 May 2015

This Mother's Day

Mother's Day.

To be honest, this holiday didn't stand out much when I was younger (wicked child am I, I know). In my earliest school years, we would create some craft for our mothers, often involving cut-out colored paper hands, markers and glitter. I remember one craft in particular which lies somewhere in a bin of my school accomplishments (my sister and I have one each which my mom has kept) that includes a pink heart and some sort of frills. I was maybe five when it was made and I'd bet it was another idea one of my school teachers had.

As I became older and my schools decided such things were juvenile or activities we could accomplish on our own, I turned instead to my mother. "What do you want for Mother's Day?" I'd ask. I'm sure she'd think to herself, "You know that's kind of like asking someone what they want for their birthday. If you're going to do something, you should just do it." But she would always respond, "Nothing." or with something I thought ludicrously silly: "A vacation."

After my sister was born, she went through the school projects, but I can't remember really doing anything of our own volition. Aside from flowers passed out during church (the pro of Mother's Day being held on a Sunday), the day would go by fairly unnoticed. Perhaps our dad would want to take her to lunch, but it still then was never fancy.

That is something that strikes me today. If anyone wants a job which requires long hours and a variety of skills, earns no vacation days and receives almost no thanks, become a mother. People will be thankful for you, but they won't always say it. People will appreciate you, but they won't always say it. People will love you, but they won't always say it.

This Mother's Day is more of a shock to me than usual as I think, "This could be the last Mother's Day that I am not the mother," and that half totally freaks me out and half makes me believe my mother is an absolute superwoman whose powers of strength, perseverance, forgiveness, protection and love know no bounds.

At this time I feel selfish. How do I learn to be selfless? At this time I feel unprepared. How do I learn to be prepared? At this time I feel incompetent, restless and reckless. How do I learn to be capable, calm and sure? How do I learn to always love someone more than myself? How do I learn to love my very flesh and bone outside my body?

How do I endure all the unknowns? Will he be healthy? Will she be kind? Will he be intelligent? Will she be faithful? What if there are complications? What if I become incredibly ill? What if they become incredibly ill? What if I can't help them? What if I lose them? What if I'm a really bad mother?

The questions and what ifs could continue. What finally brings some peace is knowing that I am not the first to have questions and I have an excellent model of motherhood in my own mother. She exudes calm even if inside she isn't. She has answers for my worries (even if it's only the very direct and seemingly unhelpful, "You just have to deal with it." Mom, keeping it real). She has been my biggest supporter since the very beginning, and I know the beginning wasn't the easiest time for her.

She has been with me through first pregnancy surprise, through my six weeks early arrival, through living kind of in the middle of nowhere, through tantrums at daycare, through first days at school, through family turmoil, through changing houses and schools, through frenemies and teasing boys, through peanut butter obsessions, through "What is this incredibly noisy thing you said is my sister?", through cross country moves, through final grades anxiety, through late night Harry Potter book releases, through piano recitals, through sibling fights, through broken friendships, through first relationships, through friend drama, through early "I need coffee before I even say hi to you" mornings, through friend deaths, through family deaths, through dog deaths, through first generation university applications, through moving away by myself, through homesickness, through "Do I belong here?", through "I can't do this," through "I miss you," through "I met a boy," through "I'm marrying this boy," through more moves, through "I don't know what I'm doing," through "I'm not good at this," through "What do I do?"...

She has been with me through everything and oftentimes knows me better than I know myself. She sees my mistakes but does not pass judgment. She sees my successes but does not overly praise me (much, anyway. She is a mom after all). She keeps me grounded when I'm too flighty. She raises me up when I'm in despair. She defends me against anyone or anything that could do me wrong. She works tirelessly to support me and my sister. She has been with me through everything and I've rarely thanked her.

This isn't a colored paper hand print inscribed with "Mom" and doused in glitter. This isn't a pink frilly heart. This post can't be found in your big blue bin. But it is a thank you, for everything you've given me. It is an I love you, for everything you are. It is a please teach me to be like you.

Thank you, Mom.
I love you, Mom.
Please teach me to be like you, Mom.
If I'm half as good a mother as you, I'll be just fine.

03 May 2015

Mayday: 18 Days to Figure Out How to Be a Decent Wife

I have been thinking about the blog for the last couple weeks: I should come back to it, I should write more, I should, I should, I should...

I am not always motivated by "I should." I am a professional procrastinator. I put off things, even things I want to do, most of the time for no decent reason at all. Sometimes the only way to do something is to force yourself to do it. Now, that doesn't sound the best when it comes to blogging: why force yourself? One should blog because they want to, not because they "have to." But where creative pursuit or stress-relief were my reasons before, now I feel like I have to write because I will want to be able to look back at this time and remember it as it really was.

The last year of my life has really been the first year of my life of adulthood. I spent the first year after college living at home working part-time at a bakery and teaching my sister full-time at home. Even though I was 21 at that point, beyond the age at which people are considered adults, I still felt like a child. Being under your parents' roof does that, I suppose. I loved that year because it gave me valuable time with my family, made my relationship with my sister--which was practically nonexistent before I left for school--stronger and gave me a bit of time to figure out what I wanted from life.

When I left home last May to work in Texas for the Summer, I was taking a leap both from the nest and into something unknown. I learned so much that Summer about the Catholic faith, my values and myself. Eventually the Summer ended, though, and I moved to the East coast to find work and plan a wedding. The last nine months have been up, down and sideways, stressful, exhausting and difficult, thankfully laced with celebratory, ridiculous and relieving.

May 2015 has been a goal post, a destination, for me for over two years. "Once I get married," I'd think. "I just need to do this and then..." "Well after this, I'll..." Now that May 2015 is here and the wedding is less than three weeks away, I have two questions: "How prepared am I?" and "What happens next?"

"How prepared am I?"

Now, by this I do not mean that suddenly I have cold feet and am questioning what I am doing throwing my young, carefree life away, as others suggest to me with both mouths and eyes. Instead I mean, "How can I possibly prepare for this?" How does someone prepare for such a huge change? I've done Pre-Cana (why did I not blog about that? I probably should), I've submitted my paperwork, I have a dress. Super. But I'm not just having a wedding. I'm getting married. I'm going to be married until one of us dies (hopefully many years away).

How does anyone prepare for the rest of their life with someone? How could I possibly do all the research for something like this? How do I learn to be patient and forgiving and selfless and loving enough? How do I learn to stop clamming up and walking away when I'm upset? How do I learn to give of myself out of a desire to give and not out of a desire to receive? How do I learn to see my husband-to-be as human as I am? If he is really anything like me, I would save myself generous portions of selfishness, stubbornness and irrationality by becoming a hermit. Then I wouldn't need to depend on anyone. Then I wouldn't have to disappoint anyone with my own problems.

But then I wouldn't get to grow and learn from mistakes with someone else. Then I wouldn't get to learn true charity, to love as Christ loves. Then I wouldn't get to become selfless and make myself small in order to magnify others. Then I wouldn't get to have children and learn and experience everything that goes with them that I can hardly comprehend right now. Then I wouldn't get to depend on someone and let them depend on me.

I am not near ready for my entire life with someone else. That only comes with actually living out life. Just as the thought of having five kids now totally freaks me out and actually having that many children would be easier if they came along progressively, so marriage. A whole life won't happen all at once: it will go by, year by year, and, if I'm smart, I will learn as we go how to be refined into a better wife and a better person by it.

"What happens next?"

Well, some of the answer is straightforward. After the wedding, we're spending the weekend with all the family visiting us. The Monday after, we'll go back to work. In August, we'll move to Texas where C will continue his graduate studies to get a PhD.

But what after? Will I keep teaching? Is different work ahead? Will our new move and new school be as good as we hope? Will we travel to the dozens of places I want to see? Will we make good, lasting, supportive friends? How soon will we start a family? Will I have problems in that whole area? What then?

The questions continue and always increase when I consider the future. I always want to know what's coming next, but it is just like I discovered marriage will be: I can't know until time moves as it will. I cannot control every part of our future, but I do know at least a few things that I want and at least a few things that I do not want.

Until then, I'll keep going. Keep reading, keep learning, keep giving, keep forgiving, keep asking for forgiveness, keep loving and keep praying for lots of help.

Spoiler: I'm going to be asking Our Lady for tons of it.

01 February 2015

Hello, February....

Remember once upon a time last month when I said I was going to use creative outlets more, including blogging? And then remember how I did all kinds of blogging in the last month to show how legit those plans were? You don't remember that second one? Huh. Must've only done the first one. But I'm not really going to pressure myself about it.

Here we are at the start of February and I have to admit I'm feeling pretty good about it. You can't really go wrong when you begin February with Septuagesima Sunday. I am also really liking the fact that the whole month, as it begins on a Sunday, fits all 28 days nicely and neatly into full weeks. The little things.

Here's what's been going on as of late:

I had a work meeting this last week which was held on the 28th floor of a hotel. During a break time, I was able to treat myself to this snazzy view featuring the Cathedral Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul (left) and City Hall (right). The world looks so much cooler from way up high.

I moved recently (so happy about that) and one of the benefits was this new guy as a roommate. He is just like my old pitbull in that he thinks your food is actually his. No, dude. No carrots for you.

No matter how stressful my day can get, however annoyed I get with busy life or noisy people, I am always reminded that being in a city has its perks. In particular, visiting the new and eclectic or returning to the old and familiar. Moriarty's is kind of a mix of both for C and I.

College boys give you $100 as a tip? Treat yo self! Capogiro gelato is the best. Yes, that's avocado and cactus pear on the bottom row.

What to do while you're waiting for your pizza to finish cooking? Cross the street and have a cider. I know hard ciders are probably considered wimpy in the world of alcoholic beverages, but I like them and I'm not apologizing.

Mass this noon at Holy Trinity. This church is gorgeous. I love the windows...

And of course, where would I be in writing this post without a cuppa? Recently purchased Lady Grey, Peppermint and Irish Breakfast from Twinings. Ohhhh yes I did.

Off to work now. Happy happy Sunday!

05 January 2015

Home for Christmas, the New Year and Other Musings

She's been absent without excuse for several months and she just jumps in with link ups and nostalgia instead of an explanation? Yes, yes, that's what I'm doing. Enjoy!

I was fortunate enough to be able to go home for a week at Christmas and it was exactly what I needed. I've been living in Philadelphia (probably more on that in a future post) and the combination of city life, a new workplace, lackluster social skills and a bit of aimlessness left me feeling less than enthusiastic. Since I'm the kind of person who more easily sees downsides, difficulty or my own inadequacies, this all added up to a very negative general outlook. This is not to say that my life as of late has been horrible; rather, "the real world" hit me harder than I expected, both because that's how the real world works and because I didn't prepare myself for it. Mea culpa, of course, every day, always. I'm a work in progress here. Aren't we all?

Let's be honest: Philly isn't all that bad.

Anyway, let's give this post a more positive turn.

Going home was like all the nostalgic metaphors blended together. Breathing in warm, kitchen scents that smell like home should; wrapping in cozy blankets, well-worn from several Winters' use; family members' smiles somehow forgotten, now brilliantly remembered, making you believe you'd never left, making you wonder how you stayed away so long. There were all the old things: the dryer rumbling with my step-father's work clothes, the cold air and tiles in the morning made bearable by the sound and smell of dripping coffee, the evenings spent sinking into my sister's impossibly soft bed (probably just lumpy, though, and sometimes impossibly difficult from which to emerge) ready for conversation and jokes, the feeling of my sister's hands going through my hair as she styled it, the angles of my mother's shoulders when we hugged too few times, the gruffness of my step-father's voice and facial hair communicating love in the way he usually does (calling me "kiddo").

Then there were all the new things I didn't expect: a new sign in the kitchen as well as kitchen gadgets we didn't have before (sifters are easily some of the coolest tools in the world, by the way), the confusion I had in half walking to the pantry and half walking to the lazy Susan when I couldn't remember where certain baking ingredients were kept, the confounding size and skills of my baby cousin who was only three months old when I left and had somehow learned to walk with only some assistance in my absence. Stop it, girl. Just stop. But don't actually stop. Keep going because you're awesome.

Each day wasn't enough. Though I tried to schedule anything and everything I could into each day--baking, movie watching, meeting with friends and family--some of the best moments were the unscheduled ones where I fell into something that felt like incredibly comfortable normalcy, something I hadn't felt in a long time. All the old traditions of poking my sister to wake her up, making graham cracker houses and watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas on a mattress in the living room Christmas Eve were woven together with all the new bits made new by C's presence: my sister asking him when he was going to wake up (which became a daily question partly caused by his sleeping schedule being different and partly because she wondered when he was going to join in our activities), him designing his first graham cracker house and constructing a floor (a fact the rest of us found hilarious), him opening a stocking he hadn't expected to receive which my mother put together.

I'm a graham cracker house building professional.
The week spent at home was like stealing time from the past. I knew it couldn't last, but that was one of the best parts of the week: I never thought about it ending. I never counted down the days or realized when the half point was, as I often do with trips I am so excited about, only to look with sadness at the remaining days. I never thought about coming back or about work or about anything that had bothered me over the last several months. I used my vacation as an actual vacation and didn't spend half of the time worrying. I know this must seem a very obvious thing, but I never was good at focusing only on the good.

I have since returned to Philadelphia and what a welcoming return it was (hint: seven shifts in six days). Nonetheless, I realized there were things I missed about the city without realizing it. One of my favorite things to do here is walk. I could pretty much walk in any environment, but give me headphones, city blocks, a cloudy day and some coffee and I'm all set for having a wander around. I did miss the autonomy, the anonymity, the abundance of activity. None of it truly beats the comfort of home, but it is good and worth noting as good, if not only so as not to be discouraged. Despite myself, I even missed work. Keeping busy is necessary for me, otherwise I grow restless, but each interaction since I came back has seemed easier. I think that this is because, as I am not especially good with social interactions and do not have a personality which meshes with many of my coworkers' personalities, any interactions I had in December were just stress built upon stress. Back and fresh from a break, I feel like I can look on further interactions with a greater deal of patience for myself and others.

[How asocial does that sound? As if I can hardly bear to be around people... (So what if it's sometimes true?)]
One of the best days of Autumn. Is it because I'm by myself? Let's not answer that.

Really, though, I think that the break and the whole new year business (you know, "new year, new me" and all that) has helped me to create a more positive perspective. I have plans, though they haven't been written down (they ought to be; let's write some now).

1. Take advantage of new beginnings. I ought to thank Haley for a good deal of my inspiration, as her recent podcast with Christy called Fountains of Carrots and the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle (of which her book, Feast!, is part) have both encouraged me to make 2015 a better year than 2014 was. Playlists--full of encouraging lines instead of depressing groans--are always helpful, which can often be found on the sidebar if you are interested in taking a listen.

2. Find inspiration and, if necessary, create it. I have decided to collect good quotations, lyrics, whathaveyou and make them into art. Yes, how very Pinterest of me. I have done similarly in the past, including prayers and religious art, which I may do as well. In sight, in mind. I need all the inspiration I can get.

3. Let go of things that hurt me. Partially inspired by the following:

Life is too short and too easy to mess up in regard to what happens after (four last things, anyone?) for me to waste my time in this way. Why put up with people who hurt me, including myself? Why repeat the same behaviors when I already know the poor outcome? Why remain upset when I can do something to change my attitude instead?

4. Tell the people I love that I love them. Not only with a verbal "I love you," which I should do more of anyway, but with actions as well. Send messages. Call people on the phone instead of texting. Hand-write letters if necessary. Naturally this applies to the aforementioned family I waxed poetic about for the first half of the post, but I also need to work on seeing the good--even the Christ--in people I'm not familiarly obliged toward. I believe it is easy for me to be judgmental or wary of others because I seldom welcome the opportunity to meet them on a human level because I am too cautious and protective of my selfish desire to keep to myself. Sure, opening up to people opens up your chance to be hurt by them, but isn't that the point of love? People are going to let you down or talk behind your back or fail to understand you. My goal is to keep trying anyway.

5. Find creative outlets. I have a variety pack of sharpies and I'm not afraid to use them. This connects well with the plan I have to collect inspirational words, but I would like other medias as well. Blog more (hello). Maybe start vlogging (as requested by a friend, Y)? Read when I really want to escape. Now what I really need to do is figure out how to transport my piano... 

And now for some love:

These two.

Dear Grace writes over at Even the Wilderness. In her recent posts, she has been direct, open and honest in ways few people are and she has inspired me in writing this post. [I postponed writing for so long because I felt either 1) there was nothing good to say or 2) the garbage I did write would fall like an unexpected flat note in an otherwise major-tuned collection of posts. It is too much to expect that we always be on top of things and the only way I can turn things around is to admit that things can be crap at times, but they don't have to be crap always. I know, major epiphany there. Oh hey, Epiphany's tomorrow! Anyway.] I always stumble upon a post of hers at the exact right moment. She's been really spot on lately, so go check her out, leave a comment, tell her she's awesome, etc. Maybe include a picture of Benedict Cumberbatch. She'll dig it. Promise.

Hannah blogs, makes videos on YouTube and steals the hearts of many with her adorable son Grayson (he's one this week!). Her weekly vlogs have been scheduled into my routine and C enjoys watching their family adventures as well. Because of her vlogs I wish I lived in London, find good new music and get bit by the baby bug yet again. Oof.

And another Hannah! Hannah was one of the first people who started following my blog (and leaving comments! which means those viewing numbers are from real people! thank you!) and we've bonded in our convert boat. She is sweet and I so often find myself nodding along when I'm reading one of her posts. I was super excited when she announced that she and her husband Daniel are expecting!

Welcome, 2015. You're looking good.

01 October 2014

Ma Joie!

I want to live for a long time still,
Lord, if this be Your desire.
I would like to follow You in heaven,
If this would please you.
Love, that fire of our Fatherland,
Never ceases to consume me.
What matters life or death to me?
My sole happiness is to love You only.

Longtemps encore, je veux bien vivre,
Seigneur, si c'est la ton desir.
Dans le Ciel, je voudrais te suivre,
si cela te faisait plaisir.
L'Amour, ce fue de la Patrie,
Ne cesse de me consumer
Que fait la mort ou la vie?
Mon seul bonheur, c'est de t'aimer.

"Ma Joie!
" A poem by St. Therese

Happy Feast of St. Therese!