31 March 2013

Easter Vigil: Scene II

It is now Easter Sunday morning. I intended to blog multiple times throughout the day, but it just became so busy that I was hardly ever sat down to write. Here I'll record the events of yesterday:

I left on in Scene I with me heading to practice for the later service. Once there, I found my seat and sponsor and our RCIA instructor along with Monsignor (who had no vestments or even black on; he was wearing a burgundy sweater, which seemed so bizarre to me) began to explain how this evening would go. Out of our group of nearly thirty, four were in the same boat as I: baptized in another Christian tradition but coming to the Catholic Church. Our part was in the middle of events (after the unbaptized were baptized and before Catholics who had yet to be confirmed would come up). I would have a very short line to say and then move to the far left side of the church so the others could come up to be confirmed.

I was really excited when this would happen because each of us was called by our confirmation name. I chose St. Thérèse (or she chose me?). It has seemed like the perfect match in many ways, which I will probably talk about separately. It was very neat to see the saints people had chosen: there were probably six Josephs, which was amusing. As big a deal as being confirmed would be, I was more concerned about the Eucharist. After going through a practice trial with an unconsecrated host, I felt like I'd have the motions down well enough not to trip, but I was still more nervous about doing that correctly than anything else.

30 March 2013

Easter Vigil: Scene I

Today's the day!

I'm sitting in my apartment writing this as I get ready for vigil practice we'll be doing in the morning. I took to prayer in the shower: "Please help me not to mess anything up. Help me to focus and be in the moment and absorb it. Thank you for getting my family here. Oh, don't let me mess up!"

I'm nervous more than anything, but it is a light sense of it, probably because the reality hasn't hit me yet. I've been waiting for this for several months. When I began this blog it seemed like it would be absolutely ages, but now here it is and I'm not really sure how to approach it.

I was checking my phone this morning for messages and found an email in my inbox that I had sent to myself in July of last year. My past self is motivational and making me cry (yes: I'm making myself cry. I am a baby). I'm telling my future self that I will persevere through all the time and all the difficulty that I had when I first announced my conversion. I'm telling myself I'm proud and happy and excited for what I will do:

"Wear a pretty dress. Be completely present. Allow yourself to feel every emotion. This is exciting, by far the most exciting thing that will happen to you in this life. Be so thankful for all that has brought you to this moment."
And I am. I can hardly make sense of the fact that I am on the footstep of a door leading to my whole life. I know it was by no power of my own that I got here, but God's and His power working through others. Also, I'm following my advice and wearing a pretty dress. Pretty dresses make things great.

I expect to be hyperventilating in the next couple of hours, but I've got to leave for now. To all those also finishing RCIA and approaching the throne of grace: peace be with you. Be present and focused on what you are doing. Cherish every moment and be prepared for the Eucharist. Maybe bring a pack of tissues, because I definitely should because, knowing me, I definitely will be crying tonight. Happy crying. It's okay.

Alright. Time to breathe.

19 March 2013

Travels: Paris Day I


And that is about all I can say in French. I'm in a hotel room in southern Paris and just finished uploading some photos, so I figured I'd post here about my first day abroad.

When we got to Paris, we were nearly five hours early for check in, so we dropped off our bags and went exploring. Of all the fantastic things in Paris, the first thing I took a picture of was a Starbucks beverage. Where are my priorities?? But I love this photo because it shows how different and how similar Paris is to the States: my name is spelled incorrectly and I dropped 4.50 euro ($6.38) on this tall sized coffee. Interestingly, Paris does not accept Starbucks cards, so watch out for that.

After our Starbucks refuge, we headed north to the gems of Paris.

Five Things

(Yes, I'm doing one of these.)

I was tagged last week in a Five Things challenge/list/bloggy post thing by Haley from Carrots. I wish it were a Five Guys challenge. Eat as many French fries as I can in an hour? Game on.


Here are five things about me you may not know (not a requirement to the challenge, but the point is for you to know me better, so...):

1. (Since the topic of food has already been brought up) Half of my diet is super healthy and the other half is super...not. Kale, strawberries, almonds and then sugar, butter and chocolate. The latter half is fueled by my love of baking. It is a beautiful confusing life. Don't tell me to stop.

2. I was very artsy when I was a kid. Art classes, numerous sketchbooks, ink on my fingers from drawings, piles of pictures collecting over the years in a storage bin. When I was in high school I was on the yearbook staff and went to regional and state competitions for graphic design. I would love to make art projects a more regular part of my life. For now I have my blog, but that's a little different.

3. One of my life goals is to become very knowledgeable about wine. The restaurant I work at is notable for its abundant wine selection and I always feel rather silly when I'm asked whether this Grenache or that Cabernet is drier or longer in finish or spicier. "I have no idea," I want to plainly say. Doing food and wine pairings would be very cool.

4. I am not a fan of gooey happy music. What is gooey happy music? Children's music. On CD sung by children with high voices. Ten times worse if it's Christmas carols (which I also don't like much). Certain contemporary Christian music, especially if it is repetitive. This music makes me squeamish and fidgety. I am a horrible person.

5. I was a very studious, impossibly shy kid who was not very good at social interactions. A girl in my third grade put a note on my desk saying she wanted to be friends and I stared at it before asking the teacher what I should do about it. When I reached teen years, I was happy to be annoyed at people for their high noise level or perceived low IQ. Now I think I've lost a lot of the judgmental snobbishness, but I still find myself incredibly awkward in social situations. I'm probably never going to grow out of it, but it --f-o-r-c-e-s-- gives me the opportunity to do activities on my own, which can be nice. That's kind of what this blog is: me being social by myself. Oh, that's sad.

I'll tag Rosalind for this challenge. Did you learn something new? Am I just as boring as before? :)

Here's a fun Paris photo to make this post worthwhile:

Notre Dame side view.

18 March 2013

Week in Review VII

Week in Review: Week VII


I think I've taken this "Blogosphere" section to mean "Here are some posts I found online" and "Here's some general or random stuff going on in Catholic World right now." As such, it is totally relevant to say: Yay, habemus papam! At first reveal I, like many others, was like, "Who?" but since Wednesday I have really started to like our Francis, especially when stuff like this pops up:

This is what winning looks like.

His Holiness' (so weird still to write that about someone new) no-nonsense claims really make him a spokesperson of the Church Militant and that is very inspiring to see.

14 March 2013

Thoughts in Images

I would just like to say...

I totally called this, Catholic Memes!

Note the day!

Anyway. Today RCIA was good: Fr. C (who is going to Rome over Spring break, which is crazy exciting!) talked about the Four Last Things (Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell). You can read more about those here if you like (check out the eyes on that sucker. And I don't mean the eyes on his face, I mean the eyes on his wings. Yes, those ones.). Try living recklessly/selfishly/just for fun after reading about those. But really, there are some beautiful passages in there. I need to think more on the four last things day to day...

We then had Mass at 9 celebrating our new Pope Francis. Honestly, I feel a bit guilty because I'm not jumping up and down and excited about the choice because I don't really know anything about him before or after his election except that he rode the bus and checked out of his hotel room in person. In person as the Pope. I'd love that desk man's job in that situation.

Also from Catholic Memes.

The man has some shoes to fill, and this image struck me as funny (hilarious) when I first saw it, but rather nice after I thought about it for a while. No one should feel too comfortable after just being granted the largest, most intense promotion in the world, and he doesn't look it at all. He looked mildly frightened when he emerged from the curtains and that speaks a lot about how he recognizes the magnitude of his position and, I hope, he will be humble and loving with that power.

Little though I know, I do know that he gave a shout out to Benedict (and made plans to visit with him! To be a fly on the wall of that Castel...) which shows loads of respect and recognition which is admirable. More importantly, I know the Holy Spirit is at work and our Church will be guided greatly. There are already little attacks here and there on Pope Francis (and I kind of feel like I'm attacking him myself just by being a bit uncertain: I don't doubt or distrust him, I just don't know anything), which make me want to say, "Give the guy a break! He's just been voted in!" but I don't expect Francis will get much of a break. He has a great and important job and life ahead of him. As such, we should pray for our new Holy Father and love him after Benedict as we loved Benedict after JP II.

Viva il Papa! God bless you, Holy Father!

Also: Check out this pretty Mary Help of Christians medal I received from a visiting Salesian sister today. I attached it to my (relatively new) decade bracelet. Muy bonita. :)

13 March 2013

Habemus Papam!

And I'm freaking out!!

You can find live coverage here. HuffPo, but it works. ;)

I'm shaky and excited and the anticipation is killing me. I can't wait to find out who it is and get a first glimpse of our new Holy Father. I'll be updating here and much more quickly on Twitter, where I can be found as @bakeorbake.

Interestingly, I was trying on my Confirmation dress when I got the first messages on my phone that we now have a Pope.

This is insane!


Cardinal Bergoglio from Argentina has been elected our 266th Pope, Francis I.
Time to learn!

Here he is!

Wonderful mention by our new Pope Francis I of our Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, asking us to pray for Benedict, and later for himself. You know how much I love Papa Benny...

One of my favorite altered images of BXVI. (From Catholic Memes)

Oh man. I need to take a breather.

We have a Pope. So cool. :)

10 March 2013

Week in Review VI

Week in Review: Week VI

The Blogosphere

I haven't been keeping up with blogging too much this week, but I did stumble across this gem. As if Benedict wasn't melting my heart enough already. (I can't find the original source, but this is where I found it first.) He looks so relaxed and peaceful.

Other good news: the conclave starts on Tuesday! I'm definitely looking forward to getting absorbed in that.

03 March 2013

Week in Review V

Week in Review: Week V


I've been posting like crazy! And it's been really fun, even though it's usually been me moping for hundreds of words. Still, I've been enjoying frequently posting, so I'll try to keep it up. I'm now over 1300 views, which blows my mind (but then I'm brought down to reality when I realize that a third of them are from junk websites. Haha).

It is now fifteen days until I board a plane to Paris, which might be an even crazier thought. I am super excited for so many things: traveling again, taking photographs, going somewhere new, trying to say words in a different language (we'll see how that goes), perusing clothing shops, sampling local food, going to Mass at as many different places as possible, admiring art... It's really going to be so much fun. Allons-y!