Monday Musings

In the world outside my front door

We've had several hard frosts and it's time to pull out the frost-bitten plants and admit that summer has, indeed completely slipped away.


I am Listening to

a soccer game on television and an enthusiastic gang of teenagers downstairs (I'm starting this post Sunday night, knowing full well it will be Monday before I post).


I am Wearing

a sweatshirt and jeans and warm socks and three blankets. I cannot retain heat. At all.


I am so Grateful for

As I pondered and prayed about this post (for months, maybe years), I knew that it would take a leap of faith, a stretch of courage to publish it and my dearest hope was that it would bless. Thank you for your warm response. Even more, though, thank you for your honesty and your courage in the comments.

I'm Pondering

God has been very good to me, for I never dwell upon anything wrong which a person has done, so as to remember it afterwards. If I do remember it, I always see some other virtue in that person.

 ~St. Teresa of Avila


I am Reading

Not Google Reader. Prior to the "new, improved Google Reader," I was probably Reader's best fan and most frequent visitor. I had hundreds of blogs organized there. I had a reading schedule. I shared my reading and my notes. Not any more. I can't even scroll through a single blog to read a post now because the whole thing doesn't fit on my screen and when I scroll only part of the print scrolls with me. In its infinite wisdom and eagerness to drive everyone to Google +, they've eliminated the Share feature, thereby shooting a near fatal hole in the blogging community they helped to create and nurture. I'm on Google +, but I very rarely check in there. It would take me hours now to organize myself over there and frankly, those hours aren't going to happen because my kids are on Facebook and Twitter. And therein is the entire social media philosophy in this household. If the kids are there, so am I. has allowed me to continue to share interesting reads with sidebar links. Not quite the same, but I do hope you'll keep clicking there--it's nice to be able to pass things along. Facebook and Twitter buttons (and an RSS feed to take you to your Reader of choice) are still up there at the top of the sidebar. 


I am Thinking

that sometimes the only thing we know for sure is that we don't know. And it's very liberating to just admit it.


I am Creating

A new quilt! One square finished. I'm resisting perfectionistic urges to do the whole thing again. Actually, that's not true. I would TOTALLY do the whole thing again if I could, but the fabric would not survive that kind of seam ripping and I don't have enough new fabric to indulge my perfectionism. So, either I'm going to learn to get over myself or quilting is going to kill me. We shall see. 


I am learning

what a gift genuine friends are.


To live the liturgy:

It occurred to me today that I can count on one hand the number of times I'm likely to hear Mass said the only way I've ever known it. Soon--very, very soon--it will be different.  


Towards a Real Education

We're all about weighing college options and making big decisions with Patrick. 


Towards Rhythm and Beauty

I definitely love to Fall Back. I enoyed the extra hour yesterday. All my little ones were snug and sound asleep early. By the time they get here, I honestly enjoy embracing the shorter days. Nestle in; it's all good.


I am Hoping and Praying

for two people very close to me who have big medical deals today. Praying for stength and grace and courage for all of us. 


Around the House

In an unexpected twist, this post has me thinking that I need to freshen up the household oganizer. When we talk about the long journey that motherhood is and how homemaking is intertwined, I recognize that just as our diligence and perseverance with our children is not only about the children's growth in the Lord, but as much about ours, I see that homemaking isn't only about serving our families, but about our own growth in faithfulness and industriousness and genuine stewardship. As we work to cooperate with the Creator and mirror His order and beauty in our own small corner of the universe, we bless our families and we grow closer to God personally. I'm looking at my house with fresh eyes.


From the Kitchen 

a meal plan. I'll share it later, along with some recipes as the week unfolds.


On my iPod:

the Divine Office. As Mike prepares to fly overseas and as I talk with a dear friend about the new life she's about to embark in a missionary land, I am renewed in my appreciation that these prayers are prayed all over the world, every day, at every hour--praying without ceasing. And I'm comforted by knowing that no matter how far away they are, we share a faith. And God goes with us.


One of My Favorite Things

children--big and small- who know they can throw themselves on my bed and have my full attention. One of the things I missed most when Patrick was with the National Team was the way he'd hurl himself at my bed and then just tell me everyitng inside his head. They all do that in some form or fashion. Karoline does it in the middle of the night and talks to us in her sleep. I could probably go for a reschedule with her.


On the Calendar for the Week

A tense day today, awaiting news.

Shortened soccer practices, as even soccer bows to the forces of nature and the loss of daylight.

Long ballet days, as the Nutcracker performance times draw near.

Girls' Club on Friday.

We absolutely have to buy a new-to-us vehicle this week. Our great big van sighed its last sigh, after nearly eleven years of carrying precious cargo everywhere. I admit to being sort of sad. I hated driving that van. It was definitely not designed with petite women in mind. But it was a gift from Mike, all those years ago, just after our sixth baby was born. It was a tangible gesture from him that expressed even better than words that this big family lifestyle was what we were about and that he intended to provide for it well. Good van, that one.



Worth a Thousand Words


On Saturday morning, just after I dropped Mary Beth at ballet, I opened the door to find Bobby Convey standing there. He was in for the weekend and decided to drop by and surprise me. Mike and the kids were all in on it and everyone was pretty tickled to see me genuinely delighted by my breakfast guest. The boys all sat and watch English soccer on TV while Bobby offered advice on everything from professional soccer to college choices to high school dating (hilarious since none of them, including Bobby, has gone to high school) to marriage. I couldn't get a camera in this house to work for me, so this picture is the best (and only) I have. Still, I'm glad to have it.