Gathering my Thoughts


I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

My amaryllis bloomed late. I'm so glad. I've had the time to pay attention to it and it would have been lost in the crazy if it had bloomed on time.

::listening to 

Nothing. Very nice. 

::clothing myself in 

Wool. I wore a wool blend cardigan yesterday and didn't wheeze. Progress perhaps? Elizabeth Zimmermann writes that if you have a child who is allergic to wool, you work a little into her sweaters, increasing the amount each time you knit, kind of like allergy shots;-). I thought she was nuts, but I've been knitting with a blend recently and I just tried to wear a blend and survived. One day, I'd love to knit with a Madelinetosh yarn. Ginny gave me a small ball of it a couple years ago and we both were surprised by the ferocity of the way my body reacted. Still, I remember that yarn and hope to re-acquaint myself.


::talking with my children about these books

Shakespeare. I think it's time to re-institute Shakespeare Fridays.


::thinking and thinking

 Last fall some time, I took all social media apps off my phone. Except Instagram;-) Very good move. I felt much less stressed. I also all but left Twitter altogether, not intentionally, just because it wasn't on my phone and it's that kind of thing--you sort of have to do it in real time, or at least I do. Then, I stepped it up a notch and limited myself to one Facebook check-in a day, at least on most days. Even better. (I will note here, though, that Facebook has an annoying glitch that moves things off one's wall. I've missed messages because I waited to long to check in. Really, don't try to contact me via Facebook. Too unreliable.)

The reality is I hate sitting here in front of this screen and typing. I don't hate blogs or writing (as in composing) or the internet. I just hate the physical act of being tethered here.

I've switched all my planning--calendars, lesson plans, listmaking--to paper this year. Pretty paper. I really do love pretty paper. The paper in my life--the treasured books, old letters, prints of photographs, the daily missal--I'm bringing it to the center and moving the computer to the margin. At least I'm trying to do that.

On December first, knowing that my family was going to need my undivided attention and a lot of it, I pulled back from the computer even more. I ran a lot of old posts on my blog and I rarely checked in on social media. Even though those were very intense weeks, full of lists, and even though I was running hard and fast and staying very task-oriented, I felt a certain sense of balance.

At bedtime a few nights ago, Karoline commented, "You aren't on the computer very much any more." That was it. Just an observation. The reality is that all of the above, plus the fact that I've been sharing my laptop with Christian, makes her observation very accurate.  

I like it that way.

And now, I'm trying to figure out how to hold onto that and still be the writer my soul begs me to be. I'm wondering how my eagerness for a new camera will play into this scenario. I want to capture the images and to learn to do it well. But I'm worried about adding photo editing time.

If I'm here, reading or typing in the glare of this screen, I'm not knitting or sewing or gardening or reading a picture book to a little girl who looks nothing like a toddler any more.

Thinking. Lots of thinking.

::pondering prayerfully

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Aimee pointed out the the NAS version is Cease striving and know that I am God. Seems the perfect verse for someone who just spent six months making list after list and getting to nearly everything on them and trying mightily not to let anyone down. Perhaps it is time to cease striving?

::carefully cultivating rhythm

Last night, after our first Monday of the "new normal," I was with Nick in the kitchen before turning off the lights on the day. He sighed a happy little sigh and said, "Doesn't it feel good to have the house clean and have gotten so much done in this day?" He noticed. It did feel good. The day wasn't perfect and it wasn't without its own drama, but there was a really palpable sense of peace in my home. It's rhythm, establishing itself.

::creating by hand

I think I will try to conquer those nightgowns I once intended for St. Lucy's Day. And I've been happily knitting the first of the Easter sweaters. I do plan a post of knitting and sewing plans, mostly just to create a visual organizer for myself. (This remains the same as last week. I'm going to make myself get to those today. I need to get back into a sewing rhythm, I guess.)


::learning lessons in

fitness. I went to the gym. I spent six minutes on the elliptical. I thought I was going to die. Even hours later, I felt terrible. Clearly, there is a big difference between the recumbent bike in my closet or walking briskly in my neighborhood and that monster machine at the gym. I'm scared to go back. Fitness people feel free to comment. 

{Just an aside, as I shushed the interior voice telling me what a sad sack I am, I did remind myself that even though everyone around me was clearly a fitness superstar, it was highly doubtful anyone had borne nine children. My body is pretty amazing. Just sayin' ;-) } 


::encouraging learning 

Mike is taking a Spanish class practically at dawn every Wednesday. He had several years of Spanish in high school and college, but his Miami office (ESPN Deportes) is entirely native Spanish speakers. It was well past time for a brush up. In solidarity, everyone here is re-commiting to Rosetta Stone. Karoline is quite certain she's already bilingual. 

::begging prayers

for Elizabeth DeHority and Kelly Davignon and Jen Fulwiler.


::keeping house

Last time Patrick left, I never re-wrote the chore chart. I'm not sure why. I think it might just have coincided with a time in my life when I was tired of thinking through homemaking routines over and over again. I'm not sure. Once upon a time, a friend and I traded those lists and tweaked and thought it all through so much that you would have thought we were employed full time in some sort of domestic think tank. And then, poof! I just started running this house with a very loose--not written any where--kind of plan. 

I'm not sure I can commit yet, but I think I might have a new homemaking notebook itching away at my fingers.

::crafting in the kitchen 

I made an enormous pork roast yesterday. Fifteen pounds. Mike commented that dinner was really good last night. I'm glad he thinks so. We're going to be eating it all week. Your suggestions for leftover, slow-cooked Dutch oven pork most gratefully accepted.


::loving the moments

On the day that Patrick left, without any real plan to do so, I started sharing snippets on Instagram. (You can see those pictures here.) It did occur to me that this was raw stuff and perhaps it was inappropriate for such a venue. But something happened. Joy said it best later in the day, when she wrote, "I'm grateful for Instagram on days like today...what I prayed and how I prayed changed as the day went on and the pics that came up. I'd never thought to use it that way before, but I do think my prayers for my friends will change after today."  I couldn't agree more. I knew people were praying. It was tangible and very real. Like Joy, I think the way I look at Instagram and pray accordingly will be forever changed.  (Documented on Instagram. Follow me @heartofmyhome or click the camera icon in the top right sidebar. See you there!)

::giving thanks 

::for the new normal. 

::For time with friends from high school. It never ceases to amaze me that after all these years and their countless moves, Shelley and I can still gather in the kitchen and pick up right where we left off in the sharing of hearts. 

living the liturgy

Yesterday, I took a few moments and wrote down the baptism anniversaries of all my children in my calendar for the year. Today, I plan to do that for godchildren, too. I really want to make a little fuss on their baptism days every year. I always intend to, but often forget. I want it to be a solid family tradition, just like birthdays and namedays.  (Cool little things: Mike was baptized on my birthday. Well, not really, because I wasn't born yet, but he made it a pretty special day the year before I arrived. And Nicholas was baptized twelve years before Michael's wedding date, in the same church, by the same priest. Twelve years later, he was best man on that day! He says that day counts as a good baptism celebration. Not sure how I'll ever top it, actually.)

::planning for the week ahead

We are going to keep doing the new normal. I'm looking very forward to a visit from a friend. We are going to make some grand plans and go out to dinner, just us. I'm so ready for girl time, I can't even contain my excitement!