Monday Morning Almanac


I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

The garden is absurdly overgrown. I need to commit to geting up pin the morning and heading out to weed first thing for the next few days. It gets so hot, so quickly that the only way to stay ahead of the weeds is to dig around in the dawn.

::listening to 

absolutely nothing


::clothing myself in 

A crisp white shirt and butter yellow shorts (just as soon as I do that weeding and take a shower). I need some new shoes that are sutable for walking, maybe light hiking and that will carry me into the fall. Suggestions? Good support is an absolute must.


::talking with my children about these books

G is for Gold Medal: An Olympic Alphabet. I'm a big fan of the Sleeping Bear Press Alphabet books. Michael is off to spend nearly a month in London covering the Summer Olympics for USAToday. We're going to thoroughly explore this book and we're going to revive the highly successful World Cup Geography, Olympics version. (ESPN has no Map Madness for the Olympics. Bummer)


::thinking and thinking

about being 20-something. And how much conversation those musings provoked. More tomorrow.



::pondering prayerfully

Those who seem to be spiritually dead are not always those least accessible to the divine Word; when wood is dead, it needs only a spark to set it afire. ~ Elisabeth Leseur

::carefully cultivating rhythm

The last few weeks, I've made some pretty drastic changes to the ways I'm managing my time. I'm still working on whittling my Google Reader (#13 on the list). The whittling is proving to be time consuming in and of itself. I've always been a "continuous reader." I was the kid who read every last word of the Charleston News and Courier as a twelve-year-old in Charleston, South Carolina. My favorite columnist was "Ashley Cooper," who turned out to be Frank Gilbreth of Cheaper by the Dozen.  I read every Young Adult book in the Charleston Air Force base library. Every one. We only lived there two years! That's a bit of a digression. My point is that I used to read incessantly. I was the kid whose mother was always imploring her to get her nose out of a book. If I'd eaten cereal, I'm sure I would have read cereal boxes. I'm still always reading. The problem is that often what I'm reading is caught inside a smartphone or a laptop. And there is a qualitative difference between web reading and book reading. I think being the girl with her nose in a book is healthier. Much healthier. And I am certain that it's a better model for my children. So, I'm working on it. A lot.

::creating by hand

It's truly time to get serious about quilts (#10 on the list). And, I've dusted off my knitting needles. We'll see where that goes.


{A little wine and chocolate. Hangtime Pinot Noir. Mike says it's a little preview of September plans.}

::learning lessons in

social media addiction. I think we need to be very mindful of the dangers, to ourselves and our children. This generation of children knows nothing else than the instant gratification and constant feedback of peer interaction. It's changing to way we relate to one another, for better or worse. We have to make it for better.


::encouraging learning 

We've got to buckle down. The summer is slipping away and we haven't come close to achieving our academic goals.

::begging prayers

for all the people who have joined our weekend prayer community. I carried your requests with me to Mass and I will keep a candle lit for you throughout the week.

Please pray for Colleen Mitchell and her family. There have been torrential rains and flooding in Costa Rica in the past week. We haven't heard fom Colleen since Saturday. 

:keeping house

Big things happening in August. New paint, new furniture, and all the deep down cleaning that will come with it.


::crafting in the kitchen 

Nearly finished fine-tuning a solid three week paleo meal plan. I'm really, really happy about this. I see its benefits and I'm committed to making it a habit for the long haul. My kids seem fairly happy with it, too. I think some nearly-paleo chocolate chip cookies helped. Recipes forthcoming soon. I've been Instagramming pictures faithfully. Follow me there, if you like. I'm heartofmyhome. You can also click on the little button at the top of the righthand column with the camera. This works even if you don't have an Instagram account.

 I'm registered to begin the Whole30 on August 1. From the beginning of Lent until mid-June, I was following this diet for hypothyroidism, more or less. Then Kristen Kill mentioned to me she was doing Whole 30. They sounded essentially the same and I found a lot of support for the hypothryoid diet on the Whole30 pages. I made it to Day 26 in July and then caved for a grain-free, dairy-free and utterly fabulous cookie. I plan to go the Whole30 this time. 


{Dinner at the Inner Harbor. Mostly paleo. I suspect a trace of butter and probably seed oil. Best scallops ever.}

::loving the moments

alone with Mike. He was working in Baltimore last weekend. We took a chance to get away together. After a Thursday night budget meeting that stretched well into Friday morning, he came home to sleep for four hours before leaving for Baltimore. I waited up for him that night and then got up to get the girls off to dance camp for the day.  Then, Mike and I hit the road.Together, we visited Mel Kiper's home to do something with his studio lights. (Mel's wife is amazing--talk about a family business!) After that drive through beautiful countryside, we checked into the hotel. He tucked me in for a nap, pulled all the shades closed, shuttered the door, and slipped out to go work the set day at the stadium. I napped. He didn't.  But he rallied to have a date night before leaving for work in the dark Saturday morning. I amused myself by shopping, lunching, and working on bloggy things. I considered the weekend an amazing chance to get away, catch my breath, and capture his attention without having to compete with Sarah Annie. What's lovely is that he considered this a very good weekend, too. He worked super hard. But I was along on this road trip and that just made him happy. (#25)


::giving thanks 

We left Christian, Patrick, and Mary Beth to hold the fort while we were in Baltimore. They did a great job keeping the little ones safe and happy. I suggested a movie Saturday night and Patrick wan't comfortable with a movie theater, so they decided to rent from Netflix instead. Patrick suggested the playground at Chick-Fil-A to get dinner and work out some wiggles before the movie. I'm grateful that this message from Mary Beth:



was followed quickly by this one:


::living the liturgy

July 31st is the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He's the spiritual genius behind the spiritual exercises. I did the Consoling the Heart of Jesus version of the spiritual exercises last April. I will celebrate St. ignatius at Adoration on Tuesday with the "little version" of the CHJ book. (#21 on the list)


::planning for the week ahead

Christian is working at a pool that is mostly empty most of the time. We'll go visit a few times this week. Karoline refuses to jump in. Sarah is nearly ready to swim. I'm happy to keep working on (#31 on the list). There's a new playground near the pool (#18). My big kids took really good care of my little ones last weekend. The house? Not so much. It's going to take me a loooong time to restore order.


{Mike was in Baltimore for the Liverpool-Tottenham match. Stephen and Nicky joined us for the match. After, they just so happened to bump into their heroes Steven Gerrard and Gareth Bale. Nicky was thrilled to snag a signature. We had dinner on Inner Harbor and had a grand time at National Aquarium the next day. }

{photo credit: Stephen Foss}


More almanacs here.