Monday Morning Almanac

I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

We took a drive to Front Royal on Saturday. As always, the lovely Blue Ridge delivered a glorious autumn show. Have I ever mentioned how much I love living in Virginia? Oh, well, maybe a few times;-).

::listening to 

Amy Grant. We've grown up together. 


{Nicky's prized possession, relocated to a new room.}

::clothing myself in 

Khaki pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a blue denim jacket rolled at the cuffs, and a handmade Anna Maria Horner voile scarf.


::talking with my children about these books

Pinkalicious. The littlest in this house pulls rank now and then (she outranks us all) and everyone does what she says. Her room is now cotton-candy pink, with one purple wall to appease Karoline. 


::thinking and thinking

About my mission. I clearly have not posted 31 days in a row, but I am reaping in a big way from this study. I'll update you later today. I'm amazed and grateful for the wild ride God has taken along with me as I look anew at vocation. While I'm 22 days into the prayer and meditation, I've only completed 10 posts. I promise I'll finish the whole 31 posts.  In time. Thanks for your patience.

{my view when I open my eyes in the morning}

::pondering prayerfully

“My present trial seems to me a somewhat painful one, and I have the humiliation of knowing how badly I bore it at first. I now want to accept and to carry this little cross joyfully, to carry it silently, with a smile in my heart and on my lips, in union with the Cross of Christ. My God, blessed be Thou; accept from me each day the embarrassment, inconvenience, and pain this misery causes me. May it become a prayer and an act of reparation." ~Elisabeth Leseur

::carefully cultivating rhythm

The last few weeks, rhythm was squashed into oblivion. We had birthday week, two orthopedic emergencies, a totalled car (unrelated to either orthopedic issue), Mike traveling, and a house full of contractors all day, every day, for two weeks. I was rocked to my introverted core. This morning, everyone is walking without a limp, my house is squeaky clean, I have dinner planned, and we will have a peaceful, planned day. God willing. Please, God, be willing!

::creating by hand

Drapery fabric is on the way! We're going to begin as soon as it gets here. In the meantime, I'm knitting away (very slowly) on my California shawl, helping Katie sew a blouse, and committing to getting those blocks finished for the anniversary quilt. Happy, happy, happy to knit and sew! I recognize how important these handworks are to me and how necessary it is that I plan time for them. 

{old curtains, new spot for them}

::learning lessons in

Oh, those Mama lessons! What a school for souls this vocation is! I'm learning that I still have much to learn. I messed up bigtime during birthday week and completely missed communicating in the love language of one of my children. I'm not sure either of us will ever fully recover. I'm still gulping the lump in my throat


::encouraging learning 

It's long been known to me that children learn at their own pace. That's one of the reasons we chose to homeschool. Friends, at long last, my most challenging student of all is cranking along and "getting" math. This means I am unexpectedly spending hours a day sitting next to him, working through college math, but I'll take it!

And I think that purgatory might be a place where one fills in all the teacher/school/counselor/parent forms on the Common App and repeatedly gets the error message every single time she saves. 

::begging prayers

for my peace of heart and others' gentle forgiveness as I try to catch up on things let go during the firestorm of the last couple weeks. I let more than a couple people down and I'm going to need a huge infusion of grace to regain equilibrium.

{the wall still awaits the icons, but we have a little pocket of peace here}

::keeping house

The middle and top floor of my house are perfectly clean. Every nook and cranny, wall and window, drawer and closet. Every flat surface above the floor has a new coat of paint and I so love the colors that surround me. Now, it's time to implement a new chore system, taking into account that in the next few weeks, two of the three big boys will leave our home. Nick and Stephen will go from sharing a room all their lives to each having their own rooms. We did a little switch preemptively. Nicky shares a room with Stephen, but he has always wanted to share a room with Paddy. When we learned he was leaving early for UVa, we moved Nick in with him and Michael in with Stephen. Michael is moving out in early December. This way, Nicky gets his much-adored roommate from now until he goes in January and then every time he comes home from college. It's just weird to think how huge this house is going to seem without them...

I've tried to capture a few images of the new colors, but I haven't gotten the hues true at all. Maybe next time.


{so good to have a functioning kitchen again, first thing in the morning}

::crafting in the kitchen 

I'm going back to 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. I've been Instagramming pictures of things we all are happy to eat. 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 registered to begin the Whole30 again. 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, so I did Whole30 in July. I made it to Day 26 and then caved for a grain-free, dairy-free and utterly fabulous cookie. I went Whole 30+ from August 1 until our California trip and then I added wine and a little sushi rice. But I was really vigilant about all else while in California. And I was feeling well and very much seeing a difference.

When I returned home, I messed up bigtime. Birthday week and two weeks of non-functioning kitchen, and I  just didn't have the discipline to withstand either the unpredictable messes and crises or the abundant sugar at hand. I have paid dearly. On a couple days, my joints have hurt so badly, I've struggled to do the simplest things to move about the day. And there have been days my hands were so stiff that the thought of keyboarding anything has brought me to tears. I'm convinced that this way of eating is non-negotiable for me. I started Whole30 all over again. It took a few days to even get to functional again, but the past couple of days have been much better. I'm in for life. I have to be.


::loving the moments

when I have time to talk with my husband.

::giving thanks 

for the good men who have shared my home these last few weeks. They've worked so hard and cared so much about doing an excellent job. Their handiwork blesses us abundantly and we're so grateful to have gotten to know them. 

living the liturgy

Have you heard about the Advent Workshop? Do come hang out with us! Even if you're not local, click over and let me know your favorite Advent resources. I really need your help, y'all.

And...I'm doing a happy dance. Our mission has relocated daily Mass (again, I know). This time, it's five minutes away with no chance of traffic. Happy, happy, happy! This my friends, is truly living liturgy!


::planning for the week ahead

Mary Beth will be Sweet Sixteen on Tuesday. While I have a few thoughts in mind for this day, I'm interested to know how you celebrated your sixteenth birthday. Does your family have any traditions for your daughters? Ideas? 


{Mike completely renovated the foyer bathroom. Sarah helped him.}

{my new favorite place to sit}