My Sunday Best: Vol. 2

Knowing I was going to post what I wore to church really inspired me this morning to find something nice in my closet! Happily, I found a blouse I had forgotten about, and had something nice to wear. It was also a “little” warmer, so finally wore a skirt instead of pants.


Of course the girls had to be in the picture. We all look pretty and springy, despite yet more rainy, cold weather. The girls were good at Mass, and maybe it helped that it was the first Mass under an hour that we’ve been to in, well, years. Although Grace was “reading” a book to her friend a few pews back, and kept holding up her book to show him the pictures.

Gracie being so lovey, Theresa wants a turn.

No more crying, but still a tired, grumpy girl.

We had a nice, quite day at home, which hasn’t happened in a long time. A friend and her teenage daughter came over for a few hours and we got “interviewed” for a religion class project on marriage. First question: “why did you want to get married?” My husband’s first response: “for the tax break!” (Yeah, he says things like that 😉

Speaking of marriage, have you seen the Bible Study on marriage that begins tomorrow? Check out http://blessedisshe.net/product/waiting-word-vows/. I know I need a reminder of what it means to live my vows as a Catholic spouse, and I’m looking forward to exploring my vocation as a wife. I don’t know about others, but I often feel like I’m so caught up in being a mom that I neglect being a good wife. These ladies wrote wonderful Advent and Lent studies, I’m excited about this study too.

Finally, here’s a good shot of {barefoot} me, and you can see my pretty shirt. Linking up tonight with the lovely Rosie at A blog for my mom.

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My Sunday Best {Vol. 1} and Mother’s Day {Vol. 2}

img_6716-1Owing to an internet problem last weekend, I wasn’t able to get online on Sunday, and then the weekend got away from me.

So welcome to my first link-up with the lovely Rosie at A blog for my mom, for My Sunday Best!  It’s also time for my annual Mother’s Day post!  AND a new name for the blog, but more about that another day.

First, here’s what I wore last Sunday, when I got all dressed up for Mother’s Day.  This is an old dress, but I felt very fancy in a lovely new necklace from my mother-in-law and a new rosary bracelet; more on that later. 🙂

Mother’s Day weekend this year began with an exciting, last minute opportunity to attend the St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School Derby Gala.  We attended two years ago, and it’s just such a fun and special date night (and a huge thank you to whoever the generous donor was who provided half a dozen teacher tickets!)  I particularly wanted to attend this year because of the Derby theme (coinciding with the Kentucky Derby the same night).  The dress was “Derby casual,” so here we are with our “Southern” on!  Since it was last minute notice that we could attend, I didn’t have a chance to get a nice pastel shirt for Bobby, and do a super-fancy hat, but I think we look quite elegant.


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This sweet lady was a volunteer for the evening, and she offered to hold Cecilia so we could nibble finger sandwiches, sip wine, and browse the silent auction as though we had money to bid.  I especially enjoyed the many gorgeous hats of the evening.  This display of millinery was created by a lady at the school and available to buy.  I could also tell that many ladies there, like myself, had decorated their own beach hats with festive ribbons and flowers.  And a few lucky ladies obviously had purchased genuine creations of professional millinery, intended especially for traditional Southern and horse-racing type events.  I grew up near the Saratoga Racetrack in New York, and remember a particularly fun store that carried traditional, extravagant hats.img_6655-1Cecilia was the belle of the gala, receiving constant coos and attention, especially since most of the attendees were parents of teenagers.  The school is run by the Congregation of St. Cecilia Nashville Dominicans, who are thrilled with our newest daughter and her name.

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Despite the late night, we were up for Mass the next morning, enjoying a blue sky and sunshine, much welcome after a week of rain.  My hubby took us out for a delicious Mother’s Day brunch down in a little town off I-81, nestled in the valley between the Virginia mountains and the West Virginia mountains.  He sometimes works down here, and brought us to feed the ducks.  Lots of laughter and fun throwing bread pieces to a large flock of ducks and geese along a little stream.  There were many handsome mallards, and two different families of ducklings.  Gracie kept saying it was “like the book” (Make Way for Ducklings, a favorite).

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So pleased to capture a sweet picture with both my big girls smiling!

img_6704-1But, the didn’t want to do the same thing for the picture with Daddy.  After duck time, we had to make a stop at the store, and my Mother’s Day flowers were purchased and got planted a few days later, along with vegetables, which hopefully won’t be killed by a frost tonight!  Finally, I just wanted to share my beautiful gifts.  An elegant Rosary bracelet I choice from Organic Mamas Shop, and a Vatican Cookbook, which was a surprise from hubby.  He is particularly eager for me  to try it out.  So blessed by the love and generosity of my husband today, and grateful beyond words for the Lord’s gifts of my beautiful daughters.

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Gathering My Thoughts in May {my favorite month}

Outside my window: A gorgeous spring day.  A thunderstorm blew through this morning and in its wake came a clear blue sky and a sparkling world washed clean by the rain.  Then the sun began to heat things up and fluffy white clouds have begun to adorn the sky.  We have had a lot of unseasonably cold days, combined with clouds, fog and rain, so the sunshine and warmth are doubly welcome.


Listening to: The rocking of the baby swing and the hum of the washing machine.  There’s also the faint sound of birds and little girls playing outside, and the creak of the screen door as children go in and out.

Clothing myself in: I dressed in a nursing tank and stretch capris to work out this morning, and its so warm I never changed.

Talking with my children about these books: I haven’t been reading much to the kids.  I’ve been encouraging them to spend time outside, and my husband is doing the bedtime reading.  I’d like to read to them more; perhaps we can have outdoor story time!

In my own reading: Daily meditations and blogs are about all I’ve been reading lately.  I choose a whole stack of books from our home library to read (since I can’t get to the public library right now) and would like to start reading them.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day.


Thinking and thinking:
About balancing mothering, housework, working from home and time for myself.  Ever since the beginning of April, when I was first home with three children and needing to work 10-15 hours a week (emailing for the non-profit I work for), and wanting to pray and exercise every day, I’ve really struggled with how to balance everything, especially time with the girls and the cleaning, cooking and laundry.

Pondering: “The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.”

Carefully cultivating rhythm: Morning prayers and exercise are giving a good start to my days.  Now I just need to work on the rest of the day, and finding a rhythm for the girls.


Creating by hand: Has not happened in a long time.  I yearn to make some sundresses for the girls, and see some progress on a quilt that’s been in the making a long time.  I really don’t know when these things will happen, though. 

Learning lessons in:  Trust (in God’s plan for me and our family).  Humility (that things are not going to happen the way I plan, expect, or hope).  Asking for help, especially inviting people to visit us, since we can’t go anywhere.

Encouraging learning in: Playing outside and with each other.

Keeping house: The house was cleaned for Cecilia’s baptism party last week.  I’m trying to keep the living and dining rooms that way.  The kitchen, bedroom and laundry: epic fails.

Crafting in the kitchen:  Made meatballs for the first time.  Delicious.  Going to make them again tonight.  Also looking forward to our first salad of the year from our garden.


To be fit and happy: I’ve been doing a 30 day fitness challenge group, and the support is actually helping me persevere with daily exercise.  I’ve also been drinking so much more water, which is really making a difference in how I feel every day.

Giving thanks: For friends who come spend time with my kids; online community; and beautiful, handmade gifts.


Loving the moments: When the big girls are in bed and I’m rocking and nursing Cecilia and looking out at the sunset over the fields and hills, as they gradually turn more green and vibrant every day.

Living the liturgy: May is my favorite month of the year.  Springtime and honor Mother Mary-what can be better?  Planning to involve the girls in picking flowers and decorating our Little Oratory to honor the Blessed Mother.

Planning for the week ahead: Set up some play dates this morning, need  to do some meal planning, and hoping and praying that the laundry gets finished and the kitchen gets cleaned (despite a broken sink pipe!).