Monday, January 31, 2011

Daybook 1-31-11

Outside my window…brisk wind, gray skies, wind-whipped bare branches, yellowed grass.
I am thinking…how nice it feels to have this warm home to hide inside.
I am wearing…comfy jeans, black tank and long black cardigan sweater with dangling stone earrings.
I am hearing…Thomas the train video on in next room and Ella Fitzgerald "It's Only a Paper Moon" on Pandora.
I am thankful for…candlelight in the early morning, peaceful weekends, hugs from my husband before he leaves for work.
I am going… to take all three boys to the doctor this afternoon~time to have those ears checked.  All three had a feverish, miserable night.
I am hoping…my friend's husband will find the right job for right now.
I am praying for…healing in our family, my Aunt on her birthday today, the souls we have loved that have passed on before us.
I am reading…  One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Slow-reading, word-savoring, inspirational goodness.
I am creating…my own 1,000 gifts journal a la Ann.
I am pondering…this statement by Blessed Mother Teresa:
"The woman is the heart of the home.  
Let us pray that we women realize the reason of our existence:
 to love and be loved and through this love
 become instruments of peace in the world."
God is leading me…to be unafraid.
In the kitchen…this week: leftover Tomato Rice Soup  from Sunday soup night,  total cop-out rotisserie chicken and Bob Evan's mashed potatoes tomorrow and beyond that I have no idea but my eldest has requested salmon.   Mmmm ~ maybe sugar and spice salmon for Wednesday?
Around the house…tried to air out the  germs yesterday with all  the windows open.  Today need to scour bathrooms and go through receipts, write Valentine's Day cards and help son with Ponce de Leon project.  
One of my favorite things…having a big enough bed for all five of us to fall asleep together in it last night.  (No wonder we are all sick! ) :) 


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Little Things

The fog has thickened.  Sore throats, achy bodies and stomach flu have taken up unwelcome residence.

In the midst of it all, I am praying and finding little things to celebrate:

1.  This, too, shall pass.

2.  My second son is making his first reconciliation today.  What a gift!

3.  "Only Mommy can make me feel better." Precious words from my two year old this morning.

4.  Hot coffee.

5. Mommy gets to take a sick day too ~ a rarity ~ but in a way a treat.

6.  It's the weekend.  There is time for recovery.

7.  Your prayers.  Thank you.

Now I invite you to leave a comment (or a link to your blog) and share a few of your "little things" today.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Soul Fever

The fog has moved in today.  Reddened cheeks, narrowed eyes, fevered hands.  Suddenly all plans shift toward tenderness, care-taking. Time for snuggles, soothing drinks and simplicity.

Last fall our family came down with a different kind of fever.  A soul fever.  In his book, Simplicity Parenting, Kim John Payne describes the affliction of the "soul fever" ~ a feeling of being overwhelmed, stressed and stretched beyond limits. It's symptoms include irritability, tantrums, even depression.  He prescribes a sudden simplification of routine ~ suspending after-school activities, possibly school itself for a day, and making time for simple pleasures, one-on-one time with a parent or time to simply be alone.  In our case, time to simply be.

What began in September as exciting opportunities to play soccer, become a Scout and sing in the school choir by October became hurry-up-and-eat dinners, no-you-can't-play-outside evenings, and drag-a-two-year-old-along-past-bedtime nights.  They didn't want to go and neither did I.  We all needed a "time out".

While our bodies are currently fighting off a physical fever, it is comforting to know that we are still healthier deep down inside.  Our soul fever has been treated and, at least for the moment, reduced.

Now we have sit-and-savor dinners, play-outside-until-it's-dark evenings and bedtime-stories nights.  They won't be this young ever again. Soon they will want to be out past bedtime and I will content myself with memories of these moments we took back.

If you want to join in considering your version of simplicity please visit Elizabeth's BlogSmall step buttonD1


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sunday Drive

After Mass on Sunday we took a Sunday Drive.  You know the kind.  No plan.  No destination.  Just a lazy drive somewhere new.  The kind where you have to pull aside to let the "real traffic" get around you.  The drive was inspired by Father's homily.

He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."
At once they left their nets and followed him.
Matthew 4:19-20

Father noted that they didn't have a plan, a map, a destination but still, they followed Christ.  They didn't say  "Yes!  I want to follow you but can you come back next week when I have everything in order and I feel ready?"

I began to think of all the things I put before Christ.  Each day I have a new opportunity to follow Him - wherever He may lead me and yet, like a bad waltzing partner, I keep trying to lead.
I want Him to follow me where I had planned to go.

My seven year old son, hearing Father's description of the Sunday Drive, whispered, "Can we do that today - right after church?"  My husband and I grinned. Absolutely.  How sweet to be able to say yes.

He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.  They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. 
He called to them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
Matthew  4:21-22

We drove aimlessly, shouting with wonder as we spotted new wildlife, snapping photos from the van window.    It may have been a simple Sunday Drive but it will remain a reminder to me to let holy inspiration guide me.  To drop everything and follow Him.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - 3


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Organizing - 3

Week 3 goal - put away all books after sorting and reorganizing.  Done!

What about your goal for this week? You can join in anytime!

Also, I had an idea for the printable organizing list you can download here.  I am printing out a few more lists and creating more 52 weeks lists for things such as books I've read this year and recipes to try from my new cookbook.

I love lists and I would love to hear about yours!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Daybook 1-24-11

A picture thought...
Look what they had at Walmart!
Outside my window…sunshine, chilly winds and looming clouds full of overnight rain.
I am thinking…about Spring thanks to my beautiful new tulips.
I am wearing…I cannot tell a lie ~ the same green hoodie and jeans from the past two Monday's daybooks.  Time to find a new Monday outfit!
I am hearing…the humming of the excavator in the lot next door where a new home is going up.  
I am thankful for…my best friend and her unwavering support of my dreams. H2U!
I am going… to go give my three boys a hug and kiss...okay I'm back.  :)
I am hoping…I will find the family portraits that have been missing since we moved a year ago.
I am praying for…my friend suffering from Rasmussen's Encephalitis and in need of a miracle and the success of the fundraiser planned for her in February.
I am reading…  Sarabeth's Bakery : From My Hands to Yours by Sarabeth Levine.
I am creating…space for creativity each day.
I am pondering…these words in my morning devotional,  Jesus Calling , by Sarah Young:
"Thank Me when things do not go your way, because spiritual blessings come wrapped in trials."
God is leading me…to stop and pray more often.
In the kitchen…this week: citrus marinade tilapia, potsticker soup, and chipotle marinated pork tenderloin and something new from the cookbook mention above. 
Around the house…accomplished the folding and vacuuming today.  Need to iron my husband's work shirts and quickly finish task 2 on the 52 Weeks of Organizing agenda before tomorrow!
One of my favorite things…Neutrogena Moistureshine lipstick in Ruby Bliss.  

To add your own Daybook go to:


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Figuring Life Out - One Thousand Gifts

If you want to join in the book club discussion on-line go here.

Easy Inspiration

Recently, during a MOPS meeting, the leader shared an idea I had never thought of before. She pointed out that the book of Proverbs has 31 chapters. One for each day of the month. An easy way to begin reading scripture would be to simply read the chapter that corresponded with today's date.

Intriguing idea. I love the succinct wisdom in Proverbs yet I have found that reading an entire chapter at once is too much. Each and every verse is worthy of meditation. 

Instead, I propose to narrow the search a bit further.  When you find yourself in need of a bit of inspiration, check the date and the hour and read the corresponding verse in Proverbs.  For example, imagine today is the 22 at 6am. 

Proverbs 22:6 says:
Direct your children onto the right path,
   and when they are older, 
they will not leave it.

Reassuring words to begin my day.  Easy inspiration.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Running Toward

Sometimes the walls begin to press inward. The only shine on the floor is the sunlight reflecting off millions of tiny cars and trains scattered about. Beds need changing, laundry needs folding, grout needs scrubbing and meals need preparing. Cruising through each room, tossing cars and trains into bins, I am horrified to hear behind me the sound of an entire bin being joyfully emptied onto the just cleaned up floor.

At these moments my fight or flight instinct kicks in. I have a habit of choosing flight. Scooping up my toddler, grabbing my purse and buckling in the van. Running away.

As my toddler gently falls asleep in the car seat I drive aimlessly, sipping a Starbuck's, savoring the sense of freedom being a stay at home mom brings.  It is possible to simply run away for an hour.

But then I return home. The mess awaits. The older boys return from school and the mess expands.

And then one day I don't flee the scene. I make a radical decision to escape at home. Homemade cup of coffee at hand, candle lit, toddler napping in his bed upstairs, I sit in the sunshine and begin to run toward God.  Prayer beads sparkle in the light, words fall from my lips like feathers creating a downy softness in my spirit. All is well.  All will be well.

I rise, renewed, reminded of the gift of this moment, this house, this life, ready to meet the mess with grace~filled eyes.

Joining Ann Voskamp in exploring the practice of time.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays


52 Weeks of Organizing - 2

Have you finished your list?  I have and I am excited to think those pesky projects will finally get done this year.  Just having them out of my head and down on paper is a relief!

Print your own blank list here.

I am not holding myself to go in order but simply to cross one item off each week.
What about you?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Daybook 1-17-11

A picture thought...

Outside my window…gray, dull-looking day but temperatures are warming up!
I am thinking…how nice it is to have the day off from school for the boys.
I am wearing…jeans, green sweatshirt and socks.
I am hearing…"S'wonderful" by Les Brown and His Band of Renown from 1949 on Pandora.
I am thankful for…a fantastic family fun day yesterday full of backyard football playing, friends over and football on TV last night ~ all five snuggled together under fuzzy blankets.
I am going… to drop ZJ off at a friend's, to pick up a friend for RW, and await the arrival of a friend for KC.  Playdates galore today!
I am hoping…I can go stay with my mom in March.
I am praying for…my friend suffering from Rasmussen's Encephalitis and in need of a miracle.
I am reading…Paula Deen's Quick and Easy Meals magazine and dreaming of making lots of new recipes.
I am creating…routines I will be able to follow.
I am pondering…blogging ~ the why, the way, the when.
God is leading me…to wait rather than rush.
In the kitchen…homemade caramel rolls (recipe coming soon toBake Me Away) yesterday, roast chicken, fried kale and crash hot potatoes tonight. 
Around the house…Lots of toys to tidy and four baskets of folded clothes to put away.  Still making my lists for 52 Weeks of Organizing.
One of my favorite things…my two year old singing "Dad Gum, Dad Gum" all around the house. (If you have seen "Mater's Tales" you'll understand!)


Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Year's Revelations

Two weeks into the new year and many people are feeling like failures. They have not kept up with their noble list of resolutions made in the dreamy moments before dawn on January 1st. I have been there. Many times. Usually every Monday morning. Not this year.

Instead of relying on myself to generate my list of faults and weak areas needing improvement (of which there are many), I am taking a new tactic this year.  I am just waiting. For God. Waiting for Him to whisper through the wintry wind and slowly guide me in His way.

No resolutions. Instead ~ revelations. All I need to do is listen.

Books I Love #1

One of my most favorite books of 2010 was The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison.  She writes beautifully about losing her job, moving into a dilapidated fixer-upper and trying to accept the inevitable growing up and leaving home of her eldest son.   I could not put it down.   It seemed to speak directly to me ~  especially since I had just moved far from my comfortable midwestern life, my two oldest sons were becoming more young men than little boys and I really identified with her desire to slow down and savor the simple moments of everday life.

Check out her lovely website and blog here.


Wordless Wednesdays


52 Weeks of Organizing ~1

Care to join me each Tuesday for organizing accountability?
I found a great list at  It is one page and has 52 lines for projects to do around the house this year. 52 Weeks of Organizing Printable .  She advises that we do not write a huge project on each line ~ overwhelming and impossible to stay on track.  So instead, I am going around the house and looking for all those little "hot spots" that drive me crazy but are small enough that they just stay the same.   Today my only goal is to make the list.  Next week I will begin taking on the projects. 
Each Tuesday I plan to report on the progress I made that week.  This will be my organizing accountability post!  Care to join me?

A gracious wife delights her husband, her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
A gift from the LORD is her governed speech, and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife, priceless her chaste person.
Like the sun rising in the Lord's heavens, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.


Daybook 1-10-11

A picture thought...

Outside my window... waiting (and hoping) for a storm.
I am thinking... about New Year's Revelations.
I am thankful for...a fresh start.
I am yoga pants, teal hoodie and gold Mary medal.
I am remembering... Christmas moments I want to record forever.
I am going...nowhere today!
I am reading...Peace and Plenty by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
 I am hoping...for snow tomorrow.
On my mind...all my new routines I am ready to begin doing.
Noticing little boy is only two for four more months!
 Pondering these words...
The Lord says, "I will guide you along 
the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Psalm 32:8
 In the kitchen...tacos tonight, broccoli cheese soup on Wednesday, attempting to bake bread from scratch on Friday.
Around the house...ready to make my 52 Weeks of Organizing list and get started.
One of my favorite new Yankee candle scent "soft blanket" that I burn while at the computer.

Tags: 1Daybook


Friday, January 14, 2011

Enough Books

My word of the year 2011 is enoughWith that in mind I took action yesterday.  I removed all the books on my "to read someday" bookshelf and stacked them by category on the dining room table.  My categories include: Catholicism, parenting, spiritual direction, organizing, reference, non-fiction and fiction among others.  I was amazed at how many books I own and a little ashamed to realize I am awaiting a small shipment from Amazon this week! 

This photo is evidence of the need for enough in my life.  I do not need any more books at this time.  In fact, these piles make me feel behind and a bit edgy ~ like homework assignments I am procrastinating.  I really do want to read these books.  Books are my haven, my inspiration, my escape.  The reality is I just need to read what I have for now.  No more wanting, buying and storing for this year.  Simply read.  Enjoy.  Then pass them on. This is enough.

Join Elizabeth Foss in celebrating simplicity.

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