Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in 12 snaps!

1) January and someone is one!

2) February and lots of snow!!

3) March and someone is 6!!

4) Happy Easter!!

 5) Teaparties were held in May

6) In June we moved into our new house

7) In August we went to the beach

8) In September Lisbeth became a first grader!

9) Also Liam turned 4!!

10) Happy Halloween!!

11) We traveled to MA to remember and give thanks for my father-in-law and all those who serve.

12) Ending the year giving thanks for a warm, happy home to begin the new year in!

Please head over to House Unseen for more 12 in 2014!!

13 in 2013

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!!

Merry Christmas

from our home to yours!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Quick Takes #167

  1. The days continue to be cray-cray around here but happily major accomplishments this week. Stockings hung, tree bought and decorated; and with a bit of luck the last of the cards going out this weekend. Then the great wrapping begins!!
  2. Caitlin's mimicking has reach another great milestone as earlier this week while driving I heard her little voice tell me "Knock, knock!!"
  3. Last Sunday we were able to attend a Memorial Mass marking the tenth anniversary  of the passing of wonderful priest who was chaplain at Penn Newman during some of our time there and presided at our wedding.  Not just a U. Penn but throughout his priest life Father Chuck had focused on young adults.  It was so amazing to speak with others at the reception and hear time and again the great good that is done by meeting such a wonderful priest early in their faith journey as adults.
  4. Today is my brother's birthday and since he is currently between addresses I'm just going to wish him a Happy Birthday on as many social media options as I have.  Happy Birthday Big Brother!!!
  5. One other 'tradition' I'm hoping to achieve this year is getting the kids and myself out to Longwood Gardens for A Longwood Christmas. If the weather holds this evening may be the time. If so ~ expect Instagram proof!
  6. Just can't seem to let this little ole blog die; least not yet. Not sure what the New Year will bring but for the moment even as infrequently as it has become posting here is still something I feel drawn to.
  7. Happy Weekend all!!

My brother on one of his 3!! thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail

Friday, December 12, 2014

Quick Takes #166: Snapshot of Life

or rather hosted at This Aint the Lyceum!

  1. Caite is now 23 months and so talkative, continuing to mimic much of what she hears. The "I do it" have also shown up as she definitely moving into toddlerhood.  Starting to give thought what to do for her 2nd birthday otherwise I know coming right after the New Year it will get lost in the post-holiday fatigue. Anyone ever heard of a Birthday/Epiphany cake?
  2. Lisbeth had her Christmas concert last night and in many other ways is proving to be a great helper this Advent season: house decorating, official postal stamp placer.  
  3. Liam has been struggling with staying in his bed all night I think in part because he gets cold and in part he comes looking for Daddy who has been missing some tuck-ins between being on call and traveling.  
  4. Advent is going well with us remembering to light the Advent wreath and open a calendar window most nights; and the kids enjoy doubling up on the chocolates on the days after when we forget.
  5. Please read this post from Passionate Perseverance and join the prayer community this family during this very fragile time.
  6. This weekend is the final big push to clean and empty the old house ~ such a tremendous mix of hard to let go and so ready to be done.
  7. Favorite feast coming up: Happy Gaudete Sunday Everyone!
Now please head over to Kelly's!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fave 5: Advent Music

Linking up with  Jenna of Call Her Happy sharing some of my favorite music of the season.

I do start listening to Christmas Carols as soon as Advent begins but I also give lots of playtime to favorites such as Advent Suite and The Final Word by Michael Card and 

Cherry Tree Carol (trad.) and 

Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant and  

O Come  O Come Emmanuel

Friday, December 5, 2014

Quick Takes #165: End of an Era, Advent, House Stuff

  1. End of an era: Jen of Conversion Diary announced today that she will no longer be hosted the 7 Quick Takes link-up and is passing the baton to Kelly of This Ain't the Lyceum. Am feeling a bit thrown by this announcement but already knowing and loving Kelly and her writing I am now channelling Olaf and thinking "All good things!, All good things!!"
  2. Checking back into my archives I find that my first Quick Takes post was January of 2009 and 160some post later it has been such a touchpoint and means to find my way in writing this blog that I suppose the feels of being off balance are to be expected.
  3. Blessed Advent! Ours is going well ~ so far we've (I've) remembered to have us light a candle and say a prayer every evening.  Lisbeth has even mostly dropped the topic of when do we light the pink candle.
  4. Getting calendars proved a bit trickier but Wednesday we had succeeded and while Caitlin clearly doesn't understand what is going on, she also definitely doesn't mind being handed a piece of chocolate. We will hopefully be setting out our shoes tonight. Since I have my explanation all ready for why Saint Nicholas/Santa Claus comes twice ~ no one will ask.
  5. House stuff continues and seems to be going well though prayers welcomed that this continues through closing; it just this time of year is crazy enough without adding inspections, assessments and clearing the final random remnants.
  6. This weekend we are hosting a Christmas party for our local Church family which means today will a wild ride of excitement and anxiety of getting everything ready made all the more fun as Caitlin has learned from her big siblings the fun of trashing a room while Mommy is off cleaning another.
  7. Congratulations Kelly!! Jen ~ Thank you more than I can ever say!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Taking Time to Give Thanks: Take 2

As the month and liturgical year winds down pausing once again to give thanks:

  1. A little boy who tells me many times a day that he loves me.
  2. A husband who loves to cook and encourages me to be braver in the kitchen.
  3. A baby girl who is learning to give voice to her love for us and has starting serenading me at bedtime.
  4. A bigger girl who continues to be an amazing source of light and laughter in my world.
  5. Our cozy Cape who welcomed us as newlyweds and provided warmth and support as we became new parents and grew our family.
  6. The lovely fieldstone Colonial that is everyday feeling more and more like home.
  7. Our Lord who as the days grow darker promises light and love everlasting.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Theme Thursday: Thankful

Linking up with Cari of Clan Donaldson for Theme Thursday: Thankful

Due to work schedules and such it will be the five of us enjoying Thanksgiving in our new house together. 

Thankful for the love that surrounds me.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

1 up ~ 1 down: November 21st

1 up:
     Last Friday I traveled with the kids up to meet up with Charlie who had given a speech that day in Boston.  It went really well; the kids did wonderful in the car, traffic was not too bad and I didn't lose anyone at either of the pit stops.  Leaving home at about 3:30p I arrived at the Providence Amtrak Station to meet Charlie just 20 minutes ahead of his 10:30 train ~ not bad coordination across six states.  The hotel we then journeyed to was very nice and the next morning we enjoyed some family swim time in the pool before meeting up with more of my husband's family out on Cape Cod.

1 down:
    Being sick; unfortunately it was my turn for the sore throat/fever virus we have been passing around the house with me feeling my worst just as we were all sitting down for a family dinner marking the 10 year anniversary of my father-in-law's passing.

1 more up:
   Later that evening after sending Lisbeth off to enjoy a sleep-over with her cousin and tucking the other two into their beds I got to curl-up in bed with some Ben&Jerry's and my Kindle app.

Please now head-over to Chrystina Noel for more 1 down ~ 1up.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quick Takes #164: Remembering to Give Thanks

Things are cuckoo crazy around here what with maybe finally getting the old house sold ~ with its accompanying fixing-up, emptying the last of our stuff etc; Dr Daddy traveling more and more;  and all the kids getting bigger, having homework and deciding to go all toddler destructive when unsupervised.

However there is much to give thanks for and while I knew a daily rundown would be beyond me right now do want to a couple times this month pause and give thanks:

  1. For the chance to do a Mommy&Me swim class with Caitlin; she loves it ~ I love it and so very much want to have those special one-on-one times with each kid.
  2. Watching Elisabeth doing so well and really enjoying her gymnastics class.
  3. Finding a buyer for the house who will cherish it just as much as we did
  4. The chance to spend some time with my mom, one of my sisters and their family last weekend.
  5. How the 'bigs' helped entertain Caitlin when traffic made the long ride home even longer.
  6. The virus that passed through the house was relatively quick and didn't create much havoc.
  7. A marriage growing better with time.
  8. The promise of more family time this coming weekend.

Have a wonderful weekend! And head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick 7's

Friday, November 7, 2014

One up ~ one down: November 7th

Linking up again with Chrystina of Chrystina Noel to share the best and worst of the week.
but am going to play with the format cause this has been a real glass half-full/half empty week 
plus you know,  my place.

1 down:
      Daylight savings adjustment plus a couple kids running fevers made for not the best week sleep wise what with very early mornings and cranky bedtimes.

1 up:
      Monday evening Lisbeth put herself to bed at (new) 6:30p and after sleeping nearly 12 hours was completely fever free and feeling well.  

1 down: 
    Charlie had an over-night work trip and Liam feeling not well took it really badly.

1 up: 
    Fighting bedtime had him still up when Dr. Daddy called and after a quick chat with Daddy went off to bed with complaint.

1 down:
    While Charlie was gone I missed my footing going down the stair and actually fell the last 7 or so steps.

1 up: 
    Didn't break anything!!

Now sharing some Halloween night out-takes cause in their own way they too celebrate the up and down of my days:

 Baby Bumble Bee ~ Queen Elsa ~ Chase the Rescue Bot

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Home: Caitlin's Room

Next on the mini house tour is Caitlin's Room.

   Since I couldn't consult with her color wise I went with my preference and the color we had painted Lisbeth's 'big girl' room at the old house; Behr's Misty Violet ~ and I haven't heard any complaints.

 Sorry both 'before' shoots are actually mid-painting but hopefully you get a sense of the taupe we were again trying to cover.

The crib we have had since Lisbeth, and the bookcase was my youngest sister's originally but has been mine since my first apartment.

A dresser given to us from family members and a print that has been since hung (promise).

The nightstand and glider have been ours for awhile; the rocking horse I found at a local thrift store that specializes in kid's clothes and toys for Caitlin's first birthday.

The littlest of the bedrooms but hopefully a cozy, fun room for our littlest!

Prior Post:
Liam's room

Monday, October 27, 2014

Liebster Award ~ Fall 2014

Firstly and most importantly my thanks to Laura of String of Pearls for nominating me.  If you are not already a reader of String promise me that after this you will click over and have a read. Laura is kind, funny, and a wonderful writer who is about to have her second book published. She is also a mother of five grown sons and grandmother to four grands (so far) and such an encouragement to those of us in the day-to-day life of raising littles.

Now my answers to her questions:

1. Do you have a favorite saint, and what drew you to him/her?
     So many really but currently Saint Therese du Liseux because of her teaching that even little things done well matter, Saint John XXIII for his example to reflect God's goodness to all we meet and Dorothy Day who (though only currently a Servant of God) inspires me with her personal commitment to caring for others and social justice.

2. I think every Liebster questionnaire includes a question like this; but I'm crazy about books, so I just have to know: do you have a best-loved book that you've read multiple times?  (And will you probably read it again?)  Or do you always just read a book once and pass it on to others?
    I'm a HUGE rereader: Anne of Green Gables series, Crosswick Journals by Madeline l'Engle and A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer topping the list.

3. What is your family's Christmas Eve tradition?
    We are generally traveling ~ so if visiting my family then we are having Vegetable Lasagna and maybe opening one gift. My husbands family has the traditional Polish Wigilia and opens lots of gifts. With both families we likely attend the Family Mass with Children's Choir and read the Christmas Story from the Gospel of Saint Luke.

4. When you dress up in heels, do you wear panty hose/tights, or do you go bare-legged?
   Depends on the season: I'm usually bare-legged during the summer especially in sandals, the rest of the year hose/tights.

5. How did you and your husband meet?  (And if you're not married, what's the most important quality you're looking for in a spouse?) 
    Short Version: We met at the Penn Newman Center when we were both students. Longer version found here.

6. What's your go-to prayer in times of distress?
     The Serenity Prayer

7. Where is the one place in the world you would visit if you could?

8. How many siblings do you have?
     3 ~ 2 sisters and 1 brother 

9. Are you a worrier?  (I'm worried you'll think that's a weird question.)

10. What, if any, sport do you enjoy watching the most?
     Football and Gymnastics

Now my questions

  1. Favorite breakfast when you have the time to indulge.
  2. Did you make or buy your wedding dress (if unmarried what would you like to do)? 
  3. What exotic animal would you own if you could?
  4. Favorite book/movie on a rainy afternoon?
  5. First hymn you remember learning/singing?
  6. What was your favorite Halloween costume growing up?
  7. What language do you wish you spoke?

Kelly from Familiar Joy
Chrystina  from Chrystina Noel
Mary from Let Love Be Sincere

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Five Faves: October 22nd

Linking up with Jenna of Call Her Happy the new hostess for Five Faves!!

  1. Liam (the little guy pictured above): loving being four, consistently and completely using the toilet since early this summer, fully energy, very affectionate though saves most of it for his two favorite people Daddy and Caitlin.  Such a fun age! Such the cool dude!
  2. Stella and Sam:A Canadian series that we can find on Sprout about a big sister and her little brother and their many adventures. Beautifully illustrated stories of make-believe adventures and sibling comradery that strike the perfect balance for me as my kids sit quietly to watch and then often with their imagination inspired go off and have similar adventures.
  3. Pumpkin Chai Mix from Trader Joe's (which I did blog about before): a wonderful balance of sweet and tart and just pumpkin-y enough to meet the season.
  4. My current TV obsession is Fixer Upper a HGTV show featuring a married couple from Waco, TX who together as Designer/General Contractor helps families get into sort-for neighborhoods by buying 'the fixer-upper'. Their love for restoring homes, helping families all while raising their own four kids makes this such a fun watch. Happily anticipating Season 2 this January and catching re-runs whenever I can.
  5. October: Amazing Feast Days (St Therese du Liseaux, Our Lady of the Rosary, St John XXIII, and today Saint John-Paul), the leaves turning colors but still largely still on the trees, Pumpkin Scones & Muffins.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Walking for Little Flowers

The third annual Little Flower Walk/Run was last Saturday. Knowing that we were already had a full day planned last Thursday after dropping Liam off at preschool Caitlin and I headed out for Valley Forge were I mostly walked with a bit of running ~ and Caitlin strolled with a bit of walking.

A lovely hour spent in a beautiful place ~ and a wonderful cause supported.
Win ~ Win ~ Win!!!

exploring the cannons

clearly taking a 'selfie' that shows off the t-shirt with a toddler is beyond me
Thank you to Katie of Blessed with Full Hands for organizing.
Please head over to Blessed to read more and wish them best of everything as they travel to meet their new daughter.

Friday, October 17, 2014

1 down ~ 1 up: October 17

1 down:
      A neck injury from a couple months ago reared its annoying head this week and is proving to be the greatest 'pain in the neck' at night when it wakes me and than makes it difficult to get back to sleep.
1 up:
   The brief warm-up allowed for such lovely activities this week such as reading outside and a taking a quick trip out to Valley Forge for a walk with Caitlin while the big kids were in school.

Extra happy note: Despite raining on & off all last weekend it didn't Saturday evening so we were able to go to Oktoberfest at Lisbeth's school where Lisbeth and Liam had a wonderful time and Caitlin rode the merry-go-round for the first time and had such a good time that she rode it two more times!!

Now please head over to Chrystina Noel for more of this week's round-up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WWRW ~ October 15

   The good news is I'm reading almost everyday again (by which I mean books as oppose to web surfing which never stopped and still hasn't but is now perhaps in better balance), however am currently reading a couple 500+ pagers and at 10-20 pages a day who knows when I will finish ~ so done or not I'm sharing...

   In the category of better late than never we have Outlander by Diane Gabaldon which for the few of you who don't already know is about a young British woman who while on a second honeymoon in Scotland in 1945 finds herself having traveled 200 years back in time when she explores a stone circle.  Her experience as a war nurse helps her find some footing as a healer with the local clan.  I'm currently about halfway thru and am enjoying it enough that I have already bought the next book though time will tell if the series holds my attention enough to last the eight books the series currently stands at.

   And so while reading on the Kindle I'm transported to the Scottish Highlands of 1743, when I pick up a book it is only 1713 though I'm still surrounded by Jacobites in The Firebird by Suzanna Kearsley in which a couple minor characters in The Winter Sea (that I talked about here) are now our main characters and are bound for Russia but have only gotten as far as Belgium currently.  Similar to The Winter Sea the historical story is being told through the paranormal visions of a modern characters; I'm finding the device much clumsier this time around and am wishing the author would spend more time telling the historical story than focusing so much on the modern character's (an antiques buyer named Nicola Marter) anxiety about having visions. Time will tell.

Please head over to Housewifespice for more WWRW.
Also linking up with the Modern Mrs Darcy for Twitterature.

Have also finally signed up with Amazon Affiliates so if you would please clinkity-clink the links.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Quick Takes #163

  1. I'm a long time Patriots fan and so I was happy but not surprised by their show of support for an opponent's daughter's cancer battle. Was also glad that Cyndi Lauper/Sara Bareilles video got played during the game.
  2. If you are not already a follower of Passionate Perseverance please head over and perhaps become a prayer warrior for this amazing family.
  3. Overheard in the car ~ Liam: Catie what is your favorite color? Catie: Orange, Blue.  The fact that at 21 months she understood the question and answered appropriately makes me so happy and sad at the exact same time.
  4. Great weather recently; we been getting outside having some fun while still can.
  5. Little Flower Walk is coming up. Hoping for good weather and a fun walk with my littles.
  6. I realize it is a holiday weekend and all!! However what with both school's Fall Festivals and Pre-Cana this weekend ~ I may very well declare Monday a day of rest.
  7. Happy Weekend!!
Please head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.