Yes, another 7 Quick Takes



I’m feeling boring and uninspired today, so we’ll see if I make it to seven.

1. When going through old pictures, I found this beaut from about this time last year, when I was very, very pregnant. Keep in mind that we were surprised by the gender of the baby, but I just *knew* s/he was as a girl [aka, I really wanted a girl, but you’re not supposed to say that]. So, when I saw this graffiti, I insisted Ryan take my picture, just in case the baby ended up being of the female persuasion. This would have been really embarrassing if Philomena was a boy. [Cover the eyes of youngin’s who can recognize words.]

Boys Suck

2. Related, Mena now says “duck” (in reference to her rubber duckie), but she replaces the “u” with an “i” sound. It makes me laugh a lot, which makes her do it even more.

3. I’ll probably write another ramble-y post about it, but my current house DIY project involves figuring out a creative lighting solution for our dark, dark, dark (at night) kitchen. I thought Mr. Google and I had the perfect idea, but after wandering around Lowe’s with Miss Clingy for the majority of yesterday afternoon, when I got home I realized that pretty much nothing I purchased would work.

4. So, I had some wine.

5. I am really, really looking forward to Advent this year. Two years ago, I was in major wedding-planning-stress mode. And last year was kind of a blur, with the whole super-pregnant/overdue/laboring for a week nonsense. I know I should have been really united with Mary, just as she was waiting for her Son. And I tried, I really did, but it was tough. Anyway, my heart is longing for some peace and anticipation of Beauty. Ryan and I are discussing what traditions we’re going to start with our little family. I’ll let you if any end up working particularly well.

6. In the same vein, I have some Advent decor ideas, but they involve a little creativity, and my mind is almost creative-empty at this point. If I get around to them and feel confident enough in the outcome, I’ll take some pictures.

7. I just heard the coffeepot ding, so that’s my cue to end this most. boring. post ever. Jen’s are much more interesting. Go there.


yet another link-up: what my baby wore

Apparently, I can’t come up with creative blogging ideas on my own, so good thing there’s a wealth of link-ups out there. And I’m a total copycat/follower, undoubtedly.

Erika encouraged us to share what our babies are wearing today. Since Mena is usually dressed better than I am, this is a brilliant idea. Nothing like a cute baby to boost your own ego. [Self-centered much?]

A disclaimer: this outfit is certainly a little nicer than her usual playwear. This is because: a) I knew I was going to do this link-up today [I’m such a cheater]  b) I think we might actually leave the house today to run some errands and c) I really, really need to do laundry [this is the real reason].

She has the “don’t look at the camera” fashion photo thing down.

shirt: Carter’s

jacket: cousin hand-me-down

skirt: Target

leg-warmers: custom-made by MollieMaes herself

socks: Gap 

shoes: a gift, but they’re from Old Navy

fuzzies on legwarmers: compliments our shedding wool rug

blurry picture: her terrible photog mother


She is ready for her avocado-eating, board-book-reading, random-thing-chewing, stair-crawling (!!) day.

the red chairs saga

I’m really only writing this, because I promised ErikaErin, and Mary Ellen [who neeeeeeds a blog!] I would do so. And sometimes addressing trauma head-on is part of the healing process. [I’m never ever dramatic.]

The story is *seriously* too long, chock-full of hyperbole and pettiness, so if you don’t care to read ramble-y paragraphs about my DIY angst, the short version: I decided to paint some dining chairs red. It should have been a simple process, but I made it w-a-y too complicated for myself, and they turned out not-at-all like I wanted, but I still like them. The End.

And now for the long version after the jump.

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meal plan: week of Nov. 26

I’ve been slacking with posting these meal plans, primarily because these past few weeks have been a bit “off” with family stuff and other social things.

However, I wanted to let you know that I tried this chicken a couple weeks ago, and it was FANTASTIC. The leftovers were made into a pot pie and quesadillas.

Monday- turkey soup (shocking, I know) with a salad

Tuesday- curried apple chicken with couscous and asparagus (if it’s still good in the fridge) or frozen green beans

Wednesday- family dinner

Thursday- pizza night. I am considering trying a new whole wheat crust, just for the heck of it. After the copious amounts of research I’ll surely do, I’ll let you know next week if I find a better one. Probably one white pizza and one more traditional.

Friday- spinach quiche and either sweet potato fries or sweet potato soup

Saturday- we’re going to a get-together that involves appetizers and dessert, so I plan on just doing left-overs and such beforehand. Not sure what I’m bringing. Probably my tried-and-true pumpkin caramel cheesecake [because I need to squeeze every last ounce out of my “fall” make-everything-pumpkin-imaginable desire] aaaand something else, TBA. I’ll let you know if it turns out yummy.

grateful {and a link-up- “what I wore on Thanksgiving”}

Not to get all sappy on you, but my heart is truly bursting with gratitude this morning. I wish I would have been like all the cool, more thoughtful people on Facebook who did the 30 days of thankfulness, but the reality is that every single day I wake up and go to bed thanking the Lord for all the blessings in my life. Even though I can be all complain-y sometimes, deep-down I know that I am seriously fortunate.

I really think that this morning was a snapshot of the joy of my life: the ultimate Thanksgiving, Mass, followed by an awkward photo shoot in our driveway, then strong coffee while baking up a storm, whilst baby napped and my patient husband painted our front door [I’ll leave you in anticipation of the color.] I even wore my “fancy” apron. Norman Rockwell, come paint us [but ignore the dishes in the sink…and on the counter…and on the floor].

In all seriousness, I am blessed with an extraordinary family [not just Ryan and Philomena, but also my parents, sister, parents-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephew, aunts, uncles…], a faith that gives meaning to our life, genuine friendships, a home in which to nurture our domestic church, a hard-working husband who gives me the opportunity to stay home with the baby, the gift of my education and the ability to keep teaching a little.

Lastly, but probably not most importantly, I’m thankful for blogging link-ups, especially those that force me out of my comfort zone. Thanks for the nudge, Grace.

Here is what I wore on Thanksgiving:

[I was very original with my scarf/tights/boots combo. I bet you’ve never seen that before on a blog.]

cardigan, tights, scarf, boots- Target

dress and belt- Gap [Most of my dresses have been retired, because of the nursing situation, but this one thankfully has buttons down the front. Buttons and v-necks for the nursing attire win.] 

snot on shoulder- teething baby

windblown hair- Kansas meteorological annoyance

weird facial expression- only for you, dear readers

Have a beautiful holiday! Love, us.

7 Quick Takes…the ultimate crutch for a lazy blogger

1. I awoke around 2:30 Wednesday morning to a fireball of a baby. The initial temperature reading was 104, but when Ryan took it moments later, it was only 103.2. The thermometer  hates me.

2. My first foray into mothering a sick child left me undramatic, unwhiney, unworried, and totally chill about the whole situation. [Not.]

3. Philomena was quite literally attached to me for about 36 hours straight, save a blessed 15 minutes when she allowed her father to give her a bath, while her mother changed her puked-up-medicine-laden clothes. Apparently, Mena’s sophisticated palate will not tolerate medicine, even if it is stealthily hidden in applesauce, watered down in a sippy cup, or slipped into a bottle of Mama’s milk. Gagged up every. single. time. [TMI?] iphonepod-ed evidence of Her Highness, Duchess of Clingyville:

4. After a particularly dramatic doctor’s appointment [for me, the baby giggled the entire time- no joke], I decided to get a treat at the ‘ol Starbucks. I tried the salted carmel mocha for the first time. It was a resounding “meh.” I felt ashamed of the money I spent on such an underwhelming treat.

5. Speaking of drinks, last night I slipped some spiced rum into my hot apple cider. Now THAT, my friends, is a treat.

6. Speaking of last night, Ryan was gone, and you know that when we ladies are alone, things get pretty crazy. Evidence in the video below. Please excuse my make-up-less, exhausted self. [Also, my daughter is not a midget, but she slouches in her highchair, which gives a lovely floating-head effect.]

For some reason, the video wouldn’t embed in this post, but good thing it’s online too. Brace yourself for cinematic genius.

7. And I am sure you all care that my freak of a 10-month-old is now cutting her 9th tooth. We plan on serving steak on her 1st birthday.

p.s. I realized I never clarified that the baby is no longer sick. It was some sort of 24-hour virus-ish situation. So, if I see you or your kids today know that I am not maliciously exposing them to germies. Said germies have left the building. No fever in over a day.

Update: p.p.s. I forgot to link to Jen. Told you I was lazy.

7 Quick Takes…the third edition

Go to Jen for more interesting takes than these.

1. I told myself I couldn’t blog until I had ALL the laundry finished.

2. Buuuuuut, then I realized I’ll never have “all” the laundry finished, so I threw in one load and got on the computer.

3. My food of today has consisted of only carbs. Pizza – coffee – scone – pizza. In that order. I have pasta planned for tonight, so that will definitely balance everything out. No one ever mistook me for a cavewoman. [In your face, paleo.]

4. I know you don’t care about what I eat.

5. Speaking of eating, Ryan is helping some friends butcher chickens all day tomorrow. He is sincerely excited. [I am sincerely excited for him NOT to give me any details of the event, so I can enjoy our roast chicken next week in squeamish-free peace.] Whilst Ryan has his hands in bloody innards, I will once again be working on the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad red dining chairs. I had planned on doing a blog-tutorial-like thing about them, but like my birth story, it might be too traumatic to write out and publish for the world. We shall see. My mom declared that we WILL finish them tomorrow, no matter what. I have visions of bleary-eyed furniture waxing at midnight.

6a. I added some paper to the back of this cabinet to give it more interest. [By “I added” I actually mean my sister, because I can’t cut paper very well. I know, it’s weird. I think I was absent that day in Kindergarten.] I like how the mini-project turned out. I should have taken a “before” picture to add to the drama of the reveal, but I forgot. Ryan and I aren’t sure exactly what we’re going to put in it yet, but we’ve dug up a few things from the depths of our boxes:

[Why, yes, that IS a first-class relic of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.]

6b. This project is far from finished, but here’s a preview of my spice rack. Even incomplete, it makes me feel like I’m living in Real Simple magazine- a reality that both frightens me and makes me feel a little smug.

7. I woke up Wednesday morning, held my baby closely, and remembered that He is with us always, until the end of the age (Mat 28:20).