Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Happy Thanksgiving 2015: Living A Life of Gratitude (Guest Post at BIS)

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are enjoying a blessed time with family, friends and loved ones. Today is a perfect day to stop and think about all the numerous blessings we have, but living a life of gratitude should be a daily goal. God has been teaching me a lot about gratitude over the years – during the good times and during the more difficult times.  It is a life-long lesson but there are seven things that have helped me cultivate gratitude. I share them on the Blessed Is She Blog. Here is a snippet:

* * *

A Week in My Life 2015: Saturday and Sunday

The A Week in My Life series hosted by the lovely Kathryn at Team continues. Her link up for Sunday is here.

My daily recaps are here:

Saturday was our final day of packing before our trip. It was not the easiest thing to pack for since we were spending three days at Disneyland where the current temps were 90 degrees. The following three days would be spend at my parents home, which was in the high dessert, one and a half hours away from Disneyland. The forecast showed temps to be 49 degrees for the high and 24 for the low. Twenty – freaking – four! So one half of the suitcases were filled with shorts, tees and bathing suits while the other half of the suitcases were filled with long pants, thick sweaters and scarves! - wiml_pack

I sorted out everyone’s outfits on my bed and it looked something like this.

Packing the car is always an interesting experience since I tend to overpack. Everyone makes fun of me but when we are out on the road and someone says, “Dang, I wish I had packed a fill-in-the-blank,” chances are good that I may have one tucked away in a suitcase! 😉

fred_carWhen Brian saw my pile of bags by the door he told me that there was no way that I’d be able to get all that stuff into our mini-van. Au contraire, my dear! I simply channeled my inner Fred Mertz and got it all in there. 😉

We closed the day with a beautiful Mass to celebrating the feast of Christ the King. It’s hard to believe that Advent starts next week!


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen these updates for our #roldisneylandtrip15 :-)

wiml_DL_drive_1It’s 5:30 AM. Let the road trip begin!


8 o’clock check in – passing Pismo Beach.
wiml_DL_drive_4The vineyards are starting to look golden.


We had a tire problem in Camarillo but thankfully a kind mechanic at the gas station fixed it without charge. God bless you, Sal!

xwiml_DL_drive_6We finally arrive at Disneyland! (Although we spend the late afternoon in Downtown Disney and hit the magic kingdom tomorrow. :-) )
wiml_hulkWThe day would not be complete without a trip to the Lego Store!
wiml_DL_2After such a long day, we are ready to enjoy dinner and the Rainforest Cafe then call it a night!
More DL recaps later. Time for sleep! :-)

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉


A Week in My Life 2015: Friday

The A Week in My Life series hosted by the lovely Kathryn at Team continues. Her link up for Friday is here.

My daily recaps are here:

* * *


I am going to keep this short and sweet since I am trying to get everything done before we hit the road early in the morning. Friday was filled with packing, paying bills and taking care of business before we leave.

In the afternoon I took a break from packing and got some fresh air and exercise.  As I mentioned before, the three boys are involved in the after school exercise program Just Run. I took a photo of them while they were sitting down waiting for the rest of the participating students to arrive. - A Week in My Lifeboys_11_20_15a2Oh, my heart. I love these little guys so much!!

They did their warm up exercises with their coach and I could hear John-Paul laughing hysterically because he had to do burpies. He asked if they had to actually burp while they did them. 😉 When they went to run their mile I joined them on the field, although I only walked. (Maybe one day…)

They all did well but John-Paul is definitely the one who loves to run the most, shaving his time down to 9.5 minutes. When we visit my family I’ll have my marathon running sister JC (who is also his godmother) run and do burpies with him. 😉

Have a great weekend!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉


A Week in My Life 2015: Wed & Thurs in 7 Quick Takes

The A Week in My Life series hosted by the lovely Kathryn at Team continues. Her link up for Thursday is here.

My daily recaps are here:

* * *

Since today is Friday I am also linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes. It’s a WIML/7QT Mash up. :-)

~ 1 ~

Team-Whitaker-WIML_wednesday - A Week in My Life (wiml_wed_1_2015)The week in my life continues and let’s just that it was too busy for me to get online and post yesterday. So there’s that. However, there was one highlight to my Wednesday. Normally when I have a huge TO DO list that must get done pronto, I am tempted to just skip my morning prayer time and tackle the day immediately. But I always think back to a story (which I’m paraphrasing) that I once read (or heard?) about Mother Teresa. The sisters had an unusually busy day and expected Mother to excuse them from prayer. Instead Mother told them they should pray extra since they would need the extra graces. It is always a reminder to me to get on my knees and power up! So for the grace to take my prayer time seriously, I’m thankful.

~ 2 ~

Here is a little sampling from my prayer journal. Maybe it can be your prayer too.

In today’s Gospel, one line jumped out at me – “You have been faithful in this very small matter…” Am I being faithful in the little things? Am I pleasing God or am I just wasting away my day… wasting opportunities to sacrifice and die to self? God has placed countless souls on my path. Have I taken their care to heart? Am I praying for them and sacrificing for them? There is no need to look for sacrifice. Opportunity is ever present. Lord, give me the grace to see my day through the lens of your love. Let me see and do your will at the various moments of this day. Amen.

~ 3 ~

Wednesday pretty much followed the same routine of the taxi driving afternoon of Monday and Tuesday. Oh, but I know you are wondering about my quick change artist. What costume did he wear on Wednesday? - A Week in My Life wiml_thu_4_2015He was a hybrid Teenage Ninja Turtle Jedi in cowboy boots. 😉

~ 4 ~


On Thursday morning I finished a writing assignment (look for my guest blog post on gratitude over at the Blessed Is She blog next week!) then it was my errand and shopping day. I got the last minute things we needed for our trip next week (to Disneyland then to my parent’s home for Thanksgiving) and went grocery shopping for my mother-in-law so she wouldn’t have to worry about it while we are gone. It could have been stressful but I was super powered by the knowledge that I will be spending time with mi familia in a couple short days! Woohooo. I finished my errands just in time to pick up Matthew from school. His costume of choice this day? - A Week in My Life wiml_thu_5_2015We are still in a Star Wars theme but this time he is a ghost busting Jedi. :-)

~ 5 ~

After lunch we returned to school to pick up John-Paul, went to visit Opa, returned to school to pick up Andrew and Bella then headed over to speech therapy. For  dinner we had sandwiches and salad since Brian was getting home early to babysit the boys while I took Bella to her school play. (The boys already saw her perform the first show during school.) It was the Wizard of Oz and Bella played a couple of roles. - A Week in My Life wiml_thu_2_2015She was a munchkin… - A Week in My Life wiml_thu_1_2015…and in the second half she was one of the Wicked Witch’s helpers (sort of a human version of the flying monkeys.)

She did really well and remembered all her lines. To be honest with you, her interest in play acting has surprised me. She is a little on the shy side with strangers so it doesn’t seem to be something she would choose to do. However, she has been in all her school plays for the last couple of years. It has been a great way for her to express her creativity and I’m proud of her!

~ 6 ~

AladdinSince Bella also loves musicals, we are looking forward to watching Aladdin one last time next week at Disneyland. After a decade of performances, they will be changing it next year. So while Brian has some guy time with the boys and Grandpa, Bella and I (and perhaps my mom and sister JC) will have some girl time. :-)

newsies2Photo credit:

Speaking of musicals, I also just purchased Bella tickets to her all time fave musical Newsies. The Broadway show is on the road and they will be playing in San Jose in spring. She and I will go together as an early graduation present. (How is it that my baby girl is already in 8th grade!!!!)

~ 7 ~ - A Week in My Life wiml_thu_3_2015In the evening, I crashed on the couch with Brian. We watched a little TV and I worked on updating my packing list (it still had items such as bottles and diapers on it!) and I used my bullet journal to plan a couple posts for the end of November. Brian always goes to bed first (and gets up first) so I finished a couple more things then reviewed my day and made it in bed by my goal of 11 pm. I tried reading a few pages in bed but, as usual, I knocked out before I could finish one paragraph. Such is life.

Happy Friday!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉


A Week in My Life 2015: Monday & Tuesday

It is time for the annual A Week in My Life hosted by the lovely Kathryn at Team In the morning I’ll post highlights of the day before. Since I realized the link-up was this week a day late,  today’s post will cover two days – a peek at Monday and Tuesday. (Frankly, both days were pretty much interchangeable since I have similar routines.) 😉

My daily recaps are here:


I am in a new season of life now. It is one that is giving me a breather from the days when I was surrounded by babies, toddlers and diapers. We said goodbye to diapers over a year ago (Alleluia!) since my youngest is now four.

revolution of love - kids_8-24-15Matthew, John-Paul, Andrew & Bella

It is the first (and only) year that we will have all four kids at the same school, which means I now have the mornings to myself and it is a wondrous thing! My schedule is still often packed, I do a lot of driving around to pick up and drop off and I miss not going to the market with a costumed super hero by my side but alone time also has its advantages.

My mornings are one of the trickiest parts of the day since I am not a morning person and I have to get up, showered, make breakfast, get the kids up, morning prayers said, kids fed, dressed and out the door by 7:40 AM. Despite my perpetual habit of being tardy, I have managed to get them to school on time every day. Okay, not as early as the days when dad takes them but on time none the less, darn it! (A friend at school asked me how I manage to get everything done in the morning and I am writing a post now with tips on getting out the door on time, which is sort of ironic since it is like me writing a book on how to say no to a slice of chocolate cake.) 😉

Once we are out the door, we head over to school. During the first car ride of the day we say our driving prayer – An Our Father and the Litany of the Rol Family. It goes like this.

  • Our Father, who art in heaven…
  • Our Lady of the Highways, Pray for us.
  • St. Anne, pray for us. (My patron.)
  • St. Isabella, pray for us.
  • St. Joseph, pray for us. (Brian’s patron.)
  • St. Andrew, pray for us.
  • St. John-Paul, pray for us.
  • St. Matthew, pray for us.
  • Baby saints Victor and Joseph, pray for us. (Our two miscarried babies.)
  • For all the pregnant moms, especially Elena (my sister) and  Amanda (my sister-in-law), St. Gerard, pray for us.
  • For all those fighting cancer, especially daddy, pray for us.
  • For all our military, especially Uncle Mick and those we adopted, St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
  • For (insert special intentions), St. Junipero Serra, pray for us. Amen.

After kissing the kids goodbye, I walk over to the nearby chapel to sped a little time in prayer. Since I get my morning devotions through Blessed Is She, my prayer is waiting for me in my inbox. :-) (Although I always feel a little weird… as if the grannies in the chapel will think I’m sending texts and not reading Scripture.)


Normally I’d go take a walk at the beach but the mornings have been super cold. Well, super California cold. Anything below 60 is freezing. Below 55 is a snow day for us. 39 degrees?? Well, that’s just insanity. I have a mound of computer and paperwork to get done so I decide to go back home and save walking for the afternoon when it warms up. I work on some writing assignments and complete some work for my in-laws, in-between washing loads and loads and loads of the laundry.

Around 11:30 AM I need to wrap up my morning work and prep for the afternoon rush. I pick up Matthew at 12:00 PM. We go back home and I make his lunch while he decides which costume he will wear that day. (This guy has more wardrobe changes than a Broadway star.)

Revolution of - Week in My Life (wiml_mvx1_2015)

Today it’s Spiderman. Spidey and I ate lunch then I threw a few chicken breasts and a bottle on BBQ sauce into the crock pot for dinner. We went back to school to pick up John-Paul at 2:00. From there we headed over to the nursing home where Opa is recovering from his stroke. He lit up when he saw us and chatted about his day while we ate snacks and watched Thomas the Train with him.

Afterwards we said our goodbyes and headed back to school to pick up Andrew at 3:00. Normally, we would pick up Bella with Andrew but she had practice for an upcoming play so I would be back to school at 6:00 PM to get her. Yes, life as a Taxi Mom.

Revolution of - Week in My Life(wiml_ba1_2015)

On Mondays we are able to go back home but on Tuesdays we have speech therapy for Andrew so it’s off to the therapist. I wait in the car with the boys. It was cold and gloomy outside and it felt winterish so we listened to Christmas carols and took selfies. 😉

We finally got home a little after 4:00 and the house smelled delicious as the BBQ chicken simmered. The boys did their afternoon chores and had half an hour to unwind and play before we started homework. In the meantime, I tried to get another load of laundry done (I swear, how much dirty clothes can one family make?!) and cleaned up the breakfast and lunch dishes piled in the sink.

Afterwards, I went into the family room to tell the boys it was time for homework and it looked like a tornado had destroyed the place . I yelled at the boys calmly told the boys they were supposed to play with one toy at a time and not dump out everything at once. My organized boy helped clean immediately, my drama boy did his usual “foot-stomp-that’s-not-fair-dance” and my playful boy pretended he couldn’t hear me. - A Week in My Life(wiml_ab1_2015)Eventually, they got everything cleaned up and drama boy calmed down when I told him that I loved the epic battle gear he made for his Angry Birds. He hugged me and said he was sorry for losing his temper. (This boy is so much like me, it’s scary.)

By 6:15 PM, Bella was home (Thankfully, Brian said he’d pick her up after work!), dinner was on the table and homework was (almost) complete. We said grace and enjoyed BBQ sandwiches and salad while each person told us one thing that happened during the day. There were lots of giggles and at least one instance of someone saying “poop” and a sibling yelling, “Mom, he said, poop!” and me wondering when boys get over the fascination of bathroom talk and bodily functions. Eventually the kids were excused and Brian and I have a few moments to ourselves before we start the bedtime routine. - Making Sacred Spaces in Your Home -pp_altar_2I washed the dishes, Brian read with Andrew, Bella helped the youngest ones brush their teeth and get ready for bed. At 7:30 PM we met back in the family room’s sacred space for night prayer and a decade of the rosary. Some days it is really sweet and it touches my heart to hear their little voices offer up prayers to God. And some days I spend the whole time telling the boys to stop swinging their rosaries or poking their brother with the crucifix. Regardless, deep down I know it is making a difference in our family. The boys are getting a better understanding of God and how He is supposed to be the center of our lives. They are learning to look beyond themselves and pray and care for the needs of others. The older ones are learning to make better choices than the world expects and they are asking deeper questions about their faith and how it pertains to them. We are closer as a family and we are learning to love each other deeper.

There is still the normal chaos and craziness that family life brings but there is an undercurrent of laughter and love for each other and a desire to please God and share his love with others. At the end of the day, that is what really matters most. So tonight I go to bed thankful for what I have, apologetic for the moments where I failed, and hopeful for the new start that begins in the morning.

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, 😉

%d bloggers like this: