Online Daybook (7/30/14) & Embrace the Ordinary (vol 2) – Brian Update, Baby Joan Fund Update & Other Tidbits


Moments of Gratitude…

Today I am especially thankful…

  • That Brian finished his last round of chemo!
  • For this beautiful day with blue skies and a slight breeze – no fog and not too hot.
  • For the love and fellowship of family and friends.
  • For my father-in-law taking 3/4 of the kids to his house this afternoon.
  • For running water, stocked cupboards and a warm bed to sleep in at night.
  • For God’s mercy.


Embracing the Ordinary…

I’m linking up with Gina over at Someday Saints for Embrace the Ordinary. (Well, technically I was going to link up but I didn’t finish this post in time.) ;-)

 After swimming lessons, the boys insisted that I take a photo of the swimmers. The impromptu shot has become a favorite of mine. There is a tiny glimpse of each of their personalities here – John-Paul is ready to jump off the bench and back into the car with his book, Bella is laughing at her little brothers’ antics yet plays along, Matthew is ready to pounce on the bad guys and be a super hero for all and Andrew is experimenting with his cool factor despite his quiet nature. :-)


In the Kitchen…

MondaySlow Cooker Carnitas, homemade refried beans and broccoli slaw. (It smells so good!)

Tuesday – Breakfast dinner.

WednesdayRoasted chicken, brown rice and asparagus.

Thursday – Grilled Tuna Melts & veggies.

Friday – Paleo Mexican Chicken Soup (with leftover chicken from Wed).

Saturday – Homemade pizza and salad.

Sunday – Leftovers

(From Jan 2014, after his surgery to remove the cancerous tumor.)


  • For Brian’s continued recovery from cancer.
  • For those who are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • For all those who have lost loved ones.
  • For all those who are persecuted for their faith.
  • For a deeper love of God.
  • For some special intentions.


On the homefront……

Brian Update – I am happy to announce that Brian is officially done with his chemo! Yay! He was having some issues with his stomach and we were freaking out a little because they were the same kind of pains he experienced two years ago when it was first discovered that he had a tumor. He went in for bloodwork and a scan. We got the results yesterday and the doc said everything looked good and his scan was clean. No tumors or growths or any signs of cancer. The doc thinks the stomach pain was side effects from one of the chemo pills he was taking. Being his last round, his body was just having a hard time processing all the chemo and it will take a little time for it to clear out of his body. This morning Brian was feeling better and his stomach wasn’t bothering him too much. The hard part now will be to keep up with eating healthy and healthy living and not becoming complacent! Thank you so much for all your prayers and words of encouragement, you guys. It means so much to both of us. We appreciate your continued prayers for Brian’s recovery and that the cancer stays away!

Joan Iris Update – Today I shut down the PayPal button for donations to my sister Elena and bro in law Vinine and the Joan Iris Fund. You guys were incredibly awesome!! We gathered enough money to but tickets for both my parents to attend the funeral and we have almost $950 extra to go towards funeral expenses. THANK YOU!!!!!!

At the last minute my brother Rob was also able to fly out for the funeral and he told me that being at the funeral was incredibly difficult and incredibly beautiful at the same time. There is great joy in knowing that little Joan Iris is with Our Lord in heaven but there is still the pain of being physically separated from her. Elena and Vinnie have displayed such courage and faith in God, despite their pain, that anyone who has witnessed it is deeply moved.

Also a big thank you to everyone who sent in their prayers, well wishes and contribution for the spiritual bouquet. I am putting the finishing touches on the little memorial book for Joan.

 Here is a look at the opening page.



There has been a lot of news about death lately. Besides all the international and political turmoil these days, people we have known (whether personally or virtually) have died, some of them tragically. Just last night we received an email letting us know that our beloved school principle who just retired this year to spend more time with her family had suddenly and unexpectedly died. We were shocked. The only small silver lining was that it happened at a family gathering in her home town so she was able to spend her last days with those she loved the most. Some of the other deaths (such as Sarah and her unborn child) seem incredibly senseless. It is hard not to get angry and wonder what the heck was God thinking?  Why would she be taken away from her husband and young children this way. I don’t know. Intellectually I know God is in control and there is a bigger picture so on and so forth, but emotionally, it just sucks. But I guess it wouldn’t be faith if it was easy to understand.

“I do believe, Lord. Help my unbelief.”



Danielle Bean’s book Momnipotent.


Wearing the Cape by Marion Harmon


Listening to…

Itunes Radio – Weekly Top 50 Alternative currently playing the catchy Cool Kids by Echosmith. Downloading it now…  Do we ever get out of that “wishing I was a cool kid” mode? Just substitute the word kid for mom and I think not. ;-)



At the Movies – I went to see Chef the other night and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this movie. The character, a once promising young chef finds himself middle aged, divorced, out of touch with his young son and stuck in a job that is stifling his culinary creativity. Circumstances bring him to quitting his job and buying a taco truck. In the course of the movie he finds his joy in cooking, in being a dad and in being a better man. The food will make your mouth drool. The music will have you dancing in your seat. The father-son relationship will have you wiping away a tear. Loved it.

Side-note – The movie is rated R for language. You know, in this movie (as in the last one I saw – Begin Again) if they cut out the F-bombs and such, both would have been PG. Go figure.

On TVCedar Cove Season 1 (Hallmark), The Last Ship (This one is really growing on me and there are a number of faith moments on it) and the new Hercule Poirot on Masterpiece.

On YouTube – The Walking Dead Season 5 trailer. Are you as excited as I am? ;-)


On the blog…

I’ve taken some time off so since my last Daybook and I’ve only posted three times:

Blessed Is She (Make sure to follow on FB, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and sign up for emails. Join the sisterhood!) :-)

Embrace the Ordinary (vol 1)

Pinterest Party & Link-up (Vol 26): Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Salad  (This link-up is open until Friday so add your links!


In the blogosphere…

I wasn’t able to attend Edel this year but I have been enjoying reading all the recaps. Jen has a link-up for all those who wrote a review. Check it out and get your fill. When you are done, come back and let me know – Are you going to Edel ’15??



My pin of the week – I am going to try this recipe from Katie at Kitchen next week – Cancer Fighting Asian Soup. :-) Thanks to Teresa K for pointing me in her direction. Katie actually has a lot of recipes on her blog that I’d like to try, especially the ones with cancer fighting foods!

Photo credit – Kitchen Stewardship Blog


Plans for the Week…

Well, the week is half way done but tomorrow is our last swimming lesson for the summer. We may be doing some Saturday lessons for the boys in fall so they can keep practicing. Friday we are going to our church’s family night for a pizza party. The boys were begging us to take them. LOL. On Saturday I need to catch up on housework because not being home all week is really putting a damper on my chores. Ugh. Sunday we’ll try to go on a fmaily hike. We need to do a better job at making Sunday a day of rest and family time. Next week Matthew starts preschool! Where did the summer go??



Here are a few shots from the past two weeks.

Taken at San Carols Cathedral in Monterey

(Same place.) Rose gardens get a lot of attention but I am falling in love with these hardy succulent plants. ;-)

While I was snapping photos on my phone Bella was attending her first youth group – praying the rosary, playing and eating rosary cupcakes. :-)

Speaking of Bella, she just got new braces! This weekend she and Andrew attended a children’s symphony with their classical music loving Oma. :-)

Not wanting to be left out of the shot, Matthew did a donut on his Big Wheels, crashing into Andrew’s leg. Luckily Oma rang the door bell before they got into a scuffle. ;-) #lifewithboys


Linking-Up with…

A Mama Collective’s Currently


Gina’s Embrace the Ordinary

(I don’t think she has a logo for it so I’ll use mine. ;-) )

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, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.


Pinterest Party & Link-up (Vol 26): Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Salad

Welcome to the RoL Pinterest Party. Join me every 2nd and 4th Tuesday as we link up and share how we made, cooked, baked, crafted, planned, organized, followed or created one of the pins on our Pinterest boards OR share something original that others can pin onto their boards.

Not on Pinterest? No problem. Link-up your own creation to inspire us so we can pin in to our own boards. It can be a recipe, sewing project, Catholic craft, homeschool project, organizing/ homemaking tip, themed birthday party, whatever you’d like.

Don’t have a post ready? The link-up will be open for 10 days so there’s still time. Plus, feel free to link up a new post or an older post that hasn’t had much traffic lately. :-)

* * * * *

I tried this recipe at the beginning of summer and we liked it so much that we have had it countless times since. It is the  Southwestern Black Bean Salad from Skinny I changed it a little to suit our taste.


  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3-4 fresh corn cobs, cooked and kernels removed.
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 regular tomato, diced)*
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 bunch of fresh cilantro, stems removed and chopped
  • dash or two of garlic powder
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • (optional) 1 hass avocado, diced to top each serving**
  • (optional) For a spicy dish, add 1 diced jalapeno


In a large bowl, combine all your ingredients. Stir well. Let sit in the fridge for 20 – 30 minutes before serving.

* If you use cherry tomatoes, you can dice them or simply cut them in half. To remove the excess juice I use a trick I learned from Bobby Flay. After cutting the tomatoes, please them in a colander with a few dashes of salt. Give them a few shakes and let sit for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the rest of your ingredients.

** The original recipe has you mix the avocado in the bowl before serving, which is fine if there are no leftovers. Otherwise the avocado gets brown and mushy, even with the lime. When I use avocado I simply add some on top of each serving. The recipe is also tasty without it all together.

However you put it together, the results are the same. Delicious!

* * * * *

Now it’s your turn.

1. Choose your creation, share about it and snap a photo if you can.

2. In your post, link back the original blogger/idea, rather than your Pinterest pin. That way credit goes to the proper person. :-) (But feel free to add your Pinterest profile link so we can follow you!)

3. Add a link back here so others can play along.

4. If you want to use it, here is the html code for the logo:

<a href=”″><img title=”Revolution of Love Blog – Pinterest Party &amp; Link-up” src=”×240.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”240″ /></a>

5. Link up below. Make sure you’re sending us to your actual post, and not to your general blog address.

Lastly, you can follow me on Pinterest here: :-)

The link up will be active for 10 days. Have fun!

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, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.

Embrace the Ordinary (vol 1)

Today I am linking up with Gina for Embrace the Ordinary at Someday

Happy Monday! How has your day been so far? Hopefully well. Today has been a really good day, but yesterday, well, not so much. It had already been a really rough week with an overloaded schedule and a chemo sick husband and a three year old going through a late terrible two’s and a house that was a mess and in-laws that were coming over for dinner and I was just overtaxed to the point where I needed to go to the bathroom, shut the door, and shed a few tears to relieve the stress. It was just one of those days. Thankfully, the day was finally over and prayers were said and I was able to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep. Today is much brighter, despite the grey skies.

I recently came across the blog of one of my fellow Blessed Is She writers. Gina from Someday posted Embrace the Ordinary Vol 1.  In it she says:

I’m drawn to an idea, which I want to share and I hope you’ll join me. With all the things I have going on in my day to day life, I crave time to rest and recognize the beauty, the wonder, the gift of each day.

My first thought was, “What about those days that suck?” She responds:

Those days [when I felt nothing went right] are just as much a gift as the days which go right from the start, the kids are happy, the sun is shining, you get the idea. I want to delight more in every day. I want to embrace each day for what it is, for better or worse.

I like that. It is easy to be all sunshine and rainbows when everything is going well but it is much harder to praise God and thank Him for the goodness in our lives when we are in the midst of battle.

So taking Gina’s cue, here are two ordinary moments that I am especially thankful for today.

Bella and I have been corresponding to each other in a Mama and Me journal that we put together. Yesterday, I found it on my desk.

Although she didn’t have anything major to talk about she wanted to send me a little note and draw me a picture to brighten my day. :-)

It’s been grey and cloudy all day. It felt like there was a storm brewing but we only got a few drizzles. That did not stop the boys from grabbing rain boots, jackets and umbrellas to play in the “downpour.” It’s hard to believe that this little guy can drive me nuts and melt my heart at the same time. That face just says, “You can’t possibly stay mad at me, mom.” Sigh. He’s so right.

Thanks to Gina for the inspiration!

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, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.

Blessed Is She

“Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.”
{Luke 1:45}

There is something to be said for the power of sisterhood. I have three sisters of my own and each of us have similarities and vast differences in our personalities. The one thing that I love the most is that through good times and bad times, we are always there for each other. Thankfully, that sisterhood does not only apply to blood sisters. In the body of Christ we are a vast group of different women who share a common foundation – a love of Christ and a desire to grow in that love. That is why I am am so excited to be involved in a new ministry and devotional website called Blessed Is She.

Blessed Is She is a sisterhood of women – married and single – who desire to grow in their faith through the Word of God. Starting in September there will be daily devotions based on the day’s scripture readings. Together we will learn to apply God’s Word to our daily lives whether we are in the classroom, in the boardroom or in the laundry room. Together we will love each other and support one another as we journey through life.

In the meantime, browse the Blessed Is She website and view the daily readings. Find out about the women writing the devotions and working behind the scenes here.  You will find many of your favorite Catholic writers and bloggers. :-)

You can find us over at…






Won’t you join us and be a part of  Blessed Is She!

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, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.

Online Daybook (7/14/14) / Currently & Answer Me This: Tragedy, Trust & Tahoe


Moments of Gratitude…

Today I am especially thankful…

  • For a wonderful trip at Lake Tahoe with my family and my parents and a safe trip home.
  • That Brian only has one chemo round left to finish.
  • For my life and the life of my husband and children.
  • For the love and support of family and friends – during the good times and especially bad times.
  • For the warmth of the sun after days of chilly fog.
  • For the peace and solitude of the night after a hectic day.


Beauty in the Ordinary…

When I was younger I disliked the color purple. Now I love to see the color in nature.


In the Kitchen…

Monday – Chicken tacos with 5 minute salsa and veggies.

Tuesday – Turkey meatloaf, baked potato and broccoli.

WednesdayMoroccan-style chickpea chili with brown rice.

Thursday – Breakfast dinner

Friday – Veggie pizza and Greek salad.

Saturday – Leftovers.

Sunday – Dinner wit Oma & Opa.



  • For my sister and her family as they prepare for the funeral of their baby.
  • For all those who have lost loved ones.
  • For Brian’s chemo and continued recovery from cancer.
  • For those who are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • For some special intentions.


On the homefront……

Those of you who have read my last post or have seen on Facebook already know that our extended family has suffered a great loss. My sister Elena  went into labor on Friday but Baby Joan did not make it. She was called back to God. We were all filled with shock and sorrow. However, there has been an outpouring of love and support for Elena and Vinnie and their family. People have offered prayers, words of encouragement and even money towards the Joan Iris Fund to help pay for funeral expenses. If you’d like to offer your prayers and such, check out the post Goodbye Baby Joan Iris for details.

In our own family, on Monday Brian started his last round of chemo. This has been the most difficult one so far and the side effects have been the hardest but as each day passes he gets a little better. Also on the positive side his bloodwork and levels look good and the doctor is pleased with his progress. We just pray he continues to get better and that the cancer stays away.



We all go through peaks and valleys in life and my family seems to be going through a deep valley right now. First we had Brian’s cancer returning, which resulted in another surgery and chemo. Then my sister who got married last year conceived her first child but lost the baby in miscarriage. Now my other sister lost Joan. It is times like these that I am extremely grateful for my Catholic faith because we know that life does not come without crosses. We each have our own passion and road to Calvary that we must climb. But with each passion, there also comes the joy of the resurrection. There are many moments of happiness and love when we receive a taste of heaven on earth. It is never easy to live that faith when you are in the midst of heartache and pain but God is always there as our stronghold. No matter how dark it seems, we know with certainly that the sun will rise once again and bring a new day.



I finished Don’t You Forget about Me, which I’ll try to review later this week.

I am just starting Danielle Bean’s book Momnipotent.

I like to read on fiction book and one non-fiction book at a time so next I have to choose a novel but I’m not sure which to read next. I’m leaning towards If I Stay since I will see the movie next month and I like to read the book first OR…

 Wearing the Cape by Marion Harmon


Listening to…

Silence. Everyone is sleeping and nothing else can be heard besides the clicking of the keyboard and the owl hooting outside my window.



Brian and I have been watching Masterpiece Mystery – Endeavor (one of our favorites even if it is bit dark at times) and The Last Ship (not bad for TV summer viewing). We recently rented Non-Stop (both really liked it) and The Source Code (both thought – meh.) On my own I have been enjoying Pretty Little Liars and Switched at Birth. (I know, I know. Guilty pleasures. ;-) )

On my last Mama’s Movie Night Out I saw Begin Again. It was the only movie showing at the time I could attend. (Other than Tammy. No thanks. Every MC movie I see is the same thing.) I enjoyed Begin Again A LOT more than I was anticipating. The story line tugged at the heart and there were a number of (intentionally) comedic lines. I enjoyed watching the creative process and seeing the “vision” of a song before it was fully created. I assumed KK’s voice was dubbed but she actually sang. It was a sort of a quiet shoe gazer style but I downloaded the soundtrack. Half the songs I love; the other half, not so much. Lastly, I also really enjoyed the fact that although the main characters were attracted to each other, they didn’t automatically jump into bed together and I liked the ending. One note though, there are a lot of F-bombs so if you can’t stand that, skip it.


On the blog…

I’ve taken some time off so since my last Daybook and I’ve only posted three times:

The Top Ten Theme Songs of My Life

Pinterest Party & Link-up (Vol 25):  How I Use PicMonkey on My Blog (This link-up is open until Friday so add your links!)

Goodbye Baby Joan Iris

Today I am also linking up with Kendra for Answer Me This

1. How did you get your name?

My dad is named Robert, although he goes by Bob, and the first born child was going to be named after him, boy or girl. The name on my birth certificate actually says Bobbi. It’s not a nickname. However, the priest who was going to baptize me was not pleased by such a wordly name so my mom added Ann to it. Growing up I was called Bobbi Ann. Eventually I shortened it to Bobbi. Nowadays I only get called Bobbi Ann by my mom if she is upset with me. ;-)

2. Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?

I start the day off with the morning offering and on a good day I do a short morning meditation after breakfast. However, during summer it has been hit and miss. I usually say my rosary (or at least a decade of it) in the car while I am shuffling kids around or running errands. I also have my phone alarm set to go off throughout the day to turn my mind to God.You’ll hear the church bells go off at 9 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM and 5 PM and whatever kid happens to be closest to my phone (even if it’s in my pocket) will yell out, “It’s time for you to pray, mom!” So I do get a lot of reminders. I used to say a little longer prayer but these days it is a short invocation. On a good day, for my evening prayer I try to listen to the Divine Office prayers while I am making dinner. (You can hear the podcast at Divine I do need to work harder at saying my night prayers earlier. I tend to say them in bed before I fall asleep and so far sleep keeps winning out.

 3. Did your mom work or stay at home or both?

She was mostly at home although there were times when money was really tight and she had to work. She worked at a bank for awhile but I remember that the bank was held up. I think at that point she decided to stay at home and figure out a way to make ends meet.

4. Do you vote?

Not as often as I should. We vote for the big ones but we tend the skip the smaller elections unless there is a really important bill.

5. What’s your favorite drink?

Okay, this is where I admit what a nerd I am. I don’t like coffee and I don’t like tea. I used to drink alcohol when I was in my 20′s but after making some really stupid mistakes while drunk and then cleaning up my act, I swore off the stuff. I have since lost all taste for alcohol. So 75% of the time I drink ice water. The other 25% of the time I drink milk. (I love milk.) When I am feeling really wild and crazy I splurge and have a diet orange crush or diet root beer. Yeah, I know. Nerd.

6. How are your photography skills?

Hmmm, what would I call it? An amateur with a nice camera and a photo editing program. I love photography but don’t know anywhere as much as I wish I did.


In the blogosphere…

I am just now catching up on my reading so I am still behind but I did catch these worthwhile reads so far…



My pin of the week – I am going to be trying this recipe from Whitney at Framing Cali next week. :-)

Photo credit – Framing Cali Blog


Plans for the Week…

We have swimming lessons all week, dentist appointments, an ortho appointment to see about Bella’s new braces and we’re attending a family gathering at our local church where the dads take the kids to a summer matinee movie and the moms meet at the church hall to chit chat and make lunch. After the movie the dads and kids join us for lunch. When we first heard about it Brian and I were tempted to skip it but we also realized that we need to make a greater attempt to attend Catholic family functions like this. It’s good for us and good for the kids to spend time with Catholic peers. Plus, he should be feeling better by the weekend.

Also this week (Wednesday at 11 AM eastern time to be exact) is the funeral for my niece Baby Joan Iris. I’m conflicted inside because my heart aches for Elena and Vinnie and I feel guilty having fun with my family. But if Joan’s short life taught us anything, it is that life is precious and goes too fast. We need to cherish the moments we have together and spend our days in the company of our loved ones. I know Joan will be watching us and sending us kisses from heaven.



Here are some shots from our trip to Lake Tahoe.


 Lake Tahoe at Pope Beach

Matthew playing in the sand. Although I love the ocean, the lake is so much better for my nerves. I’m not constantly worried about the kids being pulled into the sea. ;-)

Enjoying the walking path behind our hotel.

The view on our walk.

I love the smell of pine. :-)

I’ll post more photos of Lake Tahoe later this week when I do a post about our favorite spots to visit in Lake Tahoe with kids.

Linking-Up with…

A Mama Collective’s Currently


Kendra’s Answer Me This

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, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.