Happy Easter week! The kids are psyched that they can celebrate Easter for an entire week with no school and desserts every day. Although they were warned that come Monday, they are back in school and the sweets are getting thrown out. A person can only take so much celebrating.
We did have a really nice Easter. We were hoping we could bring Opa home to visit but he is too weak to travel and is just handling walking from one room to the next, let alone going to another house. So instead we came to his place and spent Easter afternoon with him. It was weird not doing the usual Easter festivities and big dinner at my in-laws but we are adjusting as best as we can.
No Mamarazzi this year.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos this year! However, I did get to snap one photo after Easter Mass when we got home.
I love the way Matthew grabbed his brothers hands and they let him. (They started wrestling soon after but the peace lasted for a few minutes at least.)
~ 4 ~
Happy National Siblings Day!
I’m so proud to be the big sis of 5 brothers and three sisters. Here we are at my brother Jake’s wedding where we welcomed a sweet sister-in-law Amanda. (I am the second on the left and Elena is the second on the right.
~ 5 ~
Speaking of siblings, Elena and I were talking the other day and we were remembering how when we were kids, every Easter morning my mom would play this Easter song to wake us up. We couldn’t remember the band or the name of the song so this afternoon I was asking my mom about it. As we were chatting, she went in the garage and found her old record collection. She found the album. It was an old one from the 80’s when the folk Mass was popular, although this particular song wasn’t folk. The album was called The Love of God Will Rise Before the Sun. I looked up the song titles and tried to see if any were available online. I found a few but none of them were the one I remember her playing on Easter morning. Then finally, the last song I looked up, there it was on Youtube! For years I had been looking for this song and now I feel like a missing piece of my childhood puzzle was found. Sniff.
~ 6 ~
Song of the Week (Part 2)
It is Jesus Is Life by Carey Landry. Elena, this song is for you since I know you have been looking for it too.
~ 7 ~
On Instagram, there is “About Me” game where you take a photo of yourself then list 20 facts about yourself and tag 20 friends. Well, I have been tagged four times this past week so I figured I’d better get my IG post up. I’ve already done this kind of fact list in the past here and here so some of these are repeats but it may be fun for new readers.
“Bobbi” is not a nickname but my actual name. The first born child was going to be named after my dad, boy or girl.
I’m the oldest of 9 siblings so having 4 kids of my own seems like a smallish family.
As a kid, I loved desk items and school supplies and always wanted to be a writer. (Office supply stores still make me giddy.)
I am impatient, nosey, messy and I’m always running late.
On the other hand, I am caring, a good listener and I love doing little things to brighten a person’s day.
I hate cats.
My mom often told me I was a drama queen. (Sooo exaggerated.)
I prefer daisies and sunflowers over roses.
I can easily be moved to tears – both happy and sad.
In school I was always the peacemaker who tried to bring arguing friends together.
For a time, I was a sucker for guys with bald heads, tattoos and eyebrow rings yet I fell in love with a guy as clean cut as they come.
After Brian left the seminary he did a novena to find his wife. The last day of the novena, we met on a Catholic online dating site.
We did the long distance relationship for a year then I moved to Monterey one week before we were to be married.
Fifteen years later, he still makes my heart skip a beat when he smiles at me.
I love my four kiddos and my greatest (sort of irrational) fear is that they will be hurt while I am forced to watch.
I de-stress by going to the movies after everyone is in bed.
My movie candy of choice is peanut M&M’s.
When I laugh my eyes water and I always bring a handkerchief to the movies when I see a funny movie…or sad one. (A real handkerchief. It is very Downton Abbey of me.)
I’m an introvert that also needs to get out and mingle with people at times.
I hate being mad at someone and I am eager to make up.
Okay, now it’s your turn. Tell me 5 (or more) facts about you in the comments!
Awhile back I wrote about how I get myself motivated to get outside and exercise with walking. One of my tips was to listen to favorite podcasts while I walk. I promised to share my faves so I am linking up with Jenna for today’s Five Favorites: Podcasts.
I love Jennifer’s show. It is informative, edifying and fun. Her guests have always challenged me to dig a little deeper or try a little harder at living my Catholic faith and Jennifer manages to be both intelligent and hilarious.
Haley and Christy are two of the sweetest bloggers out there and when they started doing a podcast together, I knew it was going to be fun. They have had some great speakers and topics but I also love the shows when they just interact with each other. It seriously feels like they are sitting at my kitchen table chatting while I am washing dishes. The weird thing is that I’ll sometimes catch myself answering their questions out loud, as if they could really hear me.
Good Things Radio is fairly new to me, although I have known about Jennifer Willits for years. (I remember interviewing her and her husband Greg over a decade ago when they had The Rosary Army.) I heard a few of Greg and Jennifer’s shows from their podcast The Catholics Next Door, which I also enjoy, but my mama’s heart was excited to see that Jennifer was teaming up with Brooke Taylor for a podcast geared towards moms. Like, Haley and Christy from Fountains of Carrots, it is like having these two lovely ladies over for coffee. What I specifically like is that they have older kids. My “baby” is almost 4 and I am officially out of the diaper zone (can I get a big Amen!) and my oldest is now a teenager. So it’s nice to get another perspective of motherhood from parents with similar aged children and interests. Brooke and Jennifer and funny and engaging. I love this show.
Krsistin and This Inspired Life just makes me smile. I love the variety of topics and how informative her guests are but it never feels boring. The discussions are personal and inviting. I really love listing to this show!
The Catholic Guy was actually the first podcast I ever heard. My first thought – who the heck is this guy? He is crazy, a little irreverent, says weird things like “the facebook” and can utter a sentence that speaks truthfully about the Catholic faith and bodily functions at the same time. I don’t know why, but I love the guy. Granted, you have to have a taste or Lino’s sense of humor but if you do, I guarantee he’ll have you laughing and appreciating your faith a bit more.
* * * * *
Okay, guys, those were my five favorites! Now please share with me some of yours! I am looking for podcasts that give entertainment news (as in movies, TV shows and books, not star gossip) from a Catholic perspective. I’d also like a weekly show that talks about the week’s world news from a Catholic perspective. Any suggestions? TIA!
Yesterday it was my turn to write the daily devotion over at Blessed Is She.net. Being Easter Sunday, it was a day of joy and celebration. But what about when you are going through a difficult situation and the arrival of Easter does not feel like a joyous time?
This past month my heart has been heavy thinking about numerous friends who are enduring difficult situations right now – heavy crosses, illness, the loss of loved ones, etc. I keep thinking back to the past two Easters when Brian was fighting cancer. I distinctly remember being at Mass on Easter morning and just not feeling the joy of Easter. Instead, my heart was heavy with concern about Brian and his health. Lent was not over for us. We had to keep living it for many more months. It was a bittersweet reminder that although Christ has triumphed over death, we are not exempt from the seasons in our lives when we must carry heavy crosses.
This was on my mind when I wrote in the devotion:
Each day God calls us to never be the same. Consider the flowers of spring. They cannot remain in the dark soil forever. They must grow and push their way through the earth to lift their heads to the sun. We, too, grow and push ourselves towards the Son. This is especially true during the moments when we feel suffocated and buried by difficult situations in life. God calls us to turn our eyes back to Him and gaze upon the light of His love. That same love that conquered death, can conquer our fears, doubts and heartache. His love brings new life and gives us the strength to grow and blossom.
During those dark days, that is where I found my hope – in the light of the Son. It’s easier for me to understand that in retrospect but it is something I must continue to practice with the current smaller crosses of life.
So if you are going through a difficult time and you are not feeling very joyful, don’t be too hard on yourself. Know that Our Lord understands your pain intimately. He himself cried out, “Father, why have you abandoned me?” Luckily you don’t have to “feel” joyful in order to trust in God. Eventually, the pain lessens and gives way to the peace of knowing that God is holding you close and carrying you when you can no longer walk.
This week I’ll also be especially praying for you and whatever cross you are carrying. If you’d like for me to pray for you by name, feel free to leave a comment or email me. May God give you peace and strength.
This started out as a Quick Takes on Friday but I never seemed to get more than a couple minutes to myself to sit and write so Friday went into Saturday and then Sunday and now back to Monday. Since Monday is my Online Daybook day, I’ll just make this a Leftovers Day – a little bit of this and a little bit of that to round up the past week or two.
My mom’s phone call this morning. Hearing her voice always makes me smile.
The grace of Confession. (No wonder I feel so zen.)
The grace of Holy Week.
That I make the most of this Holy Week.
For my FIL’s continued recovery and that he’ll get strong enough to visit our home for Easter.
For all caregivers, especially of their own loved ones.
Those who are ill, especially for those fighting cancer, and that Brian remains cancer-free.
Those who are hurting, suffering or are far from God.
All pregnant moms, those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
Some special intentions.
(I wrote this part of Friday.)
It’s been another long week and I need something to get my mind off the horrors in the news – the pilot that killed himself and 150 passengers, the women that sliced into a pregnant mom and stole her baby, the authorities that refused to charge the woman for murder because the 7 months old baby wasn’t a “person” and countless other infuriating and heart wrenching stories. WTH? I can’t help but get cynical and feel jaded about all this, but then God always sends me a ray of hope to remind me that as screwed up as some things may be, there is always hope and a light ready to shine in the darkness.
Just the other day I was running errands and waiting in line to get out of one shopping center to go across the street to the next shopping center. All the cars were at a stop as we waited for an older man who was in a wheel chair (he was missing a leg) trying to cross the street. He was really struggling so one of the guys waiting at the intersection jumped out of his car and ran over to the guy and helped him get across the street. In the meantime, traffic was backing up and I was waiting for people to get impatient and start honking. Or I thought there would be that one idiot driver who always thinks he’s above waiting so he swerves in and out of traffic to get through. But no, everyone waited patiently as the guy pushed the man across two intersections and then they waited until the guy was able to run back into his car before anyone moved. Everyone just nodded to each other in solidarity and moved on without incident.
It was such a simple thing but it brought tears to my eyes to see kindness and patience displayed. What is that line from Cinderella? “Have courage and be kind.” So right now I must combat these evils with courage and kindness, remembering that the little things done with great love (united by God’s grace) can move hearts and change lives.
~ 2 ~
Around the House…
Truthfully? There is a never ending mess and I’m gathering up my strength to tackle it. See that pretty kitchen scene in the photo below? There are so many dirty dishes on the sink you can’t see any of that! The kids are in school until noon on Wednesday. After they eat lunch that afternoon they get a chore list and spring cleaning begins!
Family Chit Chat…
Last week I was crazy busy helping plan and execute our school’s Father-Daughter Dance. It was rather ironic that I spent so much time planing a dance that both my daughter and her father swore they could not attend since they hate dancing. Thankfully, I talked them into going and at least making an appearance, especially since these young years are so fleeting!!
To prove my point, here is Bella at her first FDD in kindergarten. In eight short years, now Bella is in 7th grade.
Brian was in high demand that week. On the feast of St. Joseph it was Daddy’s Day at Matthew’s preschool. He made him a jar filled with candy kisses (which Brian wisely took to work) and a tie with his favorite thing he loves to do with Brian. Matty will literally stand by the door every evening holding two light sabers waiting for Brian to come home. I have to explain to the poor little guy that Daddy needs a few minutes to unwind before he can unleash his Jedi powers.
Speaking of Matthew, this morning I took him to his school admissions test to see if he’d be able to attend Pre-K at the big kids’ school. He passed. Yay! That means for one year I will be able to have all the kids in one school. I’ll have a student in 8th, 2nd, K and Pre-K. I’ll still be running around with three different school schedules (and various activities/speech therapy) but at least school will be in one location, until the following year when Bella started HIGH SCHOOL!! (Excuse me while I pass out….)
~ 3 ~
In the Kitchen…
I haven’t planned this week’s menu yet. Yesterday I had an enchilada marathon, making meals for us, my inlaws and a friend with a new baby. My helpful hint? Forget rolling the enchiladas individually. Instead make it like a lasagna. Soo much quicker and easier! Tonight we’ll have leftovers and the rest of the week’s menu I’ll figure out later.
~ 4 ~
(If you are not into the zombie thing, skip down to “Listening to.”)
I am super behind on The Walking Dead because ever since Brian got tired of the show (a couple seasons ago) I have been watching it myself after he goes to bed. But lately, I have been too tired to stay up late so I have at least 5 episodes sitting in my DVR, including the finale! SO I think this weekend, I will have a TWD binge. Until then, no spoilers!
Photo Credit – CW
However, there is a zombie show that Brian and I started watching together. If you are into zombies and a fan of Veronica Mars (and you don’t hate The CW) then you should enjoy the new iZombie. It has such a VM feel because Rob Thomas is one of the developers of this comic book turned TV show. The main character Liv (you may recognize her as Tinker Bell from Once Upon A Time) was turned into a zombie and now must function in the real world as one of the undead. She gets a job at the morgue, where she has access to a brain buffet. However, one of the side effects of eating brains is that she gets glimpses of their memory, and for those who were murdered, she also sees clues to the people that murdered them. Finding a purpose in her undead life, she helps the police solves these crimes by posing as a psychic. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, and I was skeptical, but it works. Do you already watch? What do you think?
But I was even more excited to hear their newest single Falling Awake and added it to my walking playlist. I love the 80’s new wave vibe. Although the concert footage makes me miss the days I went to shows and concerts. These days the closest I get to a concert is listening to the boys sing in the back seat. Now that I think about it… that’s pretty priceless and more than a fair trade.
Okay, I landed out watching the movie before I finished reading Insurgent and I liked not having the spoiler alerts in my head and knowing what was going to happen next. So now I can go back to the book and get all the details that were left out of the movie. (I did enjoy the movie a lot, BTW!)
~ 5 ~
Here are the last few posts.
Can you say blogging slacker?? I love to write but finding the time.. so hard! I did get one guest post for Fumbling towards Grace out last week for the feast of The Annunciation.
Here are some Instagrams I’ve taken this past week.
1. Day 28 of #holylens – WATER.
2. I made our traditional St Patrick’s Day meal – tacos with lots of green guacamole. Ole!
3. Day 29 of #holylens – I can HEAR a little voice say, “No, Bobbi. You don’t actually need a Poky little puppy book and the marching plate.”
4. Day 30 of #holylens – St Joseph is one of the patrons of our HOUSE. Happy feast day!) Painting at the Carmel Mission.)
5. Day 33 of #holylens – The fragrant smell of this FRUIT is like a touch of summer on this drizzly spring day.
6. Day 37 of #holylens and #onlyonething – The male DESCENDANTS of our family make sure we have plenty of protection around the house. I found these guys guarding my desk this morning. I AM a bit biased, but I think they rock.
7. Day 38 of #onlyonething – I BELIEVE we can learn a lesson from nature. Take note, new mamas, don’t feel bad about retreating and just focusing on you and your baby.
8. It’s a wild Friday night as we string medals for the upcoming Big Sur marathon. (It’s a project with Bella’s class.)
9. Day 39 of #holylens – I had to GATHER my strength to get off the couch and out the door but I’m glad I did. #nofilter #worththeeffort
So that’s what I’ve been up to lately! What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? What are you reading or watching these days?
It’s been crazy busy and I haven’t posted much here but I have been writing a couple posts for other blogs. I am excited to be guest posting for Sarah at Fumbling towards Grace while she prepares to move (with three little ones!) Sarah is a sweetheart who has had a rough past but has risen above it and made a new life with her beautiful family. She is a gifted writer and has the ability to open her heart and draw you in as she shares her soul. I just can’t help but love her.
When I was younger, and after my reversion to the church, one of my favorite bible scriptures was Luke 1:38. “Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” The words touched my heart, especially since at the time I was also struggling with whether or not I was being called to a religious vocation. Part of me thought it was a beautiful and noble calling to be the bride of Christ. The other part of me thought, it’s great as long as God is not calling me, a boy-crazy romantic.
Boy-crazy or not, I went away for a summer-long discernment retreat with a group of lay consecrated women. I figured I’d give it a try (and prove that I was not called to that kind of life.) I went in thinking, “There’s no way,” but a curious thing happened in there. First, the amount of time I spent in prayer really started to soften my hardened heart. I keenly remember having to adjust to the schedule and bell that rung moving us from one activity to another. When the bell tolled, we were to stop what we were doing and move on to the next activity. There was no, “Hold on one sec,” or “Let me just finish this last bit.” Obedience to God was obedience to the rules and schedule. We learned to offer it up and say, “I am the handmaid of the Lord…”
As things would turn out, by the end of the retreat, I did not want to go back home…