ending of summer & welcoming the last bits

August 5, 2019

  I’m finding, and maybe you are too, that as things slowly start to close, I want to clutch them ever more tightly. So this coming of August, this welcoming of the big Minnesota heat waves before the autumn really begins, this time makes me nostalgic for the summer that already was, and the one that I’m still living right now! It’s a little ridiculous but that’s where I am. It was a summer of slowness, relaxed afternoons and quiet evenings, mid-day flurries at the pool & tennis courts, lots of chipotle & Mac & Cheese for dinner. Not at the same time, mind you. It was a summer of me not feeling 100% and adjusting life accordingly. #notpregnant #autoimmuneissues Our sweet summer sitter goes back to college soon and the kids will miss her and her bribes with gum, ever so greatly. We had an epic Costco trip where I only had three of the four kids, only had one kid rip off half my toe nail because he’s got slow feet and everyone was helping push the cart, and then while we all rallied ’round inside the bathroom stall because no one is old enough to be left outside the bathroom with the enormous cart, someone wasn’t done going yet before someone else flung open the stall door and while both someones shall remain nameless, I was less traumatized than I thought I would be while she sobbed her little heart out over the siblings’ correction. I snuck…

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the “right” way to become a saint

the “right” way to become a saint

June 3, 2019

  How many times do you see fights about Catholic womanhood on the internet? How many tweets and replies and heated stranger-v-stranger on someone else’s facebook post about the right way to be a Catholic woman and the only way to be a saint. It kinda turns my stomach. Look, I get it. We all love a moral higher ground! We all want to feel fully vindicated in our choices to work from home, work outside the home, stop working, practice NFP for mental health reasons, welcome all the babies in all the years, pursue adoption, not pursue adoption and face all the questions about your married vocation+. What gets lost in all that spluttering and finger pointing, to me, is the holy women in our faith tradition. The saints, venerables, servants of God who stepped up and lived out a life of heroic virtue, saying yes to God. Saying YES to loving, feeding, clothing, instructing, visiting, caring for their brothers and sisters in Christ. Their examples show point-blank that living out the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, that becoming a saint, doesn’t look the same for everybody. So last year we started this project, Misericordia, another Blessed Conversations study. Four women in different walks of life on the Blessed is She writing team agreed to write reflections: a mother of ten, a mother of two, a grandmother, a single woman. I dreamed and prayed about how it would read & flow before I wrote the introduction. Blessed is She’s director of ministry advancement, Beth Davis, worked her mad skills on the questions for reflection and discussion.…

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Join me tonight at 8 central for a free talk

January 9, 2019

Oh friends! I have so many new yearsie things to share. The lessons I learned when everyone was sick most of Christmas. The lessons I repeatedly learn about the gift of suffering and the past few months with health issues. The joys of a new brownie recipe (SMITTEN KITCHEN FOR THE EVERY WIN). But I’ll save all that til I can sit down and properly bang it out. Today at 8 central I’m hosting a free workshop online with my best boss, Jenna Guizar, for Blessed is She about a new course I’ve been making for you guys for the past YEAR. Yeah, I’m slow. So if you pop over tonight, you’ll hear about “Discovering the Gift of You” and what it means, why I want you to join me, etc. I even wrote an entire personality assessment test. Some of the questions are . . . ironic funny silly sooo real!!! Click here to sign up. It’s free. If you want to purchase the course afterwards, awesome, but just come and here about it first. I’ll post the link for the actual course offering later this week along with a more in-depth explanation of it all. LOVE LOVE LOVE, N

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Whole Family Parenting | About

looking ahead to Christmas and realizing I’m so behind on everything

December 1, 2018

I never shared these wonderful family photos our dear friend Emily Rumsey took over the summer. I mean, it’s only NOVEMBER 30! I also just ordered some Christmas cards so hopefully they’ll arrive before Christmas so I can get them mailed out before Valentines? Sheesh. With all the bustle and hustle of my sister’s Thanksgiving weekend wedding (YAY! SHE MARRIED THE BEST GUY and we are so HAPPY) and ensuing disease: all 10 little nieces and nephews threw up over the course of the week they were visiting, I actually had some quiet time to think. Maybe it’s because I was up a few nights changing sheets and rubbing backs while people threw up and that doesn’t lend to much talking which is my preferred way of processing. I’m so behind on everything. I didn’t get anything ready for a Small Biz Saturday or Cyber Monday sale for my shop. I haven’t blogged in a long time. I haven’t planned out anything for Christmas yet. I feel so BEHIND. And yet in those semi-still hours of realizing all my time and creative energy had gone toward the thing that really mattered: my sister’s wedding! prepping food for a few meals of 40 people for the festivities after it (freezer friendly meals)! rearranging my third floor and basement to accommodate the highly anticipated cousin crew! Blessed is She work that needed to be done before I took a week or so off! Paying attention to my children and their homework assignments and…

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a book on grief for all of us

November 27, 2018

I’m not well-acquainted with grief. My parents are still alive and in good health. I’ve got all four siblings still alive and kicking. My four children have no lost siblings waiting for them in the afterlife. My family of origin has only two deceased aunts & uncles out of 12. So while I don’t wear grief comfortably, increasingly it’s journeying alongside me. My cousin whom I grew up with’s little daughter, a year older than our oldest, is on hospice at home from brain cancer. Another close friend passed from cancer earlier this year, a loss so large it’s hard to mourn. And other adults in my life lost to cancer. But the grief Laura and Franco Fanucci have walked through, and AA and I have walked alongside them at times, is an entirely different burden. Miscarriage. Babies lost as premies from a terrible tragedy. Babies longed for and waited for with heavy empty wombs. These griefs these write about in their book, “Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage.” And it’s a book like nothing I’ve ever seen! It addresses loss for both the parents, not just discounting the dad like so many others out there. It gathers many stories from other couples, too. The resources for parishes and couples is astounding. There’s a whole chapter on understanding the Catholic Church’s intricate teaching on loss in the womb. And if you’re still sorting through your own suffering, it’s a book you can piece through, not one you have to…

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Books for 1-3rd graders that we love

November 4, 2018

My sister and I were talking about books her daughter (2nd grade) and my son (3rd) are really loving and then I thought, I should just do a blog post about them because then I’ll remember them myself! So please tune in at the bottom and tell me what you guys are loving reading in your household at these ages. I’m using my amazon links so that means if you click through and buy anything I get a sliver. Just so you know. F A M I L Y Mercy Watson. This pig is a family favorite and her adventures are ha-larious. Anything by Kevin Henkes. Especially the Lilly books. Especially this one. Great Pie Robbery and other mysteries. A HUGE family favorite. Millie-Molly-Mandy. Girl adventure power tales from the 1920’s.   C H A P T E R Pony Scouts. This early reader (level 2) is kinda a chapter series but it’s also just a really fun one for any horse lovers out there. I can’t find a boxed set so I just am contented to buy them one-off used via ‘zon. Magic Treehouse, of course. Freddy the Pig. It’s hilarious and my son wolfed it down. There are tons of them so also grabbing them used. Narnia. Got a used box set and it’s so sweet. The Penderwicks. Adventure, kids, all good stuff. American Adventures. He got the whole set as a gift from my family and every single one was riveting and he loved these. He’s a…

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