Sep 25, 2016

Simple Meal Idea for the Feast of St. Thérèse & My Sunday Best

I like to cook and I *really* like to eat, so celebrating the liturgical year through food seems like a win, win. However, planning ahead is not my strong suit which is why I've probably only managed to churn out a handful of matching-ethnic-foods-to-feast-day type meals in my life.
Well, last year on the feast of St. Thérèse I hadn't planned anything at all for dinner and at the last minute decided to make a quiche and then realized- hey, French food!

I chose to serve it with....crudités. Boom.

Is that mastering the art of French cooking, or what? ;)

And for a two-in-one post here's what I wore to mass today:
Old loft top | Corilynn skirt | Rocket Dog flats

Linking up with Rosie for My Sunday Best- have a good one!

Sep 22, 2016

Life Lately {September}

Good gracious, September. 

I feel like we jump head first into every week, pause a little to come up for a brief bit of air on the weekends, and then start all over again come Monday. "Case of the Mondays" is legit. My go and do and be here on time muscles are super rusty after a slow and mostly unscheduled summer. Pedometer be darned- I miss being able to lounge on the couch and hold Cora for long periods of time.

Evie started full-day Kindergarten in late August, so that's been an acclimation for all of us. Knowing the parents of a handful of her classmates makes me grateful for our community, and it's so nice to have veteran resources for my questions and general cluelessness about all the school things.
I bought a little picnic hamper at the thrift store over the summer, and during quiet time she'd often take picnics out back (really a glorified excuse for afternoon snacking, but you're only little once ;). I think she misses those little carefree excursions. Ah, sweet summer.
Audrey started two-day a week preschool and l-o-v-e-s it. I, in turn, love hearing her tell me about her day with her Audrey accent. :) 
I've already bungled things and embarrassed myself in regards to her school but such is life.
We squeezed apple picking in with my mom, sister, and little niece before school started. We picked all Honey crisp and gladly ate every single one. I'm glad I can say we completed a fall-related bucket list item- I feel quite accomplished with the one aaand it may be the only one we get to (grocery store pumpkins, we're coming for you).
Apple Picking in Winchester, VA
A couple of Saturdays ago Tim was working in the morning and I decided I couldn't spend one more minute solo-parenting cooped up in the house so I loaded up the girls in the van and drove to...the library. Several months ago I had sworn off going there with the girls after an epic and embarrassing scream-fest during checkout, so I'm pretty sure going that day with all the girls was a prompting of the Holy Spirit! We went, we did some puzzles, we borrowed a slew of books, and we made our exit with NO screaming, tears, mad escapes, or whining. I know we had some extreme outpourings of grace for that trip.
Then because I probably say 10 no's to every one yes for something fun I took the girls to get ice cream. By myself. And lived! It was unbearably hot and also lunchtime, so it definitely wasn't the brightest idea I've ever had, but the girls were so good and excited for the treat and such troopers to endure the heat! 
Also, the outdoor tables and low number of patrons worked in our favor to provide a low-stress outing. ;)
Ice cream soup for three, please.
I know this is pathetic but when I see the glowy afternoon light like this, I already miss it, knowing it's getting a little darker each day. I know each season has it's pluses and perks...but I just love the light.
Cora has reached the three-month mark and is just the pudgiest baby that ever was (this picture doesn't do justice to her squishy and round belly). Her two-month stats are the biggest of the four, which surprised me. Sweet growing girl!

Sep 9, 2016

A Mother Teresa Marvel Comic Book, Chesterton's Connection to Star Wars, and a Blogging Conference {7QT}

I still remember hearing the news Mother Teresa died- I was sitting in 7th Grade World Culture when the announcement was made. Many of us in the class were upset over the news and I recall our teacher's reaction to our sorrow was more along the lines of, "get a grip, you guys, clearly she's in a much better place". Haha, she was right!

Repeating myself here, but I came across Stories Told by Mother Teresa at the library a while back and love that it incorporates stories she related into a book for kids. If your library has a copy it's worth a look!

Did you know there was a Marvel comic book made of Mother Teresa in the '80s?! My sister used to have a copy and I forgot all about it until the recent canonization hubbub. (Darn, there were two on Etsy just this past weekend but when I went to link to them they were sold.)

Lately one of the shows we've been binge watching is Father Brown, borrowed from the library. The show is (loosely?) based on G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown character and is pretty good. Anyways, as I was browsing my trusty and reliable (wink) source, Wikipedia, I read that Alec Guiness played the character in a 1954 movie and apparently an experience he had during that time prompted his conversion to Catholicism. How cool?
One more reason to love Star Wars! ;)

*Furthermore* the "a twitch upon the thread" theme from Brideshead Revisited is taken from a quote in one of the Father Brown books. So...Waugh borrowed from Chesterton in Brideshead- did not realize that and it positively boggles my mind!

This past weekend I attended the CWBN Mid-Atlantic Conference in Front Royal and am so grateful I got to go! I'll admit the week prior I was inundated with all sorts of fears and insecurities about going but am glad I did not back out.
The talks were all great and I thought the format was well-balanced between social time and information sessions, AND you know you're in the midst of a wonderful group of ladies when you're walking around with smashed blueberry on the back of your light-colored pants, yet you don't feel (too) embarrassed...not that I would know anything about that, though. ;)
If you have a blog gathering near you, don't think- just sign right up and go!
Rosie is an absolute rock-star for hosting the event, especially while pregnant! There were several familiar faces from last year, including Abbey and Julie. It was awesome to finally meet Joy in person after following her blog for several years, and I was able to catch up with Fuzzy and Nicole whom I know from school. Rachel kindly offered her talents and took amazing head shots and group pictures. And then listening to Kelly, Mary, Ginny, and Elizabeth was like hitting the blogging jackpot. 
On top of it all, there were always arms available to give those of us with babies a hand and we were blessed with gorgeous weather. Definitely a memorable event. :)

Linking up with Kelly (who I am standing next to in the above group photo!!)

Sep 1, 2016

Preserving Memories and Embracing the Not-perfect

Several years ago Hallie highlighted Smash books in one of her Five Favorites posts and it sounded like something that was right up my alley (books with blank pages for writing or pasting pictures, along with folders and other inserts to stash mementos). I have a few scrapbooks that are in the works and have been for a number of years. I keep thinking that if I had a dedicated space to spread out the millions of supplies + pictures I'd get around to finishing them but, truthfully, I think the time commitment to craft them just so is my ultimate hang-up! 

Not long after I heard about those books I found one on clearance at a craft store and plopped it into my cart although I didn't know exactly how I wanted to use it- until recently. The other week I had an epiphany to use it for all of the cards, notes, funeral programs, mementos, etc. from my grandparents (and other family members) that I've compiled over the years. I just have the *slightest* of pack rat tendencies.

At my grandma's funeral in 2012 a picture album was getting passed around that basically chronicled her and my grandpa's years together- starting with a photo of the Knight's of Columbus Hall in D.C. where they met at a dance, including a professional picture she had taken of herself and sent to him when he was on a submarine during WWII, pictures through the years as their family grew, along with the letter she wrote to him for their 50th wedding anniversary. I loved reading the notes in the margins and captions under the pictures and was surprised to find out that my grandpa was the one who had put the album together!
Smash Folio
Within the last few months I just found out that my mom's dad (a Civil Engineer) went back to college and re-took Calculus years after he retired just to see if he could pass it (he did!), and that my aunt's Polish dance outfit that Evie wore in May was made by my grandma. There are so many family stories and anecdotes swirling around and I would love to have a place for them to land...there's the little square of mercury-stained bar-top from my Grandpa Hadro's basement from when my older brother broke an ornament years ago- for some reason we ALWAYS went to look at it every time we went to his house and I cut it out when the bar was disassembled years later (sentimental much?), pictures of my grandma in her crossing guard outfit, and birthday cards for days (ha!). The layout won't be fancy or even in chronological order but I'll have a place to keepsake the memories and mementos as they come, and hopefully keep some of the memories alive for my girls and their cousins.
I especially love this letterhead since it's no longer Arlington Hospital!
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