Nov 27, 2019

Life Lately {October, November}

At the tail end of September, Heidi turned five! Her birthday fell on a half day Friday so she was able to experience the birthday things at school and then my mom picked her and Evie up and took them out to lunch to celebrate their birthdays.

That Sunday we had a birthday brunch to celebrate with family.

How cute are those donut plates and napkins from Hobby Lobby?!

The next weekend we went apple picking and stopped to visit a monastery of Dominican Nuns on the way home. 

I don't have a photo from this but in October I volunteered in Audrey's classroom for a craft day they were having. I was never able to volunteer before as I hadn't taken the diocesan training and done the background check, but finally got all that completed. 
It was a hoot! Being around that many kids all the same age was too funny- seeing all the personalities, and fielding the questions ("Whose mom are you?" "What's your second name?" "What can I call you?"). 

Cora kept insisting the library book "Hocus Pocus, It's Fall!" was called:
Hopus Copus Fall


My SIL kindly invited me to join her for Jen Fulwiler's standup comedy show when she came to Maryland! It was such a great show, and I was excited to get a photo with Hallie Lord afterwards.


This year we carved our pumpkins for the first time ever with the girls. (Tim said our neighbor gave him a weird look when he mentioned it was the first time- haha, it's just lots of work for the adults and we don't always relish more work, okay?!)

Oh, and the pumpkins rotted out well before Halloween. Oops.

On Halloween we picked up pizza and headed over to trick-or-treat in my parent's neighborhood, like previous years. My oldest sister and her husband happened to be in town, and two of my other siblings we there, so it was a really fun night. 
We had some crazy weather- thankfully rain and thunderstorms held off; it was super balmy and I was so hot in my flip-flops and jeans!

Cora rejected all my costume ideas and happily wore her "American flag dress". Heidi was a '50s sock-hop girl, Evie went as a piece of coal (she told me she originally wanted to be a marshmallow but didn't have enough white clothes. Once she realized she had an all black outfit, a piece of coal was the logical choice.), and Audrey was Mary.

On All Saints' Day Evie dressed as St. Catherine of Alexandria for the 3rd grade parade of saints.

My oldest sister was in town as she was graduating from her master's program that weekend and thankfully the ceremony was being held in Maryland, so I was able to attend! We were so proud of her, as it was a strenuous program (cyber security) with a very difficult final test.

(Next two photos were taken by the event photographer.)

I took Evie, Audrey, and their cousin, and as you can see we especially enjoyed the reception.:)


And just like that we're about to celebrate Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful holiday!

Nov 23, 2019

So They Say {8}

On the way to their cousin's baptism-
Heidi: I'm Baptized!
Cora: NO HEIDI. *I'm* bath-tized!

Evie: I think addition is heavenly.

Checking my temperature-
Cora (holding out a stethoscope): I need to take your pentature.
Me: You got it?
Cora: Yeah, you're sick.

Eating the first of the fudge we bought at the beach-
Heidi quite frankly to me: If I was a mom, I would say, "How is the fudge?".

Heidi (seriously): When I find crab holes I cover them so the crabs won't get cold and wet.

Evie: I want a summer haircut. I don't want to catch scarlet fever at the beach.

Heidi: Mom, if I was a squirrel, I would want you, Evie, Cora, Dad, and Audrey to all keep me for a pet.

Me: Cora, you must be a thirsty turtle.
Cora: I'm not a firsty turtle. I'm a purple lady bug.

Evie: Playing doctor sure helps you with nursing.

Cora getting her coat off the hook:
I'll hang it down.

Evie: You can name a cat Bob, but that doesn't mean it's a bobcat.

Heidi explaining the characters of a book-
It's Marianne and Elinor because Sense and Sensibility are not names.

Oct 26, 2019

Saturday Notes

Just some random tidbits that caught my eye.

Did you know Prince Charles was at the recent canonization in Rome?!

ESPN did a great article about a professional basketball star who became a Poor Clare nun. It's a long read but so worth it, and the accompanying video would be a good one to show your kids. As her coach Harry Perretta says, "To someone who understands, no explanation is necessary. To someone who doesn't understand, no explanation will suffice."
I remember when her brother would talk about her in our Freshman year religion class, and looking back I can't believe then she had only been in the convent a handful of years.

Our faith is so cool. Have you heard of Nicholas Black Elk? He was a Native American convert to Catholicism who fought in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, performed in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show (Buffalo Bill was a deathbed convert!), and signed a petition supporting St. Kateri's canonization (before he converted)- nbd. Also, his first wife's name was Katie War Bonnet, which I think is supremely awesome. His cause for canonization was opened in 2017!

Tim and I recently binged "Prohibition" on Netflix. One lady who came up a lot was Mabel Walker Willebrant- a strong woman and complete BA. She was appointed Assistant Attorney General in 1921 and enforced Prohibition even though she was opposed to it, and successfully prosecuted many big time bootleggers. She spoke out against Al Smith in the 1928 election, helping to stir up anti-Catholic bias among voters, and THEN became a Catholic later in life! I'd love to know more about her conversion story but there doesn't seem to be much out there.

I have a fascination with non-Catholic* celebrity-type people who have big families. I guess because as Catholics our faith is counter-cultural and these couples are being counter-cultural too. Here's what I've gleaned via Instagram and the Costco Connection:

-The founders of Melissa and Doug have six kids, and the mom (Melissa, current chief creative officer) left a job on Wall Street to start the company with her husband (Doug).
-James Van Der Beek and his wife are expecting their 6th baby.
-Alec Baldwin and his wife are expecting baby number five.


Oct 5, 2019

Life Lately {August / September}

In late August we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary!

Some years ago we realized we had gone to a different restaurant to celebrate each anniversary thus far, so we decided to keep up the trend. This year Tim surprised me by picking a charming French restaurant I didn't even know existed! The food was delicious and of course I felt I needed to be wheeled out after dessert.

Not too many days after- school began for the older three!

And a couple of weeks later Cora started preschool. She has one of the teachers Evie had.:)


This year September 11th was difficult and emotional for me. I noticed a lot of people posting about their feelings of it and experiences of that day on social media and it dawned on me that we are all still processing it and grieving in our own ways. So much changed that day; there is life before 9/11 and life after 9/11.

The next day was my oldest brother's birthday- he passed away when I was six from an infection in his chemo port. The infection started when he got hit there while playing softball. The longer I live the more I realize grief is not linear. It doesn't come in a tidy little box and then dissipate.
 One comfort, though, is that his birthday falls on the feast of the Holy Name of Mary and he died on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, so I know Mary's got him.


Some things making me happy lately:

I ordered some muslin bags from Etsy in which to deposit puzzle pieces and other game pieces whose decrepit cardboard boxes were driving me batty. Then I measured the shelf area (huge moment of triumph for me!) and found these baskets at At Home that fit just right! I think Mary Poppins would agree- a tidy area is also a joy forever.

September was SO wonderfully sunny! I've been trying to read on the porch in the afternoons while we still have the warm weather, even if it's just for ten minutes.

One day I made a trip to Salvation Army but didn't find much of anything. On the way out I stopped by the books and found this set- I could hardly believe my eyes! 
I had found several of these books in an online auction some months ago but when they came I instantly could tell they had mold and sent them back.­čśĚ Suffice it to say I'm excited that these are newer editions!

And finally- blackout curtains in Heidi's room! No more broken and ripped, decades old pull-down shade.

Sep 7, 2019

Pray for Joe!

In May of 2017 Joe was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). He's a loving husband to Mel and father of four children ages 13-4. 
We've known Joe and Mel and their families for many years (his sister Fuzzy blogs here), and our children attend the same schools. They are such a great family! 
Tomorrow (Mary's birthday!) ends the 54-day rosary novena many people have been praying for his miraculous recovery; as this is the "last full measure" of the 54 days, please offer a prayer for Joe Gregory's full and complete healing!

Here's a link to Joe's blog:

Sep 1, 2019

Family Beach Trip 2019

I mentioned in my previous post that we had several hours before we could check in to the rental with my side of the family. The first thing we decided to do was get haircuts for the girls! That worked out perfectly, as it wasn't a busy time at the place we chose (...and the nice ladies brushed out the *bad* tangles we'd been neglecting­čśČ).
Also, it was Cora's first haircut!

After that we met up with my sister and her family who had ended up driving through the night from D.C., after a cross-country plane ride the day before! We decided to have an early lunch at NY Corner Deli, one of our favorite spots. It was our first time meeting the squishy little guy below!

One of my other sisters arrived after we wrapped up lunch, so we all decided to head to the nearby Sea Turtle Hospital. None of us had ever been before, so we didn't know what to expect. It was an interesting place but I don't think we'd visit again, as the slow movement was a bit much! Maybe just trying to keep the turtle theme real? Idk. First we waited for a while in the VERY hot sun, then the lines slowly moved into the vestibule, and inched into the AC and past each exhibit. It was interesting to see the rescued turtles at the end and hear their stories. And props to the kids who all did so well with the heat and waiting!

After that we decided to take a chance to see if the house was ready early, and thankfully the linen company showed up just then for a delivery and left the house open for us!

Remnants of Hurricane Florence in the lot next door
This year all of my siblings except one and their families made it to NC! It was a very full, noisy, and busy week but so great to have everyone together, and for all the cousins to play with each other.

There were three babies- Audrey loved helping to feed this little guy; I lived my best Aunt life holding them!

The girls really enjoyed the pool and being able to practice their swimming.

Never an easy or simple feat, but glad we were able to get a family photo!

I kept hemming and hawing about doing color coded + numbered shirts for all of the grandkids. In the end I decided to go for it and am glad they worked out okay (haha, I was stressing about getting the order right!). Apologies to the checkout lady at Hobby Lobby who had to ring up each shirt and iron-on number individually, though!!

Basically Cora's chosen attire for the week

My brother and his wife were so sweet to have these drink koozies made for everyone!

We invaded the ice cream one place night,

And toasted my oldest sister on another. She recently finished a very strenuous master's program and we're so proud of her!

In the middle of the week we celebrated Evie's birthday. Everyone was so sweet to make it special for her- with balloons, gifts, and the ice cream cake made by my mom. 

Unfortunately the last couple of days held cooler temperatures and some rain. In a way it was a good thing because it made me ready to go home (where it was nice and hot!).
On Friday we visited a small touch tank aquarium while it was raining and then headed back to the house for some beach and pool time when there was a break in the weather. There were lots of shell deposits on the beach, which made for great shell and shark tooth searching.

view of the sound

We did get a full rainbow + lightning on the last night!
I made a couple of side by side collages with photos from previous years:
Different bench but same place:)
These two are a pair! I love their precious littleness in the bottom photo.❤
Like I mentioned before, it was a full week! Early mornings with a free alarm clock of stampeding kiddos up and down the stairs.;) Tim and I were also commenting about how we stood way more than we sat, and my legs kept swelling up which was kind of crazy. That being said, it was a blessing to have so many of us together. I'm glad the kids could spend time running around with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents in a place we all love!

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