Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Great Library Adventure: Southern Oaks & Almonte!

After a bit of a haitus (in which we spent our days house-hunting), I have finally jumped back into the swing of things with the Great Library Adventure! I have really been enjoying this journey to all the libraries in the Oklahoma City area. Today, I'd like to talk about Southern Oaks and Almonte.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Plugging into my Inner Samwise

Hello, friends! As I type this, I am sitting in our beautiful new home (!!!!!!!) because we have officially moved and are homeowners. Wow. I don’t think the full realities of living in a house and being a homeowner have really sunk in yet, but already I’ve been marveling at just how cool it is that we have an entire flippin’ house to ourselves and a backyard and the neighbors seem pretty friendly (we haven’t officially met them, but some of them have smiled and waved as they’ve gotten into their cars). But anyways, I’m not here to talk about what it’s like to live in an actual neighborhood, I need to talk with y’all about spiders (this is your warning that if the word “spider” makes you shriek and go into convulsions of fear, you may want to skip this post. I’m not judging you, I am not a fan of spiders, either).

Friday, June 9, 2017

7 Quick Takes: Moving Edition!

Happy Friday, everyone! God-willing (because, you know, there could always be a random tornado that changes plans), we're closing on our first house later today, and moving in tomorrow, so here are some really quick takes as I process my thoughts on life recently! Head on over to Kelly's place to read more quick takes across the blogosphere! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

3 Characters I Relate to Daily Now That I'm a Mom

Motherhood is beautiful, crazy, and unpredictable. And to keep from crying in frustration at endless housework or a baby who likes to get into everything, I find it better to laugh and enjoy this wild ride. In the past few months, I've found myself looking to some of my favorite fandoms for inspiration as I frolic through each day. Surprisingly, I've found that I can really identify with some key male characters many of us know and love!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Deviled Eggs for Pentecost

Happy Monday, everyone! 

Yesterday, we celebrated the great Solemnity of Pentecost-the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, the birthday of the Church. In honor of this beautiful feast, one of our friends hosted a brunch at her apartment. Because they somewhat (if you use your imagination!) look like flames of fire, I brought deviled eggs. We played Mad Gab, which seems very Pentecost-appropriate, since it involves speaking and deciphering phrases. We enjoyed lovely leisure as we all soaked in the beauty of our Faith and the joy of our friendship. 
I think I overdid the paprika haha. 

Today, we embark into the journey of Ordinary Time. How will we go forth in this Ordinary Time? That's the question that I'm discussing over here. I need to go make sushi now and reevaluate the packing situation (because it's moving week!!!). Have a blessed beginning of this liturgical season!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Blessing of Apartment Living

As our time living in an apartment draws to a close, I've been thinking about the gifts that apartment living offers. While there have been challenges, there have been many benefits. We have a swimming pool right outside of our building (which is rarely occupied during the daytime hours), the staff fixes our maintenance issues, and we don't have to do yard work. Aside from these surface-level benefits, though, I deeply appreciate one particular gift of apartment living: Community and fellowship with others.

I know that many people live in mediocre-or horrible-apartment situations, so I realize that this gift I speak of is very particular to my experience. It is a gift that I deeply appreciate, and it has helped form me as I journey into our next great adventure in a neighborhood.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How "Home Fires" Can Challenge Parish Life

Several weeks ago, I eagerly began watching the PBS Masterpiece show, Home Fires. Set in a small English village, Home Fires followed the lives and struggles of the members of the Women's Institute during World War II. While the specific chapter of the WI that the series follows is fictional, the work of the WI is historical and quite fascinating as various women on the home front worked to build community and support.

While there are many engaging aspects to this show, right from the first episode, Home Fires struck me with its relevance. The Great Paxford WI was being run by the prim and proper Joyce Cameron. When conflict erupts concerning the future of the WI, and Joyce and her cronies leave, the remaining women are faced with a decision: Let the Institute dissolve, or find a way to save it. 

Frances Barden takes the lead, and mentions that they could attract new members. She doesn't know how they'll do this, but she thinks that the WI is too important to simply let it fall apart. "War," she says,  "can be very isolating. The Institute would provide women with a sense of community and purpose."

Monday, May 29, 2017

"United States of Jihad:" A Review

With vivid details and terrifying true stories, Peter Bergen's book, United States of Jihad, is a fascinating, informative analysis of terrorism in the United States. Bergen's narrative is anything but mundane, as he pulls the reader into an engrossing discussion on the history of terrorism in the United States, the formation of ISIS, and what individuals have committed acts of terrorism.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"That person is such a...child of God?"

I’m sure we’ve all seen it: comments on articles online where the commenter is outraged (at either the author or the subject of the article) and vomits out his or her feelings in a stream of profanity or disrespect. Or, the times when we make a "vent post" on Facebook where we unleash pent-up feelings of anger and use demeaning words for another. We may not be able to imagine ourselves blurting out these insults to another person directly, but we have few—or no—qualms about impersonally attacking another person over the internet.

Or, perhaps, we keep ourselves under control and don’t actually type out any of these rants, but instead we entertain these thoughts in our minds. He is such a –--! we think, content that we are so “good” as to not say these things out loud, and merely speak them in our minds repeatedly throughout the day. 

While I’m sure there are many angles we could look at in discussing this issue, I’m going to keep things simple here and wrap it all into one question: When we do or say these things, are we affirming the dignity of the human person?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

My Coffee Cupping Adventure

I love coffee. I love to smell it, look at it, and drink it. I love it hot or cold. I love it black, I love it fancied up with syrups and creamers, and I love it any day of the week. 

A few months back, I watched a documentary about coffee, and learned about coffee cuppings. These are occasions when roasters or others in the coffee industry sniff, slurp, and critically examine a variety of different coffees, to discuss the different unique characteristics of different roasts and beans. As I read books from the library on coffee, and learned more about coffee cuppings, my desire to participate in this ritual grew. So, I hopped on the internet to search for "free public coffee cupping" in my area. To my utter delight, I learned that a local coffee shop hosts free public cuppings periodically. And so it happened that I drove down to Coffee Slingers Roasters on Saturday afternoon. 

I followed the gentle stream of people, many of whom sported tattoos, skinny jeans, or man buns, and found myself standing in a little area by a large coffee roaster. Crammed in this small space with about twenty other men and women, I listened intently as the man who roasts the store's coffee beans described the steps we would take to analyze and appreciate the three types of coffee that were sitting before us. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

On the Bookshelf: Comics, a Classic, and some Home Decorating!

Hello! I've been reading up a storm lately (when am I not???), especially as we prepare to move into our first house soon (yay!)-I've started diving into the home design section of the library, which has been fun! I've also been speeding through a children's series that I have very conflicted feelings about, and reading some of the latest on one of my favorite superheroes ever. Let's talk books!