Friday, April 29, 2016

The Non-Emerging Story & The Power of Personal Encounter

It is easy to frolic through life while seeing others on the surface level. For better or for worse, we'll make snappy assumptions about others based on how their attitude, appearance, or employment. This week, however, I have been overwhelmed by the beauty of personal encounters with other people. Whether walking to fetch the mail before a severe storm or bringing our car to the auto repair shop, God often surprised me with powerful, brief conversations that would spring up between myself and other people. Throughout my life, I have discovered that when we try to be fully present to others, a deeper story may emerge. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What to do when tornadoes might come? Bake brownies!

Hi, friends! Happy Tornado Day! 
Well, I should clarify: it might not be a "tornado day," but it could possibly be a day of tornadoes. According to many news sources, severe weather is hitting Oklahoma and Kansas today, and this weather can include hail and multiple tornadoes. When I moved to Kansas, I was surprised to find out that when the tornado sirens went off and I would head to shelter, many people would head out into the streets to watch the clouds. However, I tend to wonder if today will be a little crazier. The Oklahoma City schools are closing early, and two other school districts in the OKC metro actually cancelled classes today. So, I'm thinking that today's anticipated storms may actually be a big deal. What am I doing about all of it? 
Baking brownies. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sitting Among Future Saints: The Oklahoma Catholic Women's Conference 2016

I drove north towards the interstate, slowly moving my car through the roadwork. Next to me, a travel-weary Fr. Andrew Apostoli sat, regaling me with stories about his life, work, and trip to Oklahoma. When he brought up Mother Angelica, I hesitatingly asked, 
"So did you know her? Personally?"
"Oh sure," he responded. "She once grilled me for a couple hours." 
Fr. Apostoli then proceeded to tell me about how once, while he was preaching, he told a joke and heard Mother Angelica's voice ring out as she laughed loudly in response. My mind whirled as I took this information in. Of course he knew "the" Mother Angelica; a lot of people did. Still, this is pretty amazing. I'm driving around a friend of future saints.

After stopping to pick up dinner for Father from a restaurant, I drove him to the hotel and then headed back home. Bright and early the next morning, I drove down the interstate yet again, thinking about the conference that lay in the upcoming hours. And as I soaked in the peace of the early Saturday morning, I kept glancing at the passenger seat next to me. Disbelief and awareness crept into my heart, and a surreal feeling washed over me. Last night, a future saint-and a friend of saints-sat there. In my car. This thought continued tug at me for the rest of the day as I worked at the Oklahoma Catholic Women's Conference. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Walking Dead is Great Pregnancy Fare (at least for me)

Just two weeks ago, I sat in a middle-school classroom as a judge for my parish's speech contest (which wound up being more like a Forensics tournament, which was awesome!). During one of the breaks, the other judges in the room began speaking enthusiastically with the teacher about their obsession with The Walking Dead. One of the judges glanced at me and gave a somewhat apologetic look, with the disclaimer that "it's a really good show!" 
"Actually, I've been wanting to start watching it sometime," I confessed.
"Oh, but you don't want to watch it while you're pregnant." 
Fast-forward one week.

Jacob was working extra hours that day, so I prepared to eat my dinner alone. As I heated a plate of turkey enchiladas, I thought, I should watch an episode of The Walking Dead with my dinner. Why not? One week later, and I'm already a handful of episodes into the second season. I'm hooked on this show, I love it, and I am very glad that I've had so many sewing projects to work on, so that I can cut and piece together fabric as I watch Rick Grimes & Co. fight for survival. And as I see heads getting hacked, guts being ripped out, and zombies stalking in streets, I think back to the warning I was given: You don't want to watch it while you're pregnant. 

But you know what? As I've seen more episodes, I've realized that, for me, The Walking Dead is great pregnancy fare. So let's link up with Kelly and talk about it! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Confessions of a Former Blog-Stalker: The Journey of a Blog

I tend to have a love-hate relationship with technology, with an emphasis on the "hate" (or, to be nice, we'll say "intense dislike"). 

I also struggle at sticking with a project for a lengthy period of time. I have so many notebooks with partially begun stories and journals from over the years; fragments that float with the memories of my childhood. 

So, I am occasionally shocked that I have been blogging for five years. 

Five whopping, crazy, wild, humbling, enlightening years. Looking back on my years of blogging, I've discovered so much about myself. I've seen growth and change from a hyper, crazy teenage girl, to a blog stalker, to a woman who now sees herself as part of the Catholic blogging community. I've learned some humbling lessons, rejoiced freaked out with some surprises, and I've had loads of fun in the process. For those of you who are new to the world of blogging, perhaps you'll find something in my journey that you can relate to. For those of you who are experienced bloggers, perhaps you'll have some wisdom to share. And for those of you who randomly stumbled across this strange blog, perhaps you'll be amused or shake your head and go, "Wow, this chick is weird." It's okay-I think I'm weird, too :)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fasting for Love (Over at Chastity Project)

Hello, friends! I hope that you are all having a great day. 
We are almost through the workweek, isn't that exciting???? I-like many of you, I'm sure-have a bunch of loose ends to tie up today and tomorrow in preparation for the weekend (I'm going to do a sewing marathon, and I'm very excited!). So, I can't launch into any tangents about my random adventures today. Instead, you can find me discussing the importance of sacrifice in relationships over at
Chastity Project: Fasting for Love. 

I'm off to pre-wash fabric and tackle my "To Do" list now :) I hope that your day is full of blessings and joys!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My Hippie Hair Experiment: Life Without Shampoo

I don't shudder at the thought of chemicals, get obsessed with essential oils, or only use all-natural products. Yet, I still like some good natural crunchiness every now and then. In the beginning of March, I discovered that my shampoo bottle was almost empty, and in a moment of sanguiness (along with the hippie parts of myself), I decided that I would not buy another bottle of shampoo in the near future. Now would be the optimal time to try a practice that has long intrigued me: going shampoo-free.

My incredible stubbornness actually caused me to go shampoo-free one other time in my life by necessity. I was staying in Ireland with my aunt for a couple of weeks while I competed in a dance competition. We had reservations with an awesome Bed & Breakfast in Dublin, and like a typical 14-year-old American girl, I figured that they would be set up like the average American lodging, with a small assortment of shampoos and conditioners provided for the guest's convenience.

Friday, April 1, 2016

I'm on Verily! (A 7Qt Triduum Recap)

Happy Easter week, everyone! We are still in the Octave of Easter, that glorious stretch of 8 days where we celebrate Easter Sunday every day! The Triduum, which runs from Holy Thursday evening to Easter Sunday evening, is always packed with a lot of prayer and liturgy, and this year was no different. However, there were also a couple surprises tossed in the mix. So I thought I would mention some notable parts of the Triduum this year. Hop on over to Kelly's place for some more quick takes from the blogosphere!