Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dropping Stitches

For the past several weeks, I have enjoyed many hours spent with my knitting needles, a ball of yarn, and my son. I started working on my Magical Postpartum Scarf a few weeks before giving birth, but didn't get much done then. At one point, as the postpartum days flew by, I decided to pick it up again. 

Knitting this scarf was so peaceful. A simple stockinette stitch, I did not have to keep track of row numbers or quirky patterns. Rhythmic, straightforward, soothing. Knit a row. Purl a row. Smile at my baby as he pulls a section of the scarf into his mouth. Knit a row. 

In this gentle, relaxing process, there was a sad reality that loomed over my head: Once I reached the end of the piece, I would drop every third stitch and proceed to unravel hours of my hard work. My greatest fear was that, upon reaching the fateful row, I would accidentally drop the wrong stitches and somehow my entire scarf would come undone. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Youtube Dates, Thrilling Beets, & an Epic Love Story (7 Quick Takes)

Happy Friday, everyone! (it's so funny to write this, since I'm typing this up on a Thursday) 
Is it just me or do the days fly by??? For real. I have all of these ideas for blog posts/topics I've been reflecting on, and I'll think "Oh, I should write that up to publish it this in a couple days!" and I take a deep breath and...it's the end of the week. But rather than wait to post anything until I have a deep, thought-provoking reflection, why not join Kelly & Friends for some very random updates about life as of late? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

When a Protestant Writes Catholic Fiction: Discussing Faith & Literature with Elizabeth Hajek

How does a Protestant woman go about writing a Catholic novel?

This is the question that simmered in the back of my mind during the months that led up to the release of Elizabeth Hajek's novel, The Mermaid and the Unicorn. In the past, Elizabeth has shared her wisdom on the role of faith in fiction (here's a great post she put together about this topic), so I figured that she would have some incredible thoughts to share about what it's like, as a non-Catholic, to write a Catholic novel. I thoroughly enjoyed discussing this topic with Elizabeth, and I admire her devotion to God and dedication to creating beautiful fiction. 

Our conversation today discusses Elizabeth's faith background and writing process before delving into the novel (and aside from the last couple questions, it is spoiler-free), so even if you haven't read The Mermaid and the Unicorn yet, I hope you will enjoy hearing what she has to say. Grab a cup of tea and come join us! 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Jane Austen's Satire, a Batman wannabe, & Zombies

Years ago, when I heard about the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I was horrified. How dare Seth Grahame-Smith take Austen's classic and splatter the blood of the undead across it's precious words? Later on, when I discovered that a movie adaptation of the book was going to be created, my reaction was similar. But then I heard that the extremely awkward character of Mr. Collins was going to be portrayed by the delightful Matt Smith. So, my thinking altered slightly.

I figured, fine, I'll watch the movie-but ONLY for the parts with Matt Smith, I'll skip the rest. However, at some point I watched the movie trailer, and I was genuinely interested. This looks like it actually could be a really interesting movie, I thought. 

But wait! Wouldn't Jane Austen be rolling in her grave at the thought of zombies walking through one of her classics? Shouldn't any fan of Jane Austen stay far, far away from such a movie? 

I mulled this dilemma over long and hard, and as I thought about it, I realized that many people tend to fit Jane Austen into one image: She is the prim and proper woman who delicately fits into the elegant backdrop of Netherfield, or sits alongside Emma Woodhouse for a good gossip. We see her as "the woman who wrote the great romance of Pride and Prejudice." This may be a comforting picture, but it's not the full picture of Jane Austen. In fact, when I really thought about the larger image of Jane, I began to wonder if she might not actually be so shocked with a zombie story. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Walking in Prayer, Growing in Unity

On Monday, August 15, a truly epic event happened in downtown Oklahoma City.

I mentioned recently that a black mass & "consumption of Mary" was going to be done by some local Satanists on Monday evening. Many Christians were outraged and deeply saddened, but we were encouraged to not go downtown and protest. Instead, we were encouraged to join together in unity and solidarity and pray for our city. 
"I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me." ~Jn 17:20-21
I was curious to see who would show up; there were approximately 80 people marked as "attending" on the Facebook event page, and I figured that a few people here and there who were not on the Facebook event may show up. But, this was a weeknight at the end of a busy summer-and right as school starts in Oklahoma City-so I honestly did not think that more than a couple hundred people would come. Let's just say that I am really bad at estimating crowds and guessing how many people will come. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Magic, Mystery, and...Nuns? A Review of "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" by Elizabeth Hajek!

A few years ago, I randomly found a coffee-table book about unicorns in the library, and proceeded to pore over the images and stories. Why not? Unicorns are exciting, beautiful, mysterious creatures, woven throughout countless ancient traditions and artwork. 

My favorite fairy tale is The Little Mermaid (the Hans Christian Andersen story, not the Disney movie), and when I was young, I loved poring over the library's copy of this fairy tale, which had gorgeous watercolor illustrations. 

Keeping all this in mind, you may imagine that I was very excited to hear that Elizabeth Hajek was writing a novel titled The Mermaid and the Unicorn. When I heard that this story was going to be a Catholic novel, I was even more intrigued, because the author is a Protestant. For months, I have been growing in anticipation of this story, and when Elizabeth Hajek offered me a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review, I was through the roof excited! So, in celebration of the book's official release on August 15, I would like to share my personal thoughts, opinions, and reactions to this story. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Karaoke, Elevenses, & Rosaries: Living Like Hobbit-Monks!

Are schedules and babies compatible??????
I have long told myself that there's no way I can have a consistent schedule while caring for a baby, because babies are so unpredictable! Diaper explosions, bouts of fussiness, and moments of small crisis can erupt out of nowhere. When you add in random events that interrupt a "normal" week at home-pediatrician appointments, parties, coffee with friends, meetings-the whole business of mothering a small child just seems anything but compatible with normal schedules.

For the first few weeks of life with Peter, things were unpredictable, and I think it is good that I focused taking care of the baby and myself without trying to adhere to any particular schedule. However, as the weeks flew by, I noticed that Peter and I started hitting a bit of a rhythm in our daily lives. I wanted to get back into writing and blogging, and I knew that a schedule would help add some order and structure to the randomness of the day. Even so, I held back from a "schedule," because babies and schedules aren't compatible, right? Around this time, Bonnie wrote about how her summer schedule allows for flexibility and spontaneity while still keeping the day ordered. And as I thought about it more, I began to see that my reluctance to make a "schedule" stemmed more from my unwillingness to hold myself accountable than from my baby's unpredictability.

Enter the hobbit-monk lifestyle.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Three Years of Awesomeness...Another Glorious Marriage Anniversary!

Happy Feast of St. Clare! Yesterday, I was so blessed to celebrate three glorious years of marriage with my husband. This year was especially meaningful to me, because it marked our first full year of marriage as non-college students. It's really interesting how getting married, finishing our last two years of undergrad, and then moving to another state can change one's perspective. In a way, to me, it feels like we got married yesterday, the way things have flown by. At the same time, it feels like we've been married for a very long time, since we moved to Oklahoma a year ago, and our lives here are so different and so far removed from the first two years of marriage as college kids in Ohio. I don't know if that makes any sense, but it's my weird musings on time this week. Time, why do you have to be so weird and complicated? 

Anyways, marriage is epic, and I believe that anniversaries are great days to celebrate marriage in a special way! We usually keep things fairly low-key (but fun!) on our anniversary, and this year was no different. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Babywearing, Awkward Moments, & Prayer Intentions-7 Quick Takes!

Things have been quiet here on the blog as of late, so I figured I'd pop on with some quick takes to give y'all a glimpse into life. Visit Kelly for more exciting news in the blogosphere!

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Challenge of Calling Others on the Phone (guest post at Of The Hearth)

Happy Monday, everyone! 
We live in a glorious age where technology brings the world to our fingertips. Yet, in the process, are we disconnecting ourselves from others so that we do not communicate properly? So many people bemoan the fact that we are always plugged in...and then proceed to do nothing about this. Friends, it's time that we do something to change this trend! 

I am very honored to be over at Shannon's lovely blog today, discussing this very challenge: 
"Calling Others on the Phone Can Be Hard-But It's Worth It!"