Monday, March 25, 2013

Marian Monday---Our Lady of the Annunciation

How could I not link up to Marian Monday on my favorite Marian feast day and the inspiration for the title of my blog!!!

I love Our Lady of the Annunciation.  I can't even express my love with written words except by going eeehhhh aaaakkkkk.

Her "yes" to the angel Gabriel gives us an extraordinary example of what it means to follow the will of God.  Her question before saying yes gives us consolation in our own fears in following the Lord.  Her "Here I Am, the Handmaid of the Lord" is a montra we can repeat as we step forward to receive our Lord in the Eucharist.  Meditation on her lack of knowledge of the future as she said her yes reminds us of the way we must trust the Lord.  

Today I encourage you to spend time meditating on the Annunciation and I promise you you will get extraordinary insight in Our Lady's virtues.  Today I am wearing blue proud, looking forward to Mass and celebrating Our Lady and her yes to the Lord.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

What I Wore Sunday (Vol. 16)

What I Wore Sunday linkup

Happy Palm Sunday.  This Sunday is a legitimate Sunday best outfit post and not a to and from the airport less than spectacular outfit post.  

I know everyone says this at the end of every liturgical season but I can't believe Holy Week is already upon us.   I confess my Lenten sacrificing went less than steller this year but I hope to finish off strong during this week.  

I always forget how long the Gospel is on Palm Sunday.  To all of you with small children, my heart goes out to you.  Today at Mass there was this poor woman with crutches and a leg cast wrangling a mischievous toddler.  Thankfully, her husband and an older son was taking care of the rest.  

On to the outfit.....

I was going for the chromatic look with the green sweater on green tank look and of course I had to have a little grey and brown combo in there.  The pearls added a touch of class with the added benefit of looking great against my tanned skin :)

Tank and Pearl Set: TJ Maxx/Marshalls
Cardigan: Old Navy
Maxi Skirt: Target
Shoes: my new Minnetonka moccasins found at TJ Maxx for $29.99, so excited about the purchase
Tan: Haiti Sun
Frigid Air: Thank Steubenville

The rest of the day will be spent visiting with friends and reading this book which I hope to finish during Holy Week.

Our household retreat was loosely based on this book so I am excited to really dig into it. Another bonus is diving into Ignatius spirituality at the beginning of our first Jesuit pope's pontificate. I will be sure to be posting a review of it for my "13 books in 13" update.

Also look for more posts soon about Haiti, a Marian Monday about Our Lady of the Annunciation, and my review of Jesus of Nazareth

Friday, March 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 11)

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If you haven't been around this corner of the blog for a while then you might not know that I just got back from a mission trip to Haiti.  In that case go back and read the past 7 posts about it.

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You don't have time to read 7 posts?  That's fine than you should at least read the first three parts about my trip here, here, and here.

--- 3 ---

Due to my trip to Haiti in which there is internet but not good enough to watch streaming video, I am just now finally watching some videos from the coverage of the conclave and election of Pope Francis I because I don't want to completely miss out on this history that just occured.  I would be lying if I didn't say I am kind of bummed that I missed out on the constant EWTN coverage but I can't complain too much considering I was doing the Lord's work on a Caribbean island.

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Since everyone else got their time to scream out "Habemus Papam" on their blog I want to take my moment to say how excited I am about Pope Francis.  I don't think we even knows what is going to hit us.  Our Church and our world is about to be rocked by Pope who preaches the Truth with passion and charity.  I also love how much you can already see how the past two popes and Pope Francis have built on each other.  It is almost as if there is some Divine providence involved in it :)

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The way secular media has covered Pope Benedict stepping down, the conclave, and the new Pope  really saddens me about the secular world.   As I read articles before my trip and sat at airport gates watching the news, my heart wept.  The world can't understand something that is led by the Holy Spirit and isn't about power or control.  Americans think that we need a Pope that will "catch up with the times" and just can't comprehend the fact that the Church is, always has, and always will preach the Truth that hasn't and will never change.  No matter how many people disagree with the it, the Church will always stand by the dignity of sexuality, the sanctity of life and the honoring of women.  This whole thing has reminded me how much we need to pray for our Church, our culture, and our world.  

--- 6 ---

One of my best friends from high school is coming to visit this weekend and I am sups excited.  We always talk about seeing each other during the school year but with both of us having busy nursing student schedules it just never really happens.  Since this is her last semester we decided to make sure it happened.

--- 7 ---

I still have more posts planned about my trip to Haiti so please subscribe and come to see more of God's goodness. 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Haiti 2013: Part 3

I am continuing my posts about my recent mission trip to Haiti over spring break. If you haven't already check out my post generally about the trip and about the work project we did.

The children, oh the children.  The main mission of this mission trip is to love on the children at the orphanage.  They have 22 children, 4 of which have special needs and one of these girls actually arrived during our week there.  I would talk about how much joy these kids have, or how absolutely beautiful they are or how great it is to play with them but I think I should just let the pictures speak for themselves.

Told you that I really didn't need to say anything.  Don't they say a picture says a thousand words.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Haiti 2013: Part 2

Read Part 1 for our trip down and first day in Haiti.

The main mission of the trip is to love on the kids.  The orphanage was started on the principle that it was a home and not an institution.  The kids thrive on this love.  The kids go to school during the day so while they were at school we were able to do other work projects.

On the first two mornings we moved rocks.  Sounds glamorous right?  In reality it was an incredible blessing.  The mission has begun on their next project  building a clinic for the area.  The rocks we collected from a dried up river bed will be transported to the property and used as a foundation for the building.  How awesome it was to play a concrete part in the beginning of this new project.

Crossing the river to get to the site of our rock piling 

Day 1 of rock piling.  
Coconut breaks were a must.

What we thought we looked like. 

What it probably looked more like. 

The group

More posts to come....

Monday, March 18, 2013

Haiti 2013: Part 1

This week was too blessed to be put in only one post so multiple posts it will be.

The Lord is so so good. Last year the Lord called me to go to Haiti for a mission trip over spring break.  I left knowing that He was calling me back the following year to lead the trip and He kept affirming this over and over again through prayer.

Since August I had been praying for the team the Lord desired to come together and I had this awesome moment one of the first nights when I stood there praising with the team and I realized here was the team I had been praying for.  The team was 7 girls and 4 boys of multiple majors and a variety of grade levels.  They had all learned about the mission in different ways through different people.  The one thing that we all had in common is that we had all said our Fiat to the Lord and we were exactly where He wanted us to be.

We started out flying out of Pitt to Chicago, the flight was delayed one hour at the gate and one hour on the tar mat, I never heard even a murmur of complaint.  For one of the guys this was his first ever flight and we all clapped for him when we landed in Chicago.  We then slept in the airport over night and early the next morning flew to Miami and then Port-Au-Prince.  The five hour drive from the airport to the orphanage ends up being such an immersion part of the trip as we move through the post earthquake Port-Au-Prince we see on TV through to the country side and finally make it to the orphanage.

Pitt airport

On the truck riding out to the orphanage

We bathed in the river that evening to rinse off the dust and grim from the truck ride.  The team began to get to know the kids.  My heart sang as I got to see the kids and all they had grown from the previous year.  I would say we got to bed at a decent time that night but the thing is I really have no idea.  Time is a loose notion in Haiti and everything pretty much runs on "Haitian time".  Either way we cuddled into our bunks and feel asleep and awoke to the sound of farm animals.

The next post will be about the work we did there and another will be about the kids.  Please comment with any questions you have and I would love to write about it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What I Wore Sunday (Vol. 15)

It is early in the morning and I am back in 'Merica. The trip to Haiti was incredibly blessed and I am excited to post pictures from it. It was such a joy to see God radically working this week. I know it will take weeks to unpack the trip (figuratively.....well possibly literally too.....but probably only figuratively because if you know what a bag of clothes from a mission trip to Haiti smells like you know it can be compared to toxic waste) Without further ado I show you a picture of me waiting for my flight in Fort Lauderdale to Chicago. After this only one more flight!!

And don't worry we will be going to an evening Mass somewhere once we get back to the 'ville.

Sweatshirt: household sweatshirt passed down along my lineage and worn by my sisters all over the world
yoga capris: Gabriel Brothers before this trip last year.
Unseen: MWTS: Mission Haiti green t-shirt and Chacos dirty with Haitian dust

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What I Wore Sunday (Vol. 14)

So I did have a really cute outfit on this morning for Mass- a grey long sleeve shirt, with a orangy-mustard skirt from goodwill and an adorable belt.  However that outfit came off quickly because I needed to finish packing and shower because we are leaving for HAITI!!!!

I feel mildly bad just posting the unepic outfit of missionary travel but we need all the prayers we can get so I am still linking with What I Wore Sunday asking for prayers from all you lovely ladies (and gentlemen) as we leave to spend a week in Haiti serving the Lord.

If you want more information about the place we are going you can check it out at the MWTS: Mission Haiti website.  And please come back in a week to see pictures and hear stories from what I am confident will be a very blessed trip.   Until then, prayers are appreciated!

Friday, March 8, 2013

7QT: I'm Going to Haiti! (Vol. 10)

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Breathe. I am leaving for Haiti on Sunday!! I have been planning on this for so long and now it is actually almost here.
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I am so excited that I will be here. 
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And be hanging out with these kids.
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We are bringing down all these donations plus some more that are still streaming in.
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I have been wearing my Chacos around the house so I don't forget what my feet look like. 
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This is going to be my view for the next week. Pinch me now.
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You will just have to come around this part of the blogsphere again to see pictures and hear stories about this trip.  

P.S. Sorry about the funky font and weird spaces but I don't how to fix it and I am making dinner for my mission team so I need to get cracking!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Five Favorites (Vol. 1)

If you have been around this blog before you know that I love me a linky.  When I stumbled around to Hallie's linky for her Five Favorites joining was a must.

So I present to you, my top five favorites, any of which could change at any point.


I am loving this nail polish I found on the clearance end cap at Target.  Not only do I love the color but it has stayed on for 4 days, including two clinical days with lots of hand washing, with minimal sign of wear.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is a win-win. 

Snow.  I know you would think that with spring inching around the corner I would be sick of the white stuff but actually I kind of fancy when it snows lots in winter. Especially this winter when it hasn't been a whole lot of inconveniencing snow but pretty dusting, mild accumulation snow.  

This may seem weird but another current favorite I have is socks.  The above mentioned snow requires boots and thus socks.  I haven't had a winter in a long time that I wore so many socks and boots and so little Toms and  flats.  I had almost forgot how great socks are. 
Coffee and Tea.  This is in no way a new favorite but more such a a constant fav that it deserves to be mentioned all the time. 

So speaking of tea, have you tried this kind?

I think it is the cat's meow, or maybe that is the catnip in it that is making me say that.  Yes catnip is one of the ingredients and I am not sure how I feel about that but I do know it is mighty delicious. 


I really liked the book I just finished and blogged about HERE.  Go check it out.

Well there you go, five current favorites.  Interested to see what other people are faving. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Sisters the Saints

Well, second book done.  Remember that one time when I said I was going to read 13 books in 2013?  Well I am obviously off to a great start.  It is March and I have only finished two books.  However, in my defense it is the beginning of March and I have made major dents in other books, I just haven't finished them yet.

Anywho, I would highly recommend this book.  As a spiritual memoir, I really enjoy that it reads like a fiction but still sprinkles in some learning about the saints.  In My Sisters the Saints, Colleen combines her young years during which she shifts through her life to discover what is most important to her, her dad's diagnosis and subsequent life with Alzheimer and her husband's and her struggle with years of infertility.   Yet through all this, she clings to the saints as a source of strength and her faith is a a place of steady ground for her.  A great read that I would recommend.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What I Wore Sunday (Vol. 13)

So I really wish I would have taken a picture of what I had on yesterday because I felt great in it.  It included this dress that I just got for $13 from Old Navy.  I will just have to show it to you another day!

So the ground has some accumulation of snow, my parent's are on their way down to visit, and I am spending some time enjoying the Lord's day this morning.

This outfit is nothing exciting and you have seen every part of it.  That is just what happens when a season winds down and everything has been tried in every combination.  My winter clothes are ready to take a break and the spring skirts are itching to come out.

The tired winter outfit....

Dress:  Wine colored wrap dress from Old Navy
Cardigan:  Target classic
Scarf:  Target, gift from one of my best friends last Christmas
Shoes:  the $30 ones from Target

Can't wait to see what everyone else is wearing!