Sunday, June 30, 2013

WIWS (Vol. 24)

Back again for another week of What I Wore Sunday with the lovely FLAP ladies!

So I actually attended my obligatory Sunday Mass yesterday as I spoke at a parish (that is actual at two different Churches due to clustering and priest needs) to promote the Fest but I forgot to get an outfit post--just imagine dazzling smile, grey jersey skirt, great legs, teal lace top tied together with a perfectly placed brown belt...or something like that.  However, I did want to tell a quick little glory story.

After lazing around most of the day Saturday I wasn't exactly excited to get dressed up and speak after these two Masses especially since I knew these parishes had more of an elderly population but of course I did it anyway.   It was a beautiful drive out there because the parishes are about a half hour deeper into the country and in the middle of gorgeous Amish country.  But the real glory comes after the second Mass of the night.  I was chatting with people as they left Church and handing out flyers.  At the tail end was a couple with a wife who had oxygen, a walker and I overheard has been battling cancer for over a decade.  The husband told me I was a great speaker and I gave my standard, "Thank you, I took two years of competitive speech in high school so that helps."  He asked me where I went to high school and low and behold he taught there for a few years and some of his fellow teachers then are still their now.  The conversation continued and we talked about Franciscan University, Catholic education, Our Lady and her consistent message, and found out that they know my brother because they are on the board at the shrine where my brother did is Eagle Scout project.    It is a small world after all.  I pulled out of that parking lot feeling refreshed and glorifying God.  I know it is my duty to show the world that their still are young people alive and passionate about their faith and give hope to the Church.  Last night, I was alive and passionate and was completely blessed by this couple.  So if you can today, pray for Mike and Susan.

Today, Sunday, I spoke again at each of these Churches for their Sunday morning Mass.  Now today I did remember the outfit picture.  Seems kinda weird though to flash up a picture of myself after that glory story but I guess it is What I Wore Sunday.

The Details:
Skirt: Target
Top:  Dress Barn but I got it out of the free mission bin at the end of this past school year, score!
Shoes:  My favorites this summer from Payless
Scapular:  Been around the world a bit and soon to fall apart.

And I can't write another post without mentioning Xan and his hope to get a million fans.  I have mentioned Xan and his family here before.  Until they recently moved from Steubenville to the Ronald McDonald house in Pittsburgh, many girls in my household would give so much of their time and energy to this family.  I know I have been personally blessed by this family chatting with Jen, helping give Xan a bath, helping out with their laundry and playing with the boys.  Xan has a degenerative neurological disease that most likely involves a grim outcome.  His story has caught like wildfire over the past few days and his Xan Fan facebook likes have gone from a measly 500 to an extraordinary 109,000!!  Be a part of it and head on over to Facebook and become a Xan Fan yourself.  Here is the video that sparked the fire, I would have tissues available just to warn you. 

Now I am un-embarrassingly giving a plea because I am desperate!  So you can't follow my blog on bloglovin' because of some sort of RSS issue.  I have contacted blog lovin' and you can't contact blogger or feedburner.  I feel like I have tried everything my little nursing brain can and get so so so so frustrated at this point everytime I try.  I am begging you if you, your husband, little brother, boyfriend, if anyone can help me out, I need it, bad.  Please save me from going bald by pulling out all my hair.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Not Alone Series: What I Love About Being Single

Joining up on the dear Jen's blog for this week's topic of "What I Love About Being Single".  Something meant to be a little bit more light and fun compared to the heavier, yet important, topics of discernment, prayer and the like.

Now understand that being married and being a mother go hand in hand for me.  I hear my Christian Marriage professor cheering as I type this.  All those lectures that included phrases such as "marriage is unitive AND procreative" are shining through.

My first thought that comes to my mind when considering this topic is sleeping in.  Everytime I sleep in (for a nursing student, 8) or lay in my bed just a little while longer reading a book I soak it all in for all my mommy friends out there who have to get up with the first cries, sludge downstairs and produce some sort of breakfast and then settle in with their coffee while young-ins run wild.

Next, is my body being completely and totally mine.  No husband, pregnancies, or nurslings.  Nothing more needs to be said. 

Thirdly, my favorite thing about being single is quiet time.  I have many hours a day, with it being summer, where I don't have to feel guilty sitting on my butt watching another episode of Grey's Anatomy.  In fact, that is what summer is all about, you know the lazy hazy days of summer.

Lastly, and probably most closely correlated with the original intention of this topic, my favorite thing about being single is not having to consult anyone with my decisions and how I spend my time.  Where do I want to move after I graduate?  My decision.  What do I want to do this weekend?  My decision.  I don't have to consider a boyfriend or husband.

Now don't get me wrong, when a man comes trotting into my life I will happily give all this up (ok maybe begrudginly the sleeping in) but for now I enjoy these simple joys that come with being single.  I trust in the Lord that these days will not last forever but until then let's sleep in, laz around, and make a few decisions all on our own.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

WIWS (Vol. 23)

So happy to be back again with the FLAP ladies for What I Wore Sunday.

For the rest of the summer, posts will be later in the day or not at all due to my commitment of speaking at a different parish each weekend in the Diocese of Cleveland promoting the FEST-a totally free Catholic music festival.

Today I was close to home at the parish my mom works at and I received my baptism and First Holy Communion.  It is a hot day so I didn't want any extra layers or sweaters to slow me down.

I love this skirt but cannot figure out a good way to wear it in the warmer months.  I have visions of sweaters and boots for the fall but for the summer I am out on what I should wear on top. Any suggestions?

The details:
Skirt: T.J. Maxx
Top:  Brown, cotton, blaba blahba
Shoes:  Payless, 19.99, all the rage
Bracelet:  made by yours truly in fashion class in high school, yeap I was that cool

I have put up some book reviews this week and most exciting is that I am getting a new blog design (sound the applause) that should be appearing soon, so get excited with me. (Any suggestions for the design are appreciated in addition to the skirt-top fiasco suggestions.)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Labor of Love

Wait have I mentioned lately that it is summer and I nanny a infant who sleeps half the day so I have lots of time to sink deep into books?  Yeah sorry you might have heard that before.

Anyway, periodically I search my county's library for books related to midwifery, I have loved a few memoir's written by midwife's telling their stories of catching babies and guiding woman through a very special time in their life.  During one of these searches I stumbled upon Labor of Love by Cara Muhlhahn.

For any of you who has seen the documentary The Business of Being Born you will quickly learn that Cara is the New York City midwife that is featured in the movie.  After reading the book I want to watch the movie again.

So my thoughts on the book, mixed.  My major red flags that put a sour taste in my mouth is that she considered getting an abortion and she promotes the use of contraceptives.  I am in no way making this book the end all but it kind-of deterred me from becoming a midwife.  I am realizing that I don't think I can be the midwife I would want to be and have the family life that is even more important to me.  I am currently leaning more towards crieghton practicionar/doula/lactation consultant route but time will tell.

Besides that, the book was enjoyable.  She talks about how her mindset has changed over the years, the time she spent pushing against protocol, and tells tales of pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Not Alone Series: Prayer

Back again for another installment in the Not Alone Series.  This week the link-up is about prayer.  There is so much I could say about this but I am going to keep with what I wish to share with the whole world.

When I first heard the theme prayer my first thought was the Nativity Mystery of the joyful mysteries said on Mondays and Saturdays.  I try to pray for my future husband as often as I remember but I nearly always offer up the third joyful mystery for my future husband.  That he is serving and loving the Lord.  For our family-that we can live in imitation of the Holy Family.  That we can be a faithful couple and love each other more each day than we did the day before.  That he can be a God fearing father when God willing we are blessed with children.  Each time my hands slip over those ten beads I pray for future husband, all of his needs and an increase in virtues.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Language of Flowers

I actually finished this book a week or two ago but I have been reading so much that I can't keep up with the reviews.  I first saw this book on this beautiful woman's blog (who is currently growing TWO babies).  The title didn't catch me but once I read about 50 pages I couldn't stop.

Quick synopsis---The story is about a girl, Victoria, who grew up in the foster care system and has a love for flowers and the things they say- love, patience, devotion.  As the story flows it switches back and forth between her adult life and her life as child in the system.   This being unwanted as a child, of course overflows into her self-worth, or lack there of, in her life as a young woman.  The tale includes twists of love, friendship and even motherhood.

One of the things that most amazed me about this book, besides the ability for the author to seamlessly flow the story from an adult to a child, I still am not sure the time that this story is set in. The book neither talks about modern technology nor about old time things. Instead it was a timeless story that kept me captivated.

Out of all the books I have reviewed here on the bloggity, this is probably the one that I would most recommend to any of my readerrs who care.  I can see why it is a New York Time's best seller.

As always I would love to hear if you have read this book and what you think about it.  And come back there will be more book reviews soon.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Not Alone Series: Discernement

Discernment. The big "D" word.   At Franciscan, I feel like the most common reason a couple breaks up is because one of them needs ton"discern".  We could sit here and debate for hours if this is legitimate or just a soft way to let someone down.  I have my own discernment story that has its own set of ups and downs.

I grew up playing mommy with my baby dolls until I was nearly in sixth grade.   Without too much thought otherwise, I thought of my future as a mom.   Didn't think too much about the husband because that wasn't as much on my mind at that time in my life.  In high school, for legitimate or illegitimate reasons(we will just leave it at that) I started to feel like the Lord was calling me to religious life.  I felt like I was completely going against the grain even thinking about it let alone talking about it. I imagined my life as a religious sister living in a community.

Fast forward a few years and I was a student at Franciscan.   Here it was not only ok but encouraged to discern. And it was very normal to have friends gradute and go into the seminary or enter a community.  I can't even count how many friends I have that are currently pursuing religious life.   The thought of becoming  a sister just sort of faded away and married life scooted in but I still hadn't let religious life go.   I could see my self living joyfully in a community laughing with my sisters and I could see myself cuddled up with my babies after a long day of dishes, laundry, cooking and playing

 One day I was praying in the port and I felt like the Lord was telling me to not be afraid and trust in pursing married life solely.  If the Lord tells you to do something, you do it. That hasn't made everything all wildflowers and lollipops.  I still think about if the Lord is calling me to a community or even single life along with dreaming of my life as a  wife and mother.  Right now I can't tell you I know for sure but if I had to give an answer I would say I trust that in His timing a man will enter my life who will be my husband, love me as I deserve and be the father to our children.  I know that He hasn't shown me that man yet and that I am not called to enter a community right now.  So I wait in the Lord, trusting His perfect plan

Sunday, June 9, 2013

WIWS (Vol. 22)

So who else is singing in their head TayTay's "22" or is it just me?

This weekend has been full, but good full.  Friday I worked during the day and in the evening we had a grad party for a family friend.  Saturday morning I, at the last minute, had to go pick up my grandma and bring her back for my brother's Court of Honor.  That's right my brother now officially has his Eagle pin, even though he finished his project over a year ago and has been an Eagle officially since August.  I had forgotten how good the service is and almost cried when he gave my mom and dad their "Eagle Mom" and "Eagle Dad" pin to recognize that he couldn't have done it without them.  We were able to catch a Saturday evening Mass and then I had to come home to bake and get ready for a wedding shower that was today for one of my best friends whose wedding I am in.  I am just full of busy goodness.

Well now that I have told you enough about a weekend that you might not care too much about....onto the outfits.

Saturday, when I actually went to Mass.

This is me with my grandma and mom, you can't see my outfit but I had on a jean jacket, teal shirt and this awesome skirt (despite being maternity) from Target. I would have loved to get a good outfit picture because it is a courageous area (see below picture) but I thought that might be just a little more awkward than usual.  But the big question, are those earrings too big?

Yes, that is a 75 foot Our Lady of Guadalupe Statue. 

My brother receiving his Eagle pin from my mom and dad. 

So it is What I Wore Sunday, I am doing an upcoming posts on the dresses I bought for the myrid of events I have going on this summer but I will give you a little teaser.  These are all the bridesmaid's and junior bridesmaid's except for one.  I am the one in the blue polka dot dress. 

Come back this week for another post in the "Not Alone Series", a post about the dresses I have bought for wedding season and of course other link-ups. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

7QT (Vol. 15)

So remember that one time I talked about interviewing for a nannying job.  After waiting for nearly two weeks to hear back I got the job.  Throughout the whole summer job looking I prayed that the Lord would show me the job He wanted me to have.  Now mind you I had probably applied to about 40-50 varying summer jobs, about 35 being nannying jobs on  Before I found out I got this particular job I heard back from maybe 3 jobs all being dead ends.  On my first day starting with this family I got calls or emails from nearly 6 jobs.  Some of those jobs paid more and were closer but I had to stay faithful that obviously the Lord wants me to have this job otherwise I would have gotten all those calls before I started with this particular family.  I have however been able to add another family that just needed Fridays, they caught my eye because they wanted a nanny who "shared their Christian values."

Because the three month old I nanny sleeps alot I have had even more time than I already did to read lots and lots of books in case you couldn't tell.  Click on over to read about The Perfect Marriage and another post will be coming soon about The Language of Flowers.

I could not post a single more post without telling you about this song.   This song is AMMMMAAAZZZIINNGG.  I don't know how everyone isn't talking about it.  With lyrics like "Holy Spirit come invade us now, We are Your Church, We need Your power in us", "Show Your mighty hand, Heal our streets and land, Set Your church on fire, Win this nation back, Change the atmosphere, Build Your kingdom here, We pray" and "No force of hell can stop, Your beauty changing hearts, You made us for much more than this, Awake the kingdom seed in us" you can't help but scream with excitement and cry all in the same moment. 

This stuff is fan-freaking-tastic.  I have had this bottle for a while but always forget about it.  Well this week I had this nasty huge zit on my check.  Because I couldn't just leave it alone, it of course got bigger and nastier.  I started putting Vitamin E oil on it and within one day it looks so much better.  I have also been struggling the past few weeks with drier than I would like skin on my face.    I know who struggles with dry skin in the summer.  It was like within 3 weeks I went from "still tends to be oily rather than dry teen skin"  to "adult dry skin".  How does that happen.  I decided to hit it before it knew what was coming and again the Vitamin E oil came out valiant and helped the dryness in just one application.
Did you see my post for the new "Not Alone Series"? Ladies are very excited about it and I am excited to connect with women who are in similar stages of life as me.

Twice this week I have been helping my bride make wedding favors-homemade paper imbedded with wildflowers seeds that are meant to be planted.  By about number 80 we got it down to a science. 
So remember when I mentioned that my family had gone on a hard core diet.  Three weeks later and we are still going strong, I am nearly in disbelief.  Some days are challagenging and many days the choices aren't perfect but we are all at least seeking to continue making more good choices rather than bad.  Either way it isn't too bad that in a little over three weeks I have lost 6.8 pounds.  Hopefully this will continue.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Five Favorites and Grace's Link-up....combined

So Mary over at Passionate Perseverance had the fantabulous idea of combining Hallie's Five Favorites with Grace's favorite post link up, sounds great to me especially considering I just took on a third job (you will just have to come back for Friday's 7QT to hear about that one).

In no particular order I introduce to you......

My 5 Favorite Blog Posts Yet!!


When I thought about my favorite posts, this daybook was the first one that came to mind.  For some reason the "I am creating....memories, YOLO" and the picture that goes along with it I just love. 

Oh and looking back at it again, Haiti planning was in the beginning stages and to think that now the trip has successfully occurred and I have seen all those kids in that picture again, all.through.God's.graces.  


Speaking of Haiti, I love this WIWS post not because of the post but because of the memories.  That picture (hair=mess) was taken and posted fresh from Haiti, waiting in the Florida airport.  My shoulders were still crispy, my heart was overflowing and anything was possibly.  Oh take me back.  


The post I link back to the most has to be this one about Radical Conversion and Passionate Faith. It is a neat package of some of my mindset when it comes to my outlook on the world, prayer, and the Church.  


So I count this one, Love Came Down, because I love the succinct simple, profound words contained in it. And who doesn't love some Merry Christmas, even in June.  


Finally this Mother Theresa quote.  I still haven't finished this book but I love what a comfort this quote is as a young college student.  I could read it over and over again.  

So hopefully I enticed you just enough to go and see some of what I consider gems contained in my little corner of the webosphere. And happy 3 year Grace!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Not Alone Series: Introduction

When Jennifer posted a few weeks ago about the single ladies series Morgan and her were planning, I quickly emailed her wanting to get involved.   I then took a step back and debated if I really did want to get involved.  This was mainly because I am 22, starting my last year of college in August, and don't like to make a big deal about waiting for the Lord's plan to be unveiled, aka the single years (but maybe I should embrace it a little more....hmmm something to ponder).  I have also debated because this isn't a journal, this is a blog that anyone in the world can see and I have to write accordingly.  However I realized what the heck, I can write and hopefully speak to other ladies' hearts who are exactly the same place I am and carefully choose my words so as not to expose all my heart on the world wide web.  So here I go.....

I am a 22 year old  student at Franciscan University of Steubenville. In the fall I will be entering into my fifth and final year of nursing school.  Being the age I am and being at a school like Franciscan I have just a few weddings this summer, I don't know something like s.e.v.e.n.  So with all these weddings and showers, engagements happening all the time and new relationship news also abounding, of course there are days when I feel as though guys fall in love with every girl BUT me.  And then I screw my head on straight, take a deep breath and rest in the Lord's perfect plan for my life.  Because in the end, whether you enter your vocation at 18 or 46, that is what it is all about-seeking the Lord's plan for our life which includes His timing and resting in that.  I don't always have it all together in my head and my heart at the same time but I know the Lord knows even the most intimate desires of my heart.

So was that a satisfactory introduction?  Please read along on this series and check out some of my other posts so that the picture can continue to be painted.   I look forward to being inspired through all you ladies' posts and walking along this road together.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

WIWS (Vol. 21)

joining the FLAP ladies again.  We will start with the light and precede to the heavy.

The Outfit

Hazy but I like the arty look of it...

 What am I afraid my car is going to be stolen or admiring my dad's cut lawn..

Now we are talking....

My Sunday uniform is basically a combo of brown and grey.  The skirt is "mauvy".

Oh and the shoes that are basically brand new that I got from a thrift store this week for $5!


Skirt--old, just this morning I was remembering walking in the heat in this skirt when I lived at Maggie's Place
Tank---ModBod, cannot rave about these enough
Sweater---Target, linky here
Shoes and Belt--Woman's Safe Thrift store and Steubenville Goodwill, respectively

The heavy....
My 19 year old brother has this new "I am not going to Mass" mantra.  My heart is breaking.  We will see if my mom makes him go to the later Mass with her.  Everytime he says it I see Our Lady weeping over this soul not wanting to come to her Son at Mass.  If you could spare a prayer please pray for him.

I offer so many rosaries and novenas for him.  I have so many friends and household sisters prayer for him.  I see it in him that the prayers are working and his heart is being tugged but he is resisting so bad.  I trust that one day he won't be able to resist any longer and he will come running back but until then I beg of you to pray for him.  

"The Perfect Marriage"--Book Review NOT Editorial

I am just flying through books now that summer break is in full force and I couldn't be happier.  I am really adding titles to my 13 books in '13 list.  And I know, 13 books in year for alot of people isn't a big deal but for me it is a little bit of a stretch.

I don't normally just pick books off  the shelf at the library or bookstore but rely on recommendations. (So if you review books on your blog I would love to know.) However I was at the library and browsed a little picking up many titles and reading the backs.  When I picked up this book the summery intrigued me. 

The Perfect Marriage by Kimberla Lawson Roby is about a middle class professional couple who gets stuck in a life of addiction.  Having just finished my psych semester, addiction catches my eye.  The book did not disappoint.  I would not recommend it to teens or kids but as someone who has to know the reality of addiction the story filled my mind as the family struggled with the grips of cocaine and pain killer addition.   The book is a shorter one and I was impressed how the author was able to provide a story with such depth in so few pages.   As every other book I have reviewed on here I would recommend this book.