Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Most Popular Posts of 2014

With 2014 coming to an end I wanted to take a look at the most popular posts of 2014, the posts from this past year with the most views.  Some surprise me, others not so much.

Let's get started.

#1: By a landslide the most viewed post of 2014 was Sleeping with Men.  It makes me wonder what people were searching when they stumbled upon this post but I can only hope and pray that one of those views maybe softened a heart, if only a little bit.

#2: The second most viewed post was Let's Talk Oils. This post prompted future posts about essential oils. People are interested in what essentials oils are all about and I am happy to write about my wonderful experience.  Bonus is that I think the pictures in the post are stunning.

#3:  It is not surprising that a Not Alone Series made it into the top five because four made it into the top ten.  However the most viewed Not Alone Series post this year was NAS: "Guess who's engaged?!".  Although not nearly as popular I also had a NAS: "Guess who's engaged?!--Part 2.  I just reread the original post and I didn't realize past me was writing for present me.

#4: We all know I am a link-up junky but who knew that a link up I only linked up to twice (say that three times fast) would make it into my top five most popular posts of 2014.  Back in June I talked about land lines, mushrooms, books, advice, physical challenges, and messages.

#5:  Finally, my fifth post popular post in 2014 was about Regina Angelorum: 20 Years of Sisterhood.  Thank you for celebrating sisterhood with me.  That weekend was such a blessing for me and I am so thankful for our covenant, our prayer, and Our Lady.

Thanks for taking a look at the most popular posts of 2014 with me. I am excited to see what 2015 holds.
 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Why I Hate Going Home

As soon as I breeze through the toll booth with my EZ-pass and turn off the freeway everything becomes familiar and I know it is less than 30 minutes to my parents' house.  I have gone this way many times, the same way I would come home from college.  I pass where my dad gets on the highway to go to work, my chiropractor, my hairdresser, and the road that goes to my Church.  I drive another 5 minutes and I turn onto my road.  My heart already hurts.  I love seeing my family, my dogs, and my goddaughter.  I enjoy lounging on the large couch in front of the fireplace,  the free laundry, and the double vanity sink.  However, sometimes this is over shadowed by my lack of trust and understanding.

I want to be living my life here.  Don't get me wrong, I know I am where I am supposed to be and doing what I am supposed to be doing.  I am working my dream job, witnessing multiples babies born each week and helping women become a mother to a new a little one.  I live in my own apartment and my own group of friends and activities.  I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be.  I don't think I would know how much I love home if I wasn't spending a period of time away from it. However, that doesn't change the fact that when I am home I wish His plan was for me to be here, now.  I hope and pray that in the future I am raising my family not too far from where I grew up but for now I have to fall into the trust that I am exactly where He wants me to be.  Do you see the tension between what you want and what you know is right.  Between your heart's desires and His desires.  I continue to pray, continue to trust, and continue to thrive where I am planted.  
 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Friday, December 26, 2014

Empty and Encounter.

My word for 2014 was empty.  And to be completely honest with you I had to look back to even remember what my word was.  Of course my kind of photographic memory shower me exactly what the word looked like but didn't let me actually see the word.  Just because I didn't remember the word doesn't mean that I suprisingly and not so suprisingly recognize the ways the Lord has allowed that word to work in my life this year.  Graduating and starting life in a new city I could recognize just how empty I was and just how much I need the Lord to fill me.  Having had to make a handful of big decisions this past year I have had to empty myself of my own stress and emotions in order to be filled by his grace to make a decision.  Still looking back to the first half of the year before I graduated and while I was still at Franciscan again over and over again the Lord emptied me of my myself so that I could be filled with him.

After some prayer the Lord quickly whispered that the word for this coming this year was encounter.  I don't know yet what the Lord's plan is for my coming year but I want to truly encounter all the people in my life-my patients, co-workers, friends and family.  I am excited for whatever adventures the Lord has planned for me in 2015.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chatty Blog

I am currently sitting in the nursery of the twin boys I nanny three days a week and just wanted to do a little chatty blog to say hi.  Apparently this blog doesn't fit really well in my current life as evidenced by lack of posts but I am not ready to give it up yet, I still tremendesly value the community especially the people who comment on my posts and start a dialogue with me.  I just have to figure out what this blog's place is in my new life.  

I do want to say I have plans to review my goals for 2014 and do a little tweaking for 2015.  I am in desperate need of updating my book list.  I also want to announce my word for 2015 and look back a little bit at my word for 2014. A bitty apartment tour is also a must.  Beyond that please please comment below and let me know anything else you are dying to know about my life, my job, my faith anything and I would love to answer you.  

Please don't hesitate to comment and bear with me while I find my blog stride.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

We seek the Beautiful.

There are three Churches that I go to Mass at here in Pittsburgh.

One I can walk to in about 3 minutes but I am the youngest person there by at least a half a century.

Another has super convenient Mass times, especially when I work on Sundays and has 24 hour Adoration. It is a small simply cozy Church that feels like it is giving you a hug when you are in it.

The last, is the Cathedral.  A grand beautiful Church with endless art just waiting to be appreciated.  I gravitate towards this Church with its large doors and majestic tabernacle.  A backdrop to Mass that is beautiful.  There is something in all of us that seeks beauty.  We enjoy a sunset, place things in our home just so, and twirl in a beautiful dress. Our God is a great God and it is so right and fighting to build and maintain beautiful Churches to foster our parish communities in.  This advent, seek the beauty to find God in.  Marvel and relish in quiet stillness at the beauty of the babe in the manager.

 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Two months.

Well it has officially been two months since I moved to Pittsburgh and started my job and what an adventure it has been.  Somedays it feels like I have lived here for years and others like I just moved here yesterday.  Moving and starting this job has come with its own set of ups and downs.  Somedays I am filled with anxiety and question what the heck I am doing.  Other days I can find peace and confidence knowing I am where the Lord wants me to be.

City living has it's benefits--everything is close and opportunities for community and daily Mass is abundant.  However the traffic and lack of parking wears me thin some days.

My job is crazy....so.many.babies.  They say you learn more in the first four months as an RN than you did in four years of nursing school and based on these first two months I think I can agree.  It is hard to even imagine how clueless, unorganized, and unconfident I was two months ago.

And did I mention that I picked up a second job.  Yeah crazy I know.  I nanny three month old twins three nights a week for a total of 15 hours.  So many babies.  Some days I talk to babies more than I talk to adults.  

I am adjusting.  Life is crazy.  I am working on my personal relationship with Jesus through all of this.  I am learning what this big kid adventure is all about. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NAS: Thankful

It is late November and many a turkeys are defrosting.  What more could you expect than a little thankful post. I realize I am really bad at verbalizing, and honestly realizing what I am thankful for.  That needs to change.  Let it begin with a classic thankful post Thanksgiving week hosted @

I am thankful that I am basically living my dream.  I earn a paycheck working in OB services.  Just last week I got to watch four babies take their first breath.  Some days I literally stand in the middle of the newborn nursery with 15 or so babies around me and I realize how much I have what so many people want.

I am thankful that I have second job helping take care of 3 month old twin boys.  I sit for 5 hours three days a week feeding, changing, and holding these boys.  It may mean for some late nights but I am very blessed.

I am so thankful for the authentic friendships that fill my life.  People who I can enjoy being around.  Individuals who are joining me on my journey to heaven.

I am thankful during these cold months for cozy blankets, warm pajamas and radiators.

I am thankful for days off when I can relax and rejuvinate.

Coffee.  Always thankful.

I am thankful for the scripture that begins my day.  The very Word of God that sets me on the right track and grounds me.

I am thankful for yummy food, fresh laundry, a drink after a long day(s), texts from friends, Netflix and all the little delights that make life sweeter.

I am thankful for hope and joy.  Virtues that keep me going.  Virtues that cause me to rejoice and to also seek more.

Above all I am thankful for my personal relationship with Jesus.  Call me cheesy but I am thankful for that I know a God who loves me.
 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week in My Life

Well over at Team Whitaker, Kathryn is hosting a #weekinmylife link up and being the nosy-in-other-people's-daily-extraordinary-ordinary lives I was happy to join the party.  Technically you were supposed to do a post a day for the week but all these busy moms are showing me up.  In the meantime this single lady who just works a 40 work week is going to do one lump post.

Before I jump into Monday lets back up a bit.  I worked Friday night from 7p-3a, drove to Cleveland and got to my parents house about 5am and slept until 9ish, woke up and got ready for a 11 o'clock wedding.  The wedding was a beautiful extraordinary form Latin High Mass.  After Mass, I grabbed lunch with my parents, we went back and slept for two hours and then moved over to cocktails and appetizers at about 5:30.  That night I slept at my parents house but had to for leave at 8am in order to work from 11a-7p.  I got off work about 7:30 and went to adoration before Mass at 9.  I tell you all this because I went into my Monday running on a less than ideal amount of sleep.

#livingmyfiat The Bride and I.  Made all the sleepiness worth it.
So Monday.  As part of my job we have class every Monday.  On this Monday I had class from 8-4:30.  We learned about the hospital's Pitocin protocol, video conferenced in the for the systemwide Ebola meeting, and learned a bit about epidurals from the chief of anesthesia.  I can't even remember what I had for dinner on Monday but I am sure I crashed pretty hard.

When I was eating my morning breakfast and reading scripture I noticed this and laughed.  Life as a Catholic nurse. Spread the Gospel not communicable diseases.  
Tuesday I worked 7-3.  I wish I could tell you lots about my job but, well, HIPPA.  I can tell you I had some of my favorite patients and the day went well.  I paid my credit card, set up my student loan payments and sent some money to NET ministries so I remember feeling like I just spent a whole lot of money.

I also had dinner with two of my friends from work.  You want to hear this crazy.  The first two girls I met at my job were friends in high school with my roommate from last year!  It is such a small small world.  We want to periodically go out to dinner and try restaurants that none of us have been to.  It was an enjoyable evening venting and sharing our jobs.  As a bonus we found a restaurant with some great fries!

Wednesday wasn't all that different expect I know I made pasta and garlic bread for dinner and that I went to bed about 8:30.  When I was falling asleep at 8 I just gave up.

I posted this on the 'gram asking how many of these my fellow nurses eat.  I found out that I am pretty sure the nurses eat more of these than the patients do.  

Wednesday was also the three year anniversary of me intenting to my household.  This is the actual day three years ago.  What a crazy adventure and blessing it has been.  I love people's reactions.  

Thursday was my first of two days off.  Ahh deep breath.  Because I went to bed so early I woke up about 6:30.  Still sleeping in compared to my usual 5am wake-up.  I started the morning with some french press coffee and pumpkin pancakes from Trader Joe's.  I putzed around on the computer before I finally convinced myself to work out.

Putzing and crocheting
My working out wasn't my normal run, but Soul Core Yoga.  I will do a full review once I do it a few more times but already I can tell you it will be a rave.  Want to combine prayer and exercise in a very really, concrete way?  Soul Core Yoga is the answer.  As you are doing various yoga poses the leader also guides you through praying the rosary. In addition, the work out is perfect-challenging without being impossible.  Right now I only have only bought the Luminous mysteries but I will be buying other mysteries!

Shower followed before I walked to Mass.  Once again I was probably the youngest person there by at least half a century.  Came back home and made myself a lunch of an egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich.  Next I went to Target to look for a garmet rack that they said they only sold in online but with nothing else to do why not make a trip to Target.  They in fact only sell it online but I did come out of the store with two tunics that I think will get tons of use this winter, a Minnie Mouse costume for my Goddaughter, and some Christmas gifts.  I get to check out and realized I left my wallet on the couch.  The very kind cashier suspends my order, I run home and grab my wallet (of course there is construction) and come back.  The only reason I only actually went through all that trouble was because I still had two more stops (and lets be honest I really liked my purchases).  Next up was Trader Joe's to grab some yummies and pick up some produce for my bro.  Finally I had to go pick up stuff for the Color Run.  Unfortunately I signed up for it before I knew my work schedule and I am working the day of the run but I wanted to pick it up because I still might sell it or at least I get a free t-shirt out of it.   The idiot I am didn't know the pick-up location was on the other side of the tunnel so I sat in the beginning of rush hour traffic.  At least it gave me an opportunity for patience.

I got home, made hamburgers, laid around and watched Gilmore Girls before I went to bed.  I would call that a successful day off. 

Now you want a donut.....sorry. 

Friday morning after getting confused about what time it was I headed to Steubenville, an hour later than I had planned due to said confusion but hey we roll with the punches.  I had already enjoyed a delicious donut at the donut shop I had finally tried out down the street.  After noon Mass at Franciscan I had lunch with a friend and spent the afternoon at the house of the family who I babysat since I was a freshman in college.  I had missed them so and it is always crazy to see how much all the kids have grown.

After dinner, I headed back onto campus for a talk by one of my graduated household sisters about porn and the overwhelming love and mercy of Christ.  She works for the Culture Project (that picture of the two red heads, household sister and household brother, I am a lucky woman) and spends her days traveling to middle schools, high schools and colleges spreading the chastity message.  Before heading back to Pittsburgh, I caught up with another household sister who was in town for a few days.  We lamented and celebrated all the struggles and joys of life on the otherside-after graduating from Franciscan.   How good it is for the soul to spend a day bathed in the richness of genuineness.

Kuddos to all of you who made it to the end of this long winded post.  My weeks can be all over the place but I am blessed to be living the life I have been given, to be living my fiat.

 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NAS: Still have those deal breakers?

We have chatted about our deal breakers/non-negotiables before, but how do you keep from letting your standards fall? What prevents you from just dating any guy out there? What keeps you going?

It is interesting to look at my old post about deal breakers because I wouldn't write it just like that now howeve my desire for heaven has never changed  

So I chatted about my very recent trip to New York City and from that stems my answer to today's prompt.  It is so easy to consider letting your standards fall and dating mediocre guys.  Even guys who are "good Catholic guys" but you just aren't attracted to.  Because sometimes our deep good desire to be desired just wants to be satisfied.  This weekend however I was able to spend time with three of my household brothers.  These are good men striving to grow in their manhood and intimacy with the Lord.  These are guys who already love their wives immensely.  And when I spend time with genuinely good men, I remember just how high my bar is.  I keep seeking and waiting for the man that the Lord desires me to call my husband because I want a man who loves Our Lady, one who longs for the Eucharist, a guy who already hopes for his wife, one who desires to lay down his life for his bride.  That is the man I will marry.  Knowing that those men do in fact exist keep me going.  Knowing that it is that sort of man that will walk hand in hand with me towards heaven keeps my standards high.  

Ladies, keep fighting the good fight of faith.  Stay patient for the man who will love in such a way that reflects the love of Christ for the Church.  Keep seeking for the man who will walk hand in hand with you on your journey toward heaven,  
 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NAS: Makeup Routine

What are your thoughts on wearing make-up? Do you see a tension between a pressure from society and a God-given desire to be and make life beautiful? Is your use of makeup compatible with the idea that God sees you as naturally beautiful?

This past Sunday I was sitting in the car after Mass and I thought to myself "yeah I should have at least put some mascara on today."  

So my make-up "story".  I wear foundation, bronzer, concealer when needed, mascara and subtle eyeshadow most days that aren't summer.  (Because summer is sweaty and makeup is a waste in my book).  I love lipstick and when I start working I plan on wearing it everyday, secretly hoping it will become "my thing".  If I forget to put any makeup on I am fine.  I absolutely do not need it. However, I do enjoy putting it on and wearing it, feeling like it accentuates my femininity.  Because of all of these, I obviously have no problem wearing it and don't feel takes away from knowing that my beauty is deeper and God-given.  

But, I do think ladies have to be careful to not become obsessed with makeup, use it as a mask, or have an anxiety attack when they don't wear it.  I think that stems from poor self-esteem and/or making make up into a God, pick your poison.  And it really is a posion.  Letting make-up have a control in your life is a worse poison than cheap crappy make-up.  Satan wants you to think you need make-up.  The only antidote to this poison is through prayer coming to realize that God sees you as naturally beautiful.  

Now if you want to see exactly what make-up I wear, because I know you all do, you can check out my post from my make-up link up.  And that Arbonne bronzer and mascara are still the bomb diggity. I still wear those eyeshadows from that post however more often I reach for my Naked3 palate-so much pretty!  

 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

I did it again.

She said come surprise me.  I said I happen to have three days off in a row.  Before you knew it I was going to New York City for a weekend.

I was on the phone with one of my dearest friends and she reminded me that this past weekend was Franciscan's fall break so two friends were coming to NYC to visit.  I happened to have three days off in a row and she said I should see if I could come but to surprise her if I could.  Well as it turns out it worked out perfectly to take the overnight Megabus Thursday night and drive back with these friends on Sunday.

I called her when I got on the Megabus and asked if she could pick me up the next morning.  She was freaking out and so excited.  Of course the other people knew I was coming to make sure that someone could pick me up if for some reason she couldn't .

This weekend was exactly what I needed.  Most of the weekend we just hung out.  Went to Mass everyday, made dinner one night, had pizza the next, and walked around Central Park in the rain.  Otherwise we contemplated life and watched lots and lots of cat videos. And of course we had New York bagels every morning.

The classic Everything and cream cheese.  
Going crazy with bacon, egg and cheese on whole wheat everything.  
I needed that hanging out.  I needed to be with other Franciscan students and alumni.  I needed that guy friend time (I work with ALL women).

Genuine joy all around. 
The Lord always knows exactly when we need refreshment and encouragement.  When we need a pat on the back that says keep fighting the good fight.  I feel energized and renewed to keep pursuing the Lord passionately.  He is so good to me and never out done in generosity.

This wasn't the first time and I am confident it won't be the last time you hear about my NYC adventures.  Because as long as one of my best friends lives in that city I will continue to be intrigued by the crazy social experiment that is New York.
 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Saturday, October 25, 2014

72 days of #livingmyfiat

So I have been doing this little project-#livingmyfiat-for 30 days.  Have you been following along? So what have I learned from this?

"A high pony fixes everything"
This project wasn't supposed to be just some artsy pictures on my 'gram but also about purposely living life where The Lord has put me right now.

"Lategram of quiet mornings on the balcony"
First, of all I have realized that when I was home I pretty much spend all my time with kids.  In fact I don't think more than a day went by when I was not with kids.  I have also realized how little I am thinking and praying about my life being a living fiat.  I am quick just to go about my day taking one step after another.  However I hope and pray that even though I may not always be purposeful about it by being rooted in His word my life-actions and words-are in fact pleasing to Him.

"You have to praise the Lord for those mornings when you, the nanny, fundemental in the baby-hand-off-kid-on-the-bus-get-to-work scenario, are running late and so are they so it really doesn't matter."
Some of my posts of been simply daily life.

"Life, I am somewhere on this twist before that turn and I am exactly where I am supposed to be"
Others have been exciting announcements.

"Exciting announcement.  Yesterday I accepted a position as an OB nurse at Magee Hospital in Pittsburgh!  I am blessing beyond belief!"
And I have skipped a few days because I just didn't have anything to post but I haven't done half bad at keeping up with it.

"Cocoa Beanery breakfast before leaving Hershey"
In the end, all I want in life, not just my 24th year of life with this little project of mine, is to say each day "Here I am, the Handmaid of The Lord" and that when all my days are done I will get to heaven and the angels and saints will sing "Welcome, good and faithful servant, Alleluia."

"Calm in the middle of chaos."
If you aren't following along already, please follow me on the 'gram, natnatg3

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saint John Paul II, pray for us.

JP2 in Wadovwce Poland, his hometown
I abandon the blog for what feels like weeks and then do three post in three days. I know, send me to the looney bin.  But when your day off coincides with an awesome feast day you have to celebrate big, by writing a post and making Polish food for dinner.

Blurry but this is the baptismal font that JP2 was baptized in. 
What passionately Catholic 20 something year old doesn't love St. Pope John Paul II?!  He challenged the status quo in a way we all desire too  He was radical in the face of mediocrity, war, and a common settling way of life.  He loved his mama in a profound way.  When he was shot, he truly lived out the Gospel forgiving the gun man.  He wasn't average, he was extraordinary.  He inspired saints. He brought men and women to their knees before the blessed sacrament.  He truly loved.  On his first feast day as saint, we must celebrate!  We must contemplate, how can my life more closely reflect all that this man was.  I can't say the words better than he already has...
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.
It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”
Lord, satisfy me.  Give me the grace to never compromise or settle.  Show me how to be genuine. Stir in my life the desire and strength to do something great, to be radically different.  To live in the world but not of it.  Teach me to be humble and patient.  Saint Pope John Paul II, pray for me and guide me in the path of sainthood.   

 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NAS: Sex

Our culture is obsessed with sex. With anyone! At anytime! If you want to, just do it! But, the Church teaches that sex was created for the context of marriage. Why do you choose to abstain? Why aren't you going around having sex with just anyone? How would you encourage others to do the same? How do you remain strong when everything in our culture is encouraging you to abandon your convictions?

Of course I had to write about this topic.  Who doesn't want to attempt at gracefully writing about such a hot topic.  And the only reason I have a job is because people continue to have sex, just sayin'.

If you look around our culture truly is obsessed with sex.  And for pretty much the first time in my life I am being thrown into a group of people (i.e. most of my coworkers) who don't strive to save it for marriage.  You ask, do I really know?  Unfortunately, people are very open and like to tell large groups of people about their...um..encounters.  I hate having to hear about other peoples choices but that doesn't change my strong conviction that sex was made to occur in the sacrament of marriage.  Not only is that what God and our faith tells us but for a hundred other social, science and emotional reasons it makes sense-children out of wedlock, attachment hormones, STDs, messy break-ups, do you want me to continue?  

Sex reflects the love of the trinity.  That is no small thing.  When I have sex I want it to be with my husband and I want sex to be part of a loving, committed marriage that is welcoming to children-the natural result of sex.  

I don't have alot of experience being the black sheep, but I think I can encourage others saving sex for marriage simply by living my life.  Not talking about the sex I had with my boyfriend this weekend or about my one night stand where the condom broke is radical.  In the little I have learned, I have realized that sometimes other people have the same convictions and it doesn't take long for them to pick up on that.  And than in that mutual conviction you can be an encouragement.  In our current sex obsessed world, waiting for marriage can be alienating.  By realizing someone else is fighting the good fight with you there is comradery and encouragement. 

Well there you have it.  Wow, I can't believe a just sprayed on the internet that much about sex.  Did I handle the s-e-x convo with enough grace and flare? And if you are married, keep having that sex, I like having a job. 

Head on over to Jen's blog @ Jumping in Puddles to read more about sex.    

 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Monday, October 20, 2014

Life as I know it.

Jen @ Jumping in Puddles casually suggested I write this post after I lamented a little via texting and then I laughed when she wrote a very similar post.

Life is harder than I expected.  Sometimes it is stressful for me to be living in an urban environment.  I miss my family and all the little munchkins I surround myself with in Cleveland.  I am not anywhere close to being competent in my job and that can be super overwhelming.  I sometimes get really bored because I don't have a great friend group here yet.  Going from the comfort of Franciscan to the real world can be overwhelming and it reminds me just how worldly most of the world is. Parking.

However there are good things.  There is a great little core of a young adult group that I am already getting more comfortable with.  The University of Pittsburgh has this great little Church that has a great 5:15 daily Mass.  I can walk lots of places.  My job is an amazing opportunity for my career.  There is two girls in particular in my fellowship program that I share similar beliefs and lifestyles with.

Today at Mass the priest spoke about trusting our life to the divine.  I felt like the priest was looking right at me.  I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and need each and every day to lay my life in the hands of the Lord.  He has me here for a reason and all I need to say is, "here I am the Handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your will."
 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Big Kid Adventures-Extreme edition!

Well let's see.  I moved on Sunday.  My PA RN license, miracles of miracles came through Monday morning.  Bought matress delivery on Saturday.  UPMC orientation Monday afternoon.  Magee orientation Tuesday.  Bought ikea beautiful dresser.  Got lucky finding a as-is couch that hadn't even been priced yet   even though I didn't intend to buy a couch that day. Both to be delivered on Saturday.  Wednesday OB fellowship stuff continues.  Wow my life is moving at lightening speed.  The big furniture purchases just make it seem all the more huge.  I know life will slow down soon but right now it is like "is this really my life?!". Do I really live in the city working my dream first job?  Did I really just buy a new couch?  Yeah, yeah I did.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

NAS: Our Lady

October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary, so we wanted to honor Mary and reflect on her help during this time of singleness. How have you called on her intercession before? What is your relationship with our Blessed Mother like? If you don't know much about Mary or the Rosary, is there something keeping you from getting to know her?

Hi, welcome to my blog, have you noticed I kind-of love Our Lady.  I have written a few other posts about her here but also obviously my blog is named after the words of Our Lady of the Annunciation.

It is hard for me to even describe my relationship with Our Lady because it is like describing swallowing or breathing. Spring of 2010 I consecrated myself to Our Lady and it was in fact a life changer.   Mary is my ultimate female role model and who I aspire to be more like.  She is who helps me to know and love her Son.  She shows me perfect femininity.  Her virtues give me a guide. Her gentleness and heroism inspires me. Each day I ask for my heart to become more like her most Immaculate Heart and I am never disappointed.  I am confident one day her interceding will continue when I become a wife and mother guiding me in being selfless, loving, and patient.

I wish I could say that I prayed the rosary every day but I just don't.  I want to but I don't.  I don't have any good excuse because I know that the rosary is the most powerful weapon we have.  I need to not just be disappointed in myself for my lack of rosary praying but make a change and start by getting in the habit of praying a decade everyday.

If you don't know Our Lady, get to know her.  Of course I would suggest starting with chapter one of Luke.  Read the Annunciation and also the Visitation.  Let her show you her son when it was only her, with Jesus in her womb, that knew him.  Soak up as much material about her as possible.  In college, I took a whole semester on Mariology and learned that my love was only scratching the surface of how much I should know and lover her.  Consecrate yourself to Our Lady.  As St. Louis de Mondefort said "The Blessed Mother...is the safest, easiest, shortest and most perfect way of approaching Jesus."

Please if you have any questions about consecration don't be afraid to ask me and I can guide you to the answers.


Also FYI update for any of my regular readers, my PA RN license came through in the final half hour Monday morning so I am heading into my second day of orientation today.  Ekkk.  There is still some kinks to be worked out because I was officially hired into the system so last minute but I am an OB nurse!  So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers because it is only because of the power of prayer that this is all happening.
 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Thursday, October 2, 2014

#nannylife Day in the Life

So I am moving really soon and starting my new job as an RN but I have been meaning to do a nanny day day in the life so I say better late than never.  I really enjoy reading days in the life because I like everyday life blog posts so I present to you what I like.  

6:33 Wake Up.  I ran yesterday afternoon and thus showered so didn't need to shower this morning, earning me another press of the snooze button. I think people's snooze habits says a lot about them.   I always snooze once and sometimes one more.

I leave promptly at 7:20 but enjoy having time to drink coffee, pray morning prayer and not rush.  I used butts of breads I have been putting in the freezer and made crockpot French toast overnight, so breakfast is served. 

 Our cleaning ladies were coming on this particular day so my dad and I finished tidying up.  Honestly, sometimes the forced tidying has more of an impact than the ladies' sweeping, dusting and scrubbing have.  Therefore, double win for half the work.  

7:20 I leave for work.  I have to leave by 7:20 otherwise traffic picks up just enough that it takes longer than the 35 minutes.

7:55 I arrive at work.  Obviously I am kindof important in the get to work and school sequence.  It is raining so the mom takes the girl to the bus stop rather than us walking.  

I feed the baby.  He puts up a fight.  He is starting to refuse the baby food.  Personally I am a fan of baby led weaning so I can't say I blame him.  

9:00 We go for an hour walk a majority of mornings but this morning it is raining so the walk will have to wait.  He normally brings me our shoes as soon as I take him out of his chair, that his how much of a routine this is.  He must know it is raining because he is perfectly content playing.  He LOVES reading books so I read many a books multiple times.  

10:45 Down for a nap.  Normally I turn on ABC family, pause it and read for about a half hour and then watch Gilmore Girls.  Today I had the unfortunate pleasure of call the PA State Board of Nursing and told may get my license in time but is guaranteed by three days past my start day.  Call the hospital and find out that won't do even though the first two days are orientation. Begin to storm heaven and realize this is that intention St.  Therese has been having me pray for but can't put to words.  Trust that I will get it in time but still have that worry.  After that hoopla, no reading just Gilmore Girls. 

1:15 Babe wakes up but screaming so we cuddle and watch some Royal Pains. I have learned if he wakes up happy he is ready to go, if he wakes up screaming he needs some cuddles.  

1:45 Lunch for the babe.  I feed him the food straight from the squeezy containers and it seems to work.  Whatever makes you happy babe. 

2:00 Back to playing 

3:00 Let's go outside and play a bit

3:15 Big sis gets off the big yellow school bus at the bus stop.  Walk back to the house and the babe gets a bottle.  

The next hour is a whirl of big bro gets dropped off, big sis' friend comes to play, empty dishwasher and more playing.  

4:30 Their mom gets home and I head out.  

I stop at Gabriel Brother's to look for scrubs, no such luck.  

5:15 Arrive home.  Dad just put Greek chicken and rice in the oven.  My mom is still laid out on the couch most days so the days are filled with Grey's Anatomy marathons.  I am not complaining 

6:00 Yum, yum dinner 

I pretty much spend the rest of the night watching Grey's Anatomy with my mom and head to bed about 10:45.  I read for a bit and pray the St. Therese novena.  Like most days, I am exhausted and quickly turn off the nights and go to sleep.

Well there you go that is a pretty typical #nannylife day in the life.  I am really going to miss working for this family, I have spent countless hours with them over the past two years and the babe and I have really become buds. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

9 Days Later

I know I am not a regularly scheduled blogger but I try to at least blog once or twice a week but that just eluded me these past nine days with no real excuses.

So if any of you don't follow me on the 'gram or Facebook the big news in my life is that I got a job!!  Starting in October I will be working as an OB Nurse as part of a Fellowship at Magee Hospital in Pittsburgh.  Pinch me.  I can't believe I actually got my dream job.  I am ready to get scrubs on and get to work.  I plan on keeping a tally of the babies I witness enter this world which will be awesome.

With this job comes a move.  It is bittersweet to move.  I am excited to get settled in my big girl apartment and my new schedule but sad to leave home, my parents, my nannying job, and my friends up here.  Thankfully I am extremely confident that this move is one that the Lord has unmistakably guided me to. It may be bittersweet but it is filled with complete confidence in His will.

If you do follow me on the 'gram you know my mom recently had her other knee replaced.  She is recovering but there has been a few bumps in the road so any prayers for her would be greatly appreciated.

I think there will be alot of exciting blog posts coming up including some RN new grad interview tips, posts about moving and the new apartment and maybe even a few surprises.  For now, the next two weeks will be filled with nannying, packing, a trip down to Pittsburgh for a physical and fingerprinting, and a few appointments up here.  I have loved having all of you readers along for my journey through college and I am excited to continue this journey with you as I move, start my job and continue giving my daily fiat.
 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Chivalry should not become a lost art and we, as women, ought to step up to the plate a bit more and encourage men to treat us as women, thereby respecting them as men. Do you have tips, ideas, or stories to encourage men to be... men?! Open doors for us, initiate dates, honor us as women, etc? Let's chat!

So I would be lying if I didn't say I have been completely spoiled by men being gentleman.  At Franciscan, it is the norm and from the day guys step on campus they are positive peer pressured into being chivalrous.  Doors are always held open for women and seats always given up.  I even had a friend who would always open the car door for ladies who got in his car,  he is defiantly a man among men.  

So besides being spoiled I have three points I want to make.

First of all we need to encourage men.  Men take a beating in our society-they are stepped on, weakened, and emasculated.  We as women have no idea how much power we have to encourage them.  Simply just looking a guy in the eye who is holding a door open for you and giving a genuine thank you to telling a guy in your life how much you appreciate him (whether he is your sweetie or not).  If their are men in your life who are striving in holiness and chivalry tell them you notice in whatever way works.  I know guys in my life, mostly my household brothers, I will be quick to tell thank you for caring about me, thank you for praying for me, thanking you for fighting for me and I see the glimmer in their eyes.  (I cannot even tell you how amazing my household brothers are, I know they are always interceding and fighting for my sisters and I.  Just writing this makes my heart explode for them.)      

Secondly, we need to be ladies that encourage manliness by being feminine.  I firmly believe that we can help men become strong men simply by being ladies.  Being a woman of God is powerful stuff that inspires men.  Just ask them.  Ladies, you really don't know how powerful you are.  Men are in awe of us.  They are born with a desire to serve, respect, and protect us that the devil and the world tries to rip away from them.  Be a lady that makes them want to be a man.  Often when I am praying over a guy, I simply ask the Holy Spirit to use my womanly heart to flow grace through and cause him to be on fire for His Church and overflowing with love because I know what a powerful force my womanly heart is.  You are powerful, understand that and embrace it.

Finally, straight up demand chivalry.  Up until now I have been talking about men in your life in general-friends, "potentials", boyfriends, fiances, hubbies, dads, brothers, priests.  Now this one is directed to boyfriends, fiances, and hubbies.  If you want him to open doors for you, you can tell him that and don't walk through another door without him opening it for you.  Decide what is important while you are dating and demand it because you know you deserve it.

Ladies, we are powerful.  Knowing our strength we need to encourage men.  We need to be women that give guys a reason to be a man.  Rest in prayer, ask Our Lady to make your heart more like her Immaculate Heart and meditate on Proverbs 31.      

Update: Looked what popped up on my 'gram today.  Can I get an amen!!

 photo handmaidsignature_zps78343ea1.png