bobbi: April 2012 Archives


To celebrate the 9th Birthday of the RoL Blog, I am posting flashback posts from the first year of blogging. This was originally posted in 2003 on this day April 28, the feast of St. Louis de Montfort


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Today is the feast day of St. Louis de Montford. Whenever I hear his name I think of my old parish priest and spiritual director Fr. Louis Marx. I met Fr. Marx in my early 20's after my conversion and he was immensely instrumental in my deepening faith and spirituality.

I vividly remember on one New Year's Eve service, I took his advice and made a general confession of all my sins. (And there were plenty from when I was far from God.) I was so ashamed I could barely get the words out in the confessional but he was kind, understanding and gave me the hope I needed to live my life anew. His deep faith and incredible reverence during the Mass spoke volumes without saying a word. I recall his counsel when I considered a religious vocation and just as he thought, it was not my vocation. Later he gave private classes to Brian and me as we prepared for our marriage.

It has been a few years since I've talked to Fr. Marx, having moved after I was married, yet he is still close to my heart. I owe him so much. He has been a true spiritual father to me and I love him like a spiritual daughter. It make me wonder if he knows how much he's touched my life. I think this afternoon I will write him and tell him just that.

Let's all say a prayer of thanksgiving for the wonderful priests in our lives that have made our lives richer and faith more alive!


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To celebrate the 9th Birthday of the RoL Blog, I am posting flashback posts from the first year of blogging. This was originally posted on June 6, 2003. I thought it was appropriate since we were discussing modesty on Tuesday's Book Discussion of Style, Sex, and Substance. (I updated some of the clothes links.)


Modesty: How Do We Find A Balance?


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I was browsing Two Sleepy Mommies blog and Pansy had an interesting commentary on Zoe Romanov's blog about Modesty in dress. The topic of swimwear was discussed and how some kids aren't allowed to swim at all because of lack of modest swimwear. I was thinking about this last week when I had to buy a bathing suit for Bella. I was disgusted. I went to the Kids r Us store and was offended by some of them that seemed more suitable for a Vegas showgirl. However I did find one that was decent looking that even came with a little bathing skirt to attach to it.


However, I think Pansy's little girl was older and didn't fit into her old modest suit. She was looking for non "Laura Ingalls" suits and posted a link for Wholesome Wear Suits and she said she liked the convenience of them (kids jumping in and out of the pool/lake/ocean) as well as the modesty of them.


Personally, I would not buy them but I found some modest swimwear (in my opinion) for girls at Land's End. They usually sell a bathing suit for girls with a built in skirt that is not too low cut.


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You could also pair swim shorts like these


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with a tankini top like this

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or a rash guard/ water shirt.

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Or you can forgo the bathing suit all together and get a hip looking surfboard suit (although maybe that's more normal here in California)


All this talk reminded me of growing up at both ends of the spectrum. When I was younger my parents were not practicing Catholics at the time so modesty was not much of an issue. After their conversion there was a period of "only skirts" type of thinking. Finally we found a happy medium of modesty without being too "extreme".


I think a lot also has to do with attitude. I know a number of home schooling families and one in particular dressed their girls in prairie skirts/dresses but the girls were really flirtatious and boy crazy. They tried to act "hot" regardless of what they were wearing. On the other hand, I see my younger sister who was homeschooled and who's a sweet, wholesome girl in college. She and her friends dress in today's fashions but they always look modest and wholesome without standing out like a sore thumb. Even beyond their clothes you can see their wholesomeness in their demeanor and attitude. They demand respect because they respect themselves.


It reminds me a lot of the interview I did with chastity speaker Crystalina Padilla a couple months ago. She talked about woman respecting themselves before expecting a man to. Hey, on a side note, did you know that she married Jason Evert of Catholic Answers on Saturday!! What an awesome couple! But I digress. Anyway, those are just some thoughts I had about the topic.


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~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~


This week's {pretty, happy, funny, real} is going to be a little different. I wanted to share a few photos from the trip Bella and I took with her class last week. They could be considered in more than one category so I'll just lump them as one big {p,h,f,r} category.


{pretty} {happy} {funny} & {real}

Bella's fourth grade class has been learning about California history. She is working on her Missions project right now, which is special since Bl. Junipero Serra is buried at the Carmel Mission. (Our family parish.) Last week her class took a two day trip to Sacramento and the Gold Country.


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Here is the state capital in Sacramento.

After our stay and tour at the capital, we headed to our camp in Coloma, CA. The surrounding area was so pretty and the camp was situated right along the American River.


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Here are our tent/cabins.


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The view from our deck


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Bella the happy camper. (It was so sweet that throughout the weekend she kept hugging me and thanking me for joining her on the trip. I'm so glad I went!)

We stopped at various places and museums - Sutter's Mill, Sutter's Fort, A Gold Mine, etc.


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Bella and her friends are panning for gold.

One of my favorite visits of our trip was to the California State Railroad Museum. It was amazing! I told Brian we have to go back and bring the boys with us. They would love it.

We learned all about the First Transcontinental Railroad. They actually had the Central Pacific Railroad No. 1 Gov. Stanford, which was Central Pacific's first excursion train in the 1860's.


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This is what is looked like back then.


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And how it looks today refurbished.


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I liked this train just for the female model in coveralls. She rocks it!


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I hope you enjoyed this tiny peek into California. :- )


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**Sharing the triumphs and missteps in my journey towards a healthier physical, emotional and spiritual life.**

For the next few Weigh-in Wednesdays I'll be doing a book study of Hallie Lord's Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter . You can read comments for Chapter 1 here.


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Book Discussion Part 2: Chapter 2 - "Style: Balance, Beauty and You" by Hallie Lord.

When I first saw that this chapter was about style, I immediately thought that I wouldn't get much out of it. After all, I pictured "Ms. Betty Beguiles" to be the epitome of a womanly wife - feminine, flirty (to her hubby, that is!) and godly, all dressed in a cute dress and heels. I think we all have our own little vision in our head of what a "stylish" wife should look like. Maybe we fit the image or maybe, like me, you seem far from it.

My Style (or lack of it) - As I was reading Hallie's chapter the first time around, I couldn't help but think back to how my style has developed over the years. I have always been...what did they call it...big boned...pretty plus...yeah, whatever they called it, I was not wearing the cute little outfits my skinny friends were wearing. As I got older I loved stylish clothes but was very limited to what I could find that fit me well. I think I compensated for it by becoming an expert at accessorizing - jewelry, handbags, shoes. Those things I could find without worrying about size.

Slowly I moved away from that, though, and the other day I was trying to figure out why. In my late teens and early twenties I started exploring more of the world. I grew up very naive and somewhat secluded. I made new friends who had a big influence on me and I fell away from God. My friends were either into dark clothing, tattoos and piercings (long before it became mainstream) or they were into skateboards and punk music. At that point my mode of dress was plaid shorts, converse shoes (or doc martens) and a band t-shirt. My favorite colors were navy blue, army green and brown. (Sounds a little military.) I would have rather died than go out in public in something pink or frilly! That slowly changed (as I mention later) but even after marrying I have always gravitated towards being more tomboy.

When I first started reading Hallie's blog I loved how she embraced her femininity without seeming "prissy." Over the last couple of years, I have finally let go of that more "tomboy" mentality. I still hate wearing dresses or skirts and run from any shoe that has a heel more than ½ an inch but I can now say my favorite colors are red, orange and yellow - bright and happy colors. I like wearing pink and buying things that are less boyish and more "cute." I have definitely been influenced by Hallie and her website Betty Beguiles.com and have learned to better embrace my feminine side.

Okay, enough of my thoughts about Hallie and style in general, now I'll comment on the book.

Conversion and the "New" You - The beginning topic reaffirms what was discussed by Jen in Chapter 1. Speaking of her own conversion and the need to change Hallie says:

"But, of course, giving up our identity isn't what [God] asks of us, is it? Yes, we are called to constant conversion. Yes, we are called to become more Christ-like. But we are not called to jettison our personalities and passions."

Again, God is reminding me that I am my own unique person. Daily conversion doesn't require me to erase who I am; rather, it takes the essence of me and makes it better. It reminds me of a saying that my mom always said, "God loves you just the way you are, but He also loves you too much to leave you that way." The Holy Spirit wants to guide us and mold us into incredible women of God but women of God with our own unique quirks and tastes. I picture it like walking through a garden. Some flowers are stately and regal roses. Some are delicate orchids. Some playful daisies. Some sturdy but cheerful sunflowers. Each flower is different but equally beautiful in its own way.

Does Modesty = Prairie Skirts? - Hallie makes an excellent point in sharing that sometimes we can mistake being "modest" for being "dowdy." I know that when I was younger and my parents came back to the faith and started really practicing it, they made a lot of changes in the house. This was the same time I went through my own conversion so I agreed to make drastic changes. It was not easy for me to go from wearing shorts and converse to wearing long prairie skirts and ridiculously large pocket tees. But we thought that was what God wanted. Thankfully, we came to realize that we don't have to go from one extreme to the other. There is a happy medium and although it may take a little work, a faithful Catholic can marry style and modesty together.

Confidence Booster - Hallie talks about makeover shows and the power of transformation. She says:

"She is the same person she always was, but her new physical appearance brings forth elements of herself that were hidden before -- elements that have the potential to effect change not only in her own life, but in the lives of all with whom she comes into contact."

That is so true! It can be something very simple or something drastic. I remember a year or two ago my sister came back from the hair salon and she looked fabulous. I was again complaining about my hair using such terms as "rat's nest" and "brillo pad." She laughed and said that we had basically the same type of hair and that I should get it professionally cut instead of using the kitchen sheers to hack off a couple inches every 6 months. I conceded but it wasn't easy.

I don't know why (and I laugh at it now) but I had the hardest time doing it. First I didn't know where to go. Second, I didn't want to spend the money. Third, I just felt stupid trying to fix myself up. (Maybe that was some of the tomboy residue in me.) Finally, I found a convenient place with a sweetheart of a stylist who understood my crazy, curly hair and I worked it into our budget to see her on a more regular basis. I remember coming out of the salon trying to remember when was the last time I actually loved my hair! I told that to Brian when I got home and he gave me that smile that men give their wives that says, "I don't get what the big deal is but if you are happy then I am happy too." Feeling good about yourself will definitely affect how you relate to yourself, your family and those around you.

Vanity of Vanities - Hallie gives some excellent points in regards to the difference between caring for yourself and getting caught up in vanity. Although I could not relate to her need to dress like June Cleaver (I break out in hives at the mere thought of wearing heels) I could definitely relate to the need to examine our motives. As women, I think this is especially important. Whether we are tomboys or divas, there is always the potential for doing things for the wrong reasons. Whether it is working out in the gym to the extreme so you will look hot in a two piece bikini at the beach. Or maybe it's putting on some extra makeup to impress the cute dad who frequents the same park or play group. Or maybe it's in the opposite direction and letting yourself look tired and frumpy so your husband won't make any physical advances at you that night. Okay, these examples may seem far fetched in our particular situations but we are all guilty of doing things for the wrong reasons and if we ask God he'll enlighten our hearts to let us know if we are on the right path or need a little work.

Balance - I love Hallie's explanation of having different seasons in our lives. For me the most trying season is with a newborn. On those days getting in a shower every other day was a cause for rejoicing. That would be what she calls a "survival season." (Now that the baby is one year old my season has eased up considerably.) I love this paragraph here:

"I think I understand balance better these days. It's a constant struggle as seasons of plenty and of want come and go, as hormones fluctuate, and as life throws new challenges in my direction. But this much I know: We women have got to find a way to be merciful toward ourselves without completely throwing in the towel; to surrender to the hard times while still fighting for our ideals; and to remain open to God's grace while accepting that sometimes that grace isn't going to look and feel how we might hope. So how do we do this? With a whole lot of prayer and a few good habits."

Perfectly stated. I also liked Hallie's recommendation of doing one small thing for yourself each day to boost our well being. On some days my treat is still to let Brian watch the kids so I can take an uninterrupted shower. Or it will be to drive to Costco all by myself with the radio blaring. Other times it is having a half hour to post on the blog and clear my head through writing. My biggest struggle is maintaining that balance. There will be days I give and give and give until I am about to lose it. Other times I rationalize that I need some "me time" and go on the internet only to find that two hours later I haven't done the laundry, washed the dishes, changed diapers or started dinner. So for me, I work on balancing getting my responsibilities done and still having a little break for myself.

A Healthier Me - Hallie stated:

"Every woman's physical needs are going to manifest themselves differently. At a bare minimum, though, we ought to be striving for four things: healthy eating, regular exercise, adequate rest, and occasional peaceful pampering."

This is the area I reeeally struggle with! It is hard to make time to exercise! Even this morning as I was getting the kids ready for school I kept arguing with myself that I should skip my exercise this morning because I have a,b,c,d,e,f,g... to accomplish before the day is over. Yet, I knew I had to keep exercise a priority and not automatically shove it under the bus. I was tired and wasn't in the mood but I persevered and got it done. As usual, I felt much better when I was done and somehow managed to still complete the other things I needed to do. (Or, at least came pretty darn close.) I am still struggling with the healthy eating but I am slowly making progress at making better choices. After all I used to consider ketchup and apple pie as two servings of fruits and vegetables. (Oops, did I just admit that out loud?) So I've come a long way but still have a longer way to go. But one step at a time. ;-)

Well, this took a little longer than I anticipated to write down but I am glad I did it. It helped me sort it out in my head. But the kids are now tugging at my feet so I better sign off. Have a great afternoon! (And xoxo to sweet Hallie. ;-)


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**Taming the procrastinating, ADD, mess cat within me.**

When we remodeled the house and added a bedroom, we closed off the old master bathroom and made it into the kids' bathroom. It has only one sink but a long countertop. Invariably, there were various toiletries and clothes thrown all over the counter. To try and keep things a bit more organized, I placed a basket on the counter for each child. (I bought these plastic baskets/bins at Target.) Inside their basket were extra diapers/undies and any products they alone used.


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I placed name tags above their basket to remind them of which one is theirs. After they dress in the morning I also have them fold their pj's and place them in their basket for the next night. (Although "wad" would describe it better than "fold.") It has worked out well and eliminated the need to search through sheets and under beds for their pj's before bedtime.


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There is another small counter in the bathroom that I use when we have guests. I have extra bins and labels with the names of frequent guests - such as my mom who spent a few days with us while I was out of town.


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I keep one bin for them to put their toiletries and things and one basket filled with extra shampoos, lotions, toothbrushes etc for them to use while they are visiting. I don't have a picture if it here but along with their towels I'll have a little welcome gift for them - chocolate or mints, a burned CD of favorite songs, a special soap or lotion in their favorite scent, stationary or mini-photo album, a favorite magazine or snack (best choices for when my brothers or dad come visit.) I just think it's a nice touch to let my family or friends know that I am happy they are visiting our home.


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TV Talk: Once Upon A Time - "The Return"

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My DVR is even more full than usual since I've been gone a few days and I am barely catching up. I haven't watched the last two Masterpiece Theaters yet so I can't comment on those. The previews didn't absolutely grab me so they have been queued to the end of the line. Last night I did, however, watch the new Once Upon A Time: "The Return." (Brian and I flipped a coin. Tonight he gets his choice - Grimm.)

Booth & Gold - I'm glad we are finally getting some background info on the mysterious August W. Booth. I've heard that some people think his fairy land character is Pinocchio. I thought maybe they were right and that was why he was hurting when he got out of bed in the beginning. Perhaps his legs are turning back to wood. (Plus we see a couple donkey references.)

A few weeks back I started thinking that perhaps Booth was Gold's son. I told Brian that and he said he couldn't be since Mr. Gold did not recognize him and he wasn't living in the town like the rest of the characters. Then as the story went on and Mr. Gold and Booth had their father/son reunion I looked to Brian and smiled. See, he is his son! But as they were hugging and crying I thought, "No, this is going too smoothly. Something is going to happen... Gold is going to stab Booth while they are hugging. No, Booth will stab Gold.....Wait, what?? Booth is not actually his son. (I looked at Brian and this time he smiles at me.) So who is he?? Who was he calling? Well, we may not know yet but at least after seeing Rumpelstiltskin act so evilly, we were able to see a glimpse of Mr. Gold genuinely remorseful and loving towards his pseudo son. That has to count for something!

David & Kathryn - Well, anyone who has read my previous comments about OUAT know that I do not like David. I do not like him here or there. I do not like him anywhere. I am completely open to being proven wrong and shown that he is not that bad, but so far the only way I would root for David would be if he was up against Regina's nauseating lapdog Sidney. What is it with these wimpy men with no backbone or foresight? I do feel bad for Kathryn and all she had to go through. She started out as an unlikable character but as we got to know her backstory I can't help but hope for a better life for her.

Mary Margaret & the Party - I love when MM asks why the people are throwing her a party and Emma says they are her friends. MM asks, "Where were they yesterday?" Touché! Although, the card from her school class was classic.

Regina & Emma - Let the games begin!

There are only three episodes left until the season finale so things should continue to heat up!


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Please say a prayer for me and for Bella. We're going to her class trip to Sacramento and the Gold Country. We'll leave at the crack of dawn and will be gone for a couple of days. I'd appreciate it if you prayed that we have a safe journey...and that Brian survives caring for the boys while we're gone. (Thankfully my mom flew up from So Cal to help out.) I'll post pics next week. :-)

In the meantime, in honor of RoL's 9th bday, here is a flashback post from 2003 that also has to do with traveling.

I Was Almost Arrested While Eating A Taco


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Man, I love visiting my family for these week-long trips but I hate all the packing and unpacking. Brian can always manage to put all his stuff in one small suitcase but Bella and I have loads of bags of things we "need" to take with us! I tell you, if God answers our prayers for another child soon we'd also better add "and a mini-van" to the prayer because I don't know how I'm going to fit another human being in our car on these 400 mile long trips! But I guess that's another story.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, really touching. (Except for the fact that my sister EL was missing! But we'll ALL be together during our Christmas visit. :)

Oh my gosh, then the day after thanksgiving we girls hit the malls for all those insane bargains you'll get if you arrive at 3am and stand on your head while reciting "Twas the Night before Christmas" in Spanish. I refused to stand on my head but I did manage to get $100 worth of savings before making morning Mass. But that's not the story I'm meaning to tell...

At the end of the day my two sisters and I were tired and hungry. We stopped at a fast food place to grab a quick bite for the drive home (which would take an hour). We're sitting in the parking lot passing out the food and straws when a cop circles around my sister's truck. My sister jokingly says, "Hey, that cop thinks we're suspicious; he's checking us out." I told my other sister to hold up her pepsi so he can see we're just eating. They laugh until the cop parks behind us and gets out of the car.

He walks slowly over to us and shines his flashlight into the backseat where I was sitting. It was not yet dusk but the windows are tinted. He asked where we were headed. My sister told him but he just looks suspiciously at us. I noticed that he also looked a little nervous so I told him, "We've been shopping all day and we just stopped to eat our dinner, officer." Obviously he has nothing to worry about unless we decide to attack him with the pair of pajamas and slippers I got on sale.

Well, in the meantime, we hadn't noticed that there was a whole gang of policemen driving up and surrounding our car. We were blocked in making it impossible for us to "escape". Finally the cop realized that we were not dangerous. (I should have offered him one of our tacos). He apologized and explained that someone just called in that there was a silver truck (same as ours) with some guys and a girl (so now I look like a guy?) and they had a gun. (Okay, no wonder he looked a little freaked.) My sister then let him know that we had just seen that truck and the kids he was talking about. They took off when we entered the parking lot a few minutes ago. The cop thanked us and he and all his buddies removed their cars so we could leave in peace. (Thanks be to God. )

When we got home and told our family the story my mom just shook her head and half-jokingly said, "You see what happens when you take Bobbi with you. She always has a way of being involved in some kind of escyndalo!"

Hmmm, I prefer to think of it as more like adding a little spice to life. haha!

Have a great weekend!


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**Sharing the triumphs and missteps in my journey towards a healthier physical, emotional and spiritual life.**

As I mentioned last week, for the next few Weigh-in Wednesdays I'll be doing a book study of Hallie Lord's Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter . I had been making notes over the week but yesterday I was ready to forget the whole idea.

Yesterday was an awful day. Seriously, it wasn't the usual busy and stressful day of mishaps. It was different and I couldn't put my finger on why. When Brian came home I went to my room, locked the door and begged God to help me and literally cried myself to sleep. I haven't felt like that in a long, long time.

A half an hour later I opened my eyes and came out of the room like a weight was off me. Brian hugged me and asked if the demons had been attacking me. It clicked. That is exactly what it felt like. The interior struggles were like familiar demons that I have not battled in a long time. In my experiences, usually when there is a "spiritual attack" it means God is preparing a turning point... some good fruit that will come out of a particular situation.

I am not sure what that situation is. Maybe it's my own personal growth as I am studying this book. Maybe it's the trip Bella and I are taking tomorrow. Maybe it's something I am not yet aware of. Whatever it is, yesterday I thought I'd never post this book discussion because I was the last person that should be sharing lessons with you. But now that the fog has lifted and I am at peace again, I'll go ahead and post what I've written so far. If you haven't read the book yet, hopefully it will encourage you to pick up a copy. It truly will be one of the best $10 you ever spent. :-)



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Book Discussion Part 1: Chapter 1 - How I Fell Out of My Minivan and Found Myself


I love Jennifer Fulwiler's writings and was pleased to see that she covered the first chapter of the book: How I Fell Out of My Minivan and Found Myself. After wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes from her Dukes of Hazzard's van story, I was hooked by this paragraph.

"I had a specific idea of what the authentic Catholic woman was like: She was the picture of joy and grace every time she went to Mass and always had an emotionally powerful experience upon receiving the Eucharist; she kept her home tidy; and she joyfully crafted elaborate celebrations for each liturgical season."

I could relate to Jen's feeling of inadequacy. In fact, this is a topic God has been drilling into me for the last 9 months. It all started last summer when I wrote the post Those Perfect Catholic Moms Are Killing Me. I had been reading a number of Catholic mom blogs and seeing all their accomplishments at homemaking and motherhood was making me feel like a loser.

As days and weeks passed I told myself that I can't help it if I was messy and disorganized and that I couldn't sew a button or keep a plant alive more than a week. So what if I get impatient and fired up at the slightest mishap, especially on the days when I forgot to spend time in prayer because I was too busy checking my facebook and emails. That's just how I am.

But it was bothering me. Is that it? Am I to resign myself to "just being myself." I knew there was plenty of room for improvement. Then I started reading the book The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers - Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity by Meg Meeker, MD.and the first Habit was called Understand Your Value as a Mother. In my post about it I talked about feeling inferior, rediscovering my talents and listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. In one part I wrote:

"It's funny that once I stopped comparing myself to my perceived super moms (after all, I am seeing a tiny, sanitized glimpse of their lives,) I started seeing that I possessed some of those same talents that I admired in them. It is as if my creative side woke up. I started posting on my blog again because I love having an outlet to write. I've tried new recipes and found cooking fun again. I've started organizing small sections of the house and realized I, too, could be organized. (Relatively speaking. ;-)"

That got me to thinking - what is "me" and what's a warped vision of me? Then I read Jen's words:

"To uncover your unique brand of holiness, you have to sift through your God-given quirks and talents from your sins."

Suddenly the light bulb clicked on. That's it! (If I was an Oprah fan I'd say it was my AHA! moment.) That's what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me! Separate the quirks from the sins. I had my own unique calling and vocation that matched my personality and my temperament. I didn't have to become a carbon copy of mom A, B or C. I just had to be the best version of me and slowly God is showing me how to achieve that.

Jen sums it up using one of my favorite quotes:

"St. Catherine of Siena famously stated, "Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire." We tend to focus on the second, more dramatic part of the statement, but the first is just as important: Be who God meant you to be. Embrace the one-of-a-kind brand of holiness that God has chosen for you. Reject your sins, but love your quirks."

Perfectly stated.

At the end of the chapter, there are a number of questions for deeper reflection. I'll share one of the questions and my reflection with you.

#4. What saint has challenged your ideas about what holy people are like? What did he or she do that surprised you?

A saint that forever changed the way I think about holiness is St. Francis de Sales. My old parish was named after him and I remember the pastor once giving a talk about his life. He said St. Francis was known as the "gentle saint." He was a model of kindness and patience in guiding souls to Christ. He said this was ironic because St. Francis actually had a fiery, sometimes violent, temper and it did not take a lot to set him off. However, with God's grace he was able to tame his temper, transforming his greatest fault into his greatest strength.

This also reminds me of what a priest once told me in confession years ago. I was struggling with certain temptations and feeling overwhelmed by them. He said that if we surrender ourselves to God and rely on his grace, we can turn our biggest weakness or sinful tendencies into the very path that will lead us to heaven. He gave me the example of St. Mary Magdalene. She was a prostitute, a woman undoubtedly who dealt with sins of immorality. Yet, when she gave heart to Jesus and repented of her sins, something in her shifted.

Mary Magdalene found false love in the men she was involved with, but with Jesus, she found true and pure love. Her desire became not to please men but to please Jesus. We know that she succeeded in purifying her heart and loving Christ deeply because she was granted the grace to be the first person to witness the risen Lord. Like St Francis de Sales her weakness was transformed into her strength. It doesn't mean that they did not struggle but they relied on God's grace and they slowly became their "true" selves.

Now that I am following Jen's advice of separating my sins from my unique quirks, God is helping me to overcome those sinful tendencies. When I fail I like to remember St. Francis de Sales. I'm encouraged to know that God's grace can do anything so I pick myself back up and continue on the path chosen for me.


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"My Idea of Heaven..."

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Thirteen years ago on this day, after five months of writing, emailing and phone calling Brian and I shared our first meet, first date, and first kiss. Since then, he has given me a little taste of heaven every day that we are together. I love you, Sweetie! This song always makes me think of you. xoxo




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Part 1: My thoughts on Part 1 are here.

Last night I finished watching the last hour of the Titanic mini-series. I must have been in a better mood because I did enjoy the last part more than Saturday night's viewings. Although the sinking of the ship was not as flashy as other movies, there was enough drama to make me feel for those who did and did not survive. In the end, the love story that most touched me was the one between the Mantons' maid and manservant. The fact that they always loved each other without fully realizing it until it was too late seemed plausible. His final act of love to will his house to her destitute father was touching.

The scene that most broke my heart was when Jim Maloney realized that there was no escape for him and his daughter so he would simply try to comfort her in his arms as they died. My first instinct was that he should not give up and fight to the very end but I suppose if he knew it was hopeless he wanted to give his daughter
a few last moments of peace and security in his arms until it was too late. I can't even imagine what I would do in that situation...I don't want to think about it or I'd lose all composure.

So all in all I would call this a "one time" movie. Something that I am glad I watched once but I wouldn't watch it a second time. How about you? What did you think of the mini-series?


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Last night I watched the first three hours of The Titanic mini- series. I had high hopes for it but I was a little disappointed.

First it was a little confusing. Things were said and done that didn't make sense. Then in episode two they flashbacked and gave more background to what was going on. It answered questions but it still seemed odd.

Second, I am all for a good love story. I am a romantic that is ready to cheer a new couple but some of the love stories seemed a bit contrived and forced. While I could see how Paolo was instantly smitten with the maid Annie Desmond it seemed a stretch to also have Georgiana and the millionaire's son fall in love over such a short period of time.

And did I miss something? Did Mary (Jim Maloney's wife) know Peter Lubov beforehand? Do they have a history? That would make more sense. I don't believe she merely looked at him and had such a "connection" that she disregarded her children and hubby to make out with him on the deck. I don't get it. The only "love story" that seemed to make sense and held my interest was the reconciliation between John and Muriel Batley. Muriel may have been a bit nasty (although she's nothing like Lady Manton) but at least they fleshed out her character more and I was interested in her story.

Perhaps, that was the problem. The characters weren't developed enough for me to care about them. Or maybe I was just too tired and not in the mood to watch. Or maybe Downton Abbey set my expectations too high. Whatever the reason, I'll finish watching the last part tonight and hope for the best. It's not as if I didn't like it... it was just not as good as I hoped it would be.

UPDATE: My thoughts on Part 2 are here.



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I read this article at LifeSiteNews.com and thought it was perfect on the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.


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LifeSiteNews.com: The Untold Story of the Titanic's Catholic Priest Who Went Down Hearing Confessions

Amidst all the tales of chivalry from the Titanic disaster there is one that's not often told.
Fr. Thomas Byles

It is that of Fr. Thomas Byles, the Catholic priest who gave up two spots on a lifeboat in favour of offering spiritual aid to the other victims as they all went down with the "unsinkable" vessel.

A 42-year-old English convert, Fr. Byles was on his way to New York to offer the wedding Mass for his brother William. Reports suggest that he was reciting his breviary on the upper deck when the Titanic struck the iceberg in the twilight hours of Sunday, April 14th, 1912.

According to witnesses, as the ship went down the priest helped women and children get into the lifeboats, then heard confessions, gave absolution, and led passengers in reciting the Rosary.

Agnes McCoy, one of the survivors, says that as the great ship sank, Fr. Byles "stood on the deck with Catholics, Protestants and Jews kneeling around him."

"Father Byles was saying the rosary and praying for the repose of the souls of those about to perish," she told the New York Telegram on April 22, 1912, according to the website devoted to his memory, FatherByles.com.

In the words of the priest's friend Fr. Patrick McKenna, "He twice refused the offer of a place in a boat, saying his duty was to stay on the ship while one soul wanted his ministrations."

Nearly two weeks after the disaster, The Church Progress in St. Louis, Missouri wrote this moving tribute to the heroic priest:

In almost every line that has been written, and in every sentence that has been spoken, there stands boldly out above every other expression a picture of sublime heroism that will be copied into the pages of history. And well it may, for it is deserving of that honor.

But when it is, mention should be made of one whom pens and tongues have almost forgotten in their accounts of this awful sea tragedy. Among those who safely reached the land again no one seems to have been aware of his presence on the ship, but we may hope that many who meet him in a blissful eternity will praise God that Father Thomas Byles was there to administer absolution unto them.


http://www.lifesitenews.com/blog/the-untold-story-of-the-titanics-catholic-priest-who-went-down-hearing-conf

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Hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary.


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Rain, Rain Go Away... - This month we are definitely getting the April showers that bring May flowers but I don't remember every having such a wet April before. Having lived in Southern California for the first three decade of my life, I am used to one kind of weather pattern - sunny. Now that I am living on the central coast of California, I am used to two kinds of weather - sunny or cool and foggy. So having four days in a row of rain and a thunder and lightning storm last night, well, that worthy of its own Quick Take! I just hope that the rain stops by next week because Bella is going on a two day trip with her class to Sacramento and the Gold Country to learn about California history. I'll be one of the chaperones and although we won't be sleeping in tents (I think it's more of a primitive cabin) I'd rather do it in sunny weather!



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The Family Tree Grows - It may be grey and dreary but we received joyous news this week - my sister EL gave birth to her fourth child, a little girl named Harriet Rose. Congratulations, sis! And I am an aunt for the fifth time. Yay! Just call me Auntie B. ;-) Look at her...how sweet is she?!



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(This Quick Take is long so it counts as two.)

Accidents, Threats & Videotapes - Unfortunately that bit of news was hampered a couple days later when I got into a car accident. Remember what I said about the rain? On Tuesday, I dropped the boys off at pre school. Bella was on Easter break so she, Matthew and I were driving home. Just as we turned around a bend in the highway there was a pile up from a previous accident. I hit the brakes and the car seemed to slide all over the road but I was able to stop in time. I breathed a sigh of relief and just as I was thinking, "I hope the guy in back of me stops in time...bam! We get slammed from behind. I move to the side of the road and the woman (60ish?) was very apologetic. We see that no one is hurt and the damage doesn't look too bad etc. As we exchange info some guy comes up and starts videotaping us. She walks over to him and tells him to turn off his video camera (it was a larger one), that the accident is over, this is a private matter etc. They sort of get into it and I hear the guy yell, "I know my rights... don't touch me... I'm suing... assault... " and the like. I'm thinking what kind of crazy guy is this and why is she talking to him and not ignoring him so we can get out of here?

I finish writing my info down (I already had hers) and I see the lady talking and gesturing to the guy as he is walking backwards videotaping her, sort of egging her on. Soon they have walked so far down the road I can't see them anymore. I look around. Am I being punked? Should I leave? I left my info in her car and got back into my van and out of the rain. I am sitting there wondering if I should make a u-turn and go find the lady. I don't want her to get hurt. Thankfully, just then some cops stopped to make sure I am okay. I explain to them what happened and they said I could leave and they'd go and check on the guy and the lady. To make a long story short (oops, too late!) the lady came back safely. (And she has been more than generous in making sure we are okay.) She told me later that the guy likes to videotape people and threatens to sue but he has no case here. Meanwhile, my Sienna is in the shop to see what kind of damage has been done. However, if you are browsing the internet and you find a YouTube video of an older woman arguing with some random guy on the road and you see a short, chubby Hispanic mom with a WTH? look on her face in the background, you'll know that's me. ;-)



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Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti - After that harrowing accident, Bella and I decided to go home and make a cup of hot chocolate, warm up some cinnamon rolls for breakfast and watch an old movie. We've been on a musical kick and it all started when she said they were singing songs from the Sound of Music in her music class. I told her we should watch the movie together since every night when the boys are going to sleep and Brian is showering or getting things ready for work the next day, Bella and I have a half hour window where we cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie (well, a portion of it) together. Sometimes it will be a Disney tween movie or an episode of Good Luck, Charlie (which I, ahem, actually enjoy) but last week I put on The Sound of Music instead. She loved it! We watched a little each night, completing it twice. This week we finished watching Meet Me in St. Louis with Judy Garland. Tonight we are going to start the 1949 version of Little Women with June Allyson. It's not actually a musical but it is such a sweet movie, I think she'll like it. Any other suggestions of what we should watch? (She prefers color and is not really into black and white, which is a bummer since ¾ of my movie collection is in B&W.)



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Birthday Contest - I also wanted to mention, if you haven't been reading the blog regularly (What? Am I the only one with 500 posts in my Google reader waiting to be read??) that we are celebrating the blogs 9th birthday with a contest. You can win an RoL care package that will include your choice of books (selections include Style, Sex and Substance, The Catholics Next Door, The Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Catholic Girl's Survival Guide for the Single Years) as well as a Divine Mercy icon, Mystic Monk coffee or tea and, of course, chocolate. Get the details here.



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Flashback Friday Five - Back in 2003, bloggers looked forward to filling out "The Friday Five" at the end of the week. I'll close with a flashback of what I posted nine years ago, almost to the day.


Friday Five: Music Edition


1. What was the first band you saw in concert? Let's see, years back it was a big Rock for Life concert in Orange County, CA. I think that first really got me into Christian alternative/hardcore music. But one of the first concerts I most vividly remember was when I drove to Santa Barbara, CA with my sister BC to see the hardcore band Focused. Oh, those guys were so awesome and so in love with God. They were the first band I ever interviewed (for the underground music zine I used to do.) Ah, such memories!


2. Who is your favorite artist/band now? Okay, you can tell I am a mommy now because at the moment I am listening to "Wags the Dog" by the Wiggles. (It is Bella's Wiggle's hour; that is the only time I am guaranteed some uninterrupted computer time!) But as far as I'm concerned, I have been listening to a lot of Jeremy Camp, Kutless, and Sixpense None the Richer. But I must say that I also loooove 80's alternative music - The Cure, The Smiths, Morrissey, New Order, Psychedelic Furs, etc. Plus, good old classics like Dean Martin (reminds me of our honeymoon. Sigh.)


3. What's your favorite song? This is a tough one. The song that always reminds me of Brian is The Cure's "Lovesong." I never tire of it.


4. If you could play any instrument, what would it be? Um, I always wished I could play the guitar, write my own music and sing my own songs. I may be able to get away with writing lyrics but the only instrument I can play is the Fisher-Price toddler drum set and my voice it not fit for anyplace other than the car while driving or perhaps in church if the choir sings real loud and drowns me out.


5. If you could meet any musical icon (past or present), who would it be and why? Back in my teen days I may have said someone like Morrissey from the Smiths but now I just see musical "icons" as regular joes and can't think of one in particular that I'd single out. So I'll have to think about that one.


LOL! Have a great weekend!


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~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~



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The kids are looking pretty in their Easter outfits. I let the boys go a bit more casual since anything fancier would have only been worn once.


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Bella in name and looks.


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Andrew and Agent P.


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John-Paul the rascal was actually still and smiling. An Easter miracle!



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Brian's parents made an Easter egg hunt in their backyard. They were as happy as the kids!


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Matthew was asleep when the kids went on their egg hunt but he had a hunt of his own earlier that morning and found the kids' decor and a giant egg, which made him very happy.



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Today is Matthew's first birthday! Yay! We had a party for him at my in-laws on Easter. It has become an unintentional family tradition for my in-laws to get a cake with the wrong spelling. One year they spelled Andrew Joseph as "Josef" and last year John-Paul had a cake from a fancy French bakery and it was spelled "Jean-Paul." This year the tradition continues, but we're getting closer!



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I can't help but think about how Matthew is grown over the past year.


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Matthew at 1 day old.


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Matthew at his baptism at one month old.


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Matthew at four months.


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Matthew at nine months.


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The birthday boy at one year.

Time is flying too fast! Savor the moments.


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When I first heard about Hallie Lord's new book Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter I was ecstatic to find that many of my favorite Catholic writers/ bloggers/ moms were contributors. I preordered my book and when it finally arrived I planned to devour it immediately. Unfortunately, family circumstances prevented me from having much free time and when I did have a moment the book was never within reach. Finally I downloaded the book onto my Kindle & iPhone so I could read it anytime I had a spare moment. I'm so glad I did!

When I told a fellow mom the title of the book she was a bit skeptical - "Style and Sex?" Those were not high on her radar at this time of her life. Another single friend didn't consider buying the book since she figured it was only for married moms. In reality, there is something here for every Catholic woman (and as this reviewer shows, Catholic men too!) The authors and topics covered are...


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Jennifer Fulwiler - How I Fell Out of My Minivan and Found Myself (Catholic Womanhood)

Hallie Lord - Style: Balance, Beauty, and You

Karen Edmisten - God & Godiva

Elizabeth Duffy - Sex, Passion, and Purity

Anna Mitchell - Single and Seeking God's Plan

Rebecca Ryskind Teti - What Works for You?

Rachel Balducci - Fruitful Friendship

Danielle Bean - We Said Yes (Marriage)

Simcha Fisher - Receiving, Creating, and Letting Go: Motherhood in Body and Soul

Barbara Nicolosi - Plugging In and Embracing Discipleship in the 21st Century

I breezed through the pages loving the sense of humor and honesty displayed but I found myself time and time again stopping and re-reading a sentence because it was as if the Holy Spirit was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me to pay attention to the lesson He was trying to teach me.

Although, I read quickly through the book, it is not sufficient to stop there. I really need to go back and think about the points that stood out to me. There are also excellent discussion questions after each chapter that can be answered alone or within a book club. Because of this I've decided to read the book over and dig a little deeper. For the next few Wednesdays (starting April 18) I'll share with you my thoughts about each chapter. Feel free to read along and share your own thoughts as well.

If you don't already have a copy you can order it at Amazon (paperback or kindle) or enter the RoL Birthday Contest to try and win a copy - along with some other goodies! :-)

As a side note: This book is also a great gift! At the last baby shower I attended I gave the new mama a care package of tea, chocolate and this book. A perfect treat when she finally gets five minutes to herself! ;-)

Have a great day and we'll start our discussion next Wednesday (4/18) with Chapter 1. :-)


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Happy birthday, RoL! It's hard to believe that nearly 10 years ago (it'll be 10 years in Nov) Brian and I were a young married couple who loved the Catholic faith and loved to write so we started Revolution of Love.com. The following year on April 11, 2003, I started this blog as an outlet to chat about every day life and to have someplace to put fun and less serious posts.


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Brian, Bobbi & Bella back in the day.

That was nine years ago! Even though I've been around awhile there were some years I took a break from writing and only posted a handful of times. In 2003, I only had 22 posts. In 2011, I had over 100 so I am slowly making time to post regularly. ;-)

Whatever the amount, I still want to celebrate being here and the new friends I've met along the way so I'm having a RoL Birthday contest! To enter the contest, just leave a comment or send me an email at rol@revolutionoflove.com. (I know the comment box hasn't been working for some people.) In one month, on May 11, 2012, I'll randomly pick a winner to receive an RoL care package, which will contain these 5 gifts:

Gift 1 - Choose one of the following Catholic books below. (These are all books I've read and loved or I've heard great reviews and want to read soon.)


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Gift 2 - Choose one of Carmen Marcoux's books.


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Gift 3 - A Small (4x6) Divine Mercy Icon


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Gift 4 - Mystic Monk Coffee or Tea (Your Choice)


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Gift 5 - Chocolate (What's A Care Package without Chocolate?!)

Over the next few weeks I'll have "Flashback" posts - favorite posts or articles from RoL and the blog and reminders to enter the contest. I hope you enjoy the fun and good luck!


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TV Talk: Great Expectations, Part 2

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This is going to be a short post since we are on Easter break right now. I tried watching the second part of Great Expectations last night but I was so tired that I kept drifting in and out of sleep until I woke up and didn't know what the heck was going on. I gave up and went to bed instead. This morning I was able to finish watching and my emotions are mixed.

The storyline itself is rather dark and depressing and I just never really clicked with the actor playing Pip. It's not that I didn't enjoy the movie; rather, it just was not one of my favorite stories. I was pleased with the bits of redemption that came at the end - Pip reconciling with both Joe and Magwitch. Estella finding love.

My favorite character was Herbert Pocket (the little red headed brat in part 1) who changed his ways and became Pip's most loyal friend. It is interesting to note that the actor Harry Lloyd who played Herbert is actually a descendant of Charles Dickens. Fun fact. :-)

Well, we have plenty to watch next week with Julian Fellowes's Titanic on April 14 and 15.
Plus Masterpiece's The Mystery of Edwin Drood on April 15th. My DVR will be working overtime!

Have a great day, hopefully, enjoying some gorgeous spring weather! :-)


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"And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him." (Luke 22:43)

I have always enjoyed the paintings of Carl Bloch and Gethsemane is one of my favorites. Since I was a child I was intrigued with the thought of an angel consoling Jesus during his agony in the garden. Years later, I heard a priest give a talk explaining that part of Jesus' agony was carrying the weight and the guilt of all the sins of the world. However, he received strength when he saw all the future souls that would love Jesus and would do their best be faithful to God. That thought always stuck with me.

Another time, I was at confession and the priest talked to me about being a comfort to Jesus. He told me to let my heart be a dwelling place that brings comfort to Christ. I immediately thought of the painting of the angel. It is easy for me to call on Jesus and seek his help but something struck a nerve when the priest told me that I could console the heart of Christ. Since then I have often prayed, "Lord, may I never bring you grief, instead may I be a comfort to your heart."

I know I have failed miserably numerous times, but today is an especially good reminder that we are all called to be that solace. Whether we are giving our little ones a hug or helping a troubled coworker or sitting before Our Lord in the tabernacle, our love for God and his children brings comfort to Christ.

In these final days of Lent, let us make a special effort to act as that angel in everything we do. Let us be a source of strength and comfort to Jesus in the garden and on his road to Calvary.

Have a blessed Triduum and Easter Sunday! (I won't be posting again until next week.)

With love,


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PS
- I wrote this earlier this morning and then I started cleaning the house. As I was straightening Brian's desk I saw this book: Consoling the Heart of Jesus. A Do It Yourself Retreat Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius by Fr. Michael Gaitley.


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I started thumbing through it and it looks really good and talks about the very things that have been on my mind in regards to consoling the heart of Christ. I think this will be the perfect book for me to read next. (There is also a condensed companion book.)


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**Taming the procrastinating, ADD, mess cat within me.**


It seems that since the holidays last year, I haven't been spending any time on my cleaning and organizing projects. However, now that spring it here, it is time to get back to work! I thought I would go over the segments of Operation Clean and Organized that I have done so far and to see if I have been keeping up with the organization.

Vol 1: Cleaning Charts & Recipe Clip Board - My master project list is still being used and I am slowly crossing off the projects as I get to them. The daily cleaning chart is sometimes used (usually when my brain is so scattered I need to remind myself what to do first) and sometimes forgotten (usually when I am running around all day and haven't been home more than a few minutes.) I still use my clipboard for that week's recipes all the time. I love it. I'll have to try and post my almost done recipe binder next week.


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Last week, I also added this small fabric board from Target to the little wall on the other side of my fridge. I haven't put anything on it yet but I love the bright pattern.

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Vol 2 - Weekly Menu Board

I still love my menu board and use it every week! I did need to make more blank labels to write in the names of new meals I've tried since then.

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Vol 3: Shopping Lists & The Outdated Pantry

My fridge shopping list has changed a little but the rest are still working.



Vol 4 - The Cupboards/Pantry (Part 1)

I don't think I'll ever be fully happy with this mini-pantry since it is so narrow but so far it is okay. The mini drawers work great. The stacked baskets are okay and I finally replaced the random black one with a white basket.

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My only complaint is that when I want something from the bottom basket I have to lift all the others to get my hand in there. I would love to get bins like this from The Container Store but even their mini sized ones are 9 ½ inches wide and my shelf has a depth of 8" so I wouldn't be able to close the door. So for now, I will have to stick with what I have.

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As for the master pantry lists and rubber band-hook to keep the little kiddos out, still works well.



Vol 6 - The Cupboards/Pantry (Part 2)

The pantry still looks good but I do have to stay on top of it. I did however update my spice rack. The last time I just used mini labels and wrote the names of the spices. When Martha Stewart came out with her Avery labels, I loved the round ones, especially since it had a red border. (In case you haven't noticed, I love red!)

I think they look a lot better!


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Vol 5 - My Desk AND Vol 7 - Book Shelves & Desk Area

My desk area still looks good but it is a CONSTANT job to daily sort out and put away the various things that pile up when I am not looking. However, it is a job I don't mind doing since it is my little corner of the house and it makes me happy to see it neat and nice looking. Now I just have to work on taming the cords underneath the desk. (BTW, I have to keep the big throw pillow in front of my chair to block munchkin hands from putting cheerios into the CD drive of the computer.)

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Earlier this week, I was at the craft store and bought some ribbon and card stock to make labels for the top four bins on my side bookshelf. I got a lot of great suggestions from a commenter (thanks, Kate) but as hard as I tried, I didn't like the way it looked on these fabric bins. I wanted a plain, clean look. However, I still liked the idea of the ribbon and labels so I used it instead for the baskets I am using to redo our DVD shelf. It worked great for that. (I'll post the results when I complete it.)

When I bought the Martha Stewart labels for my spice jars I also picked up a pack of oval red border labels. Yesterday I tried sticking one to the fabric bin and it stayed on perfectly (since they were out of reach of curious little hands.) I used some black letter stickers to label the bins and I like the clean look with a minimal amount of money spent.


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Well, that's it for now. Hopefully, I'll have another complete project to post next week. Have a great day!


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I think I am going to switch my organizing posts to Monday and save my TV post for Tuesday since it takes me a couple days to get caught up with what everyone watched over the weekend. It's funny that when I heard that there were two fairy tale shows starting last fall I assumed I'd enjoy Grimm more than OUAT. Brian definitely prefers Grimm, but OUAT has really picked up and become one of my favorite shows.


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Once Upon A Time (The Stable Boy)

Regina - Sunday's episode gave us The Stable Boy with Regina's back story. We finally learn why she is so cruel and bitter. It is interesting to note that the abused has now become the abuser. It is also curious that we don't see Regina take revenge on her mother, who killed her love. Instead, she takes it out on Snow. Then again, maybe she did get her revenge since we never saw her mother in the earlier episodes of Regina's life in the castle. Do you think Regina's mother could be the Queen of Hearts in Neverland, especially since her father was being held captive there in last week's episode?

Little Snow - When I first saw the actress playing young Snow White I was trying to figure out what other movie I've seen her on but that was quickly forgotten as I watched her talk. Her facial expressions, the tilt of her head, the wide eyed looks she gave looked EXACTLY like Ginnifer Goodwin's! It was amazing. I had to go back and rewind a few scenes because she was so good at portraying all the same nuances in Goodwin's behavior. Awesome acting!

Mary Margaret - Thank God she decided to come back to the jail last week, although a lot of good it did with the DA twisting her words and making her sound even more guilty than before.

Emma - Her bit of temper actually served a purpose since she finally found the bug and realized the slimy Sidney was in cahoots with Regina. I am hoping that she continues to team up with the mysterious August Booth. And why was his leg hurting when he went passed the toll/troll bridge? Which fairytale character do you think he is?

David - David only had a few minutes screen time this week but I didn't mind since I have been fed up with him long ago. The shabby way he treated Mary Margaret and Katherine, his indecisiveness, his wimpyness...all these things have been far from charming. His whole character has been so disappointing.

Mr. Gold - Mr. Gold is far from charming himself, is far from being a hero, and is a borderline bad guy, yet I can't help but like and root for him. I keep hoping he is a double agent and working for Regina but secretly plotting her demise.

Katherine - Huh? I was not expecting to see her! Well, that should get MM off the hook!

The next episode won't air until April 22 but it looks like another good one.



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Grimm - Island of Dreams

Are any of you Grimm fans? The last episode "Island of Dreams" had one of the creepiest creatures. I don't know why it freaked me out more than the others. Monroe has a love interest! I am so happy. I heart Monroe. Who thought the neighbors who brought Nick and Juliette the quilt and pie actually poisoned them? Brian and I were certain they were tainted. I guess they are just trying to keep on their good side. Nick needs to come clean with Juliette! The longer he keeps his secret, the worse it will get. Besides, the girl can kick butt! She is stronger than she may even realize. What is going on with Hank? He seems to be the one getting sucker punched show after show. Give the guy a break already! What is Captain Renard up to?? What is happening to poor Sergeant Wu? Was he eating the couch cushion foam? Craaazy. Next week's episode looks good too!

Let me know what you think...


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I checked my DVR settings last night and noticed that I had a lot more recordings on there than I realized. Between the family recording favorite shows and movies, we were at 96% capacity. So I need to go and watch or erase some stuff! I almost never watch a show "live" so when I finally was able to sit down last night I was hoping to watch Once Upon A Time and Great Expectations but I never got to OUAT. I'll come back and comment on OUAT's episode later this week. (UPDATE: I posted about OUAT and Grimm here.)

It's been many, many years since I've read Great Expectations and a long time since I've seen the 1999 version, which stared Ioan Gruffudd (currently on another fave show Ringer) as Pip, Justine Waddell (who I loved in Wives and Daughters) as Estelle and Charlotte Rampling as Miss Havisham. I was a little surprised, but excited, when I first heard that Gillian Anderson would play Miss H since I always pictured the character much older. However, I thought Gillian's version made the character much more believable. Her mental illness and neurosis seemed plausible. Whereas before, the character seemed over the top.

The Setting - Masterpiece did a wonderful job conveying the somberness and a taste of despair in the setting and tone of the movie. I told Brian that after watching it I had the need to go take a fresh shower and open the windows or let some light in the room. The muck and grayness weighs on your spirit after awhile, but that only added to the story.

Pip and Estelle - Was Pip supposed to be that handsome in the book? I can't remember. The actor had such a runway model/pretty boy look to him it was almost distracting. Either way, you can't help feeling sorry for Pip and wanting to spare him the pain to come.

Joe and the Mrs. - Joe seems like such a loving character but how was it that he got married to his wife in the first place? Was she hiding her viciousness during their courtship or was he so passive that he let her call all the shots? Whatever the reasons, Joe's bit of happiness seems to have left with Pip.

Orlick - The actor that played Orlick did an excellent job and thoroughly creeping me out. Kudos!

Jaggers - After seeing him I have to go watch a movie with Hercule Poirot. In fact, I think I already have one recorded on my ridiculously full DVR. Sigh.

That's it for now but for more discussions about Great Expectations and OUAT go over to Dawn's charming blog By Sun and Candlelight for Masterpiece Monday.

Have a great day!


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