5 Favorites, Vol. 7

Linking with Moxie Wife (hope everyone feels better over there soon!)on this fine Wednesday morning to share my 5 Favorites.

1. Straight off the bat, I’m going to cheat a little.  I need to ask you about your favorite work-out tunes!  I’m running my first real 5K this Sunday and I thought a new running playlist might just help me pick up the pace a little.  I would love love LOVE to hear your recommendations! And McSisters, please consult your McHusbands for suggestions and get back to me ASAP!

2. Stephen Fry in America

Dave and I have been working on this fun BBC documentary for a little while now, and we’re thoroughly enjoying it! Let me digress for a second and just explain that it is a treasured McFamily pastime to follow with great interest all things British; politics, entertainment, the Royal Family (duh!) etc. At first, Dave did not understand, nor did he appreciate this obsession interest in all things British.  But lucky me, he was hired by a British company, so not only does he work with a lot of Brits, but he also has to travel there frequently (and he took me along once too!) so he kind of gets it now.  He definitely has more of an appreciation for their dry humor and cultural quirks and nowadays he is more familiar with obscure British-isms than I am!

Anyway, that leads me to this documentary.  Stephen Fry is a British actor/comedian who traveled across the United States in a London cab seeking out sights big and small. Wherever he goes, he prattles on in that delightfully British way, sharing his frank observations and opinions about what he sees.  For example, at a cheese factory in Wisconsin, he explains to the owner that Americans have simply dreadful taste in cheese.  Dave, with his newfound fluency in Brit, picked out a phrase Stephen used to describe the scientists at Los Almos National Lab: boffins.  I didn’t even notice but Dave told me that’s what Brits call brainy scientist types (like him).  Isn’t that funny?

Long story short: you should watch it.  It’s on Netflix streaming.

{Update: I’d suggest skipping the last 15 minutes of episode 5, in which Stephen learns about that wonderful legal institution in Nevada: prostitution. Eeeek!}

3. Almond Poppy Seed “Bread”

Y’all, it’s not bread.  It’s cake.  And it’s delicious.

4. This outfit

Maybe I could come up with a SAHM version of this outfit that’s just as fabulous??

{Editorial Note* The dress is $28 at Target, ladies!}

5. Pool weather!

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Who knows how long it’s going to last so we’re taking advantage of it this week!

Have a great day, everyone!  I can’t wait to read your music suggestions for me!

Five Favorites, Vol. 6

Linking up with Hallie of Moxie Wife to share my skin care regimen. Ordinarily, I’d be the last person you would want to take skin-care advice from, but in the last month my skin has really cleared up like it was right after I had SK.  So I figured if it’s due to anything I’ve been doing, I had better share with my other adolescent-skinned McSisters!

1. Trader Joe’s Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil:

To be completely honest with you, I only use this was about once a week.  If I wash my face every day, my skin gets really irritated and dry, so I only wash it when I feel like my skin needs it.  This face wash is really nice, though.  It foams up very pleasantly when you rub it on your face and the tea tree oil smell is very strong and fresh.  Afterwards you feel as though you used a face wash and an astringent!

2. Kirkland facial towelettes:

This is the Costco brand.  I don’t know if they work any better or worse than other brands or other store brands for that matter, I just picked them up because they’re cheap!  Anyway, I use these at night time only if I’ve worn makeup that day.  Again, I try not to use any sort of cleanser every day because it irritates my skin.

3. Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 15

After a bit of trial and error, I’ve discovered that Kiehl’s is the stuff.  I had a bottle early last year and found right away that kiehl’s agreed with my skin.  But for some idiotic reason, after I was done with the bottle I tried Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar.  While Hope in a Jar didn’t make me break out, I really didn’t like the oily formula and the weird smell.  I wanted my Kiehl’s back!  I was a good girl, though, and I waited till I got all that nasty hope outta the jar before I hopped on amazon to order more Kiehl’s.  Needless to say, we’ve had a very happy reunion.  In case there is any other way to wear moisturizer, I’ll just tell you I put mine on in the morning after I shower.

4.  Philosophy Help Me  

I would never have thought to use this stuff and I would never have shelled out the $ for it, had I not had a Nordstrom gift card from my friend Pat.  Thanks Pat! Anyway, I was checking out all the fun skincare and makeup things at that fancy pants place and a helpful sales woman asked what I was looking for.  I told her that I still struggled with acne, mostly due to hormones, but I didn’t like acne wash and creams because they usually made me break out more.  Well!  She said she had the same problem (yeah right, pretty Nordstrom lady!) and that retinol really helps acne.  Who knew?  She recommended Philosophy’s Help Me night cream.  I’ve been using it, to great effect, since January.  I swear by this stuff.  It really helps when I do have a break out.  You know how usually acne stuff irritates break outs before they get any better?  This stuff helps dull the inflammation so it doesn’t usually get out of control.  I still have a good amount left in the tube, so I think it’ll probably last a few more months.  I definitely think it’s worth the price.

5.  Jillian Michaels Detox Cleanse Drink:

I had been seeing the pin for it all over pinterest and I’m a sucker for “Lose 5 pounds in a week” schemes that don’t involve cutting out food groups, or you know, food.  So, here’s the bad:  I didn’t lose a pound. Wop wop. Here’s the good:  my skin has been dewy and clear for more than 2 weeks now, and hormonally speaking, I should have had my monthly break-out at the beginning of last week.  And, the stuff doesn’t taste half bad!  I usually am a big water drinker, but the great thing about carrying this beast of a pitcher around all day is you’re guaranteed to drink your full 8 glasses of water.  My brother-in-law DJ, when seeing me tote around the huge rubbermaid jug this weekend, asked me if I was getting ready for a drug test! Anyway, I think if you were to try any one of these 5 things, it should be this drink.  And who knows? You could lose 5 pounds! But if you do, I will never talk to you again.

That’s all folks!  For more 5 Favs, check out Moxie Wife!

5 Favorites Vol. 5

Joining Hallie via Grace today to break my internet silence and share my five favorites for the week.

1. Spring cleaning.  This is why I’ve been MIA lately. Now, any sort of cleaning is typically not anywhere near a favorite thing of mine, but I’ve been bitten by some crazy bug lately and I can’t stop it!  I even made a to-do list and I HATE to-do lists.  On Monday I was tickled to see that Dave noticed my extreme efforts when he got home.

Ellen: Did you notice all the things I did today (thinking: fridge is cleaned, bathroom is sparkling, laundry is done and put away…)?

Dave: Yeah, the bedroom looks great, hun!

Ellen: Ummm, all I did there was make the bed.

2. Dr. Meg Meeker.  Truth be told, I had never heard of this woman up until last night.  A friend of mine called me up yesterday and asked me if I wanted to go to this free mothers night thing at a local parish last night and hear her speak.  She was great! So practical and common sense! A lot of her talk applied to mothers of older kids who struggle with being overwhelmed by the pressures put on them to make sure their children are happy and successful and the best at everything, etc.  But she did note that this all starts when you are a first time young mother and there’s so much pressure to have a natural birth, breastfeed forever, use only homemade organic baby food… you know, the works.  The gist of her talk was to get off the crazy train already!  Don’t cave to the pressure and the crazy competitiveness.  Just mother your kids in the best way that you can.  They need you and your husband, not activities and fancy schools and tutors.  Anyway, I suggest that you check her books out.  Her 10 Habits of Happy Mothers is next on my reading list!

3.  Princess Kate maternity inspiration

I know… Talk about the complete opposite of practicality and common sense! Chic matchy dress and coat ensambles are not really appropriate for Stop and Shop runs, and I tend to not receive random bouquets of lily of the valley when I’m out and about.  Plus, like my big sis, my legs should not under any circumstances be seen during and right after pregnancy.  But!  She’s just so lovely and elegant, I can’t help but be inspired!

4. L’oreal B.B. Cream

I know, I’m about the 1,256th person to recommend this stuff, but that should tell you how good it is, huh?  It is great!  It’s super light (feeling) and blends perfectly with my skin.  For me, it’s a really natural, subtle boost to my complexion, which is exactly what I was looking for.  At first, I bought the light shade, because I’m crazy and I can’t face the fact that I’m really ghostly pale.  When Grace reviewed this stuff a while ago, she said it made her look “sun kissed”; well, the light tone made me look a little like I had a bad spray tan.  So back to CVS I went to get the fair tone, which of course perfectly matches my natural albino skin tone.  End of silly story.

5. Hair bow

SK bow

I just can’t handle how cute this little lady looks with her hair bows.  And I’m a little jealous that I can’t just put a bow in my hair and elevate my look from blah to ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE.  Not that I’m going for absolutely adorable, but you know what I mean, right?  Where is that magical mom accessory?  Oh right, it’s my child!

Ok, back to my list!  Make sure you check out everyone else’s five favs!

Five Favorites (Vol. 4)

Finally Rose’s turn to join up with Hallie Lord and her 5 Favorites fun!  Here are Rose’s favs:

Okay, getting this feature in on the right day! Here’s some things that are making me happy lately…
1. Maxi skirts as maternity wear:jessalba

I’m due at the END of September, so I have a long summer to get through and shorts/short skirts are not an option for this McSister. This is less a modesty issue and more a Hilary-Clinton-legs issue on my part. I do wear capri pants, but obviously a skirt or dress is the most comfortable and cool option. Enter the maxi skirt — I’m so glad these are in style this time around, and the jersey-knit ones seem really versatile, able to be dressed up for church or special occasions, or doing the work of sweats with a plain t-shirt. I have purchased two skirts and one dress/beach coverup that seems like it could double as a skirt as well, and I’m looking forward to debuting them on our trip to Florida at the end of May.

2. Homemade Granola:

granola

A few weeks ago Ruthie decided that her new favorite cereal was my $5 a box granola, and we were going through it like water and killing my grocery budget. So I decided to try to make some at home, and we’ve all been very happy with the results of this recipe I found by America’s Test Kitchen.  Big chunks, just sweet enough, stays crunchy in milk, and makes a nice frozen yogurt topping, too. Try it!

3. The Tupler Technique

This probably doesn’t qualify as something I like, because first of all, I hate doing it, and second, I just started so I can’t even tell you if it works or not, but let me explain: Like two of my other McSisters, I ended up with a diastasis recti, or separated abdominal muscles, after my second child was born. It wasn’t bothering me too much until I got pregnant again.  Lets just say that at 7 months pregnant, it looks like Princess Kate has just finally caught up with me, and I’m only 18 weeks along. I will not be sharing photos. Beyond the merely aesthetic issue, though, my upper abs were sometimes feeling numb and tingly, and my almost 2-year-old kept climbing on me and elbowing or kneeing me straight in the vital organs, which are no longer protected by a wall of muscles. Plus, as I looked into the issue more, I discovered that having a diastasis can make it harder to push effectively in labor, and can make it more likely that your baby will present transverse breech, since your stomach muscles are not holding them into the correct position for delivery.  Been there already, don’t wanna go back. So, I took the plunge and ordered an instructional DVD and a Diastasis Rehab Splint from this website. According to the website, and to my midwife, it is totally safe to wear this and do the exercises while pregnant, and the hope is to keep your diastasis as small as possible and to strengthen your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor in preparation for labor.  We shall see.

4. Getting back into artwork

artwork

I recently joined the local art society, hoping it would encourage me to do more artwork on my own, and I have really loved the experience so far. I have gotten to see two demonstrations of different techniques, attended a watercolor workshop, and had some of my work critiqued by a local art professor. Tomorrow, I will be submitting two pieces to the Spring Juried Show at our library.  I will post pictures of them later and let you know if they’ve been accepted, but I’m quite happy with them either way and very pleased to be drawing and painting again.

5. Spring!

Yes, I realize this is unoriginal, but it is nonetheless true. I love this warm weather and getting the girls outside every day, and they love it, too. We have expanded our garden from two raised beds to five, and Paul worked all weekend tilling and mixing up soil and building the new boxes. This is only our second year gardening, but we had some success last summer and we’re hoping it turns out well this year, too. Advice for Ellen — pinch off the tomato suckers!

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Head on back to Moxie Wife for more 5 Favorites!

 

5 Favorites (vol. 3)

Linking up with Moxie Wife again to share these very random 5 favorites!

1. Bisquick.  

Man, I love this stuff. What is it even made of anyway?  Why does everything you make with it taste incredible?  I know it can’t be good for you, but I don’t care.

2. This is my favorite thing to make with Bisquick:

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I’m sure you’ve seen these on pinterest, but if you haven’t made them yet, drop everything you’re doing and make them now.  They’re incredible.

3. Color discovery boxes from Lakeshore:

I got these for SK when she was about 6 months old and just sitting up and playing with things.  They’ve consistently been a favorite toy of hers ever since!  I loved them immediately because, as a former Pre-K teacher, I geeked out over the infinite learning possibilites in these 4 simple boxes. At $50, they are pretty expensive, but if you get on the Lakeshore e-mail list, they’ll randomly send you coupons (I got my set for 40% off) and even if you pay full price, they’re worth it.  They’re really high quality and I’m pretty sure they’ll last for a very long time, probably through several kids.  I highly recommend these for homeschooling mamas with little ones!

4.Foscam wireless indoor camera

 In an uncharacteristically impulsive move, Dave got this camera about a month ago to use as a baby camera to see what SK does in her crib.  It’s completely unnecessary, especially since SK is a really good sleeper and doesn’t tend to play in her crib, but it is really nifty to have all the same.  The really cool thing about this monitor is that we use our phones and our computers as the receivers which is super convenient. When we use our phones, it’s through some random free app (I don’t know the specifics, Dave set it all up) and the best thing about it is the ads that run above the image of your sleeping babe.  All this to say that I’m now addicted to online gambling.

skcamera

5. Fabric!

mefabricI took the plunge and I bought the yellow ikat fabric for my chair reupholstery project.  No turning back now!  You can expect a series of posts in the near future titled “Hack Jobs” or “Why you should never DIY reupholstery”.  Please pray for me!

For more fabulous five favs, head on back to Moxie Wife! Happy Hump Day!

5 Favorites (vol. 2)

Hi everyone!  I’m joining with Mrs. Lord again to share 5 things that are making me smile.  I loved Hallie’s adorable favorite, her new wudgie Charlie.  Congratulations, Lord family!

1.  The sun!IMG_1031

I know it’s really clichéd to talk about how happy or bummed the weather is making you feel… but I don’t care.

2.  My improved and expanded family gallery wall.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We thought since SK has been around for a year that it was about time to  hang some pictures of her.  As the fourth child in both of our  large families, Dave and I cringed a little at putting a picture of the princess front and center, but it was really the best layout we could come up with.

3. This blog post by Kelle Hampton made me laugh and and reflect on my own people pleasing tendencies.

4. This also made me giggle!

5. Grace Kelly in glasses. Always an inspiration.

 Now I’m off to tackle my to-do list (to-do lists are definitely never a favorite of mine).  SK and I fly to St. Louis tomorrow to visit Jane for a week!  I hope Rose and Claire can fill in for me on the bloggity while I’m gone.  I will, of course, apply guilt and pressure on Jane to post (forcryingoutloud!!!!!) while I’m out there.  Happy Hump Day!

5 Favorites (vol. 1)

I just HAD to join in the 5 favorites fun over at Moxie Wife this week. {This should not to be confused with the 5 things that Jane and Rose still owe us…} Just as the world is better off knowing about Claire’s storied political career, the world really needs to know what 5 frivolous things are currently making my materialistic heart pitter-patter.

1. I know I said that yellow wouldn’t work in my living room for my chair reupholstery project, but I just can’t get it can’t get it out of my head.  Pinterest isn’t helping.

Aren’t they beautiful???  What do you think?

2.  Speaking of colors, this one is on my toes:

Essie Geranium

Too bad no one sees it because it’s basically winter still.  Ugh.

3. Another thing that hasn’t seen the light of day since I bought them a few weeks ago…

Thank you Gap Friends and Family sale (40% off!) and oodles of hoarded rewards points.  Now I am sufficiently trendy for the spring and summer, IF IT EVER COMES!

4.  Mint skinnies leads me to Laura of This Felicitous Life.  I’m loving her series on style and the stay-at-home-mom.  Clearly it’s something that I obsess think about very often.  I love her funny/real take on this all-important issue!  Oh, and I love her wordpress blog design.  Stylish mom-minds think alike!

5.  

Mad Men.  This Sunday.  Dave and I are so crazy excited about this!

Check out the other fab five favs at Moxie Wife!

A Belated Fav Five

Hello, girls!  Sorry for my tardiness in posting about my favorite blogs — or writing any post, for that matter.  I’ve been busy reading the archives of some of blogs you’ve recommended, as well as googling “How to Get my Miniature Schnauzer Puppy to Stop Nipping at my Children.”  It’s a busy life, I tell you.

No surprise here, but most of my frequent haunts were mentioned by you girls.  Are we related or something?  Here are a few of my other favorites, in no particular order:

1.  Testosterhome.  Rachel Balducci’s blog was one of the first I started following almost five years ago, and I think what first attracted me to her writing was her witty observations about her life as a mother, particularly one of many boys.  Here is a link to my absolute favorite post, one that makes me laugh out loud whenever I think of it.  I also think Rachel (she doesn’t mind being on a first name basis, right?) is very balanced when it comes to discussing our faith and our vocation as wives and mothers.  She’s encouraging without being judgmental, straight forward without being critical.   One of my favorite birthday gifts the year that I turned 30 was from Claire, who pre-ordered her book, How Do You Tuck in a Superhero? for me.  I’ve given the book to quite a few of my friends with boys to encourage them to laugh, too, when they find their children beating their grandfather’s truck with baseball bats.

2.  Another blog that I have read for years is Fly Through Our Window.  I really look forward to Darby’s posts, even though they’ve been few and far between this past year.  She posted last week for the first time in a few months, and I eagerly read her update about her family’s “temporary” life at the beach.  Maybe it’s her photography, her friendly demeanor or her love of God and her family, but she just seems like a nice person, someone who loves her life and takes joy in it.  Reading her makes me take notice of the little blessings in my life…and wish that I could photograph them as well as she!  I also enjoy reading the even less frequently updated blog of her twin sister, Erika Powell, who is a very talented designer.  When we go to Destin next week, I’m hoping to convince a few people to go to the Coastal Living Beach House in Rosemary Beach to see some of her work.  Don’t worry, I’ll bring a drool cup with me.

3.  Speaking of taking joy in life, I could list my favorite blogs without mentioning Tricia’s blog, Making it Feel like Home.  Isn’t that a great title?  I think her tagline is a perfect description of her focus in life:  “Making a Happy Home for Myself and my Family, 576 Miles Away from my Hometown.”  Besides the obvious connection as sisters-in-law, I’m trying to do the same for me and my family, in the same “strange” city, far away from my “other” home (1055 miles, to be exact!).  I think Tricia does a great job of making a pleasant life for Ryan and her children, especially with all the fun crafty projects she comes up with to entertain her kids on the 100+  degree days we’ve been having here!

4.  I also must give a shout-out to Shannon and her blog, Mommy Gone Primal.   Less than a year ago, Shannon decided to make a radical lifestyle change and started following The Primal Diet.  Her whole family is now living a very healthy,  low-carb, low sugar, lean meats, heavy-on-the-fruit-and-veggies-life, and Shannon has lost 80 pounds in the process.  Isn’t that incredible?!  I’m so impressed by her devotion and diligence and that her little girls are being taught to eat so well, too.  Shannon and Mike are cooking a Mexican dinner from scratch for the whole  extended family one night while we’re at the beach — no Old El Paso packets for them! — and I can’t wait to go primal myself, at least for one night!  Do you think there’s such thing as a primal margarita?

5.  Finally, I’m a big fan of Edie at Life in Grace.  She has a lovely home that was built after her other home was lost in a fire a few days before Christmas.  Despite such a tragic loss, she continued to praise God.  She sought out joy, and didn’t let the darkness overcome her.  I love her house, of course, and her sense of style and taste in music, but I also admire her strong faith and intellect.  She makes me want to read CS Lewis.  Repeatedly.

That’s it for me, for now at least!  I think I’m a 33-year-old with a 80-year-old’s mind when it comes to technology, by the way.  It’s taken me hours to figure out how to hyperlink/format/do whatever  to this post, and I think my first effort would be graded, at best, a C by our favorite editor-in-chief.  I’ll try writing again in a few months.  Maybe.

Rose’s top five

Some of the blogs I frequent (Simcha’s and YHL) have already been mentioned, and I know at least one other is going to be on Jane’s list, so the sites I’ll be listing as my five faves are not necessarily at the absolute top of my list, but here goes — in no particular order:
1. I’m a sucker for Mormon Mom Blogs — their sense of family, faith, AND style seems to really put Catholic Mom Bloggers to shame sometimes. One of my favorites is a lady named Marlowe, who blogs about her large family at Come Home to Roost. She’s very down-to-earth and honest, and she’s a bit older than I am, so she reminds me a little of our own McMommy with her brood of 7 kids. I find her soothing 🙂
2. I found Abbey Hendrickson’s blog, Aesthetic Outburst, pretty early on in my blog-reading days, and I feel a sort of kinship with her on certain levels. She’s quite crafty, has two small kids around my own girls’ ages, and lives in upstate NY. She and her husband are in the process of renovating an enormous old farmhouse and barn (it was in the worst shape you’ve ever seen when they got it!) and her plans are pretty exciting, but it’s nice to see the very slow and realistic pace at which they’re happening. Her style is very clean and modern, with an interesting eclectic mix of mid-century kitschy collectables.
3. Okay, so, I have a dollhouse. It’s enormous. It’s Claire’s fault. Perhaps I will blog in detail about its extremely slow development, but for now I mention it only to explain why this next blog is on my list. I found a lot of interesting and useful miniatures blogs online, but Brae of Otterine.com seems the most…normal… to me. She is also by far the most talented; it is absolutely amazing what she’s done and how well she photographs her work. She gives really helpful advice and tutorials and I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from her website.

4. While we’re on the topic of my strange old-lady hobbies, I will also confess to a renewed love of embroidery, particularly crewel embroidery, ever since finding and revamping a crewel birth sampler for Margot when I was expecting her. When I went to look for another crewel birth sampler for Ruthie, I couldn’t find a single one — they were all cross-stiched, which I don’t like as much, so I ended up turning a gorgeous crewel alphabet sampler from Alicia Paulson’s blog into a birth sampler by adding Ruthie’s name and birthdate to the bottom. I love her blog’s style — she take gorgeous photos of her cozy little house and the delicious things she cooks and bakes. She has great taste in books and movies, and just seems to love living a simple life surrounded by beautiful things of her own creation.  My only complaint about her is that she seems to always reject my (perfectly normal and non-offensive!) comments — why, Alicia? I just want you to make another crewel sampler, please!
5. One day on YHL they showed another blogger’s kitchen renovation, and I clicked through his site and was sort of intrigued. Beard and Pigtails is a blog by a Catholic dad raising his daughter alone after what seems like a pretty nasty divorce. His style can be a bit a bit…harsh? (not the right word, but if you check him out maybe you’ll see what I mean), but then he’s the only male blogger I follow so it could just be the difference between male and female voices. Anyway, he seems like a really good guy struggling to do his best in what’s not the ideal situation. He has spoken out in his blog in defense of Life and explained why he has remained celibate since his divorce, and I don’t think there’s too many other bloggers like him out there. He got a LOT of traffic after the YHL plug — it crashed his site! — so I’m not the only one who’s discovered him lately.

Oh, I really want to put some honorable mentions here now, but I guess I’ve taken up enough space for today. Hope you guys enjoy my picks!

Five favs from Claire

I like Ellen’s idea of listing our five fav blogs so here I am jumping on the bandwagon. (Procrastination from diaper changing? Possibly.)

I’ll start with my fifth favorite and work up to numero uno.

5) Young House Love. I do enjoy it. I’ll admit it. Is it because it’s a train wreck of color? Their peppy talk has drawn me in? I don’t know, darn it, but I continue to read it every day.

4) Suri’s Burn Book. Good for a snort or two every other day. I mean, on the day IT broke, this was on the blog:

Please respect my privacy during this difficult time. (Just mine though — everyone else is fair game.)

I will be vacationing in the Cayman Islands for the Independence Day holiday with my financier, and going over my plans to seek sole custody of myself.

3) Memories on Clover Lane. This lady is on my list of inspiring mothers and she got there after I read a post from her explaining that mothering takes up a lot of time so therefore, and without apology:

I don’t do much volunteering at my church or school.

YES! Neither do I. Granted, the time I don’t spend volunteering, I’m not using to make my house beautiful or thinking up awesome activities for my kids, but Clover Lane makes me think that’s possible.

2) Conversion Diary. Jen’s perspective on Catholicism is way different from a cradle Catholic’s. And not only is she coming at Catholicism as a convert, she’s coming at it as a convert from atheism. That often helps me make sense of my religious beliefs from a secular point of view. For example, this post has helped me a lot (especially during this pregnancy) because in incorporates a respect for new life from a Catholic point of view but also from a rational point of view. I’m explaining that badly, but Jen wrote a few things in that post that I think about daily.

I learned the hard way that what I think I want is often not the path to lasting happiness. Similarly, what think I need and what I actually need are two different things. And never has this been more true than with children.

1) I need to sit down. Duh. Who doesn’t love them some Simcha Fisher? In a previous incarnation of her blog (no longer available online) she explained how she came up with her blog title by thinking of things she says on a daily basis. Another possible title was “Why is this wet?”

This is a lady who wrote one of the most widely read essays on the Catholic interwebs and it was about pants. That’s talent, man. I’m jealous. I also frequently steal lines of hers. My favorite thus far that I fit into whatever conversation I can:

Welcome to NFP Club. The first rule of NFP Club is: You do not talk about NFP Club.

(Her parents are also very smart and funny, btw, as her Mom demonstrates here.)

But she’s not just laughs. This entry of hers is, by far, the best blog entry I’ve ever read in my entire life.

It is a long road.  But here is what I know:  as long as we still have breath in us, we are not dead, we are only sleeping.  We are not alone; we are waiting for Christ to arrive.

I go back and read that entry many times.

Looking forward to seeing Rose and Jane’s favorites!