WIWS & Flag Day

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday.

Hellooooo What I wore Sunday! I’ve missed you.

Dress: Gap Shoes: Famous Footwear Belt: Super old H&M

Dress: Gap
Shoes: Famous Footwear
Belt: Super old H&M

If I could only wear navy and cognac for the rest of my life, I would do so happily.  I’m just a big fan of that combo, and I think it looks good no matter what the season.

This dress is pretty much perfect in every way.  The material is light but not see-through, and the waist is gathered and elasticized in a flattering way and the length is just below the knee.  And it has pockets!  I don’t know why pockets make a dress, but they just do.

And my shoes are also a recent purchase and I’m so in love with them.  Remember in the fall when I said I was on the hunt for cognac flats?  Well I never found them and I eventually gave up the hunt because winter descended and I lived in boots for several months.  I pinned these almost identical Frye flats sometime over the winter, but I never thought I’d find something similar that would fit my big wide feet comfortably. When I found these at Famous Footwear, for a fraction of the price of the Fryes but still decent quality and so comfortable, I pounced.

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So! Did you know that today is Flag Day? If you live in my town you do because my town takes Flag Day very seriously.

We have a parade.

Sara has always loved the parade because she loves vehicles, and she loves waving to people.  This year it was even more exciting because we let her eat the candy that they threw from the floats.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


This is Gus’ first ex-utero flag day parade.  Last year his view was a little obstructed.


Whew! What a difference a year makes!


Happy Easter!


Happy Easter! He is Risen!

We had a really great weekend in New York, visiting family, hunting for eggs, dyeing eggs, going to Mass, eating tons of sugar and ham (in that order), enjoying the lovely weather and hunting for eggs again.  It’s hard to tell what SK loves more about these visits: playing with all of her cousins or playing with all of their toys.

Or terrorizing my parent's pets.

Or terrorizing my parents’ pets.

I hope you all had a lovely sugar, incense, and family filled Easter weekend as well.  My thoughts and prayers have been with Beth and her family as they said goodbye to their precious Rebecca last week.  I can’t even fathom what their family is going through.  Our own little family experienced a loss last week as well with the unexpected passing of Dave’s Grandpa.  If you have a spare sec, would you please keep his soul and Dave’s family in your prayers?  Thanks, guys. 🙂

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for WIWS


WIWS & Some Catechetical Thoughts

It’s the first Sunday of Lent, and I just realized I appropriately wore purple (albeit, very pale purple).  Dumb luck for the win!


Gap maternity tee & maternity tights (recommended by Dwija), old Loft cardi and old H&M skirt (worn here – yay for elastic waists!) and trusty Corso Como boots.  SK (23 months) is sporting a Gap Outlet dress in 3T.

Speaking of dumb luck, it came to our rescue during Mass today.  We’ve been using the diaper bag as a Mass books/activities bag for a while now and we just keep it in the car in the meantime.  It also has diapers and things in it as well, but we never ever have to use it as a diaper bag because this kid never goes when we’re out of the house.  I’m telling you, it never happens.  But it happened today!  I was so shocked when that tell-tale look came over SK’s face during the prayer of the faithful!  And then I remembered: time change.  Her little body thought it was an hour earlier, and we’re always at home at 8 am, so according to her internal clock it was go time.  Yuck!  But like I said, dumb luck came to our rescue and we were prepared like good  normal parents.

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Yesterday I headed over to church in the afternoon because my second grade CCD students were going to have a tour. My DRE was the one giving the tour so I was just there for crowd control, but I was more than happy to tag along.  In fact, the whole time I was thinking “Why don’t they do tours for the adults as well?”  Now, St. Theresa of Avila in West Roxbury MA is an especially gorgeous church.  And I’m not saying that in a haughty “my church is more gorgeous than your church” way.  Having grown up in an area where many of the traditional older churches were leveled or abandoned for more modern (ok, ugly) barn-like structures, I know it’s the exception and not the rule to have beautiful parish churches. Unfortunately.  But, every Catholic church has certain features that must be there (like the tabernacle and the altar) so there’s always material for instruction.

It struck me when my DRE was teaching the kids how to genuflect and why we genuflect, that this would be a good refresher for all the parishoners!

Image from Cardinal Sean’s blog. The tabernacle at St. Theresa’s pretty much demands that you stop and genuflect!

I assume most parishoners, like myself, don’t have time on Sunday to wander around and actually look at each stained glass window.  Not all stained glass windows are as intricate as the ones in St. Theresa’s maybe, but they are all meant to be catechetical.

It was really neat for the kids to get to go into the sacristy to see all the vestments and candles and the crucifix for the procession.  One of the things that they found really interesting (and I thought adults should know about as well) was how there was a special place for the chalice and ciboria to be cleaned that was separate from the sink where everything else was cleaned.

They had the cutest questions about it all. One little girl asked “where are the angel’s robes?”.  That stumped my DRE but then I asked, “Do you mean the kids who are altar servers who help Monsignor during Mass?” and she shook her head yes.  My DRE explained that when they’re in fourth grade, they could be altar servers if they wanted and they could help at Mass.  One of my students, a really smart little red headed boy, looked very serious and asked “If I want to be an altar server when I’m in fourth grade, does that mean I can’t get married?” Ah, I had to try really hard not to laugh; it was a valid concern in his little head!

Anyway, I share all this to just raise the question of whether church tours should be something that happens at every parish and not just for kids.  I don’t know if it’s practical or if I’m being naive, it just struck me as such a teaching opportunity in this day and age when most church going Catholic adults don’t know some of the most basic and profound truths of our faith.  A lot of it can simply be found within the building and in the artwork and function of the church itself!  What do you think?

Thank you to the lovely ladies at FL&P for hosting! 🙂

Happy Birthday, Joanie! {& WIWS}

Today is a big day.  15 years ago today, our youngest McSister entered the world.  Jane and Rose were in college and Claire, Mary and I were at Irish dancing class and when we came back, Mom had already been whisked away to the hospital with little Jimmy in in tow.  A few hours later, we heard that we had another sister!

For a while it seemed like Joanie would always be the cute kid sister.

This picture was taken yesterday, right??

This picture was taken yesterday, right??

But even when she was a kid, she was always more mature and confident than a little kid should be.  Maybe it was because everyone was so much older than she was.  Joanie was only a year old when Jane and Brandon got married and she was four when her first nephew was born.  So, she’s never really known a time when there weren’t brothers-in-law and boyfriends and weddings and nieces and nephews.  I guess that makes one mature faster.  


Suddenly, Joanie isn’t a kid anymore.  She is such a lovely young woman. I don’t think I’m offending my fellow McSisters when I say that the rest of us were miserably awkward adolescents battling either acne or chubbiness or both (guilty. And braces.). Joanie seems to have risen above all that.  She’s willowy and poised.  Poised, I tell you! But more importantly than that, she is a hard worker volunteering much of her time at the Little Sisters of the Poor’s home for the elderly, a generous mothers helper to her local sisters with littles, and a sweet daughter, sister and friend.  And you know what else?  She’s cool as a cucumber.  This girl isn’t fazed by anything.  I want to be Joanie when I grow up!

Anyway, Happy Birthday to our big little sister Joanie!  We love you!



And since it’s Sunday and not fah-reeeeezing, I actually had a decent outfit to share with you today!


Maternity, she wore.


Not going to list the clothing deets because, well, it’s all full panel, stretchy, side-ruched boring maternity basics that you can get anywhere, right? Please note, the boots still zip and my calves are not pouring out of the top.  My legs are still hanging in there, even if my face is already puffy! 18 weeks to go, you do the math.

The only bit of outerwear I wore today was that vest and scarf.  Let the thawing commence!

So, we’re going to try to do Jen Fulwiler’s 7 posts in 7 days this week, just FYI.  So, not only will I be spending all of my time reading everyone’s awesome posts EVERY DAY, I will try to be writing some of my own or furiously tracking down the other McSisters and making them contribute.  In other words, Ellen is not getting any housework done this week.  Dave, you’ve been warned.

Keeping it real {wiws}

(I’m just going to pretend that Christmas never happened and it hasn’t been a month since I’ve blogged, ok? Ok.)

Happy feast of the Bathtism of the Lord! I gave my second graders their homework assignment that came directly from Papa Francis:

“Find out the day on which you were born to the Church, and give thanks to the Lord, because at Baptism he has opened the door of his Church to us.” read the rest here.

Its always nice when the Pope helps a poor catechist out!

Now, I thought I’d take the plunge back in fashion land and record what I wore today because I didn’t feel too frumpy and fat.  Its all thanks to my trusty black jersey knit dress from a million years ago.  Every mother should own one.  The funny thing is I bought this dress when I was single because I thought I looked foxy in it!  Haha, little did I know that it’s Mama’s best friend with it’s stretchyness and blackness.

Be warned, these photos show my incredibly embarrassing guest bedroom/office/craft table  JUNK room complete with it’s filthy mirror.  If I had written a New Years resolution post, I would harken back to it and my promise to be more “authentic” on the blog. Or my resolution to be a better housekeeper.  Or my resolution to take better photographs.  I’m failing at this New Years thing already!

The happy thing is that no husbands were involved and, hence, annoyed by the taking of these photos.

IMG_2112Speaking of husbands, my husband just came back from Manchester, England, and he picked me up that scarf while he was there.  He’s a keeper.


“Maybe if I squeeze three pictures into one, it’ll minimize the JUNK factor.”

And no, that’s not a 25 week baby bump, it’s a 15 weeker.  This post is all about keeping it real, right?  

[Scratch that! I went back and checked and I’m actually 16 weeks! Whew!]

Ok, that’s quite enough of that!  For better pictures, outfits and blogs, check out Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday.

WIWS & Owning a Home


Scarf was a Christmas present from several years ago, old gap outlet trench, loft lace top, old gap outlet denim skirt, old gap tights, thrifted shoes from Plato’s closet.

Just checking in to share an outfit that I thought was blog-worthy.  Now I’m realizing that it’s basically just a huge repeat of… everything I’ve worn forever.  But that’s ok, that means I’m being good about shopping my closet, right?

It’s been a busy busy first weekend of homeownership.  Well, it’s mostly been busy for Dave, who has been changing light fixtures, moving switches, prepping for paint, painting, and taking many trips to Lowes!  I can’t wait to tell you all about it, and share before and progress pictures.  And don’t worry, SK and I have been helping in our own way.  She and I look care of some of the leaves this afternoon… just barely scratching the surface of our huge yard.  We’re getting there.


SK taking a juice break from helping me with the “fowefs”.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend. 🙂 Oh, maybe it’s a long weekend for you?  It’s our McBrother’s birthday tomorrow, which is also Veterans Day.  Appropriate birthday for the sole boy in a family of seven, huh?  He’s earned his stripes!

Check out everyone else’s Sunday finest at Fine Linen and Purple!

WIWS Postpartum Edition

Sorry about my prolonged maternity leave from blogging. I actually went back to dance class last week, though with Claire’s help I could do that and still nurse the baby, whereas typing with one hand is a bit difficult for me. But I will soldier on for the sisterhood!


Let’s start with what I wore and confess that other than the shoes and jacket it’s still maternity clothes over here for the most part. I’ve been passing the wee hours of the morning watching a lot of dumb TLC shows on Netflix, and Stacey and Clinton (What Not to Wear) have made it clear to me that jackets are my friend, hence the suede jacket over maternity shirt and maternity khakis, with my scarf serving the dual functions of belly camouflage and “pop of color.” Bam.

Obviously I have a lot to catch up on, but since I also have to catch up on sleep, I’ll make it short…

This little guy is a month old!


The shirt is a big lie — he’s very sensitive, and it’s made for an interesting first few weeks! First there was a rapid breathing episode in the hospital that led to IV antibiotics; then two weeks of misery, mine and his, around having his upper lip and tongue lasered to fix his tight frenulum to fix his bad latch; and then there’s the ongoing tummy troubles, both gas and reflux, keeping us up and night and unhappy during the day…I won’t say he’s my toughest baby (MARGOT) but he’s no walk in the park (RUTHIE).He also happens to have lost all the hair on top of his head so he looks like a middle-aged Portuguese guy. All he needs is a sleeveless undershirt and a wife named Maria.

Love you, Petey!

P.S. Margot’s been full of one-liner’s lately, and has also watch The Wizard of Oz every day for a week. In church this morning I took Peter out of his carseat to nurse him and Margot looked over to see an empty seat with just Peter’s knit hat left inside it. She picked it up and said, “Where’s Peter! Oh no, he melted!”Thank you to the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for hosting our favorite Sunday  link-up!

WIWS: Tweed & Respect Life

We’ve had a busy, fun weekend with family visiting and pumpkin patch outings, so we’re all a little pooped today, especially little miss SK.  The weather fits our moods (rainy & dreary) so we decided that we would make it a two nap day for our exhausted toddler, and we went to the 11 am Mass in between snoozies.

I know I shouldn’t be excited about this, but the weather today warranted wearing tights!  It’s all fun and games, until after Christmas.  Then it gets real old.

Gap blazer & tank, Loft lace, Old Navy skirt & shoes, Target tights. Awkward straight arms pose c/o years of Irish dancing... and homeschooling. ;)

Gap blazer & tank, Loft lace, Old Navy skirt & shoes, Target tights. Veeerrrry old Bass outlet necklace. Awkward straight arms pose c/o years of Irish dancing… and homeschooling. 😉

For those of you who were waiting with baited breath, yes I was triumphant in my great blazer search!  But I ended up going with this brown tweed, instead of navy blue.

[I’ll give you an extremely pared down version of my blazer decision making process.  Feel veddy veddy free to skip.]

Basically, I realized that I already own a lot of navy blue things, especially tops, so it would be silly to get a navy blue blazer if I had nothing to wear with it.  Also, while I still love the classic, polished look of a navy blazer, I thought it might be too formal for me for every day stay-at-home-mom wear.  For a while I toyed with the idea of getting a jean jacket instead, but it just wasn’t me.  Then I saw the brown tweed at Gap. It seemed so much more casual and warm than a navy blazer.  Tweeds always make me think British.  And it reminds me of my dapper McGrandpa. Anyway, full price, the blazer was $98, but I waited until there was a 35% off sale and a Tuesday (I get 10% off on Tuesdays with my Gapcard) so I ended up paying $57, so $7 over budget. But, buying the blazer earned me $10 back in rewards points, so it’s kinda like I came in under budget, right?


Look! When you pop the collar, there’s a fun pop of fuchsia! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And now Ellen is done buying clothes {forever}<— So sayeth the husband. And reality.


Switching gears, today is Respect Life Sunday.  Our pastor gave a really good sermon today about pro-life issues, from womb to tomb.  He exhorted us to reach out to those in need, to those who suffer and to those who are grieving.  Because being pro-life means being pro-all life.  Christ came to give us life abundantly, and while we strive for everlasting life in Heaven with Him one day, our work is here on the earth.

 It’s really made me think about how I can serve others this week and be pro-life.  I can’t help but feel like my sister Mary and her vocation as a Little Sister of the Poor serving the poor elderly is so much more pro-life than mine of just taking care of my kiddo and my husband.  I know that’s not true, and my vocation is important, but I also know I need to be more intentional about where my time goes.  I could get going earlier in the morning, make sure I get to daily Mass and free up more time for service.  I can make sure to get to a 40 Days for Life event this month. I could pick a day every week to fast for a particular intention (I know my Mom does this). I mean heck! I just need to be more mindful of giving a chunk of my time to the Lord in prayer every day.  I’ve recently put an alarm on my phone to remind me, and this has helped, but I still have a long way to go.

How do you do it, McSisters and internet friends?  How do you do live life more pro-life?  I know I’ve got more time on my hands because I only have my SK, while most of you have your hands full with many kids and activities and responsibilities – with life!  I hope to be in your shoes one day, but right now I have more time and I know I don’t use it wisely. Maybe you have some pointers for me?  Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple hosted by my favorite Canadian Mum Christy today(! :)) for What I Wore Sunday.

WIWS…on Monday

Don’t you love a Sabbath that is really… Sabbath-y?  You know, beautiful, slow, restful, happy family days?  That’s what we had yesterday.  Dave was a doll and let me sleep in till 8:30(!!!!!) and he washed ALL of the dishes from the previous night’s book club revelry. [Nerd alert] Along with discussing Gaudy Night, we had a lot of good food and drinks and made a big mess! So we decided to go to noon Mass and take it easy in the morning.


Dress from Gap (worn here), shoes from Old Navy, scarf on loan from my bff Melissa. SK is wearing her cute consignment and thrifted finds.

I’m sure it didn’t escape anyone’s notice (on facebook and everywhere) that yesterday was the first day of fall. So of course, SK and I dressed appropriately for the perfect New England fall day we were lucky enough to have here.


After Mass, we decided to do one of the things on our “we’ll have to check that out someday” list.  We finally went to the Fairbanks House (which I mentioned last year) and took a tour.  It was fascinating! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Fairbanks House is considered to be the oldest surviving timber frame house in North America which means that the actual frame is made of only wood and wood pegs, no nails.  Wild, huh? The Fairbanks family who built the house sometime between 1637-1640 (not 1636 as the chimney states) were Puritan immigrants, and their descendants lived in the house up until 1900.  There were lots of interesting artifacts and family heirlooms in the house.  One of them was a beautifully carved wooden chest, which was made by a local craftsman for the family in the 1600’s.  It stayed in the family for a couple of centuries and then was sold. The Fairbanks family association tracked it down a few years ago when it went up for auction at Christies.  They only planned on paying 10K for it, but they got into a bidding war and ended up paying 75K to get it back!

Another interesting thing we saw were two tattered pairs of 17th century shoes (which didn’t look all that different than the tattered Toms I was wearing).  During restoration, they found the shoes in the walls of the house.  Apparently, it was common for this time period for people to embed shoes in their house but the reasoning is not quite clear.  Some think it was simply for good luck, while others think it was specifically for good fortune in fertility, hence the nursery rhyme There Was An Old Lady Who Lived In A Shoe!  Mind=Blown.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pinch me, I just love New England life. #iannoymyself

Did you do anything fun, interesting or enlightening this weekend?

Linking up with FL&P for What I Wore Sunday.

WIWS & Some Weighty Thoughts


Loft lace top (it was a steal!), old favorite Gap outlet denim pencil skirt (worn previously here and here) and old Gap peep toe flats.

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple today to share my fine lace and denim church outfit. 🙂

I’m pretty happy with this outfit and how I look.  I’ve been feeling good about myself lately, which as my husband would tell you, is a departure from my norm.  I’ve been running longer and faster lately, finally getting closer to my summer goal of running a 6 miler.  I’ve been eating sensibly too.  I don’t stick to a restrictive diet or anything, but I don’t snack, usually have lots of protein for breakfast and a salad for lunch and a normal dinner.  I even switched to gin and tonics when I want a little drinky treat. So I feel good and I think I’m looking good.  I’ve lost inches and a pant size.  BUT.

I haven’t lost any weight.  I’m down to my pre-pregnancy weight and I have been there since April, but I figured that with this change of lifestyle that I’ve been working on and maintaining for a whole year(!) would start to pay off in numbers on the scale. I’m not technically overweight for my height, but I’ve always been on the upper end of my BMI zone, therefore I’ve always felt the itch to drop 10 pounds or so. I’m not sharing this to whine and complain or to solicit compliments. I feel pretty good and healthy and those feelings can’t just be taken away by stepping on the scale.  But I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this?

I know that if I was more gung-ho and ran every day and did some no carb diet I would drop some weight, but at this point I’m feeling like it’s not worth it.  At this state in my life, between babies and always anticipating the very real possibility of another new blessing, I feel as though if I suddenly lost a chunk of weight, I would be very disappointed when (God willing) that little line on the stick appears. And that’s not right!  Besides, I’ve accomplished the main goal that I set out for when I started running: I’m in shape and healthy.  I wanted to be fit before having another baby so that I would hopefully have a healthier pregnancy and less scary delivery.  By the grace of God, I’ve accomplished that, I just wish I had dropped some extra pounds along the way.  Am I facing reality by letting go of my weight loss wishes or am I just being lazy?

Deep and life changing conversation, as usual.  And not vain at all. 😉

I hope everyone has a relaxing Sunday afternoon! Thanks to FL&P as always for hosting everyone’s favorite Sunday link-up!