7 Quick Takes Memorial Day Edition :: You Don’t Have To, But You Should

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Friday begins the Memorial Day weekend.  A weekend for many that comes and goes without pause between beach vacations, the family outing to the newly opened pool, launching the boat, and BBQ’s.   I’m ok with that!  and the men and women who have died for us would want you to enjoy and live it up!  You don’t have to go to your local parade, or the wreath laying ceremony at the nearby national cemetery, or watch tributes on TV.  It’s like saying you have to go to Mass, pray, and thank Jesus at Easter time or Christmas.  You don’t have to… but you should!  Isn’t that the reason for the season as they say?  Jesus promised us abundant graces from our relationship with him and when Christmas and Easter get wrapped up in just presents and parties, we miss the graces.  Jesus’ service and sacrifice are the model of Christian inspiration.  These virtues call us to live a better life and to affect change in the world.

Continue reading 7 Quick Takes Memorial Day Edition :: You Don’t Have To, But You Should

What I Wore Sunday Vol. 2 :: 38 weeks

Well, this may or may not be my last post with the bump since I still have one more Sunday till my induction on the 31st.  Savoring every last bit of the good stuff though: hiccups, nudges, kicks and chops, well, at least until the next one…if God will’s.

Today’s Mass was all about comfort as I can’t fit into too much anymore and The Chief takes care of Brown Eyes whose 2 and I put Goldilocks in the stroller (who by the way just turned 1) so I must have full mobility!  No heels : (

I have to admit I actually tried to suck it in in this photo… how laughable…yeah, no abs left to do that…lol! Continue reading What I Wore Sunday Vol. 2 :: 38 weeks

7 Days of Lists: Leaving a Legacy

I had the privilege of growing up with an awesome grandpa.  He enjoyed learning, nature, exercise, writing, and making lists (truth be told my grandma did too).

I got that listing bug big time…and frankly, listing can be compulsive for me at times as I try to sort out goals, to-do’s, finances, etc.

So, what is it about list making that is so gratifying?  I guess it’s just getting the clutter out of your head and organizing it in some way.

Well, on top of being a list maker, I love to journal and preserve a slice of history within its words.  I journaled my way through the tumultuous teenage years, pregnancies, and from my first born on. Continue reading 7 Days of Lists: Leaving a Legacy

A Reservoir of Courage :: Accepting My Fertility

I have a confession to make—I haven’t exactly been taking a Back-to-School blogging sabbatical like I posted last week.  I mean I am, but I was more forced to.  You guessed it: I am pregnant again!

The truth is these last 3 weeks since we found out have been very hard on me.  It seems like only days after my positive pregnancy result, I started feeling the stress of morning sickness, tightening clothes (so much for my Summer Transformation Series), and depression!  Morning sickness to me feels like what someone must feel like after being ran over by a semi-truck.  My physical energy is totally drained and my mental energy is gone too.  I had hoped for a nice year long break from pregnancy to give my body and my sanity some recovery, but as it stands I will be enduring my fourth pregnancy in four years…literally.  I also had plans to grow my blog and decorating business, start that book, rock the homeschooling thing, and MY PLANS, Oh MY PLANS!  Continue reading A Reservoir of Courage :: Accepting My Fertility

5 Ways to Comfort the Grieving

Often times when friends, family, and community members experience a sudden death there is a paralyzing and crippling feeling of helplessness.  Though I am not a grief counselor, a ministerial priest, or a clinical psychologist, I am a former widow. 

My first husband was killed tragically by a car bomb in Iraq over 9 years ago.  I was left with 3 very small children, one of whom was born 2 days after his father’s death.  I write this to you all from my experience and nothing more.  To learn more about my journey you can visit my story here.

If you are mourning today while reading this, I understand.  I have been there.  Your loss is real and you are not alone. 

If you are reading this because you want to help someone grieving, I hope this helps you in your mission.  If you find it at all helpful, please share it with others who are looking for ways to comfort those who are grieving. Continue reading 5 Ways to Comfort the Grieving

Restyle :: Before and Afters of a Great Room Gone Bad

House hunting can be one of the most daunting tasks for a family to make, and my

latest clients began looking for their dream, old, new home over a year ago before they finally settled on this one. 

For them it was a bit of a downsize but the perks came with wooded privacy, acreage for that new garden, and beautiful interior architecture and character that they couldn’t find in a cookie cutter suburban home.  Once the paperwork was signed though, the call came in to me that they were a bit befuddled with how to work with their new “character.”  The great room, well was great, but the excitement was waning when the furniture arrived and now all of sudden they didn’t know where to put what. 

**Addy Cakes (12) apprenticed on this job using some of her new photography skills.  She took the Before pictures for me. Is it bad that of my 4 girls I dream that at least one of them will fall in love with design as much as I do and just maybe might want be my partner?!!! Continue reading Restyle :: Before and Afters of a Great Room Gone Bad

The most beautiful woman’s birthday

So, first, let me admit…I do not know what I am doing.  This is my wife’s blog (hence this is “The Chief”) and I wanted to make my gratitude public as she does, and I wanted it to be a surprise.  The only problem is, again, I do not know what I am doing.  I also have crazy Brown Eyes destroying things, and Irish Eyes crying for my every bit of attention (How do you do it)…and this is where the post begins.  One quick note, My Beloved is driving back from getting her hair done in preparation for our eventful day.  So this post has to be so quick and straight to the point.  It will have no order, and will probably be full of grammatical errors…what can I say, I am a jarhead…

So, a wife is not only a best friend and companion through life…she is also a hero to her children.  A woman at heart is full of care and love, which is reflected onto her children.  Her children admire her, cherish her, and strive to have the heart she has.  On top of this, in a traditional home, the wife is the home maker, and a care taker.  She somehow juggles the utter chaos of raising children, while at the same time keeping a clean and organized home.  And to boot, she has to feed this chaotic mess. Continue reading The most beautiful woman’s birthday

The Good That Came

Last week was a very tough week for many—a beautiful young woman of 4 died along with her 5 month old unborn baby, suddenly.  Her name was Sarah Harkins.  She left behind a grieving family and a community reeling in disbelief.  Sarah’s death has given us time to pause and reflect on what reallymatters.  Death does that to us—it jolts us into cognition by revealing to us our own mortality.  We wake from our own selfish stupor to find that time is not infinite, that today may very well be our last day.   Yet, most of us don’t live like it could be. Continue reading The Good That Came

Taking a Chance on Edel

I did something crazy, kinda wild…and I’m sort of proud of myself for doing it. 

I hemmed and hawed about buying tickets to an event far from my kids, not knowing if I’ll have a sitter, just 3 months after I will have given birth to our son (#7), still don’t know if he will come with me, also not knowing a soul there, feeling guilty about the cost (especially right before the holidays)—But I did it and I’ve never been more excited!

Isn’t that courage and hope and faith working their magic? 

Ya’ll, I’m going to the 2nd annual Edel Gathering in Charleston, S.C. joining other Catholic women and bloggers (who I probably know of but don’t know of  me) for motherly renewal, friendship, and fun. 

I must confess part of that hemming and hawing was knowing I may end up wandering around by myself or sitting by myself or geez dancing by myself (ugh!) but then I remembered I’m not in high school anymore—duh, and it’s time to put on my big girl panties!

I’ll be freshly 40 when I go to Edel and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that life doesn’t come to you–you must dare to live it and let the chips fall where they may.  And I have high hopes here, but then again, with Christ all things are possible.  Can I get an Amen?!?!

7 Quick Takes :: An Adoption and A Blessing


Thank you!

Another Memorial Day weekend has come and gone.  We celebrated with our 3rd annual BBQ which left me with no arms available to even snap off a few pictures, but earlier in the day I did manage to get the kids to take this picture!  Thank you for all the Facebook likes, comments, and whopping 1,051 page views and shares on my blog post from last Friday: You Don’t Have to, But You Should Continue reading 7 Quick Takes :: An Adoption and A Blessing

I want my children to… {The Last List: 7}

I love Mathew Kelley’s book, Rediscover Catholicism.  I have soo many new quotes and words and thoughts to live by and I am only 25% done.  A few can be read below in my last list (for awhile now) on Leaving a Legacy.
But, anyways I love when someone can articulate fully what’s on your heart and mind.  Here’s one I am loving:
“We become what we celebrate.”
He asks the question of us, “What are we celebrating as a culture?  What are you celebrating?  You have become the person you are because of the things you celebrate.  Our culture has become what it is because of the things we celebrate. “

Continue reading I want my children to… {The Last List: 7}