Saturday, April 30, 2016


"A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2016."

Johnny// 2 yrs. 11 mos.

Trixie// 6.5 mos

Both kids were sick this week. Trixie was back to her happy self after only a couple days, but Johnny was down the whole week. Thus the NoseFrida. Although we got lots of extra snuggles this week, I am glad everyone's back to good health. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

listening, eating, reading, making

I did this link-up a couple months ago. I've reworked it a little bit and if you'd like to join and share what you've been listening to, eating, reading, and making, please link up!


I have been loving Shane and Shane's second volume of Psalms. These guys are by far my favorite Christian artists, and have been for many years.  I couldn't believe it when I heard their rendition of this old Catholic favorite. It just goes to show that with the right musicians any song can sound awesome.


We tried this soup this past Friday. It was yummy! And it took about 15 minutes of active prep time, which is always appreciated.


I'm reading through the book of Matthew with the Blessed is She Minnesota Chapter. We're using this study bible which is worth it's weight in gold. It feels really good to be doing something to nourish my faith that is also scholarly.


I've been making Trixie some headbands, one of which she debuted at my sister's wedding, These may be making an appearance in my Etsy shop in the next couple weeks. So stay tuned there!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

7 highlights from my sister's wedding

My sister got married last weekend! It was fun and busy and crazy and emotional and very very special. Here are some of the highlights in the form of Quick Takes (complete with grainy cellphone pics). Enjoy!


THE WEATHER! It was a perfect weekend for a wedding, blue skies, warm sun, and puffy white clouds. When my sister set her date for April 17 last fall we joked that, Minnesota being what it is, there very well could be snow on her wedding day. Instead they got  sunshine and 80 beautiful degrees.


Pedicures! I haven't had my nails done, nor done them myself, in almost a year. And I do like to have polish on so going for mani/pedis was such a treat. And soaking my feet in hot water while sipping on a latte without any interruptions basically felt like a Caribbean vacation.


Getting to know another side of my sister. I've known my sister for all of her life and almost all of mine. Even though she has been an adult for quite some time I still can't help but think of her as my 11 year old little sister. But over the wedding weekend I got to see her as her own person outside of our usual family setting. It was great to meet her cool friends and see the supportive community she has built. She was so laid back and chill about wedding plans and details. It was so fun to see her be in charge on the wedding day, and be the center of attention with so much grace and poise.


5 minutes before the wedding when my mom was about to be escorted down the aisle she came over to where my dad and I were standing. She gave my dad a hug and said to him, through some tears, "Have fun walking Amy down the aisle."  My dad turned to me, tears starting to form in his own eyes and said, "Now why did she have to say that?" From there on out we were pretty much a mess.


Johnny was the Ring Bearer. Instead of giving him a pillow with some fake rings to hold, we made a flag for him to carry that said "Here comes the bride." During the rehearsal he was wiping that flag around, banging it on every available surface, and running up and down the aisle. But the wedding was at 3:00 pm, right in the middle of what is usually nap time.  So when it was Johnny's turn to walk in he came down the aisle with heavy eyes and slow steps, dragging the flag on the ground behind him. I really hope the photographer got a picture of him, because it was pretty hilarious. When he finally made it to Alex in the front row everyone started clapping. Then my sister came in and everyone very appropriately forgot about Johnny, who fell asleep on Alex's lap.


I was not the only one who cried while giving a toast. Amy told me ahead of time that her new in-laws were an emotional bunch. And she was right  My new brother-in-law's father, who is a minister, gave the sweetest wedding sermon, and cried his way through the whole thing. Then his brother, the best man, cried his way through his toast. So I was in good company when it was my turn to read the toast I had prepared. The only difference was that when my brother-in-law's father and brother cried they did it really nicely. They didn't really look like they were crying, they just paused a lot and took some deep breathes. But when I cry, I ugly cry. My mouth get quivery, my face gets red, and my voice cracks and squeaks. I think I held it together for the first  7 seconds of my toasts, and then I was just hot mess. Lucky for me a wedding is one place where that sort of thing is entirely appropriate.


Thanks to my cousin, Alyssa, for lending my this photo. I did not even get one of my sister!
Going to weddings as a married person is like a nice little refresher course on marriage. And the two things I took away from the aforementioned very sweet wedding sermon were these:

1. A marriage requires humility. I know this. Just like I know humility is something I struggle with. But how great would it be for my marriage if I would always treat Alex as more important than myself? The morning of the wedding, while we were at mass, I picked up a prayer card that has the litany of humility printed on it and I thought to myself, "I should start praying this." Then when I heard the word humility at the wedding I knew God must be trying to tell me something.

And 2. Watch your mouth. I know that my tongue can be sharp and I know that my words can cause injury. If I can learn to humble myself and not feel entitled to say everything that pops into my head, my marriage will be served so much better. It's not that I can't say what I'm thinking. But I do need to learn to say what I'm thinking in a gentle and helpful way.

It was a beautiful wedding. It made me excited for my sister and brother-in-law to begin their married life.  It made me excited to continue working on my own marriage.

Have a  great weekend everyone! And for more Quick Takes visit This Ain't The Lyceum

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


"A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2016."

Johnny//2 years 10 mos

Trixie// 6 mos

Well...almost every week. My sister got married last week so things were a little crazy at our house. I would have loved to post pictures of the kids in their cute wedding outfits but I forgot to bring the big camera and just barely managed to get a few cell phone pics of them.

The weather has been pretty nice here the last couple weeks. We have been going to the park almost every day. Johnny likes to play "ball", swing really high, and NOT get sand in his shoes. Trixie likes to watch Johnny run around and tolerates sitting in the baby swing as long as it's not moving.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

long days & short years.

This weekend I took the kids over to my parents house so that Alex could have a few quiet hours of  study, and also to give us something to do. My dad walked us down to the park by their house and we took turns holding Trixie and chasing Johnny.

While we were there a couple from the neighborhood, acquaintances of my parents, showed up with their own kids. My dad introduced us and because we both have young children we instantly had a million things to talk about. I mentioned that my husband has been in school for as long as we have been parents, that we have a little less than two years left, and that hopefully that time goes by quickly. One of other parents made the comment that in life with little kids the days are long, but the years are short.

My days this week have been very long. I'm taking my spring break. And by spring break I mean that I'm not teaching any piano lessons for a week. We're not going anywhere, and with temperatures in the 30's and snow flurries dotting the sky outside it certainly doesn't feel like spring. I don't have my usual babysitters and teaching time and so I feel even more cooped up than usual. It is very nice to not have to worry about making sure I have clean clothes on, and getting dinner ready before lunch time. But I wouldn't really call it a break. Just a change to my days. My very long days.

I'm having a little bit of trouble seeing the forest for the trees right now. I am trying so desperately to just make it through each day, because each day I make it through is one day closer to when Alex will be done with school. When I won't have to get kids ready for bed by myself, when we will be able to go on dates and do fun stuff as a family on the weekends, when I will get to pursue my hobbies a bit more. It feels like we're waiting for our life to start, that right now isn't our real life but some interim life, and each day checked off is just one day closer.

But actually, this- these very long, often very hard days- this is life. Sure, Trixie is teething and super fussy and needs to be held all day. And sure, Johnny pooped six times and threw a tantrum about every single food I tried to feed him. But he also gave Trixie about a dozen kisses this morning, and makes her laugh all the time. It's chaos, but it's also sweet. All this sweet chaos, this is my life, my mission, and my vocation, and if all I'm doing is trying to just get through it, I will miss it. And there's so much I don't want to miss right now.

Oh, and if it seems like I'm giving myself a lot of pep talks these days, it's because I am.

(Less than two years. I can do this.)


"A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2016."

Johnny//2 yrs. 10 mos.

Trixie// 5 mos.

We had a warm weather teaser a few weeks ago. Now it's cold again and we are yearning for spring.  Johnny and I attempted a quick trip to the park, but it was too cold for baby girl. She stayed home with papa and watched for big brother out the window. 
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