Saturday, June 30, 2012

This Week's Work Link Up Party - #1


I decided to do a weekly post, sharing the weeks projects and disasters (thankfully no major crafting disasters this week!) and I wanted to give anyone with a blog the chance to share what they've been working on as well, so I created a brand new Saturday, weekly link up party.  You're welcome to share whatever family friendly project you've been working on, from sewing and crafts to cooking, organizing and schooling (and whatever else you can think of!).  And if you're working on something for a shop, you're welcome to share that too, because I love helping out small businesses!  

This week's submissions will be open until next Friday night, so you have plenty of time to come up with a post!  Have fun!

This week my post will focus on Mae's upcoming birthday.  I have two and a half presents left to create before the fourth...  We're getting down to the wire!  He's what I've come up with so far:

Some Saints for the Shop:



Mae's Saint Catherine Doll, waiting for her veil to be finished:


Some play oven mitts for the baby obsessed with oven mitts:


Mae's Rapunzel Dress:


A Blanket for the Birthday Girl (half way finished, please pardon my sewing area mess!)


This might be my favorite dress ever.  I'm pretty proud of it.  I cut it out and created it without a pattern:


And the completed habit, complete with veil and mini cape.


And I'll spare you another round of the snoods I finished, but posted yesterday, because they should be in this section too!

So... what are you working on?  I can't wait to see what you've come up with this week!


----

Friday, June 29, 2012

A New Snood for All Season Creation

In yesterday's post I mentioned my recent purchase of a new pink silicone swim cap.  Last night I tucked my hair up into it, handed Paul the camera and told him that we were going to do a snood photo shoot.  He looked at me like I was crazy, and asked me, when we got outside, whether or not I was going to take the swim cap off my head.  I shook my head "no" as I laid my snoods out on a whicker chair, and instructed him to snap a "before" picture.  He decided to go along with his crazy wife:


Then I began to carefully fit each snood over the cap.

You see, the new snoods I've designed are made with a new pattern to fit those with no hair, or with very short hair.

This summer, since coming home, I've been very blessed to be able to take a couple of afternoons a week to go and sit with my dear friend who's battling ovarian cancer.  Now I had long planned on designing fitted snoods for those who don't need to stuff a pony tail or bun (or just longer strands!) into their snood.  Something that was fitted and beautiful, that stayed in place like my normal snoods, but that didn't have any unnecessary bulk.

When my friend asked me to make her a snood I got to work on the new pattern.

By the end of the day the pattern was perfected and I was pleased with the result when I put it on over my hair (with my hair down).  Still, to really see how it looked I needed something to do away with my out of control locks.

The swim cap order went out and I impatiently awaited its arrival.

So now I'm happy to introduce my newest line of snoods.  I'll be adding more colors as I sew them (and I happily accept custom orders if you have a color and fabric in mind):











7 Quick Takes Friday



--- 1 ---

Yesterday I thought we might be able to take the girls on a walk again.  It'd been over a week since we'd had a bear run in and I thought maybe, just maybe she had bumbled over to someone else's property and decided to stay there.  Then Nini went out to the car to leave the house this morning.  She opened the garage, went back inside, and upon walking back into the garage came face to face with the bear, eating bird seed.  Thankfully, the bear took off running.  An hour later, Gigi went out to the garage (which, unfortunately still was open) and discovered that the bear was back at it, eating bird seed again (apparently they're big fans of the finch's thistle that we buy).

So we're still hanging out on the porch and will be for the foreseeable future.

...And Grumpa did call Fish and Game today...  He was told that since the bear ran away it sounded as if it was still afraid of humans, although he could certainly shoot it if it threatened anyone.

Yup, because I'm sure someone is going to have time to go inside, find the gun, find the gun's ammo, load the gun and come outside to save the day if the bear that's been pestering us during the day for almost a month now decides to get over his clearly not that great fear of humans (I mean, how afraid can he be if he keeps going inside?!?!?!).



--- 2 ---

The best therapy for a politically horrible day is, for me at least, sewing... or knitting... or doing some other sort of craft.  I have a feeling that, as a result, that I'm entering into a very productive crafting period.



--- 3 ---

The fact that we have a bear lurking around the house is doing nothing to help Sadie's fear of bears after seeing Brave with me on Sunday afternoon.  I assured her that this bear isn't 15 feet tall and that it won't be able to open the doors to come inside the house.

She doesn't seem to believe me.

--- 4 ---

I recently ordered a swim cap for a snood shop project that's been on my mind (more on that tomorrow).  Instead the girls have taken turns swiping it.  Mae wears it on her head.  Sadie pretends its a doll and calls it her baby.  Who knew that a silicone swim cap was one of the most amusing toys ever created?



--- 5 ---

Mae Bae is insane when it comes to drinking anything.  Let me explain how this craziness works.

Mae takes a sip out of a cup.  She looks down.  She imagines that she sees a drop of water touch her dress.  Hysterics quickly follow as she runs around trying to tear off her dress to change.  A drop of water hitting her skirt is apparently one of the worst things that she can possibly imagine happening.

--- 6 ---

I get really tired of comments portraying conservatives as monsters.  I would dislike the same sort of comments if I saw them aimed at liberals... I just don't usually (or really ever) see those.  I don't mind seeing facebook status updates that express differing political opinions.  That's great.  Use that freedom of speech while you still have it.

However there's a line between expressing your political beliefs and expressing disagreement and saying: "All conservatives are woman hating pigs that don't $@!#(%# care about life after a baby's been born."

The later is what I hate seeing in facebook status updates.

Listen, I know we're all passionate about the direction our country is headed in.  And I know we have different ideas about how to fix it.  Explain your way.  Debate the correct solutions.  I like to go so far as to give people the benefit of the doubt and believe that they're arguing for a solution that they honestly believe will be best for our country.

And so here's my real facebook plea (although I doubt people who need to read it are actually going to): Please do your utmost to act like a grown up, even when you're shielded by a computer screen, and remember that the insults that you fling very likely involve a group that members of your friends and family are part of, and that you're directly insulting them when you use sweeping generalizations.  Do you really believe that your (fill in the blank with a close relative of your choice) is a woman hating extremist?  Try to picture the faces of the people your insulting and hopefully that will give you pause.



--- 7 ---

And lastly, here's a picture of the little animals that are living just off the edge of our porch.  At least some of the wildlife here is friendly!  These little guys are so cute!



For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Destruction of Freedom

I feel a little naive this morning.  Naive and yet at the same time, hardly surprised.  You see I'm not sure that there's anything that can happen during this administration's horrible rein that can surprise me any longer.  The first amendment?  Out the window with a simple mandate decreed from on high.  States rights?  What are those?  Does anyone remember?

Yet I feel the sting of my naivety because I did truly believe that the Supreme Court was going to uphold the Constitution this week.  Perhaps I had too much faith that they would uphold the rule of law?  I'd waited, more or less patiently, for the ruling to be handed down, clinging to the belief that the justices would at least be able to see that compelling every person in our country to buy anything was quite simply unconstitutional.

I'm sure there are people out there who will tell us that we can't really know what we're talking about (I've already heard that sentiment once this morning).  After all, this is Constitutional Law.  It's much too big and scary for us lowly commoners, with our mundane thoughts and the day to day concern of feeding our families, to understand on our own.  We haven't heard our own feet echoing up and down the hallowed halls of academia for nearly long enough to begin to wrap our little brains around such lofty ideas, right?

I disagree.  Before eighth grade I didn't have a clear understanding the freedoms that our Constitution promised us.  Then I sat in Mr. Vogel's history class, and we basically had to memorize the entirety of the information in the Constitution so that, if a section of it were removed, we could pen in the missing words.  And plenty of spaces were blank on the test.

Was it a challenge to memorize what each bill said?  Absolutely.  But if my thirteen year old mind could handle it, and process what I was memorizing, I'm quite certain it's not beyond the reach of the average American to understand the freedoms that the framers of the Constitution recognized needed to be protected.

Those men, penning the laws that they fervently hoped would stand to protect our freedom, didn't have much patience for an overbearing federal government that levied taxes simply because it could.  They thought that they were throwing that heavy, nation crushing weight off their own shoulders, and creating a nation where men wouldn't be weighed down under that same burden.

They didn't impose a system where the federal government could decide that it "knew better" than the majority of it's citizens and didn't frame a system to allow that government to take steps to protect us from our own irresponsibility, as a parent protects a young child.

Maybe you live in a country with socialized medicine and you love it (I lived in a country with socialized medicine and I watched as a friend suffered with a life threatening malady that would have been likely dealt with in one doctor's appointment in our own nation... so I am considerably less impressed with what I saw...).  If you do, please remember that your love for your country's system does not mean that this law is legal in this country.  It quite simply isn't something that is given to the federal government here.

Not only is it not legal, but it's never even been supported by a majority of the citizens of our independence loving nation.

This law is being forced upon us, first by an administration and legislature and now by a court that believes that it knows better than it's citizens (that's dangerous with elections creeping ever nearer) and who have now committed themselves to playing the part of nanny to those citizens.

They are telling us:  You have to buy this and if you don't buy this we'll fine/tax you for not buying it (so that you are still essentially buying it).  This is not freedom and it's certainly not legal with our existing Constitution.  It is a massive expansion of federal power and it leaves me wondering what the government will force us to buy next.  This year it's insurance and contraception.  What will they next decide we must buy "for our own good"?  Even the dollars that we manage to eke out of this horrible economy, after taxes, are no longer our own.

One hope remains through all of this:  Perhaps I was naive to trust in the courts and the rule of the law while this administration holds the reins of power.  I still cling to the hope that the voters across this nation will remember this treachery to freedom in November, and vote out those who participated in enacting this blight upon our country.

Let's remind the "leaders" of this nation that we are adults who have a say in our own destinies, by making our voices heard from the ballot box this November.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Birthday Madness (Part 2 with another birthday coming up!)

The month of June is on my bad side at the moment, mostly because I've been counting the days in my head until Mae Bae's second birthday (you know, the number of days I have to make all of Mae Bae's presents after finishing Sadie's with one day to spare) and for some reason I kept adding an extra day and giving June 31 days, despite repeatedly doing that little:  "Thirty days have September..." rhyme in my head.  You see, it took me 19 days of sewing to make Sadie's presents, and so I feel the significantly shorter two weeks between their birthdays ticking away much more quickly, especially now that I'm down one imaginary day.

For some reason I keep putting off making the Waldorf doll.  It was fairly easy to do and yet I've spent two days not sewing it (I made a dress and three oven mitts, so I wasn't idle during that time).

So far I have two dresses finished (a Rapunzel dress and a Dominican Habit that I think Sadie might be a little jealous of), a velvet rosary so Mae can have her very own that's sturdy enough to play with, and the play oven mitt set with brightly colored hearts, so that Mae can stop stealing every oven mitt that her little eyes alight upon.  Now I just need to tell myself that I absolutely do need to buckle down and make the doll, instead of finding other ways to avoid it.

That's my little sewing problem.  Once I've made something once it takes me way more discipline to sit down and make the same thing again.

And now I'll take a deep breath and remind myself that I still have 7 days left of sewing time.

Wouldn't it be nice to be organized and make a little something each month and have everything done instead of spending the pre-birthday and holiday weeks in a mad rush?  One of these days...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On Stalking This Weeks Storms from Across the Country


When we first moved to Florida I was shocked by the daily torrent of rain that descended on the apartment.  It could start raining, and five minutes later when we would rush out to the car I would be sloshing through inches of water that came up over my high heels to my ankle (this was back in the day when I still had a pair of sensible medium height high heels that I loved to wear, before I wore them into the ground and went back to mostly flats after failing to find an equally comfortable and cute replacement).

Every single day I would look outside at some point and be pretty sure that a hurricane at struck, or at least a tropical storm, because rain wasn't supposed to act like that, coming down in solid sheets so that within minutes fire hose like geysers of water were exploding out of gutters.

I shook my head as we drove by bright yellow signs that said: Mandatory Drought Restrictions.  The first seven or so years of my life in California were non-stop drought, with pathetic looking lakes that looked like rivers, down hundreds of feet from their edges.  I doubted that anything that South West Florida could throw at me could resemble a typical California here-we-go-again drought.

Then along came the dry season and the rain actually stopped falling from the sky.  For those of you who like the whole, 80 degrees in December climate it was "nice."  And I found myself grumbling slightly less (although I'll admit that wasn't because the rain stopped.  It was because the rain and the high dew point and the 1000% humidity with the 95 degree temperatures stopped).

This week, I've been freezing in California (I haven't yet convinced my body that 60-degree mornings are warm) and watching the weather news in Florida like a hawk.  Okay, what I've really been obsessing over is Calah's blog, which gives me an almost daily update of what things are like in the area, and had me running around the house showing everyone the funnel cloud that is basically above our apartment, after she posted it.

Calah's post actually showed that I hadn't been watching the news as carefully as I thought I had, because when I read her post and said:  "This says 12 tornados have touched down!!!" and Paul and Dad looked at me like I was crazy because apparently it had been on the news and I had been so busy looking at the pictures on the screen while dividing my attention between that and something I had been reading, that I hadn't realized that it wasn't just regular palm tree damage from a tropical storm.

And now I watch and read with a rather guilty feeling, because, when we rushed out of the house, with someone hurrying me along and talking about how slow I was being all morning (while I tried to remember everything I had forgotten) I forgot to take down my two planters on the balcony and put them on the ground (which I'd forgotten through the dry-not-all-that-windy season not to secure with bungie cords like everyone else...) and I left two semi-inflated little kiddie pools out there, which I'd meant to bring inside and clean up, and I'm pretty sure that after this storm they are no longer on our balcony and there is a good chance that they, have now been swept away and plummeted to the ground two stories below, hopefully not harming anyone in the process because I was such a forgetful idiot when I was trying to make sure I'd done absolutely everything for everyone before we walked out the door.  <-- How's that for a run on sentence... yeah... that's what it's like in my head every time I think about the planters out there plummeting off the second story balcony railing.


Now to go back to the cold.  I wonder if my body will adjust to the "cold" just in time to head back to balmy South West Florida...  I think that might be how it works!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sadie's Saints Peg Doll Introduction and Giveaway!

I didn't expect the little peg dolls that I made the girls as party favors for Sadie's birthday party to be such a smash hit.  They've quickly become Mae Bae's all time favorite toy.  She carries two of them around with her constantly.  She tosses them in the air and listens as they smash down upon the ground with a smile.  She hides them in any place large enough to fit them (there's a small tray below one of Nani's tables and I've learned that the dolls like to hang out there), especially if said hiding place is right at Mae Bae's eye level.  

Sadie, on the other hand, doesn't bring her dolls out nearly as often, because she's seen how her sister plays with her own dolls, and is pretty sure she doesn't want her own dolls receiving that sort of treatment.  She's now hidden her own dolls by the bed, and plays with Mae Bae's pink dolls when Mae is awake, while watching her sister's crazy antics.  Sadie's dolls tend to make an appearance when Mae isn't around (which, lets face it, is only at nap time).  

When I began thinking of making peg dolls I scanned around the internet to see what was out there and I found some extraordinarily beautiful peg dolls in various stores.  Yet I had a hard time picturing paying around $20-$30 for a peg doll, regardless of how beautiful it was, because I wasn't quite sure I could hand both paying $30 for a wooden peg and watching Mae Bae hurl it with all of her strength at the stove to see what sort of sound it would make.  

So I decided to come up with something that was simpler than what was already out there, but that still represented some of our favorite saints (I have a huge list of saints I'm planning on making in the coming months and I'm definitely open to suggestions).  After hemming and hawing for quite a while over price I finally settled on $8 for the more detailed dolls and $6 for the simple Mae style dolls (those aren't yet posted and won't be saint dolls).  I'm planning on eventually putting up listings for larger quantities, like 2 dolls for $14 (2 for $10 of the simple ones!) or 5 for $30.  

I'm also hoping to get up some of the doll storage rolls up (like the ones I made the girls for the party) once I have a few more dolls on the shop.  

Here are the first four peg dolls in the shop:









And now for an event that is long overdue!  A giveaway!

I will make one lucky winner a saint peg doll of their choice (it doesn't have to be a saint that's shown here!)


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Freedom From Religion Campaign Aimed at Oppressing Catholics


Yesterday, while sitting on the ground pinning snoods during nap time and watching a news channel, I caught one of the worst commercials of all time.  Last week I remember seeing comments asking questions like: "What exactly does 'cultural Catholic' mean?" but in the rush of finishing up Sadie's birthday presents, I didn't take the time to figure out what everyone was talking about.

Then I heard these words and for the first five seconds I thought it was a joke, because the entire statements was just so ludicrous.  Then I realized that the speaker was serious:
"Hi, I’m Julia Sweeney, and I’m a cultural Catholic. I am no longer a believer and I even wrote a play about it called “Letting Go of God.” But I wanted to let you know that right now Catholic Bishops are framing their opposition to contraceptive coverage as a religious freedom issue. But the real threat to freedom is the Bishops, who want to be free to force their dogma on people who don’t want it. Please join the Freedom From Religion Foundation and help keep church and state separate..."
Let me begin by saying that, at the start of that commercial, I had no idea who Julia Sweeney was.  I did a little googling and read for a few minutes on her Wikipedia page and found that she actually identifies herself these days as an atheist, not a Catholic.  By identifying herself as a brave "cultural Catholic" (who just doesn't happen to believe), she's bucking the system, which must just sound so much better to those folks over at the Freedom from Religion Foundation, perhaps because it sounds like more of the Nancy Pelosi-esque "no-one-but-a-bunch-of-old-men-believe-this-anyway-and-we-don't-have-to-respect-their-freedom" propaganda that's been going around lately.

Of course, not a lot of actual thought is put into the questions that should be raised whenever nonsense like this is spoken out loud or typed out on a screen and shared with the public.  

So I'm sure we won't get to hear Sweeney's responses to questions like:  How does my refusing to subsidize your sex life, and the sex lives of other women across the nation, infringe on their freedom of religion?  When did contraception become an enshrined right?  You realize that no one is saying that you can't poison your body with your carcinogen of choice, right?  I just don't want to have to pay for it (and yes with 100% of our income plus some going to one of those private Catholic institutions that would be forced to purchase this coverage, our family most definitely would be subsidizing this evil).  

Nor will I get to hear a response if I point out that forcing Catholics to pay for something that they find evil infringes on our freedom of religion.  

Some would say it's not an infringement on our freedom to exercise our consciences because we could just quit offering these surfaces.  We could close down our schools and hospitals, or we could stop offering health care coverage altogether, seriously harming the employees at these institutions and harming the institutions ability to operate and provide services (which are often services that help the poorest of the poor).  

After all, the government isn't yet pointing a gun at our heads and saying: "Fork over the money for the pills or I'll pull the trigger."  But our freedom to exercise our beliefs isn't only infringed upon with the threat of actual violence or imprisonment.  It's trampled upon when the government puts up laws and regulations that tell Catholics that they can pay for this, or be harmed by the consequences (and not offering their employees coverage would be seriously harmed).  

You see the government has absolutely no constitution right to regulate our involvement in this, and force us to participate in this grave evil, while at the same time we are constitutionally protected by the first amendment and the men who penned the Bill of Rights, firmly believing that people shouldn't be compelled to violate their consciences.

I don't see anyone being forced by our government to march into a Catholic Church each Sunday for Mass, and I don't see the Bishops rounding up people in the streets and forcing the sacraments on them.  

I do see the government forcing their own brand of morality upon Catholics across this great nation.  And that's why the Fortnight for Religious Freedom is a far more appropriate cause to support in these troubling times.  

Even if you aren't Catholic you might want to pause and offer up a prayer... because the infringement on our freedoms always begins with one group... but it never ends with that group...  The government will continue this overreach of power unless we make our voices heard, both in prayer and in the public arena.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Commitments, Labels and Other Adjectives...


This post has been bouncing around in my head for a few months now, but I haven't quite been able to find the right words to set it down on paper (or more accurately, type the words up on my computer monitor).  The inspiration wasn't any particular post, but a growing under current that I saw throughout many of my favorite bloggers posts that made me vaguely uncomfortable.  As the theme repeated itself over and over again I found myself struggling to articulate the reason that these particular posts by their brilliant authors bothered me.  And hopefully I can articulate the reason for that underlying discomfort, finally, here today and it won't sound like a completely jumbled mess:

The theme that I saw ran through a number of different subjects.  It was woven into posts on NFP and providentalism, and popped up over and over again when homeschooling was discussed.  It finds its way into conversations about nearly every lifestyle choice that one can make and hums a constant tune that we shouldn't really commit ourselves to any of the choices we make, or put ourselves in neat little boxes with labels, lest we find ourselves too wrapped up in the label itself, and cling to the idea when the idea has outlived its usefulness.

I agreed with half of the above train of thought.  Yes, we should let go of any idea that has outlived it's usefulness and we shouldn't base our worth on labels that simply reflect the way we live our lives.

At the same time I don't see anything wrong with making a commitment to ourselves to live in a certain way.  We do that as Catholics, when we seek to follow the teachings of Christ and his Church.  And I don't see anything wrong with finding something that works and using that tool in our repertoire as we seek to follow our vocations on our journey towards God.

I also don't even see anything wrong with identifying ourselves with certain labels.  Life is rather confusing without adjectives that describe what we're doing, and after all labels, in this case, are simply words that do just that.  I'm okay with being identified as a Latin Mass loving, headcovering, skirt wearing, homeschooling, breast feeding, provdentialist Catholic Momma (I kind of laughed when I read a post about not using labels like NFP or Providentalism because I didn't even know the word until I'd read that particular blogger {who I, by the way, love to read}, and thought to myself, well,  I guess that's what we are...).  Those happen to be the choices I've made that are best for me.  

I think part of the problem that people have with these labels is that they're sometimes wielded like weapons, particularly in the "mommy wars."  Someone reads that I love the Latin Mass and thinks that I must think I'm better than people who don't.  But that's simply not the case.  I love the latin mass because I love the latin mass.  It doesn't make me better, or worse, than someone who doesn't.  It just appeals to my heart in a more direct way than the ordinary form, and makes it easier for me to focus on the greatness of what's going on.

Another reader might read homeschooling and think that a mom with that title obviously thinks she's doing something better than someone sending their child to a public or private school, without realizing that the only thing that mom really thinks, is that she's making the best choice for her children and family, and that that choice is an individual one.

Sure, these choices and labels can get in the way if we make them who we are.  But if we recognize that the choices that they reflect are tools on the path that we're struggling along, than committing to the tools that we've found through experience to be the most helpful, isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Sometimes we do have to let go of a aspect of our lives that was once helpful, but that isn't any longer.  I was once a rugby player and I loved the game.  A ruptured disk meant that I wasn't a rugby player any longer.  And so I let that part of my life go.  Sometimes letting go is the best thing and we must prayerfully discern when to do just that (or just use common sense with some of these day to day issues!).

At the same time, making small commitments to myself, to live my life in a certain way, helps me far more than floundering about and going whatever way the wind blows.  I know that praying the rosary is an immense help.  I know that covering my head is a small devotion that has aided me spiritually in great ways, as does wearing skirts.  And so I commit to doing these things, because I know that there will be days when I don't feel like doing them, but that that doesn't mean that they won't help, especially when I most feel like running in the opposite direction.  That's where a commitment can be helpful.

The devotions and practices and choices that help each of us are going to be different, just as each of our journeys through life will be different.  That doesn't make them better or worse.  It's not a stick that we measure ourselves against and use to measure others.

Some of our choices will change with time as we grow.  Others will stay the same.  But to me, refusing to use a word to describe ourselves because we're afraid of "labels" is kind of silly (and makes blogging infinitely more difficult... after all, those "labels" are simply adjectives that help you understand what I'm talking about), just as refusing to make a commitment to a practice can be harmful on those days when we just don't feel like doing something that we should be doing.  

Sure we don't want to get stuck in hole by clinging to a worn out commitment, but we also need to realize that some commitments are exactly what get us out of that same hole, when we push through, even though we don't feel like fulfilling them.

I guess that's what bothered me about the underlying theme I've noticed lately.  I feel like we're throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Sometimes we need to cling to our choices.  Sometimes we need to let go.  Flexibility isn't the highest good here.  What we really need is to be able to recognize when to hold on and when to move on.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Struggles at Mass


I knew the moment we committed to coming home from California, that in some ways, this summer was bound to be a spiritual challenge for me.  You see, despite the struggles of the last year, I felt incredibly fortunate to be able to attend a Mass that was not, for me, a time that screamed "near occasion of sin."

I didn't have to struggle with distractions or abuses that made me grate my teeth and I didn't have a single person glare at Mae just because she was a baby entering a Church.

More than that, I am embarrassed to admit that I did struggle with the idea of going back to the Ordinary Form.

Now before anyone is offended, let me explain myself.  I know that the two Masses are equal and wonderful and beautiful.  But I also know that my own human weaknesses are more often on display, at least to myself, and then later to everyone on the blog, when we attend the OF.  It seems to me that no matter how hard I fight it, I find myself angry for the rest of the day after a blatant liturgical abuse.  I find myself even more angry when someone does something blatantly disrespectful to the priest during Mass.  Especially when the rudeness is the result of the priest correcting a liturgical abuse.  It makes my blood boil and is my greatest pet peeve.

I'm sure that in many places this particular problem isn't an issue.  But I've experienced it, over and over again, and it makes me angry and sick to my stomach.  It causes me to begin writing out long winded rants in my head, only to catch myself doing so, stop, refocus on the Mass and then found I've begun again.

At the beginning of this summer I made myself a promise.  No rants about Mass.  No matter what happened, I would appreciate the beauty of what was occurring before my eyes and shut out everything else.  I knew that the chance of my actually being able to shut everything out was low, but I promised that I would begin, again and again, taking a deep breath and focusing on that altar and on what was happening on it.

I returned home to a wonderful surprise.  The abuse, which I've written about here so many times (and which you may remember if you've been around the blog for more than a year... but which I'm using all of my self control not to link to), had ended.

I stood, sat and knelt, my heart light within my chest as the Ordinary Form blossomed before my eyes.  I stumbled through the changes to the Mass that we had yet to learn (I'm batting 500 right now with successful responses... and while that's awesome in baseball it's not so awesome in Mass...), and yet I loved them, loved the reverence, loved speaking the actual words that Jesus taught us when he taught us to pray, and not some more musically appropriate version that someone felt was better than the original (okay, I'm slipping there.  Descending into a rant.  As you can see, I have quite a way to go in eliminating this emotion.  Let's see if I can't get back on track...).

For the first time, in a long time, I saw the beauty of the Ordinary Form without the haze of annoyance clouding my gaze.  And it is beautiful.

That taste of perfection was not to last.  We arrived in the midst of change.  And the beauty of the words I love quickly reverted to my number one pet peeve.

So now I'm trying to recognize that I've been given a new opportunity.  I'm trying to let go of the anger and annoyance I feel at liturgical abuses that I can't change.  I've tried.  I've written a letter.  I know that others have as well.  I've been angry and annoyed.  I've let it effect me far beyond what it should.  There is nothing more that I can do, but pray.

I'm trying to remember that, for whatever reason, these personal changes that have been made to the Mass, are very well loved by those who have made them.  They obviously feel that they are important and wonderful and beautiful.  They are not trying to desecrate or destroy.  Their intentions are good.  They likely feel the same way I do, when they perceive what they feel are changes to the Mass, even if that is the Masses actual form.

This summer I have been given a beautiful gift.  I've been given a new appreciation of what the Ordinary Form can be.  And I've been given an opportunity to offer up my greatest pet peeve.  This summer I want to see the good through the things that bother me.  I want to love past being irritated and past being "right."

And I pray I'll be able to pick myself up and start over when I fail... and delete any rants that begin to form in my mind and replace them with a prayer for love and patience.

7 Quick Takes Friday: Birthday Edition


Today is Sadie's birthday (technically it's still 1 hour until tomorrow here in California) and so this quick takes will be a birthday edition.  I've been looking at pictures throughout the day and I still can't believe that it's already been four years!


--- 1 ---

First I'll start with a quick look at the past few June 21sts:

1 Day


1 Year 


2 Years


3 Years


4 Years


--- 2 ---

And as I was looking at the pictures of the past few birthdays I ran across pictures of the cakes.

The bunny cake is still my favorite...






--- 3 ---

Today we had a pink princess theme.  Sadie is very into pink at the moment.



--- 4 ---

I think that Mae Bae thought that it was her birthday.



--- 5 ---

We managed to get one picture where the entire family was almost looking in the same direction:



--- 6 ---

And then, after the party and Mae's nap, it was time for Sadie's "pool party."  We had not one, but two pools.





--- 7 ---

Of all the presents the peg dolls ended up being one of the highlights.  Both girls loved them.  I made them each a roll for their dolls to "sleep" in.  Mae's dolls were simple and brightly colored.  Sadie's were a bit more detailed with princess crowns and jewelry.  

Mae's Dolls


Sadie's Dolls


When Mae first saw her dolls she had to carry all ten of them around, at the same time.  It was quite a challenge.


There was a lot of dropping going on.


When Sadie saw that her sister was awake she put her dolls away.  But Mae Bae found them...


Then Mae noticed I'd put her dolls back in their little doll roll.  Moments later they were strewn across the kitchen floor.  At one point she even managed to fling one under the oven.


What a day!  Now for a little sleep!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!