The More You Know

When we celebrated the turning of the calendar page at midnight on 12/31/2016, here’s what I knew:

  • I knew that 2016 had been tough physically on my body, with baby #5 arriving in August after sapping every ounce of energy throughout the entire pregnancy (not to mention the 30+ weeks of twice weekly progesterone injections)
  • I knew that 2016 had been tough for me mentally, as my sister got married in June and I was the self-appointed Wedding Planner, a role which under normal circumstances I would’ve relished, but given the pregnancy described above…well, way to think that one through, genius!
  • I knew that 2016 saw a move to a new home, where water rose in the streets when Houston was drenched in rain on April 15th, now known as the Tax Day Flood. I saw the creek near our home escape its banks, flood the houses that sat along the bank, and I breathed a sigh of relief that the house we lived in just half a block north maintained its record of staying high and dry since its construction some 30 years earlier
  • I knew that the county I live in failed to dredge the creek near my home after the “historic” amounts of water, sludge, and earth that flowed downstream in torrents during the flood
  • I knew that the year 2017 spread before me like a bright, open book, full of hope and wonder and possibility
  • I knew that God’s love, mercy, and steadfastness are ever-present and unchanging

Here’s what I didn’t know: Continue reading

Bold. Permanent. Indelible. – Harvey Makes His Mark

My mailbox on the 28th of August, 2017.

Funny thing about Sharpie markers. On their website, the product description offers its use for “paper, plastic, metal, and most other surfaces.” It’s that “most other surfaces” part that gets me. You know what surface I never dreamed I’d be using my trusty fine-tip Sharpie on?

My kids’ arms.

Turns out, Sharpie writes well on skin – even if your hand is shaking like a leaf. And it stays there after several days of baths and soapy scrubbings, as a bold, indelible reminder of a hurricane that still haunts my dreams, almost two months later.

Continue reading

7 Quick Takes [vol 2]

It’s Friday!!  Don’t forget to head over to Team Whitaker for this week’s #7QT blog linkup!

— 1 —

 My very lovable, very unique Therese (aged 2.5) ate a hole in the middle of her hamburger.  No one is sure why.  Is this a sign of a mental genius?  Or just a weirdo?  I need to plan my parenting style accordingly.  Also, we are in the throes of potty-training this little monkey.  We’d appreciate any prayers (or wine) you could send this way to help us out.


— 2 —

If you like tea, you need to try Traditional Medicinals’ Throat Coat blend.  Oh my goodness.  This stuff is so yummy, you don’t even need to add sweetener.  Apparently, it contains marshmallow root.  Who knew that was an actual plant?  Not this girl.  Anyway, it’s delicious and I can’t get enough.  What is your favorite type of tea?

— 3 —

In our home, I have dubbed the summer of 2014 as “The Summer of the Book.”  Marie has lofty goals of being able to read before Kindergarten starts in the fall (on this point she is insistent,) and Elizabeth has already finished her abridged copy of Little Women and is begging for more.  She started The Patron Saint of First Communicants two days ago, and is almost finished.  She will be reading The Courage of Sarah Noble as her assigned summer reading for school, and we have decided to tackle the entire Little House series this summer as well.  Any other suggestions for the kids’ summer book nook?  As for me, well…this is my “gotta read this soon” stack: wpid-img_20140619_233931.jpg

I’m thinking it will take me well into November.  I just do NOT make the time for reading like I should.  I’m working on getting better about this!

— 4 —

I grew up on the Gulf Coast, and hurricanes have always been a part of my life.  Every June, I add the National Hurricane Center homepage as one of my “Home Tabs” so that it’s up and running when I open my browser.  Watching for storms is in my blood, as my dad studied meteorology in grad school and instilled in my siblings and me a fascination with the majesty and power of the weather.  I have always been intrigued by elements of Catholic tradition that intertwine with hurricanes.  Our Lady of Prompt Succor is the patronness of hurricane season, which runs from June to November each year.  The Archdiocese of New Orleans includes petitions for protection of life and property during the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass during these months, and Gulf Coast Catholics are encouraged to pray for these intentions privately as well.  In 2008, Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area and ravaged St. Mary’s Basilica in Galveston.  After a six-year, $4 million restoration effort led by Fr. Joe Limanni, the church renovations are complete and Mass is again being celebrated in the 166-year-old building.  If you ever have a chance to visit, please do.  The basilica has a rich history, most notably having survived the infamous 1900 Storm that over 8000 Galveston residents in the deadliest hurricane the US has ever seen.  Speaking of the 1900 storm, there’s a great historical fiction novel called Queen of the Waves that explores the impact of the storm in more depth.    Add it to your summer reading list, and tell me what you think!

— 5 —

 This post about allowing others to help you when you find yourself overwhelmed summarizes something it took me seven years as a mom to learn.  The author figured it out in seven weeks.   Join Kristin (daughter-in-law to the beautiful Elizabeth Foss) over at her new blog, Vine of Plenty, for insights on being a new mom and healthy living.  And enjoy the beautiful pics of her sweet baby, Lucy!

— 6 —


I concocted this tasty little salad this week, while the rest of the family finished off some homemade chicken fried steak. I am trying to clean up my eating, especially at supper time. Holy moly, y’all. Delicious!

1 can tuna, drained

1 green onion, chopped

3 pepperoncini peppers, chopped

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 TBSP unflavored coconut oil

2 TBSP pepperoncini juice (from the jar of peppers – mmmm, vinegar!) or can use apple cider vinegar

Shredded parmesan cheese

Mix everything together.  I ate it over kale, which I usually dislike.  Oh my word.  SO good.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  I was worried about the texture of the coconut oil, but it blended pretty well with everything else and honestly was a great replacement for mayo.  YUM!

— 7 —

 Remember when I said I was going to print out the St. Josemaria quote and put it on my monitor?  Done!  Tell me where you put yours!


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!