Little Bit O’ Lagniappe [vol. 6]

Little Bit O' Lagniappe

Natural Beauty

I’m surrounded by natural beauty – most notably in the beautiful squishiness of our newest addition, Beckett. He was born on a very hot, humid August day – the feast of St. Dominic. The doctor was a bit late to the delivery because the elevator was out of order, and he almost arrived without her assistance. He’s a squishy, fat, bundle of love of which his older siblings can’t get enough.  I’m spending my maternity leave soaking in his goodness – the smell of his milky breath, the rolls upon rolls of baby fat, and the quiet calmness of his coos. I’m in awe of this little man.

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Family Fun Around the Dinner Table

It’s 2014, and I think our family is part of an estimated 3.7%* of the Western world’s population that still sits down at the table to eat supper together most nights of the week. (*I made that statistic up, but you get the idea.)  In our house, this phenomenon is made possible by what I like to call our “Perfect Storm of Availability”: tiny humans not yet overly involved in zany extracurriculars, a SAHD who cooks almost every night of the week, and a mom who works very reasonable hours and is home at roughly the same time each day.  I know that eventually, our family dynamic will change, and we won’t always eat together at one specific time every day of the week.  Still, it’s important to my husband and I that we make the family dinner a priority, especially as the kids get older and our schedules get busier.  I know that not every family has this luxury, and there are nights when Superman is at class and I am mighty tempted to just curl up on the couch with a bowl of cereal after the kids are  in bed.   Mostly, though, I look forward to our family suppers together.  We have a lot of fun at our dinner table, and it’s over food and beverage that our kids really open up and talk to us.  I love that food does that!  Think about it – when we grab a cup of coffee with a friend or go to happy hour with coworkers or celebrate a birthday – most of our most meaningful memories with friends and family revolve around food.  Our family table is no different.

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Living the Liturgical Year With A Fork And A Knife

As a mom of four who works outside of the home, it’s always particularly challenging for me to try and find ways to bring the Liturgical Year of the Church alive for our family.  A few years ago we decided that we were determined to do a little something special on favorite feast days during the year to drive home the idea that our Church is a Church of celebration.  There is much throughout the year to celebrate, enjoy, and live our hope in joy!  We started out slowly, celebrating each child’s patron saint’s feast day.  We usually do this by making cupcakes or letting the child pick what we eat for supper that night. Slowly, we began adding little crafts or special foods for other feast days.  Along the way, I have come to realize that the easiest way to highlight a feast day is by preparing foods for supper or dessert that accurately portray the type of cuisine local to the region where the saint lived.  For instance, on St. Joseph’s feast day (March 19th), I make my good friend’s recipe for mostaccioli as an homage to his popularity in Sicily.

Mostaccioli for the feast of St. Joseph....mmmm
Mostaccioli for the feast of St. Joseph….mmmm

Another time, we had goldfish crackers on the feast of St. Anthony, which led to a great retelling of the legend where the saint couldn’t find anyone who’d listen to his sermons – so he went to a nearby stream and preached to the fish!  One day when I was feeling particularly adventuresome, we invited a few friends over to make cornbread and wooden spoon dolls to celebrate the feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.  Most of the time, though, dinnertime is the best time to enjoy saint-centric conversation and foods. Continue reading

Little Bit O’ Lagniappe [Vol. 2]

**In Cajun French, “lagniappe” (pronounced ‘lan-yap’)  is a term that means “a little something extra,” or a happy surprise. From time to time, I will write a post that has a bunch of little thoughts all captured in once place; a veritable “snapshot” of my life in the moment. Hopefully, something in the mix catches your eye and you can take a little “lagniappe” with you to brighten your day!

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Natural Beauty
Last weekend brought coolish temps to the Houston area, if only for those two days, and I couldn’t be more grateful.  One of the things I love about the house we’re renting is our simple deck.  My husband and I relished the opportunity to wake up with the sun, sit out on our porch with some hot coffee, and just breathe deep the cool air and the sights and sounds of morning breaking.  So simple, but so good for our souls.  Unfortunately, it’s back to the muggies this week.  I can’t wait for that next cool front!

Soundtack of my life

Lately, the song “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)” by Don McLean has been stalking me.  Every time I get in the car, go into a store, or put my music player on shuffle, that song turns up.  I had never really listened to the lyrics, but since the song is following me everywhere I go, I decided to just sit still for four minutes and three seconds to see what Don had to say about Vincent Van Gogh.  In doing so, I was surprised at the poetry in McLean’s words.  In a way, this song is a work of art itself.  The word choice is beautiful, describing Van Gogh’s famous work: “Shadows on the hills/Sketch the trees and the daffodils/Catch the breeze and the winter chills/In colors on the snowy linen land”  The whole song is like that. Of course, the sadness inherent in the melody is reflective of the sadness of Van Gogh’s life and eventual suicide.  Reflecting on this, I’m reminded of those we’ve lost to suicide throughout the centuries – Marc Antony, Judas, Ernest Hemingway, and most recently, Robin Williams – and reminded to pray for their souls.

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Our poop rug. I mean prayer rug.

I sat in my office this morning, wondering how Superman was faring at home.  When I had left the house, he was still sleeping, but I knew he hadn’t slept well last night.  So, I shot him a quick email while I was thinking about it.

Me:  “How are you feeling?”

I wasn’t prepared for his response.  Coffee ended up in my nostrils because I choked while I read his words.  I would print them here [in fact I had them typed up and ready to go], but I decided to spare the offending child the embarrassment in having this incident go down in internet infamy.  Suffice it to say that my dear husband, destined to become the patron saint of pooper scoopers, awoke to the Cautious Older Kid announcement that one of our Tiny People had pooped on the living room rug.

Prior to reading Superman’s desperate email, I thought my morning of trying to tame the overflowing email inbox was bad.  No really, it was overflowing so badly I was in ‘Mail Jail’ and couldn’t send or receive emails until I deleted some.  Still, can’t compete with having to deal with the poop on the rug.  He won today, and it wasn’t even 9am.

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