Saturday, February 26, 2011

Vegetarian Goat Cheese Quiche

Our quiche came out so great that I decided to share the recipe with you.  It was really easy to make and it came out wonderful - and it was the first time I'd ever made a quiche.  My husband had never had quiche before and was sure that he wouldn't like it... he's right, he didn't like it, he LOVED it!  We were invited yesterday to an impromptu birthday party for the fiance of David's old roommate and grad school buddy and asked to bring a potluck meal.  I'm going to make another batch of these quiches today to bring (and I'm going to toss some mini cubes of ham in one of them, because the guys don't like "vegetarian" things).  

1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 thinly sliced small red onion
1 diced zucchini
10 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. crumbled goat cheese
1 c. chopped baby spinach
1 Tbsp. grated parmesan 
2 pie crusts

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat olive oil in a pan.  Saute minced garlic, sliced red onion, and diced zucchini until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.  Let cool.

2.  Whisk eggs, milk, sea salt, and black pepper.  Split cooked vegetables between both pie crusts and spread them on the bottom.  Add crumbled goat cheese, then baby spinach to both pie crusts as well.  Slowly pour in egg mixture and sprinkle with parmesan and more pepper, if desired.

3.  Bake on a rimmed baking sheet for 35-45 minutes until the center is just set.  Let cool 30 minutes before serving.

This was modified from a recipe I found in this month's issue of Whole Living Magazine.  It only called for one pie crust - thank goodness I bought a pack of two (yes, I used store bought pie crust) because there was a little of the egg mixture left over even after I poured it in both!

Friday, February 25, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (Take 10)

- ONE -

David and I went to a daily Mass together Wednesday night.  It was the first daily Mass we’ve attended as a couple, and one of the first daily Masses I’ve ever attended.  We went to our second daily Mass together Thursday night.  It’s amazing that immediately after canceling our internet and cable, we’ve found so much extra time to spend on things that are truly important, like daily Mass together.  What an incredible blessing! 

- TWO -

My new job has been a blessing as well.  Now that I am settled in, I have started to really enjoy working with the students.  Although they are a difficult group, I am up to the challenge and feel that I am able to utilize the gifts God gave me in this particular job.  I am also working a short day, only five hours, which gives me time to contribute to housework, including preparing new, more complex meals.  On last night’s menu: a scrumptious vegetarian quiche. 


While I took this job because I knew it would be good for me professionally and personally, I was worried about the affect the reduced pay and hours would have on us economically.  It turns out that with more time on my hands, I can make our money stretch a little further.  We’ve spent considerably less on groceries this month than any month since we got married.  That’s partially due to the fact that I had to stock our kitchen with spices (expensive!) and other basics every time we made a new recipe.  Now our cupboards have about every spice we could want and we’ll only have to replace them one at a time.  However, I’ve also saved quite a bit this month because I haven’t let any food go bad.  I have the time each afternoon to look through the refrigerator and cabinets and plan meals around the food we already have.  You wouldn’t believe how often fresh fruits and vegetables went bad because we bought them for one meal and never used the leftovers.  For example, we bought a ton of vegetables for a stir fry last Friday, and I finished up the vegetables this week by making veggie omelets, green bean casserole, vegetarian quiche and another stir fry (this time with a different sauce).  A month ago, I know we would have ended up throwing all the extra vegetables out!

- FOUR -

I forgot to mention that our grocery bill went down this month even though we switched from regular to organic eggs, milk, butter, and potatoes.  If I can continue to find ways to save money on groceries, I’ll be able to divert that money to buying more organics.

- FIVE -

I read UnPlanned on Monday (yes, I read the whole book on Monday - I couldn’t put it down).  It was just as good as everyone has been saying.  I don’t want to write about how it has affected me yet because it gave me so much to think about that I’m not quite done processing it.  I’ll have to write about it another time.

- SIX -

I’ve moved on to reading John Adams by David McCullough AND The Story of the Church I like reading two books simultaneously because sometimes I just need a break when reading books like John Adams, at 651 pages long.  Does anyone else like to read several books simultaneously?


David and I are participating in a marital study for newlyweds. The study, from my understanding, is investigating the links between personality and marital satisfaction.  We had to take four different personality tests at the beginning and then we answer questions every night about our interactions that day with our spouse and our over marital satisfaction. We signed up to bring in a little extra money, but I’m kind of enjoying it as well.  It’s making me be more contemplative about the small aspects of our marriage and overall it makes me very thankful for the relationship we have.  

Please visit to read all the other "7 Quick Takes Fridays" on the web!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Power to Convert: Using What You Have

            Catholics aren’t known to be great evangelists.  I admit that I tend to talk about my faith to those who already share it, however, I certainly am very willing to engage in conversation if someone else brings up my faith.  I know I don’t have all the answers about Catholicism and even when I do know the answers, I can never explain it in quite the right way.  So I take two approached with those who show interest in the faith: I invite them to Mass and I find them something to read.  There is nothing I could say or do that would exceed the heart-changing power of the Mass.  And while I try to be knowledgeable about the faith, I know that I just can’t answer questions as well as can the great Catholic literature that is out there, by the likes of Scott Hahn and Christopher West, to name only a few.  I greatly believe in the power of the written word to transform lives. 

Here is an example that is quite near and dear to my heart:
            My grandfather was raised in a non-practicing Jewish family, culturally Jewish yet not particularly religious.  He grew up in Los Angeles, among many Mexican friends, and therefore had attended Mass many times before he met my Hispanic, Catholic grandmother.  When they married, they agreed to raise their children in the Catholic Church.  My grandfather loved the Church - the music, the tradition, the hierarchy - but never expressed a desire to convert, and my grandmother never pressured him. 
Just a few years ago, Papa sat me down and told me he had something very important to tell me, something that he had not told anyone before: he had begun to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, but still held some small doubts because of his Jewish upbringing.  It was an incredible moment to learn that my grandfather had chosen me to be the first to hear this!  More incredible was his assertion that the cause for his new belief was nothing more than Mass attendance for the past 60 years or so.  Just by sitting in the pew, week after week,  experiencing the Mass as it has been practiced for thousands of year, my grandfather came to know and understand Christ. 
I urged Papa to attend RCIA classes, to learn more about the faith from those that could answer his questions much better than I, but he was resistant and for some odd reason, so was my grandmother (she kept insisting that he was “fine the way he was”).  So I tried a gentler approach - I gave him a book.  Although he dropped out of college to support his mother and young wife years ago, my grandfather is a vastly intelligent and inquisitive man.  Long before this time, he knew much more than most Catholics about the history of the Church and many of the traditions (in fact he always loved telling me about the similarities between Judaic and Catholic tradition - something he always admired about the Church that didn’t forget it’s roots).  Now I gave him a book to help him discover the truth behind what he already knew.  The book was The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus, which chronicled a journalists own research into the historical evidence of the claim that Jesus did live and rise from the dead.  He devoured the book, and upon finishing it, promptly proclaimed that it gave him the confidence to be able to put his old doubts to rest.  He now truly believed without reservation.
Papa wasn’t immediately baptized.  For a while, he felt that his belief was enough and that he didn’t need a formal baptism.  But last fall, not long after his personal conversion, he was diagnosed with cancer and asked my mother to contact the local parish about becoming baptized.  The priest there was wonderful and made it possible for my grandfather to be initiated into the Church without RCIA.  Since he was undergoing chemotherapy, he wasn’t supposed to be in large groups where he could potentially catch an illness, so the priest met with him personally at his home.  After contacting Archbishop Chaput (they live in the Archdiocese of Denver), he received the go-ahead to have a private Mass with just the family in the rectory in order to protect Papa from being in contact with parishioners in the church.  In addition to allowing my grandfather to receive the sacraments of initiation, the Archbishop sent his blessings, wishing he could be there to witness the faith of a man who wished to complete a long and joyous life with acceptance into Christ’s Church.  The blessings of the Archbishop meant so much to Papa, who saw himself not as a symbol of faith but as a humble man before God. The Mass was beautiful, held in the dining room of the rectory with a make-shift alter and punch bowl turned baptismal font.  The priest was able to arrange it with less than a week’s notice in order to coincide with a trip that me, my husband, and aunt had arranged previously to visit the family.  My husband and I served as Godparents to my grandfather, such an incredible honor.  Papa was beaming the entire day and constantly marveled that it was the best day of his life and that he felt a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders.  He was 79-years-old.
Recently, Papa was given a clean bill of health and he looks forward to many years practicing his new faith.  My mother takes my grandparents to Mass each Sunday and usually calls me afterward to tell me about the joy she sees in her elderly father as he actively participates in the Mass - loudly singing, reciting Mass parts, gratefully kneeling before the Lord, and practically skipping toward the altar to receive the Eucharist.  He’s been going to Mass since boyhood, but only now has he been able to fully participate.  I will never experience the Mass quite as he does now - as a cradle Catholic, I have never known a life without the sacraments so try as I might, I cannot personally understand their transformative power. 

            Although there are clearly many more influences that led to my grandfather’s ultimate conversion, including my grandmother’s example throughout their 58 years of marriage (so far), never underestimate the ability of the Mass, of the written word, and of the service of a few good priests to change to souls of mankind.  

Monday, February 21, 2011


Since I started this blog some months ago, I've taken great joy in writing posts and receiving comments.  I've always loved writing, but I've never written for a non-academic audience before.  Rather, I have written in journal and even started writing a "book" but having a blog is the first time I've "published" non-academic work.  However, I think the greatest joy that has come from writing my own blog is discovering other blogs to read.  The Catholic community is very strong on the internet, which gives me great hope and comfort, since I do not have a physically present Catholic community here.  Yes, I belong to a parish, have taken part in its events and even teach religious education on Sundays, however, I haven't made friends or close acquantances that I can discuss the faith AND daily life with.  Since we are moving again this summer, it will probably be a while before I can be a part of that community in person. 

That said, I've been spending an awful lot of time online recently, and while I tried to justify it with, "But I'm spending my time reading about God and other Catholic blogs...", I feel like my own faith life has started to suffer.  My husband and I had a conversation about it yesterday, and I was surprised to find that he felt the same way as I did, only about television instead of the internet.  So we've decided to cancel our cable and internet so we can put our priorities back in place.  Since we planned to give up television and internet during Lent, we're approaching this as time to prepare for Lent.  Yes, I realize that it is a little silly since Lent itself is preparation for Easter and in essence we will be preparing to prepare. 

I also feel that this is an answer to my prayers about finances.  A few months ago I would have been embarrassed to have to cancel internet and cable because we could no longer afford it, but God has helped us to see that giving up internet and cable is empowering, and that the economic advantage is only a bonus.  Well, I should really use the terms "giving up" because we aren't shunning it entirely (at least not until Lent begins), but simply aren't paying for it anymore.  I'll still go online at Starbucks or at David's work, but since I won't be able to sit in front of the internet for hours in my own home, I hope that my time online will be more productive and focused (and that my time at home will be the same).  I'll still take time to write in my blog, and read others', because it brings me happiness and fulfillment.  I just won't waste so much time on fruitless online endeavers (*cough* Facebook *cough*).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I've grown up: a Catholic Bride becomes a Catholic Newlywed

My blog is now be available at both


Blogger didn't have "Catholic Bride" available, and since I've been married seven months now and "bride" probably no longer applies, I'm now a "Catholic Newlywed"...perhaps I will someday evolve into a simply a "Catholic Wife".  Never fear, if you currently follow me on Tumblr, I'll continue to post my new posts there as well, and for any new followers on Blogger, I archived all my old posts so you don't have to seek them out. 

As to why I made the switch, most of the blogs I read are on Blogger and I appreciate the sense of community that seems to come from sharing a similar platform.  I enjoy Tumblr and will continue to follow my favorite bloggers there as well, but wanted to try a multiplatform approach. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lent Guides

On your Lent question... a couple great guides here:
Best way to get closer to God and really discover the riches of Holy Week and Easter... God bless you and your new husband!

Thanks, Father!  My husband and I will be checking these out this weekend.

7 Quick Takes Friday (Take 9)

It’s Friday again!  Which means it’s time for another 7 Quick Takes:

1)  If you haven’t discovered My Soul Proclaims yet, check it out!  In it’s own words, it is a “web-based video ministry that seeks to share the joy of all vocations through the testimonies of priests, deacons, brothers, sisters and married men and women.”  AWESOME!

2)  I started my new job on Monday as an aide in an alternative program for middle schoolers.  It’s been a tumultuous week, but I think that’s typical when a new adult gets thrown in the mix.  The kids were eager to test me.  So eager in fact, that one student threatened to slap me and was subsequently expelled and arrested by a police officer who works for the school district.  Not the optimal situation, especially since these are the kids that need to be in school and not running around town all day, but I think it sent a message and they will be better behaved in the future.  It’s important for them to realize that there are consequences to their actions and that threatening school staff is not accepted behavior.  Once things settle down, I think I’m really going to enjoy this job.

3)  The most difficult things are often the most rewarding. I enjoy working with difficult students because they need the help the most and when you do get through to a kid, it’s incredibly worth it.  I need to remember that this applies to other areas of my life as well.  I tend to accentuate the negative so much that I often forget about the bigger picture.  I went through the hardest time of my life, a time which included depression and a very abusive relationship, right before I met my husband, but those very experiences were the ones that not only led me to him, but prepared me for him and for marriage.  Since I know the Lord is able to help me through anything, no matter how difficult, I should stop concentrating on the negative (wallowing in pity isn’t going to help anyway) and start looking for the lessons to be learned.  And I need to remember that this applies to EVERYTHING (big and small).

4)  I finally finished the book I’ve been reading since August.  It feels like an incredible accomplishment (and even greater book).  I used to read a few books a week, but those days are long gone.  My next book: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years).  Not really my style, but I picked it up a while ago at a used book sale and I decided and going to read the books I haven’t read yet in my own collection (then I can figure out if they are “keepers” or I can get rid of them and have a few less things to pack!).

5)  My husband and I were dogsitting for a friend of mine this week.  It brought so much joy and liveliness to our home to have a dog here.  I miss cuddling up with my dog.  I couldn’t bring her with me, because she’s too old for a major move, so she’s still at my parents.  We can’t afford to have a dog right now, but as soon as we can, we are going to rescue a furry friend.

6)  We have a full weekend ahead of us.  To top it off, my brother-in-law is coming in tomorrow to go to a basketball game with my husband on Sunday (I was informed that this would be a “man event” and my presence is not requested, so I will have a little alone time).  It’s nice to be socially busy for a change!

7)  A lot of people have been discussing their preparations for Lent lately.  To be honest, I’ve never done much for Lent except give up some treat or another.  This year, my husband and I want to make it a very special prayerful time, so we are going to be turning off our TV and internet for the entire Lenten season.  We are also going to be clearing our house of sweets.  For me, these things won’t be that difficult - I’m much better at “taking away” things than “adding” things (such as prayer, reading the Bible, etc.).  Any suggestions on what we can add to our lives during Lent, or how to effectively do that?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why I Love My Husband (vol. 2)

  •         We are dogsitting for a friend of mine and my husband is so great with the little puppy.  Kids love him, animals love him, and I firmly believe that they are some of the best indicators of a person’s character.  I could never be with someone that didn’t love animals (especially dogs - don’t you just love dogs?).  He is going to be such a great dad.
  •         He works so hard for our future.  He has been very stressed lately with all the things he has to get done in the next few months (among them a 25 page single-spaced paper for his preliminary exam and a paper for publication, both of which depend on experiments that never quite seem to go as planned).  But he works so hard because he’s creating a great future for us.  And he is truly so passionate about what he does and the potential his findings have for medicine and improving human life.
  •         He doesn’t take his stress out on me (like I seem to do to him when I am stressed).  
  •         He forgives me when I take my stress out on him.
  •         He is such a faithful man.  Every time I turn to look at him in the evenings he’s either A) reading the Bible or B) watching sports (which is an exercise in faith itself, I think, especially since he’s a big Cubs fan).
I got this icon and idea from Kaitlin at More Like Mary - More Like Me.  Read the explanation of why she started it here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Saint Valentine's Day

As I celebrate my first St. Valentine’s Day as a wife, I want to share the secret of how I met my husband:  I never thought I would try online dating, but after finally escaping a very abusive and very unholy relationship, I realized that I was looking for a man who shared my values and Catholic faith.  Although I can’t guarantee everyone will find their soulmate there, I did (within two weeks of signing up), and I have a friend from my home parish that met her husband there as well.  I’ve also had some friends meet some real weirdos there, so do be careful - not everyone on a Catholic dating site is a practicing or devout Catholic (and just like any other demographic group, Catholicism has some strange characters).  I don’t want to share much of my story here, because I already wrote it and had it published on the CatholicMatch blog.  Click here if you would like to read it.

Of course, CatholicMatch is not paying me to endorse it, they are simply getting good publicity from a very happy customer.  My husband and I are blissfully happy serving the Lord (and one another) through our marriage.  I know a lot of people are reticent about online dating, but it can work!  If CatholicMatch isn’t for you, there are other sites as well.  However, if you are looking for a Catholic spouse, I wouldn’t recommend non-Catholic sites - obviously if someone joined a Catholic site, they are more likely to be a faithful Catholic (although as I mentioned above, that is not always the case).  A friend from my last parish met his wife on AveMariaSingles, so that is another valid option.  There are other Catholic dating sites as well, but I’m not familiar with them.  If you aren’t Catholic, there are many other religious dating sites: Jewish, Christian (both non-denominational and for specific Protestant denominations), the list goes on…

Just a funny little anecdote to add: When I joined CatholicMatch, I accidentally charged it to my parents’ credit card instead of my own.  Thank goodness I had already went on a date with my husband (and thus told my mom about meeting him on the site) before the bill came or I would have gotten quite the interesting phone call from my nosy mother!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What have you been reading?

Oh, I love books, I really do.  And I love to talk about books even more!  I am almost done with the book I have been reading for the last five months: 1776.  If you haven’t read this one, I would suggest you do, especially if you love history or you love this country.  Yes, I do know that is a long time to spend on one book, and I used to be a voracious reader, but with my past two jobs, plus learning how to be a wife (I did not understand nor was ready for all it entailed), I haven’t spent much time reading.  It will probably take me some time to get through my next book also, but I would like some suggestions.

My parents gave my husband and I a gift card to for Christmas and we used it to buy a book about our soon-to-be home, North Carolina: The Newcomer’s Guide to North Carolina: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Tar Heel.  Since I don’t even know what a Tar Heel is, I should probably read through that one soon.  David got The Apostles: The Origin of the Church and Their Co-Workers, which he’s been enjoying.  I highly recommend it!  He’s read some of the chapters to me before bed and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know some of the lesser known Apostles like Bartholomew (who I learned was probably also called Nathaniel).  Each chapter can stand alone, so it can be used as a reference book or a quick read when you don’t want to get into a long book.  Oh, and it was written by the Pope - can’t beat that.  David’s been wanting to get it for a while, and he definitely wasn’t disappointed!

So, any suggestions for my next read?  I usually choose non-fiction, but I do like fiction as well, especially the classics.  I will admit Jennifer Fulwiler’s comments about A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story on her 7 Quick Takes post this week has me intrigued… 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Saint Blaise

This past Sunday was the first time I'd learned about Saint Blaise, when our priest blessed throats following Mass.  Blessed throats?  What?  Why?  My throat certainly needed it from suffering cold after cold and late nights up coughing, but I was intrigued.  The feast day of Saint Blaise, the Patron Saint of throat maladies, is celebrated February 3rd, strategically placed in the middle of sick season (at least in the northern hemisphere).

If you are as intrigued as I was, check out a short biography of Saint Blaise at

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sacred Heart Craft

Sacred Heart Craft
My husband and I teach a Sunday Religious Education class.  Our sixth graders have been doing a lot of bookwork/worksheets recently so I’ve been wanting to do a craft with them to spice things up.  Since Monday is Valentine’s Day, I decided that we would do a Sacred Heart craft.  I’m not very good at coming up with my own crafts, but I can follow directions, so I searched the internet hoping to find something, and this is what I found!  Isn’t it great?  David and I will go buy the supplies and try it out this Saturday, and as long as it goes well, our students will be making these on Sunday (as well as getting a lesson on the Sacred Heart). 
For the full post and directions how to make this (and an amazing blog altogether), go visit Kimberlee at Pondered in my Heart.

My husband and I teach a Sunday Religious Education class.  Our sixth graders have been doing a lot of bookwork/worksheets recently so I’ve been wanting to do a craft with them to spice things up.  Since Monday is Valentine’s Day, I decided that we would do a Sacred Heart craft.  I’m not very good at coming up with my own crafts, but I can follow directions, so I searched the internet hoping to find something, and this is what I found!  Isn’t it great?  David and I will go buy the supplies and try it out this Saturday, and as long as it goes well, our students will be making these on Sunday (as well as getting a lesson on the Sacred Heart). 

For the full post and directions how to make this (and an amazing blog altogether), go visit Kimberlee at Pondered in my Heart.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Immaculate Heart Earrings

I think I’m going to be asking for these earrings for Valentine’s Day.  I just love them!  
I found them here on etsy.  Have I mentioned that I love etsy?

I think I’m going to be asking for these earrings for Valentine’s Day.  I just love them!  I found them here on etsy.  Have I mentioned that I love etsy?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (Take 8)

ONE) For the second week in a row, I am writing “7 Quick Takes Saturday” instead of “7 Quick Takes Friday”.  I think that is very telling about the way my life is currently going, I am always a step behind.  I shouldn’t be because I had two snow days this week to catch up, but for some reason that seemed to make it all the worse.

TWO) A large Saturday morning breakfast is the perfect way to break a Friday fast.  Yesterday was the second time my husband and I fasted on a Friday (last week we were both sick) and I already feel like it has been spiritually rewarding.  I think that fasting is not nearly as common as it used to be, and that’s such a shame, because it is a wonderful way to humble yourself before God.  Once I have more experience with fasting, I would love to write a post all about it’s benefits.

THREE) When I moved here, I had every intention of keeping in close contact with my friends and family in Colorado.  But the only people I’ve talked to regularly are my parents and my best friend.  My best friend and I have never really lived in the same place, so we are already accustomed to frequent phone calls.  And I talked to or saw my mom everyday before I moved, so that just naturally carried over.  But my other friend and my grandparents, I’ve already let the ball drop.  I feel awful about it.  I blame the lack of communication in large part on the accessibility of information.  I don’t talk to my friends because I can still find out what they are up to through facebook.  But I need to remind myself that keeping up with their going-ons is not the same as personal connection.  It’s strange that an increase in ways to connect and ease of doing so results in a poverty of actual human connection.  I’m thinking of devoting twenty or thirty minutes a day to “social contact” - phone calls, writing letters (or personal emails), sending birthday cards, etc.  I don’t find myself with a lot of extra time at the end of the day (it’s around seven before I get home from work) after cooking dinner and doing household chores, but I think finding twenty minutes is possible.  Maybe.

FOUR) When the weather is bad, my husband drives me to work - those are my favorite work days because it means more time spent together.  (I drive him to work on other days.)  He’ll come to pick me up for my lunch hour and we often end up going to Barnes and Noble to look at books.  Yesterday, we each found a book to read and sat to read them in armchairs sitting side by side.  We spend forty-five minutes just sitting there, reading different books, not talking but enjoying each other’s company all the same.  (My science nerd husband was reading The Math Book, my history nerd self was reading 1776. I think that scene perfectly exemplified the best of married life - being able to enjoy separate things together.  Before we were married, we lived in two separate states for two years, so every moment we were together, we were actively engaged in activities together.  That would have been impossible to maintain now that we are married and together every day (at least not without getting on each other’s nerves) and I’m amazed that we have been able to fall into comfortable silence together so quickly. 

FIVE) I taught myself to crochet using some online directions, but as of yet, my skills are very rudimentary.  Any ideas of books or online resources that I can use to improve?

SIX) In last week’s “7 Quick Takes Friday Saturday”, I wrote about how I try to encourage my brother to be faithful through fun, light reminders.  I sent him a card for his Patron Saint’s Feast Day and on the bottom I wrote, “P.S. You should start going to Mass”.  I wasn’t even sure I should write this, because I didn’t know how he would take it (he’s a typical 18-year-old who doesn’t like to be told what to do), but I felt it needed to be said.  Well, my mom called a couple days ago and told me that he was really touched by the card and when he read it, he told my mom, “Sis is right, I should go to Mass”.  She was shocked.  I was shocked.  And I am SO glad I wrote it.  Wow, I really feel like the Holy Spirit was working through me.  A huge number of my prayers are for my brother, and it makes me feel great to know that God used me to help answer my own prayers.  My mom takes my grandparents to church on Sunday and they’ve discussed starting to go on Saturday night so my brother can join them. 

SEVEN) My brother can’t go to Mass on Sundays because he works two jobs and is usually scheduled at both jobs every Sunday.  I’m sure there are other people that have to choose between a job they need and going to Mass.  David and I try not to shop on Sundays because that’s the only way that we can personally work to change this.  Think about it.  If all faithful Christians decided not to shop on Sundays, many places may decide to close on Sundays due to lack of business or at least reduce the number of employees needed.  Then more people could devote that day to God and family.  I also like to frequent businesses like Hobby Lobby that are closed every Sunday for just that reason (and have Christian business goals to boot!).  Of course, every once in a while, I go to open the refrigerator and cabinets on a Sunday and realize we have NOTHING for dinner.  So I go to the store.  I just do my best.  I know that for some families, for various reasons, Sunday is the best shopping day.  That’s ok.  I’m not saying you have to change, but I do think that Americans need to spend more time thinking about how, where, and when they spend their money because it does reflect your values and shape your community. 

Ok, now go check out all the other great “7 Quick Takes”, graciously hosted by Jen at ConversionDiary.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

check 'em out

On this second snow day in a row, I’ve spent some time catching up on some of my favorite blogs (and finding new favorites).  Just a couple months ago, I didn’t really understand what a blog was, and now I have a list of favorites that I follow regularly.  I especially love blogs by fellow Catholic women in various stages of life and spiritual development.  They are such inspiration!  Here is a list of just a few of my favorites:

Open Those Ojos: one of the first blogs I started following, it also encouraged me to continue with my own blog (although there is no comparison, Christy’s is highly superior).

Conversion Diary: I’m sure that this isn’t the first time you’ve heard of it, but I wanted to include it because it’s one of my favorites.  I love Jennifer’s insights into the faith after having spent most of her life as an atheist.  I also love hearing about life as a mother of four (soon to be five) young children!  She hosts “7 Quick Takes Friday”, which I regularly participate in and love because it connects me to new blogs from faithful bloggers.  In fact, one of my favorite things to do when I have some free time is click on the “7 Quick Take Friday” links and find new favorite blogs.

More Like Mary: Kaitlin is expecting her first child (any day now) after struggling with infertility.  I love the honesty, faith, and hope that I get from her posts.  She also started the “Why I Love My Husband” meme.

Catholic Cuisine: Wonderful recipes and ideas for celebrating Feast Days!  I have yet to try anything (I just discovered this blog two days ago), but I already love it.  I didn’t grow up in a family where we celebrated (or even knew of) Feast Days, so I am so excited to start these traditions with my own family.  And I love cooking, so this is a wonderful way to combine my interests and faith!

This is how to make a snow day great:

This is how to make a snow day great: the smell (and taste) of fresh peanut butter cookies!  I got the recipe here.  They were delicious, my husband approved!
the smell (and taste) of fresh peanut butter cookies!  I got the recipe here.  They were delicious, my husband approved!

Wintry Mix

Due the the storm that seems to be affecting the entire country (my parents in Colorado are experiencing a snow day as well), Indiana seems to be completely shut down today.  David and I attempted to call around to coffee shops to find a place to sit, read, and sip some hot cocoa, but they were all closing early.  It’s crazy to me that stores are closed as well as schools.  We had a wonderful day watching movies and sipping homemade hot cocoa, while I practiced my new-found skill of crocheting.  What a nice day.  I hope that the time at home will continue tomorrow.  I love spending time uninterrupted time with my husband!  I also have enjoyed watching the wintry weather.  It’s so beautiful (yet so distructive) and reminds me of God’s awesome power.

I pray that everyone else caught in this storm stays safe and warm, especially all those that have lost electricity or have to be on the roads for work.