Friday, February 28, 2014



Weeks ago my monk told me that the church is warmed in winter by radiant heat. He said the floors are so warm that monks often slip off their shoes and put their feet on the warm floor. The heat rises up through their robes and he said it's just wonderful.

At mid-day prayer yesterday, I finally remembered this. I bent over and felt the floor, and was amazed at how warm it was. I immediately kicked off my shoes and placed my stocking feet on the tile.

It was heaven. I wanted to lay on the floor and soak up the heat.

Today I repeated it, of course. This may become a habit.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014



And then there are the days where you just give up.

Two healthy, delicious homemade meals, and then Kraft mac and cheese. I added chicken. Protein, you know. And I made a nice fruit salad with blackberries, strawberries and bananas. So I'm not a total failure as a wife and mother.

Oh, and I put in over 12 hours at work. So there's that.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014



There was an event at work tonight that I thought about attending.

I did this instead.

I chose wisely.

Monday, February 24, 2014



T'was all I could do to photograph some fruit in the kitchen tonight, to keep the 365 going.

I did make a yummy new dinner, though. Asian turkey meatballs with noodles. Family voted it a three thumbs up (out of three thumbs), so it'll get added to the rotation. Proof of its goodness: M had the bottle of Sriracha at the ready and never opened it. I'll count that as victory.

Sunday, February 23, 2014



First full day with my new FitBit. So excited to have this little tool, and in my favorite color no less!

The goal set is 10,000 steps each day. I made it today, but barely. I can see that this is something I will have to consciously work for, which is probably the whole point. The app also has a spot to enter food consumption, which today included extremely delicious beef tenderloin. And a glass (okay more than one) of wine. I'm not too worried, though, because I walked 10,000 steps!

Bake sale after Mass for the Brownies. We raised just over $400 to benefit Angels' Arms, a phenomenal charity that offers foster siblings the opportunity to stay together while they wait to find their forever home.

We sold all but two plates of peanut butter cookies, which Zoe and I delivered to the rectory. Better in the bellies of our beloved priests and deacons than on my hips!

All in all a wonderful day. All 10,000 steps of it.

Saturday, February 22, 2014



Zozo had a Girl Scouts Mardi Gras party tonight. She could take a shoebox float. I started with the shoebox and some stickers and some markers. I cut the cookies and Girl Scout symbols off some cookie boxes. Zoe fetched her Girl Scout bear and dressed her in a Brownie uniform. We planned to throw in some tissue paper and beads. I figured this was pretty good.

Then, the engineer we live with got involved.

By the time we walked out the door there was a spinning box of Thin Mints crowning the top, constructed with motorized Lego.

She won Best Girl Scout Themed Float, as voted on by her peers and their moms.

M is so proud, and also upset that he wasn't aware that there was a competition. I'm pretty sure he's already started planning for next year's float.

Friday, February 21, 2014



Patterns. Or, as Zozo used to say, patterens.

Thursday, February 20, 2014



Afternoon light in the monastery is beautiful.

Blessings abound today. Full of agape love.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Tired today. So, so tired. Going to bed early tonight. Maybe now. Is 9 pm too early?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014



Moonroof weather today! It's amazing how wonderful "a little above freezing" feels.

Monday, February 17, 2014



Re-entry today was not pleasant, at least this afternoon. Frustration, annoyance, lack of patience...definitely not feelings I've experienced the last three days. I don't like the difference. And I'm not sure how to change the world - or at least my little local world - to make everyone happier, more polite, more aware of the feelings of others. Your ideas are welcome.

Is it just a matter of adjusting my expectations? Maybe. But if there can there be so much good in a group of 60 people and their families for three days, it must be possible in the greater world, yes?

Sunday, February 16, 2014



Got a hankering to learn how to crochet, so Zozo picked out some yarn and I watched a YouTube video (thanks faceless British lady!) and now I'm making her a scarf.

She and M love to watch the Olympics. I enjoy that, too, but I start to feel lazy, just sitting here on my couch watching people who have trained every day for years compete for one of the highest honors in sports. So I need to do something, make something.

Because crocheting a scarf is so on par with competing in the Olympics.

Retreat has ended and it was wonderful. Back to the real world now, with making dinner and cleaning the litter box and tucking my girl into bed. It is good to be home. (Especially since I came home and promptly crashed - I got better sleep in my two hour nap in my own bed than all three nights at Pallottine combined.)

Saturday, February 15, 2014



I could totally get used to the sunrises here, not to mention the feeling that comes from doing the work of God and truly seeing the face of Jesus in sixty (60!!!) incredible women. Only one sunrise left, then we all crash land back into the real world.

I will miss my team. Thank goodness they are my parish family and I'll see them often.

Friday, February 14, 2014



My retreat is full of love, even though I'm not with my two Valentines today. I miss them very much, but it helps that I am doing good work here.

My heavy lifting is done. My service is over, and I gave my talk tonight. I have my ministry left to do tomorrow and into Sunday morning, but that's a pretty easy job. I've enjoyed it all, but the ministry part has been my favorite.

I would do this all again in a heartbeat. The months of formation, the work, the long hours doing the retreat with wonderful women who care deeply for each other and laugh and cry and dispense hugs with abandon.

Yep, sign me up.

(Secret message for Mocholate and Bug: you two are my world, and I love you with all my heart and all my soul. Thank you for the gift of your support and your prayers this weekend, and for the sacrifice of allowing me to leave without worry. I am the luckiest wife and mommy in the whole world.)



Started the retreat today. Oh my goodness I am so tired.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014



Zoe's troop did a little talent show today as part of earning their World of Girls badges. She played "Make New Friends" on the piano, which she taught herself about a week and a half ago.

She's dressed in her soccer uniform because she also had a game at 5:30.

The girl has mad skills.

Off to my retreat tomorrow. Just hanging out waiting for laundry to get done so I can pack. Other than that, I'm pretty well set.



Amazingly productive evening which has resulted in a weary body and a racing mind. After dinner and snuggles with The Bug, I

Sorted mail
Paid bills
Caught up on correspondence
Got Girl Scout things together for tomorrow's meeting
Got ACTS retreat materials ready (one ministry, one service, one talk)
Booked flights to CO and back, after paying $27 for 1000 points to save my 26,000 points on the brink of expiry. Total cost of round trip flight: $34. Not too shabby.
Pulled together Zoe's soccer uniform for tomorrow night's game
Reviewed two emails for M
Cleaned off the kitchen counter
Wrapped Zozo's Valentines gifts since I will be on retreat
Wrote Zozo's Valentine note
Finished washi taping little bubble sticks to Zoe's Valentines for her party Friday

I think I'm good. Hopefully good enough to shut my mind off and go to sleep. It's hard to do that when you're on a roll. You get in the mode of "just one more thing...just one more thing...just ONE MORE THING..." And before you know it the whole night is shot and you've done nothing fun (i.e. nothing for yourself) and you didn't even get to see any Olympics.

It's okay. I'm competing in the MomOlympics. And I'm kickin' ass and takin' names. Now where's that gold medal?

Monday, February 10, 2014



We went to the Missouri History Museum tonight as our home was nominated for House of the Year. We took third, which we're pretty proud of since we were up against houses over twice our size and God knows how much higher than our budget. I have much more to say on this, but it's late, I'm tired, and the Olympics are on.

We ate dinner in the main hall, under the giant Spirit of St. Louis model. It was pretty kickass.

Sunday, February 09, 2014



You know it was a boring day when my one and only image is of the empty plain m&ms pallet at Sam's.

Productive, though. Boring and productive.

Saturday, February 08, 2014



Today I took Zozo out and we bought her First Communion dress, sandals, tiara and veil. She's all set.

Tonight I took M out to my school's annual fundraiser auction and we bought a huge matted and framed print with surrounding autographs of Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Whitey Herzog, Red Schoendienst, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, and Bruce Sutter.

It's becoming quite apparent I need to stop taking my family members out if I want to save money.

Seriously, it was an awesome day and my little family is so happy. This makes me happy.

Happy early Valentine's Day, sweet husband!

Friday, February 07, 2014



Enjoying a cup of tea while watching the Opening Ceremony. We are such Olympic junkies.

Thursday, February 06, 2014



This was my view as I walked to my car at the end of the day.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

sNOw day


Zoe was off school because of the snow. The students at the school where I work were off because of the snow. I was not.

(Redacted work garbage in here. Nothing to see. Move along.)

If anyone thinks that working with a monastic community is peaceful, please let me disavow them of that idea. Yes, some days are peaceful and serene and God's love for us all is apparent. I haven't had one of those days in a few weeks. (That's a hint for you, big guy upstairs.) I still love this job more than any other I've had, but jeez. He's putting me through a few tests right now.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

on track


I took this picture earlier and posted it with a comment that most people don't judge how much snow is falling by how much of their front yard train tracks are buried.

Less than two minutes later M came in, looked out the front door and said, "There's not much out there. The tracks aren't even covered."

My marriage is awesome.

Monday, February 03, 2014



We finished reading the first Little House book tonight. We've been reading it together, which makes me so happy. I loved these books when I was her age, and I love that she's reading MY actual books.

After she went to bed, I got caught up on Downton Abbey (oh, Edith!), and took care of a little ACTS correspondence. Lovely evening.

I went into work today armed with kindness, having decided if certain people want to be assholes then there is nothing I can do to stop them. What I can do, however, is not be an asshole myself. This gives me great comfort. And helps me not vomit when I see them.

A junior reported in today's student newspaper that he interviewed the headmaster regarding campus security. He asked the headmaster if the school has made any changes in light of recent school shootings.

Question: Have you done anything to increase school security?
Answer: Well, we pray a lot.

The editor used that as the pull quote. Of course.

Later in the story, the headmaster gives instructions that should a gunman enter the school and start shooting, if a student finds himself near an exit then he should avail himself of that exit and "run like hell."

What was that about not vomiting?

These are the types of days when I think PR people don't earn enough money.

Sunday, February 02, 2014



Mass at our sister parish waaaay up north. Shopping for Valentines cards. Pretzel making. Super Bowl. Downton.

For the first time ever at this job, I am dreading going into work tomorrow. I think because I am tired, and it takes a lot of effort to be professional, and kind, and generous, to people who have hurt me and who plan to continue to hurt me. It is exhausting. And I have more than enough already to keep me busy.

Saturday, February 01, 2014



Went to the Magic House tonight, courtesy of our financial planner. Zozo had a blast.