Something New

Photographs are inspiring, and it’s a world of creativity thinking about scenes in photos. I wanted to challenge myself to writing short posts regularly and I always find myself venturing into being self-reflective in photos, so I’m jotting down a few notes along with an image that I’ve come across and how it pertains to life. I invite you to share your own thoughts on the photo along with me, whether posted or not. Let the image draw you into some type of reflection!

make-your-own-pathRemembering serenity.

This photo brings back memories of myself at a younger age. A time in my life when exploration was an easy option for me, and when major responsibilities were not yet upon my shoulders. In my hometown of Prince George, BC, there were many parks and walking trails in the surrounding foothills. I was an avid writer at this point in my life, and I found trails that led to beautiful places offered space to engage that creativity and to reflect. Often there weren’t many wanderers on these trails and there’s a peace that comes with being enveloped in a forest in which there is no one else. Hearing the birds, the soft dirt under each step, the occasional crack of a tree. Being alone, thinking masses of things, and encountering God in these moments; this is what I remember, and this is what this picture draws me into.

Remembering serenity.

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All About Felicity

IMG_5556It’s the 3rd-baby-syndrome, right? I haven’t taken as many photos of her as I have with the previous two, and I’m aching to be photographing so many of her cute attributes. By far, she has been our happiest baby. So full of joy and brimming with smile upon smile upon smile, she is definitely giving the other two a run of their money.

IMG_5557She’s started very lightly on solid foods; this time around I’m avoiding the cereals to start. My instinct is telling me to, and it’s backed up by at least three random articles that I’ve read (isn’t that how parenting is done?), so that’s what we’re going with. Mostly it’s my instinct that I’m trusting this time around. As I’ve been coming to learn, my instinct generally knows what’s best for our family so it’s a good place to start. IMG_5558She’s mastered the egg yolk. I tried her with avocado, but either I gave her too much to start with and it made a bad impression on her stomach or she has some type of sensitivity to it, cause she puked several times after that (on two occasions). So avocado is out the window currently. She’s had banana and a couple little nibbles of ground beef (not together!). That sums up her food repertoire. IMG_5559She has started crawling. It started the day my mum left after Christmas (like, within a couple hours), and she hasn’t looked back since. I’d forgotten how much self-entertaining babies can do when they learn to crawl. Recently I read this saying: ‘A mobile baby is a happy baby’ and goodness, I can vouch for its truth. She was happy before. Now she’s even happier. IMG_5566Unfortunately her dexterity in fine motor skills is extremely refined (more so than the other two at this age) and she does find every. single. little. pebble/crumb. Not that it’s increased my cleanliness of the place (that would be too easy). Nope, I’ve just worked on my mad-dash and have it down pretty good now. Occasionally the kids help out. And by help out I don’t mean that they remove and item from Felicity’s grasp, or pull something out of her mouth. Nooo, that would be heaven logical. They aren’t logical yet. But sometimes they do say, ‘Mommy, Felicity has something in her mouth.’ Or in Cassia’s case, she’ll spout ‘No Titi! No!’ and stomp in front of her. But it’s all help, right? Though I have been super-mindful of any little plastic bits on the floor (curse that silly broken wand that Spencer used to ‘cut up’ the bag of diapers! bits of plastic everywhere!) (but I blame Cassia for breaking the thing to begin with). IMG_5568
Perhaps you’ve noticed a theme with the photos. Let me assure you: I did not (completely) select only the photos in which her tongue was out of her mouth. This is, indeed, her natural pose, and has been since she had her tongue clipped in September. It is one of the cutest things about her and I love see it nearly every time I look at her. It’s just so darling on her.

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It just won’t stay in her mouth. It’s ever roaming. It’s ever-adorable. It’s Felicity.

 

And in other news, this is all I had left of my Christmas chocolate before I finished writing this post:

IMG_5636I didn’t know Christmas chocolate could last this long. I have no idea what I did differently this year, but I am sure loving little Lindts in mid-January. It is delicious under every circumstance.

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More Like Mary

mary nursingI’ve heard this phrase, or any variation of it, a lot within the last year. It’s interesting hearing people’s responses to what they think this phrase might mean. For most, the hymn “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman” seems to come to mind and the images of Mary that it imbues on people. These are the lyrics:

Gentle woman, quiet light,
morning star, so strong and bright,
gentle Mother, peaceful dove,
teach us wisdom; teach us love.

You were chosen by the Father;
you were chosen for the Son.
You were chosen from all women
and for woman, shining one.

Blessed are you among women,
blest in turn all women, too.
Blessed they with peaceful spirits.
Blessed they with gentle hearts.

Maybe I’m opening a can of worms among some Catholics, but I hate this song (except for the beginning portion [that I omitted above], which is the hail Mary, sung). I hate it because it embodies only one side of characteristics of an exemplary woman. Characteristics that typically have defined and confined women.

There is so much more to Mary than gentle, peaceful, quiet. I mean, really. At 14 (or so), she braved the potential persecution for being an unwed mother, she gave birth in the humblest of settings away from any support system (this image has helped get me through two of my labours), she heard from an elder in the Temple at Jesus’ circumcision that a sword would pierce her soul (Lk 2:34), she threw him into active ministry confidently (Jn 2), she watched him raise a ruckus with his words and deeds during his public ministry, knowing what his actions may bring upon him from the authorities at any moment. Mary’s life seems all but quiet. All but gentle. All but peaceful. While I believe these are qualities she has, they are definitely not the qualities that are defined in our Scriptures. And she is more than a shining one for women. She is THE shining disciple for all. She has demonstrated qualities of a lioness with the dignity of an eagle. She is and always will be the one who defines what a disciple should look like.

To be more like Mary is to be brave, confident in God’s abilities, bold, and tough. To be over-abundantly ready to pursue God’s will in any situation. To truly and actively live out God’s work in our world. And trusting that our trust in God will truly show God’s nature: faithful to the end.

THAT is Mary. THAT is being more like Mary. And that, my friends, is truly what we should be striving towards as Jesus’ disciples. Mary is our model in our response to God’s love. This is the Mary I want to be more like.

VirginMaryWithBabyJesusSonofGod

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Gaudete!

Happy 3rd week of Advent! We’re on the home stretch now!

I have recently become a fan of Scotch. I never thought I’d write a sentence like that before. But I did write it. And it’s true.

For Andy’s birthday this year, my mum gifted him a Scotch tasting event at a local liquor store. Since Darryl (the Scotch-loving friend) wasn’t in town, Andy invited me along. Now, before this event, I could say that I might have been able to tolerate it, but I definitely didn’t enjoy Scotch. However, I was open to learning more about it and changing my opinion if the circumstances warranted it.

To back up a bit, I have learned to drink hard liquors. Indeed, I was taught/encouraged by my Grandad (who passed away this summer). That man had a collection of liquors in his cupboard that would rival many, so he encouraged me to try his Benedictine and Brandy (commonly called B&B). That, my friends, is a fun introduction to the harder stuff. From there I found I could enjoy even a rum without a mixer, and a few other things. So this was my background going into the Scotch tasting. But Scotch, dearest people, is not so fun and flamboyant as B&B or even as rum can be. I’d say that compared to Mardi Gras, Scotch is more like Lent. But don’t go deep with that analogy, cause I’m sure it’ll break apart somewhere.

2014-10-18 13.55.54So, we went to the Scotch tasting. 7 different Scotchs from two different distilleries. We started with the Glenmorangie, from the Highland part of Scotland. Then we had the Ardbeg, from the small island in the south west called Islay. Mostly what I learned was this: Highland can be sophisticated and elegant. Ardbeg is more like the dirt floor of a pub from over a century ago. Andy likes the dirt, I like the elegant.

The man who gave the tasting is from the Ardbeg distillary, one of the few whose family had been a part of it for over 20 (50?) years. He gave a ton of history about Scotch and particularly about the island of Islay, which apparently is a God-forsaken island in which Scotch is its only redemptive feature.

It was a fun date we had. I learned a lot about Scotch that I never would have sought out to know on my own. And then we came home and I tried some of Andy’s that he has here. And I mostly enjoyed it. Then the Glenlivet Scotch went on sale, so we bought it, and I tasted it, and I liked it. And then. AND THEN. I saw that J&D made a Scotch & Bacon soap. Everything in my world went *click*. Angels. They started their singing. The dark bulb above my head, a light came out of it.

Scotch and bacon.

Scotch.

And.

Bacon.

Therefore, in spirit of such awesomeness, we are going to have a party in celebration of Scotch and bacon before Christmas with a few close friends. One friend has not started her journey into Scotch tasting, so she will be taking her maiden voyage with us and our four Scotchs (that we own between the rest of us).

This, dear people, is how I get through the tough times of parenting three little ones. The little jems in life that turn into awesome parties and make mighty good memories in and amidst the day-to-day. This is what contributes to Gaudete in life!

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The Advent of it All…

Happy new year to all you our there who follow the liturgical calendar! Hope you brought it in with style! We did – we watched a couple Star Trek: The Next Generations and went to bed. Without a ton of kidlet interruptions. It. Was. Awesome.

We are a happy house of little workers here, currently. We have been having a lot more fun in our house the past couple of weeks. The simplest way to describe how? Crafts. I am determined to increase our art experiences in this house, and this time, I’m super planning it, and they haven’t been complete disasters. I know, eh? Who knew?

2014-12-01 14.10.25 2014-12-01 14.31.11We did Alligator A (capital) and apple a (lower-case) for some crafties.

This past week I also started doing homeschool preschool with Spencer. We do it 3 half-days per week, and we’re testing the waters to see how things go. I’m fairly determined to make it work, but I won’t do so to the point of stressing our family beyond a breaking point. If it really doesn’t work, then it’s not for us. HOWEVER, we had great success this past week. The theme of the week was letter A, and most activities we did were about the letter A. Spencer looks forward to doing his school each time, which tells me we are going in a good direction.

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Counting with beads and pipe cleaners. He loved it.

We are using the Catholic ABCs as a basis for what we do. The author has a plan and activities for basically doing one half-day per week, so I’ve had to fill things out so we can do two more half-days per week. Every day has a craft of some type, so I’ve upped my ante in this area by one-hundred-fold. Cassia gets to participate in the last craft/activity of the session and enjoys what she can do in these times. Our place is now filling up with the kids’ crafts, which is really as it should be. I love displaying their crafts and artwork, and I know that they are proud of what they do too.

2014-12-01 15.31.58Cause she’s a cutie.

We are eagerly anticipating Christmas here. Two more weeks of lovely preparation for us before we celebrate the feast of Christ entering into our human lives!

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