Valentine’s Recap

What a wonderful Valentine’s day!

I gave J a water bottle, like he has been wanting. C got an Elmo shirt, she was more than excited! And I got these wonderful things:

















We are so practical, it’s romantic, I know. But really I LOVE my new lunch organizers! They are awesome and making packing lunches a ton easier.

We had a take out Thai food date night after C went to bed, then I made these:











Hope you all had a Happy Valentine’s Day!


The Mass Blues

Yesterday we had an interesting (not so good) experience at Mass. When we walked into the pew a little, older lady glared at us. I thought I was imagining it. After all, we go to Mass in the first place so we can be holier, loving, Christ-like people right?

Well anyway we were having our usual experience with C. She was being a little louder then she should be and I was holding her a lot and shushing her a little more.  But I dislike sitting in the “cry-room” she tends to behave worse if we are in there and I feel disengaged. So the cry room is usually the last resort.

Here is a short play by play of me and C’s conversation:

C (reading a book): I see monkey, hee hee hee. Elephant wearing blue shirt.

Me: Please read a little quieter

C: Man up there wearing green shirt (pointing to the priest)

Me: We have to be quiet so we can listen to what he is saying.

C: Priest saying?

Me: The priest is saying prayers.

C (Loudly): “Now I lay me down to sleep, pray da Lord soul keep. If I die before wake pray the Lord soul to keep”, Cargine say prayers. Cargine help people.

(I will add that in the last 3 minutes of Mass she did throw a tantrum, try to stick the hymnal down my shirt then shout “no more church”)

So while C was being a little louder than she should have been, she was being mostly sweet and was fairly engaged with what was happening. She was singing during all the songs and reciting her prayers (perhaps at the wrong times), but for the most part I was very pleased with her participation.

Mean while here is what the older lady next to us was saying to the woman next to her:

Lady (clearing throat and glaring our way): It’s really hard to hear the priest

Lady: Parents these days just don’t know how to raise kids any more

Lady(once again glaring our way): Can you believe how spoiled rotten kids are these days. Their parents let them do whatever they want

Lady (clearing throat again): I still  can’t hear what the priest is saying

And so on.

Maybe its just me, but I get extremely frustrated when people act like this… To be honest in C’s life time I have a lot more people compliment her on how well-behaved she was, then I have had tell me has been acting  like a “brat”.

Unfortunately its the rude people who tend to stick in my mind and really get to me.

I will say that despite this woman’s comments I will continue to encourage C to say her prayers, even if it’s a little too loudly in the middle of Mass.

What’s for Dinner Week 2: Feb 12, 2012

Week of Feb. 12, 2012

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday: Turkey and Polenta Casserole- Trying out a new recipe

Tuesday: Take out Thai Food: Happy Valentine’s Day to us 🙂

Wednesday: Bean and Veggie Quesadillas

Thursday: BBQ Meatloaf

Friday: Indian Chicken Rice Casserole- Trying out a new recipe

Saturday: Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes and eggs

Sunday: Most likely dinner with my parents

Happy Cooking!

Thin Places and Moments

A book I am reading, started talking about something that interested me, called a thin place. A “thin place” is traditionally a belief held by Celtic Christians. In short, a it is a place somewhere in the world where a person is closer to God then he or she ordinarily is. It is a special place where a person can truly feel God’s presence. This group of Celtic Christians believe that at any given time a person is usually 3 feet away from God, but when in a thin place a person is even closer!

The idea is intriguing to me, and to some extent I have found it to be true (although I may not believe the 3 ft rule). There are places that I have been, that I have found myself feeling closer to God than usual. Mostly my experience has been somewhere in nature like on a hike (only been on like 2 in my whole life) or at the beach.

My thought is that, more than “thin places” I have had “thin moments”. I will say I am not sure if there is any specific Celtic Christian teaching on thin moments though, but maybe there is! I think a thin moment is a time in your life when you can feel God there and you may not know why.  Here are some of my “thin moments”:

  • When C was born 🙂
  • When I got married (and at weddings in general)
  • My oddest “thin moment” took place at the strangest of places, in my rehab science cadaver lab. I walked in and immediately had to step back out of the room to hold back my tears. It was hard to wrap my mind around a room full of people who had died and the whole idea of a cadaver lab felt extremely disrespectful to me (It still kind of does). I finally pulled it together and entered the room. We thankfully had to do no dissecting, we were just observing. I stared down at a human brain and my professor came over and started pointing out all the different parts of the brain and what they do. At that point I couldn’t keep it together anymore. I was just amazed at the intricacy that was the human person. My only thought was that God has to be real, this proves it! No one in the entire world could make something so amazing that actually works as well as the body does. The age old conflict between Religion and Science should disappear and the reason is simple: God can be seen through science, it can’t be denied (at least thats how I see it).

I realized I have been taught about thin moments my whole life. Back in kindergarden a teacher once told me a secret. And I’ll let you in on it too.

“When you get goosebumps and your not cold and you look around and you can’t see any wind and nothing tickled you, God is right next to you giving you a hug”.

Guess what? I have believed it ever since. Whenever I notice  I get goosebumps for no reason, it always makes me smile.

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day!

St. Valentine’s Feast Day is coming up!  In the past I never loved the holiday, but I seem to have found some new appreciation for it. It celebrates a saint, love for friends and family and kids get to give out adorable valentines to all their friends at school. Here are a couple of ideas to celebrate:










Prayer in Honor of St. Valentine:

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God: that we, who celebrate the

heavenly birthday of blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr, may, through his

intercession, be strengthened in the love of Thy name. Through our Lord.

-1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Valentine’s Day Cookie Recipe:

This is my grandma’s butter cookie recipe. It’s simple, not too sweet, just perfect for this kind of cookie!


  • 1 1/2 level cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix until a putt-like consistency is obtained.

2. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.

3. Roll dough out and cut with cookie cutters

4. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees, until edges are brown

5. Cool, then frost if desired. I used this recipe for icing!

15 Minutes a Day: A New Year’s Resolution

Shortly before this new year’s rolled around I decided I wanted to make a resolution that would actually be possible to keep. So I made it simple:

Exercise 3x a week for 15 minutes each time

To be honest, I am embarrassed that I don’t already exercise more than that. But with my schedule and the fact that I have not exercised regularly in 2 years I decided it was time! Here we are, week 2 of the new year and so far so good. My 15 minutes have included:

1) going for a walk around the block

2) going for a short bike ride

3) My in home (I would be mortified if anyone actually watched me do) routine

My in home routine is as follows:

  • 3.5 minutes jumping jacks
  • 3.5 minutes jogging in place
  • 3 minutes ski jumps
  • 1 minute crunches (50x)
  • 3 minutes strength (15 chest presses, 15 arm curls each side, 15 shoulder raises into a T shape)
  • 1 minute stretches

*I hold some cans of soup during the 3 minutes of strengthening

A little exercise really is better than no exercise!

Wedding Rehearsal Flower Bouquet









My best friend is getting married this weekend! I couldn’t be more excited for her. As part of my duty as the “Matron of Honor” I decided to create a mock flower bouquet for her to practice with during the rehearsal out of all the ribbons used as wrapping from her bridal showers. I searched and searched to figure out how to do this, but I didn’t find any tutorials (print or internet) that actually worked for me. I kind of played with the ribbons for a VERY LONG while and made a bouquet I am quite happy with, despite the colored ribbon I was working with due to the large number of gifts purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond. Here’s what I did.

Need for 1 flower:

22 in. ribbon

floral tape

fabric glue

floral wire



Got a ribbon about 22 inches long.

Tied a single knot at one end leaving a little extra hanging off.

Twisted the longer end away from the knot, added a dab of fabric glue, and wrap around the knot.

Repeat prior step until there is just a little bit of ribbon left.

Take floral wiring and push it into the knot, where the stem looks like it should come from.

Wrap excess ribbon around wire and secure with floral tape.

Create as many flowers as you would like and wrap all the stems together with floral tape.

Then wrap ribbon over floral tape and secure with fabric glue.

Then you have yourself a wedding rehearsal flower bouquet!




































Week 1 Dinner Menu

In: This Week’s Dinner Menu.

How many of you can never figure out what’s for dinner tonight? Well, in this section I will share this week’s recipes for my family’s home. Now, I have just started doing this, so there may be some bumps in the road. I typically will plan for 5 meals. The other 2 will either be left overs or eating out.

This weeks menu: 1/1/12


Monday: Still on vacation

Tuesday: Still on Vacation

Wednesday: Ginger chicken with stir fry veggies

Thursday: Slow cooker lentils with sausage

Friday: Friend’s wedding rehearsal dinner

Saturday: Wedding dinner

Lots of cooking breaks for me this week 🙂

No Ouchies for Jesus

At Mass yesterday night, during the consecration, I was walking around in the back of the Church with a whiny toddler. I was frustrated and helplessly trying to explain to her in simple words what exactly was happening at the alter.

She cut me off mid sentence, looking up  and pointing at the crucifix and said “who’s dat”?

I quietly told her that it was Jesus up on the cross.

She smiled and teasingly said, “no mama, baby Jesus over there” pointing to the nativity scene directly behind us.

She then looked back up to the crucifix and said, “mama, no baby Jesus, dat ouchie boy”.

I smiled and told her that the baby in the nativity was baby Jesus when he was little, then he grew up to be a big Jesus like the one on the cross. Then as simply as I could explain to a 2 year old, I told her that big Jesus got an ouchie up on the cross to help us be good people and go to heaven. She looked at me puzzled for a minute…

I thought that I had obviously done a terrible job at explaining this extremely complex topic.

Then at the top of her lungs she yelled, “No Jesus ouchie! ‘Cargine’ alright!” Then she more calmly stated, “Cargine fix Jesus, Jesus all better”.  (Note: “Cargine” is what she calls herself)

The usher turned around and smiled at me and understood exactly what had just taken place. – A 2 year old understood perfectly who Jesus is and what he did, perhaps better than me.

Quick Chicken Stir Fry

Here is a quick meal idea. I am currently looking for a better recipe, but for now this will do.


  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 lb skinless chicken breast (cubed)
  • 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 28 oz frozen stir fry vegetables ( mushrooms, beans, broccoli, etc)
  • 1 cups of brown rice
  • 1 tsp oil ( sesame or vegetable)
  • Cook rice according to directions.
  • mix red wine vinegar, sugar, teriyaki, and spices into a small bowl.
  • Place large cubes of chicken into skillet with oil and half of mixture in bowl.
  • Cook thoroughly
  • Add in frozen vegetables and remaining sauce mixture
  • cook until vegetables are tender
  • Add in cooked rice, mix and cook for 2-5 more minutes.
  • Serve!

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