Monday, December 31, 2012

white blank page

I was going to try to be witty about the new year but decided against it. You're welcome.

If you've been following along for awhile, you'll probably remember seeing a string of posts related to my frustration with "the plan"...meaning the plan that God has for my life. Don't get me wrong, I like my life....heck, I even love it sometimes...but like most people, I have an idea of what I'd like my life to look like or what I want my life to be and needless to say, the current sitch isn't exactly what I wanted/expected/preferred.

But now I'm just getting annoyed with myself....

In less than 12 hours, we'll be in 2013. A new year. A fresh slate. A white blank page. And as "they" say, the perfect time to make a change.
Full disclosure: I usually hate New Years Resolutions.

What sort of change, you might ask? It's more of a mindset than anything else.
More like a decision.

The decision to be happy.
The decision to revel in all the good that is in the here and now.
The decision to just be.

Overall, I am a happy person. But have you ever had one of those days when you go to bed feeling whole, feeling complete, feeling totally satisfied? And you're thinking "wow. that was a GREAT day."
I want that

I know that not everyday will be perfect. I know that not everything goes perfectly all the time.
But I believe that every day, we have the chance to make the choice to have a good attitude. To embrace the good of today and not focus on what we wish tomorrow will bring.

And so, in 2013 I will choose happiness. I will choose to be content in the here and now. I will choose to love my life exactly as it is and trust God to put the rest of the pieces together.

Happy New Year! And congratulations to the Patton clan on their new arrival!

Do you have a resolution? I'd love to hear it :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What I Wore on Christmas

coming out of my new clothes and chocolate littered cave to participate in Grace's Christmas link-up

The fam has been doing midnight mass for the past few years....which has turned semi-hazardous ever since I became "legal" and include deliciouso red moscato with dinner....if you think that midnight mass would be hard to stay awake through, try having a couple of glasses of red pre-mass. This year wasn't horrible, I maintained altertness thanks to the rowdy children (and adults!) in front and behind us who obviously haven't been to mass since last Christmas. Not that I'm judging....

 thanks to the sister for capturing all flattering pics

Christmas Day itself is pretty chill around here and as my mother says, you know you've got a house full of teens and older when the parents are the ones waking everyone up to open presents. Just so you can get an idea of what my apparel will consist of all day today:

Photo credit goes to the I'm-not-getting-out-of-this-chair-so-deal-with-the-awkward-angle sister and photo-bombing credit goes to mi padre. And they wonder where I got my skillz.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

midnight mass
top: Old Navy
skirt: White House Black Market
scarf: Marshalls?
wine: Barefoot Red Moscato

christmas laziness
sweater: stolen from Dad's closet
flannels: brother hand-me-downs
slippers: Old Navy

Monday, December 24, 2012

Crafty Christmas: repurposed painting

My little sister is one of the most difficult people to shop for. Usually, I'd get her a scarf or maybe some earrings, but after years and years of getting the same types of gifts, I felt that we needed to shake it up a little.

And then I remembered something I saw on Pinterest which I'd been wanting to do and BAM!
Christmas present.

Most directions for this project say to use an old paint-by-number painting buuuuut I didn't have any of those just laying around...but what I did have was a canvas that I inherited from one of the girls who lived in my old apartment before I moved in and paint.

Thus, my makeshift paint-by-number. Dontcha love my skills?

I used a quote from her favorite TSwift song on Red...Then painted over it all with white paint...

...waited for 12ish hours and peeled off the letters...


one recommendation I have is that I painted the edges...I like that you can tell that the white was painted over it, but that's just me :)

So there you have it!

Hope your Christmas is full of love and joy!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Quick Takes (16)

if this is the end of the world, you should probably be doing something more important than reading this post...but if those dumbo Mayans were incorrect, read on....

[1] the world's ending! the world's ending! yeah yeah yeah...I've been hearing so much about this it makes me sick. My biggest issue with it is that aren't we supposed to be living each day like it's our last? Didn't Jesus say that we wouldn't know the day nor the hour? so...yeah. I'm not too concerned. The way I see it, if the world doesn't end, I have a great life ahead of me, but if it DOES end, I have a shot at heaven. win-win.

[2] all of my roommates have been gone this week and while I liked it for awhile, now at every creak and moan of the house, I jump. I was talking to my bff Carolyn last night and I'm pretty sure I popped her eardrum when the dishes on my drying rack shifted slightly and scared the begeegees out of me. Sorry Carol.


[4] SPEAKING OF CHRISTMAS IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going home tonight for my two weeks off and

[5] Look at my precious goddaughter. ohemgee.

[6] I checked out more than just the DVD section of the public library today and after venturing outside of my usual fiction/fantasy/utopian-society comfort zone and found myself lost in the non-fiction area. I was so scared. Especially when I found this gem:

[7] in other news, I watched the entire first season of Friends this week. don't judge me for also renting these:

hopefully Jen's still hosting this THAT would be the end of the world!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Crafty Christmas: Paint Chip Coasters

I love giving gifts...I truly do get more joy out of giving a fabulous gift that the person recieving it loves.
And this is why one of my favorite gifts to gift is homemade coasters.

They're impressive, they're useful, and they're SUPER easy to make.

I've made coasters before, but wanted to do something different this time around....and thus came paint chip coasters!

I've seen other paint chip coasters on Pinterest, but honestly, I felt like I could do something a bit better than what I found on there...

I got the tiles [[$0.13 each!]] and paint chips [[free!!!]], and had decided upon the gradient theme with general colors being yellow, green, pink/purple, and orange.

Then came up with the designs for each coaster (really helpful as to allow things to go smoother throughout the actual putting-together phase)

The basic idea is to mod podge the paper to the tile and then spray with a moisture resistant sealant...when making photo coasters, I advise against mod podging the top of the pictures, but with these paint chips, I mod podged both sides and then sprayed.

Then adding felt to the four corners of the bottom of the tile to avoid scratching and voila! The perfect gift!

I gave these to my dear friend Claire and she loved them :)

Stay tuned for other Crafty Christmas gifts!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Quick Takes (15)

guess who's back, back again...let's just dive on into the craziness....

[1] hold up. it's Friday already?! where did this week go?! I seriously feel like the week JUST started. it probably went by quickly because all I've been doing this week is our Christmas mailing and frantically getting people to pay for the March for Life trip. #prolifeproblems

[2] I bought a new computer this week. ohhh yeah. it's cute and fast and I can use it while it's unplugged for 4+hours. it's pretty fantastic.

[3] my grandma is the cutest and she reads my blog, but doesn't know how to comment directly on the posts, so she emails me her favorite one from this week was:
"Confucius say: 'Having no husband, better than wrong husband!'"
hilarious. and veryvery true

it makes me sooooo happy to decorate and celebrate and bake cookies and watch Christmas movies and yeah. this time of the year is one of my absolute favorites. :)

[5] my boss tried to convince me to design his and his wife's very first Christmas card together...when he asked me what he would have to pay me to complete such a task, I replied "pay me in coffee...lots of coffee. or babies." because obviously lots of coffee and babies are equivalent.

[6] I'm tending the mocktail bar at the Newman Center's Winter Formal tonight....just a day in the life....

[7] I got nothing...check out Conversion Diary for manymanymany more exciting takes!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

uber masculine

Back at ol' ISU, there were a fair number of people who drove around on what I think are called "crotch rockets"?
Their words, not mine.

And they're cool. Fast and loud.
And definitely manly.

So upon moving to CU and working on UIUC's campus, I was slightly shocked that there aren't alot of "vrooming" vehicles around. Actually, the only one that I ever saw was a Harley that one of the chaplains owned. Funny.

What's strange about that, you ask?

It's not the lack of motocycles that shock me, I suppose...rather the extraordinary overflowing amount of mopeds that are found on this campus. I'm serious.

And it's not girls who are riding these dainty little things! It's GUYS!

And sometimes MORE THAN ONE BIG MAN!!!
It's actually quite funny because I've seen it happen more than once.
(and I actually almost ran over a couple of guys who were riding a bike like this....)

I mean, I have nothing against mopeds...but I just don't think I've ever seen more men riding them than I have here at UIUC...and actually, one of my friends used to have one (a girl) and during the summer a couple years ago, this actually happened:

This picture was taken a minute before they got pulled over by the cops. No, I am not joking.
Apparently, it's illegal to ride one of those with more than 2 people....whoops.

Aaaaanyway....I just think it's funny...because I know what it's like to be on one of those puppies and feeling really cool because you're cruising along, the wind is in your hair...and then you remember that you're on a freaking moped.
Not so cool.

Sorry to break it to you, dudes.

Monday, December 3, 2012

growing in virtue: vulnerability

I had a dream a few nights ago in which my husband was with me. He asked me to dance and I felt more loved and complete than I ever have. Just thinking about it now makes my heart flutter.

I know that I shouldn't wait around feeling like I'm missing a part of myself, and thinking that a man will make me feel "whole". And I assure you, I don't...for I know that only the Lord and being in full communion with The Church can bring that "wholeness". And I do believe that one should be content in who they are in their own before venturing into a new relationship because attempting to fill a God-sized hole in your heart with a human just won't work.

But all of this doesn't completely take away the longing for union with one's spouse. Receiving the sacraments and praying takes the edge off, but that nagging ache is still there. And its so hard because in my experience, people's advice has been to pray for your husband and offer up your suffering for him. And I do that, and it is fruitful.

But I have another solution.

Letting God into all of the hurt, the anger, the loneliness...our God is big enough to take it!
Yell, cry, beg, whatever it takes to SHOW Him how you truly feel.
So often, I think we don't say outright how we truly feel to the Lord because we either assume that He already knows (which He does), we think we can't be mad at him and show him our raw emotions (we can) or we believe that by opening up to our Savior and not pushing down those emotions, we're weak (we're not).

Yes, our Lord already knows how we feel, but I truly believe that He wants us to admit it to Him. Just like a wife might know that her husband loves her, she still wants to hear it from him.

Perhaps we shouldn't have a rage fest in Adoration, but telling Him "I'm mad at you" isn't a long as that doesn't cause you to turn away from Him...and in fact, I've found that only after I sob myself silly and tell Him that I'm frustrated with Him can I get over it. By identifying and declaring exactly what your problem is, you will be able to work on it and heal. Pushing your hurt under the rug isn't helping you to grow into the woman your husband deserves.

And being vulnerable with our Lord isn't at all a sign of weakness, but rather strength! Reaching out for help is not anything to be ashamed of, especially when our Lord is the greatest doctor of all! To think that asking for help is a sign of weakness is like saying that an alcoholic who is seeking treatment is weak! Of course not! In fact, most people would commend their strength in finding healing! So why is that not true with God?

Praying for others, especially your husband, is beautiful and selfless. However, if we don't seek to fix our own problems, if we don't seek to fill our own cups, how are we to ever be prepared to give to our husbands? I often have to remind myself that there's a reason why my husband and I haven't found one another yet. And the only logical explanation is that its because either he's not ready or I'm not ready. So why not make best of this time and prepare? Especially in this time of Advent, let us take the example of Joseph and Mary as they prepared for the coming of our Lord. And so too should we take on the mantle of our Mother and prepare our hearts for receiving our husbands.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What I Wore Sunday

My very first WIWS! I've been perusing the posts for a few weeks now and decided that it's about time that I join in on the fun :)

This weekend, I travelled to Warren and Lena, IL to give talks at some parishes up there about SFLI. The pastor of all three churches is my former pastor, Father Max. He's the reason that I got involved in the pro-life movement and it was so great to see him!

4 masses and 530 miles later, I'm happy to be home.

This was my view this morning.

In a place without cell reception and more country radio stations than one could ever listen to, I was happy as a clam. Oh, and you know how whenever you go somewhere, whether it be for one night or five, you ALWAYS forget something? Well, this time I forgot my makeup bag.
Good job dummy.
Now, I'm not one of those I-can't-leave-the-house-without-my-face-on people...but when you're giving fundraising talks post-mass, its usually a good idea to be able to cover-up dark circles and draw on some eyelashes. Good thing I had my trusty compact which helped a whole lot...that combined with some 8 year old mascara I found in my purse helped my face perk right up.

Thus why the pic is headless. Believe me, you're welcome.

The deets
dress: ROSS ($12!!!!)
cardigan: Old Navy (duh)
belt: no idea...came with a shirt I don't wear...
boots: (19.95!!!)

Check out other linker-uppers at Fine Linen and Purple!
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