Friday, November 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes (10)

I had my official last day of class ever yesterday! Now I only have 3 more finals and then I start my rotations after the new year. I couldn't be more excited!!!!
The week I watched the movie The Christmas Shoes. It was such a wonderful movie, but I did cry the whole way through.

I started my Year of Faith Series. My first post was written about Angels in My Life. I am still looking for people who would be interested in doing a guest post for the series. If you are interested email me at!

A girl posted this on her Facebook and it seemed like something worth sharing with all of you:

"I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crib, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her: “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said: “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us."

Check out the list I made of Christmas/Advent ideas!
We get the keys to our new rental house tomorrow and we will be moving in next Saturday! I am also super excited about this. Only a million boxes to pack and errands to run before then!

Have a lovely weekend! You know mine will mostly be spent packing and studying!

Head back over to Jen for more Quick Takes!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pintrest-y Christmas Season Ideas

Advent and Christmas are approaching quickly! I love Christmas-y crafts and buying from small businesses. Here is a collection of ideas that I have put together. Of course I can take credit for none of them. All the links are provided so you can find more information. Enjoy!

Nativity Gingerbread House from PinkStinx

Advent Calendar from Little House Blog
No-Sew Tree Skirt from MyCrazyLife

DIY Elf Felt Cookies for the Preschooler in Your Life from EverNeverAgain

Gift Homemade Soap for a Good Friend from Black Kettle Company
Gift Adorable Fabric Flower Necklaces from Happy Little Lovelies
Buy to Help Mothers in Kenya from MercyHouse
Bake Jesus a Birthday Cake from Tingible
Make Your Own Ornaments from Seven Layer Studio

Monday, November 26, 2012

Year of Faith Series: Angels Among Us

I started the Year of Faith Series as an attempt to further explore my faith and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Through this series I will dive deeper into specific faith filled moments in my life, teachings of the Church, and new ways to strengthen my faith. I'd love for you to join me in this journey throughout the Year of Faith, declared by Pope Benedict XVI. If you are interested in doing a guest post in the series about your faith journey please email me @

One late afternoon I was driving home from undergrad. The gas light in my car went on about 15 minutes before I had arrived for class earlier that morning. I knew that I had had to stop to get gas before hitting the highway or I wouldn't make the 45 minute drive home. On top of that, rain was pouring down from the sky and I could hardly see out my window. In my mind I debated whether or not I should stop. The area around school wasn't particularly safe, but it also wasn't safe to run out of gas on the highway.

I had made up my mind and pulled into the nearest gas station despite the fact that it looked mostly abandoned. Just as my tank was almost filled a man, much larger than I, approached me. As soon as I noticed him, I scrambled to try to get the nozzle to detach from my car. I was not quick enough. He cornered me between my car and the station where the hose was attached.

"I am so sorry to bother you ma'am, but my arm is real hurt and I was hoping you could help me", he said. Glancing down at the arm he was holding, I noticed it was swaddled in dirty gauze. I did my best to decipher if it truly looked like a real injury. "Could you please drive me to the nearest hospital to get it checked out?" he stated while giving me a wincing smile. My mind was racing. Was this really happening to me? I gathered my thoughts and calmly told him that I was sorry about his arm, but that I wasn't able to give him a ride. We went back and forth like this for a while.

"You're just not going to help me because I am black!" he shouted at me. Outraged that I had just been called a racist by someone whom was possibly trying to harm me, I spoke without thinking. I stared him straight in the eyes and said, "This has nothing to do with you being black! I don't know you. I don't care what color you are, you are not getting in my car." He smiled, appearing to be fairly amused. Expletives mixed with prayers were racing through my mind. My fight or flight response was kicking in, yet I had no where to go and surely this was a fight I wasn't going to win. The he looked at me and said, "Ma'am, I am not going to ask you again, get in your car and take me to the hospital".

Just then a scruffy looking older man stumbled out of the gas station store drinking from a large brown paper bag. He stumbled over to where the man and I were standing. "Someone help me", I thought to myself.  "Leave this young lady alone!" he shouted at the man, slurring his words in the process. Then he looked at me and told me to take the nozzle out of my car and be on my way. I did as I was told. I could hear the two men arguing as I got in my car and locked the doors as quickly as I could. My entire body was shaking as I drove off. Before I made it onto the street, I turned around to take one last look at the horrible scene I had just escaped. The larger man was lifting up his arms to stretch as he was talking to the obviously homeless fellow. His shirt pulled up, just enough for me to see the handle of a gun sticking out from the top of his pants. My mind was in too much of a whirlwind to make sense of what had just happened.

Later that afternoon I told my mom the story, knowing that she would lecture me about getting gas in an unsafe area of town. Instead all she said was, "You must have one heck of a guardian angel". I hadn't thought of it that way before, but I knew she was right.

Ever since then, I have stayed in constant contact with my guardian angel and spent some time looking into the Church's teaching about them.

The Catechism tells us that, "From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life."- Catechism 336

My guardian angel sure got the memo about being my protector!

Angels also play an important role in Biblical history. They were there to close the Garden of Eden- after Adam and Eve betrayed God, they communicated the law to countless figures, helped out the prophets and the angel, Gabriel, even announced Jesus' birth!

St. Francis De Sales tells us" Make yourself familiar with the angels and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen they are present with you"-St. Francis De Sales

It is clear that angels are important: people mustn't forget about them. In my life, I have noticed that I can call on the angel assigned to me for practical help as well as in dire circumstances. I often plead with my angel to go talk to other people's angels. Although there is no official teaching about this, it does seem to be within their jurisdiction to do this. I have sent my angel to talk to my daughter's angel about giving her some comfort when she was waking up in the middle of the night. Miraculously the two times I felt desperate enough to do this, she calmed down within a few seconds and fell back asleep. I didn't even need to get out of bed.

I find myself feeling more spiritually connected, when I am in constant conversation with the angel assigned to me. It is so amazing to know that God assigned one specific spiritual being to constantly be by my side and to protect me. What an awesome gift! I have come to know that the power of angels is real.

In the words of Chris Tomlin, "I know Who goes before me, I know Who stands behind, The God of angel armies is always on my side".

Let us not forget our angels. Their feast day is on October 2nd and here is a petition written specifically  to them:

O most Faithful companion, 
appointment by God to be my guide and protector, 
and who art ever at my side, 
what thanks can I offer thee for thy faithfulness and love, 
and for all the benefits
which thou hast conferred upon me?
Thou watchest over me in sleep; 
thou consolest me when I am sad; 
though liftest me up when I fall; 
though avertest the dangers that threaten me;
though preparest me for the future;
though withdrawest me from evil
and excitest me to good; 
though exhortest me to penance when I yield to temptation
and reconcilest me to my offended God. 
Long since should I have been cast into hell,
unless by thy prayers thou hadst averted from me the angel of God. 
Leave me not, then, I entreat tee; 
but still comfort me in adversity, 
restrain me in prosperity, 
defend me in danger, 
assist me in temptations, 
lest at any time I fall a victim to them. 
Offer to God my prayers and groanings, 
and all my religious exercises, 
and obtain for me the great gift of final perseverance, 
and the grace to die in the friendship of my Creator, 
and so to enter into life everlasting. 

Credit: Prayer retrieved from

Has there ever been a moment in your life where you felt the presence of your guardian angel? What have you done to strengthen your relationship with your angel?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Daily Activities and Italian Pasta Salad

Thanksgiving week is here! It is a busy week for us, but mostly because my last semester is wrapping up and we are moving in 2.5 weeks. Last week I managed to read the entire book, An Amish Holiday by Cynthia Keller, procrastination at it's best. The book was really a very inspiring and interesting story. It helped me to better see the value the simpler things in life, just in time for Thanksgiving!

If you are looking for a recipe to make before or after Thanksgiving, this is one of my favorite pasta salads to make. We eat it for dinner, but it would also be perfect as a side for a party.

  • 12 oz shell pasta
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1-28 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 5 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 package italian dressing mix
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tsp dried basil 
  • 1 tsp dried parsley 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 
  • Cook pasta according to directions and run under cold water until cool
  • Transfer to large bowl
  • Add in peppers, tomatoes and cheese to bowl
  • In a separate small bowl mix spices, oil and vinegar together
  • Pour over ingredients in the larger bowl
  • Mix together, cover and chill for a few hours
  • Enjoy!
Now I will leave you with some 3-year-old photography skills:

Stone Turtle (side angle)

Artwork and Towel

Friday, November 16, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (9)

At the start of this week I talked about different ways that I plan dinner out, without losing my sanity. This includes making a weekly plan, not being over ambitions with the recipes, changing it up (but not too often), along with a variety of other ideas.
I linked up this week for 30 Days of Thanks. The link-up is running through November 30th, so there is still time to join in!
I heard this quote on the radio yesterday and loved it!
"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. Aft first, perhaps you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the room and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of- throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself."- C.S. Lewis
Speaking of faith, we are on day # 37 of the Year of Faith. I have decided to do a little series on faith related topics to help me stay focused during the Year of Faith. If anyone is interested in doing a guest post for it, email me at It can be any faith related topic including: your faith journey, what helps you stay focused on God, faith traditions in your family, etc. My plan if for it to start in a few weeks and run throughout the year. I'd love to have you join me on this journey!
There has been some bizarre things in the news lately. Like did you know that Hostess is closing business! No more Twinkies and Ding Dongs... not that I eat them anyway. But once upon a time, I did pack them in my lunches.
Apparently there is a petition to secede from the union in 50/52 states. Texas is the leader of this, with getting over 100,000 signatures. Of course this doesn't have any real meaning, other than people are angry about the elections. But I still find it extremely unsettling that people see this as a reasonable option.
If you want some humor check out this conversation my husband had with my daughter. Something that all the men in your lives will surely enjoy!

Now head back over to Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thirty Days of Thanks- Link Up

30days thanks-200pix
I am thankful for my husband! I am thankful for all the sacrifices he has made for me :) He has always supported me in everything I do. He's the kindest, loving, silliest man I know!
I am thankful for my dear daughter. She is kind and so compassionate. Every time we pass a homeless person driving she always gets very concerned about why they don't have mommies that take care of them. A time or two she has persistently asked me if we could take the men home with us.
I am thankful for the friends that I have made in grad school. They have all been so supportive of me and helped me when I needed it. A friend's mom even watched my daughter one day when I was in a bind!
I am thankful for the patients that I have worked with. Their strength and determination has amazed me.  These people have made a much bigger impact on my life then I ever hope to make on theirs.
I am thankful I have a roof over my head! I complain a lot about the dark, small apartment I live in. When I put it into perspective I realize how blessed I truly am.
I am thankful for my mom! She drives 45 minutes, 2 days a week to come watch my daughter while I go to school. It makes this whole process so much more bearable.
I am thankful that we just put a security deposit down on a house. There is a pretty lake and trail right in the front of it, and so much light coming into the house! I cannot wait.
I am thankful that we will be moving near my best friend and her husband! We have lived far apart from one another for 5 years, I am so excited to be reunited!
I am thankful for all my in-laws. They have been so welcoming to me and I always enjoy spending time with them.
I am thankful for my parent's support in all my schooling.
I am thankful for the little kitty that has been visiting our apartment lately. It just comes up to me and snuggles up in my lap. I love animals and it is so nice to have this friendly visitor.
I am thankful that I will be spending time with my family this Thanksgiving.
I am thankful that we are able to fly to visit my husband's family over Christmas. I love seeing the snow that we don't get down here and visiting with them.
I am thankful for my friends from high school. We have a Facebook message thread going so we can always stay in touch, even when we live far from one another.
I am so thankful that I have less than a month of class left! Finishing college and grad school has been such a journey and I am so ready to move onto the next phase in my life.
I am thankful that my family has food to eat. Whenever I cook something that ends up tasting really horrible, I always joke that bad food makes me feel even more thankful that I am not hungry.
I am thankful for this new blogging world. I love that everyone is so welcoming and that I can gain so much insight from all the great posts I read on others blogs.
I am thankful for the month I will have off over the holidays to spend time with my family.
I am thankful for my daughter's "school" that has been so wonderful to her. They are people I trust, and they always make me feel better about sending her there.
I am thankful for my grandmothers who are still alive. They live far away but I always enjoy the time I spend with them and the stories they tell me.
I am thankful that my friend from school taught me how to make sushi! It was so easy and cheap... I see a sushi making date night in my future!
I am thankful for this nice cool weather that is so welcomed at my door!
I am thankful for all the Catechism emails that have been sent to my inbox. I have kept up with them, and feel inspired by all the readings.
I am so thankful for the weekends and time spent with my family.
I am so thankful that the Christmas season is coming up. I love choosing presents for all the ones I love.
I am thankful for the presence of God in my everyday life. All I have to do is look outside or see someone smile to know that He is there.
I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity to be a mother. I have learned so much and grown so much on this journey.
I am thankful for the times that my husband, daughter and I sit on the porch in the rain. We have some of the greatest times and I have learned to love rainy days.
I am thankful for the Year of Faith. I have felt inspired to read the Bible and pray more often.
I am thankful for the nights a spend laying in bed with my daughter for a few minutes before she goes asleep. I love the feeling of being there to comfort her.

What are you thankful for?

I am linking up with Eat Enjoy Live, Catholic Newlywed, Call Her Happy, Sunshine State of Mind & It's Just Called Spicy. Head on over to their blogs to check out more 30 Days of Thanks!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dinner Time Without Losing Your Sanity

Most nights, in high school, my mom and I had a dinner time ritual. About 5 p.m. she would come into my room, sit on my bed and ask, "what should we have for dinner". The majority of these nights I gave her some ideas (sometimes I even cooked!).  While my mom occasionally cooked elaborate meals, most of the time we ended up eating tacos, spaghetti or we got take out! She hated dinner time because she couldn't stand figuring out what to make.

So many people out there struggle with what to make for dinner. The brutal aspect of the situation is that it is something reoccurs EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! Dinner time never lets up. 

I found myself desperate to taper this daily stressor. About 4 months before I was married I collected all the recipes I could. My cooking skills got put to good use and I tried out all these recipes. The ones that tasted good went into a large green binder; the ones that tasted horrible were chunked into the trash. There were stacks of cookbooks full of recipes that still needed to be sampled!

So far, I have found myself to be fairly stress free when it comes to dinner time. Here are some of the things I do:

Make a Weekly Plan
While I am not ambitious enough to take on month long freezer meal cooking, I do plan out our dinner menu each week. I write out a detailed grocery list and at the start of the week. I go shopping for the items on the list and try my best not to stray from it. This helps me stay healthy and within a budget too!

Don't Be Overly Ambitious
I don't try to cook a gourmet meal every night. Generally I make 1 or 2 elaborate meals a week and the rest are moderate to easy meals. I plan for weeks that I know will be crazy. For example it helps me a lot to go with simple recipes like quesadillas or spaghetti and canned sauce during midterms.

Mix it Up, But Not Too Much
This tip is a little different than the one above. When I cook a new meal I often feel uncertain about what I am doing. Generally the recipe takes a little longer than it should. It becomes extremely overwhelming to cook many meals that I have never made before all in the same week. When I first started on my dinner time recipe-hunt I did this: a new recipe everyday. Now that I am in the swing of real married/mommy life I would collapse from exhaustion if I did that. I find it enjoyable to find new recipes and even create some, but I limit it to one recipe a week. This keeps me feeling creative, but still sane!

Get Input From Others
A lot of the stress families experience surrounding dinner time comes from family members not agreeing about what they like. It makes wives and mothers feel beaten down if they spend the afternoon in the kitchen cooking only to be told that no one in the family likes the dinner. Sometimes you try new recipes and there is no avoiding how horrible they taste. Other times, different people just have different preferences. I try to listen to my husband when he tells me what he likes and what he doesn't like. I also try to cook meals that I know my daughter will eat. No one can be happy with every meal, every night. Keeping people's (including yourself) preferences in mind helps your family stay happy with dinner time over all!

Eat Out Once a Week/ Enlist Others
I love cooking, really I do. But I loathe cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. If I had to clean up the kitchen every single night, I think I would completely lose it! I only have 3 plates to clear! My husband knows this about me and he helps often helps me clean up. On weekends he also helps by preparing lunch or dinner. It is so wonderful to get this break. If you start to feel overwhelmed with dinner, try to get the rest of your family onboard. It really can do wonders for you and they can learn a new skill!

 We also eat out once a week. We have a small family, but also small budget. My husband and I decided that the change of scenery and the lack of dishes is worth the extra money. We mostly like to spend the money we do have on experiences and making memories, rather than on things. Eating out definitely qualifies as a fun experience! As our family grows we know we may have to limit ourselves to eating out only once every 2 weeks or a month.

Is meal planning one of the major stressors in your life? What do you do to make your dinner time less stressful?
I'm linking up with We Are That Family today!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Night Conversations

Apparently this is how conversations go when I am not in the room, but still within an earshot:

Husband: Ok, if you're all finished remember to wipe your bottom and flush the potty.

Daughter: Yup, I just already did that dada.

Husband: Good, lets wash your hands.

Daughter: Wait. Let me put the toilet seat up for when you use the potty.

Husband: (Laughter) That is a great idea! Maybe you should tell mama about that idea!

Ha! Is it just me, or is something a little backwards about this conversation?

Friday, November 9, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (8)

This week has been completely crazy for us! We did however manage to get all the paperwork in for a house! We will officially be renting a house on December 1st, and I cannot wait :) It is much bigger than our cramped 800 ft apartment we have now, and there is a lot more light coming into it. I am particularly excited about the light aspect, because our apartment now can get really dim and gloomy without any overhead lights and few windows.

Of course elections happened this weekend. I found myself frustrated with just about every aspect of them, especially people's uncharitable remarks on both sides. I really enjoyed this pin that Caitlin posted. 

So I got in a mini wreck this week. The front metal part on my car is pretty messed up, but luckily no one got hurt and there was no damage to the other car. I'm still pretty bummed about the situation though.

I am about to start getting ready for the holidays! Although this year may be extra crazy because we will be moving right in the middle of them. I wrote a post about why I enjoy getting ready for Christmas early

This year I want to start a new tradition of the Jesse Tree. So I am working to get some ornaments made before December. Hopefully I will finish them all soon, so I can share them with all of you!

There is a 5k/half-marathon/marathon coming up in January near where we are moving to. I really want to participate, but have been on about a 5 year hiatus from any real exercise routine other than a few walks/bike rides here and there. I am not looking to lose any weight, I just want to have a little more energy. Anyone have any advice on how to get started? I just went for a "run" and ran for about 1 minute before I had to start walking because I felt like death!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

Head back over to Jen's for more quick takes!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Holiday Marathon

As we were driving home last night from dinner, I noticed something I hadn't seen in quite a while. It was the twinkling of Christmas lights that the door to a bank was so beautifully donning. I sat in the car in slight disbelief, as Halloween just passed only a few days ago. I love the Christmas season, but perhaps it is still a little bit too early to decorate for Christmas. We haven't even had the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving yet! I say this, being a firm believer in decorating for Christmas much before Christmas.

I still remember the very first Thanksgiving my husband spent with my family. The day after we all had stuffed ourselves with turkey we sat around the living room talking. I stood up and announced that I wanted to put the (fake) Christmas tree up. I was looking for volunteers to help me out! My husband sat there, shocked. I think he was seriously offended that I would instigate decorating for Christmas so early. He didn't expect that kind of behavior from me. He insisted that decorating that early made Christmas commercial, and took away the real meaning of Christmas. He explained that his family put up the Christmas tree MAYBE one week before the holiday. I couldn't comprehend why someone would want to wait that long.

This is a conflict that often many Christians face. Does it take away from the meaning of Christmas to decorate for Christmas so early? I am convinced that the real answer is: it depends. If it gets a family in the mood to only talk about presents and thinks about all the things they hope to receive Christmas morning, then yes it takes away from the true meaning of Christmas. But I still maintain that decorating (even a month) early can be a good thing.

After thinking about this dilemma a little too long, I have come to decide that decorating early can help a person prepare for baby Jesus to come and it can help a person become enthusiastic about spreading the meaning of Jesus' love. I know it gets me in the spirit of giving!

I once read this scenario:

If a you were to receive news that the king and queen of England were coming to stay in your house, you wouldn't wait until the last minute to scramble together some resemblance of hospitality. Most people would begin planning a menu, cleaning the house and making sure everything looked its best. There is no reason that the coming of Jesus, the greatest King of all time, needs to be any different. 

Now, I try to taper my excitement for Christmas at least until the first of December. Then I break out the advent wreath and petition my husband to agree to go get a tree. I make lists of carefully chosen items that I want to purchase as gifts for the ones I love. My mind often wanders to ways I can help others out. My excitement over flows when I get to fill my daughter's shoes with goodies on St. Nicholas Day. This year I am entertaining the idea of a Jesse tree. Mentally and spiritually I prepare myself for this amazing story that is the birth of God! And I also find the legend of Santa a fun one.

Both my husband and I now are better able to see that different people do things differently, and neither way is necessarily wrong. I like to show my enthusiasm for the birth of Jesus outwardly with decorations, as it helps me prepare. Still others find it easier to mentally and spiritually prepare for Christmas with out the distraction of decorations.

When does your family begin decorating for Christmas? How do you help keep your focus on the true meaning of Christmas?

Friday, November 2, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (7)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween and All Saints Day this week. My daughter dressed up as Snow White for Halloween and I put together a Cinderella Pumpkin!
Last week I didn't have a chance to post much because I was completing a week long rotation in a school system. I had a great time and learned so much more about how public school systems are run (I always went to Catholic school). I think OT in the school system may not be for me right out of school. The OT I worked with did everything very much on her own. I'd rather have another OT around to ask a million questions!

Last week I wrote about how I am making my way through my 20's and why I feel so fortunate to be living in them now. These years are ever changing and very humbling years. But they are also exhilarating!

My prayers go out to the families who were hit by hurricane Sandy. Those that lost their lives and to those who lost their belongings and their power. 

We are on hopefully our final look for a rental house. We need to be moving in 1 month. Who knew finding a rental house could be so stressful and time consuming!

So many people around me are sick right now. If that is you, you may want to try one of these:

 If you are looking for dinner ideas for this coming week, you may want to try out my Potato and Leek Soup! It is one of my favorites.

Head back over to Jen's for more quick takes!