Sunday Style: New Dress!

It’s been a while since I wore something 100% new to church. My mom sent me a few spring dresses as a random gift because she is awesome like that. I will never understand how she knows my style so well considering that she rarely sees me in my “regular” clothes. But she does. And she sent me this one.

Sunday Style for June 17

Dress: Marshall’s
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: Kohl’s
Earrings: Renaissance festival

It was pretty hot outside, so I was unsure about wearing so much black at first. Then I remembered that I like wearing black and white year-round, so I got over it. I was also unsure about this particular silhouette. I usually go for dresses with a more sharply-defined waistline. I have long legs, so the proportions of many dresses are thrown off on me. That’s why I like empire waists so much: the waist has already been shifted! This swing dress was extremely comfortable, however, and I’m glad to have it in the rotation.

And, fellow shoulder-coverers, it has sleeves!

At church, Fr. L began by pointing out that we normal humans tend to look at death as the end of our lives, but for the saints, death was something to look forward to, because they would finally be with God forever.

As St. Paul says, we walk by faith and not by sight. Yet, in heaven, we will walk by sight because we will see God perfectly. While we’re on Earth, we have to journey towards heaven on the basis of our faith, but we won’t be walking around half-blind like that in the next life. (That especially made me less antagonistic towards that song I bet was played in 80% of parishes this week.)

If life is a journey, we should avoid getting caught up in even the bright spots along the way, because the journey doesn’t end until it reaches its destination. In the case of the journey to heaven, the destination is the whole point.

What did you learn in church this week?


This posted is linked up for Modest Monday at The Modest Mom Blog. Visit Caroline and say hello!

7 Quick Takes I Meant to Share a Long Time Ago

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

Way, way back in the early days of this past school year, I really thought I would still be able to blog regularly even while teaching. That was not a great plan. It turned out to be an exceptionally difficult year. This week’s takes lean heavily on things that happened actual months ago that I never got around to sharing.

The moral of the story is that, even when I disappear from this space for months at a time, it’s likelier than not that I’ll be back.

— 2 —

Although I didn’t blog, I did manage to keep up with my reading. Conquering several texts for school helped me finish the Goodreads Challenge much earlier than usual: in October!

I completed my 22 book challenge.

I ended the year by reading 29 books, which made me feel like a boss. For this year, I crammed in so many books (including some short ones) that I’m 90% finished with my challenge already! Despite many defeats over the last ten months, I won when it came to reading.

— 3 —

As in previous years, reading a handful of articles in Pocket and watching YouTube videos I send there put me in the top 1% of Pocket users for the year. I still think that most of the user base must just toss things in and completely forget about them.

pockettop1percent2017

Can I count those 30 books towards my Goodreads challenge?

— 4 —

Finally, just a few weeks ago, I completed a year-long streak on Duolingo. I learned Spanish in high school and minored in it at Maryland, so I can’t attest to how well one can learn a language with Duo, but I’ve found it useful for working on vocabulary. I don’t get much of that from Evangelio del dia and El País.

oneyearofduolingo

— 5 —

That’s the end of the old news. In a new development, I have been taking private lessons in West Coast Swing, and it’s been such an enriching experience. Even before my year-long hiatus (which I saw coming), I knew I would eventually need private lessons to correct my bad habits and dig into my particular needs as a dancer. I started saving for them at one point, but other, more urgent expenses derailed that.

Now, though, I’ve only had three private lessons, and I can already appreciate the difference.

As a classroom English teacher, I know full well that many of my students can achieve more with one-on-one attention. I’ve seen it happen. That’s not how school works, though. I’m one teacher, and I have between 9 and 27 students who all deserve my attention. But they can’t get it individually and simultaneously. School is primarily a place for group instruction.

(The concept of “small groups” frustrates me to no end. Three people is barely a group, and eight is kind of a lot to be considered “small.”)

I do my best to work with students one-on-one as much as I can, but we’re all in the classroom together. I have to figure out how to teach that way, and they have to learn that way.

Now that I’m experiencing the dance version of tutoring, I understand both sides of that tension much better. (And for the record, I still also take group dance classes. They make my budget happy.)

— 6 —

Let’s close with two very different throwback videos. I was up early yesterday, so I saw Drake’s new video within hours of its premiere. That is very unlike me. The linchpin was that it features a Degrassi reunion! I’m on the fence about Drake, and I don’t always like his language choices, but Degrassi will leave me smitten any day. It’s nice to see Drake acknowledge that he didn’t really start from the bottom; he started from a Canadian teen soap opera.

— 7 —

Finally, I love the 80s, and I was so enchanted by this hit list mash-up featuring Sesame Street characters doing delightful parodies. Watch all the way to the end, check out the amazing costumes, and pay attention to the backstage banter!


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Sunday Style: Haven’t Seen This One in a While

I learned on Twitter that this week is the first time we’ve observed the 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time since 1997. Liturgical oddities are my favorite. That is why I chose to wear green today; I also wear this outfit in pink.

Sunday Style for June 10

Shirt: Old Navy
Dress: Target (can also be worn as a skirt)
Belt: Target
Shoes: Mossimo for Target
Earrings: ancient gift from my mom
Necklace: holy medals, as usual

The forecast is thunderstorms all week long, starting with yesterday afternoon, so I was prepared for rain. This dress (which can also be worn as a skirt if you roll down the top; there is elastic under the belt) seemed like the right fabric for possibly getting rained on. The shoes are not good for the rain, but since I went through all the trouble of doing my toenails over the weekend, I wanted to show them off.

As I said, I also wear this dress with a pink shirt underneath, but when I went to grab that, I realized that Ordinary Time Sundays resumed this week. So green was the only way to go; I love dressing liturgically.

Way back when I posted my second-most-recent installment of Sunday Style, I mentioned that I take notes during the homily. I’m still doing that. I use this Christian Inspirations Journal that a friend gave me for my birthday years ago. She is not a Christian, but she knows I love Jesus, so when she saw, she thought of me: the best compliment. I don’t read any of the inspirational quotations, but it’s a great size for toting to Mass and scribbling in furiously.

Fr. P, who is visiting for the summer, started by pointing out that Jesus doesn’t usually respond to criticism. In Sunday’s gospel, however, the implication that he casts out demons by the power of demons is just too ridiculous to let it go. It’s blasphemy. That’s why Jesus makes his point about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit being the worst possible sin.

Fr. P also broke down the “strong man” parable. I had understood it backwards! The house is Satan’s dominion, the strongman is Satan. Jesus enters, ties him up, and ponders his house, freeing us. That version makes a lot more sense.

He concluded by saying that grace (not effort) helps us resist temptation. God is generous, not stingy, with his grace. So we can resist temptation with God’s help. That is good news, because our measly human efforts can only get us so far.

What did you learn at church this week?


This posted is linked up for Modest Monday at The Modest Mom Blog. Visit Caroline and say hello!

Currently: June 2018

Currently at Lindsay Loves

Well, that was a long hiatus. I hope to share what I’ve been up to in a future post, but for now, let’s just hit the ground running.

Here’s what (and where) I am currently…

Traveling: Nowhere, which is the way I like it. I rely so much on my habits and routines that the perks of traveling are outweighed by everything being so different from my usual life. I lived overseas as a kid and have lived and worked in several states, so I’ve had plenty of great experiences. I might be up for a few more, but traveling is not my thing.

Grilling: Nothing—I don’t know how! I was grilled in a couple of interviews recently, though. Not everything is in writing, and the Internet never forgets, so I can’t be specific yet, but I have news. Stay tuned.

Exploring: A new dance studio. I always knew I’d get back to West Coast Swing eventually, but it took until summer for me to have the bandwidth of time and energy to actually do it. Becoming a regular at a new studio will take some time, but I’ve done it before, so I’m confident that I can do it again. My shoes are already happy to be back on my feet.

Planting: The seeds of new friendships. Work takes up most of my time, so I didn’t have the bandwidth for friend-making, either. This is a good time, though. Making friends as an adult is difficult and awkward, but it can be done. Do you have any advice?

Playing: QuizUp and 4 Pics, 1 Word. Throwbacks, I know! I got a new iPhone a few months ago, so I’ve been using it a lot since I don’t have to deal with the sluggishness of my old one. (I made that 5c last for four years!) I paid to remove ads on QuizUp ages ago, so the 2-minute games are exactly my style. I did not pay to remove ads on 4 Pics, 1 Word, so I usually play less than ten levels before I get fed up and stop. I’m reasonably certain that the marketers did not mean for the ads to help me avoid getting addicted, but that is the result.

I usually end my Currently posts by recapping the previous month, but it’s been ten months since I posted, so I will spare both of us that labor… for the moment.

What’s new with you? What are you playing currently?


Currently is hosted on the first Wednesday of each month by Anne of In Residence. This month’s guest co-host is Sarah of Total Basset Case. Won’t you join us?

Sunday Style: Summer Came Back!

I wanted to wear this outfit last week, but it was kind of cool, so I saved it. I correctly reasoned that there would be at least one warmer Mass day before the cold weather sets in for good. I guess, in a way, I gave myself a reason to be happy for the heat. Here’s what I wore.

Sunday Style for August 13

Dress: Target
Tank top: Old Navy
Shoes: Target
Earrings: random German store
Necklace: holy medals

Fr. L preached mostly on the virtue of hope, although I didn’t realize that at the time. Homily notes to the rescue! It is when St. Peter looks away from Jesus, noticing the size of the waves and despairing that he can stay walking on the water despite their power, that he begins to sink. It’s when he loses hope that he has to cry out for help. He needed to trust Jesus in order to stay on the surface, and when he stopped trusting, that’s when he sank.

Fr. L also mentioned St. Maximilian Kolbe. In all the hubbub of starting school and figuring out when to go to Mass for the Assumption, I’d completely forgotten that his feast was tucked in there, too! He recounted his story and identified the saint as a model for hope, especially for his inspiring the men who died with him to have hope.

It was a solid homily, and then he used Eucharistic Prayer IV, which is my absolute favorite. I was in a good mood leaving Mass, even without those earrings.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

7 Quick Takes on Teacher Mode, Twitter, and Chainsaws

7 Quick Takes, hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum

— 1 —

Faculty orientation has begun. I’m slowly getting my teacher vocabulary back (for example, “vertical curriculum alignment”), preparing for the new perspective of younger students (I am moving down to middle school from high school), and trying to navigate my new school.

Some of that is almost literally navigating, via mental map-building; the school has a complex floor plan! I haven’t gotten lost yet, but I’m sure the time is coming. I forgot about that feeling of walking through a new door into a familiar room, feeling like I’ve slipped through a wormhole.

I must say that I love my new commute, though. It’s much shorter and easier, and it gives me just the right amount of time to switch from Teacher Mode to Regular Mode.

— 2 —

I used to listen to music when I got ready for the day. Podcasts were reserved for my exhausting commute, and I only read books. Lately, I’ve been trying audio books. It’s a very different experience, both in the sense of needing to pay attention as I do my hair and makeup and in the sense of listening to a book instead of looking at it. My most recently completed audio book was a huge letdown. It was a good lesson in being discerning about the books I choose. I can only read (and listen to) so many!

Laura Vanderkam left me mildly terrified when she pointed out that our available time to read books is as limited as our time on the planet. I am not sure I’ll be able to keep up my reading pace when school starts. (Audio books will probably help.) At best, I’ll probably only read her approximated 1250 books before I die. That includes books that I don’t wind up liking very much!

That number also makes me think about books that I recommend. Is the book I’m pushing good enough to be one of my friends’ 1250? Is it really a “must-read” when the number of “can-read” books is so few?

— 3 —

“Study: Less sex education leads to less sex.” Yeah, that caught my eye when I saw it, too! The article is worth reading (it ends at the bolded headline, “Is opposition…?”), but the main point is that, across England, when huge budget cuts came for a government program designed to prevent teen pregnancy, the rates of teen pregnancy actually went down, region by region, with the biggest declines in areas with the largest budget cuts. Even the researchers were surprised.

I’m not sure I’m surprised. Is it any wonder that providing less information and birth control to teens makes them less likely to take the risk of pregnancy? If you push information that makes it sound as if they can have sex without babies basically forever, I can see how that might open the door to risky behavior for teens who might otherwise be turned away by the risk of pregnancy.

— 4 —

I have a new level of sympathy for people who work on weekends or in retail. I frequently come to the defense of such workers when other people complain that a store is closed when they wanted to shop (do you want to work on Sundays; if not, why should someone else work, and work late, so that you can shop at 8 p.m.?) and been polite to people in less-skilled jobs. I’m no saint, but I try to keep that point of view in mind and be grateful for the opportunities I have.

But now, I’ve been there, for a little while. I’ve felt the need to cling to my identity (and job) as a teacher when people think of me as “just” a cook. I’ve worked until 9 p.m. Saturday night and then gotten up early on Sunday to go to Mass before working another full 8-hour shift. I’ve been unable to see Mr. Man as much as I had before because we worked on opposite schedules.

I always hesitate to wish or pray for greater perspective because I’ll wind up with a hard-learned lesson. I didn’t even ask for this one, and I got it anyway.

— 5 —

I started getting space warnings on my phone, so I deleted Instagram. It wasn’t a social media self-assessment, like the one that led me to delete Facebook; it was really just about the space. Then the weirdness began.

Instagram started sending me emails. It let me know how many of my friends had posted. It suggested accounts for me to follow. (I will not follow Kim Kardashian unless she’s leading me to emergency supplies or shelter.) It took a while for me to realize that was all triggered when I deleted the app! And then it got even weirder:

I still haven’t reinstalled the app, but I did log in from my browser when I got some likes. Gotta block and report those spammers! Now I think I’m permanently weirded out by how closely these computers are watching me (she says, recounting the whole thing on her blog).

— 6 —

In other Twitter news, I started some legit discussion with this tweet:

True story. That was inspired by my actual experience. Some spaces are still sacred! My desire to not have my restroom behavior transmitted via phone trumps your desire to make that call right then. What could you possibly need to talk about with someone so desperately that you must have that phone conversation while in the restroom?

— 7 —

And for a final social media moment, I shared this post from Goodreads on Facebook and got so many awesome responses! What’s yours?


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Sunday Style: Short and Sweet

By “short and sweet,” I don’t mean to suggest that I wore a short skirt, or that I thought this outfit was particularly sweet. Neither are true. I mean the homily.

Sunday Style for August 6

Dress and undershirt: Target
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: Renaissance festival
Necklace: holy medals

My outfit selection process was brief. We’re having a cool snap in Louisville, such that temperatures are hovering in the 70’s. This is cool after weeks of days in the 90’s. I took the opportunity to wear one of my warm-but-not-too-warm outfits. I’m not sure I think these shoes match anymore, though. Chocolate brown isn’t completely neutral, after all. They were good enough for this purpose.

Fr. F began his reflection on the Transfiguration (after a baseball stat diversion) by saying that the Transfiguration shows us and the disciples who Jesus really is and what he’s all about. Many of Jesus’ followers were interested in him because they could tell he was gaining power. They were hangers-on hoping for some power of their own. By showing Peter, James, and John his true nature as the son of God, the fulfillment of the law and the prophets, Jesus clarifies the source of his power and his ultimate goal.

He also noted that some of us today want to reach out and grasp at Jesus the way Peter wanted to settle in on the mountain. He wanted to be close to Jesus. We also want to be close to him, but we might forget that we are already as close as we can be this side of heaven when we receive Jesus in the Eucharist. He comes to rest in our tabernacles; he comes to transform our hearts. How could we be any closer?

It was a brief homily; I take notes as it’s being given each week, and what I’ve shared here is the bulk of my notes. It contained more than one sweet note, though, and that works for me.


For more Mass fashion and commentary, visit Rosie at A Blog for My Mom for My Sunday Best.

My Sunday Best, hosted at A Blog for My Mom

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