Category Archives: Memes & Link-ups

Sunday Style: Alleluia!

I’m a little late to the party, but it’s always a struggle to celebrate the whole Easter season, so let’s call this my tiny contribution, alleluia! I have a few Easter observances going, but I’ll save those for a future post. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been wearing to church.

Easter Vigil, April 15

Sunday Style for April 15: The outfit

I used to follow a fairly modest fashion blogger who posted her outfits like this.

Sunday Style for April 15: The accessories

Just the accessories.

Top and skirt: Target
Tank/shell: Old Navy
Shoes: Famous Footwear
Flower hair clip: random accessories shop
Cross necklace: gift
Tiny butterfly earrings: Claire’s

This was the first time in years that I completely forgot to take my selfies! I don’t have a trigger reminding me to take photos anymore; it used to be walking past the large mirror just inside my front door. The “left behind” photos above include all the items I wore even though I am not wearing them.

Mr. Man and I attended all the Triduum liturgies together, at his parish. It’s a tiny little parish. I knew the Easter Vigil wouldn’t have any receptions of new Catholics (yes, that was strange!), so it wouldn’t last very long. Therefore, I could wear less foot-friendly shoes. I could work in those, but I don’t usually think about wearing them for Mass. Maybe I will now.

I realize that purple was the liturgical color for Lent. It’s also my favorite color. My skirt still works for liturgical dressing because it’s gold, and gold is liturgically white, and white is the color for Easter.

Fr. T celebrated the Easter Vigil, but Deacon P gave the homily. The deacon has a very large role at this particular parish, so I was surprised and delighted that he also gave the homily. He is a champ!

He spoke about how the vigil’s journey through salvation history (by way of the extra Old Testament readings) emphasizes God’s care and protection for his children since the beginning of time. God promised a redeemer all along, and he finally sent one. Jesus’ resurrection appearances are so astonishing partly because they ask his disciples and us to believe. Mary Magdalene didn’t even recognize Jesus at first, but when he called her by name, she recognized him and believed. The other disciples who see him resurrected are those whose faith was open to the miracle of his return from the dead. Even now, in the Eucharist, the Church calls us to believe that Jesus is just as fully present as he was on that first Easter Sunday. Do we believe that we have been found worthy to see him and be in his Real Presence?

Divine Mercy Sunday, April 23

Sunday Style for April 23

Sweater, tights, and t-shirt: Target
Skirt and shoes: Old Navy
Necklace: holy medals
Earrings: I forgot to wear any!

It got cold again here, so I pulled out a sweater again. Mr. Man likes this one. And yes, more purple. I like purple, and my red and white options (for Divine Mercy Sunday) were limited.

This weekend, we went to what is becoming our second parish. It has Mass on Sunday evenings, and that fit our schedule this time. Fr. C did not mention Divine Mercy Sunday at all, which made me sad (especially after so many references to mercy in the readings), but he did offer a practical parallel to Jesus. Among the reasons the disciples struggled to recognize and welcome Jesus in his resurrected body was that he looked so different. He looked similar enough for basic identification, but he still bore the wounds of his crucifixion. He was broken, but beautiful.

Fr. C told a story about visiting a fine china shop in Japan (not China, which was disconcerting) and seeing broken dishes for sale that were more expensive than intact dishes. The shopkeeper explained that the broken dishes were repaired with 14-karat gold, making them more valuable than the others that were never broken. If they hadn’t been broken, they never would have been made great. Similarly, we often have to go through brokenness, like the crucified Jesus, to reach glory, like Jesus resurrected.

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

Currently: April 2017

Currently at Lindsay Loves

Well, I missed the link-up for this month entirely, but that is partly because I moved to Kentucky!

Here’s what I am currently…

Accomplishing: Moving to Louisville. (I promise this won’t be the answer to every prompt.) The toughest part was keeping it all on the DL. I had to do things like correspond with my old landlord to show the house where I no longer live, visit the city to look at new apartments, and say goodbye my friends in Austin—all without my now-former boss accidentally finding out. As I put it to Mr. Man, I needed to be able to leave when I wanted to and not because I accidentally got fired. That wasn’t likely to happen, but plenty of unlikely things have happened in my life. Haven’t they in yours?

Feeling: Sneezy, like the dwarf. Mr. Man warned me that Louisville is known for inciting people’s allergies. I had never experienced an allergic reaction until grad school, I got my first sunburn when I was in my twenties, and not even Austin’s infamous “cedar fever” got to me. I was skeptical. He was 100% correct. I am humbled and taking Claritin.

Needing: Motivation. I was not getting enough sleep when I was working my previous job, and now I am getting plenty, but I’m somehow still not getting enough done. I managed to finish all my packing and moving (with Mr. Man’s help), and I’m all unpacked except for decorations, so now I need to focus on finding a new job and getting some of my personal projects crossed off the list. I don’t have a 9-to-5 in my way at the moment, so I can’t use that as an excuse. After the Triduum, things will be full speed ahead.

Practicing: How to use a good knife. My dear trivia teammate Gene gave me a beautiful Japanese chef’s knife as a going-away present. It is exactly the kind of thing I always meant to buy for myself and never did. (To be honest, it is also the kind of thing one often receives from a wedding registry, but that is not my life.) I’ve mostly been using it to slice up my apples at lunchtime, but it’s tricky because I keep them in the fridge. I could probably use a bit more force than I am, but I don’t want to damage the knife or, say, my fingers.

Pinning: Nothing. I’m between jobs, so although I have blank walls and an empty pantry, I’m not quite in a position to start filling them with gallery displays and tasty-looking recipes. Does adding new cells to my job search spreadsheet count?

Recapping: March (and almost half of April)

  • I moved to Lousiville. (Last time, I swear!)
  • I liked the end of Bones. It was time, but I’m sad to see it go.
  • Several dear friends threw me a going-away party. The night ended with Lindsay Trivia. It was delightful.
  • I finished my salvation history Bible study. So amazing.
  • I ate the fried avocado at Trudy’s and instantly regretted having only ever had one.
  • Mr. Man helped me pack and drive from Austin to Louisville. He’s a champ.

So what’s new with you? What are you accomplishing currently?

Currently is hosted on the first Wednesday of each month by Anne of In Residence. This month’s guest co-host is Jess of Jess Gets Dressed Sometimes. Won’t you join us?

Sunday Style: Kentucky Catch-Up

In case you missed the news yesterday, I moved to Kentucky! Life in Louisville is still taking some adjusting, but one constant is that I’m still dressing up for church on Sundays. I’m even getting Mr. Man on board… kind of.

March 26

Sunday Style for March 26

Dress and shirt: Target
Earrings: craft fair
Necklace: gift
Shoes: Payless
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

My last summery Sunday in Austin featured a dress I dragged out from my “out of season” bin for the occasion. On Gaudete Sunday, we wear pink. Or coral. (I’m pretty sure Mr. Man did not wear pink.)

Deacon G (I think) gave a mostly unhelpful summary of the Gospel. As one of the snarky Catholics I follow on Twitter noted, “Year A” is also translated as “Year of the Really Long Gospels.” We had just heard the whole thing! We didn’t need to hear all the details again. A quick version might have been nice, but trust me, it was not quick.

Despite the unnecessary and unnecessarily long recap, our deacon did go on to say that the Gospel showed the journey of the man born blind from not knowing Jesus to “a confirmed faith in him.” It turns out that this deacon is from Maryland, like me; he told a story about seeing a blind woman being escorted into the courtyard at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg on a very sunny day. The deacon noticed the sunshine because he could see it, but the blind woman didn’t notice the sunny day until she could feel it. She knew the shining beauty she was missing. Unlike her, the Pharisees didn’t notice the Son of God at all because they didn’t know what they were missing.

Our closing hymn was “O God, Beyond All Praising,” which is my very favorite. It was a nice little goodbye from the parish with the best music of any I’ve belonged to.

April 2

Sunday Style for April 2: Me with Mr. Man

We are so happy to not be driving a moving truck anymore!

Sunday Style for April 2: Just Me

Dress, leggings, and belt: Target
Sweater and shoes: Old Navy
Earrings you can barely see: craft fair
Necklace you can barely see: holy medals

I picked this outfit because it packs well. I was technically moved in before we went to Mass on Sunday, but I’d predicted that I would be unable to choose an appropriate outfit in my post-move exhaustion, unwilling to do so, or both. I was mostly correct. The sweater was a little wrinkly, but fine. I did pull the belt out of my dresser drawer, so I guess it was part pre-packed outfit, part day-of outfit, and all awesome outfit.

We went to Mass at a parish other than Mr. Man’s usual one. I am so glad to still be living in a city where multiple parishes and multiple Mass times are an option. I don’t know how rural Catholics do it! I also took my homily notebook again. The people at that parish don’t know me from Adam, so for all they know, everyone in Austin takes notes during the homily.

Fr. C said that a long Gospel should get a short homily, which I guess makes sense. Then he proceeded to tell that maudlin “Footprints” story about Jesus carrying us in the toughest times of our lives. It has a good message, but I could have heard that story anywhere. And I was distracted by my memory of an irreverent “Footprints” parody, so that didn’t help. But Fr. C also told us to be Christ to each other and not to lose our faith in times of trial. Those were good lessons with zero schmaltz.

He also sang kind of a lot. After Communion, he burst into a beautiful a cappella rendition of “You Raise Me Up.” It didn’t sit quite right with me after “Footprints”; I wanted more Catholicity than generic Christianity. My disquiet was assuaged when he chanted the Salve Regina while recessing at the end of Mass. Chant is very Catholic, and a cappella is definitely in the spirit of Lent. That helped.

April 9

Sunday Style for April 9

I’m still figuring out the best location and pose. Also, isn’t the lace in my skirt cool?

Top: Target
Skirt: Marshalls
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: My Daily Grace at Etsy
Earrings you probably can’t see: ancient gift

My outfit is definitely a repeat from a previous liturgically-red day. I would like you to know that Mr. Man chose to wear his outfit of his own free wil, and he asked me to remind him both that he should wear that outfit and that it was his idea. I just like it when he wears a tie.

Sadly, I forgot my homily notebook, so I had to take notes the old-fashioned away: on my phone, after Mass. We were back at Mr. Man’s parish, and I appreciated that the priest did not even try to apologize for the long Gospel. It only happens once a year; we can take it. Usually. Like a rookie, I thought my wedges would be fine for the long period of standing. They were not fine, but I had some suffering to offer up, so it evens out.

In the homily, Fr. Something-I-Can’t-Remember started by highlighting that the Gospel features two very different processions (to Jerusalem and to Calvary) under different circumstances (the beginning and the near-end of Christ’s passion) and to very different responses (cheers and jeers, basically). He also mentioned that this story reminds us that God is with us in our suffering, not just in our joys.

That last part stuck with me. Call me crazy, but I feel like we are more inclined to feel that God is with us (or to ask him to be with us) precisely when we are suffering. It’s much, much easier to forget that he’s with us when we’re joyful and things are going our way. How often do we thank God for a great day just because it’s great—not because we needed a win? How often do we pray for blessings on someone for their birthday—not just their day of death? I struggle with remembering to invite God to be part of the happy times in my life. Do you?

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 Reading, Planning, and Dating

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

— 1 —

As evidenced by the “old news” in last week’s 7QT and my ridiculously overdue 2016 year in review post, I am still clearing out my backlog of things I wanted to share here. Will you humor me with just a few more oldies?

For the third year in a row, I was among Pocket’s top 5% of readers. Or maybe it was the opt 1%. I can’t remember! I neglected to clip the email properly to share a screenshot, so just trust me; I read a lot in Pocket.

If you like to read articles online (or watch videos), but find yourself wandering down the rabbit hole of links or worrying about wasting data loading ads on your phone, you’ll enjoy Pocket. It’s been revolutionary for my reading habits. Why scroll through Facebook aimlessly looking for something to read on the go when I can read articles I have already curated?

— 2 —

I don’t have the link to my Pocket Year in Review anymore, but I do have my Goodreads 2016 Year in Books. I was pleased with last year’s reading. I read plenty of nonfiction early in the year and slipped in some awesome fiction towards the end, and I met my overall book goal. Goodreads has been excellent for my book-reading in much the same way Pocket has for articles.

Read ALL the books!

— 3 —

I was much less pleased with my life planning. I still have the plan, but I haven’t reviewed it for at least six months. I’m pretty sure it still shows calling my grandmother once a month as an action item, and she died in August.

I am expecting to have some time in the near future for some extensive revisions, though, so I was glad to pick up a free life plan review tool from Building Champions back at the turn of the year. The video is no longer available, but the review tool (and the free tool for writing your first draft of a life plan) are still there.

We plan vacations, and we plan weddings, but have you ever planned your life?

— 4 —

I am still reading and loving Verily magazine. I especially like their “Gentlemen Speak” feature, which consists of articles written by real men or roundups from interviews with the same. Before I met Mr. Man, I often wondered why the nice, smart, charming, churchgoing men I met were never interested in me. We clicked so well! Wasn’t there something more than just “not feeling it” or the standard-but-infuriating “intimidation” factor? Andrew Mentock offers a few novel ideas why a great conversation doesn’t always lead to a date invitation.

Fun fact: I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Mentock (not to be confused with Mr. Man) in person. The Internet is maybe not such a huge place after all.

— 5 —

Related to the dating theme, I was fascinated by an essay posted in ZENIT about the effect that promoting chastity has had on slowing the spread of AIDS in Uganda. Americans in particular seem to think of Africa as one homogenous zone that needs saving, where AIDS spreads like wildfire. That’s not true any more than it’s true of the U.S. The A-B-C method really can work.

— 6 —

I manage my email really well, so I tend to stay subscribed to email lists for a long time and actually read what they send (or unsubscribe properly). I was not, however, expecting to hear from Small World of Words. I participated in their word association study online so long ago that I have absolutely no memory or record of it.

It was neat to see the results, of course, but getting that random email was also a reminder of just how long scientific research takes. We tend to just hear about results—especially when they are sensational—but I always forget that it might have taken years of data collection and analysis to get to those conclusions.

— 7 —

My life as a YNABer is still going well. I am currently casually mentoring a recent convert to budgeting. It took some encouraging to get past the idea of waiting for a “normal month” before committing to building that first budget. There’s just no such thing as a normal month!

There will always be something unexpected. Your car will need repairs. Your child will get sick. A bill will arrive. There’s a reason I built my first budget with a category called “Stuff I Forgot to Budget For.”

Budgeting is not about being able to predict the future or relying on historical spending data. It’s about using the money you have now to pay for the things you need now, some things you just want, and things that you’ll need later. Budgeting is about facing reality.

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

Sunday Style: Why Five Husbands?

I have no special guests this time, but I do have a special purple outfit. We seem to be back on our usual weather schedule, so summer it is.

Sunday Style for March 19

Dress and shirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: National Shrine gift shop
Earrings: I forgot, and you can’t see them anyway

I had a tiny bit more time than usual to consider this week’s outfit, so I went for an old standby. I like to wear this one even when it is not a purple season.

I was back at my regular parish this week, so I decided to try my idea from last week. A friend gave me a Christian Inspirations Journal a few birthdays ago, but I could never find the right use for it. After some recent difficult episodes in attempting to remember the homily, not fall asleep during it, or both, I thought it might be time to treat that like any other presentation I attend, and take notes. I have always found notetaking really useful for focusing my attention, but I’ve never thought to try it during Mass. I take notes at other churchy presentations and when I’m physically in the church for a non-Mass event, but homily notetaking always seemed weird.

Well, it still seems weird. Many things feel weird the first time, and this was no exception. I persevered, and I plan to do it again next week, so we’ll see how it goes.

Msgr. Old Pastor preached the homily. He focused mostly on the Gospel, which felt a little odd because the Sundays of Lent do such a great job of getting all the readings to align. I’ve never given a homily, but it seems like that would make the homilist’s job a little easier. The theme is built right in.

He pointed out that the Jews hated the Samaritans so much that they would usually travel around Samaria instead of through it, taking an extra day or two just to prove their point. He didn’t explain why, though; I learned that from the Bible Timeline. The Samaritans were the descendants of Israelites (from the northern kingdom), who had intermarried with non-Israelites after the Babylonian exile. The southern Judeans had never intermarried, so they considered themselves purer and better than the Samaritans. That’s why the woman at the well has had five husbands. It’s not just a random large number; five other nations had mixed with the Israelites. I’m grateful to my Bible study for opening up Mass like that!

He did, however, note that the woman speaks to Jesus in a way that demonstrates her rapidly increasing faith. At first, she treats him like any strange man. Then she calls him her teacher, and then a prophet. Finally, she runs off to tell the people that he is the Messiah. As probably every priest who preached this weekend said, this is evangelization in a nutshell.

Msgr. Old Pastor’s parting words were to let God fill up the hole inside our hearts that longs for something more. We might try to fill it with other things, but only God belongs there. Curiously, the monsignor himself had some opportunities for that right during Mass. His lapel mic went out, so he had to preach his homily from the ambo. Since our church is built for amplified sound, he chanted the entire Eucharistic Prayer, in order to be as loud as naturally possible. He has an excellent voice, so it felt special and solemn. And we sang “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” during Communion, which is one of my very favorites.

Mass is always good when Jesus comes, but those little touches made this one extra nice 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

7 Quick Takes because I am back in action!

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

Heeeeeeeey there, 7QT! It’s been a long time. I have kept up with Sunday Style and Currently, but this happy little link-up was tossed by the wayside. I have far more than seven things to share, but I will keep it to seven anyway. You’re welcome.

— 1 —

One of my life’s ambitions is to compete on Jeopardy! I auditioned last April and am still in the contestant pool. Here’s hoping!

My hopes aside, the show was recently in the news for a unique contestant story: Cindy Stowell, an Austin resident like me, died of colon cancer just a few days before she appeared on Jeopardy!

She won six games. If she were still alive, she would be a contender for the Tournament of Champions.

She took the test in the same round that I did, and if I had not gone back to DC to audition (because my parents live in the area, so I could stay with them for free), I would have auditioned in the same city that she did. She even played trivia at the same place I do; her boyfriend Jason has a regular team that always plays well.

Cindy’s Jeopardy! story shows the compassion that can still be found in what is ultimately the entertainment business. It also brings a new level of challenge to the armchair champion. If she could play like that while dying from cancer, what’s stopping you from fighting for your dreams?

— 2 —

This is kind of an intermediate tech tip. If you don’t know what two-factor authentication is, just go ahead and skip this take—but look into it! This Google landing page is a simple intro, and this TFA site will show you which popular sites you can enable it on.

If you are using TFA, and you use an Apple device of any kind, you might have been asked by your device if you wanted to turn on “two-factor authentication.” This is not the same thing as normal TFA. Owen Williams at The Next Web explains the situation in detail, but the short version is that you want to have “two-step verification” enabled for your Apple ID, not “two-factor authentication.”

I am smarter than your average bear when it comes to computers and technology (and specific terms, for that matter), but I was confused by that one. I managed to fix it, but it was a close call. I hope this tip helps someone the way my Sitemeter hijacking story does.

— 3 —

Those were some pretty intense takes. Here’s some tweets to lighten the mood. This one won the National Grammar Day haiku contest just a few weeks ago:

— 4 —

Also in Twitter news, a bishop is following me! This seems like a role reversal if there ever was one:

"Bishop Guy Sansaricq followed you."

He’s retired from the Diocese of Brooklyn. Can we take a moment to think about how awesome retirement must be if it means you just get to play on Twitter all day?

— 5 —

I recently finished the Bible study I started back in September, on salvation history. When we got to the period when David became king of Israel, I finally, finally understood why it’s so important that David is the son of Jesse.

Jesse was no one important. He wasn’t the previous king; he was just a shepherd.

In that time (and in some professions like teaching or law enforcement today), a son had the same job as his father. The king’s son became the next king; the shepherd’s son became a shepherd.

But the king before David was Saul. None of Saul’s sons became king. David was the son of Jesse. David became the king.

It’s important that David is the son of Jesse because David is not the son of Saul. God chose the king he wanted, not the king anyone was expecting. He chose David, and later he chose Jesus.

And that’s why we have Jesse trees, not David trees, and why it’s so important that Jesus is “the son of David.” My mind was blown.

— 6 —

Mr. Man teases me for declaring that more than one song is my jam. I like to jam! So I guess one of my jams is this super-catchy song (and awesome video) from a Target commercial: “Diggy,” by Spencer Ludwig.

— 7 —

Finally, to round out the randomness, one of my favorite Shakespearean webcomics posted a brilliant take on the “wherefore” problem. (And yes, I do have another favorite.)

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

Sunday Style: My Favorite Recurring Character

Hello, friends! One of those not-quite-yet-bloggable things took me to visit Mr. Man again last weekend, in his city. He’s my special guest star.

Sunday Style for March 12: My Outfit

Sunday Style for March 12: me with Mr. Man

Sweater and skirt: Old Navy
Top and tights: Target
Shoes: Payless
Earrings: ancient gift
Pendant: brand-new gift from Mr. Man’s mom

So, winter came back. Mr. Man kindly sent me weather forecast updates as the days to my trip counted down. Of course I double-checked with my favorite weather app, Accuweather, as I was packing the night before I left. Life in Austin has taught me to check the hourly forecasts rather than the high for the day, so I scrolled through and was puzzled by a tiny icon of a snowflake on Saturday around 2 p.m.

Then I realized that meant it might snow. I have not seen snow fall from the sky in over six years. Thankfully, I didn’t see it last weekend, either, but it was so very cold. I’m perfectly happy to leave March snow as a long-ago memory (once in Germany when I was in middle school, I think), and I’m now officially ready for spring.

We went to Mass at Mr. Man’s parish. He lectored, and he did a very good job. Fr. J (I think) started by pointing out that Abraham’s story is very encouraging to those of us who might think we’re too old to go on an adventure or do something great. Abraham was 70 years old when God called him out of Ur, so we are never too old to do what God is calling us to do.

Then he turned to another Old Testament passage entirely. In 2 Kings 6, enemies from Syria approach the prophet Elisha. His servant panics, thinking that the approaching army will destroy the Israelites, and asks Elisha to pray for God’s help. Elisha instead tells him to pray that the Lord will open his eyes to see the heavenly army surrounding them, against which their enemies are no match. God didn’t need to do anything more. He was already doing something; the servant just needed to see what God was already doing.

Afterwards, I thought about this in terms of the Gospel. Peter could see that Jesus was speaking with Moses and Elijah, but he didn’t know what God was doing at that moment. He was worse off than Elisha, and even worse off than the servant! Abraham did what God told him to, despite not seeing or understanding. Peter didn’t know what to do, even though he could see. Sometimes, I can’t see and I don’t know. Do I have the faith to keep moving towards God anyway?

Thanks are due to Mr. Man for helping with my full-length photo this week, and to his mother for the beautiful natural amethyst pendant. It was just the right thing to complete my outfit!

I would also like to give my memory kudos for stepping up this week. It held onto “2 Kings 6” long enough to write that down after Mass. I had to figure out whether Fr. J was saying “Elijah” or “Elisha.” They are correctly pronounced so similarly (same long “I” in the middle) that I knew I’d need to look it up after Mass to clarify. But I could only do that because I remembered, so thanks, brain!

And thanks to you for reading!

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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