Sunday Style: What’s in a Name?

Nope, nothing about roses here. Just a big focus on names in the homily I heard this week. First, here’s what I wore.

Sunday Style for June 24

Dress: Target
Shell: Old Navy
Shoes: Target
Necklace: souvenir from Belize

This is a pretty standard summer dress. I bought it on a bit of a whim, but I like it a lot.

Back when I was living in my apartment in Austin, I had to walk my rent to the leasing office in person. (Someone was apparently stealing checks from the drop box, so the management nailed it shut and just inconvenienced everyone forever. I moved.) One month, I walked over on a Sunday afternoon to give my check to a staff member. She was wearing this exact dress in black, but without the shell underneath. As she pulled at the midpoint of hers, visibly uncomfortable, she commented that mine was much more modest.

That’s the goal. It’s amazing what a little layering can do.

At church, Deacon K focused heavily on John the Baptist, which was appropriate considering that we were celebrating his birth. I can’t remember the last time it fell on a Sunday; I don’t think I knew that his nativity feast takes precedence over an ordinary Sunday.

As the deacon said, we generally only give names to people to whom we are very close. Parents naming children is the obvious example, but also consider nicknames. You don’t nickname a stranger—unless you have the feeling that you’re going to be good friends upon meeting. I guess that happens sometimes.

He also shared that the contentious-at-the-time name “John” means something like “God is gracious” or “God gives grace.” Thus, John’s prophetic message was that God would be bringing the gift of salvation to his people very soon. That was why it was such a big deal that John’s name wasn’t Zechariah. We got no comment about how confusing it would have been to have two Zechariahs around. Did it work like today, with some ancient Israelite form of “junior”? I don’t know.

What did you learn in church this week? Have you ever run into someone wearing the same outfit?


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

7 Quick Takes on Makeup, Freaks, and Prayer

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

— 1 —

I have been using Mary Kay powder foundation for a few years now, and until today, I always suffered when I was almost out of product. I was stuck tapping forever on the container to try to get the last bits of powder to sift through. It’s not a cheap product, and I paid for all of it, so I want to put all of it on my face. Reasonable, right?

It didn’t occur to me to Google my problem until this morning. Thanks to YouTube, I now have easy access to that pesky last bit of powder. I just removed the sifter! (Note that I didn’t actually need pliers as shown at the end of this video; I just kept pulling gently with the tweezers until the sifter popped out.)

— 2 —

That was good news; here’s some bad news. Although I have attended more than a few Masses that include a couple’s renewing their weddings vows, that’s not technically a thing. As Fr. McNamara, liturgy Q&A columnist for Zenit, explains, the couple can receive a special blessing, or they can express their intent to renew their commitment, but the vows are only exchanged once. The vows make the sacrament what it is, and you can never redo a sacrament. The couple should be celebrated and encouraged. And who doesn’t love a blessing? But the vows are technically not renewable.

— 3 —

I just finished watching my way through the cult classic TV show Freaks and Geeks. I liked it! It suffered part of the curse Firefly by getting a terrible time slot, but I think it also aired at the wrong point in TV history.

It’s amusing to see F&G described as the anti-Dawson’s Creek since Busy Phillips moved on to that exact show. I kind of enjoyed that the story wasn’t full of wins for the characters. (I also recently saw Rogue One, so I might just be in the mood for stories with messy endings.) I also appreciated the way they moved through different characters’ point of views without the sheer weight of an ensemble show. Maybe that was unintentional, but it worked.

— 4 —

In my quest to read as much about Freaks and Geeks as possible, I discovered that there is a precedent for Marshall’s amazing short list of songs on How I Met Your Mother. Jason Segel apparently learned to play guitar in order to write a terrible, wondeful song “by” his character for another. I was delighted to dig up such a gem.

— 5 —

I was sad to read an article from Aleteia about the role men play in getting women the medical care they (often obviously) need. Sad, but not surprised. I can think of examples from my actual life when I have taken a man along somewhere simply to be present and to advocate for me. Seriously, all I needed them to say was, “Listen to her.” The article reminded me of one of the last few episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, when Bailey was having serious heart trouble and wasn’t believed despite being a doctor and the chief of surgery of a large hospital. She was a woman, and everyone knows that women exaggerate. Except when we don’t. Like any human.

— 6 —

If you’ve ever struggled over whether to pray grace when appetizers arrive, whether soup counts as a meal, or what to do when the Mexican restaurant hits you with chips and salsa when you’ve barely sat down, I found the answers for you!

(Yes, I know it’s a joke. Just go with it.)

— 7 —

This is the story of my life.

I just want to read books and ignore all my adult problems.


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

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

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