Friday, September 28, 2012

Seven Quick Takes vol 19.


Well, two straight weeks of the husband working is hopefully coming to an end today. He also worked late every night this week, and its really a ridiculous amount of work to put four of them to bed by yourself. I'm excited to stop sounding like a fishwife. My husband didn't understand my fishwife reference yesterday on the phone, until I had to yell at someone to stop hitting someone else in the other room. Then he was like "Ohhh I get it." Yeah.


It looks like our glorious "fall" will be over by next week. Highs of 6 degrees, not cool. This of course means the six month season of having to dress babies for the outdoors begins. Not my favourite time of year. 


I don't know if you all know this, but Jenny Packam is my glamourous twin seperated at birth. Or at least that's what I'm thinking because not only does she design Kate Middleton's clothes she lives here:

So pretty right??


Aren't we all tired of feminism=pro-choice? 
This week the Canadian Parliament heard a motion that would open debate to when human life legally began, it was of course soundly defeated by our cowardly Members of Parliament, but the biggest controversy it stirred up was the fact that the Minister of the Status of Women voted to approve the motion. Every woman's group who has the word "woman" in it spoke out about how awful she was and how she was "betraying" women and all kinds of ridiculous rhetoric. 
How does the idea of abortion not seem at all harmful to women? Why does it seem as if she must be from another planet to think that maybe we should talk about abortion in this country? I'm a woman, I believe abortion to be destructive to women and obviously their children, why can't she be speaking for me? Sorry not allowed. It exhausts me.


I just bought these leopard flats. I feel like I'm a year behind the trend, but then again I just really love them. I'm going into this behind the trend thing with my eyes wide open everybody! I also bought that scarf, its that perfect coral that whenever I see I have to buy it. Its a disease I have.


You know how the Nester has that great 31 Days series where you write about the same topic for 31 days? Well, I was thinking, "What could I possibly write about for 31 days? Diapers? Ways to bribe your children to clean up their toys? No! Wait! 31 days of random NFP posts!" 
Right?! Wouldn't that be thrilling. Yeah, it would kill the very limited readership I have. 
But I could do it! Trust me.


Happy Michaelmas Everyone! I'm trying to figure out what we should do tomorrow to celebrate, and so far I only want chocolate cake but I'm pretty sure that has nothing to do with the Michaelmas tradition. We'll see how it goes.

Don't forget to go to Jen's to see the real deal!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

oh this mothering thing...

It seems like strange ideas regarding motherhood have been floating around my facebook page this week. And not strange as in uncommon, but strange as in so far from the reality of what motherhood really is.

One woman who recently gave birth to her second child was stating that she categorically was no longer "supermom". Obviously, she's in a survival mode that you really only learn about after you have your second child and figure out how steep the learning curve is of life with more than one baby, so these realizations hit you like a truck. And its good she's realizing that fact now. Because the reality is no one is supermom, and I always wonder who really wants to be anyways?

On the other end of the spectrum was a comment made about how modern society in essence dooms the stay at home mom to drudgery. Also, not reality. Although modern society stinks in regards to the home, and family, and pretty much does everything possible to make home and family important in culture and to the individual, there always remains the choice of the mom to choose a happy, loving, peaceful home. The reality is that happiness is possible despite the big sacrifices of motherhood. The reality is that grace exists and helps us beyond our understanding. The reality is that our choices can create a fulfilling environment to be ourselves and one that greatly benefits the souls of our children.

We all know the not so fun stuff exists. The stuff we don't want to do at all. The laundry or dishes or cooking or whatever it may be that becomes our least favourite part of our day. But these tasks don't only exist at home, they exist in every job and profession. They're simply part of life. To dwell on them in the case of motherhood seems to completely ignore the plenty of wonderful things that actually do happen at home. Culture itself won't change overnight to something that supports women at home, and the importance of that home, but will it change if every woman gives up walks away from home and the daily experience of raising children? Definitely not.

Ok. End of rant. But heres three fabulous articles I've read this week that are real perspectives on the mommy-hood!

Simcha Fischer's perfect words to young mothers.

The lovely Brianna is spot on as usual.

And Kate Wicker has a great post too!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantle

I finally finished a book!

Hurray, huzzah, woot!

I won't tell you how long it took me to read this book because its pathetic and awful, but lets just say the library was sending me harassing letters claiming I owed them many dollars because the book was now categorized as "LOST"! But I stayed strong and refused to return the book until I was finished because my determination knows no bounds. (And because my small town library has no late fees, God only knows why because they'd clearly make a fortune off me!)

But now to actually talk about the book. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantle is a masterful telling of the life of Thomas Cromwell. It is a sympathetic look at one of history's most cunning political geniuses. How could a life of someone so notorious for ruthlessly bringing about Henry VIII's split with the Catholic Church, and subsequent takeover of much of the Church's wealth in England, not to mention the utter cultural upheaval that resulted from such a monumental decision, and of course those infamous beheadings of saints and inconvenient wives alike be portrayed sympathetically?

Mantle's writing is amazing in that it brings the reader into an intimacy with Cromwell that seems almost unbelievable. Her technical use of pronouns when referring Cromwell has the effect of making the reader almost a fly on the wall of Cromwell's life. And the seamless way she describes intricate political discussions within the plot makes the read an intriguing one instead of what could feel like a plodding political tome. All the while she paints a true picture of what England must have felt and looked like at such a historic turning point.

The crux of this novel, the first of a proposed trilogy, the second book Bring up the Bodies having been released this spring, is Cromwell's standoff with St. Thomas More. Cromwell surpasses More politically through the book, becoming Henry's most relied upon adviser and eventually taking More's previously held position. More stands with the Church and refuses to bend to the whim of Henry in his obsession to marry Anne Boleyn. But then More refuses to even sign the Act of Supremacy that would make Anne's children legal heirs to Henry which throws him directly into Cromwell's destructive path of conforming the aristocracy to Henry's plan to break with the Church. No one is left alone under Cromwell's goal of complete political support for Henry and thus More has to become an example.

Mantle does not treat More sympathetically. He is described as having faults; persecuting Protestants, being overly pious, and generally just being plain strange to stick with such a Church who has become abusive of its powers and privileges in society. But although Mantle describes More in such a way, More's steadfastness to the Church becomes such a striking contradiction to Cromwell's insatiable political climb that More's heroic stance seems more impactful to the reader.

I found it fascinating to think about a saint from this perspective; not being completely free from bad decisions, mistakes, sin. But then in the face of such persecution to stand with grace, perseverance, and courage. Obviously More gained heaven in the eyes of the Church, while Cromwell gained historical notoriety. Mantle herself has made public statements against the Church. She was quoted earlier this year in saying that the Church was no longer a place for respectable people. She's abandoned her childhood faith in the Church and maybe shares sympathy for Cromwell in his rejection of the Church as well. But although she has outwardly rejected the Church her writing contains a depth of understanding of the faith which is rare, as well as her characters exhibiting some staggering virtue. I always find it ironic to find poignant descriptions of faith written by the very authors who publicly denounce it. They may denounce the Church vocally, but there seems to be an inward pull towards the Truth that cannot be severed, and only shows itself in the author's writing.

Wolf Hall lives up to the critical accolades as an impressively written novel, but also shows a unique side to St. Thomas More and the conflict between Henry VIII and the Church. I always have been a nerd about this period in history so I appreciated a new and well-crafted take on the era, but in the category of historical fiction this book ranks near the top and I'll have to finish the trilogy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Seven Quick Takes vol. 18

Heres my very sloppy quick takes. Its all I can muster, I've been doing dishes by hand all week!


So this week at mi casa has been a doozy. The hot water tank died Tuesday so we've been without hot water for what feels like months and months. I've been hauling the dirty minions to my mom's for baths, but the lack of hot water for my kitchen full of dirty dishes has been killer. I've been Laura Ingalls Wilder-ing it by boiling the water. It makes the whole process about 5 hours long.


Theres just nothing quite so demoralizing as adding an extra step to the usual mundane chores. I think thats why I detest camping so much. Why sign yourself up for the extra torture? And then call it fun?! Crazy talk.


We're also having a few windows replaced this week. Which is good because we really need to get rid of "ol' cracky" or our big picture window in the living room which has about a 5 foot crack the whole way through it. Its been that way since...oh...last November! Luckily our children are too young to ask if we're poor and/or why only meth houses have such cracked window panes...


see, disaster!!

But all this window business has left my house a complete disaster. More of a disaster than usual. Its getting to me more than usual. I'm considering running away. Actually, this picture above doesn't even look to different than what my living room normally looks like, just a lot more furniture moved and plastic floating around...huh...


Are my children alone in having strange stomach bugs that only occur during the middle of the night?
For the last two nights Luke has woken us up screaming from his room. We walk in to him covered in vomit and the pleasant dead of night cleanup it entails and then he's fine. And he's completely fine during the day, eats, acts normally, then middle of the night-THROW UP! This has happened to Dominic before as well...its a weird phenomenon. 


I've got no links this week because in all the dishes chaos, the mess, the vomit I've had no spare time to read anything half interesting. And my internet was down until Wednesday. Man...its like I'm living in Siberia or something.


And hold on to your hats everyone-my husband is working ALL. WEEKEND. I'm not sure if I'm going to make it. I would even pack up the kids and try and escape but it seems like everyone we know has really excellent plans so we are going to have to come up with something. And the weather is supposed to be awesome. So that will make me feel doubly guilty when all I want to do is lie around watching Downton or something...

Alrighty, everyone go have a better weekend than I, and check out Jen's real links! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Postcards from my lack of blogging!

Hi. I'm still alive. And am the worst blogger ever right now. Can I blame it on feeling down in the dumps? Also; we've lost the internet at our house due to reaching our monthly limit a full 10 days before a new billing period in our already outrageously expensive high-speed-internet-for-the-middle-of-nowhere. So the husband has laid down his foot, drawn a faint line in the sand of my staggering internet usage, and I've now spent more time cleaning my house in the last week than the previous month combined! But I have no mildly amusing pics of kids for you...consider this an IOU.

We've mostly been hanging around at home. Dom is going through a super hero stage, and proclaims himself "Yuper-Dominic!" on an hourly basis. Gemma insists he's not a superhero in his cape but really a prince charming whom is obligated to play an at least one hour game of "Wedding!" Luke stays out of the argument entirely by dismantling his bed, the baby swing, and a bookshelf downstairs in a fifteen minute span while I change a diaper. Max, is currently enemy number one by having the longest running runny nose in the history of babydom. How is it that a simply runny nose can ruin your life? So  little sleep, so much snot. But I'm trying not to complain obviously. And the husband and I have been trying to stain our deck in the fifteen minutes of nap time we have per weekend, its awful, never. again.

The Pope has been in Lebanon the past three days and I've read and seen nothing about it. But from the headlines that pop across my pope-related facebook feeds it looks interesting and I want to catch up and read everything because it feels so important with what has been happening around the world in the last week. I think there are so many connections between the Pope's Apostolic visits to certain countries at crucial times and his spot-on remarks about political and social circumstances. Obviously we should be paying more attention right?

Ok, Kate Middleton. I feel pretty awful for her and this whole picture fiasco. But then at the same time I have to say she looked fab. How morally two-faced is that?!

And last but not least, a ridiculously funny video my friend posted which is hilarious. You'll love it trust me! And thanks for putting up with my random random today.

Monday, September 10, 2012

G.K. of the Day!

Religious and philosophical beliefs are, indeed, as dangerous as fire, and nothing can take from them that beauty of danger."

- G.K. Chesterton, "Heretics"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Liebster Award?!?

Well, as a total surprise to moi, the lovely Ashley over at the fun blog The Big White Farmhouse nominated me for this funny blogger award that supports small (read, barely detectable in my case!) blogs. 

Bloggers nominate other bloggers, tiny ones with less than 200 followers, and the blogger nominated gets to post 11 random facts about themselves, answer 11 questions posted by the previous blogger, ask 11 questions themselves, and maybe nominate some blogs as well! 

So we'll see how far I get, I may take Ashley's lead and cut the questions down a little, but I mean its not like I've got five loads of laundry to fold and a complete disaster of a house to clean? But this seems like a fun distraction on a holiday Monday!

11 Random Facts About Me: 

1. I'm a ridiculous adherent to routine. I've been trying to deny it for years, but in reality I love routine. Any kind of routine. I'm not sure if this speaks to my disposition towards tradition or my incredible fear/hatred of change. So I'm not sure if its a good thing or a bad thing.

2. I play fantasy football. Which I also am ashamed to admit. Haha, I should remember that this isn't 11 Random Confessions...I've played against my husband since we've been married, so six years, and I'm very competitive about it and now know way too much about the NFL, and watch too much NFL. 

3. My biggest pet peeve in life is hearing people chew/the noises people make when eating. You can imagine how well this goes over when eating with 3 toddlers every night. 

4. I just returned a huge bag of library books that apparently were due in June. I got a official looking letter that said all the books I hadn't returned were classified as "lost" and that I owed exorbitant amounts of money for picture books. Clearly, I've totally taken for granted that my small town library doesn't charge overdue fines.

5. I need to spend more money on underwear.

6. I'm short. Really short.

7. We're getting a couple new windows in our house this week. I'm excited if only to have our largest window in the house no longer have a giant strip of duct tape going through the middle so to protect small people from the giant and dangerous crack. Also; it'll make us look a tiny bit less redneck. Good thing I don't have neighbours.

8. I played piano forever through school, and got pretty good, but the talent has languished and now I feel pretty bad as to my pathetic level of playing. The only time I get to touch a piano is playing music every week at Mass. 

9. I get kinda anxious when I don't have at least one book currently being read. I also have a tendency to travel with at least one book. Even its for a night and I logically know there is going to be no time or situation in which I'd need a book to read. Its kinda weird.

10. Everything tastes better with cream.

11. I abhor camping. I abhor the idea of camping. I just don't understand how all the work that it takes makes an enjoyable "vacation". If God wanted me to camp he wouldn't have created 5-star hotels.

11 Questions Answered and Asked:

1. If you could ask God one question right now, what would it be? 
Isn't this question more asking, "What question would we like an answer to from God?" I've got a lot of those right now. Unfortunately mine would sound griping and questioning and ungrateful. I understand thats not great, but there it is.

2. If you could tell your five year old self one thing, what would it be?
Probably relax. You're five and completely taken care of. No need to worry. Yikes, I should probably be telling that exact thing to my 27 year old self right now. Oh, Snap.

3. Why did you start a blog?
I think it was mostly out of the arrogant idea that, hey if they can have a blog I could have a blog! And to just write randomness. Its kind of nice to have a randomness outlet.

4. If you only had one store to shop at for the rest of your life what would it be?
Definitely Winners/Homesense, or the Canadian equivalent of TJMaxx/Marshalls. Its pretty much the one store I actually get to and have the time to shop at right now as it is so I'm pretty close to that desert island idea in reality.

5. What make believe world out of a book would you love to travel to?
 I'm just going to adjust this question a tad, but I'd definitely live in a Jeeves and Wooster book! Valets, dressing up for dinner, hanging out in gorgeous English country houses, having only frivolous things to do...that sounds like a great vacation! 

6. What do you order at Starbucks?
I adjust by season. Anytime they have pumpkin spice I'll order it! And then the Creme Brûlée Latte at Christmas. Vanilla Latte half-sweet, the rest of the time. And plain iced coffee during the summer.

7. What's your favourite time of day?
Right now my fav time is in the evening right before bed. I can just lie around without too much guilt I should be doing something else, hopefully read a little, not answer any littles' demands for a couple minutes....

And I'm running out of time so heres a couple blog noms!

Haley over at Carrots for Michaelmas-such a good blog and great girl, hopefully she's got less than 200 followers for this! 

Molly from Molly Makes Do-A much more talented woman than I, love all her different posts!

And my friend Beka at Treasuring the Little Things, because she hasn't blogged in a while ;)


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