Monday Morsels #25

Hi yall! Well, life has certainly changed since my last family update! Without wasting any time, here’s what we’ve been up to lately.

clare 2nd bday

My sweet firstborn turned two! Goodness gracious, how the time flies. We started the day with her two year check up which thankfully didn’t include any shots. Then we stopped to get a Birthday donut, went to the neighborhood pond to feed the “quack quacks”, and played at the park. We had one of her favorite meals for dinner plus cake of course. As much as I wanted to have a big celebration for her, I loved our simple day together and honestly, at 40 weeks pregnant, I couldn’t have handled much more!

family of 4

Then two days later…our precious daughter Catherine was born! Things happened pretty quickly and labor went as smoothly as possible. We are totally in love with this little lady! Life has been full of visits from family/friends, meals delivered, and adjusting to being a family of 4 (most adjusting from a certain toddler) and while we’re tired, life is beautiful. I actually hope to finally write a birth story for both girls soon, so stay posted for more info besides “hey! we had a baby!” if you’re into that sort of blog post.

baptism catherine

Then 9 days later, little Catherine was baptized and brought into the Church. It was sort of last minute since we weren’t totally sure when she’d arrive but worked out just perfectly and also happened to be the feast of Pentecost. So fitting! Our sweet little saint smelled of chrism and peacefully slept through the whole thing. Who could ask for more?

ordination

Then besides the everyday crazy life in new baby land, we’ve been right in the middle of busy event season and trying to attend what celebrations we can manage. First off was the ordination of our friend, now Father Joseph Keating. I have to get used to calling him that! We became friends during my college years and it’s been just beautiful seeing his vocation unfold. When we met, he was a vibrant youth minister, then entered the seminary, was sent to the NAC in Rome for his studies (we even got to visit him there while traveling!), had the honor to sing the Gospel at the Easter mass at St. Peter’s this past Easter, and now is officially a priest in the Diocese of Fort Worth. Congrats to you, Fr. Joe, and I can’t wait to see where God takes you next on your journey!

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One of the youth from our former parish invited us to her graduation party which was also a blast. I was her confirmation sponsor a few years ago and got to know her really well during our time there. I’m so proud of her accomplishments and know she’ll do great things at Benedictine College. The party was full of yummy BBQ, cake, and a fun photo area with props. We got to catch up with some old parish friends and Clare wore herself out with an inflatable ball. Good times all around!

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We also got together on my side of the family to celebrate the May birthdays in the family. Which is my mom, Clare, and now Catherine too! So it’s basically now a party for grandma and her granddaughters, which I know she loves. We had tons of delicious food as always, a variety of desserts, gifts, and great company. Clare had a cookie cake that grandma made especially for her, since she’s a total frosting and cookie girl. (which baffles her cake loving mother) Catherine got to meet most of the rest of her Texas family and it’s such a blast having more littles in the family now, running around and playing during our gatherings, plus plenty of arms wanting to hold the babies. It’s a beautiful thing!

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Monday Morsels #18

Hey everyone – hope you’re ready for a massive photo and story dump! I didn’t realize it’d been so long since my last update about what we’ve been up to lately and I have lots of adventures to share. So here goes nothing!

baby sprinkle

At the beginning of August, I hosted a baby “sprinkle” for my dear friend who was expecting her second kiddo and first girl. It was a casual and super fun party with just a bunch of girlfriends (and a few munchkins) enjoying good company, yummy food, and lots of interesting baby talk. And of course I always look for a reason to work on my cookie decorating skills so made some pink onesie cookies as party favors. Then…

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…two weeks later, baby girl decided to come into the world a little early! We had that party just in the nick of time. Sweet little Monica Marie is such a doll, mom is healthy and joyful, and their whole family is just thrilled and totally in love with that beautiful little one. Also, I have the amazing privilege of being Monica’s godmother (so exciting!) which makes it all just extra special. Yay for babies! I may or may not have some baby fever. Ok, I totally do.

cookie care package

Jason was out of town for a few days earlier this month (busy summer for him!) so Clare and I spent some extra time with my family once again. Gotta love having a mom on summer break! Plus, my grandma was over at their house too, so needless to say, we all enjoyed the girl time together. While I was there and had a little free time, I worked on yet another cookie decorating project. I’d been wanting to send a care package to my older brother who recently moved so made him a variety of cookies that made me think of him. The end result was…a cat, dinosaurs, and Texas. Kind of eclectic but it was fun to try some new shapes. Plus it was my first time shipping these kinds of cookies and luckily they all made it there in one piece!

tx tech grad

Then we traveled out to Lubbock for my brother-in-law’s graduation from Texas Tech. Congrats again, Charlie! We had a fun 5 hour road trip and Clare was such a trooper. I’m so thankful that she’s a good little traveler! It was a quick trip – there on Friday night and back home early Saturday afternoon after a delicious celebratory BBQ lunch at The Arrogant Texan. But regardless, it was great and I’m so glad we got to be there to support him. Plus, my brother and sister-in-law moved back to our area after the graduation so it’s very exciting to have them close again!

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I’d been invited a while back to join a ladies book club but never could find the time to commit to reading the whole book and attending the gatherings. But this past time around, I made a point to finally make it happen and am SO glad that I did! We meet once a month or so at a cute cafe and get to enjoy some delicious coffee, good conversation, and much needed adult interaction. The last book we read was “North and South” by Elizabeth Gaskell. I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it if you’re into British lit that’s reminiscent of Jane Austen and company.

sleepover

This past weekend, we had our godson over for a sleepover and it was a blast. It was fun to have a taste of what it’d be like to have more than one kiddo in the house. Clare definitely enjoyed it and tried to keep up with him the whole time. We had homemade pizza for dinner, walked to our neighborhood park for some play time, and had some popcorn and a short movie before bed. Then in the morning he’d requested blueberry muffins for breakfast, we watched “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” (which I loved!), and played some games before it was time for lunch and to head home already. It was so nice to do something special and get that extra time with him. Godparents, I encourage you to spend time with your godchildren if/when you’re able to and make some memories! Totally worth it.

concert

Last but not least, I got to attend a Dierks Bentley concert with some of my fabulous ladies in law. My aunt, mother, and sister (in law) and I had a great time on a beautiful and thankfully breezy Texas night with our lawn seats. We had some hilarious moments like getting stuck with a group of intoxicated lawn dancers right in front of us but it was a wonderful time full of great music including Maddie and Tae, Kip Moore, and the headliner Dierks Bentley. All my years of hearing country music on the radio at work sure paid off, because I knew the majority of songs which sure made it even more fun!

Monday Morsels #15

Hello everyone! Hope that all is going well in your corners of the world. Can we all agree that this time of year is awesome but crazy busy! Between graduations, Confirmations, and ordinations things have been hopping around here. Here’s what we’ve been up to lately.

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As mentioned in my infertility story, there is an effort to bring NaPro Technology care to the DFW area. Whole Life Authentic Care recently had an information meeting where folks could learn more about their plans and goals along with donate to get the cause moving. Along with one other awesome woman, I was asked to share my story about how NaPro care helped diagnose and treat my infertility issues and how important this level and type of care is to all women. It was such an honor to speak to the group and share our struggles that turned into a success story. Here’s a great write up about the event if you’re curious about more details!

Our diocesan group that’s going to World Youth Day next summer has some meet and greets scheduled throughout the next year so that the pilgrims from different parishes can get to know each other. We recently had our first one and it was so fun! Check out the current WYD webisode above – you can see some of the youth talk about what they’re excited to experience and there’s also a glimpse of Clare, our youngest pilgrim, being pretty adorable.

ordination
Photo by Donna Ryckaert

The Fort Worth diocese recently welcomed three wonderful men into the priesthood. The ordination mass was beautiful and it was so special to receive a blessing from the brand new priests. Here’s Bishop Olson’s homily from the ordination and an article about the new priests!

confirmation grad
Confirmation photo by Julie Holloway

Huge congrats to all who are receiving Confirmation and First Communion during this season! Also congrats and best wishes to all who are graduating and moving on to the next exciting stage of life. We recently attended the Confirmation at our former parish. It was so nice being back there and seeing/supporting the teens. Then we attended the graduation of some of the St. Thomas Aquinas teens we’d known through their whole high school life. So proud of them – hi Aubrey girls!

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We’ve been enjoying lots of family time in the last month. My whole family (parents & both brothers) were able to come to our home for a visit and we had a tasty taco dinner. We also tested out my little brother’s selfie stick and got this nice photo together! We celebrated my father-in-law’s Birthday on Friday with a nice dinner too. Then this past weekend we had a bunch of family together for two high school graduations (congrats Patrick and Spencer!) so enjoyed a brunch together on Sunday. Plus, Aunt Linda from VA is still in town and gets to be the inaugural guest in our guest room tonight. Woohoo!

Two last little notes…
1. Congrats to Rosie who won the recent Amazon gift card giveaway! She’s a fellow blogger, so check out her site, A Blog For My Mom.
2. Unless readers beg and plead, I’m going to nix the linkage from my Monday Morsel posts. I still love to share fun articles, yummy recipes, and inspiring stories from around the web, but will just be linking them on my Facebook page from now on since I could see that they’d only actually get clicked one in a million times when listed on the blog.