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Happy back to school week! Or, as we know it here at the Fulwiler homeschool, the week where mommy pretends like she has a principled reason to start school after Labor Day and is not just sitting around and surfing Pinterest to see what’s working for everyone else first.
Also, I am particularly excited about the beginning of Fall. The only way to describe the weather in Austin right now is to say that it feels like you’re jumping into a pot of boiling slime every time you step outside. As if the usual heat weren’t bad enough, this new kind of ectoplasm humidity we’re dealing with makes leaving air conditioned spaces unbearable. I know we have a good two months before we’ll see the highs drop into the 80s, but at least the beginning of the school year signals that relief is on its way.
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I have a few great events to tell you about during my Washington, DC trip, but I want to start with the Risk Jesus conference on Saturday, 9/27 in Woodbridge, VA.
This is going to be a fantastic conference for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that it encourages people to attend who are in all stages of their spiritual journey. I was just talking to the organizers yesterday, and they were thinking aloud about how they could help people who might not have fully embraced the Catholic faith yet feel welcome, while also making it a fulfilling experience for practicing believers.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker is also speaking, and Marie Miller is performing! I’m so excited to be able to see Marie Miller in person. If you’re not familiar with her, this song tells you everything you need to know about her fresh, unique brand of music:
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Last week I needed to go down to a radio studio to do a promo spot for a JPII Life Center event at which I’m speaking in the Fall, but I didn’t have babysitting. I dropped the oldest kids with a grandparent, took the youngest ones with me, and hoped for the best.
I knew the ad was only scheduled to run for a minute, but the question was whether I could get it right in one take — if I we had to do it more than once, that would be more than enough time for my children to demolish the studio.
I ended up setting the kids up in the waiting room, which I could see through the glass doors of the studio, and running over to the mic to do the recording. As I spoke the words, I was watching my youngest girls push the baby around the coffee table in the waiting room, occasionally wrinkling my brow as I wondered what game they were playing that involved them standing on his stroller to try to jump over a chair.
It’s funny to listen to the spot now and remember what I was looking at when I recorded it:
(If you’re reading on email, click through to hear it.)
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I’m giving a talk to young adult Catholics in a few months. I’m excited, but this isn’t the usual demographic for my talks. Since I’m much more familiar with the lives of married people with families, I wanted to ask: What are young, single, faithful Christians struggling with right now? What are the biggest concerns that are weighing on their minds? What are the areas where they could use some encouragement?
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I was going to use this slot to ask for book recommendations, but I know what everyone is going to say, so I’ve decided: I’ll finally read Kristen Lavranfhsrhjsnwifhdshfgatadtter.
When I ask for new book suggestions, fully 40% of the responses go on and on about that one. I figure I can’t lose: either I’ll love it like everyone thinks I will, or I’ll at least be able to say that I read it so I can demand that people recommend something else. I’ll report back in five years after I finish all 6,000 pages of it.
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I am on a never-ending quest to find things that amuse the kids that don’t require my time and don’t involve glowing screens, and my latest discovery is this: the VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper. (I only wish that I were the type of blogger who got these kinds of things for free in exchange for a review. Sadly, this is just a personal recommendation of something I found and bought myself.)
I went on Amazon to replace my Chop Wizard, which I originally bought off of an informercial because I am exactly like that person in the pathetic “before the Chop Wizard” black-and-white segment who ends up a sweaty, frustrated, bleeding mess from trying to chop a vegetable with a regular old knife. The Amazon reviewers said that the VeggieChop was better and, sure enough, it’s my new favorite kitchen product.
It’s basically a blender powered by a string — which doesn’t operate unless the lid is closed! — which means that the kids can make smoothies, salsa, and other fun stuff without a bunch of noise and mess. I highly recommend it.
— 7 —
Fun Friday pop quiz: What is the last song you listened to?
(My answer: the acoustic version of Stubborn Love by the Lumineers.)
Have a great weekend, everyone!
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I’m back! I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’ve been savoring my real life. I spend my mornings gazing out the window, prayerfully watching the morning sun filter through the clouds as I sip my coffee. In the afternoons, I bake healthful goodies with the kids before we do crafts related to the Scriptures we heard at daily Mass.
Ha, ha. I’m kidding, of course.
The reality is that having my book release and the Edel Gathering so close together made my to-do list snowball. Then I took a 10-day... Read More
I couldn’t get my post together for this week (taking a 10-day vacation with young children probably having something to do with it), but I look forward to reading everyone else’s. Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy Feast of the Assumption!
Read More →
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Greetings from the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina!
(At least I think I’m in the western part of the state. I keep trying to look up my location on a map, but every time I’m interrupted because my one-year-old has found a crayon and is writing on my aunt’s white couch or is pulling a lamp off the table.)
Anyway, it’s absolutely beautiful out here, and my aunt and uncle couldn’t be more gracious and welcoming. They have a little guest house separate from their own house, and it’s... Read More
I survived the flights out here to North Carolina, and am now at my aunt and uncle’s mountain cabin!
I have to say, for all my prophesying of doom, the flights ended up being…EXACTLY AS DIFFICULT AS I THOUGHT THEY’D BE. But we’ll talk about that more on Friday.
2.5 seconds after this photo was taken, I had to run grab the baby before he hurled himself down the deck stairs.
Meanwhile, one of the things I’ve been able to do here in my mountain hideaway is to clean up the audio files from the Edel Gathering! I know that... Read More
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The official pictures from the Edel Gathering are up! You can check them out at my uncle Kevin Geraghty’s photography site here. My sweet uncle generously offered to come out and handle all the pictures, and I’m thrilled with how they turned out.
You’re welcome to use them on your blogs or social media – just right-click on the images to save them (and I’m sure my uncle would love a link back to his photography site if you think of it).
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Hallie and I have been flooded with questions... Read More
I had this dream that I was on a dance floor with dozens of new friends, and I suddenly saw Abby Johnson to my left, and a unicorn in a dress to my right.
Oh, wait. That wasn’t a dream. That was the 2014 Edel Gathering.
There was singing.
There was wine.
There were talks so powerful that the Omni staff had to scramble to get enough Kleenex for all the sobbing women.
There was my amazing family — my mom, aunt Lisa, aunt Claudia, and uncle Kevin – who paid their own way to come and work the entire weekend, just to bless... Read More
I can’t believe that after all these months, the Edel Gathering is finally here! I’ll be updating on Instagram and Twitter, and you can follow the fun by checking out the #edel14 hashtag.
7 Quick Takes will be hosted by Carolyn Svellinger, so head on over there to read everyone’s posts!
Carolyn is a super-talented artist and photographer in addition to being a funny and insightful writer. For those of you who aren’t already familiar with her, you’ll love checking out her blog.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Read More →
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The Edel Gathering begins one week from today!
For those of you who don’t know the backstory, this conference came into being suddenly and unexpectedly. In November of last year, I wrote a post telling the story of how Hallie Lord and I took a risk and committed ourselves to this idea somewhat spontaneously. On paper, pretty much nothing about the two of us hosting a conference in this particular season of our lives made sense. Yet we couldn’t escape the sense that we were called to do it, and our husbands even agreed,... Read More
A fun and surprisingly intense debate has broken out among my friends over the past few months, and it revolves around this question:
The Fault in Our Stars: depressing or uplifting?
One of my friends summarized her impression the book by saying, “It’s a sad story where everything is bad and then more bad stuff happens. Why did I need to read that?” She is on Team Depressing, and a lot of people I know are with her.
A note my babysitter found in her copy of the book, left by her friend.
I, however, am on the other team. I loved... Read More
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Last week Lino Rulli brought his SiriusXM radio show down here to Austin, and I co-hosted it with him all week. For your listening pleasure, here is a “best of” audio clip:
Podcast (catholicguyshow): Play in new window | Download (129.2MB)
As you can hear from the multiple moments when I was laughing so hard I couldn’t speak, we had a ridiculous amount of fun.
(Here is everything you need to know about what you’ll hear if you listen to that audio clip: about two-thirds of the way through, we talk about... Read More
I’ll be out doing 4th of July stuff — none of them involving fireworks — so I don’t have a post for this week, but I look forward to reading yours! Happy 4th of July!
Read More →
I’m co-hosting The Lino Rulli Show on SiriusXM while Lino’s in Austin this week, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to let you all do the talking!
As a special treat for this week, I’ve saved a question I’ve wanted to ask you all forever: What are your theme songs?
What I mean by “theme song” is a song that reminds you vividly of a specific time in your life. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a favorite song, or even a song whose lyrics you find perfectly edifying — just a song that you will... Read More
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I had so much fun at yesterday’s talk and book signing at the Cathedral here in Austin.
Remember how I made the joke about stuffing food into my purse for the kids? I guess nobody would be surprised to hear that that kind of ended up happening.
At the end of the event, the organizer kindly asked me if I’d like to take any of the leftovers. There was a time in my life when I would have politely declined out of pride while covetously eyeing the food. Those days are long gone. This time, I replied immediately, “I... Read More
Some breaking news I wanted to share…
Fellow Austinites, come join me at St. Mary’s Cathedral this Thursday (6/26) after the 12:05 PM Mass. I’ll be giving a short talk, signing books, and hoping nobody notices if I tuck some of the free food into my purse to bring back for the kids.
The one and only Lino Rulli is bringing his NYC-based radio show aaaalllllllll the way down to Austin for the week of June 30, and I’ll be the co-host. We’ll be broadcasting live from St. William in Round Rock,... Read More