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We finally did it: we got rid of the carpet of doom and had hardwood floors installed.
The upside? No more giant carpet beetle snack bar in the middle of our living room.
The downside? CHAOS ON A LEVEL I CANNOT DESCRIBE.
Outside, it was wet with wind and temperatures in the 30s and 40s. We had limited access to the kitchen. As the work progressed downstairs, our homeschooling family of eight was confined to smaller and smaller spaces in our three-bedroom house. It was like The Cask of Amontillado, but upstairs and with more fighting over iPads.
The work was finished yesterday, and it looks great. As people predicted on Facebook, it has indeed drastically upped the noise level (which was not insignificant to begin with), but I will happily take that over having a living room carpet that looks like a failed modern art experiment.
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I just found out that I’m going to New York this week! I’m doing a quick, last-minute trip to meet with some of the folks at the Catholic Channel on SiriusXM. While I’m up there, I’ll co-host Lino Rulli‘s show with him on Monday (3/2), and I’ll be a guest on Cardinal Dolan’s show on Tuesday (3/3). If you have SiriusXM, tune in to Channel 129 to hear it!
I don’t think I’ve ever been to NYC in the dead of winter, so we’ll see how I do. I was recently in Dubuque, Iowa, when the wind chill was -18 F, and I learned some memorable lessons about taking a blasé attitude toward packing for cold temperatures.
(Pro tip: When your husband suggests that you bring gloves, do not shrug and say you “don’t know where they are” and “don’t feel like finding them” because it “probably won’t matter.”)
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I keep telling everyone I’m “so busy” right now, and they probably think it’s because I’ve been traveling a lot while doing a radio show and having my entire downstairs demolished to put in new floors. All of that has actually been fine.
The real reason I’m maxed out is because I discovered The Grand Hotel on Netflix, and it has shut down my life.
It’s basically the Spanish version of Downton Abbey (produced in Spanish, with English subtitles), and I cannot stop watching it. It has all the gorgeous costumes and upstairs/downstairs socio-economic tension of Downton, but with twice the intrigue, triple the murders, and no seasons where the story arc suddenly falls off a cliff.
At this point, I think of my life as being about watching The Grand Hotel, with occasional unwelcome interruptions for radio and speaking and cooking dinner.
I strongly recommend that you watch this show, but don’t bring up the first episode on Netflix until you have about three straight weeks of free time.
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Something Other than God is being released in Spanish, and I have a pipe dream that I will eventually be able to take Spanish-language interviews.
It has taken my excitement for The Grand Hotel to a whole new level to think of it as a vehicle for improving my Spanish. After binge-watching about 15 episodes the other weekend, I decided that I was completely ready for calls from interviewers from Spain.
The only problem is that the vocabulary I’m picking up from watching a show about the intrigues of early 20th-century Spanish nobility doesn’t lend itself to detailed interviews about atheist-to-Catholic conversions.
I have solved this problem by putting together a guide for interviews that will make sure I get questions that I have the words to answer:
SUGGESTED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR JENNIFER FULWILER’S SPANISH BOOK TOUR
- Where were you born?
- What type of cufflinks should a marquis wear?
- Should the chamber maid or the maitre d’ clean the candlesticks?
- Will caviar hide the taste of arsenic?
- Can you conceal a blood-covered knife in a parasol?
My contact info is here on my blog if any Spanish media outlets would like to get in on this awesome interview action.
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It took me a while to get into the swing of radio, since it’s such a different way of communicating than writing, but I’m really enjoying it now, especially since I have a talented producer who is great at putting together humorous bits.
Last week on the show I was imagining holding the Lent Awards, a red-carpet gala where people received gleaming trophies for their excellence in penance. I gave my producer the audio of me talking as if accepting an award for my amazing humility and holiness during Lent, and she added in all sorts of sound effects to make it sound real. This is too much fun.
LENT AWARDS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH:
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I’ve been releasing one segment from each show as a free podcast, usually my interviews with guests. Here are a few recent ones you might enjoy:
You subscribe to the podcast free on iTunes, or listen to them all direct from your computer or phone here.
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I have had to keep comments closed here on the blog due to an absolutely insane amount of spam, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post over on Facebook!
The 7 Quick Takes bloggers’ linkup is now hosted by Kelly Mantoan. Go check out other folks’ 7 Quick Takes posts over at her place!
We did it! I survived the week of two-hour daily radio shows on SiriusXM last week (with much help from my fabulous producer and the Catholic Channel team), and I only had to pull a sleeping bag over my head to muffle bizarre kid-related background noises once.
It was definitely an intense week, but it was more fun than I thought it would be. I had a blast doing the show, and I hope that came across on the air.
I was able to put together not one but TWO free MP3s with excerpts from the show! Both are available through my free podcast here (also... Read More
Exciting news! SiriusXM and I decided that it would be fun to see what it would be like if I did a daily two-hour radio show for one week! (We’ll talk later about why my idea of “fun” always involves extremely intense activities that test my endurance and the human ability to survive without sleep.) That’s right, that means that…
My radio show will be live from 2 – 4 PM ET on SiriusXM Channel 129, every single day this week!
If Monday’s show is any indication, this week is going to be a blast.... Read More
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It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to check in here on the blog, which means it’s past time for a 7 Quick Takes post!
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As you may already know if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, my wonderful grandfather passed away earlier this month. He was 100 years old.
As blessed as we were to have him for as many years as we did, his passing was still hard to process. I was his only grandchild, so we were certainly very close.
I frequently posted here on the blog about the amazing meals he’d... Read More
When I walked into the ballroom on Saturday afternoon at last year’s Edel Gathering, I was surprised to see a woman sitting in the back row, dabbing tears out of her eyes with a crumpled Kleenex. Soon, almost all the women in attendance would be weeping openly in response to Marion Fernandez-Cueto’s heartfelt talk, but at this point the Saturday event had barely begun.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
She nodded. “I just can’t tell you how much it means to me to see an entire room full of women who understand my life.”
After... Read More
Happy Epiphany! Happy New Year!
I just got back from Nashville, where I was at the mind-blowing SEEK 2015 conference. There were 10,000 college students in attendance, and I had the honor of giving the women’s keynote.
It’s the story of how I used to think that there was only one right way to be a “good Christian,” and the startling moment that God showed me that to be truly Catholic is to by truly myself. (There’s also a Q&A at the very end where I answer questions that were tweeted during the talk.)
I had a ton... Read More
It’s that time of year again!
I spent hours this weekend adding wonderful new saints to the list and updating the code, so the Saint’s Name Generator is cleaned up and ready to go.
Click here to get your patron saint for 2015!
One of my favorite New Year’s traditions is reading comments hearing about which saints people got and what that saint might mean to them. I’d love to hear about yours! I often have to close comments due to an enormous amount of spam, so if you can’t comment here on the blog leave a comment over... Read More
The other day I came across a clip from the end of It’s a Wonderful Life, a movie which has a surprising ability to turn me into a mushy, sentimental mess. I got all teary-eyed to see how the imperfect angel, Clarence Odbody, gave George a new lease on life by coming to him in his darkest hour.
I think one of the reasons I find that scene so touching is because I’ve had so many Clarence Odbodys in my own life. I can’t think of a single crisis I’ve gone through that didn’t involve God sending some “angel”... Read More
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We still don’t have a Christmas tree. I just walked by a broken Advent candle in the toy pile next to a naked Barbie. But it’s all good, because I GOT MY CHRISTMAS CARDS DONE! (Not “done” like “sent,” but “done” like “we got a decent picture and the newsletter is written.”) I’m so excited!
As I say every year, this is one of my very favorite holiday traditions. I love getting everyone’s letters and pictures each year. Even for the families that I already know... Read More
I was surprised by the wide variety of reactions that bubbled within me when I read Kendra Tierney’s post about how she’s not giving her kids toys for Christmas.
In about three seconds, I went from “THAT’S NUTS!” to “It sort of makes sense but I would never do that” to “Maybe I should do that” to “I TOTALLY NEED TO DO THAT!”
After I thought about it a bit more, I decided that the specifics of the idea might not be the right fit for us (at least not for this year),... Read More
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On October 2, 2008 I wrote my first “7 Quick Takes” post. Soon after that I made it a link-up, meaning I put some code on the bottom of each of my own 7 Quick Takes posts so that other bloggers could submit links to their own posts of the same format. In the six years since then, not a single Friday has gone by that I haven’t written a 7 Quick Takes post and hosted the linkup (or at least posted a note with a lame excuse about why I couldn’t).
The 7 Quick Takes blog party has been part of my life week in... Read More
At the beginning of this year, my friend Rachael had the simple but brilliant idea to start having regular dinner parties. She called it the Dinner Club for Underachievers, and she set the rules to be simple enough that even families in crazy seasons of life could participate. The rules are:
Couples take turn hosting the dinner club
The hosts do not have to provide any food — they just provide drinks and paper plates and utensils
Each guest brings a dish (appetizer, main course, or dessert)
The guests don’t bring kids (but the host’s... Read More
At looooong last, my podcast is finally up and running! For those of you who don’t have SiriusXM to tune in to the full versions of my radio show, I can now offer a free podcast of a “best of” segment from each show.
HOW TO LISTEN
If you would like to subscribe, you can find it on iTunes here, or search for The Jennifer Fulwiler Show in your favorite podcasting app (I use Podcruncher).
If you need the direct link to the podcast feed to look it up on your favorite podcasting app, it’s http://jenniferfulwiler.libsyn.com/rss... Read More
I am thrilled to announce that tickets for the 2015 Edel Gathering go on sale this morning, Wednesday 11/18, at 11:00 AM ET!
Here is the link to purchase tickets to Edel ’15!
When you get your ticket, you can print out this PDF for all your egregious #edel15 selfie needs. (Checking out all of the selfies for the last Edel was the highlight of my month. I have been looking forward to this part since the moment we decided to do Edel ’15!)
. . .
I want to celebrate with an audio montage of people announcing... Read More
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I am thrilled to announce that my book, Something Other than God, has made it to the semi-final round in the GoodReads Choice Awards! We are on round 2 of 3, and voting for this round ends tomorrow (Saturday).
I am profoundly grateful for your votes in the first round. The book is one of only 15 chosen in the Memoir and Biography category, and is the only religious book on the list. It’s up against memoirs by celebrities like Rob Lowe, Robin Roberts, Cary Elwes, and Hillary Clinton.
If you have a moment to go give it a... Read More