7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 208)
I barely have time to write this post today, because I am busy. BUSY, I tell you. And what, exactly, is keeping me so busy? I am trying to attempt the most difficult endeavor known to mankind: finding a housekeeper.
You see, when you all offered us your incredibly generous donations, most of it went to medical bills, but I was able to set aside some extra for housekeeping. What a wonderful blessing my dear readers have bestowed up me, to allow me to have my house professionally cleaned a couple of times as I recover and get ready for this baby! I thought naively. And, of course, once I’d spent a little time visualizing a sparkling clean house that got in its sparkling clean state without any effort from me, it went from “something that would be nice to have” to “something that THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY FOR ME TO GO ON LIVING WITHOUT.”
Then I made a few calls, then a few more, and, long story short, I might as well go try to track down a living unicorn and the Loch Ness Monster while I’m trying to find housekeepers who serve my area and are taking new clients. I feel like Julia Roberts in that scene in Pretty Woman: for once, this is not a budget issue. I have money! I am willing to spend it! But instead I’m sitting on my couch and crying over my fistfull of $20-bills because nobody will come and take them from me and clean my house in return.
Those saints who did little things like fast from all food or wear hair shirts for the entirety of Lent have nothing on me. Please note this for my cause for canonization.
My commitment to get back on track with the Liturgy of the Hours during Lent has actually been quite fruitful — in large part thanks to the Divine Office app on my Nexus. For a long time I was a prayerbook purist in the sense that I resisted reading any prayers from a glowing screen. It seemed like the best way to immerse yourself in the holy words of the Hours would be to have the leathery book with its wispy pages in your hands, preferably while kneeling. And in a quiet room. And candlelight would be nice too! Anyway, I eventually realized that I was Letting Perfection Be the Enemy of the Good™, and all my conditions for the perfect prayer time meant that I was never actually praying. In fact, I realized that one way God could redeem my possibly-deeply-unhealthy attachment to my Nexus would be to use it as a prayer tool — I may misplace my prayerbooks now and then, but I always know where that tablet is!
All that is to say: I’ve prayed Lauds and Vespers every day of Lent so far, and it’s been wonderful.
That sound you just heard was of me struggling to breathe. Not because of pulmonary emboli, but due to something much more ominous: children’s birthday parties. I made a valiant effort to prevent my kids from knowing that it was possible to have a birthday celebration that involved something other than a cake and a few gifts with only immediate family members in attendance. I tried my best to raise them to be unsocialized homeschoolers who spent so much time cooped up in the house that they didn’t know about mysterious things like “parties” and “friends.” But, alas, now they’re in a bunch of activities and have encountered other children and are onto my ruse.
I threw parties for the last birthdays for my three older kids, and it all went fine, but that was back when I was not thirty-two (thousand) weeks pregnant and could breathe. Now my fourth child’s fourth birthday is rolling around in two weeks (can you believe that “baby Joy” is turning four??), and she has expectations. Heck, I don’t need a housekeeping service. I need a party-throwing service.
The one saving grace here is that my children have not yet been to one of my friend Kathryn Whitaker’s kids’ parties. If an invite shows up in the mail, I’ll check the “politely decline” box, and scrawl next to it, They can’t know!!!!!
I have a fascination with profile pictures. It’s an interesting concept, when you think about it: you have only one image to represent you to the outside world. Whether it’s for Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn, a blog, or any other online forum, it will be many people’s first impression of you. If done well, it will convey so much more than what you look like; it’s an opportunity to tell the world a little bit about your personality and your attitudes toward life. Mine is boring and accomplishes none of those things, so please don’t look over at my sidebar for an example. Instead, check out these:
This is my all-time favorite profile picture for a blogger. Why can’t I be creative like Kelly?
The Anchoress is as nice as she is smart, and I think this picture conveys that perfectly.
My friend Nancy is a real estate agent here in Austin and a super-friendly free spirit. This picture has so much more personality than the average real estate agent headshot!
Jamie didn’t even need to bother creating an “about me” writeup for her blog, because her picture says 1,000 words about her charming personality and the topic of her writing.
What are some of your favorite profile pictures?
Based on the number of emails I’ve been getting about this, evidently I caused quite a stir by genuflecting on the wrong knee in one of the episodes of Minor Revisions. A friend writes:
I found myself cringing every time they showed you genuflecting with your left knee?!? No wonder it’s taken you so long to finish your book, had you been genuflecting correctly you would have finished years ago, and maybe the pope wouldn’t have resigned!
Who knew there was a correct knee for genuflecting?! How are people supposed to know these things? They didn’t tell me that when they gave me my Catholic card.
I was going to say something else here, but I poured a shocking amount of time into looking around for profile pictures for #5. I think I either have a charism, or a problem.