The mental neat freak

neatfreak1

A few weeks ago I went to the salon to get my hair cut. One of the little lifehack-y things I do is to think carefully about what luxuries I’d most enjoy, so that when Joe or my parents ask what I want for Christmas or my birthday, I can give them a list of things that I actually love and would use. The result is that I have a nice collection of gift certificates to my favorite salon, and I’m able to get my hair cut by a talented stylist. It’s a nice place: music that was somehow both hip and soothing pulsed in the background while... Read More

So we went to a brewery and got a one-eyed cat

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Two weekends ago we took a tour of the Cedar Creek Brewery¬†when we were visiting relatives in east Texas, and we walked out with a souvenir mug and a one-eyed cat. This is an extremely surprising turn of events for a family that already has too many mugs and said they didn’t want a pet. Joe in particular is not a cat person, and I think he’s still trying to process what happened. There he was, sipping a Pale Ale, admiring the gleaming boil kettle, when the kids suddenly started clamoring about how he needed to come over to the owner’s... Read More

Feeling taken care of

The other weekend my husband went out of town with the three older kids, and I stayed home with the baby. I decided to take the opportunity to tackle pretty much every household project I hadn’t gotten to in the past four years, and ended up staying up until 3:00 AM on Saturday night. When the baby woke up around 7:30 the next morning, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. My muscles ached from moving furniture and hauling trash bags full of garbage and Goodwill items up and down the stairs all night, and my mind was foggy from so little... Read More

Undefeatable joy

One of the things I most looked forward to as part of the Christ Renews His Parish retreat the other weekend was simply the opportunity for a leisurely confession. There are always so many people in line at our parish’s confessional that the priests have little time for extra spiritual direction. For weeks I’d been eager to have the opportunity to chat with a priest at the retreat and get his insights on some things I’d been struggling with. But when the big moment finally came, I was wiped out. It had been a grueling past few... Read More

The Red Mass

As soon as I post this I have to start getting ready to go with my husband to the Red Mass, a Mass held by the bishop for Catholic judges, prosecutors, attorneys, law school professors, students, and government officials. For some reason, this is always one of my favorite nights of the year. Every year I try to write a post about why this night is so special to me, and every year I give up because I can’t quite put it into words. Though I’ll probably fail again this year, I thought I’d give it a shot. Maybe I spend weeks looking... Read More

The story of a friendship

Remember the kids who were ringing my doorbell and running? They kept doing it. I talked to them about it again, as kindly and calmly as possible, and yet they kept at it, usually waking up my children and shattering my free time in the process. I’d been trying not to bring it up with their parents/guardians since I know that some of them have complicated situations at home, and I didn’t want to add any stress there. But a few weeks ago I’d exhausted all ability to be charitable, and I was just mad. In an example of how even a... Read More

Part II: What happened when I decided to trust God

OK, since a couple people asked, I’ll share the rest of the story that I alluded to in my previous post: what happened when I decided to let go of my anxiety and just trust God. (I hope my atheist readers are taking a break from blog reading today. They’ll think I’ve lost my mind once and for all!) So there I was, driving around a dark neighborhood, a zillion anxious thoughts running through my head: “I cannot believe I’m running late AGAIN! Am I ever going to be on time for anything again now that I have kids?! And... Read More

A first confession, part II

Click here for Part I One of the things I never understood about Christianity was the concept of accepting people who embraced the religion late in life. It struck me as unfair and hypocritical that someone could have all the fun they want then decide at the last minute that they’re a Christian. When I first started reading Christian authors, this was actually something that nagged at the back of my mind. Not that I would ever fall into this mostly silly belief system, I thought, but if hypothetically I did decide to become a Christian, it... Read More

A first confession, part I

Last night I made my first confession. For those of you who are interested, here was my experience (complete with pictures of our church that I took a few months ago): I tried to go on Tuesday night but by the time I got there they’d closed the line since 500 people had already shown up. I was delighted to be turned away because too many people wanted to participate in the sacrament of confession. Last night I got there a half hour before confessions were scheduled to start and there were already about 40 people waiting. I’m sure the... Read More

Thoughts on becoming Catholic

So, as I mentioned in my last post, going to see Joel Osteen and experiencing his Evangelical-style church service live had a big impact on me. First, it was just inspiring to see so many positive, happy people so excited about Christianity. It was so touching to look around and feel like I was surrounded by thousands of people who were honestly trying to make their lives better and become better people. The other big thing was that it completely clarified for my husband and me that we are Catholic. I really enjoyed the service and plan to go back... Read More

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