Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yarn Along {Knit Together}

Years ago, my Grandma Krystofik taught me how to knit. She patiently sat beside me and would guide my fingers around the needles and help me to navigate the tangle-y yarn. We laughed until we cried because I was simply...awkward. To be honest, I felt awkward in my body and knitting kind of reinforced that. But oh, I loved those times with Grandma, and would look at all of the wonderful blankets that she had created. 

I realize that I never should have stopped attempting to make my hands lose their awkwardness.... and am so glad that I have decided to learn this craft again. I wrote a little about it here

What is most amazing to me is that when I pick up the needles, the muscle memory returns, and I hear her voice and her sweet laugh. (Well. I also remember her cackle and her sigh and her questioning "Are you ready for some lunch now? Because I am.") 

So now, I am simply working on dishcloths. Focusing on the stitches. Trying to keep the tension the same. Relearning. Remembering. I have no idea if I will ever create something as lovely as a sweater....

As for reading, I have been looking through the Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison and learning new (interesting?) ways to cook vegetables. Really attempting to fill the bellies of my husband and sons with nutritious foods. 

Joe and I have been reading Stories of the Child Jesus from Many Lands. Good stuff here. We are also still reading and discussing The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

And I have also gifted myself the Magnificat. A lovely way to pray with prayers drawn from the Liturgy of the Hours. Tom and I truly do love Night Prayer, and are trying to get more into a rhythm of doing so TOGETHER. There is something so precious about the whispered words "God come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me." And our other favorite? "Protect us Lord as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake we may keep watch with Christ and asleep, rest in his peace." What a lovely way to fall asleep...a way to shut out the world. And remember that we were knit together so beautifully....

Gratefully joining in with Ginny today:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pinning it Down {Mini Breakfast Frittatas}

Joining in with Sarah today... sharing how Pinterest is more that just a place to put stuff. It's a place to be inspired. And to do something. 


Feeding my family is one of my favorite parts of my job ... I have always loved playing around with recipes and tossing things in the pan. And when I know that not only have I made something healthy, but that they love what I make? Bonus.

However. One of the hardest parts is planning ahead. My focus and prayer this year is to look to the future (not TOO far, or then I get a little paralyzed), decide what I would like to do, and then DO IT

So. In order to get more protein into my family's diet, I started to look for recipes with eggs that I could refrigerate or freeze. And I found this one from Family Fun. Now, I've made these before, for when we had guests.... why not for my sweet family that I am with everyday?! 

I also love recipes that are flexible. This particular one is almost like making individual omelets. You can have as much or as little seasonings or add-ins that you want. The one in the picture below has turkey bacon, garlic, onions, and spinach. Joe's comment was, "Mommy. This. Is. Delicious." Perfect.

I also had several potatoes that I needed to do something with (you know, a 15 lb. bag from Costco) so I looked up several recipes and found this one. The original is from Seasalt with Food.

Have you ever made Hasselback potatoes? I thought that they looked so restaurant-like and end up with a salty-crispy outside and creamy inside. A perfect baked potato in my opinion.

Next time, I am going to make several batches!

(Oh yes. Everything tasted wonderfully this morning, and I knew that my boys were ready for the day. )

Joyfully joining in with Sarah today:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stand up for Life

"...we will stand up every time that human life is threatened. When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, we will stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life. When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, we will stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God, with the right to a loving and united family..."
~ Pope John Paul II, Homily at the Holy Mass at the Capital Mall, October 7, 1979 ~

Have you ever marched on Washington? 
Has anything touched so deep in your soul that you HAD to act? 
I can honestly tell you that there is absolutely nothing like it. Nothing compares to walking in solidarity with over 250,000 people. Marching for a purpose. 
Marching for humanity. 

Growing up Catholic, I have always been pro-life. It was just who we were as a family. But when I was in High School, and really came to understand what the Pro-Life movement was really about, a fire was lit within. A fire that burns even brighter today. I can remember so clearly walking with our small group and feeling as if anything was possible. Walking to the steps of the Supreme Court while praying the Rosary was truly one of the most beautiful spiritual experiences that I have ever had. There is an incredibly unseen, palpable presence in Washington that is soul-stirring. 

And you know what? This pro-life view? It is really one of the reasons that I am so in love with my husband. His unfailing belief in person hood at conception. His belief that LIFE is the most important right of all.  The miracle and wonder that is human life is first and foremost and part of his beautiful heart. While we didn't attend the same college, we met up twice at the March for Life on cold January days along with our college Pro-Life groups. To connect. To believe that the unborn deserve better.

Today is the 39th Anniversary of the March for Life. The 39th Anniversary of a decision that should never have come to the Supreme Court. When you read these LIFE PRINCIPLES, the Right to Life just makes sense...

Oh how I wish that I was there this year! .... and Tom and I have talked about making the pilgrimage again. Going to the Life Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Riding the metro with people from every state in our nation. Joining in prayer and singing from the depth of our souls the song of life. Showing our children what their lives mean, and why we know how important they are. From the MOMENT that they were created....

Today especially, please join with me in prayer for those who made the arduous journey to march for life. To march for the babies. To march for those who have no voice.....

And I leave you with this beautiful video. Whether people want to believe it or not, this affects every human being. Truly.... Take a look tonight on the news, too. You just might find that the march doesn't get the press that it deserves. People are "tired of this issue". Well..... Won't you stand up for life?

Sharing here:
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Threads of Grace {PHFR}

~ Capturing the context of everyday life ~

Every Thursday, along with Like Mother, Like Daughter!

{ pretty }

This lovely blanket was made for Max by Tom's grandmother and I just love the feel of the yarn that she used. Plus, the open design is just lovely, isn't it? So pretty on Max's rocker.

{ happy }

This lovely afghan was knit for me by MY grandma. It has taken many travels and wrapped me with love many times. Right now, it's snuggled up with "mama bear" in Max's room. (Sometimes, though, I have found it on Joe's bed, so I know that he gets comfort from it as well.)

{ funny }

Oh dear. At least I'm honest.... I have picked up knitting again and went to a lovely yarn cottage with my friend Beth and her mom, Mary Anne. Wonderful together time. On the left is the first dishcloth I made on fat needles to try and get the tension right. Ahem. On the the right, is the current project that looks like it will end up being more useful. The book has actually been quite a help although I MUCH prefer human contact and interaction. Another reason I so miss my grandma....

{ real }
 Can you see that it is Han Solo? He is sitting on the "Saints for Boys" sticker book.

And this is what the coffee table looked like this morning. I asked Joe what was up, and he said that the characters wanted to learn about the Saints. "You know mom, the force of God." Sometimes, that kid is more real than my heart can stand. There's real grace, there.

Sharing here:

round button chicken

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Friday, January 13, 2012

This Moment {brothers}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Sharing with SouleMama

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Comfort. Food.

     As the cold mid-winter wraps around my bones, it is no wonder that I look to satisfying food to help me break the chill. It is why soups, stews, and chowders have been filling up my pots and soothing all of our bellies around here. (Ahem. and WHY we also need to be more diligent about exercise. Oh dear.)
Chicken Vegetable soup

     However, there is another warmth that I have clung to recently.... that of friends and family. My dear friend Whitney, who had sweet baby Molly on December 20th, knows just how to comfort. 

     On Tuesday, after I dropped Joe at school (and said a prayer that he would have a wonderful day) Max and I headed to Whitney's for the day. To spend time in her company is healing and feels like home.  As we sipped coffee and ate cinnamon muffins, I talked her ear off about my hopes and fears and concerns about my Joe. Oh, he's doing o.k. at school, but there is still that nagging pull at this mama's heart that says... something isn't connecting. Whitney has know Joe while in the womb, so I trust her vision and perception. And doesn't it help to talk through things with others who know us... especially ones who will be honest? The ones who say, "well, i DO remember when..." or "hmm. i see why you are scared". 

     It was then that it hit my heart like a sword. I know that no one else has the answers, but dear GOD how good it feels when someone is willing to LISTEN. To offer comfort in the form of a hug or words, or a simple, "but you know that we love him, right?"

     Isn't that what God is whispering too? "You know that I love him, right?" Despite the quirkiness? Despite the quietness? Despite the confusing array of symptoms that "aren't quite right"? I need to listen harder to that whispering. My worry has caused me to feel so paralyzed at times. Paralyzed and scared. I look in the mirror and don't recognize who that person is looking back at me... This person who whispered quiet prayers and not-so-quiet prayers to God BEGGING for a child. SO. This child. This one that is my first, my gift, my world.. needs me to continue to look to God for guidance. To look to God for comfort. To never give up. To possibly find an answer to this puzzle of social awkwardness and yet moments of incredible insight and care and concern for others. These days of being uncertain are all part of the journey. I know that. But oh. How rocky this journey sometimes is!

     And that is why I am grateful for the gifts that I see around me. Snuggling with a new baby, laughing like crazy at Max's silliness, talks with a genuine friend, and yes, the food that is from His bounty.

     I also wanted to feed Whitney and her family, so while she took the baby to the doctor and while Max played at my feet, I made them a steaming pot of potato bacon chowder. I tweaked this recipe a little, since I didn't add the cheese. I did, however, blend about half of the soup to make it creamier, since there was no milk or cream... So delicious.

     (After all, I had to feed Whitney after she helped to feed my heart.... It was the very least I could do.)  

    And here is a picture of sweet Molly.... God's gracious gift indeed....

Sharing here today:

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Friday, January 6, 2012

{ this moment } sparkling hope

{this moment} -
 A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Sharing with SouleMama today

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gifts {PHFR}

pretty }

Joe and I planted these beauties right around Thanksgiving and loved watching the progress. To go from ugly brown bulbs to fragrant living flowers? Loveliness. While they did open on Christmas Day, they toppled over and broke from the weight. SO. They now sit on my windowsill and the butterfly fairy keeps watch.

{ happy }

Oh how I loved visiting with my family over the holidays! So many moments like this one, with Max and Pop Pop watching silly Elmo songs.... It makes me continue to thank God for my family and for the blessed time that I have with them.

{ funny } 

"The Millennium FALCON! I've always wanted this!" Thanks to Aunt Julie and Uncle Geoff, I was able to snap this little gem. Star Wars and Lego's are the current favorites, so this gift? This was the perfect combo.

{ real }

SO. I love the jarred candles that portray Jesus, Mary, and the Saints. I do. However, I have never bought this particular one. (Maybe it's because the visual always scared me as a child, I don't know.) My darling niece, Lucy, had other plans, though. This was her gift to me this Christmas. I love the story about how she chose it best of all. She told her mommy (my sister Rachel) "This one's for Auntie Em." Rachel, who knows me so well, said, "Well, how about this one of Mary?" Lucy looked right at her and said, "No. She NEEDS this one." Then Rachel turned it over and saw the prayer and part of it read, "Come to Me all you that labour and are burdened and I will refresh you." Well then. When I received it, I hugged that sweet soul so tightly and whispered a thank you. And I have been turning to Him more.... (It should also be noted that Lucy chose a candle for "help for the injured" for my Aunt Joany who broke her leg right before Christmas. And no, she didn't read the back. She was led to it. By the Spirit.) Thanks be to God.

Gratefully sharing here today:

round button chicken

And here:

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