About Me,  Catholic Spirituality,  house reno,  Life in Italy,  reading,  Traveling with Children

7 quick takes: oldschool

Remember when blogging was just basically long Facebook statuses? And bloggers wrote about mundane minutia and nothing was brand conscious or beautiful or filtered? Sometimes I miss those days. I think readers do too? I’m not saying I wish all blogging was still raw paragraphs and embarrassing fonts and sparkle GIF signatures, but it is nice to revisit a simpler past from time to time. And I know I always love when my favorite bloggers write day in the life kind of stuff. So, without further ado, some disconnected thoughts and things I’m loving lately.


Mother Teresa. I love her, my husband has a super big devotion to her, and she was bffs with my favorite saint of all time, so I can.not. get enough of these video montages and all the coverage of Rome gearing up for her canonization on Sunday. Her love and her clarity and her pragmatism have rescued me in some of my darkest moments of motherhood. Some of my favorite quotes of hers:



2 weeks until we leave with Luke for Rome, Lanciano, Manoppello, San Giovanni Rotondo, Pietrelcina, Pompeii, and a couple other places so awesome it makes my head spin thinking about it. We’re going on pilgrimage for the Year of Mercy with our wonderful Archbishop, and we’ll be seeing Italy in an entirely different way that does not involve schlepping 2 toddlers on public transportation and changing diapers on the floors of every major basilica. (Actually that last part is still totally going to happen. But the tour buses will be a significant upgrade.) I would be honored to pray for you while we are visiting the different holy sites and shrines. And I very much covet your prayers for a well behaved lap baby who is newly mobile and can hardly be contained on my person for for 11 minutes, (I’ve been practicing and nervously timing him so I know this) let alone 11 hours.

capp practice

Feeling like a fresh new mom all over again while I countdown the hours till takeoff. Wine and melatonin. Wine and m-e-l-a-t-o-n-i-n.


Our new neighborhood is great, but it isn’t our old neighborhood. The street is significantly busier, the foot traffic is 100% more, and the kids are kind of struggling with the concept of an off-limits front yard, however great our backyard (will eventually be/)is. I’m trying to think of all the ways this house is an improvement even though we miss our old hood, and I’m trying to unleash my inner gardener/manual laborer as we gear up for a long weekend of laying mulch and generally de-crappifying a quarter acre of complete horticultural neglect. I wish I was as outdoor crafty as I am indoor crafty.

Still basically serviceable,
And then it gets real. Reminds me of my Steubie days.


The downstairs/main level is looking pretty great. Dave worked hard laying these floors which are actually (drumroll) plastic. They’re luxury vinyl planks, installed to the tune of $1.99/sq foot after the Pergo engineered hardwood we’d ordered was so damaged during shipping that it was unusable. 4 frustrating hours later we surrendered and took the stuff back to Lowe’s, who to their eternal credit returned the entire order no questions asked. Customers for life. And this plastic stuff? I can clean it with a diaper wipe, a wet rag, a mop, a vacuum, whatever. It doesn’t really feel like wood, but it does look pretty good, and I’d do it again in heartbeat. When the kids are older and we’re richer (that’s a thing, right? Hahahaha…..no.) we’d love to do hardwood, but for now, plastic floors are mother’s little helper. Holler.



Madame Secretary. Everyone I’ve talked up this show to has wrinkled their nose at me and asked “isn’t that about Hillary Clinton?” to which I respond “Only in that Tea Leoni is also blonde and has a female reproductive system.” because, no. Just no. It’s the most awesome show on the Netflix right now, and Dave and I eagerly gobble up an episode every night once the kids are abed. This week we’ve had a slew of nighttime obligations and last night I was longing to be curled up in front of the laptop watching the Secretary help save the world, along with her winning staff and clever dialogue. Watch it. You won’t be sorry.


Christy came to my rescue earlier this summer and filled my ear with book recommendations. I’ve loved everything she’s told me to read, but I’ve especially been obsessed with Kate Morton. So far I’ve read the Lake House, the Forgotten Cottage, the Secret Keeper and the Distant Hours. I think the Secret Keeper was my favorite, but I loved them all. It’s so rare to find modern fiction that isn’t either trashy, super gruesome or just … bad. And these are none of those, and set largely in Cornwall, England, and I love everything about them. The end.


Grace shouted out these jeans from Old Navy and I might have to squeeze myself into a pair this weekend and see if the hype is warranted. I love ON jeans because you can wear them … a lot of times between washes. Which is unhygienically important to me at this stage of life.

See you over at Kelly’s (who wrote the most beautiful piece earlier this week or maybe last about prayer as a special needs parent)



  • Elizabeth

    I love Madame Secretary. It is the only show I’ve every watched that has made me want to do better in my marriage…every single episode.

  • AnneMarie

    I love it when “big name” bloggers take a jaunt back to old-school rambles. I love the well-polished blog posts, but a trip back to simplicity is nice 🙂 I will be praying for you and Luke with the pilgrimage! Hopefully he’ll sleep a bunch on the plane, and perhaps when he’s awake he’ll be so enamored with the excitement of a massive airplane that he’ll be content to sit on your lap?
    I must say, on your house pictures-I love those floors. I’m majorly into practicality combined with beauty, and I think those hit a good balance! Your backyard looks pretty sweet, too-so much room and lots of potential for awesome parties.

  • Kati

    We are OBSESSED with Madame Secretary. When the new season starts you can watch the shows the day after they air on the CBS website. I love her and their relationship and how they interact with their kids and it makes me excited for a day when I have all big kids who are having all their own thoughts (even though I might disagree with them!) and making their own decisions (even though they might sometimes be bad choices!!). My comment is now almost as long as your whole blog post so I’ll stop. But I have many thoughts on my love for this show!

    • jeanette

      Actually, I think you have to wait a whole decade between them having their own thoughts and making their own decisions and actually being excited about it! Adulthood and childhood are two different animals for sure. Each with their own graces.

  • Sarah

    Kate Morton is the best!! Did you read them all this summer? Because I usually need at least a week to recover emotionally from her books, so many feelings!

  • HollyB.

    I was in Lanciano this summer! The Eucharistic Miracle is just the most incredible thing. Would you please keep my daughter Tess (Theresa) in your prayers? She’s almost 11 months old and has been diagnosed with a spinal condition that will probably affect the function of her lower limbs and bladder, and cause chronic pain as she grows. There’s no consensus on how or when the nerve degeneration will occur, and no consensus on treatment. We are trying to trust in God’s love for her, but still crying out to Him for a miracle! Thank you so much, and God bless. I’ll be praying for you and sweet Luke!

  • Laura Rose

    Love this post! I was hoping, hoping, hoping that our little one would be born on St. Teresa of Calcutta’s new feast, or even on her canonization day….and then he was born on August 26. BUT I found out that it’s actually Mother Teresa’s birthday, so YAY! Awesomesauce. Anyway, your yard looks awesome (albeit messy at the moment). And we will be praying for you on your trip. Have an amazing, prayerful time. We would be honored if you would remember our family in your prayers. We’ll be making a trip of our own to see Chris’ parents pretty soon, and I could use extra grace for a roadtrip with littles!

    • Jenny Uebbing

      What, that’s too cool!! I wanted to kiss him at Mass this morning when I walked by but since it was literally the middle of the Eucharistic prayer I held back 😉 we’ll have to have you guys over soon.

  • Kara Murphy

    Oh, Madam Secretary. Love that show! And no, McCord, is definitely nothing like HRC. I’m behind on some episodes and you have happily encouraged me to turn it on again. Love the characters and the writing so, so much.

    Your floors look great! All the heart eyes.

    And your Archbishop is our former bishop! Have a great trip. I’m not jealous in the least. Ahem.

    I always enjoy your blog posts. Like our priest’s homilies, I always have some little takeaway. And sometimes some pretty big ones. Don’t ever quit bloggin’, ya hear!

  • Tia

    Would you pray for my toddler who was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, that he remain free of complications and hopefully see a cure soon? And that our family can knit itself back together again with this new normal?

  • Lorna Mackie

    Sounds like a wonderful trip and a house coming together! Love the floors, we have what I have discovered is too much carpet with 2 small children – but it’s done now!
    Having only been to Italy for skiing and one glorious holiday pre children I am a little envious of your pilgrimage. As I move forward in my journey to and in Catholic faith I would embrace all you are about to witness wholeheartedly, alas I will be at home, but I will pray for you and your family as you travel.
    Oh and take very comfy shoes for Pompei, its a LOT of walking!

  • Hannah Gokie

    Ugh, yard work is so nice when it’s all done but it is sweaty and annoying and really tiring to actually do…in comparison (it feels like) to inside projects. We have a similar yard situation at our new house and being 27 weeks pregnant I have not been able to help a ton but I’m already sick of it anyway! haha.

    I’ve never seen Madame Secretary but I’ve heard that if you’re fans of The West Wing (my all-time favorite show) you’ll love it. So if you haven’t seen TWW yet maybe that next? Totally worth it in my biased opinion. 🙂

  • jen

    I’m one of those bloggers who has been around for a while (16 years!) and I agree — the blogs I love to read are the ones where people are writing about their daily lives. It’s fun to have that look into people’s lives and I’ve found that those are the bloggers that inspire me or help me to know that I can deal with whatever adversity is in my life.

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