Happy Halloween

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Seasonal Affective Disorder: A Plan of Attack

Since leaving the ever-sunny South at age 18, I have experienced definite mood disorder during the fall and winter months, and it's more pronounced after becoming a mother. We as mothers are more susceptible to the changes that seasons bring, particularly in the gloomy months. We have fewer pleasurable distractions, fewer opportunities to help ourselves, fewer outs than we did before our lives at home with children.I deeply admire those mothers who delight in the still, homey indoor time of … [Read more...]

Thoughts for Thursday

What am I cooking? Chicken Quesadillas, and on the side, B-Mama's awesome guacamole recipe, homemade salsa, and a salad.  Yum!  And yes, you can make it all gluten free.  I use corn instead of flour tortillas for my quesadillas.What are my weekend plans? Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  Except maybe a soccer game, some yardwork, and Halloween, but no big trips and no weddings.  I'm pretty excited about a relaxed fall weekend in my town.What are my prayer intentions for the day? I'm praying for … [Read more...]

Attitude of Gratitude

Life can be hard, but truly we have so many opportunities, great and minor, to be thankful each day.  I am such a planner and that I am often looking at the next thing on my "to-do" list rather than stopping to appreciate how far we have come, and while this dreaming and scheming helps us accomplish a lot, it sometimes feels like we have so much still left to do, we never get to year 5 of the 5 year plan because it becomes year 1 of the next 5 years!To help the family stop and give thanks we … [Read more...]

Frivolity to Asceticism

As with most mothers, there is a calculus that goes on in my mind every time I am about to spend our family's resources on something. Most of our clothes are second-hand and I make extra trips to food stores in order to get the best food items for the price.It is with this frugality in mind that I recently questioned some "silly" items I purchased. Then I reconsidered, "why is this silly? Just because it enhances my ascetic experience of life? Didn't God give us senses for a reason?" But then … [Read more...]

Splendid Love

There is a great feature article today at Faith and Family Live - check it out if you get a chance. I think that many of us builders have had similar experiences, but I will only speak for myself when I say that I did not fully appreciate the splendor of the Eucharist until I arrived at college. Actually, it is quite ironic that I had to leave a wonderful Catholic high school and head off to a secular university in order to encounter people who were serious about daily Mass, prayer in the … [Read more...]

Wedding Hosts

On Saturday night, we had the privilege of attending a beautiful wedding.  While Juris Mater described it as a celebrity wedding a while back, it was everything most modern weddings are not.  It was heavily focused on the tradition and beauty of the wedding ceremony, and light on the pomp and circumstance at the reception.  Nothing was forced or fake in the demeanor of the bride and groom.  Not an ounce of self-indulgence was present in any aspect of the day.  While the location was beautiful and … [Read more...]

Another Yummy Autumn Recipe

My parents were in town this weekend for a quick visit - the boys were away camping and I knew that I would want some company! - and I was looking for a delicious slow cooker recipe for my top roast. My mom is an amazing cook and used to make a great German version of pot roast called "Bohneneintopf," so I knew that I had a lot to live up to. Here is what I came up with, modified from several recipes that I found:2 lb. top roast, lean2 onions, sliced2 cloves chopped garlic3-4 potatoes, … [Read more...]

Thoughts for Thursday (the 5pm edition)

What am I cooking?This morning it was a puffed pancake topped with maple syrup.  Delicious!  And the perfect accent to a morning playgroup we hosted.  Everyone had a slice and seemed to enjoy it.  You could barely taste the wheat flour!What are my weekend plans?Heading north for a P-ton friend's wedding in Philly!  What joy to see Red and her hubby (and others!) and get to spend the evening together.I promise to post pics!What are my prayer intentions for the day?For friends who are s … [Read more...]

A Taste of Fall

It just barely feels like fall, with very warm afternoons in Texas and the Rangers still (!) playing baseball. We are finally making the first batch of butternut squash soup. This recipe is an Incredible family favorite that we serve up in bowls shaped like pumpkins. I think I adapted it from a Wolfgang Puck recipe long ago.Roasted Butternut Squash Soup3 C butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped into large chunks1/2 C apple cider1/2 C brown sugar1 cinnamon stick, broken in half1/4 … [Read more...]


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