“Ruining a Patch of Nature”

The kids were playing outside today with neighborhood children here in Oxford, our most recent stop. All three of my children and a very sweet four year old neighbor boy (who, incidentally, has not yet gone off to school) began a game of making underground “houses” by digging wide holes into the ground, about 6 inches in diameter and an inch or two deep, one for each child. Their holes were in a rugged area on the edge of a large field near our apartment building where the grass is already pat … [Read more...]

The Gift of Hospitality

Some ladies are said to have “the gift of hospitality”:  Lady Lovely’s home is tidy and tasteful and most of all welcoming, her food and drink fit each occasion, kings and commoners and strangers and friends feel at home with her, she facilitates meaningful and merry conversation, she rarely breaks a sweat (unless it’s from laughter or Scattergories), and her guests leave inspired by their time in her home.I dearly love the Lady Lovelies of my world. And I’m not quite one myself. Instead, I rea … [Read more...]

Celebrity Weddings

Fresh off the press... a moonlit bench in Prospect Garden at Princeton, one lovely lady and one magnanimous gentleman, a family diamond from him, a sweet and certain "yes" from her, and they're headed to the altar.Here's to you, lovebirds, with all our love and many blessings. The best is yet to come. … [Read more...]

Dream On

Joseph and Samuel of the Old Testament, St. Joseph, and other heroes of our faith received crucial, divine messages through dreams.So far nothing of that magnitude for this dreamer.However, everyday dreams can have an enormous positive or negative impact on my emotional life.In a recent dream of mine, my husband and I (along with all of you dear college friends) had just reached the end of junior year at Princeton and were saying goodbye for the summer. Of course none of us were married yet, but … [Read more...]

Spoken like a True Sanguine

Any of you who share my fascination with the four temperaments will appreciate this.Me (hyperventilating at the sight of the pieces of five 60 piece jigsaw puzzles mixed up and strewn about the floor of our tiny living room): "I'm not interested in who did this, but I need everyone get to work cleaning it up immediately."Bella (age 5, whose blood runs sanguine): "OK Mom, of course, but I prefer when the room is messed exactly like this because all the colors on the floor make me cheerful."Lord … [Read more...]

Farewell to a Faithful Stroller

Well my friends, this is the first goodbye to a beloved stroller in the life of our young family. The narrow sidewalks and high curbs of France finally snapped the frame beyond repair. Goodbye, fair stroller. (With a grin and a double wink : ))ODE TO OUR STROLLER (sung to the tune of "Danny Boy")Peg Perego, your days with us were numbered. Four years you've been our car, our guard, our friend. The European cobblestone plus 75 pounds of children-- Your final triumph was your tragic … [Read more...]

Building Cathedrals Goes Mediterranean

How's this for exotic?AWOL Mommy and I spent much of this Tuesday and Wednesday together in Bella Roma, along with our families, feasting in our apartment, attending an audience with Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square, and picnicking at the playground behind the Castel Sant'Angelo (pictured above). How delightful it was to share family adventures with our dear friends AWOL and Mr. AWOL and their loving, creative, fun children!Wish you all could have been here.(The kids watching Ratatouille … [Read more...]

La Dolce Vita

Dear friends, we are in week #2 in Rome. The kids are thriving on all the sunshine and good Italian food (there's my happy boy enjoying Nutella pizza outside St. Peter's Basilica), we are filled with grace from our daily visits to holy pilgrimage sites, and we are reveling in all the unique aspects of family life in Italy.There are fewer comforts and conveniences, but people take life more slowly and seem to embrace it more here. Things like line-drying our wet clothes in the sun, eating the … [Read more...]

“Contraception and NFP: What’s the Difference?”

For a refresher on the difference between contraception and NFP, click here to view the full text of this excellent document put together by my lovely, recently-married, hoping-to-be-a-mom, passionately-Catholic, darn smart friend. Thanks, Mrs. C., for keeping my brain sharp on this fundamental truth. … [Read more...]

You’re Excused

Gone are the days of “my dog ate my homework” and other lame excuses. As a mother with young children, I find that my excuses in everyday situations are thoroughly believable because they are way too far-fetched to have been made up: “I’m sorry we can’t return the Transformer toy that you let us borrow yesterday. Spiderman apparently trapped him in a web (the chain that opens and closes our radiator vent) and there’s no way to untangle him. As soon as we can get our hands on a pair of wire c … [Read more...]