ICYMI: New American Blessed

The Church in America had a wonderful moment this weekend, and in Jersey no less (I write this little tease with extreme love, I assure you, since that's where Red and half of my family lives). Not only did it add a new Blessed to the fold of holy men and women -- Miriam Teresa Demjanovich -- but we had our first *ever* beatification liturgy on American soil. This is beautiful for us not only as Catholics, but as American Catholics!As I was reading articles on Blessed Miriam Teresa, I was … [Read more...]

Grace in Weakness

Lately it feels like bad news permeates my little corner of the world, trickling in from friends and people in my life who I love. Someone has lost a loved one; another has learned of cancer; yet another is suffering from marital trouble. It is clearly a season where people are struggling, grieving, trying to put one foot in front of the other. Add onto that our national and global problems and I find it pretty easy to get pulled into the quagmire of sadness. There has never been a more crucial t … [Read more...]

We’re Back!

After a week of technical glitches with our server, the Builders are back and ready to rock and roll...or at least, we're ready to write!Personally, August snuck up on me! It's hard to believe that in just a few weeks we will be entering back into a school routine. I'm dreading the early mornings especially this year, as we have definitely slipped into a summer schedule of late evenings and later-than-usual morning wake-ups. My kids have taken their time moseying down to breakfast in the mo … [Read more...]

St. John Paul II on Everyday Life

Do you ever go through periods of time when your schedule is so carefully crafted that any unforeseen obstacle threatens to throw everything out of balance? Most of us can probably answer this question with a resounding "yes!", and some of us might even be feeling this way right now. Personally, our family has a lot going on for the next few weeks: we are in the process of moving, packing, and doing work on our new house, all while I am almost 7 months pregnant, and we are leaving for a family … [Read more...]


This weekend our family flew to Houston for my sister-in-law's graduation, and we had the opportunity to slip away for a few hours to take Pia to the zoo for the first time. I love zoos. As such, I know my husband thinks this trip was actually for me and not for our daughter, but I think it was actually for all of us. Not just because exotic animals are super cool (they are), or because we desperately needed some alone family time (we did), or because we needed fresh air and exercise (again, … [Read more...]

“For He is Risen, As He Said…”

Happy Easter!We traveled with a joyful sorrow through Lent, and here we are on the other side...on the side of tidied hearts and kept promises and reinvigorated faith. I know that sometimes it is so easy to lack enthusiasm for Lent, but as I sit here on Easter Monday, I am thoroughly grateful for it and for the grace I was given as I struggled through it. I'm grateful for the increased discipline it put in my life in very specific areas within my family life, and for the hard work of trying … [Read more...]

Challenge for the Lenten Homestretch

A few days ago, I read a great Lenten reflection by Fr. Robert Barron, and the general gist was as follows: For the homestretch of Lent, try picking both your favorite saint and the saint that you have the hardest time with, and open up your heart and mind to learn something from both of them. I love the latter part of this challenge, which Fr. Barron states much more eloquently than I ever could:"...choose another saint who bothers you, one whom you don't really appreciate or who maybe rubs … [Read more...]

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a … [Read more...]

Keeping Faith

Huge disclaimer: I haven’t read this book, which is apparently about how faith is lost or kept over generations, but I’m very curious about it.  Still, I have been thinking a lot of its summary via this book review in the New York Times  although I’ll admit that my thoughts are a little jumbled this afternoon (I know. I’m writing about a book review, not actually reading something! Sigh). The premise of the book hits a nerve with me, namely that many families intend to pass on faith and many may … [Read more...]

Redemptive Haircuts

There is a curious barbershop on our military post, near where my husband goes to work each day. It has an inauspicious brick exterior and erratic hours. For the first couple months we lived here at Fort Leavenworth we tried to figure out how to get haircuts at this place... we had heard they were $4 apiece! My husband took our sons in a couple times and was told that they could only get their 30 minutes in a barber chair with an appointment. It seemed inconvenient, but we gave it a shot. The … [Read more...]