In case u didn’t read

…to the bottom of my last post…
Here’s the name of my Etsy shop coming up in the super near future:

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

And because today is the feast of the Archangels (it may be 8pm, but by golly, it’s still today.), and because this is one of my favorite prayers, and because I’ve wanted to do this f o r e v e r, here’s a free PDF digital print of something you should expect to see me selling from Brass & Mint co.:

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

CLICK HERE to download a high quality PDF


Click HERE for the iPhone Wallpaper version

You’re welc!

Business as youzhe. (+ my shop logo reveal)

How is that even spelled? Yooj? Usue? I can’t accept “ushe” because then I want to finish with an r.  I could avoid typing it entirely but the abbreviation is what I would say if I were talking and that’s how I try to type so. Back to business. as youzhe.

Collin turned 3 last week. Not a day has gone by where he has not asked “Am I still 3?”

Property of Carolyn Svellinger
He is past the learning curve on the potty training bell, in spite of my half-hearted urgings.  The one thing I do not do well is transitions. Transitioning to using the toilet, I decided, would not be approached with military zeal.  I don’t have the energy to force my kid to have accidents so that he can learn he doesn’t like having them.  The thought of allowing accidents to happen on purpose kind of blows my mind.  I’m all for natural consequences to serve as lesson learning, as long as they don’t result in me being the one on damage control (plus, we have Emmett, and he’s another story which I don’t plan on sharing here). The carpets and furniture are in danger enough with 4 boys in this house, why chortle in fate’s snarling little face by taking a diaper off a child who isn’t yet ready for potty training? no.
I’m also not okay with letting them soil themselves playing outdoors. no.
I am not good at transitions, and I am even worse at laundry.

Despite all of that, we’ve had a few minor accidents, and one mad dash to the bathroom at Chick-Fil-A, having to bolt out of the drive-thru line, but overall, it’s been drama-free and that’s how I like it.

First day: studying math, science, and the Holy Trinity all in one.
First day: studying math, science, and the Holy Trinity all in one.

So, how’s homeschooling?
Thanks for asking. It’s good. Really good.

We are 3 whole weeks into it and I have to say, although it’s only kindergarten and therefore a cakewalk, I love it.  LOVE IT.

The part I love most?  Watching knowledge spread across Lexington’s face in the form of an enlightened grin is -just ah! It’s wonderful.

Our first day, Lexington sat down at 10am, wearing his new uniform, sipping from a juicebox, and eating an apple.  It feels good. So far, that is.  I know things can change.  But so far, homeschooling is way more wonderful than the burden I dreaded it would be.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Collin is homeschooling it too.  Not because I am making him, no, no, no. I figured he’d just play trains or at least whine about every nitpicky thing he could think of, but instead he sits with us and scribbles on index cards with a purple glue stick and says the letter sounds out loud with Lexington.

Emmett participates some days. More often, though, he prefers watching educational TV (not my choice, his. Autism super power, remember?) on the ROKU. Currently he’s working on memorizing the names of the U.S. Presidents.  All of them. In order.
We spent our time shushing him last week during mass as he kept blurting out presidential names:


echo. echo. echo.

Jude usually naps while we do school, or sits with me drooling all over creation, or jumping in his bouncy thing while also drooling all over creation. I don’t have enough bibs.

Me? I drink my coffee and follow the teacher’s manual.

Yesterday was one of the days I’ve been waiting for on the homeschool front. We used current events to talk about what we’re learning. We watched the live feed of Pope Francis addressing congress.

Did Lexington stand around and watch Pope Francis through the whole speech with rapt attention? No.
He hung around long enough to watch the members of congress process in (“those guys help make rules to keep our country safe”), followed by the Holy Father, and long enough to notice Holy Father’s voice sounded different.
“Is he speaking Spanish?”

Our discussion turned into learning about the existence of different cultures and nationalities, different languages, and how it ties into creation. We’ve discussed this stuff before, but using it as a real life example is exciting to Lexington as he realizes the reason he’s being educated, the reasons why people are created to be unique, and the reasons why we value those differences in the human person.

Snifffff…. I smell a separate blog post coming riiight up.

Etsy Shop reveal? I know I’m doing this so wrong and should dedicate a separate post for it. But that’s just silly.  Here’s my shop name + logo.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Is the shop up yet? No. Still working!

Story behind the name:

I know. I know the name is…-well, I’ve never been good at creating unique names for things. What I end up doing is grabbing two things and mashing up.
My blog: Cinderella + Svellinger.
My Etsy shop: The color mint + brass kitchen hardware. (merely a Pinterest dream and not a reality of my own kitchen)
Brass & Mint co. There you go. Sorry to underwhelm you with that tale, but honestly, I’m excited and pumped to get this thing running asap. I’ll let you be the firsts to know!
Have a beautiful, fallish weekend.

Have I been asking for it all along?

A few weeks ago, I found myself staring at an account written in Arabic on Instagram which had stolen one of my photographs and was using it as their profile image. I don’t speak or read Arabic and was slightly jolted as I scrolled through the account looking at many photographs which appeared to be purchased stock photos of roses, candles, and the Koran.  The account has since then been shut down by Instagram for impersonating by using my image as their property, and while that’s fine and dandy, it reawakened my sense of false security I feel when I share myself and my photography online.

I started blogging in 2005 under the pen name Enya0305 mostly to hash out random college student/life stuff in an extremely vage-Dashboard Confessional way using emojis and emo music to express myself.  No one knew who I was and I maybe had 3 followers.
In those 10 years (ouch), I’ve changed as a person; how I write, what I write, and what I share online.  It’s much more personal, albeit only a window of who I fully am. However, I’ve become aware that as Blythe says it, I thought we were all friends here, but unfortunately, not everyone is here for that.

I’ve made meaningful friendships and networked with an amazing group of like-minded women, for each I could not feel more blessed to know.
But having an online presence is a double edged sword. Of course. Putting myself anywhere in the world is. And when you find yourself feeling like you have to defend your internet house, it’s rattling. It’s rattling, and then you find yourself wondering what you’re even doing, if it’s making a difference, and how inflated must your own ego be to think this is even a big deal. For the record, it’s not. But this is my creative outlet, soooo.

And you come this close to shutting down the whole operation but you email someone who’s been doing this better, whose audience is larger, with the wonder that maybe she’s been through something similar- of course Grace has. She just be truckkin on. [editing: I don’t know where she went (, dang that just magnifies my irritation with the whole matter]
And at nearly the same time, Blythe is going through something which makes my little ‘gram scare look like a paper cut.
I’m not dignifying the website by naming them here (also they don’t know I exist -at least to my knowledge- I’m not a bigleaguer and I hope to never be.), but merely to voice that wherever you go, whatever you do, which might be for the cause of bringing glory to God, there are beings out there who waste large chunks of their own time watching what you are doing and waiting to spot a human inconsistency, a flaw. And boy are those people quick to mention your feral hipster children and how they think you so poorly run your life. Like they literally spend their time hate-reading blogs they don’t agree with.  They also super enjoy mentioning they were raised UBER Catholic and still don’t see a problem not following Church teaching. …  yeah. UBER Catholic. Much raised. So qualified. I can think of so many memes for this right now but I’m not wasting my ridiculously brilliant (sarcasm) talent on it.

I’m still here, doing my little tiny blogger thing, for my own enjoyment, and hang me if I sometimes make money from it because WOW those people are sellouts. -_-.  But because of weirdos who like to steal my images, I don’t know how I’m going to handle sharing.  Still working on that.