4 years ago

13 Things. A brief catching up as I bat away the madness.

Hi there.
I’m kind of on the verge of an anxiety attack and my neck is cramping up most excellently, and I haven’t had a single chance to get anything written down, even in Evernote, until last night.  I’ve got a lot of mental unpacking to do but instead of unloading it all here in a big vat of unintelligibility, I’ll hit the high points with a short list.  That way, we’ll all be happy with the brevity of the process. …eez.

1.  It’s Holy Week.

Holy Week is my favorite week of the year, spiritually.  What’s Holy Week, you say? Busted Halo does a great job of summing it up in 2 cute minutes, if you wish to forego my blathering.  I do.:



If you live in the Ohio-ish area of the US of A, this week may also be considered second winter.  It always brings me much laughter each year simply because of this meme:

I think I’m the only one in my family circle who thinks this is hilarious.  I riot, and they… just look at me, incredulous.

3. How was your Lent?

Mine has sucked so bad. No, not in a penitent good way, but in a “I fail at sacrifice”  way.

Let us be comforted in the fact that I am prepared with the supplies to do better next year.

the craft i never did

But!  Kendra, my newest-to-me favorite blogger, has a great list of how to finish up Lent on a stronger note:



4. Confession.

As it turns out, I managed to squeak my way into confession on Saturday.  The last week before Easter. I have a feeling Lent might’ve been more productive if I’d begun the 40 days with confession, but that’s not the way the cookie crumbles when you have three children and a husband who works late hours and is going to school even later. More on confession later.

5.  Saturday Evening Mass.

“Why have we never?” a question Craig and I asked ourselves after walking out of Mass this peaceful Saturday evening.  Something I love about being Catholic is that Mass is offered on Saturday evenings for anyone who can’t make it Sunday morning, or noon, or evening.  There’s hardly an excuse to not go to church because the options and many Mass times are plenty.  Our family spent Lent attending a neighboring parish’s 6pm Mass.  Which is a circus act starring our boys.  Each week, it’s gotten worse and to the point where both Craig and I leave the sanctuary to stand in the foyer after communion for the closing of the celebration.  We stand, gasping for fresh air and sweating bullets, and I’ve got to find a new deodorant because my earthy patchouli au naturel stuff wilts in my pits and I might as well roll in the dirt with the sweet onions.  Collin and Emmett continue to score a perfect 10 on back-archings and loud screechings.

But Saturday Evening?  GAME CHANGER.  I don’t know why, but, game. changer.

6. And then Sunday?

Property of C. Svellinger

We went to the playground. Yayyy.

7. We are so proud of Emmett.  

I’ve been wondering how he’d do with playgrounds and the Autisms once the weather warmed up.

If one might recall, last summer, it was me hauling a newbie walker (Collin) in the Ergo, while I panted to keep up with the wild child who mainly wanted to do the “FREEEEEDOM” run to the parking lot, while Lexington had finally acquired enough coordination that I didn’t have to worry about him falling backwards down the stairs multiple times (trademark of the year previous).
Emmett seems more focused and more determined to keep up with Lexington (which is remarkable because he never seemed to pay attention to begin with).
The platforms of this particular play set we visited are the same color as the mulch below.  I climbed the stairs, looked down, and oh, the trippiness.  My footing was easily confused and the paths looked invisible, which made me feel like I was in a video game.

property of C. Svellinger

Which made sense when I looked up and Emmett was crawling like a baby across the bridge, while much smaller children frolicked past him.
But Emmett persisted and after a bit, he figured out the structure and was able to stand up and join his brothers.
So proud.

8.  And some lady

remarked to me that I had my hands full.  But they were empty, so I don’t exactly know what she might’ve seen, but I held my palms up and told her so.

9.  What do you do to celebrate Easter?

Did you know that each Catholic Mass is a celebration of Easter, and the church celebrates Mass every day throughout the year, except on Good Friday (but there’s still a gathering)? I’m pretty sure we’re hitting up the Midnight Mass this Easter.  My Aunt Lisa is being baptized and confirmed into the Church, how could we not attempt?

10.   Home schooling. 

It’s becoming more and more real.  Lexington has begun to voluntarily sound out words and sentences.  His birthday is over the summer and he’s one of those kids who would be either youngest or oldest in his class.  I figured we’d wait to start kindergarten until next year because his attention span is like–
But I think I’m gonna roll with his interest in reading and see where we land by the end of this summer.

11. Which brings me to:

This book.

I have to say, it’s really nice to have curricula listed out with some helpful info about each one.  It’s nice to see that Rebecca acknowledges that each teacher has his or her own teaching style and she lists which curriculum might match that style.
It’s nice to have some form of organized direction!
Rebecca generously offered to host a giveaway of a copy of her book.  Stick around because next week, we’re gonna do it.

12. Craig is in sales and he’s finishing his degree in business somethingorother. 

So when I whine to him about how annoying I think it is when photographers, writers, artists, and business owners try to make their work appear as if no effort went into their stuff, he tells me:

“It’s great marketing. People who buy want to know that you can just “whip something up” in 10 minutes.  They want cheap, quick, and nice. It’s good marketing to make it look that way, from a business viewpoint.”

Which still makes me angry because as far as anything worth having or doing goes, it’s hard work.  Why ignore hard work?  Why hide that, as if it’s bad for business? Why does it have to be bad for business?

Some of my favorite bloggers are the ones who come outright and say it: it takes a lot of time and a lot of work in the background. The ones who are asked for advice, but then beat around the bush, saying “I don’t really know what I’m doing, I just got lucky”, but clearly they do, and clearly they’ve worked very hard, but still don’t admit it, come off dishonest and disingenuous, in my eyes.  Maybe not many people see it.  Maybe not many people look for it.  But when I see someone who’s producing admirable work, why not acknowledge the hard work put into it?  I think it makes you more valuable, from a business viewpoint.  But then again, I’m not the one in sales.  …and I’m not the one with a wildly popular blog, either.

13. Which brings me to this: “Blogging is my favorite: when I blog.”

Grace shared the link above from Hollywood Housewife a few days ago and WHAT a cool breeze of fresh. FINALLY.  Someone admits that blogging doesn’t come easy, however hobbyish it may be  …nor does ANY hobby, or any business, or any craft that gives one energy.  Please, let’s allow ourselves to fully appreciate the work that gets put into developing our own talents! Does this give me more free passes to whine about getting time to blog? At my own discretion, yace.


14.  Oops, one more!

—which brings me to Jen’s free gift when you preorder her book (Something Other Than God):  The Family First Creative.  Somewhere along the ride of growing up, I missed the part where I learn how to order my thoughts, goals, and dreams and shape how I live to reflect progress in that area.  I’m literally like the characters of Gravity, floating in outer space with no sense of how to find a foothold.  Jen humbly writes out a list of 42 tips, which as I’m reading them hit me thunk, thunk, thunk, in the head with “Why can’t I think of this?”

Maybe it’s like a curse, being in your twenties: you’re just plain dumb.  Watch out world, 100% pure genius coming atchya this Novemba.

What I love most about The Family First Creative is that she reveals the hard work which was so lovingly, strategically and yes, at times, chaotically put into being able to write her book.  By revealing this, I believe it singles her out among others.  But that’s her style, and that’s why I like her.  She doesn’t overlook her own hard work, because ultimately, it’s not about the prize, but about who she became while achieving her dream.

—I’ve got to tell you, there’s nothing more adorable than when Collin excavates the house in search of the A&D diaper ointment, finds it, and smears it all over his clothed person.  It’s so adorable that I’m just going to leave you with the image of me smiling lovingly as I dreamily scrape that water repellant shite from his pants, and the floors, and the chair, and the bottle itself, and my own hands, and then turn around to find the trail of things in the house he runs off to touch as I’m –adoringly!– scrubbing it out.




  1. I love those Busted Halo video’s, I showed that one to our youth group last Sunday.
    I just ordered Jen’s book this week and can’t wait to see it! :)

  2. I blame myself for the “generational lack of order” that you accuse yourself of having. You didn’t miss anything you just weren’t taught it by me. I suffer from this also. Waffle waffle….

  3. I’m so with you on 4, 13, and 14. It really is hard to find time to go to confession when you have young kids and a husband who works unusual hours! I’m just glad I was able to squeeze it in last week.

    I need to pre-order Jen’s book. I really want to read that e-book that she’s offering. I’d love to lock myself away for a weekend and do nothing but read and write, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon! It’s not like I’m going to regret time with my family over time spent writing on my death bed, though!

    Have a good week!

  4. I haven’t the slightest why your blog isn’t numba one stunna all day. I seriously get so much out of every post you write. So much. It’s a must read in my opinion, and if people have a different opinion than mine, then they are wrong. I said it.

  5. #2 – I thought the meme was funny, although I am at the opposite end of the spectrum and asking, “Wait, did we ever have winter?” #californiadrought
    #3 – My Lents have always, always sucked. But this is the first year I feel like I actually made some progress and was relatively consistent in trying. (And I’m not talking about only consistently eating chocolate on Sunday cuz it’s a mini-Easter.) For a slacking procrastinator like me that is huge. So don’t get discouraged with yourself. You’ve still got a week left. ;-)
    #5 – For Easter we go to the 7:30 am Mass because Sat night Easter vigil is not an option with my boys. Then we go home and let them hunt for Easter eggs. If I’m really ambitious I’ll make a scavenger hunt with clues they have to follow in order to find their Easter baskets. (Depends on how late I stood up putting together their baskets.) Then it’s Easter breakfast, relaxing with too many chocolate eggs followed by Easter dinner at the in-laws. :-)
    #13 – You know if it was just dashing something off, blogging wouldn’t be as hard but there are the other elements too like taking photos to go with the post, editing the photo, uploading it, proof reading what you wrote, rewriting the mess you thought was great the night before, adding tags, categories and checking links. Suddenly my 20 minutes post has taken two hours. Ain’t nobody got time for that! But somehow I manage to do it anyway because it makes me happy once it’s done.

    A blessed Holy Week to you!

    1. Thank you, Bobbi, for the Lenten encouragement. I’m happy to read you’ve had a good one this year!
      And yes to blogging and all that background work: I’m totally energized after I’ve posted!

  6. Enjoyable and encouraging post, as always!!!

    Our Catholic heritage comes from our fantastic, Ukrainian peasant line of the family. Every year we would call our grandmother to hear her answer the phone “Christos Voskrese!” (Christ is Risen) and we would learn how to reply “Voistinnu Voskrese!” (Indeed He is Risen). Our town is Polish, so we celebrated fun Polish traditions at our parish, like the blessing of the Easter food on Holy Saturday. People go all out and make lamb-shaped cakes, jello eggs, and heavy Eastern-European bread with dough crosses baked on top.

    Those pop stick Stations of the Cross were a massive pain in the butt, but we HAVE done them. My two-year-old stays entertained by holding the candle while we do them. Luckily, they made it through this year, so we will have them for next year!!

    1. Oh I love the sounds of your celebration and traditions! Is your town just going to go nuts on John Paul II’s canonization? I’d wanna be there!

      We did get a mini flip-book printed out and laminated of the stations. And I DID get the larger print outs you shared printed and laminated too. So I have them! I just need to finish them for next year. It’s probably a good idea to work on them this summer :).
      Have a great Holy Week!


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