Seven Quick Takes {Or, A Roundup of My Favorite Things from the Past Week}

Linking up with This Ain’t the Lyceum today! Okay, favorite things of the week:

I. Evangeline’s hair went up into a ponytail sprig for the first time:

My Little Who from Whoville Right Here

My Little Who from Whoville Right Here

II. And, she fell asleep sitting in her high chair while I was cooking dinner yesterday. First time she’s conked out sitting by herself and I think my heart melted, watching her nod off:


III. The Oscars were fun to watch. The host was meh, but it was still fun seeing who won what. My hubby and I are both avid movie-lovers (and would-be cinema-goers if we weren’t poor folk).

IV. Speaking of which, that Sound of Music tribute. It was really great, especially when Julie Andrews appeared. As my husband can attest, I freaked out a little when she walked onstage. I don’t even mind that it was Lady Gaga who sang the medley: she did a nice job.

V. The best part of the Oscars, though, was seeing my favorite actor, the incomparable Benedict Cumberbatch, with his new wife. He was every bit the caring, gentlemanly husband. Just when I thought I couldn’t be a bigger fan.

VI. In other news, I am down 8 lbs since starting Weight Watchers, but there’s still a long way to go, and I found this to be hilariously true of my closet:


To whomever wrote it, many thanks. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

VII. And finally, as I’ve been suffering from a rather nasty cold these past two weeks (seriously, it just keeps evolving into a new kind of sore throat/cough/sneeze fest), so I have been sippin’ on hot tea and lemon water like it’s my job. I’m really loving this adorable mug (with my initial!) given me by my lovely friend Caroline, whose wedding I was in Valentine’s Day:

Yay for Bridesmaid Presents!

Yay for Bridesmaid Gifts!


Back to Buffalo.

Ah, nice to be back on ye olde blog after a nine-day hiatus. The trip to Houston for my friend’s wedding really couldn’t have gone better. Well, it might have gone a little better if I hadn’t killed the battery of our rental car at one point, or left my adorable winter boots (that I got for Christmas) at someone’s house. Sigh.

But seriously, those things didn’t ruin anything. We had a Hertz guy come jump the car, and made it to the rehearsal with plenty of time to spare. My boots will probably be found and returned, too (and if they aren’t, Brian promised his very sleep-deprived wife, who was crying into multiple tissues upon realizing they had been left behind, that we’d get new ones. I really liked those boots).

Really, I was blown away by how wonderful this wedding was. I couldn’t possible do it justice in words, so let it suffice to say that it was perfect, and I am to-the-moon-and-back happy for my friend and her new husband, two wonderful people whom I’m sure are at the start of a very happy life together.

It’s a little tough thinking about the trip, though. Houston was sunny and around 75 degrees the whole weekend. Blue skies, warm breezes, palm trees. So it was difficult, ya know, going from that to the frigid, sub-zero conditions of Buffalo. ‘Cause it’s not just cold here – it’s like the arctic here. I saw on my trending news this morning that parts of Niagara Falls were frozen. That’s cold, folks.

In Texas I be like this

…. then I get home and I’m like this

… plus, being able to walk out the door in Houston, baby in tow, and not having to bundle her up like this:

Seriously, Mom, I can't move my arms or legs in this getup.

Seriously, Mom, I can’t move my arms or legs in this getup.

… that was a real treat. Oh beautiful, sunny Texas, how I miss you.

Due to the conditions outside, I’m starting Lent this year sans ashes. It’s too cold to take my baby out to church. Plus, I’m down with a pretty nasty cold. So the Bean and I will be hibernating and watching Frozen ’till Sunday.

Stay warm!

One Day, Introverts Will Conquer the World

Success! My wonderful hubby’s birthday party went off without a hitch. He had a good time, the guests seemed to have a good time, and I got through the evening without acting awkward (and I had a good time).


Hmm … maybe I’m more confident now because I’m 25, married, and have a kid. Or maybe I’m finally just learning to chiiiillll.

In general, I’m a fearless kinda gal, social situations included. Sing a solo for a packed auditorium? No problem. Teach high school history and social studies? Nailed it.

But something about parties just gets me. I think it’s because the whole point of a party is to have fun. As a host, it’s kind of your responsibility to make sure people enjoy themselves, right? To me, that seems like a lot of pressure!

I *did* throw an awesome dinner party for Brian’s birthday two years ago, but that was during our undergrad when all his friends were my friends, too. Plus, Franciscan students are a friendly bunch. This time was different: I’m not nearly as familiar with his friends/colleagues at Buffalo. I don’t study there. But … turns out, these people were a friendly bunch, too.

What I learned: Party host is actually a nice role for an introvert, provided that your guests get along. They can talk, mingle, and enjoy your refreshments. You can mingle, too, but you can always dart away under the pretext of refilling snacks or whatnot.

Anyways. Most importantly, my awesome hubby had a good time. And that makes me happiest of all, ’cause that guy’s the best.


Seven Quick Takes

Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum today for a recap of my week!

1. We found a church downtown which we think is The One – the parish we’ll attend while we live in Buffalo. And that, folks, is a relief for me, after visiting many parishes during the year and a half we’ve lived here. I’m so ready to put down roots and make some church friends I get to see each week. Which brings me to my next bit …

2. Not only have we already meet other young families, but last Sunday I was invited by two very warm and friendly ladies to join charity group dedicated to St. Zita that collects food and sundry items for the two cloistered orders here in Buffalo – the Carmelites and Dominicans. It’s funny; I have been longing to make some connection with the nuns for the past year I’ve lived here – and then I meet these wonderful people who invite me to do just that.

3. I’m finally watching Downton Abbey. Mostly so I can discuss it with my friend Emily, but partly because I feel like I can’t be a true BBC fan and lover of all things British unless I do.

4. Party planning has been keeping me occupied lately – my brilliant, wonderful husband is turning 24, and whereas his last few birthdays have been fairly quiet, this year I’m throwing him a party. Buffalo-style, which means pizza and wings are in order, obviously. It also means that I’ll be playing hostess and that makes me kinda nervous. I just have to remember that I’m not solely responsible for entertaining people. Once they’re here, they can talk amongst themselves, right? And I can scuttle off to the kitchen and make birthday brownies …

5. The other thing keeping me busy is preparing to fly to Houston for my friend’s wedding. I’m used to flying, but having Ellie along is a game-changer. I gotta be prepared. Naturally, I turned to my guru of all things motherhood-related, Kendra of Catholic All Year, for sage advice on how to fly with a baby. She’s traveled quite a bit with kiddos, so I figure she knows what’s up.

6. In other baby-related news, the Bean had her well baby visit yesterday. She weighs twenty pounds, in addition to just being an all-around perfect specimen of babyhood. It’s strange to think that nine months ago I was agonizing over her lack of weight gain (she was a slow-gainer … I think because she insisted on sleeping through the night instead of feeding but probably because that’s just the kind of newborn she was).

7. Lent is coming, and after a year of reading blogs on how to celebrate the liturgical year at home – mostly Carrots of Michaelmas, but some others, too – I’m actually going to *do* it myself. I’ve found this post very helpful, but also discovered a nice idea from Susanna at Living with Lady Philosophy about making a Lenten wreath inspired by Tenebrae, which I think I’ll try. I’m really so excited to start …

Happy Friday!

The Monday that Got Off to an Unusual Start

Yesterday, I awoke wide-awake at four in the morning. Naturally, I deep-cleaned the bathroom, wiped down my kitchen cabinets, cleaned my refrigerator, and took a shower. When I crawled back into bed around half past seven, I drifted back to sleep and then dreamed first that I was driving an RV without brakes, and then that I was shooting at flying cameras with a laser gun. Go figure.

Unfortunately, I was only able to sleep for an hour before Brian woke me up again. I had a doctor’s appointment in twenty-five minutes. Considering that my doctor’s office charges a whopping $115 fee for missed appointments, I’m pretty darn glad he happened to glance at our kitchen calendar while sipping his morning coffee. (Prior to marrying Brian, I regularly got myself into minor crises – such as missing appointments and being charged no-show fees. Those were dark times. Reason #154389 Why I’m Glad I Married My Husband).

Since my doctor’s office is actually next to the apartment cul-de-sac we live in, it normally takes me about a minute to get there. This time took a little longer, as my trek looked something like this:

Buffalo got hit by a blizzard pretty hard the night before, as Buffalo tends to do.

I was cold and my boots were full of snow, but I made it in time. When I got home after my appointment, Brian and Ellie were watching Frozen, which I guess is Ellie’s favorite since it’s the only movie that can hold her attention for more than a minute or two. (Side note: Arendelle was actually inspired by Buffalo. *Every* winter here is an Eternal Winter).

Brian stayed home from class that afternoon, which was great, and I roasted a whole chicken for the first time, which really freaked me out (it’s a dead body, people!). It smelled amazing in the oven, though. And I guess I did it right, because it tasted good, too. Go me. Overall, not a bad day.

This Week’s Miscellany

Weight Watchers Week 1: I finished this week four pounds lighter than I was at the start. Hurray! Have to say, I feel pretty proud of myself. But mostly I’m just grateful to my best friend for life and WW buddy Molly, and her fantastic mom, for surprise-gifting me with a membership and inviting me to do this with them.

This is more or less the face I made when I saw the scale.

This is more or less the face I made when I saw the scale.

Non-dairy news: I have discovered Tofutti, a sour cream substitute (thanks to my ma-in-law for finding it!) – which purports to be Better than Sour Cream, but actually *is* better. My tacos are now faaaaar more satisfying, and I have something to put on a baked potato.

My brilliant hubby: Brian completed his first full week of classes this semester (his university starts their spring semester pretty late). Which now means he’s back to his busy life of juggling the classes he takes, the classes he teaches, the class he assists, and of course, and his home life with Ellie and yours truly. Besides being brilliant, he’s quite a good juggler.

Baby & Me: This week we did a lot of this:

Ellie & Olaf are best buddies

Ellie & Olaf are best buddies

Well, it wasn’t strictly watching movies (I don’t really turn movies on for her very often), but it *was* a whole lot of staying indoors and doing indoorsy things, since we don’t take winter walks unless the sidewalks are clear, which they aren’t.


In Search of Silver Linings

This year, a priority of mine is to put a positive spin on those little, everyday things that might be frustrating, unfortunate, or downright disappointing. The goal here is to become a more optimistic, cheerful person. Here goes …

  1. Postpartum insomnia kept me awake until 3:30am last night (despite the sleep supplement I took). Silver Lining: I saw my baby giggle in her sleep. Cuteness meter has been broken.
  2. It’s so wintry outside, we’re stuck indoors. Silver Lining: We had a grand ol’ time watching Frozen and singing about building a snowman (when she’s big enough, we will actually build one).
  3. I can’t eat dairy because my nursling has a milk protein allergy. Silver lining: I am losing weight because I can no longer indulgence my love of cheese (cheeeeeese. Oh man, do I miss it)

This will be me once I’m done nursing my baby.

And more importantly, almost any little, everyday mishap can be turned into the opportunity to grow in one of the virtues: humility (something embarrassing), or charity (someone’s annoying you).

Okay, I’m gonna go try to get my mind off cheese …