Friday, February 28, 2020

Lent has begun and spring is here! (I hope)

"And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils."
-William Wordsworth, "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"

I find myself drawn to Wordsworth's poem as the glory of God in nature springs forth. It snowed just a few weeks ago, but once that melted, daffodils arrived to our city. I sadly forgot to buy bulbs last year, so we don't have any daffodils, but thankfully many of our neighbors-as well as a nearby park-are all adorned with these cheerful flowers. I love how these flowers appear with the hope and promise of springtime each year! And, since temperatures are supposed to hit in the 60s and 70s today and this weekend, I think Spring might actually be here to stay. I've discovered that Spring and Fall are definitely my favorite seasons at this time, because I love the changes in nature and the weather is usually fabulous.                            

The three-year-old has been delighted that lately, we've been incorporating more "school" into our days by working on letter sounds. I have some very Montessori-inclined friends, and while I'm not a full-blown Montessori enthusiast, I do love the idea of working with sandpaper letters. 

The other week, I found a bunch of old file folders to make into uneven flashcards (precision was not a priority), and then we used crayon and glitter glue to give them a little bit of a texture! My firstborn has enjoyed using them (the toddler enjoys sitting quietly and watching us, too), and it's so neat to see his enthusiasm on this adventure of learning.

For a while at Mass, I've been wearing my triangular-shaped mantilla and tying it at the base of my neck to keep it on, but I really like having fabric lying next to my face (it kind of works like blinders on a horse and helps me focus). So, I started doing that...and my toddler began grabbing one corner in each hand at Mass and flapping the corners up and down like wings before ripping my veil off completely. This happened nearly every single week, so I decided that I would succumb to peer pressure and start wearing an infinity veil. Since I wanted to have control over how it fit, I decided to make one myself (also, it'd be much cheaper to take that route). A trip to Hobby Lobby was unsuccessful, as was a jaunt over to a local fabric store-but, the owner of that store referred me to a different fabric store, and OH MY. 
This is just under half the wall of "normal" lace, which doesn't include 
all of the really expensive, really fancy lace. 
This fabric store is less than a year old, and doesn't offer any 100% cotton fabric, but everything is so, so pretty. The store sells a lot of "fashion fabrics" (the Facebook page has pictures of the evening gowns that a local designer has made from the fabric) and it's all just so lovely to look at. My preschooler had a blast on our "field trip" as he touched the different textures and looked at everything. Also, they had a whole wall of "normal lace" that was really inexpensive, and on 60-inch bolts, so I basically got myself a new veil for $2 with quite a bit of lace left over.

I didn't think to buy trim for the front edge until I had made my purchase, so I guess I have an excuse to go back there to look at various trim options. Poor me ;)

Lent began last Wednesday, and I'm pretty excited to see what God does this season. I love having this time to focus on spiritual growth and sacrifice as we prepare for Easter, even though the past couple Lents have been very intense at times. I've decided that I really need to dive more into learning about the history of different Lenten practices, because it's all fascinating. At a Mardi Gras party last weekend, a Maronite Catholic man was there and I was amazed to hear about the Maronite practice of Lenten fasting (no caloric intake from midnight to noon during the week). Then, I was chatting with a friend of mine who is Eastern Orthodox, and she shared information and insights she's been learning about the history of Lenten fasting in both the East and in the West. There are so many valuable perspectives we can learn from when we look at history and the different branches of Catholicism and Orthodoxy! 

Also pictured is a Roman Missal that I received for my birthday last month,
which I have been using a ton and love. It's so much easier to go over 
the daily Mass readings at home now! (there's also a nifty Examen for the evenings, too)
Since I believe that pregnancy is basically a several-months-long season of penance and discomfort, I'm not doing anything too drastic for Lent. One of my friends recently gave me a book about Irish mystics, and so I've decided to use that. Each "day" in the book consists of a quotation from a saint (many of these 4th and 5th century saints I've never heard of), a short meditation on that quote, and a closing prayer. They are quick but lovely, and I'm enjoying it so far! 

Pregnancy-wise, I'm slowly crawling out of the fog of being perpetually nauseous and exhausted, which is nice :) Nausea still comes and goes at times, and I'm still tired a lot of the time, but it's a lot easier to handle than it was a month ago! And, I thankfully am now able to drink (and enjoy) coffee again, which is very, very awesome. I am seriously struggling with motivation on most days, though. I can stay on top of critical household chores and take the kids on field trips and other outings, but it has been hard for me to carve out time to write, blog, or work on other fun projects. Exercise has pretty much been nonexistent, and since I did a pretty good job getting in exercise during my other pregnancies, I've been a little sad about that. Hopefully, with the weather warming up and the sunshine coming out, I'll be a little more motivated and disciplined!

14 weeks pregnant. I feel and look absolutely huge!
I know everyone says that with each baby, you get bigger
earlier on, and I am definitely finding that to be the case. 


  1. I appreciated and wholeheartedly agree with your definition of pregnancy!

  2. That fabric store sounds amazing! Your veil is just lovely. I am glad you are feeling a bit better. You look beautiful with your bump. I quit reading Unmarriagable - it was just too crass for me. I will check out the other P&P retelling you shared with me. Thanks!

    1. Thanks so much, Ann-Marie!
      Infinity veils are so much easier when a toddler is involved at Mass-I can't believe I held out this long! The fabric store was pretty fabulous, and I am very excited to go back there sometime :) I hope you enjoy the P&P book! I am very excited to check out the one you mentioned-I just need to get through my current (huge) pile first!

  3. You are so creative! How nice to have numerous fabric stores available.
    I, too, found that I got bigger earlier with each pregnancy. I pray the nausea goes away completely and you have an easier time with motivation.

    1. Thanks, Shannon! I haven't gotten around to getting my sewing machine serviced (and it needs it) so I haven't had a reason to visit fabric stores much, but especially now that I've seen the really awesome fabric store, I'm much more motivated to get my machine in working condition so I can go find fabric and make fun projects! Thank you also for the prayers! Especially now that the weather is getting nicer, I am finding that I have much more energy, which is helping with my motivation levels :)