“If you ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it... But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.

~Frank Lloyd Wright

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Christ's love


"Surely he has born our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. 
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5).


What a passage to reflect on as we begin the Holy Triduum... Christ's overflowing, bounteous love for each one of us was made manifest by His supreme sacrifice, death on a cross.  Now through his death he has brought salvation to mankind. 

Have a blessed Triduum as we finish preparing for Easter!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One year

As of April 9th, I have now been blogging for a year.  That seems strange somehow.... but then also, well, it's correct.

That same patch of crocuses I was delighted to see last year sprang up once again. :) 



The Spring peepers have been their loud and noisy spring selves. 


The pond's ice is all gone and it's water brings such a calming feel.


And a surprise shower of snow has come along too of course.  Just like a year ago...  ^_^



I mentioned all those things last April.  We've come in complete circle, in a way.  It's kind of funny.  Life changes, but then it doesn't...

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One year.  Looking over that year of blogging, a lot of thoughts rise up.

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I got a blogger account and started designing a little place on the internet...  My older brother had a blog, mostly for his bird and nature photography (doesn't really update the blog anymore though) and I'd been reading Iris's blog for a little while, so blogs were not such a foreign entity.  My family had just moved out to sixteen acres that fall, about twenty minutes from our old house, so we had no friends really close by anymore.  We were going to be getting chickens and starting a bunch of things on our farm, so I decided a blog would be a neat way of sharing all those happenings with our friends.  I had no idea what the blogging world was, folks.  All I knew was Iris's little piece of it.

My blog has changed quite a bit overtime - both its design and its purpose - as I've discovered more of the world of blogs.  For a long time it was mostly a news outlet for the happenings in my life and at our farm, with occasionally some reflection, or quote, or recipe thrown in amongst all the pictures.

But this year I've wanted it to be something more. I changed my "About the blog" page about a month ago to reflect this.  I would like it to truly emphasize all things bright and beautiful while pointing toward the only thing that really matters in life: eternity.  It is my goal to try and include more inspirational quotes, more of my thoughts, more of the saints writings, etc. - along with beautiful pictures.  But of course still talking about lifey things, and still having this be a memoir of my life, in a way.  Just with a higher purpose, and focus, in mind.

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Blogging for sure has it's good points and it's not-so-good ones.  There's always the temptation to compare numbers of followers, comments, page views, etc.  But I've long since realized that I don't really care about that.  A few amazing wonderful followers is better than 100 followers you barely know.  It's the quality that counts, not the quantity. :)   And I've met some amazing people through blogging.  Truly.

Of course, I love all you people who read my blog who don't have one of your own too.  I love that this is a way for me to connect with my old friends and share thoughts and happenings and things in my life.  But there are also those reading this who I've met solely through the blogging world.  It's a different kind of friendship, but's it's precious too.

Peregrin, Aspirer, Iris, Grace, Sarah, Abbey, Mariah, Grace H., Mady, Melvina, and all you other lovely gals searching for truth, beauty, and goodness in the midst of a troubled world.  Let me just say this: You’re amazing.  You each inspire me so, so much.  I’m blessed to know you through the blogosphere.  You remind me what is truly important in life and are so good at directing my focus up to God.  And you all do an excellent job of bringing a smile to my face. :)  So thank you for what you do. ♥♥♥
It sometimes takes me a while to get adjusted to things.  Blogging was one of them.  I didn't go out seeking other blogger friends right away, but that’s because I didn’t realize how lovely it is to really know the rest of the Catholic truth-beauty-goodness seeking blog circle.  The experience becomes so much more beautiful with friends.  You realize we’re all in this together on our journey home. 
So I just want to say  Thank You. 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Liebster award

Hello all you wonderful people!  Well, my deepest apologies for how long this took me to get up!  I was very delighted when several lovely gals nominated me for the liebster blog award.  Unfortunately my amazing procrastination, indecisiveness, and perfectionism skills + something called life contributed to making it take forever to get my answers finalized.

But at long last, here they are!  It was a lot of fun, many thanks to Grace @ Even the Wildness, Mady @ Socks for Supper, Abbey @ Miss Abbey Noelle, and Grace @ Blessed is She!


Since I realized that answering all 11 questions from everybody would be 44 questions and that seemed a bit much, I decided to just select 6 from each person.  So here we go! :)

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from Abbey Noelle

Are you a city or country gal?
Country gal. :)  I love the quiet peace and serenity of the woods, fields, and lakes in my area.   But I did live in the suburbs my entire life until a year and a half ago, and I’m still near the suburbs, so I feel pretty at home there.   Big cities, however, are not so much my thing. 

If you had the chance to change your age for a day, how old would you be, and what would you do?
Actually, I would keep my age the way it is (*sings* I am sixteeeen, going on seeeeventeen… <3).  I like how old I am. :)

Florals or polka dots?
Florals all the way!  Polka dots are ok sometimes, but I like to wear flowered clothes. :D

Rainy or sunny days?
heh, through blogging I’ve discovered that a lot of people actually like rainy days… ^_^ I was surprised.  I’ll take the sunny ones.  Rainy days just seem to cast a gloomy shadow, and I don’t like gloomy things. I like them sunshiny and bright and happy.  Now I admit, the sound of rain on the roof as you’re falling asleep IS one of the best and most comforting sounds… and nothing really beats splashing through wet spring puddles in your mud boots…  But in general, I prefer the sunny days.  Days where in the summer you can go for a hike, go swimming, play Ultimate Frisbee, photograph the flowers, read a book in the woods, feel the sunshine on your face, toast s’mores over a campfire and then watch the stars come out… yes please.

Random obsession you can't get over right now?
Quotes.  Don’t ask me why.  I know it probably sounds weird when you expect me to say some movie or book, but it’s true.  I’ve just been absolutely loving quotes lately.  I look up pages of inspirational quotes and scroll through them, and it just stirs up something in my soul…  
Oh, and I'm a bit obsessed with The Virginian right now.  Awesome book. :D

Which blog have you been loving to read recently?
Traveling Home.   Peregrin’s amazing words could all be put together in a book, and you would have one of the loveliest books ever written.  She’s wonderful. <3
(also, bonus on this question, check out Melvina’s lovely new blog, Day’s Dawn if you haven’t seen it yet!) 


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from Grace@Even the Wilderness


What does your first name mean?

Thank you so much for asking this, because I’ve never looked up what my name meant before.  Now I did though, and found out that Kathryn is of English origin and means “pure, chaste” as well as falling in the “classic” name category. :D  Another source says it comes from the Gaelic language and means “pure and special.” <3

I like my name more than ever now. :)

What is one language you would like to speak fluently?
Italian!  During our family vacation in Italy last fall I really lamented the fact that I knew so little of that language.  I firmly resolved that I would go home and learn Italian so I could speak it well by the time I came back to study abroad in college! (providing I do go to Christendom… No matter what though, I will go back to Italy someday so I want to know Italian! :)  None of that wild flipping through phrase-books, stumbling out in broken sentences what I’m trying to say… nope.  And if I could finally get to the point where I understood Italian, wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to understand the Pope’s homilies and speeches in his own language? :) I have it all thought out; Italian will be what I study next year, not that dead-language of Latin. :P cool though it is sometimes...)

Favorite Pope Francis quote?


And I'm going to list another one that I love too. :)

"Do not be content to live a mediocre Christian Life:  Walk with determination along the path of holiness. ~ Pope Francis



Are you a tea girl or a coffee girl?
Tea!  (Actually, I’ve never ever tasted coffee in my life. O_O  I know you’re shocked, but it’s true.  So yeah, I’m not a coffee drinker.  I’ll probably get around to trying it someday though, but I have no wish to get addicted so why not stick to tea?)


Your favorite thing to wear?
I think it would have to be jeans and a comfy top (+ hoodie/fleece jacket if it’s cold like our house in the winter…).  When it's cold I am pretty big on sweaters.

One thing you'd look for in your Prince Charming?
The most important thing would be for him to be a rock-solid Catholic, knowing his faith well and yet being someone who puts that faith into practice.  Someone whose faith penetrates into every word and action and how he lives so that he exemplifies the virtues every Christian should have.  Someone who shows responsibility, courage, kindness, honesty, love – the list could go on.  But all stemming from a firm foundation of faith in God.     

//
from Mady

Favorite scent?
Possibly blooming lilacs. <3 They’re the best.

Hardest subject in school for you?
Probably Science. Though I don’t really have any one subject I do badly on… Some are just so much more my favorites than others. :)

If you could have dinner with any person who ever lived, who would it be?
Any of the saints, really.  Maybe St. Joan of Arc…drat, she would speak French though and I wouldn’t understand a word she was saying… ^_^  So maybe St. Clare of Assisi. (what am I saying now? She was Italian… ah well, hopefully they learn English in heaven.  Otherwise she’ll just have to bring an English or American saint with her to help out. :) Like Mother Seton!)

Favorite saint? And why?
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.  Because of her simplicity, profound love, amazing example, and “Little Way.”  And she’s my confirmation saint.

How would you describe your family in one sentence?
We can be quite goofy, weird, loud, and fun.

On a Friday night are you a 'Netflix and pizza' kind of gal or a 'party it up with friends' kind of gal?
During the school year you’d probably find me doing homework on a Friday night.  It’s a sad fact...  But yeah, ideally, I’d want to have some friends come over for a movie night. :)


//
from Grace @ Blessed is She…

An anonymous someone drops a note on your front porch saying that they will fund a trip to either England, an African Safari, Prince Edward Island, or Italy.  Which do you choose?  Why?
First off, I’d get super, super excited and start jumping up and down.   Secondly, I’d immediately say “Prince Edward Island!!!”  It has been my DREAM to go there some day ever since I read the Anne of Green Gables books.  The descriptions in L.M. Montgomery’s stories…oh my goodness, I would love to experience that beauty firsthand.  See the red roads, the cherry blossoms, the orchards, the woods, the farmhouses, the villages, the flowers, the rocky cliffs, the ocean… *swoon*
Thirdly, I would probably question my gut reaction and think through all the options carefully.  …Not Italy because I was just there…not Africa because I wouldn’t really want to be out in the wild away from civilization with ferocious beasts roaming around…England – well yeah that would be pretty amazing…  But in the end, I think I would still pick Prince Edward Island.  <3

What is your favorite accent? (British, Irish, Scottish, etc.)
I LOVE British accents.  Totally.  They are like the coolest evah.  What wouldn’t I give to be able to talk in a good British accent… I need to take lessons or something.

 Where would you rather get lost in: a craft store, or a book store?
I can’t decide… I guess – yeah, a craft store.  Although it would be much more dangerous.  In a book store I would probably find some good books to buy, and probably too many, but there are also such things as libraries so that might protect me a little.  However, a craft store, I would be in trouble.  I would browse the notebook sections, paper, pens, scrapbooking supplies, yarn, everything.  I would probably buy lots of things…It would be fun and yet my wallet would suffer.  :/

What book are you reading now?  Or what was the last book you read?
I just finished The Virginian by Owen Wister.  Oh man, was that a good book. :D

 Favorite singer/band?
I like Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli a lot. :)  Also Celtic Thunder is a pretty cool band.  And Lindsey Stirling is a REALLY amazing violinist. 

You're organizing a get together with friends. Would you choose a picnic or a movie night? 
Well see, it depends.  If it’s in the summer, a picnic would be in order, if the winter, movie night would be the best. :)  Both would be such fun. 

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Nominations:

I've decided to imitate what Peregrin did.  Since most all the blogs I read have already been awarded, anyone and everyone is welcome to answer my questions!  You can just leave your answer in the comment box, or write a blog post and leave me the link.  Whether you have a blog or not, please join me.  I really look forward to reading your answers!     

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My questions for you:

1. If someone offered you a free trip to either California, the Rocky Mountains, New York City, the green mountains of Vermont, or the Florida beaches, where would you go?  
2.  Do you like snow?  
3. On a summer day, would you rather go swimming, hiking, or canoeing?  
4. Favorite kind of fruit?
5. Who is the most inspiring person you've ever met in real life?
6. What initially got you started blogging?  (or if you don't have a blog, what do you like about them?)
7. Favorite saint quote or Bible verse?
8. Favorite book quote?  (I just had to ask about quotes...)
9. Do you like to cook? 
10. Your feelings about pets (do you have any)?
11. If you got to have a year entirely off school and without work, yet with plenty of money put into your hands, what would you do with it?  

Now have fun!