Monthly Archives: January 2009

The Cat’s Pajamas!



Tomorrow night one of my friends is hosting a Roaring 20’s party! Her apartment will be turned into a ‘speakeasy’ and we must all wear costumes. Needless to say, I am BEYOND excited. 

I’m wearing a basic black drop-waisted, knee-length dress and then accessorizing it to the hilt with a: silver beaded cap, many strands of silver and pearls, a big shiny costume-y ring, and of course my beautiful engagement and wedding ring. 

I have shoes: 






I have a white, wool, portrait collar coat with a big antique-y brooch.

And of course, hair and makeup. My new short bob is basically perfect as is, but I found an awesome makeup tutorial on YouTube:



I’ll be sure to post some pictures of the finished costume this week!



7 quick-takes Friday

1. I work for the Church; sometimes I love it, sometimes I don’t. One of the most wonderful things is that I can go to Mass everyday that I am in the office. The chapel is about five steps away from my cubicle. Having the ability to attend daily Mass is such a blessing of working for the Church.

It’s made me realize the difference it makes when you have a priest who loves his vocation and what he is doing to say the Mass. Today we had a ‘guest priest’ visiting from another diocese, and he was so wonderful. He was dynamic yes, but more than that, it was obvious that he loved what he was doing, and loved God even more than that. When a priest is truly present when saying Mass, it shows. It helps the congregation be more attentive and engaged in the mystery of the sacrifice, in my opinion anyway.

2. I never realize how important my routines are until they change for some reason. My office moved in December, then I was gone out of the state and country for the wedding a honeymoon, so my whole schedule got out of whack. I used to go to the gym three evenings a week after work, because my commute was only 30 minutes. Now my commute is 1 hour and going to the gym seems like a lot of extra time on the train (another 15-20 mins) and effort after a 8 hour day of being away from home. So, I haven’t been going. This is bad.

I haven’t really started to put a lot of weight back on, but I’m worried that if I don’t start getting into the habit of going three times a week again soon, my sugars may start to go back up. There is a gym closer to my home, but I love the atmosphere of Curves, where it is a women’s only gym. It makes me feel less awkward and more comfortable exercising.

I’m thinking of going weekend mornings (after Mass on Sundays) and then sucking it up and going one weeknight each week. Pray for me that I’ll be able to stick to it!

3. Wendy Shalit’s “The Good Girl Revolution: Young Rebels with Self-Esteem and High Standards” (previously published as Girls Gone Mild) has just arrived as reading for my thesis, and I am so excited to start reading it! I loved “A Return to Modesty” so I hope this one will be just as compelling. I’m sure I’ll post some updates as I read.

4. I really want a dog. Husband and I want to rescue one from the ASPCA when we move to Indy and will hopefully have (a) a larger apartment or possible rental house and (b) some kind of backyard. I love dogs and have missed having one since my puppy died in 2002.

5. Tonight I am going to a play which some at-risk youth that my friend works with are putting on for this interesting little theater company. I haven’t been to a play in quite a while; I think it’ll be interesting. It’s supposed to be about the housing crisis, from the perspective of a group of teens whose family is about to be evicted. It’s called “Sub-Prime Youth”. Maybe I’ll post more later with thoughts on it.

6. I love sweater dresses! I have slowly been collecting them and when I looked in my closet this morning I realized that I have six or seven, in various colors. I’m not a super trendy woman when it comes to clothes, but sweater dresses is one trend I support. Warm, comfortable, and stylish. What more could I ask for?

7. I hope everyone has a truly wonderful and lovely weekend!🙂

visit to give kudos to Jen, the creator of 7-quick takes!

Good Find!

I was surfing Amazon looking for books I can’t afford to buy yesterday when I found this:

The Audrey Hepburn Collection. A boxed set of the following movies staring the goddess of charm, grace and style.

1. Breakfast At Tiffany’s

2. Roman Holiday

3. Sabrina

4. Funny Face

5. Paris When It Sizzles

All of these for 28$. What a bargain! This is going to be a birthday gift to myself.🙂


Commitment to Loveliness

I found this idea at Betty Beguiles, but it originally came from Emma. What a wonderful way to add some cheerfulness and beauty to these winter months (especially for those of us who are having a Chicago winter!) Here are five things I am going to do this week to make my home more lovely. 

1. Clean out the shower. Yuck. I have been avoiding this one for a few days, but it really needs it. And husband will appreciate it so much.

2. Buy flowers for the apartment. I love this idea (thanks Betty!); I never think to buy flowers in the winter because it’s so cold, but a mix of yellow and white daisies may be just what the doctor ordered. 

3. Paint my nails. I meant to last night before Date Night, but in the rush of getting ready did not have the time. I’m going with a deep wine color; I love the dark winter nail colors that are in.

4. Finish putting away all of our wedding gifts. They are all over the place, and it will help us both to feel settled if I can find a home for everything.

5. Make a pot roast for dinner. Husband has been wanting one for a week or so, but I haven’t had the time. Friday night dinner is going to be Pot Roast with all the trimmings. I’ll finally get to use the beautiful new apron that some friends gave me as a wedding gift. 



I hope these inspire you to do some little things to bring beauty to your family and those around you!


I very much desire this dress: I think it’s about time that the sailor theme was introduced to my life. The photo below my new favorite dress is the hat I just bought from I think, paired with the right cardigan, this could be an ideal Easter outfit. What do you think?











Guest Post!

A guest post from Rena Black, a friend who is studying at Villanova, regarding the proposed “Freedom of Choice Act”.

FOCA: Freedom to Choose Abortion
To whom it may concern:
I am an academic, an independent voter, a feminist, and a Catholic. Catholics as a whole are not single-issue voters. Theologically, they cannot be, because Catholic social teaching stubbornly refuses to be pigeonholed into conventional political camps. I am not a stereotype, and, for the purposes of this letter, I will not make statements about whether abortion is morally acceptable or morally wrong. My purpose here is to outline the inconsistencies of the Freedom of Choice Act, and to suggest that passing such a policy would be to alienate and misrepresent the vast majority of American citizens, pro-life or pro-choice (my mother, for example, is an ardent pro-choicer who has told me many times before that she opposes state-funded abortions). 

If taxpayer money is to be used to bolster freedom of choice, then there must be at least two options from which to choose. If money is made available to support the choice of abortion, then a choice for adoption should be supported by pre-natal and neo-natal care funds, as well as funds to offset the cost of the adoption process for both biological and adoptive parents. A choice to “keep” and rear the child should be supported by pre-natal, neo-natal, and childhood health care plans. When these possibilities are considered, abortion is clearly the most cost-effective choice for a government which is footing the bill. (Unfortunately, it is also the most lucrative for agencies like Planned Parenthood, which have little to no incentive to genuinely support the decision not to abort.) 

To extend the ideal of choice, we must look at the abortion procedure itself. It is, in fact, an elective surgery—meaning, of course, that one has a choice whether or not to undergo the surgery. If taxpayer money is used to support this particular sort of elective surgery, it seems unfair that other sorts of elective surgery not be subsidized for those who cannot afford them. Plastic surgery is, by definition, elective, and the reason for choosing it is precisely the same as the reason for choosing abortion: quality of life. Once there is national support for government-funded plastic surgeries, then the selection of one elective procedure for such support will not seem so suspiciously exceptional.

Should someone chose the abortion option, it must be acknowledged that the problem does not, in fact, simply disappear. Groups such as Feminists for Life, Project Rachel, and Silent No More serve and speak out on behalf of women who have undergone abortions, and their membership includes many of the same. The psychological aftershocks of abortion can be profound, and often surface much later in a person’s life. Counseling and treatment for these consequences would not be within reach of many whose abortions were subsidized through FOCA, yet there is no provision for such follow-up care in sight.

The other ironic and frankly sickening aspect of the act is the provision for compelling medical professionals to perform abortions against their consciences. The Hippocratic oath begins, famously, “First, do no harm.” If these professionals are forced to perform a surgery which they believe violates that crucial first principle, what has happened to choice? Choice has been taken away from expert medical professionals in order to “ensure” choice for women in excruciatingly difficult circumstances. To these women and their communities, the government has made a bold statement: 

“Not only is abortion permitted, it is mandatory for doctors to perform. Not only must doctors perform it, it is the option we, the government, like best. If you choose abortion, things will work out just fine for you, and we don’t have to worry one bit about your child’s healthcare, her education, or the stubborn poverty which likely played a part in your situation in the first place. Oh, and here’s the money for your abortion.”

How in the world can anyone expect a choice in such circumstances to be free?!

I have yet to meet someone who truly is “pro-abortion.” No one wants abortions to happen. But if choice really is the issue at hand, then FOCA is woefully inadequate and—at best—a well-intentioned failure. The Act comes perilously close to establishing a state-preferred “solution” to unexpected pregnancies. Tellingly, the “solution” FOCA supports is the cheapest and shortest-term approach to the problem. The reasons for abortion are deep and the consequences are long lasting; the suggestions of FOCA are shallow and short-sighted. If we must use taxpayer money to improve freedom of choice, then we should be addressing the root causes for abortion-suggestive situations, and providing a system of support which truly does allow the human conscience to make free and informed choices.

Thanks Rena!

5 quick-takes Friday

As I’m actually at work, and coming up with quick-takes in between tasks – thus the five instead of 7. 

1. I am making a concerted effort to write – something- everyday. I really feel that God is calling me to write; to use my talent, meager as it is, for his glory. To this end, Eric has bought me a “writer’s chair”, which is a cushy tomato colored armchair which will be the main focus of my writing “nook”. I asked for a “nook” for my birthday next month, and loving as my new husband is, he is helping me create one. It’s my goal to write something everyday, even if I don’t post something everyday.

2. In my work for the Church in Chicago, I am ‘in charge’ so to speak. of researching Vatican, Papal, and Bishop writings on nuclear disarmament. So far I haven’t found a whole lot of stuff…if anyone knows of any good writing on nuclear disarmament from a reputible Church source, please let me know!

3. Sushi tonight! I love sushi and I haven’t had it in about 7 months.🙂

4. I realized last night that combined, husband and I have enough books to start a small library. I have a new life’s goal; amass an actual library through my years, so that when I die it can be donated to a community that needs a library.  I think Eric and are on the path to having quite the Catholic books collection, so perhaps we may even be able to establish a lending library of some kind for friends and family wherever we settle.

5. I’m going to be moving to Indianapolis this summer with Eric, since he will be starting his new job there in the fall. In perusing some job websites in preparation to have to find a job in Indy, I have realized something very important. I’ve spent seven years in higher education, and I’m not qualified to do anything. The most probable thing that will happen is that I will have a master’s degree and work at Barnes & Noble.


head over to Jen F.’s page to see the marvelous inventor of quick takes Friday.

Life… Imagine the Potential

This is a wonderful, slightly ironic ad put out by the Fidelis Center for Law and Policy about our President. Given our president’s views on life, it can be seen a healthy dose of irony. But its a beautiful, well-done ad none the less. 


I’ll be praying for the safety of our President, all the people in DC, and all the people about to be in DC to participate in the March for Life.

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quick wisdom

I’m going to share just a short quote from St. John Chrysostom, which a wonderful, faithful couple I know through work sent to us as part of our wedding gift. It’s so beautiful, it bears repeating. Thanks Nick and Christine!

“When two become one in Christ, their love can enable them to transcend any limitations imposed by the world. Dependent on their spiritual gifts, either one may teach the other, and both together may fill their common life with as much holiness as any monks.”
-St. John Chrysostom


wedding photo 1

Come to the Water…

I’m going to be blunt. Sometimes its very hard for me to care about poor people. It’s harder to care, and let my own feeling of powerlessness and ineptitude overwhelm me, than it is to just harden my heart to what others suffer. Now, you’d think being a student of ‘social justice’, I would have a better skill set for dealing with this problem. I don’t. The program I am currently in has done an excellent job of pointing out, in excruciating detail, all the ways in which our world is going to hell in a hand-basket. However, remarkably little has been done to give us some kind of…crash helmet, for lack of a better term, which we can use to brace ourselves for the impact of just how much suffering and injustice exists in the world. Sometimes the only way I can survive the heartbreak is to just ignore it.

For a while.

The thing is, God doesn’t usually let me get away with this for very long. This time it’s been a few months. 

I’m not sure if it is related to the increased graces resulting from my recent marriage, or if it is the fruits of a genuine desire for communion with God, but the current hardness of my heart is starting to crack, just a little bit. It came in the form of  Scripture last night, and a song this morning. 

“Thus says the Lord: All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come receive grain and eat; come, without paying and without cost. Why spend your money for what is not bread, your wages for what fails to satisfy?…

“For just as from the heavens rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful…so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth, my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.”  
-Isaiah 55: 1-11

And then this song, as I was walking downtown to buy my textbooks for this semester:

O All who thirst, let them come to the water.
And let all who have nothing, let them come to the Lord: without money, without price. 
Why should you pay the price, except for the Lord?

And let all who seek, let them come to the water.
And let all who have nothing,let them come to the Lord:
without money
, without strife. Why should you spend your life, except for the Lord?

And let all who toil, let them come to the water.
And let all who are weary, let them come to the Lord: all who labor, without rest. How can your soul find rest, except for the Lord?

And let all the poor, let them come to the water,
Bring the ones who are laden, bring them all to the Lord:

bring the children without might. Easy the load and light: come to the Lord.
-Matt Maher ‘Come to the Water’

I had what I can only call a ‘duh’ moment. I was listening, really listening, to the words of Mr. Maher’s song, and it hit me: I need to care about poor people, regardless of what it costs me, because that’s what God does. If the example of Christ taught us nothing else, its that we are supposed to do what God does, to the best of our limited ability. God doesn’t just care about poor people when its convenient; He doesn’t invite them to the table or share a meal with them ‘if there’s anything left over after paying bills this month’.

Mr. Maher employs some poetic license with the verses from Isaiah, but look at who God calls to the ‘water’ -presumably not the community watering hole, but rather, eternal life – 

those who are thirsty, those who have nothing, those who seek, those who are weary, those who labor without rest, the poor, those who are laden.

It seems so clear now, it’s all of us. Anyone who doesn’t have their stuff together. Whoever is not A-ok. In other words, everyone. Maybe me first.

There are many ways to be poor; material poverty, which is a result of so many of society’s sinful structures to be sure, and spiritual poverty, which is much more prevalent here in our country. This is the notion that the soul, the very life of the Spirit in us can be satisfied with anything other than union with the One who created us. 

I may not now (or ever) suffer from material poverty, and I am obligated to care for those brothers and sisters who do. Not only to care for them, but to work with them for their release from the sinful structures that keep them materially poor. But more than that, I see that I need to not only care for everyone I meet, but I must allow them to care for me, allow them to help me ‘come to the water’, because we are all poor. I am so very poor. 



Pray God will continue to bless me by breaking my heart of stone. Oh yeah, and if He could send a crash-helmet, that would help too.🙂

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