{SQT} Writing, Advent, radio, conferences, and (yes!) slowing down

{SQT} Writing, Advent, radio, conferences, and (yes!) slowing down


Today’s installment of Seven Quick Takes Friday should be known as the  #HASHTAG version, because, sweet fancy Moses, this post is rollin’ in ’em. Let’s dig in, shall we?

31 days of unexpected joy



For the past 30 days, I’ve been writing about the same topic – unexpected joy – every. single. day. as part of the aptly-named 31 days. Wowza. It’s been a huge leap of faith for me to participate – an exercise in creativity, discipline, and sheer guts, and I am dang proud (and, truthfully) more than a little surprised that I’ve actually made it this far. I’ll show you what I purchased for myself to commemorate this feat as sooooon as it arrives. So excited! Meanwhile, please check out all of the posts here.

TVP on itunes (2)



Since last I participated with SQTF, The Visitation Project has made its debut on iTunes! We are super excited, and can’t wait to share more episodes with y’all. We’d love it if you’d bless us with some happy reviews. Please and thank you so much!

journal-and-cards-on-table (2)



People get ready – Jesus is coming! Friends, the season of Advent is, as of today, LESS THAN ONE MONTH AWAY. Stop screaming (please – you’ll hurt your nice singing voice) and get ye over to the huge blessing that is the Blessed is She shop, where they are pre-selling an Advent journal with devotions by none other than Catholic recording artist Audrey Assad. There’s also some amazing Jesse Tree calendar (with some Scriptural reflections by yours truly and other fabulously talented writers) that will inspire you on your journey toward Bethlehem. Buy the bundle (journal + calendar) and save!




Speaking of calendars, my friend Meg has created this gorgeous liturgical wall calendar for 2015-2016 that will knock your socks off! Each day offers the Mystery of the Rosary, Advent ountdown stickers,  Saint of each day, liturgical season color coding, Advent & Lenten Meditations, two Novenas,  and much more. If you’ve been itching to live a more liturgically Catholic lifestyle, this is the calendar for you, and at 12″ x 18″, it will surely be a focal point in your home. I can’t wait to use mine!

My second post is up at CatholicMom.com on Monday. It's a doozy.



Speaking of writing about the same topic for 31 days, I plan to write a wrap-up piece about my experience to be published on the CatholicMom.com website this coming Monday if I don’t collapse beforehand. UPDATE: read all about it here.

CWR15 Social Media 72215 (2)



It’s hard to believe, but tonight (Friday) marks the first organizational meeting for next year’s Catholic Women Rejoice conference, our 5th (!!) annual. I’ve joked that conference planning is a bit like pregnancy + childbirth – it’s simultaneously hellacious and rewarding to live through. Within a few (several?) months, you’ve forgotten the bad parts and are ready to do it all again. Please keep watching the blog and especially the Facebook page for more details. It’s gonna be great!

Retreat feet.



Okay, so this hashtag isn’t really a hashtag, but dang if it shouldn’t be. I’ve been going at a pretty brisk clip in a lot of areas for quite a while now, and I am starting to feel it in a variety of ways. I went on a silent retreat at the end of September, and while it wasn’t horrible, it was really hard because it became quite clear that I am living a much too stressful existence right now, and something has to give, or my brain and body will eventually give out. I am going to be talking to Jesus and Mary quite a bit in the next season about being more intentional about this.  And, yes, I get the irony of talking about allthethings (above) and talking about slowing down (here). I’ve never pretended to be someone who makes sense. ūüėČ

Alright, then – I think that’s it for now! Thanks to the amazing Kelly for hosting yet again; please check out all the other fantastic SQTF entries here. Until next time, God bless y’all!


{SQT} The busy+lazy+wanted to post anyway version

{SQT} The busy+lazy+wanted to post anyway version

Yes. This is me. And this is the picture up over at CatholicMom.com, too. Woo hoo!
Yes. This is me. And this is the picture up over at CatholicMom.com, too. Woo hoo!

Hey, everyone – sorry it’s been a while. I didn’t even get over here to post a link to my latest Blessed is She post (boo, Heather – bad blogger!). And I haven’t written my personal recap of Edel 2015 yet, either, although I did do this one last year, and I did do a sort of “rallying cry” post about women’s conferences in general for my girl Rebecca over at Patheos.

My last post here was about being sick. And, while I’m better (it wasn’t consumption – it was bronchitis), I am still pretty wiped out a lot of the time But the wiped-out-edness might also be because the TVPCrew and I are recording our next round of episodes beginning tomorrow (15 episodes in all) AND I’m co-hosting the first Blessed Brunch Wednesday, and, overall, scrambling trying to advertise, promote, fund, organize, and generally deliver the¬†women’s conference I hadn’t planned on being responsible for this year.

Is that¬†seven things yet? Well, it should be if it isn’t. So, while all these other things are swirling about (and my husband’s starting a new job in a week – NBD), I had a chance to write my latest post for CatholicMom.com, aptly titled, “When Mama doesn’t have time to be sick.”

Okay ‚Äď who *does* have time to be sick, anyway? Not many people I know, that‚Äôs for sure. But for busy Moms hoping to enjoy summer vacation with their families while simultaneously tackling a ‚Äúto-do‚ÄĚ list the length of a pro-NBA player‚Äôs arm, now, sweet Baby Jesus, is not the time to be sick. Perhaps, like me, you‚Äôve been struck with a pesky illness during these hot summer days, and wonder how to take care of yourself amidst the loads of laundry and bickering siblings and phone calls that need returning.

Please read the whole thing and love it and hold it and call it George here.

Until next time, y’all, take GOOD CARE of yourself. You are worth it!


{SQT} Almost Summertime and the livin’ is busy

{SQT} Almost Summertime and the livin’ is busy


It’s most definitely almost summer¬†in Oregon, and Mother Nature is just plain showing off. It’s days like these that just make me praise the Lord!! Perhaps¬†it’s my Franciscan background. Annnnyway¬†– here’s some stuff I want to share with you this week. Yes, indeed-y.

1. Hey! They haven’t kicked us off the air yet! LISTEN to yet another new episode of¬†The Visitation Project¬†THIS SUNDAY on the all-new Mater Dei Radio at 7:30 p.m. PST. I still can’t even believe I have a weekly radio show. But it’s true. If you missed any episodes from previous Sundays, please catch up with the¬†#TVPCrew via podcast¬†here! Also … are you following #TVPRadio on Twitter? Instagram? You should be. Please do. We miss you when you aren’t around. ūüôā

Show 3 Archive post
Ya Rabbi Jesu!









2. There’s still time to register¬†for the upcoming Summer hotness that is¬†Catholic Women Rejoice featuring Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary¬†+¬†the Edel Gathering,¬†Catholic Evangelist Kelly Wahlquist,¬†and yours truly. Seriously – this is a no-brainer, West Coast ladies (and Idaho/Nevada/Montana gals, too!). For less than the cost of dinner and a movie, you will enjoy¬†a FABULOUSLY refreshing and inspiring time with other Catholic women.¬†And I hear Edel is on hiatus¬†2016, so if you want to get your party on with Jen, register today. Seriously. You will thank me. I promise.

3. Lots of interesting things happening around the web these days. Here’s the best article on the web right now (IMHO) about the Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner situation. Written by Jenny Uebbing, it’s compassionate, smart, and 100%¬†Catholic. Read on, friend. Oh, and speaking of brilliant, this week Simcha Fisher reminded¬†me (yet again) why I love reading her articles with this piece at the National Catholic Register about why Church teaching will not – indeed, cannot – change. “Humanae Vitae. BOOM,” she writes. Boomshakalaka. The other thing you need to know about is the #WhyIRemainCatholic project … please check it out and participate when you can. I really, really want to. I am trying to come up with all the words right now.

4. I know this is, like, light years away in internet time, but I just recorded my first Building Bridges podcast ¬†with the unstoppably amazing Jenna Guizar (Blessed is She Guru, all around Queen of Awesome) and the indefatigable sassafrass Cristina Trinidad (Faithfully Social, etc. etc.). They were a blast to chat with, and I look forward to when my episode airs … in 2017. Just kidding. July 20, 2015.

5. What else have I been up to? Oh – my latest article on Keeping the Spirit of the Visitation Alive¬†was over at CatholicMom.com (check), ¬†RealCatholicMom was¬†fabulously featured over at Catholic Sistas (check), I submitted my first article for Ignitum Today (not published yet, but check), I submitted my first for¬†New Evangelizers¬†(also not published yet, but check), and am working on my first article for LovesChoice.com (an adoption site), and my second article for Catholic365 (here’s my first). And I haven’t even mentioned the other podcast I need to submit¬†to – STAT! before they “unannounce” my affiliation (gak!) – and the 5,000 words that are due at the end of the month … Woof. like I said: summer’s almost here, and the living is BIZZZZZY.

Photo courtesy of Anthony & Amanda Sloan
Photo courtesy of Anthony & Amanda Sloan









6. And … shoot me now … I honestly cannot remember what #6 was going to be. Oh! I know. I am so blessed to be an affiliate for Organic Mama’s Shop. Shannon¬†has GREAT stuff, y’all. Just the best. And, if you click through my link to order her amazing wares, you help support this woefully underfunded writing habit I posses. #bonus!!

Help support the #RCMBlog
Help support the #RCMBlog. Please and thank you so much. Please.







7. And now, without further ado, the cutest picture I took this week. Where we live, spring can be confusing. It was 88 degrees this day, but the next it was in the high 50s and rainy. Some may call my son silly РI call him a prudent prophet.

A boy and his bear.
A boy and his bear.











Linking up with the super cool¬†Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum.¬†I would challenge her to a dance-off, but I’d totally lose.

{SQT} All the things, man. All the things. #TVPLaunch #CWR2015 and more

{SQT} All the things, man. All the things. #TVPLaunch #CWR2015 and more


Without further ado, ALLLLLL the things:


TVP social media (2)

So … it’s true … it’s really happening.¬†The Visitation Project¬†premieres THIS SUNDAY on the all-new Mater Dei Radio at 7:30 p.m. PST. I can’t even. Simcha Fisher herself has an EXCLUSIVE AUDIO¬†CLIP¬†today, and our friend Nell with Whole Parenting wrote about it, as did Cari from Clan Donaldson. Miss Dwija from House Unseen ‘Grammed it … Oh – and Sr. Patricia reviewed it over at Patheos. How could I forget Sr. Patricia? HILARIOUS!! Please let me know if we are missing anyone! (Why does this feel like the Oscars?) And … Thanks to all our friends and family for their support. Now we just hope that someone will actually listen … and then actually listen again. And still. The listening. ALLLLL the listening. Check out posts from my amazing co-hosts Bonnie and Rebecca, too!


TVP hearts Catholic Radio giveaway winner

Another radio-related note:¬†the TVP crew converged upon the¬†Catholic Broadcasting NW facilities in Portland, OR, to record earlier this spring, and they just launched their¬†new name – Mater Dei Radio – along with a spiffy new website, and schedule (including TVP! Squee!) today. So, so much good stuff. Last week was their Pledge Drive, and they raised about 91% of their goal. Looking for something to do for the New Evangelization, but not sure where to start? Supporting Catholic radio is always a good bet, and¬†I am 100% positive they would still accept donations of any size if you’re willing and able. My friend Cajun Texas Mom (also our TVP Giveaway winner! WOOT!) does a great job explaining why.


Ain't no party like a Catholic party and the Catholic party don't stahp
Ain’t no party like a Catholic party and the Catholic party don’t stahp

What else? Oh, yes! Tickets for Catholic Women Rejoice featuring Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary¬†+¬†the Edel Gathering and Catholic Evangelist Kelly Wahlquist and yours truly went on sale Monday! We decided to change up the event a bit this year, so it’s going to kick off with Vigil Mass at 5, beer + wine + yummies, speakers, and then … a party. How awesome would it be to get the women in your life a ticket for Mother’s Day? Really. How awesome? Mark your calendars for SATURDAY, AUGUST 29, 2015, and come rejoice with us!


My blog title may or may not have been inspired by The Blues Brothers.
My blog title may or may not have been inspired by The Blues Brothers.

I had a devotion up at Blessed is She yesterday. Being part of this team is always incredibly edifying. I hope you’ll check out the #projectblessed stuff happening over on Instagram and Twitter, too. It’s soul-fulfilling!


My second post is up at CatholicMom.com on Monday. It's a doozy.
My second post is up at CatholicMom.com on Monday. It’s a doozy.

My second article for CatholicMom.com is out Monday, May 4th. I’d really love to know what you think. It’s a bit different for me (who normally dwells squarely in raw, truth-teller-ville) to delve into fictitious¬†fable-land, but it was all for the greater glory of God so we can welcome the stranger in our midst. I’ll post a link here when it’s live.


The Instigator left me and the kids to go to visit all the people in Alabama this week. Boo, hiss.¬†I plan on spending most of Sunday in the Adoration Chapel to recover and I’m not even kidding.


I keep thinking I’m missing something. But that’s probably because the rent is due and the kids need to be picked up from school and, as usual, I have too many things going on at once.

Y’all, that’s probably what I’m forgetting: will you PLEASE pray for me? I could surely use your prayers. There are some things going on behind the scenes that aren’t ready to be shared here, but definitely can still be prayed over. I would be SO incredibly grateful! And … please do leave me a comment … how may I pray for you? I promise I will. After all, we are in this crazy thing called life together.

Until next time,



Linking up with the super cool¬†Kelly Mantoan at This Ain’t the Lyceum.¬†I would challenge her to a dance-off, but I’d lose.

SQT – The Visitation Project Loves Catholic Radio GIVEAWAY!!

SQT – The Visitation Project Loves Catholic Radio GIVEAWAY!!

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-1024x727TVP HEART KBVM 2

You guys. I cannot even tell you how awesome it has been to be part of The Visitation Project, and we haven’t even really hit the airwaves yet (May 3 at 7:30 p.m. PST, by the way). One of the truly amazing things has been to be part of the local Catholic radio station, whose board believed in our vision to provide fun, lively, engaging programming that reaches out to real Catholic women wherever they are. Well, my friends, it is time to give back. You may have seen #80Kin1day over on Twitter or IG, because it’s true – Catholic Broadcasting NW needs to raise $80k today to be funded for the next several months. No KBVM = No TVP. It’s that simple. So … we are asking you to give … by then we are going to give away some ridiculously fun things!

Instead of hammering away at a redundant post, I am going to send you on over to read all about the contest, sponsored by A Knotted Life, as beautifully written by my good friend, Bonnie Engstrom. You will notice that there are SEVEN THINGS¬†in the giveaway (I couldn’t have planned it better myself … thanks, Holy Spirit!):

1) a free blog consultation from Bonnie Engstrom
2) a free copy of Rebecca Frech’s best-selling book, Teaching in Your Tiara.
3)¬†a free copy of Matt Maher’s new album, Sinners and Saints
4) a free copy of All Things Girl: Truth and Teens, featuring Heather Renshaw
5) a batch of homemade, from scratch chocolate chip cookies, baked with love by me
6)¬†a guest post slot on Shoved to Them, Rebecca Frech’s blog with over 40,000 hits a month.
7) a free ticket to the Catholic Women Rejoice conference, featuring keynote speaker Jennifer Fulwiler. (lodging and travel not included)

So, what are you waiting for? Go see Bonnie!Tell her I sent you.

UPDATE: The giveaway has been EXTENDED for online donations ONLY through the end of the weekend, so go over to www.aknottedlife.com to check it out! And thank you SO much to those who have already given. We are truly humbled and grateful. <3

Until next time,



Linking up with the ultra-rad Kelly Mantoan at This Ain’t the Lyceum.