{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!


31 Days of Unexpected Joy: The Alphabet Version (Day 9)

31 Days of Unexpected Joy: The Alphabet Version (Day 9)


Today’s unexpected joy is brought to you by Seven Quick Takes Friday (aka SQTF) and The Visitation Project (aka TVP). Specifically, this post is a SQTF re: TVP. Hence, the alphabet version.

Annnnd before I lose (even more of) you, away we go!


TVP on itunes (2)

That’s right – The Visitation Project is now on ITunes! I can barely believe it myself … it took quite a bit longer than I planned, but I am so grateful that we’re up and running and will be even more satisfied¬†when all our previously broadcast shows are¬†available for y’all to hear whenever and wherever you are. Woo hoo! So! much! yay!


My diligent co-host, Bonnie, has been¬†burning the midnight oil¬†getting individual episode notes up for your reading pleasure on the TVP website. If you have a chance to thank her, please do. It’s an awful lot of work, but she has stuck it out. Here’s one of the “extras” you’ll see when you hop over to visit.




I love this picture of the three of us co-hosts, and it’s not just because I look so tan and rested (I am really, really not tan, nor am I every actually rested in real life, so while I dunno¬†exactly what happened with this shot #amazinglighting #supersweetfilter,¬†I like it). Anyway, Bonnie, Rebecca, and I¬†were so ready to rock and roll our first round of recording, and I love the looks of enthusiasm, excitement, and sheer joy on our faces.



Flash forward two days. By the time we completed¬†our first marathon recording session, it was time for a much-deserved break. At our celebratory wrap dinner, I convinced¬†the gals to join me in taking an oyster shot. I don’t remember exactly how I talked them into it, but I can promise that little to no alcohol or bribery was involved. My first¬†oyster shot was at¬†this place during college (which, by the way, is still, I believe, the only public bar located on government-owned land), and they sort of grew on me. Not a hard thing to do when you’ve had a couple of drinks. Anyhoo, I hadn’t had one in quite a long time because my husband is, I think, grossed out (as is, admittedly, any number of the general population), but I thought it¬†was good.¬†Fun times!


In the studio

This shot,¬†from our second recording round in August, is incredible¬†because a) Rebecca is wearing a Wonder Woman t-shirt #rad and b) we all have smiles on our faces. What’s the big deal with all of you smiling?¬†you might ask. Well, consider: poor Bonnie was suffering from¬†incredibly difficult morning / all day sickness; Rebecca had a weird bug that had her¬†puking on the plane home to Dallas; and I was still recovering from the worst case of bronchitis I’ve ever had. So, smiling was hard but we did it.


We’re hoping to have some TVP products in the store in time for, dare I say, Christmas shopping?? Maybe? Please don’t hold me to it #bigdreams, but so far we have promotional bookmarks. Let me know if you want one. LOL ūüėČ

TVP Bookmark


Methinks we reallllly need a TVP newsletter. Yes? Yes. We do. I need to quit procrastinating and just make that puppy happen. Yes? Yes.

Okay … that is enough SQT / TVP JOY for one day, IMHO. I pray you have a fabulous evening and I’ll see y’all again tomorrow! Oh, and PS – Catch up with all the other alphabet people over at the magnanimous Kelly Mantoan’s link-up!