31 Days of Unexpected Joy: Movie Night (Day 23)

31 Days of Unexpected Joy: Movie Night (Day 23)

Our children’s school has a fun tradition of sponsoring regular movie nights in the gym. The kids wear pjs, bring a blanket and a stuffed friend, and sack out on the floor while the adults (and 2-year-old) hang back slightly and keep a (mostly) relaxed eye on things.

Tonight’s selection was Inside Out, a movie probably everyone has seen and knows more about than I. While I’d heard of it and vaguely recall people liking it, no details particularly lodged in my noggin. This could be because I get out to see movies in an actual theater once every 18 months or so (on average) and Inside Out wasn’t on my 3-year-plan.


Imagine my surprise when I discover the movie is all about emotions, and who’s at the center of the emotion squad? You guessed it. A character named “Joy.”

Movie night near

Movie night screen near (Joy with Sadness) … and

Movie night far

Movie night screen far (again, Joy with Sadness).

I liked the movie. I really did. I laughed out loud several times, and was biting my lip several more to keep from crying (so sue me! I’m a softy!). I couldn’t help but think about Easter Sunday, and how it wouldn’t be possible without Good Friday, just like Joy realized she needed Sadness to help Riley (the human protagonist) reengage with her family and environment.

I am a sloooow movie-processor, for the most part (probably because I don’t see them often and am out of practice), but I’d love to talk with you about it: have you seen Inside Out? What did you think?


31 Days of Unexpected Joy: Survival (Day 19)

31 Days of Unexpected Joy: Survival (Day 19)

Sometimes, I think, it’s okay to not have anything truly meaningful to say.

Sometimes it’s okay to be done with a day that went something like this:


The toilet overflowed not once, but twice. TWICE.


The upside to the toilet overflowing is I somehow (maybe it was the shrieking??) convinced the girls to finally change their first #2 diaper EVER because I couldn’t mop up the toilet water and change a diaper at the same time (but I could capture this quick shot – bwahaha). Lucky for you, this blog post is not equipped with the dulcet sounds of, “Oh, my gosh! It’s so gross! It smellllls sooooo baaaad!”


Spills. Always with the spills.

Mr. K

By the time we got home from school drop-off, it was time for some couch time with my favorite baby.


Somebody had a rough day. I feel ya, sister.(notice tired + cranky baby brother photobomb).

A lot of other things happened, too. Tantrums. Arguing, Inappropriate drawings. Homework squabbles. Volleyball practice. Phone calls to three doctors, trying to get in. Forgetting things. Returning emails. Finding shoes. Doling out Band-Aids. A left knee that buckled underneath me when I tried to get out of the minivan (see!! Death By Minivan, folks. I’m telling you. It’s real!). Trying to schedule and arrange a bunch of ministerial stuff and wondering what the hell I was doing it for.


Interestingly, this book, about Blessed Mother Teresa’s dark night of the soul, arrived today. And the St. Jude Novena started today. And a friend wrote about her battle with food today. And a support group started sugar rehab today. Funny.

Here’s a picture of the calvary that came to save me today:

photo not available

Oh, wait. There was none.

It was a loooooong day.


All day, I was just longing for an end. And here it is. Oh, joy. 

Sometimes it’s okay to have a non-awesome day. It doesn’t mean you have a non-awesome life.

I hope your day was better than mine, and I hope that tomorrow, by God’s grace, will be better than today for all of us.

Until then, may God bless y’all.


31 Days of Unexpected Joy: Fall (Day 14)

31 Days of Unexpected Joy: Fall (Day 14)

Hi, there!

In case you are just dying to know what my day looked like, here it is in a nutshell: morning routine huge juice spill whine drive drive kids drive school Mass whine drive drive pumpkin patch whine drive drive kids drive home lunch huge spill again clean like a freaking maniac in-laws arrive kids all talking at once dinnertime kids whine bedtime routine now. it was a bit much of a day.

BUT! I had a really edifying time at the pumpkin patch with my two youngest. I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it, because of all the other things I had on my plate and also because, usually, when I have done things with the two youngest in the past, I end up having to chase after the baby and the poor preschooler has to be pulled away from her fun activities while I tend to the little dude. Today, however, was gloriously beautiful, and everyone had a good time! That is, of course, until the 2-year-old biffed it and landed face-first in the dirt and the 4-year-old timed out because she needed a snack and I had nothing but old fast food napkins to offer her. But otherwise, it was a pretty successful outing!

One of the things I’m loving about having two littles again is that, the first time I had two littles, I was so terribly overwhelmed by having two littles that I rarely had a moment to breathe and enjoy having two littles. This time around, I can still get a bit anxious about certain safety-related things (Sit down on your bottom while the tractor is moving! Don’t put your hand up next to the goat’s mouth! Don’t climb on the slide!), I am actually able to take in some of what they’re seeing and just … breathe in life. It’s pretty awesome.

So! Please enjoy pictures from our glorious morning at the farm. I’m warning you – there are a lot. 🙂 Until tomorrow, God bless y’all!


Are we having fun yet

baby cows

big ole slide

scenery frrom hay ride

Both kids with pump

Gianna table o pumpkins

gigi with pump

gigi with pumpkin


going down with a friend

I think we have a winner gigi

K and G black and white

PP scenery

Kids on the hayride

tree farm part

kolbe pumpkin

Kolbe with chickens

let's pick one

Mama and Kolbe with tongue

Inspiring things for now + later {Link-up with #5Faves}

Inspiring things for now + later {Link-up with #5Faves}

Linking up today for the first time EVAH with #5Faves, hosted by sweet Jenna!

PicMonkey Collage

And awaaaay we gooo! From left to right:

1) Three words come to mind when I look at the crazy-awesome logos created for my under-construction site and this here blog by my amazingly talented new friend Erica at Be A Heart: Beautiful. Incredible. Mine. It’s enough to make a girl cry from joy.  Shhh … don’t tell anyone!

2) My pal Fr. J. recently traveled for a vacation + pilgrimage to Hawaii. Man. Some dudes have all the luck. Well, between the two of us, DH and I are celebrating some special stuff in 2016. So … I am hoping … and praying … and wishing … we can return to the place of our honeymoon next year. It is nice to reminisce …. and ponder the possibilities. #DreamBig

3) There are so many reasons I’m inspired by the #BISsisterhood right now – the daily devotions, the instagram photo challenges, the blog link-up – it truly is alllll good. If you’re in need of an authentic female Catholic community online, I invite you to check it out.

4) It takes courage, sometimes, just to live life – laundry, tantrums, misunderstandings, lack of motivation, soup on the floor and poop in the pants, having tough conversations, illness, feeling unappreciated/unloved/unseen, going to Adoration when I’m tempted to just go to sleep, staying off Facebook and skipping the chocolate. St. Teresa’s words inspire me to have courage for all the things (big and small) that come my way.

Renshaw Kids 022015

Annnnnd ….

5) Who wouldn’t be inspired by these happy smiling faces? A fun moment where everyone was contently slurping their smoothie at the mall last weekend. #BirthdayBonanza

Until next time.