April 8, 2014

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Every Wednesday Hallie host a 5 favorites link up on her blog and I love it. Is there a better way to share the latest and greatest?  Nope . . . Hallie is the bomb and you all should check her out. AND, heck I am linking up with What Were Reading Wednesday too. Why not. :)

Here are my latest favorites . . .

 1 . Amazon you prove yourself to be wonderful AGAIN, you never fail. When you sign up with amazon smile  they donate .5% of what you buy to a charity of your choice. I chose St. Gianna's Maternity home in Bakersfield, CA - i'm sure there are many wonderful organizations on there.

2. Librivox. Free audiobooks in the public domain! I can't believe it's taken me this long to find out about Librivox. It's wonderful and I have been in book nerd heaven since. Some of the readers are professionals, and do a wonderful job. My two favorite narrators are Karen Savage and Elizabeth Klett. If YOU know any others please let me know. :) I have downloaded THIS app on my phone so in the evening I can listen to them with headphones while cleaning the house. I haven't done so much cleaning since, well, never. Thank you Librivox. :)

4. Speaking of being a book nerd, I started using Paperbackswap and it's been really fun. I sent off a few of our unwanted books and received a few in exchange. Is there something cooler than that? Here's what we added to our shelf: E.B. White's Treasury for the kids and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for me. I can't wait to delve in. I have Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Professor by Charlotte Bronte coming in the mail for a book club I belong to. SO, if YOU sign up and tell them it was me that sent you then I will get credit for another book. Go sign up. :)

 3. I'm tired of Pandora's ads (mostly naked ladies anyone?) so we have been listening to Spotify. It's wonderful! You can listen to any album (at least any I have looked for so far!) and then a streaming station just like Pandora. There are FAR fewer advertisements.

We are going to see the Wailin Jenny's on Thursday and I can't wait. We have been enjoying all their music on spotify.

4. Speaking of Spotify, I discovered some new music through their streaming station and I couldn't wait to share it with someone. You will have to be it. :) Joy Kills Sorrow, fresh out of Boston. I love their name.

No finer words . . .

Thanks for sticking around, I probably should be getting on with my laundry or something, maybe a shower would be nice. :) See ya later!

- Sarah

April 7, 2014

The food I shove in and the virtues I lack . . .

I never thought the two really went together, but OH MY GOODNESS I'm learning that they absolutely DO, at least for this blood-sugar sensitive, frazzled momma.

On any given week we eliminate gluten, sugar and most dairy from our diet. Gluten because it makes me exhausted with headaches - not my favorite combination. Sugar because it makes us all crazy and dairy because the baby can't handle it without his nose being a snot faucet.

We make plenty of exceptions and this week has been one. The in-laws are in town and we are accommodating our diet to theirs. It's the right thing to do as they are our honored guest and we want to please them and make them most comfortable. The kids have been in a bread, cheese, restaurant and sugar heaven - I have been on a coffee high since they've been here.

Sometimes I get down about how difficult it is to feed my family real food, especially since our family is growing. I'm often tempted to think that it's not worth it, or even the best thing for us because of the strain on time and finances.

This week has changed my mind.

My blood sugar problems have come back with a vengeance (it's been about a year since I've experienced any issues) and I AM A GRUMPY MOMMA. Watch out. This week I have learned again that  I am utterly lacking in so many virtues. Dear Lord, please help me and help my kids! When I was pregnant with my first (and eating whatever I pleased, thank you) I could barely peel myself out of bed in the morning. Well, that was pretty much my whole life. I didn't know any different because I was practically born tired. These days I have three children with needs in the morning and I don't have a choice but to get out of bed and greet my duties for the day. With a smile? No. I have not been smiling.

It's going to be hard getting back on track with eating better but I realize it's a must for me. If I love my children and my husband I will absolutely take care of myself so that I can care for them. I need to be aware and disciplined about my food choices, it's not just about me anymore, it's about those I love. If I want to be more present, loving, patient and virtuous - I need to eat well.

I think it's easy to not realize when we are doing better unless we start feeling awful again, that was this week. I'm having memories of college, waking up with a very swollen face and a NEED to eat asap, and not being able to stay awake all day. Why did it take me so long to realize that I had food issues? haha, I have no idea.

My nonchalant attitude towards food and health changed when my daughter was 8 months old and I never want to look back. I admire those who feel great and seem unaffected by their food choices - good for them! (with a slight tinge of jealousy!)

Of course the choices I make surrounding food don't in any way excuse my impatient and grumpy behavior to my children, that I need to bring to God in the confessional and beg Him for help. But I know what makes it easier to practice virtues of patience and love - and I need all the help I can!

I am re-reading The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of the Child Jesus, because I know that the little way is all I can strive for these days. There is no other path for me but offering and loving these very small trials of my day. These little things are as simple as the toddler's fourth potty accident or lifting and holding a two year old who's crying. So extremely small and seemingly unimportant, but this is my sanctity. I cannot strive for anything more than loving and embracing God's will for me this morning. No, actually what He's given me this moment.

God in His infinite mercy has bestowed on me the trials of every day life because He loves.

He loves me more tenderly than the love that I have for my three children and that I can hardly fathom.

“Then, overcome by joy, I cried, 'Jesus, my love. At last I have found my vocation. My vocation is love. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and then I will be all things.” - St. Therese of the Child Jesus

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