Thursday, December 4, 2014

Blog-Slacking, Virtual Birthday, An Old Man, Corner Gas, and Christmas Lights: 7 Quick Takes - Vol. 18


Wow, I haven't participated in 7 Quick Takes in longer than I like to admit.  Actually, I haven't even blogged in a couple of months.  Geez, what a slacker!  Oh well, better late than never, I guess.  Plus, after this long, I'm bound to actually have 7 things to write about, right?

It's birthday time around these parts.  










Not mine though, so no presents for me.  :(

However, I get to give other people presents, so that's awesome!  I like making people feel special on their birthdays.
My sister's birthday was last week, and she got some super special, home-made-by-me cookies.  Baking is definitely not my thing (it's far to fussy with all those "exact measurements"), so this was definitely a labor of love.  I made dark-chocolate chip and marshmallow cookies, which I (very un-originally) called S'mores cookies.  Man, were they good!  Especially the gooeyness of the marshmallows right after they came out of the oven.  Yum!

I used this recipe, which I randomly found on the internet.  I love you, Google!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Fight I Don't Want To Win

Sometimes, going to Confession is like being whacked upside the head with a 2X4.  "Wake up, Casey!  I've been trying to tell you something, and You're. Not. Listening."

After I had finished confessing my sins, the priest, whom I had never been to before, sat quietly for a minute.  I was starting to wonder what was going on when he started in with a little pastoral counseling.  I kid you not, the Holy Spirit was giving that man some insight and prompting him to lay it out plain-as-day for me.

"You're fighting God.  Some sufferings in your life have caused you to fight against God, and that's why you're committing these sins.  You're trying to comfort yourself with worldly things instead of turning to God for comfort.  You need to stop fighting God and seek your comfort in Him instead, because sin only leads to death, but God is trying to give you life."

Right between the eyes, y'all.  The Holy Spirit don't play around.

Fighting against God is definitely a fight I don't want to win.  Shoot, it's not even a fight I want to have. But I guess my stupid, stubborn self has been fighting anyway, which is probably how I ended up down in this hole in the first place.  Time to try to start surrendering.  Because I want Life, not Death.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Map...Wheels...Rut

As in:
Fallen off the...


Boyohboy, it's a little embarrassing how long it's been since I last blogged.  I started a new job partway through May, so initially, blogging took a back seat to my concentrating on getting settled there.  (It's been great, by the way.  I really like my new workplace, and the work is a little more varied and challenging, which is good for the ol' noggin.)

Then, I would think, "I need to blog," and I would try to think of what I wanted to say, only to be met with the sound of silence echoing in my brain.  I had nothing.

Spinning my...


Quite honestly, I still feel like I have nothing to share.  My life seems very boring.  Or maybe boring isn't the right word.  Maybe it's static.  I work, go to church, visit with friends, but nothing seems to change.  A repetition of the same images over and over with little to no variety or vitality.  It's like I feel the need to grow, but nothing is happening.  It's frustrating.

Friday, May 2, 2014

7 Quick Takes About Some Awesome Things That Happened to Me and a Prayer Request - Vol. 17


My first take definitely has to be about everyone's favorite topic this week:
sotg small 7 Quick Takes about your awesomeness, saints working through Youtube, and me buying you a banana suit
The magical book fairies were smiling on me last week, because I actually got my book in the mail on the Saturday before the release date.  What?!  I was so stinkin' excited, and you had better believe I wasn't going to wait until the release date to start reading.  I'm a fast reader, so normally I should be on my 2nd or 3rd reading of the book by now, but life has been crazy recently, so I'm having to take it slowly.  My brain is saying, "Read more book NOW!" but my life is saying, "Not happening.  Just learn to savor it in small bites."  Stupid small bites, but they taste so good!  (I'm thinking that's going to sound even weirder to you than it did in my head.)

Do yourself a favor, if you haven't bought the book yet, and click rightthisveryinstant on this link right here, buy the book, read the book, and come back here and we can chat about how awesome it is!  And stay tuned for an attempt by me to write a book review once I've finished it.

Awesome thing numero dos:  I got a new job!  Yay!!!!  I will be working at a local university in one of the administrative departments.  In fact, it's at my alma mater, so even more cool to be going back.  I'm ridiculously excited for the new experience, and even more so for cutting my commute time/distance by more than half.  Thanks to all the family and friends who kept me in their prayers during the interview process.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

7 Quick Takes About Birthday Celebrating, Barbecue, and a Themed Cake - 7 Posts in 7 Days: Day 7

I'm participating in the 7 Posts in 7 Days link-up at Conversion Diary, and this is my post for Day 7.  Go here to read the posts from the other bloggers in the link-up.  And go here to find a list of all 7 of my posts for this round of the link-up.

Also, I'm double linking-up and counting this as my 7QT post as well (yeah, I know it's not Friday anymore...)


Yay!  It's my birthday, y'all!  I love celebrating my birthday.  I like being the center of attention once a year, and I especially like the part where everyone lets you pick where to go out to eat.  And boy, have I gotten some good food.  La Madeleine, Dave & Buster's, P.F. Chang's, and tomorrow, Brooklyn's Pizza.  So much yummy goodness, and the 2 yummiest of all were...

Lookin' good, birthday girl.

The barbecue I got to taste test as a field judge at a BBQ cookoff!  James and I met some friends yesterday at the event sponsored by their parish's Knights of Columbus council.  I ate some of the best BBQ chicken and pork ribs I've ever had in my life.  Oh my goodness, there was one rib I tried that had to be the perfect  rib, it was that awesome.  It was so much fun, and best of all, it was free!

Better Late Than Never - 7 Posts in 7 Days: Day 6

I'm participating in the 7 Posts in 7 Days link-up at Conversion Diary, and this is my post for Day 6.  Go here to read the posts from the other bloggers in the link-up.  And go here to find a list of all 7 of my posts for this round of the link-up.


Well, I didn't get this one posted on Saturday, technically, but I suppose it's still Saturday somewhere, right?

Friday, February 28, 2014

I Got Nothin' Over Here - 7 Posts in 7 Days: Day 5

I'm participating in the 7 Posts in 7 Days link-up at Conversion Diary, and this is my post for Day 5.  Go here to read the posts from the other bloggers in the link-up.  And go here to find a list of all 7 of my posts for this round of the link-up.

Today has not been a great day.  I haven't felt well, and in fact, I continue to not feel well.  (If you would say a little prayer for me, I'd appreciate it.)

My brain is mush.  There is simply nothing in there for me to blog about.  However, this weekend is my birthday, so in honor of that, I share with you a picture of me from last year's birthday party with my family.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Passing It On - 7 Posts in 7 Days: Day 4

I'm participating in the 7 Posts in 7 Days link-up at Conversion Diary, and this is my post for Day 4.  Go here to read the posts from the other bloggers in the link-up.  And go here to find a list of all 7 of my posts for this round of the link-up.

At the request of one of my parish's catechists, last night I gave a tour of the Church to the high school RCIC class.  (FYI: RCIC is the Right of Christian Initiation of Children.  It's RCIA for people between 7 years old and 17 years old).  This group consisted of 11 young people aged 13 - 17, all preparing to be baptized and join the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass.  I was a little concerned about how things would go, since I had originally prepared this talk for the RCIA class, which is filled with adults who usually ask lots of really good questions.  Thankfully, things turned out really well.  The kids were really receptive, asked good questions, and (mostly) didn't look like they would rather be getting a cavity filled than be in that church listening to me talk.

Looking at all of those high-schoolers taking a class to learn what they need to know to come into the Catholic Church made me think about all the people who have left the Catholic Church.  This is something that makes me extremely sad.  It also makes me frustrated and angry.  I realize people that leave Catholicism do so for any one of a number of reasons: indifference, disagreement, disappointment, frustration, lack of connection, injury, and so on.  But it seems to me that the main, underlying reason people leave the Catholic Church is that they don't understand what the Church is, what it really teaches, why it has authority, and what they are giving up if they leave.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Five Favorite De-Stressors - 7 Posts in 7 Days: Day 3

I'm participating in the 7 Posts in 7 Days link-up at Conversion Diary, and this is my post for Day 3.  Go here to read the posts from the other bloggers in the link-up.  And go here to find a list of all 7 of my posts for this round of the link-up.

And because I'm lazy efficient, it's a dual link-up kind of day, because this is also my Five Favorites post.  Check out the others at Moxie Wife.


I get anxious and stressed.  A lot.  A whole, whole, whole lot.  I've had to find little tricks to help reduce my stress levels, so I don't go all panic-attacky.  So today, I'm sharing my five favorite ways to reduce anxiety and de-stress!

1.
Reading A Favorite Book
These beauties are definitely not just for show.
Probably the number one thing I due to reduce anxiety is to distract my brain with a good book.  Personally, I've found the best things to read when anxious are not new books.  It requires too much concentration and focus when you don't already know the story, and focusing is way too hard to do when I'm really rockin' the anxiety.  Instead, I grab a tried and true favorite, and it's like sitting down with an old friend who's keeping me company until I get myself calmed down and back in order again.

2.
Drink Something Relaxing

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spiritual Infancy - 7 Posts in 7 Days: Day 2

I'm participating in the 7 Posts in 7 Days link-up at Conversion Diary, and this is my post for Day 2.  Go here to read the posts from the other bloggers in the link-up.  And go here to find a list of all 7 of my posts for this round of the link-up.
The most adorable-est of nephew ever!

Last week, my parish had it's annual parish mission.  For those that don't know what a parish mission is, usually it involves a guest priest/speaker coming to the parish and giving a series of talks over several days on some topics that are intended to be spiritually renewing for the parishioners.

Anyway, this year our guest speaker was Fr. Brian Mullady, OP, and he gave a really great series of talks on the stages of the interior spiritual life.  He referenced St. Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle quite a lot, and fortunately, he made it a lot easier to understand than I have found it to be on my own, thus far!

Basically, there are three "levels" of the interior life, the Purgative Way (Spiritual Infancy), the Illuminative Way (Spiritual Teenager-hood), and the Unitive Way (Spiritual Maturity).

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Fundamental Relationship - 7 Posts in 7 Days: Day 1

I'm participating in the 7 Posts in 7 Days link-up at Conversion Diary, and this is my post for Day 1.  Go here to read the posts from the other bloggers in the link-up.  And go here to find a list of all 7 of my posts for this round of the link-up.

As I've gotten older, I've looked at my life and come to the conclusion that I'm just not very good at relationships.  When I try to identify the reason, I come up with more than one possibility.

  1. My introversion makes it easier for me to live in my head than in the real world, and real relationships are fairly difficult to develop when you're lost in fantasy land half the time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Glutton For Punishment? - 7 Posts in 7 Days Link-up

Yeah, I haven't done a lot of posting in the last few months.  Very little in the way of thoughtful, entertaining, insightful-sharingness going on around here.  I've just been lethargic, and lazy, and I haven't been up to much more than joining in on 7 Quick Takes (and even that is too much sometimes).

So maybe joining Jen Fulwiler's next round of 7 Posts in 7 Days will help to motivate me to get writing again.  Maybe it will stimulate the creative juices.  

Or maybe it will kill me.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

7 Quick Takes About A Selfie Fail, Books vs Movies, Job Searching, and More - Vol. 15


Y'all, I am totally the master of the selfie *fail*!  Notice the sign taped to the bathroom mirror, because I could't even take a non-stupid pic while I was holding it.  (This was the least stupid of the bunch!)

Well, I took the plunge and bought a ticket to the Edel Gathering, put together by our lovely 7QT hostess Jen Fulwiler and the equally lovely Hallie Lord.  I am simultaneously excited and totally freaked out about going to this thing.  On the one hand, I'd adore the opportunity to relax (boy do I need it!) and meet a bunch of great women (and maybe even make some friends, which I would totally love).  On the other hand(s), I'm not a mother, so I'm expecting it to be kind of awkward when people ask me about my kids.  Also, I'm so totally IN(F/T)P, I am a little worried that my introvert nature will kick in and I'll end up sitting in a corner, smilingly watching everyone else enjoy themselves while petrified of the thought of talking to a **gasp** STRANGER!

Do me a favor and pray for me, so that I don't chicken out.  :P


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Five Favorites: Vol. 2 - Favorite Re-reads Edition


Five Favorites, hosted at MoxieWife.com


One of my favorite pass-times of all is reading, so for my second try at participating in the Five Favorites link-up, I'm sharing my five favorite fiction books/book series to read over and over again.*


1.
This trilogy of books has become my hands-down favorite thing to read in my whole library.  The first time I tried reading it, years ago, I found it to be uninteresting and difficult to follow.  But then, a magical thing happened a little while back: I found the audiobooks of the series.  And the narrator -oh, the narrator!- absolutely brought Tolkien's world to life for me.  The Elvish words became things of beauty instead of oddities for my brain to skim over when I couldn't figure out the pronunciation.  The language, instead of sounding a little stilted and arcane, became courtly and noble.  And almost best of all, the narrator actually sung all of the many songs throughout the book!  Now, every time I read (or listen) to this trilogy, it's sheer delight.  If you haven't read The Lord of the Rings, I highly suggest you give it a try.  And I also really recommend listening to the audiobooks at least once (even if you don't like audiobooks for one reason or another, give this one a try!).

Thursday, January 23, 2014

7 Quick Takes About Crazy Weather, Birthday Plans, Sofa Shopping Woes, and Gluten - Vol. 14


Crazy fricking Texas winter weather:  it's like riding a rollercoaster!  Plus, you never get to put your summer clothes away, because when you do, BAM! The temp drops 30 degrees.
Dallas 7 day Forecast
Source
It's a little over a month until my 35th birthday, and I've got so many things I want to do to celebrate the day.  Last year, I got to be a taste-testing judge at a BBQ chicken competition, and that was so much fun!  I'm definitely planning on doing that again at this year's competition, but this time I'm going to volunteer to taste test something a little awesomer than chicken -- like pulled pork or RIBS!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Vol. 13


Even though I feel SO MUCH better than I did in October, I still have a long way to go in trying to figure out how to manage this Graves' disease on a day to day basis. Some days are good, some days, my thyroid hands me my ass on a platter.
I don't know if my recent lack of motivation to blog has more to do with the Graves' or with the lack of anything even remotely interesting occuring in my life to inspire me. This pervasive feeling of being stuck in a rut is the pits! I need something meaningful to do.