7 quick takes for the first of september

Ah, she's alive! I am. And it's September?! What? I shall squelch all of my perfectionist tendencies and need to be completely blog-consistent and just jump back in with some quick takes...

I had the beautiful opportunity to attend my first ever blogging conference down in Virginia. Ana Hahn graciously hosted us and it was such a wonderful weekend. From the trip down with as many bathroom stops and as much adult conversation as we wanted to the chance to finally meet in person so many of the women I've now known online for years, it was really life-giving. Each one of them was exactly how I pictured them in real life and it was so neat to solidify and grow those friendships in the flesh as well as meet some new lovely and beautiful women. The talks were challenging and encouraging and gave me so much to think and pray on as to the direction and purpose of my writing. I'm so grateful my husband pushed me to go!

Super not kid-friendly road trip sushi with Sarah and Theresa!

I wish I had gotten more pictures during the actual conference but I'm grateful I thought to snap some with Mary, Kelly, and Rosie!

The parish in Front Royal was so impressive. Beautiful liturgy, pews packed with all ages, altar boys in cassocks, Holy Communion at the altar and by intinction (!), Latin Masses offered, gorgeous paintings and statues that I couldn't help but stare at. It was lovely.

The writing here has taken a break as I focus most of my mental game on the first round of book edits! I just don't seem to have the mental energy to handle more than that at the moment and I'm trying to let that go and just focus in on that work of my heart right now. Such a learning process, this whole thing! My editor is wonderful and the process is going well (I think? I don't have much to compare to!) but it's an emotional one and takes lots out of me. I can't spend much weekday time on it, as much as I'd like to just plug in, ignore everything else, and hammer it out on my broken keyboard until it's done. But that's not happening and not His will right now so it will weigh on me until I get every last chapter back to her. And that's okay. It will be worth it. (Right?!) Please continue to pray for this project! Maybe say one Hail Mary for it right now because you love me and you love women and babies and want this book to be the best it can be for them? I'd be so so grateful <3

In less mentally exhausting news, my husband and the boys worked on our new countertops while I was gone! They're all cut and in place but still need to be installed. Then we have to figure out a backsplash and I *think* I know what we're going with but I'll keep y'all in suspense until we're done and I can do an official reveal. 

Pics from our Catholic rebel August crowning for the feast of the Coronation

We have pears this year! I have zero desire to can them but will anyway because it's free food for the winter! Last year there was one measly pear and this year, thankfully, there are hundreds. I don't think it's quite as good a harvest as two years ago but it'll do.

You know how other bloggers have these teetering stacks of books they've been reading that week? Here's my measly pile of what I've been reading. Except this is all summer... 

Strangers in a Strange Land by Archbishop Chaput - We read this for my women's group and we all really enjoyed it. He's a true shepherd who is keenly aware of the threats to his sheep. I'd recommend it. His insights into the culture are on point.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield - This one I got as a gift from a doula client and it was really interesting! It's not written from a Christian perspective and there's some weird Pagan stuff in it but a lot of his message can be easily viewed through the lens of faith. His idea that there is a force of resistance in and around us that wants to keep us from harnessing our creativity can be seen in light of concupiscence and the reality of the devil. I think sometimes his idea of what is a worthy creative pursuit is flawed but I found it overall really insightful, motivating, and super easy to read.

Primal Loss - The Now Adult Children of Divorce Speak edited by Leila Miller - Ah, what to say about this one...  How about this: Every pastor, therapist, child of divorce, divorced parent, thinking-about-divorce parent, friend of someone thinking of divorce, or friend of someone with divorced parents needs to read this. The wounds of divorce never go away. Never. They aren't talked about. They're brushed under the rug. They're rationalized, ignored, stifled, and covered with politically correct platitudes but they change a child forever. This book is finally a chance for the often silenced victims to speak. I'm so grateful that Leila took this project on.

This summer's been a tough one, not gonna lie. It felt not at all like I think summer should feel like. From weird health stuff to canceled vacation plans to awful weather (I know, it's not a smidgeon of what some of you are dealing with! I'm praying, I promise.) to getting hammered over and over by stupid little and big things. I just keep swimming but some renewal and hope again would be nice. We haven't started back to school yet but plan to next Monday. Once again I'm not super excited but it will probably be good for us to have some more work to our days again. That's what I'll go with anywayyyy.

Linking up with Kelly for Seven Quick Takes! Hope you have a great weekend, friends!

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  1. Praying for you, friend!! So good to finally meet you in person 😊

  2. Countertop is beautiful! Books sound very interesting...

  3. Yes! This..."His idea that there is a force of resistance in and around us that wants to keep us from harnessing our creativity can be seen in light of concupiscence and the reality of the devil."

    Because we only have to look to the first 5 words in scripture to understand this is how we are most like God, and we are like him, made in his image-
    When we CREATE.

  4. Love your little guy crowning Our Lady. Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven!!

  5. Said a Hail Mary for your book endeavor! Great to hear from you on the blog and prayers for you as you head back to school. I've had the same ambivalent feelings about school all summer, I think a lot of it is being very uncertain how the year would go with a very "get-into-everything, Houdini of an almost 2 year old." We've been back for 2 weeks now. The structure has been good for us, but we are definitely still trying to figure out how to "do school" with Abel "helping." Best of luck to y'all!


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