This Week’s Miscellany: Vol. 82

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My “I haven’t had any sugar in three days” withdrawal headache is telling me that Lent is really here! This has been QUITE a week. Not because earth-shattering things have happened at our house (although I DID deep clean our entire  kitchen which isn’t exactly a frequent occurrence) and not because Baby Gwen is blessing us with waking at 4:45am perky and ready for the day:

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Lookin’ good. For awhile she was waking at the glorious hour of 6am, but in honor of Lent, she has volunteered to help Daniel and I mortify our flesh and really dig deep into this penitential season. What a gal!

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Where was I? Ah yes, an earth-shattering week. Because of two amazing things that happened to dear friends:

You may have already heard about it, but there’s big news about a miracle for the cause for canonization of the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen….and the alleged miracle happened to my friend Bonnie’s son!!! The Vatican medical board has voted on it and although the theological board, bishops, and Pope Francis will have to vote before it is officially declared a miracle, the medical board is a HUGE step. I wish I was at Bonnie’s house to celebrate with her whole beautiful family. I told her, “This is one of the most exciting things to happen to me…and it didn’t even happen to me!” She wisely reminded me that it did happen to me. It’s happening to all of us. The Church is so beautiful.

If, like me, you aren’t very familiar with the whole process of canonization and all it takes for a an event to be officially declared a miracle, this article about an atheist scientist who advised the Vatican medical board about a miracle for another saint is fascinating.

The other news is that Baby Gwen’s godparents, Andrew and Julia will be bringing their beautiful new daughter, Josie, home from overseas on Holy Saturday. Her first breakfast with her forever family will be on Easter morning. Pardon me while I have a little sobfest of joy for them and this beautiful end to years and years of being in the difficult adoption process. And if you would like to contribute to their adoption fund, it would be such a blessing to their family.

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In the Liturgical Year:

I was very inspired by Bonnie’s vlog about simple Lenten decoration. I brought out our grapevine wreath (Crown of Thorns) and a simple and lovely candle from Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles. It smells like Heaven, but I hate to light it because it’s so pretty. And a penitentially purple table cloth, y’all. Check me out.

And I also loved what Bonnie said about using the 40 days to declutter your home in the same way we should be decluttering our souls. But here’s the thing….I get so easily overwhelmed with spring cleaning. Ahem, make that cleaning in general. I start organizing something only to realize that first I need to organize some OTHER spot to put all the things….but before I can do that I should box up all the kids clothes that are too small…but to do that I need to do laundry…but before I do that I need to organize the laundry room…and then I just burst into tears and sit in a puddle of dust bunnies. So. I decided this year would be different. I’m not pregnant and puking and the baby only wakes up once or twice at night so with three cups of coffee I’m no longer a zombie woman (hurrah!). I don’t have an excuse and I feel so much better when the house is organized. So, I’m deep cleaning/decluttering ONE WALL of my house each day of Lent. Our kitchen has three walls so for the past three days I’ve been organizing, decluttering, deep cleaning and TA DA! From the freezer to the silverware drawer it is CLEAN. And I’m not letting myself start other projects that will sidetrack me or freak out because I didn’t spring clean the entire house in one day while minding three small children (why do I always think that’s a possibility?!). I’ll spend time each day working on it and then it will be loverly by Easter.

And I’m going on retreat this weekend which I am so looking forward to as a way to begin Lent!

Book Love:

Since I shared about my updated reading goals I finished Consoling the Heart of Jesus and Bread and Wine and am making progress through the wonderful but never ending Les Misa re-read of Mansfield Park, and a homeschooling book by Rebecca French called Teaching in Your Tiara. I’m TRYING to be good about not adding in extra books, but I couldn’t help myself when confronted with A Jane Austen Education recommended by Anne (Modern Mrs. Darcy). Fun read so far.

The Quotable Benjamin (5 years old):

Benjamin: “Mama! This is for you for taking such good care of us!
*drops a penny in my hand*

I need to ask for a raise.

Hey Mom! Daddy’s gonna help us plant those flowers for you AS A SURPRISE!

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(No longer a surprise, but very pretty and sweet.)

I’ve been a little more unplugged this week so no links for today, except I saw that this Recycled Tea Play Set is on sale at Zulily and Lucy got it for Christmas and LOVES it and it’s seemingly indestructible so, parents of toddlers, check it out.

 Just a few more hours til my retreat begins and much of it is silent (which sounds like heaven to this mama of three little ones who talk, romp, and roar all day)!

I hope your Lent is just what it needs to be! And other folks who gave up sugar….I feel your sugar withdrawal pain. Pass the coffee.

Lots of love,


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  1. says

    I’m so thrilled for Bonnie! I don’t know her personally, but love following their blog. Thanks for the great inspiration for Lent here. I’m nesting like crazy with 8 weeks or so to go with baby number 3 so the decluttering is right up my alley. And the crown of thorns & candle? Beautiful! Have a great retreat.

    • Haley says

      Thanks, Nell! Good for you with the nesting. At that point in a pregnancy I’m usually like: “Please pass the ice cream. I have another miniseries to watch from my comfy spot of the couch.” 🙂

  2. says

    This is the first year I’ve ever given up sugar. So much harder than I thought it would be! But that makes it perfect for Lent, right?

    Are you hungry all the time? I can’t seem to get filled up and of course my normal snacks got thrown out. So barely any snacks plus breastfeeding equals a VORACIOUS appetite. I have no idea what to do.

    • Haley says

      YES. Hungry all the time! Eating lots of fats and protein helps tons. I fried sweet potato fries in lard with corn chips, beans and rice, and fried eggs for lunch and that filled me up. I’m completely staying away from sweets like desserts, sugar in my coffee, etc. But I’m not being nitpicky about possibly having sugar in snacks. For example, I’m hungry this minute and going to have a granola bar because I’m nursing and need to eat lots of calories. Just be careful with your milk supply!

  3. says

    Wow, I actually didn’t know the technical process of canonization, thanks for sharing about that. You learn something new, everyday. I’m still such a newbie Catholic, sometimes I get overwhelmed at the thought of all I do not know.

    Your comment about Benjamin’s quotes on you taking care of them is hysterical and I definitely cackled at my computer. Kids really say the funniest things, and I’m glad you have the tradition of sharing on your blog. With your permission, I’d love to save that idea for when I have kids too. “A quotable kid” section of posts.

    I can’t believe how fast Gwen is growing, too! She’s so big now!

  4. says

    I’ve been so busy that I haven’t wanted to even think about cleaning my house. I like the one wall thing, I might have to give that a try.

  5. says

    Wow, that is an AMAZING story about your friend’s son and the possibly cannonization (is that the right word??? Im getting tired) Of Sheen. I cant imagine what it must have been like…and then the baby revived!!! Wow.

    And little Gwen, mortifying your flesh 😉 when I hear that phrase I think of Jane Eyre!

  6. says

    Have you taken a peek at Real Housekeeping? Every Friday there is a challenge issued for a clean up link up…might be a fun thing to interject into your Lenten project! I have done all of them so far and my house is the better for it 🙂

  7. says

    Love your idea of decluttering one wall at a time! Congratulations to your friends and their new blessing for Easter, God is so good! Wishing you a very blessed Lent.

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