This Week’s Miscellany: Vol. 83

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How’s your Lent going? The first weekend of Lent, I went on retreat, thanks to Daniel who watched the kids so I could attend (I came home every so often to nurse Baby Gwen). It was so wonderful and I discovered my patron saint (or, rather, she found me.) Today I’m over at Catholic Exchange sharing all about that experience. It’s a much more personal post than I usually write for CE. So, if you want read a post from my heart head on over.

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Look at this little gingersnap’s giggly grin. Can you even?

I went to spiritual direction at the retreat (first time doing it) and that was a very wonderful experience, too. The priest who directed me encouraged the tradition of a nightly family Rosary. We weren’t able to do it every night last week but we were SHOCKED at how well the kids did. We tried to do a nightly Rosary just after Lucy was born and it was just too much for Benjamin at that point. But now that he’s five he does fantastic! Lucy holds her Rosary and jumps into the prayers here and there, but we let her have some freedom of movement as long as she stays nearby and isn’t too distracting. Baby Gwen plays with a plastic Rosary and sits nearby. Maybe it’s so much better now that Benjamin can be still and participate and the girls want to be like him? Anyhow. Parents whose eldest child is 3 or under… gets easier.

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The retreat was so peaceful that I pulled back from the busy online world a bit this week. I really felt engaged with the kids and able to breathe and stop to examine the eyes of little green spiders that Benjamin found and wanted to show me.

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And enjoy Lucy’s killer fashion sense. “Do I wook gweat?!” Yes. Yes you do.

The Quotable Lucy:

I’m a doctor! Where’s my telescope?!”  (She meant stethoscope, so maybe she needs some more medical training to really get the lingo down.)

In the Garden:

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Southern Collard love, folks. The spring garden is in full swing now that more frosts are unlikely (don’t hate me, friends of the north! You can laugh at us in August when we’re melting).


I thought I’d add a new little section of TWM that will pop up now and then: Frequently Asked Questions. The funny thing is, the question I get asked most frequently is what color of lipstick I wear. Until this year, I’ve never been brave enough to wear red lipstick, but now I’m hooked. The color is British Red by L’Oreal. I bought it one day after watching too many episodes of Foyle’s War featuring Honeysuckle Weeks’s gorgeous WWII era red lips. Now you know! 😉

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Down Syndrome: A Year of Joy and Grief: ABC News

Year in Review: Church Teachings that Pope Francis Has Changed: Catholic Vote

Lena Dunham and the poor, ignorant women who disagree with her: Daniel Bearman Stewart

Can You Prevent Morning Sickness?: my latest post at Mama and Baby Love

Feasting Our Way Through the Church Year (Rhonda Ortiz interviews me about our book and more!):

Blogging Series?:

And I really enjoyed Kendra’s posts of blogging tips and blog reader tips. I’ve been getting lots of blogging questions from readers, so I’m going to run a blogging series answering some of those questions. Do you have any questions about blogging that you’d like to see answered? Please leave your question in the comments!

Oh! I almost forgot. We have a few copies of our book left over from the Behold Conference. I’m planning on taking the extras to Edel, but if you’d like a signed copy, send me an email ( with your mailing address. They’re $21.99 plus shipping and I’m mailing some out later in the week.


A big thank you to Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles for sponsoring Carrots this month. And get ready for a great giveaway of some of their beautiful 100% beeswax candles!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Lots of love,


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  1. says

    My friend told me that the secret to wearing red lipstick is to “Get over the fact that you think you look like a clown, because you don’t look like a clown.” Wise words. Although, I still haven’t gotten to the point where I can do it.

  2. says

    Love the red lipstick. And we’ve just re-started family rosary too. Our oldest is also 5, and it’s been great. We’ve only been doing one decade/one mystery each night. There’s a great iTunes app…can’t remember what it’s called. Search Rosary & the icon has a picture of the open Bible. Gorgeous art for each of the mysteries. The art work really engages the children. Before starting we have them look to find Jesus and tell us what they see in the picture. I’m planning a post soon on the Rosary. <3

  3. says

    Great piece at Catholic Exchange! Thanks for sharing your experience. Mary Magdalene does indeed have lots to teach us.

    I’d really like to see a blogging series! One question I have: in general, what are the best ways to make posts more visually appealing? And in particular, what program/app do you use to add text to photos? Your images always look so stylish!



  4. Shannon says

    Ha, yes! – Mine must’ve been the lipstick question that pushed you over the edge into FAQ territory. =)

  5. Kate says

    We just started a family Rosary. Our boys are 3 and under. We start it 30 minutes before bedtime with the smallest one tucked in bed. Our 3 year old starts but lies down and snuggles up pretty early on, his little rosary left on his side table. It’s such a peaceful beautiful way to fall asleep. I have always put my children down while praying it, and am thrilled to have my husband join us! I hope as the children get bigger they will sit up a little longer and pray a little more. I also hope it’s something we’ll be able to continue when our new baby arrives in June!

    You have a beautiful and inspiring family Haley. God bless you all.

    PS Loved your piece on Catholic Exchange. Shared it right away with my sister-in-law who shares your patron saint.

  6. says

    I’m on the red lip trend now that I found lipstain – I have a great bright red stain from Covergirl that is nice and bright, but not thick!

  7. Karissa says

    I bought British Red a couple of years ago – feeling daring and fashion-forward – and have yet to be daring enough to actually wear it! It’s beautiful though!

  8. says

    Lincoln and Lucy can open a practice. He’s been taking temperatures, blood pressures, and checking ears, eyes, and noses with his “optalmocope” this morning (and ever since he stuck candy up his nose). Lucy can be the cardiac specialist. Gosh, I love burgeoning imaginations!

  9. says

    Haha! My 3-year-old said the same thing yesterday, calling a stethoscope a telescope! I am very encouraged by your experience with the family rosary. My kids are roughly the same ages as yours (my eldest just turned five), so maybe we’ll start trying this. Thanks! – Amy

  10. says

    What a beautiful piece over at Catholic exchange! As a fellow convert, I too have struggled with finding a patron saint. While I still haven’t quite found her or him yet, your beautiful words have really encouraged me to keep waiting for them to find me 🙂

  11. says

    Love the red lipstick, on you. And on everyone else. I don’t really do make-up at all, so I am convinceed it all makes me look like a clown. I am doing some make-up searching because I am getting married in June. No matter how awesome everyone else looks, I always think I look like a freak with any amount of make-up on. HELP ME BE A GIRL! haha

    • Haley says

      haha! I think I lost my fear of makeup from doing lots of ballet and musical theatre and really caking it on for performances. Anything else looks tame now. But definitely go with what you feel comfortable with. I mean, you want to look and feel like YOU on your wedding day, right? I’m sure you’ll be gorgeous, girl!

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