This Week’s Miscellany: Vol. 84

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It’s teething central over here. Poor Baby Gwen is getting at least three in at once and she is NOT THRILLED about it. But she IS THRILLED about discovering the tupperware cabinet:

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And thrilled with playing with/eating sand at the new beautiful city park:

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Now, at risk of losing all of my readers who live above the Mason-Dixon line, here’s a picture of the kiddos enjoying the Florida springtime:

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What can I say, folks? They didn’t run out of houses down here. In fact, there’s a few for sale in my neighborhood… the land of bathing suits…..JUST SAYIN’.


Look at these freckles after only an hour in the sun! Imagine how much of my life is spent applying sunscreen! Now do you feel better? No, you’re right. You should just move from that frigid wasteland πŸ˜‰ And if you’re wondering whether my sunglasses survived 8 minutes with Lucy on the drive home, no. No, they did not survive.

The Quotable Lucy:

Speaking of Lucy, most of this week a little tiger has taken her place in our household.


Lucy Tigers get very upset when big brother’s pull on their earsies. And I have spent at least 3 hours of the week snapping that hood back onto the costume. Whoever designed this thing did NOT have a 2-year-old who unsnaps it and then sobs because her ears fell off.

My Mom: “Lucy, you have an eye for beauty.”

Lucy: *looks around* “Where IS my eye for beauty?”

In the Liturgical Year: The Feast of the Annunciation! I gave up sweets for Lent, so you can BET I made cookies to celebrate this feast. And Daniel made an amazing Italian sausage and winterbor kale in cream sauce to make things fancy. I MAY have eaten the leftovers for breakfast the next day. I loved reading about how Kendra’s family always makes waffles for the feast and I loved these 12 great ideas from Mary about celebrating.

Book Love:

I finished Mansfield Park by Jane Austen and A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz. You know I love me some Fanny Price, and I did enjoyed A JA Education. Partly because it’s so satisfying to hear someone share about how they came to love Jane. But I didn’t agree with the Mansfield Park chapter and don’t get me started on the Sense and Sensibility chapter! I’m also still slogging through Les Mis. Not that I’m not enjoying it, but it’s a beast. If you’re curious, you can see my reading list for this year.


Heidi Calma interviewed me for the Better Blogger series at Project Underblog.

I made a book list for children of stories about Pirates and Fairies and imaginationΒ  Β #PirateFairy #BH #ad

In Defense of the Hipster (Didn’t know that St. John the Baptist was a hipster? Read all about it.) And What are we supposed to do with kids? Besides dress them in funny clothes?: Daniel Bearman

An Open Letter to the Bishops: I signed it. If you support Church teaching on natural family planning and openness to life, please show your support by signing!

And with this news now I’m even more excited about pre-ordering Jen Fulwiler’s book!

It’s Not Like a Box of Chocolates: House Unseen, Life Unscripted

How We Stopped Throwing Away Food: Catholic All Year (Yes! This matters, folks!)

You Were Caught LENT HANDED: A Knotted Life (hilarious)

Let’s Be Done: Mama Needs Coffee (If you read nothing else this week, read this one.)

Oh, and Melissa and Doug toys are on sale at zulily today. Holla!

AndΒ don’t forget that through March 31st you can get 10% off at Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles by using the discount code CARROTS. I’m trying to refrain from buying ALL THE CANDLES. I think the scent of beeswax is almost as good as the scent of coffee.

Question for you:

So I was reading Kendra’s post today about social media platforms, etc. and after feeling really fed up with Facebook for not showing the Carrots FB updates to most of you who follow me there, I’m thinking I might spend more time on Twitter. I just feel so lost over there! So help me out, where do you hang out on social media and where would you like to see Carrots stuff? Is anybody still seeing updates on FB? Do you read in a feedreader like Feedly or Bloglovin’? Fill me in and advise me, oh Wise Ones. πŸ˜‰

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  1. says

    I hate Twitter. I will never go back. The main frustration? I do not have the mental bandwidth to figure out how to keep tweets to 140 characters. It makes me stabby. No matter how frustrated I get with FB (and I do, plenty), I refuse to step foot over there again. Clearly, I am no help to you.

    But this is a great list, and like you, I cannot WAIT for Jen’s e-book and full book release. WHEEEEEEE!

    And that mama-behind-the-wheel selfie? YOU ARE DARLING.

    • Haley says

      I struggle with the same thing. I hem and haw over cutting things down to 140 characters and then it doesn’t even sound like me. And being there makes me feel 100 years old. It’s going too fast! What’s happening?!

      And I wonder, if it feels so weird to be over there, is it worth it? And doing everything sounds overwhelming. I can handle FB and IG and the occasional Pin.

      I know! Jen’s book! YAY.

      And you are sweet! I’ll be honest. I almost put a filter over the selfie to hide all my freckles. Why? Why are we so critical of ourselves! They’re MY freckles and I even like that I have them. So thank you. Keeping it real.

      I know that it’s not like you live next door to Austin or anything but….can you sneak over during Edel so I can hug your neck? (Because with four kids it’s really easy to just “sneak” hours down the road, right?) But just a thought;)

  2. says

    Hi there! So, I’m just commenting because I saw you mentioned the Facebook issue. I actually do still see a lot of your posts on Facebook. πŸ™‚ Just wanted to encourage you.
    Oh and I have a question about this family planning issue…is there anyone that has said, “We cannot afford another child. We can barely afford the one we have and we love NFP.” Because at this point, I’m wonering this. I love most of what I’ve seen about the Catholic church and am looking deeper and deeper into converting, but I can’t get past that. I understand standing against hormonal birth control because of the possibility that it would prevent the baby from implanting into the mother…but condemning condoms? There’s no life that’s at stake. I just don’t understand that part of it. Thanks for the information that you sent me before, btw…it was really helpful! πŸ˜€
    P.S. I love your blog, and I’m sorry if this comment has come across as angry or judgmental. It’s not meant that way. Just kindof scared, frustrated, and confused.

    • Haley says

      Hi, Alicia!

      I think tons of people use NFP when they cannot afford another child. No artificial birth control method is 100% effective and NFP is as effective as ABC. As for condoms, just like the Pill, they separate the procreative aspect of sex from the unitive aspect of sex. Apart from aesthetic issues and making sex less pleasurable, condoms separate husband and wife so that they cannot fully give themselves to each other because they are denying each other’s fertility. In NFP, every sexual act is open to life, meaning it doesn’t try to thwart our natural fertility, but instead makes use of the natural seasons of infertility in a woman’s cycle and makes the sacrifice of abstaining during the fertile times. Does that make sense? Anybody else want to weigh on in this one?

      And asking questions is always OK here!

  3. Tori says

    Nooooooo don’t leave Facebook!! I make sure to like and comment on posts by my favorites so you always show up in my feed. I don’t do Twitter at this point, and FB is the only way I keep up.

  4. Kathy says

    I definitely see you on FB and try to like what I can πŸ™‚ Don’t leave! I’m trying to work up the courage to leave more comments and interact since Kendra’s post and your recent one on blogging!

  5. LT says

    I see your posts on Facebook. I never use Twitter. I subscribe to emails for your blog, so I won’t miss a blog post if it doesn’t show up in my FB feed. I hope that helps!

    And enjoy the sunshine :). I love four seasons. We’ve lived in Virginia, Arizona, Washington, Alaska, New Hampshire, and Montana. I haven’t yet found a perfect four seasons, although Spokane, WA, comes really close to perfection in the climate department. There is always at least one season that is a pain everywhere, though. Such is life when expelled from the Garden of Eden :). In the meantime, I would like to take a warm beach vacation soon!

  6. Alicia says

    I follow on FB and always click through from there. But I’ll visit your blog manually if you leave. πŸ™‚

    LOVE the freckles. So very Anne-with-an-E. One of my lifelong sorrows is not having freckles. . .and red hair, for that matter.

  7. Laura says

    I follow you on FB and click through your link there to get to your posts. I have no idea how Twitter really works either…

  8. Erin says

    I use Twitter only for giveaways. I never read anything over there. I spend a shameful amount of time on Facebook. I think if you interact frequently with a page, you’re more likely to see posts from that page. Since I comment and click on your posts pretty regularly, I think I see almost all of them. But someone who hasn’t interacted with you in a while isn’t likely to get a reminder soon. When I lost Google Reader I gave up about 75% of the blogs I used to read frequently. Now I only read the ones that are sent to my inbox, or if something comes through on my Newsfeed that looks interesting. I do get sucked into rabbit holes when there are good reading lists like you included in this post. There are currently 8 tabs open to posts I want to read! Sunday seems to be the day lots of bloggers link to all the things, and I try to take in as much as possible during naps and calm moments.

    I get freckles just like that when I’m in the sun! And we’ve been playing a lot of dress up around here too! The Kindermasken parade is coming up and my almost 3 year old wants to wear his costume all the time. He also wants his 2 month old sister to wear hers all the time!

  9. Megan A says

    I am strictly on Facebook and I still see all of your posts! I think it might be because I like everything that you post so it keeps you more active in my feed.

  10. says

    Gwen is such a darling! She has the brightest little eyes.
    Florida looks very enjoyable!

    As far as social networks, I don’t use facebook anymore for a multitude of reasons, but I do use Bloglovin’ on my phone (except that it doesn’t always update for some reason) and I use Pinterest a lot (I love it when you repin a blogger’s blogpost that I don’t typically know about. It’s a great way to get to know new bloggers and it’s just so easy!) I just recently started using Instagram and I’m really loving it. So far, it seems like my favorite social network. I’ve always been a little too intimidated by twitter too.

  11. says

    I don’t do Twitter. But, I do follow you on FB and I see your posts, too. Much like I was telling Kendra- I love both of your pages and am constantly checking out the blog and the FB pages and “liking” posts. I can’t help it, y’all are awesome- even if you both make me sad that your weather is so fantastic and MN cant seem to stay above freezing for more than several hours.

  12. Jessica says

    I don’t Tweet but I do follow you on Facebook. I see all your posts! I also subscribe to your blog, just in case I do miss something on FB.

  13. Maria says

    I do not do Twitter and normally I see all your Facebook post ( not on for Lent so I’m not completely sure about recently), I also read the blog in Feedly on the most part.

  14. says

    1. I’m with you on Twitter. Not my fav but there’s definitely advantages over FB.

    2. The sunglasses NEVER survive. Ever.

    <3 jeni

  15. says

    The FB thing is so frustrating. I “like” pages because I want to see the updates! I guess they have to monazite somehow. I almost never see your FB posts, or those of most bloggers. Mostly, I tend to “interact” on FB with friends, not really pages or businesses. That is probably the reason I’ve never made a FB page for my blog…but mine is just a little one.
    I follow via Feedly, so I don’t miss posts. Twitter is enjoyable, but it seems like you have to post a ton, over and over, to get visibility? I like it for personal interaction. Also enjoy Instagram, but I never click over to blogs from IG.

    Florida and Texas are the places to be this winter/spring. I am SO glad for warm weather!

  16. says

    Great post! Ugh we need some of that sun up here in DC. I just moved here- thought it was supposed to be warmer than the north where I came from.

    Fb is so frustrating but I do think it’s the best platform for bloggers- promotes real discussion.

    I think it helps if you encourage fans to like and comment on any post they see. Facebook tests out posts on a limited number of people (I think the ones who engage most to begin with) and if an update/post gets a lot of interaction then it goes into the home feeds of more of the people following. I’m not sure about posts being hidden on the actual page, but I do know more interaction means more exposure!

    I hate how Facebook is monetizing human interaction. I used to pay to promote fb posts for a student org i ran, but we no longer do, just ask people to interact w/ our posts if they see them. paid promotion can backfire long term as it can attract a large, but not very engaged, audience- so you have to keep paying ad finitum…

    There’s a fascinating Youtube video from Veritasium on all this and the role of illicit click farms, too- well worth the watch in my opinion!

  17. says

    I still see your posts on Facebook, and I don’t do Twitter, so I vote for you sticking with Facebook.

    I read you on Feedly, and I get your emails, although I mostly use those to notify me when there is a new post I should check out.

  18. Kate says

    I usually see your posts on FB, but I often just head over to your blog once a week to make sure I missed nothing. I would love to use Feedly but my phone isn’t advanced enough for that and I only get on the computer about once a week. I actually keep meaning to sign up for your emails but I forget every time I get my computer moment.

  19. says

    Even after my social media fasting during Advent, I still decided to give up Facebook for Lent. It has been so good for me… namely not getting sucked into all of the articles linked to there.

  20. says

    As a fellow blogger, I hear ya about facebook. Ugh! But, as a follower of your blog, I do see your updates there..although I don’t know how many of them. I am on twitter…and I guess you should be too…maybe. I don’t really get twitter, just seems like a lot of people standing in a room yelling stuff. Is anyone really there listening…and clicking? I’m certainly not there. I write my tweet and leave. I don’t find it as a very good place to interact with people. However, having said that I know a lot of younger people don’t do facebook, because of the mom issue, and use twitter instead. Okay, this comment is just a lot of random thoughts. Great post, though!

  21. Meghan says

    So in defense of the “frigid north” I would just like to say that here in Michigan we had a high of 65 today. Was there still about a foot of snow in the yard? Yes, but I mean 65 its a veritable heat wave. I didn’t even have to wear a coat outside just a light sweatshirt πŸ™‚

    Also in regards to the Facebook thing, I never have a problem seeing your posts and I generally avoid Twitter- its just too cluttered for me. If Facebook is an issue though could I maybe recommend Tumblr as a possible option? Its meant to be a sort of mini-blog platform anyways and I think in terms of layout/design it is much cleaner and more manageable than Twitter.

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