Welcome to This Week’s Miscellany, the occasional round up of Carrots family updates, photo dumps, books I’m reading, links I loved, and events where you can find me.
We’re taking a breath after a very busy couple of weeks–including a road trip to two national parks!
First up was our sweet Benjamin’s 8th birthday (EIGHT?!!!!! WHAT??!!).
His heart’s desire was for his friends and family to eat at the illustrious Vegas All-You-Can-Eat Buffet. SO FANCY. Some true friends risked food poisoning with us to make his dream become reality.
Cheap sushi and jello? Check. Then we had cake and ice cream at the house and sat around the fire pit.
The next morning (yes, I have terrible scheduling skills with a side of excessive optimism) we drove off for a little adventure.
We drove 8ish hours to west Texas to camp at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It’s stunning.
Desert is so beautiful and the sunsets were amazing. But we had to bundle up at night!
We busted out our tent from our insane 7 week trip around the country in 2015 and it all went WAY better than our last camping trip (which involved two kids with a stomach bug throwing up in the tent…yes….so much fun).
Daniel handled all the campsite culinary magic and we hiked to our heart’s content. We also drove across the New Mexico border to see Carlsbad Caverns.
None of my photos can convey how incredible it is down there. The elevator that takes you down into the caverns was not working so we actually had to HIKE down into the caverns (800 feet down and it takes about an hour), then do the loop in the caverns and then hike UP (took longer than an hour). We weren’t expecting that, but the big kids were troopers and for the hike up, Daniel carried Gwen in the hiking backpack and she took a nap while we huffed and puffed. It sounds a little crazy but we are strong supporters of taking your children into caves.
Then we headed to San Angelo for a speaking event I was doing for a women’s retreat. I decided to shower so that my camping hair-in-a-bun-for-3-days could see some improvement.
Impressed? I would have been so popular in the 80s.
The beautiful gals at the retreat were amazing. Sometimes spending a morning with a bunch of Catholic women is just what the doctor ordered. It feels good to sit a stranger and both cry over how much you love Our Lady and how you can’t believe she’s your mom.
Then we hightailed it back to Waco just in time to slide into the Vigil Mass and get changed in the bathroom.
Olaf and the hens were glad to have us home.
This week my kids got to have a Valentine’s party with their homeschool co-op which was so fun. We read our St. Valentine book, made treats, and the girls cut out hearts out of construction paper for hours. Then after we picked up Daniel from the farm, we went straight to Waco’s most beautiful church to venerate the relics of St. Anthony of Padua.
That’s part of a rib! Pray for us, St. Anthony!
*All my sweet Protestant readers get officially freaked out.* Sorry, guys! Catholics are weird.
There were sheets of paper to write down prayer intentions that would be sent back to the monks. Benjamin later told me that he considered asking the monks to pray that he would get a LEGO Mindstorm EV3 but he decided that wasn’t really what they meant so instead he wrote, “The soul of my great-grandmother” which is just the sweetest. He misses her and loves her very much.
So we’ve got Marian devotion, veneration of relics, and prayers for the dead all in one post. #sorrynotsorry
Here’s some things I loved lately on the internet:
10 Ways to Hygge as a Catholic: Olivia Spears for Blessed Is She
You Can Now Use 375,000 Images from the Met Museum for Free: My Modern Met
Mr. Darcy, You’re No Colin Firth: New York Times
By Request, a Capsule Wardrobe for Speakers: This Ain’t the Lyceum (You will laugh til you cry!)
Upcoming Speaking Events:
March 25th: Catholic Women Blogging Network Midwest Conference, St. Paul, MN
I finished Silence and could NOT stop thinking about it, so I choose that novel to chat about with Tsh Oxenreider on the most recent episode of The Simple Show.
And Christy and I loved talking with Shannon Evans of We, A Great Parade on the podcast last week on the topics of adoption, social justice, practical ways to live pro-life and more.
Hope you have a splendid weekend!
Lots of love,
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