In 2016 I created my first Christmas gift guide post, so this is the 5th anniversary of the Carrots gift guide! Readers have requested a new guide each year and over time I've intentionally pivoted to including ONLY small businesses. This year we've all seen restaurants and storefronts close due to the pandemic. 2020 has hit small businesses so hard! This year more than ever it's clear that we … [Read more...]
Escape to Rainbow Valley, Then Keep Fighting
Last week was hard. There were fresh waves of anxiety over a huge spike in Covid cases in my city. Relief that our curve was flat for so many months gave way to weariness and worry. Now each day we're getting more new cases than we had total from March to mid-June. Our curve is flat....just in the wrong direction: straight up to the sky. The city is open--and our total deaths doubled last week. … [Read more...]
The False Gods of American Politics
“I’ve been uncomfortable speaking out against racism because it sounds like something a liberal would say.” “I’m struggling to reconcile my pro-life beliefs with ‘conservative’ policies that that deny the dignity of immigrants and the poor.” “I’m politically homeless because I think that the lives of unborn babies and black and brown people should be protected.” “I love the beauty … [Read more...]
Agonizing Over When to Return to Mass? Two Things to Consider
I’ve seen a lot of public conversation about reopening churches: people wanting the sacraments, people asking bishops to change their policies, people driving across state lines to attend a Mass, people who want to get on with their lives. What is not so public are the conversations within households as churches reopen and faithful families try to discern how to return. I’ve received so many … [Read more...]
How to Celebrate Holy Week at Home During a Pandemic
Holy Week is the best time of the year to be Catholic. It’s a tour de force of incredible liturgies. It’s my favorite week of the year and this year...well, it’s going to be different. I’m grieving the loss of our Holy Week Masses. A Holy Saturday without going to the Easter Vigil? Until a pandemic swept the globe it really seemed unimaginable. But here we are. It’s an Easter for … [Read more...]
Carrots 2019 Small Business Gift Guide (with Coupon Codes and Giveaway)!
I get asked every year about whether I can offer a gift guide so here I am again! This year I'm only including products from small businesses so that any sales made will benefit artisans and their families. One of the ways we can make changes in the world is by voting with our wallets. I haven't included any links to the site that can get anything to your doorstep in 48 hours (you know the … [Read more...]
“Tolkien” Struggles to Explain the Magic that Tolkien Effortlessly Captured
In Tolkien, the new movie based on the early life of J. R. R. Tolkien, myth and romance are the antidote to war. Guest Review by Boze Herrington “To be caught in youth by 1914,” wrote English novelist J. R. R. Tolkien in a second-edition foreword to The Lord of the Rings, “was no less hideous an experience than to be involved in 1939 and the following years. By 1918 all but one of my close … [Read more...]
My Body, My Children’s First Home
As my fourth baby has learned to crawl over the past few weeks, I watch her launch out across the living room to grab toys and explore. After scurrying several feet away, she will turn her head back to where I sit cross-legged on the floor and return to me, climbing into my lap to rest her head on my chest or pat my cheek with her chubby palm before going on her next tiny adventure across the … [Read more...]
Goodnight, Notre Dame. Easter Morning Is Still Coming.
The baby is napping and I am sitting here just sobbing my heart out over the fire engulfing the beautiful 850-year-old cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. As a Catholic, as a medievalist, as a lover of beauty and history, I am absolutely wrecked. I have always wanted to visit Europe to see the cathedrals. The reality that I will never see the architectural masterpiece of Notre Dame is … [Read more...]
Easter Basket Gift Guide and Giveaway!
GIVEAWAY ENDED (This is a post from 2019 that I'm re-sharing so folks can support these small Catholic businesses.) Lent is drawing to a close and it's time to get geared up for Easter baskets! Our family usually attends the Easter Vigil late on Saturday night. That means wearing our fancy clothes and really hyping up the Mass for our kids: "There's gonna be a fire! We're all gonna get … [Read more...]