What we do on free evenings...

We take long walks, we dance and wrestle in our living room, and in the fall, we play football.

Whatever one member of the family does....so do we all.


Andrew is teaching them "pass patterns". 

Avila, dressed for watching football. 



Popeye, Olive Oil and the Can of Spinach

I didn't get to blog about our costumes last year. Oh did we have fun. They even won the local "Best Homemade Costume" award. 

My parents passed down their dress up genes. I remember so many Halloweens and not Halloweens of my parents dressing up in wigs and clever costumes. I remember my mom laughing hysterically after she dressed my sister into a nun costume she made.

I must have belly laughed all day long staring at Avila in her green spinach face. Goodness this was fun.

Crepe paper, poster board, and yarn....my old shirts, pipe cleaners and felt. One good wig and three willing kids. Happy Halloween.

We may have had to bribe her to stay in costume with a sucker...or two....


These are the Days....

Just an evening spent watching Dad mow the lawn and squeezing the last good bit out of the summer. 

I spent the evening watching them, it was my delight. 


Hello Breakfast

Adding some zing to the
Whole 30 morning routine. 

Pico de Gallo over Ham and Eggs

 Minute Pico
2 Jalepenos, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 to 1/3 Cup Purple Onion, finely chopped
1/2 - 1 Cup cherry tomatoes 
(or regular, but the cherry tomatoes are sweet and balance out the flavor) 
Dash of salt 

He's her biggest fan.

Maybe it's his age, but I think more so his demeanor...

but He asks constantly to hold her.

And when I'm holding her, asks if he can kiss her. It doesn't let up, every day is the same.

He is constantly giggling at her "getting fat" and has his own nickname for her, "JuJu". We'll see if it sticks...


My Sole Responsibility

"Parents, it is your responsibility to be the first educators of the Catholic faith and to keep this light of faith burning." 

 Each baptism brings into supreme focus my sole responsibility in this vocation God has asked of me. Not to have my kitchen floors swept and toilets cleaned or kids noses wiped and looking perfect. Although, admittedly that is what most times I get caught up with during the day.

He will ask me if I got Andrew to Heaven and then if I did all in my power to instill the knowledge and love of our Catholic faith to my children. What a very serious and sacred mission.

At night before I go to bed, it is this question I should ask myself.

She was baptized on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption. I have a feeling this little girl, who was born on the Feast of the Dedication of Mary Major, whom her middle name, Mercedes is Spanish for Mary Mother of Mercy, will be especially guided by her Mother Mary.


It was incredibly special for Andrew to baptize her alongside Dominic and his daughter Charlotte.

I wonder what we could see on the other side as a new soul is born into the Church family and original sin erased and a daughter of God made new...Heaven rejoicing...our journey to get her there beginning.

Our dear friend and priest Fr. Jarett Konrade did the baptism, as he was in town for Kathryn's wedding.

We proudly chose John and Lindsay with the care of being her Godparents, we couldn't admire these two more as a godly examples of constant heroic fidelity to the Catholic faith in their daily lives.

We thank Aunt Kristin for so kindly supplying our baptismal gown, since I was grossly unprepared ;)

My two pillars, my mother and mother-in-law...so happy they could be there to witness Julia's big day.



Currently Reading

This book.

I heard about it a couple years ago, but watching this trailer got me hooked. I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. 

This is the story of a passionate runner, Olympian, survivor at sea, prisoner of war, and his survival through the traumatic suffering and the most inhumane treatment a human person can go through in a lifetime. 

May I learn from the lessons of his life: the lesson of will power, the lesson of a God who does not abandon his own, the lesson of suffering without a meaning compared to suffering with purpose, 

the lesson to be broken is to be wide open for redemption. 

"A moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory." - Unbroken


Photo Shoot with Four

Meager attempts at capturing her newborness. I had fun trying... 

Trying to get all four of them together...whew....nearly impossible. :) 

It was four little monkeys jumping on the bed...


Running Races

He stood there holding Julia in one hand and a cold beer in the other.

We watched the kids running in the back yard, running races, and he said: "THIS is life."

I'm grateful for those moments I look at the kids, freeze their faces in my mind, I soak them in and try to absorb them, relish them.

I try to focus in on their presence. They each long to be listened to intently and watched undistractedly. 

I watch them as they get lost in their elements...

I love what they love. 

Yes, this is life, learning to focus on the OTHER, loving the other....so privileged to love them.