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Why I Love Being Catholic

Why I Love Being Catholic

I was given the opportunity to participate in Amy Thomas's "Why I Love Being Catholic" series at Catholic Pilgrim.  Amy writes beautifully about the beauty and truth of Catholicism and I am honored to appear on her blog. If you'd like to know my favorite saint, my...

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Meet Rameses

Meet Rameses

I am not a dog person. Confession time:  I have never understood my children's obsession with animals.  While I enjoyed the occasional zoo trip as a child, animals in general did not occupy much of my thoughts. But I can fall in love with animals on an individual...

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In Which I Finally Have Time to Myself

In Which I Finally Have Time to Myself

I love making plans.  In fact, I often enjoy planning things more than I enjoy doing the actual things! When I am feeling overwhelmed, I comfort myself by looking to the future and making plans for the next season.  When school is going on, I think how much easier...

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Hope from the Holy Spirit

Hope from the Holy Spirit

Hope is one of the great theological virtues, one of the three things that last.  Its opposite is despair, which I have often heard referred to as the one unforgivable sin.  The temptation to despair is great right now.  Every day brings some new reprehensible...

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Code of Silence

Code of Silence

You swore to yourself a long time ago There were some things that people never needed to know . . . And you can't talk about it Because you're following a code of silence . . . That's not the kind of code you're inclined to break Some things unknown are best left...

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Summer Fun:  The End

Summer Fun: The End

School started yesterday.  Our summer is over even though there is a month and a half left in the season! There wasn't a whole lot of time for fun in our last week.  It was actually a pretty typical week from one of our other summers--I worked every day and the kids...

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Summer Fun:  Home Stretch

Summer Fun: Home Stretch

It was the second to last full week of summer break, and my pace was slowing, but we still had some fun times! On Tuesday we had breakfast at Nick and J's, a former Waffle House now locally owned and serving breakfast and lunch, with the most enormous pancakes I have...

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Catholic Minimalism Redux: Week 2

Catholic Minimalism Redux: Week 2

Week two of the Catholic Minimalism challenge is bathrooms.  We have four of them!  Last time around, I thoroughly minimized the two upstairs.  In the time since, the one on the main floor was repurposed when Emily moved all her things to the basement bathroom, which...

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Summer Fun:  That 70s Summer

Summer Fun: That 70s Summer

Remember when I told y'all that we weren't doing a 70s summer around here?  Well, this week we did our best imitation and as a result this will be a very short post. The reason:  POOL. So to me, daily access to a swimming pool is an absolute necessity for a 70s...

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Summer Fun: Vacation!

Summer Fun: Vacation!

Our fun summer continued last week with a little less creativity needed on my part, since we were on our actual vacation! We traveled to Beech Mountain, North Carolina, to stay at a timeshare provided by my oldest friend and her family.  We had a wonderful time and I...

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More Summer Fun

More Summer Fun

Well, this has been a busy week! John and I got back from Georgetown Sunday evening, and I was right back into summer adventures with the kids the following day, when we visited McClung Museum.  This is a mostly unsung treasure on the University of Tennessee campus. ...

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Getting Back to Old-school Blogging

Getting Back to Old-school Blogging

Sometimes I think back to when I first started this blog--eight years ago, if you can believe it!  I didn't have a clue.  I didn't know how to get people to read it.  I didn't know anything about branding.  I had never heard of SEO.  I didn't make pinnable images.  I...

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They See a Family: Book Review

They See a Family: Book Review

As a somewhat sheepish occasional reader of Christian romance novels, I have been wishing for years that there was a Catholic equivalent.  So when Catholic author Amanda Hamm asked if I would like to read her latest novel (for free, in exchange for my honest review) I...

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The Joy of Children

The Joy of Children

Children don’t have to be reminded to be joyful.  Children find joy everywhere, effortlessly.  Think of all the viral videos of babies laughing at everything from funny faces to paper tearing.  Too bad that we grow up and away from joy and into worry and distress. ...

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Walking in Knoxville:  A Guide for Hikers

Walking in Knoxville: A Guide for Hikers

Writing about hiking used to be a pretty big chunk of this blog.  Not so much lately, as I fell off the fitness wagon.  But fall is a great time for walking--it's beautiful as well as cool.  So to inspire myself, and as a resource to any Knoxvillians or visitors, I've...

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The True Meaning of Comfort

The True Meaning of Comfort

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever.  John 14:16 As I meditated on the concept of Comfort while preparing to write this post, I reflected that it’s a word that evokes strong feelings, and it comes with...

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Fall Break in Kentucky

Fall Break in Kentucky

Would you believe until last year I had never spent a night in Kentucky?  I've driven through it on the way to points North, unsurprisingly, but somehow went almost 50 years without vacationing in a state I can drive to in an hour. We remedied that last October during...

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Minnesota Memories

Minnesota Memories

By the time this is published it will have been almost a year since our week in Minnesota--St. Paul, to be exact--where we stayed with our friends Renee and Erik and their daughter, Mikaela. Some background:  Renee and I were roommates all four years in college....

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Keeping Kids Catholic

Keeping Kids Catholic

When I was a little girl, I hated going to Mass. My father wasn't Catholic, and we all know how hard it is to take little kids to Mass.  So for the first six years of my life, I mostly stayed home on Sundays with Daddy.  Sometimes we'd drop my mother off and then go...

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Just Like That

Just Like That

I'm sitting here in my office working on bills as if it were any other Saturday even though a seismic shift occurred in my world less than 24 hours ago.  Because life does, in fact, go on. Twenty-two-and-a-half years ago, give or take, we welcomed our third child. ...

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Shopping at the Farmer's Market

Shopping at the Farmer's Market

My mother used to take us with her to the farmers' market when I was a little girl.  This is how I remember it: We'd drive into a big warehouse on the way home from church.  We'd stay in the car while my mother got out to shop.  Through the windows we'd catch glimpses...

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How I Learned a New Way to Pray

How I Learned a New Way to Pray

Like many Catholics, I am extremely uncomfortable at the thought of extemporaneous praying.  Fortunately, I am married to a former Protestant who excels at it and is happy to preside over any occasions (Thanksgiving, for example) when it seems called for. My husband...

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Iris, Resurrected

Iris, Resurrected

Mima--my maternal grandmother--loved working in her yard.  In my mind's eye I see her kneeling in front of her porch, setting out marigolds and impatiens in the rich black dirt she'd bought at Kmart.  Later she'd move to the bed by the street, where the peonies and...

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A Front Row Seat

A Front Row Seat

I'm blessed to still be a member of the very parish in which I was baptized as an infant.  Most of the past nearly 50 years of Sundays have found me sitting (standing and kneeling) in a pew at Immaculate Conception Church.  And like most Catholics, I'm usually in the...

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