Saturday, July 31, 2010

Catching up #2: Books

I've been on a big classics kick lately. Actually, not just lately, more like for the last decade or so, ever since I met Miss Jane Austen.

So, I regularly pick up a classic; for the exceptional writing, the rich characters and stories that leave you pondering them long after you've put the book down.

My latest book was Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. I had seen it recommended in several places in the blogosphere and it made the list of Top 20 "Catholic" Novels over at Aggie Catholics.

It was one of the most interesting books I have ever read.

It did take me a bit to get into the book (I had to slog through the first 50 pages or so), but it was so worth sticking with it. Waugh is a master at "showing not telling" with his writing. His characters are highly flawed, and therefore highly realistic, and he leaves it up to the reader to decide if they are good, bad or somewhere in between.

As I was reading the book, I continually wondered why this book was recommended as a top "Catholic" novel. Most of the Catholic characters seem so dysfunctional and the story is actually told from the point of view of an agnostic. But, the ending - oh, the ending! - is fantastic: so subtle, so beautiful.

I so wish I still had a book club and that that book club would pick this book and then we could sit and talk about this book for hours. I'm dying to have a good discussion about this book!

So, if you pick up Brideshead Revisited and read it, please shoot me an email when you're done and we'll "talk"!

P.S. Recently a movie was made of Brideshead Revisited. I have not seen it, but it seems that many Catholic bloggers did not like it. Have any of you seen it? What were your thoughts on it?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Catching up #1

We just returned (just? we've been back for a week!) from our annual vacation at the lake with Eric's family. Even before the trip, it's been a very busy summer and my blogging has taken the back burner. But, the three older kids are going to Eric's parents house for a full week starting on Saturday so I'll be going into "catch up" mode while they are gone. I'll be catching up on some cleaning, organizing, shopping and, of course, blogging. I plan on doing a short post everyday (will see if it actually happens or not, I do still have a 7 month old staying at home with me) to catch you all up on what has been going on in our lives. I'm really looking forward to it! I've missed my neglected little blog!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Read any good books lately?

We're leaving for vacation in a few days. Every year we spend a week at a lake with Eric's side of the family and it's always so fun and relaxing; plenty of sun, water and free babysitting are available. I can't wait!

But, I need a good book to read while I'm doing absolutely nothing. Something fun and faster paced, but not complete fluff.

Any recommendations?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Family portraits

I have a friend that I knew in college that I recently caught up with on Facebook. This friend is a math teacher who also has a photography business on the side. She saw some of my pictures on Facebook and then asked my if I'd like to do a photography services swap; she'd shoot my family and I'd shoot hers and then we'd swap the files. Lucky me, we got our family portraits done first and I got the files this week. It sure is nice to have friends that happen to be fantastic photographers. I just have to share some of the great shots that she took.




Eric will just stare at the above photo and say, "Wow, we've got a lot of kids." Of course, he's fully aware of how many we have, but somehow looking at a picture full of people and realizing they're all yours kind of puts a different spin on it.



I love these brothers and sisters shots. I'll treasure them for a long time!

Today I scheduled the date with my friend to return the favor, to do a photoshoot of her family. I am so nervous! I just don't know if I can deliver the same quality that she gave us since I've never done family portraits before. I did learn a ton just by watching her work, though. I always find it so interesting to watch people who are good at what they do whether it's photography or hair cutting or painting or cooking or whatever. Do you know what I mean?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Kids' Portraits

We've been through another round of birthdays so it was time for me to update our kids' portraits. I had so much fun doing my own portraits last year, but this time around I did it a little simpler. I let the kids pick out their own clothes (I'm working hard at letting go and trying to keep things simple, so I promised not to stress about the wardrobe!) and we headed to a local park for a quick shoot. A photographer friend of mine did our family portraits a couple of weeks ago at the same park (I'll be posting those soon!) and I thought it was such a lovely place.

So, these pictures will soon be hanging on my living room walls:

6 month old Clara

My little sweetheart

3 year old Augustine (Yes, the only decent picture was the one with a cap gun in his hand!)

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6 year old Elizabeth (Her birthday was last week and I never got a blog post done about it.)

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8 year old Jonathan

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I've been a little light on blogging and commenting lately, but my responsibilities of being a wife and mother are consuming almost all of my waking hours these days. I love being a mom, but I do hope the craziness calms down a bit soon. The oldest two have vacation bible school next week and after that we have a trip to a Texas lake with Eric's family. I'm really looking forward to the R&R!

God bless you! You're in my prayers!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The happy dance

Clara is 6 months old now and a very lively, happy baby. She recently got a new swing that she absolutely loves, as you can tell by her huge smile with her tongue sticking out.

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But, to fully understand her happiness you need to be able to see her in action because her little body just can't contain her excitement, especially her feet.

Just roll your mouse over the photo below to see Clara do her happy dance!

By the way, don't you just love all her rolls?! Chubby baby thighs are the best!