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7 Quick Takes: Hello from my backyard

13 Jul

Hello!  Blogging always brings me joy.  It is one of my goals this summer to blog more.  So far I’ve blogged . . . . once.  HA!  It’s still summer, so my goal remains the same.

1. Our flower gardens have been one of the highlights for me this season.  I get a thrill from watching the flowers grow from their tiny little leaves and buds into full grown blooms.

 

2. Yesterday evening B. found two giant tomato-eating caterpillars on the tomatoes.  We he plucked them off the tomatoes and tossed them into the pond for the fish to eat.

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Great big gross green tomato caterpillars

3. My sister K. has been in town visiting while her husband is on a business trip.  They have a 3-month-old, who is B. and my goddaughter.  I’ve been thoroughly enjoying spending time with my sister, and of course getting in lots of baby snuggles.  I hope and pray that someday B. and I will have babies of our own.  In God’s perfect timing, #amiright?

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Me and my sister’s adorable baby

4. There’s nothing quite like fresh laundry from the clothesline.  It smells so good.

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It was pretty windy that day!

 

5. I call this plant “lamb’s ear”, but I don’t know if that’s the correct name for it.  The leaves are really soft, and it feels like a lambs ear (I guess!) It’s growing in the middle of the grass in our backyard.

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6. I am so thankful it is Friday.  My week was good, but I was exhausted by Wednesday!  We have been working a lot around the yard and the house, and most days this week after we finished dinner, we would jump back into a project and then collapse at the end of the night.

7.   B. and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this spring!  I thank God every day for my wonderful husband.  Here we are working on a project together.  (New closet doors – *squeal!* )

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Stay tuned!  *Coming soon* —  *Home Improvement Projects*

Thanks for stopping by!  It was nice to have you.  Come back again soon!

I’m joining the “7 Quick Takes” at This Ain’t the Lyceum, so head on over to read other blogs!

 

Love,

Rachel

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What do you do during Thunderstorms?

19 Jun

Summer thunderstorms are thrilling!  The ominous clouds billow and build, creating giant dark gray thunderheads.  This afternoon we had a wonderful thunderstorm while I was at work.  I could hear the rain pelting the roof of the building as my fingers clicked away at my keyboard.  After work, I ducked for cover as I dashed into a local Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  I spent some peaceful time in prayer and did some spiritual reading.  Here is a picture from the Chapel:

 

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St. Vincent Blessed Sacrament Chapel

 

After my visit to the Chapel, I went home and began a delicious Chinese supper with some leftover grilled turkey and frozen veggies.  While supper was simmering, I couldn’t help but pull some things out of the pantry and re-organize (I am my mother’s daughter, and she LOVES to be organized.  I totally love it too!)  

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Home-made Chinese dinner

 

As I worked around the kitchen, I watched the rain and listened to the thunder overhead.

 

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Our newly organized pantry

Thunderstorms can be scary or they can be enjoyable.  It depends on our approach.  Do we run in fear, or do we sit and watch in awe and wonder?

Sometimes there are thunderstorms in my heart.  Sometimes the storms are beautiful and sometimes they’re turbulent.  Sometimes it’s the voice of God speaking to me.  Other times it’s my own human heart that is upset or discouraged.  I try to listen when it’s the voice of God.  Other times, I rely on myself during the storm, and that’s when I begin to doubt.  But Jesus is on the other side of that storm, stretching forth His hand, asking for us to trust.

Our Lord delights in the heart that remains peaceful during the storms of life.  He is our anchor when the rain comes pelting down and the water rises.  He is our stronghold and our Mighty God who need only speak the word and our hearts are healed.  Will you join me in listening to the voice of God during the thunderstorms of life?  The storms are truly beautiful and oftentimes the storms of life help make us stronger if we allow ourselves to be led by the mighty power of God, the one who has control over all the storms.

What do you do during Thunderstorms?

 

 

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Our backyard during the Thunderstorm this evening

 

(Note: please pardon the different font types.  I don’t know how to change that…)

 

Puppy Love

5 Mar

It seems to be the trend, as I get back into blogging, that I find a story I’ve written a year or two ago, and post it.  I wrote this post a couple years ago about my sister’s dog Teddi.  He is a Golden Doodle with Irish Setter.  He is one of my favorite dogs!  He is energetic, friendly, smart and has a great “personality.”  At the end of the story, I have included a current picture of  Ted.  (The structure of this blog post is a little wonky since I’m posting it from my iPhone.

 

This little dog, Teddi, is my sister J’s dog:

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This was right after running laps around the living room tonight

He is affectionately called, “Teddi Face”, “Teddi Bear”,

“Little Guy”, “Freddi” and even sometimes “Ya Little Terd.” All in good humor, of course 😉

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Say CHEESE!

Can you believe that he is only FOUR AND 1/2 months old? He is growing So. Much.

He has been attending obedience lessons where he is learning commands.

Better to start young than to try to teach an old dog some new tricks, right?

He is doing well at his lessons for being such a young puppy.

He can shake hands, sit, jump, and is working on “stay”, “down”, and “leave it.”

His teacher said that he would make a good therapy dog.
(Although, when he is running around the house getting into everything, I think otherwise. . . .)

But he is such a cutie and I know that he’ll outgrow this phase of getting into everything.

It’s amazing how much I love that little puppy.

I guess that’s what you call Puppy Love.

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Picture of Teddi taken yesterday.  He’s grown a lot in the past two years!

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Me and Teddi hanging out 

Wedding Planning – Part 2

1 Mar

This blog post is titled “Wedding Planning – Part 2”, but as you know, B. and I are nearing our 1st ANNIVERSARY!  It seems like our wedding day was just a couple months ago.  When I typed out this blog post sometime early last year, I didn’t find the time to post it.  In the midst of wedding planning a year ago, here were some of my thoughts, and here is a picture from our wedding day (We were getting ready for another pose, and by my mother’s windswept look you can tell it was a bit windy.)

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Here are some of my thoughts about wedding planning a year ago:

Thankfully B. and I are both frugal and we know how to shop for deals, so we are off to a good start there.  My mom has generously offered to make our cake (a friend of the family made the cake – I wanted my mom to enjoy the days leading up to my wedding and not be concerned with making our wedding cake.)

My youngest sister R. has also offered to make pies and cupcakes, which is a HUGE help and for which we are so grateful.  (We ended up just doing cupcakes, which kept it simple for my sister.) My other sisters and one of my cousins have volunteered their help with phone calls to rental companies and for getting quotes on invitations.

Some friends say that they are glad they got married in a park, or in the courthouse, and were glad they didn’t have to “deal with all that.”  But there is something so beautiful about having a full marriage ceremony at a church with all the dresses and suits, flowers, music and ceremony, and most importantly, in God’s house, in the Sacrament of Marriage.

There is something so sacred about getting married in a church with family and friends and the people that have been part of my life since day one.

B. and I knew we would get married in a church, have the marriage ceremony, and then have a big celebration with family and friends afterwards.  My dream of having a marriage ceremony in a church and doing all the planning and purchasing, may, to some, be seemingly “unnecessary”, but it all has so so much meaning.

The symbolism of the exchange of rings, saying our vows, wearing a white dress, etc. – it all has meaning.  We are getting married before the eyes of God and before the witness of our family and friends, listening to the exchange of vows and commitment of me & B. to each other, after all the planning, searching, worrying and praying, and to celebrate with all the glitz and glam and song and dance of a beautiful, new covenant.

(Picture below is my father-in-law congratulating us after the wedding ceremony.)

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2017 In Review

19 Feb

Hello, my friends!  It’s sooo good to be back into blogging.  I can’t tell you how many times over the past couple months I’ve thought of what I wanted to write about, share with you, and type out on my friendly little laptop.  All those stories and pictures got tucked away in my “things to write about” mental file.  We haven’t had internet installed at our house yet, so when I had some extra time after work today, I seized the moment, set up my laptop, and started typing away.

I thought it would be good to start with a “2017 in Review” so that I can fill you in on all the goings-on in the past year that I have been away from blogging.  So much has happened in a years’ time! 

(I have a couple pictures to share right now, and more to come later.)

January – House-hunting.  Need I say more??  House-hunting (for me) was so emotionally draining, It was incredibly time-consuming and tedious.  (The housing market was NUTS.  Houses were being sold nearly as soon as they went on the market.  We’d find a house we were interested in, and it would have an offer on it by the time we tried setting up a showing.)  Did I mention that it was also discouraging?  We prayed A LOT that God would help us find the right place.  Needless to say, we learned to lean on God more and learned how to trust His timing more.  (More about this below.)

February – Welcomed a new nephew into the world. 

Went to WI to visit my husband B’s two sisters and their families.

March – Marriage prep meetings with the priest who officiated at our wedding ceremony.  Our priest encouraged us to pray together, which we already were doing, but when we started praying even more intentionally together, we realized even more how important it was to pray as a couple because by praying more together, we grew even deeper as a couple.

April – Honeymoon finalizing (road trip out west!)

May – We signed the closing papers for our house the DAY BEFORE our wedding.  You don’t even know how stressed I was.  In hindsight, I’m not sure how I got through all the stress except by the grace of God.  In the four months leading up that that day, I took a class for my job in insurance, I combed the area for the best interest rates for our mortgage, researched and found good insurance coverage for our house, planned our wedding (with the help of my amazing husband.)

And then my favorite part ❤ ❤ ❤  On a beautiful spring day in late May, I married the man of my dreams.  We got married at a beautiful cathedral, had our family, friends and relatives as our honored guests, a gorgeous pipe organ playing our wedding music, and all the graces and blessings of Heaven flowing down upon us.

Receiving a special blessing from the priest during our wedding ceremony.

One of my favorite post-ceremony photos of me and B., laughing with delight!

Went on our honeymoon to the Grand Canyon and to a few other National Parks out west.  I got “hangry” a couple times.  We hiked down into the Grand Canyon, spotted lizards and deer, ate ice cream, and took LOTS of pictures.

June – I was in my older sister’s wedding. 

B. and I moved into our new house!  It was strange to move from the house that I had shared with my sisters for 8 years.  Sad, but exciting to start a new journey with my husband!

July – I was in the wedding for one of my younger sisters.  

B. and I hosted a 4th of July party at our new house, and found that our house is very conducive to hosting friends and family. 

A new niece was born! 

We enjoyed many evenings sightings of a deer and her baby twins wander through and frolic in the field behind our house.

August – I turned 30!  B. took the day off to spend with me, so we took a leisurely scenic drive through the countryside, and drove up to the State Park where, a couple years prior, we each had the realization that we liked each other 😊  My birthday was so special.  B. baked me a chocolate cherry gluten free cake (YUM!), gave me a beautiful potted flower, and made my birthday so sweet.  We packed a picnic lunch and road our bikes all around the park.

September – Hubby and I ook a trip to the Smoky Mountains over Labor Day weekend and went hiking.  On the way home, we were able to visit my older sister and her husband who live in Kentucky.

October – Another nephew was born! 

October helped me re-realize that baking is one of my favorite past-times, and a wonderful way to unwind and de-stress after a long day or a long week. 

B. and I painted our “office” room in our house.  It was a not-very-pretty pink before we painted, and now it’s a nice creamy-white color.

November – Thanksgiving and trip to WI to visit family. 

Went to a Notre Dame game in the freezing cold rain and unanimously decided afterwards that we are going to avoid football games in November in the future.  Brrr!

December – Our first Christmas as husband and wife (all the love!)  I absolutely LOVED our first Christmas.  I loved decorating our house and setting out the Nativity set we received for our wedding.  I loved putting up the tree with B., and playing Christmas music as we put up the tree.  We went to Mass at the cathedral where we got married. 

Another niece was born just a couple days before Christmas.  What a wonderful Christmas present!

 

Whew!  Did I mention that 2017 was a whirlwind?!  So many emotions, ups and downs, learning and growing a lot as newlyweds.  We learned how to trust God more than we new we had the strength to.  It wasn’t easy or perfect, but it was beautiful, grace-filled and full of wonderful memories.

 

 

 

 

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