Friday Quick Takes: Lots of New Additions!

And lots of blue, because . . .

1. We are having a BOY!

2. We bought a HOUSE!  Closed this morning.

3. We also recently got a RABBIT, our first family pet (and she’s very much alive–ha ha . . .)

The girls LOVE the bunny.  The bunny tolerates the girls.

The girls LOVE the bunny. The bunny tolerates the girls.

4. There’s a bunch of work we* need to do on the house before we move in.  Right now, it’s full of potential, and I’m dreaming of white walls with wood  accents and lots of light and space.  Ahhh, space.

* We = Pat.

5. I’m 100% absolutely positively sure our house soon will look like this:

via Pinterest

6. Right now, it’s looking more like this:

IMG_8904 IMG_8906


Not kind of like this.  Exactly like this.  As in, this is the house we bought today.  I now own a blue toilet and shower.  And lots of potential.

7.  Have a lovely weekend. Click over to This Ain’t the Lyceum for more quick takes.

Friday Link Love June 12, 2015 {Doritos Locos and other edifying subjects}

Some quick links and thoughts on this Friday night.  The first is serious; the rest are light and fluffy.

1. I was touched by Saint* Pope Francis’s recent words about the heroic love of family members who care for sick loved ones.  First I thought–of course– of myself . .. and Pat . . . and how hard it is to care for the girls with their sporadic, cough-variant asthma.  They have so many nights of intermitable coughing during cold and flu season; winter is a cold, cold hell for us.

Then I thought–wow–the pope’s words really really apply to my parents, who are taking care of my aunt as she undergoes cancer treatment.  They, and my uncle, also are caring for my 94-year-old grandmother, who is in a gradual, painful decline and is now bedridden.  We’ve been expecting the end for months now.  My uncle lives with her and takes painstaking care of her full time.  My dad spends many nights over there so my uncle can get some sleep, since my grandmother is restless and needs constant care throughout the night. . . . And this all comes not long after the years my parents cared for my other grandmother; she died in their home three years ago.

They’ve all been on my mind a lot lately.  I’m a thousand miles away and don’t know what I can do.

*So embarrassing.  I have such a hard time catching my own typos.

2. Something else that’s been on my mind is Taco Bell.  Mmm, Baby #3 loves taco bell.  My frequent visits there reminded me of this article, about why food that’s bad for us tastes so good.  [If the link doesn’t work, backdoor your way in by searching Google News for “Taste the Science in Every bite”.]

I’m tasting that science! I’m tasting it in every bite, baby.                                                image credit

The article discussed the Doritos Locos tacos and how popular they are and–let me tell you–that’s no surprise.  They are delicious.  Delicious.  So good.

3. By the way, Girl 1 has taken to being scared to be in her room at night, every night, at any point of the night, starting at bedtime, even with the light on and door open.  I told her tonight about her guardian angel.  We discussed and she pondered for the last hour.  She just now announced she is scared of angels and doesn’t want one in her room.  So much for that.  I told her she could politely ask her angel to leave the room and I’m sure the angel would oblige.

4. My bloggy friend Sarah Isis is such a fashionable pregnant lady, isn’t she?  Next week, I’ll be linking up with her “23 questions” link up, posting my girls’ answers to 23 questions about their mom [me].

~ Ha!  I just realized that the idea is to ask the questions about Daddy and post for father’s day.  Oh well.  I’ll do the one about me for a late mother’s day post and then one where I ask them about Pat in time for Father’s Day. ~

My kids’ answers were quite amusing.  If you’re inclined you should link up too, especially if you’ve already asked your kids the questions (*ahem* Marti Oram, once you’re feeling better).

5. My new bloggy crush is Erica at Thrift Flipper.  She’s paying off her student loans by scouring thrift stores for fashion finds and reselling them on eBay.  I started doing this–on an extremely small scale–about a year ago.  I enjoy cheap retail therapy so much that when I find a great deal, even if my family and I can’t use it, I have to buy it.

My $5-snakeskin-Manolo-Blahnik-find story is one I’ll probably be telling my grandchildren.  Kind of like an old fisherman’s tale. Except they didn’t get away.  Maybe I should have had them stuffed and mounted to hang on the wall.  But then I couldn’t have resold them. For $50.  Anyway . . .

Enter eBay, by which my hobby at least pays for itself and a little more.  So anyway, when I found Erica’s blog I was like, “There’s someone else out there who does this!  And she seems normal!”

6. I had some other links to share with you but I’ve misplaced them now.

7. Have a lovely weekend!  Click over to This Ain’t the Lyceum for more quick takes.

Marriage to an INTJ

In which I critique my husband’s personality.

1. Pat’s birthday and our anniversary are around this time of year.  Lately I’ve been thinking about how much Myers-Briggs helps me understand him.  We’ve known each other for 14 years, been a couple for about 12, been married for 8.  And only now, I’m getting to the point–with certain traits–where I realize, “This is just who you are.  I’m not going to change it.  I don’t need to change it.”  (I’m a person with many pet peeves.  Lucky Pat.)

So first of all:

INTJ is one of the two rarest of the MB personality types, which makes me suspicious whenever someone calls himself INTJ.

For the record, Pat took the official test for work (the type you actually have to pay for).  He got the results and was like, “Okay, whatever,” as was I.  At the time, neither of us knew anything about the MBTI.  It wasn’t until several years later, when I started learning about Myers Briggs, that I looked back at his results, saw “INTJ” and thought, “Aha!”

So, just sayin’.

Here are some facts (or likely facts) about INTJs that I’ve come to accept:


INTJs do not love broadly.  They love specifically and intensely.

Thanks for picking me, hon!


Dark blue represents areas of the INTJ brain that are most active (ie need little stimuli before use). Light purple represents areas of the brain that needs a lot of stimuli before use. White areas represent areas where little activity goes on until a LOT of stimuli is present.

We both got a kick out of this one.  I have no idea how scientific this is, but it’s fairly accurate as far as I can tell.  Except that Pat’s “factual recall” is good.  Aesthetic recall . . . yeah, no.

Also these:





I treat people exactly how I want to be treated.  I leave them the hell alone.


Fortunately, I’m never on the receiving end of the following trait (because of #2, above), nor is anyone in our immediate family.  The rest of the world, be forewarned.

As an empathetic people-pleaser, I have trouble with this one.   But I’m learning the value of not giving a care what people think.

5.  Similarly:


Therefore, if we’re going to do something social, I usually need to plan it (even though I’m on the introverted side, too).



This isn’t really true, but kinda/ sorta true.  And funny.


7.  Finally, fortunately, Pat has found his career niche in software development and data science.  No surprise there!  He loves creating and mastering complex systems.

INTJ because that death ray isn't going to invent itself.

I found this chart recently.   See the list for INTJs?  Whaddya know?


Is there an INTJ in your life?  Or has Myers Briggs helped you understand a significant other?   And did you or he/she choose a career that matches your type according to the chart above?  Do tell.

. . . linking up with our favorite INTP, Jen, for 7 Quick Takes.

I’m thinking about . . .

1. The Synod.  But I haven’t read the “working document,” or whatever it is, yet.  So, I’m trying not to spout off opinions.  Not too many, anyway . . . .

2. Joannie’s post on the same topic, and especially what she says here:

[O]ver the past six years I’ve worked with a lot of people.  I’ve encountered the human heart.  Fresh out of grad school, I was armed with the Catechism and the Summa and I was ready to beat Church teaching into every soul and mind.  Now I’m still armed with those treasures, but I’m ready to propose it.  Just as God does.  I’ve encountered a weak and frail humanity that needs love and care and healing.  It needs the Truth.  But it is too wounded to be beaten further.  It needs to be loved.

3. Gradualism, as in Sr. Theresa’s story here and Caleh’s story.  Especially Caleh’s story.  It’s been in the back of my mind ever since I read it a while ago and it is so relevant now.

4. How it’s easy for me, having lived my whole life in a protected bubble of  security, to forget how much the American family has changed.  For the worse, and children are the ones who suffer the most.  This really hit home for me the one year I practiced “family” law.  What is the right approach for people who haven’t had a stable marriage in their ancestry for generations?

And how do you keep from “being so eager to bring lost sheep into the fold that we shove out the sheep already here,” leaving them to feel like suckers?  As Caleh puts it, “the Church IS for everyone…not just for those of us who happen to sin the trendy way.”

5. I think Pope Francis gets it.  He emphasized that it takes courage to marry and have a family.

It’s a bit off-topic but, I love this little anecdote:

[Pope Francis] told the story of a woman who said her son was in his 30s, had a girlfriend, but wouldn’t get married.

“I told her, ‘Ma’am, stop ironing his shirts,'” the pope said.

6.  I really like this picture, even though it reminds me of the Jehovah’s Witnesses tracts my piano teacher kept in her music room.  I don’t know where it comes from.  I can’t read the artist’s signature.  Anyone know?  It’s called “Adoration,” by David Bowman.

Jesus with little girl

Adoration, by David Bowman

7. Speaking of people who “get it.” Kelly does.  Why am in bed, using my laptop to browse blogs, when I spent the entire day looking forward to going back to sleep?  There’s a constant tension between sleep-time and me-time.

Happy weekend everyone. Click over to Jen’s for more quick takes.

7QT about lazy sangria, blogging profits, and a UD joke

1. Here’s a visual of my Thursday evening from about 6:30 onward, when Pat mercifully took over childcare and kitchen duties:

Book, Chocolate, booze

Book, stevia-sweetened dark chocolate, booze

2. It’s been a long week.  Both girls sick.  Up 1/3 of last night w/ insomnia.  Up the other 1/3 with Girl 1, who had an earache.  Blah blah blah.  My life is hard, etc.

3. Due to various reasons (see above), I resorted to Tired Woman’s Sangria this evening.  I just made it up.  It consists of the following:

  • Large drinking glass of disappointing white wine (should have stuck with Ecco Domani)
  • A few spoonfuls of diced fruit (in my case, watermelon and Granny Smith apple)
  • 2-3T Simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, cooked together until the sugar is dissolved; I keep some on hand, made in advance)
  • Ice

Soak the wine, fruit, and syrup together and chill in the fridge for as long as you can stand to wait.  Add ice and gulp.

4. Breaking news: forget Kindle Unlimited, Oyster, etc. and just get . . . a library card.  Public libraries have a better selection of electronic books, and they’re free!  It’s in the newspaper so it must be true.  Also, I tried out Kindle Unlimited for the free trial period and was underwhelmed.

5. On a more serious note, I thought this was a good, short article about how Americans (not all of us but some of us) have caused the current influx of undocumented minors emigrating  from Central America to the U.S.

6. And back to less serious notes: I made money from this blog for the first time yesterday!!  I signed up for Amazon’s Affiliate program and made a full ten cents!  That’s right, someone clicked through from my blog and spent $2.50!  Try not to be too jealous.  I want to frame it as the first dime I made, like some businesses frame the first dollar they make.  Trouble is, Amazon won’t cut a check until I make $10.  At my current rate of 4% per click-through purchase, it’ll take . . .

0.04x = $10

x = 10/.04

x = $250

. . . $247.50 more in purchases from readers.  Keep it up folks!  😉  . . . Actually, after a few more purchases my rate goes up to a whopping 6% or something like that.  Nevertheless, I’m keeping my day job.

7.  So, inside joke for any University of Dallas people (which also applies to many small Catholic colleges): my little brother just set off for a jaunt to Ireland before his study abroad semester in Rome.   He posted some pictures of his group.

I couldn’t help but notice that, while the guys in his group are fair to middling in the looks department, the girls are  H-A-W-T, hot, hot.

“Steve-O, dude, how did you manage this?” I asked.   His reply:

“That’s the magic of the UD ratio.”

He’s a smart one, that kid.

Happy weekend folks!  Click over to Conversion Diary for more quick takes.

Theme Songs of My Life

Jennifer asked her readers about their “theme songs”: a song that reminds you vividly of a specific time in your life.

This is fun to ponder.  I’ve been out of the habit of listening to music for so long.  But it’s amazing how many memories and emotions stay connected with a song, no matter how much time goes by.  Here are some of my “theme songs.”

1. She’s Always A Woman by Billy Joel: Pat got me Billy Joel’s greatest hits a few weeks before Girl 1 was born, and we listened to that 3 CD set over and over.  And when Pat first held Girl 1 after she was born, he sang this to her.  We kept singing it to her throughout the coming months.  We played it in the car when she fussed.  No surprise that, at less than two years old, we were singing it to her and she piped in with the “oohs” at the beginning of the refrain, with perfect timing.  Her first song.  The question is whether Pat was prescient in choosing this song, or whether hearing it so much influenced Girl 1’s personality.



1.5 Careful by Guster: This reminds me of driving around, lost, in Northwestern Virginia on a snowy day, with Lizzie.  And of multiple other memories.

2. One Year Past Twenty, by Judd and Maggie.  This is Martha’s and my theme song, only because of the first line:

Somethin’ ’bout the way/

you say “shut up”/

makes me know I’m gonna miss you.


3. Let Your Troubles Roll By by Carbon Leaf: This is Pat’s favorite band.  I listened to their albums over and over again at work, and on the subway to and from work on my little off-brand, old-school MP3 player.  I clung to music, in a way I never had before, to get me through the last few, exhausting months of work at a DC law firm (which also happened to be the last few months before Girl 1 was born).

4. MmmBop by Hanson: Oh, 1997, you were not the greatest year for me.  But I will always love your music.  And say what you want; Hanson was way better than any other boy band.  (Though the BSB put on one hell of a show.)  Other songs that bring back that era for me: Third Eye Blind Jumper, Matchbox 20’s Push (Rob Thomas’s voice, OMG), Paula Cole Where Have All the Cowboys Gone, Savage Garden Truly Madly Deeply . . . so many.

Attending Hanson concert while old enough to drink a beer = the life.

Attending Hanson concert with my sisters, while old enough to drink a beer = the life.

5. Anyone At All by Carole King: Pat’s and my song.  Even though Pat hates it.



Embarrassing revelations tonight brought to you courtesy of Primal Roots red wine, available in fine supermarkets everywhere.

Linking up with Heather for Five Favorites Wednesday.

Laura’s Very Exciting Life

Travel, haircut, oral surgery, software testing, etc. . . .  Also, drugs.

Happy Friday folks!

1. If you haven’t already, check out Mary’s guest post yesterday, which has tips and inspiration for decluttering.  It’s motivated me to throw quite a bit of stuff away over the past few days, which is always a picker-upper (pun not quite intended, ha ha ha).

2. My sweet baby nephew was baptised last weekend, and I was privileged to be his godmother.  I made a whirlwind, 36 hour trip down to the Sunshine State for the blessed occasion.

IMG_6226 IMG_6231 IMG_6255

3. The night I was in FL, I slept the best night of sleep I’ve slept in a long long time.  I remember the first five minutes or so of being in bed at my parents’ house, trying to get comfortable.  Next thing I remember, my alarm was going off, seven hours later.  Delicious.

4. Speaking of Florida, I can’t resist sharing some beautiful pictures that my brother, Stephen, took down there recently.  They almost make me want to buy a real camera, almost.  But I doubt I’ll remember to bring it around and use it.  So I stick with my humble little iPhone4 and enjoy the photography of others.








5. Speaking of photography, here are some selfies for the ages.  I took them because *drumroll* I’m getting my hair cut Saturday.  Yay!  I’m going to a lady who’s trained in the Ouidad method, which is supposed to do wonders for curly and wavy hair.

My hair is only slightly wavy, so I don’t know for sure if it will work for me.  But I’m sick of having my hair look crappy unless I spend 30 minutes blow drying it and using a round brush.  I just hate doing my hair.  And anyway, my blow drying broke and I’m not going to bother replacing it until the fall.  If ever.

So anyway, here is my hair today, looking like it does pretty much every day.

IMG_6272 IMG_6273

Here it is on a good day.  I slept on it wet and the stars must have been aligned in my favor that night, because I woke up with it looking okaaaaaay.

IMG_6180 IMG_6181


Can I get it to look like this every day, just a bit shorter?  We shall see.

6. The haircut experience, if nothing else, will be more enjoyable than the other self-improvement measures I’ve taken lately.  Namely, one gum graft, wherein a periodontist removed tissue from the roof of my mouth and stuffed it into the gums under my lower front teeth, where the gums were receding.  The idea is to keep enough gum tissue down there that my teeth don’t fall out.

It’s the second time I’ve had this procedure done (in a different spot this time).  It’s really something, feeling someone saw into the roof of your mouth.  Fortunately, the local anesthetic was effective (except for the last few sutures–ouch).

I was working at a Big Law Firm in DC when I got a gum graft the first time.  It was a Friday, and I remember feeling like it was the happiest day of my life because I took half the day off of work and had the whole weekend free.  I was getting skin carved out of my mouth and then sewn back in, but who cared?  I took half the day off of work.  I felt so free, like a kid playing hooky from school.

Truth be told, I felt kinda sorta the same way this time around.  Ana knows what I’m talking about.  Also, this time, I got hydrocodone afterward.

7. Pat was published on his company’s blog recently.  His post is about effective software testing techniques, which is a subject near and dear to his heart.

Aaaaaand, that’s all folks.  Have a great weekend!

For more quick takes, click on over to Conversion Diary.

A Movie I Hate

that I’ve never seen, advice I won’t take, plus other midnight ramblings:


1.  Here’s a little something for you:

Two of my favorite things: .gif images and Pride and Prejudice

2.  There are lots more of both herebut

3. I loathe the “new” Pride and Prejudice* movie with a passion.  The one with Keira Knightly.  Hate it.  Really can’t stand her acting.  Looking at her gives me the heebie geebies.  Does she have a sinus problem?  Can she not breathe through her nose?  Why can’t she close her mouth?

I don’t know her as a person so probably she’s perfectly likable in real life.  (Trying to avoid being uncharitable here . . .)  But in movies ugh.  And what little I saw of the new movie really was not true to the book.  The characters’ restraint is what makes the emotion in the book so compelling.  And the “new” movie does away with most of the restraint.  From what I saw.

Like I said I didn’t watch it.  Just a few bits and pieces.  I’m very fair and thorough that way when I form my opinions.

4. In happier news, my sister  Lizzie had her baby!  They are both doing well.  I don’t know how much more I’m allowed to tell.  Anyway, I’m pretty excited.

Speaking of younger siblings doing things one already has done . . . .

5. Advice: I used to dole out a lot of it.  I also used to think I needed to take every bit of advice that came my way.  Now, I’m pretty much done with advice.  This article quite humorously discusses the reasons why.

The U.S. is addicted to advice. Americans honestly believe that someone out there knows how to fix all our problems. . . . Why, then, are so many of us miserable, bankrupt, overweight chain smokers with horrible, illiterate kids? The advice was out there.

Certain family members might roll their eyes at my asserting I’m through with giving advice.  I guess I should say: I’ve cut back.  I’ve come a long way.

6. And speaking of . . . uh . . . kids.  Kids!  I saw this little statistic about vaccines.

Apparenly, parents who are disinclined to get their kids vaccinated are even less likely to get their kids vaccinated after being given a pro-vaccine spiel.  Makes perfect sense to me.

My kids are vaccinated (tho on a delayed schedule), but I detest the info sheets the doctor’s office hands out from the Center for Disease Control.  My friend calls them “idiot sheets,” and I think that sums it up perfectly.  “Hmm, you obviously think I’m dumber than dirt.  So what all are you not telling me?”

7. I’m always wired after book club and tonight is no exception.  Multiple hours of socializing! With multiple people at one time!  I love it but it’s a lot for my reclusive system to handle.

Happy weekend everyone!  Click over to Jen for more quick take posts.


*The “new” P&P was made almost nine years ago.  #Ifeelold

Weekend Badness and Goodness {WIWS}


Breaking Bad (season 1)

^^ Now that it’s received a Jenprimatur, Pat and I started watching Breaking Bad on Netflix.  I’m only two episodes in but OMG, it’s kind of like Flannery O’Connor wrote a television script and got the Coen Brothers to direct and produce it.  Mom, if you’re reading this: I think you’d love it.  Dad, not so much.  Similarly, Pat was not so into it.  Too much darkness, he says.  But I liked it.  That bathtub thing in the second episode?  I was like, “Yes!  That is AWEsome!”

More badness:

morning glories

^^ Damned deer, ate my morning glories  . . .


^^and got into our trash.  I think they’re frustrated that they can’t use our backyard as a daycare anymore like they did before we finished our fence.  The fawns can’t jump over it.


Check out the Jack O'Lantern crocs!

Check out the Jack O’Lantern crocs!

^^ Girl 2 is getting to be almost as opinionated as Big Sis re: her clothes:


^^ and her shoes. Especially the shoes.  This was the view from over my shoulder in the minivan this evening.

More goodness:


^^ Storytime with Uncle Nick


^^ Healthy, paleo-ish chocolate tart (stay tuned for the recipe, coming later this week).


^^ Sisters “sharing” not-quite-so-healthy frozen custard

Shirt, shoes, skirt and necklace are from LOFT (old)

Shirt from Target, shoes here; skirt and necklace are from LOFT (old)

^^ What I wore to Mass on Sunday.

Thanks to the ladies at FL&P for hosting today’s link up and to Mary for her Weekend Diaries link up!

What Does One Wear To a Backstreet Boys Concert? {WIWS}

And will anyone else tailgate in their minivan??

I’m adding these to my list of questions I’d never thought I’d ask.   But here’s what I wore:

All pieces are akin to the oldest Backstreet "Boy": Old.

All pieces are akin to the oldest Backstreet “Boy”: Old.

I went out with my husband’s sisters and brother-in-law to celebrate the eldest sister’s second 29th birthday.  I love these girls, and let me tell you, we are PARTY PEOPLE!


BSB concert


Here’s what I wore earlier in the day to Mass:

Kohl's Chaps Knot-Front Empire Dress

It looks surprisingly similar to what I wore the week before:

Chaps Knot-Front Empire Dress Kohl's

I love this dress.  Kohl’s still carries it, though only in solid colors now.  Highly recommended (but I cut out the shoulder pads).  You could even breastfeed in it because of the way the panel is sewn in.

Backstreet Boys and breastfeeding attire.  All in one post.  Life is a wild and crazy ride, folks.

Thanks to the ladies at FL&P for hosting today’s yesterday’s link up and to Mary for her Weekend Diaries link up!