2014 in (just a few) pictures

Dwija hosts a fun link-up: 2014 in 12 pictures.  It’s a good challenge to whittle down the hundreds of pictures I take in the year to those that capture the year’s essence.  (It’s also good preparation for preparing the year’s photo book).  So here was my 2014 in 12 pictures give or take a few:


January 2014


This beautiful photo my brother took helped me gain perspective when I got caught up in my life’s un-Pinterestability

February 2014


I failed so many diets this year I lost count.



Happy Easter!

April 2014

Check out the flooding at my parents’ house!  Would you believe it–it just missed their house by a few feet!

March 2014


I made a whirlwind trip for my baby godson-nephew’s baptism.  I realize now that my sister (the baby’s mom) was probably hyperventilating as I held him  He was quite ready to go back to her after being doused.

May 2014


The girls enjoyed some shares of our CSA more than others.

June 2014


My siblings and I were all together for the first time in two years.

July 2014


Assembled a nifty home command center finally!

August 2014


Shout-out to my mother in law for capturing Girl 2’s curls!

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Girl 1 obsessed about Halloween . . .

October 2014

and matured in her friendships at school.  😉

September 2014


Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for the win!

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd


It was a Christmas of minor disaster,

December 2014

disaster recovery,

December 2014 2

and family.

December 2014 3

Happy new year y’all!  Thanks Dwija!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

It’s Hell To Get Old

Little Five-year-old Friend:  “Who’s that?”


Me: “That’s me and Mr. S. when we got married.”

“You look like Belle!  Belle is my favorite princess.”

“Aw . . .”

“But your hair looks different.  Now, you always wear those buns . . . .”


“And your face looks different .. . .”

“Yeah, well, I’m wearing glasses now-”

“You just look really different.”

”        ”

“Mr. S. looks the same.”

”         . . . why don’t you go play?”

When Real Life Doesn’t Look Like Pinterest

We installed a ballet bar and mirror in Girl 1’s room last weekend.

We did it on a whim.  I saw the idea on Pinterest, and the very next day I found the perfect mirror at a thrift store.

My daughter was thrilled.  I was not so.  The paint on the bar was uneven. The mirror frame could have used a touch up.  We used blocks of wood to hold the mirror in place, and we didn’t bother sanding and painting them.  We’re more get-‘er-done types, not so much get-‘er-perfect types.

I was bummed.

Why can’t I get things to look nice?

And then my brother visited and took a few snapshots.

Maybe I need to focus less on how I think things look.  And more on how I see them.

ballet bar 4

Five Favorite Blog Posts

I’d like to share with you a few posts I love from other blogs:

— 1 —

If push came to shove, would your child get eaten by a bear?  (Why your kid may actually need less patience from you.)  Thanks, Martha O., for pointing out this article.

— 2 —

This post by my sister about our favorite humanitarian veterinarian (our dad).

— 3 —

This post by my other sister about our family’s double wedding summer last year.

— 4 —

That reminds me of this picture, from one of those weddings.  That’s my family, waiting for Pat and me to get our butts over there for the picture.  Completely candid.  Not a blog post, but I’m adding it to the list because I love it.


**Update** I just recalled that Joannie took this pic, and so in keeping with my theme today, here is one of my favorite of her posts, all about two of our favorite English gentleman sleuths.

— 5 —

This post by Simcha Fisher, and especially the comment by a Susan M. (I’m totally eating crow here).  Because it gave me hope that I could have a second child and not die.


I’m  joining up with Hallie of Moxie Wife, for her Five Favorites link up.  Thanks Hallie!

When Flowers and Four Year-Olds Fend For Themselves { phfr }

I’m participating today in the Pretty Happy Funny Real link-up at Like Mother, Like Daughter.


Irises and rosebuds:

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My hydrangea bush is budding.  Hydrangeas are one of my very favorite flowers.  We had them at our wedding.



I told Girl 1 to change out of her sparkly dress before going outside to “help” Daddy in the yard.  This is the outfit she changed into:



I never have the time I want to spend on my flower bed.  This year, with a toddler who delights in running into the street as fast as her fat legs can toddle (which is fast!), I have none.  My flowers are infested with weeds, bugs, and blight.

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But my nasturtiums have re-seeded themselves, and they survive and bloom no matter what:


Thank you for hosting, Leila and Co.!

Four Year-Old Fashion and Some Cross-Stitch { phfr }

I’m participating today in the Pretty Happy Funny Real link-up at Like Mother, Like Daughter.


Instant friendship between Girl 1 and another little girl, as they danced to the recessional music at my brother’s graduation:



Some little cross-stitch animals for Sebastian, the first completed needlework project in two decades for this self-avowed non-crafter:

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Four year-old footwear choices (she got the sandals on by herself for the first time):



Four year-old footwear choice when I don’t do a last-minute shoe check before Mass:


Thank you for hosting, Leila and Co.!