Sunday, March 31, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: Resurrection Sunday Alone

by Shannon

"Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives: 
I know that my Redeemer lives!"
~"I Know That My Redeemer Lives"

I didn't intend on posting an Easter review until later in the week, but I have bad news — Cruncher is sick. He's had it coming out of both ends for three days (sorry for the TMI). He's pretty miserable, and we're having a tough time getting him to take in liquids. Stubborn little fella — I wonder whyyyy? This is the third-THIRD-third Resurrection Sunday he has been too sick for Mass. He usually only gets a stomach bug once a year, so hitting the same holiday three times is quite the feat.

Since Ryan is napping (tired from a three-hour vigil Mass, having a brave overnight guest to entertain, and getting up in the night to help a sick boy), and Cruncher is chilling in bed, I have time I didn't know I had today. No cooking a big meal. No traveling around town to visit friends. No having dessert guests over this evening. Too bad I have a big, beautiful cake and no one to share it with.... Aaaaand I'm a Debbie Downer on the most sacred day of the year. Sigh ... sorry.

Ho hum. Here's what I wore this morning to Mass, all alone, while worrying about my sweet little boy.

What I wore: walking into church; during Mass; after I got home; closeup on the veil; closeup on the shoes; and for the rest of the day.

Mass outfit deets:
Eternity veil: Liturgical Time (I feel a little odd posting pictures of me in a veil, but I thought I'd share since it was my Easter gift. The shop was amazing to deal with, her blog is just lovely, and I imagine they've gotten very popular since Jennifer Fulwiler's post a few weeks ago. I was excited to read Jen's post because I had been admiring a lady at church's eternity veil, and could never seem to catch her after Mass to ask where she found it. And I ordered mine before the price increase — woohoo! I had no idea I was getting luxury bridal lace. What can I say? I have good taste.)
Love knot earrings: Victoria Townsend, Macy's
Houndstooth spring coat: Beaubois, Goodwill
Faux wrap dress: Evan Picone, consignment shop in town
Tortoiseshell watch: Fossil
Everyone's favorite oxford shoes: Gianni Bini, Dillards

Mom uniform deets: 
Miraculous Medal: Tonini's (Wanted to wear it to Mass, but was in such a hurry between breakfast, getting ready, and Cruncher being clingy.)
Elegant sack top: Dalia Collection, TJ Maxx
Skinnies: Old Navy
First sandals of spring!!: Not sure. The brand has long worn off. Maybe Report?

Can you tell I'm an anxious mess in those photos? I'm pretty good at faking normalcy. I'll bet my mama can tell.

And now for a slew of pictures for my mama.

This year, I naturally dyed our eggs. My friend Gwenny taught me about red eggs last year, and I used food coloring then. I'm leery of toxins in food coloring, though, so I tried naturally dying from Spanish onion skins this year. I was able to snag a bag of onion skins from Meijer for free, since they just toss them. It was really easy to dye the eggs (lots of time, but not much effort), and I think they look better than last year's. The wreath around the eggs was part of our Lenten decorations, as a crown of thorns, reused for Eastertide as a nest. Sorry no other pictures of our big breakfast. I was too distracted. We had potato latkes with goat cheese, pepper bacon and mustard; baked oatmeal with maple syrup; fruit salad; and local coffee. Luke had Jello, Gatorade and toast.
1. Preach it, sister. This year, I went with Easter lilies, for obvious reasons, and
red tulips, because they reminded me of His Precious Blood. The little nests
were on clearance at Target last year, and I made the runner from some sale
upholstery fabric at Hobby Lobby, running me $6.
For the last three Easters, I have bought a new piece of art for our home. This year, I bought a vintage linen tea towel of the Cathedral and Abbey Church of Saint Alban. Unfortunately, the building is not home to Catholic worship, as it's now under the Church of England, but St. Alban is buried beneath. Between the linen, the fabric backing and the frame, I put it together for about $25. Oh, and I got lucky this year and found the Lindt lambs before they sold out. Too. Cute.

The rest of the goodies: books, books and more books; lion and lamb; spring puzzles and a Stow & Go — genius!; and a St. Luke figurine. We gave our overnight guest Robert The Seven Story Mountain and a book of short readings by Matthew Kelly. I was really excited to find a book on St. Francis of Assisi by Chesterton for Ryan, as well as Not Your Average Joe.
The loot in the hidden eggs: St. Francis coin; Sacred Heart of Jesus coin;
rosewood finger rosary; and St. Michael figurine. 
Peek-a-boo egg, hidden-in-plain-sight egg, bookworm egg and sleepyhead egg.
What Cruncher would have worn today. He's pretty opinionated about his clothes, so the last Easter he got sick, we all joked it was because he hated his outfit (because he really did hate it). This year, that's not the case. Oh, well. He'll wear it next week. 
What he wore instead. Or at least one of four outfits so far today, since he keeps getting them ... erm ... messy. Here he is looking for his eggs.
And here he is in outfit two, dueling with Robert. One minute, Cruncher is bouncing off the walls, and the next minute, he's groaning in pain. Such the boy. 

I feel HORRIBLE that I didn't think to get a picture of my handsome husband before he left the house last night. Like I said, he's sleeping, or I'd totally make him put on his outfit for a quick staged photo. I'm that kind of wife.

Linkin' up with Fine Linen and Purple tomorrow and Grace at Camp Patton today. Now I'll continue sitting in Chruncher's beanbag and asking him, "How do you feel?" every five minutes.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What I Wore Passion Sunday: Anatomy of a WIWS Post

by Shannon

(Editor's note: Talk about how much we didn't blog last week and how much we definitely won't blog in the next week. Beautiful Basillica pictures here, sappy mom post here, Saint Joseph dinner/my church family is awesome/a cute outfit here. Maybe do some short meditation posts this week? Or picture-only posts this week? Don't talk about how Ryan didn't post at all this week, and definitely don't say he's a loser or something.)


Notes from earlier:
I'm a crier. That means I cry when a toddler plays basketball, Pope Francis kisses a disabled man, wedding guests flash mob Les-Mis style or this man opens a restaurant (I wonder if NPR realized what an awesome pro-life message that story was). I also regularly miss out on some of my favorite hymns during Mass, like today's "All Glory, Laud and Honor," because I'm a blubbering fool.

This morning, as I watched Father process around the church, I thought about how that procession and today's Gospel reading fully immerse priests in such a physical way. Outside of consecrating of the Eucharist and administering the sacraments, a priest's role on Passion Sunday is such a strong example of why women will never be ordained priests. It's not that a woman standing in as Jesus during the palm procession or speaking as the role of Jesus during the Passion reading would merely be unconventional, odd, etc. It just can't be. It literally cannot be. The priest during Mass is as Jesus, the Lamb being lead to the slaughter, and the Lord chose His Son for this role.

I feel so blessed to be Roman Catholic, a faith which has appropriate places for each men and woman, places that are both so different and essential. During Deacon's homily, he asked us each to examine our hearts this week, to make sure we're holding to God's will as we approach Good Friday and Easter. As I prepare our home for Resurrection Sunday this week, I will meditate on my roles as mother and wife, and ask for Our Lady's intercession so I may be a loving example of womanhood to those around me, especially my husband and son.


Segue here, then talk about last week's hair and how bad it was. Tried something new today, drumroll, big reveal...

Michael Voris-inspired hair! Talk here about how I'm mean, but don't care because it's funny yada yada. Say something sarcastic here.

Just kidding, blah, blah, real hair here.

Talk about what I did to fix it since last week, but will people care? Do I mention makeup colors? People seem to care. Talk about how the pixie worked nice and mod for today's getup.

Flower button earrings: Target
Checkered cape: vintage, consignment shop in town
Gold sweater: Old Navy
Tortoiseshell watch: Fossil
Purple wool skirt: H&M, consignment shop in town
Gray textured tights: who knows, do I know? I don't think I know...
Beatle boot: Report, Zappos

Talk about my silly personal fashion rules to always have earring holes filled and necklace/scarf/brooch/etc. accessory on, but this cape is loudloudloud, so no jewelry other than earrings and watch. Try to remember exactly what Cruncher said this morning about my silly fashion rules.

Segue something clever/funny here, and link back to FLAP ladies for more fashion finery.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Eating Everything

by Shannon

"O God, come to my assistance. 
Lord, make haste to help me."
~Psalm 96:2

On Tuesday, Ryan and I enjoyed an evening at church for Vespers and a dinner in honor of Saint Joseph's feast day. (Thanks to Paul and Caitlin for watching The Crunchmeister!)

Father had a lovely homily, and here's a bit: The Lord has entrusted in all of us a task: be it priest, religious, husband, wife, father, mother. Pray that, through Saint Joseph's intercession, we care for our vocation and those entrusted to each of us. 

The dinner that followed is an annual thing put on my our parish's youth. It. Was. Fantastic. Wine (not from a box!); hot baked bread; tossed salad with parmesan, tomatoes, cucumber and a vinaigrette; a choice of spaghetti with meatballs, linguini with sausage and peppers, grilled chicken fettuccine alfredo, or baked ziti with meatballs; and tons of desserts. I got the ziti and cheese cake, and Ryan got everything, since it was a feast day and all. 

With Julia and Michael seated to our left and Rob and Ally seated to our right, we were in for a fantastic evening away from the kiddo. 

We have a large parish, and there are lots of people in different age groups, which made it really easy for us to make friends. It's a great place to be in our city and archdiocese.

The only picture I got of Ryan,
and I treasure the side-eye Julia is giving him.

Say it with me: But Shannon — WHAT ... DID ... YOU ... WEAR?!

Sorry 'bout the bad photography.
I don't normally take picture in the house after dark.

Stripey zipper sweater: Banana Republic, flea market
Love knot earrings: Victoria Townsend, Macy's 
Gold locket: heirloom
Tortoise-shell watch: Fossil
Needlepoint bag: Vintage, antique mall in town
Denim A-line skirt: Style&Co, Macy's
Gray cable-knit tights: probably TJ Maxx
Navy socks: who cares
Stompin' boots: Anne Klein, Zappos

Well, I sure look tired. I should have taken the pictures in the morning before work. I'm posting that horrible picture to show that my hair might actually be under control a little better since Sunday. I parted the other way. Who knew?

I luuuuurve the zipper on that sweater. Can't tell in the picture, but there's a little brown leather piping on the sides of the zipper, to tie in with the boots. That $6 flea-market find was screaming my name from across the building. 

Beautiful, right? I'm vice president of the Old Lady Handbags Club. 

Now off to spend some time with my beloved sister, Kelsey. We have plans for crafting, antiquing, consignment shopping, and etc. etc. etc. My favorite kind of weekend.  : )

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cruncher Chronicles: A Love Note

by Shannon

He disagrees with me. "Mama, I will cuddle with you forever."

He doesn't believe that, one day, he won't want me to hold him, even though I carried him inside of me. He won't want me to read him a story, even though I use awesome accents. He won't want me to hold his hand, which has gone from holding one of my fingers to grasping my entire hand. He might even roll his eyes when I tell him he's a hard worker, creative thinker and a smart boy, and Daddy and I love him sooo much.

So, for now, shhhhh...

We'll cuddle-pray when Daddy's not home.

Because it won't always be like this.

Basilica in Covington: Praise and Beauty

by Shannon

Praise and beauty are before Him: 
holiness and majesty in His sanctuary.
~Psalm 95:6

On Saturday, Ryan, Cruncher and I visited St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Kentucky. I don't think any of us knew what we were in for when we walked through those doors. It. Was. Just. Gorgeous — FULL STOP. I'll let my camera do the talking. Lots and lots of talking. Some short captions are mixed in, so watch for them.

The largest church stained-glass window in the world, outside and inside views.
The view from the front doors.
The tintinnabulum and umbraculum for if a pope ever visits.
I like the window in the center, showing the Nativity, paired with the station below, Jesus Meets His Mother.
Center: Rose window and main organ.
Blessed Sacrament Chapel with Frank Duveneck murals.
St. John Vianney, pray for my godsons!
Two organs and two rose windows.
Altar and with largest church stained-glass window.
The view up was my favorite.
The stations are mosaic, from Venice, Italy.
And then my camera battery died. True story.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: Honky-tonk Robot Afro Inspiration

by Shannon

(Editor's note for the day when I get blog hits that aren't just my mom and sister: This week, my blogging partner Ryan, a.k.a. my husband, had a thoughtful post on the election of our new Holy Father. Show him some love. Our only other post was with Hallie Lord's new link up. I would recommend the video in that post if you love Catholic architecture. On that note, we'll be sharing some great pictures of the basilica in Covington, Kentucky, later in the week. You can also swing back in for some date-night fashion, which will feature a really unique vintage needlepoint handbag, for all you accessories luvahs.)

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted." 
~Psalm 34:19a

On Friday, I took off work early for a much-needed Mass. Don't you love when the readings and homily seem special-picked just for you? Here's a snippet: Have consolation in the new Holy Father. He has a simple way of identifying with the brokenhearted. We desperately need this consolation. Our cries do not fall on deaf ears, the broken Lamb of God. 

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday again. It's so fun when all the fashion bloggers show a Pinterest look and interpret it with their own pieces. I didn't exactly do that this week, but I did have modeling inspiration: This Felicitous Life Laura's husband Patrick. He can really work a lens, totally inspiring my photo shoot.

Strike. A. Pose.

From left to right: chicken robot, proud robot, sad robot and losing-balance robot

Hmm. That didn't go so well. That Patrick — he makes it look so easy. Laura, he's a keeper. 

In hindsight, I realized this outfits hearkens back to my little sister Kelsey, punk-rocker turned pregnant farmer's wife. Happy birthday, Kels!

Work jacket + dress shirt + denim skirt + boots = Yeeehaw!

Plaid coat: Daughters of the Liberation, consignment shop in town
Happy earrings: Francesca's
Striped oxford: J. Crew, consignment shop in town
Flower pendant: vintage, gifted
Gold-studded belt: Target
Denim skirt: LOFT
Country boots: Anne Klein, zappos

Have I told you I love gold accessories?

Speaking of inspiration, my hair isn't cooperating like Annie Hathaway's. It's been more than a year since I cut off my locks, and I think my 'do finally remembered, "Oh, yeah — I'm curly!" Not sure what to do about that, with the Kentucky summer around the corner...

Maybe I'll try my hand at finger curls. Thoughts?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Feelings and Pope Francis

by Ryan

“How do you feel about the new Pope?”

Needless to say, it’s a question I’ve heard plenty the last two days. One part of me wants to say “Well, I love that Pope Francis seems very humble, a paragon of simple Christian faith, a man devoted to penance, a man who has been courageous in the face of secularism, a man who…”

Source: Catholic Memes

On the other hand, there’s a part of me that says, “The Pope’s the Pope.”

Leading up to the conclave, I, like many Catholics, had my favorites: Cardinal O’Malley, Cardinal Burke, or maybe it would be cool to have an African Pope, such as Cardinal Turkson or Cardinal Sarah.

One might wonder if I have mistaken the selection of a new Pope for Election 2012.

Source: Catholic Memes

I have become increasingly frustrated during the last few weeks with secularists who see this new election only in terms of sexual license: Will the new pope be LBGT friendly? Will he change the Church’s teaching about marriage? Will he soften the Church’s teaching on contraception? Also discussed were women’s ordination, the Church’s perceived wealth in the face of such poverty in the world, and other variegated issues.

Instead of trying to answer these charges in my post, I ask instead — are we any better?

I do not mean “any better” in terms of beliefs, but of actions: Haven’t many Catholics (myself included) also politicized this process of electing a new Pope with the insertion of our opinion on the matter? In wishing for the Pope to be an advocate of such and such position, am I really any different than the secularist — putting the office of Pope under the microscope of personal preference?

Perhaps my second mindset of “The Pope’s the Pope” is closer to a healthy attitude. However, I’d like to add one slight addendum: “The Pope’s the Pope, and I shall pray for his ministry often.”

Source: Catholic Memes

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Five Favorites II

by Shannon

Linking up with Lovely Lady Hallie Lord for Five Favorites, the easiest linkup on The Internets.

I love...


...this video. It's always refreshing to see a news piece about the Church that not only contains zero negativity but also puts Her in such a positive light. I'm not usually an Internet-video watcher, but this one gets the Shannon Official Seal of Approval (not to be confused with the Shannon Unofficial Seal of Approval).


Source: Burt's Bees website

We go through numerous tubes of this stuff each year (some of which meet an untimely death due to natural elements, like a hot car or washing machine). I have convinced pretty much everyone I know  to use this stuff. It has that nice medical tingle like Blistex without that pesky true-addiction risk. It never ever EVER goes on sale, so I buy the multi-packs. 


...this church. 

St. Louis Bertrand here in Louisville is probably the most beautiful church we have, and there is quite a bit of competition (there are 111 parishes in our archdiocese!). Not only is St. Louie a beautiful place to pray, but also the church is home to Dominican friars and multiple priests. These priests are among the best homilists I've ever witnessed, and the confessional line moves reeeeeally fast. 


...Annie's hair.

Source: Daily Makeover

She's been my hairspiration for months, but her Golden Globes hair is the best yet. Today I have a happy haircut scheduled. I can usually tell I have an appointment coming by looking in the mirror instead of my planner.


...Pope Alarm! I'm checking my e-mail like car-raaaay-zeee. (Ryan and I don't text.)