Thursday, April 25, 2013

Who Down with I-O-P? Everybody!

by Shannon

You down with I-O-P? Yeah, you know me! À la this at 2:50. (Did you check the dubbing at 0:55 — what language was that? Ooooh, YouTube. So funny you are.) I have a serious place in my heart for Sister Act 2. Serious like I own the soundtrack. (Thanks, Ames!)

St. Martin of Tours, Louisville, Kentucky

I do not, unfortunately, have a serious place in my heart for IOP (Infant of Prague). I've never felt drawn to this image of the Christ Child. I usually prefer Bouguereau's La Vierge au lys, but probably because the young Jesus reminds me of Cruncher the Toddler.


Oh. My. Goodness. Completely off topic, but look at this truly adorbs (yes, I totally said "adorbs") oooold picture of Cruncher. Eeek!

Cheeks! And curls! And cheeks!

That's one of the outfits he wore during his first week home from the hospital. Now that you've witnessed the cutest cuteness ever, I'll move on. Now, what was I ... oh, yes. Infant of Prague. There He is.

St. Martin of Tours, Louisville, Kentucky

There are many interesting and beautiful Catholic images, particularly of Mary, that reflect the culture of the image's origin. For me, the Infant of Prague always fell more under "interesting" than "beautiful." There is something about a baby Jesus dripping in jewels that just feels ... not quite right.

Enter this week. Things have been rough lately. Rough for days and weeks and months, and I've had ENOUGH. I don't handle day-to-day anxiety well, so I go a bit mentally AWOL when I have too much piled on me. It is time for some serious prayer. And when I need serious prayer, I start a novena.

A novena is a prayer said during a nine-day period, and there are countless available. Tuesday, I started one to St. Cajetan, patron of job seekers, since I've been thinking about finding new employment. But I'm realizing my current problems are beyond my job. While reading Alice's blog post about things being crazy for weeks, I concurred and started brainstorming about a new novena. My comment on her post:
It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who’s been living through insanity for the last month or so. I think I’m going to start a novena for peace and quiet. Want in on my intentions? Our Lady of Good Counsel’s feast day is Saturday, so too bad I can’t end on that day. Hmm … if I start it today, maybe Ss. Timothy and Martha? Or St. Philip. Thoughts? Oh, duh — St. Francis of Assisi is patron of peace. He is our family’s 2013 patron saint, after all…. WOAH. Know who else is patron of peace? Infant of Prague, feast day May 3. There’s my answer. I’ve never felt called toward the Infant of Prague — have you? Maybe I could even throw in some intentions for the Boston bombers. 
It wasn't until later when I invited our FB followers to join Ryan and me in praying the novena that I realized the Infant of Prague's feast day is the THIRD SUNDAY of May, not May 3. I can let that go, though, because the Infant of Prague is patron for all of my current problems: peace, family life, good health and good finances. If I could have some peace in those last three areas, I might might might be able to breathe again. No, seriously. I've been having chest tightness and shortness of breath and headaches and eye pain and fatigue. Did I tell you I'm a hypochondriac too? I'm a hypochondriac too. Admitting your problem is the first step to recovery. Except that I admitted the problem 20 years ago. Mooooving on...

This post has been all over the place when all I wanted to do was invite everyone to join Ryan and me in a novena to the Infant of Prague. Let us pray:

Dearest Jesus, Little Infant of Prague, how tenderly You love us! 
Your greatest joy is to dwell among us and to bestow Your blessing upon us. 
Though I am not worthy that You should help me, I feel drawn to You by love 
because You are kind and merciful. 

So many who turned to You with confidence have received graces 
and had their petitions granted. Behold me as I come before You to lay 
open my heart to You with its prayers and hopes. I present to You especially 
this request, which I enclose in Your loving Heart: (Mention your request). 

Rule over me, dear Infant Jesus, and do with me and mine according to 
Your Holy Will, for I know that in Your Divine Wisdom and Love You will 
arrange everything for the best. Do not withdraw Your hand from me, but 
protect and bless me forever. 

I pray You, all-powerful and gracious Infant Jesus, for the sake of Your 
Sacred Infancy, in the Name of Your Blessed Mother Mary who cared for 
You with such tenderness, and by the greatest reverence with which Saint Joseph 
carried You in his arms, help me in my needs. Make me truly happy with You, 
dearest Infant, in time and in eternity, and I shall thank You forever with all my heart. 


If you'd like to join in on this novena, feel free to leave a prayer intention in the comments, or you can e-mail or Facebook me.

Perhaps before this devotion comes to a close, I'll feel more strongly toward this image of the Redeemer of the World. I hope you'll join us in praying for peace during the next nine days. Who doesn't love baby Jesus?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: An Afternoon with Inigo Montoya

by Shannon

I traveled alone this weekend, all the way up to my hometown, so my BFF'n'E Amy and I could have a muuuuuch needed ladies' afternoon out.

The trees are all light green with new growth, and there was tons of floral color on the roadside — yellow, purple, pink and white, not to mention reeeeally green Kentucky grass. It was a therapeutic drive in which I belted my lungs out, per usual.

Amy and I have been waiting for weeks and weeks and weeks to go see Mandy Patinkin in concert with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Ames is wrapping up a semester of grad school, so I couldn't wait to step in and help her forget her stresses for a few hours.

Here's what Amy wore:

I'm not positive of the details in their entirety, but I'll take a stab at it.

Emerald (2013 Pantone color!) pendant: Lauren Conrad, Kohls
Bangin' black dress: not sure of brand, Macys
Black pumps: not sure of brand, DSW
Needlepoint handbag: vintage, Etsy

[EDIT: Ames said the dress was Evan Picone — hah! — and the shoes are Life Stride.]

I wore the same thing to both Mass and the concert — my Easter dress again — but with different accessories (and perhaps too much warpaint, in hindsight):

Fan earrings: Target (can see them three pictures up)
Triple pearl strand: Target
Rose wrap dress: Evan Picone, consignment shop in town
Houndstooth jacket: Beaubois, Goodwill
Tortoiseshell watch: Fossil
Kitten-heel Mary Janes: Calvin Klein, TJ Maxx

The concert was at Cincinnati Music Hall, a beautiful venue in much need of some updating (like, I dunno, hooks in all bathroom stalls would be a nice start). Check out that magnificent chandelier. 

Mr. Patikin was just as expected — charming and fascinating. Listening to him sing is like watching a painter create a masterpiece. Cheesy, sorry, but so-oh-so true. And, yes, he walked around like a peepaw washing dishes the entire concert. 

And, yes, he totally said this BETTER than in the movie, people. He is a magical old man. 

Head on over to Fine Linen and Purple to check out what other ladies wore on the Lord's Day!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: Theorized Outfit

by Shannon

Posting late again this week. Just got back from Lexington where we met Ryan's family. His mother had her ___th birthday today — congrats, Bertie! Next week, I will again post late because my bestie and I are seeing Mandy Patinkin sing — AAAAHHHHHDKAOJJHHHH!! Yes, I know what I'm wearing. Duh. I've known for weeks.

And here's what I wore today:

Wonky feet.

I've theorized this outfit before, and this is the first I've worn it together. You've seen everything but the jacket (I think).

Cameo earrings: vintage, gift
Flower pendant: vintage, gift
Denim jacket: Riders, consignment shop in town (cropped on a normal-sized woman, but fits on me)
Gold lacy dress: Jessica Simpson, Macy's (bridesmaid dress from my sister's wedding)
Gold-studded belt: Target
Tortoiseshell watch: Fossil
Kicky boots: Anne Klein, Zappos

Eh, I'll throw in some Cruncher from this weekend, since he's the real cute one 'round these parts, and I don't have anything funny to say:

Look at that boy. Pure joy and my inspiration. I was a horrible, horrible mother this weekend. Probably this whole week. No, really, I was. When I'm sick, I lack patience with everyone around me. I'm on the tail end of The Sinus Infection from Satan, just in time. Cruncher is in desperate need of a sane mama. He was on his worst behavior today, which is probably a 6 on a scale of 10 for any other boy his age. But for our Cruncher Muncher Buncher, that's a cry for help.

By the way, if you've read this far, if there are any Texas ladies in or around Houston, hit me up. I have a high school friend down there who is looking for a good Catholic community. Thanks!

Oh, and check in with Fine Linen and Purple for more Funday fashion.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Last Weekend in Pictures

by Shannon

Will it ever end? This is all I can muster for my promise to post pictures from last weekend. I've been sick all week, and now Ryan's a mess, but at least Cruncher is bouncing off the walls. I asked God to please take Cruncher's sickness away and make me sick instead, so alleluia!! Right?

Anyway, pictures. None of the birthday boys, since they're not my kids, and I didn't seek permission from their moms. Here's what I got:

Horse farms on the way to Lexington.
Ryan's little sister wrastlin' with mah boy. I'm sure he started it.
A visit to the playground before the ride north.
What I wore to the first birthday party. Deets: Plum ruffle cardi: Ralph Lauren,
Goodwill; Plaid shirtdress: Liz Claiborne, Macys; Fushcia snakeskin belt: Target;
Camel penny loafers: Crowne Vintage, DSW. There are earrings and a necklace,
but you can't see them in the dusk.
The next day. You know you're a hoosier when...
Who knew weeds could be so pretty?
The two preggos. BTW, it's a boy!!
Superfluous. I was obSESSED with water pumps as a kid.
Great Gramma and Meemaw.
The big birthday gift. My brother-in-law put this work bench together from an
old side table and some other bits and pieces. Too cool. BTW, it was my idea,
but I didn't expect it to turn out that nice. Yeah, I said it, Kels. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What I Wore Sunday: Birthday Party Extravaganza!

by Shannon

Posting late tonight because we've been traveling all weekend, for it was The First Annual Birthday Party Extravaganza! Our newest nephew (on Ryan's side) was born a week after our eldest nephew (on my side), so we traveled the triangle in about 36 hours: Louisville to Lexington to Cincinnati and back.

Birthday boys, first and third respectively.

I should get around to a better review of the full weekend (plus yesterday's fashion) in a few days.

In case you've not checked in on yesterday's post, Cruncher is all healed, as also evident in these pictures:

All this mama wanted was a decent picture of us together in our Sunday's finest, after last week's depressing events. I should crop in on one of those pictures for the adults present.

Ah, that's better. Or I guess this'll do:

That mischievous grin appeared before those other pictures were shot.

A couple more, for good measure:

Cruncher took the one on the left. He's more interested in being behind the camera than in front,
and at such a young age.

And here's what I wore:

You've seen everything but the dress before, I do believe.

Love knot earrings: Victoria Townsend, Macy's
Drape-y necklace: Consignment shop in town
Watercolor dress: H&M ($7! And my Easter dress from two years ago.)
Magical cinching belt: Target
Tortoiseshell watch: Fossil
Kicky boots: Anne Klein, Zappos

A couple of closeups, and I'm off to bed. Oh, and don't forget to check back with Fine Linen and Purple for more Sunday finery.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Schoooools Out ... for ... Onemoreday!

by Shannon

If you haven't heard the good news, Cruncher is aaaaaaaall better, just in time for spring break to end and temperatures to warm up. His energy is high, and he's ready for sunshine! To celebrate, we went to the zoo yesterday. It was so, so, so, so, so beautiful outside.

Cruncher and Daddy take in the sights.
If there's a statue, Cruncher must sit on it. 
A small sampling of the animals we visited. I can't brag on our city enough, but Louisville has a fantastic zoo. We're finding ourselves more there now that Cruncher is able to walk without a stroller (read: not beg us to carry him every 50 feet).
Does he look like a boy who was almost sent to the hospital a handful of days ago? Also, please notice his love of mixing patterns — plaid, Spiderman and ... whatever that shirt is. I wonder where he gets his fashion sense...
Cheer up, honey — it's spring! I know it was a rough spring break, but your summer starts in weeks. No complaining.
What I wore.

Crazy coral top: Olive & Oak, TJ Maxx
Chunky striped cardi: Old Navy
Cuffed skinnies: Old Navy
My Happy Boots (Official): Doc Martens. These are some seriously old shoes. Like, 17 years, at least. They're a hand-me-down from my cool cousin Jessie. I adored them as an awkward pre-teen, and she mailed them to me when I was in college. Best. Package. EVER.

I'm pulling through a congestion bout myself,  so we're all looking forward to a weekend without the confines of illnesses. We're super stoked to spend time with family for the next couple days, so check back Sunday for a weekend review and more spring fashion! I'm wearing dresses without tights all weekend, and there are TWO birthday parties in TWO days. Party dress review to come? Why, yes.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Regality and Simplicity

by Ryan

Being a (microscopic) part of the Catholic blogosphere, I've read quite a bit about Pope Francis in the last few weeks. While most commentaries have been favorable, some take issue with our new Pope's rejection of the position's traditional regalia: Where are the red shoes? The mozzetta? And more recently, rejecting life in the papal palace for the Vatican's "hotel."

One could be pardoned for thinking that the papacy rested on the papal wardrobe and the papal residence; indeed, it rests on something substantially more solid: Jesus' proclamation to his first apostle, Peter (Matthew 16:15-19) that earthly authority in the Church would rest with him.

Now, don't get me wrong — I am not some anti-tradition, neo-Catholic who thinks that everything not chiseled in the dogmas of our faith is fair game for the ecclesiastical trash bin. I love and appreciate both the Novus Ordo and Tridentine Masses. I see the glorification of Our Lord in the regality of the Pope, his brother bishops, priests and deacons — may these men continue to glorify God through the reverent celebration of the sacred liturgy, no matter who sits upon the Cathedra Petri

Yet there are those who would claim that Pope Francis, and others like him, are more authentically living out the call to poverty that Jesus demands in the Gospel (ex. Matthew 6:19-21; 6:25-34; Luke 6:20-21). Without a doubt, Jesus was himself a servant, and set the ultimate example of servitude in his life and death on the cross.

May we not forget that Jesus is also a King, and accepted the gifts that were lavished upon Him by the humble of heart. The anointing at Bethany, found in Matthew 26, is a particularly striking example — a woman approaches Jesus and anoints his head with a costly perfume. The modern reader would probably react in a similar way as the apostles:
"What is the meaning of this waste ... it would have been possible to sell this at a great price and give alms to the poor!"(Matthew 26:8-9)
We hear this same cry today, when one of the most charitable organizations in the world (hint: The Catholic Church) is asked to give even more, yet we, as individuals, will not so much as give up a meal, a movie ticket or some other meaningless comfort to help those in need. Jesus Christ, our King, responds to His apostles:
"Why do you vex the woman? She did well to treat me so. You have the poor among you always; I am not always among you. When she poured this ointment over my body, she did it to prepare me for my burial."
In another instance, Nicodemus, most likely the Pharisee that appears early in the Gospel of John, comes to bury Jesus with a mixture "of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds" (John 19:39). Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI commented that this amount of balm was "extraordinary ... exceeds all normal proportions: this is a royal burial" (Jesus of Nazareth Part Two; pg. 228).

So, is Jesus a servant or a king? He is both; he is a Servant-King. So is the Papacy an office of simplicity or regality? It is both — not of its own merits, but for the sake of the Servant-King. A parting thought: If the Pope were manifested in beautiful music that ascended heavenward, perhaps Benedict XVI would be favorably compared to the rigorous, determined strains of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in d minor; maybe Pope Francis would call out with the gentle restraint of the Adagio from Albinoni’s Concerto for Oboe No. 2. Would we then be provoked to argue which sounds would be more pleasing to the Lord, or would not both have their humble place at the feet of Divine Beauty and Divine Truth?