Blueberry Lemon Cake

When our family talks about my Great Aunt Sissie, someone always brings up her prize-worthy coconut cake. It’s as much a part of her as the country store she ran and the white hair on her head. Though Aunt Sissie is no longer with us, her recipe will live on through her grandchildren who still get together throughout the year to bake the cake in her memory.

2020 coconut cake
Aunt Sissie (far right) w/ her daughters, granddaughters, great-granddaughter, & coconut cakes!

Great Aunt Mary Alice made the best chocolate cake ever. It was a staple at family functions and is in our family cookbook. Thanks, Mom!

There’s something about baking… Read more

A Summer Gained

Summer is a special time for kids. It’s traditionally a time of no curfews, no homework, no commitments, and no worries. Of course, in recent years, those wonderful, lazy days of summer have become nostalgic, a thing of the past that only people older than, say 45 or so, can remember. So many children in recent generations spend their summer being dragged from one sporting event or another, forced to participate in events and activities that will further their athletic or academic prowess, or tied so tightly to apron strings that they can’t enjoy things like flashlight tag or hide and seek in the dark. Perhaps this is one of the things we are meant to learn during this pandemic. Perhaps we are meant to recall and reinstate those lazy days of summer.2020 Morgan Maddie Summer

Perhaps we are meant to… Read more

A Journey Towards Something…

2020 OfficeThis past weekend was a bit surreal to me. My oldest daughter, Rebecca, moved out of our house three years ago after graduating from college. Together, we turned her childhood bedroom into my office. It was a bittersweet task as we combed through her belongings, separating them into things she was ready to give away, things she wanted to take with her, and things she was saving for her “real” home someday. That day seemed so far into the future… Read more

Doing Small Things With Great Love

2020 Lil on porch“In every age and in every country we find many “perfect” women (cf. Prov 31:10) who, despite persecution, difficulties and discrimination, have shared in the Church’s mission…the witness and the achievements of Christian women have had a significant impact on the life of the Church as well as of society…Holy women are an incarnation of the feminine ideal; they are also a model for all Christians” –Mulieris Dignitatem, paragraph 27.

“Holy women are an incarnation of the feminine ideal.” How beautiful! “They are also a model for all Christians.” How true. This is something I know, something I learned by example, and what a beautiful example I had… Read more

A Camping We Will Go

2020 Flag and NYCAnother Memorial Day has come and gone, and with a salute to those who have given all so that we may enjoy the land of the free, we leap from spring into summer. Like many, our summers typically involve some kind of family vacation. In fact, our summers are usually peppered with trips here and there, some quite elaborate while others just short day trips or weekends away. This summer, though, our vacations will be altered quite a bit. With Rebecca’s wedding coming up this fall, we were already planning on traveling less with just one trip abroad or a small trip or two to visit friends. However, the annual class on energy regulation that my husband teaches every summer in Florence, Italy, has been canceled, and the other trips we planned were to states that are, and may continue to be, on lockdown. 

I read an article the other day that said… Read more

Ob la di, ob-la-da, life goes on…

Life goes on, just as the Beatles song tells us. No matter what happens in the world, people continue to live their lives as best they can, and they should.

For the mental and emotional stability of everyone, we need to remain optimistic and live our lives as normally as possible. 

I recently read the delightful book, Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce. The fictional novel, set during WWII told of dances and nights out with friends and girls painting their legs to look like they were wearing stockings. Of course, it also depicted the air raids over London and the devastation of war, but what struck me was the reminder that even during war, life goes on. People fall in love and get married. Babies are born. Lives are lived.

For example, Read more

“The Living Memory of the Family”

Today, I am channeling happy thoughts and cherished memories. We’ve just finished moving my mother-in-law in across the street, and having her so close has brought back so many memories of my childhood and my own children’s childhood. 2020 Grancy

I recently read an article which pointed out that “For decades, the importance of grandparents in kids’ lives flew under the radar.” The article goes on to list the many benefits:

  • Kids often turn to their grandparents for advice when they are facing adverse events;
  • relationships between children and their grandparents increased the likelihood that kids will become engaged in their communities;
  • and being around grandparents actually makes less sedentary and has a positive affect on their BMI.

And there’s more… Read more

Reach Out And Touch Someone

I wished my best friend a happy birthday today by phone. Instead of celebrating at Easter with a cake or by going out to dinner one evening this week, as we would typically do, we must wait and celebrate once we can be together. I miss her like crazy and can’t wait to be able to go on one of our dinner dates. And this time, Debbie, I’m treating!2020 Debbie bday

Easter was certainly different this year as my husband, children, and mother-in-law ate dinner with my parents and my brothers and their families via Zoom. We watched Easter Sunday Mass “together” online in the morning and then ate dinner “together” that evening. Instead of baskets full of candy and Dollar Tree trinkets, my girls were greeted that morning with a single chocolate bunny on each of their brunch plates. 

As I think about the celebrations that are being cancelled or postponed this spring, I realize how lucky I am, and I’d like to offer a small piece of advice to everyone. Read more

Sheltering With My Blessings

2020 WildeOur girls were sent home from college on March 13, so it’s been three weeks since we started social distancing and two days since shelter in place was put into effect in our state. To say that we are living on top of each other is an understatement. To say that there haven’t been arguments and disagreements would be a lie. However, to say that it’s been 24 hours each day of nonstop misery would be grossly inaccurate.

Throughout these past few weeks, we’ve experienced both good and bad, and I’m determined to come out of all of this remembering the good, such as…

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The Gift of Time

We are now into the second full week of the stay at home, self-containment policy requested by the federal government. It’s been challenging at times, but there has been a lot of good that has come out of it.

I’m reminded on a daily basis that life doesn’t always go according to one’s plan. Things are consistently changed, rearranged, sidelined, or reimagined. Goals are shifted, and priorities are reconsidered. Life is a giant balancing act, sometimes performed on a tightrope, often without a net. How we maintain our balance, meet the challenges, and adjust our way of life and our attitude can and will make all the difference. This time presents us with the beautiful opportunity to see things in a different way. It is, perhaps, the gift that the world so desperately needs.

For example… Read more