What I’m Into {May}

What I'm Into May

This Friday I’m sharing a more personal post. I’m excited to pull back the curtain, and show you what I’ve been up to in my personal life. Thanks to Leigh Kramer for hosting this awesome link-up!


This is so funny! Not everything I read makes it to the blog. While I review time-management, self-improvement, and Catholic mom books, I’m also a huge sci-fi reader. So here’s a no-reservations look at everything I read in May.

PicMonkey Collage

New to me:

  1. Drums of Autumn
  2. Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World
  3. Will It Fly?
  4. The Power of Habit
  5. The 5 AM Miracle
  6. Everyday Sacrament

PicMonkey Collage 2

Old favorites:

  1. To Ride Pegasus
  2. Pegasus in Flight
  3. Pegasus in Space
  4. The Rowan
  5. Damia
  6. Damia’s Children
  7. Ender’s Shadow
  8. Shadow of the Hegemon


Whew. 14 books is a lot, even for me. Drums of Autumn alone is almost 900 pages. But the majority of the books I read were well-loved sci-fi paperbacks. In my experience, It’s easier to revisit a novel than read a new-to-you nonfic.


TV Shows

Chopped – a fast-paced cooking competition on Food Network. Professional chefs are given baskets of strange ingredients, and challenged to create delicious dishes in only 30 minutes. My husband and I play from home, suggesting our own recipes and critiquing the competitors dishes.


Dinosaur Train – Yes, this is ostensibly a children’s show. But you’re never too old for good storytelling and adventure! The show uses the scientific names for all prehistoric creatures, and introduces children to the scientific method. The main character’s catchphrase is “I have a hypothesis! An idea you can test.” How cute is that?


Children enjoy the songs and trains. Adults will appreciate the family-centered stories (Siblings who actually like each other! A rarity on TV), positive views on adoption, and real paleontology.



Sanctus Electronimus by Priests of Beat – We picked up this CD at the 2016 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Most of the songs are canticles, that is Biblical texts set to music. Instead of chant, or the soft-rock-acoustic feel so prevalent in Christian music, Priests of Beat are an electronica group. My favorite song right now is “I Will Go Home,” the parable of the prodigal son.  


Swimming 513


The heat has definitely hit the Gulf coast. I spend as much time as possible in our community pool. We have a family history of skin cancers on both sides, so we take sun safety very seriously. Our whole family wears UPF 50+ rash guards.


J’s swim set is Circo by Target, since he’ll grow out of it each year. My swim shirt is Aqua Design from Amazon. It’s a little expensive, but the quality is top-notch. This should last me a few years at least.


Now it’s your turn! Tell me what you’ve been into in May. I love reading the comments 🙂

15 Can’t-Miss Catholic eBooks Under $4



I absolutely love Kindle ebooks! Reading on my phone is my secret weapon to staying well-read as a busy Catholic mom. The app is free, it’s just the books you have to pay for.


Over half of these books are free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. I find the subscription pays for itself, but if you’re not sure, or you just want to check out one of these books, snag your free 30 day trial of Kindle Unlimited by clicking below (aff link).

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Which Spiritual Practice Should You Try Next?

Spiritual practices learned in our single, childfree days are nigh impossible to continue at the same frequency and depth with little ones. As Laura Fanucci says in Everyday Sacrament, high-needs babies gave you “a stupefying stretch of sleep deprivation that threatened to violate the Geneva Convention.”


The trite command to just make devotions a priority doesn’t help. Nowadays I can wake up a little earlier than my son for some quiet time. But doing that a year ago would have been torture. Two years ago, it would have killed me.


To help you make efficient use of your time, here’s a little quiz. Note: I’m not a spiritual director. Listen to him, not me.

This is supposed to be good fun. I hope you enjoy it! Please, share your results on Facebook.



Are you being a Christian witness on social media?

Learn how FAST and EASY it is to be a Christian witness in all your interactions on social media.


Everyday Sacrament: A Review



Perhaps you came into your motherhood with certain preconceptions. Since motherhood is your vocation, you know God is calling you to it, surely he will equip you? Yes, but not always in the ways you might think.

Laura Fanucci has an answer to beat all the too-pat solutions to spiritual practices. Instead of shoehorning in our old spiritual practices, embrace the new ones the Lord has given you. Common acts of service, love, and forgiveness are also imbued with God’s presence.


About the Author

Laura Fanucci has a Master of Divinity from Saint John’s School of Theology-Seminary. She is also the mother of 3 boys on earth, and 3 little ones in the arms of the Lord. Laura blogs at Mothering Spirit.

Please, if you only read one blog post today, make it hers, not mine. In February, the Fanucci’s lost their identical twin girls shortly after birth. Her love and grace is the face of such baffling loss is transcendent.


The Messy Grace of Parenting

I loved all of the sections. Truly loved. So to not give too much away, I’m going to focus on my top 3. The eucharist, reconciliation, and the anointing of the sick. As Laura says, their repeatable nature forms the rhythm of our spiritual lives. Just so, the little home moments form the rhythm and routines of our mothering lives.



Firstly, Laura explains her new understanding of corporeal sacrifice from being a mother. Whether your child grew in your womb or your heart, raising a child is physical.


Birth, breastfeeding, carrying a child in your arms for years, imparts a physical change on your body. Mothers give of themselves in an act of what St. John Paul II called self-donative love.


In the redemptive suffering of our flesh, God welcomes our human contributions. He gives us a beautiful opportunity to participate in the same kind of love that led Christ to the cross. The same kind of love that is made present in the Eucharist.



I love how Laura sums up the forgiveness. She recounts a homily heard at a penance service years ago. The priest emphasised the need for forgiveness in the home. That we come to church for the Sacrament of confession not to be better at church, but to bring the grace home. To live gracefully.  


How does reconciliation look from His perspective? I never thought about this before reading Everyday Sacrament.


Parenthood gives us a window into God’s view. When our children carelessly lash out, or purposefully hurt us. The answer isn’t to parent better and make our children perfect. God alone is perfect. All of us fall short of that glory. The answer is to love. And loving your human child takes forgiveness.


Anointing of the Sick

In 2012, my husband’s grandfather lost his lengthy battle with cancer. We drove 10 hours to spend what time we could with him, and tell him that we were finally expecting. His mental state was foggy with pain medication, but the joy in his eyes was crystal clear.


During our visit, we had the privilege of witnessing Ralph receive the anointing of the sick. This Sacrament, once called extreme unction, is not meant to heal the body.


Certainly the graces of God are efficacious to any ends He desires. But the intention of the prayers of anointing are not a mere physical respite. What good is a delay of our eventual death? The anointing, just like the terminal patient being anointed, sets its view upon the eternal.


Laura focuses on the non-sacramental analogues to the anointing of the sick. The caretaking hands of a mother, the strong arms of a massage therapist, and the sympathetic hands of a prayerful stranger.


All of her stories have a thread in common. A simple combination of  witness and physical touch, powerfully heals our spiritual wounds. I believe this is the heart of mothering. To minister to the broken human hearts of our family members, and knit them together with the love of God.


Why this book?

I appreciate Laura’s honesty. Her searing, brutal, views of the truth. Infertility sometimes gives way to hard, hard babies, who challenge everything you thought you knew of motherhood. But it is also worthy. Just like her book: there is no how-to, but there is a poetic beauty.


In the introduction, Laura reports throwing a parenting magazine in the trash. At 3 months postpartum, she wasn’t ready to reflect on the transcendent beauty of motherhood. But that is exactly what each page and paragraph of her book conveys. The timeless, bittersweet, raw beauty of co-creation.


I wish I had a time-traveling media mail envelope. If I could send one book back to pregnant-me, I would send Everyday Sacrament. In the flyleaf, I’d write myself a simple note: Buckle up, buttercup. You’re in for an awe-inspiring ride.

Feeding the Hungry with Mary’s Meals: MM#4


In 2002, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow had been leading Scottish International Relief for 10 years. Among other services, he:

  • provided material goods to war-torn Bosnia,
  • built orphanages for abandoned babies in Romania,
  • and brought emergency food supplies to famine-struck Africa.


It was on a famine relief mission to Malawi, that Magnus met a woman named Emma, and her 6 young children. As Emma lay dying of AIDs, she prayed for someone to care for her soon-to-be orphans.

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