Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Online Daybook / 7 QT: Holiday Season 2016

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • Surviving the morning taking each of the boys Christmas shopping so they could buy presents for their siblings.
  • Weather that is cool enough to feel Christmasy but warm enough for the boys to play football in the driveway.
  • A few moments to myself to sit down and blog after a month hiatus.
  • The love of family and friends.
  • Food on the table, a roof over our head and material blessings we often take for granted.

Praying for..

  • Many special intentions from friends.
  • Those who have lost loved ones recently.
  • Those who are out of work or homeless.
  • Those who find the holidays more depressing than cheerful.
  • Victims of violence, racism and abuse and for the conversion of their oppressors.
  • For peace in the heart of all men/women.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friend and those most forgotten.

Pondering…

I already shared this on IG and Facebook for anyone who does not follow me there, I am posting it here as well because it seemed to touch a nerve with many. It was written on Tuesday.

This morning as I was coming home from dropping my kids off at school, I starting thinking about a happy memory of my father-in-law and then a deep sadness filled my heart because this is our first Christmas without him. I tried to hold back the tears until I got home and could let them pour out. After a good cry I sat down to read today’s Blessed Is She devotion. I had to laugh when I saw that they were my own words (since I wrote the devotion this day) talking about feeling pain during a joyful season. Ironic. So I am taking my own advice and pouring my pain out to God and letting him embrace me in his peace. I’ll also be offering up a rosary tonight for all of you who are feeling a heaviness of heart. If you’d like me to pray for you by name, feel free to comment below.

 

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Around the House… / Family Chit Chat…

Although there have been some moments of tears and the usual loud chaos, there have been some sweet moments this Advent/ Christmas season.

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Quiet time with God. Confession – I did a lot better when Advent started. I need to get back to this with one week left of Advent!

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This is hands down one of the kids’ favorite Advent activity.

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Tree decorating is one of my favorite Christmas activities.

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The finished product. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m a sucker for old school handwritten Christmas cards.

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We celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with sweet bread. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Confession: I HATE when people just rip open Christmas presents and there is chaos. I like to watch as each gift is opened. My joy is seeing their face as they get something they really wanted. However, the family doesn’t want to have to watch one person at a time open gifts. As a compromise, I came up with a system of wrapping the gifts in coordinating paper so they can each open the gift with (for example) the red paper and snowmen. All those are the sport gifts – a football, a soccer ball, hockey sticks. It means I take a little longer to organize before I start wrapping gifts but the joy I get on Christmas morn is worth it. ( Yeah, I know. #nerd.)

Family Chit Chat…

We are all dong well and feeling very blessed this Christmas. The beginning half of the year was really rough for us but it is ending with a lot of joy.

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Over Thanksgiving, we enjoyed a couple of days at Disneyland then we spent Thanksgiving at my parents’ house.

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Matthew and I helped Grandma/ Mom cook in the kitchen.

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I spent time with my new nieces and nephews. (I overheard two of sister’s kids say, “Which one is Aunt Bobbi?” The other said, “She’s the one that looks like mom but with the crazy glasses.” LOL!

RevolutionofLove.com - odb_12_19_16_dl_cuzPhoto credit: My bro Rob

The boys loved play time with their cousins.

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Photo Credit: Felicity Photography

It was especially touching because my mom was happy and healthy surrounded by the ones she loves most, including my parents’ 15 grandchildren. What a blessing!

 

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In the Kitchen…

It’s leftovers week. I am trying to clean out the freezer and fridge so there’s a lot of breakfast dinners and weird combo dinners. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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Reading…

I’m almost finished with the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge.

This month I completed a book you should have read in school. – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

…and a book published before you were born. – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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For “A Book I Own but Never Read” I dusted off The Christmas Shoes by Donna Van Liere. Shall I admit that I sobbed at the end?

Only one category left. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • A book you can finish in one day.

 

Watching…

(TV)

The usual faves including: This Is Us, Speechless, Big Bang Theory, Lethal Weapon, Designated Survivor and American Housewife.

I watched Gilmore Girls with great expectation and came away with mixed feelings. Parts of it – I loved but the whole Rory/Logan storyline sucked. Seriously? 10 years have gone by and there is no growth in maturity. Rory was content to be the “other woman” again with a man willingย  to cheat on his fiance? Ugh. I hated that and not because I am #teamjess.ย  I would have been happy if she was with Logan under more committed circumstances. Well, I do hope they decided to continue the story. I think there is definitely an audience for it!

 

We are almost done with The Crown. And last night we re-watched The King’s Speech as a tie in.

 

Listening to …

Although I am a sucker for Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, the boys love my old Relient K Christmas album. Sleigh Ride is one of my favorite non-religious Christmas songs. (Even though I have minimal experience with sleighs or snow) ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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Recent Posts:

Ive been on a holiday season hiatus!

However, some upcoming posts will feature my new Blessed Is She planner and how I use it na d a bullet journal.

Plus I will have some end of the year link ups! Including –

  • Favorite Entertainment of the year – books, shows, movies and music.
  • Top Lessons Learned in 2016
  • 2016 in 12 Photos
  • Top Posts of 2016

I’m hoping to have them up by next week so stay tuned.

 

 


From the archives…

RevolutionofLove.com // advent_failWhen All You See Is Your Advent Fail (December 2015)

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revolution of love blog - pp_slow_cooker_chicken_6Slow Cooker Rotisserie-Style Chicken (December 2014)

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“Most” Posts of 2013 (December 2013)

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Pinned…

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Source: Blessed Is She

How gorgeous are these Blessed IS She gift tags!!

* * *

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Source: carlsbadcravings.com

 

Around the blogosphere…

I’m sorry to say I haven’t been reading online at all. I hope to catch up this week!

 

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All the feels. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any book or movie recommendations? Do share.

I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰

PPS – * Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

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Online Daybook/ 31 Days of Gratitude (Day 24) / 7 QT (10/24/16): Homecoming and Fave Links

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • A fun weekend with family time and relaxing time when we unplugged and rested.
  • School field trips and the opportunity to have fun one-on-one time with the kids.
  • Brian’s good results from his cancer tests/bloodwork.
  • Brian’s mother-in-law is healing and doing well.

Praying for..

  • Many special intentions from friends.
  • Those suffering from hardship, illness, violence and depression.
  • Our nation.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friend and those most forgotten.

 

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Around the House…

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On Friday the boys were off school so I let them help me decorate the house with some fall decor. It looks cute but there are still the endless little piles of clutter around. I feel like I clear one spot and two more pop up to take its place. I have been bagging things to give away so I am hoping that will help. I figure, less stuff means less mess but I’ve got a long way to go. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Family Chit Chat…

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Last week Brian had his routine bloodwork to check and see if there were any signs of the cancer returning. I’m happy to say that everything looked good. His red and white blood count was steadily rising and his blood pressure was great. Every time we get a bit of good news I can breathe a sigh of relief… until the next test!

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This weekend was Homecoming at Bella’s school. We went to the JV Football game to cheer family friends who were playing. Can you believe it was my first football game ever? I never got into it when I was younger but now that I am married to a football fan and have three little guys, our house it all about footballย  – from playing it in the driveway and watching it on TV to collecting football cards. Andrew and Matthew were bouncing with excitement to see there first live game. We all had a great time!

RevolutionofLove.com - odb_jp_10_23_16Well, except for John-Paul. He did have fun but he could only take so much sports until he needed some “me time” to zone out. The only way I could get him to sit through two hours of football was to let him play a couple video games between quarters. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Later that evening, Bella attended her first high school dance with her friends. This photo doesn’t do her justice or the pretty dress she wore but she had a great time and I breathed a sigh of relief when she was back home and safe in her bed. (I don’t know what I’ll be like when she actually starts dating! I told her not to be surprised if she continuously finds me incognito in the background on her dates. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  )

 

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In the Kitchen…

Monday: Chicken tortilla soup, quesadillas and broccoli

Tuesday: (Dentist appt day) Pizza and salad

Wednesday: Slow cooker BBQ chicken sandwiches, green beans and salad

Thursday: Taco Salad

Friday: Turkey burgers and salad

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Quick and Easy Cheesy Pasta with Kale

 

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Reading…

I just finished…

What Alice Forgot by Lian Moriarty*

Next on the list…

The Awakening of Miss Primby Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera*

Watching…

nbc-this-is-us

I’m still loving This Is US and Speechless. We also started watching Lethal Weapon, which has become a favorite too. Poldark is a given as well.

We are watching Designated Survivor and want to start a drinking game every time Kiefer Sutherland squints and mumbles. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I gave up on The Good Placeย  and have yet to watch last night’s episode of The Walking Dead. It is sitting in my DVR while I debate whether or not I will submit myself to some emotional torture. Maybe I’ll watch this weekend… or wait until I need a really good cry. (In the meantime, no spoilers, please!)

 

Listening to …

(MUSIC)

Love this one by Coin and not just because Brian knows the best way to shut me up. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

(PODCASTS)

Girlfriends#043: Do One Thing at a Time with Danielle Bean

Fountains of Carrots #053: Finding Faith and Delight in The Awakening of Miss Prim with Christy Isinger and Haley Stewart

 

 

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Recent Posts:

I am making up for lost time in not posting in the past. I am on Day 24 out of the Write 31 Days Challenge. I think I just may make it to the finish line!! You can check out the 31 Days of Gratitude 2016 posts here.

 

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Pinned…

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Brush Lettering Practice Page by One Artsy Mama

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Around the blogosphere…

 

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RevolutionofLove.com - odb_goat_10_23_16The reason this post is so late is because I spent the day with Matthew at The Farm with little guys like this. I’ll save the rest of the photos for another post. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any book or movie recommendations? Do share.

I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰

PPS – * Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

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Online Daybook/ Currently/ 7QT (4/18/16): Saying Goodbye, New Adventures & Old Loves

It’s been nearly a month since I last posted and so much has been going on. I received a message the other day from a reader who said, “I’m a long time blog reader and the lack of posts had me concerned.” Then she found me on Instagram (which I usually always update) and she realized that my father-in-law had passed away since my last post and that’s why I haven’t been on the blog. But I finally have some time to myself this morning so I’d love to catch up with you. (And to that special reader who was concerned, a big hug and thank you.)ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • A peaceful death for my FIL.
  • The countless support and prayers of family and friends.
  • The hope of salvation and eternal life.
  • Brian’s strength, courage, faith and love that runs through our entire family and keeps our eyes on God.
  • The sound of giggles and the brightness of the smiles on my children’s faces that can clear any gloom away.

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__rosaryPraying for..

  • The repose of the soul of my father-in-law.
  • My mother-in-law and family members that they find peace and comfort.
  • All those who have lost loved ones, especially for those struggling with depression because of it.
  • People suffering from violence – whether within their home or their community.
  • Victims of natural disasters, especially lately.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friend and those most forgotten.
  • For Brian’s doctor’s appointment that all goes well and he is still cancer free.

Pondering…

I’ve naturally have been thinking about my father-in-law. He lived such an interesting life. He’s seen war, lived in a refugee camp, immigrated to America as a young man, joined the Army, graduated with a masters in political science, fell in love and married, made his name in the business world, retired, became active in church ministry and lived to serve others. I’ve learned a lot from him in the 16 years that I’ve known him but I want to save those thoughts for a future post. Right now I am thinking about the last day I saw his eyes open.

It was a Wednesday and I stopped by the nursing home to visit with him. After his third stroke he was no longer able to speak but I chatted with him about the kids and Brian. At one point I felt like an idiot, not knowing if he even knew who I was or if he understood what I was saying. I was hoping that my voice wasn’t like an annoying buzz in his ear. He looked at me and smiled but there was no connection when our eyes met. He drifted off to sleep and I was goingย  to leave but I thought I would stay just a few more minutes.

He woke back up and he looked at me and smiled but then he looked at me more intently and I saw it in his eyes, that glimmer. He smiled deeper and I saw the recognition. He knew it was me. I chatted a little and them he tried to talk to me. He grunted and tried to speak with emphasis but his words came out like gibberish. I listened then smiled and kissed his cheek and said, “I know, dad. That’s great.” He smiled back at me contently and I rubbed his shoulder until he dosed off again. Finally I kissed him good bye and let him sleep. I’d never see him open his eyes again.

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__mvx_opaMatthew holding Opa’s hand.

The next day Brian went to see his dad on his lunch break and the nurse said he was not doing well. He was asleep in bed and unresponsive. They could not get him to wake up to eat or drink. They told us that he’d most likely pass away in a day or two. Luckily the kids were off of school for Easter break so we all went over to the Center to sit with him, hold his hand and just be with him. Afterwards we said our final goodbyes to Opa and told him we loved him in case he passed away in the night while we were gone. I took the kids home and Brian stayed with my mother-in-law. Later he came home and my MIL stayed until the nurses told her to go home and get some sleep and they’d call her if anything happened.

The next morning Brian took the day off work and instead went to sit with Opa. He had a feeling today would be the day. He took the first shift to sit with Opa and then we’d meet him there after I fed the kids breakfast. Brian texted me and said Opa was just the same as yesterday. He was still sleeping and his heart rate was still low. While Brian was there he prayed for Opa and read to him the scripture about the Jesus’ resurrection. When he finished reading, Opa opened his eyes for the first time in two days. He stared off into the distance and then turned his head and looked at Brian. Then he closed his eyes and fell back asleep. Then he passed away. Brian said the whole room was filled with peace. Moments later I arrived with the kids. Brian told us that he just passed so we went in and kissed him goodbye again one last time. I took the kids back to the car so they would not have to see my MIL grieve over my FIL’s body. It was a piercing scene that leaves me in tears whenever I remember it.

The grief completely drained me but later I was able to feel relief that my FIL’s physical suffering was over. I am glad that his last days were filled with smiles and his eyes lighting up when he saw the kids. Even if he could not speak, we treasured the moments when we could see his joy in the simple pleasures of a kiss on the check or a picture the kids drew for him. He will always live on as we remember his loving smile, his tenacious spirit and his generous heart. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__opaOn Tuesday, the vigil of my FIL’s funeral, we said a rosary for him with family and friends. Thankfully I found this PDF from Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church that I adapted to hand out that evening.

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__gardenThe next day was the funeral. Earlier forecasts said possible rain but the day turned out to be gorgeous with hardly a cloud in the sky.

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__opa_fu_brmOpa loved a well dressed man so I made sure his three little men would make him proud in their new suits with their beautiful sister.

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Brian giving the eulogy for his dad.

The funeral was achingly beautiful and bittersweet, filled with longing that Opa was still here with us but also thankful that he was released from his pain and in the God’s hands. We pray for him each day that his soul is at peace with God and we ask him each day to watch over us and pray for us. He is gone yet somehow, feels even closer to my heart.

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revolution of love blog - od_logo_home2Family Chit Chat…

Not all the family news has been sad, however. As the circle of life goes on, Matthew turned the big 5 last week!

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__mvx_bday2We had a racing party for him.

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__mvx_bdayAnd the boy with a thousand costumes loved his new racing outfit.

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__jp_mvxMeanwhile, his brother John-Paul lost his two front teeth.

Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__ba_bvOn Saturday Brian and I celebrated the 16th anniversary of the day we met in person and had our first date. (We met online and wrote/ emailed/ called each other for 5 months first.)ย  Life has been a little rocky lately but thank God it has brought us closer together and made us rely on each other more. When I am weak, he is strong and vice versa. Today (actually at this very minute) he has his routine testing and blood work to make sure there are no signs that the cancer may be coming back. It is always a little nerve wracking and writing this post (and praying under my breath) is helping me not to stress as I wait for his call. (UPDATE: I just got Brian’s call. His blood work and lymph nodes all look good. Praise God! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

ยฉ RevolutionofLove.com - ba_4_15_16And as you may have noticed in the above picture, I now wear glasses (ah, the joys of getting older) and got a MUCH NEEDED haircut. I feel like I have been stress eating and letting myself go so I needed a boost to motivate me to eat healthier, get back to my walking and just feel better in general!

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__brmLastly, yesterday we woke up in the wee hours of the morning to send Bella nearly 3,000 miles away on her week long class trip to Washington DC! (And other historical states/landmarks.) I miss my baby already but I tracked her flight on my iPhone so I knew when she was flying over each state and we have been sending texts and snapchats to one another to close the distance. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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In the Kitchen…

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__breadI don’t know if the kids are on strike with bananas but I have a constant flow of overripe ones on the counter. Time for another batch of bread and banana oatmeal cookies.

 

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Reading…

I’m currently reading…

I haven’t had much time to read but I only have two chapters left of the gripping…

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

AND

I put this aside during my FIL’s illness and the funeral prep but I will start this one again this week.

ย Divine Mercy for Moms by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet.

AND

belgraviaBelgravia by Julian Fellowes

ALSO, have you heard about the new project by Jullian Fellowes? (The creator of Downton Abbey.) He has written a novel but it will be released in 11 weekly installments. Austenprose.com explains:

Released in 11 weekly installments, each episode of Julian Fellowesโ€™ Belgravia will conclude with twists, turns and cliff-hanger endings popularized by the novels of Dickens, Gaskell and Conan Doyle in the nineteenth century. Delivered directly to your cell phone, tablet or desktop via a brand new app, you can read the text or listen to the audio recording narrated by acclaimed British actress Juliet Stevenson, or jump between the two.

Each week a different blogger will be featured with reviews, insights and background info. It sounds really exciting. Get the rest of the details and more insight here.

The first installment was released on Thursday and I just downloaded it. I’m looking forward to reading/listening to it. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Watching…

(ON YOUTUBE)

The song “Uptown Funk” has been overdone BUT I think this classic movie/musical video version is my favorite so far. Love it.

And a close second would be this book lover parody. LOL.

 

(ON TV)

poldarkWe only have two episodes left but I am hesitant to watch them because I don’t want it to end!!

 

Listening to …

I’ve been loving “In Your Arms” by Chef’Special. Part of it reminds me of saying goodbye to my FIL. Part of it reminds me of Brian and how much he strengthens me. I can’t thank God enough for my gem of a husband. Sigh.

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[Insert the sound of crickets.]ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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In the blogosphere…

There’s not much reading time but I’ve recently enjoyed (or have in my reading queue):

 

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RevolutionofLove.com - od_logo_captured_2Here is a shot from my morning walk.

 

ยฉ Revolution of Love.com - cwa_4_14_16__oceanI was feeling lazy this morning and didn’t want to go walking but then I remind myself of the view and headed out the door.

 

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately! What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Do share.

I’m linking up with post with Kelly for 7 Quick Takesย  and Cristina for Lovely Tidbits. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚


Online Daybook (2/15/16) and #7QT: Taming the Mouth, Books & Movie Reviews

Hey, guys. I feel like I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write in a long time. This week I’ve hardly been home since I’ve been busy with school activities, fundraisers (and add in Lent starting) and this morning was literally the first time I’ve been able to freely write for awhile. BTW, this post was slowly written over the last three days so that’s why it will say today (Friday) and today (Saturday) etc.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Here is a recap of what’s been going on lately.

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Grateful for…

  • A quiet morning when I can just stop and breathe.
  • Finishing all the kids’ valentines in time for their parties.
  • An extra long weekend.
  • The opportunity to go to confession this weekend. I needed it!
  • For a blessed Valentine’s day.

Praying for..

  • Numerous friends (and their friends) who are going through heavy crosses – from serious illness to deaths in the family.
  • A fruitful Lent and the grace to persevere and challenge myself and not make excuses.
  • People suffering from violence – whether within their home or their community.
  • The conversion of hearts back to God.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friend and those most forgotten.

Pondering…

Lent. As much as I tried to be prepared for it, it was here before I was ready. On Friday I was scrambling to get our “sacred space” ready for the Lenten season since the kids have been asking where is the Lenten calendar? Where is the sacrifice bean jar? Where are the weekly Lenten candles? Sorry, kids. Your sacrifice is to have patience with your mom who had no been home long enough to get it all done. But today! Today (Friday) my morning schedule is clear and I am closer to being caught up. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So… how has your Lent been going these few days in? Mine? Well, let me put it this way. For Lent besides, less online time and more prayer, there are three big things I want to work on – giving up cussing (mostly under my breath but still) and using God’s name in vain (I say ohmygod way too often) and working on being more patient when things go wrong. I am sweet and peachy while things are going right but when they turn for the worse I look like this….

anger_guyI know, right! Sooo, here comes Ash Wednesday morning and things were going wrong left and right and then I accidentally dropped juice all over the fridge and lost my temper as my mouth muttered, “sh*t!” Then, “dammit, I’m not supposed to be cussing! ohmygod! what is wrong with me?” Um, yeah. Three strikes within the first 1/2 hour of the day. So yeah, it’s going to be a loooong Lent. But I will admit that things are looking up. This morning when the boys were hyped up more than normal (I thought no sugar was supposed to have a calming effect?) I didn’t lose my cool and when a few things went wrong I muttered “darn!” and “blast it!” Score that as a win! ๐Ÿ˜‰

After my little morning mishaps, I had some quiet time and I was reading one of the essays in Elizabeth Foss’ Restore workshop and she said, “…make a decision to care, to be compassionate, to love with self-sacrifice. Then we are required to do something. We must act on that compassion.” That line jumped out to to me because my phrase for 2016 is Balanced (with Compassion) and although it is only 1 1/2 months into the year I already need a reminder. It is one thing to have as my blog tagline “do little things with great love” but that is not enough, I have to make a daily, sometimes hourly, sometimes moment to moment decision to care, be compassionate and love with self-sacrifice especially within my family. That means dying to self and accepting all the mishaps as part of my day. It need not throw me off kilter, rather, God can use it to prune me and help me grow. It is something I need to constantly work at and this Lent is the perfect opportunity to work at it harder.

 

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Around the House…

revolutionoflove.com (cwa_2_14_16_cW)A couple weeks ago @blessedisshe__ asks us to fill in the blank – “This year I will delight in being a ______.” For me, it’s a homemaker because a wife and mother is the heart of the home and my attitude can fill the house with joy and laughter or tension and discord. I may not like doing laundry and dishes but these little things done with love can change our world.ย 

Besides working on my attitude and patience, as I mentioned in my last goals post, I am continuing my work to clean and organize my home. Progress has been made over the last year or two but there’s plenty more work to do. I am participating in A Bowl Full of Lemon’s 2016 Home Organization 101 Challenge. However, there are also a lot of school and family activities going on right now so the weekly assignments have literally become monthly assignments.

RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_2_14_16_bWIt may take me longer but progress is slowly being made and that’s all that matters. Here is a peek at my kitchen’s drunk drawer before and after.

 

Family Chit Chat…

RevolutionofLove.com - cwa_2_14_16_aWWe are all busy and but doing well. Today (Sunday) is Valentine’s day and Bella took care of the boys so Brian and I could go out to lunch. It was such a special treat and Brian and I had so much fun! If you are a mama with lots of little ones, do not fret. One day your oldest is going to be old enough to take care of the littles and life will never be the same!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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revolution of love blog - od_logo_kitchenIn the Kitchen…

Sunday – Enchiladas, beans and salad.

Monday – Italian pasta dish and salad.

Tuesday – Won ton soup with potstickers.

Wednesday – BBQ chicken, roasted potatoes and broccoli.

Thursday – Breakfast dinner.

Friday – Homemade veggie pizza and Greek salad.

Saturday – Leftovers.

 

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Reading…

My reading goal of more books and less TV has been going well. Here are three of the six books I’ve read so far.

The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

I have been a fan of Julie Klassen’s novels for awhile. In January I read The Tutor’s Daughter, which I enjoyed, and more recently The Painter’s Daughter which I really enjoyed. The story was about Sophie Dupont an artist who helped her father in his art studio. She meet a charming but irresponsible young artist named Wesley who eventually wooed her and had his way with her. An opportunity to study art in Italy opened up for Wesley and he left Sophie not knowing that she was now carrying his child. In the meantime, Wesley’s brusque brother Steven, who was used to cleaning up Wesley’s mistakes discovered the predicament Sophie was facing. To atone for his own past mistakes and to spare Sophie and her unborn child, Steven offered to marry her in name only. Not wanting to risk the severe consequences she must face as an unwed mother and the inevitable shame her child must endure, she agreed.

I love the emotions and drama that came with Sophia adjusting to life as the wife of a man she did not love, the slow growing relationship and understanding between Steven and Sophie and the eventual return of Wesley that turned everything upside down. I couldn’t put the book down until I found out how the situation played out and which man she ended up with. I was satisfied with the way it was all wrapped up. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White

My Mr. Darcy was a fun and easy read. The story was about Lizzy who watched Pride and Prejudice (2005 version) for the first time at the age of 16. Since then she was obsessed about finding her modern day version of Mr. Darcey. Eventually she met Chad and agreed to go out with him, despite not being anything like Darcy. She planned to break things off after one date but cohered by her best friend, she agreed to 10 dates with Chad before breaking things off. Slowly warmed up to him and started realizing what a great guy he was until she met handsome and rich Matt, a guy who completely fit her idea of Mr. Darcy. The whole situation became an interesting (and clean cut) love triangle.

The story was sweet and fun but also a little annoying because Lizzy’s obsession with Mr. Darcy was maddening at times. I wanted to smack her upside the head when she continually chose the haughty Matt over the sweet, sensitive and unselfish Chad. Maybe if Matt was little more likable and Chad a little more flawed, I could understand Lizzy’s dilemma better. Having said that, I am still glad I read the book and will look for more titles by the author since I liked that it had a modern day setting without any modern day sexual promiscuity. It was clean but not “Christian preachy” if you know what I mean. ๐Ÿ™‚ I rate it 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Itโ€™s been seven years since Seth Grahame-Smithโ€™s mashup book was published and I didnโ€™t have any desire to read my beloved Jane Austen in the light of zombie back then. Fast forward to the current day and my love of The Walking Dead and love of movies, made me curious after seeing the trailer for the movie version of the book. I decided to give the book a try before going to see the movie. Did I enjoy it? My feelings are mixed. On the one hand, it was cool to read all the familiar lines and scenes and see how Grahame-Smith was going to change things up. This line from Lizzy in regards to Mr. Collins asking for her hand made me laugh out loud. โ€œDid this fat little priest mean to take her as a wife? She was horrified at the thought of marrying of man whose only skill with a blade was cutting slivers of gorgonzola.โ€

The whole concept was interesting and at times fun. However, the book also had scenes that were over the top, campy and beyond tongue and cheek. Some parts make Elizabeth into a mythological type of warrior. For example, there is a scene in which she effortlessly slays a ninja and then rips out his still beating heart and takes a bite. That just made me roll my eyes. There were a few added character changes (like Lizzyโ€™s aunt) that were annoying but minor. I think had the over the top scenes been toned down slightly to make Lizzy an incredible but believable ninja slaying warrior I would have appreciated it more since she already had the drive and spirit to imagine her in such a light.

All things considered, if you love Jane, love zombies and donโ€™t mind people taking liberties with a beloved classic, then by all means, give it a try. Otherwise, just skip it. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

Watching…

(ON TV)

war_peace–> Brian and I just finished watching War and Peace last nght and we really enjoyed it. I have never read the book and can’t compare the 4-part mini series but I thought it was well done, intriguing and beautifully filmed.

–> Of course I watched Downton Abbey last night and will have the new recap up by tomorrow. (Update: Here’s the recap.)

–> I also caught the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead and I am still reeling over that one. Whoa, what an episode!!

 

(AT THE MOVIES)

pride_prej_zomPride and Prejudice and Zombies

I saw two new movies this month. One of them was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Although the movie wasn’t a block buster and the reviews weren’t great, I have to admit that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The movie is based on the book but the story line, particularly in regards to Wickham are very different from the book. When I watch any Jane Austen based movie it always bugs me a little when a character says lines that another character says in the book but I understand the need for it. Those kind of changes are expected. However, the movie really strayed from the book and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Lizzy was definitely more believable and not as a$$-kicking as she was in the book but she was still tough enough to slay zombies and look cool doing it in her pinafore dress.

Some of the dialogue in the movie truly made me laugh and while a few characters were a little flat, Matt Smith as Mr. Collins was hilarious. In the end I enjoyed the movie and was glad I went, although I think it would have made more sense as a stand alone movie that took place in the setting of P&P but didn’t necessarily use the same characters. I think there would have been less comparison and we’d be able to enjoy the movie on it’s own merit more. I rate it 3 1/2 stars out of 5. (Parent note: The movie contains the usual zombie violence and gore and a few suggestive situations.)

the_choiceThe Choice

The second movie I watchedย  was Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice. If you know me you also know that the I HATE spoilers and always like the element of surprise and emotional suspense. The only exception I make is when I am watching a Nicholas Sparks movie. I want to know right off the bat if a main characters will die tragically. So I cheated and looked up the plot and found that the ending was gasp, happy. My other complaint about Sparks is that it seems all his characters have an attraction, have sex, and then fall in love. I know most modern movies have that but it still bugs me. It is also worth noting that critics hated this movie for various reasons. I, however, liked it despite its flaws. (But I also like most Hallmark movies, so there’s that.)

The story was about medical student Gabby and her next door neighbor Travis. Gabby is dating a rich doctor and Travis is a loner disguised as a ladies man. Their annoyance with each other is only rivaled by their attraction to one another. While Gabby’s boyfriend is away the two spend time together and eventually they become an inseparable couple until Gabby’s boy friend returns home. You may think this was the big “choice” but that actually comes when tragedy strikes and a life and death choice must be made towards the end of the movie. I’ll admit the movie tugged at my heart and I gave in and let the tears and emotions flow (thanks to no one sitting next to me in the theater). The ending may be contrived but I enjoyed it none the less. If you are already a fan of Sparks, you will probably like the movie. If you aren’t, choose something else. I rate it 3 out of 5 stars. (Parent note: While not graphic, there is premarital sex, adult situations, a little language and near death tragedy.)

 

Listening to …

I gave up my regular radio station during Lent so while I am pining for the sounds of bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Silversun Pickups, X Ambassadors, Cage the Elephant or Vance Joy, I am putting them aside and spending more time listening to some Catholic artists. I recently discovered Ike Ndolo from Jenna at Blessed Is She. (Ike will be providing worship music at the Blessed Is She Beauty for Ashes retreat in March. A retreat that I sadly will not be able to attend this year. Sniff. ๐Ÿ™ ) Anyway, I downloaded a number Ike’s songs off iTunes. I am listening to my favorite Riverside as I am typing this.

 

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January started out with a huge bang but February was way too busy to blog!

 

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In the blogosphere…

Some posts I’ve recently enjoyed:

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Spring is in full force here on the Monterey Peninsula. Unfortunately, that also means we are all covered in a layer of yellow pollen. They said this is the worse pollen we’ve had in years. On the plus side, the warm weather has allowed me back to my mornnig walks along the ocean. I snapped this one with my phone last week. ๐Ÿ™‚

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So that’s what I’ve been up to lately! What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Do share.

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚

Save


Online Daybook (1/18/16), 7QT and Theme Thursday: Focal Point

Last week was super busy with a sick kiddo and hubby but now that they are back to normal I am hoping this week will run smoother. I didn’t have time to post so I’m doing a triple play today and tomorrow I’ll post the my Downton recap. I’ve got my biweekly Monday Daybook plus I’m linking with Micaela for Theme Thursday (Scroll down to Take #7) and Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.ย  Here is a recap of what’s been going on lately.

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Grateful for…

  • Spending time with my dad, mom and brother, even if it was short visit.
  • A relaxing afternoon with a movie and popcorn with the kids.
  • An extra long weekend.
  • The grace of forgiveness.

Praying for..

  • Brian’s routine cancer screening test this afternoon.
  • The intentions of many friends.
  • Those who are struggling or suffering with heavy crosses.
  • The conversion of hearts back to God.
  • All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
  • The souls in purgatory, especially family, friend and those most forgotten.

 

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Around the House…

As I mentioned in my last goals post, I am participating inย  A Bowl Full of Lemon’s 2016 Home Organization 101 Challenge.

However, I doubt I’ll be able to follow the schedule since busy family life keeps me from having all the spare time I need to finish. But I’ll do the best I can and if I finish a little later than the rest, that’s okay. Last week was the kitchen and this week is the pantry. I am still working on the kitchen but maybe I can catch up.ย  I’ll post some before and afters eventually. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Family Chit Chat…

This afternoon Brian is going for his routine bloodwork for cancer. There have been so many people who have died from cancer recently that I am trying not to think about “what if it’s back…” so instead I am distracting myself with other happy news.

(UPDATE: Brian called while I was finishing this post. His said his blood count looked good but the doc has to check the rest of the bloodwork. If he sees anything amiss he’ll let us know.)

* * *

I talk a lot about my three little guys on the blog and less about Bella, but only to give her more privacy as she grows older. However, this week I have to share in her accomplishments and ask for your help in voting!

Bella and 5 classmates entered the Verizon Innovative App Challenge and came up with an idea for “FITA” – Foreign Immigration to America, an app which helps immigrants in the transition to living in America. Out of 1200 entries from around the state, her team won to represent California! The team members received tablets and her school was awarded a $5,000 grant!

RevolutionofLove.com - brm_10_2016_textOriginal Photograph of Bella by HeidiBorgiaPhotography.com.

We just found out that they have now won the Regional competition for the best in the western states. Now they are in the NATIONAL competition. There will be the chosen winner and the popular vote winner. Please help Bella and her team win by texting FITA2 to 22333. Then ask your family and friends to vote. (Voting open until Jan 31.) THANK YOU!!!

UPDATE: Please say a prayer for Bella and her team. They have a video conference with the judges on Thursday, Jan 21. I am sure they are excited but nervous!

 

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revolution of love blog - od_logo_kitchenIn the Kitchen…

Sunday – Tuna sandwiches and minestrone soup.

Monday – Turkey burgers and Southwest black been and corn salad.

Tuesday – Taco salad.

Wednesday – Italian chicken sausage, pasta with spinach and kale, salad.

Thursday – Breakfast dinner.

Friday – Homemade veggie pizza and Greek salad.

Saturday – Leftovers.

 

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Watching…

Back in October I recorded PBS Masterpiece’s Home Fires on our DVR but we haven’t had a chance to watch it until recently. We are on Episode 4 of 6 and I am really enjoying it! The show it set at the beginning of England’s involvement in WWII and focuses on the women in a rural Cheshire community as their husbands and sons are leaving to fight in the war while they battle their one wars at home. It is addicting and we’ve watched an episode every evening. (Parent note: Although there is nothing graphic, there are adult story lines such as spousal abuse, premarital sex, same sex attraction and the death of loved ones.)

 

Listening to …

When I am alone I listen to the alternative (or whatever it’s called these days) radio station but when the kids are in the car I play the local Christian Air 1 station. There are a few songs I enjoy but the other day I heard Jordan Feliz’ River and I was immediately drawn to it. It has now become a family favorite being played over and over in the car and the kitchen while cooking. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Even though the song evokes baptism, I can’t help but think about the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the healing grace of God. Now when we leave to go to confession I say it’s time to go down to the river. ๐Ÿ™‚

And even though Jordan’s new album Beloved is not the kind of music I would normally listen to, I am addicted to it! The lyrics to the title track Beloved are beautiful!

 

Reading…

As I mention in my goals post, I am trying to read at least 12 books this year.

My January book is Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay. I read a couple pages last year but was reading too many books at once and put it aside. However, now that I picked it up again, I couldn’t put it down! It is the story of two estranged sisters who drifted apart after their mom died of cancer. Years later the eldest sister Jane is married with two kids and diagnosed with cancer. The younger sister Elizabeth is a talented chef in New York who is has lost the magic in her cooking. She decides to take some time off and visit her sister. Together they attempt the arduous task of healing physically and emotionally in a way that was just absorbing. I found myself caring about the various characters and was transported into their world – from the discussions of food in classic novels to the feelings of their raw emotions. Towards the end, I had to stop reading the book during the day and wait until the kids were asleep because they would wonder why I was crying. There is also a touch of God and the lesson that He can bring good out of even terrible situations but it is in no way heavy handed or overbearing. I finished the book last night and although I wanted a little more closure in the romantic storyline, the family healing was beautiful and moving. I definitely recommend the book.

 

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January started out with a huge bang! Then kinda fizzled out as life got busier. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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In the blogosphere…

Some posts I’ve recently enjoyed:

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We close off with Micaela and Theme Thursday. I missed last week’s Rule of Thirds so I am combining it with the current Using a Focal Point.

RevolutionofLove.com // cwa_tt_red_flIt was raining this morning but the clouds are clearing up and the sun peeking through. I am a sucker for water droplets so I took a photo of some flowers on our deck.ย 

RevolutionofLove.com // cwa_tt_mvx_1_16_My previously ill Matthew was back to his giggly normal self.

RevolutionofLove.com // cwa_tt_jphairMeanwhile, Matthew’s brother and bunk mate was resting on the couch so he may have the bug next. I snapped a quick photo of his luscious wavy hair.

I noticed that my focal points in all three photos were towards the right side so next time I’ll catch something on the left. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately! What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Do share.

Have a great week!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope or Katch (past Periscopes), GoodReads, Letterboxd, or Spotify, ๐Ÿ˜‰

PPS – Disclaimer: “Revolution of Love.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

In other words, if you click on my affiliated links and make a purchase, I get a small compensation that goes towards keeping the blog online. Big hugs to those who click and help support the blog! xoxo ๐Ÿ™‚