Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Online Daybook/ Currently/ 7QT: February 2018 Recap, Fave Music, Links and Movie Reviews - logo_online_daybook_1

I can’t believe it is already mid-March. The days are just getting away from me! This Daybook is late but better late than never. 😉

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od_logo_quiet2Grateful for…

  • Green hills and flowers growing after the recent rains.
  • Blue skies and spring weather after the recent cold days.
  • My feeling better after being sick.
  • Family time.
  • Good health reports.
  • All the little things I take for granted like a warm bed, running water and food on the table.

Praying for..

  • Many special intentions from family and friends, especially those carrying heavy crosses.
  • Those fighting cancer, illness and mental health issues.
  • For victims of violence and abuse.
  • 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, friends and those most forgotten.


From yesterday’s Instagram:

It’s been a long time since I’ve let the “comparison poison” creep into my head and make me feel like a loser compared to others but this morning it was trying to take hold.

Then I read today’s first reading, especially these lines: “Thus says the LORD: Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create…”

There is happiness in what God creates. That includes me. It brought to mind yesterday’s Scripture reading that said, “We are his handiwork.”

We are God’s creation and He takes pleasure in us. Let’s not forget that. And when the evil one starts to whisper negativity that makes us fell “less than” cast it aside and rejoice that God created each of us unique with our own talents and gifts so there’s no need to worry that someone else’s gift is not our own. Be your beautiful, unique self and God will work wonders.


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Around the House…

The purging and spring cleaning continues. I’ve got huge piles of stuff to take to St. Vincent de Paul. Now just to get it in my car and over there. 😉


Family Chit Chat…

February Memories – Highlights of the month include – Worked with the boys on their school fundraiser for Children of, celebrated St. Valentine’s Day, enjoyed some Room Mom time at school, revived my love for snail mail, celebrated Ash Wednesday, went on a road trip with my “baby” girl, happy danced at one of my favorite places and made it an awesome girls’ weekend with my daughter, sister and mom! (And counting the days until I can go back.)


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In the Kitchen…

Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette from  Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

I’ve been looking for a lemon salad dressing and found this one that I have been really enjoying. So good!


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A Man Called Ove


A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery (Book 3)



(For Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge category – A Classic I Haven’t read Yet.)




The Greatest Showman I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this movie since it got mediocre reviews but all over Twitter and IG people were saying how much they loved the soundtrack and they wanted to see the movie again. So finally in February I went to watch it before it left the theaters. Oh man, was I wrong to wait because I loved it. No, let me clarify, I looooooved it. In a nutshell, Hugh Jackman plays P.T. Barnum, who began as a penniless orphan, and Michelle Williams is his wife Charity, his rich childhood friend. Together they overcome obstacles, marry, raise a family and start what would become P.T. Bartum’s Circus. Along the way Barnum recruits the local “misfits” who don’t fit into polite society and creates a show of music and wonder. This provides a new family of love for the circus performers who come to love themselves for who they are and shine despite the hate of cruel people. Unfortunately, in Barnum’s quest for ever greater accolades and acceptance into the right kind of society, he loses sight of his family and friends and loses everything in the process. However, redemption wins the day and the movie ends on a happy note. (The final scene of Barnum singing the lines “it’s everything you ever want…” had me bawling.)

The themes of the dignity of all people, learning to love and accept yourself (can I hear an Amen for “This Is Me”?) and the power of family life and love (whether by blood or chosen as friends) are strong. Granted, this movie won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I loved it and will be downloading it March 20 when it is available online. (The DVD/Blu-ray will be released April 10.) I rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars. The movie is rated PG. (Parental note: Surprisingly, the movie is relatively clean cut. There is a bit of language such as “damn” and a racial slur. There is some violence from the protestors/ bullies. There are a couple of “skimpier” outfits from the circus performers, depending on how strict you are about those things. If you listen to the soundtrack, the song “The Other Side” does have the phrase “oh, damn” in the chorus. That’s a problem when you have little kids who like to walk around singing the songs they hear. 😉 )

Black Panther – It’s a joy when I see two movies in a row that touch me so much! I’ve seen all the Marvel movies and Black Panther is definitely one of my favorites, especially because of its amazing cast. Although I am not African-American and cannot comment of the significance this movie would have in that aspect, as a mom to three boys I loved seeing a strong male character who valued family, honor, perseverance, and doing the right thing. T’Challa goes above and beyond just seeing a larger problem but figures out how he can be a part of a lasting solution. And as a mom of a teen girl, I love that there were numerous strong female characters and unlike other movies (as much as I love you, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I am looking at you) they had both strong male and female characters who were a credit to their gender without putting down the other gender.

Secondly, I like a movie that has a “villain” with multiple facets. You get to learn why they act the way they do and what made them the “bad guy.” In this case, Killmonger had a tragic back story and you can’t help but root against him while still rooting for his redemption. Overall, the themes of overcoming obstacles, finding healing, and working together as a larger brotherhood of humans (despite race or gender) truly moved me. The fact that movie itself was visually stunned, well written and suburbly acted just made it all the better. I rate it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. This movie is rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action violence, and a brief rude gesture. (Parental note: The  language is tame for a PG-13 with a a couple of sh*ts, a*s and a middle finger gesture. However the soundtrack does have explicit lyrics. There is a lot of violence for the younger set. For a more detailed parent review, check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)

The Shape of Water – I saw this movie the day after it won the Academy Award for Best Picture and afterwards, I thought two things: I should have read the parental review of why it was rated R and are you sure that was voted the best movie of the year? In a nutshell, the movie takes place in the early 60’s. Elisa is a mute cleaning woman who falls in love with a part man/part fish creature. The man-fish is tortured by the sadistic Strickland character.  Eventfully the creature is scheduled to be killed and dissected so Elisa, with the help of her sassy co-worker and gay best friend, plot to rescue him and bring him to safety.  As weird as that may all sound,  I didn’t hate the move. It was actually sort of a sweet “woman and creature from the Black Lagoon” love story. It was a thriller as they tried to escape the villain and it had its comedic moments. However, I barely would have watched it a second time, let alone voted it as the best movie of 2017. Plus, I did not realize how “adult” some of the content would be. There was full frontal nudity as the main character got into the bath and the camera panned away as she pleasured herself. And there was more nudity in a second scene (with a married couple) and a rather absurd scene where Elisa flooded her bathroom so she can enjoy some amore with her man-fish. I felt the adult content was over the top for this kind of movie. I just appreciate a movie that can tell a story with strategically placed cameras and not have to resort to full body shots, especially when it was unnecessary to further the story. For some, it may not be an issue but I found it disappointing because the movie was visually beautiful and  had a touch of old school movie nostalgia. I rate the movie 2 out of 5 stars. It would have been a 3 had it been PG-13 level content. (Parental note: It’s not for kids.)

Darkest Hour – This movie is more along the lines of what I would consider Academy Award material. Although set during WWII, there is very little action or war scenes in the movie. Instead it a slower paced political movie about Winston Churchill and the early days of the Nazi invasion of Europe, particularly at Dunkirk. I felt as if it was a little “old news” having recently watched two other TV movies/series about Winston Church. However, Gary Oldman’s portray of him was amazing. You could hardly recognize the actor as he became Churchill. I would recommend watching this movie first them watching the other Academy nominated movie Dunkirk. While this movie was all talk and not much action the other movie was all action with very little dialogue. Together they tell an incredible story of Dunkirk and the behind the scenes drama surrounding it. I rate this movie 4 out of 5 starts. Rated PG-13 for some thematic material. (Parental note: The movie was relatively mild in all areas of concern. For a more detailed parent review, check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)

Get Out – This was another one of those movies that was on my list to watch because I heard so many good reviews but I was afraid it was a slasher movie and those don’t entertain me at all. However, while in the horror genre, it was strong in the thriller category, which I love. I prefer psychological terror over mindless blood and guts torture. And psychologically, this had me freaking out! In a nutshell,  Chris is a young African American man who is going to meet his white girlfriend’s family for the first time. The meeting goes from awkward, to disturbing to horribly wrong. The movie has dark comedy, social commentary, and tension up the wazoo. My heart was pounding as I was inwardly screaming, “GET OUT!” I loved it.

Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references (Parental note: There is violence and blood – although not as graphic as some movies –  and a lot of language, especially a lot of mother*.  For a more detailed parent review, check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)

Lady Bird – Since I have been trying to watch all the Best Picture Academy Award nominees, this was next on my list. I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about this one. I heard a lot of good things about it from Catholics I respect (like this review from Bishop Barren) but I feel like I need to watch the movie again because I wasn’t as touched as others were. In a nutshell, this is a coming-of-age story of Christine “Lady Bird” MacPherson, a high school senior who longs to leave her small town and go to school on the East Coast. Her dad has issues but is loving and supportive of Lady Bird. Her mom is tough and sometimes demeaning to Lady Bird but she loves her daughter in her own broken way. While Lady Bird is not Catholic, she attends a Catholic school and surprisingly, the main priest and nun at the school are shown in a positive light. There are a couple of sweet moments, some touching moments, lots of teen angst and a positive ending as Lady Bird comes full circle. I enjoyed the film somewhat but would categorize it as a once-only movie. Some believe the Catholic faith was portrayed positively but it just made me sad to think of all the kids like those in the movie (myself included) who just went through the religious motions but lived a life contrary to the faith. I rate this movie 3 out of 5. Rated R for language, sexual content, brief graphic nudity and teen partying. (Parental note: There is a lot of language, disrespectful attitudes/ dialogue, smoking, drinking and the main character has sex although there’s nothing graphic. The “brief graphic scene” was a brief shot from a magazine. For a more detailed parent review, check out Common Sense Media’s review here.)


Listening to …

I gave up my favorite playlists and radio stations for Lent (except for Sundays) so I have been listening to my Lent playlist instead.

On Sunday, I added these songs to my playlist.

Wake Up by Loud Forest

Handyman by Awolnation

Saturday Sun by Vance Joy

Apocolypse by Cigarettes after Sex (When I first heard this song I thought it was a husky sounding girl. LOL. But it reminded me of years past when I loved a great shoe gazer song. And if you are offended by the band’s name, just picture it as a happily married faithful couple experiencing the joys of Phase 3. 😉 )


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Added to the boys’ playlist (and I’m loving it too) …

Changed by Jordan Feliz


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Recent Posts:

It’s funny that I blogged very little last year and was thinking about quitting all together but then something happened in the new year and the posts started flowing. These were posted in January.

Artist Spotlight: Welcome Bee (& A Giveaway)

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Lenten Family Activities and House Decor

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Friday Favorites & Link-up Vol 3: Lent Edition & #7QT

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Friday Favorites & Link-up (Vol 4) & #7QT

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In the Kitchen: Trader Joe’s Wonton Soup

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From the Archives


Unbound and Our Sponsored Child

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revolution of love blog - quote_obedience_faustinaI Am the Handmaid of the Lord

Coming Soon

  • Friday Favorites
  • A Review of Various Catholic Graphic Novels about the Saints

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I’d like to try this Greek Pasta Salad by


Around the blogosphere…

Here are some posts I’ve been reading…


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From my Blessed Is She Lent journal.

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So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any book, movie or TV show 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, 😉

PPS – * Disclaimer: “Revolution of 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”

Online Daybook/ Currently (10/6): 31 Days of Gratitude (Day 6) Edition


Outside my window…

Summers are grey and foggy but October is our hot month and it has been living up to tradition with 90 degree weather this week. Today it was in the high 70’s and normally that would be considered heat wave, but after the last few days’ heat, it felt heavenly!


Moments of gratitude…

This section counts as Day 6 of the series 31 Days of Gratitude. Today I am especially thankful for…


I was at the Mission earlier and I snapped this photo with my phone. It brought back memories of nearly 15 years ago when I was standing at that spot in my princess wedding dress waiting for the moment I was to take my dad’s arm and walk down the aisle. I still remember the big smile on Brian’s face as he watched me enter the church. It was like a dream.

Fast forward to the reality of today. Life is often loud and hectic with the kids and this past year has been a trial with the cross of Brian’s cancer.  (For an update on Brian’s health, see the On the Homefront section.) However, this whole situation has brought us closer together and right now things are really in sync between us and in our marriage. I know in some marriages the years draw couples apart but, by the grace of God, instead they have made us stronger and closer. Yesterday Brian came into the kitchen and stole a kiss from me. I couldn’t help but laugh and say, “After 15 years of marriage…” and he finished my sentence, “We’re still going strong, baby.” So yeah, today I am super grateful for one of the biggest blessings in my life – Brian.



  • For Brian’s continued recovery from the side effects of his chemo.
  • For those fighting cancer or illness.
  • For those in troubled marriages.
  • For our single friends who feel called to the vocation of marriage and are looking for a holy spouse.
  • For those who are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • For pregnant moms, moms dealing with an unwanted pregnancy and for women trying to have a child.
  • For some special intentions.


On the homefront……

A couple of people have been asking how Brian is doing so here’s an update. He is doing well, considering. He finished his chemo in July but he is still dealing with the side effects, namely numbness in his hands and feet. Sometimes it is not too bad but other times he is in pain and he can’t button a shirt or his walk is unsteady. (There is medication he can take but the doctor told him that the side effects are often worse than the ailment.) Time will tell if these symptoms will fade or remain. It is still too early to know yet.

Except for that, he is doing well otherwise. His last scan was a month ago and all his organs and lymph nodes were clean. He has to go for more testing at the end of the month and if he passes that then he passed his 3 month waiting period and he can get the chemo port removed from his chest. We are praying that this cancer chapter is forever closed!



I’ve been pondering the how long I will be able to continue with the 31 Days of Gratitude challenge. I love the idea and the concept but I wonder when I will burn out and skip a day. I haven’t so far buuut I am not exactly known for sticking with one thing until it is complete. The only exception is when an idea gets “in my head.” In those cases I will not give up until I make it happen. But normally, I’m more of a jump around from one thing to another type of gal. I can still remember distinctly the conversation my mom had with me before I was married. She basically told me I better be serious about this marriage because I can’t get tired if it and move on to something else. It is for life. Don’t worry Mom, this isn’t in the fickle category. This is the “in my head” category and I’m determined to give it my all. 😉


In the kitchen…

Monday: Leftovers from Bella’s birthday party. (Pizza and salad bar)

Tuesday: BBQ chicken and broccoli slaw.

Wednesday: Enchilada casserole & salad.

Thursday: Breakfast dinner – scrambles eggs with leftover enchiladas.

Friday: Grilled Cheese and slow cooker lentil & kale soup

Saturday: Turkey burgers and Southwestern black bean and corn salad

Sunday: Dinner at Oma & Opa’s


Around the house…

I’s been so busy I haven’t really had much time to work on any cleaning projects. The good news is that we had five of Bella’s best friends over yesterday for her birthday party so my front room looks awesome. The bad news is that we threw all the junk into my bedroom and closed the door, so that room looks like a tornado hit it. Sigh. Such is my life.



I haven’t been reading much since I usually read before bed but I am too tired and never get past a page or two. These two books have been sitting on my nightstand for way too long.

Danielle Bean’s book Momnipotent

The Giver by Lois Lowry


Listening to…

The soundtrack for the movie Chef. Perfect music while cooking in the kitchen!!



At the movies – I haven’t been to as many movies this month, although, since I was averaging one movie every two years when the kids were much smaller, I am doing good! I saw Dolphin Tale 2 with Bella and her friends yesterday. It was a sweet, clean family fun movie. I also saw If I Stay, which was bittersweet. It was slow at moments but I still enjoyed it. Lastly, I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy again but took Brian this time for a date night. The movie rocked but being there with my love, priceless.

On TV – All the new shows are starting up! I’ve set the DVR to record many of them, although it takes us nearly the whole year to get to them. So far sitting in the queue are Masterpiece Miss Marple, Masterpiece The Paradise, Sleepy Hollow, Gotham, The Middle, Parenthood, Gracepoint, Cedar Cove and more. Who knows which ones we’ll get to and which ones we’ll just delete. What are your “must watch” shows this fall?


On the blog…

Tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct 7) is our monthly Pinterest Party. I baked pumpkin mini donuts tonight and I’ll share the recipe and results tomorrow. (UPDATE : The recipe is here.) 🙂


In the blogosphere…

My Bloglovin feed has over 300 entries so tonight I will be skimming over some and deleting many. I’ll come back and update you with which ones I starred.



Photo Credit –

I love how Mandy used a backdrop for a close up shot. I’m using that idea! 🙂


Linking-Up with…

The new host of Currently – Joyful Life! 🙂

Have a blessed 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, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) 😉

PPS – This post contains affiliate links.



Online Daybook (8/18/14): The Birthday and Too Much TV Edition


Moments of Gratitude…

Today I am especially thankful…

  • For the blessing of another year of life.
  • For Matthew loving his new school.
  • For an at-home date night with Brian.
  • For a new haircut that I desperately needed.
  • For the love and fellowship of family and friends.


Embracing the Ordinary…

I’m linking up with Gina over at Someday Saints for Embrace the Ordinary.

I was trying out a new recipe and taking a photo of the final product when Matthew climbed up on the other side of the counter and said, “Tale a picture of me, Mama!” He is my “helper” in the kitchen and loves to cook by my side. Although, the background is messy I like that I can also see Andrew and Brian playing, mostly likely getting ready to build a Lego creation. 🙂


In the Kitchen…

I’m in a menu funk and feeling like I make the same things over and over again. Honestly, Brian and the kids LIKE the same things over and over. They are creatures of habit. I like tried and true but with a little variety. So I will look though my old monthly menus and my binder of new recipes to try change up this week’s menu a little. In the meantime, you’ll have to settle for this photo of lovely tasting bread that is begging for some butter and jam. 😉



  • For my brother-in-law Mick and his fellow soldiers who were deployed to the Middle East last week. Also, for my sister Bridgette who is enduring their first separation since getting married less than a year ago.
  • For Brian’s continued recovery from the side effects of his chemo.
  • For those who are being persecuted for their faith.
  • For a greater love and appreciation of my faith and my freedom.
  • For those who are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • For some special intentions.


On the homefront……

Things are busy but going well. Matthew started pre school last week. My baby is in school now! It’s going to be really weird once the other kids are in school next week and I have a few hours when the house will be completely quiet! I’m going to have to put on Star Wars or The Incredibles or Cars to make it sound more normal. 😉


Around the house…

The spring cleaning bug always hits me (months late) in autumn. In 2012, my theme was homemaking and getting some order into my messy house. I was doing well but 2013 was the year of the cross with Brian’s cancer… and that carried on into the beginning of 2014. In the meantime, my cleaning projects were put on the back burner. Well, it is time to get back to it, especially while I have the itch and motivation to clean. (Lord knows it doesn’t last very long.)

On Friday it was the first day in a loooooong time when I didn’t have to be anywhere or drive anyone to anything so I unplugged the phone and the computer and committed myself to cleaning out my laundry room. There were so many piles of dirty laundry and so many bags of random crap thrown in the corners that I could barely walk in the room. It literally took me from 9 in the morning until 5 at night but I got it done! Yay! Now it has motivated me to tackle a few more cleaning messes. I won’t have a long stretch of time like I did on Friday but as Annie reminded me, “Slow and steady wins the race.” (PS. Mom, this photo is dedicated to you, although I still haven’t replaced that hanging rack that you hate. LOL. ;-))



Last Monday I was feeling overwhelmed with all the world news of turmoil and my heart cried for the victims of atrocities, especially fellow Christians. I was saddened that one actor’s suicide seemed to spark nasty arguments amongst Catholics over moral theology. Meanwhile, family and friends were carrying heavy crosses and everything seemed to be in chaos. So after a good cry and turning of the computer and logging off of Facebook I thought, okay God what the heck can I do about all of this? Immediately the image of St. Terese came to mind. I needed to LIVE my motto  – little things done with great love. Crying and wringing my hands was not going to help.

I know prayer is powerful but I couldn’t go kneel before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament as I desired. Instead I had mouths to feed and bottoms to be wiped and bathrooms to be scrubbed. I had to offer all those little things to God as my prayer for all the needs of the world. It may seem incredibly insignificant but God knows my heart. Which is the greater sacrifice to me? Making a Holy Hour or shutting my mouth and not complaining or losing my temper when milk is spilled or pee doesn’t land in the toilet or my favorite picture frame is smashed by a reckless light saber? Um, yeah, He knows the answer to that. So right here, right now, is my mission work!



Danielle Bean’s book Momnipotent.’s online book club will be reading Momnipotent in September.  It kicks off on August 30th with an interview with Danielle Bean. I’ll be reading along. Join me. 🙂


The Giver by Lois Lowry (I want to finish the book before I watch the movie.)


Listening to…

I’m kinda addicted to Echosmith right now, she said as she sang, “We are going to come together now…”



At the Movies – August is a big movie month! I saw Guardians of the Galaxy which I loved. I was going to skip it, thinking it looked a little too weird (a talking raccoon and tree??) but I read positive reviews from Kendra and Steven so I gave it a try. It far exceeded my expectations and was a fun movie. I’m hoping to see it again with Brian.  The Hundred-Foot Journey, was another “foodie” movie like Chef. Chef was like eating a delicious steak taco with extra salsa while you’re listening to lively music. The Hundred-Foot Journey was more like dressing up and going out to eat at a fancy restaurant without kid menus. A different, more polished experience but still enjoyable. The acting was well done, the story line intriguing, the family-love brimming and shockingly all done with a PG rating. It really is a sweet movie. 🙂

On TV – We’ve got one episode left of the last season of Veronica Mars then we’ll rent the movie.

On YouTube – Are you a Hitchcock fan? If, so check this out. I’ve seen about 3/4 of this movies but missed many of these cameos!


On the blog…

Life has been going fast and posting has been slow, so only two new posts these last three weeks!

Upcoming posts will include an update on my August goals, a review of the Fitbit and tips for getting out of a mom-slump. 🙂


In the blogosphere…

This one from my sis was hard to read but needed.

These two were great reminders to me to keep my perspective on the positive!

These were helpful and/or I just enjoyed them. 🙂



I love this from the Blessed Is She pinterest page. #catholicdevotional



Plans for the Week…

Well, since it is my birthday today I am allowed to just play on the computer and decorate my planner and listen to music and not worry about crossing things off my To Do list. 🙂 (It’s cold and gloomy out so I may even get a cup of cocoa. LOL) This is actually our last week of summer vacation so we’ve got a lot of school orientations and uniforms sales and maybe we’ll try a beach trip if the sun plans to come out later in the week. Next week Bella, Andrew and John-Paul start school. Bella has oral surgery scheduled to pull out a few baby teeth that won’t come out and she is a little freaked out because she has to be put under. (Please keep her in your prayers!) Lastly, my sister Bridgette is coming up for an extended trip next week. I can’t wait!!



For those who follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen these. I’m adding them for my mom to see. 🙂

I went to Costco with the kids and John-Paul and Andrew found Halloween costume that they loved – a police man and an army soldier. Matthew is not allowed to get a costume until closer to Halloween since it changes all the time. So far in the running we have Captain America, Spiderman, a Ninja Turtle, Dash from The Incredibles , a race car driver or a Jedi Knight with a green light saber. He was very specific about that. Luckily, (except for Dash) we already have all these costumes at home.

We needed to have Matthew potty trained before he went to pre school. The other kids took forever to be fully potty trained so I told Matthew that I would finally buy him the big boy bike he wanted once he was potty trained. We made a chart and put on his stickers and two weeks later he was completely trained and in his undies. I should have done this years earlier!

 Matthew and I were walking along when I saw this fruit on the floor. I told Matthew, “Look what fell off that tree.” He said, “Wow! Meatballs!” LOL. I think we need an agricultural review.


Linking-Up with…

A Mama Collective’s Currently

Gina’s Embrace the Ordinary


It’s a triple header with my last link up being with Kendra’s Answer Me This.

1. What is your favorite room in the house?

Mostly likely the kitchen since I spend so much time there. The house we are living on now was Brian’s grandma’s house. When she passed away, his aunt lived here. She has since passed and we were able to move in when Bella was four and an only child. This is what the kitchen looked like then.

We slowly have been working on it and nine years later it looks like this.

You can see the rest of the remodel photos here.

2. Do you subscribe to any magazines or other periodicals?

Can you guess which mag is mine and which is the mag of my holier spouse? 🙂

I love magazines! I love the photos and the feel of holding paper in your hand, even though 95% of my reading is done with ebooks. I like the bite-sized articles that I can fit in here are there rather than trying to put down a book I can’t stop reading. I currently subscribe to Catholic Digest, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, Cooking Light, Food Network (although I’m letting the subscription run out on that one), Lucky and Entertainment Weekly.

3. How do you feel about the sign of peace in Mass? Enriching? Awkward? Overdone? Just right? Some combination of the above?

I am a touchy-feely hugger so I enjoy the sign of peace as long as the other person touching my hand hasn’t been sneezing all through Mass and as long as everyone STOPS once the Lamb of God starts.

4. What is your least favorite sound?

It’s a three-way tie: Nails on a chalkboard or high-pitched whining or Matthew’s current practice of screeching at the top of his lungs.

5. What was your favorite TV show (or shows) growing up?

As a little kid my favorite cartoon was Scooby Doo. My favorite family shows were Little House on the PrairieThe Cosby Show and repeats of The Brady Bunch. However, the one show that is the closest to my heart is I Love Lucy. Watching a show today brings me right back to the kitchen with my mom laughing with Lucy and Ricky. I own every episode on DVD and my kids have seen them all too. When I am with my family we still quote lines to each other in our normal conversation. 🙂

6. What are your favorite TV shows now?

I always have way more shows in my DVR than I have time to watch but it carries over to the summer months when there is nothing on and I can catch up on the past fall shows I never finished. My current faves are Sherlock, almost all the Masterpiece Mystery shows,  Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, Sleepy Hollow, The Blacklist, The Middle, The Big Bang Theory, Parenthood, Grimm, and for a bit of guilty pleasure –Pretty Little Liars. The show I am most looking forward to watching in fall is Gotham. I’ll also mention that I used to be a fan of Once Upon A Time but the Peter Pan storyline was draaaaaaaging on and I gave up and deleted the shows from my DVR. Well, with the summer slump I started watching again and got back into it so I have a few more episodes to go and I’ll be ready for the new season.

Wow, that was a long post. Thanks for reading through it. 🙂

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, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) 😉

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Online Daybook (7/30/14) & Embrace the Ordinary (vol 2) – Brian Update, Baby Joan Fund Update & Other Tidbits


Moments of Gratitude…

Today I am especially thankful…

  • That Brian finished his last round of chemo!
  • For this beautiful day with blue skies and a slight breeze – no fog and not too hot.
  • For the love and fellowship of family and friends.
  • For my father-in-law taking 3/4 of the kids to his house this afternoon.
  • For running water, stocked cupboards and a warm bed to sleep in at night.
  • For God’s mercy.


Embracing the Ordinary…

I’m linking up with Gina over at Someday Saints for Embrace the Ordinary. (Well, technically I was going to link up but I didn’t finish this post in time.) 😉

 After swimming lessons, the boys insisted that I take a photo of the swimmers. The impromptu shot has become a favorite of mine. There is a tiny glimpse of each of their personalities here – John-Paul is ready to jump off the bench and back into the car with his book, Bella is laughing at her little brothers’ antics yet plays along, Matthew is ready to pounce on the bad guys and be a super hero for all and Andrew is experimenting with his cool factor despite his quiet nature. 🙂


In the Kitchen…

MondaySlow Cooker Carnitas, homemade refried beans and broccoli slaw. (It smells so good!)

Tuesday – Breakfast dinner.

WednesdayRoasted chicken, brown rice and asparagus.

Thursday – Grilled Tuna Melts & veggies.

Friday – Paleo Mexican Chicken Soup (with leftover chicken from Wed).

Saturday – Homemade pizza and salad.

Sunday – Leftovers

(From Jan 2014, after his surgery to remove the cancerous tumor.)


  • For Brian’s continued recovery from cancer.
  • For those who are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • For all those who have lost loved ones.
  • For all those who are persecuted for their faith.
  • For a deeper love of God.
  • For some special intentions.


On the homefront……

Brian Update – I am happy to announce that Brian is officially done with his chemo! Yay! He was having some issues with his stomach and we were freaking out a little because they were the same kind of pains he experienced two years ago when it was first discovered that he had a tumor. He went in for bloodwork and a scan. We got the results yesterday and the doc said everything looked good and his scan was clean. No tumors or growths or any signs of cancer. The doc thinks the stomach pain was side effects from one of the chemo pills he was taking. Being his last round, his body was just having a hard time processing all the chemo and it will take a little time for it to clear out of his body. This morning Brian was feeling better and his stomach wasn’t bothering him too much. The hard part now will be to keep up with eating healthy and healthy living and not becoming complacent! Thank you so much for all your prayers and words of encouragement, you guys. It means so much to both of us. We appreciate your continued prayers for Brian’s recovery and that the cancer stays away!

Joan Iris Update – Today I shut down the PayPal button for donations to my sister Elena and bro in law Vinine and the Joan Iris Fund. You guys were incredibly awesome!! We gathered enough money to but tickets for both my parents to attend the funeral and we have almost $950 extra to go towards funeral expenses. THANK YOU!!!!!!

At the last minute my brother Rob was also able to fly out for the funeral and he told me that being at the funeral was incredibly difficult and incredibly beautiful at the same time. There is great joy in knowing that little Joan Iris is with Our Lord in heaven but there is still the pain of being physically separated from her. Elena and Vinnie have displayed such courage and faith in God, despite their pain, that anyone who has witnessed it is deeply moved.

Also a big thank you to everyone who sent in their prayers, well wishes and contribution for the spiritual bouquet. I am putting the finishing touches on the little memorial book for Joan.

 Here is a look at the opening page.



There has been a lot of news about death lately. Besides all the international and political turmoil these days, people we have known (whether personally or virtually) have died, some of them tragically. Just last night we received an email letting us know that our beloved school principle who just retired this year to spend more time with her family had suddenly and unexpectedly died. We were shocked. The only small silver lining was that it happened at a family gathering in her home town so she was able to spend her last days with those she loved the most. Some of the other deaths (such as Sarah and her unborn child) seem incredibly senseless. It is hard not to get angry and wonder what the heck was God thinking?  Why would she be taken away from her husband and young children this way. I don’t know. Intellectually I know God is in control and there is a bigger picture so on and so forth, but emotionally, it just sucks. But I guess it wouldn’t be faith if it was easy to understand.

“I do believe, Lord. Help my unbelief.”



Danielle Bean’s book Momnipotent.


Wearing the Cape by Marion Harmon


Listening to…

Itunes Radio – Weekly Top 50 Alternative currently playing the catchy Cool Kids by Echosmith. Downloading it now…  Do we ever get out of that “wishing I was a cool kid” mode? Just substitute the word kid for mom and I think not. 😉



At the Movies – I went to see Chef the other night and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this movie. The character, a once promising young chef finds himself middle aged, divorced, out of touch with his young son and stuck in a job that is stifling his culinary creativity. Circumstances bring him to quitting his job and buying a taco truck. In the course of the movie he finds his joy in cooking, in being a dad and in being a better man. The food will make your mouth drool. The music will have you dancing in your seat. The father-son relationship will have you wiping away a tear. Loved it.

Side-note – The movie is rated R for language. You know, in this movie (as in the last one I saw – Begin Again) if they cut out the F-bombs and such, both would have been PG. Go figure.

On TVCedar Cove Season 1 (Hallmark), The Last Ship (This one is really growing on me and there are a number of faith moments on it) and the new Hercule Poirot on Masterpiece.

On YouTube – The Walking Dead Season 5 trailer. Are you as excited as I am? 😉


On the blog…

I’ve taken some time off so since my last Daybook and I’ve only posted three times:

Blessed Is She (Make sure to follow on FB, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and sign up for emails. Join the sisterhood!) 🙂

Embrace the Ordinary (vol 1)

Pinterest Party & Link-up (Vol 26): Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Salad  (This link-up is open until Friday so add your links!


In the blogosphere…

I wasn’t able to attend Edel this year but I have been enjoying reading all the recaps. Jen has a link-up for all those who wrote a review. Check it out and get your fill. When you are done, come back and let me know – Are you going to Edel ’15??



My pin of the week – I am going to try this recipe from Katie at Kitchen next week – Cancer Fighting Asian Soup. 🙂 Thanks to Teresa K for pointing me in her direction. Katie actually has a lot of recipes on her blog that I’d like to try, especially the ones with cancer fighting foods!

Photo credit – Kitchen Stewardship Blog


Plans for the Week…

Well, the week is half way done but tomorrow is our last swimming lesson for the summer. We may be doing some Saturday lessons for the boys in fall so they can keep practicing. Friday we are going to our church’s family night for a pizza party. The boys were begging us to take them. LOL. On Saturday I need to catch up on housework because not being home all week is really putting a damper on my chores. Ugh. Sunday we’ll try to go on a fmaily hike. We need to do a better job at making Sunday a day of rest and family time. Next week Matthew starts preschool! Where did the summer go??



Here are a few shots from the past two weeks.

Taken at San Carols Cathedral in Monterey

(Same place.) Rose gardens get a lot of attention but I am falling in love with these hardy succulent plants. 😉

While I was snapping photos on my phone Bella was attending her first youth group – praying the rosary, playing and eating rosary cupcakes. 🙂

Speaking of Bella, she just got new braces! This weekend she and Andrew attended a children’s symphony with their classical music loving Oma. 🙂

Not wanting to be left out of the shot, Matthew did a donut on his Big Wheels, crashing into Andrew’s leg. Luckily Oma rang the door bell before they got into a scuffle. 😉 #lifewithboys


Linking-Up with…

A Mama Collective’s Currently


Gina’s Embrace the Ordinary

(I don’t think she has a logo for it so I’ll use mine. ;-))

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, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) 😉

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.


Online Daybook (7/14/14) / Currently & Answer Me This: Tragedy, Trust & Tahoe


Moments of Gratitude…

Today I am especially thankful…

  • For a wonderful trip at Lake Tahoe with my family and my parents and a safe trip home.
  • That Brian only has one chemo round left to finish.
  • For my life and the life of my husband and children.
  • For the love and support of family and friends – during the good times and especially bad times.
  • For the warmth of the sun after days of chilly fog.
  • For the peace and solitude of the night after a hectic day.


Beauty in the Ordinary…

When I was younger I disliked the color purple. Now I love to see the color in nature.


In the Kitchen…

Monday – Chicken tacos with 5 minute salsa and veggies.

Tuesday – Turkey meatloaf, baked potato and broccoli.

WednesdayMoroccan-style chickpea chili with brown rice.

Thursday – Breakfast dinner

Friday – Veggie pizza and Greek salad.

Saturday – Leftovers.

Sunday – Dinner wit Oma & Opa.



  • For my sister and her family as they prepare for the funeral of their baby.
  • For all those who have lost loved ones.
  • For Brian’s chemo and continued recovery from cancer.
  • For those who are suffering physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • For some special intentions.


On the homefront……

Those of you who have read my last post or have seen on Facebook already know that our extended family has suffered a great loss. My sister Elena  went into labor on Friday but Baby Joan did not make it. She was called back to God. We were all filled with shock and sorrow. However, there has been an outpouring of love and support for Elena and Vinnie and their family. People have offered prayers, words of encouragement and even money towards the Joan Iris Fund to help pay for funeral expenses. If you’d like to offer your prayers and such, check out the post Goodbye Baby Joan Iris for details.

In our own family, on Monday Brian started his last round of chemo. This has been the most difficult one so far and the side effects have been the hardest but as each day passes he gets a little better. Also on the positive side his bloodwork and levels look good and the doctor is pleased with his progress. We just pray he continues to get better and that the cancer stays away.



We all go through peaks and valleys in life and my family seems to be going through a deep valley right now. First we had Brian’s cancer returning, which resulted in another surgery and chemo. Then my sister who got married last year conceived her first child but lost the baby in miscarriage. Now my other sister lost Joan. It is times like these that I am extremely grateful for my Catholic faith because we know that life does not come without crosses. We each have our own passion and road to Calvary that we must climb. But with each passion, there also comes the joy of the resurrection. There are many moments of happiness and love when we receive a taste of heaven on earth. It is never easy to live that faith when you are in the midst of heartache and pain but God is always there as our stronghold. No matter how dark it seems, we know with certainly that the sun will rise once again and bring a new day.



I finished Don’t You Forget about Me, which I’ll try to review later this week.

I am just starting Danielle Bean’s book Momnipotent.

I like to read on fiction book and one non-fiction book at a time so next I have to choose a novel but I’m not sure which to read next. I’m leaning towards If I Stay since I will see the movie next month and I like to read the book first OR…

 Wearing the Cape by Marion Harmon


Listening to…

Silence. Everyone is sleeping and nothing else can be heard besides the clicking of the keyboard and the owl hooting outside my window.



Brian and I have been watching Masterpiece Mystery – Endeavor (one of our favorites even if it is bit dark at times) and The Last Ship (not bad for TV summer viewing). We recently rented Non-Stop (both really liked it) and The Source Code (both thought – meh.) On my own I have been enjoying Pretty Little Liars and Switched at Birth. (I know, I know. Guilty pleasures. ;-))

On my last Mama’s Movie Night Out I saw Begin Again. It was the only movie showing at the time I could attend. (Other than Tammy. No thanks. Every MC movie I see is the same thing.) I enjoyed Begin Again A LOT more than I was anticipating. The story line tugged at the heart and there were a number of (intentionally) comedic lines. I enjoyed watching the creative process and seeing the “vision” of a song before it was fully created. I assumed KK’s voice was dubbed but she actually sang. It was a sort of a quiet shoe gazer style but I downloaded the soundtrack. Half the songs I love; the other half, not so much. Lastly, I also really enjoyed the fact that although the main characters were attracted to each other, they didn’t automatically jump into bed together and I liked the ending. One note though, there are a lot of F-bombs so if you can’t stand that, skip it.


On the blog…

I’ve taken some time off so since my last Daybook and I’ve only posted three times:

The Top Ten Theme Songs of My Life

Pinterest Party & Link-up (Vol 25):  How I Use PicMonkey on My Blog (This link-up is open until Friday so add your links!)

Goodbye Baby Joan Iris

Today I am also linking up with Kendra for Answer Me This

1. How did you get your name?

My dad is named Robert, although he goes by Bob, and the first born child was going to be named after him, boy or girl. The name on my birth certificate actually says Bobbi. It’s not a nickname. However, the priest who was going to baptize me was not pleased by such a wordly name so my mom added Ann to it. Growing up I was called Bobbi Ann. Eventually I shortened it to Bobbi. Nowadays I only get called Bobbi Ann by my mom if she is upset with me. 😉

2. Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?

I start the day off with the morning offering and on a good day I do a short morning meditation after breakfast. However, during summer it has been hit and miss. I usually say my rosary (or at least a decade of it) in the car while I am shuffling kids around or running errands. I also have my phone alarm set to go off throughout the day to turn my mind to God.You’ll hear the church bells go off at 9 AM, 12 PM, 3 PM and 5 PM and whatever kid happens to be closest to my phone (even if it’s in my pocket) will yell out, “It’s time for you to pray, mom!” So I do get a lot of reminders. I used to say a little longer prayer but these days it is a short invocation. On a good day, for my evening prayer I try to listen to the Divine Office prayers while I am making dinner. (You can hear the podcast at Divine I do need to work harder at saying my night prayers earlier. I tend to say them in bed before I fall asleep and so far sleep keeps winning out.

 3. Did your mom work or stay at home or both?

She was mostly at home although there were times when money was really tight and she had to work. She worked at a bank for awhile but I remember that the bank was held up. I think at that point she decided to stay at home and figure out a way to make ends meet.

4. Do you vote?

Not as often as I should. We vote for the big ones but we tend the skip the smaller elections unless there is a really important bill.

5. What’s your favorite drink?

Okay, this is where I admit what a nerd I am. I don’t like coffee and I don’t like tea. I used to drink alcohol when I was in my 20’s but after making some really stupid mistakes while drunk and then cleaning up my act, I swore off the stuff. I have since lost all taste for alcohol. So 75% of the time I drink ice water. The other 25% of the time I drink milk. (I love milk.) When I am feeling really wild and crazy I splurge and have a diet orange crush or diet root beer. Yeah, I know. Nerd.

6. How are your photography skills?

Hmmm, what would I call it? An amateur with a nice camera and a photo editing program. I love photography but don’t know anywhere as much as I wish I did.


In the blogosphere…

I am just now catching up on my reading so I am still behind but I did catch these worthwhile reads so far…



My pin of the week – I am going to be trying this recipe from Whitney at Framing Cali next week. 🙂

Photo credit – Framing Cali Blog


Plans for the Week…

We have swimming lessons all week, dentist appointments, an ortho appointment to see about Bella’s new braces and we’re attending a family gathering at our local church where the dads take the kids to a summer matinee movie and the moms meet at the church hall to chit chat and make lunch. After the movie the dads and kids join us for lunch. When we first heard about it Brian and I were tempted to skip it but we also realized that we need to make a greater attempt to attend Catholic family functions like this. It’s good for us and good for the kids to spend time with Catholic peers. Plus, he should be feeling better by the weekend.

Also this week (Wednesday at 11 AM eastern time to be exact) is the funeral for my niece Baby Joan Iris. I’m conflicted inside because my heart aches for Elena and Vinnie and I feel guilty having fun with my family. But if Joan’s short life taught us anything, it is that life is precious and goes too fast. We need to cherish the moments we have together and spend our days in the company of our loved ones. I know Joan will be watching us and sending us kisses from heaven.



Here are some shots from our trip to Lake Tahoe.


 Lake Tahoe at Pope Beach

Matthew playing in the sand. Although I love the ocean, the lake is so much better for my nerves. I’m not constantly worried about the kids being pulled into the sea. 😉

Enjoying the walking path behind our hotel.

The view on our walk.

I love the smell of pine. 🙂

I’ll post more photos of Lake Tahoe later this week when I do a post about our favorite spots to visit in Lake Tahoe with kids.

Linking-Up with…

A Mama Collective’s Currently


Kendra’s Answer Me This

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, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) 😉

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.