8 Liebster Takes

Liebster time! The Leibster Award is actually a set of questions you have to answer if you want to play along. I’m not sure who started it, but Kendra (Catholic All Year) tagged Anne (The Bazin Chronicles), and Anne tagged me, so here we are. When I’m done, I’ll get to make up some questions for my victims/awardees.  I think that’s how it works. That’s what I’m doing, anyway.

1. What apps (aside from the defaults) have earned a coveted space on your homescreen?

This answer totally gives me up as a social-media addict. My home screen houses Instagram, gmail, Facebook, Bloglovin, Chrome, my calendar, You Tube, and my camera. Please, don’t judge. I’ve actually been 99% off Facebook during lent and I’m surprised how little I miss it.

2. Name the meal for which you always have the ingredients on hand?

Oh, good question!! We have a few old stand-by meals, but the most interesting is Picadillo. This dish is Cuban. I’m not Cuban, but a friend from DC is and once made it for me. It’s easy and delicious. It’s ground beef seasoned with garlic, onions, oregano, cooked then simmered in a simple sauce of chicken stock and tomato paste. Throw in a jar of Spanish olives and serve it over rice. We love it and leftovers are great.

3. What movie have you seen the most often?

It’s probably a tie between The Wizard of OZ, The Princess Bride, and The Sound of Music. My siblings and I watched those all theee time as kids and I’ve already spent a good deal of screen time indoctrinating my kids with old favorites.

4. What saint do you pray to the most?

Blessed Mother. 100 times over. I also ask for the intercession of St. Joseph, St. Monica and St. Francis pretty often.

5. Is where you live known for anything? Toasted Ravioli? World’s Largest Rocking Chair, that sort of thing.

Oh, Fresno.

We are known by Los Angeles and San Francisco as the armpit of California. I guess that, geographically, the statement is accurate, but I think it is a little mean spirited. The common thought around here is that big cities hate on Fresno because they secretly feel really guilty for stealing our water, plus we’re conservative, therefore “uneducated” and “backward.” If you are a kind person, you may know Fresno as:

  •         The Raisin Capital of the World
  •         The Bread Basket of the World
  •         The Gateway to Yosemite

Also, FYI, Fresno is the nation’s most agriculturally productive county in the nation. Wow, can you tell I have a chip on my shoulder about my hometown?

6. Favorite literary heroine and why?

This one is really, really tough. From childhood, Roald Dahl’s Matilda was my favorite. Now I feel torn strangely between Jane Eyre and Katniss Everdeen. I know. I’m hanging my head in shame as type.

7. What was your most endearing childhood trait?

Extreme pigeon-toedness, from which I still suffer. It’s no longer endearing, just awkward.


You can’t see my feet, but you can tell where they’re going. In. Also, this picture is very Fresno-ish, what with the pallets of fruit and the fig farm.

8. What’s on your pizza?

Convenient question, since I’m making this tonight! Feta, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. It’s so good I feel guilty eating it on a Friday during lent. That’s it! Enlightening? Boring? Eh, sorry. Here are some people I think will be pretty interesting to question:

To you three, I kindly bestow the honor of the Liebster Award. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to answer the following:

  1. Is there a name that you really wanted for one of your kids that your husband (or family) nixed?
  2. What’s your least favorite household chore?
  3. Why did you start blogging?
  4. Which TV show is your guilty pleasure?
  5. A song that you can’t help singing along to?
  6. What’s the job you’d do, if you could do anything?
  7. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  8. Which blogger would you most want to meet IRL?

I’m linking up my 8 questions with Jen’s 7 Quick Takes. Take that last one as a bonus!  

Please pray

My husband came home with tragic news today.  Our dear friends Rebecca and Sean Lewis have lost two of their daughters in a car accident.  Please, please pray for them.

I’m shaking right now and can’t find words. Two perfect, innocent little people are not here any more. I can’t fathom what Sean and Rebecca  are experiencing, but my heart is absolutely consumed with sadness for them.

Please Heavenly Father, give Sean and Rebecca comfort and strength. Blessed Mother, please hold their babies in your arms until their parents can hold them again.

You can donate to help with funeral expenses here.

My Pea Thief

I have a problem. A little critter is eating the peas from my garden faster than I can harvest them. Nothing I do keeps it out. I’ve had to accept that no peas will make it to my table this year.

That’s ok, though. It’s not slugs or snails that are feasting on peas. It’s a baby girl named Lucia.






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She eats them raw and straight out of the pod. I don’t blame her. They’re as sweet as candy.



Linking up with Jen this Thursday evening (it’s still Thursday in California) for Quick Takes Friday. Yes, I’m using my time zone advantage so that this qualifies as my Thursday post for the 7 posts in 7 day challenge. And I’m pretty sure she won’t disqualify me since I have a sneaking suspicion she’s doing the same thing. What I’m sure she’s not doing is linking her post up with 4 different link-ups in the most lazy cheater post of all time.

1. TGIT. For reals. All the activities of this week are wearing me out. And I miss the real “TGIT.” Did y’all know that my straight-laced husband once got kicked out of a TGIT by Campus Safety? True story.

2. Work. Working outside the home is working out for us. Except I no longer have time to work out. Ha. See that? It started as an accident and then I just went with it. I didn’t work out (exercise) before I got the job anyway. But seriously, it’s going well so far thanks to my wonderful mother taking care of my beloved offspring. As I suspected, things are more organized around the household because I tend to step up my game only if the situation demands it.

3. I’m functioning at bare minimum now so coherent thoughts are really too much to ask of me. Here’s the latest from Max:

Max during night time prayers: Dear God, thank you so much for taking care of the monkeys and the orangutans and thank you for taking care of the Gila monster thank you for taking care of the seals and sea lions- Mom, can we go back to the zoo?
N: We are praying now, Max.
M: Oh yeah, AMEN. Can we go to the zoo?
Max before bed, talk-stalling: I’m going to Old MacDonald’s farm! We’re going to get strawberry juice and I’m going to help to milk a cow. He’ll say, “thank you my brother” and I’ll say “you are welcome Mr. Old MacDonald!”
N: Time to go to sleep now.
M: I magical powers. I don’t need to sleep.
N: (laughing and crying because it’s true)


M: I’m going to spread goose liver paste on you and eat you.
Oskar: Max, do you have a girlfriend?
M: Yes, it’s Clare. She knows my name. A girl who doesn’t know my name is very sad.

4. And one from Lucy, my fledgling communicator:

N: What do you want for breakfast? Would you like eggs?
Lucy: Noooooo! Sabad (salad)! Cah-ee (coffee).
A girl after my own heart.


(Linking those up with Rosie for What They Said)

5. Actually, here’s one from a delightful lady at work:

Coworker: Wow, you’re eating a second donut! And you are so thin.
N: Oh, this is my first donut. I just eat slowly. And I’m not thin. These pants are really–
Other coworker cuts me off: Oh, she’s thin now. Just give her a few years.
N: uh. Yeah.

But seriously, I really like her. She has no filter.

6. I’ve been wanting to join Jessica for What We’re Reading Wednesday but when I start writing about things I’m reading my brain goes into rebellion. It thinks I’m back in college writing papers and it shuts down in effort to spare my body an all-nighter.  Anyway, I saw that Francine contributed with her favorite children’s books. Brilliant. And then I noticed Jessica did too. I can do that. Our line-up for bedtime books, to which both kids listen (Max gets his chapter books after Lucy is asleep):

Each Peach Pear Plum

Fun rhymes and an amalgamation of nursery rhyme characters.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Everyone already knows about Mo Willems’ delightful tale of girl and bunny, right? Black and white photos are the backdrop to each illustration. Visually pleasing and a cute, quick read.

Quick As a Cricket

This one is from the author and illustrator of The Napping House, which we love as well. The illustrations are detailed and alive. The words are simple and the cadence easy.

Prayer for a Child

This book has sweet, old schoolish illustrations and a precious prayer that a child can understand and an adult can appreciate.

We switch it up every week or two, but these have been great because they capture the attention of both the the 4.5 year old and the 1.5 year old. They are slow enough so that Lucia can follow and learn (even participate) and interesting enough to keep Max’s attention. Consider them recommended. Check out more at WWRW.

7. And because it’s almost impossible for me to write a 7QT post without referencing nail polish, meet my newest OPI love.

Bogota  Blackberry

I have struggled with red polish for a while and pretty much gave up on it. Tragic. Then, I my stylin’ aunt wore this color and I made her hunt down the bottle so I could go buy it, stat. She has olive undertones like me, and this color totally works.

So, I think if I did my math correctly, that’s five favorite things right up there. Therefore, I’m ALSO join Hallie’s Five Favorites.

What did I tell you? A link-up laden cheater post if I ever wrote one. Now off with you, to greener pastures by the hundred!

Purse dumpage

Linking up with Kendra for:

I know I’m always amused and/or disgusted when I dump my purse out to clean it. Why not share the amusement and disgust with the entire world wide web? I even made special effort not to cheat and avoided cleaning my purse out before today, since the control freak in me really wanted an immaculate purse the first day at the new job. So here’s the dirt!


Official dumper of purses.

Post dump.

Post dump.

post dump sort

post dump sort

I try to keep diaper bag stuff separate from purse stuff since my kids are not little tiny babies and I tend to leave the massive bag in our car. Despite that some fun kid items still find their way into my purse. Notice the green apple sauce caps. Mom purses are also trash cans.
Other randoms include the fake host from the kids’ mass kit. I must have rescued it from under a pew while leaving mass. Also my UD transcripts, which I had to bring to the new job prove my education wasn’t a lie. Passport was also a work related item for the I9. OSH receipt from recent worm purchase. Yes, I bought worms (of the earth variety) to digest my compost.
Obvious staples are the wallet, the phone, the planner, keys, checkbook and work ID. Among the cosmetic items are my new favorite hand lotion, Clinique hand and cuticle cream, mascara(strategically placed to hide my debit card number), Body Shop peppermint lip gloss, and the less exciting band-aids (for work shoe blisters I anticipate), hand  wipes and the ubiquitous hairthings and pins. 
There’s also my beloved kindle, which I find useful when car naps happen. Random Fraternity newsletter from Mass on Sunday. MOST importantly there’s this months ULTA coupon that I plan to blow on a fine red nail polish.
That’s it! You just looked through a window into my soul. There was nothing too shocking this time. Previous purse cleanings have included withered apple cores and dirty socks, so we really lucked out!



First day back

I survived my first day back! Four hours flew by. Problem though, I was introduced to 16 people and remember exactly 3 names. I hope no one notices me staring awkwardly at their chest. Because that’s where ID badges are. What did you think!? It’s an HR office, meaning it’s 99% female. Well, OK, if I actually do the math for my office, it’s 93.75% female.  That’s fine with me. I can function in environments high in chocolate and estrogen.

The kids handled the transition swimmingly, since they were with my mom. Lucia refuses to nap for her. That girl is on pace to become as terrible a sleeper as her big brother. Unfortunately, now Lulu is taking a marathon nap for me, which means she’ll be up late. I guess these are the little kinks we will have to work out. I will also have to learn walk in heels again. I looked a little like a 5 year old in her mother’s shoes today, but the kind office staff whose names I do not know pretended not to notice.

No actual work happened today, it was all introductions, photo IDs, logins and passwords. Lots of reading about employment policies. Praise the Lord for coffee.Tomorrow I’ll get to sink my teeth into some actual recruiting stuff. Aaaand I’ll probably write about it. Aren’t you lucky!

Tonight is Max’s first T-ball practice. I might cry (I’m a faucet like that), he might cry (he loves the bat swinging but not the ball catching), and instagram will surely be overused. Catch y’all later!