Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I am now officially a college graduate! Here are some photos my lovely siblings took from the weekend.
 Me receiving my diploma from the dean of the School of Philosophy, Dr. McCarthy.

 Me receiving my University Scholar award from President Garvey.

 Our awesome university mace bearer, Dr. Druart, who was also my academic adviser for two years.

 Me in the procession in.

 My father in the procession in. See the hat? We gave it to him for his birthday.

 Me and J.

 Me and my friend Annie.

 Me and Kevin.

Almost all the soon-to-be graduates of the School of Philosophy, waiting to process in. This picture was taken by the university photographer, not by siblings.

The weather was lovely, and it was a great day. Terrible traffic on the Beltway meant that we didn't get into South Bend until 2:30 in the morning, but we persevered through it all. I will post the pictures from Teresa's graduation in a separate post.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: the Zoo

On Monday, we went to the zoo to celebrate senior week. I thought I would share a few photos for Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real this week. 

The White Stork is my favorite bird. We got to see them engage in their mating displays. They clack their beaks loudly while throwing their heads over backwards.

At the risk of sounding too totally cheesy, I love watching Kevin watch things. He gets totally into it and it's wonderful.

If these ears aren't funny, I don't know what is.

All the flamingos look like this. Sometimes we don't think about how unnatural zoos are, but when you have to damage an animal this badly to keep it in the zoo, it does make me wonder if they're really treating the animals right.

For more photos, head over to Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

It is finished

(Is that blasphemous? I hope not. I don't mean it that way.)

I just turned in my last paper and my last final exam. I'm finished with college. I graduate a week from Saturday, and get married a month from yesterday.

I guess this makes me an adult?

This is all kind of surreal.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Papers and more

This week, I have three finals, two papers, and a paper presentation. On top of that, I have work and regular life. I got a chance to do some fun things, including go see one of my favorite bands in concert, but now I am paying the price because I have to do all my schoolwork now.

I hope to post some pictures soon, because I have been taking pictures, some of which I am very pleased with.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Take Up Thy Cross, the Savior Said

Keeping up my tradition of posting a hymn on Good Friday, here's today's:

"Take up thy cross," the Saviour said,
"If thou wouldst My disciple be;
Take up thy cross with willing heart,
And humbly follow after Me."

Take up thy cross; let not its weight
Fill thy weak soul with vain alarm;
His strength shall bear thy spirit up,
And brace thy heart and nerve thine arm.

Take up thy cross; nor heed the shame,
And let thy foolish pride be still;
Thy Lord refused not e'en to die
Upon a cross, on Calvary's hill.

Take up thy cross, then, in His strength,
And calmly sin's wild deluge brave;
'Twill guide thee to a better home,
It points to glory o'er the grave.

Take up thy cross, and follow on,
Nor think till death to lay it down;
For only he who bears the cross
May hope to wear the glorious crown.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Moving into break

Hopefully I can get ahead on my papers over this break. I have an ambitious but hopefully doable list of tasks to accomplish over Easter break, which runs from tomorrow until Easter Monday. This list includes writing one paper, outlining another, going to the doctor, and tidying my room. Perhaps I will post before and after shots of my room. Or possibly I will decide the before shot is too humiliating and only post an after shot!

This Easter will be new, as it's the first major Church holiday since we moved. I am hoping that our proximity to the D-house will mean we can go there, but I suspect the others will want to go to a parish church. Oh well.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Medieval Fun

Last weekend was Medieval Day at CUA. We all had a great time. I brought my new-to-me camera and practiced taking pictures. One of them even got published in the school newspaper! Here are a few of my favorite shots of the day.

The whole flickr set is here, deliberately obnoxiously watermarked since many of the pictures involve the faces of children.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring is coming

I don't have meteorological proof for that, really, but I have felt so much more cheerful in the past two days. I have way more energy, and was even described as "bubbly" by my mother. The grey of winter tends to leave me feeling sapped and depressed, and the little bit of sun we have been getting lately is a lovely change.

I am busily working away at finding a job. If anyone knows of a company in the DC area that wants to hire someone with a PhB in philosophy, let me know! Or if anyone wants to hire Kevin as a Greek or Latin teacher, that would be great too. Haha. I am remaining optimistic that we will find something--it's way too early to be freaking out.

Nothing is really going on around here that is terribly interesting. I am the only member of my family who has not thrown up in the last three days, and so I am trying very hard to not interact with them much so that I don't get sick.

Hopefully something more interesting will happen soon. Perhaps I will go on a photo walk--the blog has been kind of short of photos lately, I think.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Prayers please

The young family of a Wyoming Catholic College professor was hit with tragedy today. Two of their three daughters were killed in a car accident when another vehicle struck their car in the snow. They were 6 and 3 years old. The middle daughter and the father are unharmed, and the mother, who was in the car with her daughters, has not sustained serious physical injuries.

Please keep this family in your prayers. If you'd like to donate to help defray funeral expenses and to make up for the fact that presumably neither parent will be working for a while, there is a link here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


But totally should be:

#YouKnowIt'sCompsTime when you run out of ink the day after refilling your pen.

Friday, February 28, 2014

7 quick takes, vol 23: impending doom

Ok, so impending doom is a little over-dramatic. But Comprehensive exams start Monday and go until Wednesday. I hate taking tests, and tests that cover four years of accumulated knowledge are even worse.

Also, I'm sick. Yesterday I threw up at work, and today I am staying home from work and resting. I don't plan to change out of my pajamas or get out of bed more than necessary. I don't feel super bad, but I need to get better quickly. (See comps, above.)

To go along with comps, it looks like there is another storm coming. At last check of the Capital Weather Gang, it's still not clear whether we will have rain, sleet, or snow. Of course, I'm worried that it will be snow and that school will shut and comprehensive exams will be delayed.

Also, for the less liturgically aware, or who just haven't put two and two together, the last day of tests is on Ash Wednesday. ASH WEDNESDAY! I hate fast and abstinence days enough as it is, and now I have to deal with a test as well?

Ok, so things look very bad. Comps, in the snow, while starving and throwing up. Luckily, I have some good things to look forward to after comps are over. Besides the obvious, I mean, namely that comps will be over.

I have almost no class next week, because on any day that there is comps, you are excused from all philosophy classes. Also senior seminar is canceled that week. So I have one seminar Monday night, and one humanities class Thursday morning. I intend to spend Thursday afternoon tidying my room and preparing it for Teresa to come home for Spring break.

Then, spring break! I will be visiting Kevin's family and helping his mother sew costumes for his little sister's cheerleading team. I am really looking forward to it. So not everything's bad...but I do have to get through comps.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What I wore Sunday!

I have never participated in What I Wore Sunday before, but today I am going to, because I got a new dress. Until last week, I basically had one church dress. The problem is that I have tough standards, a tight budget, and a strangely-shaped body. For church, I like my dresses to cover my shoulders and come down to my knees. But my hips are two sizes bigger than my shoulders!

Enter eShakti. My mother emailed me a link to them. You can buy a dress there and customize the sleeve length, the neckline, and the skirt length. You can also input your custom measurements and they will make the dress to your measurements.  I picked one of their cheaper dresses to try it out. I'm sold.
First of all, the dress is cute, and the fit is good. It's not perfect, of course, but I know from eighteen years of sewing that a really perfect fit is impossible without an in-person fitting. The dress fits well enough that I don't have to wear a jacket over it to disguise the fit, and given that the material is a sturdy cotton non-stretchy weave, that is pretty impressive! I am usually left wearing stretchy dresses in a attempt to mask fit problems.

 Moreover, the finishing details are very nice. French seams on the pocket! (Every eShakti dress has pockets.)

 A custom tag.

 There are even bra strap keepers.

Inside the bodice, all the seams are neatly finished. Is this high couture? No, definitely not. But it looks solid and dependable and there are some very nice touches. I tend to shop at places like Kohl's and Target, and eShakti is definitely a step up the food chain without a huge jump in price (wait for a sale!).

I really recommend eShakti to people who are oddly shaped or who want dresses that are a little more modest. I don't want to spam people, especially not in a post about encouraging each other in church clothes, but I am an affiliate. So if you click through using the link in my sidebar, I get a percentage of each order.

Since I am usually cold, I also left my pink coat on all through Mass. My chapel veil didn't make it into the picture either, but it's your standard black triangle.

Friday, February 14, 2014

7QT, vol. 22: snow days!

Wow. The federal goverment is opening, albeit late, and we are closed. I can't remember the last time anything in DC was open and we were shut. Our people in charge like to keep classes running! And now we have two days off in a row. My theory is that we shut because Metro isn't running the metrobuses on anything close to a normal schedule.

I love the four-day weekend. I am going to get so much done, and catch up on everything I fell behind in last week (not sure what happened there). I realize it's not so good for other people, though. The show at CUA which was supposed to run Thursday-Sunday was canceled last night and will probably now be canceled tonight. And missing out of two whole days of work in the costume shop is going to cripple the next show.

I have to admit that I haven't ventured out into the snow yet. I realize I am not that old, but I find temperature changes harder and harder to deal with the older I get. At some point today I will probably brave it outdoors, if only to take some pictures.

Oh yeah, and Happy Valentine's Day!  It's one of my least favorite holidays, if only because I think it's so stupid and the candy is usually not very good.

Kevin came home with me Wednesday night, for the purposes of playing in the snow with my siblings. Now he'll never get back to campus! Haha.

Of course, while he like spending time with my family, and they like spending time with him, that meant that he had to miss the Dominican Rite Mass at the D-House because the roads were not looking good and we didn't want to risk it. Had he stayed on campus, he could have just walked.

Ok then. I heard rumors of pancakes floating around last night, so I am off to investigate those. Stay safe, everyone who was hit by this storm!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, January 31, 2014

7 Quick takes: Lessons in Trust

This semester, I am taking three philosophy classes, one honors humanities class, and the capstone honors class, which is basically a seminar about memory. Needless to say, I have a lot of reading to do. This takes up most of my time.

When I'm not doing my homework (or, let's face it, playing on the internet) I am doing one of either two things. One is participating in study sessions for comprehensive exams, which are at the beginning of March and can cover anything and everything we've learned.

The other is job hunting. Kevin and I are probably both going to get jobs for next year, although he may get an MA in theology first, depending on funding. We are very much hoping to stay in the area, and I have a good solid lead on a job. (Prayers or fingers crossed or well wishes or whatever your expression of choice would be greatly appreciated.)

I can't find it in my heart to stress out about any of these things. For a long time now, I've been an untrusting person. When I started to pray for trust, I was handed all these opportunities to develop my trust: about to enter the workaday world without a job, engaged to someone else without a job, preparing for comps without the greatest foundation due to having taken some courses out of order, and so on. In any previous semester, I would be a basket case.

A few months ago, though, I was talking to a friend, and I said, "Well, I guess this is God teaching me to trust Him." It was out of my mouth before I even knew I was going to say it. As my friend said, "Wow, that's a good way to look at it," I was thinking Wow, yeah, that is a good way to look at it!

So far, this seems to be working. When I am calm, I am better able to study for comps. I have a good lead on a job that works very well with my long-term plans, which basically fell into my lap. (I'm not announcing it publicly in case things fall through last minute.) Many people were concerned that being so trusting would mean nothing got done, but so far this hasn't happened. A priest I know said in his homily on Wednesday that there's a fine line between Pelagianism and quietism, and I think this is equally true here.

I have found where I want to be on that continuum. Much as Descartes embarked on a project of radical doubt, I'm embarking on a semester of radical trust. We'll see where the road takes me this year, but I have no doubt that it's in God's hands and that He will provide.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

March for Life

That was a cold day. My goodness.

 This year, I marched with the Dominicans instead of with CUA, as their schedule worked better for me. I traveled to the Mall with the friars and priests, but wound up marching with the Nashville sisters, in order to march alongside my dear friend who joined last year.
 We were closer to the stage than I have ever been before. Knowing OPs has its perks, let me tell you.
 Crowds, crowds, crowds. Apparently the crowd was quite small this year, which is hardly surprising. I honestly don't know if I've ever been as cold as I was today.
 Many buses got canceled because of snowy conditions. The roads around DC were a total mess Tuesday night.
Some people, of course, see in the low turnout a sign that the pro-life movement is waning. I do not think that is the case. The crowd is younger every year, and our spirits were high despite the cold.
 There was singing, dancing, chanting, and praying as we marched along.
 The counter protesters were not willing to brave the weather. My sister said she saw only two. I didn't see any.
 Fulton Sheen in Dutch! There were a lot of groups from other countries, including the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, Scotland, and Argentina.
 The crowd coming up the hill.
 His flag says, "Appeal to Heaven!"
A CUA sign! The worst part of not marching with CUA was not getting to carry one of their signs.

This March made me feel more hopeful about our chances of ending abortion than any March yet. We were happy and cheerful despite the cold. We are determined. We will not give up!

As I posted on Twitter this morning: Pain is a constant reminder you're still alive, but 1/3 of my generation isn't. #whywemarch

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Just a quick update

We moved. Mostly. We have more stuff than we thought we did, and so some of it has been left in the old house for the time being. We also had some repairs we didn't realize existed, such as no working phone jacks.

We're sort of in control of life again, but school has restarted, so we're also very busy. Posts may be light for a while.

The wedding planning is only sort of progressing, but that's ok. We're trying to keep things low-key and not stress about them.

I have not been feeling well lately. My energy levels have been low, and I haven't been sleeping very restfully. Hopefully it will pass soon, as tackling this (last, and very challenging) semester feeling this way doesn't sound fun. However, I did start out the semester in class rather than in the ER, so that's already a leg up on last semester!