Monday, September 12, 2016

About the Conference

Last Tuesday I promised to write a post about the CWBN Conference that I attended. Well, friends, this is that post! I had a splendid time. The speakers were excellent, the food was delicious, the babies were cute, and my fellow attendees were friendly and encouraging. There were door prizes, swag bags, and delicious homemade fudge. It was such a pleasure to see several friends from last year's conference and make new friends.

It was nice to spend time with Rita again!


I have read several conference recap posts that are excellent and summarize the day beautifully. This post is not that kind of post. However, I will link to all those lovely posts at the end.

During the talks, I only wrote two things down on my paper. The first was from Mary Lenaburg. Her talk focused on three mothers - the Blessed Mother, Mother Teresa, and Mother Angelica. It was an excellent talk, and I didn't want to miss anything by continuously jotting down notes, so I just sat and listened. Near the end, I wrote "humility, mercy, grace, and fortitude." The three mothers lived lives full of those attributes, and that is how we, as Catholic wives, mothers, and writers, should be living our lives, too. It may seem difficult at times, but the good news is that we have these wonderful mothers to intercede and pray for us.

The second thing I wrote down was "live and love your life." That gem of information came from Elizabeth Foss. She encouraged us to step away from our computers and smart gadgets, to spend time with our family and friends, doing things that make us happy and helping those around us that need care. Only through living the life that God has called us to live are we able to write the stories that He wants us to tell.

Good stuff, right?

Now I want to share with you some more good stuff. Our conference was blessed by many wonderful artisans and sponsors, many of them small businesses run by busy Catholic mothers. As a crafter, I understand the amount of time and money it takes to create beautiful, useful items. I appreciate the dedication these women have to their craft, and it would be remiss of me not to highlight them here. Check out their shops and websites, and please consider supporting them during the upcoming holiday season and treat yourself and those you love to handcrafted items.

A huge "thank you" to all of our sponsors.

Little Praying Hands donated a Rosary Chew (I am excited to tell you that I won it)

Rakstar Designs donated a necklace or print (to be determined by the winner)

Faith and Fabric Design donated a necklace

Annerys Handmade donated Rosary Roses 

A Blog For My Mom (Rosie) donated an item from her Lilla Rose shop

Mary Lenaburg, writer at Passionate Perseverance, donated two lovely Saint quote prints

Colleen Duggan donated a copy of The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion

Jenny Ryan, writer at Mothering Sunshine, donated a copy of her book Love With All My Might

Our swag bag was full of lovely items and coupon codes from Call Her Happy, Dovetail Ink, Tiny Saints, Holy Heroes, and Tan Books (if I am missing anyone, please let me know so I can add them to the list).

Rachel, writer and photographer at Three Little Cupps in a Cupboard, donated her time and talent to taking headshots for any of the attendees that were interested. Initially, I was not going to have my picture taken, but I am so happy that I did because I think it turned out well. Plus she also took a lovely pregnancy picture of me. 

I think the group picture turned out nice, too. 

For more conference recaps please visit Not So Formulaic, Open Window, Laundry, Learning, and Liturgy, and Joy in the Morning

Thursday, September 8, 2016

{JEI} Prayer

Joining the ladies of The Zelie Group again for the weekly link-up Just Enough Info {JEI}

1.What are your favorite devotions? 

For years I have had a devotion to The Divine Mercy Chaplet. When we came back to the church over 12 years ago, the chaplet spoke to me. My oldest and I would pray it almost daily during the first year that I taught him at home. Over the years I have prayed many prayers and novenas to St. Rita, St. Gerard, and St. Anthony. I have also repeatedly asked for Our Lady's intercession by praying the Mary, Undoer of Knots Novena and the Our Lady of Lourdes Novena, along with the Hail Mary and the Memorare.  Last year I consecrated myself to Mary, using the book 33 Days to Morning Glory. It was a powerful experience.

2.Have any of your prayers been answered? Do you have any prayers that you are glad weren’t answered the way you’d hoped?  

There are many examples that I can share, but I guess the main topic I want to discuss relates to the subject of my fertility issues. 

For the last 18 years, I have prayed to be blessed with many children. In a way, I know I have been, but I have yet to meet most of those precious babies as they were lost through miscarriage. I know that I will never be able to say that I am glad for my miscarriages or any of my hormonal/fertility issues. But as I look back over the years of worry and heartache, I can see that I am a better woman, wife, and mother because of the pain I suffered. 

In February, I prayed the Our Lady of Lourdes Novena. My special intention went something like this, "You know what I want. You know what I need. Do whatever is best." I had no expectations, just a desire to accept God's will for my life. I conceived sometime in February. Most likely the week after Our Lady's feast day. The blessing of this pregnancy is not lost to me, and I can see that it is an answer to a prayer that I was convinced there was no point in praying anymore. 

3. How do you pray with your kids? 

I love the book My Jesus and I for preschool age children. It is beautifully illustrated, and it is very easy for young children to memorize the text. It teaches the Guardian Angel Prayer, Hail Mary, Our Father, and Glory Be.  

Now that my children are school age, I like to make printables of prayers that I want to teach them. I put a printed prayer in a frame for each of them, and we incorporate it as part of our school day for a couple of weeks. After that time, they keep the framed prints in their room for them to continue to learn and pray. 

Here are two of the prayers that I have made. They have worked for the boys, and I have framed them and given them as gifts, too. 

find here

find here

For more information about {JEI} and The Zelie Group, please read Alicia's post

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

My Sunday Best #6

I had every intention of typing up this post yesterday, but it turned out to be a very busy day here in the Saint household.

We spent the morning shopping for a new recliner. I have always slept in our recliner for the first week after we bring a new baby home. Is that weird? It is just more comfortable for me and my healing c-section incision then laying flat on our bed. Anyway, our old recliner broke a few years ago, so we threw it out. The doctor scheduled my c-section last week, so Chris thought yesterday was a good day to buy a new recliner. We found a nice brown leather recliner for an affordable price at our local Sam's Club.

After our furniture shopping excursion, we drove to Maryland for the party of our twin nephews' 2nd birthday. We spent the afternoon there, then we came home feeling happy but exhausted, had a quick dinner, and spent a good hour cleaning and rearranging the family room so that the new recliner would fit!

As for my weekend and Sunday Mass, I left very early Saturday morning for the Catholic Women Blogging Network Mid-Atlantic Conference. It was held in Virginia this year, which is a longer drive for me than the conference last year. I initially thought that I would not be able to go, but a local friend found out about the location of the conference and made the trip happen for both of us! She said she needed some mom time before starting her homeschool year, plus she had some family in the area that could meet for lunch, so she booked us a hotel room and took over all the driving. The conference and the extra time with my friend were just what I needed! I had an enjoyable and fruitful weekend!

Even tough we usually go to the 11:00 am morning Mass on Sunday mornings, Chris and the boys decided to wait for me to get home so that we could attend the 6:00 pm Mass as a family. Before leaving the hotel room Sunday morning, I snapped a quick picture of my outfit because I knew it was going to wear it to church in the evening.

Dress: Old Navy  It is $12 right now, and they have it in blue, too! I am not an affiliate. I just like the dress.
Cardigan: Target
Flip-flops: J.C.Penney 

There is more information that I want to share about the conference, but I am going to have to do that later this week. The boys and I still have some school work to finish and then I need to run to the grocery store.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

For more Sunday fashion, please visit Rosie. She not only hosts My Sunday Best every week, but she also hosted the conference on Saturday. Thank you, Rosie, for all that you do for the Catholic mom blogging community!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

{JEI} A New Link-Up

The other day Alicia, blogger at Sweeping Up Joy, contacted me to let me know about a new link-up that she was hosting along with several other bloggers. It is called Just Enough Info (JEI) and is serving the purpose of building a community for The Zelie Group. I am thankful that she reached out to me because being a part of the online Catholic mom community is one of the main reasons that I continue to update this little blog of mine. If you would like to know more about The Zelie Group, please read this post from Alicia. 

Now on to the questions and answers! 

1. What is your best school memory from your childhood?

My favorite school memories are the four Renaissance feasts that I was a part of during high school. Every year our huge school chorus would put on the feast as a fundraiser. There were a king and queen, their court and jester, traveling players and minstrels. And of course, there were wenches to serve the multiple course meal. Every year I was a wench, and my senior year I was promoted to head wench! Fun times! 

March 1993 - My junior year of high school, wearing the required all black outfit of the wenches. The school provided us with a royal blue apron to wear over our black clothes. 

2. Do you have any back-to-school family traditions? 

Actually no. Unless you count researching curriculum or maybe how I manage to squeeze in one last day trip to the beach and Dairy Queen for a Blizzard before we start the new school year. I should probably start a yearly tradition. It sounds like it could be fun. This year our homeschool support group had an impromptu end-of-summer-vacation pool party. Maybe we could make that our back-to-school tradition. 

Here I am resting my swollen from pregnancy feet at my favorite beach spot. 

3. Markers or colored pencils? 

If I have to choose between markers and colored pencils, my pick is colored pencils. Definitely. The only markers we keep are dry erase markers. Mostly, I am a crayon girl. I have always loved the big, big box of crayons. 

We love crayons!

That was fun! 

Please be sure to check out the other bloggers that are participating in the link-up this week. If you are a blogger, consider joining the link-up. If you are a reader and would like to participate, you can answer the questions in the comment section! 
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