NAS: Masculinity!

Hello there!

Somehow Tuesday came up and I was not prepared. Forgive me. :)  I will try to type something coherent up right now. And, go!
Who is a great example of masculinity in your life 
(father, brother, uncle, priest, etc)? 
What is it about them that you love?

Today we are talking about masculinity! [See prompt to the right.]

I have some wonderful men in my life.  All have qualities that I find to be masculine in one way or the other.

My dad loves to work with his hands, doing different projects around the house., getting dirty and working hard to make things beautiful.

I have an uncle who is in the military... and there is just something about being in the military (whether you are a man or a woman) that is both so masculine and feminine. To love and protect your country with honor is awesome.  To see my uncle salute the flag, fellows soldiers, or wear his uniform brings such pride to my heart.

My brother and some other uncles are some of the most silly and funny people I know. There is something to be said for not taking life too seriously!  Being able to laugh and make jokes is something that I really find appealing.

And of course, there are friends and other men I know who exhibit their masculinity by being confident in who the Lord has called them to be. Whether that is through their job, being a husband a priest, friend, brother (as in sibling, but could be religious brother, too!). They are unwavering in who they should be no matter where they are or what they are doing. Their actions and behavior and love they have for the people in their life reflects the image of God so very much, even if they don't even realize it. They are strong, confident, kind, fight for what they want and what they believe in, respectful and are willing to talk about alllllll that, too.  Ya know what I mean?

When I think of a masculine man... that's what I think of. Nothing specific, really. But, bits and pieces of those things, that reflect God and who He is. It's a beautiful thing.

I am sure all of you have written your posts already... and know that Morgan is hosting by now! But, if you didn't, now you know! Head on over there!! :)


Next Week!
Bachelorette Party Ideas
It's inevitable that we will plan our friends bachelorette parties at some point or another, but how do we make them fun without all the raunch? Give us your ideas for fun things to do with a bridal party without all the crazy.

March 11
Why Not Both?
We've been hearing a lot that "married people and single people can't relate to one another." What is your perspective on this? In what way can we bridge the gap between singles and marrieds?
(Singles and marrieds perspectives welcome, of course!)

March 18
Single Life Bucket List
What are those things that you want to do before you get married (or enter the religious life)? Is there anything that you are excited to do, accomplish, etc before engagement, marriage and babies come along? Even if you feel that you've done everything you wanted to do pre-marriage, dig deeper and see if there isn't anything you'd like to do!

ALSO!!! I am doing another plug. But, it's for my blog! ha :) I am hosting a giveaway to help promote SON OF GOD! It's a movie that comes out FRIDAY!!! :)  Wanna win a cool prize pack??? OF COURSE YOU DO!  Whoa... lots of caps. But, check it out and enter if you want! Easy peasy. :)  Oh, and go see the movie, duh!

SON OF GOD... the movie! {And a giveaway!!}

Have you heard of SON OF GOD (besides Jesus himself, of course!)?????

No?? Well, I hadn't heard much about it either. But, check out the movie trailer!



Doesn't it look great?! Honestly, like I said, I didn't really know much about it. Like, maybe I saw something in passing on FB about it a few days ago, but it didn't catch my attention enough to look. But then!! The nice people at Grace Hill Media sent me an email asking if I would like to host a giveaway and help promote SON OF GOD (also, I know it looks like I keep yelling that, but it's how "they" are promoting it... so, I'm following suit!)!

My first reaction was... "um, this is spam! What is this?!" And then I looked up the movie and realized it is a legit movie. Then, of course, I asked Mart what she thought, and SHE thought it sounded cool. So, I emailed them back.

And, here we are. :)  [In the interest of full disclosure, I have been wanting to host some sort of giveaway for a while, but had nothing to giveaway, so I jumped at this chance! So, I apologize that this is what this post is allll about! Just go with it, folks!] 

What did you think of the trailer???  I mean, it looks really, really good. The cinematography and visual effects in and of itself look amazing.  Mark Burnett (from Survivor, right?!) and his wife Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel- I LOVED THAT SHOW!) produced/starred in The Bible on The History Channel last year. Also something else I didn't watch, but heard great things about.  Anyway, both Mark and Roma wanted there to be a feature film about the life of Christ, from His birth to his death and resurrection.  So, they set out to do it!

And it comes out THIS FRIDAY, February 28th. I don't think it will be everywhere, so be sure to search on the website for shows/times and to purchase advanced tickets! Mart and I might even take the youth group to see it!!

This is the first major motion picture about the life of Jesus in yeeeears!  Something like 10 years since The Passion and FIFTY years since there has been a movie about the entire life of Jesus.  We should see it and support and #spreadtheword about!!  There is a lot of buzz about it already!  Woot!  Even Brandon Vogt and Cardinal Wuerl from the Archdiocese of Washington, DC are endorsing it. (Interestingly they share the same favorite scene of the movie!)

Do you think you will see it?!  If so, let me know! If you comment below, you will automatically be entered to win some cool stuff!  Por ejemplo (for example):

Official soundtrack, 1000 piece puzzle and a novelization (book from movie)
They are sending me my own set of this fun prize pack, and I am looking forward to hearing the soundtrack! When I get it, I will let you know what I think! I am sure it will be great stuff.  We (me and the WINNER) will get the official soundtrack, a 1000 piece puzzle (haven't done one of those in a LONG time!) and a novelization (basically a book made from the movie).

[Update on Monday: I just received my prize pack! What you see in the pic above, is exactly what you get! :)  Proof:

The puzzle picture is different... shoot me. ;) The soundtrack is pretty awesome... I can't wait to hear it with the moments in the movie. Although, the Ceelo Green version of "Mary Did you Know?" is... well... is odd. I don't know. It's a remix. It's Ceelo Green. Just odd to me. But, the book, puzzle and CD are all in good shape! So, I hope YOU win!]

So???  Interested in getting these things?? Or, maybe just winning something- who doesn't like winning things??  Awesome! Like I said above, just comment below telling me if you're going to see SON OF GOD and you are entered! That's it. Easy peasy. Each person who comments will get assigned a number (in order of comment), and I will use Random.org to select a number! Please enter by Thursday, Feb. 27, 5pm EST!  I will announce the winner on FRIDAY!  Please be sure to leave your email, if it's not attached to your name/Blogger account. :)

Ha... good luck! And have fun! :)

Want more info about SON OF GOD?? Check out the following:
Official Website
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Instagram

And thank you for enduring all that plugging. ;)

WINNER: Maria (comment #3!) Please check your email to see what you have to do! WOOO! Congrats!

NAS: Oh, It's Valentine's Day??

From the Google.
What are your thoughts about Valentine's Day? Do you
enjoy it? Loathe it? Not even realize it's a special
day? Do you celebrate it in any way?
Ok... so Valentine's has already passed, but let's still chat about it, shall we??

As evidenced by my lack of card giving and scrambling to send something to my nieces, I barely noticed it was Valentine's Day on Friday.  I mean, yes, I knew it was coming, but to be honest, it's not really that big of a deal to me.  I have never dated anyone during this 'holiday' so it's never equated to a couple's day in my head.  It's just another day...

But, really... it's another day to tell the people we love that we do, indeed, love them. [And to get more chocolate. Who doesn't love chocolate?!] We, as Christians, should be doing this everyday, but on Valentine's Day everyone is all "LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!" and "I love you!" and "I am so happy you are in my life!"  Whether those things are said to a significant other, spouse, parent, friend, sibling, aunt, grandparent, etc... it's a day alllll about love.  And, I mean... what's wrong with that?  So, we make it a point to tell those that are closest to us, that we do love them. Enjoy them. Are blessed to have them in our lives. In the hum-drum of everyday life, I often forget to tell those that I love, that I love them.  So, honestly, I am thankful for a day that reminds me to do it!

Would it be nice to have the romantic gestures of a boyfriend/hubby to dote on me?  Well, of course. But, that's not what love is all about. True love lies in the actions that we take in the everyday, normal of our lives to serve the other person.  Giving of myself to someone else by the things I can do for them (whether through words, cards, gifts, actions) is how Jesus asks us to love. God sending Jesus to this Earth, to die on the cross for us, is by far the greatest act of love there ever was.  So fitting that Valentine's was on a Friday this year. Great parallels there, but would take up way more of this post (and thoughts in my head), and I want to chat about my wonderful Valentine's date! Yes, I went on a date!

Will you let me do that?!  I mean, it includes my sweet goddaughter, so no one will mind, right?! :)

First... aren't these so pretty?!
The Orams dropped them off, and they were waiting for me
when I got home from work! :)
Who doesn't love getting surprise flowers?!

Mart and Tom asked if I would watch the babe so they could go to dinner, and of course I said yes! What better way to spend an evening than doting on Zuzu?! Nothing I tell you... nothing.  I picked up the babe and we were off to a wonderful dinner at... Perkins! haha Yes. I was craving some breakfast food, so we decided to join all the old people for a breakfast dinner at Perkins!

And it was perfect. Just perfect.

I love this girl so much.

I was making the kissy face, and then she started blowing
some kisses! Adorable.

We colored.
And do you see that kids cup?? Zuz thought she was the COOLEST
having her own cup! 

Every so often, Zuzu would stop and look up at me and give
me this cheese face. It warmed my heart. It was like she was
telling me what a great time she was having!
That's two of us, kid. I was having a great time, too!

Then we sat in the grass for a little bit.

We got home and were able to enjoy our free "googie"!
Also... she just looks so old here!

Guh... this face. Gets me every time.
Needless to say,  I had a great day. :)  It was filled with so much love.... and that's what it's all about. Thanks for letting me go on and on about the joys of godmommyhood!

How was your Valentine's Day??? I can't wait to here!  Link-up below!!

LADIES!!! We still want YOU to come to Savannah, GA for our girls' weekend!!! {Remember it's July 18-20... still have no idea what I'm talking about? Check this out!} Interested, but haven't taken the survey??? Please do!! TODAY IS THE LAST DAY. This guarantees you a spot, helps plan the money situation, etc. Please fill it out  by 11:59EST TONIGHT!! Thank you!  EEEEEK!!!! Morgan and I are SO EXCITED!!!!!! It's going to amazing, you guys!

Also... have you joined the Not Alone Series Facebook Group?! It turns out that you can search for it and request to be in it, instead of having to be friends with Morgan and I. ;) Anyway, please join if you want!

Oooops... forgot these earlier:

Next Week:
Masculinity
Who is a great example of masculinity in your life (father, brother, uncle, priest, etc)? What do you love about them?

March 4
Bachelorette Party Ideas
It's inevitable that we will plan our friends bachelorette parties at some point or another, but how do we make them fun without all the raunch? Give us your ideas for fun things to do with a bridal party without all the crazy.

March 11
Why Not Both?
We've been hearing a lot that "married people and single people can't relate to one another." What is your perspective on this? In what way can we bridge the gap between singles and marrieds?
(Singles and marrieds perspectives welcome, of course!)

March 18
Single Life Bucket List
What are those things that you want to do before you get married (or enter the religious life)? Is there anything that you are excited to do, accomplish, etc before engagement, marriage and babies come along? Even if you feel that you've done everything you wanted to do pre-marriage, dig deeper and see if there isn't anything you'd like to do!

A Week in Pics

It seems that this was another low-key week. Oh well... not all weeks can be busybusybusy!

Enjoy, as always! :)

Awww...
Mama was teaching youth group this night and she did not want
to be hanging with Auntie Jen.

A little Dunkin' to brighten up the rainy commute.

A little love from some of the kiddos at work. :)

BEST VALENTINE'S DATE EVER!!!
More to come on Tuesday about my wonderful time. :)

Um... just walking along and almost stepped ONTO this
dead fish. Ew. Blah.
Morning rosary walks are the best.
I decided to say hi to floating Mary, after another great confession!
God is so good. :)

Haven't you heard of this new workout, "sit on the weight"??
It's all the baby rage. ;)

Have such a wonderful week, everyone! :) Blessings to you!

**For those of you who happen to read this here bloggity AND participate in the Not Alone Series... have you filled out the survey for Savannah, yet?!?!  If you are still thinking about coming, please do so by 11:59EST Tuesday night!! This will help with guaranteeing a room, price and all that.  Please email Morgan and me if you have any questions or concerns about attending. If you want to come, we want to help you!! :)**

NAS: If Only...

What would you tell your former self about being single if given the chance?
What have you learned that you wish you could tell your younger self?

The first things that come to mind:

1) BE PATIENT! You are going to do so many wonderful things in your life. Enjoy them. Be in the moment. Stop worrying about what will or will not happen. Trust the Lord, He most definitely has your back.

and

2)  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and YOU ARE WORTH IT!  Listen, I know you struggle with believing these things about yourself.  Trust me, it doesn't go away when you reach your late twenties. I just want you to know... you are and always have been beautiful.  All of you. Even those parts of you that you hate. You are. There is no way to deny it. So, just own it.  Oh, and you are worth it. You are worth being loved and hugged and complimented.  You are.  It's true. You are a beloved daughter of God, and all of these things that I have said here are true of His daughters... and they are most definitely true of  you. :)


Maybe if I am not falling asleep later this week I will add more of a reflection to this, but as of right now, this is as good as it will get.  Link up is over at Ms. Morgan's today! Head on over!


Savannah Update: SURVEY! Please take this survey (anyone can, really... but especially if you are going to Savannah!).  Morgan and I may or may not have had a 3 hour vidchat date on Sunday talking about allll sorts of things, but mostly Savannah! And, we need your help with some things, so this survey will really help us out!! Please have it done by next Tuesday, February 18th. {note: please only fill the survey out one time, even if you see it on Morgan's blog, FB, Twitter, etc. Ok??}

Next Week:
Valentine's Day
What are you thought's about Valentine's day? Do you enjoy? Loathe it? Not even realize it's a special day? Do you celebrate it in any way?

February 25
Masculinity
Who is a great example of masculinity in your life (father, brother, uncle, priest, etc)? What do you love about them?

March 4
Bachelorette Party Ideas
It's inevitable that we will plan our friends bachelorette parties at some point or another, but how do we make them fun without all the raunch? Give us your ideas for fun things to do with a bridal party without all the crazy.

March 11
Why Not Both?
We've been hearing a lot that "married people and single people can't relate to one another." What is your perspective on this? In what way can we bridge the gap between singles and marrieds?
(Singles and marrieds perspectives welcome, of course!)

March 18
Single Life Bucket List
What are those things that you want to do before you get married (or enter the religious life)? Is there anything that you are excited to do, accomplish, etc before engagement, marriage and babies come along? Even if you feel that you've done everything you wanted to do pre-marriage, dig deeper and see if there isn't anything you'd like to do!

A Week in Pics {Not Much Going On}

Hmm... not that many pics this week. I had kind of a weird week... I suppose it definitely reflects in my lack of pictures. Oh well! :)  Enjoy the few anyway!  Oh, and have such a blessed and happy week!

I started the week by cuddling up with my new blanket and watched Downton. :)
My one school loves to celebrate birthdays... which is awesome!
But, I also like to eat cake... two slices of it to be exact!

This might be a new fave pic of me and the babe.

Perdita is adjusting well to her new home. ;)
A little snackin' and chillin'

One of my absolute fave things is to buy new stationary. I love it.

I mean... aren't you featured in your parish's bulletin?!

Paz, amor y abrazos! :)

Family.

Family has been on my mind a lot these days.  I am not sure why, exactly.

But, as I said goodbye to one of the bestest BFFs last Sunday, after SUCH an amazing birthday weekend... my heart was heavy. There she went, back home to her hubby (who had a little scare, which could have been why my heart was weighed down a bit more. Ya know, b/c when my friends hurt, I hurt too. Annnnd, PTL, everything is just fine!!) and precious girls... back to her family.

Mart was able to spend time in Orlando, getting away from life down here, spend some quality time with her hubby and the babe... and of course with her parents/sisters/brother/and everyone else... her family.

My family is so far away.  They are all over the place.   Mom. Dad. Brother. Nieces. Aunts/Uncles. I love them and miss them so much sometimes.  I wish that I could have more moments of just being in the same room with all of them. At the same time. Er, well... I don't actually know if that's a wise idea, but I think you get what I'm rambling on about.  I just want to BE with them.

And then of course... I yearn for that family of my own. Ah! There it is!

It seems to always come back to that, doesn't it?!  #lifeofasinglelady

But, I have had such a strong sense to really pray for my future husband, recently. An every day, all in kind of prayer.  Who knows why?  I may not know that for a while, or ever.  Perhaps the Lord is working overtime to prepare me for him, and him for me. Or, maybe he is in need of some serious prayers himself?

Whatever the case may be... I am glad to do it.  The more I pray for my hubby, the more real he is. The less crazy I feel.  He needs those prayers.  No matter when or where or how ever we meet, we have our prayers.  We are united through them... and in some sense that unity is a bit like a familial bond.  Right?  Maybe?  Just go with me.

So, future hubs... if you ever read this... this one is for you! ;)

NAS: Chastity {A Choice}

Living chastely (not just abstinence) is a choice.
Have you ever had to defend your choice to live out chastity?
If not, why do you choose chastity?
We are diving back into chastity this week!  I know we have discussed it before, but there is always so much to talk about, isn't there?!  We were just talking about our thoughts in general, what it means to us and why it's important.  But, today... today we are getting a bit more personal. We are talking about the why. Why we choose this way of life. Why we think it's good and important. And what we say to those that don't get it.

After reading what I wrote before... I have to quote a few gems. (btw, do you ever re-read your stuff and think, "wow! I wrote that?! Amazing!" No? Just me. Well, ok.)  I said some pretty great stuff, so if you don't want to go back and read the whole thing... I will just quote my faves:

"...one can have an active sex life AND be chaste or abstain from sex and be unchaste.  These two things are not the same."

"We all have natural desires.  It's how we handle them and what choices we make that allows us to live chastely."

"I don't want to do something that jeopardizes the love that I have and will give to my future husband, and that of God."

"I don't want to tempt myself, or set myself up for disappointment.  I want to trust the Lord and His will with everything."

I haven't had that many people question what I am doing.  For the most part since I have chosen to live a chaste life post college (again this does not just mean abstinence, b/c I made a commitment to that when I was 16), I have surrounded myself with people that are striving to live the same life.  When you surround yourself with people that have similar goals, it's so much easier to live out your life. Ya know?

That being said, I am still friends with quite a few people that are open about having sex, living with their boyfriend/girlfriends, etc.  And, really... I am in the minority. I get that.  So to most people, I am the one that is living a weird life.

But, who cares?!  I choose this life because I truly believe it's the best way to live.  I don't have to worry about giving pieces (or all) of myself to someone, and reaping the ramifications of feeling used or unloved if somethings not right, or living up to unrealistic expectations, etc.  Does that make sense?  I don't want to look at movie/TV scenes where things get a little risqué... because that is not reality.  I want any sort of intimate life I have to be with just my future husband.  It's something special that I can offer to him, and him alone.  How cool is that?!

But most importantly, I choose this life because the Lord is calling me to something greater.  He is calling me to a great love with Him.  As the Youcat says, "unchaste behavior weakens love and obscures it's meaning" (pg. 220)  Living a chaste life is really choosing to love yourself, your future spouse and God even better.

As I said before... it's a choice that I make every.single.day. I do it for my heart. For my soul. For my future hubby. For my relationship with God.

And for me... there is no better reason than that.

What about you ladies?!  Why do you choose to live the chaste life?!  Get your link-up on below!

Announcement: WE HAVE A FACEBOOK GROUP!!! :)  It's a closed group, which means, you must send a friend request to Morgan and/or me!  Once we are FB friends, we can then invite you to the group! Woot!  The group is open to all of you ladies who participate in the NAS, but also anyone who happens to read along. Seriously ALL ARE WELCOME! :)  So, if that is something you are interested in, please get on that!  Especially if you are going to Savannah! We will for sure be using that to get information out there!

Savannah Update: Morgan and I have a gchat video date this weekend to hash things out. So! Next week, hopefully we will have some more deets!

Next Week
If only I knew then what I know now...
What would you tell your former self about being single if given the chance? What have you learned that you wish you could tell your younger self?

A Week in Pics + My Birrrthday!

I had a pretty good week and a WONDERFUL weekend!  I am little behind catching up on blogs and even reading the NAS posts for the week. Sheesh! But, it's ok. I can't be caught up on everything at all times. Ya know?!

Shall we get started with the pics?? Yes. I think we shall.

Zuz contemplating life. Or maybe looking at a bird. 

Mom sent me some presents for my birthday!! :)

Some mornings, coffee is just perfect.
Oh! I also got my hair did. :)

COLLEEN IS HERRRRRE!!!!! :)
And, I have new specs!

On my birthday, my coworkers at one of my schools had some snacks and such!
So sweet, huh?!
 Annnnnd here come the pics of my very fun birthday!

Don't leave your phone behind when you go to the bathroom.
This is what happens.

And this.

YAY!! It's my birthdayyyy!

I love you so much. :)

So happy this chick came out!

And YOU! I love you.

Such wonderful friends.
Who are pretty darn cute, don't you think?

Take ALL THE SELFIES!!!
 I just have to stop for a moment and say that I had one of the best birthdays!! I had wonderful friends with me to celebrate. We enjoyed some beverages, lots of laughing, many new inside jokes, lots of smiles, TONS of dancing (!)... and many memories.  I also got phone calls and texts and emails and FB messages up the wazoo.  Seriously... I am so blessed.  #soblessed

Martha made me that awesome blanket.
My mom sent Perdita to me!!!
Ok... let me give you a little background on that there Perdita (ya know, from 101 Dalmations!). My parents took my brother and I to Disney when I was about 5ish.  I don't remember  much from that trip, but I DO remember getting my beloved Perdita. She was sitting amongst others like her on a very large (at least to my 5 year old self), 2-tiered table.  I picked her out and loved her so veryvery much.  I slept with her every night.  And then, when I was in 6th grade... I left her at a hotel. I LEFT HER AT A HOTEL.  I was devastated.  We went back to the hotel, and they couldn't find her anywhere. :(  Mom tried to find her, but this was before the interwebs was like it is today... so she searched and searched to no avail.

Fast forward about 16 years (WHAT? 16 years? Holy crap. I feel old.) and mom tried the search again... and she found her!!!!! :) It was so exciting! I was so happy to open the package.  Who knows if this is MY Perdita (there is a chance b/c apparently the lady my mom bought her from found her in a hotel in Baltimore... which is where I was when I lost her. Crazy, huh?!)... but she is awesome. And I love her.

And, yes, maybe I have some weird thing with stuffed animals. Oh well. It's just one of my lovely quirks! :)
I was able to spend the rest of the weekend with Colleen.
We went to the beach, watched the sunset, and went to a movie.
It was just perfect and very much needed.
I hope that you all had a wonderful week and weekend!  Many blessings for the upcoming week! :)
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