Hey, did you know?

We have all been there.  Ya know, when it's time to say the Our Father at Mass.  Everyone holds hands of the person next to them.  You are there alone, not quite close enough to reach, but don't want to seem too eager and move a little closer.  So, then, because you still want to be fully engaged and connected, you hold out your hands in front of you.  The Our Father is said, the Sign of Peace happens, and, well... I think we know what happens next. ;)

It has come to my attention recently, through a good friend (ahem, my BFF Mart), after noticing that she does not participate in that way anymore, that it may not actually be liturgically sound.

Wait, wait, wait... what?

You are telling me that the way that I have participated in Mass for the last... however many years, where I have felt engaged and involved and connected, is actually not what I should be doing?  This is crazy.  My mind is being blown.

(That was written back in May 2013, and just saw it chillin' in my drafts folder. So, I thought I would finish up some thoughts on this.)

I should say, once I found this out... I stopped holding my hands out anymore and stopping holding hands during the Our Father.

And it was hard. And sad. And weird. But, I got over it.

At first I looked and looked online for where it says that in rubrics (I have since learned the fancy name), ie. the rules of the liturgy. I couldn't find anything. I wasn't using the right terminology, I guess. And then my interest faded, as the new-to-me position just became normal.

Source
Clearly, because I stopped this post a long time ago.  And then, last week, I decided on a whim to call Open Line on Catholic Radio to ask about it. And of course, just as Martha said, it is, in fact, liturgically INcorrect. The "orans position/posture", as it is called, is meant only for the priest during Mass. Why is this? Well, I don't think that I will be able to answer very well.

And, of course, now that I have the correct term to search, I find a whole bunch of stuff! Sheesh! :) But, I figured that maybe someone out there is looking for this information, too. And, those articles can explain it better than I could even try. I found a great article on EWTN, that explains more about it, but here is a tidbit:
It is a legitimate gesture to use when praying, as history shows, however, it is a private gesture when used in the Mass and in some cases conflicts with the system of signs which the rubrics are intended to protect. The Mass is not a private or merely human ceremony. The symbology of the actions, including such gestures, is definite and precise, and reflects the sacramental character of the Church's prayer. As the Holy See has recently pointed out, confusion has entered the Church about the hierarchical nature of her worship, and this gesture certainly contributes to that confusion when it conflicts with the ordered sign language of the Mass.
Anyway. So, if you have ever wondered about that. Now you know.

It is hard sometimes, still, especially when I am around people that I know, who hold hands during the Our Father... it's always a bit awkward. But, I just close my eyes, keep my hands folded and pour myself into the prayer. Because, really... that's what it's about anyway! If you wanted to be all touchy feely and handsy with me, just wait... I will be glad to give you a hug during the Sign of Peace! Yes, I like to hug, instead of shake hands. Ok, I mean... I only hug the people I know. Come on, I am not that weird.

Now, another thing that I noticed at the same time, way back when, that Mart wasn't doing, was the little crosses over the forehead, mouth and heart right before the priest reads the Gospel.  I had learned a long time ago that the significance of each little cross says "may the Gospel always be on my mind, on my lips and in my heart." I mean, that sounds good to me.

But, it, too, is one of those gestures that is for the priest or deacon reading the Gospel at Mass.  In the rubrics, it never says that we, as in the congregation, should be doing this gesture, as well. I can't really find it online, so... you can do some research on your own, or believe me. :) 'Cause, well, I am going with Mart, who knows a lot about these sorts of things, and her hubby who was in seminary for while and knows the liturgy like the back of his hand.

Well, there you have it, folks. Random information about Mass that is actually quite important. :)

Have a wonderful day!

But, God wanted something different.

When Martha asked if I would like to help out with the middle school and high school youth groups, I laughed. Awkwardly.

I love kids. Yes, kids... I could hang out with them all the time! Be silly. Run around like crazy. Ya know, be a kid.

But, teens?? Oh man. That's a whooooole other ball game.  I have such a hard time connecting with them. I didn't grow up with older or younger siblings where I got to witness their teen years. I only have my own to go on! And... I don't remember much!  And THEN to talk about God and Jesus and His church and all things Catholic. Oh, and make it sound cool and relatable.

Um... no, thanks.

Well, that's what I wanted to say. But, God wanted something different.

You see.  I am part of my parish. I am part of the family. I have never been part of a parish before. Up to that point I really thought I belonged because I was writing my check every week, dropping the envelope in the basket as it went by, smiling and hugging the people I knew at the end of Mass. (Ha. Such a weird sense of belonging and being part of a family.)

All the while I was thirsting for community. I was complaining that I didn't know anyone and didn't have anything to do and had such a boring life! Oh... whoa is me.

An awesome prayer service with the teens.
So, enter in Mart asking about helping with youth group. Not exactly what I had in mind... but my parish needed me. My family needed me. So, of course I said yes.  It's an interesting thing, working with the teens.  They are a crazy, hormonal, loud, beautiful, lovely, Jesus-thirsting generation. They have so many things coming at them from so many directions in their daily lives.  Who am I to help them know God better?!

I am me.  That is all they need me to be. Even if I don't know what to say or have the right answer or say something they don't think is funny, I am being me. Genuinely me. I am there for them. Loving them where they are at.  Praying for them.  Living my life the best way that I can, so they are (hopefully!) being inspired to live theirs the best way they can, too.

Around the same time, I signed up to be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. It had been on my heart for a while, and I was so excited to do it. I could talk about that in it's own post, and maybe someday I will, but for now I will say it is one of the most humbling things I am privileged to do. Seriously.

It's in serving my parish in this way, I realized something. I realized that the teens need to see me as an active member of their community. Of their family. I mean, who do they see mostly? The old people and the families... right? Let's be honest, not many of us single, young people are really that involved in our parishes. First, not many of us even have one where we are registered. We hop from one place to another, depending on what's going on.  How cool is it when we see young people involved and serving their community? It's awesome!

And then I realized something else... everyone needs to see young people involved.  The more they see youngins', the more they will realize we do care. We are invested. We want to be part of the family. We want to serve you.

So, as much as I don't think I am the youth ministry "type," I will continue go every week. I will continue to be awkward. I will continue to love them. I will continue to just be me. And serve... my family. My community.

All because God wanted something different.  Does He want something different for you?

Not Alone Series: Deal Breakers.

We have all thought about our list of qualities for our future spouse (and maybe even religious community), but sometimes those can be pretty limiting on who God has planned for you. Instead, maybe think about the few things that are so important to you, that if a guy you were considering dating (or community you were entering) didn't have those things, you would have to move on. Why are those things important to you? 



When I was in college, post re-version, sitting with my girlfriends, one of the obvious deal breakers for any potential guy that we would date, thus, marry, would be: he has to be Catholic.

I mean, that makes sense, right? If you have ever read this blog, you know how important my faith is to me. I don't just love Jesus... I believe in and love the one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church that He gave us.  So, it would seem obvious that I would want my spouse to share in and love those things, too.

But - there is always a but - can I just cut off the millions of single men in this world just because they aren't Catholic?  I am not sure I have really made up my mind, fully.  I am going to talk about some things here, and then you let me know what you think.  The topic this week (and every week) is to create conversation.... I am not saying there is a right or wrong. I am just typing out what has been in my head, thinking out loud, if you will. :)

My first inclination is to always want to date/marry a Catholic guy. It's what I am comfortable with. Someone who loves the Church, believes in Her teachings, attends Mass, etc is someone who I will already have a TON in common with.  But, I can't help but think that I am limiting God in some way if I say that I will only marry a Catholic guy.

God is an amazing God. He knows what's on my heart. He knows what's important to me, even things that I may not even know yet. He has created some amazing men out there.  And, He also knows that if I were to marry a non-Catholic dude, that guy would have to be supportive. He would not patronize my faith. He would, at least, have to love Jesus. I mean, that right there is a deal breaker in and of itself. I mean, marriage is hard. Why would I want to make it harder and marry someone that doesn't even believe in Jesus, our Savior?

I guess that's the thing... marriage will be hard. There is no question about that. I will be asking my future husband to love all of me, I will be asked to love all of him.  Imperfections and all. We are human... and we sin. But marriage calls us to love even through our sinfulness.  That is something that my husband will have to understand. It will be a choice to love each other everyday. And when things get hard, he will not be able to "throw in the towel," for a lack of a better phrase. He will have to understand the permanence of marriage... because, as far as I am concerned, divorce isn't really an option.  Oh! And kids! That to get married, two become one... and that usually results in a babe. Or 12. ;)

So, who can fill all of those things?? The single Catholic guys?? Well, some of them... but most definitely not all of them.  We all know, not everyone agrees with all the teachings of the church or loves the Church like I do.  There are many non-Catholic Christians who believe as the Church does on many things, so would it be prudent of me to just discount all of them?  Probably not.

A good friend from college, who is a wonderfully, devout Catholic women, has been dating (and will most likely marry) a non-Catholic guy. This blew my mind! I just never thought that this particular friend would be the one to marry someone who wasn't Catholic! It was so interesting to talk to her about it. She is still so in love with the Church, and he allows her to live out her faith, just as she always has. It really got me thinking about what is important to me. Could I really date/marry a non-Catholic guy? Is that what God is calling me to do?

It would then come into play the role of the sacramental life (ya know, sharing the Eucharist, confession, etc together) within a marriage. Some stand by that 100%. Some don't think it's absolutely necessary. There are plenty of wonderful non-Catholic marriages in this world, that would prove a sacramental life isn't necessary. But, is it to me? That is the question. And, again... my first response is this: duh. Obviously.

And so we start back at the beginning. It would seem at first glance that I have made up my mind. A deal breaker would have be: not being Catholic.  But, there is still that but...

And I don't really know where to go from here. :)

Lest you think I only think of the serious things... other deal breakers include: wanting me to massage feet, doesn't like to laugh, no ability to dance, snores or chews with mouth open. Annnnd I'm only kidding. ... or am I? ;)

What about you?! Tell us and link up below!

Next Week!
Beginning of the Year Goals + Lent!
Remember our first post this year? How are the goals you set going? Regardless of how your goals are going, how are you utilizing this Lent to continue to strive for those goals?

April 8
Do's and Don'ts of First Dates
What are those things that we should be doing, and the things that we shouldn't be doing? They can be from the physical parts (clothes to wear, places to go, things to say) or emotional parts (talking about it all the time, planning the future, etc). We can all learn something in hindsight, so what are your tips to share?

April 15
Selfish Singles
How do you combat being selfish with your time? As a single person, it's easy to get caught up in our own little independent world. There are those moments when we are needed for extra church things, hanging with our friend's kids, getting caught up with something on the one night you could stay in, etc. where we get frustrated that the needs of others are taking away from our own time. How do you avoid this selfish tendency and what do you do to avoid becoming frustrated with "sharing" your time with others?

April 22
Marriage
Most of us here feel called to the vocation of marriage...but what is it exactly that you're attracted to? What have you seen in others' marriages that you've learned from or would do differently? (maybe this is from married friends or your parents!)


Have you joined our Facebook group???


Spring Break: Part 2

I cannot believe today is my LAST DAY OF SPRING BREAK! Blah. It went by too fast.

I had a wonderful time in Miami. A couple days home, and then I was off to Tampa! :)

It was a great time had by all. I just love my family. So much. We laughed, chatted, ate (lots and lots), and were just together.  Even though it was so nice to be around my fam, it was weird not having my dad there. He wasn't able to make it down, unfortunately. But, hopefully we will see each other soon! :)

On to da peeeectures! :) (Why did I say it like that?? No idea. That's how it came out!)


Happy Birthday, Grammy!
Let's get a selfie!! :) 
Of course... Uncle Bob takes a selfie while he is supposed to be taking
the following!

I love my grandparents! :)

Birthdays aren't birthdays without CAKE!
Very yummy cake, at that!

Almost the whole fam!

Uncle Bob has these great Tervis mugs... I love drinking coffee out of them.
I really should get some for my own house. :)

How awesome is this patio/lanai?!
I could have lived out there. Seriously.

Sunset at the resort my grandparents, Aunt Marie and Uncle Duane were staying at.

My crazy tanlines.

Beach day selfie! :)

The sky was SO BLUE!!!

Selfies with ALL THE FAM!!!! :)
Maybe my fave collection of pics for the entire time.

I got Grammy a nice frame for her birthday.... but didn't have a pic of us in it!
So, we took one with my nice cam! ;)
It's probably one of the nicest pics of her and I!
I love it!

Last night all together before I left the next day.
Greatest family.... ever.

Post dinner coffee and bonfire time! :)
I got home on Friday afternoon... caught up with Mart and the babe and then watched some friends' kids for the evening. And then! Had another beach day with the girls yesterday. :) I really need to be better at taking pics of Mart. Most of the time I am hanging out with her AND the babe... but the pictures never make it seem that way. MART! We have to be better!!

Oh so cool.

Beach, cookies and gorgeous weather!
Perfect day!
Thanks for reliving my spring break with me! :)  So many blessings for this upcoming week!

What the family says.

At dinner with all of my dad's side of the family, minus my dad...
Uncle Bob doing something to annoy me...
Me: Do you do these things to make up for dad not being here?
Uncle Bob: Yes, of course. What else am I supposed to do?


Discussing Uncle Duane's... knack of driving, shall we say...
Uncle Bob: I looked in the rearview mirror and noticed your (Don, aunt's father) eyes WIDE open staring straight ahead.
Everyone: busting out laughing [b/c that's how we all feel in the car with Uncle Duane]
Don: I had looked down and he was going 95 miles an hour!!
Uncle Duane: we got on the highway and I realized that you [Uncle Bob] were already so far ahead. I had to catch up! I think Don and I were chatting about something...
Yes, that is usually what is happening. Uncle Duane is the ultimate chatter...


Giving Gramps a hug...
Gramps: Hello, dear! How's the nursing going?
Me: Oh, it's fine.
Gramps: Are people still sick?! *slight chuckle*
Aaaaalways... this is a standard line and I am NEVER ready for it! :)


Enjoying a nice lunch...
Grammy: have you met anyone yet?
Me: Oh, like a boy? No, not yet.
Aunt Marie: hey! It's pretty good it took her this long to ask you!

A few minutes later a group of college-age boys walk by...
Grammy (in a louder than normal voice): Yoo-who! Yes, this is my wonderful granddaughter! Uh, yes... look at her!
Me: Grammy! Wha? Why?
Grammy: Well, they should be looking at you. You are just so sweet.
Me: *shakes head*
.....
Grammy: that boy you brought to dinner that one time... he was just so nice.
Me: yes, he is married now and has a kid.
Grammy: oh.


These may not be all that funny to you... but they are to me and I just had to document some of them! I have another day spent with these people that I love so much... and I'm sure there will be more funny things said! :)

Have a wonderful FIRST DAY OF SPRING! It's exciting! Although, I realize that it doesn't make much of a difference to me here in Florida, but I am excited for all of you still in cold, snowy states. :)

El Rancho Santa Fe

I haven't talked about Honduras much recently.  It's weird how significant it was at one point in my life. And now... as time continues to move on, it's becoming a memory. A good, and wonderful memory.

My friend and fellow volunteer, Hunter, now an employee for NPH, creates amazing and beautiful videos for all of the NPH homes. He started out just making them for the Honduras home, but was able to travel to all of the other 8 homes in Latin America and Caribbean. He had a wonderful opportunity and has used his gifts and talents by making these amazing videos and showing the world what an amazing organization NPH is.

There is no catch, here. I am just sharing a bit more of what will always be part of me. Of my heart.



Here is another of Hunter's videos about the NPH family. They are celebrating 60 years this year!


Curious to know more about Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos? 
Check out their website.
Check out the tab above or my blog.
Watch all of Hunter's (and other's) videos.

[NAS] 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!



When Morgan and I first brought this topic up... I immediately thought that I have pretty much done all the things on my "bucket list."  I have never really been a bucket list person... I have never been one to desire jumping out of a plane, climbing Mt. Everest, walk across America, etc. Ok, yes... those are extreme bucket list items, but I think it serves a point. I am not one to make a list of things to do in my life... because I end up putting a bit of unnecessary pressure on completing the list. I am a rule-follower by nature, and if you give me a list of things to do, I am going to try and do them.  And do them well.

I already put way to much pressure on myself in many aspects of my life, I don't need to make a list of things to do just for the added experience. I have such a full and wonderful life. I have had some of the most amazing experiences and opportunities. I am seriously so blessed. I went to a college where I found God and discovered my heart for service. I became a nurse and worked at one of the premiere pediatric facilities in the country. I served in Honduras. I learned another language. I have been to so many countries in this world. I had an audience with the Pope. I have moved more times than I can remember. I became a godmother to one of the most adorable little girls I know. I have always wanted to live near the beach, and I do. 

I mean... the things that I have done make up such a full "bucket" that I can't possibly think of other things that I need to be on the list.  Don't get me wrong, there are things that I would like to accomplish or do, but they don't need to be done while I am single.  I want to run a half-marathon (which will hopefully happen in 2014). I want to go to Greece. I wan to own a home. But, those things can happen at anytime. And if they don't happen, I don't think I will feel like I missed out on living my life. Well, maybe Greece. But, I am super hopeful that maaaaaybe I can pull that off as a honeymoon option! ;)

If I had to pick something for my Single Life Bucket List... it would be this: to be proud and confident in who I am; in who God has created me to be, so that I can be the best version of myself.

I guess I am at a point in my life where I am ready to share the fun and exciting things of this life with someone. I desire to create a bucket list, if you will, with my future husband and family.  Whenever that will happen, only God knows. I am not going to stop living my life by any means. When opportunities for travel and new experiences come up, I will without a doubt jump on board. I need to continue to heal past wounds and learn how to be the best version of myself before any of those things can happen. And that's what I intend to do. 

What's on your bucket list? Join the conversation over at Morgan's today! :)

Next Week!
Deal Breakers
We have all thought about our list of qualities for our future spouse (and maybe even religious community), but sometimes those can be pretty limiting on who God has planned for you. Instead, maybe think about the few things that are so important to you, that if a guy you were considering dating (or community you were entering) didn't have those things, you would have to move on. Why are those things important to you? 

April 1
Beginning of the Year Goals + Lent!
Remember our first post this year? How are the goals you set going? Regardless of how your goals are going, how are you utilizing this Lent to continue to strive for those goals?

April 8
Do's and Don'ts of First Dates
What are those things that we should be doing, and the things that we shouldn't be doing? They can be from the physical parts (clothes to wear, places to go, things to say) or emotional parts (talking about it all the time, planning the future, etc). We can all learn something in hindsight, so what are your tips to share?

April 15
Selfish Singles
How do you combat being selfish with your time? As a single person, it's easy to get caught up in our own little independent world. There are those moments when we are needed for extra church things, hanging with our friend's kids, getting caught up with something on the one night you could stay in, etc. where we get frustrated that the needs of others are taking away from our own time. How do you avoid this selfish tendency and what do you do to avoid becoming frustrated with "sharing" your time with others?

April 22
Marriage
Most of us here feel called to the vocation of marriage...but what is it exactly that you're attracted to? What have you seen in others' marriages that you've learned from or would do differently? (maybe this is from married friends or your parents!)

Spring Break: Part 1

Ahhhh!! I have had SUCH a wonderful start to my spring break. It's still so crazy that I am going to wake up tomorrow and NOT HAVE TO GO TO WORK!!!

Seriously. So amazing.

Oh but first... on Thursday evening, I met up with a blog friend! I think it's one of the coolest things to meet a blog friend in real life... it just makes them so much more... real.

First their was Niki back in December... and then just a few days ago, Natalie!! She blogs at Here I Am, where she talks about life, faith, nursing school participates in the Not Alone Series,  and really anything else you can imagine! We have connected mostly with the nursing thing, which has been really fun. :) She had 'grammed a pic of directions from Steubenville to Naples.... and I was so excited! :) She was traveling down for her senior spring break... it was just meant to be!

See! We did meet!!
I drove out to the house she and her friends were staying at, where we chatted for a while about all sorts of things, but mostly nursing, before they headed out for a fun night in Ave. It was so fun! I am so blessed to have this community online.  When we were chatting, Natalie mentioned that she thinks about letting her blog go because of the time and energy it takes up (which is completely understandable!), but then when you have moments where you connect with a real person, it makes it all worth it. I completely agree! It's worth it for me to blog for many reasons (even when I don't feel like it), but it's just that much more special when you can transition to real life friends, too.

Thanks for letting me crash your spring break and time with the girls! :) Can't wait to see you again!

Even though the kids started spring break on Friday... I had to go to work. Boo. But, it was a slightly early day, which meant I was able to head to Miami early for the weekend and really start my spring break, too! :)

I was able to hang out with my good friends, Jennine and David. I didn't really have any where to be, or do anything specific... and it was perfect. :)

We went to downtown Miami and ate dinner at Barton G... you guys. This place is NUTS! If you are ever in Miami (or LA), try to get there!  It's alllll about the presentation. They make the drinks smoke:


The food is served on some of the most outrageous platters! You want the swordfish meal? It will come to your table on a platter with a HUGE sword. No joke. You want salmon with potatoes? It was come to your table with a HUGE potato peeler:


Yea... this place is no joke. You want really fun desserts? Expect a mini carnival on your platter including cotton candy, or an oversized glass of ice cream.  It's pretty awesome. And, really really good. The food was incredible to boot! It's quite expensive, as well, so this is only a once in a blue moon experience. But, so so worth it.


Saturday, Jennine and I had a great lunch at a local Cuban restaurant. YUM! And then had fun shopping. It was so nice to hang out and enjoy each other's company. We are usually so pressed for time because she is traveling from Miami to sing in Naples, and then has to travel back. So, it was really fun to spend the whole weekend with her.  Then! We went to the Miami-Dade County Fair. Whoa. THAT is a fair. I mean, this thing is huge and lasts for a whole month! The fair I grew up with was maybe the entire size of the food area. haha. It was awesome!  Jennine's kids from The Band Stand (her awesome studio) had a little competition there. It was SO FUN! Her kids did amazing! And, it was really cool to get a glimpse of what her professional life consists of. 

The Fair even had a circus! What?! Um, yea. And the acts were pretty good. Take this guy, for example... he stacked cylinders and planks of wood on top of each other and balanced. It may not look impressive from this pic... but, trust me. It was!


We are having fun!
 Annnnnnd THEN! I finally found funnel cake! That stuff just never gets old. And is soooo yummy. :)


I drove home today for a lovely mass and wonderful praise and worship adoration night with the youth group. I hope to talk about that some more soon! Actually, I hope to talk more about a lot of things soon. So many posts brewing in my head.

Thanks, Jennine and David for a wonderful weekend! I loved hanging out on YOUR side of the state. :)

Oh and... I got to see this chick-a-dee!
Such a sweet girl.
Part 2 of my spring break hasn't even begun yet. I will be seeing my dad's side of the fam (minus my dad, ironically) in Tampa on Tuesday for a few days! :) So excited!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Many blessings for you!

NAS: Why Not Both? (I forget why we called it that!)

Hello! Happy Tuesday! First, I have to apologize for not being around last week. As I mentioned in my 7QTs last Saturday,  I feel like I have lost my voice around here lately. So, I just needed some time away. I did miss you all, though, be assured of that! :)  And, thank you to Morgan for picking up the slack!

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!)
Alrighty. Today we are tackling that whole "married people and single people can't relate to one another" thing. I am sure you know what I am talking about. Whether you are single and have heard a friend who is married say they don't know how to relate to you anymore, or are married and a single friend disregards you because you "won't get it." Either way... it's not fun.  It hurts.  Especially if they are close friends. I am just going to make a blanket statement and say, it's not true! It doesn't have to be this way!

It doesn't!

First... we are women. The beloved children of God. That in and of itself covers A LOT of ground on ways we can relate.  Our femininity, beauty, how we relate to others and our faith have absolutely nothing to do with our state in life.  We may show, express or even do these things differently, but no matter if we are a single college student, have been married for years and years, have 10 kids, have no kids, have been divorced, or are wearing a habit, we are all God's beloved daughters. It's an inherent part of who we are. We all long to be loved and desired. And we all have that in common.

With that being said... it's so frustrating and so sad that so many of us (both single and married) don't feel like we can relate to one another! Didn't I just point out so many things that we DO have in common and we CAN relate on?!

When one of my closest friends who had been married for a bit and maybe had her first babe told me that she couldn't relate to me anymore, it stung. And I was hurt. This was one of my best friends! We had been through so much together! Now that she was married and living life differently, we had nothing in common anymore?!

After I thought about it and prayed more... I tried to see where she was coming from. Yes, it is hard on a day-to-day basis to relate to my married/mom friends. We can't always talk when we want. We can't always go out for a spontaneous evening. But, the same could be said for anyone. We are a busy generation. No matter if you are single or married. We have work and church commitments and volunteer things and and and.  It's not always easy to just do all the things we want to. Priorities change. It's part of life.

And I will admit, it IS hard sometimes to be the one that has to work around the schedule of my married/mom friends. I am the one who has the more flexible time. I get it. And really, it's fine for the most part. I want to see my friends... I want to talk to them... I want to be part of their lives. I want THEM to be part of mine.  Right now, it's a sacrifice that I am willing (sometimes slightly begrudgingly... only slightly. And only sometimes!) make.  Because, like we say all the time, who knows when I will have this chance again?

So what can we do to bridge the gap? Make the effort to talk. We have already established that we have a lot in common already. Add to that, we (most likely) have been friends for a while. We should have pleeeenty to relate to! Personally, I want to know what's going on with you (married/mom friends). I want to know when you are happy and sad and frustrated. I want to know what awesome new accomplishment your kiddo made! I want to know what cute and romantic thing your hubby did for you! You are my friend, and I still care about you.

As for me. Continue to love me just as I am. Don't tiptoe around talking about vocations and marriage and whatnot. I don't have a disease because I am still single! Those are the things that are on my heart! It's part of who I am right now. Acknowledge it. Listen to me. Give some advice when I ask for it. And maybe remember that time long ago before you were married, and how you felt. Even if it was just for a little bit, you were in my shoes at some point. It's not always the fun and games as you might think. I do desire, deep down,  and long for what you have. To be living out my vocation fully and completely.

I am not sure I offered much advice for either party here, but I really feel it has a lot to with effort. The singles and the marrieds need to make the effort to know what is going on in each other's lives. The more we ask, the more we know, and the more we can love and be compassionate towards one another!

Have something to say about this?! Linkup below! I would LOVE to hear from some married ladies on this topic! Don't be scurrrrred!

Next Week!
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!

7 Quick Takes (Vol: who the heck knows!)

~ 1 ~
So, I have been on an unintentional blog fast for the last week or so. Other than my "week in pics" posts (which is really mindless... as they are pictures, obviously), I haven't felt like writing anything. I have hardly even been reading any blogs, either. It's weird. I love blogging... and I love reading all the blogs, but lately I just can't. I guess God is asking me to take a little break.

~ 2 ~
On the same line, I feel like I have lost my voice on here. I am not really sure what I want to say anymore. I am worried of always sounding so negative or down. And that is not my desire. But, at the same time I want to be real. It's never fun when you don't feel like the blogs you are reading are not genuine. I want to write about one thing, and then another thing, and then... poof! Gone! Nothing sticks long enough to make it here. Ugh. It's frustrating. But, who really cares, ya know?! I keep reminding myself that this is MY blog. :)

~ 3 ~
And that is why am joining back with the 7QTs this week, due to my ADD blog problems.
Isn't this fun?!

~ 4 ~
I have finally begun planning for my SUMMER BREAK! Yes, because I HAVE ONE OF THOSE! :) I can't wait! It's filling up super fast. So many things! Visits to family, Steubenville Conference with the youth group, Savannah with NAS, back to the Jersey Shore after THREE years. 
Woot! It's gonna be a great summer!
There was a moment when I thought, "perfect! I can get a job and make some extra cash."
HA. I laugh at myself now. Traveling is wayyyyy more fun.

~ 5 ~
How is your Lent going? Mine?
Well... it's going ok. After NOT being prepared, I have finally come up with a few things that I am going to stop doing and start doing. So, there is that! Also, I went to confession this morning. Yet, another great one! If you haven't been yet, be sure to make plans and GO! Lent is the perfect time to get a little extra grace, make plans for changing bad habits and really preparing your heart and soul for closer communion with Jesus.

~ 6 ~
I just read this article about things NOT to say to single women. All of us single ladies can agree that we have heard everything on the list, in one way or another. It's very similar to Amanda's 'just don't say It: Singlehood' post. Man, it riles me up every time. 
Recently someone said to me, "Oh, honey. You don't want to get married! It's not all it's cracked up to be. Plus, you're so young, anyway! Take your time! Live your life!"
Um... no. Hush. Sorry your marriage ended (really, I am), but that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with me and MY desire to be married. Arg.
I'm done now.
People, I know it's out of love (most of the time) and you are trying to encourage us, but a hug and a "it sucks sometimes" on occasion is helpful. And to let us know that you are praying for us is always a plus! I pray for my married friends all of the time, praying for us singletons, too, is very much needed.
Ok, I am really done now.

~ 7 ~
I am really looking forward to reading a few books that are coming out this year! Jen's book, Something Other than God, will without a doubt be awesome. Eek!
I am also looking forward to Alreen Spenceley's book, Chastity is for Lovers: Single, Happy and (Still) a Virgin! She has some great insights on her blog, and I believe her book will be fab!
What books are you looking forward to?

Mmmmmmkay. I think I am finally done.
Thanks, Jen, for having me! Even if I am super sporadic on joining! :)
Go visit everyone else, who is, I'm sure, a more committed 7QTer than I!

A week (or 2) in Pics

I'm just gonna get right to the pics. :) I hope you all had a wonderful week and are ready for a new one! Hugs and blessings for all of you!

Zuz was SO excited to find the biggest "guck" in the store!

Such a beautiful family!
This was after the awesome Forgotten Broadway concert at our parish.

Savannah was dubbed "The south's most southern city" by Southern Living.
Perfect for our Not Alone Series girls weekend!!

Oh, just relaxing in a recliner, doing some reading.

Some days you just feel like drinking coffee out of a Nemo Tervis tumbler.
:)

CHEEEEEEESE!

#toknow #tolove #toserve
a little "bling" from my church.

Not many things are as adorable as a cute babe in a rain coat AND boots!

Ok, I thought the hospital was crazy with all the food and treats we had around...
then I became a school nurse. It's nuts.

AHHHH!
I love spontaneous weekends!! A good friend that I hadn't seen in YEARS came
down to visit!  Here, this is post ice cream :)

Here... is enjoying ourselves at a bar.
I just love my polka dot dress. :)

Sometimes, the prayer garden becomes the play garden.

Perfect way to end AND begin a new week.
Oh! And, happy March! I am not sure where the heck February went... and how Ash Wednesday/Lent crept up so quickly. But, it did. It's crazy. Mmmmkay. That is all. Bye!
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