Pics and Clicks

I am tired. So tired, in fact, probably after I publish this post I will go to sleep. Which could very well be by 8:30. PM.

Who am I?

Does this happen to everyone when they reach their 30s?

So, b/c my brain is mush... you are getting some pics! And some things around the interwebs that I have found interesting/funny/entertaining/etc. I don't usually do that, but hey! It might be fun!

I need to get more cherries. I ate these suckers in a DAY. A day.

My people! They finally got home! :)

And then sweet Zuz got sick... and had so many cuddles in her!

Don't you always take some selfies with the Pope?!

I spent quite a bit of time with Zuz this week... and I can't say I minded. :)

Casual Fridays and friends who let you use their cup b/c yours was leaking!


Don't you have little friends who show up for "frotty meelk" making?!

  • If you are part of the NAS FB group, then you probably already read this article, but if not, then there you go! I am proud of that girl for sticking to her morals and faith, and then sharing it with the world!! So cool... also, I hope they share pics of their wedding! :)
  • Jenny shared this post by Ashley (who I don't know or follow, but maybe I'll start!) who talks about ways to support bloggers/friends. I always get SO excited when someone leaves a comment, or tweets a post or something (although I'm horrible at letting you guys know that... please forgive me. I am working on it!), and really need to do that more often. I sometimes feel like those comments and tweets I do for others gets lost and unseen, but what about all of my blog friends who don't have a huge following?! They still want some love! Anyway, I strive to be better!
  • This one from Nell also has some good ideas, too!
  • Need some good laughs and mindless entertainment?! Watch the Jim Gaffigan Show! DANGIT! I was gonna link to the episode... b/c it was FREE, but it's not anymore. Boooo! I am sorry about that! It starts soon on TV Land.

And, that's about all I've got for you. It's the LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL!!!!! Praise the Lord. Seriously. I hope you all have such an awesome week!

Prayers and hugs,

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Momma's Birthday Surprise!

Jumping for joy that I surprised her! ;)
Photo by Hunter Johnson

Well, if you follow me on the 'gram or Twitters.... then you know I was a bit sneaky a couple weekends ago and and flew out to Minneapolis to surprise my momma for her 60th birthday!! We had a great weekend and I wanted to capture it here... and share some pics from our fun photo shoot!

You like my very casual look, don't you?!

Gettin' fancy for the photo shoot!

I could sit and look at these pics all of the time!

We had so much fun, even though we had no idea what we were doing! The moments that were captured were just so perfect and authentic. After having a wonderful Mother's Day weekend (which I neglected to blog about) here (in Naples) where we were able to really catch up and reconnect.... it was nice to see her again so soon. To reinforce the things we want to be better at in our relationship. No one ever told me that one of the hardest and best relationships that I would have to constantly work on would be one with my Momma. But, such is the case for us. I am proud of us, and I am proud that this woman is my mom. She has helped me and encouraged me to be the best person I can be.

I love you so much, Mom! :)

We ended the great day with a very yummy dinner at an unassuming restaurant in St. Paul! So good!

The rest of the weekend, we hung out and visited people. Basically just soaked up as much time together before I had to leave the next day. :)

I am so happy I was able to spend your birthday with you, Mom!! I love you very much!

All prof photos: Hunter Johnson
My dress: Loft
My white jacket: My mom- she's had it forever, no tag
Mom's dress: Target
Mom's white jacket- also no idea!
*we didn't plan on the white jackets, it just happened to work on that way! I love it.

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NAS: Holy Spirit

Hello! Did you think I forgot about you, Not Alone Series ladies?! Well, I did not... I think about you quite often, actually, but I just haven't been around these parts.

But, today! Here I am! :) :)

And the prompt...

Holy Spirit!

What ever the Spirit leads (!) you to write about Him... please do! :) :)

Me? Oh, I love love LOVE me some Holy Spirit.

It's what puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step.

I didn't know I would love the Holy Spirit so much, but when I was in college and went through the Life in the Spirit Seminar... I knew He was for me. The many gifts and fruits he gives people... and He gives me. I may not know fully those gifts, still, but thankfully our Lord is ever, ever patient!

I feel His presence the most when I am singing and praising, but I have found that He pops up in the little moments, as well- convos with friends, a moment of inspiration, the right words at the right time, the striking beauty of a sunset, etc.

So, you can imagine how exciting Pentecost is for me! It is allllll about the Holy Spirit!


But, at Mass, I was all sorts of... off. And it really bummed me out. My sweet Goddaughter was sick. I still hadn't gotten to the things I wanted/needed to do. Feeling disconnected from friends. Hadn't talked to my momma for the whole weekend!

I was distracted. I forgot to distribute the Eucharist to people. I almost dropped the host at one point. I had an awkward exchange with a woman who didn't know if she wanted to receive on the tongue or hand. People STILL don't know how to pass the baskets during the collection.

And all of a sudden Mass was over and I missed it. The Holy Spirit! The Eucharist! Wait! Where did you go?!

And then it hit me as I drove home.

He was there. Even in those moments when you don't feel Him... He is there. Always and forever.

In the end the people did receive the Eucharist. The money was collected. The grace was still off the charts and the Holy Spirit was swooping in.

Making up for the things I was lacking. Filling in the gaps.

Thank the sweet Lord for that, because, let's be honest... there are many gaps that need to be filled!

I am forever grateful for the Holy Spirit and the joy He brings me. Especially in those moments when I don't feel His presence. I know he is there. I know he loves me.

And he loves you, too! :)

What are your thoughts about the Holy Spirit?! Link up below!

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With Love

I really love today's Gospel reading.

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: `Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.” And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:17-27

Not because it's an obvious feel-good scripture passage or anything.

It's because it speaks straight to my heart. Every time I hear/read it.

Sometimes I, as we all do, get distracted by life and lose sight of God. Just as the young, rich man was living his life, I am sure that I am checking off all the things from my "To be a Good Catholic" checklist- Sunday Mass, confession, reading the bible, etc. But, how easy to forget the end goal. How easy we get caught up in everything else, but forgetting to get caught up with God himself.

The young, rich man walked away from Jesus, missing the point. Missing that He loves him. The opportunity to receive God's love in such a tangible way- to BE with him, in the flesh. He walked away sad because he had so much he would have to give up, not realizing how much he would gain. The joy that His love would bring his life.

I love this reading because it forces me to stop and really think about God. My time with him. It helps me reevaluate the choices I am making.... will this help me to focus on Jesus, or pull me away? Will this help me to be a better version of myself? Am I serving others?

It's a constant choice... to look to God, instead of trying to figure out all the things.

Today, I pray that I (and you!) are reminded that Jesus looks upon you with love, always. And my desire to not miss those moments when God is asking me to be with him. That with Him, their is great, wonderful and awesome joy!

To be this joyful about God's love, huh?!

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CWJ- Vol 2! Dunkin Donuts and a shout out to YOU, Single Ladies!

Oh, hey!! :)

Here I am trying again with this vlogging thing. If you have about 12 (eep!) minutes, grab some coffee and join me!

One day I will figure out how to get some more flattering thumbnails. Any ideas on how to make that happen?

Have such a wonderful weekend! I hope most of you have THREE DAYS to enjoy! :) And, of course... don't forget to pray for all of the men and women who have served, currently serve or sacrificed their lives for our country! May God bless all of them AND their families.

Blessings and love,
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NAS: Gratefulness

HIIIIII! I miss you, ladies.

I know I say that all the time... but it's true.

I am sorry I have not been writing these prompts... just giving them to you. It's not what I want. And, it's not who I want to be for you. :(

But. Life. It's cuh-ray-zee sometimes.

Btw... THANK YOU for all of you who watched my silly vlog! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. It truly means a lot. :) :) :) It was fun... it's challenging for me, so I would like to continue. We shall see!


Niki gave us this great suggestion on gratefulness:

How do you encourage gratitude in your life when things aren't going your way? How do you reduce the complaining and self-pity? Does it make a difference in your attitude and overall perspective?

Share with us and link-up below!!!

Good Reads
What books, articles, devotionals, blogs, etc have you been reading, loving and being encouraged by?! Or even, movies, videos, podcasts? Share with us so that we may be inspired, too!

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Coffee with Jen {Vol 1}

I'm trying something new... and I have no idea what I am doing. :)

I am trying out vlogging.

It's been on my heart to try this, so today was the day! If you want to hear my ramble on and on for about 10 minutes, please enjoy this video. If not, I don't blame you.

I wish I could have coffee with you ladies ALL OF THE TIME. So, I thought I'd bring that to you. I will be sharing anything... just like this blog. Things that I would love to chat with you about in person.

Who knows how many of these I will do, or how often I will post. And after today, editing and trying to upload your very (veryveryvery) basic video, I might never do it again.

Technology... you are annoying.

Without further ado, your first installment of Coffee with Jen:

Let me know what you think!!

**Edited in later after watching this over and over...

Note to self for future blogs:

  • Work on NOT saying "um"- it's distracting
  • You over use the word "amazing"
  • Make an outline of things you want to actually say
  • Do your hair next time
  • Realize the mic on the computer pics up quite a bit of noise (like the beeping from the coffee maker)
  • Don't make a video that's 10 minutes... it's too long!
If you have any of suggestions on ways I can improve (without actually saying, EVERYTHING), please let me know. Seriously! I really enjoyed doing this. I want it to be more natural and hope it gets easier to edit and such later. So it doesn't always look like a 5 year old cut and pasted it together! :) :)

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