The Triduum + Easter Weekend

We had a packed schedule the last few days for the Triduum and Easter. I love this season of the Church because it truly encompasses in itself the mystery of what Jesus did for us. In Lent we are called to die to the desires of our flesh so that we can receive new life at Easter, figuratively speaking of course. The solemn and still darkness of the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) are some of the most intriguing days of the year for me, mainly because it is during this time that the world stands still in anticipation of the Passion, death and Resurrection. The darkness must occur for the light to shine afterwards, and this short liturgical season never fails to remind me of that simple but powerful Truth.

HOLY THURSDAY

We didn't do anything too special on this day, except for read the story of the Last Supper from Kolbe's Children's bible while we ate dinner. I'd love to add some more Holy Thursday traditions, maybe recreating the Last Supper here at home or something along those lines. But this year, we kept it low key.

GOOD FRIDAY

One of our family's traditions for Good Friday is the Walk of the Nine Churches in uptown and downtown New Orleans. I've been partaking in this walk for the past 13 years missing only one year because it was around Kolbe's due date. There are so many beautiful and ornate Catholic churches in New Orleans, which makes it easy to walk from one to the other starting uptown and ending at St. Louis Cathedral downtown. Our group of 20 or so people usually stops and prays one or two stations of the cross at each church and then we regroup and continue to the next one. This year we took both of our littles to experience the walk, and although this is Kolbe's third time doing it, this is the first time he really experienced it. It was one of the best Good Fridays I have had in years, spiritually speaking, since Matt and I spent most of the day explaining to Kolbe the story of Jesus' passion and death. It allowed me to recall all of the details and events in such great detail because of Kolbe's inquisitive personality, and for that I am so grateful. 

We only did about six churches this year because the kids had reached their limit, so after we were done, we hopped on the streetcar (their first ride--they loved it!) that took us back to our car. It was a beautiful and holy Good Friday indeed.

*Sidenote* I'm just going to brag on my girl a little here and say that she is SUCH a peaceful baby....We waited for an emtpy streetcar for over 30 minutes, rode it for another 20 + the 10 minute walk back to the car and I never heard a peep from her. Seriously, not one. She's the mellowest, which clearly she gets from her dad ;)

HOLY SATURDAY

On Holy Saturday we joined Matt's extended family for a family reunion and to celebrate his grandpa's 90th birthday. What an awesome feat! 

Later that night, we had a family movie night and watched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe with Kolbe. To say he loved it is an understatement! Although the plot line and language were a bit advanced for him, he loved all of the action and adventure, animals, and magic. It was a great tool to help explain the story of Jesus' sacrifice to Kolbe in terms he could more easily understand. 

"Aslan is on the Move" =)

EASTER SUNDAY

After enjoying a breakfast of eggs, bacon, fruit, and coffee (for me!), we headed to Easter mass. 

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...and then we headed to City Park in New Orleans for a family picnic. We had a blast, and enjoyed some delicious food. Unfortunately the rain came a little early and forced us to leave but not before the kids enjoyed a mini Easter egg hunt!

I hope you all had a happy and blessed Easter weekend! 

Fresh Lunches {Healthy Taco Bowl}

Between the hours of 11:30am and 12:30pm, you can usually find me running around the kitchen trying to get a creative lunch together for Kolbe, sometimes while nursing Annabelle, and eventually eating lunch myself after the littles are fed and happy. 

Even though my early afternoons are busy, I still strive to nourish myself the best way I can so that I can have enough energy to take on the rest of the day. There's a great many things that I skimp on in life, however, a meal is not one of them. I have never been and probably will never be one of those people that "forgets" to eat no matter how busy I am. Food is just too good to me to pass up and I enjoy planning out my meals the night before so that I'm not caught in a pinch when I'm distracted or in a hurry. 

With that said, here is one of my more recent lunches. I've been craving Mexican food lately, so I took it upon myself to make a healthy lunch with a Mexican flare. It is very delicious and not to mention quite filling! 

This is not so much a recipe, but rather a method. Just pile all of the ingredients on a bed of butter lettuce (my favorite!) and add whatever else you might fancy. 

Healthy Taco Bowl

Serves 1

  • Handful of butter lettuce (or lettuce of choice)
  • Ground beef (preferably Grassfed) browned with spices of your choice. I used fresh lime juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Grated Colbly Jack cheese
  • Fresh Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream or Plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • Sliced black olives

Pile ingredients on lettuce and enjoy! 

 

 

 

Annabelle's Baptism

I'm only two months late in blogging about this but better late than never right? Sweet Annabelle was baptized on the feast of Saint Lucy, which is one of her patron saints. It comes with a cool story actually. Way back in the summer when we were solidifying our name choices, I was still on the fence about Lucy for a middle name but Matt was already 100% sold that Lucy would be it. I finally hesitantly gave in -- its not that I don't like Lucy (I love it), its just that I wasn't quite ready to write it on paper and make it official -- so I wrote Annabelle Lucy on her baptismal papers. December 13th was the date we picked based on everyone's schedules and I decided to go look at the Catholic calendar to see if it fell on any cool Saints feast days and, lo and behold, its the feast of Saint Lucy! What a great confirmation right?  Of course Matt took that very clear sign and ran with it so it became set in stone that her name would be Annabelle Lucy from that day on. It looks like I'll get to name our next kid ;)

Sadly that was the best picture I got of her all day because I completely forgot to take my camera out, but I have vowed to take better Baptismal pictures of the rest of our kids because I'm so sad that this is all we have. 

The beauty of the sacrament thankfully still resonates in my memory. Our dear friends Steve and Beth are Annabelle's godparents and she is one lucky lady for having them. We were also privileged to have our family friend, Father Kyle, come and do the baptism. I loved that he had us start the Baptismal ceremony in the back of the church and make our way towards the Baptismal font while touching upon each symbolic element that would ensue. 

One of my favorite parts of the Rite of Baptism is when the priest chants the Litany of Saints and the congregation responds with "Pray for us." Its such a simple yet beautiful display of the power of asking the saints in heaven for their intercession.  Father Kyle included some of our family's favorite Saints in the litany: St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. John Bosco, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. Maria Goretti, St. Gianna, St. Joseph, and of course, Saints Anne and Lucy. 

Our parish was lucky enough to have a relic of Our Lady of Guadalupe installed right behind the baptismal font that week. A true blessing indeed.

Also, the lighting in the church is horrible. I cringe just looking at the terrible shadows in these pictures! 

After the Baptism, we did what every Catholic does after a Sacrament, we partied =) 

Our friend and go to cake master, Ms. Julie, made a delicious spice cake for the occasion. We decorated with a simple banner and flowers and kept the party small with just a few family and friends to celebrate. 

Annabelle with her fan club =)

I will never forget the day that our sweet Annabelle Lucy entered the Church. Praise God for the Sacraments!

 

Annabelle {3 Months Old}

This little lady is three months old today!

I don't even remember life without her. It feels like she's always been part of our family. Our lives changed so drastically when Kolbe was born that I often had to remind myself that we weren't giving him back to anyone (ha!), but with Annabelle, it was like she just smoothly assimilated to the lives we were already living. Her presence has been so freeing and good for my soul.

You see, I had a rather hard time when Kolbe was a tiny newborn and still in the fourth trimester. He had reflux, so he never slept....like ever (i.e: woke up every 30-90 minutes through the night), my hormones caused an emotional roller coaster like no other that had me crying all the time, not to mention Kolbe's struggles with learning how to latch, and never taking a pacifier (which made ME his pacifier 24/7). Matt and I were zombies for the first 6 months of Kolbe's life and it seemed like we were doing everything wrong. He was by no means an "easy baby," yet very much still a good baby as all babies are a gift. Like everything does, the hard times passed and we (slowwwwly) made it out of the newborn fog not unscathed but alive. Now I look back on that time (that I mostly blocked out of my memory haha) and thank God for allowing Matt and I to experience those struggles. That time was like the dark night of my soul and I am a much better person because of it.  God stretched me and took me to a level of self sacrifice that I never knew existed. Truly the meaning of "this is my body and I give it up for you." 

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Now I tell you all this because right before sweet Annabelle was born, I was literally dreading the first three months of her life (or as some call it, the fourth trimester) because of how hard Kolbe's first three months were. I had resigned myself to "just getting through it" and then I could enjoy her once we got past the roughness. Just typing that out seems so ridiculous now! God in His infinite goodness was very aware of the desires of my heart because Annabelle's first three months have been blissfully sweet and good to us. All of my fears melted away as the weeks after her birth went by and she remained as sweet as pie. She is what some would consider an "easy baby" and my heart feels so free. I feel like I'm swimming with the tide rather than swimming against it and desperately trying to come up for air. Maybe its the fact that I'm a second time mom and a little more confident, maybe its her easy going ways, or the fact that I now know what things we want to do differently with her vs. what we did with Kolbe (sorry dude), or maybe its a combination of all three. Regardless, thank you Jesus for the gift. 

In honor of her 3 months of life, here are 10 things about Annabelle that bring a smile to my face every day:

1) She wakes up happy every single time. Its so endearing. Wether she's been sleeping for 20 minutes or a few hours, as soon as I go get her she gives the biggest smile. 

2) Speaking of smiles, hers are bashful and ever so cute. She smiles and turns her head as if she's blushing.

3). I've never had so much fun dressing another person in my life!

4) She sleeps. A lot. As in I was more tired and sleep deprived when I was pregnant with her than with her on this side of the womb. I'm 100% aware of how amazing this is and also that it could change any minute. But for now, we roll with it.

5) Cute baby mohawk alert =)

6) I love when Kolbe makes her smile and delights in her.

7) She had been a champ nurser from day 1, which was like a balm to my soul.

8) We love how she stares at us with such curiosity. 

9) She makes a little squeak noise out of protest as soon as she is left alone (and awake) in a room. Maybe she's going to be a little extroverted baby?

10) On the other hand, she is quite laid back and goes with the flow so seamlessly. Matt is rooting for a fellow phlegmatic temperament to emerge from her since Kolbe and I are the exact opposite (K is melancholic, I'm choleric). If you're not familiar with temperaments, read about them here! -- I'm a little obsessed.

Annabelle at 1 week and at 3 months:


I spent the day today reflecting on how happy my two littles make me. My heart is full =)