Catholicism: Empowering Women for 2000 Years (Part I: The Blessed Virgin Mary)

This is a series that I’ve been thinking about for months, but have been hesitant to dive into. Women and Catholicism is a hot button issue in so many circles. Story after story comes up on my news feed about how the Church oppresses women, discourages women’s rights, and promotes inequality between the sexes. According to media portrayals, the Church is stuck in the dark ages. “If only this … [Read more...]

Little HolyDays: First Advent

Something from the archives today. I wrote this little reflection soon after Benjamin was born. It feels appropriate especially since I'm expecting during Advent again. Don't forget to link up with Little HolyDays with your old and new posts for this second week of Advent (Link Up at the bottom of the page)! I was huge. Not just big—gigantic. Even before I entered my third trimester, … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Mary (from a 3-year-old)

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It's a birthday weekend at our house. My father-in-law's birthday was yesterday and I get to share a birthday (27!) with Our Lady today. When Benjamin heard that we would be celebrating Mary's birthday, he asked to make her a card. "Blue paper because she loves blue. And a pink cake with candles on the front." Blue and pink, Our Lady's colors of faithfulness and love. Here's what he asked me … [Read more...]

A Mother’s Love, A Mother’s Fear

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It was the night that we brought our firstborn home from the hospital and I was crying like my heart would break. I had a wonderful natural birth, no complications, and a beautiful healthy baby boy. Everything was perfect. Then a storm rolled in. Not a soothing rainstorm, one of those eerie, harsh Texas storms that turn the sky an odd, unsettling color. Our front door was blown open with a bang … [Read more...]

A Trip to the Ancient City

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Last weekend my husband swept me away for a weekend in St. Augustine to celebrate our sixth anniversary (we went there for our honeymoon). After a scramble to pack with two little ones underfoot (note to self: next time pack when they’re sleeping) including tears when I couldn’t figure out how to fold up the maddening pack n’play (why do they make them so impossible?), we were off with this … [Read more...]

Getting to Know Mary (And a GIVEAWAY from Trendy Traditions! NOW CLOSED)

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Daniel and I both agree that getting to know the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the most grace-filled aspects of our conversion to Catholicism. It was not so long ago that the idea was absolutely unfamiliar to me. I grew up in the Protestant tradition which, in my experience, completely ignored the Mother of God except during Christmas time when we were sure to mention that she was “just a regular … [Read more...]

The Cover of TIME and the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ok, so I promised I wouldn’t talk about sex for awhile after my two-part ramble on contraception, etc. But then I saw this TIME cover: You guys know that I’m a huge supporter of breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding is not a sexual act. Breasts are not merely sexual. Breastfeeding in public IS NOT immodest. So, why does this image look so sexual? Some might claim that nursing is an … [Read more...]

Why I Breastfeed in Public: The Blessed Virgin Mary Does It!

There was an uproar recently when a women was kicked out of a church for nursing her child in the service and the pastor compared her public breastfeeding to a stripper performing.  What?! I know. Insanity. A blog I read posted the news article on FB and a commenter expressed her view that nursing in church was very inappropriate and that the mother was wrong to do so. She went on to say that she … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Nurture Positive Body Image for Your Daughter

  I’m not an expert. My daughter’s a baby and whether she’ll turn out to have a positive body image is yet to be seen. But, I’ve learned a few things about the challenge of nurturing a positive body image over the past two and a half decades from growing up as a girl in our weight-obsessed culture, watching my mother thoughtfully and intentionally raise me, and as a ballet teacher seeing … [Read more...]

First Advent: Repost

This is a repost from last year of a piece I wrote for our beloved Landing Literary Society in Waco about what pregnancy taught me about Advent and I'm thinking of sweet friends who are expecting this year during the Advent season (hi, Jen, Jeni, and Emily!) ---------------------------------- I was huge. Not just big—gigantic. Even before I entered my third trimester, well-intentioned old … [Read more...]