And what a blessing to be able to share in watching this with the children. We've had some more quiet days at home. I've been recovering from a small bout of some stomach issues yesterday, thankfully not to the extent that the kids had it, and I hope it stays that way! I have been working on this blog post for days now. So I am determined to post it and finish tonight!
So I got a blogger award! Haha, well an "award" of being tagged by a new bloggy friend named Rosie at A Blog for my mom (who has twins with the same names as my girls and a 3yr old who can read and sing Gregorian chant, mind you!). I get to answer 10 questions she made up and write 5 things about myself that you may not know. Then I get to give the "award" away too!
Oh and just realized I got tagged by Housewife Spice for Five Things, too. Fun!
And this is taking me too long to complete. I've now gotten tagged by Rebekah for Five Things and the Liebster Award. My oh my, I feel so popular, thanks ladies!
Okay, first Rosie's questions...
1. If you had to choose only ONE animal (cow, pig, chicken, other) whose meat/products you could eat for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
Chicken, chicken, and chicken. I am a big fan of chicken...fried, roasted, baked, grilled, sauteed. It don't matter if it's black or white...I'll eat it! As a child I was one of the pickiest eaters who ever lived, and I remember my uncle telling me I was going to turn into a chicken since all I ate was fried chicken. (Seriously, I ate no fruits or vegetables. No meat other than Hartz Fried Chicken and McDonald's plain hamburgers, if you call that meat. And bacon. Who could live without bacon?)
2. What is your favorite article of clothing, the one you would seriously miss if it were gone?
Eh, I'm not that crazy about any of my clothes. Usually when I get something nice, it gets ruined by a child, so I don't get attached to many material things these days. I had just gotten a pretty lavender lacy sweater from my mom about a year ago, and my son cut it up with scissors. I have a pair of jeans from Target that I really like, my old Romika clogs that have lasted me about 15 years, and I recently bought two new pairs of comfy pajama pants at HEB (the grocery store) which I'd be sad to lose since I haven't gotten new pajamas in years!
3. What do you tell your kids about Santa/the Easter Bunny/the tooth fairy/other secular(ized) characters?
Well....when we were first married we were very idealistic. Had all these lovely visions of what our devout Catholic family would be like, all holy and otherworldly and stuff. I was flabbergasted when my friends started celebrating Halloween with their children! What? Let your kids dress up on the holiday of witches and goblins? But a few years down the road, when Mary Clare was about 3 and started figuring things out for herself (Kids get to knock on doors and are given CANDY? A jolly old St. Nick brings you gifts on Christmas morning?), we joined the Santa, Halloween, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy fan club. Our oldest isn't so sure about the characters anymore, and we do try to focus on the spiritual aspects of the holidays...saints, feast days, church history, etc.
4. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Maybe 10-12. About 3 pairs of clogs, boots, tennis shoes, a few flats, and some flip flops.
5. What is your favorite thing about where you live?
*Crickets.* No really, I can be pretty sarcastic about this city here in South Texas, but I do love living near the ocean. I also love that we are only a few hours from family, there is a great Catholic culture here, and my husband has a job that is really great for him.
6. How did you choose your children's names?
We knew our first daughter would have Mary as her first name. We debated a lot, I leaned towards Mary Elizabeth, but we thought it might be a mouthful. Steven just came home one day and said it should be Mary Clare. Steven, Blair, and Mary Clare...has a nice ring to it. I actually still struggled with it even after she was born, until one day a sweet older couple at daily mass heard her name and started crying. That had been their deceased daughter's name. We also had a friend who was a Religious Sister named Mary Clare, and later on a little friend was born named Mary Clare who sadly also left this world too early. So I'm at peace with her name now, although I do wish we would've given her a 2nd middle name.
Elizabeth Ann Marie got my other favorite name. My middle name is Elizabeth and one of my closest childhood friends is Elizabeth. The Visitation of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth is one of my favorites. The name wasn't Steven's favorite, so we compromised on the nickname Ellie. Elizabeth Ann Seton is my confirmation saint, so we added Ann, and we also wanted a form of Mary in her name. So she got a long one!
Steven Joseph, Jr. was called Peter for most of my pregnancy, once we found out he was a boy. Peter was Steven's favorite boy name, but we could never think of a middle name. A few days before he was born we started toying with the idea of changing the name, even though initially he didn't want to have a Junior as the first son (he thought it would be cool for the youngest son to be the Junior, but how do you know it's the last?). Steven loved the idea of throwing everyone off by changing it, and we decided we'd wait until he was born to decide. In Steven's mind, he thought a light-haired baby would be a Junior and a dark-haired baby would be Peter. You can see what we got! And yes, we did throw everyone off!
Thomas William is named after both his grandfathers. Steven's dad (and his brother) are Thomas, and my dad is William. Thomas has always been my favorite boy name and now we like having such great family names. I wonder if we'll ever have a Peter?
7. Can we all agree that it's obnoxious when parents make up new spellings for names? Like Madisyn and Abagayle and McKinzEe?
YES! While cleaning out the garage this weekend, I found lots of paperwork from my teaching days and had forgotten some interesting ones like Jessyka. I know there are some that are named with unique spellings because of a foreign heritage or other reason, but it really can be confusing. One of my dear friends has a Khloe' and a Sydne' and sometimes it's hard to remember the spellings, and the apostrophes! But I can't be judgmental because we do have Mary Clare spelled with the traditional saint spelling, even though Clare is usually spelled with an "i" in the U.S. And my name isn't necessarily the most traditional or easy to spell either (people often add an "e").
8. Have you watched Toddlers and Tiaras? Are you as intrigued by it as I am? Give me your thoughts, please.
Okay, now here's where you all start to learn a little bit too much about me. Yes, I've watched Toddlers and Tiaras. And yes, I'm a bit intrigued. But here's the thing. I was in pageants for a year or so when I was about 9 years old. It wasn't like the reality shows, but there are always those people who are over the top! It wasn't really my thing but I did enjoy, and often won, the talent portion. I was a pretty good tap dancer back in the day!
9. How many crucifixes/icons/saint statues do you have in your house? Do you wish you had more/less?
Oh, that's a hard one. Each room probably has 5-10 and I like it that way! Right now here our master bedroom we have, let's see...a Mary vase (used to be Our Lady of the Toothbrushes), Our Lady of the Angels image, a Mary statue, a pewter crucifix, an crucifix icon, and a Holy Family icon. Our master bath has a beautiful image of Mary holding Jesus (Our Lady of the Streets) that I love to stare at while I shower, a pewter cross, a mini Mary statue with votive candle, and prints of Christ and a church in the toilet area. So yeah, 5 in each of those. Our living room holds the most, since it also has a little altar area with a ton of sacramentals. There's no question we're a Catholic family when anyone comes into our house!
10. What is one thing about your life right now that makes you ecstatically happy?
I love our new house! We just moved here in December and it has all the things we really wanted...on a cul-de-sac, a large backyard, awesome patio, big master bath with garden tub, white kitchen with granite, wood laminate floors, and a 5th bedroom to house our guests. It's really pretty and makes me happy :)
Okay now for Rebekah's questions...
1. What is your very first memory, even one people deny you can actually remember?
I remember a fear of stairways, both in my first house and the one I moved to when I was two. I didn't really have a fear of heights as a child (now I do), but I was always worried about someone climbing over the banisters or falling through the slats. I still have nightmares about being sucked off the side of a stairway, and many times in the dream it's the stairwell in my elementary school. Weird!
2. What is a talent of yours you feel others underestimate?
Like I said above, I was actually a really good tap dancer back in the day. Maybe one day I'll tap again. I wonder if I still have shoes that fit me at my parents' house?
3. What fictional character would you like to spend an afternoon with?
4. Kirk or Picard?
Had to Google this. Not a trekkie, sorry! I'm sure my dad has an opinion. He was always a Star Trek fan.
5. What song can you not stop listening to right now?
I'm into Nature Radio on Pandora for getting kids to sleep. And I'm having fun watching Lennon and Maisy videos on YouTube. They're such cute singing sisters! I think this is my favorite:
6. What day in your past would you like to relive?
The day we met the Holy Father John Paul II for the "Sposi Novelli" newlywed blessing in Rome at his Wednesday Audience on January 2, 2002. You can't really top that.
7. When you were little, what did you enjoy telling people that you wanted to be when you grew up?
Pretty sure I always wanted to be a mom of a dozen kids or so. And a teacher. Not sure about the dozen kids, but I'm teaching 4 of them at home, so I think I'm living the dream :)
8. What advice would you give yourself as a first time mother?
Lighten up. Don't take your ideals too seriously. Many parenting decisions don't need to be moral dilemmas.
9. What is your most looked forward to moment of the day?
Probably when all the kids are asleep and I finally have some quiet time to myself to reflect, write, and decompress while reading Facebook and blogs.
10. Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Haha, I don't think my life is interesting enough for a movie. I honestly can't think of any famous person, but my eldest daughter definitely resembles me the most, so I guess it could be Mary Clare!
Okay, now I'm going to cheat. It has taken me so long to answer those, and I realized I've already written out a "25 Random Things about Me" post, so I'll link that instead of adding my Five Things. There's also "10 Facts About Me and my Better Half" if you haven't gotten enough Blair for today!
Okay, now who to tag who hasn't gotten chosen yet, a Catholic blogger with less than 200 followers? I'll start with a few of my "old" blogging friends from real life...Andrea at His Will, My Peace, Julia at Mama Jules, and Terri at Loaves and Fishes. And how about Michaela at California to Korea, and Kendra at Catholic All Year, whose blogs I just started following!
Oh and here are some questions if you want to play along!
1. If you could pack up your family and go anywhere in the Continental U.S. right now, where would you go?
2. Have you traveled overseas? Where?
3. Where were you when you found out about our new Holy Father? How did you celebrate?
4. What's your favorite thing about your home parish?
5. What's your favorite subject to teach or share with your children?
6. What was your favorite TV show as a child?
7. Who was your confirmation saint?
8. Do you have any musical talents?
9. What's your least favorite household chore?
10. If you weren't a mom, what would you be?
Whoa. If you've made it through that long post, wow. Thanks for being bloggy-friends!