Hi all. Sorry for the slightly depressing debbie-downer last post! It happens sometimes.;) Onward and upward, yo. (I’m channeling Randy Jackson here, in case anyone cares.)
1. Yea, Verily!
I have to say I’m a little excited about this first quick take. A hip sister of a friend of a friend (follow that one) is helping to launch a new magazine, Verily, in the great NYC in an attempt to change the conversation about relationships, fashion, career, fitness, etc…all with an eye to the “truth” about these things. So important! If I have to look away from one more woman’s magazine because the cover scripts for the enclosed articles are flat-out embarrassing, I’m going to scream. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was something out there that could potentially be a source of encouragement rather that telling lies? I don’t think the magazine is Catholic or christian per say, but after a glance at some of the free online flagship issue (see the main page), there are some really good messages in there. For example, in the relationship section there is a simplified explanation on the “feeling” of love, and the need to later “choose” love in order for any marriage to survive — I mean, where do we hear that now really except for in the Church and from our grandmothers? I think anything that would cause women to challenge a lot of the gar-bage` (the french way of saying garbage. Not really, but whatever) that is being taught through the constant bombardment of stick-creature models on billboards and in media would be refreshing. Just my own personal opinion. You can see this on the link above, but here’s a snippet from their mission statement:
“It is no secret that women today are more educated, influential, and affluent than ever before. Yet we report record levels of anxiety and decreased happiness. Is this what we were striving for?
In a world that seems to offer us limitless choices, somehow the modern narrative about women – what we should look like, how we should date, how to be successful, what should make us happy – can ring hollow. So Verily is starting a new conversation – one for those who want a fresh take on life; an honest message that relates to their experiences which is uplifting, affirming, and true.”
Again, there are bound to be things in it that are “off” somehow, but hooray for something that is trying to change the conversation. I really hope they make it, and I may even subscribe I’ve decided. Young women…ok, women full stop…need more truth than Cosmo’ and Vogue can produce. Here, here!
2. A Very Important Birthday
I may have written about my friend Kat before, but I especially want to write today so that you all can be lifting her, her husband, and her family up in prayer over the next few days. A few years ago, they lost their second child, Lucy, shortly after birth to a neural tube defect. They had known about it, carried Lucy to term cherishing every moment possible with their daughter, and then said goodbye. They went on to have two more healthy little girls. However, though this condition is incredibly rare, this young family, has been asked to carry the same cross again, and on June 12, they will welcome another daughter into the world with acrania. You can see her latest post on Building Cathedrals here. Please, will you pray for Kat and her family over the next several days? I would just love to shower them prayer and hope that God will grant them all the graces possible during this painful time.
In addition, just one more request? Friends that have set up a fund site to help them with the costs incurred with the associated medical and future burial costs. If you feel so called, the link to donate is here. Thank you!
3. House hunting?
This is really amazing. I will have y’all know that I have been married eight months (!). This number is so bizzare to me. Incidentally, I think I have already said this at month seven, but its so true. Weird! Anyway…equally weird is that at this time last year we had flown out to Las Vegas to look for a home to rent so Mac could start work before the wedding, so actually our lease is going to be up in another short two months. This has necessitated the “what are we going to do” conversation, which is always slightly stressful, but kind-of-sort-of-necessary. At the end of the day, one thing has been made clear…at least in the near -to-mid term, we are not leaving Nevada (despite my somewhat hopeful and repeated suggestions “Texas?”, “How about the Carolinas?”, “Atlanta?”, “Nashville?”, “Anywhere with trees?”), so its time to see what God has in store here. Onward and upward.
We have debated asking for a transfer to Mac’ to Reno/Tahoe, since that was were we were originally supposed to go (you know, before we were sent to Death Valley), since there are real trees there, since they get seasons (a high selling point in my book!), we both love to ski, and since it is drivable to ubber cool foodie places like San Fransisco and the like. But we’re not sure if its possible and in any case it’s kind of a big move (8-9 hrs away), and though its been eight months, the adjustment process to flat out being married is still ongoing (blissfully, don’t get me wrong. I love me my Mac’). I don’t know if we should restart the major-life-change clock yet again so soon, regardless of my complaints.
So that leaves…well…here. Good ol’ Vegas, where the lights sparkle a little too brightly and wearing feathers is normal. And within this, there are three options (I know I’m taking you down the rabbit hole of options that you may or may not care about, so just skip to the next quick takes if you are bored. I won’t hold it against ya.) First, we of course have the option of just staying put — we love our house and little yard in the suburb of Summerlin, and its been a good first home to us. This is of course the least painful option, in that I don’t have to pack the house up in the middle of 500 degree weather. But (BUT!) one of the hardest adjustments of being in this city, and our location particularly, is how far away all the Catholic churches are. We just would like to be a bit closer. We both crave it, and its a pretty big reason to rock the boat a little on location. I’m pretty certain I would be at least a wee bit happier closer to a church.
So…the second, least painful, Vegas option was to move about further north into Summerlin where there is a great church, with a brand new Blessed Sacrament Chapel (it is gorgeous and soooo peaceful. Very good for my heart!)…plus it’s close to one of my ballet schools and our favorite coffee shop (clearly, I have written in order of priority). The area is newer, with a lot of amenities, but you can still find a good “value” house to rent. The third option is to move to a completely different part of town, into the city of Henderson, which also has an amazing and growing church (it was started by the priest brother of the Gordon family whom I adore so much) — God is doing amazing things there, and there’s a strong sense of community every time we go. Henderson itself is much more established, the home of my cousin and her family…but also really far away from all the “stuff” that has been comforting thus far…both of my ballet schools, some of the shops I know/like, etc.
I don’t know exactly what we are going to do yet, but in a huge surprise trump card, Mac’s elderly Great Aunt (the only other family here) announced a few days ago — unprompted — that she was moving. Just like that. I just love spunky elderly folks.:) This wouldn’t be remarkable to you except for the fact that though she lives a bit far away relatively, we’ve been trying to spend a time with her during the week, which can sometimes be logistically difficult. We had even tried a few months ago to see if she wanted to find a senior community that was closer to us at some point, but she refused, insisting that she loved her location and wasn’t interested in leaving. Spunk, my friends. And that was that.
But where is she determined to move now? Henderson…right near the church and in the same area that we had been considering. SO…we’ll see. We need to pray more about all of this, but it seems like we may be moving again this summer. Phew.
4. And speaking of houses…
I’m officially selling my condo in Virginia. This is soooooooo bittersweet for me. I worked really hard to save up for the downpayment, loved the location, and had planned on staying there…well for a long while. Even after I met and married Mac and we moved, there was still the hope that we would come back to Virginia to live there eventually. And maybe we will come back to Virginia, but as Mac’ reminds me, it would most likely be too small a place for us at that point, so we probably wouldn’t live there anyway. Plus there’s the current financial suck on our funds, even with a renter.
…Still, there is such an emotional attachment to it in some ways! It was really my first home of my own. Sigh.
Oh well, life rolls on, right! While not as nearly as important as some of the other prayer requests here, if you could just pray that this whole process goes smoothly, that would be great. Now that we’ve moved forward with the decision, part of me just wants it done with as quickly as possible!
5. BBQ Recipes at their best
Last weekend we decided to invite all the couples and families we had met thus far here over for an evening BBQ. I have to say, planning a menu for a summer BBQ takes the cake over other casual events — there’s so much room for color and fresh ingredients and actually eating healthy. And then there’s my version which takes all the healthy out and adds butter and sour cream and other things, but we won’t talk about that right now. I promise it was all mostly healthy.;) I tried a few new recipes of my own (various aioli recipes for burgers, and different types of fresh lemonade will be for a future post!), and then tried a few out of the May and June editions of the Better Homes and Gardens and Bon Appetite mag’s. Definite keepers were Pineapple and Black-Bean Guacamole and the Lemonade Buttercream Frosting(scroll down to the bottom of the cake recipe), which I used on vanilla cupcakes that I had in the freezer from a previous baking fest. In any case, at this point I’m always looking for other warm weather recipes, so if you have any favorites, send them my way!:)
6. Breaking Pointe
(Thanks Mom for tuning me in to this one!) The CW has a mini-series on Ballet West (based in Salt Lake, and one of the better companies in the U.S.) and of course I’m obsessed. Actually, only partially. Half-obsessed. Basically, anytime they are filming a company class or rehearsal or talking about the actual dance world, I’m mesmerized. But the other half hour that is taken up by reality show who-is-with-who-and-what-happens-outside-of-the-studio I could do without and/or could care less. (In my head I think I distinctly want to say, ”Stop whining! More dancing minions!”). Call me a purist like that.;) Anyway, in the event you want to see some snippets of really talented dancers, you can watch some of the episodes (or even just a really cool trailer that doesn’t have any drama) here.
7. A Serta for One and All
Because of the BBQ we ended up in Sam’s Club (which is sometimes like a black hole and very unpractical — who needs that much olive oil or grapes at once in a household of two, even if it is cheaper technically? — and yet sometimes perfect for things like BBQs). While we were shopping, we came across this. A Serta. For dogs. And since we are ridiculous, we naturally bought it. We aren’t sure now if he actually likes it, but at least the first night, this was the result of it being deposited into “his” spot.