Our Nuptial Mass Beats

Or more appropriately, hymns. 

There were a lot of reasons we wanted April 2nd as our wedding date. April is a cheaper wedding date, doing things on the 2nd had kind of become our thing, and we really wanted the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir to sing at our wedding. When planning our wedding, I wanted the Sacrament and our Mass to be the focal point of the day. I didn't care about a limo, an iTunes playlist and YouTube made for our reception music, my friend generously did the flowers beautifully, I designed our wedding invitations, my mother-in-law baked our cake and the list goes on and on but, we did not hesitate to pay the money to have the choir sing at our wedding. Once someone told me that when she goes to Mass at the Basilica and closes her eyes when the choir is singing, she thinks of Heaven. I agree. We normally went to the 10am Mass together when we were dating and engaged while I was in school, and every time I imagined the choir singing at our Nuptial Mass on our wedding day, smiles couldn't escape me. And sometimes, a tear or two couldn't either. 

I'm not a music expert nor do I have even basic knowledge in Sacred Music so I only had a few must-haves on our list from the beginning. We wanted Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring as the bridal processional, and we wanted it to be sung unlike how it is normally just on the organ. We wanted the Agnus Dei in Latin. We don't even know the Mass in Latin, but I remember in elementary school noticing when my church growing up would occasionally sing the Agnus Dei instead of the modern Lamb of God. I loved it and found it so prayerful even at a young age. My cousin was to sing the Ave Maria, and she did a breathtaking job as she always does. 

That list was our starting point, but then I was stumped - we were getting married in Lent! What were we even going to be able to play at our joyful wedding when Alleluias are "put away" during Lent?  

Fortunately, I was able to get a list of songs we could search through from the choir director. We were happy to find that there were still quite a couple of our favorites that could make the cut, The Servant's Song for the gifts and One Bread, One Body for communion.  Having a mix of common Mass hymns that most everyone knew and hymns that the choir could blow away seemed like the perfect combination for our Nuptial Mass. From there, I just went through YouTube in true Millenial style looking up the songs while skyping with Chris, and we filled out the rest of our Mass. It might be too traditional for some and not traditional enough for others, but it was exactly the Mass we wanted.

Since I figured there might be some other Lenten wedding couples out there looking for music options, I made a playlist on Grooveshark for your listening pleasure! The names of the song are below, as well.

The playlist I just compiled isn't exactly what we heard on our wedding day; our cantor was a girl, we only had an organ and choir at our wedding, no orchestra, violin or trumpet, and Catholic choirs and Mass songs are not exactly a dime a dozen on Grooveshark.

 The Nuptial Mass Music of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Harrington

PRELUDE (guest seating)
Pilgrims Hymn, by Stephen Paulus
Sicut Cervus, by Palestrina
King of Love, arranged by Paul Christiansen (not on Grooveshark)
Laudate Dominum by Mozart

SEATING OF THE MOTHERS AND BRIDAL PARTY PROCESSIONAL
Canon in D, by J.S. Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, by Johann Pachelbel (sung)

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 34, Willcock, SJ Refrain, "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord"

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Bower Lent Gospel Acclamation (I couldn't find this anywhere!)

PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS
The Servant Song

EUCHARISTIC PRAYER
Sanctus sung in Latin

AGNUS DEI
Sung in Latin

COMMUNION
One Bread, One Body, by Foley
Panis Angelicus 

VISIT TO THE LADY CHAPEL FOR THE MARIAN DEVOTION
Ave Maria, by Schubert

RECESSIONAL
La Rejouissance by Handel

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Now I want to hear about your wedding music! This is one of my favorite things to hear about.

My shop will hatch soon!

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I announced on Instagram a few weeks ago that I have been working on opening a little handlettering print shop, Hatch Prints.  

Painting and creating can be a lot to me - a blank canvas is scary, a budding image is energizing and a finished piece is both soothing and invigorating. I've put my paint brush aside save for a few times a year to do some wedding invitations or a few strokes here and there for the blog, but I haven't pushed myself to maintain the consistency I desired. Blogging has been a wonderful creative outlet for me since I love to write (ramble), but being creative with paint and brush is something else. 

This shop has me so incredibly full of anticipation. I still want to increase my inventory a bit before officially opening, and when it opens, I'll share more about the inspiration for the shop,  where its name comes from and what's to come. In the mean time, I want to let you in on a giveaway that ends today! One of my girls here in town is Ana. I'm so glad we're friends. She made two spring infinity scarves and gathered four etsy shop owners (including yours truly) together to create quite the giant of a giveaway for you. Head on over to Ana's to enter to win goodies from Nell of Whole Parenting Goods, Jenna of Call Her Happy,  Cassie of Kent Heartstrings, Ana and myself! It ends today (March 28th at midnight!).

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^^^ Darling embroidered necklace from Call Her Happy

^^^ Pretty wall hanging and necklace from Kent Heartstrings.

^^^ Cozy contour burp cloth and baby bandit bib from Whole Parenting Goods. 

^^^ Two stylish spring infinity scarves from Ana. 

And your choice of print from Hatch Prints! Go to Time Flies When You're Having Babies to enter to win this boatload. 

Some honesty on traveling with kids alone

When the red eye flight that Ryan, Conor and I took last week landed, I groggily relayed to Chris that the only positive thing I could say about it was that it was OVER. 

My big mistake came from misunderstanding the lady at the gate that I would have to get a dozing Ryan out of the stroller at 10:30PM for her to put a gate check tag on it. I was pretty confused since I thought I could just push Ryan all the way to the airplane door (which I have done), but I picked him up anyway with Conor strapped to me. This just led to Ryan being rudely awaken when I quickly tossed him over Conor and flailing his limbs and hollering (screaming) and thus rudely awoke Conor who started flailing his limbs and hollering (screaming). We were a creature with twelve limbs, eight of them thrashing. All I could do was throw up an original Hail Mary and force a laugh to come out as I heaved them down the aisle that seemed to be closing in on us with each, "Get me off of here!" Well, let's just say the rest can be summed up by the flight attendant not so quietly telling the man unlucky enough to be sitting in our row that she would find a new seat for him (which I understood and was all for!). 

The first twenty minutes of that plane ride were as bad as you could imagine. No, maybe imagine worse than you just imagined. His last plane tantrum was hilariously minuscule comparatively. But then Ryan fell into a deep, deep slumber that only a tantrum could bring and woke up all bright-eyed and inquisitive, "Hey! How did we get on the plane, Mom?" By scarring the other passengers, that's how. 

I tried to avoid any eye contact with anyone else as we taxied to the gate, but then the mom sitting behind me with a newborn caught me eye and commended me by affirming, "You didn't lose your cool once." Kind people out there - you do so much good every day, and that freshly new mom made this mom feel as good as I could on a generous estimate of an hour of sleep. I shyly laughed and thanked her from the bottom of my very humbled heart. 

I'll be honest. I've been on plenty of flights with Ryan that have been a breeze, but sometimes flying with little ones can humble me more than anything. Red-eyes already mess with me, but when I throw in a well-beaten mothering spirit to the unfortunate mix of interrupted sleep in a cold cabin of strangers and waking up in a new time zone, it's basically Daylight Savings Time on steroids.

Sometimes all I can do is let out a laugh in the face of that big sob threatening to spill over as my breath catches and acknowledge that I never need to wear blush when traveling alone with exhausted children. 

But, guess what? I'm already anticipating the next time. And the next and the next. Maybe not with exuberant joy, but joy nonetheless. I like where I am, even if more roided up jet lag looms in the future. 

A short-ish aside - after much reflection, it's possible I can be so happy go lucky about doing less than desirable things with children because of chickens and opinions. Stirring shavings and washing 100 chickens that relieve themselves on (what seems to be) on the hour makes wiping baby bums a walk through a wildflower field even when it isn't.  But more than that, before I stepped into the life that I wanted, I had to explain what I wanted. I think I am lucky that I do have opinions in my life that are loudly against my choice to marry young and have children. And I've been hearing them for quite some time. The effect of this has been a gild of sorts atop my whole life - including red-eye possession impressions. Everything is tinted rosy because this is the life for me. 

Was that short-ish? Or my typical rambling? Typical. Back to it. 

Red-eyes and horrible travel with children are perfectly temporal. They seem eternal while enduring, but when I get to where we are going, the clear details of travel traumas start to fuzz. Travel, whether it be prayerful, curse-word-full or both, is just a temporary means for us to get to loved ones.  That's it. There'll be blow-outs and blow-ups. I'll just do it. 

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Now make me feel like an amateur. Do you have any cringe-worthy travel stories?

And since you won't be coming to me for more travel advice? Here are some moms that have it down: Jenny, Janssen, and the expert, Lauren


Kat in the Kitchen - Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

I'm starting to brainstorm our Easter Feast for the biggest holiday of the year. The menu is still up in the air, but one definite on it is Cornbread Sausage Stuffing. I'm obsessed with stuffing. When I make stuffing, it is pretty much for me only. Chris doesn't like the texture, but I just can't get enough of the flavor. I used to get StoveTop boxes until my mother-in-law showed me one Christmas that it is actually pretty easy to make. This recipe is pretty much my dream recipe of stuffing - a combination of my mother-in-law's and Pioneer Woman's tailored to exact what I want in a stuffing - only cornbread, no celery, no onions (but keep the onion flavor), mushrooms (this is a 10 on the Chris-repellant scale), sausage and a whole lot o' thyme.

Here we go:

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
adapted from Pioneer Woman's Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Apples and my mother-in-law's recipe
- 1 9x13 pan of cornbread (use a cornbread recipe with little or no sugar) cut into 1-inch cubes and left out overnight or if you don't have time, just dry them in the oven
- 1 pound breakfast sausage
- 1 pound mushrooms, washed and patted dry
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 24 to 32 ounces of low sodium chicken broth (this will depend on how dry you like your stuffing - I prefer mine not dry at all!) 
- 3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- salt to taste (don't oversalt!)

- Turn oven on to 500 degrees
- Toss mushrooms in salt and then roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes stirring once halfway through for even roasting. 
- In large skillet, brown sausage over medium heat with the 1 teaspoon onion powder. Remove sausage and set aside (don't drain the fat!)
- Now add the broth to the skillet with the thyme leaves and bring to a boil.
- While the broth is heating, toss the sausage, mushrooms and eggs with the cornbread cubes in a large bowl.
- Add boiling broth to the cornbread mixture.

Now a few tidbits from my mother-in-law: "Ultimately you want it to be a little juicier than the finished product because it absorbs a lot of broth while cooking.  I’m sorry I can’t explain this better.  Now taste.  If it tastes bland, add a little salt.  If you’re not sure, take out a spoonful and sprinkle a little salt and see if that’s the fixer.  The flavor in this depends on the kind of broth you use and how flavorful it is.  I like “Better than Bouillon Chicken Flavor.” If I mix it too strong, it tastes bad.  If I mix it too weak, it lacks flavor.  If I mix it just right and it’s missing something, salt is usually the missing ingredient.  If I take a spoonful and sprinkle it with salt, and it still doesn’t taste right, I add little more bouillon…be careful here because the “not right” taste might be because you have too much bouillon already." I love when she writes me recipes because it sounds like she is right there in the kitchen with me. 

- Put into large baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. 
- Garnish with some more fresh thyme.

And enjoy!

What are your must haves for your Easter Feast? I'd love suggestions. 

Questions Seeking Answers

^^^ Old photo on this computer of the boys painting snow purely because it snowed yesterday and I don't have my phone to email myself any new photos.

Happy Monday! (edit: except now it's Tuesday).

I have (edit: had) an angel food cake in the oven for a certain man of mine's nameday celebration (errr, cake-eating ... because that is seriously all he asked for besides no photos... for the whole day! So low maintenance), and two boys still napping. Which is very crazy. Lately I write early in the morning so this, this is kind of foreign to me. 

Aaaaand Conor just woke up. Be right back. 

Back, but both Conor and Ryan woke up. I'll just get straight to it then - I have so many questions that I'm sure you'd be just the people to ask. You were so kind and knowledgeable with all the helpful suggestions when I published my plea for advice when my back went out a couple of weeks ago. 

First, if you have little ones, how do you keep things going in your daily routine with your children when you are thrown a curve ball? I've joking with myself that if you have a busy week coming up, also plan that you will be injured, you and/or your children will be sick and you will knock the side view mirror off of your car. Or if you think you are going to have a regular, hum drum week, all of a sudden you will have deadline after deadline thrown at you while you skate around dragging toddlers clinging to your ankles. I'm getting better at being honest and politely telling people, "No," so that I can joyfully tell my family, "Yes," but I've come to the realization that even with that the world is not going to stop whirling around and around. I need some game plans in place so that when a big commitment comes up, I don't shoo the children in front of the TV, thinking "Oh it's just for right now!" Because I'm learning it's always right now. What do you do to keep things running smoothly when your mind and schedule are crazy? 

Second, I'm a very bad gift giver who is surrounded by excellent gift givers. I'm always doing the truly grateful, "Thaaaaank yooouu," with the awkward, slightly panicked look on my face that I have nothing in return to give. Anyone else not a natural gift giver and any advice on how to improve while having a tight budget?

Third, jealousy. I've blogged about it before, but what are you best methods for dealing with it? For me, it's not a matter of just "unfollowing" or "don't look" because I'm well aware social media appearances aren't the whole kit and kaboodle and most of the time, when I turn green it's with people I know rather than a popular blog or Instagram. So what do you do? What do you tell yourself to snap out of it real fast? The best advice I've gotten has come from priests in the confessional who say to thank God for the gifts that person has and to thank God for what I have. But I'm always looking for more ways to prevent myself from being an unflattering green!

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And now I am posting this a whole 25 hours later when this was supposed to be a quick plea for answers. I am so drained from today. I took the boys to two libraries because one has the best story time, but we had toys that could only be returned to the other library. The scene that occurred at the second library scarred me more flying the red-eye with Ryan last week, but less than his birth (which wasn't that bad comparatively, but it was still my first time!). Whew! Motherhood!