I've been in such a weird spot lately. The majority of the time I feel like I'm failing at all things parenting (and multiple people have shared their observations of the - we will charitably say rebellious - behavior of our kids when I'm the only parent with them so there is some truth to it!), but then there are unprompted times like this:

that make me think, "Okay, maybe I'm only failing half the time rather than the majority." 


We aren't sure where we will be come June so I'm at this limbo point - do I buy another organizer for my shop? Or do I just put the overflow in cardboard boxes because do I want to buy something only for two months? Basically, I'm not even a planner, but at the same time, it's frustrating to not be able to plan. Riddle me that! 

Anyway, I promised myself I would blog today - so tonight I'm feeling like laughing with/at myself with some confessions. You are cordially invited to laugh along with me!


My blog was down for a month or two last fall because I hadn't updated my payment information, and it just expired. Ask me about my library fines sometime.


We have had the same number of vacuums and kids in our marriage of almost six years. I take the blame for most of the problems, but I will point out that the second one had a fork sticking through the side of the hose. That wasn't me. Anyway, our third vacuum was so abused that we finally took it to get serviced. When Chris picked it up from the store, the repairman gently asked, "I don't mean this to be offensive, but ... does your wife have really, really long hair?"


During the Christmas rush, Chris ran out solo to run some errands for me while I stayed at home with the kids, and he stopped into a shop that I visit often, normally with everyone in tow. When one of the employees asked Chris what the name the order would be under, he answered, "Katrina like the hurricane," and the other employee deadpanned, "Your kids are a hurricane." 


My temperament is phlegmatic melancholic.  My melancholic side really only comes out when I am making art. My dominant phlegmatic side means that I have this gift of being able to ignore things that are not just so.  I hung these frames in a gallery wall above our bed, and that was quite a feat ... last February. One year + one month later, they haven't been filled completely other than brown chipboard covering some artwork that was oriented incorrectly. 


Being phlegmatic also means that it's natural for me to drag my feet to start something, but once I start, I don't want to stop until it is finished probably because I know it's a big endeavor for me to restart. 

Last summer, I bought some wooden shelves and brackets at a friend's yard sale. I had visions of perfectly styled white shelves with copper brackets on our patchy walls. The project was finally spurred into action a couple days before some of Chris' extended family with impeccable taste visited. For some reason, the fact that spray painting shelves wasn't the most efficient and smooth way to paint them never crossed my mind, and I was out in the early mornings and at night adding another coat for a couple of days, ignoring the recommended drying period. Somehow, I completed all the spray painting before anyone arrived. 

But I never hung them. 

They sat on our floor and against the wall for four months. 

And then I donated them rather than go through the marital stress of hanging perfectly level shelves that would only adorn our walls for a few months anyway. 

This is me. 

Named by Anne

I actually wrote this awhile ago and forgot about it, but I saw today is the feast day of St. Perpetua and St. Felicity so I thought it would be the perfect day for this post. 


We've been pondering baby names for what is probably longer than is sane to admit so I'll leave that number up to you to guess. Anyway, Elise Anne was our girl name for Ryan's pregnancy and for Conor's pregnancy. But by the time we reached Baby #3, I wasn't sure that I loved the name Elise as much as I loved our boy name so I started to waiver and totally fell in love with the name Felicity. Chris was still for sticking to our plan and having a little Elise so girl naming rights became marital banter. "Okay, I'll bake oatmeal cookies, but only if we can name her Felicity ..." or "I'll get Chick-fil-a for you and Elise ..." Chris quite unfairly, but thankfully also teasingly, had us play shuffleboard for naming rights on our anniversary. 

The one given about our potential girl name was Anne as a middle name after Chris' grandma who also happens to be his godmother. When we were out in California watching Chris' siblings, I was chatting with Grandma about the baby. She had been really ill, and we all knew she was getting worse. I let her know that Chris and I were currently battling it out over girl names: Elise Anne or Felicity Anne. Grandma was always one to smile and assure you softly, "Oh, both are just beautiful," in the most sincere way. But that isn't what Grandma said! She told me with the same loving smile she always had, "I like Elise." 

The story qualified as another hint that Grandma knew her time was drawing near, and I told everyone else at the house about it. Everyone agreed how out of character it was. Chris had already flown home to Indiana, and a few days later the boys and I and our question mark joined him. 

The jesting continued. Elise or Lici. During the Easter Vigil, I elbowed Chris with a ha! wink when the name Felicity rang out during the Eucharistic Prayer. 

A few days later, I was late as always picking Chris up from school. He got into the car, and I typically started to talk a mile a minute as I slowly turned the car around. My speedtalking came to a halt when I heard, "Grandma died." 

What do you say when one of the women who made your husband who he is passes away? 

Grandma helped me answer that question. A long hug at first and then, 

"We know our baby girl name now."

Chris was understandably confused so I told him the story about Grandma's decisiveness. He was so touched that our baby (if the baby were a girl!) had a name chosen by the saintly woman that was both his grandmother and godmother. It was a comfort in the midst of a lot of sorrow. 

And so that is how we have our Elise Anne. 

If you'd like more background on her name: we call her Elise, Elise Anne, Elise Annie, and have decided instead of Lisey (with two long e's) to nickname her Lici (short i then long e like in Felicity). She has the most saintly name out of all of our children. I wrote about choosing Ryan here, and then Kate at Sancta Nomina kindly did a spotlight on his name here. I still need to write one about Conor's name ... but (spoiler) it's pretty similar to Ryan's story. Compared to her brothers' names, Elise's name comes with so many intercessors! St. Elizabeth, cousin of the Blessed Mother and mother of St. John the Baptist, a true example of faith and awe of God. St. Anne, mother of the the Blessed Mother, patron saint of mothers among many other patronages. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, a wife, mother, caring sister-in-law, widow, convert and founder of a religious community. Actually last year, the first time Elise participated in the saint of the year tradition, she grabbed a piece of paper out of the bowl and who was the saint? St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for Elise Anne. Wow! Now that we call her Lici, too, I feel like we can tack on St. Felicity as a patroness, as well. This girl is set.