Seven Quick Takes

1. We threw a Michaelmas party last Sunday! Before we had kids, we used to have friends over for dinner once a week. Over the past couple years, we've come to realize that throwing parties every once and a while is easier for us in this stage of life. We felt like we hadn't invited people over in a while, so Michaelmas was a good excuse. We asked our local (organic, because this is Seattle) butcher about ordering a goose but backed out when we learned it would be $150 for ten pounds. And ten pounds is only supposed to feed six people! Instead, we just picked up some rotisserie chickens and baguettes at Costco. We also served a salad with blackberries, feta, and candied walnuts. We made a blackberry pie and blackberry chip ice cream. And to drink, we had blackberry lemonade. Creative guests brought glazed carrots, blackberry cobbler, and devil's food cake cookies. Thanks to a folding banquet table, six folding chairs, a kid's picnic table, and two travel high chairs we were able to fit quite a large crowd in our 1200 square foot house.



Unfortunately, I was so busy chatting during the party that the only pictures I have are from the set-up. The sign of a good party, I suppose? Next year, we hope to have a devil pinata!

2. It took me a long time to figure this out, but raspberries and blackberries really make my stomach hurt. Isn't that the weirdest food sensitivity? Every year, I inevitably forget or decide to test it out just to make sure and I always regret it. Never again! For real, this time.

3. Maggie has decided to drop her morning nap already, which means I've lost my prime getting ready for the day time. My goal is to finally make a habit of getting up before our children, just long enough to get dressed, make the bed, and empty the dishwasher. But I've been having the hardest time falling asleep lately, which means my plan is failing miserably, which means our mornings have been....not great. I've tried all sorts of things to help with insomnia and the most reliable by far has been praying the rosary. I should probably use the rosary as more than just a sleep aid, but I'm glad that something works!


4. We had our first evening book club for mom's group this week. We discussed the intro and first two chapters of Parenting With Grace (the authors are speaking at our parish conference next month). I brought outlines, chocolate chip cookies, and pear cider. There were six of us, which turned out to be a pretty good size. What struck me most from the first chapter was the quiz on learning/relating styles - whether you're a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic person. The second chapter's highlight was the bit about virtues and family mission statements. I collected all the Christian examples I could find online and included them in the outline. Oh, and the intro made me add Hold Onto Your Kids and The Altruistic Personality to my reading list.

5. Two weeks ago, I mentioned a little online shopping spree, so I thought I'd follow up on that. I decided to keep the navy skirt, floral top, and black cocktail dress. We have a membership to a children's museum that's very conveniently located right next door to Nordstrom Rack, so of course I have to walk through every time. I found this gray Michael Kors coat there that I think is the winner. It's got a hood, but it's not waterproof, although that's not a huge deal. The sleeves are crazy long, so I would get those hemmed. I'm not 100% sure yet...


6. Speaking of clothes, last week I did the girls' big spring/summer to fall/winter switch. When it comes to shopping for them, I mostly just pick up things on the clearance rack at Baby Gap, Gymboree, Janie & Jack, and Hanna Anderson when I spy a good deal. I always order a couple things for the next season when Mini Boden is having a big sale. This season, it actually worked out perfectly. Supplemented by hand-me-downs for Maggie and gifts from the grandmas for Claire, I had just the right amount. I needed to order a few minor things from Old Navy (tights, a pair of leggings for Maggie, a white layering tee for Claire) and pick up a couple pairs of fleece pajamas at Costco, but that's it. With the exception of a new pair of rain boots for Claire, we were even good in the shoe department!

7. Totally random fact that I meant to mention in last week's tv post. Over the summer, when my mom and brother were visiting us in Seattle but my dad was still at work in Shanghai, he saw Mark Whalberg in the communion line at church! I knew Mark Whalberg was Catholic, but of course you take everything in Hollywood with a grain of salt, so it was very, very cool to learn that he still made it to Mass when he was promoting a movie in China.


Have a wonderful weekend, you guys! Go see Jen for more quick takes.


  1. At least you got photos of the set-up ... I totally forgot to take any pictures at all on Michaelmas! So disappointing. :( Your spread looks (and sounds!) pretty good!

    And I used to use the rosary as a sleep-aid all the time. :)


You are awesome.