From the Weekend

Well fall is officially here friends. Yesterday evening I looked for my ski hat because I was so cold, but couldn’t find it. Now, I know that seems like a bit much for October, but I get cold easily.

I love running on these cooler mornings and evenings, such a refreshing change from the Tennessee heat from the summer. Although, I must admit that I was kind of a coward and joined the YMCA over the summer so I could escape the heat for most of the summer months – okay, that’s sort of embarrassing to admit.

The best part of my weekend was Saturday Oct. 1. Saturday was the feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. St. Therese has been one of my favorite saints for as long as I can remember. I chose her to be my confirmation saint when I was younger and have since fallen deeper in love with her beauty.

Saint Therese was born in Alencon, France, in 1873. While still a young girl, she entered the Carmelite monastery in Lisieux. There she lived a life of humility, evangelical simplicity, and trust in God. By word and example she taught these virtues to the novices of the community. Offering her life for the salvation of souls and the growth of the Church, she died in 1897.

My favorite quote by St. Therese explains a little of why I love her so. She once said, “You can convert a soul by picking up a pin out of love for it.” The mercy and love of God leaves me awe-struck. A pin? Just imagine what washing your roommates dishes out of love could do? Cleaning a bathroom? Taking out the trash? If we would all put a little more love into our actions I know the world would be a different place.

St. Therese wasn’t a rock scientist. She simply loved. My friends, we need to bring back this spirit of love and her attitude of childlike innocence. Our world craves this love she speaks of. Let us glean from her as much as we can to sanctify ourselves for His Kingdom, for right now she beholds the Beatific vision for all eternity.

Do not believe I am swimming in consolations; oh, no! My consolation is to have none on earth. Without showing Himself, without making His voice heard, Jesus teaches me in secret. It is not by means of books, for I do not understand what I am reading, but at times a word like this one that I drew out at the end of prayer (after having remained in silence and aridity) comes to console me: “Here is the Master I am giving you; He will teach you all you must do. I want to have you read in the book of life wherein is contained the science of love.” The science of love, oh! yes, this word resounds sweetly in the ear of my soul. I desire only this science.

I understand so well that it is only love that can make us pleasing to God that this love is the only  good that I ambition. Jesus is pleased to show me the only road which leads to the this divine furnace, and this road is the abandonment of the little child who sleeps without fear in his Father’s arms. “Whoever is a little one, let him come to me.” On the last day “The Lord will lead his flock into pastures, He will gather together the little lambs and will press them to his bosom, and as though all these promises were not enough, the same Prophet, whose inspired glance was already plunged into the eternal depths, cried out in the Lord’s name: “As a mother caresses her child, so will I comfort you.”

After language like this, there is nothing to do but be silent and weep with gratitude and love…Ah! if all weak and imperfect souls felt what the littlest of all souls feels, the soul of your little Therese, not one would despair of reaching the summit of the mountain of love, since Jesus does not ask for great actions but only abandonment and gratitude. – St. Therese of the Child Jesus (St. Therese was declared a Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church in 1997).

Here is something I made this weekend at the Bakery.

Pumpkin Cheesecake – hungry? Come to our house! See? We do eat well Mom!

Some fruits on our kitchen table that I thought looked pretty for fall – so I took a picture.

Happy Fall Everyone!

Exciting news – tomorrow I name the Board of Directors for Made in His Image!!!

Advertisements

Weekend lovin’…better late than never (part 2)

A few weeks ago my roommate Dr. Marlo Carlo finished one of her most intense rotations at the hospital – the ICU. Mariu is one of the coolest people you will ever meet. She loves Jesus with all of her heart, can throw a football better than most boys, along with leading her football team to victory by winning MVP, can work thirty plus hours at a time at the hospital taking care of patients and she never complains. To celebrate Mariu’s completion of her ICU rotation we grilled out back and shared good times with friends.

As we were getting ready to grill, Little Flower (Therese) came home from getting her hair cut. She also got feathers put in. I had never heard of “feathers” before Little Flower told us about them. She really wanted them, so she was excited to show us.

Here they are up close and personal.

Oh, Little Flower I love you.

Getting the kabobs ready.

Before you start make sure to soak the skewers in water for about a half an hour to prevent them from scorching or burning on the grill.

Kabobs are really easy to make and delicious to eat. First wash the vegetables you are going to use, cut them into generous size pieces and stick them on the skewers. Done and done, so easy! You can put meat or seafood on there too. We used red meat, but you can use chicken, shrimp, etc.

Mariu helping to make her own celebratory dinner. That wasn’t very nice of us to make her work…

Ready for the grill!

Kate came over to celebrate Mariu! Enjoying a delicious drink that Little Flower made her.

It’s grillin’ time!

I LOVE asparagus! And it is so easy to just throw on the grill. l lightly coat it with a little extra virgin olive oil prior to grilling and season with a little pepper and salt after grilling.

Ready to eat!

Beautiful beautiful friends – Mariu, Tala and Kate.

Dr. Carlo – CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

Best friends – so cute and beautiful!

Kathleen came home from Martha’s Vineyard and brought us a house gift.

Which they made me open. I don’t like opening gifts when everyone is watching, which is why they made me do it. And I’m not really sure what Therese is laughing at. 🙂

Kate and I – love you Kate.

After dinner some boys showed up on our front porch for some brownies, ice cream and live music. Mariu taught Tala to play the violin, but the even more remarkable fact is that Mariu taught herself.

I love that shot of Mariu.

Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Mat Kearney’s twin – Matt Faley!

It was a fun night to celebrate Mariu’s accomplishments! She’s a doctor guys! And I think that’s amazing! After dinner we ate peanut butter swirl brownies topped with vanilla bean ice cream. And amidst chilled beers and after dinner drinks Matt and Mariu played into the wee hours of the morning and we sang songs, laughed and shared life together. It was chill; I love evenings like that. Congratulations again to sweet little Mariu. Until next time, keep living, laughing and loving. Love those that are closest to your hearts and those that need to feel love, the genuine love that comes from a tight hug, a warm smile, a gentle touch, a reassuring word and most importantly the love that Christ has placed in your heart. Give that to others, show them His beauty through you!

Weekend lovin’…better late than never

Lately I have been busy busy busy with Made in His Image. I am currently working on a business plan, they are time consuming, but I love every second of it. I am writing some curriculum which I am super excited about. And my logo should be ready within a few weeks, whenever I think about it I literally get the chills, that’s how excited I am. It’s really happening! Thank you Jesus for His blessings!

I haven’t had a chance to blog about some fun weekend times, so that’s what I’d like to do today. I want to share a little piece of my life and heart with you. Tell you all about what makes me smile and laugh.

My roommate Tala reads blogs all the time and a lot of them are written by mothers. She shares the blogs with the house, and I have to admit I am hooked on a few of them myself. I often wonder how mothers get the time to update their blogs. And right now I feel like a slacker compared to them, but oh well – props to them. So with Nutella spread generously on two thick slices of rustic farm bread I want to share some good times with you.

About two weeks ago ( I told you I feel like a slacker) my sister Clare and one of my closest friends Elizabeth came to Nashville for a mere 16 hours on their drive from New York City to Texas. Elizabeth and I use to live together when we both served as missionaries. I hadn’t seen her in a year and it was glorious to be reunited. And Clare, as you might know, is literally my other half so I was exceedingly excited to see her.

A lot of people think Clare and I look like twins. Our piano teacher, Irish Step Dancing teacher, cross country and swimming coaches, professors and even our aunts and uncles (I mean come on family) have confused us. Personally, I think I’m getting the better end of the deal because people compare me to Clare and she is phenomenal.

Funny story – so Clare and I went to the same college. One time a professor saw me on the green and came over and said to me, Clare, you did a great job on that test, good job. I had never seen this professor before in my life and said, Oh, you must mean my sister Clare. Okay, back to the topic at hand, sometimes I get a little carried away.

So, Clare and Elizabeth arrived Thursday night. I grilled scallops because they are Clare’s favorite. Elizabeth brought wine, we grilled some vegetables, and made some bread and enjoyed each other’s company. I missed them both so much. For dessert, I had made a flour-less chocolate cake because Clare has a gluten intolerance and we were celebrating her birthday. We stayed up late and talked, laughed and shared some great memories.

They were only in town for the night because they were making their way to Texas. I had to open at the bakery on Friday, so they came to see me before they hit the road again for some cappuccinos, chocolate croissants and gluten free strawberry banana muffins. Elizabeth is starting a new job in Texas and I am so proud of her. It was pure joy to see them both.

Flour-less chocolate cake

Stay tuned for another weekend lovin’ better late than never story tomorrow!

This and that from the weekend

I couldn’t help myself and tried that recipe for the granola bars that I posted a few days ago. I made them when I came home Friday night. Weird to some I know, but when I get a recipe I haven’t tried I can’t help myself. And if I have all of the ingredients in the house then there is no turning back. It’s like giving an artist new brushes, a vibrant assortment of paint and a stark white canvas – of course they are going to start painting. A few followers asked for pictures and here they are.

Since I had never tried this recipe before I didn’t know what to expect. A few kitchen notes: the peanut butter was a little overpowering. The recipe called for 1 cup. I would add a half cup next time.

Since there are so many delicious items in there you don’t want to take a bit and only taste the peanut butter. My favorite are the cranberries inside them. I also brushed the walnuts with a little cinnamon before adding them, which makes them extra delicious. It’s really easy to do – lay the walnuts on a cookie sheet and brush with a generous amount of well beaten egg whites, then coat with cinnamon sugar and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

These bars were very chewy, so if you want them to taste like a traditional granola bar I would cook them for 10-15 minutes longer than what the recipe calls for. Also, you could vary the contents by adding chocolate chunks, coconut, etc. They are delicious! Enjoy!

On Saturday during my break at the bakery I spoke with my graphic designer. My logo is being designed!! I am so incredibly excited!!! She got me all fired up for this ministry – man oh man I just can’t wait. I felt like a little child who wakes up at 4am on Christmas morning, pushes back their covers, runs into their parents room and jumps on their bed telling them that Santa came and that it’s time to get up to open presents.

She asked me a few more questions about my life story and what I want people to feel/think when they see this design. She conveyed her thoughts to me and I told her that I trust her ability very much. When I got back into the bakery, I wept joyful tears of thanksgiving. What God has done in my life is a miracle. I thought back to an exceedingly dark night when I literally fell to the ground and begged Him that my suffering wouldn’t go in vain, that He would use it for His glory. Made in His Image is for His glory and I can’t wait to share this ministry with the world.

When I got back inside the bakery after talking to her I forgot about the pain, I would go through it again, if it would help just one woman know her dignity. It not that I don’t remember it either, for we will always have our memories, but I choose not to dwell on it. God’s healing Hands are stronger than the deepest wounds of our hearts, even our physical wounds. What He can do, what He will do for you is beyond your biggest comprehension. Give Him your wounds today, give Him your heart. Let His Hands touch your heart. Let His glory transform your pain into healing.

Saturday evening I went out to dinner with Karissa and Sarabeth – two of my best friends in Nashville. We were celebrating Karissa! She just got into Nursing School, which is most definitely a cause for a celebration. Mango mojitos and many laughs were had by all. I am so proud of Karissa and love her very much! She is such a beautiful inspiration in my life!

Sunday was the feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe! I mean it doesn’t get much better than that. I was a little concerned though as I drove to Mass Sunday night. I thought because it was a Sunday that the priest wouldn’t mention St. Kolbe in his homely. But just as the first note was played for the opening hymn I saw that my favorite priest was celebrating the Mass – Father Baker. At once I knew it was going to be okay, after all Father Baker is not one to miss an opportunity to tell a story or two about this heroic saint.

As usual his homily left me on the edge of my seat with much to ponder. He talked about the sacrifice that Saint Kolbe offered for the man he died for and how Jesus did the same for each one of us. The man who lived because of Saint Kolbe’s sacrifice could only thank Saint Kolbe with his eyes, but we can thank Jesus for His sacrifice with lives of holy and humble service to Him and His Church.

Weekend Happenings

Therese (Little Flower), David, Mariu and Tala at U2

My sweet roommates and I on our way to a Blue Grass show

Therese, our driver cute as ever

Full Moon Pickin’ Parties are Blue Grass events that are held once a month from May to October. These evens feature the finest bluegrass music under the light of a full moon. Pickers form form circles under the trees and around the grounds performing and jamming while several headliners are featured on stage. You pay $5. to get in and your ticket entitles you to 4 beers (all of which I do not drink- see post My Head is Spinning to understand).

You bring lawn chairs or blankets, drink beer, relax and listen to good tunes. It’s a super fun evening!

Sunday morning brunch

Sweet Mariu’s birthday was Sunday! And her parents came from AL to spend the day with her.

Mariu turned 27 yesterday and yes, she went to Harvard.

I am so blessed to live with Mariu she is one of the most humble people I have ever met. Mariu graduated from Harvard and then Medical School. She was a Division 1 basketball player & rower. She works at Vanderbilt as a Doctor. One of the sweetest and most caring people you will ever meet.

Mariu loves Jesus and the saints so much. She has a great devotion to Saint Gianna (patron saint of doctors).

On Sunday morning Tala got 27 balloons for Mariu and put them in her room. Mariu was post call after working 30 hours at the hospital, so she slept in. She was really surprised.

Sweet Little Mariu (that’s what we call her).

Lots of balloons

I love them so much!

We are so glad Mariu was born. I even thanked her parents 🙂

Mariu’s mom brought her a strawberry cake for her birthday!

Happy Birthday Sweet Little Mariu! Someone at the Hospital once asked her if she was 11. Come on people…

vino

It wouldn’t be a 4102 Colorado ave day unless someone did something slightly like the above picture. Mariu going through the cat door in our house. Yup! We don’t have cats, but the owners of the house had cats, so we have a few doors with openings for cats. Personally, I strongly dislike cats. Most of us have gone through this door at one point or another. It was a beautiful weekend!

A few things I learned this weekend – it’s good to laugh at yourself, I really need to work on being less prideful, it is harder for me to receive love than to show love. All of these things I am going to actively work on.

Good Things From the Weekend

I know several days have pasted since the weekend, but it’s never to late to write about good memories. On Sunday, amidst the crowds which surround downtown Nashville on the weekends, I saw the most beautiful gestures of love and affection. My peripheral vision caught sight of an elderly couple walking into a restaurant hand in hand. The couple was at least eighty and as they approached the door the husband gently stepped in front of his wife and opened the door for her, as he tenderly placed his right hand on her lower back to lead her in. It was beautiful to witness such an act of love.

Later that day I saw a pregnant woman who looked as if she could give birth at any given moment. This woman carried life magnificently and as she placed her hands on her back she smiled as if to say “she couldn’t wait to meet her little miracle.” It was a ravishing display of the sanctity of human life amidst our jaded world.

In the evening my roommates and I went to Sunday Mass together. I love Sunday evenings when we are all home, which is rare due to our busy schedules. But I cherish the times we are together.

After Mass we went back to our home and made homemade pizza and an amazing salad, while Mariu, who is a doctor checked where you would go for a subclavian central venous catheterization on all of us. A very typical evening, the only thing that was missing was our dear friend Tina Miller who left us for a boy. Why can’t we just have boyfriends who live in Nashville? But that’s a topic for another day.

Our serious look

Sweet Tina, who we miss dearly

“He was a good house boyfriend” – Tala, referring to Eric