5 thoughts for an intentional Lent

an intentional lent - the loveliesthour.com

. . Lent is here, and I find myself cringing a bit. We just finished Christmas, for goodness sake! I still have a plastic box of Christmas snow globes on the top of the piano that I haven’t yet put away. And now, we’re edging upon Lent already? How am I supposed to ‘get my head in the game’? Because, I really DO want my head in the game. Just as late winter brings about the desire for cleaning and purging our homes in anticipation for Spring, our hearts naturally yearn for restoration… we know something good is coming, but this ‘good’ requires something of us. So, there is Lent. Let us join in. But, as all parents (or any busy person) know, Lent is different when you’re the Continue Reading

Nine Romantic Movies You’re Bound to Love

nine romantic movies - the loveliest hour

. . Because, face it, sometimes we just want to watch something that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. So, gather up some girlfriends, or set a date with your honey, and watch one (or maybe more) of these films! Happy Valentine's Day! Take Me Home   Love this indie film! A simple story of two people who meet by chance, drive across the country, and change their lives in the process. The main characters, played by Sam and Amber Jaeger, are actually married in real life. Sam wrote, directed and starred in this ultra low-budget film that has won my heart, and hopefully will win yours too! The Young Victoria A beautifully filmed story of Queen Victoria before and at the Continue Reading

The Relentlessness of Doing

The Relentlessness of Doing - the loveliest hour

. . I sit here in a whirlwind of days. I can actually feel my pulse in my chest. I am invigorated, excited, inspired. My mind spins with possibilities and ideas. They roll quickly, from one to the next, in almost chaotic succession, leaving me wondering and then forgetting what I was wondering about. I have been busy these days. Loving, working, serving, planning, dreaming, creating, writing, helping, suffering. And ever since I can remember, I’ve liked that feeling of doing. Of having something to work on, something to think about, something to plan for, challenges to overcome, a goal to work toward. It is the way I was created to be in this world. I Continue Reading

Great Books for Children to Read

Wonderful books for children to read

  I’ve compiled a list of our favorite children’s books. This list is for a true reader. I have not included any little children's books or beginner reader books. There are just so many fabulous books out there, so I stayed in the land that I know well: Children’s Literature, 2nd – 11th  grade (give or take). I haven't had time to organize the books by order of difficulty.   Here are a few tips to help grow fervent readers: Make them read books! Turn off the TV. Have a set “reading time” during the day. Have them see you read. A lot. Talk about books that you love. Buy paper books. Children are intrigued by cover art. They can share them with each other. And Continue Reading

12 Great Films for the New Year!

great new years eve or day films for 2015

. . There's nothing like a good movie to start the new year off right!I've put together this list based off of some of my very favorite films - ones that encourage me and help me rethink the meaning of life - what really matters when it's all said and done.  So, corral your family or gather together a few friends. Get some candy, popcorn, a fun beverage, and chose one of these twelve inspirational movies raise up your spirit! Happy New Year!! Here's the list: It's a Wonderful Life The classic is often thought of as a Christmas movie, but it's a perfectly good new year movie as well. George Bailey has an opportunity to see how much he matters to those around him. It gives us Continue Reading

A Foreign Land: navigating motherhood

A Foreign Land - theloveliesthour.com a reflection on parenthood

I sat there, in my living room tonight, feeding my children quesadillas at the coffee table while my husband was away teaching RCIA. I chose a Netflix documentary for the evening's entertainment: Wild China. They watched the first few moments and my daughter said, "Wow mom, it's so different from everything we know!" "Yes," I agreed. And it reminded me of what I've been pondering lately. How this stage of life is unlike anything I thought it would be. It's totally foreign and completely intriguing. As I've said before, when I was a younger mother I thought I had it all figured out. And as many have said before me, the older you get, the more you realize you really have Continue Reading

Real comfort

Staying at home for real comfort Jane Austen

So glad to be home right now, so I devoted a few minutes to some design therapy. I've always loved this quote, and now more than ever. A dozen wild horses couldn't pull me away from my red chair in the living room right now! Jane Austen, via 'Emma', is spot on, as always! Continue Reading

Listen, daughter

listen daughter - blessed is she

I'm starting something new today! I'll be writing monthly over at Blessed is She - daily devotionals for women. I am so honored to be a small part of this amazing group of ladies from all walks of life. I hope that you'll subscribe to receive the devotionals each morning in your inbox and join our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more! To celebrate my post today, "See and Bend Your Ear", I made something pretty. Have a lovely day! Continue Reading

a Back to School Prayer

a parent's back to school prayer

A parent's back to school prayer. We want them to know so much, to find passion, to rise to the top, to stand out and excel and cause their teachers to non with approval. But really, in the end, what we want is much simpler and more eternally meaningful. We want them to be holy. We want them to be a light in places that have become dim. We want them to be strong enough to have faith and let it change them - affect what they do and say and how they treat others. We want them to be safe. We want them to learn what they need to learn to become God's vision of who He has created them to be. That's all. May the Lord bless your children in their learning this year! Continue Reading

The true, beautiful, wide, wise face of motherhood

the true face of motherhood - theloveliesthour.com

  I'm still reeling. Even two days later, I have that buzz of excitement about me. That walking-on-air feeling. I've just come home from Jen and Hallie's Edel Gathering in Austin. Usually, after any fabulous trip or event, there is that feeling of euphoria. The 'top of the mountain' high. The "But Lord, it is GOOD to be here." Coupled with the "Please. Please, don't make me leave!" Except, the strange thing is, I don't mind being back home. I don't mind one bit. Unlike when I was young and picked up from the Texas Hill Country after several weeks at summer camp, or after a total grown-up, get-away vacation, where we all trudge through the doorway and wish with all our Continue Reading

To those who have left the Church:

to all those who have left the church. theloveliesthour.com

. . I think of those, especially the young, who have left the Church. Some that I know, so many that I don't. Many come from families built on solid Catholic Christian foundations. And it breaks my heart that they're leaving the Church. These are not errant deviants. They're not idiots or self-indulgent Millennials or money-mongering thirty- and forty-year-olds. These are good people, with good hearts, who want to be happy and do good for others. But I think that maybe they've never seen what the Church really is. How real and very relevant it can be for them in their lives. Maybe some have been through hard times with their families so they doubt everything. Maybe others see the Continue Reading

why I deleted facebook

whyIdeletedfacebook

. . You'll still see me there. I'm not gone. But I'm not there. It's as if God Himself reached down out of heaven, took hold of my finger with his very large, warm, strong hand and pressed it down on that app button 'till all the iPhone icons started doing that little frantic wiggle. The 'you're about the delete stuff' wiggle. And then, with no thought at all (on my part - God certainly had a plan), I touched that little dancing 'x'. My dear iPhone told me "Deleting 'Facebook' will also delete all of its data." And there was no hesitation. It was gone, buh-bye. History. Delete. The. Data. No more little red alert numbers, no more messages appearing at the top of my Continue Reading

What I’ve learned in fifteen years

what I've learned in fifteen years - marriage - theloveliesthour.com

. . As I sit here, at my kitchen table, I feel Oreo crumbs under my toes from my children's impromptu snack this afternoon. It's almost seven in the evening, and the sun is just beginning to dim. The grass in our backyard is tall - tall enough to make little legs scratchy on their way to the trampoline. There is a roast in the oven and brown rice on the stove and a small variety of vegetables in the refrigerator, willing to be offered up for dinner tonight. Katherine and Colleen are playing 'kitchen' with plastic dishes and food on the living room coffee table. Jonathan is reading Harry Potter, on the couch, with his favorite pillow. Emelie is in her room, vacuuming Continue Reading