Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Charmed Life

Every once in a while it seems as though we live a "charmed" life.  The weekend after Thanksgiving was no exception.

On Friday, Carter took Felicity on a morning walk.  To my surprise, it was very short...because sitting next to our dumpster (a little Black Friday shopping, anyone?), he found these:

We have been married a little over a year, and somehow managed without a dresser.  I have been wanting one for a while, scouring Goodwills and Craig's List, but never willing to break down and actually buy.  And out of nowhere TWO dressers appear -- completely free, in great condition, AND something we likely would have picked out ourselves! Charmed life, you ask, I dare say yes! 

Saturday, we went to go chop down our Christmas tree, a tradition we started last year and plan to uphold each year.  It is the perfect opportunity for Carter to use his axe!  We awoke early Saturday morning and drove to Bennington Pines (about a 10 to 15 minute drive), and it exceeded all of our expectations!  We found ourselves on a hayrack ride, accompanied by a few other young families.  The hayrack ride took us to fields and fields of different sorts of Christmas trees, and then we set out to find our perfect tree.  We settled on a perfect Scotch Pine, and Carter looked mighty good and manly chopping it down! Our tree, now also transported by the hayrack, was taken back to the entrance, where they evened out the stump, bundled the tree in a net, and attached it to the roof of our car! The service was excellent and they even provided free hot chocolate and candy canes!  This early dawn morning was nothing short of a fairytale!

Enjoying the hayrack ride

Fields and fields of Christmas trees

Quite possibly my favorite picture ever <3

And our charming tree, lit and decorated!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Feast Day Festivities

I am a huge fan of my feast day, or rather, St. Cecilia's (my patroness) feast day!  Since she is the patroness of music, her feast, November 22, is widely celebrated throughout the Church.  Although, I was not named after St. Cecilia, I have always felt a special kinship with her.  My name (Cecily) is a clear derivative from her own name.  She is often depicted with a harp, and I know that she guided me through my many years of harp studies.  Those studies are currently on hiatus, but I trust she will lead me back to them eventually. (She always seems to.) Furthermore, she is a early Church martyr, which deems her even more beautiful in my eyes.

I did not grow up necessarily celebrating my feast day in any particular way, but I constantly reminded my family of this day. And every so often it falls on Thanksgiving, thus making it feast day on my feast day!  

This year I made sure to celebrate -- because who doesn't love a 2nd birthday! I baked myself a pumpkin spice cake, paged through my St. Cecilia journal (Carter made this for me a few years ago -- it is complete with prayers, poems, and images of  my patron), and reminisced about visiting St. Cecilia's in Rome.  And the next day, Carter and I went on a classy date to an organ concert at St. Cecilia's Cathedral in Omaha.  It was heavenly.

My tasty but not-so-beautifully-frosted cake

At St. Cecilia's in Rome

The organist explained that Cecilia was never actually a musician, but used to be known as the patron saint of harmony.  Throughout the centuries, she has taken on the role of being the patron of music and the persona of a musician. Carter and I had a great conversation about the connection between music and living in harmony with God after the concert, and he said, "Music lets sinners experience God the way that the saints experience God".  I thought it was a rather beautiful sentiment. 

I am already looking forward to my feast day next year!

Hail! Bright Cecilia, Hail to thee!
Great Patroness of Us and Harmony!
Who, whilst among the Choir above
Thou dost thy former Skill improve,
With Rapture of Delight dost see
Thy Favourite Art
Make up a Part
Of infinite Felicity.
Hail! Bright Cecilia, Hail to thee!
Great Patroness of Us and Harmony!
{A Poem by Nicholas Brady}

Sancta Caecilia, ora pro nobis! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

White Wine Grape Picking Adventure

The juice of the grape is the liquid quintessence of concentrated sunbeams. 
 --- Thomas Love Peacock

Since moving to Omaha, Carter has been finding all sorts of fun and interesting activities to help me feel more at home.  Our first weekend here, we had the opportunity to go out to a small vineyard and harvest white wine grapes! The experience was an absolute dream!

The day was lovely -- cool, cloudy, and not too humid.

These grapes were of the Brianna varietal. They tasted seedy and delicious, like jam!

By the end of the day, we (and about a half a dozen others) had picked almost 2 thousand pounds of grapes! 


We all had so much fun, even little Felicity!

Needless to say, the Brianna is now one of our favorite wines!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Easter Joys

Our first Easter as a married couple was quite lovely! Having gone to the Vigil Mass, I awoke early and prepared breakfast...biscuit breakfast sandwiches (eggs for Carter, and none for me, of course), potatoes, and watermelon slices.  We set off to eat our picnic feast under a beautiful willow tree in our condo complex, which we had been eyeing for some time. Later, after making a carrot bundt cake, we headed to my parents for a family celebration with lots of food and basketball! All in all, it was a joy filled day! Alleluia!

Carter's Easter Basket.


Fresh faced.

Carter's Favorite.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Poem

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

~John Keats