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Monday, April 30, 2012

Beautiful Line-up

I am on a music kick. Here are some more majestic opera pieces that I hope you enjoy!

 Nessun Dorma, Pavoratti

Pie Jesu, Netrebko

O Mio Babbino Caro, Callas

Flower Duet, the one that intrigued me over 15 years ago

I hope you like them! Opera brings so much to my day, I had to share. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Liturgical Music

I have a little one home sick today. I don't have too many things to add to the blogosphere, but I will touch on something I noticed last night.
I grew up with clapping during Mass. As time went on, I found I was more moved by the more grandiose  hymns; think "O God Beyond All Praising." The music is absolutely beautiful. The words could not be more gorgeous.
So, you know we are in Miami. Last night, if I closed my eyes, I felt like I was transported to South America. The music was heartfelt and beautiful, and very Latin. And somehow, if these same musicians who were trained in a way very different from me were asked to sing "O God Beyond All Praising," or more "traditional" Church hymns, those same hymns I hold so dear would have no soul. It would not have been natural.
I felt a valuable cultural lesson. I felt an appreciation for the Church's universality.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Key to Me

The Temperament God Gave You: The Classic Key to Knowing Yourself, Getting Along with Others, and Growing Closer to the Lord

Relationships fascinate me. We want our children, our spouse, our friends to think of us as their  cheerleaders. We want them to know our love. It is strong, after all!

Sometimes it might be worthwhile to put ourselves as the listener, as though we could be in their shoes, and ponder whether ours is the voice we intend- ie, are we the voice of understanding or of just not getting them? Of pride, or maybe criticism? 

Think of the people you have learned most from. You know, the good teachers who pulled the best out of you. They didn't need to use fear, they were smarter than that. Lets take a minute to look historically at the christian martyrs in the Collosium. Christianity spread because a message was being proclaimed( albeit to the ultimate sacrifice of its proclaimers) that there was a real belief, a God, worth dying for. The Romans couldn't help but compare this witness with their own fear of the maniacal Ceaser that controls their own actions.( Quo Vadis provides a vivid picture of the cultural clash at that time, among other things!) There is just something about fear that is paralyzing. As a parent, we would not be doing our job to let our kids do whatever they want. Yes, there need to be just consequences for wrong decisions. But, fear? Not if you want to inspire. And if we consider what our goal is, to communicate what life is about, how will the message get through years of barriers? 

I don't pretend to know the one most important job of a mother, if there is one. But one that could use a little more thought is listening and perception! From listening and correct understanding of the PERSON, the unique individual, stems the correct, tailored advice and encouragement, clearing up lacks of understanding and in the case of children, corrections. So much of what is heard depends not only on what is said but on the wiring or temperament of the one who is on the receiving end.  It is so marvelous and a constant cause of wonder to me how differently we are all made. It is worthwhile knowing our temperament as well, because we can more clearly see how our worldview differs from others and stop banging our heads against the wall! :) This is where we will see we have more work to do on ourselves. Boy, does it take a lot to meet others real needs, which lets face it, is our goal!

We all see the world through different lenses because we are wired differently. It is amazing and part of the stuff that makes us grow. And, I even got my husband on board to the point that I don't know who likes this book better, him or me! 

Have a great day, friends!

picture source-

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Eye for Beauty

When does one start to help develop one's daughter's taste? It is something I know parents of teenagers struggle with; allowing their daughters freedom of expression while at the same time, wanting them to understand that how you dress speaks volumes. 

My daughter is no where near those years, but likes fashion. So, in an attempt to make it fun and preempt her wanting to choose less desirable clothing later, I have taken to looking at magazines with her. Not In Style, but Talbots and Garnet Hill catalogues. We even mix it up with decorating ones like Ballard Home. We act like girlfriends, saying what we like for each other. It is a lot of fun.:)

Exposure to beautiful things makes one realize there is plenty out there that is really flattering and fun, so one needn't go the route of the general trend. I am a big fan of the Duchess of Cambridge, if only for the fact that she usually dresses well, in spite of always being in the spotlight and being  naturally beautiful. I think there is more natural respect for her because of it.

Thinking about these things also makes me consider my own wardrobe choices. I used a gift card recently to freshen it up with a couple of daily dresses- something I haven't bought in YEARS. You should've seen the surprise on my kids' faces! They loved them! Hopefully the combination of magazine perusing and my own efforts will make all of these matters crystal clear down the road. Time will tell, but, by golly I think we are on to something here!

Have a wonderful day, friends!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kids Teach us a Lot

This is Holy Week for Christians, and we have had some thought-provoking conversations around here. Here are two things my kids took time to do ( one in CCD, one of their own accord). I am so thankful for their Faith! Kids see Truth with such clarity.

And here is my youngest hanging out with Jesus and the children. I don't have a picture of it, but there is another statue where the nail holes are clearly visible and reachable, and he kisses those "boo boos."

I'll be back next week. Have a Blessed Easter!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Reexamining Homemaking

Fashion stylists. Interior decorators. Chefs. Bakers extraordinaire.
There is something fascinating about the elements of home life to society at large. I am glad all of these professions exist because I can learn from the experts devoted to one aspect of it. But they exist because we all not only have an inner-homemaker, we all ARE homemakers, especially as women. We make the home what it is: charming, welcoming, a place where understanding one another is the norm. Or not! 

We all want our homes and life to be well-rounded and beautiful, because home is so important. It is what rounds out the day and makes life good rather than merely efficient.
The most important part of the home is undoubtedly the relationships found within. But, the externals are important, almost the supporting structure, and what's more, are fun!

So whether your work is exclusively in the home or not, whether you have house help or not, you are the homemaker, and it is important, as shown by the subdivisions of professions I listed in the beginning contained within the one albeit uninteresting word, homemaker.

So on to the fun of what I have been playing with now that we are settled. The front door was so basic and uninviting.

But a little of this and that to soften it up and wala! 

Cozy. Breezy. And the only thing new are the palm leaves! Let's celebrate that!

The basics are important.

But so are the finishing touches.:)
(I am no photographer, as you can tell.)
I always need to feel like I put a little effort into my outfit or my home. 

And, I've even rearranged the coral table that perhaps you have heard enough about:). But come on! Interior decorators do this for hours! Cut me some slack! I am making my home! :)

One of my kids walked out this morning and said, "I love this room." Homemaking is key. 

Have a wonderful day contemplating your homes, friends!