7 Quick Takes: Linkin’ Around

Linking up with Kelly et al. to share a few things that are catching my attention or coming to mind (aka, clearing out the tabs I’ve got open on my browser).

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This new photo (and video) of the moon passing over the earth is incredible. I love seeing their scale and movement.

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Apparently it’s World Breastfeeding Week, and that’s great, but how about no one goes crazy? Here’s my photo contribution to the week, but no worries, skittish ones – we’re all covered up.

 

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I’m rereading some Harry Potter lately, and every time I come back to it, I’m surprised at just how much I enjoy it (even book #5, which is by far my least favorite). With that in mind, I’ve been pondering Why Your Kids Need to Read Harry Potter, and on a lighter note, 8 Reasons Molly Weasley Is a Great Literary Mama (both via Carrots for Michaelmas)

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I know this is an advertising campaign, but darnit, handwriting is awesome (science agrees). Unsurprisingly, back to school ads are making me nostalgic for the days when I had an excuse to buy new pens and paper every semester.

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In what is possibly the most spot-on targeted advertising I’ve ever seen, Facebook “suggested” the following ad for me:

I’m not endorsing this company, because this was the first I’d ever heard of them. $8 is just a leetle steep for a onesie, but I am partial to the idea of baby clothes without logos or phrases. Maybe when Miss Maddy slows down her growing a little bit, I’ll give them a try. If I do, you’ll be the first to know.

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Rosie linked to this article about buying maternity clothes, and it had me in stitches. I’d call it a must-read for anyone who’s experienced the indignity of maternity shopping. When I went to buy jeans while pregnant, the tag helpfully advised me to “Buy the same size you would normally choose (XS, S, M, L, XL).” Ah yes, because my normal jeans come in lettered sizes. Never again, Motherhood!

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I’ve got a few sewing patterns on my wishful list right now, including the Geranium dress for Maddy. It looks simple and versatile enough that I could sew it over and over again. For myself, I think this sundress pattern – in the right fabric – could be made nursing-friendly. I’m doubtful that I’ll get one made up while it’s still sundress weather, but hope springs eternal (as does, well, spring).


It’s Friday! Yay! Visit the happenest place on the internet for more takes.

A homemaker? I should be so lucky.

My first exposure to the term “homemaker” came when I was in middle school and helping my parents with their tax returns (itemizing deductions was the perfect task for an obsessively detail-oriented kid). There was no stigma attached to it – it was just the way to describe what my mom did, and she was (and is) pretty darn good at it. Aside from a brief period of wanting to be a doctor, I’ve always aspired to the same life. It wasn’t until I was older that I began to realize that “homemaker” had negative connotations in some circles, even in the academic circles at my Catholic college (but not, thankfully, among my circle of friends). After graduation, I got an unexpectedly great job that I loved, and I began to understand how someone could really enjoy working outside the home – I was challenged, gained new skills, and got to interact with smart people on a daily basis. Meanwhile, my apartment was always just a little past messy, and I excused it with the fact that I was, after all, working full-time.

This excuse carried me through my first year and a half of marriage, and that’s how I explained the art that didn’t get hung up and the last few boxes that may or may not be untouched in our basement. When two workers come home tired at night, it’s hard for them to motivate each other to do more than the bare minimum.

Then, along came baby, and suddenly I found myself home all day, and sometimes with a spare naptime stretch of time. Spending all day in my own house has opened my eyes to how best to make it a home – the closet full of boxes, the unfolded laundry, the dirty dishes all make our apartment more like a receptacle of stuff than an inviting refuge from the long day.

Homemaking isn’t just the endless series of menial tasks that it seems to be; a truly made home is a place for the development of a family, for the nuturing of souls. Every counter cleaned and toilet scrubbed allows the tired homecomer to relax, or the weary mother a sliver of calm to enjoy (if only very, very briefly). As Pope Pius XII wrote in an address to newlyweds,

But where will you find true family life without a home, without a visible focal point to encompass, anchor and sustain this life, to deepen and develop it, to cause it to bloom? Do not say that the home exists materially from the moment the two hands are joined and the newlyweds have the same room, under the same roof, in their apartment….No, the material house is not enough for the spiritual edifice of happiness.

I’m still far, far from having succeeded in many respects of homemaking, and some days, we just shuffle from room to messy room before going to sleep in a bed that never got made. However, I’m putting forth a deliberate effort to create places of beauty in our house. Whether it’s keeping fresh flowers on the table, keeping the (non-literal) cookie jar full, or simply not complaining about daily chores, I’m trying to keep in mind that “the woman’s role encompasses those countless, ceaseless details, those imponderable daily attentions and cares which create the atmosphere of a family, and, depending on whether they are properly performed or not, make the home either healthy, attractive, and comfortable, or demoralized and unbearable.”

Instead of cursing the drudgery, I’m trying to remember that making a home is a high calling. Love is in the daily attentions and cares. My vocation is in the countless, ceaseless details.

flowers

Go Forth and Mother

Linking up for the first time with Tuesday Talk – click over to see what others are up to!