Seester Sunday: Happy Fall!

Welcome to Issue 1 of Seester Sunday, AKA ‘What We Wore Sunday’! These posts will be co-authored by myself and my sister Melissa. We both enjoy getting dressed up for church on Sundays and thought this may be a fun way to showcase that! We both have various things happening on Sundays, so we’ll show a peek into our weekend activities too. Mel has great taste in fashion and I enjoy a good bargain…we’re quite the pair! So, come along for the ride and let’s see what we wore Sunday!!!



So today it was pretty chilly when I woke up. It was 36 degrees! I knew it was a sweater kind of day! I had just gotten a new sweater this past week, so I was excited to wear it. And it’s super cozy! It caught my eye at Walmart of all places. I love the mustardy/tan color and I think it screams fall. Jeremiah told me it reminded him of Velma from Scooby Doo when it was on the hanger *ahem*–not the look I was going for–…..but then he told me it looked good when I put it on. Whatevs. I like it. My pants are black skinny jeans from Target, the A New Day brand. I bought them specifically for work but I actually really like them otherwise and find myself reaching for them a lot. Confession–the last time I wore black jeans was probably 4th grade so it was really weird to put them on at first! Boots are from Famous Footwear I believe, and I wear them ALOT. Some Sundays I dress up more than others, it just depends on what I’m feeling and the weather!!


I didn’t get a pic of the kids dressed up, but may try to do that sometimes. Lucy had several instances of high drama with her clothing choices (Mom! I have no long sleeves! Why are all my cardigans so itchy?! Why don’t I have any winter dresses like Amelia?! Blah blah blah) but settled on a cute outfit. Amelia complained the whole Mass about how itchy her tights were. (Maybe my kids all need some lotion?!) Ruth rocked a pair of sparkly pack boots with a dress I had originally made for Lucy when she was 3 or 4. Yep. Regardless, we made it to Mass before 8:30am, always a win!


The kids did pretty well during Mass. After Mass we always have coffee and doughnuts while the kids go to Sunday School. It was my week off of teaching so I got to sit around and visit too. All the kids go to Sunday school this year except for Kateri, so it’s kind of quiet, which is nice. After that we go to brunch at the in-laws and it’s a good time and good food!


Today we came home around 12:15 to change clothes and leave again for an outdoor work day at the preschool playground. Let’s just say things went well for awhile and then all of a sudden it was apparent that the 3 youngest girls definitely needed a nap! So, home I went. The rest of the day we were at home resting, doing things around the house, getting ready for the week and preparing food: the usual!




Hi, this is Sarah’s big sister Melissa – also known as Aunt Mel! When Sarah asked me about doing a joint blog post on Sundays, I did not hesitate to say yes. Sunday is my favorite day of the week. I love going to 10:30 a.m. mass at the Basilica of St. John in Des Moines. I love usually being able to take a full day for myself. I truly try to put the “Funday” into “Sunday Funday.”


This morning was one of those crisp, fall mornings that I long for during the dog days of summer. I knew it was going to be a boots and tights day, and I welcome that. I bought a new Prologue dress at Target a few weeks ago, and today was my second day wearing it. I love this dress because it is one of those throw on and go items that is super comfy and practical for mass, as well as my day full of activities. Oddly enough, I too had someone give me a hard time about my wardrobe choice. When I wore this outfit for the first time a couple of weeks ago, an elderly man outside of the Urbandale Public Library asked me what I was dressed up as, and then said, “a pilgrim?” I replied with, “No, this is just my outfit for today!” – with a big smile on my face.



I get dressed once for the day, and that’s what I wear all day, so versatility is key for me. Lately I like to get up earlier than needed in the morning so I can drink coffee, read my morning devotion, and snuggle with the pups on the couch. Sometimes I get partly ready for the day, pause for this, and then resume with makeup and hair, etc. Other days I stay in my pajamas for way longer than I should and then find myself in a mad dash to get out the door on time. Fortunately, today was one of the former.



Sunday mass is my reset button for the week. I sit on the “Joseph side” of the Basilica, in a small pew. While I do not sit directly beside anyone, I have people all around me. I enjoy fellowship during the sharing of the peace and after mass, but otherwise, I am a solo worshipper. I really try to be present and often find myself tearing up during certain hymns or right before and/or after the Eucharist. I have accepted that I am a weepy girl, and I feel so blessed to be so touched by something that it stirs up such an emotion in me.



Our parish has coffee, juice, and donuts on Sunday mornings, so I sometimes stay afterward for that. Today we had a raffle drawing, and while I did not win anything, it was fun to be a part of the fundraising project for the Basilica.



After mass, I took the fur kids to the dog park. At a balmy 51 degrees, it was a nice fall day, but it did require a coat and scarf for this girl who is almost always cold. Percy and Gemma love the dog park for the socialization with other pups, as well as the wide open space to run, sniff, and roll in disgusting things. I love the fresh air and quiet time to recharge.


Today we also swung by the Starbucks Drive Thru on the way home: Pumpkin Spice Latte for me, and pup cups for them. Once home, I settled in with my PSL and my current read while they snoozed.



This evening was our annual Basilica Foundation Autumn Wine and Cheese Fundraiser. The Basilica Foundation exists to provide funding for the upkeep of our beautiful building. I first attended this event last year, when I was brand new to the parish and just beginning RCIA classes.


How fast this past year flew by! I enjoyed a few glasses of tasty wine, some amazing cheese and chocolate, and great conversations with fellow parishioners. I love my Basilica family!


I get a C grade at best for capturing a full length photo of my outfit this week. After all, this dress HAS POCKETS! I was just having too much fun enjoying the day to worry about it (but yet I managed to take a ton of other photos!). Oh well! There’s always next week. 😉


Weekend in the life: 10/4-10/6/19

Weekends start after school’s out, right? So we’ll start there….here’s a fairly typical weekend for us! I like to chronicle these days so someday I can look back and enjoy the memories and their cute faces!

Friday the kids get home from school about 3:40pm. They’re always STARVING. I cut them off from snack at 4pm, because otherwise all they want to do all night is eat. So as soon as they get home, they eat. After that’s over we do Amelia’s school work, so it’s done for the day. No one else happens to have homework tonight!


Then it’s on to food. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Every Friday night we have pizza because a) it’s easy and b) everyone likes it and c) routine makes things easy! The recipe for my crust is HERE. We try to change it up sometimes, and tonight we top it with pepperoni, peppers, onions, black olives.


Since we are making pizza and we need to replenish the freezer and the kitchen is already messy, we move onto bagel pizzas for lunches. We make A LOT of these! Mini bagels, pizza sauce, pepperoni, seasoning, cheese, bake. The girls love to assist, and they do pretty well. We make 3 sheets of these, I hope they’ll last 3 weeks (?) as they don’t eat them every day.


J gets home from work, we eat all together and I’m out the door. Part of our new life gig where I get to stay home during the week means that I work in the evenings or weekends semi-regularly, but per my discretion. Tonight, I’m covering a local high school football game, doing the athletic training.


I’ts a pretty good deal. I get paid hourly to stand on the sidelines and do some thumb or ankle taping usually, or stretch some hamstrings. Occasionally someone gets hurt a little more seriously but that’s not as common. The sideline chatter is always amusing and I enjoy watching the game from a great spot. Although, the boys are smelly and it has been getting colder outside!! After the game is over I go home and go to bed!


Saturday morning arrives and the kids actually sleep in until *gasp* 7am! Jeremiah was up early and left to run, so it’s just me and the kiddos. I neglect all parenting duties and read my book instead.


So far, very interesting and true. There’s also a boy version that’s on my list.

I’ve also been trying to read the daily readings. This is day 3 in a row. Takes all of 5 minutes. Takes some time to develop habits, but really? I should be able to fit in 5 minutes SOMEWHERE during the day.


Eventually I harp on everyone until they get dressed and eat something. 20191005_074407.jpg

J gets home and showers. Meanwhile, I make some chili for dinner in the Instant Pot, sandwiches that we pack to take for lunch today, switch/fold laundry and attempt control the chaos. It’s wet and rainy outside so I can’t even send them outside…!

Then we leave for Lucy’s volleyball game, and I  am a coach! The girls are getting better and better with each practice and game and it has been really fun to get to know them and see them improve. We play 3 games in about 45 minutes.


After we make it back to the van in the pouring rain, we eat sandwiches as we drive back to retrieve our other car, so I can go to work!


I see 2 new evals and finish my documentation there, then leave. I still get lost in the building a lot and I still can’t use the timeclock system because it doesn’t accept my fingerprint! I enjoy my time there and the people I meet.  At home we have some family over for chili for dinner. Then it’s baths for the kids while J does dinner cleanup. Not going to lie, I really don’t look forward to baths unless it’s my own. I put the 3 youngest girls in the tub and once and that kind of speeds things along. 20191005_204454.jpg

A little kombucha cocktail to end the day and it’s off to bed!


Sunday morning we wake up to alarms to get ready for church. I get the girl’s dresses out and they take care of the rest, except Kateri, who prefers to go naked. I do more laundry.


G has to rifle around to find his jeans, then informs me he has no pants that fit. Of course. The kid is practically a teenager and it’s freaking me out.


We grab some food for brunch contribution and get everyone in the van by 8am. Win!


You can’t see Ruth’s head, but we’re all in here! Jeremiah started plugging his phone into the van sound system and playing the daily Mass readings awhile ago, and now we do it every week. It helps so much because *news flash* parents of young kids don’t always get to pay attention in church. This way we can hear the readings on the way there and then hopefully during Mass too if people cooperate. Another little thing we started doing that probably seems ridiculous but works incredibly well—Amelia and Ruth had a tendency to climb all over and always switch spots and mess with each other during church. We took a roll of painter’s tape with us and put small pieces of tape where each kid was supposed to sit, G, L, A and R. They have to stay on their tape. It was unnecessary for G and L, but really worked to get Amelia and Ruth to stay in their spots. They still do their fair share of messing around but this has helped quite a bit. If Ruth starts trying to climb or walk around I just tell her to get on her spot and she pouts for awhile and sucks her thumb, then is fine. And the tape just peels off when we’re done. Now we just keep the tape roll in the van 😉

After church we would normally have Faith Formation (Sunday School) and it would be my turn to teach 1st grade, but not this week due to some other things going on at the church. So, we head to brunch and eat a lot of good breakfast foods with family. By 1pm-ish we leave and head home. 2 cousins come for the afternoon to play. There’s a lot of legos, trampoline, magnetic tiles, more legos, the game of Life and couch cushion bridges.



The kids all want hot cocoa so we make some. IT. IS. SO. GOOD. We’ve forever ruined ourselves from eating the pre-made kind because this stuff is the BEST!


This mug kills me!

J has to leave to go to a visitation and G has to do his mowing job, so while they’re gone I make more food and update my planner and read and put out fires between cousins.


Spaghetti squash casserole is amazing (+low carb!) paired with salad for dinner and healthy pumpkin muffins for breakfast tomorrow….we’ll be lucky if these make it through breakfast tomorrow because it only made 12 😦 . Ruth eats her weight in dough while my back is turned, so that probably didn’t help! There are extra hands in the kitchen the entire time, so things always take longer than they should. My kids claim they love to cook but sometimes I think they just like to snitch food! I do more laundry.

After dinner I divy up the leftovers, which is just barely enough for 3 kids’ lunches tomorrow, WIN!!  J has to go into work for a bit, so he leaves again. Chaos insists as Ruth desperately needs to go to bed, but we pretend it’s fine and Gabriel and I order all of his swim team gear for his upcoming season. He picks out a new swim bag, practice suit, goggles and fins. He pays for 50% of it and 50% his swim team fee which is quite a chunk of change for a 10 year old. I’ve been impressed by his motivation to earn money and get mowing/odd jobs over the summer. We jam out to Train and Adam Levine. For a short time the girls want to listen to ‘Oh Maria’ from “Sister Act” and they remind me they still haven’t seen the movie. Ah, a classic! Jeremiah returns home to save the day. The kids all clean up a zone of the house because it looks like a bomb went off in here. It’s about 7:15pm.

We get all the kids to bed and I read with G and L for awhile, then send them off to bed. Lucy is the queen of stalling and she’s always the last in bed after a drink, talking, brushing hair, braiding hair, questions, clothes, etc etc ETC, but FINALLY by 8:30, the house is quiet and instead of loading the dishwasher *again* I decide to sit and blog. Bliss!

Tomorrow is Monday!

Have a great week!





Lucy’s First Holy Communion: 4/7/19

Lucy had her First Communion today. It was beautiful! I think I smiled the entire Mass…and we had a great party after! For the many family members of mine that could not come from afar, I thought I’d show the day in pictures. I pray that Lucy always remembers this day and continues to cherish her relationship with Jesus and grows in the Catholic faith. {Photo cred: Uncle Cam}

We woke up even earlier than usual to get ready and get the food warming up. Lucy jumped out of bed and we had no wardrobe or hair malfunctions. She looked like a princess! I had a flash forward to the future when I was putting the veil in her hair….is this what marrying off my daughter will feel like!?!?


We had done all of her shopping weeks ago and got just what she wanted, within reason, because we have 4 daughters and I realize we are setting a precedent with Lucy that will carry on. We did have to exchange her original veil because, believe it or not, there is a HUGE difference between white and off-white, and you can totally tell if the two are different. She wanted to wear a tiara and have her hair in a bun. Easy enough! She also wore a new bracelet from Aunt Mel where each bead corresponds to a part of the Nicene Creed. Very pretty and really neat!


Mass went great. Lucy got to read the first half of the Prayers of the Faithful and did such a great job in front of the 100’s of people at Mass!


The big part of the day arrived…Lucy had her first Communion! I didn’t cry, I was just so proud of her and happy for her!



Lucy had 14 kids in her class. They each made a banner for their First Communion and hang them around the church. It’s really neat to see all the different designs. Lucy was incredibly proud of hers.

img_3936And then we tried to get a family picture. I look sly (?), Gabriel’s tie looks like he stole it from a toddler, Ruth is shoeless and doing everything she can to get away from me, and Kateri was only caring about the fake tree behind us. Hey, we tried 😉


The cousins got their picture with ‘Jesus’s bedroom’, as we like to call it; AKA the tabernacle!:


On the way from church I spotted a faint low rainbow in the sky. God was smiling down 🙂


And then we took a selfie because I was riding in the back due to extra passengers. #blackbetty


Afterwards, we had a great party with a lot of people, plenty of BBQ pork and a giant cake that I am currently eating now. 😉


It was a great day! Such a great day 🙂


Friday Five: 5/4/18

  1. I never got around to writing a post on Gabriel’s 1st Communion, so I’ll just lump that right in here. Being Catholic, 1st Communion is a big deal. Gabriel has been looking forward to this for a long time, and I am so happy and proud that he understands the importance of communion and appreciates/believes in what he is partaking. This day was so special for our family! We had an amazing turnout of family to support Gabriel at Mass and a great party afterwards. Gabriel got a ton of very generous and neat gifts. We got him this Action Bible (This is a really cool book, highly recommend for anyone who likes comic books especially!!!) and another really cool gift was this Lego Mass set. Can hardly believe my little boy is so grown up!!


2. Lucy turned 7! Yet another thing I can hardly believe! Lucy had school on her birthday, and I surprised her and showed up to eat lunch with her. You should have seen the look on her face! PS-Our kids’ school lunch is actually really good…. So for the kids’ birthdays we usually let them pick whether they would like to have a friend party or have J and I take them out for a one-on-one day/evening date. Lucy chose the later and I couldn’t have been happier. I much prefer to do the date than throw a party! So Lucy requested that we go out for sushi (no, not kidding, and she loved it!). After that we decided to go ice skating (I sat out and watched, of course, no ice skating for this preggo) and also got ice cream. Lucy was tickled to hold hands with both of us all night and she so enjoyed the one on one time. It was the perfect evening until our sitter text us that G cut his head open….never a dull moment!

Lucy also got some new spectacles for her birthday and she looks so great in them!  (Thanks Aunt Mel!!)


3. We have entered into baseball/softball season. I really enjoy watching my kids in their activities!! I do have to admit that I really like watching baseball/softball over other things (ahem, wrestling) probably because it’s nicer outside than in a gym(?). G and L are both playing, so we have games to attend 3-4 nights/week for the next 8 weeks. I’m all good with that except that one can only eat sandwiches for dinner so many times and our chairs stink! We are in the market for some new seating this year, because we are using some we’ve had since we got married that have seen better days, and this 5-times-pregnant body needs a decent place to sit. I’m coveting these chairs because they’re amazing, that’s all.

4. Not to keep bragging up on my kids, but Gabriel WROTE A SONG for the piano! Talk about being a proud mama! He’s going to play it for a recital that the kids have coming up. He’s starting to learn to play chords and practices all. the. time for about 2 mins at a time. Hey, I won’t complain. The kid who I thought wouldn’t like piano has really taken a liking to it. I keep planting the seed in their heads that Gabriel, Lucy, and J could totally be a family act and do cantoring/accompanying with piano at church by the time they’re in high school. They’re considering it 😉


5. Almost 27 weeks with this pregnancy! It really is flying by, but I know that the last trimester is literally 15 months long, soooo we’ll see how that goes. We have yet to agree on a boy’s name, but have oodles of girls names that we both like. Each pregnancy gets a little harder to name babies, because, well, I’m married to a teacher. That’s another whole post in itself. I’m starting to wake at night with the dreaded leg cramps. I woke up at midnight last night with my great toe stuck straight up in the air and a muscle in the front of my lower leg on fire! OUCH!!!!! Why does that have to happen?! People are repeatedly asking me when I’m due because the belly is mega-size already. I have been able to walk for exercise at least some this time around, which wasn’t doable with my last pregnancy, so that’s a plus. I’m getting slower, can’t eat as much, moving is more difficult, and my pelvis almost breaks in two when I roll over in bed. It’s actually kind of frightening when it audibly clunks where it shouldn’t. With each pregnancy I have the same problem spots in my pelvis. Anyhoo, I’m feeling a lot more baby movements, which is enjoyable! I snagged a baptismal gown the other day because the price was right and it’s uber pretty, although it is very girly so it has a 50/50 chance of getting worn this go-around. Other than that we have bought nothing baby gear/clothing related, and I don’t think we should have to, which is nice. I may start stockpiling diapers when the nesting bug hits, which I expect to be soon 😉

Friday Five: 2/2/18

1. Many times in the last 3+ months I have not been fond of food. It’s like a necessary evil. Some smells make you nauseated, but if you don’t eat, the nausea is much much worse. Pregnancy is so weird. I can’t handle the smell of red meat, but chicken is great. My fishy-tasting vitamin makes me gag, but (cooked) sushi is amazing. Anything creamy is on my top list. Tomato or spicy foods are not good currently, which is odd for me. We eat tacos at least once a week so I hope this changes! But for some reason, good food tastes REALLY REALLY GOOD lately, and I’ve actually had less food aversions (albeit still nauseous) this time around, which I’m thankful for. I think it’s working out in favor of my family, because we have eaten some REALLY REALLY GOOD food lately. That being said, I have some amazing recipes to share:


2. Speaking of food, my kids have been rocking it in the kitchen lately. My kids are constantly in the kitchen with me anyways, but Gabriel and Lucy are really getting some good skills down. One night a few weeks ago I must have looked extra terrible, because they ordered me to sit on the couch while they would make dinner. They did a great job, and I really didn’t have to do much except turn on the oven. They served all of us a dinner of homemade pizza bread, cottage cheese, fruit salad (canned fruit layered with cool whip! ha!), and milk. Lucy had another night where she was in charge and made pasta bake, garlic bread, mixed vegetables, and jello salad. They always make some kind of ‘dessert’ and I love it!


3. On another note about food, (see a theme here?) Walmart grocery pickup is absolutely the best thing ever. Now I cannot compare, because I have never tried HyVee or any others, but I assume they are all about the same. I love that I can put my order in 3 days before and then just show up, they load it in my car, and we are off again. It has really streamlined my grocery shopping and our grocery budget! You know exactly what your total is before you checkout and meal planning is so simple. I just put things into my cart as I plan out meals on the calendar. I’ve been doing shopping every 2 weeks and rarely have to go into the store otherwise unless something unexpected comes up. That’s HOURS that I’m saving not having to walk the stores, checkout, wrangle kids, etc. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it!

4. Gabriel is in 2nd grade this year, which means he gets to receive 2 sacraments at church this year! We are so excited for him! I remember when he was little I thought we had so much time until he would be old enough for First Communion and Reconciliation, but here we are! He has First Reconciliation on Sunday and First Communion in a few short months. I know it’s not about the clothes, but we’ve already been scoping out suits 😉 He is excited for everything and is an eager learner. He comes up with the best religious discussion at home and I love seeing how his mind works. I cannot wait until he can be an altar server next year! Can’t believe our oldest is so old!



5. We are STILL on the hunt for a new vehicle. This is not easy. So many decisions. I wish someone would come along and just tell us exactly what we were meant to buy that we would be the happiest with, both in function and in price. However I have not met that person yet. Maybe he’ll show up tomorrow. We know what we want, it’s just if we want to pay that much. Ay-yay-yay! In the meantime, we’ll keep looking….

Happy weekend!


Uncharted territory

  1. So I did something new today. I took 3 kids to school, and I left them all there. Weird.


I snapped this picture without them knowing #momskills.  And I’m pretty sure they should be Land’s End backpack models, just sayin’. I’m not sure I even needed to go into school with them today. The older 2 helped Amelia into her room, found her cubby, helped her to hang up her backpack and then held her hand and walked to the playground. I snagged a hug. Amelia turned around and yelled ‘Bye Mom!!!’. And that was it. Talk about not feeling needed. 😉 I am SO excited for her to be in preschool. She has been looking forward to this for so long. I love watching them grow!!!


2.I started looking at cake ideas and birthday gifts for my BABY who is turning ONE in less than a month. Super weird. What’s also super weird is that I think this kid really is part of the monkey species. She climbs like no other. We have never had a kid like this….. or maybe it’s just been awhile since Gabriel was one. She enjoys climbing in and out of the dishwasher and attempting to break the hinges off the door, climbing into/out of/on top of the broiler drawer of the oven, climbing chairs, slides, stairs and ladders, splashing in the toilet, as well as yanking all and every last book off of the bookshelf. She sure is cute and fun though 🙂


3. We are planning a camping trip involving 3 tents, 3 nights, 7 people, and a lot of food. Wish us luck and pray for no rain. We have only ever done 1 night trips before so this will be very different. We are VERY excited. We will have no electricity so all meals will be over the fire and hopefully be a lot of tasty trout that we catch. Hopefully the mosquitos take a vacation then too.

4. I am teaching Sunday School this year to a grade I’ve never taught. In the past (before our kids were born) Jeremiah and I taught 2nd grade (and we really had no idea what we were doing) and then I got wiser and co-taught 3 yr old preschool faith formation with a friend, because preschool is way easier than 2nd grade sacramental year. This year a nun asked me to teach 1st grade, but I have never done that grade before. But, when a nun asks you to do something, you do it. So, I’m teaching 1st grade and Lucy is over the moon that I’ll be her teacher. We’ll see how that goes.

5. Last and certainly the most unimportant of this blog post, I am going to attempt to make salsa verde today with a massive amount of tomatillos that a patient brought to us out of his garden this week. Also going to try our hand at refrigerator pickles. Never have done either of these things before, so wish me luck once again. Now that I have 3 hrs of the morning a few days a week with only 1 kid anything can happen!




Easter is Awesome {2017 Version}

He is Risen!



Another Easter is in the books.  We pulled into the driveway tonight and Lucy sighs and says, “Well this was a great Easter day!” Yes, yes it was!

Not really the most important point of the day, but I did get the Easter outfits finished in time {whew}, so I thought I’d share! I cannot take any credit for the dress idea, it came from HERE. I wish I could do sewing like this more than once a year, I do enjoy making them stuff!

I got Mr. Gabriel to wear this tie by using the ‘mom guilt’. It goes something like this: ‘This Mom really wants a NICE pic of her 4 kids at Easter in the outfits she worked SO HARD to make them. So you WILL wear this tie to church. Mmmkk?’ This works on him, so I believe I still have a soft spot in his heart.

His tie was made from a tutorial I found HERE that I modified quite a bit. Shirt and pants: Children’s Place.  Shoes: Target.  Handsome devilish grin: his father. 😉

Lucy’s dress was the first I made of the group and turned out probably the best of the 3 dresses.  She’s a size 6 now and tall, so I’m learning I have to make things longer for her and actually didn’t get the skirt as long as I wanted, but I think it still looked nice. There were two new-to-me elements in these dresses: french seams and pleats, yeah I’m a novice. Shoes: Walmart (they are way too big so she stuffed a sock in the toes–shhh). Glasses: Rayban (what else?!) 😉

Pleats, pleats, pleats!!

Did a smile ever look so forced? What a clown. Amelia got to pick out the colors for the dresses this time around and she was REALLY looking forward to wearing her Easter dress.  Her shoes are hand me down from Lucy, and the brand name is wore off :-\ Her bracelet is a souvenir gift from California 😉

And the munchkin.  The first version of the dress I made her I could not even get over her head! Grrr. Back to the drawing board. I ended up basically making her an elasticized skirt that looked similar to the big girls’ pleated dresses and a little sash too.  Worked much better as I could just slide it up over her onesie. I cannot believe how darn cute she is!!! And everything else she’s wearing is hand me downs haha!

I found this site to be quite precious!


And these are the bunny baskets made by my very talented Dad! I literally showed him a pic of something similar 2 weeks ago and these were 100% done on Thursday! Are they not just the cutest thing ever?! He’s taking orders for next year!!! (And I’m totally serious on that one!) My plan is to get their names on each one using vinyl and a Cricut or something by next year, but for now I just used some yarn and a piece of paper.




Conception Seminary College a school of 1000 acres located in Conception Junction, Missouri. I had never been to a seminary before, until this last weekend. Uncle Cameron (Jeremiah’s bother) is in his first year of seminary there, and we ventured the 4 hours there for 2015 Family Weekend.  IT WAS AMAZING. The place, the people, the SPIRIT in that place.  There is nothing quite like it. I can see why Cameron loves calling this place home.

I’ll let some pictures do the talking.


There were so many fun family activities throughout the weekend, but the best part was just BEING there. We got to meet and talk to other families, most of whom have sons in the seminary, who were such an encouragement to us as Catholics and Catholic parents.  Jeremiah and I both left the weekend with a new passion and love for our faith, and our family.

As for the fun stuff, Cameron gave us tours of his school and dorm room, we got to do several tours of the grounds and buildings, including the beautiful historic Basilica, a hayrack ride, banquet, several meals, watching a soccer game, hiking out to a secluded grotto, Mass, partaking in the monks’ daily prayers, and enjoying God’s beauty in the rolling hills of Missouri!

Coolest library ever--it had 3 floors with color coded staircases. G compared it to the Ghostbusters library.

Coolest library ever–it had 3 floors with color coded staircases. G compared it to the Ghostbusters library. Cameron’s favorite place to study

Gabriel standing just under the St Gabriel statue

Gabriel standing just under the St Gabriel statue….

....And next to the St Gabriel Guesthouse. G loved all this

….And next to the St Gabriel Guesthouse. G loved all this

Hiking to the grotto

Hiking a few miles to the grotto

Our Lady of Grace Grotto

Our Lady of Grace Grotto

Grotto---kids found hedge apples and Amelia sliced her head open on a bench..woof.

Grotto—kids found hedge apples and Amelia sliced her head open on a bench..woof.

Gabriel overlooks Lake Placid in the early morning

Gabriel overlooks Lake Placid in the early morning

Holy Cross Oratory. Seminarians have daily prayer several times per day here

Holy Cross Oratory. Seminarians have daily prayer several times per day here. It’s on the 4th floor and overlooks the grounds, seats a few hundred

Walking more trails after Mass

Walking more trails after Mass

And the real reason for the weekend: seeing Uncle Cam in his natural habitat 😉


Our Seminarian, Cameron

And the mustachios....

And the mustachios….

We had a fantastic time at the Seminary. I learned so much. The entire school is run by 50 Benedictine monks, whose primary purpose in life is prayer.  They don’t own many worldly goods, stop everyday to pray 5 times, have daily Mass, and eat 2 out of their 3 meals per day in silence. They live in a Monastery attached to the Basilica that is off-limits to anyone but them. They are super-prayer-warriors.  Fascinating.  We hope to return to this PLACE in the future.

-The {proud of Uncle Cam} Costellos