Today we worked and played and Daddy cooked dinner on the grill. Tomorrow we start our new homeschool year. The children are excited –mostly– and I am too. The freshness of a new year, new things to learn and study, new perspectives, new supplies. It’s almost intoxicating, the excitement of what’s to come.
Summer is fading. We have already lost the stifling humidity and the air is much drier now –although sitting here right now I feel a bit too warm. I admit am looking forward to fall and even to winter. It’s hard to believe at the beginning of spring that I would be ready for cooler weather but I always am. As much as I love the spring and summer I love the fall and winter too. I cannot imagine myself living somewhere that doesn’t have such marked change in the seasons. I love it here. I was born and raised here and my roots go deep.
Of course with the change of seasons I have been thinking about the Advent too since it will be here before I know it. Lately I’ve been pinning recipes on Pinterest for holiday baking and meal planning. One of my goals this school year is to get back to regular meal planning. I am not good at making dinner at the last moment but all too often that is how it ends up. I need a plan. I have an Instant Pot that I bought last March and I haven’t even used it yet. I feel intimidated by it for some reason, but I will conquer it soon. I hope.
I had thought to post more often here but summer is always so busy and at the end of it I tend to look back and marvel a bit on all that has transpired. Planner season was busier than ever and I am grateful but it means there is less time for other things because well, there’s only so much time. But it is what it is, which is to say it is the end of summer and I am just getting back to writing blog posts.
It isn’t as though I don’t have anything to say. Life is full indeed and goodness knows there are always stories to tell. I could share with you my sorrows and woes (because of course there are those in my life as I am sure there are in yours) but I won’t. I would appreciate any prayers you may want to offer on my family’s behalf though. We could always use them. Who couldn’t?
It occurs to me that I should perhaps clarify that when I say I am busy I do not mean that I have no time for leisure. I do and I make sure I do because if I run at full steam all the time I know from experience I will burn out. My relationship with my family and the time I spend with them is important to me (and to them as well or so they tell me) so I make time for it and that can mean other things don’t get done. I am guessing you can relate.
As you already know my husband Tim and I went to Ireland in May for our [31 year] anniversary. It was wonderful, although a bit sad too because the Faith there is not what it once was. As we wandered the countryside and stopped in at a pub or two to drink Guinness and chat with the locals, I kept feeling the need to pray that God would send another St. Patrick to them. Of course he is the patron Saint of Ireland and I certainly prayed for his intercession. In fact I took along a little St. Patrick peg doll and posted iPhone photos of him on Instagram and Facebook. It kind of turned into a fun little game of “find peg padraig”. (You can see the photos on Instagram under the hashtags #quigleysireland and #pegpadraig).
We really did love it there and we both felt the visit was too short and hope to go back next year. I took some amazing photographs with my camera too. I keep meaning to put them up here but I shoot in RAW which means I have to process them (which is akin to developing film in the darkroom –only digitally– so it takes time). I will get them up eventually. Here’s one of the amazing view on the Dingle Peninsula .
A few weeks after coming home from Ireland I was off to Indianapolis to speak at the Catholic homeschool conference there. I got to spend some time with friends and ate at a famous Indy place called Harry and Izzy’s. The shrimp cocktail was one of the things I heard I just had to have. I loved it but wow the cocktail sauce was a crazy strong. If you need your sinuses cleared that would do the trick for sure.
June was more conferences, speaking at IHM, and having my car’s engine go and leaving four of my children sitting on the shoulder of a very busy freeway. Mercifully they were all OK, my car was not. July was birthday cake and turning 49, a new car (an actual car as opposed to a van or suv) and lots and lots of swimming. We joined a pool this year that was so close we could walk, and because my children are now older and all swim they could even go without me. They had a lot of fun. Today was the last day the pool was open so the timing to starting school was perfect. Ok yes I planned it that way. 🙂
In August I finally got to the Chesterton conference and thoroughly enjoyed being just a participant and listening to the talks. I was able to spend time chatting with some old friends and I got to meet Emily Stimpson Chapman. It turns out she is even more sweet in person than online –if you can imagine that!
Of course one of the best parts of any season is these two baby girls. Oh how we love them! They seem to be growing too fast though I know that is as it should be.
Looking back it was a lovely spring and summer. There were struggles too. You must realize that because I do not ever want to give the appearance of perfection, something that simply doesn’t exist here. But beauty and joy have a way of mingling in with struggles and sorrows and they are, I think, what keep us from sinking. I trust in His mercy and I am grateful for His blessings. There’s much to be thankful for and much to keep praying about.
Soldier on friends.