Friday, January 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes, Volume 12

{story of a soul, condensed}

Pieces of my life lately...visit Conversion Diary for more from other bloggers!

{1} I'm about to be a godmother, unoficially at least, for the first time!  This weekend, Andrew and I will be the long-distance stand-ins for the new baby girl, Therese-Rose Marie, of some of our best friends.  I'm obsessed with her name and am so excited to share in such a major part of her life.  Do you have any advice for me?  How to love her spiritually?  How to avoid getting baptismal candle wax on myself?

 
 {2} In honor of Therese's baptism, I was so, so tickled to come across this Etsy shop featuring sweet little saint dolls!  When I told my husband I found this St. Therese doll, he asked, "Is it one of those creepy ones?"  I'm happy to say that the answer is a resounding no.  Aren't they adorable?

{3} If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I have a deep love for Christopher West's writing and spirituality.  Right now I'm about a third of the way through his brand new book, Fill These Hearts (click the link for a little trailer!), and can't get enough.  The subtitle is "God, Sex, and the Universal Longing."  Amazing, right?  Christopher describes the book as a departure from more theologically-centered writing in exchange for a candid look at sex and the culture and how, for good and for bad, it reflects the deepest cries of our hearts.  It's informed by the Theology Of the Body, is beautifully written, and I think it'd be a wonderful choice to introduce someone to the faith--the frankness, pop culture references, and appeal to the kind of love and fulfillment we're all desiring are so real and could meet anyone where they are.  Love it!  Look for a longer post about this book next month!



{4} I'm...well, smitten with a new-to-me blog, Smitten Studio.  Sarah Sherman shares perfectly curated fashion and decorating choices, her own oh-so-stylish outfits and home makeover projects (she and her husband are renovating their amazing cabin.  Their cabin), and simple, elegant DIYs like this one.  Pay her site a visit, and tell me what you think!

{5} I think I told you a while back that Andrew's been applying to PhD programs lately, as we try to discern where to move if he's accepted to the two programs he's hoping for and when to start a family.  He sent one completed application in this week and is almost finished with the other!  This is really happening...pray for us!

{6} Earlier this week, a friend of mine asked me to recommend an NFP app for charting.  Maybe I'm just boring/not taking advantage of my smartphone/both of the above, but I've always been fine using paper charts, though I do keep track of things in the notepad on my phone when I travel (I used to bring my charts on all of my frequent weekend trips, and by the time I filled my first booklet, the cover was falling off!).  So, tell me: do you use an app?  Which ones do you like best?

{7} Though I'm not a mama just yet, I've been vicariously enjoying the pregnancy experience through two of my friends right now.  I just stumbled onto Hatch Maternity, an absolutely amazing collection of clothes you can wear both during and after your pregnancy, and I'm so in love!  To my great tragedy, these things are ridiculously expensive, but a girl can dream, right?  And collect ideas to imitate in a cheaper way?  What do you think?

I'd love to hear about your plans for the weeekend!  Have a good one!


P.S. Captive the Heart was just named a Top 100 Christian Marriage and Relationship Blog by a compendium of Catholic dating sites!  Click here to see the list and find a new favorite!


19 comments:

  1. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Captive The Heart, it has been on my amazon wishlist since October/November and I was going to get it as soon as it came out but I was on vacation and life happened and I still don't have it.

    Fertility Friend has an app as well as OvuView.

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    1. Ugh, I do that with books, too! I think the reason I got this one so quickly, aside from how excited I was, was the Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket =) Thanks for the app recommendation!

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  2. If you have a Droid, check out CyclePlus Fertility Tracker. It is a joint effort with the Daughters of St. Paul and myfertilitycharts.com. I'm a single gal using it for health reasons, and I LOVE it. It features daily beautiful quotes on authentic love and womanhood, a means of tracking tons of symptoms in addition to your temp, CM observations, and even hormonal/monitor readings. 3 different ways of interpreting ovulation (but you have to pay for the premium subscription). But for free, you still get tons of resources, prayers (!), and these two articles called "The Body Speaks" and "The Woman I Am." Very ToB. :) I think I heard that the iPhone version should be coming soon!

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  3. Praying for Andrew and his applications! And I think the God father holds the candle, so you don't have to worry about spilling it on yourself :)
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. One day post-Baptism, I am happy to report that not a drop was spilled. Hope you had a wonderful weekend, too!

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  4. An awesome NFP app for Android phones is Ovuview: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sleekbit.ovuview&hl=en

    The paid version is only $6 and it's worth it, but the free one is pretty great as well. You can import data from your past cycles, if you take the time to put it into Excel, which isn't too hard, and you can customize which rules to apply to your cycle which is great because every woman works a little differently and some rules work better for some than others. You can track all kinds of symptoms (including weight, exercise, customize your own symptoms), export cycle data easily, and .... it has a pregnancy mode, which I've found useful for tracking my weight gain as the baby grows. In a few months, I can give an update on how it handles post partum NFP. :)

    In short, I LOVE this app, and so do a lot of other people in the NFP Facebook groups that I belong to. Many apps are annoying because they interpret data for you in a way that doesn't make sense and is often inaccurate. Ovuview gives you control over the rules interpreting your cycle so that you are comfortable with the result and it matches up to the way you know your body works.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jenn! In this informal little poll, OvuView seems to be taking the cake--the fact that you can interpret your chart yourself, rather than having a formula do it, sounds really nice.

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  5. I am also very interested to hear more of your thoughts on Christoper West's new book. When I was engaged 10 years ago, I read Good News about Sex and Marriage. I literally threw it across the room, and subsequently threw it in the trash after we got married! I did not disagree with the content, but his style totally threw me off. From what I've heard, he's changed his approach quite a bit so I am interested to see if I want to buy this new book!

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    1. Threw...haha. It's interesting, the camps people fall into about his work. I've read snippets of Good News and didn't have any issues with it, but regardless of your reaction to that one, I think Fill These Hearts is incredibly sensitive, gentle, and candid about hard truths in a really accessible way. I'm excited to share my thoughts, too!

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  6. Love that doll!

    Also, we only chart on our app. We are too lazy for paper ;) We like an app just called NFPCharting.

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    1. Gah, don't you just want to hug her?! Thanks for the app advice...funnily enough, I consider myself too lazy for technology =)

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  7. Aw! I love that St. Therese! I think I'm going to have to go get a couple for my kids! :) And thanks for the book recommendation- off to check that out.

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  8. That is so exciting that you are going to be a godmother!:) I am looking forward to your post on Fill These Hearts!

    I'll pray for you and Andrew...I am sure many exciting things are ahead!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Stephanie!!

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    1. Thanks so much for your prayers, Caitlin! Hope you had a fantastic weekend, too =)

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  9. I haven't heard of that blog - I'll have to look around.

    I just found Hatch Maternity this week too - they have some beautiful clothes. Let us know if you find a cheaper alternative.

    I'm a fan of Christopher West too, although I have to admit I've been struggling through his book "Theology of the Body." I loved "The Good News on Sex and Marriage," but I'm just having trouble getting into this one for some reason.

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    1. Same to you--I'd love to find cheaper versions of Hatch if you find anything! I'm curious as to which book you're reading--is it the big TOB explained volume, or the Beginners book? I haven't tackled that big scholarly one yet, so I'd be so glad to hear your thoughts. Hope you're doing well, Ashley!

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