Friday, February 12, 2016

Captive the Heart Turns Four: A Roundup of Favorites and Some Minor Sentimentality

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My marathon of post-Lily guest offerings is done just in time for her to turn 3 months old in a few days.  And what better way to ease myself back into the blogging habit, I figure, than with a post light on new stuff and heavy on past linkage.  Last Wednesday marked four years since I wrote my first blog post ever.  I hesitated to say my blog "turned four" in the title since, you know, I've only actively written it for about three of those four years.  I can only say I fully plan to have things be different when my children turn four.

My children!  It would be stating the obvious to say so much has changed in my life over four years, but seriously.  I went from unemployed newlywed to government worker, to briefly unemployed again, to secretary to nanny to full-time mama.  I went from being a Masters degree wife in one city to a PhD wife in another.  We had a baby, then had another one.  I wrote a book.  I gratefully watched comments slooowly roll in as I talked about awkward things, ventured for a while into amateur fashion blogging, and shared my life.

Far better than the comments are the friendships.  I think every blogger hopes she'll be widely read, with comments, likes, and emails to show for it.  And I have to admit that yes, those visible, quantifiable marks of how many peeps are reading make my day when I receive them and sometimes throw me into unattractively self-centered doubt when I don't.  But more than just wanting the readership, I sincerely wanted to form a community, however small, here, and am so happy that intention has become real.  I love the sisterhood I've found in some readers and other bloggers, and love that I'm on a similar path with some of the closest friends I've made through blogging--over the past few years, we have each started families and grown through the newlywed phase of our marriages around the same time.

So, if you are reading this, thank you.  I'm so grateful for your prayers, your words, and your friendship.  If you're a longtime reader, thank you for sticking with a writer who let "maternity break" stretch into a yearlong blog death when her first baby turned everything upside down.  If you're new here, thank you for dropping by, and I hope you'll stay a while.  I still feel about this piece of the internet the same way I did when I started it: that I hope my love of weddings and relentless, if clumsy, pursuit of authentic love will come through these words and images to inspire your relationship and will just let me be a vessel of something greater; the path to holiness and to heaven, illuminated by Mary to the feet of her Son.

In celebration (and, like I said, because I'm easing back into this!), here, in no particular order, are 10 of my favorite posts, to revisit or to read for the first time:
Theology of the Body-inspired first dance songs 
The sort of mourning I sometimes feel for newlywed life, and how I'm learning to reconcile my identity as bride and mother 
My favorite quality in my husband 
Why one World Youth Day attendee was right when he said St. Pope John Paul II "introduced us to ourselves" through the person of Jesus 
How I became okay with feeling like a boring couple
Are soul mates real, and does it matter? 
That time Andrew hijacked my blog
Honeymoon multi-taskers for lazy packers and small suitcases 
The book that puts my particular spirituality into words 
Remembering my best, and last, first date
So, four years in, can we have a little State of the Blog chat in the comments?  Tell me what you like to see here, what you don't, and how I can make this into a better wedding planning resource for you.  I love hearing from you, truly!  Much love.


  1. Thanks so much for writing! I've been working on planning my wedding and its been great to come here for some inspiration. My fiance and I have been working on learning to pray together, so I really like your articles on husband/wife prayer life.

    1. Thanks so much! Even now I still feel like we are learning to pray together. Here's an oldie on becoming more comfortable with prayer in front of each other:



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