7QTs: The Easter Edition

7QTs The Easter Edition Talking about family1. Good Friday

I mentioned last week how much I had been looking forward to attending the Easter ceremonies, but was realising that plans would change with a baby! We were fortunate enough to be able to attend the Stations of the Cross at the Cathedral. It was beautifully done, with a small choir singing meditative Taizé chants every few stations. I spent quite a few Easters in Taizé, an ecumenical community of brothers  in a village in France known for its beautiful simple songs, so this struck a chord with me and was really special.

Easter Vigil Black Abby Kilkenny Talking About Family2. Easter Vigil

The Easter Vigil is my favourite Mass of the liturgical year. The gathering outside by the Paschal fire, the processing into church, lighting our candles from the one flame, the Exultet, the Old Testament readings, the Gloria, the bells, the Risen Christ! What a joyous celebration! He is risen! Alleluia!

Easter Cake Talking About Family Coffee cake3. Easter Sunday (and cake!)

We spent Easter Sunday en famille with my parents. As well as Easter eggs, and an Easter lamb for Baby T, we had Easter cake! This cake deserves a 7QTs mention because its actually the first cake I have ever baked! It was a dry run for baby’s first birthday later this month, but it turned out well. Everyone seemed quite surprised by how nice it tasted. I credit Delia Smith and her idiot-proof recipe! Thanks, Delia! (As an aside, did you know that as well as being a legendary English cook, she is a major shareholder at Norwich F.C., is Catholic, and has written Advent and Lenten reflection books? What a woman!)

st bridgid cross handmade hoop art4. Baptism gift

This week I have been working on an embroidered St Brigid’s cross. It’s a baptism gift for a little girl.

5. Sowing seeds

I have black fingers. Despite this, every year, I get excited about growing vegetables. Every year, I give it a go. This year, I’ve kicked off the seed-sowing season with some rocket salad and spring onions in containers, and beetroot on the window ledge. No point putting a photo here. Nothing to see! Watch this space!

6. Date Night

Usually the weather in Ireland is pretty cloudy, grey, windy, wet and cold in this part of the world. However, this last week has seen temperatures rise to a sweltering 18 degrees Celsius! Phew! We celebrated with an impromptu date night; I picked my husband up from work and we drove to Ireland’s answer to Miami Beach- Tramore! Seriously though, it was nice to do something different after work, to enjoy the weather, go for a walk, have a meal. After becoming new parents, date night went out the window. Now our little one is nearly a year old, and we are beginning to get the hang of this parenting thing, we have no excuse! Date night is back on the calender! Yey!

7. Book Shopping

liquid love meg meeker md fatal misconception

A couple of books for my course and one for me! I am really excited about all of them. Liquid Love is about human relationships, how traditional bonds are changing and the liquidity with which these new bonds can be tied and untied. Fatal Misconception is a very interesting read about the struggle to control the world’s population. And, for some light reading, I bought The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers. I often hear Dr Meg Meeker on Ave Maria Radio. She is a Catholic wife, mother and pediatrician, so I am really looking forward to reading one of her books.

How was your Easter?

Thanks to Kelly for hosting 7QTs! For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!

7QTs: Reflecting on Lent

Reflecting on LentCan you believe Lent is over? It’s crept up on me this year! After weeks of “I’ll do better next week” or “I’ll start again tomorrow”, I now look back at my attempts at prayer, fasting, almsgiving and general offering-up. It wasn’t one of those Lents where I gave up something big (sweet things, cigarettes, alcohol), and eagerly anticipated celebrating Christ’s resurrection with a Creme Egg McFlurry. I didn’t have a giving-up plan. Although my Lenten preparations weren’t perfect, I didn’t completely fail either. Here are seven quick takes…

  1. The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

Do you know what the Corporal or the Spiritual works of mercy are? I have to be honest, I didn’t. At the beginning of Lent, I printed them out and stuck them to my fridge, so I looked at them at least a few times a day, and became more intentional about incorporating  them into my daily life.

The 7 Corporal & 7 Spiritual Works Of Mercy talking about family

  1. Visit the Sick

So I know this technically comes under my #1 point, Spiritual works of mercy, but I have done so much of it this Lent, I think it deserves its own bullet point! A few members of my family have been ill and in hospital. Poor them- Florence Nightingale I ain’t! But, with the help of God’s grace, I think I was able to bring a little help and comfort to them. Thank you, God!

  1. Giving up little thingsDeliciously Ella Sweet POtato Brownies Talksing about family

Like I said, this year wasn’t one of those Lents where I gave up something big. My diet is almost vegan, and I am avoiding sweet treats as a general rule, so giving up sugary things would be cheating, as I don’t eat any anyway. However, I recently discovered Deliciously Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies.  Super-healthy, dairy-free, gluten-free deliciously chocolatey goodness. No, really! This was my one indulgence since I discovered Deliciously Ella at the beginning of the year. Well, around the second week of Lent, I realised this was my one indulgence that had to go!

  1. The Social Media Heroic minute?

Have you ever heard of the heroic minute? I first read about it on Brandon Vogt’s blog. The idea was that of Opus Dei founder, St. Jose Maria Escriva;

Conquer yourself each day from the very first moment, getting up on the dot, at a set time, without granting a single minute to laziness. If with the help of God, you conquer yourself in the moment, you have accomplished a great deal for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find yourself beaten in the first skirmish (The Way 191).

Instead of giving up Facebook but turning to Twitter, or only checking Pinterest on Sundays, I decided to be more intentional about my social media usage. You know those times when you have a free minute and you find yourself drifting off into cyberspace? Or you think “I’ll just have a quick look at Twitter” and what seems like a minute later, you realise you have achieved nothing and actually wasted the last 15 minutes of your life? Well, the Social Media Heroic Minute was about nipping those moments in the bud. Close the browser. Put the smartphone down. Do something worthwhile instead.

  1. Reading ScriptureBlessed is She and Magnificat Talking About Family

I have never been great at doing this every day, even though my husband often reads the Magnificat over breakfast and leaves it on the table. Open. Ready to read. It. Couldn’t. Be. Easier! Some days, I confess, God gets squeezed out. This Lent, I have made an effort that no matter how long my to-do list, to put God at the top. I found that most days, by doing this first, the rest of the to-do list has handled itself!

  1. Spiritual Journaling

I was delighted to get my hands on a wonderful Blessed Is She Lenten Journal this Lent. I used to keep a spiritual journal, but fell out of practice somewhere along the way. I love getting the daily devotions from the #BISsisterhood, which prompted me to get the journal. Although I haven’t managed to write in it every day, I have been writing in it most days, and will be getting a new journal to continue after Easter Sunday!

  1. Changing plans

I  was really looking forward to the Triduum. Really really looking forward to it. After discovering that the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and the Easter Vigil clashed with baby’s bedtime, I realised I might not make all the Easter ceremonies this year. Then I read Living the Triduum. Although I may not be able to make it to the services, I’m inspired to remember Christ’s passion, death and resurrection through prayer and meditation throughout these days.

How about you? How was your Lent?

Thanks to Kelly for hosting 7QTs! For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!