It’s Quick Takes Friday at Conversion Diary, and this week I’m going to share the jumble of unfinished thoughts, things that warrant either their own post or a long discussion over some hot drink (or, given our tropical weather, maybe some lemonade).

1. “Three Things”
Jen inspired me to start thinking about workload and how much I tackle last year, in her Rule of Life series, particularly this post about not being able to do it all and this post about hard stops. Her “reckless experiment with prayer” inspired me to examine my prayer more closely, and I’ve adopted some of my current practices, which are always a work in progress, because of the reflection she inspired. (She posted something along these lines the other day, too, and if you haven’t read it, you should: “Thoughts on letting yourself get overloaded“).

So my unfinished thought about this has to do with a practice I recently adopted which I call “Three Things.” I even made a spreadsheet during some time off I had at the end of the year (when we weren’t puking or cleaning up puke, that is), though I haven’t been using it because it got in the way after a while.

The gist of this concept is that I set out, each day, to complete three things. Since I have different aspects of my life — parish work and home life, namely — I allow myself three things in each area sometimes. When I walk into work, I determine what my three things will be. And I find that setting out to do only three things (cleaning out my inbox, returning phone calls, and paying bills, for example, was my list from last Monday), without slipping into making the things so general that they’re unachievable, not only helps me feel like I’ve accomplished something, but it also gives me peace.

2. Being an Aunt
For the first time in my life, there are babies waiting to be born and I will be the aunt! Two of my younger brothers and my husband’s youngest sister are all expecting their first babies, and I’m so excited I could just, well, blog about it. 🙂 I haven’t, because I have a lot to say and I haven’t had a chance to organize my thoughts. My husband’s other sisters have children, so I’ve been Aunt Sarah for quite some time. It’s one of my favorite roles, one I treasure and perhaps one that really opened my heart to children of my own.

Marrying into nieces and nephews, though, is nothing like waiting for them to be born!

3. View from the Front Pew
Though she insists she hates Mass and church, my four-year-old insists with equal fervor that the appropriate place for us to sit is in the front row.

There’s a lot of humility in this for me.

It is interesting to see things up close, I agree with her on that. And it is humorous in hind-sight when Father looks sternly at my kids, from the ambo before reading the Gospel, when they (actually, only a certain unnamed fussy one) scream out during the Gospel proclamation.

4. My New Favorite Movie
My young friend and nearly niece, Violet, kindly let us Wall*E back in January. It was one of her Christmas presents, and after watching it twice that weekend, it’s now one of my favorite movies.

5. Do I Have a Purpose?
I’ve been reflecting on my purpose for blogging. It started as a writing exercise, and sometimes it continues in that role. In the end, I think, it has to do with being God’s instrument.

6. What IS Extraordinary?
I’ve been rolling around the concept of extraordinary motherhood, inspired by Heidi’s Extraordinary Moms Network. When Heidi first told me, via email, that she considered me an extraordinary mom, I thanked her and then rolled my eyes at my computer screen. “Yeah, right,” I thought. “How could I be in league with those adoptive moms or moms of special needs children?” Since then, that seed she planted has been growing slowly, and I’ve been thinking about how motherhood pushes all all, forces us to reach and extend ourselves.

7. We’re ALL Different People!
Like everyone else, it seems, I’m on Facebook. I don’t particularly like it, and I limit my time there. My updates go out by ping and I rarely, if ever, check other people’s updates. I respect Facebook as the bottomless time sink it could be for me, and I stay away from it because my time is already too packed with to-do items. Recently, though, an old college friend, one who knew me pretty well back in the day, responded to my comment that I’m a much different person now. “We’re ALL different people,” she wrote. And that, I suppose, is part of the appeal of Facebook and all this social media. We ARE all different people, and finding those friends from the past is a chance to find out if the changes we’ve made mesh with the changes they’ve made (or, in some cases, haven’t made).

That’s it for my unfinished jumble of thoughts. Go see the rest of the Quick Takes round-up at Conversion Diary.