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This week we celebrated Mary’s birthday. That’s Mary the Mother of God. The Blessed Virgin. My homegirl.

Yeah, what’s a birthday to her?

But to us? Well, WE have every right to celebrate!

And celebrate we are…with prayer AND giveaways!

Over at CatholicMom.com, we’ve put together NINE DAYS of giveaways–a novena of giveaways, complete with an actual novena.

Don’t worry about jumping in late…your prayers are never wasted. Don’t waste any time, though, getting over there for today’s giveaway, sponsored by On This Day Designs! Be sure to check in every day until the 16th, too, because there are books, jewelry, rosaries, embroidered goodies, and more books coming!

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About a year ago, I bought Meredith Gould‘s The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days, and Every DayI justified purchasing it because I was planning to use it for research for my book which is due out in March.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Catholic Home, and I was excited to hear that Meredith has put together a study guide for it.

The study guide‘s free and, from what I’ve been able to see so far, a wonderful accompaniment to the book.

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Speaking of the book that’s due out in March, I think it’s safe to share some information. And the fact that people I really admire tell me they’re getting copies of it for early review and blurbs.

An author friend told me recently that it’s nerve-wracking when people start getting early copies of your book.

I smiled, but I really had NO CLUE.

With Welcome Baby Jesus (and Welcome Risen Jesus, which is due out at the beginning of the year), I didn’t have this to worry about, in part because of the booklet format and publication cycle.

But Catholic Family Fun: A Guide for the Adventurous, Overwhelmed, Creative, or Clueless is going through all the traditional hoops. I wrote it last summer, edited it this summer, and sit here biting my fingernails as good friends and writing colleagues and heroes tell me about getting their copies.

I haven’t even seen copies of it! Is the cover pretty? Is there a picture of me pulling out my hair? (Did my three-year-old take said picture?) Is it good? (Because I didn’t think so until we had thrashed through the editing process. And then I only liked it grudgingly.)

Oh, and do you think I’ll be able to get my kids to try out some of the neat ideas I shared in it?

Um, wait. I’m not supposed to admit that… 🙂

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Don’t you love that subtitle? A Guide for the Adventurous, Overwhelmed, Creative, or Clueless

I’m going to have to do some working to get it memorized, but I gotta hand it to those Daughters of St. Paul: they captured exactly what I wanted to get in the title!

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You know who else gets me?

Jeff Young (aka Catholic Foodie).

Every time I listen to his show (except for my Mary in the Kitchen segment), I drool.

His latest episode is no different. Maybe it’s that I love pizza. A LOT. And that I have found my inner Southerner in my passion for crawfish and southern eats.

The part about Mama cooking love into her food? What part of that doesn’t make you think of Mary?

My Mary in the Kitchen segment is a reflection on Mary’s birthday, taken in large part from a column I wrote a couple of years ago for Faith & Family Live.

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In other news, I had to buy new socks this week:

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This is a snapshot of the week via Twitter. See if you can feel my pain/amusement/horror/joy:

(Click to enlarge. And yes, he IS now pulling himself up. AND crawling. AND smiling like crazy.)

Stop by to see Jen at Conversion Diary for all the fun that is 7 Quick Takes Friday!