It’s Friday, and I’m rounding up everything I’ve wanted to share this week and just…haven’t.  So here goes:


One of my very favorite podcasts is Among Women, hosted by Pat Gohn. In fact, it’s one of my top five podcasts, the ones that bump to the top of my playlist no matter what I’m already listening to.  When a friend of mine recently asked me for podcast recommendations (finding the list in my sidebar a little intimidating), Among Women was one that I recommended, saying to her, as I say to you, if you can listen to nothing else on your iPod, you should listen to this.  It’s a spiritual journey with Pat, whose degree in theology (or something like that) gives her the knowledge and whose life experience gives her the compassion and whose deep faith gives her the wisdom to make a show that’s, well, fabulous.  It’s professionally produced, because Pat has a background in broadcast radio.

It’s like a Bible study, a therapy session, and comfort food, all rolled up into around 45 minutes each week.

Did I mention Pat has a special devotion to Mary?  That her husband’s name is Bob?  What’s not to love?  (For those of you who don’t know, my husband’s name is also Bob, though I often call him Prince Charming here, because he is dashing and wonderful.)

But I digress.  Pat’s asking everyone to share their favorite Christmas memories for an “audio Christmas card.”  Isn’t that a lovely idea?  Just as soon as I can record mine without blubbering, I’m going to send it right in.

You can find out more information here, at her blog.  You can email her your audio file ( or call her voice feedback line, 978-975-5191.

I can’t wait to hear it!  🙂


The other four podcasts that bump to the top of my playlist, in case you were wondering (or in case, like a good friend of mine, you have only just discovered podcasts, and you’re looking for good ones), are Forgotten Classics, In Between Sundays, Catholic Moments, and Faith & Family Live Cast.


While I’m in linky mode, Sean McGaughey is once again hosting the Catholic New Media Advent Calendar.  If you’re a blogger, author, podcaster, musician, or artist, join the Google group and be part of making the fun.  You don’t have to contribute to enjoy the calendar, though.  Sean’s posting links on Catholic Roundup throughout Advent.


This year, I’m approaching Advent a lot differently than I have in the past. For one thing, I’m going to finish my shopping before Advent starts.  For another, I’m reading to prepare myself for the season.  (I’m using the articles found on Creighton University’s Praying Advent page.)

At some point recently, I realized that what I hate about Christmas is the stress I put on myself about it.  Family celebrations are always weeks in advance, and we both have large-ish families, and I feel like it’s all on me.

But it’s not.

My thoughts on this aren’t fully developed (so bear with me), but what I’m finding, before Advent even starts, is that I’m calmer.  I’m not dreading Christmas or the beforehand parties and gatherings.  I’m not

It reminds me of the quote I used in this week’s Mary Moment about praying before you pray.  I’m preparing for Advent by preparing before the preparation.  I’m making sure my mental state is in order before I go worrying about all the rest of it.

And I think my experience of Advent — and my appreciation for both seasons, Advent and Christmas — will be much better for these efforts.


Last week, I took everything out of and off my desk. My intention was to “encourage” my husband to haul it out of here and bring me a nifty new desk that my mother-in-law is getting rid of.

He pointed out, ever-so-kindly, that my current desk probably suits my needs better.

I steamed for a minute or two and then I realized he was right.  (I don’t mind this as much as I used to.  I’ve come to appreciate that it’s handy to be married to someone who is right most of the time.)

The result was that all the things in boxes were sorted and reorganized.  In doing that, I also went through a filing cabinet that has been mostly holding trash.  I burned the old financial papers and had room for things that had been bursting at the seams before.

Sitting at my desk right now, I’m smiling at my favorite statue of Mary, looking at a pile of books I need to write about, and enjoying the de-cluttered look.  Wonder how long I’ll be able to keep it this way?


Our favorite phrase of our two-year-old’s right now is “Hum too!” She says this when she wants some of whatever you have, whether it’s chocolate or toy horses.

I’m pretty sure my husband melts every time she says it to him.


The other night, my 12-year-old niece, Rebbecca, babysat my girls. It shouldn’t have surprised me that my four-year-old, then, wanted me to play dress-up with her yesterday.  Rebbecca has that effect on her.  (It’s a wonderful effect, a lovely effect, a fun-to-observe effect.)

What did surprise me, a bit, was that I cooked dinner in an old bridesmaid dress, light purple with clear sequins on the bodice, with my bucking bronco apron over it.  I was a queen, you see, and the kitchen was my palace.

And no, there are no pictures of this.  I don’t trust my two-year-old to take these pictures.  🙂

Find all the Quick Takes Friday posts at Conversion Diary, where you’ll also find commentary and laughs, insight and hilarity, faith and flair.