Blessed Holy Week!

Just wanted to let you know- with the exception of my "Blessings this Week" post, I'll be taking the week "off" in celebration of Easter!

Enjoy the preparations and celebration!


Blessings this Week: 03.27.2015

Rainy days and cups of tea (with honey- thank you, Greg and Tiff!)


One (hopefully!) last snowy hurrah...



Keeping the Peace: All the Laundry, All the Time

This post contains affiliate links** 

You would think that two grown, adult-type human beings with a pretty good grasp on basic hygiene wouldn't have any trouble with the whole laundry situation.



Yeah, laundry is probably my most oft-complained about household task. Most likely because it is never.ever.finished. Ever.


Ask a Catholic: Lent Style, or What's with the fish on Fridays, anyway?

It all started with a lunchtime conversation about fish.

At Camp, we’d served fish on Friday for one of our retreat groups- because there were a few Catholics in the group, and Lent.

Which led to the questions- why fish? Was that in the Bible? What about the “giving things up” and how come so many people who do give things up for Lent have ulterior motives that have little to do with spiritual growth (losing weight, for example)? And why is Lent such a big deal with Catholics, anyway?

As the closest thing to Catholic at the table- I was baptized both Catholic and Reformed (double-dipped!)- I ineffectually shrugged my shoulders right along with everyone else.

But it did get me thinking.

See, while I’m technically Protestant (we attend an Evangelical Free church), I’ve found lots of wonderful truth and tons of beautiful and meaningful tradition in the Catholic faith.

I don’t agree with everything the Catholic church believes, no. But I do think that as Christians, we can all learn from different Christian denominations- we’re all the body of Christ, and we’ll be hanging out together in Heaven.

Different perspectives are a good thing.

And also, I’m just plain curious. So instead of shrugging my shoulders and moving on, I thought … hey! Why don’t I ask a Catholic?

So I did.


Blessings this Week: 3.20.2015

Two of our most notable types of wildlife friends... in one picture. And Trevor's shop in the background there. 


Finding the Adventure

We currently live in a house called Shalom. The house belongs to the camp where we work, hence the fact that it's named, and we live here as part of our compensation.

When Camp expressed a need for additional staff housing, I really felt called that we were supposed to be part of the solution. 

So this week and weekend, we're moving our things out of the bottom floor of our house so it can be loved and used by additional staff members... so Shalom is getting some new occupants, and now I'll be blogging from a home called Upper Shalom.

We've been packing and moving furniture and finding new homes for things... and Trevor's also been very, very busy this week with some maintenance issues that have kept him working overnight. He's slept about six hours out of the past 48, and his waking hours are occupied by moving heavy furniture.

Last night, we'd moved and packed and cleaned and moved some more, and it was time to get the (heavy!) entertainment center up the stairs. 

It was 9 pm. I was tired and my feet hurt. I can't imagine how Trevor was feeling, what with not sleeping at all the night before with only a 2-hour cat-nap in the afternoon... but I wasn't thinking about Trevor. 

I was thinking about how much I didn't want to move that stupid entertainment center up the stairs. 

Trevor got the whole thing hooked to the furniture dolly and asked, "Ready?"  
"No..." I sighed.  
"Okay, seriously, be a little more positive," he said, laughing at my exaggerated slump and my over-dramatic foot-dragging. 


My Favorite New Dry Skin Solution

Full Disclosure: This post is a product review.**

I don't know about you, but this winter has really done a number on my poor skin.

I have pretty dry skin to begin with (except on my face, which seems to be perpetually oil-well friendly... but that's a post for another day), but add my winter penchant for hot showers, the dry winter air, and my newly-kaput humidifier, and I have skin in full-blown desert mode.

So I started slathering on the lotion... and encountered another issue.

One bottle was too greasy for my skin (works great on Trevor, though), and I've apparently developed a reaction to the "fragrance" in other bottle (and what is that mysterious "fragrance" made of, anyway?)

So now I had itchy, dry, flaky skin with little red bumps! Fantastic.


Blessings this Week: 03.13.2015

Warm sunshine and air that smells like spring! 




I'm coming to the conclusion that I think about myself too much.

I'm not saying that I'm selfish (which, okay, true, but not the point of this post)... I'm saying that I put too much emphasis on me.

Whether I'm considering what I think about some controversial topic, or about what I should be doing differently in this relationship, or about my feelings being hurt by that comment, or what I need to get done around the house, I look inward so much more than I look outward.

So much more than I look upward. 


Keeping the Peace: "The Binder"

This post contains affiliate links**

Over the past few years, I've found that the first step to finding peace in every day is preparation. Being prepared for the day, the week, the month... it makes a big difference. Plans change, of course, but having a plan A makes it possible for you to make a plan B (and C and D and, you get it.) 

"The Binder" is my method of planning. And yes, my mom makes fun of The Binder and its overwhelmingly large influence in my life. But whatever, it works for me. And that's really most of the battle. 


Blessings this Week: 03.06.2015

Boy, oh boy, what a week. 

(Is it a mug? Is it a paperweight? Is it the only way Ally's able to function?)


Better Blogs, and How to Support Your Favorite Bloggers

So, I read a lot of blogs.

I got hooked back in college, and while the titles I read have changed (several times) since then, one thing has remained pretty constant. I still love blogs. 

There's just something about a peak into someone's life... it's like reality TV but better. Way better. 

I thought I would share a few of my (current) favorites with you. You're welcome... and I'm terribly sorry about that free time you once had.