Monday, June 27, 2011

NKOTBSB in Dallas

I have to giggle....

It's no secret that I'm a HUGE Duran Duran fan. But boy bands? Never got into them -- at all! I remember a handful of songs by New Kids On The Block and Back Street Boys, but by no means do I remember the words or the names of the songs!

My angelic friend asked me to attend the NKOTBSB concert with her (I'm very annoyed by the 'shared' B.). She was *beside* herself with giddiness when she received tickets to the show as a gift! I accepted with the condition that if she found a friend who is a BIGGER fan than I am, she should take that friend instead. It wasn't because I didn't want to go. Certainly I want to spend time with her, so that wasn't the reason either! I just know how passionate I feel about Duran Duran, and how exhilarating it is to have a friend with you who enjoys the squealing and the dancing and the uninhibited stupidness that is on display when attending a concert of a favorite band.  However, I was the blessed cohort in crime & I gladly stepped up to the plate!

The boys didn't disappoint -- not a one of them.  They all posed. They all bared their abs.  They all sported Mavs jerseys. They all danced. They all sang to ONLY ME! They sang songs I didn't know belonged to them, and they sang them with passion, energy and fun!

Sadly, one Back Street Boys boy was missing:  Kevin Richardson. He's the one I liked best.  In his absence, I'll suffer through the yummygoodness of Donnie Wahlberg. Torture!

I love how fun my life is these days!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Church "World" Tour: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (SEAS) ~ Plano

Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ (also known as the Solemnity of Corpus Christi), which has a dual intent of focusing on the Eucharist and the Church (Body of Christ), primarily the Eucharist.

Week Three of the Church "World" Tour, My Family attended the 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Plano (a.k.a. SEAS)(I have since learned there is another SEAS in Keller. Might have to add it to our list.)

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first American-born citizen to be canonized by the Church.  Cool, huh?

The Gospel reading of this day is the crux of the Catholic faith. It's the centerpiece of why Catholics believe in the trans-substantiation, as well as why we even attend church -- to receive the actual body and blood of Christ.  The Gospel reference is in John 6:51-58.  Our non-Catholic bretheren have a hard time with the idea that Catholics believe this & practice it; the most common criticism being "doesn't that make you a cannibal?".  There's is another counterpoint of "we are called to take it in *remembrance* of Christ".  Fair enough words. I'm not here to witness, but rather, to state how The Church believes.

I mention it merely because there are times in the homily that relates to the day of the liturgical year. And, in this case, Christ gave us the Ultimate Love by dying for us (Corpus Christi).  So, today's homily at SEAS was focused on just that -- LOVE.

It happened to be Father's last week at SEAS, as he's been re-assigned by the Diocese to St. Ann's in Coppell (also on our list!).  He leaves a parish of approximately 5-6K families to go to a parish of approximately 8K families. He gave a lovely farewell homily, speaking about how much he has loved each person in that flock, though he did not know them all by name.  He didn't need to.

Father further conveyed this:
What we want most is to love and be loved.

Love doesn't just bring pure joy; it brings pain, too -- and maybe this is why Jesus did what he did for us.
If you don't already know this about me yet, know this:  one of my three life mottos is: pain is growth.

Father's homily echoed this to some degree, I believe.  I was stirred by the notion of love bring the extremes of pure joy and raw pain. Such truth.

Wishing Father much love, luck and happiness on his new adventure!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Church "World" Tour: All Saints Catholic Church ~ Dallas

Firstly, happy father's day to all you men out there that are fathers and father figures to include coaches, uncles, brothers, male teachers, and so forth.  A special father's day holla to all priests, deacons, men of cloth.  Most importantly, Happy Father's Day to God the Father, the one who loves all of us infinitely & perfectly.


 Today is Trinity Sunday a.k.a. The Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity
This day falls every year the week after Pentecost. Unlike the other feast days that celebrates an event or person, this one celebrates a reality and doctrine (dogma).  To learn more, click here.

St. Veronica Icon - All Saints
The second week of my family's Church "World" Tour in which we are visiting different parishes around our fair burg too us to All Saints Catholic Church in Dallas.

Through the ministry of ACTS, My Husband and I have been blessed to meet people from all walks of life, all faiths and non-faiths.  Since ACTS is a Catholic organization in origin (started with the Crucillo Movement), the community is largely comprised of Catholics.  The retreats that St. Joseph's has hosted have brought Catholics from various parishes (not unlike the retreats hosted by other parishes in the area).  One couple in particular, we've befriended, and they attend All Saints.  On Saturday evening, I sent a text message asking which Mass they attend because my family had planned to go and would love to coordinate going at the same time.  We managed to get lined up and had a great time!

Again, like last week at St. Paul's, this week the congregation was invited to turn to each other and bid one another hello. Gosh I sure do like that gesture!

One of the newly ordained Bishops is assigned to All Saints and celebrated Mass.  His homily was lovely in spite of the sadness with which he opened.  

The Bishop told us a story of receiving a call from his college-age nephew who had himself just learned of his best friend's suicide.  Naturally, The Nephew asked his Uncle, "Will my friend be in Hell?" The Bishop took this opportunity to educate and/or remind the community at large about Church teaching on suicide.

I was especially struck by these words spoken by The Bishop:  Love is rational.  You cannot love unless you have someone to love.  You cannot love unless you yourself are loved.

Over the course of the last several years, I've journeyed into the various ideas, notions, definitions, kinds of "love".  There are so many definitions, aren't there? It's confusing to know what love is, how to love, when to love -- and vice versa. Too, it's difficult to know when to let someone love us in his or her way instead of the way we expect.  As one grows in maturity and wisdom, we have to learn that love is a choice, and it's conscious (rational AND emotive).

Anyway -- The Bishop's homily hit home for me.

After Mass, My Family and our friends went to Jake's for a good ole fashioned burger. They have two sons, slightly younger than My Girls, but they all got along famously! They even sat at their own table, which they all thought was pretty cool.


Father's Day for My Husband included home made gifts from The Girls at their Montessori school.  My Little One made a "garden" snake out of a striped neck tie.  The tie was filled with perite and sewn closed.  Glow-in-the-dark eyes were also sewn on the end, and a pipe cleaner is the tongue.  It's meant to go in the garden as a fertilizer, and it'll keep squirrels away (in theory). So, My Husband wrapped it around the Magnolia tree branch in the back yard.

My Eldest made a travel-size checker board using plywood, paint and a sponge.  The checker pieces are made of plastic bottle caps. She sewed and decorated a burlap bag in which the checkers can be carried.  The burlap bag closes drawstring (pull string?) style.  Very cute. 


Other than that, a fairly laid-back day.  Hope you relaxed today, too -- father or not!

In Which A Daughter Needs

Happy Father's Day, Daddy.

I love you.

In case you were wondering, I still need you.....

Love you forever,


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Hair

I never in a million years would have thought I'd be the kind of mother who would allow this to happen.

If it were not for a "this-is-for-summer-only" condition, and the expertise of my good friend and personal hairstylist R, I would not have allowed it.

BUT....I've let my girls color their hair for the summer. Not just ANY color, mind you. *cringe* They both wanted shades of B L U E!
My Eldest opted for turquoise


 My Little One opted for royal blue

AFTER - Not that dramatic, huh?

Friday, June 17, 2011

As If You Needed MORE Reasons.....

I love ChickFilA!

We've been down this road before, I know.... CrackFilA.

Top picture: their new ketchup packets. It's a beautiful boat of brilliance.

It can be a dipping boat OR a squeeze tube.

Nothing short of genius. The person or person who invented that deserves endless wealth - until something better comes along. But seriously, what could be better?! Oh, actually, I can think of *one* improvement, but it's not a design improvement; it's a food one: eliminate the HCFS!

The bottom picture is their invitation for a Daddy-Daughter event at their locations around the country, one being here in the Dallas area. This is a Father's Day outing. Though My Girls did not go to this with their Daddy, I have much love for an establishment that promotes this kind of family bonding. I could extol a whole social commentary to include my opinion, but I'll spare you. You're welcome.

Long live Chick-Fil-A.
(Just, don't screw up, CFA!)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peter Gabriel & New Blood Orchestra

Is that a crucifix or a dagger I see?
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a concert with KBD.  She works for a company that has a suite, and she invited me to attend -- in! the! suite! -- with her.  It wasn't just *any* concert (are they ever?!). It was Peter Gabriel and New Blood Orchestra.

I admit to not knowing a lot about Peter Gabriel and his music.  I recalled he was in the band, Genesis.  Of course, his songs from the 80's I recall are "Sledgehammer", "Big Time" and "In Your Eyes". As a kid, I didn't like "Sledgehammer" but as I've matured, I've grown to appreciate it; same with "Big Time".  I have heard the 70's tune, "Solsbury Hill", but didn't know the name of it until last night.  But, since I'm all about the people & trying new things, I was happy to accept this invitation and spend some time with one of my best friends!

My heart is going BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
KBD & I thought some band called "New Blood Orchestra" was opening for him. We elected to take our time at dinner at Chili's.

Um...we were wrong. So very, very wrong!  Peter Gabriel is touring with a full orchestra, and they accompany him singing his old and new songs. The orchestra is called "New Blood Orchestra". Therefore, the correct billing is "Peter Gabriel and New Blood Orchestra". Having made this very embarrassing error, KBD and I missed the first 15-20 minutes of the show.  We girly-giggled our way into our seats & asked what we had missed. Thankfully, we hadn't missed much! I looked up the setlist and found out that he sang a couple songs of which I'd never heard.

The concert was very sensory stimulating. The sound was crisp, clear and moving. The backdrop was visually inviting -- captivating, really.  (The photos in this post are my own -- you can see how well he used the sense of vision! My camera doesn't do it justice, honestly, but they do help you get an idea of what I'm talking about at least.) 

I was impressed that he did not stay in the spot light. Two women accompanied him on a handful of songs -- lovely voices, a bit haunting at times. One of them, Ane Brun, was especially good.  Also impressive was the fact that he collected musician from each of the stops of his tour, so there were included in this symphonic delight, Texas folks!

Upon return from an intermission, an male audience member shouted politely, "How about some 'Shock The Monkey', Peter?"

Peter wittily replied in decline, "I'm trying to give it up, thank you."


Just let the Red Rain splash you.
Peter carried on modestly, telling little ditties of how a song came to be, or to whom the song was dedicated. He included stories about his father, the poet Anne Sexton, Kenya, young people in the information age, Afghanistan, etc. Clearly, he's an extremely intelligent and globally-minded individual who is using his talent to move the human race.

The light, the heat - in your eyes - I am complete
I love when musicians take their popular music and re-arrange it.  In this case, the movement to orchestral sounds was exquisite and most enjoyable by this little Texas music lover. Mostly, though, when it was all said an done, I was most thankful to have spent time with KBD.  :)

Take Dat Wich U! Mavs Are Champs!

It's a beautiful thing.
I'm happy to be a citizen of Title Town.
Thank you Mavs!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Church "World" Tour: Inception & St. Paul's Catholic Church ~ Richardson

Today is Pentecost -- the infusion of the Holy Spirit, the completion of The Trinity.

For the last two summers, I've kicked around and occasionally spoken to my family about stepping outside of our home parish and seeing some of the many other Catholic churches in our area.

Summer is a good time for my family to do this because faith formation is on break which means I'm not teaching and the kids aren't in class.  We don't, in general, have as many commitments, so -- here we go!

In this area, monastic life exists.  For example, at Cistercian in Irving, it's both an Abbey and a school.  The 9 a.m. Sunday Mass includes Gregorian Chant. Who doesn't like Gregorian Chant, right?  *jots in on the list*

The only Latin Rite church, Mater Dei Catholic Church,  is located in Irving.  Mass is celebrated entirely in Latin. We'll be visiting this one for sure!

If you're interested in art, religions of the world, history, spirituality, Catholic life, you'll enjoy branching out to some of the churches in your area. If you're from a specific ethnic background and are a practicing Roman Catholic, chances are, there's a parish in the area that celebrates mass in your native language.  Look into it!

Here are some resources you might find helpful for your neck of the woods, in and out of Dallas:

Latin Rite churches

Mass times for any church around the world

Dallas Diocese


Altar Stained Glass
With that said, today, we ventured to St. Paul Catholic Church in Richardson.  St. Paul's is the church where Msgr. Don attended as a youth. (For those of you who have not followed my blog or haven't read much into it, Msgr. Don is the priestly vessel who I give a good amount of credit to for my own baptism [other credit given to My Husband who got me to go to church with him])

My Little One was slightly confused about visiting this church. The songs are sung in different tunes, not the same instrumentation and they were sung a little slower tempo. She turned to us during Mass and asked, "is this even a Catholic church?!". It was a giggle. After Mass, we explained how from parish to parish some things will be different, and some things are going to be the same.  It was a good learning experience and definitely reflects something in all of us.  I'll let you discern what that means for you. :)

One thing that impressed me about this parish is that before the Liturgy starts, the priest welcomes new members & visitors then invites the congregation to turn to one another, introduce yourself & bid good morning. We don't do this at my home church -- wish we did.

I'm going to try to post a little something about each church we attend.  Feel free to join the journey.  Below is a photo I took at St. Paul's, a gorgeous stained glass art piece of St. Paul that adorns the altar.

Friday, June 10, 2011

An Oasis in Miami: One More Win

This video was played at last night's Mavs/Heat game in the American Airlines Center. I heard about it on The Ticket and someone posted a link to it, so I went to watch it.  I heard it had the legendary likes of Troy Aikman and Mike Modano, two of my favorite sports guys ever.  Roger, Emmitt, Warsh, Nolan, Nastia are but a few others Sports Greatnesses featured. 

The sportsfan in me cried a sportstear by the end of the montage and I was all tingly.


It's my home town team & I've jumped on the bandwagon. (Oh wait! I'm lying! Dallas isn't my TRUE home town, but it's my adopted home town {miltiary life....if you've been in it in any capacity, you "get" me}.) Further confession:  I don't even LIKE to watch pro hoops in general. I am a college hoops fan (DUKE!). So, it's almost shameful and comical that I've latched on to this particular winning-ness. Of course, considering that I jumped on the baseball/Rangers bandwagon last year, is it any surprise?

Anyway, Dallas is now my home town. So, what can I say? Of COURSE I have Dirk Fever (but not that wickedsickness he played through in game four! What a stud!). I have Mavs fever. I have Championship fever! I have it and I will NOT be stopped!

And, oh, it's been such a long, dry (pro) Championship spell~Dallas has a serious Championship Drought going on here in North Texas.  Being one game away from THE Trophy is quite the oasis in the desert! The teases of having the Super Bowl, the NBA All Star game and the likes in this area haven't only made this town more insatiable. Greedy? Possibly. Greatness? Youbetchyerass! 

Let's hope the Rangers started a wave throughout all Dallas-area pro sports. I'm going to be dreaming of not only Mavs as champs, but hopinguponhope to see the Stars and the Cowboys in that spotlight, too! If not this year, then veryfreakingsoon, and it doesn't have to be limited to "the big four". I'll be rooting for FC Dallas & all pro teams to make Dallas proud(er?)!

Ending on a random/related footnote: Above, I referenced jumping on the Rangers World Series bandwagon. I've never been a baseball fan. But I have to say that since keeping up with the unusual sale & business goings-on of the Rangers last season & following it with at least one eye until the end of their season, I've become a little more baseballfan-ish this season. So, what's to say it won't happen with pro hoops too? Because, after all, can you ever REALLY get TOO MUCH sports?! (Say no!)


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Red Heads Make Me Smile

There is a friend I have.  We met about five years ago.  Her Eldest and My Eldest were in the same Montessori class together.  Her Eldest is a boy, and I think to this day, My Eldest still has a crush on Her Eldest. I think Her Eldest has moved on to Other Girls, namely Girls Who Attend His Same School. *laughing*

Anyway, this friend is a gorgeous redhead and I have always been in awe of her.  I suspect she'd be embarrassed knowing this information, and if that's the case, so be it! I think she's the cat's meow.  I also suspect that this post might be a little creepy sounding.  *laughing again*

Since I moved from Dallas Proper to a suburb, we're less geographically desirable.  We used to do lots of family things together because we were not far from them, but it's more orchestration now.  So, like most married working mothers in the big city, we've relied on the occasional lunch and Facebook (which I abhor now...) to keep in touch with one another.

This Redhead is someone with whom I want to interact more often. I love being around her because she's thought-provoking, honest, very savvy and she makes me laugh! Also, she's from Minnesoota and I love her accent! Also, that red hair!

I could gush about her, but I've creeped her, you and God out plenty by this post.  Let me just surmise by saying I'm so thankful for her and her constancy in my life. 

xo Redhead!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Music Minute: Cowboy Junkies

One of the things I love about music is similar to what I love about the written word: you can like it any time.

I'm late to jump on the bandwagon with this band, Cowboy Junkies. I admit that I can't listen to them 24/7, but while I'm discovering the music, I'm listening to them a lot. I think this will be music that will suit a 'mood'.

Anyway, finally rid of the Duran Duran (for now).


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Hello MAVS Win!

After an OUTSTANDING game one of Stanley Cup hockey last night, the Dallas Mavericks pull of a heist and actually win game two in Miami.

The second half started and I had a fierce hankering for ice cream. I went to check on a the house of a vacationing friend then wandered to Target to get some ice cream. The whole trip to the store, I had one eye on Twitter (which has become my source of all sports greatness) and one eye on the road. I busied the radio with scanning, in search of the game so I could listen to it.  As soon as I arrive at Target, the scan locates the station, and I leave it there, go inside to get my ice cream.

Now, I can't just go in and out of Target for one thing. You know how it is. Yeah, I know you do!  Anyway, I'm wandering through the children's books, the graduation cards, the electronics and whatnot.  So, of course, my 'quick' trip to Target turns in to the rest of the game!! I was there almost the whole second half of the basketball game!

I'm in line to pay, peeking at The Twittah which informs me that the Mavs WON!

Love it!
La-la-LOVE it!!

So, a six pack of Shiner's seasonal Ruby Redbird, some Klondike bars, and two half gallons of ice cream (one mint chocolate chip, the other Moo-llenium Crunch), I head home to celebrate Texas style!


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Mavs! Rangers! Stanley Cup!

I've been trying harder to get into my two least favorite professional sports: Basketball and Baseball.  You get the bonus Hockeytalk in this blog. Don't worry, it'll be brief.

It just feels good to be here again, and to talk about stuff other than my kids and my faith. 

Formalities aside....let's get started!

Jumping on the chamionship bandwagon I readily admit. Easily with the Rangers going to the World Series last year, I've had one eye on baseball this season. I'm even sortakinda noticing the A's and the Angels... if they win or lose.

Recently, my employer treated the whole company to an outing at The Temple and I couldn't attend because I had a far more grand calling: My Little One's Montessori graduation. I confess to be disappointed in not going to the game. We haven't been in years, and the weather was great! It's not every day I get a free game, free drinks, free food, free transportation to and fro.... Plus, now that I'm more of a fan of the Rangers and baseball in general, I was hoping to have a new and different kind of experience.

Since I couldn't attend that day, I will find time to take the family and we'll all go. I think I'll find a night game, though. :) Gettin' hot!

So that concludes baseballchat for now. On to hAckey:

Since my Stars are not in the Stanley Cup, I'm no less passionate about the Bruins v. Canucks. I absolutely LOVE to watch the Sedins, and Vancouver as a whole is just damn good fun to watch. They are fast, efficient and just overall GOOD! The American in me pulls for the Bruins, though. And I think they have some of the best uniforms in all of sports. Yes. ALL of sports....not just hockey. I'm really torn about who I want to win....  If I throw in the Stars and their conference affiliation, I should be rooting for the Canucks. But...they are Canadian! I'm American! So conflicted!  I think it's best I just cheer for the greatness of the game. Don't you?

Game 1 earlier tonight was phenomenal. TT in net  held it together until the last 18 seconds..... Oy! This is going to be a GREAT series!

Same with the Mavs  gonna be a great series. I'm loving that they are in the finals. I've come to learn how hated the Heat are considering how they were 'built'. I really want Dirk to get a ring, and I don't think he'll be denied. King James can wait. DWade can wait. They all can. 

Texas is due a championship by pure odds....

Let's make it happen, boys!

Honoring Norma Jean.....

"Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you're a human being, you feel, you suffer."

Happy Birthday, timeless Marilyn
(a stunning brunette!)