Answer Me This . . . Beach Days and Bunny Sweatsuits

by | May 25, 2014 | Answer Me This | 10 comments

We’re home! 

Thanks to Monica of Equipping Catholic Families, who brought us diapers, snacks, Tylenol, and, best of all, company, when our flight to Paris was canceled and we got stranded in Toronto for a night and a day on the way over.

Thanks to Catholic All Year reader Isabelle, who, even with a baby due next month, met us in Paris and gave us a very fun and informative historical tour. We now know all about all the revolutions, and the time Paris ate the elephants in the zoo.

Thanks to those of you who entrusted us with your intentions. We prayed for them on each stop of our journey.

Thanks to all of you for your great comments on the interviews with the husband and kids. I read and appreciated all of them, even though I didn’t do any responding on our vacation.

And thanks to Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas, who hosted Answer Me This for me last week while we were out of town and gave us this week’s questions!

And here they are . . . 

1. Beach or Mountains? Where would you rather be?

I like both. We really like hiking and try to visit a new National Park each year, and most of those are in the mountains. But, I’m a California girl and have almost always lived near the beach. So, I think I’ll have to go with beach.

My favorite are overcast days at the beach. Not too hot, we don’t get sunburned (I know you still CAN, but we don’t seem to), and no crowds.
In order to keep from spending the day sitting around feeling jetlagged, we went to Venice Beach for a picnic lunch on Saturday, our first day home.

2. Which is more fun: Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning?

Again, both are great. But there’s just something magical about Christmas Eve. I love the anticipation.
We wait until Christmas Eve to get our tree and decorate, so there’s always lots to do. And I do love a hustle and bustle. We put out milk and cookies and read A Visit From St. Nicholas. My favorite is the last thing we do: we put the baby Jesus into the little manger that the kids’ have been filling with nice, soft hay by their good deeds throughout Advent. We sing Silent Night and Away in a Manger and then it’s off to bed.

Christmas Morning is great, but there’s all the chaos of wrapping paper and candy for breakfast. There’s just nothing like the dark and quiet and readiness of Christmas Eve!

3. What’s the most embarrassing childhood outfit you remember wearing?

My mom sewed a lot of clothes for my sister and me growing up, sometimes with a matching outfit for her too. I was not at all embarrassed by those outfits at the time, and I continue to think they were pretty much the bees knees. I’m unlikely to whip my kids up matching alligator print overalls. But how cool would it be if I did?

The outfit that comes to mind for embarrassing was a pastel sweatsuit with a big silkscreened bunny on it that I picked out for myself with birthday money from my grandmother when I was in the fourth grade. I thought it was pretty great. But then I wore it to school and some kids thought it was lame and teased me about it, so I lied and said that my grandmother had sent it to me and so my mom was making me wear it. I don’t think I ever wore it again.
It still makes me sad that I let what other people thought take away my joy in that outfit, and drive me to sin. It’s an experience that has stuck with me. I try to teach my kids that we should care about other people’s feelings and preferences, but not to the point that we allow them to rob of us our own joy in something. 
And also, don’t lie.

4. Your house is quiet, you don’t have to do work (housework included). What do you do?

I almost always write anytime I have a free moment now. But I think I’ll count that as work, even though I love it. If it’s true leisure time. I’d say sit in my glider in the living room and embroider while watching Netflix. Currently I’m into the first season of Foyle’s War. So great.

5. What movie do you want to watch when you’re feeling under the weather?

I mostly don’t watch TV when I’m sick. When I was little, the rule was: either you’re sick enough to be sleeping or you should be doing something productive. I’ve kind of always stuck with that. I very rarely get sick, but when I do, I just sleep until I can get up and going again.

And now that I have big kids that don’t nap, I can’t really get away with watching movies during the day anyway.
But if I’m going to quit being nit-picky and answer the question, I’d have to say the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. I know the casting is divisive among Janites, but I love it.

6. Did you have an American Girl doll when you were little? If so, which one?

I was born in 1976, so I think I must have missed the American Girl Doll thing the first time around. 
I had Barbies, a Cabbage Patch Kid, and my favorite, a “Jeans & Things” Kim Doll.
She was pretty stylin.’
Betty does have American Girl Dolls though. She has the now discontinued :0( colonial dolls Elizabeth and Felicity and she got the new Marie-Grace Doll for Christmas. I think the historical period dolls are a great way for girls to connect with history. 
(I think the My American Girl dolls are a great way for girls to connect with themselves, which isn’t a priority around here.)

Thanks Haley!

For next week I’m tagging:

Sophie Golden of שרה Sophie’s. Post to check out: On being a stay at home mum and a Hausfrau.


Emily from Jeffily: Post to check out: why you should never comment on another person’s fertility.

Next week’s questions for them and for your are . . .

1. Do you have a smart phone?
2. Which is your favorite meal of the day?
3. Shower or bath?
4. Think of a person you love. How many days have you been in love with that person? (Don’t worry, this site will do the math for you. And, hey, now you can order this card!)
5. What’s the best church you’ve ever been inside?
6. Happy Feast of the Visitation! Has anyone ever come to help YOU?

Next week’s installment will go live at 10pm Pacific Saturday night, and will be open until 10pm Wednesday night.

So, please, answer this week’s questions for yourself in the comments. If you have a blog, answer the questions there, link back to this post, and link your blog post up below. Thanks for playing along.


  1. Dianna@The Kennedy Adventures

    Thank goodness — I thought I may have been crazy regarding the AG dolls. I didn't like Barbies — I had Strawberry Shortcakes.

    With regard to the beach/mountains — I automatically think mountains+snow=cold, which doesn't sit well with this Southern girl. Hiking, on the other hand, sounds awesome. As long as we can avoid ticks.

    Glad to discover this link up, and looking forward to learning more about everyone.

  2. Country Girl's Daybook

    Country Girl's Daybook: Jesus, Photography, Fashion, & Food

    I wasn’t able to write an actual post to link up this week, so this will have to do. 😉

    1. Beach or Mountains? Where would you rather be?
    Mountains on a beach. That work?
    2. Which is more fun: Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning? Eve. The Christmas Eve Mass at our church is one of the most beautiful liturgies of the entire year. Plus, the Eve is full of the most wonderful food, courtesy of the O’Hanlin clan. Us Irish-Italians can sure do food.
    3. What’s the most embarrassing childhood outfit you remember wearing? I don’t know about ridiculous, but I did go shopping with my mom dressed as Mother Mary, and threw a fit when a lady asked who I was dressed as. Way to evangelize, Self. 😉

    4. Your house is quiet, you don’t have to do work (housework included). What do you do? I blog. ( Or wander around and take pictures.

    5. What movie do you want to watch when you’re feeling under the weather? Most old movies… like It’s A Wonderful Life or some other black and white classic. Or National Velvet. ☺

    6. Did you have an American Girl doll when you were little? If so, which one? I have never been a doll gal, but I was given Kit for Christmas one year, and my interest lasted about three months. 😉 I was young… Don’t look at me like that.

    Happy Sunday!

  3. Anonymous

    Wow! Thank you so much for linking to both my blog and my Etsy store! I am beyond honored. Sounds like you guys had a fun trip! Now off to answer those questions!

  4. Emily Barnes

    Foyle's War is excellent! Never actually watched it from the beginning though

  5. Jenn

    I also love the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice. It's a movie I never get tired of watching.

  6. Anna

    But we never got to hear your thoughts on beards!

    I'm glad to see there are other strong literary types who approve of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. I really enjoy it also. For good reasons too, I think, most of which I won't get into here. But have you watched Masterpiece Theater's The Way We Live Now? I think seeing Matthew MacFadyen in that made it easier for me to appreciate his casting as Mr. Darcy. In the Way We Lived Now he is very charming, I think, but he portrays a cad. I liked that in Pride and Prejudice I was able to root for him to get the girl. I liked the 1995 P&P miniseries also and I don't understand why everyone seems to think you can only like one or the other. They are obviously very different movies, though each faithful adaptations of the book.

    I still have my Samantha American girl doll from my childhood and I hear that they are bringing her back this Fall. Maybe Felicity isn't too far behind?

    • Cristina

      That is very exciting news! I still have my childhood Samantha doll too, but she definitely needs a trip to the doll hospital and some replacements for missing clothes and accessories…..I managed to stop myself from buying all the things she was missing when she was discontinued since I don't actually have a daughter to play with her and my husband was not on board for stocking up on AG doll paraphernalia "just in case" 🙂 I was looking at my nieces' AG dolls though and the quality doesn't seem to be what I remember……

  7. Sophie שרה Golden

    Monica seems to be the real equpper of Catholic families.

    California girl, you say you are, which must be so cool. I went to the seminary with the girls from Los Angeles and Sacramento, and it felt so extraordinary 😀 probably because California seems a whole world away (which sort of is) to Europeans and I mostly associate it with Hollywood and all that fame business. None of my friends have been close to that business though.

    Thank you very much for tagging me, Kendra, I feel honoured 🙂 especially loved the 4th question and the calculating site 😀

  8. WritingWillow

    I love Foyle's War and the 2005 P&P. And I about screamed when I read that you guys were at Venice Beach on Saturday because I'm there every Saturday. I don't often take the littles to the beach but we walk to the canals all the time. The beach is definitely best when it's overcast – not too hot and not packed with tourists. Can't wait to hear about your adventures in France! 🙂

  9. Abby S.

    Welcome home!

    1. Mountains – We grew up camping, and pretty much nothing can compare with the Rockies in my book. I'd like to go to Alaska sometime and see the mountains come out of the ocean.
    2. As a kid, Christmas morning; as an adult, Christmas Eve.
    3. An awful childhood outfit is tough, but I learned to sew a bit in 5th and 6th grade, and made myself some pretty terrible shorts in some pretty terrible prints.
    4. Read. I make time for almost everything (and everyone) else, but reading is something I wish I did more of.
    5. I also really love that Pride and Prejudice. And I like Groundhogs Day when I'm sick.
    6. No American Girl for me (not even on my radar until I was way too old), but I had a beloved Cabbage Patch (Trixie Muriel!!), who now belongs to my girls.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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