In Which I Am a Lot Like Flannery O’Connor

by | May 9, 2014 | 7 Quick Takes, Blogging | 26 comments

Look out you guys, this is going to be all over the place today.

I got sick. I got sick because I am a weirdo who doesn’t like taking medicine because I don’t want my little soldiers who fight the germs to get fat and lazy. (See take four here.) So, I let a, um, health issue go on for weeks and weeks and drank like twelve gallons of cranberry juice and have felt tired and crabby since Holy Week, then *BAM* on Tuesday I got a crazy fever and full body aches was just miserable. I finally got an antibiotic, and I’m feeling much, much better now. But I slept a LOT for a day and a half. It was nuts.

And it’s our last week of school. Because that’s what it says on my calendar. And there is no way I could look that calendar in the face again if I edited that little “Week 32” entry. Plus, how could we just start school back up, for one week, after ten days in Europe? Probably not going to happen.

So there were lists and threats made. And there was me shuffling back and forth between the school table and my bed.

And I actually think we just might make it.

Famous last words.

And now I am really, really behind on All The Things I was going to do before we leave for France on Monday. We will be in Tours and Lourdes and Lisieux and Paris (where we have plans to meet Isabelle, who is from Paris and reads this blog!) and I would be honored to bring your prayer requests with us. Please leave them in the comments, or email them to me at CatholicAllYear @ gmail . com.

And right in the middle of all the fever-having and achy-being, I wrote my little Screenplay. Seriously, I read it now and I’m like, “Hah. That’s funny.” Because I don’t completely remember writing it.

I hope you read the rest of the Blog Carnival posts. I really do think they’re great. And true.

When Lulu and I were on our way to Chicago for the Behold Conference, where I met Molly from Molly Makes Do face to face for the first time, and Bonnie from A Knotted Life face to face for the second, I ran into Katrina from Cedars and Tiny Flowers on the plane (she was just going home from a vacation!). As we stood in the “Parent and Little Kid Unofficial Milling About Area” of the Southwest gate we kind of kept looking at each other and finally she said, “Are you Kendra? I read your blog.” And I was like, “Yes! I thought I had read the birth story of that baby you’re holding!”

So we sat across the aisle from each other on the plane (because no two lap babies in one row of seats) and chatted during the flight. Then as we were waiting to get off, the guy in the next row asked, “So, you two know each other?” And we both sort of looked at each other and at the guy and were like “we, um, have blogs” and we laughed and tried to be cool. But now I want to go back and just say, “Yes.”

Which brings me to the related issue that has come up a few times in blogging groups on Facebook and whatnot (except no whatnot, it’s always on Facebook) of whether or not bloggers should use their kids’ real names on their blogs.

I do.

This whole social media community thing is why.

Hey, here’s another screenplay for you . . .

at the playground

You: Wow, you’ve got a lot of kids. Are you Catholic?
Me: Why yes I am, let me tell you all the things about that. Seriously, all the things.

montage of me talking and gesturing

You: Wow, that’s really something. That was a lot of things. Your baby’s so cute! What’s her name?
Me: Why thank you. Yes she is. (I eye you suspiciously.) I’m not telling.
You: Um, okay, sure. I should probably go.

At the park such a practice wouldn’t be very conducive to becoming friends. And I don’t think it would be very conducive to becoming friends on the blog either.

The Mother’s Day Giveaway ended and not everyone who won has claimed her prize. If you are friends with any of the following ladies blog-wise, Facebookly, or face-to-face, please tell them they have until 10pm Friday to claim their prize or I’m giving it to someone else! And that would be so sad for them. (But happy for someone else I guess.) Also, they should link their comments to an email address.

My Daily Grace 2: tessacat (My Daily Grace — Saint Therese of Lisieux Necklace, because she is my namesake & patron saint)

TTE Designs: Laura (TTEDesigns – Vintage Look Brass Resin Hummingbird Frame Earrings (though the steampunk pendants are also very awesome!))

Always Rosary: Amanda (the Vintage Miraculous Medal necklace and the Silver-Blue Catholic mother’s day rosary from Always Rosary)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

And congratulations to our hostess Jennifer, who’s book Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It
, is out and getting fabulous reviews and is totally on my to do list once I have a sec.


  1. stevie

    I would appreciate it if you would pray for my dad, Bob Curtis. He's 80 years old and is having trouble walking and just coping with things right now. Please pray for peace for him and pray that his pain is lessened. Thank you so much.

  2. Emily

    I think it is amazing of you to take our prayer intentions! 🙂 I would ask you to pray for my young family (and all young families) struggling to make it, and make it strong. Also for my friend Kree Pena, she is on bed rest with her second babe (her first is only 9 months!) but is only at 31 weeks and already dilating. Please pray for a healthy, fully baked bun for her!

  3. Sophie שרה Golden

    Hope you feel better. And have a bon voyage!

    Never knew about cranberry juice. In that case we drink loads/liters of black tea with lemon and honey over the ocean 🙂

    I reckon, Germany has no chance hosting the Tierneys, has it? 🙂

  4. Amelia Bentrup

    For future reference D-Mannose (a natural supplement) is just as effective for clearing up that little health issue as antibiotics are. And more effective than cranberry juice. If it's really bad, you might need to take A LOT of d-mannose (like an entire bottle over the course of a few days), but it really, really works.

    Anyway, glad you are feeling better!!

    Annnnd since you are taking prayer requests, our major is one is that my husband needs to find a job this summer. More specifically, he needs to find a good lawyer job in Ft. Wayne, IN (which is where are moving this summer ot be near family) and he needs to pass the IN bar exam this summer.

  5. Erica Saint

    I am glad that you are feeling better.

    I loved the the blog carnival. Loved it! Every post was wonderful to read.

    We are finishing up school, too. My oldest son graduates today. We are having a little celebration for him with our homeschool group this morning after our May procession.

    Thank you for taking along our prayer requests. Please pray for Chris and me, that we will be blessed with another baby. And please pray for my grandmother. She entered hospice yesterday.

    Thanks, Kendra. I will be praying for your family as you travel around France.

  6. Amy

    I've read various comments in the past few months regarding the debate of whether to use kids' real names or not. I don't, and here's why: I made the decision not to use my daughter's real name sort of reflexively when I started my blog, and then it just extended naturally to my other daughters when they were born. I also don't use my last name on the blog or make specific reference to where we live. Mostly this is because I used to be a psychologist, and I've worked in many prisons, and I am hyper cautious about an inmate from those days finding me/us. It's not so much that I think someone would figure out where we are and try to come get us (though it's kind of that), but also that I don't want those people finding my blog and reading about me or my kids.

    It makes me sad to think that someone might feel offended that I don't trust my readers enough to use my kids' real names. Most of my readers are wonderful and lovely people and I have become friends with many people through my blog. In such cases if I'm emailing or talking to someone and I ever were to mention one of my kids, of course I would use their real names. But there is the possibility that some people who see/read my blog are NOT people I would want to be friends with, and I have a hard time getting past that concern to use my girls' real names. Also, I think about when my kids grow up and the possibility of people Googling their names (or whatever the equivalent practice is 20 years from now) and reading what I wrote about them. I'm just not sure they would want that.

    It's funny that you wrote about this today, because I have been thinking a lot about possibly changing the way I refer to my kids on my blog. Their nicknames are awkward in writing, and some people have mentioned to me that it's hard for them to keep my kids straight with their nicknames, even those who know them in real life. I mentioned this in a 7QT post a few weeks ago, and was planning to address it again today (if I ever get around to writing today's post!).

    Please know that my not using my kids' real names is in no way a reflection of how I think about you or the other wonderful people I have met through my blog 🙂

    P.S. In college I once drank lots of cranberry juice in an attempt to avoid having to make a visit to student health and get antibiotics. It didn't work and I ended up with a terrible kidney infection! I hope you feel better soon and have a wonderful trip!

    • Charlotte (WaltzingM)

      I agree with you. When I first started blogging in 2007 (back when dinosaurs roamed the Internet) we didn't know who would come find us and try to stalk/steal/murder our children. I admit feeling awkward about using the nicknames now but then I read that employers are using every kind of social media to do research on potential employees and I really don't want my son's future employer to google his name and find out all about his issues with potty training and Algebra II (not in the same year, obvi).

    • Kendra

      Ya know, I like to say that it's the community, but it's probably more appropriate to say I share my kids names because I'm comfortable doing so. It seems like maybe community is a side effect of it. But, obviously, if I didn't feel comfortable doing it, I wouldn't.

      And using their real names means I haven't been able to write about a couple of topics that perhaps I would have otherwise.

      Like most of this parenting stuff, you've mostly got to go with your gut.

      And , Charlotte, can I just say I had a bit of a fan girl moment just then. Waltzing Matilda knows what I think about something. Even if she disagrees with me!

    • Charlotte (WaltzingM)

      You can come on over and see a little more of my response. I get what you are saying and I can't say that I totally disagree with you… I think you just don't understand what it was like way back when blogging first began. And now that we've been doing it for so long, it's hard to change. Especially for those of us who are slightly (horribly) change resistant. And Kendra darlin'… your very strong opinions have their way of making themselves known! 😉

    • Amy

      I can see your point too Kendra. And I agree that you just have to go with what feels right for you 🙂

  7. Mandi

    Kendra, will you pray that we'll be able to have another living child? No timeline, just someday. Thanks!

  8. Ann-Marie Ulczynski

    I am so glad that you are feeling better before your trip. If you would please remember dear friends who are struggling with infertility.

    I wanted to tell you – in response to your post about making your kids more independent, I tried something new. I dropped my four and a half year old off way down the street in our neighborhood and let her walk home. She was SO EXCITED! She only had to cross one street (right by our house) and the smile she had on her face was priceless. Also, I let her go at the grocery store to claim her little "instant winner" prize by herself. Small steps, but yay!

  9. Elizabeth

    Glad you are feeling better! That particular health issue is one that I tend to just head to the doctor for, never having had much luck with cranberry juice, and having several times experienced what happens when it gets really really bad. I figure, I don't pop antibiotics for just everything specifically so that they will work when I need them to, and when THAT health issue comes up I need them to work!

    I hope you have a wonderful time in France!! HOW do you take these trips with all your children? Well, you're probably going to post about that soon, so I'll be looking forward to hearing how you manage. I would love to be able to cart my crew around the world and show them different places.

    I'd really appreciate it if you could remember my family in your prayers, as we need some clarity and direction in a number of things right now. Thank-you.

  10. Heather

    I'm so excited about your trip and hope we get to see lots of photos and hear lots of great travel stories! I'm about a year into the process of getting disability for my many health issues. I'm fortunate to have parents with a big basement apartment for me to live in and have been able to stretch savings to cover my medical expenses for the first year but the money is about to run out and we're nowhere near having our day in court to get the disability claim approved. Would you pray for God's provision for my expenses and a speedy & positive result to my disability claim? I hate to be a burden on my family and there are many things that I'm just having to put on hold for the time being. Bon Voyage! Heather

  11. Michelle

    Thank you for taking prayer requests. I hope you have a great trip. Please pray for my husband's grandmother, a healthy pregnancy and baby #4 for our family, and special intentions related to family and friends. God bless you!

  12. Jane

    Hi Kendra, I totally love your posts and follow your blog, even though I'm not married yet and not a mom. I can't wait to have a family and live such great family life like you guys do.

    I would appreciate if you could pray for my mom. She was just diagnosed with colon cancer and had a surgery this week (all seem as good as it can be at this point but she's got a lot to go through yet). Thanks for your prayer and have a safe trip! Janka

  13. Steph

    Hope you have an awesome trip! Could you please pray for a healthy pregnancy, safe labour and birth? Thanks 🙂

  14. Caitlin

    I would love to learn more about how you've made international travel work for your family, both financially and just logistically! It's something my husband and I would love to make happen one day.

    Please pray for some college friends who just lost their two-year old son to Tay-Sachs disease.

  15. Anonymous

    I love your take on the kids' names. You make me feel so much better about doing the same! 🙂 And I got a great laugh out of it.

  16. Jazlyn

    Could you please pray that we would be blessed with another child? Our first is nearly 2 and we would love to give her a sibling soon…

  17. Katrina Rose

    I wish that I had said, "Yes!" as well. How else could I know to not be completely embarrassed with Ryan's end of plane ride tantrum in front of you? I remember thinking, "Well, at least one person on this plane isn't judging me. Thank you for being here, Kendra!" I'm glad we got to meet, and I hope our paths cross again.

    I'm happy that you are feeling better! Oh I so wish I could tag along on your trip! I loved visiting Lisieux and Lourdes. Have you taken a bath there? My friend and I went in March 2010 during the off season so there was only a tiny wait. It was the most incredible experience for me. Bon voyage!

  18. Hafsa

    I often thought about going back to using my kids real names but my husband just recently started working in a very political field and is uncomfortable with my using his name and our children's names. I will say that if I met a blogger in real life who I had become internet friends with, I would not hesitate to introduce my children to them. I think it's a difference with the blog world and not knowing who the heck reads my blog than meeting someone in person. Just my two cents.

  19. Son Mom

    Have a wonderful trip! Traveling with kids is awesome, isn't it? Good luck getting all the things done 🙂 I always find stepping on the plane the most relaxing phase of any international trip because it means all my prep work is done.

  20. Amanda

    Glad you're feeling better! Being sick is the worst! Prayers for an amazing trip! Excited to hear about it all. I can't imagine traveling international! Y'all are amazing! Also, so excited about winning one of the giveaways! Such a beautiful rosary! And, such a perfect gift for Mother's day! Thank you and Always Rosary!

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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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