In Which There are Things I Like

by | Feb 7, 2014 | 7 Quick Takes, A Few of My Favorite Things | 27 comments

So, what do you think of the new digs? Thanks to the husband for giving me the redesign for Christmas, Kristin at Designer Blogs for making sense of my emails and putting up with my waffling, and Micaela of California to Korea and back again for taking the photos!

There may be a few kinks still to work out. Please let me know if you find any broken links. And if you need a blog redesign please let the gals at Designer Blogs know I sent you.

Today on the blog, we’ll be discussing things I like . . . 

This Baby

Seriously. Look. At. Her. And this wasn’t gas, or a random passing facial expression. This baby is pure joy. Almost all the time. She cracks that huge grin at the slightest provocation and she totally has little baby conversations with me.
Now before you get mad at me for having such a charming baby, let me remind you of the preferred facial posture of my previous baby:

Frankie, Frankie, Frankie. He was grumpy before Grumpy Cat made it cool.

This Commercial

Isn’t the Superbowl fun? Not the game. Obviously. What a snoozefest. My favorite thing about the Superbowl this year? Tim Tebow. He didn’t play in the game or anything. But I think we can all agree that he won.

This Guy
I didn’t really have a dog in the fight, as it were. As a Chargers fan myself, I have very little experience with Superbowls. <sigh> (But you gotta love our quarterback!) Anyway, after seeing this ad:

  And reading the rest of the story here: 

Super Bowl 2014: 

I was rooting for the Seahawks. But not, ya know, tearing up or anything.

This Quiz
I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m kind of a sucker for quizzes. Just off the top of my head I can tell you that I’m: Snape, and Mr. Darcy, and Katniss, and Sleeping Beauty, and I should have been a Writer (go figure). But THIS quiz. This quiz is my all time favorite.

What Arbitrary Thing Are You?

Wanna be a thing? Come on, you know you do. Take this quiz!

Waiters singing Happy Birthday, is obviously the worst.
(In case you’re wondering, I am: A Handful of Beans.)
This Post

I am a big fan of “natural” foods. But by that *I* mean, minimally processed, minimally packaged, preferably homemade, in my dreams homegrown. I do NOT mean “organic.” I don’t buy organic food because we just have too many people here to feed. Plus, I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that the whole thing was just a clever way to trick fancy people into spending more money to buy the same food.

Stop Worrying About Feeding Your Kids Organic Fruit

If you ask Ames or the National Research Council what all this means, you won’t hear anyone say OMG don’t eat plantsthey are trying to kill us. It’s Ames’s belief that plants are exceptionally good for us in spite of the fact that they contain high levels of natural toxins — and that we certainly shouldn’t be worried about the minuscule differences in pesticide levels between organic and conventional foods. Indeed, if the research literature is clear about anything regarding fruits and vegetables, it’s that eating more of them — conventional or organic — does good things for the body.

This article is chock full of real science so that we moms can make informed decisions for our families. You guys know I like that sort of thing.

Bottom line: “organic” does not mean “pesticide-free,” chemicals are not your enemy, eat more fruits and vegetables, wash them first.

This Other Baby (and his dad)

Close on the heels of the heartbreaking story of the Texas man who sought a judge’s order to remove his brain-dead pregnant wife from life support (which was not necessarily immoral, but was unequivocally very, very sad) . . . comes a similar story from Canada.

But this time, husband and father Dylan Benson is asking for our help. You can read his moving plea here, and, if you wish, make a donation for Baby Iver.

and Disneyland
from our trip two years ago for Bobby’s birthday

We have a family tradition of going to Disneyland for sixth birthdays. Gus turned six in November, but I was 38 weeks pregnant at the time, so we put the trip off for a couple of months. But, we’re finally off this weekend for some family fun in the happiest place on earth.

I’m not sure if we’ll be able to top our last visit, but we’re going to try!

That’s Bobby battling Darth Vader and Anita is the Alice on the left.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Abby S.

    Appreciate the organic article, like the new look, love baby Lulu! Have a great time at Disney!

  2. Micaela Darr

    Love, love, LOVE the new look! So fresh and clean and pretty. We'll miss you tomorrow, but I know you'll have a blast. Hopefully today's rain will have scared everyone away and you can enjoy short lines and lots of family fun.

  3. Joy Beyond the Cross

    Love the new look, especially the header. Great pic! Oh, and I haven't taken any of those other quizzes, but took this one…I am a big rusty hook. I guess I need to work on a few things. 🙂

  4. kate @ be merry, kate

    The new design looks lovely! And I have to say, I love the grumpy face on the lady behind you at Disneyland.

  5. Nella @McDonald's In Heaven

    This looks great! Good luck at Disney…the idea of all my kids at an amusement park makes me panic, but I lack the fun gene. Have a great day!

  6. Anonymous

    Have fun at Disney!

  7. Hannah Reinhard

    Love that quiz! I always knew I was a box of hangers…. And completely agree with #5

  8. Hevel Cohen

    Your link about the organic food reminded me of an article I was linked that had a title like "these things kill rats, but supposedly not humans". The only thing I could comment was that cats kill rats, but not humans… Anyway, gotta love real science.

    Hevel from

  9. Anonymous

    The new layout looks lovely. (It reminds me of my alma mater.) I took the quiz and got a bunch of dead AA batteries. …woo.

  10. Laura Pearl

    Your blog looks great!

    And as for #5: I always suspected that the whole organic thing was a gimmick to trick "fancy people" into spending more money–and making not-fancy people feel guilty! If you have a big family, feeding them only organic will break the bank. We bought the regular stuff when our boys were growing up. And even now that we're empty-nesters, my husband and I continue to thrive on the bad old non-organic produce.

  11. Christine

    Great look – I love the color scheme!

    Re: your Disneyland picture….I never thought a dress with tennis shoes (i.e. sneakers) could possibly work. But you totally pull it off!

  12. Rakhi McCormick

    I love the new look – especially the headers and color scheme. And your last Disney trip – wow! How fun!

  13. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    and your blog looks awesome. And I could kiss you for that organic article. If we ever meet, I think I WILL kiss you. Life changing, that is.

  14. E

    I LOVE the new blog design!!! So so cute and fresh and colorful!!!

  15. Anna Yager

    A really fat squirrel??? I think I'd rather be a handful of beans. At least THEY are useful!

  16. Katharine B.

    Thank you for the organic article, I've dealt with organic guilt since my first child when I read a book that scared me away from conventional produce, meat and dairy. But we have 6 kids now and our food budget is insane. That article helps.

    Also, I'm wondering how you came to the conclusion that the man removing life support from his pregnant wife wasn't necessarily immoral (besides common sense.) I agree with you but yours is the only Catholic opinion I've seen on that side of the issue. I'm tired of not being "Catholic enough" because I don't see anything wrong with letting nature take its course in that case.

    • Kendra

      Katharine, I think end of life issues are really difficult to interpret generally, and must be carefully considered on a case by case basis. I don't know this one personally enough to know if what the husband did was right, but I pray that it was, for his sake.

  17. Kate

    Love the redesign! Love the photo-bomber at disney land! And: The Baha Men. This means nothing to me except I feel I know myself better having taken that quiz. Cloud of bees: favorite! Waiters singing happy birthday: not never never favorite.

  18. Hannah

    How is removing life support from his baby 'not immoral' ?
    Because, that's what it was, life support. If baby had been in, say, a super-duper artificial womb from sci-fi, and needed to get to 27 weeks to get viable, and Dad decided to pull the plug at 23, would that not be immoral?
    And in the limits of our technology, where a brain-dead mom is that womb…even if "she wouldnt' want to go on like this"….its not really about her anymore. She's the womb for the baby. Pulling the plug isn't really about her, its about the baby, the person to whom the plug matters at that point.
    Logically, I'd say it's pretty clear.

    And on a more minor level, 4 more weeks of non-preferred life support, compared to a chance at an entire life, is a huge huge difference. I don't think they're even in the same order of magnitude, and shouldn't be legally. While there might be a right to die in certain circumstances (not opting for chemo, not wanting life support) other people's right to live supersedes it. (e.g. suppose you were a conjoined twin with cancer, and you wanted to quit treatment. If you were not a conjoined twin, this would be your right. Suppose your conjoined twin is mute. Since this mute twin, cannot give his consent, your right to die is superseded by your twin's right to live, to keep trying for another round of chemo, etc.)

    And out on a limb, why do us moderns think the soul dwells in the brain? The ancient Hebrews didn't think so, its the kidneys (often translated heart), or the perhaps the neck. Why is "braindead" mean that their soul is gone? People have half-died, seen themselves rise out of their body and go back. There is a thinking part of our soul, that is not limited by our brains. People are complicated. Perhaps people in comas are praying and interceding for the world. God knows what they are doing, as He is the only one that invented this whole weird mind-body-soul thing. Just because we register nothing on a fMRI doesn't mean that we can conclusively say that the soul is already gone….

    • Kendra

      I said it wasn't necessarily immoral because I don't think I have enough of an understanding of the medical issues involved to be able to make a definitive judgement. There are so many ifs in end-of-life decisions. And I'm neither a doctor nor a moral theologian. Certainly I would want my own child to be given every chance of survival. But I can certainly imagine a case in which it would be moral to remove a pregnant woman from life support, so without being a party to this particular situation I feel like all I can know for sure is that it's very sad. And since it has already happened I pray that it WAS the right moral decision.

  19. Hafsa

    Those videos of your last trip to Disneyland are so cool, I bet your kids will have such wonderful memories of those vacations. We are about 8 hours outside of Anaheim and I've been once, we hope to be able to take all of our kids one day but it's so expensive. I agree with you on the organic food craze, I buy fruit and veggies I'm pro-whole foods cooking. We buy a minimal amount of processed food such as crackers and the occasional frozen pizza.

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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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