Sunday, October 4, 2009

True and Perfect Joy

On this wonderful Feast of St. Francis...I present you with:

True and Perfect Joy.
A "Fun Nun" modern and witty interpretation of the Parable told by
St. Francis to Brother Leo.

Brother Leo--"Hey, Francis...what's up with the joy thing?"

Francis (in the tone of any good teacher)--"Well, Leo...what do you think joy is?"

Leo (rolling his eyes)--"Seriously? peace, end of poverty, violence, hunger, war, extinction of peas, raisins, and the song kumbaya, Brother Al not snoring so loudly, living the Gospel fully, and Godiva chocolate."

(Francis considers Godiva chocolate as the essence of Joy, but thinks better of it and makes the sound of a game show buzzer...errrr)

Leo (rolling his eyes again)--"Oh great...parable time...I can see it in your face. Here we go..."

Francis (smiling broadly)--"You mentioned Brother Al's snoring and the extinction of peas."

Leo--"Only you..Mr. Dance in the streets would connect snoring and peas. Alright I'm listening."

Francis--"Let's and Brother Al went together to Farmington, Saskatchewan to give a mission talk. You arrive at the Friary and Br. Ivan says when he opens the door, "Oh...geeze...they sent you two," and slams the door in your face.

Leo--"You do remember that I asked about joy right?"

Francis--"Oh yes I do...wait we're not even to the good part yet! and Br. Al ring the bell and Br. Ivan says,

'Oh and your stubborn and don't take not-so-subliminal messages very
well either. I'll show you your room.'

He takes you out to the barn past the stables and shows you two blankets on the ground.

'Good luck with your mission talk, my Brothers, heh heh. Dinner is served at 7."

You look at Br. Al and think, "Last mission talk, we were in a hotel. I sure hope I brought ear plugs. His snoring is going to keep me up all night." And, for all intents and purposes, you can assume that it will.

Br. Leo--"JOY, Francis...JOY stay focused."

Francis--"Are you kidding me? go to the kitchen for dinner and discovered that it was the Regional Franciscan Iron Chef competition with secret ingredient--PEAS. Yep...that's right...6 courses all with peas."

Br. Leo--Gross...I thought the snoring would be the bad part of the story. Do I experience Joy when I muddle through the Pea-fest and come to bed to realize there is Godiva on my hay bale?"

Francis--"NO...this is the best part! True and perfect joy, my dear Brother is when you eat everything offered, offer to do the dishes for Br. Ivan, and sign up for 3 more days in the Friary under the same conditions, and finally...tell Br. Al how grateful you are that the two of you had this experience of deepened community and friendship."

Br. Leo--"Where's the joy?"

Francis--"It's in the accepting, patience, and seeing the bigger picture. You were sent to another fraternity to spread the Good News, Brother. Responding in gratitude and with where you'll experience true and perfect joy."

Br. Leo..."I'm sorry I asked."

Francis--"I'm not. Now, go reflect on that."

Br. Leo (rolls his eyes and walks back to his room)

Francis--"Praised be God...creator of all things me see the true and perfect joy in the 'eye rolls"

(enthusiastic applause)

I'm kinda in a Brother Leo-ish space right now. I'm wanting a big box of Godiva chocolate and I'm being served a 6 course meal of peas. To top that off...I've got all these "Francis'" saying, "Oh's True and Perfect Joy". EYE ROLL.

I'm Franciscan, we're all about the conversion, with a giant plateful of JOY to go with it. The conversion part is pretty much the Blobby Yuck that I've talked about in other posts. You resist it, you don't like it, ew...yuck...when do we get the joy? Then you hear stuff like, " have to walk through this and you will come out of it with wisdom and joy..." I feel compelled to scrunch face, roll eyes, and change topic.

When I professed my vows...I had learned in "nun school" about poverty, chastity, and obedience. I heard stories, experiences and had some of my own initial lived experiences of how the vows are lived out. So "a journey begun" won (ha ha ha...)...I've begun a spirit-journey, not necessarily on my terms. I professed publicly "I will obey the Spirit speaking in community".

The vow of obedience has snuck up on me in unexpected, challenging, and profound ways. The Spirit finally spoke so strongly, I couldn't even argue. (Pick yourselves up off the floor, stop hyperventilating--think conversion, it can happen to anyone!) Tending my spirit is what I am being called to right now; for me...not easy and kinda scary. But the Spirit (in the form of many of "My People") is saying: time to embrace the peas to get to the chocolate.

So...I'm just sitting down at the table, trying to be open to the fact that I'm about to eat a 6 course meal featuring peas so that I can enjoy a wonderfully raspberry filled, dark chocolate Godiva bar when I am done.

True and Perfect Joy...
Thank you God for calling me to Franciscanism.

So friends in the blogosphere...I am not sure how bloggy I can be in the next month or two...stay tuned...The Adventures of One Fun Nun...has just begun. Until then...

Peas and all Good-iva
(I couldn't resist.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

News from the Alma Mater

Well...apparently my letter to July didn't work...It's September now! We finished two weeks of school already...I can't believe it. Life at St. Roman's is definitely in full swing again. I am not as faithful to this blog as I'd like to be; I'm so glad I still have fans! I am still around...just more sporadically.

Friday, I went to my sister, Ellie's soccer game. She's a nursing student at Alverno and a very talented player. She broke the college's record for number of points scored! WOOT WOOT. I played on Alverno's very first team...I guess I held the record for most points scored 1 season (1pt; only goal we had all season). Ellie is incredible. Here's the link to her article Go Inferno!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dear July

Dear July--

I need you to come back; I was just not ready for your swift departure. I have vacation to post about and exciting things to get ready for school. I just feel like we didn't get the chance to spend any time together. I'm begging you...please please come back.


Sr. Augustin Denial

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Retreat Installment #2: Whimsical Yo Yo

Profound YoYo (see Retreat Installment #1) had the spirit working over time in lots of intense prayer time...LOTS. Because the spirit believes that my goal for life is BALANCE...she surprised me my first afternoon of retreat (day after YoYo Ma) with a care package. I woke up from a nap and opened my door and voila! Here's what I saw:

A little context...My friend, Sr. Vicki, CSA is the proud owner of a Hoops stuffed animal. Hoops has been on retreat, around the US, and most recently in Ireland accompanying a group of Dominican students on a trip. Hoops missed having a buddy to join in the photographing he decided to surprise me with a Yo Yo care package to help balance some of the seriousness (or as my retreat director said, "You need a little whimsy!").

So I opened the door and laughed (I was totally surprised) and in addition to Yo Yo there was a coffee mug and a fun and thoughtful card. I now had an assignment...Yo Yo needed to have a retreat with me so he could share with Hoops all of the great things we prayed about this week.

It was a good diversion when life got a little intense, that's for sure. And it was fun to say, "Hey...Yo Yo could take a picture of this...and this...oh and this!" (Yo Yo is having way more fun on vacation! Just wait until those photos come!)

Well...folks...that is Retreat Installment #2: Whimsical Yo Yo. There is one final chapter to be unveiled...

Retreat Installment #3: Multi-Media-ing Yo-yo...stay tuned....

Monday, July 6, 2009

Retreat Installment #1--Profound YoYo readers!

Seems hardly fair that I can be sitting outside, on a deck, in the sunshine over looking Dell Creek on an 80 degree day in July (where my only frustrations have been: I have to keep moving so I can see the computer screen and just now, "Oh shoot the wind blew over my cheese and cracker). I thought at one point I was called to be a cruise director...maybe I should revisit that. :-) I love vacation!

Last week I was on RETREAT, my annual week-long, "silent" directed retreat. I knew I needed a retreat badly...(that's definitely a sign of "nun-culturation") and was looking forward to Q-U-I-E-T time. Sure...the externals were quiet--but inside "Katy-land" not so much. Retreat definitely slows the pace and gives good spaces for prayer, reflection, working through stuff, etc. Retreat can be hard work, too *insert look of disbelief and laughter (c'mon I've seen it before)*. My last two retreats were working retreats...but this one was like boot camp for the spirit-self. Unfortunately, for me...all wasn't in, out, gone by Friday either. It was more like "AHH...Ooh...NOO...ugh...I see...hmm....argh!....ack!....yay!!....what?...WHAT??...c'mon....hmm" was that kind of retreat...I just kept thinking...oh PRAISE GOD that I have vacation afterwards for retreat recovery. Don't get me wrong...retreat did it's job and took me along for the ride; but it was definitely a bumpy ride with UPs and DOWNs and "Are we there yet?" isn't even worth asking, because you know very well that you're not there YET.

Funny I should mention UPs and DOWNs...the Yo-yo seemed to be a theme that came UP in three interesting ways: 1. YoYo Ma 2. Yo-Yo (as in best friend of Hoops 3. yo-yoing So...welcome to my crazy world of retreat reflections 2009.

I have three needs for retreat: good weather for walking, water (as in lake, river, ocean, etc), and a director who likes a challenge (...and it's not my goal to be challenging). I've posted about retreat I won't reiterate all of that stuff.

Anywho...night #1 I went walking with my mp3 player and this haunting cello (Well it was a symphonic piece, but the cello was highlighted throughout) piece came on.

**NOTE: I have the piece in the video above, if you want to hear it. The flower was just an aide to circumventing the "no music hosting on blogger"; that's the only image, if you want to keep reading**

I had been making my little deals with the spirit for retreat (more like begging...PLEASE...I WANT TO HAVE A GOOD RETREAT...C'MON spirit work your magic!) I've probably heard it a million times, but this time the music played right through me. I was totally drawn into this piece of music and the cello in particular. I still really don't have words to describe my reaction, but what ever IT was...IT was deep and profound. I don't really do feelings all that well, but if someone came up me and said, "well how does that make you feel?" I'd have given them my headphones.

Well...that set the context for my retreat for sure. I'd actually been struggling with "words" in my prayer and journaling for a while--F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-N-G. Try journaling without words (and being a stink-o artist) for a few months and see. One of my learnings these days is to love the power of images (something I hated a few years ago) and allow other things (like music, movies, um...people :-) ) get "in", to get "out", and moved "on".

I came back to the retreat house and sat and stared out the window for a long time listening to this piece over and over (and over) and then started writing. Now...I'm not a write-er, I don't do stories or poems or creative artistic writing stuff. I can make up Haiku's, Quatrains, Limerick's, but they are silly and for fun. While listening to this piece was was just writing down the images that popped into my head...and this poem-ishy thing appeared in my journal:

The deep, slow drone
Draws her in--without warning.
Bowed gently, her subtle melody
Thoughtful and intoxicating.
Smooth and simple phrasing,
She feels the ache of each note.
Careful chording, haunting sound--
Tangled in her sad story.

Marveled by passion and intensity--
The cellist shifts focus,
Soft and serene,
Higher and faster--
She is fooled again; quickly returning
To the song's deep darkness.

A constrictor like melody,
The prey is right where he wants,
Almost teasing its victim.

The cellist releases the bow,
Family of strings begin;
Listeners, perceiving a resolution.
To this deep grieving song.

Lastly, woodwinds, in their rescuing ways,
Take most to a masked land, which doesn't exist.
All eerie dissonance resolved.

Except for the prey,
Longing for him to reach the final cadence;
Only to hear silence and feel peace.

Ok had my attention at least (AND THIS WAS THE FIRST NIGHT)...Welcome to retreat, Sista's going to be a "fun" one!

Stay Tuned for Retreat Installment #2: Whimsical Yo Yo.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fan the Flame...Camping 2009

I'm into pictures and video these days...

Here's camping! We had a blast and decided to do an annual GV Young Nuns Adventure with T-Shirts and everything!

Enjoy the video!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Giving Voice--Living community in the 21st Century

We had our 4th annual Giving Voice Conference: Living Community in the 21st Century this weekend at the very lovely Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI (Yeah SSSFs baby!)For our opening ritual we asked participants to send in photos illustrating their congregation and people who are important to them and describe "Where We've Been and Where we Are". Throughout the week we took many photos and today at our closing liturgy we integrated the photos into our opening one with the 3 songs we used for reflection these days. (there are a couple GV bonuses from many of our gatherings too!) I hope you enjoy this picture video....we had a blast.

I'm going camping for a week now with some of my GV friends. I'm so excited to just be in nature and relax and um...relax and oh yeah...maybe just relax. I'm sure there will be pictures and stories to share from that too! :)
Thanks GV was a fantastic weekend! I love religious life...and I'm committed to it's future! WOOOOO HOOOO! YAY for Party buses and butterfly pictures!

PS I know there are photo repeats...let's just say: 2:30a.m. last night of conference. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

MIA...and found again

I can't believe it's Memorial Day weekend! I really can't believe that I HAVE NOT POSTED IN over TWO MONTHS!! I can't believe how time (and life) has just been in a whirlwind of activity.

A few weeks ago my 3 time a year column was published in our Catholic newspaper in the MyFaith section....I thought I'd share it with my readers (if I have any left...)

I try to take a day of reflection to write my columns and usually end up writing about what's going on in my life currently. This one came at a particularly good time for me and I even surprised myself! I hope you enjoy it too. (and the best part is the Catholic Herald forgot to "age me" with my column...I'm still 27!! That means I have 3 more years until Th-Day instead of less than a year! WOO HOO!)

Please pray for our 8th graders this week...they are coming home from DC tomorrow, having their graduation retreat on Tuesday and graduate on Saturday...they are really excited. I'm so proud of them; what a fantastic group of 8th graders we have this year. I may even miss them!

I'll try to get back on the blog bandwagon soon....thanks for hanging with me. Life shouldn't be this crazy...right? Peace out!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

28+1--OR--25+4--Either's the Annual Birthday Blog

A comment about the photo, just in case any of you think that I've gone all Lucky Charms on you with my birthday and St. Patty's Day...there's a connection, but you're going to have to read the WHOLE entry folks.

Just under the wire, but I'm here...with the annual Birthday Blog--the reflect on the past year and where I'd like to go in this next year of life! It seems like every time I do this review there's been "big stuff" (new life, new formation stage, new jobs, new careers, etc). I am not fond of uncomfortable transitions (I find change energizing); yet my last few years seem like it's my other-other full time job; this year was no exception!

I usually post with the image of the shamrock fields. I have a lovely photograph of a rainbow which I took in Ireland when I was there in 2001, but unfortunately in those days, ahem, we didn't have those digital cameras that these young folks carry today...and I'm too lazy to go through the boxes in the basement, find the album, and scan it...So thank you web image searches.

A few days ago, I had some time and space to "gear up" for my thoughts about my upcoming special day and was journaling a bit. The image of a rainbow kept creeping into my thoughts and I don't know that I connected it until this evening.

We all know the faith symbolism of the rainbow in the biblical tradition of Noah, the ark, God's covenant made in the symbol of the rainbow. I also think the folklore of rainbows is fascinating; with the leprechauns, pots of gold, and luck at the end of the rainbow--if you can find it. Finally, from the logical science Sister Katy--refracting visible light (which is truly the color white) through a prism to create an allusion of the visible light spectrum to break apart the various colors which make up "white light" is amazing to me as well.

So some themes emerged for me:

**God's covenant of love and the hope (or relief) Noah must have felt when he could experience this presence of God.

**Luck at the end--IF you can find it.

**refracting what one can see normally, breaking it apart to see the many "colors" which make up the whole.

What sealed the deal for me to use this image...was the fence. The short of it...the Book of Wisdom has come up in different aspects of my discernment journey in many different contexts. Sr. Mary Ann created this wonderful Wisdom Retreat (created around Wisdom literature) for women discerning which I was able to help her with a couple times. One of the activities which I always appreciated was when we drew our "gates" (where Wisdom is found) from Wisdom 6:14.

This image said...the only way you're going to get to that rainbow, if you go beyond that fence. And as much as I'd love to say, "Oh...too bad...that fence is there." I can't conceive being "fenced in" move through the gate, Lady.

In many ways some of the things I have had the opportunity to reflect on this past year have much to do with a covenant of love. My vowed commitment seems get deeper within me, causes for greater reflection on what these vows mean to me, how I live them, and am challenged by them. Situations, reflections, and relationships have caused me to see how my vowed commitment is deep within me, in my spirit, and passion for where I am called--in ways I never predicted or could have imagined! And none of those profound moments of saying, "Oh crap...that's what obedience is," have been fact on some levels the challenges have been greater than anything I've experienced in my life. My commitment to God and growing more and more aware of God's love is what gives me that hope and relief that this is what I need to do with my life. In that respect...I can see a rainbow fitting for my symbol of hope as I move forward with my personal journey.

The science piece makes me laugh because of course I needed some logic to have a reflection to write. Then that got me thinking...of course. Refracting light--light passing through a medium in which it bends to create multiple dimensions and view points. And of course knowing that "white light" (pure visible light) is made up of many colors...UGH. I hate it when life lessons are that cliche and obvious. So yeah yeah...rainbow shmainbow...allow "stuff" to pass through a "refractor" (and I'm not going to define that because I know that just asks for "I told you so's" and this coming back to me) so that you can see what many factors make it up. The cynic in me says, "And then it goes away!" The "reflective I enjoy growth and insight" me is saying, "Oh...and you can still find beauty in acknowledging the multi-facets." That would be end-of-year 28's bow of insight (groan groan...bad pun)

So for year 28+1...I had dinner tonight with one of "my people". She gave me a beautiful journal that has artwork, quotations, excerpts from poems, etc...scattered among the journaling pages. The images are serene and peaceful. So I came home...knowing that I wanted to do my annual blog and I opened up the journal and on that page was this excerpt of a poem entitled: This Ecstasy by John Squadra...

All that matters is what you love
and what you love is who you are
and who you are is where you are
and where you are is where you will be
when death takes you across the river.

You can't avoid the journey but
you can wake
and see where you've been
and where you are going.

Now that is the spirit speaking to me...that's a good place for 28+1 to look toward at this moment. (Thanks, Lady)

That's that. Easy breezy last year--renewing covenant, hopeful sign, God's love, oh and the let your stuff refract so you can look at it thing too.

Even smoother new year--what you love is who you can't avoid the journey...

And lest I forget my fence...I guess I have to go through another gate to hear my Wisdom...who is sitting there waiting for me to pass through. Piece of cake...ha!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sr. Katy on Living our Faith

Hey everyone...

Two weeks ago I moved into a new community house (in case you were wondering what happened to me and my blogging efforts). I am now living with one of our Sisters near Alverno College. As I get settled, I'm sure I'll have more to share.

A couple of weeks ago I was on our Archbishop's television series: Living our Faith. Two Marquette students did the interviewing and filiming of it. I was so impressed with their skills and professionalism. The two students really produced a nice segment. I just heard that they won a scholarship for this piece too! I'm so proud of them.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

C'mon Fill out our survey...ya know ya wanna!

Hey blog readers...

Here's the low-down:

I'm the co-chair of a committee for my religious congregation called: Engaging Young Adult Women. We're trying to hear from young adult women (imagine that?) what would be some good programs, events, faithy, service type things that would generate some energy and attendance. It's all about engaging people in our mission...and we want to hear from YOU!

So...especially if you are a young adult woman...or you know a few...would you fill out our survey..please? Also...invite friends, students, come and fill it out too. I'll keep my readers updated on what the results are.

There are two ways you can take the survey:
I have a link posted on the side bar under "linkage" just click and go! OR--

If you'd rather have the survey e-mailed to you, send me a "comment" with your e-mail address (I won't publish the comment).

Thanks for helping me out!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Month of January--GIVING VOICE!!

This is really the "S. Katy Talks about Giving Voice" Installment, but I need to include some of the Christmas concert photos from my school, because they are too cute for words...then it'll be down to business!

A couple things to note in the photos:

1. CUTENESS factor (you totally forget what they did a few hours earlier...ha ha).

2. Any Nativity should always be done by people under 7--they take their roles very seriously (even the child who cried because he really wanted to be Jesus and said how he was "jipped" when they told him they were using a doll.).

3. The lady in the red jacket, waving her hands around--she hadn't conducted a thing since 1999 when she took a semester of conducting and picked a Sousa march for her final (an infant trying to grab for mom's hair is essentially conducting a Sousa march) exam--co-conducted two songs with the music teacher--240+ kids in a 2 part chorus--sometimes a principal disciplines, sometimes gives out ice packs, sometimes conducts during a concert.

"Responding to the needs of the times" is one of the School Sister Foundress sayings...OH YEAH...Take that Mothers Alexia and Alfons! (and I was so stinkin' proud of my kids...they really struggled with this song and they NAILED it. I don't know if I was happier or if they were.)

4. Two people with green papers--one is my 4th grade teacher the other is a 5th grade student who is an extremely talented little singer. Yeah...Sr. Katy had the worst case of laryngitis ever (like was not AUDIBLE AT ALL) and was supposed to sing a song with all of the kids at the end. Yeah, not my teacher and student subbed for me--they were great. :-) Takes many hands to make this community work!

Okie dokie...I just couldn't resist...

GIVING VOICE--20's and 30's Young Religious Gathering

(or the gathering of the other "Fun Nuns" in the US)

I've written about GV (Giving Voice) tons of times. It is the organization for Women Religious who are under 50. We have a National Conference (At Alverno College, MILWAUKEE, this June 11-14th) every 2 years and a gathering of the nuns in their 20s and 30s every MLK weekend.

The weekend is such a great balance of prayer, sharing, support, and socialization (with people who know who Punky Brewster is, probably listened to Pearl Jam, and get Wii's and Rock Band for final profession gifts). It's always re-energizing for me. These women are my good friends in religious life around the country. We're intercongregational, ensuring the future of religious life and supporting each other--us crazy cats who have responded to the call of the Sistahood. We were in Tampa, FL, at the Franciscan Retreat Center--niiiiccceee. (When Sr. Vicky, CSA and I left Milwaukee the piolet announced that without the windchill it was -20 degrees with windchill it was -60; school was cancelled two days! It was an 80 degree difference when we landed in Tampa.)

We had 21 Sisters together, 7 of whom were Giving Voice 1st timers! Sarah (a Dubuque Frannie), one of my novitiate girls came too! That was awesome to be with her!!

This year, my friend Jeannie (an Ursiline from the Bronx) and I were the planners. We decided to preface our June conference with prayer, reflection, and sharing centered on our experience of community life. For our process, we used an excerpt of a piece called The People Gathered by Sr. Mary Fran, an IHM sister. We opened Friday night with sharing of symbols and a bit about our congregations to create the space of: "we come from our individual communities to form community with one another." The discussion was profound and energizing. Many insights about our unique challenges, how important it is to support each other as peers, and where we see community life going for the future.

There was a retreat going on of Young Adult Catholics at the same time as us and they enjoyed playing football in the yardspace. Saturday night, after Mass we walked over to them and said, "Ya wanna take on the nuns? There are 12 of us and 10 of you!"

They accepted...and much laughing ensued...with some "I can't believe they are nuns" comments and although we lost, we gave a good showing. Crazy enough, there were people from Milwaukee there who recognized my Alverno College T-shirt. Small world...great times...Witness to the call of religious life, one completed pass at a time. (Our team was the one that didn't have guys on it, in case you had trouble figuring it out. ha ha)

We played two really awesome games tool, well into the night on Saturday. One was called, "My Family" and the other "Mafia"--both thinking/strategy group games. I've played Mafia before (we used to play in the intercommunity pre-novitiate) that was way funny. My Family was cool too, I think my nuns at home would like that game.

Both teams...pose for a picture. :) There was one injury...Lisa came out as QB for one play, stepped wrong and her knee went out. We have the before and after shots (before the ER and after the ER...imagine the retired sisters faces when I came to the door asking if we could borrow a wheelchair from the retirement home! Yeah...we're the young nuns.) The backpack was a bonus...Lisa needed a backpack for her laptop for the flight back home. Maria and I debated between My Little Pony or Little Ms.'s dangerous when you send your friends into Target and say, "I just need a cheap backpack, I don't care what it looks like." Let's just say...Little Ms. Giggles is still entertaining us.

Once again, I came home renewed and my own spirit and the spirit of my call to this life. I love connecting, seeing, and meeting new friends. I miss them already, but I get to see them in a few short months at MY COLLEGE!

By the way...If you are a YOUNG RELIGIOUS (Under 50) or you know some Young Nuns...please encourage them to come to GV in will be an awesome conference! Just visit the GV website for more info!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Month of January (With a Christmas and New Year Bonus) Three Installments

Installment 1: Christmas and New Year's life since Christmas has been nuts, wonderful, but nuts: Christmas, New Year's, back-to-school, make-up concert, Confirmation retreat, Giving Voice, and now this week is Catholic Schools Week! All good...just a lot on one month! So I thought I'd share a bit about these days and some pics to catch ya'll up on the life of this "fun nun". (This one is really the "photo album" installment)

I had a few good Christmas Celebrations (which have some photos to share!)...the family one, my White House group one...just to name a couple.

My grandma and grandpa always put on such a great celebration on Christmas Eve!

Here's my mamma...opening her gift from me! Yay for Jill!

And there's me with two of my most favorite people in the whole wide world: my grandma and Judeen. (after the gift opening, if you couldn't tell by my accessories)

I also spent my Christmas vacation with Judeen at the White House; the other Sisters were visiting their families for the holiday! We had a really nice time together. Judeen's sister Jeanne, from Arizona came to visit too...another great time. It was nice to have some time off of school to relax and slow down a bit.

Judeen and Jeanne were making this nostalgic meal "slicker noodles", (sounds gross, tastes pretty yummy!) and I had the pleasure of photodocumenting it. Jeanne to the left...Judeen to the right! (Stand up, sit down, ...oh wait...nevermind.) For me it was entertainment, watching those two go at it in the kitchen (I think it would be much like my sisters and me in a few years).

For New Year's Eve, I was in Chicago with two of my other most favorite people in the whole wide world! We had a very relaxing time. I made a New Year's dinner for them. They requested Vodka Pasta (yum!), salad, and chocolate raspberry mousse. The mousse didn't turn out like I had hoped, but like Mary Ann said, "I guess you'll just have to practice on us some more!"

Now, my dear friend Mary Ann...she is all about goals (for OTHER people). So I decided to make my 2009 goal right away and get it over with. I am not a fan of the fish-type foods and neither is Mary Ann. She does take a walk on the dark side by eating herring on New Year's for prosperity.

I've watched people eat herring for years and just can't figure out why cold, scaly, fish in cream sauce on crackers is a good idea. So my goal for 2009, was to try herring! Mary Ann took the opportunity to make sure there was photo documentation (I was happy she was taking them for proof that I set and met my 2009 goal). She claims that the best faces occur ed in between shots, don't believe her...these are good enough!
Sr. Katy Sets and Meets 2009 Goal
Operation: Herring
Here's the play-by-play: Does she like it? Will it become a "fun nun tradition"? You be the judge!
Katy, slightly apprehensive, picks up the jar and says,
"Herring? Really? What is this stuff?"

Peering into the jar, hesitantly, she calls out,
"Here fishy, fishy, fishy! have scales!"
"Buck up skippy! Put it on a cracker," Mary Ann calls out from behind the camera. "Ok, ok...I'll do it. Just let me ease into this...I don't know that I've ever accomplished my yearly goals in 7 minutes before, geeze."

Glancing sheepishly toward the camera, Katy puts herring a la cracker into her mouth. Recognizing the familiar look when Katy stops breathing, Mary Ann cries out, "Breathe! Chew! Swallow! Get a grip! Gotta have goals!"
Is raising those eyebrows in delight? Is she making a kissy face because she's just recently joined PETA and realized that fish are people too? Is she grimacing because she has a slimy, scaly, cold fish in her mouth? Dun...da...dun.....What will be next? What will she do?

Oh...she's swallowing, but it looks painful, folks. Poor herring? Poor Katy? Was it worth the prospect of prosperity? Is she internally joyful that she met her goals? Should canoes be made out of wood? Or Aluminum? (Veggie tales anyone?)
Well, Katy of course never walks away from any experience and challenge without the opportunity for growth. This is what she learned from Mr. Herring and Sr. Mary Ann:
Sometimes you set goals and when you achieve them it's like waiting for the right moment and then enjoying a tender, medium-rare steak; can't have it all the time, but when you do, wow.
Sometimes it's like eating herring on New Year's: short, sweet, over...but still a mouthful of YUCK.
All in did it and there's the sheer glory of just doing it and meeting the challenge...and there's always the opportunity for chocolate afterwards.
Stay tuned for Installment #2!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Great Day for the WORLD

Just a quick update...I hope to fill ya'll in on my weekend with GIVING VOICE, etc this coming weekend.

I'm not a big emoter (don't understand crying at commercials etc). Today, though...knowing the good and the change that I'm anticipating with our new President, I was just very hopeful.

All of our students gathered to watch the swearing in and President Obama's was electrifying in the "send goose bumps through you" "I'm so elated I don't know what to do" way. My students were engaged and many were excited. We clapped, we was just a wonderful day.

I believe it is a wonderful day for our country, our people, and the world community. My prayers and blessing go out to our new President and his family as they begin a long and difficult journey . I am grateful that he has generated so much energy, excitement, and hopefulness.

Happy Day!