16 and 20

"Mariah, make sure you get a good, 'majestic adventurer' shot of me" #nailedit
(look ma, I touched nature!)
The boys turn 16 and 20 years old this weekend, which, in my book, is reason enough to try out kayaking. What fun.

Love these brothers of mine.


four violins + one cello.

(lol. conveniently placed violin. hahaha. michelangelo.)

monday night. its their first music practice. 
concentration runs thick through the air, 
(almost  as  densely  as  the  humidity.)
mississippi hot dog. mississippi hot dog.


heat dome

their first ever ice-cream cones. 

this sweltering heat is no fun, but there certainly are wonderful, commemorative moments here nevertheless. 

deo gratias.


cherry picking

wonders are many on earth, and the greatest of these
is man, who rides the ocean and makes his way
through the deeps, through the wind-swept valleys of perilous seas
that surge and sway.

he is master of ageless earth, to his own will bending
the immortal mother of gods by the sweat of his brow,
all year succeeds to year, with toil unending 
of mule and plough. 

he is lord of all things living; birds of air
beasts of the field, all creatures on sea and land
he takes, cunning to capture and ensnare
with sleight of hand;

hunting the savage beast from the upland rocks, 
taming the mountain monarch in his lair,
training the wild horse and the roaming ox;
his yoke to bear.


cherries are starting to come in. they're tart and a little funny-shaped, but a delight to gather nonetheless. there is something wholly satisfactory about growing, caring for and eating from the plants that surround your home. these acts have sparked in me a newfound interest in the creation narratives. in particular, i've meditated on our inherited role as nurturers of the earth and what that constitutes. and, i think, part of our duty in this blessed world involves picking fruit to make into pies. its a wonderful life.

ps. shout out to sophoclese. he gets it. 


22 things that make me smile

1. waking up to sunshine streaming into the bedroom.

2. beethoven's pathetique (no. 8, ii.), preferably played on piano by my big brother. but also any beethoven or anything played by eric on the piano.

3. these women and many, many others. i've been given the most wonderful friends.

4. arriving to work and being greeted by 13 hugs and happy exclamations of "miss mariah is here!"

5. stripes. (they are my favorite color, after all)

6. dinners with the entire family around the table, most especially when we pray grace. i love hearing the little voices as they say "bless us o lord...."

7. john paul ii. i love that man  and of course, his letter to artists.

8. etymology. (whatever guys. i can be a nerd if i want to be)

9. when my parents don their hats and bandannas each evening to walk about the farm together.

10. as i write this, my siblings are coming in one by one and wishing me a happy birthday. i love them to pieces.

11. prospective travel planning. (spain is calling!)

12. finishing a novena. i finally completed another 54 day novena last week. deo gratias.

13. making paper airplanes with little ones.

14. that one time when i convinced a professor that i thought that referring to st augustine as 'augie' was most definitely not ok and likely a sin. so gullible. sheesh. professors these days. ;)

15. random, just-thinking-of-you calls, texts and letters...both receiving and sending them.

16. not having to eat cafeteria food for a couple months. but also when the caf serves tacos.

17. ave verum corpus. a profession of vows took place near my diocese and this was sung by sisters during communion. so so so beautiful.

18. having wonderful things to look forward to in life, but also the most lovely things in the very present moment.

19. the lord said once to st catherine of siena, "for i will only your well being and whatever i give, i give it so that you might achieve the end for which i created you" and i love that.

20. providence. all that is necessary is provided.

21. having not only the best job ever, but also getting to visit the eucharist both before and after a shifts. my heart is overflowing.

22. i get to be my favorite number for a whole year. how cool is life, guys.

What makes you smile today?


present moment

We can find all that is necessary in the present moment. We need not worry about whether to pray or be silent, whether to withdraw into retreat or mix with people, to read or write, to meditate or make our minds a receptive blank, to shun or seek out books on spirituality. Nor do poverty or riches, sickness or health, life or death matter in the least. What does matter is what each moment produces by the will of God. We must strip ourselves naked, renounce all desire for created things, and retain nothing of ourselves, so that we can be wholly submissive to God's will and so delight Him. Our only satisfaction must be to live in the present moment as if there were nothing to expect beyond it. 


wheelbarrow rides

the latest addition to our farming equipment is this wheelbarrow which has been far more fun than i any of us could have anticipated. sometimes, we parade around our little hobby-farm in it and waves like princes and princesses as we pass by chickens, pigs, puppies and those unfortunate souls who don't get to ride. other times, we charge across the yard like warriors in a chariot or pioneers in their covered wagon. living on a farm is entirely too much fun. i love this new chapter.


postscript: please, someone remind me why i'm going into debt to live somewhere other than here. college is great, don't get me wrong. but my school doesn't have a chariot, nor do i have adorable little siblings to parade me around while i'm there. so i'm beginning to wonder what the point even is. jk. (but maybe not.)