Love’s Philosophy

By: Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,

The winds of heaven mix for ever

   With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;

   All things by a law divine

In one spirit meet and mingle.

   Why not I with thine?—

See the mountains kiss high heaven

   And the waves clasp one another;

No sister-flower would be forgiven

   If it disdained its brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth

   And the moonbeams kiss the sea:

What is all this sweet work worth

   If thou kiss not me?

Monks, Matt Maher, and Zaxbys

So, this is about three months late, lol. Anyways, I always love taking my friends to the monastery with me. It’s always nice getting a chance to experience it through a new set of eyes each time. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that God always brings those there who need it most. I always leave having gained a new perspective or regained hope about whatever I’m wrestling with at the time.

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We arrived to the monastery late Friday and settled in for the night. The next day I was super excited to show everyone around Cullman and the monastery. Oh and how could I forget to mention the excitement of seeing the Matt Maher concert bus in the monastery retreat center parking lot on our way to morning prayer and mass!!! I always love taking people to pray the divine office with the monks. It’s always such an amazing experience to be able to pray with the brothers. After morning prayer we went to a local bakery, drove back to the retreat center, and had a morning picnic near the stations of the cross trail close to the abbey gift shop. After breakfast we explored the stations of the cross and the monks cemetery.

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After we spent most of the morning exploring the Abbey grounds, we checked out the bookstore and then prepped to go to Afternoon prayer. After prayers we were able to eat lunch with the monks. It was fun getting a chance to talk with them for a bit. It was ridiculously hot on Saturday, but that didn’t stop us from exploring the grounds! I’m happy I was able to show everyone my favorite place at the monastery! I still don’t understand why I love the Old Grotto so much. After our trip to the grotto we decided to take a short nap before vespers and the concert.

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The Matt Maher concert was awesome!! It was cool getting to hear the songs from his new CD. Oh! And I got a really awesome tank top when I was there! We were all pretty exhausted by the time we got back to the retreat center and just settled down for the night.

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Whelp, on Sunday, we visited the New Grotto and then we went to Sunday Mass. After mass we said our goodbyes and packed up the rest of our stuff and left. It always makes me kind of sad whenever I leave the abbey, but I look forward to my next visit!

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Sparklers, kittens, and friends 

Man, the past few weeks have just flown by and so many things have happened! After weeks of searching (and many prayers to Saint Anthony for intersession) we’ve found our new apartment! I’m so excited to move in! I just can’t wait to furniture shop and decorate! Aside from that excitement work has been keeping my husband and I busy for the most part. Oh, and also our new kittens! My husband rescued them actually. He was putting in an application for a back up apartment when the maintenance man brought in two small kittens in a milk create. They were going to send them to the pound but my husband decided to take them home. I absolutely love our little furry additions to our family! I would like to introduce: Penelope (Penn) and Thomas (Tom).

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Our Fourth of July weekend was pretty low key this year. We drove back down to Warner Robins and spent the day with our family and old friends. We grilled, swam, and played board games. When night fell, we were finally able to start playing with fireworks!  I’m fairly certain that this was the first year I didn’t burn myself when playing with the Sparklers. Ha!

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The following day I got to spend some time with my niece! I can’t believe that she’ll be going into first grade this year! She’s growing up so fast! I still remember how tiny she was when she was first born! I love spending time with my sweet princess when I can. Kurtis and I took her and both of our parents out to eat and then we went shopping. It was great :)

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The following Friday was Olivia’s (surprise) going away party. It was nice getting to spend time with my sorority sisters, but it was even better getting to spend time with both my twin and big. I hadn’t seen them since my wedding! I never realize how much I miss a person until I see them again. It was nice getting a chance to visit with them. I always leave their company a bit more inspired. They are both very successful and accomplished women! I’m so happy we’re in the same family line! :)

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I had to separate a tad early  from the going away party to prepare the house for a visit of a very dear friend of mine. Yep, my friend Mike came and visited! While he was in Atlanta we visited Bodies the Exhibition. I hadn’t visited the museum since high school and I thought it would be fun to see how they would both react to it. After our trip we left Atlantic Station in search of food. We were going to take him to one of our favorite BBQ places, but unfortunately they were closed for renovations. Instead we took him to Cook Out. It was fun getting to visit and chit chat. When I lived in Warner Robins, he was my spontaneous trip buddy. Well, mainly Eucharistic adoration and quick food trip friend, lol. It was really nice getting a chance to sit and visit. I think one of my biggest fears about moving back to Atlanta permanently  is just not being able to see my friends as often as I used too. It’s just another part of growing up I guess.

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Our trip to Chicago!

We had been planning this trip for over a year now. Kurtis’ best friend is studying for his Ph. D.  at Northwestern University, and he invited us to visit him in Chicago.  We were really excited to go visit ‘the windy city’! There were so many things to do and to see there! Unfortunately, I got sick and we had to cut our trip short, but despite that, I had a really awesome time.

                                                                             

We left for Chicago right after I got off of work on Tuesday. For some crazy reason, my husband decided it was a better option to drive to Chicago instead of just flying. The cost of fuel was infinitely cheaper than buying two air plane tickets. And hey, who doesn’t love a good road trip?  With that being said, I slept through most of the drive. I fell asleep in Tennessee and woke up in Indiana. I really didn’t enjoy our time in Indiana. Not even five minutes after we crossed the Missouri River my husband said, “Welcome to the north, my dear” and I kid you not we hit a pot hole immediately after. Yeah, just not impressed with the roads there. Although, waking up to the sun rising in the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm was absolutely breathtaking.

Whelp, after our twelve hour drive we finally arrived to our destination! Our first few days there were pretty laid back. We spent the first couple of days sleeping in and relaxing in Evanston. We explored a few restaurants nearby and visited Lake Michigan and relaxed on the beach there for a while. It was really nice, a bit windy, but very relaxing.

I absolutely loved visiting The Art Institute of Chicago! I was finally able to see so many of the paintings I learned about in school in person! It was great! That was a perfect way to spend a rainy day!  I caught  a quick picture of Kurtis and Andy talking about a piece of art.  It was nice seeing these guys hanging out with each other again. I know Kurtis missed it, but I think Andy did too.

After our visit to the museum we did a little shopping and went to Coach Dicka’s for dinner. Da Coach did not disappoint! After dinner we explored a little more of the Majestic Mile. Chicago was still absolutely beautiful in the fog! This is probably my favorite photo from our trip:

On Sunday, we attended mass at Saint John Cantius Church. Yep, while we were in Chicago we visited one of the many traditional polish parishes. That Church was beautiful! We went to confession and attended their 12:30 Latin mass.

 

To be honest, I was a bit nervous to go to confession because it had been a good month since my last confession, but I’m really glad I went. The priest gave a lot of helpful advice. This statue stands outside of the confessional booth at the Church. It was just so moving to me to see :)

While we were in town, Kurtis, me, and Andy had planned to see a Cubs game, but unfortunately, it rained out. They barely missed the crazy bar crowds after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup! I am glad they got home safely. I had stayed home because I really was not feeling well. Good thing I did, it was poring rain! Luckily, Kurtis and Andy were able to catch the game the following day. They both had so much fun. All Kurtis could talk about was how great it was to catch a game with Andy, even though the Cubs lost and Andy never let him live it down. In an attempt to convert me to being a Cubs fan, my husband bought me a Cubs baseball cap and cardigan. I guess I will consider being a fan…

Closer towards the end of our trip we explored China Town and Museum Park. China Town was one of the few places in Chicago where I felt like I could blend in (being Asian and all). I enjoyed my time there. It was kind of miserable being sick in a city I didn’t know very well. Museum Park was so beautiful! We went on a day it actually wasn’t rainy! Unfortunately, I started feeling worse and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time there. Instead I spent a few days in bed and Andy and Kurtis watched something called E3 and had a great time. Boys and their video games!

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We took a break from sight seeing for a few days so I could go to the doctors. During my doctors visit we were advised to should cut our trip short and see a specialist. I really wish my immune system could get it together. So, yes, our trip to Chicago came to a brief end. It was sad to leave, but I knew then we would have to come back again soon (so long as Andy will have us), at least so my husband could see Andy…and I could see the museums!

Because He Lives (Amen)

Because He Lives (Amen)
By: Matt Maher
I believe in the Son
I believe in the risen One
I believe I overcome
By the power of His bloodAmen, Amen
I’m alive, I’m alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends
Because He livesI was dead in the grave
I was covered in sin and shame
I heard mercy call my name
He rolled the stone away

Amen, Amen
I’m alive, I’m alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends

Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
Every fear is gone
I know He holds my life my future in His hands

Amen, Amen
I’m alive, I’m alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends

Amen, Amen
I’m alive, I’m alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends
Because He lives
Because He lives

Sigh No More

“Sigh No More”
By: Mumford and Sons

Serve God, love me and mend
This is not the end
Lived unbruised, we are friends
And I’m sorry
I’m sorry

Sigh no more, no more
One foot in sea, one on shore
My heart was never pure
You know me
You know me

But man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing

Love; it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be

There is a design, an alignment to cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be

Love; it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be

There is a design, an alignment to cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be

Love; it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be

And there is a design, an alignment to cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be