Friday, July 17, 2015

Lipsticks, Mimosas, and Morning Prayer {7QT, #LOTW}

It is Friday indeed, and we are still at the lake!  Once again, I am inside with a sleeping baby while all the rest of my little sweethearts are on the water, tubing.  It's probably best that I'm not there, for the sake my heart and Charlie's sanity (I'm pretty sure my constant fear of kids in water drives him crazy).  I thought I'd share a few quick takes from the lake fun, and just life in general.

-1- #LOTW
It's not secret that Instagram is my social media of choice, and one of the lovely ladies I follow is hosting a link-up for "Lipstick of the Week."  Similarly, it is no secret that makeup is something I enjoy - it's a match made in heaven!
My lipstick of the week is Burt's Bees Lip Shine in Plum.

I suppose that this could technically be considered a "lip gloss," but let us not get hung up on technicalities!  My color of choice is "Plum" (I also really like "Fig"), which is dark, so it's really more like a lipstick color-wise.
This is my go-to lipstick mainly because I like how it feels on my lips and the color can be applied both with a heavy hand for a more striking look and with a lighter touch for a more subtle look.
I'm not joking or kidding around when I say that I may have an undiagnosed sensory disorder - I am so particular about how anything that touches my body feels (when I was a child I would absolutely over this stuff, y'all!) - makeup included.  This lipstick feels like any other chapstick on my lips, and is moisturizing while beautifying.  It's really the best ever.
The price of makeup is something I'm not overly picky about - I use what works best.  Sometimes that means $50 on an eyeshadow palette (that lasts forever....and ever...and is amazing), sometimes that means $4.99 for my favorite lipstick in the whole world that I can pick up anywhere.
Check out Barista Mommy or the hashtag #LOTW for more!

-2- Love Languages
A friend of my mom's gave me the Five Love Languages book at one of my bridal showers back in the day.  I glanced at it, thought,"hmmm....that looks cheesy," and placed it on my bookshelf.  After several years of marriage, when I realized that we can't really just bank on the newlywed high for ever, I cracked it open and enjoyed the basic message.
When I took the quiz to see what "Love Language" would be mine (the five are: Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Gifts, Words of Affirmation, and Quality Time), I was surprised!  First, is Quality Time.  That actually didn't surprise me that much.  Second, though, much to my chagrin, was Gifts!  I thought, "oh my goodness, I must be so greedy and materialistic!"  As it turns out, it has nothing to do with that.  People who have this love language love to know that they are being thought of and considered while you are apart from them.  That's why bringing me flowers sends me over the moon.  An unexpected text message.
Or, in the case of this week, a box of rocks.
Joe, my 3-year-old son (my only son!) (my beloved son!), picked all these treasures from the sand on the bank of the lake yesterday while I was at home with the baby.  He plucked each one out just for me!
My heart melts.

-3- Speaking of Marriage...

Leading up to the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne (the parents of Mary, mother of Jesus) on July 26, the St. Josemaria Institute is leading a novena (9 days of consecutive prayer) for A Happy and Faithful Marriage.  It starts today!
(Incidentally, our wedding anniversary is July 26!)
I really do believe that strong marriages and strong families are going to be what maintains civilization as we move forward in our culture.  I hope you will join in this prayer for your marriage, and that of others!

-4- The Lake
This week we have been happily crashing my sister-in-law's lake house while my husband's brother and sweet family are in town from California.  It is so nice to have an opportunity to spend time with the people we love.
This huge fish was Joe's first catch ever!  He was too scared once it came out of the water to get in the picture though, and he needed lots of help from his uncle!
My sister-in-law taught the girls how to shrink their chip bags in the microwave!  SUPER fun!  hahaha

Felicity looks just like these two ladies to me: Charlie's mom and oldest sister.  
On our way here, we listened to a great podcast about "Visiting Family" that really brought home the importance of making time for the people we love.  I am so grateful that Charlie's brother and family made the effort to get here, and that his sister and family are willing to host all of us for this very important time together.  (Side note: Charlie and I love this blog I'm linking to here.  Check it out!  It's great for both of us; it's not just for moms.)

-5- All the Probiotics!
I just started an adventure in making my own milk kefir.  A friend of mine shared grains with me about a year and a half ago and I totally killed them, but I'm starting again with some new grains that I ordered online.

Since we've been here at the lake, I've learned a few things about fermentation in general from my sister-in-law who is extremely knowledgeable on the topic.  I'm excited to get home and try my hand at something else on the easy side!  Baby steps.

-6- Morning Prayer
As I mentioned on my post the other day, I've been working on school planning.  As part of my planning, I've been pondering a realistic "flow" for the days, and I realized during a great conversation with a friend how important individual prayer is to that flow.  I have certain ways that *I* like to pray throughout the day, but I have been contemplating how to encourage my individual children in this.  We have communal prayer (and could honestly do a little better here as well), but I realize that I can not force their hands as they grow older and older.  What helps us to remain faithful is not just family tradition or going through motions, what helps us remain faithful is love.  It is relationship.  I pray that each of my children will have a true relationship with Jesus.  How can I foster this?
I'm considering morning prayer time where we are just quietly together, and each has her own devotion.  Scripture maybe?  Or a book of prayers?  Even a sweet coloring book to contemplate for the younger ones?  Maybe beautiful wooden toys like Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for the littles?  I'm not sure.  I'd love any suggestions from friends.  I never want to force these children, only to offer them Love.
All 6 of my treasures on the 4th of July
-7- I'm going to have to skip #7, as my family is back, my little baby is awake, and it's time to grill out and pour mimosas with my sisters-in-law!  Have a great weekend, friends!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Musings By the Window

Over the last few weeks, I have been working on some school planning.  Some of the best things I have done have been personal development, forming my mind around what exactly I want to do and what I would like our school year to look like.  I joined Sarah Mackenzie's Read Aloud Revival Membership site, and I attended the live webinar on Poetry Tea Time last week.  As I listened, little flame that still flickered softly, deep within my heart was rekindled.  
I used to love poetry.  As a teenager, enraptured with all the world around me, I used to write cheesy poems and pass them along to Charlie (so embarrassing).  In fact, the only writing I have ever had publicly published was a poem I wrote as a senior in high school; it resides in an anthology of poems that shall remain unnamed, and I dare you to find it on my bookshelf (it's hiding!).  It's not a stretch for me to have always enjoyed poetry so much, I have a deep and abiding love for music, I think in a more artistic than practical manner, and I do so enjoy literature.  But for some reason, poetry dropped off my radar until recently.
The first poem that caught my attention in recent years was shared with me by a very dear friend (of a very similar temperament) who introduced me to Wendell Berry.
...So, friends, every day do somethingthat won’t compute. Love the Lord.Love the world. Work for nothing.Take all that you have and be poor.Love someone who does not deserve it...
And then I started pulling books from the library, to see if I'd like to purchase them for the Poetry Tea Times that I will absolutely be making time for in our schooling this coming year.  I picked up Americans' Favorite Poems and came across this:
When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign is Solitude!

 -From The Prelude by William Wordsworth
That speaks to my heart.  I can relate to those words, they make me feel human.

As I've flipped through more and more anthologies from the library, I've found myself laughing, or my heart beating a little faster, or just in awe of God's beauty in the words of others.  To me, reading all this poetry has been like putting on a good pair of headphones and actually listening to beautiful music.

When I found out I was pregnant with Felicity, I was afraid that I would loose my ability to be myself, that I would would only be interested in talking child-care and recipes and housekeeping.  While I do love talking strategy with my friends or reading about these topics, and I absolutely love and embrace my vocation as a mother, keeper of the home, and educator of my children, I am still me.

I sense that God loves me as I am, that he created me to be delighted by poetry and music, that He wanted me to breathe in the wild flowers and heave sighs of happiness when my hands are plunged in stretchy, gluten-y dough, that He chose for me to geek out on history and to stand around looking at maps for really too long, wondering about the people and places therein.  He gifted me with the desire to process through the written word, the longing for moments of silence, the need for open-ended times with the people He has placed in my life.  I'm not really super talented at any of these, but they do bring me joy.

I'm beginning to grasp at the idea, finally, that God wants me to see Him in these little bits of happiness, to see His beauty and to offer small glimmers of heaven through them.  That does not mean that I need to be greedy with my time and ignore my children and family for "my needs," no.  It just means that in order to be fully human, I need to maybe sit down and write for 20 minutes, or guiltlessly put on my big headphones and do nothing while I actively listen for a while, taking time to nurture my own humanity.  I have nothing, absolutely nothing, to offer my family when I am in martyr mode - trust me I have done that.  They suffer.  I want them to thrive.

Often times, as the mother of 5 little girls, I think about what I would desire for my daughters as women in order to model what that would look like.  I would not desire them to shove aside all of God's gifts and little joys in the midst of very real adult responsibility (which I hope they will embrace with grace and gratefulness!).  I want them to closely cradle their unique interests, to pursue them just for their goodness, to the benefit of those around them.

And there is the key.  These children are mine because that was a part of the plan.  It is natural that I would share my own interests with them, as my family did for me (natural curiosity, love for books, broad interest in music...these were nurtured in my family of origin!).  Charlie and I are trying to raise them up in faithfulness and in the hopes that they will recognize the value and beauty of hard work.  We hope they are learning how to be selfless and to look for ways to serve.  Diligence, self-control, temperance, simplicity - these are virtues we pray to instill, and more.  I also hope they see how to nurture little joys and humanity within themselves and those in their charge.  We are so much more than productive.  Industry is important to a point, but it is not what defines our worth.

As for me, learning that balance has taken years, and I am yet still learning.  For this moment, I am gratefully finding peace in filling a page, glancing out upon God's natural beauty, and listening closely to the silence all around me.  What brings you this joy and peace?  What makes you feel human and fully alive?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lost in Dallas and a Battle of Wills: "Answer Me This" vol. 24

I'm a little late on posting this, but I'm making an attempt to get back to blogging, so here I am!  This year I did not get to attend Edel, but I was blessed to attend last year and it was wonderful!  I hope that I can attend again next time, because even though I LOVED my experience last summer, I was about 5 weeks newly pregnant, hadn't told anyone, was a VERY tired, and a little nauseous.  

1. At what temperature do you keep the thermostat set? Summer, winter, day, night?
This is a complicated question!  Just a few weeks ago, I was often running to crank the thermostat down to somewhere around 72 because postpartum hormones were making me majorly hot!  (And this has been a mild summer so far for Houston!)  By some miracle, our electricity bill wasn't too bad when I was doing that, but since then, my husband has been working from home 4 days a week and I've noticed that when I turn it down, he turns it back up!  A battle of wills.  He usually moves it to somewhere around 77-78, but I'd say on average, it's really mostly around 75.  
I can't remember what we set it at in the winter.  Winter time is so brief here that the bills are ultra low because we often do not need to turn on heat or a/c.  It's glorious!
Gratuitous photo of my cute baby grabbing her feet.  Awwww

2. What is your favorite frozen beverage?
A good, old fashioned frozen margarita.
Let me tell you, during the 5 years that we were away from Texas in Colorado and Wyoming, one of the things I missed the most in the whole world was Tex-Mex and decent margaritas.  Reason #982,347 to move home.

I like iced coffee too, if we're talking about non-adult beverages, but really, that's pretty lame.
This is the only margarita picture I could find....our favorite fish taco and frozen margarita dive!

3. Where do you keep your keys?
My keys reside in my purse.  I've been somewhat notorious for not being prepared in the past, and up until March, I used a handbag that was truly a bottomless pit where I could not find anything.  Since then, I have acquired (as a very generous gift) a lovely Timi & Leslie diaper bag that has a clip in the top for keys.  I am oh, so grateful for that.  Look how prepared I am!

4. Have you ever really been lost?
I have really been lost.  Google Maps and smart phones have revolutionized my world.  I can think of a whole slew of times I was lost, my sense of direction is really terrible.
I'd say the worst time I was lost was in high school.  I can think of two friends in high school who had cell phones, it just was such a new idea still.  So I certainly had no cell phone, I was 100 lbs of innocent 17 year old, and I got L-O-S-T in Dallas, in the middle of the night.  Alone.
I had gone to visit a friend in Fort Worth, time got away from me, and I left to head home really late (I lived just north of Fort Worth growing up).  I had only written directions on how to get where I was going (and I barely made it there!), and not how to get home, and next thing I knew, I was hopelessly lost in the Dallas freeway system.  It was so very stressful.  Thinking about it now makes me feel like I need a frozen margarita!
Me and my high school car.  (A Mazda Miata.  It was tiny.  I was so grateful, but pretty much always scared!  Also, I'm so glad that I know how to drive a stick shift!)

5. What is the last movie you saw in the theaters?
Over the summer, our local theaters do a $1 family movie each week, so I took the children last week to see "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb."  Most summers we are able to hit up several movies, but this year I only deemed 3 of them appropriate.  Night at the Museum was a really fun movie!  I really enjoy going to the movies, and so do my children, it's really too bad how rare it is that an appropriate movie comes out for families.
The last movie I saw in the theater that was a full price, non-kid movie was nearly two years ago when Charlie and I went to see the second installment of The Hobbit movies.  I'd really like to go see "Jurassic World" (I LOVED Jurassic Park as a kid, my parents took us to opening night downtown when it came out), but I think that a regular movie that intense would be too loud for Adelaide, and she's my sidekick 100% of the time right now, so I think I'll have to wait to rent it!

I'm so glad Kendra is hosting Answer Me This for the summer!  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Secrets Moms Keep

The circles in which I move include impressive women, heroic women, wives and mamas who literally lay down their lives for their families.  The list of responsibilities we have often include: working to be good, loving, wives, caring for very small children, meeting the emotional and spiritual needs of older children, keeping house (those two little words barely seem enough for the monstrosity of this particular role!), planning for, shopping for, and providing healthful meals (and snacks!), complete development and execution of each child's entire education (homeschool), keeping up with the family calendar, paying the bills and maintaining the budget, driving family members all over town for activities and educational supplements, the role of educating ourselves on all sorts of matters applicable to caring for a family, and in the cases of some of my friends and acquaintances, full or part time jobs outside the home as well.  On top of these things, we are each individuals and have interests to pursue and human needs to meet also.
It is good, dignified work.
It is work that I take on willingly and with joy.
It is often satisfying, gratifying, and heart-melting in the best of ways.

But sometimes, it can all be too much.

I've been a mama for over 11 years now, and a few months ago, I gleaned some wisdom that shocked me.  I was almost scandalized.
While I've long known that I "can't do it all," (newer mamas, don't believe any lies that tell you you can do it all.  You can't.  And it's ok.) I sometimes felt helpless in the face of that admission because all of it needs to be done!  During my pregnancy, I reached a point of realization that I needed help, and I needed at least one thing to be lifted from my plate.
This is when I learned how many of my friends have....housekeepers.

I'm sorry.  Why is this is a secret?!  Why was this information imparted upon me by a whole handful of close friends in whispers, with apologies?  Why does this have to be justified?!

There was a whole slew of friends who shared with me about the glorious day once a week, or once every other week, when a friendly face shows up and lifts a major burden from the shoulders of a heavily-laden woman (keeping in mind that most of my friends have 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 children...)  So, trusting in their wisdom, I approached my husband with this information and he reacted with great enthusiasm!  He took the initiative to hire a woman who comes to my home every other week.  I felt guilty and indulgent at first, and then after a couple of cleanings, when I was freed to read my children stories or work more closely on homeschool or actually fold and put away a couple of loads of laundry, or (shock!) read a book myself, I wondered why I hadn't done this before.
I'm not sharing this to encourage everyone to go out and hire a housekeeper.  Maybe that's not what you need in particular.  Maybe it's something you genuinely can't afford or it's something you wouldn't enjoy.  My point is, why are we, who are doing such a multitude of important jobs, giving our very lives for the sakes of our families, afraid to admit we need help?

I can only answer that question for myself, and the answer is pride.  There's probably a sliver of shame as well, because I want to do it all and be it all for my family.  I want to be Super Mom (because I LOVE them!).

While women talk and friends share hearts about all manner of topics, there seem to be a handful that are untouchable until you are on a very intimate level with your friend.  We keep things like the stifiling fear of not being able to do it all locked in our hearts.  We keep other things locked in our hearts as well, things of higher importance, and when we let them flee, amazing things happen.

Here is what is on my heart.

I'm about 99.9% sure that I suffered prenatal (or antenatal) depression during my recent pregnancy.  Despite hope against hope, that has manifested itself into what I would guess is a mild postpartum depression as well.  I am struggling to figure out how the combination of hormones (not my fault, I know), spiritual battle, and my own lack of particular virtues is coming together to bring me where I am right now, 4 months after having a baby.  What I've discovered from an attempt to be transparent and authentic with my friends is that there is no reason to let pride rule, no reason to keep it within when there are dear ones who can either relate, or speak into my heart with inspiration, or just listen.  There is no judgement, just love.  There is no blame, just solidarity.  There are so many prayers.

While there are 4 or 5 really dear friends I have felt very safe sharing with, there are still things that dwell in my heart that seem too scary to share with anyone at all.  It's a process.
But why have I been afraid to ask for help?  Because of pride.  I want to have it all together.  I want to do it all and be it all for my family.  I don't want to be judged as ungrateful, I don't want our open-to-life stance to come into question. I absolutely adore my sweet little baby, and I would unflinchingly do it all over again for her.

Google tells me from what I read on postpartum depression that to seek treatment and help is "brave."  Well, I'm not that brave.  I'm not ready to go any further than the reach of my girl friends and the bowing of my head in prayer.  (I'm also not suffering so greatly that any of my children really notice, and it certainly does not affect whether I can care appropriately for my baby.  I actually feel that if I'm doing one thing right right now, it is being present to my children.) But we mamas, we live in a world that wants us to have it all together.  This is a culture that asks us to be Pinterest Perfect.  We can't be that, so we keep secrets.

Underneath it all, however, supernatural hope remains.  Christ's peace.  God's mercy.  These gifts sustain through the exasperation of exhausting days and even through the aching, confused postpartum heart.  So despite the secrets, the pride, the suffering, I find that gratefulness prevails...

When I called upon the Lord, he regarded my petition; yea, from the battle that was against me:
and he hath brought them down, even he that is of old, and endureth for ever:
O cast they burden upon the Lord, and he shall nourish thee.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and hide not thyself from my petition; take heed unto me and hear me.
Psalm 55

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Springy Saturday Quick Takes

Don't you love Saturday mornings?  Well, Saturday mornings that don't have plans already...  This weekend is relaxed and laid back for us, which is a welcome change from some of the "busyness" that's been going on.  As much as I hate the word "busy," things have been so for our family over the last few weeks, though I must admit it wasn't stressful, run from the next thing to the other sort of busyness, but the sort that brought quality time with our family and our friends, and the sort that has lifted our faith.  It's been really nice.  Since I couldn't get to Friday Quick Takes, I'm going to go ahead and be a rebel and write my Quick Takes today!

-1- Felicity Turned 11!
A couple of weeks ago, Felicity turned 11 years old!
Really, it blows my mind that I am the mother of an 11 year old.  Her birthday is always extra special to me because it is the anniversary of me becoming a mother!  She had a very special day with lots of love and gifts and homemade cards from family and her sweet friends.  When we moved back to this area, one of my greatest prayers was that my older girls would be blessed with good friends, and God has answered that prayer for sure!  She was made to feel very special all day long!
We started the day out with the traditional birthday donuts.
Joe was pretty serious about not wasting anything out of the box!
After donuts, we had planned to attend our homeschool nature club, but a couple of huge accidents on the highway prevented us from being able to get there anywhere close to on time, so we changed our plans and headed to the mall where we planned to get Felicity's ears pierced.
Birthday Girl!
Taking selfies with her sisters, her best friends
The big moment!
We spent the remainder of the afternoon at a friend's house, and she even made a birthday cake!  Then she and Gabrielle had ballet class, her teacher prayed specifically for her at the end, and then we went out to dinner with Nana and Papa.

It was a very special day.  She is such a treasure in our family and turning into such a dignified, interesting, and genuinely kind young lady.

-2- Ballet Exams and In-Class Dress Rehearsals
My three older girls are in ballet together this year and their ballet school had exams that Gabrielle and Colette worked very hard toward!  (Felicity is not continuing with ballet next year, so she did not take exams.)

 I love that they have to take these exams, it is really good for the girls to take personal responsibility for their art and knowing what they need to know under some positive pressure.  They worked so hard and I am so proud of them!  We haven't received Gabrielle's results yet, but Colette got hers the other day and she is progressing to the next level and earned the highest marks on her exam!

The girls also got to bring home their costumes for next month's big production after their "in class dress rehearsal."  Their ballet production has an "around the world" theme, Gab and Felicity are Austrian and Colette is Swiss.  It's so fun to see them in their costumes and in full stage makeup.

-3- Parish Fun
Several months ago some families from our parish planned to take a getaway trip to a local camp.  We stayed in really fun cabins, enjoyed time with our friends and with each other, played games, swam, canoed, and roasted marshmallows over a huge bonfire.
Cute bunks in our room!
Mama and Addy's bed!  It was such a neat place!
Charlie chatting our first night

Canoeing fun!
Morning Mass on the porch.
Then breakfast all together!

Adelaide getting plenty of attention.
Frisbee golf lead by our pastor! 

One of the ladies held Adelaide the whole time we were at the pool and I got to play with my kids on the huge slide, the lazy river, water basketball, and jumping off the diving board (which I probably haven't done since I was 12!).  It was so much fun!
On the last night we had a big bonfire with marshmallows and glow sticks and tons of fun.  It was so refreshing.

-4- Lady's Beach Trip/Mother's Day
I hope that all of my lovely friends and blog readers had a wonderful Mother's Day!  Mine was totally relaxing, as Charlie packed me off on a weekend away with some girl friends to the coast.  We stayed in a luxurious beach house, went shopping, cooked together, chit-chatted a ton about everything under the sun, attended Holy Mass together, went searching for sea glass under the sunset, had quiet times alone, and generally enjoyed time with one another away from the daily grind.  These other ladies are a combination of mothers, missionaries, or both, so it was a needed break for us all!

-5- My Body is a Temple
I'm back to working out again, which feels amazing.  I can't go to the Y just yet because I am not emotionally ready to leave Adelaide in child care, and even if Charlie kept her, she's not ready to be away from me for that long.  I'm really grateful for my husband and *his* commitment to help me because he has set up a ton of equipment for me and even works out with me sometimes.
Adelaide in her swing in the garage while I did my weight lifting workout yesterday.  Our garage is air conditioned and connected to the school room, so I can work out while kids do independent work (and in yesterday's case, my housekeeper was over which made the day feel even more productive!).
Until I can get back to the gym, I am running, biking, and using the Stronglifts program (I think I might buy PiYo also) in addition to healthful eating and tracking (not obsessively, just for informational purposes) everything on My Fitness Pal app.  I don't have a scale right now, which is probably good, but I can tell that things are already improving by the way my clothes fit and the fact that I feel a generally positive well-being.  While I make efforts always to nourish my children, my infant, my husband, I realize that nourishing myself physically, spiritually, and intellectually is an acknowledgment of my own human dignity and a gift to my family. (If you want to read a beautiful post about nourishment, you must visit my dear IRL friend Lauren.)

-6- May is for Mary
Fina and Joe presenting Our Lady flowers at our homeschool group's annual May Crowning.

After the Rosary

The May Crowning is hosted by a generous member of our group who has a beautiful farm where we can get away to enjoy the quiet, the farm animals, and one another.  It was such a fun day!
Fina got to turn the pages on our art easel depicting each Mystery of the Rosary.  (Want one of these?  They are here.)

The new Rosary Charlie gifted me on Mother's Day

Lest anyone believe "family Rosary time" looks like a bunch of quiet, pious children with their hands neatly folded...this is more of reality...crazy.  But we persevere. haha
My women's Opus Dei circle has been getting together weekly to plant Mary Gardens for one another.  This was two weeks ago.  My kids loved this!

F & J transplanting Marigolds

Fina working on Begonias 

Hands in dirt.  It was such fun!  Then we had lovely snacks and heard amazing stories of how Our Lady is such an important part of different people's lives, leading us all closer to Jesus.

-8- Baby Update
Adelaide is 8 weeks old today!  She is such a delightful, sweet, sweet little baby.
The first time she wore a dress, last week!

Her sisters' reaction to said dress.  So. Much. Squealing.
She sleeps like an angel at night, cuddled up with me (safely of course) and I have yet to get up with her in the night.  She might grumble and I turn over and nurse her, and then she goes back to sleep, but she doesn't even need a diaper change at night at this point.  She is so happy for bed time, I can see her relief when I lay down with her in the evening!  Charlie and I have discovered that there are probably times she is awake in the night, but she is content and just stares at me and then drifts back off.  I feel as rested as possible for having a newborn!
It's hard to get a picture of her in a full-on smile, as soon as my phone passes over her face, she gets distracted!
Yesterday she wore newborn sized clothes for the last time, and is already comfortably fitting into some 3m clothing.  She's chunking out for sure!  
She still spends most of her day in someone's arms - mostly mine, but if I need to prepare myself breakfast, grab a shower, workout, or whatnot during the day, I have many willing little girls who love to snuggle her.  But she and I are still happiest when we are together.
I was singing her songs the other day and she started cooing (which she's been doing for a while) for the whole song!  Maybe she'll love music as much as I do.  That would be a joy to share.
Our favorite place to be!
Well, these were not quick.  Sorry!  But for some real Quick Takes (from yesterday!) visit Kelly!