Word of the Year- 2011


Harmony is a word that was on my list of values from last year and it’s the one that is just jumping out and singing and dancing and getting my attention now.

There’s a specific definition that I’m going for here, and it has nothing to do with singing in harmony, because as my family well knows I can’t sing a note if you paid me a bazillion dollars (unless I got lucky, and I probably wouldn’t).

A pleasing combination of elements in a whole.

This year, I’ll be focusing on taking all those elements of my life and putting them into a pleasing combination.

This will be really difficult, I know, because going from a family of three to a family of four is NOT going to be easy.  I know this, but that’s a good thing, because I’m anticipating the challenge.

Harmony isn’t about achieving a perfect balance, like a set of scales.  It’s about the elements molding together, forming a beautiful whole that is pleasing.  Thing about any great work of classical music (well, maybe not anything with any amount of dissonance, of course).  Each element of the piece may feature certain instruments, trumpets here, piano there, now flutes, now oboes.  Those are the times when one element takes over the rest of the piece and shines.  In life, those are the times like “Getting Married”, “Having a Baby”, “Losing Weight because your doctor said you’ll die if you don’t” or some other Major Event.  Other elements fade into the background.  When you have a baby, you aren’t going to be cleaning your house perfectly.  Your harmony is featuring a new element and the rest of the piece will adjust to incorporate it.

However, as much as Harmony is about adjusting, I am going to pinpoint specific areas and ideas of how to live more harmoniously.  Because really, I wouldn’t pick this theme if my life wasn’t out of whack!  So here’s some ideas, by role.


  • Develop a stronger spiritual habit.  I’m going to start off with simply saying one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be when I wake up, at meals, and when I go to bed.
  • Improve my health.  Yes, this is the “fitness” resolution that I usually laugh my butt of when I think of it.  But I’m going to just try and be more active.  Also, eat more fruits and veggies, LOTS more.
  • Make time for me.  This is important.  I will be making time, at least one day a week, to take time out to just do something for me.  This might be sitting around reading or it might mean going out to the bookstore for an hour to browse and drink coffee.   Blogging is also going to fall in this category.


  • Date nights.   Regularly scheduled date nights.  SUPER important to me this year.
  • Asking more “What can I do for you?” instead of “What haven’t you done for me?”.


  • Puddle jumping.  Grace and I will be buying (hopefully matching) rainboots.  We’ll be jumping in puddles.  In a more general sense, we’ll just be spending more time outdoors (once we get into warmer weather, that is).
  • More intentional playing.  This will be hard, I know, when Jude gets here, but will get easier again once he starts getting older (which starts on his birthday, I suppose).  Basically I just want to make sure that I spend my time wisely with my children, playing with them and teaching them.
  • Read some parenting books.  There’s several on my list, which I want to read before Jude gets here (Siblings without Rivalry, Your Spirited Child, Your One Year Old and Your Two Year Old).  I’ve been coasting along on intuition pretty well, but I feel like I need more tools in my toolbox.


  • Scheduled time for working on projects.  Important because I typically just “Do it” when I can.  It’s too draining and I tend to procrastinate.  It gets done, but it’s too stressful.  This will be a habit that is SO going into place before Jude gets here.
  • Learn to say “No.”  Yes, this can be a problem for me.

Other various and sundry roles

  • Make an effort to give my full attention to whatever role I’m “in” at the moment.  If it’s worth my time to be doing something, I’m going to give it my all.

So there it is.  My word of the year and my ideas on how to incorporate it.  Yes, those are just ideas, not resolutions!

Now you tell me, what’s YOUR word going to be?


Saint of the year-2011

There are various traditions and blogs that go over the “saint of the year” story.  Basically, it’s all about chosing a patron saint for a specfic time period.

Jennifer over at Conversion Diary has designed a Saint’s Name Generator and it can be used to discover a saint of the year.  Or you can just keep clicking on it over and over to find out about different saints.  If I had school age kids I would totally do a “Saint of the Day” and use her generator!

So, without further ado, I’m going to go and pick and reveal my saint.  But first, a prayer (feel free to steal mine, or make up your own).


You know all things.  You know me best of anyone.  You know the joys and the struggles that I will face in this upcoming year.  Guide the selection of a patron saint for me so that I may have a friend to journey with in 2011.  Help me to be content with your choice for me and to not feel shorted or discouraged.  Guide me throughout the year and aid me in seeking my patron’s intercession when I am in need.  Help my patron to inspire me in my faith, to help me get closer to you!


Drumroll, please.

My saint is…

St Martin de Porres!

Hm, patron saint of: African-Americans; Against Rats; Barbers; Bi-Racial People; Social Justice; Hair Stylists; Innkeepers; Poor People; Public Education; Television.

That’s quite a list.  And I really hope that I won’t have to need him in that “Against Rats” category!

Go find out your saint!  Marty and I will be praying for you!