Munchkins for Moms, the more the Mary-er, an epic selfie contest, and foot-long hot dogs (7 Quick Takes Friday)


As Mother’s Day approaches, I’m on the Munchkins for Moms circuitpreschool yesterday and elementary school today. I am being showered with gifts and cards and hugs and kisses. I even got to take the first turn in “I Spy” during dinner tonight. It’s wonderful.
Daniel answered a few questions about his mother for his preschool teacher, and I realized how well he knows me.

He’s right that I love to play horse family with him, and that I make a mean chicken and rice soup, thanks to Campbell’s. And, yes, I just turned 24…well…a little more than a decade ago. I was a little disappointed that he thinks I’m only funny at the beach until I realized none of his classmates thought their mothers were funny at all.

Then tonight I overheard John saying prayers with the boys, and he said, “God, please bless Mama who is the best mother in the world.”

“Actually, Baba,” Leo said, “she’s not the best mother in the world.”

“What?” John said.

“Mary is the best mother in the world,” said Leo.

I can’t compete with the Mother of God. I’m just happy to be mentioned in the same conversation.

During the month of May, as we celebrate the Blessed Mother, we pulled out our Mary statue and placed it next to our pieta statue. As my brother told his three sons, “The more the Mary-er!”

I showed Leo and Daniel the statues and mentioned that maybe we could make a crown of flowers for our statue, or at least pick some from our yard and place them near her.

“Wouldn’t that be nice?” I said to Daniel.

Then he said, “I know what she would really like: Baby Jesus.”

So he added our little felt Jesus figure to the display.


All week I have been wanting to write a blog about Jen Fulwiler’s new book, Something Other Than God. It’s such an amazing read of her conversion from atheism to Catholicism that I don’t want to make it just a quick take. She’s also having a contest to see who can write the best blog about it. So there’s extra pressure here, and that’s why I haven’t already blogged about a book that took me less than a day to read because I just could not put it down.

Jen also has a few other book-related contests going, and one is to see who can take the most epic selfie with the book.

Selfies aren’t really my thing, but I share an office with Pope Francis, and I know he loves a good selfie. So I tried, and this is what happened on Twitter:

That was the highlight of my social media week.


Another highlight of the week was that I was asked to speak after a Mass for couples experiencing infertility in October. I am so honored and delighted and maybe just a little nervous. I blog for fun and to connect with people, so now and then it surprises me when the blog has a life beyond what I had expected.

I was thinking that it might be interesting to ask other couples who have experienced infertility what advice they would offer to these couples. If you have anything to share, even if you want to stay anonymous, please feel free to write to me at I would love to hear your thoughts. And maybe they could give someone else hope or reassurance or strength.


The other day Daniel saw a few of the neighborhood children playing with water guns and he started talking about how much he wanted one. I told him he could save his money for one. Then Leo and I happened to be shopping and I saw a package of two water guns.

“Look!” I said to Leo. “These water guns are pretty cheap. They’re only 99 cents.”

Leo looked at me sternly.

“Mama,” he said, “is that coming out of your money or mine?”

That’s my boy.


Our boys love to hear stories from our childhoods, whether I’m describing The Night the Dining Room Table Fell or John is explaining How Poppy and the Tractor Fell into the Stream.

So the other day as we were driving down to visit John’s parents who live on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, we drove through his childhood town, Glen Burnie. And we stopped to introduce the boys to Ann’s Foot Long hot dogs.

I still haven’t tasted one myself. I’m just not much of a hot dog fan. But it never hurts to introduce your children to a little bit of history.

The boys thought the best part was running around a pole while waiting for the hot dogs to be ready. It was almost as much fun as seeing the stream that Poppy’s tractor fell into one day many years ago.


The other day one of the boys’ new neighbor friends, who is 7 or 8, stopped by to chat on the porch.

“What sorts of things do you like?” John asked.

“I like sports and doing my chores and other stuff,” she said.

“Tell her what we’re into,” John told Leo. Sometimes they need a little prodding to get conversational.

“Well, we’re into Transformers and Chima and God,” Leo said.

What else is there, really?

—A Mother’s Day Thought—

I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day, especially if you are missing your mother or a child in heaven. Also, I always think of those who are waiting to become mothers on Mother’s Day. I remember how hard it was to watch other mothers stand for the blessing at church, while I sat and wished and prayed that God would let me become a mother. I will be praying for you this weekend in a special way.

Read more quick takes at Jen’s Conversion Diary.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.