Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Rainn Wilson, the actor who plays Dwight Schrute on the NBC sitcom The Office, recently presented at the 2012 South By Southwest Interactive in Austin, TX. He surprised many in the audience when his talk took a spiritual turn. He said, “I believe the Internet is the future of spirituality. It’s a spiritual act to share a beautiful photo on Instagram. It’s a spiritual act to sell something beautiful you’ve crafted on Etsy.”

I immediately thought about the rosaries handmade by Melanie (aka The Rosary Chick) and her company Trendy Traditions. Melanie’s designs are spectacular as she brilliantly blends trendy style with sacred tradition. In other words, these . . . → Read More: Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

In case you missed it, the Pope’s in Cuba. So’s my Bishop.

Last Saturday I had the privilege of witnessing nine men who are journeying through the permanent diaconate program in the Diocese of Des Moines be formally installed as lectors by Bishop Pates. The Rite of Lector is an important step for these men as they progress toward ordination in two years. (My husband, Joel, is one of the nine, and I will post more on the Rite later in the week.)

During the Mass, Bishop Pates looked forward to visiting Cuba with Pope Benedict XVI. As Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Pates has traveled to countries where the Church . . . → Read More: In case you missed it, the Pope’s in Cuba. So’s my Bishop.

Celebrating the Annunciation — Some Practical Ideas

Annunciation by Fra Angelico, 1434

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, an occasion to honor “Mary’s yes” and celebrate Christ’s incarnation. The Church typically celebrates this feast on March 25, but given it fell on a Sunday this year, the Annunciation was transferred to Monday.

Last year the feast fell on a Friday during Lent so the requirement to abstain from meat was waived. That resulted in much chatter about whether people would or would not be enjoying a nice, big steak (read Turning Mary’s “Yes” Into a Pork Chop on a Stick). At least all that chatter brought attention to the specialness of the day. . . . → Read More: Celebrating the Annunciation — Some Practical Ideas

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

This is the first time I’m linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter and their {pretty, happy, funny, real} series. If you are dropping by our site for the first time by way of that blog, welcome! Thanks for visiting. You can learn more about us here, but please know much has changed in our life since that was first written (my to-do list just got a little longer).

Here’s a little taste of what’s been happening the past week at Das Schmidt Haus.


Pretty daughter (Lucy — 3 1/2 years) and a pretty daffodil backdropHello spring! The kids and I journeyed to the public library on the . . . → Read More: Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Reconsidering the Seamless Garment

Well-intentioned axiom has out-lived its usefulness, should be retired.

We’ve all been there.

You’re way behind on laundry so you dig deep into your closet, rummaging through clothing you haven’t worn in years. Amid all the outmoded items you find what appears to be a gem, something you used to wear all the time. Okay, it is a bit outdated. “But that just makes it funky, retro hip,” you say to yourself. As you put it on, it feels kind of awkward, but you tell yourself that’s precisely how it’s supposed to fit. One look in the mirror and you’re convinced. “This is going to be awesome!” And with that final . . . → Read More: Reconsidering the Seamless Garment

After Miscarriage

People don’t often talk about miscarriage. When experiencing one, women and men often don’t know who to connect with, where to turn for help; the resources that are available remain unknown.

Our regular readers know Joel and I have experienced two miscarriages. After both, our experience in receiving medical care and spiritual counsel was less than ideal, leaving us with many questions and unfortunately some regrets about how we journeyed through the process. Joel is now in deacon formation with the Diocese of Des Moines and has created a miscarriage ministry as part of his studies. When we stumble upon great resources to add to our ministry library, we . . . → Read More: After Miscarriage

Sandwiching an Extra Chromosome

During my undergraduate studies in Family & Consumer Sciences, I developed a series of lesson plans for an education course I took. I created a unit on family communication patterns, and one of the activities I incorporated was called the “No Sandwich.”  The basic premise of the No Sandwich is this: to make a negative response easier for the receiver to swallow, you sandwich the bad news between two pieces of good news.

During the last 48 hours, I have read three separate news items with a common denominator; each story revovles around a child who has Down syndrome. Two stories were heartwarming; the other was stomach churning.

So now . . . → Read More: Sandwiching an Extra Chromosome

7 Quick Takes: Here Comes the Behold Conference

The 2012 Behold Conference is a-l-m-o-s-t here! It is going to be a special event for the 500+ women attending with talks by Kate Wicker, the Sisters of Life, and Ginny Baldridge; music by Curb Records Recording Artist, Marie Miller; Mass; Adoration; and Confession. Bonus: there is a “Meet the Bloggers” segment this year, and I am honored to be participating. The other invited bloggers are women I respect and admire, and I have been pinching myself for several days in anticipation of friendships that will be fostered. During the conference, each blogger will have an area to meet & greet with conference attendees.

Even though this excitement, I . . . → Read More: 7 Quick Takes: Here Comes the Behold Conference

Catholic Church in the Crosshairs

Obama administration empowers dissident Catholics to represent the Church, tries to shift conversation from religious freedom to contraception.

EWTN's Teresa Tomeo interviews NY Archbishop Dolan at 2012 March for Life

“Click, click.”

Did you hear that? It’s the sound of the Obama administration taking aim at the Catholic Church. I’m sure there are some who disagree with me, who want me to just relax and stop with the conspiracy theory nonsense. I won’t.

According to Fr. Jesus Urteaga, “If we love truth, we must learn to defend it against all attack.” Make no mistake; we are most definitely being attacked. The Obama administration has declared war on religious freedom, . . . → Read More: Catholic Church in the Crosshairs

President Obama: Let Us Be Catholic

“With all the problems in this world, with the economy, with terrorism, with our country being sold to China, with Iran possibly becoming a nuclear power, with all these things, why is [the Obama administration] so obsessed on reproductive services?

When did reproductive services become the national cry of our nation? When did it become more important than the Bill of Rights, more important than the Constitution?

We [the Catholic Church] are the one voice that speaks out clearly to this culture of death that abortion is wrong…and now we will be forced to actually pay for someone to have an abortion…We cannot and . . . → Read More: President Obama: Let Us Be Catholic