Friday, January 25, 2013

"7 Quick Takes Friday" #2: Birthday Boys, Books, and Blogs

--- 1 ---
Today is my fourth son's 25th birthday.  He's 25 on the 25th--it's his champagne birthday!  And lucky for him, he's old enough to actually drink champagne.  (My twin granddaughters will be 2 on June 2 this year, but it's going to have to be apple juice for them.)

This son of mine is extremely intelligent (what my husband and I like to call "scary smart"), a guy with a college physics degree who remembers clearly every random tidbit of information he's ever learned, even the stuff from grade school science that we all tend to forget over the years.  He's also hilarious--and you don't have to take his biased mother's word for that; you can ask anyone who knows him and they'll tell you the same.  His sense of humor is razor-sharp, and he's so quick with the off-the-wall, zany retort that you're laughing before you ever knew what hit you.  He has a way of using just the right unexpected, high-end vocab word in a joke--something that all the best comedians, like Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan, do--to make a line so much funnier than it would have been if delivered by someone with less comedic talent.  My boys are all very humorous, and they make my husband and me (and each other) laugh on a regular basis.  But if you polled our sons about which of them was the funniest, four out of five would pick this son.   (He wouldn't pick himself because he's too modest; but he would probably make some perfect joke about it.)

For instance, here is a recent random "status" post from his Facebook page: "When I play footsies, I play to win."  (Son #5, who's no slouch himself in the humor department, commented, "I'm not very good at footsies...I've lost so much money."  To which the birthday boy shot back, "You can't hustle me, J---.")

I keep saying that I'm going to give up Facebook forever, because I waste too much time on there and I don't think it's good for my soul; then I read "conversations" like that one between my sons, and I know I'd miss out on too much joy and laughter if I gave it up. 

To give you another peek into the offbeat personality of this wonderful son who's celebrating the quarter-century mark today, here is a picture of him--doing his best impression of a dreamy teenage girl--at the dinner table over Christmas.  It was taken by an older brother's girlfriend (who was trying to get him to pose for a serious shot).
And here's another winner, taken of him with son #2 during a "couples Christmas photo shoot" we were doing with the boys and their girlfriends, before his own girlfriend had arrived.
(For the record, son #4's girlfriend is extremely pretty, and looks nothing like his bearded older brother.)
He's a total goofball, this boy, with the tenderest heart imaginable, and I just love him.  Even if you don't know him (which most of my readers do!), tell me you can look at these pictures and not love him.  You can't, I know you can't.

This son has been a gift to me and to our family throughout his 25 years here on earth, from the moment he came screaming lustily into the world at a whopping 10 lbs. 12 and 1/2 oz. (yes, you read that right!) until today.  Happy Birthday to my boy!
--- 2 ---
On January 16, I blogged about how my iPhone did a swan dive from my back pocket into a tank full of water, and how I was sure it was a goner.  Here it is nine days later, and by some miracle it's still working almost perfectly.  I did notice, however, that when I went on YouTube a couple of days after "the fiasco" and tried to play Ann Hathaway's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the new Les Mis movie, I could get a picture but no sound.  (That meant while I was out in CO visiting my granddaughters, I couldn't use my phone to entertain them with amusing tunes like "Elmo's Song"--nuts!)  But on the whole, I must say that I'm thrilled "my precious" is working as well as it is.  Siri still talks to me and sets my alarm; I can still get on the Internet and send and receive e-mails; I can still take pictures and send and receive texts.  Heck, I can even make phone calls with it--you know, I can use it to talk to actual people, like we did on the clunky rotary phones back in the olden days of my childhood.

I still can't help but wonder how much time I have left before I try to turn my iPhone on and find out it's gone completely dead.  I have trouble believing that a moisture-sensitive gadget such as this can survive after spending several seconds completely submerged.  Does anyone out there have any experience with this?  Dare I hope that my iPhone came out of this disaster unscathed? 
--- 3 ---
I'm crazy about books!  I love to read so, so much.  I always have, as far back as I can remember.  I didn't read as many novels as I would have liked when I was busy raising my sons, because the lady in this cartoon would have been me.  (Actually, this was a little bit me.  The "no" part, definitely.)
(I laminated this cartoon and it's been on my fridge for ages.)
I did read sporadically during those years, sneaking it in whenever time allowed.  But I've been like a kid in a candy store the last six years or so, always with my nose planted firmly in a good book (and when I say this I mean the real deal, with ink on paper pages; only rarely do I read eBooks).  In fact, I would have finished writing my own novel a lot sooner if I hadn't spent so much time reading!

Currently, I'm working my way through two novels simultaneously (I don't recommend this, but I got too eager): I'm reading Emily's Hope, a novel by Catholic author Ellen Gable, and Death Comes to Pemberley (a sequel to Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice that involves a murder mystery), by P.D. James.  On Tuesday, I picked up a paperback copy of Rachel Balducci's Raising Boys is a Full Contact Sport at the airport, so I've started reading a little of that laugh-out-loud, non-fiction gem, too.  I'm only a few chapters in, but already I'm hooked.  The subject matter is right up my alley!  Rachel--a mother with five boys whose sixth child is a little girl--has a blog with the inspired title Testosterhome, which I enjoy immensely.  She's so funny, so I knew her book would put a humorous spin on one of my favorite topics: living with a houseful of boys.  (When I finish all these books, I'll try to do some reviews for you and post them here on my blog.)
--- 4 ---
Speaking of blogs, I've recently started reading a very interesting one by M.R. Zapp called Regency Catholic.  Zapp is an extremely talented writer, and her posts are faith-filled and full of thoughtful literary insights.  If you are a fan of the literature of the Austen era, and you wonder what life was like for Catholics during that Regency time period (or you just plain like to savor well-written, insightful blog posts), I urge you to check out her site.
--- 5 ---
Did you ever notice that everyone and his brother these days seems to have a blog?  During our youngest son's Christmas break from college, my husband and I were watching a stand-up routine with him featuring a comedian he likes, and the funny man made that observation...after he apologized to his audience for mentioning that he himself had a blog.  It made me chuckle at first, and then wonder if maybe I'm one of those people who should quietly exit the blogosphere and leave the blogging to those who have a lot more to say than I do.  Some people, like aforementioned writers Rachel Balducci and M.R. Zapp, should definitely have blogs.  They do have a lot of things to say, and they say them extremely well.  And yet, here I am again...putting together my second ever "7 Quick Takes Friday" post, trying to join up with all the other far-more-talented and widely-read bloggers who frequent Jennifer Fulwiler's Conversion Diary...
--- 6 ---
I have the best husband.  Sorry, gals; you might want to duke it out with me over that statement, but it just so happens to be true.  Nothing special has happened to make me say this today, because my guy treats me so well on a daily basis (putting me on a pedestal, and loving me "as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her," just as St. Paul instructed the Ephesians) that every day is special.  I'm so fortunate to be able to say with absolute sincerity that after 32 years with this man, I love him more than ever and consider myself the luckiest woman on the planet.  
--- 7 ---
[Sighhhh.....] My sweet birthday boys.  I had one last Friday, and I have one today.  They are just about exactly five years apart in age.  Here is a picture of the two of them, which was taken...Hmmm...I don't remember exactly...Yesterday?
Oh, that's right, it was taken about 20 years ago--which as every mother of grown children knows really was just yesterday.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Books, what's not to love. I use my Nook though more than ever. It's an easy way to hide books so your family doesn't think you bought out the bookstore:)

    1. Deanna, that's probably the way to go. Maybe one of these days I'll get a Nook or a Kindle. Right now, I have to read eBooks on my iPhone screen and it's so small! But I do love real books, and I know I spend more money on them than I should.

      Lately, however, I'm trying to be really careful before I make a purchase; I've been disappointed too many times when I get a book home and find out it's got R-rated scenes in it. Reading Catholic blogs is really helping with this, though. So many bloggers post book recommendations, and I've been directed to books I might otherwise not have heard of. My next Amazon purchase: Falling for Your Madness by Katharine Grubb! (I think it was Sarah Reinhard @ Snoring Scholar who recommended that one.)

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. I love this post and the pictures! And I do think your son/sons are funny. But I must say .... I may have to argue with you about who has the best husband .... let's agree we both have the best husband for us, because I know my husband is the best man in the world, too! LOL He treats me like a princess, puts me on a pedestal and even brings me my coffee (just the way I like it) every morning! And he has done this for the past (almost) 19 years. So we must have the two best husbands around! Love you Laura!!

    1. You're right, there can be more than one "best husband," because as you said, what's important is that we have the best husbands for US. And yours is a winner. I know he's wonderful to you; but when I think of all he does to help Mom and Dad out, too, it makes me appreciate him so much!

    2. True! I know you have the best husband too! But I wouldn't give mine up for anything! I just love reading your blog.... so you can never stop! LOL

  3. Laura
    Found your blog back:) No 1 - Happy B'day to your son, the 1st pic made me laugh! He certainly looks like a guy with a great sense of humour. How interesting that he has a physics degree, our 2nd son is planning on that path too, have just spend hours on the phone to science colleges this week, planning ahead for 2015,

    no 3 - has me hooked now! have added you to my google reader:) also checked out your book, thinking my 19yr old would like it (is that the target age?)

    no 5- keep blogging and as Jennifer said in her last post, be yourself. To be honest I rarely read the mega bloggers, sometimes some of them lose something, that are not so real, slice of life. I far prefer the lesser known blogs.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Erin, and for your encouraging comments!

      Yes, teens and young adults (girls in particular) are the audience I was targeting with my book. 19 would be a great age, I believe.

      I wanted to write something that might catch impressionable young people before they start making all the mistakes this crazy secular world of ours is pressuring them to make--so my book has some mature themes in it. There's a strong pro-chastity/pro-life message, so it deals with the issues of pre-marital sex and abortion. But there's nothing risque or embarrassing about it. I wanted to keep it clean--I'm so tired of all the inappropriate stuff you find in books these days.

      I'm discovering so many interesting blogs (Conversion Diary has been great for that)! I was hooked on Pioneer Woman (who would definitely have to be considered a mega-blogger), but now I'm reading all these new ones.

  4. Hi Laura! I just found your blog through Quick Takes, and I love it! We actually have a few interests in common...I graduated from ND in 2011 (so just missed your son), my family is all involved in the military and I love St. Therese of Lisieux

    Happy Birthday to your son! We always called birthdays when the age and the date are the same "golden birthdays." Champagne sounds much better for those 21+ :)

    And of course, I'll politely disagree and say that my husband is the best husband in the world! ;) I wish all marriages had the wife thinking that she has the bet husband and vice versa.

    1. Hi, Katrina, thanks so much for stopping by and for your nice comments. We had three sons graduate from ND (in 2006, 2009, and 2010), another who was there for 2 years and then transferred to finish up closer to home, and our youngest is a sophomore there. My husband, his dad, and his four brothers graduated from Our Lady's university as well. So we are huge Irish fans around here! Did you meet your husband at ND? I actually went to Holy Cross in Worcester, MA--my husband and I started dating in high school.

      Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to check out your blog! :)

  5. Yes, I did meet him at ND! We are the cliché Domer couple...ring by spring, married in the Basilica, son baptized in the Log Chapel...

    Wow, you really are from a big ND family! I love it! Congrats on having five sons attend!

    1. I just saw this comment today. What an awesome ND love story!