Archive for Family

An Advent Playlist: Waiting in Wonder

My mind is fluttered with slivers of christmas, a few presents still to buy, pieces of wrapping paper all over the house, beautiful lights around the neighborhood, the intoxicating scent of our christmas tree, our simple paper nativity set, the empty waiting stockings, and our beloved advent candles flickering each night at dinner. Everywhere there is a little, often sweet and wonderful, piece of Christmas knocking at my door. But I, so badly, desire to honor the season of Advent and squeeze every ounce of goodness from the short season.

Sometimes, I associate Advent with digging your heels in and refusing to allow any hint of Christmas in. Although there is some truth and value behind the purposeful seperation, Advent means nothing without the expectation of Christmas.

We are to prepare and order our homes and hearts to receive the King. God is so big, and I am so small, so Advent is a time to grow my capacity to receive and adore the creator of the universe. A time of longing, waiting, excitement, and preparation to receive all that is good.

We can not escape the coming date on our calendar or the constant signs that it will be here soon, so how do we turn these signs into Advent? Into preparation and waiting? Read More →

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Learning my limits is making me holy

Some people are naturally conservative about how they use their time, body, and heart. Others of us are known for carrying in too many groceries at once, volunteering to help with everything, and staying up late to get unnecessary, but awesome, things done.

By now you probably know I am the latter. But, the process of learning my limits is making me holy.

“How do you learn your limits?” you ask. Well let me tell you, it is not a fun process. It often means hitting walls over and over again until you’re willing to make some changes.

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Roo Trippin Vol 7: A Grand Petrified Albuquerque 

It was time to leave the big city and head back toward Texas, but what else could we possibly see with a squirmy two-year old on our way back through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas? Well, a whole lot, and the Roo is here to tell you all about it.

After the mountains, caverns, and sand dunes of our first leg, and the Saguaro and Joshua Forests of our second, it was now time for something truly grand. We woke up Sunday morning for an early church service with our sweet California hosts, the Tierney’s, before offering hugs and thanks and hitting the road again. Read More →

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7 Cacti Motivational Posters

About 7 years ago I became friends with a few ladies from the southwest and I will never forget the day they asked me what my favorite cactus was. In that moment I stared at these three lovely ladies blankly, with truly no answer. They posed the question as if asking, “what’s your favorite color?”

They each proceeded to list different cacti and why they enjoyed them, and I blinked a few times and nodded to assure my new friends I was listening. Read More →

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Roo Trippin Vol 6: The One with All the Peculiar Plants

The Great American West is full of some rather peculiar plants, I can’t wait to tell you about it. Anna Roo back again for a part two recap of our great western road trip. When we last left off we were still marching west and had just arrived in Tuscan, Arizona

Ants Marching – Dave Matthews Band

Saguaro National Park and Tucson

We woke up in Tucson ready for some new adventures. We headed a few miles south of town to Mission San Xavier del Bac. This is one of the oldest churches in the Americas, completed in 1797. The Baroque architecture, clay mortar and Spanish artwork made for a unique experience. We walked through the church and museum before trying our hand at a docent guided tour. We made it 10 minutes into the tour before I bumped my head and proceeded with a slight meltdown. At this point we bowed out gracefully and attempted to calm down.

The Salt Stories: Roo Trippin Vol 6: Mission San Xavier de Bac Read More →

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Roo Trippin Vol 5: Headed West

Annaroo here, back with another installment of Roo Trippin. This is likely the last road trip before our new baby arrives. Last year, we headed east for a tour of the south and a few months a go we took a quick adventure north to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Now, it is time to head west for cactus, friends, and hopefully some ocean.

After watching daddy jigsaw all the luggage in the car we loaded up for the adventure ahead.

The Salt Stories: Roo Trippin Vol 5: Headed West  Endless Texas Road

Being the expert roadtripper that I am, I immediately asked for food and entertainment. We settled on animal crackers and Peter and the Wolf music. I ask for the ‘wolf song’ as often as I think of it, mom likes this version, on Spotify, narrated by David Bowie. Read More →

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How she does NOT do it all.

You may have seen posts trumpeting titles like “how she does it all” or “how to have it all”. Articles that, despite their good intentions, seem to celebrate packed schedules and women who successfully juggle 30 balls in the air at once. This is not one of those posts.

I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t read these articles before or been tempted by the click bait. These articles are often trying to provide their readers with a tool or insight about how to handle a busy life. What I am finding is that I don’t need more tools, I need better discernment. I am the type of person who is energized and consistently motivated to do every great idea I hear or think up, but I am learning to love that I can’t do everything.

This ‘yes-girl’ wants to embrace and relish opportunities to confidently say no and live life more fully, but a little less full. I recognize that as life continues more commitments will fill our days, and my perspective may change, but here is a plan for today.

So here I am before you, work outside the home mom, thriving young adult, amateur blogger, and loved wife, and this is how I do NOT do it all.

The Salt Stories: How she does NOT do it all

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Roo Tripping Vol 4: Colorado Edition

Anna Roo here, for another installment of my rootripping adventures, this time almost a year wiser and sitting forward in my car seat.


You may remember when I headed out on my first road trip, visited the smokey mountains, and was welcomed by family and friends on our tour of the south last year. This rootrippin adventure took us to colorful Colorado, for more family time and mountains. Read More →

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A Church made for toddlers: Understanding the sanctuary and celebration

Going to mass with my daughter is quite the trip. As she grows further into toddlerdome, her wiggles are growing, but we have also found many opportunities to share the celebration with her, using tactile and visual cues. We mention her place in the family of God as we dip our hands in the baptismal font, and when she gets fussy we use the stations of the cross to tell her the story of Good Friday. As she finds ways to engage, it makes me wonder, was church made to engage people at all developmental states? Was our church made with my toddler in mind? Read More →

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Jesus Got Up: Happy Easter

Happy Easter! I hope you are having an Easter filled with family, joy, and Jesus. We have been gifted with truly beautiful time around these parts.

Our wiggly two-year old was able to attend Holy Thursday and Easter mass, and I am always amazed by how much of these celebrations she is able to absorb. After Holy Thursday, every time she heard the word Jesus she would bend to touch our feet and say in the perfect toddler voice, “wash.” On Good Friday we talked about how Jesus died because he loves us so much. Drawing on past experiences of death like The Lion King and a great-grandfather passing.

Then came Easter, how was I going to explain the Resurrection to my daughter? I didn’t know if I could totally explain it to myself. We started to use the language “rise from he dead”, but it didn’t seem to ring any bells. Then all of the sudden out of the mouth of babes, Anna said “up”. She found a word in our explanation that made sense.

We would ask her what happened to Jesus and she would gesture with her hand and say joyfully with her mouth “up!” How simple, how perfect, how truly wise.

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