{SQT} Wrapping Up Loose Ends and Welcoming 2016

Happy New Year Quick Takers!

seven quick takes friday 2

1. How is your Christmas going (present tense!) ? We finished up the first round of cookies so I’ll probably be baking a fresh batch in time for Epiphany. We visited with lots friends and family members, with more celebrations yet to come. ¬†Our tree, and house, survived two “real” lightings and I’ve managed to move all the presents out-of-the-way of the wheelchairs. I have yet to make room for all the new toys OR write out lesson plans for my second trimester BUT Tony did buy fancy gin for Christmas so I hardly care a wit about any of it!

tree candles
Our first candle lighting on Christmas Eve.

Today’s takes will be a mash-up of things I was going to throw into separate posts but didn’t (which is sort of the point of Quick Takes anyway right?) so I can start 2016 on the right blogging foot with no baggage.

2. My top posts of 2015. You guys like a mix of really funny and really heart wrenching stuff.

My Moral Dilemma As A Catholic SMA Mom

{SMA Awareness Month} A Six Year Journey

 The Summer Bucket List for Underachievers

No ‘Poo Experiment and Failure

And #1 hands down this year, and my new #1 overall:  Saving Money on Essential Oils

3. I was going to include a gallery of pictures from the past year (one per month) but in scrolling through my media library, I realize I don’t post very many nice photos anymore. Most images are ridiculous pictures of myself the kids have taken to accompany¬†equally ridiculous posts.

pulling van with teeth
Example #1


no wine on the whole30
Example #2


Edel 2015 trip-6373
Example #3 (I guess the kids don’t take ALL the pictures of me.)

So anyway, if you want to see nice pictures from the last year, scroll through my Instagram feed instead.

4. And what do you think about the new website design? (If you’re on Bloglovin’ or Feedly, you’ll have to click-through to see what I’m talking about.) I’m reinventing myself to be more cool and minimalist and whatever else is trending right now. I also just like playing around with WordPress themes. I’m aware of the wonky date issue that makes it looks like my posts were published in 0001. I’ve nagged¬†my software engineer husband about it endlessly so I’m sure the issue will be resolved in no time. Until then, click around and let me know what your think…so long as it reaffirms my decision to radically change the look of my blog.

5. Speaking of nagging, I’ve created a reader survey. (Don’t you roll your eyes at me!) I’ve never done one and as I approach my four-year blog-aversary I thought it might be time to solicit feedback from all you awesome folks. It’s short and sweet and I’d be forever grateful for your help. It’s anonymous so don’t hold back.

Or CLICK HERE to open the survey in a separate tab to complete at your leisure.

6. Did you select your saint of the year yet? I got mine, but you’ll have to wait until my next post where I reveal who it is and why I’m now fearful of what 2016 has in store for me. I’ll also reflect on my 2015 resolutions and share those I’ve created for 2016…so long as I’m not struck down by lightning or something. I’m also trying to narrow down choices for my beast of the year. So far I’ve had a triple-headed monster lady, a manticore and the Jaberwocky. Maybe 2016 will be the year of the Wookie? I’m already really good at screaming incoherently. Leave your suggestions in the comments

7. And this would be a poor post to kick off the new year if I didn’t remind you that I sell a kick butt planner that costs less than a used car, unlike many other planners Pinterest seems to think I should give a crap about. Since Edie bought me huge contractor bag sized purse for Christmas, I could really carry any sized planner, but I’m loving my smaller version of ‘The Best Laid Plans.‘ I’ve got my cleaning routines, blogging goals, calendars, passwords, EVERYTHING all in one place.¬† At 37 I finally feel like I’m an adult. Do you want all your stuff in one place? Ready to feel like an adult? Try ‘The Best Laid Plans’ and resolve to be 85% less disorganized this year!¬†**UPDATE: Until January 3rd, Lulu.com is offering 15% off my planner with the code RESOLVE15!!**

All those PPs stand for ‘play practice’. I wasn’t planning a major vigil or anything.

Remember today is a Holy Day of Obligation! Get thee to Mass before enjoying a warm dinner of pork and sauerkraut just like my family. (And by “my family” I actually mean my relatives in Lancaster, PA who still eat pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s Day. I actually dislike sauerkraut and will be dining out instead.)

Link up below and don’t forget to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes ¬†(plus my requests for design advice, survey completion, beast selection and planner purchase.) I look forward to reading your posts!!


  1. Whoa. You use real fire on your tree! And you did a poll of your readers! I am so impressed. Thank you for hosting and happy New Year!

  2. Hi Kelly! I’m neither a mommy, nor a ‘blogger (I discovered the treasure trove of Catholic mommy ‘blogs via Joy Beyond The Cross, written by a friend of mine), but I like your new ‘blog “digs”!! No, honest, I really do!! And this post is a HOOT!

    Thank you for your example of a Christian woman who isn’t perfect but isn’t giving up. I am greatly privileged to have been raised to know Jesus, and as a Catholic; I’m also recovering from perfectionism (and other lies/idols, as we all are). Reading your blog encourages me to let go of my fears/hangups and just jump — go live my life, repent the screw-ups, and trust His great mercy, power, and love to draw straight with crooked lines.

    Thanks for ‘blogging. God bless you and your family in 2016!

  3. I LOVE the read fire on the Christmas tree!!! That’s awesome and so old-fashioned and fabulous-looking. I think that, especially based on certain events in The Force Awakens, it would be quite appropriate for 2016 to be the Year of the Wookie haha. Oh, and I love the new blog design and layout!

  4. I like the new layout! I’ve been thinking about changing mine to something that doesn’t include all the posts’ full text on the home page. I’ve been blogging so long that I’m reluctantly to change that‚ÄĒit’s how we did things back in the day.

  5. Shucks – I got part way through the survey and now it’s not open anymore. Hopefully my initial responses were received.

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