Wednesday, October 28, 2015

{Midweek Musings} Fall Break 2015 Edition

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Last week, I had the privilege of going home for four lovely days for my fall break! The best part of my time at home (besides the obvious getting to see family, friends, and my dog) was definitely getting to experience fall again! Last year, during my first year here in Florida, I did not go home for fall break ~ and it was my first time experiencing the fall months not in Michigan. It was really quite sad ~ I missed the beautiful fall colors, the cider + donuts, and the sweater weather so much! But this year, I got to go home ~ and even though the real reason for it was so that I could keep up with my orthodontist appointments (#bracesprobs), I was happy for the excuse to head north in mid-October!

During my first evening back, my family attended a concert given by Eric Genuis, an incredibly talented Catholic musician + composer who writes beautiful, soul-stirring music. I've seen him in concert before, and even blogged about it before, way back in 2011. Read the post here to learn more about Eric's music and how moving it is ~ my sentiments remain the same even four years later. His music is so strikingly beautiful that it moves you to tears simply by listening to it. I was so excited that his concert in my area was happening during my break and that I had the opportunity to see him once again.

Other highlights of my fall break included...
     ~ getting cider + donuts with my mom + sister
     ~ having one of my grandma's amazing home-cooked meals
     ~ going to my old college for a day to visit all my dear friends there
     ~ visiting my extended family at my grandma's house
     ~ going to Mass at my home parish
     ~ eating my mom's homemade mac 'n cheese (basically my favorite dish of all time)
     ~ getting to see lots of good family friends

And finally, here are a few pictures I took while at home to capture the breathtaking beauty of the fall season up there. Let me tell you, the fall colors and the temperatures were absolutely perfect. It made me wish I could stick around a little longer!

{from my instagramperfect leaf-covered wooden steps at the cider mill
the view driving up my road
driving around was just the best with the beautiful leaves all around
I was so excited to be in a fall wonderland
{from my instagram} the leaves... be still my heart
{from my instagram} my final, birds-eye view of fall as I ascended out of MI
"I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

God bless,

Thursday, October 15, 2015

May There Be Peace Within

"Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing make you afraid.

All things are passing.
God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things.
If you have God you will want for nothing.
God alone suffices."
{St. Teresa of Avila}

"May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us." 
{St. Teresa of Avila}

"It is love alone that gives worth to all things." {St. Teresa of Avila}

Some inspiration from St. Teresa of Avila on her feast day today, along with some photos from life recently. These quotes really resonated with me today. I hope they do for you too.

God bless,

Monday, October 5, 2015

Feeling 20!

This past Saturday, October 3, I turned 20!!!

I started off my birthday right by sleeping in, then having brunch with some good friends. Afterwards, one of my high school/college besties + I went to the football game, which our team WON! (In honor of my birthday, I'm sure;)

my sis + I rocking red lipstick for the talent show
After the game, I went about my typical Saturday afternoon schedule, which included work and a rehearsal for our cabaret (during which I was serenaded!). Then after a quick dinner, I hurried off to my school's annual talent show, which my acapella group performed in. We sang "Pompeii" by Bastille, and it was a blast ~ definitely an awesome first performance of the year!

Toward the end of the talent show, the emcee, all of a sudden, announced that there was a birthday in the audience. I immediately knew he was referring to me, and sure enough, he announced my name. I sank into my chair, covering my face with my hands and attempting to hide behind my sister. But I was soon forced to stand up, and then the entire audience sang "Happy Birthday" to me! It was slightly horrifying and I definitely felt my face turning red, but I'll admit it was pretty fun + special. :)

Turns out the person who told them that it was my birthday was the same friend I went to the football game with (pictured above). We'll see if I ever forgive her for that one. ;)

The best part of my birthday came after the talent show, when my dear roommate threw a birthday party for me! The room was decorated with white Christmas lights + letters on the wall that spelled out "Happy Birthday," and there was a huge, delicious chocolate Oreo cake that I was in awe of for a good few minutes upon seeing it. We had an awesome playlist going, and everyone danced + went crazy the whole night. So many people showed up ~ there's hardly any one of my friends that I can think of who didn't come. I was so happy + excited to spend time with everyone, and so touched that they all came to celebrate my birthday + make it such a special day! God really has blessed me with some of the best friends here at college, and I'm so thankful to have them all in my life.

Overall, my 20th birthday certainly was one to remember! I hope my 20th year proves to be the same ~ I can't wait to see what God has in store for this next decade of my life!

God bless,

Thursday, October 1, 2015

St. Therese's Feast Day

Happy feast of St. Therese of Lisieux!!!

I am proud to call this amazingly wonderful saint my confirmation saint, as well as one of my dearest friends. She has been my favorite saint for as long as I can remember, ever since I was a little girl. I have always admired and been devoted to her, and the more I learn about her and pray to her, the more I love her.

Since St. Therese is my patron saint (hence my name here on the internet, Stephanie Therese), naturally I'm quite excited today! I went all-out wearing flowery clothes + accessories in honor of the Little Flower, including a floral print dress, a flower necklace, flower earrings, and a hair accessory with roses on it. I'm also, of course, wearing my St. Therese medal, and my saint bracelet which includes an image of her.

I'm also making use of my St. Therese mug for today's tea consumption.

So, as you can tell, I'm just a little bit happy about St. Therese's feast day and just a little bit eager to celebrate it. ;) I'll get to celebrate it even more later today, when I go to Mass (which I have the honor of lectoring at today), go to a holy hour with my household (of which St. Therese is a patron saint!), and go to a St. Therese party here at school where I'll have an opportunity to venerate a first-class relic of her!

Again, only a little bit excited. ;) 

Happy feast of St. Therese again, friends! I hope you enjoy this beautiful day!

I'll end with one of my favorite St. Therese quotes:

"See, if we place all our confidence in the good God, and constantly put forth our best efforts, while hoping everything from His Mercy, we too shall receive the reward of the greatest saints."

St. Therese, pray for us!

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