Pregnant Plies

I made it to ballet class again last night!

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It may have been my last class before the Muffin arrives… We’ll see how next week goes.

I’ve been experiencing pain in my backside, but only on the left. It didn’t interfere with any of the barre exercises so that was encouraging. I’m determined to plie this kid out!

Normally, Muffin isn’t very active during class. Yesterday, however, it seemed like the baby wanted to join in! I think someone is getting ready to meet the world and head straight to the dance studio!

Here I am at 37 weeks with Jessica, my fantastic teacher.

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I really hope I make it to class for Week 38.

36 Weeks Pregnant & Still at the Barre

I have not been as consistent with ballet classes as I had hoped during my pregnancy. I’ve only made it to class once every three – four weeks, but at least I made it.

I was thrilled that I was able to go to class both last week and this week. I am only doing barre exercises and stretches, nothing in the center. But I’m still able to balance on releve in first and fifth with my great big pregnant belly and my separated center muscles. Yesterday, I was even able to balance in passe releve! I was just a little excited about that. I am careful not to overdo things. If I need a break I take one. Sure I leave exhausted and with slightly swollen ankles, but the workout is invigorating and very satisfying. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to keep going before giving birth, but my hope and plan is to dance this baby out!

Waiting for class to begin ~ 36 Weeks

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~7 Quick Takes Friday – Episode 56~

{Episode 56}


I read the greatest tweet this week about the current state of weather reporting:

So true, Mr. Hall! So very true!


Speaking of the weather, I’ve been doing my utmost not to complain about it. I did however break down this week and complain about the weather complainers.


Obviously, I’m one of those crazies who doesn’t mind cold weather. But I’m not as crazy as some… Take my father, for instance. The man took a bit of a tumble a few weeks ago while cross country skiing and went out skiing the following week in spite of slightly bruised ribs and a sore wrist. According to him, he had to take advantage of the 7 degree warm and sunny day. Now that’s a lot bit crazy if you ask me.


I can’t tell you how revitalizing it has been being back at the barre!

I feel like a new person today after a fantastic class last night!

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Catching my breath under the barre.

See here for more photos of Muffin’s first and second ballet classes.


Terry from 8 Kids and A Business wrote an article this week at Catholic Insight about reclaiming the Mass.

“Central to the Catholic Faith is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But these days, the reasons why we go to church—both to commemorate Christ’s Sacrifice and to participate in it—have been overshadowed by modern elements. Music that takes away from the sacredness of the Liturgy instead of complementing it, more importance placed on Father’s homily than on his role in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, tabernacles that are hidden from sight, taking away the crucifix and kneelers, and an emphasis on the community “meal” have all clouded the true beauty and purpose of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

What if we brought back all that is beautiful, reverent, and sacred in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

Mmmm… That’s a question I ask myself every Sunday…

Be sure to read the rest of Terry’s thoughts on the subject.


Well, the 2014 Quadrille Ball was a success! I’m both glad and sad it’s all over.

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A few more photos are on my other blog, including a better photo of my dress.


Ladies in the NJ/NY area, I cordially invite you to a women’s conference hosted by the Diocese of Paterson. It is one day only, but a day packed with greatness! You won’t want to miss it. Visit the FB event page for more info! Or send me an email.

Updated WC Flyer


We have so many photos from our wedding that I would call my favorite. There were a plethora of wonderful moments captured! And I love them all! But I’ll leave you with one is for sure on my “favorites” list.


With my cousin, Br. Paul and my brother, Fr. Charles.

Happy Friday!


Don’t forget to stop over at Jen’s for more Quick Takes!

Muffin’s First & Second Ballet Classes

I made it! It had been 14 weeks, but I finally made it back to ballet class! Well it technically wasn’t Muffin’s first (or second) class since I was able to go to class until I was six weeks pregnant, but they were the first classes in which it was noticeable that I am with child.

My body doesn’t move the way it once did, partly because I haven’t been to class in a long time and also because I now have a large tire around my waist that infringes my normal range of motion. It’s been great though because I can still do a lot more than I thought I would be able to. And I can’t tell you how incredible it feels to work up a good sweat at the barre again!

Me & Muffin: First class back

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A very tired me & Muffin: Second class

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~7 Quick Takes Friday – Episode 55~

{Episode 55}


Wow, my last Quick Takes post was back in October!

What can I say? The first few months of married life and the first trimester of pregnancy were all-consuming. I’m finally emerging from the fog!


I was too sick during my first trimester to attend ballet class.

Last night, I made my first appearance in the dance studio in 14 weeks.

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I wish maternity tights came in pink!


I read a couple of inspirational stories this week about Olympians.

The first is about a young figure skater from the Philippines who can’t always afford a coach.

The second is about twin sister biathletes, one of whom is going to the Olympics.

I usually cry a few times during the Olympics due to the incredible stories of athletes and their journeys. I can’t help it: I’m a crier.  I have a feeling I’m going to cry constantly this time around.



In other dancing news, the annual Quadrille Ball is next Saturday, and Karl and I will be in attendance!

I’ve been working with this year’s dancers since November and am excited for their big night! I have no idea how much dancing I’ll actually do, but I’m looking forward to getting all dolled up for a night out.

From The 2011 Quadrille Ball

photo by Frank Ammaccapane of Natural Expressions

photo by Frank Ammaccapane of Natural Expressions

At least this year I get to wear my own dress!


Here’s the latest update on the Muffin’s in-utero progress:

The Muffin Chronicles: Prologue – Week 19

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Meanwhile, here is news about beauty and church architecture that thrills my soul!

H/T The Deacon’s Bench


And finally, although the Christmas season has officially ended (and I have officially failed to write our holiday adventures), I will leave you with the cutest Christmas photo ever! Or at least one that will give you a preview of what the Muffin might look like.


With my sister Rosario.

I’m the one on the right wearing the cheeks.

Happy Friday!


Don’t forget to stop over at Jen’s for more Quick Takes!

The Past Three Months

I have been rather silent the past three months on the subject of dance. I just haven’t been dancing much these days; I haven’t been doing much of anything, but for good reason. Some of you may have seen the announcement on the other blog, but in case you missed it: I’m pregnant! The husband and I are thrilled beyond belief! My plan was (and is) to continue dancing throughout the pregnancy, but I had to lay low during the first trimester due to morning sickness which overcame me mostly in the evening and at night. Ballet class happens to take place in the evening. There was no way I could get to class at the height of nausea and fatigue, much less stand at the barre! So I took the first trimester off.

I still haven’t made it to class even though I’m now in the second trimester; holiday obligations have taken over my normal schedule. I’ll get back to the barre after the New Year rolls in. Until then, I’m doing my best to work out at home. My muscles need it after not dancing for three whole months! Thankfully, I still walk two miles every day as part of my commute. I’d hate to think of what shape my muscles would be in if I had stopped walking too!

Here’s to new babies, Christmas, New Years, and getting back to the barre!



~7 Quick Takes Friday – Episode 54~

{Episode 54}


Five weeks in and married life has been glorious!  It’s almost everything I could have hoped married life would be.  I say almost because the past two weeks were a little difficult with Karl being over seas on business.  He came home on Tuesday though, and life is returning to normal.


Karl’s business trip wasn’t easy on either of us, but we made the most of it.  Karl worked hard on his project and was very productive, and I worked hard on settling into our new place.

I built a wine cabinet and two bookshelves, filled said bookshelves, hung a few pictures, unpacked countless boxes, and am working on organizing the closets.  We still have a ways to go, but at least the living room is livable.  Karl said upon his return that I made our apartment very homey, and while home is wherever I am, it was extra special coming home to such a homey place.


My Quick Takes have been full of wedding stuff as of late and not of dance or art.  Forgive me.

There is actually a lot going on in my world when it comes to the arts.

Karl and I will be attending a gala on Saturday for Turn To Flesh Productions.  A dear friend of mine, Michelle Kafel, is one of the co-founders of TTF.  Visit their website to find out more about their mission and projects.  I am so excited to support my friend on her noble venture!

If you’d like to support the production of good works of art, you can do so here and please keep Turn To Flesh Productions in your prayers!

Also if you are in the New York area and would like to attend the gala, you can find information for tickets and times here.


Lina ~ Me ~ Michelle ~ Andrea

I’ll be at the gala with these lovely ladies on Saturday, but I probably won’t wear the veil…


Next Friday, St. Paul Inside the Walls will be hosting David Clayton of The Way of Beauty.

Artists in the NY/NJ area should come to this fantastic event!!!

More info can be found here.


I started up ballet classes again after taking some time off for the wedding.  It feels good to work those dancer muscles again!


Wedding Photo Sneak Peek #1


Someone’s excited to get married!


Wedding Photo Sneak Peek #2


He seems pretty excited to get married too!

Happy Friday!


Stop over at Jen’s to wish Jen and her husband a Happy Anniversary and for more Quick Takes!

Faith and Beauty: Can Faith Illuminate the Culture?

On Friday, October 11, David Clayton from The Way of Beauty will answer this question at St. Paul Inside the Walls in Madison NJ as a part of their Friday Night LIGHTS series.  This will be a great opportunity for all artists to learn about the importance of their work and faith.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.

Facebook Event


Please let me know if you are interested in coming and need transportation information or directions.  I hope readers from the East Coast area will be able to make it!!


~7 Quick Takes Friday – Episode 53~

{Episode 53}


Weekly Quick Takes are back after a month or more off!

What can I say?  I was a little busy gettin’ hitched.


The wedding was a dream come true!  Everything turned out better than I could have hoped.  Oh sure, a couple of things didn’t go as planned but they were minor.  All that really mattered was I married the love of my life.  Having an amazing choir, a glorious dress, a fantastic necklace, being surrounded by friends and family, and having pretty awesome party was a bonus.  I was grateful for the additional bonuses because they helped make our wedding day unforgettable.

 One of my favorite parts of the wedding was the involvement of many talented and artistic friends (more on that here).

Anyway, here are some of my other favorite details from the BIG DAY!


The dress.


This was taken at one of my fittings.


I love my dress!


The veil, necklace, & earrings.


The necklace and earrings were custom made by my talented friend Suzanne and her daughter Rachel.  We designed it together, but they made it more beautiful than I could have imagined!  It is my favorite piece of jewelry, aside from my engagement and wedding rings.


The colors.


My vision of a wedding filled with bright, bold, fun colors came to fruition!



The performances.


We had a few friends perform at our reception.  Two musicians and two Mexican dancers.

They all added a fantastic dimension to our wedding!



The choir & music.

Obviously song selections for mass would be important to two artistic souls.  We didn’t choose easy songs, but our choir and musicians (made up of amazing friends) were open to the challenge.  The music at mass was heart-soaringly beautiful!

The wedding video is in this post, along with info of where to find the highlights.

If you don’t have the patience to see all the highlights, I recommend the procession, which features Karl as the soloist, and the Ave Maria (by Franz Biebl).


The husband.


Happiest day of my life thus far!

Happy Friday, Readers!


Don’t forget to stop over at Jen’s for more Quick Takes!

~7 Quick Takes Friday – Episode 52~

{Episode 52}


I received the September issue of the Magnificat in the mail this week and realized that I will be a married woman by the time I open its pages.

Kinda crazy, but so exciting!!!

Three weeks, ladies and gentlemen.  Three weeks!


We are moving our furniture from the storage unit into our apartment tomorrow.  It will be so nice to have “The Big Move” behind us… and to have a home with furniture.  Our brains have been on overload working on wedding details and logistics for the move, on top of normal daily brain activity.  Karl and I will both be relieved to have a little more space in our heads and a comfortable home to relax in.


My NJ bridal shower last Saturday was wonderful!  I loved seeing my friends get along well with my family.  My niece Maria was the star of the show, which suited me just fine.  She was ever-so-helpful when it came to disposing wrapping paper, and she was especially helpful taking all the “fashion bows” off my hands.  She even gave me a “FASHION RIBBON HUUUUUUG!”  I don’t know where she comes up with this stuff, but Maria kept everyone laughing.


My soon-to-be sister-in-law came up with a very clever favor for the shower that acknowledged our ethnicities:

 Mexican wedding cookies in Chinese take-out boxes!

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I didn’t make it to ballet again this week, but I’ve still been working my dancing muscles.

Read all about it here.


I don’t like hurrying time along, but I am very much looking forward to Sunday.  Karl and I promised each other we will have some downtime.  We’ve attempted this for the past week and a half with no success, but I am determined that Sunday will be the day!  This might me much more difficult for me since I am going to want to organize the apartment, but I am thrilled about taking time to rest.


This week’s favorite photo shows off my husband-to-be’s goofy side:


Happy Friday!


Don’t forget to stop over at Jen’s for more Quick Takes!