Blog? What Blog?

Blog?  What blog?  Micaela?  Who’s that?

This is the longest blog hiatus I’ve taken since our camping vacation this past summer.  So while I’m sure I have lots to say (when do I not have lots to say?) it’s all coming in fits and starts with no rhyme and very little reason.  Forgive me in advance.

Friday night we took the loooooong car trip up to Roseville, which is outside of Sacramento.  6.5 hours in a car with 4 kids.  Phewsh.  They slept most of the way, thankfully, but Kevin and I were both pretty drowsy too and had to take turns driving.  Why am I one million years old?  I feel so oooooold falling asleep at 9 pm.

But… it’s okay.  It’s okay because we got to see family and friends, and I was able to attend an inspiring talk by the incredible Immaculee Ilibagiza.

Not my photo

If you’ve never heard of Immaculee, I really must insist that you stop reading RIGHT NOW and go order her book Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.  Better yet, download the Kindle version so you can start reading it this instant.

Left to Tell is the story of Immaculee’s miraculous survival of the Rwandan genocide.  Nearly every member of her family was killed, simply for being from the “wrong” tribe.  If that sounds depressing, I can assure you that the book, while sad and painful at moments is so incredibly uplifting in its message that I believe everyone should read it.  Everyone.

I read this book last year.  I don’t remember who recommended it to me, but it couldn’t have come at a more propitious time.  I had just gone through an excruciatingly painful “friendship break up” and I was holding on to a lot of anger and resentment.  Immaculee’s ability to forgive the men who slaughtered her family put a whole different perspective on my “hurt feelings.”  Thanks to this book, I was able to open my heart and let go of a ton of anger and resentment.  So, yes.  Read it.  Weep.  Dance for joy.  Forgive.

Linking up with Jessica at Housewifespice for What We’re Reading Wednesday.  (I am also reading Immaculee’s book Our Lady of Kibeho about the only Church-approved Marian apparitions in Africa.)

Back to the talk.  Immaculee was every bit as gracious in person as she was in the book.  She was at times funny and silly (“I got a call from 60 Minutes for an interview, and I was like, what is 60 minutes?  One hour?  I called my publisher and told them someone from One Hour called me.  I don’t know 60 Minutes.  I know Oprah, of course!  Everyone knows her!”) at times motivational, inspirational, and all the time – moving.  She radiates joy.  Considering her history and young life, this is truly a miracle.  I feel confident saying that if Immaculee continues on the path she’s on, I was in the presence of a future saint.

Then there was family.


My dad and mom, my Grandma Betty, and my littles.

Sunday morning we attended Mass where my brother officiated.  His parish is St. Jospeh Marello in Granite Bay if any of y’all live up that way.  It is a stunning Church, and fortunately for his homily he stuck with inspiration and left out all of the embarrassing family stories.  OH!  We sat in the front row and my kids were angels!  Which basically means they didn’t scream or hit each other or grab anything off the altar.  Why yes, I do have low standards!  Thank you for asking!

Also not my photo. The simple exterior doesn’t do justice to the details inside. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to take photos. Next time.



My mom, my brother, my dad

We made the loooong drive home Sunday night, with a quick pit stop at my parents’ house to break the trip up a bit.  True to form, we left later than we had planned and were once again exhausted for the second leg of the drive.  We arrived home at midnight Sunday/Monday.

Which normally would be fine except that  this stay-in-pajamas-until-at-least-nine homeschool mama had to get up at 6 a.m. Monday.  Gianna and Aliya joined their American heritage Girls troop in planting flags on the veterans graves at Forest Lawn Cemetery and helping with an event to honor veterans.




My photo


It was a special way to spend Veterans Day.  After a trip on the nearby kids train, we spent the rest of the afternoon getting our house back in order.  Which 24 hours later is, of course, completely trashed.  But it was clean!  At one point!  Recently!  (Refer to above point about low standards.)

I almost forgot: one other thing I did yesterday was cry a little over the fact that I won’t be able to attend Jen and Hallie‘s sure-to-be-incredible conference/retreat next July.  It conflicts with the one and only thing I have on my calendar (Grandma Betty’s 90th birthday).  So I’ll just cyberstalk any bloggers who do attend and pray there is a repeat in the future.

Today was pretty much par for the course except the bookends.  This happened this morning:




And tonight I finished my ornaments for the Jesse Tree Swap I’m joining for the first time.  Want a sneak peek?



What do you think?  That’s a symbol for St. Joseph the carpenter.  I really like it, so you should too.  LIKE IT, I said!  You can’t tell but it has a slight shimmery/bronze finish to it.  I’ll be mailing them off tomorrow and then we’ll get our box of all different ornaments in a couple weeks!  I can’t wait for Advent.  It’s my favorite time of year.

Okay, that’s all folks.  I’m literally falling asleep as I type,  While that may not be as dangerous as driving tired, it certainly makes for some interesting phrases on the screen.

Ciao, bellos and bellas!


  1. I don’t think I’ll be able to go either. I’ll have an 8 month old, which is to old to try to go anywhere with and too young to leave home. 🙁 So bummed!
    Kendra recently posted…Our Favorite Family Read-Alouds for Advent (and a handmade Jesse Tree
    My Profile

    • Let’s have a pity party together. Hurry up and have your baby so we can have a glass of wine and commiserate. 🙂

      Alternatively, let’s plan a west coast conference. I’m no Jen F or Hallie L, but I bet we’d have a darn good time connecting with Cali bloggers.

      • Yes! Yes! Yes! There’s no way I could go to something in Texas, but (Alta) California is only 1000 miles from me! AND you’re near enough to Santa Barbara to make it a tofer to see my older son and his family! We bloggers NEED events to get face-to-face time!
        Anna recently posted…Five Favorites – November 12My Profile

  2. That ornament is beautiful and I loved Our Lady of Kibeho, read it for book club last year 🙂
    Annery recently posted…{WWRW} Pope Awesome and a Giveaway 🙂My Profile

  3. That is a GORGEOUS Jesse tree ornament. I wish you were in the exchange I am in. I also love Advent the very best.

    And I love those books too!
    Madeline recently posted…WWRW: An Ode to MoMy Profile

  4. Oh! This is unfair! SO much to comment and feeling so unwordy. I love everything you have said here, and I am so happy to see a pic of your brother, warms the heart! I absolutely LOVE your Jesse Tree ornaments, St. Joseph is our all time favorite (forgive me all you other saints and angels!) Anyway, glad to see you back again!
    Rebekah Es recently posted…Theme Thursday: ColdMy Profile

  5. I love the pictures of your family Michaela! Its so beautiful to have a brother in the priesthood!
    And that book really is amazing. I bet the talk was incredible.
    And if I don’t make it to Texas I’d consider California a great second option! 😉
    Christy recently posted…Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMy Profile

  6. Hey there..
    kinda rushing but wanted to stop in to say I LOVE THIS POST! Love your trip story, pics of Mom, Dad and your brother….AND Immaculee! She forever changed my life and gave me so much more faith. Unreal. I canNOT belive that there are ppl who do not know about her, her story and her plight. For a while, I was making her story my mission to talk about when ever we went anywhere or saw ppl we had not seen in a long time( who had not herd me go on and on about her!) Love her.
    Have not had the chance to see her though she has been in my area. We had tox but stomach virus hit so we missed her. drat. I hope she’ll be back. This was about 2 years ago.
    Can I tell you again how jealous I am that you live in CA? ! Love it there. We are taking another cross county trip next summer to “new” areaa of the US but will prob end up in southern CA this time. If algebra, European history and earth science don’t kill me. It seems a world away, sitting in the van and heading west on I80 again.
    Ok, back to work
    Thanks for the fun and amazing reminder about Immaculee
    Chris recently posted…Giveaway: Our Lady of Guadalupe Scapulars in Honor of My 1 Year Blogoversary ~My Profile

  7. So sorry about the sp errors above. Thought I reread thoroughly but missed a few.
    A stitch in time….

    Have a GREAT day and welcome home.
    Chris recently posted…Giveaway: Our Lady of Guadalupe Scapulars in Honor of My 1 Year Blogoversary ~My Profile

  8. WHY DIDN’T YOU DO MY JESSE TREE SWAP LAST YEAR? Can I buy one of those St. Joseph ornaments for my regular Christmas tree? It is soooo pretty. Yeah. I doubt I’ll be flying across the country in July to Texas either. I would like to fly to Cali for a Catholic conference in February….just sayin’. Your mom looks so young and pretty. I totally did not want to read Left to Tell, but loved it. Will look for her other book now.

    Enough of this stream of consciousness.
    Jessica @ housewifespice recently posted…It’s What We’re Reading Wednesday! All about Richard Peck.My Profile

    • Jessica, I don’t believe I had the pleasure of knowing you last year? I remember Cari doing a swap (or was it Dwija?) and I wanted in, but it was way too late. You’re in luck though. I’ve got materials leftover. PM me your address and I will happily send one your way. 🙂

  9. The ornament is gorgeous! Thank you! 🙂
    Jessica @ Shower of Roses recently posted…A Jesse Tree Ornament SwapMy Profile