Seven Quick Takes – Busy Business, Fake Cheek Bones, and Paternity Leave Penance

seven-quick-takes-friday-2So, let me start by acknowledging that I’ve gotten spectacularly awful about posting regularly. Tonight I’m totally cheating by doing a seven quick takes post, which I confess is the quickest and easiest to write. But it just feels good to be writing, so here goes…

— 1 —

There’s good news behind my lack of personal writing. My little freelance writing business is doing quite well and keeping me very busy. So busy, that I find myself with ideas for blog posts but no time to write them. The reality of the matter is that the stuff that pays has to take priority.

Although I miss my personal blogging and writing activity – and hope to get back on track soon – I do really enjoy the writing I’m doing for my clients. I write blog posts, newsletters, and marketing materials for various individuals and businesses, with topics ranging from health and wellness, to insurance, to mundane governmental mandates (I confess to not enjoying those so much), to the oil industry, entrepreneurship, and more. In many cases, I get to pick the topics – an added bonus!

— 2 —

I’m thrilled to share that, just this week, I’ve brought another writer onto my little “team” – another Catholic mom who loves to write and is very talented. She’ll help relieve some of the stress of deadlines when the baby comes, as well as beef up what I’m able to do for my blog clients. I’m pretty excited to see my little business growing, and to be able to work with another writer-mama at the same time.

— 3 —

Ah, baby. Or, as the kids say it, “Babe-E”. See the difference? Not just a baby, an Engelman baby, hence that “E” emphasis.

There seems to be some doubt as to whether we know the gender and just aren’t telling anyone, so I’ll lay it out. We don’t know the gender. Really. We’re not just saying that. That’s why I have a pile of boy clothes and a pile of girl clothes under the changing table. It’s also the reason why I have two names lists on my iPhone note pad – one for boys, one for girls. This is not some elaborate scheme to be “in the know” while everyone else is “in the dark.” I’ve never understood that. Plus, I hate to lie so much that it’s turned me into a person who is just downright incapable of lying. This is inconvenient at times, I’ll admit, but it does save time in the confessional.

Babe-E will be here in about four weeks, and I’ll do my best to get the word out as to the gender… just as soon as I know.

— 4 —

As for me, I’m feeling every bit of my forty years. By evening, I’m hobbling around on pain-ridden feet, favoring my left hip because my right frequently seems to go slightly out of joint. It’s a lovely sight. Oh, and I’ve gained enough weight that I’m having to use makeup to add cheekbones. Beautiful.

— 5 —

Makeup tip! You know those crazy fan-shaped makeup brushes that you never know how to use? Welllll… use that brush to add a line of bronzer just below your cheek bones. They’re there, even if you can’t see them. 🙂 Blend with your powder brush and – voila! – you’ve got visible (if fake) cheek bones!

— 6 —

On a more practical note, we received the most awesome news today! Ray’s company has increased their paternity leave from one week to six. Six. Seriously. SIX WEEKS!!!! With the previous four babies, he didn’t have any paternity leaveHe took a vacation day or two to get through the delivery, and then it was right back to work. I’m still slightly speechless at the idea of having him home for six weeks.

And maybe a little afraid that I might be ready to kill him by the end.

Interestingly, the baby’s due on the second day of Lent. Which means Ray could be home for all of Lent. I love my husband, but the thought has occurred: This could be a whole new form of Lenten penance…

— 7 —

With the baby’s Lenten due date, I’m having to reconcile myself to the idea of not participating in a Lenten Bible or book study group this year. I’ve thought about doing a study via this blog, or via a Facebook group. Something that folks could participate in on their own schedules, as time allows. No baby sitters, or, for that matter, showering, doing your hair, or adding fake cheekbones to impress your fellow book study participants.

One possible book for discussion is The Gargoyle Code, by Dwight Longenecker. Similar to C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, the book is a compilation of the letters between a master tempter and his student, showing the many pitfalls we humans succumb to, with the added benefit of being specifically designed for Lent, with one letter for each day from Shrove Tuesday to Easter Sunday.

Anyone out there interested? Leave a comment on this post, comment on Facebook, or send an email to stephanie at afewbeadsshort dot com. I’d love to connect with other women and share in a faith journey this Lenten season, even while being somewhat home-bound due to the new baby.

Oh, and I’m open to other book suggestions, too! (And “Thank you!” to Dana for turning me onto The Gargoyle Code!) Just let me know if you know of another book that would be good!

(The links above are affiliate links… thanks for your support!) 🙂

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!

14 comments on “Seven Quick Takes – Busy Business, Fake Cheek Bones, and Paternity Leave Penance
  1. Tricia Diagostino says:

    Stephanie, I would love to participate in a Lenten study via social media or whatever avenue you choose! I will check back on your blog to see if you have enough interest! By the way, six weeks of paternity leave are simply amazing!!!

    • stephanie says:

      Yay! It’s been too long since we’ve done a study together! And yes, I know six weeks is amazing. I guess that’s why his company is one of the top 100 companies to work for in the US. 🙂 And, actually, he can spread it out over 365 days after the baby is born, so he may not be home for six weeks straight, but instead take time during the summer to be home and help out or when my book is released for the same purpose. Feeling blessed!

  2. Dana says:

    I’m in too! Although, I was planning on giving up Facebook for Lent, so I vote against Facebook.


  3. Megan says:

    I would also participate. Thanks!

  4. Melody Brand says:

    I’d love to participate!

  5. Carolyn says:

    I would love to join as well!

  6. stephanie says:

    Wow! I just got an email from a friend, as well. So, I think we can definitely plan on a Lenten Book Club. Yay! I’m so excited. I just ordered the book so that I can start reading it before we make anything official. I downloaded the Kindle sample, and I have chills already, just from the first few pages. I think we’re in for a real treat!

  7. Judy says:

    I know you don’t know me because I’ve only read one or two of your blogs. I’m just now getting turned on to reading due to the fact that I’m away from home and away from a regular, dependable and private wifi. You see I am in St Petersburg, Florida, poor me, at a beautiful KOA campground on Cross (?) Bayou. Second year. So yes, that book sounds wonderful and as soon as I replace my nook with some e-reader or other I will buy the book. It’s hard to explain what happened to my nook. I’ll just say it was an incident involving the trailer and the nook. The trailer won. A refere from Fr John Hollowel.

    • stephanie says:

      Nice to meet you, Judy, and “Welcome!” Thanks for stopping by. I’m thrilled that you’re interested in the book and look forward to hearing more from you!

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