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I keep coming across quotes from Saints that hit me straight in the heart. One that felt so relevant to me, it almost made me laugh out loud when I read it, was this: “It is far better to do a few things well than undertake many good works and leave them half-done.” St. Francis de Sales, my unofficial spiritual director, strikes again. This has been my first week back in the world of self-employment and it has felt a little bit like the first day at a new school. The minute I steal a moment at my computer, so many options, opportunities, systems, and strategies swirl in my head. It’s both overwhelming and exhilarating, so I’ve been repeating mantras based on St. Francis de Sales’ words often. Choose the most important thing. Choose the most meaningful thing. Do it well. Put the rest of a list for another day. One good thing at a time.

I am looking forward to sitting down with a hot cup of coffee and the results of my reader survey one day next week when Charlie is in school and Azelie is napping. I’m keeping it open until Monday, so if you haven’t filled it out yet, I’d love your input before then!

1. The unofficial end of summer calls for one more beach read! I’m apparently on a royals-themed-fiction-sequel kick–I’m halfway through The Heir Affair, with Majesty next on my list. If you’re trying to decide which series to try first, I will say that I liked American Royals much more than The Royal We. The former includes a bunch of clever alternative history details (my favorite being that the American royal family never drinks tea) and is more PG (probably since it’s technically a YA novel).

2. I mentioned on Instagram Stories recently that I’m taking a course on Catholic mindfulness and received a few questions about it. I’m doing “Introduction to Catholic Mindfulness” here and am already seeing some wonderful fruits from it, even though I’m working through it at a snail’s pace!

3. Yesterday was one of two movies we saw in theaters last year, and a re-watch last weekend reminded me how great it is! If you are ever looking for a fun, charming, feel-good movie to lift your spirits, I highly recommend it.

4. Dave laughed when I woke him up at midnight two nights ago to tell him we needed to check the address for our voter registrations, but these are the types of things that keep me up at night ;) Here is your hopefully-not-at-midnight reminder to make sure you’re all set to vote as well! Two other election-related things: this Vote t-shirt and this matching pin are darling, and this quote (another Saint quote!) is going to be at the forefront of my mind throughout the fall:

“We should judge our neighbor favorably in every circumstance and make it become a habit of ours to overlook his faults. Just as we–almost spontaneously–give ourselves the benefit of the doubt, let us also make this an integral factor of our relations with those about us.” – St. Therese

5. Azelie is quickly outgrowing her 3-6m-sized clothes. This means we’re reaching the end of being able to use the clothes we were gifted at her baby shower and have some stocking up to do! H&M is my favorite source of cute, inexpensive baby clothes, and this cardigan, this Peter Pan collared sweater, and this corduroy dress are going to be my first purchases. Seriously, is anything cuter than fall baby clothes?

I did a spontaneous “this or that” fall-themed poll on Instagram the other day and it was fun to see everyone’s favorites. Let me know two things below: the thing you’ll miss most about summer and the fall thing you are most looking forward to! I’m going to miss playing in the pool with Charlie, but I can’t wait to drink coffee (with a touch of pumpkin creamer) on the porch on chilly mornings!

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  1. Dana says:

    Madewell also has a really cute vote tee that I want! My last week of summer is a rainy weekend :/ But I guess this was kind of the eternal summer, so no complaining. I can still use my pool cuz Texas :D

  2. Richard says:

    You are my child so of course you will miss the pool; I said goodbye to the lifeguards last weekend and wished them well in the coming school year. I’m looking forward to heat indexes less than 100 degrees and not sweating through my workout clothes in the first mile.

  3. Laura M. says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I love your blog, and your Friday love lists are always a treat to read. I love that you are drawing the connection between voting and living out our faith. In thinking about your mantra from St. Therese for the fall, though, the idea of refraining from judgement feels insufficient.
    We also have any opportunity to call each other in to work for justice.
    I would encourage you to add one of the many wonderful quotes from the saints about this to your fall mantra. Here are two that are inspiring me to actively work for a better world:
    “Love for others, and in the first place, love for the poor, in whom the Church sees Christ himself, is made concrete in the promotion of justice.”
    —St. John Paul II

    “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are anger and courage. Anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain as they are.”
    —St. Augustine of Hippo

    • Kate says:

      Such a great point, Laura, and I love that second quote!

    • Lisa says:

      Hey Laura! Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I completely agree with you! As Catholics, I absolutely believe we are called to action, speaking out and acting against injustice, and fighting for the truth (including with our votes). The way I personally interpreted St. Therese’s quote (which I’d consider more of a reminder than a mantra) in light of the election is that we should give others the benefit of the doubt in conversation, even if we have opposing views. I was specifically thinking about it in regards to seeing people rant on Facebook, ha! Rather than thinking negatively of a person if they have a different view than me, I hope to assume that we both want what we feel is right and will truly make our country better. I hope that that starting from that assumption would lead to more fruitful and kind conversations. I do apologize for not being clearer about what I meant by that!

  4. Kate says:

    I finished The Heir Affair a couple of weeks ago, and am on the waiting list for Majesty at the library. It must be popular, because I’m 167th on the list and my account says it should be available in “less than 11 years” ha! I think I liked American Royals a little better too, possibly because The Royal We felt so much like it was speculating on the private lives of (fictionalized versions of) the actual British royal family.

    • Lisa says:

      Hahaha! Here’s hoping it takes less than 11 years! I just finished The Heir Affair and like it more than The Royal We for the exact reason you mentioned–I thought it felt a little less like speculation about the real royal family since so many crazy things happened!

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