Monday, July 23, 2018

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog!  This is where I post pictures of a modest, feminine outfit to encourage women in the apostolate of femininity.  Thanks for visiting!  If you have pictures to share, please contact me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com.



Monet, Regatta at Sainte-Adresse




I am still painting rooms and it's lots of fun!  I actually need to finish up this week.  Henry is so adventurous that it makes painting much more exciting...he has only got into in my paint three times I think?  Thank goodness we have old carpeting.  We had gorgeous weather this weekend- 70s and breezy.  The children have been playing outside which is so nice!  And yesterday we made a peach cobbler from our own peaches!  My husband's garden is doing so well; we have watermelon, peppers and cucumbers so far and some beautiful pumpkins coming along!

I only got this one picture from the weekend, but I wanted to post it because I really love this dress!  I will be offering it soon in my shop, custom made in all sizes.  I really enjoyed wearing it around the house with this brown cardigan from my sister!












THANKS FOR VISITING!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Weekend In Feminine Dress: Better Late than Never!

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog!  This is where I post pictures of a modest, feminine outfit to encourage women in the apostolate of femininity.  Thanks for visiting!  If you have pictures to share, please contact me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com.





Poppies by Monet



There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint!  And that is just what I've been up to this week...painting rooms.  It's a lot of work but starting to look better already.  I like to get rid of things and my husband and the kids do not.  So in an effort to clean up and keep things organized, I have to come through the rooms after they are in bed and fill up my give-away-box!  It's quite effective- but always a work in progress.  In the next few weeks I will share some photos of the little corners I am fixing up!  

Here is a picture of what I wore this weekend.  Saturday was my niece and nephew's birthday party and Sunday we visited a local town for a Eucharistic Procession.  It was very hot at the procession but the children did well and after benediction a very good friend treated us to ice cream.

The Summer is flying by!  Let me know what you have been up to lately in the comments!







I'M WEARING:

Ruffle Dress- I made (needs some work still, but soon in my shop)
Cardigan- Thrift Store
Shoes- DSW




THANKS FOR VISITING!





Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Naked Baby


"The naked baby" is a modern phenomenon. 
"Style is about the choices you make to create the aspects of civilization that you wish to uphold," declared David Bowie, the revolutionary English songwriter.  In actuality, he probably meant the aspects of civilization he wished to destroy.

My fascination with children's clothing began long ago, even before my first child was born.  Of course, like most women, I really love clothes.  And so as soon as I learned we had a little boy on the way, I headed out to the stores to shop for him!

"My style" is very classic, I really just look for beautiful things.  I think that many women are attracted to beauty and so we enjoy shopping because it satisfies something in our souls.

Dressing the children is still something I love!  But life gets ahead of you sometimes and as I became busier I noticed that my babies would often be wearing diapers and t-shirts around the house.

Queen Victoria as a baby.
It's not a crime, I thought.  I had just let the "extra" touches slip when it came to my baby's outfit.  I had excuses: I was busy, sick, tired, behind with homeschooling and besides, their clothes get messy at every meal.  But then, isn't getting dressed a basic priority?

Today it does not seem to be.  In fact, I see grown men and women in the coffee shops and at the grocery stores wearing ugly, ill fitting sweat-suits all the time.  Expense is not to blame either; this drab clothing often costs more than a quality piece from a high end retailer.  Most middle class people have wardrobes full of fine clothing for work.  On our own time, we choose not to wear it.

I began to think about this.  And I thought about my child's soul.  Is getting dressed valuable enough to his soul that it deserves to be prioritized?  I answered myself a resounding: yes!

The beautiful ambiance shines forth grace!  Imagine the child who has the good fortune to be taken on a marvelous stroll through the park with elegant fountains and pretty cobblestones and towering trees.  Or imagine the child who is brought to the street markets like the ones in Florence or Barcelona with the aesthetic displays of vibrant flowers, fine baked goods, colorful produce and intricate candies.  Contrast this with the crude secularization and hyper-stimulation of Chuck-E-Cheese, fast food restaurants and places like Walmart.  Did you know that beauty produces happiness because the nature of the soul is to delight in excellence?  Beauty feeds the soul and it satisfies just as nutrition satisfies the body.

'Form follows function', effectively stifles beauty,
and the valuable aid of social graces.
So why the modern phenomenon: the naked baby?
Why allow the child as old as two or three to run around practically naked, perhaps with only a diaper?  Only decades ago, the mother or nurse took time each day not only to dress the baby beautifully, but also to hand feed it nutritiously and to read and play with it calmly and also to perform all the tedious tasks for which today we don't have the patience.

Instead, we marvel at our own "genius" to simply be satisfied with a naked baby.  The diaper can be changed easily without the tedious removal and replacement of clothing.  This phenomenon is more common in the Summer, but even in cold weather poor children are not dressed because we allow them to stay inside all day.  We throw junk food at them to keep them pacified.  It is too much work to go on outings and so we run the television shows all day...shows full of ugly images, immoral jokes and unhealthy stimulation of the brain.

This toxic lifestyle produces children who are addicted to massive stimulation and unable to calm down.  We turn to more quick "genius solutions"- drugs, stimulants and SSRI medications, behavioral therapy, psychiatric treatment- often because we are too lazy to commit to principle!  What a disgusting deterioration of culture!  And the child's soul?

We neglect the child precisely because we don't believe in his soul.  The immortal soul of the child is much more valuable than his body.  The soul is the place where grace originates and flows into our lives.  Culture is the human expression of grace, transformed into beauty for our senses to behold.  And so we wear clothing to govern Original Sin and our fallen nature.  But greater than this, dressing the baby is a way to express beauty and grace.  Beauty combats our fallen nature and aids us in our struggle against bad tendencies.

Culture is the human expression of grace,
transformed into beauty for our senses to behold.

There is this new virtue of "efficiency" that our generation loves to brag about.  But what has happened to beauty, a quality far more elevated and essential to our spiritual nature?  Just as form follows function (to borrow a term from architect Louis Sullivan) in modern clothing, so it does in other areas of culture- effectively stifling beauty, and the valuable aid of social graces.

The "minimalistic" style of today's homes contrasted against the warmth and beauty of homes hundreds of years ago speaks volumes to this fact, as does the eroding of speech and manners, music and art.

What can we do to restore the beauty of culture to our homes, our families and the streets of our towns?

As for me, I will begin by dressing my baby.  I always enjoyed it.  I even created Pinterest boards of adorable designs!  And therein lies the problem; the fast-paced distraction of modern life is just so suffocating to culture.


Monday, July 9, 2018

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog!  This is where I post pictures of a modest, feminine outfit to encourage women in the apostolate of femininity.  Thanks for visiting!  If you have pictures to share, please contact me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com.





Postcard of Annapolis harbor


Hello, dear readers!  I'm back again!  I hope that you all are very well and enjoying a beautiful wonderful Summer!  I have been having so much fun sewing that it seems like time is flying.  I am making dresses and skirts for local ladies and doing some alterations on the side and it's taking up all my spare time.  We were very blessed to be able to attend the TFP protest of the blasphemous exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC at the beginning of June and although it was a long day, it turned out to be an exciting outing for our family.  We also went on vacation back in June which was very nice for the children.  Deep Creek Lake, Maryland has a gorgeous little beach that absolutely delighted their increasingly adventurous spirits!




Deep Creek Lake, MD



NYC





Catholics praying outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art!





The fountains that kept us cool on a very hot day.












Back home, spending time on the porch!






The kids made fun of Henry's adorable outfit I made!




It's good to be back and I'll make another promise to keep up this blog a bit more in between the designing schemes.  Speaking of which, here are a few pictures of my latest dresses...we have yet to see if any of them make it into my shop!










Neckline needs raised a tad I know. :(  Everything falls lower on me than the pattern pictures...














I like this dress, it reminds me of a ballerina!








THANKS FOR VISITING!

Monday, May 14, 2018

A Weekend In Feminine Dress: Happy Mother's Day!

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog.  Every Monday I post pictures of myself or a volunteer wearing a modest, feminine outfit including where it was purchased in order to encourage the apostolate of feminine dress.  If you would like to submit your photos, please contact me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com.  Thank you!



Happy Mother's Day to my readers!  I hope you had a wonderful celebration of the great vocation of motherhood yesterday.  We visited all our family and had a great time!

I have been sewing a lot and have some plans to add more dresses to my etsy shop soon!  I am mostly busy doing local work right now.  We are also working on finishing up Tom's school year this week.


Here is what I wore yesterday!  The blueberry linen skirt is available in my shop!  I love it more every time I wear it!  There is a slight stretch in the material which makes it very comfortable and functional as well as classic.















Cardigan- Gabe's
Skirt- My Shop!
Shoes- Consignment
Pearls- Gift







THANKS FOR VISITING!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Shop!

More sizes now available at my SHOP!

And a peak at what's being added on Thursday:



















Monday, April 23, 2018

A Weekend In Feminine Dress: Spring!

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog.  Every Monday I post pictures of myself or a volunteer wearing a modest, feminine outfit including where it was purchased in order to encourage the apostolate of feminine dress.  If you would like to submit your photos, please contact me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com.  Thank you!


After a couple more snowflakes last week, I think it's safe to say that Spring is finally here!  Today we are enjoying absolutely gorgeous weather and the kids have been outside all morning!  I am going to try to serve dinner on the porch tonight...


I am STILL going to be listing some Summer skirts in my etsy shop!!  Hopefully this week!  But I'll let you all know of course.

I thought the girls looked cute today so am going to share what they're wearing (plus Oliver for an extra special bonus!):














THANKS FOR VISITING!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sweeping the Way of Humility

I've been sweeping the floor a lot since Henry began eating more foods.  He is a very strong-willed baby.  He takes a small taste of everything I put on his tray and promptly begins throwing what he doesn't like (usually a vegetable) over the side of his high chair, looking at me with an ornery wrinkled nose.  He is one!  And he is so bad!

It makes me laugh at least for now, and I get out the broom and begin to sweep the floor yet again.  I love to sweep the floor because it makes me think of Our Lady sweeping the floor at Nazareth.  Repetitively sweeping the floor encourages me to meditate on a very powerful life lesson: the need to take responsibility and clean up our past before we can move on.

I used to consider cleaning the kitchen floor the most awful chore of all.  With many babies, it gets so dirty so fast!  But then I thought about what other people do.  My husband deals with complicated machinery every day; politicians consider how to prevent wars and resolve problems of national or international significance; soldiers enter situations that endanger their lives; priests are responsible for the salvation of souls...  Surely sweeping the floor is not something that justifies stress or the right to say I am busy!

Lots of people today want to be the one who is "so busy" or the one who is "so stressed".  Do we actually deserve that distinction though, or are we just not handling our jobs well?

I am too often among the latter.  I get stressed out about messes; I get overwhelmed with homeschooling; I can't keep up preparing meals.  But these tasks are so minor in the realm of things and I do not want to be among the spoiled generation.

Yes, I have heard stories of college students who "can't handle" their lives and their "workloads".  There are suicidal teenagers who are overburdened with social stress or addicted to the violent stimulation of video games.  How does this happen?  Could it be because we put a little- or way too much- emphasis on ourselves?

A painful truth: we don't all deserve to be the superior.  Our generation is narcissistic.  We are stupid enough to believe what our parents told us: that we are special, we are smart, we are beautiful and we deserve the world...

My parent's friends who are in their fifties and sixties always wear a smile and say the family is doing great, everyone is handling life just fine.  Yet those of the next generation enter the room with faces of martyrs, dragging along their children, complaining to anyone who will listen about staying up all night with the baby and how hard it is to get everyone dressed.  Now I know these things can be difficult; I complain about them myself way too much.  But did my Mom?

The truth is, she didn't.  The older generation is tougher, more able to handle life because they just accept it's not about constant happiness.  Discipline is their tool and ingenuity is at their disposal.  They work and don't complain, they make the best of things and don't complain.  I admire this and though I am far from there, I am striving for it.

At least I can say that I will forever be happy to sweep the floor.  I will try to imitate Our Blessed Mother and her extreme example of modesty and humility.  This state of contentment is a perfect environment for purity to flourish.  I will think of those who have greater vocations and be grateful for the littleness of my own.  After all, it is all I can do to try to keep up and I want to be able to someday do it well.




WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Monday, April 9, 2018

A Study of My Children!

Of our five children, three are extraverted in temperament which is overwhelming at times for me and my husband who are definitely quiet people.  But it is exactly how our family is meant to be and it fascinates me more everyday to see the development of little people and the different chemistry forming between them.

Our family is Irish, German and Polish from my husband and English, Scottish, Slovak and Polish on my side and of course very American too, so our children are an interesting combination of tendencies from these heritages...

The only obvious German influence in my husband is that he is very smart mechanically and needs his sleep!  Oliver has definitely inherited both these traits.  The other German tendency is to efficiency, to get right to the point, especially in Thomas, Beatrice and Becky.  I think this is American though as well.  The Polish influence seems to be that we are political, traditional and tend to be homebodies for sure.  The Irish (which I like to criticize since I am not) is the family-friendly easy going ambiance that is okay with messy.  I told my husband that it must be Irish that he is fine with 3 babies in our bed or grew up with 11 people using 1 bathroom.  But he lives in the moment, he doesn't stress, he figures things out and I wish so much sometimes that I was like this too!   He is often a better homemaker than I am, as much as I hate to admit it.  In our children: Thomas is an absolute Irish showboat and Becky has the beautiful hospitable nature.  The Irish can be independent, rebellious and flamboyant (and that's hard for me because I like quiet, tradition and orderliness).  My husband does not have these bad tendencies at all possibly because he is so phlegmatic, but I see them in the children already!  He is naturally composed and very calm which is the greatest attribute I need in him.  The English and Scottish has strongly taken root in me...I like structure, propriety and politeness, gossip like a British drama, have a distance and coldness without meaning to, am slightly territorial and I am naturally frugal like both my Polish and my Scottish Grandma.  I have also inherited the gloominess, negativity and criticism of the Czech/Slovak/Polish stereotype just like all my Slovak Uncles which is funny because I appreciate it sometimes!  And yes, combined with my melancholic temperament I usually look on the dark side and love to overanalyze.










Our oldest, Thomas, has a temperament that is melancholic/choleric and I admire his ability to convince himself easily of the truth.  He does not worry much although he looks to understand everything, which can be frustrating at six years old!  I feel some pressure to explain things properly to him and in a way that encourages his natural tendency to marvel at the Truth.  He easily takes charge but is usually very dreamy and emotional, especially when he is tired and this is probably going to be difficult for him throughout his life since he can't help but feel everything so deeply.

Beatrice is definitely the most opposing temperament of her parents; she is the exact opposite of my husband.  She is choleric; determined, brave, confident, argumentative, loud, strong-willed, in charge...  I knew she was choleric when I found myself saying in desperation fifty times a day, "Beatrice, stop yelling!"  She bangs doors when she enters and breaks dishes often.  I admire her most of all the children for her energy and strength!  She can do anything if she believes in it and never wastes any time getting into action (I am opposite in that I imagine all the possible disasters until they paralyze me into never getting started)!  She is so independent and defensive of her beliefs and her brothers and sisters.  This is a great quality of a Christian in today's world and one that I wish I naturally had!

Rebecca is our sanguine, happy-go-lucky daughter.  She is definitely the sunshine on the gloomy introverts. She will almost always enter a room giggling about anything.  I am so grateful to God for making the sanguine baby for our family!  I get frustrated with her more than any other child however, because she cannot understand the deep, detailed and methodical approach of my melancholic mind.  For her, I need to make things fun.  "Do you want to take a bath with lots of pretty bubbles?"  Instead of, "Time for bath and bed.  You are all too grumpy!" which somehow motivates Tom and makes Beatrice yell, "No we are not!"

Oliver is our phlegmatic which I really think can be a very masculine temperament.  He makes no fuss and yet is attached to his way of doing things.  He is surprisingly smart to understand things, but slow.  He is always calm and quiet, but gets discouraged easily and might be tempted to give up on things or be disloyal.  He is not motivated so we have to encourage him a lot.  He prefers to sit all day and watch the wheels turn on his toy trains or throw rocks into the creek (I think he would continue for hours if I let him).  I am convinced that someday he should take up fishing, he is so well suited to it!  He is very content in his own environment and a constant reminder to me that happiness is right here around us.

Henry is probably choleric because he reacts quickly, yells a lot, is very friendly and talkative, enjoys new things.  I do think he has a sanguine side too but he's not as sweet natured as Becky so probably a future fighter with his sister Beatrice.  He looks at me with a wrinkled nose because he is always so frustrated that he can't get what he wants now!  Sometimes he looks like he thinks he could do it better than me (he is 1) which is definitely a choleric trait!




If you have read this far, you're a real fiend!  I would love to hear what you know about temperaments and your advice about how they relate to one another.  It is so fascinating and fun to see the development of my children and also a great responsibility to figure out how to guide them!

A Weekend In Feminine Dress: New Blouse

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog.  Every Monday I post pictures of myself or a volunteer wearing a modest, feminine outfit including where it was purchased in order to encourage the apostolate of feminine dress.  If you would like to submit your photos, please contact me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com.  Thank you!



I am so sorry I never shared Easter pictures last week!  It's a lot harder than it seems to get any pictures of myself these days!  I hope you all had a blessed Easter!  We hosted both of our families and I made a 20lb ham.  Thank goodness ham is easy.  I still had to put lots of thought into it and am relieved it turned out.  And it was so nice to be able to have an egg hunt in the yard with cousins!

Henry turned 1 year old yesterday!  I still cannot believe how fast his first year flew by.  He is so independent, strong-willed and adventurous; it's actually funny sometimes.  He thinks he can do things better than me and he can't even talk!  Definitely a choleric child and obviously we think he's the best.

The blouse I am wearing in these pictures is going to be available in my shop this week so stay tuned!






Big one!






What I wore yesterday:



















I'M WEARING:

Blouse- I made!
Skirt- Hand-me-down
Shoes- Consignment
Cardigan- Eddie Bauer










THANKS FOR VISITING!


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