7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 73)

March 19, 2010 | 40 comments

— 1 —

As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, our El Paso vacation turned out to have much more excitement than we’d planned. Here’s the short version: My husband was out hiking in the Franklin Mountains State Park, and he climbed a rock wall that he thought was part of the trail. His first clue that it wasn’t part of the trail was that it was dangerously steep, though at that point he was too high to safely go back down. His second clue was when he got to the top and saw not the continuation of the trail that he expected to find, but a 2, 000-foot sheer drop.

It was getting dark, he’d lost his water bottle in the climb and he wasn’t dressed for the below-freezing temperatures that would come at night. He called 911 from his cell phone and rescuers came to get him via helicopter. The whole thing even made the local news! Needless to say, we’re very happy to be safely back home.

— 2 —

Anna Mitchell and I had another fun discussion for the SonRise Morning Show the other day, this time about The Three Little Pigs and the spiritual life:

— 3 —

From the “weird medical conditions” file, it turns out that I have temporary lactose intolerance because of that insane stomach bug that hit our house a couple weeks ago. Evidently sometimes these things can deplete your natural supply of lactase, and it takes a few weeks for everything to get back to normal. Unfortunately I had forgotten this on our vacation, and one night I ate a bunch of stuff with cream in it. Let’s just say that I had a few hours to contemplate secondary lactose intolerance in the bathroom in the middle of the night.

— 4 —

A friend and I sometimes joke that God has predetermined the amount and type of penance you need to do during Lent, and he will present you with opportunities to do so, whether or not you signed up for it. I find it amusing, then, that when I was praying about what to give up for Lent, I kept being drawn to the idea of giving up dairy — so much so that I had a couple discussions with my husband about it. I eventually decided, “Nah.” Per #3, when I was looking up the amount of time these temporary lactose intolerance things tend to last, I laughed when I saw that I can expect it to end right around the end of Lent.

— 5 —

I am so excited that Dr. Janet Smith is coming to Austin to speak. Unfortunately it’s not in the budget for us to go see her, but I think it’s great that our diocese is bringing her out. If you haven’t heard her “Contraception: Why Not?” speech, I cannot recommend highly enough that you give it a listen — here’s a link to listen free online (it’s on the right-hand side, about half way down the page), or you can get a free CD of it here. It’s fascinating. I’d read the text but only heard the audio for the first time the other day, and I was amazed at how much it added to hear it as opposed to just seeing it written.

— 6 —

Here’s my latest recommendation for a great web developer: Kickstart Media. I recently talked to those guys about the possibility of doing a site for me in the future, and was very impressed with their business. Their sites have a rare combination of being beautiful but also easy to navigate (some examples here and here and here), and they power each site with the WordPress engine so that clients can make their own updates. I’m receiving no compensation for saying this, I just wanted to pass on that info since I sometimes get asked for web dev recommendations!

— 7 —

We’re having our family portrait taken this afternoon, and the only time that works will involve waking the kids up early from naps. At least that doesn’t have EPIC FAIL written all over it. I’m going to review this great list of portrait tips and pray for the best.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Tami @ The Next Step
2. Michelle Potter (The Unexpectedly Pregnant Edition)
3. Kathy @ The Political Housewyf
4. Jessica Snell @ Homemaking Through the Church Year
5. Angie @ Many Little Blessings
6. Ute @ FlowersRoundTheCross
7. Elizabeth Mahlou
8. Saila @ Considering the Lilies
9. Sarah Reinhard
10. NCSue
11. George @ Convert Journal
12. Kerrie @ The Forgotten Kitchen
13. Alexis@Texas Twosome
14. Anne Bender
15. MommyMonkey @ Mommy Business
16. Pam@mosaicsynapse
17. Marie @ Filling My Family
18. Erin @ Seven Little Australians Plus One
19. Nichole @ 40 days of
20. Katherine @ The Domestic Church
21. Nadja @ Patch O’ Dirt Farm
22. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
23. Carol’s Corner
24. Mrs. Bubbles
25. Sarah @ Passing for Normal
26. Chelsea @ Roots & Rings
27. Joy @ joy in the morning
28. Janet in Toronto
29. Elena @MyDomestic Church
30. Phyllis @ Life on Windy Ridge
31. ThatMarriedCouple
32. Linda @ Curious Notions
33. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time
34. Milehimama (Mama Says)
35. RedHeadTalkyOne
36. violingirl
37. Sheila @ Seasoned Joy
38. Lucy The Valiant
39. Tracy@The Secret of Living
40. Jim
41. Jamie @ A Rough Diamond
42. Alice @ Accidental Grad Student
43. Kim @talklesssaymore
44. Sara @ AShowerOfRoses
45. Dakotapam
46. Emily @ Addlebook Rambles
47. byzymom
48. Rose @ Adventures In Savings
49. annies home –
50. Terri @ The Very Latest Thing
51. Sarah @ Simple Pleasures
52. majellamom
53. Lindsey @ Love is Triune
54. Stephanie @ CreatureBug
55. Mama Fuss
56. Mary @Hope Echoes
57. Rachel @ Testosterhome
58. SpitFire
59. Sarah @ Fumbling Toward Grace
60. Just a Minute
61. Heather of the EO
62. michiel@ Landscapes and Portraits
63. Emily @MySongofJoy
64. Emily
65. Sara
66. Sara @ Savvy Stitcher
67. Sherry@ Chocolate for Your Brain!
68. Salome Ellen
69. The Praying Mom
70. Esther @ The Mommy Diaries
71. Catherine @ Adventures in Domesticity
72. Liz @ Random Thoughts of a Lutheran Geek
73. Maggie @ From the Heart
74. Jenny@ Home is where
75. Dorian Speed @ Scrutinies
76. Christian H @ The Thinking Grounds
77. Diane @ At Least Three
78. TwoSquareMeals
79. Melanie @ The Wine Dark Sea
80. Lisa@Golden Grasses
81. Amy
82. Judy
83. rachieannie @ Montana Missionary
84. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary
85. Amy Jane (UntanglingTales)
86. Kate @ La Vita Bella

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  1. Tami Boesiger

    I hope the family pics turn out great. Think positive!

  2. Michelle Potter

    Wow, that's some vacation excitement with your husband! And hilarious about the Lent / no dairy thing! (But sorry you forgot and had stomach troubles!)

    Have a great weekend!

    OK, gotta tell you. Are you aware that your spam word verification right now is "dorks"? That is just too funny! LOL.

  3. Kathy

    #1- Yikes! I hope your husband is none the worse for wear.

    #4- For the first five years of our marriage, whenever someone asked what I was giving up for Lent, I said, "My husband." Thanks to the Navy, one or both of us was at sea or away at school every year for Lent.

    Darn it, I actually have to plan something for Lent nowadays!

  4. Carrien

    #6 just gave me a huge sigh of relief. We have a volunteer who is making an image design into a working site for us and he was turning it into a wordpress platform as well. I've been a bit nervous about that. because I've never heard of it.

    Thanks for unintentionally soothing my nerves. 🙂

  5. GrandmaK

    Enjoy your adventure in "Family Pics." I have fond memories of those times and now that they are all scattered in many places it is a dream fondly wished that one day we can all be together at the same time and have that pic taken again! God bless!!! Cathy

  6. Anne

    Thanks Jennifer!

  7. Pam Elmore

    Interesting idea about the predetermined amount of penance… I'll have to think about that one.

    Either way, I know God will walk with you through it. As always, I appreciate your honesty.

  8. 40daysof

    Life is never dull at your place, even when you go on vacation!

  9. Debbie

    Am TOTALLY with you on Janet Smith's "Contraception: Why Not?" CD. EVERYONE should hear it!

  10. Suburban Correspondent

    I had no idea there were mountains in Texas.

    And taking probiotics (acidophilus, etc) speeds up your stomach's recovery…

  11. Katie

    Glad your husband was okay!!

  12. That Married Couple

    Oh goodness, I'm so glad you and your husband are both okay! I did giggle at #4 though.

    And Janet Smith's cd is awesome. I think there are two versions, and the newer one is better (it's the only one I listened to). That's one of the things that really convinced my husband and I to go for NFP.

  13. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time

    It might not make you feel better, but last year when it was time for kids' pictures, Julianna broke her glasses the day before. Sigh.

  14. Jim

    I'm so glad your husband came out of his adventure unscathed.

  15. Jamie

    I saw that on Twitter about your husband and almost thought it was a joke! Good luck with the pictures and I have to say that I agree with you on #4. This has been a Lenten adventure for me!

  16. Phyllis

    #3 – Oh my, how the Holy Spirit works in strange ways. I've been having annoying symptoms for a couple months, but never tried to track them down. At your mention of lactose intolerance this morning, a lightbulb went off in my head: I have been eating quite a lot of dairy products for the last couple months, something I have never done before, and the symptoms certainly match the lists I'm finding on the internet. God must have known I needed to hear from you today…

  17. thecoolmom

    It's my first time to join in, but I always enjoy reading these when I run across them.

    It sounds like you had some crazy adventures on your vacation. I bet everyone remembers that one for a long time!

  18. talklesssaymore

    Thanks for the link on Contraception: Why Not? lecture. I had never read/heard it before but it's a lot of the things I've been thinking and connecting the dots in my head lately.

    Nice to hear it so coherantly put together by someone else.

  19. shopannies

    Well sounds like your week has been very busy Glad that your husband was rescued safely

  20. Anne Marie

    Oh man. No footage of the dramatic rescue by helicopter high atop the mountain.

  21. Tres Angelas

    After the mountain rescue, I don't think y'all will be able to refer to absent-minded situational absurdities as "Jen moments" anymore.

  22. Stephanie

    Good luck on your family portraits! Waking early from naps is at least better than skipping naps, which I did ONCE. I learned from that experienced 🙂

  23. Peter and Nancy

    Be very careful about when/how you re-introduce dairy. It may not end on the textbook deadline . . . but you can use Lactaid for a while if you're not tolerating dairy as quickly as you'd hoped! Also, when you do re-introduce it, yogurt with active cultures is a better bet than straight milk. Most recipes can easily accommodate soy milk (or vanilla soy milk for sweet things like pancakes). Best wishes!


  24. Tom

    Per #3- this happened to me when I was in graduate school about 10 years ago. I had this crazy stomach virus, then I couldn't drink milk or have ice cream anymore after it. I am still mostly lactose intolerant, although I would recommend that you take lactobacillus acidophilus and see if that helps out. Hoefully it is only temporary for you.

  25. Lucy

    This isn't a comment about your post per se, so you don't need to publish it. I just wanted to invite you to "Kids say the darndest things Friday" blog hop at:


    We’d love to have you join the fun and share your stories. I’m sure that you have some real gems!

    In Christ,

  26. Dorian Speed

    Wow – that is quite an adventure you crazy kids had. I loved last week's "On a Boat" reference, by the way.

    Best of luck on the family portrait. My daughter fell off a bunk bed and cut a huge gash right down the middle of her forehead about three weeks before our big beach family portrait. It is amazing what they can do with Photoshop these days.

  27. Anonymous

    #3 I thought it was just a weird quirk of my body. I found that putting yogurt (with live cultures) on my cheerios for breakfast instead of milk helped me to get back to drinking milk quicker. After a week or so, I was back to milk on the cereal, and after another week or so 2-3 14 oz glasses of milk a day. But I wonder how many people become lactose intolerant after a stomach bug and never figure out how to get back to diary products.


  28. Kate J

    Just a note on the dairy-intolerance thing: our daughter would have this happen after having a stomach virus (several times over a few years), and it turned out not to be the lactose (milk sugar), but the milk protein she was reacting to. Still required 4-6 weeks of avoiding dairy to build up whatever digestive enzyme that was depleted. It was a clue when the Lactaid wasn't helping.

  29. Laughing Lioness

    We've hiked the Franlins in El Paso. They are awesome- in every way! So glad your dh made it home safely. You always have the most interesting stories to tell = )! Hope your stomach is back to normal soon.

  30. Kaitlin

    Love the story about your predestine penance! God knows what he's doing!

  31. Anonymous

    Both my husband and daughter are lactose intolerant. For the past year or so they have been using a product called Digestive Advantage Lactose Intolerance Therapy. You just take one "pill" a day and you are good to go all day. You can buy it at Wal_mart or drugs stores, or order it from Amazon. It has made a world of difference for both of them.

  32. TRS

    Oh lordy… if you want good pictures.. please don't follow that overbearing mother's advice.

    I work at one of those studios… and from what she wrote… I'd be tempted to toss her out on her ear.
    I'll give you much better tips that that!!!


  33. Sandy C.

    Funny you mention God knowing what we need to give up during Lent and He arranges it if we don't. I was going to make some food changes but then life got crazy and I wound up out of town making emergency long-term care plans for my Dad. I haven't yet told my parents I'm planning to convert to Catholicism and in the midst of everything going on, just ate whatever was there instead of trying to explain. (Lame excuse, I am well aware.) Fast forward three weeks and we were getting ready to leave for vacation when I had the worst stomach pains in my life. I self-diagnosed gallstones but not sure yet. I could not tolerate coffee, fried foods, dairy, rich or spicy foods, or more than a very small amount of any food without another attack so I quickly changed my ways and vacation came off as planned.

    Hmmm. I hadn't yet thought of God making sure I made my Lenten sacrifices one way or another….

  34. Christine

    Holy Smokes…so glad your husband is ok! That is a crazy story!

  35. Kathleen's Catholic

    So glad to have found your blog, via Convert Journal. I have relatives who are atheists, and I'd love to help them find a way to believing. Maybe your materials can help me. Thanks! I'm looking forward to following you. 🙂

  36. 'Becca

    I'm glad your husband is safe!

    I read "Contraception: Why Not?" and I have to ask if you really believe this:
    NFP doesn't say no to God because God has said, "I want to be there at the fertile time. I made the fertile time for bringing forth new human life. If you engage in the sexual act, I want My option of making new human life. But I gave you a half of a month, three quarters of a month, where you're infertile and if you want to pursue the bonding power of the sexual act without babies, do it then. I'm asleep. I'm out of town. I don't expect to be invited at that time. I'm not around. You can't even make Me come. I won't come. I can't. I made your body in a certain way."

    Seriously? Catholics believe that God CANNOT cause you to conceive during a phase of your cycle when you expect to be infertile? Catholics believe that an act of passionate intimacy can EVER take place without the presence and involvement of God?

    I believe that with God all things are possible. I also believe that there is never a time when God is absent from anywhere. But I'm an Episcopalian.

  37. Camille

    Thank you so much for leading me to Janet Smith's site and her audio on "Contraception: Why Not?". Her information was well presented, thorough, and inspirational. Life changing for sure. I can't tell you how useful your blog is for a Catholic who is rediscovering her Church one day at a time. Seeing the Church that I've been a part of since birth through the eyes of someone new to the faith is wonderful and inspiring. Thank you!

  38. Dustmite

    Dr. Janet Smith is awesome! I stumbled on a website that had an early version of "Contraception: Why Not?" and I enjoyed reading it very much. I then grabbed the free cd (if you pay for it, you can usually get the updated cd) and equally enjoyed listening to that.

    I then contacted Dr. Janet Smith and requested permission to post a copy of "Contraception: Why Not?" but asked if I could break it up into multiple posts – which she agreed to so long as I used her newer material which she included in her reply.

    So, I had another enjoyable and thought provoking read this time of her newer material.

    I am not Catholic, but there is two Catholic speakers I would love to hear in person, Dr. Janet Smith and Fr. John Corapi.

  39. AB

    My little claim to fame is that around 1990 my boyfriend (now husband) and I took my cousin and her boyfriend to dinner and a movie. They were freshmen in college and I had just started grad school there. Her boyfriend at the time was Larry Page (founder of Google and now bajillionaire) and he was a supergeek even then. They (obviously) did not marry and today she is a (poor) archeologist. So we always joke that Larry owes us dinner and a movie!

  40. big sky

    My only claim to fame happens to be my prized possession. My grandpa was a teamster in Chicago and when he and my grandma were at at a union banquet, Jimmy Hoffa was walking through the crowd. Gram grabbed the first thing she could for him to sign- my baby picture. How cool is that?

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