Come to the Catholic Conference 4 Moms


Catholic Conference 4 Moms is an online conference that you can access next week, March 6-9. From the comfort of your home you can choose from a wide variety of speakers and topics to help you grow in your faith, love of motherhood and (hopefully) sanity!

Click here for more information and to register for this free conference. Many thanks to Tami Kiser for all her hard work in putting this together!

Downton Abbey: Moments of Grace

Downton Abbey, Season Five Episode Eight. Shall we?

oooh, it's that time of the week when Rachel does her ONE post!

oooh, it’s that time of the week when Rachel does her ONE post!

To me, the show was all about pivotal grace. A-ha moments and opportunities to do the right thing. So much beauty, I loved every minute.

First off, Mary was not nearly as horrible this week as last. Yes, the show started with Mary observing Edith’s mothering style. “She thinks she invented motherhood.” It was mean, but also funny. Of course, if Mary understood where Edith was coming from with her affection for Marigold she would either be a) much more compassionate or b) much less compassionate. You never know with Mary.

“Love can’t conquer all, but it can conquer quite a lot.” Another perfect moment from Violet. It put into perspective that what Rose and Atticus are about to step into is doable, despite everything they are up against (as an aside: I absolutely wanted to name one of the boys Atticus. That would have been so great.).

Love conquers all.

Love conquers all.

Two words for Rose’s mother, Susan: Day. Ummmm.

Girl you are a hot mess. I’d be interested to delve into her issues at some point. Did she have a rotten childhood? Did she never really love Shrimpie to begin with? Sue, where is all this ugly coming from, and what can we do to help?

I'm unhappy, in case you haven't noticed.

I’m unhappy, in case you haven’t noticed.

I very much enjoyed that moment of Susan calling everyone’s attention and trying to ruin the day, only to have Attitcus’ mama say, “It’s okay, no worries at all just sit down and zip it dearie.” I loved how that moment of grace was able to instantly diffuse the situation.

That's what I thought you said.

That’s what I thought you said Susan.

The wedding was lovely, but I was surprised by the lack of pomp and circumstance. Would the history buffs please step in — I always love hearing from people who can explain the time. Were weddings a more subdued affair during this time, or does this have to do with the difference of religion?

The dinner party before the wedding celebrations was fascinating. It was interesting to watch a group of people trying to throw barbs and maintain dignity all at once. Funny and intense. And I especially loved the scene with the four “sibs” at the end of the night making plans to have lunch together later in the week. So sweet (even though lunch ended up being derailed by the sinister ways of one psychotic mother–of-the-bride).

Hey there, me again still feeling sad.

hey there, me again.

I just love Mrs. Patmore. I think we say this every week. But it’s true. She’s THE BEST. This week, her emotions about Archie and then Daisy, it was so sad and sweet. But how perfect of her to honor Lord Grantham’s request that she attend the ceremony and her gentle obedience to his wishes ended up honoring her. And I’m relieved Daisy isn’t going anywhere just yet. “LIFE’S full of possibilities,” Mrs. Patmore tells Daisy as the girl laments her small world. I love it.


But on that note, how fascinating to watch Daisy’s world expand before her eyes. How interesting to think of her world before she began to learn to read and write. And she’s soaking up every minute.

Do I hear wedding bells in the future for Mr. Molesley and Miss Baxter? How sweet would that be? Very.

baxter m

Could this be love?

Do we have any theories on whether Miss Baxter has a history with Mr. Greene? I think someone mentioned that…I hope we find out the answer very soon. As in, Mr. Fellowes please let’s not drag this story line out after this season. More romance and history, fewer terrifying suspect line ups. I got sick, scary feelings in my stomach for Anna. She’s in jail, where she will likely sit between the end of this season and the beginning on the next.

On a lighter note, there was perfect closure with Robert and Cora, putting the tension behind. Robert acknowledged his mistake, and his willingness and desire to sell the painting showed just how clearly he sees that. He loves his wife, but in the hustle and bustle of life, he misses opportunities to see truth. This is true not only of the situation with Cora but of Edith and Marigold. So many moments where he almost sees what is right in front of him, only to be distracted or interrupted.



Finally, there was such a sense of hope this episode, of the importance of having hope. “Take courage, we must always travel in hope.”

Other thoughts:

*Did Isis die? Please inform.

*Carson and Mary: such a sweet connection. I’d like to think that the servants and masters had something to show for all their years of sharing life with each other. I’m sure it wasn’t true in every case but I’d imagine real family was built between upstairs and down.

*Tom, don’t leave. Please. Trust us, you’ve got a good thing where you are!

*Miss Dinker, what a mess. I mean, I like that you put Spratt in his place, but the open bar you created for yourself at Freelance Footman’s expense? Rude.

*Thomas, you have redeemed yourself. Now keep your mouth shut and DO GOOD. No more badness, please.

*Will there be love for Isobel? Is Lord Merton worth fighting for? The good news is: if Isobel decides to wage war with those bratty sons of his, she has some good team members on her side.


See you next week, dear ones


Downton: Queen of Mean and a Dying Dog

Can I just say for starters that my take-away from last night’s show is this: Mary is a wench.

mary hair

Why you gotta be so rude?

She is. She’s terrible and last night, I didn’t like her real much.

I know when we first met Mary that was her M.O., she was selfish and unkind and a Grade AAA++++ JERK.  But then I forgot about that part of her personality, started to see a more loving, caring side of her. She fell in love with Matthew, she settled down. The rock that she had for a heart was replaced by some semblance of peace and joy.

Last night? Girl, nah.

When it comes to Edith, Mary turns ugly and cruel. What’s going on? You’d think after all the ups and downs in Mary’s life, all the excitement and joy and adventure, she at the very least would have forgotten her extreme agitation with her sister. It’s not like they ever see each other or anything (Mary and Edith: y’all aren’t sharing a storyline, it’s all good, do your thing, co-exist).

Did anyone else notice that Mary has more concern and love for dying Isis than her own sister? It was pathetic and sad.

So that was what I got out of last night’s show. Yay, Mary! You got your way. You got rid of Tony and “got” Charles (whatever that means, now that he’s off for a year) and she just was so cruel and full of herself.

In other news: before the big meltdown with Larry (aka Life of the Party), I was feeling so sad for Granny. Her good, good friend, moving on. Of course they’ll still have time for puzzles and tea, won’t they? But then Larry went and got all socially-awkward on everyone and I wonder if this union will really take place. Of course Lord Merton is still for it, but will Isobel be willing to push through her feelings of embarrassment and whatever else Larry’s diatribe is sure to have stirred up (or maybe she can see him for what he is: a big fat jerk).

larry merton

Oh my golly Larry you did NOT just say that…

The real news last night is this: Cora is a rockstar. She just is. She handled the situation with Marigold and Edith like the strong, capable woman she is. Granny and Rosamund should have involved her from the beginning, and I’m glad Cora pointed out, so honestly, that she’s not sure she can ever trust them again. Why in the world wouldn’t they include her?

Of course up until now I assumed the secrecy and side-stepping Cora and Robert was simply because of Edith’s true birthmother? But last night those two made such of point of referring to themselves as her parents (“I’m her MOTHER”) that now I’m doubting our theory. But you never know…


Enough said.

Also: Rosamund seems genuinely jealous of Cora.

The good news is Cora found out, got involved and is going to change this situation for the best. I hope Anna keeps her nose out of things, I can’t for the life of me figure out why she’d go running to Mrs. Hughes with her observations. That was weird. I mean, I get it, but it was weird. So many secrets. Wooooooooooo…….

In the game of Tony vs Charles, well, they’re both losers. I guess love is a battlefield and marriage is some kind of strange arrangement and I hope Tony finds happiness with his consolation prize (who is actually first prize if you ask me). I actually admire that about Mabel Lane Fox: she knows what she wants, and she can acknowledge that. She’s not playing games. She wants Tony, she knows where Tony’s at, she can say it all out loud and say she’ll wait patiently.


I am Mabel freaking Lane Fox. Don’t mess with me.

I also didn’t like how Mary had zero interest in her father’s opinion on a future husband. He offers his advice and she’s all “nah, I don’t wanna hear it.” As if I needed another detail to add to the column of Reasons Mary’s a Nitwit. (I just don’t remember disliking her so fiercely up until last night!)

“A lack of compassion is as vulgar as an excess of tears.” Preach it Granny, school your bratty little granddaughter.

And finally, the award for Man with Most Understatements of the Night goes to Lord Grantham…


“Isis is feeling not too clever,” he observes, as the poor dog lays in front of the fireplace like a rare imported rug.

That was gut-wrenching. Dying of cancer? How did they even diagnose that? But wasn’t Cora sweet to bring the dog into their bed. I won’t lie, I shed a few tears.

Finally, the storyline with Daisy and the farmer and Molesley…I think it will be interesting. I’m not totally there yet, but warming up to it all. I’m mostly fascinated by how dependent Daisy’s future is on the current leadership. It’s interesting to think how these servants lives were changing so much in this time, and how the elected officials could impact that.

Last note: Goodwill Tour. Why do I have that in my notes? Please advise!

Downton Abbey, 5.6: Closure and Honesty

Downton Abbey, Season Five Episode Six…Wow! From our fingertips to Julian’s ears. I was complaining last week about the slow pace and lack of closure and suddenly, click clack cluck, the sound of drawers and doors and windows everywhere. Lots of CLOSURE. My head was spinning with the details revealed and plot lines advanced.

Thank you, kind sir.


You complete me.

I need to start this post by directly quoting my notes from last night: “Tom’s the Best.”

He’s just always there for his people, the Crawleys. Even if he doesn’t really see them as his people they are and he loves them and he better not ever leave.

“Talk to me,” he says to Edith as she is struggling with her crazy. He’s just so good. Thank you Tom for being you.


You also complete me.

So Gregson is dead, killed by “Hitler and his band of thugs” (umm, understatement of the century, Robbie). And Tom is there to listen to Edith and try and talk a bit of sense into her. Which she’s not having. Is Edith crazy? I mean, of course she is. But are her actions totally unbelievable?

On the one hand, what she did to Mrs. Drewe was unthinkable and horrific. How terrible to rip this sweet baby out of the arms of the only mother she’s ever known. Of course that was painful to watch, I couldn’t believe it, who would do such a thing?

And the truth is, plenty of women would and have. So I needed a minute to step back from my feelings of sadness, of disbelief and anger at Edith — to see her side of things. This baby is all she has in the world, in a way, especially with the news of The Editor’s death. When I put myself in her position for a minute, of course I could see what she was doing and why. Maybe starting afresh, a new city with a new career, with her own resources and status, will give her what she needs.

Edith has too much of a victim mentality and I hope that by being proactive in her life, instead of sitting back and being sad about how it’s turned out, she’ll find the peace and purpose she is so lacking (of course Jesus is the answer to all this, but you know, short of that maybe becoming a famous newspaper editor/single mother will do the trick). Bottom line: I’m upset about what she did to Mrs. Drewe, but I am a bit excited for her new chance at life.


Mother and child reunion

Having said all that, has anyone else noticed the wild-eyed looks Marigold gives Edith? It’s a little…disconcerting.

Oh Isis! What’s wrong with you? Please don’t die. Is a pedigreed puppy in the future for Lord Grantham? Will Isis be replaced? Will the priceless imported rugs be ruined?


They could call the puppy Rudy, in honor of trotting out younger, cuter cast members for ratings boosts.

You know who was really the star of the show this week? The MUSIC! I love the riff they play when something fashionable is taking place. Mary’s new ‘do! It’s works for her, thank goodness. There were several times in the show last night where the music was just so great.


You’re the best, Mary. Better than Mabel Lane Fox, and don’t you let us forget it.

Thomas! What a nice little turn of events. Thomas is saved, no more saline solutions, and he is treated with dignity and kindness by the doctor. And told to Do Good. Can he rise to the challenge? We ALL HOPE SO. I’d like to see Thomas turn a corner in goodness and let someone else (aka NO ONE) step in to be the jerk. Can’t we just avoid having a character we all hate? Is that possible?


YES YOU. Behave. We mean it.

“I have lived in such fear.”
“I’m so happy!”

These and many other quotes from last night’s show point to the importance of living in the light! I was so excited when Bates and Anna started just telling the truth. The freedom and relief they experienced, the joy in their marriage. They were bound up in fear of what they thought they knew — and none of it was the truth.


Free, At Last! For now…

Other notable moments:
*Mrs Patmore buying a rental property! I love this! How sweet for her to have this to look forward to…

*Carson and Mrs Hughes buying rental property? I triple love it! That was THE SWEETEST. Of course I’m sure they would get married and settle down and enjoy old, old age together. It’s going to be bliss.

*”To be unhappy in marriage is ill-bred.” One of the best lines of the evening.

*”Well played, Cora.” That line was from my husband, as we watched the scene between Cora and Robert play out. Well played, indeed.

*”Don’t you read my blog?” Me, to Paul, when he walked in with a zombied-out Thomas on screen and asked “what’s wrong with him?!” Babe! We have been discussing his ailments at length in the¬†combox…

*”All this endless thinking…it’s very overrated.” Granny, you are the best.

I’m missing something I’m sure…

The hour flew by and I’m excited for next week. You?


Wait! What?