A Quick Five: Nuns, Quitters and a Love for all Things British

Our life in five.

Minutes, that is.

I have a mother-in-law headed into town, an end-of-season basketball tournament and a huge 4-H competition for the kids coming up in the next few days. But, I kinda feel like it’s been forever since I just chatted about life here at Casa Whitaker.

First things first. It’s been, stressful, chaotic, blessed, full of activity and divine these past couple of months. I know, a lot of emotions in a short amount of time. I’m a deliverer.

– 1 –

Hanging with Ronald McDonald. Will’s high school sets aside a day during Catholic Schools Week for service (love that!) and his family group served the Ronald McDonald House here in Austin. Boy, that’s a charity that has our heart. When parents and families have a child in the hospital, but they find themselves far from home, the RMH provides them a place to stay, meals to eat and a place to unwind, largely for free. We’ve had so many friends be the beneficiaries of RMHC, and this house happens to be across the street from Luke’s NICU. It meant a great deal to have Will serve there. They had a great time cooking up lunch and Will was quite at home in that kitchen. Luke just happened to be with me, as was Gianna, so they had plenty of fun with all those high school kids.

RMHC, blog_8561

– 2 –

Grace abounds. More than a year ago, a friend began a ministry to serve those families in need of a leg up. The ministry provides a crock pot, recipes and ingredients to cook a meal while volunteers pick up and assemble all the food. We finally had a chance to dive in as volunteers last month and it’s turned into a beautiful monthly service project for our family. Well, Gianna isn’t a fan, but I think she’ll come around. If you live in Austin and you’re looking for a meaningful way to volunteer, check out Grace Ministries of Austin.

grace, blog_8764

– 3 –

The baby quit on me. And, after a few days, I think I’m doing okay. When Gianna first weaned, I cried my eyes out. Not pretty. And, I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t try a dozen or more times to get her to like me again. Ha! Some people just can’t take no for an answer. But as the hours have turned to days, the gratitude is taking hold over the sadness. I think I’ll always cherish and miss my nursing days with her, and all the others, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to bond with them in such a special way. No regrets!


– 4 –

Please, someone tell me this. I’m not the only one in early mourning that Downton Abbey is almost done, am I? The music, the dresses, Barrow’s scheming, the Dowager’s one-liners. How am I going to face a Monday without them? I may be in the minority here, but I have always loved Lady Mary. Well, her and Tom Branson. My two favorite characters, ever. The British accents don’t hurt, either. Thank goodness for this podcast.

– 5 –

Nuns and cookies make it all better. Right after John Paul’s birthday, our parish hosted the Pro-life Mass. It was a beautiful morning, made even more special because of these two ladies. I had the greatest photo on my fancy camera and then I promptly deleted it. For the love, Kathryn. Figure out technology. The iPhone snap will have to do. Sr. Anna Laura is obviously a pretty important person around here, being that we have our own Anna-Laura. We’ve known and loved her for years and she teaches over in Spring. Bridget and I met online (she’s the beauty behind the Bake at 350 blog which you need to be following, like yesterday). Believe it our not, her sister married my best guy friend from high school. Shut the front door. We finally became real-life friends. There was so much joy, so much faith and so many hugs shared that morning.

SAL, Bridget, K

sr anna laura, blog_8481

Oh, did I mention I gave up all drinks but water and milk this Lent? My 40 days is definitely filled with more sacrifices, prayer and alms giving than that, but y’all? I’m beginning to question my judgment. Happy hump day!


  1. Gina on February 17, 2016 at 9:06 am

    You look GORGEOUS in the picture of you with your friends! You eyes just sparkle with happiness! 🙂

    • Kathryn on February 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Oh thank you, Gina!

  2. Jenny on February 17, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Kathryn, Lady Mary + Branson…what do you think?? I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that they both have a little too much port at the Christmas party and end up locking lips and raising their kids as siblings. Because England!

    (seriously I love Lady Mary and Branson so much. And the race car driver is dull as dirt)

    • Kathryn on February 17, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      I’ve thought long and hard about that one – but I think it’s a union that would only serve to make me happy, not them. They are a beautiful brother-sister relationship and I fear that Mary may never find true love again. There was only one Matthew 😉

  3. Andrea on February 17, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    That service program sounds amazing! Helping families in poverty in such a personal level can bring real lasting change in their lives! I liked their Facebook page to keep updated. I gave up coffee and days like today are really tough! I had to drink a Coke to make it through homework time/dinner prep- and I don’t even like Coke! But I do love Jesus more than coffee so I can do it!

    • Kathryn on February 24, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      High fives!

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