This is my Camino. Welcome.

Feelingz dump ROUND TWO

Yesterday’s here.
Questions from here.

17. What was your biggest regret?

I strive to be a woman of few regrets.

However, I did not perform an inspirational interpretive dance with a one Friar Thomas Fetz at the New Year’s Eve Talent Show.


18. What would you be happy to do all over again?

I’ll make a list:

  1. I once hosted a summer-night party because I bought a new cheese tray
  2. I once danced with a mysterious stranger who was SO GOOD I still dream about dem leads
  3. I learned how to do an inversion on the aerial silks, HI ALL I WANT TO DO IS FLY
  4. Zip-lining for the first time ever was not bad, either
Some of theeeeee beautiful people.
Some of theeeeee beautiful people.

19. What act of kindness is most imprinted on your mind?

This one is a visual, etched in my mind.

I was at the World Meeting of Families, in the happy bustle that is family and travel and a million people gathering to see the Pope. It’s exhausting.

And there was, under a lamppost, a tall, lean dad. He was sitting under the lamp, asleep, in his pilgrim-travel clothes. On his lap was a little boy, also asleep. They were sleeping on a lamppost. All around them people were rushing and moving and they were…not. Next to them, I think, was the momma, and maybe a few other kids.

But, that image of the daddy and his son, a little disheveled, but still peaceful and safe…man, it was just so very, very St. Joseph.

I wish I took a picture.

I hope I never forget. 🙂

20. What act of selflessness are you most proud of?

*searches mind* Geez, did I even do this one?!?!

21. What act of self-restraint are you most proud of?

The opposite of this is the strongest act of not-self-restraint, which is that, at an out-of-state wedding rehearsal, a best man started bad mouthing Detroit TO MY FACE and I totally b***-slapped him then and there in front of the groomsmen.

That is a true story.

I apologized.

I think.

22. What purchase(s) are you most please with?

My fabric!

I bought some yellow-print cotton in Nashville, and made a lovely dress; and some silk-soft grey here in Michigan, for another lovely vintage dress.

Both were a good price and EXCELLENT quality. Here, here!

OH. I also bought a gazelle dress which is about as crazy as it sounds.

One of my dresses.
One of my dresses.

23. How has your personal style evolved?

One half of my head is currently shaved.

I didn’t know I had it in me.

But, I like it.

(Cuts prep time by SO MUCH!)

24. What is one area of life where you improved most?

Is it weird to say physically? I think that I’m getting better at pinpointing my dietary needs. Because of that, I feel like my body is in a healthier spot. THANKS, GOD! Also, I can (sometimes) do a few pull-ups. Like a bawss.

25. How successful were you in accomplishing your new year’s resolutions?

I reread my journal and my blog, and I found zero resolutions for 2015.

Looks like I wasn’t excellent at my 2013 ones, either. 😉

Oh well, I can set some goals for this year, I guess.

26. What awesome new habits did you adopt?

I prayed evening prayer just about every day this year. That was fun.

I ran a half-marathon and all the training that goes into that. That wasn’t as much fun.

27. What were you worried about that you wish you’d worried about less (or not at all)?

Tying in to #17, I try to be a woman of few regrets. So, yeah, standing here and looking back I could tell 2015-me a host of things about the retreats I threw, the jobs I worked on, the dewd I dated, the rough transitions. But, hey, I lived them. I prayed through them. This I do not regret. The worries became prayers. Hope does not disappoint.

28. Name your funniest memory this year–the one that you can’t help but laugh at when you think about it.

10956348_10204391637455348_1361825317920342296_nThe first one that comes to mind is that, on July 4th, my sister and I decided to go canoeing. And then, when we arrived at the location, they had double-kayaks. We had never double-kayaked before, but we decided that we would try.

We were awful.

We couldn’t steer straight, we couldn’t hit a good rhythm…really, awful (and we’re GREAT at canoeing together, promise!)

At one point Christine was like, “Are you even aiming for the shore?!?”

And I was like, “If you’re asking me if I’m closing my eyes while I’m doing this, the answer is: no.”

Honorable mention to the weekend I went camping with Hanna and Julia and it rained forever and we were wearing TRASH BAGS everywhere, and then we ran into really pulled-together people who were NOT wearing TRASH BAGS and we were like, “Oh, these TRASH BAGS? They’re fine.”

Honorable mention to the time that Justin L. decided to Swahili dance at a wedding. And proceeded to swim on the floor.

Me: "Did all of your dreams just come true?" Julia: "All of my dreams have been surpassed. A wasp flew into my pants and stung me twice."
Me: “Did all of your dreams just come true?”
Julia: “All of my dreams have been surpassed. A wasp flew into my pants and stung me twice.”

29. Which new (or renewed) friendships are you most grateful for this year?

Hey, LT. It’s good to have you, there. Thanks for doing hippie things with me in IL.

Friends since 3rd grade? 4th grade?

I heard that there was a study that said that, if you have been friends with someone for 7 years, you’ll be friends with them forever.


30. Who had the biggest positive impact on your life?

I think that it was the Archbishop of Detroit himself. He is planning a Synod in 2016, which is high-level church-speak, I know, I know, BUT ANYWAY, I’ve had the grace of getting involved in that there project, and it has been a source of light and love in my life. Gracias, Archbishop, for getting that ball rolling.

Also, I met a dewd at a wedding (same wedding where I slapped that other guy! Man!) who told me about his podcast, which is Three Dogs North, and jump on that train and jump on it hard. It’s really three guys, and I have no idea which is which based on their voices alone BUT, yo, those are beautiful things they say. (Try this one on for size: “Sin is wanting too little, not wanting too much.” Mmmm MMM.)

31. What is the most important lesson you learned?

The virtue of hope shines brightest when the darkness is pitch-black.

That was rough.

Don’t ask me how I know that.

32. What new idea, film, article, or book impacted you the most?

This quote by St. Philip Neri: “My Jesus, if you want me, cut the fetters that keep me from you.”

Holy WHAT.

It’s a trick!!!! Of course Jesus wants us, Philip Neri, you sly dog!!

Also, this one is forever-long, BUT SO SOLID (before you tl;dr, it’s about how the beautiful festivities of the church lead people to the beauty and goodness of God, only in better language):

“For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any official pronouncement of the teaching of the Church. Such pronouncements usually reach only a few and the more learned among the faithful; feasts reach them all; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year – in fact, forever. The church’s teaching affects the mind primarily; her feasts affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man’s nature. Man is composed of body and soul, and he needs these external festivities so that the sacred rites, in all their beauty and variety, may stimulate him to drink more deeply of the fountain of God’s teaching, that he may make it a part of himself, and use it with profit for his spiritual life.”
—Pius XI, “Quas Primas” #21

ALSO: Evangelization consists mostly of patience and disregard for constraints of time.


Stop telling me how to live my life.

Only don’t.

33. What person, thing, or memory from this year will you probably remember to share even when you’re old and gray? (“Back in my day…”)

There was the time when, on the trip to Philadelphia, one of the cars hit a deer.

It was a car full of girls. Apparently they all started screaming.

And one of them got out.

And the deer wasn’t fully dead yet.

So she strangled the deer.

With her bare hands.

I think that’s a good memory.

In a terrible sort of way.

(This is what it looks like when your group starts praying an international rosary in the middle of a long line).
(This is what it looks like when your group starts praying an international rosary in the middle of a long line).

34. What did you most enjoy learning?

I adore my circus classes always and forever. I adore pushing my body to new limits of strength and flexibility.

BUT! I also really liked learning about Father Gabriel Richard this year. IF YOU WANT, I CAN TELL YOU SO MANY THINGS ABOUT HIM. I wish someone would let me open his cause TO NO END.

I ALSO REALLY LOVED LEARNING ABOUT LINOCUTS. Linocuts are life. (Not really). (They are cool, though).

Linocuts 4ever.
Linocuts 4ever.

35. What do you want to explore, learn, or see more of?


Every beautiful thing on this blessed, broken earth.

Building stuff!
Exploring the Great Lakes!
Crawling on my knees to see Our Lady of Guadalupe!

I want to see more faith, more art, more people.

Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow.

36. Which habits do you want to get rid of or improve on?

This one is probably a mix between “stop eating refined sugars” and “stop listening to trashy pop, yo.” (But I just wanna DANCE!!)

37. Whom do you want to spend more time with in the next year?

It’s hard to say. Maybe I’d just like to be more intentional with all of my time.

That or: less digital, more real-life. Less Facebook, more parties. Less texting, more tea times.

In other news, my sister and I started a women’s group yesterday.

38. What from this year is pointing to good things to come?

That retreat I went on, you guys, was just all full of grace and Jesus. This quote, from St. Max Kolbe be killin’ it: “Aim higher. Dare to believe that the future holds great things.”

(Father Anthony said it and I can’t find a reference for you…but I’m am trying).

39. What did you not do this year that you promise to do next year?

More music.
Some theater.
(*Pleads with heaven* Detroit, Detroit, Detroit, more Detroit)

Cross my heart. God help me.

Detroit. And a bit of Canada.
Detroit. And a bit of Canada.

40. What overarching theme do you want to embrace in 2016?


My theme last year was “hope.”

This year I’m slated to give a talk on joy so I’m kind of like, “Well, why don’t I learn everything I can about this??”

Shoot me your favorite joyful saints/ books/ etc.

I joked with some fraaaands that if, in a year of hard I learned hope….who knows what opposites I look forward to in ’16.


If we look at the future with fear, what are we even doing?

Come at me, 2016, so I can learn/ grow/ live some MO’!


2 thoughts on “Feelingz dump ROUND TWO

  1. Well Nell, looks like YOU are stuck with ME! Muahahaha! Let’s get together soon and do all the hippie things and talk about all the crazy things God is doing in our lives! Okay? Okay.

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