Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 Facts about Us

Betty Beguiles is inviting people to post today giving 10 facts about them and their significant other. So I am going to procrastinate a bit on my schoolwork.

1. We met on February 8, 2007, during the Fr. Michael Scanlan Scholarship Competition, which means that we were both 17-year-old high school seniors with way too many brains for our own good. I thought he was funny but way too much of a geek. He thought I talked too much. We didn't really keep in touch but we did awkwardly say hello when we saw each other again in August.

2. Our first date was on April 7, 2008. We made a holy hour together in the Port.

A few months later I wrote a very long account of how we got from 1 to 2. Maybe one of these days I'll post it.

3. He told me "I love you" on April 8. I didn't say it back until April 12. (I know, I need to speed it up a bit, waiting to say I love you until 5 days after the first date.)

4. Neither of us had ever been in a relationship before. From the beginning we were dead serious about the fact that we were discerning marriage; if we had wanted to just hang out and have fun together we could have done that without calling it dating.

5. However, our idea of discerning marriage mostly involved reading Calvin and Hobbes. You can tell a lot about a potential life partner from their comic book preferences. :)

6. We have two "our songs": This and this.

7. During the summer of 2008 we started writing each other love letters (at his suggestion). That came in handy when we had to go long-distance starting that October.

8. We are uncannily alike in a lot of ways and agree on almost everything, from the biggies (religion, for instance) to the little things (we both love Calvin and Hobbes. :)).

9. However, we do sometimes fight, contrary to popular opinion. We're both pretty stubborn in our own way so it's been a bit of a learning process figuring out how to resolve a disagreement amicably on the rare occasions when we do disagree.

10. Next Wednesday will be the third anniversary of when we officially became a couple. I know, dating anniversaries don't mean much and blah blah blah. I'm still proud of us for how far we've come as people and as a couple these last three years.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


[After Mari has told me about a dream she had in which children got killed in an air raid.]

[10:04:28 PM] Margarita Nivea: I'm going to have nightmares now.

[10:04:40 PM] Philagneia: aw.
[10:04:43 PM] Philagneia: sorry.

[10:05:17 PM] Margarita Nivea: Once I had a dream that Scott and I were wandering around in the jungle with 6 or 7 children, and somehow two of them (a boy and a girl, maybe 4 and 6 years old) got kidnapped by the Evil Overlord.

[10:05:36 PM] Philagneia: oh dear.

[10:05:45 PM] Margarita Nivea: But they threw their shoes out the window and thus set off the alarms and were able to escape out the back door.
[10:05:55 PM] Margarita Nivea: That's completely unrealistic, of course.
[10:06:04 PM] Margarita Nivea: My children would never wear shoes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Seven Quick Takes: Things that are awesome edition

1. Being able to type. Remember how I've been whining about my broken keyboard? Well, over Spring Break I borrowed a spare keyboard from Mom and now I'm doing this:

I apologize for the blurry webcam pic; my regular point-and-shoot decided to run out of batteries. (Also, I'm actually holding the camera in my left hand; I'm just too lazy to figure out how to flip the picture.)

2. Being able to eat meat on a Friday in Lent. Except I can't find any meat, so I had a giant helping of bear claw ice cream instead. Maybe I'll find some meat at dinnertime.

3. Seeing Matt Maher perform live (in the Fieldhouse last night). I discovered Matt Maher about a year and a half ago and I do not exaggerate when I say that Alive Again was one of the major things that helped pull me out of depression last fall. (If this video ever gets taken off YouTube I might cry; the version I have on iTunes isn't acoustic.)

4. This is part of 3, but awesome enough to deserve its own take: During the concert, Matt Maher called Scott Hahn onstage and Dr. Hahn picked up a guitar and started rocking out right along with the band.

I think I can die happy now.

5. I'm not sure this counts as awesome, but I'm really proud of my new and improved cast of characters. It takes an unbelievably long time to summarize your favorite people in a few sentences each.

I might put pictures on that page eventually, but it took me long enough just to write it.

6. Speaking of my favorite people, I got to Skype with Emily for about an hour and a half yesterday, which is awesome because we college seniors/first year grad students are not swimming in the free time.

7. I am THISCLOSE to being done with college. Sometimes I feel like I should be more torn over leaving Franciscan, the world capital of relentlessly enthusiastic Catholicism (really, Rome has nothing on us), but I'm honestly ready to move on with my life. Maybe that's a good thing; I wouldn't want to sob when I have to leave or anything.

Visit Jen for more Quick Takes.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mass with a four-year-old

[You have to imagine the adults in this story whispering and Teresa speaking in a normal conversational tone.]

Fr. D: "...for Benedict our Pope..."

T: "Where's Pope Benedict?!"

Dad: "Not here."

T: "Oh, right. He's taking care of baby Jesus, right?"

Dad: "Baby Jesus grew up."

T: "Oh yeah. And died and went to Heaven."

[Earlier this week it would have been my grandfather's 76th birthday; I showed T a picture not expecting her to recognize him and she immediately said, "Dat's my gwampa and he died in Heaven."]

Me: "Teresa, look, what's Fr. Dan doing?"

T: "He's feedin' dem. He puts dat cookie on der hand, like dis. I bet dat cookie tastes good."

Me: "Mmmhmm. Can you whisper?"

T: "When I older I get a cookie. It tastes like bread...It's like bread on the inside, right?"

Me: "Umm...something like that." [Sorry, but I'm not explaining Transubstantiation to a chatty four-year-old.]

T: "And I'm am gonna get one when I a big girl."

Mom: "Big girls are quiet in Church."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Seven Quick Takes: Keyboards, explosions, and cute babies

1. My keyboard is sort of broken. I hope you all really really appreciate that I am typing this post with n's and s's included.

2. I get to see Scott in about 24 hours. A couple days ago we were saying goodbye at the end of a conversation and I said "See you in 3 days!" To which he replied, "See you in two and a half days?" Me: "If I saw you in two and a half days I'd be at your house at 8 a.m. on Saturday, and I don't think you'd like that." Him: "Actually, I wouldn't mind."

You may recall that this is the guy who would happily sleep from about 3 a.m. to noon every day if he could.

3. Did I mention that Scott has a job now? I can't give details, obviously, but it's a fantastic opportunity for him and he's been really enjoying it. He hasn't been enjoying getting up at 6 a.m. every day, but apparently he's gotten used to it.

4. A few weeks ago Scott and I were discussing visiting and his Youngest Younger Brother (currently age 13) said, "I like it when Megan comes over because we watch movies with lots of explosions in them."

I am deeply, deeply flattered.

(Note: I used to refer to Scott's siblings just by ages, but now his Thirteen-Year-Old Brother is a different person than the original Thirteen-Year-Old Brother, so I'm going to try to use birth-order-based pseudonyms from now on, unless I get permission to use their real names.)

5. I don't want to get too self-referential, but I actually blogged some stuff this week that I think is pretty interesting. First, I did a post on self-esteem issues, with the first ever identifying picture of myself (and the Princess as a toddler). Then, apparently emboldened by the previous post, I wrote about why I cover my head in church.

6. I'm home for spring break now, and Teresa has been VERY happy to see me. Last night after our very long and sleet-plagued drive back, she asked me to lay down with her and ended up falling asleep almost immediately. She was so cute that I almost didn't want to leave. Plus I was really tired too. But I did head to my own bed eventually.

7. Now the cheese pizza is starting to smell really good, so I'm going to just hit "publish." Happy Lent, everybody! +:)

Visit Jen for more Quick Takes.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Why I cover my head in church

The short answer: Because He asked me to.

The long answer: I attended my first extraordinary form Mass in January of 2008, with my head brazenly uncovered. (An experience I recount in this post, which also bears the distinction of being the post that made my mother realize I was in love with Scott. [I was still in denial.])

Over the course of 2008, I attended a few more EF Masses and started to feel self-conscious about my bare head.

I began to ponder the matter and decided that it's the same Jesus at every Mass, so if I was going to cover my head at EF Masses I would have to go all the way and cover my head every time I went to Mass.

That scared me off the idea, plus Scott left Franciscan so I stopped going to the EF because I prefer 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

But the idea wouldn't entirely leave my head. I don't like to say that I ever hear God speak to me, but He did over the course of 2009--little nudges now and then: Why don't you get a chapel veil? - Because I'll look WEIRD. And people will STARE at me! - Okay, then don't. I won't force you.

That conversation happened with increasing frequency as the year went on. Finally I decided to ask for a chapel veil for my birthday/Christmas. Around that time, I saw a post by Hallie Lord on Faith & Family Live about Garlands of Grace. My chapel veil seems to be discontinued now, but it looks like this:

It is hard to take a picture of your own head.

It was out of stock or something when my mother ordered it for me for Christmas, so I didn't end up getting it until the beginning of February. Interestingly enough, my fears of looking weird were allayed due to the fact that two of my household sisters independently started covering their heads the same week I did. (One of them graduated in May; the other one is now my roommate.) I got my veil in the mail on the Monday before Ash Wednesday and wore it when I went to household Mass the next morning.

In the last 13-ish months, there have been maybe half a dozen occasions when I haven't worn it. I wear it at Franciscan, where there are maybe 10 girls with chapel veils. I wear it to my home parish where I am the only companion of a very nice middle-aged lady who has been steadfastly wearing one for at least the last 7 years. I do not wear my chapel veil when I go to certain other parishes--some places, I feel like I'm being radical enough receiving Communion on the tongue. Sometimes I just accidentally forget to bring it.

On the advice of Mari, my EF guru, I wear my chapel veil to Confession, adoration, and any other circumstance where I anticipate encountering Jesus in the Eucharist. (Which means that sometimes I do indeed wear it to Eucharistic FOPs.)

There are a half-dozen reasons I can give for why I think it's a good thing to wear a veil at Mass. When you're a distractible person like me, putting the veil on is a tangible way of saying to yourself, "Hey! Entering CHURCH! Pay attention!" It makes me less vain about my frizzy hair, since it's all just getting smooshed under the veil anyway. It makes me take care to dress more nicely and femininely altogether. (I have heard from several sources that jeans and a chapel veil look weird. I don't know about that; I just know that I feel more dressed-up wearing the veil and that comes out in the rest of my outfit.)

But that's not really the why for me. Nor is it because I want particularly to get in touch with 2000 years of tradition, nor because I like the theology of the veil, though those are all good reasons.

As illogical as it sounds, I did it because and only because I was asked to do it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Give me your eyes

Do you see what I'm doing here? Cute baby Teresa
distracts you from contemplating Frizzy Hair of Doom.

Every week, my household meditates on the Gospel and then makes a resolution to do something to live out the things we've been talking about. This past week, it was to surrender our anxieties to God by telling him "Conform my heart/will to yours."

Yesterday I could have used that prayer, but for most of the week I was excited about the future, not anxious about it. Things are finally starting to fall into place with the future. (Of course, then I get overeager and start trying to make them fall into place FASTER!! And then things degenerate. This is why I'm not good at Tetris, people.)

I was still anxious, though. Just not about the future. Or perhaps about the very near future, because of things that happened in the very near past. I won't go into detail there except to say that I had one of those days where I feel very stupid indeed. (Stupid is relative, and I'm my own worst critic, just so my mother doesn't worry I'm actually failing anything.)

Then I saw the resolution sticky-tacked to my desk. God, conform my heart to yours.

So I prayed that, because I had enough clarity even then to know that God doesn't think I'm stupid and worthless. Then I was suddenly reminded of this song, so I started praying, Give me your eyes.

Then last night I popped over to Elizabeth Foss' blog and saw her Five-Minute Friday post.

When I look in the mirror, what do I see?

I see my hair, which looks so lovely in pictures like this one, barely visible because I hate getting hair in my face so I pull it back 99% of the time. What you can see is always, always frizzy; there are always little bits sticking out here and there no matter how many times I redo my ponytail.

I like the color of my eyes best. You can't see it clearly up there, but they look blue until you get just the right moment or just the right angle, and then they look green. Really they're both, a soft grayish-blue that I inherited from my grandfather mixed with an inner circle of an odd yellowish color that I got from my dad. (His eyes are turquoise and yellow-green.) I love my cat eyes, except for the fact that (like Elizabeth's) they're almost never quite the same shape; the right one tends to be open wider than the left.

That's all the lefthanded compliments I can give myself; I just dislike the rest of my face. I have bad skin (better than it once was, of course, but still bad) and weird little folds of fat and that awkward tight-lipped smile. It is my smile but I hate it because back in the day I was told one too many times to SMILE, and when I was little I didn't know how to say, "I'm excited on the inside, okay?" (I have Asperger's; I don't do that showing your emotions thing.)

And then I wonder if that's how God sees me. I bet it isn't. For that matter, I bet Scott is going to leave a five-page comment on this post carefully explaining to me how I am WRONG.

So I keep praying, Give me your eyes.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Seven Quick Countdown-ish Things

1. 5 days until Lent starts. I feel like I should do something super-radical like not eat for 40 days or something, because I don't really have that many more Lents left before I'm going to be married and have babies and never be able to do hardcore fasting again.

(Yes, I like to plan ahead.)

But I am not. There isn't any virtue for me in losing 10-15 pounds in seven weeks (something I've done for the last 3 years) and then gaining it all back and some because I have no. earthly. clue. how to be moderate.

So that's what I'm going to try to do with my almost-last Radical Lent. Learn to be moderate.

(Also, my New Year's Resolution was to stop weighing myself, so I have only a very vague idea of what I even weigh right now. So if I cave and weigh myself at Easter I won't know if I gained weight or lost it, really.)

2. 6 days until I go home for Spring Break. I do boring, boring things for Spring Break, people. Maybe I'll take Teresa to the park every day or something so she things I am the best big sister of all time. And Mom will think I am the best big sister of all time too because Teresa is a nicer human being when she's allowed to run around and hit things with sticks for a little while.

3. 8 days until I might see Scott again. I would put a smiley face here, but we haven't actually worked anything out yet; it's just that next weekend is really the only time my Spring Break aligns with his work schedule.

(Hi, Scott's parents! Do you still read my blog? Can I come over?)

4. 52 days until the final draft of my thesis is due. I am still moving forward with that, albeit slowly.

5. 58 days until John Paul II is beatified. :) Don't tell me you're not excited about that.

6. 71 days until I graduate!! You can go ahead and not be excited about that, but I'm very excited. I want my $90,000 sheet of paper, thank you very much.

7. 85 days until my parents' 25th anniversary, at which point they will be leaving me in charge of the house for TWO WHOLE DAYS (actually, one whole day and two half-days) and going off BY THEMSELVES. My parents, they are crazy.

(Incidentally, I'm pretty sure today is the 25th anniversary of the day they met. You do the math. My parents, they have always been crazy.)

[Edited to add: It is; they both posted about it on Facebook.]

If you can handle the disruption to your usual routine (I have no idea how I'm doing it), visit Betty Beguiles for more Quick Takes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Part Deux

[9:21:16 AM] Vagus Mariae: Did I ever tell you about the Confederate Vending Machine?

[9:21:33 AM] Margarita Nivea: No?

[9:21:45 AM] Vagus Mariae: One of the vending machines around here somewhere won't take five-dollar bills, even though it, like all the others, has a label saying it accepts ones and fives.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Admit it; you wish you had my friends

[4:45:28 PM] Philagneia: I really want to make an MLT sometime. Just because.

[4:45:51 PM] Margarita Nivea: Where the mutton is lean and the tomato is nice and crisp?

[4:45:59 PM] Philagneia: They're so perky, I love that.