Our First Year of Blogging Down!


I would so love one of these old typewriters and to write while being so well groomed and composed, but no! I write between feeding kids, helping with math, or late, late, at night while the kids sleep.

This is Manny when he has his editor hat on!

This is Manny when he has his editor hat on.

We have now passed our first year of blogging!!! We didn’t kill each other or file for divorce though it was scary a few times along the way!!! Thank you to everyone who has encouraged us and has taken the time to read what we share. We know there are a lot of wonderful things you can spend your time reading, which is why we don’t post too often. We try to avoid “filler posts” but only share things we think are worth spending time to read.

We had the idea for this blog many years ago. We even started it years back but only wrote a few blog posts and didn’t really have a clear idea of what we wanted to share.

I think part of the reason we quit the blog at first was we were still working out the idea behind the message of the blog in our own lives. Every Home a Monastery is a loaded phrase and we had some more roads to travel and steps to take before we were ready to write about the things we do now.

So when we moved from California to Wisconsin we knew we wanted to blog as a way to keep in touch with friends and family back in Cali and across the country. We also wanted to share the idea of living closer in community with other Christians, discuss a healthier lifestyle which we hoped to pursue easier by moving, and other similar ideas.

But of course, life was busy and we were settling in and raising kids and just never got the blog off the ground. Well necessity is the mother of many things and that’s what finally gave birth to what we have now. Manny was laid off of work, and we needed to find a way to bring in some extra income.

Manny thought ‘let’s start the blog we have been discussing and see what we can do with that’. For sometime I knew writing was something God wanted me to start doing, but I kept putting it off with the excuse that I was too busy. I was too busy. Raising and homeschooling kids takes a lot of time, but the nagging feeling that I needed to write again and continue this time wouldn’t leave me in peace so with Manny’s suggestion and the circumstances being what they were, I agreed.

Months had passed and Manny wasn’t having any luck finding a job so I decided to write about the situation and having faith in God through difficulty. Thankfully the editor at Catholic Exchange liked what I wrote and published my article. So at the end of July 2014 my career as a freelance writer and contributor at Catholic Exchange began. In the last year I have written twenty-three articles for CE; including beginning the series, Lessons From A Monastery. I am almost finished with the series, two more articles to go!

The experience of writing for CE has been a blessing to me in numerous ways. Having deadlines, needing to be professional, having thousands of people as my audience, all of this has really forced me to become a better writer and improve my skills far more than anything else could have. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a large Catholic site and plan on continuing to contribute at CE for as long as possible. I also plan on continuing to improve my writing as I know it is no where near as good as I would like it to be.

This last year has been a whirlwind. We had a new baby, Manny recently was hired on full time at Johnsonville Sausage factory and has made a complete career change. Our oldest has graduated from high school. I was critically sick during my pregnancy, I had a blocked kidney and ended up with Sepsis. That landed me in the ICU for a couple of days and the hospital for a week. I had to have multiple surgeries during the pregnancy and a few weeks after the birth of the baby I had a large stone removed from my kidney. We are still trying to settle into our new home and trying to find ways to work on all the repairs it needs. Life is busy and crazy and we need more time and money but thankfully we never lack love or grace so we won’t complain!

So since we reached the milestone of our first real year of writing and blogging we sat down together and made a list of future projects and ideas. Because some days I just have to do things old school, I went to Barnes and Noble, purchased two Moleskin notebooks and a Moleskin pen (spent way too much money) and Manny and I sat down over stuffed hash browns and coffee to work out writing goals and blog ideas.

These are some of our ideas and what you can expect to see from us:

Tomatoes in Tone Five
A podcast! Manny is a wonderful but slow writer and after I wear him out with helping me he doesn’t have it in him to get any writing done. So the answer to that problem is a podcast. Tomatoes in Tone Five will be making it’s debut sometime in the fall. This way ya’ll can hear from Manny’s point of view and he can chat with you about music (the tone five part), his love of gardening (hence the tomatoes), and his thoughts on the Christian life and the Church. He has been working away on this project for awhile now and I know you all will love it, so make sure to look out for it!

Pilgrims of Saint Nazianz

We meet great people being so close to the monastery where regular pilgrims visit. We love Humans of New York and are being complete copycats and making a Pilgrims Of Saint Nazianz page on our blog. We hope to share with you some of the great people we meet and the wonderful things they have to say and share.

Peg Dolls

Our daughters are starting a peg doll business! They are really talented and have already sold a few of their dolls. They have made several saints and plan on making a collection of monk and nun dolls. More info will be up soon.

BYZCONSIN, Books, and more articles

We plan on adding a page titled BYZCONSIN where we can share more about regular daily life here in Wisconsin. We are from California and the lifestyle change we have made is rather significant, we plan on talking about that more.

We have several ideas for books. I am going to take the Lessons From a Monastery articles and turn them into a book with a lot more additional material. I am going to look for a publisher and if I can’t find one then I will self-publish. I have also begun a collection of saint stories I plan to publish.

We will continue regular blog posts. Praying at home, homeschooling, more about the liturgical year–all of these topics people have asked us to share more on and we plan on discussing these topics in more detail.

Well that’s more than enough for now! Again, a big thank you to everyone who has been supportive and encouraging by reading, sharing, and commenting on our work!



One Comment

  1. Can’t wait to see/read more about your new blogging endeavors! Your blog has been a blessing…thank you! 🙂

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