Seriously, Guys? We Need to Chat. Our Husbands Are NOT Broken. 

We’re book lovers here at Hail Marry. We also love a good shopping trip to a Christian bookstore. This post, however, is more of a vent than it is a praise of anything. Full disclosure: we haven’t read this book, but the last time one of us made such a trip, here’s what we found (in audiobook):

Seriously? Look at that cover. “Have a new husband” Why? Why would I want a new one? I love the one I married. “How to Change His Attitude, Behavior, & Communication in 5 Days” Would I have committed myself to a lifetime of marriage with someone who I felt needed to have all of these hugely important things changed? Side bar: did you notice they also wrote one about kids?

What is this?! What has happened to the Christian “do unto others” world when we think books like this are okay? This is so disrespectful to anyone’s marriage. I mean, sure, our husbands may possess some behaviors we wouldn’t miss if they were gone, but can’t that be said for us as well? I feel like books like this encourage women to look at the men in their lives as beings they can “fix” but you know what? Our husbands aren’t broken.

Our husbands are the amazing men we fell in love with. They’re the men we vowed to love, honor, obey, and be with until death do us part (or some variation thereof). They’re the ones who hold us when we’re messy and crying from failed attempts to try and conceive; the ones who comfort us when we’ve had a hard day; who play with the kids a little bit to give us just a small break.

Our husbands are the ones who make us laugh in the way that only they can; the ones on whom we bounce all of our ideas; and the ones to whom we confide our hopes and dreams while simultaneously hoping and dreaming alongside us.

Our husbands aren’t broken, and we don’t need to change them. We should, however, always strive to change our own hearts. Our husbands are not perfect. They are flawed. But they are ours. Instead of trying to change them in five days, maybe we should try to love them harder and more deeply in five days.

Our Husbands Aren’t Broken 5-Day Challenge

Day One: Today give your husband extra physical affection. Steal a kiss, hold a hug longer than usual.

Day Two: Today write your husband a quick love note. Put it in his briefcase or lunchbox. Write it in shaving cream on the shower door.

Day Three: Ask him what you can do to make his day better. Maybe it’s tackling the chore he loathes. Maybe it’s watching a movie together.

Day Four: Make him his favorite breakfast or favorite dinner. A little effort “just because” can go a long way.

Day Five: Put the kids to bed early and relax together. You could take a bath together, massage one another, or do your favorite couple’s relaxation activity. While relaxing, tell your husband one reason why you love him.

FIAT: Faith in All Things & Friendship in All Things

Happy Easter Friday, friends!

Rachel and Kristi haven’t seen each other in two weeks and friendship is important! It creates community and can build us up in all areas of life, from family to work to spiritual. So in today’s podcast, they share their thoughts on friendships (both theirs and in general) and chat about life in a phone call.

Grab something to drink and join in the phone call!

If the media player doesn’t load, please click here for the link to download it or subscribe on iTunes!

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to make it to a Divine Mercy service near you if possible on Sunday!

Kristi & Rachel

Dolls from Heaven: Our Time Spent with St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Today’s post is a sponsored post from Dolls from Heaven. That means that we were given a discount code for you to use in exchange for our purchasing a doll and giving our honest review of her. The links provided do NOT track back to us, nor do we make money from your use of the discount code.

What Books & Dolls Can Do

I have loved American Girl since I was a small American girl myself. I loved Samantha Parkington with her turn-of-the-century clothes and bravery. Her collection was the one for which I pined (and in some cases saved babysitting money to buy pieces of). I loved to read about World War II-era Molly McIntire, though, and her stories brought her to life for me so much that I quickly began to favor her as well. See? Both books and dolls can do things like that for a young girl. Pleasant Rowland got little girls interested in history through play and word, and it was revolutionary.

Fast forward a few decades, a daughter, and some grandparents later, and we’ve amassed quite a collection of American Girl dolls. I own both Samantha and Molly, a childhood dream realized, and Little Miss has several, among which is Rebecca, a Jewish immigrant. When she realized that Rebecca wasn’t Catholic—which all of her dolls are, of course—she became interested in the religious celebrations of her dolls. They celebrate Hanukkah with Rebecca and Rebecca helps them put up the Christmas tree. This prompted Little Miss to want to learn more about Hanukkah.

Then it hit me. We can provide opportunities for our children to explore our own faith through play. Our American Girl house gained a Bible (an ornament) and some of our own family Advent traditions. And just when I was wondering what else I could do, I learned about an amazing company called Dolls from Heaven. And oh-emm-gee.

Dolls from Heaven

Dolls from Heaven is a company with a simple mission: they want to inspire children to be saints. In their line of dolls, they’ve got St. Thérèse, who we’ll be talking about today, St. Joan of Arc, and although he’s not available for shipping quite yet, Pope St. John Paul II is available for pre-order, and I think he’s just about the most adorable doll I’ve ever seen. The dolls are so well-made, with beautiful faces—and my favorite is that (unlike the American Girls) their toenails and fingernails are painted on to include the white part.  And like American Girls, the Dolls from Heaven saints come with books. St. Thérèse’s book is actually based on the real saint’s memoirs.

Dolls from Heaven I am Thérèse book
Dolls from Heaven I am Thérèse book

We have played with her as a teacher in a Catholic school for our other 18″ dolls and she even made an appearance in my faith formation classroom.

Dolls from Heaven St. Thérèse in the Classroom
St. Thérèse in the Classroom

She headed off to church with us on Saturday for the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novena, followed by the Easter Vigil. That’s her rosary. I just love her!

Dolls from Heaven St. Thérèse Easter
Dolls from Heaven St. Thérèse ready for the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novena and the Easter Vigil!

St. Thérèse: a Review

St. Thérèse is absolutely beautiful and completely darling. She comes dressed in her Camelite habit with sandals. The wimple and veil are extremely kid-friendly in how they go on and off.

Dolls from Heaven St. Thérèse

Her accessory pack includes a mantle for her to wear, a prayer card with holy pictures on it, and a rose-scented rosary, which makes the doll smell like roses when she wears it (as pictured above). That might be my favorite part!

Dolls from Heaven St. Thérèse with Mantle

She has two additional outfits that you can buy, as well. We purchased the First Holy Communion gown, which is breathtaking. It comes with a veil.

Dolls from Heaven St. Thérèse FHC
Little Miss loves this gown because it’s similar to her own First Holy Communion gown!

We didn’t buy this dress (yet!) but I think it is just gorgeous! This is St. Thérèse in her Sunday Best dress.

Dolls from Heaven St. Thérèse
Look at these colors! So beautiful!

A Surprise & a Special Offer!

Little Miss is under the impression that Dolls from Heaven sent us St. Thérèse to review and send back (rather than us actually purchasing her)—except the Hail Marry team purchased her for Little Miss’ First Holy Communion! I cannot wait to see the look on her face when she unwraps her after playing with her for two months.

And you know what? You can give the gift of Dolls from Heaven to a little girl in your life, too, because Dolls from Heaven has generously agreed to give our readers a discount code good on their entire website! You can get 15% off your order on the website with the code HailMarry through May 1, 2017.

Easter Weekend in Review: a Tale of Two Easters

Happy Easter! We hope you spent the first day of the Easter Octave (that’s right it’s an eight-day feast!) joyously celebrating. We both attended an Easter Vigil Mass and were so moved by its simplicity and beauty. Even Little Miss had radiant joy on her face (before she fell asleep). We originally planned on spending the holiday together, but ended up being separated by state lines, so we’ve joined our pictures together to share them both with you! Think of it as an Easter Weekend in Review! 

Rachel was with her parents and her siblings this year. Her family’s dog looks super enthralled in the festivities! 

They (naturally) dyed eggs for a hunt for Rachel’s nieces and nephews. 

And Rachel’s mom gave her a chocolate bunny and promptly bit off the head. 

Kristi found a pretty bland Paleo bread recipe which made for delicious Paleo French toast for Easter breakfast with their little family.

Superman and Little Miss dyed and decorated eggs like a champ for a series of hunts throughout the day. 

The evening ended with good food, and lots of it.

Head over to our Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter and share some of your Easter weekend with us using #EasterWeekendInReview.

Kristi & Rachel 

FIAT: Faith in All Things The Holy Week Motherload! Finishing Lent Strong & Being Intentional

It’s Good Friday 2017 and we’re talking about intentionally finishing Lent strong(ly)!

This week on the blog was a full one for us! We usually post new written content on Mondays and Wednesdays and then upload a podcast on Fridays. This week, we decided to offer a post every day in honor of Holy Week. We began lighthearted with date night suggestions and followed with a guest post on marriage before moving into weighted topics like the Triduum and Easter renewal. And that brings us to today’s podcast…

On a sad note, Rachel is absent from the podcast today because she’s out-of-state helping her parents in the aftermath of the loss of her grandmother, June Bug. Please pray for comfort for Rachel and her family as well as for the repose of the soul of Rachel’s grandmother.

Kristi recorded this week’s podcast on Holy Tuesday (her family’s Taco Tuesday) while browning taco meat and running dishes through the dishwasher to reflect on our frenzied pace of life and our commitments (she actually almost missed a quarterly meeting that night!), all to end with a challenge to slow down and focus on family and God during what’s left of Lent.

Grab a glass of something refreshing or a mug of something warm and join Kristi! Leave us a comment below letting us know what you think. Let’s start a true conversation about what finishing Lent strong looks like in the real-world!


If the media player doesn’t load, please click here to download the podcast or subscribe on iTunes!

The book Kristi mentioned, Hands Free Mama, can be purchased on Rachel Macy Stafford’s website of the same name, if you’re interested. It appears that she’s since come out with two other books. There’s also a blog you can follow about living hands-free. Check it out and read the book while Kristi re-reads it!

Hands Free Mama                     by Rachel Macy Stafford

May the remaining time in the Triduum bring you blessings as we begin a joyous Easter season!