Naming the New Year

Happy New Year!!  I really like New Year’s Day, complete with the grogginess that follows a night of staying up too late, noshing on rich tidbits and sipping champagne.  I especially like watching the Rose Bowl Parade (all those flowers!), cheering through an afternoon of college football and eating black-eyed peas.

I really, REALLY like naming the New Year, a reflection I began a few years ago.

There is a common practice of “Naming the New Year”. This name serves as a focal point to direct our days, weave our weeks together and attach month to blessed month. Just as a North Star, or the straight arrow of a compass will redirect the lost, weary and confused, so our word for the year can gently lead us back on the path we have set out for ourselves. All steps are directed by God the Father, but the way in which we choose to walk is up to us. (From Jenny at Plain Grace.)

The coming year is going to be challenging for my family and me – I’ll be starting a full course of adjuvant chemotherapy to [hopefully] prevent a recurrence of the leiomyosarcoma.  Despite the enormous task of “getting Mom well” ahead of us, our year is brimming over with the promise of good things!  Cherry Ames graduates from college and will start working as a registered nurse; The Architect will embark upon his senior year in high school; Princess Pea will move forward in her studies as well, and DirtBike will learn how to drive the family car.  Mr. Pea and I are going to take a post-chemo trip to Europe, something we have wanted to do for more than twenty years.

So many blessings, such an abundance of Grace. Every occasion is a call to rejoice in the beautiful-ness that is our life together.  And with that, I choose to name my year…


For despite my fear that cancer will kick my butt no matter how hard I fight, despite my concerns for my husband and my kids as they step up to take care of me, despite all the other stuff scrambling for attention in my brain, life is good. And it’s not just the special occasions like graduating from college, or taking on a mountain bike race, or going on a long awaited very special trip.  It’s the plain vanilla regular every day routine of work, school, play and church that is so wonderfully sweet, so amazingly precious. We have friends who love us and we eat and live indoors. We have health insurance!

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! ~Psalms 118:24

I’m going to be bald, exhausted and most likely crabby for many months…but I will Rejoice every day, and be glad.

Rejoice, my friends, Rejoice.  Keep the Faith

angela pea

Friday’s Letters – November 22, 2013

friday's letters

Dear Winter  – Seriously?   Couldn’t you just ease in like a normal season?  It wasn’t necessary to just barge in with your freezing rain and sleety self, shoving our pleasant eighty degree end of summer days out the door.

Dear Intuitive Surgical – Wow.  I’m totally impressed with your creation – the da Vinci surgical robot.  It’s going to make my surgery a lot less invasive and cut recovery time to just a few weeks instead of a few months.  Don’t you think you were just a bit pretentious to name it after THE Leonardo da Vinci?  After all, he painted Jesus’ portrait on the wall of a convent in Milan.  And he invented flying machines. And scuba gear.  And robots.

image courtesy
image courtesy

Dear Dr. Cloven  – Please drive that thing very, very carefully.

Friends, we are now T-72 hours to Cancer Eradication Day. The surgery will be Monday morning at 8:00 am, and I will be in the hospital until Tuesday evening.  I ask you to keep my family in your prayers, for courage, patience and good humor in the next several weeks as I heal and recover, and as we discover what the final prognosis for this cancer is. I also ask that you pray for Dr. Cloven and the surgical team who will be working on my body early Monday morning, for steady hands, clear minds and quick reactions!

Linking up with the Ladies at Suscipio for the Friday 3-2-1.  Go visit today – this is an amazing group of women who pray, love, and support one another.  

Keep the Faith.

Show and Tell – Rosaries

Linking up with my friends at Suscipio – It’s Show and Tell time!  Like Tiffany, I have a hoard…every time I see interesting beads or stones, I immediately think of how they will look as a rosary!  I give lots of them away, especially the bracelet rosaries, and have the ones I keep scattered all through my life.  You know, one in the purse, several in the cars, one on the bed table, tucked in drawers.


This one is a favorite.  Several years ago I scored a tremendous deal on rose quartz at a trunk show, and there were enough beads to make three pink rosaries.  The other two reside with Princess Pea and her best friend, aka my Other Daughter.  I think about the girls every time I pick it up.
2013.10.16(2)One of my rosary bracelets…wore it to work today!  The beads are amethyst, and the cross on it was a necklace that belonged to Cherry Ames when she was a little girl.  She outgrew the tiny chain years ago, and it hung in my jewelry box for years until I repurposed it.

My RCIA sponsor gave this blue one to me when I came into full communion with the Church.  It’s the one that I carry in my purse.

This is one I started for The Architect, but he requested a single decade that would fit in his pocket, so I reclaimed it.  The beads are hematite, so even though they are small, this rosary has a nice weight and it feels nice and cool in my hands.  (Note:  I just realized…if you click the picture to open it and zoom in close, you can see the outline of me and the camera reflected in each bead! Hematite is such a fun gemstone!)

Pray the Rosary. Keep the Faith.

EMail Anglea Pea

Minutes – September 23, 2013


praying for a bundle of intentions – so many friends and family need them.


Still plugging along.  Eating right most of the time, and freakishly happy about cooler weather so I can get more outdoor exercise.


How to smooth out the transition for Mom Pea moving here.


Knitting on a fall wrap.  Flower arrangements for a charity dinner this Thursday.  Clearing the decks at home, because I need just a bit more tidiness to soothe my scattered brain cells.


  • Grilled Salmon, Spinach Salad
  • Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
  • Dirty Rice, Broccoli
  • BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Mixed Veggies
  • Something at the Charity Dinner that will Include Beer, since the Venue is a local Brewery!
  • Rigatoni with Eggplant and Spicy Marinara
  • Omelettes and Hashbrowns


Saturday was my birthday, so we traveled north to visit my family for the weekend!  It is always a blast when we get together.  We went to see Wicked, ate at our favorite restaurant, indulged in Chocolate Fudge Cake, fixed Mom and Dad’s shed roof, played with the cousins, rested and talked until we were hoarse.

Grandma and the Grands!

Grandma and the Grandkids – (top to bottom, left to right) The Architect, Princess Pea, Cricket, Cherry Ames, my Mom, DirtBike and WonderNiece.


::looking ahead

Stephen Breen Dinner, Golf Tournament, Cooler Weather, Football, DirtBike creating a job for himself mowing lawns, the last piece of birthday cake.

Linking up at Suscipio– come join us!

Record the Minutes. Keep the Faith.

EMail Anglea Pea

Minutes – August 6


praying for Angela’s Mom and for Roxie’s Mom, for healing and recovery; for my children as they prepare to go back to college and high school; for my husband, for all the intentions passed my way

grateful for air conditioning; bananas; a car that runs without problems


Ugh.  It’s hot again here in Texas.  Too hot to play outside unless you’re up at the crack of dawn. I’ve decided to forgo my daily lunchtime walk for some workout time in the office. Yep.  I have a big office, a door that closes and super great air conditioning, so I’ll be logging miles of jumping jacks, burpees, push ups and sit ups. Princess Pea, my younger daughter, was so generous to share her “We’re Sexy and We Know It” workout routine that she created for an assignment in her Kinesiology class last semester.  It’s tough, with all of the previously mentioned exercises, plus squats, lunges and mountain climbers. Toss in some Pilates stretches and I have a tidy little workout.  Who needs to go outdoors when it’s 106 degrees?


Life plans and paperwork.


Hmph.  The most creative thing on the docket this week is cleaning the fridge.  Maybe I’ll arrange the condiment bottles according to height. Yeah.  That will suffice.


  • Grilled Steak, potatoes, Tossed Salad
  • Turkey Paninis and Carrot Sticks
  • Bratwurst, Macaroni and Cheese, more Salad
  • Hawaiian Pork Kabobs, Fresh Peas
  • Grilled Flank Steak, Fresh tomatoes and more Salad
  • Grilled Fish, Salad
  • Grilled Chicken and Peaches, Corn Salad, Green Beans

Are you seeing a theme here?  uh-huh.  It’s called Cook As Much Stuff Outside as Possible and Eat Lots of Salad So That You Don’t Have to Turn on the Stove.


The Tour de Cure was brief this year.  We cut our ride short – only did 15 miles – because we had to be at Gordon’s funeral.  The best part was my Husband telling all his coworkers how great our kids are with their cycling!  Made my heart zing!2013 Tour de Cure

DirtBike, Princess Pea and The Architect. SUPER cool LMAero Jerseys!2013.08.06(2)Me.  Riding my bicycle on the Texas Motor Speedway!

::looking ahead

Freshman Orientation for DirtBike, as well as finishing up summer reading.  School starts in ONE WEEK!!  The Architect working at the water park.  Mass in the middle of the week.  A quiet weekend.

Linking up at Suscipio– come join us!

Record the Minutes. Keep the Faith.

EMail Anglea Pea

Minutes – July 29


praying for –  Gordon, who went home to heaven Friday night.  His death was not unexpected, as he’s been suffering from renal and congestive heart failure for a long while. As his condition deteriorated, Jane called us all in to visit once more.  The grandkids even snuck Fonzy, Gordon’s dog, into the hospital for one last snuggle! On Thursday evening Gordon told Jane that he was too tired and too sick to stand on the edge for much longer, and that it was time for him to make the jump. They made the decision together to stop extraordinary measures, and transferred into hospice.    

2013.07.30 (2)

Praying for Jane, for comfort in the coming weeksmonths as she grieves.  She and Gordon have been married for almost sixty years.

Praying for their family and for my own.   Gordon’s death is the first one in our lives that my children have been old enough to really understand and grieve.

Gordon and Jane are dear, dear family friends; we’ve known them since before we were married.  They are the parents of my husband’s best friend Bill, who died from brain cancer thirteen years ago. Our families are intertwined, bound by years of friendship and sealed with decades of shared laughter, tears and prayer.  Our kids have called them Nana Jane and Papa Gordon since they were babies. I remember when the girls were old enough to start puzzling out the intricacies of family trees.  They were really surprised to learn that not everyone has three sets of grandparents and extra ‘cousins’! For Mr. Pea and me, Gordon and Jane have been an incredible, loving example of the sacrament of marriage.

2013.07.30 Gordon and Jane

Gordon P. Gruver – December 29, 1928 – July 28, 1913

Record the Minutes. Keep the Faith.

EMail Anglea Pea

PSA #10 – Perception

Perception is the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses. How do you see yourself? Is your perception skewed?  I’m guest posting over at Suscipio for Women today.  Hop over and check it out, and be sure to say hello to all of the wonderful women you’ll find  there.
Alter Your Perception.  Keep the Faith.

EMail Anglea Pea