Archive for the ‘ Etcetera ’ Category

Paris: Sunday Mass in Notre Dame

The Sunday we were in Paris, we had the opportunity to attend mass in Notre Dame. On the way there, we experienced delays on the metro which made me worry that we’d miss the service entirely. So by the time we reached the exit of the St-Michel Notre Dame station, I found myself dashing across the square past the long queue of tourists waiting to enter. At the entrance there was man holding a sign that read “Messe”, and instinctively knowing this was meant for those who came to pray, I nodded my head at him as I walked straight inside.

Paris - Day 5

My eyes searched for the font of holy water as I entered, and after crossing myself, we found seats and a program which contained translations in multiple languages of the day’s readings. It was the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time.

As the mass continued on in French, I couldn’t help but sit in awe that I was here. I thought I had been to beautiful churches before, but this seemed different. And while I may not understand French, what I do know is the mass. As the light from the stained glass windows and the sound of prayer washed over us, I came to further appreciate how this old tradition is my inheritance. With all its flaws, I love my Church.

Paris - Day 5

Visiting Lola at Harrison

Otter Falls Again

I love Otter Falls. We had been here before, but a view like this is still magnificent. Here are a few snaps from Ryan:


And look–there’s me in white!

Yup, worth the 10 miles.


“Michael Prins of Eden Prairie, MN passed aw­­­ay peacefully in his home on July 30 at the age of 60, after being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in October 2009. He was born May 28, 1951 in Grand Rapids, MI to George & Dorothy Prins. Mike was married to Cindy Schleif in 1974. He is survived by his wife; his three sons Ryan (Jamie), Paul (Jordan) & Kyle (Kelsie); and brothers, David (Teri), Bob (Merry) & John (Barb).

Mike was raised in Bloomington, MN and graduated from Bloomington Kennedy High School in 1969 and from the University of Minnesota in 1973. Mike dedicated 37 years to the insurance industry working most recently for Aon then Hays Companies, specializing in energy & utilities. He retired as an Executive Vice President from the Hays Companies in September 2010. His sense of humor, gentle spirit, quiet dignity, and loyal service to God will be deeply missed. Mike loved sailing, travelling, playing golf, was a member of the Hazeltine National Golf Club and a great storyteller, husband, father, brother & friend to all who knew him.”


My favorite lines from my father-in-law to me:

“So tell me, do you use chopsticks at home?”
– First time we met

“Want a piece of advice? Be careful about drinking too much at a business event.”
– Every dinner out

“You look beautiful.”
- Every time I wore a dress

“Jamie, you honor our family by joining it.”
– Wedding speech

“Pour me a glass, I can’t let Jamie drink alone.”
– Last Christmas

“You know, you’re the best thing that’s happened to him.”
– Last Week

Photos at Salty's
Brunch at Salty’s in Seattle 2008

My Last Visit with Ryan's Dad
Last Weekend in Minnesota 2011

Walk to Defeat ALS

Rome: The Pantheon at Night

On our second night in Rome, Ryan and I went to hang out by the Trevi fountain after dinner and generally wander the streets. We were walking down an alley when we were struck by the sight of this:

Photo taken from my iPhone

“Well this is neat,” Ryan said as he took out his camera. “Um, I think we just found the Pantheon,” I said standing awestruck. “Neat,” he replied, walking away to take photos.

Now for some history. This building is astonishingly old. It was originally built as a temple for ancient Roman gods and commissioned by the Roman statesman and general Marcus Agrippa (63 BC – 12 BC). The inscription you see above reads, “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, having been consul three times, built it.” It was then rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 126 AD. It’s hard to fathom, say, a building that has been here for 20 centuries. And we would later return to see architecture from the inside and learn more, but here it was on our evening stroll.

Rome: La Pietà di Michelangelo

I’ve never thought much of sculpture, but the longer I stayed in Italy, the more I would. In fact, a recurring theme on our trip to Italy was experiencing the work of Michaelangelo. And one of the first pieces that struck me was The Pietà (1498–1499). Housed in in St Peter’s Basilica, it depicts Mary holding the body of Jesus after his crucifixion. At the age of 24, Michaelangelo carved this out of a single slab of Carrara marble in just 2 years. The actual piece is now raised and protected behind glass, due to an unfortunate incident in 1972 where someone mental tried attacking it with a hammer. But even from afar it was stunning. I still can’t wrap my head around how marble can be made to drape and flow. That said, I’ll leave the reflections on human suffering, mother/child, sweetness/sadness of the piece to you. In either case, è bella.

Roma – La Pietà di Michelangelo nella Basilica di San Pietro | by Luigi FDV

La Pieta – Close Up | by offshoot

Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
misericordes oculos ad nos converte;
et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.