Tuesday, December 16, 2014

{pretty, happy, funny, real} volume 2

Dear cyber friends!  It turns out that I really do enjoy posting here on the ol' blog, and when things get crazy and I don't get time to write, I miss it!  But yes, I've been busy with other things (ahem, Christmas preparations...and laundry and sleep schedules that still aren't 100% back to routine after only 2 nights away for Thanksgiving.  Heaven help me after the 2 weeks of travel that are penciled into our upcoming calendar...)

The best way to recap the time since I've last written (excluding, perhaps, an extensive invoice from Amazon.com) is a photo montage to the theme of {p,h,f,r} (pretty/funny/happy/real).  Enjoy!


(note, we are in fact only on the 3rd week of Advent but all of our candles have been burned because they're still last year's model (frugality for the win!)

We set up our Advent wreath, a paper count-down chain, and our nativity (with empty crib!) on the first Sunday of Advent.  I love feeling the feeling of longing that comes with the season of Advent, and I love the beautiful simplicity of these items before all of the decor of Christmas.


I feel strongly about observing Advent, and I love the spiritual depth of the beautiful Advent hymns - ones that I intentionally listen to on repeat before I break out the Joy to the World.  However, I've struggled with the practical aspects of waiting to do all of the preparations until Christmas Eve.  I thought THIS article ("Advent Guilt" on Catholic Icing) was a wonderful reflection and it really helped me to make peace with finding a balance - of celebrating Advent, but also of preparing for Christmas.  A gradual approach feels right this year, beginning with just simple Advent things and slowly adding Christmas decor.  We got our tree this weekend and decorated it tonight.

It's one of life's great joys for me to sit in a darkened room next to a lit tree (which I have the pleasure of doing now).  And I realized that this brings me a reflective peace that I maybe missed last year when our tree didn't go up until Christmas Eve.  It helps to build the anticipation and the excitement for the coming of the joyful holiday and of our Christ.

So: happy for the tree, happy for figuring out the balance that works for our family, happy for toddler squeals of joy, and the fact that we managed this operation without breaking any ornaments (yet) - although we did spill some hot cocoa in the process!


It makes me smile to see all the places that the pieces from Anna's play nativity set have turned up :)  The camel watched over her breakfast, St. Joseph accompanied her at bath time the other night, and baby Jesus is tucked in snugly in her doll house.

Incidentally, we've spent so much time reading nativity board books (a few favorites HERE, HERE, and HERE) and talking about it getting ready for Jesus' birthday (a VERY exciting idea for a birthday loving toddler) that more than a few good-meaning strangers who have asked Anna while we're out and about if she's ready for Santa Claus have been meant by blank stares (although, today she did tell the pediatrician "not yet" in response).


I've shared only my favorite 7 of the more than 250 pictures in my December file, and so it seems fair to also show things that are a bit more...representative...of daily life around here:

(Behold, the power of cropped photos for making it appear that you have things put together!)

Spoiler alert, the Christmas card will not feature Christmas jammies, since that photo shoot produced only out-takes...including this one, which makes me laugh out loud every time I see Anna's face.

The {real} story is that despite trying to keep things simple, the addition of Christmas preparations has turned my day-to-day from being mostly under control to feeling a little crazy.  I've also found that this sentimental season has been rough for me emotionally as I think about my Grandpa and our first Christmas without him.  And I also have to say that although we're so thankful for the opportunity to house-sit this year, this season especially sends a little (or big!) twinge of homesickness for my sweet little house (and how much I loved to decorate it for the holidays!) and all of the places and people we left behind with this year's move (and the family and friends in our hometowns who are still too far away despite the move that we had hoped might bring us geographically closer).

A friend reassured me tonight that it's never too late to still claim postpartum hormones for the emotional roller-coaster of motherhood ;)  A little bittersweet in some ways, I suppose...but I'm glad for the chance to reflect on all the pretty, happy, funny that still weaves its way through the days.

Happy Advent, and a Merry Christmas in case I don't find my way back to the keyboard between now and then!

linking up with Like Mother Like Daughter for {p,h,f,r}

1 comment:

  1. The candles could work for pretty, happy, funny and real!
    I'll pray for your comfort this season without Grandpa.
    Blessings, Annie