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December 2013

A New Year's Eve Note ...

Floral banner

Dear Friends,

On this quiet and bitterly cold New Year's Eve, I'm taking a look back at how my life changed over the past year. 2013 was quite a year for my family!

**

On January 1st, I began the year unexpectedly, but joyfully, pregnant ...

And a couple of weeks later I turned 44!

With our help, Bookworm navigated his college applications (no mean feat for a homeschooler!) and anxiously awaited replies ...

MIT said no (rats!) but Boston College said yes - hooray!

Go Eagles!

We welcomed our precious Little Bear at the end of May ...

Making me the proud mother of four boys!

In early June, Bookworm made his high school (homeschool) graduation.

One down, three to go!

In late June, on what felt like the hottest summer days ever, we moved into a new home and a new town ...

Two days later we discovered our dear cat had a serious and mysterious puncture wound in his belly.

Archie miraculously survived!

One July day we attended college orientation with Bookworm - and that night I came down with mastitis only to break a toe the next morning!

Ouch! 

In September we moved Bookworm into a dorm at BC ...

And Crackerjack began his first year as a (homeschooled) high schooler.

How time has flown ...

In October we sold our old house.

A bittersweet moment, happy though we are in our new home.

In November Earlybird had a frightening seizure and a new reality set in ...

We're still trying to get a handle on all that ...

In December Bill's father was diagnosed with cancer, and prepared for chemo before the end of the year.

This still doesn't seem real ... prayers are so appreciated.

By Advent, I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, but actively sought out peace and joy through mindfulness and prayer. With family and friends by our side, we had a truly wonderful Christmas.

*

Our year was filled with so many changes - sometimes it was hard to keep up! But with support from those who love us, we embraced - or at least handled - all those changes.

The best change of all is that on this New Year's Eve, we are now a family of SIX rather than FIVE, and for that I am truly grateful. My greatest joy in life is in motherhood and to be honored with it one more time? To be entrusted with the care of one more precious soul? I feel like the luckiest woman alive ... 

:)

My friends, the gift of another year lies ahead ... let's be grateful for our blessings, hold each other up through our challenges and rejoice in all the possibilities!

Wishing you all a very Happy & Healthy New Year ... May God's Love touch your life and fill your heart with the comfort you need and the peace you desire ...

With Much Love,

~ Dawn


O Tannenbaum ...

Happy Monday, my friends! I hope your week's off to a good start. :)

So there I was thinking about potential New Year's posts when I realized, I never showed you our Christmas tree! Our first tree in our new home ...

So without further ado, here it is:

Tree up 2

Christmas eve 7

Next year we'll retire the fragile bulbs once again since we'll have a toddler in the house! But it was nice to hang some of the pretty glass bulbs while we had the chance ...

Tree ornament 4

Tree ornament

Tree ornament 2

Any Dr. Who fans out there?

Our tree, as much as we love it, will come down in the next couple of days ... it's shedding like crazy! How long do you leave yours up? We generally get ours down around New Year's.

**

Well my friends, I must be off, but I'll leave you all with a Good Evening ... and a promise to be back again soon!


One year sets, another year dawns ...

Snowy sunrise 2

Happy Sunday, my friends!

I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was very nice, but as usual, it was over way too fast! And now a brand new year has arrived at our doorstep, which means it's time for a new calendar ...

Hooray for calendars! Do you have yours yet?

It's no secret that I just love calendars. You might even say I'm a bit obsessed. Some years I make my calendar - or planner as it is also known - and some years I buy one. Some years I do a little of both. And some years I end up creating and using more than one ...

But every year I vow next year to find THE perfect calendar, lol!

Well I do find a real comfort in the rhythm of the seasons and the liturgical year, so for me it's not only helpful, but truly enjoyable to brainstorm what's ahead - events, holidays, feast days, natural happenings, etc. This "schedule" plays a big part in my overall planning when looking at the big picture (the year in full) as well as more incremental planning: months, weeks and days.

I actually shared this schedule - a breakdown of days of note for 2014 - back in October, but I thought, given how close we are to New Year's, it might be helpful to share once again, so here's a link:

2014 Seasonal Calendar

 I find such a special joy in creating my own planner, because homemade planners can be tailored to meet each family's needs. I'm working on mine for the new year - slowly, oh so slowly! - but while we're talking about planners, I wanted to mention this free printable 2014 planner for Catholic mothers. It was created by Amanda at Planning on It and it looks lovely! Take a look and see if it might suit your needs - it's so generous of Amanda to share her planner with others in such an accessible way!

I'd love to hear about your calendar/planner for the new year. Are you excited about it? Tired of it? Indifferent perhaps?

I'll post more about what I'm using this year, once I get it a little further along. Right now it's sort of a combination of purchased materials and handmade ... but "putter time" is not as plentiful as it once was so I'm a little behind schedule ... I've vowed however, not to fret that come January 1st I may or may not have THE calendar I want at my fingertips!

:)

Well my friends, I hope you all have a wonderful day, and thanks so much for stopping by ...

See you here again very soon!


Advent: Moments of Peace & Joy

And here's my last post in the series, for Advent has come to a close! It's been such fun sharing my "found" moments of peace and joy with you all. Each day I'd wonder where I might look and what I might find ...

Like in my kitchen, where I spend so much of my time ...

Advent joy bowls

Sun shining on mixing bowls ... holiday goodies begin here. I didn't do half the baking I'd hoped to this Advent, but I still enjoyed looking at those bowls every day!

Our stockings, hung by the fire ...

Stockings 2

 A riot of color (and clutter) and a new stocking among them. :)

A found moment of quiet, a cup of hot tea ...

Advent peace mug on stairs

On the stairs, where I sit and listen for Little Bear while he naps. Every mother reading this knows the special joy of naptime. :)

 ❤

A bowl full of Christmas clementines ...

Advent joy clementines

Seasonal foods always make me happy ... because though fleeting, they always return and they never taste as good as they do in their moment.

Speaking of happy ...

Advent joy brothers

 Have I mentioned how much Crackerjack adores his Little Bear?

Our Solstice supper ...

Advent joy cottage pie 

A traditional cottage pie, baked with a "sun" of fresh thyme on top.

My sweet Charlie Brown Christmas tree ...

Charlie brown tree 1

Bill surprised me today ... I was saying how I wished we had some colored lights somewhere  - the white candles and tree lights are lovely and calm, but I do love a little punch of color here and there. Bill hastily strung these lights while I ran an errand this morning ...

And finally, taken but a few moments ago ...

Advent peace holy family

Peace & Joy in one special package!

Blessings to you all on this night of all holy nights ...

**

See you here again very soon ...


All I Want for Christmas ...

 Is exactly what I have!

O and mama 1

 Happy & healthy children ...

O and mama blog 2

A loving home ...

O and mama blog 5

 And a wonderful family ...

O and mama blog 6

I have all I need, and for that I am truly grateful. 

O and mama blog 4

 (Little Bear & his mama, 12/21/13)

Enjoying these last days of Advent, elbows-deep in holiday prep - baking, wrapping, cleaning, etc. I'll pop back in again before Christmas - I still have to show you our tree! - but in case I get sidetracked, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Thank you so much for your visit and for all your kind support through the year!

Blessings on your day ...

**


Advent: Moments of Peace & Joy

 Happy Thursday, my friends! I hope this note finds you well, and enjoying this last week of Advent. Things are fairly quiet on our homefront, and I'm grateful for that. These days I'm trying very hard not to "stress" over the many things left un-done on my to-do list ... trying to re-set my expectations ... and remember that the true spirit of Christmas can be found without spending a cent or stepping outside of my home.

To that end, I continue to find a little joy and peace each day, when and where I can find it ... here are a few recent moments I'd like to share with you:

Advent calendars 2

Advent calendars - the simple old fashioned kind - one for each child, and a chocolate for each day. (I eat Little Bear's, natch.) With thanks to my brother who surprised the boys with these on Thanksgiving Day.

Wise men 1

The wise men, starting their long journey in a sunny, south-facing window. I find two or three of these guys on the floor every morning. Thanks to Oliver who is oddly fixated on the nativity set.

The three kings will start their trek on Christmas and by Epiphany they'll have made their way 'round the room to the hearth ...

Creche in hearth

Solstice books 1

And here are a bunch of winter books for Saturday's solstice. I've been displaying seasonal books on my desk and I love the way they look - even if we don't get to read them, they're so good to see ... like old friends, you know?

Winter tea set

My wintertime "boy-friendly" tea set ... love how it looks in the late afternoon light. I set it on top of a hand-painted tray which is set upon a ruby-red brocade ottoman. It makes me all kinds of happy that I have this little set up in my house. :) Looking at it makes me think of the long winter to come, and afternoons filled with hot chocolate, good books and kids.

Snowmen

And here we have a paper parade of vintage snowmen, perched along the windowsill... I love Christmas decorations that will suit the winter as well.

Bird garland]

A very pretty garland featuring softly painted, slightly glittery Victorian birds - strung along the mantel on an ivory ribbon. This is a gift from my parents, another wonderful "Vermont" find. It looks so, so pretty in this room - my library. :)

Tree candle

A beautiful window at dusk ... on these short, dark afternoons, little lights like these are so comforting. The tree candle is energized by a battery and it turns itself on at the same time each day. I think that's neat - when I see it on, I know it's "that time" of day.

Snowy lamppost

Our lamppost all covered with snow - a Narnia moment, don't you think?

Peace candle

Another candle - this one smells of peppermint and I've been burning it on the kitchen windowsill as I work towards supper. I find the smell of peppermint invigorating, and yet calming at the same time - it reminds me of Christmas treats, winter snow and my summer herb garden. (Because I love to grow mint!)

Heart ornament

And finally, this lovely ornament is new this year - I bought it as a gift but loved it so much I bought a second for our own tree. I think it's so pretty, and a perfect reminder for those days when I'm rushing about trying to make Christmas something more than it needs to be.

**

Well my friends, I wish you all a pleasant evening - or day if you're across the sea! Thank you so much for joining me here, and finding a little peace and joy alongside me. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones ... I'll be back again just as soon as I can!


Jack Frost paid us a visit last night ...

And I found his artwork quite lovely on the windowpanes this morning:

Jack frost 1

Jack frost 2

Despite the clear morning skies, we're expecting another sizeable snow today - but happily, Bill's working from home and we have nowhere to be, so a cozy housebound day will suit us just fine. I hope to finish our cards and do some more (online) shopping this afternoon ... and some thinking about holiday menus, perhaps. To say I am behind on our Christmas prep is an understatement I fear!

Hope this post finds you all well, and thank you so much for stopping by ...

See you here again very soon!


First Snow, A New Joy

We had our first significant snow here last night - almost a foot overnight! Little Bear was amazed, peeking out the bedroom window very early this morning ...

O first snowstorm 6

How I love experiencing the wonder of the world through my little one's eyes ...

O first snowstorm 4

And how he looks to his Mama for reassurance and explanation...

O first snowstorm 2

Someone with whom to share his joy ...

O first snowstorm 7

And radiate it right back at him.

This is Peace *and* Joy all wrapped up in one sweet, snuggly package!

:)

Blessings to you all on this beautiful 3rd Advent Sunday! (The "pink week" we call it!)

See you here again very soon ...


Advent: Moments of Peace & Joy

Some simple, joyful moments on St. Lucia Day ...

Advent joy saint lucia buns

Cinnamon rolls (the easy kind that come from a can that happen to also be the natural kind that Earlybird can have). One of these years I *will* make homemade Lucia bun. I mean it.

;)

Note the adorable "shooting star" beeswax birthday candle.

 Advent joy hook apron 1 

This brushed nickel hook - oh, how I've waited for it! Bill finally got the hook installed on the back of a kitchen door, so I can hang my beautiful winter apron here - a treasured "Vermont" gift from my parents last year ...

Advent joy hook apron 2 

I think it looks nice in this spot, close to the oven ... makes me want to bake!

Advent joy calendar 1

 And while we're in the kitchen ... my monthly wall calendar always makes me smile. I have it hanging on the fridge. The art of Susan Winget (Lang Co.) is just beautiful.

***

And now for a couple of moments today when I truly "took" peace ...

 Advent peace driveway

Walking back from getting the mail - cold air, icy ground, flurries in the midst - so still and quiet, as I made my way up our drive. I could feel Winter's approach ...

Advent peace tea

Back inside, a cup of tea for warmth and (soul) nourishment.

**

And now we're at the weekend ... with a snowstorm pressing upon us here in New England. We have some quiet homey plans, a special boy's birthday to celebrate, a bit of a breather, I hope ... but I'll be back again soon to share the peace and joy I am stumbling upon ...

Blessings to you all! 


Advent: Moments of Peace & Joy

 First, a few moments of PEACE ...

Advent peace curtain over crib

I took this photo from my phone (retrieved from my pocket) as I was rocking Little Bear on my shoulder this morning ... looking out the window above his crib, admiring the soft, serene light ... grateful for the less complicated day ahead.

Advent peace milkweed

Another phone shot, Crackerjack and I took this picture yesterday outside the post office. We thought the spent milkweed pods looked especially lovely set amongst the snow, in the soft afternoon light. Late autumn greets early winter ...

Advent peace angel

And here's a gift from my parents ~ a sweet Christmas angel fresh from Vermont. <3

And now for some JOY ...

Advent joy ornaments from mum

 These are bags and boxes of beautiful Christmas ornaments ~ some on loan, some newly purchased, all brought over by my mother. I can't wait to "deck out" our tree!

 Advent joy snowman garland 

These funny snowmen are an old-fashioned paper garland; I have them sitting on my desktop. I was working on our Christmas cards when I took this picture. :)

Our lady guadalupe ornament

 Another painted wooden ornament, made in honor of today's feast. I'm having fun making these Marian-themed snowflakes! In fact, I have half a mind to make up a whole host of them for a pretty winter garland ...

Owen 6 month checkup 2

And finally, a "baby-joy" shot! Little Bear had his six-month check-up today, and I'm happy to report he's doing great! He had to have a whole bunch of shots though, and the poor boy cried his little heart out! As hard as it is to hear him cry, we did get to hear his first word: "Mummmm!"

**

Well, we're at midweek already, and I hope it's been a good one for you so far. Things have quieted down here - for the moment, and that's all I can count on, right? The next few days we'll be working on our Christmas decorations, nursing head colds, and anticipating a sizable snowstorm this weekend. Bookworm has started his finals at BC, so we're praying him through those, and looking forward to his return next week!

Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone ... see you here again very soon!


An Update on Earlybird

Well the good news is, we're home from the hospital ... the bad news is, it didn't go so well. :(

Earlybird was awesome and did the very best HE could. He was positive and polite, but the procedure itself (an EEG) never got beyond the head measurements. He completely balked at the measuring tape and the marker ... we never even got close to electrodes. And I'm pretty sure he would not have fallen asleep for the test - he was just so upset and stressed out. The tech was nice enough, but clearly not able to work around his sensory issues. She said we might have better luck in Boston - this was a local Children's Hospital site - where they could better accommodate him. But I absolutely dread the thought of going through all of this again. We are all running on very low fuel right now ...

All that said, we've got the MRI coming up next month (he'll be sedated for that). For now we'll just recoup and chalk this up to a learning experience. And EB is fine - in typical fashion, he was smiling and saying goodbyes and thank yous on our way out (relieved to be done, I'm sure). His birthday is coming up on Saturday so we'll just concentrate on making this a special weekend for him ...

We'll of course keep you all posted and I would like to once again thank you all for your encouragement. I know our spirits are held up by all of those keeping us close in their hearts and prayers. Even though this was a disappointing and exhausting day, we are grateful for our support system and extremely thankful for our Earlybird. We saw many children today whose parents bear a much greater load than we do ... EB has his challenges to be sure, but he is (we are) blessed in many, many ways.

Thanks so much for checking in ... I'll be back in touch very soon.

**


Advent: Moments of Peace & Joy

{Earlybird update at bottom of post.}

PEACE

Advent peace sunrise 

I've noticed my "peace" moments tend to happen in the morning ... I think this is when my day is still fairly simple and it's easier to be mindful of the blessings around me. As the day progresses, things get a bit noisier and more active ...

For instance, right now, it's 8:30 a.m. and Little Bear has just gone down for his morning nap. The middle boys are in the midst of their breakfast and the funny pages ... there are chores to get to, and lessons to lay out, but I'm taking this little break for myself. I'm sitting somewhere quiet and typing away, feeling creative and connected ... But wait - I hear footsteps ...

Shhh, you don't see me here!

;)

Sometimes, though, peace can be found late in the day, too ...

As the kettle boils and the sun sets, I find myself busy in the kitchen ... I take a moment to breathe a short prayer, light a candle in the window. A real, honest-to-goodness, wax-and-wick candle, one that burns slowly and softly. Not as brightly as those electric candles, perhaps - it requires more thought and attention - but it's real. I can't ignore it, my eyes return to it, the children ask about it ... the lighting of a flame - an ancient gesture in a modern life.

Advent peace blue candle

JOY

Advent joy book 1

A sweet, old-fashioned Christmas ABC book ... those illustrations remind us how beautiful a simpler life can be.

**

And a feast day craft - easy and rewarding:

Advent joy ornament 2 

A plain wooden ornament, painted with natural watercolors ... a precious picture printed out and cut to fit in the middle ... but no glitter to be found? How about a sprinkle of kosher salt?

Advent joy ornament 1

Looks so pretty in the lights of the tree ...

Advent joy o looking at tree

>>>Love<<<

**

Now, for a note on Earlybird ...

He is doing well. He is taking the medicine better and better each day. He gets a dose every 12 hours (by dropper) and so far, aside from a decreased appetite, it doesn't seem to be affecting him adversely. Most importantly he has not had a seizure since last Tuesday night.

So tomorrow he has his first test - an EEG. To prepare him for the procedure, we have to keep him up till midnight tonight, then let him sleep till 4 a.m. - wake him then, and keep him awake until the test at 10 a.m. Now - his blog name is not Earlybird for nothing - this is a child whose self-imposed bedtime is 7 p.m. Who sometimes begs to go to bed. So we really have our work cut out for us tonight ...

 My friends, my deepest thanks for your continued prayers ... I will post an update on his testing as soon as I am able, but please hold my boy in your thoughts and prayers. This will be difficult for him and I'm sure confusing, too. Bill and I are taking this one step at a time, just doing what needs to be done to the best we are able and keeping EB as comforted as we can. Your support, suggestions and encouragement mean the world to us!

Well, I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday ... relish the blessings in your life today and look for those little moments as you are able. Drop a note and share them here if you have the time ... and I'll be in touch just as soon as I can.


Advent: Moments of Peace & Joy

 A few moments from my weekend, which was very nice ... I hope yours was too.

*PEACE*

Advent peace snowfall

An overnight snowfall made for a lovely surprise Saturday morning. I took this picture as I peeked out our front door ... the sun had barely woken up. As much as I'd love a little more sleep, I do relish this time of day.

Advent peace archie

Here's Archie basking in the kitchen sunlight. Cats know where all the warm spots are in the house. :) I love how wherever I am, he's there too. He just follows me (and Little Bear) around the house throughout the day. And not just when he's hungry. Oliver enjoys his solitude, but Archie's a real people person ... erm, cat.

Advent peace sunrise road

Crackerjack took this sunrise shot on our way home from Mass this morning. We were marveling over the moody, milky sky ... we were also having a very nice conversation about faith. CJ was asking me a lot of questions about why different Christians believe different things and practice the Faith in different ways. Some things I had an answer for ... some I did not, and I told him we'd look into those questions together.

Now for a few moments of ...

*JOY*

Advent joy high chair 1

Somebody had his first meal served in his big-boy high chair Saturday night! He was quite amenable to the new "protocol" as you can see ... note the little foot propped up on the tray!

Advent joy archie lights

As expected, we had a little "help" with the Christmas tree lights today ...

Advent joy oliver watching tree

Meanwhile Oliver kept a safe distance.

Advent joy pink purple candles

It's the 2nd Sunday in Advent ... the candles on our mantel tell us so. :) I had such fun making these tissue paper votives with the boys years ago - our rather humble take on the Advent candle tradition.

**

Blessings on your Monday, my friends ... keep your eyes (and heart) open for those little moments of peace ... and joy. I hope they help you balance any struggles you are handling right now.

I'll see you here again very soon ...

 


Advent: Moments of Peace & Joy

Happy Weekend, my friends!

Well, it was a quiet day for us yesterday ... I was feeling most grateful for the acceptance and peace in my heart. So much of our reality is shaped by our perception and how we feel about things. What's that old saying? If you can't change the way things are, change the way you think about them? Something like that. I find when I pray these days, I am asking God - not so much to change things (though that would be fantastic) - but for Him to grant me the strength to handle the things that do happen. And He's been so good to help me with that.

I am also deeply thankful for all your messages of support. What an outpouring we have received from you all, I can hardly express my gratitude. The prayers that are being said for my son, for my family ... I am truly overwhelmed by your kindness, and how you've taken us under your wings ...

My heartfelt thanks to you all.

Also, a few of you who have gone through similar issues have reached out with offers to connect, and I will be following up on those connections, most certainly. I am eager for advice and insight ... Thus far Earlybird is doing ok - he is tolerating the meds well. He is not at all pleased about getting them (he begins the day with "No medicine, all right?") but I think he's becoming more accepting of it, and Bill and I are getting better at it. (There's that old saying at work!)

(Some of you have asked about his tests - his EEG is next Wednesday, but more on that in a future post.)

Well it's time to get on with my post - the peace and the joy I found in my day yesterday. A day which, in light of all the recent turmoil, was wonderfully relaxed, and though I hate to use this word - I think you know what I mean when I say - normal.  Little Bear took a super long nap, so I was able to spend some much needed one-on-one time with EB ...

First, here's my moment of peace ...

O nap 1

Honestly, is there anything more peaceful than a sleeping baby?

:)

And now for a look at our simple joy ...

Advent joy craft 3

Glue! What could be better?

Well, maybe paint. 

Earlybird asked for paints, and I did have some set aside. (I have to use natural art materials with EB.) I also had the boys work on an oldie but goodie - the "reindeer hands-and-feet" project. My 14 year-old Crackerjack is such a good sport. I asked him to join us in our craft-making and he happily did so.

Advent joy craft 1

Advent joy craft 2

I called this "Advent painting" because the blended paints became mostly purple and pink. :)

Advent joy craft 4

R painting 2

Advent joy craft 5

 The tiny one in the middle is Little Bear's.

:)

A bit later in the day, Earlylbird helped me make some brownies, a special St. Nicholas Day treat. Bookworm was on his way home from college, and we were eager to make a fun family supper. 

Advent joy baking

They were later topped with peppermint frosting - and as you can imagine, they were a hit!

Advent joy brownie

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Well my posts have been rather long-winded lately - not quite the quck and simple things I had envisioned when I started my Advent Peace & Joy series! But I've had a lot to say, and you've all been kind enough to listen ...

I say this a lot, but truly, thank you for taking the time to stop by and spend a bit of your precious time here with me. I'm happy when my words resonate with someone and/or bring something forward that is is happy or helpful in some way. I'd like to ask that you leave me comments with your own prayer intentions - I am in prayer an awful lot these days and I would be honored to remember your intentions alongside mine. 

For now though, I will sign off ... we have a tree to decorate today! I will surely be sharing some of that joy here later on ...

Blessings and love to you all ... see you here again very soon!


Advent: Moments of Peace & Joy

*Family note at bottom of post*

My friends, I find such peace in candlelight at all times of the year, but especially during the season of Advent, as the days grow short and dark ...

Advent peace candles

 (My kitchen sink window, looking out at the sun setting behind the woods.)

Advent peace candle

(Colonial style candles, one for each front window in our new home.)

And now, for a moment of joy ...

Now, I'm not a "city girl" by any means, but I just LOVE the way the city looks at Christmas! City sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style ... 

Advent city lights

Seriously, those huge sparkling trees on the town common, and the line of merry wreaths that hang from street lights (as above) ... they bring such a smile to my face during the holidays. I saw these on my way home from Crackerjack's CCD class last night - we pulled over so I could get a quick pic. :)

**

* Note: Before I go, may I press upon you all again for more prayers for Earlybird? He had another seizure at four this morning ... another very scary ordeal for our son (and his parents). Thankfully, this seizure was shorter than the last, and because we were told how to handle it, there was a bit less panic on our parts. Still doesn't take away the worry, or the distress of our son who just has no idea why this is happening. God bless him, he asked if he could go back to "the hotel" this morning once things had calmed down (and he was back to himself). I asked him if he meant "the hospital" and he did. He remembered the kind care he received and that he felt better once he was done.

But here's a happy moment just to set you all at ease ...

R with train set 1

This is EB and his Polar Express train set. He's been watching the movie recently and asking (somewhat incessantly) for his "wooden Polar Express train set." Now, the problem is (was), the set was kind of lost in the move, but Bill took it upon himself to find the pieces this morning and he was able to cobble most of the set together. Well, you would have thought we delivered Santa himself - Earlybird was thrilled. :)

**

* Next day update (because it's taking me that long to get this post up!): After a call from the neurologist last night, we brought EB into Children's Hospital to start meds. Bill and my folks drove him in around 6 p.m (so I could stay home with the baby and Crackerjack); they were finally back home around midnight. So today starts a new reality of twice-daily medication, and watching to see how he reacts to it. They warned us it could cause some physical and behavioral issues, but we'll just have to wait and watch and hope (pray) for the best.

***

You know ... I guess sometimes we have to "take" joy and peace when and where we can find it, even when there's all this other stuff going on and life is far from quiet or easy or perfect. When we do find it - the joy and/or the peace - we have to enjoy it in that moment, and tuck it away to remember later. We never know how much we might need it.

I really don't mean to sound preachy, because this is something I am working on very much for myself. Keeping my eyes and heart open to the goodness in life around me and remembering that our blessings outweigh our challenges.

Some days this is easier to remember than others, but it's something I try to return to as I can. Life never stays the same, we can only try to roll with the changes and keep ourselves and our spirit intact ...

**

Ok, I'm going to wrap up because I've kept you all long enough. My friends, thank you so much for your continued prayers and support. I will update as I can ... and I will post here as often as I can. It might not be every day as I planned, but I will as I find the time and opportunity.

Hope you all have a nice day ... see you here again very soon.


Advent: Moments of Peace & Joy

A moment of peace ...

Frozen creek 1

Every time I drive out of our neighborhood, I drive by this little creek. It's a pretty sight at any time, but especially so with ice forming along its edges. Yesterday I took a few moments to stop my van, get out and take a picture. The wind was quiet in the trees and there was a critter rustling aruond in the branches. The air smelled faintly of woodsmoke. It was a lovely  moment with nature, reminding me how quiet and still the world becomes at this time of year ... a wonderful example for us all.

An this was my moment of joy  ...

Owen car ride 1

Owen car ride 2

Tucking my little trooper, Little Bear, into his car seat, as we headed out and about with his brothers. I was reminded how blessed we are to have Little Bear in our life, and how fortunate I am to spend my days with these children. I love his knit wear, don't you?

My friends, I absolutely adore the season of Advent, but for a whole host of reasons, I'm feeling overwhelmed this year. I've decided to counteract that anxiety as best as possible by focusing each day on finding a moment of peace and a moment of joy. Little things, simple things ... easy to spot if I look for them. And as I find them, I'll share them here ...

:)

Blessings on your Tuesday, everyone!

 


And now for Advent ...

Advent joy 1

Happy Monday, my friends ... and Happy Advent, too!

Have you started your holiday decorating yet? I had hoped to get more done this weekend than we did, but we're having a few, ahem, "issues" locating all our Christmas stuff ...

We had hoped to get our tree on Sunday but the weather was pretty lousy here - drizzly and slippery. So we're going to try to do that later this week. Today I hope to set up the children's creche - if I can find the wooden stable - and organize the holiday books (Thanksgiving/Autumn away, Christmas/Winter on display). We do have our window candles set up and oh, how I love the soft glow on these dark afternoons ...

:)

So have yourselves a good start to the week ... I'll see you here again sometime soon!