Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I don't think I ever fully-grasped the meaning of Advent until recently. I thought it was just a religious way of counting down the days until Christmas... and a good excuse to eat a piece of chocolate every day.

But while searching for a way to do this with our kids this year, I found I wanted to move away from simply observing advent, to truly celebrating. Because I think it is worth a celebration. 

First time in the Bumbo.

I think she liked it!
You know me. Christmas Eve is my favorite holiday, the last few weeks of pregnancy are an absolute thrill, and I have fond memories of the night before the first day of school. I mean, anticipation is one of my top ten favorite words. 

Yeah, he's not excited or anything.

Lia the Lion.

So I'm not sure why it's taken me 30 years to spread that feeling you get on Christmas Eve over the previous 24 days.  Needless to say, I was tickled to discover Truth in the Tinsel this year. It's a fantastic way celebrate Advent with Littles. And super flexible, which is key for mamas like me. I love that there's scripture reading, plus a craft. I don't know about you, but glue and sequins make everything better in this house. And we're still able to incorporate traditional elements like cute, little wooden doors and, of course, chocolate. Full disclosure: we don't do it every day. But I like to think that by not going all the projects this year, it will still be new and exciting for years to come. And also, my 2 year old has already tapped in to a few of next week's chocolate treats.

We're trying to take it easy during this small space between holidays. Jon had his second surgery in month last week. This one was for a hernia (I think you can guess what the first one was for). We thought it would only take a long weekend for recovery, but his on-base doctor just told him he can't go back to work for two weeks. So it's nice that we get to have daddy home. But not so nice that he's medically restricted from being too helpful around the house.

I was craving a meadow a few weeks ago.

So we Google-mapped the closest space.

And went to watch the sun set.

But it was too cloudy.

We had fun anyway, hunting for deer.

And filling our lungs with cold, fresh air!
Oh, the house. You can tell the weather had been raunchy and my kids stuck inside for too long. There's just stuff everywhere. Blankets are the current trend. Blanket forts, pretending to camp-out in blankets, pretending its nap time in the middle of the living room, or just trying to keep warm. My kids like to drag out every blanket they can find. And then they're shocked when someone trips and rams their head into a wall...

Which is happening more often these days because our furniture is shifted around. It's Christmas and, behold, our tree. 
This was supposed to be a picture of it UP and DECORATED.  But I just realized I never took one.  And the house is too messy to do it right now.
It took us FOREVER to pick this guy out this year. We just weren't seeing anything we loved. We tramped all through the farm and ended up picking the first one we had seen when we arrived, hours earlier. So far, nothing beats The Tree of 2010, but that's okay. It's one of the few things we fondly remember about that winter.

Notice our big helper pulling up the rear!
So far, I think only 4 ornaments have broke. It's frustrating, but at the end if the day we have to realize it's just stuff. And our kids help us clean out. And if they don't break it, chances are the moving company will one of these days. So yeah, letting go...moving on...

She's a long one!  90th percentile for length!!
The 4.5 month old. She's got my heart in that steely baby grip that always catches me by surprise. I'm trying not to get sucked down in the whole "last baby" thing. But it's tough. I finally worked up the courage to move her to her own room last night. She's been ready for weeks. Me?  Not so much. I didn't cry. But I also didn't mind retrieving her when she called at 4:58 this morning. And then she spent the rest of the morning in my bed until Lia came in yelling "Mama, Mama, MAMAAAA!!!"

And so our day began. Quickly followed by snow and crackling fires and Christmas cookies in the oven.

He worked so hard to build this little snowman.

I'm intending to live out the lyrics to "Let it snow" today. I think we're up to the part about popcorn. I'm sure the kids will be up for that after they play outside. And from previous experience, that won't be very long. Oh Advent, I'm so glad you came with snow this year!

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