Joining the lovely Kelly, who has all your Black Friday shopping needs covered!
Happy Friday and Happy day after Thanksgiving to my American friends!
I'm always grateful on American Thanksgiving for not having to deal with the giant amounts of work, food, stress, family, and cooking less than a month away from Christmas. I'm a Thanksgiving Grinch and I like that way - I'm also Canadian so we have a lovely, low-key Thanksgiving in October which makes plenty of down time between seeing family again, eating pie again, and worrying about shopping. But if you had turkey yesterday, then I hope it was great.
In surprising news the husband and I escaped for a few days this past week to Arizona and it was marvellous. We'd planned it out a month or two ago and then sort of stopped thinking about it thinking it was so far away and got caught up in life, then a week or two ago we got really excited at a prospect of a couple days away together and a bit of a trip. It takes a bit of coordination to get all the stars to align babysitting-wise, work-wise, money-wise, but we both always feel like it was really worth it once we're there and have ploughed through the worry and anxiety of leaving the kids. Because I always do get that gripping fear and guilt for a few days before I leave. You can't avoid mom guilt.
A lovely, dreamlike vacation to me is really just a hotel and the prospect of food I don't have to cook. It feels so luxurious not worrying about when to eat, just choosing to walk into a coffee shop and sit down for more than five minutes, and sleeping as late as we want. We meandered around at our leisure, didn't rush anywhere, enjoyed doing things the kids would have tantrumed about, it was wonderful!
We did manage to go to the Arizona Cardinals game last Sunday night which was a total hit with my husband. The game was really good, the stadium was monstrous and crazy, the margarita I got at the stadium surprisingly strong. We had a lot of fun!
We officially take back any previous sarcastic comments regarding snowbirds who winter in Arizona because the weather was perfect. Cloudless skies, no wind or bugs, blissfully warm in November! I loved the desert plants and kinda freaked out over the saguaro cacti. Not quite Spanish Moss levels of freak out, but still, I just loved seeing them. It's just so much fun seeing a whole new landscape-especially when ours is covered in snow for the next five months or so.
Advent. It's here. I'm not ready. But I'm ok with that. It's really not Advent we're getting ready for, it's Christmas and that's why we have 4 weeks of Advent. I wish I had new things to say about Advent but I feel like everything that needs to be said has been said. Even my old Advent posts have started getting hits this week as people look forward to the season.
It's really a time the Church gives us to embrace silence, waiting, and preparation. And all those things can happen in small, undramatic, daily ways - not in big things that require a lot of work, effort, and drama. I'm going to try and refocus on my own prayer and I know that the kids are already looking forward to our small traditions of lighting the Advent wreath with some prayers, songs, and readings randomly interspersed over the four weeks. I am in no way prepping. I know that over the course of four weeks I'll turn over my heart and see where it lands at Christmas.
But since we're already speaking of Advent and St. Nick's day is about a week away, I've gotten on the ball this year and have already
ordered received the kids St. Nick Christmas books. Ignatius Press sent me a couple of advance copies of their delightful Maite Roche board books, one about the Our Father and one with glorious Christmas illustrations and they are delightful. They are really perfect little board books for the 2 and over set, but I have no complaints taking in the beautiful illustrations myself. The simple prose is a perfect introduction to prayer and Christmas, and the size of the books are great for taking to Mass. Highly recommended!
Well, I'm off to take some kids to see Santa at our small town light-up, celebrate a certain 7 year old's birthday, and dig through the storage room at some point in hopes of finding the advent wreath. Oh! Btw, because you all were wondering, I found advent candles at a dollar store so I'm now just hoping they don't really stink -- fingers crossed.
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