Um. Hi.


I've been a bit absent around these parts, I know.  I don't like it but that's what it is.  Pregnancy and four home schooled kiddos can do that to a girl.  So, mind if I chat and brain dump a bit?  No?  Good.

Can you believe the year is almost over?  In a few days Advent begins!  Now is the time to get out those Adventy things, make some plans, and make sure you have what you need so you're not frustrated and scrambling on Sunday afternoon.  Right?  Right.
(No, really.  Go do it.  You'll be happy you did.)

We're going out of town for Thanksgiving so it's especially helpful to have everything ready now.  We rolled our candles this afternoon and the Jesse Tree is already up so that we can begin when we get back.  Any fun plans for Thanksgiving?  It's always a bit different not being at home for a holiday but it'll be good to reconnect with the far away family again.  I'm pretty sure the worst part of not being home is that you don't have days of delicious leftovers stocked in the fridge.  Not looking forward to the ten hour trip in a car with four children except that there's a Chik-fil-A on the way so there's that.

I feel at peace going into this Advent.  I'm good with simple and that's how I've been trying to live our Advent preparing for Christmas.  (For more on specific ways we observe Advent, please click on over here, here, and here.  Or here, too.  I, um, really like Advent.)  I have almost all Christmas gifts purchased or at least planned.  That feels really good. I'm excited to enter into the quiet and joy of Advent again.

Because I like to be all Catholic subversive I think now is the best time to do that whole 'word of the year' thing that people do.  Because Sunday marks our real new year, right?  A few years ago my word was 'surrender' and that word crept on into this past year where 'humility' piggy backed right onto it.  This year I feel God putting a new word on my heart, and a very welcome one it is.  It isn't fancy or creative but I crave it more than the olives I was shoveling into my mouth in the Aldi's parking lot the other morning.
Yes, that sounds like a very welcome word indeed right about now.

Things here at home have been okay.  I'm fourteen weeks (!) and on the upswing but haven't yet gotten that great second trimester awakening yet.  I'm still having some bad days and my motivation to do anything is low but I'm praying that a reprieve comes soon.  If not, that I have the grace to accept it as what God wills for me right now.  I've had a bunch of people unexpectedly make us meals over the last few weeks and I feel so blessed and so grateful.  Brian's been a rockstar taking over things I normally do.  The maternity clothes were brought out the other day and I'm realizing that I may need to borrow or buy a few sweaters.  The majority of this pregnancy will be in cold weather and the few I have are pretty worn.  I so appreciate the prayers that have been offered for us and have been praying for those of you who gave your intentions as well.

The huge storm that hit our area is over but with warmer temperatures yesterday and today there are serious threats of flooding.  We have zero snow at our home (the boys have been outside without coats all day playing and I have windows open!) but just a few miles away they are still under six feet, shoveling off roofs and prepping basements for water.  Thank you for all the prayers.  Fourteen people have died in the storm that we know of.  I am amazed and proud, though, at how beautifully our area comes together in a crisis.  Did you notice that there was not one report of looting or rioting or anything like that?  Not one.  I don't think that would happen in a lot of other areas.  There are shovel brigades going out to help strangers dig out.  There are people plowing driveways and homes for free.  So many many people rescued strangers trapped in the snow, digging out cars, literally saving lives and delivering meals and medicine to the vulnerable.  People are really really good.  Thank you so much for praying for us!

Let's see...
what else can I yammer on about?

Last month a few friends and I held a praise and worship night at our church.  I have been longing for something like this for years.  There are few times I feel more alive than when I'm singing in praise.  I don't pretend to be all that good.  I'm no soloist.  But I can carry a tune and I got to sing with Heather again which was really great.  I used to sing a lot and I miss it so much.  We're planning on doing these monthly and alternating adult nights with family-friendly nights so if you're in the area and want to stay up to date on upcoming nights, please let me know.

Oh!  I'm super excited to be going to an Advent conference in Canada in a few weeks, too!  (That sounds far and exotic, doesn't it?  It's really only half an hour away.)  I got an email in my box the other day advertising Marian Grace's upcoming concert schedule and my heart jumped when I saw that they'd be so close!  I clicked through and realized it wasn't just a concert but a whole day long conference with Mother Olga and Dr. Sri speaking and Marian Grace not only doing praise and worship but then having an evening concert.  I registered as soon as I could and Brian and I are going (overnight!  Eek!) and I'm kinda really excited.

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So.  Enough randomness from me.  How are you doing?

Some serious concentration


  1. Mary
    Lovely update, a beautiful rich rhythm you are living at present:)
    Me, just recovered from lots of medical dramas (not our normal lifestyle) and beginning to think about presents.

  2. I am so looking forward to seeing all of you! I like your word for the coming year. JOY it needed caps.
    Prayers continue for the people of Buffalo area.
    The candles do look like very serious work.
    It is nice that the 2 of you can get to the conference in far off Canada! Is this the year of international travel?

    Love and hugs to all

  3. hey lady, i have maternity clothes you can borrow. my pants you might have to roll twice over (or just wear my maternity capris ;) but i have a ton of tops. lmk home skillet.

  4. Good to hear from your ramblings. Have a safe trip!


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