Sunday, December 30, 2007

Merry Christmas!

What a beautiful Christmas it has been! This year, we were so blessed with a full, spiritual Advent that led into a very rich Christmas season. We are blest to be able to live close to both sides of the family. It can be difficult to travel on Christmas day, but it was more than worth it in the end!
Christmas Eve and Christmas morning were spent with my family. The little ones were nestled all snug in the beds, after Mass, a reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas," gingerbread cookies with cups of milk and prayers. Then the big people in the family stayed up and talked, laughed, sipped wine or champagne, and of course, ate a gingerbread boy or two. In the morning, the whole house was awake by 7:00 (one little angel, who shall go nameless, was up at 5:30...but who's keeping track?). Adults poured strong mugs of coffee and joined the little ones dancing with excitement around the Christmas tree. Everyone took their turn opening presents and giving thanks for each gift. Stories were told about how the gifts came to be and the thoughts that were put into them. It was beautiful! I am so grateful that my daughter was able to participate so fully this year. My younger siblings are such good examples of how to be grateful and the importance of showing thanks to the giver. I love watching my daughter, as she watches and learns from my siblings. It was the kind of Christmas I had always imagined as the older sister. Thank you, my wonderful family for being there and being such beautiful examples to my little girl!

Christmas evening and dinner were celebrated with my husband's wonderful family! Everyone was dressed in their Christmas finest and everything was so festive! My mother-in-law filled the kitchen with delicious appetizers, served with champagne and sparkling conversation. The afternoon was filled with lively discussions, laughter and affection. We opened gifts and again, exchanged thanks to everyone. Then...we feasted....and feasted....and feasted. I am fairly certain that most of the holiday weight came from that dinner alone! The best part, was the way we all lingered around the table, still laughing and talking, until long after dinner was done. Again, it was beautiful! Thank you, to my husband's wonderful family and their gift of festivity!

I feel so blest to have shared the birth of the Christ Child with the incredible people that He has put into my life. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Just like every night...

I held her tight in my arms, careful to hold the pink elephant close as well. I swayed gently next to the crib. My husband stood beside me holding both of us (and the pink elephant!). He blessed the forehead of our daughter and as he started the prayers we have been reciting every night for the past year and half, something happened. A tiny hand reached up to my forehead, tiny, cool fingers danced upon my skin and her eyes, looking into mine danced. She had given me a blessing as well! Then she did the same to my husband. No other prayers seemed necessary. I could almost hear Our Lord smile. She had tried to give us the sign of the cross. She seemed to understand. Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more.

"The men of the East may spell the stars, And times and triumphs mark, But the men signed of the cross of Christ Go gaily in the dark."
-G.K. Chesterton, "The Ballad of the White Horse"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Masters in Business Administration!

After two and a half years of hard work, Jacob has finished his last class for his Masters! I am so proud of him! Not only are his classes done, but he ended with an "A" on his final! He has received amazing grades throughout the program, due to his long hours of study and incredibly strong will. I am so proud of him for sticking with it. We are planning on celebrating when he receives his diploma, but for now we had a small celebration with balloons, champagne and cheesecake. Congratulations Jake....I love you!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Golden Nights

Today begins the Golden Nights of Advent, in which the "O Antiphons" are sung. Here is a wonderful link to an explanation of the "O Antiphons" for these final days leading to Christmas Eve. These are a beautiful, prayerful way to end these evenings. God bless!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Undiscovered Talent:

Remember dancing by remember the time, the time when the audience (i.e. teddy bears, dolls and lego men) waited with bated breath as you finished your routine with a twirl in your toe shoes and ended with a graceful bow? Or remember singing and knowing that if someone heard you, your records would sell faster than anyone else's?

Now I have an audience, and I still dance and sing. But now, the applause and squeals of delight are not imaginary. My daughter thinks I am amazing...or comical at least. And I love every moment of it! In her eyes I am a prima ballerina, professional Irish Dancer, Whitney Houston, Monet, Chef Extraordinaire, Finder of all lost things, the Teddy Whisperer and Hans Christian Anderson (apparently with a comical twist) all in one! Who knew I was so talented! Certainly not me! I have a feeling, that every mother discovers these hidden talents, when small eyes are fixed upon them. Never pass a mother and think she is "just a mom." Oh no! She is a superstar followed by the most dedicated fans.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Preparing for the Coming of the King!

First of all, I pray you will all have a very holy, Christ-filled Advent Season. Here we are beginning our prepartions a little at a time. Today we got out Rose Marie's nativity set, and she loves it! I think every character has kissed and adored Jesus at least 10 times. The Angel flies all over the house talking about, "Kiss, JeJe" (kissing Jesus). At least she knows where adoration belongs. Just for kicks, here is a nativity picture from last Advent:

It is amazing what a difference a year can make.