2022 Highlights: End of November and the Beginning of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. In the church calendar, the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day are a time of reflection and preparation. Not just the busy prep of the holidays – decoration, shopping, baking – though those are all good things, but a time set aside to contemplate what it means that the Lord of Creation stepped down from Heaven and entered the world as an infant. It’s an absurd story really and it goes against every human instinct that we might have of what an all-powerful God might do. And what does it say about love and relationship that our God might do that for us?

I have always loved this season. As a child, mostly because of the excitement and the anticipation and the yummy things to eat, but in the last few years as an adult I have come to appreciate the space that is made in the church calendar for hard times. This time of year I feel the darkness of the world, physically, mentally, and spiritually and it weighs heavily. I am grateful to have these reminders and space to turn my focus on to the light.

BC Ferries is celebrating in a minimal way this year.

November is coming to an end very nicely. We have all managed to stay healthy for a few days in a row. I feel like I’m finally (maybe) getting into the groove or working more and being a mom and managing the household. We celebrated American Thanksgiving last week with a delicious meals. A good friend of mine is American and it has become a tradition in our group of friends to celebrate in November together. I had the opportunity to spend time with some other school moms and I’m thankful to be forming friendships there.

On the weekend I celebrated my 37th birthday. Way back in the spring I spontaneously bought tickets for Peter and I to see Arcade Fire in Vancouver and the date happened to coincide with my birthday. Thanks to a grandparent sleepover for the girls, we were able to make a little getaway of it. We stayed overnight at a hotel downtown, ate street tacos before the show, and went out for a beer afterward. In the morning we had really terrible coffee, then went out for a delicious breakfast, and did a little shopping before heading home to the Coast and celebrating kid-style with take-out pizza and ice cream sundaes.

Some other November photos:

Rainy day walks to school.

I let Rose take photos on my phone and now I have a whole lot of pictures that look like this. Namely, Rose and Justin staring at the screen.

I’ve been doing a lot of walking recently and I enjoy seeing how my phone tracks my steps. On days when we’re all home together, I try to leave my phone behind as much as I can and it makes me laugh because then my phone seems to think I have lain inert all day. (The Monday was a pro-d day so I was home with both kids.)

Saturday morning coffee shop date with my girls (and Christopher Walken).

Weekend hikes:

We finished re-reading The Hobbit as a family and Pearl was inspired to create her own story, along with a map, inspired by Tolkien’s maps. This is her map (we used tea to make it look older):

8 thoughts on “2022 Highlights: End of November and the Beginning of Advent”

  1. Happy birthday!
    I remember my daughter, Honey-bunny, who is almost your age making treasure maps and staining the paper with tea to make it look old. She burned the edges of the page too. I’ve probably still got one or two tucked into books.

    1. Thank you!
      I remember doing stuff like that too! I suggested the burned edges technique but I think Pearl didn’t quite trust it not to make the whole thing go up in flames!

  2. I love Advent too – the last decade or so I was in a church that didn’t really follow the church calendar, and having moved church at the start of the year, they stick a bit more closely to it. I’m really enjoying being somewhere with a more intentional focus on reflection and anticipation at this time of year.

    1. I’m so glad you’ve found a church that provides that! There is something so beautiful about the church calendar. Our new church observes Advent at about the same level as our previous one so far, which is fine. This year I am trying to observe more of the season at home with my family so we lit our first candle on the wreath last night!

  3. Awww, Pearl’s little map! 🥹 I hate to say it, but I don’t see my nieces or nephew doing a lot of projects related to reading. I remember reading things and then needing to write my own fan fiction when I was in elementary school. After I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas (which I now realize is an older film than I had originally thought), I made my own picture book. To be fair, I think the nieces do crafting projects that come as a kit?

    1. Pearl is sooo much like me when I was a kid in so many ways. This is definitely something I would have done! Peter’s been reading The Lord of the Rings and they were looking at maps together so when she started making her own map she got two excited, engaged parents, which definitely helps! They are also studying landforms at school right now and writing stories in their after school program so it all kind of came together here.

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