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.
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).
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):