It’s the Feast of Epiphany! I love this one!

The Star of Bethleham by Burne-Jones

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'” Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another path.” Matthew 2: 1-12

"Halt of the Three Wise Men" by LaFarge

Now, there is much to comment on about Epiphany….between the eastern and western traditions, the customs, folklore, liturgy, prayers, food (cake!) and so on.

But here is what I think about on Epiphany:  Men came from afar.  Far.  Like traveled and schlepped and persevered.  Following the glow of that star, with wonder and halting trust and maybe some arguing about the wisdom of such a journey (but hey, maybe I’m just projecting my own mode here…it could be…). But, for me, one of the nuggets is that they, quite literally, stepped out in faith.  Followed, but a dim light (sure it’s a big ol star and all, but heck, it was DARK and it was far)….and they kept on taking the next step.  They endured the journey.  Persevered.  They followed.  They followed not because they KNEW for sure what was up or where they were going.  They followed in faith.  And, they were rewarded with seeing Christ  himself.  And a baby! Which is always an automatic grin, right there, but Christ and the Holy Family?  Well, that had to just be a marvel and an awestruck wondrous smile.  They could see touch smell stand in his presence.  And I suspect, if we could but ask them, they would say that it was worth it.  Totally.

Today on this feast, that’s what I’m holding onto.  Following the light, hoping to stand in the presence and  joy of that same light when I finally get there.  In the meantime, following with hopeful perseverance.  That’s my epiphany, today.

Happy Feast Day!  Rejoice!

Siren Calls

So, this is the danger season.  It’s the crazy season for me.

How? Well, yeah, I’m in the birthday blitz season (seven months straight of birthday-o-rama and the ensuing  exhaustion).  But, no, I’m referring to the danger zone of the holiday season…but MOST specifically the danger zone of THIS holiday.

Yeah, there’s a reason Halloween is so scary:


It’s the candy, babeee.  If you’re a sugar addicted craving monster mama this season is nothing but danger.  Sure some folks go overboard with the sugar plums of Christmas or the laden tables and pies of Thanksgiving…but me, it’s the candy….the cheap mass produced childhood memory attached candy.  Don’t get me wrong, I can get all snooty about fantastic european chocolates or local foodie-gourmet specialties like this amazing wonderful addictive YUM of toffee (UPS passes my house every day, just saying, hint  hint…)  

Mmmm, candy.  It’s my major weakness.  Really.  (Ask my kids or coffeedoc, they’ll confirm….).

Just walking the aisles of the grocery stores this month is like a mini epic of Jason and the Argonauts sailing through that ocean passage, waiting for the Sirens to start their call. {Remember that movie?? OH wow, talk about a blast from the past, I watched that movie so many times as a kid, laying on the floor in my family room in front of the plaid sofa and being scared silly, but still, I had to watch.  An oddly formative movie, which I’m sure explains so much to you all now….}

So, yeah, nowadays my modern Sirens are named “Snickers” “Reeses” Sweet Tarts” “Baby Ruth“….the list just goes on and on.  But the queen of them all, perhaps Persephone herself, is this one:

Yeah.  “Candy Corn.”

Yup, it’s the queen of all cheap junk candy.  It’s pure sugar, sqooshed and molded into utterly unorganic form: dayglo orange and/or yellow, artificial brown anchoring the non-corn nib shape.  It’s seventies hip, and it’s pure sugar crack zing.  Which is why it so surely, so enticingly,  calls to me this month, every year.   And, as you can see, today I had no Orpheus to read me poetry and silence those sweet songs luring me at the market today.  I couldn’t be tied to a mast to prevent me from leaping overboard… I had to steer and load the darn cart.  So, yes, I fell overboard.  And yes, I have minor regulation insulin issues….ahem…..  And now, I have to hide this from myself, much less the kids.  Sigh. And yeah, I know all about the healthy bananas and fruit on the counter behind these lethal sweet nibs, it’s my kitchen, I took this shot…. but really I’m blind to them.  Because it’s the sugar calling……

Happily enough, and in an ironic twist of fate, I’m old enough that I forget, daily, where I stow things.  So, let’s hope it works before I succumb again, and again, and again……well, you get the idea……

>Turn-key: Schedules (holiday edition)


I’ve written before a few times about the process of adjusting in adoption, especially with older child adoption.  I’ve talked about the idea of the turn key: one key that can turn the lock and you step right into a functioning enterprise (business, relationship, whatever).  As I stated before, adoption is NOTHING like that.  Ever. 
Yet, we, or I, fantasize about it all the time.
I wish I had a turn-key to adoption adjustment, really, really I do.
But I’m starting to get used to the idea that, I don’t, no one does.
As you embark on the process of an adoption, any adoption at all, those fantasies are rampant. 
Sure they get a little dull and bogged down by the cumbersome invasive excruciatingly slow process of adoption:  homestudies, background checks, financial and medical letters, references, duplicated certified stamped filed and stamped some more.
But even so, once you are through all that and you actually have the new family member, the child, home in the house…that’s when it all just gels, right? You’ve turned the key and stepped across the threshold to a brand new life!
Well, sort of anyhow.
This process of adjusting once you have a new child is what has me still and continually obsessing thoughtfully pondering about what makes it work and what doesn’t.
But this post, this series of posts, is about what has worked – for us.  I couldn’t begin to expand it further than our own wacky family; that would be wrong.  Because this is all only my own two pence.  But if I find something that consistently makes a difference, I want to throw it out there in case it might help smooth any path for anyone else.  Those stubbed toes on this sometimes-rocky path of adoption adjustment – they hurt!
So, with that long prelude, we come to this post. 
This post is about an important key to the adjustment in our house: schedules. 
Especially during the holiday season, schedules are critical.
They are a turn-key to unlocking a feeling of control and safety during a very uncertain time in a new family member’s life. 
They are, and I can’t say this quite strongly enough, a safety net
We have a big calendar on our fridge; one of the ones with large empty squares, plenty of room to write appointments, games, events.  Yes, it gets cluttered, especially as the month goes on.  Big family… Many in the house largely ignore it.  It is vital to me, to juggle everything.  The only person who looks at it as closely as me (actually, she examines it daily) is Marta.  It is a critical tool for her to keep her clued in to the daily routines.  Those predictable events are a safety net for her.  They provide a feeling of control and safety in a world that is not fully understood yet – not culturally, not with language, not with nuance or tradition.  
But this week, even that big monthly calendar isn’t cutting it.  This weekend was rocky; nervous anticipation of the holiday this week brought up bad behaviors and acting out.  Finally Sunday afternoon we were able to have a conversation about the nervousness of this week ahead: house-guests, shifting schedules, no school.  
 I decided to make Marta her own daily schedule, and asked her to help me.  We sat down with scratch paper (this doesn’t have to be a fancy thing) and we blocked out each day, so she could see what would happen.  This helps her to anticipate the things that are the same, and to prepare for the shifts and things that are different.  It provides something for her to hold onto, again, it is a safety net.  
Imagine, if you will, how it might be if you didn’t really know how things were going to work the next week, just that it would be quite different from the routine you’ve begun to know and understand….how would that make you feel? Now add on a lack of familiarity with the culture or the holiday traditions and the lack of language to learn it by talking about it.  Now add on a background of trauma and hurt,which brings up reactions that surprise everyone, even yourself,  and see if you don’t get a bit stressed out.  I know I would.  I am stressed out a bit in anticipation of it and I am the Mom of the house!  
 So, we made the daily schedules.  One for each day this week.  We taped them up the the wall in the center hub of the house, the kitchen.  

She knows roughly (Not minute to minute, that would be TOO tight of a schedule and then  you would have fallout from that schedule not being met…this is a blocked out schedule) what is happening when this whole week.  She has already referred to it many times.

And I am hoping.
I am hoping this will help my daughter cope.
I am hoping this will help  my daughter move out of stress response into a softer place.
I am hoping this will help my daughter relax just enough to really be able to BE with the family and enjoy a bit more of this holiday.
I’m not expecting miracles.
But I’m hoping for another little babystep forward.
I’m hoping to turn the key and open the door to family and home, a new family and new home, just a little wider.  
So this is our turn-key of this week: schedules.  
Use this tool, this key, to help a hypervigilant child be able to see what is ahead and anticipate it.  Because that is empowering, that knowledge means safety.
And giving any child a sense of safety is one of the best keys in your pocket.  

>It’s the Dad thing

>Something about Dad’s.
Gotta love ’em.
They can make you crazy, but still, ya gotta love ’em.
Dad, Daddy, Father, Pop, Papa, Pops, Pappy even (?), Pa, Da, Abbat, Padre, Pere,….
It’s all Dad.

And there are two dads that mean the world to me, my Dad, of course, and my Tom, dad to my kiddles.
And they are the best.

First, my dad, aka Pops – on those cheery days.
I love my dad.

As dad’s are supposed to be, he was larger than life to me as a little girl.
And I suppose in many ways, he still is, because he’s still the dad…it’s a lifetime, ya know?
He’s part of many of my favorite things:
Riding horses, yakking about everything and nothing.
Sipping hot strong coffee, yakking about everything and nothing.
Reading the paper in the morning, commenting on the news and everything and nothing.
Comparing wines, and yakking about everything and nothing….
You get the idea….
I love him for his loyalty and his steadfast grit, no matter the tide,or his opinion on my choices and my opinions.

He’s my dad, forever and always and I love him.

ANd then we have the other big dad in my life, the “pardner dad,” {I can say “pardner”, because we both grew up out west. It’s in our blood.} my Tom.

He’s such a great dad; such a great partner in raising this tribe.
He pulls up the slack when I am a slacker.
He pulls me up out of the indigo when I fall into the blues.
He can make me and/or the kids pound the table in laughter, so funny.
He is steadfast and sure, a rock to my rollercoaster of passion and mood, good or bad.
He loves his kids to distraction.
He is easily distracted by fun new adventures and toys, to their delight and my sometime consternation.
He is a born teacher, to my delight and to their sometime consternation.
His love and gift for music has carried into his children, all of them, in one way or another…enriching all of our lives.
He works far too hard and carries too many burdens; and without complaint, though he sometimes does daydream about moving to islands….
He is an adventurer, but stays close to home and it’s needs regardless, tamping down that wanderlust and craving for new thrills.
He is strong inside and out, steady and sure, kinder than me and a softie on the inside.His girls totally pegged that, right away.
His boys don’t always believe it.
But he is.
He’s the dad.
He will go to the ends of the earth for his children, and has.
He’s the dad, and we all love him so, and are so grateful for him.
I love this man, the dad of this clan.

So, I want to wish them both, and every single other dad out there, a very Happy Father’s Day!
You all deserve some kudos for a very tough, long, hard wonderful job.  
And a big thank you.
Happy Father’s Day!

>Mothers. Happy day.

>It’s Mother’s Day!
So first and foremost, Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the mom’s out there, around the world! Yes, I mean exactly that. I mean it for every kond of mom too: mom grandmom birthmom stepmom godmom spiritual mom in place heck even virtual moms! We moms deserve best wishes all the time, even more so today. So God bless each and every one of you.

Next, Happy Mother’s Day to MY mom! I love her.
She is just the mom, my mom. Which means that:
I love her,
I laugh with her,
I argue with her,
I gab with her,
I call her for recipes,
I brag about my kids to her,
I fuss about my kids to her,
I cry to her,
I check in with her,
I walk on the beach with her when I’m very lucky,

I gossip about the sibs with her,
I learned what I know about cooking from her,
I have been too critical of her,
I roll my eyes at her (still sometimes, oh dear),
I have her hands,
I have her hair,
I compare shoes with her,
I compare recipes and menus with her,
I miss her,
I love her.

So, for me, Mother’s Day is to wish my beautiful Mom, Happy Happy Day!
I love you so.

>Ah, Thanksgiving

>I could go on for days, and should go on for my lifetime, listing the things I am thankful for. So many, too many to list or count, more than I deserve. So, for today, I will say that I am unspeakably grateful for my friends (blog and in person), family, and abundant life, for the gift of faith and the Catholic church, for the guests and the jokes, the turmoil and the fears and the cheers. All of it. For my crazy loud hectic chaotic wonderful life. Every blessed moment.

And with that, this is the best way for me to show what I’m thankful for, the most important parts:

I am so very deeply thankful.
For all of it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

>Warp speed, Scotty!


And so it begins…the Thanksgiving rush.
Today and tomorrow, especially, this is where I am:

“Mr. Scott! I need warp speed, now!”

(And yes I realize I have, once again, revealed my age by the reference….but there you have it, this was my era).
I love love love this holiday, but it’s a major undertaking too. Much yummy cooking and much hostessing of far flung family (and I’m not the natural that Lori is, ahem). It all usually comes together, somehow, but it’s something of a race. Thus, blogging may be light.

Now if I just had a transporter….I’d be good to go! See you on the far side….

>Happy Mother’s Day Mom!


Happy Mother’s Day!

Today is the day I think of all the moms: my kids’ birthmoms, my sisters, my friends, my mother-in-law I miss, and of course, my own mom.
I wish I could be with her and my sibs today as they celebrate.
In lieu of that I’m putting up a few rare pictures of her.
Above is one of the rarest:
Mom and all her kids, at the house where I grew up (I’m in front in the way short sundress).

I love her and wish I could hug her today..but am saving up all our hugs and kisses for when I see her next month.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms!
And to you, Mom, you’re the best, I love you!

>Kiss me, I’m Irish!


Yup, it’s the feast of St. Patrick: St. Paddy’s Day.
Which means many things, and here in the U.S. typically means loads of green beer (ok, gross), green shakes, corned beef, soda bread, and general indulgence despite the lenten season. A plethora of shamrocks and leprechauns can be seen and smooching abounds (not that that is so bad!). And suddenly, everyone is just a little bit Irish! Me too! Actually, I can claim it remotely (really remotely) though for many years I thought my maiden name had Scottish origins…but nope, Irish. And I root for my son’s school always: GO IRiSH! So, it’s fun day all around!

As a homeschool mom, if I’m feeling energetic and creative there are loads of history and fun things for St. Patrick’s Day: coloring pages, books, activities, games, and of course, food. There is an abundance of these, plus great books and movies and celtic music to listen to if you’re feeling thematic for the day. Illlustration by Mary Kurnick Maass
But I like the saint’s lives, you know that. And St. Patrick had an amazing life and was a strong and courageous man, who grew in holiness enough to return to the land that originally enslaved him…because he loved the people there. So St. Patrick is not only about eating and drinking oddly colored beverages and snacks, not about wishing for lucky leprechauns. St. Patrick shows us we can beat the odds. St. Patrick is a great example of perseverance and courage and faith, for going where God leads you despite the hardships. To bloom where you are planted even, to carry this out…..maybe you’ll find some shamrocks, after all! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
St. Patrick, pray for us!

>Happy St. Valentine’s Day!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ok, so this is one of those holidays that have loads of different pieces to it all.

Of course we all know the Hallmark marketing blitz version, replete with buckets of kitschy figurines and teddy bears and flowers and chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, I like being remembered as much as the next gal!
Will I turn down flowers or champagne?
Not me!
Chocolate or raspberries?
Hugs and kisses?
Never ever!!

But there’s more to this day than just marketing. And you know I love those multi-layered bits! There is also documentation of an actual St. Valentine, three actually.

Most often St. Valentine is depicted as a priest of Rome and a martyr…which (not to fuel any flames on the misguided meaning of this term) is, really, an event which cannot be defined without the concept of Love. By which I mean, if you didn’t really, truly, utterly love your faith, well, then you surely wouldn’t be martyred for it now would you?

Happily, most of us never have to go anywhere near that far. Though some of us like to pretend that those chores really do have the same effect….ahem (not me, nosirree). But I digress. Below is a fun book to read to the kidletts today, for you moms out there who want to enrich the day without fat and sugar.
So, similar to St. Nicholas and St. Christopher, St. Valentine is a real guy but which one we are actually remembering on the calendar….well, let’s just say we can remember them all!

And so we get to remind ourselves to remember all those around us that we love so much, chores of martyrdom or not!

It’s a fun day, it’s winter, we need a break:
a happy bright red googly heart sort of day.
It’s here in the nick of time, if you ask me.
So go have some chocolate and smooch someone already!
Love the ones you’re with!
Happy Valentines Day!

>Feast of Mary Mother of God! The Perfect "Happy New Year!"


Happy New Year!

Today is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yeah, of course, she’s his mom. But it is a huge deal – was a huge deal historically to define the this dogma: Mary as Theotokos. Mother of God. Its’ a Christological issue. Can God Himself have a mother? Well, yup.

The doctrine of Mary as the mother of God finds its roots in the New Testament when the archangel Gabriel says to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Lk 1:35). The Gospel of Matthew also affirms the doctrine in 1:23, “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (which means, God with us)”. This dogma was formally defined at the council of Ephesus in 431 when the Church gave Mary the official title Theotokos which literally means Christ-bearer. Full article here.

Now this dogma can get all sticky and divisive and I’m not going there today.
Because it’s the New Year and it’s a Feast day! {And it’s my only sister’s birthday and I miss her and love her more than I can say. Happy Bday Nancy Pants! }

Frankly, I love Mary, Our Blessed Mother, Mother of God, and so I just want to revel in the idea that this is the perfect start to a new year, in my book. This is the perfect launch point of a new year. We talk about new year’s resolutions and reordering our lives, every year. Well, this is the fulcrum, the starting point.

Really, I think we are all searching for some sense of order that can bring more happiness to us, make us feel better somehow. But the order that brings truest happiness, as we all know, is the one ordered toward Christ – pointing our hearts and lives toward Christ. That’s it. Or, erk, supposed to be, usually it’s oriented toward ME, sigh.

And that is what Mary is about, especially considered as Mother of God. Its about her heart of love, for her Son, for Love itself. She told the guys at the wedding, “do whatever He tells you.” That’s what she tells us too. Everything about her points to Christ, her actions, her words, her heart.
Mary listened. Listening is not only one of the hardest things for me to do in prayer…its roots are in the latin and means “obedience.” It’s no coincidence I think that this is the hardest thing for me to do in general. They go hand in hand; listening and obedience.

But Mary did it. And thus she was given the greatest honor and shows me how I should be living out my life. Connected to her, and through her, her Son. Talk about reordering for New Years Resolutions!
So, I’m not gonna make a huge list of resolutions. Except try to pray better and listen better (and yeah, obey, sigh). I have some of the usual things I’d like to do better, or do less, as well. {And, yup, I could list a few, but then of course I’d not only bore you all to tears – if not already – but well, some things are better left unsaid, um, literally…}

But I really think that the best thing and the best start for me for this new year is to be thankful and recognize that we have this amazing gift of this woman. Through her listening and willingness to be a mother, she discovered and grew into and through amazing depth and experiences. It was her openness to that unknown, in faith. That’s the heart and life of a mother; complete with joy and sorrow both. Go to Deacon Greg for another great homily on this.
So that’s what I want this New Year. To honor Mary, Mother of God. To grow a little bit like her in hope and steady deep faith and strength. (Yeah, it’s a tall order, I know.) To walk the footsteps of a mom, but much better than I have. To love better, because that’s ultimately what she shows us best. And that is the best reason to honor her today on her feast as Mother of God.

Pray for us,
Oh Holy Mother of God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

>It begins: Too Many Tamales!

>Today I begin the work of what is an annual tradition, one I love, and one that I usually think – about 3/4 of the way through – “what was I thinking?”

Because today we start the tamales!
It takes at least two days for me to make good tamales, the real deal.

That is because the first day is to cook the meat, traditionally brisket, long and slow, simmered in spices until it breaks down into melty shreds of yummy goodness. Then it is taken out and shredded and the broth saved and refrigerated to defat. Next day I make the cornmeal, just the way my mom taught me, do the final seasoning and moistening of the meat with the broth, soak the husks, and then lay out all the items and start the laborious but comforting assembly.

And then I, or we, make tamales! Sometimes the kids, usually the girls, help, sometimes we watch a movie as we do it, or put on music or just talk. It’s a nice time and we usually end up with seven or eight dozen tamales. We pressure cook the whole lot in batches to set them and then sneak one or two piping hot, just to taste test, you know. I know, it’s a lot but we give some away and freeze the rest and I only make them about once a year, so I might as well make a bunch!

I grew up in the southwest and tamales were a much longed for, much anticipated treat. Because the only “good” tamales were homemade, period. All others were suspect, I mean, who knew what they put in there? But I knew what was supposed to be in there. Because every year I watched my mom and my aunt make tamales. They only did it once a year, maybe twice if some really special occasion arose or some extra effective begging and coercion took place. But for New Year’s Eve, we ate tamales!

My father’s birthday is New Year’s Eve. My sister’s birthday is New Year’s Day. They both love tamales and so shared this birthday feast, every year. And for me, part of the appeal was sitting near my mom and my favorite aunt, listening to them talk and watching the rhythm of their hands laying out the corn husks, smearing the masa, dabbing on the filling, then folding and rolling up the tamale into a kind of beautiful little present, folded and wrapped up into it’s own perfect bundle.

For years, I didn’t even like to eat them, just liked to make them. Imagine! But I was a young and stupid and picky child. Now, I know better and happily, children, all of them, are clearly much wiser than me!

So it’s a family feast. It’s a tradition that calls back to the southwest where both Coffeedoc and I were raised and that we love. It’s a connection back to my family and my memories. And it keeps me and my family connected and having a cross country birthday party with my dad and my sister, as we all have our tamales on New Years Eve and toast the new year but also the birthdays.

Anyhow, I love tradition! Heck I went through grad school for folklore/folklife and literature, of course I do! This is one of the oldest in my life and one that is very dear to me. So, I’d better get to work! Time to start the tamales!

>Advent of Advent


So, it’s coming. No, it’s almost here.
Advent, I mean.
Tomorrow, tomorrow begins Advent: the season of Advent.

And I love this season.
And so of course I have a jumble of thoughts.

Some say that Christmas is just not the same anymore. Lights and stores are too fast off the mark. I get that. I like to have my holidays separate to themselves. I want to see Halloween decor in October and Turkeys, pumpkins and pine cones in November; rather than red tufting and elves already. However, in a way, these holidays connect. I think Thanksgiving is sort of a “pregame” for Advent.

Thanksgiving is a coming together of family, very often a literal arrival of family. There is a flurry of anticipation and preparation; a making ready. For thanksgiving, we make ready for our loved ones to come home, to visit, to be with us and for us to welcome them. We work ourselves silly, we talk and sit together, we feast together. It’s a bounty; of time, of food. We celebrate the love of family and friends and how no matter our differences or the old scratches and hurts….that family is still there, no matter what.

And that is exactly what we do for Advent too, but not only on a personal domestic scale, but on the global human eternal scale. We prepare for the coming, the advent, of our most real family. And that is why the holiday of Christmas is even more important. It calls to deep recognition of the beauty of that gift: of family, of incomprehensible love. It gets skewed, yes. It gets distorted, yup. Just like what is important in our immediate families all too often gets distorted, skewed, spun by unmet expectations.

Advent is our chance to prepare, fully, inside and out, for the coming of what is most real and the truest love. We get four weeks. Christ is coming. And while every year, I mean to be mindful throughout this season…..almost every year I blow it. But even so, it’s worth the effort. Living this season, in preparation and anticipation of this birth, this family, is worth the effort. It is more than challenging in our modern warp speed times. {For those of you modern hipsters, here is a link just for you (ahem: coffeedoc this one is for you!)}

But that’s why we have candles. We light another one each week, each Sunday night. And each night of the week during dinner. It is the glow of it that reminds us as dark falls outside and we sit, or plop, around the table to eat once again…that there is more here. There is more beyond us and we breathe in and can prepare our homes and hearts and selves. It’s Advent. Go to the Anchoress, she says it better than I can.

We’ve had our pregame. It was great. Filled with the usual crazy tired, too much food, resolutions to really now get in shape for pete’s sake, and the glances across a room, the raised eyebrows and the belly laughs. It was Thanksgiving.
And now, tomorrow, it’s Advent.

So, today I will get out the candles, find my purple tapers and my celtic advent wreath to hold them on the table. We begin to prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas. It’s here, it’s time!

Get out the candles.
Slow down.
Careful: don’t miss the beauty of this season
(I have, too many times)
It’s Advent!