The always busy time of year was made a bit busier by Dr Daddy covering extra call so some collegues could attend a conference + unexpected (but welcome) snow days + Me having to do all the pre-employment stuff to return to my teaching job = neglected blog.
Yes, after taking last academic year off I will be working again as a clinical instructor this coming spring semester. I had to attend a couple of faculty meetings planning for the coming semester this past week; and happy to report that both Caitlin and I survived. As I've written before I am of two minds about working but am as always grateful for the opportunity and for those who care for my kids in my absence. The fact that it was a dear friend of mine definitely made leaving for the first time a bit easier.
Last weekend we went a bit crazy and decided to go into New York with Charlie's mom and sister and her family. Despite some occasional blowing snow/sleet in our faces everyone had a great time and managed to visit the Public Library to see the lions with the festive wreaths, Grand Central Station at the request of my train-crazy nephew, Rockefeller Center and Saint Patricks.
Yes, I can cross that one off my bucket list except ~ we arrived just in time for Mass (yay) and so no time to look around (boo) and at the moment most of the interior is covered with scaffolds and cloths. Mass was lovely and the kids did great but I still hope to return someday when the scaffolds are down and I have the time to wander.
After Mass we hurried for the Subway back down to Port Authority to catch our bus home. We made our bus (yay) but learned that due to the weather they were no longer going to bus stops in my uncle-in-laws town but would dropped off at the edge of town. During the TWO MILE walk home all of the big kids were amazing hiker and while Liam and Caitlin were pretty miserable their crying probably kept them warm and alleviated the hypothermia worry that mared an otherwise lovely winter hike.
During both the bus rides into and out of the city Elisabeth and her twin cousin (only 9 days difference in age) sereranaded us with renditions of "The Wheels on the Bus" and "We are Riding on the Bus". Hope the other passengers didn't mind :)
Some of the fun heard around here recently:
Elisabeth upon noticing that someone had addressed a Christmas tag 'Lisbeth' told a friend of ours that "My name is always spelled E.l.i.s.a.b.e.t.h., just sometime the first E is silent"
Daddy: say that again
Liam: Watch and learn!
About an hour south of us is an amazing garden and their Christmas tree and light display truly makes them a year round destination. These pictures are from last year but definitely planning a visit soon.
Linking up with Jessica of Housewifespice for a special Advent/Christmas edition of WWRW.
Here are two of my favorites, sure to get re-read overall the years.
Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher is primarily the story of how 5 people all come to be staying in a house in northern Scotland in the days leading up to Christmas. Having read many of her books, this one is a favorite. The events and misadventures to bring all of the main characters together are interesting and believable but not so predictable that it does not hold your attention. Her description of the landscapes of Scotland and Cornwall are amazing, and add so much to the metaphors about darkness and the return of light.
Star Bright by Fr. Andrew Greeley is a sweet story of a American (Roman) Catholic and a Russian (Orthodox) Catholic falling in love during a fall semester culminating with them celebrating Christmas in Chicago with his family. Greeley does a wonderful job of showing two young people sharing their faith and talking about the different traditions important to them as they fall in love.
I do start listening to Christmas Carols as soon as Advent begins but I also give lots of playtime to favorites such as Advent Suite and The Final Word by Michael Card and Cherry Tree Carol (trad.) and Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant for example.
2. Season of Expectation:
As the external pressures of preparing for Christmas; shopping, cooking, decorating, etc seem more intense each year. I so appreciate the reminder at every Mass and elsewhere that part of preparing for Christmas is making room on our hearts and minds for Christ and his great love and wisdom to come in and make himself at home.
3. Gaudete Sunday:
Have already posted about this before but I love how in the midst of the penitent season we lighten the purple with Christmas white and rejoice at the awesome gift given in Bethlehem long ago.
Please head over and read more to love about Advent at Michaela's and