Friday, December 6, 2013

Feast Days, Birthdays, Baby Days and Other Such Matters of Importance{7 QT}

Before my children drag me into another day of domestic delights, here's our 
7 Quick Takes for the week! 

1. Happy Feast Day!
Every year our children look forward to celebrating the feast of St. Nicholas with great anticipation. The remembrance begins the night before, when the boys set out their shoes, hoping to find a small treat of some sort tucked inside their stinky kicks when they wake up in the morning.
Yesterday, Henry marched diligently around the house, capturing all 10 of the boys' shoes to line up by the door.  He even set out a dry-erase board with a message for St. Nick, and colored him a picture. Later today, after the goodies are enjoyed, we will read a favorite story of the life of St. Nicholas, get a little crafty in the classroom, and if we're really feeling adventurous, we might even bake something amazing for dessert. The little ones might also watch this sweet video about our beloved Saint (while mommy naps folds laundry).  Many of our celebratory ideas have come from the St. Nicholas Center website.  Their craft ideas are simple, yet adorable, and I love their free printable coloring pages!

2. Baby Love
An unexpected phone call yesterday, from an acquaintance my husband met years ago, has manifested into a spontaneous decision to bundle the kiddos up today and head into the city to pray with a group of high school students at a pro-life rally. We are passionate about babies and believe that life is a precious gift at every stage and in every circumstance. We will be praying today for all expectant mothers, that they will choose life for their babies, that they will have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery, and that their child will be loved, cherished and cared for. As well, we remember those who have been wounded by the tragic experience of abortion, and ask the Lord to bring His healing touch upon them.

She watches and waits, a secret that is hers alone rests within.  Someone is coming, that someone has already arrived.  Her focus goes inward: to growth, to new life, to pain, yes, and to sadness, and above all to indescribable joy.  The beauty lies in the blending of the good and the bad: loneliness and connection, sorrow and comfort, moments of impenetrable darkness followed by bright blinding light.

These are the words written by my friend, Micaela, who blogs at California to Korea and Back Again, in an article that she composed for Catholic Exchange.  I was really touched by her beautiful expressions of Advent being a time of longing, of preparation, of the wonder of what is to come and how those emotions are deeply connected to motherhood, specifically Mary's journey toward's Christ's birth.  What a JOY it is for me to be carrying our 6th child during this season of Advent!  Words cannot express how happy it makes me, but I do think it's well worth blogging about sometime soon.

4.  Lights  
Well, as of today, we are the darkest dwelling on the block.  BUT, that's just fine by us! Because, when everyone else is peeling the lights off of the gutters the day after Christmas, we'll still be enjoying our little sparkle until the Christmas season officially ends on Epiphany.

To pacify the kiddos' longing for lights, we took them to our local Botanical gardens this week for the Illuminations Exhibit.  The weather was perfect, the most lovely evening to be savored just before the freezing cold came thundering in yesterday.  We had a marvelous time, and the lights were enchantingly beautiful.

5.  An Update on My Mom
Wednesday my mom officially experienced the first of 30 days of radiation treatments.  So many of you have reached out with kind, encouraging thoughts and prayers for her, and I can't tell you how much or family appreciates your love and support!  She is staying very positive, taking good care of herself and feeling strengthened by all of the prayers being sent her way! Keep 'em coming!

6.  Steve's (almost 40th) Birthday
(Because he loves to be reminded that he's older than moi.)
My love's birthday was on Monday, and I wish I could say I through a real hum-dinger of a party for him, but given the fact that we said adieu to some of my family who stayed through the Thanksgiving weekend that day, had to face Monday as a work day, and shuttled kids to basketball and wrestling practices that night, there was little time left to party.  But, he did receive a mountain of smothering hugs, kisses, treats and a few gifts as well. I also made the executive decision that if I'm going to throw him a BIG 40th birthday bash next year, it's best if I lay low this year, you know, just to be sure we have plenty of time to build up some anticipation {winkie-wink}.

7.  The Thanksgiving Toast
No matter what the occasion, I can always count on my dad to bring a bottle....or 10 to the table. This year for Thanksgiving, he shared a wonderful variety of vino with our I heard. Okay, I will admit to stealing a couple of teensie-weensie sips from my hubby's glass, since I won't be holding my own until sometime in June, so I can affirm dad's good taste.  One of the favorites this year was a smooth Cabernet from Grayson Cellars, a 2011 edition.  From one wine lover to ya'll - you do love wine, don't you?? - this one is worth a trip to the store.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!


  1. Enjoyed your blog, but am especially thankful to hear that your mom is doing well.

  2. You caught me by surprise there! I was just reading along and up pop my words. I had to double-take. Thanks so much for linking to it. I'm so happy for (and maybe a teeeeeeeny bit jealous of) all you beautiful pregnant mamas. Enjoy your Advent.

    Still praying for your mom. Cyber hugs.

    1. Oh, I meant to message you today to let you know I would be sharing your article on my blog. I really loved it! Thank you muchly for the prayers for my mom, and a very happy Advent to you and your family! :)

  3. I need to spend a week (or more) hanging out with you - I think I would learn so very much!! You are an incredible mom, wife and overall person!!!

    1. Oh Kim, you are so funny! I think blogging is a bit like makes us look better in cyber space than we really are naturally in every day life. I try to blog about life in a positive way, and sometimes that projects an image that is shining, but you really SHOULD come and spend a week here, then you'll get to see how crazy life is....and how I struggle, like most moms, to be patient, thoughtful, crafty, fun, organized etc., etc. BTW, I'm going to need you to help me get back in shape after this baby!!! :)

  4. Hi Susan,
    I have popped into your blog recently and love your ray of sunshine space on the internet! I love running for the same reasons you do and I am very excited to get back into training now that my fourth baby sleeps through the night! CONGRATS on expecting your next baby. I wondered how you change running when you are pregnant and how to you ease back into it after the baby comes? Also, we live in NH and my husband loves fly fishing - he got me guides for my birthday and takes clients all the time. I can't wait to show him your post about taking the whole family. We ski and hike a ton up north, the baby in the backpack doing something outdoorsy is a familiar sight, so fun to find a family who loves the outdoors too.

    1. I am so happy you stopped by, Katie!! Steve and I truly love being outdoors with our kiddos, and we try to center our vacations around experiences that we can have with them out in nature, including fly-fishing, skiing, hiking etc., etc. I'm always happy to meet a fellow runner, and you commented at the perfect time, because I'm working on a post on running during and post-pregnancy. Hopefully it will be out on Friday or at the top of next week. Keep in touch! :)


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