{phfr} Beautiful season...

Linking up with Auntie Leila.

Thank you so much for all the prayers this past week. Could you please keep my dad in your prayers, too? It sounds like he's having a rough recovery from his heart surgeries and could use some extra prayers.

I've been kind of laughing to myself when I read about all these people who are stressed by the pressure to do to many things for Advent. I am usually the kind of person who tries to do a million different things, but I've had to slow down the past two years (first from the hyperemesis during my pregnancy with Sister Nugget last year and now as I continue to heal from my kidney stone surgeries). Sometimes, God practically has to force you to slow down, you know? I'm definitely one of those people that needs to be forced to slow down, and I don't like it. I enjoy being busy, but there is only so much "busy" I've been able to maintain the past two Advents.

So, this year things are simpler, yet every bit as beautiful.


(The Abbot says she looks beautiful in this picture and I wholeheartedly agree.)

A significant part of what has made this Advent so incredibly special is this little girl. Several years ago, I served as an assistant in a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium. If you're not familiar with that unique program, one of the things that sets it apart is that faith formation starts with three year olds. Now, having a three year old of my own, I have to say that faith formation takes on a whole different character at this age. She's asking tons of questions ("Cause why?") and is genuinely curious about everything. But she's also at an age where she's starting to make sense of the relationships around her, and so she is also very much interested in her faith from a relational standpoint, too. Mary is her mommy in heaven, Jesus was a little baby just like her, Jesus went "waaa!" just like her," etc. Her faith is becoming a personal thing. So, last year, when we did our nightly Advent prayer it was pretty tedious. But this year? She asks questions and looks forward to participating in our Advent family prayer. She understands that we are waiting for Jesus' birthday and she frequently tells us, "I can't wait for Christmas!" The waiting is difficult for her, but part of her journey.

Experiencing Advent through her eyes is like experiencing it for the first time.

(For a refresher on how our family celebrates Advent, click here.)


Sister Stinky had a ton of personality as a baby. I think I assumed that we were due for a chill, quiet baby. Instead we ended up with Sister Nugget. She has more personality than I ever thought possible for a four month old! (And yes, I'm a wee bit biased.) She loves talking (and often stays up late and won't fall asleep if she hasn't had sufficient time to "talk" before bed), is so curious about everything and everyone, and has an excellent sense of humor. She is an absolute joy to parent.

And yes, as I've shared before, parenting her during Advent has made this time of preparation even more special than usual. There is nothing quite like getting to bond with Mary over our shared experience of mothering babies!


What is it about a sad baby face that is so cute?

Sister Stinky has truly far exceeded any and all my expectations for her as a big sister. She is such a good big sister, showing Sister Nugget such tenderness and affection.

But let's be honest...even a big sister can't save you from the torture of Christmas pj pictures. ;-) A couple more years and I'm sure she'll have as much fun with it as her sister does, though. Our Sister Stinky loves the camera!


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I normally save our family a good amount of money on Christmas presents each year by making a good number of them. While there are some handmade gifts in the works this year, there are far fewer than usual. Between having a baby struggling with reflux and struggling with kidney stones myself, handmade gifts haven't been all that feasible this year.

But Sister Stinky is going to a birthday party later today, and needed a gift to bring along. I was able to whip up this little nativity set last night, in between bouts of trying to convince Sister Nugget to go to sleep. Isn't it darling? I may need to make some more...


  1. I love love LOVE how much your girls look like both of you - both so beautiful and so different!

    And that second Christmas card picture is HILARIOUS - nothing like the juxtaposition of the emotions :)


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