This day in the Liturgical Year . . .
Friday, December 7th, 2018 A.D.; First Friday; Vigil of the Immaculate Conception; feast of St. Ambrose (Bishop, Confessor & Doctor).
My youngest sister is an expert on beautifully playing with hair . . .
Outside the window . . .
Gray, cold, a little bit foreboding . . . tomorrow, we’re supposed to have drearily cold temps and a downpour of rain. But nothing can dampen the cheer of Our Lady’s feast day and The Dash and I’s 15-month anniversary, of course ❤
The Dash and I went to a campus event last week — we saw Jon McLaughlin in concert! He was fantastic!!
Sounds throughout the house . . .
My brother whistling “Let it Snow” while he does school; Lena‘s keyboard clattering away in the next room.
Wearing . . .
Sweats . . . (embarrassed face) . . . I’ll shower later and get dressed properly for tonight’s Mass 😉
Attempts in the kitchen . . .
Well . . . yes, I suppose there was Thanksgiving. 🙂 My poor grandmother was sick and wasn’t able to join us; it was the first Thanksgiving ever in which we cooked every dish, so Wednesday and Thursday cumulatively gave our lone oven a powerhouse workout — but it was a success! Best of all, it was The Dash and I’s first Thanksgiving Day actually spent together, since my family and I traveled out of town last year. It’s very easy to feel especially grateful when my amazing guy is around 😉
My apple pies . . . (after having made them 11 years straight, these were a mysteriously epic case of smoke and spilling juices, let me tell you . . . I think I may have packed in too many apples this year and it was more than the crusts could bear . . .)
Our annual cranberry bread and beloved book, which I brought and read to my co-op kids a few weeks ago 😉
I made a quadruple batch of jambalaya the other day . . . it turned out pretty good, and I must say it’s a fun thing to make because, for my memory, it’s tied in with The Dash and I’s early days of getting to know one another. For some reason, our early encounters were all marked by jambalaya!
With it being this time of the year, it’s been admittedly difficult to eat as anti-inflammatory as I’d been hoping. But although I did cheat a little here and there, with it being Thanksgiving, I was still overall eating more cleanly than I had in months, and yet I had a pretty rough case of symptoms two Sundays ago and was left wondering how much of this I can control with food 😦 I hate to sound discouraged but am just trying to put everything in God’s hands and surrender to His Will in this.
Lena has been doing lovely culinary things lately, and I have to brag on her . . . pumpkin pie from scratch, lemon icebox pie from scratch, and of course, with yesterday being St. Nicholas’ feast, she made our annual St. Nicholas cookies (need I say from scratch?), expertly frosted to look just like him 😉
A note on projects . . .
Our last co-op class for the year was on Tuesday . . . although I’ll be physically happy for the break, I’m sure going to miss all the little guys! The Tuesday prior to that, we had our Advent presentations, and I am so very proud of how well all my kids did with performing the songs!
On another note, in my spare time, I’ve been listening quite a lot to the soundtrack for The Village and rewriting my childhood fantasy epic, thanks in great part to The Dash playing up my story to a dear lady who elicited a promise from me that I would have chapters for her by the time he graduates next Saturday. Thus, I’ve been writing (I can’t break a promise!!!), and enjoying it in a way I truthfully haven’t experienced in years.
Hopefully The Dash won’t kill me for sharing this picture . . . we have been keeping our ballroom dancing skills in shape, although we definitely amend the tango because some of it is just not kosher for courting couples 😉
In choir we are churning full-steam ahead in preparation for High Mass on the 16th, which is also our parish’s day for Confirmations — 36 Confirmandi! That’s a huge day coming up. And then High Mass on Christmas Eve . . . needless to say, we are wading through a lot of beautiful and challenging music.
And then, of course, it’s only a few weeks until Christmas, which means projects of that sort are demanding to be launched . . . I’m getting there, but this is the busiest December in my memory and so consequently I feel a teensy bit behind 😉
I’ve got cleaning/sanitizing to do, as my poor youngest sister is sick again and the rest of us are trying to stay well 😦
Reading . . .
Conversation with Christ and Introduction to the Devout Life, when I can.
Contemplating . . .
I can’t sugar-coat it . . . there is so much going on this month. My grandmother is going to be moving in less than a week, God-willing, and we’re helping her; The Dash has finals, then graduates in seven days and starts working full time immediately after; babysitting; family is traveling into town; we have High Masses and Christmas; then we have a big family wedding 10 hours away, which Lena and I are planning to sing for . . .
On top of that, I came into December burdened by really unusual fatigue. I wanted to leap into Advent and immerse myself in silence and better prayer routine, as well get on top of things quickly for logistical Christmas planning. Instead, I found myself worn thin and exhausted for days, fighting a headache and struggling to get the most basic things accomplished. It was really humbling and very difficult to not succumb to discouragement over (ahem) my plans and expectations for my energy level being “thwarted.”
(My brother snapped this pic from the backseat when The Dash and I were out recently 😉 )
Thankfully, I’m feeling more energized now and am trying to simply give God whatever I have, be it a lot, a little, or seemingly nothing at all, and asking Him to help me have radical humility in the face of my pride, expectations and plans this Advent.
On living the Faith . . .
Making a stubborn, imperfect effort to incorporate mental prayer on a daily basis. Everyone needs to read Conversation with Christ, a compendium of sorts of St. Teresa of Avila’s doctrine on prayer.
Prayerfully . . .
Praying for aid, clarity and strength on multiple fronts. Don’t forget about the St. Andrew Christmas Novena!