Well, what we've been up to is this:
John had a birthday. A big one. And we had a big bash which was very much fun. It was so fun that we hardly did any photo documentation at all (kind of like at my 40th birthday party last year!). All I have to show you is the aftermath.
Then we barreled into the last week of school before Christmas break, which included two Christmas programs, school presentations, school parties, teachers' gifts, food donations, parking tickets, friends in town and general craziness. Man, was I glad to get to Friday night!
The weekend was slightly less hectic, for which I was thankful. We got our tree on Saturday. We tried to meet all of Theo's requirements for tree acquisition: "it has to be night, we have to go to Mahoney's, and it has to be cold and snowy." No dice on the snow this year. But we did go to Mahoney's and it was certainly cold (finally!). You will see from the pictures that we were not really dressed for the temperature, having been lulled into a warm weather complacency this late fall.
On a different note, why do I always go through a Christmas angst every year? It feels like every year I struggle with many of the same questions , such as how am I to feel about Christmas? Is it a cultural holiday? Is it a spiritual celebration? Clearly it is both, but I've yet to come to a great settling in my heart. I hope to get to a place of peace so that I can help guide my family to that place as we celebrate.
I read this post today. The thoughts therein REALLY helped me, as did the comments. I'm grateful for the very real blogging community of which I am a tiny part.
I also picked up my gratitude journal again this week, to ward off the Scrooge-ishness of my own heart. Grateful this week for these things:
* clouds backed in pink and gold
* boys running hard at the Christmas tree lot
* really getting through to our kids (for a moment)
* our little porch; it's like a second fridge this time of year!
* God with us, which is Christmas
* twinkly Christmas lights
* a Korean feast at our neighbor's house
* having a car that works
* meeting a friend in the looonnggg post office line
* grace for each day and each season