Friday, December 19, 2014

7 quick Advent takes: photo diary from the last 5 weeks

--- 1 --- 
November 15...
That's the last day I wrote a 7 Quick Takes post.  Every year we have the same pile of celebrations this time of year but this year I'm older or something...just barely keeping up with it all.  Here's a quick overview of the last five weeks.

--- 2 --- 
November 15th - 22nd:
Well mostly work happened.  I was supposed to speak at a Mothers of Little Ones gathering for Christ Church.  Problem is I didn't take off work because -- theoretically -- I could zip over as a lunch break and then zip back.  I was going to talk something about the way our ideals need to be put in their place in order for us to parent well.  I was also reading My Bright Abyss with every spare moment and trying to figure out how to cram the whole book into my talk.  But, alas, in the twelfth hour my boss assigned me a project -- not knowing my need to be on W. 24th Street the following morning rather than on my seat at my desk-- that caused me to cancel altogether.  I've heard the mamas had a great time talking anyway and have concluded that God is sovereign after all.

after I gave up transcribing every meaningful sentence out of Wiman's book, I took to snapping photos

--- 3 --- 
November 23rd - 29th: 
This is the week we celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary.  Twenty-four years.  Really can't wrap my brain around it.  So cliche', I know.  A kind family loaned us their lake house for Brian and I to get away and sit in quiet.  Brian worked on papers, of course.  But, still, in quiet.  With wine.  And occasional flirting from me.  We are grateful (and wondering how we can make our dream trip to Ireland come true for our 25th?!?)

a highly intellectual Scrabble contest during our anniversary get away
apparently, 24 years has worn our brains right back to junior high where we started from

--- 4 --- 

also November 23rd - 29th:
Thanksgiving!  We read some prayers and a proclamation from Abraham Lincoln before feasting.  Thanksgiving food is so yummy and so NOT photogenic.  Trust me on this.

A lovely fall-ish day in Austin meant a good walk along Town Lake.  This is honestly the best photo we could muster but at least proves we were all together for the day. 

--- 5 --- 

November 30th - December 6th: 
This is the week Alexander turned 21.

This meant 2 things:

1.  obligatory shots (during a Sunday brunch which is sort of weird)

Bekah turned 21 in October and, thusly, had
 a whole month to practice beating Alex at the drink.

2.  Brian and I give a second middle name to add to the one we gave him 21 years ago.  I'll save the story for another post but it sure was fun unveiling it to him.

--- 6 --- 

also November 30 - December 6th:
The first week of Advent.  

I've been blogging my heart out this year.  Truly.  Not because I feel pressure to keep up something but because I'm holding on to hope that the Gospel can keep saving me and this broken world.  Maybe it's my age, but things this year seem more broken than ever.  Not just the global crisis we're begging God to notice but close to home, also.  Just before Advent a college girl across the street from us took her own life on a rainy, gray Saturday.  Neighbors huddled under umbrellas.  We turned on the twinkle lights in our tree so Brian could walk over and say "See, we're the house with the lights.  Please come see us if we can do anything." Two weeks ago someone killed a beloved, local choir director in her own home.  Kendra sang with her our first year in Austin.  Last week an 80-year-old husband and wife who live about three blocks away were killed right there in our neighborhood sometime during the night.  No one knows why. One of our children is nursing the most exquisite sort of heartbreak. Two dearly-loved friends are mourning the loss of pregnancies this Advent, another dear friend is grappling with the realization that her long-awaited son has a diagnosis before she even meets him face to face.  Another friend is in surgery today to remove ginormous ugly tumors from his well-educated brain.  His community has named the malignancy Honey Badger and we're all praying the beast will be eradicated before his own first child arrives this spring.

Come already, Lord Jesus, won't you?

Until then, I keep blogging my heart out.  Looking at beauty, reading truth, praying hope, listening to goodness and making life.  We've been terrible about lighting candles this year.  At least we have the tree in the front yard.  And on Sunday we'll gather in the neighborhood park with a bunch of neighbors and light luminaries in honor of the couple who grew their family here and are now gone, leaving a house surrounded by police tape.

What in the world, Jesus?

--- 7 --- 
December 7th - 13th:
Our very own buon Natale turned 17! She squeezed in some time to celebrate with us between her plans with friends.  That meant a 3pm dinner at the diner down the street.  

Also this week my parents flew to Austin for a weekend of Christmas together-ness, tucked in our little house.  It was so much fun to have the kids come home from college just in time to climb in the car to pick up the grandparents at the airport.  We got a tree, watched movies, wrapped presents, ate good chili and made crafts, of course.

My mom's rule of thumb for a great weekend is that she took off her shoes inside the front door when she arrived and had no need to put them on again until she left for the airport Monday.  Yes, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, friends.  

--- Other good words online this week ---

Advent Daybook at This Sacramental Life- Like I said, I'm blogging my heart out and it means so much to hear that others are enjoying the series, too.  You can see the posts here: Advent daybook 2014.  Also, were you aware that the Scripture links take you to a page that lets you listen to the passages read?  Well, I wasn't.  Until this past week.  See for yourself!  Here's today's Scripture passages:  Psalm 89:1-4 & 2 Samuel 6:12-19  Click the little speaker icon to the right of the reference and you can listen!

Out in the Fields by Jason Harrod: A new EP for the last week of Advent and for Christmas.  It's pay-what-you-can to download.  May I suggest you go there right now?  Also, here's an interview with Jason I posted on my blog last December

"After Annunciation" by Madeleine L'Engle:  Just beautiful

Go here for more Quick Takes!

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