Plenty of happenings and musings and Karis-isms since I 've last written:
Karis: "What are we doing in the morning?:
Me: "We're going to go vote!"
Karis: "Where are we going on the boat?!"
- "I hear you!"
- "That sounds like a good plan!"
- "Baby sweet pea is crabby. That means she's strong"
- "I have a lot of grandmas!"
- "This is the most special day of my life"
- "Is it bubble water or regular water?"
- "I'm wearing fancy!"
- "So, um, mommy? How was the bank?"
- "These are the words that tell the pictures of the story"
- "Is daddy looking for an elk? Are you going to pull up a map?"
- "It happens. It was an accident"
- "Mommy, don't say 'pooh'! Say 'Winnie the Pooh'"
- "I have something to tell you: it's almost Christmas, after Thanksgiving" (in a whispered voice, as taught by uncle Taylor)
- "Can we see the lights of Hopkins?" (driving back to MN after being in Bis, where we make a big deal about the lights of Bismarck)
- "We had a chipmunk in the backyard one time. Uncle Drew put it in a bag" (said after reading a story with a chipmunk . . . and good memory she has, Drew did shovel a chipmunk into a bag this past summer)
- "My shirt is tucked in like daddy's!"
- "Mommy, do you need a back rub?" (um, sure!)
- "It's the star from 'Hark the Herald Angels'!" (lots of stars in Christmas books)
- "I'm going to teach Santa Claus how to sing 'Jesus Loves Me'" (I swear I didn't suggest this, came out of nowhere!)
- "Should we go in the living room in chat?" (followed by going to the living room and her showing me where to sit, how to cross my legs, and then asking me about my day)
Trevor embarked with my dad and brother for a 9 day trip to CO to "look for Elk" (according to Karis). Our freezer if full of meat with more on the way, the great success of the trip was perhaps the adventure & exploration of gorgeous creation they were able to share. I enjoyed a trek back to Bis with Karis to celebrate my cousin's wedding, my mom & grandma's birthdays, Karis's cousin's basketball game, a ride on the train at the mall, and just lots of hanging out and visiting - oh, and getting snowed in by a blizzard for the weekend. Cozy.
Trev got home from CO on a Monday and we left the next day for Thanksgiving in Bismarck. We always love our time there, it's a treat to show up and to receive abundant love (not to mention they plan the big celebrations and host it all - a gift). We always treasure our time at the Turkey Trot race Thanksgiving morning, Karis thinks she ran in it because she was running around the inside of the building. Trev DID run it, and I just socialized and sat as much as possible. Turkey dinner, a photo shoot for Karis compliments her fabulous aunt Cassie, pizza by candlelight . . . and then a weekend with extended family and more food and festivities. We are so blessed.
We returned from Thanksgiving and the next day Trev started a new job. I'm so thankful he handles transitions with ease, he's had a lot of them this month. So far, so good and we're grateful for this new opportunity he's getting. Selfishly, I'm excited that there will be less travel AND there is a Christmas party that spouses are welcome to attend. I've missed getting to know his coworkers, and so this sense of community feels like a gift.
Bond, James Bond (a.k.a. "last date")
As I did when pregnant with Karis, there's a mental list of things I want to do before this little guy enters into the physical daily reality of our family. One of them was seeing the new Bond movie (interestingly, the last Bond movie was one of my faves around the time we learned about Karis. Love full circle things like that). So, Karis got a special night with Uncle Drew & M while Trev and I went on what I fatalistically termed "our last date". You know, for a while at least. Well, at least the longest date that we'll probably have in a while. It was bliss. Love Bond. Love my husband even more.
First Sunday of Advent
My words to try to practice during Advent this year: Simplify. Savor. Slow down. I'm savoring some memories from Sunday, when Karis carried the cross to the altar during the processional ("I can do it all by myself!"). Trevor and I were in the processional and got to bow to our daughter on our way past the altar. Trevor then lit the candle for Hope and we stood together as a family to recite the readings from Genesis that started the service - I want to remember always watching Karis wander around at the front while she watched us read and then go excitedly to join the children at the front before they all walked up to Sunday School together. These are truly precious moments. We later made Advent wreaths and we're enjoying the liturgy provided to read each night: "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light . . .come, Lord Jesus, come". This is a remarkable time for us to anticipate the birth of two babies, one that is the Hope of the world, and one that was/is a hope for our family. One of our new favorite seasonal books is Little One, We Knew You'd Come, when reading it to Karis I can't help but think of our baby boy: "We hoped, we dreamed, we watched for you. We counted the days till you were due. We waited how we longed for you".
Simplifying . . . sorry, no Christmas cookies here . . . or Christmas letters or clean floors or uncluttered toys.
Slowing down. Well, that's just kind of naturally happening, I'm not moving as quickly these days and we're doing our best to keep evenings calm.
Keeping it Real
Baby boy is kicking away and consuming most of my waking thoughts, and even some of my sleeping ones with dreams about birth and nursing. I get weepy when we read Christmas books - seeing Mary's "baby belly" and then baby Jesus . . . thinking of her courage to carry the Prince of Peace, to give birth in a manger, to "treasure all the moments in her heart". What a brave woman! You know how they say "you forget how it all was which is why you go ahead and have more children"? Well, I'm remembering how it was, and it's making me scared. Control-lover that I am, the unknown aspects that just a few weeks ago felt so exciting and liberating to me are this week feeling a bit overwhelming: "What will labor and birth be like? WHEN will it be? Please let it be after Christmas! But God, you're in control. But really, please. How will Karis transition?"
However, I have been gently reminded that I'm fearing the future - but WHY? The unknown can drive me crazy. When I'm rational, the fear is ridiculous and I'm actually truly excited to begin this next chapter, and feel immeasurably blessed that our family is growing (although please let's let it grow in my belly for a couple more weeks). But I have also been gently reminded that fear is a legitimate feeling and one that when faced can be released and placed with peace . . . these reminders have come from reading Karis the Christmas narratives. I've been so struck by the normal-ness of fear, yet the freedom I can have to "fear not".
Zachariah had fear about his son's upcoming birth. Luke 1:13 - "But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard."
Mary was fearful about Jesus' birth. Luke 1:29 - "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God."
Even the shepherds were afraid! Luke 2:9 & 10 - "An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.'"
|"Helping" at the turkey trot|
|Rocking out after a fabulous "Friend Thanksgiving" - a dinner we shared with our small group|