Hello dear friends,
We are anxiously awaiting Christmas in what feels like a bit of a fog. Our advent has been wonderful, busy, and full of preparation. God works in mysterious ways and He surely was preparing our family for right as I finished up a batch of winter meals and delivered extended family Christmas gifts, we all came down with Covid. We are so grateful to be feeling much better, Chris is back at work, the kids are bouncing off the walls again, and I am slowly regaining my energy for the final push to Christmas. Chris and I still cannot taste or smell anything, but we are confident we just need time. One night during our illness I was laying in the cold (a boon with fevers!) and dark of my room around 2 am feeling utterly peaceful. For that moment everyone was asleep and safe and I was filled with profound gratitude for the safety and gift of my family. We are all here and we are together. That is enough.
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
As I reflected in those wee hours on the wonderful gift my family is I thought of my son. My little helper buddy. This year Caidoc has really become an indispensable help to me, from remembering things we need at the store, to being someone to bounce ideas off of, to helping me find the correct tool for a job or make plans for the day, I truly am loving watching him become a independent little man. His favorite sport to play this year was baseball which he likes much more than soccer. Caidoc is in the forth year of piano (in September), performing for Guild Auditions in May, two recitals, and composing his own pieces. Perhaps his favorite activity is still building with his Legos, although inventing various clubs, and swimming are a close second. He is in 4th grade and it boggles my mind that he is going to be TEN this coming May, he’s certainly growing up too fast (yet not fast enough if you ask him). Caidoc is really glad to be able to participate in 4H in person finally, and is hopeful to show a chicken at the fair this year, last year he and A submitted posters. He is our chicken wrangler, our cat cuddler, and our cookie maker extraordinaire- I couldn’t manage life without him.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
I was jostled out of my contemplative state by a light in the bathroom. Azelie my loving and thoughtful girl didn’t want to wake me but she needed salt water to rinse her aching mouth so she got it herself. She is becoming more competent and independent by the day. It is all I can do to keep a steady supply of reading and art materials coming for she loves a quiet time full of beautiful thoughts and drawings. Azelie is the self proclaimed “second woman of the house” and is, as always, my amiable darling eager to be a great little mother to Cosima. Math is her favorite subject and she loves a good book that “gives her a thrill”. She continues to rock her piano excelling particularly with theory. She will compete in Guild Auditions this year for the first time. This year she played soccer as well but discovered her true passion in tennis! She cannot wait to play again next year. Azelie is my empathetic and compassionate helper always ready to try and make things easier for everyone. 4H is an exciting new program that she hopes to explore more this year. She is greatly looking forward to being able to go to confession for the first time this winter. The other night at rosary she offered up her suffering while being sick for the health of her family- and nothing sums up Azelie more. She is my darling little lady.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
I hasten back to bed because a small shape is visible sitting up in her little bed next to mine. Cosima croaks, “mama?”, making sure I am definitely back in bed and not going to leave her again before she flops down on my tummy asleep-effectively pinning me with all 26 pounds of wild curls and feisty personality. She still loves to be my little baby but also yearns to be included with the big kids in all their games. We delight in her starting to use full sentences in her own little voice which has really become quite pronounced and (sometimes) quite loud; “BRUDDA, SHUSH!” Cosima was the bestest sidekick to watch all the soccer and baseball and tennis practices and games with, really being our adventure baby and going with the flow. She asks for “adventures” daily by wiggling her little arms across her body and is quite disgruntled when she finds out we are staying home. She has discovered the library and loves picking out her own books, most likely Llama Llama, Little Blue Truck, or Pooh. If anyone is outside working on the chicken coop or gathering eggs she eagerly asks to come get “ohms” aka eggs and puts her little clogs on, usually complete with an Elsa costume. She is emphatic, opinionated, eager, and amazes us everyday. I slowly move her little inert body off of me and cover her with a blanket.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
I roll over to check on Husband, he’s fever free but still very tired, not surprising as he goes above and beyond to fulfill all his roles each day. He coached both kids soccer teams this year, assisted with C’s baseball team, and was Pickle’s buddy during hours of piano events and 4H meetings. He’s climbed ladders at work though I know he is ready for a new adventure. I tell him each day I’m game to just pack up and move, just say the word. That day may come soon, or it may come down the road but I am glad to be sharing this life with a man as involved with the children as he is. Chris is my greatest supporter and helps me along with all my crazy projects- even if it means that some bottles of my latest brew explode all over the cabinets, or I’m panicking over why only one chicken is molting and thinking they all need jackets. He wakes up each morning and starts my tea without fail and I feel like I’m living in a RomCom, with a husband as thoughtful and fun as he is.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
In the Bleak Midwinter – Christina Rossetti
It’s 3 am by now and I get up to go make sure that no one else is up looking for water or a cough drop, or even just some snuggles and sympathetic whispers of “you’ll be better by Christmas, I promise” and I am grateful I can give that promise. We have been wildly blessed this year and despite any struggles we’ve had, I can confidently say I knew things would get better -that is a gift denied to many and our blessings are not lost on me. I pray each night during our rosary for Peace, Joy, and Contentment. I pray for Courage. I pray for Wisdom. I pray for Patience. In these days I feel all of those are slipping from my grasp, in a final test of the year as I am trying to regain my health in time for Christmas. But who says things have to be perfect to be worthy? Our Christmas celebration will be perfect simply because we are here, and we are together. That is enough.