Here’s another peek at Our Life! We’ve had another awesome week and more visitors! My sister Shannon came down for Thanksgiving- it was so great to see her, and the girls had so much fun with “Auntie Nan”. We made a big Thanksgiving feast complete with a delicious, perfectly juicy turkey that Zach made. He’s really hitting his stride with the turkey making! In other exciting Thanksgiving news, I’ve been the only cranberry sauce lover in my family since I can remember, but it turns out both my girls have a love of tart and sweet cranberry sauce, which means I can legitimately make cranberry sauce now and not have to eat it all myself.

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Hanging out with Auntie Nan!

So… it’s Advent! It might be my favorite Liturgical Season. And now that Flannery is a little older we can start incorporating more traditions that she can join in on. Last year we did a very rudimentary Jesse tree (every day you hang an ornament on your tree that helps explain a part of Salvation History and the genealogy leading up to the birth of Jesus) that we did every night when we prayed together as a family and this year we are doing it again, but we’re slowly adding a little more. We’ve added an Advent wreath to the mix, which is super exciting because- fire. And the thing I am MOST excited for is our Jesse Tea- yes, tea not tree. Every Sunday afternoon we are going to have a tea with food that represents the ornaments that we have hung on our Jesse tree the previous week. I was originally inspired by this post I saw over at Shower of Roses, and modified it a little to suit our family a little better. I’ve had so much fun researching and studying scripture in order to create a menu that reflects our Jesse tree for the week! I’ll keep you updated on how it goes. It’s been really good to brush up on my Salvation History while preparing for this and I’m looking forward to continuing with it throughout Advent.

Lately I’ve been really conflicted about Advent. There’s the staunch Advent celebrators that adhere to the rule that absolutely no “Christmas”ish things (especially decorations) can happen until Christmas Day and yet we’re surrounded with Christmas in all the stores since before Halloween. After a lot of pondering I’m coming to some conclusions on my own. This Advent I definitely want to be slowing down, taking more time to contemplate, and prepare my heart. This can be hard to do when everyone is hustling, bustling, and celebrating like Christmas has arrived. I’ve decided that I’m going to embrace this time as exactly what it is meant to be- a time of preparation. Much like when I’m waiting for the arrival of my own babies, I want to spend Advent preparing myself and my surroundings for this much awaited day! I’m going to do that by slowly decorating our home a little bit each week in order to build anticipation. But, instead of going out and buying the best looking Christmas decorations on the market, I’ve decided to make all of our decorations, mostly with things we already have around the house. This process of slowing down and taking the time to make something by hand has been really great already. I had some great time of contemplation today while making yarn pom pom garland. It’s allowing me to see beauty in ordinary things and bring a sense of simplicity to this usually overly complicated holiday. How are you embracing Advent!?

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Kicked Mom and Dad out of the bed. But, they looked so cute I didn’t care that much.

Wise Words of Flannery:

To Aunt Shannon: “This is for our beer- we brew it so its fresh.”

Quoting Fancy Nancy: “I feel carried away by the music.”

Harper:

She’s been taking a few steps here and there! It’s so fun to watch her start walking.

She’s also determined to put on a pair of shoes. She sits down with a shoe in one hand and then grabs her foot in the other and concentrates for a really long time trying to aim her little foot into the shoe hole. It’s the cutest thing. I’m always so blown away by how much such a little girl can actually do and understand- babies are capable of so much more than we assume.

-Meghan

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