I blinked and realized it's been two weeks since my last blog post. I spent a good portion of November doing Christmas prep – making lists, ordering Christmas cards, Christmas shopping, and the like. Having learned from previous years, where my December fills to the brim, and I nearly miss Christmas because of the frenzy of it, I tried to do as much ahead of time as possible, so as to preserve a slower pace in December. I don't want my anticipation of what is arguably my favorite holiday to cause my heart to feel hurried, impatient, and stressed out.
This month has held more ease than previous Decembers, and I wanted to share some of the life-giving things that we have been up to. The festive and nostalgic things – some new recipes we've tried, how I'm spending my evenings, what I'm reading, etc.
I'm working my way through Calico and Twine's Behold: An Advent reading plan. It includes one chapter of Luke a day, as well as cross-references. I'm really enjoying reading it, and it's a reasonable amount of scripture each day.
I'm also reading through Wendell Berry's Hannah Coulter. I bring Finn with me when we go to bed, and then snuggle the sleeping boys, my bedside light on it's lowest setting while I savor a few beautifully written pages before sleep.
In the kitchen
Cooper and I made cinnamon applesauce ornaments for the first time. They smell amazing, and the dough couldn't be simpler – just cinnamon and applesauce. They are arguably less messy than salt dough ornaments too. We plan to give them to some neighbors and put some on gifts. The entire house smelled so good while they baked, and the finished ornaments have a lovely scent too.
We also baked long-fermented sourdough sugar cookies, and I don't think I'll ever use another recipe for sugar cookies again. They are delicious and it was the first time doing cut out cookies where Cooper could choose the shapes, press them in, and transfer them to a baking sheet by himself. I opted for a simple sugar glaze (raw milk + organic powdered sugar) since that's our favorite.
I just finished an adorable test knit for a fuzzy little vest for Finn! I'll share about that in a new post. And then I cast on a pair of DK-weight socks in the prettiest yarn, and they are flying off my needles, it seems. It's nice to work on a mindless project after the test knit and some gift knitting. I'm knitting them on magic loop, rather than my usual DPNs, and even though I don't typically love magic loop, I am enjoying the process this time.
Our friend, Andrew, came to visit for a long weekend. We spent a lot of time doing puzzles, playing games, and building with tiles (with Cooper) at home, but the boys also drove around to look at Christmas lights and all of us went to the ice rink downtown for Cooper's first time skating. He is a quiet observer in new environments, but he told us how much fun he had.
Every other week, we visit a local farm to pick up raw milk, yogurt, and cheese. This past visit, Cooper wanted to take a picture with a big rooster statue.
We spent a cozy morning at a friend's beautiful home. The mamas actually sat and drank coffee while the (bigger) kids played upstairs, and it felt like a new era of parenting, in a way.
My SIL, Katelyn and I took the boys on a fun, Christmasy morning downtown. We had coffee, Cooper had a smoothie, and we did a little shopping and looked at the lights.
Beyond those things, my days are filled with contact naps and baby wearing, bread-baking, imaginary games with Cooper, often machine-based, taking everything apart, or he's on a pretend canning kick (yes). Lots of snuggles, trips to the grocery store, chasing after an ever-more-mobile Finn, cleaning up messes and making new ones, reading books, and folding laundry.
And I'm trying to do it all a bit more slowly, in pursuit of an unhurried heart, and the space that a slower pace allows for my increased awareness of the gift of the arrival of Christ, only by the grace of God. Wishing the same for you, this advent!