Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Countdown

Look how big he is. I can't even.

There's something special about the week before Christmas and these last few days of Advent. This year my schedule is so light this week and it's wonderful-- even P doesn't have any evening or weekend work events. Remind me to do this next year. It's so much more peaceful than a last minute rushing week before Christmas!

I took both kids to church yesterday for our Day of Grace so that I could make it to confession before Christmas. This was my first time taking both into the confessional but they behaved really well and since neither one can talk I think my secrets are safe, hee hee. J/K. Our new associate pastor is from India and is so loving and kind. He told me that in confession we give Jesus a Christmas gift He desires-- we give Him our sins, so that He can forgive and forget them and we can let them go ourselves. What a lovely and profound thought. I love the sacraments, and all the mercy and grace God showers upon us through them.

Today G and I made sugar cookie cutouts for the first time. Full disclosure: she was in a toddler mood and cried when I said let's make cookies. Oh my. Once she got started she loved it though, and it was such fun to begin one of my past favorite traditions as a kid, now without my own child. Maybe if I'm feeling brave after naptime, we'll even frost and sprinkle them together.

As for the practical prep for Christmas, I'm mostly there-- or at least have a game plan for it all, ha! I have everyone's Christmas Eve Mass outfits picked out, and the gifts that will be given on Christmas are wrapped. My inlaws' Christmas is not until the weekend after Christmas so I'm giving myself some leeway with those! My Christmas menus are planned (simple yet festive!) and I just need to pick up a few last minute ingredients. I mailed most of the Christmas cards today since our family photos arrived late. So all in all, the things left to do aren't stressing me out and I'm relishing these last few days beforehand.

My Advent has been unexpectedly full of spiritual growth. It started off pretty rough (see my most recent post on but I'm so grateful for the ways God guided me to greater hope, peace, joy, and love by practicing greater simplicity, surrender, and gratitude. My least favorite thing about being a stay-at-home mom is how easy it is to get caught up in your own little bubble and the daily "hardships" of it instead of having a larger worldview that comes from constant interaction with others on different paths that you meet in the workplace (especially for me as a nurse). It just takes a more concentrated effort to stay above pettiness, selfishness, pity and all that. That being said, I've definitely been praying for some people close to my heart this year and I'd love if you'd send a quick prayer heavenward for them...

-a friend struggling with infertiliy
-a friend from church whose toddler was diagnosed with leukemia
-a single friend struggling with depression

These sweet women show me strength, grace, and beauty in the way they are carrying these crosses but I know they'd appreciate some prayers for extra hope and peace in this season.

Thanks for sticking around for this old-fashioned, nonspecific blog post. Though my blog sometimes feels ready to retire, I'm grateful you stick around to connect with me. If you have your own prayer requests, drop them below in a comment and I'd be honored to pray for you.

In these last few days of Advent, may the Root of Jesse's Stem give you hope that He is growing you to blossom even when the pruning hurts. (I love the O Antiphons...)

In His peace,


  1. Peter made sugar cookie cutouts with me for the first time this Advent, too! He loved cutting them out. I frosted them while he was in naptime, though-I'm not sure if I have the patience to handle that part lol! Explain this Day of Grace thing-is it an event that your church holds, like a penance service?

    I LOVE your post! Oh my, yes. Yes to all of that. My plans this Advent have fallen apart on many levels, particularly when I wound up sick for a couple days last week, so I'm really trying to just focus on the peace of Christ. And my husband has been good at reminding me that even I haven't filled out any Christmas cards yet, even if we're way behind on our Marian consecration (that we were supposed to renew like 2 weeks ago!), etc. it's really OK. It's been a time of growth for me over here, and I'm particularly trying to embrace the simplicity of Advent in these last couple days. I am, however, a tiny bit stressed out since I haven't gotten my husband a Christmas present (and I want to give him something) but I suppose I should let go of my expectations and focus on doing something out of love for him instead of trying to figure out the "perfect gift" just so I can check off that box.

  2. Loved this post, Laura. So real and honest. Please don't retire the blog, there are so few authentic voices out there! Ps. Your little boy is such a cutie!!!

  3. When I was young and single I'd feel bad for people who had "nothing" to do on the holidays. Now as an older person with a family and life that moves so fast it's the best thing I could ever imagine! I hope you enjoyed your week and your Christmas.

  4. Beautiful, Laura! Just reading this now as I've somehow not read blogs for the last month or so. Hope your family had a wonderful Christmas! It's amazing how full of spiritual growth times can be when they go drastically not according to plan. My advent felt like that too. Happy New Year!! Also, this kind of non-specific blog post is my very favorite - I'll definitely be sticking around :-)