Thursday, December 17, 2015

Domestic Pursuits

The last, oh, nine months or so, I've been mentally and physically preoccupied with domestic pursuits (right after completing this long article on beauty). For the first few months, I was all too physically engaged with gestation, but then my time cleared up and my mind turned towards preparing our home for our new family member. This involved re-arranging, de-cluttering, and beautifying our home, as well as preparing for Christmas extra early.

We were lucky enough to "inherit" a new bed. We were able to move the furniture around, getting rid of a set of shelving, and make the room look nicer (without buying a thing). Similarly, with help from a friend, I re-arranged the existing furniture in the living room; it opened up the space physically and mentally, making me feel like our small house had more possibilities than I thought.

Some of my favorite newborn clothes: I can't believe we will soon have another baby this small!

Aldi flowers
As usual, my domestic pursuits involved food: delicious squash soup, crock pot pulled pork for the freezer, Christmas morning cinnamon rolls saved for Christmas morning, granola and pecan linzer cookies for gifting, Cinnamon Roll braided bread, Moroccan chicken, and so much more.... mostly waffles!

Waffles of all varieties to eat on those hazy post-partum mornings when you need something substantial right now.

Squash soup!

Cinnamon Roll Braided Bread, with pecans instead of raisins (I live in the South and need protein!)

Our Christmas tree!
Non-Santa presents bought and wrapped very early

Friday, December 4, 2015

Job, Advent, and Suffering

Last year's Tree

What we've done for Advent: 

1. Set up our advent wreath... today 

(We were at my parent's for an extended thanksgiving that included an ice storm and a power outage at our house until Tuesday night)

2. Set up our nativity, with Mary and Joseph journeying on the coffee table; the Magi are coming from the East!

3. Re-read parts of Joseph Ratzinger's advent homilies, collected as What it Means to Be a Christian

4. Wrote my advent column!

            Terrorist attack iconic Paris, leaving the Western world mourning for the victims, their families, and our collective safety and security. The news hits hard amidst a daily life of relative peace and joy, bringing to the forefront the horror and evil present in this world, leading us to ask, “Why?” Governments, think-tanks, pyschologists, and friends may answer this “why,” but their answers don’t suffice. It isn’t really to them that what we ask. Instead, our question is addressed, consciously or not, to the source of all meaning.

Read the rest here (or here, if you prefer your news sources to be Texan).  

And my November column, on beauty in the everyday.