So, this time of the year is simply busy, no? And sometimes not so much 'simply' but chaotic, crazy and mind-blowingly so! (blowingly isn't a word is it but, I like it!). We also had a Dada (our 'dada') overseas for the first few weeks of December working along side fellow MSF members in New York and with a short visit to family in Toronto, Canada; his Mum who he hadn't seen in person (only on Skype) for five years and a sister who, likewise, he hasn't 'seen' for seven years (since we last visited Canada a month before I was pregnant with Elsa!). Given the great work that MSF does (and my husband does with MSF) and his deep desire to see family, how could I begrudge the trip, even at this time of the year. But, there were many moments in the craziness of Raf and Elsa's end of year activities when I wished he was home, just to have him home. Well, and to share in necessary logistical arrangements, feed the chickens (those broody chickens that object to the daily egg-collection),
At times the two weeks went incredibly slowly! In moments when I wished desperately he was closer, I thought of the situation in Syria (a topic he was in N.Y. to discuss) and, well, really, that gave me the perspective I needed! I also recalled how often he used to be away in either Laos, Burma or China and felt grateful that, for the large majority of time, he's home.
AND, look at the gifts I received on his return. The Taproot 2014 calendar (bliss!) and some of my favourite toothpaste from a former life in Canada. Seems serendipitous that it's also from Maine, the home of Taproot, or pretty close. Or is my limited knowledge of American geography letting me down? Anyhow, I am so happy to have this calendar in my home; as happy as I am when the associated magazine arrives each issue! It's a real treat. The image below is perhaps my favourite from the calendar. We also used our remaining Air Canada points to purchase a new camera, which arrived home with D. I feel so grateful that the option was there because, how I've missed photography. Not that I'm the greatest photographer but, the passion is there!
So, that little overseas jaunt certainly dominated the start to our Advent celebrations but hardly stopped us enjoying the beauty of this time of year. On to more of our Advent activities....
With some help from my little Christmas elves, I put together these little 'garden boxes' as Christmas gifts for Elsa's teacher and her assistant. They contain things from our garden (eggs, garlic, cherries, bay leaves, oregano, mint and sage) along with a lemon from our neighbour's tree (ours is just a baby) and almond-cranberry biscotti made by us.
Some new Christmas decorations using air-drying clay. This was fun.
And oh so much Christmas card-making! And this Mama even had a moment to make some more 'Christmas windows'.
And there's been a perfect amount of outdoor time, one day in hail! Weather wise, post the strange start to December, where it felt more like winter than Spring or Summer, it's glorious. Even the beach tent has made an appearance in our back yard.
At a nearby farm checking out some potential pets. Not sure how the dog would respond so all plans for a rabbit and guinea have been put on hold for now. But the cuddles were nice.
And personally, at this point in December, this photo pretty much sums it up! Still, there's life in us yet and plenty more fun to be had before Christmas day. Fun and one 10 or so hour drive!