When I began this post back in early November, my computer was not even functioning. I had been trying for several weeks to even sign in here to my blog - and this is a miracle that it worked that day.
It keeps telling me how the startup disk is too full for applications to open... so I can't transfer photos from my camera to the macbook, I can't open any files or programs the kids need for their homeschooling activities, I can't even delete excess photos to free up space because I get an error message that says something about the hard disk being too full to access the photo program so any changes I attempt to make are lost. Sigh. I guess I was forced to take an even longer hiatus from blogging than I had intended. And now we have a new computer. I am thrilled. So I sign in tonight and find I have had over twenty thousand visits to my blog. Wow. I am more than thrilled - I am honored.
I find I get a little mixed up about what time of year it is here, with all seasons kind of blending into one at times. In this perpetual autumn we are basking in out here, we have had so many opportunities to soak it up outside.
Here are my much belated Halloween pictures. And here is Amos as a sweet little monkey and his much enjoyed (really?) mad face.
Isaac was a Secret Agent, Egan was a fairy, Jacob was a pirate, and Amos was the wee monkey that both big brothers have dressed up as at his age, too. Sigh. Feel kinda silly putting these pictures up here while listening to Christmas music and munching on Christmas baking (I participated in my first ever baking exchange! So fun!). But I can't say I haven't been busy in my absence, and I can't say I haven't enjoyed the time I've had being present with my family.
All in all, my extended absence has been fitting for the extended season in our lives. Out here in beautiful British Columbia, we are blessed with this long, luxurious, extended autumn.
More than once, this stretching and patient changing of one season slowly and carefully into another has reminded me of the extended babyhood we are blessed with in all that is this precious boy.
Even though he is now past 18 months old, he seems to be this perpetual, slowed down, carefully and tenderly growing flower blossom of a babe similar to a typical child about half his calendar age. I've had more than one mama bless me with her tender exclamation of wonderment and joy at his extended baby-ness, and what a treat that must be. It really is. There was a period of time when he was much younger that I was bothered by the sloooooow motion developmental path, but now? I wouldn't change it for anything. I've said it before and I'll say it again: he was everything I ever wanted and never knew I needed. So blessed.
Blessed. Gifts. Presents. Presence.
I have all these grand ideas.
Especially after becoming enthusiastically inspired by tips on pinterest and stumbleupon... I have a number of files on my computer's burstingattheseams hard drive labelled crafts, decorating, girls' clothes, bedrooms, and all these simple, ecclectic, thrifty, oh-so-cool ideas to enrich our lives, save the dent in our pocketbooks, and outfit our bodies, our home, and our lives with fun, funky and fresh handmade things.
And then I never get to them. Well, sometimes I do. One day I will more. Maybe later today. Or tomorrow. Maybe. Or maybe I'll pull a day where I accomplish a whole pile of things... and then blog and share pictures. Maybe.
We are decking our halls, baby. Jingle bells and Nativity scenes commemorating the awaiting for the arrival of our precious Savior. And I adore the simultaneous turning inward and outward that this season musters out of us. I am filled with such gratitude at His presence. His gift.
Somewhat recently Joel facilitated a getaway in celebration of our anniversary, and of my birthday at the end of October. The big three-six. Eep.
A night away.
Amos joined us as my beautiful man knew I wouldn't fare well if my littlest sheep was away from me allnight, so he orchestrated a private afternoon & dinner for just us, and had his brother Aaron and my sister in law to be, the lovely Kaiti, bring Amos to us. Delish.
It was such a gift, for Joel and I to be in each others' presence in a way we hadn't been for far too long. My handsome man. Such a gift, when we are truly present with one another. It was also such a blessing to have this beautiful little designer kitten all to ourselves for the evening. What a sweet gift.
Also in October we took part in the Surprise 25th Anniversary celebration of Scott and BettyAnn - their five children planned and worked together to give them the gift of this day of recognition. They are Joel's aunt & uncle, yes - but have become such an important and wonderful part of our lives and our family. Family, here. Presence.
Jacob loves hanging out with Liam. He also loves juiceboxes at Aunt BettyAnn's house.
All of the above Anniversary photos were taken by the lovely and talented Sadie Ball.
Austin, their youngest, recorded a number of people giving video wishes to the couple - and time after time their friends and family would say they are just so relaxed. They are so easy-going.
When they were asked what the secret was to 25 years of happiness? (Because they really are happy.)
"Just let it roll."
That's what they both said. Just let things roll off your back, forgive and forget. Like the magnet on our fridge says A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. That kind of love is such a gift.
They are honest when they say let it be, and let it roll. Good words to live by. It's been such a gift, such a series of gifts getting to know them and their (our) family more.
But I digress... after this first term of homeschooling, I am feeling I am in serious need of a vacation. Amos does not even come close to sleeping through the night. Jacob is up several times a night. Joel snores sometimes and other times hogs the covers. With all four children home I no longer am afforded the luxury of a nap when the little ones nap - also because Jacob no longer naps. And if I leave the room for even a washroom break, Isaac and Egan take that to mean it's time to giggle and interact and knock their chairs over and other tomfoolery ... sometimes having one single page of writing take nearly 7 hours... Seriously. I am worn out. A friend of ours had her baby go away with his daddy for an entire weekend... I'm not even sure that that's what I want or what I need - fairly certain I'd just about die leaving my littlest bub... but the break and the rest and the ceasing myheadisspinningduetotoomuchtodo would be ever so lovely.
But either way I just need to let it roll, right? Because this too shall pass. And one day we will all look back on this time of being in each others' presence and feel so blessed, so gifted.
Gifts. Presents. Presence.
And a very special time of year is upon us.
There is much struggle in my family with this season, who, what and where God is calling us - and I can't get into that for a variety of reasons. We all are learning as we go, as my sister says. We all are.
As for us in our house, our little ones are trembling with excitement to deck our halls and gingerly and tenderly wrap thoughtfully chosen gifts for one another and place them under the tree in anticipation of how their faces will light up when they see what they've blessed one another with.
Gifts. Presents. Presence.
And relax. Christmas post coming soon. Be present with one another. It is such a gift.
I have a finally-home hubby, a warm sofa, and a hot mug of tea and something sweet calling my name. I'm off to have a glorious evening. Have a glorious week.