Rather than bore you with a bazillion posts about our Christmas break, I’ll give it to you in short snippets with some fun photos. Our holiday break was just what I hoped it would be – intentional, laid-back, joyful and lovely. I believe there is only one explanation.

I decided to let God manage the chaos because I’m clearly completely under-qualified.

This year, I began Advent by attending a women’s retreat, led by the Dominican Sisters from Ann Arbor here in Austin. Time in front of the Blessed Sacrament put my heart right where it needed to be and I’ll be danged if it didn’t work this year. For the first time – EVER – I felt at peace. Now, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t up baking until all hours of the moonlight or that I didn’t have moments (or many) of stress, but I handled it better. I didn’t get as flustered as I used to and I actually (gasp) had fun this Advent. It was…enjoyable.

What that means is that I’m signing up for that retreat EVERY year. But, I still think that by going to confession, attending a Daily Mass and taking time to just alter your perspective can make an impact on anyone’s Advent, retreat or not.

Here’s one of my favorite photos of the Advent season, Sr. Maria trying on her new apron! The girls helped me cut it out, I sewed it (thanks to a pattern from my high school friend, Leah) and then a friend embroidered it.

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Of course, I took some fun tree pictures trying out the new bokeh phenom (the lights that look all blurry in the background). I’m looking forward to doing more of those next year.

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I got those sweet ties from Petite Peanut on Etsy. She had a great Cyber Monday sale and she’s a fellow NICU momma. I’m always a fan of supporting gals like her. Those ties were awesome, awesome. Below is a pic I snapped of my sweet parents. Dad, YOU’RE WELCOME for not posting the incriminating photo. Just remember, I have it in my back pocket… For a fee, however, I’ll share it with my brother. After that, I wash my hands.

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Tomorrow, I’ll share my favorite Christmas Eve/Day pictures, along with a few sweet memories of our holiday season and then head back to ordinary time. Hey, we still haven’t taken down the Christmas lights outside. I have until this weekend to get my act in gear, right?!

10 Comments

  1. Erin {Home Everyday} on January 9, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I’m sticking with the “its too cold out” excuse when it comes to outdoor lights. One of the many beauties of living in Chicago. Your family photos turned out beautifully. Also, is that the Sr. Maria that was on the episode of Oprah where the Ann Arbor Dominicans were followed. She was my favorite. What a lucky woman you are that you get to see her regularly 🙂

  2. Verdina on January 9, 2013 at 8:15 am

    AMAZING (as usual)!

  3. Debbie Chaney on January 9, 2013 at 8:52 am

    LOVE the picture of Sister Maria! I’m with ya, going on the retreat was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I pray that I can always attend. Thank you for introducing me to those most amazing women!

  4. Bea on January 9, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Our tree is still up. Mostly because Caleb just loves all the musical ornaments.

  5. Marie Meints on January 9, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Beautiful pictures. I’m glad you had a peaceful Advent and Christmas. Our decorations are still up too. For some reason I’m having a hard time putting them away this year. I think it was because I feel like I didn’t really enjoy Advent this year (mostly by my own doing), and now I don’t want the Christmas season to slip away from us. I love that two of our baby’s only words are tree and Jesus. I love when they turn on all the toys that play music at the same time – so against my nature, but I do. I love that they want to listen to Christmas CDs and read Christmas books and play with the Nativity. I know by next Christmas, they’ll be a year older, and it will just be different – still good, still fun, maybe even more fun, but they’ll never say and do the same things as they are right now. Just having a little mommy sadness about them growing up. I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t let Advent be a time of stress, because you’ll regret it in January.

  6. Debra on January 9, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Fr. Jose here at St. Mary’s Seminary complemented me on still having my nativity set out because it is STILL CHRISTMAS! He says we should celebrate all the way to Sunday since it’s Jesus baptism! I confessed that I just hadn’t wrapped all the pieces back up yet and it was not intentional. His response “Well intentionally leave it up for the rest of the week!”

  7. Amanda on January 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Great pic of Bill and Debbie! FINALLY!! Also, you’ll have to teach me that blurry background thing on our new camera when we come next week!

    • Kathryn on January 9, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      I made them take it – they were all “we can get it tomorrow”. When you’re here I’ll show you the outtakes!

      The blurry background is compliments of my 50mm 1.8 lens (on ebay for $80-$100). Best lens you’ll ever buy. For reals. See you soon!!!

  8. Lisa Schmidt on January 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Not sure what I love more – the apron or the bokeh phenom?1 🙂 Great post. Now to keep that peace flowing as we approach Ordinary Time, with Lent following soon after.

    • Kathryn on January 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      It’s become my mission, Lisa. To be honest, after the abundance of Christmas, I’m SO looking forward to the penitence of Lent. The liturgical calendar keeps us in check, no? Miss you!

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