This Advent has been … odd. Is that the right word? Odd? Yes. Sure. Let’s go with it.
It was Thanksgiving one day, then I turned around for a second, and WOOSH! – it was the first Sunday of Advent! What in the actual heck?
I ascribe at least some of my radical disorientation to being displaced. Traveling away from home over the holidays will do that to you, unless you are super organized and have everything for the impending holiday season located, unpacked, and situated just so before you leave so it’s all waiting for you upon your return.
If you are a human who actually does that, I salute you.
I am not one of those humans.
I am grateful we only forgot my contact lens case, my glasses, and all of the 4-year-old’s pants at home.
But I digress.
Our family traveled for a good chunk of time over snowy mountains and through forests and desert on Thanksgiving day to celebrate with my family. It was a long drive with lots of excited (read: loud and obnoxious) kids over some precarious roads, but the trip wasn’t the worst ever.
Here (below) are most of us on the way out of Dodge. See how we’re all (mostly) smiling? That lasted about another 20 minutes or so. My husband is trying to make the sign for “turkey” with his non-driving hand. I think.
The most precarious part of our journey wasn’t over the mountain itself, but through the small towns with super icy roads once we reached the other side. Thank God for studded tires!
Look! Pretty fake stuff at my Mom and Dad’s house!
I think it was -9 degrees on Black Friday. Holy brrrrr, Batman!
Something I wasn’t expecting to see (check out the date on this bad boy) at a place I wasn’t expecting to be (for four hours) with my son on Black Friday. #urgentcare #misnomer
Thank You, Lord (and Mom and Dad!) for date night with my main dude. It was very, very, very, very, very, very, very (infinity) much needed.
Sir K with his tube. For a Southern-born lad, he handled the freezing temps pretty well. For the first 20 minutes.
The loud and rowdy cousin table at dinner Saturday night … we’re missing a few in frame, but don’t worry. We knew exactly where they were. Mostly.
And, just like that, Advent was here.
And then we drove back through the (not-quite-as) icy small town roads, through the desert, through the forests, over the mountains, and finally back home on the first Sunday of Advent.
Despite being pretty bone tired from our the drive, we began dutifully digging through the bin in the garage marked “Advent,” hoping to at least find our calendar and wreath for that first evening.
A funny thing happens when you move cross-country twice in under three years with a big family and lots on your mind, apparently. Things get displaced. Or worse.
Here’s the sad excuse for an Advent wreath I found in my Advent bin in the garage. Apparently, candles don’t take too well to lots and lots and lots of changes in heat.
I finally found the calendar, too, about ten boxes later. It was NOT, I repeat, NOT in the Advent bin. NBD.
The thought crossed my mind, and it wasn’t the first time, either: “If only I could get more organized, Lord. Then I’d have a peaceful, holy Advent, and I’d be ready for Christmas.”
Last Monday was spent kvetching about my presentation the next night at my old parish. You know that whole Gospel passage about a prophet not being welcomed in his own home? Yeah. That Scripture passage had gotten in my head and wouldn’t leave me in peace and I was, frankly, freaking me the freak out. I shared my specific sentiments with a priest friend, who wrote back: “Well, by all means, then, I will pray for you.”
It turns out his prayers (and those of other dear friends in the know) reached God’s ears and were answered. By no means a flawless talk, it was, nevertheless, not too shabby. The crowd was smaller than expected but quite attentive and very receptive, which was wonderful.
So, fast forward one talk and several days of more real life throughout the rest of the week later, and WOOSH! – it’s the second Sunday of Advent.
I wrote a little more about what – or, rather whom – might be attempting to keep us away from where we should be this Advent for CatholicMom.com. The article was borne of a great deal of inner turmoil – I just talked about this very topic on Tuesday night! Why can’t I just get the words out on the page?? – and I hope it speaks to someone who is looking toward the manger this Advent season but is having a hard time nonetheless.
You’re not alone.