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an advent spiral – new traditions

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Every year during holidays, I have projects I try to accomplish and every year there are projects that do not get done.  An advent spiral has been on my list for the last three advents.  This log slice was packed at the old house and moved here and then taken out of my craft closet and put away numerous times.  Many times I feel that things just happen when they are supposed to and I am happy with the end result, which may have been different if I made them when I was supposed to.  So I once again I forgive myself for my eternal procrastination.

Last week I woke up thinking that once again advent was hot on my heels and so much to do.  I walked into my quiet studio still dark from early morning and pulled out the box with the log slice.  I drew the holes where I wanted them and got it ready for Eddie to drill holes for me.

I pulled out my box of wooden figures and a chose the piece that I would paint as Our Lady.  I realize how long its been since I have painted one of my little people and while painting her I got back lots of memories of sitting in my studio on countless nights painting hundreds of these for other people, mostly duplicating their families and I have decided that some time soon, I will paint my own family.  Its been 9 years since I painted the first family so I think its high time that I make ours now.

The beeswax candles from yesterdays post are all trimmed and sitting next to the advent spiral on our front room table and we can add another candle each night as we say the Saint Andrew novena.  I am quite terrible at saying novenas and I think its important to confess it because there might be lots of mommas out there holding onto the same guilt.  Let it go and try again tomorrow.  That’s what counts right?

Winter is definitely nearing around here.  Everyday this week has been cold and mostly rainy but not unenjoyable.  I know our days outside are numbered and I am not quite ready to embrace being inside all the time just yet.  The kids have gotten into the Christmas spirit and everywhere I look there is a little evidence of it.  We don’t really celebrate or decorate until advent is over but that does not stop them from leaving little hints of their happiness.

I am planning a 12 days of handmade Christmas here in a few days and it seems years since I have done one on my blog.  It is time.  I think this is the year that I will get all those ideas accomplished and so happy to be able to share it with you!


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My JP is 11.  My Clark Kent (I have always thought that he looks just like him).  My cuddly little boy.  Eleven.

Sweet and tender hearted but quick to temper, all in one.  As a baby he cuddled with me almost as much as Matthew has.  He woke me every hour around the clock for his first year and hated every minute of being in the car.  Oh the years of trying to go to garage sails with JP in tow.  Yesterday we woke him with our customary birthday sneak attack where we all try to wake up earlier than the birthday person.  We all sneak into their room together (are you imagining how difficult it would be to sneak in 9 people without making a sound??  ok good, just checking) and then belt out our birthday song as they sleep.   Except JP is a super early riser so every year he just pretends to still be asleep as he waits for his late rising family to sneak in and start his day.  After the happy birthday song has been sung, everyone turns their attention to me as the subtle reminder that it is a tradition for momma to sign the same song my momma always sang me.  It is in Spanish and sadly they don’t understand a word I am saying but have heard it so many times that they can sing it too though I am the only voice heard at this moment.  My voice, usually squeeky at this early hour.  The look to me all the same.  I could not possibly not sing it though I always get a teeny butterfly in the stomach moment and secretly wish I didn’t have to.  I get passed myself and continue with the tradition.

We are treated to a breakfast cooked largely by the girls except for Eddie’s bacon.  Eddie is our lover of bacon and he does not entrust our precious bacon to anyone else.  Today we are not having bacon from our favorite bacon farmer.  Instead we are trying out some in house smoked and cured, nitrate free bacon from Lucky’s.  A new grocery spot that a friend introduced me to.  They have a bulk section that I was impressed by and more fill yourself items than I find at Whole Foods!  More about that another day but I will add that you can drink a beer while you shop.  Nuff said.

After breakfast, gifts are opened along with that birthday card from Grandma Yoli which JP knows has been in Momma’s bag for a month now.  He loves the words as much as the contents because he is my sweet boy.  This year I decided to make a special birthday bag embroidered as such so that it does not end up with the same fate as all of our other birthday bags, given to a friend or used to collect treasures and not usuable for gifts after that.  I decided to do the embroidery in spanish, don’t ask why but it seemed important.

The rest of the day was spent outside, playing running, sitting together as we all love to do.  Eleven years I have gotten to spend with this child.  Eleven.


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