In the bleak mid-winter / Frosty wind made moan, / Earth stood hard as iron, / Water like a stone;/
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,/ Snow on snow, / In the bleak mid-winter / Long ago.
December came cold, freezing hard for the season and snow covered the ground. Vacation melted into shopping and wrapping and planning and holiday celebrating and the days flew quickly. Tough situations popped up at work and in our community and I pondered justice and grace and what does forgiveness really mean? I wonder how earthly consequences and forgiveness look different from that of God and that’s the most subtweety paragraph I hope to ever write about a month.
Advent began December 01, this period of waiting, of expectation. We were still in Europe for work, so we went to a candlelight Advent service at the York Minster. God is not an Evangelical American, and I am never more confronted with that beautiful truth than when I attend a service in another country.
During Advent, I got into in a photo-a-day challenge on Instagram to rethink Christmas. Daily prompts led to photos and reflection throughout the month and I enjoyed the process and discipline. Above: Patience, Equality, Delight and Ready. More over on Instagram.
We celebrated Christmas and then celebrated Christmas and then celebrated some more. Christmas parties and Yankee Swap and Festivus galore. I’m so thankful for our friends who open their homes and generously invite others in. We spent a couple of wonderfully relaxing days at my parents’ home in Kansas, where we did nothing but sit around, chat and eat snacks. It was amazing.
What I’m reading
Ugh. Unfortunately not much. I definitely bought more books than I actually read in December. I’m also having all the need-to-read-more feelings with many of my favorite writer-bloggers posting their annual Favorite Book lists. So let’s talk again in January, okay? I’m looking forward to the She Loves book club kicking off, hosted by Leigh Kramer, who also hosts this little link up. Good stuff.
What I’m watching
Yep, all the Christmas movies. My worst-favorite so far? A Princess for Christmas on Netflix, but I think it might have been a Hallmark movie. You should totally watch it. We’re still within the 12 days of Christmas, so it’s still the season. No shame. I’m all caught up on Grey’s and Nashville, but Husband and I are having scheduling conflicts with finding time to watch Scandal, so don’t tell me what happened in the mid-season finale!!
Around the web
I’ve really been enjoying Sarah Baker Hansen’s take on the Omaha food scene lately. She’s the Food Critic for the Omaha World Herald and local foodie blogger. Her approachable writing style and great taste in restaurants make her an easy one to love. I’ve added an item to my not-actually-real bucket list: take part in a food prowl taste-off.
Little things I’m loving
Our house decorated for Christmas. The greenery and lights and candles and little touches sprinkled about make the living room look so cozy and warm, and the whole thing took about an hour. Plus, I only spent about $30 to add to what I got last year. Budget bonus.
Clementines, mandarins, whatever. They are delicious and they are addicting. I can’t stop eating them.
My new blog header. My rockstar design friend Kelsey made it for me and I love it. Also, I love her.
Adventures in Piggery
December snow turned plowed fields into chocolate crinkle cookies, just in time for Christmas. There’s such beauty to be found in this season of bitter cold and dead and brown. You just have to look for it.
Company board meetings were in early December. It’s always humbling to watch the brilliant minds of the people on the board at work, and listen to their insights and wisdom on our company. I’m grateful for the time they give. We went to Gorat’s for dinner after meetings and saw Mr. Buffet, which is always fun.
Just one of the little perks of living in Omaha. I’m so happy to call it home.