The reason that all my posts as of late have been 1. short and 2. all about our family

is because I have a project in the works. (Muahahaha!)

I have been writing lots and lots, but none of it will appear here until December.  Oh my gosh, am I planning ahead?!?!?

Every year I help put together a Christmas book, which is one of my favorite things about December (and one of my least favorite things about October/November).  The book is totally fabulous - chock full of holiday recipes, decoration ideas, new traditions to start, craft and gift ideas for young and old, and activity pages for kids.  Last year there was a whole section about caroling with songs, homemade instrument ideas, and hot cocoa recipes.  Each year "the book " has a different theme, and it is a joy to put together.  Mostly because I can justify spending inordinate amounts of time on and I can start listening to Christmas music in October to get myself in the mood, much to my husband's chagrin.

Every year there is a section full of devotions, one for each day leading up to Christmas.  And this year (drumroll please), I am writing the devotions.  Last year my friend Tami did them and they were precious and fabulous.  Each one had discussion questions and an activity for families to do together, because Tami is thoughtful and an overachiever like that.  I don't really know how to follow last year's, but I'm doing it anyway.

So...there will be a new post here every single morning from November 28 through Christmas day!  With stories, thoughts, questions, challenges, and let's face it, probably a lot links to good music.  (These will appear in addition to regularly scheduled posting, not in its place.)

If you're not familiar with Advent, you're going to love it.  It's a season that lasts for 4 weeks, and each week has a theme.  The first is hope.  Oh my gosh, so amazing and beautiful.  I'm excited.

The next week is peace, then joy, then love.  So the first week, all of the thoughts here will be about hope - followed by peace, joy, and love.

“It’s Advent right now, and this year especially, I’m really thankful for Advent.  Advent is about waiting, anticipation, yearning.  Advent is the question, the pleading, and Christmas is the answer to that question.  There are moments in this season when I don’t feel a lot like Christmas, but I do feel like Advent.

Advent gives us another option beyond false Christmas cheer or Scrooge.  Advent says the baby is coming, but he isn’t here yet, that hope is on its way, but the yearning is still very real.  Sometimes, depending on what we’ve lost this year, Advent is what saves us from giving up on Christmas and all its buoyant twinkling-light hope forever.  Advent allows us to tell the truth about what we’re grieving, without giving up on the gorgeous and extravagant promise of Christmas, the baby on his way…

…Let yourself fall open to Advent, to anticipation, to the belief that what is empty will be filled, what is broken will be repaired, and what is lost can always be found, no matter how many times it’s been lost.” [Shauna Niequist, in Bittersweet]

I hope you'll come read these thoughts every day, and allow yourself fall open to hope, peace, joy and love!  Get excited!