Eleven hours after we arrived home from the wedding, at 11:00 on Sunday morning, we hosted 50 or 60 people at our house to celebrate Patrick and send him off to college. Even now, as I write this, it sounds like a stupid idea. Who does that? Who pushes to do a birthday party, a huge Christmas party for extended family, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, a rehearsal and dinner, a wedding and reception, and then a brunch all in the space of nine days? With nine kids? And all at our house except for the rehearsal and wedding days.
I do. Did.
WIth the brunch, I thought I had a good plan. We'd bring in most of the food, picking up after 8:30 Mass. I talked to the contractor who had helped with our renovations and he agreed to have a cleaning crew in my house on the day of wedding. So, from Christmas until the wedding, I just worried about keeping things fairly picked up. Our contractor is wonderful and I had every confidence he'd polish things to a suitable company shine.
The cleaning people didn't show. At 11:00 PM, upon arriving home from the wedding, all my big kids (except Michael and with the addition of Hilary and Molly) and Mike and I started cleaning house. We pulled it off. Mostly. I don't know. I remember very little of the day after. I know Kristin and Michael came by for mochas before I left for Mass and they left for the airport. I know the house filled with people, food was eaten, and everyone left. And I know that at 5:00 that evening I faded into my couch. I think I even slept;-).
I thought this week would be a mellow one, that I'd catch up on some rest and do some (fun) things I've wanted to get to but haven't had time. Instead, I have grown to recognize that my "to do after the wedding" list was ridiculously long. Patrick has to leave earlier than we thought and we're in scramble mode. Christian has several important appointments before the start of the new semester. The new soccer schedule has some big surprises in it. Life is just barreling ahead.
Typepad tells me I wrote the above five days ago. I remember I was interrupted and then I took kids to the doctor to be diagnosed with flu. Let's begin again. How about a Monday Morning Almanac? Jump to the end of the now very dated brunch pictures, please.
I find myself:
::noticing God's glory
It's cold outside and I have trouble staying warm even inside. Still, I've resolved to get out and walk every day.
The trash trucks careening through the early morning.
::clothing myself in
Two new Anna Maria scarves this week--one voile and one a voile-velveteen infinity. Made by me, for me. Yay!
::talking with my children about these books
Small Steps for Catholic Moms. Karoline had an idea for a family project. A really good idea.
::thinking and thinking
Oh, my. Lots to think about. Right now, though, I'm forcing myself to confront the fact that Patrick leaves Thursday. I think I've put it off as long as I could. I told myself I wouldn't think about it until after the new year began. Then, the date was moved up and we realized we hadn't even begun to make packing lists, and, well, the denial strategy isn't working.
A quarrel between friends, when made up, adds a new tie to friendship. -St. Francis de Sales
::carefully cultivating rhythm
I know that this week won't be completely "normal" because there is packing and leaving to do, but I definitely intend to re-establish the focused, intentional learning times and spaces around here.
::creating by hand
I think I will try to conquer those nightgowns I once intended for St. Lucy's Day. And I've been happily knitting the first of the Easter sweaters. I do plan a post of knitting and sewing plans, mostly just to create a visual organizer for myself.
::learning lessons in
I wrapped a fresh set of Bob Books for Epiphany. Our first set was tattered beyond being "vintage." Karoline and Sarah are tickled.
for Elizabeth DeHority and Kelly Davignon and Jen Fulwiler.
Sigh. It's time to pack away Christmas. Usually, I'm pretty eager. I like the feel of uncluttered space. This year, though, I don't feel like I've had time to sit and linger in the light.
That fact is reflected here, too. There is no "year in review" post, no "Christmas recap" post, no resolution post. I'm still pondering this home in cyberspace and what I want it to be. Ironically, I've had very little time for it in the last few months and, even as I ponder, I wonder if it isn't futile planning. Will I have time for it now? Perhaps next week I'll have a better sense of the "new normal."
::crafting in the kitchen
It's a roast chicken kind of day. And then, bone broth. I am wanting and needing to re-commit to the strictest of the paleo autoimmune protocol. Even the little bit of wandering I did over the last few weeks has wreaked havoc with my joints.
Mary Beth and I had a little fun yesterday and left some treasures in a new kitchen. We snuck over and spruced up at Michael's and Kristin's house before they got home. It's always more fun to clean and polish in someone else's house isn't it?
::loving the moments
when everyone is gathered here on a Sunday afternoon. (Documented on Instagram. Follow me @heartofmyhome or click the camera icon in the top right sidebar. See you there!)
for a ridiculously peaceful Christmas season. It's a miracle, really, in every sense of the word. God is so good.
living the liturgy
I love liturgy. Love it. While I certainly relish bringing the liturgical year to life for my children through food and art and traditions, it's the Liturgy of the Hours and the liturgy of the Mass that anchor my soul. As my children get older, they still delight in the comfort of liturgical traditions (little "t"), but I hope that they, too, will take into their hearts the unfailing gift of grown-up Liturgy.
::planning for the week ahead
Thursday looks to be pretty huge. Some important appointments for Christian. Patrick's last day home. My birthday. Nothing, nothing like last year. Sigh.