Thursday, December 15, 2016

Solstice Approaches

I have been noticing the short days lately. Darkening afternoons turn to twilight by 4:30, with night closing in just a few minutes later. The shortest day here in the Northern Hemisphere will be next Wednesday. The moment of the solstice, the "standing still" of the sun before it turns toward summer, will be at 10:44 am GMT. That's 5:44 am EST. We have about 9 hours of daylight these days to get all the things done.

As well, I'm in the midst of a cycle of various viruses having their way with me. I'm a bit stuffy and achy again today, so I'm resting for the morning and doing all my computer work before I head off in a flurry of holiday busyness this afternoon. Gifts will be wrapped, packages will be mailed, and preparations will be made for a major photo shoot tomorrow. If all goes well,  I will come back tonight for some cozy tidying, some gift wrapping, a bit of knitting, and another holiday movie. All of this calm analysis belies my frenzied interior, of course. That's my speciality. Calm and quiet outside, ALL CAPS, ALL THE TIME on the inside. Well, ask my family if I'm really calm and quiet outside all the time. Sometimes I leak and the stuff comes out, but that's okay.

It does help to have a list and a plan, and my list is doing pretty well, actually. I'm crossing things off and really trying to work on one thing at a time. The knitting I really wanted to get done for Christmas is done! Two big packages are mailed! Most of the gifts are purchased!  The photoshoot is a huge and wonderful opportunity, so I'm really excited about it!

It's been a lovely few weeks surrounding the holidays. We had a delightful Thanksgiving, I got to go to Omaha again, and the run-up to Christmas has been fun and sparkly. I still have some decorating to do before my daughter gets here on Monday, but there's time. Here are some recent adventures:

It was a gorgeous autumn. 

I got to photograph a wedding at this awesome

I love helping at youth activities. It helps my psyche to be involved. 

I had a delightful second Thanksgiving at my friend Jill's House. I know.
Round tables are awesome. 

This is Jill's fort. We should all be like Jill and make a
grown-up fort in our house. 

Some of my favorite people. It was good to be with them for the homecoming
of their missionary. 

And this girl. I love her with all my heart. 

I am always happy to have time with Corinne's doodles.
Here, K is enacting the nativity with his toy set. 

I've had fun decorating for Christmas.  
I adore working with the missionaries in my church. It matters to me that I get to
participate in some of the same things that Evan is doing in Argentina. 

A friend gave us the gift of tickets to see The Piano Guys!

It was such a great show!

This was a day with Corinne herself. What a joy. 

We went back up to Glencairn, outside of Philly. It's so
worth the trip!
Show M the amazing mosaic walls. This boy makes my heart happy. I sure
hope we stay friends forever.  

Running races around the cloisters at Glencairn. 

Corinne is one of my captains of adventure, and I follow
her wherever she goes. This was an absolute delight:
The Washington Revels. Please go if you have the chance. 

I took Lisa and her boys to a festive McDonalds breakfast. It is nice to have
them still be part of my life. 

The holiday knitting might have involved some late nights and a
Doctor Who marathon. 

A random photo of a leaf imprint on a sidewalk. 

I'm still working at the temple on Tuesdays, and it was so fun to walk out
after my shift to see the Christmas lights in full glory!

The detritus of making and trimming a pom pom for a hat.
I'd say that's about a level cup of trimmings.

So here I am on December 15, soaking up the cold sunshine, readying myself for the celebrations, and hoping my flu shot works. How goes your December?

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