This weekend was packed but it was amazing.
Home from being out on Friday night to four pairs of worn little boy sneakers lined up expectantly.
Filled and ready for the 5:30 (?!?) a.m. wake up from those shoe owners who were thrilled out of their minds and apparently could not sleep one more blessed minute.
A candy cane, a St. Nick to share, some gold coins a piece and a book for each.
Some way too early not at all forced cheese faces for you
The books for this year:
Then we scooted out the door predawn to drop the boys off at the grandparents for the first ever overnight of the sort for Brian and me. Remember that retreat I told you about? So good. Praise and worship, talks from Dr. Sri, Mother Olga, and Vinny Flynn, Adoration...
Oh. And I got to meet this lovely lady. Colleen from Marian Grace :) I promise I didn't go all fangirl. I mean, not really. But we got to chat for a while, I got to meet Jimmy, Shawn, Colleen's beautiful sister and baby girl, and Brian and I both decided that these are some of our favorite people.
After the retreat, we checked in at our hotel room that we got using some of Brian's fun points from his work credit card.
I mean, just a room overlooking one of the seven natural wonders of the world. No biggie.
We were going to go out to eat but after being at the retreat all day long, I was ready to just sit and crash for a moment. Plus, we had the best view ever. And when we saw that the room service prices were about equivalent to going out to a nice place anyway...
We totally did. And I totally was that person who took a picture of our dinner. In front of the fancy room fireplace, no less. All the fancy dinner, none of the shoes. It was perfect.
We headed out a little later for the concert at a different parish and we got to hear more of these folks make their beautiful music. I am just floored by how talented they all are. Shawn, the violinist, toured with Martina McBride, now primarily produces music, and I am so excited to receive his Christmas compilation CD as part of the Love Good Music sponsorship program very soon. Colleen's voice is like none I've ever heard. The control and crispness she has...it's blows my mind. And Jimmy's arrangements are stunning.
(psst...I may have gotten a few little things from Colleen to give away soon so stay tuned!)
By the end of the night we were exhausted but so filled.
A view from the window as the sun was rising.
We went to morning Mass, way overate at a nearby breakfast buffet, then headed back to pick up some very overtired but happy little boys. They had a ball.
We spent the rest of the day catching up and prepping for the week. Outside garland and lights got hung up ready to be lit on St. Lucy's day. Birthday plans were made for a certain almost three year old. Overtired meltdowns were had. Advent prayers were prayed. Knitting projects were started. Football was watched. This morning I get to surprise a few little guys that since today is a Solemnity, we have no lessons and win mother of the year for at least a few moments.
A (sort of) white dinner is planned to celebrate the Solemnity (chicken and potatoes...I mean, kind of, right?) but I think dessert will be vanilla milkshakes. We don't really do desserts during Advent and almost never milkshakes so I'm thinking that might be a very special way to celebrate such a beautiful day.
Have a wonderful day, friends, and happy Solemnity!
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