Lots of life happens in this month! These are just a few random snapshots from decorating with the kids, which is more fun every year as they get more excited about family traditions, and a recent visit to a local attraction, the Biltmore Estate, with my mom. If only I could have taken pictures inside, it is so beautifully decorated for Christmas! But it was nice to just soak it in with the kids. I haven’t been inside the House since I was a little girl, what a crazy thing it is to visit and to imagine living there. The kids thought it was a castle, which it sort of is. I look at it differently now, after Downton Abbey. 🙂 Also, our weather here has been uncharacteristically warm, which we are enjoying but it just feels weird. I’m ready for snow and storms and blustery wind and knitting cozy by the fire. In the meantime, we are trying to play outside as much as we can and make the most of it.
We’ve been happily busy with lots of THIS lately. My older brother + his sweet family have been in town, and we’re so enjoying having the opportunity to be with them. I’m loving the chance to get to know my nephew a bit and it is precious to me to see all the cousins play together and build little bonds. I know from my own childhood years how special cousin relationships can be! It’s like having extra siblings. And I’m thankful for more time getting to know my sister-in-law and reconnecting. Our hearts are full!
The leaves are mostly off the trees, a cold front moved in with a wild gust last night, and we’re settling into winter slowly. Things can begin to look dark + barren, like the black-eyed susan stalks, shooting their bald heads into iron sky. All can seem lost, empty. Yet hidden within that flower’s cone are all the seeds for next year’s flower, each cone containing dozens of potentially viable seeds. All this glory and beauty and light bottled up in that dark little bumpy-looking ball, just waiting for the right conditions in which to burst forth. The same stalks that wave cheery yellow wildflowers in the summer, we pass by, or even trample underfoot in these winter months, assuming it’s all dead anyway. Winter is full of promise and waiting and hope in small, hidden places. There is all manner of beauty in those barren places, if we’ll look. There is all manner of potential.
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope.” (Psalm 130:5)