Pre-Holiday Links and Resources -Advent 2018 and Christmas

With Thanksgiving this week, Advent is following quickly behind it!

But besides the busy preparation for Christmas, there are a lot of things we can do to really observe the season of Advent! Over the years I have collected links and resources for the holidays that I thought would help me and my family prepare our hearts and spirits to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.  I haven't done everything on this list.  Some of it is a wish list, but there was something in every link that I thought was worthwhile.

Perhaps first on the list is actually getting our homes ready for the holidays:
Holiday Grand Plan or join their Yahoo Group E-mail List Declutter and Clean!
Also DeClutter and Organize on Facebook. 

and get your planner ready~  Advent and Christmas Planner from Catholic Icing or Advent Planner from Wildflower and Marbles. 

 This content uses referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info. This means if you make a purchase, I get a little change to keep up my Diet Coke habit.…

Menopause and grandmotherhood - the strange new world

Rachel at Testosterhome wrote: 

Now if you’re thinking I’m depressed, I appreciate the love. But I’m not. I’m actually doing great — and I want to share about that too. But it’s so scary, being on the edge of a cliff standing out there taking in the scene and not knowing where to go. Is now the time I start to share what it’s like to not have babies anymore? Do I talk about this new world of the youngest being four? Of how it feels to hold your brother’s brand new baby and be totally okay with the reality that you probably won’t have anymore babies — and that you are totally peaceful in this time and place? To be where you are and be content and grateful for where you are and what God has given you, and how very strange and new it is to be here?

I totally get it.

I still have an 8-year-old so I am still privy to be around a lot of new moms.  I watch them mothering their little ones and I remember what it was to sit on the bench with a nursing baby while watching out for my toddler and making sure my older boys were behaving themselves. I know what it's like to lug a diaper bag around and having to deal with a car seat.   Those were the good ole days.

And as hard as those times were emotionally, mentally, physically, they were nothing compared to the teen years - or to last year, where in a span of six months my three oldest sons moved in with their girl friends and the youngest of those made me a grandmother.

How does it feel to have half of my children gone? and to NOT be totally peaceful about it because of the way it happened? What happens when your hopes, plans, dreams for them evaporate?

As a blogger how do I share my experience  yet respect their privacy and protect all of us from the creepy haters out there who hide behind their anonymity?

How does it feel to not have my mother there - the wise counsel I had all of my life?  I feel as if  the matriarch is gone and I am the  usurper and fraud in her place. There's no way I deserve this spot and I don't want it, at least not like this.   It's five years since her death and it still. feels. weird.

Last week my sister was hit  by a car hard enough that she was unconscious for 20 minutes and in the hospital over night.  But before I knew that it was just a pretty wicked concussion, I was scared to my core that I might lose her. - I don't know what life looks like without her and the thought of it was sobering.

 Rachel also wrote:
And in the meantime, I’m too stuck to do anything but think about how I’m stuck. I think about all the changes going on and can’t figure out what to do about it
I have never felt as stuck in my life.  Little kids and minor children weren't easy, but at least I could DO SOMETHING for them, with them, or even to them. I could feed them, hold them, drive them, pick them up, put them in time out, take the car keys away.  Now my influence over the older ones reminds me of a phrase from the Wizard of Oz - I can offer suggestions and advice, and they can tell me, "Rubbish! You have no power here!"   and it's true.
Glinda photo: Glinda witches3.jpg

And then there is this little person, the prettiest little baby doll - who is so innocent and pretty -whom I have no legal or moral obligation to, but because I have had such strong examples of what a grandmother is I still feel obliged to... to what? exactly.

 photo 50f1a990-b981-4881-aa22-6a2d86de30b2_zps241f52c2.jpg

In 8 years I will be done homeschooling.  That will go by in a flash  What does life for me look like after that?

Rachel finishes with:
Do you know how terrible it is to have a thought or feeling and be too afraid to share it and then be clicking around (because you do that instead of writing because it’s too scary to write) and then you see those same thoughts — very likely expressed way better than you ever could — and you just want to walk away from it all.So hello, welcome to my world!
Thanks.   Let's share a seat over there and see if we can figure out what this strange new world looks like.   When the busyness of babies, toddlers, kids and teens has cleared away, we can assess the damage and figure out where to go from here.

...asking for petitions all the time from St. Anne - the patron of grandmothers, and of my mother - who will always be a saint in my eyes.