Mary this week: I’m a big fan of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so I guess it’s no surprise she’s the topic of my columns at Faith & Family Live, Today’s Catholic Woman,, and  And you know what?  I think I could keep going about Our Lady of Guadalupe, and maybe I will (though I’ve pretty much exhausted the regular venues…).

Outside my window:
Dark, not a hint of light.  It’s a reminder of Advent to me, of how the darkness is relieved by a blast of light and singing and incense.

Rambling thoughts: Though we won’t decorate it until Sunday, when dear friends and some family members are coming over to help us, our tree is up and lit.  Our friends gave it to us; it’s our first big tree as a family.  When the girls wake up, they’ll be delighted.  My new angel is perched at the top, and I’m glad we’re going to just enjoy it with only lights for a few days.  It’s one more small step in preparation for the Big Day.  I like that this Advent especially I’m being conscious of being focused and gradual in our preparations.  It’s making me more open to the joy of Christmas, I think.

In thanksgiving: For prayers.  For family.  For KFC.

Folded hands, bowed head: For Poppa Gene, who’s still in ICU.  He’s looking better after a weekend of rest.  We’ll know more today, hopefully.  Thanks for your continued prayers.

Nose inserted: I wish it was.  Though I’ve put away Google Reader for Advent (except for my top 5 blogs), I am not finding time (or am I not motivated?) to finish The Power of Respect, by Deborah Norville.  It’s good, don’t get me wrong.  I’m just not cranking through it.  (I’m also not sitting down to read much.  Correlation?)  This week, I want to pick up The Cricket on the Hearth, a favorite that my aunt and I read together most years (one time, we read most of it aloud together).  This story, incidentally, is what inspired my various uses of “peerybingle” (i.e. on Twitter).

Recent reads: I finished a fabulous book on St. Joseph, recommended by a Faith & Family Live reader back when I was Mary blogging in May:  Saint Joseph: His Life and His Role in the Church Today, by Louise Bourassa Perrotta.

In my ears: One of the ways I’m savoring Advent is thanks to the work going on at  Wow.  I’ve been enjoying the Liturgy of the Hours for some time, on and off, but this is a way to really have it seep into me, to make the prayer more a part of me.  Even when it’s just background noise, it calms me.  It’s a great companion to my daily singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and has made my Advent so peace-filled.

Around the house: Bob’s in the shower, dog’s by the fire, I’m at the computer.  Silence.  Elizabeth will be coming down soon (she’s my early riser), but until I hear her plodding down the stairs, it’s just me and my coffee.

A favorite thing: Mystic Monks Cowboy Blend

Plans made, possibly kept: It’s the week before Christmas, but I’m amazed at how I don’t feel panic.  I wrapped family gifts (well, the ones that get wrapped anyway) and I’ll ship them out this week.  There will be time, somehow, to wrap the girls’ gifts, and after our family Christmases this weekend, it will be a week of anticipation next week.  We have all the usual mundane things on the calendar this week, though we’re also a bit on edge about Poppa Gene.

Food for thought: (which inspired this week’s Mary Moment, which has yet to be recorded): In Wood of the Cradle; Wood of the Cross, Caryll Houselander wrote:  “During Advent Christ rested in Mary still, silent, helpless, utterly dependent. The Creator trusted Himself to His creature.”  (via Mary Vitamin)

Worth a thousand words: The dress for the big date, the one caused so much angst initially (which I did not, in fact, have to shop for, thanks to an amazing friend)

Find more daybooks at Peggy’s place.