A bit of rambling: I put the computer away for a couple of days.  It’s been grand, in an unexpected way.  When my nose hasn’t been in a book or a manuscript, I’ve been playing horses and watching movies and a host of other inconsequential things.  Christmas wasn’t white, but today is, and we’re excited about that.  Every morning, the stockings have something new in them, and the shouts of delight (over a coloring book, a basketball, a doll) have been music to my ears.

Mary this week:
This week is one of my favorite Marian feasts.  No, I mean it.  This is THE feast for me.  My oldest daughter was born on January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  Not only is it a holy day of obligation for Catholics, it’s a holy day of much meaning for our family.  It’s a national holiday and a worldwide holy day.  Can’t get much better than that, unless you toss in that it’s also the 8th day of Christmas and there will be birthday presents and a party…and then my soon-to-be-five-year-old starts jumping up and down (and so do I, if I’m honest with you).

Outside my window: It’s white.  Last night, starting at twilight, it snowed.  It looks like about two inches’ worth.  We’re plotting snowmen and I’m dreading the trip to the store today.  (I’d rather stay in.)  The sky is heavy with clouds, but there’s a break in them, right at my sight line, and the weak winter sun is filtering through.

In thanksgiving: For the enthusiasm of little girls. For the reminder that we’re still celebrating the Birth.  For twelve days of Christmas.  For time off and sleeping in and small bodies snuggled between us.

Kitchen meanderings: Meandering is what’s happening in my kitchen.  It’s where I’ll be folding laundry later and plotting the Birthday Celebrations and matching up coupons with my grocery list.  As for food…well, we’re cleaning out the fridge and winging it a bit.

Nose inserted: I’m just over halfway through a friend’s manuscript and I’m loving it.  I’ve read it twice before, but to see how she took a story I enjoyed and characters I loved and made them…better…well, it’s delightful.  I can’t wait to see it in print.  (She doesn’t have an agent yet or a deal or anything.  I am quite sure she’ll get one, though.  This is good stuff!)  In my devotional reading, I just started My Ideal: Jesus Son of Mary, by Fr. Emil Neubert, SM.

Recent reads: Heidi Hess Saxton’s My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories (more on that later this week) and The Power of Respect, by Deborah Norville (review to come, though I’m not sure when).

In my ears: My Ave Maria playlist (if you needed confirmation that I’m a Mary geek, there you have it)

Around the house: The washer and dryer are humming in the kitchen, the kids are clamoring in the living room with Daddy (I think there’s a movie event going on), and one of the dogs is barking outside.  I’m hugging a cup of coffee (to warm my fingers as I type) and wondering if I’ll get my column done this morning or if it will wait until later.

A favorite thing: New slippers

Plans made, possibly kept: On the 5th day of Christmas, we do more riding (we did some on the 2nd day of Christmas too, much to everyone’s delight), and on the 6th day of Christmas we’ll have a guest who we haven’t seen in over a year (and who I’ve been looking forward to seeing for at least that long): the aunt who’s my oldest daughter’s namesake.  She’ll be with us for about 24 hours, and I’m already trying to chill out about it (unsuccessfully).  The 7th day of Christmas is the Day Before The Big Birthday, and the 8th day of Christmas is a holy day and a birthday and a cause for at least two or three days’ worth of celebrating.

New here on the blog: I’m going to be trying out a daily digest of my tweets (we’ll see how that goes).  In the sidebar, since I don’t always remember to link to my columns, there’s a section (which you can also subscribe to in RSS if want) called “Writing & Appearances in Other Places.”

Worth a thousand words:
Two-year-old’s preferred footwear (we laugh in the face of snow on the ground!)

Inspired by the daybooks at The Simple Woman’s Daybook