It's been a lovely Christmas season, dear reader.
Izzy made the acquaintance of ice during her orchestra trip to Chicago...in fact, I'd say they grew to be on rather intimate terms.
She also had the chance to play a Stradivarius violin, estimated to be worth over eight million dollars. She liked it and all, but to my relief professed greater enjoyment at playing her teacher's violin. I don't know why I find that especially consoling, given neither violin belongs to her.
I guess it's just good to know there's life beyond an eight million dollar violin.
Over the holidays the world's cutest Christmas carolers came to our door.
Cookies were baked and sprinkled.
After much deliberation, Winnie decided to let my little brother into her circle of trust.
There was a dear birthday girl...
whose friends who came over to celebrate and try my magic pancakes.
There were cousin sleepovers,
early morning wake up calls,
and more coolness than you could shake a stick at.
We wore pajamas and basked by fake fires.
Puppies made their debut,
as did polaroids.
And pink-eyed rats...though we only took care of them for a friend and were met with expressions of incredulity when we asked the family if we could get some for our own.
But we do have our dear, sweet Winnie, and as I look back on these photos I see she has managed to find her way into almost every one...an apt expression for the effect she's had on our family.
I hope you've had a nice week, too. I know it's a meaningful time of year for many people but often a difficult one, as well. Though I just laid out an array of pretty pictures, these are the thoughts which occupy my mind: gratitude for the deeper meanings, concern for those who struggle. Seeking for peace in my own heart and hoping to share it with others.
These are the thoughts which interest and challenge me...because they require action, they require time and means, they require wisdom, compassion, and selflessness. I watch myself and wonder how I'm doing in my efforts to find a good balance. Am I doing enough? When I see an opportunity to make a difference do I reach out, roll up my sleeves, get to work?
I have a long way to go. I hope I will get there.
Perhaps that is my greatest personal hope.