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Entry Points

It’s been a long, emotional week and it’s only Wednesday. We woke up to more awful news this morning, this time coming from Pakistan, and all I could do was sit in the kitchen crying while my kids ate bits of crackers left on the floor from yesterday. One mother’s loss is every mother’s loss. I could hardly bear to think about it.

I saw a post yesterday from a blog I follow, full of photos of little happy things and smiling joyous children and it was like a breath of fresh air. An exhale. Tragedies happen every single day, and the hard truth is that life goes on despite them. The difference is, with each one we tuck inside our heart, we are softened somehow. I know that I am certainly becoming more sensitive the older I get. My sappiness used to bother me, but now I see it as my entry point in. Sensitivity is not something to be embarrassed about. It’s not something to hide, to feel shame for. If anything, it’s a badge of honour and we ought to wear it proudly. Com = with, passion = to burn with emotion, so each and every time we feel compassion — each and every time we hold a fellow human in our hearts and endure their burning, we enter sacred space, and it’s here that we are changed. It might, in fact, be the holiest of experiences available to us.

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A Small Happies post today, because when all else fails, take some photos of things that make you happy, sit back, and be glad for what you’ve got.

Food Drop-Off

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I was at a real loss yesterday. Overwhelmed with how small I felt and how big everything that was wrong in the world seemed. I remembered that I’d gotten together a whole heap of canned food to drop off at our local library for their end-of year appeal, and this small little act made me feel more useful than had I just sat at home crying for the world. Small things, great love Mama T says, remember? That’s all we have to do.

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Besides, the library is a happy place. The books and the air con and watching little old men hunch over computers trying to work the internet (“Excuse me, but how do you click into that wi-fi?”) is just an extra lovely bonus.

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Yesterday, the Mr Men books were the flavour of the minute and I had to laugh when I noticed which one Ella picked up to peruse.

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It quickly became a game of choosing the books which best represent our family. Results are in: top left me, top right Joel, bottom left Ella, bottom right Billy.

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If you can spare a little more this holiday season, consider donating a few cans of food to your local library to support relief aids who help people affected by natural disasters and other devastating events.

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Mexican Night

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The Jamie Oliver cookbook I found on the floor the other day combined with my utter boredom at the same meals getting recycled around here inspired a total meal revamp. Menu plans were written, ingredients for new recipes were bought, and we’ve been making the effort to take some time with our meals — to play music as we cook, to light candles, to try new things. I’m feeling inspired.

Santa Letters

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We’re finally catching up on a few advent days, and this is one of my favourite Christmassy things to do. I asked Ella to help write our letters to Santa this year, asking what we should say and what she would like for Christmas. This, apparently.

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It was a happy little half hour.

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Carols By Candlelight

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Since the kids are still a bit young to be dragged out all night in huge crowds, I thought it would be fun to have our own Carols by Candlelight at home this year. Jammies on, lights off, oils burning, YouTube videos of past Carols by Candlelight events, that kind of thing. To my amazement, Joel knew every word to Hark The Herald Angels Sing, which doesn’t actually now surprise me when I remember he used to be an altar boy, but that’s a different story entirely. It was fun night and Joel even thanked me for going to so much effort to come up with fun Christmassy stuff to do together. Needless to say, I nearly fell off my chair.

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New Reads

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Though the house feels eerily quiet at night, I’ve been reveling in the time Joel’s been away to churn through some reading I’ve been hanging out to do. I made the mistake of staying up til 1 am last night finishing Me Before You, which I instantly regretted when Billy woke up this morning and made me start my day at 3:41 am. I blame Jojo Moyes entirely because I could honestly not leave the world she had plummeted me into. Utterly captivating, extremely well written, gorgeous story line. If you’re a bookworm like me, add it to your list. In related news, Yes Please review? I can’t say I loved it. I tolerated it, at best, and was certainly a little confused about its popularity, but maybe that’s just me.

And that brings us to Wednesday. (Is it only Wednesday?)

Thank you for being such a lovely place for me to come to. For being part of the good I seek to see. There’s a really nice warmth we’ve got going on here, and it’s sure nice to feel it when everything else just makes me more than a little weary.

Small things with great love to you all.

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