I never shared these wonderful family photos our dear friend Emily Rumsey took over the summer. I mean, it’s only NOVEMBER 30! I also just ordered some Christmas cards so hopefully they’ll arrive before Christmas so I can get them mailed out before Valentines? Sheesh.

With all the bustle and hustle of my sister’s Thanksgiving weekend wedding (YAY! SHE MARRIED THE BEST GUY and we are so HAPPY) and ensuing disease: all 10 little nieces and nephews threw up over the course of the week they were visiting, I actually had some quiet time to think. Maybe it’s because I was up a few nights changing sheets and rubbing backs while people threw up and that doesn’t lend to much talking which is my preferred way of processing.

I’m so behind on everything. I didn’t get anything ready for a Small Biz Saturday or Cyber Monday sale for my shop. I haven’t blogged in a long time. I haven’t planned out anything for Christmas yet. I feel so BEHIND.

And yet in those semi-still hours of realizing all my time and creative energy had gone toward the thing that really mattered: my sister’s wedding! prepping food for a few meals of 40 people for the festivities after it (freezer friendly meals)! rearranging my third floor and basement to accommodate the highly anticipated cousin crew! Blessed is She work that needed to be done before I took a week or so off! Paying attention to my children and their homework assignments and projects and recitals and booboos and teething and desires to potty train!

Once again, it hit me: if I do what I should and ought so that I’m not behind on what actually matters, the time will somehow manifest itself to do the extra stuff. And, if somehow that time doesn’t manifest itself, I must be aging and maturing enough to let them go. My little special me-time things are nourishing and soothing and joyful, but they’re not the meat and potatoes of my heart. And when they have been, I’m not balanced nor actually satisfied.

So if you are also scurrying and feel so behind, whether that’s literally like no way Christmas cards are happening or more like everyone else has these happy full lives that are perfect and I’m not there, please know you’re not alone. And that the best antidote I’m finding for this ache of “behindedness” is to do what is in front of me, and then ask God ever so patiently for extra time or grace to be filled up in the little cracks and crevices of the day.

Happy Adventing, sisters! I’m hosting a Wednesday night group at my house to do the Blessed is She book (sold out! 10,000! but a download is available) together so hit me up if you have the book and want to join us. However you’re celebrating this liturgical new season, may it be one that gives you lasting peace and satisfaction in the little mundanities and delights of your day.

I’m not well-acquainted with grief.

My parents are still alive and in good health. I’ve got all four siblings still alive and kicking. My four children have no lost siblings waiting for them in the afterlife. My family of origin has only two deceased aunts & uncles out of 12.

So while I don’t wear grief comfortably, increasingly it’s journeying alongside me. My cousin whom I grew up with’s little daughter, a year older than our oldest, is on hospice at home from brain cancer. Another close friend passed from cancer earlier this year, a loss so large it’s hard to mourn. And other adults in my life lost to cancer.

But the grief Laura and Franco Fanucci have walked through, and AA and I have walked alongside them at times, is an entirely different burden. Miscarriage. Babies lost as premies from a terrible tragedy. Babies longed for and waited for with heavy empty wombs.

These griefs these write about in their book, “Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage.” And it’s a book like nothing I’ve ever seen! It addresses loss for both the parents, not just discounting the dad like so many others out there. It gathers many stories from other couples, too. The resources for parishes and couples is astounding. There’s a whole chapter on understanding the Catholic Church’s intricate teaching on loss in the womb.

And if you’re still sorting through your own suffering, it’s a book you can piece through, not one you have to read cover-to-cover if that would be too much. The language and tone are loving and kind, compassionate and comforting. It’s just the perfect book for this tender topic. It also has a long list of incredible endorsements!

AND I want to give a copy to one of you.

It’s easy. Visit Laura’s new website and peruse through her other (many) books. Comment back here with the one you would also like to read. Maybe it will show up on your Christmas list!

Winner will be picked randomly Friday evening. Entries close 8pm Central.  

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