Apart from the tragedy in the US - more widely heard of and grieved for - tragedy has struck much closer to home as well. My heart aches for those who have lost dear children. It is beyond comprehension and shakes us all to the core. All I can do in the face of these awful situations is cling to a God who doesn't make mistakes, and continue to enjoy the precious people in my life, the beauty around me and the joy of the everyday.
Last minute Christmas card writing last night. Lovely! But my friends move around so often it is hard to keep track of addresses...
And wrapping Christmas presents! I usually leave it till Christmas Eve, so am feeling quite organised this year and the bottom of our tree is looking nice and full.
Lunch dates with a proud great-grandmother, silly and besotted as she never was with children (I've heard) or even grandchildren. (We've decided inhibitions disappear with each generation).
Making Christmas bon-bons/crackers. I used to do this regularly, and am excited to be back in a country where I know where to go to buy the snaps!
Luka and I have been going along to the local library. What a wonderful discovery! So many activities and events going on. It is a much more happening place than fifteen or so years ago, when I was last there. Luka loves singing and reading with the other kids, and there is a great service where the state library sends a new box of books in French and Japanese (among other languages) every month, so he is enjoying plenty of new books in high rotation. He does love reading which makes my heart happy.
Christmas baking has picked up pace. Yesterday it was three batches of rum balls and today it was two different types of nut brittle - pistachio and rose petal, and hazelnut. Such fun! (And, again, it is great to know where to go to buy things like rose petals, which I bought from the friendly Iranian man nearby.)
On a recent library visit, I discovered a new chocolate cafe - a dangerous discovery I fear. The hot chocolate is far too yummy.
Each day leading up to Christmas, Luka helps me go around the house to open up windows of our various advent calendars. He takes a bible verse each day out of the pockets of this precious calendar, made years ago by Auntie Robbie.
Luka is growing up so quickly. In the last couple of weeks, he has started really enjoying his meals, got his first two teeth, started sitting up and is moving around the place at a fast pace. And he laughs. Oh, how he laughs! It melts my heart, each and every time.
In this beautiful December weather, there have been plenty of walks, picnics and playtime in the park. I'm not used to the warm weather at this time of year, but we are certainly enjoying it.
Life is full. A beautiful, happy, Christmassy kind of full.