Thanksgiving, birthdays, and other updates

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Oh my goodness! As I said a week or so ago, I’ve been feeling very introspective and not very much like writing. Now I feel like I have so much to say, I’m going to explode!

I’m sorry there was no Waldorf Wednesday last week. We were up early packing and then drove from Pittsburgh to Lancaster to spend Thanksgiving with family. By the time I had gone to the gym, packed, and finished tidying the house there was just no time to put up the link-up, and there’s no internet on the road. But we’ll definitely be back next week, and I hope you’ll all link up double!

Matthew contemplating his Thanksgiving plate
with amazement

Thanksgiving was delicious and we had lots of fun with family. The older children especially enjoyed going to see Wreck It Ralph with their uncle and playing at the park with neighborhood children. Katie Grace, Molly, Grandma and I got to go out on Black Friday for an absolutely sinful Lancaster County breakfast—creamed chip beef over home fries, corned beef hash, sausage gravy and biscuits, scrapple with maple syrup, and so much more. It was a nice girls’ morning out.

We boycotted the big box stores this year. I can’t abide the idea that Thanksgiving is only for those who can afford not to work, and the thought that people are being denied the opportunity to break bread and thank God with their families so they can instead feed our culture’s insatiable need to buy cheap trinkets is abhorrent to me. I’m not saying I won’t ever shop a big name store again, but I am thinking long and hard about my buying habits and how the effect others. But Black Friday shopping is a tradition for Katie Grace and me, so we went instead to a couple of thrift stores and a local teacher store. For some odd reason there are no education stores in Pittsburgh. It’s odd. Anyway, we got some books for the babies for Christmas, a Hanna Andersson dress for Molly for $3—score!—and a few other little things, including a new handwriting book for Nicholas. Merry Christmas, buddy.

While we were in Lancaster we also celebrated the babies’ second birthday. It’s hard to believe Matthew and Molly are two! We had a delicious cake bought at a local bakery. The babies seemed vaguely amused to have such a fuss made over them and enjoyed their presents. We’ll probably have another mini celebration at home this week with a homemade cake and birthday crowns. It’s hard to keep traditions when you’re out of town and I didn’t have a whole lot of time to pull things together and bring them along.

Playing with a birthday gift

The babies’ birthday was a strange combination of happy and sad for me. Well, not sad exactly. But the day I gave birth to them is also the day I went into heart failure with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM). Only two years later, it’s still a lot to process. I can’t even begin to express how blessed I feel to be here, healthy and whole, and to have my babies growing up so beautifully. With a disease where one in six women die, it’s no small thing. And there are so many women who don’t completely recover or who have lost their babies. I suspect I’ll be working through this for a good long time.

So here we are, driving home with the little ones sleeping and the big kids listening to Deathly Hallows. A gentle snow is falling and I’m very much looking forward to getting home to a house that was freshly organized and cleaned before we left. Tonight we’ll unpack and do some laundry and tomorrow there’s church in the morning and hopefully nothing in the afternoon. And then on Monday we’re back to our regular routine.

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, full of good food and family and friends.

5 out of 6 children right before we left for
Thanksgiving. A lot to be thankful for!