Posts Tagged With: nativities

love and light at the Cathedral

The day after Christmas we went downtown to the creche exhibit at the National Cathedral.
For the first time in many years, the sun was out on that cold, cold day. (sorta kinda)

We walked the long way around the Cathedral College on our way up the hill to the Cathedral.
Thing 2 especially loves this building, the tower with the ivy vines. I think it has something to do with her love of the Disney movie Tangled…though she might not agree. It was important to her to bring boyfriend J to this place.

I loved this glimpse of colored glass! It wasn’t until I viewed the window through my lens that I realized there was a pane missing.

The Cathedral is my absolute favorite building the the whole of DC. I mean to the point that I began to breathe differently when we drove up Wisconsin Ave and I could see it. The building is truly awe inspiring, but more than that, it’s just a lovely, peaceful place. God’s house for everyone.
I was pleased to see the Advent wreath in the Bethlehem Chapel!

Though they were beginning to look a little worse for wear, the Christmas trees were dressed with a garland of hydrangeas. A few jingle bells and, boom! You’ve got yourself a gorgeous tree.

The sun was shining brightly as we made our way through the chapel and the stained glass positively sparked!

The “Space Window”.
Inside that little white circle is a piece of moon rock given to the Cathedral in 1974.

This view stopped me in my tracks. I honestly cannot describe the beauty my eyes saw, and this photo is a sad representation.
But not so sad that I wasn’t asked by a local online culture and lifestyle magazine if they could feature it in a current coolest pics article.
Go me!

This little beauty was waiting in the observation tower.

Here’s a view of the Bishop’s Garden from the observation tower.

Down on the crypt level is the chapel of St Joseph of Arimathea. This is my absolute favorite space in the entire building. I always stop for a moment (or longer) in this chapel to talk with God.

The teeny chapel where we normally light our candles in prayer.

Much to our dismay this little chapel was otherwise occupied. Who dropped off an organ in there? It actually brought Thing 2 to tears.

So we went back up the the Bethlehem chapel to light a candle in prayer. I finished my conversation with God before Thing 2 finished hers and I shot this pic without her knowledge. Seeing her like this moved me so.

I saw many lovely nativities at the creche exhibit, including one from Norway in which both Mary and the baby had red hair! Like, what’s that!?!
But this one is my favorite from this year.
From the collection of Mr and Mrs Harold R Amos, Jr, painted on wood by Miami folk artist, Flor Larios.

We left our coats, hats, and gloves in the car to avoid having to carry them around the Cathedral. Not the smartest choice when we decided to visit the Bishop’s Garden. Though the beauty of the dappled sunlight nearly made the freezing air bearable.

My Cathedral experience (as always) ended with the Cathedral Library.

I love this building. I long to get in there and oodgey-goodgey, only it’s never open when I’m there.

This Christmas is over and I find myself feeling that natural sadness. But in a positive ‘comfort and joy’ way. That beautiful sense of anticipation during Advent and the childlike joy of Christmas morning has moved through me and now I find myself ready to say a hearty “Bye Felica” to 2017 and see what kind of shenanigans 2018 will bring.
YBW and I are already talking about going on a mini-break for Christmas next year. Neither of us are sure how we feel about that…leaving home for Christmas, but we’re considering the idea, and it feels kind of fun.
I think I’m in a place within myself, he’s in a place in him, and we’re in a place together that we’re ready to make some changes to better suit the ideas we have for each other as we move through our life. And that’s very exciting! Perhaps ‘just we two’ will be even more fun that we can imagine!
Blessings of love and light continue to wash over me.

Advertisements
Categories: me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

blessings of love and light

We made our annual pilgrimage to the National Cathedral Monday to see the crèche exhibit.
I made a quick stop in Bishop’s garden on my way around the cathedral.
2-20161227_49
It always seems to be cloudy when we go. I’ve looked back at four years of photos and the sky is gray in every single one.
2-20161227_48
Doesn’t make it any less beautiful, but it sure would be nice if the sun would make an appearance once in a while.

I turned my attention to the cathedral. Much less scaffolding than in previous years. The repairs from the 2011 earthquake are coming to an end.
2-20161227_7
Something stopped me in my tracks on the sidewalk towards the front of the cathedral.
What could it be?
Why robin birds, of course!
There were five of them flitting about the grass and sidewalk as we made our way around the building.
2-20161227_1
I was so excited I could hardly stand myself! I spent quite a bit of time watching and photographing these little birds before I could tear myself away to go inside to see all the baby Jesuses.

Downstairs, I peeked in on my most beloved space, the chapel of Joseph of Arimathea.
2-20161227_28

Then onto the nativities.
This one was made in Zimbabwe of jacaranda wood.
2-20161227_30
I like that the figures are tall and lanky. I like that the shepard cradles the lamb in a way that mimics the way Mary holds her baby. I do so love nativities in which the momma holds her son.

Of course, there is something to be said of the baby bundled up in a basket.
This one was specifically made for the collection in Jamaica at the request of a Cathedral docent.
2-20161227_32
I love that he sleeps with a little smile on his face. How many parents have watched our own babies sleep the same way?

This one is hand painted pottery from Turkey.
2-20161227_39
I like that it’s just the Holy Family. I also love the traditional Ottoman style of the flowers and designs, not to mention the little rugs especially made for this nativity.

I remarked to YBW that I would only purchase a nativity if it was somehow unique or particularly beautiful. Well, this one sort of met both criteria.
2-20161227_45
This gourd was specifically chosen then hand carved in Peru. I particularly love the stars on the back of the lid. (not pictured)

After going through the crèche exhibit, I found my way to the teeny chapel to say my prayers.
2-20161226_161741
I kneeled on the prayer bench and gathered myself before I began. After my conversation with God, I lit my candle in benediction. As the light grew brighter, my blessings reached far and wide to touch those for whom it was intended. My love and hope are overflowing.
2-20161227_41

We left the cathedral and headed to the Ellipse to check out our National Christmas tree. I mentioned before that I love when Hanukkah and Christmas coincide. And I honestly can’t remember a time in my life that both the menorah and the tree were lighted at the same time.
Monday was the third night of Hanukkah.
20161227_52
(Of course I was on the back side of the menorah.)

YBW wanted to look at all the state and territory trees, but I decided to stay in the inside circle around the big tree. All the trains were set up and running…so many little villages and trains…
2-20161227_75
If you look closely, you can see the train circling the base of the tree.

My grinchy heart not only grew three sizes that day, it was filled with the love of ‘ten Grinches plus two’!
I’m waiting patiently for twelfth night. In the meantime, I’m still lighting menorah candles and saying my prayers each night between now and New Year’s Eve.
May the light of my candles bless and keep each and every one of all y’all.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A very Robynbird Christmas!

I must have “been an awful good girl” because some of the things Santa brought me include:

Books to read.
(The Alton Brown one is signed!)
20161226_185

Markers for coloring.
(Dying to use these brush tips!)
20161226_091751.jpg

Tickets to a show.
(Box seats! What? What?)
20161225_081248.jpg

The solar system on a chain.
(Even Pluto little Pluto!)
20161226_090824.jpg

An angel for my baby Jesus.
(Actually a tree topper, but I don’t care!)
2016-12-26-11.44.00.jpg.jpeg

The stars and creche, and a new shepard and animals.
(Tears of joy!)
2016-12-26-09.12.40.jpg.jpeg

There was also the softest blankey in the history of the world. Perfume and a new bathrobe. Music from Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday celebration. A Christmas color book, and new gloves. The I Love Lucy box set. And a blu-ray Adventure with Alice to save the Hatter!

Thanks, Santa Baby!
xoxo
Robynbird

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

all my baby Jesuses

There are twelve nativities in this house right now.
Yeah, y’all read that right…twelve.
No shame in my baby Jesus loving game.

There are three in the dining room.
This one came in the boxes of things that were my mother’s. This isn’t the nativity I remember growing up…but I love that it’s lighted.
20161129_215953.jpg

I found this one in Mexico in 2002. I was obsessed with finding the perfect dark skinned people nativity after coming across one that was damaged. For many years this was my most precious nativity.
20161129_220006.jpg

I loved the shape of this one I found on clearance after Christmas at Target the first year I lived here in this house. I don’t normally like the ones that are just the Holy Family and the wise men, but something about these spoke to me. I like that Mary is holding the baby. What I don’t like is that they have sparkles on them that get absolutely everywhere!
20161129_183538.jpg

In our front room, there are two.
I found this one a couple weeks ago with Thing 2. The same day we found those adorable little Dr Seuss looking trees. I like that Mary is holding the baby while riding the donkey…they had to get back home somehow, right?
20161203_095054.jpg

This beautiful set belonged to YBW’s mom, it was made for her by very dear friends. Last year, little D decide my ponies needed to go see the baby Jesus too. He and his folks came for dinner and we were just hanging out and little D was pretty quiet. So I asked him what he was doing, he came running into the room and grabbed my hand and said, “I show you!”
ponies-see-the-baby

There are four in the living room at the back of the house.
On the mantle above the fireplace, there is my precious Willow Tree nativity. A gift from YBW two Christmases ago. I love that Mary is holding the baby.
20161129_215849.jpg

On the unit that holds all the media equipment there are three small nativities.
This one was made in Ecuador. I found it in this precious little fair trade shop in Old Town called Scatter Seeds.
20151128_083925.jpg

Snow in Jerusalem? I think not. But I love this nativity snow globe. I’m not sure where it came from, I think it was already in YBW’s collection when I got here. Joseph looks like he’s one of the Bee Gees…but that’s OK.
20161203_095126.jpg

I found little one made of drift wood at the beach I think…or maybe at World Market? I don’t know…I just know it spoke to the beachcomber and nativity lover in me.
20161203_095135.jpg

Downstairs, there are three.

I remember this Mary and the baby from when I was a little girl. She’s made of some sort of stiffened fabric painted gold. She’s not weighted, so getting her to stand up properly takes a bit of finagling. She’s all that’s left of a set…I remember one of the wise men was the last to bite the dust. It’s very precious to me to have this one. Just the baby and his mother. And it belonged to my mother.
20161203_095425.jpg

I bought this one at Target to take to the classroom. Only I never did. And that’s OK too.
Made of wood and painted in bright colors, I find it very sweet. I especially love that there are two angels in this set.
20161129_174947.jpg

And lastly, this creche was a gift from my mom the first Christmas I was married. (about 175 years ago) I had an accident with it one day, years ago. As I removed the creche from the box, the small box of people and animals fell to the brick hearth and shattered Mary into a zillion pieces. I sat and cried. She had the most serene face.
Desperate, I bought a replacement set, they’re not as lovely as the original, but the baby needed a momma.
20161129_174924.jpg

When I began writing this post, I reported the number of nativities to YBW. Together, we wondered when there might ever be too many nativities in our house. He decided that the number wouldn’t matter. That we’d have too many when we ran out of places to put them and began putting them in the bathrooms. That’s when we’d have too many.
This amused me. It’s so very YBW…but actually, I think he’s right!

Soon I’ll head to the Cathedral to see the creche exhibit and be surrounded by even more baby Jesuses!
Oh, Christmas! It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sometimes you have to make your own light

Christmas Eve at the Cathedral was magical!
We made a quick stop at the space window before going downstairs to see the nativities.
20151224_9

Once downstairs, we kind of went out separate ways.
I spent a moment of prayer in St Joseph’s Chapel (My favorite space in the entire building.) before moving along to the creche exhibit.
YBW said he felt a bit jaded, that because we go each season, he feels as though he’s seen them all. I don’t feel jaded in the least. Though I do feel like these nativities were not as lovely as some we’ve seen in the past. Precious few moved me enough to photograph them.
2.20151224_52
I especially liked this one from South Africa made of fabric and glass beads. No donkey and camel in this nativity, but the lion and zebra sure came to celebrate baby Jesus!

Thing 2 came to find me and asked if I’d lit my prayer candle yet. I hadn’t, so she took my hand an led me through the gorgeously colorful mosaics of the Resurrection Chapel to the Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage. This is the teeniest little room with a spiral stone staircase, a few wooden chairs along the wall behind a small kneeling alter in front of the candle table.
I hugged her tightly and told her this was where I always lit my prayer candles. She nodded and whispered that she just knew it.
She had been there before she found me, I could see the freshly lit candle and sense her presence. She sat in the corner behind me and I kneeled for a moment before using her candle to light mine.
2.20151224_69
God is in us. Always. There is no need to be in a house of worship to feel that connection. But in that moment in that tiny dark room I felt it more keenly than the way I carry God with me every day.
Perhaps it was being there with my baby. The one I always pray for in that particular room?

We left the Cathedral for the ellipse where the National Christmas tree was waiting for us.
Thing 2 and I drove past on our way home from the Nutcracker earlier that week. Honestly this tree has the prettiest lights I think I’ve seen in my entire life. But none of the trees were lighted this Christmas Eve afternoon. (Pourquoi pas?)
Thing 2, of course, was all about the trains. Thing 1 and I dug around for pennies and we took turns tossing them into baskets on the trains as they passed by. (We made more than we missed, go us!) Thing 2 mused what the change was used for. I teased that it was to pay the electric bill so the trees could be lit. Then she decided she would want to be one of the people who worked there with the trains. She could keep them running smoothly and gather up the change on the grass and hand it to all the small children standing along the fence so they could try their luck as the train cars went by. Thing 1 and I agreed that it would a great job for her.

Finally, we were tired and ready to head home. YBW got this shot of us walking together.
20151224_147
(I’m on the left, Thing 1 in the middle, and Thing 2 on the right.)

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

and there was much rejoicing…yaaaaaaaaay

All the Whos down in Whoville, the tall and the small, are really irritated the rain falling from the sky isn’t snow!

The forecast for Washington DC today: 72° with scattered showers and thunderstorms. A few storms may be severe. Winds SW 10 to 20 MPH. (Thanks, weather.com,  for your bleak Christmas Eve forecast.)
The rain has plagued us for days on end and will continue straight on through the weekend. Damn this warm weather! If it was cold outside, we could have a white Christmas!

I’ve already checked my camera battery (new SD card fully functioning) and will head out in a couple of hours to Cathedral Crèche Exhibition!
It’ll be a lovely day to be inside the Cathedral to see all the baby Jesuses! It’ll be a shit day to drive around the Metro area.

Thing 1 and fiance N arrived safe and sound yesterday evening! YBW picked them up at the airport on his way home from work.
Thing 2 and I danced around the kitchen to the Nutcracker while we waited for them to get home.
Finally they got here!
and there was much rejoicing

Boyfriend D was scheduled to get on the train at 4:00 this morning, only the train is running five hours behind and is stuck in Savannah. Thing 2 wonders if he’ll get here by Christmas. I’m with her, but I worry about the poor sod who has to go get him as the train arrival time pushes back later and later.
Our plan was to grab him from the King Street train station at his 2:00 pm arrival time on our way out of DC. New plans are in the works.

Thing C and Thing G come home from their mom’s this evening!
Our own Whos, the tall and the small, will be under one roof tonight snuggled in their beds with dreams of sugar plums and Santa in their heads!

My beloved sister-in-law celebrates her birthday today! In the old days when we lived near each other, the anniversary of her birth would be celebrated with a delicious white cake with white icing and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Now that we live far apart, I post on fb, I text and call. We say: I lovey you! and promise to see each other soon. I miss her so. I long to wrap my arms around her, especially today, on her birthday.

My heart grew three sizes writing this post! I am filled to overflowing with love!
I wish you all the happiest Christmas!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

may the force (of Christmas) be with you

YBW and little D’s daddy, S went to see Star Wars this morning. They’re like kids in a candy store. I think if they weren’t “grown up men” they would have been clapping and squealing like ballet going little girls. Apparently they’ve got more self control than others of us.
I can’t wait to hear all about it when he gets home! I love to see him be happy and excited about the things he loves!

Speaking of (lack of) self control, Thing 2 will already be on the plane this time tomorrow! (I may have clapped and squealed.)
She just sent this to me in a text: SO excited to be with all of you! And the ballet and the nativities :3 ah! I can’t wait, Chriiiistmaaaas! (Sing-songy at the end there)
Oh, little girl, I could hear your sing-song voice as I read the words!

Exciting things all around this weekend!

I’ve got Christmas music playing, right now it’s James Brown’s Funky Christmas. James Brown singing The Christmas Song. I can’t even!
I feel like Thing 2. Terribly excited to be with my whole family. Ready to dance with the sugar plum fairies. All the baby Jesuses waiting for us at the Cathedral!

Oh how I love Christmas!
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

making a list and checking it twice

I’ve been so busy making lists and checking them twice, I just realized I haven’t started a countdown to everything I’m excited about in the next two weeks!
Thing 2 will be here in four days! We’ll be at the ballet in six. Thing 1 and fiance N will be here the very next day.
Okey doke, countdown checked off my list.

I talked with Thing 2 today and we’re all about getting dressed up all fancy to go to the ballet. Even though we’ve seen the Nutcracker several times, we’re both positively giddy! There will be so much squealing and clapping. We’re just little girls at heart.

YBW had the idea that we should do our annual trip to see the nativities at the Cathedral on Christmas Eve. I can hardly wait to see all the baby Jesuses!
Both the girls are excited to go and you know I’m thrilled! It’s my favorite Christmas outing and this year, my camera’s stupid SD card won’t be wonky so I won’t lose all my photos!

The boys come home from their mom’s after church Christmas Eve, then we’ll do Christmas Eve pressies. They know they’ll find jammies and a book under the tree, but love the tradition. I’m so pleased I’ve been able to introduce this special tradition to YBW and the boys. Thing G absolutely adores his jammies.

All the gift shopping is finished. I’ve wrapped everything and sorted out all the stocking “stuffers” into individual bags for ease of filling on Christmas Eve.
The majority of Christmas dinner has been ordered from Wegmans with a few special dishes to be made here at home. Thing 1 loves to cook, so I’m counting on her to be my sous chef. Actually, I’d rather be her sous chef…but we’ll see how it goes. Thing 2 is developing her cooking skills so we’ll call her to action too. Thing C is great at getting everything set up, so I’ll be relying on him for that.
With YBW’s mom, and brother and his family, we’ll be eleven for Christmas dinner. There’s a part of me that balks at the concept, but what the hell? The more the merrier!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
My joy is simply unquantifiable!

Categories: love, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

gettin’ in the mood (for Christmas)

Now that Thanksgiving is in my rear view mirror, I can head towards my most favorite holiday of all! (I may have squealed a little when I typed that.)

I potted a tiny spruce tree in the giant pot on my front porch yesterday, going to light and top it today.
All three trees are up. Two are lighted. None are decorated.

Made new bows, one for the tree on the porch, one for the brand new tree downstairs.
20151126_204151.jpg

Three of the (I won’t tell you exactly how) many nativities are up.
This is the brand newest one! I found it in this teeny shop, it was hand carved in Ecuador.
20151128_083925.jpg

On today’s agenda: Light the big tree and the porch tree. Decorate all three trees. Set up the rest of the nativities. Finish other decorating. Find ornaments for these three boys and Thing 2’s D.
I give each kid an ornament every year for Christmas so that eventually when they have their own tree they’ll have ornaments to put on it.

I just downloaded new Christmas tunes including James Brown’s Funky Christmas! Thing C might be the only other one to appreciate that as much as I do.

It’s “small business Saturday” and we’re going to zip over Old Town to see what we might need…after a bit of breakfast.

Like Brian Setzer I’m Gettin in the Mood (for Christmas) (Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!)

Categories: me, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

two weeks notice

Two weeks from tomorrow is the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
You know what that means?

Time to get CHRISTMASY up in here!
Trees and ornaments.
All the baby Jesuses.
Wreaths and stars.
Jingle bells. Santa Claus and Ho Ho Ho.
And mistletoe and presents to pretty girls.

I’m SO ready!!
Since I missed Halloween this year, I’ve decide to “emotionally/mentally” skip the giving of thanks and move straight into Christmas.

The boys will be with their mom for Thanksgiving and YBW and I will pick up his mom and go to his brothers. I feel ambivalent about it, but I don’t have to do any prep work so I’m good. I just hope I’ll get the watch the whole parade before we leave home.

YBW won’t put up trees without the boys being here. Luckily they’ll come back here Friday. That means Saturday can be: All Christmas All the Time!
I’m ready to set up nativities.
I’m ready to wrap pressies.
I’m ready to hang stockings.

Two weeks from tomorrow…
Must. Be. Patient.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

I am Kat...

My journey through this thing called life....

Self Love Coffee

read. sip. heal.

Hey Mom, Now What?

Real Mom Questions, Real Mom Answers

A Question of Lust

"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Sawblades In Your Walkman

effervescing with muchness

Modern Mystic Mother

This is the stage where I am the star

History Tech

History, technology, and probably some other stuff

Tales from the mind of Kristian

Visit the darkest crevices of my mind, dare to tread where many fear to go. You may find something interesting or you may find a mirror to your soul.

Em's World

UK Lifestyle and Theatre Blogger

Writer of Words, etc

Words, food, thoughts, sports

walkingtheclouds

where the clouds may lead

Meditations in Motion

Running and life: thoughts from a runner who has been around the block

Winter1137's blog

Social anxiety, depression and a cat obsession. The fun never ends.

Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

..because the thoughts that fall, kicking and screaming from my head need a safe place to land..

WhyToStop

A Lifestyle Blog By Rachna

Finding French Charming

Finding True Love.. Even After Forty

The Nerdy Lion

Lions can wear glasses too

Family Furore

Parenting and Mental Health Blog

A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

We Each Have A Story To Tell

Thought Box

Sweet...Bitter...Happy...Sad...All thoughts trapped in a Box...

M.A. Lossl

An author's life, books, and historical research

Life at the end of a fork

The adventures of two culinary explorers adrift on the high-seas of our great city, London, in search of an edible El Dorado.

Pointless Overthinking

Understanding ourselves and the world we live in.

Water for Camels

Encouragement and Development for Social Workers and Those with a Mission of Helping Others

Mistakes & Adventures

What I've always wanted

Persevere

By Dan Sims

In A Messy World

I live in a world of fantasy, so keep your reality away from me.

%d bloggers like this: