Saturday, December 12, 2015

From Mexico to 14 hours

Today was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We went to Mass as usual on the Marian feasts (that is always the plan, anyway) and then returned home for an exciting morning. Our dear friend offered to hang out with the kids while we ran errands and had brunch together. What a blessed pre-birthday morning I spent with DH. A long walk, a nice breakfast and grocery shopping! It was nice to spend the morning kid-free...plenty of family time for the rest of the day.
Arriving home, we were just in time to unload some of the groceries (into the foyer) and sit down to the "Second Annual Our Lady of Guadalupe" play. Everyone did a wonderful job, including Bishop Zumarraga.

Bishop Z says "Juan, I need more proof"

Stage manager delivering Our Lady's Roses ;0)

Bishop Z in awe of the flowers and tilma

Stage manager, Our Lady, Juan Diego, Bishop Z and director...good job everyone!  

 Whew. Put the groceries away, had a short nap and then we headed out to the South Side.

Their 22nd but our 1st.
We gathered with about 50 other Slovaks and celebrated the Vilija (traditional Christmas Eve meal) which we will have again with my sibs on the 19th and once more on the 24th (practice makes perfect!). This was really fantastic because they explained a lot of what why they do what they do (throwing things is good luck...holy water, walnuts, that sort of thing). Lots of good food too.
He caught the walnut

She ate the sauerkraut soup!

He also snagged the GIANT Slovak cookie...that's ok, his birthday is in 10 days.

Everyone was happy...palachinky for dessert!

Well, happy with the food, that is. I was overwhelmed with gratitude when I heard sleigh bells and looked up to see...
Yes! St. Nicholas!!!

The vestments were beautiful.
St. Nicholas brought apples for the kids and everyone was happy. Oh, until the devil made an appearance to give the "bad" kids candy canes.

I admit, he was ugly.
Well, all little man needed to hear was "devil" and he was done. The shrieking was probably heard on the North Side. He and DH spent some time in the parking lot (thank you for good weather) but we all headed out before too long. Full bellies and a nice dose of Slovak culture. Great end to a great day.

Tomorrow is Gaudete Sunday, Bambellini Sunday, the feast of St. Lucy and, you know, my birthday. (I got a gift at the dinner tonight because when the woman said, "what is tomorrow?" looking for St. Lucy Day, tiny kept yelling, "my mom's birthday." Sweet guy).

Another full day tomorrow and travel following so I will wish you all a happy feast/Sunday. We will catch up on more good Advent adventures when we return.

They turned out well!

I even made one for my birthday "cake" ;0)

We are blessed.

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