pink or blue??

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it’s a … 

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we are shocked and thrilled!
(and moses - as evidenced in these photos, haha! - isn’t sure what to think …
but he’s going to love both being and having a brother!) 

ten thoughts {on a tuesday!} |25|


i'm posting some thoughts on tuesday instead of my traditional wednesday because i'm hoping tomorrow to post some new info about our pregnancy ;) sharing the news of the gender of our baby somehow got complicated and drawn out. we had the ultrasound right in the middle of the craziest time at work for ian, and then it was tricky to get a hold of family in wildly different time zones. and when it comes to sharing the news more broadly, i have this idea for a fun family photo that i just can't let go of (since we had to announce our pregnancy so hastily a few weeks ago!) and it has been quite impossible to snap that picture together in daylight. ian leaves for work before it's light and gets home after it's dark (we are almost over the hump of the shortest day of the year, hurrah!) and our weekends have been packed and/or snowy. it's pretty amusing how all news about this baby has turned into such an ordeal - haha! we are just so excited about this sweet new little one joining our family :)

my brother and niece came to town from switzerland this past weekend - a super special daddy-daughter date and fun family visit! they also came last december, and i absolutely love that this is becoming a tradition. it is a huge blessing for us to have family relatively close (switzerland feels like around the corner when everyone else is across the ocean!) and ian, moses and i all have just adored the time we have had with tal and his daughter in london. this time we even got two bonus days since their flight home was cancelled due to snow (and they couldn't get on another one for about 48 hours - crazy). love these two so so much!

^^ at the lighting of the trafalgar square christmas tree. always such a lovely event. better with family! ^^

^^ the carousel outside the natural history museum was a hit for the kids (and me :) ) ^^

^^ one night tal and i went out to see the movie wonder together // we ate looots of yummy food since good international food is hard to come by in switzerland. we had sushi, indian, burgers, and lebanese. ^^

^^ cousins watching the super exciting snowfall on sunday morning (i wrote about it back here) ^^

moses looooooved having his cousin here. her name is one of his few words!

the other day i found some quotes that i had jotted down on my computer while watching call the midwife a few months ago, and loved remembering them while feeling a tiny babe wiggle around in my belly. i think they are particularly poignant at christmastime, actually, when we are reflecting on the most miraculous, meaningful birth of all time.
birth will always be the most commonplace of miracles, an event at once familiar and phenomenal, timeless and immediate, briefly making angels of us all.
when a child is born, the world is altered in an instant. a new voice is heard, new love comes into being. years later, we pause and say, "yes, that's when it all began, on that day, in that room, when i saw that face." birth is the smallest of magnificent things, and the greatest of little ones. 

ian and i have instituted a new rule that we put our phones in our nightstands, not to be removed until morning, at 10pm. i think this will be hugely helpful for our health as individuals and as a couple.

a couple weeks ago, i went to the harry potter play!!!! i had read the script pretty recently and was so intrigued by how it all was done on stage, but the tickets were so expensive. a couple of my friends were in town from palo alto and found super cheap tickets (for restricted view seats) and invited me to come along. holy cow i am so glad i did - i was seriously, seriously blown away! the play is in two 2.5 hour parts, so it pretty much takes up the whole day - and arranging childcare (especially when ian was working late) was no small feat ... but it was all soooooo worth it - i loved every second.

(even though our seats truly were restricted view - worth it for the massively cheaper price). it was, pure and simple, magic. and honestly genuinely inspiring too - a moving story with a great message.

moses and i have continued to mill about the city taking in all the christmassy-ness we can! and last saturday we went as a family to the christmas by the river market near tower bridge at to borough market. i've said it before and i'll say it again - there is no place like london at christmastime. this friday i am dedicating to visiting and photographing all my favourite festive spots in the city so that i can organize them all into a blog post (and make sure i've covered almost all the awesomeness this season, ha!).
^^i'm a little obsessed with that reindeer hat moses has on ... but it's too small! ^^

^^ prettiest/most creative festive treats at dominique ansel bakery! ^^
^^ and a magical little spot to sit and enjoy them! ^^


sheesh, i nearly forgot how awesomely comfortable maternity pants are. due to my long torso, weeks ~20-30 of pregnancy look like "hmmm, she's looking more thick than usual" rather than "look at that cute bump!" but i'll take all the comfy maternity clothes, please!

leaving our old and joining a new church congregation has been an adjustment, but we are just so grateful for the community and fellowship that we find in the church no matter where we live in the world. two sundays ago little mo was feverish and last sunday i was feeling awful so we haven't had a ton of time in our new ward yet! but, although we are missing our old congregation in a lot of ways, we are loving meeting new friends and learning from new people at church. also, walking ten minutes to church (rather than having a 30-40 minute bus journey) is really awesome. as is our new church building, which is also a mission office and visitors' centre. i've mentioned this earlier, but moses loves the statue of jesus in the window. he gets sooo excited every time we approach it!
<<< our last week at our old ward, which meets in a school building in east london.

last saturday we went ice skating at hampton court palace. it was a complete and utter fail. we were late for our time slot and so only got about 15 minutes on the ice (which we had to split between us since moses had to stay on the sidelines), it was seriously freezing cold especially after we lost my gloves and moses's hat on the train, and we had an epic bout of disagreement/miscommunication to round out the evening. woof. we like to ice skate together each christmastime - so here's to hoping next year's experience will be better :)

the phrase i have said most repeatedly over the past couple of weeks is, "moses, please be gentle with the tree!" he actually has done an amazing job with this! but sometimes needs a little reminder :) (and there are definitely very few ornaments on the bottom of the tree, only plush unbreakable ones, ha!)
here's another quote from call the midwife (best tv series ever, ever):
like all things in life that are truly meaningful, chirstmas is never about perfection.
i've tried to keep that little adage in my heart as i feel the creeping desire to make everything perfect when it comes to christmas: gifts, meals, celebrating, activities, etc. i've been uncharacteristically laid back about christmas stuff this year, and it feels great. the perfection is in the imperfection ... and of course in the true reason for the season - the baby jesus.
the other day in church a new baby was blessed, and witnessing that just made my heart so so swollen with goodness. i thought about how remarkable it is that jesus came to earth as a tiny, helpless baby - just like each and every one of us. the christmas story is simple and humble and everyday, yet also supremely miraculous and magnificent. that paradox is just the most beautiful thing to me.

wednesday tuesday! life is (wild and) beautiful. 

tiny, tender mercies


woof. i had a really rough weekend (after a wild busy week). to be candid, i kind of hit rock bottom. now it's time to start climbing out.

i've found that in hard times (which are such a rich part of this beautiful life), i have a greater sensitivity to and reception of tiny, tender mercies - little, seemingly random tidbits that pop up and glow amidst darkness.

yesterday morning, i woke up after not much sleep due to intense distress in the wee hours, and saw snow - legit, heavy, snow - out the window. i really needed something to make me feel giddy happiness, and those ice crystals falling from the air fit the bill just perfectly. snow is very rare in london - i mentioned in my last post that i saw some a few days ago in mayfair, but it was really wimpy and temporary compared to what came from heaven yesterday - and i was just so excited. and i got to share that excitement with my little mo and my niece who is visiting from switzerland! (oh, and ian and my brother, too :) )

this morning, i went to a yoga class. it was so good for my body and spirit. during savasana (the final relaxation pose in most yoga practices), the instructor turned on a very specific song that is tied to really, really beautiful memories for me. i laid on my mat and let tears roll down the side of my face and into my ears. they weren't sad tears; they were wonderful cleansing tears. something about that song (i started to connect with it many years ago - it's the music in a video i posted back here) made my heart gleam in just the way i needed.

can you notice a tiny, tender mercy in your life today?

ps. yes, we know the gender of our baby! we are excited to share this news soon. and baby is perfectly healthy and well and active - we are so grateful. 
{artwork by my always favourite, caitlin connolly. this piece is called "detangling my mind, in process."

it's beginning to look a lot like...


… c h r i s t m a s ! ! !

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yes! yay! it is officially, officially christmastime - hurrah! last saturday ian, moses and i picked up and set up our (spectacular, might I say) christmas tree and it is shining brightly in our flat. and little mo and I have been scouring the city for festivity (which is actually very easily found) every day since thanksgiving. i am convinced that there is no place on earth like london at christmastime. it is, truly, magical.

(btw, i am going to put together a post in the next couple weeks with all my favourite christmassy spots around london. hopefully it is helpful for any one who visits the city during the holidays!)

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^^ at the christmas tree lot, and carrying the nine foot nordman fir to the tube station! ^^
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^^ you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. taking our huge tree on the tube was definitely a memorable adventure :) ^^
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^^ unveiling her in her perfect bay window home … and slowly decorating her over the course of a few days… ^^
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^^ christmas in the flat and christmas in the neighborhood! ^^
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every time moses sees any kind of christmas decoration around london, he puts his hands in the air and hollers “yeeaaaaah!” he does the same thing every morning when we turn on the christmas tree lights. it is the best! he definitely inherited my fanatically-crazy-for-christmas gene.
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^^ if you look really closely in these two pictures you can see … s n o w … !!!!! it hardly ever snows in london, but just this morning while moses and i were walking down regent street, legit snowflakes started flurrying around. i was seriously so giddy. and so were many other people on the street - it was so fun! the snow lasted for about twenty minutes and i could not contain my excitement. what a thrill. ^^

happy christmastime to all! i am off to work on christmas cards and christmas presents - lots to get done during nap time these days!