From Chicago.

A quick trip out for meetings. FaceTime with the babies at the airport. Morning prep by the coziest fire, just as it started to snow. 



My girls and their guys drove from New Jersey and Colorado, and we made a morning of it. We celebrated an engagement, a big move, two new jobs, a baby now 7 months. We celebrated being together around a table. 

We have a piece of art in our living room that reads, "It's a miracle we even met." I feel that way often - about Blake, about our children, about my dearest friends. Miracle of miracles, our paths crossed decades ago. Another miracle: we became friends. Another: we decided it was worth staying. 



From museums: Museum of the Bible, US Botanic Garden, National Museum of Natural History, Woodlawn. Mount Vernon by candlelight - with bonfire, Martha Washington, gingersnaps. Runs around Capitol Hill. A turkey trot benefiting So Others Might Eat to begin a day of thanks. Familiar faces around a table. Pie for the passing. Family jokes that span a decade, maybe more.


From the last week.

 ^^I ran a 5K first thing on Sunday morning to support the local Rotary Club's activities and She's the First. I ended up placing second among women in their 20s (!!), which is probably due to (a) a slower group of runners overall and (b) the fact that I couldn't feel any of my limbs in the cold. But STILL.^^
 ^^Hugo and I made sugar cookies - he was in charge of the sprinkles, naturally.^^
 ^^We had small group with some friends, who have this spectacular view from their home.^^
 ^^And found ways to entertain three-year-olds (Cars 3, always).^^
^^Maisie and I matched, inadvertently.^^
^^We made some bedroom updates.^^
 ^^I had a work dinner in the city at Cafe Boulud, which was (no surprise) delicious.^^
^^Then missed my train by 2 minutes afterward, leaving me with 40 minutes to kill at Grand Central. But look! Christmas decor!^^
^^And our boy is not such a big kid after all (thank goodness).^^


The Goodspeed.

From a Saturday night date. A dinner reservation gone awry, and so we had our meal at the bar. A show at the Goodspeed - The Drowsy Chaperone, which we saw first in New York a decade ago. Pre-careers. Pre-suburbs and house. Pre-babies to head home to. What a life we have lived, I'm reminded. What luck to do it together.


Maisie's baptism.

We baptized our girl last Sunday - a small celebration with family and community in our small church on the edge of the city. It is a welcoming of sorts, this sprinkling of water. A naming: she is an acknowledgement of grace, of a covenant. She is entrusted, but not belonging to us. She, and we, are members of something so much greater (more purposeful, more permanent) than ourselves. Child of light, this Maisie girl.

One day she will ask about her baptism, and I will tell her this:
By grace, you were gifted this name and this seat at the table. You decide to pull up your chair, fill your plate, pass the salt. You decide how to use this great gift of a life.



At long last, a family Halloween costume. We played the Star Wars soundtrack on our way to Trunk-or-Treat on the green, and we were in the zone.