“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.”
— Fr. Edward Hayes
On Saturday, Julie and Tyler went to Queen of All Saints for an Advent wreath crafting. The result is beautiful. We lit the first candle this evening. In the background is a 2016 Valrhona chocolate Advent calendar that we bought at Trader Joe's. Tyler is very much looking forward to December 1st, when he can open the first flap.
Last week we brought Robert to Portland, Oregon to begin the next phase of his education. Although he has a Bachelor's degree, and has been working in his field (Live Sound), he wants to further his education by attending a fast-track Engineering program in Portland, where he can have a second Bachelor's degree and a Master's in Engineering in three years. (Note: he had gotten some of the prerequisites out of the way earlier this year, making this program a possibility.)
We flew top Portland with him, and helped set up the apartment (Loads of IKEA - "some assembly required!" - ugh. But it looks really nice, and is an economical way to start up an apartment from scratch). The apartment is cozy and clean, very nice. While there, we were so busy that the only amusement we really had was our fantastic dining out experiences, and fun beer and cider drinking. Plus a visit to the famous Powell's Books - a city block building with multiple levels, and books, books, books...
The dining in Portland is amazing. Robert and Sierra are strict vegans, and Portland is extremely vegan-friendly. Every meal we had was wonderful; in particular, the lovely Italian meal we had at Portobello Vegan Trattoria. Here's their dinner menu.
IKEA dining table and chairs, with cat
Robert and Sierra on the (you guessed it!) IKEA couch,
cat in foreground
Loki, he loves carpet. Freya was too shy to come out.
And then Robert, who has had long hair forever, surprised us by sending this photo.
I had finally gotten used to the long hair.
Apparently after we left he went and got a haircut (they took off 12 inches).
And so our vacation came to a close. I do hope we can return here someday. It was a marvelous place to go. Although I am not usually that big on travel, the rest of the family is, and I want to be able to make more memories like these.
We loved the beach. Two of the days had enormous waves during the afternoon, which we jumped in for hours it seemed. I had forgotten how much I loved that. And Ty was so brave, jumping over and into the waves just like the rest of us. These photos were taken on a day where we weren't chasing big waves, so we looked for shells and waded.