Merry Merry.

My five year old told me Christmas is about sharing and caring.
("Isn't that yucktastic, Mom?").
Tonight we biked to a Christmas party. Well, by we I mean Parker pedaled and I rode on the back of the Yuba. This approach is just kind of fun and also for the adult rider on the back something like a trust fall (Sure, dear, you take that turn as fast as you want. I promise to try not to puke on your back). It's something like I'm betting a tandem is like--except the person in the back does zero pedaling (muhahaha).

I have to work in the morning, and my liver and I have called a truce on the alcohol overconsumption. Parker on the other hand has neither issue. He stayed under his limit but folks joked with us at the party about the dangers of mixing alcohol and biking. He said it best, "Hey, on your bike you can always get off and walk home."

Also, have you seen Lyft has a #merrymode this season? Something to keep in mind when making one's way from festivity to festivity this season. Sadly, Parker just told me this is not available in Elgin. Boo.

This morning there was a cookie baking extravaganza and a Frosty the Snowman remake and this: 

Inspired by my friends, the McKimmys. They're so cool. 

In fact, I may have overdone it on the morning's activities because we were actually planning to bike to three Christmas parties today. But by the time the afternoon rolled around we had a full scale preschooler mutiny on our hands. It was disappointing to miss out on our plans and visiting with friends and colleagues but if this biking life has taught me anything it's that it's okay to stop, regroup, and make a new plan.

An old sewing adage I've been using lately is "measure twice, cut once." This saying has helped me give myself permission to stop or slow down and figure out where I really need to go and how to get there when I'm on my bike. It's also helped me in life when I feel overwhelmed and unsure what to do next. When my acupuncturist cancels when I'm almost done with my 90 minute public transit trek to her, can I see it as an opportunity to stop at Bang Bang Pie Shop and be a hero instead? (Answer: Yes. Yes I can!) When my kid is having a really rough time for reasons I don't quite understand, can I let go of some of the things I want to do in order to be present to him? Yes, right now I can and I will. And then the sitter (Thanks, Kayla!) will be here at 6pm and all will be well. 

Tomorrow in church we light the joy candle. For me joy and gratitude are closely linked. I am filled with gratitude to have the opportunity to stare at the night sky while riding on the back of a Yuba Mundo on a crisp night. I am full of gratitude to have a partner in life and crime who will take ridiculous selfies with me at the end of a long, full, and wild day. I am full of gratitude for connection to community in this city that I love. I am full of gratitude for the opportunity to serve in a job that I love and am well-suited for. I am filled with gratitude for last minute sitters, for little hands in the cookie dough, for neighbors who lend extension cords, for neighbors who throw parties, for neighbors who share food and laughter, and for the warm cat on my lap as I write this blog. I am filled with gratitude and joy not because the world or my life is without suffering, fear, frustration, or heartache. I am filled with joy in spite of all that. I am filled with joy in defiance of all that, because joy, along with hope, peace, and love are what always win in the end. 

Author of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series, J.R.R. Tolkien, once said, "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." An early seminary influence also once told me we have to incorporate celebration and partying into all of our social justice work, because well if we don't what good are we really doing? Like, who wants to work for a vision of a world without parties? So, let's enjoy our December festivities however we get there, and make this a merrier place, shall we?  

Abominable is way chill.


  1. Glad to have provided some inspiration! Thanks for the wise words to continue to seek joy and gratitude in the midst of holiday busy-ness. I'm grateful to be friends with your awesome family, and your Advent bike blogging has certainly brought me some joy :-)


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