9 December 2016

december! christmastime!

christmastime is here!
happiness and cheer!!!

i am one of those people that is annoyingly enthusiastic about christmastime. i just love, love, love it. and so, december might just be my favourite month of the year.

the first week (and a bit) of december two thousand sixteen has been a bit wild in some ways (some pretty awful nights of wakefulness with moses, a broken washing machine full of soaking wet clothes, super busy at work for ian, a few other tricky things…) but has also been super wonderful in many ways (trying to focus on serving – inspired by #lighttheworld, sharing the magic of christmastime with our baby boy, loving our city more and more…).

some photos from our start of december and christmastime in london…

^^ an addition to the #littlemoswonderwalls series :) ^^
^^ plane ride home from germany. moses is a good little flyer! ^^
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^^ walks and snoozes in the wrap // facing outward in a baby carrier for the first time! (can you tell he liked it?!) ^^IMG_2384
^^ city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style… ^^
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^^ we met after work at a corner flower stand on monday evening to pick up our christmas tree! last year i carried our (twice as big!) tree home myself … this year i appreciated having this cute boy with me to help :) ^^
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^^ baby’s first christmas tree!! ^^
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^^ i’m glad i snapped these pictures just after decorating the tree with lights and then with ornaments – because as of today the tree is pretty much dead as a doornail – ha! because we bought it in a wood stump (and not freshly cut at the bottom) it just didn’t last long. but we’ll keep it up, crispy and droopy, and enjoy it still, all the way until christmas day! ^^
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^^ moses just doing some light reading one afternoon :) this boy loves his books! ^^
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^^ pretty light on the houses of parliament during a walk to the tate britain, where i meandered and enjoyed beautiful art while moses slept in the wrap // madonna and child paintings mean so much more to me now than before i had a baby! ^^
^^ i love the tate britain, especially this room. i just adore how much amazing art is hung on each wall, the frames relatively close together. ^^
IMG_2480^^ the tate britain christmas tree. golden rooted and upside down. i love it. especially with that tile and spiral staircase underneath! ^^
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^^ christmas trees spotted around the city (oh, and a santa brass band playing carols!) ^^
^^ last saturday we brought moses to meet father christmas! it was so so fun. moses was intrigued and my cheeks hurt from smiling after we left santa’s grotto. this guy was the real deal – round, sweet and jolly, real beard and all! ^^
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^^ later that night we went to walk around the southbank christmas market, and had this view on our way home. not a great quality picture, but man that night was gorgeous – so clear and just the right amount of chilly – and that fingernail moon! we love our home city! ^^
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^^ the past few weeks have been a real adventure when it comes to moses sleeping. such a risky, wild guessing game baby sleep is – haha! little mo is learning how to self-soothe and i think we’re on our way to some really restful nights :) ^^
^^ my friend (from middle school and high school!) lizzie was in town with her family last week. while her husband was in meetings on tuesday, she met up with moses and i, along with some of my london friends (and lizzie’s new friends!). we took a walk around mayfair to take in some of the splendid christmas decorations. it was so much fun to catch up with lizzie and enjoy all the enchanting lights and windows and displays all together with this great group! ^^
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^^ london at christmastime is just the magicalest. // when moses is outward facing, it’s hard to figure out his mood (because i can’t see his face!) – so i take a lot of selfies these days :) ^^
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^^ moses and i got to go with a friend (who works in parliament!) to a carol singing service in westminister hall! (no big deal – westminster hall was built in 1097 and has been the location of historic trials, coronation banquets, lyings-in-state of kings and queens, ceremonial addresses…) it was so so cool. the lord speaker and the speaker of the house gave short addresses, the brass band played so beautifully, and we all sang carols together by the big christmas tree. thank you so much for inviting us, marguerite! ^^
{side note – i’ve been watching the crown while nursing moses when we are at home and i love it. i’m learning so much!}
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^^ and the most exciting event of december so far: moses’s uncle tal and cousin annina came to visit from switzerland! it has been so fun to have these guys around and to join in on a bit of their fun daddy-daughter weekend! ^^

december so far has been wonderful … but the best is yet to come!!!

5 December 2016

let the lights of christmas shine!

last thursday, moses and i met up with some friends at the lighting of the christmas tree at trafalgar square. it was a beautiful, clear, chilly but not super cold night. it was crowded in the square, but not too dense back by the lions where we were standing. all the air around us was buzzing with that specific, magical type of excitement that can only be attributed to christmastime.

carols were sung (by a lovely choir and also by the crowd!) and speeches were given about the trafalgar square christmas tree. every year since 1947, a tall evergreen is cut down in the forests outside oslo, transported (all fifty or so feet) across the sea and land, and put up in the heart of london as a gift to england - a token of gratitude from the people of norway for british support during world war two.

we weren't sure when exactly the lights on the tree would be switched on - i anticipated there would be some type of countdown or loud announcement. as tiny specks in that big crowd, we waited. we could not see the person speaking into the microphone.

a melodious voice with a norwegian accent was speaking about the history of the gifted tree and took a short pause. then, the voice said - very clearly but not loudly - "let the lights of christmas shine." and BOOM the lights on the tree illuminated.

for some reason, i was so touched by this - by the lack of fanfare and pageantry, by this simple but powerful declaration and the glowing that immediately followed. i thought, as i walked home through the dark bustling night, about the light of christmas. it's jesus's light, and it's real. and it's up to me, to all of us, to let it shine.

and yes, there is great glow and warmth in the glitzy fun of christmastime - in the decorations and the gifts and the parties and the treats. but the real light comes from acts of service and love that are quiet but clear, simple and heartfelt.

have you heard about the #lighttheworld campaign?
our church has encouraged all to let the lights of christmas shine by performing simple acts of service every day in december leading up to christmas. mormon.org has provided inspiration and ideas for each day.

just browsing through the website has me goosebumpy with that real christmas joy, and ian, moses and i are following along and doing our best to contribute to lighting the world throughout the month.

i feel particularly tender about christmas this year, because i gave birth to a baby this year. thinking about mary birthing in that stable is overwhelmingly amazing and beautiful to me, in a new way now. considering god's gift of his son, packaged as a tiny and supremely humble newborn, fills my heart like never before. i really believe that whole story, and all that follows, is real. i see that reality in the light of christmas. and i hope to really let it shine. {trafalgar square image via}

30 November 2016

neuschwanstein castle!

the day after our epic thanksgiving celebration and feast in munich, the ten of us wrights traveled on a tram and then a train and then a bus to get to neuschwanstein castle!

when i went to neuschwanstein last year with my mom and sisters, ian was a bit green with envy because he had always wanted to see that spectacular castle himself. so when we decided to go to munich for thanksgiving, we knew that making the day trip to neuschwanstein was a must!

for weeks before we left for germany, i hoped and hoped that we would have snow at neuschwanstein ... can you imagine how magical that would be?! instead we got a foggy, grey, dry day ... but i'm going to go ahead and call it mystical and enchanting :)

moses and i hung out around the grounds of the castle while the rest of the crew went inside (since i had been inside last year, i didn't want to pay for a ticket again). after ian and hyrum's family finished the tour, we all hiked up to the bridge to take in the famous vista across the gorge to the castle. i was so excited for going on the bridge because it was closed when i went to neuschwanstein last year! the visibility wasn't great but it was still so pretty! i asked ian to take some photos of moses and i in our matching hats on the bridge, and he took about seventy five :)

we all walked back down the hill through the woods together and agreed that our visit was well worth the trip!


^^ our first mystical view of the castle! ^^
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^^ foggy views from the hill ^^

^^ he's always trying to find something to eat :) ^^

^^ i'm going to go ahead and say he is giving me a little kiss here :) ^^
^^ the view under the bridge. spot my shoes? ^^ IMG_7197IMG_7223
^^ and our last mystical view of the castle! ^^
^^ walking back through the woods. between these two photos we can see everyone's face :) love these people! ^^

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