Saturday, December 27, 2008

Montreal Awareness Concert

Hello to all,
As most of you know, we're home now until January 3rd. In order to tell everyone about our trip so far, we're having a Montreal Awareness Concert. Basically, I'll be playing some of my old and new songs acoustically as Lauren and I share about our experiences in Montreal and our hopes for the remaining five months of the school. I will post the flyer below:

What: Montreal Awareness Concert
Who: Denny and Lauren Flanagan
Where: Church office at 21521 Surveyor Circle, H.B.
(located off of Hamilton between Magnolia and Newland)
When: December 28th, at 4 PM
Why: To talk about our first three months in Montreal and to share some music

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Two days until we make the adventurous trip home and I am so excited I had to write about it. Dennis is sleeping, the hubby and roommates are off to class, and I need to share my joy with somebody! I found this picture of Dennis and just had to marvel at how much he has grown since we have been here and how nutso his grandparents are going to go when they see him at the airport! I can't help but think about how special this time is: waiting to see all those familiar faces, waiting to show off my pride and joy. That's what this time of Advent is meant to be: a period of waiting and expectation, both patient and anxious, thrilled at the possibility of what is yet to come. This Christmas is truly going to be a momentous one- reunited with parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces, nephews- celebrating our own first Christmas with new life. I love this time of year, now more than ever. Here's to packing!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

La Neige!

Winter is here! It's official, no doubt about it: there is an abundance of snow on the ground and more beautiful flakes falling from the sky. Holy macaroni, I never knew it was possible for such a large city to exist in such a climate. I am blown away; $200 million dollars a year is spent on snow removal! I could try to be Optimistic Olive (that one's for you, Jim!), but I'll be honest and say that it is just not for me, LONG TERM (are you relieved, parents?!)... I can handle it and even marvel at its beauty for now, but at this point, Hawaii, Cali, Costa Rica: all sounding pretty nice for next year. I am excited to put up some pictures as it really is incredibly beautiful. It's as if Montreal turned from a huge city to a quaint village overnight; the streets are half as wide and sidewalks barely exist, and everyone seems to walk around much slower. Neighbors are helping neighbors shovel snow to get their cars out, and the rumble of semis and afternoon traffic is muffled by the layer of snow on the ground. My favorite part is the trees- they're completely frozen over and the branches are icicles, with a layer of snow so perfectly covering each branch it seems as if someone personally applied it. What I'm saying is, I feel like I am living in a snow globe: I'm one of those little people walking around the cute little town covered in snow! However, it comes with its challenges. The first day it started coming down, I tried to go out with Dennis in my sweet ErgoBaby Carrier (thanks Ryan and RoseLynn!), only to find he had snow covering his face within the minute. Hmmm... I returned to the apartment to try the stroller. My neighbors must having been laughing at such a rookie, as I couldn't get past our walkway to the sidewalk. Funny now, but frustrating at the time: just when I was becoming a confident, city-going momma, life threw another challenge at me. I'm beginning to see, however, that all my fears and obstacles become exciting challenges and little mole hills when given some good old-fashioned time and confrontation. I can't just stay inside, but I need to be determined to find a way and to just do it despite my fear. I also need to give myself some space and time to be a little more stressed, a little less active, and to come to a place where I actually want to face the challenge. So, as far as the snow goes, I'm developing my own little strategy: ErgoBaby and umbrella when it's actually snowing, because the snow is soft (not slippery) and impossible for my stroller, and then stroller once the snow stops and is iced over. Ooh la la, a winter wonderland, indeed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Bad Divorce

I just wanted to share a quote from a book that Denny already read and I just started; this struck me as something that has been on my heart and in my mind but I hadn't found the words to express it until now. The author is discussing what he considers a "critical problem of our age", the fact that we have created "a bevy of divorces within spirituality, forcing ourselves and others to have to make unhealthy choices". One of the divorces (meaning a split) is the divorce between morality and social justice and he says:
"Too rare is the case where we see together in the same person, the same ideology, the same group, or the same church, an equal passion for social justice and for private morality, for action as for contemplation, and for statecraft (politics) as for soulcraft (mysticism). What this means is that the person who leads the protest group usually does not lead the prayer group, the person concerned with family values is usually not as concerned with poverty in inner cities, and the social, political agitator generally lacks the interior depth, selflessness, and calm of the mystic. The reverse is also true." (The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser)
Just some food for thought.