This Advent, which literally means "coming", we're waiting with the whole Christian church for the coming of Christ as a crying, sputtering, fleshy little baby. With the due date for our second child just around the corner, Lauren and I feel an added significance and anticipation this year. We will experience once again the holy, earthy, beautiful, messy experience of what it means to give life and to care for it, and the blessing of doing this at a special time of year. Of course, we're anxious, nervous, a bit uptight about it all. Sometimes it feels like trying to anticipate an earthquake; there's only so much preparation possible, and then it's just anxious waiting. And the added stressors surrounding our ever-challenging financial situation and distance from family at such a special/challenging time do not make the waiting very care-free. However (and there's always a "however"), we do feel blessed to be doing what we're doing out here in Montreal, and to welcome our baby into this world in our very own apartment, and to become a a family of four! for our second snowy Christmas in Montreal. Dorothy C. Bass describes Advent as"quiet but expectant, leaning, as if heavy with child, into the future." I don't think that description is too far from our own experience at this extra special time.