The second advent came and went quicker than expected which means Christmas will be here in a short while. We celebrated with marzipan stollen and lebkuchen on a table set with the four candles. The red and white spray roses that my middle daughter helped pick out this morning sat in a tall mason jar on the counter.

Before the oldest and the youngest child were awake, I whispered to my middle child to get dressed and accompany me to the store this morning. She was already awake and watching something on her iPad with headphones. She was happy to have her turn alone with me despite it being a simple run to the stores.

We first went to Trader Joes and stocked up on more lebkuchen, marzipan stollen, chocolate mint mini stars, as well as bread and cheese for our afternoon meal. Whole Foods was our last stop where we got the best butter croissants as well as some chocolate and cinnamon ones. After our having found that Macys opened up early this morning. Not having to deal with traffic and driving around in search of an open parking spot at The Domain was great.

As much as she enjoyed spending the morning with me, my daughter mentioned that shopping at Macys was not so exciting and a bit boring. I am certain I thought the same as a child her age as I got dragged to the stores by my mother on the weekends. But the unbelievable sale on the down comforters was enticing enough to make me want to get more of them for our new sofa. The one which is yet to be delivered.

But there is still no tree to decorate. Though I had wanted the children to help us pick out our tree this year, my son told me today to simply get it this week before they return on Sunday. We haven't even moved into our rental house where we plan to spend Christmas. So there is much to do this week in order to make the transition to the new place.

When you have two residences, it is difficult to shift your focus on the future place when the old place is still looming in the background. We have close to two months left on our lease and have asked the apartment management to make an exception for us and let us at least not have to pay for the last month. The answer was 'no' every single time. So we wait. And then wait some more on this crazy rollercoaster ride of life we have been on for the past year or so.

Starting over is a mixed blessing. On one hand we find that letting go of what we once knew and that which brought us some kind of comfort in the routines we kept is somewhat of a challenge. On the other hand we get another chance to make things better. To be excited to have that second opportunity at a new life. To start new routines and traditions such as celebrating a warm second advent with our new family.