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as you may (or may not) know, shannon and i are expecting. so this is a post about the last few days of my life, and how they have been full of expectations.
wednesday night, shannon and i drove into manhattan to attend a worship service at the marble collegiate church on 6th and 29th. norman vincent peale was the pastor of that church for many years. i had heard that they were doing a wednesday night worship service that was (quote unquote) emergent, and i wanted to check it out. i also happen to know that guy that is in charge of the music for this wednesday night service, and i wanted to hear what he was doing. so, we drove up the nj turnpike, through the lincoln tunnel and into the city.

i love the city so much. it is so alive and awake. i feel my pulse rise to match the rhythm of the footsteps and flashing lights.

the worship service was really moving, and reminded us of the apocalyptic nature of the beginning of advent: that although we are waiting in expectation for a little bethlehem baby, this small-town event is the hinge on which the whole matrix of time and space turns. this is no ordinary hope of ours. in advent, we dare to hope, we dare to expect, that one who will absolutely change everything, will arrive. we dare to expect an end to suffering and pain and grief and despair. its audacious, i know, but that's advent.

jack was taken with the city. he was wide-eyed and still: trying to see every movement and hair color and neon light. knowing that he would enjoy the window displays at macy's, we walked the few blocks uptown to see the miracle on 34th street. after looking at the incredible window displays, we decided to take him to the eight floor, to santa-land, where there is usually a 3 hour wait for children to sit on the lap of a man dressed as st. nicholas. however, on this night, there was only a 20 minute wait, as most people were up at rockefeller square for the lighting of the tree. so, we waited in line and, fully expecting jack to scream in terror, placed him on the formidable lap of the faux father christmas. i managed to take two pictures before my digital camera complained to me that its disk was full. and we couldn't afford the $25 picture the macy's elves took (i looked and looked for will farrell, but he must not have been working on wednesday), so, here's as good as it gets:

amazingly, we pulled out of our parking garage at 10:00 and were pulling in our driveway before 11:00. all that city less than an hour from my front door. i should go there more...

thursday morning we awoke and took a family trip to the ob/gyn to see these:

so, this advent, we are expecting a boy. i guess there is no mistake about that! i won't expect him to be shy, that's for sure.

after finding out this awesome and exciting news, we took our other little boy to a local farm to cut down our christmas tree.

we got ourselves a nice white pine, that is already sitting in our family room, strung with lights and hung with little reminders of advents and christmases and births and expectations past, ones that have made us who we are this year. and who we are is people who walk in darkness, but who have seen a great light, and who are expecting great things. we are expecting people. we are advent people. we are pulsing with the rhythm of hope. come, baby boy, come.



pete said…
Being a big fan of Elf myself ("Good news! I saw a dog today!"), I feel the need to point out that Buddy worked at Gimbel's, not Macy's. Sorry.

Congratulations! Having two boys is so fun, man. More fun sports watching and dinosaur chicken nuggets for everyone! It looks like Jack is about Eliot's age (E just turned 2 in October). I'm sure he'll be a great big brother. Eliot loves it--gives Taylor hugs all the time. If anything, I think he's sometimes impatient that Taylor hasn't grown up fast enough to play with yet.

Do you live close to NYC? I visited there once one summer, and I have to be honest: I was disappointed. I love cities in general, but I think NYC is just too many people moving too fast for me. Boston is much more my sort of northeastern city. I also like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, too--a bit less busy. Cincinnati is one of my favorites (as I've mentioned) partly because it's a city but it's still somewhat quiet. St. Paul, where we live, is like that. We live 5 minutes from downtown, but it feels like we're in the burbs at night--soooooo quiet.

i have no idea where i was going with that. sleep deprivation: get used to that, too, with 2 kids...
Mary said…
I love that Santa picture! What a great looking Ho-Ho-Ho-er! Also...i love Shannon's longer hair...pass that on.
greg. said…
pete -
i know that he worked at gimbel's, but is gimbel's even around anymore? isn't it just a alias for macy's? when i watched the movie, i thought it was supposed to be macy's. maybe that's my own bias...

like i said, nyc is less than an hour away when there is little or no traffic. with traffic, it can be eternal. or longer. but that's part of city life, too, isn't it. man, i love nyc. i just love it. there is a huge part of me that would love to live there for a season of my life. not for the rest of my life, but just for a few years or something. sell the car. live in a small space. i really have a chemistry with that city. i love it. i hate boston, as i told you earlier, but that is for a different reason. pittsburgh, of course, i love for sentimental reasons. but i do really like that city, too, having spent some time getting to know it. cincinnati i liked, but it didn't really feel like a city to me, it felt more like the gigantic set of a play set in the city. it was only busy during the drama. the rest of the time it was eerily empty. so, bottom line for me is that, in a future life, i will live in a flat uptown, on the upper west side. or down in the village. that would be awesome.
pete said…
Well, as much of a fan of Elf as I am, I haven't the slightest idea whether Gimbels and Macy's are the same. Macy's does seem to be swallowing up other companies, as capitalistic enterprises are wont to do (such as Marshall Fields, etc).

I think the fact that my best friend from high school, Ben, lives in Brooklyn, NY now, probably has something to do with my animosity toward the city in general. We haven't spoken in more than a year now...because...I don't know anymore.

And I hate the Yankees, but that's mainly because they are so arrogant. Especially Derek Jeter--who is a very good baseball player, of course, just too full of himself. And what's with those salaries? It's not like you can buy the world's best ballclub--obviously--the Twins have done pretty well on peanuts by comparison to the Bankees.

Sorry to bring up Boston again. It probably won't be the last time, but I'll do my best.

Have you been to Seattle? I think you might like it. It's so very different from eastern cities, but so very cool.
taryn said…
tell shannon i am amazed by her beauty.
mego said…
So are you hoping you get to get a Tobias this time around?
greg. said…
ok pete, i have to disagree strongly about the jeter thing. i have not seen a professional athelete LESS full of himself than derek jeter. i don't know what news you are getting out there in minnesota, but this man is so full of grace and humility. you have inspired me to post about him. look for that soon.

greg. said…

tobias is one of my top two names right now. we would call him toby. i also like the name harrison, and we would call him harry. those are at the top of my list right now. but we have awhile to think about it. we could always name him linford!

Rick Durrance said…
Way to go!
Boys are great! We have enough to know! :)

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