Monday, October 24, 2016

An October Christmas

With all the snow that's been happening, Christmas with our snowbird family isn't actually that far of a stretch in October.

As we all sat around the table, enjoying an early Christmas dinner, enjoying each others company and some cups of good cheer, I was thinking about the first time I came to this house for Christmas dinner.  Jon and I were a shiny new couple and although I had been there for dinner once before, Christmas dinner just felt like a bigger deal.  I remember being so nervous.  So nervous that I can't even really remember who was all there.  I remember playing the present game and one to the left and two to the right and watching Zach, who was maybe four years old, try not to cry when he lost his quarters. I remember feeling welcomed and loved and cozy.  I received perfume as a gift as we headed out the door early to get back to whatever twenty year olds do on Christmas.  

And this year, as I watched my girls roll the dice and quietly hope that no one would steal their presents, I thought of the many people that I've met around that table over the past 19 years.  The early Christmases before kids and the Christmases at the hotel.  And how it doesn't matter who you have with you, there's always room for one more at the table.

I sat down next to the wood burning fireplace, looked out at the early snow and then over at the corner of the room where the piano that is now in our living room used to sit.  I  smiled as I thought of the years we sang carols around that piano after a few too many cups of good cheer.  I suppose with the rumors that this may be our last Christmas around this table I was feeling a little nostalgic.  

No matter when or where Christmas is celebrated, memories will be made and love will be felt.  This early Christmas is the perfect kick start to all the good things to come.  
Merry Early Christmas and safe travels to our snowbirds.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


As a mom, there are lots of things that I worry about.  I worry about my girls becoming slaves to electronics, about them watching endless hours of Fuller House and obsessing over whether DJ will choose Matt or Steve to be her boyfriend.  I worry about them doing well at school, if they remember their manners when I'm not there, if they are kind to others.  I worry about them eating too much sugar and getting cavities from not brushing well.  I worry that they don't get enough sleep, that they argue too much and won't grow up to love each other.  And then there's the serious stuff to worry about.  Freak accidents, crazy people, rare diseases.  You get the picture.  

And just when you're about to wave the white flag and surrender to doing the parenting thing all wrong, Thanksgiving rolls around and gives you a chance to slow down and truly remind yourself of how good you actually have it. Because when I look a little closer, many of the things I worry about are worries of indulgence.  Too much of this and too much of that.  And my concerns, although real to me, need to be checked every now and again and put into their rightful place.

Because for as much as I sweat the small, day to day stuff, I have to take a look around and acknowledge that our Thanksgiving was spent with my parents.  We cooked a turkey dinner together with all the trimmings. We laughed and toasted each other as we watched the snowy blizzard that was happening outside from the warmth and comfort of the house.  And to take that for granted would be completely disrespectful to all the peeps in my life who have lost their parents and those who aren't able to be with their parents and to the kids who don't have the luxury of healthy, capable and loving grandparents.

Due to the blizzard like conditions and the enormous snow fall, we spent most of Thanksgiving day without any power in the house.  It likely couldn't have happened on a better day.  What better day than Thanksgiving to lose power and give us a humble reminder of the many luxuries that we do take for granted.  Although the power was out for most of the day and the house was starting to get a little cold, I knew deep down that we didn't really have anything to worry about.  That Hydro guys were out working hard to get it restored and that we could always go to town where the power was still working.  Because we have privilege, I get the luxury of worrying about the small stuff. The privilege of a loving family, food in the cupboards, and a peaceful country.  Every once in a while its good to check our privileges so that we can remind ourselves that the small stuff is really and truly just small stuff.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Well, we got a snow storm a little too early for anybody's liking.  Except for the kids of course.  While snow in October isn't all that unusual, what really rocked our world was that fact that we had our first ever snow day!  A snow day like, you know, when schools are closed and buses don't run and all that jazz. On October 4th we got to experience this snow day phenomenon for ourselves.

The day started like any other first winter snow day.  Jon left for work and said he would drive me and the girls to school in a shop truck because our truck was stuck in the back until they got the snow cleared. Just as I was scrambling around looking for mitts and ski pants, Jon came home form work and asked if I'd checked my messages.  That's something I don't do very often in the morning due to the fact that I'm kinda busy getting lunches and back packs and the three of us out the door.  "Well you better check," he said, "they're saying the school is closed."  Say what?  Our schools don't close.

But it turned out to be true story.  And the cherry on top of the snow day cone was that staff didn't have to go in either!  I can't hardly describe the feeling of just dropping everything and letting go of all the things that you were prepared to conquer in the day.  I verified with all my teacher buddies that this snow day thing was for real and when it was confirmed I made myself a coffee and sat down and put my feet up.  I'm not sure who was more excited, me or the girls!