Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas catch-up

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful, magical, meaningful day with family and friends. For the rest of you who have time to read blogs today, there’s always next year. Who am I kidding - reading blogs is a pretty magical way to spend Christmas. So is writing them. This December has been my busiest December on record so I’m very happy to have the time and energy to sit down for a few minutes and spill my overloaded brain out onto the internet.

Three Christmas concerts (four if you count my niece’s), two work Christmas parties, our neighbourhood party, a piano recital, family get-togethers, my photography course, a hip hop recital, shopping, wrapping and baking - all on top of a busy schedule of work, school stuff, gymnastics, youth, cheer, hip hop, fencing make for a very full month. But it made for a very fun month as well. I am making a conscious effort to enjoy the moment rather than letting myself get all stressed and anxious about all the things I need to do. On a scale of one to ten, my success rate has been about three. But that’s better than a two. And way better than a one! 

Reading about how busy I’ve been probably rates a zero on your scale of one to ten, so I’ll move on. Let’s talk about my birthday instead.

I turned 45 on Monday. That sounds a lot older than 44. Jan and Sabrina took me out for breakfast. We went to the Pancake House at the Forks and watching people skate and smile and take selfies made it feel like I was on holidays. Then I had to work for a few hours which was unfortunate; that’s the downside of being 45 rather than 65. I really wanted to go to the Art Gallery because dragging my family out to get some culture is my idea of a good time, but it’s closed on Mondays. The museum was my second choice, but it’s also closed on Mondays. Monday is not a good day to have a birthday. Someone should have planned that better. My third choice was Sky Zone (a trampoline park) which doesn’t sound like something most adults would choose to do on their birthday, but it was awesome. We picked a good time to go (I guess Mondays aren’t all bad) and we had the place almost to ourselves. We played volleyball and dodgeball and jumped our hearts out. We were all sweating by the time our 30 minutes was up. Then we took our sweaty selves out for sushi, and then some of my family came over for birthday cake. I also got lots of lovely gifts including a nice watch from Dale and Body Shop stuff from the kids. It was a great day and I felt loved and special, so I really can’t complain about turning 45 on a Monday.

Stepping back one day before my birthday, Neve had a speaking part in the church Christmas concert. She did great memorizing all her lines (and everyone else’s) and she even sang three solo parts. When I heard she was going to be singing solos, I was skeptical and a little afraid. Our family has not been blessed musically. I just hoped people would be kind and gracious and not laugh openly as she sang. In a surprising and happy turn of events, Neve did really great. My world has been shaken to its core; it’s causing me to re-think our identity as a non-musical family. She is also doing pretty good on the piano, and Spencer is enjoying the bari sax so much that he wants to join the jazz band at school. It’s a crazy world. Next thing you know, I’ll be dragging people out to karaoke.

That brings us to the present. We had a relaxing Christmas Eve yesterday; we went to a candlelight service, then Dale’s mom came over and we had appetizers and a chocolate fondue and opened a few gifts. It was a gorgeous evening, so we went out for a walk to see a little Christmas display a few blocks away, and then played grounders and made snow angels at the playground. It was so quiet and magical and no one complained once. This morning, the kids woke up to their overflowing stockings and have been playing with new toys ever since. At least the new toys that actually work. There are a few glitches this year. We already had the Wii game we bought the kids (oops). The iPod dock/clock radio that Neve got doesn’t work with her old iPod. The power cord is missing for the record player Spencer got, and the puzzle I got is completely different than the picture on the box. Santa really needs to do something about his quality control department. Heads are probably gonna roll. The kids handled their disappointments well and lucky us, it means we get to stand in some customer service lines in the days ahead.

Neve is excited about her gift before she finds out it's useless to her.

Spencer is excited about his gift until he finds out he can only look at it until we get a power cord.

This was a success - a runway with lights. I predict this is going to get a lot of use.

This was also a pretty big success. Thank goodness at least one thing works.

Well, I should return to my world of reading, eating chocolate, and trying to do a 1000 piece puzzle without a picture. Spencer got lots of Simpson, Doctor Who and Full House DVDs, so there is TV watching in my future as well. We have no plans all day, so I’m living the dream. Hope you are all having a lovely day with lots of love and joy and peace and very few glitches. Merry Christmas – I love you all!


Anonymous said...

Oh man, your glitches made me laugh. I can't imagine trying to make a puzzle without knowing what the picture is supposed to be. If you are successful, you should submit it to MENSA or whatever group can then identify you as a genius.

You should also watch this TED talk about the Transformative Power of Classical Music. My favourite line is the revelation that no one is actually tone deaf. Because up until that point I had classified my dad as tone deaf and always talked about how unmusical my family is. The other thing that I've found is that taking violin lessons with Ben and cello lessons with Emeth have really shown me that I'm not entirely without some musical-ness. (I am not a rock star by any means, but I'm pleasantly surprised by how transformative it is).

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Laugh out loud!! At so much of this!! The photo captious were hilarious.

Merry Christmas, Ellen!!

xo Sio