Sunday, December 14, 2014

December catch-up

December is a complicated month. I love the excitement of Christmas preparations but I struggle with the stress of the busy days and even busier evenings. Up until Boxing Day, December allows us only two or three evenings that are unscheduled. Most of the plans we have are fun and festive, but leisurely evenings spent reading Christmas books to the kids and listening to Christmas carols by the tree are pretty much just wishful thinking. I'm trying hard to live in the moment and enjoy the busy-ness instead of fighting it. I'm having limited success with that, but I keep trying.

There's a lot to catch up on, so I'll mostly do it with pictures. One thing I did not get a picture of is Chloe's cheer competition at the beginning of the month. I took a video but I haven't yet learned how to get a decent quality still photo from a video. Chloe's team did well in spite of several concussions (thankfully not her this time) and won their category.

My brother Dan came to hang out with the family for a week. We were in charge of the annual Christmas get-together with my Dad's side of the family so he helped out a lot with that. As always, it was great to have him home.

Trying to make Uncle Dan laugh (I think?)

At the family gathering:
Doing crafts
Playing Knipsbrat

Ping pong tournament

Slight hiccup during the ping pong tournament

The Costa Rican ping pong champ is victorious again.

The girls waiting to go home.

I don't love posting pictures of people without their permission, but I hope my relatives don't mind.

I took a couple of vacation days this week, so Dan and I went to the Human Rights Museum on Wednesday. Lucky us - turns out it was International Human Rights Day so admission was free. We spent a couple of hours walking through it and taking in the architecture, stopping now and then to read something. There's a lot to read. Don't go if you can't read. I guess you wouldn't be reading this if you can't read. Also (spoiler alert) it's not the most cheerful of places. The content is pretty heavy. I know it's important to recognize and remember, but it's the type of place that doesn't exactly lighten your burden.  That being said, I'm planning to go again and tackle some more of the exhibits; it's just too much to take in on one visit.

This was pretty fun

Later that day, after I had sent Dan on his way back to the land of rain and milder temperatures, Neve had her first piano recital. My niece Tia teaches her and our neighbour girl, so it was a tiny little Christmas recital followed by some delicious treats. It was very cute listening to their Christmas pieces.


I spent the rest of the week Christmas shopping and preparing for our neighbourhood party on Friday night. In the midst of a busy month, I was second-guessing my decision to do the party, but it's so awkward to un-invite people. I try and do this every year or two and the turnout is usually pretty modest. But this year it was a full house. The basement was filled with kids and the main floor was packed with adults (doesn't take much in our house), there was lots of food and drink and everyone seemed to have a good time. We had people coming to the door that I'd never seen before. Everyone was super friendly and outgoing and it was a really great night. I even made a Christmas tree veggie platter, so how could it not be?

Things got really crazy near the end.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I totally missed out on knipsbrat! Guess I was busy schputsiering. I'm so glad I came for it, and all the rest of the great family time!

Beautiful photo of Neve at the piano! She's so sweet!

Glad you got a great turnout at your neighbourhood party - they were probably all curious to see who would spell their street name wrong! Love the veggie tree.