Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Capturing the joy

When I look  at these photos my heart fills with joy and I almost forget what a challenging and emotional month this has been for me. I don't get sick very often and when I do I usually recover quickly so I was surprised when I got a head cold that last for nearly 21 days. In hindsight, perhaps it wasn't such a bad thing, because it forced me to slow down and rest more than I ordinarily would have, but at the time I hated it. I wanted to be able to take my children to the Ladysmith light up and the Santa clause parade but instead I was curled up on the couch with an equally sick toddler.

Other than making a small batch of butter tarts for my husband and a batch of sugar cookies for my kiddos to decorate, I didn't bake my usual repertoire of almond rocca, coconut macaroons and biscotti. I didn't have the energy to and I figured it would be better if they were not sitting in my freezer whispering my name. Well, turns out I ate my weight in chocolate anyway.
I only just started working out again but have been taking it slow since I still don't feel 100%. Oh how I have missed it. There is something about listening to good music and challenging my muscles that grounds me. I often forget how crucial it is to my well being and overall sanity. 

Anyways, all that being said... I am glad that I captured some moments this Christmas Season that brought me joy. Life is filled with those beautiful fleeting moments and it is those moments that make congestion, sleep deprivation, irritation and sticky, nasty floors bearable... almost  :0)


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Countdown to Christmas

Although I collected my supplies for my 2016 "December Daily" album in November I am nowhere even close to starting it. Thankfully, I kept a journal of our daily activities this past month and took a lot of photos.  I really should call this project countdown to Christmas since our Christmas festivities officially began mid November. 

November 18th
I pulled all the totes of d├ęcor out of the shop.I don't know about you, but it takes me ages to decorate for Christmas.  Every year I try to find new ways of incorporating evergreens.

November 19th
Went to the Kris Cringle Fair for the first time and was amazed at how BIG it was. The sheer amount of vendors was overwhelming! I will not bring a two year old with me again. Levi enjoyed decorating cookies but other than that he was a train wreck.  The girls thoroughly enjoyed the horse drawn trolley ride and hot chocolate afterwards.

November 20th
We went to Bowen park with some dear friends and took each other's Christmas photos. The children surprisingly happy to pose for family photos.

November 21st
Had a relaxing day with my little man in our matching Padraig slippers.

November 22nd
Finally wrote a list of things that we hoped to do as a family this winter.

 November 23rd
Our connect group had a potluck meal together. Levi and I made an apple pie.

November 24th
Snapped this photo of Mount Benson looking very festive.

November 25th
We got our first Christmas Mail today!! Yippee!! Thank you Itter Family!

November 26th
Nate put the Christmas lights up. It's his favorite part of Christmas..other than my butter tarts.

November 27th
We had some of Nathaniel's relatives over for dinner and they all got a kick out of this cougar skin.

November 28th
Today the children and I handed out invitations for a Christmas Block party at our house. We bumped into some awesome neighbours on the way home and I had to snap a photo of them in their matching pyjamas.

November 29th
Amelia and I filled our handmade advent calendar filled with bible verses and chocolates.

November 30th
I spent the day goofing around with this little cutie. He is so much fun these days!

December 1st
Was called to a birth first and supported some friends as they welcomed their second child into the world.

December 2nd
I came down with a head cold the next day and spent most of the day horizontal. I was sound asleep when Amelia took this photo. A testament to my awesome parenting skills.

December 3rd
Today we went Christmas tree hunting with the Moes family. So much FUN!!!! There is a post about it here.

December 4th
We hosted our first block party!!!

December 5th
It snowed!!!! We walked the kiddos to school and then spent the morning shoveling driveways and sidewalks.

 December 6th

We celebrated the Dutch holiday of Sinterklaas, St. Nicholas Day, with speculaas. I found chocolate covered ones this year and they were delicious. We were a day late, but who cares?

December 7th
Took a lovely frosty walk with Levi and then enjoyed practicing Christmas carols with our connect group later that evening.

December 8th
Our mom's bible study group had a gift exchange and enjoyed some tea and treats.

December 9th
It snowed AGAIN! Yippeeee!

And... we got a parcel from the Isaac Family filled with the most beautiful handmade ornaments

 December  10th
We went to a Christmas party at a friends house were we enjoyed an insane array of delicious food as well as an amazing violin performance.

December 11th
Got all dressed up for Nathaniel's Christmas work party. I forgot to take a photo of Nate and I dressed up so this had to suffice.

December 12th
Spent a better part of the day wrapping presents with this funny girl. She is the perfect wrapping companion because she is just as obsessed as I am about making things beautiful.

December 13th
Practicing with the Oceanside choir for the Christmas Eve Service.

December 14th
Our home group thought it would be fun to go carolling in our neighbourhood and hand out packages of cookies with invitations to our annual Christmas Eve service.

December 15th
Finally got to enjoy a seasonal beverage from Starbucks.

December 16th
Had a chill day

December 17th
Took the kiddos to the church so that they could practice their parts in the Christmas play the following Sunday.

December 18th
Drove into Qualicum to visit Milner Gardens. The girls loved all the lights. We all got a kick out of the cool 3D glasses we bought that turned all the lights into reindeer.

December 19th
Went to the school to help the kindergarten class out with a craft. Even Levi gave it a try.

December 20th
Baked some butter tarts and worked on my Christmas cards

December 21st
Finally made some tree ornaments with Amelia.

December 22nd
The girls and I delivered their Christmas gifts to their teachers: gingerbread style paper bags filled with some of my handmade soap and honey from Nathaniel's hive.

Amelia returned home with this adorable snowman stuffed with chocolate.

December 23rd
Went to check out the pond behind one of our neighbours homes. I was frozen solid a few days ago but apparently has thawed since the weather warmed up. It was worth a laugh. Afterwards Nate took Amelia on a date to the skating rink and I enjoyed a tea party with Levi and Claire. Melanie - thanks for the treats!

December 24th
Went to a Christmas Eve service at our church where I sang in the choir. Afterward we went to a friends house for some of the BEST turkey I have ever had! I am so excited that Nathaniel doesn't have to work tonight and that we will be able to open presents together in the morning.

December 25th
Just heaps of fun watching everyone open and enjoy their gifts!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!