Thursday, 20 December 2012

December Collage



Stephen's Christmas Concert took place last night. The YouTube link is posted.

Regarding traditions that our families participate in:

Here is a throwback from our 2011 Christmas in BC

Peter's mom makes crepes for the whole family for Christmas Morning. She shared with be a few Christmases ago that making them up the night before, and having everything prepped and ready for the big morning has made her morning more enjoyable. (aka. she is able to enjoy the family rather than being tied down in the kitchen all morning flipping crepes)

The goods :)
OJ in Champagne Glasses! Peter loves his crepes with Nutella :)

 Lori uses the amazing Costco 3 berry assortment and thaws them out. She stuffs the crepes with Nutella, Nutella and fruit, or just fruit. All are delish.

My brother-in-law Andrew is allergic to dairy, so she makes some special ones for him. I can relate, I should stay away from dairy too... but my symptoms are phlegm (sorry) and acne. Nothing gut wrenching compared to others with a major allergy.
Hash Browns, Crepes, toast, jam, bacon, OJ, whipped cream, etc.
Lori made dairy-free waffles for Andrew too.

 Lori has a collection of Christmas glassware, and plates. I always look forward to using them. They are nice and heavy, and make the table festive. She busts out ALL the Christmas goods. (I, shamefully, have very little in the way of decor) Place mats, candles, nicnacks, garland, trees, ribbons, centerpieces, etc. All cute and Christmassy.

Lovely Tree
Dedo Santa
BC Karanfilis Ornaments

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


These past days, since Peter's birthday (Dec. 14th)  have been especially sad and heartbreaking. On December 14th, in the town of Newtown, CT 20 children and 8 adults lost their lives in a senseless act of anger. Whether the gunman was medicated, or not, suffered from depression, aspergers, heartburn....or even hemriods... this does not rationalize away the fact that 20 children did not come home from school that day.

Perhaps the feelings of sadness, heart break and raw ache for their parents are because I have a little guy, attending school, age 5..... tragedy can strike at any time.

Gosh. Life is so precious. I admit taking for granted my son. I admit for wishing those sleepless nights away when he would not settle as an infant. I admit not enjoying the loud stomping, shouts and crash sounds he makes when playing. I admit that sometimes I put in ear plugs and pretend to hear what he is saying... so I can drown out some of the noise.

For too long have I played the part of being a mom... and for too long have I denied him the mommy he knows is somewhere inside of me. He's seen it a few times. When I get down on the floor and play cars with him. When I bake cookies with him and don't yell when he flings flour on the counter. When I ask him if I can cuddle (rather than him begging me to stay a little bit longer in his room at night for one more story)


He is always eager to tell some kind of a story about how his stuffed friend "doggie" is getting into trouble again, or how he wants to pretend "zoo" or "Christmas Morning", and jump out of a laundry basket and scare us.

He has a terrific imagination. He is quick to forgive. He has a compassionate heart for others. He likes (no, loves) to make believe play, and loves to be a wolf, fox or dog. He enjoys art, and is an excellent artist. He picks up on when someone is upset or irritated, and attempts to make them laugh. My son is very much a little boy after his mother's heart. He knows what buttons to push to make us laugh, get upset, or want to chase him.

If I ever get to meet any mothers who have lost a child far too early, I would not know what to say. I take for granted what I have, and they lie in their bed (or floor) at night, clenching the blanket their child loved. Gripping onto their stuffed friends. Smelling their clothes. Looking into their rooms. Wishing. Hoping. To hear one stomp. To hear one shout or scream. To hear one more toy car being thrown into the baseboards. They would not hush. They would not remind that "we have neighbours you know" they would not put in ear plugs.

I am deeply thankful for the days I have with my son, and deeply thankful for this awakening. As selfish as that may sound. For anyone reading this that knows me well, please know this is more of a personal reminder for me, than a public notice that I am going to be a better parent "starting now". I don't do well with public declarations... but I will say this: "I start now with a mindful heart of the things I have been given".

Monday, 3 December 2012

Grinch Trees in Lillooet, British Columbia

I'm really proud of my Mother-in-Law, Lori. She has the heart of gold, and has a new idea up her sleeve every time we turn around. She always says: "You just have to keep on re-inventing yourself". I agree.

She came up with a terrific idea to make and sell these adorable Grinch Trees in her Flower Shop in Lillooet, British Columbia. Although I know they are popular in other parts of the world, she is the first to bring them to her area... and they are FLYING out the door. 

Last we talked, she said they had 40 pre-sold! (meaning: People from the community have been pre-ordering them without actually seeing what they were going to look like). She told me they take about 30 minutes EACH to make. UNREAL.

I think the true clincher is, she's not actually making much money off of these trees. As we all know, materials and staffing are the two big money takers in any retail situation .. so on top of not making much of a profit per tree, she is giving $5.00 of every sale to the Lillooet Food Bank. It's a true labour of love these Grinch Trees... One more notable thing...Lillooet Foods has partnered with the Lillooet Flower Shop in taking the money donated and turning it around, allowing the Food Bank to pick and choose what they need most during the Christmas Season. They even have a few Grinch Trees they are selling in store. Keeping business local is one HUGE priority on my mom's list. She always is reaching out to other business owners in partnerships, donations, and looking for ways to build community. So, here is to a wonderful Christmas Season... for all those down in Whoville... and Lillooet. Merry Christmas!