Saturday, December 27, 2008

Some Christmas Catching Up

Hard to believe that "Christmas" is over for another year.  We celebrated a white Christmas, which is a rare thing here in Vancouver.  So of course, when the opportunity allowed, we got out and played in the snow.

While the kids enjoyed the snow, and I loved it too (except for the worst driving conditions I have ever seen in this city) - Chris....well, let's  just say he's had his share of shoveling

Before heading out for the evening, the kids checked out where Santa was and where he had been.  Good old Norad did some find tracking for us, and the kids were amazed watching the video as to where he had been and how close to Canada he was getting.

Christmas Eve we spent at Uncle Laurie's house.  It was nice to catch up with the family, although the first time in years that there were no Ken Dye's at all.  In fact, that may have been the first year ever (they all went on a family cruise to celebrate Ken and Fran's 50th wedding anniverysary).  This is my "baby" cousin, her little one Katie and Kaylee and I.

When we got home, the kids knew that this was the night Santa was coming.  No question about that.  We haven't had time to do any baking this year, which made me do some quick thinking about not having a cookie ready to leave for Santa Claus.  I suggested that we leave him a candy cane instead, because he was probably getting pretty sick of all those cookies.  Luckily for me, the kids were both set on staying on the good list!!

So a candy cane, nine well counted out carrots for Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixon, Commet, Cupid, Dondor, Blitzen and Rudolph and a beer (ya, I know, great example we are) for old St. Nick were put out by the fire place for the arrival later that night.

While I thought that the kids would be up late, they actually fell asleep pretty quickly.  Chris and I stayed up late, watched Badder Santa (obviously HIS choice) and enjoyed some grown up moments before the morning hecticness.  Early to rise they were, running into our room after Santa had left stuff in their "extra" stockings (came with their pjs).  It wasn't long before we headed downstairs to see if all that work being on the good list paid off.

Santa was good to his word, bringing Braydon rod Hockey and Kaylee and baby Cinderella Doll.  Other askings, which came from Chris and I were the beloved Backugons and the Big Barbie doll car.

Mom, Dad and Richard joined us again for Christmas morning so they could enjoy Christmas through the kids eyes.  While the day as a whole is very overwhelming for the kids, they did really well and got completely spoiled.

Christmas Day dinner was at Nana and Papa's, where we enjoyed dinner with the other side of the family.  There I captured a precious picture of Daddy and his princess.....which shows all the love that Christmas contains.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A moment not to miss

There somewhere is a balance between my two worlds.  That world of trying to be a good mom, and trying to be a good employee.  I love my career, I love my family more.  But sometimes, I have to make choices.  Sometimes I make good ones, sometimes I don't.  Today, I made the right choice.

Braydon's first kindergarten concert was today at 9:30.  Not a very convenient time for working parents.  And for me right now, work is pretty busy.  So much so that I went in on my days off last week, and plan to do the same next week.  So busy that I told Braydon I wouldn't be able to come to the concert.  My Mom though was more than happy to act as back up, and my good friend, neighbour and extra Mom to Braydon was there.  But I wasn't going to be.

Then I realized, if I can leave my family for work on my days off, then I sure can leave my work for my family on my days on.  So I did.  I left work and while I missed the first part of the first song, the smile on Braydon's face through the second song when he saw me made my heart melt.  A moment not to miss.

After their concert (three songs, perfect!), the kids made gingerbread houses.  I was going to leave, but stayed a little longer and so glad I did.  Watching Braydon and my Mom "build" their house together also melted my heart.  And the photo at the end, well one of my all time favs.

I made the right choice.  Don't even know how I could have done anything else.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Day

Woke up this morning to snow.  Snow that was supposed to stop, but just kept coming.  And that was a good thing.  Good thing for work, good thing to play in.

Of course, playing in snow is an all time favorite thing for a kid to do.  And same goes for my dog.  I really should have brought my camera out when I took Takaya for a walk.  It was a nice treat, just her and I and the snow.  Man does that dog love the snow.

Tonight after watching a special tribute to Trevor Linden (will get it's own post), the kids wants to throw snowballs at me.  This white stuff is actually rare, so who was I to say no.  We bundeled up and headed out for a quick play.  It's hard to get a good photo in the dark in the snow, but if you can see their smiles, you know it was worth it.

And while I love photos of my kids, I LOVE photos of Christmas lights in the snow too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A rough day at work

It was busy, don't get me wrong.  But I got to go play in the snow, take some photos, go for an awesome snow cat ride and just enjoy the beautiful place in which I work.

That's me and my friend Graeme standing at the top of our brand new chair, the Greenway.  It was opening weekend, and well, let's just say it didn't want to party like the rest of us.  But it is okay, it will be just fine once it stops being so shy.  
My good friend Erik and I headed out for what was to be the longest amount of time I have ever spent in a snowcat.  We went top to bottom, and I gotta say, that guy knows how to drive this machine.  It's a huge beast, and we went VERY close to some cliffs, but I trusted him and sure enough we were safe.  This is from inside the cat just about to head up to the Peak

Of course Mother Nature was a bit delayed in showing up, but with our snowmaking team and equipment, we are giving her a HUGE help with getting more terrain open.  The temperatures are COLD, like really cold (-11) which while may be uncomfortable, it does make just amazing man made snow.

When we reached the summit, well it was just beautiful

And on  my way back down the mountain, well the sun began to shine and made me confirm that there just isn't anywhere else in the world for me to live.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gingerbread Train

The plan for today was relax.  Sleep in, which did happen a bit, and take the day slowly.  But when I woke and saw the sunshine and knew how busy opening day at the mountain would be -well I phoned in to see how things were going.  Going so well, that I went in for a couple of hours to help out.  So much for the day off (I went in on Friday for an hour too).

But I kept my promise to myself and left at 12:30 to come home and have lunch with the family and do some fun stuff.  Since winter is here, I will now officially switch to my winter schedule which is Fri / Sat off.  Sunday is back to being a work day (insert heavy sigh here).  But  I will still take this Monday off so I am able to "wrap" up the rest of the Christmas stuff.

This afternoon the kids and I decided to create a gingerbread train.  It's activities like this that I need to "let go" of my control side and just let the fun happen.  Each kid took a "side" of the train and were  able to put what they want where they want.  Now if it was just me, the whole thing would look more coordinated, but I don't think would have been nearly as cute.

Let the Festivities Begin

Tonight (Friday) was our annual Heal Holiday Festival, aka, our Christmas Party.  We had it a week earlier this year, and I have to say, I think I'm sticking with the date.  We had a great attendance and it was so good to see everyone.

Before our guests arrive, and while my house was still clean, I forced a family photo and I love it.  I try to get one each year, in hopes that one days I do a lay out of them over the years.  And of course, I just like taking pictures and I really like it when they actually turn out!

The party was a good time - and while I seem to still have a sticky floor and a few too many empties in the recycling bin - it was worth all the cleaning and prepping.  What a great way to start the holiday festivities.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to start the day right

Today is cleaning day.  Not usually a task that I look forward to, however the children are going to school and it's just me.  Me and my Christmas music.  I will clean, finish decorating and prepare for tomorrow night's festivities.

As I was checking my emails, Kaylee saw the photo from my last post.  It was taken on our computer and that camera seems to be the most fun for the kids.  Thinking that she would do her typical funny smile, it was me smiling after she did those pose....

Looks just a bit familiar.

And since Braydon saw KJ taking her photo, well he wanted in on the action too.

One more together, then we went downstairs for pancakes.  A good start to the day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ahhhh Wednesday already!

How did Wednesday show up already????  It's been crazy busy all week.  We got snow (finally!) and then you know....stuff starting hitting fans.....

I asked for a few extra days off, just so I don't go insane.  Lucky for me, my boss is understanding and I got them.  I have tomorrow off so I can clean all day long.  I have Friday off so I can cook all day.  Friday night we are having our annual Christmas party.  I also took Monday off (which I may or may not take) to get ready for the rest of Christmas.  To finish buying and start wrapping gifts.  To do EVERYTHING else that needs doing so I can enjoy the rest of the time.

So having said (well, typed) all that - I need to get onto cleaning the kitchen.  Wish me luck! (for festive photos, please see the post below, there were extras for that one)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Weekend of Christmas Stuff

Each Sunday night, I wonder how the weekend went so fast.  Friday was quiet, the house went to bed early and I cleaned.  While it doesn't look that way anymore, I actually did get a lot done.  

Saturday, we had the last wet cold soccer game of the year.  Then Chris went out for a bit to do some Christmas shopping.   The kids and I started to decorate and get festive.  Not that I wasn't but decorations sure help bring it along.  Braydon and I took the dog out after lunch (he rode his bike) and then I did something stupid.  I went to Wal Mart on a Saturday afternoon three weeks before Christmas.  But I did mange to get a couple stocking stuffers and to add to the  Bakugon gift a special mat, and there may have been something scrapbooking that fell into my bag, plus a gift for Mom - so it was worth it.  Traffic around was horrible and I knew I needed to head home.  

Now, if you have been following my life, you know that this year we decided to go with a fake tree.  Not my choice, but hey.  I can give a little.  I though that by purchasing said fake tree (which I spent a LOT of time researching), the annual Christmas Tree fight would not happen.   No fight about the needles, the stupid stand, blah blah blah.  As I was approaching the house, I got the call.  Apparently the tree I picked out had to be put together each and every single branch.

Of course, it wasn't as bad as it initially thought.  Never really went into the annual Christmas Tree fight, more like a small initial spat.  Yes, 200 branches can seem overwhelming, but it turned out nice.  I like it, even though it's fake. 

You can't "do" Christmas in my house without eggnog.  So of course, we cracked open our first jug of the stuff (Chris and I may have added a little Bundy to ours) and chugged away at the festive drink.  About 3 minutes after I took that photo of Kaylee, Princess Disaster dropped it all over the floor and the table.  She sure is cute that one. The kids were a great help putting up all the decorations on the tree (were just a LITTLE excited) and topped off the evening with homemade pizza.

As I worked on some Christmas cards and enjoyed the other Christmas drink (Winter Pale Ale) Takaya started to bark.  Now one or two isn't totally unusual for her, but she was barking like something was wrong outside.  So my big strong hero of a husband said "go look outside".  Bravery.  So I go up, opened the door to find our friends Andy and Kari who were here for our Christmas party.  The party that is actually next Friday.  But who am I to turn away friends, plus they brought food!  So they came in for a couple of beers, we ate their chips and veggies, a neighbour dropped in and stayed for a drink, then everyone went home and we went to bed.

Today the weather held out for our family walk.  Really need to document that walk in photography style one day.  Mental note to self.  When we got back, the kids and I went grocery shopping, came home and decided that maybe we should visit Santa today.  Didn't get any arguments, so after lunch and a quick change of outfits, we went to visit our favorite guy in red.

Now some kids are scared of Santa.  My kids, well they have a lot of my Christmas spirit in them, so they hopped up on his lap and proceeded to chat away.  LOVE the photo, and yes - Braydon is trying to show off the missing tooth.

After dinner, and the kids were bathed I worked on a couple more cards and made my plan of action for the week.  If all goes well - I will get myself organized and on track to enjoy the holidays semi stress free.