Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

I got home from Leavenworth on Tuesday and worked Wednesday and a half day Thursday. Robert was in town so we had dinner at Mom and Dad's on Wednesday and then visited and played Scrabble. Thursday after work I went shopping. I had bought Seth's present a few weeks ago and ended I up getting most of Mom's in Leavenworth. That still meant that I had to pick up Aaron's, Robert's and Dad's. I knew what I was getting each of them so it was just a matter of going to the right store and fighting the crowds. I had fun.

Christmas Eve is also Dad's birthday. I arrived at their house around 5pm and dinner was basically ready then. Mom prepared a lamb roast as a special treat for Dad. It was fantasic. We had warm blueberry gingerbread cake for dessert. Afterwards we played RISK. Mom won...which was kind of funny because she hadn't actually wanted to play in the first place.
This picture of me was taken just before going to bed. We didn't stay up super late because everyone was pretty tired.

Christmas morning we were all up before 9...really quite early for my family.

We like to take our time with gift opening and this year was no exception. Seth wasn't able to join us but he mailed his gifts and they arrived on Christmas Eve.

He sent me the "Unofficial Guide to Twilight", a mini book on Robert Pattinson and two bars of Body Shop soap. The guide is perfect. I just finished Eclipse (for the second time) and didn't want to take Breaking Dawn on the plane with me because it is still only available in hard cover. The guide is a nice compromise.
Robert also got me a Ontario. It's a really nice Michelin one and I can't wait to start visiting all the places listed in there. Mom, Aaron and Robert went together and gave me cash so I can finally invest in the Storybook Creator by Creative Memories. I am VERY excited about that! Aaron also gave me a Starbucks card. Mom and dad got me a Starbucks coffee sampler for use in my French press and Dad picked out a fleece scarf and fuzzy mittens for New York. Which is awesome, because I only have leather gloves which are NOT warm. So nothing huge or totally unexpected but all very thoughtful wonderful gifts and that's all I ever ask for at Christmas.
Christmas dinner was all our traditional favourites. Turkey, dressing (not pictured) mashed potatoes, carrots, turnips, cranberry jelly, creamed corn, bean salad, yams and gravy.

After dinner I made my family watch "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" with me. We haven't seen it in years and we laughed like crazy. I can't wait to see the places featured in the movie in real life!!!
We also played a few more games and ate lots of snacks and Christmas baking (including Mom's yummy rum balls). It was a relaxed Christmas, just the way I like it.
Merry Christmas to all my readers, where ever you are :)


Last weekend I joined my friends Leah, Chris and their five kids, Obie, Lily and their three and her sister Debbie for a weekend in Leavenworth, WA. We were actually staying at Chris and Leah's time share in Orondo, WA, about 45 minutes from Leavenworth, but we went into the town three days in a row.

I worked a half day on Friday and then we packed up and headed South. Aside from a car sickness episode which required new clothes and a major clean up job for one of the kids while we were going through Steven's Pass, the trip was fairly uneventful.

Saturday we just had a lazy day at the resort. The kids went sledding on the golf course. There was hardly any snow but they made it work. Debbie, Lily, Leah and I went to Albertsons mid afternoon. We met the Coke Bear there! Of course we all had to show off our Sonic cups too :) It was Leah's first time having Sonic. That evening we sat around and sang Christmas carols (Obie is an amazing guitar player) and played board games.
Sunday we went to Leavenworth. There was hardly any snow, just a few puddles for the kids to make a mess in. There were a few characters dressed up and posing for pictures. Father Christmas, Santa Claus and the Grinch were the most memorable. We went into lots of shops and I got a few things, mostly small gifts for my mom. A lot of what they carry there is her style. In the hat shop the kids were trying on hats and glasses. This picture of Kingston is my favourite.
At 4:30 they started the ceremony of the lighting of the town. A choir sang and some "alpen horns" were blown and then the lights started coming on. First in the trees, and then on all the buildings. It was beautiful. I've been to Leavenworth once before so I knew what to expect but it was still wonderful to see. I understand why Leavenworth was voted one of the best holiday towns in the USA.

After the town was lit we went for yummy Mexican. This is Leah and Chris' third year in a row visiting Leavenworth at Christmas and they've made going for Mexican a tradition. It was a nice change at this time of the year.

Monday we went for a sleigh ride at a local farm. I was underwhelmed (and cold) but it's another tradition and it was kind of fun to sing "Jingle Bells" while being pulled in a "two horse open sleigh".

At the resort we had two four bedroom suites. Both had full kitchens so Monday we went back and had chili for dinner. That evening we played Monopoly which is always fun.

Tuesday morning we packed up and headed out. We stopped in Leavenworth one last time so we could visit an adorable little gingerbread shop. The picture below is Sydney and Kingston picking their cookies. We took our time driving home and didn't arrive until around 10. It was a great weekend though. Lots of little kids running around so I admit, I was kind of happy to get home to my quiet apartment, but I'm so glad I was able to go!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Suck up

I was talking to Seth the other night and I asked about whether or not he’d be able to make it down for Christmas. I kind of knew the answer but his response still made me laugh. Because he missed three weeks of work due to H1N1 earlier in the year, because the weather’s such a crapshoot (and flying is so expensive) and because I won’t actually be around all that much, he’s going to stay home. He said “I’d rather come in the spring when you’re around so we can spend some quality time together before you leave for Ontario. I want to see you ‘at least once’ before then and coming now just so I can be ‘home for Christmas’ doesn’t make sense.”

On one hand I’m kind of sad that he won’t be here (although he hasn’t been in three years so it’s not a change in that regard) but on the other I’m kind of glad that I don’t have to worry about not spending time with him…and I have to admit, it was kind of nice to hear him say, in a round about way, that he’s going to miss me. He pretends to be all hard and unfeeling but inside he’s just a big suck :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Coincidences happen all the time. I had THREE today though.

This morning I was going through my inbox. I had an email from someone informing me of a meeting in March. It's been there for a few weeks. I finally took the information, transferred it to my calendar and filed the email. Just after that the phone rang. It was the sender of the email calling about an unrelated topic!

This afternoon I was covering reception. An associate of mine came into the office. We chatted briefly and he went on to talk to one of my coworkers. A minute later a delivery guy came in. He had a package for our sister organization that is north of us and across the river...the random thing? The package was for the associate that had just walked in! Saved the delivery guy a trip!

Just after that another guy walks in. He sees me and says
"You called this morning and spoke to my wife. I have to come in and do _____". I'm looking at this guy thinking, 'wha????' cause I don't remember him. As he keeps talking I realize he needs to go to City Hall, and speak to the Heidi there. Crazy!

Happy 4th Blogiversary!

To me! Actually it was technically yesterday. I thought about it all day but I didn't get around to posting. Wow. Four years have gone and a lot has changed...although a lot hasn't as well. It's interesting to look back and see what's transpired in that time. I'm glad I have a record of it (albiet a bit spotty at times).

Happy fourth blogiversary to me!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Company Christmas Party

Tonight was my company Christmas party. We had it out at a small golf course that closes early in the winter. It was nice because we had the whole place to ourselves. They served a really yummy turkey dinner buffet. In the past we've done games and things, this year it was just conversation and then some of the managers and the board chair gave some verbal thanks and handed out some (mostly food) gifts.

Our office is split into three main "pods". It's divided because of the services we offer and physically due to the configuration of the offices. My "pod" is administrative which is basically me and my boss. Because I don't belong to either of the other "teams", I was recognized by both! It was really nice. I know they appreciate me but it's special to have it acknowledged that way.

Now it's snowing like crazy. Everyone left the dinner praying for a snow day, and me most of all. I don't have anything horribly pressing to get to tomorrow and I'd love to have a day to just putter around the house. Here's hoping!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 12 of 12

Saturday morning...and most other mornings at this time of year, this is what I start with. Coffee with egg nog and yes it's instant coffee. My dirty little secret :P
Saturday morning also means the Country Top 40 countdown is on from 10-2. I listened to it off and on and what I missed, I`m catching up on now on Sunday night when it is replayed. I listen to it most weekends though.
I made my Christmas cards again this year. Making them is the easy part. Writing in them is what I struggle with. I spent the better part of the morning writing ones for the people at church.
But ran out so I had to make more.
While I was making more cards I watched "It's a Wonderful Life". My Christmas movie staple...probably my ONLY Christmas movie staple come to think of it.
At 12:30 I left home and met up with a friend to see New Moon for the second time. We enjoyed it even more, if you don't count the loud "Team Jacob" contingent in the theatre. They got annoying really fast. Still, I can't wait for Eclipse!
When I got home I put on some Christmas carols (this is becoming a list of what I listen to during the day! That's kind of appropriate though. The radio/cd player is the first thing I turn on when I walk in the door or get up in the morning and the last thing I turn off.) This is my Christmas collection.
With the tunes going, I was inspired to FINALLY hang some pictures. I picked these up at a garage sale a few months ago and they've been leaning against the wall since then. I love ferns and fiddleheads so these are perfect for me.
I tried to bake but it didn't turn out at ALL. It's supposed to be squares but I burnt the top and the bottom didn't cook. I have an idea of what I did wrong in the mixing process but the bottom line is, it flopped. And that happens sometimes. C'est la vie.
I went to a Christmas party anyways. I was hoping to take the squares but as you can see, there was LOTS of food (this is only one table. The other one is across the room!

I couldn't resist this picture of Evan. Must be nice to be so little that you can use your chair to sit on AND hold your plate :D

And lastly, my new Tupperware!!! I'm very excited to use it :D

Oops. Apparently I forgot a picture of myself yesterday. Here I'll cheat and borrow one that someone took of me at church today. It's been COLD all week and this morning during service it finally started snowing big fat fluffy flakes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Demo Dance

Last night I took part in my first demo dance at an assisted living facility. It’s a really nice place. Almost more like a hotel in the lobby area…there just happen to be a LOT of walkers around, and all the staff run around in scrubs. We didn’t have a big crowd of observers, maybe three dozen. We did have three squares worth of dancers, which was pretty interesting considering the space we had to dance in (not very big at all). We had fun though and I know the residents appreciated it.

I spoke with one of them briefly afterwards. She said that watching us reminded her of when she used to go dancing in Vancouver, although that was mostly ballroom dancing. She told me that she appreciates us coming to show what we do. She wished she could have joined us but in a resigned tone she said “I’m a resident here now”. It was kind of sad. She’s originally from Vancouver but her kids live out here so they moved her into this home. You can tell she feels a bit displaced even though the facility is nice.

I’m sure there are tons of stories like hers. I’m just glad we could bring them a bit of Christmas cheer.

Attitude of Graitude V2#30 - December

Phew! I did it. I completed thirty Attitude of Gratitude posts. On one hand I was starting to feel like I'd never finish. On the other, I'm sad I'm done. Not to say that I can't continue, but now I can go back to "normal" blogging. The thing is I still have SO much more to be thankful for. This exercise definitely serves it's purpose. It makes me think of all the things, people and more that I am blessed with. The song "count your blessings, count them one by one" really is appropriate and it is something that should never be forgotten.

Today I have one more thing to be thankful for. I'm thankful that it's December. This would have been better if I had stayed on track and actually posted this on December 1st but this will do. I noticed it the moment the calendar flipped to the last month of the year. A big simultaneous sigh of relief, and a big suck if of air as people braced themselves for what is arguably the busiest month of the year. In November all the Americans are just trying to get through Thanskgiving. Canadians are dealing with the darkest, wetest month of the year. EVERYONE is debating about wether it's "too early for Christmas" (decorations, trees, etc.) On December first, it's like the dam is broken. No one can use the "it's not even December yet!" excuse. Everyone turns on the house lights out side. The Christmas carols start playing on the radio (an no grinch can complain), in short, it's the "Most wonderful time of the year" and on December 1st, most people stop fighting it and start embracing it.

I personally love December. It's a freakishly insanely busy time for me but I love every second of the baking, shopping, wrapping, partying, card writing, craziness that ensues. Y'all know that I'm not one to fight Christmas (hello, tree's up by Nov 11th here!) but I'm relieved when everyone else joins me. Bring it on! Yeah for December!

Attitude of Graitude V2#29 - Rogers Mobile Internet Stick...and generous friends

I can't believe it's taken me this long to list this item. As you know I finally got a laptop earlier in the month. I made do in the beginning with visiting the library or Starbucks for internet access. It was fine but I knew it would only be a matter of time before I finally got internet of my own. I was waffling between the Rogers Mobile Internet Stick and some other version of more permanent (aka, non wireless) service. I told my friend Carla about what I was debating and she gave me her stick, which she isn't currently using, to try out. I love it. She's in the process of moving and once she does we'll decide if she wants it back and I'll get my own, or if she won't need it and wants to transfer it to my name. Either way I'm definitely keeping this service. I love being able to take Polly (my computer, just in case you forgot her name) with me around my apartment without having to worry about cords. Most of the time she sits on the table but I love having her on the couch while I watch movies, in my scraproom while I work, or, where we are currently, in bed. Not to mention how convenient it is to take her OUT and not have to worry about WIFI access.

Yes, I am thankful for the Stick, and for generous friends!

Attitude of Graitude V2#28 - Baking

I love baking. Christmas or other I find it so relaxing. Especially when I using a recipe I'm familiar with, like bran muffins. I remember Mom making them for Dad (and us) while I was growing up. I still use the same recipe and I love making them. It's something about the order of adding the ingredients and the mad scientist feel of cracking eggs and measuring ingredients. I like cooking, but I love baking. I bought a ten kg bag of flour the other day and I just wish I had time to delve into it! Maybe over the weekend...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Attitude of Graitude V2#27 - Lawyers

I love lawyers. Now I need to qualify that statement. I’ve only ever worked with lawyers that work with corporate law, and never in on a litigious matter (at least when I’m the defendant). They’re freaking expensive and generally really anal (because they have to be) but I love knowing that they’ll do what I need.

I’ve had experience with trademark and copyright lawyers as well and at one time even thought that I might enjoy that career. It’s unfailingly rigid because it’s all based on dates but I kind of like that.

Recently I’ve had experience with lawyers on security documentation. Stuff that I can sweat and stress over for hours, and they complete it in no time at all. They’re worth their fees IMO.

I am thankful for lawyers.

Attitude of Graitude V2#26 - Egg Nog

My favourite part of the holiday season is egg nog. It starts showing up around Canadian Thanksgiving (mid October) and I usually have a carton in my fridge from then on. When I was shopping with Mom and Aunty Candace there were two young guys in the dairy isle. One of them grabbed a carton and said "EGG NOG! I haven't had this stuff since...LAST year!" LOL

I use egg nog in my coffee in this morning and drink it cold in the evening. It's especially good with a bit of 7up or Ginger Ale in it.

I am thankful for egg nog and holiday cheer.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Attitude of Graitude V2#25 - Help Desks

Never underestimate the power of a great help desk. I have a few that I call frequently, to the point that I know some of the staff. The thing is the people are fantastic, they're knowledgeable about they're product and they're always willing to answer any question you have. Most of the time they'll offer additional valuable information as well. I love my help desk people and today, that's what I'm thankful for.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Attitude of Graitude V2#24 - Footwear

I was debating calling this post "shoes" or "boots" but I realized I wanted to talk about both so "footwear" is more generic and appropriate.

I love shoes. I have lots of shoes. Too many if you ask my dad and brothers. Shoes are great because they always fit (even when you gain weight) and they really can make an outfit.

I have two boxes full of shoes. (Seth liked to point out that he had two pairs) I also have two pairs of boots (black and brown). When I saw the boots pictured here at the store, I fell in love. I debated getting them and tried to talk myself out of it but in the end, the fact that I need new boots (my black ones are easily five years old if not more) and I need them for New York and Ontario, won out. I picked them up on Wednesday and I absolutely love them. The buckles are a little different for me but they're fun. I can wait to wear them in New York.

The benefit of waiting is that I got a new pair of black flats for 40% off too. I've needed a new pair desperately and these ones are really comfy. I love new shoes!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A New Collection

At my last job, I was collecting old copies of bylaws. This morning I compiled a complete collection of Audited Financial Statments at my current office. It was a lot easier because this organization is only 11 years old (as opposed to 94 at the old one) but it still took awhile.

Yes, this is what I get paid to do and yes, it makes me happy :)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude V2#23 - Giving Blood

The fact that I CAN give blood (even though it didn't work tonight). The fact that I can answer "yes" to the "are you feeling well today question" and "no" to all the rest like "have you been under a doctors care" or had all manner of health issues. I'm healthy and able to help others (up to three per donation!) and for that I am thankful...and the cookies are a nice bonus :D

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude V2#22 - Flannel Sheets

I haven't kept up with these blog entries but I'm committed to doing all thirty of them, even if takes until Christmas :P

Today I am thankful for flannel sheets. My parents always had flannel sheets but for some reason I always stuck to cotton. Earlier this year my mom got me some flannel sheets and I *love* them. They're so warm and cozy. My bed is pretty wonderful as it is but these sheets just make it awesome.

Please excuse me, I'm going to sleep now :D

Attitude of Gratitude V2#21 - Christmas Shopping

I like Christmas shopping. Yes it's stressful and commercialized but I like having to think of others and determine what they would really like. I went Saturday with my brother Robert and his girl friend Robbie. (yes they have the same name, yes Robbie is her full name, yes my Uncle calls Robert "Robby" all the time, yes it's funny LOL) We just stayed in town and between us we only purchased three gifts but I think I have a pretty good idea of what I'm getting Robert now.

The mall was busy but it wasn't crazy. Granted it is only November so it shouldn't be yet but the hype is building. And I enjoy it. It's more fun to participate than be a grouch and get stressed out about it.

I saw a sign that says "Tis the season to be what's you're problem". It sums it up perfectly!