Monthly Archives: December 2010

2011 is about personal joy.

For the last several days I’ve been trying to come up with the word.  You know, this idea that every year we should have a word that becomes our focus.  A word that will play into our decisions, and the way we move through the world.  I really was struggling.

I don’t make resolutions.  Resolutions are nice little throw away ideas that lack action.  They are the frosting on your cake, they are yummy, pretty, make you feel good when they’re in your mouth… but they don’t really do you any good.  And in the end can leave you feeling badly about yourself – just one more thing you didn’t follow through on.  Unnecessary fat on an otherwise perfectly yummy vegan cake.

So…  I liked this idea I’d been hearing about.  That rather than making resolutions, we should chose a word that we would strive towards in our daily lives.  I can do that.  I have completed project 365 (that’s right, tonights the last night, the blog will be taking a new turn in the new year… stick with me to find out where it’s going), so I know I can stay focused on an idea, and be mindful of it every day for an entire year.  But what I wanted to focus on just kept eluding me.

I’ve had a concept in mind…  a kinda vague idea.  Something I’ve struggled with personally for as long as I can remember, and that has driven me in a negative way for equally as long as it’s been present in my life.  But it’s not a word…  it’s a concept.

The idea that I am good enough.  It’s tough for me.  I have this need within myself to live up to the expectations of others.  I need approval.  So this is what I thought, perhaps, 2011 could be about…  learning that I am good enough.  That I don’t need to be what YOU think I should be.  That, ME, the me that I am when I’m all alone, when no-one is watching, is all I ever need to be.  That I am good enough, even when the news crew is filming, I am good enough.  That I don’t need to put on airs, that I don’t need to impress, that I just need to lay it out there…  THIS is who I am, and I am good enough.  I am accountable to me, to my daughter, and to my family, but that’s it.  I don’t need the approval of anyone else.

A good idea, right?

Yeah.  A good idea.

But it just wasn’t quite right.

So yesterday I take the idea to a trusted group of women, the MomWriters (women, writers, mothers, and allies)…  and ask them for a word.  One word that encompassed what I was trying to say.  Got lots of clever responses – as I suspected I might – but still, nothing that grabbed me and shook me and said WAKE UP GRRRL! THIS IS IT!

I’d kinda given up.  Figured lets just go with a concept.  After all, it’s the idea that counts.  It’s the concept.  It’s being mindful of one thing in your life in a way that you weren’t aware of it before.

I started browsing around online…  googling things like “no resolution”, “a word for 2011”, “no more resolutions”, etc…  didn’t find anything at all that was even remotely interesting.  In fact, I was about to turn off Firefox and go pop in a movie when a freaking explosion went off in my brain.

I don’t need to measure up to anyone’s standards, because 2011 is about PERSONAL JOY!

So there you have it.

It may not be one word, but it is exactly what I was looking for.  Exactly what I needed, what I think we all need.  So stick around with me.  The beginning of the week, and the beginning of the new year has something in store for us all – if you’re interested in joining me.

Happy New Year!

the wee girlie and I, holding a little purple paper heart

From us to you...

Our second chapter book.

Reading with my dad is one of my earliest memories.  He used to sit beside my bed and read me some of the greatest stories ever written.  It’s where my love of books began.  I still have the copies of the Lord of the Rings trilogy that he read me all those years ago.  They are beat up pretty bad, and can barely hold in their pages…  but they are very well loved, having been read again and again and again.  I hope that one day my daughter will look back on our night time reads with the same fondness, and that it will inspire her to a lifetime of adventuring.

Lily-Ann and I finished our first chapter book on December 26th.  It was an adaptation of Tangled (the new Disney princess movie based on the Rapunzel fairy tale).  We found it in her school book order, and I figured we should give it a go.

On Tuesday we picked our current read.  I first consulted my most trusted group of writerly friends (the MomWriters, an email based group of women writers of which I’ve been a member for the last ten years).  I look forward to following up on many of their recommendations.  But this go round the girlie favoured the first book in the Fairy Blossoms series by Suzanne Williams, Daisy and the Magic Lesson.

So far, we have BREEZED through the first29 pages.  Its such an easy, flowing read.  And the characters are so personable, a group of nine year old fairies just beginning at Mistress Lily’s fairy school, what could be more delightful?  I have a feeling we’ll be sticking with this series for a while.

the next chapter

tonight's chapter...

My little holiday miracle…

Some of you know about my brother Aaron, who has been missing from my life for some time.  He’s just a kid, but has made some choices (and had others hoisted upon him) that have left him very little options…  I hadn’t seen or heard from him in months.  I had no idea if he was okay, or if he was safe.  I love him very much.  No matter what has happened, he’s still my baby brother.  So I’ve been very very worried.  As of today I still worry, but at least I know he’s alive.

We were driving home from my friend Amber’s place, when Damon said sharply “Isn’t that your brother?”, his voice became urgent as he continued (after our car got closer to the figure walking down the street) “That’s Aaron!”.  He quickly pulled out of traffic and drove around the block so we could cut Aaron off at the next corner.  When Damon pulled over I bolted from the car and yelled – as Aaron was about to cross the street.

I ran to him and gave him the biggest hug EVER!  I couldn’t help but cry…  standing there on the sidewalk.  So I just hugged him even tighter.

Things haven’t been good for him, but it sounds like they may get a little better soon.  We couldn’t talk  for long – he was on his way to an appointment.  To not know if your little brother is okay or not, whether he is safe, or even if he’s alive, is impossibly difficult.  So seeing him today, getting to hold him, meant the world to me.

Damon pulled the wee girlie out of her car seat, so she got to hug and kiss her uncle too, before he had to keep trekking.  It had been so long, I honestly wasn’t sure if she’d really remember who he was.  At three kids kinda lose a lot of their cognitive memory, so the people they don’t see on a regular basis can get lost into the recesses of their mind.  But she knew who he was… and I was so grateful.

It took me about an hour after we drove off to get the tears to stop.  I will still worry, but seeing him today was the best holiday gift I could ask for.  Hopefully, having this bit of contact, will have been enough for him to remember, that no matter what has happened or will happen, we always love him, and will always be his family.

Aaron, I love you!  We love you!  Be safe, and know that you are always in our thoughts, and that if you ever need us, we are here.

a tiny, tiny, christmas orange

an itty bitty orange

 

It was library day.  And the librarian gave Lily-Ann this tiny little Christmas orange.  Like my little miracle, it was awesome.

Tonight, hold tight to those you love, and make sure they know how important they are to you.

Good Brown Gravy – Christmas Traditions

Hope everyone had a great holiday.  We always have a ton of fun, with loads of family.  I love it.

On Christmas eve it’s my parents annual “family and friends” party.  Lots of old friends, some that you haven’t seen forever, lots of family, and mountains of food.  Everyone brings something, and this year I brought home made eggnog (posted the recipe a few days ago on the blog, so if you back track you’ll  find it).  It was sooo good.  Everyone wanted to know what was in it, and everyone had seconds, thirds, and fourths.  LMAO  We played a couple dance games, as well as lots of rockband on the Wii.  It was a ton of fun.

Christmas day it was a bit of organized chaos as my parents, siblings, husband, girlie, and dogs (my parents dogs, my sisters dog, and one of ours too) all huddled beneath the tree for presents.  We ate left overs from the party, had a scrumptious salad, and just hung out all day watching movies and enjoying one anothers company.

Yesterday, boxing day, is when our extended family celebrates together.  Aunts, Uncles, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents… anyone who lives anywhere near the city… everyone meets at my parents place.  We eat a big turkey dinner, followed by mounds and mounds of pies, cakes, squares, chocolates, a gingerbread house, and more.  We play games, we visit, and we do a white elephant gift exchange game.

I absolutely love this time of year.  I adore family gatherings, and for our family, Christmas means three of them all in a row.  It fills my heart in many many ways.

Today we stopped by my parents (as if they weren’t sick of us already, having had us over the last three days in a row)…  LOL  We heated up the gravy and a bunch of the left overs, and enjoyed one last day of feasting together.  It was a real nice treat.

So… to everyone who couldn’t be there with us, we missed you.  And to all of our friends and family, we love you.  Thank you for being part of such special memories.  They are something that I will always treasure, and now, I know they are something that my daughter will also grow to love and treasure.

Merry Christmas!

heating up the turkey gravy

Mmmm.... good brown gravy.

A Lion Eating a Chihuahua!

 

A Lion Eating a Chihuahua?

NAH!

Just a Girl and Her Dog.

 

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick upload…  I’m sure I’ll have lots of photos to share in the coming days, but whether I’ll get online to upload one a day or not is a big question.  So here’s one from tonight.  At the annual family and friends Christmas Eve party.  Thank you Jamie for snapping this one for me.  It means a lot.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Wee Girlie and I.

 

Hope you all have a safe and happy weekend surrounded by your loved ones.  Make merry and a happy ho ho ho to each and every one of you.

Starting to feel better.

It was a really rough night for the Smith household…  and I’ll be honest, a pretty rough day too.  Thankfully the wee girlie’s fever broke around 2:30 this afternoon.  Too tired to post much more than that.  LOL  Sorry all, mommy running on no sleep here.

Here’s the wee girlie, after a bath to wash the sick away:

All wrapped up in a puppy-dog towel.

Home made, from scratch, egg nog…

I’m sorry everyone. No picture tonight. I had some taken, but the wee girlie isn’t feeling well so I’m trying to take as little time as possible to post.

So for your pleasure I present what is supposed to be a super awesome recipe for home made eggnog. Now. I have made this… did so tonight (before the girlie was feeling sick), but it won’t be ready to drink until tomorrow night, and we won’t be indulging until Christmas Eve. A friend made it with spiced rum even though the recipe calls for light rum, and she loved it. So we too have used spiced rum. It’s a heafty treat in more ways than one, but home made eggnog is just soooo much better than that store bought stuff.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Amazingly-Good-Eggnog/Detail.aspx

Enjoy!

Be good to one another.

Solstice Eclipse: 21-12-2010

Tonight is too special not to share… A total eclipse on Yule? It won’t happen again for another four centuries. And the night couldn’t be more beautiful. It’s crisp and cold and there’s the lightest whisper of snow falling. It truly is a gift. I needed to be refreshed and refilled, and magick is thick in the air tonight. It very surely is a blessed Yule.

12:42

12:45

1:36

Photos from the total eclipse here just couldn’t be captured. Too much haze in the air, and the moon was just far too dim. Amazing to have been there for it though. It’s an experience I hold with a spirit of gratitude. Looking forward to greeting the sun. Blessed Yule!

The Yule Tree!

Today we put up our Yule tree. Now… before you say anything, I feel the need to defend our poor little fake tree. LMAO

We live in a house with just over 600 square feet. Within this house live people, dogs, and other sundry animals (cat, parrot, turtle)… That’s a lot of life packed into not a lot of square footage. So. Would I like to have a real tree? You bet your buttocks. Can we make our space work to fit in a real tree? Uhhh… no. LOL

Our little tree is a goofy little thing. It’s half a fake tree that gets hung on the wall. It takes up a depth of about six inches. And takes up no counter space, no dresser space, no table space. It takes up no surface space at all. And for a brief time while it hangs on the wall, the only thing displaced is the calendar that usually hangs there.

So yes… While I would LOVE to have a real tree, I’ve come to love our funny little half tree thing. It works for us. 🙂

Now back to today: We put up our Yule tree. And it was the first Yule tree that the wee girlie decorated on her own. Damon sorted ornaments, I handed them to the girlie, and she placed them all – thoughtfully – where they needed to be.

This years Yule tree is not the most balanced or aesthetic one we’ve had… but I think it’s awesome.

We’ve already had several ornaments fall off, calling to the girl to come carry them back home. I’m choosing to think of it as the fun of the holidays just extending itself out to last as long as possible. Why decorate a tree in an hour when you can spend days doing so? My only hope is that none of the little glass ornaments from my childhood hit the road, as they might not be quite so forgiving. LMAO It’s a good thing there is carpet beneath the half-tree-thing.

So here is my photo for today. I’m calling it “Ode to half-faux-tree-dom”.

Ode to half-faux-tree-dom

Now I’m heading outside to see how the eclipse is coming along. Should just be getting started about now, I figure. 🙂

I may or may not be back on tomorrow with a post/picture for you all. Tomorrow is Yule after all.

Take care of one another, and may the spirit of the season warm your hearts and hearth.

%d bloggers like this: