Happy New Year! I can’t believe it is already 2013! The past two weeks flew by at light speed, not to mention the entire year of 2012! Our New Year’s was pretty low-key. Since we got in late the night before (without our luggage), we were all pretty tired. After we put Keenan to bed, my husband and I made a nice dinner, starting with a wonderful truffle goat and sheep cheese, homemade guacamole (I was craving it for some reason!), burgers with tater tots. A complete splurge, but SO worth it! To go along with it, we enjoyed a nice bottle of wine that we had been saving for a special occasion. We rented a couple of movies, but ended up being too tired to watch them, thus falling asleep before midnight!
Sorry I was MIA the past couple of weeks. I didn’t have access to a computer while we were staying at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s house, so I could only use my phone to post things to Facebook and Twitter. I hope that my quick updates and pictures kept you interested! Though it was nice to be “unplugged” and enjoy quality family time, I’m looking forward to my Christmas gift to myself that is on its way…a new laptop! Our old laptop crashed several months ago, so I have been limited to using our desktop computer, which has been an issue when my husband needs to use it, in addition to not being able to travel with it. It will be SO nice to have my own computer and be able to take it with me! I’m SUPER excited (if you can’t already tell)!
Now, onto our holiday festivities and the last couple of weeks (I apologize for the long post in advance!):
We had a great time at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s house. The flights to Montreal were okay. Keenan did pretty well on the first flight, playing with his toys, doing stickers and watching episodes of “Elmo’s World” and “Timmy Time.” The second flight was probably one of Keenan’s worst flights. He didn’t sleep at all on the first flight and he was exhausted. He was also tired of being on an airplane all day, so he had a meltdown as soon as we boarded the plane from Washington D.C. to Montreal. My husband and I both tried to calm him down, using distractions, but nothing seemed to work, until I left him alone to cry it out and he finally calmed down on his own. I felt bad for the people around us, because we were “those parents” on the plane that we swore (prior to having Keenan) we would never be! I definitely learned never to say never! Anyhow, we arrived safely in Montreal, which was more important.
The day after we arrived, it snowed and left a nice blanket of fresh powder everywhere, perfect for playing! Since Keenan had never seen snow before, he was SO excited to go outside and play in it! It was fun to see his reaction; he was truly in awe of it, as well as not quite sure what to do with it. He quickly learned how to make snowballs from his cousin, as well as how to shovel it (which he seemed to always want to do when we played outside). It was too cute! We made a snowman family, snow angels, and my brother and I enjoyed some wrestling in the snow, just like when we were kids.
We also enjoyed an afternoon of making gingerbread cookies and reading the story of “The Gingerbread Man.” Instead of decorating his gingerbread men with mini m&ms, Keenan just kept eating them straight out of the bag! I kept telling him to put the m&ms on his cookies, but he only wanted to eat them!
On Saturday before Christmas, the girls enjoyed an afternoon seeing the “Nutcracker.” It was my niece’s first time seeing it, so she was VERY excited to see it! She also takes ballet, so she couldn’t wait to see all of the dancing. I hadn’t seen it since I was a little girl, so it was fun to see it again, especially through my niece’s eyes. I look forward to taking Keenan to see it when he is a little older.
On Christmas Eve, we did something different, a tradition in my sister-in-law’s family: A progressive dinner, going to a different house for each course. Prior to my sister-in-law telling me about their tradition, I hadn’t heard of a progressive dinner. We started off at my sister-in-law’s parents’ house for appetizers and Prosecco, followed by my brother’s and sister-in-law’s house for the main course of homemade pappardelle (thanks to my husband!) with a wild boar sauce (my sister-in-law did an excellent job with it!) and an arugula salad. We ended the evening at my sister-in-law’s sister’s house for a wonderful assortment of cookies, candy and a delightful chocolate mocha cake! Each house was within walking distance, so you could walk to each one. It was definitely a new experience and a new twist on Christmas Eve dinner. It was fun to be able to walk to each house, getting a little exercise before indulging in the next course of yummy food, but it was also nice that one person (or household) didn’t have the pressure of cooking the entire meal. At times it felt a little rushed, as just as you were starting to get comfortable, it was time to head to the next house. All, in all, it was a fun evening and we enjoyed lots of great food!
For Christmas, we enjoyed a relaxing morning of opening gifts and the kids finding what Santa brought them (so fun!). For breakfast, my sister-in-law bought chocolate croissants for everyone, which we enjoyed with eggnog lattes! It was a beautiful morning. After Keenan and my niece woke up from their naps, we went to church at the oldest church in Montreal (probably one of the most beautiful churches I have been in!), in fact, it was the church in which Celion Dion was married. For dinner, my mom made our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, in honor of Grandma Rose. We enjoyed delicious steaks, fried potatoes, sauteed spinach with garlic and olive oil, artichoke torta and salad, followed by my mom’s homemade apple pie for dessert. It was yummy!
Since it snowed on Christmas, the day after was a perfect day to go sledding (though EXTREMELY cold!). Keenan had a blast going down the hill with me, my husband and Uncle E! He just laughed the whole way down the hill. I can’t wait to take him tubing up in the mountains here, since he had so much fun in Montreal!
On the 27th of December, we were supposed to fly home, but there was a massive snow storm, literally dumping snow. Montreal received 45 centimeters (under 18 inches) that day (the record is 47!). Needless to say, the airport shut down and all flights were cancelled. Since everyone was in the same boat as we were, the earliest flights home that we could get on were three days later. It was nice to spend a few more days together. Fortunately, the day we flew home, the 30th, was clear and sunny, so we had no problem flying out. Our flight was still a little delayed, which made it very tight for us to catch our connecting flight in Washington, D.C. We literally had 10 minutes to catch our other flight. My husband jetted off the plane and ran to the other flight, so they would hold the plane until my mom, dad, Keenan and I arrived. I had never experienced such a tight connection, and boy, was it stressful, especially since our original flights were cancelled three days before and all we wanted to do was get home! All, in all, we made it home to California, safe and sound, and Keenan was a champ! He did very well, a hundred times better on both flights home. In fact, he remembered that he needed to buckle his seat belt and keep it buckled when the seat belt sign was on (something we tried to teach him on the flights to Montreal, but he wasn’t interested in learning at the time!).
As for working out, I was able to fit in a couple of workouts, mini CrossFit WODs that I did in my brother’s and sister-in-law’s basement. The first WOD was: 200 jumping jacks, 100 air squats, 100 jump squats, 100 hollow rocks, 50 sit-ups and 50 push ups. The second WOD was max burpees in 7 minutes followed by 100 hollow rocks and 50 sit ups. I know it wasn’t much, but I’m glad I was able to at least do something! My husband shoveled snow, so he claimed that he got his workouts.
We had some great times the past couple of weeks, making new memories (good, and some not so good!) and best of all, the quality family time we all had together was priceless. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It is so crucial to take some time to “unplug” from your cell phone, computer, ipad, etc. and cherish each and every moment with your loved ones. What is happening with your friends or on the “interwebs” is really not that important in the grand scheme of things, and can wait for another time. The time spent with loved ones is something you can’t make up, so appreciate and savor it while you can. You never know what can happen tomorrow…
As we start the new year, I have many thoughts about goals I want to accomplish and opportunities I want to take. The new year gives a fresh start and offers lots of possibilities–it just depends on where you want to take them. I look forward to sharing my goals and intentions for 2013 with you soon!
Happy New Year!
Questions: When do you take time to truly “unplug?” What kinds of family activities did you do over the holidays? What goodies did you indulge in over the holidays? I definitely ate my share of gingerbread cookies and my mom’s famous candy! Heading back to the box, today, felt SO good! I definitely needed to burn off all of those calories I consumed during the past couple of weeks.