December Success

Christmas Eve, the day all the children wait for. Presents wrapped, cookies baked, gifts made and meals planned. Today we watch Christmas movies and snuggle on the couch waiting for tomorrow to arrive. Later  a supper with family close and  far and our Christmas is complete.

Surprisingly, I can say I’m ready for Christmas. After such a busy busy December I honestly don’t know how I did it all and have a cold (from which I lost my voice), and still feel ready and enjoy the day without rushing about. I even did a few last minute batches of fudge and cookies today. I managed to make 6 Christmas stockings, 5 teacher gifts, 2 grandma gifts, 7 arm knit scarfs, all the toy shopping and many many batches of cookies. Now to some of you this may be a normal year, but for me this was a big success. I have tried for many years to try and cut back Christmas buying with handmade gifts as I do have many skills if only I have the time. Well this year I MADE time and I’m very proud of what I’ve done. I think my husband is too.

But to me the real success of Christmas is sharing the spirit of Christmas with Friends and Family. The joy, laughter, giving, food and goodies and love of the season is the greatest gift of all. If you can manage to share in just a little bit of the spirit of Christmas then I think that’s the real success. We can get so caught up in the commercial part of Christmas that we forget what it’s really about. So this Christmas Eve take a moment to look around at the ones you love and share a smile, create a memory and enjoy the simple joys. Be thankful for what you have.

It’s been a very big learning year for me and this Christmas is so peaceful and pleasant, this year that is what I’m thankful for. I’ve given of myself and it fills me with peace. That is a big December success! I hope your Christmas is beautiful too, Merry Christmas everyone!

Advertisements

November Christmas

Yes you read that right, I wrote November, not December. It’s very snowy and chilly here and feels more like the beginning  of December and that Christmas is upon us. Although I discovered it’s not a bad thing that it feels like Christmas for it’s put me in the right mood and the planning has begun.

As I looked at my calendar this past week, and sat down with my cookie recipe book, I realized that when you have kids and family and events to go to, Christmas starts earlier every year. I’ve got Christmas gifts to make, Cookies to bake, Events to plan, Shoeboxes to pack, cards to send out, and most of that before the first week of December. So for me Christmas starts in November as both my freezer and sewing machine will believe. I’m sure there are some people who do Christmas stuff all year round, but my house is too busy for that right now. Maybe when I retire. Some of my projects will wait till the calendar flips it’s page, but I like to get ahead of the game. Even if I just have a tippy-toe in the door of a project now, I feel I’ve got a plan on how to tackle it.

So today I’m going upstairs to bake more cookies for the freezer. Plus the oven will help heat up the house. Today I’m decorating Christmas tree cookies, trying my hand at peppermint cookies, testing out a recipe and modifying a new found favorite.   I hope my husband like sugar cookies for supper, I know my daughter wont mind. LOL. No I’ll get some real food on the table too.

 

 

2013 – Hello, Good-bye.

Today is January 1, 2013, and I’ll admit I am quite happy to say Hello to the New Year and Good-bye to the Old one. Although 2012 brought many wonderful things into my life, it’s been filled with small challenges that I am glad to be rid of. But I’m choosing not to dwell on those things and to instead remember the positive memories of 2012 and what is yet to come.

Amongst the best parts of 2012 were the birth of my baby boy in May, and the beginning of my Doula journey, Renovations on our house and the feeling that I am right where I’m suppose to be. Another way to say it is I finally feel like I’m coming into my own.  My cooking/baking has much improved, and my daughters are benefiting from my time at home with them, as is my husband. I guess it hasn’t been that bad of a year after-all eh?

As I was gathered with friends and family this New Years Eve and New Years Day, I felt truly happy and truly blessed. I have a wonderful family, both natural and “adopted”, and wonderful friends both close and far-away. And I am very thankful to be surrounded by love. To see the smile on my friends face, to hear a child giggle, to share stories from the past,  snooping through old photos, seeing life take shape in a growing belly and to watch my 8month old try to walk. These are joys you can not buy.  These are beautiful blessings.

I hope that 2013 is filled with those blessings and many many more, for me, my family, my friends and for you. Happy New Year!

Christmas 2012

Well I finally feel like it’s  Christmas time. The Tree is up, the carols are playing in the background, Christmas gifts are being wrapped, and Family gatherings have begun. This past weekend we spent two wonderful days with family. Good food, good people,good news and great memories.

As I have gotten older, I really cherish that part of Christmas. The gathering’s, the family traditions, the giving. Yes, I really enjoy finding a great gift and giving more then receiving. I am in the process of trying to teach my eldest daughter just that. And I am also learning that giving does not mean spending lots of money. Sometimes a simple homemade gift or baking is just as nice, if not better, cause it was made with love.  Giving of our time is also a wonderful thing, like some of my family did last week. We helped sort Shoeboxes at the Wearhouse in Calgary for Samaritan’s Purse. Giving our time to this charity felt wonderful, it certainly helped put me in the Christmas mood.

This Christmas will be a first for our baby boy, so that’s always exciting. This year we get to share the joy with our growing family and Christmas with kids is very joyful. It’s the joy in their eyes I look forward to on Christmas morning. Being able to spend the day with my Family, just like I did with my own family as a kid,  means so much to me and this year is special again. I hope that I can pass on the importance of family to my own children.

Now I’ll admit that this time of year brings some stress too. Busy-ness, Sickness, Finances, End of the year just to name a few. Busy-nes; Trying to fit everything in, visiting and shopping, baking, decorating etc… can get a bit hectic. So trying to slow things down and enjoy the moments helps. This year for us seems more relaxed and I will enjoy that I think. It will allow us to think about what Christmas is really all about and try to bring that out more. Sickness; Winter is flu season, and our house has had it twice. It’s hard to get things done when you are tired and cant stop sneezing from that silly cold. My Poor Husband.  Finances; I don’t think I need to say much about this one, but that every year I try to spend less on gifts. Still it can be a stressful time on your bank account. End of Year; Christmas means the year is almost done, and a new one around the corner. Sometimes that is good, sometimes it is bad. I lately have been thinking about all the things that didn’t get done this year, and how nice it would be to do one more project before 2013 rolls around. Oh well, so instead I’ll focus on Christmas 2012. For the next two weeks, I’m going to go easy on my self, do what I can, and just enjoy what the season has to bring.  Family Dinners, visit’s with friends, parties and Christmas Concerts. It’s going to be a wonderful Christmas season.

Plus, I’ve perfected my crockpot yam recipe, and my mom has requested it for Family Christmas. That’s really neat. Boy I’ve come along way this year. Here’s to a Merry Christmas to everyone and to growth and Joy in 2013.  May God bless your home and your heart. From all of Us here at the Duquette house.

School time, Play time.

Yesterday was a big day for Caitlin. Off we go to School, well playschool.  She  was really excited and ready to join her sister in the school day routine. (Well on Monday and Wednesday anyway) She was also excited that Daegan would  be there and Ally too.  Caitlin was really good when I dropped her off and she told me she had a good time. She would later tell her dad it was bad, because one of the other girls wanted her mommy. (She’s very sensitive to other peoples emotions, and always wants to help make you feel better).  But she survived the three hours and this morning asked if she had playschool today, so that’s a good sign.

But how did this happen, when did I get two kids old enough for school?

I know it’s only playschool, but still before I know it Caitlin will be starting grade 1.  With Deanna in Grade 2 already, and Caitlin doing pre-school,  I know I have truly grown up. I am a school mom and that’s okay with me!

So we celebrated the school day with some playtime and made cookies with my cookie press. Then decorated them with colored icing and sprinkles. I also tried out a new perogie casserole dinner. I have discovered that I actually enjoy cooking and baking, a task I avoided at all costs for about the first 7 years of our marriage.  And I’ve realized that if I just give cooking a try I can be good at it. Although I do have a rib bone story that I swore was Karma telling me not to cook, but that’s for another time.  Anyway Deanna and I have decided that everyday  after school, that she will help me make something, because I want to make sure that my kids know how to cook and bake, and be safe in the kitchen. Plus it will give me some quality time with my oldest daughter who I am certain is growing up too fast and often gets left to fend for herself, so I can nurse the baby.

Yes I am a school mom, and housewife, and I’ve got many more years of that ahead of me, so I’m going to make the best of it and enjoy making lunches and dirtying my kitchen.