Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Reminiscing

It's interesting that we call this day New Year's Eve instead of something like Last Day. I like the hopefulness of the name of today, looking forward into a new year instead of mourning the end of another one.

Today isn't just the last day of the year but the last day of the decade too. I look back on the decade with amazement of where I was and where I am today.

I started the year 2000 with my first day on a new job and now I'm celebrating my 10th anniversary with the same company. I've gone from rookie to top designer and created a fabulous career that is very fulfilling to me on many different levels.

In 2000 my children were young teenagers, and now they're married adults with exciting lives and futures. It's amazing to me that I single handedly got them through high school and into university and married off to wonderful spouses. I even survived the two years my son spent in Argentina as a missionary working in sometimes dangerous conditions.

The decade was an interesting one in the relationship department. Getting my heart broken several times from less than honourable men has taught me enormous lessons that will stand me in good stead for the rest of my life. However, this decade also brought me an abundance of wonderful women whom I consider my closest and dearest friends. They would each count as a priceless jewel in my crown of life.

This past decade I did a lot things for the first time, things that took me out of my comfort zone and moved me forward towards becoming the woman I want to be:

· Traveling to Italy with my mother for two weeks was an amazing experience and a chance to bond with my mother.

· Buying a brand new car and a house by myself, without my parents co-signing any loans was a big step in independence as a single woman.

· Taking private singing lessons and joining a choir, discovering a passion for singing and even a little bit of talent.

· Joining Toastmasters and learning to be a better public speaker.

· Growing out my grey hair and celebrating the platinum side of life.

· Organizing a huge 50th anniversary surprise party for my parents long distance and pulling it off more successfully then imagined.

· Becoming the editor of my community newsletter, a 32 page monthly magazine.

· Touring the eastern provinces of Canada for two weeks with my parents and seeing first hand the glorious fall colours and the Atlantic ocean.

· Starting my own interior design business on the side and running it successfully for the last 8 years.

· Learning to travel as a single woman, staying in hotels and eating alone and feeling comfortable doing it.

· Learning how to pull start my own gas mower without dislocating my shoulder!

· Painting my garden shed all by myself.

· Starting this blog!

All in all, becoming a grandmother will rate as the number one highlight of this past decade.

Now I turn and look forward to the next decade and wonder where I'll be in 10 years! Oh the exciting possibilities!

Come on 2010 - I am so ready for you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let It Snow

The snow has fallen all day, and the mountain tops are frosted half way down. My parents live about half way down the mountain and we are tucked cozily in the house watching the flakes drift down. We've seen Flickers, Woodpeckers, Robins, and Finches feasting on the elderberries outside the living room window. It's a winter paradise here!

I am relaxing and enjoying the company, recharging my batteries and getting ready for a fabulous 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Spent the day with my mom learning how to use the new Roots4 Magic genealogy program. The Internet is a wonderful source of information for genealogists. I was skipping around in looking at census records way back in the 1800s.

I remember way back in the early 80's when I was interested in searching out my ancestors, I had to go to the genealogy library and order microfilms, then wait several weeks for them to arrive, then go back to the library and sit at a microfiche reader and scroll through thousands of hand written entries.

I'm grateful for technological advances that make this fun hobbie so much easier! And for my mom and her dedication to finding all of our lost relatives.

Monday, December 28, 2009

52 Years!

This evening I celebrated with my parents their 52nd wedding anniversary. I really admire them for the wonderful example they are to their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I am grateful for the stability and anchor they have been in my life, always there if I need them, together, stalwart and true to each other. This is a great blessing in my life.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Little Church in the Woods

Off to the little church my parents attend. It was so quiet! The church I attend in Calgary has 100 children in the Primary (ages 3 - 11) and about 3 nurseries for babies 18 months to 3 years old.

I do love attending church and worshipping God and Jesus Christ, no matter where I am in the world. I feel so warm and loved and grateful to have a testimony of the goodness of God and his love for me.

And  no, the church isn't really in the woods, but it sounded like a cool title ;)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Daddy Fix

Today I went Boxing Day shopping with my mother. Boxing Day in a little town is a treat from big city chaos. We parked easily, found shopping carts, and mostly bought our things without standing in line. Every time I visit here I wonder why I live in the big city...but then I remember my children and grandchildren, not to mention many dear friends in Calgary...I will be there for a while longer.

My father fixed a broken button in my car with an ingenious solution, fixed my laptop by reducing the clutter on my hard drive by 40% and is cutting down the legs on my favourite stool that I brought to his "daddy fix" workshop all the way from Calgary.

I am enjoying my vacation immensely!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Joys Again

Ah yes, Christmas with my parents today, it's been many years since I last spent Christmas with them, and never just the three of us together before today. It's been a relaxing day, one of peace and joy. I'm very glad I'm here in their home, my childhood home. I'm extremely grateful for my parents, for the choices they made in their lives that have profoundly affected my life for good and where I am today. I feel blessed to be part of this family and to share my lives with them.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Here I am in Nelson, BC. I took this picture (above) this afternoon looking down the Kootenay Lake towards the north shore. This is my home town, the place I come back to every year to relax and rejuvenate my soul. The picture below is of Mount Nelson just this afternoon. It's the mountain I can see out my parent's living room window, the one I grew up seeing everyday.                                                    

This evening we had three missionaries join us for Christmas Eve dinner. We brought out the Christmas crackers and taught them a Canadian Christmas tradition. After dinner we sang Christmas carols while one of them strummed a ukelele. Then my dad read the Christmas story from Luke. I am so thankful to be here for Christmas celebrating Christ's birth with my parents. I am experiencing peace on earth first hand. mmMMmmMMmm

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Beautiful Rocky Mountains

I have arrived safely in beautiful British Columbia to spend the next eight days relaxing at my parent's home. Driving through the Rocky Mountains with the sun shining on the mountain tops is a glorious experience. Here is a picture of Castle Mountain. No matter how many times I drive through the Rockies, and I've done it probably close to one hundred times, I always get a special rush seeing "my" mountains. I definately consider myself a mountain girl. You can take the girl out of the mountains, but you can't take the mountains out of the girl!

Saw a young elk with a small rack of antlers and quite a few mountain sheep along the highway. I'm always on the lookout for wildlife, as they frequent the roadsides. What a wonderful place to live!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Good Business Practices

I spent the day in a meeting with the president of the company I work for. He outlined the strategic moves they had made before and during the recession to keep the company in the black. I have such a sense of admiration for him and gratitude for his business acumen that has kept this company afloat while our competitors are falling by the wayside. 

It feels good and right to work for this company, I'm thankful for my career with them these past ten years, and hope to continue with them for many more.

I like the optimism that he expresses for the future, it's certainly what I feel down here at ground level, things are turning around and getting better every day!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Absolutely totally completely divinely blessed.

The president of the company I work for flew in from Vancouver tonight to take our staff out to dinner. We dined at Osteria de Medici in Kensington, a lovely place with exquisite food. Their bruschetta comes as a complementary appetizer, it's so fresh and delicious. Osteria de Medici is recognized as one of Canada's premier fine dining establishments and one where celebrities like to hang out. We didn’t see any celebrities, except ourselves!

Our office is the top selling office and I was recognized as the top designer in Canada for the second year in a row. There is deep satisfaction in creating beautiful homes and helping them go from dream to reality, bigger and better than I ever conceived when I first drew them on my computer. I am truly blessed to have a career that I feel passionate about and adore. Absolutely totally completely divinely blessed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Joys

Today I went to Church alone, as I usually do, but I was wishing I was surrounded by my family on this Christmas Sunday. Just before the service started I received an instant message from my daughter saying, “We’ll be there in 10 minutes, save us a pew at the back of the church.” I was sitting four rows from the front, so quickly gathered my things and headed to the back. I had tears of joy in my eyes, because I knew it was a great sacrifice for her and her husband to bring their two little ones across the city to attend church with me, after already attending their own church and a friend’s church too. Three church services in one day is a real commitment on their part to be there for the people they love. I was deeply touched to have them there with me today.

I sang in the choir, Away in a Manger, as well as in the women’s chorus, Christ Child, Christ Child. I love singing Christmas Carols more than any other genre of music.

Opening their very first gifts.

I spent the afternoon surrounded by my children and grandchildren as we celebrated Christmas together. My greatest blessing in life is my family: parents, siblings, children and their spouses and grandchildren. What a joyful time! What a beautiful day!

The beautiful princess tries on one of her new gowns.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Nutcracker Ballet

A delightful evening spent with my dear friend Deb dining on scallops with risotto at Vero Bistro Moderne in Kensington and then off to the Nutcracker ballet at the Jubilee.  I’m amazed and awed by the beauty of the human body as it dances, the flex of the muscles and graceful movements that tell a story without every uttering a word. The costumes were spectacular and the scenery divine.

Good food, good seats, good companionship.  I am so blessed to have friends who love me and share my interests, whose company I enjoy. I feel enriched. Life is good!

Today is the day before Christmas!

Well, in my world anyway. My children and grandchildren are coming over tomorrow to spend the day as if it were Christmas: opening presents, eating turkey, singing Christmas carols, just as if it were the 25th. I’ll be heading off to spend Christmas with my parents and my children have their in-laws to visit on Christmas day, so tomorrow is our special day to celebrate the birth of Christ together as a family.

I’m spending today finding joy in all the preparations that go into a festive turkey dinner and gift opening. The presents are wrapped, and as usual, I bought more presents than I remembered. I’m so grateful for the means and ability to buy gifts for my loved ones.