On this night, in this place, I am grateful for so many things. Like so many things lately, our plans this Christmas were complicated by forces out of our control. Vancouver got a dumping of winter like none we had seen. Canadians to the east of us laugh when we're forced to show how ill-equipped we are to deal with weather the rest of the country calls a season, and we are so ill-prepared. When it snows the city shuts down - when it snows a lot, we Vancouverites go a little crazy. We take our sports cars out and spend more time stuck than not1. We trudge three kilometres through mostly un-shovelled neighbourhoods, pushing a bored toddler in a weather-inappropriate stroller2. We spend hours being "good samaritans" and shovelling our neighbours' walks, our only reward being a full body workout and lots of wet pant legs3.
We do all that and we have a ball. I am so grateful to live a life where no amount of bullshit can keep us from looking out for one another.
our neighbour shovelling us out this morning as we left to catch a ferry
my amazingly tolerant and adorable children who have rolled with every change in direction with as much grace as I could ever hope for, despite both feeling less than great (two words: snot city)
my incredibly determined father who wouldn't let a little thing like 50cm of snow stop him from bringing dinner and family (two of my younger sisters) to his much less determined daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, even though it took two hours to make it 3.2km
my three wonderful, beautiful younger sisters who get all the fallout (and benefit) of my missteps, mishaps and random acts of rebellion
my patient, loving, amazing husband who spent his days off work keeping our neighbours' sidewalks as clear as our own
my generous in-laws, who showered us in food, love and gifts and who kept the faith that we would make it here eventually
my faith that there is nothing out there we can't handle
my mother, who always told me that there was nothing out there I couldn't handle
and finally figuring out that being able to handle things doesn't mean I handle them alone.
1. see #5 2. that was me after the first big dump - after we got home I unearthed our pull-behind baby sled. The only issue now is figuring out who gets to ride in it. 3.see #7
I went through a bunch of my unfinished posts, there's some good stuff in there. Most of the stuff that made it up onto the blog consisted of proving that I am still alive and reasonably sane.
My life's been like that, too - just seeing people enough that they know I'm still here. And boy am I here - I've gained a load of weight since July... plus I was drinking too much and smoking ½ a pack a day. I've been miserable.
Having Andrew home all the time was more trying than freeing, mostly because I am pretty Type A and having him home threw what was already household chaos into a thrilling, but exhausting exercise in the unknown.
We were contemplating both working, or me working, or him working, or not working at all, and when the dust finally settled, Andrew will be the main bread-winner and I will try and contribute as much as I can. I don't want to get him canned by talking about anything (you never know these days) - but this is a pretty effing awesome job. There is some guarantee that the position will last until Winter 2010; the pay is less than market*, but it's a high-profile gig that'll look wicked on his CV; and we'll get benefits after 3 months.
I have postponed the possibility of paid work, but Sbux liked me enough to want me to call them back when we know that we could swing some kind of child-care arrangement. It is good, I wasn't sure we'd make it work as a two-job family. I have a feeling my kids would attach pretty strongly to the people in their lives not stressed out and irritable. Besides, I was really rocking this homemaker gig until Sean died.
Yeah, it is still bothering me.
Back to my rocking. I have been working hard on a few things, like a control binder, based on the FlyLady zone system, but adapted to our family and printed up nicely in a pretty binder (even the section tabs are lovely - this has been a year-long labour of love). I've also been thinking about a curriculum for my intrepid explorer - he is not in preschool, yes, we will likely put him in next year, (if we can afford to - that's the one bit I leave off when talking to the parents at the playground) - I want to dedicate an hour a day to "school" which will be a time to discuss the things we've seen on our trips out (every day), do crafts, practice writing & reading, et. cetera.
Oh and, we've been eating all kinds of crapola - so that's another bit I'm working on. Meal plans, I always start out with the best of intentions - luckily, we are WAY broke, so it is home-cooking or nothing.
Speaking of broke - let me tell you how much I loved Circle Craft this year. I got most of my gifts, or what I need to make gifts, at the fair this year. I spent (very) modestly and had a great time. Plus I feel warm and fuzzy about my purchases.
Hmm... I guess that sums things up.
Mom, if you're reading this, send money!!
*or it would have been a few months ago, with all those lay-offs I suppose we don't have a clue what the market is going to look like going forward.