The beginning of December is hard for me and I am never quite sure how I am going to be emotionally. December 5th marked three years since my mom's passing and the 12th is the anniversary of her service. I woke up to a heavy snowfall on December 5th and the quietness and hush that the snow brings gave me a moment of pause to think of my mom. I visited my dad on the way back from a conference that day and he is still dealing with his shock and grief at losing his wife. There is never "closure" to a loss of a loved one and the grief is always with you, although it transforms over time. In the last year, the grief has felt lighter to me and instead of despair at my mom not being here for both the little and big moments in our lives, I have been able to say to myself, "This would have made mom so happy!"
Adding to this emotionally difficult time for me is the stress of final exams for Adam and end of semester tests and assignments for Colin. There was lots of grumbling and pacing around the house in the weeks leading up to Colin's final tests on the 15th and Adam's last exam on the 19th. It is hard to be joyous with all of that hovering around and we all felt the weight lifted when tests and exams were over and eased into holidays together. Colin had time off from work due to holiday closures but Adam worked a lot over the holidays at London Drugs.
The week before Christmas is full of important life events for us...Neil and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary on the 18th by going out for dinner and seeing the movie Loving. Neil had his 53rd birthday on the 20th and even though he wasn't feeling very well, we celebrated with dinner and a delicious tiramisu cake.
On a dark rainy afternoon just before Christmas, Colin did his road test and passed! He now has his N and is looking at cars to buy! It was one of those milestone moments and I will never for get the proud smile on his face when he told us he passed and there were hugs all around.
I love going and choosing our tree each year. When the boys were younger we would go to the lot where we could cut down a tree, and then enjoy apple cider and hot dogs roasted over the fire. This year, we went to the same lot but just chose a pre-cut tree. As we walked around and compared tree types, heights and shapes, our eyes fell on a tree and we kind of just agreed on it together. We enjoyed the fire and apple cider and the drive home, listening to see if the tree was shifting around up on the roof. The stories coming from traditions are such a big part of Christmas.
We decorated the tree over a few days, grabbing moments for each of us to add some ornaments when we were home. The tree going up and the house being filled with the smell of an evergreen signals that Christmas is near.
Some images from Christmas around here...
We celebrated with the Kamide family on Christmas Eve and the Novakowski family on Christmas evening. Colin was a huge help in the kitchen, helping to prepare the food and plating our desserts for both evenings.
The downtime between Christmas and New Year's was full of time with friends, movies, shows, skiing, playing in the kitchen, reading and sleeping in. The boys both headed out with friends for New Year's Eve which made me sigh...I miss our family evenings full of fun food and games all night.
Neil and I enjoyed a New Year's Eve walk through snowy Steveston, dinner and a quiet evening. Light and love all around. Happy New Year...looking forward to 2017!