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A big part of why I blog is to remember all the little life moments that make my life mine and, well, in moments, wonderful.

So here’s everything I loved about our Christmas and New Years and my two weeks off from work home with the kids.

I’m thankful for being able to honour many Christmas traditions. Like making gingerbread (thankful #1):

Gingerbread_collage

We had a kit that someone had given us for Halloween. But still gingerbread, right?

We of course also visited Santa, hung stockings, had advent calendars … It was also the first year our two-year-old really understood and remembered Christmas and I am so thankful I got to see it through her eyes (thankful #2). She played by our Christmas tree for hours redecorating and was enchanted by every tree and set of lights she saw.

I was thankful for two weeks off with my girls (thankful #3). Not gonna lie – it was at times exhausting – but I loved all the time we got to spend together.

I love that THIS equated to Elf on a Shelf chez-nous (thankful #4):

I know. We did it wrong. But it was SO. MUCH. FUN. With a cupcake decoration. The end.

I know. We did it wrong. But it was SO. MUCH. FUN. With a cupcake decoration. The end.

My daughters and I bought grocery story cupcakes one afternoon. Most came decorated with little Christmas themed trinket rings except the one my youngest first picked. My eldest sported her Santa ring. My youngest had this little gingerbread guy. I thought there would be drama … but no. Instead, she found places he might like to hang out.

I’m thankful for time at the gym with my daughters over the holidays (thankful #5). We got into a bit of a groove of lazy mornings and, once those started to wear thin, stretched out visits to the gym involving an hour workout for me, followed by shower and reading time for about an hour, followed by picking up my girls from two hours of fun at playcare, followed by a “late ladies lunch” together at the gym café. It even sometimes went almost as smoothly as that sounds.

I’m thankful for time with family (thankful #6). For Christmas Eve we visited my husband’s family in Quebec. His brother had almost 30 friends and family over for an intimate dinner in his garage.

Yup. Garage.  My eldest brother-in-law hunts, so he has a big garage to house ski-doos, guns, and has a whole room in there to butcher stuff.

I believe that last year on this blog, I commented that if Dexter was considering another season and location change, they might try there.

It’s come a long way since then. There’s even an indoor bathroom and full kitchen, making it pretty perfect for large entertaining. My parents came up too, which was extra nice.

However, all that garage glamour didn’t stop me from taking a few “I think this is funny because I’m a city girl” photos of my girls favourite stuffed animals out and about with the decorative taxidermy.

Wildlife_fun

I’m thankful my five-year-old is old enough for simple board and card games (thankful #7). Santa brought Candyland and Uno Moo! for Christmas and we’ve been playing those and Go Fish! pretty much all holiday. I love her excitement over the games and the amusing conversations had during play. Like this one with my gloating five-year-old who is about to win at Candyland:

Her: I’m going to win!  Oh yeah! Ohyeahohyeahohyeah! And you’re going to looooooosssse….

Me: Game’s not over yet. Do you know what they say comes before the fall?

Her: Summer.

I didn’t really have a response.

I’m thankful for all the time I had this holiday to read (thankful #8). I haven’t read this much in years and I think it’s currently a toss-up between my local library and Goodreads as to who is my new BFF.

Either way, I’ve been touring local libraries to find specific books; reading in those lazy mornings; reading at the gym (sometimes reading on the elliptical and counting that as a workout); and I even finally figured out how to use my Kobo and borrowed and read my first e-book from the library (Richelle Mead made me do it). I have a to read list long enough to make me a little nervous that I’m going to burn out or (sadly) simply run out of time to read everything I suddenly want to read. To quote one of the books I just finished:

How perplexing it is, to have so little time, and only a small portion of it begrudged to one. Desires, learning, hope – all of them pale in the face of time. And yet, we are so profligate with what is most precious, that we spend vast amounts of it amusing others at our own expense.

– pg 177 Hotel Translyvania, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Here it’s the main female character shooting down a prospective suitor, but it rang true. I might have zoned in on this because I’ve been thinking a lot about time – how I use it; how precious it is … heck I just did a musical post on the topic. Either way, the book was okay, but I love that quote. I will aim to be less profligate with what is most precious.

I’m thankful for good friends, a very laid back New Year’s Eve, and Tarzan (thankful #9). With young kids it’s hard to go out for New Year’s, so we hosted good friends who also have two young kids on New Year’s Eve. We had a good dinner and evening with them, and then, once they left, settled in for a family movie night with Disney Tarzan. We rang in the new year on the couch with a bit of champagne and some fizzy water in a champagne flute for our five-year-old.

I’m thankful that some of my blog learning got put to good family use this Christmas (thankful #10). About a week before Christmas I got a message from my sister-in-law asking for pictures so we could put together a scrapbooking gift for my niece. We were informed we were to send cowboy and horse themed photos because she’s currently really into horses.

We aren’t.

Given that, I put together a collection of non-cowboy themed photos so she’d have some of our family to use, and then Picmonkeyed these two for her:

horses_2

Left: my eldest riding a horse (about a year old); Right: both daughters feeding the Pegasus unicorns last summer.

I’m pretty proud of my efforts.

ef3ca-tenthingsbannerSo that’s my thankful as I end two wonderful weeks home from work unwinding with family and friends.

Linking up with Lizzi and her Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop.

Weekends were I skip it. Join in and share what you are thankful for.

Happy New Year!

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