out with the old...

the end of the year is near and I welcome it.  sorry!  I am ready for 2009!  I usually procrastinate about everything, but not this.  bring it!

this past year has been quite the "full meal deal" if you will.

I saw my father go from in pain to in the hospital and then bounce back to that energetic man that I remember from so long ago.  he rode his bike again and despite the boy shorts, black socks and dress shoes he was out on his bike!  

I saw my mother go from fairly healthy to steadily increasing pain which she is still battling.  I have to give it to her - she is a trooper and she is willing to try everything to feel better.  my wish for her is that 2009 brings her some relief.

my wish for both of them is that they are healthy enough to make a trip to italy next summer.

speaking of italy I was fortunate to have my uncle here from italy here for over six months. he is my fave and I enjoyed every single second of his visit. we spent more time together than we ever had due to my dad being in the hospital. I talked to him about worries that I had with my parents and he reassured me about a lot of things. love that guy!

I lost two family members this year.  one cousin to breast cancer.  mary battled a long time and she fought hard.  cancer won and that makes me mad!  I also lost my uncle to cancer.  his battle was short and in some ways people might think that is the better way to go.  either way it is the cancer that beat them and I will continue to do my part to help find a cure for this disease.

my one and only son graduated high school this year.  that in itself was a relief.  ha!  I knew he could do it and I also knew he was ready to be done with it.  he was one of those bright children who were bored in school long before anyone figured out they were bored.  now he is working on what he wants to do and where he would like to end up doing it.  all in all he is a great kid who amazes me on a daily basis.  

my wish for him is that he takes what gives him passion and makes a living doing it.  his will be an interesting life.  I know that for sure.

I saw my better half shine his way through the sale of a business and cross the finish line of his first marathon. each instance required dedication, determination and commitment. I knew he could do it and I needed him to see that he could do it.

my wish for him in 2009 is that his ticker keeps on ticking and he takes more time to do the things he loves to do.

and me? I was a rock star this year! my whirlwind tour began february here in edmonton with a week of babysitting my two nieces. what fun and how lucky was I? in april I was off to north carolina for inspired. I was overwhelmed by the talent and all the people I met. I learned so much and have so many wonderful memories.

I traveled to airdrie in may with laurie to teach workshops. we had quite the adventure. between no bottled water in the hotel and jumping balconies. mind you we always manage to put smiles on our faces and carry on.

then it was off to dawson creek in june for our first summer solstice party. we laughed, played games and stayed awake to watch the sun come up. it was so much fun.

in august I was given a trip to chicago for my birthday. I have never been so stunned in my life. I couldn't believe that in one week I would be leaving on a trip. you got me harry!

september took us to banff for melissa's. our first time entering that race and we have decided it won't be our last. we love the mountains and running in them is just the icing on the cake. good friends, great food and a visit from the nieces and their kids. it was wonderful.

october we had our annual trip to st. louis. this year was more low key with all the food intolerances that I was having. we still managed to get out and see some sights and do some shopping.

november we took our last minute trip to punta cana. aren't those sell off's awesome! a week in the sun, sand and surf did us a world of good. we love the beach and the sun and who can say no to sand in your toes?

december we went to las vegas to make him a "marathon man". my first trip to sin city and although it won't be my last I would probably only return to run the race again.

my final stop of the tour was back to dawson creek (they begged me to come back!) for kurjata christmas. always a good time and with the exception of "cardiac patient" we did have fun visiting with everyone.

last year my word for the year was "live" and live I did. so much so that I am exhausted! I am still thinking about my word for 2009. it will have to be something that encompasses all that I am striving for in my life. I want less chaos and more time to do the things I love to do. less pressure and more support. don't be going all "the secret" on me and telling me that I asked for it all and that is why it is coming to me!

looks like I will need to gut the house (chaos) and hire a maid (more time). move the button on my pants (less pressure) and apparently get a new bra (more support).

my wish for you is that you have what makes you happy or in 2009 you find it and treasure it and are grateful for it. we need to remind ourselves that who we are is okay. that the people that surround us are to support us and lift us up not bring us down. that the world is a better place because of us and we need to take care of it as much as we take care of ourselves.

not a creature was stirring...

at least not yesterday morning. back from the last stop of my tour this year. christmas with the kurjata family is always full of adventure, laughter and lack of sleep. so I slept till noon. I must have needed it. it is all quiet and weird. there was a lot of hustle and bustle during the holidays. let me re-cap for you and share some of my fun memories.

-day we are scheduled to leave the NEW car has no regular source of heat (it is minus 35 degrees!) (NEW car? more later)

-day after we arrive I jet him off to the hospital to reinact a scene from gene simmons family jewels. it is the episode 40/41 where he ends up in the hospital with his heart beating irregularly and they try different medications until one finally works. he was in a-fib for twelve hours.  he (not gene) was minutes away from being blitzed to a hospital an hour and half away. thank goodness he converted and the holiday fun resumed. unless you asked him. minus alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate not a lot of fun!

- during christmas mass my tummy decided that NOW would be a good time to start acting up. several trips to the bathroom and watching mass on the big screen in the play room I was finally able to return for communion. yuck!

and with any family christmas comes christmas carols. mom loves it when all the kids get together and sing. now that the kids have kids they also join in guitars and all. and if you were unable to make it to christmas we will serenade you via ichat:

I became the godmother of this beautiful girl seen here with her mom. equally beautiful, but not my godchild.

it was a kurjata infomercial starting with this. we were also able to try this and this. missed out on the demo of this.

we had homemade salsa, herbal teas, polish waddka and no mandarin oranges. apparently there was a shortage! also no kurjata cookies. wtf?

we visited with family, played cards, ate, drank and were positively merry! I loved seeing everyone!
I will share my family christmas tomorrow!

vegas update...

time passes quickly when you are watching the snow fall...

he finished and he was happy and I bawled like a baby!

I am SO proud of him! he worked so hard to make this happen and I was the lucky one who got to be there when he crossed the finish line.

and ME?

do I look happy?

at around 15 km (which is when I snapped this pic) I lost all feeling in my toes. then it felt like I was running on teeny pebbles and it hurt like hell. I wanted to quit, but knew if I did that I would never have the medal so I kept going. this run wasn't about me. it was about him and I am so happy it worked out so well for him.

happy national chocolate covered anything day!

I, of course, had to join in and celebrate this wondrous occasion by eating a half pound bag of peanut m & m's. SURE! why not? he ate a half pound bag of chocolate covered almonds! I couldn't let him party without ME!

so what!

this made me laugh, cry and know this for sure:

that which does not kill you - makes you stronger


vegas baby!

I won the car? SHUT UP!

holy crap!

thursday? already? so the headache continues and so do the car issues. I decided that whatever I needed to get done that involved leaving the house yesterday was not going to happen. "betsy" agreed and I let her rest some more. in her final days I want to make her as comfortable as possible. oh who am I kidding! I was scared to drive her any farther than a 5 km radius for fear that something would break and I would be stranded and freeze to death.

yes, people it is freezing cold out there! I may not have gone out, but I did have to let the dogs out and every time I did I got quite the chill.

yesterday I managed to get the laundry all done, christmas cards completed, and a secret present I am working on for someone special who might read my blog so I won't spill the beans was also worked on. amazing what happens when you stay in!

this made me very happy yesterday:

muffins! I found an awesome muffin/pancake mix which is locally made. I substituted apple sauce for the egg and coconut extract for the vanilla it was nummy! REAL muffins! it has been a long time.

this was my mid morning snack:

muffin, latte (REAL milk!) and applesauce. yum! 

focus on the good and the bad will melt away, right? perhaps I have been trying to focus SO hard on the good that I have literally given myself a massive headache? ahhhhh......and tomorrow? vegas! where I will witness his FIRST marathon! so excited for him! and hey, it will be pretty kewl to see elvis too! 

*pack lots of tylenol, motrin and don't forget sunglasses to protect eyes from all the lights. I am picturing a truly tacky, uber noisy place with lots of cheap food and drinks so that you will spend your money gambling. am I wrong?

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....


okay, got that off my chest...

yesterday was a day of flying by the seat of my pants. no plan. a list, of course, but no plan. does that make sense? not really. anyway the day started out with picking up "betsy". my car who was in for some surgery and it didn't go well. in other words I was not willing to pay what they asked to get her all spruced up.

let's be real. she is thirteen years old. she has almost 300,000 km under her belt. and she is just SO tired. so I drove her very carefully to the mall to pick up presents and groceries. I then went to meet her for lunch.

no art day this week. I have been feeling very discombogulated because of all that has been happening around me. I have been creating an album for my next trip. you can see it over here so the art keeps happening despite my state of mind.

christmas is right around the corner and things need to be done and I absolutely hate feeling rushed about it all. so today was a day of forgetting about the rushing and slowing down and checking off the things on my list.

after lunch I went off to my mom's to do her hair as she had a party to go to. she sat in the chair and I pretended like we were in a salon and asked her the salon type questions. did your husband drop you off? why are you getting your hair done? where are you off to tonight? are you finished with your christmas shopping? she giggled and answered the questions as if I was her stylist. dad thought we were nuts. god I love those two! I am really enjoying our moments together. we have all worked hard to get to where we are today and I treasure our relationship. afterwards she tried to pay me! how silly!

betsy got me home safe and we had a really good conversation about where she is headed. the time has come to say good bye. I will hang on to her for a little while longer, but I understand that she is ready to go. I cannot watch her suffer any longer. and so the sleepless nights, the headaches, and some tears will continue... 

yes, people! I realize I am talking about a car! I am NOT completely nuts! YET!

holly, jolly december!

how's the christmas shopping going? need some original ideas? a very talented canadian artist has some kewl things on sale. her name is kal and I found out about her by purchasing one of her magnets. starting today she is putting them on sale and they would make great stocking stuffers! not only that, but you would be supporting "shop canadian" and you would have some amazing original gifts!

it all started with buying her magnet and then this...

yup, met HER! I attended this because I just knew I had to meet her and find out all about her. I learned so much in her class about letting go and having fun with it.

enough babbling! head over there and scoop up some prezzies! I would like "be you" just in case you haven't finished shopping for ME. just sayin'!