i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

christmas 2016

Pookmas 2016

We certainly had snow for Christmas this year. Not like last year. And after a rather rough year, we managed to have one of the best Christmases I can think of. Stockings were full, and there were more gifts under the tree than I thought we’d have. And as always, Shawn won Christmas yet again with the best gift ever.

The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name

Every year Shawn manages to give me one gift that makes me cry, or at least tear up. He’s made me photo frames, and cards, and thoughtful gifts, but this one is hands down the one that hit my heart the hardest.

Once in a while silly little ads on social media sites work. In this case it was something Shawn saw (and I saw, too, actually only not this particular title) and thought it fit me. It fits. So well.

It’s no secret that I have been struggling since March 2013. And maybe even a little before then, but certainly since the trauma things have been a mess. As much as I have worked hard to put myself back together again, I was still feeling slightly broken, and very lost. Just the cover of this story made my breath catch. The title. The purple. The little girl with dark hair and polkadots.

Then I opened it. And the second page stopped me in my tracks.

follow the rainbow

A magic rainbow trail.

Seriously. When this entire year I have been surrounding myself with as many colours of the rainbow as I could. In a year when I felt like everything around me was grey and I was desperate for those rainbow moments. This little girl, with the lost name, found a magic rainbow trail that she had to follow.

Me.

So much me.

And on the story goes as the little girl meets random animals, and magical creatures, whom she helps with their problems, and in return they each give her a letter in hopes to help her find her name. Words like courageous, and splendid, and spellbound, are tossed around. And with each page my eyes grew even more teary.

And in the end…

I am who I am.

The girl who lost her name, finds it again and falls asleep wrapped in that magic rainbow.

And I cried. And I hugged my husband tight. And I cried. And I pick up this book and hug it every day. Because this story, this book, this gift… it was all so apt. So perfect for everything I have been going through and feeling since the start of this year.

– – – – –

Our tree wasn’t up as long as it normally is, and will come down this weekend. Our house isn’t as decorated as it has been in the past. I didn’t listen to Christmas music on repeat for a month (instead I shuffled my entire music library and had the Christmas tunes appear at random). I wasn’t feeling un-Christmassy, but I wasn’t feeling as overtly festive as I normally do. This was a quiet, and simple Christmas. I am working in retail now, and at the moment am not exhausted by it. It was nice to be out of the house during a time I’d normally be sitting on the couch dreading going back to the office once the holidays were over.

One year I’ll win Christmas with a gift that makes Shawn’s heart sing. He always outdoes me. He won with wedding vows, too. Dammit. Never thought I’d be out-sentimentaled on a continuous basis. It’s a good thing I love him. heh

green & simple christmas 2015

I had every intention of writing about Christmas before the last day of the month, but I had the flu and was miserable, and then I got LEGO Batman 3 and have been lost in a videogame void for the past few days and haven’t done much of anything else. And, and, and.

It seems strange to write about our green Christmas when the current view outside my window is nothing but SNOW, but we did have a very green Christmas this year. Christmas eve was 17C outside. And it was about 10C on Christmas day. Weirdest Christmas weather ever for this part of the world.

It wasn’t just the weather that was different, there’s been some other stuff that made this Christmas a little more difficult to find the joy within. But we had a simple, quiet holiday and I think it was just what we needed.

The older we get, the less we need that can be wrapped under a tree. We have been trying to declutter the house, so adding extra junk to that wasn’t really on our minds. This was also our first Christmas WITH Yoshi in the house. I was worried that he’d think the tree was an indoor potty, or that the ornaments were chew toys, but he didn’t really pay attention to the tree at all for the entire month. Good boy!

And whereas Sophie finds anything Christmas terrifying, Yoshi was right in on the action!

Each dog had a bully stick unwrapped in their stockings. We had to hand Sophie her’s – to her Safe Zone Spot way at the other end of the house – far, far away from CHRISTMAS, GAH! But Yoshi found his all on his own, took it out of the stocking and pranced around with it before settling down to chew away while we opened our gifts.

Yoshi also wanted to know what was in all of the other boxes and bags, so he occasionally wandered over, walked over all the stuff, and paper, and stuck his face into wrapped bags. He watched Shawn open his gifts very carefully – just in case there was something else for Yoshi! This one photo was a perfect capture, because the gift was to Shawn from the FLOOFS. I guess Yoshi was concerned that his unFLOOF wouldn’t like it. (It was a Chewbacca bobblehead. Shawn, the unFLOOF, did like it!)

As every year, my husband out-gifted me in every way – especially in thoughtfulness. My favourite gift this year from Shawn was this picture frame.

He updated the Finnish Lapphund Dr photos to include Sophie and Yoshi. All five of our Lappies are together in one place. My heart is just full of love for this man and our past and present dogs. (Counter clockwise: Kewpie, Annie, Jinx, Yoshi (and his scarfy), and Sophie.) I moved the other frame, of Kewpie, Annie, and Jinx onto another wall. *heart eyes*

Christmas dinner was had at my in-laws’, where we were spoiled yet again with gifts and love. I normally take a photo of their tree, but was feeling so sick that day that I forgot. Oops. Dinner was delicious, and laughs were plenty, and we had the best dessert I have ever had – some sort of creampuffs on top of brownie cake. OMG. Who knew that combination would work? I sure didn’t. But I want to marry that dessert now. We also got to take home ALL of the leftovers (including more than half a turkey!) because my in-laws were leaving the next morning to visit more family. So much food!

The next day was spent recovering from Christmas food and activity by cleaning the house because my parents were coming over for dinner. Heh. My parents dropped off the world’s biggest roast beef from their butcher in Kingston (YUM!) and it’s still in my fridge today (last of the left overs will be eaten for lunch). They came back after they visited my sister for a bit and we had a lovely visit and Christmas The Second with them that evening.

We’ve had a quiet and calm holiday break since then. I was sick, Shawn just caught my flu fully, and so we didn’t visit anyone, or go anywhere. The snow came finally, I think it tried to show up in as much quantity as it could to make up for the lack of snow all December. So now we’re (Shawn) out there shovelling every day. I just wanted it for Christmas. I have decided I am ok without having tons of snow around. Although the grey, rainy December was not helping with depression. Ugh. And due to schoolwork, illness, work-work, and this pesky chronic fatigue I have been fighting, I didn’t get any cards out at all. We staged an awkward family photo that I posted on facebook on Christmas eve. It’s silly, like us. And really, that’s all we needed out of this season. Simple, silly, quality time together. I hope your holidays were similar.

Merry Christmas from us!

trying to find the festive

I’m struggling, folks. I am finding it more and more difficult to find the festive the closer we get to Christmas. I’m feeling blue and I think it’s related to how green everything is. If I wanted a green Christmas, I’d move south.

green christmas 2015

There’s so much misery going around – for everyone. Adulting is HARD. You don’t really get to take a vacation from adulting either.

Couple the general negativity that’s going on in the world around us these days, with the fact that we have had a very mild, and green fall (into December), I’m just not feeling the Christmas joy. I don’t even feel much like faking said joy.

green christmas 2015

I came home from work one day to find that my husband had put up lights outside. We’ve never had lights outside and to come home, in the dark, to a glowy-whimsical front porch was a delight. When I got inside, I saw Shawn had put up various decorations and it really did cheer the place up a bit. He put stuff up in different places than I normally do – which I love! I get stuck in the same decorating pattern year after year, and it gets dull. This year things are mixed up and it feels nice.

But I still don’t feel very festive.

We went and picked up our tree today. It was 7C. I think it was in the negatives last year, and miserable outside. It’s strange getting ready for Christmas when it feels like mid-October outside. October felt like August. We might just have to push all of our seasons around by about two months.

Yoshi and his indoor potty

There are a lot of things on my mind, and it’s hard to weed through those things and focus on the few happy thoughts there are. This isn’t a PTSD-related thing. It’s just…everything is so blah right now. The news. The weather. Work. Responsibility. Adulting.

It’s hard for me to shop for Christmas gifts when it feels like there should still be 3 months until Christmas. This will prove problematic once Christmas rolls around and I have not gotten any shopping done. The closer it gets the more crowded the stores. I hate shopping. I hate shopping in crowded stores even more.

Even listening to Christmas music isn’t fun — I KNOW! This is ME! I generally listen to it in June! But I just skip past each song as it plays. And dude. I have over 24 hours of Christmas music on my phone. And that’s just what’s activated.

Everyone around me is sad, tired, stressed…it’s difficult to find the festive when you’re all so exhausted just trying to make through each day as it comes.

Twenty days until Christmas, hopefully there will be some snow before then and it will help pick up our spirits. I hope so.

the simple christmas that lasted most of december

Last December I was home on medical leave all month. It was a very rough time, but it was also nice to deal with December without having to worry about getting to work and fitting everything into small spaces of free time. This year was way more hectic and our moods weren’t much better than last year. There has been way too much sadness in 2014 and by the time Christmas season rolled around, neither of us had much energy or Christmas spirit. I did, of course, change up the blog theme and decorate at home, but this year the home decorations were minimal and I was ok with that.

We got our tree on the last day of November, because it was a Sunday and I would be away for the first weekend in December. We put lights on it, but didn’t start decorating it because we wanted some of the branches to fall first. It was looking a little crooked, but without the branches full out, we couldn’t get it right. By the middle of the week, I decided I sort of liked it with just the white lights. So we left it that way. We did add the star, our clear glitter ball ornaments, and the severed head of Potter. Everything else stayed in the boxes in the basement. Shawn asked me if I was feeling ok when I said I wanted a minimalist tree. That’s very out of character for me. This year I just wasn’t feeling the cluttery decor.

Even the rest of the house was minimalist in terms of decorations. I took out our stockings (sad to only have one dog one this year. :() and of course we had to have the marshmallow baby Jesus out, but that was most of it. I got Shawn a LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar this year and it was cute. Not sure if we’ll do it again next year though.

We did put lights up in the front window, and I love my glittery snowflake garland (from the Dollar Store years ago!).  I did a lot of my shopping for Shawn online and I did it early. So by that last day of November, I had almost everything for him wrapped and ready to put under the tree (as seen in the first photo). There were a couple of items I was waiting on, but I was so on top of that this year.

What I wasn’t on top of was Christmas cards. I hardly got any made, still need to finish Shawn’s card, and didn’t send any out this year. Alas.

The first full weekend in December I took the train to visit Monkey and her husband. This seems to have become a traditional yearly visit and I look forward to it. We are very low-key when I visit, which I appreciate. This year we wore our comfy jammies and watched The Sound of Music – until the intermission when it was past my bed time and we turned it off. Rock stars. Obviously.

When I came home from that trip, I saw that Santa had come!

And apparently Santa brought me a DOOR! At least that’s how big that package was under the tree. (SPOILER: It wasn’t a door.) I had been bouncing all week, wanting to give Shawn his presents, so when Shawn suggested we do Christmas that evening, well… I agreed! I was so excited about what I had gotten him! Plus, we were likely not going to be home for Christmas… but more on that later!

The large door-like gift was actually a very nice wood writing/crafting desk. Once we clear out one of the unused guest rooms (right now it’s a junk room with a single bed in it), it will go in there and I will be able to craft and perhaps sew. (You know, on the off chance I am getting a sewing machine for Christmas. I don’t know about that. Nope. I don’t. It wasn’t in our Costco cart at one point. Nope. All I saw was toilet paper and fabric softener…) I got Shawn a PS4 (which he is playing right now), games for said PS4 and some other techy stuff.

He got me awesomeness:

Dude. A Jem and the Holograms CHRISTMAS SWEATER! I love him.

New case for my phone: Jinx, Annie, and Sophie. *melts*

Jem workout pants! WHEEE!

So, yeah. We did Christmas on December 7th. But we had a good reason!

Because on December 18th we drove 10 hours to Windsor, Ontario.

Then on December 19th we crossed the Ambassador Bridge into Michigan.

And drove. And drove.

And saw an epic sunset in Kentucky.

And drove, and drove some more. Until we stopped in Nashville, TN, where the stars aligned and I actually got to meet Yoj IN FREAKING PERSON!

Dude. We even had the SAME bag – in Christmas colours! What the heck! It’s like we were meant to be friends!

Only 10.5 years of knowing her online, through blogging, but we got to meet. And have dinner together! And go to Target together! (What? Don’t all epic meetings involve a trip to Target?) And go shopping in the Cracker Barrel gift shop and laugh at items there! And I got to meet her insanely tall 13-year old son – whom I have watched grow up through photos sine he was 2. I wish we had more time together, but our evening was short.

Why? Well, because on December 20th we drove, and drove some more to just outside of Memphis, TN.

And here’s why:

Say hi to Yoshi (Sugarok Year of the Dragon)! He’s Sophie’s new brother. She’s not quite sure what to make of him yet, but I see many similarities already. 😉 We have adopted all of our Lappies from Linda at Sugarok, and she has become a good friend as well. We had been wanting a puppy, but the timing didn’t work out and Linda offered us the opportunity to adopt Yoshi from her. Since we had sort of planned on traveling down there over Christmas had the puppy thing worked out, we thought – why not? This was an epically long road trip, which got cut short because they were forecasting a major storm during the time we were to drive home, so we ended up leaving Linda’s early (and all it ended up being was rain. Rain and mild. Ugh.)

Yoshi is going to be 3 on January 1st. He’s an AKC Grand Champion show dog and can be shown here in Canada – if I find the courage to try and show him. Scary! He’s a very chill, sweet boy, who has been adapting very well to his major life change. He wants to play with Sophie, and Sophie is constantly insulted by this. But in the 3 day drive home, both dogs travelled very well together.

Awww!

While visiting Linda, Sophie got to play with her litter-sister Kira.

Can you see the difference? I can’t see the difference.

Oh! There’s the difference! Kira has EARS! Although her mannerisms were so similar to Sophie’s it was amazing to watch them together. Sophie was actually happy to see her. She wasn’t so sure about all of the other dogs living there though. She and her birth mother had a few Family Christmas Stress moments. 😉 But those are the holidays, right? What are the holidays without some sort of stressful family reunion!

Family photo! Kira (sister); Didi (LappyMummy); Sophie; and, grandma Linda (human =P).

Didi was a sweetheart and if we could have snuck her home with us, we would have. But one extra dog was more than enough. We are a pack of 4 again in this house.

He’s touching my Snow Mountain, Mummy! WHY!?!?

Even if Sophie is constantly offended that Yoshi keeps following her around, and trying to play with her. The nerve!

We came home on Christmas Eve (two days early) and have spent the last two days recovering from all the travel. We did spend a night at my parents’ place in Kingston before continuing home. It was a long day. They will be here tomorrow for lunch, Sunday I get to celebrate Jillmas, when Jill comes for her annual Christmas visit, and then New Year’s Day we will see Shawn’s parents and introduce them to Yoshi. I have the full week off, but Shawn has to work three days.

It’s been an odd December and a very non-traditional Christmas season for us. Any other year this would have bothered me immensely, but this year it just felt right. We were meant to have an odd Christmas this year.  Because it’s turned out pretty alright.

Merry Christmas to you all, Internet! Thanks for sticking with me through all the ups and downs!

hourly christmas – part 2

I ended the first post at 2pm Christmas day as we were on our way to my in-laws’ for dinner once our own festive shenanigans were done! So here’s the second half of my Hourly Christmas in photos!

It was extremely cold outside and of course we realized we needed gas in the car before we left. I got to remain bundled up in the car with the dogs as Shawn braved the freezing temperatures and got us enough gas to get to his parents’ place. Heh. Nothing says Christmas like, “Car Selfie with Dog in Background”.

We arrived and Jinx was very happy to see everyone (he looooooves is Pawpaw and Maw) and sniff all of the bags around the tree. We also had a surprise gift that was cleverly disguised so we didn’t know what it was.

This is probably the best hat anyone has ever given me. It’s from my father-in-law. I proceeded to wear it the entire night. (Although I did take it off during dinner because I didn’t want the tassels to fall into my gravy! Mmm gravy.) I think this was a secret tactic to keep me from trying to steal one of his hats as I am prone to do every Christmas. I can’t help it if he buys himself a new (and nice) winter hat almost every year. I like his hats! And they look good on me. 😉

My plan had been to take a photo of our dinner, but I forgot because I was starving and it was delicious! So I was going to take a photo of the ice cream Yule log dessert. Obviously that didn’t go as planned either.

By 7pm we were all lounging around the living room while Shawn helped his dad with his laptop and chatting away. Bellies full (but not TOO full in my case!) and I was happily wrapped up in my new fuzzy blanket and warming myself by the digital fireplace. (Please note that my in-laws’ actually have a wood stove in their basement but it was too hot down there because of that! ;))

Since my husband had dressed up so nicely I had wanted a photo of the two of us before we went home. It’s hard to take photos of us with just the cellphone because all I can get is our heads. So I had my father-in-law use his fancy camera and then showed him how to use my phone. Family portrait!

Just before 10 we were home and I was tired and my Christmas was done. From Finnegan and I – Merry Christmas!

I am becoming quite the expert in digital fireplaces. Since everyone was amused by how amused I am by the one on Netflix, we turned on the one that comes with their cable station. It plays actual commercial Christmas music. We kept it on the entire evening. hee!

Once I got my new hat, my Santa hat came right off (since I generally wear a Santa hat all day Christmas day!) and Shawn took it. Here’s our Festive Hat Selfie!

Since my parents moved away, I have not received Birthday Toilet paper in a couple of years so my in-laws’ thought they’d help me out. ha! This was completely wrapped, too. Nothing says “Best Present Ever!” like toilet paper!

And that, internet, was my Christmas. And now on to a new year…