Friday, December 28, 2007

Packing list

- Bag of boots (big, medium, and small)
- Bag of extra clothes in case we get cold/wet (big, medium, and small)
- Bag of snowshoes (big, medium, and small)
- Dog boots, leash, collar, and blanket/towel
- Backpacks stocked with tissues, lip balm, extra gloves, snacks and water (big, medium, and small)
- Bag of snow clothes (coats and snow-pants, hats, scarves, fleece) (big, medium, and small)
- Sleds and blankets

Are we going on an arctic expedition? No, we are going to Snoqualmie Pass for a couple hours tomorrow morning to play in the snow and do a little snowshoeing. From the looks of our car, you'd think that we could do the North Pole!

Thank you cards

For a couple of years (since diagnosis?) I have been incredibly remiss in sending out thank you cards.

I used to pride myself on sending them with regularity and punctuality. I have been the fortunate recipient of much generousity and thoughtfulness in my life, and it seemed a small thing to me to write a small note to acknowledge others' gifts to me. Of course it's good manners to send such notes, but my heart was really in writing them, too, because it was a way for me to feel gratitude and share my heart with the givers. Really, a win-win all around.

Then cancer came, and I just became utterly overwhelmed by so many things. This is my reason, but not an excuse. Many other cancer patients manage to keep up with their thank yous, but I did not. I can't exactly explain it, but I just didn't have anything to give. I was just tired by life, and sometimes the smallest of tasks seemed insurmountable. Perhaps this was an early sign of my depression, as thank you cards were not the only thing that slipped.

But I digress.

This Christmas, like every other year, I was the fortunate recipient of gifts of love and thoughtfulness. I have vowed to acknowledge them in writing. I know how fortunate I am to have such faithful friends and family members in my life, and I WANT to acknowledge them.

I can't go back to write all of the thank yous that I have missed over the past couple of years - the task feels impossible and doomed to failure, despite my good intentions. But I can start fresh, and vow not to miss another opportunity to thank those people in my life who share their kindnesses with me.

Check your mail soon. I appreciate you, and I send my love.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

A quick note in the middle of this Christmas Day.

We are having a wonderful family Christmas together, and many Christmas wishes were granted (bike stuff for Ryan, cashmere for me, a swingset for Tessa) and we've been enjoying a lazy morning. Of course, there's the excitement of the tipped over Christmas tree (hey, it looks like the tree's at an angle...we should fix that....crash!) but that just adds to the fun. (Ryan's vacuuming up needles now.)

Later today, my parents, grandma, and brother plus family will come here to have Christmas dinner with us.

The best part of the day so far is watching Tessa unwrap her gifts, while we sip coffee and eat twice baked almond croissants from Bakery Nouveau. Today isn't a day to count calories, and I'm not. (I just hope I can fit into my workout clothes after today.) Christmas music playing, a roast waiting to go into the oven, the smell of pine needles and coffee wafting through the house, and a plate of cookies just waiting for us. The cousins' presents are under the tree, and Tessa can't wait to play on the swingset with Caleb and Joshua. Four generations will sit around our table, and that has a magic of its own, too.

I want to give my daughter a fantasy childhood, filled with laughter, traditions, and fun times together. Today, it feels like we're doing a good job of that, and I am filled with contentment.

Love, joy and peace to you all. Merry Christmas!