Christmas Nutshell

  If you're looking for a poignant New Years post, you're barking up the wrong blog.  We leave Canada tomorrow so my mind is not there yet.  I want to write about my personal intentions, my renewed blogging vigour etc etc, but it isn't formulated yet. I'm preoccupied with packing up all our stuff, not forgetting things, saying goodbyes (WAH) and the devastation that the local Dairy Queen is closed for refurbishments just before we leave.

We've had a great time over the last 2 weeks, catching up with family and friends.  My big bro and I did some Christmas singing at my dads church which is something we haven't done in a long time together so that was spesh.  We got to meet new babies, do some thrift shopping, I got to have an old-fashioned sleepover with some girlfriends; we ate, we drank and merriness (and tiredness) ensued.

Here are a few highlights:

DSC_2683 DSC_2687 DSC_2689Christmas morning was pretty fun - Levi was sleeping in the room with us so when he/we woke up we crept upstairs and got everybody up - they all wanted to be there when he checked to see if Father Christmas had come.  He did.  He brought a dinosaur.  My parents surprised us all with grown up giant Christmas stockings with all kinds of cool, practical little presents.  Mum vows every year will be the last year that she does it, but she can't help herself.  It's the cutest.

We bought Levi very little this year knowing that family and friends who don't see him very often would want to get him some special gifts.  He recieved not one, but THREE toy guns.  Welcome to North 'Merca! :/  We plan on doing a massive clear out of the playroom when we get home.  I have some painting and some DIY stuff to kick into gear to get it organised.

DSC_2691DSC_2731DSC_2701Dave bought shares in a new Belfast co-op brewery (Boundary Brewing) for his Christmas present from me (fun, right?!) and I got topped up on my favourite Jo Malone from him.  He also got me this really sweet retro viewmaster with vintage Mary Poppins slides.

DSC_2712Hey look, there's a picture of me, unshowered in my mums dressing gown on the internet!  Really, though - I actually love this picture - it's equally sleepy/happy/satisfied.  My dad always makes an amazing big breakfast on Christmas morning that keeps us going until we have our big mega-family dinner in the evening.

DSC_2720DSC_2808DSC_2815We spent a lot of time down at the tiny little outdoor skate rink beside the mall.  Levi loved being dragged around it and it was the closest we came to the snow that we had naively promised him!  Having my brother and sister-in-law there for a full week was just the best.  The mutual adoration between them and Levi is a JOY.

DSC_2839DSC_2857This food truck has been parked outside the mall beside the rink since we got here too.  I asked about it on social media and local friends reccomended it.  Yesterday I stood in -6 degrees to get a burrito and regret nothing.  It was unbelievable.

DSC_2877And then it (sorta) snowed!  Just for a second. can see it in the pic above...

DSC_2895We've had to get another bag to carry on, so we invested in a Herschel.  They're beautiful bags, made in Canada and really practical for trips.

DSC_2899And so we say goodbye to Chatham sunsets, our Canadian Christmas vacation and give a weary salute to 2015.