Tuesday, December 29, 2015

One of the Best

One of my favorite Christmas presents that I got this year (and in life) wasn't a present at all, but a text message. It said: 

"I always felt lucky that we found this house.  But really the thing that I'm feel most lucky about? Me living next to you. I don't get many people I can be honest with and not feel like I'll get in trouble. And I get to laugh?! And have a great time?  That makes me the luckiest!  Love you! Merry Christmas! "

And I love her too. I'm equally lucky. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas & Boxing Day Pix

It was such a great couple of days. These pictures are not in order but I think they represent the 2 days well.

Leanne & Dean on Facetime
Up at 8am and so excited that Santa came!

Chaos. But something I'll miss when they get older. 

A lovely present from Leanne

One of the many stocking stuffers I regretted

This game drove him mad

Leanne & her cat

My mate Mo

Christmas dinner with Den & Maureen

A friend swung by to say Merry Christmas so we asked him to take Den away.
Actually, we asked if he'd taser him but he couldn't. 

For a Christmas Day treat to myself I took my first bath in 6 years. I locked myself in there for at least an hour, with Adele playing on my phone.   Why haven't I been taking baths before now????

Boxing Day night fun with Dave

Dave's new humongous truck


Pick-up sticks queen!

Selfie by my sweetie

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Eve Part 2

We took the boys to see the new Star Wars film and we all loved it. For the first time in my life I actually clapped at the end of a film (yes, shoot me). I got a little choked up too in a couple of places. The boys sat, transfixed for the full film too, which was a first. Success!

Afterwards our neighbors came over for drinks and a game of "pick a fudge" with the kids. We toasted Eric with a shot of Maker's Mark and it was ok. No tears and no blubbering. I'm proud of myself for not crumbling and ruining the night for the kids.  It was a perfect night and I felt like we honored Eric by having fun and toasting him. I felt like he saw us.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve Build-up

I have been building myself up for Christmas Eve since the day Eric died in September. Like most things you dread I'm hoping the lead up to it is a lot worse than the actual event.

I've never been one to suppress my emotions, which I think helps at a time like this, because it's not yet 8.30am and I've already had two friends reach out to say they know today will be hard for me and that they send love.  Being an open book person has also enabled me to talk a lot about his death and to try to analyze and work myself out of the grief that sometimes bogs me down.

Analyzing it all has definitely been cathartic, but has also made me think about stupid things in relation to today.  Such as, I'd like to post a picture of him on Facebook to say I miss him and to honor what a great man he was, but I'm worried I'll upset his family. Or would they want him to be remembered? His Facebook page is still open and people post to it. How does that make his mum feel? Comforted or tortured? And why have I obsessed over this for weeks? Does that make me an attention seeker, or someone who wants the world to keep remembering him?

Another thing I think about is how I'll handle tonight, since we had a routine for the last couple of years. We'd go to the local church nativity play then he'd track Santa's progress on the computer with the kids and give gifts and we'd have such a good laugh. This year we are taking the kids to see Star Wars then Erika is coming over to do a toast to Eric with me. I don't want to turn into a blubbering mess, so I'm a bit worried about holding it all together and enjoying the night with my kids. I suppose that's called being a parent - putting it aside to make sure your kids have happy memories.

Part 2 posting on Christmas Eve to come, but in the meantime here's to Eric. My 2015 Person of The Year.

Christmas Eve 2014

Saturday, December 19, 2015

My Christmas Wish

I wish I had a travel machine. This week my mum collapsed in a shop and got taken to hospital to get checked over. She's okay, but it terrified me. I wished I could hop on a plane and go and see her, spoil her and look after her as she did for me when I got sick at her house in November. Being away from family is the hardest thing in the world for me. I met an ex-student yesterday who has recently got married and has a baby. He told me he's moving from Ohio to Kentucky because his sister lives in Kentucky with a baby the same age and he wants them to grow up together. I totally get that.

Pre-Christmas Photos

Daniel's Christmas party at school
Got Lego from Santa 
A hike at Highbanks to see the bald eagles
Making Christmas cookies
Ugly jumper day at school. They both won a prize!
Decorating cookies

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Dennis & Tinselly Goodness

On Monday Craig's best friend Dennis arrived from England to spend Christmas with us. He's such a great personality and we've all been laughing this week. That's what I needed as it was the last week of class and I had a big work conference. But that's all over now and I feel like I can finally get in the holiday mood!
So this week Daniel's cub scout den sang carols at a local retirement home, then we had Christmas concerts at school and a holiday shop, also at the school. That's a full week of festive tinselly goodness!

Craig & Dennis

Jack & his cello at the Christmas Concert
Daniel with his class at the Christmas Concert

Den helping at the Holiday Shop

Den 5 Sing Jingle Bells from Pam on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Craig's Birthday, Santa Visit & Brit Dinner

What a fabulous few days. We had a Santa visit with the big guy himself, who manages to enchant both of them still. They truly believe this is the real dude, as we've seen the same Santa for years. When he saw them he exclaimed "you boys have grown so much this year!" which freaked them both out a bit, in a good way. As we were leaving, he gave me a magic light from his finger tips and they were both mesmerized by it. Let's keep his going as long as possible!

The Boys & Santa

Craig & Slinky getting festive.  Cats in hats = murderous rage

Boys helped put the tree up. I love my real tree each year. 

Today we had a Christmas dinner with the Expat Brits. I love my Brits. 

This man turned 46 and took the boys roller skating to celebrate bless him.
The day after I took him to see the new Bond movie. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A Week of Pictures & Emotions

A birthday party for a good friend of the boys. And I love their mum, so got some friend therapy in. 

A friend's sister died of cancer recently & he asked me to name this train station for a book he's making of her for this parents, as she loved to travel. It's Waterloo Station in London.
Look at that smile! I don't even know her and I'm sad that she's gone. 

My boys love Josephine.
Who'd have thought a nearly 3-yr-old, a nearly 7-yr-old and a 9.5 yr-old would get along, but they did. 

Dave (Eric's partner) gave me new wheels & tires. Just typing that made me cry. Moving on ...

The Columbus Crew are Eastern League Champs and playing in the final this Sunday!
But it's at the same time as the Brit Expats Party so can't go. 

Went to Crew Stadium this morning. Ran into Frankie Hejduk. Love him. 

We beat Michigan again. What can I say? How about Michigan sucks ass?  That'll do nicely!