Friday, 6 January 2017

our winter holiday

01 / 05 / 2017

We decided to stay in town over the winter holidays, celebrating the season as a family of four and enjoying some new and old traditions. Our city was so beautiful at Christmas time, with a foot of snow falling on Christmas eve, covering the pine trees and making the city truly look like a quintessential winter scene. I wish I taken more photos, but I went on a break from my phone over the holidays; here are some of the few pictures I have, if you'd like to see...

The girls and I decided to go for a walk in a snowfall in the week leading up to Christmas. They had a serious fascination with the movement of the snow falling from the sky towards them. Juliette would exclaim that the falling snow "tickles tickles!" her face. It was pure delight. She would find sticks and draw in the snow, and discovered the ultimate winter past-time of making snow angels. There was a field full of angels that day. Louise, who is full of relentless admiration for her big sister, was so eager to explore alongside her. She is forgoing the hiking carrier these days in favour of walking on her own, and its is one of the greatest things to watch her overcome the challenges set before her, be it steps up to her waist or tall grass. She never ceases to amaze me with her innovative abilities.

*** Just look at these small steps she takes! Yet she goes and goes and goes. Such determination. ***

Juliette is in the habit of finding the biggest stick she can carry on our walks, which inevitably leads to a face off between her and Lhotse. It never stops with these two! The girls also lay in snowy grass watching the snow falling towards them. It made me happy that we chose to venture out when we did.

The Miller household was so excited about the glow of Christmas lights this year. Any drive in evenings had our car filled with squeals of "Christmas lights!! Santa!!! Snowman!!" Even a simple row of lights along a roof was met with an "ahhhhh!!" The weather was seriously so cold in the evenings leading up to Christmas, but as soon as a warm spell came our way we took a trip down to the Lions Festival of Lights after supper one evening to take in a park full of light displays for the public to enjoy.

Sure enough Juliette was enthralled. She spotted a Santa lit up from across the park and ran to it as fast as her little legs would take her. I loved how much joy she derived from her ideas about the holidays this year. I ran along side her, while Patt ran alongside Louise, who was taken with spray of light over the snowy ground.

*** And since we're in Calgary, a Christmas cowboy. ***

Patt surprised me with tickets to the Nutcracker on the Thursday before Christmas. We went to Nicos Bistro in Kensington for dinner beforehand and shared a half bottle of wine. Everything about the Nutcracker was beautiful- the dancing, the costumes, the set, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. We only took one selfie at the end to remember the night!

Here is our special tree all lit up. Santa dropped off a sack for both girls to open on Christmas morning. If they had only had the sacks to open they would have been completely satisfied. We were spoiled with thoughtful gifts, but I without a doubt our favourites were handmade gifts, and passes to places we can look forward to going to this year.

And Juliette turned 3 years old! Patt and I were wide awake an hour before the girls, just waiting for them to get up. When we heard Juliette starting to rise we both leapt out of our bed and jumped into bed with her, saying "Happy Birthday special girl! Santa came to our house!" She is still at the age of loving having her birthday fall on Christmas, and I hope we are always able to find some way of making her feel special on this day. Usually we have a family birthday party for her after Christmas dinner with birthday presents and cake (which my sister Sarah has made for her the past three years straight).

We gifted the birthday girl thrifted hockey skates and a new helmet, then took her and Louise skating the next day at our local ice rink. Juliette wasn't so sure about the ice at first, and on skates she looked as though she was learning how to use legs for the first time. Patt and I wanted her to love her initial experience on the ice, so we held her up while we skated, then pushed her on the small chair we brought with us (Patt pushing her waayyy faster than me, making my mama heart race, but she LOVED it.) By the end of the skate she was taking small steps on her own, and had us cheering on her gold medal performance. I can't wait to get out there with her again.

*** And Ms. Lou was pulled along the ice in her little tobaggan. We thought she might get a little chilled being stationary, so wrapped her in Patt's winter work coat, and true to her nature, she fell asleep in the fresh air. ***

So there you have it, some highlights of our sweet holiday break. I hope you were able to get some downtime in over this break and are feeling energized for the year ahead! Let's make it a good one!

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