Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Post That Ate Christmas

Hello? *tap tap* Can you hear me?

My mother can't decide which photos to post of our awesome family brunch on Saturday so hope you have some time on your hands! Or good scrolling fingers!

Yep, thanks li'l dictator, they're used to my photo-heavy posts. Right?

Let me set the scene. Yesterday we hosted a brunch with Stéphane's family for a 3-in-1 event: a Stéphane's birthday/housewarming/Christmas celebration! His parents came as well of two of his sisters and their partners. Plus this guy, Liliane's cousin:

Let's start with the food.

Brown sugar bacon baked in the oven is my new lover. Stéphane understands, it's all good.

Me and my two sisters-in-law. Aren't they lovely? Have you ever seen a worse picture of me? (Don't answer that.)

Stéphane's Mom, Denise. She thinks she can't take a good picture. Ha!

Nathalie and her kiddo Jonathan. They got up REALLY EARLY and drove in from from Ottawa just for the occasion.

Stéphane's Dad Maurice and BIL Christian. Two more men with lifetime spots in Liliane's Top 5.

There were lots of hugs and kisses:

And presents! She was delighted by every single thing she received.

Nathalie, Christian and Jonathan brought her a kitchen that she was crazy about from the moment she laid eyes on it.

Some assembly was required so Stéphane got out the screwdriver and with the help of pretty much all of our guests, put it together:

While that was going on the rest of us kept busy with her other booty:

And eating.

Still putting it together...

Two hours later, success!


And now for something different... more pictures! Since we'll be in Vancouver for Christmas, we did our prezzies this morning:

She is seriously excited by every single present.

See what I mean?

I wonder where she gets it?

And that my friends is the end of this post. I will only add that we are leaving for B.C. in 36 hours and although we started packing, the to do list just seems to get longer! Also Liliane had a mysterious midnight barf last night so not sure what's up there. She was fine today, no fever or anything but my sickie senses are tingling. Plus of course Stéphane and I are each fighting colds. but so far we're winning.

Can't wait to get back to the west coast and eat my Mom’s lemon shortbread see all the family!

Hope your Christmas prep is going well. Say it with me: SIMPLE IS GOOD.

Back soon! Merry Christmas!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Early Nerds

It's Stéphane's birthday next Saturday but we celebrated with our friends this weekend.

We dropped Liliane at her grandparents' in the morning, saw Up in the Air (George Clooney, that's all you need to know. Plus a great script, but did I mention George Clooney?) went out for dinner, then came back to our house for cake and port and coffee and grown-up convo:

Well, sort of.

I think this conversation was all about Star Wars. Or Star Trek. Or Day of the Triffids. I zoned somewhere during the Spock vs. Yoda debate.

*not pictured: Stéphane proudly showing off one of his most treasured Star Wars Christmas ornaments. It lights up! It speaks dialogue! Holy cow, I married a nerd!

Some of my Christmas treats on the amazing REVOLVING three-tiered serving tower that I got for my birthday from these two cuties:

Our friends Jean-Michel and Laurence. Liliane would be sad if she knew she had missed hanging out with them.

Speaking of hanging out, Laurence took these photos in June or July when Liliane spent the afternoon at their house. I have been meaning to post them for months!

Babysitting AND portrait service. Now why didn't I think of that?

Then there's this guy. Pierre has a permanent spot in Liliane's Top 5 Favourite People list.

The birthday boy and I. He thought it would be festive to sport an angry red right eye for the occasion. The jury is out on the diagnosis. Not itchy, not particularly gummy, just red red red.

My chins and I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas!

We laughed, we played music, we drank port, Paola brought champagne, we blew out the candles and got it all done by 11:30. Sigh. I was hoping to celebrate later à la our upstairs neighbours, but that's life when you hit you mid-thirties. Plus the idea of sleeping all night with no kid-related wakeups was too delicious...

On Sunday we had planned to see Santa, but a very picturesque snowfall plus napping household kept us from the mall. Instead we bundled up and took Liliane out for a walk in the winter wonderland. She went in her wee sled for the first time this season and had a grand time.

Sunday night was the Carols by Candlelight service at my church and this year I was back singing in the choir. Stéphane opted to stay home to spare the good people of Temple Baptist from the pestilence in his eye plus we were too chicken to keep Liliane up way past her bedtime. Definitely next year.

I dressed up and dashed out by myself, secretly thrilled to have a few hours of pure Christmas enjoyment ahead of me. The snow had almost stopped falling as I brushed off the car, but there was enough to coat all the trees and lend a magical touch to the end of the afternoon. Like movie snow. Pretty, not problematic. I parked a couple of blocks away from the church and as I walked up the street I admired the combination of Christmas lights and Hanukkah decorations that adorn that part of Outremont. It was an "all is right with the world" moment. Montréal is really an amazing place to live.

The service went well. Good singing, good company, good message. My friend Manon came and brought her daughter Luanna and it was a real treat to spend the evening with those two. The only thing missing is pictures! While I had the wherewithal to grab the camera, I forgot to charge the battery. Doh. Regardless, a lovely, lovely evening.

We're in the Christmas home stretch now people! Next big event is family brunch here next Saturday. And oh yeah, we leave for B.C. three days later! I predict some all-night packing in my future. Fa la la la la la la la la!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Snow Bunnies, etc.

There's no avoiding it, we had our first snowstorm on Wednesday. Winter is HERE.

This is what my two snow bunnies look like every morning when they leave. I am on pick up duty and don't look half as adorable at the END of the day. Trust me.

Au revoir! Bonne journée! Bisous!
(C'mon people, you're all bilingual by now, right?)

And away they go.

Can you tell that I'm off today? I was in PJs as I took these. Heck, I'm still in PJs now!

The view from our front door. On the left is where all the construction is happening. It's been an entertaining few weeks, especially when the big huge jack hammer thingys get going! As you can tell, I am très at ease speaking the language of construction.

Since I had the camera in my hands and since I've been meaning to blog forEVER and since I'm at home today (and still in PJs, did I mention that?), I snapped some of our Christmas decor.

It was extra fun decorating for the first time at our new home. All new places to put things, plus I went with all white lights and I really, really like it:

This little tree is in Liliane's room. She opens her advent calendar ( a little tiny book with the shortest little stories ever, one for each day), then hangs the wee book on her tree. That retro angel topper? Mine from I don't know when exactly... I always had her in my room so now I am passing her along. A tacky, yet sentimental souvenir. The best kind.

Sorry for the big blog silence, but it's been hectic around here as is wont to happen at this time of year. Between work and choir practice and presents and budgeting and travel plans, NPLH went to the backseat. It may stay there for the next few weeks but I'll try to keep in touch and hopefully even post from B.C.! With pictures!

Hope you are all enjoying this advent season. I'm reminding myself daily to keep my eye on the prize: spending time with loved ones, celebrating the birth of Jesus (or celebrating Hannukah or Kwanzaa or Santa or whatever) but also being thankful for what I have. That's a big one for me and I often suck at it. I don't know about you, but I am so lucky but sometimes so shortsighted. Sigh.

So... Here's to perspective! And friends and family! And occasionally overindulging! And shortbread! And the promise of a whole new year!

Awesome :)
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