Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Post of 2008

Hard to believe, but here we are, the last day of 2008. Can you believe it? I don't think I can remember another year that flew by so quickly. For the most part, I'm not complaining, as 2008 was a bit rough in some ways. Good in some, rough in others.

The Good:

Watching Gillian grow and develop into herself is always part of the good. She had some wonderful acting experiences this year: Spider in James and the Giant Peach, performing with City Circle in Schoolhouse Rock Live! and being asked to fill in the last night of Dreamwell Theatre's production of The Pillowman. I hope she will find more wonderful acting challenges in 2009.

Sixth grade, so far, has also been a positive experience for Gillian. She has made some very good friends, continued friendships that have existed since pre-school, and she's doing very well in math. Lanuage Arts is still her "thing," but it pleases me to no end to have her come home talking about how much she likes math.

Gillian is also starting to get excited about Jr. High next year. I'm hoping I get used to that idea!

More good: obviously, the great vacations we've taken. The adventure in the Pacific Northwest with my dear friend Janice, from Napa, CA, to Prosser, WA, and then to Portland, OR. And then our second cruise on the Disney Magic this past November. The underwater helmet dive and the trip to the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben will always be wonderful adventures to remember.

My continued friendships with dear friends, including some very dear friends online. To Patti and Johanna, girls, you both have become very dear to me, and I raise a toast to you both. I look forward to our continued friendship, and MAYBE we can all finally get together in 2009??????

Challenges: definitely the old work environment. Many of you know the story, but things got very difficult at work and without such great friends and support at work, I don't know if I could have tolerated the tension. We were all in it together, and seeing how we all supported one another made me realize what a wonderful group of people I get to work with every day. So, there WAS a silver lining in that very black cloud. Fortunately, things seem to be getting better, and we'll just keep our fingers crossed that things continue in that vein.

Tomorrow I'll post about my resolutions for 2009, but for now, New Year's Eve is a time to reflect and celebrate, and toast the old and welcome the new. I wish all of you a VERY Happy New Year, and I wish you all nothing but the very best in 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Looking Back on the Holidays

The holidays have been lovely this year. We stayed home since I had to work the day after Christmas, I couldn't get it off, even though the 26th is my mum's birthday. Yep, people all over the world get to have the day after Christmas off, but not me, not this year. Such is life, I guess!

But I digress. Christmas Eve and Day were absolutely lovely. I spent the morning of Christmas Eve honoring my tradition of making Nissua, a Finnish coffee cake, and listening to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, live from Cambridge. Then we packed up and headed to Dan and Jerry's for Christmas Eve. We had Filipino food for dinner, watched a wonderful dvd of Lea Salonga, sang some karaoke, tried to watch It's a Wonderful Life but only made it a third of the way through, and then we opened some presents. Our friend Trevor and Noel spent the day with us, and we just had a wonderful time together.

We slept in some on Christmas Day, then I got up to get started on Christmas dinner preparations, with trifle for dessert, and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for dinner. Gillian got up and HAD to open her presents from me, which she was so excited about, and so wonderfully appreicative of. My best friend Janice also came for the day, and then Dan and Jerry came over, and we had a lovely time talking and laughing and opening more presents and enjoying dinner.

It was such a relaxed and joyful two days, full of the people I love. What could possibly be better?

Tomorrow, Gillian heads up to Camp Wapsie for a short Winter Camp. She is so excited! Dan will take her in the morning, and we'll go pick her up Wednesday afternoon.

Life is good.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Week in Review: Pictures and Videos

Some photos from the adventure to the St. Louis Arch:


This one was taken from the car, believe it or not!













St. Louis Courthouse, taken from 630 feet up!












Inside the arch.














Here is the sword dance from Gillian's music concert. They did a lovely job!


video

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Waiting.......

Yes, waiting. For another winter storm! Can you believe it? We have a winter storm warning that goes into effect at 6pm tonight, through Noon tomorrow. Right now, though, it is sunny out, and difficult to believe that we'll be hit with sleet and snow in just a few hours........

I have some great video and pics to share with you all. The video is from Gillian's music program that was held at school yesterday. They don't do a Christmas program, they do a "Holiday" program. Sometimes Iowa City is just too politically correct....Anyway, Gillian danced in a sword dance (not real swords, Mom!) with a group from her class, and it was excellent. Very well choreographed and well mastered by the kids. The pics are from the trip to St. Louis this past weekend.

I will hopefully get that all uploaded tonight, at home, where my camera is.

I can't believe Christmas is only a week away! The time is flying. I still haven't even started my Christmas cards, but I do promise to get them out in the next few days. Maybe you'll get them on Christmas Eve, which would be perfect timing....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snow Day? Maybe Ice Day.......and AAAACHOOO!

I have some kind of strange cold/allergy that just won't seem to go away. I've been blowing my nose and sneezing for weeks. So I am home today with a sore and tickly nose and a congested head. Yuck.

Gillian is home today, too, because it is a snow day. Rather, in our part of Iowa, an ice day. It was just wet this morning when I first woke up, but in about 20 minutes, everything froze and school was canceled. The roads are icy enough that the Johnson County Sheriff's office just advised no travel within the county.

Slip slidin' away..........

I don't really think that was what Simon and Garfunkel were singing about.......