Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013!

IMG_1858It has been a mixed Holiday season for us, with a phone call on Friday Dec 7th from Mark’s mum Janet with the news that Morley’s cancer has returned to his spine, confirmed from an MRI, and is now in a palliative care stage.  So we booked our flights for the next morning, and flew over supposedly for a week to help Janet care for him and set up the house.  Unfortunately with each day we saw a IMG_1850marked decrease, it was an aggressive cancer, and we decided to stay.  Sadly he passed away on Dec 21st, we had moved him up to the cottage, his last wishes, and he had all the kids and Janet by his side.  The funeral was held in Aurora on Dec 28th, to a packed house, still very sad but it was nice to see all the family and friends, and it was a beautiful service, with some smiles brought by a few really good speakers – a colleague, an old friend and Janet’s cousin, John.  Jessie was amazing throughout the whole time, she loved having the visitors come to the house and cottage, lapped up the attention, and IMG_1844was very cute with Grampsie, would give him kisses and lie next to him on his bed with her arm around him watching a cartoon movie.  Luckily Tamara organised some babysitters at the church for the funeral, I explained to Jess that we were having a special church service to say goodbye to Grampsie.  Jessie came with us to the church but stayed in the sunday school room,when I went to get her at the end of the reception she said she couldn’t leave yet, as she hadn’t said goodbye to Grampsie, so we both went back into the church and said our goodbyes, I was really touched, I guess even 3 year olds need closure.

She also really enjoyed running around with the other 6 cousins, from 18 months to 7 years old, they all had a great time together at the cottage.  Christmas Day was a bit sad without Morley, but still happy due to the 7 grandkids excitement over the whole christmas/santa experience.  I think we IMG_1871had 9 huge garbage bags of wrapping paper and toy packaging from us all!  The kids were well catered for.  Santa had already come to our place in Vancouver, but those presents will come out at strategic times over the next few months.  Luckily there is a new Canadian Tire at Minden which had a small pink wagon and a hippo pop up tent for kids indoor play which was well received by Jess.  Santa had listened to her repeated requests for a pink present, with a pink wrapper, pink ribbon and pink bows, so she was delighted to see her pink presents IMG_1879under the christmas tree!  The cottage in wintertime was wonderful, with the lake freezing over a little more each day, and gorgeous dry powdery snow all around.  We took Jess skating on an outdoor public ice rink, a flooded basketball court, it was her highlight of the trip!  We also build the obligatory snowmen and snow family, made snow angels and gave her lots of toboggan rides.  Minden is a very IMG_1897nice country town, 3 hours north east of Toronto, I looked up online the service times at the local churches, and next to the Anglican one is ‘across the river from The Beer Store’… You know you are in the country when…  hee hee hee… My cousin Jelita said it should follow on from that ‘after the service tea, coffee and beer will be served in the hall…’

We came back to Vancouver on Jan 3rd, and have been getting back to our normal routine, Mark at work in the office (they asked to send him away again and I said no, it’s getting too close now), and Jessie at her various activities.  She has preschool for 2 hours on Tues and Thurs, as well as gymnastics on Thurs afternoon, ice skating lessons on Friday and ballet on Saturday.  Last week she was ok at ice skating for her first lesson, wasn’t thrilled but was ok.  This week she refused to put her skates on, then her helmet, then wouldn’t get onto the ice.  This was a first for me, as Jess normally is the one running and jumping into the pool, climbing the highest at the playground, going on the big slides etc. After these dramatics she had missed her lesson, but the nice instructor had given her some texta markers and she was sitting on the mat and drawing on the ice.  Then one of the instructors asked if she wanted to see the stuffed animal toys on the ice, but only if she put on her helmet.  She obliged and had a 10 minute private lesson, enjoyed being on the ice, so he let her join in the next beginner group lesson.  Then she didn’t want to come off the ice!  So I went and put snow rubber thingies on the bottom of my blundstone boots and went out on the ice with her, at 33 weeks preggers!  Oh well, she now likes the ice and has asked Mark to take her skating tomorrow, so we will see how it goes, hopefully better!

IMG_1901We had a nice ‘christmas’ dinner with Liam and Tricia on the Friday night, Jessie was so excited to see her best friend again, it’s all she was talking about, her first words on Friday morning were ‘can we see Liam today?’

Jessie is getting very excited for the upcoming new arrival, she still calls it ‘Nurnie’, but now says she would like to call it ‘Isabelle’, which by coincidence IMG_1910was Mark’s grandmother’s name.  She still says it’s going to be a girl too, but I think she will cope if it’s a boy.  It is still very active, and is head down, so that is a relief, although I find it more uncomfortable in this position, and I am still nauseous and exhausted.  Mark is just ‘nervous’ about it all, but unlike last time, hasn’t asked me not to call him at the office yet, as with each call it used to freak him out thinking I was in labour.  We will see…


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One response to “Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013!

  1. Beautiful post Karen. Your Christmas must have been so up and down. We were thinking of all the Smiths throughout and sending you our love.

    Now we are thinking of you as you approach the big day (which is what day exactly?). Good luck for a speedy labour and a quick delivery. We can’t wait to hear the great news!

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