55. Anything’s Possible

Last night as I was putting my son to bed, I told him, as is part of our bedtime routine “I love you”.  He looked at me and said “I love you more”.

My response was unconscious and automatic.  “Not possible”.

“But mom,” he said, “Anything’s possible”.

At which point, I’m fairly certain my heart burst with love.

But as I’ve moved through my day today, my thoughts have returned over and over again to what he said.  And given the week we’ve just had, it’s not overly surprising he said what he did.

You see, a week ago, the Husband and I surprised the kids with a trip to Disney.  As in they woke up, came down the stairs and saw the suitcases packed and ready to go.  What followed was a truly magical week away.

My daughter showed her love for several characters, and was rewarded with them showing her some love right back.

 

 

My son got to meet all SEVEN of the 7 Dwarfs (something he has wanted to do for years), and he got to stay up late enough with me to watch the Christmas Wishes fireworks display at the Magic Kingdom (something I have wanted to do for years).

Both kids got to not only have all their favourite Star Wars characters walk right past them. . .

But they both completed Jedi Training, and got to have a light sabre fight with some pretty scary characters from the Dark Side . . .

And then there was the taping of the Descendants Christmas Special that both kids got to watch from a front row vantage point, even getting to interact with one of the Descendants and some of the dancers!

And of course, there were a host of other amazing moments over the course of the week . . . the little on and I had our annual meeting with the Fairy Godmother, the little one had several other encounters with Goofy, including one with Santa Goofy, the older one overcame his immense fear of Space Mountain, and we were all able to go on that ride together as a family . . .

The trick, now that we’re back to our regular lives and our regular schedules, is to remember that anything’s possible.  But not only that, it’s also to remember to show our love even if we’re not sure our affection will be returned; to do things that will bring us closer to or see us fulfill our dreams; to fight against the darkness that we all have in our lives; to fully enjoy the moment when something wonderfully unexpected happens; and to always look for the magic, because, even in the midst of our everyday lives, there is magic to be found.

And on that note, I wish you the most magical of days.

Counting Down to Christmas

I’ve always loved Christmas.  But since meeting the Husband and having our family, Christmas has become even more special for me.  In contrast to the Christmases I remember growing up where things were different every year, I’ve tried to make Christmas for our family a time of tradition and consistency in our house.  More than anything, I want my kids to remember this time of year as a time of happiness, and love, and family; and I hope they get this through our Christmas rituals.

This year, we started the Christmas season off early . . . at Disney.  We may have been there over the second week of November, but Christmas was in full swing there.  We saw the taping of the Disney Christmas parade.  We went to Mickey’s Christmas Party.  And we saw a Santa Claus parade.  I even had my first Starbucks gingerbread late of the season while walking down a completely decorated Main Street with my son and my daughter watched Cinderella decorate her tree in her castle.

But in the weeks that have followed, while the kids excitement for Christmas has slowly been building, I just haven’t been able to find the excitement that I normally have for the holiday season.

That is . . .until today.

As I sat down this morning to plan out the week ahead, menu plan and otherwise get organized in the kitchen, I clued into the fact that December 1st is THIS TUESDAY!!!!  That means decorations go up, Elf on the Shelf makes his annual return (this is the one tradition I wish I could kill off . . .literally), and advent calendars come out.

Which brings me to my point.  Advent calendars.  The one tradition I remember as a kid is having a small chocolate advent calendar.  So without question, each of my kids gets one of those every year.  They also each get a lego advent calendar.  And then there’s the wooden advent calendar that I fill myself each night with a note for the following day outlining what special Christmas activity we’ll be doing that day.

So, once all the food planning and weekly organization was taken care of, I sat down to try and plan out what special things I’ll do with the kids this December.  And as I started to map out the things we will do – decorate, bake, make holiday crafts, spend time with family, and spend time as just the four of us – I found the weight of all that is going on right now start to lift, and some of the joy and wonder of this season seep in.

I can’t control what’s going to happen to me over the next few weeks (yes, the weight of waiting for my blood work results does get me down), nor can I control what’s going on in the world (while I normally love nothing more than a strong cup of coffee and the New York Times first thing on a Sunday morning, today’s paper was downright depressing).

But I can control what goes on in our house.  And for the next 27 days, our house is going to be filled with happiness.

It’s also going to be filled with a lot more sugar than normal!  While I try to make sure the kids (and the grownups) don’t have sugar during the week, they are allowed treats on the weekend.  And yesterday, we made one of my favourite weekend treats – Peppermint Chocolate Bark.

This is a really tricky recipe (hah!). . . grease a cookie sheet with coconut oil.  In 1 double boiler (or in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water) melt 3 bags of enjoy life chocolate chips.  In a 2nd double boiler (or glass bowl set over a pan of simmer water), melt an equivalent amount of white chocolate (for this I use Green & Blacks organic vanilla white chocolate bars – about 4 of them).

Once the chocolate chips have melted, stir in 1tsp of peppermint exact.  Then pour it into the prepared cookie sheet.  Using a knife, spread the chocolate out evenly in the pan.  Repeat the process with the white chocolate.  You can use a fork or a skewer to swirl the two chocolates together.  Or just leave it as is.  Put the cookie sheet in the fridge or the freezer until the chocolate has hardened.  Then use a knife or whatever other implement you’d like to cut it into appropriate sized pieces.

Enjoy!!!

And my best wishes for the happiest of holiday seasons!

xoxo

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