Sun

January is over. I’m stating the obvious, yes, but from what I’ve seen and heard, January was a bit of a jerk to many. Or, January is simply insane.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”

We’ve all soared on the high of December for thirty-one days and as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, you can almost hear a needle scratching across the record. What follows next is silence. Complete and utter silence. Everything is grey, even when the sun is shining. I tell myself that I’m going to do this and that and the other thing, but then find myself in a state of inertia. I may run and ski and go to the gym, so I’m physically moving, but I’m emotionally flat. It happens every January, and yet I keep hoping for different results. Insanity, defined.

I recognized it this year earlier than in past years and lowered my expectations. It didn’t make it better, but it didn’t make it so disappointing. I knew that as February approached, things would lift. I was right, and things are changing and good things are happening. The weight of January has lifted and the hope for 2016 that I had at the beginning of the month has resurfaced.

I hope that you, too, made it through January relatively unscathed. Here’s to little less grey and a lot more sunshine.

It’s my birthday tomorrow (The celebrations started last week, in usual Angella style) and I wondered if I should do a ‘[Redacted] things you should know about me/I’m thankful for/I love’, but I wasn’t feeling it. Instead, I want to talk about a serious turn of events that has happened in the past few weeks.

I now prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate.

Anyone who knows me knows that I prefer salty snacks over chocolate any day, but if I have chocolate, it must be of the sweet variety. This has all changed in a surprising turn of events.

In early December, the free item of the week at Superstore (Loblaws, for those East of us) was a variety box of Lindor chocolates. At the end of the holidays, as we were packing up our Christmas tree, there was a lone chocolate bar under the tree. This one.

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IMG_2774

Yesterday morning as I was taking Emily to school she said, out of the blue, “We haven’t seen the sun in a long time.”

We haven’t. I am thankful to live in an area with little rain (I spent the first twenty-five years of my life living on the north coast of B.C. and Vancouver, two areas known for their unending rain). We live in desert country, which means that we get some snow, which then melts, but we can drive up into the mountains to ski in all of the snow that dumps up there. We also don’t have to deal with months of way-too-many-degrees-below-freezing temperatures that many fellow Canadians deal with.

That said, we get Lake Cloud. It gets to be capitalized, because it takes over for weeks on end. The cloud settles over the lake and the sky is every shade of grey. The roads are grey, the air is grey, and everything is grey. My nine-year-old daughter even noticed it.

January is a depressing month for many. Even I, the eternal optimist, have been blindsided by Blue Monday. Getting above the clouds helps, and I recommend it to fellow sufferers of Lake Cloud. But sometimes those few hours of sun are but a drop in the bucket of grey.

Today, I woke up to blue skies and the sun has been shining since it came over the mountains. I ran with the dogs and felt the sun on my face and on my back. I wore sunglasses for the first time in weeks and had to tie my outer layer around my waist because I was too warm. All of the blinds in my house are pulled back and I’m soaking up every drop of sunshine and blue sky that I can while it’s here.

Blue is my favorite color and today has redeemed it to be something positive. I’m calling it Blue Thursday.

One question that I hear whenever I run into someone that I haven’t seen in awhile is, “How is your new house coming along?” Out loud, I tell them that it’s coming along really well and in my mind I think that I need to post some more updates. I’ve posted photos of our kitchen (the lighting has been updated, thanks be), my office space, and our bedroom and ensuite.

It’s time to show you what we did with our fireplace in our main living area. We tackled it over Christmas break and it makes me happy.

This:

Living Room

Became this:

Fireplace After
We (Matthew) painted the paneling on either side of the fireplace the Pewter grey we used on the piano wall and in G’s bedroom (Photos to come). We (Matthew) painted the bricks white (obviously) and the grates black. We (Matthew) built and stained the mantle and the floating shelves on either side of the fireplace, and set up the new TV that we (I) bought on super sale. When we had the wood stove installed downstairs, the company installing it told us that it was totally legit to take out the gas fireplace upstairs and have an open fire, so we (Matthew) took out the fireplace and (I) bought a fireplace screen. It’s awfully cozy to hear it crackle.

I’m the interior decorator, so I did my thing with the shelves, and all that’s left to do is to stack firewood under the hearth. (We’re not replacing the hearth, because it may be from 1965 but it seems to fit.)

Giant's Head Mountain

:: Blows dust off of keyboard ::

That above phrase is figurative, for while I haven’t posted in a few weeks, the keyboard I’m typing on belongs to the shiny new Macbook Pro that Matthew bought me (with my full knowledge beforehand) for Christmas. As with all things tech-related, I needed/wanted something newer and faster, and he needed something to replace whatever he had that no longer worked. It’s a win/win situation. Or, more accurately, I win and he’s not losing.

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, as I tend to make changes during the year that need to be made. 2015 was a wonderful year, but it was also a very hard year. December was a month of closings, and I started January feeling like everything is wide open. I’m still not making any resolutions, but this year feels different.  It feels lighter. Hopeful. Promising. I’m excited, and part of that excitement comes from my commitment to myself (and (Written!) plans) for both this site and areas of my offline life. You’ll be hearing a lot for from me than you did last year. I’m sorry and you’re welcome, whichever you prefer.

Until then, here’s how we closed out 2015, for the few of you who aren’t Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram friends:

The kids got new jammies on Christmas Eve, as they do every year, just like their Dad and I did when we grew up.

Jammies!

Matthew put his photo bombing skills into play.

Graham turned thirteen. THIRTEEN.

G

I am the mother of a teenager. I don’t believe it either. The first thing he did after opening presents was to create a Facebook account. Hold me.

We had a lot of family come to town to see the newest addition to our family. My brother and his girlfriend had a baby girl on New Year’s Eve! It’s not my place to post a photo, but I can tell you that she is beautiful and sweet and we’re excited that they live here in town so that we can love on her often. Despite all of the family in our house, we took no photos of the event. We ate, we played board games, and we had a great visit.

We rent out our cabin over the majority of Christmas break, but there were two separate nights that weren’t booked and we made our way up to the hill to ski and enjoy the otherworldliness that is Apex Mountain.

On the chair

On Top Of The World

Snow Shoeing

Sunrise

New jacket!

It was a good way to close out 2015. Here’s to all that 2016 has in store.

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