Holiday Newsletter - in January!

And you thought the holidays were over. Not true! Our fake tree is still up - two trees, in fact - the tree we got in Canada last year and the old tree we'd left in the basement.

This year I even bought more decorations the day after Christmas - 50% off! - first time I've ever done that. I seriously considered putting up lighted wreaths, pathway trees and garlands all around the house that weekend. Maybe this weekend.

So, a Holiday Newsletter...

In a nutshell, 2009 was mostly a giant steaming pile of turds. But it did have a few high points. Leaving Canada was one of them, as was getting Henry home safely, which almost didn't happen - the biggest turd of the pile.

Early in the year we knew David's job in the Great White (grey) North wouldn't last - layoffs were happening every month or so. For a few weeks he came home every night not knowing how much longer he'd have a job. Turds.

I took on the new job of full-time housewife and I did not win any housewifing awards. I did cook a lot more and cleaned a few things and every week successfully forced myself to go to the grocery store. Turns out I'm not so good at housewifing.

I watched a LOT of Felicity and The Dog Whisperer. Maybe too much. But I learned a LOT about dog psychology and why Ben was ultimately the better choice over Noel. Noel and Felicity are just too similar - not enough chemistry. Ben challenges Felicity in a way Noel never could. Wait, what were we talking about?

Right - 2009 turds. So, about Canada... If you're a regular reader of The Nootsmaak, you're already familiar with the steaming turds of Canada. Suffice it to say, it wasn't the right place for us. Or anyone with a shred of ambition or energy. Or anyone who enjoys sunlight. Or anyone who dislikes mold and mildew. Or anyone who knows how to drive.

With David's job slowly slipping away, it was an easy decision to pack the french up and move the toast home. I found out a couple of weeks ago that the company he was working for shut down in early December. Good thing we didn't stick around to see what might happen. What a sad, sad Christmas that would have been. Turds.

As turdish as the whole adventure could be at times, David and I enjoyed many quiet nights together watching Don Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada (government mandated) and not eating poutine. Ever.

We explored parts of Vancouver tourists never see, with good reason. We saw black bears around the neighborhood - David saw many more than I while riding his bike throughout the area. And I saw many, many Canadian teens wearing really fugly hoodies.

I got to take a few road trips to Seattle to see friends - that was fun. I ate too many Top Pot doughnuts, bacon-filled waffles and Dick's burgers & fries. My arteries are glad we're no longer anywhere near Seattle.

After endless weeks of endless grey days, I learned that no amount of doughnuts, cookies, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, pancakes, waffles, fried waffles or bacon-filled fried waffles can abate the deep, bottomless sadness that overcomes me when I do not see the sun.

No one told us there wouldn't be sun. Not for that long. Even if I'd known, I'm not sure I could have even prepared for it other than unpack the truck and say Fuck NO to moving to Canada. Now the lack of energy and motivation (and obsession with hockey and beer) makes a little more sense.

The best part of 2009 was arriving back home to this amazing house, with all the kids in tow, back to our friends & family. Without experiencing the turd of Canada, we wouldn't have the deep appreciation of everything we have here. So, that's not entirely turdish. That might even be a gift.

Since we returned, I've gotten back to work fairly quickly and David found a new job at a good company after only a few interviews around town. Things aren't perfect, but we're very aware of how fortunate we are.

The cats are happy, the bird is happy, our family is happy and that's all we can ever ask for. I'm hoping for a lot of sun in 2010 and all good things for everyone. I'm even going to the dentist after a 10-year hiatus. Things are looking up.

Happy Holidays & Happy O-Ten!