Thursday, December 30, 2010

What A Great Week

I am enjoying Christmas break up here  in Fort McMurray.  It is so true that this place does grow on you.  I love my friends up here.  The people of Fort McMurray are a tough breed.  They have to be.  This gives them a lot of character.

  Tracy is a wonderful person.   I met her in Fort McMurray when I lived up here.  She is so kind and giving of herself.  Her son Connor and my son Clayton went to preschool and kindergarten together.  Tracy was always very involved at the school and now she is an anchorwoman at Kaos 91.1 in Fort McMurray and also a school trustee for the Fort McMurray Catholic School Board.  She makes a difference in the spirit of Fort McMurray and I am so proud of her and admire her so much.  Fort McMurray has always had an undeserved bad reputation.  Tracy is the kind of person that doesn't like to see Fort McMurray get a bad rap and it's meeting people like her that makes you realize that there are wonderful people here and they make Fort McMurray so nice. 

Fort McMurray has a new sports centre that is very impressive.  They needed and deserved it for a long time!  Tracy and I took the boys to the pool there and had a good visit.  Clayton loves all the things there are to do here.  There is always snow to build forts and they have outstanding cross country skiing trails and snowshoe trails.  The buzz of snowmobiles are heard in the distance and the tubing hill and ski hill at Vista Ridge are awesome.  Rick, Clay and I went to look at Christmas lights the other night and saw some foxes and deer just hanging out in the residential areas.  The culture here is different, and you will notice it when you first arrive.  There are probably more men and pick up trucks in this city than anywhere in Canada.  There are no snow days here.  I do remember Clayton still going to school when the temperatures were at -45.  There is a very large maritime population here and they have such a nice, friendly disposition.  There is also a good number of scrapbookers here as it is perfect climate for lots of crafting.

Housing is very expensive here and we owned a home here for 5 years.  Unfortunately that home has tripled in price since we bought it in 2001.  Rick rents a basement suite here and it's nice to be able to come and stay when he is working shifts when Clayton is off school.  We moved to Okotoks in 2006 and though it is nice to be back home and close to the parents, we realize now that we should have stayed here and not sold our home.  Hindsight is 20/20.  It isn't the most ideal of situations, but we do what we have to do.  Maybe some day it will be possible for us to afford to come back here and live together as a family.  If not that, then for Rick to come home to the Calgary area and work.  I realize now that we have to make the best of our situation.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Realization

Christmas is history now for 2010 and this year was the year to "keep it simple".  Christmas to me is a recipe for stress and I didn't want no part of the stress.  It was a realization that Christmas has become something so much more different than it was intended to be.  Yes, it is a Christian celebration that has turned into many twists.

This year was the first Christmas in a long time where I felt peace inside.  Usually Christmas to me is happy and sad because we don't get to see both my older kids for Christmas.  It has been that way since my divorce to Rod in 1999.  It has become very different but I try to make the best of it.  I am still thankful that I have family whom I love and that there is a sense of belonging.  Family and belonging.  Wow what a concept!

As I sit in the rented basement suite of Rick's home away from home and ponder the last four years, I have come to the realization that the most important thing about my marriage and family is to be together.  Rick has travelled that long and dangerous highway 63 from Fort McMurray to Okotoks for over four years now and it is a bittersweet thing.  I truly love my home and the beauty of Okotoks and being close to shopping and the mountains and parents, but I also realize that it is a recipe for lonlieness for both Rick and I and Clayton is missing out on his Dad at probably the most formative years.  It saddens me and I realize that I have made a big mistake by moving back home.  It really wasn't my idea, but my husband suggested it as he didn't think I was doing well in the great white north.  Little did he know he would grow to hate the long 8 hour drive every 6 days and we would miss the simple things like eating a meal together and being able to give each other a hug every day and snuggle in bed every day.  I have realized that things are not that important and that I am willing to get back to the basics.  The simplicity of family life with not a lot of things, but having each other.  I never realized how materialism can be a curse.  Now I know.

I do not look forward to the isolation and the cold winters, but I do look forward to the "belonging" and the hugs and laughter in person instead of over Facetime on our iPhones.

I have also realized if a person wants to be happy, then be..... 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Been A While...

Things have been very busy lately with Christmas preparations so I haven't really been doing too much scrapbooking.  I did make my Christmas cards this year.  They took about 45 minutes for each card, but I really enjoyed making them.

Today was the first day of trying the new Weight Watcher's program.  I went to my first meeting last night to sign up for the third time.  I am hoping that I will have the strength this time to go the long haul.  The first time I decided to do this lifestyle change was about 6 years ago.  I lost 60 lbs. and felt great.  The second time I tried was about two years ago.  I lost about 25 lbs. and felt great, but was discouraged that the weight was not coming off well.   It does get harder the older a person gets, but I will be 50 next year and I really would rather be fit and 50 than to be fat and 50.  I know signing up for this lifestyle change two weeks before Christmas is crazy, but is it?  I may have to rethink all the baking I would have done and the extra helpings of turkey, but if I can not gain over the holidays, I will be very happy.  I am hoping by the new year I will be very familiar with the new program and be on my way.  It is a matter of being healthy or being unhealthy and I truly am so fed up with my weight problems.