Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year in Review


Words to describe 2011 
Friends. Family. Sorrow. Fear. Contentment. Happiness. Fulfillment. Satisfaction. Resolve. Excitement. 

Bodhi loves the snow!
The first thing I see are big snow flakes cascading down as I wake up. I see this easily because there are no curtains on the windows.  It just takes me a second to know I am home.  The snow flakes are really big.  And as I awake slowly, I watch as the flakes silently float pass. It's a winter wonderland this New Year’s Eve in Dunrobin.  If I had any energy, I would go outside and make snow angels. But after a long, late, flight that's not going to happen. 


Yesterday, we were in Vancouver BC where it is always green, albeit cloudy and rainy, but it is still green.  The sun was teasing us getting brighter the closer we got to the airport.  Opting to come out on our last day in Vancouver after hiding behind clouds for over a week was just not nice.  "We live for these sunny moments" says my sister.  


As I start my day, my guys still in bed, I thought what a perfect time to blog about my year.  

Rose Dec.2011
Although, the year began with devastating news of my sister’s diagnosis of breast cancer, it ended on a positive note as we spent a few days in beautiful British Columbia with each other over Christmas.  Throughout this year I’ve learnt from my sister how to enjoy being in the moment while accepting the past, and at the same time embracing the future all in a single breath.  Indeed, in reading her blog the future looks bright for her. She has strength, courage and more than that she has precisely the right attitude.
 
Having the right attitude is essential in all areas of life. Making the best of a bad situation can release stress and create ways of moving forward in a way that may not have been possible before.

In January of last year, we spent a few weeks in Montreal, and again in August experiencing two seasonal extremes, which gave being in Montreal two totally different perspectives. Both wonderful, I might add. 
 
May and June were difficult months. My good friend Margo died, she was an amazing lady and I miss her. My mom had an accident and had to have surgery for a broken hip. Unfortunately, she could no longer live in her house because she was not able to manage the stairs.   And to top it off  I missed Andrew’s grade eight graduations and Alan’s birthday.  


In June, in addition to my friend's death, and my mom's accident, I also had one of the worst Board meetings I ever experienced.  It was so stressful that I considered rendering my resignation as Vice Chair. What actually saved my sanity was that I received personal coaching which empowered me to create a new relationship with my Board. Yay, for Landmark Education and a personal thank you to Moneca and Vik.  It was a huge transformational shift that I could not have imagined possible.

The summer was hot and hotter but I enjoyed it nonetheless. August was special for the weddings and a second trip to Montreal.  


My vegetable garden was amazing last season, blessing us with huge cucumbers. I feel silly saying this, but I didn't know that cucumbers are prickly when they are first picked and become smooth after they are washed. We also got tons of tomatoes, potatoes, chard, spinach and lettuce growing like they were on steroids. This was especially great for me since I am experimenting with eating whole live foods.  And if you are a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I can't live without my green smoothies.  I even travel with my blendtec! 


We managed to complete the office koi pond, which welcomed wildlife and served as a sanctuary for the staff to get in touch with nature’s pure energy. 


We had a beautiful fall, which is my favorite time of year.  The weather could not be more perfect and the best part, no bugs.

Andrew began high school in a new school.  So far, he is doing well and is gaining self-confidence as he discovers his academic strengths.  


In November, I challenged a few people to see who would blog the most.  I won! I posted six blogs that month. Look out, I may be doing this again. Let me know if you're interested.


In December, another Board meeting in Edmonton, Alberta, with financial reports indicating that the institution is healthy ended the year on a high note.
 
And being in Edmonton provided me the opportunity to visit with family and friends.  I created an event on facebook inviting people to meet me for breakfast.  I wasn’t sure if anyone would show up early on a Saturday morning, but they did. What a wonderful way to get caught up with people if you only have limited time at a certain place.  “Breakfast with Angelina” will be a continuing event whenever I am in Edmonton in the future.

Again, this year I was pleased to participate in another of my favorite Christmas tradition, a gathering at my niece’s home in Stony Plain. With enough food to feed an army and her house always so beautifully decorated is the embodiment of Christmas.   I’ll always treasure with fondness this Christmas tradition.  I almost didn’t make it because of the fresh snowfall earlier that morning.  But thankfully my brother-in-law was able to drive my rental car up the steep snowy driveway, thank you Ron.

But the surprise of the year was actually seeing my nephew who arrived from Australia. This was his first international trip on his own.  Chris you give the best hugs ever!
   
From the plane on iphone
We spent the last couple of weeks of December in Vancouver, BC with our our beautiful island girls. Their house  is perched on the side of a hill and offers the most spectacular views of the ocean and the Vancouver city lights.  We opened gifts, watched a movie, had a fabulous turkey dinner with all the trimmings and just hung out.  Priceless!

While in Vancouver we called a real-estate agent friend to view a few houses that we were interested in seeing. Our future plan is buy our dream home on the west coast sometime in the next two years.
  
All things considered this was a great year.  What will 2012 bring, I can’t wait to see...  Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and a Prosperous 2012! 
     


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