Tuesday, 27 December 2016

There is nothing quite like time to make you think.  Even though Christmas holidays are still a busy time with dinner parties and events, the routine is different.  There are more moments of reflection and connection with those close to us. 

I have honestly been feeling like our life is a blur at times.  We have had a few more things thrown our way lately so I have mostly been just trying to keep the wheels from falling off... and a few times they almost did.  I am finding myself reminiscing and missing the times when our children were very young.  I know this is cliché, but life was so much more simple then.  Issues were small and easy to manage.  I lacked sleep (of which was not easy for us because we love our sleep) but I could function and felt mostly confident... now I don't feel nearly as strong.  We are heading into unknown waters of parenting and I just hope and pray our boat stays upright. 

One lesson I am learning is to trust my own judgement, my husband's and children's judgement.  They are the most important people in my life... everyone else will come and go but they need to trust me and know I will always be here for them.  Sometimes I get all caught up and forget that. 

I want to step into 2017 with a much more clear focus... take the good with the bad.  Know that life is not always easy but it is good.  Trust God that he has a plan for me and that I can turn to him when I don't know what to do or say.  Teach those same things to our children.  I want to relax a little more and try not to overeact as much.  Make room for those really important to me and not worry about all of the rest... I have a very full life so now is not the time to be spreading myself too thin.  From this, I feel a sense of calm come over me.  I have so many other goals for 2017 but this needs to remain the big picture... I am turning 40 this year but I don't want that to be my focus for change.  I hope to change and tweak a few things so I feel better about myself and who I am but mostly I just want to accept who I am, who we are as a family and know that I can trust in myself. 

How about that for New Years Resolutions? 
This photo was taken a few years ago but gives me a nice warm feeling.

The McGregor Family Annual Christmas Letter

The McGregor Family Annual Christmas Letter

Our Favourite Things of 2016
At the end of each year, Ian and I like to summarize and highlight the past year.  Again this year we decided to ask each one of our children to list some of their favourite parts.  It shows a little repetition but that doesn't surprise me.  Happy Reading!

Jean (8 years old, grade 3, dancer and sings): 

1.       Walt Disney World trip; February:  She loved the ride “It’s a Small World”, she saw Mary Poppins and got to give Marie (from Aristocats) a big hug!  (this made a perfect picture).

2.       After WDW, we spent a few days with Grandma and Grandpa McGregor.  Jean loved being there especially playing mini golf, shuffleboard and swimming. Our van broke down on our way to Florida so we took a ride in a tow truck and taxi and got to stay in a very nice hotel.  (Let’s just say, this was NOT a hightlight of mine but it’s sweet to know that the kids thought it was great!)

3.       We put in a pool this summer.

4.       Our annual camping trip with friends to Bon Echo park in August. 

5.       We travelled to the International Plowing Match this September with the whole McGregor family and met up with the Peterson/Currie/Garner crew for the day.  We stayed over in a hotel as well which Jean loved!

6.       Her 8th birthday party was a lot of fun especially the piñata!

Alex (10 years old, grade 5, hockey player)

1.      Walt Disney World trip; loved Epcot’s scavenger hunt around the world.  We didn’t realize just how much fun the kids had at Epcot travelling through the countries but it was a quiet, calm and relaxing activity… we sure loved it to!

2.       Saved up his money for his first ipad.

3.       Going to summer hockey camp in Ottawa with a good friend.

4.       Our annual camping trip to BonEcho with the Costello’s and Collins families.

5.       His 10th birthday party in October.

6.       Making a new, good friend at school.

Grace (12 years old, grade 7, dancer, singer, student council… this list could go on and on!)

1.      Disney – she loved it all!  She especially loved Boma, an African restaurant with AMAZING food and great service.

2.       She loves having our own pool and going night swimming.

3.       Camping with Grandma and Grandpa Garner and bringing a friend with her.

4.       Her 12 birthday party!

5.       Going to her first “away” summer camp, OELC (leadership camp). 

6.       Grade 7: having some new opportunities such as student council and sports teams. 

Ian: I am still doing what I love and feel lucky that I can make a living at working the land and growing crops alongside my family . It was another great year both on and off the farm. Yields were higher than expected despite all the dry weather we had throughout the growing season, which was an added bonus. Our family was able to take part in many different activities throughout the year as you can see from the all the highlighted events for 2016.  I look forward to the upcoming Christmas break and all the visiting, eating and relaxing with family and friends that goes with it.  Take care and all the best for 2017!!

Deb:  I don’t have enough space to sum up how amazing this past year has been.  I am a busy mom and I help to run a very large farm business!  I don’t have enough time but I really do try to savour as much as I can… our Florida vacation is always a highlight.  It brings me immense joy to plan and plan and then re-plan when mishaps happen like a delayed arrival to Florida (see above).   A big highlight is that we put in our pool… I treasure the memories we have already made and look forward to many years of summer fun!  I have had a lot of “fun” this fall; I have taken quite a few mini-trips (Quebec City, Plowing Match, London, quilting retreat, hockey tournament, shopping in the US) and each one has been awesome.  Ian and I spend much of our time running the roads of Renfrew County for our kids (and all summer long for the business).   I am very, very proud of our kids… there are always new challenges but Grace, Alex and Jean each have a good heart so we must be doing something right!  The days go by way too fast… I am REALLY looking forward to Christmas break where I hope to hunker down as much as I can.  Winter is here… stay warm!
This is our version of the "dab"... obviously I need to work on my technique!