Friday night started off with a great run, then baking like....five dozen more sugar cookies (by the way, running and baking sugar cookies is totally counter productive...), and then getting a good night's sleep.
Saturday night we had reservations at a new restaurant. It was a very dear friend's birthday, and Sergio and I had organized an impromptu surprise party at the restaurant. The birthday boy was surprised, loved his little gifts (I had found something for him in Paris that I was dying to give him!!) and we had a great night!!!
Although...I may have had a few too many Ti-punches (prounched TEE-POOUNCH). They were tasting soooo good and I was sooo thirsty....and it had been a long, emotional week. So the drinks kept flowing. Ti-punch is like a really good lemonade....but with rum, of course.
I was a bit apprehensive at first about Saturday night - there were about ten or twelve of us - and they were ALL French but me. I'm still a bit apprehensive about my ability to speak French, but I was able to both tell funny stories AND understand the jokes that were said....most of the time, so I was pretty impressed at myself. My French is really getting better (although still....far from perfect).
Have no idea why I have such a confused face here.. maybe all the Ti-punches... We got back to the village and I decided we should practice taking pictures for the email Christmas card that I'll be sending out. This one turned out okay...but when I crop it, it makes me look topless....not a look I'm going for. So it's an official FAIL.
Sunday...came a bit too early. I had planned to go to these beach chalet's that I've been many times but this time I had to bring a pot luck dish AND I had said (many times, thanks to the Ti-punch) that I would bring some Christmas cookies. Only problem was, we had no groceries, the store closes at 11h00 or 12hoo, we had no driver, and the cookies were not yet iced.
It was a mad panic, I scrounged around in our cubbords and made a few phone calls to at least make a half decent cheese plate, and started decorating cookies like a mad woman. Ti-punched-hangover and all....The best part? Our power and water were shut down for the day (again!!) so I couldn't even shower after making all this mess!!!
And as we were leaving....this crawled out of Sergio's sandal. I have no idea what the HELL it is...but it was about six inches long and FAT. I showed this picture to some of the nationals here and they say if bitten medical attention is required immediately. We all had a bit of a screaming dance party when this guy made his appearance....
As soon as we all calmed down (and the bug was dead), it was off to the beach chalets.
There are always these super, super cute dogs that I want to snuggle and cuddle and pick up (and take home in my purse....) but sadly, they are covered in pests and aren't really safe to pet... but this guy really got my attention...
And then brings today. First off, I got amazing news that through Google Reader, I can still check my blogs while I drink my coffee in the morning (thanks again!!!!), and second off, I had a great morning at work and accomplished a lot.
I have no complaints. I have no stresses. Work, although isn't perfect, is progressing really good. Last week I was stressed about some family health matters, and now that's resolved. Sergio and his family are doing great. The weather here is great. I can read my blogs in the morning. Life is technically...great.
But...I had the worst day that I've had...in a long time. Like, the kind of day where I leave work at 15h00 crying.
I'm homesick. I never thought missing Christmas would effect me like this. In Canada, I don't even put up a tree.
I love spending the time with my family, but I didn't realize just how much I appreciate the.... the.....the circus of the holidays.
I'm trying hard to fight these blues. I found a little tree at the market that I'm going to decorate, I found gifts for everyone that was on my list, I bought a Santa hat to wear to work on the 24th, I'm decorating Christmas cookies...and still...I feel....awful. This is the worst I've felt in a long time. On the outside, for the most part, at work, I try to be cheerful. I talk to my staff about their holiday traditions, ask what it's like for them, I exchange greetings with all of the security guards and get their smiles (trying to get some of their happy energy) when I greet them in their language (I still think I my "Giant White Girl" status hasn't totally worn off here yet), I keep trying and trying to come up with just these little things to fight these feelings of complete sadness....
As I wrote last week, I'm lucky....I get to see my family in a few months. And I try to think about all the things that I'm lucky to miss...the chaotic malls, the freezing temperatures, getting stuck in the snow... but it's just not working. I'm certain that today was just a bad day. Or...I have to convince myself that today was just a bad day, and I have to tell myself that tomorrow will be better....because I can't continue on for the next week and a half feeling this much like a sack of crap.
But to be honest, I don't know how people spend Christmas away from their families. And it's not even that I'm spending Christmas alone or anything....I'm spending Christmas eve and part of Christmas Day with Sergio, and then I'm flying to Belgium to hang out with the two cutest girls on earth (and their mom and dad :-))...so it's not like I'm some lonely soul without a place to go. Can you tell that I'm trying to convice myself like REALLY hard that things aren't that bad??
But today. Things feel that bad.
I miss the lights; I miss the stupid Christmas Mariah Carey remake songs that are played far too often on the radio; I miss the snow that by now is probably all dirty and yucky and my car would have been stuck five times by now; I miss waking up on Christmas morning, driving out to the lake, and drinking this orange-juice-type punch, eating hashbrowns (no eggs) and some bacon; I miss my this Christmas-character-snowman-thing that my grandparents have that's motion sensitive and says, Come on In, it's cold outside!! everytime you walk past it (Geez, is that thing ever annoying), I miss listening to my family play cards after Christmas supper (sometimes I play, but I can never quite seem to understand the rules or how to play); I miss the feeling of picking my mom up at the Edmonton airport; and I just miss....Christmas in Canada
I know, I know. Life is about ups and downs. Today I'm having a down. The sun will....come out tomorrow. (Although I hope none of those disgusting bugs do....I may just have a heart attack if I ever see one of those again!!!!). Here's to a good night's sleep tonight....and a better day tomorrow....