Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Gift of Family & Friends

"It came without ribbons!  it came without tags!  It came without packages, boxes or bags!  Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store.  Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!" - Dr. Seuss

I just had one of the most awesome Christmas holidays ever!  It started off with a really good cup of coffee at home, on Christmas Eve, with our friend Mike who we met while in Europe this year.  Mike came to Ktown on Friday night to surprise Sarah and I and to take part in the P.A.C.E. charity trial run we hosted at Crawford this morning.  It was so good to see him and I think Sarah said it best: 'it felt like it was just yesterday we last saw and talked to him.'  The first of many great 'gifts' this holiday season - the gift of reunited friendship!

The gifts kept coming too!  On Christmas eve we headed over to Crawford to meet an an incredible crew of people who came out to run with PACE and support the Kelowna Food Bank.  P.A.C.E. leaders, Andrew Corcoran, Ian Tanner, Trent, Stephanie Swaisland and Karen Bowen were out in full force, ready to take the lead through the snowy trails.  We had two groups that headed out for 1hr 30min session and with the snow lightly falling it really was a magical Christmas Eve morning.  Thanks again to everyone who came out and brought items for the food bank to those less fortunate than us this time of year.

This year was a rather special year for my family.  Mid-November my step mom was diagnosed with Cancer.  I haven't blogged about this at all, as it is a personal and rather emotional area for me and my family and not something that neesd to be shared in detail across the world, however my blog (aside from my goal to motivate and hopefully inspire some people from time to time) is a place that I go to look back on my life.  To help me remember and cherish some of the 'Ah-ha' moments, as well as have a timeline to some of the pivotal and more challenging moments.  So in an effort to still respect my parents and their privacy while honoring my values I will just say that this Christmas was truly a 'magical' one for me.  I know many people have loved ones who are either battling cancer or have family and friends who are no longer here to share the holidays with.... making the holidays a rather sad and/or difficult time.  I am so proud and feel so lucky to have a family who embraced this holiday season.  My parents, who have been divorced since I was 12yrs old, gathered with their spouses, my brother, Carter and Trent and me to create the true meaning of Christmas... 'togetherness.'  For two days we all hung out and shared the role in the kitchen... hung out in our pj's... played games, sang songs, watched movies and cherished 'time' with one-another without judgement... without moments from our past... staying present and embracing the simple gift of family.  My parents (all 4 of them) are really special people and I can't tell you how amazing it was to celebrate the holidays undivided this year.  It was not only the best gift of the season for me... it will always remain one of my fondest memories.

Mary & My Dad

John & My Mom
Trent and I got out for a run behind the house, before returning to the house where Mary taught me how to make her ancient Chinese secret: won ton soup!  Carter, my Dad and Uncle Kenny had a monopoly tournament that lasted almost 4hours!  It was the most intense (in a fun way) game I have ever seen :)  I will have to get the photo from my Dad and add it at a later time.

My Mom and John cooked a beautiful turkey dinner on Christmas Day and we once again, all ate way too much!  While some people hit the malls for deals today, I went into the gym to teach a spin class for those members of the club who wanted to stay in touch with their health and fitness over the holidays :)  It was a fun class and I worked them HARD!

With a new year on the horizon my mind is buzzing with inspiration and more endless possibilities that await my athletes, my family and me.  Making the most of each day and the gift of 'time' is my 2012 slogan... what's yours?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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