Saturday, December 31, 2005

Another Year Comes to a Close

As I reflect apon this past year I have alot to be thankful for.

1. Last January after 3 long years of trying, Chris finally got his divorce! All that was left to do was send a pile of documents to France to have them processed in order for them to Recognize said divorce.

2. Chris' ability to surprise me continues to amaze me. Wether by being just the man that he is or how special he makes me feel. It seems that it keeps getting better as the years we spend together acumulate. (hands out free barf bags for all those just ready to hurl as we speak...HAHA)

3. Being able to sit down with Chris at a jewelers and design our rings for the future. We are neither difficult or extravagant, our choices were very simple in design but they turned out to be the most beautiful rings in the whole wide world. HEHE

4. Getting a Brand New Vehicle , a first for both of us. Although Chris had an accident within 3 days of having it, no one was hurt and everything turned out fine in the end. We are still very pleased with our choice of the SantaFé.

5. Flying out west to visit family this summer and also showing Chris some of the Canada I come from.

6. Crying as Chris looks up at me from bended knee asking me to marry him. This all among family I hold dear.

7. Being in a closed Bakery with so many choices and so little time!

8. After 4 years of promising, finally redecorating Cléo's room.

9. My dad and his wife coming for a visit and buying Cléo a piano and paying for lessons as well.

10. My little girl turning 15! Where did the time go?

11. Getting a new laptop cause the old one died. My sanity was on the line cause I hate daytime TV!

12. Finally getting the official Recognition from France that Chris is Divorsed! Yes! 11 months later!

13. Having Chris' son and daughter here for Christmas has been a real treat for all of us. We will bring in the New Year with his children and my daughter who have been getting along famously. Chris also announced to them during a private moment that we are engaged and will be getting married. Their first thought was, CAN WE BE AT THE WEDDING?!... so that was positive lol.

14. I can also thing of a thousand moments during the year that I enjoyed my friends company. Wether it be in person by phone, chat or even through reading their blog. I never had a huge number of true friends but the ones I do are very important to me.

I could cite many more things from this year but as we know I am long winded to start with, it would turn into a book.
Let me just wish for everyone reading this , A Very Happy New Year!!!!

From my family to yours BONNE ANNEÉ!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Smallest of Things can make the Biggest Difference

Every year I try to find cute little do dads to put in my daughter and niece's Christmas stocking. This year I also put together stockings for Chris' children as well. They had never had one. There is never anything very expensive in these stockings...usually stuff like chocolate and candy with some girly things like nail polish and makeup or bubble bath and cute socks.. had to think of boy things for Chris' son aswell....One of the special things I did find for all the kids this year was an adorable little brown bear.

A stuffed bear? you say....other then being cute, nothing special with that eh...
Well you are wrong hehe.

These little bears have a little recorder in them so u can record a short message on them. Granted the quality was somewhat poor but I thought the idea was great. I thought it would be awesome for Chris to record a little message on his son's and his daughter's bear so that when they are back home in France they could just push the left paw and listen to their dad say...I love you and I am thinking of you...or something similar in french ofcourse.

I did the same for my daughter's bear but I had something different in mind for my niece Chantal.

Chantal is 16 yrs old. Her mother who was also my best friend, died of cancer 6 years ago. She was also my sister in law at the time. Chantal's dad is my ex's brother. Cléo my daughter and Chantal have always been very close cousins and ever since Manon died I have always had my door open for Chantal. She also always comes here for Christmas. Her dad usually goes to my ex's house but Chantal prefers to be with us here. I try to make it as tradition as possible for them both.

Anyway to get to my point...Just before Manon died..I brought my little cam corder to the hospital to film her and get her to say a few things to her daughter on tape. The reason for this was because Chantal being only around 10 yrs old at the time was not fully aware of the gravity of the situation with her mom. She was told everything but she was staying with friends here and there and being a kid, and they were not really suggesting she should spend time in the hospital with her mom...they took everything of what the psychologist in the hospital said to heart as in... Do not push her to come see you as to not Tramatize her for life or Let her just talk on the phone with her and let her play with her friends bla bla bla....Now I am the first to agree that forsing the issues would have been a bad idea but I don't think it was a better idea to just let Chantal stay at friends houses with not a care in the world either then have her mother die and then it be to late for her to say her goodbyes. To wake up years later feeling quilty that she didn't spend more time with her when she could.....Everyone in the family hummed and hawed all in agreement with Manon and Sylvain's attitude...I was the only one who seemed to care how Chantal would feel YEARS LATER... I tryed to convince them otherwise but to no avail...So I went without sleep for 2 days trying to think of something I could do. I came up with a comprimize..I asked Manon if I could tape her talking to Chantal and telling her how much she loved her etc....I have to add that Manon even in the last week...looked as she always did..other then looking tired, she looked like herself , she wasn't sickly or sunken looking like some become. I wanted to have this tape for years later when Chantal started to miss her mom or wanted maybe different answers that she was to young to ask earlier. Also something to take away her quilt for not being there .... by knowing her mom understood....this is where my point comes in...

It is from this tape I took a short message for Chantal's bear....she says ( I will always be watching over you from my white cloud in the sky).....

I wish it could have been clearer then it is on this bear..given its from a 6 yr old video cassette and the bear recorder is bad quality, its not very discernable unless u already know what it says but once u do u can make it out. It took me 20 trys to get it in the 6 second frame lol but I made it lol.

When she heard it and I told her about it, she started to cry. So did my daughter sitting next to her. It wasn't a sad cry, it was a touched cry. She never let go of that bear all evening and even went to bed before the others to cuddle her little bear close. She did however ask me where her mom had said that. We have often looked over old cassettes taken over the yrs as the girls were growing...but she realized this wasn't said on one of I told her abit of the cassette I made and if she wanted to see it, we could do that some day soon. I felt that this year she needed to have her mother close. Her father is always absent, throwing himself into work, she can't be here as often as she would like or need given she lives in another township.

Anyway...I just wanted to share this with some of you. It was a very small thing I did but it made a big difference to her.

If you havent already read it, I posted a short story about the day we found out Manon had cancer. Please read it , I hope it saves a life out there. It isn't long and even has some funny bits but the message is very important...take a minute to read it for yourself or a loved one.......When Was Your Last PaP Test?

Monday, December 26, 2005

A Few Pics to Share

Chris beaming with his son and daughter.

My daughter and his

Can you tell with the mess that all the gifts have been opened and now they are trying to figure out how it all works lol

Everyone got spoiled and all had a great Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Welcome to my home and our traditions. Today the 24th of Dec , Eve of Christmas is when we open all our gifts. Yes it's the strike of midnight on Christmas Eve we rip open ALL our presents.

Let me me go back in time to when I was a little girl and tell you how our magical Christmas' happened.

Magical for me because although my childhood was a very difficult one, our Christmas' always seemed to be exempt from most of the negative aspects that surrounded our lives. Or my sisters and I just made it so in our heads, who knows lol.

First of all, somehow we knew that santa was poor therefore he could only bring one thing to each child. When that sears catalog arrived a month or so before xmas we painstakingly leafed through everypage trying to decide which toy it would be. That catalog became so dog eared and wrinkled by the time all 3 of us went through it a million times its a good thing mom thought to have another one stashed away for her own use and to be able to decipher the item numbers with. When THE toy was finally chosen, we waited for it anxiously at Christmas. The days approuching Xmas when the decorations came out and mom did the tree it was all so special. Our tree was the most beautiful of everyones ofcourse. Presents from relatives and eachother would start to appear underneath it. OH I WONDER WHAT'S IN THAT ONE?...... We also had a manger under it with all the figures in it except the baby jesus in his little bed. He was not yet born so his bed was empty.

On Christmas Eve we either had a big meal or buffet with just us or visiting family and friends. Always lots of food for ppl to munch on through the evening. Us children though, had to go to bed so Santa could come. I even remember one year, just before bedtime, dad brought us to a window that had some snow and frost sticking to it ...looking through one of the panes of glass he points to the sky and says '' Do u see it?'' '' Way Way up in the sky so far it's just a tiny speck but it's Santa's sleigh...See There?.....We were so and wide eyed we all 3 of us strained to see the tiny speck in the sky that was Santa's sleigh and declared....'' I SEE IT! I SEE IT! IT'S MOVING IN THE SKY PAPA , YIPPEE!!!.....all 3 of us goobers danced around with glee. I swear to this day I saw it lol.

So off to bed we would go to sleep. Always so excited thinking we would never be able to but always did. Then at midnight the baby jesus had been born AND Santa had come and gone. We are then woken up . All sleepy but wide eyed we scurry to the tree to first see our covetted toy we chose with care. That one was never wrapped , it was always just sitting there on display ready for our loving hands. Once over the initial excitement of getting THE toy, we had to notice that the baby jesus was in his bed in the manger.

We then opened all the rest of our gifts. Ate more food and finally went back to bed in the wee hours of the night. All happy with what we got and thankful for everything.

Everyone sleeps in Christmas morning since we all went to be so late, and for the most part Christmas day is a lazy day for all except mom doing the turkey for supper.

I repeated the same traditions with my daughter but over the years I have added a couple more. I added stockings. We never had those growing up. I make one for my daughter and niece filled with do dads and what nots all silly little things. I also started buying new pj's for everyone for xmas eve evening. So everyone has fresh new pj's and we are all comfy for a late night opening gifts. As the children get older they no longer have to go to bed. We just all enjoy a late evening buffet and enjoy being together.

My daugher and my niece Chantal are here along with the rare treat of having Chris' kids with us this year as well.

I have shared a few of our traditions with you. What's fun to hear are the different ones that others have with their families. Tell me what some of yours are. I am sure others would be interested to know also. In the meantime, I wish you all a JOYEUX NOËL ....many hugs...0x0x0x

Saturday, December 17, 2005


For those who wanted to know...Chris' children arrived safe and sound. Not without stress on our parts mind you. For the obvious reasons wondering initially if his ex would get them to the airport on time then yesterday..arrival day, we got hit with a wopper of a snow storm. Starting early started snowing nonstop..schools were closed and all domestic flights going in and out were cancelled. We had the Air France website on keeping track of their flights. They had a short flight to Paris to start then a direct flight from Paris to Montreal. We saw by the website that it had left we were then concerned it wouldn't land in Montreal with this storm.

Highways were blocked or just full of accidents and my ex even called after driving into Montreal for work to suggest Chris leave for the airport right then to be on time...This was said at 9am..flight was due at 3pm...its normally a one hour drive.....We weighed the options and decided to wait till the plows had begun making headways. ...He left at noon...and it went well, and just under 2 hours but only because he stayed behind a snow plow.

They landed fine...Chris was at the gate waiting. Almost 2 hours later, they still hadn't come through the gate. Apparently others waiting were starting to snarl. Chris was becoming impatient to say the least...he hadn't seen his kids in 9 months and before that it had been almost 3 long yrs. (This was not by choice believe me)

The phone rang and when I answered Chris announced.. THE EAGLES HAVE LANDED!!!...WHOOOO HOOOO....

When Chris signed for the kids. (son 11yrs & daughter 13 yrs old) .they had an airline attendant..she informed Chris that it is a NO, NO! to have minors transport cigarettes and alcoholic beaverages!...Chris was like WTF?...then figures that his daughter must have a bottle of wine as a gift from France for her looks at both kids with attendant there and says...OK, WHICH ONE OF YOU SMOKES NOW!?!?... that even had the attendant laughing. LOL....

They got home an hour later, as the roads had been plowed. It was great to see them. More hugs and kisses. Sat down to supper and watched as my Chris had twinkles in his eyes and a beaming smile as he and his kids goofed around together. I was so happy for them all.

Chris has to work this weekend but after tuesday he is off till Jan 3rd. Poor kids are stuck here with me and Luc lol...they atleast have the pc to play on. I actually got alot done. Made 4 batches of fudge, and aprox 130 xmas cookies.

We have 3 precious weeks with them. I hope they have a great time here with us. I send hugs to all my friends..and hope u all get your xmas stuff done in time. HUGS TO EVERYONE

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

My 2005 Christmas Letter

It's that time of year again. Is it me or does it seem that as soon as we are done putting away the tree and Christmas decorations, we have to take them out again? Ok, I realize that there is a summer squeezed in between but it zooms by like that lone fly you can never catch.

This past summer, Chris, Cléo and I went out west to see the family. It was a first for Chris as he hadn't yet met some of my family or seen anything of western Canada. I believe Chris made a good impression with my family. The very first day we arrived, when we were gathered at mom and Ben's for supper with Nicole and her family, Chris surprised everyone including me by getting on bended knee and proposing to me. YES YOU HEARD IT RIGHT! My parent's OLDEST daughter is FINALLY getting married! I said YES by the way. (PSST... Dad, you can put the shotgun away).
This coming January Chris starts a new position as a supervisor at the pharmaceutical company where he works. Once he starts we will be better able to chose a wedding date. If all works out I would love June 9th. It is the date my grandparents married. They adored eachother till death. It is also the date my (divorced) parents married. They will have OTHER unadoring feelings till death. So I figure it skips a generation.

We had a great week spend in Cochrane with mom, Ben, Nicole, Wade, Tess and Hayden. Many a photo was taken during our different activities. I think my favorite is the one of my loving sister Nicole giving me the finger...oops I mean adjusting her glasses. Oh but I also love the few shaky ones I took of the mountains in Banff as we took the Gondola to the mountain top. Shaky why? Well as I had to unweld one of my cold damp hands from the side bar, in the flimsy, almost totally windowed, death trap of a cable car, to hold the camera, all while keeping an eye on the thread like thickness of a cable, sure to snap by the slightest shift of this big girl's weight, there by hurdling us to a horrid, seen by every angle in slow motion, DEATH a trillion feet below...may have caused my camera hand a few gentle movements during this serene moment of totally breathtaking beauty and calm wonderment.
The following week was spent in Regina with dad and Christine and relatives all over. It was so nice to see everyone. We were also able to do a few new things. Due to my brother André's wife Ellen, Cléo was able to do some horseback riding and we also had the oportunity of spending time at the Regina Science Center where Ellen works. Chris and Cléo both had a few runs going up the climbing wall as I cheered them on. I secretly knew I could do so much better but as I had a skirt on I opted for letting them compete with eachother. Besides those harnesses looked like they were made out of wet toilet paper.....well close to it anyway.
As holidays are, the two weeks sped by. We flew home to return to the routine but luckily dad was coming out east. We were able to spend more time with him and Christine and they bought Cléo a piano. She had expressed wanting to learn and as he had done the same for Nicole's daughter Tess a few years earlier, we found a nice one and got it home shortly after that. Cléo started lessons once a week since sept and already knows some Beethoven among other things. I have yet to ask her to pratice. It's more like telling her to do her homework INSTEAD of play piano. What a delinquent!! I knew that 15 would be rough, it's the age pending disaster I tell you!!!

Finally, this Christmas will be very special for Chris because we will have his children here to celebrate it with us. They arrive from Paris France this Dec 16th. His daughter Mahault is 13 and his son Thomas is 11. Needless to say, Chris doesn't see them often and this will be the first Christmas in 4 years they have spent together. We will have three weeks to spend with them and enjoy every minute. With that I wish for all of you to spend this holiday season with friends and loved ones and appreciate every moment. Accept our best wishes for a JOYEUX NOËL ET BONNE ANNEÉ........0X0X0X Monette, Chris et Cléo
PS...Those among you who know will be recieving a card from me in the mail. PLEASE DO NOT READ ABOVE LETTER..

Friday, December 02, 2005

It's that time of year again.

YUP, it's that time of year again. I have started to have the xmas spirit this year. I am glad because last year I wasn't really into it. Chris' divorse was still pending, we still had too much furniture in the house to make room for my xmas decorations and I hadn't made any of my xmas baking stuffs because of my recent diagnosis diabetese.

This year , Chris is divorsed. We also rented a storage space to put most of his extra furniture with a few of mine. We have cleared a space for the xmas tree this year. In past yrs I had put it all up, downstairs next to the fireplace but given that we have to be with Luc all day upstairs, we really wouldn't enjoy it. So a place has been cleared upstairs so we can enjoy it all day. I also intend to do some baking. I have lost 40lbs so far and part of the reason is not depriving myself of my favorite things by using moderation. Last but not least, Chris' two children are coming for xmas. They live in Paris France and Chris hasn't spent xmas with them for the last 4 years. I am thrilled for him, it will do them all good to spend this time together. We unfortunately anticipate his ex wife of somehow sabataging their trip. She seems to enjoy trying to hurt Chris every chance she gets. So we will only allow ourselves to believe that they will actually be here when they step off the plane in Montreal. If that happens they will be here for 3 weeks. If they don't, we will have lost almost $2000 in airfare and theres not a whole lot we can do about it. So send good vibes our way, it can only help lol.

Today is my day out of the house. I look forward to seeing all the xmas decorations in the stores. Getting some shopping done and going to a resturant for supper. We will do our own tree decorating next week given Chris has to work all weekend. I need him to help me bring up all the boxes from downstairs. He already did the outside though, looks really nice. Our first snow has already melted but as soon as we have some more I will take a photo of the outside lights on the house. Snow makes it look so much better lol. We have 5 columns infront of my house so Chris wound big red ribbon around them so they look like candy canes.

I hope I get a few good gift ideas today. I am almost done with my family out west. We do a hat pick among us between the 4 cpls. We don't include the children though we all get alittle something for the 3 kids between us. Since we are all across the country, we try to pick something out of the Sears catalog so we can have it shipped directly to them. That way we save the shipping. Since it's something they gave us the idea about anyway, it's not big deal that they have to wrap it for under the tree. When that doesn't happen, well we pack a parcel lol. Luckily this yr, most is from the catalog.

Next week at the very latest, Chris and I have to get a photo taken . My sister was supposed to take an engagement pic of us but it was not from lack of trying that it didn't happen. It was either her schedule or ours that it just didn't come to be. I really wanted to have one done to put in my xmas cards this year. I just a trim with a colour touchup done yesterday so next week Chris and I HAVE to get it done. I don't care if its with a timer and a tripod or even the cam on the computer as long as its a pic I can live with lol. I have to mail out my cards soon and being a stickler for perfection it takes me time to do them all. I have this weekend to do my xmas letter that I include in all of them but the time consuming part is the envelopes. I do all the addresses in caligraphy. No not with a printer!!! I do them by hand! lol. I think it looks beautiful on a nice xmas envelope, kinda old world looking. I think it adds a personal touch and hey, I think I would enjoy recieving one of my cards in the mail looking like that lol. But that's just me.
Anyway..till next long winded post...enjoy this season. Even all the hussle and bussle. Be thankful to be alive and most importantly...I am easily pleased so what ever u get me for xmas will be absolutely GREAT! hehe....oxox