So far this year, the Christmas spirit had been eluding me.
I think a combination of post-marathon emotions mixed with strange feelings about everything that has happened in the past year (losing the pregnancy, moving away from almost everyone we know, me changing jobs, not working for three months, losing hours and thinning out our savings...) has made it difficult for me to feel too festive. I guess I had a different idea about what the holidays were going to be this year and I am just now realizing that's not going to happen.
A year ago we had so many plans for the direction of our lives and all the changes that were in store. If you had told me a year later I would be in Philly working part-time, with no new home, no new baby and away from almost everyone I love I would have thought you were nuts. But here we are. Not that I'm complaining (now). It's been one of the hardest years of my life but I can finally sit back and appreciate all that has happened and why.
While we did lose a lot last year (much more than I ever blogged about here), we also gained more than we ever thought. We are finally in a city we truly love, have made a lot of friends, have better jobs that we are much happier with and right now, our friends, family and pets are all healthy and happy. Thank goodness.
Realizing this and knowing that 2009 is a fresh start, I decided to buck up and get into the holiday groove (isn't that a Madonna song...or two...?)
I dragged my tree out of storage and decorated the house. That was a total mission which almost cost me my sanity. After I put all three strands of lights on, then the garland, ribbons and decorations, the TOP two strands of lights blew out. Not the bottom two, but the top two. Which meant I basically had the take everything off and redo the whole thing. Then after I restrung the lights, two of the strands wouldn't plug into each other...let's just say I almost cancelled Christmas. It wasn't pretty. But I MacGyvered the tree with extension cords and all was right with the world again. Christmas was saved!
Then I decorated the rest of the house as well. It came out pretty good.
Zero even has her own ornament.
After the house was all decorated and clean, I definitely felt much better.
Then Saturday morning, Jeremy and I took the train downtown to wander around and enjoy the festive, holiday spirit of the city. We strolled through the Christmas Village to pick up some new ornaments and walked through City Hall to see the big tree.
Then we headed to the Wannamaker Building which is the country's very first department store. It's a beautiful, old building that is now a five-story Macy's. It also houses the world's largest working pipe organ which plays carols every holiday season. I had never been in the building and it was quite impressive.
Afterwards, we walked up to Rittenhouse Square. The park was beautiful in a wintery-sort of way and it was just nice to be able to enjoy the city and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It made me appreciate where we were and how far we have come this year after everything we have been through.
That night, when we got home we made hot chocolate and watched through the windows as we got our very first snowfall of the year. Well, snow that stuck anyway.
I woke up on Sunday morning to go for a run, surprised to still see a decent amount of snow on the ground. It was the very first time in my life I have ever run in the snow. While it was a far cry from a blizzard, the snow still covered the trails in the woods and the trees looked beautiful with a light dusting against the blue, sunny sky. I made sure that I ran through any patches of snow on the ground, even if there was dry land next to it, just to say I "ran in snow".
I had a great run too. 8.4 miles - 1:15:24/8:56 pace. It was the happiest I had felt all week. I felt rejuvenated, ready for a new start again.
Today I listened to Christmas carols as I designed, printed, wrote, addressed and mailed all our Christmas cards and tonight I may even make my first batch of cookies!
Looks like running in a winter wonderland can help to cure a Florida girl's holiday blues. Take that Scrooge!
Monday, 12/1 - 3.81 miles/35.12 - 9:14 pace
Tuesday, 12/2 - off
Wednesday, 12/3 - 6.5/1:00:10 - 9:15 pace
Thursday, 12/4 - off
Friday, 12/5 - off
Saturday, 12/6 -off
Sunday, 12/7 - 8.4 miles/1:15:24 - 8:56 pace
Total Weekly Mileage: 18.71 (RUN)
Total Weekly Mileage: 0 (BIKE)