Monday, December 08, 2008

Shelving the Bah-Humbugs

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!

I hope you all are enjoying the upcoming festivities and cherishing all the wonderful accomplishments and happiness in your lives as well. Here's to a wonderful holiday season and a brand new year filled with renewed hope (thank goodness!).

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)


Chic Runner said...

You're tree is so pretty! I love the bows!

Marci said...

Great post Lauren. I hope 2009 brings you and your family great joy and happiness!

BTW- Hubs and saw that display at Macy's -it was beautiful, and I love your X-mas tree!

joyRuN said...

Your holiday productivity is reinforcing my need to get GOING on the holiday thing! Tree's up, that's about it.

Sounds like you've made it through a rough year (to put it mildly). Here's to an incredible 2009...

FLYERS26 said...

Great job decorating.. stop by my blog, and see our decorations!

Great run, and good luck with everything. I hope you & yours Kick some Asphalt in 2009 !

Marcy said...

Very nice job with the decorating chica! ;D

I'm glad you're shelving the Humbugs :-) I don't know what it is this year but I've been slow to feel the Christmas spirit as well. We're still early in the month so it can only get better, right? ;-)

Denise said...

I'm sorry the past year has been so rough. Hopefully you are much stronger because of it. Keep your head up, enjoy this holiday and get ready for a much better 2009.

N.D. said...

Aww, I'm glad you got into the spirit!!! Looks like a fun weekend and your tree and house look GREAT!!
Sorry for all of your losses in 2008. Hopefully 2009 will be a much happier year with less transitions and lots of fun, including runs in the snow!!

SuperDave said...

I am a newer blogger to you and I didn't know about your year. Mine has been the same and I won't go any farther than that! :)
I'm glad that you are climbing out of your doldrum and their seems to be a lot to be happy about for you and hubby. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? or at least that is what they say!
It is time to get one of those new prelit Christmas trees Sister!!!
What is the red and white glass?
How I miss Christmas in a big city. Glad to see that your cheer is back!

Unknown said...

In the end, you seem content with how the year unfolded. That's a good thing. We can only play the hand we're dealt.

Merry Christmas. :-)

Anonymous said...

I love your decorations and your tree is beautiful. Glad you were able to get into the holiday spirit. What an amazing run too. You and Jeremy had a year of ups and downs, but you got through them and are stronger both as individuals and as a couple.

teacherwoman said...

The pictures look great. I am glad your 8-miler made you feel better!

Unknown said...

Great decorating job. I don't have it in me to do all that. I hope 2009 it's as big as roller coaster for the both of you. It sounds like you have really come to enjoy it all though which is what I think it's all about anyway.

Runner Leana said...

Your decorations and tree look beautiful Laurel! Nice run on Sunday as well! Things don't always turn out the way you plan, but I'm glad that you and Jeremy are enjoying things in Philly. Hugs to you this holiday season!

Jess said...

Your decorations are beautiful, and I hope you and Jeremy have a lovely Christmas in Philly! Great run, too!


I love your blog and this post was wonderful. I know that sometimes life dosen't turn out the way we expected but it's at moments like this that we are tested to see what truley makes us happy. Way to overcome the circumstances and appereciate all you DO have:)! Can I add you to my blog roll?

Marlene said...

I am a new reader and had no idea about the difficult times you have endured this year. I'm sorry especially for your loss.

Glad to hear that you have a feeling of renewed joy and hope and here's wishing it continues through the holiday season, 2009 and beyond.

BTW, love the pics! Everything looks wonderful.

Sonia said...

Happy to run in snow?! hahah you crazy girl from the South! This won't last but enjoy it while you can =)

That ornament with Zero is super cute, I'm happy you got in the Christmas mood a little.

2008 was hard so it can only go up in 2009 I am sure =)

Take care my friend.

Aron said...

you have had a very hard road this last year but look at you now - look at how much you have achieved and everything around you :) you are awesome girlie!! way to be positive about everything and have a great outlook for 2009. you deserve the best and i hope you have a wonderful upcoming year and holiday season :)

BeachRunner said...

Sorry to hear of your struggles and the pain of separation from your family. That must have been a difficult time. But, by overcoming those challenges and starting a new home and making new friends, I am sure you will find the joys of Christmas even sweeter this year. I wish you all the best. And I look forward to a time when the BR clan visits Philly and we can share a run and some hugs with both of you.

Vava said...

Wow, sounds like you had a heck of a year in 2008! Here's hoping 2009 brings you much happiness and health, and also the same to your family and friends.

Also, I think your pictures got ME into the Christmas spirit finally - and that is not small feat!!! Thanks!

Unknown said...

Stay positive! Sometimes pretending that you're in the mood helps you to be in the mood!

There's always hope hon!

Shoe Running said...

I'm glad you got into the christmas spirit :) It is definitely tough to go through crazy life changes and to have to worry about money and adult things, but it sounds like you guys are figuring it all out just fine :)

Running in the snow can be so magically can't it? :)

P.O.M. said...

Looks like you found the spirit my friend. I, unfortunately and sticking with the "bah humbug" approach this year (except for using the holidays as an excuse to drink more).

Love your tree!!!

Anonymous said...

Your tree is amazing.

Runner Leana said...

Laurel, it is so sweet of you to call me a hero, but I most definitely did not go outdoors to train in that weather! Well, unless you count walking to the mall a couple of blocks to grab some lunch. I draw the line at going outdoors in -20°C! Hope you are doing well!

Neese said...

best wishes to you both, sometimes it all piles on and can feel so overwhelming, it helps to keep searching for the good and bust through the blues by making choices to decorate, get out of the house, etc...and especially running, best little happy drug there is

Lily on the Road said...

Oh Laurel, you've been through so much this year and come such a long, long way! Wishing you Christmas spirit and love and yes, you can have some of my snow!


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