Sunday, 29 December 2013

That was the best birthday ever!

I cannot remember when
my 3 children and I were in one place at the same time!
I remember when I was taller, too!
My eldest son, and his fiancé, share a
birthday in May. Quite unusual, methinks!  Both are actors, and they moved from Toronto, to Vancouver, nearer to Stacie's family and to explore the acting market. I'm sure many of you can understand how far away that is for us!

When we lived in Muskoka, it was much easier for Jesse and Stacie to visit, being located in Toronto at the time. We would drive to where the kids were performing, as well, and we visited Jess at the Shaw Festival several times.

A first happened this past year, as Caitlin and I had never been on a mother/daughter trip like this: Caitlin and I visited Jesse and Stacie in Chemainus, in June 2010, where they were both performing in Singin' in the Rain!

Another coincidence, my birthday and Stacie's mom's birthday are on the same day, Boxing Day, Dec. 26th. What is up with that? Caitlin hosted her father and step-mother, as well as her brothers, on Christmas Day. They came to visit us on December 26th. We celebrated Christmas that day. My birthday, the next day.

Josephine is a darling!
We share December -as a birthday month.
It makes it tough for the kids to visit, between family Christmases and birthdays, but it seems it was our turn this year!

Undaunted, one of the best tools we have is Skype. We have Skyped with our grandkids since they were babies, 2008. We made a video of it, too! Grampa learned the Mickey Mouse song, and sang it for them via Skype! (Grandparenting from afar).

What a difference to hold a baby up to the videocam and see how they move, talk, and directly interact. Eventually, you can talk and sing songs together! The first visits were brief, but as their attention spans increased, our conversations deepened. I often have chatted with Jesse on Skype after he moved out west.

It's been awhile since I've Skyped,
now that the grandkids are closer!
It was time to upgrade my Skype application, though. I hadn't realized how spoiled I have been, living only an hour's drive away from grandkids. We swam every Monday in July, having long picnics at the beach. That was a blast for this gramma.

I have spent many lonely Christmases, when the kids were at their dad's house, and I was a single parent. It builds character. There are many who have never lived alone, others who are always alone. You just have to come to terms with your situation. One of hubby's clients lost his wife after 70 years of marriage. He has never lived alone. That is a tough one. He hasn't adjusted.

We spent 10 days without power during Ice Storm '98. This, too, builds character. But building relationships is much more fun when family can get together. They are only dates on a calendar. The important thing is to make time for family, to love them and embrace them in person, or as best you can.

Everyone crowds in!

Stacie's mom and granddaughter talk to our girls.

Stacie showing her mom in Vancouver
 our backyard deer
How many families can get together like this?
Stacie's mom asked Isabelle a numerical question!
Izzy show the answer on her fingers!
What does the elf say?
Bambi and the fox.
I bought the book What Does the Fox Say?,
and the stuffed toy,
for the girls. It's a fun book.
Stacie and Isabelle drew a picture.

Skypeing Jofee & Isabelle meet Stacie's
niece and nephew!
Isabelle loved our cake (carrot cake!)
What a laugh she has!


eileeninmd said...

Spending time with the family is wonderful..Lovely collection of photos and memories. Enjoy your day!

Wishing you all the best in 2014, Happy New Year to you and yours!

Hootin Anni said...

Fantastic post!! But, I'm not sure I could go that long [1 day is bad enough] without power. You indeed have my awe. Wow.

Love the Christmas reindeer. And your loving family portraits. The elf is adorable.

Oh, and have my sincere wishes 'going dry to lose weight' works for you.

Carver said...

Wonderful family shots.

Red said...

I'll say you had a great birhday. Nothing better than lots of family to celebrate with.

Cloudia said...

So happy to see you surrounded by love!

ALOHA, Dear Jenn
from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^= <3

Debbie said...

Wonderful, happy family photos!! We lost power in New Jersey during super storm sandy for eight days!! It was both difficult and fun.....having my 30 year old son home for 10 days was both also!!

Kay said...

Wow! That is remarkable how you're all sharing birthdays. It must be fate. They were meant to be together. We love carrot cake too. Looks like you were all having a great family time.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Delightful!! Lovely to see you on the picture side of the camera, Jenn and under such joyful circumstances too. YAM xx