Normally Dustin would not get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off of work, but this year both fell on a weekend so we were able to really relax and enjoy ourselves. We were also lucky enough to be able to borrow our neighbours Christmas tree, since they would be visiting family in the U.S. during Christmas. We decided against setting it up in advance, since we knew that William is old enough now to be facinated with it and try to grab every he can get his grubby fingers on, but not old enough to understand the word "no".  Instead, we decided to ask Santa Claus to bring a decorated tree when he came to drop off presents.

On Christmas Eve, we decided to try out our new nabe pot. Nabe is a Japanese dish where you heat broth and cook vegetables, meat, and seafood in it at the table. It was a warming and delicious meal which both boys managed to sleep though which was a bonus for Dustin and me. After, Theo woke up and had some leftovers, we helped him write a long letter to Santa, thanking him for the presents and telling him where to put the tree, and put out a plate of milk and cookies. After the kids were in bed, the real fun began. The tree was set up, stockings stuffed, and presents pulled from our many hiding spots.

The next morning, Theo was wide eyed and impressed with Santa's magical skills and we had a fun filled time opening gifts and chatting with family on Skype. It is amazing how quiet and well behaved kids can be when they have a few new toys to occupy them. This was the most laid back and relaxed Christmas that I have had in many years. There weren't multiple, large family gatherings to run back and forth to and only enough presents to make our kids happy and grateful, not unappreciative, greedy monsters.

Yesterday, we also celebrated Dustin's 32nd birthday. He didn't have to work, since the New Year's holidays started on December 29th. Here's hoping that the next year brings him lots of laughs, growth, peace, and happiness.

As an ode to Dustin over the years, here are a few rarely seen photos of him, most showing his amazing and very varied facial hair styles. Thank goodness that he feels socially obligated to remain clean shaven now!

There are a few things in life that Dustin truly appreciates: Mac products,


building and paddling kayaks,

eating good sushi and experimenting with ridiculous facial hair, 

brewing and drinking quality beer,

ensuring Canada's safety while wearing gloves called "The Friskmaster 2000", 

a challenging bike ride or hike,

and most of all, his family.

We love you Dustin!


Unknown said...

Awww... I love you too!

Carol said...

And I love you too! oxoxo Marnar

Anonymous said...

happy birthday dustin and theo!
and, i totally agree with you on the freedom from oodles of family gatherings to run around to, and to only enough pressies to satisfy children rather than overwhelm them. looks like you have a similar 'problem' to us though: a kid's birthday right next to christmas. talk about too many days of presents! :-) All the best in the new year guys!