Saturday, December 21, 2013

The reason why I love Christmas

Holidays are finally here, my exams are over and I am back at my parents' home for Christmas time. My mind is now clear and I can really think about what this celebration means to me and how much I love it. When I was a kid, I loved Christmas because I had the chance to receive loads of presents (of course), listen to Christmas carols, spend hours watching tv, eat chocolate and marvelous meals prepared by my Granny and my family, play around with my cousins ... It was the time of the year when we could all meet up and have fun together. I already loved those family moments, even as a little girl. Christmas was one of this magical and short-lived instants you only had once a year.  

For two years, Christmas has a new signification to me. In November 2011, on a Thursday evening, something happened and this event changed my entire life for ever. On the 10th, I had a birthday party and tried to call my parents to give them some news. They never picked up the phone. I found it weird, since they often tell us when they are out or have plans. But I figured they were having a romantic dinner at the restaurant. What is particularly ironic in this, is that on Friday 11th, I was driving back to my place, thinking that life was wonderful and that I was really pleased of everything I had. At noon, I called my parents and asked them where they were the night before. My Dad started to joke (as usual) and then, my Mum told me the truth: Granny was at the hospital. I was surprised and did not understand what was going on. Why would Granny be at the hospital ? She was healthy, dynamic and full of life ! It did not make any sense ! My parents explained me that she had a stroke the night before but that everything would be ok. I had no idea what a stroke was. I heard this noun several times without knowing what was involved and its consequences. I checked on the internet and I started to freak out and burst into tears. On the same afternoon, I picked up my brother from school and drove home without telling him what happened. I didn't know how to tell him or what to say. I just tried to forget about it.

Granny on Christmas 2010

The next day, we visited her in her hospital room. It was as if she had become ten years older in a few days ... I barely recognized her and yet, I did not show my feelings so she wouldn't worry about her condition. She was paralyzed on the right side, she could not speak and could not walk. She recognized us, of course, and even if she couldn't say a word, she made me understand she did not like my torn jeans. I was relieved: she still had her bad temper ! But my poor Granny who was such a talkative and sociable woman couldn't speak. That day was a shock. For the very first time in my life, I realized that one of the person I loved the most in the world was not eternal. That she may not be there on my wedding day or would not hold her great grand children ... It torn my heart into million pieces. And my life took a completely different way. I did not care about what the gossips in college or about my professors' pressure for the exams. 

For seven weeks, my life was only about going to college during the week, driving home on the Friday evening to visit her, working on the week-ends and see her whenever I could. It was so hard to come to visit her, to be strong, to face her illness and not cry in front of her. Through the weeks, I realized that nothing would be the same: she might not be able to live in her home, to cook for herself and for us or even drive. Somehow I thought I have lost her for ever. That was selfish and I was wrong. Of course, I miss her baking and cooking, and even if she is more fragile, she is still here. She was and still is so strong and such an inspiration to me ... In seven weeks, I saw some kind of miracle happening. At first, she was in a wheelchair. The week after, she was walking with a Zimmer frame. A week later, she had crutches and about a month after her stroke, she could walk on her own. She started to speak again, thanks to all the doctors and the support she had in her rest home. 
Granny and I, October 2010
Finally, another miracle happened. A few days before Christmas, the nurses told us that Granny would be allowed to go home for a week-end and for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I was more than happy that she would be with us on that special day of the year. We organized her home to make it easier for her to move. She had a bed on the living room so she did not have to take the stairs, we were here to look after her and help. On Christmas day, we were all really moved. This truly was a special moment that will always remain in my memory. When we gave Granny her presents, she said she did not want anything. She could not say it, but I know that to her, being here with us was the only gift she needed. She started to cry, and so did I. Nobody said a word for a few minutes and the room was filled with emotion. Being with her was my miracle and the best present I would ever have. A week after Christmas, Granny finally left her nursing home to return to her house for good. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree ! ღ 66

Sometimes, I almost forgot that two months ago, I started a list of 101 goals to do in 1001 days. I think I still have time to do all these things, but time flies and so do months ! I have to say, I am terrible at monthly goals ... I start the month full of good intentions and new motivations and ... I forgot them and oh ! It's already over ! This is probably one of the things I should work on next year ! Stop procrastinating !

So this year, Guillaume and I will be celebrating Christmas in our home for the very first time. I started to look at the trees in November and bought some ornaments quite early. We argued a lot about the tree: should it be real or artificial ? Should it be green or white ? Will the decorations be blue, gold, silver, red or white ? Finally, I got reasonable and picked a fake tree (cheapest if we use it for a few years and it doesn't leave pine needles all over the house). We have also decided to have a traditional tree with gold and red ornaments. It's a small tree, as we live in an apartment and have very little space, but we love it :)

On Monday, December 2nd, we spent the afternoon shopping. We bought our tree and fairy lights in Casa, some tinsels and a star. I have to say that I have discovered a new side of Guillaume that day. I was so surprised he cared so much about our tree ! He was really cautious about the colors and he insisted on buying a red tinsel (which was a great idea !). He was super excited about decorating it ! I really had a great time doing this and it was a special moment between us :)

Having a tree during this time of the year cheers me up. It makes me realize that Christmas is coming and that I should keep studying hard so I could enjoy my family when exams are over. This week, I kept remembering all the good moments I had as a child. There is definitely something in the air that makes me happy. Like a whisper to say that everything is possible. Christmas is magical ! I really can't wait to start the celebrations at the end of next week ! 

We can now say that we started our own collection of Christmas decorations and ornaments ! One more goal to cross off ! Have a nice week end y'all !


Friday, December 13, 2013

Life Lately #2

I can't believe I wrote my last blog about two weeks ago. I actually have no life at the moment ! I wish I could post more often, but I guess December is the busiest period of the year. Between the exams, Christmas shopping, decorating the house and preparing the holidays, that's a lot to handle !

I was also really anxious about getting an internship. Turns out I received three different offers last week and one of them is in Ireland. I love this country, and I started to feel the urge to go back there for months ... What is bothering me is that I will have to leave Guillaume for five months. Again ... I had sleepless nights, wondering about what would be the best for him and for me. I know he hates when we are away from each other and I don't want to hurt him. I always found it so hard to make decisions ... But I have finally decided that I should go. I had a negative answer two weeks ago and I was devastated. But obviously, something better was waiting for me. I think I could not dream of a better opportunity than this one. I have made my mind and in March, I will be flying to Dublin !

The last couple of days were basically about studying all day long. My exams are starting next week, so I am staying at my parents' for study week. My Dad bought our tree this morning and hopefully I will decorate it tomorrow with my Mum (if I am not late in my study schedule !). I hate having exams just before Christmas, because all I am thinking of is how happy I am to be reunited with my loved ones and that I need a rest after this long and tough semester ! I wish I could stay on the coach, watching Christmas movies near the fire place while driking hot chocolat ! Live is so unfair ! ah ah 

I really regret I can't take part in the 12 Days of Christmas series that Erin and Amber are organizing at the moment ! They are two of my favorite bloggers, so don't hesitate to visit their blogs and participate to this wonderful Christmas blogging ! I am paying a contribution by sharing a few pictures of the Christmas market we went to at the beginning of the months. I am sorry about the quality, but my camera doesn't seem to like the twilight ! Hope you will enjoy it anyway ;)

Sunday, December 01, 2013

December Goals

It is starting to be quite cold outside. No snow yet, but winter is definitely coming and so is Christmas ! This is probably my favorite holiday ! I love preparing surprises and gifts to my loved ones, walk in the street to see the Christmas lights and sit on my coach to stare at our tree ! There is definitely something special and magic during this period of the year. It makes me feel like a child again and it gives me hope and strength. 

My November Goals
  • Host a Thanksgiving dinner  
  • Try a new recipe every week
  • Go on a date with Guillaume
  • Find my internship
  • Save money for Christmas 

I wasn't very good last month ... I got overwhelmed by my studies and I spent a lot of money driving home during the week-ends, buying boots for winter and going out with friends and Guillaume. We did not have a proper date since we had some budget issues and with Christmas coming, it is not going to get any better. But I am doing my best so we can spend some quality time together, even if we don't go out. I did not find my internship either ... I had an interview, but they took someone else, so I keep looking ! I am disappointed, for sure, but hopefully there's something better waiting for me !

My December Goals
  • Decorate our home for Christmas
  • Study for my exams
  • Plan a party for New Year's Eve
  • Send out Christmas Cards
  • Spend time with my family
If you want a card from France, feel free to add your information in my address book ! :)
Have a nice week-end !

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