Happy New Year to all my friends and followers! May 2013 fill your lives with an abundance of love, good health, and happy days! I hope you all enjoyed a merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season! I expect you spent precious time with friends and loved ones; opening presents around the Christmas tree; talking, laughing and reminiscing. Did you share a delicious feast with all the trimmings? Did you sleep in and stay in your pyjamas all day long? Did you take a drive or hop on a plane to visit family or did family come to visit you? Oh, aren't the holidays wonderful?!
|Our Christmas tree
We at the Antunes residence have been keeping busy, hence, my blog absence for several weeks. December was filled with many blessings. We celebrated birthdays...four of them to be exact - my husband's, my father-in-law's, my sister's and mine! We attended the school Christmas concert, exchanged gifts, spent precious time with family and friends, AND we still managed to get away for an overnight trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake to celebrate my birthday.
Singing happy birthday to Nuno at my in-laws' house
Annabel singing the Hawaiian Christmas Song
at the school concert
A glimpse of early morning snow outside my kitchen window
Celebrating my birthday at
named "The prettiest town in Canada" in 1996
Prince of Wales hotel, where we stayed ovenight
A special birthday breakfast
Birthday morning horse and carriage ride through town
A little birthday video...
But along with all the joy and celebration of the season, our family have been struggling with some difficult news. Early last month, we learned that my dear father-in-law had a brain tumor. He has since had surgery to remove most of it. The surgery went well. He won that battle, but the war is not over. We as a family are here for him and each other, as we realize there are tough days ahead of us. We are strong and united. The love, hope, and courage we share are going to help us get through this trying time.
One might think that this news put a damper on our holidays . One may say that we couldn't possibly celebrate the joys of the season with this revelation looming over our heads. But, then I might say, I guess you don't know my father-in-law. He is a strong, happy, courageous man. He celebrated his birthday, Christmas, and new year's eve in the same manner he has celebrated in previous years. If anything, this Christmas was even more special than those of years passed. We celebrated with every inch of our being. We enjoyed each other's company and did not take for granted, not for one second, that we were all here, together, today, right now!
This is how I want to begin this new year - feeling thankful for all of life's blessings, each and every day. I don't want to take anyone or anything for granted. Each morning, I am going to say THANK YOU! Thank you for another day, another sunrise, another chance.
Cheers! To a fabulous new year! Here's hoping all of our dreams come true!