Of course, all of this talk of the top pieces of happy news from the year got me thinking…what are my happy moments of 2010? Was it that Lost finally ended? Or was it taking my son for the first time to the Netherlands? I topped up my mug of hazelnut coffee and sat down to think about five of my happiest moments from 2010.
1. Hoi Holland! My parents are from the Netherlands and I’ve been travelling there every four or five years to visit cousins, aunts, uncles and friends since I was a toddler. This year’s trip though prompted a family reunion of sorts since I travelled with my husband and children (a first time to Holland for my son), as well as my sister and her husband and my parents. The last time my sister, parents and I all went to the Netherlands together I’m pretty sure I was sporting seriously lacquered locks and neon netting shirts. Clearly, it’d been awhile. And in the end, we all concluded it was our best family trip ever, filled with family fun, touristy trappings and Saucijzenbroodjes.
2. Belgium, beer and bitter ballen: The hubby and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary this year, so we thought we’d hold off our full celebration until we hit Europe in the fall. So, taking advantage of all the family we did have with us in Holland to babysit our two kids, we set off for an overnight trip to Antwerp, a Belgian city we’d once spent a romantic weekend in. Bonus—our hotel room was upgraded to an apartment, a lovely topper to the trip, even if I couldn’t shake the fact that the apartment looked a lot like the one in the movie Taken.
3. Belatedly blading: This moment happened just the other night. For the first time the hubby erected a small backyard ice rink for the family to enjoy and to help our youngest master the blades. Meanwhile, even though I haven’t actually pulled on ice skates since I was about 10 years old, this year I invested in a pair of Dorothy Hamill-style white figure skates. That led to a lovely evening the other night just circling the rink with my daughter. Sometimes we held hands, sometimes we’d high five as we passed each other and we laughed lots.
4. Working nine to five: Well, not exactly…for five years now I’ve worked part-time as a writer three days a week. At least those were my official days and often I found myself sneaking in rewrites and interviews on my days off a.k.a. the days my kids were home and swirling around me. But this fall my oldest child started grade one and my youngest started going to daycare during school hours only. That’s meant a smoother work-life balance for me—I can manage my workload better and still be there to pick up my kids when the school bell rings. I’m a happier mom as a working mom, yet still love to cart those kids around after school to the library, parties and play dates.
5. Race Weekend 2010: We’re a running family (although right now running and I are on a bit of a “break”) and this year three of our races all fell on one sunny, chilly October weekend. We kicked it off with my husband racing the 10K Oasis Zoo Run. After that, both my kids ran in the 500 metre “Cub Run” and while my oldest is a pro at this run having done it twice before, it was the first time for my youngest child and the four of us ran the race together. And did I mention my best friend and her mother were there completing the 5K run/walk too? Then the next morning, while I didn’t run it this year, we completed our third annual 5K Your Way to Conquer Cancer walk for Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, an event we do in honour of my best friend’s father, who we lost in 2007. It’s a bittersweet event for us because you can’t get past the reason you’re doing it in the first place—yet it’s also a race with a very positive spirit and goal in mind.
Have I got you thinking now? What are your happy moments from the year?