a few years back, nacho and i started a christmas tradition that i have come to love more than any other part of the season. forget the gifts, the cards, the parties, i'll take our puzzle any day of the week. it started by accident. anyone who knows me, knows the story of my troubled relationship with my sister. a fantastic byproduct of our parents divorce, was that my sister and i stopped talking to each other for about 8 years. as with so many things, the why came to be less important year after year. finally, after dating nacho for a year, we had to go home to Florida for a family emergency. during that visit, my sister and nacho hung out. i mean, at this point, nacho has now spoken more to my sister than i have in 10 years. i'm convinced, to this day, that my sister, like me, felt horrible for the time wasted, but just didn't know how to make it right. nacho was that channel for us. just being his nacho self, he got my sister to finally start talking to me. within a couple of years, we had started taking what we now proudly call Family Vacations. nacho and i go home to hang out at the beach with my sister, brother, nephew, and my sisters significant other (i cannot call Jim her boyfriend). we call that first trip, The Vacation that Never Happened because nacho and i didn't tell anyone besides this "family" we were coming down. it turned out to be the best decision we'd ever made.
it was an AMAZING weekend and i found myself stepping back and watching things from a distance, literally. taking it all in. i could not believe that after all that time and heartache that i was not just talking to my sister, but i was hanging out with her and really enjoying it. the highlight of that weekend came when i stopped to savor a major moment.....all of us sitting around a table doing a puzzle. if someone had asked me 10 years prior if i ever thought that would happen, i would have bet everything i owned against it. it floored me and took everything i had to keep my composure.
i enjoyed it so much that i decided then and there, that nacho and i would start our family tradition of doing a Christmas themed puzzle every year. we try to do it during the 12 days of Christmas, but that doesn't always work out. but the point is, we sit together, Christmas music blaring on the stereo, wine in glasses, no tv, no phone, and just do our little puzzle. as i said, it has become the highlight of Christmas, and quite honestly, my year. i'm also proud to say, that i've passed that tradition on to my sister. when i told her about our puzzle, she loved it. so each year, when i finish a puzzle, instead of putting it away or dropping off somewhere, i mail it to my sister to use for the next Christmas. it's usually minus a piece or two thanks to The Monsters, but she doesn't mind. it's just cool knowing even when you can't physically be in the same place, you can still carry on a family tradition together.
Merry Christmas everyone and here's this year's puzzle as we continue to work on it with the help of our very best friend Korby!
Monday, December 3, 2007
while the weather outside was frightful, i managed to stick to my only race a year, the Jingle Bell Run. Peoria has managed to re-route this fantastic run right past the public housing. whoever thought that made for an awesome route is probably also behind the proposed IMAX theatre. if you managed to make it past public housing and thought you were out of the woods, think again. you then had to contend with the un-salted walking/running/biking path. only in Peoria! despite all of that, i managed a decent finish:
FEMALE AGE GROUP: 35 - 39
1 Daphne Scott-Henderson 37 IL 24:41
2 Denise Antonacci 38 IL 25:59
3 Natalie Fortin 35 IL 27:29
there you have it folks, in black and white. i am officially the first loser!