1. I never had nosebleeds as a kid (and don't remember my sister having them either) so to me they are mysterious and FREAKY. Gwen had one on Wednesday night as she slept, as evidenced by the dried blood on her face the next morning. Judging by Chris's response to this (calm, cool, unruffled), this ain't no big thang. Still I find it CREEPY! When I picked Gwen up from school that afternoon I learned from her teacher - whose attitude completely mirrored Chris's - that she had had 5-6 more throughout the day. No Big Thing, everyone seems to insist. Blood coming from one's nose, especially for no real reason, seems like it ought to be a thing. Even Gwen seems untroubled by it, but I'm pretty sure if a nosebleed actually occurs in my presence I'm going to have trouble hiding my squick response.
2. I am busily planning our family trip to Alberta in June so that I can CONVOCATE with my Bachelor of English degree. Planning said trip has proved to be way more fun than, say, actually completing my final course. In some ways I am a lot like the typical high school student at the beginning of June, when the school year is about to end and it's next to impossible to get too excited about the remaining work. Anyway, the (very loose) plan at the moment is that Chris, Gwen, and I will drive to Athabasca for my graduation and then spend 4ish days in Edmonton, exploring the many family activities on offer at West Edmonton Mall, the Space and Science Centre, the Royal Alberta Museum, etc. My parents may be joining us as well, which would be fun - they went to Disneyland with my sister and her family last year, so this is our chance to share a vacation together. We are saving every spare penny we have between now and then to afford this trip.
3. The penny-saving has been made a touch easier by the fact that Chris has landed a second job, working in the IMIT (computer) department for the local university. It is a casual position that runs from now until the end of March, but may lead to more opportunities in the future. For now, he will be working there every Monday and every second Tuesday; since he also works Wednesday through Sunday at his retail job, this means he only gets 1 day in 14 days off. I am not sure how he is going to manage this workload but he seems optimistic about it, and we have a few friends who work in the same department who assure us it will be manageable. The money is more than he makes at his retail job, so that part is awesome.
4. I am teaching Gwen to read and it is SO COOL! She even taught herself how to read the word 'up' a few nights ago. My sister accused me of being Gwyneth-like, but that will not stop me from my awestruck ranting on the subject. I feel like I now understand why teachers put up with all the crap they put up with in order to have the experience of teaching a child something new and watching the light bulb click on. I can't think of anything else more rewarding than that.
5. I am feeling a lift in my spirits this week. The days have been brighter, crisp and cold but bright and that is definitely helping. It feels like a new beginning and I am really, really ready for it. I've heard people express the sentiment that 2011 was a terrible year, which I certainly agree with, and that 2012 has GOT to be better. I am not expecting enormous, amazing things from 2012, but I feel like even if we just carry on making the little things count, we will be doing well. I think my word for this year is "contentment".