If you follow the videos on my vlog channel "LeahMouseVlog", then you know how all of this started. (If you don't follow those videos, now would be a great time to start because I plan to vlog a LOT more in 2017!) But for those of you in the dark, I will quickly get you up to speed.
I started having a toothache on December 2nd - nothing too bad, but it was enough that it was annoying and disrupting my sleep. It got progressively worse every day, but my stubbornness prevented me from seeking medical attention. Finally, when the pain became unbearable (on December 8th), Mike (my boyfriend) insisted that I go to the hospital to get the pain under control and then see a dentist the next day.
Long story short: I ended up needing a root canal under a crown I'd already had done months back. It was going to be so expensive that we decided to book me an emergency flight home to Ohio to have it taken care of at my dentist. However, that evening the pain became too intense to deal with for even another day, let alone two days, travel with, and wait to get in to see my dentist with no appointment. So the next day I had the root canal done here in Florida, while still keeping my travel plans to Ohio so I could visit my mother.
A bit of backstory: I'd been having a rough few months because my environment has been mentally taxing and made me feel like my personality is handcuffed, here. If you've read previous blogs, you know that I despise our apartment from lack of sunlight, privacy, and general peace/serenity. I can't commune with nature here because there IS no nature, and it's always hot and humid outside - my worst enemy in weather. I'd been feeling depressed, claustrophobic, and disgruntled. I LOVE snow and cold weather - thus Florida suits me terribly - and I found the idea of spending another Christmas in a tropical climate utterly deflating. Plus, I missed the heck out of my mom, who wasn't in the best spirits, herself, as her mother passed away earlier this year and this was going to be her first Christmas without her. Needless to say, Mom was feeling pretty down and lonely, and she missed the heck out me, as well.
So I flew to Ohio on December 11th, eager to be away from the 80-degree weather for a little while and find rejuvenation in my homeland with my mother. As the airplane descended through the clouds in preparation to land at the Canton-Akron Airport in Ohio, I was delighted to see a blanket of snow on the ground. I hadn't expected to actually SEE snow!
"Elated" is an understatement for how I felt when I saw the snow.
My mother and I proceeded to have one of the best weeks we've ever spent together. I think we were appreciating each other's company on a different level for the first time. We weren't so much "mother and daughter" as we were best friends. We had a grand time singing Christmas songs, going shopping, strolling through the snowstorm in the small town of Berlin, watching Christmas movies, making sloppy joes, drinking tea, watching Family Feud, going out to eat, thrift shopping, sharing stories and lots of laughter, and just hanging out in our pajamas.
The trip lifted both of our spirits in ways we knew we really needed. It was truly a Christmas miracle that we were able to spend that time together and make each other smile and laugh. I don't think either of us could have recovered from our respective slumps without the company of the other. There was magic in our visit together - it brought us both a joy that invigorated our souls and began to heal the wounds inside of us.
The same could not be said, however, for our 14-year-old cat, Mocha...
My mother, unlike myself, dislikes the cold and the snow. She avoids going out in it as much as possible. The one day of our visit that we picked to walk around the tourist town of Berlin - which involved mostly outdoor walking - was the ONE day of the entire visit that it snowed ALL day. My mom normally would not have gone out in this weather at all, let alone voluntarily spent so much time walking around outside IN it.
But because each others' company was so much fun and because I was enjoying the snow so much (and, as such, was in a FANTASTIC mood all day), Mom said that day was her favorite day of the whole trip. It was definitely my favorite day of the trip, too. We both said that we wouldn't have enjoyed it so much without each other - it was because we were together and doing nice things and enjoying it TOGETHER was what made it so special and fun.
This is the vlog from that day. It's nothing short of magical.
And of course, I had my trusty new camera that Mike had gotten for me (the same one featured in the blog about the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert). So here are some photos I took from that day, as well:
Some frosty tree berries - I took this photo from inside a restaurant where Mom and I were having dinner. Like I said - amazing camera!
I trudged around outside to get a few snaps of the great outdoors covered with snow.
A snowy display Amish buggy in the town of Sugarcreek
Not the most fantastic photo in the world, but I thought it was kinda neat, anyway :)
The cute little owl sock booties I got Mom for Christmas. She loves them :)
It was sad bidding adieu to my amazing beautiful mother after only five short days - but we both repeatedly said during and after the trip that it made both of our Christmases magical and happy, where they wouldn't have been, otherwise. And on Christmas Day, Mom and I had a nice video chat online which made both of us quite happy, as well.
Upon my return to Florida, I was happy to see my boyfriend again, of course, and the next day was the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas concert (see previous blog here) which was absolutely phenomenal. It felt like a second Christmas - my first being the time with my mother.
Then, of course, I had a third Christmas - which was the actual Christmas - at home with my loving boyfriend and our three kitty cats.
We spent the day in Santa hats (that Mike got for us) and pajamas. We watched Christmas movies, baked raspberry cupcakes, opened presents, listened to (and played!) Christmas music, and filled out a Christmas Mad-Lib that I wrote for us.
We had an amazing day full of love, merriment, and togetherness. I took video that day, of course, but it was just for our memories - I didn't want that to be a "vlog" to share with the world. Our Christmas was special and it was just for us. But I did take a few screenshots from the videos that I can't resist sharing...
It's a tradition of mine (now ours) to watch "White Christmas" every year. I'm glad Mike enjoys it as much as I do!
We were being weird and silly while Mike played Christmas songs on his guitar and I wrote our Christmas Mad-Lib
I was stirring the cupcake mixture to the rhythm of "Sleigh Ride" as we listened to it in the kitchen. I guess it was pretty funny, or something :)
Reading the Christmas Mad-Lib. Our favorite line was "Henry heaved achingly." Haha.
Sharing a moment of tenderness while making cupcakes.
A Christmas kiss after we exchanged presents. I got the most lovely and thoughtful gifts from Mike - including a silver treble clef jewelry charm, lollipop pumice stones, a DVD I wanted, my favorite chocolates, and a kitty cat emoji calendar.
After the snowy trip to Ohio and spending a wonderful time with my mom, attending a Christmas concert by one of my favorite bands, and sharing such a special day with the love of my life - it truly felt like I had three Christmases this year. It was definitely the best Christmas ever.