Happy New Year everyone! This year for New Years we decided to see a movie with the girls followed by dinner ordered in! My youngest daughter has been sick with bronchitis and and has an ear infection so we decided not to do to much. Any way you look at it though it’s been great because we get to be together as a family spending lots of time together.

Christmas was a lot of fun even though I had to manage a few flare ups over the coarse of the week. I just focused on staying on top of the pain and not letting it get out of control. It was great spending time with family, and getting away and not having to go to a doctor’s appointment was even better. I was also reminded about how blessed I am to have the amazing family that I do. We are a large family and we had a total of 39 people at dinner! I always go into dinner not knowing how my CRPS is going to be affected but this year went pretty well. The weather smartened up for Christmas day and we were able get outside with all the others in the family and enjoy some skating on the lake as well. Well in my case I watched! Great food, great conversation, and great company it doesn’t get any better than that.We really do have the best Christmas’s in our family!

For the most part the holidays have been really quite and so that helps with the CRPS. Visiting with relatives and family has been just the right amount of time so that my flare ups have been held to a minimum. In other words I’ve managed to make it through another Christmas season. It might sound like a sigh of relief that I got through the business that this time of the year brings but it really isn’t! It’s just what life has become now and building in all the skills to manage day to day is just a part of my routine. It took some time but now those tools have just become second nature and I don’t have to think about them. If I feel as though a flare up is about to start my mind automatically goes to what I have to do in order calm my nervous system down.

This winter has been extremely cold here on the prairies. It seems as though we’ve had a few days here and there where the temperature hasn’t been -35C. I’m sure there are those of you who suffer from CRPS who can agree with me when it comes to the cold. So in a couple of weeks I’m looking forward to taking in some much needed warmer temperatures! That right two more weeks until Hawaii!! That’s right 15 days until we touch down on the tropical paradise of Kauai! Time for some much needed alone time with my wife and to relax and do whatever we want. Now if you ask me if I’m looking forward to the travel side of things I’d give you a different answer. Going through airports can be tricky with all the metal and wires I now have in my body. Often I tell security not to waste time and load me in to the body scanner so as to speeds things up!

Kauai is one of those places that I’ve always wanted to photograph so needless to say the camera gear is going with me. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get the camera out so what better place to get back into it! It’s a perfect start to my photography portfolio for 2014. Between surgery and a basement being renovated last year I almost feel as though last year was a lost year when it comes to my photography. I look forward to spending more time shooting and developing my skills, trying to keep my mind away from the pain. For Christmas my wife gave me a fantastic present of a two day workshop to Greg Johnson the Storm Chaser. If you’ve ever seen his photography it’s amazing!

I should probably wrap up things for now so Happy New Year!