Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Whoa! Wait... Wednesday

When you haven't blogged in so long, your last post was basically junk, it's good to start with something that gives your readers (if there are any of you still out there!), a brief look into your current reality. So here goes...

image from here

What we're eating this week... I've been enjoying making lots of different kinds of muffins lately. I even dedicated an entire Pinterest board to my new obsession. Pictured below are three kinds I made for our care group gathering this past Monday -- Lemon Raspberry, Banana Chocolate Chip, and Apple Cranberry Oatmeal. Yum!

What I'm reminiscing about... I read a book (see "What I'm reading..." below) that inspired me to finally work on finishing our Southern Road Trip photo book. Besides the fact that it was such a fun trip that I want to remember, I'm shocked to see how little Sam and Rachel were. Look at these babies:

What I'm loving... I've been loving sharing Harry Potter with Sam, through the illustrated editions, and how Rachel's reading has been taking off lately. It just clicked for her a few weeks ago and it's been amazing to see a whole new world open up for her.

What we've been up to... We just finished the Family Day long weekend and the weather gave us an early taste of Spring! Yay! To celebrate, we wore sunglasses, spring coats, and had our first Family Festival of Fun and Frappes (as we dubbed them last year) of the season. It was so fun!

What I'm dreading... My work is going to have a professional photo shoot for our new website on Monday. The words "jewel tones," "make up," and "business attire" have been used. I'm super nervous about this as I don't have jewel-toned business attire and I haven't worn make up since Hallowe'en 1997. I'm not even joking about that. Wish me luck and pray a whole bunch of prayers for me -- I'm going to need them.

If you'd asked me this morning, I would have had said I was dreading my dentist appointment but I've already had it and I have no cavities so life is good!

What I'm working on... The Southern Road Trip photo book mentioned above and clearing out my personal e-mail inbox. A few days ago it had 715 e-mails in it with 71 unread. As of today it's down to 147 e-mails with 25 unread. It's getting there. I even deleted a ton of useless e-mails and folders.

What I'm excited about... My parents are coming to visit next week and we haven't told the kids. We're going to let them just discover that my parents are here the next morning. I can't wait to see Sam and Rachel's faces!!!

What I'm watching/reading... As I alluded to above, I read a really great book earlier this week called, "Get Your Sh*t Together." I'd seen it on some other readers' Instagram feeds and I was curious. While I'm not a huge fan of the title, nor the use of profanity throughout the book (you have been warned), some of the principles applied to me, even though I didn't think they would. Let's just say it spurred me on to deal with my overwhelming e-mail inbox.
After the "Year In The Life" Gilmore Girls' revival, I wanted to watch the entire series again. So I've been working my way through that, one season at a time. I get them from the library so I binge watch an entire season in a week, and then take a few weeks off. I just finished Season Two and I've realized I'm absolutely not #teamjess. Argh.

What I'm listening to... My favourite radio station switched to a Virgin Radio Station (which I hate), in early August and it took me awhile to find a new one. I happened to find a new one about two months ago and it plays music from the 80s and 90s so I feel like I'm a teenager again, discovering all my old favourites. Yay for good new radio stations.

And starting this Saturday (YAY! YAY! YAY! YAY! YAY!), we'll be listening to the Blue Jays play on the radio again. Whoooooo hoooo for baseball season starting. And yes, we listen to them play on the radio, because as my blog friend, Erika, once commented, supposedly we live in the 1930s. And this quote from "The Sky Is Everywhere" by Jandy Nelson, just confirms it! Ha!

What I'm wearing... I dreamed about, and thought about, them for months, and I finally bought a pair of Hunter rain boots with my Christmas money. I unintentionally bought a pair which matched our car! However, I have been loving them and am so glad I splurged :)

What I'm doing this weekend... On Friday night we're meeting with our financial advisor -- fun times. After ignoring their letters for almost a year, I finally decided to make an appointment. Gah. (Can you tell I'm looking forward to it?! Ha!).

On Saturday night Dave and I have a date night at the symphony. I'll also be trying to clean the house for my parents' visit without the kids wondering why I'm going on a HUGE cleaning spree. Ha!
What I'm looking forward to next month... My parents' visit technically starts with about an hour left in February but I'm counting it as "next month." I'm also looking forward to going to see our friends' three daughters in three different plays. And we're going to spend a fun weekend in Toronto exploring the sights to kick off March Break.

What else is new... My parents gave Sam a calendar where he draws a picture a day, and his illustrations always bring me great joy! Pictured below: a ketchup stain (top) and a pizza party (bottom)!

I decided to put my blogging "disclaimer" at the bottom. I'm not promising to return to regular blogging, but I do miss this space. I miss recording our family's memories. I miss connecting with all of you -- if you're still around anymore :) So I am promising to try and update more than every four months. We'll see how that goes...

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

#tbt A Walk To Remember*

Earlier this year, we started encouraging the kids to walk a lot. We have The Chariot, and both kids can still fit in it, but it's getting a little heavy to push and it's too big to take on road trips. Rachel has always been a good walker (she's got good stamina and doesn't complain (much!)), but Sam needed a little extra motivation. Thankfully, the Fitbit we got him for his birthday seems to have provided the extra encouragement he needed.
For my birthday, I wanted to walk up the CN Tower but sadly, the climb we were going to do happened to fall the Saturday after Sam's surgery and we didn't want to leave him. So instead I told Dave, "Let's follow the trails in our city and walk to the mall." It was a 12 kilometre (7.5 mile) round trip.
Now lest the photos deceive you, we did have the Chariot with us, and Rachel tripped about forty-five minutes into our two hour walk and rode in the Chariot much of the way. Sam got a little further, but understandably, both kids were pretty tired.
My favourite part of the whole excursion was that, even though we were in the middle of our city, we felt like we were in the country. Most of the time you couldn't hear traffic and we walked along a creek for much of the way. It was so beautiful.
We were definitely ready for lunch when we got to the mall!
And we got to see the actual van from Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope. That was pretty cool.
And then we were on our way home again. We had fun walking under the highway.
It was also fun to try and find baby ducklings.
Like I said, it was hard to remember we were in the middle of the city! And we even got to see our provincial flower, the trillium, in bloom. It was definitely a walk to remember.
*I know Throwback Tuesday doesn't have quite the same ring, but I really wanted to post this today!

Friday, October 07, 2016

October Goals

Since we're currently on a road trip, and I have some time to do some blogging, I thought I'd post my goals for the month of October. Earlier this week we celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and it makes a lot of sense to me that the new year begins in the fall. Especially with the start of school, it just feels like a good time to get into new routines.

So with all that preamble, I have been thinking of some things I want to accomplish this month, even though we're a week into it already. Ha!

1) I want to organize, and clean, our basement. I have to admit, this one is a bit of cheat goal. My friend Karen and I have traded housecleaning days this fall. I helped her wash a lot of windows. She's going to get to help me vacuum the cobwebs out of our basement. Yay?!

2) Drink more water. As I write this post I'm drinking a coffee-hot chocolate so I've got a bit of work to do on this one. Ha! I've said before this is a challenge for me so I really want to work on this. I think I'd feel better in general if I had a higher water intake.
3) Blog two times a week. And I'm already falling down on this one :) As I said last week, my friend Emily inspired me to set "manageable goals" and I feel like this one should be manageable. So look for more blog content coming your way.

4) Get the pictures printed for Rachel's map. My blog friend, Bekah, directed me to this site through one of her "Saturday Six" posts. I thought it was a good companion to Sam's magnetic map and convinced Dave we needed to order it for Rachel. We also found someone who would do a Canadian map for us. So now we need to print some pictures which aren't the regular 4x6 size. I can't wait to show you a picture when it's all done.

5) Find a good work/life routine. Right now, I'm struggling to make the work hours happen. It's only 10-15 hours a week so that should leave lots of time for the rest of life. I need to determine my working hours and stick to them. One of the nice things about going into an office, is it helps define "work time." That's been more of a challenge for me in working from home.

6) Create new kitchen art. I've had an idea in mind for two years! It's time to make some progress on it. The funny thing is that I have all the supplies and think I could do this project in about two hours so it's just a matter of finding making the time.

7) Get more sleep. I am sleep deprived and need to go to bed earlier. Life will be easier if I get more sleep. I'm setting a goal of being in bed by 10, and asleep by 11. I could take the easy way out and make this a "three times a week" thing but I'm going to challenge myself and go for every night. Except maybe Fridays and, once in awhile, Saturdays. Ha!

8) Order our holiday cards. Last year, okay, this year, we were sending out our cards in January. Some of you may remember that! We have family pictures scheduled for next Saturday so that should give us plenty of time to get cards out in a timely fashion.
Family photos 2015

So those are my October goals. I'll check in sometime the first week of November and let you know how I did. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

#tbt On A Friday

One of the reasons I am sad I haven't blogged regularly over the past few months is that I know there are memories which I have forgotten. So one of the things I want to do is write about some events before I lose the memories. I originally thought it would be great to do this as #tbt posts on Thursdays, and that may yet happen, but for this week at least, writing two blogs posts was a challenge, let alone two in two days. Ha! So here we go...

One of the challenges which working parents of school age children will understand is that, every once in a while, schools throw in random days off and your children become your responsibility again. For most of those days this past year, we were able to find childcare, but eventually I got tired of trying to arrange it. So at the beginning of June, I decided to take a "vacation day" to do "the job" I'd done for the past four years -- being a SAHM for one day. And yes, I didn't miss the irony of that!
This particular day was really memorable because it reinforced the fact that I really missed these kinds of days. Our city is undergoing major construction right now, and a few of our main roads are closed, so our uptown decided to plan a whole day of getting people to support various businesses in the area.
Some of the stores were handing out free samples and a few had arranged fun things to do. We spent a few hours playing games, trying out construction equipment, and eating some yummy food :)
Sam and Rachel completed a scavenger hunt at one store.
When our main street was being dug up, the construction crews discovered a corduroy road which was an exciting discovery. The kids got to each saw off their own piece of the road, which was pretty neat.
After all the sawing and trying out machines, we got some free yogurt. Yum!
After that we walked to our pool. I'd love to write a whole post about how much fun we had at our pool this summer. And after we discovered it was only a fifty minute walk to get there, we ended up doing that a lot.
Of course, we usually bribed the kids with Starbucks fraps or a treat at the pool to get them to walk without complaining :
And after a long day of walking and swimming, the kids got to ride in the Chariot. We stopped at Zoup! for supper since Dave was going out for the evening and I didn't want to cook.
Then we came home and watched the Blue Jays game. I probably haven't explained it well, but it was a really great day of hanging out in our city, having fun with the kids, and just enjoying life without being in a rush. It was one of those days which really did feel like a vacation for all of us, and for that, I am so thankful.