July 20, 2014

fifty

the set up begins
flowers from mom's garden
the amazing spread brought by mom & dad's incredible friends: salmon, turkey, ham, new potatoes and eight delicious salads - it was the best 
baking by my extremely talented friend Tammy - check out her blog here
Aunty Ann's phenomenal wedding cake: raspberries, orange zest, buttercream....hello heaven on a plate
 someone's adorable child...oh wait, she's mine ;)
 Mom and Dad's incredible circle of friends
 Our family (*Wendy wasn't ready when this photo was taken, so I attempted to crop her in, that's why Richard's shirt is quite mismatched in sections, but I wanted her in the photo)
 50 years and still giggling together......

 amazing women
 an animated chat between cousins
 My Uncle did an awesome job on his speech, especially since he just found out from my dad that morning that he was doing it........
Everywhere I looked, people were always laughing - it was like a giant reunion for them all. 
 My uncle receiving some belated birthday gifts
Some of our oldest and dearest friends....
I'm so thankful for every wonderful person here who show my parents so much love and support. And to think it all started with a boy meeting a girl in grade 9 and falling in love.......
Happy 50th Mom & Dad!! xoxo

July 18, 2014

Happy Friday!!

Hello friends!! I hope you've got an amazing weekend lined up!! Tomorrow we're celebrating my parent's 50th anniversary. I know I'm incredibly biased, but I think they look like movie stars at their wedding. I can't wait to see so many faces that I love all in one beautiful spot tomorrow. Mom and Dad deserve to be showered with affection, and this is the perfect event for it.
I put together a slide show for their day tomorrow and was blown away looking at the wonderful life they've created for themselves. They really have surrounded themselves with the most amazing circle of people. Today their friends helped get everything set up for the big day, got their house cleaned, yard prepped and brought them dinner. I mean, seriously, these friends of theirs are beyond incredible. I strongly believe that this circle of amazing support is a GIANT reason why mom is doing so much better than we all anticipated.
Craig and I did the math and we'll be 76/81 on our 50th. I guess we better keep tossing back those multivitamins!

And click here for your Friday laugh, it's a lip synched conversation between two 30 year old men, re-enacting conversations held by two 60 year old women.


Here's a few images from our week, xoxo











July 12, 2014

pumped up kicks

Hello friends! It has been awhile since I've had a moment to write, but the summer busy-ness has definitely kicked into high gear.
Earlier this week, I signed up with a running group and started training for a half marathon. It's 21 kms, which isn't groundbreaking, and doesn't make me an "extreme" athlete by any stretch. But I needed the discipline. My 5 kms jogs done intermittently were not doing a whole lot. I found that ever since I had a baby, I put on weight in areas I didn't even know were things: lower back love handles?!? What is that?
Now, please don't get me wrong, I'm not someone who advocates that we all need to be size 4 sticks. Not by any stretch. But I had done a half marathon before, and remember being in the best shape of my life from that training. I missed that feeling of being committed to a challenging program that pushed me out of my comfort zone and had a specific goal to train for: running a race.
I started to notice changes in myself that also led to this decision - I didn't enjoy clothes anymore - I wasn't buying things I wanted, I was buying things that worked more to camouflage problem zones.  If I was shopping and came across the word "fitted" it would send me running for the hills. I was also avoiding being in photos and would groan whenever I saw any photos of myself. I would love to have some family photos, but so often, I just have photos framed of my hubby and daughter.  So, I teamed up with one of my friends, and signed up through the running room for one of their training clinics. I have to tell you, it was one of the best decisions I've made in a long time. It's only been a week, but I've already logged in three good runs, including a 7.5 km one today in the blazing sun. I felt more energized at work this week. I feel like it's boosted my confidence, that I'm walking taller. And best of all, it's definitely given me a great endorphin high.

It's funny, the night of my first run, my hubby said, "they'll take it easy on you for your first run. Don't worry about packing water." We set out, what was supposed to be a 4 km intro run. 4 km? Cake walk. My hubby was right, I don't need any stinkin water.
But as we began, it was about 30 degrees out, which felt like running through a Hawaiian volcano in two layers of velour tracksuits. Sticky and uncomfortable. We were running and the first thing I noticed is that everyone had on water belts: professional looking of army artillery capacity, loaded with mini water bottles ready to aim at their thirsty faces at any given moment. They were confident in their running because they had like 8 water sources to grab from at any given moment. It was all I could think about. I'm pretty sure whenever I was jogging next to someone, my only topic of conversation was, "wow, that water looks good." Or, "Sure wish I brought some water." Or, "How does your water taste? Can you describe it for me?"
It became my number one fantasy. Forget Ryan Gosling, Water was seriously all I could think about. If there was a bottle of water handed to me at that moment, I would have made sweet love to it.
When we finished the run, the instructor said, "HA! I fooled you. You did 6 km, not 4!" If I wasn't so thirsty, I probably would have clocked her hydrated face.
So, running isn't always entirely fun. But, there's something to be said about having a program to stick to. If you are like me, feeling like you needed a nudge in your fitness routine, why not check out running groups, or join a cycling team, rowing team, bootcamp, dance troop, crossfit, anything that is going to make you more accountable for showing up. Tomorrow morning, we're getting up early to cheer on my hubby in a 120 km cycling race. He is definitely an inspiration for me to push myself further.
Happy fitness training friends!!
xoxo

July 6, 2014

The weekend round up in images.....

running barefoot in the grass & having popsicles with her sweet bffs, summer has arrived
Bourbon Lemonade - oh, it's on. 
Redwood Park fairy houses. Always enchanting. I get just as excited to find them as she does. 
a gorgeous night at Crescent Beach
A sweet Crescent Beach resident. I hope he appreciates his daily million dollar view.
A beautiful moment before she decided to sit down in some kind of bug infested bush.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend friends! xo

June 30, 2014

the last minute getaway....

Because we were in the U.S.A., I guess it's okay that they put their flag a few inches higher. 
I have honestly never seen someone so excited for bread and water. 
Needless to say, someone was not super impressed that we rented a place covered in hardwood floors. 
A gorgeous sunny morning spent walking through the grounds at Snowline.

Hello friends! Did you have a fun weekend? We had every intention of staying in B.C. to go camping, but with all of the sites remaining being listed as first-come-first-serve, we knew it'd be chancy to drive a great distance with a toddler, only to find the sites full. Plus the weather forecast was iffy, so we moved our plans indoors.  We quickly scanned the world wide web (handy!) for some deals and found a great price on a one bedroom condo at Mt. Baker. ($85 a night). I grew up with a cabin at Mt. Baker, that my family sold approx. a dozen years ago, so I was really excited to show Stella the area.
What do you do when you first get settled into a vacation place? For whatever reason, I always go set up my toiletries. I neatly arrange them around the sink, laying out my toothbrush and toothpaste, neatly lining up my contact solution and moisturizing cream. I have no such display at home, so it always baffles me that this is my go to first move to create that homey feeling. I pulled back the shower curtain to check out the tub, and there to meet my gaze was a giant spider. I showed Stella how brave I am, by grabbing a glass and putting a coaster underneath, and ushered it outside to save this tarantula's life. All I kept thinking was, if this coaster folds in any way, there will be some serious screaming coming from me, considerably breaking this tough facade. I also raised my eyebrow and quickly scanned the condo, knowing full well giant spiders like to travel with friends. 
Sure enough, Craig was greeted by a much bigger version of the spider I just rescued. Or perhaps it was the same spider, pumped on 'roids, coming back to re-claim the place. Craig did the same glass trick, and asked me if I wanted to take a looksy. "Oh no love, I'm good. I'm just busy setting things up." Which loosely translates into, what part of you honestly thinks that I want to get within one inch of that maniacal looking unpredictable eight legged leaper.
Now before you start thinking the condo we rented was located in the heart of Charlotte's Web, it was actually at the base of Mt. Baker, in an area called Snowwater. I grew up in the neighbouring cabin community of Snowline. One thing I really love about the area is that there is no cable and no cell phone service, so it really is a great escape. Before you surmise that it sounds a lot like camping with a roof, it had a flat screen TV with a DVD player. (retro!) (side note, when I saw the rental unit's DVD collection which started at Deuce Bigalow and went downhill from there, I was incredibly grateful we packed our own). (Movie snob!)
In the subdivision we were in, there were gorgeous hiking trails, a giant indoor pool (which we had most times to ourselves), squash courts, tennis, a playground and a nice bar/grill within walking distance. It poured rain the first two days we were there, so that indoor pool was the best. We did so much swimming, I'm sure you won't even recognize our new ripped physiques. And by ripped, I mean waterlogged. 
At the end of the weekend, the clouds finally parted and the most gorgeous sunshine woke us up, so we took Stella for a walk past my old cabin and let her play in the area. I'm not sure if you'd ever consider buying a recreational property. Some people definitely don't like the idea of vacationing repeatedly in the same location, which I completely understand. But on the flip side, there definitely is something to be said for having a place filled with your own belongings, that you can just go to on a whim. As I walked with my daughter around our old area, I pointed out the creek we used to jump over, the giant boulder we used to climb, the pond we used to fish in, the pool we swam in, the court we played pickleball in, the apple tree my mom used to sit under and watch us play. I left out all of the raging parties we used to have. She could learn about that much, much later, like in her early 30s. But it made me so happy to see it all again. Although it was recreational property, we owned it for over 20 years, and spent at least one weekend a month there. I'm more nostalgic about that area than any home I've lived in because of all the fun-filled memories we have there. We truly grew up there. I'm just so thankful that I got to re-visit it with my daughter. xoxo 

June 28, 2014

Happy Weekend!!


Hello Friends! I hope you have a tremendous long weekend! Are you staying in town or getting out of dodge? We are doing a last minute getaway that we booked last night. I'm really excited because it's a destination where I spent a lot of my childhood, so I can't wait to share it with my family. I've been listening to a lot of Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin this morning while we pack, getting in the mood for some nostalgic fun. I hope wherever the weekend takes you, you are able to squeeze in some amazing moments.
Last night we took dinner over to my mom's place, as it was her Chemo day. So, I just wanted to remind you all, that when people say, what would you do if you only had a year to live, that you have to carry that philosophy into your life right now. If the doctors ever tell you that you only have a year to live, you're often too tired or ill to go through that life list. So, really dig deep about what is most important to you and start checking off those items right now. Travel to those places you dream of while you are healthy enough to, start writing that book, organize that family reunion, run that marathon......infuse your days with meaning. xoxo

June 22, 2014

weekend round-up in images.....Summer has arrived!!

Hello Friends! Did you have a fun weekend? Did you do anything special to kick off summer?
We had back to back bbq's which felt oh - so -suburban of us. Here's a few images from the weekend:
The above photo is the new wall I painted with chalkboard paint so our little gal can draw while I cook. It's actually really fun to have an ever-changing wall of art work.
These pretty gems were used to decorate fairy houses. We may have over-shot and gone a bit too J-Lo blingy on these. 
Getting prepped for our friends with our favourite brews.
dining al fresco - my favourite fancy way to say "outside"
The newest member of our family - a giant, inflatable hit
our sunday morning stroll to the farmer's market where I admire the carrots and kale, and opt instead for the handmade chocolates. 
sneaking in a coffee break with one of my favourite funny women
sitting back and appreciating how lucky we are to have both sets of parents over tonight - thankful we live so close and extremely grateful they genuinely all love one another.
Let the Summer planning begin! xo