Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wrapping up 2015


So...this used to be an annual thing...if I'm going to start blogging again maybe I should start with a tradition?

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
I'll have to get back to you on that one...

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make New Year's resolutions

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A few friends had babies

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No

5. What countries did you visit?
Just this one

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Our own home

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
No specific date...lots of big stuff happened and most of it happened over time not in just one day

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Sanity

9. What was your biggest failure?
No failures...not that I would call failures anyway

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just the standard colds and other assorted viruses

11. What was the best thing you bought?
New duvet covers for our bed and for J's

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Everyone who voted

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
dare I say it? Donald Trump

14. Where did most of your money go?
into our car

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Some new babies, some new jobs

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
Roar...Saturday morning dance parties were one song wonders!

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
about the same, about the same, always richer...

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
playing with the girls

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
battling the world...but it had to be done

20. How did you spend Christmas?
quietly with les parents, teamhardcore, Alex and our girls

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
Nope

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Downtown Abbey

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
no

24. What was the best book you read?
All the Light We Cannot See

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
J...or small pianist and singer

26. What did you want and get?
An awesome job opportunity

27. What did you want and not get?
Our own home

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Inside Out

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Had a BBQ with some friends and my family...including both of my sister, Oncle Jado and my great-aunt and uncle. I'm just old enough

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Some stability

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Concept? Needs help!

32. What kept you sane?
Deep breaths

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
none

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
This federal election

35. Who did you miss?
A number of people who are far away and/or in Vancouver

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Some parents of J's friends

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Just keep breathing

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Change magic carpet ride to roller coaster ride:

I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Procrastinator? Who, me?

Well, my announcement that I was back was clearly premature. But as always, when I have a million other things to do, I come back to blogging. This week coming up is so busy so of course I'm taking ten minutes to update my sorely neglected blog.

We are all happy to see the holiday season approaching...not just because we love Christmas but because it means 2015 is finally going away. It's been a roller coaster of a year and we are hoping that 2016 might mean some stability. We're heading into the end of two years of upheaval and while Alex and I will appreciate a more settled life, Miss J needs it in the worst possible way! Little C is quite content with her situation but she doesn't remember anything except our current life.

We've been on a crazy ride of gentle climbs with great views of the future that all of a sudden fall into steep drops that leave your stomach hanging somewhere at the top. But as Alex said to me the other day, good things are coming. And he was right. Less than 24 hours later we got some great news and it just kept coming.

This week I have two term papers and two finals and then I'm starting the Christmas baking and decorating and celebrating with my kids. And maybe I'll start blogging again (although I may have lost my readers!)...we are just starting year two of a huge life change and it is pretty amazing, even with all the ups and downs!
Back to the books!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

New Beginnings

Once upon a time, there was a blog here and it was about more than just postcards.

But then life happened and blogging became something that stayed at the bottom of the to do list.

In August, Alex and I did something we'd been talking about for years. We packed up our stuff and sent it away to storage. We loaded our kids and a few things into a UHaul, the back of our car and my mom and dad's station wagon and we moved to Kelowna. With no jobs, no daycare and a place in French Immersion for Miss J.

It was a bit scary and a lot exciting and somewhat nerve wracking but we did it.

And now, almost six months later, we're feeling quite settled and there might just be time for some blogging as we create new memories in a new city. I'm making no promises but I think I'm back!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cakes and birthdays

37.3 and 37.4 Try 34 new recipes

birthday boy and his girls

It was Alex’s birthday this weekend and we celebrated the way we’ve been celebrating things around here lately…quietly and with cake. Because you have to have cake. When we were in Kelowna for spring break, we made my mom a scrumptious lemon cake with lemon curd and when it was my sisters’ birthday a month later J wanted to do the same. But it ended up being a bit busy the day they were coming (two weeks after their birthday because that’s how we roll), so I just made a lemon cake with lemon icing.

master cake decorater

My head cake decorator had very specific requirements…this cake was blue and orange (although the final result looked pink) with purple icing (that ended up quite grey)

ready to light the candles

J was in charge of the decorations and she picked the candles. Apparently my sisters turned 211 this year. I’m not sure where that leaves me since I’m the oldest!

inside the cake

The cake ended up quite pretty looking. My oven almost caused a cake disaster…it wouldn’t be the first time…

For Alex’s birthday, I convinced J we could have a “normal” coloured cake, but she got to pick the flavours. Which I got to veto if the combinations were too strange. She settled on a very delicious sounding chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.

the cake
She decorated it herself with Reese’s Pieces that we sent Alex to the store specifically to get…and being the awesome daddy that he is, he was shocked and surprised when we presented him with the cake.

yum

The cake was delicious and, due to close monitoring, my oven did not destroy this cake…but I can guarantee that if I did everything exactly the same way next time, I would end up with either a burnt or a raw cake. I miss my old oven…

I would totally make this combination again. It was a hit. I have a go-to chocolate cake recipe, but after sending Alex for Reese’s Pieces I discovered I didn’t have enough cocoa powder, so my friend Mr. Google helped me find a recipe based on how much cocoa powder I did have. And dear Martha came through again. I loved this cake. And it only took one bowl. And normally I’m not a fan of chocolate cake at all…maybe I have a new go-to? The frosting was fabulous…I might play around with it next time…less butter more peanut butter? We’ll see.

YUM!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Backyard Scavenger Hunt

82. Choose a month from the 26 things photography scavenger hunt archive and do the scavenger hunt

When we were in Kelowna at Thanksgiving, J and I decided to do another photo scavenger hunt. The first one we did was just the alphabet, but this time we chose the one from September 2004.

frame

frame

glass

glass

arrow

arrow

numbers

numbers

small

small

open

open

fruit

fruit

wheel

wheel

plastic

plastic

cover

cover

natural

natural

saturday

Saturday

multicoloured

multi-coloured

home

home

shadow

shadow

sticky

sticky

clean

clean

foot

foot

sport

sport (she’s demonstrating how to dribble and block at the same time…)

round

round

group

group

man made

man made

half

half

path

path

full

full

the end

the end

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Birthday Cake with Lemon Curd

37.2 Try 34 new recipes

While we were in Kelowna at Spring Break it was my mom’s birthday and J really wanted to make her a cake. So she did. Sort of…she decorated it with sprinkles, but it worked out perfectly. J wanted to make a lemon cake, so we went all out and made lemon cake with lemon icing and lemon curd.

lemon cake with lemon icing and lemon curd

The curd was amazing…you can see it seeping out here and unfortunately that’s the only picture I got of it, but it was soooooooooo good. I used Ina Garten’s recipe and I will be using it again…

sprinkled

We were a bit pressed for time…if I were to do this again, I’d spoon the curd on just before serving, so it could run down the sides. I would just ice the top layer of the cake (maybe the sides of the top layer, I haven’t decied)…although…it was even more delicious the second day when some of the curd had soaked into the cake.

birthday girl

My mom’s second birthday cake was a success!! Yum!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Sun Run Fun Run

21. Do the mini-Sun Run with J (and C if she's old enough)

So, the Sun Run literally runs past our front door. We always watched it, either from J’s room in our old place or from the grass median in front of the building (or both)…last year, J’s Auntie TeamHardCore ran the Sun Run and J decided it was time for her to run it too.

Obviously 10 km was a long walk/run for a five and a half year old and J also said she wanted all four of us to do, so when we got a notice from the school about Team Registration, we signed up for the Fun Run. It’s a shorted 2 km run/walk down around the arena and BC Place.

We were going to put Little C in the Ergo, but at the last minute, I decided I’d rather put her in the stroller. The Sun Run ended right at nap time and while she’ll still nap in the Ergo, she naps better (and longer) in the stroller. And then I decided to put the extra seat on the back…

Good thing I did…there was a bus schedule mix up and we ended up moving Little C to the back and actually getting J to ride in the front…she’s just under the weight limit still, but she’s sooooooooo big for the stroller. Once both girls were secured, Alex and I did some serious speed walking to the train and then from the train to the start. We got there one whole minute before start time!

the runners

Alex and J started out walking with me, but then J wanted to run, so they sped off ahead.

our smallest runner

Little C had a great time…she pulled off both her running shoes, but thanks to kind people on the course, we got them both back…it took us just under 30 minutes to walk it which was pretty good considering we had paced it at closer to 50 minutes based on J’s speed through our neighbourhood.

four of us done

Little C ate more of the recovery food than the rest of us put together (where in heaven’s name does she put it all?!?!)

bouncing

The highlight of J’s day was not finishing the run…it was the bouncy castles set up in BC Place for the kids to play in after!

stroller for two

We were happy to have the double stroller on the way home. J was exhausted and it would have been a long, complainy walk home…instead we loaded her back in the stroller, put the sun shield on and she slept almost the whole way. Maybe in a few years we’ll try it again…maybe we’ll even try the 10 km!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

J makes dinner

Little C’s first birthday meant it was almost time for my maternity leave to end…and that meant a whole bunch of changes for our family. One of things I’ve been in charge of is dinner, but with work hours, it would be after 5:00 before I’d even get home…and C eats early and goes to bed early. Alex is a novice cook and J had a great suggestion…they could learn to cook together!

So, off we went to the the kids’ bookstore and got them a couple of kids’ cookbooks with fairly easy recipes and lots of tips on techniques and photos to show how things are done.

J’s first dinner was tomato soup with garlic bread.

stirring the pot

She loved being in the kitchen – she is using a paring knife, but we’re going to wait until her paring knife skills are a bit better before she gets to chop stuff…even so, she did most of the work on this yummy soup.

a girl and her dinner

And she was pretty proud of the final product!

little c approves

It received a Little C stamp of approval as well!

Monday, May 05, 2014

Back to basics…

 
For ages and ages and ages (okay fine, the better part of a year) I tried to post a menu plan for us each week. Lots has happened since my last menu plan…two and a half years ago…eeeep….
 

So after riding the roller coaster of life for a while, Alex and I have decided we’d like life to slow down a bit. Meal times are a bit hectic what with four competing schedules and two very tired kids at dinner time…I’m only going to plan dinner this week, but once we’re back into the swing of things, I think I’m going to try to plan our lunches too…all too often my lunch ends up being tossed together at the last minute and as I’m already not the biggest lunch fan, it doesn’t make me happy…

Monday: Chicken Wings with rice, carrots and peas

Tuesday: Macaroni and cheese (with hidden cauliflower) and broccoli

Wednesday: Meatloaf with chick peas served with mashed potatoes, cauliflower and peas

Thursday: Teriyaki chicken with rice and stir fried broccoli

Friday: Chicken and dumplings

Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Sunday: Carrot and lentil soup with Kari’s bread

Nothing fancy here and nothing new to us…the first two recipes are courtesy of my mom and I don’t even use a recipe anymore, the pizza dough recipe is my dad’s and while I used to make it from memory, my memory isn’t that good now that I have a toddler and we haven’t made pizza for a long time. The meatloaf is packaged up in the freezer and we’re all excited about it! Yummy!!!

Of course, being the Organizing Junkie, Laura is still posting meal plans…if you need ideas (or more likely when I need ideas for next week), there are links to many meal plans over there.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

And then she was one…

sisters meeting

One year ago, this was the scene in our living room…it was a very exciting time for all of us…

sister a year later

And now, both of those little girls are so much bigger…it’s been one incredible year!

today im one

C was super excited about her birthday even though she really didn’t get it…I think she was just excited because her big sister was!

wheres my cake

She was not impressed when we took the cake away to be cut up…but she didn’t get as sad as her sister did on her first birthday(s)

yum

And she was pretty happy when the cake finally came back….

presents

She loved opening presents…there were enough gifts that each of her cousins and her sister got to help her open at least once…what a spoiled little lady!!!

family of four

Happy Birthday Baby C…can’t imagine not being a family of four!