Birthday Weekend

17 Aug

This weekend I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my 21st birthday and ohmygodthatisalittledepressing! But, here is the scoop: as much as getting older sucks, the alternative is you don’t, and that is far worse.

My birthday was on a Friday, and it started off with kisses and birthday wishes from Ty as he headed off to work and then a sleep in and snuggles with my girls.

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Abby woke Grace up to tell her it was my birthday and both sang me several rounds of Happy Birthday.

We had a lazy breakfast, a Starbucks run and a quick trip to the mall before heading home for naps.  I scored some new outfits for the weekend at a great price and replaced yet another pair of pink flip flops that were chewed after being left outside by the trampoline.  Good thing they are $2 at Old Navy!  The girls napped and I received a beautiful delivery from my Dad

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When Ty got home he and the girls spoiled me with gifts.  We always let the girls pick gifts at the Dollar Store for one another, and their selections never disappoint.  This year I got a feather boa, bouncy ball, rubber snake, two stuffed animals, a hottie whistle and a 60th bday necklace.

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Ty got me some run gear and a gift card for me to pick some things for myself too.

My Mom took the girls and we went to my favourite restaurant, Plum, for dinner.  Plum is a small wine bar that has an amazing chef, local ingredients and amazing food.  I call in advance because they have a small fixed menu and they always accommodate a vegan preference. 

We started with drinks and appies; I had a chilled peach chipotle soup and a mojito and Ty had sliders and a beer.  For dinner he had ribs and I had a tabouleh and garbanzo party in yellow tomato, corn and pine nut gazpacho with a glass of red.  Ty finished with a chocolate pannacota with peanut butter ice cream and brulee bananas and I had a martini.  Sooooooo amazing.

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After, we went to telegraph for drinks and then later Mojos for a few more with my brother and his girlfriend.

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Saturday was my party, hosted by Mike and Richelle.  The guest count was pretty small but I had such a fun time!  We drank too much sangria, ate way too much food and took a ton of selfies.  We laughed our heads off at Tyler and Jeremy’s rubber arm dancing, relearned the hustle and the cabbage patch, and found out that to make spring rolls you need to go back to 1986.  We topped of the (at this point) morning with a hot tub and then had breakfast after 4 of us slept over!

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Eating my birthday cake before the candles were even lit!

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How many chins game!

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I had a great birthday and was beyond spoiled with gifts, love and well wishes.  I feel beyond blessed to have such great friends, most who feel like family, and that members of my blood family are among my closest friends.  I have a husband who I adore (and I get the impression he is somewhat fond of me), two little girls who are treasures and an amazing and supportive family and family in law.  I get to wake up each morning in a house that is brimming over with love, and work at a job where I am challenged, motivated and inspired.  I am a lucky, lucky girl :-)

“Don’t Worry Mama, It Will Dry”

6 Aug

Today we didn’t have much on the agenda, just some grocery shopping and then we were going to check out my friend’s new food truck Fries and Dolls.

We made some loose plans to meet my Mom and a girlfriend there, and ended up running into half of the people we know in Lethbridge.  It was a sweet little rendezvous as we made the painful decision of what to order (it all looked soooo good).

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We decided on our orders and my Mom took the girls to the park across the street to get some shade while I waited for the food. Side note: I am in love.  I ordered the Sandra D- sweet potato fries with brown sugar, cumin and cinnamon.  Ahhhhhhhmazing!  If you are in Lethbridge please do yourself a huge favor and check them out! We ate and chatted while the kids alternated between eating and running around.

The park downtown has a small splash pad, and after eyeing up Abby told me she was disappointed we hadn’t brought suits.  I thought about it for a half second and told her she could run through in her clothes if she wanted, assuming she would get somewhat damp.

After thinking it over (and requesting to go naked) she took off for the water.  Gracelyn followed, but naturally avoided the jets.  They ran around in the grass and had a great time.

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It feels so good to just say yes sometimes and let kids do exactly what they were meant to do…enjoy life.  I loved watching the thrill and joy on my girls’ faces as they ripped around and as Abby got soaked.

So, Miss Abrielle got more than a little damp.  She was so soaked from head to toe that her skirt was almost falling off from the weight and she was dripping.  She assured me “Don’t worry Mama, it will dry”, and I couldn’t help but think that was the perfect mindset.  Certainly, it is not ideal to have a saturated child in the car right be for naps, but it truly just is water. I need to take a lesson and seize the day a little more, a la Abby.

Gracelyn at 22 Months

5 Aug

Angel,

You creep closer and closer to two and further away from the tiny newborn that you once were. I keep thinking back to all the things we were doing awaiting your arrival at this time two years ago. Now it feels as though you were always a part of our family.

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You are such a little force to be reckoned with and are so fun to be around. You love to sing, and you are my favourite duet partner. You love Ho Hey, You Are My Sunshine, Let it Go and That’s What’s Up. You are beyond adorable when you sing and love to boogie around while you do.

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You are such a jokester, and love to make butt jokes…along the lines of ” baby butt! AHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, baby butt!”. Class act through and through. You love to dramatically say no after asking me for kisses and try to duck them.
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You are beyond smart and can sing most of your ABCs, count to 20 and know most of your colours. You are so observant and can always tell if we are getting close to home. You love to do “yoyos” (yoga), swing from anything and everything (especially the island and the treadmill) and run. You sport numerous scrapes and bruises at any given time.

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You adore swimming but despise spray parks. I think it might be the unpredictability of the jets? You are such an outdoor baby and are a champ at camping. At home you love riding your bike, going on the “bouncy” and doing chalks. You love stickers and colouring and helping clean up when we are inside, and your favourite show is Bo on the Go.

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Grandma and I took you to your first movie this month and you lasted through a good portion of it (basically until your popcorn ran out) and then wanted to walk around. Maybe we will try again when you are a little older. You just surprise me daily at what a big girl you are becoming!
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Sweet girl, you have a hair trigger temper still. You are prone to melt down at the drop of a hat, but redirect quickly thankfully. You definitely have an opinion, and thankfully you have lots of words to tell us what that is. It seems there aren’t many words you dont know anymore, and I love listening to you and your sissy playing and talking together.

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Sunny Days

28 Jul

We have been blessed with such a beautiful summer to date.  The girls and I have been soaking up as much sun as possible and taking advantage of a more relaxed schedule.

Today we met up with some girlfriends and littles and went to one of my favourite summertime locations, the Robinpick Berry Farm.  It is about 15 minutes from town and has a corn maze, petting zoo and some play equipment. It is a family run business and where we had Abby’s 2nd Birthday party.

We got there a little after 10 after a necessary coffee stop and turned the kids loose.  Gracelyn loved the animals but wasn’t keen on feeding or petting most of them.  It was so neat to watch Abby this year, because she was so brave with the animals and let them eat out of her hand.

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Feeding bunnies

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Gracie was pumped to see the "hops"

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Gracie and Abby were most in love with Pork chop, the pig.  They giggled and fed him forever, and made two return visits.

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Gracelyn also made several requests to see the “baybee goats” and fed the baby only out of her hand. 

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Freaky thing

The girls also enjoyed a ride on the cow train (I was actually a little shocked Gracie went on by herself) and Abby conquered the slide that bucked her off last year with no trepidation.

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After snacking on some treats and visiting with our friends, we hit the road.  Naturally, the girls fell asleep on the short ride home and Gracie didn’t even wake up to be put in the crib.

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Days like today remind me that I have all the time in the world to make more money and work more hours.  While there are so many areas of our lives we could put more income, I cannot put a price on spending time and making memories with my precious girlies.  I am so fortunate to have a career that lets me have the best of both worlds.

Sisters

24 Jul

Sisters

24 Jul

I was cleaning the kitchen after supper and realized that the girls were being very quiet.  Like, the kind of quiet where you steel your nerves and remind yourself to have patience with whatever you find.  I peeked over the stub wall and saw this:

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Abby is reading to Grace, pointing things out in books while Gracelyn enthusiatically agrees with everything she says.
A: This puppy looks like Ellie, don’t you think
G: Yeah!  Ehl-ly! Yeah!

Be still my heart.

Although nature, fate, and whatever else played a big part, I feel like the best thing I ever did for my girls was to give them a sister close in age.  My sister and I are two years apart, so I know that while this time may be sweet, there are probably rough roads (laden with teenage hormones) ahead.  That being said, I choose to live in the here and now.

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These two really are the best of friends.  Certainly, they fight and argue, but most of the time they play together so nicely.  Abby usually constructs an elaborate game and draws Gracie in, and Gracie is more than happy to join in.

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I have started calling Gracelyn ” two second delay” because she copies everything that Abrielle does.  Even Abby says “she always like to do what I do” because it is true!  Abby is learning that also means she needs to set a good example for her sister.  Unfortunately, these two get in much too much mischief together and while it warms my heart to see them working as a team, I don’t necessarily love the aftermath!

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My heart is full to bursting with love for these girls, not only as individuals, but as sisters.  I never doubted I could love a second baby as much as I loved Abby, but I also didn’t realize how the complexity of my love could change.  Seeing each girl as a sister makes me swell with even more love than I could have ever imagined.  It is a role they will always have, for all their lives, and I hope they are always as good of friends, and love each other as much as they do now.

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They comfort one another when they are sad, kiss owies when the other hurts, share snacks to make the other happy and drive one another crazy.  I feel so blessed to call these two little dolls mine :-)

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You be the bird, I’ll be the feather
We’ll be the best of friends forever

Family Days

21 Jul

Working shift work, I am never guaranteed to have a weekend off.  Now that I am casual, I try to schedule the majority of my shifts on evenings or weekends to save on childcare.  Ty normally works Monday to Friday, but recently had some weekend overtime too.

We usually try to have a family day where we do a purposeful activity when we have a shared day off.  Yesterday after a very lazy start to the morning, we tossed around a few ideas.  I was working at 7pm, so we couldn’t go too far and decided on Waterton National Park, about an hour and half away.

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We packed up the girls and hit the road.  I commented to Tyler how lucky we are to have such good car travellers.  Abby is happy to sit and watch the scenery go by and Gracelyn almost always falls asleep. Although I am sure the day will come, I am grateful we don’t need to pack toys and ipads and distractions for shorter rides like this.  I am so happy they are willing to entertain themselves or each other!

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I took this one on the ride home

When we got there, Abrielle was so excited to see the waterfall. We made it our first stop and took the obligatory picture that neither girl posed for!

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We then went for a little climb, or ” ‘benture walk” as Abby calls it.  This is by far her fave thing to do anywhere we go, and Gracie kept up despite the steep incline!  It was a good way to stretch the legs after a car ride.

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We walked around the town for a bit and decided to grab a late lunch.  The girls were starving and so were we!  We forgot how pricey tourist towns are, but it was still delicious.

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I have poor Gracie that ugly scratch on her face with my nail accidentally that morning! Poor babes.

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After lunch we walked around a bit more and stopped at the candy store for an ice cream.  Gracelyn shared with Ty and Abby and got a sucker instead, and I opted for a fresh popped bag of popcorn.

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Too soon it was time to leave, but we drove up the mountain to see Cameron Lake quickly.  It is gorgeous, and we already have a trip planned to do a picnic and spend the day there soon! 

The girls fell asleep not two minutes into the ride home and didn’t wake up until we hit Lethbridge again.  It was a short day, but well worth the trip.  I hope our ladies remember these little impromptu road trips and times we share as a family, and I hope even more they want to keep doing it as they get older!.

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