Growing Older is Still Growing

16 Mar

If you know me, you know how often I refer to myself as old.  I think a lot of this stems from the fact that I have a lot of friends who are significantly younger than myself (5-6 years), and also, due to the fact that my body feels like that of an 80 year old most days.

Truthfully, I feel like the fine grip I had on youthfulness passed through my fingers and faded off into the distance when I turned 30.  Now that I am 31, and firmly ensconced “in my thirties”, I have accepted it.

At a BBQ on Saturday night, the group of us who remained at 1 am talked about gray hairs, vasectomy appointments, tax returns and retirement savings.  We also talked about a lot of other things, but I couldn’t help but reflect that life is shifting.  For the 4 of us that stayed up until 5 am (a horrible habit that we can’t seem to shake, no matter how old we get!) the talk was a little more light hearted following :-)

I am not upset or remiss that I am in my thirties, because just as everyone said, it was absolutely and continues to be a period of self discovery.  I feel 100% more confident in my self worth and beliefs than I ever did in my twenties.  I am still struck some mornings that I wake up next to the man I have been married to for almost 8 years, love on the children I have been mothering for 4.5 years, and go to work in my career.  It seems a little surreal some days.

Most of all, the biggest gift I have given myself as I have grown older is that of grace.  It is so easy to be hard on myself, but not so easy to show kindness and forgiveness.  I am never, ever going to be perfect at anything, and that is not a failure.  The failure, I have learned, is in not taking lessons from mistakes or not showing myself the same amount of grace that I would to others in the same scenario.

Life is going to keep rolling forward, and time will keep passing.  Keeping score with myself or stacking my failures into an unmoveable wall won’t ever help me to move forward, be happy, or accomplish goals. 

Growing older means that I am growing, and isn’t that what life is all about?

Whirlwind Weekend

22 Feb

We had a fun but busy weekend around these parts!  So much fun that I barely *gasp* took any pictures!

Friday morning I met a good friend for coffee at the McDonald’s play place.  The girls had a blast running around and I had a great time chatting.  Afterwards we went home and picked up Tyler and took the girls mini golfing. Naturally, we had to stop at the attached Fro Yo place! 

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After a round of naps…

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…and sushi dinner out with friends, it was time to go watch Tyler’s team play provincials.  Some friends joined us and helped cheer them on.  They lost in OT and the girls were up waaaaayyyy too late (as in, almost midnight).

Saturday, we all slept in and then the girls and I met my mom at Chapter’s were she treated them to some new books and then out to lunch at The Penny Coffee House.  I love eating there because they always have vegan options, and the girls are crazy for their pasta salad.  We finished up chatting over coffee, cookies and a few dozen games of memory before heading home for nap.

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Then, off to Taber for more hockey!  It was such an exciting game that they won(!!!).  My girls are professional rink rats now, and I don’t mind hanging out chatting with friends!

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Ty was away for the night so we watched a movie and had a sleepover in my bed

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Abby must have been tossing and turning to pull all the sheets off!

This morning was very relaxed with a lazy breakfast and then some nude painting at the table.  The girls had a crazy long bath afterwards and I folded a tonne of laundry while they played.

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Painting their allowance jars. Abrielle is saving for a trip to Madagascar when she is a "grown-up" so she needs something other than her piggy bank for her spending money!

Once we were all cleaned up we headed out to a matinee after crossing our wires on a few other plans.  There were two movies for kids playing around the same time, and although they decided on Penguins of Madagascar at home, they instantly changed their mind to Big Hero Six once we arrived.  Abby loved it and sat in her seat the entire time.  Gracelyn liked it too, but about halfway through announced she was tired, gave her popcorn away to Abby and climbed on my lap and promptly fell asleep!

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They both loved Baymax!

Dinner at my mom’s, followed by a quick visit with my in laws and now the girls are tucked away in bed and I am not far behind!  It was such a great weekend filled with friends and good quality family time. 

Checking In

15 Feb

It has been quite a while since I updated my little space of the internet.  Currently:

-Ty brought me home the first coffee I have had in over 2 weeks today, a true act of love because he hates ordering at Starbucks.  I love the Vday cups

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– I have been trying to drink 4 litres of water a day and have significantly reduced my diet coke and coffee consumption (down to almost nothing).    My skin is so thankful and has never been more hydrated.

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My little niece is due to arrive in under two weeks, so I finally sorted through my baby clothes to give to my sister in law.  If my estimates are correct, she will be able to wear almost 2 outfits and a pair of pjs every day with no repeats until she is six months old.  My kids had a ton of clothes when they were babies!  It was so nostalgic sorting through them all, especially the preemie and newborn clothes.  So teensy!

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Turns out my kids have absolutely no fear when it comes to sledding, as discovered when we went out on a whim after dinner one night.  We now have Abby convinced to try waterslides again, because it is basically the same thing only less cold.

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Abby had her Valentine’s preschool party and as always, it was so adorable.  They always make us a cute gift and sing songs before the potluck.  She was so cute twirling around in her dress.

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Gracelyn picks her hairstyle based on the character she would like to be that day.  Anna braids were a real hit last week, but thankfully she is all about the Tinkerbell bun this week.

-I got a new position at work and that means no more nights! It does mean working a little more (13 shifts a month instead of 9) and that the girls will need to be in childcare now, but overall I think it will be a positive change.

-We planned a 60th birthday surprise party for my Mom and pulled it off on Friday without a hitch.  She had friends come from BC, Ontaria and Calgary and of course lots who were local.  My brother from Dartmouth unfortunately had to cancel his flight because of the weather, but I know she still had a great time.  We had appies, cake, wine and yellowbirds (her favourite mixed drink) and safe to say everyone had a great time. 

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-As of a few weeks ago, Gracelyn is officially 100% accident free and potty trained, except for overnight.  She went through a long streak where she would hold off pooping until she had a diaper on and then instantly fill said diaper.  Turns out all we needed to do was tell her that the princesses wouldn’t let her into Disneyland if she pooped her diaper, and we haven’t looked back now.  It is so nice to be out of that stage!

-I am trying to get back to running and keep myself injury free.  I am slowing way down, cutting my distance down, and really focusing on form.  So far, so good!

Passing the Time

26 Jan

With Ty’s crazy hockey and work schedule, he is gone more than he is home for the most part.  Being a part time single parent means that I need to fill in the gaps with fun for my ladies.  I may be a part time SAHM, but I don’t much like actually staying at home.

We have been blessed with some amazingly warm temperatures for January, and we are running with them.  On Saturday we dug out the wheels and the helmets and rolled down the the park for some fun.

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I was shocked to see that the handlebar to Abrielle’s scooter is now 3 inches too short (she was just using it in October!!  This child will be 6 foot tall on her next birthday, I swear).  Also, Gracelyn has figured out how to pedal her trike (but not steer at the same time).  The blue skies and warm temperatures were bliss, and the girls napped for 4 hours following!

Sunday we searched far and wide for something to do with the girls before Ty had to leave for a tournament.  The wind was gusting at 60km/hr, so outside wasn’t an option.  Turns out, the only thing to do in Lethbridge on Sunday before noon is go to church, or the McDonald’s play place.  So much for quality family time, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

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That night the girls and I finally decorated some Olaf sugar cookies we baked ages ago, and then of course we had to watch Frozen with a side of popcorn and hot chocolate.  It is a rule, I am pretty sure.

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We have been doing a lot of tea parties at home lately, so when I saw that a girlfriend had taken her little miss to The Jasmine Tea Room, I knew my girls would love it.  My girlfriend Tawnya and I met there today and had the most lovely experience.

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Tawnya is such a talented photographer and was kind enough to snap a few of my littles!

The shop is charming, and they have cute mini cups for the little girls.  They all picked a tea and munched on scones with Devonshire cream, raspberry jam and lemon curd and fruit cups.  They were so cute stirring (too much) sugar in their little cups, and Abby insisted on getting dressed up for the occassion.  She also informed us several times that we needed to have good table manners, including keeping our hands folded 😂

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We found out with a reservation you can do a princess theme high tea, so we will for sure be back for that!

For dinner we met friends down at the river bottom for a picnic dinner and used up every last ray of sunlight!  The kids were more interested in playing than eating, so my girls were starving on the way home and ate the rest in the car!

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The train passing over is always a huge hit!

I am absolutely thankful to have days off during the beautiful weather, and I hope it continues!

Baby Loving

18 Jan

This last week has been baby central, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! 

After taking his sweet time, my besties’s little boy Beckett finally made his grand debut on January 14th.  I was on nights and had to wait two whole days before holding this adorable little man, and let me tell you, I am smitten.

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He is so sweet, and so perfect, and I am so in love with him already.  It is so amazing to see Rachel as a Mom now too.  Since Abby was hours old, she has always been such a big part of my girls’ lives and I am sure that Abby and Gracie will one day be shocked to realize that Rachel and Craig aren’t actually their blood Aunt and Uncle.  I am so excited for them, and can’t wait to see him blossom and grow!

Saturday we celebrated little Lucia Faith.  Jana was hospitalized for quite a while following her birth, so it was doubly sweet celebrating this precious little bundle and the recovery of her Mama.  I am not embarrassed to say I was a baby hog almost the whole time, she is so darling!

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Jana and I didn’t meet until her oldest, Wyatt, and Abby were about to celebrate their first birthdays. We found each other through blogging (and found we had a mutual friend!) and have been close ever since.  I love having this woman and her precious children in my life, and am so excited little Lucia has joined our ever expanding circle!

Sunday, we had a baby shower for my sister in law Amanda.  Her baby girl is due in just 6 weeks and I am so excited to meet my new little niece!  We had a sugar and spice themed baby shower, and I was a little chagrined after setting everything up and remembering Amanda doesn’t really love pink!  Oops, lol!

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A little sugar...

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A little spice. Popcorn bar!

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Sugar hand scrub party favors. Gracelyn was so helpful passing these out and pulled the handmade tags off every...single...one

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As much as I have been soaking up all the baby loving, I am still content with my two girls.  Ty and I were reminiscing about when our girls were born after meeting little Beckett, and it was sweet memories thinking back.  As much as I love having babies, I am going to stick with my two, and love on all these new little ones :-)

Capturing Christmas

3 Jan

Although my decorations are all still up and multiple dozens of sugar cookies still remain undecorated, it is safe to say that Christmas is over.

This Christmas was the first one I have worked since becoming a nurse, so it looked a little different than normal.  I worked nights on the 22-24th, and tried to balance that with visiting as much family as I could during that time.  My brother, Grandfather and Aunt all flew in on the 22nd, and my Dad came down from Edmonton on the 23rd. 

On Christmas Eve, we opened gifts with my in laws like we always do.

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Gracelyn had next to no nap on board (please keep in mind she sleeps up to 17 hours a day still), and was cranky as all get out.  When she spotted my latte, she stole a few sips and in an act of poor parenting/desperation I let her fuel up with a bunch few more sips.  Her mood improved dramatically following!

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Not an hour later, she was gifted with her own Starbucks gift card.

After opening gifts we headed out to meet my Dad and family for our annual Chinese food dinner.  It was the 50th year that my Dad has been buying Chinese food for his family on Christmas Eve, and other than the restaurant being roasting hot, it was a great time had by all.

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The girls then opened their traditional Christmas Eve pajamas from my Mom and set out snacks for the big guy.

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And I sadly headed out to work

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Where I mostly did this!

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We didn’t have a lot of patients on the unit, so it was a fairly laid back night.  The next morning I came home and woke everyone up so we could open gifts as a family

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We hosted breakfast for about 12 people and then after a quick nap went to my sister’s to hang out and open, you guessed it, more gifts!

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Off for Christmas dinner with Ty’s extended family, and then after almost no sleep, I finally crashed at 10pm and slept!

On the 27th, we drove up to Edmonton to spend time with my Dad and watch Ty’s team in their hockey tournament. We had fun cheering on the team, visiting the Science Centre, and playing at Galaxy Land.  We ended up spending so much time there that we stopped in Red Deer for the night and a swim before heading home on New Year’s Eve.

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We rang in the New Year with good friends and possibly a few too many drinks (I swear champagne and I do not mix).

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Now it is back to work and back to life as normal.  Christmas was a great time to be with friends and family, and as always I reflect upon how absolutely and completely blessed I am.  Good health, a beautiful family and great friends make for a good life, and I couldn’t ask for more.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

16 Dec

I have not been in the holiday spirit yet this year.  To be honest, I am very much a last minute type of gal, but usually have a few things done come early December.

I have bought a few gifts, but before today have done literally nothing else for Christmas.  The kids haven’t even seen Santa.  Ty and I have such incompatible schedules that it just hasn’t felt like we have had the time.

I worked Monday, so I urged them to go get the tree without me, even though that is something we do as a family every year.  I think I knew deep down that once the tree was up, my Christmas ball would start rolling.

And so it did!  Ty set the tree up today and we decorated together.

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The girls had so much fun bopping around to music and talking about the special ornaments.  And, let’s be honest, is there anything better than the smell of a fresh tree? 

We decorated the inside of the house, and moved on to our pitiful gingerbread house.  We overloaded it before the icing got hard and the poor thing fell apart.  The picture below shows the roof supported by bowls!

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I had pre made a bunch of cookie doughs while the girls napped that needed to be chilled, so we will finish those off tomorrow.  I was dying to try these little “pepper nuts” that Tawnya makes, so I made a batch while the girls slept and baked them off.  They are SO good, and you can find her recipe here.  I subbed a flax egg in to make them vegan and they look the same, I think! 

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I am so glad I have my holiday mojo now.  Ty is putting up the outdoor decorations tomorrow, and I am hoping to bang out my Christmas shopping and start wrapping this weekend.  I love this time of year!

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Despite the fact that I was trying to go back to blonde, I had a lapse in sanity and went dark again. Oh well...

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Even though Gracelyn is pantless, I adore this picture!

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