Thursday, 30 October 2014


Every morning on their  birthday it is a tradition for me to go wake them up in their room and take their first photos.  This year, however, Finley woke up first and so this had to for her birthday morning photo.  It’s the morning of the entire year she voluntarily gets up before anybody else.
The night before I decorated the table in Monster High and got up early to make pancakes for breakfast before we headed to school.
Her outfit for the day
Playing What time is it Mr. Shark?  on her way home from school.  They had a lot of fun being silly.
Being goofy with chopsticks at lunch time
Finley got to pick wherever she wanted for lunch and her reply to me was: “I want to go for noodles mom.  At the fancy place, you know the one with the fish.  Not the one by Target” and so that is where we went!
After lunch we headed to target to buy some stuff to complete their halloween costumes and then Finley had her 6 year check up at the doctor.  We came home and the girls did some painting before our guests arrived.
Pizza birthday dinner
The birthday cake that I spent 8 hours making.  It is Monster High themed in case you were wondering.  I tried to do the logo.  It isn’t great but it isn’t terrible either.
Blowing out her candles
Opening her presents.
Finley had a superb day and was so excited to be turning 6.  When we were tucking her into bed, we asked her what the best part of her birthday was and her answer was the cake.  That made me so happy and made all of the frustration, anger and time spent on that cake worth it.  Every last second of it.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Dear Finley,

Dear Finley,
Today we celebrate your 6th birthday and every year it’s the same, how is possible that you are already 6 years old.  I remember the day you were born like it was this morning. You were so tiny and beautiful.  We were full of amazement how it was possible that we could create something so wonderfully perfect and love you as much as we did having only met you just moments before.  I read an article this morning on who said that after his daughter arrived, he wanted to call his parents and apologize because he never understood how much they loved him until he had a child of his own.  And that is truly how I feel.  And everyday you continue to amaze me with your sweet but fierce personality.  You are truly a unique little girl and I love watching you grow into your own person each and every day.
You have a crazy sense of style and I love seeing your personality show through.  You wear what you want with what you want and don’t care what anybody thinks.  Whether it’s a combination of crazy bold patterns, transformer socks pulled up to your knees over leggings with mismatched sparkle shoes. Animal print is all the rage right now and you try to wear it all at once! Part of me wishes I was more like that.
Finley this morning on her birthday before school.
You love to do crafts.  If you could, it would be all day, every day.  I don’t know where it comes from.  Maybe Grandma Gail because she is pretty good with her scrapbooking and card making stuff.  It certainly isn’t from me haha.  You love colouring, cutting, and painting.  Your walls are covered in your creations and you have piles waiting for their turn to be displayed.
You are a very active girl – you love to go for bike rides, you play soccer – both indoor and outdoor and you are learning how to skate because you decided last week that you want to play hockey.  You love to do yoga and walk to the park and camp and generally be outside.  You are so much like your dad in that way.  You want to so badly winter camp but me and your sister are not up for that yet.
You love your friends and your sister.  For the most part, you and Penelope have a great relationship.  You fight like crazy and get into more trouble then I would like but at the end of the day you are still best friends.  And that makes my heart happy.  There is not much more that you can ask for except that it lasts a lifetime.

You love Rapunzel and all things Frozen.  Let It Go is played constantly in our house, Frozen is recited by heart nearly every day.  We own every possible Frozen item known to man and they are played with religiously.  That was the first movie that you ever went to see in a theatre and you were so excited until you cried when you thought Anna died.  You have recently taken an interest in Monster High and thanks to Grandma’s and Aunty’s you now have an abundance of them.  You even have a halloween costume to match your favourite Monster High doll.
You love to listen to music.  Your favourites right now are Lorde – mainly Royals (which you refer to as the Queen Bee song) and Team.  You love anything by Taylor Swift and is obsessed with her new album – especially Wonderland.  You also love anything Luke Bryan especially Play It Again and That’s My Kinda Night and lastly you love One Direction.  This started because your cousin was obsessed for awhile and so you had to be.  Madi has since moved on but you have not.  We actually just got tickets for One Direction in Edmonton next July.  You are crazy excited.

You love to go to school and every day you are eager to learn new things and go see your teacher and friends.  You have adapted quite well to Kindergarten which makes us all happy.
You love to go to the Zoo and to the Corn Maze.  You love camels and bears and owls and sometimes giraffes just to irritate your sister.  Don’t worry, she does the same to you when it comes to camels.  You love watching the pig races and going down the big slides and playing mini golf at the maze.  Ironically, the one thing you don’t like to do there is the corn maze!

You love to read books – especially Level 1 Dick + Jane readers – which both your dad and I read as kids.  You have moved on to Level 2 with some success.  You love Henry and Fudge and any book really that you can read at the moment.  You love to read to anybody who is listening and we love to hear you read.
Finley, you have grown up so much this past year and I am truly honored that somehow, somewhere we were chosen to be your parents.  It has been both a privilege and a blessing to see you transform from baby to toddler to  preschooler to a beautiful, smart girl.  Your happy smile and bubbly personality is the sunshine in my soul. I only hope that you continue to foster this the older you get.
Happy 6th Birthday to my first baby girl

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Birthday Questionairre


In anticipation of Finley’s 6th Birthday tomorrow, here is her birthday questionnaire that we completed yesterday:
1.  What is your name?  Finley Taggart Florizone
2.  How old are you turning tomorrow? 6
3.  Who is your best friend? All of my friends are the best
4.  What is your favourite thing to do? Colour and play transformers
5.  What is your favourite colour? Pink and Purple
6.  What is your favourite food? Chicken Lettuce Wraps
7.  What do you like to do with your family?  Have some fun
8.  What is your favourite toy? Skating Elsa + Optimus Prime
9.  What makes you happy?  The sun and making Olaf’s
10.  What makes you sad? When I am sick at school (For the record, I never send her to school sick)
11.  What is your favourite show? Transformers on Netflix
12.  What is your favourite book? Level 1 books (she can read those)
13.  What do you love to learn about? Printing
14.  What is the best part of your birthday? Having fun with friends
15.  Where do you like to go?  To the park
16.  What do you want to be when you grow up? A magician
17.  What is your favourite treat? popsicles
18.  What do you think about before you fall asleep?  Getting tucked in and having dreams.
19. What is your favourite drink? milk
20.  What is your favourite fruit? Strawberries and grapes
21. What do you like to eat for lunch? Macaroni
22.  What is your favourite outfit? dresses
23. What is your favourite game to play? Frozen Trouble or Transformers Memory
24. What is your favourite animal? Camel
25. What is your favourite song? Royals and Team by Lorde
26. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast? Oatmeal
27. What do you take to bed with you? My blanket and kitty (which she incidentally got for her first birthday from her Great Aunty Marleen and Great Uncle Ken, it goes everywhere and it shows)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Two Wheelin'

At the beginning of July Finley went to bike camp at Pedalheads.  She went from training wheels and being full of fear to two wheels and full of confidence in one class.  ONE.  It was huge and just what Finley needed.  Greg was a little disappointed in himself that we paid to have someone teach Finley how to ride her bike.  So he decided that he would make it his mission to have Penelope on two wheels by the end of summer.  It took a week for her to learn. One week.  It helps that she wants to be just like her big sister and has absolutely no fear.  None.  Which I suppose is a good thing but I wish she wasn’t so fearless right now.
Greg took her over to the school parking lot since they had a big area of both cement and grass for her to ride on.
She was trying soooo hard to do it.  Every day after supper Greg would take her out and get her going.  She would be pedalling like crazy until she realized that Greg wasn’t holding on to her bike.  Then she would stop and say she couldn’t do it anymore.
We took lots of bike rides where she was on the trail a bike and could practice her balance and pedaling
And within a week this happened:
She is quite possibly the cutest little bike rider out there.  I really need to get a video to show you how fiercely she peddles. And if you are wondering, bikes while camping is the greatest thing ever.  EVER.  I am grateful for the strider bike as I believe it is probably the biggest reason that she did it before her 4th birthday and only in a week.  It is a pricy investment but worth every penny.
PS This is also a post that was drafted and left to die :)

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Trees of Gold

Two weekends ago, we headed to Chester Lake in Kananaskis Country to hike out to the larches.  This is our second year going out to see them.  Last year we went to Maligne Lake to view them but it is CRAZY busy there and while the larches are unbelievable, we just don’t like big crowds hiking.  Especially when those other hikers are not really hikers. 
We stopped in at Cinnamon Spoon in Bragg Creek for breakfast. It is one of our favourite places to stop in for a quick bite to eat.  They never disappoint.
There was a moose on the loose!!  We love to see moose and it is not something you get to see  a lot of.  It was awesome seeing it prance around the parking lot before heading up a mountain.  The girls really enjoyed it too.
Finley is usually a great hiker.  She always has been.  Mostly out of resentment and hatred for the backpack carrier.  This day, she was mostly excited to wear her new toque and scarf from Ivivva.  
Penelope waiting to start the hike.  She is a hit and miss kind of hiker.  Some days she will astonish you with her hiking ability and other days  you just want to leave her behind.  There were some steep sections in the beginning which led to Greg carrying her on his shoulders which is never a good thing because then she never wants to walk.
Approaching the larches.  Larches are special trees that turn gold in the late fall and are only located at certain elevations and climates or something like that. Regardless, they are beautiful and with the snow on the mountain, man I thought it couldn’t get any better then this……
Until I walked a bit further and saw this.  Seriusly, this must be what heaven looks like.  Although I say that every single time I hike somewhere new and see an amazing view that takes my breath away.  It only goes to show how privileged we are to live in Calgary with so many astonishing mountain views only mere hours away.  It is the number one reason why I could never move anywhere else in the world.  This photo is seriously all kinds of perfection.
Larches along Chester Lake.  Seriously stunning.  You must put see the larches on your fall bucket list next year.  You can thank me afterwards.
Walking further into Chester Lake for lunch.  Last year when we reached the larches we also reached a freak snow storm.  This was so much better but I don’t think it was any warmer.  
Surprisingly enough, this is only my second time to see the larches. I didn’t even know they existed until about 2 years ago when Greg went on a backpacking trip with his brother and my cousin and he sent me a photo of one.  I decided after that photo that we would do it the following year and so for the last 2 Septembers we have.  While Chester Lake didn’t have the number of larches like Maligne Lake did last year, it was not nearly as busy and most people hiking it were people who loved the outdoors and  hiking in general which is always a good thing.  You probably think I sound like a snob but really it does suck.  
Thank you mother nature for leaving me in awe, full of gratitude and blessed to be able to enjoy the sceneries we do.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Sunset Bike Ride

All of the snow of Snowtember melted away and we have been blessed with some beautiful weather ever since.  We are thankful to be able to see the beautiful fall colours abundantly clear right now.  I love fall – I love cute sweaters and boots and scarves. I love the colours and the crispness to the air.  Living in Calgary we don’t get a lot of it.  Some years we go from summer to winter and it just sucks. But last fall and now this fall, we are definitely getting to enjoy it a little bit longer.
We live in a relatively new neighbourhood and so we don’t get the trees with the beautiful fall foliage and the ones that do were destroyed so we had to sneak out to Fish Creek Park for an evening bike ride just before sunset.  Penelope really wanted to use her new kitty cat helmet that she got for her birthday the weekend before in Saskatoon.  
I love this photo.  Had the girls been in a  better position this definitely could have been a printer outer stick it somewhere to be displayed kinda photo.  Look at the colours in the sky.  Seriously stunning.
I love sun sets.  Love them.  And I don’t get to enjoy them from the comfort of my own house.  None of the windows expose the sunset in any manner.  It is a little disappointing but after 7 years I have ok with it.  One of my favourite things about bike rides and running and bootcamp is being outdoors near sunset to see the beautiful colours and images.  And that night’s sunset did not disappoint.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Party Time At The Calgary Corn Maze

The day following Penelope’s family party, we held her party for her friends at the Calgary Corn Maze where we have season passes because we love it so much. 
Getting the party started the right way!!  She loves the slide.  I lost track how many times she came flying down this one.
Some of her friends going for the tractor ride.  The others were across and I am not good enough to get them all in haha
Penelope’s My Little Pony cake made by my friend Lynette at Sweet N Sassy cakes.  It was delicious.
Walking to another slide to obsess over
This photo of Penelope flying down the slide in her belly all over the place, truly sums up her day and even her personality.  She is such a goofball who simply loves to laugh, make others laugh and have fun.  And fun she did have!!
I personally don’t understand the appeal of the pig races but they seem to be a big hit.  We always seem to miss them when we are there but Penelope insisted that at 11:45 we be ready to watch and we did!!
Waiting for food and treats
Penelope again laughing at her sister singing in a funny voice.  Haylee also enjoyed it haha
Seriously, this photo kills me.  I just love Penelope in it
Time to blow out the candles and eat some cake!!!
Thank you to all of our friends who came out to make Penelope’s day so special.  She had so much fun at the corn maze and loved being able to share it with all of you.  I highly recommend the Calgary Corn Maze for any celebration because it is very reasonably priced and it is a great time for everybody.