Monday, 30 October 2017

N I N E

Yesterday Finley turns 9 years old.  I still can't believe that she is 9.   Some days it feels just like yesterday she was born and other days I feel like she is been with us forever.  

She had a fun filled day so lets see how that went



As is birthday tradition, I woke her up before she woke up so I could get her first photo of the day in bed as she was waking up.  The girls also like a special breakfast in bed too but since we were going for brunch with Greg's mom before she headed back to SK, I just got her her favourite donut at Tim Horton's to tide her over until brunch.  


As soon as she finished her donut, she headed downstairs to open her presents but she had to wait for Greg to wake up first haha.  She was not very patient waiting but she did and eventually he made it down stairs haha. 


Finley loved all  her presents and there was definitely a theme to all her presents - she got a paris snow globe, paris socks, paris necklace and paris t-shirt along with a new pair of headphones, a light up alarm clock and Penelope bought here the camping set for her american girl and they spent a lot of time setting up the tent that you see.  Greg told them that it was great practice for doing it in real life since the girls want their own tent (not happening anytime soon).  This made Finley very happy to practice although Greg did have to help a little bit haha. 


We met Uncle Brad, Kari + Gail at Fort Calgary (more on another blog post about that).  Finley ate all the pineapple and bacon that she could for her birthday breakfast hahah.


After brunch we got our stickers and toured around Fort Calgary.  We were here about 4 years ago last and the kids didn't remember it.  They had a fantastic time there. 


After brunch and the tour of Fort Calgary, we headed to the natural playground but we didn't last too long because of the wind.  The wind really thwarted a lot of our plans for the day so I suggested we head to The Core and the indoor playground at the Devonian Gardens.  


It wasn't too  busy here but Finley finds this playground too boring so she didn't last long.  She did enjoy spending a lot of time looking at the fish.  The Devonian Gardens still isn't open completely but  you can access more now then you have for years. 


After a lot of playground playing with Grandma Gail, Uncle Brad + Kari, we said goodbye and Grandma Gail headed back to Saskatoon.  The girls wanted to go to Urban kids to get a critter hoodie but they never ever have any.  You have to go to Marlborough Mall or Cross Iron - neither of which I either go to but I think a trip will be in order before Christmas time.  After we left The Core, we headed to the Westbrook Walmart so Penelope could buy a couch for her american girl doll and Finley could buy her Taylor Swift a guitar and a microphone.  We then went to Chinook Mall so Finley could go to the Lego Store and buy some lego her birthday money and both girls added items to their Christmas list too haha


We let Finley choose any place she wanted to go for supper and she chose Red Lobster because she loves the biscuits and popcorn shrimp.  


Her birthday cake of choice, which we had the night before, was puffed wheat caked.  I made it in my cake pan tiers so it would look fancy but it looked like a giant puffed wheat poop emoji which totally made her day hahaha.

She said she had a fantastic day and was very happy turning 9.  She had so much fun that she can't wait until she turns 10 and can celebrate again.  Slow down baby girl, you got lots of time left!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Happy Birthday Finley!!



Dear Finley,

Today you turn 9 years old and you are seemingly more older each and every day.  You are such a unique individual with such varied interests that you surprise me all the time.  



You love being outside especially if it means you are out backpacking or hiking somewhere.  The harder the hike, the happier you are.  You and your sister can out hike me any day of the week.  This summer when you want on your 5 day backpacking trip, you added more weight then you had in previous years and were so proud of yourself.  


Your dad and I are very happy that you have turned into such a great hiker and backpacker and that you look forward to doing each activity no matter the conditions.  I like it because it means I don't have to do it and your dad likes it because he has someone to do it with.  You really want to try winter camping but I am not sure you are ready for that yet. 


You love everything pink, related to science, all things Paris, the store Justice and recently have gotten into sketching.  You bedroom is almost always a disaster and I can count on one hand how many times I have seen your bedroom floor clearly since your last birthday.  You like to read and play on your iPad, cheer for Seattle Seahawks and against Tom Brady + the New England Patriots.  You love the Calgary Flames and proudly wear your jersey whenever you can.  You love converse running  shoes and emojis and unicorns and Rapunzel all things Mal + The Descendants.  You have reclaimed your love for your American Girl doll after a few years of not touching her and have renamed her Taylor Swift. You love Taylor Swift so much and listen to her music on constant repeat and her concert is still one of your happiest days ever.  


You love to meditate and do so all the time.  It hasn't yet calmed your anger towards your sister and you don't always count to 10 before reacting.  Actually you never count to 10 before reacting to your sister and it causes even more problems.  One day you guys will be friends even you both think otherwise haha. 


San Francisco was one of your favourite vacations and even if you claim to remember the first time you visited when you were just a toddler, I know that is not true haha.  You loved riding your bike across the Golden Gate Bridge but were disappointed that you and I were cruising along and missed out on seeing the whales like your daddy and Penelope did.  Your bike is almost as big as mine and it won't be long before your bike is bigger and you start stealing all of my clothes.  It makes my heart both happy and sad that you are so quickly growing up.  


You love math and science and still would like to be a astronaut when you grow up.  You love all shirts that have something science or space related or anything that says or emphasis on girls can do anything and everything.  You love converse running shoes in any color and your purple suede books.  You love pumpkin scones and hate sandwiches .  You like staying up late and not waking up early and love the book series Finley Flowers for obvious reasons.  You love wearing ripped jeans and loud leggings and hoodies shaped like animals and watching youtube kids.  You hate bathing and showering and brushing your hair and begrudgingly do it only because I insist.  I do hope this changes sooner rather than later haha. 



You love the game of soccer and play competitively for the top team in your age level for your soccer club.  You have been playing since you were 3 and get better and better each game and even more confident.  You play 4-5x per week for 10 months a year and you love it so much but a lot of the time I think it is the great group of girls you play with.  

You got braces this year and were sad about it.  You were sure that your pushed up teeth was what made you unique and thought that maybe we shouldn't fix it.  I loved that you loved that about you but we did insist that you get the braces on because we knew that one day you wouldn't like it and would be upset that we didn't fix it for you.  You only have 29 more days with them on and you are dreaming of eating blue whales and everything else I deprived you of since you got them on in May haha.  I was far more strict then any of your friends with braces but with them only being on for 6 months, I knew you would survive.  


Finley, you are the sweetest, most sensitive soul that I know.  You are smart, inquisitive, funny, friendly, and sometimes too stubborn (but you do come by it honestly) and we are all thrilled that you picked us 9 years ago to be your parents and begin our little family.  The journey hasn't always been easy or fun, but it is ours and I love every moment of it.  And the best part is that the best is yet to come.

To year nine....

Love mommy



Tuesday, 24 October 2017

A Halloween Birthday Party

This past Friday we celebrated Finley's upcoming 9th birthday with a halloween themed birthday party.  Despite being born 2 days before Halloween and having a built in birthday theme, she has never wanted a birthday theme until now.  


Most of the decor for her party we already had.  The only thing new was the caution tape that I had on the doors leading out to our backyard and behind the chip station.  I do have a door poster each year but I wreck it so I have to buy new each year but it is only like .98 cents at walmart so not a huge expenditure.  I really didn't think it was much but all of her friends loved it and overheard one of them say that she wanted to come trick or treating because our house looked like it would have good candy.  That legit made me LOL. 

Because the party started at 4pm and some parents had to work later then that and some just wanted to walk home with us, there were about 5 girls there right after school.  They were horrified when they saw Finley's room and even more shocked when I told them that she had spent 4 hours cleaning it the night before haha.  They all loved cleaning and had very tidy rooms and so they willingly cleaned her room for it.  I don't remember the last time I was able to see her desk hahah.  As I write this on Monday evening, her room is still clean so maybe it has changed her??  We shall see.


We ordered 6 pizzas for supper plus we had 2 kinds of cookies, rice krispie squares, fruit/veggie platter and 3 different kinds of chips.  Then we  had cupcakes for dessert and then the chips again plus popcorn for movie watching.  The cookies and cupcakes weren't the prettiest but they sure did taste good. 


Finley didn't cooperate with me very much when it came to getting sung to haha.  


I thought when the girls watched Hotel Transylvania, it would allow me time to clean up the kitchen and just maybe relax or something, but no such luck.  They watched the movie for only 20 minutes and then spent the next hour playing an epic game of hide + seek.  They had so much fun playing that.  Then after the movie ended and they were bored of hide and seek, they had a dance party in our bonus room.  Finally all the kids went home, the girls went to bed and basked in the quiet before cleaning up all the dumped out chips and popcorn in our bonus room before going to bed.  I was in bed by 8:35pm and asleep 5 minutes later.  I was so exhausted haha. 

Finley had a really good time at her birthday and that makes all the loudness and chaos worth it!!



Friday, 20 October 2017

Friday Favourites #7


This week's Friday Favorites is very long because it was supposed to post on the 6th but I forgot to schedule it and then forgot to do it again on the 13th so finally I am getting to it this week.  Sometimes when I say last week or this week, it might not be the case hahaha

1.  My first Friday Favorite is that I found my missing Lululemon toque.  I bought this last fall and wore it religiously until I thought I lost it.  I last remembered wearing it to the last indoor bootcamp class at the end of April because it was a little chilly before class.  I had assumed I had left it in the room and it was turned into lost and found and that was the end of that.  I never did go check the lost and found because by the time I realized it was missing it was in august or something and I assumed it had been donated or whatever it is they do with that stuff.  No idea why I was looking for a toque in august but I was.  I don't use my gym bag for outdoor bootcamp since I wear my shoes there and my car is right there so it is just easy i guess, but on Monday (the 2nd) I grabbed it because it was cold and snowy out and I knew I would need a bunch of different options to keep warm enough or whatever during class and when I opened up my bag and there it was.  I was so excited that I found it and grateful that it snowed before they released new toques and  bought another one!!!


2.  I spotted this basket on pinterest ages ago and have been searching for months for something similar.  While metal baskets like this have been plentiful at winners, homesense and many other stores, nothing had the shape I was looking for.  I wanted the basket for blankets in my living room and settled for a basket that is perfectly nice but not what I wanted long term.  So I was super pumped about finding this at homesense last Friday while looking for a lamp for our living room - which i still have not found.  When I was paying for it the cashier said she had sold 3 of them yesterday and then mine and there was one left so clearly i am not the only one after this amazing basket. 


3.  I only have 2 pairs of long tights for running that I purchased at lululemon 2 or 3 years ago.  I love them very much and like wearing them but I desperately needed another pair or two so I wasn't wearing smelly sweaty pants more then once or forced to do laundry more regularly that I like.  I had gotten a pair of lululemon tights last year for christmas from greg but they weren't the right material so I returned them and left with something not tights because they didn't have what I wanted.  I still haven't found any tights that I love as much as the 2 pairs I already have - until early last week.  A girl in a lululemon chat group that I belong to and posted some tights she had found at Aritzia that were of the coco pique and old pique patterns that lululemon had sold once upon a time.  I decided to head to the mall and check them out for myself and I am sure glad I did.  I had intended to buy only the coco pique ones (right) but ended up loving both pairs so I bought both.  The great thing is that they were only $55 each so both pairs were the same cost or even less then one pair at Lululemon.  They are super soft, sweat wicking and ultralight warmth.  These are going to be great winter running pants and perfect for winter hikes and snow shoeing and easy to layer over top of.  I am so happy with these tights.  Even you don't run or do winter activity, you should add these to your winter wardrobe for the sake of comfiness that looks pretty. 


4.  Fall colors.  I love all the bright orange and reds and yellows and purples that are on display as you walk or drive your way around the city.  We don't have a lot of trees in our community that reflect this but I was driving through midnapore last week and it was stunning.  


5. Last week, we went through all of our old winter gear to see what no longer fit the girls and some items that Greg and I no longer wanted and then the girls brought them to school for their winter gear drive.  Every year we donate our old stuff to families in need.  I don't know that the girls know how lucky and privileged they are so I like to do these things with them and explain why we do it.  


6.  This kid is super obsessed with being the cool kid.  She thought her fancy shoes and purse made her a cool kid.  I just love this photo so much but I keep telling her that no matter what she wears or does, she can always be as cool as she wants.  Finley decided that cool kids tie their sweaters around their waist so now that is what she does haha. 


6.  Last weekend, Greg finally bought a "new" him to car after looking what felt like forever.  His last car died in early June and while we didn't need a second vehicle during the summer, with indoor soccer starting soon with 2 kids on 2 different teams, we had to get one soon!  It's a cute little ford focus hatchback but not the nicest of colors.  Greg loves and it is in great shape so that makes us all happy.  Hopefully this car lasts longer then his last one!


7. The first 400 registrants of the 2018 Calgary Marathon got to pick a buff, a beer stein or a hat.  I really wanted another buff so I registered as soon as I got the email that registration was open.  I had boughten myself a buff last winter and then in April, I won another buff from the Calgary Marathon during a Instagram contest that they ran.  Ironically enough, it was the same one I had bought myself a few months earlier.  It looks like we both have great taste.  I wanted a third one because the girls really like the buff's and so when I saw this promotion it was a no brainer to register early and grab the buff that way we all had one.  





Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Rut


This is how I have been feeling the last 10 days or so which is why I have only had 1 blogpost in more then 2 weeks.  

It isn't just blogging that has hit a rut, it is my life in a nutshell.  I need to make some changes I think and hope to soon set myself on the right track again.  Perhaps you will see a series of blog posts about how I beat this rut one rut at a time. 






Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Thanksgiving

We weren't planning on heading back to Saskatchewan for Thanksgiving this year but due to other conflicting, we decided to go home for a few days.  We ended up leaving Calgary later then we had planned because Greg forgot to close the garage door and when he left for work he noticed that both of his bikes were missing.  So after the girls and I got dressed and got everything ready and packed into the journey, we drove down every single road, back alley and checked out all the pathways and green spaces looking for his bikes.  His commuter bike requires special shoes to be worn when riding it because they clip into his pedals so I thought we might find that somewhere in a ditch or something but we had no luck.  We headed to pick up something at Lush before grabbing Greg from work, who was still annoyed with himself for leaving the garage door open the night before.  


We stopped for lunch in Airdrie and finally got on our way.  It was a long boring drive and the scenery looked like this the whole way.  It was so boring.  I was exhausted but only managed to sleep a little bit before and after Kindersley.  We stopped in Kindersley for supper and it wasn't very good.  


Finally, just before 9 we arrived at Greg's mom's house.  We were all happy to be out of the car but so tired that we didn't stay up visiting too late.  Greg's brother and fiance got into Saskatoon around 1am, so I guess 9pm wasn't too bad haha. 


A traditin with Greg's mom's family is breakfast every Saturday morning and every time we visit, we try to meet them there.  It's a great chance to visit with everyone since we are almost always limited on days and time to get everyone in.  After breakfast, we headed to Greg's Granny Jane's which is his dad's mom.  She has been sick for a few months but she is looking and moving so much better then when we visited in August which was really good to see.  We stayed for lunch before heading shortly after so she could get some rest. 


We headed back to Gail's house and we all hung out and relaxed while Gail and Penelope made dinner.  As you can tell, we are all thankful for iPads and junk food.  While I was not on my iPhone or iPad, I did indulge in some starbucks and potato chips while reading a book.  After a busy start to the day, it was great to chill for a few hours. 


On Sunday morning, we were up bright and early and packed up all of our stuff at Gail's and loaded it in the car while Brad made us all breakfast.  Nothing more thanksgiving then pumpkin pie with your scrambled eggs and sausage.  We all partook in this fantastic idea.  


It took just around an hour to get to my sister's house after a pit stop at my cousins house for a portable roaster and the grocery store for all the fixings for stuffing.  It was a cold, dreary drive and was insanely windy so we decided to scratch going to the Rostern Corn Maze since it was so yucky out.  When we got to my sister's place, Abby came running out and jumped in the back of our car and moved her way into the front driver's seat.  Finley absolutely loves Abby and by the looks of this photo, the love is mutual.  Thankfully we were able to get her out with the help of some treats. 


Neither my sister nor Dan had ever made a turkey or Thanksgiving dinner so Greg was put to task as soon as we arrived.  It was all good though because Greg likes to do stuff like this haha. 


Soon my cousin Chris and his family arrived.  All of the kids went to see the horses on the neighbouring property with Dan and the adults watched TV and chatted.  When the kids came back in, Ashton wanted to do the girls' hair and make up.  This is him doing Finley's hair.


This was Penelope after Ashton did her make up and nails


And this was her hair.  No joke, he is wayyyyy better then me when it comes to this stuff.  I think he needs to come out here for a week in the summer to teach me haha


It has been hard coming back to SK ever since my aunty passed away because everything has changed and is so different and I am just not comfortable with it all.  But it was good being home and around my family for the holiday weekend since I won't be home for Christmas this year.  It is always a good time because we seem to put the fun in dysfunctional. 


After a fantastic supper from Greg, we had homemade pumpkin pie (by me) and some birthday cake for Finley.  We celebrated her birthday along with my mom's and Kristen's who also have October birthdays.  


On Monday, we woke early and headed back to Calgary.  It's only an hour to get from my sister's to Saskatoon and then about 6 to Calgary plus stops but that extra hour feels like an eternity.  We stopped in Saskatoon at a starbucks for breakfast and then at A+W in Hanna for a late lunch.  We made it back to Calgary around 3pm and as tired as we all were, we weren't able to go home just yet. 


Penelope left her glasses at my sisters and we were too far out to turn around and grab them.  She picked out 3 pairs of glasses and because it was a good sale, she picked out 2 pair.  These were the ones she didn't get.  

Finally we got home and the kids got bathed while Greg went to grab some Sushi for supper.  They had an early bed time while I tried to do some unpacking and getting things ready for back to school on Tuesday.  

We definitely had a busy weekend and there were a lot of people that we missed that we wished we could have visited but hopefully next time we come out, we will have more time to see more people.  

I hope everybody had a safe and happy thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

What I Streamed In September

Here is what I streamed this month and there was definitely a documentary theme. 


I started September off with this documentary and it was terrible.  I maybe watched about 30 minutes of it and turned it off because they had me so scared that I was going to die of both cancer and diabetes in about 46 hours.  No joke.  It was so full of fear mongering and preached if you don't eat broccoli and lettuce for the rest of your life, you were doomed.  I enjoy eating eggs every morning and I enjoy eating my bacon occasionally or any other type of meat and that was never gonna change.  I was talking to a girlfriend about this documentary and I couldn't remember the name but as I spoke about it she knew exactly what I had watched.  She told me that her sister watched this documentary and gave up all animal products and now basically lives on tortilla chips.  It is not good for her but because she watched this she feels like it is because technically it doesn't come from an animal.  I don't like enough vegetables to be vegan anyways.  This is currently streaming on Netflix Canada but I don't recommend you watch it.  


This documentary was amazing.  I kinda knew races like this existed as I have a friend in bootcamp who's husband ran one in Seattle last year or the year before - basically 160km in like 24 hours or something but I didn't know much else about it until I saw this documentary on Netflix. I was happy to find something that wasn't trying to fear monger me into something.  This documentary was filmed during the 2012 Barkley.  The Barkley Marathon is an ultra marathon trail race held in Tennessee.  Runners can do the "fun run" of 60 miles (97km) or the full course which is 100 miles (160km).  Competitors only have 60 hours of finish it.  The course was designed by Gary Cantrell and was inspired by the 1977 escape of James Earl Ray who covered only 8 miles after running 55 hours in the woods.  Cantrell thought to himself that he could do at least 100 miles and thus the Barkley Marathon was born.  Interesting enough, Cantrell was never able to finish the race.  They have a limited amount of spots for registration and the cost is $1.60 and a license plate from where you are from.  They figure they could jack the registration cost and still sell it out but it wouldn't be the right kind of people and the vibe wouldn't be the same.  This race sells out almost instantaneously.  The course currently consists  of a 20 mile unmarked loop with no aid stations except water at 2 points along the route and the runner's parked car at the beginning of the loop.  Runners have to run this loop 5x - they do switch directions for some loops.  They also have to climb up to 60,000 feet of vertical climb.  It was first run in 1986 and as of this past year, 55% of the races had ended with no finishers.  There are 2 two time finishers of this race and one of them is featured on this documentary.    This documentary is seriously amazing and inspiring on so many levels.  As someone who is currently not able to run because of an achilles injury, it is mind-blowing to see what people run through.  I definitely could not do this.  It is not a long documentary and is currently streaming on Netflix Canada for your viewing pleasure and very much recommend watching it.  


Nikki Kimball is an ultra runner and is trying to run Vermont's Long Trail, 273 miles in 4 days.  She is a physiotherapist and would not tell her patients to do what she is doing.  I won't lie this was tough to watch this, to watch her run this distance in this time.  She was in so much pain and the pain was worse even at night or when they switched her kt tape and her skin was so raw.  What she endured to try to break both the women and men's record here was nothing short of amazing. I won't spoil what happens and if records are broken or not so you are gonna have to watch to find out. 

She isn't doing this to beat the men's record but because women need to take ownership of their dreams and wants to see society change and encourage women to achieve extremely difficult goals and wants her aggressiveness and stubbornness seen as good qualities and not as bad qualities.  She doesn't want to be seen as being competitive and a bitch but she is competitive and she is successful.  Nikki believes that too many girls are that fear will limit their actions.  She wants girls to explore their fears and to crush them.  She wants her long trail attempt to inspire a little girl to do better then nikki.  If she helps even one person realize that she is capable of so much more then her fears want her to know then this expedition has been an success.  

This documentary was so inspiring for me and hopefully one day my girls will watch it and be inspired by her.  She makes me want to work that much harder and get over this injury and put my all into my running goals.  Fear is definitely something that holds me back from potential running goals. I am so afraid of failure that I won't even try.  She has made me think that I can do anything as long as I compete and stay true to my training and goals.  Needless to say I loved this documentary and it is only an hour long so easy to watch.  It is currently streaming on Netflix Canada.  What are you waiting for??

I kinda left the documentaries behind when I discovered that The House Bunny was on Netflix.  


I haven't watched this movie in years and I forgot how much I still loved it.  My favorite line is still when she is out on a date with colin hanks and orders the ahi ahi but says only one ahi since she is not that hungry.  It kills me every single time - even all these years later.  It was the perfect movie to watch over the course of a few days while do my stretches and strengthening exercises haha.  It's too bad that Anna Faris isn't in more movies because she is so amazing.  She has a podcast called Unqualified that is one of my favourites.  If you are into that kinda thing, you should check her out.  This movie, however, is currently streaming on Netflix Canada. 


I watched this the day it came out because I was so excited about it! I love Jerry Seinfeld and would love to see him live if it wasn't for his outrageous pricing.  The special was filmed where it all began at the Comic Strip and he told all the jokes he did back then and it was kinda funny that they were all kinda relevant.  I really enjoyed this and it is only an hour long so easy to fit in to your day or evening.  It is currently streaming on Netflix Canada. 


I know I am late to the game on this one, but wow it was amazing.  Like so much better then I ever thought possible.  I tried to read the book but couldn't get into it but this movie was 2 full hours of awesomeness.  I spent a chilly Tuesday night watching this while Greg and the girls were at soccer practice and the time flew by.  I don't think this has been on netflix long, but it is on there and if you haven't watched it, you must stop what you are doing and go watch it.  Seriously, it was the best movie I have watched in a long, long time.  It is currently streaming on Netflix Canada.  


This was also uploaded to Netflix this month and I had wanted to watch it since it came last year at Christmas time.  My sister had recently watched it and said it was hilarious so I decided to spend a cold rainy morning in my basement stretching + strengthening my achilles for a half marathon I had watching it.  While I admit, there were some pretty funny parts but overall I think it was just ok.  It was definitely a nice to way to spend my time while doing countless calf raises and stretches but it wasn't as funny as I had thought or hoped it would be.  This is currently streaming on Netflix Canada and would recommend it if you are looking for something mindless to watch. 


I finally finished all available seasons on CraveTV in September.  Season 4 is currently airing on Comedy Central which we don't get in Canada and not sure if it is on the comedy channel we do get so I will wait until it is on Crave to watch it.  I didn't love the first season of this but have loved the last 2 seasons a lot more.  Hopefully it carries on to Season 4!!  The first 3 seasons are currently streaming on CraveTV.