Catch Up

It has been a very busy start to the year, mostly with work, which had me coming home exhausted and not very motivated to do much. But things are calming down there. I have a new co-manager who has really taken a load off my plate and I finally get to spend time with my employees and get caught up.  This results in less stress and more time to do things outside of work.  And thank goodness, because this summer is going to be a doozy of activity and fun.

It all starts in a couple weeks as we get to see our favourite musical comedians (not a big category, I know).  Heck, they are probably my favourite comedians, Flight of the Conchord.  They’ve both been busy working other projects for the past several years, but have come back together to tour with some new material and old classics.  I’m so excited!  If you want a little taste of them, watch this and if it doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know you. 

The day after the concert we are heading out to Ontario, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island to visit family and take a mini vacation on our own.  It’s part of our Year of Family.  We were already in Calgary on the Easter long weekend visiting Dave’s brother and sister-in-law, we just had Dave’s mom and step-dad visiting here and we will hit up my family in Ontario and Dave’s sister and family in New Brunswick.

We’ll get away by ourselves in PEI for 3 days and have some fun things planned for there as well. PEI will be a first for both of us and hopefully we will find some relaxation on the trip. I’m looking forward to biking on the Confederation Trail and eating some shellfish. It will be the first time Dave and I have vacationed by ourselves in two years and I’m pretty excited about that, even if it is just a couple days.

I’ve also been on a kick this year to ‘read down’ my library wish list.  The Vancouver Public Library allows you to save books to read later on their website and app.  I’ve saved books for years, but haven’t ventured back to the start and ticked many off.  So this year, I started at the oldest book on my list and told myself, I either read it or remove it.  Its been good and I’m currently working through 2013, the year I quite obviously started cooking more, because I have so many cooking books on the list that year.  It’s been great though and I’ve read some good books including Gabrielle Hamilton’s autobiography Blood, Bones, & Butter, Vivian Swift’s Le Road Trip and, finally(!) Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale after putting it off for about a decade.  Next I’m working on Edward Rutherfurd’s epic London.  I’m expecting this to take a couple months and hope it will make good vacation reading.

There will be more about the summer I’m sure and hopefully some photos from all the places we go.  Canada, you’re so beautiful…you could be a part time model.

Surprise Visit Home

While in Toronto for work last week, I got to pop down the 401 to surprise my family for Thanksgiving.  Mom was shocked for days!

My brother’s family went camping, so I only got to see them for an hour or so, but it was enough to realize they are getting too big!  Abby is almost as tall as me and the socks I’m knitting her are the same size as my feet.  When did that happen?

My first night home, we got Canadian Chinese from The Lucky Kitchen.  One of my favourite takeouts in the area and it had been years since I’d had it.  You can’t find this quality in Vancouver.  Wink, wink. Hmmm chicken balls and lemon chicken.  

The last night I was in town I went to my sisters and had a good old pillow fight with the kids.  They caught me in a pileup and nearly suffocated me as well.  Think I’m getting too old for this or they are getting to big.  

Alas, I did get some of my favourite foods, including raspberry pie and a turkey dinner at Parks Blueberries.  I thought it would be my only Thanksgiving meal because my family was gathering on Monday when I was flying back to VanCity, but I got a last minute invite to my Aunt’s house and had a great homemade meal there too and caught up with lots of cousins.

This trip makes me look forward to going home at Christmas.  Thanks for all the last minute visiting Ontario folks, including Grandma, Aunt Chris and Sheens.

The Summer So Far

Hard to believe it has already been over a month since my last post.  Dave and I have been going steady this summer with visitors, a trip to Ontario and more visitors, so I thought I would post some of the highlights in photos.

We were in Ontario over the Canada Day holiday and my family rented a cabin in Bayfield. We had a great time spending time together with my parents, siblings and all the kids.  There was a men’s morning and a women’s morning where we had kid free time to go into town for lunch and shopping.  I love the kids, but it was a lot having nine kids ten and under running around all the time.  You could often hear me around 7pm saying “Is it bedtime yet?”  Here is a picture of my sisters and I on the couch about to get some sista’ knittin’ time in. Breanne on the left is expecting in December when we go back at Christmas.  I hope the timing works out to meet niece or nephew number ten!

For Canada Day dad and my brother, Shane, got some fireworks going, which the kids loved.

Dave and I enjoying the campfire and the nice temperatures.  We roasted marshmallows and made apple pies over the fire.

My oldest niece, Abby, helped me in the kitchen with dinner on the Prescott’s night for meal making.  It was really fun having her help and teaching her some new skills.  I have never cooked with the kids before and I feel it is really important to have them involved and learning how to prepare food from a young age.  It certainly is more rewarding to eat when you have helped. I could tell my sister-in-law lets Abby help at home because she jumped right in to help and was eager to learn new things.

Dave also got some help peeling the corn.  Maybe more help than he anticipated.

I got to spend time with my nephew, Trent, who is about 2.5 years old as we ‘read’ his favourite book…the John Deere catalogue.

There were also this group of goofy people that would always stare out the window…

But I suppose they were looking at this every night…

We got to also see Dave’s mom and stepdad on the weekends and went out to a big pre-flight breakfast at Malibu Restaurant before heading home on Sunday.

Looking a little tired after a very full but great week of visits with friends and family.

Just this past week my cousin, Erin and a friend, Ola, came from London to visit.  We had a great time sightseeing and having lots of wonderful food.  The photo below is from dinner at Grub on Main Street.  It just reopened after a fire and was better than I remembered.  95% of the food is from local farmers and the meat is all the best quality of grassfed.  Along with some BC wine it was delicious and showed Erin and Ola the great food that we have out here.

We also spent a night walking and sitting on the seawall across from downtown.  It was a beautiful night and One Direction was playing a show in the stadium across the water, so Erin got to hear some songs she liked “live”. 

The rest of the summer keeps kickin’ it up with a wedding this weekend, a wine festival and more visitors from Calgary and Australia.  Looking forward to it!

Wedded Bliss

It’s been a few weeks, but I have returned to Vancouver after our wedding and we are having our first weekend together, and it has been a busy one so far, but also a great one catching up with friends. 

As for the wedding it was more amazing than I could have imagined.  Everything came together beautifully, and it was a really low stress day.  I even woke up and had some time to knit with my sister before we had to get our hair done at 11am.  I even went with my brother-in-law Tim and got my favourite blended latte.  I had enough ‘stamps’ to get a free drink and they also happened to be giving away samples of my favourite cookie, so it was a nice little treat.

Dave and I’s first look went well and we got in some good shots before the ceremony, which calmed our nerves.

The reception went over famously.  The food was great, the drinks were great, the dancing and photo booth were a blast and I think everyone had an awesome time. 

I think one of my favourite moments was the gift card toss we did instead of the bouquet and garter toss.  Our friends went crazy for the cards, which we tossed in socks.  Who wouldn’t want a gift card for an awesome dinner at Portland Craft or coffee and donut’s at 49th Parallel?  Both places that are on Main Street close to our home and where we love to go ourselves. 

Three days later and we were on our way to Ontario for another reception with my extended family.  It was a very busy few days, but it was so nice to catch up with so many people who we don’t get to see every time we come down.  Amazing to have everyone come to us!

We also got to spend time with my nieces and nephews who grow so much every time I see them.   Here are a couple of the stinkers with Dave and I.  Miss Ivry Troublemaker and Handsome Trent.

We had tons of kids activities at the Ontario reception, which was in my parent’s backyard, because there were about 30 kids that came, and we needed play space.  My parents tree house definitely got some good use… and it wasn’t just from the kids!

After dinner was done and it started getting dark, we lit some paper lanterns and let them off into the sky.  The kids and adults both loved this activity and we knew it would be special as, most likely, no one had experienced this before. 

After the Ontario event, we were off to California for a couple days of relaxing in the LA area.  We stayed in Newport Beach, about a block from the ocean, and did day trips to Santa Monica and San Diego, but also had two days to sit at the beach, check out the town and do some shopping.  It as a really great, relaxing trip.   

It is so nice to be back though and we are enjoying life together so far.  Now that the wedding is over it is time to refocus my life and think about how that is going to look over the Fall.  I’m thinking of joining a Kick Boxing class on Thursday nights and I’m trying to master some new cooking techniques and work on some new knitting projects.  I’m sure there will be more to come on those later, but for now, I need to get my butt in gear and get some things done around the condo.  Later!