Thursday, November 25, 2010

Changed, Renewed, Blessed.


We had such a breathtaking weekend in Jasper at the beginning of the month. It was chilly, and snowyblowy, but we were calm and joyful and just taking it all in. My girls had never seen the mountains, Tessa didn't much remember snow from last winter and it was our first-ever trip just the 4 of us. The cabin we stayed in was quaint and perfect. It was just liberating to be away with my unit and I returned feeling a deep renewal.

Who wouldn't with scenery like this.

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We were literally out of our vehicle, 6 feet away from these guys.

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The girls missed the Big Horned Sheep close up, but they were resting so peacefully on our quiet, mountain drive that we couldn't wake them.

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We swam in the outdoor, heated pool about 27 times in the 2 and a half days we were there. The girls just couldn't get enough. We walked through town, had lunch at our favorite Greek Family Restaurant, ventured into tiny toyshops to explore and got our picture taken with Jasper the bear. We were touristy and it was so fun.

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Elise is still asking when we will be going back. I think we'll make it annual for sure. It was such a simple getaway.

On the 10th I celebrated the birth of my sweet, sweet friend Anissa. She was away, but I celebrated without her because I am so very grateful she was born and has fallen forever into my life.

I also remembered hard, to cherish every single second - because at any moment, things can change forever - and to do everything I can to live without regrets. November 10th is forever changed, but not for bad. I haven't written yet about my friend Matthew Jay Cook on this blog because I like to write about the good, happy things. It wasn't until recently that I could see through the grey cloud of loss to realize that Matt was a good, happy thing. Matthew was 22 years old when he passed away in April, 2010. He'd been through a long battle and when he could fight no more, he left, hoping only that his family would cope without him and that awareness would be raised about rare-form Cancers. His 23rd Birthday would have been November 10th, and the legacy he has left is untouchable. One of a kind soul. My life is changed for better thanks to Matthew Jay and I am one of thousands. Thousands.

I will hold these girls that much dearer, and breathe in the moments, the tantrums, the sleepy breathing, the giggles. I will know that I am blessed.

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I will not stress about the mullet Elise now sports, I will look back on it and smile. I will remember how, when she was 3 years and 2 1/2 months old, she loved to look through her "spotting scope".

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These lashes will always leave me gasping for air.


And so will moments like this.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Simple as Something that Nobody Knows

October got away from me with only having entered one blog. But it was busy and fun, and fattening, just the way I love my Octobers. And now, it's November which happens to be only one month away from MY FAVORITE MONTH OF THE YEAR! Plus, my birthday is in here somewhere, so I probably have a night of hard partying, a tattoo and a massage/pedi to look forward to in the next couple weeks.

I have been hammering away at my to-do list for the wedding so that I can hopefully take the month of December off to do a crap-ton of awesome holiday activities and plan my baby's second (Oh Lord) birthday party. My amazing best friends/bridesmaids are being ever so wonderful to me - even though I bother at least one of them, and more often all of them with almost-daily phonecalls to ask their opinion on centerpieces, dresses, fabrics, etc. That's why I chose 'em - cause they're super awesome 'n' I love 'em.

This is what the girls have been up to. Photobucket Photobucket Breakfasts and trips to multiple parks with they're sweet cousins.

Photobucket Photobucket Hollowing out pumpkins with their Kyle. Oh boy, do we love our Kyle.

Photobucket Sticking pumpkin seeds to Nana's nose. That Nana will do anything for a laugh.

Photobucket Enjoying the cool air of October evenings outside with her beloved Dora pumpkin (on the right, created by her, also beloved - even though she still will not attempt to say his name, Kyle).

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Getting dressed up and asking for candy. (These girls have great genes, hey? Rrrrr!)


Cutting their own hair. SCREEEEEEEEECH (insert record stopping screech here). Yeah. CUTTING their own hair! Elise got a hold of a pair of scissors and gave herself a total half-mullet and then went on to chop a couple locks off her sister's head as well. I nearly passed out when I realized but after a couple of emergency hair appointments this evening and two glasses of merlot after bedtime - I'm sort of digging the half mullet. Elise seems to think it's rad too.

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And my baby's new do is pretty sweet too, thankfully her cheeks make her face perpetually baby or the bangs might have broken this Mama's don't-turn-her-into-a-big-girl-just-yet-heart. Photobucket

We're all heading to jasper this weekend for a mini-vacay and I'm looking so forward to getting away with our unit. Yeah, unit. That word sure has meant a lot of totally different things throughout my life... Love, peace, chicken grease.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I could write the greatest, perfectly researched thesis based on what this one word means to me alone. I have been unearthing it my whole life. All the good, and all the bad - I'm glad for it all and I mean it. I don't have time to write my thesis - not today anyway - I have way too much relishing to do.

First up on the Thankful for/Enjoying list this week is my Grandma's clean bill of health. Her EKG was clear of damage that her heart attack may have caused. And although she acts like she knew all along, my family and I all breathed a giant thankful sigh as she poked fun and made jokes about how silly we were to have been worried at all. The girls, Matt and I are so glad to have spent a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend with family at her home this weekend. We relaxed, sports were watched, babies were cuddled, read to and payed with, some serious card game slander was thrown around, but most of all - we ATE. It was just the way holidays should happen.

Next up, as if we didn't already know - "Elise is quite an intellect". A quote from her teacher this morning before she told me a story about how she had planned an activity for the kids involving name tags. They were to tell her which letter their names started with and then decipher from there, which name tag on the table read their own name. She explained that she was just barely helping the first child when Elise got impatient and grabbed her own tag off the table and said, a bit annoyed "E-L-I-S-E". I don't know WHERE her boldness comes from...

And, as cliche as it may be, I am thankful for the 4 chocolate brown eyes I wake up to every morning. And the blue ones that get up before me everyday, even weekends - when he gets his own, deserved dose of those 4 big browns.

No pictures this post. I forgot my camera at my Gram's - but I will update with Thanksgiving photos this weekend.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Autumn Is In Session

School has been in for a month.Photobucket

I have baked two apple pies. Photobucket Photobucket
(yeah, those are Skor bits in the pies)

We have "had a good frost", as my Grandma always says and we are enjoying our beautiful shades of yellow, red and orange with a clear blue backdrop. Autumn is in session, folks, and we are drinking it up. Photobucket

With all of those lovelies, of course, come GERMS! We have had vomit, and a lot of snot this past week, along with jammied couch days and Mama guilt about running errands that need to be run with girls who would much rather stay at home watching cartoons - but we are handling it like troopers. Or Scouts, for those who'll get the Drum Corps reference. Photobucket Photobucket

Lisa and I took the girls to the Zoo on Saturday, and even though we laugh at how pathetic the Valley Zoo is, the girls all had fun. Photobucket

That's what matters, I suppose. It was cool and overcast enough to make it a perfect zoo day, in fact, all the animals were out and lively. Photobucket Photobucket

I was absolutely SHOCKED that Elise didn't back out on the Pony Ride at the last second, and even more surprised that she ENJOYED it. Photobucket Photobucket

Baby couldn't ride her beloved Horsey (too young) but the girls did let her get up close and personal. She was thrilled. Photobucket Photobucket

To conclude with an unrelated tidbit, Elise is a drunk lady of the evening...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Uuummmmmmm..... DA! and other Tessie Girl antics.

This is what Tessa says when you ask her a question that begins with "Where is/are". Ummmmmmmmmm.. Da! Da, has actually been a constant in her vocabulary for months and months and for a while, with a bit of Ba! mixed in - it was all we could get her to say. It pretty much meant anything she was trying to tell us. In this current instance, however, it simply means "there" and her little pointing finger is just too much cuteness for this Mama.

In just a few short weeks, we went from being almost worried about where her speech wasn't, to "Ah, here it comes." The girl repeats anything her sister tells her to, and though sometimes it isn't decipherable to any ear but the Mama's - it is MILES from where we were 6 weeks ago. And damn, the girl is precious. I think I kiss her cheeks more these days than I did even when she was a squishy newborn. She is strong willed, but man - does she love a good snuggle. Or "Huuuugck!" as she yells as she grabs up her "bankie!" and runs across the room for me to pick her up several times a day. And yes, she yells. Everything she says, she has a hard time CONTROLLING THE VOLUME OF HER VOICE!. I don't know WHERE she got that from... In the mornings I hear her bellowing "Eeeeese! Eeeeese!" at her still sleeping sister who is a mere 3 feet from her own bed. Lovely. There are still some things she has trouble communicating to us of course, but those end up in hilarity more often than frustration. Tonight, for instance, Elise ran her head right into the corner of the couch while she and Matt were goofing around. After we comforted her and she moved on, Tessa kept frantically pointing at the corner Elise had hit until she finally banged her own head right into it. We laughed SO HARD. Yes Tessa, sissy hit her head on the couch.

Her and I start a storytime class at the library tomorrow morning while Elise is at school. I hope they don't expect her to whisper.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Elise in Wonderland

Parties are totally my thing - I love to plan, create, and imagine the most fantabulous celebrations into life. And since having my girls - it has only become more of a passion. So, we go big. Any of my close friends and family will tell you that I start planning the next one just after (sometimes before :P)the present one has gone off without a hitch. I am thinking horses for Tessa in January... But that's another post altogether and THIS one is about Elise's third birthday party.
(It seems so surreal to type that and know that it has come and gone).

In about March, Elise watched Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland for the first time. Since then she has watched it about 450 other times. I had already been thinking Tea Party for her third, and so when she fell in love with Alice - the idea came together like avocado and cream cheese. I spent hours outsourcing (read: searching the internet for other people's awesome Mad Hatter Tea Party ideas) cool things to make the party really super special. In the end, there was a red carpet (read - red plastic table cloth roll) up our walkway to our door, Alice inspired signage, giant playing cards, paper lanterns, Red and white roses splattered with red paint, "eat me" signs in the tea sandwiches and a most fantatstic Topsy-Turvy birthday cake with a teapot on top care of my great friends at Creative Cakes.!/pages/Edmonton-AB/creative-cakes/152945649022?ref=ts
Check Spelling Check Spelling

My girl was soooo excited to dress up in her Alice outfit. Tessa was The Cheshire Cat and my crazy, nobody-else-would-put-this-together-just-to-get-a-smile-out-of-their-girl awesome Grandma and Auntie Pat dressed as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, my cousin Carol and her sweet girl Isabel were the pink flamingo and hedgehog and my Mom was the queen of hearts. Too. Much. They were all priceless and, as usual, aided in creating some precious memories for my girl.

She had the best time, with all her little friends and her big friends too. She loved each and every gift, her cake, and her smile makes the work seem like nothing. She is already talking about her next party. It went something like this- her~ "And for my party, I will get a TonkBack Racer" (read Tonka Bounceback racer) ~me "Honey, it already was your party and you got plenty of wonderful things" her~ "No Mom, my NEXT party"...