Monday, October 9, 2017

Thanks

Tis the season of giving thanks! One of my favourites. Here are a few things I am grateful for this year (in no particular order):

1. Our car accident.
It popped up on my memories a few days ago letting me know that it has been 5 years since our accident. Even though at the time it really sucked because it ended my rugby season, gave me a wicked concussion and you know, could have killed us, it turned out to be a big blessing. Because without that accident, I would not have made the decision to move up to GP with Joe once I was done school. Until that point I had it in my head that he would find a new job once I finished so we could live near my family. Now that we are here, I am glad. It's been good for us and I feel like this is where we need to be right now.

2. My month in Calgary.
This year I had the opportunity to take a Pilates course in Calgary. It was such a great experience. It's helped me to do my job better and could provide some excellent job opportunities in the future. There was no way this would have been possible without all the support I received from my loved ones and employers. Which leads me to...

3. Supportive friends and family.
I should shout out to Joe first since without his love and support, there's no way I would have felt confident enough to go on my Calgary adventure this summer. So thanks babe, I love ya. And then there's my parents, who didn't even think twice about taking Astrid for the month I was doing courses. Mind you, she's their firstborn grandbaby, but still. It meant a lot that they were able to change their schedules around to help me out. My friend's grandma who opened her home to me while I was in Calgary. She was such a sweetheart and it was a pleasure to get to know her while I was there. My employers, who generously paid for the course fees, which I am so so so grateful for. And then there is my network of friends here in GP that are more than happy to watch Astrid for me when I need a sitter. I am so grateful to have friends!

4. Growing families.
We gained 2 nephews and a new sister in law this year! It's always fun to get new babies in the family, but I love gaining new in-laws because that increases the potential for more babies! But seriously, my brother found a great girl and I am more than happy that she's chosen to join our family. It is so fun to see the family grow! Speaking of which...

5. Growing our family!
Yup, we're pregnant. Astrid will become a big sister at the end of April next year and we are super excited!


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Night on the Town

Last night we took Astrid to the movies!

It was our first time going together as a family so it was a big night. We saw the new Lego Batman movie and we all enjoyed it. For the most part.

The movie played at 6:50, so we dressed Astrid up in her PJs and had her choose a blanket to bring in case she fell asleep (yeah, right!). We went and paid half price for our admission since it was Tuesday and then we payed a fortune for our popcorn. Thanks, Cineplex.

We got Astrid a booster seat and we chose to sit in one of the side aisles in case Astrid decided to walk around during the movie (smart move!). We got her settled in her seat, placed her popcorn and her drink on her lap and helped her put her glasses on for what would be the first of many, many times.

She sat well for about... 15, maybe 20 minutes. Then she spilled her drink (just water, thank goodness). And then she spilled her popcorn (just half). And then she spilled the rest of her popcorn (the other half).

Then she decided to go exploring. Thankfully no one else was sitting in the side rows, so we didn't feel too bad about letting her wander around our section. But she kept going behind us, so I had to get up and tell her she could walk around the rows in front of us, but she couldn't go behind.

That worked for a little bit, then I decided she needed to run around outside. So I took her out in the hall and had her run up and down the hall several times. We came back in and she sat nicely with us for another 5 minutes or so. It got to the point where as long as Astrid was within our sight and wasn't causing a racket, we didn't need to get up. So yeah, we were those parents with the out of control child who didn't do anything about it.

Astrid wasn't the only one making messes though. One of the times I came back from getting Astrid, I knocked my drink over and spilled it all over the back of my pants and my coat. So I got to sit in a puddle for the last 20 minutes of the movie. It was great.

By the end of the movie, Astrid was sitting with her popcorn a few steps down from us in the middle of the aisle. It was pretty cute.

When we got home we were asking Astrid all sorts of questions about the movie.
"Did you like the movie?" "Yeah"
"What movie did we go see?" "Popcorn"
"Who was in the movie?" "Dark Man"
"What was your favourite part?" "Popcorn"

Overall, I think Astrid would give Lego Batman a review of 8 popcorn kernels out of 10. But based on how long she watched it for, I would give it a 4 out of 10. Try a little harder next time, Batman.

Monday, January 9, 2017

2016 Review

Fun fact, it's been 7 years since I started this blog. The last few years have been pretty slow here, but I'm glad I've kept it going. This year I'll try to post more frequently. Maybe. If not, it may just look similar to what I've been doing lately. Updating you on my life several months at a time. Ha. 

Previous quiz reviews: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

1. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year I said I was going to come up with a theme for the year, but we never really did. This year I've already chosen what our theme will be. "I do not boast in my own strength, as to my own strength I am weak, but I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do all things." 

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Joe's sister Katee had a baby girl in May and we were so excited! Now we're just waiting for my brother's little boy to be born any day now. But it's 2017 already, so really I shouldn't even bring it up on this 2016 review ;P UPDATE: Since I first started writing this post, he was born! January 4th, 2017. I can't wait to meet him!
Astrid and baby Leicee


3. Did anyone close to you die?
My Gramma Mele passed away in June. My biggest regret is that I didn't know her better.

4. What countries did you visit?
No countries. We are lame.

5. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
A sibling for Astrid! But if I can't have that, then I want to play some rugby.

6. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
I can't remember specific dates, but my brother Keanu came home from his mission in May. And in July we went on a great trip to Cherry Grove to visit a bunch of Joe's friends and it was great.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Last year I did a 12k mud run and came in last. This year I did the 7k option, trained for it, and did it in 88 minutes! I was pretty pleased. Like last year I also made another stocking like the one I made for Astrid, but this time it was for Joe because the first one I made him was ugly, ha.

8. What was your biggest failure?
There's a few people I wanted to have over for dinner that I never got around to inviting them for it. I wish I was more on the ball about that.  

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Joe had a pretty good ankle sprain in November, but he's bounced back from it pretty quickly in typical Joe-fashion. As for myself and Astrid, there was nothing major. NO WAIT! In the first week of November I got like, 1 or 2 nosebleeds nearly everyday! And then it happened again for a few days after Christmas! I had to carry around tampons with me in case my nose decided to leak on me.

10. What was the best thing someone bought you?
Joe got me an ukulele for Christmas and I love it. A good friend also got me a beautiful watercolor of the Cardston temple for my birthday and it was so thoughtful! I plan to put it up with my Jesus picture and a print of our family theme.  

11. Where did most of your money go?
We paid off the Jeep, so there was that.

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Whenever they released a new sneak peek for Moana I lost my crap. And then there was the time I found out my brother and his wife are having a baby, that was awesome. We're still waiting on the little guy to arrive! (Update, no we're not waiting anymore. He's here!)


13. What song will always remind you of 2016?
Try Everything from Zootopia. And PPAP.




14. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) fatter or skinnier? Skinnier?? Mayyybe? Meh, I'm mostly the same.
c) richer or poorer? The same.


15. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Journalling. With a rambunctious toddler it can be hard to find a quiet moment to keep a journal.


16. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Bleeding, ha ha.


17. Did you fall in love in 2016?
Not with anyone new.


18. What was your favourite TV program?
I watched Community again. And I watched the final season of Downton Abbey. Joe and I discovered The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and we loved it.


19. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.  


20. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ukutabs! They're great for learning how to play the ukulele.  


21. What was your favourite film of this year?
MOANA. My whole year was just spent waiting for that movie to hit theatres. We have watched A LOT of Zootopia in our house though. And the new Jungle Book. And over Christmas Astrid discovered Finding Dory and that was a hit too.


22. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I watched General Conference and had a friend join me for the afternoon session. Joe was out of town that weekend so it was pretty quiet. But, like I said, I got a nice watercolor print of the Cardston temple and I totally wasn't expecting it. Thanks, Angie!


23. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not much, we had a pretty good year. Unlike the rest of the world... Sorry.


24. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Trying not to look hideous.


25. What kept you sane?
Joe, running, Astrid (when she's not being crazy), Volleyball!, and finally making time to go to the gym.


26. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Dwayne the Freaking Rock Johnson. I've always had a thing for him and now the rest of the world agrees with me (Sexiest Man Alive!)
I'll just leave this here 
27. Who do you miss?
My family as usual. But it's not as bad a feeling as it was when we first moved here. We'd love to be closer to them, but we also enjoy being where we are.


28. Who was the best new person you met?
This new couple moved into the ward over the summer and just as Joe and I were getting to know them, the husband lost his job and they had to leave to find a new one. I was really bummed because the wife was the first person that I've really clicked with in a long time. Sigh.


29. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
Stay humble, be honest and choose kindness over bitterness.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

What have I been up to, Part 2

 Whoops, it's 2017. Happy New Year!

I want to do my annual yearly review, but I feel like I should tell you how the rest of my year went first. So here we go...

September: I did the Big Bang Mud Run again! This year's went a lot better than last year. The run was organized way better and this time I didn't make the mistake of doing the 12k. I did the 7k with my SIL and we finished in 88 minutes!
The whole gang at the mud run

We love our visits to the farm. 

Astrid and her cousins at the cornmaze! 

October: My birthday was pretty quiet this year. I debated inviting a bunch of girls out to brunch or something, but instead I just watched Conference at home and had a friend come over to watch with me. Oh, I also made an impromptu trip back home for Thanksgiving. It was quick, but fun. And Halloween was great! For my friend's Halloween party I dressed up as a witch and did green-face and everything. I love dressing up. And then Astrid dressed up as Cookie Monster and we had so much fun trick-or-treating at the mall, and then doing trunk-or-treat and then doing a quick trip down our block with dad in the evening. It was a very busy day.
On the road to Lethbridge


Cookie Monster! She was so cute! 

November: I got so many nosebleeds this month, it was stupid! I was even paranoid that I would get one at work and start bleeding all over a patient. Thank goodness that never happened. Me and some girls did an art date and it was so fun. It was good to get the creative juices going again, even though it was just recreating something someone else has already done. Ooh, MOANA also came out this month and Joe and I actually went out to the theatre to see it on the second night it was out (we don't go out to the movies anymore because we hate Cineplex so this was a big deal).
Nosebleeds. Blech. 

Arting! 

December: December could have gone so much better. It was still good, don't get me wrong, but with my calling at church and making preparations for Christmas down south, I was so done. Astrid's birthday was a quiet affair. We had originally wanted to do the sleigh rides they had going on just outside of town, but we were in the middle of a particularly cold snap that week, so the sleigh rides had been cancelled due to -40 weather. Yeah. Ridiculous. So instead we had some friends of ours with a little girl Astrid's age come over for cake and we let the girls play afterwards. And then of course we spent Christmas with my family and it was such a good visit. Astrid went ice fishing for the first time, we got to see a bunch of family we haven't seen in a long while, and we alllllmost got to see our new nephew - except we left a week too soon. Bummer. I guess we'll just have to make another trip to see him!

We went sledding just before the cold snap, thank goodness!

Astrid and her birthday presents.
Our family Nativity Pageant. All the second cousins!
Grampa was so proud to have Astrid ice fishing with him. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if we'd caught any fish! 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

What have I been up to??


My, my, my. I can't believe it's been 8 months since I posted anything. Whoops. My bad.

It's been a really great 8 months. Let me see if I can sum up what's happened...

February: Katee and David (Joe's sister and her husband) came to visit for a weekend with their three boys. We took them to the Jump Yard, a big trampoline place here in town and they loved it! Afterward there was a lot of sickness in our household: first Astrid was sick and then I got it. I missed a lot of work that month.
The Jump Yard!
[EDIT: Sorry, it looks like the video won't work. I may try something else later...]

March: More sickness. Astrid and I took turns. But the snow started melting so we started going for walks down the block. Astrid was just starting to get good at walking at this point. One on set of Joe's days off we went to the temple and left Astrid with Aunty Katee. I think that was the longest I'd ever been away from her at that point. My parents also came for a visit at the end of the month! Dad could only stay a couple days and mom stayed for 5.
Joe clearing the ice from our spot. Yay! 
April: On April 2nd, the quintet I had been playing with since September played our one and only concert. We played Mozart's Quintett in A (KV 581 if you want to look it up) and we didn't do too bad except for the second movement. Thankfully we had a good start and a good end, so hopefully the mess in the middle wasn't the only thing people remembered. Playing with that group was a fun experience though and it was great to have a reason to play my violin for a bit. April was also the month when I started checking out the playgrounds with Astrid. She loved this.
We went for a lot of walks in April
May: My youngest brother, Keanu, came home from his mission! Me and Astrid flew down to Lethbridge and it was awesome. What is usually a 9-10 hour trip turned into a 3 hour trip! Including the lay-over in Calgary! It was weird to get to town with half the day still left to go. Joe joined us a couple days later when his days off started.
The plane we took from Calgary to Lethbridge. So tiny! 
June: I received a new calling in June to be the Primary President for my ward. If you don't know what that means, it means that I am in charge of all the children between the ages of 18 months and 12 years old. Along with 2 counsellors and a secretary we make sure all the classes have teachers as well as prepare lessons to teach with all the children together. It's a lot more work than I imagined, but hopefully once we find our rhythm things will be a piece of cake.

Astrid experienced her first thunderstorms in June and she loved it! 
[EDIT: Sorry, this video's not working either. Just know it's super cute!]

July: We drove out to Cherry Grove for the first week of July to reconnect with Joe's hometown and old friends. It was a great trip! We hope to go back every other year for Pioneer Days because apparently it's quite the shindig. When we got home from Cherry Grove, I was given the opportunity to teach a Water Rehabilitation class once a week in a small town 30 minutes from GP. I was nervous going into the first class, but it was a lot of fun working with the people who came out, so every class since then has been a piece of cake!
I busted out my good camera for the first time since November for our trip to Cherry Grove and this was the first picture I took: Astrid in front of the hotel we stayed at in Barrhead. 
August: This has been the month of visits for us. I forgot to mention, at the end of July my mom and sister came up to visit for 5 days. Then, Joe's mom came to visit for the first week of August. This was great because she and Astrid have never spent any one-on-one time together. She lives with Joe's sister, so whenever we see her, Astrid's cousins are always around and so Astrid usually runs off with them. So it was great that she could come see us on her own because she and Astrid were really able to bond. My water class ended for the summer, but it went well enough that they want to run the class again in the fall! I'm excited to do another session and I look forward to see where this will go from here.
Astrid and Ninnin at the dino museum. Best buds! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The time me and astrid stayed home from church

Sigh.

When I first sat down to blog something, I had all this desire to let you all in on what I've been doing lately. But when I go to write it all down, very little of it is interesting and then all I really want to do is talk about Astrid. But it's been so long since I've talked about her on here that I don't know where to begin. So let's just start with today, shall we?

Today I didn't go to church. And it sucked. I just stayed home all day with the munchkin. I pulled some muscles in my back yesterday and I was pretty sore and stiff today so I didn't feel up to chasing Astrid around at church. If she was one of those babies who is content to sit in your lap for an hour or more, I totally would have gone. But Astrid is not one of those babies. She is nearly 14 months old and will have you know that she is an independant woman! Until I drop her off at playcare. Then she realizes that she can't live without me and if I dare try to leave her while I go to work, she will not survive.

So yeah. Today was a quiet day. I made up for our not going to church by having a little church meeting of our own. I played some MoTab as prelude music and we had an opening prayer (given by Astrid - sort of) and an opening song (Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam). Then I gave a lesson about the First Article of Faith; we read it through and I explained what it meant and I showed her pictures of Jesus. She actually seemed pretty interested by all of it, I was impressed. Then we had singing time and sang some wiggle songs and ended with I Am A Child Of God. Then we had a closing prayer to end the meeting. The whole thing lasted like, 5 minutes.

Ever since Astrid hit her year mark it's been really cool to discover how much she actually understands. I can tell her to pick something up and she'll do it. After I change her bum she loves to put her diaper in the garbage. She says hello and bye-bye and has even been learning a little bit of Tongan. Whenever my dad is on facetime he always has her point to her mata (eyes), ihu (nose), ngutu (mouth) and telinga (ears). Astrid's favourites are her ngutu and telinga - she's really good at those. She can repeat a lot of the things we say, which has made us watch our language around her because one time I heard her say something that sounded very much like "shut up" after I said it.

I know I'm biased, but my kid rocks. She's tough, she's smart, she's loud, she's super happy, and she just gets better everyday. I'm pleased to report that so far, having a one year old is a lot of fun!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 in review

2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

1. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
We didn't make New Year's Resolutions last year, and we didn't really have a family theme this year and I didn't like it. So this year I will make sure we come up with something.  

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, one of my co-workers had a baby girl in September and she lives just a couple blocks away from me.


3. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Still no close deaths for us. Though my dad's mom was in the hospital at the end of this year and my dad is currently in Australia to spend time with her. She's still holding on though. Gramma Mele is certainly a fighter.


4. What countries did you visit?
None. We did do a lot of travelling within Alberta though.


5. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Sun! More sun!

6. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
None. This year was a bit of a blur.


7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I did a 12k mud run even though there was an option to run 7k. We came in dead last. It was awful and I'll never do it again. But I'll maybe give the 7k a try next year. Ooh, and I also sewed a pretty awesome looking stocking for Astrid and I am so proud of it.


8. What was your biggest failure?
Maybe that mud run since I came in last, haha.  

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
There was this one time in April that I went to the hospital twice in a 24 hour period. The first time because I had a mild allergic reaction to an injection I received and the second time because my eyes were in searing pain because of something they gave me at the hospital earlier to counteract the allergic reaction. It was a rough night. Other than that we were good! Even Astrid came out unscathed.

10. What was the best thing someone bought you?
My parents got me a watch last year for Christmas and not only was it great for when I started working again, but it's been great with Astrid to keep track of feedings, naps and even when I last changed her diaper.  

11. Where did most of your money go?
Into stuff. Lots of stuff. We shouldn't need to buy any more stuff this year.

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Joe's sister and her husband are pregnant with their fourth child after having three boys. On Christmas day we all found out that they're having a girl! We are so excited for them. 

Oh, and when I got Astrid's first steps on video, I was pretty excited about that.


13. What song will always remind you of 2015?


14. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) fatter or skinnier? Skinnier! It's not hard since I had just had a baby this time last year, haha.
c) richer or poorer? Richer.


15. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Being outside.


16. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Driving! We did so much driving this year. This year we plan on staying home for more weekends.


17. Did you fall in love in 2015?
Not with anyone new.


18. What was your favourite TV program?
We watched a lot of Bones. I got back into Glee again at the end of the year. And Once Upon a Time. We finished that season all too fast.


19. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.  


20. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I found some pretty cute Sesame Street songs for Astrid this year. That's about it. I'm lame.

NO WAIT! I discovered this channel on youtube called Postmodern Jukebox and they are so awesome. They redo current songs in older styles, like the 50s, 20s, etc. So, my favourite genre basically. Some of my favourite covers they've done are All About That Bass and My Heart Will Go On.  


21. What was your favourite film of this year?
Inside Out, but more importantly, the short that came out with it: Lava.


22. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
We drove out to Joe's sister's place and 2 days later we all did that stupid mud run I mentioned earlier. I was 25, and I nearly died.


23. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being home more. I missed out on a lot of fun events this year because we were gone.


24. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Trying not to look like a frumpy mom.


25. What kept you sane?
Joe, my mom, and finding time to do things for myself.


26. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I think everybody had a thing for Chris Pratt this year. He's just an awesome dude.  


27. Who do you miss?
My family back home.


28. Who was the best new person you met?
I have a new friend named Angie who is great and she also has a little girl who is a few months older than Astrid so it's fun to get together for the little ones to play.


29. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015:
Babies are a ton of fun, but don't forget to stay connected to your spouse.