so long, 2012

Dec 31, 2012

Once again I find myself on the last day of the year thinking back upon the past 12 months.  How is it even possible that 2012 has come and gone already?! I remember being told that the older you get, the faster time seems to pass by... and I'm starting to understand. This year has been a whirlwind of ups and downs and many big life changes. I'm sad to say goodbye to it, but looking forward to more exciting moments to come in 2013.  
In past years I've wrote long lists of all of the amazing moments from the past year... but I'm going to keep it short and sweet this time around and share my year through photos. 

It's been a great year, certainly one of the biggest ones of my life. Happy New Year to all of my friends, family, and wonderful blog readers. I wish you all of the best in 2013, and I hope that you continue to follow along.. because I promise to share all sorts of excitement and adventures again next year!
Love you all! As far as resolutions go, I resolve to continue living life to the fullest and take advantage of every moment.... and maybe throw in an extra salad once in awhile! 

a christmas story

Dec 27, 2012

I woke up in a daze. It was Christmas morning, and there I was, lying in bed next to my husband. Our bed, in our house.  It felt rather surreal to me, having started Christmas in empty apartments and hotel rooms for the past 4 years.  I'd forgot about the excitement of waking up to have a big breakfast and open gifts.  This was Christmas... and I'd missed it oh so much.  
We cooked up  a feast of bacon and eggs and turned our living room into a mess of wrapping paper. 

Our puppy ran excitedly through the house with his new toys and treats.  I was so blissfully happy in that moment that it didn't matter that I'd have to work later in the day. I was home for Christmas with my awesome little family and I couldn't wish for much more than that. 

That afternoon, my husband hit the highway and drove to his parents house for dinner, while I proceeded to don my uniform and get ready for work. I packed a box of treats for my crew and headed to the airport. 

It was an easy flight up to the diamond mine, though I felt bad for the workers that we were bringing back when they should have been at home eating turkey dinner.  Once we landed, we had the quickest turnaround of my life, boarding shortly after the last passenger had disembarked. The returning workers were in high spirits, heading home for what was left of the holidays.  They were even happier when I informed them that we'd by bypassing our usual stop in Yellowknife. With no passengers going there, we were able to continue directly to Edmonton, saving a great deal of time. I was just as happy as they were when we landed 2 hours ahead of schedule... it was a Christmas miracle! 
Back home I patiently waited for my husband's return, and when he finally arrived he came bearing my turkey dinner!  I reheated it, and it was just as delicious as it would have been had I actually been there. 
We relaxed and cuddled with our puppy, and it was the best Christmas I'd had in years.   
I hope that everyone else had a Christmas day just as wonderful as mine!  

merry merry christmas

Dec 24, 2012

Happy Christmas Eve!!!!
I'd apologize for my lack of recent posts, but I'm just going to assume that like myself, you've all been extremely busy with Christmas parties, family affairs, work, and last minute Christmas shopping.  I'll be honest, I'm still working on that last one.  One of the few benefits of working Christmas day is that I don't see my friends or family until after the holidays.   This tends to be rather beneficial when you suddenly realize that it's December 24 and you've still got gifts to buy.  
Despite working tomorrow, I get to wake up in my own home with my awesome little family and I'm incredibly thankful for that.  It's my first year as a wife and puppy mama, and I can't wait to start our own family traditions. Hopefully one day they won't include me heading to work, but until then we'll make the most of the time that we have! 
I'd like to wish all of you a safe and wonderful Christmas, full of family, friends, and overeating. 
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas.  

winter times in jasper

Dec 16, 2012

As much as I love my job, I love time off even more.  The past week has been wonderful. Despite getting very little accomplished in terms of things that I've been meaning to do, I thoroughly enjoyed my time relaxing and healing my sick self post-Mexico.  This weekend I had a lovely little getaway with my husband for his company Christmas party. We headed to Jasper where we indulged in a few days of bliss that included the following wonderful things:

  1.   Bailey's and coffee. Because normal coffee just won't do when you are on holidays. 
  2.   Mango habanero chicken wings that burned our mouths in the yummiest way possible.
  3.   My second ever attempt at snowboarding, on a gorgeous day with amazing views. I'm sore everywhere and have several bruises to show for it. 
  4. Surviving the chair lift after much anxiety and irrational fear of disembarking.  
  5. Our lift passes not getting scanned to be activated. Free day on the hill!
  6. Post-boarding hot tubbing.  Bliss, pure bliss.
  7. Snowdome Coffee... a hidden gem with amazing lattes situated right inside of a laundromat.  
  8. Wearing a pretty dress and my husband actually being classy enough to wear a tie for the Christmas party dinner. 
  9. Steak and lobster.  Why choose one when you can have both?! 
  10. Chocolate cadillac cheesecake.  As amazing as it sounds.  
  11. Buffet breakfasts with french toast and bacon. 
  12. A couples massage the day after snowboarding. Heck yes.  
  13. A big juicy hamburger and ice cream to break up the drive back to Edmonton. 
  14. Spending time with friends and my husband for a whole entire weekend!   
  15. Instagram photos instead of hauling the big cameras and worrying about getting the perfect shot. It's a bit of a nice change.  

Now we're home and tomorrow it's back to work.  The first day back is always the worst, but for the most part I'm looking forward to my return to the skies!  It's going to be a busy, busy end to the year as it always is in the aviation industry during the holiday season.  

a mexican honeymoon!

Dec 11, 2012

We are back from another wonderful vacation in one of my favourite places in the world! Mexico was great (as always) aside from a few minor annoyances... the main one being returning home to cold, snowy Edmonton. 
We left for the airport Saturday with levels of excitement that shouldn't even be possible so early in the morning.  Upon arriving at the check in counters we were informed that our flight was delayed by 2 hours. We could handle that. We'd have breakfast and wander the airport shops.  As the day progressed, the delay lengthened to a total of 6 hours. 6 long, boring hours that could have been better spent at our resort drinking pina coladas.  Eventually, our plane landed and we departed for glorious Cancun.  

By the time that we arrived, exhausted and thirsty, the bar was already closed for the night.  We resorted to room service and had a quick meal before bed.  
The next day would be much better. We were finally on vacation, and celebrating 2 years since the day we'd got engaged. After a buffet breakfast it was off to the pool to soak up the sun. Flying to the arctic, I've sure missed the warmth and sunlight that lasts past noon.  Once the bar opened we were quick to order our long awaited pina coladas... well worth the wait! The highlight of my day and perhaps of my week came that afternoon. The resort activities co-ordinator informed us that they'd be releasing baby sea turtles and invited us to help dig them out of the sand.  I was instantly thrilled at this opportunity and ensured that we were there on time with cameras in hand.  Before the rush of other tourists wandered over, I had pulled a tiny, amazing baby turtle out from the sand. I was in awe. It was certainly one of the coolest things I've experienced, ever. I named my turtle Michelangelo and watched him crawl around the sand until it was time to put him and his siblings back into a bucket for the resort staff to care for until night time. They'd be released into the water when it was too dark for birds to see them shuffling along. When night time came, we watched as the turtles instinctively made their way to the water to begin their long journey.  I was giddy with excitement and had a newfound obsession with sea turtles. 

We woke up on the second day of our vacation and went for a walk on the beach. The water in the Cancun area is so stunningly blue and perfect and no matter how many times I visit I can never get over it no matter how many times I visit.  

We spent the day swimming in the ocean and pools, drank a few cocktails and got dressed up for a fancy dinner.  Our resort had one restaurant that required reservations and formal attire.  I was quite concerned as our reservation time approached and I was still not feeling hungry, but I figured I'd find my appetite once plates of food were in front of me.  I was wrong. I began to feel sick and halfway through the meal I was forced to leave my husband alone to finish dinner while I went back to the room. It didn't help that we were at a restaurant that created rather inventive dishes. I'm normally adventurous, but it pushed me over the edge that night. 

 I curled up in bed shivering and feeling nauseous while my worried husband put a cold towel on my forehead and persuaded me to drink water.  Food poisoning got the best of me later that evening, by far the least pleasant part of my vacation.  
I still felt sick throughout the rest of the day following. I ate small pieces of bread and fruit, a long shot from my usual Mexico binge.  For the majority of the morning I couldn't get out of bed. My wonderful husband pushed the bed over to the window so that I could enjoy my ocean view and feel the sunshine on my face without having to stand up.

 There was a brief period in which we ventured outside to lie on beach chairs in the shade, but it wasn't long until we retreated to the room for more sleep. I'd tried to convince Ryan to go enjoy his day, but as stubborn and sweet as he is, he refused to leave me all by myself.  
I finally started to feel better the next day. We woke up at sunrise, and although I now was coming down with a cold, it beat feeling as ill as I had. We had a lazy day at the beach, playing in the waves and sipping cocktails.  I was up for more of that night coughing and sneezing, miserable at my luck. I get sick once or twice each year, and it happened to fall perfectly in time with my vacation.  
After another beach day the next day, we caught the bus into town to go to Walmart. We stocked up on cold meds and snacks and wandered every aisle.  
On our second last day we woke up early for a full day of adventures.  We caught the bus to Playa del Carmen, where we'd got married almost 8 months earlier. 

We strolled past our resort and pointed out our wedding spot.  Afterwards, we caught the ferry to the island of Cozumel, where we caught up with one of Ryan's friends from university who happened to be on a cruise.  Him and his wife live in Texas and it has been years since they'd last seen each other.  After lunch with them, we spent the rest of the day touring Cozumel before taking the ferry back to Playa del Carmen. 

We shopped on 5th Avenue before bussing back to Cancun and returning to our resort just in time to eat before the buffet closed. 
I was sad to wake up the next day once the realization hit that we'd be going home that afternoon.  Fortunately, we still had several hours to enjoy the beach, food and sunshine before we left.  I was up bright and early to watch the sunrise over the ocean. 

Later on, Ryan drank several beers, while I got in a few last minute fruity cocktails.  It was time to return to reality.  
We flew home, landed to a cold wintery night, and just like that our vacation was over.  It had been a great week and an almost perfect belated honeymoon.  Mexico, as always, did not cease to impress.  

On the bright side, we were home and reunited with our beloved puppy, who was thrilled to see us again after a long week apart!