later, 2013!

Dec 31, 2013

It's that time again... time to bid farewell to the current year and welcome a brand new one. 2013 has felt like the longest and the shortest year of my life at the same time. Perhaps that doesn't make sense, but I don't know how else to describe it. It's been the calmest year considering the amount of downtime in comparison to recent years... but at the same time the most eventful year in terms of major life events. 
I started the year out pregnant. In fact, I spent nearly 3/4 of 2013 growing a baby. 
I celebrated a year of marriage. I traveled to Japan, Seattle, Maui, Victoria, Vancouver and Ontario, along with all of the other destinations that I regularly visited as a flight attendant. I reunited with friends that I hadn't seen in a long time and celebrated with ones that I've known forever. 
I spent more time with my family than I've been privileged to enjoy in the past 5 years combined.
I spent a lot of time alone as well. Ryan worked out of town more often than he was home, at times reminiscent of our long distance relationship days.
It goes without saying that the biggest happening of 2013 was the birth of our daughter in September. Everything from that point on has been solely about her. For that reason, 2013 wins the coveted spot of "Best year ever".  
I enter 2014 with excitement. Am I sad to see the end of such a wonderful year? Not at all. If I've learnt anything this year, it's that things just keep keeping better and dwelling in the past can make you overlook just how incredible the present is. 
Happy New Year to each and every one of you!  Bring it on, 2014! 

a year to the day.

Dec 28, 2013

Exactly a year ago today, my life as I knew it changed forever.  On December 28, 2012, I found out that I was pregnant! 
I'd bought a test the day prior. It was my first time ever purchasing a pregnancy test and I was ridiculously nervous as I grabbed it from the shelf. Despite my normally frugal ways, I picked the most expensive one in hopes of the most accurate and clear results. As I left the store, the alarm went off. Why wouldn't it? There is nothing awkward about the Walmart greeter waving your pee stick around for the entire store to see. I crossed my fingers that nobody I knew was in the vicinity as they deactivated the inventory control tag.   
The next morning I snuck off to the downstairs bathroom with the test in hand and waited patiently for the results. Ryan knew that I'd bought it but I woke up early so that there was less pressure. I can not pee under pressure. Less than 30 seconds later those fateful words appeared. Pregnant. 2-3 weeks. 
It was a wonderful, terrifying, nauseating, exciting moment.  I was growing a baby! Our baby! 
I headed upstairs to break the news to Ryan. I cried, I laughed, and we struggled to keep our big secret as we headed to Red Deer to celebrate a late Christmas with Ryan's family.
The months to follow seemed never-ending, but looking back now I can't believe that it's already been a year. What a journey the last 12 months have been! Everyday I'm so blessed and thankful for that little stick and for the end result... our gorgeous, perfect daughter.  
I'll never forget today, our preggo-versary! 

christmas time!

Christmas is over. Just like that.  It's time to take down the decorations, clean up the mess of wrapping paper, and get back to the gym after 3 days of excessive turkey and chocolate consumption. 
I'm always sad to see the end of the festive season. At least I can say that of all of the Christmases I've experienced in the course of my adult life, this year was certainly the best one yet.  
For starters, I wasn't working. That is a nice change from recent years in which December 25 was business as usual.  I finally had the opportunity to partake in all of the chaos and madness that is the holidays with family. It was the first entire Christmas Day that Ryan and I have ever spent together. It was the first time cramming in multiple family events in the course of only a few days. Most importantly, it was our first Christmas as parents.  That alone makes the holidays substantially more exciting.  
On Christmas Eve we headed to Ryan's aunt and uncle's house for the annual turkey dinner.  It was a busy day filled with food, family, and children galore.  With Aaralee being born in September and her cousin Evan being born earlier this month, the number of grandchildren in the family has doubled this year, much to the delight of Ryan's parents... particularly his mom. 

Despite the 3 month age gap, Evan is almost as big as Aaralee already. She's got him beat in the cheeks department, but it won't be long before he's caught up to our petite little girl. 


After a long day it was time to head home to get some sleep before an even busier day to follow. Being that it was Christmas Eve, we read Christmas books to Aaralee and left out cookies and milk for Santa. He probably would have preferred chocolate chip (I know that I would have!) but all that we had in the house were Arrowroot. 

The next morning was Christmas! We lounged in bed for awhile because Aaralee had been so kind as to gift us with a little bit more sleep than she typically allows.  Once we finally descended to the main level we were thrilled to find that Santa had arrived and spoiled both Aaralee and our fur baby, Niko.

It wasn't long before the living room floor was littered with wrapping paper and noisy baby toys. Aaralee may have been oblivious to the entire process, but Ryan and I loved every minute of it.  

As far as presents go, I couldn't have asked for much more than what I already had.  That said, I was pretty excited to indulge in a breakfast of chocolate from my stocking.  

Once we were showered and ready, it was off to Ryan's sister's house, where we had a roast beef lunch and the kids exchanged gifts. Aaralee was spoiled, yet again.  Next on the agenda was to drive to Red Deer to celebrate with my side of the family.  I was thrilled for turkey dinner number two. Between both families it was a long and busy day, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Getting our overtired and overstimulated baby to bed that evening was a bit of a challenge. There had been far too much excitement for her to take in. She finally fell asleep for the night at 1:30 am, much to this tired mama's relief.  
As adults who have no need for any excess junk to occupy space in our house, Boxing Day was far less of a thrill than it had been in our younger years. We did, however, have yet another turkey dinner awaiting us with some more of Ryan's (large) family.  We ate, we visited, and Aaralee was passed around for cuddles.  When it was time to go home I was sad to see the Christmas festivities end, but relieved to be home where we could relax and catch up on sleep. 
Farewell Christmas, until we meet again next year!

The Most Wonderful Time

Dec 17, 2013

There are only 8 days until Christmas! 8!! I suppose now would be a good time to finish (start) my Christmas shopping. It was bad enough in previous years without having to haul a baby around the busy mall.  Believe me, we've tried to shop. Usually we end up in the food court. Fast food gift cards are looking like a rather promising present for everyone on my list. I know for a fact that my husband would be the happiest man on earth.  
Having a new baby makes this season all the more exciting. Thanks to said baby, I'm also on maternity leave and off of work, in Canada for the first Christmas in a long, long time! I'm finally able to do the things that I've always imagined doing in the month of December. I've decorated the house. I've baked delicious goodies and regretfully consumed more than I should have. I've sang Christmas carols to my baby and in return heard her first few giggles...  causing my heart melt into sweet blissful mush.  I've dressed my daughter in Christmas outfits nearly every day of December and taken approximately 3,450,803 photos of her.  She's met Santa, and spent hours gazing in awe of the Christmas tree. This Christmas loving mama is in all of her glory. 
I can only hope that every else is enjoying their December as much as I am. I'm feeling so blessed as I eagerly count down the days until my first Christmas with my beautiful baby and my amazing husband! 

oh the weather outside is frightful...

Dec 5, 2013

Every year since Ryan and I first started dating, we've went away to celebrate December 2.  We officially became a couple on June 2, so December became what I refer to as our "Half-iversary".  
The first year we headed to Canmore for a bittersweet getaway. Only 10 days later I'd move to Dubai and this was essentially our romantic farewell. The next year we jetted off to Mexico and I came back with a ring on my finger and all of the excitement in the world.  In 2011 we returned to Canmore and enjoyed a cozy stay in a fancy hotel suite.  Last year I was surprised with last minute vacation time, so we booked a trip to Mexico and a few weeks later we found out that I was pregnant.   Although we are married now and have a real anniversary date to celebrate, we still continue with the tradition.  
With a new baby, we decided to put the tropical trip on hold until she's a bit older, instead returning to our second favourite getaway spot... Canmore.  We booked a nice hotel room and Ryan took a couple of days off of work to make it a long weekend. 
It was a weekend full of my favourite things... Ryan and Aaralee, romance, mountains... and so much food.  We consumed an embarrassing amount of chocolate, cinnamon buns, and other delicious treats. 

4 1/2 years later, I still love Ryan just as much as I did the very first year... perhaps even more.  We are a boring old married couple, but I'd rather spend my days lazing around the house with him than having adventures all by myself. 

He gave me the most beautiful daughter and I'm thankful everyday that he is not only an amazing husband to me, but also an amazing father to Aaralee.  She's a lucky little girl, and she doesn't even realize it yet! 

We spent a good deal of our weekend watching movies by the fire, with no timeline and no place to be.  It doesn't get much better than that!

We did of course venture out on a few occasions.  We were in far too beautiful of a place to spend the entire weekend indoors! Our first adventure was to Lake Louise.  Aaralee had never been, so it was obviously necessary.

We had an overpriced lunch in the Chateau and then headed outside for a few quick photos before seeking shelter in the warmth of the car and returning to Canmore. 

Instead of an expensive dinner out that evening, we took advantage of our hotel room's kitchenette and barbecue and made our own delicious meal. 

The next day we ventured into Banff, where the weather was far more pleasant than back home in Edmonton. 


We browsed the shops and fought the crowds before heading to have lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  Eating out with Aaralee used to be rather intimidating, but as with all things, it has gotten easier with practice!

After a great weekend it was time to head back home. We picked the absolute worst day to travel... the entire province was in the midst of a blizzard. We took it slow and eventually made it home safely. Perhaps next year we'll have to go to sunny Mexico instead.