ryan's very first father's day!

Jun 17, 2014

When choosing the man to spend the rest of my life with, it was necessary that he fit certain criteria. I'm a picky person and refused to settle for anything less than exactly what I wanted... which is really how everyone should be when contemplating something as important as marriage. Ryan ticked all of the boxes, and I'm so fortunate to have found him. One of the specific items on my list was that he would have to want to have children one day, and I needed to know that he'd be a good father.  There wasn't a question of doubt in my mind that he'd be a great dad.... after all, he is a kid at heart.
When Aaralee joined the world last year, he exceeded my expectations and made her the luckiest little girl in the world.  From the beginning he took on the role like a pro.

So when Father's Day loomed on the horizon I knew that we'd have to do something special... especially after my first wonderful Mother's Day.
When I heard about the "Roam the Runway" event at the Calgary airport, I knew that we'd have to go. Even if it didn't fall on Father's Day, the aviation geeks in us could not and would not miss such an event.  At 14,000 feet, the new runway will be the longest in Canada and capable of landing jumbo jets such as my beloved A380. The runway event was open to the public, full of food trucks, airplanes, and entertainment.  When else would we have the opportunity to step foot on the runway of an international airport?!
We woke up bright and Sunday morning. We were a bit tired, having attended a wedding the day prior, but thankfully that meant that we were already in Red Deer which was half of the drive.  We had a Father's Day breakfast with Ryan's family, and Aaralee delivered a few treats to her Grandpa Bruce.  Ryan had already opened his card that she had lovingly signed (scribbled on).

After getting our fill of waffles and coffee we set off for Calgary! We arrived and loaded onto a bus just in time for the rain to start. Luckily for us, we arrived and were given big red rain ponchos. Aaralee was cozy and warm in her stroller, and we were off to roam the runway!
The biggest thrill of the day was the fact that Air Canada had flown in their 787 Dreamliner for the occasion. It was parked for all to see and we happily walked underneath it and touched it for the very first time. We are still a bit upset about the fact that we were supposed to have flown on it to Japan, but we'll get over that one day... maybe.

We continued walking way down to the end, writing our names on the lines and happily wandering past aircraft.

 After taking photos of our baby posing by the runway lights, we headed to the food trucks for lunch.  Father's Day meant Ryan's choice of food, and thus we indulged in a fried chicken poutine. It was delicious, as poutine typically is.
The rain had stopped but the wind made for a chilly afternoon. Our baby was getting cold due to her insistence of being carried as opposed to sheltered from the wind in her stroller.

 We decided to make our way back to the car, stopping for a couple more photos of the Dreamliner... including one of Aaralee sitting in the big, beautiful engine. I can't wait for the day that we have the opportunity to fly in one!

We headed back to Red Deer after a short stop at Tim Horton's for iced caps... did you know that they now make birthday cake flavoured donuts? They do, and they are delicious. It's as though they know that I was born this month.
Back in Red Deer we had dinner with Ryan's parents and visited for awhile before making the drive back to Edmonton. We'd only been home from Oklahoma for one day before heading to Red Deer, so it was nice to relax and crawl into our very own bed. I may have enjoyed the day just as much as Ryan, but it was fun to celebrate him and the great daddy that he is to our daughter.  She sure loves him... as do I!   

hanging out in oklahoma.

Jun 16, 2014

After 10 days away in Oklahoma, we are back on Canadian soil! We even brought Ryan home with us after more than 3 weeks of working away.  I have to say that while I'll miss the shopping and plethora of junk food not available here, it's good to be home.  It sounds rather relaxing to spend your days in a nice hotel with little to do besides watch TV, wander Walmart, go for sunny walks or hang out in the swimming pool. It probably would be, until I remember the fact that I have a tiny little 9 month old monster who never sits still, ever. She climbed the furniture, falling several times per day and accumulating new bruises and goose eggs along the way.  

She tried to eat absolutely everything that she stumbled upon, be it dead grasshoppers or bobby pins.  Take it from me, what is truly relaxing is a gated off living room in the comfort of my own home.  
Nevertheless, we enjoyed our time in Oklahoma as it meant that we were with Ryan every evening.  After long days of trying to entertain both myself and a baby, it was a relief when he would finally return at the end of the day. There was little in walking distance of our hotel aside from Walmart and Sonic Drive In. We spent our evenings eating delicious greasy dinners consisting primarily of fried items. It just seems necessary when you are in the most obese country in the world.  
Ryan was only fortunate enough to have one and a half days off of work during our entire stay. We made the most of these days by shopping like maniacs, exploring the touristy spots in Oklahoma City, and driving through a couple of communities that were devastated by EF5 tornadoes a year prior.  As someone who is very afraid of severe storms, I spent each morning tuned into the weather channel. We saw a few thunderstorms, but nothing more. 

 It was sad to see the destruction that can occur, particularly in the city of Moore. Massive trees were uprooted, a school was being rebuilt, and spots where homes once stood were now nothing more than concrete foundations. 

We also visited the Oklahoma City bombing memorial, which was a beautiful tribute to another tragic event. 

To lighten the mood after the somber sights, we headed for dinner at Toby Keith's "I Love This Bar and Grill".   We ordered far too much food, once again failing to remember that we were in America where portions are generally gigantic.  There is nothing wrong with leftover buffalo wings and chilli for breakfast, right? 

On the last day of our trip, Ryan caught a ride to work and left the keys to the rental car for me.  After days of being cooped up in a hotel, I was excited to get out into the exciting tiny town of Stillwater.  I buckled Aaralee in and we set off. Our first stop was Starbucks, because I'd survived solely on hotel coffee for days and needed a dose of espresso.  It was a gorgeous sunny day, perfect for walks and naps in the stroller.  We wandered through the crafty megastore Hobby Lobby, which was basically paradise. We went for lunch at Panera and continued shopping the nearby stores.  With hours to spare before Ryan finished work, I decided to take Aaralee to the children's museum. She was far too young to get much out of it, but there was a room just for kids under the age of 2 full of all sorts of fun things that were actually suitable for a baby to play with.  Rather than constantly saying "Aaralee, no!" as I'd been doing in the hotel room, I was able to sit back and watch her go wild. She climbed everything and turned the room into a mess of balls and toys.  Her favourite part was diving down sloped foam mats and laughing crazy baby belly laughs. My kid has no fear. 

Far too early on Friday morning we checked out of the hotel and drove to the Tulsa airport.  Though travelling with an infant is always a lot of work, I was happy to have Ryan with me to help out this time... unlike the trip down. Aaralee is a great traveler for the most part, and I couldn't be more thankful for that.  It was a long day, but we finally made it home where we were happy to reunite with our furbaby after his very own vacation just down the street at our neighbour's house!   Until we meet again, Oklahoma! Thank you for your southern hospitality.  

a little luau!

Jun 1, 2014

It's 10:00 pm. My house is in disarray and I need to pack for our trip seeing as how we leave the day after tomorrow. So naturally, here I sit eating a cupcake and updating my blog.  
Today I hosted (with my co-host Michaelle) a baby shower for my friend Jackie. We've been friends for a long time... since before she decided to spell her name "Jacque" despite arguments that that would be pronounced "Jack". I decided to forever spell it however I pleased, and Jackie it was.  Anyways... I'm rambling.
If I take Aaralee's age in weeks and subtract 2, that's how pregnant Jackie is. Apparently I made having a newborn look like so much fun that she had to go out and get one as well.  Copy cat.  
The baby shower was a luau theme, and those of you who know me well are probably aware of the fact that I really enjoy planning theme parties.  There were leis and mai tais and grass skirts galore... Maui basically exploded on the main floor of my house.  A lot of hard work went into this day, but the end result was worth it! Who knew that we could cram so many people into my house?  
I hope that the mama to be enjoyed herself! Aaralee and I certainly can't wait to meet little baby H in the next few weeks!