birthdays, babies, and summer.

Jun 26, 2013

The last week or so has been a blur, in typical beginning of summer fashion.  Now that the chaos is dying down for a day or two, I can finally relax, put my feet up, and update my blog with an overload of iPhone photos because I'm too lazy to haul around my real camera.
Last week by a sudden stroke of luck, Ryan was able to come home from Saint Louis a few days early. He has spent pretty much the entire month of June working there, and I've been a lonely, clingy, pregnant wife wishing that he was home. I was thrilled that he was able to join me at my ultrasound the morning after his arrival.  By recommendation from friends, we decided to go for a 3D ultrasound for no other reason than for our own pleasure.  I used to think that these were the creepiest things, but now that it's my own, it is pretty darn cool.  We sat hand in hand and watched our baby on the screen.  Despite downing large amounts of sugar in an effort to convince him/her to move around, we have a calm kid who was far more interested in sleep... clearly a combination of his/her parents already.  It was amazing to be able to clearly see the expressions on its tiny face... from a pouty lip to itty bitty yawns. Our kid is already pretty awesome.  The ultrasound tech as well as many friends and family members are convinced that we've got quite the Ryan lookalike, but I suppose we'll have to wait and see!  Boy or girl.... what do you think?

After the ultrasound we went for a long overdue lunch date at our favourite Thai restaurant.  The spicy food sure got the baby moving around! Back home, I packed my suitcase and headed to work. It was a pairing filled with delays and frustration, but I was with the best crew that I could ask for and it was my last 3 days before maternity leave. I was lucky enough to have a quick stop in Saskatoon to visit my friend Kimmy.
 Friday finally rolled around and it was time to go home. I was exhausted from a long work day, but excited to officially be on maternity leave! I threw my uniform into a pile on the floor, not to be worn again for a long, long time.  It's a bittersweet time, but mostly sweet.  

We headed to Red Deer for the weekend, and on Saturday we were surrounded by our family and best friends as we celebrated our baby shower. I still have a couple of months to wait, but my friend Carley was still in town from Victoria and we knew that she'd want to be a part of the event! It was a wonderful day filled with mass amounts of delicious food, and it was so great to see how much our baby is loved already before he/she is even born. 

After the shower it was back to my mom's house, where my friends joined me for a small birthday celebration.  We continued eating, played some hilarious games, and consumed several J-ello shots... alcohol free for me, of course. It was a fun night, and a nice treat to spend the entire evening with friends... that is a rare occurrence in the chaos of our busy mid-20's lives 

The birthday celebrations continued the next day, on my "birthday eve". We headed to Ryan's parents house for brunch, including a delicious chocolate ice cream cake. They know the secret to my heart.  

Monday was my actual birthday. I'm now 27 years old.  How the heck did that happen? I often still feel like a crazy 18 year old, until it dawns on me that I'm married, pregnant, well traveled, and that I've accomplished everything that I only dreamt of at 18. I'm content. I can handle 27.  
In a perfect world, I would have spent the day with my husband and best friends. Sadly, Ryan found out early on the morning of my birthday that he had to fly back to Saint Louis... in a matter of hours. I was obviously very disappointed, and being pregnant doesn't help me hide my out of control emotions. I did not want him to go, but he made sure to make me feel special before he left at lunch time.  

He even stopped to pick up our infant car seat from Purolator. It was only natural that we'd immediately test it with Niko, the only baby that we have to practice with right now.  

Ryan left. I cried. I'm a wimp these days. Fortunately, Carley was still around and I didn't have to spend the day alone. We set out for a day of shopping adventures, spending hours wandering the mall until our feet were swollen and sore. My mom and her boyfriend Justin joined us around dinner time, and I indulged in one of my absolute favourite meals, followed by cheesecake for dessert. 

I'm so lucky to have had them to cheer me up from what would have otherwise been a miserable day. I love the people in my life! 

Continuing on with the week full of birthdays, today my fuzzy little love Niko is turning one year old! I love this little dog more than I ever imagined I could. He provides me with entertainment, cuddles, and unconditional love. I know that he'll be a great big brother when the baby joins our little family.  Happy birthday Niko! 

Now I'm home alone for a few days, hoping to get some of this "nesting" thing that moms talk about. This house is in desperate need of cleaning and organization. So far, no such luck.  I've made a nest of my couch and I'm happily perched there for the time being! 
I hope that you are all having a great summer so far! 

rosie and andrew are married!

Jun 16, 2013

This weekend I had the honour of standing up next to one of my very best friends as she married the love of her life. It was a beautiful wedding and I could not be any happier that Rosie and Andrew get to spend the rest of their lives side by side. I know from personal experience that it is pretty darn awesome being married to your best friend.  

Rosie and I have been through so much in the 15 years that we've been friends. We've been classmates, coworkers and roommates... I like to think that we are practically sisters by this point. My baby will grow up knowing her as Auntie Rosie... and after this weekend he or she has gained an Uncle Andrew!    
Way back in 2007, I longed to explore and made plans to move across the ocean to Australia. At the time, Rosie was my roommate and I felt extremely guilty leaving her behind. When she began dating Andrew, I knew that I was leaving her in good hands.  He did one heck of a job replacing me as her roommate, and as the years went by I (along with everyone else) pressured him to pop the question.  He waited, and waited, and then one day when nobody expected it, he finally proposed. 
I was thrilled when Rosie asked me to be a bridesmaid.  I bought my extra small dress and eagerly anticipated the big day. When I realized that I'd be 7 months pregnant by the time the wedding rolled around, I felt like a teenager breaking pregnancy news to her parents.  Fortunately, Rosie was no bridezilla and rather than kicking me out of the wedding party, she was excited about the news and ensured me that we would find a solution to the dress crisis.  Thank goodness for flowy dresses and a laid-back bride!  

It was such a great day, and I feel so privileged to have been a part of it! Congratulations Rosie and Andrew! You deserve all of the happiness in the world. Now hurry up and make some beautiful babies! ....I'm kidding. I know how annoying it is hearing that when you are newlyweds. But also, I'm not kidding. My kid needs some friends. No pressure. But seriously... 

one last east coast adventure

Jun 12, 2013

Last week I jetted off to St. John's, Newfoundland for one last east coast adventure before I go on maternity leave later this month. I was looking forward to the trip, as I'd found myself with a selection of some of my absolute favourite flight attendants that I've met during my time here. We would have a great time... if only we could get past the overnight flight.  
I'm normally great at sleeping during the day when I know that I'll be up the entire evening.  I close the curtains, curl up in bed, and indulge in the fact that I can sleep during the day while everyone else is busy at work.  Naps are great when the conditions are right.  Unfortunately, that day was the day that my neighbours decided to finally build a fence. This was no quiet task. Added to the fact that it was a warm toasty day with temperatures in my house soaring, there was no sleep to be had. I may have managed a couple of hours, but I was feeling less than eager when it was time to head to the airport.
We started off our evening delayed, after a quick but intense thunderstorm rolled through the city. We'd make up for it en route, until we arrived in Ottawa and had a mechanical issue with our aircraft. At 3 am local time, there were few people around to fix the issue and we had to wait patiently for the maintenance crew to arrive.  We were exhausted and our enthusiasm was lingering as we faced the prospect of a potential night in Ottawa instead of St. John's. Fortunately, it was a quick fix and we were once again on our way east.  
By the time that we arrived, our entire crew was eager to get to the hotel and snuggle into our beds. Few things are more satisfying after a night flight.  Seeing as how it was my last time in St. John's, I had high hopes of a day of fun, but those plans went out the window when I tried to wake up a few hours after arriving. I wouldn't climb Signal Hill or venture to Quidi Vidi that day. Instead, I'd press the snooze button repeatedly until finally forcing myself out of bed to go for a dazed walk in search of food.  
I was joined by the lovely Caitlin for the second layover in a row. We strolled to a small place called "Happy Hummus Hut", which has stole my heart with its delicious, unusual, healthy menu. We loaded up on treats for the next day and then walked back towards the hotel via Water Street, stopping in a few shops along the way. 
As usual, we had dinner plans with the crew. Seeing as how it was my last trip here, conveniently during lobster season, I was on a mission to spoil myself.  I was in luck, as the restaurant we chose had a nightly special of lobster chowder and a lobster grilled cheese sandwich. I was sold. Both contained huge chunks of delicious lobster and I ate until my stomach hurt... which doesn't take much these days with a baby occupying space formerly reserved for meals.  

Despite my attempts to embrace healthier eating in the days prior, no trip to St. John's is complete without stopping in Freak Lunchbox to load up on candy. As usual, my crew tagged along and couldn't resist leaving with their own treats.  I refrained from purchasing everything in the store and left with only a small bag of sugary goodness. (I also forced Cait to pose in front of the store...)    

By this point of the evening I was struggling to fight the fatigue and couldn't wait to get back to my hotel room. It may have been an uneventful trip, but I was too tired to care. 
The trip home was a long one, but with my awesome crew and extremely light passenger loads we eventually made it back to Edmonton. I can honestly say that I am beyond thrilled to be officially finished with working red eye flights!
After my trip I drove down to Red Deer to spend the weekend with friends and family. A few days later sleep deprivation and my lowered-by-pregnancy immune system have got the best of me... I'm now nursing a cold that makes flying far too hard on my poor ears. I guiltily called in sick today for one of my few remaining days of work!  Maternity leave is fast approaching and I feel as though it will be bittersweet. Life as I know it will soon be a thing of the past!  

hanging out in hawaii.

Jun 3, 2013

I'm back home after another wonderful vacation. My mom and I spent a week in glorious Maui, basking in the sunshine, splashing in the ocean, and eating everything in sight.   In a perfect world, Ryan and I would pack up our lives, move to the island, and raise a little surfer baby.  
Since that is unrealistic, vacations will have to suffice. 

I could write a long post about every little detail of our trip, but that would be a whole lot of proclaiming my love for fish tacos and coconut gelato. Instead, I'll leave you with the photos, because that is much more fun anyways.

We flew standby and didn't know until an hour before our flight whether we'd make it to Maui or not. When the gate agent hands you a boarding pass with assigned seats, it's like winning the lottery. We had woke up in Edmonton, and we'd be going to bed in paradise. 

We lucked out and got a great deal on a perfect condo suite for our stay. The man on the phone must have liked my mom, because we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom condo on the top floor with an ocean view.  I'm pretty certain that I could get used to this.  

We also cruised in style for the week in our red Mustang Convertible. Our hair was a permanent state of windblown mess, but we felt like the coolest people on the planet.  

Maui has some of the most gorgeous sunsets. My camera is often abandoned as of lately, but I made sure to put it to good use.  

We indulged in fish tacos on several occasions... they just aren't the same anywhere at home! I'm missing them already.

We spent a day driving the Road to Hana. It was a gorgeous drive down windy roads with incredible views. We blasted "Island Radio" and cruised to the mellow beach music. 

Along the way we stopped for my first of many shaved ice that trip. It was incredibly hot outside and they would always melt too fast, but my goodness, Hawaii knows how to do shaved ice. This hungry pregnant lady was in Heaven. 

Our last stop on the Road to Hana was my absolute favourite! The views were incredible and we truly felt like we were in paradise. 

This was also home to the black sand beach, which was so amazing to see. We were both in awe of the  soft, pure black sand and perfect little pebbles.  

Of course, we went to the regular sand coloured beaches in Kihei as well. 

On our last night we went to a luau. That buffet was my paradise.  Every bite was delicious and I may or may not have used the "eating for two" excuse... 

It was a great night, and so much fun to get dressed up with flowers in our hair and leis around our necks! 

I skipped part of the show because I couldn't resist taking sunset photos... 

Baby Shippelt loved Maui too! It was his/her first time in the Pacific Ocean.  With baby and a little help from all of the food that I consumed, I'm really starting to feel rather large these days! 

Sadly, our trip had to come to an end. The flight out of Maui was full so we decided to island hop to Kona for better odds of getting back to Canada.  We flew on a Cessna Grand Caravan, much to the dismay of my mother, who happens to be exceptionally afraid of small planes. 

She did just fine once we were in the air and she was able to take in the incredible views as we caught our last glimpse of Maui. 

We managed to get on the flight, and after a long sleepless night we landed in Vancouver. We spent the day exploring Granville Island and buying ourselves more delicious treats.  

For dinner we searched for a good seafood restaurant and after the longest wait in the history of long waits, we finally got a table. I was initially disappointed to discover a lack of non-alcoholic beverages (Not even Sprite!) but the food certainly made up for it.  

The next day, it was back to miserable, rainy Edmonton. I missed Maui, but when my husband and puppy met me at the airport I remembered how great it is to be home, sweet home! I've now returned from my last vacation before the baby arrives!  From here on out, it's family vacations for us!