a sad goodbye.

Apr 22, 2014

This blog post has taken me a long time to write.  On most occasions I log on, ramble away with no real direction, say "good enough" and hit publish. This time around, I struggled to find the words.  I'd type a few sentences out only to delete them a few minutes later.  I always say that it's not official until it's blogged, but some things I'm just not as eager to make "official".  
Last Saturday, my grandma passed away.  She'd been sick enough that we knew it was coming, but the fact that it didn't take us by surprise didn't make it any easier.  
I was close to my grandma, which I'm sure can partly be credited to the fact that she was only 40 years older than me.  Growing up, people often mistook her as my mother instead of my grandmother.  We had many conversations over Facebook and text message, and she was so proud to have recently learnt how to use FaceTime.  Whether she intended to or not, she always had a way to make me laugh... such as the time that she told me she'd Googled what "Twerking" meant.   On one of our last Facebook conversations in late February, we talked about planning a trip together. She was retired and wanted to visit some place new, I was on maternity leave and an experienced traveler happy to play tour guide. The next day, she went to the doctor and shortly after that, she was admitted to the hospital.  Everything has happened so fast that it's hard to comprehend that she's already gone, and that we'll never have the opportunity to take that trip.  
She was an amazing grandmother not only to me, but to my cousins Chantelle and Kiara as well.  She was supportive of our life choices, whether she agreed with them or not.  She was my biggest fan, telling me time and time again that she was certain I should be a singer, model, writer, photographer... and whatever else I'd decided to pursue at any given time.  She never missed a blog entry, and cried reading 90% of them when I lived overseas. She accepted Ryan as part of the family and gushed over our daughter... her first great-grandchild. She even cuddled with Niko and offered to dog-sit despite years of declaring her dislike of dogs.  On one of my last visits to see her in the hospital she told me how proud she was of me as a mother, and that will stick with me for the rest of my life. 
It was impossible to leave her house without a full belly and a second helping of dinner. As a child, Grandma's house meant consuming my favourite foods and being allowed to use salt and butter to my heart's desire.  Nothing was ever more important than her family members, and I'm so lucky to have been one of them. 
It's only natural to wish for more time together.  All of those times that I bypassed her home in Ponoka en route to Edmonton because I didn't want to get home too late... if I could go back now I'd stop and visit and stay to chat until midnight.  We can't change the past or bring back the people that we love, so instead of wishing for the impossible and wasting time with regret, I choose to be thankful for the time that we did have together. For nearly 28 years. For the sleepovers and camping trips. For the lunch dates and Facebook chats. For the fact that Ryan and Aaralee were able to meet her.  Most importantly, I'm thankful for the fact that my grandma is no longer in pain and is reunited with her love, Gary.  I know that right now they are together catching fish and getting suntans on the most beautiful of lakes.  
She'll be greatly missed by myself and our entire family.
 I love you Grandma, and I can't wait to tell Aaralee all about you as she grows up.  

baby's first beach vacation!

Apr 18, 2014

Another week of vacation is behind us and we are home, sweet home... sadly.  I could have used another week or 6 of beach and sunshine and warmth... maybe by that point it would actually start warming up here in Edmonton and I could leave the house in flip flops.  
We had a great first family vacation enjoyed by all three of us.  It was completely different than any trip we'd been on before, which was to be expected given the fact that the majority of our life currently revolves around a 7 month old.  There was no tequila (thankfully), no parasailing or snorkelling, and for the first time ever we didn't even leave our resort. We spent a lot of time in the shade and came back with only slight suntans. We went to bed early and spent extra time in our hotel room.  Before becoming parents, that would sound like a terribly boring holiday, but little did we know we'd have so many new experiences to make up for the ones that we could no longer do.  We proudly watched as our baby earned her first passport stamp, and watched the look on her face when we brought her into the ocean for the very first time.  We heard her squeal with excitement as she splashed around in the pool and tried to limit her consumption of sand on the beach. She chatted happily to the staff and other guests, thrilled with the attention that she received everywhere we went.  From the moment that we stepped into the Punta Cana airport, she was one happy baby.   
Of course, taking care of a baby isn't quite as relaxing as lying on the beach all day, every day, but I didn't mind.  Tired from the sun and water, Aaralee slept better than she had been back home and thus, so did I.  Being the considerate baby that she is, she even napped quietly in her stroller while Ryan and I enjoyed a delicious dinner on our anniversary.  Of course, there were a few meltdowns throughout the week... but that's pretty standard for a baby. These occurred mostly while trying to apply sunscreen, a hat, or failing to share our food and beverages with her. As a result, she spent a great deal of the vacation playing with empty plastic cups as it was often the only way that Ryan or myself could enjoy our cocktails without tiny hands trying to grab them.  
The week flew by as it always seems to and before we knew it we were headed home. After some delays, nearly missing our connection and trying to block out the sound of someone else's screaming baby for 2 flights, we were back in Edmonton. There was snow on the ground and it was cold, despite the myth that "spring" had arrived.  I was sad to be home, but happy to have had such a great vacation with my great little family.  I'm already looking forward to the next one! 

busy busy

Apr 5, 2014

Oh Blog, I miss you.  
I really do mean to update you more often. The intention is there, but as it turns out being a mother to a nearly 7 month old baby is rather time consuming. Especially when said baby is very active and already getting into anything that comes within her reach. Changing her diapers is something I'd equate to wrestling a mountain lion and when she's hungry (which is always... have you met her parents?!) the whole world knows about it.  I love my busy girl, but with my husband working south of the border for the majority of the past 3 weeks... I'm tired... too tired to blog. 

Of course, there comes a time in which procrastination overtakes me and I return to my faithful spot to write instead of doing what I'm actually supposed to be doing... in this case, cleaning my house and packing for vacation. 
Yeah... that's right.... vacation! Tomorrow my husband finally returns to Canada and on Monday the three of us jet off to Punta Cana..... woo hoo!  We've never been to the Dominican Republic before, but we are certainly looking forward to it.  Our baby will get her first dose of real warm sunlight and stick her little toes in the ocean.   We will celebrate Aaralee's 7 months of existence on Thursday and our 2 years of marriage on Saturday.  We'll overindulge in true all inclusive style, undoing all of the hard work that we've put in at the gym for the past few months... and it will be totally worth it.  
Rest assured, I'll overload you with stories and many, many photos upon our return... which reminds me, I should charge my camera battery. Now that I've successfully killed some time I really should go do something productive. Like watch Thursday's episode of Big Brother Canada, obviously.
 See you in a week!!