Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

I'm going to be honest. 2014 was a pretty difficult one. In February D lost his brother suddenly and it was so very, very sad for our family. This was our first out and out experience with someone close to us passing and it was a rough one. My mom also had two surgeries and D's mom had to deal with the pain of losing a son…. so no, not an easy year.

However, we need to focus on the positive and that's what we will do!  More than anything, what this year has reminded us of is how grateful we need to be for those friends and family around us, how much we need to cherish those wonderful everyday moments and make a really, really big deal out of the little celebrations. We made some wonderful friends this year and spent a lot of time with family, both near and far. 

2014 also brought its share of milestones. A started school in September--- okay it's part time, half day school but she was ready for it and not a tear has been shed during morning drop off. After months of begging, we finally acquiesced to violin lessons for C. We also did dance, soccer, swimming and skating and continued music for both kids.We were  blessed with the birth of my sweet nephew, Liam this summer as well.  We didn't travel to any new and exciting places as we spent most of our time in Trinidad for a funeral, a wedding and lots of family time. However, we did manage to get away to the US for a couple weeks though where we visited Atlantic City and D and I were able to spend a couple nights alone for our anniversary in NYC

This has been a great blog year for me. I've made so many sweet blogging friends who often make my day with their kind comments. I learn so many things all the time through my blogging and my friends as well. My blog itself gets as much as 12,500 hits in a month. Not bad for a newbie!

So, yes this has been a tough year but it's also been a blessed one filled with family, health, sweet memories and lots of love. 


Happy New Year, everyone!

Linking up with Jess  for It's The Little Things.
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Everyday Life

Ok folks, be prepared for picture overload for my final everyday life photo a day for 2014.  When it rains it pours and the Christmas fun has been pouring in around here. 

Day 348- 
Picture if you must, as they're on D's phone and I haven't downloaded them, a nice family dinner and then a drive around to see the lights!

Day #349
Christmas Colouring.
Stick to the page kid, not the table!
Sidenote, she is obsessed with the Montessori yearbook and it is often close to her side as she loves to look for A-wex-- the Montessori Board president and a friend of ours.



Day #350
Went for a midday meal after some power shopping with D. He likes to go with me to the mall. I choose what I like, we separate. He buys some variation of it and then we proceed to meet back up. Civilized, huh?




Day #351
Last day of school!!! Class party!! Cassia with her extreme FOMO (fear of missing out) wanted to leave last of course.




Day #352
Loving those handmade chocolates from Reid's- a local chocolatier
#christmasischocolate



Day #353
Dance party with Raven!!
#shakeitoff



Day #354
Yule Log= Happy Kids



#355
Carolling fun! Except there was no carolling as the band had moved onto a more eclectic mix. 



Day #356
A's all like, where's my coffee, lady? And C's like, bring on the sunshine!



Day #357
Our visit to see Mall Santa-- an ambitious undertaking that's not for the faint of heart parent



Day #358
Christmas Eve fun with my crazy crew.



Day #359
Christmas with the K's



Day #360
Boxing Day was pretty low key with tons of back pain, some packing and a couple home visits from my wonderful chiropractor (his wife is a good friend of mine as he doesn't usually make house calls) #jennforthewin
I also downloaded tons of pics so that my iPhone is nice and free for my trip 

                                                



Day # 361
Travelling to Trinidad
Mama got the seat across the aisle because of her back. A was not pleased!
                                                 
                                           


Day #362
Enjoying some straws and connectors fun. Highly recommend this game for the littles and bigs alike. I'm talking 'bout you, D.

                                  

Day #363
My cousin Shanel and her 'friend' Isaiah came to spend a few days in TNT. Here they are having cold coconut water right out of the shells.
                                   

                                  


And that my friends' leaves us with just two pictures for the rest of the year to be posted with all the other end of the year post tomorrow. I must say I've enjoyed looking back at these posts so much and I may just do it again in 2015. Thanks so much for your sweet comments and feedback.




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Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

This post is being written from sweet Trinidad and Tobago where I’ll be writing from for the next two weeks. The sunshine is sweet  and family is all around.  My kids are surrounded by their cousins and are so, so happy.

Our Christmas this year was a bit different. As my brother in law died earlier this year, it was a little sadder, a bit quieter, less family around but it was still one that's filled with wonderful memories. My parents weren’t able to come to Canada this year like they usually do because of my mom’s surgery and as we were travelling right after the holidays this year. Also, my back started to really act up right on Christmas Eve which was not the greatest. But chug along we did and it was still a pretty special holiday. 

 On Christmas Eve, we went by D’s aunt like we usually do where we had some family time, a  delicious dinner, and some carolling. 

This family pic cracks me up as it personifies our life at times! Chaotic, drama but fun. 




I'm telling you, these folks take carolling to a whole new level. Cue the violin and keyboard (they don't have the piano anymore)



 Of course, we had to leave home in ample time to get home for Santa. On Christmas day, bleary eyed after Santa's helpers (D and me) worked late into the night to make Christmas rocking for the little ones, we opened  our presents and  had a big breakfast. Blogging fail- still need to upload those Christmas morning pictures from the fancy camera.

We then headed to Toronto where we spent our afternoon (and part of our evening) having a delicious, very fancy lunch/dinner with our friends Petal and John and their daughters… think seafood risotto, scallops, rack of lamb and polenta, different wine pairings with each course kind of fancy! I'm a bit spoilt for holidays going forward, just saying! Then we headed to some other friends’ home for an open house with turkey, lots of laughs and live music…. yep live music!



So yes, different kind of Christmas for us but with the help of our special friends and close family, still an awesome one!

Linking up on this fine day with
 The Grateful Heart with Ember Grey



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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Whatever is beautiful,
Whatever is meaningful,
Whatever brings you peace and joy...
May it be yours this Holiday Season
and throughout the coming year! 

Here are our shots from our Christmas Card!



Have a wonderful, festive, happy Christmas Day!
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Visiting Santa at the mall on the 23rd?!

Two days before Christmas, I managed to get my act together to take my kids to see Santa in the mall…. I know! Sheer madness on my part. Could I be any later (said like Chandler)? Every year, I seem to be procrastinating more and more. Not to despair, next year we'll probably get there on the night of Christmas Eve…. maybe sometime before midnight. 

So anyways, we scurried around this morning like little mice…. Had some wardrobe discussions with not one but two of the kiddos. I mean, I kind of get the almost six year old but since when did the two year old get that opinionated?!  Finally convinced them to wear similar colours then realised that A didn't have dress shoes, only boots and runners. Well she did have some hand me downs from C- but I could only find one way--- only me and only this morning.

We had a nut spilling incident, a toddler telling me "Mommy, give you a chance?" (I guess I say that a lot) and a forgotten Santa's letter but finally off we were! And of course, A pulled off her freshly done pony as soon as we go in the car giving this indescribable hair do-- think baby put hand in socket and then hair combed over kind of look. 

So we're at the mall now…. the far one as last year's closer mall had too much red on red on red- You can check it out later. First off to Gymboree where I bought dress shoes for both girls and a couple headbands for their bedraggled heads. VEry important to accessorize, no?! Then to Santa's little house. The plan was to take our pictures and then have lunch- so no messy faces since we already had  insane hair. Problem is everyone else in the mall had the same idea and the line was kind of crazy. And my kids were kind of crazy too. Between the slowly moving line, the tussling, the fighting and the fidgeting, at one point I could feel myself literally about to lose my mind a bit. 

But then this smile.


And this look softened me a bit….

Only a little bit though :-)

Nearing closer and the anticipation is building. At around this time, A told me she has decided not to sit with Santa. And then there was bribery from her super-mom in the form of a candy cane. Thankfully, her love of sugar trumped her fear of Santa. 


And then the big event.

As usual, lots of smiles from C and a very serious gaze from my favourite toddler. 

A step up from last year, I think. Though I love crying baby/Santa pics.


And then there was a huge line up again for paying for the pics with more toddler fidgeting.Then lunch in a crowded mall with a stroller, no hand sanitizer, two excited kiddos and one hand for the lunch tray. And then some more sugar of the Cinnabon kind….' cause that's how we roll for Christmas!


Next year, Mom will not be as ambitious but instead will bring Dad along as well! Or at least a flask….. kidding, Grandma!

Merry Christmas Eve, my friends! May you and yours have a wonderful day.

                                          Linking up with Jess  for It's The Little Things.
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Holly Jolly Christmas PJ Party

I love Christmas jammies. These are from Gymboree and  this year I almost got the matching adult ones--- my password wasn't working and I totally didn't have the time to call in to fix it. So instead I just got the kids theirs. I love that they're not all red--- though they have little red ones… and we have matching ones as well!! Little gingerbread ballerinas-- which they love…. or bawwa-winas as A says…. I got you, A.

My pictures, despite being the incredibly poor iPhone quality type, tell a story.

C- as you can tell I'm a morning person… and a bit of a poser?
A- where is my coffee? (No, I don't give my two year old coffee but can totally tell that she'd be a coffee person.)

C- More poses, Mom?!
A- Okay, I'll thaw out a bit. I see my sippy cup.

Please take note of the sippy cup in A's mouth.

Me: I don't know what's going on but lots of giggles involved!!

Party in the USA… 'cept we're in Canada

Let's hug it out, sis. With our bedheads and all. 

And there you have it. Happy Christmas week from my bawwa-winas to you.

Weekend before Christmas

So who's ready for  Christmas!? Our weekend was a lot of fun but a bit of running around and last minute stuff as well as our travels begin very soon (on the 27th). Friday started with a play date when we  met our friends, Dani, Wren and Raven for a little Indian food and a lunch time dance party.



Both girls took very long naps ( and maybe Mama also as she went our with some girlfriends the night before) and we spent our evening eating takeout, watching (part of) a christmas movie and wrapping a couple presents.

On Saturday, D had to go to a last minute meeting



(but got some love before), so the girls and I headed out to this birthday party for A's classmate. We headed to a birthday party for one of A’s classmates and the local indoor playground. Everyone had such a great time especially the little ones releasing all that pent up energy with lots of running around.  However, the birthday boy’s dad was not there. He (a young, non smoker) has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and was at home resting. My heart went out to this awesome family who still chugged along celebrating their son’s birthday and I pray for health and peace for them. I must say though it affected me for the rest of the weekend L






These smiles melt my heart!






We had some friends and their kids over on Saturday night for a little play time, parang and Portuguese food. Amra, Sean and their kids will be in Trinidad around the same time we will be there so lots of fun to be had in a few days. Our other friends Will and Andrea also stopped by for dinner so a good time all around.

 


I'm not going to lie. These little ladies pose better than their mamas. #owningit.



A yule log for dessert does a good party make

 


Whup, whup!



On Sunday, we all slept in and then spent a pretty low key day baking, doing laundry, cleaning up and chilling.



I watched the Best Man’s Holiday. Maybe it was because of the birthday party and the family’s situation the night before but I bawled my eyes out thinking of the many families at this time of year who are dealing with illness and loss.

Anyways….. my kids got jingled!



And then we headed out with our friends Jenn and Alex to an adult caroling party.  It was pretty cool as there was a live band, an eclectic mix of people and some really cool music. 


Our kids hung out with their baby sitter and had their own pizza pajama party… Guess who had more fun?!

Lots to do this week including packing, last minute Christmas errands and a long awaited visit to Santa!

Linking up on this fine day with
Biana for weekending
 and for the final link-up with 
Leann for Join the Gossip


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