November 29, 2010

Happy Movember!

Happy Movember! Here's an eclectic mix of some of my favourite hairy celebs. My very first crush was on tennis star Bjorn Borg. I guess I was a sucker for facial hair from the get go. He laid the foundation. Now I'm Bjorn again for men with scruff. 
Laid back.
I sure wish their were mo' days of Movember. 

brothers & sisters

This weekend I got to see some of my favourite brother & sister combos. These amazing faces always make me smile. And on a dark, drizzly Monday like today - it was perfect timing to upload some happy images. It's funny - my nephew Jack (with the blonde curls) is the spitting image of my brother when he was that age. Whenever I'm with Jack, I'm nostalgic about my childhood with Greg. He was my partner in crime growing up - we'd explore the neighbourhood together, race our bikes, climb trees, jump ditches, play baseball, you name it.  He was always making hilarious faces or trying some crazy stunt to keep me entertained. He took more tumbles than anyone I know. One of his classic moves was falling down a manhole when he was dressed up as a tiger for Halloween. There was a crew working down below, I can only imagine their surprise when a mini tiger came plummeting down upon them. But I digress......I love how I can see Greg's same wild spirit and zest for keeping us entertained alive in his son Jack.  Little Skylar thinks her brother is The Funniest kid in town. He just has to do a goofy walk, and she is rolling over laughing. It's adorable to watch, and great to remember how much fun it was to grow up with my bro. 

November 28, 2010

Thicker Skin

It is becoming increasingly apparent that I will have to develop thicker skin during this adoption process. Quickly.
On Friday at work, a co-worker walked up and said, "I heard through the grapevine that you are adopting." I happily replied, "Yes, we are." Their response: "Why?"
It's funny because if I had a little buddha belly and announced, "I'm pregnant!" The responses would inevitably be, "Congratulations!" I don't think people would say, "Why?"
So, once again, I found myself having to explain the painful reality of my fertility issues to someone I barely know.  I finished the story with, "well, my husband and I are really excited about it all. " She just said, "hm".
I realize that a lot of people just aren't familiar with adoption and perhaps don't know how to react to it. I like the philosophy that people really just do their best, given what they know at the time. And when they know better, they do better. So maybe if I can shed a little light on Adoption, I'll help broaden some minds and more moms-to-be will hear "Congratulations!" instead of "Why?"

I know the road will only get more challenging, especially since we are creating a multicultural family. I know there is a lot of ignorance in this world. I've already entertained questions like, "why would you adopt internationally when their are children who need homes in Canada?"
I'm definitely not opposed to adopting locally whatsoever. Amazing families are formed at home. For us, it was just a question of timing at this stage of our lives.  Through international adoption, we were given a list of Hague Convention approved countries to choose from and then we get put on a waiting list. We chose Korea because we really liked their adoption program. They have a wonderful foster care program for the babies in waiting.  Our agency is allowed to permit seven families to adopt from Korea in a given year, so we were thrilled to make that short list, knowing within the year, we'd be parents. When you adopt locally, you put together a package and wait while a birth mom goes through all of the homestudy books/packages until she chooses a couple to give her baby to. It could take months, or it could take years. We just knew in our hearts that we're ready to be parents. Now.

If you saw my blog entry  The Girl Effect a few weeks ago, you would also know that children growing up in third world countries aren't provided with the same opportunities that children are here. So if you are someone who sees a family with an adopted baby from Ethiopia or Haiti and say, why don't they help children here first? Think of the life someone born in Canada has, versus the life of a child growing up in the developing world. You can also take action and do something for local children instead of paying it lip service by criticizing the choices of others.

It's definitely an adventure going through this process. We couldn't be more excited. The day we get a proposal, you'll probably hear screams of joy trailing through the air - no matter where you live. We'll be THAT LOUD. We've also had the most amazing far reaching support. I couldn't be more thankful to our families, our friends, and friends of friends who have overwhelmed us with their genuine interest and support. This child is going to be LOVED. Big time.

November 27, 2010

November 22, 2010

November 20, 2010

let it snow let it snow let it snow

It's the first snowfall of the season. Everything was softly blanketed, peacefully quiet and sparkling in the beautiful sun. We put on our toques, played in the snow, had chili & hot chocolate, and now we are ready to sip some delicious wine by the fire with friends. The perfect kick off to the season. 
Here's a photo of Molly defrosting inside after her fun in the snow: 

November 19, 2010

The Girl Effect

I can't watch the video above without tearing up. It's the image of all of these hands, grabbing at a little girl, removing all control from her life that does me in. Not only does the video remind me of how truly lucky I am to be born in Canada, but it puts a fire in me to make a difference.

Let's do something.

We all are holding these lottery tickets. We were born into countries where we are privileged to receive education. We have opportunities. We have choices. We have freedoms. We have rights.
We go about our daily lives, caught up in our own stories, but don't often think about the other side of the world.
Think of the 600 million girls living in developing countries right now. If they don't have education to back them up, chances are high that they'll be married off before they are 18.  Then there's the staggering statistic that medical complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death for girls between 15-19. 70% of the world's school dropouts are girls. But this cycle can be broken.  Research shows that when girls receive an education, they marry later, they stay healthy and HIV negative, they have fewer children and have them later in life, they earn wages, put money back into their family and their children have higher survival rates.....

Let's do something.

Click here to find out how you can easily donate to help break the cycle.

For more information, please check out this website: The Girl Effect

This is just one girl's story, but I think it speaks for millions......

November 14, 2010


Did you notice that the shadows in the last photo are graffiti?

We drove to Seattle for the weekend to catch comedian Louis CK at the Moore Theatre.  His brilliant act had me laughing so hard I lost my breath. Best. Feeling. Ever. The house was packed to the rafters with knee-slappin, ovation-standing fans.  If you have a chance to see him live, do. It's a treat. For a list of his tour dates, please click here.

With the Canadian dollar at par, the visit was perfectly timed. Seattle is such a wonderfully walkable city with a steady flow of amazing talent continuously filling its local venues. You've got to go. We had so much fun wandering around Pike Place market, dining in great restaurants, kickstarting our Christmas shopping, spending quality facetime with friends and discovering so many reasons why we adore all that Seattle has to offer.

Great restaurants we would recommend from our weekend:
Boka - funky dinner spot - great cocktails & hip atmosphere
Purple Cafe - delicious food - mind blowing wine list (over 50 pages)
Portage Bay - wonderful yummy organic brunch - get there early - they are popular (for good reason)

ps - Sam (Seattle Art Museum) is currently showing a Picasso exhibit until Jan 17th, 2011. It is the first showing of his work in the Northwest. The exhibit was sold out when we were visiting, but tickets can be purchased in advance: here.

November 10, 2010

November 8, 2010

some great finds this weekend...

Fantastic Blog: Paris versus New York. A Tally of Two cities. Prints will be available soon. A simple concept executed brilliantly. Find the blog here.

Documentary: Exit through the Gift Shop An eccentric shopkeeper/passionate film maker (Thierry Guetta) pieces together amazing footage of graffiti artists - including renowned British street artist Banksy.  But when Banksy turns the camera turns back on Guetta, and he has joined the ranks of the very subjects he filmed, we are forced to wonder....when it comes to art, when do the lines start to blur between what is real and what is hype?

November 6, 2010


This is something I've been wanting to write about for a long time now. After a wonderful late night conversation with friends last night, I thought it was time to put pen to paper, so to speak.
My husband and I have been trying for years to expand our family to include a baby. It is something we both want more than anything else. We have been through a battery of tests and have had consistently healthy results. Doctors have told us that our fertility issues fall into the "unknown" category. Of course, in the meantime, it seems like the everyone around us has gotten pregnant. Six out of 9 people in my department at work have had children in the last two years. I am always truly exceptionally happy for them, and yet go home and shed a few tears, wondering if we will ever get to make such a joyous announcement of our own to friends and family. I am 38 and my husband is 42; we are not exactly spring chickens anymore. This is why, after lengthy discussions, we decided to start the ball rolling on adoption. We just want to be parents and raise a child together. We became really excited by the thought of adopting a child - and giving a child in need a home full of love.
What I didn't expect were some of the reactions we have gotten when we have told people that we are adopting. Instead of a happy "congratulations", like people receive when they announce they are pregnant, we have often been met by the common reaction: "have you tried in vitro?" This one always takes me by surprise - I never think of adoption as last in a pecking order of parenthood options. I have never thought biological is best. I have had people say to me, "I couldn't adopt, you are braver than me. You never know what you'll get." I have also been blown away by the audacity of people who comment on our fertility issues by saying things like, "are you sure you love each other?" or "maybe it's just not your fate to have children." I am adopted which is why I have a hard time listening to those who view my decision to adopt as "risky" or "charitable". Being adopted, with my own fertility issues,  I may go my whole life without a biological connection to anyone, but I have a life full of love. No one knows what they'll get when they have children - whether it's biological or through adoption. I just see adopting as a wonderful choice we made to create our family -just like when I picked Craig or when we adopted our pets Molly and Cooper. My family was all created by choices, not biological ties, and I couldn't love them more.

My favourite palette