July 31, 2011


Today was the annual Pride Parade in Vancouver. I had to work, or you would have seen this space filled with photos of the festivities instead of this home-made photo designed from skittles. I have a lot of passion for this topic because some of the best friends I've had in my life are gay/lesbian. My dear friend Scott passed away almost four years ago in a terrible car accident at the tender age of 39 . He "came out" in his early 30s. When he felt the time was right for him, he told each one of us in our circle of friends individually. Everyone embraced his news and were so happy for him. Our only wish for him was that he had done it sooner. But, it is a personal journey that takes each individual a lot of soul searching before they feel ready to embrace that yes, this is who they truly are. There is the fear of being rejected by friends, by family, or by society. But once he said the words out loud, that he was gay, it was like a weight he had carried around was finally gone. I saw such a change in him - he was truly living authentically. Even though his life was cut terribly short, I am still so thrilled that he got to live his later years openly and honestly. Not a day goes by where I don't miss him. I was the last person to kiss his cheek and tell him I loved him before he left this earth. I feel forever connected to him. He was a gentle soul that touched a lot of lives and taught all of our friends the value in being authentic. Last year, I also had the privilege and honour of attending my first lesbian wedding. One of my best friends got married, here's a link to the post: F & J Wedding. When I look at their wedding photos, or see them in person, I don't view them as different at all (except for the fact they are drop dead gorgeous).  To me they are just my beloved friends who found happiness. I will never understand how anyone can think otherwise. Some people like to live their lives in constant judgement of others for their sex, race, income level, etc. I'm just glad that I don't befriend people like that. All I think is that people should live happily and authentically and those who matter will applaud them on. 

July 30, 2011

what makes your heart sing?

Everyone has at least one thing that makes them truly feel like they are reaching the depths of who they are. I'm not talking about a romantic partner, I'm talking about a hobby that embodies your essence. For myself, that hobby has always been dancing. There's something about moving to amazing music that makes every fibre of my being feel alive. I love that so many people carry different passions that define them. In our circle of friends, passions range from horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking, running, hockey, painting, cooking, motorcycles.....just that little extra that adds to the unique definition of who they are. I'm definitely not saying that people aren't well rounded and don't thrive on a number of interests, but there's usually that one that stands above all else that truly makes our hearts sing.
As soon as I deliver this baby, I can't wait to sign up for dance classes again. I remember what it feels like, lining up backstage, hearing the murmur of the crowd, the lights suddenly go out, the music starts and all you can hear are the quiet shuffles of dancers' feet taking their places on stage  - it is a truly electric feeling. When the curtain lifts, you can only see the spotlights. You lose yourself in the music and hope that the audience can feel the passion you are expressing. Here's a few moments that capture why I love dance so much, I hope you enjoy them!

July 29, 2011

the road well travelled

Happy weekend from our home to yours! 

July 27, 2011

summer patio dining

Whenever we have a good news report about the baby, we like to do something special together to celebrate. I hope the sun was shining on your evening tonight! 


I had the pleasure of meeting (squeezing) my friend's new kitten "Amelia" yesterday. I'm in love. 

July 25, 2011

Camping: Manning Park July 22-24

Camping is definitely one of those things where there are those who do and those who don't. Those of us who do camp, love it - time spent outdoors, sleeping under the stars in sleeping bags, hiking, cooking over a camp stove, waking up with the sun, sitting by the fire, roasting marshmallows..... I often wonder if your love of camping depends on what you grew up on. I was at a dinner the night before where the napkins had written on them, "I love not camping," which makes me smile. I get it. There are definitely people who don't want to use outhouses and prefer the comforts of their own beds, and I totally respect that. I'm just glad that my little family enjoys the outdoors as much as I do.

365 catch up - July 21 Yayas and yoyos

Beautiful Summer night, dining on amazing food al fresco with a hilarious group of people? These are my favourite nights.  

July 20, 2011

20 weeks

Last night was really exciting - I felt the baby kicking for the first time. This photo definitely proves it - my body is not my own anymore - but I'm more than happy to provide a tummy to house this baby. It's a funny mix - my body feels so foreign to me now - constantly changing, stretching, pulling, shifting and yet I also have never been so interested in what is happening to it. But as an aside, you know that swishing sound people make when they walk in cords? My thighs do that now. 

July 19, 2011

climbing the walls

365-over half way there!

Today, I'm on photo 187 of my 365. (Technically, by this stage, I'm supposed to be on photo 200, but when I had some bad days during the first trimester of nausea and vomiting, photo taking definitely fell to the wayside). There have been days where I have cursed myself for starting this project - a lot of days where I'd come home from work, make dinner, hit the gym and then at 9pm scratch my head wondering just what the $&#^! I was going to take a photo of. You can definitely spot those days in the mix. I thought since I'm just over half way through this, I'd attach my favourite 10 photos so far, for the reasons listed below:
    I picked this photo because I usually feel very plain jane, but in this photo, I feel like I pulled off a nice self portrait. 

    I quickly shot this just before I ran out the door to meet up with my girlfriends, but I like the tones and 
    the slight naughtiness of it all.

    This photo just makes me smile. I think all it needs is the Jaws theme playing in the background.

    I love this photo because I simply can't get enough of this face. Also, I think it captures the gentleness          
    that he possesses so richly. 

    A train is speeding by in front of this tree. I just like the whirr of colour and movement that it created. 

I love this photo of my grandma on her 100th. I love the spark in her smile and eyes. 

    I chose this photo simply because I think the beauty found in nature is beyond comparison. 

    This is my niece. I chose this because it really captures her spirit - a little shy and incredibly happy. 
    This photo was taken after we found out we were going to have a baby. I felt like I had won the             
    lottery. I never thought this long held dream of ours would come true. And when it did? Elation. 

    I chose this photo because it has been Explored on Flickr this week. Flickr is a photo sharing site where people upload approx. 20,000 photos an hour. Flickr puts their favourite 500 photos a day in Explore. I was pretty surprised but very excited that this photo on work/life balance was picked.

Thanks to each and every one of you who has checked in here from time to time to follow this little blog of mine. Your time means a lot to me! 

July 18, 2011

happiness is....

...spending time with my favourite little people. It was such a gorgeous and fun afternoon - finally!  (The top photo is a reflection of us in dad's car's hubcap).  I had an ultrasound earlier today and got to see our little baby move his/her arms around and touch their hands up to their face. We got to see close ups of the four chambers of their heart and look at their little legs moving around. It absolutely blows my mind to see them move around inside my stomach - it makes it all the more real. I drove over to mom and dad's after the ultrasound and got to enjoy an afternoon in the yard and at the park with my favourite little duo - my niece and nephew. My parents just moved into a new home and while we were in their yard, their neighbour came over to introduce herself - turns out it is my best friend from elementary school's mom. What a small world.  

July 17, 2011

new cookbook

I just picked up Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook. It's one of those simple pleasures in life that I love: picking up a new cookbook, reading through the recipes, savouring the beautiful photographs and flagging the recipes I want to try. I get a real rush from cooking when I have the time to do it properly. I love everything about it - the planning, going to the local farmer's market to pick out fresh ingredients, the art of slicing and dicing the produce, and adding just the right amount of seasoning. I used to enjoy a glass of wine while cooking, but now, being pregnant, that has been substituted with snapping photographs while cooking - the colours of vegetables, fruit, spices, all lend themselves so well to vivid photos. Don't you think there is so much romance to cooking? There is something amazing about having friends and family over to enjoy what you've created. It is so important for me to feed my family with freshly made food. In a time when so much food these days comes pre-packaged, processed, pumped full of hormones, transported across countries, it is important to think of what we are putting in our bodies. Look up what's in season in your area. Try to buy local and organic. Shop and eat consciously. Savour every delicious morsel!

July 16, 2011

finding balance

It's an overused phrase - work/life balance. With a baby on the way, it's definitely on my mind a lot more these days. Do you feel like your life is well balanced? Or, do you find there's not enough time in the day for all that you want to do? Personally, the four spare hours I have in the evening take a lot of planning because it involves juggling dinner, friends, family, exercise, housework, hobbies, there's just a lot to fit in small windows of time. When you add a baby to the mix, I think a lot of stuff gets re-prioritized. All week, one of my favourite blogs, a cup of jo, has been interviewing moms with challenging careers and getting their perspective on time management. I heard an interesting stat this week that 94% of working moms are stressed out and 89% of stay at home moms are stressed out - which means any way you slice it, parenting is stressful. Of course I fantasize of falling into the 6% that seem to enjoy the balance of it all. One thing that I read a lot about lately that really gets my back up is stay at home moms who criticize working moms,"I don't even know why she had children if she doesn't want to raise them herself." This is a comment I've heard time and time again. I hope stay at home moms realize that it's a privilege to have that as an option. It's an option that a lot of today's families simply can't afford. By that sentiment, only upper class families who can afford to live on one income should have children. And single motherhood would be scrapped altogether. Isn't it ridiculous when you think about it? I feel like I'm always having to repeat myself that as women we have to show solidarity and support one another's choices. I respect women who are stay at home moms or working moms because I know both involve a tremendous amount of work. Also, some women choose to balance careers and family because they get fulfillment from both. For our family, we can't afford for me to be a stay at home mom, and I will just adjust to re-balancing life as it unfolds with a baby. I know that I will make them my first priority when I step through the door. And as long as they know that we're giving our loved ones our best, what more can we ask of ourselves?

July 14, 2011

for the team...

 During the past two weeks I've transitioned into my old department at work after doing two back-to-back maternity coverages in two other positions. After two years away from my team, I felt r-u-s-t-y. It also has taken getting used to being up at 5:30 again, but now that I'm back in the routine, I love it. The job has also changed tremendously since my absence. The baby brain I'm sporting these days certainly hasn't helped matters. Let's just say I've done extensive note taking so the new info doesn't slip into this endless baby brain crevasse. (It really is a legitimate thing. Just ask any woman who has experienced pregnancy. The other day I called my husband and said, "hon are you there?" He said, "yes, what's up?" I said, "I forget. Call you later." Scary. But I digress....)
Returning to my old department, it feels like I'm home again. This team feels like family to me. I've literally grown up with a lot of these people. It has also been wonderful having so many young parents in our group to bounce questions off of. I love how at the end of the workday, we sit in a circle and chat about anything and everything. I baked some lemon bars tonight to surprise them with tomorrow as a little token of thanks for all of their help with my transition back.
Here's the recipe I followed for yummy lemon bars.

yesterday's 365 photo

Even though she woke me in the night last night jumping on my face, I still love this little furball.