May 27, 2013

Strawberry Angel Food Cake Dessert

This layered dessert is easy and magically delicious. I took it to a bbq last night and it was gobbled up. I should also mention that the ladies and I met this morning to jog it off. For the recipe, click here.
(ps, the recipe calls for a glaze, which I skipped, and it was still yummy).

May 26, 2013

expectations vs. reality

When it comes to parenting, there are expectations, and then there is reality.

Our expectations - Let's take her to the Ladner May days, there is a petting zoo, rides, carnie food, games, face painting, it'll be so. much. fun!

Reality #1: At the petting zoo she will happily pet the animals and then lose her mind when we try to put her back in the stroller. She will act as if we are strapping her in a straight jacket, shrieking so much that she terrorizes the aforementioned adorable animals.

Reality #2: She will spot swings among the throngs of rides and not want to get off, making us realize that we probably could have just walked her to the playground at the end of our street.

Reality #3: Her favourite place to stand is along a chainlink fence, watching men's fast pitch baseball. We are literally on the other side of the gate from the beer garden. We know she does this as a huge joke on us. We stare longingly at the packed beer garden, watching people clink plastic cups and laugh at life. We tear up. 

Reality #4: I know, she loves jumping and climbing! Let's take her to the bouncy gymnastics zone! 
To paraphrase, she bounced like no one was watching. She bounced like there was no tomorrow.
She was in a state of absolute BLISS. Trying to take her out of this zone to go home? fuggetaboutit. She screamed like we were kidnapping her. Parents looked at us with their heads tilted sideways in sympathy, as if to say, better you than me, thanks for taking one for the team.

If I didn't tell you the backstory, you may have looked at the photos above and thought, aw, that's cute, what a fun day at the fair! What a great facebooky life they lead! But parents know, there's always more to the story. We'll never stop trying to make her life adventurous, but we're learning (quickly) that our expectations and her reality will often be on two different tracks. 

May 21, 2013

my favourite bromance.....

May 26th, seven years after it was cancelled, Arrested Development is back on Netflix for season 4, thanks to a groundswell of support from die hard fans who weren't ready to let go of a show that was so. damn. brilliant.
For anyone who has followed the show, you'll  know what I mean when I tell you how much I've missed:
  • Tobias, the first licensed analyst/therapist : analrapist
  • Every character's chicken dance.
  • "He's a never nude."
  • "Lindsay, you've got to be the laziest person in the world." "Michael, if you weren't all the way on the other size of the room, I'd slap you!"
  • "I'll have a vodka rocks." Mom, it's breakfast! "And a piece of toast."
  • "What do we always say is the most important thing?" Breakfast! "No, family."
  • "I just blue myself."
  • Lucille (regarding Lindsay) "She thinks I'm too critical. That's another fault of hers."
  • Bob Loblaw's Law Blog
  • Annyong!
  • I've made a huge tiny mistake
  • Geroge Michael: "Ann called, she's going to pre-dawn mass." Michael: "Ann has a lot of mass."
  • Steve Holt!
  • "There's always money in the banana stand"
  • "Her?"
  • Mrs. Featherbottom: "Who wants a banger in the mouth?" "Or as you say here in the united states, who wants a sausage in the mouth?" Michael: "We just call it a sausage."
  • "I know, we'll stick it in her brownie!"
  • "We have to get rid of the seaward!" Lucille: "I'll leave when I'm good and ready!"
For anyone who hasn't seen the show, this post won't make any sense to you. But I encourage you to see, what I find to be, one of the most brilliantly written comedies of all time.
The Bluths are back!

an hour of serenity

Some of my favourite mommas and I hit our local Mom Spa as a treat to ourselves for Mother's Day. (And yes I tipped the lady for her utmost professionalism as she worked on my feet- she didn't even shriek when I removed my socks!). The concept of the Mom Spa is great - there's a huge (supervised) playroom for the kids while you get to sit back and be pampered. Leah brought a bottle of champagne and Tricia brought chocolates and we savoured every moment that we got to visit and indulge (uninterrupted!). It wasn't until I became a mom, that I realized how important it is to steal a bit of time for yourself to re-energize, whether it's visiting friends, going on a date with your loved one, squeezing in a workout -anything that makes your life feel a little balanced again.

great find

Yesterday we took the little one to this great playground in Richmond: Garden City Park. I didn't even know it existed until I started googling the best playgrounds around Vancouver and it appeared in the top 5. It was awesome. I've never seen her so excited to be at a playground and so heartbroken (tranlsation: hysterical)  to leave. The beauty of this playground is that everything seems to incorporate the natural setting - there are water features, a giant area to play in the sand, amazing climbing ropes, slides, a skate park and walking trails. If you decide to check it out, bring shovels and buckets to play in the sand, rubber boots to run in the water, a little boat or duck to go down the man-made moat and a change of clothes (all of which we brought none).

May 13, 2013

beauty in motion....

In case you missed this on the internet rounds....this dance is sublime.

May 12, 2013

thoughts on motherhood

As a mother, we all have so many shared experiences and milestones, but our journeys are as unique as our children.

It was a long road to meet my little girl. After years of no success, we had come to believe that fertility just wasn't in the cards for us. We went through 2.5 years of the adoption process, filling out mounds of paperwork, being interviewed and studied by a case worker, reading up on our selected culture (Korea) - and as soon as we were second on the list to receive a baby - I got pregnant. I know my life would have been just as rich if I had a Korean baby in my arms right now, but I am very grateful that I got to experience pregnancy first hand. The site of that + sign on that little pregnancy test will still standout as one of the most miraculous moments of my life. I remember running down the street, as fast as I could to catch up with my husband (who was walking to work) and leaping into his arms with that little positive stick. I spent the next few days smiling wherever I went, quietly harbouring our secret, and feeling like I was walking on clouds.
If you want, you can read here for our birth story - it was bar-none, the most incredible moment of my life. I remember seeing them hoist her in the air and I felt like my heart was going to break with the love that rushed through it.

Motherhood isn't an easy road - it's all encompassing. I've never known so much vulnerability as I did when she first arrived on the scene. I constantly checked on her because I knew that if anything happened to her, I would never bounce back. When you're a new mom, there are so many days that blend together. Babies like routines and when you're in a steady pattern of feeding, sleeping and playing, the days can slip into weeks. But I always knew that I never longed to be anywhere more than by her side.

As soon as you have a child, you will look at your own parents differently. You will have so much gratitude for everything they did for you because you finally get just how much it takes to be a parent.
You will see your partner in a whole new light - and I am so thankful that mine has proven to be, just as I suspected, a hands-on, loving, playful and patient dad.
You will admire your friends who had children before you, because now you realize just how much they were juggling in their days.
The expression "the days are long but the years are short" will make total sense to you when you spend countless nights waking every few hours to feed them. You feel like you've had a full day and you notice it's only 10 am. But then suddenly, you're watching them blow out the candle on their first birthday cake, and you're tearing up, wondering where the time went.
You will have new-found respect for every woman who decides to be a stay-at-home mom because you know that it is much more demanding of you than going to work.
You will bond with women who are mothers because you understand exactly how they feel when they look at their children.
I hope one day Stella will look back at her life and think I was a great mom to her - it would be my life's biggest compliment.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you lovely mommas!! xoxo

Pender Island getaway

When you combine a jaw droppingly beautiful landscape, an amazing circle of women, kayaking, hiking, scrumptious food, delicious drinks and dancing into the night - you get an awesome getaway. 

May 2, 2013

have a great weekend!

Have a great weekend friends! I'm so glad May's here, aren't you? There's already a huge shift in the weather and my disposition(both are proving to be a lot sunnier with a slight chance of isolated awesomeness). I felt like my tank was running on empty in April and I discovered I'm not quite the cool, resilient chick I aspired to be. Okay, you're right, I'm super cool, just not very resilient. Sometimes you have to have setbacks before you can gain this little thing called perspective. So bring on May and the opportunity to refuel. Fun plans, exercise, healthy eating, quality time with friends/family, reading more, writing more, more time in the sun, anything that lends itself to making me feel inspired instead of depleted.  Lean in to what makes you happy people!
I'm heading out for a weekend away with the girls, and have spent the entire evening hugging the $&* out of my little girl because I know I'm going to miss her so much. I think we read 10 books, sang 5 songs and I held her hand while she fell asleep. Dramatic much?
It's funny, I appreciate the mental break that this little getaway offers, but I know I'll pine for her, will be blissfully reunited, and then be exhausted again shortly after, pining for this little getaway. Parenthood is a funny tug of war of energy and emotion.
I hope you have a great weekend! Try something new - pick a new place to sight see, try a new restaurant, get a new mix of friends together, watch a new show, anything to make it feel fresh!

every ounce of her

I love every ounce of her, every little crinkle and wrinkle. She is my heart in motion.
(Wednesday's 365).