Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fun Run

Yesterday was the Crossfield Fun Run for the food bank. It was the 5K that I had been training for. My first ever 5K run. I was excited, nervous, eager, proud, anxious....

In addition to the adult 5K, there was also a kid's 1.2 km run as well. The kids chased the vintage firetruck along their route and were rewarded with a medal at the finish line. Both Luca and Levi took part.

The 3 of us before the run
The kids ran first and then the 5K began. We definitely had fun and it was for a great cause. I am proud of myself for finishing it (in 37 minutes) and have officially met the goal I set for myself this year (and the last few years)!
 Luca and his buddies warming up with the Jazzercise ladies
 Getting ready
 And the kids are off!
 Here comes Luca!
Here's Levi!
 Levi getting his medal

Luca, Levi and Jack proudly display their medals!
Dee and I before the run
Dee and I coming in to the finish! We did it!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Things I'm Into Lately

I totally stole this post from Tasha, and I have no shame. ;)

  • The amazing fall colors and the even better weather we've been experiencing
  • The Cinnabon coffee creamer I found yesterday. So good. It makes having just one cup of coffee really tough.
  • Hearing about my boys' days at school. When I can get more than "I don't remember" out of them...
  • Scarves. Its that time of year again!
  • Dresses and skirts. I love to wear them when I go to work. I'm going to have to start wearing tights with them soon though.
  • Planning our next trip to Disneyland- 4 months away!

What are you into these days?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

30 Day Mom Challenge

I saw this on Pinterest today and loved the concept. I'm going to print it out and hang it somewhere I will see it every day. Its a good reminder to slow down and be conscious of our parenting.  Who's with me?

NOTE: to enlarge, simply click on the picture or visit the iMOM site.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers

  • The boys are finishing up their second week of school. Levi has school one Friday a month and today's the day. I am so happy to report that they both LOVE school! They are always eager to go- although Luca likes me to stay with him and hold his hand til the bell goes rather than join his friends in the lineup. I'm cherishing those few minutes of hand holding and the hug and kiss that comes as soon as the bell rings and he runs off to join his class. Levi often needs to be reminded to come give me a hug and kiss before rushing to join his little friends on the carpet at preschool.

  • Yesterday I subbed at Luca's school in the classroom directly across the hall. I peeked in a few times to spy on him hard at work without him knowing. I'm so proud of my boy. A quick chat after school with his teacher to see how he was doing confirmed what I already knew- he's doing just fine. He's a great reader (she said she actually needs to sit down with him again because he zipped through all the sight words she had for her assessment!). She told me a cute story about their work yesterday. The class was supposed to be drawing pictures to tell a story. They are focussing on using pictures to tell stories rather than words at this point. She looked over to see Luca leaning over his neighbor's desk writing sentences in his friend's journal. When she asked him what he was up to, he told her he was helping his friend because he didn't know how to write the words that he wanted. Mrs. M explained that while that was a very nice thing to do, he shouldn't do someone else's work for them and that they were just drawing pictures right now. Turns out his book was full of words and sentences too! Keener.

  • Levi always cracks me up. Earlier this week my mom was here for a few days. On the drive home from preschool, Levi was looking at an Avon book and showing my mom all the different makeup. He asked her which color she wanted. When she responded that she didn't actually wear makeup, Levi replied without missing a beat "Well, maybe you should." I nearly died laughing. But that would be bad since I was driving. 

  • To celebrate our 10th anniversary last weekend, Chris and I went for dinner at Smugglers- a delicious restaurant that serves amazing prime rib. We both had prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes and veggies and the wonderful salad bar. It was so good and we left with very full bellies. BUT, currently Blizzards at DQ are Buy 1 Get one for 99 cents.....SO, even with our very full bellies, we stopped and got dessert. And we even got home a full hour before we told the sitter to expect us. The boys were just brushing their teeth so we tucked them in and intended to snuggle up and watch a movie but as soon as I layed down, my eyes got droopy. A full belly and a cozy bed had me asleep in no time. Chris watched a movie alone. Haha

  • The 5K run is just 2 weeks away! On our last run, Dee and I logged 3.8kms. Getting there!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Summer Bucket List review

Well, summer is done and its time to check in on how we did with our bucket list.

  • go camping
  • go on a hike
  • make bubbles
  • make our own sidewalk paint and draw masterpieces on the driveway We did draw masterpieces, but not with our own, homemade paint.
  • go bowling
  • have a picnic lunch
  • visit the splash park
  • go on a road trip
  • go to the beach
  • have a weiner roast with friends
  • visit 5  new parks in the city
  • make our own playdough
  • go to a drive in movie (there happens to be one in town in August!) Sadly, it got cut short when a thunderstorm blew in. :(
  • go "fishing" in our kiddie pool
  • watch fireworks
  • play mini golf
  • stargazing/ watch a meteor shower
  • make and enjoy our own popsicles
  • run through the sprinkler
  • read a chapter book as a family

  • We did manage to get lots done but not everything. Guess we'll have to carry those over til next year!

    Saturday, September 08, 2012


    The other night, after being asleep a little more than an hour, Levi walked out of his room and stopped in the hallway where he began to pee. In. The. Hallway!

    There was nothing I could do to stop it but wait til he was done then guide him to his room to get cleaned up. I went to get something to clean the carpet and when I returned to his room, he was standing there with wet shorts and had put a sweater on!

    The poor boy was so tired and confused and didn't remember any of it in the morning.

    Just a little story to save for his wedding day....

    Friday, September 07, 2012

    The First Decade

    Today is our 10th wedding anniversary. Wow. Where does the time go? I can remember our wedding day like it was yesterday but then I think of all that has happened since we've been married and it seems like a lifetime ago.

    On this day, 10 years ago, I was anxiously waiting to walk down the isle to meet my groom at the altar. I wasn't nervous, just excited. I knew that getting married was the best decision of my life.  At the top of the stairs of the church, after my 5 beautiful bridesmaids walked down the isle and my 2 adorable flower girls rang crystal bells to announce my entrance, I waited with my arm linked in my Daddy's. I think he was more emotional than I was.

    Finally, I heard the Bridal March begin to play and we rounded the corner into the sanctuary. The pews were filled with our loved ones. Everyone stood and turned to watch me, but my eyes only sought out one other pair- Chris'. We locked eyes and I was so calm as my Dad and I came to the front pews and my Mom joined us. We walked the few feet that seperated us from Chris and my parents hugged both Chris and I and my dad put my hand in my groom's.

    I remember standing on the steps, only half listening to what my cousin, Wayne, was saying as he welcomed the congregation to the day of our union. I was just so happy to be there, my hands in Chris's, looking into his eyes. The ceremony was great, and it was so special to us to have so many loved ones there to witness us joining our lives. We could hardly wait for that first kiss as husband and wife and jumped the gun a bit so we got to do it twice!

    Finally, we were Mr. and Mrs. Graham! After exiting the church and hugging and shaking hands with those that came to bless us with their presence, we went outside to where my family and I had arranged to have a Corvette waiting as our "get away" car. Chris loves Corvettes and it was so fun to be able to surprise him with that as our ride for the day.

    As our wonderful day came to a close and we headed to Edmonton to spend our wedding night at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, we began our lives together, full of joy, optimism and most importantly, love.

    Over the last 10 years, we have walked through heartache, loss of loved ones, loss of pregnancies, health scares, moves, job changes, financial worries and the stress of post secondary school. But through it all, we have done it hand in hand, side by side- together.

    We have also had so very many moments of pure happiness, and it has been those great moments that have allowed us to get through the darker moments together.  We have travelled together, had 2 wonderful, adorable boys together, have bought 2 homes, have supported each other in our ventures- whatever they may be.

    Us at a University function, Spring 2000
     19 days before Luca was born, June 2006
     Us, 5 days after becoming parents
    2 weeks before we would become a family of 4
    And new baby Levi makes 4!
    There is no one in the world that I could imagine spending my life with. We've seen each other at our worst and have celebrated together at our best. We're comfortable to sit in silence together or to stay up late, laying in bed talking, long after we should have been asleep.  We love to travel together and also love to stay home and just hang out.

    Chris is my rock, my best friend, the one I want to tell things to first and the one I need a hug from when I'm having a bad day. He's the one I miss when I'm away for a weekend without him. He's my other half, he completes me.

    I'm so proud of the marriage that we have. Its by no means "perfect" but its perfect for us. We love fully, we are comfortable to disagree with each other but we talk things through respectfully. We hug and kiss in front of our kids. We hold hands.  We are happy to show the world that we belong to each other and that we are proud of that.

    I am so proud of the father that Chris is and the amazing provider and husband he is to me.  He always puts his family first and makes decisions in the best interests of all of us. He makes me feel special and beautiful.

    He's respected at work and works hard to be professional and knowledgeable. He doesn't take his job lightly, even when it frustrates him to no end. He displays integrity, no matter what the situation.

    I'm looking forward to everything that our future holds- the good and the bad because I know that together, we will get through anything. We are far better together than we are as seperate units.

    Happy Anniversary to the man that has known me for half of my life. The one that has seen me at my worst and still chooses to be with me. The one that makes me feel cherished, even after 10 years of marriage and 13 years together. I love you more than anything. Ten years down, many, many more to come.


    Thursday, September 06, 2012


    Summer has come to a close and school has started.

    Both boys were so excited to begin school- Luca in Grade 1 and Levi in Preschool. They had new clothes, new shoes and new backpacks and lunch kits. They had been wearing their indoor school shoes around the house in anticipation.

    In the last few weeks of August, I was counting down til school was back in. The bickering, whining and fighting were really getting to me.

    Then September 4th came- the day we'd all been waiting for.

    The boys ate and got dressed in their First Day outfits, had faux-hawks gelled into their hair, backpacks on and out the door.

    Chris went in to work late so he could join me in taking the boys to school.

    First to be dropped off was Luca.  Hand in hand, him and I walked to the doors. The Friday prior, we had gone to meet his teacher and he had chosen a desk and a coat hook. He was ready and eager.  Before the bell went, he hugged and kissed me and ran to join his friends in the line up at the doors.

    I anxiously waited for him to file inside, and put his shoes on the rack. I waited until I could no longer see him. Then I turned around and walked to the truck where Chris and Levi were waiting. I barely got in and got my seatbelt on before the tears began to fall.

    I don't know why Grade 1 was difficult for me. Luca had already done a year of preschool and a year of kindergarten, so why was this transition so much harder for me? The only reason I can think  of is that he is away from me for 7 hours a day- more hours than I will spend with him during a regular weekday. He's old enough to have lunch at school, and navigate a day without me helping him.

    Part of me really does feel like "Grade 1 today, University tomorrow". Its such a cliche but really, WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?!

    Anyway, back to the day. With me wiping my tears, Chris began the drive to Carstairs, where Levi attends preschool. Levi chattered the 15 minute drive and was also very eager to rush into school.  Chris and I both walked him up and into the class. 

    Without any hesitation, Levi hung up his coat and backpack, put his lunch kit on the shelf and went to sit on the carpet and put on his shoes. I followed, thinking he may need his Mommy a bit, but no. He immediately started visiting with the friends he already knew and no doubt making new ones. I hugged and kissed him goodbye and was dismissed with a little wave.

    Holding hands, Chris and I walked down the hall and out of the building, a brand new chapter in our book opened. And again, I fought tears.

    Its a strange feeling to be without children playing in the background. I went to Dee's for coffee first, so it didn't really hit me until I arrived home to a quiet house, alone.  I ate lunch alone and in silence.

    I was eager to pick up Levi and hear about his day so I left early and sat outside the school until it was time to go in. I just needed to be there.

    I was greeted with a huge smile and a bear hug and tales of how fun preschool is. He told me of the dragon story they read, the hockey they played in the gym, snack and lunch at the tables and the dressup clothes he wore while playing with friends. He said he didn't really feel like drawing a picture when the other kids did so he just didn't.  He was disappointed when I told him he'd have to wait until Thursday to go again.

    We got home with just a little while to play before we walked to get Luca from school. Luca also came rushing out with his arms open for a hug, a big smile on his face. He said Grade 1 was awesome but couldn't remember what he did except for the "jitter juice" they made to take their jitters away. (juice, pop and whipped cream apparently).  Later he said that he had fun at recess, played playdough and decorated writing books.

    Both my boys had a fabulous first day and are excited for school. Now that I've had my little cry sessions, I'm excited for them. And I have a feeling I may just enjoy my 2 mornings a week kid free.... ;)

    Wednesday, September 05, 2012

    30 Years

    Yesterday was my mom and dad's 30th Wedding Anniversary.  These days, getting to that point is rare.

    It would be a fairy tale to say that for them to make it to 30 years was easy. There were hard times- financially, emotionally and relationship-wise. I'm sure that there were times that it would have been easier to walk away and give up than to keep working through the mud to make their marriage work.

    If I'm perfectly honest, there have been times that I have thought myself that perhaps it would be easier for them to be happy if they were apart. I'm so glad to say that they have proved me wrong.

    The last few years have really been different for my parents- when I see them, they are happy. There is laughter, smiles, hand holding, holiday-taking. They seem to be falling in love all over again.

    Perhaps its because their beginning was rough. It wasn't like the movies- there was no romantic, sweep-me-off-my-feet kind of courting. They dated in high school and got pregnant with me as teens. They could have gone their separate ways and seen each other at my birthday parties, Christmas, etc but they didn't. Nine months after I was born, they married in a church ceremony with their family and friends present.

    The next 20 or so years would really test them in so many ways. There were some really tough challenges that they had to get through. There were times they almost didn't make it through together. But they persevered, humbled themselves to each other, asked forgiveness and moved on.

    As their daughters grew up, moved out and began to start families of their own, mom and dad were able to spend more time on their relationship.

    It warms my heart to see them now. When at times I have questioned it, now they genuinely enjoy being in one another's company. Do they annoy the other and fight at times? Of course. Who doesn't? But what impresses me and what I want to learn from them is their conscious  decision to make their relationship work, even at times that it seemed easier to walk away.

    Mom and Dad, I'm so proud of you and want to thank you for giving Chris and I a real marriage to help model ours after.  I'm happy that you two have overcome some really difficult hurdles in your 30 years and that you have gotten through them together.

    Happy (belated) anniversary and here's to many more!


    The whole family, Christmas 2011