It felt like Christmas at the beginning of November when we got our first snowfall, but the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having now hardly make it feel like the middle of December. While it wasn’t a winter wonderland this weekend, the warm weather made for an easy and enjoyable time to be out looking for our Christmas tree. In fact, it was so nice that we decided to spend all weekend out in the bush adventuring!
As we’ve been doing for the past few years we headed out to the Junior Forest Wardens’ lot in Jumpingpound on Saturday. It’s super easy but we’ve decided that next year we’re going to be more adventurous – particularly if the weather is as nice because everyone was out there and it was just too busy! Still, we managed to get a spot in the parking lot and headed out to find ourselves a tree.
I don’t know if it was the weather or what but we really struggled to make a decision (sometimes it helps when it is really cold – just cut something already!). We finally settled on a tree, chopped it down and hauled it out to the Disco. Then E enjoyed his first campfire (and watched us eat some hotdogs) before we headed home.
We had a to cut a little more off the tree before we could get it into the house but we were able to set it up right away since it wasn’t frozen. We decorated it after dinner and even though I think it is a little wonky, E’s excitement totally makes up for it.
Having the tree up meant that I could put up my new ornament that I got from Becky for the 2017 Christmas Blog Swap. I can’t wait to a take a photo of the little guy all decked out in his Christmas PJs to put in it! She also sent also some candy cane chocolates which I devoured immediately.
Sunday morning we again loaded everyone up and headed out since it was just too nice to spend time doing chores. This time we headed north of the city to the area near Water Valley – a place I’ve never been – to hang out and help some friends with their Christmas tree hunt. We brought the portable BBQ and roasted hotdogs for lunch while we lounged around in the sun. Then we helped with the Christmas tree hunt, did a short walk and soaked up a little more sunshine before having to head back to the city.
We keep saying that we need to spend more time outdoors so it was nice to finally just do it (even if it means that my house isn’t clean).
We’re well into fall now and I can’t really believe that it is already halfway (or more) through September so this post is a little behind but I figure better late than never.
Summer always seems to fly by – this was my 5th summer off (thanks teaching job!) but I’m still amazed at how fast the time seems to go, even when you have every day as vacation. This summer Jon was off too and that gave us time for some big adventures (California!Victoria!), but we kept it pretty low key when it has come to the smaller adventures and seemed to do less than normal.
Lawn bowling kept us very busy – almost too busy. Both of us earned spots on our provincial team this year and while that cut down on the number of times we had to travel to Edmonton, it meant that we spent at lot of time on greens practicing. We’ve been pretty lucky that the lawn bowling community has basically adopted our child – he’s got grannies and aunties and sometimes strangers who want to cuddle and hangout while we bowl which makes it possible for both of us to play.
Our house always has at least one home repair going on and this summer we tackled some outdoor landscaping projects. They started quite small and grew into larger projects that we still haven’t finished. Luckily Jon is off this September and has been working to finish them! Then he’s got a huge list of indoor projects to keep him busy…
After a disappointing start (I had to plant my bean seedlings three times before enough grew) our garden finally kicked it into gear in August and was overflowing the beds! While we have nothing like we used to have at the old house was enough stuff growing now that we had big leafy salads, fresh beans, herbs and lots of sautéed greens.
Our back alley raspberry patch and our sour cherry tree were also super productive. We managed to harvest almost all of the raspberries but our tree just has so many cherries that I wasn’t able to keep up. We definitely had some delicious raspberry pies and sour cherry cobblers more often than we maybe should have.
And what about that summer bucket list? We managed to do almost everything on it at least one but I would have liked to spend a little more time hiking and camping since we only did those once.
take the little guy camping – check! One night at Bow Valley was all we squeezed it but I’m still pretty happy we got out.
Go for a paddle – I’d hoped we get out for an actual trip but I’m still happy that we did lots of paddling at the lake this summer.
Go hiking – we did a very short hike while camping but that was it.
Use the smoker – and try something new (I’m thinking a smoked cheese?) – sort of since I did smoke a brisket (and it was perfect) but not a new item
Play in the river – we did a little bit but it was often too hot to walk down
Get our front flower beds redone – nope
Finally chop down the rest of the apple tree – nope
Have a camp fire – while we were camping we managed to cross this off but then the fire ban sort of put an end to this one
Have a picnic – finally! We had burgers and slurpies (see below) in the park by our house.
Drink all the slurpies – I had more this year than I’ve had in a while and my favourite was definitely this apple cider one from Sea Cider while we were in Victoria.
And while I’d hoped we do some more adventurous things, looking back we had a pretty fun time. I know next summer will be totally different (a mobile little one will make a few things more challenging) so I’m glad we all got to share this first summer together as a family.
Spring break officially started on Friday and I am more than ready for week off! This is the first spring break since I started teaching that we’re not going anywhere – a total stay-cation – and while I’m a little bummed about it travelling anywhere at 37 weeks seemed to be pushing it. Staying home for break is never my ideal – it just becomes a lot of chores – but at least I can work at a slower pace.
Our big plans for the week are to work on the house. While we’ve made progress on the basement, there is still some work to finish off. I’ve also got the garage door opener to finish and some blinds to install. Patches and I are both booked in for hair cuts and I’ve got plans to clean the house. Not the most exciting spring break but I feel a little pressure to get some stuff done before life gets more complicated.
On a positive note the weather in Calgary has really improved which makes the day to day routines a lot easier. No struggling with bulky layers to take the dog out! We’ve only been out for one big walk (to Glenbow Ranch) but hopefully we’ll get out to enjoy some other “hikes” this week.
It might come as a surprise but for people who do 99% of their own home repairs, I really dislike the process. And right now we’re in the middle of what seems like a major home reno but is probably very minor in the grand scheme of things. And I’m hating it. Oh, I know I’ll be very happy when it’s done but right now I’m dreading another trip to Home Depot or Rona and I’m sick of picking out fixtures and floors and ugh, I still need to choose paint colours. Combine that with my pregnant lady hormones and I need to constantly remind myself that all of the home repair mess is just temporary and will turn out wonderful and we will get through it.
Luckily for me, I have an amazing spouse who not only does the majority of our home repairs but also is very patient at dealing with a wife who gets cranky as soon as we start a project.
We (and I use that term loosely, these days I’m more of a support role than an active participant in the labour side of home repairs) have gutted the basement room including the bathroom and a few closets to create a larger space with a slightly more modern bathroom. With Baby Scotch on the way in somewhere around two months (!!) we decided that it was time to get the basement guest room and bathroom into a space where we could actually put guests.
Just after Christmas break the space looked like this:
And now at the beginning of February looks more like this:
While the majority of the work is in the basement, it affects the rest of the house (and my ability to maintain any sort of normality even in rooms that have nothing to do with it). Currently, things look a lot like this in the rest of the basement:
and even outside:
Luckily (for my sanity) Jon has all the demo done and we’ve picked out everything that we need to put it all back (except paint). Not saying that we’re into the easy stuff, but we’re definitely moving into the putting stuff back in phase.
I was going to update about the last two weeks of January (because wow – how can we be at the middle of the month already?) but I can’t really remember what we did. It was cold, and I went back to work (and I’m sure some other stuff). So, instead I’m just covering the weekend, which I can still remember.
Our weekend ended up being fairly booked up, so Thursday night we made a spur of moment decision to send Patches to doggy day care for the weekend and luckily his kennel had space. I dropped him off on Friday morning and knew that he’d get to play while we were out.
Friday evening we headed out to do something that neither of us had ever done – see an all male ballet performance by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo . I haven’t been to the ballet since I was little and Jon had never been so it was fun to do something new. The performance was interesting (even though most of the time I had no idea what was going on) and it was nice to be out since its going to get a little more difficult after April! We ended up staying out way later than I thought (I consider any arrival home after midnight late these days).
Saturday morning I had a quick visit to the chiro and then we headed out to Bragg Creek to ski. We arrived around 10 am and the place was already packed! Its been cold in Calgary since New Years so it wasn’t a surprise that everyone jumped at a chance to play outside now that the weather has warmed up. We skied about 5. 5 miles and I have to say my ski outfits and technique are certainly getting stranger the larger I get.
We were home by early afternoon and I did school work before going out to pick up Patches while Jon tackled our basement reno project. We ate frozen pizza, watched TV and headed to bed early.
Sunday morning I woke up early (and hungry) so after I’d had first breakfast we took Patches for a walk. Then I had second breakfast, did a little work and headed out for my glucose screening test. It was not as terrible as I thought it would be (I’m getting so much better at blood tests – I was able to watch the needle go in and chat away while they sucked out vials of blood) and I didn’t feel terrible after. The rest of the afternoon was spent with chores, school work and finally meal prep for the week. Not the most exciting of days but I feel mostly prepared for another week at work.
This coming week is busy – and next weekend looks Iike I’ll need to spend lots of time doing school work so it was nice that this weekend was a bit more balanced! I did end it on a low note by grabbing the handle of pot that had been in the oven. It’s a long way from the heart but sure hurts! We’ll see how blistered it ends up tomorrow..