Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Grandma's Birthday

October 22nd is my Grandma's birthday.  She passed away sixteen years ago but would have been 103 years old this year.  I make a point of talking to Sydney a lot about my Grandma as I would love for her to feel as though she 'knew' her through the stories that I share with her. 

Every year on October 22nd Sydney and I do something special together to remember my Grandma and it is usually built around some sort of memory that I have of her. 

One thing that I always remember about Grandma is that she carried a little package of bright green Tic Tacs in her purse with her and would always have a few if she was going somewhere that she felt she needed fresh breath for.

Sydney and I searched high and low to look for a package of bright green Tic Tacs, apparently they don't make that colour any more, so we settled on orange ones and opened the package and each had a few on her birthday.  It was a funny little thing that brought back so many memories for me.

I also took the opportunity to cross another item off my '40 Things' list and pulled out a letter that Grandma had written me that had been tucked away in a keepsake box for years.  I keep a stack of them bundled together and reading one is like having a conversation with her, it's precious.

I laughed so hard when I read this one that Grandma had written, she was talking about a mutual friend of ours who had just gotten married and how he had such a ponch now that he was married and that his new wife must be cooking too well for him!

I dearly loved and still love my Grandma and was honored to remember her on her birthday once again this year.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Sydney's 6th Birthday

I'm not sure how this can be but six short years ago the best thing that has ever happened to me came into my life, my precious Sydney.

My baby is six.  She is an incredible girl, smart and funny, sweet and entertaining.  I love spending time with her more than anything in the world and it was such a pleasure to celebrate yet another birthday with her.

This year her party was a leopard print theme.  Sydney loves all things leopard print so I knew that I had to pull off a party that included as much of it as I could.

Michelle once again saved the day and helped me with Sydney's cake, I just love the way it turned out!

We decorated to the nines and invited twenty of her friends to come and celebrate at UBC Gymnastics.  The kids had such fun in the gym and it was so neat to see them all together and enjoying each other's company.

I'm always blown away at the generosity of our friends and this year was no different.  Sydney got such amazing gifts from everyone!  She especially loves the Shopkins and her gifts this year did not disappoint!

Sydney's actual birthday day was on Monday so she and I spent some time making special cupcakes to take to her class so that she could celebrate with her classmates and then, at Sydney's request, we went to Whitespot for dinner with Zach and Danielle that evening.

My heart is filled with gratitude at being given this most amazing task of being Sydney's Mom and having the sheer pleasure of watching her grow up right before my eyes!

I love her so much it is hard to put into words, she is my joy, plain and simple.  Happy Birthday to my Sweet six year old!  xo

Sydney's Halloween

For the first time ever this Halloween Sydney didn't have a clear idea of what she wanted her costume to be.  Every year we have run with a theme for Halloween but this year, despite me asking her several times, she decided that she wanted to wear something from her Tickle Trunk and decide at the last minute what she wanted to be.

We had three opportunities to dress up: our annual Dunbar kids party, her school class Halloween party and for actual trick or treating.

So two days before Halloween as I'm lying in bed with her to go to sleep she starts to cry and tells me that she doesn't want to wear one of her costumes to her class party on Friday, she would in fact like to be Anna from Frozen.  The poor girl is literally sobbing into her pillow, heartbroken that she doesn't have an Anna costume.

So, like any Mom of a heartbroken girl, I flew into action and texted literally every Mom I knew to see if anyone had an Anna costume that Syd could borrow as I wasn't sure I'd find one two days before Halloween in the stores!  My friend Ivy came to our rescue and lent us her daughter's costume.

So I proudly brought it home to Sydney thinking I'd saved the day until she tried it on, decided that it was too big for her and that she'd wear her butterfly fairy princess costume after all.  Sigh....sometimes you can't win for trying!

So three times in a row she was a beautiful butterfly princess.

Sally and Allan graciously hosted this year's Halloween party on the day that Dunbar Village does trick or treating at the shops.  The kids had a great time roaming from store to store gathering candy and comparing what they got with the other.

I had the pleasure of volunteering in Sydney's class for her Halloween party this year.  I even got into the spirit of things and dressed up like a ladybug for the occasion!  It was a fun time with the girls doing different stations and crafts and seeing them all dressed up in costume!

We so enjoyed trick or treating too, met up with Sydney's classmate Kristin and her family for a while and then headed to Jack and Christina's to meet up with the Dunbar gang to finish the night off.  It was dry and fairly warm this year so the kids really enjoyed themselves and Sydney came home with a bucket filled with candy so all was well.

Sydney was so excited to hand candy out at our place too, we only had a handful of trick or treaters arrive by the time we got home but she was thrilled none the less to give out what she could.

The candy fairy paid another visit to our house that evening and left Sydney with some great things, a new magical wand, some Shopkins and a Beanie Boo stuffy to add to her collection.

It was such a fun time, I love Halloween with Sydney!  

Thursday, 8 October 2015

40 Years

Well it's official, I have turned 40 years old.  It feels strange to write that.  Forty years!  What a wonderful month I had filled with birthday celebrations left, right and center.  My bucket is full.  I feel so loved!

In welcoming my 40th year I made a list of 40 things to accomplish in my 40th year.  Top of the list was to run a 10K race and, after months of running clinics and weekend runs with Angela and Susan, I accomplished my goal at the San Jose Rock and Roll race the weekend before my birthday.  I successfully ran both a 5K on Saturday and a 10K on Sunday to come home sporting three medals.  It felt pretty amazing!

I came home to the most amazing surprise from Paul and Sydney, two gorgeous bouquets of coral coloured roses, one to say congrats on my 10K and the other to say Happy 40th.  It was a wonderful surprise.

My sister Liane also threw me the most wonderful family party to celebrate my birthday.  She did a high tea theme and had the most beautiful china teacups and dishes and fancy little sandwiches and pots of tea and treats for all the guests!  It was amazing.  She strung pictures of me from babyhood to today all around the room and we had such a good time reminiscing and laughing and looking at pictures together.

I got so many beautiful gifts from everyone for my birthday too, especially loved the Pandora charm with a teacup and saucer from Paul and Stephanie and the beautiful Pandora ring and Sweet Sister charm from Liane and family.

It truly has been a month of celebrations.  My house literally looks like a flower shop from all of the gorgeous bouquets of flowers that I have been given.  I feel so loved!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Welcome Fall

This past weekend I pulled up a giant Rubbermaid tub from the basement filled with all of our fall decorations.  Our house has been a construction zone for the past seven weeks or so as we were getting our new hardwood flooring installed and we were finally getting things back to where they were meant to be.  So it was time to decorate. 

As soon as Sydney saw me carry the bin upstairs she squealed with delight "Fall Decorations! Yay!"  This girl loves celebrating a season as much as her Momma.

We had fun finding new and old treasures and finding spots for them around the house.  It feels festive and like all things Autumn around here!

I just love this orange hurricane vase that I got on clearance last year at Crate and Barrel which has now found a new home as a centerpiece on our dining room table filled with fun sparkly balls.

Sydney is really settling nicely into Grade 1.  She absolutely loves her teacher and seems to be feeling more at home with each passing day.  Her teacher is amazing, has done so many incredible things with the kids already including a science experiment with milk, food colouring and dish soap which Syd had to recreate at home.

I met up with my friends Amanda and Gretchen the other day for lunch and they gave me such a thoughtful birthday gift, a gift certificate to our collective favourite store, The Latest Scoop.

We have a shopping date planned for sometime next month to hit up this very cool pop up shop together.  Can't wait!

Sydney's school had their annual Terry Fox run last week.  Sydney was paired up with a Grade 11 student to run around the school's neighborhood.  She was given a sticker that read in French:

"Terry ran for me and I'm running for...."  She sweetly wrote Mommy and Daddy in the space provided.  What a girl!

I am heading to San Jose in a few days with my friends Angela and Susan to run my first ever 10K race in celebration of my 40th birthday next Wednesday.  What a way to kick off a new decade!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


I love September for many reasons:  the start of the fall season, a new beginning with a fresh school year, my birthday, the Jewish high holidays, the list just goes on.

We've had three celebrations in a row around here in the past few days and it's feeling very festive.

This past Saturday night my beloved group of Dunbar Mommas and their husbands took me out for a birthday celebration dinner at La Pentola restaurant.  It was the first time that the entire group has gone out for a lovely dinner together as couples and we so enjoyed visiting with each other and having a few kid-free moments! 

I was so touched by many things that night, my friend Lori who had her sweet baby boy, Ryan, just three weeks ago, came out with her babe in tow.  Nothing like a friend who will sacrifice sleep with a newborn to come out and help you celebrate a milestone birthday!

The girls gave me a lovely gift too.  When we were together in Suncadia earlier this summer I saw the most beautiful cake plate at an antique shop in Roslyn.  I left without buying it, thinking I didn't need another one but couldn't stop thinking about it so I sent Christina a message asking her to pick it up the next time she was there and that I would pay her back for it.

Well wouldn't you know it, when she went back to get it for me it had sold already.  Or so I thought....sweet, sweet Christina bought the cake plate for me and surprised me with it as a lovely gift from the girls for my birthday along with a gift certificate for The Dirty Apron cooking school so that I can take a class and learn some new techniques.  So thoughtful!

It was a wonderful evening and memory together.

The very next day was the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year.  We joined Paul's nephew Danny and his wife for dinner at their home to celebrate together with extended family and friends.

As is my tradition, I always make a beautiful fruit platter to bring along for dessert.

We spent a beautiful, peaceful day together as a family at the synagogue and at Paul's sister's home for lunch afterwards yesterday.  It was such a special time together and nice to start the week on a relaxed note instead of the rush that it usually is.

When we got home from lunch we toasted what would have been Paul's Dad's 99th birthday by having a shot of scotch, his favourite!

Lots to celebrate and feeling ever so grateful for all that this month holds!