Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grad 2013...

We met Tanner three years ago when he made the Midget AA hockey team that Justin was an assistant coach of.  We've stayed in touch with him and his family as our paths have crossed at the rink and around town.  This year Tanner is graduating from high school and I had the privilege of spending a little time with them to capture a few memories from his big day!

Congratulations Tanner, we wish you all the best as you finish this chapter of your journey and begin the next!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Giving Up...In a Good Way

To my little "teacher":
This month you are half a year old... I still have a difficult time wrapping my brain around this fact, it can't really be possible can it? Every day your daddy and I fall more in love with you...even on the days when you have taught me the most....

This month we hit a bit of an impasse when it came to you sleeping. Up until now you have pretty much only been willing to nap in my arms, but I decided it was time that you "learn" to nap in your crib...we have had a wee bit of a difference of opinion.  You have taught me once again to trust my mommy instincts and to trust you in a new way. Just because "they" say that you have to nap a certain way and at certain times, it doesn't quite mean that that is the way you will do it...and so we have figured out what works best for us.

I fully know that there are some who would say that giving up the fight is wrong and there will be a price to pay in the future for it, but I will let them say what they might...and I'm ok with that.  You have taught me that sometimes it's not worth the fight... I am learning already to pick my battles with your sweet but determined little personality.

While I find great solace in routine, you don't quite always share that same love :) and I am learning to be flexible and to be ok with that.  You always make up any lost sleep from the day before and in the meantime you are one of the happiest little people I have ever known.  Our home has been much more peaceful since I stopped fighting...that peace is so much more valuable that following the "rules".

Little One, you are loved more than should be humanly possible, right from the top of your head (that is now getting a little more hair!) to the bottom of your sweet little feet and all your wonderful rolls in between :)

With all my love,
Your Momma

Monday, February 11, 2013

so much joy....

Some days I just sit back in awe of how joyful you are. You have always been such a happy girl, but you take joy to a whole new level.

The other thing that amazes me is how you share that joy with others. One of the highlights of this past month was our trip to Cuba. You were adored by so many and their faces lit up as they saw the smile on your lips. We heard many compliments, "She's so cute", "What a beautiful baby" but my favorite interaction my have come from the little Down's Syndrome boy in Havana. As he came and so gently touched your cheeks, you gave him such a big smile! Our evening server, Ingrid, was also totally smitten by your infectious joy. She would speak to you in Spanish and you would smile and  giggle at her more than anyone else at the resort. She loved to steal a snuggle and held you like you were her own. 

My girl, your smile can truly light up a room, makes any bad moment suddenly ok. I am so incredibly grateful that God has given you such a joyful spirit. I pray that no matter what your journey looks like, that you will always hold onto the joy that He has placed within you and that it would continually bubble out of you as a witness to your Heavenly Father's love. 

Five Month Milestones...

•your first plane ride and you were an absolute dream to travel with :)
•your first time playing in the sand and swimming in the ocean
•you sat up on your own, still a little tipsy but you're trying so hard to steady yourself!
•you're now sleeping in your room, in your crib and you've made the transition like a rock star
•you've become quite the chatterbox and you make us laugh often with all that you are trying to tell us!
One of my favorite shots from our trip :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

nothin' to it.... Cinnamon Baked French Toast

A few years ago I found a recipe for an overnight French Toast Bake that looked delicious.  My parents were coming for the weekend and I thought it would make for an easy breakfast for us.  While it was a leisurely morning, that particular recipe was very sweet and none of us could eat more than a small piece...needless to say a large part of the pan got tossed later that week.

This year for Christmas morning I wanted to try something that would be just as easy as the first French Toast  Bake I'd made, but knew it had to be much easier on the dental bill :) I found this recipe on Pinterest and it was even better than I'd expected.  It was incredibly easy to make and tasted  fabulous! I'll definitely be making this again :)

I adapted this recipe from Lovin' Fom the Oven, I made 3/4 of the recipe in a bar pan and doubled the crumble mixture.

Cinnamon Baked French Toast


  • 1 loaf bread (I used regular sandwich bread)
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold butter, cubed (1/2cup)


  1. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. Tear the bread into chunks and place them in the greased pan.
  3. Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter and mix until the batter comes somewhat together, like little pebbles. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Take your pan with the soaking bread inside and sprinkle crumb mixture on top.
  7. If you like soggier french toast, bake for 45 minutes. For a firmer and less liquid-y french toast, bake for an hour.
  8. Serve warm with maple syrup and butter, if desired.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I can't say I remember ever really making new years resolutions...I don't think I've really been one to do any amount of serious intentional reflecting back on the previous year...and I can't remember actually writing down specific, measurable goals for the coming year.  But this year will be different.

In the past few days I've read a couple of posts from people doing exactly this and I've felt quite challenged to follow in their footsteps.

When I googled "new years reflection questions" I found a number of lists of questions, and here are some of my reflections...

What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Becoming a mom to an amazing little girl whom I love more than I dreamed possible

What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Our post-hockey getaway to Cuba, just Justin and I...enjoyed the 30+ degree heat at 28 weeks pregnant :)
Having my parents surprisingly move to Medicine Hat this fall
What was an unexpected obstacle?
I don't know if is exactly an obstacle but an unexpected difficulty was definitely the feelings of frustration at feeling so "stupid" when it came to being pregnant and the thought of becoming a mom. I'm a "frame of reference" kind of girl, I function much better in a situation where I have a frame of reference for what I'm about to do...and no such thing exists for first time mothers. But thanks to my close girlfriends who answered more questions than any human ever should have to and their wise advice, I faced our baby's arrival with confidence ;) and they were totally right...the instincts do come exactly when you need them!
Pick three words to describe 2012:
Anticipation :: Instincts :: Joy

What were the best books you read this year?
For a girl who grew up a ferocious reader, I'm sad to say I read very few books this year...emphasis on the very. This is one of my goals for 2013, to read one fiction and one non-fiction book a month. Next year I want to have a list from which to choose to answer this question!
With whom were your most valuable relationships?
I think the most significant growth in a relationship, other than with my husband, was with my sister. We've always shared a close relationship, but our friendship took a wonderful turn this year to something more special than ever. To say she has been supportive would be the understatement of the  decade...she loves my daughter almost as much as I do and looks out for the well being of my little family in a way that is truly heaven sent.
In what way(s) did you grow physically?
Lol, well I expanded quite nicely to look like I had a very large basketball under my shirt :) and then I deflated and ended the year smaller than I'd started it!
What are you most grateful for as you look back on 2012?
An amazing husband who has become a phenomenal father before my eyes
A beautiful pair of hazel eyes gazing up at me after I feed her, and the irresistible smile that follows
A house that is truly my home, full of love, and a haven for me and my little family
For all the experiences, both the wonderful and the difficult, that have made me a stronger person and  have enabled me to walk into 2013 a richer and fuller person than I was in 2012

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

four months later...

From our first night cuddling together, I knew that I wanted to leave my daughter a written piece of my heart specifically of our first year together. At some point I will hand write these letters for her, and she will have a small glimpse into what I was thinking and feeling.

It feels like she has changed so much this month, she will be five months old in just less than a week but here's my musings from month four...

Well Pumpkin you are four months old...and I'm afraid what they say is true: time is moving much  too
fast and you are a mirror of your daddy and me.  So many times I look at your little face or see your mannerisms and think to myself  "I must be looking in the mirror!"  You are an amazing little girl, so strong, already very determined and you light up every room you are carried into. We are so grateful that you just go with the flow, you can be passed around the room or the rink and you just smile and settle into the arms that are holding you. You are happy, incredibly healthy (we love the rolls on your wrists, knees, ankles...) and we couldn't be more grateful that you are ours...Here's a peek into what your little world looks like:
  • You love your kick and splash and gleefully play for as long as we let you stay in the water...and you like the water nice and warm just like your momma! Bath time is your special time with your daddy, he does a much better job of playing than I do, and my favorite sound of the day is hearing yours and your daddy's laughter coming from the bathroom each evening. 
  • You are not interested whatsoever in taking a bottle...getting lunch from anywhere but me is not an option in your mind!
  • Getting enough sleep is crucial to us seeing your joyful smile :)  You had a few days in a row where you were not interested in napping during the day and our happy girl seemed to have taken a vacation...a few days of concentrated routine and intentional napping opportunities for you made all the difference in the world!  We were grateful to see your smile return :)
  • You have started to giggle, not just a "breathy" laugh but actual eye squinty belly giggles and when you start we laugh right along with you and don't want you to stop!
  • You've become quite the drooler...the front of your shirt is often wet no matter how much we wipe your chin :) You are an expert bubble blower and practice often lol!
  • If anything is close to your mouth and you can get your hands on it, it goes straight into your mouth! You love to wrap your pudgy little fingers around ours and chomp down on our finger with your gums...we won't be surprised if a tooth pops through at some point in the near future...
  • You love to be held... This might be one of my favorite aspects of this stage.  Sure you have moments where you like to just be on your own and be able to kick and stretch out, but you have many moments where you are so incredibly content to just be held...a fussy moment can dissipate almost in an instant when I pick you up and hold you close. Even though those preceding moments can sometimes leave me a tad frazzled, my heart settles and finds its calm when I feel you relax in my arms.
Every day you open our hearts a little more to love in a new way we didn't know possible...we are forever changed because of you, and we wouldn't have it any other way...

Friday, November 23, 2012

to my little girl...

My Little Miss,

As we sit here in the light of the Christmas tree together in the stillness of the fading afternoon, my heart is totally I gaze down on your peaceful little face I can't help but feel such overwhelming gratefulness that your daddy and I have been entrusted with your life.  You have no idea how much we love you, how you melt my heart each and every day with that bright smile in your eyes and your toothless little grin that is so incredibly contagious.  Just a short time ago we held you for the first time, and today my arms ache to hold you if they've been empty for more than just a few hours...

At this point in your journey you have no issues with sleeping when we put you in your bed at night, but you aren't so interested in staying asleep during the day when try to put you down. You will however stay sound asleep if you are being held.  I determined early on that I was going to treasure every moment I could with you, that I wouldn't wish away today for the days when you were older and could do this or that, but to seize every moment I could, and today is another reminder to do just that.  Yes, there is laundry to be done, carpets to be vacuumed and other housework that could be done, but those things will always be won't always lay in my arms this way, I know there will come a time when you will be quite content to do this sleep thing on your own...and so for today I choose to forget everything else that could be done.  I choose to sit here in the stillness and hold you close...I choose to kiss your chubby cheeks and stroke your little fingers while trying to memorize every detail of your beautiful face.

I know time goes by way too fast and someday, much sooner than I will want, you won't be quite this little, and so for today this our moment is just you and me...