Category: Weekend Recap

New Neighbors…

I don’t have a ton of time, but I wanted to stop in quick and update you on our weekend happenings.

Before I do that, I also want to say Happy Easter! I can’t believe I forgot to wish you all a Happy Easter on Friday. Easter is usually a pretty big deal around here, and this year we almost missed it. Life has been crazy. We didn’t do anything special to celebrate, which I am sad about, but with Lochlyn and I being sick last week, I didn’t have time to plan much.

My weekend started on Thursday, when I was up most of the night with the stomach flu. I am hoping that I caught it from Lochlyn. It sucked, but I am so glad that it was only a 24 hour thing. Could have been so much worse.

Friday was mostly spent napping, relaxing, and hanging out with Lochlyn. Josh was home from work for Good Friday, so I guess if I had to get sick, Thursday night was a good time to do it. I planned on an early bed time for Friday night, since I still wasn’t feeling 100% and I had to work Saturday morning. I am sure glad that I was in bed before 10, because I woke up before 5am and didn’t get back to sleep.

We met our new neighbours on Friday during the day. They just bought the townhouse next to us. They aren’t moving in for another month, but they brought a mattress and stayed at their new place for the long weekend. They were so loud. They stayed up all night in their backyard having a fire and listening to loud music. After being awake for almost an hour I went over and asked them to turn the music down, which worked for all of about 5 minutes and then it was loud again. I was really surprised to find that there were only two of them there. How could they make so much noise and stay up all night? They woke Lochlyn up at 6:30am. I was so frustrated and so so grumpy, especially since I was trying to rest up after being sick and I had to work in the morning.

Saturday morning I felt pretty awful. I had the worst headache ever and was pretty achy. I headed into work and didn’t end up feeling better until I took a couple tylenols in the afternoon. I try to avoid taking tylenol/advil/whatever unless I absolutely have to. I am not really sure why I do this, I just prefer not to take it. After the tylenol, I felt a lot better and enjoyed the rest of my work day.

I came home on Saturday to dinner already made. So awesome. Josh cooked pasta with ground turkey and it was amazing. After Lochlyn went to bed, Josh and I stayed up for a bit and chatted about what we were going to do if our neighbours woke us up again. Then we called it an early night since we were both seriously lacking on sleep and didn’t know how the night would go.

smiles with trail mix

Good thing we went to bed early. At around 1:00 am our neighbours headed back outside for another fire and started getting pretty loud. They didn’t wake me up until 3:00am, but when they did, I called the RCMP right away. I am so glad I did because the RCMP were over there within 20 minutes, and gave them one warning. If they get another noise complaint, they get fined. I still heard our neighbours moving around in the house, and heading outside to smoke (a lot), but the music and loud talking was gone, and that made me happy. Unfortunately, I was pretty awake and worked up about the whole situation, and I didn’t get back to sleep until 5am. I woke up 7 to get ready for my long run before church. I headed out for my run just after 8am, and our neighbours were still awake. Either they only slept for a couple hours, or they didn’t sleep at all. They packed up all their stuff and were gone within the next couple hours. They had a fairly long drive to get home.

So weird. I don’t understand people,  I love sleeping.

I decided to be grateful that calling the RCMP worked to keep the noise down. I didn’t want to be grumpy about the situation and let it ruin my day. I got ready for my runs and headed out with the goal to not worry about time and simply enjoy it.

I put away my phone (I don’t have a Garmin, so I’ve been using RunKeeper) and just turned the volume up on the app, so I could hear updates every so often, without keeping a close eye on my pace. It was a beautiful crisp morning, and there was hardly anyone up and about. Since Lochlyn was sick the week before, my workouts were pretty lacking. I also wasn’t sure I was 100% recovered, and I was missing sleep, so I didn’t want to push myself too hard.

About half way into my run, I realized that I was making really good time. My average pace was awesome and I was feeling really good. I decided to try to push myself the last couple miles and see if I could set a new personal best. Guess what?

8 mile run

I did!!! I had yet to have a run with an average pace that was sub 10 minutes. This was my second time running 8 miles and the first time my pace was 10:04. I was really happy with this pace, and hoped to eventually knock it down to 10:00. I beat my goal by 5 seconds! Without even trying for the first half! I was pretty excited. It is crazy that three months ago I had a hard time running 3 miles at a pace of 10:55, and now I am running 8 miles at 9:55 and not feeling like I am dying for the last few miles. It is amazing how well training works, and how fast your body can adapt to it.

I think that part of the reason why I had such a great run was that I paid more attention to my nutrition, used fuel during the run, and didn’t work out for a couple days before since I was sick. This run certainly made my look forward to my 10k race next weekend. Bring it!

After my run I jumped in the shower, and got ready really quick while Lochlyn napped. Then we headed out the door to go to church. There was no one in the nursery, so I ended up staying in there and playing with Lochlyn, while I caught up with a mom friend I haven’t seen in a while. Josh and I stayed late after the service visiting with people and showing off our baby. I wish I took a picture, since Lochlyn had the cutest dress on for Easter, but my pictures were seriously lacking this weekend. After church, we came home and had lunch (I had a massive salad) and then everyone had a nap.

I wish I could say we did something exciting for Easter but we did not. Easter dinner for us was smoothies since we weren’t too hungry. Well … Lochlyn was hungry. She ate two bowls of leftover pasta, half a banana and half of my smoothie.

After dinner, we headed over to a friend’s house for a quick visit and then had another early bed time. Our new neighbours were gone and we all slept so good. Sleep is the best.

 

What would you have done to deal with our bad neighbours?

On a more positive note, how did you celebrate Easter?

To Work or Not to Work?

Good morning and happy Monday! I don’t have a lot of time, but I just wanted to check in quick and say hi.

This weekend was crazy busy, and not in a fun or good way either. I worked my first full eight hour days both Saturday and Sunday. It wasn’t my favourite. I didn’t like saying goodbye to Lochlyn, and leaving her for that long, even with Josh. I 100% trust him, but I also miss her so much.

josh and lochlyn at menchies

I think this weekend was especially hard on Josh, and I don’t blame him. He works fairly long days Monday-Friday, so it is a lot for him to be watching Lochlyn all weekend too without a break. Along with my eight hour work shifts, I do my long runs on the weekend, and have to get ready for work. Josh ends up watching Lochlyn most of the day. He tried putting her down to sleep at night for the first time this weekend too, and that didn’t go so well. Poor guy just wasn’t made to be a mom I guess!

This weekend was a good test to see if we can handle me working full days Saturday and Sunday. The verdict is: we can do it, but to be honest, I don’t want to. I was feeling a little guilty about this. So many woman work full-time and leave their kids at child care. Lots of moms work evenings and their husbands work days, they hardly see each other. I was feeling like I should just suck it up and get my butt to work. I had to realize that what works best for other people, may not be the best for us.

I really enjoy my job. I am working at a local retail store, and I don’t make a lot of money, but the people are awesome, and the job is fun. I do a lot of random jobs at the store, including sales, merchandising, social media, blogging, and writing training manuals. I would love to be a professional writer, so this is great experience for me. It is nice to get out of the house, and be me, apart from the me that is a mom.

stroller run

Despite loving my job, I don’t love leaving my little family for so long. Summer is coming, and if I am working all weekend, every weekend, I am going to be missing out a lot! My job doesn’t pay a ton, so it is hard to justify losing my weekends, for the amount of money that I am making, but we are feeling my reduced income as it is, and the little that I am making does really help us out.

I also feel like Josh is a better dad when he isn’t playing mom. He wasn’t cut out to be at home all day with a little one, just like some woman are better moms when they work full-time, and some are better moms when they stay at home.

This has been my dilemma all weekend. I have been pondering my options, and I have settled on the three that I think would work the best for our family.

My first option is to work even less hours than I already do. I think I could handle working a couple Saturdays a month, and possibly a couple evening shifts. This would probably average out to around 20 hours a month. I am not convinced it would be worth it for the amount of money I would be making. It would also be a big stretch for us financially, but I think I may be willing to try it.

Another possibility would be to ask my employer if there is any work I can do from home. I am not good at asking for things. I should have discussed this with them when I came back from maternity leave, but for some reason I couldn’t find the confidence to do it. For most of the written work that I do for them, I need access to their internal Intranet. Presently, this is only accessible from the shop. I am not sure that this would be an option, but if I don’t ask, I will never know.

My third option is to quit. I am not sure how I feel about this one. Despite being so busy this weekend, I had a good time working. As I mentioned above, I like my job. I also don’t want to give it up entirely. I don’t make a ton there, but this job is a security net for me. I know that if we were in a bind I could always pick up more hours. At the same time, if I quit, it would free up so much time in the summer that we could spend camping, and bike riding and enjoying the nice weather while we have it.

I think the answer to my dilemma lies somewhere in between all of these options. The best solution I can think of is to schedule a meeting with my employer, and be honest with them about how I am feeling. I am not the best communicator in person, and would so rather write them an e-mail, but I think talking about it would really help. They may have some other ideas that I haven’t even thought of. My goal for today is to schedule a meeting to chat. My secondary goal is to pray that I know what to do, and that everything will work out.

This grown-up thing is hard. Being a parent makes it even harder because you have a little life to consider in all your decisions. I need to balance giving Lochlyn great family life at home, with being able to provide for her financially. I also have to consider Josh!

0814newfamily

This post ended up being a lot longer than I intended, but it was great to get my thoughts out there and figure this whole work thing out. If you made it through, thanks for listening!

 

Lochlyn’s Birthday Weekend

We had such a great weekend celebrating Lochlyn’s birthday, but I am so tired! This time change is not my favourite. We set our clocks forward one hour yesterday. That means that 6:00 AM becomes 5:00 AM. It also means that today I decided to sleep in for an extra hour. I am hoping that Lochlyn follows suit.

I took the weekend off from work for Lochlyn’s first birthday. Even though she turned one on Thursday, we decided to celebrate with friends and family on the weekend. We had a great time and I think that Lochlyn did too! Unfortunately, I didn’t take very many pictures and I am relying on my parents to send me theirs. I will share what I have, and you may see more once I get them.

lochlyn playing on floor

Friday night involved groceries, tidying up the house, and an early bed time for all of us. On Saturday morning I got up bright and early and got ready before Lochlyn was awake. Once she woke up, I got started on a big birthday cake, and a little vanilla smash cake for her. They turned out really great. it was also ambitious of me to make both cakes the day of her little party!

After Lochlyn’s first nap on Saturday, Josh and I took her into Red Deer to go to the wave pool. She loved watching all the bigger kids playing, and wanted to join in! She also liked floating down the lazy fiver and splashing in the shallow end of the pool. We haven’t taken her swimming for a long time, and it was a lot of fun!

yellow bikini

I didn’t take my camera into the pool, but here is a shot from the change room! I had to show off her little bikini

After the pool, we came home and put Lochlyn down for her second nap. Then it was a mad rush to tidy up the house and get it ready before my parents, and some friends of ours came over to celebrate. It wasn’t a big party, but it was perfect for us. We hung out and watched the kids play for a bit, and then it was time for cake!

ready for cake

It took Lochlyn a few minutes to get into it, but she loved her cake! I haven’t given her any sweet treats up to this point, so it was all new for her. The cake ended up all over her, and a good portion went into her mouth as well. I am glad I didn’t plan this right before bed, because I don’t think she could have slept with all that sugar!

funny cake picture

After cake Lochlyn opened some presents, and all the kids played with them. She got lots of books and shoes, which I was excited about. She also got some interesting toys and a really beautiful dress. She is such a lucky girl!

driving to pool

After our friends left, my parents and Josh and I ordered in take out from the Thai restaurant in town. I didn’t get any pictures, but it was really good. I love Thai food.

After dinner, we put Lochlyn down for the night and then Josh and I decided to take advantage of free babysitting since my parents were staying over, and went to a movie. I am not a night person, and the movie didn’t start until almost 10:00. This is super late for me. We watched Focus, and I wasn’t into it at all. I ended up sleeping through a good chunk of it. I would rather sleep then watch a bad movie, even if it is in the theatre.

We all slept in on Sunday morning, and then I had plans to go for a run. It was supposed to be a 5k race weekend for me, but there weren’t any races going on nearby (except for a half marathon), so I opted to run alone. I did try to keep my pace up as much as I could, and ended up finishing 5k in 27:44. I was happy with this speed, since my run felt HARD! I was expecting it to be easy, since I have been running 10K for my longer weekend runs the past couple of weeks. I think eating so much junk food on Saturday had something to do with it. I guess birthday cake icing isn’t the best running fuel. Staying up late on Saturday night probably didn’t help either. Lesson learned I guess.

I ended up with sniffles and couldn’t stop sneezing on Sunday evening and I am still sniffling as I type this up today. I am really hoping I am not getting a cold, but I guess that could have contributed to my hard run on Sunday too.

After my run, I came home and got ready, then we all had lunch and headed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. We took Lochlyn to play at a nearby park, and then walked down to the lake before it was nap time for the little one. She started to get fussy so we headed home, put her down, and said good bye to my parents.

playing on swing

 

Poor Lochlyn had the sun in her eyes!

The rest of Sunday involved lots of relaxing, and a super early bed time. I guess one thing that is nice about the time change is I can go to bed at what used to be 8:00, and it is actually 9:00 (does that make sense?). I am definitely planning to go to bed early again tonight. I love sleeping.

Lochlyn had such a perfect birthday weekend. I am so thankful that we have such great friends and family to share it with. She is definitely a loved little girl!

 

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Are you a night person or a morning person?

Valentine’s Day Weekend

I know it’s late, but I haven’t filled you guys in on what my daily life has been like for awhile, so I wanted to share my weekend with you. Unfortunately, I feel like I am not going to be able to remember everything that happened, so it might be a more brief recap than I originally intended! (edited to add) Nevermind – this isn’t brief at all!

My Friday (because the weekend really starts on Friday!) was spent enjoying the day with Lochlyn. I also wanted to do something special for Josh for Valentine’s day, but I hadn’t planned too much, so I decided to make him his favourite childhood dessert – Death By Chocolate. For those of you that haven’t tried this before. Death by Chocolate is a trifle with layers of brownie, chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and crushed Scor bars. I used boxed brownie and chocolate pudding mixes, because it would have been so much work if I made it all from scratch!

death by chocolate

(I actually made this in an extra large sized mixing bowl. You can’t tell from the photo, but it was pretty huge!)

I did make the whipped cream from scratch, and it was so good! I definitely ate quite a few spoonfuls while I was assembling the trifle. I didn’t like whipped cream when I was a kid. I couldn’t understand why anyone would choose to use whipped cream for desserts instead of icing. After tasting that whipped cream, I think my opinion has changed! I still prefer cream cheese icing though.

Lochlyn and I also headed out to the gym together, and I wore my new Fabletics leggings. I wasn’t sure about the pattern at first, but I really like them. I have a bigger lower body in proportion to my upper body, and so typically I try to go solid and darker on the bottom, but I wanted a bit of a change with my gym clothes. These leggings were super comfy, and I am glad I chose them!

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(I apologize for the crotch shot!)

After the gym, I refuelled with a smoothie while Lochlyn napped. When she woke up she had a smoothie too, and then we headed out the door to get some groceries. She is a good little shopper and is pretty content as long as I let her play with my grocery list. I bought her a new toy for Valentine’s Day, and I also bought her some baby hair elastics. Of course I had to try them out when we got home.

first ponytail

On Friday night Josh and I had talked about ordering sushi, but our favourite sushi place was closed for renovations so we skipped it and had eggs (I think?). We decided to save the sushi for another night. After Lochlyn went to bed we hung out and talked for quite awhile. It was really nice. Normally we just turn a movie on when we are hanging out, so it was cool to have some good conversation instead.

Saturday was a busy day for me. I got up fairly early to get ready for work before Lochlyn woke up. When I heard my little girl in the monitor, I went in to breastfeed her, then had breakfast and headed off to work. Lochlyn got to spend Valentine’s Day with her Daddy.

dad and lochlyn valentines

It was a long weekend here, and the store that I work at was hosting a community fundraiser event, so it was busy. I love busy days, but I left work really tired. I didn’t have a lot of time to eat dinner because we had plans to go watch the fireworks down at the beach. I don’t even remember what I ate, but I know I did it quickly, and then was back out the door.

It was fun watching Lochlyn’s reaction to the loud fireworks. We were very close, and it felt like they were going to fall on us! She didn’t seem scared, but she wasn’t exactly excited either. She just stared at them, and then when the show was over, she kept looking up at the sky for more.

family day fireworksangela and lochlyn fireworksangela lochlyn fireworks

After the fireworks, Josh, Lochlyn and I headed home for an early bed time. We are so exciting.

Sunday had me getting up fairly early again to go for a longer run. My run was amazing, the weather was beautiful, and I was able to run outside (so much better!). I ran five miles, and improved my average mile/minute time by just over 20 seconds! I am not very fast, as I am just new to running longer distances, so I was pretty happy about this. My average speed on Sunday was 10:23 minutes/mile.

After my run, I got ready for work, while Lochlyn napped and Josh went to church. Then we traded off and Josh came home and I went to work. Work was a lot slower on Sunday, but my day still went by pretty fast, and I only had a five hour shift.

Sunday night was super rushed again. I got off of work at 6:15, came home and made a quick salad, and then headed out the door to friend’s house. I ate the salad on their couch while we watched a movie and hung out with their family. They have the cutest kids ever. I wish I could post a picture for you guys, but I haven’t told them about the blog, and don’t want to post pictures of other people’s kids without asking. Their youngest son is three and he absolutely adores Josh, it is so cute to watch them play together. They oldest is seven and she loves Lochlyn. I think she will make a great babysitter in a few years!

Sunday night was pretty rough. Lochlyn woke up at 9:30pm. Then she woke up again at 1:30am, and didn’t go back to sleep until 5am. I have no idea what is going on with this girl! She usually sleeps 12 hours a night. She has been getting so upset whenever I put her down in her crib. Like hyperventilating, having a temper tantrum upset. I have never seen her get so worked up. Josh and I were thinking about letting her cry a bit again, but it is hard when she is so sad. I hope that nothing else is wrong! I finally brought her to bed with me and sent Josh to sleep in the basement. We got a good three hours of sleep cuddled up together in bed. She just does not want to be alone!

Monday was a holiday for Josh, and I didn’t have to work either. It was nice to finally have a day together without a ton of plans. We got a few things done around the house, and then we drove into Red Deer for a little family date. Menchies! Too bad Lochlyn can’t have any yet, but it won’t be long now. We are trying to avoid giving her sugar until she reaches the one year mark.

josh and lochlyn at menchies

I always get pretty boring froyo flavours. My favourites are vanilla and cake batter. They were all out of cake batter, so I decided to try tropical taro and pecan praline, with my regular vanilla. The taro was just okay, but the praline was amazing. I would definitely recommend it. Of course I had to top it off with some cheesecake pieces. I also added peanut butter cups which was a bit of a mistake, so I picked them out and ate them first. I prefer no chocolate on my froyo!

menchies froyo

When we got home from Red Deer, Lochlyn had a nap, I went to the gym, and Josh worked out in our basement. Then it was time to make dinner, and get ready for the work week.

Now that I am working on the weekends, they feel pretty jam-packed. It is hard to make plans, or even spend time together as a family. My job itself has been going really well. The other staff are great, it is an easy position, and I get to socialize a lot with other customers. I am hoping that if I start working some evenings during the week, I won’t have to work every single day on the weekend. I want to get in some family time this summer!

valentines mom and baby

 

What’s your favourite froyo flavour? 

Ever tried death by chocolate? Did you like it? What was your favourite childhood dessert? Mine was angel food cake. I think mostly just because of the name. Angel sounds like Angela!

Maple Sesame Granola

I can’t believe it is already Monday again. This weekend just flew by. I think that working Saturday and Sunday is going to take some getting used to. It makes me feel like I don’t actually get a weekend at all. Josh works Monday to Friday, so in the past the weekend felt like a break for me because he would help out more with Lochlyn. This weekend felt even more busy than my time during the week.

Saturday involved going for a run, going to Costco, and doing some work for another job that I have picked up that I can’t share much about (Josh calls it my mysterious job). This was a busy day, but I had a really good time. I got to spend the day with Lochlyn and she loves going to Costco, so we had a lot of fun.

mom selfie

On Sunday I worked for five hours at my not so secretive retail job. The first part of the day flew by and it was great getting to know the new staff. The last part of my shift however, went by soooo slow. I forgot how long a shift can take when you aren’t busy.

Besides the slowness of my shift, work was pretty good. It actually wasn’t too hard leaving Lochlyn. I think I would have had a really difficult time taking her to childcare, but leaving her with Josh wasn’t a big deal. I am happy that they got to spend the time together. I think spending more time on the weekend together will be really good for them.

Somewhere in the midst of my busy weekend, I found the time to make a yummy recipe that I want to share with you. It is actually super easy to make, so it didn’t take up a lot of my time, and it is so good. What is this recipe you ask? Maple Sesame Granola! It is such an easy and convenient snack to have on hand, and it is healthy too. I like to top my smoothies with this, eat it with yogurt, or just munch on it by the handful.

maple sesame granola 1

This granola has a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup, that combines perfectly with the sesame seeds. I also added coconut because I love coconut in almost everything, and this granola is no exception. I think the size and texture of the dried blueberries works perfect in this recipe, but you could add any dried fruit. Raisins would be really good too! This recipe can easily be gluten-free if you use certified gluten free oats.

maple sesame granola 3

Maple Sesame Granola

  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large roasting pan, combine oats, almond meal, ground flax seed, coconut, chopped almonds, sesame seeds, and cinnamon until evenly distributed. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine maple syrup and coconut oil. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Once it is boiling, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  4. Slowly pour syrup mixture over the ingredients in the roasting pan. Make sure to stir as you pour, so that the syrup gets evenly distributed. Continue stirring until very well combined
  5. Bake for 1 3/4 hours, or until the granola starts to turn light brown. Stir mixture every half hour until ready. Once granola is ready, remove from the oven and stir in dried blueberries.
  6. Allow the granola to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Store granola at room temperature for up to two weeks. If you need to, it also freezes very well.

maple sesame granola 4

This recipe does not last long in our house. My husband and I both love it! I also made a batch for Christmas gifts this year and it was a hit.  Let me know if you try it!

 

Do you prefer being busy at work, or do you like it when your days are easy and slow? I much prefer being busy!

What’s your favourite way to eat granola?

Low-key Weekend

Happy, happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was absolutely fantastic! So good in fact, that I pretty much took no pictures. Don’t worry, you aren’t missing much. Nothing too exciting happened, it was just a great weekend spent relaxing with the family, and getting stuff done around the house. These are the best kind of weekends in my opinion – a healthy mix of productive and restful. I had to make sure that I go the most out of the weekend because it was my last weekend on maternity leave before going back to work.

Right now it is looking like I will be working weekends until I finish breastfeeding Lochlyn. Once my baby girl is weaned, I will add some evening shifts in too. I am nervous about working so much, but I am going to try to have a positive attitude and be thankful that I have a flexible job to go back to.

lochlyn saying dad

I have spent some time thinking and praying (and stressing) about my work situation over the past few weeks, and I am starting to feel better about it. As you may know, I would love to be a stay-at-home mom, and do some freelance writing jobs every now and then. Before I went on maternity leave, I was working at a clothing and snowboard shop, mostly doing retail sales, with some marketing, and social media work.This is the position that I am going back to, and it looks like it will be mostly sales at this point.

I have decided that I am still going to pursue freelance writing, with the hope that it will supplement my income. Eventually I would like to do all my work from home, and spend more time with my baby girl. Not very many people know their dream jobs, and I am lucky enough to know what I would love to be doing at this point in my life, so I have decided to pursue it. I will share more details with you guys as I get my new little writing business up and going. In the meantime, I was planning to share my weekend with you…

Let’s start with Friday night shall we? I didn’t feel like cooking, so Josh picked me up a salad from the grocery store, and he opted for a frozen pizza. We hung out and talked after Lochlyn went to bed, and ended up watching a bit of the movie Noah. Has anyone seen it? It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I think we only got about a third of the way through. Also it was so not accurate! Around 10:30 we shut if off and headed to bed. I love going to bed early.

On Saturday morning we had plans to attend a birthday party for one of our friend’s kids. Last minute, we found out that the party was an hour away. We decided to scrap that idea and spent the day getting some things done around the house instead. I also went for a run on the treadmill and did some groceries and meal planning. I know it’s lame, but I love the feeling of accomplishment from ticking stuff off the to-do list. After Lochlyn went to bed Josh and I spent the evening hanging out and talking. I know it doesn’t sound that exciting, but we hadn’t been spending as much time together lately, and it was great to just catch up.

engagement

 

Here is a random picture of Josh and I from forever ago since I took no pictures this weekend

Sunday was a lazy day that involved a lot of Netflix and lounging around. I also baked a couple batches of muffins, and made tacos! In the evening we went to a friend’s house for a quick visit and then headed home to get organized for the week and put Lochlyn to bed.

We had such a laid back, low key weekend, and I loved it. With the holidays we hadn’t had a chance to spend time together as a family in quite awhile and it was much needed.

 

What is your dream job for this moment?

What was the best part of your weekend?

Lochlyn’s First Christmas

Happy Monday everyone! It feels like I have been away from this little blog forever! I think it feels extra long because so much has happened since the last time that I posted. I meant to come at you all with a post on Saturday, but I ended up being pretty busy with family, and my high school reunion, and … let’s be honest, sleeping.

I hope that you all had a good Christmas. Mine was amazing. I had so much fun spending the past few days with family and friends, and most especially this little one. Christmas is so much fun with kids (or babies!).

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at our house for the first time ever. I loved it even though I found myself pretty busy the days leading up to it, with getting the house ready, and packing for our trip to Cochrane.

christmas tree

On Christmas Eve, my parents arrived at our place at around 4:00. We visited and played with Lochlyn until dinner time. We have this great tradition with my parents on Christmas Eve. We order in sushi! No dishes, no cooking, and sushi is my favorite so it works out awesome.

christmas eve sushi

 The only picture I took turned out blurry – sorry guys!

Dinner was fantastic. We ordered from a local sushi place called Tokio Sushi and I am always pretty impressed when we get food from them. Their prices are great, and their servings are generous. Most importantly, everything is fresh and delicious. We ordered a couple assorted trays that included some maki rolls, nigiri, and sashimi. I also ordered some extra salmon and tuna sashimi for everyone to share.

mom dad sushi

After dinner, Lochlyn went to bed and we ate Christmas baking with my parents, and opened stockings. We decided to open our gifts on Christmas Eve since Christmas morning was going to be pretty rushed, and Lochlyn had a ton of gifts to open. Also, we knew we would all be pretty focused on Lochlyn in the morning.

grandpa and lochlyn

On Christmas morning I was awake bright and early at 5am. I get so excited for Christmas that I can’t sleep – I am such a kid at heart. Everyone else woke up around 7:30 – we are all early risers I guess. After I fed Lochlyn, she opened a huge pile of presents from my parents, and Josh and I. She is such a blessed little girl, and got so many great things. She loved the present opening, especially tearing the wrapping paper off of boxes.

lochlyn opening piano

After Lochlyn went down for her nap, it was breakfast time for the rest of us. I made this bread pudding, and it was so good! It is technically baked french toast, topped with a cinnamon and brown sugar crumble. I highly recommend it. I served some christmas-y looking fruit salad. In true family tradition, we also had mimosas (except not me, since I am still breastfeeding).

christmas bread pudding

After breakfast we got all ready to go, hopped in the car and headed to my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Calgary for Christmas dinner. On the menu was a full turkey dinner, with lots of Christmas baking for dessert.

christmas baking

Lochlyn loved playing with all of her great aunts and second cousins. She also got to spend some time with her great-grandma. She is such a social butterfly and never makes strange with anybody. She loves having everyone’s attention and she got a lot of it, especially since she is the first grandchild on both sides of our family.

playing with blocks

After dinner Josh and I called it an early night and headed to my parent’s house to get Lochlyn to bed. I was nervous that she wouldn’t sleep well in her playpen, but she fell asleep right away, and slept awesome!

We spent the next few days in Calgary visiting with family and friends. On boxing day we went to my Uncle’s (my dad’s brother’s) house for leftover turkey dinner. Am I right in saying that turkey leftovers taste just as good the next day?! Dinner was so good I couldn’t believe that it didn’t come right out of the oven. My uncle has only met Lochlyn once before so I was glad he got the chance to spend some time with her. He has a daughter who is 3, so we had fun playing with her too!

grandma and l

On the 27th, my Grandpa (my Dad’s dad) came to my parent’s house for brunch. My mom served two amazing crustless quiches. I wish I took photos, but I was too busy eating them. It was great to visit with my grandpa. He lives pretty far away from us, so we don’t get to see him often.

lochlyn playing blocks

In the afternoon I went for a quick run by my parents’ house. It was actually the first time I have run outside since the summer, and it was hard! My parents live in a really hilly area, and I am used to running on the flat treadmill. My total elevation gain during my 5k run was 519 ft. I think I need to spend some more time running hills, because I am sore today.

cochrane run

After my run, I started getting ready for my high school reunion. I know I briefly mentioned it on the blog, but I had my 10 year high school reunion this year. Crazy hey? I ended up going to the reunion with my best friend, Steph, from high school, while our husbands stayed home since they didn’t know anyone.

reunion dress

 

My graduating class was somewhere between 400-500 people. Steph and I didn’t even recognize most of the people at the reunion. The venue also wasn’t the greatest. It took place at a large pub, which was fun, but extremely loud. It was hard to have a conversation with anyone. Not very many of my old friends made it out, but it was good to see some familiar faces. It was also interesting to see how much some people have changed, and how much some people haven’t changed at all. I am glad that I made it to the reunion, but I wouldn’t exactly say that it was a great time.

high school reunionCan you find me? Hint – I am the whitest one in the photo! My friend Steph is to my right.

I didn’t make it home on Saturday night until 1am. I am usually in bed by 10, so it was a late night for me. The next morning, Lochlyn woke me up nice and early and Josh, Lochlyn and I drove to Steph’s house to meet for brunch before the drive home. Lochlyn loved playing with Steph’s little pomeranian. I wish I took pictures because they had so much fun together!

After brunch my little family finally made the trip home. We had such a good holiday, but it is so nice to be home again. One of the best things about travelling, is it makes you love home so much more. We have another busy week ahead of us this week with Josh’s parent’s coming. They get here tomorrow evening, and are leaving on Friday. We are planning on celebrating Christmas with them all over again. I know Lochlyn is excited!

lochlyn with card

 

How many days do you usually end up celebrating Christmas?

Did you, or would you go to your High School reunion?

 

Let’s Talk Traditions

This was one busy weekend for us. It was filled with rushing around getting all the last minute details ready for Christmas, and getting our house ready for guests.

I was going to post a weekend recap, but there wasn’t very much interesting that happened, so instead I am going to talk about what our Christmas is looking like.

Christmas is different this year. Actually the last few years it has really changed. My brother moved overseas to the UK and he hasn’t come home for Christmas in a couple years. He won’t be coming home this year either. My brother, David is a musician, and Christmas is his busy season, so he stays home to work. I miss him a lot, but he is visiting in February!

david playing guitar

My cousins are getting older (not that old – I am still the oldest!). They have girlfriends and boyfriends, and other families to visit. They can’t always make it family gatherings. My grandparents are also getting older and it is getting harder for them to come to family gatherings, or to stay very long.

grandparents and lochlyn

I also have to consider Josh’s family during the holidays. They live in Manitoba, which is a VERY long and boring drive away. We fly there when we go and visit them, especially during the holidays. Spending holidays with Josh’s family was actually something that was very difficult for me to adjust to, and I have to admit that I am still adjusting. I only see my extended family during the holidays and Christmas has always been a huge family time for me. Before getting married I had never spent a Christmas away from home.

When we got married, Josh wasn’t very big into Christmas. He didn’t always go home, and it wasn’t that important to him. Since then, he is getting closer to his family, and it is getting more important to him to spend time with them. I am really happy about this, but it is still a big adjustment for me. I love seeing my in-laws, but I don’t love making the trip during Christmas and being away from my family. I am thankful that this year, we are in Calgary, but it means that next year we will likely travel to Brandon, and I am already getting sad about it.

grandma grandpa thanksgiving

Obviously, another big change that we have this year is Lochlyn. Of course she is a good change, but still a change that is going to affect our Christmas. I am so excited to watch her experience the holiday. I know that each year will get even more fun as she starts getting excited for the big day. It also means that Christmas is more busy. Everything takes longer when you have a little one to think about! It also means that our extended family really wants to see her. They don’t get a chance to see Lochlyn that often (a few times a year).

Dealing with changes around the holidays is difficult. I loved all of our old family traditions and I wish they could stay the same. At the same time, I am excited that Josh and I have a family of our own now, and we will get to create our own traditions together.

lochlyn and eeyore playing under tree

This year I am learning the importance of setting boundaries with family and friends, and making sure that Josh, Lochlyn and I get time together too. We are pretty much maxed out this holiday, meaning we can’t fit one more thing, or person in. We have had to say no to seeing people. This is really hard, especially when it is family. I felt really guilty about it because my favorite part about Christmas is all of the family time. I think that if we tried to see everyone and do everything, we wouldn’t get a chance to spend time with each other, which is really important to me. It also would be really busy and not fair to Lochlyn. I want her to have a good Christmas.

This year we are spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at our house. Josh has Christmas Eve off work, and we have plans to exchange gifts with each other, and then go skating with some friends. My parents are coming up in the afternoon and spending the night with us. We will be ordering in sushi and spending the evening with my parents.

Christmas morning is going to be a bit rushed. We will celebrate it here, before we drive out to Calgary to have Christmas dinner at my Aunt’s house. We are staying a few nights at my parent’s house in Cochrane, which is a town outside of Calgary. On boxing day, we have plans to visit with my Dad’s side of the family. On the 27th we will see my grandpa, and then in the evening I have my high school reunion. On the 28th, we will drive back to Sylvan Lake and get ready for Josh’s parents to come stay with us. That means groceries, meal planning, and cleaning. They get here on the 30th.

That is about as busy as I want to be this Christmas. I would like a chance to spend some time with Lochlyn and Josh, and it is going to be hard to squeeze that in. I am excited for this new way of celebrating Christmas, but I do miss the way we used to celebrate it.

lochlyn's first christmas present

Another thing that has made Christmas really different, is not having my grandma with us anymore. My dad’s mom passed away about 7 years ago, and my family still really feels the change. Christmas was her birthday, and it was always a special time for her. I miss her a lot at Christmas, and it always seems like the perfect day to spend remembering her, even as we celebrate.

I didn’t get a chance to post my meal plan for the week on Saturday, so I thought I would share a couple recipes that I am planning to make during the next couple days with you guys. I will also let you in on Lochlyn’s new foods! I’m not cooking too much this week, too many other things to do!

Recipes for the week

Lochlyn’s New Foods

  • Beef (we actually tried this last night, she loved it!)
  • Lentils
  • Chick peas

Food Prep

  • Prep breakfast food for Lochlyn for while we are out of town
  • Cut up cheese, sausage, and veggies for easy Christmas day lunch

 

Do you have a hard time with changing traditions?

What are you having for breakfast Christmas morning?

 

Gluten-Free Date Squares

I was planning to do a weekend recap post for you guys today, but the truth is, my weekend was pretty unexciting. I think I can probably summarize it up in about a paragraph, so that is all it is going to get!

I spent the weekend baking, cleaning up the house, and running errands like a crazy person while I had Josh to stay home with Lochlyn. The Christmas busyness is here in full force, and I am not a fan. Yesterday I went to Walmart, Sobey’s, and Shoppers Drug Mart, and when I got home I was so done. Good thing I am officially done my Christmas shopping!

lochlyn playing in crib

Okay, that’s enough talk about my weekend. I told you I could summarize it in a paragraph. Today I have another recipe to share for you all. This one is one of my very favorite Christmas baking recipes. One of our first Christmases together, I asked Josh what I should make for Christmas baking. Of course his first suggestion was gingerbread. His second was something along the lines of “I forget what they’re called, but they have dates in them”. I asked him a ton more questions to try to figure out what he was talking about, and decided he meant date squares.

date squares 1

I don’t think I had ever had a date square before. To be honest, they didn’t sound all that appealing, but Josh wanted them, and being the good newly married wife that I was, I made them for myself him.

date squares 6

Turns out I absolutely love date squares. These ones are extra soft and chewy, with a thick layer of sweet, date filling. The buttery, oatmeal crumble on top takes these up an extra notch to full-on amazingness.

date squares 2

This year I decided to make them gluten-free. As you probably already guessed, I am not gluten-free at all. A lot of my family members stick to eat a gluten-free diet though. Both my parents, my grandma, my aunt, and a couple of my cousins, all prefer to eat gluten-free. I decided to cater to their preferences with these date squares, and to be honest, I can’t even tell the difference between these and my gluten-y version.

I always make these squares at Christmas, but they would be delicious any time of the year. Here is my super easy recipe:

date squares 3

 

Gluten-Free Date Squares

  • 3 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup cold salted butter, cut into 1/2 inch sized pieces
  1. Place dates and water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until the water has been absorbed (apx. 8-10 mins)
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla
  3. Leave dates to cool to room temperature, then puree until smooth in blender
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Line a 9″x13″ pan with parchment paper or tinfoil, and then butter or spray the liner lightly.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, mix together oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon until combined
  7. Add butter and cut it into the mixture using a pastry blender. Continue to cut in until the mixture appears crumbly. The majority of the crumbs should be between the size of a raisin and a pea.
  8. Press 1/2 – 2/3 (maybe like 3/5’s!) of the mixture into the base of your pan.
  9. Spread date filling onto crust
  10. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Crumbs may not fully cover date filling. They will spread out once they are cooked
  11. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Edges and top should be just slightly browning.
  12. Allow to cool on a wire rack
  13. Once completely cool, cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge to set for at least one hour. I like to leave mine overnight.
  14. Cut into squares

Recipes make 24 good-sized squares. These keep well in the freezer.

date squares 4

date squares 5

Let me know if you try these!

 

Have you ever tried date squares? What did you think?

Do you prefer to eat gluten-free? If so, how come?

 

 

Lochlyn vs. Santa

This morning was one of those Mondays that I woke up thinking that it was still the weekend. It was 5:30 am (go me for waking up early!) and I woke up and realized Josh wasn’t in bed anymore. I thought maybe he couldn’t sleep and had gone to sleep in the basement or something. Then I realized that my alarm was going off and that I had set it to try and wake up early. Sigh… it’s Monday already.

You are probably wondering why I am up at 5:30 am? I have decided to try to get up earlier and see if I am still sleepy during the day. The extra time in the mornings will help me get a lot more accomplished, and then Josh and I will have more of a similar schedule during the week. Josh usually wakes up at 5:00 during the weekdays. We will see how it goes.

This weekend was a busy one. I can’t remember what we did on Thursday this week, so I am going to start with Friday for once.

Friday evening we had been thinking about putting up the Christmas tree, but it didn’t end up happening. I know we were busy, but to be honest, I don’t even remember what we did Friday night. Wow, getting up at 5:30 am and blogging right away might not be the best idea after all…

baby on floor in pjs

Saturday we had a full day ahead of us. I got up pretty early, had a delicious mug of coffee with So Nice Holiday Nog added to it, and by then I was ready to start my day. Saturday was a mix of family time, cleaning, and getting the Christmas tree set up.

Our tree is getting more and more sparse every year. Eeyore likes to climb it when we aren’t looking and knocks the ornaments off. I want to buy new ones, but I know that a good chunk of them will end up broken. So sad.

christmas tree

Saturday evening we went in to the mall and got most of the rest of our Christmas shopping done. I have a few stocking stuffer things to pick up still, but for the most part I am finished. The mall actually wasn’t too busy. I would recommend Christmas shopping in the evenings around dinner time on the weekend if you still have shopping left to do.

We also took Lochlyn to meet Santa on Saturday. She did really well. It was hard to take a picture while she was looking because she just wanted to eat Santa’s beard. This Santa had a great beard (even though it was fake!). She got a pretty good fistful of it, and I think it ended up in her mouth a few times. You can see in the picture that the Santa had to hold her hand to keep her from grabbing his beard. Here is a picture of the picture that we got (please excuse the poor quality). I wanted to buy the digital image, but it was crazy expensive for one photo. I couldn’t bring myself to do it after all the money we had just spent on Christmas presents!

photo with santa


 Josh and I have been talking a little bit about how we are going to approach the whole Santa Claus thing with Lochlyn. We aren’t sure if we are going to tell her that Santa Claus is real, or tell her the truth from an early age. Friends of ours tell their kids that Santa Claus is a character, just like Mickey Mouse is a character. He isn’t an actual person. Their kids still get crazy excited for Santa to come, even though they know he isn’t real. We may do something like this too, as long as we think that Lochlyn will be able to handle not telling her friends that Santa isn’t real.

I found out that Santa wasn’t real at a really young age (6) and I was really upset. I was the type of kid who probably would have rather been told the truth the whole time. The way that I found out wasn’t the greatest either. I had heard some of the older kids at school say that the easter bunny wasn’t real. I was at easter dinner with some of my younger cousins and I was trying to show off and act cool. I started telling them that the easter bunny wasn’t real. My parents took me aside and said that “even though the easter bunny isn’t real, you can’t go around telling other kids that”. I was devastated. I felt lied to. I actually still believed 100% up until they told me that. I ended up figuring out that if the easter bunny isn’t real than Santa, and the tooth fairy weren’t either.

Anyways… on our way home from the mall I ordered take out. After I was done putting Lochlyn to bed, Josh and I ate Thai food and watched Elf. Perfect evening.

Sunday morning I set my alarm nice and early so that I could get ready to go to Cochrane (a town outside of Calgary where my parents live) before my baby girl woke up. I did manage to get a shower in, but Lochlyn ended up waking up early too. She hasn’t woken up before 8:00 am in probably 2 months, but of course the one day that I needed her to sleep in longer she ended up waking up early. The rest of the morning was a mad rush of trying to get Lochlyn fed, bathed, and get us packed for our quick day trip.

driving passenger selfie

Our trip to Cochrane was planned to check out my parents’ new house and help them move their elliptical into their exercise room. The drive was really foggy and icy but it was beautiful. Lochlyn slept in the car on the way down and the way back. Falling asleep in the car is a new thing for this girl, so we were pretty happy! Cochrane is about a 2 hour drive from us, and she was content the whole time!

driving morning fog

My parents new house is beautiful. It is quite a bit smaller than their previous house. They had it built and just moved in last week, so it is brand new. They seem to be really enjoying it, and it is nice for them to move out of Calgary and into a smaller community. I think they will really like it.

dad and lochlynmom and lochlyn new house

We stayed for a couple hours and then headed home. When we got home I fed Lochlyn, and then made a quick trip to the grocery store.  After Lochlyn was down for the night I started working on a little project that I am making Lochlyn for Christmas. I am excited to show you guys once I am finished. I hope it turns out!

That was my weekend. It was a good one but went by way too quick. It is hard to believe that there is only two more weekends left until Christmas! It comes up so fast!

 

How old were you when you found out about Santa Claus? Will you, or do you tell your kids (if you have any) that he is real?