Category: Holidays

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?

 

Merry Christmas

merry christmas 2014

 

I hope that your Christmas, is filled with love, happiness, and peace.

I will be gone from HonestlyAngela for a few days, while I celebrate the gift of life and grace with family and friends.

Much love,

Angela

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?

 

 

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

My family didn’t have gingerbread cookies at Christmas time when I was a kid. I am not really sure why that was. My mom made a lot of Christmas baking, but I guess gingerbread just didn’t make the list. Maybe this is why I have never been a huge fan of gingerbread during the holidays. I love gingersnap cookies, but I wouldn’t choose a gingerbread Christmas cookie over all the other options.

soft gingerbread close up

At least, this was how I felt until I tried Josh’s Aunt Kathy’s gingerbread cookies. She lives a couple provinces away, but always sends us up a big batch every year at Christmas. Josh’s Aunt is a fantastic baker, and these cookies are never a disappointment. They have the perfect blend of ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Aunt Kathy rolls out the cookies extra thin, and cooks them long enough to give them lots of crunch.

The only thing I would change about Aunt Kathy’s gingerbread? I like chewy cookies. I realize that gingerbread is traditionally crunchy, but I don’t care. I prefer it soft, and chewy, and slightly crispy around the edges. I still enjoy Aunt Kathy’s cookies a ton, but when Josh asked me to make her recipe a few years ago, I knew I would be switching it up a bit.

soft broken gingerbread

Here is my version of Aunt Kathy’s gingerbread cookies. They are soft and chewy, with a bit of crispiness around the edges. The perfect blend of spices is still the same, but they are slightly thicker and  even a little bit cake-y. I would recommend them if you are a soft cookie kinda person like myself. Josh also prefers his cookies chewy, so my recipe is a pretty big hit!

Cut-out cookies are a lot of work, and a lot of mess. I only make these once a year, and they disappear fast! I need to hide some in the freezer so there are still some left at Christmas!

broken gingerbread close up

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 cups flour
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cream butter, brown sugar, and egg in a mixmaster or handheld mixer until smooth
  3. Beat in molasses
  4. Beat in soda and spices until thoroughly combined
  5. Add flour, mixing in a cup at a time. You can start mixing it in with a mixmaster, but you may have to mix it by hand. This dough gets pretty thick
  6. Store cookie dough in the fridge for a minimum of three hours to make it easier to handle. I like to store mine overnight
  7. Roll dough into a ball using lots of flour on your hands so the dough doesn’t stick
  8. On a floured surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll dough out until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick
  9. Using a floured medium-large size cookie cutter, make your cookie shapes one at a time from the dough and transfer them onto a non-greased cookie sheet using a spatula. Remove the cookie cutter from the dough once it is on the cookie sheet to retain the cookie’s shape better. Make sure that the cookies are spaced out at least an inch and a half apart. They spread out a bit.
  10. Once your first cookie sheet is loaded up, place it on the middle rack in your oven and back for 4-6 minutes. I bake my fairly large size cookies for 5 minutes.  You don’t want to over-cook these, so watch really closely. The very edges of the cookie should be just starting to slightly brown. They will continue to cook a little after you take them out.
  11. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes, and then transfer them carefully to a wire rack to cool completely
  12. Once you have the first cookie sheet in the oven, continue with step nine for the second cookie sheet. Make sure that you still keep an eye on the cookies that are baking. It goes a lot faster cooking one sheet at a time so you can load up the second while the first one is baking

This recipe makes about 24 medium-large sized gingerbread men. I usually double it because Josh is a gingerbread cookie monster and I like to have some to give away.

stacked gingerbread

Do you prefer gingerbread cookies to be soft and chewy, or thin and crunchy?

What is your favorite Christmas cookie? My favorite Christmas baking would be butter tarts, nanaimo bars, or date squares (I can’t decide!). I don’t think I have a favorite Christmas cookie though.

 

 

 

A Canadian Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! I hope you have an awesome day filled with love, family, good food, and thankfulness.

american thanksgiving

I think it is awesome how important Americans make Thanksgiving. It is so much more of a big deal than it is here in Canada. I never really understood Thanksgiving when I was little. Actually I kind of forgot about it. The holiday typically meant one day off school, and a family dinner with turkey. That was about it. It wasn’t Christmas with all the presents and Santa. It wasn’t Easter with a giant basket full of candy. It was a turkey dinner; which I didn’t fully appreciate at the time (I do now!)

The meaning of holidays have changed so much for me now that I am older, and have moved away from home. I only see my extended family; my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins, on holidays. I live about an hour and a half drive from my family, which isn’t very far, but far enough that I don’t see them very often. Holidays are the perfect time to get together and enjoy each other’s company. There is something about family, that even if you don’t see them often, you know they will always be there. They can’t get away from being related!

grandma grandpa and baby

 

My in-laws; Jim and Shelley at Thanksgiving

I hope that Lochlyn learns what holidays are about from an early age. I hope she is beyond excited for the things kids get excited for, like a stocking full of presents, or an easter egg hunt, but I also hope that she enjoys the time with her whole family, and the togetherness of the season.

That was a bit of a ramble. I really want to talk about thankfulness in honor of American thanksgiving. I am sure there will be a lot of talk on thankfulness in the blog world today, and that is awesome.

I also want to link up with Running with Spoons for Thinking out Loud. It is Thursday after all, and I have already done quite a bit of rambling.

thursdays are for thinking out loud

Thankfulness is a beautiful thing. It can really affect our outlook on life. Thanksgiving is a good reminder to be thankful, but being thankful isn’t something that we should set aside for one day of the year. I find that if I shift my thinking towards a thankful attitude, it can completely change my day, which in turn, could actually change my world.

I am so blessed. I live a beautiful life. I have the best husband, and daughter I could ever ask for. My life has some harder areas too. For example, financially we are not so well off at the moment. Being on maternity leave, has left us a little short on cash. December is the last month that I get any maternity leave income and then I have to go back to work. Right now it looks like I am going to have to work full days on Saturdays and Sundays so that we don’t have to pay for childcare. I plan to eventually work evenings, probably 6:00 – 9:00, or maybe later. At the moment I can’t work evenings because I breastfeed Lochlyn and put her to bed around 7:30. My evening shift will be too short to take an hour to come home and get my little one to bed.

happy sleeper

At first I was pretty down about working weekends. I don’t want to sacrifice the time I get with my family. After letting it sink in, I realized that at least I have a job that has flexible hours. I have a husband who has weekends off, who is able and willing to babysit. Also, it is awesome that I am still nursing. I had a lot of issues with milk supply when I started breast feeding. I am so glad it worked out. If I work longer shifts on the weekend, I can take longer breaks to come home and nurse Lochlyn, and I will still get to see my family.

thanksgiving mom and baby

I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but I actually don’t think working will be all that bad. It will be nice to get out of the house, and have a life outside of being a mom. Working only two days a week means we will be a little stretched financially, but I will still have the evenings to spend with Josh. Also, I know we will have enough, and I am thankful we have a family who supports us, and a God who always provides for us.

The power of being thankful… the negative thought of not having enough money can turn into positivity and thankfulness.

In Canada we already celebrated Thanksgiving. I had a big turkey dinner … okay, so I had two … and a brunch. I saw a lot of family, and had a really great time, but in the mad rush of the holiday, I didn’t put much emphasis on being thankful.

unnamed-15

I am going to celebrate American Thanksgiving too. Without the family, and without the food. Don’t get me wrong, family and food are two of the best parts about it, but today I just want to celebrate thankfulness, by being thankful.

I am going to turn my negative thoughts into positive. I am going to be happy with what I have, rather than wanting more. I will speak positivity and love, even when I don’t always feel like it. At least, that is my goal.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! Thank you for the reminder to be thankful!

Manly Stocking Stuffers

My family loves stockings. They are one of my personal favorite Christmas traditions. I don’t love them just because I love getting presents, or even because I love giving presents to other people. It is the opening process that is so much fun.

I am sure that the first Christmas morning that Josh spent at my parent’s house, he thought we were all crazy. Josh’s family all opens their stockings like normal people; all at the same time and in a mad rush to see what everything is. My family is a little … unique. We each takes turns opening one item at a time and everyone watches to see what the item is. It doesn’t matter if it is a box of tic tacs, or a pair of socks – every item is wrapped. The stocking opening process takes forever. We have a lot in our stockings. In fact, most of our presents don’t even fit in the actual stockings, so they are laid out all around them. This is the perfect test of willpower for excited kids on Christmas morning, but also the funnest family time and some of my best memories.

This year, my family decided that we were only going to open stockings, and not get each other big gifts (besides for lochlyn of course). Josh and I are short on funds this year, since I am not working, and my parents are in the middle of a big move. Also, my parents are giving us money to help with repairs for our truck, so we won’t have a big gift to open.

I have been trying to brainstorm a ton of fun stocking ideas, and guys it is really hard. I can think of a lot of stocking gifts for my mom, but the guys are not so easy to buy for! Another challenge with stockings is not spending ALL the Christmas money and more. Stockings can really add up.

I thought I would put together a list of manly stocking stuffer ideas, since it is getting to be Christmas shopping time. Here are a few stocking stuffer ideas for the men in your life… happy shopping!

Also, please note, none of the link in this post are affiliate links. I just wanted to give you guys some examples :)

man;y stocking stuffers

black maple tea

  • Local honey
  • Homemade treats like jam, beef jerky, or other canned or baked goods
  • A bottle of his favorite beer
  • Protein bars

protein bars

pez candy

  • Trail mix
  • Mini cereal boxes
  • Grill seasonings
  • Flavored olive oil and/or vinegar
  • Scotch rocks

scotch rocks

nalgene bottlestarbucks urban street tumbler

orange peelers       garlic press

starbucks gift card

  • Favorite lunch-spot gift card
  • Movie theatre passes
  • Amusement park passes, white water rafting gift cards – think of things that he loves to do!
  • Tickets to watch his favorite team – hockey, football … whatever
  • Lift tickets for snowboarding/skiing
  • Hotel gift card – for a trip away
  • Gloves – I like the ones he can use with his cell phone

etip north face gloves

saxx quest boxers

  • Socks – gym socks, hiking socks, hockey socks, work socks, whatever kind of socks he rocks
  • Beanies/toques
  • Scarves
  • A tie
  • Sunglasses
  • A hat
  • Rolled up t-shirt
  • Work gloves

work gloves

bacon car air freshener          armor all wipes

  • Favorite toy from childhood, like parachute men, balsa planes, mini lego packs
  • Chap stick
  • Wall or desk calendar
  • Framed picture
  • Book or magazine
  • Bathroom reader

bathroom reader

beard oilmoustache wax

  • Hair products like wax or gel
  • A fancy beard/moustache comb
  • USB sticks
  • Headphones
  • New phone case/tablet case
  • Swiss Army Knife or Leathermen

swiss army knife

outdoor survival kit

  • Fishing lures
  • Golf balls and tees
  • Hockey pucks, tennis balls, snowboard wax kit – think about his hobbies
  • A joke or gag gift – for example, something that you know he hates. My husband hates when animals wear clothes – so maybe a dress for our cat!

cat in a dress

  • Something that only the two of you would understand – for example, something that is part of an inside joke

 

Does your family open stockings together? Are you as crazy about it as my family?

What are your creative ideas for men’s stocking stuffers?

 

One Crazy Weekend

This weekend was hectic! Travelling with a baby is so much work! I am one tired mama! Lochlyn didn’t sleep very well while we were away so that added a lot to the craziness!

On Thursday I finished getting ready for our trip, and then drove in to Red Deer to check out a used children’s clothing store. I found a Halloween costume for Lochlyn. I also picked  up this cute little shirt for her for only $3!

baby in car

After our shopping trip, Lochlyn and I headed to Starbucks so I could feed her while we waited for Josh to get off work. I ordered a Refresh tea and a pumpkin muffin – Yum! I met the nicest couple there and we chatted quite a bit so I forgot to take pictures. The couple just moved to Red Deer and are expecting their first baby in a couple of months. Whenever I bring Lochlyn anywhere I always meet new people. She is a great conversation starter and she is so friendly and smiles at everyone.

I met Josh after work and we drove to Calgary to spend the night at my parents’ house. They had dinner ready for us so we quickly ate and then I put Lochlyn down for the night.

In the morning we woke up early so my Mom could take us to the airport to catch a flight to Brandon, Manitoba to visit the in-laws. It was Lochlyn’s first plane ride! Flying with a baby would be easier if you didn’t have to deal with all the stuff. I had an extra large suitcase to fit Lochlyn’s stuff in as well as mine. Her diaper bag was stuffed to the max. Josh had a backpack full of her baby food for the weekend. We also had the stroller and car seat and Josh’s luggage – all for only 2 nights. Craziness!

There were quite a few babies on the plane, and I think Lochlyn was the only one that didn’t sleep. she was loud and squirmy they whole flight. She doesn’t like sitting still at all! At least she was fairly happy.

mom and baby on plane

squirmy baby on plane

Our trip was actually a surprise for Josh’s Dad’s 60th birthday. He had no idea we were coming and it meant so much to him. It was really fun surprising him. Can you believe that after all the work and frustration I put into his present, I accidentally brought the wrong flash drive?! I packed Josh’s p90x flash drive instead of the one I made with all the photos. I will have to send the right one out so that he isn’t watching p90X on his digital photo frame!

grandma grandpa and baby

My in-laws with Lochlyn

We were only in Brandon for two nights, and spent most of the time visiting with family. A lot of Josh’s family hadn’t met Lochlyn yet so it was fun to introduce her to everyone. Of course she got all of the attention. She was so good during the day but the nights were really hard. The first night she was up 8 times. Usually she sleeps 11-12 hours without waking up so this was a big deal. The next night was better, but still not that great. I couldn’t wait to get back to our own beds!

meeting uncle ryan

Lochlyn meeting her Uncle Ryan (Josh’s brother) for the first time

We went to a big family dinner on Brandon on Saturday night.  Josh’s aunts, uncles and cousins were all there. We had a great time catching up. I wish I took more pictures but I was so distracted by all the people – and the amazing turkey dinner.

lochlyn with ainsley

Lochlyn meeting Josh’s cousin Ainsley

On Sunday morning we flew back to Calgary. The airport in Brandon is tiny! Smaller than most bus depots! It was actually nice to not have to venture through a big airport. I think the entire airport was made up of two rooms!

waiting to catch plane brandon

Waiting to catch our flight home

trip home from brandon unnamed-23

My Dad picked us up from the airport in Calgary and we went straight to my Aunt’s house for another Thanksgiving dinner with my Mom’s family. It was also my grandma’s 80th birthday! Lots of big birthdays this weekend!

dad playing with lochlyn

My Dad playing with Lochlyn

grandma's 80th birthday

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Monday morning we had another get-together with my Dad’s side of the family.  Lochlyn had had about enough at this point and was pretty fussy. We ended up leaving really early. I was dissappointed we didn’t get to spend more time with my family. I haven’t seen my Uncle and cousins since before Lochlyn was born.

lochlyn playing at brunch unnamed-21

It was really nice to get back to our own house. One fo the best things about traveling is the feeling of coming home to your own bed.

family pose in brandon

We had a lot of fun this weekend, but it was a lot of work and I didn’t get much sleep. I have to admit I am glad that it is over and we can get back to our normal. I am also happy that we don’t have to travel for awhile!

I realized as I was writing this post that every single one of my pictures from this weekend includes Lochlyn! I guess you can tell where all my attention always is. I need to get better about taking some other pictures!

Moms – what is your experience travelling with a baby? Is it always this hectic?

What were you up to this weekend? Anything exciting/interesting??

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just stopping by to say Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone!

colorful thanksgiving turkey

 

 

Just a thought, do Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving earlier because it gets cold so early here? If we celebrated Thanksgiving with Americans it would be winter in Canada!

Today I am thankful for:

  • My faith in God
  • The love I receive daily from my amazing husband, adorable daughter, caring family, and awesome friends
  • My health and the health of those around me
  • Getting to spend time this weekend with both Josh’s family and my own
  • Yummy turkey dinners with delicious pumpkin pie
  • Starting this blog and getting to know some amazing readers – thank you guys!

I realize some of you aren’t celebrating this holiday yet, but I still want to know…

What are you thankful for today?

Canadians – How did you celebrate the holiday this year?

I will be back on Wednesday with a recap of my Thanksgiving weekend!