Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Photos of Christmas Past and Present

Every year one of my favourite bloggers , does a recap of her family photos since her first child was born. Every year, I think, I should do that. This year, I finally got my act together.

2006 was a tough year though, I spent a good hour searching for that photo alone. The Christmas card said "All the best for 2007". Naturally I assumed the picture was for Christmas 2007. Don't ask.

So without further ado, here are the last 9 or so Christmases because I got nothing, nada, zilch for 2001, the first year we were a family. Also, you will have to bear with my snide comments because, well, I am me, I can't rightly help it.

And yes, my scanner is of the "I am so tight I squeek when I walk" genre. It's not your eyes.


2002 - My hair. Definitely in the "What the HELL were you thinking category". And my fashion sense. Or rather complete and utter lack of it. A t-shirt? So glad I dressed up for family pictures.


2003 - Jack, would it kill you to smile? Some things, they just don't change.
But the cute is still killing me. The chub. The mini-professor glasses.


2004 - we grew by one cheeky little man who was at the time, often referred to as "my LITTLE baby guy". You have to imagine this said in the most high pitched annoying voice in the history of voices used to talk to babies. That's how I do it over here. Breaking glass and all.

Xmas Card 2005

2005 - the first of the singing snowmen that started the collection. Apparently I didn't like to be in photographs. I mean, can you blame me after 2002's fiasco?


2006 - Before I found the family shot from 2006, I was going to use this one and because they are so damn cute, it's actually hurting my eyes, I am leaving it in. Completely unrelated: oh the patch, how we don't miss you.


Then I found it. The were bells ringing when I did, I promise you. The elusive 2006 Christmas card photo. Why I have a digital copy, I have no idea. Credit goes to Snaptshots Photography. This photo I actually love and we redid them a year later. I have a family shot, a shot of the boys and a shot of Jay and I hanging in tall skinny frames over our living room couch. I love them still.

2006 also marks the year I got with the whole "family" picture thing. You know, sending out a photo with the Christmas that included all four of us rather than just the boys.

I have continued that tradition since and I am so glad because, well, it's just nice to have them, you know?


2007 - no snide comment for this one, I still love it. Fall is such a great backdrop.

Xmas 2008

2008 - the photo I sent out with cards this year eludes me too but I found this shot and re-edited it because, folks, bad doesn't even begin to describe the lighting the original had. Early times in manual settings, me thinks. Good to know I have learned a thing or two since then. And also purchased decent editing software (Lightroom and Elements, I kind of like you).

2009 - the family

2009 - this is still my favourite (of the ones I have taken). I just love it.

Xmas Photo 2010

2010 - The sun? It does not go behind the camera. When you look this up in a photography manual (is there even such a thing? If so, I need it. Clearly) this photo is the exhibit demonstrating why.

Xmas Card 2011 Photo

2011 - And that brings us to this year. I love the boys. I don't so much love that Jay and I are scrunching down. But whatevs, it's us, in all our glory (ha!).


I also took this one on the weekend when they were dressed up for Jack's piano recital. It documents two important facts. First, they each only own one nice shirt. Trust me, it's like throwing money into a slot machine to buy more. And two, the poor boys have inherited my unfortunate teeth. All that money we are saving on nice clothes? Going straight into our very own "braces fund".

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I have a new favourite book. Looney Spoons Collection! It's a cookbook and is the updated versions of many recipes from some of the earlier books - The original Looney Spoons (no longer available) and Eat, Drink and Be Merry. There are also many, many new recipes.

The books are written by sisters and they are hams. The book is filled with humourous anecdotes and tips about healthy eating. The recipes are low fat and reasonably healthy but the most important part is that it is delicious!

Favourite cookbook

So far I have made the guacamole. Holy guacamole it was good. The difference from what I usually make was a bit of cumin. It was the missing link.

I made Bolognese sauce too. Which is fancy for meat sauce, you know, with spaghetti. It has ground beef and Italian sausage and balsamic vinegar (which was the little something something always missing from my meat sauce). We had it with spaghetti squash rather than pasta and... I never took a picture...too busy hoovering it off my plate.

And tonight, I made the pizza crust I always make from the Looney Spoons book and then added the toppings from the new book for Mexican pizza. And made a plain one for the boys, because, you know, they still haven't delved into the things we like.


This one wasn't as good as I planned however, I know just how to fix it. A little refried bean combination for the sauce me thinks...and some of the guacamole to go with it.

Anyway, a good gift idea for anyone you know who might like to cook (there are actually people out there who do! I am one of them!) and likes to eat healthier. It was $19.99 at Costco.

Monday, November 28, 2011

This Post Has No Point. Nada.

Last night I was hopping mad. Opinions,I got 'em. However, in this case, I will keep to myself. See I was offended already. If I speak my mind further, I will likely in turn offend...so for once, I'll keep my trap shut and go about my business.

This post is completely random and essentially has no point. But I went to a card making party and had loads of fun laughing at myself. And the friend I went with. See the two of us, we were card making virgins. And um. Yeah. We might have been annoying to the professional card makers there. But we were not overly concerned about that since we were too busy mocking ourselves.

But the cards? I have hung them up on my kitchen bulletin board because damn if I am going to give them away. You know what people do with cards don't you. The best is recycle them. The worst is...I can't even say it out loud.


I take no credit for the beauty, that was all Jackie, who hosted the party. I merely played copy cat. With detailed instructions and demos on how to do every single thing. It was required, I assure you.


Aren't they pretty?


No really, they are aren't they?


Okay that was the last one I will post.

Then there is this. See Kamden has some serious bed head yesterday morning so I asked if I could take a picture.

I did and then I uploaded it.

Bed head/mug shot

And laughed out loud. What is this, a mug shot? Oh my heavens that kid cracks me up!

The Dudes

And then there was baking. 7 of 10 items on the list done! Over the weekend. And we decorated our gingerbread house.

Kamden's side

This is Kamden's side.

Jack's side

And Jack's.

And today the snowmen came out of hibernation and exploded all over the house. And it is before Dec 1st. I have a strict no Christmas before Dec 1st rule. There is a very good reason for the rule. This being so I don't start twitching from the clutter around Dec 21st and take the lot of it down before Christmas even arrives.

Around Dec 21st, be handy with a straight jacket to control me, would ya?

And now, I am going to bed. Christmas in November is exhausting.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Someone, Who is Awesome,

...lent me her flash. The good kind. The kind that is external and not nuclear. Well if you use the right settings and point it the right way anyway. I kind of owe her. See you at Christmas Jen, I will come bearing your flash and goodies!

I have been having fun practicing. It is so nice to be able to take pictures indoors using manual settings without it looking like a solar flare blew up at the very moment I snapped the photo. Can you say shiny happy foreheads?

I signed up for this online photo workshop beginning Dec 1st and am looking forward to learning and playing.


It's Christmas Carol season in piano and he is developing my love of playing them on the piano. He is also 99% better at than me. I like to sing along and sometimes I even sing in the right key.

He does not necessarily love that I sing along.


That's okay, I chalk that up to annoying my kids is part of my job as a mom. It's an important one and I take it very seriously. Much to the annoyance of my kids. Moohohahahahah!


This is Rider. He even sat still when I took his picture. The first time. The next few times, he did not. Glad I got lucky.


One Sunday afternoon we had a pie making bee with friends. Apple pie to be exact. You see, we got boxes of apples from a school fundraiser. The apples were HUGE. And good. And perfect for pie.


I think the grand total was 8 or 9 pies. We have two in the freezer just waiting for unexpected company. Who's coming?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Fall Hobby

This fall, I have had the privilege of taking some snaps of some of my friends and their families. It's been fun.

It's also been humbling.

I have learned a lot. Like that the sun goes behind your subjects so they can open their eyes wider than little slits.

Yeah that.

Paul Family

I love this photo because the family is gorgeous. I don't love that I put them in the wrong spot. If I could rotate us all about 180 degrees, it would have been so much better.

The next one involved belly laughs. Not at me thankfully. At least not when I could hear. They were nice like that.


I love this one. I think it captures a mother's love for her child. And this boy, he is freaking adorable. And worships the ground Kamden walks on.

I brought Jay and boys along to this shoot because this little guy is 18 months old. How many 18 month olds do you know that stay still longer than 5.3 milliseconds never mind look at a camera?

He did fabulously and we got some great family shots too.


And this one, which is a favourite. I mean, could he be any cuter?


Didn't think so.

All Kamden had to do was jump up and down and we got those toddler belly laughs that would even make the Grinch smile.

So fun.

Cute x 4

Then there are these four beautiful kids. Their mom offered them up for me to practice on. And I owe them. It was ridiculously cold that day. And windy. They were troopers.

Gorgeous Kids

And the oldest beauty is 10. That's right 10. Almost 11 but still. When did she turn into this stunning beauty? Her dad is currently polishing up his shotgun, I am sure.


And this little man, some of you will recognize. Yes, that is who you think it is. He is also a chubby baby boy. I got me my baby fix this weekend. Chubby baby boy thighs bring back so many memories. I snugged him just like I used to snug my boys.

My boys, meanwhile, mocked my baby talk.

Whatever, this little man thought I was funny.

Adorable times 2

Kamden was again enamoured. He likes babies. He was mildly disappointed he could not elicit belly laughs from this little boy. His ego was a bit bruised but I think he'll survive.

Beautiful Smile

And this lady, you may recognize as belonging to the above mentioned chubby adorable baby boy. I made her smile. Forced her to.

I think it was worth the idle threats, no?

That was my fall practicing and now that winter has arrived overnight (1 foot of snow, as we slept, completely oblivious), I will likely not have anymore opportunities to practice until next year. I was fun. Thank you to you all for allowing me the privilege.

Monday, October 31, 2011


I have been taking pictures galore so here is an update, in the form of many pictures.

About a month ago, our new dressers finally arrived. This marks the first time I have ever owned new dressers (as I kid I had an antique, which I love, and is now Kamden's). I don't count the "new" Jysk (aka crap) dressers we bought about 5 years ago. a) Because they are now broken and useless and b) do I really need another reason?

Our room

Instead of those dinky night stands with like, what two teeny drawers, we opted for full chests. Our bed is like 15 feet tall so I think it works. And I need the storage, trust me. (Jay off handedly suggested I buy fewer clothes. Pshaw)

Girly side

My side of the bed is slightly girly. The flower box was made by Kamden for Mother's Day last year and the rest I have accumulated over the last couple years.

View from our bed

This bad boy has 10 drawers. Yes, 10. And the bottom four are HUGE. And sadly, I filled them all. And I go back and forth on updating the photos here. The majority are from our trip to the Bahamas way back in 2008. But the boys are so stinking cute so I just haven't brought myself to update them.

Manly side

Jay's side. More manly. Well at least the wood figures carved by his Grandad anyway.

This past week, I zipped to Vancouver (and I have the bags under my eyes to prove it) for a work course. I stayed out at UBC with a friend, who fed me amazing food every night. Must tries if you are in the Vancouver area - The Flying Beaver (Mahi Mahi with coconut curry sauce - yum is an understatement), Chronic Taco (oh my word. you must try the Mahi Mahi (see a theme?) taco), it will change your life, and The Banana Leaf (the appie sampler was amazing. I even ate the calamari and if you know me, you know that is WAY out of my comfort zone).

Wow, that was a tangent. I wrote all that just to tell you about the leaf Jack is holding. Cathy and I were out for a run when I found this huge maple leaf. I hid it under a sign so we could come back and find it later. She found this quite hilarious since the campus was covered in leaves. But they were not all this big is my story and I am sticking to it.

That is a real leaf. No joke!

I mean, it is huge, right? Also of note is the fact that it made it home in my suitcase in one piece.


And of course the pumpkins. My favourite part of Halloween, hands down. Used to be the chocolate but now two or three and I have a headache. Getting healthy and fit is awesome but I do miss the ability to consume copious amounts of chocolate.

And that is a wrap for now (ie bedtime for Kami).

Kami, out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Maple Leaf, eh?

Be yourself. Be who you are.

What if who you are needs work?

Is it possible to be who you are and still be better?

(in case you were wondering, my head hurts)

Lessons. Learned the hard way. Forgotten. Re-learned, though never fully and completely. An endless cycle of futility.

So easy to fall into old habits.

I am an adult, yet not quite grown up. I am never quite as mature as I hope to be.

Buttons. Easily pushed. Never quite rise above.

When I was a kid, I thought adults had all the answers. Now I know the truth. All we have are more questions.

Insecurities. Striving for more but it’s hard and I want to quit. Others do it better. Maybe I have peaked.

I don’t always feel this way, thank goodness.

But today is one of those days, this week, one of those weeks. This too shall pass and if I learn something and become a better person, all the better.