Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Birthday Weekend

To start, Annika’s dance team was asked to perform as backup dancers to the Mini Pop Kids tour, who were performing at Riverrun Centre here in Guelph.  They had to learn the choreo quite quickly with only a couple rehearsals, but they all pulled it off and looked fantastic on stage.  It was Annika’s very first encounter with some “star performers,” and she said she wasn’t even nervous!

Selena, mommy, daddy and aunt Jenn got to watch everyone shine on stage!

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The two minis (youngest of the group) Annika and Victoria!

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backstage prep room

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And then these pics show some of the fun we had on my birthday, that also fell on Family Day this year!  I’ve never been on a bike on my birthday before!

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Officially 34 now…. and my brother officially 35 today…. So this is what mid-30s feels like!  Not at all much different than my 20s, except being a mommy is definitely more exciting and very much more fulfilling!!  Through the difficult and tough times, through the everyday mundane times, and through the amazing times, these humans, plus my parents, are my people -  I wouldn’t want to live without them!

I love my family – and to think how fitting it was to have my birthday shared with Family Day this year xo #perfection

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Valentine

Decided to do something a little extra special this year for Valentines.  Mid-February is always the early start to the busiest time of year for BJAMS – Spring!  I count the days to the beautiful spring weather, but our weekends are always filled.  With James’ Florida camp around the corner, and the girls’ dance schedule doubling to get ready for the comp season, all mixed with the winter viruses going around, we don’t get much time to ourselves this time of year.  Exhaustion wouldn’t explain it most days!  Needed something to kick the winter blah… what could I do to make James feel a little special amongst our crazy – Here’s what I came up with:

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Enso Ring – a ring, symbolizing our wedding band, made of silicone that James can now wear when he’s training.  I got the idea from friends and athletes who wear something similar.  In fact, I noticed these rings on many of the Olympians this past Olympics.

I thought it was a perfect idea for James, who doesn’t like having to go places without his ring (a cute story: When James was soon leaving for Cozumel for a coaching gig he was asked to do for the age-group triathlon world championships last year, he hadn’t been wearing his ring for a while because it had become too small [James was his tiniest ever at our wedding], but didn’t want to travel without it.  He rushed around Guelph trying to find a jeweler who could size it for him in less than 2 days.  Long story short – he found one and had his ring back safe and sound the day before he left).

The word enso has a special meaning, including symbolizing strength, the universe, a circle of togetherness.  It’s a Japanese symbol, the circle is typically hand-drawn to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.  Very similar to what the mind needs and does when active and reaching for our goals.

I wrote the poem attached to one of my favourite photos of our wedding day at the Cottage overlooking Lake Erie.


aaand, here’s what filled our morning xo

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We walked in the door from dance last night to an early surprise from daddy xo Each drawer had a chocolate surprise for the girls – and notice the orchid! 

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Showing off some of our fairly recent upgrades – new kitchen countertops and now our new table xo

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Over the years, James and I have developed the same taste in decor

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Some surprises for the girls

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And daddy

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As always, heart-shaped waffles on Valentine’s morning

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My world, my everything!  These two xo

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mavie’s 10 Years Old!


I can’t believe a decade has come and gone.  Our Mavie hits a big milestone today – and I’m going to confidently say he’s only middle aged right now!  He’s going to stick around for at least another 10 years, fingers crossed!

Anyone close to us knows that Mavie is my shadow.  If I’m home, he has to be in the same room as me, and a lot of the time he is not satisfied if he can’t see me (even if he knows I’m a couple feet from him).  Mavie’s favourite place to sleep all night long is curled up on James’ feet (his feet radiate heat, even in extreme cold).  I wake up every morning to a huge “Mavie Hug,” as I like to call them.  He jams his head into my neck and sometimes almost does a summersault into me.  When I’m not home, Mavie perches himself on his bed at the front door and looks out until I’m back.  He goes into “depression-mode.”  So much so that when people come over when I’m not home, they get concerned about Mavie as he’s a completely different dog.  My mom is his second mom, so when we travel, Mavie loves his second home and treats my mom as if she was me.

Having a dog is one of best things in the whole world.  Many very important life lessons can be learned from a dog.  They teach you the true meaning of selfless love. They teach you how to care of something other than yourself.  Dogs teach you morals without saying a word.  They don’t hold grudges, or carry around bad feelings, or say harmful things.  They are pure, selfless, unconditional love, all wrapped up into a bundle of joy.  For these reasons, and hundreds more, I know I could never live without a dog.  Mavie has been through every milestone James and I have had together – our first new home/mortgage, engagement, wedding, pregnancy and birth of Annika, move to our second home, pregnancy and birth of Selena.  Mavie has always just gone with the flow, as long as he knows where his mommy is.

I cooked him a special doggy cake today and we all sang happy birthday to him.  We took mavie to the pet store and let him sniff to his heart’s content, and James picked out a special new ball for him.  I think we rang his 10th birthday in with style.

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“ummm.. please hurry!”

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“more, please?”

Happy Birthday, my beautiful birthday boy, life would not be  the same without you!

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Mavie’s new hiking carrier

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He loves to Snapchat with me

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When he gets scared, he sits beside my desk chair and stares at me like this until I pick him up (he does this every time someone turns on our treadmill, or if he hears a strange noise in the house)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Papa’s Birthday!

We celebrate my dad’s 72nd birthday today!  A family dinner at Mandarin was the perfect setting.  The girls made papa some homemade cards and presents, and we got dad his favourite cake – Black Forest!  I added some extras, too Winking smile


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Annika’s learned how to draw a really good Flower Man!  She told me she ate fast at lunch break today at school to leave enough time to draw this for her papa xo

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Mom took us all out for the celebration! 

My dad’s still pushing through this long-haul chemo regimen – May is the magic month when hopefully we can put all of this behind us.  My dad is the strongest person I know, and has never blinked an eye at what he’s going through.  Our biggest hope and wish this year is for Dad’s health to be back at 100% so he can get outside and do what he loves, running and biking!

Dad’s birthday officially kick-starts the cluster of winter birthdays!  Next up… Mavie!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Superbowl 2017

What was looking like one of the biggest blow-outs in the last few years, turned into a historic comeback by New England.  Needless to say, David was losing his mind when his team actually turned things around and came back from a a deficit of 3-28 going into the second half.

Have a look at this highlight reel – check out the 4 minute mark – this play is unreal!


Superbowl is a party we look forward to every year, and this year definitely did not disappoint!

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Rob’s attire – The Queen, Lady Gaga, performed an outstanding half-time show

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Most of the clan

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Shenanigans (as always in our house…)

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The moms with their kiddies xo

Friday, February 3, 2017

School, Dance and other things..


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This is Selena in Acro class, and Annika volunteers as a helper

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Our Starbucks treat after a no-cavity dentist trip! Caramel apple spice, their favourite!

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Hard at work in her solo with teacher Ms. Liz.  This girl has been putting in over 10 hours of dance a week to prepare for the upcoming Showcase.  Selena is working just as hard with her Peewee group, who’ll be performing a jazz number.  Can’t wait to see the performances, I’m counting down the days!

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Trying out one of the many new restaurants in the neighbourhood, St. Louis (Selena loves her Elena Princess Doll – One of Disney’s new princesses!)

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New art supplies from Michaels (one of their favourite stores!)

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This little one just got a B+ on her book report “Ballet School.”  She chose the book, and with the help of mommy and uncle Rob, Annika made this poster and poem, and presented in front of her class.  Brave girl!  So proud of her!

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