Monday, 27 February 2012

The Lost Days

I don't know where the time is going. I know it sounds ridiculously cliche, but time is really flying by me and these days I feel an acute sense of urgency to try and slow things down and absorb each moment for every last drop its worth.

Making Sunday morning pancakes.

Followed by Sunday dinners.

Maybe it is because my baby's second birthday approaching.  Maybe it's the craziness of our recent move. Maybe it's the fact that we are on a head on collision with Spring and despite the snow that's been dumping around here I still don't feel like we've had a proper winter. It's probably a mix of all that, but with March 1st just days away I am finding myself increasingly desperate to freeze frame all the tiny wonderful moments of these days and lock them up in my memory forever.

Jake has started playing this game where he pretends his stuffed snakes are attacking him. He takes a running leap onto them and yells "Oh no!"

It is so easy to get caught up, to lose myself in the routine of every day. My mind often just goes into auto drive while I am in the survival mode that pushes me through one day and into the next, and I miss all those small moments that create the big picture of our life as a family.

The Twins came to visit this weekend. We've missed them. We love them. And yes, that is Jake escaping upstairs.

Suddenly the weekend is over, and I remember just hours ago when I felt relieved that it was finally here.  But what did we do again? And what conversations did I have? What new things did Jake discover, do or say that I should have taken a photo of, or written down, or videoed?

Weekend aquarium visits.

As much as I want to pack into these days, I also need to find that balance that allows me to enjoy them, and I need to learn how to take the time out to stand back and appreciate the little things that make up our life.

If anyone has any techniques and suggestions on how to do this, I'm all ears.

In the meantime, welcome Spring.  She seems to be making herself known around here. 

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Snowy Saturday Surprises

It snowed up on our little mountain today. It came completely unannounced, and just when I thought I could almost feel Spring in the air.  Lucky for me, I love snow and even luckier Jake seems to be warming up to it too.

Jake and dad taking in the new view outside our window.
By afternoon it fizzled off and we hit the side walk with a borrowed snow shovel in hand and clear our walk way.

He's over his fear of snow.


Since we've moved in to our new home and neighborhood, I have been feeling like we are stuck in that limbo between trying to keep our old routine and attempting to find a new one in our new surroundings.  I know it will come with time and as we get better bearings, and discover all the nooks and crannies of our new area, but in the meantime Jake and I fill our days together spending time with my sister and her kids, and perusing the aisles of the local grocery shop.  Jakob loves pushing around the little "customer in training" shopping carts while we load in our selections.  Sometimes he takes deviating liberties from our shopping list. Like today for example, we were in the chip aisle and I was reviewing the selection of multigrain nacho chips, I make my pick, turn around and see that Jake is loading his shopping cart full of his preferred choice of snack.

Surprisingly it wasn't that bad convincing him that my bag of chips was the better treat and we soon moved on to the check out line. 

The only problem is that I know have this insatiable craving for sour cream 'n' onion chips....

Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Be mine, sweet valentine

It's the days leading up to Valentine's Day, and I've been busy adding little red and pink highlights around the house, making Valentine cards, baking brownies, and decorating sugar cookies with my nephew. 

I love love, I can admit that. I am a die hard romantic and have been as long as I can remember. I am a sucker for scented candles, Pretty Woman, and chocolate in a heart shaped box. I love hugs and kisses, sweet words, tender touches, and cheesy lines. Romance novels? Keep 'em coming.

Case in point: my husband decorated a Christmas tree with gold rings crafted out of ribbon in the middle of September, and proposed to me in the soft haze of Christmas lights. How could I refuse him?

So, hand me a day like Valentine's Day and, baby, I'm all over it.  To me, Valentine's Day is one of the best holidays of the year because it creates an opportunity for you to pause and celebrate all things love and romance.  Something that so many of us take so easily for granted.

And that is why I can never quite understand the anti-Valentine camp. So many times I have heard the argument that you can buy flowers or chocolate any old day to express your love, and not just because some over priced holiday tells you to. Valentine's day can be any day.... well yes, it should be.  But the truth is taking a time out to celebrate the people we love and the way we love them often gets lost in the craziness that is real life. And celebrating love on Valentine's day doesn't need to be expensive, or over the top. Pick a bunch of wild flowers/pretty weeds from the grassy knoll outside your office on your way home, use a cookie cutter and cut lunchtime sandwiches into heart shapes, bake cupcakes and make pink icing, pull out a nice bottle of red, play some classical cd's during dinner.  It can be easy, cheap and oh so lovely.  Your gift doesn't have to be extravagant, but your love can be.

Oliver and I worked on these while Jake was napping.  So much more productive!
Besides, if we have a special day set aside to celebrate life, and special days set aside to celebrate faith, then why not have a special day set aside to celebrate love?

Of course, I advocate telling your sweethearts (of all ages, and sizes) that you love them daily.  Buying a bouquet on any random Wednesday is also great.  I am  just saying that there ain't nothing wrong with making a special day out of it either.
 Is there?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Superbowl Birthday Cakes

I am writing my first post from my new and cozy mountain top home. After weeks of living in moving limbo it feels so good to finally be here. Our move from old to new went really well, and the transition I thought would be hard has in fact been very easy for all of us.

I feel like we are closer to the moon living up here.

Playing at the local soccer pit.
Our new home is lovely. It's bright and big(ger than our old place), with two levels, three bedrooms and a dish washing machine. Would you believe it if I told you that in all my life I have never had a dish washing machine. My father-in-law had to give me a few evening lessons on how to properly load and use one. We also have a little front porch with room for planting, grilling and bird watching. I noticed early on that the little neighborhood birds seemed drawn to our porch, and I think it will soon be time to get a bird feeder and some seeds to help them get through the rest of this winter.

Our new beach just down the hill.

Our new beach happens to be along a rail way track - which Jake happens to absolutely loves.

I will post photos of our new home soon, but today I actually had a different reason for blogging because today I made a cake.

I  love baking, but I rarely make fancy cakes. We have a cousin who is a cake master, and whose creations would shame Martha on the best of days. I always look at her tasty art and wonder when that kind of cake making inspiration will hit me.  Well, I am glad to say that today was the day, and so I am taking a time out to brag about it for a minute because it was a lot harder than it looks and I am very proud.

Behold, my Superbowl/Mom's 66th birthday cake:

And yes, it was delicious.  Vanilla cake, with cherry filling and an Ovaltine whipped cream frosting.  Happy Birthday Mama.