I have been LOVING seeing peoples year in review through Dwija’s linkup, and after finding some motivation to get back on the blogging train I thought it was a good place to start. I had never really thought about blogging as a way to write to myself, notes, reminders and reminisces, but this just might have changed my mind! I totally forgot about some of these adventures, joys and blessings that filled our year! At home all day every day it gets a little easy to think I am doing “nothing” but this was a good kick in the pants and realization that I am blessed with a very beautiful and abundant life! If I enjoyed it so much just now looking back, I can’t imagine how meaningful a quick scrapbook like this might be 5 or 10 years down the road.
No promises that I will be a reliable blogger anytime soon, but if I make a post more than once every 4 months I guess I will be doing better than last year!
January was full of firsts for Clara who reached 6 months in the middle of the month; first tooth, first solid food, and first time coming for a skate at the lake in our neighbourhood, (pictured above)and first time being left with a babysitter!
February is the DEEP of winter around here, so there was lots of staying home to crawl and play, although we did venture out, just not anywhere too exciting. The picture is from Ash Wednesday, not just a messy face day, although I am sure those happen too
Wasn’t March an exciting month! For the whole world with the election of Pope Francis and Easter, (the picture is Clara opening her Easter basket) and for us with the discovery of how to get baby to consistently go to bed at a decent hour so we get evenings back! Yay! Clara and I planted seeds in little indoor greenhouses in the hopes of having a little herb and vegetable garden this summer, I got sort of addicted and our dining room (and any other place with decent light) was soon covered in tiny green sprouts, but its so exciting to watch them grow!
April was when we had a fantastic visit from Brian’s mom and dad, who got to see a rapidly growing and changing Clara, (they hadn’t seen her since Christmas and boy, a LOT happens in a babies life in 4 months!) We had fun visiting the mountains, enjoying a bit of spring-ish weather. Gramma and Grampa gave Clara a little table and chairs and she started to learn to sit and pull her self up on to the “her-size” furniture.
In May we were blessed with being invited by my mom to visit her dad (so Clara’s great-grandfather) in California for his 95th Birthday! The most agile and lively 95 year old ever, who raised 12 kids of his own, he was so happy to have Clara around and she was nearly taking steps on her own! Lots of fun on the gorgeous Orange County beaches, visiting with family we don’t get to see too often, and Clara’s first experience of a petting zoo. (Her verdict: huge cows and llamas are jolly good fun; baby bunnies and guinea pigs are TERRIFYING)
We also hosted a very fun baby shower for Clara’s Godparents who moved back to town and were a month away from the arrival of their beautiful daughter.
We also find out that a new baby is on the way to join OUR family too!
June was a beautiful month with lots of simple activities. We became pro
sailors, I mean, “Garage Sale-ers” and find tonnes of awesome toys (such as the $1 swimming pool above, which got filled with stuffed animals way more often than with water, and made for a fun little indoor/outdoor play pit of softness)
I wasn’t feeling any morning sickness or anything, and we did lots of outdoor fun, such as pepping for the camping season, until our city was hit with absolutely catastrophic flooding overnight. It affected everyone in our city of 1 million. No one could get to work and the mayor rallied the city with the most impressive volunteer power anyone had ever seen. I wish I could have done more to help but a newly pregnant mama hauling a 11 month old isn’t too helpful with shovelling debris out of basements!
July was Clara’s first birthday. We had a fun little party with some family and friends and her amazing great-gramma in the picture. She loved all of it except the full attention and singing at the blow-out-the-candles moment, the pressure was just too much and she BURST into tears!
Clara “helped” me help out at a Vacation Bible School that some friends were running at their parish and it was a fun flashback to my missionary years when I ran a VBS every week of summer! We impressed ourselves by making it to “kids day” at the huge annual event that our city hosts (I have seen it compared to Mardi Gras, but less aweful) getting in for free requires being all packed and sun-screened and ready, driving to the train station, cramming onto a full train with a stroller, riding the train, and arriving before 9 am! Which maybe to some people is a normal accomplishment but around here it’s, lets just say, not an every day occurrence.
August was beautiful, and I love this picture of a walk we took in one of the cities parks one afternoon.
My seed growing endeavour was a mixed bag. The herb garden was a great success and got used almost daily for cooking, but I came no where close to mastering vegetable growth, not even one measly zucchini to show for my effort… next year!
We had a big family wedding of a cousin of mine, and lots of day trips to parks and the beach to enjoy the sun. My friend Christy always says that the summers are so beautiful around here they trick you into staying the whole year. Absolutely true.
September kept up the wonderful weather, and we had an excuse to visit our friends ranch which gave the kittens of the world an opportunity to redeem themselves, it took some convincing but Clara became a definite fan of all creatures small and cuddly by the end of the visit. We also had a wonderful camping trip, spent countless hours at the park across the street once Clara discovered the joy that is a SLIDE!
October means Thanksgiving in Canada, and my family has started a tradition of going away to the mountains for some quality food, drinks, and hot-tubbing (for the unpregnant or braver-than-me pregnant) for the long weekend. We had a fantastic time and especially enjoyed all the built in babysitting that a big extended family provides. Clara started saying some words (Ice, Eyes, Hi… notice a pattern?)
We embraced our growing family status and bought a bigger vehicle that can more comfortably fit 2 (or 3 or 4) car seats, we will see what the future holds. And Summer being short and sweet and definitely over, we FROZE to death trying to enjoy the mythical creature of a Canadian pumpkin patch…
November gets the bonus picture, because we had such a fun month. Winter was here in full force (no those are not real penguins) and so we escaped and went south (a little) to the UP of Michigan to visit the Gramma and Grampa we don’t see every
day week. Brian and I got to our first NFL game (his Birthday present) and pretty much froze as we watched the Packers and Vikings duke it out…. and end in a TIE. But a Packers game, at home, is a pretty priceless experience and we enjoyed every minute of it. And Gramma and Grampa enjoyed every minute of their Clara time.
December is (over??!) wow, already behind us. It was a busy month with lots of family time as we came together to grieve the death of my uncle who passed away and then try to change gears and celebrate Christmas. Little miss reindeer loved everything about Christmas, a tree in the house, lights everywhere, crinkly paper, and best of all, CANDY CANES. My sister we don’t get to see too often was here for a nice long fantastic visit, and Clara and I perfected the art of sugar cookies (and royal icing, and shortbread cookies, and thin mints, and someone, quick! don’t let the pregnant woman bake!) Best recipe ever? This one for sugar cookies and icing.
That brings us pretty much to now, right? patiently waiting for the arrival of new baby in something like 4 weeks 4 days, WHAT! Ok that should say trying to get ready for the new baby’s arrival. Second children don’t need much though, do they?