2015: A Year in Review

I’m a sucker for year in review posts but they’re always so much work to do. I always seem to get lost going through old posts and finding images to accompany the memories. In fact, I started a Year in Review post for 2015 and made it to March before I got sidetracked by something and didn’t look at it again.

Then I came across this post by Stephany, who borrowed/adapted the idea from Kathleen, and the angels sang as my love/hate relationship with Year in Review posts was resolved! (Thank you, beautiful souls!)

So, I present to you, 2015: A Year in Review, survey style!

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Travelled by myself with Isla! Whenever I’ve travelled a long ways (i.e., more than an hour) with her, I’ve always had someone with me to help tend to her. This spring I made a trip down to the Lower Mainland to visit a friend and brought Isla with me, and it was a successful journey!

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2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I’m not big on making resolutions, so I didn’t really make any. My only goal of the year was to have a healthy little girl delivered in June, and I think I succeeded there ;) I have a few goals in mind for next year, but I’m not going to get too wrapped up in making sure I meet them just yet.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I did. Can’t get closer than that!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I’m fortunate enough to say that no one has, but a member of my slo-pitch team passed away in September and it really hit me hard. It’s still hard to think about, honestly, and it hurts my heart when I do.

5. What places did you visit?

We didn’t do a lot of travelling because of me being pregnant and having Norah, but I did go to a Maroon 5 concert in Vancouver, Langley, my hometown, and then we made a couple of day trips to the Little Shuswap Lake during the summer. Low key, but fun nonetheless!

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6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you didn’t have in 2015?

More “me” time. My #1 goal is to get back to playing slo-pitch again, and even if that’s the only time to myself that I get, I’ll be happy with that!

7. What dates from 2015 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

Most definitely the day Norah was born, reasons being obvious.

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8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Getting Isla potty trained was a huge achievement for both of us, and of course, delivering an amazing little girl in June was the best thing that happened.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Probably not starting my Couch to 5K training. I’m kicking myself for not being able to get in gear for that, but life just got all busy.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Other than the usual pregnancy aches and pains, and common colds, I didn’t have anything seriously wrong with me.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I didn’t necessarily buy it myself, but Kyle and I bought a new (to us) Ford F150 and it’s a wonder when we have both the girls loaded in it. So spacious!!

And it wasn’t necessarily something I bought, but enrolling Isla in dance lessons was one of the best investments I made. She loves to dance and I can really see her passion growing.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Without making an effort to look back at our bank statements, I’d say the majority of our income went towards the “usual” things like bills and food. Kyle and I both had some dental work done this year, but thankfully a decent-sized chunk of it was covered by our dental plan. We also put in a new retaining wall and fence in our backyard in June, so that cost a bit to do as well.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The arrival of our baby girl in June and going to the Maroon 5 concert in March top my list, for sure!

14. What song will always remind you of 2015?

“This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like a Mother–” by Maroon 5.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

I’m definitely happier and thinner (having a baby will do that!), and I’d say our finances are about the same as they were last year.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish we adventured a bit more, but it was hard because I was super pregnant and the summer was so hot that it was tough to do anything outside with a newborn. Next year will be different, for sure.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

I wish I had kept my patience with Isla a lot more. It’s tough to remember that she’s only 3 sometimes; she acts like she’s 10 years older than she actually is sometimes and I think I lost my cool too often because of that. As she works on her listening, I’m working hard on my patience.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve was spend with my mom, brother, step-dad and step brother. Christmas morning was brunch with my dad and brother, and Christmas dinner was with Kyle’s mom, step-dad, sister, nephew, aunt & uncle. Whew!

19. What was your favourite TV program?

I didn’t adopt many new shows this year. Grey’s Anatomy, The Walking Dead, Big Bang Theory, and The Voice were all on my “must watch right away” list as per usual.

20. What was the best book you read?

Apparently I only read three books this year. *insert sad face* I gave Jennifer Weiner’s “Who Do You Love” 5 out of 5 stars, so I guess that was the best book I read!

21. What was your greatest food discovery?

The homemade Shake & Bake recipe I found was a pretty awesome find! I think it’s even better than the store-bought stuff too.

22. What did you want and get?

This is an interesting question because it’s tough to answer it without sounding completely self-absorbed and materialistic. All I really wanted was for my family to be happy and healthy, and I definitely think I got that.

23. What did you want and not get?

There’s wasn’t much that I didn’t get – my cup is full and I’m grateful.

24. What was your favourite film of 2015?

Man, I didn’t watch too many movies this year, to be honest! I can’t even think of the “new” movies I watched. “Wild” came out On Demand this year – I really enjoyed that movie! We’ll go with that.

25. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Honestly – I don’t remember what I did on my birthday. How horrible is that? I know I turned 29 though. Ugh.

26. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Honestly, 2015 was a ridiculously satisfying year for me! I can’t think of much that would have made it better!

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2015?

“If it fits, is practical, and is comfy, wear it.”

28. What kept you sane?

My husband. He’s been my rock and saving grace on so many occasions this year, I don’t know what I’d do without him!

29. What political issue stirred you the most?

Man, so much went on this year and I’m not one to publicly discuss politics, but I think the whole refugee crisis has made me think the most. A close second is all the mass shootings that have happened in the US. That’s all I care to say.

30. Who did you miss?

I still miss my grandma immensely, and it’s been almost 4 years since she’s gone. I don’t know if that space in my heart will ever heal, to be honest.

31. Who was the best new person you met?

I can’t say I met any new people. How sad does that make me sound? I did, however, build up some better friendships with other people, so that’s a plus.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, no matter how big or small the issue may be.

33. Show us one of your favourite photos from the year. 

Our first photo as a family of four:

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Looking back at 2014

It’s SO hard to believe that it’s December 31 and 2014 is coming to an end already! Where on earth does the time go?

This past year has certainly been an interesting one. Its ups were UP and its downs were DOWN, but overall it was a decent year.

The Ups of 2014 were:

Lake visits! Kyle and I are fortunate enough to have friends whose parents own a little park model mobile right off of an excellent (and quiet) lake only about 30 minutes from were we live. We were able to go out and visit not once, but twice in the summer, and it was absolutely amazing both times. Every time we go out and visit it makes us pine for a lake property of our own – something we’re definitely going to make happen for our family in the future.

On top of those lake visits, we also headed out to a different lake with Kyle’s aunt and uncle, where I got to try (and fall in love with) stand up paddle boarding! It was one of the biggest highlights of the summer, for sure, and purchasing a board of my own is definitely on my “to do” list.

In 2014 I also made two separate trips to Vancouver – One in May and one in July! In May my mom, Isla, and I packed up the car and headed down for four days, visiting my grandpa and brother, and also making a day trip into Sechelt to spread my grandma’s ashes. (Not an “up” per-say, but it was nice to visit with family I haven’t seen in a while.) Then, in July, I headed back down to help celebrate my friend Callie’s last few weeks as an unmarried woman, bachelorette party style! It was a whirlwind trip (I was barely in the city for 24 hours before I headed back home), but it was a lot of fun and I’m glad I was able to make it down for the party!

In June, we celebrated Isla’s 2nd birthday! We had originally planned on having it at a nearby waterpark, but the weather turned to rain on us and we had to switch the festivities over to our house the morning of her party. It was hectic, but she had SO much fun hanging with family and playing with her friends. It’s so hard to believe that she’s now already 2 ½ – Why must she grow up so quickly?! *sob*

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In September Kyle and I had the honour to be a part of our best friends’ wedding, he as a groomsman, myself as a bridesmaid, and Isla as a flower girl! It was such a wonderful day and we’re both still so happy for two of our closest friends.

Then there were all of the other little things that made 2014 so great: getting back to playing slo-pitch, our new kitchen appliances, purchasing our new car, and the little date nights with Kyle. I don’t think I will ever be more thankful for having two sets of Isla’s grandparents being so willing to watch our little Lovey so Kyle and I can go out and be grown-ups for an evening. Thanks to them, we’ve been able to watch a few movies in the theatre, catch a comedy show, enjoy peaceful dinners out, and sleeping in.

Oh yes, then there was that wonderful discovery I made in mid-October that is going to make 2015 so amazing:

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Of course, I unfortunately can’t look back at 2014 without thinking about some of the crappy things that happened. I won’t dwell on them too much but …

The Downs of 2014 were:

Isla burning her fingers on a flat iron in August. You cannot help but feel just horrible when your kiddo is in so much pain and you can’t console them. There’s no reasoning when it comes to toddler logic sometimes, and what reasoning you can do goes completely out the window when they’re in serious pain. I’m so glad that we live in a city with a hospital, and while the waits can be long, the staff and nurses we so amazing in getting Isla in and out within a half-hour of our arrival. Once she had some painkillers and a good, solid 3-hour nap, Isla was back to her normal self and you never would’ve guessed she had hurt herself, other than the big “mitten” on her hand.

We unfortunately had two family members pass away this year as well. Kyle’s grandma passed away in June and my uncle passed away in October. Those days were tough, but we both know that they’re in a better place now.

Finally, there’s one down of 2014 that I haven’t really made public at all (because really, there was no need to), but in July I had a miscarriage. I did write a post about it, but made it a password-protected one. I’ve since taken the password requirement off, and if you need/want to read it, you can do so here. To be honest, it’s not something I dwell on too terribly much, but it was definitely the crappiest part of 2014 for me.

BUT 2015 is going to be amazing.

I’m looking forward to a Vancouver trip in March to see Maroon 5 in concert, more date nights with Kyle (starting with a comedy show on January 10), crazy adventures with my wonderful little family, and of course, the arrival of Baby #2. I’m ready to tackle this upcoming year to the best of my ability, and I know it’s going to be fantastic.

Happy New Year to all of my wonderful readers!!
Wishing you all the best to you in 2015!!

2013: A Year in Review

It’s hard to believe that 2013 has come to an end already. It really is true that when you become an adult, time just flies by. I can’t say that it hasn’t been amazing though, because I couldn’t be happier with the way the past year has been. Here are my favourite moments and some post highlights from each month this year:

January
– Isla had her first ever swimming lessons and she took to the water like a fish! She graduated with flying colours and enjoyed splashing in the water with the other babies her age. She also started cutting teeth that month, which proved to be a cranky time for her.

– I battled my body issues while trying to find a swimsuit so I could take Isla to said swimming lessons. I learned that it doesn’t matter what pregnancy did to my body, because I have an amazing little girl to show for all my sacrifices.

February
– I volunteered during a Pit Bull awareness day at one of the local pet stores. I’m a proud supporter of HugABull BC, and it was a fun day filled with pittie smooches!

– I told my story of bullying for Pink Shirt Day. It’s amazing to see how much bullying still goes on in the world today, and even more so when I see parents bullying other parents when we preach to our children to be kind to one another.

– Isla started crawling and cut her 2nd tooth.

March
– Isla started to crawl, which was the beginning of nonstop chaos in my house. We also started weaning, which ended up being a lot more easier than I thought it was going to be.

April
– I found out I wouldn’t be going back to work in June, and while the news was tough, I took it as a blessing in disguise. Since becoming an overall stay-at-home mom, I’ve embraced the role and an really thankful for being able to stay at home, raise Isla and manage the household.

– My mom, Isla, and I took a weekend road trip to Vancouver for some shopping and fun! We also visited Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium and Ikea while we were there. It was a great trip and well needed.

May
– I turned 27 by having dinner with my family. Officially pushing 30, I’m really content on where my life is right now. I also celebrated my very first Mother’s Day, and Kyle, the amazing guy that he is, treated me, my mom, his mom, and Isla to brunch.

– My bestest friend got engaged and I offered her some stellar advice.

June
– Kyle and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary by dropping off Isla at my mom’s and going out for dinner, just the two of us. We had an amazing time, even though we couldn’t wait to go back and pick Isla up from my mom’s.

– The biggest event of the year happened: Isla’s 1st Birthday! We had family & friends over to help us celebrate Isla’s big day, and she was spoiled rotten. I still can’t believe how quickly times flies when you have a child; she’s constantly learning something new and showing off how smart she is to this day!

July
– I reconnected with a friend who I had lost contact with after a series of strange events. I didn’t think much would come of our visit, but it went really well and I was so happy to see her and be able to be friends again.

– Kyle and I headed to the Little Shuswap Lake for the day to visit one of his oldest friends. We absolutely love “lake life” and would love to own a lake property at some point in our lives.

– Other July summer adventures included Highland Games, sanitarium tours, chair upcycling, and petting zoo visits!

August
– August included more day trips to the lake, as well as a overnight journey to visit a friend for his birthday!

Isla started walking! She definitely took her time learning, but ever since she figured it out, she hasn’t looked back, and my life hasn’t been sane since ;)

September
– I started taking yoga classes after much thought and deliberation. I had always wanted to try it out and when a beginner class was being offered, I decided to go for it. I must say, I have really taken a liking to yoga and I enjoy just having an hour to myself to centre and refocus my thoughts. I can’t wait to start going to more classes in the new year, for sure!

– I met a long-time blogging friend, Angela, who happened to be passing through Kamloops after a family house boating vacation at a nearby lake! It was so great to finally meet her and her husband and I hope that we get to visit again one day!

– I also played a few pick up games of slo-pitch, filling in for players who couldn’t make it. It felt great to get back into some physical sports after a 2-year hiatus.

October
– My mom and I took Isla to a great pumpkin patch just outside of town to find a pumpkin and for a little fall photoshoot.

– I blogged about the great parent wars and how everything these days seems to be a competition about whose kid is better, taller, faster, whatever. I still believe in what I wrote, and I still try to remind myself that the way Isla is growing and developing is just fine.

– Kyle and I booked our November trip to Vegas!

– I started weaning Isla off of her pre-bedtime bottle, which great success. The whole process went seamlessly, much to my surprise. I’ve convinced myself that the next child is going to be a demon that fights everything, because Isla has been a rockstar.

November
– Kyle and I, along with our best friends Dave & Callie, went to Las Vegas for a weekend! Outside of everything Isla, this was by-far the highlight of my year, for sure. I honestly cannot wait to go back one day and do it all over again, because there is still so much I’d like to see and do. (I’m sure the next trip won’t be for a while though.)

– We also celebrated 11 years of dating in November. It’s still so hard to believe that we’ve been together for SO long, especially since we’ve known each other since we were about 6 years old. We didn’t do anything special, but we did take a moment to just say, “I love you.” Sometimes, that’s all you need :)

– As an early Valentine’s Day gift for next year to ourselves, we bought tickets to see Brent Butt, a hilarious Canadian comedian. We even scored 2nd row seats, so we can’t wait to go!

– We went to the annual Santa Claus Parade since Isla was big enough to actually absorb what was going on. It was a little cold, but we had fun together as a family!

December
– Isla got to see Santa and sit on his lap not once, but twice! Kyle’s work throws a kids Christmas party every year and Santa makes a stop to give gifts to all the kids, and then she also sat on his lap for the formal annual Santa photo. She did OK meeting him both times; there were no tears, but she wasn’t so sure about sitting on his lap.

– Christmas! This year Christmas was even more exciting with Isla running all over the place. She was super spoiled by everyone this year and I can’t wait for her to get older so it’s even more magical.

– Kyle, Isla and I wrapped up 2013 by watching a movie at home and heading to bed early!

I don’t know what’s in store for 2014, but I’m sure it will be filled with more wonderful moments!

Happy New Year, everyone!