September Recap

The first month of school is done! Did you survive? We hung in there the best we could but I think we’ve found our rhythm and are back in the groove of things.

Isla started grade 2 this year and after the first week of school she was finally placed in a classroom. (Because of a large amount of new students it took a while to shuffle everyone around.) She was happy to get the teacher she was hoping for and so far she’s really loving her classroom.

20190903_085306

The classroom she’s in is a grade 2/3 split, so I’m hoping she does okay. Her teacher seems wonderful and has been teaching for quite a while, so I’m confident Isla will be able to absorb everything that’s being taught with no issues.

The most exciting school-related event, however, was Norah starting preschool! She’s been dying to go to school practically since Isla started kindergarten two years ago, so when she learned that she FINALLY gets to go twice a week, she was ecstatic!

20190910_083408

She looks forward to going and needed no convincing that school is an exciting place to be. And she’s already learning so much! I hate comparing Isla and Norah, but Norah definitely has more “learning” to do than Isla did at this age, so preschool is definitely benefitting her a lot more.

In addition to going back to school, Isla returned to ballet classes this month and is happy to be back in the studio with her dance friends. She also started rehearsals for the Nutcracker performance that she’ll be in come November, so that’s exciting as well. Norah so far isn’t in any extracurriculars, but I’m leaning towards something like soccer or baseball come the spring. The kid needs to MOOOOVE so I think a sport would be better for her than something as structured as dance or gymnastics.

Of course, there was also the Dirty Feet trail race I ran near the beginning of the month. My legs took a solid week to recover but I think they’re back to normal now ;) I’m not sure what my next race will be – I haven’t even ran since then – so whenever I find the time/energy to do that we’ll go from there.

Kyle and I also got in a dinner and a movie just this past weekend! My mom had the girls over for a sleepover, so we got to go out for dinner and then we headed to the theatre with a friend to watch Rambo: Last Blood! The movie was everything I expected it to be, and then some, so I give it two solid Bowie Knives up, lol.

September, unfortunately, wasn’t entirely celebrations and excitement. Near the end of August we learned that Sam, our German Shepherd, was suffering from a pancreatic disease called E.P.I.. Generally, it’s more common for older dogs to contract the disease, so Sam’s case was highly unusual, but it explained why he was so skinny and not gaining any weight. Sadly, the medication to help his pancreas regulate his food digestion was a cost that was unexpected and something that we wouldn’t be able to maintain, especially on top of the semi-annual bloodwork he’d need. After a long discussion with the breeder we received Sam from, we decided that it would be best for Sam to go back to her. It was something that definitely wasn’t an easy thing to do, and I still miss him terribly, but I know he’s getting the care he needs by someone who can afford to do so.

The girls handled his departure extremely well (me, not so much), and I’m so ridiculously proud of both of them for being so grown up about the situation.

All that being said, we didn’t want to remain a one-dog house for too long, so Kyle and I began the search for another puppy. We had many discussions over what kind of dog to get – we thought about another shepherd but were still in shock from Sam’s issues – so we opted for a “Good Ol’ Labrador retriever.” We searched the mighty Internet high and low and eventually stumbled across a litter that was ready to go, so one sunny, Saturday morning we dropped the girls off at my mom’s and the rest is history …

20190923_074436(0)

Meet Lars! He’s the chillest little chonkster and the girls are so happy to have a puppy in their lives again. I’m pretty smitten too, potty accidents aside, lol. And Campbell loves having a friend to play with again – he’s been SO good with Lars and it’s great to see him perky again.

So, that’s September in a nutshell! Lots of ups, a couple of downs, but overall it was a decent start to a new school year! October has the potential to be an interesting month, but we’ll see how it goes!

What were some of the highlights for you in September?!

What I’m Reading: Red, White & Royal Blue

From the book jacket:

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

My review:

I picked up a copy of this book after hearing a lot of positive feedback about it. The idea behind the book was quite intriguing, but I think it really could have been put together more cleanly. Also – I can’t help but assume that this is a fictitious spin on what politics may been like if Clinton had won the 2016 election, but I digress…

The main story idea itself was good – a secret love between the First Son and HRH? Scandalously wonderful! I cheered for Alex and Henry’s love story and I truly wanted them to be together. Love know no boundaries (or political policies), you know? But all details involving their “bow-chicka-wow-wow” moments was … Meh. I don’t know if it was skirted over on purpose or if the author was too apprehensive of researching the subject matter, but those moments fell flat, IMO. There needed to be more than kissing, a smile, an “Oh Baby” and spooning.

Additionally, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m not American, but I just didn’t enjoy the whole re-election subplot and felt that the story could have had the same impact if it didn’t revolve around an election.

Red, White & Royal Blue definitely has an important message behind it – that policies need to change with the times and you should be allowed to love whoever you want to love openly – but I feel the story could have been delivered better. Chop out the centre third of the story and again, the point still could have been made. It was too long for what it was.

In a nutshell: I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. It just didn’t live up to the hype for me.

My rating: ★★★/5 Stars

Race Recap: Dirty Feet Mountain Run

This past Sunday I managed to make my way up to the rainy mountains for the Dirty Feet Sun Peaks Trail Run!

It was my second time running this race and I almost, ALMOST, signed up for the 10K distance but chickened out changed my mind at the last minute. I’m glad I did because judging by the way my legs still feel three days later … another 5K on top of what I did probably would have made me wheelchair-bound.

Anyway, I drove myself up to the mountain in time to pick up my race package and had about an hour and a half to kill before I had to line up at the start line, so I treated myself to a light breakfast at Cahilty Creek Kitchen restaurant. It was lovely eating in relative peace and not having to tell a tiny human to sit nice and eat their dang food! I had poached eggs with a slice of bacon, a sausage link, toast, and fruit, and it was just enough to fuel me up without weighing me down! I highly recommend stopping there for breakfast if you’re ever up at Sun Peaks. (Their regular menu looks pretty awesome too, IMO.)

20190908_101714

After breakfast I wandered back to my car to stay warm and dry before the race. It was pretty wet in general all weekend, but thankfully the rain subsided just enough to make it not completely horrible by the time the 5K runners had to start. (I can’t say the same for the 1/2 or Full Marathon runners though!) I eventually crawled out of my warm car and met up with some fellow running folks I knew from town before getting ready at the start line!

Overall, I felt pretty good during the race. The mud wasn’t too terrible, although there were a few spots where it was pretty slick and I had to slow down a bit so I wouldn’t slip and fall. As it turns out, adjusting my gait/stride for the mud wrecked havoc on my knees and they’re pretty dang sore. The more you run the more you learn …

IMG_20190908_123453_432
Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 7.01.29 PM

I don’t know if it’s the course itself or if the mountains just play with the GPS function, but it always clocks this race at just under 5 km. Whichever it is, you can totally tell by my splits where the uphill battles were, and where I had the privilege of coasting downhill.

70557072_2525206914206146_3598513283524460544_o
Photo via Dirty Feet’s Facebook page

All things considered, I’m pretty happy with my final time of 31:36. I was aiming to beat my time from last year’s race, and I think it definitely could have been possible had the trails not been so muddy! I’m looking forward to next year’s event already!