Thursday, May 29, 2008

Happy 3 Years

Yesterday was our 3rd wedding anniversary. In some ways, it seems like it wasn't that long ago that we started dating and then got married. In other ways, it feels like we've been married forever. I love that we got married in our late twenties, as we had time to travel and grow and discover who we really were. I love being married to Gary, and how we have grown to understand, appreciate, support and encourage eachother. I'd say that marriage can be pretty easy and we probably haven't put as much work into it as we could to make it the best that it can be. Maybe we'll put a little more effort into us this year:)
We had a few stressors throughout our marriage. I think the hardest time was the death of my mom before our first anniversary and then the birth of our son just 3 months after that. I think that having a child has been the greatest and hardest adjustment of my life. I'm so fortunate that Gary is such a supportive husband and that he is such an involved daddy for Kai. They share so much laughter together and Kai loves helping daddy in any way possible AND Gary makes sure that there are tons of opportunities for this.

Do you know how we met? We both started teaching at FVC back in 2001. I remember our first conversation with him and I thought that he was kind of strange. Fortunately, the second conversation went a lot better! After a few weeks of working together, Gary asked me over to his place for dinner and I said no. A dinner at his place sounded like a date to me and I was just getting over a past relationship. Gary insists to this day that it wasn't a date, he just wanted to get to know me better. The next day, he brought some leftovers from the dinner that he made and it was pretty fabulous! We did a hiking trip together with a bunch of students and I remember thinking he seemed like such a cool guy in the sense that he was really into the outdoors and loved teaching/kids etc. (hmmm...that might have been our second year)
During this time, I was teaching 4 grade 9 classes and all of them were trying to convince me that I should date Mr. Chapman. Gary would encourage this by coming into the classroom while I was teaching which would of course cause me to be a little flustered. Students would write on the white board `Louise Loves Gary' before I got into the room and they would hold up notes in class that said things like `Isn't Mr. Chapman good looking?'. All of this made me want to date him even less (even though they like to take credit for us being together!). I may have even said at one point that I would not date Mr. Chapman for a million dollars!

At the Christmas formal dance, they had a slow dance and they called Gary and I up to start the slow dance. The entire school circled around us and I don't think I've ever been so nervous!!! The next day, the picture of us slow dancing was the background on every school computer! I wish I had a picture of that now:) Anyway, during our second year of teaching, I had told him that we would never date and then about 3 months after that, I changed my mind. I asked him out for sushi and then, when he was about to drop me off, I started a very awkward conversation. We started dating that night.
We only dated for about 4 months and then Gary broke up with me the day we were going to see a BC Lions game. We still went to the game, although I didn't really enjoy it! I would like to point out that I wrote in my diary, after the first week of dating, that I knew we were going to get married. This guy was just so different than any other guy I had ever dated and this was who God had planned for me all along. We spent about 6 months apart and in that time, I got into adventure racing and really just enjoyed my time in Vancouver. I still saw Gary as we were both still teaching at the same school. In that following school year (2003-04), I decided that in 2004, I wanted to take time off of teaching and go to Kenya. It was during that decision making time that we started dating again. It was March when we started dating, and I left in August. We were apart for 5 months and I missed him more than anyone in the world. When I was hiking Kilimanjaro, I had visions of him at the top, ready to propose to me. He was not there:( When I returned in January, we got engaged 3 weeks later. Four months after that, we got married up at Green Lake where my parents have a house.

Gary is def. different than who I imagined myself with and I think I wasn't his ideal either (although he says he never had any kind of mental`list' like I did!). We are both very happy to have committed our lives to eachother and I think we work very well together. I'd say that 2 major tips that I can think of at this immediate time are:
1. Always consult eachother if you plan on buying anything over $50.00 (in this case, Gary also has to give me fair warning if he plans to buy an expensive food item like parmesan cheese).
2. Understand eachothers love languages (written by Gary Chapman!). We tend to give love in the way we like to receive it. I always used to write Gary notes and send him emails. He would make me nice dinners. Meanwhile, we wanted the other person to do those things for us! I need words of affirmation and he needs acts of service.
Happy 3rd anniversary Gary...looking forward to this year and the laughter, love, and growth this year brings!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cuddle? Relax!

Kai loving his `new' bug book.

He's used a few new terms now like `too big!' `too hot!' `too noisy!'. When something is too noisy, he covers his eyes instead of his ears...not sure why!

When Kai woke up from his nap, he said `Cuddle? Mommy? Chair?'. So we snuggled on the chair to read some books and he said `Kai relax' (not sure when he learned that word!)
(The post nap look, not quite ready to let go of Bubbi)
(Daddy and Kai sharing a joke. Kai recently learned our names and calls Gary `Gaygay' because he can't say the `r'. In turn, Gary tries to get him to call me `Mammary' instead of mommy. They think they are funny).
We had an engagement shoot in White Rock this morning and I just thought I'd put a couple pictures here before I figure out which ones to post on our other site:)

Saturday, May 24, 2008


*WArning: this is a boring blog, I can't even read over it*
I've realized that I haven't blogged since Tuesday and the reason why is that nothing has happened and I have only taken two pictures all week. I won't post the pictures because its Kai pooping on the toilet (which he has done a lot over this past week!). My dad, due to his profession (probation officer), has made me uber careful about what I post:)

We were supposed to go to `Eat! Vancouver' last night but Gary injured himself while teaching PE class and may have just a bruised rib or maybe even a broken one. He says if it continues to hurt a month from now, he'll get it checked out. We are so different. So we just went to grandpa and gramma Chapmans house to visit for a bit. Then, we rented Ocean's 13 from Save-On-Foods. My friend Ali told me about the video cube they have there so that rentals are only $2.00, that is a whole lot better than the $6 at Rogers! It was a decent movie but it wasn't too complex or surprising as I could follow it quite easily:) We also may have eaten some chocolate lovers ice cream...I've decided that banning ice cream and cookies from my diet is not worth the 2 lbs.

Today, I had a football game against a very athletic and tall team. We lost but we did get two touchdowns in there. I don't think we'll win another game all season but I'm still looking forward to each game. Tomorrow morning we have an engagement shoot before church. This Wednesday we will celebrate our 3rd anniversary. Well, I don't think we'll actually celebrate it on Wednesday but that is the big day! I'll try to put some fun pictures in tomorrow...if anything fun happens:)

Oh ya, what does `bugs' have to do with it? Kai loves bugs and i got him a bug book from a garage sale today. He's pretty pumped about it and his favourites are the bumblebee and the merms (worms).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Zest for life

All I have to say is that I wish you could all see Kai when it's just Gary and I around. He is hilarious. I can't believe what a big boy he is. Gary and I just look at each other with huge grins and shake our head. His energy is unbelievable, i want to strap a pedometer to him and see what it reads (I know, it doesn't work for kids under 6 but seriously, he doesn't stop!). Aw man, I love that kid. Today he came running straight at me with a look like he just did the most exciting thing in the whole world. `Compost! Help daddy! Outside! Tomatoes!! Peppers!! Onion!!' all this with some very exaggerated actions of throwing stuff in the compost and pointing outside. Imagine a world where we were all excited with the mundane task of throwing stuff in the compost?!

I've started using reverse psychology on him in a joking manner like `No hugs, no no no, don't hug me!!!!' and he runs at me with a huge grin, arms spread out `Hug mommy!!!! Kiss mommy!!!' and then I say `okay' and he attacks me with love. I love a love attack. I remember when i was single, I used to make my little sisters hug me for some human contact and love. I haven't had to do that for a LONG time, I am so blessed with Gary and Kai. Thank you God!

Monday, May 19, 2008

May Day in Fort Langley

Gary was in charge of family day today so he decided that we should go the May Day Parade. We started out at Derby Reach which would be a great location for an engagement shoot if you ask me! Kai saw his first Canadian Geese and enjoyed running around with all the doggies.

Check out Gary's new shorts below. If you don't know him, he wears shorts about 360 days a year and he usually wears the same kind everyday. This is a bit wild for him. Did you notice his newest hair cut, i think I'm getting a bit better at it:)
Enjoying (?) the May Day Parade. It took FOREVER for it to get going. Fortunately there were enough things to keep Kai's attention like `motiebikes', horses and balloons.
Our official taste tester. The knife is actually out of his reach. Time for dinner!

I only have to teach 8 more days!!!!!! Then, exams and meetings. But still, 8 more days! Wow.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Taste of Summer

This weekend has felt so much like summer. It was awesome getting the flip flops, shorts and tank tops out again! Gary came home earlier than expected, on Friday night. I had rented `P.S. I Love You' and finished just in time. I was slightly disappointed by the movie as I had been told by several people throughout the week that I had to see it and it would make me cry. Call me heartless, but I didn't cry! I'm usually the biggest crier ever, even for commercials, but I think because they said I would cry, then I didn't (I don't like it when people tell me what to do:)) Gary had a great trip and all the kids came back safe and sound with great memories so that's fabulous. I've done the trip twice and I wish i could have gone with him but I don't like the idea of leaving Kai for 5 days, and besides, who could take care of our crazy monkey?!

Yesterday, we spent time getting dirt for our garden and transporting it with our recycling bin. For the size of our yard, there is no reason to get a wheelbarrow:) It was so hot and I don't know what we did for fun yesterday but I know that I had some time to myself which was fabulous.

In church today, Kai was a disaster. He didn't like the nursery at all. I could hear him screaming from church and when his number popped up, I ran back there. I hope this is not a new stage because someone has to go to daycare on Tuesday! I tried taking him into church but he does not know how to be quiet. He kept saying stuff like `Uncle Brent praying!' (his uncle is our pastor). `All done, Kai's house!'. I'm not sure why, but he really wanted to go home. When we got home, we planted the peas, carrots, beans and lettuce in our small garden. Here are some pictures of Kai helping which is his fav. thing to do!

He is honestly such a chatterbox, I don't think he can go one minute without talking. When Gary came home, he said `What happened to him?!' because in just 5 days, he has been talking up a storm. Yesterday, Gary took Kai to bring the trailer to gramma and grandpa's house and he said `Drop the trailer off!' so he is saying many 4 word sentences now!

Another big thing is the toilet! If you are not into potty training, don't read! For the past week or so, he will say `toilet, poo poo' so we will put him on it, he will pretend to go for a minute or so and then say `no poop, all done'. Well, on Friday he actually did do it TWICE and once today at church. Good job buddy!!! Because we are not actively potty training, I think this could be a very drawn out process but that's okay with me, I'm in no hurry.

Kai is actually playing in his room by himself right now, this is rare when i'm around. Usually he has to do everything with me all the time. With Gary, he is better at playing by himself because Gary is better at ignoring him:) I'm trying to figure out how to get him to play by himself more often, but, he does not like toys or books. He doesn't watch tv although I have a feeling he might watch a Diego DVD so I may get one. I don't like him playing outside by himself but I guess I could just sit out there with him and not play with him.

I'm so excited that summer is just a month away. We will be busy with a wedding almost every Saturday and a trip to Disneyland but I hope we can do a bit of stuff around here like start finishing the basement. I would love to have a giant play area downstairs so that I'm not always cleaning up in the kitchen and great room area AND so that I get some Louise time each day.

One complaint about craigslist, this week, I have made plans to pick up a camcorder the following day at a certain time and when I called a few hours before the designated time to confirm, they told me it was sold! Excuse me?! You said I could have it and we had confirmed a time. This happened TWICE. If you are going to sell it to me, then do so! Trust me. Grrr....we're going to buy it off of ebay now.

By the way, last thing: We all napped today!!! I'm not a napper but I think the heat has gotten to me, it was awesome!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Long Weekend

Wow, what amazing weather for the long weekend! I hope we do some fun stuff. There's not much on the agenda, just maybe buy a used camcorder with a hard drive. I have one of those old high 8 ones with tapes which our new computers can no longer convert. Gary made a nifty DVD of Kai's first year and I would like to continue making a DVD a year that's about 10 minutes long of all the highlights.
This morning, Kai was up at 5am. I was so tired and not in the mood but I thought that if I let him sleep where daddy sleeps, he would fall asleep. Nope. Gary has been gone since Tuesday so its just a bit more tiring not having much down time! So, we decided to do a couple loads of laundry, have breakfast and then we were out of the door by 7am to head to White Rock. We have a photo shoot there next weekend and I just wanted to check out a few locations while Kai ran wild. The beach was busy already at 8am, it must be this beautiful weather!
Gary is doing the Wellness Trip with his PE 12 class (Powell River Circuit). He better be wearing so much sunscreen, although, i can't really talk. Yesterday I had 2 science 9 classes outside launching their rockets and I burnt my neck and upper back so badly. I really do not like getting tanned/burnt as I'm freckly enough and had enough moles removed. I'm prob. the only one wearing a long sleeved shirt outside today:)
I thought it might be fun to have the slide go into the pool. He just wanted to make a giant soup out of it. He threw thyme, weeds and dirt in it and them mixed it with the baseball bat. He loves to mix anything.

Maybe I'll try napping, I've never been a good napper. Hope you all have a great long weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Favourites

This is a blog purely about me and my favourite things. It's just because sometimes I'm bored (love it!) and wish that people had updated their blogs.

Favourite items of clothing: my saucony runners, my watch (it's not a great one but I could never not wear it), and black puffy MEC vest which I've had for at least 4 years and prob. wear way to much.
Favourite sports to play: football and ball hockey. Seriously, playing football has balanced my life out and it is the best time of the week where I get to be just plain old Louise.
Favourite book: Power of One
Favourite meal I've ever had: Back in 2004, Gary and I were hiking Stein Valley (grizzly country, no other people around for 3 days, unclear trail markings). On the third day out, Gary made a sundried tomato pesto chicken sauce with rotini. It was fabulous.
Favourite time saver: Every night, I lay out my clothes for the next day. I do this for Kai too.
Favourite drink: I only have these once every two weeks or so, I would say either a mocha or a coke.
Favourite tv show: LOST
Favourite month: August (summer, Gary, Kai and my birthdays, no work)
Favourite dessert: homemade apple pie and icecream
Favourite course to teach: Biology 12
Favourite sister to talk about family stuff: Maria
Favourite sister to make me laugh: Jan
Favourite sister to depend on: Jackie
Favourite sister to go on a walk with: Trish
Favourite chore to do: vacuuming
Favourite beach: Crescent
Favourite lens: 28-135 mm Canon IS
Favourite alone time: shower
Favourite snack: homemade cookies (which I have been without for 3 weeks on this cookie free diet which has allowed me to lose just 2 lbs)
Favourite things about our house's location: walk to Extra Foods and the park
Favourite fruit: mango
Favourite love language: words of affirmation (Gary's is Acts of Service)
Favourite part of our wedding: we wrote our own vows which were a little funny

Monday, May 12, 2008


You can't really see the how excited he really is but boy, he loves his diggers!
I forgot about these pictures from the weekend and just wanted to add them. By the way, Gary is cute. I've been finding little homemade `cards', by Kai and Gary, all over the house in the most random places. That is def. the kind of mothers day gift I like, little hand made cards attempted by Gary and Kai:) I can see Kai's influence due to the football and basketballs drawn on the cards (Gary prob. asked him what he wanted to put on mommy's card) and Gary def. got into my stamps.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

We had a good weekend in the Chapman household. It seems like the happiness and giggle factor has increased immensely which is good for all. Gary got to go to MEC on Friday night and bought himself some goodies. On Saturday, Kai and Gary made a yummy breakfast. Kai mixed the eggs, added salt and pepper, and then got chives from the garden. What 21 month old knows his herbs? He seriously loves to help mommy and daddy in the kitchen more than anything else.

Then, I hit two amazing garage sales to find a huge plastic slide and clothes for Kai. In the afternoon, I had an awesome football game. We all played well and I think we made our coach proud:) When I got home, Gary had a yummy dinner of braised beef short ribs and mashed potatoes for me. He also made an baked apple dessert with vanilla bean icecream....yummy!

(Kai trying to learn how to lick his first icecream cone...well, it was mine but he had his fair share!)

This morning I was in the nursery at church but Kai has been coughing so he stayed home with Gary. This afternoon we went to Crescent beach for the Chapman annual Mother's Day celebration. Kai had so much fun chasing his cousins, doggies, and birds. He also pigged out and ate more than I did! There's something so beautiful about watching your kid being so happy. He was meeting other kids and rolling down the hills with them. He gave out a huge amount of hugs and wanted to hold so many hands.

(concentrating hard!)
I think that by being a mom, it has been easier to celebrate this day. I feel for people who have lost their moms and do not have their own children to help celebrate their day. I love Kai more than anything and it really is like having your heart running around outside of your body. I don't love every part of the mom role, but it has allowed for a lot of stretching and growth in my life. At night, when i see Kai in his car bed, i just want to lay next to him and snuggle. I always knew when I was younger that I wanted to have kids but I never thought about what it would do to me. I never thought about how my life would change so much in regards to my role, responsibilites and mass of emotions.

(Kai with his closest Chapman cousin, Kieryn)

(Kai with grandma....he calls her MahMah)

Now, time to sit back and relax!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Good book

I found this book at a garage sale on Saturday and just finished it today. I really enjoyed it and would give it an 8/10. It's a true story (who doesn't love a true story?!) about what life is like inside a prison in La Paz, Bolivia. The prison was very different than I expected and I found it very informative and easy to read. Some of the shocking things about this prison are that; the best cocaine in the world comes from inside the prison, prisoners must buy their cell (there are 5 star cells down to 1 star cells, just like hotels), male prisoners may have their wife and children live there with them, and there are restaurants inside the prison. I won't give away any more but if you are looking for a good, easy read....try it:)

I am so happy that I had `Louise time' over the past few days and could read, it is def. one of my favourite things to do.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

3 Things You Should Know

Here are a 3 things that drive me crazy as a science teacher and I'm sure many of you already know them but maybe you can share them with your children:)
1. Nothing is chemical free. Water is a chemical, so is the air you breathe. A chemical is made up of any of the elements on the periodic table. If you want to say it has no additives or pesticides or preservatives, say that. If you say than an object is made without chemicals, then it is not an object at all. When water companies claim that their water is chemical free, it just doesn't make sense.
2. We are animals. Yes, people are in the animal kingdom. We are mammals. Kids in grade 9 are shocked to hear that they are animals.
3. A fruit is anything with a seed. Yes, tomatoes and cucumbers are fruit.
I'm sure most of you knew this but I just needed to get it out:)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Busy Weekend

Friday, Gary finished his Wilderness First Aid course and came home at 8pm exhausted. As soon as he got home, I ran out. I don't really remember what I did but I just needed to get out:) On Saturday, same old with football (we lost a close-ish game) and baseball.
On Sunday, my four sisters, my dad and myself went to Crescent beach for our annual memorial for my mom. We walked the beach (my dad has a pedometer now to help him get in shape so he made sure we walked for enough!) and then went to the Beecher Street Cafe for lunch.

The anniversary for her death is on Wednesday. I have to admit that it has gotten much better over time but I really try not to think about it much. I would say the hardest day ever is Mother's Day which is always within a week of May 7th. I miss her a lot and actually miss more what could've been. She would've loved Kai and loved being just across the street from him. Kai would love oma so much too, especially her baking:) However, I'm still so thankful for what I do have and the life I had growing up.

After Crescent beach, Gary and I dropped Kai off at Ani and B-belle's house so he could play for the evening while we went to Jericho to take engagement photos. Ani and B-belle were wearing their cute dresses so we tried to get pictures of them but it wasn't too successful.

Here's a few pictures of Kai. Again, the `Mommy you are making life so tough on me' face:)

His hair looks a little red to me...isn't he cute?!

I'm happy to be home tomorrow, I hope its sunny!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Little photo shoot

We haven't taken pictures of Kai in the studio in forever! I didn't really think about it, I just took him down there. It is pretty much impossible for me to take pictures of him by myself. He just kept running away. Finally, I decided that food may keep him in place. These are a few pics that I took. Please excuse his hair, I thought some gel might work but then what could I really do to style it? Maybe I need to cut it short or something. I know they are pretty much all the same picture, but it's always hard to choose:) Here's our precious baby...

Apparently I'm pretty funny...