Monday, December 29, 2014

Goals for 2015

With just a few days left in 2014, everybody's talking about New Year's Resolutions.  My goal last year was to put Gary ahead of the kids.  I think we were finally at the stage where I had a little bit more freedom from the kiddos (no naps, diapers or breastfeeding) so it was realistic.  This year we were able to work on our marriage and I'm so thankful for where we are and the direction we are headed.

What are my goals for 2015?

1.  Continue to work on our marriage.  I think we'll just keep doing what we're doing (really thinking about how we are treating each other and putting in the effort) and hopefully throw in a few more growth opportunities.  A marriage conference?  A getaway?  Another good marriage book?  It will be our 10 year anniversary this May.

{We had a date night at The Keg!}

2. Work on my fitness level.  I'm comfortable at my weight and size right now but my body fat is probably higher than it should be.  I'd like to make more of an effort to work out.  I've always run 1-2 times a week but I need to add some cross training.  I bought new runners (love Brooks) and I've signed up for a 5 km race at the end of January.  I'd like to move from `average' to `ideal' body fat percentage but I also want something that I can realistically sustain over a long period of time.  We have a body fat % reader on our scale so that makes it easy to measure.   I'm going to make sure that I continue to eat as little sugar as possible as I really love how it makes me feel.  I'm also hoping to buy something like a `Fitbit' this week.

{Although the runners weren't on sale at the Running Room, I got a free Brooks sports bra with it valued at $59.99.}

So, health seems to be the theme.  Healthy marriage and body.  Do you do New Year's Resolutions?  If so, what are they?


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas 2014

The day before Christmas Koen and Nya were still not feeling well.  They spent the day resting and watching tv. 

Gary prepped some food for the get together with my side of the family (which has happened on Christmas Eve our whole lives).  He made beet cured salmon and some sweet potato lentil patties.

I just took Kai to my sister's house and Gary stayed home with the youngest.  Can you believe it was nice enough out that the kids could play outside?

Five sisters.  

Gary brought the two youngest during present time.  Limited sharing of germs and at least Nya and Koen could participate a little.

Nya loved getting her princess tiara, wand and ring.  The ring I'm wearing is a special one I got after my mom passed away.  It's the ring my dad bought my mom after I was born (they waited a long time for me!).

Koen really wanted a `Hello Kitty' for Christmas.  

All the grandkids.

Most of us minus Joanne's girls and their families.

We had to miss the Christmas Eve service as Nya was just not happy or well.  So we went home early.  The next morning, the kiddos woke up to get their presents from Santa.  They each got a Mixel in their stocking from him.

Nya slept in (she never does) so we knew she still wasn't feeling well.

Koen got a `new to him' LeapPad.

I got the traditional chocolates, socks and underwear.  Gary used to let the boys choose the underwear but I'd rather have him choose as I'm not into bright orange ones like the ones I got Christmas 2012.

I got Nya a whole bunch of Dora books/movies/cd's in brand new condition for under $5 (from a facebook Bidding Wars group).  

The boys made each other drawings/colouring.

I love reading `Diary of a Wimpy Kid' with Kai.  We read through the first 50 pages and it's hilarious because the mom is all about educational games and bonding over road trips.  This hits a bit close to home ;) 

My friend Lisa got a mug like this (real beaker with handle) a while back and I wanted one.  Little did I know that Gary got one for me!  I was surprised that he hid it from me so I even had a tear or two, I love it!  I also got a $100.00 gift card from Hunni's which I spent on boxing day (40% off everything!). 

Kai Bear got his own climbing harness so he can go with Gary any time.

Nya cheered up a bit.

Koen got the game `Jenga'.

And then Kai and Gary made us crepes for breakfast.

On Boxing Day, I went shopping quickly for an hour (well, 45 minutes was in line) and bought three items from Hunni's.  I felt a bit rushed so hopefully I spent my gift card well.  Then we went to the Chapman Christmas festivities.

Grandma and Grandpa have a hot tub which the kids love.  I even joined them this year.

Uncle Todd brought some snow that was leftover from his Christmas morning surprise for the family.  Koen rolled in it and then jumped into the hot tub.  There were also multiple snowballs thrown at me.

Gary's side of the family has older cousins so Kai enjoys the `boy time'.

Nya cuddled with her big cousins.  They're so great with her. She's now struggling with another respiratory virus :(

We opened just a few presents and enjoyed eating together. I LOVE that I felt so comfortable with the amount of gifts over the holiday this year.  Totally an appropriate amount in my opinion.  I don't like just giving gifts to give gifts.  I like purpose and desire and usefulness.

It was a great Christmas spread out over three days.  I'm thankful that Gary and I have families nearby to celebrate with and our very own little family.  The next week will be spent on some odds and ends around the house, a trip to Science World (Christmas gift for the kids which I actually won!), swimming lessons, and a photo session.  Perfect.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Looking forward to sharing my 2015 goals this coming week.  Gary's not as into the goal making as I am...are you?


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Year End Edition

This year I am thankful for:

1. Health.  Yes, we had the usual amount of stomach bugs and respiratory illnesses but overall, good general health.  My thyroid is also still behaving awesomely which is great.  We now have inhalers for Nya which brings us both relief.

2. A marriage that is improving.  We are in such a better place now but I know that it will continue to take work.  I'm thankful for where we are and the direction we are heading.  It'll be 10 years in May!

3.  Financial stability.  When I got sick (Graves' Disease) in 2009 and was unable to go back to teaching, I was stressed about how to earn an income.  We put more into our photography business and since then, I've been able to start subbing about once a week.  We don't make a lot of money but it's a wonderful, perfect amount for us.  

4. Our parent's health.  I guess as we get older, so do our parents.  I'm thankful that Dad, Joanne, Judy and Dan are here and relatively healthy.

5.  Awesome blogging opportunities.  I wasn't sure what would happen when I was nominated as one of the Top Vancouver Mom Bloggers of 2014 back in June.  I wasn't sure how to stay `me'.  I'm very thankful that as a family we could partake in many fun family activities and share about them.

6.  The communities that I am part of.  Seriously, so grateful.  I see these communities at church (I'd say 60% of our Christmas cards come from our church family), school, the neighbourhood, facebook, blogging, friends, family, and more.  I feel supported and encouraged.  Thank YOU.

7. A new way of eating.  Saying `goodbye' to most sugar has been so amazing to both Gary and I.  It's been a little tricky these past few weeks with so many goodies.  We let ourselves indulge when it's worth it.  I LOVE seeing the results on both Gary and myself.  We've each lost close to 20 lbs.

8.  Our home.  It's not the most stylish.  It's doesn't have the biggest kitchen or ensuite or yard, but, it works well for us.  I'm so glad we bought it when we did (9 years ago!) because we sure wouldn't be able to buy it now.

9.  Healthy family relationships.  With 4 sisters (and their husbands) and 2 sister in laws (and their husbands), you never know what could happen.  I'm glad that we all love and respect each other (I think we do!).

10.  Our children.  Each night we pray with them and thank God that they are in our family.  It can get a little nuts parenting three kids and balancing life but I wouldn't change a thing. Well, less sickness if I had any control over it.  I'm nervous and excited about the child that may join our family this year through the foster system.  No idea when this would happen but now I'm thinking it will be closer to the summer.

For all these things and so many more, I thank God.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Love, Louise

PS We had to take about 20 pictures to get one with Gary's eyes open.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Quick Getaway to Harrison Hot Springs

This was our fourth family trip to Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa. We first went when Nya was 3 months old and love going back one or two times a year.  I love it because it's close and we all love the pools.  This year we surprised the kids with it and I would say that they aren't the best with surprises.  I think we all like the anticipation part of a trip.

Unfortunately, as has happened in the past, we had sick kids.  Kai and I had just finished with a stomach flu and while there, Koen and Nya started with some other stomach bug.   This definitely put a damper on our time there but we still used the pools (Koen only once), played at the playground, ate pizza on the beach and just spent a lot of time relaxing.

I have a hard time playing with the kids in regular pools because I get so cold. The hot springs are nice and warm and we all love them.

I had to buy a new bathing suit because my other ones were too big.  This coming year I plan on toning up a bit and hopefully getting myself back into a two piece :)

Last night Gary went swimming with Kai.  It's always fun night swimming in a warm pool!  Then Kai and I watched a movie that they had playing.  

It was a long night with Nya and Koen not feeling very well.  This morning Kai spent time in the pool with me and then Gary did a shift with him.  Nya went in for a while too.  She LOVES jumping in.

Koen spent a lot of time just resting :(  Oh the reality of trips with kids in the winter.....

And now we're home getting caught up on laundry while the two littlest hold their buckets, nap and watch tv.  

I'm sad that we've had sickness in our home for so long.  Kai missed his last week of school and now it looks like Koen and Nya will miss Christmas with my side of the family tomorrow :(

I hope you are having a healthy start to the week!