Ten Lovely Little Things On A Friday

These are 10 things currently making me happy on this cold Alberta Friday night:

1. A WALKING BABY! That’s right. McKenna has now entered the half crawling/half WALKING stage. She walks anytime she’s currently in a standing position (cruising) and can get from one room to the other. It’s very exciting. A video will come soon, but I have been having a hard time capturing it thus far as I am generally clapping and cheering like a fool on the sidelines.

2. JAMAICA – it’s nearly here! We are just a few sleeps away! And as nervous as I am about the flight with McKenna, I am SUPER EXCITED for our first family vacation and to see two wonderful people get married! Any last minute tips? Send them my way, PLEASE in the comments section!!

3. This new dress I bought today! I bought it for the wedding until I realized, DUH, it’s white. Oh well! I will be just as content wearing it around town. (Seriously, love!!)

4. Wedding planning is going so well! I am really starting to get a vision for what the big picture will look like. We had a meeting with the venue this past weekend, and if possible, I love it more than ever.

5. Moments like these.

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And as always, these two in general. ❤

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5. This song. I think it will be my official “WE’RE GOING TO JAMAICA!” theme song (aka, the song I will be blasting in the car at 5:30 in the morning on our way to the airport as Matt shoots me dirty looks while sipping a gigantour Tim Horton’s coffee).

6. This movie trailer based on a favorite book. YOU MUST READ. BUT HAVE KLEENEX NEARBY. Don’t say I never warned you :).

7. This blog post from a favorite blog which inspired THIS blog post! 🙂

8. My yoga practice. I have been going consistently 3-4 times a week and I am just so in love with yoga. It doesn’t feel like work for me, it is truly just my number one hobby. It’s so good for me to have this time for me and the benefits for my health are not going unnoticed.

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Photo credit: http://100daysofhappy.wordpress.com/

9. My determination. Speaking of my health, I’ve been low carb for about 3 weeks. I feel great! I do have the occasional cheat now and then but overall it has been a successful journey thus far, and this paired with yoga really has me back on track. I am super proud of my focus!

10. McKenna’s continued sleep success – We had a rough night a few nights back due to teething, but that is of course to be expected. Other than that, we are still reaping the benefits of a great night’s sleep!

 

What’s making you all happy on this Friday night?

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Banff, Alberta/Your Second Roadtrip

My Darling McKenna,

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, an hour outside of Calgary, and 4 hours away from our home in Edmonton, lies Banff, Alberta. It is a skiing town – surrounded by many mountains that are a winter sportsman’s dream. But it is also a tourist town, so it remains busy throughout the entire year.

We were lucky enough to take some time off from our day to day and spend some time here as a happy little threesome. It was nice to get away – your Dad had just finished a long stint working nightshift (20 or so days straight!) and it was so great for us to have this opportunity to reconnect.

And you, Miss McKenna, you – were a dream. A content little traveler. I intend to write an entry about our tricks of the trade when traveling with you, but for this post I will say this – aside from a rough first night’s sleep, we could NOT have asked for anything better!

We headed out on Saturday morning at 11, and arrived shortly after 3 – impressive for a road trip with a baby. We checked into our cozy little condominium, at the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort – which I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone (bonus – all employees have Australian accents! I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, the world would be a much better place if everyone had an Australian accent :)) – settled in, then headed out for a nice dinner. Afterwards, we came back and went for an evening swim at the pool’s facilities. You were quite exhausted from the day’s events, and after bathtime and an hour or so of play, you were ready for sleep.

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The next day we headed into town. Now Banff has always been one of your Mum’s favorite places to visit – all the little touristy shop’s bring such a smile to my face. And they did for you too, baby. You watched all the people, places and things with such wonder, happy as can be. I have some treasured childhood memories of this place, in particular visiting the Christmas store (officially called ‘The Spirit of Christmas) with your Auntie Helen, Auntie Ethel, and Granny. We ventured into the store and spent upwards of an hour shopping, and bought you your second Christmas ornament to commemorate your second Christmas. We also started a new tradition, one that my mother, your Granny, previously practiced – we bought our first Christmas house, for our own Christmas village, thereby committing ourselves to return to this place before each Christmas for the next however many years :).

After shopping, we headed back to the hotel so you could take a much needed nap – after all, shopping is so tiresome! When you awoke, we headed out to the Banff Gondola and went for a ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Now you my darling, are fearless. I was afraid as to how you would react on the ride, but you sat contentedly on your father’s lap, and stared out the window. You have obviously inherited your father’s love of heights.

We stayed at the top of Sulphur Mountain for awhile, taking pictures and enjoying the views. Afterwards, we headed down and went out for yet another nice supper. Then it was time for relaxation in the condominium, and you went to sleep while your father and I had a couple of drinks and enjoyed each other’s company. You slept 7 hours straight that night – we must have tired you out!

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Day 3 was Monday, and the day we had planned to leave. However, once we woke, it was quickly decided that we would extend our trip for yet another day – we were having FAR too much fun to leave! I was so happy your Dad decided to take another day off of work to spend time with us. He works so hard, and he truly deserved the break, and we love being in his company. Things just feel so complete. We spent the morning of day 3 touring around the shops we missed from day 2, then returned for your nap.

After you were rested and refreshed, we headed out to the hot springs. We stayed for about half an hour, and you LOVED it. You relaxed and splashed contentedly while watching the other children play about the pool. You are such a water baby. It makes your Dad and I so happy that the three of us can share this common hobby together.

We then stopped in town for some groceries, and went back to the hotel where I cooked us a nice dinner. We stayed in for the night and relaxed some more, perfectly happy just enjoying each other’s company. All 3 of us played and laughed together, and you and your Dad fell asleep, cuddling, early that night.

I remember watching the two of you sleeping so soundly and just feeling so overjoyed. It had been such a perfect little holiday, and it was just a huge reminder of how unbelievably blessed we all are to have one another. Your father and I are the happiest we have ever been since you entered our lives McKenna, and there are so many moments like this where I stop and am just in awe of how wonderful our little family is.

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I cooked us a nice breakfast on Tuesday, and we headed for home tummies full, minds rested, and hearts happy. The trip home went just as smoothly as the rest of the holiday, and we were welcomed back by our very excited furbabies.

It was a perfect getaway. Banff will always be one of my favorite places on Earth and it was so special to be able to share it with you. I look forward to many more holidays such as this one, look forward to the millions of special moments that we have in our future.

We love you to the moon and back, little one. xoxo11

Road Trippin’

On Thursday, we commenced our first road trip as a fam – the fiance, the baby, the puppy dog & I all packed our bags and headed to Melville, Saskatchewan, which is Matthew’s hometown.

The trip was an altogether success. McKenna certainly travels pretty well, for the most part. We found her limit of straight driving is approximately 5 hours, then she really starts to lose her cool. This wasn’t a real issue for us, as we had already discussed making a stop in Saskatoon for the first over-nighter. Which was pretty much exactly 5 hours (5 hours and 45 minutes if you count stops for baby feeding).

It took a little bit of practice to get used to nursing in the car, but we figured it out. For the trip home, I did pump one bottle to see if it would cut down on time – but it did not. McKenna will take a bottle, but has a preference for the breast, which was made clear by the fact that when fed the bottle she had a tendency to wear more than half of it instead of swallowing. Silly monkey.

We spent the Friday morning in Saskatoon visiting Matthew’s uncle and cousins and showing off our baby to the family. They loved her, of course! We left Saskatoon at around 11AM which put us in Melville for about 3PM on Friday afternoon (baby stops included).

We had a great weekend in Melville. It is the cutest little city (smallest city in Canada, to be exact)! I was very excited too that since our last visit, they have opened a new coffee shop in the heart of downtown – The Chocolate Bean. Deeeelish Caramel Lattes! Highly recommended.

If I wasn’t such a big city girl at heart, with such a strong desire to move closer to the mountains, it would be a high contender for our future home. I know Matt would love to return there, so maybe one day when we are older and our family is complete. For now, I still dream of heading west, closer to my dear Rockies.

We spent most of the weekend simply relaxing. We stayed with Matt’s friends, Kyle and Chelsie, and they were very hospitable to us, and really enjoyed meeting McKenna! We played board games, had a few bevy’s and pretty much just had a fun time catching up. They also have an adorable dog named Jack, and as much as I would like to say Shiloh made a new friend, the two of them didn’t really care too much for each other. I think my Shybear is getting old. She doesn’t really have the patience for new dogs.

The drive home seemed to go by quicker than the drive there, and was once again broken up by an over-nighter in Saskatoon.  The down side to the trip was that I caught a bit of a cold while in Melville, and it turned into a full-fledged sinus-y head cold that night in Saskatoon. It’s been a very long time since I have had a cold so as a result I have been being a bit of a baby about it. But as long as McKenna doesn’t catch it, I will be just fine.

I think it’s safe to say we now have a new Easter tradition of road trippin’ for the long weekend. The two days off allow for great family time and allow us enough time to head somewhere without being too rushed. And now that we know our little one travels well, I see many road trips in our future!

Below are some (limited) pictures from our weekend – NOTE TO SELF: I REALLY need to learn to take pictures of things other than just McKenna, consider this a new goal!

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter!

 

Little girl, big bed. McKenna's first hotel stay!

Little girl, big bed. McKenna’s first hotel stay!

Cuddling with her monkey, Nugget

Cuddling with her monkey, Nugget

A cuddly morning at the hotel in Saskatoon!

A cuddly morning at the hotel in Saskatoon!

Easter Family Picture

Easter Family Picture

McKenna's first Easter outfit!

McKenna’s first Easter outfit!

Morning Easter Cuddles with Mama <3

Morning Easter Cuddles with Mama ❤