Monday, December 30, 2013

A Look Back on 2013

Every year, I look forward to doing this post. This year was a little different. We lost some very special people this year and that made it a bit of a  hard year. This year was blessed in so many ways, but there were also a lot of tears shed. I lost my Grandma, who had been ill for a long time. Leigh lost his uncle, who was sick for a short time. And I lost my Grandpa in a split second. The memory of these people and the pain of losing them only enhanced our need and want to live life to the absolute fullest. So now I will tell you about the good parts of my year.

Is it just me or does hardly anything ever happen in the winter? Maybe it's just us.
Leigh and I spent most of the winter playing with and loving Layla to pieces. Because she was still a puppy, we spent a lot of time at home with her and loved it.

I launched my new blog look which I just realised I've almost had for a year. Time for a change, maybe, but I still love it.

Before I knew it, spring was here.

Sidenote: I took this pic a few days after my Grandpa died. I will be honest with you guys, my heart was broken. I was close with my Grandpa, and his death was a big shock and those two things made it really hard. I spent a lot of time going for walks and I saw beauty in everything even with the pain. I feel this post would be incomplete without writing about this time in my life. Slowly the pain and shock has faded little by little. I still miss him so much, but I know he would want us all to live life to the fullest.

I got to celebrate my dear friend Bobbi's marriage with two wedding events:

In April, we visited Leigh's uncle in the states which is our favourite weekend getaway.

We celebrated beautiful Nicky's birthday...

We got a new car!

Leigh did stand up comedy for the first time and kicked ass at it.

I traded in my gym job for self employed trainer status, probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. I made a little website that I need to do a lot more work on....

We had Jeannine's 80s stagette downtown...

And her "Camp I Do" Shower

We celebrated Hilary's birthday...

Snuck this one of Leigh and I in, he rarely will pose for pictures :-P

As well as our three year wedding anniversary which somehow I didn't get pics of...

My Mom, sis and I did a weekend getaway in the states.

Leigh and I also went to what I'm sure is going to be an annual tradition - a model airplane tour in Wenatchee. I read like five books in a lawn chair and went to the hugest craft store I've ever been in. It was heaven.

Nicole, J and I had our annual PNE date...

We celebrated these lovebugs beautiful, super fun wedding...

photo by the amazing Carol-Ann @ Carol-Ann Photography

We celebrated Layla's birthday with a cake...

We celebrated my birthday...

Including a lunch with my hubby, Mom, Grandma and nephews...

Nicky and I also helped J's husband pull of a surprise birthday dinner for her at Milestones.

My sister also had a fun birthday dinner downtown (where's the pics, sis?) and we had my Dad's 60th at the Keg (I failed on the picture front in that regard, and we topped off birthday fest with an awesome dinner at my Grandma's house for her birthday.

Of course, after that is when the Christmas season started, including lots of festive things, a super fun downtown date with my Mom, and a surprise birthday party for my mother-in-law, which you can read all about here in case you missed it.

There are lots of things I didn't document with pictures, which I hate, next year I'm going to take pictures of every event (sorry Leigh! :-P) and that is a year in a nutshell. Lots of love, lots of memories, lots of tears, lots of lessons, and lots of joy. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings.

Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for reading my little blog! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gifts of Christmas 2013

I think it's a bit weird to post about Christmas gifts, but at the same time, I love reading those types of posts. I also like having it on my blog so that I can look back and remember it. I honestly do believe that Christmas is all about family but gifts are a fun part of it. Giving AND receiving. I love finding the perfect thing, which is not always possible, sometimes it's nice to give the person what you know they'll need or use. I gave some fun things this year (like my mom's Serendipity set) and some more practical things (comfies for my Dad and new slippers for Julie, the amazing Costco slippers hehe).

As you know from my last post, I got a laptop from Leigh. Normally we don't do big gifts like that, but he has been known in the past to sneak them in from time to time and it's usually something I really really want but won't buy or ask for. I have been using my laptop so much in getting ready for the new year ahead. Plus it's so cute!

He also got me a bag to carry it in annd PJS, those gloves you can use your phone with a wallet and and some clothes. Oh, and Dunkin Donuts coffee in my stocking! Spoiled rotten by my hubby this year!

If you're wondering what I got Leigh, I got him remote start for his car! He leaves really early and he likes to start the car ahead of time, so I thought it was perfect. Too bad I can't install it too but he's pretty good at that stuff. I got him some other little stuff too, a wallet, a plaid shirt, headphones and chocolate.

We did Secret Santa among the kids in the Sheppard side of the family. I had my sister, so I got her a weight training belt and a really cute Strength is Beauty tank top. Leigh had my brother and got him a leatherman. Leigh got new clothes from Chris and I got this amazing watch from Andrei. 

I'm so excited for something I really needed - a new hair straighter. I broke mine like over a year ago and have been using a super old one until now - my Mom and Dad replaced it with this high tech one, with the help of Jenn of course. ;-)

I also got some cute tops and costume jewellery from my parents, and the I need coffee nightshirt from my last post. My mom also did amazing stocking stuffers for us which is crazy because her kid size has gone from 3 to 8! Mine was filled with Archies, yay!

We were going to do Secret Santa with Leigh's siblings too but only Claire and I got excited about it so we just exchanged gifts haha.! I got her a cute shirt and she got me this amazing winter sparkly scarf!

Leigh's parents got me some really cute tops and slipper booties that I wore for the rest of the day and then when it opened the last one, it was THIS:

A hand knitted (crocheted but it looks like knit to me haha) blanket by Julie! I am obsessed with blankets and she has one in her house I LOVE so she made me my own. It's so nice and warm and I love the beautiful color!

I love reading what people got for Christmas so tell me in the comments what your favourite gift was!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Day

I woke up on Christmas morning to the most glorious sound in the world - my coffee machine. My sweet hubby brought me a cup of Christmas coffee in bed. I came out to my full stocking and all the Christmas lights on in their full glory. Leigh was so excited he woke me up at 630.

Layla gets to open her stocking first because she's the baby.

Leigh demanded I open my present immediately, he was obviously a little excited. I was shocked to open my very own beautiful white laptop. I love white things. I haven't had a laptop in years and years and I LOVE mine. Thank you Santa! I will post more about pressies later.

After our own little morning Christmas we headed over to open presents at Leigh's parents. Our tradition is heading to his parents quickly to open presents to the whole family can be together since Leigh's sister goes to the sunshine coast for Christmas dinner with her boyfriend. Then we either stay for brunch or head to my parents for brunch depending on who we are having dinner with.

This year was Leigh's parents turn for dinner so we headed to my parents for brunch. It was so much fun. My sister bought us glass Coke bottles for brunch, which I loved. So festive! My Mom and Dad made an amazing brunch, my brother helped with the eggs as you can see below and I made toast haha.

After brunch at my parents we headed home with our lovely presents and crashed for a lovely Christmas nap. Aren't those the best? Especially with our Christmas lights in our bedroom! After our nap, we got ready to have dinner at Leigh's parents.  I didn't really take any pics at dinner but it was really good. Julie made a roast, mashed potatoes and yorkshire puddings and I made brussel sprouts with bacon.

After dinner, Leigh and I headed home and watched more Christmas shows and snuggled up on the couch.

It was honestly such a great Christmas full of joy and happiness and fun and I feel so blessed. Can't wait till next year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Most Magical Night of The Year

Happy Boxing Day! I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas. I like to celebrate Christmas all week long, it's not over till it's over!

Christmas Eve started with some last minute stocking stuffers on my way to my Mom's house for our new tradition (started last year) of spending Christmas Eve morning watching a Christmas movie.

 I gave my Mom her Christmas present early: A Serendipity 3 Gift Set with the frozen hot chocolate mix and fishbowls that they serve it in in the restaurant in New York! We have been obsessed with this stuff for years. My Mom saw it on Oprah, where she apparently said she would swing on a chandelier for it. Naturally she flipped her lid for her present and we cracked it open and made it right away.

My mom gave my sis and I new PJS to get comfy to watch the movie.

After our movie morning, I headed home to meet Leigh. We relaxed for a bit and got ready for everyone to come over, another new-ish tradition of inviting both sets of parents over for appies. Leigh's siblings also came and his sister brought her boyfriend. Naturally, the boys tried to stay out of pictures.

We had some delicious appies including some sausage rolls I made a special trip to Valley Bakery for the day before while listening to happy Christmas music, visiting and tracking Santa (for the big kids, you know).

After everyone left, Leigh and I opened our "Christmas Eve Box" which is one of our new traditions. Inside included matching PJS for the second year in a row, hot chocolate, Quality Street, and glass Coca-Cola bottles.

We settled in on the couch with our duvet and watched a bunch of Christmassy shows. 

After nodding off at a Christmas episode of Home Improvement, we headed to bed so Santa could come...