Category Archives: Celebrations

The view from here…

Happy New Year where ever you are…

Going to try something new & more creative in 2017. We haven’t seen it in yet here in Vancouver, we are one the last to celebrate on the west coast, but I’m starting anyway. Blogging every day is a challenge as many of you know, so I’m going to aim for 5 times per week. Every entry will be a picture that I will describe in 5 words or less & that I’ve taken that day.

So, here is the first one.

School Winter Gala 2017…

… has a new chair person – ME!

Yes, I have gotten myself in a right pickle this time & if the truth be known I am secretly very excited about having something of this magnitude to focus on & call my own. At the end of the day it’s just a big fancy party really. Our new parent support group president (who is also a good friend) hasn’t wasted any time & wants us to meet next week. Fine by me, this gives me a full year to plan & prepare.

Bring it on, I know I can do this!

Poor hubby…

He always takes vacation the week of his birthday (usually because I’m going to Vegas with the girls, but not this year sadly). This morning we did presents & cards before he did the school run & walked the dog. I had to go into school for 11 to finish the Gala projects, then I was going to take him out for a birthday lunch. The first thing to go wrong was the coffeemaker, & you know how I am about my coffee. Sure we could make Keurig’s or Nespresso’s but we use our drip coffeemaker every morning for breakfast & it’s set on a timer so it’s always ready. No auto drip coffee would be a right pain.

So I had the thought that we could luncheon on Granville street & pop in Williams & Sonoma to purchase a new one. First we went to the little Bistro I had been wanting to try for a while, but they were closed on Monday’s (oops, should have checked that!). Instead I suggested a restaurant across the street we hadn’t been to in years. Williams & Sonoma was on our way. We browse the coffeemakers & make our selection but ask if they can keep it for us until we’ve had lunch – by this time we were both starving.

On our way to lunch I realize that I’d missed a couple of calls from school. There was also a message from younger child, which is a first. Poor thing had not felt well in the later part of the morning, had eaten lunch & promptly threw up. Hubby was clearly not allowed to have his birthday lunch on his birthday. We headed straight to school to pick up our sick 7 year old. He did look a bit peeky but by the time we got home he was keen to do his homework & help me set up the new coffeemaker. Needless to say the little ‘fraud’ then watched a movie & drank plenty with no signs of any vomiting. He then complained of hunger at dinner time but I refused to allow him to have the casserole, just in case. Soup & dry bread for you mate!

After all that I’m happy to say he’s fine, & will definitely be going back to school tomorrow in the hope that at some point in this week off I can try again to take hubby for lunch, & this time it will be to the bistro I intended togo to in the first place.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, understanding hubby!

Until next year…

Yes, as brutal as those 120+kms are, they still want to do it all again next year. Whistler is a great location to enjoy time with good friends, & new friends. The kids got on amazingly well considering half of them didn’t know each other, while their parents bonded over celebratory drinks & good food. The weather was perfect. The hotel was excellent (as always), & the weekend was much more fun in a group. It’s always hard to say goodbye to one of my closest friends, but it is a sign of a true friendship when no matter how long it is since we’ve seen or spoke to each other, it’s like it was just yesterday.

So, until we do it all again next year…

Beautiful British Columbia…

It doesn’t get much better than this.

They don’t say it’s the best place on earth for nothing, & when you spend the weekend camping among this stunning scenery, with good friends, perfect weather & 5 million mosquitoes it creates a lasting memory. We have had fun at the lake, drank beer in the baking sun, cooked in the open air, & played campfire games that even the youngest camper could enjoy. We were grubby, tired & eaten alive. The kids stayed up far too late, ate badly & probably only brushed their teeth once, but it was for 2 days of their lives from which their memories of school friends & new friends will last forever . We had no phone signal, no showers, not even a flushing toilet. It was the great outdoors at its best & the best birthday party our friend could have had.

Who knows, it may even become an annual event now.


It’s been hosing down out there. The perfect day for staying home, lighting a fire & chilling out. Did we do that? Of course not! It was my friend’s birthday, & sadly our plans to cook her breakfast & celebrate with her were quashed by the fact she got called into work at 8am. Thankfully she did make it back at lunchtime so I was still able to feed & water her before she returned for her regular shift this afternoon.

In the meantime the boys & I put the last coat of base colour their bathroom & continued stripping the rest of the paper of the main bathroom. We cranked up our favourite songs & made some more progress with this boring task. It will be worth it I know, but only when it’s all done & we look at the finished masterpiece, & say ‘we did that’.

When the kids had finally had enough & my body was protesting, I then set to & began masking off the stripes they want in their bathroom – yes stripes! Two shades of green & purple, it’s going to look awesome (she says trying to convince herself). What a nightmare. Hubby had suggested a formula for making sure the stripes were not evenly spaced but every colour got a turn at being each size. Needless to say I now have a headache & I will also have to repaint some of the base colour to hide my pencil marks that were measured wrong!

After a break for dinner I started again, only this time armed with a gin & tonic thinking this might help. Nope! The spirit level just looked like it was constantly moving. I’ve now given up for the day, ready for a soak on the bath & possibly more gin!!

Silly specs!

I used to climb, both indoors & out. In recent years, since I’ve been dealing with ‘it’, I have been known to climb when I shouldn’t have. The consequences of rebelling the way I do are actually worth it. Why do I allow myself to suffer even more pain & discomfort? Well, it’s a family thing. It’s the part of me that expected to be the mum who followed my boys down the double black diamonds, hiking & camping by glacial lakes, & of course climbing. So when we do these things, sometimes I am sensible, sometimes I am not – isn’t that why I have painkillers, so I can enjoy some fun family stuff? Unfortunately they are not always enough to fix the pain, that’s also why I have a physiotherapist, massage therapist, private Pilates instructor.


At least with climbing I can, & do, belay. I still get to enjoy being a part of an activity that now we all love doing together. The fact that my newly turned 7 year old chose to celebrate his birthday with a climbing wall party – hence the ‘rock cake’ – says it all. He was the only one who climbed; none of his friends had even tried it before. It was funny to hear him giving his peers advice like he was a complete pro. Although some of those kids were apprehensive, every one of them climbed well & had a blast. So much so that they were asking their parents if they too could have a climbing party to – Yay! My work here is done!


In between feeding & watering 12 kids, I belayed my elder son, & one of his school friends while her younger brother was part of the party. Their mum stuck around too, as both wanted to have a go. Before the party kids all had their harnesses on my elder son had shinned up 3 auto belay routes. He then moved over to the lead wall where I belayed him. He didn’t actually lead the climb, but he had to unclip & re-clip the rope. I lost count of the number of climbs he did in the end, & I belayed the others too – that’s a lot of belaying. Of course hubby helped out to, but can you imagine how my neck & shoulders would feel after all that constant looking up & pulling on a rope? Well, Pilates has taught which muscles I should & shouldn’t be using, so that sorts out all the pulling, but what about the neck?


Belay glasses of course! Yep, they look utterly ridiculous because I look like I’m wearing 2 prisms over my eyes, but they are FANTASTIC. It means I can just look straight ahead, never needing to look up at all. However, my son did say that not only did I look a bit silly, but he also found it quite funny to watch me answer him if he called down to me. Apparently I looked like I was talking to wall (to be honest as a mother I feel like I might as well be talking to the wall sometimes!). Frankly I don’t care how much I amused, this ingenious invention is a god send for someone like me, & I wasn’t the only one, there were several pairs around the gym.


At the end of the day, although ‘it’ is been tough on us, as a family, it just goes to show that there may be some aspects of an activity you once loved that you might have to give up, you don’t necessarily have to give it all up. It takes time & effort to explore the options, but if your patient, & strong enough not to give up completely, you can always find a way to still enjoy some part of the things you love, & quality family time is one of the biggest drives to help you accomplish that, that has been mine.


Don’t let ‘it’ win…

Cake, Karting & cadbury’s!

I’m glad the ‘cake’ impressed, thank you for the comments. Why not a traditional cake or cupcakes? Well, I own the only 7 year old in the universe that doesn’t like cake! Or maybe I should clarify that, doesn’t like MY cakes. He’ll eat cupcakes from the expensive cupcake store of course. However, I should point out that even my dog wouldn’t eat my baking. Therefore, I needed to think up something that would fit the climbing wall party theme, I could make two of so that I didn’t have to cut the ‘cake’ there (they don’t have a party room) & the kids could take home a pre-wrapped, not to messy treat. So I’ve put Krispie lollipops in little baggies, & the actual wall itself can go to school on Monday for his class mates, voilà, everyone is happy!

I can’t believe he’s 7 (his birthday was over the holidays which we have discovered from past experience is a stupid time to try & have a birthday party). Being child no.2 we have very little time with him just hubby & I. So, when no.1 spent the entire afternoon at a friend’s house, & ended up staying for dinner, we were determined to make sure we had some fun with him. Both of my boys have been helping me redecorate their bathroom, they are keen to get involved with painting etc. but first I have to strip all the paper off. After a successful afternoon of ripping all the paper off at the beginning of last week, I didn’t need to do much persuading when it came to slapping hot water & vinegar all over the walls so we could scrape the backing paper off. I remember doing this with my mum when I was a similar age, & I loved it. We had great fun this afternoon, doing what is a physically demanding task for me. I got some help doing something I enjoy doing, & hopefully when it’s all done they will both appreciate it even more because they helped to do it.

I asked him to chose dinner… Tacos! Then after dinner we then promised him we would all Mario Kart on the Wii together, breaking after a couple of rounds for ice cream, which I allowed him to have a whole Cadbury’s (Yes REAL Cadbury’s from the UK) flake in his, normally I half them so we share 2 between 4 (mean mother I am!). We squeezed in one more round before big brother knocked on the door a few minutes later. He too had had a fun packed afternoon of ice-skating, Xbox, & Lego building. Everyone was happy & ready for bed.

I too am in a better place, thanks to good friends, & a very supportive & patient husband. I’m hopefully coming out into the light & seeing things a little clearer again – doesn’t mean it changes how I feel about some things, but hopefully I can cope with them better.

Of course, tomorrow is another day & birthday parties are always fun!