Monday, 31 December 2012

A New Year

I never would have believed anyone if they told me last January that by the end of December of the same year I would be married to my sweet man, moved to California, and pregnant with our second baby. It would have seemed laughable that so much change was possible in just one year. The insane part is that these changes actually happened in the last 6 months of the year. The beginning was mellow compared to the whirlwind that finished the year up.

While we have definitely struggled on this epic journey we embraced, I feel we are FINALLY at a place where I don't feel so lost anymore. I still worry about finding community and how exactly I'm going to survive two little girls two years apart without any friends or family around, but I'm not as worried as I was say two months ago. Which means that as time continues to move on, the worries will shift and lessen and I will continue to plant some form of roots here in California.
The difference a year can make! December 2011-December 2012
For 2013, I know that life will bring with it many challenges for my family. Mainly the challenge of a new little baby to open our hearts to. But she will also be an incredible blessing, like so many of the things that have shifted and moulded our lives over the last year. I am not usually a resolution maker because I forget by, you know, the middle of January, but this year I truly want to change some of the things about my life that are not serving me or could be serving me better.

1) Do more yoga! I always preach to others about the importance of practicing yoga and yet I find myself barely doing any yoga at all. That has resulted in a sore sciatic nerve and a serious loss in flexibility. Its time to get back to doing yoga, even just on my bedroom floor for fifteen minutes every night before bed.

2) Read more. I always find I'm drawn to reading about breastfeeding, parenting, my favorite blogs and pretty much anything related to understanding and helping me gain knowledge about being a mama. And this is great. But it doesn't help me gain knowledge and momentum towards being a writer. So I need to focus again on reading books of fiction, poetry, and plays.

3) Write more. This goes hand in hand with reading. The more inspired I am by other writings the more I tend to write. But making something a priority that doesn't make money can be hard when you already have a full time job caring for your child and are exhausted by pregnancy. I don't anticipate this to be any easier when Mackenzie is born but I know if I don't start making this a priority I will surely go insane. And that just isn't good for anyone.

4) Speak consciously. Sometimes when I lose my cool, I say things that I immediately regret. And then there are times that I complain about the aspects of my life that are just constant and can't really be changed. If I spoke with a conscious mind around the words I chose I may find that others are more positive towards me and that those seemingly negative situations are filled with positive capabilities that I was too angry to see.

Tonight, we are going to our neighbour's house to celebrate the end of this year and the beginning of a new one. We will eat and play games and Lennon will run around like an excited little girl surrounded by people who love her. For this new friendship, we are very grateful and excited to watch it flourish in the coming year.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and that tomorrow marks the beginning of many new and exciting adventures.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Lennon's 2nd Birthday

I find myself in a strangely familiar place celebrating Lennon’s 2nd birthday this year. Being pregnant, albeit much less pregnant, at the same time two years later brings back many memories of waiting over Christmas, baking with my best friend, cuddling with my husband whenever I felt like it, and being a solo woman for the last time. Now, with a big belly I have to plan for a party for an excited little girl who asks for the simple things: cake, a hat, and balloons. The intensity of pregnancy is less and more this time because I have already experienced it. I haven’t experienced two kids before though.

Lennon was excited about her birthday this year. Christmas seems to be the prep for a very fun filled day and I’m glad that she has been able to enjoy her birthday as much as the christmas festivities. We had our neighbours over as well as my mom and stepdad who were in town visiting. Len opened many gifts, screamed and laughed with the boys, and threw a ball at nearly everyone. She ate the strawberries off her strawberry chocolate cake and barely touched the rest. She was too excited on pure fun.

These two years have gone by so quickly and so slowly at the same time. I look at pictures of how she has grown and I am amazed that I have been able to do so much for this little person.

At 2, Lennon is a ball of energy, charismatic, outgoing, dramatic, stubborn and compassionate. We are so lucky to have her in our lives. She will make an amazing big sister in April. Happy 2nd birthday Lennon Zena. We love your silly smiles and slobbery kisses.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas in Beverley Hills

There is always much to do in LA. It is challenging though to find things to do that are cheap and fun and children accesible. Sure, if you have about a gazilion dollars lying around, which it appears everyone does down here, then you are laughing. Entertainment abounds! We aren't rich by any stretch and we definitely aren't the types to go spending tons of money on entertainment. So when I found this cute and perfect sounding Saturday afternoon for somewhere between 5-10 dollars, I was stoked!

We drove into Beverley Hills which is about a 12 minute drive from where we live. Not too bad at all. Parking can be an issue down here so we jumped on the first public underground parking lot we found. Only to realize as we drove in that it was valet parking. This for some reason made us very uncomfortable and we assumed it would cost too much money or we looked ridiculous with our little Nissan Cube getting valet service. It ended up being free for the first two hours and we felt like ballers. The day was off to a good start. 

Rodeo Drive is a luxury shopping road/mall area. Most 'malls' down here are outdoors but pedestrian only. They tend to be gorgeous with white, colonial architecture and huge old trees lining the brick walkways. Every single door had not a fingerprint on it and sold clothing or jewellery worth more than my entire existence. We felt out of place but were there to hop on a Beverley Hills Trolly and find Santa. Lennon was wearing a little black dress and of course looked like she was born to be there. Until she started blowing raspberries on the glass window of some security guarded jewellery store, leaving mouth prints and sticky candy cane handprints as a memento of her appreciation for the finer things in life. 

We quickly found a woman dressed in Christmas type clothing and talking to a small group of parents and kids. Lennon was stoked to meet Mrs Claus and me and James quickly noticed she was either way too into her character or drunk. Either way, she was entertaining. The trolly was crowded but fun as we sang christmas songs, Lennon shook her booty, and we drove up and down the streets of Beverley Hills, looking at 3 million dollar cars, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Buglari and the magnificent homes perched on top of a half a block each with perfectly city maintained front yards. Finally, just as Lennon was about to get antsy, we arrived at the Paley Center for Media. 

Here, we found Santa, telling a very animated rendition of the Night Before Christmas, cookies and hot chocolate. The event was sponsored by Time Warner and so the photos with Santa were free, as was the hot chocolate and cookies. Lennon was immediately terrified of Santa, clinging to me and asking repeatedly where Daddy was, who was right beside her. All the Americans budged in front of our mild tempered Canadian selves and we ended up going last. Lennon didn't mind. She probably would have preferred skipping the entire sit on a strange man's lap thing. When we finally made our way up there, she wouldn't let go of me, holding her legs up so she didn't have to sit on Santa's lap. I squatted beside her and she requested her Daddy be close to. You can never be sure of this Santa guy. She fussed and almost started crying until the photographer grabbed her attention. The moment she realized there was a camera, she stopped fussing, sat on his knee and smiled her perfect little smile. I love that they caught us both looking at her. She draws people's attention wherever she goes!

In a small theatre they were playing classic Christmas movies, and throughout the center were displays of original puppets from the classics we all know and love like Rudolph. 

Although we have found ourselves really missing home these days, it is getting out of our routine and really enjoying all that we have to experience down here that helps this feel more manageable. Especially during the holidays when you get to enjoy family and friends the most. We will always love the charm of a snowy tree and cold fingers warmed by hot cocoa but there is something so unique about palm trees and sunglasses for the holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


Six years ago I went on a first official date with my husband. We had already known each other for four years and had once upon a 14 year old life had a long distance MSN fling. It didn’t amount to much but when our lives crossed paths again years later, we tried to make an honest go of what seemed like a perfect fit. 

I had traveled from Vancouver to Kelowna to visit for about a week. We both got dolled up to go out to one of our now favourite Greek restaurants in Kelowna. The date was going so well, we talked about quantum physics, music, the past and stared at each other the entire time. When we went to pay our bill, the waitress told us someone had already paid it for us. We were shocked and asked who? She said Oh don’t you recognize anyone here? It was pretty busy but looking around we realized that we knew no one in the restaurant. Our dinner easily cost over 60 dollars. An older couple had been sitting near to us and left right before we did, so we have our suspicions that it may have been them. Either way, it was such a wonderfully kind gesture and a true affirmation that this love was going somewhere amazing.

Like usual, we went to a movie after and cuddled/ I tried to make out with James the entire time but he is a serious movie watcher who wouldn’t give in. 

Celebrating LA style

Today is the 6 year anniversary of that first official date. We have grown together so much, graduating university and college, living together, having children and finally getting married just this June. Now, we live in a totally different country with our silly two year old, our second daughter due in April, and our first Christmas alone as a family approaching. Still, to celebrate our first date night this year we found ourselves out for sushi and followed up by a movie. I guess somethings never change.

I love you my sweet man and father of my children. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I can’t wait to grow old with you!

Married June 30, 2012

Terminator walking through an orchard on our wedding day, typical