Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Life

I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I am someone's mother. You would think that after 2 years the shock would have worn off? I guess not! Ha!

Today in my Mothery day, Lil and I ventured out to the most blessed place in the parenting universe: SuperFranks.

This place is a safe haven for exhausted parents, bored children and everyone disillusioned with the crustiness of Chuck e Cheese. It's that good.

On the way home from SuperFranks, Lil peered at me in the rear view mirror from the confines her car-seat- disheveled hair, chocolate smeared on her cheek and a kooky little grin. "Luv You," she says. Ahh.. reaping in the rewards. Life is good.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Creepy Creatures

Sweat in my eyes. Heart rate racing. Gasping for air. Runners High. I love it! I am one of those freaks that actually enjoys looking like a sweaty fool by the side of the road. After a 9 month hiatus from my sport due to an injury, I have been pounding pavement yet again. Most mornings I grab my two running buddies, B.O.B. the stroller and Lil the motivational coach extraordinaire, and search for new and exciting routes.

In Canada I raced around local lakes and hilly neighborhoods but now that I am back in California the terrain that I gravitate towards tends to be dry and flat- sometimes deserty. There is also an added element to running in California that makes me quake in my running shoes: creepy creatures.

In the last 2 weeks, Lil and I have had many creepy encounters of the crittery kind. Last week, while on a trail that runs through a residential area, we noticed a large stick in our path. As we came closer the 'stick' suddenly jerked to the left and slithered further along the trail. So turns out that the stick was actually the largest snake that I have ever seen outside of captivity. What did I do? I veered the trusty old BOB around the master creeper and whipped out my phone in an effort to prove to all doubters that I was not exaggerating when I say that this thing was over 2 ft long!

Sometimes I try to embrace the creatures and will nod at the little lizards that scatter across my path. Other times, like this afternoon, I might even try to interact with the local animals. Lily loves cats and while on yet another path we stopped to say 'Hi' to a little cat. It was brown, kind of fluffy and had a long tail. It seemed a little scrawny, but I chalked it up to the cat being a stray. Lily was trying to entice the cat over by saying, 'meow, meow,' while I mostly stuck to 'Hi, kitty.' The cat sat there very, very still and did seem to register our calls. It suddenly dawned on me that the stray cat was in fact a giant squirrel. What?! Now I looked like a psycho animal lady talking to the local squirrels with my baby in tote. I ran away quickly, my cheeks burning with embarrassment.

The past few animal encounters have been relatively tame compared to what I know might be lurking in the dry, tall grasses surrounding our home. I have been told tale after tale about the enormous spiders that live in our hills- specifically Tarantulas. My aunt recently shared about an experience where when she noticed a black sock moving across her white carpet. Yeah, you probably guessed it. Not really a sock, definitely a Tarantula. They say that the month of September is when the giant spiders come out to be romantic and breed in our hills. So if you have any sort of arachnophobia I would delay visiting us until the following month.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Today a new generation of addicts were born. Lily indulged into her first ever Starbucks beverage-a child's hot chocolate complete with whipped cream. She sweetly snuggled up to her friend, Mila, in an adult-sized, plush, crimson chair, sipping with her newly awakened taste buds. Occasionally Lil would place her head upon Mila's shoulder and giggle in excitement about her tasty drink.

What have I done? So innocent. So malleable. I just exposed my child to the myth created by corporate America that we 'need' satisfaction from their sugary foods. First McDonalds french fries, now Starbucks. I guess that my guilt is assuaged by the fact that my kid is in second heaven when indulging in these treats. Now I have the tricky job as a parent to keep these 'treats' and not daily habits. Now if only I would take my own advice and kick that daily chocolate habit...


In case you don't know ( if really know me, you would already be privy to this info), I love a bargain. I am the discount Queen. Whether it is flipping through the racks at Ross or scouring the internet for travel deals and steals, I live for a good deal. Even if I was a multi-millionaire I would still hunt for bargains- this would just translate into demanding discounted rates on my private jet or my Hermes handbag. But since I do not currently have $15,000 to spend on a purse, I will share with you about my latest more modest find.

First let me give you a little background info to better set the stage. I will soon be celebrating the last year of my twenties (I know it creeps me out that I am getting this old too), so I decided that I wanted to do something special on my big day. Since I am a theater lover, I figured that I would grab the husband and catch a show in San Francisco. After checking out Ticketmaster and a few other self-dubbed discount ticket sites, I became increasingly agitated over the exorbitant prices that these sites were demanding. Staying home with Netflix and a giant bucket of popcorn was looking better with each passing moment. Eventually I stumbled upon a page that listed several discount codes and a link to a site called Goldstar. Bingo! I was in heaven . After registering with Goldstar (for free of course), I was presented with a list of different activities happening around the SF Bay Area. I was thrilled to be able to purchase tickets to a Cirque du Soleil-esque dinner show called Teatro ZinZanni, for a mere fraction of what this pricey performance usually costs.

If you want to check out Goldstar for yourself you click HERE. The cool thing about this site is that they have a variety of different adventures to choose from ranging in scope from big name concerts, to sporting events and even kid's theme parks. From what I can can gather, most of the tickets are offered at about 30-40% less than other ticket sites. It looks like Goldstar does not work for Canadian venues yet, but you could always just enter in a nearby American city (i.e. Seattle) and check out future events. I sound like a sales pitch, right? Sorry about that- it is just my PRishness coming out. I talk about things that I really like.

Happy Savings!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


In celebration of our 8th anniversary of wedded bliss I thought that I would share our How We Met story.
During the summer of '99 I sent in my housing application to TWU with a wish and a prayer for a decent roommate. I had my doubts since like most tasks in my life I procrastinated sending in my application until the absolute last moment. I received a confirmation letter a few weeks later informing me that I would be living in the Northwest Building. After a quick look at the campus map I noticed that Northwest was at the furthest reaches of the campus bordering a highway and a forest. Hmm... not exactly the hub of activity I was hoping for. Apparently this is where they dumped all of us procrastinators together. Thankfully there was another Norwegian procrastinator sending in his application at the same time...

When I arrived at college I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the dreaded Northwest building was the only Co-ed building on the whole campus. It has since been reported to me that all the dorms at TWU are currently Co-ed buildings- but back in the late 90's (during the Christian dark ages) young men and women could not be trusted to live and interact in close proximity. It was in line with the whole dancing leads to sex ideology. I digress...

The first week of school was a blur of late nights, a sea of new faces and getting used to communal living. After coming back from a class one afternoon I noticed a strange guy with shaggy, bleached hair sitting in the dorm lounge pouring over multiple copies of the National Enquirer. Hmm.. 'the only person I know that reads the National Enquirer is my 75 year old grandmother,' I thought to myself. This was my first impression of Ben.

About a month after the National Enquirer episode a group of people from the Northwest dorms decided to go on an impromptu camping trip. Ben came along too. My first impression of Ben was further enhanced by the fact that he decided to go skinny dipping in a freezing cold lake with a few other guys during the camp out. So at this point I knew two things about this guy 1. He had penchant for (ahem) fine literature 2. He was confident enough to take his clothes off in front of a group of near strangers.

Later on that same evening, when our dorm mates were climbing into their sleeping bags, Ben and I decided that we were not tired and stayed outside by the campfire. We ended up talking for several hours and I learned that there was a lot more to this guy than trash magazines and skinny dipping. After that night we began instant messaging each other constantly. It was almost awkward when we would see each other in person because we spent so much time 'speaking' virtually. Then one night when Ben was visiting his brother in another city, he decided to ask me to be his girlfriend over the instant messenger. The rest is history...

Not exactly an earth shattering story but it is our story. After eight years of marriage I am still in awe that I am married to a man who makes my life more rich, vibrant and complete.

I am wordy, he is succinct.
He is calm & steady,  I am excitable.
I crave sweet, he is all about salt.
He calculates, I act impulsively.
We like to be lazy on our vacations.
We laugh with our child.
We love God.

We are blessed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


My grandfather just asked me if we have been ill since this little blog has been so severely neglected during this fine month of May. Nope. Not ill. Just lazy .

Something huge has happened in our houshold! We are now the proud owners of a two year old. Lil celebrated her second birthday on May 6th and has been acting like it is still her birthday everyday since then. It is hard to explain to a toddler that birthdays only happen one day out of the year- especially when she is still rolling around in her deflated birthday balloons yelling 'birthday' at the top of her lungs. Here are a couple of pics from the big day and the subsquent kids party that took place a couple of days later.

Big Girl on her new Tricycle from the Canadian Grandparents a few days before the big day !

A Birthday morning with Great Grandma Cookie and Auntie Lori.

Bliss is Birthday Balloons.

This is Lil's 'Smile' face that she makes in every picture now.

Don't play coy with me. Let's eat this cake!

Birthday Cake #2.

Loving Cousin Sienna. She talks about her constantly.

Mr. Cole Chowing down on a cupcake.Yum.

Every two year old needs her own set of motorized wheels. Lil rules the complex on her 3 Wheeler from her California grandparents.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Coast of Two Countries

It has been 6 months since we have been back in the land of the red, white and blue, and the following are a few of my musings when contemplating/celebrating the differences of two unique areas on the same coast.

Observations on Being Back in Nor Cal
1. There are a disproportionate number of the 'beautiful people' here. Whether 'they' be self-made (there is a silicone epidemic here) or genetically blessed, 'they' are everywhere.
2. I have missed heat for the past 10 years. Sorry Canadian friends, a sunny day of 12 degrees C is not warm.
3. I adore frozen yogurt. These places are on every city block. .
4. You can't beat being able to buy a t-shirt, pair of shoes and pair of pants all for $20 at Ross.
5. Green is the new Black. For the first time in my life I am making a conscious effort to conserve natural resources. This is mostly due to the exorbitant price of utilities in this state, but we can pretend that I have just connected with my inner tree-hugger.
6. Private health care is a new frontier (at least for us). Still undecided on my final verdict of the system.
7. The people here are very guarded. You get the sense that they are telling you 'I already have all of the friends I need, so back off.' Not crazy about this one.
Observations About BC
(Obviously missing people are at the top of my list, but I am not going to wax mushy on you).

1. White Spot Burgers are hands-down one of the tastiest things ever. Enough said.
2. Public walk-in clinics rock, especially when you have a sick child on a Friday night at 8pm.
3. Girls in Canada wear their hair shorter. This is definitely a hasty generalization (and not true of most of my friends) but as a whole the female Canadian population seems to favor cropped locks more than their neighbors to the south.
4. Canadians are more patriotic (at least more than the average population in Nor Cal, I cannot account for the folk from Texas). Canadians are more willing to stick a Canadian flag or Maple Leaf on their bags, clothing and in their decor.
5. People in Canada (at least in BC) are not trying to keep up with the Joneses. They are OK with where they are at and generally do not give a lot of thought as to whether or not their 5 year old will one day get into an Ivy League school.

I feel blessed that I have been able to experience living in two different countries in my short lifetime. They say that once you have lived in more than one country you start to think of yourself as a global citizen. You don't ever feel 100% at 'home' wherever you live because a piece of you is still in those other places. Just look at my husband! 3 different countries in 30 years, completely a global citizen. As we grow together as a couple and now as a family we have learned that we can be joyful wherever we live as long as we are together. I am not saying that there are not certain perks about living in a particular place (hello warm sunshine!) but it is nice to know that it really does not matter where we store our 'stuff' because that is not what gives us our contentment.