Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Canada Episode I

I have been editing away, and figured I would break this trip up into smaller, more digestible portions.

Here is the first photo I took of the trip:

I was just so excited we made it to our destination!
Sometimes you don't get that luxury flying stand-by.

My sister-in-law Molly, and brother-in-law Clay and their little family were still trying to make it to Canada.
They were flying on buddy passes, the ugly red-headed step-child of stand-by flights.

It took them an extra couple of days to finally see this airport.
Molly was our events coordinator.
Since she wasn't there, we went out on our own this first day to The Citadel in Halifax. Molly had already been to the fort, so we figured she wouldn't really care to go back.
The fort was built in the 1800's to protect the port.

They have reenactments of military drills in the fort.
They wore clothing that was historically accurate.
It was hotter than the blazes of hell.
I felt bad for the poor sweaty guys in wool.
Love me some bagpipes though:

And some fine looking young gentlemen sporting skirts:

They say real men wear pink.
Skirts I say!
Show me a guy who can pull off a skirt, and I will show you a man who is secure in his manhood.

This photo is a first in a series of photos I like to call "the back of my family...as they are WALKING AWAY FROM ME."
Leaving me packing the 50 pound camera/granola bar/water/jackets bag.

Hey...don't worry about me.

Have a fun trip!

If you need anything....you know, like a granola bar/water/jacket...just let me know.
I am right here.
Under this 50 pound bag.

And if this next shot is a little blurry, it is because I wasn't expecting these dudes to actually FIRE! the cannon.
It scared the poop out of me.

At least I didn't tumble down a grassy knoll...

Apparently that is problematic enough at the Citadel that they commissioned special signs.

One of the things we loved about Canada was the good candy.
Seriously, Canadians have it good.

My kids were ALL OVER the Kinder eggs.

I know they have them in Europe too.
They are chocolate eggs, filled with a smaller plastic egg that contains a PRIZE!
It is two, TWO! two treats in one.

What is in this thing?

A cheap and easily breakable (or lost) TOY!

And what is in yours, Mikayla?

A puzzle.
Well, dang.

You could've had this:

A Coffee Crisp.

The greatest invention since...well, ever!
And Aero's are not too shabby either.

Then we drove back to our hotel.

We went swimming in the hotel pool/water slide:

And went to bed.

That was the first day in Canada.

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27th, 2009

Today I am officially the mother to a teenager.
We've been through:
Potty Training.
A broken arm.

Hormonal Meltdowns.
The growing out of the hair:

Growing pains.
He taught me how to be a mom, and I am still learning.
Poor kid.

The truth is...I have always been afraid to be the mom to teenagers.
I have been dreading it.
I have heard so many rotten things.
How hard it is!
How crabby teens are.

<---"crab"by...get it?

I was afraid I would lack the patience.
I still might.
After all, we are just starting this stage.
I am not so naive to think that there isn't worse to come.
I am just a little more optimistic about it coming.

Jayden is a pretty good kid.
And he could be a lot worse...

I think the same people who tried to scare me away from teenagers, forgot to mention how much fun they are too.
I genuinely like being around this kid.
He is mature and dependable.
But not too mature...he has a great sense of humor.
He is awesome with the younger kids.
He is a lot of help around the house, and so far, we have been able to keep him in food, thanks to Costco.

Happy 13th, Jayden!

I think 13 is a lucky number for both of us.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just to brag a bit.

I am still editing away on the trip photos.
In the meantime...my cousin Daniel is in a band.

Now I know almost everyone has a "cousin" in a garage band of some sort.
The difference is, Daniel went to Juilliard.
Last time I talked to my uncle Jeff, Daniel was really into Jazz.
Me=not a fan of Jazz.

So I didn't really follow his music for a while.

Then Jeff told us that Daniel's band won "The Battle of the Bands" in Las Vegas.
And they got a standing ovation at The Hard Rock Cafe.

I thought, "What the crap?? he plays Jazz!"
Um....not so much.

Here is his band, Imagine Dragons opening for Kelly Clarkson.
Dan Reynolds (Vox, Keys)
Andrew Tolman (Drums)
Brittany Robinson (Keys)
Ben McKee (Bass)

And Daniel Sermon...he is on guitar.
And he rocks it.
The only clip I could find online of his face-melting guitar solo was partially blocked by some chick rocking it out in the front row, and blocking Daniel.

"Sit down chick!!"
Oh wait...that is my AUNT DEBBIE. (His mom.)

This song on You Tube isn't my favorite one of theirs, but if you fast forward to about 1:30, you can catch Daniel on guitar.

They are actually really, really good.
Like, I would totally buy the album good.
Except I should probably get it free, since we are related and all. Right?

Anyway...here is a link to the band's MySpace page.
They have a few recorded tracks there.
Check them out!

I have talent in my gene pool!
Click here:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We're back, eh.

We took a little vacay to Canada this past week. We flew into Halifax, spent most of our time in Nova Scotia, with a day on Prince Edward Island. (Anne of Green Gables, anyone??)

I came home with two large suitcases of laundry, three packages of Canadian candy bars, 900+ photos of breathtaking scenery, and some sort of virus.
Not feeling really well right now.
At least I got sick on the last day of vacation.
Hoping extra rest will kick it.
I am gearing up for an epic blog post with pretty pictures, but I need to get feeling human again.

Things I may have said this week in Canada:

"I am soooo hungry I would welcome McDonalds food."

"This "McLobster" isn't so bad."

"Man! That guy's breath smelled so bad...it is like he saw me coming, picked a fresh stick of poo out of his butt and chewed it up just to talk to me."

"You know what is wrong with the U.S.? We don't have Coffee Crisp."

"Oooo look! MOOSE!!" (We never saw any live moose, but every time I said it, the kids stopped fighting long enough to search the trees.)

"Please tell me this "family pack" of Timbits is supposed to feed a family of one."

"I think I have gained like six pounds, but really, when you consider it is Canadian pounds, then maybe after it is converted, it is only like 3.5 back home..."

"I am so confused about which recycling bin to put my gum wrapper in...I think I will just eat it, and let my body recycle it."

We loved Canada.
I can totally see why my Canadian friends have dual citizenship.
There is no way I would be able to give up my connection to such a beautiful place.
The people were friendly and courteous, and proud of their country.
It was very clean, and just breathtaking in scenery.
Pictures and stuff to come...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

I already have the office chair.

Three kids, and four prescriptions ago was the last time I purchased eye glasses.
I normally wear contacts.
I use my glasses as back-ups.

Lately, my eyes have been really dry at night, and I switch to my glasses to watch movies with the family.

Well, I can't see so well with them, and they are starting to give me headaches.
I decided it was high time to invest in a new pair.

I went to Costco to the optical center, and asked the metro-sexual looking guy working there to help me pick out some frames.

"I would like classic rather than trendy." I said, as I knew I would not be replacing them for the next ten years or so.

He found me a few frames, and then...he gave me these:

"Oooooo, I liiiike those!" he said, "with your hair all pulled up, they make you look like a naughty secretary."

I was not sure how to respond to that.
I was not sure that was the look I was going for, but I bought them anyway.
And here:
was where I was going to insert a google-stolen image of a "naughty secretary."

I would not suggest you google that one.