Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A family that makes preserves together...

Violet looked at me tonight on the way to soccer and said, "I really wish Nana and Papa were my parents and that you and daddy were my grandparents."

Thanks for that, Violet. Actually I totally get it. Grandparents are pretty awesome. Parents just can't compete with them!

Last weekend I made jam with my husband, my mum and my girl. How lucky are we? Three generations of jam makers all washing, cutting, mashing, stirring, boiling, straining and licking our fingers together. These are the things that memories are made of. They are also the things cavities are made of, but I digress.

When Jeff and I got married my grandparents helped make little jars of jam for each of our guests. They also got up at the crack of dawn to make biscuits for everyone. That is just the sort of people they are, always doing things for other people. I have never met more generous folk, or better cooks for that matter.

I love that little traditions, like making strawberry jam as a family, are passed down from generation to generation. It makes the whole process feel almost sacred. I think it makes the jam taste better too.

So there you have it, an overly sweet post about an overly sweet preserve. I don't know what it is but this strawberry jam has me feeling sentimental.



Sunday, July 28, 2013

ms. middleton nails it

Kate has been getting props for putting her post-partum bump on display when she introduced little Georgie has week. (What else is a woman to do 24 hours after giving birth?!) Nevermind the bump, is it just me or was that the cutest little dress she was wearing? Too bad it was a custom creation because I'm sure it would have been in my budget...

So we can't have Kate's dress. What else is new? We can however consider wearing more blue, and I'm not talking navy. I have a friend's wedding to go to in a couple of weeks, but I haven't found a dress yet. Jeff suggested I look in my closet. How silly of him. I wouldn't have thought of wearing a little blue dress, but the Duchess looked so sweet I'm definitely keeping my eye out for something like the dresses you see above. If Kate can make a little blue dress look that great hours after giving birth, imagine how amazing I could make it look...Ha!



Friday, July 26, 2013

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

Thanks for the lovely messages you've sent me in the hours since I posted about our struggle with infertility. Even writing that nasty word down makes my skin crawl, but as some of you reminded me, by speaking out we are somehow less victimized by a situation.

Anyway, that will not be the only topic of this blog going forward, that could become a bit of a downer! In fact, are you ready for the weekly instalment of cute photos of my girl, otherwise known as things that are making my heart sing lately?

Well, here they are. Links below.

Have a lovely (rainy-humid) weekend, friends.



{back seat dance party}
{loving the booster seat}
{loving the Black Keys}
{the best beach in Canada}
{moon mist nirvana}

{if life gives you a dance floor}
{you best dance}

Worth Reading:

In defence of Sex and the City

Write what you know

I'm making banana chocolate chip muffins for a play date tomorrow. I think I'll try these.

This has been all over the blogosphere, but in case you haven't seen it check this out. Mine is ridiculously accurate, scary really.

Cake you don't bake. Hello.

The gentrification of Sesame Street. Maybe they can use my neighbourhood as the set if they want to regain street cred ;)

Favourite first lines of books. Love this!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The {other} great baby wait

I started my period the day the Duchess gave birth.

Hello, overshare.

If the previous sentence freaked you out I seriously suggest you stop reading.

Why am I sharing this personal of information with you? Well, I feel like there is something I haven't been completely honest about and it is impeding my ability to share openly with you in general. I am about to utter the most dreaded phrase in the English language: we need to talk.

Let's start at the beginning. When Jeff and I first got married we figured we might as well not prevent another baby from joining our brood. We already had one little running about, why stop there? I was super excited to give Violet a sibling who would be close to her age, something I never thought I would be able to do. Sure neither Jeff or I had permanent jobs, but we figured that would work itself out. We both had graduate degrees. How long could it take to land great jobs...

Given the fact I got pregnant with Violet without trying I thought it would happen just as easily the second time around. In fact, I remember thinking that it would be slightly embarrassing to get pregnant right after Jeff and I got married. People will think I got married with the sole goal of reproducing, I thought to myself. Well, that didn't happen. Our two year anniversary is coming up and, as I mentioned above, I am most definitely not with child (although I am an eternal optimist, I think I am personally keeping First Response in business!).

Over the course of the last two years Jeff and I have waited patiently, waited not so patiently, seen our respective doctors, been poked and prodded and reassured that everything looks just fine, endured two heartbreaking miscarriages, met with multiple insensitive specialists and one kick ass naturopath. The verdict is that everything seems fine. Things look good in fact. Right, but still no baby...

So here we are, not quite infertile (I got pregnant just before we hit the "one year of trying" mark, but miscarried), not exactly defined as having multiple miscarriages (three is multiple, not two...someone needs to take a look at a dictionary, no?), but still no baby.

If you are thinking, it will happen when she least expects it, she just needs to relax, run less maybe, have a glass of wine. That is what I would have thought too before going down this road myself. Honestly, relaxing is basically off the table. I run and read and say the Jesus prayer and take deep breaths, but I wouldn't call myself relaxed. I'm a grab the bull by the horns kind of gal. Relaxing isn't my forte. I've tried running less, sleeping more, drinking less (which means not at all) and even drinking more (that was a fun month!). I've consumed my body weight in natural supplements and even thrown some pretty heavy duty pharmaceuticals at the issue. So far my efforts have been in vain.

I think secondary infertility is different than infertility. I have an amazing daughter who is the picture of health and whom I love very much. Sometimes I feel really guilty for even going to all this effort when I know there are mamas who want more than anything just to have one baby. I also feel guilty because every month that goes by Violet is one month farther apart in age from her future (fingers crossed) sibling. We already have an unorthodox family history and I would hate for Vi to feel in any way removed from our family. I know in my head that I have absolutely no control over this and that there are lots of wonderful things about siblings who are farther apart in age. My heart just has trouble keeping up with my head sometimes.

I wanted to share this with you for two reasons, first I feel like by not telling you I am being a little fraudulent. I love my life, don't get me wrong, but everything isn't always rosy. I really want to have another baby and that isn't working out right now. The second reason is because if even one of you is going through this, or something similar, I want you to know that you are not alone. This whole baby making thing isn't always as easy as they make it out to be in health class. (Although, if any young people are reading this, it is really easy to get pregnant for some people, please be careful!)

The hardest part of sharing this story with you and why I have waited so long to do it is that I don't know how it will end. It is possible, maybe unlikely, but totally conceivable (pardon the pun) that everything will not work out the way Jeff and I hope. We know we have lots to be hopeful about, and trust me, I try to remind myself of that fact on the regular, but the bottom line is we don't know what our future will hold and that totally sucks. As someone who really likes to be in control, I find this to be the hardest part of this whole crappy situation.

So that is what has been going on over here. It feels good to be honest. Please don't worry about me. I am happy. I know I am blessed. I really want another baby to love, but I'll be damned if this predicament stops me from loving the baby I do have and all of the other amazing people in my life.



Monday, July 22, 2013

Holiday Teaser

We've made it back to the mainland a lot browner and just a little worse for wear (note to self: do not take the 8:00 pm ferry with a preschooler, she will not sleep all the way home). We had just about the most perfect beach day you could ask for on Saturday. We visited the best beach in Canada and  confirmed what we already knew, that it is in fact the best beach in Canada. We swam, made castles, ate watermelon and either participated in or refereed various races with Violet. She is big on races these days. She is not so big on losing. Let's just say she won many a contest by the skin of her teeth, much to her delight.

The weekend was just enough to refill my tank so I can make it through the next two weeks until our proper holiday. I love what I do for work, but this time of year it is just so hard to be inside! I can't wait to have two whole weeks off. I don't think I've had a two weeks off since well before Violet was born. We manage to strike a pretty reasonable work-life balance so I really shouldn't complain, but it will be so nice to really get into relaxation mode.

T- 13 days until vacation. After this weekend, I know I can make it!



Friday, July 19, 2013

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

Jeff and I are off to the island to be reunited with our girl and to hang out with my sweet parents this weekend. PEI is a little far to go for 48 hours, but once my feet are on that red soil I know it will be worth the effort. I'll be packing Violet's my copy of Anne of Green Gables...gotta get a head start before our week long holiday in Anne's land later this summer.

The forecast looks scarily perfect. I've been getting reports of warm water and zero jellyfish. All in all, it looks like we are in for an amazing weekend; a nice primer for what's to come.

Here are a few snaps of our life lately. Isn't summer the absolute best?


Worth reading:

Make gnocci with your kids

Stay cool

Salad dressings to know by heart

Kids on marriage (hilarious)

Now I know what to start buying Jeff for every Christmas and birthday 

Note to self: never ask this question

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer To Do List 2013

I am terrible at to do lists (see my to do before thirty list), but I like the idea of saying what you want and going and getting it!

Here is a list of things I'd like to get up to this summer. Everything on the list is fun. If something becomes no fun it is automatically booted from this list. It really should be called the Summer fun list, because to-do list makes it sound a little like work, which is basically the opposite of the point!

What are you getting up to this summer? Care to join us in any of our adventures? The more the merrier!



Monday, July 15, 2013

The *Lemon-ese* Festival

Violet loves Lebanese Lemon-ese food so she was pretty excited when I told her we were going to the Lebanese festival this weekend. Is there anything yummier than Middle Eastern food? I look forward to this event every year. Violet is just learning about bad breath (she loves telling us we having morning breath when she crawls in bed for pre-dawn cuddles) and she thinks it is pretty funny stuff. She was killing herself laughing as she blew garlic breath in her dad's face. If you too find bad breath funny, feel free to adapt Violet's attempt at a prank to your own needs. 

This was her approach:

{devour a plate of delicious Lebanese fare}
{ask your dad for a lift and blow garlic breath in his face}

{laugh the hardest at your own prank}
{your dad will tell you he still loves you, garlic breath and all} 
{but he will make you walk}

Friday, July 12, 2013

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose

Oh hello there, Friday. So nice to see you again. You've brought with you a promising forecast for the weekend? You shouldn't have.I promise to take full advantage of your generous offering by spending as much time as possible out of doors, preferably next to a body of water. I'm thinking the ocean is an obvious choice. Does that sound good to you? Great.

May this weekend remind you of why you put up with crappy Nova Scotian weather for (at least) nine months of the year. Now go, soak up that sun. Put your computer down!

Meet you back here next week, friends! 



{lettuce from our very own kitchen garden}
{the one and only lady Vi, s'more eater extraordinaire}
{is that a smile I see? I was holding out on you the other day. Violet does still smile. For the right price ;)}

According to the Internet:

Even a domestic goddess can choose an idiot for a husband

It is probably a good idea I couldn't convince Jeff to let me get backyard chickens

These burgers look amazing. (Do you suppose three cuts of beef make a difference?)

It is possible to fold a fitted sheet, genius!

Finland is the new Denmark (because now I want to move there)

Read this so you can contribute to conversations about the royal baby with confidence ;)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

you can't buy happiness, but you can buy pretty things!

Oh my gosh you guys, I feel like a bonafide blogger. I actually put the images you see up there together myself! (For the technically proficient/design minded among you, this may be a meagre offering, but trust me, it took a lot of effort for this novice!) It is a new era, I daresay. Actually, this might be the one and only collage I ever make, unless I can figure out how to do it a little quicker!

I wanted to put together one of my favourite summer looks: a simple striped dress with a statement necklace. I have acquired a few striped dresses in the last year and they can look a little boring without a little something. Necklaces seem like an easy way to add je ne sais quoi to an outfit, but honestly, who am I to say! I will never be a style blogger (not nearly stylish enough for that), but this is a look I find myself wearing versions of at least twice a week! Oh, and I added the novel I am currently devouring for good measure. Read it. You'll love it.

So what do you think? Cute? Safe? So last season? (Ha! Does anyone actually speak that way?)

Feeling pretty smug about my design capabilities right now, not going to lie ;)



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

the summer of Violet's discontent

Is being four a thing? You know, like being two is a thing? Being four is totally a thing at our house. It is not that Violet is being particularly naughty, it is much, much worse than that. At times I feel like it is literally impossible to please her. (Jeff is possibly thinking I am getting my just desserts.) Tonight, for example, she was weepy throughout her soccer practice and then as soon as her coach called them in for a final huddle she burst into tears because it was over. Say what?! 

Vi just isn't feeling anything these days. In fact, one of her favourite catch phrases is, "I'm just not into {breakfast/ being outside/ baths/ you name it, she's bored with it}". Given the fact Violet wants for nothing I find new attitude a little hard to swallow. 

Aside from bad parenting, I've narrowed the cause of this bout of ennui down to either the extreme heat or our move. Violet is totally a cold weather person. She loves winter and has already begun to plan for Christmas and her February birthday party. As far as the move goes, I'm really grasping at straws here.

Did anyone else's children go through this? I thought ages four - thirteen would be smooth sailing. It feels more like we have a thirteen year old in our house now. I don't think I can handle fifteen more years of thirteen year old behaviour.




Sunday, July 7, 2013

hot hot heat

Is 2013 the summer of extremes or what? We spent last weekend in the driving rain on the South Shore with my parents. I'm talking unrelenting downpours from dawn 'til dusk.

{seriously? you want me to go back to the beach in this weather?}
This weekend? Hot as hell. I'm not being glib, it is seriously steamy, even at the beach, which is a rarity in this part of the world. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I love me some beach weather. Today was, in the words of the great Mark Harris, "a classic beach day". Imagine our delight when we ran into some great friends when we arrived at Bayswater (a beach that didn't make the list, but should have). We spent the afternoon playing in the ice cold water (it gives your legs brain freeze if that makes any sense at all) and slathering our children in SPF 60 (although I should have spent more time slathering it on my own back -- ouch).

I typically find it hard to relax if we stay in the city. It always seems like there is so much to do. For some reason this weekend felt like a mini-holiday. I didn't get a knot in my stomach thinking about the housework/ lawn work that we should could be doing. Summers are too short. (I know in my head that life is too short, but I'm not there yet. Baby steps!).

Oh and let me tell you, we found the greatest new show to watch. I'll preface the big reveal by admitting that Jeffrey does not agree with me, in fact he absolutely hates it. No, not Nashville (another guilty pleasure. Thanks Rach.), you absolutely must watch Call the Midwife. It is amazing. I pretty much want to be a midwife now. Keep your eyes peeled for Miranda Hart (of Miranda fame). You're going to love this show, I know it. (Sorry husbands, boyfriends and anyone who hates BBC period dramas.)

My glass of rose and the tiny air conditioner in my bedroom are singing their siren song. Have a great night!



ps -- here are some pictures I snapped this weekend.

{not a fan of heat, or early mornings...yikes!}

{market imp}

{future yogi?}

{take photos while your child sinks beneath the water}

{good, clean fun}