I had my first Sparks meeting of the year this week! I got to have a sleepover at Poppa and Grandma’s. And I got to go to a grown-up party with Mommy and Daddy!
Wednesday was our 14th anniversary. Being the couple that we are, we were very content to spend a quiet evening at home enjoying each other’s company. Well… we did also enjoy a glass of wine and some almond gelato. But otherwise the day was exactly how I would characterize our relationship: easy, content, and comforting. Thank you Danielle, for most amazing things that have ever transpired in my life: 1) You; 2) Emelia and, 3) Us.
Then… Thursday night our friend Jim Bryson and Jenn Grant (along with her husband Dan Ledwell) were playing a show in Guelph. It was the closest that they got to us on this tour, so we made the trip. I worked from 9am to 6pm that day, and as soon as I was done, I was home to grab a quick bite to eat, and then off to pickup our other friend Allyson and head down to the show.
The best part about the show was that our friend Monica and her boyfriend Patrick were back in Canada visiting from their current home in Ireland and went to the show too. It was a great show, and we also got to visit with Jim, Jenn and Dan for a good amount of time. The highlight was of course reconnecting with Monica and Patrick, but it was also the cover of These Eyes that Jenn did and dedicated to me. Despite the late drive home and not getting in to bed until 2:30am, in the morning, we had a great time!
However, first thing Friday morning… precisely four hours after I went to bed, I was up at the tender hour of 6am for my much-loved first session of Friday morning before work hockey that I frequent all fall and winter long. The alarm came too early, but once I was on the ice and the invigorating cold tickle of arena air was in my lungs, I was happily in my place. It was good to be back playing hockey again!
I came home from hockey in time to meet Dad who was bring Emelia back from her sleepover and walk Emelia to school. Once she was happily in class, I came home and found a place on our bed to knock out a couple more hours of sleep. And boy did I need it.
My shift Friday at work was 1:00 to 10:00pm, and it also happened to be the day we were launching both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c at the store. It was every bit the busy we thought it would be, and then some. The shift flew by in the blink of an eye, and then I came home and picked right back up on the sleep I had breezed through of earlier in the day.
Saturday was a very exciting day… One that had been in the works for the better part of about eight months. Remember our aforementioned friend Monica and Patrick visiting from Ireland? Well, we had a whole day planned in London with all of our mutual friends here. We started out at The Bag Lady Variety — one of our favourite haunts when she was still living on this side of the ocean. And then we moved over to our friend Lizz and Derek’s for the afternoon and into the early evening.
The whole day was filled with laughter and lots of smiles and it was every bit the kind of visit we had all hoped for. I dare say, we made poor Monica a lot more homesick. And the best part was that Emelia was along for the entire day. She held up like a trooper and really came out of her shell with everyone which was super refreshing for Danielle and I to see. By 10:00pm we were home, Emelia finally in bed and asleep after getting hepped up on Nerds, and we crashed pretty hard.
This morning, while I had the day off, I did manage to have a meeting for work for a couple of hours to start the day. Once that was out of the way, we finally got to our first real, me and my two girls time this weekend. And it was obvious we were all pretty tired so we took it a pretty slow pace. Which was pretty much the perfect remedy for the week and weekend we had as far as I am concerned.
This week was an incredible and very busy. The biggest part of our week was our visit with our friends Patrick and Monica. We have missed her terribly so we wanted to spend as much time as we possibly could.
What this meant was one a very late night on Thursday. When we knew the dates for Monica’s visit we were able to match it up with a show and see our musical friends Jen Grant (and her band who includes her husband Danny Ledwell) and Jim Bryson. Since music is what brought us together we knew that we had to get out to see some of our favourite musical acts.
Once John was off and we had our dinner we were off to Guelph (about 1.5 hours away) with our friend Allyson. We finally made it down in time to see Jim perform and then Jen and her band. The music was incredible and it was just so amazing to spend the night with Patrick and Monica. We had not seen them in the eighteen months since their last visit home from Ireland.
What is great about great friendships is the lack of a hiccups and you are back in conversations like time has not passed. Modern technology allows all this, updates on twitter and Facebook and emails allows us stay connected. Time flew by and before we knew it, it was well after midnight and we had the long drive home. We finally got in bed close to 3 in the morning and the next morning came VERY quickly. Coffee the next morning was our best friend for sure.
Friday John had a very early start with the start of his Friday morning hockey. Thankfully John was home in time to bring Emelia to school since we had a huge rainstorm that would have soaked all the babies walking to school. Once he got home he crashed for a few hours before he was off to a later shift because the big launch of the new iPhones. The rest of the day was more of the same, running around keeping on top of all the household chores, getting Emelia to bed, laundry – yes I really know how it is to live life on the edge on a Friday evening.
We then come to Saturday, with Patrick and Monica visiting John had requested the weekend off so we could have as much time with them as possible. Saturday we did our normal Saturday morning routine, swim class Emelia for Emelia and then we were off to meet up with friends. One of the quiet little gems in London is the Bag Lady Variety. It is a small little restaurant that we just love. It has also become a favourite meeting place when we get together with our music friends. This was the one request Monica had when she visited London, so playing up our friend coming all the way from Ireland specifically to eat there got us a reservation. The nine of us (Monica, Patrick, Allyson, Dawn, Lizz, Derek, John, Emelia and I) met up and the laughs were plentiful and the food was yummy as always.
Once we wrapped up we decided against going bowling and thought we wanted something quieter so we could spend all the time catching up. Back to Lizz and Derek’s we went. John and I had to make a couple stops but we finally made our way back to their place where the potluck gathering began.
Normally we have Emelia stay with Helen and Doug when we have these gatherings but Helen had a bad fall this week and Doug works so we decided since this party was going to be much earlier in the day Emelia would come along. Ever the shy girl she clung to my leg for quite a bit but over time she came out of her shell and finally came around. She loved playing the board games with all of us. I see some kid versions of the games were playing in our future. But the best of all the games that we played was hands down the one that Monica shared that is a favourite of Patrick’s family. There were lots of laughs and some interesting gestures working around the younger set of ears. All in all it was one of the best few days we have had in a long time, surrounded by friends and good food. What else could you ask for.
Sadly at the end we had to say good-bye again to Monica and Patrick, hoping it is not another 2 years before they can come back home for a visit. But as much as we miss her, we love the life she and Patrick had made with each other in his country. Ireland is certainly on our bucket list for travel.
With Emelia in bed far too late we had hoped she would have a good sleep-in. Well 7:30 is sadly a huge sleep in stretch for her but she did sleep until then. We had little time once she was up to really veg around as John had an early morning meeting and Emelia and I had to get our usual Sunday errands done. John’s meeting was done before noon and after we picked him up I did what I am horribly overdue for, picked up some fall clothes. I am forever mindful of our limited budget but since little to nothing fit I had to make the hard decision to find something before I wore the same 2 pair of pants that fit over and over.
The first on the agenda was a fall coat, 75lbs of weight loss means I have gone from an XL to a S, so needless to say my fall coat of the last 8 years no longer fits. I had been kicking myself that weeks ago when Costco got in their fall coats I did not grab up the inexpensive but well made coats. I decided on a whim to check today and they FINALLY had a small in the colour I had wanted so I could check that off the list of needed items.
I honestly was trying to hold off even longer on clothes because we are trying to put money aside for John’s upcoming trip to California but I couldn’t. I thought (in my typical frugal manner) if I could just get a belt that fit I could stretch a couple pair of my jeans that are too big in the waist. So off we went to Winners to find a belt, I casually peeked at a rack of jeans in a style I had been wanting for years but felt I could never wear being so heavy. They were regularly over $60 and I got them for $24.99. I could not turn them down, they were a size 6 TALL, yes tall I finally have jeans I could wear boots with that are not floods!
I was on a roll, but the budget freak I am I shifted gears and we were off to Talize to see if I could have some luck with some tops, I was swimming in most of last winters shirts so I was going to see what I could find. Once again I really lucked out: 5 tops, a belt for Emelia and a pair of amazing shoes all for $34!!! Yes I love a bargin. And anyone who knows me should be proud only ONE is my typical v-neck plain top. I bought some with lots of colour, patterns and flowing. Look at me being a girl.
So all in all for just over $100 I got a fall coat, 5 tops, pair of shoes and a leather belt and new jeans. Pretty productive day if I do say myself. I am far from set but at least I have a few options.
In the middle of this crazy week was our wedding anniversary. We hadn’t planned anything big, it’s just not us. Now we are hoping for next year, our 15th we can have something planned for just the two of us. But for this year, it was just about us, a quiet night at home. We got take out Pad Thai at one of my favourite places to get gluten free food, we got a bottle of red wine and spent a quiet night together. We get so little time together, just us that it was perfect. What we have known for years that we need to assure that we don’t loose the us in being parents. We were a couple long before Emelia came around. Yes she completed us and made us a family but we are the foundation of love and understanding that makes our family the little unit we are. I love our quiet little life, it may seem like chaos sometimes but there is no one I would rather go through this crazy life with other than you. I love you, here’s to another 25 years together, and a lifetime of amazing family moments.
That is it for me, time to wrap up pour a glass of wine and watch Breaking Bad. Last week’s episode was one of the most intense hours on TV ever I cannot imagine what this week will bring.