Happy New Year!

2014-UsI went to see Frozen this week and I LOVED it! Last night I had a sleepover at Poppa & Grandma’s. And today Daddy & Mommy took me skating at Victoria Park!IMG_5874

He said

After the whirlwind that Christmas is blew through this house with the added degree of difficulty of a nasty stomach bug, this past week was everything we needed it to be. I was back at work for a full week, and Danielle was tending to the daycare in a more full-time way. Most of our week was really just getting used to the regular sort of schedule we tender.

That and ringing in a New Year. New Years came and went with out much hullabaloo, and that was just fine by us. We took both New Year’s Eve and Day so slow, it felt we might fall backwards into the new year. The best part of the lazy days was taking Emelia to see her new most favourite movie: Frozen.

IMG_5881By the time Friday rolled around there was a very interesting development to my schedule – I had the weekend off with Danielle and Emelia! I was needed to change my day off tomorrow so that I could be at the store, so in lieu I managed to get yesterday and today off which meant we got to weekend together as a family!

After a quick few text messages to Danielle on Friday, we excitedly realized we would be able to use the Mommy & Daddy Night Out For Dinner gift that Emelia and I worked on for Danielle for Christmas this year. We didn’t have to ask Poppa & Grandma twice if they were interested in having an Emelia sleepover. I was not thinking that we would be able to use the dinner out for at least a month or so.

IMG_5907After getting some errands done Saturday morning and generally taking the morning at a snail’s pace, we popped over to Mom & Dad’s to visit for a bit and then left Emelia to watch over them for the evening while Danielle and I made off for an adult night of dinner and a movie.

When Emelia and I were discussing what might be a good gift idea for Mommy for Christmas, one of her first ideas was for them to go get manicures together. While I know Danielle would love that, I explained to Emelia that might be a better gift for her and Mommy from Daddy on Valentine’s Day. She agreed and then immediately moved to other ideas for Christmas. To her credit a nice dinner was one of her ideas, though it was with the intention that she would go out with us for this nice dinner too.

After a little bit of a conversation about how Emelia typically doesn’t like most meal options at fancier restaurants, she decided that a dinner night out for just Mommy & Daddy might be okay. Though I knew that would change when it came to the night we were going to use her evening out gift…

IMG_5908As it was I did have to bribe Emelia with the promise of going skating today if she promised not make us feel bad for wanting a grownup night out. And even when we did go to leave there was some mild negotiation from Emelia trying to convince Danielle that she didn’t need to go. But eventually we convinced her otherwise and were on our way.

Dinner was at an old favourite of ours: The Keg. And the location is a former CN Rail train station converted to the steakhouse in the heart of downtown London. The meal was great, but the company was even better. It was so nice to have a much slower pace to eating, peppered with grownup conversation and a chance for Danielle and I to connect just as best friends. It was nice to not be parents with responsibilities if even only for a couple of hours and with the discussion often revolving around being parents.

IMG_5909We had enough time after dinner to pop home for a glass of wine, before heading off to the VIP Theatres at the Westmount Cineplex for the 10:00pm showing of The Wolf of Wall Street. The VIP theatre is a pretty great setup – you have assigned seating, they serve drinks if you want them, the seating is lounger chairs, and no one under the age of 19 is allowed in the theatre.

The movie itself, albeit long was a very great, but starkly damning portrait of the financial industry borne of greed and over indulgence with little to no policing. Leonardo DiCaprio was amazing in his role especially in how he remained despicable right to the very end.

Danielle and I enjoyed the first real sleep-in, in a while this morning before eventually rising and heading out to get the groceries taken care of before heading over to pickup Emelia from Mom & Dad’s. With her and her skates in tow, we headed down to Victoria Park for the skating we promised her.

IMG_5911It was a lot of fun, and especially festive as when we arrived at the park, we started to get the dumping of snow that has been forecasted for much of the night. Emelia picked up right where she left off last year on her skates. She’s pretty confident and wants to just go-go-go on her own. She did three or four laps all on her own, and then the rest of the skate she did only holding one hand. Eventually we convinced her that it was time to go as Mommy was looking pretty cold on the sidelines.

We got home put a roast in the oven and then took to the normal Sunday evening things we do before the next week unfolds. The biggest of which was planning Emelia’s birthday party which is coming up in just a couple weeks. It was the perfect kind of week to follow up after all that was going on the last few. And I look forward to the couple hours I still have left of it!

 

IMG_5920She said

This time of year for me and many others is all about reflection. Looking back on the year that was and looking forward to the year that will hopefully be. All in all 2013 was one of our best years ever! Sure there were struggles, mainly still financially but all in all this was the year that really changed in our lives.

So the year that was, what were the highlights? Well first my dad was healthy, we had a clean bill of health after his scare with cancer. Certainly an amazing way to start the year for sure. Emelia turned 6 and had an incredible birthday party with some of her closest friends, another amazing way to start the year.

This was just the beginning, we were on the official countdown to the dream trip of a lifetime. A trip I never thought I would be able to give Emelia in her childhood. The trip to Disney and the Disney Cruise still brings back the most amazing memories of the year. We dream of going again almost nightly and we hope that we can bring Emelia again in a year or so but that depends strongly on what happens this year.

IMG_5919The trip brought experiences that we will treasure forever, a trip with most of John’s family and memories we can share together. The highlights of holding Emelia between us as we saw the fireworks over the castle in Magic Kingdom still makes me smile and tear up a bit. It is a trip I know my parents wanted to take my sister and I on but were never able to so being able to bring Emelia to the most magical place on earth will forever be the big highlight of the year if not the rest of our lives.

The next big highlight was how well John was thriving at Apple, it was becoming more and more apparent how much of an impact he was making with conversations were turning to big advancements in his career path at Apple. Although there are aspects of John’s job that will always be a challenge the happiness and security that we have not far outweighs the challenges. So big changes finally came to fruition in the fall but the path was open earlier than we expected and we could not be happier.

IMG_5924The next HUGE thing for us last year was the purchase of Wolfie our beloved egg trailer. What this has done for our ability to have family time cannot be measured to be honest. John and I are likely never going to be able to afford (nor at this time want to) a cottage but what Wolfie allows us to have is a cottage on wheels. It gives us so much freedom to just go as a family any and every weekend John has off. Much of our discussion last night at dinner were about plans for the trailer and camping trips we are hoping to take this year. I know my greatest childhood memories were camping with my family and we hope that this will be the same for Emelia.

So between the dream vacation, the advancements in John’s career and the acquisition of our mini piece of family vacation it was a pretty amazing year!

IMG_5922But this year we hope will be even better, this year I feel is our foundation and turn around year for us with long term financial health and stability. So this year we are planning on putting the same incredible focus we had towards our health and fitness into our financial health. We have strengthened our budget and we have made a solid path of debt reduction. Might not be glamorous but we hope that this time next year our lives will be even richer and amazing.

So that was my week, thinking back and planning the future. And the dreams are endless!

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