Friday, January 27, 2012

Life's Yearbook

I was recently chatting with my friend Jodi about both of us used to enjoy it, neither of us have done it in a long time and whether we ever would again. I'm trying to decide what to do with the boxes of "stuff" in my basement. I can't remember the last time I printed a photo and the last scrapbook I made was about 5 years ago for my Grammie.

So, Jodi and I discussed what to do with the memories of life. She said she's been printing a few photos from each month and putting them in a regular old photo album. That way she at least has something to remember the events of life.

Later that week, I was checking out one of my favourite blogs and discovered this post. I love the idea of making a yearbook with online book-making software! I have used this before when I created my blog book and a book for Karla Ann's wedding. The end product is a beautiful, professional looking book. Since it's January, this would be a snap to start doing NOW for the upcoming year. I might even get ambitious and do one for last year...but we'll see.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Janice: the blogger

I found it interesting that this week I had three people ask me about blogging and if I could share some tips and asked about how I got started. I've never really thought of myself as an expert, but I guess I have been doing it for nearly 7 years. Holy crap on a cracker! (ref: Sheldon Cooper)

This got me to thinking about how I started blogging and just what the purpose of my blog is! The first time I heard the word "blog" was when my friend Becky was moving to Indonesia and said that she thought she'd start a blog to keep people up to date on the happenings in her far-away home. I asked what the heck a blog was and she explained that it's a web log. Oh. OK, cool.

After following along on a few friends' blogs that were early adopters, I decided I wanted to give this a try. I didn't really have a focus or a purpose to my blog, but I liked the idea of having a little "place in the world" (hence the name!) that was my corner of the internet and I could share my thoughts. I don't usually have anything important to say and for the most part I just write about regular life and share photos. It has been more of a creative outlet for me. A place where I can write and express myself and go back and review these thoughts.

I had heard of blog books and thought the idea was cool, but my blog was still alive and evolving. So, as I approached five years of blogging, I thought that would be an appropriate time to bind together the first five years. It was actually a really fun process as I got to re-read each entry as I assembled it.

If you're a regular reader, you'll notice I changed the layout recently. I resisted for a long time because it had always looked the same and that had become it's identity. However, I took the plunge and mixed it up a bit. I'm still playing with it so don't be surprised if it changes again :) It's always nice to know I have readers, so don't be a stranger. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

What a cutie!

I recently spent the day with my niece Kaelyn to celebrate her 7th birthday. Celebrating birthdays this way is tradition with Auntie Janice and usually I post about it here. However, the month of December was a flurry of activity and it did not get done.

This pint-sized ray of sunshine is always fun to spend time with. Kaelyn has a happy-go-lucky nature and is easy to please on our outings. I've told her many times I'd like to carry her around in my pocket so I can pull her out when I'm having a bad day. As you can see in these photos, she is quite the cutie.

This year's celebration included a trip to The Grand Theatre to see Cinderella. How exciting! It was Kaelyn's first live performance. We got dressed in our very finest and attended an excellent production at the Grand. My little princess got lots of compliments on her outfit (including gloves) from everyone. We went for dinner at Prince Albert's diner and later in the evening made cookies and watched The Muppet's Christmas Carol (one of my faves)

What fun we had and I look forward to the next time Kaelyn :) Love you lots!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Take Off You(r) Hoser(y)

I have always hated pantyhose. I hated the scritchy feeling of them on my legs and the feeling when those legs touched each other. They seem to always need adjusting and the top part is always too tight and constricting. I'm more of the free flowing bare legs philosophy.

I clearly remember being forced to wear pantyhose for my sister Connie's wedding. I was appalled that I would have to wear them on such a hot day. As luck would have it, I inadvertently purchased "control top". I was 17...I didn't need any control on the top and it just made them tighter and more irritating. As soon as the ceremony was over, so was my relationship with those pantyhose.

Well, sometimes when you're an adult you have to bite the bullet and, well, be an adult. Pantyhose have made their way back into my wardrobe. I don't mind the scritchy feeling as much as I used to and they are much more appropriate with a skirt than bare legs. Especially in January!

Yesterday I decided to wear a dress I discovered at the back of my closet. Things tend to migrate to the edges and I usually pull something from the centre - leaving the outer edges as "new" items in the wardrobe when you find them. So, I pulled out the dress and wiggled my way into a pair of "nightshade" pantyhose. By the time I got to the office, I hit a snag...literally. I had a snag just above my left knee. The longer it was there, the bigger it got. An afternoon meeting required me to go straight from job #1 to job #2 and I decided that rather than trying to strategically cross my right leg over left all evening, I would stop and purchase a new pair.

What a baffling ordeal. A dizzying array of colours, sizes and types. Control top (I'm familiar with those) sandal toe (what?), nude, neutral, medium neutral, dark neutral...seriously?!?! I just need a pair ASAP. I got to work, pitched the old ones, put on the new ones and was good to go. I made it almost to the end of the day without a hitch (or should I say snag). At about 10:30 pm, I crossed my right leg over left, the zipper of my boot caught the sheer material and wouldn't you know, I had a small hole/snag in the exact same spot as I did earlier that day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Olga Murray AKA: Grammie

Yesterday marked a special day. It was eighty-five years ago that my Grammie was born!

This adorable senior holds a very special place in my heart. From playing with barbie dolls when we were little to traveling to a warbride reunion with her, we have shared some very special memories (just search "Grammie" at the bottom of the blog!).

She always makes me laugh... without even trying. She takes life as it comes and adapts to whatever is thrown her way. She came to Canada when she was just 19 years old and pregnant with her first of 6 children. A whole new way of life - new country, new husband, new traditions.

I know she doesn't think so, but she has been an inspiration to me and so glad when I see an "Olga-ism" pop up in my own life :)

POST SCRIPT: Grammie's birthday was actually January 5 but by the time I got the photos uploaded to this post, it's posting on January 11. 

Monday, January 09, 2012

Making A Splash!

This weekend, my family ventured into waters never explored before. We did a family vacation...2 days in duration, but still...

At last year's Thanksgiving, my Dad said that he & Mom would like to take us all to Splash Universe, an indoor water park. The planning started and the excitement was building with the little ones. What a blast! The water park was fun, but the best part for me was our entire family going away together.

We all arrived at Splash Universe around noon on Saturday and hit the water park right away. What fun everyone had splashing away and slipping down the big water slide. The big question was "would Dad go down the water slide?". He had promised that he would but we are all aware of his intense fear of the water. Heck, it was shocking enough that he was wearing a bathing suit (as you'll see in the photos...his legs don't see the sun too often) We were not successful on day one in convincing him, but on day two he went down not once but TWICE!

I'm sure the employees and other visitors wondered what was drawing such a crowd at the bottom of the water slide as our entire party gathered to watch the historic event. In fact, it was reminiscent of Mom on a water slide about 25 years ago at Rainbow Valley in PEI. We all squealed with delight as we watched her scream all the way down. Dad was more screams, just hanging on for dear life :)

We all met at Bob Evans for dinner and the rest of the evening was spent either back at the water park, watching a movie or playing a game. Good family time! After breakfast we headed back for some splashing and witnessed Dad's descent down the slide! A terrific idea by Mom & Dad and an awesome time was had by all!

Thanks Mom & Dad!!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

from the mouths of babes...

My favourite moment from this year's Christmas was when Liam, who is four, exclaimed that he was just like an adult now because he got slippers for Christmas. When I asked him what that was all about, he explained that he could leave them beside his bed and in the morning they would be there for him to put on his feet.

Yes, of course. Why didn't I get that before? How cute...he wore the slippers incessantly all day long!

Oh the joys of home ownership! Yesterday I insulated my attic! I donned a white suit that looked like the apocalypse was upon us (or I was part of a Bounty paper towel commercial) and ventured up the little hatch in the ceiling!

My brother John actually did all of the hard work, I just passed him the batts. I was actually getting pretty good at launching them across the room!

Special thanks to Mom & Dad and John for taking the time to help me with this project and brave the snow on the way home.