Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Finding our Rhythm

Sydney and I have settled nicely into the first few days of our summer vacation despite torrential downpours for most of this week!  It still feels like holidays and we have been enjoying spending full days together and just taking the days as they come.

This week has brought many lovely things.  We went for lunch and a playdate with Sydney's friend from preschool, Julia.  It was so fun to see them on our first full day of summer vacation from school.  The girls had such a wonderful time together playing and snacking and doing crafts.  Sydney often tells me that Julia is her best friend and when we were riding home from her house I said to Syd "Wasn't it nice to have a visit with Julia?" and Sydney replied "Yes, Mom you know she's my favourite friend!"  Precious!

Just love this little book that Julia made for Sydney when we were there.

My summer nanny has started in full force this week and has been over a few times to watch Sydney already.  Syd is still getting used to having to say goodbye to me while she stays at home with Alexa, but has tons of fun with her once I've gone.

Paul and I have even managed to sneak out for a walk and quick dinner one night this week while Alexa was here watching Syd.  It was great to have some time together!

Alexa brought Sydney a little present the other day, this huge stuffed dog!  Syd loved it and decided that she wanted to name it Mickey Mouse.  Too cute!

Sydney will be accompanying me to my piano lessons all throughout the summer.  On Tuesday morning we had the pleasure of seeing Maureen for my lesson and had a lovely time learning new songs and practicing what I've learned to date.  I am so enjoying learning to play the piano.  It has been something that I've longed to do for quite some time now and it feels great to be able to finally be doing it!

I've even moved on to having to do theory papers and technical exercises each week along with my regular practicing.  It's been good discipline for me to find some time each day to practice!

Syd and I met up with my friend Mandy for coffee this week too.  Mandy and I used to be colleagues at Mackenzie years before Syd was born and have stayed in touch, I really enjoy visiting with her!  She always brings a little something for Sydney when we visit, this time she brought her a portable art set, what a perfect gift!

Today I spent the day working at Paul's office while one of his staff members was off.  I always enjoy having the chance to work with Paul again, we really do have a nice synergy together!

When I got home I took Sydney out to run a few errands.  We picked up a parcel with some very special contents, her new bedding from Pottery Barn Kids for her big girl bed!  She loved the personalized pillow case!

Syd came with me while I got a pedicure, had the best time looking at the dozens and dozens of colours of nail polish and helping me decide on this very bright orange.

Orange is definitely my new favourite summer colour, I am buying everything in it!  We stopped quickly at one of my favourite boutiques in Kerrisdale on the way home and I got a new dress, top and necklace all in the same amazing shade!  Can't get enough of it these days!

I am really loving this change of pace!  It just feels right at this time of year to be doing some fun and different things!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Birthday, Brunch & Broadway

This weekend really felt like summer.  Not so much because the weather was warm and the days beautiful, as it was that I definitively felt the shift from running non-stop to slow and easy days.  I think Sydney felt it too, there was no rush about anything.  We stopped and enjoyed moments, smelled a few flowers and browsed in a few shops.  It felt nice, this slower pace.  We are so ready for the lazy days of summer and I think we are really going to enjoy it!

We even took a few moments this morning to make a little craft that we saw months ago and kept talking about doing, a tree with tissue paper flowers.  So pretty!

On Saturday we had the pleasure of celebrating Sydney's friend Jack's 3rd birthday party.  Jack turned three way back in January but his Mom really wanted to throw him a summer party so we waited six long months to celebrate together.  We met at the Dunbar park so the kids could play together for an hour before heading back to Jack's house for a backyard family barbecue. 

Syd even tried the zip line at the park on her own for the first time!  She loved it!

What fun we had basking in the brief window of sun and enjoying each other's company while celebrating Jack and how grateful we are to have his family in our life.

Loved his Spiderman cake!

Paul, Sydney and I ended up staying later than almost all the guests, snuggled up on Christina's patio drinking wine.  It was perfection.  Even though it was quite late when we left, Syd insisted on walking home, so she and I walked home hand in hand stopping to look at the neighbor's gardens along the way.

Early this afternoon I met up with my friends Andrea, Saskia and Tracy for brunch at The Flying Pig in Yaletown.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch and visit together sharing stories about our kids and lives and making plans for fun getaways together.

When I got home I took Syd down to Broadway for their annual Greek Day street festival.  We had so much fun wandering through the throngs of people checking out the goodies for sale and yummy food and watching the dancers and performers.

Syd loved it as we took our time to take it all in and explore some new sights.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Last Day of Preschool

Today was such a bittersweet day.  I still can't believe that it's here, but here we are at the end of Sydney's first full year of preschool.  What an amazing year it was.  She has shared so many incredible memories with the children in her class and her beloved teachers, Jen and Carmen, all who feel like they have become part of our extended family.

It was such a hard day saying good bye to everyone.  Some, of course, we will see again in September when preschool resumes but for those who are heading to Kindergarten this fall there were a few tears shed and some heartfelt goodbyes this morning!

Jen and Carmen went out of their way to make a beautiful graduation ceremony for the kids today.  They set up the entire boardroom with helium balloons, flowers, a beautiful poster for the kids and momentos of the year all around the room.

I love this poster that they had up where they had written down what the kids had said when they were asked what they would miss about preschool.  Sydney's answer was "Running and jumping in the gym and outside."  Truthfully, I think it's Jen and Carmen that she's going to miss the most plus all of her little buddies!

The parents got together and gave Jen and Carmen a beautiful bouquet of flowers each along with a Chapters gift card.  I even had the chance to get up in front of everyone and share a bit about how much they both mean to myself and the other parents and what amazing work they have done with our children this year.

We shared our last shabbat together, the children each took turns getting up and singing their favourite songs.  Sydney and Julia sang a rousing round of "I love the mountains" together.

After shabbat we had a potluck lunch together.

Followed by the graduation ceremony.....each child got called up to the podium and Jen and Carmen shared what they loved and were going to miss about them. 

Then they presented them with a medal around their neck and their own handmade shabbat set complete with a kiddush cup, candle holders and a challah cover.

More than a few tears were shed as we watched our graduates graciously move forward towards another school year!

Jen and Carmen presented me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers as well to thank me for being the parent rep this year, they are absolutely gorgeous!

What a great day and way to say goodbye to another school year!  It truly does feel like summer is here now...bring on some great memories before we head back!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Sports Day

Today at school I joined a group of Moms to help put on the preschool's first ever sports day.  We had such fun planning the event!  All of the Moms showed up dressed up in goofy sports gear, I borrowed a one piece zip-up velour J. Lo leisure suit from my friend Lu which will go down in history as the best sports day costumes ever!

One of the Moms, Amanda, made posters for each station that were in our theme colours of red, blue, green, yellow and orange.  The kids took turns rotating around each station until they had finished each activity.

We made ribbons with each child's name on them and when they had completed a station they got a matching sticker on their ribbon.

The kids had so much fun, in fact we Moms may have had more fun than the kids, it was a great morning.

Sydney's preschool teacher Jen used to be a BC Lions cheerleader years ago and dug out her beloved pom poms today so that she and Carmen could come to sports day and cheer all the kids on.  It was hillarious!

We ended the day with a race where the kids ran through a finish line made of streamers and then presented each child with a gold medal around their neck.

What a fun and exciting morning it was!

Last night all of the Moms from preschool met at the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company and treated the preschool teachers, Jen and Carmen to dinner out.  We had such fun visiting together and chatting about all kinds of things besides our children!

Jen and Carmen are such wonderful, special teachers.  I feel so fortunate to have them in my life but even more so to have them in Sydney's life.  They have enriched her first schooling experience beyond words.  We are going to miss them like crazy over the summer!

This afternoon was Sydney's last swimming lesson for the season.  She has so enjoyed this round of lessons shared with her buddy Emma.

She came home with a ribbon and report card today which she was very proud of!

We certainly had a sporty day today!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

A Weekend of Celebrations

I feel as though I am catching my breath for the first time in 72 hours!  What a wonderful whirlwind weekend it has been!  Each and every one of the special celebrations this weekend deserves it's own post, but there simply wasn't time at the end of each day to sit down and capture my thoughts, I was too busy getting ready for the next event!

Friday was Paul's birthday and in keeping with tradition I made him his very favourite cake, angel food.

We met Zach that evening for dinner at Hy's, another great family tradition which we never grow tired of.  We had a fabulous meal and enjoyed the time together as a family.  Sydney was so excited to sit in 'the pit', the lower dining room where you can view the chefs cooking at the flaming grill in the kitchen.  Every so often she would gasp and yell "Fire!" when she would see the flames flare up.  It was so funny!

We got Paul some new gardening tools for his birthday this year.  He takes such meticulous care of our garden and loves to be outside trimming and pruning so I thought he'd get some enjoyment out of some new gadgets to help out this summer.

Saturday morning we got up bright and early and headed to Elm Park to watch Sydney's cousin Issy play baseball as his team made it into the little league finals. 

Sydney had the best time at the park walking up and down the bleachers a million times, visiting with everyone from the family on the field and playing with baby Sadie.

On Saturday afternoon we had the pleasure of joining Sydney's best friend Emma for her 4th birthday party at Westside Family Place.  Emma invited her entire preschool and other friends, there were over 40 kids in total!  What fun the kids had playing outdoors and enjoying all the yummy treats that Sarah made.

We left straight from Emma's party and headed out to my sister's house to have a long overdue family dinner and to celebrate my nephew Zach's 15th birthday.

Had such a lovely visit with my family, I loved that we were all together and happy and enjoying each other's company.

Liane made an amazing meal, steaks and twice baked potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, salad...we were all happily stuffed!

After dinner Liane took me on a tour of her garden and showed me all of the beautiful plants that she has lovingly planted.  I love that so many of them had stories behind them, friends that had given them to her, rescued plants that she had lovingly nurtured back to life and a beautiful vegetable garden that she proudly harvests from each summer!

Sydney had the best time hanging out with her cousins and jumping on the trampoline.  Am so glad that summer is here and that we can see each other more often now!

Today is Father's Day, always a very special day around here.  Sydney made Daddy a very special footprint and poem at preschool along with a picture of herself in a little pouch.

First thing this morning Sydney carried Daddy's presents downstairs and presented him with the beautiful plate that she had made for him along with a new golf shirt.

Then she broke out the loot bag from Emma's party yesterday which was filled with a canvas, some paint and a paintbrush and made a little masterpiece.

A few of the strawberries on Sydney's plant have started to turn red, she couldn't resist picking a few today to eat, yummy!

We decided that we'd take advantage of the beautiful weather today and drove up to Main Street for car free day.  This street festival happens every year and spans from Broadway to 33rd Avenue, it is fantastic!

Sydney got herself a good collection of helium balloons and stickers and giveaways and Paul and I enjoyed taking in the sights.

This evening our friends Jonathan and Lauren invited us to join them for a barbecue to celebrate Father's Day.  We had such a lovely time together with them and our extended family.  Sydney even got to go for a skinny dip in their hot tub.  She loved it and came home blissfully exhausted before she dropped into bed.

What a fantastic weekend it was.  I am tired but in a very good way.  My heart is full from all the love and celebrations that we shared together with so many people that we love.  We truly are blessed, tonight I am grateful.