Thursday, 27 February 2014

January Update: Garth, Primary, Baby Swim Class and Music!

I feel like I sometimes forget to focus on Garth and what he is up to personally in this blog, and that is a shame because he is amazing and talented and should be written about. 

Garth started his second last semester for his Combined Economics and Kinesiology degree this January. After this semester is over he will only have 3 more classes to complete it, and I'll tell ya, I can't wait until that semester when I might actually get to see this guy once in awhile. He is so busy! With a full course load of 4000 level classes you'd think that would keep him busy enough, but he also has two church callings, as a Sunday School teacher and Mission Prep Institute Teacher. This is his fourth semester teaching mission prep and he loves it! He is usually gone all day and Tuesday/Thursdays he is gone all day and all night. Luckily, I convinced him that he was too busy this semester to head coach the Churchill Jr. basketball team like he has in the past. I hope know that he will have the chance to do that in the future because he is a fantastic coach. 

Usually, married "student" couples like us would look forward to the much needed break of summer, but I actually will see him even less due to the nature of his job. So I look forward to September when I have my husband back. I'm not complaining, I really admire and appreciate his dedication and hard work for our family, but I miss him!

As for his career plans, so far Garth knows that he loves teaching, and will most likely be going back to get his education degree. He doesn't know what type of teaching he wants to do whether it be in the classroom, administration etc, but I know in time he will figure it out. If there is one person I see excelling in life, it is Garth. 

"Are you taking a picture of me?"
Back in the beginning of December I got called to be the Primary Chorister! It is a crazy fun calling. It is more time consuming and rewarding than any other calling I have ever had. I enjoy finding new ways to teach and sing songs. I think music is such an important part of the gospel and there is nothing better than hearing a group of sweet beautiful children singing about how they know Jesus loves them. Recently, we did a fun "Guess the Song About Love" gameshow for a Valentine's activity, and then the past 2 weeks have been "Singing Time Olympics" which has been my favorite activity so far. In April, the primary kids are singing their favorite primary song called "Gethsemane" in Sacrament meeting. You need to listen to this song, it makes me cry every time.

Here are a couple other things we were up to this month:

The weather in January was actually fairly nice (At least in the two weeks we were back) so we liked to go on walks to the library. When it wasn't so nice, we would go walk around the mall. Grant loves being out of the house.

We have been to a couple of the U of L basketball games this semester. Eric and Katie came over for dinner one night and we went to the game together.

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my very best friends is engaged! She hired me to write a song for them/sing it at their wedding so I was in complete and udder shock when she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids! I am so happy and so excited! I can't wait to be a part of the whole planning process and a part of their special day in July of 2015.

Grant started swimming lessons this month! Swimming is one of my favorite things to do, My grandparents have a pool in their backyard in Calgary so I grew up taking lessons and swimming every  day in the summers. I know so many kids that are 3-5 years old that are scared or not comfortable in the water and I really don't want that to be my kids. 

Luckily I planned for a time where Garth could come and so we alternate every week who gets to swim with him. Some might think that swimming lessons for babies would be pretty pointless but over the past month I have already seen growth and improvement. He is literally unfazed when dunked under the water and will actually do back floats, whereas before he didn't like putting his head in the water.

It is a half an hour long, 20 minutes of songs and games, mixed with life jacket safety and baby boats and then you move over to the warmer baby pool to do whatever you please. Grant loves going down the slide. 

This month I have also started the process of releasing my music. There is a lot to think about and do to get your music released so I have a lot of work to do within the next 5 months. I can't wait to finally share what I have worked so hard at!

My best friend's sister is amazing at web design and designed my whole website for me which can be found by clicking HERE. There are a couple updates that still to be done but I am very happy with it!

My new blog header

She also designed my new music blog that I will be using to keep everyone updated on my musical endeavours.  You can check out and follow my blog HERE. I figure now that I am getting the ball rolling, I will have lots to blog about. 

2014 is going to be exhilarating and I can't wait. This is my year and I am going to enjoy every minute of it!


Monday, 24 February 2014

Second Honeymoon Video

Garth and I decided that instead of making albums full of pictures, we would start making videos of our special times together. I always find everything more interesting when it is set to music.

Here is our trip video mixed with pictures and video clips from both Orlando and the Cruise.

It is lengthy, but that is what happens when you try and fit 2 weeks of pure awesome into 15 minutes. And it you overlook that, you will be rewarded with some clips of Garth's ridiculously awesome dance skills. 

I love this video, I am so grateful for Garth's time and effort put into it and I know we will watch it over and over throughout the years.

Enjoy! I know I will :)


Second Honeymoon Part X: Didya miss me??

As soon as our vacation ended I was so ready to just get through our last day of travelling and go home. I was just aching to see my baby, who I knew wouldn't be a baby anymore and had surely started walking and talking and probably forgot all about me. I was definitely a little nervous about how he would react to our homecoming.

Our flight to Denver didn't leave until 3ish, so getting off the ship and t the airport was completely stress free.

We ate Chick-fil-a for lunch and read some books until our flight was ready to board. This flight was absolutely the longest flight of the whole trip (only about 4 1/2 hours). We started watching Batman Begins, I felt sick most of the time and I was sitting in the middle seat, which was the worst.

Once we got to Denver we grabbed a burrito and quesadilla at Cantina Grill and some jamba juice. We ended up getting a whole other one for free due to a mix up and we were more than happy to claim it.

The 2 1/2 hour plane ride back to Calgary was pretty turbulent. Once we got there the thing that comes out and connects to the plane that transports you from the plane into the airport was broken or something so we had to wait forever after we landed before we could get off and then when we finally did get off we had to wait an hour and a half for our luggage to show up. I was still feeling really sick so that didn't help. We got our luggage, were greeted by my parents and made our way outside into the cold Canadian winter that I had forgotten all about.

Unfortunately Garth didn't have his winter jacket anymore because he threw it away. When we came to the airport at the beginning of our trip he forgot to leave it in the car and didn't want to lug it around the whole time so he inconspicuously shoved it into a garbage bin at the airport. What a waste haha.

By the time we got back to my parents house it was around 11:30 pm. The very first thing I did was head up to Grant's room to go look at him. I wasn't planning on waking him or anything but I just had to see him. I started freaking out because he looked so GIANT! He was visibly taller and chubbier, almost like all he had been eating the past two weeks was butter. 

The cutest thing happened. He starred stirring and then blinked his eyes open and saw me. He kind of just stared in disbelief like "Am I dreaming?" and then his face broke into a wide grin, he started kicking his legs vigorously and reached for me to pick him up, so of course I had to!

My heart was a melted pile on the floor and I was so relieved that he remembered me and obviously missed me. He kept pushing away from me so he could look up at me and smile, and then his dad came in and he got even more excited.

Everybody kept telling me that it would be hard for him to get adjusted and comfortable with us again but they were wrong. And I am so grateful for that.

It was crazy how much he had changed over only 2 weeks. I finally understood why people would say things like "He is so much bigger!" after being away from him for only a week. When you are with them you just don't see it. He had new habits, new faces, new mannerisms and the majority of his clothes didn't fit anymore.

I am so grateful for the amazing time we had together on our trip. We definitely got our much needed alone time and it really did feel like our "Second Honeymoon".

And now we are grateful to be back with our giant of a child. 

We missed you Grant!


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Second Honeymoon Part IX: Costa Maya, Mexico

We arrived in Costa Maya pretty early in the morning so we got up extra early so we could get off the ship and make the most of our day in Mexico! We were supposed to have stopped at our other ports of call but it was way too stormy and the waves were too strong to allow anyone to get off the ship safely. It felt so good to touch land after 2 days at sea! 

When we first got off the ship it was fairy early so the sun hadn't graced us with it's presence yet. We found a shuttle to take us to the beach so we could go swimming.

We went swimming together in the ocean, which was definitely my favorite part of the whole trip. I was born to live in the ocean, like a fish...or a mermaid.

And then it started to rain. We found cover and were trying to figure out what we should do when the rain stopped and the sun came out! So we found ourselves some beach chairs and soaked it all up.

While we were hanging out on the beach there would be numerous locals that would walk by trying to sell their handmade souvenirs, jewellery etc. Normally I am not too interested in that stuff, but there was one pregnant girl that kept walking by with these bracelets that were actually so cute! I kept telling Garth, "those ones are actually cute, we need to get some for my sisters." So later on in the afternoon I saw here again and tried to barter with her and she wouldn't budge! No matter what I said she wouldn't even move her price at all. We decided we would look elsewhere.

I really like Costa Maya because it had a really local feel to it. It was less "touristy" than Cozumel, but still had the nice water and great beach.

We spent lots of time swimming in the ocean together and by the time we had to leave I still wasn't ready to go. It was the most beautiful and perfect day, I had salt in my hair, sun on my face and I felt glorious.

We had asked lots of people to take our picture over the course of the two weeks we were gone and this picture below was the only one that turned out perfectly. It surprised me how many people didn't know how to work a camera phone. Even though we took a lot of selfies that I adore, I really love and appreciate having this picture. So thank you kind stranger!

We left the beach and crossed the street to look at some shops when Garth caught a glimpse of a guy carrying around those same bracelets I liked. We stopped him and asked what kind of deal he would give us if we were to buy 4 of them and he gave them to us for half the price of the other lady, no bartering necessary.

We chatted with some local guys about how we were liking Mexico and then hoped in a taxi that took us back to the main area by the ship where there were lots of shops to look around. We ended up buying Garth a t-shirt, another one of those bracelets and some instruments for Grant. (He loves his maraca and tambourine best at the moment).

I loved the relaxed feel of Costa Maya and the perfect day that we had there. It was the best way to end our vacation.


Saturday, 22 February 2014

Second Honeymoon Part VIII: Cruise Nightlife

One of the best parts about the Carnival Cruise was the evenings. Carnival Cruises are definitely geared toward families or a younger crowd, so there was a lot of partying going on.

Every night after our amazing day, we would get all cleaned up and put on some nice clothes and go out for dinner. It was one of my favorite parts about the cruise because it felt like date night every night!

Dining Room
First Night
They would bring a menu and you would order an appetizer and a meal. They had classics that were offered throughout the whole week but other than that they had a new menu offering different entrees every night. Some of my favorite things were the spring rolls, lobster, filet mignon and the yummy soups. Garth's didn't really like the lobster but he was obsessed with fruit. He ate fruit like it was going out of style! We both did a really good job of trying something new every night, other than dessert. I got the same dessert every night, so our waiter always knew exactly what I wanted without even asking: The Chocolate Melting Cake and a plate of fruit. I still dream about that cake sometimes.

They would also try and entertain you by singing and dancing throughout the meal. We made sure to join in when they started dancing to "Low" or "Gangnum Style" haha.

They always had photographers walking around snapping pictures so you always had to make sure you looked super cute while shoving food in your mouth. 

Every day they would put a brochure in your room telling you about all the activities that were going on that day. In that brochure they would tell you what the dress code was for the evening. Most of the time it was business casual, but two of the evenings were "Formal Nights". Everybody interpreted formal night differently, some wore skirts and nice dress pants, some wore tuxedos and fancy gowns. I only brought one dress with me because I was planning on buying a dress in Orlando for the cruise. I found the most gorgeous dress I had ever seen at Nordstroms that I almost bought, but it was way to fancy to wear anywhere else so I didn't. I still dream about that dress too...
I did end up finding another dress. I had to improvise with what I had so I could wear it but I think it worked out and we looked nice and classy together.

Formal Night #1

Formal Night #2
After dinner we would walk around the ship and there would be numerous different backdrops and photographers with giant cameras trying to lure you in so thy can take your picture. We almost always said yes when they asked us because it was really fun. They make you pose in the cheesiest poses. They would post the pictures up in a gallery the next day and we would go and laugh at all our pictures.

One night our photographer was particularly funny. I was in my bathing suit, wet hair, no makeup but I decided "why not". He was a tiny Philippine man who kept making the "rawr" noises and laughing or he would say things like "show me the brrring brrring." It was hilarious so I had to snap a quick picture to remember even though we weren't supposed to.

After dinner there were lots of things to do. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, there were lots of shows, or comedy clubs or kareoke. Sometimes we would just take it easy and go to the spa or hang out forever in the hottubs. But one of my favorite night time activities were the outdoor movies. They would play a movie up on the big screen, pop some popcorn and we would lie out and watch a movie under the stars. The movie we watched was Bourne Legacy. I think this was one of Garth's favorite activities as well because he said he would do this on his last cruise and just wish I was there with him.

My other favorite part about nighttime was the dance parties on the deck! I got some pretty stellar videos of Garth's dance moves.

Here are a couple more pictures from our night time shenanigans:

Every night when we came back to our room for the night there would be a cute little towel creature waiting for us on our bed. They were so cute!

Wearing my sunglasses...

Garth being Garth

Our last night

Everybody was really feeling the love.