so this is what normal people do?

A few weeks have passed and I haven't blogged. Oops. So what in my world is new?
First things first, I'm not flying.
I write a blog, I love the sky, and you know as well as I do that I'd tell you all if I was suddenly back to work and hopping around the country. So please, please stop asking me. It's not something that I'm thrilled about, so understand that having to explain it 7 times a day to every single person that I encounter grows tiring. I'm not trying to be mean, but trust me... when I know something, so will you. I'm stressed enough already without the constant reminders. Moving on...
Ryan's sister had a beautiful baby girl on February 18! It's their second child and I have plenty of friends with kids that know me as Auntie, but this is the first legitimate soon-to-be-related baby to be born when I was in the country. Safe to say, I was pretty excited. She's gorgeous and I'm going to try to be her cool Auntie Krysta.
Our wedding is in 48 days. That means we leave for Mexico in 44 days, and while I'm excited beyond belief, it's all coming so fast! I've been so caught up in the madness that is buying a home, moving into said home, and trying to get my job back that time has just creeped up on me and all of a sudden I feel like we are running out of time!
We have been pretty darn awesome at keeping on top of our fitness, if I do say so myself. There have been a couple of cheat meals that have led to entire weekends filled with guilty pleasures, but for the most part we've been eating healthy, working out, and feeling great. With Lent beginning this week, I gave up chocolate as per tradition, but along with it I'm trying to give up all sorts of sugary treats. I hate to admit it, but I've got an addiction to all things sugary. I knew that sacrificing chocolate would only lead to binge eating other equally unhealthy treats, so I had to take drastic measures. I'd imagine that the way I feel right now is similar to the way that a smoker feels within days of quitting. I'm in withdrawal. No amount of sweet fruit will fill the void left by the absence of junk food.
My goal is not to lose weight, but to challenge myself and get healthier in the process. Sugar controls me, and I'm going to show it who's boss! No, I don't possess some crazy form of willpower. This is one of the most difficult things I've ever tried to do. I just want to sit here and stuff myself with cake and chocolate and specialty lattes. Mmm. Sugar.
I'm using my Project 366 to keep me busy. Taking a photo a day is not as easy as it sounds... not when you are picky, at least! I strive to have a great shot for each and every day, but more times than not I'm unsatisfied with what I post. I've been reassured by the photography community that that is entirely normal. What I think is a great photo now, might make me cringe in a year! If you are never satisfied, you'll never give up... not a bad thing, if you ask me!
Aside from that, my life has been relatively uninteresting. I don't have a lot to blog about, because I'm not traveling and I'm eating healthy.... food and vacation seem to be the inspiration for a large percentage of my blogs, and clearly what you all would rather hear about!
Until next time, eat some chocolate for me!

Art on our Streets...

Sometimes, you don't have to go far or even pay lots of money to visit art galleries.
 Just have a stroll in your city and you will discover a whole new world. 
Can't wait for my family to visit so I can show them what I mean.

Skye at Scitech:

Scitech is an amazing place, it encourages kids to experience how life really works through play and scientific activities. Between the hot air balloon, the robotic talking head and the rescue team, Skye fell in love with the rescue raft and the pretend ocean. There even was a helicopter with a flight simulator over the city. Great place to spend the day and learn while having lots of fun!

Scitech Video:

Just Mine

{Just a post with 
just pictures of 
just what I touch and work on during
 my day}

I wanted to see what I see all day besides the kids...
I think a couple kids snuck in there
but I tried to isolate and photograph 
just what I do

Call it an experiment in "maternal social studies!

serving breakfast
{homemade grain-free granola and raw pastured milk}

someone who is very grateful for the nutritious food I work hard to provide

Heading to the shower...
{this robe has seen me through pregnancies, sickness, cold days, sad days...and yes, I'm aware that it has yellow bath ducks and bubbles on it!}

Arthur...on the way upstairs
{long story, still makes me laugh}

And this still makes me smile!
{we worked so hard on this room, never thought we'd be finished...still love it up there}

Nasty...but cute
{this bathroom is older than your grandmother and dirtier than the bottom of an inner city dumpster...the day we rent a truck and haul away the guts of this room will be a happy one, indeed!}

Favorite jeans
{that of course were discontinued right after I ordered them and fell in love!}

 Other random stuff I must use each and every day
{in our other bathroom...that is older than your GREAT grandmother and dirtier than...well, I can't say! Not sure which one I'm more excited about tearing in to}

Waiting for me at the foot of my bed
{our "laundry room" is actually a small closet...IN our bedroom. Mixed feelings on that one!}

Checking in, and finding diligence!
{not normal...but warms my heart when it happens. Usually when I step out of the room, pandemonium breaks loose. Hence the reason I don't seem to get as many daily showers as I should!}

LOTS of tea bags...

for LOTS of kombucha
{this was my first gallon batch...isn't it pretty?}

If it isn't written in here, we won't be there!
{this is my paper-brain...couldn't live without it}

And if it isn't written in HERE, my kids won't be learning it!
{I heart my planners!}

Back in the kitchen to make lunch
{they all LOVE celery!}

Finding a misplaced water bottle

This is never empty...
{sad, but true!}
{I'd LOVE to have two dishwashers!}

Apron love

Something else to trip over
{but loyal companion!}

Dinner leftovers
{grain-free biscuits with jelly}

My light saber...duh-DUH, duhduhduhDUH-duh
{I love this broom...makes me happy to sweep!
and yes, there's a little St*r Wars love around here, too}

What's in there for tomorrow?
{can you spot the leeks, pastured chicken, farm eggs and cod liver oil?
Oh, and Ruger is looking for a carrot!}

This means bedtime is almost here...
{or maybe this was me starting it at noon!}

I would like to try this again but with a different theme...
maybe like "what I taught the kids" or "what we read" or "what I cooked"

Happy Valentine's Day:

Michael surprised me with this magnificent flower bouquet, filled with different colours. 
Skye and I surprised him with this home made chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting...Yummy!
 Too bad you can't reach through your computer screen to have a taste. 
But the cake is too big and it was calling me again the next day through the fridge door, I had to throw the freezer which is harder to reach...for now.
Happy Valentine's Day!!!

oh, it's already february

I'm officially sick of being on the ground. Okay, fine, I was sick of it a month ago... now I'm just reaching the point of serious withdrawal. I stare longingly at the sky as Boeing's soar overhead. I should be on those planes, but instead I'm here. On the ground.
After an unanticipated lack of income, I began searching for a second job. I'm now employed at a local cafe. It's a cool place designed for parents with young kids to enjoy a cup of coffee with friends while the kids drive toy cars around the track and climb through princess castles. I enjoy making fancy lattes, but I can't shake the feeling that I should be above this type of job. I mean that in the most literal sense, not to indicate that I'm any better of a person than a coffee shop employee. I'm better suited to 40,000 feet.
Aside from that, life is great. It's only 59 days until my wedding, and I'm so, so very excited. I can't wait to be on the beach with my best friends and family. I've been getting a lot of negative reactions from people who are against traveling to Mexico, but that's not making my excitement dwindle at all. I've been to some pretty scary places in this world, but never have I feared for my life in the Mayan Riveria. The media exaggerates everything.
In terms of wedding preparation, Ryan and I have been to the gym nearly every night this year. He's lost weight, and I feel strong.... for me, at least. Maybe when I eventually go back to work I'll actually be able to close the main cabin door with ease. Maybe.
In keeping with our aviation obsession, Ryan and I went a little bit overboard yesterday. While shopping at one of our favourite stores, I lit up upon discovery of the flight attendant "Career Barbie" that I've searched for... for a long time. Yeah, I'm 25 and I buy Barbie. I didn't think that I could get more excited until we turned the corner and found paradise. Airplane pillows and bedding galore. With each item I'd pick up, we'd find another equally awesome one. We threw everything into our cart and tried to convince ourselves to put it back on the shelves. It was no use. We left with everything. Our airplane themed guest bedroom is finally coming together. And no, we don't have some secret child that we bought all of this for.... but when and if we do ever have a little boy, he'll have absolutely no say in his bedroom decor. Ryan was just as thrilled about the end result as I was. You see why I'm marrying him?!

Bullet and Skye II:

A Thousand Words...literally!

This might just look like a sweet picture to anyone else...

but for me, it is worth 1000 words.

 One thousand word spent 
doubting myself
questioning learning abilities
asking for help
refusing help
seeking advice and finding answers
trying new things
repenting for giving up

One thousand words spent

asking why?
giving up (again!)
getting creative
and finally

falling on my knees before the One who knows...
(isn't it funny that sometimes that's the last thing we do?)

You see, this picture represents the fruit of our two year struggle to get Benji reading, AND to get Benji and Ava to stop their constant picking at each other. This picture represents the faithfulness of our God...and how He does care about the details of our life!

Wanna know how we did it?
Coming soon...

Bullet and Skye

This is the river: we are not brave enough to venture in the open sea. We started calling it Bullet beach after the dog. This is where we spend our weekends, when it is windy. Michael and I take turns kitesurfing and windsurfing. One of us would be on the water and the other one is playing with Skye.
Skye made friends with Bullet who adopts anyone who is willing to throw him a stick. He would go for hours. You don't have a choice, he will bark at you until you play with him. Skye does not mind, she loves it. He is so friendly and he belongs to the windsurf trainer who is always there.

Skye's First day at School:

Skye's first day of school!!! Already! (I sound old!)
It was brilliant!
I had a restless night, nervous about everything, the strangers and the unfamiliar surroundings...And what does she do? She barges in the classroom towards one of the tables, filled with colorful activities and says:
" Mommy, you can go now".
And thank you very much!
I tell myself. That's it? No tears? Not even mommy I will miss you? No, nothing.
I am the one who was a bit tearful during the day. Picked her up that day and she was buzzing with excitement, telling me all about her new teacher and classmates.
Brave child that one!

Skye's First Cinema Show:

 Skye's first cinema outing with her friends was spectacular. She was glued to her seat, eating popcorn. I have not been to the movie theater for ages myself. It was a great experience, she enjoyed it.

Windex magpies

Hilarious! Makes me laugh every time! I am keeping my eyes on the magpies around us!

bring back the fun

When did everyone get so boring?
No offence, but really... where has the fun gone?!
I couldn't wait to grow up and have the freedom to do whatever I wanted. To be spontaneous. To live my life to the fullest, and not let anything hold me back. Up until now, I think I've done a pretty decent job fulfilling this philosophy. I've went on spur of the moment vacations. I've jumped out of a plane because it seemed like the best activity to do on short notice. I've gone on road trips, photo shoots, and adventures because they sounded like fun. These days I'm wondering who I've become and where the fun in me has gone.
It doesn't help that everyone else is so stuck in their daily routines that they don't have time to do much else. As somebody who absolutely hates making concrete plans, I find it excruciatingly painful trying to organize hanging out with friends weeks in advance. I suppose if there is one thing that I miss about Dubai, it's the like-minded people that I knew there. The kind of people who say "Let's go to Paris for the weekend" or a little bit of a less extreme "Hey, I'm bored... want to go for coffee, say, now?". That doesn't happen here. Spontaneity is relatively non-existent. Weekend trips are planned months in advance, and even a simple coffee date has to be penciled in ahead of time.
I realize that people are busy. I realize that a lot of things cost money and that a lot of people my age have family commitments that make it difficult to sway from the routine. Still, I find it sad. We take for granted our youth, our health, and our ability to enjoy living to the max.
It doesn't have to be much. Go for coffee with a friend that you haven't seen in far too long. Get in the car and drive with no destination. Go for a walk. Try something new. Buy a one way ticket across the world. Okay, that last one might take a teensy bit of planning ahead, but nothing is impossible. Come on people, be spontaneous! Live a little!
As I sit here flipping through photos of the last few years of my life, I'm missing my old self. It's not entirely a bad thing, because I'm now feeling inspired to get out and do something fun. So you know what I did today? I went to the gym. Random and adventurous? No. But I typically only go at night, so it was a whole new way to spend my afternoon. On the way home, I stopped at Wal-Mart for the sake of enjoying my day... it's one of my favourite places to be, as crazy as that makes me sound. I came home and made some Vietnamese salad rolls! Oh, and I blogged. Even though I didn't intend to blog. I know it doesn't sound that exciting, but I broke away from the routine and I made my day a little bit better just by doing things that weren't planned. You should try it, right about now!