**I'm trying to figure out what to do with this little blog. I don't want to pay the new $2.50/month fee to keep my pictures. As for now I am posting as "Shane" until I get things figured out. Don't be confused. ;)**
When I asked what my brother Jonathan wanted to do on his trip here in Canada, his request was Banff. We went last fall when we blessed Samuel, and he loved it. His request was to go again, so away we went. He had mentioned that he wanted some pictures taken in Banff. I have been learning to use my camera and thought heck, why not? So we took off to Banff, jamming to jbiebs Christmas album, to find the weather conditions perfect, and shot pictures for a while. Here's what we came up with...
I sure love the winter wonderland pictures that we came up with, my sopping wet shoes and feet were well worth it. After a shopping in the town of Banff, we made the trek home. On the way home we ordered Big Hill 2 for 1, the best pizza in Alberta. We had pizza and then spent the night making Christmas Candies (butter toffee, peanut brittle, and caramel). It was an exhausting day, but lots of fun!
Thursday morning came and I was grateful I had spent Wednesday night busily cleaning my house, and making pie crusts, doing all the last minute things my body would possibly let me finish before going to bed and my family would show up. We woke up around 7:30, and I started right into pie/ jello salad making. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, and my little kitchen helper wasn't helping that feeling. I kept pushing through, knowing it wouldn't be long before my family walked through the front door.
I was so overjoyed when they walked in. Jonathan, Sabrina, and my mom made the trek, through the night, and were all so tired, but happy to be at the final destination. My mom jumped right in and helped me by doing dishes along side me as I finished the pumpkin pie to put in the oven, and prepped the turkey for the oven. She watched the pie while Sabrina and I ran to the store in her new car to get some buns and last minute items. Jonathan and Samuel were napping, it was nice to be able to run out the door and not worry about my baby, or the pie in the oven.
When we got home, it was time for the turkey to go in the oven, and then play time. Samuel had woke up, and Sabrina played with him upstairs. My mom had some presents for Samuel and had Sam and Sabrina come downstairs to give them to Sam. Unfortunately, these are the only pictures I have of Thanksgiving, such a SAD thing. I suppose that's what happens when you spend days prepping for a big meal. Here's the sequence.
This is the first time Samuel has decided to play with one of my purses, and wanted it over his new hockey stick... Shane was a bit upset when he learned this.
The afternoon continued on, and Sabrina passed out on the couch, and Sam went down for another nap. It was wonderful to have my mom to fill in the gaps as I prepared Thanksgiving. She made the gravy as I got dressed, she continued doing the dishes, and little things I can't think of off the top of my head, but her help made everything come together. Shane showed up with whipping cream, and we were ready to eat.
We sat around our feast, held hands (as some awkward looks were exchanged), and gave Thanks for all we had. I was impressed with myself, it was the best tasting Thanksgiving Dinner I've had that I can remember. Our meal was complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, buns, pretzel jello salad, a veggie tray, and the choice of banan cream pie, pumpkin pie, or apple crisp. The beverages included water, grape juice, Martinellis, and Mountain Dew (unleaded).
Dinner was over, my family all passed out yet again for a while as Shane and I finished cleaning things up. When everyone was awake, Shane's parents stopped in for some pie and a visit. A few rounds of Yatzee later, it was time for bed. I am very grateful for so much, but particularly this Thanksgiving, to share it with some of my family.
Tonight there have been few things on my mind. I started out the evening editing the photos I took of my neighbours Saturday, and ended up blog reading. I ventured onto blogs that aren't in my "daily reads" list and ended up reading 4 birth stories. They were empowering, inspiring, and uplifting. They make me yearn for another babe, and reflect on the birth of my dear dear Samuel.
I've talked, thought, and read a lot about birth. I'd even go so far as to say I'm passionate about it. It truly is such a beautiful thing. I was blessed to have my sweet husband by my side, and one of my dearest friends also there to take care of Shane and I. At the time I thought I was in labour forever. I look back after reading some other accounts, and my body was in pre labour for a long while before anything really started happening.
I look back and having no experience in labouring, I figured that since my water broke, and contractions had started, that meant a baby was going to be in my arms soon. My thoughts tonight go back to 5 in the morning the day Samuel was born. I had been up for 28 hours with nothing, not even water that would stay in my body. I was exhausted, had been rimmed, was in excruciating pain, and shaking uncontrollably. I laid on my bed with Shane next to me and wanted to die. I admitted it outloud, I was most miserable at that point. When I was checked at 6 and informed I was a 7, I gave in to myself and said I couldn't do it anymore, that I needed an epidural.
I apologized up and down, I felt I had let Jenny and my midwives down. After discussing my birth with Jenny in the weeks and months that followed, she helped me to understand that I had hit transition when I sent myself to the hospital. I personally now believe I drug out my labour probably 8 hours longer than it needed to be because I "needed" to sleep. In retrospect it probably would have been an hour later that I would have been pushing my sweet son out.
I am not writing this necessarily with the feeling of regret (although at this moment there is a little bit). I was inexperienced, and everything I had learned in my prenatal class about labouring went out the window with the first contraction. I look forward to giving birth again, this time in my own home, this time knowing what is happening, this time completely trusting my body. I will prepare differently and be ready, armed with confidence.
Transition, you will be welcomed with open arms next time :)
BELIEVE in yourself, you are amazing and much stronger than you give yourself credit.
I've said it before, living in Canada and celebrating Thanksgiving in October gives more time to the beloved Christmas season. I've been thinking and planning Christmas stuff since mid October, and it's finally getting to the point where it's not too early to start doing them. I'm going to cover all of our holiday stuff in the coming weeks, but in the mean time I am resting up a bad back, and prepping for some of my family to be here in the great white north celebrating American Thanksgiving.
So, last weekend the ladies from my ward got together for our monthly ladies night. This one was one I didn't want to miss, as it was a bring your favourite thing, white elephant swap. It was seriously SO fun, and really got me thinking. So, I figure I'd share my "favourite things" with you.
1. Maybeline One by One Mascara
Several months ago I had run out of mascara, and was at the store trying to figure out which mascara to buy. I wasn't set on a particular kind, and was looking for a good deal. I saw Maybellines One by One on sale and decided to give it a try. Seriously, it is hands down my favourite mascara! It gives me such great volume without losing my length. Buy it and try it, you won't be disappointed.
2. Pampered Chef Medium Cookie Scoop
After we got married, I bought the only cookie scoop our Wal Mart had to offer. It was plastic, and broke immedietely, yet I kept using it and even bough another, which also broke immediately because I loved the idea so much. When my Birthday rolled around this year, my mom asked me what I wanted. I told her a Pampered Chef cookie scoop. When I got my cookie scoop, I initially thought it was too big. Shane told me to try it, and that we'd get a smaller one if it wasn't the best size. I'm glad I did, it is the perfect size. I use it for lots of baking. It's perfect not only to scoop cookies, but muffin and cupcake batter is no longer a mess all over.
3. Scash Licorice Spice Tea
I attended a class several weeks ago, and decided to grab a cup of tea. I grabbed a random tea packet out of the sampler box and looked at the name. I love licorice and decided to give it a whirl. It was AMAZING!!!!! I naturally bought some for our house, and have also sent some to my grandparents(who taught me to love licorice). If you're a fan of licorice, buy this and try it, you WON'T be disappointed, I promise!
4. Finding Mr. Bright
Last Christmas I was introduced to the idea of colour corrector under eye foundation. I found myself in Sephora looking for the perfect fit. At the time Samuel was up more times at night that I'd like to admit, and the dark circles under my eyes were BAD! The lady helping me showed me this kit that coincidentially was on sale. I bought it and LOVE every part of it. I've run out of the liquid blush and need to get myself some more. It's amazing!
5. Nivea Soft
I thought winters in Utah were dry, until I moved to Canada. My poor skin has no hope. I grabbed some of this last winter to use as a face cream, and from time to time will take the luxury of using it on my hands. It is like creamy silk. I love it, it's not too expensive, and feels oh so luxurious.
6. doTerra Peppermint Essential Oil
This stuff is my #1 go to for any ailment I have now. Headaches, congestion, cold sores, emotional stress, bad breath, nausea, cramps (stomach or lady), candy making, the list goes on and on. It's amazing, natural, and has a nice cooling sensation to it. One drop is the equivelent to 28 cups of peppermint tea. No home should be without it.
7. the Diva Cup
This is probably the #1 thing that has changed.my.life. Seriously, before you get all grossed out about it, hear me out. I read about a friend using it via her blog, and was interested in it for almost a year before my cycle came back. I bought one and will never go back. I never have to worry about having supplies, leaking, or that nasty smell or mess that comes along with my monthly. I don't feel anything, and look forward to my cycle coming because I love my diva oh so much. Ok, enough.
8. The Happiness Project
My grandma sent me this book over the summer and I loved every word. This woman is a genius and will inspire you and put a smile on your face. I've recentaly read her sequel Happier At Home, and say stick to the original, you won't be disappointed.
So, there you go, my favourite things for 2012. I'd recommend getting any one of them(aside from the diva cup) as gifts, not to mention they(yet again for the diva cup) are all under $20.
Growing up in Utah, I made the mistake of taking for grantid the fact that the temples are so close, regardless of where you lived. Within the amount of time it takes to drive to the Cardston temple(the closest one until the Calgary temple opened), I could go to 15 temples in Utah. Throughout the month of October, Shane and I were able to serve a fair amount of hours doing security, ushering, landscaping, and cleaning in preparation for the temple to be dedicated. We were so excited to be able to go to our first session, a day we had been anticipating for literally years.
We coordinated with the B's who I babysit for, and dropped Samuel off "dark" and early. It was really foggy and I was nervous for our drive into Calgary. We made it there fine, parked, and headed for the doors. As we were approaching the temple I saw a man bundled up head to toe, with a tripod taking pictures of this beautiful building. Most would think it's strange for someone to be there on such a foggy day snapping shots, but I was pretty sure I knew who he was...
Me: "are you the photographer shooting the Barbeau wedding later today?"
Scott: stunned and a bit hesitant, "yes... how did you know?"
I gave him the run down that the brides sister had told me he was coming up from Utah to do wedding pictures, and that he was contrated by Deseret Book to take temple pictures for them, so I figured given the snow, fog, and freezing temperature, he must be the guy. I jokingly asked if he wanted to take our picture, completely kidding on my part. We finished up our short conversation, I wished him luck at the wedding, and we headed for the doors.
Just as we were getting ready to go in, we were asked to "wait right there." Was this really happening? Was he really positioning us and taking our picture? I was flattered, yet didn't think much of it, nor that we'd ever see the picture, or Mr. Jarvie again.
We were delayed as we held the doors for some other temple patrons to head in, when we were approached by our still slightly hesitant new friend, who held out his camera, and asked if we wanted to see the shots he had got. It was gorgeous! We went in, did our session, and carried on with our day.
That afternoon, I decided I needed to have a copy of that picture. How amazing and coincidental that this photo genius was there taking pictures of the temple on our very first trip into the temple, and that we got our picture taken. I looked all over his website intending to contact him, only to realize that he'd be at the reception that night.
We walked into the reception and before greeting the bride and groom, I b-lined it to find the man behind the camera. I told him how I needed that picture, and asked how I could get a copy. He told me that it's not very often he gets stand ins, and that it was a good "Sunday picture" to post via social media. I was elated, and stalked facebook all Sunday for that picture to show up. Just before going to bed, I got the email that I had been "tagged" in a photo. It was up, and just as gorgeous as I had remembered. I am thrilled to now be a "digital owner" of this photo, and very soon will have a print of it hanging on my wall.
I have an Evans family here in Calgary who has taken me in and loved me as one of their own. Dr. Evans every year does a Halloween Candy Buy Back where he buys kids candy back $1 per pound. You are likely thinking "Why would anyone sell their candy back?" or "What does he do with it." or "Why does he want it?" Well, watch this and you will know why (not to mention awy is AMAZINGLY talented).
I remember getting to know this family and learning about their health and eating styles. I thought they were crazy, yet as I have been learning about health and feeling out for myself what feels best for my body, I am turning into one of them.
Samuel was sick , but I'm selfish, and wasn't going to miss this even for anything (not to mention, our massage therapist and miracle worker was going to be there).
Samuel freshly costumed in the lobby
Riding the elevator up to see Uncle Thom
Auntie Chloe greeting us
Uncle/ Grandpa Thom
1 whole pound
Aunt/ Grandma Cheryl giving Samuel his loonie
Our sick boy holding his money and saying/signing "Thank You" (look at those sad eyes)
I'm learning and looking forward to a better healthy life for my family. Dr. Evans is a wonderful man, I'm grateful to know and love him.
After a green smoothie, money earned, yummy food ate (the perk of being considered family), Samuel was treated by Joan. I was blown away how much better he was doing the next morning! Energy healing is where it's at. Yeah, I like being crunchy.