Monday, October 22, 2012

Pictures from the Past

My mom sent a package of pictures to me this summer as I was collecting pictures for a slideshow for my brother's wedding.  I always love to see pictures from my childhood, especially ones that didn't make it into my personal childhood album.  Since I scanned them all, I thought I would share a few of me and my siblings.  I'm the middle child, the girl in the pictures who is the same size as her brother who's two years younger. (we were often mistaken for twins in these years)  My sister is only 13.5 months older than me, but there is a much bigger size difference between the two of us!  Now that we've all reached our full heights, my sister and I are closer (my sister still being a few inches taller than me) and my brother is 6'.  Crazy how that works.  I still think it should have been evened out a little more.  Nothing wrong with splitting the height genes and each being 5'6", right?  Or give my brother an extra couple inches and split the difference with my sister?  No?  Oh well.  I guess I"ll take all 4'10" that I have and wear heels when I must.  Anyway, enjoy!  Aren't we CUTE?!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Grocery Shopping - a late night ramble

I've always liked grocery shopping.  Well, mostly.  Reaching the top shelves gave me a bit of anxiety when Nathan and I were first married.  Now I just climb when I need to and everything is well in the world again.  But yeah, there is just something about the grocery shopping process that is soothing.  Making a list. (checking it twice - yeah right!) Looking through the flyer for sales.  Going to the store.  Checking things off the list.  Bringing the grocery items home and putting them all away in the empty spot where their predecessor sat before being used up. There is just something nice about a freshly stocked pantry.

In the years that Nathan and I have been married, we have lived in towns with various grocery shopping options.  The first place we lived was a small town with two competing grocery stores.  We could get everything we needed in town and had a Superstore/Walmart half an hour away where we chose to get certain things at a fraction of the cost. We had our "city" list and our "home" list.

The next place we lived was a city.  Because we had to drive to the nearest grocery store (about a mile away), we picked up groceries less often but it was more of a big deal when we went.  We probably shopped about once a week. It was economical and oh-so-convenient for those "oh no, I need lettuce!" moments.

The last place we lived before our current location was a small town.  (Village maybe even?)  It had one grocery store.  It was not uncommon to find expired food, or nearly expired food, still on the shelves.  Packages of diapers (that I occasionally needed to purchase when our washing machine froze up in winter) required a wipe-down to rid them of years of dust that had accumulated.  Produce was hit or miss and prices were usually twice as much as at the grocery stores in the city.  The local grocery store was great for emergencies and had some good sales, but 90% of our grocery shopping was done in the city, a mere half hour away.

Now, we're back in a small town with two competing grocery stores.  Our grocery shopping looks very much like it did in the first few years of marriage.  I go to my favourite local grocery store every couple days to pick up what I need for supper or to stock up on a sale item (only visiting the other store when there is an exceptional sale).  Day to day groceries are bought in town, the rest (stock up shopping) is done an hour away in the city about once a month.

We've been shopping like this for a year now and lately I've been feeling a pull to do more local shopping.  I appreciate so much that there are grocery stores in town, and the fact that there are two competing stores keeps the prices lower and the selection higher.  So why wouldn't I support these stores for the majority of my shopping?  Why do I run to the city with my full grocery list when I can get everything I need in town? 

Well, those are good questions.  And to answer them, I'm going to do an experiment.  I'm going to take the plunge and do all my shopping locally.  ((Oh boy, I just thought of our Costco we give that up?!))  Would we save money buying groceries in town and not spending that $30+ on gas each month to drive out? Not having a Costco membership would save us $50 a year right there!  And that's not even factoring in how stressed we get when we go into the city for a shopping day with our two year old and feel like we're literally running from one place to the next for 6 hours straight.  It would be much simpler to make a list each week with the local flyers, pack up my (soon to be) two kids and drive the 3 blocks downtown to buy what I need.  It would also solve the problem of stocking up too much when in the city because "who knows when we'll be in the city again?!"  Hmm...the more I think about this, the more I am convinced that this is the way to go!  (I wonder if Nathan will be on board??)  Maybe we could even find a babysitter for an hour each week and make grocery shopping our date night!  That would be a step up from our nonexistent date nights that are currently on our calendar. Now there's something that might convince hubby that this is a good move ;)

What about you?  How do you feel about local shopping?  Do you shop locally or find yourself driving to check off your list? 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Time for another post?

I think the tiredness and sluggishness that comes with third trimester has hit me early this time around.  I just can't seem to catch up with sleep.  I can sleep 9 hours at night and nap for 2 hours in the afternoon and still just feel pooped.  Oh well.  I really can't complain because otherwise I'm feeling excellent and anticipating the arrival of this little one VERY eagerly!  And because I know how hard it is to keep track of someone else's pregnancy (never mind your own after the first!), I'm currently at about 23 weeks.  So 3 more weeks to go before 3rd trimester officially hits.

Aside from being tired, let's see what else has happened in the past week?  OH!  I chose which diaper bag I wanted and bought it.  Nathan gave me a coupon for a new diaper bag for my birthday last month and after doing a bunch of research and looking around, I decided on the Lug Hula Hoop bag in purple:
I also spent my birthday money and bought a sewing machine:
(my, what a purple theme I have going today...purple shirt, purple bag, purple (and white) sewing machine!)

As a result of the new machine, I have been doing a bit of sewing:

And of course, I have been busy crocheting too.  I don't have any pictures of what I'm working on currently, but if you follow my shop on FB, you'll see pictures of the latest soon!  With the chillier weather, people are thinking about Christmas gifts and keeping their kids warm, two things that keep me in business!  And I'm very much enjoying all the creating that I get to do as a result :)

Well, I'm not sure what else is new so I think I'll leave it at that.  Besides, the pizza that's in the oven is READY!  Time for some supper!  Yum.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A crazy week.

This past week has been completely, 100% out of the ordinary.  It has been good, but I always come back from adventures ready to get back into my blessed routine again :)

It all started with a pastor's retreat that started last Sunday evening at a camp near here.  Nathan and I both went and it was our first time leaving Levi overnight.  My mom came out and my grandma with her to stay with Levi for the two nights we were gone.  If this retreat had been even as little as 6 months ago, I don't know how it would have gone to have left Levi overnight.  But he has grown up so much over the summer and much of his shyness is gone, at least with people he knows and remembers from one visit to the next.  He did wonderfully (I had no doubts that he would) and it was such a wonderful break to not wake up to crying through the night and first thing in the morning.  It was equally as nice to only have myself to look after throughout the day.  It's amazing how even just going to the bathroom alone, feeding myself with no interruption, or going to bed without fighting to put someone else to bed first felt like a bit of a luxury while we were away.  It felt lik ea rejuvenating break from motherhood and also felt surprisingly natural.  I didn't even end up having any contact with my mom for a full day while we were gone and had no temptation to call home.  How's that for letting go of control and "retreating"??  It was amazingly good to be alone with just Nathan for that amount of time too.  I'm pretty sure the last time we've had that amount of time alone together was about 2 years ago before Levi joined us.  But as wonderful as this retreat was, I was very ready to see my boy again when we got home!

When we got home from the retreat last Tuesday afternoon, I had about half an hour to unpack and repack before Levi and I got in the car with my mom and grandma to visit for a few days.  It felt a bit like whiplash to change pace so quickly but I'm very glad for the visit I was able to have with my parents at their house.

We had a few adventures while we were visiting:
Levi raked leaves with Grandma

We made playdough and did lots of playing with it

Levi got to see goats and chickens and ducks and a goose and a kitty and two puppies at a farm we visited.  He even got to hold a baby goat that was only a week old!  Too bad none of the pictures of that worked out :(

Lots of quality time with Grandma
Evidence of leaf raking...might have to frame this one!
Birthday cake baking
Birthday cake didn't turn out quite how I was picturing but Levi didn't seem to mind!
Hanging out with Auntie Alicia, having fun with Mommy's iPhone camera
Hanging out with Uncle Andrew and Auntie Pearl (the newlyweds) courtesy of Levi - as you can tell by the tiny foot in the foreground
Playing K'Nex with Grandpa
Having a pastoral coffee break with someone who stopped by the house to see my dad one day
Trying out his birthday present from Grandpa and Grandma, a hand-crafted rocking horse made by my very talented pops

More quality time with Alicia this morning before we all hit the road
It is so much fun to hang out with my family. We are blessed to be a family who enjoys being together and who laughs together. It was so good to be all together for a couple days and to celebrate thanksgiving and Levi's birthday together.  It is definitely something I don't take for granted! 

So that has been my past week.  Crazy.  No two days have been the same.  But it has been great.  And in celebration of Levi's second birthday, which is today (October 8), Nathan and I bought him a play kitchen.  As we susptected, he LOVES it.  It's a bit of an unconventional toy to buy for a boy, but as he was begging to "cook" until well past his bedtime tonight, I knew that it was the right decision!  Here he is filling up his cup with water from the fridge door water dispenser.  Man, play kitchens have changed since the last time I played with one as a kid!  Fridge water dispenser?!  Built in microwave?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!