Friday, January 31, 2014

Fitness 2014

I was a regular runner for about 7 years. Nothing major but enough so that I could always go out and run 10 km and feel good. I wasn't fast and I only ran every other day, but it was a good and easy way for me to stay fit. In the fall of 2011, I started working in a building that didn't have a shower facility and as I usually run at lunch time, this became a bit of a problem. I walked a bit but for various reasons, I didn't keep up with my running. Finally in the spring of last year, I decided to get back into a regular fitness routine. So, I drove to another building during lunch where I exercised and then showered and then headed back to work. It felt good to be exercising regularly again. In the summer our office moved into a new building with it's own gym and shower facilities. Yeah. It's a bit more convenient to work out and I try to run 4 out of 5 days a week. I don't worry too much about the weekends. I would love to, but it's usually too much stress on myself to exercise on Saturday or Sunday. There is too much else going on.

I'm still doing fine, but I decided to use some Christmas money and buy myself a gadget. It's really a glorified pedometer, but I decided this was as much as I wanted. I wear the fitbit zip all day and it measures my activity. It can tell when I am exerting more energy and I when I am just walking. I'm aiming for 10,000 steps a day. It automatically syncs to my computer and as you can see from the screenshot, there are all kinds of fun graphics and reports. Last spring when I started running again, I also started using the fitness pal app on my iPad. I love it and was faithful through until the fall. Then I took a break. I enter the food that I'm eating and the exercise that I do, and it monitors my progress. Now my fitbit and fitness pal app are connected and I'm back on track monitoring my eating and my exercise. Actually I'm only on my first full day, because it took me a while to break down and buy myself a pedometer, but I'm glad I did.

This wasn't a goal of mine for the new year. Just one of those fine tuneup things I want to do periodically. I'm comfortable with where I am at physically, but I just want to be a bit more consistent with my exercise and eating. For me, it just helps when I keep track.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wow - It's Been 4 Years

Monday we celebrated 4 years as a family. In so many ways it seems as though we've been together forever and in other ways, it seems like just yesterday we were in Ottawa anxiously waiting for the plane to land.

We have done something different each of the past 4 years. This time both kids requested ribs for the meal. 

Finger licking good.

Apple crisp for dessert.

And then 3 sisters goofing around the table.

Singing at the top,of their lungs.

Looking at the latest funny video.

Check out how tall Peter is. Crazy. And getting taller. 

We try not to make these days an over the top celebration. But we do want to acknowledge the event. It was life changing for all us. We are so blessed to be a part of Peter and Gaëlle's life and are excited to see what this year will bring.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 Begins

January 1st has come and gone. I made the traditional Haitian Soup Joumou (Pumpkin Soup) once again. 

It's nice to have a pumpkin base for the soup instead of a tomato base and I love this tradition altho Peter and Gaëlle would prefer fried chicken. We told them they get to choose the meal on PG Day and that's coming up. I have a feeling they won't be asking for Soup Joumou. 

Carol and Rob came over and brought some crafts for the kids. Emily needed to help Gaëlle with hers. 

But Peter picked up on the concept pretty easily.

After the meal, we had ice cream sundaes again. We still have lots of toppings. 

We played the game "APPLES TO APPLES". It's a fun easy game for all ages to play. I wish I had taken more photos but this is it for the day. 

Friday, January 3rd, we had a bit of a blizzard. Emily spent the night with us before as she was working on grad school admissions. So she pulled out Kaylin's guitar and spent some time learning. 

Another one of the dresses Grammy sent up for Gaëlle that gets washed and then immediately gets worn again. 

Robin and I actually drove into work on Friday morning. The building was fairly empty and as the storm was worsening we decided to leave early. Somehow between the time we decided to leave and getting in the car, Robin put out his back. He is so frustrated but came home and laid down on some heat. 

Peter spent some of the day reading. 

Gaëlle worked on some "THANK YOU" cards. 

Peter played with planes and created his own out of styrofoam. 

I finally got my energy to do some baking. I made white bread, brown bread, banana bread, apple crisp, and double stuffed potatoes. It felt good to be productive. 

Goodbye to 2013

It was great to have Josh home for a week but he left last Saturday and headed back to Pennsylvania and his life there. He managed to take back some more of his stuff. Robin is still mourning the loss of his big screen TV.

There he goes. He had a good trip back and made it in one long day. 

Gaëlle is loving the fancy purple dress Grammy found for her. She would wear it every day if she could.

We managed to take down the Christmas decorations last Sunday. I love to have them out, but I also love to put them away. It actually didn't take much time. Altho, note to self; it seemed to put Peter and Gaëlle in a funk. And I wasn't even at them to help. They were just a bit moody.

We debated New Years Eve plans and then decided to just have a quiet night at home. Emily and Kaylin were here for our traditional meal.

I didn't have too many snacks but enough for the kids to feel like it was a party.

We all chose paninis instead of a cold sub sandwich.

The older girls left and we had a game marathon. Each one of us chose one game to play. We were not at all surprised when Gaëlle chose "JUST FOR FUN". She loves that game. We got points for each game based on our standing.

Peter chose LIFE. Robin chose UNO.


And I chose QUIRKLE CUBE. 

Robin ended up the big winner of the night. And so he chose the prize he wanted first. Peter was second and so he chose next. Then Gaëlle chose. Somehow they all ended up with what they would have chosen if they won. Funny how that works out.

I ended up last with no prize. 

Then we made ice cream sundaes. 

There are times that we make huge efforts and make huge plans either because we want to or because we want to create a memory or if I'm honest, because I think it's expected of me. New Year's Eve is one of those nights where I think a lot of us place huge expectations on being a part of some HUGE event. I've had very little energy this Christmas and have loved just being home surrounded by family. When Robin and I decided to keep New Year's Eve a quiet time for the younger kids and ourselves, I made a small effort to make it fun for all of us. And honestly, we all had a blast. We laughed. We enjoyed the games. We enjoyed the food. And the kids commented on how much fun it was. 

My reflections are not meant to criticize anybody who chooses larger than life experiences or to say that small family moments are better. It's just nice to be able to sit back and say that for this year at this time, we had a nice quiet family New Years Eve and I'm thankful. I don't want to take those moments for granted.