The past month or so was a blur. June was largely consumed by my annual work project which felt like it would never end. I’m not even completely sure that it has; I sent the final changes to the printers over a week ago and am counting on no news being good news. Besides working on that (or worrying that I should be working on it), here are some other things we had going on.I will go in chronological order, starting in mid-June …
Dale was gracious enough to sacrifice his Father’s Day Sunday morning to chauffeur me to the start line of the Manitoba Marathon and collect me at the end of the marathon. The weather was overcast and it sprinkled a bit, but it was actually really good running weather. I felt like I pushed myself really hard and my GPS told me the same, but turns out both me and the GPS were off in our calculations. I finished in just under two hours which I was content with, but it wasn’t my personal best. I’ve decided that running would be more fun with a partner. Let me know if that person would be you. This was the first year that the race ended inside Investors Group stadium and it was kind of cool running into the stadium to the finish line. There are definitely some kinks to be worked out; it was SO crowded in the food area and hard to find your way out after.
After the marathon, we celebrated Dale with gifts and strawberry/banana/chocolate crepes. Later, my family came over for KFC. Somehow no photos were taken of these events but we did get a nice one of Dale washing the dishes at the end of the day.
- - -After six months of steady and consistent Netflix-watching, the girls and I came to the end of Gilmore Girls. Actually we still haven’t finished the new season but we’re taking a break. We finished things strong with an feast of pizza, donuts, and coffee (ice caps) just like Loralie and Rory always eat (well, pretend to eat; they would be 300 lbs each if they ate even half of what is portrayed).
We haven’t had time for TV since then, but in fall we’ll be looking for a new series. If you have suggestions of something that would be of interest/appropriate for girls from age 12 - 47, let me know. Or we could do something more useful and generous with our time but that's probably not going to happen.
- - -You may remember we won a night at Inn of the Forks as a prize at Neve’s carnival. After looking at the calendar, Dale and I realized if we didn’t use it in June, we may not have another chance to go until October, and I’m not even exaggerating. Neve felt ripped off that she didn’t get to come since we’d won the prize at her carnival, until we explained the tickets were bought with our money. So off we went. It was a wonderful little break; the hotel is really nice and we had massages at the spa and hung around the Forks and just enjoyed being away from the house and kids. Although Spencer was camping with friends, Chloe was at a friend’s cabin, and Neve went to a friend’s for a sleepover, so we could’ve just stayed home and had the house to ourselves. But then we would’ve worked and done laundry so this was way better.
- - -Speaking of Spencer’s camping, that was an interesting situation. He mentioned the possibility of a camping trip with friends about a week in advance. I thought nothing more of it because I assumed it wouldn’t happen. On Thursday morning, he said he wasn’t going because the weather sounded cool and rainy. On Thursday evening, he asked me if he could have a ride to his friend’s house at 9 a.m. the next morning because they were going camping. I expressed surprise at the short notice and asked if he needed to bring food. He said, “No, I think someone’s looking after it.” When I pressed for further details, he texted the person in charge and confirmed that he didn’t have to bring any food – all he need was $20 and they were “going to stop at Bulk Barn on the way.” I don’t know about you, but Bulk Barn isn’t the first place I would think of to shop for groceries. However, I exercised great restraint and kept my mouth shut, knowing that 48 hours without decent food wouldn’t kill him.
He got home Sunday night, filthy and covered in wood ticks, but happy and full of stories. (He hasn’t talked that much since he got home from his Reach for the Top tournament. The trick seems to be to send him away and he’ll come home all chatty and happy. It doesn’t last long though.) They ended up camping in an abandoned campground with no bathroom facilities, stores or amenities of any kind. There wasn’t even a lake. They also didn’t have a car since none of them have their drivers license. Someone’s dad dropped them off Friday (of course it was a dad – a mom wouldn’t have left them there) and someone’s mom picked them up on Sunday. On Saturday, the kids walked for five hours (return trip) in wet shoes and clothes to the nearest store for ice cream.The Bulk Barn stop never happened because one of the girls did the shopping in advance. She bought excessive amounts of wieners and packaged ham slices – she’s a vegetarian and was unsure of how much meat people eat. The whole thing sounded like a nightmare to us (can you imagine the smell in that tent?!) but Chloe summed it up perfectly when she said, “Wow. Spencer’s found his people.”
- - -Neve’s eight years at Queenston have come to an end. To celebrate their Grade Six Farewell, they had a jungle-themed celebration with music, certificates, speeches, a slide show and tons of food. It was all very cute and exciting. Neve won an award for Community Participation. Not to brag (I am anyway), but there were only two awards presented and I loved it that both of them were for character rather than academics. I’m pretty sure that ranked as one of Neve’s best days ever.
The festivities continued with a day at Lilac Resort with her class on the last full day of school. It was probably the last field trip they’ll ever need parent volunteers for so my guilt and nostalgia kicked in and I went with them. A lot of other moms (no dads) must have felt the same way because we’ve never had such a high parent-to-student ratio on a field trip ever. The weather was beautiful and thankfully the lifeguards did their jobs and us moms sat and talked and ate.
Here's a picture of Neve and her principal taken when she was in Nursery and now:
|Last time as patrol captain|
|Last time leaving school. Neve doesn't like this picture because she thinks she looks angry but I think she just looks focused.|
- - -
We did a few things to celebrate the end of school/beginning of summer. Neve’s last day of school ended at noon on June 30 so after that we zipped out to a friend’s cabin at Matlock. Dale joined us for dinner and we had a great time and a delicious meal consisting of a tall stack of vegetables on top of chicken, topped with pesto. Kristin just whipped this up like it was nothing and it was sooo good.
The next day we went to the Quarry with the Forbes’, the Silvestris, and the Scotts. It wasn’t hot out but it was much better than forecasted and we had a really nice time. In honour of Canada Day, there was a sand castle building contest which we totally should have won, but we were robbed (by “we” I mean the people in our group who worked on it; I contributed nothing except a maple leaf).
|Jello eating contest, thanks to Madi.|
We had a bite to eat on the way home and then Dan (he arrived from Vancouver earlier in the day) and Jim & Sabrina and the girls came to our house and we biked to Assiniboine Park for fireworks. It was a great show; they kicked things up a notch in celebration of Canada 150.
|I think I posted this on Instagram but it's worth repeating.|
- - -I have to shift to bullets to cover the rest of what I was going to say or this will take forever. Other noteworthy things this past week (or so):
- Attending a grad party for Darla’s daughter Madeline. The weather didn’t fully cooperate but it was still a lovely evening of food and fun, celebrating a smart, beautiful girl (and the cooler weather didn’t stop Neve and others from swimming).
- Dale and I took the kids to Carbone for dinner and then to see Kurios this week. It was an awesome show and we all enjoyed it. It was a very rare outing with all five of us present. That happens less and less these days so we enjoy it when we can. We took the pre-requisite photo on the red carpet just to prove we’d been there.
- My bike got stolen from work. This still makes me mad so I don't want to talk about it. I was planning to get a new bike anyway but Chloe was supposed to get my old bike. Stupid bike-stealers. I hate them.
- Darla and I and some of the kids went strawberry picking. The picking was gooood and the berries are long gone so I just might have to go again this week.
The majority of the past week was spent preparing and helping with my niece Bailey’s wedding. We spent a couple of days at my parents’ helping with the yard, the decorations, etc. I baked cupcakes, we had hair appointments, nail appointments, last-minute clothes and accessory shopping. It was a full week but it was fun hanging out with Dan and Jenn and the rest of my family. Everyone pitched in and we got stuff done! And the wedding was a big success! It was a beautiful day: the weather was perfect – and I mean PERFECT, my parents’ yard was gorgeous, the bride was stunning, the groom was dashing, and the whole event was magical. I will share more pictures another day – I’m sad I didn’t get better pictures of the bride and groom. It was such a great day but it went by so fast. It felt like I blinked and it was over. A LOT of work went into the day so it would’ve been nice if time could’ve slowed down for the wedding itself. But it was an amazing day and everyone had a lot of fun and now Bailey and Darrin are married and it’s all good!
|tiny sneak peek|