Sunday, December 30, 2007

Family Ties

I bring you a little photo gallery to give a taste of our life during this Christmas week. Suffice it to say that we have had oodles of delicious food (including three turkey dinners!), fabulous presents and great times with family and friends!

Christmas Eve is always my favourite day - due to our Norwegian roots it is our tradition to open gifts on Christmas Eve after going to a beautiful candlelight service and having a great meal. It was so delightful to be home with the family for these festivities for the first time in five years! I was showered with all kinds of great gifts including several new cookbooks including Barefoot Contessa, Wagamama and a new book of curries (. . . it would seem that I dropped my hints effectively with the help of APYOC!) I am full of new year optimism about trying all kinds of new recipes and carving out time to cook healthy eats in the midst of what can sometimes be hectic lives. Also, I really must give public adoration to the Stu who surprised me big time with a silver ring from Tiffany & Co. I heart that guy, and not just because of the ring!
Yesterday the family fun continued as we went down to Regina for time with our cousins the Rosom's. It was also a treat to see my cousin's lovely kids, including brand new baby Bronson. A highlight of the day was watching some old home videos from about 25 years ago! It was hilarious and heartwarming to see all of us cousins as young kids (video of us playing the piano and singing solos before we discovered our lack of musical talent!) and it was particularly nice to see video of my Grandma and Grandpa Broten who passed away in the '90s. I felt convicted to stop making fun of Ninny and her Handycam as video images are so special to have - especially when you're watching footage a couple of decades later!
Thankfully, between all the visiting and cooking and present wrapping there has been plenty of time to go on snowy walks with the dogs (a requisite in the dog family!), to sleep in and stay in the pj's for far too long while watching nonsense TV on the inappropriately named Learning Channel, to go to the pub for late night drinks and to watch a few cheesy movies. Cheers to that.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Long time no see

It has been a week of blue skies and increasingly cold temps here in Sasky. In addition to a fantastic trip to the Legislature in Regina to see my newly elected brother in action, our first week home has been a fun merry-go-round of visiting with family and old friends. Happy holidays to us with lots of coffees, lunches, dinners, drinks and catching up! It's been really cool to see everyone and find out what's up in people's lives - as much as I do love Stalkerbook (and you know I do!), there's nothing quite like chatting face to face over lattes :)

It's also been great to see some of my friends' offspring at various stages because the young ones change so quickly . . . Yesterday was a special highlight as we had a brief visit with our friends Santosh and Felicia and their lovely children who were in town from Vancouver. My mom got to break out her old elementary school skills by doing some puzzles with Adam.

Last night it was definitely beginning to feel alot like Christmas when we were treated to a special Christmas gig by my very talented sister-in-law Ruth and some of her musician friends. The arrangements of some old favourites were really very lovely and there was a great chilled atmosphere in the venue. My personal favs were Joni Mitchell's River (of course) and Song for a Winter's Night - I have loved Sarah McLachlan's cover of this song for years, and Ruth's rendition was bliss. After the soiree we hung out with Ninny, her beau known affectionately as the MJ, the MJ's fun family known as the Johnson's and our cousin Ole known as, well, Ole :) Christmas good times all around with lots of games. Pass the egg nog!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Hello from Sasky!! I come to you today as one very chilled out blogger - it's great to realise it's Monday morning and I don't have to go to work :)

Here's a few of the good things we have been up to since arriving home last Thursday after (ugh!) twenty hours of travelling . . .

- Getting Stu-dawg (check out his blog - he's updated!) some new warm clothes - even though the weather is thankfully fairly mild (about minus 10) we had to go out the first day and buy the requisite long johns and hiking boots for the Irish guy! I really hope we don't get any of that minus 30 malarky because that's just wrong.

- Going out to my Aunt and Uncle's farm for a scrummy turkey dinner and early Christmas celebration. Great to see family!

- Walking the dogs, Cleo and Oscar, by the river - In our absence, my family has become a bit dog crazy as of late (in a good way!) A highlight of dog walking, I even got to wear the Ninnygoat's fluorescent orange oversized down filled jacket, but my vanity restrains me from posting a pic of that little number! Think pumpkin, think Michelin man.

- Having a little get together to celebrate the arrival of six week old baby Ainsley, beautiful new daughter to our friends Amber and Mike.

Other highlights included a bake-a-thon with Ninny, sitting around by the Christmas tree, seeing old friends, going to the Farmers' Market with my dad and going on dark morning winter walks to Starbucks with Stu (thanks to the jet lag we seem to like getting up very early!) . . . All in all much chilling and so lovely to be with family! This morning there is a bit of Christmas shopping to be done and also Stu and I are going out for breakfast - five years ago today we got engaged here in the Bessborough park. Time flies and you know the rest!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Where ya been?

It's been a long old while since I've blogged - even after a year of pretty regular entries it's amazing how quickly I found myself getting out of the habit . . . I find myself somewhat worried that I may have lost some of my readership (a risky business when the 'readership' is about seven people!) Anyway, I bet you've been wondering what we've been up to in the past few weeks . . . It's been a busy countdown to our trip home to Sasky (woo hoo!!) Here's an update of the highlights for your APYOC reading pleasure . . .

We had a fantastic weekend trip to Poole in lovely Dorset to visit Stu's sister Ali and family. We had so much fun with our three crazy-fun nieces playing their Nintendo Wii and just hanging out. (Unfortunately due to stock issues I haven't managed to fulfill Stu's newly proclaimed wish of a Wii for Christmas - yes, apparently he's twelve!) Ever-seeking the 'cool auntie and uncle title' we took the girls to the cinema to see Ratatouille which was very clever and fun. All in all the trip was great - wish we could spend more time together more often!

What else have I been meaning to tell you?? Oh - how could I forget . . . Earlier this week we went to see Josh Ritter (yes, again!) and I am officially an uber-fan (as if there was ever any doubt!) It was a great gig as usual. Josh (yes, we're on a first name basis in my head) and his band are so lovely and cool (during concerts he's always smiling - absolutely delighted to be preforming!) During the concert he mentioned that they had flown into Belfast that morning on Ryanair and I found myself genuinely wishing that I'd been on the flight - I think that makes me something of a fanatic but I'm okay with that.

In between the busy-ness, ever-devoted DVD watchers that we are, we've found time to become Lost addicts . . . sexy Dr Jack, cunning Locke, bumbling Hurley, criminal Kate and what about that thing in the forest???? So exciting and spooky. (Yes, I do realise we're about three years late on this but we get there eventually!) Anyway, it's thrilling stuff and we'll be delving into season two in January (I'm hoping this will help ease my post-Christmas blues!)

We had a very happy day today as our godson Joe was baptised at church this morning and there was a lovely lunch and party afterward. Tonight I've enjoyed some mellow-ness, cooking Nigel Slater's mushroom stroganoff recipe from today's Observer magazine and listening to Michael Buble (specifically the song Home - I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed about that!)