Wednesday, August 27, 2014

garden & 1000 miles.

we went out to our garden on monday night, like every other monday this summer, and decided to do a 'practice harvest' to see if our carrots and potatoes are ready to pick yet.
we pulled up a couple handfuls of carrots and a potato plant, and we were so thrilled with what we found underneath:
all of the work we have done in our garden this summer is actually paying off!
it looks like we will be able to do our real harvest in just a couple weeks.

can you tell the boys were pretty pleased with our haul, too?
now i just need to figure out how to make pickles with our (smaller) cucumbers, because the idea of making his own pickles was the only thing that motivated chet to get out to the garden each week.

and on a completely unrelated note:
at the start of the year, i wanted to make a running goal for myself to work towards.
i decided that i was going to try and run 1000 miles in the year 2014.
everyday i would mark on my calendar how many miles i ran, and at the end of each week i would figure out the new total.
apparently i didn't set my sights high enough though, because i completed that goal a couple days ago.
on august 24th i reached my 1000 mile goal.
sooo.. now i'm not sure what to do!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

science center.

we were supposed to go camping this weekend - the annual leavitt family campout.
but the temperature all of a sudden dropped and the camp was cancelled.
things are bumped to next weekend. 
so now we have this empty weekend to do with as we please.
there are a whole list of things we want to do before the summer ends, but most of them are outside activities. and today is not an outside activity kind of day. it's chilly.
so we hit up the science center. and we had fun.
we have only been there once before, when holden was just a little fellow.
this time the boys were at a perfect age to enjoy it - especially the kid section.
we even ended up getting some memberships for the boys and i to use once the temperatures really plummet!

this is my favorite picture from our outing:
that white tube shoots out air. holden thought it was magical when he put the foam ball on top of the tube and it would pop up.

Friday, August 22, 2014


here's a list of tidbits from our life lately:

chet and holden had their first sleepover in the same bed. ever since matt finished building their bunk beds, chet has been begging to have a sleepover with holden. it didn't last long. a few hours in, chet shouted for us. when i went in to check on him he told me holden kept squishing him and asked if he could go back to his bed! i am kicking myself for not snapping a picture of them before that happened because they looked so stinkin cute together.

we had family photos taken. i am very excited to see how they turned out. my only request to the photographer was that our pictures be taken somewhere "green". and green it was! we were right in the thick of some trees that housed an ungodly amount of mosquitos. mosquitos don't really like me (which i am so fine with!) but they love the men in my life. chet and holden looked like they had chicken pox the next day. it was so bad! but i am sure the pictures will be worth it. (says the girl who didn't get any bites).

the boys and i spent the afternoon at midnapore lake with the clarke cousins. chet has really learned to love swimming this summer. i think it is fun watching him be so confident with something.

matt and i went to see brian regan live. it was hilarious! my parents gave matt the tickets as an early birthday gift. it was an awesome gift. 

we spent the afternoon at spruce meadows with the clarke & sherlock cousins. the kids got to pet lots of show horses and a couple goofy looking miniature horses. i can't believe i haven't spent more time at that place - it is lovely.

our garden is growing like mad! chet is thrilled that our pickles (AKA cucumbers) are getting so big. he is still a pickle freak.

both of our boys were due for immunizations, so we went to our appointment for that this afternoon. this was the first time i had to take them in when they both needed a shot, and i was kinda worried. i get emotional when one of them gets a shot.. what would i be like after watching both of them go through that?! but, i have to admit it went really smoothly. neither of the boys were super thrilled with the experience, but both of them recovered insanely fast. within seconds of them getting the shot, the boys were laughing with the nurse. it got me thinking: i am so grateful that our boys are so quick to forgive. i often feel like i am royally sucking at motherhood, but somehow my boys still love me and trust me.

chet and holden's 27th cousin was born this week. cooper hughes. us shaughnessy girls aren't super great at keeping babies in for 40 whole weeks.. so cooper came kinda early, like our boys. thankfully, he got sent home from the hospital the other night. our boys have loved praying for baby cooper and, of course, we have too. my heart aches when i think of people who have premature babies. it sucks. and the idea of having another is one of the many reasons why i am so not ready to make our family any bigger.

holden has 2 new teeth. he is behind on the tooth eruption schedule, i am told i was the same way. but he sure isn't behind on anything else. i still get asked on a regular basis if our boys are twins. in fact, i got asked that today at the grocery store. holden is a strong, capable little boy. he is definitely not a baby anymore. he is also super chatty. he talks constantly, and we are blown away by all the words he knows.. and that we can understand them!

i have been working 2 days/week since shortly after we moved back. sometimes i feel bad for leaving our boys, but then i realize that i love going to work! i love what i do, who i work with, and that i am making money.. and our boys honestly love spending 2 days/week getting spoiled rotten by my mom and matt's sister. we feel really blessed with how this has all worked out.

there have been some crazy thunderstorms lately. the other night we got caught in one. we had walked to the park just around the corner from our house and got drenched when run came POURING down on us. we all laughed as we ran home. it made for a good memory:)

our california license plates expired in april. we didn't notice until june. oops. and, due to some importing complications, it took us until this weekend to register our vehicle in alberta. i have been so paranoid driving around with expired plates for the past 2 months. i assumed a police officer would be pretty harsh if he pulled me over... and i don't like getting in trouble. but they didn't catch me! and now i am sad to be without those expired california plates.. they made me feel like i still had a connection to the dreamy place. and now it's gone :(

Monday, August 11, 2014

we have been married 7 whole years.

we went out to bragg creek for a leavitt family sunday picnic yesterday.
the weather and the scenery were both so lovely.
it was a fun way to spend the evening.
it was actually our 7th anniversary yesterday.
that's a lot of years.
imagine if we make it 7 more!
[haha we better.]

a family picnic isn't the most romantic way to spend an anniversary, but don't you worry, we spent saturday night celebrating.
we went out for a date - dinner, shopping, movie.
happy 7 years to us!
aren't they just the cutest little cousins?

and here are some other unrelated pictures from the past couple weeks.
at the garden.
they thought they were so funny wearing grandma and grandpa's shoes.
holden drew all over himself with markers. they were washable, thank goodness.
that boy likes to keep us on our toes.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

berry picking.

when matt and i were dating, i was pressured into going paint balling with his family.
i had absolutely no desire to do it, but i also didn't want to be a lame girlfriend.
so, on January 1, 2005, i participated in my first (and last) game of paintball.
(i only remember the date because it was on new years day.. not because it was that traumatic!)
but my goodness, what a dumb game!
i got hit once, and then spent the rest of the game hiding.
literally. didn't move an inch!
i only mention that because matt went paint balling this morning, and when ever the topic of paint balling comes up, it always reminds me of that day.

while matt was off paint balling this morning, i took our boys to the saskatoon farm.
i have been wanting to check that place out all summer.
we spent a couple hours there - picking saskatoon berries, cherries, and strawberries.
the boys were especially interested in the strawberries.
i am certain holden ate at least a dozen strawberries while we were in the fields! 
we weren't the most elite group of berry pickers, but we had fun.
this week has felt busy, so i really enjoyed spending that time with my buddies.
now.. what does one do with saskatoon berries?!

Friday, August 8, 2014

big rock

we went to the big rock just outside of okotoks on the weekend.
matt and i had both been to the rock for field trips in junior high and remember it being pretty dull, so we didn't have high hopes for this outing.
going there was just an excuse to get out of the house and go for a little drive.
chet really likes rocks these days - he has an ever-growing rock collection that he takes much pride in - so it was pretty easy to sell him on the idea.

- hey chet, want to see the BIGGEST ROCK EVER?!
- yaaaaa!
- ok, get in the car.

i believe the technical term for the rock is erratic.
apparently it is a huge piece of rock that was carried from the rocky mountains by an enormous glacier thousands of years ago.
and now it sits in the middle of the alberta prairies, so it totally looks out of place.
if you are into geology, or history, or other intellectual stuff, you would probably have an appreciation for the erratic and how it got where it is.
but to regular people like us.. it is just a big rock.

we were under the impression that you aren't supposed to climb on the rock (and the fence around it confirmed that idea), but when got to the rock lots of people were climbing on it... so we joined in.

and in doing that we taught our kids an important life lesson:
if everyone else is doing it, it is ok for you to do it too.

climbing on the rock is what that outing successful.
the boys (mostly matt and chet) had so much fun climbing.
i always need matt to hold my hand during activities like this, but now our dang kids always want to steal his hands from me.
so i am sure matt thinks i am super annoying (even though he never lets me feel that way) because he has to help our entire family do totally-not-scary activities.
but i can't help it.. i am a chicken.

Monday, August 4, 2014

watching airplanes.

a few days ago, we had to run an errand way up on the airport side of the city.
and to make the drive seem less lame to our children, we decided to find a place close to the runway where we could watch the airplanes take off.
a quick google search revealed there is actually an official viewing area. who woulda thought?
it turned out to just be an unkept parking lot with picnic tables..
but whatever, it was close to the airplane action and that's all we were looking for!
and it was actually quite busy. with people who you wouldn't expect to be watching airplanes.
the boys thought it was pretty neat to watch the big, noisy airplanes zoom past.
and, honestly, it is super fascinating.
my brain bounced between thoughts of how impressive airplanes are, and how badly i wished i was on whichever one of those impressive planes that was heading to a lush tropical island!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

a cousin hike.

we went on a hike with some cousins yesterday.
there were 5 moms, 16 kids, 3 strollers, and a couple hours of walking along the grassy trail.
it wasn't a very warm day, but it was nice weather for a hike.
and despite a bit of an emotional start in the parking lot, it turned out to be a perfect outing.
if you look closely, you can see downtown calgary on the horizon.
and, had it been a clear day, we would've been able to see the mountains in the other direction.
the crazy part is that this trail is literally 15 minutes from where we live.. and i had no idea it even existed.
we will definitely have to try it again with matt.

on our way home, we stopped by this animal reserve that has elk, reindeer, buffaloes, etc.
we got pretty close to some buffalo, and the kids thought that was pretty neat.
the best part though, was when the buffalo pooped right in front of them.
the kids were dying laughing!

wicked & luge.

we have had a busy weekend already!

matt and i went to see wicked last night.
i mentioned to matt that i was interested in seeing it, and viola! he surprised me with tickets.
matt claims he has never seen a live play/musical before, so this was a first for him.
and if we're being totally honest, he wasn't in love with the show!
but that didn't really surprise me.
matt thinks dancing is dumb.
he finds absolutely no enjoyment in moving his body to music.
and, unfortunately for matt, wicked has a fair amount of dancing in it..
but, we both agreed that the show was really well done.
and now matt can say he is a bit more cultured!
i am glad we got the chance to go.
i am always fascinated by shows like that.
getting on stage in a silly costume and having to entertain a crowd with song and dance sounds like a horrible nightmare to me.
oh my word, just thinking of that makes my stomach turn!
i am always so impressed by people who have that talent.

this morning, we headed up to C.O.P. (canada olympic park) and spent the morning riding the skyline luge with some of the leavitt family.
C.O.P. is where they held the 1988 winter olympics.
now the park is used for all sorts of fun activities, including the luge.
to do the skyline luge, you ride the chairlift up to the top of the hill, strap on a helmet, hop in a cart, and ride down a special track that switches back and forth down the ski hill.
the ride down takes about 5 minutes. you get going pretty fast!
we did a few runs with kids, and a couple speedier runs without them.
in the end, we all had such a fun time. and we only had one (not too bad) wipeout.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

our summer so far.

our garden is still coming along very nicely, especially the carrots and potatoes.
we have had fun getting out to our garden each week and seeing how it has changed.
and we like just spending time out there.
matt and i pick weeds while the boys go on adventures to find bunnies and sticks.
this monday we decided to ride our bikes out to the farm.
it was about a 15 minute ride, mostly on gravel roads.
(i wasn't joking when i told you we lived on the very edge of the city!)
i felt like such a country girl riding my bike down a gravel road to my vegetable garden!

i feel like summer is flying by, and that makes me sad. 
i don't want summer to end.
but since we know it surely will, we have been trying to take full advantage of our summer weather.
and i think we have done a really great job so far.
we have played in all sorts of lakes and rivers, gone on bike rides, walks, picnics, played at parks, sat around campfires, and enjoyed the long sunny days.
(except when i am laying in bed at 11 and can't sleep because the dang sun won't set!)
and after all our playing they sleep oh, so good.

fun fact: matt is in the process of building our boys a bunk bed.
the boys are very excited.
and we are very nervous!
moving holden out of a crib is a scary thought..
we are worried he is going to teach chet how to be a stinker at bedtime.
chet still doesn't know that he can get out of bed on his own.
every morning he lays in bed and shouts to us when he is ready to get up.
and he has never once gotten out of bed in the night, and we do not want that to change.
holden will be in big trouble if it does!