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So in the world of great intentions, I’d planned on getting all bloggy during this here holiday.  But before I knew it, there went the week!  All postless and fancy free, as it were.

I’ve done some bloggy tinkering.  Heck, I even finally managed to link to Pinterest.  And I added some tag clouds, and finally got myself a proper “About Me” page (do check it out!)  But as far as posting goes?  Nada.

I was mulling over a few topics when in came Lizzi with the bloggy inspiration!

Ten Things In Review

The challenge?  One thing from each month in 2013 that you were thankful for.  In proper glass half-full land, I love it.  So here goes:

January – I had one of those horrible epiphanies.  Despite dutifully going to the gym four times a week since 6 weeks post partum (so since about September), the scale hadn’t budged.  I accepted that the weight maintenance rules of my 20s no longer applied and I joined Weight Watchers.  Not to totally spoiler alert this (see May), but easily one of the better decisions I’ve recently made as far as lifestyle goes and a New Year’s Resolution that stuck.  In tandem with this, I got off my (apparently expanding) ass, and finally learnt how to properly cook.  Pinterest was totally my partner in crime here – so happy I found them.  For anyone interested in some of my favourite healthy recipes – feel free to check out my food boards and browse about.

February – Given this was past the mid-point of my maternity leave with my second, in a wild effort not to short change her (I’d run the gauntlet of infant programming while on mat leave with my first, but by the time #2 is there, so still is #1, so, really, there’s a bit less, well, INDIVIDUAL focus), I signed up for the only program that fit into our schedule:  A free four-week afternoon participation/seminar series for parents + infants called Healthy Baby; Healthy Brain.  It was run through my local (and fabulous) Ontario Early Years Centre very conveniently while my eldest was at pre-school, down the road (coincidently at Petit Pas à Trois – another free program I’d found through Ontario Early Years – did I mention they rock?)  I’m so thankful I did this.  It was a great chance to reflect on how to help my six month old BE. ALL. SHE. CAN. BE.  Also, I got to get out of the house and talk to other parents.  And they gave us a certificate at the end.  So bonus.

March – Given I was on mat leave, and apparently in need to some additional, well, stuff to do, the universe answered and made me Alumni co-chair for the first Carleton University Homecoming celebration in over ten years.  September 2013 marked the return of Ravens Football – for the first year since they were cut in 1999.  As a student, I remember 1999 well, as they also tried to cut the swim team, which I was a member of.  We successfully petitioned at the time to save that team and some of the others on the chopping block.  But football – a costly endeavor, to say the least – fell.  Getting back to 2013, as Athletic Chapter Representative for the Alumni Association, it was a good fit with some of my other volunteer roles.  And hey!  I had the time.  I was both honoured and thankful for the vote of confidence that I could do it.  Check out the new logo below.

Go Ravens!

Go Ravens!

April – This was the month that our bathroom renovations ended.  That was a wonderful month.  I am thankful for our new bathrooms.  We did both the downstairs and upstairs and our contractors – Beaufort Construction – were wonderful and I’d recommend them to anyone – but I loved when they finished.  LOVED IT.  By that stage they almost felt like part of our family.  Really.  Our daughters still randomly ask about them.   They were that much a part of our routine for the period they were there.  It was about a two month process from start to finish (so as to make sure we had functioning bathrooms for the whole time).  Nothing but professional – so thankful for the end product; their work; and the experience.  If you want to specifically see what they did for us – you can check out the work they did on our upstairs bathroom here.  Really – it’s a whole new room.

May – This was a big month.  In the vein of “trying new things” and having “a lot of time on my hands” I took a cake decorating class.  I’m so very thankful for the opportunities that my year of maternity leave gave me to try things I NEVER. WOULD. HAVE. OTHERWISE. DONE. It was a wonderful look into a life I might have lived.  Check out my mad skills:

My "final project" from my Wilton Level 1 Cake Decorating Course

My “final project” from my Wilton Level 1 Cake Decorating Course

May also saw my return to work from maternity leave.  I am forever thankful for my job.  For the challenges it gives me.  For the flexibility it gives me.  For the ability to use my skills to (seriously, once in a while) really help Canadians.  I believe in the Federal Public Service.

And to report back on Weight Watchers: By the end of May I’d lost 30 pounds.  I bought a whole new summer wardrobe.  It was great.  Expensive.  But great.

June – Well!  AftBlog_Buttoner months of skulking on Twitter and reading blogs wondering if, really, I could find time to actually do this, this was the month I started my blog.

So I’m thankful, here, for my blog.  End of story.  If you’re having a bad day, Desolate Dolly here understands.  Have a read of my inaugural post.

July – In the world of “be careful what you wish for” I was made acting director at work.  Given my husband was home on parental leave with the kids, it was really the perfect time to see if this sort of career jump was workable.  It wasn’t.  And I can’t have it all.  The hours were unpredictable; and long; and I didn’t really see my kids much for two months.  My husband channelled what I suspect was the lingering spirit of a bitter, dissatisfied,  1960s housewife.  I’m thankful I figured this out in a temporary role, but I don’t know if I can be thankful for this realization, because honestly, I’m still processing it.  And trying to figure out how it might be wrong.  And how (two satisfying) career(s) and (happy) kids and (our) marriage can somehow work.  While honestly knowing, if I want it to work, I have to let something go.  At least, I think, at this stage of life.

August – I’m thankful for my old job – and everything it gave me – and my new job – that I started at the end of August.  I’d been with my former department since 2007, so it felt odd to leave.  I was thankful for a new home and new professional challenges.  I was equally thankful for our wonderful daycare provider who has been there for us since our eldest started daycare in 2010 and is here for us again in 2013 for both our youngest and our eldest as she prepared for the Brave New World of Kindergarten – and so needed before and after care – conveniently located on the bus route.  Finally, I was thankful for a week spent at our friend’s lodge by the lake, between ending one job and starting the next.  It was a great way to recharge and spend time with family.  And my youngest was apparently pretty psyched for the upcoming football season.


September – I’m thankful for a first successful Throwback Homecoming celebration at Carleton.  I’m thankful to everyone who worked to make it successful.  We had great turnout for alumni events; and football.  We got Amanda Rheume to play for our alumni pub; and I enjoyed catching up with old friends.  All in all, a great weekend.


October – In October, I was thankful for the random kindness of a stranger who took this beautiful picture of my kids; and shared it with me.

Princesses and Diamonds

I blogged about this on my first Ten Things of Thankful Post, where I got an incredibly warm welcome.

November – I was thankful here for the intervention of all the wonderful adults in my 4-year-old’s life when I discovered she was being bullied by two older kids on the bus.  I blogged about it, again, to the very supportive TTOT community, where I got some great support and advice as well.   That said, the quick action taken by my daycare provider, the two kids on the bus who told their dad, that dad, the bus driver and the teachers I reported the incident too, helped to quickly resolve the situation.  I was thankful for how seriously they took the situation and how promptly they acted and followed up with me.  It gave me great confidence in the people my child spends much of her time with: that they truly have her best interests in mind.

December – I’m thankful this month for the time to reflect on the year; the time off from work to spend with my family and extended family; and the time to rest.  Week one of two off from work is now over and while it wasn’t all one long rose tinted Facebook status update, it was pretty good.


So that brings 2013 (almost) to an end.  And, in case anyone is curious, in order to finish this post, I’m busy typing the last bits with my 18-month-old on my lap (then off my lap; then on my lap) while my eldest watches Caillou in the background.  Which, ever since seeing it, always makes me think of this fine creative effort from Kristi Campbell over at Finding Ninee.  For those unfamiliar with Caillou – it’s documentarily accurate.  Especially when I’ve had enough… But aside from the soundtrack, life this morning is pretty good!