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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

No matter how many years you have to prepare for this day, it still catches you by surprise.

Surf over to my Domestica blog to read more.

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Just Say Yes!

About six months ago, I watched a movie about a man who has to raise his boys alone after his wife dies. I actually turned the movie off half-way through because it was so depressing but the premise of the movie really hit home with me. The father realizes one day that saying no to everything and getting uptight about all the little details of life has seriously strained his relationship with his sons. It made me think of all the things we say no to. Our kids have these crazy imaginations but what if our own limited (adult) imaginations are actually robbing them of the creativity of childhood? So I vowed to just say yes. As much as I can.

And here’s an example of just what that looks like…

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Room Makeover

With two oversea moves in the span of a year, to say we don’t have a lot of possessions is an understatement!  And although it’s been a great lesson in finding true contentment, Tim and I both realized that the boys’ room was in some serious need of help. Toys were in random bins all over the room, their clothes were in suitcases, and the only light in the space was a table lamp on the floor.  Although five-year-olds rarely complain about a messy room, it was clear to us that the boys weren’t making good use of their bedroom because the spastic mess was overwhelming.

Enter, IKEA.

If you read this blog, you probably know I have a love-hate relationship with IKEA. I want to love it, but I usually just hate it. And yet, in the case of a little boys’ room, IKEA seemed like just the solution.

BEFORE

AFTER

Each boy has their own desk while the center toy bin pulls out.

This storage container on wheels fits perfectly under their bed and houses all their Lego!

A magnetic board holds the boys' post cards from places they've visited around the world. Uncle Ben's impromptu metalworking reminds them that they need to be nice to each other...forever!

While I was at it, I figured the boys would be good guinea pigs for trying my hand at refinishing furniture.

$20 DRESSER -- BEFORE

AFTER

Including the secondhand dresser I bought for $20 and painted for $10, the entire makeover cost $500.  So, in typical “selfless mom” fashion, the boys’ room is now the only one in the house that’s fully furnished!  Of course, if you read my other blog, you know that I clearly chose to buy one of my favorite toys last week instead of any needed furniture…

Priorities, people! Priorities!

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An Apple a Day…

We weren’t looking for this. It just…happened.

But isn’t that how the best things in life usually go?

And so tonight we celebrated Tim’s new job.


The over-sized lettering would be Liam's handiwork!

As of September 7, 2010,  my very talented husband will be working for Apple in California and our family will relocate to the Silicon Valley. We will end our adventures here in Europe a few years earlier than expected but in a lot of ways, it feels as if we accomplished just what we were suppose to.

This is the smile of one very happy boy...to him, California is nothing but Lightening McQueen, the home of Mickey Mouse, and "one plane ride from Gramma & Peapa"!

Proudly wearing our Apple swag that Daddy brought back for us from his interviews at Apple HQ!

Tim will post more details soon!

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The Fathers

Today we celebrate the fathers who have graced our lives and I can’t help but think of how blessed I am.

Playing Hockey with Coach Dad

For starters, my husband Tim. You continually inspire me to be a better mother. I think that pretty much tops the list of awesome father traits. We’re more of a team now than ever before.  The boys look forward with great anticipation to every weekend (when “daddy doesn’t have to go to work”!) so they can fill their days with rough-housing, boardgames, outdoor adventures (typically involving bugs or other non-mommy creepy crawlies) and all the other “fun” you bring into their lives. You know how to be soft and express emotion that speaks to their very heart. You take the time to rub their heads when they’re scared at night and you always whisper how great they are as they drift off to sleep. Secure in your love, they rest knowing that you believe they can do anything. I can’t wait to see how this crazy family unfolds. To one day take a deep breath, sit back and enjoy our children’s children. And yet, I’m having fun with you in the here and now.  I love being a family with you.

...even when you put pretzels up your nose and eat them...

And my own father. How incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life.  I knew it would be hard to leave mom but I was surprised at the spring of tears that nearly burst open when I hugged you in the airport that day.  I didn’t want to let go. (more…)

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We have twins. And yes, I will admit that over the years I have purchased more than a few matching items for them. But once they became preschoolers, I refrained from matching them. And yet, somehow I repeatedly find myself with identically-dressed boys.

Now that J&L dress themselves (and because people still buy them matching clothes), they often choose identical outfits.  No, scratch that, they often choose identical everything.

Of the 15 different bikes and helmets available, they both picked the exact same ones…

And the other day, they brought it to a whole new level.

Mismatched matching…

We’ve always said that we would let the boys dress how they want to dress. If they want to match, so be it.  But dear God, I hope and pray that they’re not 17 years old and going to school in matching faux-hawks and skinny ties.

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As the sun (otherwise known as “mysterious yellow ball in the sky”) finally decides to make an appearance here in Basel, we’ve been taking full advantage of the nicer weather in an attempt to tire the boys out (didn’t work).

Of course, since we’re Canadian, the boys were born with hockey sticks in hand (at least that’s what the Swiss seem to think!) and they’re proving to be naturals. Jack has a mean slap shot and Liam is an intuitive goaltender. Tim is actually crying in all these photos.

Our little Sedin's...minus the playoff beards.

Don't worry Liam -- just blame it on the faulty...uh...shopping cart...??

Coach Dad gives the goalie a pep talk.

Woops! In the penalty box for high sticking.

It’s football season here in Europe and the whole place is already getting cuckoo for the World Cup (coming to South Africa in June).  Locally, the FC Basel team just won the Swiss Cup tonight after a 6-0 whooping over neighboring Lausanne.  Now, let’s get one thing straight. Europeans don’t take this stuff lightly. I mean, you don’t even know crazy until you’ve walked by ten squads of riot police equipped with sandbag guns just to get to the arena’s family section. We were able to watch one of the earlier games a few weeks ago and it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. (more…)

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