Friday, January 31, 2020

A Return to Writing

I missed this blank page.
To be honest when I opened Blogger today I wasn't sure if my little blog would still be there.
But here she is all full of promise and neglect.
We still have Shield Autobody and there's much development there.
I have no photos of it, however, and definitely need a full post or 5 to discuss said developments so today I'm more focused on the home life.

This isn't a life update per se, it's just a little toe dip back into this world I used to love so much.
As I scrolled through the last few posts and saw Fiona's baby teeth I felt sad that I haven't taken as much time to really observe the way the kids are changing.
Of course I live this growth but I don't painstakingly choose a photo of them then scrutinize it during editing.
I mean, just look at those big chompers now.

 And let's not forget Cedric.
In this photo he still has baby teeth but now sports a pair that are surely not meant for this little face.
Lake life is still where it's at for us.

 ...or not

 And fall is still when I force the kids to pose (or tolerate their poses) for family photos.

 But sport is also creeping in big time and I am now the only non hockey player in the family.

 I swear Fiona plays too, she apparently just doesn't pose for me on command like that ham.

Oh and they turned 6...

...and 8...
...and 7...

 ...and 9!

Aaaaaand we went to Norway...

...and Japan!
But I really need to give those their own posts, so beautiful.

Ok, maybe it was a slight update.  Thanks for sticking with this photo drop.
Most definitely not my best work but it sure felt good to be back here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cedric is 5! {and 4 too}

I just spent a few hours looking through old posts of my kids growing up.
Doing so gave me a renewed sense of just how important documenting a few of our moments is.
I do love sharing but love reflecting even more.
So here we go, I'm documenting Cedric's 5th birthday.
Which was at the beginning of March. 
Not too bad, only 1.5 months late.
{But wait for it.}
 I was determined to dial back with the themed parties.
Then Cedric asked for a lego birthday and I just couldn't stop.
The cake was fun to make but the candle holders put it over the top if you ask me.
 Dollar store plates made for good lego blocks and dollar store cups were easily made into lego heads.
The kids got those lego storage heads for Christmas and they became the perfect snack bowls.
 Ced has long dreamed of an outdoor party which proves challenging with a March birthday in Edmonton.
We decided, however, to commit to the idea and ended up with a beautiful balmy winter day.
We loaded up the wheelbarrow and headed down to the creek to roast hotdogs.
We also took our piñata down.
We usually buy one at bulk barn but this year had a homemade lego block.
 I made it by gift wrapping a box that I had weakened a little and putting card stock circles on it.
I was a little worried that we'd end up having to rip it open but on the second round it literally exploded and sent the kids running and screaming to the candy, perfect.
 After lunch, the party was moved to our house for cake and more birthday fun.
 Cedric stated after that it was the best birthday ever.
But he said that last year too of course.
So here's what you've been waiting for, Cedric is 4!
{And was for a whole year, in which I neglected to share.}
Last year was hands down a Paw Patrol theme.
This one I did keep pretty simple with minimal decor {streamers and balloons not pictured}.
Dog bowls filled with puppy chow naturally.

And my kids have somehow decided that it's not a party without a piñata.
They are a nerve wracking part of each of our parties but who am I to deny this dangerous fun?
Happy birthday x2 buddy!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Fiona is 7! {Today!}

 {Oh but this post is also about her turning 6.}
I'm feeling super on top of it today.
I am posting about this amazing girl's birthday in a timely fashion.
{There is that little matter of needing to share last year as well though.}
This year there was no doubt that Fiona wanted a fairy birthday.
We've done the fairy theme before but she has a new-found love for fairies.
She recently built a fairy house you see, and has been getting occasional visits from her fairy pal named Fliona who leaves messages and a trail of fairy dust behind.
So of course her cake needed to be a fairy house.
This baby needed six layers to get the desired shape.
There was no shortage of cake for this party.

 Last time we did the fairy theme it was all about floral and vines.
We even made floral crowns.
This time we found other ways to make the room whimsical mostly involving twigs, yarn and beads.
Below is actually Fiona's hundred day project for school and served as our inspiration.
This hanging will stick around for a while.
For the "craft" the kids made wands/fairy sticks but many ended up making fishing rods.
I use the word craft loosely since I don't really direct them, just put out supplies and let them at it.
Ok now for catch up time.
Last year Fiona wanted a woodland theme so we dreamed up a sweet little cake.
This was take one.
We ended up cancelling Fiona's party since Daddy was stuck out of town in the hospital.
He ended up coming home 2 weeks later and missing the actual day.
In an attempt to keep it special we still had a celebration with family and close friends, all the while knowing we would reschedule once Jeff made it home.
So here's the real deal.
We turned this into a birthday/thank you to all who helped me stay sane while Jeff was gone.
The weather was fantastic {not like this year's snowstorm} so a BBQ felt just right.
 Happy birthday twice over my sweet babe.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Hicks in Istanbul {and a little Germany} Part 3

{Only 2 years late}
In preparation for another great vacation to come with some of our most fabulous friends I thought I'd grace this space with a photo dump.
It has been two years since we made the trip to Istanbul and somehow I didn't get around to sharing the rest of these photos.
Our second last day was a rainy one, perfect for a day {inside} the Grand Bazaar.
Grand bazaar bowls
 I came pretty close to having one of these beautiful lamps mailed home.
Grand Bazaar Lamps

Grand Bazaar spices
 We managed to exit with only turkish delight for family and friends, a spice grinder and these super fun turkish slippers.
Grand Bazaar slippers
 We had much nicer weather on our final day and decided to spend it on the water.
 These boats are set up to serve the most delicious fresh fish sandwiches.Istanbul fish sandwich
 Next we boarded a ferry to head to Asia.
Little did I know before this trip that the city of Istanbul spans both Europe and Asia.
Istanbul ferry
 We had a chill day on the other side of the water and even had ample park time to keep the littles happy.
kids on swing istanbul
 At the end of the day we just had to capture a set of these beautiful stairs.
You can see the exhaustion in these babes.
Istanbul rainbow stairs
 Before heading back to Canada we spent a few more days in Germany.
I was so happy to see these roadside tulips.
With spring almost here this photo is inspiring me to beautify our own ugly curb-side patch.
 The bonds these kids made was so fun, we really can't wait to see them again.
 I loved how the big girls insisted again on matching hair.
Just a little chat by the Rhine pictured here.
Rhine river
 And finally, on our trip home, our layover dreams came true.
Instead of sitting in the Frankfurt airport for 5 hours we took a train in to the city to see the sights. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Hicks in Istanbul Part 2

For our second day in this bustling city we headed back to Sultanahmet square to take in Topkapi Palace.
The grounds were a breath of fresh air with a large lawn area and towering trees.
 There was detail in everything, even the walkways.
Our girls could have played in this meadow of clover for hours.
We have learned that sometimes travel with kids means taking your time and giving them a chance to run.
We eventually did convince them that a palace would probably also be pretty fun.
 I came out of this day with hundreds of pictures, there was beauty at every turn. 
Some of it seemed opulent like this ceiling.
 And others felt clean and simple like these mini skylights.
 When going through the pictures I found I was more drawn to the simple, even run down, aspects of this centuries old building.
I wouldn't say this surprised me as that usually seems to be my taste but at the time I don't know that I realized it.
I was awed by the intricate designs and over the top marble and tile but now find it falling short so am sharing very little of it.
I find that many europeans live with less than perfect architecture.  
Coming from a place where building code is strict and homes are built on sweeping expanses of land to fairly unoriginal specs, I find this refreshing.
It could, however, be that I feel this way to excuse my own home's imperfections.
Here is a little taste of that marble.
I wasn't originally going to share this picture since it shows my sweet Fiona mid meltdown.
"I don't want our picture by the tap, I want it on the stairs!" she cried.
Living in close quarters can make for a disagreement or two but it quickly resolved.
And yes Fiona did eventually get that picture on the stairs but it was much less interesting.
 And just look at this handsome boy sucking on his bottom lip.
This is Cedric's soothing method of choice.
I see braces in our future.
 In all our travels this is the first time we had the whole gang in a photo.
Next time maybe we'll get one with the whole gang smiling and looking at the camera.
 From Topkapi we headed to the Blue Mosque, first getting a glimpse of it out the window.
 It broke my heart to hear of the recent attack in this area.
 We felt very safe here and spent some time walking around the area.
I have been asked since if we would have gone to Istanbul had the attack happened prior to our visit.
I must say that when in Istanbul I had moments of doubt and my inner fear bubbled up time and again.
I try to appreciate my fear as a mechanism to keep me alert but wouldn't want it to rob me of such a beautiful experience.
So in the end the answer is yes, we would absolutely have gone.
 The Blue Mosque was beautiful of course but what sticks out in my mind about it was the glimpse at the Muslim rituals of prayer.
There were taps lined up outside for the ritual of purification.
We were also required to remove our shoes due to their retention of impurities.
 We were constantly aware of the 5 prayer times as we heard to call throughout the day.
The direction of prayer was made obvious since mosques had been built or retrofitted to face Mecca.
 Another ritual we were able to participate in was covering.
Men are required to cover from their navel to knee so no challenge there.
Women on the other hand are required to cover all but their face and hands.
Tourists were held to slightly different standards but were still given a head covering if needed upon entering.
They also had long wraps for those with short skirts or tight pants.
Children were excluded from the rule but Fiona was eager to participate.
I actually found that the kids were excited by the unfamiliar.
Quite different from at home where if I cut their sandwich at the wrong angle you'd think a fairy died.
Travel seems to bring out some adventure and a little bit of malleability in them.
Which begs the question, why have we not booked a trip yet this year?


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