Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 170 - January 31, 2010

John 15:4

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 169 - January 30, 2010

Without encouragement from my father, this blog probably wouldn’t exist. You see, I’ve never really thought of myself as much of a writer. The last thing I ever thought I’d do, was write daily and post my thoughts online for all to read.

Last March, my parents came to visit us here in L.A. One evening, we were discussing what I should do with my life since I am not able to work in the States. My Dad suggested that I write. I listened to his advice and decided to give it a try but never expected to really enjoying writing. After all, English and creative writing classes were my least favourite subjects in school.

Shortly after our talk, I began writing a children’s book. I figured that children are forgiving so why not start there. Children won’t criticize my grammar or question content, flow, and character development. If a book has the ability to put a smile on a child’s face when they turn that last page, I consider it a winner! So, that’s where it all began.

Last summer, I created this blog and made a goal for myself that I would post at least one photograph every day. I purposely didn’t make my goal “write everyday” because I didn’t want to set myself up for failure if I later realized that my writing was just no good. I slowly began posting more than just pictures and each time I opened up on my blog, I would receive an email in my inbox from my father thanking me for sharing my thoughts and encouraging me to continue writing.

That is one of the many things I love about my Dad. His constant encouragement has always made me feel like I can do anything. He sees my areas of strength even before I recognize they exist and challenges me to discover those strengths. He loves with his whole heart, speaks kindly of everyone, and hugs like he means it.

Dad, thank you for your ongoing love and support. Happy Birthday! I love you!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 168 - January 29, 2010

My Weekly Highlight

Watching my nephew, Micah, jump on the couch repeating his new favourite phrase over and over again (from Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel).

“Hellooooo, Gorgeous!”

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 167 - January 28, 2010


For the last year, I have found myself improvising. You see, over a year ago, we packed up only the basic essentials and moved our lives from our spacious 3 bedroom home in Canada to a tiny studio apartment in California. We left our beautiful new dishes and plush bath towels behind and traded them in for our parent's hand-me downs. Some days I really miss my beautiful white dishes that make every meal look straight out of a magazine and what I wouldn't give to have my KitchenAid mixer on the counter, but hey, it has taught me to improvise.

An empty jam or pasta sauce jar works just as well as the beautiful vases from our wedding reception and when rolling out dough, a tall glass does the same job as a marble rolling pin. If you're without a drain tray or drying rack or whatever the heck you call them (which we currently are), use the racks in your dishwasher. You're probably thinking, why not just use the dishwasher instead of washing the dishes by hand? Well, I was raised in a family that owned a dishwasher, but only used it about 5 times a year. That's no joke, people! "Why use the dishwasher when you have 6 sets of perfectly capable dish-washing hands under one roof?" was my parents' motto. And so, I wash dishes by hand and let them drip dry in the dishwasher...that is until I pick up some dishwasher detergent!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 166 - January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 165 - January 26, 2010

There is something about watching a cop show that just makes you want doughnuts! We’ve been a little addicted to Dexter lately. For years, I’ve heard great things about this show. About how suspenseful and intriguing it is. I’m not usually one for cop shows or shows that are centered on murder and blood (although I have been known to watch a little CSI and enjoy it). Normally, these shows are really not my thing, but after my brother gave us all 4 seasons of Dexter, my husband convinced me to give it a try. I think I’m even more hooked than he is. It’s only been a week and we’re already partway through season 3.

Anyway, while I watch, I inevitably crave doughnuts. The other night, I gave into that craving and we headed to Krispy Kreme.

And let me tell you, the melt-in-you-mouth goodness was so worth the ridiculous number of calories in each bite. Sometimes you just have to indulge yourself!

Disney Update:

Greg loved his first day at work! The minute he walked through the door he said, “I just want to go back there.” He would honestly live there if they’d let him.

A few highlights of his day:

1. Eating lunch with the award-winning screenwriter of WALL-E.

2. Holding and having his picture taken with an Oscar. (I’m already preparing his acceptance speech. Hahaha!)

3. Exploring the archives and seeing props from classic Disney movies.

4. Touring the studios where “Mary Poppins” and “Brothers & Sisters” (among others) were/are filmed.

My highlight was learning that he could take friends and family through the studio for a tour anytime. I can’t wait for my chance to hold that Oscar!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 164 - January 25, 2010

Say “Hello” to Mickey Mouse for me!

As I think about Greg’s first day at Disney Animation Studios, I imagine him walking into a magical world of Zippa dee doo dah’s and Hakuna Matata’s. I see brightly coloured walls lined with classic hand-drawn Disney sketches. I imagine people sitting at their desks humming “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. And when Greg walks by, I imagine everyone leaping from their chairs to sing “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast (complete with dancing, of course). What a wonderful place it must be! I am eagerly awaiting the moment when my husband will walk through the door, tell me to jump onto a magic carpet (or maybe just the couch) and tell me about “A Whole New World” he experienced at Disney!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 163 - January 24, 2010

John 1:16

"From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 162 - January 23, 2010

"You look so much like your Mom."

"You look just like Kathy."

"Doesn't she look like Kathy, John?"

I've heard these phrases countless times in my life. From the day a new baby is born, we try to find the similarities to their parents. We hear people say things like, "She has her mother's eyes and her father's ears."

Today, on my mother's birthday, I am thankful that people see the resemblance between me and my Mom because it means that I have an ounce of her kindness, a trace of her beauty, a morsel of her loving heart, and a shred of her nurturing soul.

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 161 - January 22, 2010

Multiple Blessings

We have felt extremely blessed this past week as we made the move back to California from Ontario. I will try to make this post short and sweet as I update you on the blessings of this week.

Blessing #1: The roads from Ontario to California were clear and dry the entire 3 days we spent on the road. We were warned about just how treacherous those stretches of road can be in the winter and are so thankful that God made snowy paths clear.

Blessing #2: While stopped for the night at a hotel somewhere in New Mexico, we got an email from my brother, Matthew, who is currently working for a major cruise line. We discovered that his ship was to be docked in Haiti the day of the major earthquake. We could not be more thankful that the decision was made for the ship to stay at sea.

Blessing #3: We arrived safely in Southern California and were overjoyed to find that the hours of online apartment searching and phone calls from Canada had paid off. We love our new apartment and the location is just perfect. We couldn’t be more thankful that God lead us to this place we now call “home”.
Blessing #4: We were able to inexpensively furnish our entire place in only a day thanks to Craigslist, Costco, and some wonderful people we met along the way. Our new leather sofa was original purchased for a recording studio. Who knows which famous tushies once graced these cushions?!

Blessing #5: Baby Jacob was born happy and healthy! After much talk of my sister-in-law being forced into a c-section and the OB-GYN potentially having to break Jacob’s shoulder blades during the delivery, we are thankful that Suzanne was able to deliver vaginally and with no harm to Jacob.

Blessing #6: We are beyond thankful for our safety these last few days as the rain pours down around us. According to the sweet lady we bought our dining room set from, “it hasn’t rained like this in L.A. since 1997!” We hear daily of the severe thunderstorm warnings, flooding, landslides, tornados, and evacuations in the areas surrounding us. Thankful that we are safe and dry! (P.S. The Canadian in me can’t help but laugh at times. It’s only rain!)

I think that about does it for the moment. Not quite as short and sweet as I let on, but thanks for sticking it out if you did read until the end. Don’t forget to take some time to count your blessings!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 160 - January 21, 2010

He’s here!!

Early this morning, my sister (in-law), Suzanne and her husband, Rob became an adorable little family of 3. At 4:04 am, little Jacob Wesley made his way into the world, weighing 9 lbs 11 oz. I am officially a proud aunt to 3 incredibly adorable, loveable, and kissable little boys! I only wish I was still in the country to welcome Jacob into an amazing family. Longing to gather him up in my arms, kiss his sweet cheeks, and tell him just how much his auntie love him.

Welcome to the world sweet baby boy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 159 - January 20, 2010

Waiting, praying, hoping, anticipating, dreaming, wishing, and longing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 157-158 - January 18-19, 2010

Rain, rain go away...

...more to post another day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 155-156 - January 16-17, 2010

Sitting in Starbucks with my hubby drinking an Orange Mango Banana Smoothie wishing we had internet at home. We don't expect to have access until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest.

P.S. We LOVE our new apartment!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 154 - January 15, 2010

We made it!

Clear blue Arizona skies and rich red rock made for such a beautiful day of driving. We are thankful to be safely in California and are looking forward to moving into our new place tomorrow morning! Not sure when we'll be able to get the internet hooked up so I may not be able to continue with my daily posting until sometime next week. Have a wonderful weekend if I don't talk to you!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 153 - January 14, 2010

Hello from New Mexico! We made it further than we expected today. We'll be in California before you know it!

Thankful for clear, dry roads once again and for the prayers that have gone with us thus far. More to tell about our trip (and how I almost gave up on this blog) once we're safe in our new "home" but for tonight, that's all she wrote!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 152 - January 13, 2010

On the road again...

You’d think that I’d be getting better at goodbyes. They have been far too frequent in the past year. While the tears were fewer this time around, I’m not sure the ache in my heart will ever lessen. There were so many times today as we drove through 3 states and 1 province that I looked out the window and my heart just felt empty thinking about those we left back home. I couldn't stop the tears as we drove past familiar streets one last time. It took all I had in me not to take the exit that lead to my sister and nephews as we drove out of town this morning.

Despite these tearful moments, we had a wonderful day of driving. The roads were dry. The skies were clear. And we made it all the way to Fenton, MO (just outside of St. Louis). We're just about ready to crash for the night. We've got another long day of driving ahead of us tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 151 - January 12, 2010

Going to miss this little pillow-throwing munchkin!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 150 - January 11, 2010

I was born to be an aunt. You see, I will do anything for my nephews. Just yesterday, Micah came to me wanting to play Scrabble. Now let me explain something here. I despise Scrabble!! My husband has asked countless times in the past 2 months if I will join him in a game of Scrabble and before he can even get the words out of his mouth, I have firmly refused. But, yesterday afternoon, when Micah approached me carrying the large Scrabble board and asked, "An-day play game?" I answered, "Sure, babe" without hesitation.

So what does that say about me as a wife? I've got a long car ride back to California with my husband to figure that one out.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 149 - January 10, 2010

Psalm 18:32

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect."

Lord, give me the strength to say goodbye...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 148 - January 9, 2010

What do you get when you take a 2-1/2 year old boy, 12 chocolate cupcakes, and 2 tubes of icing?

A whole lot of yummy sugar-coated fun!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 147 - January 8, 2010

So glad to be enjoying warm pizza inside with family on this cold winter's night!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 146 - January 7, 2010

Missing Matt.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 145 - January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 144 - January 5, 2010

From Trash to Treasure!

"Hi, my name is Andrea and I'm a Craigslist-aholic."

Yes, I'll admit it. I'm addicted to Craiglist and Kijiji. It doesn't matter that we don't currently live in our home or that we have no place to store my finds for future use, I still look for online deals on a regular basis. I cannot pass up a good deal.

A few months ago, while we were still living in California, I was going about my daily searching on Kijiji when I found this dated ugly duckling.

I know it doesn't look like much. In fact, some may say it's hideous but I saw that this mirror had the potential to be transformed into a beautiful swan! And so, I called my father-in-law up in Canada and asked him if he would be so kind as to pick up my cheap find. Luckily, my father-in-law is also obsessed with a good deal so he immediately jumped in the car and drove 30 minutes to pick it up. Man, I've got great in-laws!

So anyway, I finally got around to the project I had dreamed about for countless days as I lay in the California sun. With a little bit of elbow grease to clean all the nooks and crannies and an inexpensive bottle of white spray paint, this mirror went from shabby to chic!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 143 - January 4, 2010

I love lists! I love to write up a list of all the things I need to accomplish and cross off each item one by one. There is nothing quite as satisfying as watching your to-do list get smaller and smaller until finally all jobs are complete! But this is one list I've been putting off.

When this list is complete, we'll be leaving our family and moving back to California. And so, I'm torn. The do-er inside of me is eager to complete these tasks while the daughter, sister, and aunt inside of me dreads the goodbyes that aren't so far off.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 142 - January 3, 2010

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 141 - January 2, 2010

Time to un-trim the tree. How I'll miss you Christmas. Until next year my friend.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 140 - January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

A new year has begun which means it's time for us to reevaluate the way in which we lived our lives in 2009 and set goals for the coming year. I did a quick Google search to find out the most popular New Year's resolutions of 2010 and here are the top 10 from

1. Lose weight - Well, according to Wii, my Wii age is only 21 so I think I'll take this year off!
2. Be happy - I spent a wonderful holiday season with all of my family. I couldn't be happier!
3. Fall in love - So in love with my nephews and I know I'll just fall in love with little Jacob (nephew #3) when he arrives later this month!
4. Get a job - Does winning online giveaways count? Guess I could work on getting a job that pays more than freebies, but first I'd have to convince the American government to hire me. That could be tricky.
5. Travel - Heck, I'm driving across the US in the next 2 weeks.
6. Quit smoking - Never tried it, never will!
7. Get married - Been there, done that.
8. Love - As it is said in Love Actually, "If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling that love actually is all around."
9. Find love - I don't have to look far to find someone I love. I have been blessed to be surrounded by love all my life.
10. Lose my virginity - I'm married, people. Enough said!

Looking back on the past year, it is clear to me that I have been blessed. The Lord's been good to me and I sure don't take that for granted. I am thankful for another year of life filled with incredible experiences and a whole lot of love. Looking forward to the new adventures that await me in 2010!