Monday, January 9, 2012

2011: A Year In Review

a I realize that I’m about 9 days later than the rest of the internet in getting this post up, but they’re always fun for me to look back upon, so I’m putting it up anyway. You can read 2010’s recap here. As for right now, let’s look back on what happened in 2011.


-Stephen turned 24, so we celebrated by hosting a fondue party (oil, cheese and chocolate fondues)!
-Stephen’s Mom, as well as his Sister in Law and our nephew came to visit for a weekend.
-Since Stephen and I have birthdays only a month(ish) apart, and one of our good friends has a birthday the day before mine, we decided to combine our celebrations and went to a Brazilian steak house. It was my first time, and it was amazing!
-I got my hands on some old family photos and took a trip down memory lane.


-I turned 25, and celebrated by hosting a cupcake fondue party! Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds!
-I planned and hosted a Valentine’s day party for the 4 year old boy that I nanny. So much fun!
-My MWF nanny family decided to let me go. I’m still rather bitter about the way it ended, and miss Baby C quite a bit. What I didn’t know at the time though was that this would turn out to be a really good thing for me.
-I attended my first ever Calgary bloggers meetup! It was really neat getting to meet such a wide variety of bloggers.
-I finally bought my KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment. This may not be a noteworthy thing to most people, but I had been wanting it for ages.
-One of the girls that I used to nanny for stopped by for the first time since I stopped being her nanny. We spent the day baking.


-I found a new job! I started work with 3 month old Baby E. It started off with only one day a week (before finally moving on to full time hours later in the year).
-I also found a new family to work with on the weekends. When I first started with them, I would give up one or two weekends a month to work.
-I attended another Calgary bloggers meetup; a potluck that was delish.
-Stephen and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary! Stephen surprised me with dinner reservations and tickets to the ballet. He’s a keeper.
-After a many years long struggle, I finally got my Proof of Canadian Citizenship. It’s something I never talked about on my blog, as it was a dark place in my life, but that’s no longer the case! This was a huge moment for me!


-We built a bigger cage for the guinea pigs. They took up a large corner in our living room, but it was so worth it.
-I rediscovered my love for the library, and was going at least once a week. I read a lot of good books this month.
-We celebrated my Dad’s birthday with a family dinner, then tried out a new board game; Quelf. It’s a fun one.
-Stephen and I started the application process to become a Big Couple with Big Brothers Big Sisters Calgary.
-My friend Hannah came to visit from Abu Dhabi.
-Stephen and I hosted Easter dinner.


-Stephen and I both applied to go back to school in the fall.
-We celebrated Mother’s Day by going to one of my favorite brunch spots (Cora’s).
-I went to the casino for the first time ever. I went in with $20, made it up to $30, then promptly lost it all. I discovered that I’m just not a fan of the casino.
-Stephen and I started our little balcony garden. We had Sungold tomatoes, some herbs, and a hanging planter of strawberries.
-Stephen’s Mom and grandparents came to stay with us for the weekend. We celebrated his Mom’s birthday by hosting a little get together at our place.
-We bought a membership to Costco. That may not be exciting to most people, but to us, it was a big deal!
-Stephen and I had interviews with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
-I had a craft night with my sister.


-I won a $100 gift card through a twitter contest!
-Some good friends of mine and Stephen’s asked Stephen and I to be Auntie and Uncle to their future children. (They were in the process of adopting.) This was a really exciting moment for me!
-We did some dog sitting for my sister. We had 2 big Boxers and a little Maltese/Chihuahua come stay with us.
-I started a Gymboree art class with the boy that I nanny. It was fun having that time out of the house together.
-The family made a trip to Taber to visit the place where my Grandma was buried. It was nice to have that family time and to visit that particular spot.
-I documented a day in my life through Instagram photos.
-The baby I nanny for started solid food this month. It was an adventure for both of us!
-Stephen and I attended a BBQ at a friend’s house, and I brought along cheesecake stuffed strawberries. They were a huge hit!
-My sister’s friend had her baby, and I attended her baby shower.


-We hosted a Canada Day BBQ at our place.
-We did some cat sitting for my nanny family.
-I made a really awesome Angry Birds craft for the boys that I nanny.
-I also did some ice cube painting with the boys.
-I reconnected with an old friend from High School. She lives close to where I work, so we started having regular play dates at the park.
-I ordered a pair of glasses from Clearly Contacts, and they only cost me $30! Amazing.
-I babysat at a wedding reception. It was held on a Monday evening (so I went straight from work to the reception), and was quite challenging. I did make good money though…
-I sold my first ever cake!
-I attended the Calgary Stampede with Stephen, his Dad and his Dad’s girlfriend. We tried a donut burger, a deep fried Snickers and deep fried pop tarts. All equally amazing.
-Stephen’s Mom got sick and was in and out of the hospital for a few days. Stephen went up to Edmonton for a week, then I met him there on the weekend. Thankfully, she made a quick recovery.
-Stephen’s brother’s girlfriend (Sharon) and our nephew (Kolton) were visiting, so I took them to the zoo with my nanny boys. Always fun!


-I went wedding dress shopping with my sister, and was surprised when she actually found the dress! We only went to 2 bridal shops, but had found it at the first one. It was such a fun day!
-I started a new work schedule. I went to 4 days a week with Baby E. My other nanny family went away for the month of August.
-An old friend of mine moved back home to Calgary.
-Stephen surprised me with a brand new camera!
-Stephen and I had a project weekend. We worked on my gallery wall and made some crayon art. We still get compliments on the crayon art when guests see it!
-A friend from high school passed away unexpectedly. We weren’t close in her last days, but I attended the funeral regardless, to let her family (and her) know that I was thinking about her always.
-Stephen and I were finally approved to start being matched to a Little Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters Calgary.
-Stephen realized that he couldn’t get the money he needed to start school in the fall. His school plans had to be put on hold.


-I continued working 4 days a week with Baby E, but had to cut down to one day a week (from 2) with my other boys. The youngest started kindergarten, so my hours were being cut down anyway.
-I attend Calgary’s Pride Parade with my sister and her boyfriend.
-One of the girls that I used to nanny came over for a baking day; we made lion cupcakes.
-I revealed my gallery wall.
- I found out at the last possible minute that I applied for the wrong loan for school, and would have no money to pay for school. I had to drop out the day before classes started. I had a rough couple of weeks dealing with my feelings on this, but realized in the end that I was happy where I was in terms of my job. Maybe something bigger and better is waiting for me around the corner.
-Stephen and I attended Bacon Fest and had some delicious food from a food truck.
-We also went to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.


-I posted about my love for ampersands.
-Stephen finally convinced me to play a computer game (Sims 3), and I actually liked it.
-I roasted my first ever pumpkin and made my own pumpkin puree.
-We celebrated Thanksgiving at my parent’s place. I made some pumpkin pie cupcakes and pumpkin pie ice cream.
-Baby E finally mastered crawling, so my job got a whole lot more active.
-I got a raise from both of my nanny families.
-I had my first ever canning adventure; I made some apple butter, that I saved to give out as Christmas presents.
-Stephen and I found out that our landlord wanted to sell our townhouse, and that we had to be out when our lease was up, at the end of November. It was super stressful, as we had no intention of moving and hadn’t been saving up for that.
-We celebrated Halloween by carving some pumpkins and just hanging out at home. We only had one trick or treater; a little boy that wasn’t in costume and didn’t even yell out trick or treat! He was too busy eating candy, so his Mom said it for him. I was mighty disappointed.


-This was a month of packing and house hunting. We looked at 5 places, and while we were certain that we were going to get the first place we saw, we didn’t. In the end, it worked out for the best, because we ended up with an amazing townhouse that’s bigger (and nicer) than our last one.
-My uncle from Toronto came to visit us. Stephen and I had him and my sister and her boyfriend over for dinner. They showed up with cupcakes and Sambuca.
-The whole family checked out the military museum.
-I took a little road trip with my uncle to visit my great grandma and sister and Vulcan.
-Stephen and I got a call that we were finally matched with a Little Brother! We had our first outing together at the end of the month.
-Our good friends adopted their twins this month. We met them toward the end of the month, and I have to say that they are some of the cutest kids I’ve ever met. I seriously love them.
-Calgary had quite the wind storm, and it damaged our screen door. Gotta love having to repair things the weekend before you move.


-December was a chaotic month. We finally moved into our new townhouse, and began the process of unpacking.
-We were left without a garbage key, or a mail key for the whole month. Thankfully, we had a garage to stick our garbage in, but it was still not fun to deal with.
-Due to some unfortunate circumstances, Stephen was out of work for nearly a month (which started off in November). It was a pretty crappy deal at a crappy time of year, but he thankfully found another job.
-I worked extra long hours to make up for the fact that we were down to one income. It was stressful, but necessary.
-We hosted our first Christmas. The whole family came over on Christmas Eve to spend the night, then we had more people show up Christmas day for dinner. I baked an overabundance of sweets, and Stephen was a superstar chef! He made a Turchicken: a turkey, stuffed with stuffing and two chickens. It was the star of the show.
-Boxing Day was spent at my uncle’s house, where we had more good food and sang Christmas carols.
-Stephen and I did some dog sitting for my old nanny family.
-Stephen’s Mom came and stayed with us for a week and a bit.

2011 was quite the eventful year, but I’m glad that it’s behind us. I can’t wait to see what 2012 will bring my way!

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