Sunday, October 20, 2013


Life! What a wonderful weekend.

It was full of life.

Skating lessons, haircuts, grocery shopping (three times, when will I ever learn to make a list??), family dinners, raking leaves, making pancakes and drinking coffee while the boys play hockey down the hall.

(Do you know how many people stopped us as we were doing yard work today to tell us just how great of care Oz took of our home? A lot. People here are so friendly. And they loved Oz!)

It was a perfect weekend. It's funny how the simple simple things can make you just so happy.

Bursting with happiness. Perhaps I'm still overly thrilled about waking up to my view and the big old trees as well. I'm definitely still smiling because of this. Maybe it's because we've just been so crazy busy over the last three months. I want routine!

Friday night we went to a family dance for Pavel's playschool. Oh my, it was so adorable. I couldn't stop laughing at how cute these kids are! I wish I had more pictures but they were all too busy running around with their balloon swords and eating as much chocolate as physically possible.

We walked down with the Mains. Why not? Such a beautiful fall night. Five kids in tow.

Love. Love. Love.



Sasha - whoa your words are exploding! Thank you, cheers!, no more, NO!, toast, banana, night night, bye bye, more... and you understand so much of what we are saying.
Pav - you love school. You love your friend Finn!! You love ninjas.. Ugh. You are making me a crazy!

Sasha checking out the crazy kids at the dance

Ready to hit the ice at Pavel's skating class


At the dance with Mommy

Not doing well, at the Stollery with Nannie.. 

With Queen Harper!

Crazy Pav.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The New Pad

We are IN! 

The big move. It all feels like such a whirlwind. I remember Sheldon saying only months ago - "Maybe we'll just stay in our place now (the duplex) for a few more years and be rich! Let's stay for at least two more years. We can do it."
I knew that would never stand. Come on. We loved it there, but it was too small for us. We needed more living space. It was time to move on. 

Last family picture at Austin Way
In fact, during the moving transition, I was just so sentimental and sad, as you're well aware of! The day the moving trucks came, I packed up the boys and walked out the front door of Austin Way and didn't look back. I couldn't. We had possession of both houses for a few weeks overlapping each other, so we were able to go back to the old house to clean and take our time getting our belongings out. (Well Sheldon's. I made sure everything of mine came in one trip.. no going back and forth for me!)

The week before we were giving the old house to the new owners I went back to start cleaning. I hadn't been there in almost two weeks. Two weeks of the new pad. Two weeks of our huge yard, and space. Two weeks of separate rooms for the boys and being SO close to friends. Life was moving on in one direction, but yet, I still had my heart in our old place. 
When I pulled into the neighbourhood, I felt really at peace. Driving around the familiar roads, I knew in my heart that the timing was right. That neighbourhood and home served it's purpose for us. It was enough space and enough of a cost for us in our baby making years. I was comfortably able to go on maternity leave with both boys. We didn't have to worry (too much) about bills. The walking paths and parks were just what we needed to bond as a family.. and it was the right time for us to move on. It was the perfect transition home and I now feel that we are SO in the place we are supposed to be.
At one point when we were in the old house Pavel said "Mom, can we go home now? I want to go home." I froze hearing those words. They felt so good to hear. 

All my adult life I have driven through the neighbourhoods in central Edmonton and dreamed one day we could live there! Close to the core, huge trees, older homes with character.. I just didn't think it would be possible. (Note to self, how many times do you need to be reminded that ANYTHING is possible. Stop putting limits on life!)

Numerous times I have said to Sheldon and myself and my wonderful friends/neighbours.. "I can't believe we are here! This is my house. We live here!" 

Our Friend Oz
What's funny is the new house, is an old house. It's in amazing shape but it is dated and not necessary our preferred taste. The man who owned the home before us was there for almost 50 years. Oz. Oz has taken such good care of that home. He has thought of everything in terms of maintenance and making sure the home runs smoothly. I have to thank Oz, as he actually calls about once a week to remind us of things we need to do around the house! Pick the tomatoes, sprinklers… Sheldon and I actually are quite grateful. 
The day Oz gave us the keys to the house, he stayed for two hours to show us around and how everything works. He showed us what screws to tighten and when. He left us a map of the flowers he plants and where. He showed us how to change the water filter and how to adjust the settings on the sprinkler system. 
If I am sad leaving a home after four years, I can't imagine what it would feel like after 50. A relief? Strange? Like you're missing your right hand? 

Thank you Oz!

The exterior curb appeal of the home is immaculate. My favourite part of the home right now. And our new neighbours have noticed too. Every single person we have met has mentioned our yard and how well Oz kept it up! I think Sheldon has taken that as a personal challenge to try and make the yard even better. The first week he was out there edging and pruning and sweating his butt off. "We're being judged right now Jenny, we have to maintain this yard even better than Oz. Just you wait. This yard is nothing compared to what it will be next year." Oh gawd. 
I love our street light!

It is just so amazing being close to friends like we are. I'm talking walking distance. Like less than a two minute walk to close friends. It makes me emotional thinking about how Pavel and Sasha are going to grow up with Kane, Harper, Cameron, Farrah, Marley, Cruz and Drew! Not to mention all the other little people they are meeting. The night we got the keys from Oz, the Mains and Strudwicks came over with all the kids in tow. A bottle of champagne in one of the girl's knapsacks and some paper cups. Eight kids four and under running around on the front lawn, parents toasting to a new future. I get emotional thinking about how great that night was! Oh how I love my friends. 
I also laugh because our poor neighbours probably haven't a clue what they were in for. From one quiet 87 year old Oz, to a crazy zoo of kids and parents in just a matter of hours. 
Pavel and his bestie Ayako from our old place
I feel like the kid's quality of life has improved so much since we've moved here. Again, there are so many kids in the neighbourhood to play with and EVERYONE is just so friendly! It's a crazy 180 from where we just came from. Yes, we had some close friends in the old 'hood who we miss dearly (so dearly!) but I can't tell you how many people have stopped by to introduce themselves. Invited us to block parties, offered to babysit, toured their newly renovated home to us, let us pet their dogs and have just made sure to tell us "Welcome to the neighbourhood, you are just going to LOVE it here." You can't help but believe them. 
One of our friends was chatting to a neighbour and said "I wake up happy every morning here. It's just so wonderful." I feel the exact same way. Does that sound so silly? I can't explain it right then I guess.

Pavel has been so hilarious. He runs out of the house on the front lawn every time someone walks by. 'Hi! Hi! Welcome to the neighbourhood!" he tells them excitedly. "Can I pet your dog? What's your dog's name? Do you want to come in?"
Two funny stories. 
There is a house across the street with a basketball net in the drive. Two boys about 15 were playing basketball one night. Pav stands on the very edge of our yard, as close as he can get, and just watches. Stares. We were going for a family walk. Sheldon rolls up with the stroller and tells him to get in. 
"No dad! Get lost!" LOL! He refused to get into the stroller until right after we turned the corner and were out of sight of the two older cool boys.

Another night, it was a Friday about dusk, we were outside doing some yard work. A group of five teenage girls walk by. Texting, chatting. Pavel runs out of the house and yells at them in his deep manly voice " Hey girls! Hey! Any of you girls have any apple juice?"
They looked up and paused "Umm no, sorry, no apple juice."
"Okay, thanks." And shrugged his shoulders.
Ummmm What the heck! Oh my Sheldon and I looked at each other in disbelief. Hilarious! Hilarious! He's three. Oh great. 
Pavel on his way to Play School on the first day

Sasha enjoying dinner at his new table

Anyway.. this is long. Moral of the story. We feel so blessed. Moving is stressful, but somehow the stars aligned for us to get an amazingly well kept older home in our dream neighbourhood near our dear friends. Life feels great because it's so accessible to restaurants and downtown, the kids go to the museum and to the local play group and have so many close friends who love them near by. 

We are where we are meant to be.


Dear Jimmy,

We think of you so often. We know you would have loved this home and we can practically see you smoking your pipe on our front step. You and Oz would have hit it off and we have the perfect spot for your giant BBQ. Thank you for watching over us. We miss you dearly.