Where Have You Travelled? – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 93

Where Have You Travelled?

I have had the pleasure of visiting quite a few places that have been very special to me.  I have travelled to a number of the States in the US – my first experience being California when my Mom and I came from Jamaica.  I lived there for 4 years and while I was fairly young when I was there, I have lots of fond memories of my time in California.  I have visited all the states on the Eastern Seaboard, while living in New York for 18 years.  New York is where I consider my stomping ground.  I grew up in Brooklyn; met and made some amazing friends while living in New York and am a New Yawka for life.  

A photo I took in Summer 2001
on my way back to Alaska from NY,

By far, my favorite place in the US is Alaska.  I lived there for 3 years, fell in love as we were landing and discovered that I can live on my own and come out fine on the other side.

Across the pond, my Mom, brother and I visited Birmingham, England to visit my grandmother and grandfather for 6 weeks during the summer of 1992.  I had a blast and what an education I got on grocery shopping.  This was my first experience of BYOB, and you also had to bag your own groceries.  I’ve been living in Canada for 11 years, and once again, I’m on a new adventure that’s sure to be memorable.

My travel experiences have been light, and that is something that will change in the near future.  What I will say is that each place I HAVE visited have been an experience I will always treasure.

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An Old Photo of Me – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 90

An Old Photo of Me

Well, now this is not a difficult thing for me to find.  It’s just finding the right old photo.   With all the Throwback Thursday photo posts on Facebook, this was not too much of a challenge.  There were quite a few I had in mind, and one in particular that I wanted to post, but I can’t find.

I settled on these two photos of me when I was 2 years old and was still living in Jamaica.  I don’t remember anything about this day, but my Mom would tell me stories about this picture and I’m always fascinated when I look at it.  Here I am in this little red dress sitting on this bench and I almost look like I’m hanging on for dear life.  It’s just too cute.  I especially like that my face is dirty with some food on the side – that just makes me smile.  The one below with me looking up at my Mom is priceless in my eyes and it’s another one of my favorites.  Pure innocence, love and trust.

Life was so simple back then.

There’s not much else to say, except I’ve always loved these photos and I’m glad I got the chance to share them with you.  Thanks for reading.

Your Favorite Childhood Book – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 89

Favorite Childhood Book

I loved reading as a kid, and I still love reading today.  Lots of books come to mind, however, my two favorite childhood books (because I CAN’T just choose one) are Amelia Bedelia and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

I can’t remember what grade it was, but I do remember checking out Amelia Bedelia from the school library.  What a cute and funny read.  Amelia Bedelia is hired by Mrs. Rogers to do some chores around the house.  Mrs. Rogers leaves the list for Amelia Bedelia and Mrs. Rogers runs her errands, or goes about her day.  Amelia Bedelia is many things, and literal is one of them.  Before she started tackling the list of chores, she makes a lemon meringue pie.  Then, she gets to work.  She literally “dresses the chicken” sits down and “draws the curtains” at noon; “puts out the lights” on the clothesline; and “dusts” instead of undust the furniture.  When Mrs. Rogers gets home, she is not happy and is about to fire Amelia Bedelia, until she tries a piece of the lemon meringue pie.  Mrs. Rogers is willing to let it slide and keeps Amelia Bedelia on and vows to be more specific when making her list of duties for Amelia Bedelia.

This was such a funny read, even my Mom loved this book.  Anytime I’d talk to my Mom and mention Amelia Bedelia, she starts laughing and goes right to the dress the chicken scene.  Lots of great memories and definitely one of my favorite books.

I was in Kindergarten when I first saw The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and what I loved about this book was how interactive it was.  It’s the story about how the caterpillar hatches from its egg and eats and eats and eats.  He turns into a cocoon and eventually a beautiful butterfly.  I loved the bright, vibrant colors and we got to see how the caterpillar would eat his way through all kinds of foods:  1 apple; 2 pears; 3 plums; 4 strawberries; 5 oranges; as well as pickles; chocolate cake, cherry pie, and cupcake, just to name a few.  We learned counting in this book, the days of the week and different fruits, sweets, and other foods.

As a kid, it was the vibrant colors that always stood out in my mind.  It always stuck with me.  I also remember the odd shape of the book with the plastic covering and the crackling sound it would make when you opened the book and turned the pages.  Loved the hardcover version.  When Elijah was in Kindergarten in 2010, I was very pleased to see they were still sharing The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Brought me back to my childhood and I was able to share it with my kids.  I was even more excited when he brought home the Scholastic Book Order form and it was available to purchase.  I was a very happy Mom.

We have a whole library of books and we love to read with our kids.

What Is Your Most Proud Moment? – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 53

Proud Moments

Wedding Day 2005.
I like to joke and say Elijah
was the silent witness at the ceremony.

This is a very simple blog post.  There are 3 moments that I hold very near and dear to my heart.  The first is the day I got married.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  We were already engaged for about a year and a half and then we found out in January ’05 we were going to be a family.  So, we decided to get married in the courthouse, and it worked out perfect.  We joke all the time and say that the Man in Black married us, because he looked like Johnny Cash.  He was very serious with us, too.  He sat down with us prior to the ceremony and asked point blank, “Are you serious about this?”  Then he asked again, “Are you serious about this?  This is not something to be taken lightly and if you’re not serious, I will not perform the ceremony.  I appreciated that talk because it showed how much he values marriage.  It was a great ceremony, and we just celebrated 9 years in March.


2005 – Elijah’s first official photo.  It’s amazing how far
we’ve come from that day.

The other proud moments are the birth of my children. It goes without saying that these boys have made my life complete.  Elijah, my oldest, almost didn’t make it, and we call him our miracle baby.  We had a couple scares during this pregnancy.  First, there was the possiblity of him being a down’s baby.  There was a chance he had Trisomy-21, and we had to go over to IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax for further testing.  After taking the Maternal Serum testing, it turned out he was fine, no signs of down’s, but regardless of the outcome, we were going to see the pregnancy to term.  He was a full-term baby, but there were complications on delivery day, which lead to an emergency C-section and he wasn’t breathing when he was born.  Both his lungs collapsed, he had to be revived and was ulitmately flown over to the IWK.  I didn’t get to hold him or hear him cry until he was two days old.  Today, you couldn’t tell he had any complications and he’s about to turn 9 this year.

2008 – Justus makes his appearance into the world.

Justus, our middle child, was very emotional time when it came to his birth.  We were excited, nervous, scared and on pins and needles.  I know I was because all I kept thinking about was 2 1/2 years earlier.  It was another c-section and this time, we all heard a cry.  I cried, hubby cried, the staff in the room cried, and it was the best sound I ever heard.  Justus turned 6 this year, is finishing up Kindergarten and is simply thriving.  He’s a little reserved, quiet and sometimes likes to be on his own, but he is so smart.  He loves to build, draw, color and design.  He fell in love with building blocks at 6 months and would color-coordinate the blocks as if it were second nature to him.  He’s the same way today, and heaven help anyone who tries to mess up his creations.  He can be very quiet, but when he makes his presence known, watch out.  That’s the Taurus coming out of him.  He also has a smile that will melt your heart.

2009 – Isaac at 2 days old.  This is one of
my favorites.  He still makes this face when
he sleeps. 

As for Isaac, our youngest, well, he was always a spit-fire, even in utero.  Again, we had a scare and the possiblity of down’s, so it was back to IWK for further testing, which later showed he was fine.  Isaac’s journey into the world was also interesting.  This was right around the time of H1N1.  The day before our scheduled c-section, it seemed like everyone was getting the H1N1 vaccine (shots) and this ended up being a family affair.  Can you imagine sitting there, one day before my surgery getting the H1N1 shot?  Anyhow, that happened, and the following Friday morning, I was on my way to the hospital.  Isaac came into the world letting everyone know he was here and let his presence be known.  I remember because of the H1N1 fiasco, visitors were only limited to one family member a day, and thankfully, the boys got to see their brother before it was enforced.  Isaac is very fun-loving and always has a smile and a “hi” for everyone.  He feels it’s his job to make everyone smile.  He will be 5 this year, and can’t wait to start Kindergarten in the fall.

So, these are my proud moments; moments that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

My best creations.


Traditions – 100 Day Blog Challenge -Day 21

Traditions

It’s Easter weekend.  This weekend has lots of memories for me.  One of my all-time favorite traditions is watching “The Ten Commandments.”  I can remember every Saturday night sitting in the living room with my family watching this movie.  I called my Mom this afternoon and mentioned it was on tonight.  She actually forgot!!!  The boys aren’t as excited about this.  In fact, they really don’t care.  I’d love for them to be part of this every year, but, I guess I still have time.

At the time I started writing this entry, the show wasn’t on.  The boys started watching, and my oldest was really getting into it.  He was knocked out within 90 minutes of the show, but, at least the seed has been planted.

This got me to thinking about traditions.  We all have them.  Some are very straight-forward; others take time to develop.  The beauty of traditions is that they keep history alive, sparks conversations and creates lots of memories.  

Isaac licking the
banana bread batter


Case in point…keeping with the Easter tradition (as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas), I prepare a turkey dinner with the fix-ins.  Where did I learn this?  From my Mom and Grandmother.  I’d be in the kitchen watching their every move.   Today, it’s my youngest who is my shadow.  He is ALWAYS watching and helping , mixing and tasting, asking lots of questions and ready to jump into the trenches.

We’ve started our own family traditions as well as adopting traditions from our childhood.  There are so many that come to mind, and they keep flooding my brain.  Call them whatever you like, but we each carry a memory and pass it down to our families. It’s how we keep history alive, and I have come to realize this importance now that I am a Mom.

What are some of your traditions?  What memories do you hold dear from your childhood that you have passed on to your families?

It’s said that it takes 21 days to form a habit.  Today is my 21st day blogging – let’s see if this becomes a new habit for me.  Thanks for reading and taking this journey with me.  It’s much appreciated.