The Best of 2015

After having read this post by a blogger I follow, I thought it fitting to follow suit and reflect on the top 15 things/moments/experiences of 2015. Some of these were huge things, others more mundane, but altogether these made my year.

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Our first visit to the Tett and the Isabel. These were actually two separate occasions, but they’re in the same complex and together make up Kingston’s newest creativity hub. We went to watch the KSO play at the Isabel in February, then attended the Tett grand opening this May. I still can’t believe we have such amazing spaces in our city.

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Andy’s birth this March. Hands down the biggest event of the year. This little guy has changed our life forever, and we could not be more thankful for him.

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Having my poem featured on GOODJust for fun, I participated in a little poetry challenge online. I wrote an acrostic poem on parenthood.

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Winning a ticket to the 21CLI conference in Hong Kong via #whatisschool. For the last year or so I’ve been really into twitter chats as part of my own professional development. I’m really excited to attend this conference in February 2016.

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Watching the Jays vs. the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Kelvin had a work meeting down in Houston this May, so we made it a family affair. How we came to actually attend this game was pretty random, but it was definitely one of the most memorable, electric experiences of the year.

The Live Sent sermon series. We are blessed with an amazing pastoral team at our church, and this sermon series really challenged us to think about the vision of our church and how we are to go about our daily lives missionally as people of faith.

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Witnessing the marriages of some of our good friends. It is a joy to share life with those around us, and it was an absolute honour for us to have had the opportunity this year to see so many of our friends commit to serving and loving each other for the rest of their lives. These weddings took us far and wide, from within Canada, to the States, and even to Spain.

Joining the KFPL board. I talk about our local library system a lot. I absolutely love what they’re doing. I’ve always enjoyed taking on new roles, and this is one that I’ve wanted to do for a while. It’s only been a few months and already I’m learning so much about governance and about the shifting role of libraries today.

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Moving into our new house. This August, we ventured to the edge of suburbia for a little more breathing room. It’s been an adjustment, but we are settling in nicely and really loving making the space our own.

Planning my very first Edcamp here in Kingston. Ever since attending my first edcamp in 2011, I’ve been wanting to host one here in town. With the time off from work, I was finally able to get it done! Hoping this will become a yearly event.

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Our trip to Europe. I could probably fill a top 15 list from this trip alone, but hands down this was one of our favourite vacations yet. There’s something other-worldly about Europe that is so hard to replicate here in North America. We spent time in Spain and in England, and though they couldn’t have been more different, we enjoyed them both.

Discovering podcasts. I know podcasts have been around for a long time, but I just started listening to them this fall. Now I can’t stop. I listen to them all the time. Here are some faves.

Reading Tim Keller’s Every Good Endeavour. This book has really broadened my understanding of what it means to integrate faith and work. I’ve loved the discussions that have come out of this, and I cannot wait to finish it with our small group.

Finally subscribing to Darling. This was one of my treats to myself on Black Friday. I fully support the mandate of Darling and I am so happy that  it now comes to my mailbox every 3 months. Pages and pages of goodness that truly feed my soul.

Netflix with Kelvin after Andy goes to sleep. One of my favourite times of day (other then going to sleep) is when Kelvin and I get to hang out, cook dinner, eat, and watch a show together. We’ve worked our way through lots, including Selling New York and Worst Cooks of America.

And there you have it – the Top 15 of 2015. Here’s to reflecting on an amazing year, and looking forward to the next one!

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18.

Our once lazy little munchkin is starting to take initiative! He is actively grabbing for things now, and he has been going to town on some of his cloth books. I am starting to think that it’s time to move him up to more interesting toys – things that will encourage his exploration more. Maybe things that move? Or things that make noise? Perhaps he will like my recorder.

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He’s also turning into quite the chatty kiddo, especially in the mornings. I have absolutely no idea what he’s saying, but I do try to affirm his vocalizations with the odd “Oh yeah?” and “Mm hmm”. Should I be doing more to encourage this behaviour?

He falls asleep quite easily now at night, often in really strange positions. Earlier this week, he slowly made his way out of view of the monitor. We found him at the foot of the crib, perpendicular to where he was, with his little feet barely inside the crib. Last night, he managed to rotate 45 degrees and fell asleep clinging on to one of the crib slats with his right hand and with one little foot sticking out. Part of me really wants to take pictures of this, but his room is pretty dark, and I have zero desire to wake our munchkin up with a flash.

Today, for the second time since Andy was born, we left him with grandma and grandpa so that Kelvin and I could go out on our own. We headed to nearby Gananoque for the matinee performance of Pirates of Penzance at the Thousand Islands Playhouse. We absolutely love this little playhouse (I mean, you can dock your boat there and watch the show…how sweet is that? Now if only we had a boat…and a license…) and always enjoy the time that we spend there. This show (which closed today) was particularly special, because the Artistic Director adapted it to take place in the Thousand Islands!

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We are heading off on Monday for 10 days in the US so packing really needs to begin. Alas, Andy has outgrown almost all of his shorts, and we need to buy new ones and do laundry before I can really think about packing. This will be our longest stretch away with the little guy. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will all be okay, and that we will last without doing laundry!

And an update from my end – success was had with both the library board and the Awesome Kingston grant! I anticipate my first board meeting in September, and our edcamp team now has money to work with through the July micro-grant from the Awesome Kingston trustees. Yippee!

On the flip side, I also had a mini meltdown this week due to a deep dissatisfaction with my current fitness level. I had been deluded to think that I was doing okay, when truth be told, I was eating like crap and not working out remotely enough. Motherhood is not all rainbows and lollipops, I’ll have you know. Part of this meltdown involved a run at 12:30 am, after which I did not stretch, and for which I am now paying the price. Hotheadedness never pays. Anyways, my in-laws are thankfully coming with us on this trip, so grandpa is available for short babysitting sessions when gym visits need to happen. I am infinitely grateful for them.

And now, to clean my main floor…

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Despite being sick all week, Andy has been such a trooper. His hacking cough and ridiculously congested nose haven’t kept him up too much at night (so thankful for this!) but he is a little bit more lethargic than his usual self. We’ve spent the week in Toronto and will be attending some weddings this weekend, so he’s had quite a busy schedule! Though it’s always nice to be away, it’s also made me realize just how much I enjoy being at home in Kingston :) Also, I realized that I never want to have a sick child when I’m away from Kelvin.

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One thing that I miss so much about living here (other than Sun Sing See) is having a piano. We can’t fit a piano into our current home due to lack of wall space, but it’s definitely something I hope Andy will come to love. We made sure to get lots of piano time in this week. At this point, I think Andy is just ambivalent towards it.

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When we went to the doctor’s on Monday, we weighed this little guy, and he is sitting at a whopping 17 lb 4 oz. What a little chunker! But as much as we rag on him for being so chubby, we love that he’s as sturdy as he is. He’s starting to really push the limits of his travel crib, though. We have the mini version, and I think Kelvin is seriously considering getting the full-size. We shall see.

IMG_0969-1As motherhood becomes more real to me (sometimes I look at myself holding Andy in the mirror and I can’t fathom that he is actually our child, and not just a baby that I’ve borrowed from someone to play with…) I find myself seeking out blogs written by mothers. This week, I stumbled upon Chriselle Lim’s blog, and I was so touched by her candidness with the ins and outs of her pregnancy and the first few weeks. I will never be as chic as her, but I can definitely appreciate what she is doing and how she is balancing her work responsibilities with her motherly duties.

Two pieces of exciting news on my end:

1) I had mentioned two weeks ago that I had sent out some applications. Well, on the community front, my name was forwarded on to City Council for recommendation to our local library board! I absolutely love our library and what they’re doing (which I talk about briefly in this post) and am so excited for the possibility of being part of the team that sets its strategic vision for the next few years! There is talk of a new branch being built in a neighbourhood that is dear to my heart, so what a wonderful time to be involved! (On the professional front, I didn’t get the position that I applied for, but a new position has opened up which I think is much better suited for me, and I will be applying for it before it closes at the end of August!)

2) I am planning an edcamp in Kingston this fall and I recently applied for a micro grant through Awesome Kingston (so many applications lately, it seems). I heard from them today and we’ve been invited to pitch at their next pitch party! It’ll be happening in just under a week (Thursday at 7 at the Marine Museum) and if we are successful, we will get $1000 for our project. I’ve been following Awesome Kingston for quite a while and have wanted to plan something wonderful that they can feel proud to back. I hope this is that something wonderful :)

And last but not least, for something random: I want to pick up some sweet leggings from this Toronto-based company.