We are all pretty happy and healthy here. Kids are growing and thriving, Tim and I are feeling pretty good about life in general- there's always an underlying yearn for home, but we can squash that one pretty easy with a good walk along the river, or fantastic camping trip, something we did a lot this year for the former, and knocked out of the park with the latter in May.
Tim and I had our 10 year anniversary 2 days ago, unfortunately a nasty cold bug and oversupply of meat at the present has prevented us from celebrating by eating out at Kelly's Cafe with the girls as we did last year. We have spent the week home (all of us, which is pretty unusual and pretty fantastic), and are working through the bounty of food in our fridge from the holidays. And blowing our noses. We'll take a raincheque on the celebration. We'll find ourselves in Bermuda in February, which might provide a good opportunity for a dinner out. I told Edie the other day that I hope that when she's married to someone for 10 years that she feels the way that I do now. Pretty fantastic. Keep up the good work Mr Jardine.
In February this year we took our annual Family Day weekend trip to see Solomon and Renee at their camp up north. It is always a great time, this year it got bumped up another couple of notches by inviting a few fellow cycling enthusiasts to fat bike the miles of trails surrounding the camp, along with hanging out there with the family. It was bliss. The weather was very warm for northern Saskatchewan, and the riding was superb. We are planning on repeating the adventure again this year with a few more folks. Riding a bike through a silent and snowy forest is unlike anything I've done before. I highly recommend it. The only washing facility on the property (remember, no electricity or running water) is a sauna. Again- bliss. There is a certain freedom you feel when in the middle of the woods, after a hard day of riding/labour, when you've cooked yourself to the point of having to leave the sauna, that the temptation to run naked back to the cabin is such that everyone does it. And no one cares. Freezing snow on hot feet...
In May of this year, we finally made a point to arrange a trip to meet up with our friends the Davis's who we lived near, and got to love, in Australia. They now live in Ann Arbor Michigan. Tim had the opportunity to attend a conference in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and we decided that this was our chance to reunite with the Davis clan. They agreed, and we made lots and lots of travelling plans. A few things we learned- 1) Edie cannot tolerate long car rides. She's inherited her dad's car sickness gene. Guess who had to ride in back? you got it- Mom. 2) Bikes, while a nuisance to clip on and off of the car while travelling for 3 days straight, were awesome to have while camping. And 3) Lake Superior is no water body to mess with. On our departure day, the Davis's decided to bail early so as to get home in one day. The girls and I puttered for the morning as Tim was giving his talk that afternoon. Wouldn't you know we got caught up in a freak storm that blew in off the lake, completely soaking everything, just before I had to pack it. This was no small storm- it took down a tree a few campsites down from us, and tore awnings off of campers- debris flying everywhere for almost 2 hours. The girls and I waited it out in our car, until I felt like it was safe enough to start to try to pack our wet, wet campsite. I was not a very happy wife while packing. And less happy to have to unpack it all again in a Super 8 parking lot later in order to get it dry enough to travel home with. But really, the fun and freedom of camping with the kids together with the Davis's was worth it a million times over.
We had a wonderful surprise late in July with the arrival of Brian Fry! Very exciting to us, you'd have to go back to our 2009 blog posts to see that he was once a weekly feature in our house on Yarranabbe St. He's originally from the US, was lured to Brisbane (partly by us) to finish out his career at Griffith University, and still drives the car we sold him when we left. We're now trying to lure him back to North America to retire because we like him so much. We had a great visit with him, albeit short, as he wanted to get to the mountains to hike around a bit before heading to Connecticut to visit his brother, before flying back to Brisbane. A whirlwind, but so wonderful. We even have a children's book collaboration happening as an outcome. Will keep you posted on that!
We spent most of August again in Nova Scotia. Beaches, beaches, beaches. Family, family, family. That about sums it up. We had a new addition to the family this year with Baby Lucas born to Sarah and Justin in February. He's a continuation of the miracle that my sisters life has been, and is. A little young to appreciate the family get-together, but he'll come around.
Christmas was good in the household. Lots of books, music, lego, playmobile...One of my favorite gifts was an original Edie Jardine story called "The Mother Who Never Got Warm". Complete with pictures, and based on reality, save for the exploding, overheated child at the end. I am rarely warm, and definitely make my kids wear more than their counterparts when it comes to winter clothes, probably influenced by how cold I always am. It's a great read. We also introduced the kids to Home Alone this year and other Christmas classics. It's fun that they're at an age that they can start to appreciate the things we were crazy about when we were young.
Edie's corner: Hi, it's Edie and I'm 8 years old. I have dental problems so I need braces in February or March, I'm okay with that, but it's not the best thing that ever happened.
I'm doing good in school, although right now it's still Christmas break.
I got a lot of awesome stuff for Christmas and I love the presents I got, including: A Shopkins 20pack, a really good book, lots of lego, a monthly book for the next year from my parents, etc.
Hope you have a good 2017!
Lol (Lots Of Love), Edie
Some pictures that capture our year
Best wishes! We love you!