Thursday, March 8, 2012

Marching forward

We'll start off with a few pictures of what the girls have been up to...

Edie and our model Queenslander, a gift from Tim's previous employer upon our departure.

Celia's new favorite hangout, unfortunately with a new favorite passtime of unscrewing bolts. The combination of extremely strong fingers and shoddy hardware spells disaster.

Hello from Saskatoooooooooooooon.

Saskatoon sounds way cooler if you pronounce it in a ghost voice.

It's been a long while since we've written, and I use the term 'we' loosely. At some point you will hear the voice of my wonderful husband come out of a Team Jardine post, but not for now. He's a busy man, a busy and happy man. I'm also busy and happy...and writing blogs apparently.

We've said goodbye to Auntie Leds this last last weekend and we do miss having her around. We love her so much and she also happens to be quite handy, have exquisite taste, and makes a valiant effort to stretch a dollar. Celia now has a purple room, as opposed to the boy-blue room she had before, both girls now have chalkboards on their walls (Edie's in the shape of a dollhouse and Celia's in the shape of a star), there's an additional chalkboard in the kitchen, and a new handrail in the stairwell leading to the basement. Now it would sound like maybe all we did was house stuff, but we did lots of other things too. Sliding, skating, movies, puzzles, painting, reading, all pretty fun stuff to undertake with the girls. Auntie Leds also participated in our nightly Dancin' in the dark danceoff, showing off her lovely moves.

So, although this sounds random, and we wouldn't believe us if we didn't live here, but Saskatoon is amazing. Seriously, and here's a comparison you won't hear often, Saskatoon is a lot like Brisbane, a city which we also loved. And here's why:

Sun factor: Brisbane is sunny. So much so that when it's overcast for even 2 days straight, people start moping. Saskatoon- the same. Though there is a roughly 40 degree Celsius difference between the two locations at the moment, the sun is usually shining in both places (though not at the same time, right?). And sun shining when it's freezing out is not so bad, I would even go as far to say that it's quite lovely.

Growth factor: There are more people moving here then there are moving away. Saskatoon is eerily similar to Brisbane in this respect, probably the reason that we've ended up in both cities (we're following the gold rush apparently). I'm guessing that original Brisbanites and Saskatonians (wait, not the original, in both cases that demographic has been almost completely annihilated, perhaps the 'latest settlers' is more pc?) probably feel quite similar about the crazy growth that both of these places have experienced over the past decade- invaded and grumpy. There are certainly advantages to boomtown like growth, like an economy, but given that both of these cities were essentially farming towns yesterday, there are small town to big city challenges that are familiar the world over. This usually looks like english speaking white people complaining about how our immigrant cab drivers can't speak english. Gah society. Gah.

Family factor: The recent growth in both places has drawn families. Both Brissy and S'toon have picked up on this and are very family-friendly spots. Given that I've written about all of the family fun stuff that you can do in Brisbane for the past 4 years, I'll fill you in on some favorites in Saskatoon so far.

a) Free public skating on outdoor rinks all over the city, free skate borrowing too. Seriously- what more could I ask for? I pay for parking and the city foots the bill for the amazing time that we have, everyday, all winter long if we wanted. Edie LOVES skating, Ceeley LOVES being pushed around in the stroller on the ice, we're all happy. And if you ever get a chance, check out how many people are smiling while ice skating, especially when we're talking families. It has to be one of the happiest places on the planet. You can't help but be happy because practically everyone is smiling like they just won the lotto.

b) The farmers market is handy and hosts a story-time session every Wednesday morning. We've hit it up a few times and it's great. Only problem is containing Celia who can't sit still for a minute. She takes advantage of my distraction and makes for anywhere that she can get a good head start on me. Cheeky.

c) The city is full of walking trails and parks, it's easy to get out and about. And hey, now that it's warming up we're actually meeting other people outside. It's great!

and since I haven't had a good rant in a while...

LFL Factor: Both Saskatoon and Brisbane (well, Gold Coast) have controversially picked up LFL franchises over the past two years. It's been all over the papers here for the last few weeks, it was all over the papers in Brisbane before we left. What is the LFL? The Lingerie Football League. Ummmm, this is the lamest excuse for a sport since mud wrestling! Seriously what actually brings LFL teams to a city other than the blatently obvious, which is men wanting to watch women do just about anything in their underpants? We're not talking love of sport here. Let's just say that this recent addition to the sporting culture in both cities is one of the lesser family-friendly aspects of these otherwise lovely places. But you know, as it stands, someone or some group in this city thinks that it's a good idea. I'm just putting my neck out there to say that someone will probably be well paid for this, but not likely the shielas chucking a footy around in their skivies. Boo society. Boo. Thumbs down to our very sad desperation and insatiable craving for entertainment, no matter what it is. The real question is how to say no when I get that recruitment call...

Daylight savings Factor: Weird hey? Tim and I haven't had to switch a clock for daylight savings in over 4 years. We may never change one again!

Of course, Brisbane can't boast that Farley Mowat grew up there. Saskatoon can. We think this is cool as we're only just discovering his literature...Now I know what the fuss is about. Check out 'People of the Deer' if you're just getting started.

Celia turns one this week. What a whirlwind of a first year! I think that we can all say (including her if she could actually articulate) that we'll gladly put this one behind us, and that things are getting better all the time. She's got a few chompers, is pretty steady on her feet now and is starting to come out on top of the piggy pile every now and then, meaning, she can hold her own in the surprise tackles from Dee. In her own words, bananananan dadada, mamamama, bath night.

Looking a lot like her sister at this stage...

From August/September 2009

It's starting to thaw up and we've been pleasantly surprised by what was under the snow in our backyard. A lovely firepit and garden beds. Great! Although it's sloppy out there now we're already starting to explore and spend some QT out there. Since sliding and skating have become impossible in the span of a week we've had to start exploring other alternatives. Backyard adventure is a good one. Meeting neighbors is another fun thing happening since everyone and their dog/dogs are kicking out of hibernation mode. It's lovely to experience that shedding of winter again, we missed it in Brisbane. Opening up the windows in the house for the first time since the Fall to let that Spring air in cannot be rivaled. Ahhh, it's good to be home.

We hope that you are all doing well. We've got scads of new pictures up, check them out for a good chuckle.

March 19, 2012

Love from Team Jardine

PS. Great news! Team Davis (Tim, Lindsay, Joeley Man, and now Miss Amity) our wonderful friends that we made in Brisbane are currently relocating back to the Northern Hemisphere, to wonderful Michigan State! We are so excited for them, for being closer to their families and for Tim and his new job, and for the potential for some great roadtrips to come! YAYA!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another good one

Sorry for the lack of pictures and time investment into a post lately, it's on the list because there are some great stories and pictures to come.

However, I didn't want to forget this little quip...

I could hardly contain my laughter this morning when Edie brought a stack of storybooks out to the living room to read saying, 'awwww Mom, all of my books are vegetarian' with a big pout on her face.

Where does she come up with this stuff??? And how does she know that vegetarian is the less desirable option?

Much love friends,