Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best of the Best 2014

It's time for my annual post of my best moments from the past year. It's actually hard to sit back and remember what happened over the entire year so I wouldn't be surprised if I read this list later and realize I missed something.

Best Volunteer Moment:

This is always a tough one but I think I'd have to say wrapping daffodils for the Canadian Cancer Society. What I loved about this event is that we were able to have 6 kids come and help out with the wrapping and they all loved it!

My Two Goofballs

Best Mr. Cole (AKA Ham) Moment:

Hands down it was when he decided to participate in the Hair MassaCure  and raise funds for children with life-threatening illnesses.  We had to dye his hair probably 3 times over that month but he gladly sat through it each time and wore his hair with pride. I almost cried when they shaved his head just because I was so proud of my little man!

He looked so little in that chair! 

Best Miss. Jocelyn (AKA Turkey) Moment:

This little girl had many moments where she made me proud but most of them were in the way she handled herself so there's no photos of those moments! Instead I'll add two photos of her proud sports moments when she obtained her Green level in swimming and came 24th out of 200 kids in her track race.

Best Moment Spent With Hubs: 

This year I think it was when went to New York and went to a Yankees game. It was my first time at a Major League Baseball game and it was a perfect day for it; super hot with a cold beer and pretzel in hand. Great way to spend some time together! Second best moment was on the same trip when we took a 4th of July cruise to watch the fireworks. It was our first time experiencing 4th of July in the States and what a memorable way to do it.


Top 10 Books I Read (in no particular order):

1. Man - Kim Thuy
2. The Opposite of Loneliness - Marina Keegan
3. The Rosie Project/The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simsion
4. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth - Chris Hadfield
5. The Giver - Lois Lowry
6. Dead Lions - Mich Herron
7. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
8. The Queen of Tearling - Erika Johansen
9. Come Barbarians - Todd Babiak
10. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

Best Trip I Took:

I think the trip I enjoyed the most was going to Jasper with Kari, my friend of 33 years. It was such a great chance to catch up, hit the spa, and enjoy some wine in front of the giant fireplace. The best family trip was to Pickerel Lake in Ontario where Hub's family has a cabin. It was wonderful to spend some time with our extended family and for the kids to experience the joys of the lake (tubing, kayaking, and fireworks on the beach).

Perfect spot for a picture!

Best Nerdy Moment:

Too hard to pick. At Calgary Expo we got to meet Sigourney Weaver (she's beautiful!), some hobbits and dwarves, and Tiggy and Bobby from Sons of Anarchy. All were super memorable and may have led to a little squealing. I'll add the photo of the 3 that made me laugh the most though...the dwarves!

They made my sides hurt from laughing!

Best Concert I Saw:

Looking at the concert schedule early in the year I would have guessed that it would be Arcade Fire but surprisingly it wasn't! I had a lot of fun dressing up for the concert and they put on an amazing show. I finally got to check them off my MUST SEE list but they didn't steal the show for me like Jack White did. I was so blown away by his concert I'm not sure I could put it into words. Closest I can come is to say that I felt like I was in the presence of a rock God. 

Loved his all-blue set!

Best New Restaurant I Tried:

I'm going to have to go with Woodwork on this. Any restaurant that came make me drool over brussel sprouts has to be a winner. Pretty small place so you need reservations but check them out, everything we had that night was delicious. 

Best Time I Spent With Friends:

Has to be my birthday! I had so much fun eating at Phoenicia (soooo sad it has since shut down) and when the DJ came on we had the entire dance floor, and basically restaurant, to ourselves. Everyone took a turn dancing with the belly dancer and cutting a rug on the dance floor. It was such a fun night. *Don't worry friends, I won't post the pictures of everyone belly dancing!*

Best Personal Moment:

I think my favourite moment for myself was being a part of the last FIERCE Awards. Mainly it was the actual meeting of the nominees that reminded me of how many people are out there doing great things that we would never have known about if it wasn't for Tamara pulling this event together. Many of their stories touched me and gave me a little kick in the pants to keep going with my own work.

That's about it for 2014. Looking forward to a great 2015, spent with family, friends, and my favourite non-profits! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Kids Kindness Advent Calendar

Several years ago I purchased this wooden Advent Calendar we use to count down the days until Christmas. Each year I fill it with small pieces of candy, cool rocks, or small toys.The kids love opening the doors to find out what little treasure is inside that day and I like that I can customize it to what their interest currently are.

This year I decided to things a little differently. Today when they opened door #1 they found a treat along with an Act of Kindness challenge to complete. 

For the next 24 days I've selected several easy, and a few more difficult ways for the kids to celebrate Christmas through acts of giving and kindness.

I've given the kids challenges such as: Tell two people what makes them special, make a card/craft and give it to the shy kid in your classroom, pick up garbage you see around your school, pick 10 books you don't read anymore and donate them to charity, and call a relative you haven't spoken to in a while. 

At the end of Christmas I'll post a note letting you know how it goes. By the end of the 24 days I'm hoping the kids will want to continue on with these actions as they do not need to end when Christmas arrives, instead they can be practiced daily as a way of life. 

Happy Holidays!