Life Lately...

March 1, 2015

Haven't been riding as much as I'd like, but Kona and I still took off for an evening last week - So fast!

Here's a picture I stole from Portia Clark (I think) of us judges for the Skirts A Fire media launch. We were judging several skirts designed by artists, made out of recycled materials. They were really beautiful this year, it was hard to decide! You can see them on display during the festival and should also consider catching a show on March 5-8th.

What you don't see in the photo above is Dexter and Alice hanging off the rails of the staircase nearby. I think people are becoming quite accustomed to me showing up with my "associates" all the time now. 

Same day, I did a quick shoot with New Classics Studio. They're a local start up that curates sustainable pieces for the fashion forward consumer. I was excited to be involved! You can see more shots if you click the link. I fell in love with the skirt I was wearing...

So I bought one.

Also, really excited that they suggested I wear my HUNT AMOR body chain underneath the top - I think the effect is so cool!

 Even managed to catch up with a dear friend this week. We got coffees and sandwiches from Burrow and ate them on a bench.

 Visited Yellowhead Tribal College as literacy ambassador for the Edmonton Literacy Coalition.

Then, devoured sandwiches from District Co. at my Works Gala meeting.

 In between teaching and kids and more teaching and more kids, I am also found wrapped up in my scarf at an Apricity meeting. We're coming down the wire for our March 22nd event at the Jasper Place library! Amor thought my new cell phone case was so hilarious, she took a picture of me.

Same meeting, showing off some goods for our "literacy garden". 

 I actually went to my first performance for Citie Ballet, and I loved it! So contemporary.

For family day, I took my little sister to brunch; taught a student; and then we took the kids to the Indiana Jones exhibit at the Telus World of Science.

The kids had a great time looking at the exhibits and doing the treasure hunt! They were also really stoked about taking home two snakes.

In addition to all this, I've also been filming these parenting panels for Breakfast Television with my two pals, Krista and Jason - Take a peek!

Dex and Alice were playing in the green room while we are filming, supervised by a kind girl assigned to my offspring. Thanks! I love that I can take my kids basically anywhere, and they just fold themselves into whatever is happening. Being a mom isn't the easiest thing at the best of times, and it's certainly challenging when I've got several random things on the go. But, there are so many great people who are here to help me. Including people I meet at the studio, or in a grocery store, or at a media launch.

Edmonton has some really friendly people.

My Little Helper

February 22, 2015

Valentine's Day has come and gone since I've last posted - I marked the day with my usual teaching, a committee meeting, a ski date with some of my favourite dudes, and then a non official dinner. Friends of ours have recently moved into a fantastic new place in one of my top 5 neighbourhoods of Edmonton - Bonnie Doon! We went to go check out the new place and have a nice evening with friends, and we also decided to take transit there. 

The first leg was getting onto the LRT and taking it downtown for a bus transfer. Aside from the bus being somewhat late (6 minutes feels like a long time when you're always expecting it), I was amazed by how fast it was! A 7ish minute ride later, we got off at our stop and walked 2 blocks. Don and I were both carrying bags with dinner goodies, and I was wearing my purse and ukulele. All good. 

We've also had the fun of eating at North53 a few times this past while. It's so delicious and they're also a sponsor for Apricity's Welcome, Baby! fundraiser. Thanks, guys! 

We ordered the whole chicken and afterwards, when they were taking away the carcass, I asked if they could um... wrap it up so that I could make broth at home.

They made me a swan!

See? The next day, with some onions, carrots, and celery.

I don't like to waste. And it has been super yummy to eat all week. I put some macaroni in it and call it a meal.

As the title of this post suggests, this week's post is really about my little helper - Alice!

She's still having some major league 2 yr old tantrums (I'd say we're averaging 3 per day), but I am determined to weather this phase in the hopes that her crazy behaviour results in some new development or brain re-wiring. The main issue is that she wants to do everything "by MESELF", but, as you can imagine, she's not able to do everything herself. This makes her brim over with madness and I wonder whether or not we need to move into a house with an attic so that I could lock her in it.

Strangely enough, once we get on our way and finally leave the house, she has been a wonderful side kick to me while I'm busy doing work. Here she is, hanging out in the corner of a classroom during the 3rd of three poverty discussions I was leading last week (I'm heading up the United Way's youth initiative).

Speaking of kids, the students at Victoria School of the Arts really impressed me! I spoke to three classes that were all engaging in different ways. In one class, a girl actually shared a personal story of her own separation from her birth parents, and the poverty she has lived in. She also revealed that she suffers from depression because of the stress of the difficulties she has had to face. She is 11 years old.

In another class, a precocious boy (another 11 yr old) jokingly said that childhood trauma isn't so bad if you're super rich, like how Batman is doing fine without his parents. I jumped in and pointed out that Bruce Wayne having to transform himself into Batman is actually a manifestation of his coping with his parents' murders. And that becoming Batman, however many people he saves, isn't really a healthy thing. Bruce Wayne has difficulties with friendships, and relationships. Then, this other eager kid shot his hand up, apologized for interrupting, and had to make sure everybody knew that Alfred the butler is an acting father figure to Batman and how that one stable relationship is part of what keeps Batman tethered to the right path. The metaphor still has me smiling.

Then, in an older class with grade 11/12s, a girl had a very progressive solution to poverty. She mused that businesses and schools could partner so that willing participants would be able to work and earn, but still somehow finish their high school diplomas with credits provided for the work they were doing. We really didn't have time to think it out, but she essentially thought that creating an environment where people could upgrade and work at the same time, would ultimately be beneficial to such an individual, so they could increase their skill set and move onto more lucrative employment in the future. It's easier said than done, but I LOVE IT! We discussed how we would need to move a lot of different parts to make such a program successful. Big business owners and policy makers would have to be convinced that this was a good idea, and even after then, it's a long road before you have a system that works. The point is, poverty elimination is going to be a very long road. I'm thrilled that the kids I'm talking to are eager to invest in that journey.

After all my rambling (I'm sure you can imagine...) Alice's treat was a ladies lunch with my Works Gala co-chair, Sydney.

And on an entirely different day, Alice was also very helpful with restocking the cheese (and trying to steal the Jacek chocolates) with Tricia at Cavern one morning.

Then, I finally got the flu that everybody has been having. I was fine one day and then the next I was not. UGH. Good news is that I'm never down for long (years of teaching and being sick has made my immune system really tough and quick to recover). I did, however, need to be at the AGA to see some of the students from Ben Calf Robe school.

Aaron Paquette was teaching one of the workshops and I managed to creep on his rough work. Again, the kids are always the best part - I met Portia, who was sweet enough to ask me for... my autograph! Hilarious!

FINALLY, it was also Chinese New Years this week. Lots of lucky money envelopes exchanged, my kids did dragon dances for me at dinner, and my dad brought over so many oranges for me to give to my students. Much love, all around. 

Feeling lucky. Even with the tantrum management and the flu!

Celebrate Winter!

February 12, 2015

The main theme around here these days is celebrating winter! My sister-in-law, RenĂ©e, and I managed to get a bunch of kids together to hang out at the Winter City Shake Up. We rode on a big ice slide (FUN), the kids guffawed at a magician, and then we roasted marshmallows. 

Check out the aforementioned snow slide!

The kids and I have been continuing our visits to City Hall School, you can see Alice grinning at somebody from under that desk. Getting to talk to grade 1 students has been so uplifting! They tell me about how they are good helpers in their community and ask me questions about the mayor and his family.

I was commenting to this one class about how all moms are really busy people, because we have so much work to do. One little girl in the back shot her hand up and proclaimed, "My mom is the BOSS of my house!" She then drew the conclusion that I too, must the boss of my house. YEAH!

Love it!

I have been lucky enough to get these journal entires from Mrs. Hut (city hall school teacher) afterward.

For Chamber Ball I took this HUNT AMOR prototype out for a spin - It was a big hit! So flattered to wear such a kick ass piece of jewelry. 

Went to see my sister perform in the chorus for Edmonton Opera's Magic Flute. My mom and bro happened to be in attendance as well, so it was a full-on family affair!

Then, in further celebration of winter - SKIING!

Kids had a PD day and were staying home from school one day. 

Fuelling up during errands at District Co. They're one of Apricity's event sponsor's (a fabulous spring party we're throwing to raise money for Edmonton Public Library's Welcome, Baby program). 

Reading my friend's book!

Dex has been sleeping in his Finn hat.

 And, more skiing!

This time it was in the mountains. Got invited by a friend to stay at a cozy cabin, and obviously it took me less than 2 minutes to determine which weekend was free and JUMP ON THAT.

Upon my arrival home, my family came over with take-out to have a casual birthday dinner for my brother's birthday. Since strong brows are in again, I asked my mom (makeup artist) to draw one for me...

This week I've been feeling under the weather, but I still rallied to go see Bears, featuring my darling friend, Bryce. At the reception, I fell in love with Jezebel the dog.

Looking forward to some down time this long weekend! Aside from work, there is actually scheduled FRIEND TIME and we're going to take the kids swimming too. 

Normal people stuff. 


So far, so good.

January 27, 2015

Much to my surprise, my relaxed and happy equilibrium is holding! Sleep is adequate. Cross country skiing continues to be mega fun. I'm back at Pilates to make sure my back doesn't get sore and wacky. Been pedalling to and fro, here and there, with our recent mild weather. Without socks! 

I've been busy with Apricity! It's a committee of super volunteers that I'm on, and we've just delivered our work-baby with the launch of our site and our social media is newly up and running. We're planning a wonderful party for Edmonton Public Library's Welcome, Baby program and I couldn't be more thrilled to be hanging out with these fine ladies, promoting child literacy. 

Before the web could go live, we needed to do head shots. So I dusted off my photography skills and we got the job done. 

Went to the premiere of The Little Deputy, a local short film that Don and I were lucky enough to have bit parts in. It was also the perfect opportunity to reunite with my beloved, Bryce Kulak!  

Amor swung by to help me out with the kids. SOLID FRIEND.

Then, Adrianne and I put on tartan in preparation for the Lassie Burns Dinner. She's wearing my Glasgow 2014 tam and I'm wearing Don's tie from the Lord Provost in Glasgow. 

 We rode bikes to the dinner, and on the way back we had to make preparations for the rainy journey home. My jacket wasn't rain-friendly, so I flipped it inside out.

In other news, Alice got her hair trimmed for the first time.

And had her first kiss from a non-caretaker!

 The Westglen kids were extra sweet the other day, and gave the kids and I some of the best thank you cards I have seen in some time.

We've been going to visit city hall school to talk about community with the grade 1 classes. They asked the BEST questions about the mayor and the family. Yesterday, my favourite was whether or not teaching was important to me. And, a runner up favourite question was whether Don and I slept in the same bed. 


I know I haven't been posting as much, but I'm sure you realize it's because the volume of things in my life is at an all time high. Rest assured, I am well and I am still Miss Sarah of G&B. Just with more competing priorities:) 

Have a great week!

Things To Do For Me

January 15, 2015

In this afterglow of feeling very relaxed and balanced, I've been trying to think of ways to acknowledge and celebrate the small things more often. Usually, I feel like I'm stuck in a never ending obstacle course come marathon! There's no time to reflect or celebrate much... since I'm always thinking about the next thing. 

This week was fantastic! I've been catching up with all my wonderful students about holidays, and am so happy to see their darling faces again. I really, really, love them. 

I've been making Leanne's kale salad and have been eating it every day this week. Greens in the system is a good thing. 

I've also begun doing something just for me. Cross Country Skiing! 

XC skiing has appealed to me for a long time because it's (supposedly) something you can do without any special trip to the mountains or much gear. The sporty stuff you see me wearing is the same stuff I bought for winter running (also new to me). The wind pants are for cycling, but we all know that when I bike, I wear regular clothes. 

So early this winter, I bit the bullet and bought some wind proof insulated pants, a long sleeved running shirt thingy, and a light insulated vest, and also the same version of that vest in a jacket. 

The skis, boots and poles were from last winter. I went once, had very little success with propelling myself forward, and then the winter passed without another effort. 

Enter Gina this year, the brains and beauty behind Ski Life! She is a dear friend and quite amazing. And, has begun instructing others in her area of expertise: cross-country skiing!

I've recruited a few of my friends to take Gina's beginner lessons with me. We went for the first time on Wednesday and everybody is HOOKED! I can't say I'm particularly good at it, but xc skiing is so much more meditative than I ever thought. You get a rhythm. You glide! 

We had a stellar time and can't wait to do it again. 

I've also been winter biking! It's been so warm, I've been able to wear my Bano eeMee and Workhall scarf. 

I've also been having some great meetings this week. Super interesting stuff unfolding in my orbit!

And always, I am a mom first. Getting up early to get Dex ready and off to school, and then this little monkey hangs out with me all morning until (PRAISE) child care comes to assist me with life. I am so grateful to have wonderful kids who can go with the flow and accompany their mom on all her crazy adventures.

(please note that Alice's skirt is an amalgamation of cat faces)

Have a great weekend, all!

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