We just returned from one of the best places in the world, I'm sure.
Sugar Beach, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii...
Everyone I know that has been to Hawaii raves about it, and now I know why.
I loved this trip because:
1) everthing was sooooo family friendly
2) cultural, yet americanized (I felt safe with my kids there in just about any location, with both boys being sick while away I felt comfort in knowing that a medical care system on par with being at home was available to us...this is just different when travelling with your kids than when you are solo, and something that hadn't really entered my stream of consciousness until being there)
3) uniform, great weather (hot, but not too hot, a bit of wind, lots of sun & blue skies)
4) our condo's location (in a more quiet area, fronting on literally miles of beach, relatively calm ocean, central and relatively close to everything)
5) the view from our lanai
6) the sounds from our lanai (specifically the waves crashing on the beach)
7) I had no preconceptions of what the holiday should be, other than relaxing (and boy, did that deliver)
8) laying in the sun
9) swimming in the pool
10) daily walks along the beach, babe on back
11) making sandcastles
12) being together in one place as four
13) watching the whales (fascinating)
14) the sunrises and the sunsets

I did haul my big camera around with me quite a bit, but I actually didn't get it out and take as many pics as I thought I would. Photo opportunities abound on Maui...here are a few of the pics I did snap (sort of wishing I had taken more?!).

catching a humpback mid-breach - spectacular to see in person!
one of my favourite captures of the whole trip (love the colours & composition...I sat very patiently waiting for this guy to poke his head above the water and I totally lucked out and caught him) - sea turtle
our first morning - sunrise (the colours really are that spectacular...I did no editing other than to resize for web) 

building sandcastles was a fav activity for sure

view out over Lahaina harbour 

surfers (man & sea turtle) at Ho'okipa Point - I could have sat and watched the waves, the surfers and the turtles here for hours...

a bunch of surfers waiting to catch the "big one"

back at Ho'okipa - watching the windsurfers at dusk

The Plantation Course - Kapalua (oldest golf course on Maui) - stunning views...a lot in the estates surrounding the course will run you a cool 1.5 million

beautiful vegetation at the golf course

these trees were so interesting

I loved Maui...I could have stayed for a much longer time (I think I could actually live there, lol)...and I hope with all my heart that sometime in the future I will be able to return.

Another post with some of the camera pics I took coming soon.




I just wanted to stop in today and say hello!
You may have noticed a decreased presence here on my blog...
I feel like I should explain a bit.
As I have written previously, I chose EMBRACE as a word to represent and guide my 2012. Life is so fleeting...moments are gone in a blink of an eye and I want to remember and savour every single one. The big moments for sure, but the small things more.
While I found my blog a great place for recording little moments, it was time consuming, and I never seemed to get all the stories told I wanted...and some of that computer time was eating up time I could be spending more of those moments with my family. I always (and still do) write stories on the blog primarily for my own need, whether it be to remember, vent, reflect...but at the back of my mind was all of you, my blog-followers. I didn't (and still don't) want to let you down...it got me thinking.
This year I am embarking on a somewhat "old-fashioned" way to record the little stories - a daily pen & paper journal. So far, so good. I find just a few minutes every day to jot down what I want to remember. As for the photos, I have found my iPhone to be a simple yet amazing way for me to capture the little things of daily life (and to let go of the quest to capture our life "perfectly"). It is serving its purpose exactly as I had imagined...and for that reason is worth every single penny I spent on it! Its not that I have given up on my "big" camera...I am just re-purposing how it will be used in daily life. I am not giving up on you, either! I will continue to post here, but less frequently!
If you are interested in where daily life takes our family, you can find me on instagram (my user name there is jmdcreate). If you don't have an iphone, but still wish to see what's going on in my instagram feed, try this link (then click on my user name).
I'm off to embrace my new process for daily recording and give my kiddos some hugs and kisses :) (a big day around here, B insisted he wear gotchies today!).

- me out for a run on the night the cold snap hit...brrr!

O-man begging for a walk.

- S enjoying his bath (and me enjoying him enjoying his bath)

- B saying "no pictures, Mom"
-out for a night-time walk

- freaky January weather (water running down the street?!)

- embracing my commitment to exercise

- tea becoming part of my daily rituals

- B coloring and making "B's" (really into that right now)

Until next time!




2012 is my year to embrace.
Literally and figuratively.
Fully and completely.
With all my heart, mind and soul.

Embrace a continually more healthy lifestyle, embrace returning to being a "working mom", embrace my imperfections, embrace the big moments, and all the little everyday moments in between.
Embrace the busy, the quiet, the sad, angry, happy.
Embrace positivity and action while banishing negativity and inactivity.
Embrace those that I love more and wrap them in all the love I am capable of giving, be it physically or spiritually.
Embrace continuing to grow as a person and striving to be the best me possible.
Embrace all that 2012 will bring to my life.

PS: Thanks to my littlest man who decided it was a great idea to embrace his big bro as he sat and squished him into the little brown chair...perfectly timed to add to this post :)




Funny thing about being mid-thirties...
I have a pretty good knowledge of exactly who I am...
So, when going through my photos to start compiling my December Daily today, I was not all that shocked to see many of what I term the "Christmas bokeh" shot. Let's just say this little thing totally reaffirmed that I know myself well...and that I have a eensy-weensy addiction to the "Christmas bokeh".


December Daily


So by now you know me. You know I love the idea of projects, but seem to neglect actually completing them...
I've been doing a pretty terrible job of my December Daily...mostly due to the fact that I didn't set up anything before December began...and all of a sudden it is almost over! But I have been trying to pick up my camera a bit more this month, so I'm actually ok with it. (Yay! Go me & my new lower expectations!)
This was one of my captures today.
Today, I want to remember:
- having S "help" me wrap the remaining presents (read - tear paper and chew on bows)
- having S "talk" away to me as I snapped this pic, hence his funny facial expression
- how stinking cute I think these jammies are
- the time just the two of us spent on the floor in front of the xmas tree, playing, giggling, cuddling & listening to xmas carols...the most relaxed I've felt since being home from BC!
- to adjust my camera settings (keep bumping up the ISO for the evening/nighttime pics and forgetting to put it back down again in better light...grrr!)
- some is better than none! (in regards to recording/capturing memories)

December is just going WAY too fast around here!
Hope you are all enjoying the season :)


Poor Boy!


A day of sewing and trying to catch up on the to-do list...it ended up being a bit of an exercise in futility if I'm completely honest. But that is another story for another day.

I was attempting to help a friend with some digital files (I couldn't figure it out myself so had to google a tutorial...I can not imagine a world without google!).

This is the file that I was playing with, and I thought I would include it here as poor ol' Oscar gets a bit "neglected" here on the blog.

He is chilling out on B's bed just as my hubby was putting B to bed (they were cleaning up the massive block spill located immediately next to bed)....with his Christmas toy. He managed to riffle through all the shopping bags that we brought home that day and found his toy, helped himself, and carried it around with him all evening. He totally saw me going to snap the picture, and I'm sure he put on his very best "feel sorry for me" face just for the camera. We're glad you like your toy, O-man!




I just freakin' LOVE mountains.

This is the view "from the road" somewhere between Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek, AB.
I remember when this was my view every day on the way home from work.
Have I said yet that I LOVE mountains?
So glad I was the geek with the camera shooting through the windshield as we drove by...love the contrast of the season in this part of the world...the warm golden browns of the dry, windy Southern Alberta foothills with the cool blue, snowy mountains on the horizon.
Miss this view.