September 23, 2013

Autumn's here...

We went apple picking this past weekend... celebrate the "official" season change ;)
Apples, pumpkins, sweaters, layers, oranges, reds, yellows, browns, crisp air, colourful leafs, hot tea, apple crisp, apple pie, apple & pumpkin everything, hot chocolate on late evening walks, having the window open at night and being snug and warm under blankets, days getting shorter (feeling cozier), mushrooms, knits, apple picking, halloween, pumpkin picking, pumpkin carving, costumes, christmas planning (oh, yes!), cooler weather foods, extra warm blankets come out of hibernation, halloween candy, pumpkin bread, breaking out light knit scarves, hats & mittens...these are just a few things i absolutely LOVE about autumn....what's your season?

September 20, 2013

This moment...

Inspired by Soulemama

 . . . . . . . . . 
{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .

September 18, 2013

Gift giving on my mind...

Once the Autumn weather rolls around my mind immediately wanders to Christmas...yup...I am weird. I have always started thinking about Christmas gift giving in September. I think it is because I send gifts overseas, so I always have to have things organized early for that so they arrive in time (and I don't have to pay an arm and a leg for speedy shipping). 
This year Christmas will be even more special...Felix will be more aware of what is going on, it might be our last Christmas here for a little bit, and my brother and his fiancee are expecting a little boy in December!
Because Felix will be more aware of everything this year, Justin and I had to finally figure out exactly what kind of traditions we want our family to continue and create for ourselves. I grew up with Christmas on the 24th and we have done that always together as well, but we wanted to include Santa in there too! When I was younger, nothing was decorated for Christmas in the house and we had no tree until the night of the 24th....when we got back from church or a long walk, the "Christ Angel" or "Santa" had come and decorated, brought the tree and left gifts (he is very productive indeed!). Justin grew up with the waking up on the 25th to a mountain of gifts. 
We debated at one point at not making Santa part of it all...we didn't like the idea of essentially writing a list of things you wanted to someone and getting them based on being "good" or "bad" seemed greedy and weird...we were feeling especially dramatic that day ;) 
Then we thought "F it"...we can do what we picked all the things we liked about the traditions we grew up with, got rid of the stuff we didn't like or didn't suit us....and this is what we came up with...
:: every Sunday in December we are going to light a candle on an advent wreath (4 total) and spend some time telling Christmas stories & poems and things we are happy about etc...
:: Keep an advent calendar and open a window every day of December.
:: December 6th we will leave Felix's boots out for Saint Nicholas to fill with nuts, clementines, chocolates and a Christmas book.
:: December 24th is about spending the day with family, playing games, watching a Christmas movie, eating an amazing meal and opening gifts from each other. We want to keep gift giving to a minimum...quality over quantity.
:: December 25th Santa will have come overnight and brought Felix a special gift (which I hope to wrap elaborately to make it look really special and magical).

I think we came up with good ideas and we hope to add to the traditions every year :)

Last week we actually bought our Christmas gifts for Felix....Thomas the train toys...they were 20% off so we thought we would take advantage for Christmas and bought him two engines that he doesn't have yet. Yesterday I placed an order for the rest of his gifts....

These are the ones that he is getting from us on the 24th...
This book has been on my wishlist for Felix for a while now...

Can't beat 20% off! ;)

We are mostly trying to collect all the main eight engines for Felix, but he has a Thomas movie with this character in it that he loves :)

We still have to get a couple of things for his stocking (toothbrush, PJ's, a chocolate Santa and a small book or puzzle)....and that is it...Felix is done! :)

This is his big special Santa gift that he will get on the 25th....

He has been obsessed with Curious George lately...I plan on wrapping all three things together for one big special gift.

For Saint Nicholas day his boots will get filled with nuts, clementines, chocolate (and lebkuchen once we are in Europe) and a couple of Christmas books. I ordered the two above books from for this year...I think he will love them. :)

I also bought my one nieces Christmas gift last night....

 I found the above adorable felt finger puppets on Etsy...I think they will be a big hit :)

Have you started thinking about the holiday season yet? What are your special traditions?

September 11, 2013

Going a little nuts...

I have literally wasted my day off away...
Last night we found out that everyone's water will be shut off in our neighbourhood (major construction has been going water lines are being put in everywhere due to the huge new housing developments in our little area) from 9am until 5pm. Grrrrrrrreeeeeeaaaaaat. My one day off a week (without anyone at home, under foot). The day everything gets shiny and clean in the morning so I can spend the rest of the day feeling guilt free and "relaxing" (I put quotes because I have truly forgotten how to's sad really). I don't handle sudden change well when I have a certain script in my head already. There might have been some swearing....ahem. So, I got up early to have a shower and eat breakfast (and do the dishes at least before the water disappeared) and then apparently spent the rest of the day (it's two now) withering (a *bit* dramatic) away in front of the computer (eating nutella covered frozen waffles (don't worry! they were organic! ;) ....and our sons) and having a 2 hour nap. Mission: Not-So-Much-Accomplished. 
My hours in front of the computer today resulted in my going a bit nuts thinking about the big (hopeful) move to Europe. I am soooo anxious!!! Not anxious as in going to throw up....but anxious as in "I want to goooooo....right nooooooow!!!!". Sighhhhhhhhh.....I am not a very patient person sometimes. My other great accomplishment was adding more things on my amazon least I am not spending's like window shopping! ;)
I hope you have accomplished more then me today?

September 10, 2013

35 things...

I made a list like this before on my previous's funny how things can change in a relatively short is my updated 35 things I would like to do before I turn 35 (...and I realize I only have 1 year and 8 months to do it...WTF? heart just lurched! ;) ).
I am keeping this list simple and (hopefully) easily 40 before 40 list is going to have some crazy wishes in it, but this one, this one I am going to keep achievable (I need to feel accomplished damn it! ;) )

:: live in Switzerland (or Germany)
:: have finished ONE knitting project (see? I really am keeping things simple)
:: be pregnant or have had another babe (still on the fence sometimes...but he's been really well  behaved lately ;) )
:: have gone to an outside theatre or movie (a la orange cinema)
:: pursued/taken a course or attended a birth (other then my own!) for my doula studies
:: stayed overnight in the mountains somewhere
:: get to know more people and have a fun dinner party (we are hermits...seriously....that and lazy at night)
:: go to a fancy restaurant in Switzerland and eat fondu (can you tell that in my mind we are living in Switzerland?) 
:: start going swimming regularly (I don't now, but I do enjoy swimming for fun, plus, it seems like the only kind of exercise I don't hate)
:: own my bicycle and go cycling as a family (again, another form of exercise I don't despise)
:: have a basket and saddle(?) bags on the said bike...ooooh....and maybe orange in colour! 
:: take a cooking class with Justin
:: go to a knitting meet up....or something along those lines...
:: attend a Squam workshop retreat...I had one booked last year, but had to cancel...I was heartbroken...but I firmly believe in things happening for a reason...I do believe a retreat is in my future :)
:: will have lost that last pesky 10lbs (well, I guess that all depends on #3 ;) )
:: have a part time job over in Europe (wherever we end up)
:: make a homemade costume for Felix (be it for Halloween or Fasnacht)
:: potty train my 2.5 year old (this seems like a BIG feat right now)
:: go swimming in lake Zurich
:: create a wall of photos in our apartment
Found this image on pinterest and LOVE it!

:: be living in our own space again...
:: create the most amazing room for Felix EVER! 
:: have our things shipped over from the storage unit to Europe (this all really depends on #1 coming does most of this list actually...)

which brings me to the next point...
:: keep dreaming big and take each day hour by hour 
:: pursue my photography more...
:: spend more time as a family
:: spend more time hugging said family
:: spend more time kissing Justin...what an easy thing to not do enough of once life takes over...
:: watch the Godfather movies...I really want to see what all the hype is about...
:: visit Paris with Justin (oooh la la!)
:: visit Germany 
:: visit Gruyere and eat my weight in cheese!!!
:: visit cookie heaven!

Some from the old list that I still want to achieve...
:: make the perfect macaron (or buy it and eat it while looking at Swiss mountains ;) )
:: own a pair of high heel shoes....and possibly learn how to walk in them see? Some points are frivolous...some are important...and some are just plain me.
What would be on your list? 

* I had a really hard time coming up with 35 things, because honestly, right now, our list is tiny (in a way)....we want to live in Europe, in our own place, with our own things, together, happy and healthy under one roof.....lets throw a view of the mountains in there just in case someone is paying attention ;).

September 6, 2013

Thinking of Autumn weather...

...yup....already....and loving every second of it!

This photo was taken last Autumn at the zoo...Felix took full advantage of his Halloween costume that year (why only wear it one day?!)

Heading to a small town fair tomorrow morning...hopefully this year Felix wont be scared of the rides and the loud noises (last year was a *bit* of a fail ;) ). This weekend weather forecast looks as if Autumn weather has come a bit early and is here to stay...which I am quite pleased about...bring on the knits and ridiculous layering!
Happy weekend to you and yours!

*A grateful thank you to the lovely Swiss Lark for the inspiration on how to make a circle photo crop (always wanted to make one!)....I don't have photoshop so I used this also helpful site instead to give me the step by step for the free picmonkey site (which I use regularly).

September 4, 2013

Why not Germany?

Both photos of Germany I decided to post have markets in them...can you tell I'm a *bit* food obsessed?

How could we have missed this? (add a lot of hand smacking head gestures and incredulous looks at each other)
This was the beginning of our conversation about plan B...which comes up often...we are natural worriers (well, I am, at least). Our plan B was to stay in town, get our own place of course (I am starting to go insane...not anything that my mom is doing in particular, we are just desperate for our OWN space again and our OWN things that we love), bring our things to Ontario from the storage unit in New Brunswick and continue working and then try again next year....and the year after and....well, you get the point. We are worried about the fact that most international schools in Switzerland want a minimum two years of teaching experience. Justin will have just graduated...he does have almost a year in class experience as a special needs assistant teacher, two other degrees (psychology & counseling), a year volunteer mentoring, and a Swiss wife (me! YAY! I count for something! ;) ) that hopefully will all be considered pluses. 
So, in case he gets no job offers due to having no actual in class experience as a teacher's college graduate yet, we are always prepared for plan B. To gain those two years experience while trying not to go insane and still live our lives in non-limbo and then try again. 
So the usual conversation started about plan B....I was having a particular "woe is me" day and declared that I do not want to live another two years in limbo here in town (nothing in particular wrong with this town at is actually cute and I love my job that I have right in town actually)...I just constantly feel like I am waiting for something (Europe!). I basically declared our plan B to be crap....a poor compensation for what we really want. The idea I threw on the table was to widen our net for Justin teaching internationally. We toyed with that idea before...but the fact that we have Felix makes us a bit weary about it...we just want him to have a somewhat stable life, and we really do not know enough about living in such foreign to us places with a toddler. Japan, Dubai, Ireland (Ireland? apparently the Irish do not speak English) came to our minds among many other places.
Then came Germany.
How could we have missed this?
So simple!
Such a good plan B.
It would not feel like a step back, more so sideways. The awesome thing would be that Justin would still be learning the language (as he is learning high German as a base for Switzerland right now). We would still be in Europe. It is gorgeous there, I have some family there, I have been there before and feel familiar with the culture...and I freakin' LOVE Pumuckl!
The minimum teaching experience does not seem to be such an issue for the international schools we looked up in Germany, which bodes well for us and they also seem to have more openings as well. Fingers crossed if Switzerland does not work out this year, that we can get the teaching experience in Germany for a couple of years (and love it there!).
So now, added to the list of schools Justin is applying to in Switzerland in November, there has now been added a list of schools in Germany. 
Moral of the story....plans can change...and sometimes when you *think* you have looked at all the options, a brand new one can pop up! (that our tiny tunnel vision minds apparently completely forgot about)...

ps...Did I mention the Christmas markets????? *Heavenly*

Blogger template designed By The Sunday Studio.