4 days until Faruq arrives...

It has been a wonderful three weeks for Hayden and I on the coast but we both miss daddy soooo much !!

Faruq and I have decided to take a week on our own. Kind of a second honeymoon before our new bean arrives as it maybe a very long time before we get the chance again. Hayden will stay here with Grammie and Grampie for the week then Faruq will fly out to collect him at the end of August.

We plan on watching lots of movies, eating out every night at our favorite restaurants and just enjoying some quiet time together...we might actually be able to start and finish a whole conversation in one sitting.

The weather hasn't been good or bad on the coast the last few days...the skies threaten rain everyday but we don't ever seem to get it. It's actually nice as it was uncomfortably warm for me the lat three weeks.

I have managed to finish all 4 books that I brought on vacation so have asked Faruq to make a pit stop at Chapters before he comes out on Tuesday. I need something for the drive home as Faruq isn't much of a talker.

I have started lots of Digital layouts while I have been here but not really finished any of them. I did manage to design our baby announcement so now all we need is the picture and vital stats when the bean arrives.

Heading out this afternoon to a few of the local artists on the coast...there is amazing talent here and I always manage to find some wonderful treasures.

Chow for now !!!

Time flies...

When you are in paradise....It is hard to believe that we have already been on the Sunshine coast for two weeks.

Hayden is so happy here...he has the run of wonderful backyard, beach and playground just up the road. This is still the kind of place that people don't really worry about there kids when they are playing outside. Kids can be kids !!

Every time we visit it really makes me rethink our decision for iving in a big city. I finally have Faruq convinced that we should relocate here in a few years if not sooner.

The Sunshine Coast is about an hour from Vancouver but is only accessible by ferry which suits the locals just fine. They have so many quaint shops with lovely local crafts but also have Starbucks and a Tim's so you can still get a fix if you need it.

The population is getting younger with lots of young families trading in the hustle and bustle of city living for the slower quality of life that the coast can offer.

We are just waiting for Faruq to get here next week to join us for a family time-out before heading back home at the end of August.

Chow for now !!

Lordy, lordy..

Gosh two months have gone by since my last blog entry...It's been a busy few months for us.

Hayden turned 4 and had a wonderful party with his friends at the Science Centre. Our good friends from Edmonton came down and it was great to visit with them.

School finished and I think we are all glad for the break. Come September our little preschooler is going 5 afternoons so that will be a big change in his little life. I'm sure he will enjoy it as all his friends are also going 5 afternoons.

Faruq has been busy, busy, busy at work and will be glad for the break in a week. He is planning on taking 3 weeks off so we can take a family vacation through BC and Alberta. I know Hayden will enjoy the time with him as much as I will.

I finally finished my latest photography course at Sait. While it was very informative I was tired of the classes and really needed the break. I had hoped to take one more course before our new little bean arrives in November but unfortunately they changed the dates of the course and my due date falls right in the middle. So I will wait until the spring to resume my studies.

I'm now 23 weeks ago with what will likely be my last pregnancy. While I have had really no morning sickness I have been having a lot of lower back and groin pain as the baby is breach. The little one seems to like to do a lot of tap dancing which has caused a bit of discomfort for mommy.

12 week scan

18 week scan

Faruq and I celebrated our 14th Wedding anniversary on June 19th...It hasn't always been easy but we are stronger and happier today then we ever have been. I'm looking forward to the next 14 years...I love you Faruq !!

He really out did himself this year with a beautiful bouquet of roses, a lovely cake from Cakeworks and a super cool new lens for my camera.

Early in July (actually on Hayden's 4th birthday) one of my most favorite aunt's passed away. It was very sudden which sometimes is good but can be more painful for the family. I remember growing up in Nova Scotia and spending many summers at my Aunt Inie's house. She always made time to take us to the beach or to the local corner store for ice cream. I loved her very much and will miss her dearly.

We are currently on vacation in Gibsons, BC and having a fabulous time. Hayden and I head to the beach almost everyday. It has been so wonderful having grammie and grampie around to help with Hayden. I know it will be hard to return to Calgary at the end of August.

Busy, Busy, Busy..

Is what life has been around our house for the last few weeks.

Hayden still has soccer and gymnastic plus school is still in session until June 26th. I think we will all enjoy summer break when it comes in a few weeks.

For his birthday we decided to upgrade his bike...we headed to a Bow Cycle tonight and picked out a very cool bike. Hayden was so excited and begged us to let him drive it home. I'm already getting more gray hair just thinking about him on this bigger bike but the little trike was just too small for him.


I can't believe how big this little boy of mine is getting !!!

We finally have our landscaping just about finished...I would say almost 90% of the job is done and we are absolutely loving it. Hayden heads out around 10 every morning he doesn't have school and it's hard to get him in at 8 for bedtime.

They have done a great job and we are so pleased that we waited for this particular landscaping company. They need to replace a bit of sod that didn't take, plant my shrubs, turn on the lights and a little carpentry but other then that the outside is done.

I will post pictures when it's all done and looks extra pretty !!

Faruq is running again so has formulated a good routine that seems to work really well for him. First thing in the morning...he parks about 5K from his office and runs the rest of the way. He saves on parking and transit passes. I'm glad that he has started this activity again as he loved it before Hayden was born.

I have started my final photography course for this session...It's a great course and I'm learning a lot. I have registered for my 5th course in the fall then will need to take a little break until after Christmas.

We have booked Hayden's 4th birthday party at the Telus Science Center...we just couldn't risk having a bunch of little people running around on your new lawn in the backyard...we had wanted it at home but I'm sure everyone will enjoy themselves as there is lots to explore at the science center.

I guess we are having another Thomas the Train theme this year. Works for me as I can call Cakeworks (our lovely cake shop in Calgary) and just tell them to do the same cake as last year.

Enjoy the beautiful summer weather...it's so nice that it is here now !!

Pictures of my boys...

For the last few days the weather has been hot and sunny in Calgary so we have tried to take advantage of a few of the lovely parks we have.

Here are a few of my favorites at Nose Hill park last night....

Tom Baker Park tonight....

We are very fortunate to live in a city that has so many beautiful parks that we can enjoy during the summer time.

A day out with Thomas the Train

On Saturday, May 12th we got to spend the day at Heritage Park and enjoy a day out with Thomas the Train.

We got the tickets back in February and not to many days went by that he didn't ask if it was the day we were going to meet Thomas.

We got to the park early enough to walk down and see Thomas before he went out on the ride before hours. He was so excited and couldn't believe that Thomas was there in real life.

The weather was amazing and the crowd was actually very manageable because of the size of the park.

We had our train ride then went to explore the other activities...We shopped a little, ate a little then got to see Sir Topham Hat.

All in all it was a wonderful day and I'm just so glad that Hayden was able to meet Thomas the Train...one of his most favorite things in the world.

Enjoying Spring...

I'm not sure where the time goes but it's already May 7th...Soccer and gymnastics are in full swing. Both activities seem to be a hit.

Although, we are thinking that Hayden is actually going to have a little more fun with golf. A friend of ours runs the Callaway Golf Performance Center here in Calgary and invited Faruq & Hayden out to practice on the simulator machine this past Saturday. I guess Hayden was having so much fun he wouldn't let Faruq have a try. He hit balls for over an hour and didn't want to leave when they were done and has continued to ask to go back.

I was meeting a friend for some lunch and retail therapy yesterday so the boys went to the mini-putt center close to our house. I love that Hayden is so in love with golf...it's a sport that Faruq and I have enjoyed for many years !

I'm still busy with my Photography course...3 classes left to I complete the my 3rd course. I have one final course this session "Photoshop for Photographers" which wraps up on July 4th. While the courses have been great I'm looking forward to a little break this summer. I plan to take at least one more course this coming fall...then we shall see.

Here are a few of the shots I'm submitting as part of a "food" assignment. My choice of food was a huge hit with Hayden...he was just mad I wouldn't let him eat any until I was done photographing them.

Landscapers are back hard at work. They figure that with good weather they will be done in a few weeks. I'm so tired of having the ugliest yard on the block...it will be nice to have grass and plants again !!

We are looking forward to this weekend as Thomas the Train makes a return visit to Calgary and we managed to snag tickets for a ride. I'm sure it will be a big hit and I will post some pictures after the ride.

Chow !!!

April has been busy...

Another month has gone by and we just seem to have gotten busier.

Hayden has started soccer and he is having a great time. Faruq is coaching the team and they seem to have a great group of kids. They only play for 30 minutes but Hayden is pretty tired when he gets home.

Gymnastics starts on Saturday so it will be another outing for daddy and Hayden. They usually make a day out of it...going for lunch then gymnastics and stopping at the Farmers Market for some ice cream afterwards.

I have started another photography course - Advanced Digital Photography. The courses are getting a little harder but I'm still enjoy it so much. We got to visit our instructors studio last night and it was probably one of the best classes yet. So nice to see how a professional works in a studio...it gave me lots of ideas for my own studio.

Our first assignment was to "Portray color". Here are a few of the shots that I submitted.

Our landscapers are back so we are really hoping to have our lawns finally finished. Hayden has been itching to get out there but it's just big dirt piles.

Lastly, we are the proud owners of a Wii. I was at Wal-Mart a few days ago and they announced they had a received small shipment of them. I grabbed it without even really talking to Faruq about it. He had said he wouldn't mind one at Christmas but they were very hard to find.

Well they set it up last night and I thought Hayden was going to die laughing as he watched Faruq play the games. They seem to have a ball so I guess it was a good investment.

I haven't been doing a lot of digital scrapbooking but hope to get back to it shortly...just seem to have lost my mojo again.

Until next time...

Happy Easter

Well the Easter bunny managed to find us again this year...Hayden was pretty excited when he got up on Sunday morning. He and daddy had a ball trying to find all the eggs that the bunny hid the night before.

So yesterday was pretty much chocolate, chocolate and a little more chocolate. He got a Bob the Builder DVD and a new puzzle which were both big hits.

I wish I could say that it looks like spring here in Calgary but sadly it looks a little more like winter...It was a lovely day for Easter but we are expecting a big snow fall tonight. When will it end....it is the middle of April !!

Hayden is off for another week and he is certainly enjoying the break from preschool. Faruq is taking the rest of the week off so we may take a little road trip to Lethbridge if the weather is good enough. If it's not we are just going to chill out at home and enjoy each others company before we get back to it next week.

I finished my second photography course last week and will start the third one next week...it's "Advanced Digital" and I can't wait. I'm sure it's going to be a great course to learn lots of new techniques.

That's it for now...I will post a few Easter pictures when I download the pictures from camera !

Our Little Becks....

Hayden has been bugging us all week to take him out to the soccer field so he can "practice" before the soccer season starts in a few weeks.

We finally made it out today and even with the nice weather the field was still a little soggy but we made out okay !!!

He seems to have this natural athletic ability with pretty much any sports he tries and soccer isn't any different. He is a fast little runner with a great kick.

The only thing he didn't seem to like was getting his hands dirty so that could be a limiting factor with him actually playing soccer.

Here are a few more favorite shots from today !!

My Little Leprechaun

I finished the below layout tonight for a scrapbook challenge and though I would post it here as well.

Another lazy Sunday...

Well it seems to be a habit now...we don't get dressed on Sunday's. Again today we all got up late, had a great breakfast then proceed to just all laze around doing things that interested each of us...I worked on a digital layout, Faruq and Hayden watched a few movies then played trains for a while.

After our busy week we really enjoy just having a quiet family day every weekend.

Hayden finished his latest round of gymnastics yesterday and will start back again on April 17th so not much of a break between sessions.

The weather has been hit and miss for the last week...sometimes nice and others just like winter has returned. It's cold and -1 today but should return to about 7 tomorrow.

Faruq and I went to our local Mac store on Friday to have a look at the iMac computers...they are very sweet !! I had a hard time getting him to leave without buying one. Maybe that will be our christmas present to each other this year...it will be great for my photography and graphics work.

Here's my latest layout. I'm just working on some older pictures that were favorites but never got scrapbooked.

Have a great week !!! Chow for now.....

Oh my...

How could I forget my most exciting news...Faruq got us tickets for the John Mayer concert here in Calgary on April 29th...I was thrilled when he called to say he snagged some good seats. Now if he could just leave Jessica Simpson home it would be a perfect evening. Just kidding it would actually be cool to see her !!!

As well, we have tickets for The Producers on April 1st so it will be a fun way to start and end the month of April.

Chow for now !!

Where does the time go...

I always say I'm going to post more but it just never seems to happen...life is still busy around here.

Hayden is finishing his latest cycle of gymnastics and will be starting the next round in a few weeks. As well, U4 soccer will be starting at the first of April so he will be one busy little munchkin until June.

School is going great..he has spring break in a few weeks so he is pretty excited about having a few weeks off to "Play". Faruq is taking at least one of the weeks off as well so we may even head out on a little road trip for a few days.

Well I thought spring had finally arrived in Calgary....the weather has been great with temps reaching +16 but sadly last night we received a dump of snow. Hopefully it will disappear and spring will return. I want my landscapers to come back and finish what they started last fall.

We watched a great movie this past weekend. "Shut up and sing" documented the aftermath that followed the Dixie Chicks when Natalie Maines spoke out against President Bush and the war in 2003 at a concert in England.

I have always admired and been a fan of the Dixie Chicks and their music but after watching this can only say I have a new admiration for what these ladies had to endure for the last 3 years. At no time did they comprise their beliefs and their commitment to each other was amazing. It is truly the must see movie this year....check it out if you get a chance !!!

I managed to finish another layout...still trying to do digi scrapbooking as time permits...I have about a dozen layouts started but just can't seem to get them finished. I'm still waiting for that "groove" to return...all the scrapbookers know what I'm talking about.

A wonderful Sunday ....

I spent a few hours today creating another layout using some of the beautiful professional pictures that we had taken last October.

The boys worked on Hayden's train table and managed to get it put back together.

It was a great Sunday...everyone stayed in their jammies and we are having breakfast for dinner.

Off to watch The Amazing Race shortly and then get ready for the busy week ahead of us !!

Heartbreaking but inspiring...

We went to a fundraiser last night for a group called "The Generations of Hope"...this is charity that was created to assist couples who's last option for having their own baby is IVF but they are unable to afford the 11,000 to 15,000 price tag attached to the procedure.

This year they had local photographers visit and photograph kids that had been born with the assists of IVF. While some of the stories brought tears to my eyes all had happy endings and now have beautiful children they can cherish forever.

It is just beyond me why our health card plans do not cover these kind of treatments. While some good plans cover some of the drugs required most couples are left with at least a 5 to 10K bill at the end with no guarantee of success.

No one signs up for fertility problems when they get married and want to start a family...it just happens !!! The numbers seem to be on the rise and whether it's just people waiting longer to start families or environmental issues they just aren't sure why but it is truly heartbreaking when it happens.

My hope is with the money raised last night it can help at least a few families realize their goal of having children to call their own !!!

Here's the link to their site...have a look when you get a moment...

Give your kids a cuddle today and just know how lucky you are to have them !!

Finally Another Layout !!!

I completed another layout for a scrapbook challenge last week with the topic of "Love". I couldn't think of a better subject then my two favorite boys in the world.

This picture was taken about 10 hours after Hayden was born and it just melts my heart when I look at it.

I seriously need to start scrapbooking again but just can't seem to get back in the groove.

My Little trooper...

Hayden let me do a mini photo shoot with him today after school...He has been such a good sport about all of this that I think a trip to Toys R Us is in order this weekend.

Here are a few of my favorites....

My first class is officially over and I survived !!! It was actually a great class to start with because it covered all the basic parts of photography which in my opinion is the key to being a successful photographer.

My next class "Intro to Digital Photography" starts on February 26 and I can't wait. I really think this is something I might consider doing as a career when Hayden goes to school full-time.

Stayed tuned for more pictures...when Hayden will let me take them !!

Photography Course

My first photography course is coming to an end and I can't believe how much I have learned but I know I have so much more to learn. At least now I'm not afraid to pick up that new fancy camera that Faruq gave me at Christmas.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures..

Downtown Calgary at night

A great shot just after one of the recent snow storms we had last week.

And of course my favorite subject "Hayden" ... although I think he is starting to get tired of the camera in his face because all I hear now is "NO MORE PICTURES MOM".

And my favorite picture and I think my last for awhile.....

I have a week off then start course #2 - Intro to Digital Photography. Stay tuned I will share more of my favorite picks from the next class.

Faruq and Hayden are doing great...Faruq has volunteered with the local Running Room store to lead one of their running groups and work is busier then ever but he is loving his new job and all the challenges that it offers.

Hayden is busy, busy, busy...school is great and we have decided to send him 5 afternoons a week next year which he is very excited about.

Gymnastics is going so well...I can't believe how much he has improved since I was there the last time.

The Train Show is this weekend and the whole family is planning on attending...the boys went last year and had a ball.

We are hoping for warmer weather but the forecast isn't looking great for the next few days...I'm so over this winter it has been far colder then last year

That's it for now !!!

Where has the month gone !!!

I can't believe that it has been more then a month since my last blog entry. We has been busy, busy !!!

Hayden has returned to preschool and is still loving it !! He has started Gymnastics again and is now in an non-parented class but seems to really enjoy it and listens well to the instructor.

Faruq is loving his new job and is actually home most nights for supper so we are all enjoying that.

I have started my weekly photography course and can't believe how much I have learned already. It's so nice to know what all those fancy buttons do on my new Canon Rebel XTi and that I can actually take it of the Auto "Everything" setting.

I have already booked for 3 more courses so I will be busy until July...it's just so exciting to be using my brain again.

I have had no time to do any scrapbooking. Any free minutes have been spent on the photography course.

On the home front we are hoping our landscapers will be able to start up again soon...the weather hasn't been great but it looks a little more promising this coming week. I know when the weather does get warmer Hayden will be anxious to get out there and play.

We are doing great with our new healthier eating habits...I have switched us all to almost everything Organic. We have a wonderful Farmer's Market that is open every weekend so I can get lots of fresh produce there. As well, there is two health food stores to shop at in the NW part of Calgary.

We have been amazed with the results especially with Hayden...we have cut a lot of the unnecessary sugar from his diet and his appetite has almost doubled. He is so much more willing to try new food and his constipation problem has finally fixed itself.

It's just a sad reality that healthier eating has raised our grocery bills considerably but I have come to understand that the government doesn't subside the organic farmers at all so they need to recoup their money somehow.

We have also removed Gluten from our diets and have noticed some positive changes with that as well...it's amazing what you can actually make without Gluten. I have a yummy recipe for chocolate chip cookies which Hayden absolutely loves them !!!

I had a party on Friday evening and indulged a little too much in food that had lots sugar and salt. When I woke on Saturday if felt very much like a really bad hangover...so I won't be doing that again in the near future.

We are officially out of diapers (for Hayden that is)...he has decided that even wearing pull-ups at night is for babies so it has been almost a week and no accidents. WTG Hayden...{huge sigh} My baby is growing up !!!

So that's what's been happening with The Suleman's...I hope the new year has been a good one you all so far !!

Chow for now - I will post again soon with some of the great pictures I have been taking in my course.