Sooo…I turned 40…awhile ago…

Disclaimer~~~ I’m late in posting this. My birthday was February 14th. That’s right, February. I’m not posting now because I have a problem with turning 40 ~ but rather because today I finished writing my thank you cards. Yes, it’s taken me that long. I’m a terrible person. But I read somewhere that you have up to 3 months and I’m holding to that as truth. They go in the mail on Monday. So finally, I can share how I was celebrated, with you.

First things first,

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to celebrate turning 40. After a turbulent bunch of years in my early to mid 30’s (there were even a few years I didn’t celebrate my birthday…because I just didn’t want to), however, I felt like I turned a corner in my late 30’s in many areas of my life so I’ve come to feel like life is good, it’s beautiful, right now…and therefore 40 is beautiful and good too. Totally worth celebrating. Still, I didn’t know what I wanted. Small and intimate or a big rip roaring party? The problem small and intimate was, where do I cut off the guest list? Impossible… The idea was, since my hubby turns 40 this year too, we talked about celebrating both of our birthdays in the summer… Jodi, decided however that a girls night was in order. I still feel like I want that big party, so maybe we’ll still make it happen…at least for him maybe?

Anyways, back to my party. So Jodi told me she wanted to host a soiree, and asked for me for names, and I was thinking small. I knew I was going out for sushi with my mom and sisters in the beginning of the month, so I thought I’d keep it to non-family and keep it small since I wasn’t hosting, I didn’t want o presume to invite a truckload of people. Jodi then took my list and added to it herself, family and etc… I also knew that I had no need to worry about the details. This lady has a gift for details, and shines in it. She recruited Laura, who knows how to throw a party, and how to really bless someone best, and…

The result was a beautiful night with a lovely group of ladies that really just touched my heart. There were friends I’d made in the last couple years, and also friends who’ve been around for more than 20. How richly blessed I am.

How stylish and beautiful the decor. The Audrey Hepburn-esque, black, white and pink details….delicious food, a signature cocktail, the perfect gift, great memories, being able to tell each friends in person how much they mean to me…yep. A Perfect Night.

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Even the vase was detailed…the signature drink Laura made up. Yum.

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Thank you Jodi, and Laura and all the rest of the ladies for celebrating this  milestone with me. I am truly blessed. Relationships are so vitally important to me and I will always have this night as a lovely memory, reminding me that I am blessed, so very very blessed.

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Sooo…I turned 40…awhile ago…

Disclaimer~~~ I’m late in posting this. My birthday was February 14th. That’s right, February. I’m not posting now because I have a problem with turning 40 ~ but rather because today I finished writing my thank you cards. Yes, it’s taken me that long. I’m a terrible person. But I read somewhere that you have up to 3 months and I’m holding to that as truth. They go in the mail on Monday. So finally, I can share how I was celebrated, with you.

First things first,

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to celebrate turning 40. After a turbulent bunch of years in my early to mid 30’s (there were even a few years I didn’t celebrate my birthday…because I just didn’t want to), however, I felt like I turned a corner in my late 30’s in many areas of my life so I’ve come to feel like life is good, it’s beautiful, right now…and therefore 40 is beautiful and good too. Totally worth celebrating. Still, I didn’t know what I wanted. Small and intimate or a big rip roaring party? The problem small and intimate was, where do I cut off the guest list? Impossible… The idea was, since my hubby turns 40 this year too, we talked about celebrating both of our birthdays in the summer… Jodi, decided however that a girls night was in order. I still feel like I want that big party, so maybe we’ll still make it happen…at least for him maybe?

Anyways, back to my party. So Jodi told me she wanted to host a soiree, and asked for me for names, and I was thinking small. I knew I was going out for sushi with my mom and sisters in the beginning of the month, so I thought I’d keep it to non-family and keep it small since I wasn’t hosting, I didn’t want o presume to invite a truckload of people. Jodi then took my list and added to it herself, family and etc… I also knew that I had no need to worry about the details. This lady has a gift for details, and shines in it. She recruited Laura, who knows how to throw a party, and how to really bless someone best, and…

The result was a beautiful night with a lovely group of ladies that really just touched my heart. There were friends I’d made in the last couple years, and also friends who’ve been around for more than 20. How richly blessed I am.

How stylish and beautiful the decor. The Audrey Hepburn-esque, black, white and pink details….delicious food, a signature cocktail, the perfect gift, great memories, being able to tell each friends in person how much they mean to me…yep. A Perfect Night.

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She does these beautiful banners…

 

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I loved these little quotes on the table. Loved the diamonds, the pearls, the roses, the silver…

 

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Another quote…love.

 

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Even the vase was detailed…the signature drink Laura made up. Yum.

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Sweet treats…

 

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These cake pops were delish…

 

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The favours – personalized Lindt chocolates.

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Some of my homeschooling mamas,a.k.a the ones who help me survive the crazy…the ones who make me laugh til the wee hours or til I pee my pants, whichever comes first.

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These sisters have been my friends since we were all 19… they’ve been through so many seasons with me, I could write a book about it.

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The hosts, and more friends who’ve been around for more than 20 years…they’ve seen the good and the bad, and still love me, what more can you ask for in a friend?

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Some old photos, fun and embarrassing and all that, were scrolling on the TV through the night.

 

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These girls celebrated my 20th birthday with me with a sleepover way back in college…we had a sleepover after the party at 40 too. Sleepovers are different when you’re body isn’t 20 anymore – but I wouldn’t have traded either night for anything.

 

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I was soooo blessed! A DSLR camera – I’ve been wanting one since Lucas was a baby (he just turned 11) – it was never in the budget for us. But my friends decided it was time. So blessed!

 

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Jodi even arranged for my sister Jennette, who lives in Tulsa and misses so many of these special events, to send me a video – which I will post here soon. It was hilarious and so perfect I watched it twice that night. She’s the best. I have 4 sisters, and often people don’t realize it because she lives so far away. Thank you Jodi for including her.

 

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Saying thank you, and I love you to the friends who were able to be with me that night. I must mention here, that many others who weren’t there that night, made a point to contact me and bless me in their own ways throughout the month with dinners, cards, gifts, coffee outings…the list goes on and on. I honestly felt like I had a birthday month, not just a day… 40 has been wonderful so far.

Thank you Jodi, and Laura and all the rest of the ladies for celebrating this  milestone with me. I am truly blessed. Relationships are so vitally important to me and I will always have this night as a lovely memory, reminding me that I am blessed, so very very blessed.

Tea for "Two"

After 10 years of Lego and Superhero birthday parties (all in the winter, mind you), yes I am so excited to host little girlie birthday parties in the fall (the most wonderful time of the year!) This year for E’s birthday we had a little tea party for her little friends, their moms and few big sisters, her brothers and aunties…

We put on our party dress…
 We decided to host the party in the back yard. The weather held and the sunroom and yard was still presentable enough to be enjoyed before the great fall clean up begins next week.
It was a perfect day, not too hot, not too cold…and some flowers were still in bloom.

The little girls’ table

We pulled out the heirloom teacups – this one was Great Aunt Fern’s – we found out we were expecting Elaina shortly after she passed away, but they shared the same birthday month.
The big girls table.

We mixed a bunch of heirloom stuff with paper plates, etc for ease of setting up, cleaning up and also to not get stressed over possible breakage outside.

I converted our old TV cabinet to a “dress up” center for the girlies. It added to over all pretty decor.

Red velvet with Cream cheese icing.

Our menu was simple, crab salad on croissants and vegetable cream cheese roll ups. We had veggies, fruit and cheese trays and of course coffee and tea. For dessert we had a variety of mini cakes and cookies, candies of course chocolates.

The “take home treats” were personalized dress up fairy outfits.

Bling for the littles… I figured this was nicer than sending them home with more candy. There were enough sweets to enjoy at the party, I hoped the moms appreciated not having more candy later at home.
 


The girlies! So so cute!

After lunch, the littles decorated tea party hats from the dollar store with silk flowers.

Yaya helping the birthday girl decorate her hat. 


One of the big sisters helping with hat decoration.

 Then we released them into the dress up cupboard.

DRESS UP TIME!!!


After much play time, we gathered for the present opening and cake.

Opening Presents…so thankful!

After all the birthday celebrating, she finally got the hang of “blowing out the candles”
Our cheeky two year old!

I hope you enjoyed this post, we certainly enjoyed our day, and love every day with our little princess.


Together

Today’s Five Minute Friday topic was…
TOGETHER

I love to get together with people. To really “be with” people, in a real and authentic way. Ever since high school (maybe even before), I had this innate ability to steer clear of relationships that I felt would honestly be a waste of time.  If I sensed they were superficial with me or that they weren’t being honest with me (or themselves), I mean, not everyone is going to like/ trust/ open up to me, right? I’m OK with that. I’ve always tried to be the kind of friend that I would want for a friend. It’s hard to convey this without sounding like I’m full of myself…
I’m just confident that I’m a good person to have in your life because of the One who lives in me.
I believe that God’s design was for us to be together with others. He said it was not good for man to be alone. He also says that he puts the solitary into families…that it’s better to have a friend who is close by than a brother who is far away…that two are better than one…He depicts the church as His bride and as a family of brothers and sisters…and to let brotherly love continue… I think He doesn’t want us to be alone. That He designed us to be together.

 
I’ve got some really great friends. There’s that old adage that if you can count your good friends on one hand you are a lucky “man”. I would say then, that I am among the luckiest.
I’ve chosen to see my life as a garden, and all the people in it are the living things that have been planted there. When I gave my life to Christ, I recognized that He is the Gardener of my life, not me. So I don’t really have a say as to who/what is done with the plants in my garden…how long they bloom or produce or even when they need to be removed. Every plant in my garden have seasons, some are long term, some are short. Some are ever blooming, some I’m still waiting for the first bloom, years later.

Some of them are people I see every week (or more), some of them because of different seasons of life or distance, I see only rarely…but we have one thing in common, we are real with each other. We pick up where we left off, there’s no worry or fear that one or the other of us is hurt or offended by our lack of time together, no insecurity…there’s a common thread that I do my best to convey that I care about them and want to spend time with them (as do they). Some are friends that we laugh together – a lot. Some are friends who together we lament over and solve all the worlds problems together. Some are people I immediately call when I need someone to pray. Some are the ones you have tea with, others a glass of wine, some both. Some have kids, some have no kids, some are grandparents and a few are still in high school or college. Some share the same blood as me, most don’t. Some live in other countries, some live a few hours away, others live on my road…most share a relationship with Christ, but some don’t. Many I’ve known for almost 20 or more.
 
 

Being together takes work, it takes effort. I requires dying to myself, often. I try to consciously not be overbearing or bossy or a know it all or any other traits that I know are my own weaknesses, and trust that my friends are well aware of their own and do my best to give them the benefit of the doubt, and not judge or draw attention to their weaknesses, rather to Christ and to the blessings we already have.
 
I want to be an encouragement. Someone who, when I’ve been with them and after we’ve parted, they feel better, uplifted, helped and loved. I hope to learn from others much more than I can teach, though I will share any wisdom that has been passed on to me, since it’s not my own…it’s not mine to keep 🙂 I try to be a light, a messenger of hope and someone who brings peace wherever I go. I love to get together with people. I love the people in my life, the flowers in my garden. I’m very very blessed indeed.

 

Linking up HERE

Ist Birthday and Dedication

I love to throw a good party… you know, with a theme and lot’s of details. Beautiful decor and really really good food. For a long time I felt like I needed a reason to do this for others, for bridal or wedding showers, for work or church events. I felt like I needed to justify all the effort, not just for myself or my little family. However in the most recent years, not having a specific church or work family to party plan for and I also realized that if I can’t put that effort into celebrating my own little family, I really shouldn’t be doing it for others…
So we pulled out all the stops to celebrate our Baby Girl’s 1st Birthday and dedication ceremony.
Scrumptious dessert table…all sorts of decor was borrowed from bestie JT of course (keeps the costs down) and the heirloom quilt was dear hubby’s grandma’s – perfect for the pink baby girl party.
Mason Jar Ring Pumpkin
Pink Harvest Theme with Diamonds and Bird Houses
Perfect opportunity to display the baby books and a year of photos. 
Painted pink pumpkins and pearls…
The birthday girl checking out her balloons in her pj’s with Grandma before the party starts.

Menu: Harvest Soup, Split Pea Soup and Beef Stew
  
Pretty in her party dress.
With Grandpa and Nana
Dedication
Great grandma reading a scripture verse
Everyone shared a verse
Including big brother
And Geema
Mom and Dad read a letter written for your first birthday.
Surrounded in prayer
Great Grandma, Aunties and Mama in front of the Photo Wall
Cupcake!

Presents!

Baby Jar Jelly Bean Favours

Thank you to all the friends and family who were able to celebrate with us! A birthday on September 30th is the perfect way to kick off celebrating Fall each year, looking forward to it 🙂

Dear Elaina

Dear Elaina,

We don’t know if we’ll ever be able to convey how much we love you…but we will spend all of our remaining days doing our best to show and tell you just that.  You are a special jewel in the crown of our lives. Our family is better because you are in it. We are all smitten with you.

We wish that we could protect you from all the sorrows and hardships that life will bring you, but we can’t. If we did, you would miss out on all the beauty and joy that is born out of pain. We can promise you that we will be there for you, and when we am not, we trust that we have and will have always pointed you towards the ONE who will never leave you.  Your name can always be a reminder to you on what our intention was in raising you.

Elaina means “shining light” or “torch”. It represents Jesus” the light of the world” and His victory. It represents Truth, Divine Wisdom and Victory…as well as Life, Peace and leaving a Legacy. Please always remember, you can never fulfill this apart from the Grace of God in your life…        

This leads to your middle name…

Grace is God’s undeserved favour and blessing. We live a life that we don’t deserve because Jesus took our place. We hope and plan on raising you in Grace…because that is the only way we can.

            We are so excited to fill these next years with great memories together and to live life to the fullest together as a family. As we dedicate ourselves to raising you for the Lord, we also reaffirm that this is our intention for all of our children, for your brothers – Lucas, Max and Carter. They will be your greatest friends, and bring you much joy. They will also bring you grief. This is good.

It is our responsibility to help you find your way, to know who you are in Christ and to live up to your names, as well as to know what it means to be a Heaslip. The Lord will help us, and give us the wisdom, provision and spiritual gifts we need for this.  As for us, and our House… We will serve the Lord.

            Happy first birthday Elaina! It’s been an amazing year of firsts with our baby girl, and we’re anticipating another year full of God’s richest blessings for, not because we deserve it, but because of His great love for all of us.

With all our Love,

                            Mommy & Daddy

Elaina Grace

These posts are obviously “catch ups” and are posted months after the fact. It’s for my records and for posterity’s sake. The events of the past few months are too important to not have posts up for 🙂

Reflections for Elaina During My Pregnancy with Elaina…

February
-One last baby…around the New Year we thought maybe we were pregnant, but it was a false alarm. So we decided if we weren’t pregnant before the summer that we would be done that summer. The very next month mommy took a test and there were 2 lines… we were pregnant!
March
-Telling our friends and Family…We waited a bit to tell people because Auntie Stephy was pregnant with her first baby, your cousin Telis and we didn’t want to take away from her feeling special. She was one of the first we told, and Jodi. Then your brothers and our parents and your aunts and uncles. Everyone was happy, and hoping for a girl.           
-Crazy Symptoms…Mommy had the most morning sickness with you. I remember I was throwing up in the bathroom one morning and your brother Max was calling for me, he paused when he saw I was sick, and then asked “When’s lumch?”

April

-Ultrasound…the technician asked mommy and daddy if we wanted to know, she knew we had 3 boys at home, so she paused and said, well…“it’s a GIRL!”…I aksed her to check again and then mommy cried happy tears and daddy said “Good job honey!”. On the way home I called Auntie Jodi Taylor and told her the news, she was driving at the time and was so happy she had to pull over and cried happy tears too.
May
Mommy hosted a baby shower for Auntie Stephanie at her house outside. It was a lot of fun, and we started to get really excited about meeting our babies!
June   
-Crazy Symptoms…throughout the pregnancy I had some weird symptoms…of course I swelled all over (I took off my wedding rings at 4 months along) then in the late summer I got Gestational Carpel Tunnel, my hands and arms would go numb, especially when I fell asleep. I had heart burn, and of course having to pee all the time.  

July                                                                                                                    

– summer life goes on…We had a busy summer while my tummy was growing bigger and bigger. We joined Geema at a cottage she rented at Braeside Camp, Camping at Bissells with the Crazy Moms Trip, Lot’s of Swimming, visits with Geepa Jim and Nana Jo, Trips to Safari Niagara and Marineland. Busy, Busy, Busy.

August

-your cousin Telis is born…On August 9th your cousin was born!

-The boys started school early because mommy knew we would take some time off when the baby arrived.

September
(I have pictures from the labour story… but they aren’t available yet. I’ll have to add them later).
so many ultrasounds…the midwives were worried about how big you were getting so they sent me for many ultrasounds. The doctor they referred me too said he would induce me at the end of September (your due date was Oct. 2nd)
-Waiting…it was getting hard to wait as I was so uncomfortable and was having contractions all the time.
-getting ready for baby… We had girls from Korea staying with us for 7 weeks in July-Sept and I was eager for them to go home so I could start getting your room ready. It was so fun decorating in pink – even on a budget! I was given lots of clothes from friends who had had girls Monica, Laila and others. We were set for you to be the best dressed until you were 2 years old! Mommy still had the crib and change table from your brothers, repurposed an old dresser (painted it black), hung some pretty curtains and frames, found pink lampshades and an antique chair. We left the queen size bed in the room so she could sleep in their if you had a fussy night.

September 29th
Your Delivery Story…we finally were told to come to the hospital to be induced on Saturday

morning. The doctor started me on the drip in the morning and we basically started walking through the contractions. Yaya and auntie Jodi arrived in the afternoon and we tried to visit until the contractions were too strong. Unfortunately, you were not moving down the birth canal very fast. Around dinner time the doctor decided to break my water and gave me morphine. That was not good because it made mommy sleepy and it was hard to concentrate on the contractions. My blood pressure was getting very high, so the doctors were getting worried. They tried to get me to start pushing around 8 pm because you still weren’t moving along. After pushing for 2 hours I was finally fully dilated and “ready to go” but you still weren’t co-operating, mommy blood pressure was even higher, plus, I was collapsing after each contraction (either from the drugs or exhaustion). We prayed again in the room for things to come together.
I could tell you weren’t co-operating (your brothers were the same way), I could tell everyone was worried about my blood pressure and then your heart rate started spiking, I knew in my heart that I wouldn’t have the strength to push through your delivery. I told the doctor I was ok if he thought I should have a c-section. That was 12:30 am on the 30th.
The doctor decided that that was best and then they tried for 45 mins to give me an epidural, I was still out if it from the drugs and in full labour so it was so hard to sit properly to have the needle in. Eventually I told them I was ok for them to give me gas and knock me out. They decided that was best too. It was almost 2 am by then. I wish I could have been awake to meet you right away, but I felt like the drugs would have effected me anyways… and knew your daddy would see you right away. The last thing I remember was the midwife’s eyes and then I woke up in recovery.
September 30th
-Happy Birthday Baby!…You were born at 2:30 am. Everything had gone well, Daddy had gotten to hold you for 20 mins after you got to the nursery.

First Photo

I was wheeled me out of recovery around 4 am when they stopped for me to meet you in the hallway by the nursery. Yaya and daddy and Jodi were waiting in the hospital room for me, and they brought you in shortly after that. I was still pretty groggy but I remember how perfect you were, and you had lot’s of hair. I thought you looked like Max and Carter, but mostly like you. Auntie Jodi held you for a bit and took some pictures. 

The nurse took you back to the nursery while I slept a bit. When they brought you back around 7 am I nursed you and we did fine. We had lots of visitors in the hospital. My recovery was actually easier than both Carter and Max’s, despite the fact that it was major surgery. Daddy brought your brothers and Geema to meet you that day. Carter and Max left with Geema for her house while I was in the hospital. Later on Geepa Jim and Nana Jo stopped in to meet you and then took Lucas back to Simcoe with them too.

We stayed in the hospital until the Tuesday morning- the staff and care at the hospital in Niagara Falls was amazing. They worked well with the midwives too.

 
Other visitors included Yaya, Laura Tolhoek, Uncle Dale, Phil & Lisa VanTol and Monica Edwards. Daddy picked us up and brought us home. We had Wednesday to ourselves as he left to pick up the boys in Simcoe. They went to the Norfolk County Fair that day. Then we were all together on the Thursday for a few days before daddy went back to work. My recovery was so good, I actually joined to Home School moms for a short walk at Dufferin Islands on the Friday. 

They were so happy to meet you.

Random thoughts…
I am excited to have a daughter to share all the girly experiences with. To teach you about being a woman, a wife, a sister and friend. To share going shopping and tea parties, princess parties and dolls and dance classes among all the things we will be doing with your brothers.

I’m looking forward to teaching you how to take care of a family and how to cook and other home crafts as well as anything else that interests you. In sharing about the things of God and showing you the wonderful world he created for us. I’m looking forward to you going to your first dance, your graduation and your first date. To watching you fall in love and your wedding day. Life is especially beautiful when you are a girl and I’m excited to be sharing it with you. 


Elaina Grace
Heaslip
Isaiah 54:13
And all your children shall be taught of the LORD;
and great shall be the peace of your children.
Elaina
Greek – “Shining Light”
…after your mom “Helaina Tammara” and her
Grandmother “Yaya” on her father’s side.
Grace
Latin – ‘Favour, Blessing’
…because you are highly favored and because you will need God’s grace,
not only for all of life, but to thrive in a family with 3 big brothers.
Heaslip
Irish – ‘dweller in the hazel valley’
Your name is fitting because our desire for you is to grow in the knowledge of the Light of the World – Jesus. As you do, you will continue to be a shining ‘light” wherever you go. We are so happy to have a little girl in the family and to see the changes it brings to our lives. You are lovely in every way and already have brought a new “light” to our days.

Jennette’s post

Maybe dedicating birthday posts was a bit of a reach for me this year, well, just for the month of May I guess, anyways,  Jennette’s post is in the works because Yesterday, the actual birthday, I got a nasty case of morning sickness that essentially put me out of commission for the day. I’m using today to catch up on what didn’t happen yesterday, so hopefully the post will be up within the next few days.  Happy Birthday Jen xoxo!

Andrea

So today’s post is tiny bit overdue. It is dedicated to my younger sister Andrea as it was her birthday last week. We’ll blame it on the fact that I had the flu, then it rip-roared through the house, so though I had intended on posting it last week, I didn’t. So here we go. Happy Birthday little sister!
  

Here’s the sisters before the youngest showed up. In this pic Andrea was the youngest. Her tenure as the baby of the family was very short lived. I was in grade 6 when she was born, So I actually remember quite a bit of her early years first hand. (aside – Yes I have sacrificed my pride with showing this hideous picture of me in a black velvet pin-striped jumpsuit to show you how cute she was – very) She was all dimply, and happy and quiet and the easiest baby….EVER. She would rock herself happily in her playpen to music only she heard, ALL DAY, with her mouth open – not talking, just open. I barely remember her crying, always smiling and always quiet and gentle.

She’s still pretty much like that…
Well, except for the rocking thing, I think.
As she got older, she got sneaky. I think that it was her quiet form of payback to my parents for having my youngest sister just months past her first birthday.  She was very good at being sneaky… and good at lying, and blaming older siblings. 
She has these huge brown eyes that you have to trust, and my parents did. But she was a liar.
Thankfully she grew out of that… I think.
After she adjusted to the presence of the youngest sibling (which didn’t take much), they were fast friends. Becca made up for Andrea’s lack of talking. When she finally did start talking she couldn’t say my name, so she called me Mimi. Dad loved it. It stuck. She also couldn’t say Jenny’s name – she got Gigi, and Rebecca got Becca or for awhile I think kaka. She couldn’t say her own name either, so she named herself Aya. She never had a problem with Steph’s name…funny. All the nicknames have pretty much stuck too.
She was the best snuggler, and the had the best baby fat roles to pinch and tickle. They were luscious. My son Carter reminds me of toddler-her a little bit – so kissable.
She developed a maternal streak very early. She loved to take care of our pet cats and dogs. She would dress them up, and “torture” them, but they fell victim to her gentle ways and those brown eyes…
My
Andrea was and is very kind. Soft hearted and loyal. Almost to a fault, if that can be faulted.
People trust her, and they should, her heart is a vault. She’s also probably the easiest to get along with of all of us girls. That’s the honest truth.
Some of the things people outside of the family may not know about her are some of her favourite past times.
Probably her number one favourite is SLEEPING. If you are trying to call and there’s no answer, she’s probably sleeping…it doesn’t matter the time. She’s probably sleeping. She’s impossible to wake up too. Here’s a pic of her son doing the same thing. She’s passed the hobby on. Apparently he even prefers sleeping over eating.

She also loves dressing up. She’s very pretty, so who can blame her. It’s probably all the sleep.

 
People may not realize She’s goofy. We pretty much all are, it comes from my parents. 
Of all of us, Andrea is probably the most legitimately funny. She’s very subtle and quiet about it, so you don’t realize you are laughing hard enough to pee your pants, until you actually are. It’s embarrassing, but she’s that funny…sometimes.
 
I have a matching pic. of my dad in these bunny ears to illustrate, but of course, 
I can’t find it right now.
She’s really tall too, all of my sisters are, just not me. I’m cool with that. She could have been a model I think, look at her in her wedding gown. Need I say more?
She’s a really great friend. Some of her best friends are her sisters. This is a pic of her with the youngest  of the 5 sisters. I have a matching one of them on a bed like this from about 20 years ago, but of course I also can’t find that one. These three have been inseparable forever.

These are pics of Andrea with her two boys. She’s a great mom. All those qualities mentioned before are her strengths, yes even the sneakiness I think, it makes her more suspicious of her boys, and successful. The only time they get away with stuff is when she’s sleeping.  J

So, that’s an ode to my lovely, gentle, kind, tender-hearted, beautiful sister who I love like crazy. Happy Birthday again! It’s only a week and a bit late, 
but at least I got it done before Jenny’s Birthday! 
♥♥♥ Mimi

Valentine’s Dinner Recap

Here’s a quick recap of our Valentine’s Dinner. First we make the table very festive.



Then, since it always includes the kids, I need for it to be something they will think is special and yummy. Pasta and chicken is always a winner…

so when we found these heart shaped pasta’s again, we scooped em up.


Add some vodka sauce – yummy for both adults and kids…

Finished product…voila!


Then we created our chicken dish, chicken breasts roasted with root veggies and red peppers. Add some broccoli with cheese sauce and fresh spinach salad…

voila!

Side by side…

for dessert we had creme brulee (which I almost forgot to take a pic of)

Valentine/Birthday surprises and sparkling grape juice…

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!