Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Skating in the Afternoons

Uncle Nellie came by with Aunti Rhi this afternoon!!! It's really nice to have them come visit!!  The boys always enjoy having Uncle and Aunti over, and it gives the other adults in the house a break from being the only entertainment on the block.

Today Uncle and Aunti took Chan out for lunch, they tired to take him to get his hair cut but the place was closed.  So after lunch they returned and had a visit with little man. After much cajoling we took Lil Man out for a short skate.

Lil Man is still pretty uncertain on his feet in skates.  He would much rather have his boots on to play hockey on the ice then his skates.  But he is willing to try if you are persuasive enough with him.

We took out two mini sticks, a soft puck, his skates, helmet and a red chair to do the skating today.  Lil Man had a little anxiety about putting the skates on, but he put them on and was out skating for ten minutes before he began to want to call it quits.

First he skated around with Uncle's help



Second he skated using the red chair.

Third, he sat on the chair and Uncle zipped him around the skating rink.  He looked terrified as Uncle took him around corners.  Lil Man was frozen stiff on his chair, and when that ride was done, so was he with skating.


We took his skates off and put his boots back on and Lil man went to play hockey on the ice.  He played for five minutes then we left and came back home.  I think next time we go skating it will be earlier in the day as Lil Man was a little cranky guts the whole time we were out there.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Provost and Back

Yesterday I had the pleasure of traveling some Alberta highways to pick up Chan from Provost, where his father and I meet when Chan goes to visit Greg.  It is a 2 1/2 hour drive with no stops, but since it was just me driving yesterday, I loaded up my camera, ipad and iphone so I could take pictures along the route.  It took me 3 hours and 15 minutes to get to Provost and I was still early.
I loved this rearview mirror shot, I pulled over on the highway and took some pictures.  Some guy was walking his dog and asked if I was ok, that's when it became apparent that this was not something people regularly do.

Here's an old school site

I stopped a few times and was able to capture some really unique pictures.  I really like being able to get creative with my camera, and when you have kids this can be really easy, but sometimes it can be difficult.  Lil man is way more interested in seeing what the picture looks like then in actually posing for the picture.  Half the time Lil Man wants to take the pictures, he even has his own Fisher Price digital camera that he will carry around and take pictures of everyone. So this break where it was just me was a lot of fun, I was able to stop when I wanted and take pictures of the things I wanted an no one was in the car complaining of the stops!!


There are always deer and stuff on the road, but this trip displayed the animals in plenty.  I saw like three different herds of animals.  They were all out in the fields but it was fun capturing these pictures.




Alberta is known for it's oil field when you drive to Provost there are all kinds of Pump Jacks and other oil field paraphernalia that it's hard to miss, but Alberta also have Windmills, I was trying to find a place to take a picture of a pump jack with a windmill in the background but those pictures never presented.  I thought the juxtaposition would have made a really neat photo.



Lil Man may become a photographer when he grows up, or it may just be a hobby for him, but I encourage him to take pictures and to have fun while doing it.  Chan has no interest in being behind the camera, and he's at the awkward stage of being a teenager where he doesn't really want to be in front of the camera either.

Monday, 25 February 2013

CATCA and Fifth Avenue Collection

Last week was the Central Alberta Teachers Conference put on by the Central Alberta Teachers Conference Association.  It was held on Thursday and Friday during Red Deer College's reading week.  I actually think it was reading week everywhere, but only a the college had the whole week off in Red Deer, school was in session for Tuesday and Wednesday.  

I had signed up to have a booth at the conference where I sold my Fifth Avenue Collection.  It was a busy two days.  I was able to visit with a lot of people that I hadn't seen in a long time and I met some great new people as well.  I enjoy doing the CATCA event because it allows me to be in contact with some great people and it's a great networking opportunity for me.  

I didn't have as many sales as I would have liked, but I did have a lot of lookers and many people filled in forms to win my draw, it was a great two days.  Here are some of the items I had for sale, if you are interested in any of these items you can go here to look at my website.  You can order online, or you can email me at jennlacourse@facmail.com and place your order that way!!!

Have a sparkling day!!!





Friday, 22 February 2013

Update!!!!

So awhile ago I posted how I was making lifestyle changes in order to become a healthy weight again, and I was saying how I wanted to get back into my size ten jeans.  Does everyone remember that??  Here's a link to that post.new me

So here is my update, as of last Friday when I stepped on the god Forsaken scale, the numbers were 10 pounds less than they had been on New Years Day!!!  I reached my first milestone goal!!!! I was elated, jubilant.  Now I get to set my next set of goals!!!  Here are some happy pictures about my progress.

So now I have to set a new milestone to reach. I would like to be down another 10 pounds by my sisters wedding in April.  I know that I can do this, I just have to keep doing what I have been doing and my weight will keep decreasing.  Currently I am fitting into a size 12 comfortably, and size 14 are now my fat pants!!!  

So Goal #1: To lose 10 pounds by April 18th!!
Goal #2: To exercise at minimum 3 times a week
Goal #3: To reach week 9 of the runners training sheet by April 18th.

All these seem reachable and measurable and within the realm of possibility!!!  Can't wait to post more on these goals!!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Week seven 52 Photo Challenge Free week

So week seven was a free week, and I couldn't even get anything photographed that I was happy with so I waited until my family day trip and I submitted some of those photos.  Here are my favourites from that day!!!

It was a fun day, the only thing that would have made it better would have been having Chan home with us!!!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Week Six Photo Challenge Fearless

Ok I am behind in my blogging a bit, so I need to catch you up.  We are actually into week eight as I post this blog.  But week six was Fearless.  Come up with good photos to encapsulate a theme can be difficult, and sometimes you do need a preamble to why the photo represents the theme.  So I will tell you a story.

Many years ago, I became afraid to leave my, then, boyfriend.  We weren't good for each other, we were constantly fighting and I was miserable.  But he offered me a sense of security that I wasn't ready to let go.  I was competent, I was putting myself through school, I was putting food on the table, I was taking care of my little guy and I was doing it all without his help.  But I had painted him in my mind as vindictive, I  firmly believed that if we broke up he would take all the furniture from my house that was his, the kitchen table, the television, the couch and I would be left with very little and that because I would have been left with so little he may have tried to take my son from me as well.  So I couldn't leave, I couldn't walk away.  For three years at New Years I made a resolution, I was going to break up with him, if I wasn't genuinely happy with him in 90 days.  But I became complacent, it's a devil of a thing to become, and I stayed for 730 days longer than I should have.  The third year I made the resolution I kept it, I didn't give myself 90 days, I just determined that I was done, so I called him, and he knew what was coming. Neither of us were happy, but we were trying to make it work for our little guy.

I finally left, I left my comfort zone and it was such a growing experience for me. I learned that people aren't always the devils you make them out to be.  My ex did not take the furniture that was in our house, he wanted his son, our son, to have furniture so he could have a life.  I also learned that I could stand on my own two feet and that I truly was strong without him.  I learned that just because I was scared didn't mean it wasn't the right decision and that it was ok to take risks.  Was the time after the break up hard, sure it was, we had been together for 5 years, I went through a bit of depression for awhile, I was angry with him, he moved on, found another date and even got married before I was ready to settle in with my life partner. I have a bit of jealousy over that. He was such a bad person in my mind that I couldn't understand why he was getting everything I wanted!!!! I worked through those things though and I faced my fear, which opened the door for me to be able to face another fear.

I had always talked about moving from Saskatchewan to Alberta, I'd talked about it from year two of University, 5 years later, I actually decided to make it happen. I left the comfort of my familiar surrounds, my mom, my sister, my friends, my life.  I packed up a uhaul and drove 5 hours until I made it to Red Deer.  I've now lived in Red Deer for 6 years.  It's definitely been a rollercoaster ride, sometimes it's great other times I wonder why the hell I moved from Saskatchewan. I miss Saskatchewan on a weekly basis, or at least the people from Saskatchewan, they are a different breed, be it good or bad, it's something that I actually cherish.  But I was terrified to leave what I knew to move to a new place full of unknowns, with no full time job, and no real prospects.  But I did it and I am honestly glad I did, so that leads us to my picture for fearless.

I don't think you can be fearless without knowing you have a fear to face, so how I show this in a picture is like this.
A packed suitcase, by a door, ready to go. I'm not afraid to go out into the world and try new things  That for me is fearless!!!
I liked this angle because it demonstrates that even though the challenges and trials may seem huge you can take them on, and if it doesn't always work out, you can come back home, which is why I had my home door in the shot as well!!

Finally once you've faced the fears, conquered the challenges they don't seem as big as they once were. Had I been prone to panic attacks, I am sure I would have had a few driving to Red Deer in my uhaul.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Happy Family Day


Our family day was spent driving out west to see some of the sites of the Rocky Mountains.  I have been to and through the Rocky Mountains hundreds of times, but I have never been to them west of Red Deer.  So I asked my husband if we could go out to get some pictures and just spend an afternoon together, it ended up being the whole day but that was ok too.

We actually slept in on Monday so we got off to a later start than we had planned.  But after feeding little man breakfast, packing snacks, getting water and finding all the clothes we needed we hoped in Hubby's truck and were heading out west.  We live so close to the mountains, and I love the mountains, I am literally in awe of them all the time so I couldn't tell you why we hadn't done this before, but I am so glad we did it this day and I hope to make it happen more frequently from now on.

Out on the David Thompson Highway we had  a destination of Nordegg in mind.  It's really just a tiny little community, it was cute, but as it was a holiday there wasn't much to do there.  We stopped in then decided we wanted to go further West to maybe check out Abraham Lake and David Thompson Resort.  David Thompson Resort was closed for the season but we were able to pull off a couple places along the high way to get some great pictures.  But oh my was it WINDY out there.  It was so windy, I was going to set my timer on my camera to take a family photo but I didn't think my camera would stay anchored and would have ended up on the ground broken, so we had to pass on that picture.  
This was a little train outside the museum at Nordegg, it was such a quaint little town, I really do want to go back to maybe find some hiking trails and stuff.

Here is the windiest point I have ever been too, it's on this little pull off by Abraham lake, you would totally miss it if you weren't looking for it. Hubby hadn't seen it at all, until I told him about it. So we turned back so I could get some more pictures.  Hubby and Lil man also had nature calling, but it was so cold, that wind was horrendous.  

This picture turned out fantastically!!! I love the light and you can see the sundog that is in the sky as well!!!  I was very happy with this picture!!!

More mountain peaks!! 

A friend told me she hoped I would see wild horses if I went out to Nordegg, and I hoped I would too, but we didn't see any of those animals.  My hubby had made a comment that there were no animals out yesterday, then we saw three different groups of them.  We also saw a few dead ones, but I didn't take pictures of those.
This was the first set of deer we saw, White Tailed Deer, which I haven't seen many of in Alberta, I used to see them in Saskatchewan all the time, but here I've more often seen mule deers and other ones.  

We also got to see some sheep as well.  These guys were eating on the side of the highway. It's interesting that 30 minutes prior there was no sign of them when we drove past this spot on the way out west, but when we went east they were all right there.

Highway 11 is the David Thompson Highway, it's a really nice highway with some great scenery!! I had a great day. We even went to look at the dam on Abraham lake and when we came out this was the sign I saw, I thought it was a great photo op!!!

Here we are at Nordegg, and you can see the grey clouds in the distance.  Those are over Rocky Mountain House, the further East we went the worse the weather got, except that the wind stopped, that was nice.

It was a great day of exploring, I can't wait to do it again, even Lil Man was an excellent passenger!!!




Friday, 15 February 2013

Pretty Girl Sasha

Sunday I took Sasha for pictures at Fetch Haus in Red Deer.  Alicia was doing a Valentine's Day shoot for puppies and I thought it would be nice to take Sasha for some pictures.  I would take Louis too, but he's a bit unmanageable still, so I left him at home.  Sometimes it's nice to just do things with the girls and Sasha is the only other girl in my family at this point.

So of course she looked great this morning then she and Louis went outside to play and got FILTHY!! I swear she was almost like Harry the Dirty Dog, you remember that story???  That was my Sasha, so I had to go out and clean her off.  Louis did not enjoy my brushing Sasha, he is very narcissistic, and thinks all attention should be given to him. As I was getting Sasha settled, he kept coming over and pushing her out of the way.  He's a bit of an arsehole, that's the only word to explain it, I mean he sits on poor Sasha all the time and Sasha is such a wuss, she just takes it.

So here is my pretty girl Sasha, she's great!! I would recommend Alicia to anyone who wants to have their pets photographed, she's great with them!!


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Dear Husband

For Valentine's Day I thought I would share a letter to my husband!

Dear Husband,

I would like to start off by saying that I love you very much, you are a great equalizer in my life.  You make me smile and laugh, you allow me to cry when I need to. You are unobtrusive in letting me deal with my emotions, which I know can be a real freight train at times.  You understand that even though you drive me crazy I am willing to work on things with you.  We don't always agree, and sometimes those disagreements are larger than life, but sometimes they are small and inconsequential at the end of the day.

We've now known each other for five years, and it feels like I've known you for 15 years or more ;)  It's been a great five years, and I look forward to the rest of our adventures together.

Happy Valentine's Day my AGB

Love,
Wife

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Week Five 52 Photo Challenge

busy going to birthday parties
Busy!! That is a great word to just describe my life, but to try to capture that in photo, well I am not sure how to go about doing that, what you usually get is the aftermath of busy, the crash and sleep of what we do after we have been go, go, go, all week long.

Busy working multiple jobs




So here are some of the photos that depict busy for me.  Let me know what you think!!!





Busy teaching at work




 


 

Can you tell these two are related???




Busy Parking lot

Monday, 11 February 2013

New Curtains

Since we moved into this house 3 and 1/2 years ago I have been wanting to get new curtains for the bedroom.  Since we have moved in there have been metal beige venetian blinds in the windows.  The do nothing for blocking out the light or sound and they are not even properly anchored to the wall, they just rest on the brackets so when you adjust them, you have to put your hand up to hold them in place.  They are the WORST!!!

So I have a sewing machine that I have borrowed from my mother, for like two years now, and I have finally put it to use.  It was a busy day and there was some cursing as I was not exactly sure who to get my sewing machine to work.  But at the end of this adventure I have new curtains in my bedroom and I couldn't be happier.

The day started off pretty lazily, I laid around for three hours watching Netflix, then I got up and visited with a friend and somewhere along the way I became determined to make myself some curtains.  Now when I decide to do something I do it, I just get er done.  So I gathered the boys up and out the door we went.

A quick stop at the Collicut to drop off the eldest boy for soccer and lil man and I were off to do some shopping.  We stopped at Walmart first to buy curtain rods.  I had initially picked out some plain jane ones, then I looked on at the end of the aisle and there were black out rods, that allowed you to pull the curtain flush with the wall, so I picked up those ones.  Then we were off to Fabricland.  I could have spent two or three hours there, I mean I love the place but Lil man and I were there for 45 minutes and we left with thread and 5 meters of black out curtain fabric in blue.  (As a side note, Fabricland in Red Deer is relocating so everything is 50% off or more SWEET Deals!!!)  Then it was home we went.

I didn't have a pattern because I truly wasn't doing anything fancy, just getting the curtains edged off and onto a rod, that's all I wanted to do.  By 6 o'clock that evening I had hung two curtains and still had enough fabric left for a third window, I am beyond excited to go to bed tonight.  I am sure I will sleep like a baby and it's going to be so nice and dark in my room, no more street light shining in my eyes!!!

Hope you all had a great weekend as well!!!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Week Four 52 Week Photo challenge

The theme for the fourth week was HARSH! It could be interpreted for harsh mid day light or maybe harsh shadows.  I knew what I wanted to capture the second this was posted, but when I went out to get it it just didn't turn out that way.  And try though I did I thought I was going to miss the deadline for this week.  But I was able to pull it together and miracles of miracles I captured some Harsh lighting photos.

My initial idea was to take a photo with the sun in the background but use the suns light to create a lighting halo backdrop. I have done it before, purely by chance and apparently there was no way I was doing it through practice. I must have deleted 50 photos, that just didn't capture anything.

So I ventured outside and began taking some photos, these are the photos I initially took and hoped one of them would be good enough for my submission, not that anyone is judging them, but I am trying to learn here so I am my own worst judge.


The second picture was a bit disappointing I had hoped the shadows would be deeper but they weren't, so I went into my house and thought well I have one photo that's ok, but it's not really capturing what I want for this theme. So I sat on my couch and I opened my book, because well it always works out best for me to do something else when I am trying to solve another problem. As I sat on the couch, I happened to look up at my end table with lamp, I am not sure what it was but it caught my attention.  It was my AH ha moment. I grabbed my camera and snap snap, got the picture I wanted!!!  I was really very excited!!
So there is the harsh light working to be advantageous in this situation.  It was such a neat shot and the shadows added to it. It's definitely a picture my dad would have liked.  It's weird to say that, but memories of my dad come up when I look at this picture and it's a good feeling!!

Here are a couple other pictures from my picture library that seem to fit this theme!! hope you are all enjoying watching me learn some neat photography skills!!
Here is a picture from this summer I like the contrast between the shadow and light on the neck.  It's a selfie!!

This picture was taken on a walk with lil man and it was the inspiration for this week, but I am still happy with the photo I got!!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

And the Mystery Hostess is......

My mystery hostess was Alicia, she is the wonderful photographer who did our family photos this Christmas.

So because Fifth Avenue Collection is in their 25th year, they are offer all the great hostesses out there double the hostess credits!! It's a phenomenal time to have a Fifth Avenue Collection party, and now we are extending this bonus into February!!!  I am so excited to see my calendar filling up with things to do!!!

The sales of my mystery hostess show have earned Alicia 6 half priced items and if she decides to book a show with me, she will receive another $100 in free jewelry, just for coming over and having a visit with me and buying a pair of earrings.

Don't miss out on your opportunity to earn double the hostess credits!!! Contact me today to get booked in, I still have a couple days open!!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Just another Day

It's been a quiet weekend around here, I have been working all weekend with my Fifth Avenue Collection business and Adrian and the boys have been doing their own thing.  It's been nice being able to stay home and just hang out with us here.  I'm really liking it.

It's not been often in the past few months that we have been able to do this, what with me working nights, and then other things with the holiday season, justing sitting around and enjoying each other's company has been a fleeting ideal.  Not even something that has been actualized.

Maybe that's why I love my Fifth Avenue Collection Business.  It brings in money when I want it to, it has the potential to be so much more, but for now it does what I need it to do.  I have made more this weekend by being at home then I have on my sleep nights, so I know making the decision I made to stop working front line is the right decision.  I know that I have to grow my business and step outside my comfort zone, but I can do this and I will do this.


So it's just another day, another day in the whirlwind I call life!!!

www.fifthavenuecollection.com/jlacourse

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Updating Blog Posts

WOW I  am currently updating some of my first blog posts and WOW is all I can say.  It's kind of fun going back and reading them and then updating them with pictures and new tags. I hope you enjoy the posts as they come up.  The first few were all about my pregnancy with Lil Man which is very comical!!  I was quite dramatic about his whole labour and delivery .

So hopefully things won't become too tedious or repetitive, and hopefully you will get a laugh or two out of these posts.  I know I did.  I am working to make my tabs work but so far I can't figure it out, if anyone knows how to do this please help me!!!

Later Readers!!!

Monday, 4 February 2013

An Update on Well everything


Another look back on how Lil Man came into this world




October 22 and 24 were crazy days. So last week, actually on the 22 of October I had a doctor's appointment and I still had high blood pressure. My doctor sent me for a non stress stress test. I am pretty sure I mentioned this before, what I haven't mentioned though is that the next day October 23rd I was admitted into the hospital. My blood pressure was 160/100. I was light headed and felt clammy. It was not a good day and when I arrived at my doctor's office he sent me to the hospital almost immediately.


I went home got my bags, kissed Chandler and Adrian and I set off for the hospital. I ended up spending the night in the hospital where they gave me a sleeping pill and monitored my blood pressure all night. The next day they checked my blood pressure again, it was still high, 147/86 but it had stabilized so my doctor sent me home with a prescription for labetatol and ordered bed rest. I was to go into to see him the next day to have my blood pressure checked again. We were speaking of inducing me on Monday. Arriving at my doctor's office the next day my blood pressure was "perfect". We still decided to induce me on Monday. Lucky me I was being sent back to the hospital Monday morning.


Monday was an early morning, not like I would have slept in, but this was supposed to be a week of holidays still and here I was spending my holidays in a hospital. Adrian and I arrived at the hospital at 7:45. My doctor came in to see me at 8:30 and inserted the Cervidil. There was a day of small contractions and not much else. Adrian walked around the hospital, napped and played crib. Adrian's brother Josh came by and visited with us for a while that night while we waited for the doctor. At 8:30 at night my doctor came back in and reassessed me. Not much had changed, but it was decided that we would keep me overnight and try again the next day. Whoohoo sleeping in a hospital bed, that is not much fun and I had roommate so even less fun. At one point in the night the baby's heartbeat had a decel down to fifty and I got poked with an IV and had to be moved in all these awkward positions to find the heartbeat again. It was all fine within two minutes but after taking a sleeping pill that last thing you want to be doing is moving around in your bed so the nurses can poke and prod you.


Tuesday dawned bright and early. Nurses coming in to check my blood pressure, my temperature and provide me with food. The food wasn't bad but I would have loved to have had McDonald's. That would have been yummy. It was my craving, unfortunately, I was stuck with hospital food. My roommate left in the morning to a labour and delivery room, she was two weeks over due so I did not begrudge her after learning that. I seriously felt like Rachel from Friends where all these people were coming in and having babies and my baby was being stubborn and not cooperating. So Tuesday was the second day of Cervadil. Again not much happened. Adrian played more crib, walked more and napped more. That was my day. The doctor came at 6 and it was decided because there had been so little change that I should go home, go to my doctor's appointment the next day and set up and induction for November 2. I was good with this I would get to sleep in my own bed.


Home we went, and to bed I went. I was pretty exhausted. Then at 12:30 the contractions started. They were short contractions, maybe 30 seconds in length but they were coming very consistently at 5 to 6 minutes apart. They were no fun what's so ever. I got up and rocked my hips back and forth and did Child's pose to help alleiviate the pain, but nothing was working. After an hour I woke up Adrian and told him to take me to the hospital. We called Josh to come and stay with Chandler in case we did not come back, which he did. At the hospital they checked me, I was a whole centimeter dialated. So they gave me a sleeping pill and sent me home. I slept for 4 hours then woke up the contractions again. They were now 45 seconds to a minute in length and coming every 4 to 5 minutes. We went back to the hospital to be assessed again. ( I am a little bit paranoid so I go to the hospital lot's) I was reassessed and found to be 1 1/2 centimeters. So they sent me to my doctor's appointment to come back later if I needed to.


Before we went to my doctor's appointment Adrian and I did some shopping. We had time to kill so I figured we may as well do something I enjoy rather than sitting in an office waiting. We went to Babies R Us and bought a spa tub. It's pretty cool actually. Then we walked around the mall to Zellers so I could buy a robe for myself. It was a fabulous robe. On a side note I am quite impressed with Zeller's new line of clothing that they are carrying but that's for another blog. Once we were done we headed to the doctor's office. My contractions were still coming and still causing me a great deal of discomfort.


My doctor took my blood pressure then assessed me. I was at 3 centimeters. An hour after leaving the hospital I had doubled my cervix's opening. I was on a roll. The doctor told me to head to the hospital and we would be breaking my water to get this baby out. On another side note my doctor had a plane to catch that night for Cancun for some kind of conference. 11am on October 28 my water was broken. At 12:30 they started the drip, which is incredibly painful, I wish they hadn't started it. I was given pain meds and I took an epidural that day. I had to for my own sanity, I swore the child was trying to dislocate my leg and make a new hole to pass through. His head was apparently sitting funny and causing pressure in places where it wouldn't have if he'd been sitting properly. I moved around all day trying to convince him to move into the proper location to no avail. After a long afternoon, I had my son, Leigham and he was just perfect.




Now we are at home trying to develop a schedule and working to get enough sleep. It's sometimes difficult but it's all been worth it. In my next pregnancy, if there is another one, I don't know if I will look to be induced... at least not medically, because that was just too much too fast, but as they say you can never tell what will happen. Personally, I will take the pain of induction over a Ceasaren anyday though. Just my opinon.