Thursday, December 31, 2015

What a year - 2015!!

Well, it's that time of year again where I sit and reflect on what has transpired over this past year and then look forward to this coming year. I always like this exercise in introspection, it always makes me feel like I have cleared the cobwebs that may have grown over the past year and it allows me to start fresh.

What a great year we had!

January I learned to snowboard, and while it was painful and exhausting, it was (and is) so much fun! The bruises were worth it and while I am not sure if I will snowboard forever, I know that I will always be able to strap a board to my feet and fly down the hill!

February we took a trip to White Fish, Montana with some childhood friends of J's - it was incredible to hole up in a mountain chalet and eat great food, play games, and visit with a great group of people. I hit the hill one of the days, snowboarding with the crew, and snowshoe'd and adventured the other days. It was a great trip and while the snow wasn't great, it was so much fun to get to know new friends and go on great sight seeing adventures.

March, our room mate finally moved out and we were able to start the renos. We ripped out the carpet and installed laminate and we painted all the walls. It was tiring but rewarding work that I could not have done myself. Thanks to J for being so willing to step up to the table saw and help me out.

April was not super busy, but did see me start my book club and the beginnings of baseball, which I always love. It was my first year managing the team and we started off with 2 practices to make sure we had the numbers, we did! We spent Easter with my family, sharing incredible meals and going to mass, it was peaceful and restful.

May was incredible. We finally started to build our furniture, which was a great challenge and also a great reward! We took a great trip to Kelowna that was one of the best holidays I have ever taken. Who knew that travelling locally could be so much fun. It was a great adventure and so rewarding. I really hope we make this an annual trip because it was sincerely one of the best weekend holidays ever! Also in May, I started working at a restaurant in hopes of obtaining my Sommelier ticket!

June saw us finish our furniture, including up-cycling my desk from when I was 9 years old that I received from my parents and also a hutch/china cabinet that my mom and dad had since they were married in '77. The hutch remained as is, other than 9 coats of paint and some stylings, but the desk was transformed into a great wine desk where I can hang my glasses and store all my wine nick-nacks.

In July celebrated J's birthday with style, and had about 20 people over to celebrate until the wee hours of the morning. We also finished things like base boards and touch-ups in the house, I sewed curtains and we spent a lot of our time playing ball or working. We managed to go camping one of the weekends and headed to Lethbridge with friends of ours, where we went to an incredible Air Show. While the camping was nothing but windy, it was a great weekend and the weather for the Air Show was perfect

My annual Family reunion was in August and we attended with my good friend Larissa and her boyfriend, Alex. It was nice to see family and the farm, it had been too long. Cape Breton and PEI was the big highlight of August, however. We spent 8 days in Cape Breton with J's family, where we partied until the early hours of the morning, we spent lazy days by the ocean swimming and we visited with all the family - sometimes it felt like the whole island was visiting with us! It was incredible. We scooted off to PEI for one night (2 days) where we saw a high school friend of mine and her family and also Anne of Green Gables and other PEI delights. I was enamored with Charlottetown and I know that one day we will return! We had a wonderful trip to the coast! :)

September saw us camping a number of times with some friends and heading up to Northern Alberta for a family wedding. I would have preferred to camp on the weekend of the wedding, honestly, but what can you do! :) In Sept. Larissa left Canada for good, and it was a very sad day. BUT, we will see each other soon, so I find comfort in that. Our reno's continued with getting new Carpet in the bedrooms in September which brought us closer to our goal of re-doing the whole house!!

October we spent a lot of time working and finishing some of the niggling things that we needed to do. We finished the baseboards in the bedrooms and re-hung curtains, painted the bathroom and put our things away, where we wanted them.

Jasper was the highlight of November by far! We took some vacation days and spent 3 days, 2 nights in Jasper. We had a great room in a little motel and had a wonderful, relaxing time. We hiked the Valley of 5 lakes and it has got to be my favourite hike that I have ever been on. Of course I got us lost and we ended up doing about 15kms instead of the 5kms planned, but we had a wonderful hike, and it was a stunning day! The food we ate was incredible and the hot tub at the end of the day sealed the deal, Jasper - to me - is bliss and it remains one of my favourite places in the world. While the drive to Jasper was snowy and harrowing, the ride back home was incredible and boasts some of the most incredible panoramas of the Rockies! Also in November, I sat my Level 2 wine course - I think I did well but I won't know until mid Jan how I did! :) We also finished our renos in November. F.I.N.I.S.H.E.D!!!! We re-did the flooring in the bathroom (and front closet)  from this terrible lino to a beautiful tile and re-did the tile on the fireplace. Once again I couldn't have done this without J's help, he is just so handy and I would be remiss to not mention the fact that he has a collection of tools we have used in so many ways for all our projects!! I am just so thankful!

The year was wrapped up nicely with December. We celebrated my birthday early with a party and wine tasting with a bunch of friends and it was delightful and so wonderful to finish off the year surrounded by friends.  I managed to squirrel away enough vacation days to take the last 2 weeks off of the month, which ended up being about 18 days - such a great rest! A few days before my birthday, J surprised me with breakfast and STAR WARS!! It was awesome and such a wonderful day, I am so spoiled!! Christmas was wonderful and we were spoiled by Santa and each other... we are just so lucky! We ate too much, drank too much and spent too much - next year we promise to hold back some, but who knows if that is going to happen! Our final days of the year were spent with J's brother and his family which is always so relaxing and fun. Finally, we hit the slopes, snowboarding at Lake Louise which is STUNNING at the top of the mountain - What a way to finish a wonderful year.

Here's hoping that 2016 will be just as good, if not better than 2015 - we sure set the bar high.