Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April… You were good times!

After the long, dreary winter days of hibernating, it finally felt like life got busier – and more fun! – once the nicer days of April rolled around.  It seemed like there was something to celebrate each and every weekend!  At times, I was overwhelmed as the calendar became more jam-packed with events, but looking back on it all now, it was nothing but good times with family & friends.

Take a look…

Uncle Reid 80.1

On April 14th, my cousins Donna & Ellard hosted a surprise 80th birthday brunch for Uncle Reid.  That’s him in the middle of this photo.  He really enjoyed the party, and being surrounded by so many family members!

Uncle Reid 80.2 

With my nephew Caden!  :)

Uncle Reid 80.4

Danica cozying up to Ben & Kayla

Uncle Reid 80.5

Mom, Patti, Randy & Kara

Uncle Reid 80.6

Auntie Mo teaching Caden to play Happy Birthday on the Kazoo!  She has tried to pass her talents on to several family members – she only let me try it once, and she told me I was the loudest kazoo player she’d ever heard… LOL! 

Uncle Reid 80.7

The Youngs :)  These are my dad’s four surviving siblings (out of a family of 8 kids) – Uncle Ralph, Uncle Garry, Uncle Reid & Aunt Mona.  Love them all!!

Uncle Reid 80.8

Danica & I saying “Cheese”!!


After Uncle Reid’s party ended, we packed up and headed across the river to TOSH, to celebrate my mom’s 65th, as well as my cousin David’s birthday, with the other side of the family!


Neve meeting a new little buddy, Lane.  She’s a few months older than him, but they were about the same in size, and Lane was an even faster crawler! haha!  I love this pic, it’s like she’s saying, “Would you check out this kid, stealing my toys!!” hahaha :)


This was my first time meeting my beautiful baby cousin, Grace.  She was born on the first anniversary of my dad’s death, so I like to think she was a little present sent from him, giving us a reason to smile & celebrate on an otherwise sad day.  Isn’t she adorable??


My little cousin Dillon, eating – and ENJOYING – limes.  He also went after everyone’s lemons.  Never seen anything like it… lol!


Luke, Amanda & Nevie


Baby Grace sporting the new shades Danica had picked out for her ;)


Singing Happy Birthday to Mom & Dave!


Dillon’s chocolate goatee


On April 20th, our community gathered to celebrate the Kennedy Family, as well as raise funds for the new community centre to be built in the future.  Here is the whole family, with a picture of their parents, Joe & Dorothy Kennedy.  (That’s my “fave” cousin Donna right in the middle!)


Kathy, Sally, Betty, Anne, Ellard, and Billy Kennedy

I had the opportunity to speak that night on behalf of our Canada Day Committee, to thank the Kennedys for all of their support of our committee over the years.  Last year, they anonymously donated a beautiful new Canadian Flag.  The one we had was tattered beyond repair, and we didn’t have the funds to replace it.  Kennedys to the rescue!  They wanted no recognition for their generous donation on Canada’s “big day”, but on this night of celebration in their honour, it gave me great joy to finally be able to publicly thank them :)

CanadaDay Flag[1]


That’s my dear friend Brenda, with her mom Anne, dad Jack, and sister Christine


It’s becoming a trend for my Godson Cowan to show up all slicked up on my blog, isn’t it?? ;)  What a little stud… with his Grandparents, Anne & Jack


Kayla & I having fun on the dancefloor


Ben with last year’s honoree, Mae McCann


This past Sunday we had a family dinner, and this little princess showed up, looking very “Pretty in Pink”!!



I’m truly blessed to have some VERY cute kiddos in my life!!!

Well… That’s about it for the April photo dump!  What a month filled with wonderful celebrations and happy memories made with family & friends!  Here’s hoping May is just as fantastic!! :)


Linking up today for Talk To Us Tuesday with Impulsive Addict & Shawn!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Confessions

Ah, beautiful Friday!  How I love thee!!

Kickin’ off the weekend with a few confessions…


I confess… that I was a little nervous going into last night’s Sens game.  We only needed to win one of our final three games to guarantee us a spot in the playoffs (or a loss by the Winnipeg Jets last night), but I was worried that we wouldn’t get it done.

I confess… that while the Jets loss to the Habs would’ve done the trick anyways, I was proud of my boys for making sure of it on their own terms!!  Woo Hoo!!

sens ot win

I confess… that the boys put a smile on my face with their OT victory over the Washington Capitals, but I don’t think our work is done.  I really don’t want to play the Pittsburgh Penguins, and I don’t think our chances are good against Boston either… we need to jockey for position now, and at least one more win – tomorrow against Philly – would really help!

I confess… that with the playoffs on the horizon, you guys better prepare.  I’m pretty sure there will be more hockey posts in the near future!

I confess… that I kind of adore Erik Karlsson.  I know many of you don’t follow hockey, but remember my post from about 10 weeks ago when I was bemoaning the fact that Karlsson was taken from our line-up due to a sliced Achilles tendon?  The optimists were saying it would be at least four months before he could even think about hockey again.  Fingers were crossed that he would be able to join the team at Training Camp next fall.  The fact that EK65 was back in the line-up last night – and recorded assists on both Ottawa goals – is a true testament to his character, his desire to play, and his desire to win.  This guy?  This guy is amazeballs. He makes me SO excited for the future of this team!

erik karlsson 2

I confess… that Wade Redden will always be my main man.  But Erik Karlsson?  He’s officially my main defenceman.

erik karlsson

I confess… that I stayed up last night checking Twitter, waiting for our captain Daniel Alfredsson’s inaugural tweet.  Part of the Sens buzz yesterday was that Alfie was joining the Twitterverse, and we all were waiting to see what his first tweet would be.  Post-game, it finally went up around 10:45 PM, and he started with: “It’s a beautiful day!”  (Alfie’s goal song at home game’s is the U2 song of the same name)… How perfect :)  PRAISE ALFIE!!!


I confess…that I’m pretty sure I’m going to start watching Prison Break all over again.  I don’t think I can move on with my life (or with Jax) until I do.

I confess… the tune that’s blasting in my car a lot this week is the new Avril.  “Here’s to Never Growing Up”.  Love it.

I confess… that I’m SO looking forward to our Canada Day Committee’s annual Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament tomorrow!  I can’t remember the last time I played poker, so I’m pretty sure I won’t last long, but I’m just excited to play!!

I confess… that I’m feeling so good these days that I can’t seem to keep the grin from my face.  I know from experience that the good days have to be balanced out with bad days, and so I need to just soak up the awesome, buoyant feeling while I can!!

Happy Friday, dudes… Have a GREAT weekend :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WWTKW: The routine & the comfy.

Welcome to We Want to Know Wednesday Q&A with Scriptor & Kenzie!


This week’s questions:

1. What does your morning routine look like?
2. How long does it take you to get ready for the day?
3. If you could wear one thing every day what would it be?
4. Are you a girly girl or more of a tomboy?
5. Where is your go to place to shop?

My answers:

1. What does your morning routine look like?  It’s a pretty strict routine.  My alarm goes off at 6:25 AM (which is actually 6:15 AM, because my clock is set 10 minutes fast).  Then I lie in bed for about 5 minutes checking Facebook and Twitter on my phone to make sure nothing exciting has happened over night.  (You laugh, but seriously, I wouldn’t have known the entire city of Boston was on lockdown last Friday morning without Twitter.)  Then I go down stairs and drink precisely 3 cups of water.  Then it’s off to the shower, get ready for work & do my hair, make-up, etc., make my bed, get my lunch ready and make coffee, and head to Mom’s for breakfast!

2. How long does it take you to get ready for the day?  About an hour, give or take.

3. If you could wear one thing every day what would it be?  Yoga pants or Yoga capris.  I’m allll about the comfy.  Linds, can we have them added to the MVT wardrobe, s’il vous plait?

4. Are you a girly girl or more of a tomboy?  I’d have to say somewhere in the middle… I’m definitely not a super girly-girl, as my clothing of choice is Yoga pants or jeans, with tees, tanks, and hoodies.  But I’m not a real tomboy either… I like to keep my nails painted, I rarely leave the house without a little make-up on, I try to have my hair looking nice.  And yet, I’m not sporty and I hate getting dirty, so a tomboy I am not.  Middle road for sure.

5. Where is your go to place to shop?  Lately, it’s been Old Navy on-line and Loblaws (Joe Fresh) for clothing, or Wal-Mart for everything else.  Ha!  Super classy chick, eh?  I’m looking forward though to reaching my goal weight and being able to shop at stores that I normally never go into, simply because I never to fit in their clothes!  Eeek! :)

Happy Wednesday, kids!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Randoms flying through my brain.

  • This morning when I got on the scales, I was under 190 lbs.  Not much under, but it was enough to make me grin from ear to ear.  I realize that 190 lbs is far from slim yet – in fact, still considered obese by many - but for me, it’s a victory.  Onwards & upwards! (Er… downwards, I guess I should say.)
  • I have so many pictures I want to share with you all, from so many fun events in the past few weeks.  But my brother THIEVED my laptop from me over a week ago, and thus I have no way of uploading my pictures.  So no photo dump yet, unfortunately.  But trust me… there have been good times.
  • Remember the time I told you guys I kinda gave up booze?  Well… it’s still happening.  I’m still Dry Jill.  I wasn’t sure how long I could keep it up, and gave serious consideration to waiving that restriction this past weekend.  But as it turns out?  I still had a blast on Saturday night, even without the rum.  Imagine.
  • At the evening of celebration for the Kennedy family on Saturday, one of the Kennedy children that was there was Billy’s daughter, Sadie-Anne.  And you wouldn’t believe the number of times I’d hear someone say “Sadie”, and my head would pop up thinking they were calling me.  I had to keep reminding myself that I’m no longer “Sadie”!! LOL!
  • The Ottawa Senators are giving me an ulcer.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
  • Still can’t get into Sons of Anarchy.  STILL.  I’m seriously contemplating just re-watching Prison Break, even though that would be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever done.

prison break

  • Jokes. I’m pretty sure I’ve done way more ridiculous shit than that in my time.
  • But still.  It’s pretty ridiculous.  Not to mention… unhealthy.
  • It’s a peach of a day out there today… a peach of a day.  The sun is shining, and it’s finally warming up.  My mind keeps drifting to my cousin Jeff.  Today is his birthday, and I’d like to think he sent this beauty of a day down here just for his family & friends who miss him so much.  Happy Birthday Jeff!

Jill & Jeff Jeff & I ~ June 2010

Linking up today for Talk To Us Tuesday with Impulsive Addict & Shawn, as well as for Random Tuesday with Stacy Uncorked.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday morning frenzy.

Friday confessions. Here we go.


I confess… that the news out of Boston this morning sent chills down my spine.  Is this real life?  Seriously??  I can’t even begin to fathom what it is like to wake up in the morning to find out your city is in lockdown, and that a massive manhunt is in progress; that your schools and places of employment and transit systems are closed; that you have to stay indoors with the doors locked.  I can’t even begin to imagine that level of horror.

I confess… that I feel what is happening in Watertown right now is the true definition of terrorism.  How do you feel anything BUT terror right now if you are there?  How do we feel anything BUT terror for them right now?

I confess… that I usually try to pray for positive things, for happy things, for light and love.  Today, though…I’m praying they bring that bastard down, and that no more lives are put at risk because of him.

I confess… that the Boston news, combined with two cups of coffee this morning, has left me feeling very frenzied.

I confess… that this really does feel like it’s been a bad news week, on so many levels.  Like, afraid to check Twitter in case of what might turn up next.  Boston bombings; fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas; a house fire in a community near ours that claimed the lives of two children; even knowing that my friend Stacy’s little guy Tanner is sick and in hospital right now… it’s all combining to make me feel so, so …unsettled.

I confess… that I’m trying to look beyond all the worry and fear, to an exciting evening planned in our community for tomorrow night.  The Waterfront Revitalization Committee is hosting another evening of celebration in honour of a special family that call our town “home”, as well as continuing to raise funds and support for the new Community Centre they hope to build very soon.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it on Monday!  It’s going to be a wonderful night!

I confess… that I’m really starting to question whether my mother ever actually listens to me.  Last night, I said to her, “I have NO idea what I’m wearing Saturday night to the dinner.”  And not even 30 seconds later, she says to me, “Do you know what you’re wearing Saturday night?”  Nice.

I confess… that this might sound extremely trivial right now, but… I still miss Michael Scofield.

Have a good weekend, friends. 

And in the words of Ellen… “Be kind to one another.”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WWTKW: Would you rather…?

Wednesday!  We’ve made it to the half-way point of the week!  Woot!!


Linking up for a “Would you rather” Edition of We Want To Know Wednesday, hosted by Scriptor & Kenzie.

1.)    Would you rather… go out to eat or make a nice meal at home?
2.)    Would you rather… drive or fly?
3.)    Would you rather… go to a sporting event or watch it on TV?
4.)    Would you rather… read a book or watch TV?
5.)    Would you rather… go to bed early or sleep in late?

My answers:

1.)    Would you rather… go out to eat or make a nice meal at home?  Oh, y’all know my answer to this one… It’s one of my greatest joys to dine out!  I love testing out new places, and I also love going to tried & true favourites.  I’m trying to do less of it these days, and when I do go out I’m trying to make healthier choices – as well as drop the appetizers and dessert - but it’s still one of my absolute favourite things to do.

montanas_cookhouse_canada_free_appetizer_2 My fave appetizer to order at Montana’s… haven’t been there in SO long!!

2.)    Would you rather… drive or fly?  Well.  Since I’ve only been on a plane once before in my life, when I went to Cuba in early 2011, I would have to say drive.  Not that I’m afraid to fly, but the rigamarole at the airport – customs, security, etc. – makes me nervous.  And turbulence also makes me nervous.  That being said, if I have the option to fly instead of a 12 hour drive, I’ll take the plane.  The 12 hour drives make me a little bit nutty.

IMG_0665 Me on a plane.  Also looking a bit nutty.

3.)    Would you rather… go to a sporting event or watch it on TV?  GO to the sporting event!  Especially Sens games… I love being at Scotiabank Place, soaking up the atmosphere.  Even if I’m way up in the third level.  It’s always a blast.  When it comes to baseball, I find watching it on TV boring & long, but last year being a my first Jays game, I absolutely loved it and couldn’t believe how quickly the game seemed to fly by.  So while I do watch often on TV, I’d never pass up an opportunity to be there in person.



4.)    Would you rather… read a book or watch TV?  Can I say both?  I love being immersed in a good book… But I’d have to say I spend more time watching TV than reading.  (Or watching TV shows on DVD).

tv shows

5.)    Would you rather… go to bed early or sleep in late?  There was a time when I would’ve said I’d rather sleep in late, but in recent months, that has changed.  I would now rather go to bed early.  Not that I like being up at the ball-crack of dawn or anything, but I feel like the day is half-gone if I sleep in late, and I hate that feeling.  A good day to me is going to bed before 11 PM, and being up no later than 7 AM.

Happy Wednesday, gang! :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Finding light in times of darkness.

  • What is your gut reaction when bad things happen?  Mine seems to be this:  It’s a sick and scary world we live in. 
  • I don’t know how many times I said those exact words as the news of the bombings at the Boston Marathon unfolded on Twitter yesterday afternoon.  It makes me feel ill to know that such senseless violence took place at a spot where people should have been experiencing feelings of joy and victory.  I hate that whoever did this took that away from them, placing terror in our hearts, shattering us all once again.


  • And yet, in the aftermath, I have found faith.  Faith in humanity. Faith that the good people still outnumber the bad.  Comedian Patton Oswalt seems to have said it best here.  Marathon runners heading straight to hospitals to donate blood.  Police and volunteers charging in to the area where bombs had just been detonated to help people.   Boston residents opening their homes to out-of-town marathon runners who couldn’t get back to their hotels because they were in lockdown.  It may be a sick and scary world we live in, but the good is still out there.  We’ve seen it. We know it.


  • This image has been floating around Facebook, and it’s the one that has brought me the most comfort at this very unsettling time.  Look for the good.  Look for the helpers.  You will always find them.
  • Despite this dreary day and my somber feelings, I’m choosing to move on to lighter things…
  • This past weekend was a fun one.  While our plans to take my mom out to celebrate her birthday on Friday night were postponed due to the weather, it still ended up being a wonderful weekend!  We ended up going out for Mom’s 65th on Sunday night instead, and it was a great evening.  Earlier in the day, we had gathered at my cousin Donna’s to celebrate my Uncle Reid’s 80th.  And my mom had also been at her aunt Margaret’s 90th birthday luncheon on Saturday.  Talk about a weekend of milestone birthdays & great times with family & friends!
  • I wish I had pictures to share…but they’re not uploaded yet.
  • One of my fave moments from the weekend:  On Saturday evening, Mom and I went to my sister’s place for dinner.  I was goofing around with 4-year-old Danica.  She was showing me her ballet moves, so I decided to teach her “the Dirty Dancing move”.  I would dramatically sing “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” while she ran towards me and I’d lift her up over my head.  (She was Baby, of course.  I was Patrick Swayze.)

dirty dancing Yes.  We looked exactly like this.

  • The next day, at Uncle Reid’s birthday party, I told Danica to show off her dance moves for our cousin Kayla.  Dan was tippytoeing around like a ballerina, arms up over her head and doing the odd arabesque, when suddenly she says, “Hey Jilly, can we show her the dirty move?”
  • As you can imagine, Kayla and I both burst out laughing.  And then I had some explaining to do!!!
  • Saturday I went to Renfrew with my friend Stacy, as she wanted to get her little guy Tanner his first haircut and pick up some groceries.  While we were there, we went to McDonalds.  I had my first taste of French fries since I gave them up for Lent.  I had a terrible weekend with food, once again (just too many parties!! haha!) but I don’t regret that Cheeseburger Happy Meal… especially the fries!  They were heavenly!  (Oh, and for the record, I ate Stacy’s fries, too.)

happy meal

  • Why didn’t I go for the Big Mac, you ask?  My all-time McD’s fave??  Still saving it… for what, I do not know.  But I knew my weekend was already going to be filled with too much food, so I need to save the Big Mac for another time.  It’s all about balance.  And to be quite honest, I really kind of enjoyed just the Happy Meal.  I was absolutely OK with it!
  • Alrighty, I think that’s about all I have for day.  In closing, I’d like to share my new favourite song.  Here’s Train featuring Ashley Monroe, with “Bruises”.

Happy Tuesday, friends. :)

Linking up with Impulsive Addict & Shawn for Talk To Us Tuesday as well as Stacy Uncorked for Random Tuesday.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Friends, it’s snowing. Let’s confess.

It’s Friday.  And that is the day that I confess.


I confess…that I am NOT in cahoots with Mother Nature, and that I am NOT to blame for this storm we’re getting today.  Dudes.  I like snow IN THE WINTER TIME.  I’m no more impressed by this nasty little trick than any of you.  Snow in April sucks donkey balls.


I confess...that I feel like crying up to the heavens, “WHY US?!?!??!”  Of course, on April 12th, the day we planned to take my mom out for a nice dinner to celebrate her birthday, they are calling for up to 20 cm of snow and ice pellets and maybe some freezing rain too.  OF COURSE THEY ARE.

I confess…that I have to keep repeating to myself, “There’s no point in wasting energy complaining about something we have no control over.”  It is my mantra today.  Deep breaths.

I confess…that I’m still secretly hoping the weathermen are all bonkers. Or blowing things way out of proportion.  Or both.

I confess…that I like to pretend I’m one of those innovative cooks off of Diners, Drive-Ins or Dives, or Eat St.  Especially when it comes to paninis.  I have had some successes, some failures.  This week’s invention?  Avocado, tomato, and cheddar cheese with Tsatziki spread (I used the Epicure seasoning mixed with fat-gree plain Greek yogurt).  And ohmygod, it was delicious.

I confess… that I had that particular panini two nights in a row with oven-baked sweet potato fries, and it is officially my new favourite dinner.

I confess… that I’m still always a little bit surprised when I find something even remotely healthy that doesn’t taste like crap.

I confess… that my day was made on Wednesday evening when these little studs showed up at my front door…

Cowan and Johnny

That is my Godson Cowan and his buddy Johnny.  They were getting all slicked up for their Grad Auction on Thursday at school, and I was thrilled to get a “sneak peek”.  Handsome, handsome, handsome!!  They are some lucky ladies up at that high school, let me tell ya! ;)

I confess… that it’s always a good night when Cowan shows up at my door in a costume…

Cowan Halloween

Halloween 2011 I think…?

I confess… that I hope Cowan doesn’t see this blog post… He’s shy and hates when I put his pictures up on my blog! LOL!

And… I think that’s all I’ve got today, folks!  Happy Friday, drive safe, and keep your fingers crossed that the weathermen are all just bonkers, K?

K. Love to all of you. :)