Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back on 2011...and forward to 2012

It has been another great year with some ups and some downs.  Here are some of the highlights:
  • Wyatt turned 2 in February and started being able to talk to us a lot more.  He also had a brief trip to the hospital at the end of November for what seemed to be an asthma attack, but we are hoping that it is a one-time occurrence and not something that we will have to watch for during cold season.  He is also mostly potty-trained which is awesome as it means we will only have one child in diapers in 2012 :)
  • Connor turned 4 in August and started Junior Kindergarten in September at Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.
  • Julie and Geofford celebrated their 5 year wedding anniversary on September 16th.
  • We welcomed Elena Kwok to the family on February 20th.  She is the third child of Francis (Julie's youngest brother) and Jaclyn.
  • Damian (Julie's middle brother) and Michelle got married on October 1st, so we had  many excuses to have parties: Stag and Doe, Bridal Shower, Bachelorette, Bachelor Party, Rehearsal Dinner, and the actual wedding!
  • Cassie (Geofford's cousin) and Ian got married on April 8th in London, England, so Geofford and Julie decided to make the trip across the pond.  Julie had a bit more vacation than Geofford (since she didn't accompany him to Prague in 2010 for the WUCC), so she went for a week whereas Geofford was in London for a long weekend (Thursday morning to Sunday).
  • We also had the opportunity to celebrate friends' weddings: Cindy and Zach (June 4th), Tony and Whynter (July 30th) and Kevin and Lily (October 8th).
  • Julie got called for jury duty in March, so she got to see the justice system first-hand.  She's glad to have experienced it, but hopes that she will not have to do it again.
  • Julie's Poh-Poh (maternal grandmother) passed away on April 14th.  She lived a good life (she would have been 100 in September), with 11 children, 25 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren (I hope I'm not missing anyone) at the time of her death.
  • Julie was able to attend the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, MX in November.  It was an amazing experience and she thoroughly enjoyed her first multi-sport games.
  • Geofford was the best man in Damian's wedding and a groomsman in Tony's wedding, so he had a few commitments attached to each of those weddings.
  • Geofford also played competitive ultimate with the master's team GLUM again this summer.  They came in 2nd at the Canadian Ultimate Championships (which were held in Ottawa) in August.  It was a disappointing finish for the team as they were hoping to win, which meant that the team's leadership would have the opportunity to select the team going to the World Ultimate Championships in 2012 which will be held in Sakai, Japan from July 7-14th.  Geofford has applied to be a part of Team Canada, but hasn't heard back yet.  He is supposed to hear sometime today if he made the short list, so we shall see...
  • Baby Seaborn #3 was conceived and has been demanding a lot more attention than his/her older brothers did while in utero...I wonder if that is a sign of things to come in 2012 and beyond...

Here is our year in review in photos:

As the year comes to a close, it is traditional to make resolutions for the New Year.  We have already started one of our resolutions, and that is to eat healthier and with a better social conscience.  It is something that we have been thinking about for a while and the opportunity dropped into our laps during the holidays.  We received a visit from Nutrafarms asking if we wanted a free meat sample.  We decided to listen to the pitch and found out that the meat is not organic, but it is all from Ontario and it is all free-range, grain/corn fed and antibiotic free.  We decided to give it a try as we were trying to purchase things more local, but meat was something that always alluded us because we didn't have the time to visit different farms/farmers markets, etc. to source out our meat.  We are going to try it out this year and see how it works out.  The cost works out to be about half of our yearly grocery bill, but we figured the value should be worth it.  We received the shipment of meat yesterday and we will see how things work out.  Here is a picture of the meat:

The other big resolution that I want to make is to try and spend more quality time with family and friends.  This may be a difficult one to keep, depending on Baby #3's temperament, but as I will be on maternity leave for the majority of the year, I'm hoping that we can make it happen.

With everything that we have been through the past couple weeks, a few people have commented to me that I have been quite optimistic through everything that we have endured.  I guess my initial reaction was that this is nothing that I can control and if I keep thinking positively then I will be able to get through this rough patch, because that is all that this is, it's a little bump in the road of life.  In the grand scheme of things, my life is pretty good and that is what I focus on.  I was listening to the CBC this morning and I was reminded of the letter that Jack Layton wrote to Canadian's right before he passed away.  The closing paragraph is quite moving and is something that I will strive to achieve:

"My friends, love is better than anger.  
Hope is better than fear.  
Optimism is better than despair.  
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.  
And we'll change the world."

Wishing you a wonderful 2012!  


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