FAMILY TIMES IN JASPER!

Last weekend we were incredibly lucky to have some family time together in Jasper. Ooooo, how I love it there! It’s super gorgeous and wonderful and I’m already trying to think of ways we can make it back sooner rather than later.
It’s also a rare treat for the kids to see their father during daylight!

Don was actually there on a panel with Calgary’s mayor, Naheed Nenshi. They were discussing the importance of libraries and cities, and obviously had a huge turnout for the function. I was running around the lobby with my friend, Leisha, wrangling children in the nearby yoga room.

The next day, we all decided it was time to hike around the lake! The kids had a fabulous time skipping rocks and picking out optimal walking sticks.

I was stoked to have much well overdue quality time with my darling Leisha! She’s a BF who moved back to Medicine Hat last year and we haven’t had much opportunity to see each other since. Jasper was the perfect reunion location!

It’s also the perfect place for building fires. I love a fire.

Fast forward and we’re back home and Don is on a plane to Toronto promoting our excellent city.

I took a few meetings at the hall on Monday. I don’t work there, but these days I’m basically a professional volunteer and public servant, and don’t have meeting space so… I just come here. It’s beautiful!

Oh my gosh, did you guys hear? Our province had such an explosive election. BWAAAAAHHHH! Alberta is full of surprises.

Thanks to everybody who ran – It takes guts to put yourself out there and I know first-hand, how exhausting and all-consuming elections can be when you’re on the ground. Kudos to the candidates!

The dust still hasn’t settled, but the next day I was at a Nina Haggerty lunch where I got to hang out with tons of inspiring artists from the centre. Thanks to Mark Traficante, for a fabulous portrait he gifted me… of his caretaker, Brooke! It’s currently in my studio and I love it.

Oh, and flashback to last week’s 1000 Women high tea where my lady, Krista, and I were pouring tea for some of our guests. Looking forward to seeing lots of our city’s finest at the annual luncheon, where we’re raising money for the new child care facility at Norquest’s new campus! Be there.


Oh, and I haven’t posted a mèi mèi video in a little while. Here you go!

 
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SPRING THINGS

Pashley and I have been all around lately! Though, I’ve been pedalling slow and steady in 2nd gear because I’ve been SICK. Bah. Sore throat, losing my voice and this constant ear ache (right side). I suppose the best remedy is resting, and I have been doing a lot of that, but the show must go on.
I was happy to be feeling better for the YESS gala last weekend – It was a lot of fun! Neverland was the theme (think Peter Pan) and it was fabulous down to the last detail. SK events set a beautiful table and my beloved Owen from Edmonton Digital Arts College did amazing projection mapping! I particularly loved the psychedelic mushrooms.

 

I even had time to catch up with a friend that weekend. Tom and I biked to eat pizzas together.

It’s that weird weather where you never know what jacket to wear. That’s why I have a lot of them.

Got to visit my friend’s excellent new house! What a modern treat! I obviously have healthy envy over her DWELL abode, but am happy I can just go and visit whenever I need a dose of crazy high ceilings and gorgeous white walls with tons of light and clean lines.

Back at my humbalow (humble + bungalow), Alice was showing off her super cheeks before bedtime one night.

Despite my illness, I pedalled my way to 124 st to eat a roast beef sandwich at Dovetail Deli. YUMMY. I’ll be going back on Monday.

I’ve noticed recently that Alice has had another growth spurt. This led me to believe that the Mini Privéclothes I got for their birthdays might not fit anymore (even though I bought a few sizes up). So they opened their treats early.

Alice looks pretty cute in her cat romper.

I can’t believe how cheeky she is. STILL ONLY 2 YRS OLD. Ack.

Don brought home a gorgeous Jason Carter bunny from the Theatre Network gala this week. I’ve always wanted a bunny from Carter, and now we have a delightful dude keeping me company on my desk.

I was also at a 1000 Women tea at the Fairmont. It was delicious.

In addition to being their honorary chair lady, I also offered my services as pianist for a while!

Then I was pouring tea and eating these.

Finally, ran into my ladies at the Make a Wish gala. Love to party with Erin and Kendall!

Alright, it’s been busy and I’m on the mend. Now I have to stop blogging and get going! 
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WESTAND, WELEAD!

Ooooo, it was a busy one!

For months now, I’ve been waiting for my big keynote moment at the WEStand youth leadership conference. The day finally came, and it was AWESOME!

Great kids, fantastic energy, fun times.

Earlier that week, I was on the train. I chose to elevate my LRT experience with Burrow coffee.

We had a couple of really warm days so the kids have already gotten into summer mode. No shirt? No shoes? No problem.

Meanwhile, I was backstage stealing photos with the beautiful lovelies of The Wet Secrets.

 

They were performing at the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, where the most illustrious Tommy Banks was being honoured with a lifetime achievement award.

 

Then, it was my big day speaking to a few thousand of our Edmonton & region youths! It was my job to talk about local leadership, and we had a goooood time.
Listen up! In case you didn’t know – Poverty Is Solvable!
While I was out working, the kids were at the park.


Another day, I dragged Alice out to have coffees and a bit of a browse at Workhall.

And finally, on a Friday afternoon before the YESS gala, I opened up this envelope from Leanne at Centre High (she is their leadership teacher) to discover the most amazing thank you.

It has as poverty is solvable cube and united way pins!

Very touched! My favourite sentiment in the card is from Scott White who wrote, “Good job and great jokes.”
Be still my heart.
I can’t wait to speak to more kids and work on some initiatives in the 2015-16 school year. We’re going to shake things up!
Finally, our Apricity event video is out:

Apricity: Once Upon A Springtime from Chris Onciul on Vimeo

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BUSY BIKE

It’s been busy times on and off the bike! What else is new?

Had a meeting at iconoclast koffiehuis, a truly wonderful gem just north of the river on 118 Street and 105 Avenue. If you’re looking to have a nice café work place downtown, this is your place.

Had my kids draped all over me.

Pedaling to an Apricity wrap meeting last weekend.

And this past Friday, I was in the studio with Jen Scrivens and Ryan Jesperson. Please note the hilarious phone case my mom has given to me.

In a highly abnormal twist of fate, all members of our family were at home the same time on Friday afternoon! I had to capture my adorable little family before they left for grandma’s party that night.

We had to divide and conquer because mèi mèi had a gig!

Did you know? We’re hilarious.

Not all galas are actually parties, but this one was a lot of fun! Including the awesome Fireflyperformance.

In and around teaching, I also did my honorary chair gig for Edmonton Public Library’s Books2Eat! Was stoked to cross off “deliver giant cheque” off my bucket list. Compliments of the amazing Apricity team!

Rowena and I were test subjects in the photo booth.

And finally, after all the work and the other work, I got to chill out with my little sister.

I am typing this just before a student is arriving… on a SUNDAY. I’ll be at the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts tomorrow night, so students are getting shuffled to my day off. C’est la vie!

 
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GROWN UP BLOG

biking almost every day since the thaw with barely any photos to show for it because I’m in such a rush both going and coming back. There was a time when I was so eager to document every outing! Times change.

Needless to say that I am digging life on two non-studed tires. And, you can see that Alice digs it too! She’s finally big enough to sit on the BoBike Jr that I have mounted on the back of the Linus Mixte.

Perfect timing, since she’s starting preschool in the fall and that’s how she’ll get there. BoBike plus potty training. Lots of milestones at my place.

I remember when I was first pregnant, and then with a newborn, and then pregnant again, and with another newborn – The prospect of not riding in a straightforward manner (modifications for car seats that were heavy, going super slow with floppy babies, being limited by inclement weather) was a far off notion.

Not anymore. After painstaking years, my kids are finally walking to the train in a timely manner. They know how to stop at the corner and wait for me to cross the street. They know not to stick their feet in the spokes of the wheel.

HALLELUJAH!

Oh yah, and there is a hilarious photo of me trying to do yoga a the Bust A Move event last month. Thanks to Kyla Feschuk for sending it out on Twitter!
In other news, mèi mèi is preparing for a gig this Friday, playing the reception for the Courage Gala; I’ve got Edmonton Public Library’s Books2Eat event and after party; and I get to hang out with my Little Sister this weekend!
While I bid you good bye for now, I’ll leave you with a new mèi mèi video. My friend mentioned that I don’t look at the camera enough – I KNOW. It’s because I don’t have the songs memorized and I’m always reading music:

Such Great Heights from mei mei on Vimeo

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SPRING BREAK!

I usually take a vacation for spring break, but since I was away earlier in March I decided to turn this spring break into a little staycation with the the family. We got up to all sorts of trouble!
Like going swimming with the cousins. And on another occasion, having said cousins over for a sleepover.

We also went to the AGA for their Wednesday tours for tots.

The emphasis was on shapes.

Dexter’s is a firehouse with rescue bots in the sky.

Below, this picture of Alice eating noodles with a top knot, got SO MANY LIKES on Instagram.

I’ve had lots of fun with friends too. Getting caught up with my people, hanging out at Western Canadian Fashion Week, having brunch, and even dancing at The Common!

Most of all, I’ve been hanging out with these monkeys and banking up some R&R.

Oh, and Sable and I spent a bit of time recording some samples of our ukulele covers so that people asking us to play, can actually refer to something that displays what we sound like. We did a few takes, but generally were satisfied if there weren’t too many horrific mistakes (like me cursing when playing the wrong chord).

I obviously say this to manage expectations! I am a pianist by trade, and am neither a gifted string instrumentalist or a vocalist. We formed mèi mèi for fun, so don’t take it too seriously or else the spirit of it is lost.

 
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ONCE UPON A SPRING TIME

Finally, I get to come up for air!
My committee, Apricity, has been planning a spring cocktail party at the Jasper Place branch for the last several months. Last night, we finally got to debut our work!
Once Upon a Spring Time was certainly a labour of love, and each one of our committee members brought something unique to the group. No way this sort of thing happens without good people.

Earlier, during set up, we were lucky enough to have Behind the Blush come and make us pretty. After the Saturday I had, and with all my running around to pick up food the morning of… I was looking pretty rough.

Thanks Stef (above) and Jana (below)!

I won’t bore you with tales of crafting and lots of moving parts and all organization that went into the event, but we did it!
Transformed the library into a literary garden with the help of Cory Christopher.

Plus, here are Cat and Nicole, our PR and media specialists, doubling as florists.

Rowena, our chair, always checking in.

It all came together so beautifully, I really do think everybody had a swell time.

Once the party got started I actually ditched my phone and big camera so that I could move around more easily with my hands free. There are tons of pictures from others, and I managed to survive almost falling down a bunch of stairs (it had to happen to someone), and we raised lots of money for the library’s Welcome, Baby program.

All in all, a big success!

 
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20,000 STEPS A DAY (IN LONDON)

Hi Readers! I’m happy to report that I’ve been walking up a storm and my calves now have a life of their own. I didn’t realize it, but the newest update for my phone includes that health app which counts your steps. I was super impressed by myself when I did 12,000. The next day I did 17,000. Then, I started averaging around 20,000 for a few more days.
Point is, tooling around a city that has amazing public transportation (read: the TUBE) means lots of steps. And I loved every minute of it.
Thanks to the magical Oyster card, I was everywhere.

But, sometimes it’s way more fun to take the bus and be topside. Since double deckers are such a novelty, I always go upstairs.

And trains aren’t just for the underground. They’re also for visiting Bath, to see one of your besties!

All the buildings are old so… Emma’s house is actually an old school house. With a swing in the kitchen (that part is new).

My first pieminister  experience at The Raven!

As much as I like the big city, the quaint town life is pretty hard to beat. We went running in fields full of sheep and then ate pastries.

Georgion uniformity makes you feel like a character from a Jane Austen novel.

Back in the big city, I love to look at other old things.

The Belgravia of England! None of the houses in my neighbourhood look like this, but these row houses look hella posh.

Got some theatre time in (obviously).

And sampled many local delights, such as a fabulous Speakeasy where the cocktails are science experiments.

It had been nine years since I’ve last been in London, and I was really surprised at how much fun I had! I knew it would be good. Though, I was unprepared for how delightful a treat it would be to operate on my own time and see friends for an entire week without my other obligations.

I am feeling very lucky!

 
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LIFE LATELY…

Haven’t been riding as much as I’d like, but Kona and I still took off for an evening last week – So fast!

Here’s a picture I stole from Portia Clark (I think) of us judges for the Skirts A Fire media launch. We were judging several skirts designed by artists, made out of recycled materials. They were really beautiful this year, it was hard to decide! You can see them on display during the festival and should also consider catching a show on March 5-8th.

What you don’t see in the photo above is Dexter and Alice hanging off the rails of the staircase nearby. I think people are becoming quite accustomed to me showing up with my “associates” all the time now.
Same day, I did a quick shoot with New Classics Studio. They’re a local start up that curates sustainable pieces for the fashion forward consumer. I was excited to be involved! You can see more shots if you click the link. I fell in love with the skirt I was wearing…

So I bought one.

Also, really excited that they suggested I wear my HUNT AMOR body chain underneath the top – I think the effect is so cool!

Even managed to catch up with a dear friend this week. We got coffees and sandwiches from Burrowand ate them on a bench.

Visited Yellowhead Tribal College as literacy ambassador for the Edmonton Literacy Coalition.

Then, devoured sandwiches from District Co. at my Works Gala meeting.

In between teaching and kids and more teaching and more kids, I am also found wrapped up in my scarf at an Apricity meeting. We’re coming down the wire for our March 22nd event at the Jasper Place library! Amor thought my new cell phone case was so hilarious, she took a picture of me.

Same meeting, showing off some goods for our “literacy garden”.

I actually went to my first performance for Citie Ballet, and I loved it! So contemporary.

For family day, I took my little sister to brunch; taught a student; and then we took the kids to the Indiana Jones exhibit at the Telus World of Science.

The kids had a great time looking at the exhibits and doing the treasure hunt! They were also really stoked about taking home two snakes.

In addition to all this, I’ve also been filming these parenting panels for Breakfast Television with my two pals, Krista and Jason – Take a peek!

Dex and Alice were playing in the green room while we are filming, supervised by a kind girl assigned to my offspring. Thanks! I love that I can take my kids basically anywhere, and they just fold themselves into whatever is happening. Being a mom isn’t the easiest thing at the best of times, and it’s certainly challenging when I’ve got several random things on the go. But, there are so many great people who are here to help me. Including people I meet at the studio, or in a grocery store, or at a media launch.

Edmonton has some really friendly people.

 
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