Holiday season is approaching, and there is a barrage of parties and events that will get you out of the house and into the festive spirit! I’ll be at Schmoozy this weekend, like I have been many many years before.

Next weekend, my darling HUNT AMOR will be doing a solo show at PARK! Eek!

And as usual, the best craft fair around, Royal Bison.

See you around! 

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It’s time to winter bike! I’ve had Kona out and ready for a month now, just waiting for the snow to fall. We only got a little bit of snow but it’s windy and COLD. I had to break out three different winter jackets because I was having difficulty measuring the cold factor! I didn’t wear them all at once. I also forgot I have this light puffy vest thing from Uniqlo and it’s basically the best thing ever.

I think homes in northern climates need bigger closets.

In other news, the rodeo was here this past week. I was trying to get my hair out of my face for this photo op, but this failed photo works quite well.

The city market has moved indoors. I have discovered that Dex and Alice actually like to eat carrot sticks, when the carrots taste like real carrots! Note to self, need to start buying market carrots all the time.

Amanda and I took a break from making horrified faces, and smiled for this photo at the aforementioned rodeo. I don’t know how anybody’s neck and back are okay after competing.

Alice had a very exciting day ogling all the horses and cows, then she skipped her nap and went to a dinner party where she was showered with treats and attention (webkinz, nurf guns, chicken fingers, sweet potato fries, ice cream, chocolate milk AND juice). She bawled on the way home because she knowingly took her mitts off and threw them on the floor of the car. LIFE IS SO HARD!

Bright and early, media call on Monday morning. Cory Christopher is having a wreath auction (more details to come) and our family made a LEGO one! I am so in love with that little thing. It’s charming and awesome and most importantly… no KRAGLE! I’m with Marni from Glow Juicery – She is so wonderful, she actually glows. Whatever she puts in her juices, it works.


mèi mei had another practice, for our Christmas gig at SIMONS this Sunday! Cory Christopher is styling and hosting a private shopping event – We’ll provide some ambient holiday cheer.
Then, it was my niece’s birthday party so we went to Four Cats for a birthday party.
Dexter had GREAT TIME and met the beautiful Tessa. She was distracted for a while, but then…

found it hard to resist Dexter’s charms. So cute!

I taught students. Made snacks. Cooked dinner two nights and ate dinner as a family! All in all a very successful long weekend!

Now, back at it. 

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Super excited that mèi mei debuted with success last week!
To bring you up to speed, my sister Sable and I have formed a little ukulele cover duo. It’s something that is completely random and removed from the other things I’ve got going on. It’s not teaching. Not mom stuff. Not 1st lady stuff. Not volunteer, not-for-profit stuff. Just… something I get to do for myself. Plus, it’s mega FUN!
Our next gig is a Christmas one. Yay!
This week, the kids went to the dentist. No cavities. It wasn’t Dex’s first visit, but it was the first time for Alice. Generally speaking, she did really well! I consider not crying and running away a success.


Dex celebrated his healthy teeth by building some awesome duplo.

The little man and I also had a lunch date.

Before his eye exam. 20-20 vision!

It was a good week. Got the kids processed. Went to some super interesting work meets. Taught a bunch of students.
And it snowed!
Brought out a heavy coat and boots and everything. It’s going to be a fun winter!
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Riding in November!
I’m still here. I’m still alive. So busy (I know, let’s not complain about it). I haven’t had time to check in. Rest assured, we are well. Lots going on.
I feel as though talking about stuff just exhausts me more. When people say, “What are you busy with?” Attempting to explain the various components of why I’m maxed out just leaves me tongue tied. Want me to join your moms book club? No. Interested in joining a spin class? Thanks, but if I’m going to ride a bike, it’s going to be moving and going somewhere.
ACK! I can’t even enjoy casual solicitation from mom friends. This is where I am at.
In no particular order:
Dex, Alice, and I went to the downtown library to film a little segment about why we love Edmonton Public Library! The kids were real troopers.
I went to my first Fashion with Compassion event! Was really stoked to see the spring collection from Malorie Urbanovitch.



Also, Cory Christopher designed the event. Proud of my friend for such a beautiful room and florals!
Was hilarious to get this photo taken of me, from my friend Katherine. Looking SO SERIOUS about fashion.

On rainy days, sometimes I take the bus.

Alice has been in love with all the wonderful pumpkins Cory dropped off. She routinely arranges and rearranges them on the front steps. I like it when she puts them into “families” and then gives them voices. Hilarious!

I’ve also been drinking some delicious coffee from burrow, down in the LRT station. Even rode my bike up the street with my beverage. What an excellent addition to the city!


On another random evening somewhere, I met a robot that can be controlled via breathing through a tube. Mega cool.


The kids went bowling for the first time, at their cousin’s birthday party.


I got a hair cut.

Dexter and I have been running errands.


Gathering supplies for a project.

Tom came over to assist the Chivesons with said project. It’s an unconventional wreath for Cory Christopher’s holiday something-or-other. Ours will get auctioned off and the funds will go towards our charity of choice (iHuman). Yay!

Don doesn’t have lots of time for things like this, so it was wonderful to have a friend come help consult. In the end, Don ended up coming and doing the build. It turned out great! I’ll share more photos once it’s styled properly with an awesome bow.

These were our pumpkins for Halloween! They turned out great! Yellow bird, laser bird, and a mine craft creeper.


They went perfectly with his yellow bird costume. The kids had a marvellous time trick or treating together!


Ran into this guy again at a committee meeting. Decided to model my mom’s knitting from Cory’s Christmas Market. He’s got a tons of local goods from artisans on display, and one of them happens to be my mama!


In other domestic news, Alice has been quite the character lately. Really sweet, bright, and imaginative! Then volatile, stubborn, and dramatic. LUCKY ME.


Though, the kids did come to the iHuman gala with me and had a spectacular time. Thanks for going to work with mommy!



Alice has also come with me to some work meetings too. Hanging out in boardrooms, watching yo gabba gabba, and eating snacks while mommy gets down with her not-for-profit gigs. Thanks, baby!
Then, refusing to go to bed. She has been quite the night walker, this one.


After Halloween, one eats tacos at Tres Carnales before attending a Gabor Maté lecture on compassion. Beautiful talk!


Between all the stuff there is the usual teaching, kid rearing, grocery-getting, household coordination stuff. I’m barely on top of my emails! For the first time in forever, I’m forgetting things. I’m an old lady that needs to write everything down now.
But I’m still at it. One day at a time.
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Next awesome event on my horizon? Here’s Nina! As you can see, it’s a TERRIFIC evening in support of The Nina Haggerty Centre For The Arts.

My sister and I are playing some music at the VIP reception beforehand too. For a long time we’ve been wanting to form a sister cover band. Finally, the right opportunity presented itself! I figured, why would I just sit there and play sonatas on the piano when I could be singing with my sister and playing UKULELE. Much more fun!

We have a modest repertoire of 5 covers ranging from the Beatles to Death Cab For Cutie. And, we’re called *mei mei.

*it means little sister in Chinese
*we’re both little sisters

The thing I love about the Nina Haggerty Centre is that they inspire you to create. It’s a centre where those with developmental disabilities can learn and practice their art, and develop into really impressive artists in their own right.

Are you free on November 4th? You should come! Especially since the amazing That’s Terrific team will be there to make you laugh until your face hurts. 

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Last week I rode to a Sign of Hope tour. Things are getting chilly, but I have yet to break out the winter bike. Soon enough… soon enough…

Alice came with me to do a site visit to the Jasper Place Library, where we’re planning a wonderful event to raise funds for the library’s Welcome, Baby program. In and around the brainstorming, Coryand Alice had lots of fun in the children’s section.

There was some atypical treatment towards pumpkins too, with my “little” from Big Brothers Big Sisters. Turns out spray painting things is really fun! Make sure to stand back and take fresh air breaks.

I finally harvested these tiny potatoes from my farming experiment. Everybody I know grows things. They say it’s easy. Then I tell them I’m the person who killed dill and mint. And they look horrified.

With some coaching from this one woman I keep seeing on the event circuit (I call her my potato coach), I decided to give the taters a try. When I took four small seed potatoes up to the cashier at Kuhlmann’s Greenhouse, he just gave them to me for free.

Who grows four potatoes?

Well, me.

The yield was pretty meagre, but I didn’t kill them! I think more room means more potatoes, so next year I might be brave enough to try putting them in a planter of some sort and “hilling” them.

They do taste amazing.

In a whole other strange universe, Don and I were at the legacy reunion for the 1984 Edmonton Oilers.I wasn’t really prepared for what the event was going to be like, but upon arrival I almost peed my pants when I saw… Andy Moog! What a super nice guy!



It was wacky being at ice level too. Makes me wanna become a rock star!


Then we took a picture with this shiny cup!

A fortuitous run to the bathroom meant I couldn’t go back into the arena until the team marched the Stanley Cup in there. So fun to see them all queueing up for their big entrance.

Later on, hanging out in the locker room with Kevin Lowe.

After losing my voice yet again (I can’t get ahead of the loud talking at these late events), I woke up and rolled myself over to the lake to watch friends take boats out of the water.

Tom came too!

We ate at a diner where Don and I enjoyed our no makeup/no shaving selves.

Hung out on stoops while Don was purchasing trailer antifreeze.

Visited Mike and the boat he made. He can pull his pretty boat out of the lake really late in the season, so he’s one of the only guys left.

Found an amazing fur coat at the thrift store. Too bad it’s way too big for me.

Then it got cold, so it was time to go inside.

The next day we spent winterizing the trailer for the first time. With a lot of steps and help from friends, we were able to get everything in order eventually.
Then it was Thanksgiving time! Check out the turkey that Dexter drew at school:


Am so lucky to have great family help me with the kids while Don and I are busy. The kids were at my parents’ and Dexter also had a sleepover with his cousins! Good times watching movies and going to the park with Keira and Gabe (and Alice made a guest appearance).


We ran errands. Ate one turkey dinner and one prime rib one. Ate pumpkin pie twice!

It was a busy one, full of lots of fun, but many other parts you don’t see. I don’t like to write about the unpleasant work-related things (like learning how to pump black water out of a trailer), because once they’re done I generally like to forget about it. Rest assured, life is fun times, but it’s also a product of lots of hard work. 

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You may or may not know that I am at A LOT of events. It’s a part of the job, but what I am happy to discover is that many Edmontonians attend the same events as I do, as fellow supporters of the community.
People often ask me if I get tired of going out, and although it is an investment of our time, I generally love learning about the various agencies doing great work in the city. Plus, you get to meet a lot of fun people!
I figured from time to time I’d let you know about cool stuff going on – In this post, it’s Keeping It Real for iHuman.
iHuman describes itself as such:
The authentic culture at the iHuman Youth Society is one of acceptance, openness and a genuine willingness to support youth. The focus is to offer youth opportunities to meet with iHuman professional staff and other social agency personnel as required, to engage in harm reduction activities, and participate in arts-related activities that foster positive self-worth and encourage reintegration into the community
Share in the Celebration, Save a Young Life – Join Us at iHuman.

Learn more about iHuman and meet its friends and youth on October 26th! Don and I are planning to be there with the kids. 

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Have been lucky enough to enough lots of everything! City. Lake. Work. Family.
Even though it has been cold, we made one of our last runs out to the lake in order to milk one of the last family weekends out of the lake season. The kids enjoyed the trailer and played in the sand.
But before that, I made a visit to my old high school, Ross Sheppard! I was getting in touch with my old social teacher to hatch plans about a youth initiative I’m working on with the United Way. It’s funny being back at the school!
The funny thing was after I posted the picture of the Thunderbird online, so many people came out to say they also went to Shepp -Thunderbirds forever!

 Here is Dexter being cute and eating popcorn before bedtime.

Also, my Good and Cheap book arrived! Authored by my amazing friend, Leanne Brown.

My old editor was hanging around Edmonton for a little while, so we went for drinks and put on tattoos to express our love for our old newspaper.

I rode the Pashley around at night, in the cold, in my Bano eeMee! I’ve never had a leather jacket before and it’s wonderful! I saw his spring collection at fashion week and fell in love. Luckily, his beautiful leather goods are available here in town at Thread Hill and Bamboo Ballroom! My wonderful piece is called the Bolton.

So that’s the city stuff! Here is the lake stuff:

Beautiful! It’s October, but still sunny and gorgeous. The joy of the prairies.

 We had a rockin’ time in the trailer with the kids!

Even in the fall, the kids keep taking their things off and going in the water.
Back in the city, I was thrilled to receive a gift from one of my students. I’ve been working with this family for 12 years. Back in the day I would get fresh baked cookies for a gift. Now? Falsies from the Daiso in Vancouver! Love my friends/clients. They know me well.

And finally, an early picture of the kids in their Halloween outfits. Dexter was hell bent on being an angry bird for Halloween. I looked into DIY options, but once Dex saw these costumes online there was no turning back. I warned him that having a costume you wore over your head might be weird, but he said it wouldn’t be a problem.

The angry birds arrived today. The kids are overjoyed.
And that’s life, lately!
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My tutu and I riding Pashley home after a very late (and cold) evening
So last weekend, between teaching and all the fashion week business – I took the kids to go ride horses! Friends of ours have some beautiful animals out on the land nearby and we were long overdue to hang with the animals.
Dexter had such a wonderful time taking care of this horse, only to rub his hairy mitts all over his eyes and face, and then have an allergic reaction. It was mostly superficial with puffy eyes and hives, without any difficulty breathing. Poor guy! He was a trooper and felt much better after I threw him into the bath and gave him antihistamines.
Alice, on the other hand, had zero problems. She and Rachel had a great time!

Sunday was a quiet day, where I cleaned things and made food and hung out with the kids.

Alice has great bed head!

Dex, unsurprisingly, was a super sweetie.

I’m almost over the loss of my voice. That’s what happens when you’re in loud places doing your loud talking all the time. Sigh.

Other good news? One last romp at the lake this weekend! It’ll be brisk, but I’m ready. 

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The end of summer was super exciting here in Edmonton. Between the Triathlon and Tour of Alberta, our roads were taken over with athletes and cheering fans!
The kids came with us to ride in the CASA Family Ride, which was TONS OF FUN. Nothing like cruising through downtown without having to stop for lights, and being leisurely enough to chat with friends while coasting around.
Alberta Treasury Branch was a generous sponsor for the Tour, and also for the CASA ride. Those dudes know how to have fun! I challenged their president, Dave Mowatt, to a race up the (small) hill. Since he wasn’t able to make the ride, he sent his CFO, Jim McKillop, instead. And they decided to make a little vid about it:
Post ride, the we took the kids into the square to hang out.

After I delivered the kids to gong gong and poh poh’s (my parents) for nap time, I went back downtown to experience the excitement!

Inspiring, exciting, and SO FAST!

Can’t wait until next year.

I’m not usually one for wearing spandex and riding around super fast, but I certainly don’t mind having my city taken over by bikes. Whatever that looks like! Maybe next year I’ll have my road bike back in action for CASA ride…


September 15, 2014

You know you’re scrambling to master a new routine when you’re the sort of mom that doesn’t even think to take pictures of her kids going to kindergarten for the first time. SIGH!
I wouldn’t describe life as being ridiculous or horrifying lately, but the new normal has definitely taken a few weeks to master. Going to bed early so I can get up early. Watching Dexter take 15 minutes to put his socks on (he knows how, he is just SO SLOW). It’s a bit of a shift.
Luckily, teaching and back-to-school in that regard is running as smoothly as ever. Love seeing my kids again, along with all their excellent parents! Got my piano tuned. Have been at the music book store a bunch.
And as you can see up above, fall biking has begun. Jacket, scarf and gloves were all necessary last week since we took a bit of a temperature plunge. This week is looking prettier, though the oscillation between warm and cold is just how it goes for us northern prairie people. That’s why we all have lots of coats! There is one for every occasion.
In non-work related, non-1st lady related news (you don’t want to hear about my committee meetings; media calls; or visits to YESS, do you?) I’ve been catching up, running errands, and finally had the chance to visit Jacek on 104 Street. After tasting lots of chocolates, I barely had room for my lunch.
On another day, I was hanging with my “little” from Big Brothers Big Sisters. Henna time!

Stopped in at the Alberta Craft Council to check out Matt Heide’s show.
And, after far too long, we made it out to the lake for a work day.
After spending the summer in my beloved “Walnut” (our 1979 immaculately vintage Travel Aire), all our exhaustive shopping led us to our new trailer. Do you know how many newer trailers are WAY bigger than before but sleep way less people? Also, newer trailers don’t generally have big front windows anymore. The interiors are often horrifying. We needed something that wasn’t claustrophobic for Don; had a bed big enough for him (freak show, if you ask me); could sleep all four of us; was still small enough to fit in our little parking spot; and had a window to face the lake.
We don’t go all the way out there to stare at a wall with a huge TV on it.
We wanted something we could enjoy at the lake with the kids, and also tow around on road trips in Dexter and Alice’s little kid years. Something that Dex and his friends could take on the road in the future. Something Don and I could go on old people empty nester adventures in.
So here we are.
We had to swap all the stuff from trailer 1 to trailer 2. Lots of cleaning, parking, and levelling. At least it was accompanied with ciders and sunshine!

Now it’s another week! Dexter is off at school while Alice listens to music and reads books while I’m on the computer.

It’s probably time to change out of yoga pants and get on with it.

Have a great one!

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