The Secret to a Successful Visit

For several months I dreamed of going home to celebrate my mom’s birthday. I was more than ready for a visit to the homeland, and I also thought that this would be a nice acknowledgment of all my mom has done for me over the years.

We only had about two weeks, as I was going to a wedding in Paris at the end of May. Last summer’s visit wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped, and I figured that one of the challenges was trying to pack visits to Winnipeg, three cottages, Victoria and Vancouver into one long trip. Turns out, that was about right.

This trip was so much fun. Both Annie and I had an abundance of time with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, and good friends.  The pace was relatively relaxed and except for a tumble off the bed that resulted in an uneventful check up at the hospital and one quiet day (sadly missing a visit with elementary-school friend Karen and her family) everything went well. Mom and Drew volunteered loads of babysitting time, so I was able to see almost all of my friends who still call Winnipeg home. I even took some time to visit my old high-school, St. John’s Ravenscourt, after not setting foot in the place for 24 years. It was really fun and I ran into 4 or 5 teachers from my day. Very nostalgic.

But of course, the most important part of the trip was celebrating Mom’s birthday. Drew, Mom, Annie, Aunt Judy and I went out for a celebratory lunch on the actual birthday, and then Bruce’s family came over on the Sunday for dinner. Mom didn’t want a big party, so we had a lovely, relaxing time with the family.

Happy Birthday Mom! Have a most wonderful year.

Making wishes.

Making wishes.

Annie gets in on the action opening Nana's gifts.

Annie gets in on the action opening Nana's gifts. I love how they choose the same colour outfits to wear!

Throughout the trip Mom had some fun adventures with Annie…

Buying books at McNally Robinson.

Buying books at McNally Robinson.

Touring the hands-on children's museum at The Forks

Touring the hands-on children's museum at The Forks

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Going to the zoo with cousins Paige and Devon

Going to the zoo with cousins Paige and Devon

And, of course, eating ice-cream and that most famous Winnipeg spot, the BDI. As you can see from the clothes, it wasn't that warm...but what has that to do with eating ice-cream?

And, of course, eating ice-cream at that most famous Winnipeg spot, the BDI. As you can see from the clothes, it wasn't that warm...but what has that to do with eating ice-cream?

Grandpa Drew had lots of time with Annie, much to her delight. They had an especially great time digging, both in the garden…

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…and at the playground.

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I was very thankful that my dad and Jocelyn were able to spend some time with us as well. They had just returned from wintering in Phoenix and were off to open up the cottage at Lake of the Woods. But we did manage to connect for a meal and a walk around The Forks.

Annie hamming it up with the grandparents.

Annie hamming it up with the grandparents.

Since we focused on staying in one place, we were able to visit good friends Lori, Shawna and their little one, Matheson, a few times. Annie is great with smaller children and we all enjoyed the time together. Plus the girls are adorable! Must be that red hair.

Matheson and Annie bonding.
Matheson and Annie bonding.
I love this photo!
I love this photo!
Matheson, Shawna and Lori.
Matheson, Shawna and Lori.

By complete luck, my friend Dawn, who I have known since Kindergarten, was in town from Carnduff, Sk with her three kids. We hooked up with her family as well as her sister Tracey and her daughter for a good play in the park and yet another trip to the BDI. I forgot my camera for this one, so will have to fill in the shots later. But Dawn and her children did also come to the Norwood Community Club where we were having a Mother’s Day Pancake breakfast, so we got another chance to see each other.

Dawn, Annie and Leah

Dawn, Annie and Leah

Seth

Seth

Jordan

Jordan

Annie also had round one of her birthday. (Round two with the class was on the actual birthday, round three with Austrian family is this week and round four with the friends is next Friday. Needless to say I’m going to figure this out better for next year.) But the party did let Annie and I have another good time with family and friends.

My brother Bruce's family (Sylvia, Bruce, Paige, Devon with Annie and I...and new favourite Dora doll.)

My brother Bruce's family (Sylvia, Bruce, Paige, Devon with Annie and I...and new favourite Dora doll.)

Mom with two of her three children. Now that I'm a mom who loves picking up Annie every day, I realize how strange it must have felt when we all ended up towering over her.

Mom, Bruce and I. Now that I'm a mom who loves picking up Annie every day, I realize how strange it must have felt when we all ended up towering over her.

Annie gets her cheer on with her new pom-poms Sylvia and I found at a discount warehouse. (Where perhaps some scrapbooking supplies were also purchased.)

Annie gets her cheer on with her new pom-poms Sylvia and I found at a discount warehouse. (Where perhaps some scrapbooking supplies were also purchased.)

My wish and goal is to make it to the West Coast before Christmas to visit friends and family there. Here’s hoping for another fantastic Canadian visit.

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