May 31, 2009

Some Lavish news

Hello hello!

OK - first of all, DO come check out our lovely website - Lavish is up and running!

And of course, Lavish has a BLOG

We (and by we, I mean my BFF Lee, who has been my best friend for an incredible 23 years now... give or take a few year-long arguments) are SO excited that Lavish is off the ground now... only 5 months ago, the idea for Lavish was born during our bi-weekly girls night out, and since that night, we have been dreaming and planning and spending WAY too much money... and having the time of our lives.

This feels... right. I just have a feeling that this is a good thing. It's perhaps less academic then I would have expected... but hey - I can honestly say that my Event Management courses at Mount Royal have been just as hard - if not harder - than many of my University courses! Probably in part because the expectations that I have placed upon myself are so much higher. I've met some AMAZING people in the program (3 of which will be working as assistants on our events), and discovered a world that amazingly combines my love of all things organizational, stressful, and detail-oriented with my passion for the esthetically pleasing - design and decor.

Plus - I am so amazingly lucky to be involved in the most important day in the lives of many people. Seriously - for someone who is still a romantic at heart - cynicism aside, I still believe - this is a dream job. I get to meet so many awesome couples, and their families. So far, this has been such an eye opener, I'm honoured to be a part of their lives, even for just a year or so.

So far, having my own business has been pretty stressful, but rewarding every day. If it weren't for the kids and Ian, I would definitely be putting in 16 hour work days, no doubt about it. As it is, I struggle to find that elusive work-life balance. My kids have to come first, but I also realize that the harder I work, the more time I will have for them in the long run. Hopefully, I'll be able to work from home exclusively, and thus be available to drive them to school and to their activities whenever possible.

So - a dream comes true, and I am absolutely excited and terrified. (When's the best time to start a new business? Why, during a recession, of course!) I know that there are some sacrifices to come (that's a whole separate post into itself), but I am so grateful for all the opportunities that I have been given so far.

Ooooh - if you haven't seen - here is our logo:

And - here is our promo shot from our recent photoshoot:

If you know anyone who is getting married - destination weddings included - please send them our way!

May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Luci!

Yesterday was Luci's first birthday. I am absolutely in shock at how quickly the time has passed. Little darling girl! She brings so much joy to us, every single day. I love watching her - and I love watching Cohen and Lili with her. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect family! Have I mentioned how lucky I am? Seriously? Every day I wake up and think of my little family and smile.

1 year old. She FINALLY got her first tooth - on her birthday it finally broke through her gums. I can't imagine how much her smile will be changing over the next few months. She is still no big fan of crawling, but does scoot around on her bum a lot. She loves to stand up with help, and has started expanding her vocabulary beyond "Dadda" and "Kitty" and "oh oh!".

We are so enamored with her, we almost - ALMOST - decided to have one more child. Alas, we've decided (again) that we're stretched as far as we can be stretched (including, yes, my poor body), and we will have to forgo bringing another baby into the family. I know - you all think I'm crazy for even considering it... but we just love being parents, we love babies, we love kids, and we love our crazy life.

Little Luci. I can't believe that she'll be walking soon, and before I know it, we'll have ourselves a little toddler. Amazing.

I will post pictures this weekend - I know, I've said it before... but life is crazy! What can I say!

Cohen is doing really well these days - he reads AMAZINGLY well! He is busy with school projects and soccer these days. I can't believe how tall he is (ok, maybe I can), and all of sudden, tons of freckles! This plus his long eyelashes have made him something of a charmer with the ladies. Ahem, girls. Oh boy.

Lili is... well, Lili. A tornado of emotions, from sunshine to thunderstorm in seconds flat. Always back to sunshine though. She is busy busy with swimming (finally passed level 3 on the 4th try!), drama class (what was I thinking), violin and Kodaly. Spring skating starts next week... just as pretty much everything else finishes. Oh, and soccer... which I can definitely say is not her strong point, but she has fun trying to do cartwheels on the field. She is 5 now - so big! She's tall as well... maybe Luci will be a short Swaffield. Maybe not!

Ian is back to work as of this week, which is one more adjustment in a year that has been chalk full of them. He has a new partner at a different hall... and indeed, a new employer, as Alberta Health Services has taken over for Calgary EMS. Hopefully, it will be a smooth transition for everyone.

As for me? I'm still in limbo. Always! Things are progressing, and I've finally - just yesterday - sent off the last phase of this process, via the Human Rights Commission. I feel very blessed to have so many great advocates on my side through this process, especially through Employment Standards. I feel like everyone is rooting for me, and that gives me the strength to stand my ground. It sure helps that there are so many moms who have been through it. I'm SOOO grateful for the advice of several people who encouraged me to save and print all emails over the years - thanks AGAIN, you know who you are lol! - and I can at least tell Ian that my obsessive "save and print and file" process for emails has paid off! Haha! I am also grateful for those who warned me about trusting too much, way back at the beginning. I almost feel like there were guardian angels looking over me, knowing that something like this would happen. Despite me being completely, utterly in the dark. Sheesh. Well, thanks again, you two. I owe you dinner and drinks! In other news - check back at FatMommy/FitMommy for some upcoming updates, hopefully! Now that it's been a year, it's time to get down to business and get healthy and fit again. Stay tuned!

Hmmm what else. We're excited about the upcoming visit from Ian's mom and step-dad - I can't believe it's already been nearly a year!

I think that's about it for the Swaffield house. Of course we're anxiously awaiting sunny weather so that we can all get outdoors, but hey - it's Calgary, I never anticipate warm weather until June!

Happy Birthday Luci, Happy Spring everyone!

May 5, 2009

Leonard Cohen

For my birthday this year, I was absolutely stunned to find myself going to the Leonard Cohen concert in Edmonton. We were unable to get tickets to the Calgary show, but got great seats in Edmonton, thanks to my Dad and Joyce. As an added bonus, since money is so tight these days, a dear, wonderful, fabulous friend offered to pay for our hotel room for the night (thanks Karm!).

I think I was so focused on getting out of town without the kids (it's been 6 years since that happened last), that I sort of forgot about how excited I was to see Leonard Cohen. And maybe, just maybe I didn't really believe that it was going to happen.

But oh, oh it happened. It was so amazing. He BOUNDED on stage - at 74! - and his voice was fabulous. As soon as I spotted him on stage, I started to weep. Totally unexpected. I knew I'd probably tear-up during a few songs, but I did not expect to be so completely overwhelmed by just the sight of him! Amazing! I cried through the entire concert. Each song he played held special memories for Ian and I, and the kids - we sang many, many songs to the kids in the middle of the night throughout the years.

Anyway. He played so many of the great songs, and even treated us to some spoken poetry, which was almost more intimate and breathtaking! The band was amazing, the back-up singers were fantastic, and I couldn't take my eyes off of Leonard the entire time.

And the rest of the audience felt much the same way, I'm sure - there was that amazingly spontaneous standing ovation (musicians know the one) several times. In fact, he played 6 encores, playing for an amazing 3.5 hours. At 74 years old!

It was incredible. As Ian put it - it was the closest thing to a religious experience that he's ever had.

So fantastic.

Anyway - it was a very nice birthday. We spent the next day walking through West Edmonton Mall, and then came home. It was a small trip, but it was nice to spend some time alone with Ian!

31 years old now... which is fine - Ian and I both got ID'd at the concert, hahah! I'm enjoying my 30's so far - so much less anxiety than my 20's - and although the future is still pretty unclear for me, I'm confident that I can handle whatever comes my way.

And, as an added bonus, it's SPRING! I love it.

Which reminds me - Luci is almost a year old! !! !! !! Huh???

May 1, 2009

Got Work?

Today my girlfriend remarked to me - "Looking for a job in a recession is akin to finding a needle in a haystack."

I disagree. Looking for a job is no problem. Finding one - well, that's more like finding a Stanley Cup at the Saddledome.


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