hello from canada, eh.

Just blogging here from my mother-in-law’s couch in snowy Kamloops, BC. We’re having a lovely time. Probably the most relaxing trip we’ve ever taken (once we managed to get up here). I got up at 3:07am (thanks Sophie, I wanted to sleep in until 3:15am), showered, got ready, and we were in the cab to the airport by 4:15am. Flew out of Richmond at 5:40am, and reached Seattle at 10:30am (pacific time). Holy mackerel, I was tired. We met our friend Jordan for a nice lunch in Seattle at Chaco Canyon, and it was great to see him as well as just to be in Seattle again.

Jordan and Dan in Seattle.

We had a pretty nice drive up through gorgeous, gorgeous northern WA and almost as soon as we crossed over into Canada…SNOW! Oh man, I was so excited. I’ve been looking forward to a snowy Christmas for a while, but Dan’s mom wasn’t optimistic about it being snowy up here because “the winters are really quite mild” in Kamloops. Well, there was plenty of snow on the ground. We took the Coquihalla Pass, where the temperature eventually got down to about 15 degrees and our windshield wiper fluid froze. But the roads were actually pretty good and had clearly been salted and plowed and everything. So we made it to Kamloops safely, picked up Dan’s mom, and went straight to the Noble Pig for fried pickles and poutine. By the time I went to bed I had been up for almost 24 hours.

Scenery in northern Washington state.

We spent the next two days pretty much lying around under blankets, watching Canadian TV and watching the snow fall. Amazing, true relaxation that can only happen when you’re out of town and there’s not much to do. We did go out just to walk around the mall, and Dan and I took a snowy walk yesterday. Since then we’ve mostly just been hanging out with Dan’s brother, and his Uncle Remi and Auntie Pina who arrived from Kelowna. Last night we all went to a Catholic church service during which I was always a little confused and two steps behind the flow of worship, but enjoyed it anyway.

the view from Dan’s mom’s balcony.

This morning we opened presents and I think everyone felt pretty spoiled. I got cosmetics, fancy lotions, maternity clothes, pregnancy magazines, candy, a nice umbrella, cookie cutters, and a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo (from Dan — that’s one of our favorite movies and I need to re-read). Tomorrow we roll back down to Seattle and Thursday we fly out. It’s been fun spending Christmas in Canada but I’m definitely pretty homesick and missing all the Christmas traditions that my family usually does.

Views from the road in Kamloops.

Snow sweeping.

Being pregnant has been good lately. Still feeling great, still alternating prenatal yoga with a cardio / strength workout. Not much has happened since the 14-week mark, except maybe more people noticing my belly. Strangers and friends. So far no strangers have tried to touch it, so that’s good. Tomorrow we’ll be 16 weeks along! And in about a week we have another appointment, after which we should know the sex of the baby for sure. I still can’t really tell if I’m craving stuff because of pregnancy or just because I always crave carbs and junk. I’ve been really into avocados too, but I love those in general. Still drinking some V8 to get in my vegetable servings, and I’ve been making lots of breakfast smoothies with yogurt, frozen fruit, and kale. So hopefully that’ll have a positive impact on my skin too. My nails are super long and strong, all Lady Deathstrike-esque.

Other occurrences of note:

The Tumblr RVA Holiday Party at The Roosevelt. Amazing food, including fried oysters, ham & pimento cheese sliders, and lovely-looking cocktails. It was really nice to have some visitors down from New York and to see the other halves of some of my coworkers. Everyone looked amazing. Gift bags by Lianna! At some point I was thinking to myself, “This is fun but for some reason it’s just not quite the same…” and then like ten minutes later I realized “OH YEAH I’m not drinking.” Womp.

the Roosevelt.

tumbleweeds.

Our house was on the Church Hill Holiday House Tour, so we had like 300 people come through and tour our house. An exhausting day, and we never would have made it through without Lianna, mom, and some other generous docents helping us out. We served cider and ginger snaps, and got to hear some very validating comments about the house from strangers. The whole thing was really a lot of work, but I think it was a good opportunity to open up our home to neighbors and to meet new people and to just practice hospitality.

house tour!

We had people over for a Henry Artz meet n’ greet, so our house was full of friends and babies and snacks for a day. I got the run-down on good baby products from Mia’s perspective, and helped a little to take care of Henry, which was particularly good practice because he’s still so new. We went to Mekong for dinner and I fed him from a bottle at the table, and he smiled and laughed at me while I was holding him.

hello Henry.

dudes.

Kathryn came for a short visit, during which we went on a tour of the bakeries of Church Hill, made a gingerbread house, and had lunch at the Hill Cafe. Delightful to see Ms. Whitley and to catch up and have a chill day together in the nice weather.

gingerbread lady.

first time at Sub Rosa Bakery.

Okay, back to Canada and POUTINE. Photos of everything are here.

nature’s candy!

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