The Babes & Babies of Toronto

March 9, 2016 § Leave a comment

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This weekend, I flew to Toronto to see my friends and meet two of their new babies!

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When I arrived Friday evening, I took the new Union Pearson Express train to Bloor station and headed over to Sarah, Phil & Alice’s place. I enjoyed it much more than a cab – cheaper, cleaner, and free wifi with elevated views of the city in the distance around the airport!

When I arrived at Sarah’s, I had hugs for Julia, Blake, and Sarah, then grabbed Alice for a selfie. She’s even more adorable in person!

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After eating pizza at Sarah’s, I went home with Julia and Blake. Julia and I had a good old fashioned sleepover and shared a bed like little kids. Eventually Blake even joined us ;)

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The next morning we went to La Cubana for brunch and were met by Sarah, Alice, Amy, and Karen.

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What? She has a mouse hat too? Oh for goodness sake.

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After we ate, we walked down past some cute Roncesvalles shops and arrived at Jana and Mike’s to meet Leo.

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So adorably new and cute with amazing surfer baby hair!

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Afterwards I met my sister at the hotel we were treating ourselves to that night. After lounging/catching up/charging our phones for a while, we took the subway to dinner at Burdock to meet Sarah, Phil, Alice, Julia, Karen, and Amy for dinner.

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Jenn also fell under Alice’s spell (it’s not hard to).

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The next morning, my brother Ryan and his wife Suzanne came to meet us at the hotel for breakfast.

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Then Jenn and I had to visit Lululemon for some very last-minute yoga pants shopping before both heading home.

“Where were your boys in all this?” you may ask. These photos will answer your question.

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Yeah, we all had a pretty great weekend.

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Christmas 2015

January 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

Better late than never, here’s a look at this Christmas’ adventures and events!

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Since our summer drive to Canada went pretty well, we decided to do the same thing for Christmas rather than fly there.

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This time, we stopped in Syracuse to visit our friend Matt and to let Henry run around a mall (he wanted to buy all the dog calendars from one kiosk), but then we kept driving until we reached Watertown, New York and spent the night in a hotel.

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We left fairly early the next morning (delayed only by Henry falling into some carpet glue workers were putting down right outside the elevator doors when they opened. *eye roll*) and then finished our drive to my parents’ cottage in Fenelon Falls, Ontario.

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Usually, by the time Christmas comes around, the cottage is covered in snow and it’s very cold. This year we were very lucky to have warmer than normal temperatures. Henry was thrilled to still be able to play in the sandbox every day!

Our first night there, Henry scaled himself right out of the crib. We all stood around stunned for a while, then gave into the fact that I’d be sharing a bed with a toddler for the week. Look at those shifty eyes! He knew what he was doing.

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The next afternoon, we had a visit from my friend Eli and his two sons!

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Their mom was on-call midwife duty for the week and so the guys rented a mini van and drove all the way up to hang out with us. I was so glad to see them and that our kids could finally meet!

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Arlo and Henry are starting a truck-themed kid band.

The next day was Christmas Eve. For the first time since my parents moved up to the cottage full-time, our family had our Christmas celebration there instead of at my sister’s place. With 5 grand kids, 3 of us “kids”, spouses, grandparents, and my parents, it was a full house.

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It was fun to see Henry really get into Christmas this year. He still doesn’t know the Santa story, but was really excited to open all of his presents.

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Jillian the veterinarian.

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A coupla handsome Miller men.

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The kids had an unplanned black t-shirt and blue jeans dress code. The twins did not want mom to put them down.

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Colouring trucks with uncle Ryan and aunt Suzanne.

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And some calm once 5 grand kids were reduced to just one.

As per our now Christmas Day tradition, we met Julia, Jay, and Blake in Oshawa. This is our third year of meeting up on Christmas Day and having our little dudes play!

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We got to catch up while the little dudes shared snacks, toys, high fives and amazing hair tips.

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We spent the last day at the cottage with my parents. It was so nice to see them and to see how Henry really remembers them every visit now. He really took to my dad this time! Grandpa got many, many hugs.

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It was great to see everyone and to have Henry spend so much time with family and friends. Before long, he’s going to be asking when he gets to go to the cottage again, just like his cousins :)

A Quick Solo Trip To Toronto

July 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

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This weekend, I took my second solo trip since Henry was born! I flew to Toronto Saturday morning and enjoyed reading, eating, and listening to music – basically a trip to the spa compared to flying with a small child ;) Untitled

I arrived downtown Toronto around 1:30 and met Sarah and Julia for a late lunch at Fresh, of course. Then they took me to a few cute new shops around Queen & Roncesvalles, including North Standard Trading Post. I’d been meaning to get Henry one of their cute hoodies and treated myself to a few things as well including one of Tami Noa Levy‘s provincial animal series prints.

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Sarah hosted a few lady friends at her new house for cheese and snacks before we all headed out to dinner at Burdock. Her and Phil’s new place is very cute and the cheese was delicious! It was great to see more examples of the homes my friends are starting to own in Toronto because Nick & I are getting very used to the idea (and starting to plan) how to do the same thing in a year or two!

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After dinner, we headed down the street to Bar Neon where Mike, Rob, and Tristan came to meet up with us. P1030769_2

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Although it was only one afternoon and evening of spending time together, I appreciate any time I get to hang out with some of my favourite people in the world. Especially one pregnant Sarah Curtis! That night, my sister Jenn came to meet me for a sleepover at my hotel and although I didn’t get back there til 11:30, we still stayed up for a few hours chatting. I’ll take whatever I can get!

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The next morning, I met my brother Ryan for breakfast at The Beast. After eating the giant plates of food and maple bacon donuts, I agree that it is aptly named!

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After I left Ryan, I made one last attempt to enjoy the weak Canadian dollar before I went to the airport to fly home. Let’s just say, I am set for both yoga shorts and Canadian Dairy Milk for a while!

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It was really nice to get away, even for just one night, but also wonderful to return home to these two guys. I got the best Henry hugs ever when I walked in the door!

See you again soon, Toronto!

Mom’s Weekend Off

February 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

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This weekend was one worth mentioning: it was my first trip alone since Henry was born and so it was also my first night away from him. I know some mothers don’t go this long – and others go much longer – before they are able to spend a night away, but this seemed just right for us. Henry is 15 months old now, and although he still nurses, he doesn’t actually need to. I compiled a very detailed meal plan for Nick to follow in my absence, and from what I heard, it went quite well – or as well as planned meals with a toddler ever go…

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What made me take the plunge and plan my first solo weekend away was an invitation to the Toronto wedding of two of my favourite friends, Karen and Matias! How could I miss it?

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Their wedding was freakin’ wonderful and actually had a strict no social media rule so although I took photos of the party, this one of our cropped heads is all you get. (And no, Sarah wasn’t a naked bridesmaid.)

Deciding to fly to Canada on my own for 30 hours was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. I stayed in a hotel alone for the first time and took full advantage of my free time – when I arrived 3 hours before I had to leave for the ceremony, I promptly practiced yoga, ordered pizza, and watched The Simpsons in bed. At the wedding, I had many moments of pure joy and felt so grateful for the friends I have in Toronto. They really are the best! I kept remembering “oh yeah – I DON’T live here anymore AND I have a husband and child waiting at home for me in another country!”

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The boys had a great time together. Henry, as usual, surprised us in how well he can adapt to new situations. Nick had little problems putting him down for naps and bedtime. He even got this priceless shoulder nap on Sunday!

Here’s hoping my next solo Toronto trip is only a few months away…

Christmas 2014

December 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

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We flew to Toronto for Christmas with my family on Tuesday. It was quite an adventure!

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Although Henry doesn’t fall asleep on planes anymore, he’s still a great flyer. Just watching the airplanes and trucks out the window is enough entertainment for him. (That, and having Dad blow his hair into funny shapes.)

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We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, as we have done for the past few years. My parents, grandparents, brother, and sister-in-law all came over to my sister’s family’s place in Oshawa.

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Ben answered the door for each arriving guest in his policeman’s uniform, to make sure we didn’t have any Christmas freeloaders.

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Henry enjoyed playing with his four cousins, but knew when he needed some alone time and would head over to the corner to look out the window at cars or read Goodnight Moon.

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My Dad wore a pretty amazing Christmas sweater, jingly bells and all.

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Jenn is still ruling at being a mom and her twins are so cute!

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It was so nice to be able to hug my grandparents after my uncle passing away suddenly a few days before.

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We packed everyone in for dinner at a big L-shaped table. 7 year-old Ben decided we should all give speeches afterwards. It turned into a teary, love-filled mess.

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And then Jillian brightened the mood by smearing chocolate icing all over her face. I love my family.

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Christmas Eve was full of video games with Uncle Ryan.

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Then the kids went to bed and we got goofy while the adults exchanged gifts.

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Christmas morning came far too early, but the kids were happy!

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All of Henry’s presents were a hit! Especially the stacking cups (and Grandpa’s nose).

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Boxing Day started with breakfast…

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…And grocery shopping. Henry rode in a shopping cart for the first time and loved it! It’s always the little ordinary things when you visit the suburbs, right?

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Later that day, we were so happy to have a visit from the Gordons. Blake and Henry “played together” aka stole toys from each other for a while. We also tried to take photos, but it’s not easy with toddlers!

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This is the best we got:

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On Saturday, we flew home – eventually. Let’s just say we have another challenging situation successfully completed in the form of entertaining a 1 year-old in an airport for 7 hours.

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Until he could finally fall asleep on the plane at 9pm.

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Although the trip was full of travel delays, toddler accidents, and majorly lacking in sleep, it was worth it to see my wonderful family. I hope you all had a great holiday too!

Easter in Canada

April 21, 2014 § 1 Comment

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This past week, Nick had to cover a show in Toronto, so all three of us flew up for a few days. We didn’t actually get to celebrate Easter Sunday in Canada, but we got to spend Good Friday with family!

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For a baby whose normal modes of transport include the Ergo and a stroller, Henry did very well in his car seat and on the plane. On the flight there, he stayed awake the whole time, smiling, giggling, and making friends with a flight attendant. The only time he lost it was when he had to get his diaper changed in the airplane bathroom, but even as a grown woman, I cry a little bit inside every time I have to use one of those too.

We spent the three nights of our trip at my sister’s house in Oshawa. It was so nice that they had an extra room (the future nursery for the twins!) so Henry got his own space for naps and nighttime.

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On Thursday, the Martins had to work and go to school, but my parents drove down to visit and take us out to lunch. They also bought Henry a crazy amount of new clothes! That was actually my first time in a store shopping for a baby since I’ve had one of my own. So many cute things!

Thursday night, we had a pizza party. Henry enjoyed his first highchair experience even if he didn’t get any pizza.

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My niece and nephew were definitely more interested in Henry now that he’s less fragile and more fun than he was at Christmas when he was only 2 months old. Ben liked to tell us the words he was saying whenever he’d make noises.

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It was so great to see Jenn and her cute little (big) belly. Each night, I’d tell her it was okay to go to bed early, but she stayed up until 10:30 with me two of the three nights. She is the best.

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On Friday, my grandparents, parents, brother & his wife, and even an aunt, uncle, and cousin I haven’t seen in a few years came over. I insisted we take a big group photo. I am turning into my Dad and taking over as the family photographer, even if I’m only around 3 times a year.

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We enjoyed an amazing holiday dinner and I ate about 27 cookies. Luckily, the breastfeeding diet is really a thing because man, can my Mom bake.

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Isn’t it the best to just sit around with family and talk after a big meal? And aren’t those some handsome men?

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Saturday morning, the Easter bunny came and Henry got his first basket. Ben and Jillian found out they were going to Great Wolf Lodge that day and lost their minds. When we came downstairs after waking up, they were already wearing their new bathing suits. We left for the airport shortly before the Martins left to drive to their mini-holiday.

It was so great to see everyone. I wish it was a longer trip because I would love to introduce Henry to my friends in Toronto. Hopefully next time. (Babies are time eaters ;)

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Henry had such a good time with everyone, but he was definitely happy to crash in his own crib once we were home.

See you in the Summer, Canada!

2013: Year in Review

January 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

2013 was an incredible year for Nick and I for one very obvious reason: we had a son at the end of it. I got to experience pregnancy, and all the changes, compromises, preparedness, and the well-meaning funny/strange/weird advice that comes along with it. While this definitely dominated the year, there were still some great events that happened and memories made. Let’s review, if you’re interested.

JANUARY

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Nick and I began 2013 in Paris!

30 Rock (this blog’s namesake) had its final episode :(

I dealt with a painful and annoying arm injury from yoga, but after many chiropractor appointments and changes made to some poses in my practice, I got it under control.

FEBRUARY

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Julia and Jay came to visit from Toronto. Julia was nearly 3 months pregnant and knew we had been trying as well, but she didn’t realize that she’d be here the morning I had my positive pregnancy test! (Which was actually Family Day, for you Canadians. What a coincidence!)

My family celebrated my nephew Everett’s first Angel Day.

I got really into animating my friends.

I finally got to see Desaparecidos play. (They were great.)

MARCH

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I went for a very frigid visit up North to visit my family and friends – and waited a few days later until Nick joined me to tell them I was pregnant. It was hard to not tell my parents as soon as they picked me up from the airport, but I kind of just convinced myself I wasn’t pregnant and just lived the lie for two days to make things a bigger surprise when everyone was all together!

Saw a hilarious comedy show by Jim Jefferies.

APRIL

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The tragic Boston Marathon bombing happened.

Saw another great comedy show – Jim Norton at Caroline’s in Times Square.

Nick and I attended a very interesting and informative Choices In Childbirth meeting. It definitely inspired us to learn all we could about the birthing process so we could make the right decisions for us.

I tried acupuncture for the first time after my arm started flaring up again. It was actually very relaxing!

I went with Nick to Lancaster, PA’s Launch Music Festival and had a great time. (It’s also always pretty sexy to see your husband speaking as an expert on a panel ;)

Once we finally got past the first trimester, we announced our pregnancy to the world!

MAY

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My wonderful parents came to visit us in Brooklyn.

Canada’s music industry lost an agent and the world lost an amazing guy – Paul Gourlie passed away.

The Banana Stand came to New York!

I saw an exceptionally great – and very exclusive – Creative Mornings talk by Seth Godin.

Super fun Toronto friends Jana, Mike, Amy, and Bettie came to town. Bettie was part of a very impressive furniture show in Chelsea!

Nick and I found out we were having a boy!

I got rid of my trademark platinum blonde hair.

JUNE

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My good friend Kate’s adorable son was born!

I hit the halfway mark of my pregnancy and started to feel Henry move and kick.

My mom and sister threw me a baby shower during my Toronto visit.

Saw Postal Service perform at Barclay’s Center. What a fun show!

Finally made use of my building’s party room and threw Kate a baby shower.

JULY

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I visited Toronto again, this time with Nick, and it would be my last plane ride until Christmas. We attended the first ever TURF Festival.

6 months pregnant! Things were getting real. I started prenatal yoga and officially made the decision to give myself a Canadian maternity leave and take a year off once Henry was born.

Nick and I had our Babymoon in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island.

We also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary with a steak dinner.

AUGUST

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The third trimester began! We started to clear out a lot of records, books, and random stuff we didn’t really need to make room for Henry in the office. Nick started nesting enough for the both of us. A crib and stroller were chosen!

My Grandpa turned 80.

Nick and I played hooky one Friday to thoroughly enjoy each other’s company before there were three of us. We visited the Museum of Natural History and Central Park.

I had a great Brooklyn baby shower, hosted by my yoga studio!

Julia gave birth to her son Blake just 2 hours after her due date!

SEPTEMBER

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8 months pregnant! Doing more prenatal yoga than Ashtanga, walking slowly, toured our hospital, and Nick started reading to my belly nightly.

Was thrilled to be featured on Well Rounded NY’s Bump Envy series.

Two of my favourite Canadian girls came to visit me.

OCTOBER

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My due date month! All I want to eat is blueberry pancakes and I don’t care about my birthday. Nick was even out of town for it, so I just went for an indulgent Italian lunch with Kate that day.

Nerded out big time at the Wes Anderson Collection book launch.

Had a short and sweet visit from Angela in Williamsburg.

Did yoga and rode my bike up until my 38th week of pregnancy. Had to stop when I got painful sciatica in my right hip.

I thought I could just stay pregnant forever, but by my due date, I was so ready to have this baby!

NOVEMBER

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It was like November 1st didn’t even happen. I went into labour on Halloween and 35 hours later, Henry Nichols was born!

We spent two nights in the hospital and about 20 minutes after we got home, my parents arrived to meet their new grandson. My Mom was a superhero and stayed to help us for two whole weeks. Best gift ever.

DECEMBER

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Our first night out as a family happened December 14th at Annie’s Christmas party. Henry slept in the Baby Bjorn the whole time, despite the party being so loud we had to shout to talk to each other. What a trooper!

After applying for a passport for Henry when he was just two weeks old, it arrived in time for us to all go to Canada for Christmas.

…And that brings us up to date! I hope your year was as fantastic as mine and that 2014 is even better!

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