Sunday, 2 October 2016

Hedley with 400 of my favourite people


Pictured above: That time a big time band came to our school gym and played in front of a classic bubble-lettered hand painted sign that proudly proclaimed "Homecoming with Hedley."  They were there to recognize and inspire our students.  Our school has been organizing a Relay for Life for the past 15 years and they have raised close to $700,000.  Its an incredible feat for such a tiny community and they deserve a little recognition.

Whomever says teenagers are disengaged, unhelpful and self-absorbed is hanging out with the wrong ones.  Teenagers are amazing.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Other Pictures from The Five-Year Project

After we re-created the four pictures that were needed for the Five-Year Project, we tested our luck a little.  It was bedtime, but the kids were in fancy matching clothes and it was a beautiful night, so we stuck around the park to take a few extra shots.  It was mostly a disaster (thanks, Malcolm).  Nonetheless, there were a few cute ones where Malcolm wasn't furiously staring into the camera and you can't tell Scarlett's eyes are blood shot.

Turns out, since they were tired their personalities really came through.  These might be my favourite set of photos of the kids, just because they are raw and genuine.



Sunday, 18 September 2016

Scarlett in the Newspaper


I have so many layers of love for this newspaper clipping.

One.  Its Scarlett.  What's not to love?

Two. Only in a small town would the End of Summer children's party at the library get full coverage.

Three.  The reporter covered it like it was the society pages of a New York daily.  "To compliment her blue and white dress, she wore..."  It was like the Oscars, only better because instead of taffeta it was cotton and instead of Cartier it was Edmonton Oilers.

Four.  He nailed it.  In two sentences, the reporter captured my daughter.  Loves the party (grabs cake), but a little conservative (eats it in the shade); her ridiculous fashion choices that she is so proud of, and pulls off -- to my shock -- really well.  I've got hoards of photos and blog posts, yet he created the most perfect snapshot of my daughter in 9 square inches.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Scarlett's new best friend


Nevin finally, finally, had a lovely first day of school.  Change is so hard, and this year he seems to be reaching the level of confidence and maturity required to handle it.  He went to school with the self-assuredness of a sweet second grader.

Scarlett had a much rockier start.  She missed the first day of senior kindergarten because she had a high fever.  The routine was already off and she was not well rested.  Consequently, her first day was hard and teary.

But she is in good hands.  On her second day, her teachers gave her a little project: they gave her a Helper title and introduced her to a brand new junior kindergartener.  It was just what she needed to turn her day around.  They spent the day holding hands and guiding each other from centre to centre.  When Scarlett got home she told me, smitten, "I met a new friend today and she is SUCH a little munchkin!"

Sunday, 4 September 2016

The Five-Year Project, Part 2

Another five years on the books for Mr. Warner and I.  That can only mean one thing: its time for another instalment of The Five-Year Project!

Every five years, I put on my wedding dress, we gussy up the family and re-enact a few of our wedding pictures.  Last time, we invested in our all-time favourite lifestyle photographers -- Luke and Lee-Anne Haggett -- but they no longer do family photography, so this time we went with the DIY approach.  

It was much more challenging since the family has grown, there was a tired toddler involved, and we can't just wing it when we are trying to re-create photos from the past.  We went on a Friday night, and unlike last time, there were a lot of people in the park.  I don't know why, but I get SO self conscious wondering around town in a wedding dress.  Normally I embrace absurdity, but its harder in that dress.  We managed.

Turns out the crowd was a wedding party scouting out the location for their Saturday afternoon ceremony and photographs.  It would have been fine except they thought we were DIYing our actual wedding photos.  And so the kindhearted, real wedding photographers approached us to see if they could help.  To my mortification, they were the parents of a couple of kids in Scarlett's class.  You know, the kind of arms-length acquaintances that know you well enough to say "Hi!", but aren't close enough to know if you are crazy or not.  We cleared up the situation, laughed at the awkwardness and parted ways.  On the plus side, who needs blush when embarrassment gives you the the real thing?  I look fantastic in these photos. 

And now, the evolution of the Warners.


Warner Family-1



Warner Family-3



Warner Family-5



Warner Family-7


Sunday, 28 August 2016

Biking in the Gatineau Hills

Gatineau Park Selfie

Last weekend, after we turned off the Olympic broadcast, I turned to Shawn and said "I should go to the Olympics for cycling."  He thought for a moment and said "I should take you to the Gats."

And so it came to be that yesterday I was climbing through the rolling hills of Gatineau Park for the first time.  It was fun; an alternation of exhausting and exhilarating. On the second half of the ride, while I was wondering where the bottom half of my lungs were hiding, I saw Mike Woods.  I was descending, tired and leery.  He was climbing, chit-chatting with his friend, fresh-faced, as if it was the easiest ride he had ever done.  I suspect it was - at least for this season.  When I got home, I looked him up on Strava.  He has ridden more miles this week than I have the entire season.  Turns out I might not be ready to make an Olympic commitment.

That might be Shawn's secret to being a mastermind husband: he didn't cut down my delusional dreams... he sat back, supported me while taking an opportunity to steal me away from the kids, and let an Olympian do the dream-crushing for him.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Big Month Moment: July 2016

"Someone once told me that women should do two things everyday they love, one thing every week that they treasure, and one bigger thing every month they will never forget." ~ commenter on Modern Mrs. Darcy
I love this idea, and since I only vividly remember the moments chronicled in this log, I am writing down those big things monthly.

I should probably preface all of the upcoming enthusiasm with a fact: this was my first ever big-venue concert.  Unless you count that Weird Al Yankovic concert I went to at the Puyallup Fair in 2004.  I'm not.  (I'm not kidding and I'm not counting it).

After 10 years of talking about going to Ottawa Bluesfest together, we finally did it.  This is the summer of big moments, which is being followed by an aspirational life of big moments.  In short: its time to start checking things off, starting with Bluesfest.

We went to the wrong side of the park and had a to walk all the way around to get to the front gates.  After Shawn asked a security guard -- who was about 6'9" -- for directions, I said "that conversation was sooo over my head."  I thought it was hilarious.  The security guard just looked at me.

I guess we didn't follow the directions very well, because we ended up at an Earl Sweatshirt concert, and we were aiming for The Lumineers.  So we learned a little bit about a Freckled Face, avoided the purple smoke and mosh pits, and -- as a reward for hanging out with 18-year-olds for an hour -- got great spots for the headliner concert.  Like really great, 30 feet-from-the-stage-on-the-middle-security-fence-great spots.

It was amazing: a foot stomping, hand-clamping good time.  And by hand-clapping, I mean high-fiving.  High-fiving Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites.  Well, mostly I hit Wesley's arm, but I've never been a good aim, so I'm counting it as a high-five (+/- 5%).  Jeremiah and I were perfection -- a hand-on-hand smack -- but I expect that level of accuracy from someone cool enough to wear suspenders for a living.

It rained the whole concert, pouring at times, and I don't think anyone cared.  The band splashed in the puddles, and covered John Fogerty's "Have you ever seen the rain?"  The best part of that bit was the 65-year old guy who had earlier smoked up behind Shawn (I guess tall people make really great screens) went NUTS when they started the cover.  I think its was the best moment of HIS life and I've never been so pleased to be hanging out with a balding pot-smoker.  The joy!

So Bluesfest is checked off the list, my life is changed for the better and I'm looking forward to singing to the tunes of Earl Sweatshirt with my students.  Juuuuust kidding.

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