January 30, 2017

Emmeline: One Month

Dear Little Emmy,

You are officially one month old and I'm having a hard time accepting that. I want time to stand still, so that I can hold you in my arms at this wee little size, for just a little bit longer. I want to remember every little grunt, snuffle and squeak you make. You are a pretty quiet little thing and you rarely cry, and even when you do, you are easily consoled.

Emmy, I was pretty scared to have a newborn again. I was scared I would forget what to do, how to be there for you 24/7, or that I wouldn't be able to devote the time needed to breastfeed you like I needed to do for your brother. I was worried about being exhausted again from multiple nighttime wakings. But Emmy, from the moment you were born, you have been my little angel. You eat, sleep, and then eat some more. We love to hold you, but you are content to be put down too. You are such an efficient nurser and I'm so glad we aren't dealing with supply issues like I did with your brother.
You had your one month checkup on the weekend and you are tipping the scales at 7lbs 15.5oz which is more than a one pound weight gain since your birth. You are almost the exact same weight as your brother was at one month. You've also gained almost half an inch in length, which I can tell since you are starting to fill our your newborn sleepers a bit better. You're still wearing newborn diapers, which I imagine will be the case for the next month. Your neck is already incredibly strong and every day you are looking around more and more with your beautiful blue eyes. We aren't sure yet what colour your hair will be, but right now it's a light brown.

You love car rides and you fall sleep immediately when we put you in your carseat. When we take you out to run errands, you sleep the entire time. You truly are the easiest baby ever, already going with the flow, and I'm so grateful for that. We've been giving you baths in the wash pod and you are a huge fan of it. You sleep quite well at night - either in the bassinet, or in the Dockatot in bed beside me. I generally hear you start to fuss every two to three hours at which point I nurse you and you fall back asleep. When Gramma was here for two weeks, she would get up with your brother, and you and I would stay in bed until 10 or 11 am, cuddling and nursing. It was the best, getting that extra alone time with you!
Your big brother was a bit jealous of you when you first came home with us, but now he adores you. He likes to help with all your diaper changes and when he hears you crying out a bit, he will often be the first to go check on you or pop your soother back into your mouth. He loves to give you kisses and he always makes sure to do so before he goes to bed. My heart is so full when I think about the two of you growing up together.

Emmy, I love you with all my heart!


January 26, 2017

2016 in Books

2016 was my best year of reading since I joined Goodreads back in 2012 and started tracking my reading. In fact, that's also when I started this blog. Anyway, I think it's safe to say that 2016 has been the best reading year of my entire life. When I first started logging the books I was reading, I was encouraged to do so when I caught wind of the 50 Book Pledge: read 50 books in 52 weeks. Seemed easy! Except for me, it wasn't. I never was able to read that many books in one year, until now.
Books Everyone Should Read
I know it's not about the number of books you read in any given year. And I definitely don't go out of my way to read short books or "easy" books just to get my numbers up. I think what changed (or helped) me last year to read 53 books was choosing to read in my spare time over other things. I could write a whole post about that, but long story short, I made it a priority to read. There are so many books I want to read and so little time.

With that being said, I'm happy I had such a successful reading year. Yes, I read more than one book a week, but I also read some really great books too! Of course, I read a handful of really awful books, but such is the life of an avid reader. This year, I'm setting a realistic goal of hopefully reading 24 books. That's just two books a month, and given my situation (a newborn and an active toddler), I think this is doable. Last year, I actually only set out to read 30 books, and when I hit that goal about half way through the year, I just kept on going to see how far I could get (without resetting the goal higher). I'll treat this years goal in the same way.

I don't make any specific goals when it comes to choosing which books to read, meaning, I don't seek out female authors, or Canadian authors, etc. Last year I said I wanted to read more non-fiction books, more specifically, personal-growth books, but I read zero of those. While I will get to them one day, it's not a major priority of mine right now. What I do want to mindful of this year though is trying to choose books that I really want to read. And by that I mean, choosing books that sound amazing, and will most likely be a good read. I know this is a hard thing to guarantee as everyone's reading experience is different, but often there are books on my wish-list or to-be-read list that I'm dying to read, but for some reason, I'll keep choosing lesser known books, or books I'm not all that interested in but think I should read out of obligation. Basically, what I'm saying is, I'm going to be more picky about the books I read. And I'm also going to work on abandoning a book when it's just not working for me.

Ok! And because no book round-up post would be complete with out some stats, here you go!

Number of books read: 53! (up 15 from last year)

Number of pages read: 17,487 (up 4800 from last year)

Percentage of female authors read: 79% (up 8% from last year)

Percentage of Canadian authors read: 17% (up 9% from last year)

Percentage of non-fiction read: 9% (down 2% from last year)

Longest book read: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes at 480 pages

Shortest book read: Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes at 60 pages


5-star reviews: 8 books (15% - down 6% from last year, but the same number of 5-star books as 2016)

I loved all 8 of these books for very different reasons. Me Before You was a re-read for me, but I loved it just as much the second time around.
Books Everyone Should Read

4-star reviews: 16 books (30% - down 7% from last year)

3-star reviews: 16 books (30% - up 4% from last year)

2-star reviews: 11 books (21% - up 10% from last year)

1-star reviews: 2 books (4% - down 1% from last year, but the same number of 1-star books as 2016)

One book from 2016 that I think everyone should read:
It's a tie between One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (my review) and Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center. Out of all my 5-star reads of last year, these are the two that stick out of my mind the most and that I recommend to pretty much everyone. Seriously, if you haven't read them yet, add them to your list for this year!

One book from 2016 that I think everyone should skip:
This was the last book of A Slice of Brie Book Club last year and it was humorously terrible! I had fun writing my thoughts about it though, which you can check out here if you like.

What was the best book you read last year? Worst?

Do you make reading goals for the year?

January 24, 2017

2016 in Review

After seeing everyone do posts like this last year, I knew I wanted to do one for 2016. Life is crazy and chaotic and the years are just flying by. It's so easy to think back on the last year and feel like you didn't get up to as much as you wanted to, or that you didn't do as many fun things as you had hoped you would. But what I noticed while working on this post is that I did a lot more than I think I did - both on my own and with my family. This is an especially important thing to remember because I feel like I was pregnant for the majority of 2016 and didn't get up to much, even though, the 5 races I ran last year were all while I was pregnant! I even initially wrote that we didn't fly anywhere last year, but that's not true either.

So, here's the condensed version of how the Frasers spent 2016!

  • Tried snowshoeing for the first time while also carrying Sully!
  • Went on a girls only weekend retreat to the mountains with the Alberta Adventure Girls. Snowshoed to Chester Lake which is a 10k+ roundtrip! 


  • Spent the day in the mountains with friends 
  • Celebrated our first Easter in Calgary with my sister-in-law and nephews

  • Spent a weekend in Edmonton visiting my dad and brother and met up with some of my oldest girlfriends

  • Found out I was pregnant! (but didn't announce this until several weeks later).


June went completely undocumented as I took a mini break from the blog while Jim's folks were visiting us for the month. We took them to Waterton and Canmore, which thankfully I documented on Instagram. I also was completed exhausted in June thanks to first trimester problems!

  • Ran my last race of the year on Canada Day, the Spruce Meadows Heroes Behind the Heroes obstacle course run (no review)
  • We went to the Stampede for the second year in a row!




  • Stuck close to home, worked on projects around the house as we prepared for baby's arrival!

  • Celebrated Christmas at our place with family and friends

And that's a wrap! I'm not sure what 2017 has in store for us exactly, but I'm looking forward to finding out!

What's your best memory from 2016?

January 17, 2017

Christmas 2016

I know, I know, Christmas 2016 is so last year. Ha! But in the spirit of playing catchup in this space of mine, and since I love having these recaps to look back on, here's a little look at how we spent our Christmas.

There's not a lot to report on. Being in my last month of pregnancy for December, I was tired, sore and not in a condition to do a whole lot. It was also cold and a lot of my energy was spent on preparing for baby. We didn't get out to do really anything Christmas related, other than to visit Santa (which was probably the highlight of the month if I'm being honest - the visit went better than I could have ever hoped for!). Activities like tobogganing were out of the question for me (plus we didn't get snow until Christmas rolled around), skating was out and even anything including much walking was challenging for me. We did drive through Spruce Meadows Christmas Lights, but it was far too cold to get out to walk around. Anyway, our time was spent at home, as a family, and I know we have many Christmases ahead of us to do all the things!

Jim's parents arrived just before Christmas and spent the holidays at our place. My dad wasn't able to make it up this year because he ended up getting sick and the roads were pretty bad. Ange joined us again for Christmas Day dinner, as did my sister-in-law and our 3 nephews. It was a packed house and I love it that way!

Of course, I have very little photos to show for it. I tried to be really present over the holidays which meant I wasn't pulling my phone out to take very many photos. Another year and no family photo! Ack, must improve upon that next year.

Thanks to everyone who sent us a Christmas card! I loved them all. I promise that next year I will be more organized and send one in return ;)

January 11, 2017

The Books I've Been Reading {#15}

Since I missed doing this post last month, I'll be talking about the books I read in November and December. Two out of the seven books I read were complete duds, but the other five more than made up for them. December was a slow reading month. Once I finished, on December 16, what would be my last book for the year, I just didn't have the time or the energy to read anything else. I started When Breath Becomes Air, but my heart just wasn't in it, so I put it aside until it was. I picked it back up once I was home from the hospital and it's the first book I read of 2017, but I'll be talking about it in next months post.

I plan to talk about my bookish goals (and recap my 2016 year of reading - spoiler: it's been my best year since starting this blog 5 years ago!) in another post, including my expectations on what my reading will look like this year.

In the meantime, here's what I read to round out 2016!

Fiction Book Reviews

1. You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by Julie Klam: I had such high hopes for this book, but it was one of the worst books I think I've ever read. The story telling was disjointed, it was boring, and I have no idea how this got published. I was horrified by the lack of control and training Klam exhibited upon her own rescue dogs. Peeing and pooping all over her apartment, biting not only her and her husband, but her toddler!!!?, not trained to walk on leashes, snapping and barking at every person they walked by. I just don't get it. What did this book bring to readers other than frustration and annoyance? You can read my full rant HERE.  (1/5 stars)

2. Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Carter: This was one of the best books I read in 2016. Like, it's right up there with One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It was fun and easy to read, but it also had depth and a lot of food for thought.  It was funny and witty, hopeful, sad and left me wanting more, but in a good way. Just a delightful book, not one you would expect to love so much. I highly recommend this one if you haven't read it yet. (5/5 stars)

3/4/5. Winter Street/Winter Stroll/Winter Storms (Winter Trilogy) by Elin Hilderbrand: A lovely, really cute series that I had fun reading. Perfect books to fill that need of wanting to read something wintery/Christmassy. They're short, but full of characters and details, and you will find yourself wanting to visit Nantucket in December when you're done. I read them back to back to back, which I recommend doing if you haven't read any of them yet since the first two in the series do end abruptly and with a bit of a cliff hanger. (3/5 stars)

6. Wrapped Up in You by Carole Matthews: Oh man, this was the other flop of the bunch. Unfortunately, this was also my last A Slice of Brie Book Club for the time being, and instead of going out with a bang, we all suffered through 400+ pages of a boring, annoying and ridiculous storyline. This book was SO cheesy and just totally unbelievable. Full book club review/rant HERE. (1/5 stars)

7. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris: I read this mystery/thriller in one day and really enjoyed it. It's creepy, intense at times, and I couldn't put it down as I needed to know how the story was going to unfold and how it was all going to wrap up. One of the best endings in a mystery/thriller I've read in a long time! (4/5 stars).

What have you been reading lately?

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books!

January 05, 2017

Welcome, Little Emmy

One week ago, on December 28th, Miss Emmeline Marie Fraser entered this world at 10:17 a.m., and just like with the birth of Sully, our lives were changed in an instant.

Emmy is the piece of our family puzzle that completes us. She is the calm to Sully's storm. She is the daughter I always hoped for. She is healthy, and beautiful, and I fell in love with her instantly. I want so desperately to freeze time and make the newborn stage last longer, but I'm also looking forward to watching her grow up, to see the little girl she will turn into.

And like her brother, we wanted to give her a strong name, one she will grow into, but also one that gives us a cute nickname to call her by.

She's our little Emmy and she's perfect. All 6 pounds, 14 ounces of her.

Emmy's delivery went even smoother than could have been expected. I feel incredibly blessed to have had the birth that we had, and I will be sharing her birth story on the blog in the next little while. In the meantime, I'm cherishing every moment I get to snuggle with both my babies.

Thanks again for all the messages, texts, and phone calls congratulating us on the birth of Miss Emmy.