Tuesday, July 27, 2010

She's Country...

"from her cowboy boots to her down home roots. She's country, from the song she plays to the prayer she prays.  That's the way she was born and raised, she ain't afraid to stay country... brother she's country!"

So I'm pretty sure the girls in Jason Aldean's video for that song didn't have dragonflies painted on their faces, but what the heck, I'm sure they aren't moms either!  The weekend of Saturday, July 17th was a busy one for me personally.  A little event called The Calgary Stampede was taking place locally.  If you have never gone you should definitely make a trip of it!!  It's not called the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth for nothing! Chuck wagon races, rodeo, fireworks, mini donuts, and the midway and vendors, it's all very exciting. I was blessed to go this year because Grandma won some free concert tickets and invited me to go with her!  I was very excited (to say the least) to see Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean both perform!

Before I could enjoy the afternoon at the fair and concert I had some work duties to attend to first.  I was up bright and early at 4:00 am so that I could leave for south Calgary by 5:00 am to serve coffee at a Stampede Pankcake Breakfast for one of the Coffee Traders wholesale clients.  I arrived in Calgary at 5:25 in time to start brewing 600 cups of coffee at a time!!  The event was held at Community Natural Foods, and I must say it was one of the best pancake breakfasts I've ever been too.  The crowd was a little overly organic even for me, but I still had a great time!  We served over 1200 people breakfast ranging from the homeless, to seniors and lots of families.  Even the cutlery was compostable!  By the time my duties were done it was 12:30 and I was on my way home to meet Grandma in Cochrane so we could carpool back into Calgary for the Stampede festivities.  As you can see above, I didn't leave before I could get my face painted though.

Grandma and I headed into Calgary to ride the C-train down to the Stampede grounds because parking is expensive and it is also a  bit of a nightmare.  Taking the train is so much easier.  The only glitch is that I get very motion sick, even in the car, so I had to make sure not to gawk around too much.  I love people watching and the train and Stampede are both excellent venues to see a lot of interesting people.  Our train ride was uneventful [thankfully] and we proceeded onto the fairground so we could look around before the concert, as well as grab a bite to eat.  We headed to the Indian Village where the winners of the Pow Wow competition were being crowned.  We toured some tipis too.  Unfortunately we couldn't take photos inside the tipi, but I took a few outside to share with you.

This is the winner of the male 70+ category, I missed his name though.

Here's Grandma outside a tipi from the Siksika Nation.

After being outside for a couple hours we decided to try to catch the Superdogs show, since they are inside.  We made a beeline for the pavilion so that we could be early enough to get seats.  We did just that and were enjoying the coolness of the building as the place started to fill up for the 5:00 pm show.  We talked back and forth and commented on how the pavilion floor looked a little wet, and joked about having to clean up after the dogs with a Zamboni.  The lights started to dim and we realized that we were in the ice skating show instead!! We were treated to an hour long ice show with Cirque du Soleil type acrobatics [above the ice] with athletes Elvis Stojko, and Olympic Gold Medal skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and others.  It was a wonderful surprise and it was hard to be disappointed that we missed out on the Superdogs!

Next we were off to the concert! It's been so long since I've been to a concert, I was really, REALLY, excited to see both these artists.  They are both similar in style, although Miranda Lambert has an old country twang with a twist of new to more of her songs and Jason Aldean is very new country with down home values.  It was a great time!  I sang my little heart out with all the songs I knew, so much that I nearly lost my voice.  That's a good time! I also love it when the artists sound just a good [or better] live as they do on the radio!

Grandma and I enjoying the concert

My pictures didn't really turn out because we were pretty far away, but here's a few shots & a video of the "live" experience! I had a great time and can't wait to see who is coming to town next year for Stampede!

Miranda Lambert on the big screen with her pink guitar

Jason Aldean!

Jason Aldean performing Big Green Tractor

"...And I can take you for a ride on my big green tractor.  We can go slow or make it go faster. Down through the woods and out to the pasture, 'Long as I'm with you it really don't matter. 

Climb up in my lap and drive if you want to. Girl, you know you got me to hold on to. We can go to town, but baby if you'd rather, I'll take you for a ride on my big green tractor..."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Canada Day and 4th of July!!

Yes, I haven't blogged for that long! Since Canada Day (July 1) fell on a Thursday this week I was blessed by my boss to find out that I would be able to have Friday off as well and make it into and EXTRA long weekend.  Time to plan a family trip!

We decided what better way to spend the national holiday than by going to the majestic Rocky Mountains and to Banff National Park for Canada Day.  Admission to the park was free which would have normally cost us about $26 for our family and that was great! Traffic was a bit of a nightmare, but that was to be expected with free admission.

On our way into Banff we drove around the Lake Minnewanka loop which is where I'll be doing my triathlon in September.  Mike was able to catch his first glimpse of a live big horn sheep and elk up close (see photo below).  Harrison and I were brave enough to dip our toes into the mountain lake... CHILLY!!  We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the Banff town site, being entertained by musicians and street entertainers, etc.  They had tons for kids to do, bounce houses and face painting, but we skipped those activities because the lines were about an hour long (too long for a 2 year old!)  We stopped to snap a pic with the Mounties (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) in their dress uniform, too.

Harrison & Mommy with the Mounties

Two elk with gorgeous velvet antlers

Friday we packed up our bags and our tent trailer and headed to Jill's ranch to camp out for a few days.  Let's just say we had a fantastic time with Jill but Mike and I may need to rethink camping with the kiddos for a few years to come!  Harrison loved the idea of camping and being outside running around like a wild man, but when it came time to sleep he was very adamant that we were "all done" and he wanted to "go home, bed".  He did NOT want to sleep in the trailer!  The first night he was awake until 11 pm, even after I laid down with him for an hour.  Saturday night Jill (who is going through cancer treatment) had a party to shave her head, in prep for chemo.  Again, we all had a wonderful time but I came down with a stomach bug and did not want to wait for my fever to break, so we headed home early.  Needless to say we all slept better in our own beds that night!  Sunday we spent relaxing and catching up on stuff around the house.  It was a fun weekend all around, so glad we gave camping a try!

Harrison and Heidi

Heidi Jo

Heidi with my old Strawberry Shortcake

This picture really makes me laugh!! I love how they are both
leaning over and their eyes are identical! Too cute!

Monday, July 12, 2010

There's Something About 30...

I can't seem to put my finger on it, but there is something about turning thirty this year that has put the pressure on me.  Things I have yet to conquer or master in my life I am finally overcoming.  I have struggled for years with eating and now suddenly I have the discipline? Or I have always wanted to maintain my athleticism and this is the year I will train for and complete 2 triathlons?  I want to be more organized and I'm making huge strides towards it.  Wow.  What "magic" is held in the number thirty.  I think for me it symbolizes the passing of time. Where did my 20s go? I swear I remember just turning 21 yesterday.  Now I'm 30... really? REALLY.  And I'm loving it!  I am stable, I am responsible, and I am content.  The challenges I have taken on are not easy ones and I am succeeding.  I dare say I am accomplished.  It feels really good and I am definitely looking forward to the next 30 years!

There has been so much happening, I don't even know where to start.  Sadly there are people who we deeply valued as friends that have practically stabbed us in the back and left us for dead.  Gladly, we have met new friends who more than make up for the bad ones with their graciousness and unconditional love towards us, who give freely of their time and we do the same.  It is so wonderful! I am SO glad that David, Lauren and Zoe have come into our lives! David and Lauren are from Louisiana and have now moved to downtown Calgary to eventually plant a new church downtown!  They are such an awesome couple, and I have learned so much from them in the short time that we've gotten to know them.  Zoe is their daughter who is about 19 months now and will soon be the big sister to her new brother!  It's been such a blessing to finally have a baby boy to whom we can pass along all of Harrison's clothes to.  So much fun!  I hope that our friendship with the Miller Family will continue, no matter what the distance!

My dearest friend Jill started her chemo treatments in Calgary about 2 weeks ago and God has really answered so many prayers for her!  She has been tired but not sick for a moment, definitely without the nausea that most often accompanies chemo treatments.  PRAISE GOD!  Bless her heart, she has even been well enough stay with our children a couple of time while Mike was away getting some stuff sorted out for a new work opportunity.  She is such a beautiful person and I love her to pieces! I will not say much at this point because we are not totally sure how things will work out, but praise God that I will be back at home with the children is and Mike will be returning to work! God is so good!

We are patiently awaiting the arrival of Jill's husband Jaco to Canada.  He is a doctor and he is from South Africa.  They met and fell in love while both working on the cruise ship. Ironically enough, he was the first doctor to diagnose her with Hodgkin's.  They were married in Namibia, in the middle of no where, on a sand dune, and she is the most stunning bride I have ever seen! Her pictures take my breath away.  We are excited for him to spend some time in Alberta so we can get to know him better, and I am secretly hoping that he will officially apply to come and work here.  Lord knows we need more good doctors!

Harrison and Heidi continue to grow and change daily.  Their curiosity and outlook on life make me smile.  Harrison is such a doting brother, he truly loves his sister.  I pray I can still say that in 2 years time!  Heidi is developing a bubbly personality all her own and will be crawling soon.  They seem to develop so much faster with a sibling to try to keep up to!  She is eating baby food and is very happy, healthy, and strong.  Her hair is still blond with a red tint and her eyes are still sparkling blue.  Absolutely adorable!

I suppose that is enough of an update tonight.  It's been so long since I've made time for blogging. I definitely miss it, and will do my best to get caught back up!

Lots of love,

The Burnett Bunch