Apex trails

It’s no secret that I love birthdays — mine and everyone else’s — and that my love language is words of affirmation. There were comments here, there was that poster my friends filled out, the trifecta of FaceBook/Twitter/Instagram birthday wishes, phone calls, texts, emails and … wow. My heart is so very, very full. You get a hug! You get a hug! You get a hug!

My birthday was on a Tuesday, and Tuesdays are the day that Matthew has a staff meeting over lunch. I asked him if he could skip it in order to go for lunch with me instead, but he had a different plan. Two nights at the cabin, just us, while my brother stayed with our kids. He always has better ideas than I do.

We headed up the mountain on Monday morning and came back Wednesday mid-day. Due to some extra rentals of our cabin, we had enough cash in hand to eat out for lunch and dinner both days. The weather was absolutely perfect — blue skies and sunshine, no wind, and a temperature that was just above freezing. We skied, we snow shoed, we watched movies and had a great break from every day life. Well, he had to work on his Masters schooling, but I went for a three-hour snow shoe with our neighbor/friend and did some crocheting and reading when he had to work on school. It was weird to not see my kids on my birthday and I don’t think I’ll do that again while they live at home. I felt off, they were not happy about it, and we’ve all agreed to be together on birthdays. Done!

Thanks again for all of the love you fired my way. I’m now going to post a bunch of photos for those in my family who are not on the trifecta of FaceBook/Twitter/Instagram. Man, I love it up at Apex. It’s an entirely different world up there.
On Top Of The World

Snowflake Loop


The Valley


(I made a few comments over the past few weeks that I’d like some Sorel boots for next Christmas, as my current boots are old and falling apart inside. Matthew listened, and I opened these on my birthday.)


My birthday is on January 20th. As a child, I envied my sister’s July birthday because it was spaced nicely from Christmas, whereas mine is only a few weeks after and then nothing for the rest of the year. As an adult, the present aspect isn’t a big issue (I have a job and can buy what I want, any time of year!), but the blah of January has been more pronounced. December is full of parties and events and Christmas and New year’s and then January arrives and … nothing. So, for the past four years (at least — it could be five years but I’m old and my memory isn’t what it used to be)(It’s never been great, actually, but it’s definitely worse) I host my own birthday party/girls’ night in. Anyone and everyone is invited, with the only requirement being to bring an appetizer and/or a bottle of wine. It’s not all about me, but about us having a night of girl time. There’s usually around twenty ladies talking and eating and laughing and it’s such a great way to ignore the blah and fill your heart with great memories. (I do remember every one of these parties. Go, me!)

This year’s party had a bit of a different spin, as I turn forty on Tuesday. Forty. The little girl inside of me thinks that seems really, really old, but I don’t feel really, really old. I take care of my skin and I run and I go to the gym and I eat pretty healthy as a rule. I ski and I snow shoe and I hike and I can even help move a couch when the need arises. I feel like I should be freaking out more about the big 4-0, but it feels like just a number. I remember when I turned thirty, a friend in her thirties told me that her thirties were much better than her twenties. She had a better sense of her identity, and more confidence. I found the same to be true for me and if what my friends in their forties tell me is true, then it gets even better. I’ll care even less about what people think of me and continue to grow into the woman God designed me to be.

The birthdaypalooza was last night and it was as great as it always is. Friends and food and talks and laughs. Also tears, as we sat around and I read the cards they had brought me. Words of affirmation is my love language, and I’m a crier, so I’m sure that you can imagine me being a blubbering mess. I’m not pretty when I cry.

They put up a sheet of paper titled “40 reasons to celebrate Angella” and after the last of my friends left I sat cross-legger and read each of the points. I laughed and I cried (again). I am so blessed.

40 reasons

A few friends set up a “photo booth” downstairs, complete with props and as I went through all of the photos this morning, I am once again thankful for all of these women in my life. They walk alongside of me, they run with me, they encourage me, and they make me a better person. Between my family and my friends, I think the forties are going to be the best decade yet.


More ladies
Even more ladies


Miss Kickyboots
Moar ladies
Kissy kissy

My friend Hillary tagged me in a meme, like us old (blogging) farts did back in the day when tweets were just what the birds in our neighbourhood did.

1: What is my current health-related goal?

You all know that I run (Three days a week), and that I attend Boot Camp two times a week. I also ski and snow shoe with my family. I think I have the physical activity portion of health (More than) covered. I’ve gotten a bit lazy with my eating, in that I justify snacking on chips and such because of all of the activity I do. I need to reign in the snacks.

2: What is my biggest irrational fear?

This is a funny question, because our Pastor spoke about fear this morning and while it was a great sermon, fear is not something I struggle with. I am an eternal optimist, I know that things will work out — they always do — and I do not have fear in my life. Can I still play along?

3: Do I enjoy wrapping presents?

No. Nope. Not at all. If you enjoy wrapping presents, then you have more patience/time than I do, and I salute you.

4: What is my favourite cross-training activity?

Are we talking about the Boot Camp I attend? I like how the squats and lunges and chest presses, etc. sculpt my body. As for the burpees, they need to die a slow and painful death, as penitence for the pain I feel when doing burpees.

5: If you came to visit me, what would we do?

If you came now, I’d take you to Apex. Because skiing! And snow shoeing! And #happyplace! If you were to visit in the summer, I would take you to the beach and also on a wine tour. Summerland has some pretty amazing wineries. And beaches. You want to come visit.

6: I have two weeks off work and two round trip plane tickets to anywhere. Where would I go and who would I take?

I read an article over ten years ago by someone who went to Italy and went on a bicycle tour. They cycled through the countryside during the day and ate pasta at night. I would take anyone who wanted to join me.

7: What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to me during a run or a race?

The need to poop. Runners poop, which is why they have portables along the route (At least on the 1/2 marathon I did).

8: Three best days of my life? Or at least the top three that come to mind.

May 20, 2000. I married Matthew and we started our journey together.

I’m lumping my three kids into spots two and three. On December 29, 2002, Master G arrived on his due date. All 9 pounds, 12 ounces of him. Because of the drama/trauma of his birth, the other two were induced ten days early. Nathan arrived on August 25, 2004, and Emily arrived on October 11, 2006. They were 8/4 and 8/5 respectively. They all smelled like perfection and had skin like silk. Newborn babies are miracles.

9: Okay, so I HAVE to eat a fast food meal. Which restaurant would I choose and what do I order?

I love the Wrap Zone, but there isn’t one in our wee town. If I wave the white flag on dinner, we head to DQ. I get the quesadilla with a side of onion rings. They have nothing to do with each other, but they both taste amazing.

10: Have I ever met a celebrity?

I have. My most recent one was in October 2013 when I saw Craig Ferguson live. You can read the full story here, but I ended up on the stage at the end of his performance and took a selfie with him and the voice of Geoff Petersen.

Josh! Craig! Me!11: Share a pic of myself in non-workout clothes.

Me and my bad self

12: If I could choose to have a “do over” and switch careers, what would I choose and why?

I have too many careers already, but I think I’d go back in time and listen to the English Lit teacher in high school who begged me to take her class. Maybe I’d have taken the journalism trail?

13: If I won an Olympic Gold Medal, how do I think I would react?

I would cry. I’m a crier.

14: What do I want for Christmas?

Sorel boots. Practical, but also kind of awesome.

15: What skill do I lack?

The ability to bake a pie. I haven’t tried — yet — but when I baked a pie I was given at Christmas it boiled over and made a mess of my oven. So! I need to make my own pie, and I need to learn the rules about baking a pie.

I’m tagging anyone who wants to play along. Just leave a comment so we can all see what your answers are.


As I wrote about on Sunday, we chose to take a “snow day” on Monday and keep the kids out of school while we played at the cabin. The kids were going to ski with Matthew and I was going to ski with some of my girlfriends who were to drive up to meet me at the hill. It was the perfect plan to ease back into reality after Christmas holidays.

We’d heard that a storm was coming, which meant that we’d have fresh powder. We love fresh powder! Who doesn’t love fresh powder? I woke up first on Monday morning, which meant that I got to take the dogs on their morning walk. I put on my snow gear, grabbed their leashes, put in my ear buds, and walked out the door. I stepped off of the front porch and found myself up to my knees in snow. Over a foot of snow had fallen overnight.

After the walk/trudge, I opened my laptop, poured a cup of coffee, and the girls and I started messaging. They’d heard it might be a snow day at school, I told them of the conditions, we checked road reports and FB stories and decided to call off our ladies day of skiing, because I like my friends alive.

The snow kept falling and falling (and falling and falling) and I thought we might have to stay for another night. The snow let up in the afternoon, friends near home told us we’d make it, so we made the drive home. The road were drivable, but pretty horrible. We made it to our street and we thought that we could gun it up the driveway and then deal with the snow. Nope. The road crews had pushed the snow from the road against the base of our driveway and there was a five-foot pile of snow to greet us. The Suburban laughs at the snow every day, but that day it waved the white flag of defeat.

We put on backpacks and grabbed necessities and hiked up to the house. I got the fire started while Matthew started digging, and then all five of us were outside with shovels. I worked on the walkway around the house, and the others dug out the pile at the bottom of the driveway and the snow around our gate. Matthew fired up the ATV with the plow attached and three feet of snow was too much for our wee machine.

The Driveway/Garage/Workshop

I called a family friend who owns a snow blower, and Matthew’s brother who has a pickup truck (our trailer was buried) to help us pick it up, and five hours after we started digging out, there was enough snow moved that we could get our truck off of the road and into our driveway.

Yesterday morning was spent blowing more snow around, and we’re feeling less overwhelmed now that we can get around our own driveway. The snowfall is the largest our region has seen in seventy-eight years, which means that our wee town is way behind on snow removal. Most main roads are plowed, but not all of them, and the majority of side streets and residential streets are a slushy disaster. The temperatures are a few degrees above freezing during the day, so the snow is melting. The temperatures are a few degrees below freezing at night, which means that the melting, unplowed-but-driven-on roads then freeze. Then melt. Then freeze. Then melt. Then freeze. Lather, rinse, repeat, probably until February.

The snow stuff and Matthew’s broken truck means that the five of us are coordinating life and schedules with one vehicle, while navigating horrible road conditions. First world problems, for sure, and I’m finding the humour in it all, but that’s enough now. I like my busy-yet-boring routine and would like it back in action.

Winter has officially arrived, which means that the cold and the wind and the dry air have arrived, at least where I live. This is my third year of carrying my running routine outdoors throughout the winter and I can tell you that the elements, while mild in the desert area I live in, can dry out my skin a bit. My skin is not oily — it’s classified as “normal (Even though I am not normal) — but the winter weather makes it a bit drier.

I live in a wee town with a population of 11,000 people, but we have a Shoppers Drug Mart and the ladies in the makeup department are so very friendly and helpful. I hit them up for my skin care needs, especially when there are sales and bonus Shoppers Optimum Points. I know that Shoppers Drug Mart has a wide selection of new skin care products to keep us and our family’s skin healthy this winter and they always allow us to earn Shoppers Optimum Points on participating skin care products.
What I did not know is that they can do a skin analysis using the beautyRx tool.

I haven’t had time to try this out since learning about it, but you better believe I’ll be booking a time. I do have a January birthday, and who doesn’t like to take care of themselves on and around their birthday?

Here’s what I know about the beautyRx tool:

The Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Experts offer in-store complimentary skin care consultations using the beautyRx tool.

The Skin Analysis consists of:

1. Moisture Checker: It measures you skin’s hydration levels.

2. Video Microscope: It magnifies your skin’s surface by 30 times to help diagnose your skin type. (I have to admit that I don’t need/want to see my skin magnified 30 times, but whatever it takes for the greater good.)

Based on the readings, the Beauty Expert will recommend skin care products accordingly. (I like this, because I usually choose my products based on reviews and recommendations. I want to try the PREVAGE® Anti-aging Daily Serum.

PREVAGE® Anti-aging Daily Serum
I’m on the downhill slide to 40 and anything that helps keep my skin firm and strong is something I want to try.

I encourage you to visit your local Shoppers Drug Mart to check out the assortment of skin care products, receive a complimentary beautyRx Skin Analysis, plus earn Shoppers Optimum Points on participating skin care products. I resisted signing up for Shoppers Optimum Points for so long (One more card!), but I’ve gotten so much back that it’s 100% worth it.)





Although this post has been generously sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart, the opinions and language are my own, and in no way do they reflect Shoppers Drug Mart.


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