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Friday, December 31, 2010

Snail Mail Tale - Thank You 2010!

My final Snail Mail Tale of 2010 is the perfect time to express how grateful I am to all of you who brighten up my mailbox with your letters, humour, friendship and cheer.  It is a small world out there with so many lessons to be learned.  Thank you for all you have taught me and opened my mind to.  Wishing you all a year ahead filled with love, laughter, family, friends, happiness and lots of goodies in your mailbox.  Thank you Felicity for this post.

Lisa and I have a unique and very special snail mail relationship. We send each other songs of gratitude.  Her latest to me was the Golden Girls theme song, Thank You For Being a Friend.
One of Lisa's homemade cards.

If I had a Christmas tree, this would have been the perfect ornament.  The photo in the bottom right corner is a magnet!

A lovely note and some hilarious Betty White magnets.  THANK YOU Lisa!

Gorgeous envie from Bianca.  I love seeing how she writes my name differently with each letter that arrives.  You can download labels illustrated by this generous gal here.
Inside Bianca's envelope was her very first zine.  
If you love mail like I do, get your own copy.  You'll love it.  

Also included was a terrific letter from Bianca.

And lots of paper goodies including a Baby-sitters Club Jessica Ramsey card!  Too cool!

Newlywed Micaela sent me a lovely note and some stamps that I am really excited to use.  In it she asked me who my girl crushes were.  Hers is Penelope Cruz.  I've never really thought about it.   As I was admiring the envelope she made, which was peppered with glamourous Hollywood stars, I spotted Salma Hayek on the back. I'd have to say that she may be a crush.  She oozes intelligence.   I'll have to think about it some more.

A Postcrossing card from Moscow.

 Another hearty letter from Felicity.  She even made me my very own pink giraffe with a rainbow of spots!

 Mail from Claire delivered to me in Basingstoke!

Melanie sent this to me here in England during my last visit to the post office in Toronto.  I think she might have borrowed a pen from me to write on the back of the envelope, "You are actually with me at the post office right now!"

Christmas fun from me!

Looking forward to all the letters I get to write in 2011.  

Thankful today for 2010.  
 It has been a year of blessings around every dark corner and through each bright horizon.
Wishing you and those you treasure happiness for 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Isaac - Day 130

Aneez began the day letting us all know that today was Isaac's 130th day of life.  He keeps count every Friday and is now the National British champion at having mastered the seven times table this way.  There was something in the air today. It wasn't the fact that the rain washed away all traces of the snow here that indicated that today would be a momentous day.

A couple of days ago, I was hanging out with Isaac when I felt a tickle on my toes.
Isaac takes a toothless bite out of my middle toe after devouring the big toe and leaving a very slobbery second toe in his wake.

 Taken earlier this evening, Isaac moistens his feet and looks determined to go in for the kill.

 Oh no!  He overshoots!

A very proud moment for parents Aneez and Vanessa as Isaac learns to soothe himself with his very own big toe.

Thankful for all 20 of my digits and milestones like these!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Night in Chicago!

Last night, Aneez and I parted ways with these two beauties and headed to his work Christmas party in Chicago.

Vanessa and Isaac at lunch in Wagamama.

Okay, I am exaggerating, the party was in Farnborough but it WAS a 20s themed Chicago party.  It had all the necessary elements.  Jazz, vintage cars and show girls!

There were even some gangsters in the crowd!
Aneez and his breadstick cigar.

We shared a delicious meal with Aneez's hilarious co-workers which included a trio of desserts featuring bubblegum ice cream with Pop Rocks in it!  Then the dance floor opened up, one of the walls suddenly came down and behind it was a Twister ride and bumper cars!  So Chicago 20s right?

Not the best ride to go on after a delicious dinner...but so much fun!

Aneez was driving like a mad fool!  
Perfectly acceptable conduct for bumper cars!

With the amusment park rides in full swing, the Chicago 20s theme went a little to the wayside.  The jazz band disappeared and a great DJ filled in.  
Can you guess which Bon Jovi song I'm rocking out to?

Thankful for American getaways in Europe!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Guestbook Project - Part 4 (guest starring Isaac Jaffer Kanji)

I begin the next Guestbook Project post with a gratitutous shot of Isaac.  He attended his first Christmas party today and approached his first meeting with Santa Claus quite seriously. You see, he's already exploring his career options and wanted Santa to know that he is getting in touch with his inner reindeer just in case Donner or Blitzen get stuck  in Germany before Christmas eve.  The snow in Europe is treacherous...for Europe that is.
Mommy Vanessa coaches Isaac through his first job interview.

This installment of the Guestbook Project is brought to you by the beautiful Claire from Bicoastally.  She's one of my favourite bloggers, penpals, g chatters and friends. 

Claire lives just outside of San Francisco.  These shots of the Golden Gate Bridge offer two different perspectives.  One beats with the pulse of the city while the other overlooks the beautiful water below.

Wouldn't you love to take a trolley to work everyday?  How refreshing!

Claire studied at Tulane University and recently took a trip back to New Orleans. When I get there, the first thing I want to do is listen to a booming and soulful brass band.

Having been a choir girl myself, I loved seeing this postcard of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Listening to a choir in a big space and breathing in the music as it fills up a room is one of my favourite things to do.  I've never seen a choir as big as this one which is made of 360 volunteers.  Am adding that to my bucket list!  

This postcard is breath taking.  The fluidity of the sand, the beautiful colours and the subtle patterns it creates is so wonderful to look at while shiftless, solid rock looks down on it.

Claire lives in Oakland and I love reading about her adventures in and around the city.  These postcards gave me a better idea of why she loves her home. 

I love the vibrant colours that peek out from the ancient ruins and old architecture of many Central American sites.  Read about Claire's recent trip to Antigua here. 

Thankful that it IS a small world after all.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Meeting Isaac

I am in lurve and pleased to have you meet my nephew Isaac.  For our first date, he welcomed me by projectile peeing a beauiful arch of liquid all over his crib and spitting up on me throughout the day.  So, basically, he pretty much likes me too.  I retaliated to his outpouring of affection with a zerbert to the belly.

Our first kiss.

Isaac is quite talented.  He showed off his aquatic skills later in the day at swimming class.
 With his Daddy Aneez.

Wondering why the paparazzi followed him to swim class.

Apparently Isaac thought he was swimming up to the poolside bar.

Thankful for first kisses!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Do You Dewey? November 2010

I've been sitting on this post for awhile but my guilt over some impending library fines got in the way.  This time the damage was $9.30 for movies I didn't even have the time to watch.  I felt so bad that I even returned them to a different library.  I couldn't bear to face the kind staff at my local branch.   That's two months in a row of library delinquency.  I feel a New Year's resolution coming on.

Step Brothers
All things Will Ferrell make me happy!  John C. Reilly is hilarious in this movie as well.  Note to readers: Several scenes in this movie are not appropriate for inter-generational viewing.  (Read:  Don't watch this while your Dad AND his 89 year old Mom are in the same room.)

Zeitoun, Dave Eggers
If you haven't heard of Dave Eggers yet, now you have.  Claire recommended this book to me just after her recent trip to New Orleans.  I find myself thinking about it all the time.  Zeitoun is the story of a Syrian born American man who decided to stay in New Orleans in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina.  After riding out the hurricane and securing his home and possessions, he used a canoe to travel through the flooded streets of his town offering help to neighbours, strangers and animals where he could.  He was rewarded for his sense of community and caring by being arrested and being held in jail for weeks without medical attention all while being denied the right to contact his family.  Eggers does an incredible job of telling the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun and his wife as they experience this ordeal apart, together and in the years following Zeitoun's imprisonment.  He presents them as whole people experiencing this in the context of their life as American Muslims in a post 911 era.  You cannot help but feel as though this is just one horrific story out of many.  This book really opened up my eyes to the effects of loss, chaos, fear, despair and desperation that emerged immediately following Hurricane Katrina.  It is a must must must read.

Thankful for friends who open my heart to realities and experiences other than my own.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I may or may not have...

...watched 5 seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians this week.  I am shamed  (but I know I am not alone!)