Happy Father’s Day

fathers day

Josh and Savanna are lucky beans because they have Cliff for a dad. He is an awesome dad, not because of the once-in-a-while heroic moments, but in the day in and day out grind of life. He is there for the kids from the moment they were born, changing more diapers than I have. He is there when Josh took his first step. He is there packing the school lunches, picking up and dropping off. He is there to catch Savanna’s vomit in his bare hands when she was sick. He picks up all the tiny pieces of Lego before he vacuums the rug.

There is no glory and the job is not sexy. But when I see the adoration in the kids’ eyes, I know Cliff is their hero.






Smart daddy for the win!

Cliff regularly sends me random photos of the kids when I’m at work. This one made me laugh out loud.

Savanna is very, um, particular. She sometimes asks for an apple to be peeled and cut into pieces. Sometimes she wants it peeled but left whole so she can sink her teeth into it. Sometimes she wants it in a bowl, and sometimes on a plate. But if you get one of her specifications wrong, then you will end up eating that apple yourself because she won’t touch it. Your error will also induce tears and possibly a tantrum.

Let’s just say she didn’t get that from me.

She asked Cliff for an apple today, peeled, but with some skin left on it. This is what Cliff came up with. It made Her Majesty very happy. Good job, Daddy!


How do you have time for all that?

Cliff and Savanna

Often when people find out what I do–tax consulting work, photography business, and two little kids–I get this question: “How do you have time for all that?”

The answer is simple: Cliff.

Cliff is the one I call when I have forgotten my wallet, my work security card, or my keys. He’s the one to do school drop-offs and pick-ups and snacks and baths. When I have fallen asleep on the couch yet again, he puts me in bed and plugs my phone in the charger. When I have forgotten to take my leftover lunch out of my bag and went on a business trip, he’d find the surprise days later and clean it out for me. He runs all my bank errands. He takes the kids to various activities during the week, so we can spend family time together on the weekends.

Early in our marriage, I learned that having him on my team is a good thing. Right now, while life is busy and the house is always messy, having him on my team is the only reason how I “have time for all that”.

The big fish

I remember many years of doubting if I’ll ever find the right guy.  Everyone always says there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but no one ever tells you how to find the right fish for you.

I met Cliff at the church we went to.  He was a geeky UBC engineering guy, and I was a snowboard-bum-wanna-be SFU economics gal.  We were great friends for many years before we dated.  And once we started dating, it only took 5 months before he asked my parents for permission to propose to me.

I was never one to believe in marriage.  I felt that it was an institution to bind two people together and it sounded kind of like prison to me.  But when Cliff asked me to marry him, I screamed and jumped with joy and said yes.  Has my view on marriage changed all of a sudden?  I guess I just didn’t know what it is like to love someone enough to want to be bound to him, until I met Cliff.

Cliff has always been known as the creative and artistic one amongst our friends.  He made me a gazillion handmade cards when we were dating.  One time he made me a little glass globe of Vancouver that lit up with tiny little lights.  When I went on business trips, he made me advent calendars with love notes in them for each day I was away.  He made animated cartoons for me.  He cooked gourmet meals for me.  Yeah, it was difficult not to fall for this guy.

Through the years we’ve been together, Cliff has been my biggest support.  He never questioned me intentions, and he always let me make my own choices.  He encouraged me and he helped me.  Whenever I failed miserably, he has never said “told you so”.

For the longest time, if you knew me back then, you knew I didn’t want kids.  One of the biggest factor for that change of mind is Cliff.  I always knew that he would be an amazing dad, so I eventually caved to the idea of having kids because I knew they would have a 50/50 chance of having a good parent.  I was right; Cliff is the most patient and loving dad I’ve ever seen.

I have to admit, having kids (as wonderful as the experience is) has given our marriage a good beating.  We are both tired and our finances are stretched thin.  But I think our friendship as the foundation of our relationship is strong enough to pull us through this time, and we’ll look back at this time one day and be glad we did this together.

I am glad I found my big fish in this big sea.  Happy 10th anniversary, Babe!

Do you like my vail with the rugby warm-up jacket look?

Do you like my vail with the rugby warm-up jacket look?

Brunch before the wedding.  Kath has been a constant in my life for many years.

Brunch before the wedding. Kath has been a constant in my life for many years.

It was a warm day. I spread my arms out to cool off.  Lovely eh?

It was a warm day. I spread my arms out to cool off. Lovely eh?

The first child I've ever loved with my whole being.  She's now a preteen.

The first child I’ve ever loved with my whole being. She’s now a preteen.

The ceremony at the Hotel Georgia.

The ceremony at the Hotel Georgia.

First picture together after the ceremony.

First picture together after the ceremony.

Just married.

Just married.

Finally got my limb back

My computer has been in the shop for 3 weeks, getting a vital organ transplant.  The organ, aka the logic board, had to be shipped from the other side of the globe.  Various delays caused the 5 days job to take 3 weeks.  But yesterday, finally, the shop called with the news that the computer is ready for me to pick up.

Yes, I finally have my computer back, and now I will finally stop whining to ya’ll.

The first thing I did when I got home, was to download all the pictures onto my computer from the last 3 weeks.  Now I can finally post pictures again.  That makes me very happy…so happy that I feel like eating an entire large size meat lovers pizza.

Ok, maybe I’m just craving pizza.

Out of all the pictures I had from the last 3 weeks, this below is one of my favorites.  We were at a nearby park, and Joshua complained about “dirty” in his shoes.  That usually means there’s sand or small pebbles in his shoes.  Here Cliff was taking off his shoes to dump out the sand, and make sure no residual sand was stuck between his toes.

Nine years

Nine years ago today, I said “I do” to my bestfriend.  Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that it has been nine years.

I was never one to have much dreams or hopes of marriage, as I felt like it was an institution I didn’t believe in.  But when Cliff proposed to me, I couldn’t say no, because I wasn’t going to let him get away. 

Cliff and I are quite different in a lot of ways.  He couldn’t care less if he only had $5 in his bank account, and he never bothered balancing his cheque book.  He would spend his last $5 of the month on buying a friend coffee and donuts, and he may end up just eating rice with soy sauce for the rest of the month.  Asking him to stick to a budget and keeping his receipts is nearly impossible.  But he is generous beyond measure, and his heart is always open to his friends and family.  He never turns down a request for help, and he always gives his best willingly.  He does not have a mean bone in his body.  When people use the expression “a heart of gold”, that’s what Cliff has. 

Cliff made me believe that people aren’t always as synical as I am.  He made me believe that you don’t need material possessions to be happy with your life.  He made me believe that you can genuinely care for someone without expecting anything in return.  He made me realize that anger does not solve any problems.  He changed how I view people and their intentions.

In nine years, our relationship has grown in many different ways.  We’ve both tried really hard to meet somewhere in the middle.  For example, I’ve given up reconciling our bank balances, and he has agreed to leave more than $5 in our bank account.  I’ve tried to discuss my feelings without yelling, and he tried to discuss his feelings without withdrawing.  We’re still working on many things, but I think we’ve made some pretty good progress in nine years.

We are also very similar in some ways.  Oh, food, or our love for food, keep us on the quest for the next recipe and a new way of making something.  I’ve resolved in my mind that being married to Cliff means I’ll never be skinny, but oh boy would I ever eat well.

In our daily interaction, if I ever have a rough day, I know I can always count on Cliff to be my biggest support and listening ear when I get home.  When I do well at something, he is always the first to notice and to express his excitement for me.  I never have to doubt his love for me.  He is a solid rock I can rely on, and he makes me look forward to coming home.

We have no major plans or presents to celebrate our 9th anniversary.  It’s a weekday and I know we’d both be tired.  We might have a drink on the balcony after Joshua goes to sleep.  Sometimes it’s those quiet and simple moments that make me realize how blessed I am.

Weeknights between 5 and 8 pm

On weekdays, my favorite time of the day is between 5 and 8 pm.

I rush to get home for 5 pm everyday, because I can barely wait to see my boys!  I have my 5-8 pm set aside every night when I don’t check e-mails or do any work.  As soon as I open the door to our apartment, I have left the rest of the world behind, and entered my little heaven.  I can generally find Joshua playing with some kitchen utensils, Cliff cooking up something gourmet, and Sam barking with excitement to see me.  A round of kisses for everyone.

We eat dinner together, play, and read.  Joshua loves music, and sometimes we turn on the music after dinner and do silly dances in the living room.  He will bob his head up and down, and just last week started tapping his feet to the beat.  He reaches his arms up at me and demands, “da!”, for “dancing”.  He plays with the giant cardboard car ramp that Cliff built for him.  He hugs Sam and chases Sam off his mat.  He goes to his room and closes the door, and throws all his diapers on the ground.

Then Cliff gives him a bath and massage while I clean, do laundry, and take Sam for a walk.  Then it’s reading time.  Often we end up reading 8 or 9 books because Joshua demands it, and I just gladly comply.  I love seeing his face light up when we read “Hug” and get to the page that Bobo’s mommy shows up.  He always claps when we sing the “Five Little Monkeys”.  Sometimes when Joshua is drinking his bottle, I touch his feet, little toes, knees, little hands, and keep wishing he would stop growing so damn fast.

Sometimes I wish the three hours don’t go by so fast.  It’s such a short time I have everyday to be with my boys.

Father’s Day

This is Cliff’s first Father’s Day.  To celebrate, we had brunch at White Spot down the street.

At the restaurant, Joshua turned around in his high chair and totally flirted with the grandmother at the table next to us.  I think it made Cliff’s day because someone was so charmed by our little boy.

We also went and visited Cliff’s dad’s grave.  It was an emotional time for Cliff like it always is.  Then we spent the afternoon taking walks, playing with Joshua, and taking naps.