Jumping into 2018

2017 was awesome. The kids are growing like weeds. They are doing more (biking, skiing, swimming), and they wipe their own butts. Big win.

I have ran and pedal biked more than I ever have in my life. Towards the end of the year, Cliff also got into cycling. We changed our family eating habits to incorporate more whole foods and less processed crap. Another big win.

I have no plans to make 2018 “better”, because I don’t think of a year in terms of good or bad. I am fortunate enough to have my family, my health and my career, so I already feel like a million bucks right out the gate. I do plan to have as much fun as I can fit into 24 hours a day.

In keeping with the same tradition of the past 5 years, we spent a week in Whistler to end 2017 and welcome 2018. And of course that means jumping from the dresser to the king size bed for photos. Back when the kids were little, Cliff would toss them onto the bed. But now that they are both heavier and bigger, they get to use their own legs to jump.


Day 71-85/365 {Catching up}

In the blink of an eye, spring break is over, and I am beyond behind on my 365 post.

We spent the entire first week of spring break in Whistler. The snow this year has just be amazing. The kids both made great progress in a short time. Savanna can now tackle the entire beginner hill on her own without assistance. Josh is leading me down tree runs that scare the crap out of me.

Day 71 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

Savanna hid herself under a pile of pillows. All I can think of is she looks like she’s peeking out from a giant vagina.

Day 72 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

Savanna made a good point to me about she is the only one in the family who doesn’t have a camera, so I bought her one. It’s a small Canon point-and-shoot. She brought it with her to Whistler. We took photos of each other. She was very happy to capture me.

Day 73 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

It snowed. And snowed. And snowed. And snowed some more. So awesome.

Day 74 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

Josh and I went for a walk in the village to spend some time together. He said, “Mommy, that was good that just you and me went, so we had lots of time to spend with just each other.” Josh, you melt my heart like nobody else can.

Day 75 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

My favorite bakery in Whistler is Pure Bread. Going there for a baked treat and coffee is one of the highlights of going to Whistler for me. I prefer their original location–quiet, out of the way, small, quaint, and cozy. There is no fancy coffee here except the dripped coffee cones hanging over the shop owner’s homemade rack from pipes.

Day 76 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

Josh loves the trampoline park in Whistler. In particular, he loves the ball pit. I find the ball pit really gross and smelly, but he would jump into it over and over and over.

Day 78 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

After we came back from a week of awesome skiing in Whistler, I went for a long bike ride. Stopping here is a part of my long ride ritual.

Day 80 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

Vancouver welcomed us home with rain.

Day 81 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

When I got back to work, I found this little sticky note on my computer monitor. It was nice to know someone at work gives a rat’s ass about me.

Day 82 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

Last year during spring break, I bought Josh a challenging set of Lego to build. It took him some time, but he completed it without much trouble. He was 5 at the time, and the set was aimed at age 8 and up. This year, I got him a set of Lego Technics. It’s supposed to be quite challenging with gears and clogs. Again, he completed it with some effort and time. It was a proud mama moment for me.

Day 83 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

Jewels came with her name. We didn’t bother changing it. My guess is that her first family named her Jewels because of her gorgeous green eyes.

Day 84 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

My nephew’s birthday was this past weekend. I really wanted to make a special cake for him. When my nephew was born, he was 6 weeks early. I visited him in the NICU. When I held him, I looked at his little face with the feeding tube up his nose, and wish I could do something for him. Now he is a healthy and grown 6-year-old, and I get to feed him junk food. I made a “gravity-defying Oreo cake” because he wanted Oreo in his cake. My brother said my nephew would have been happy with just a normal cake, and my efforts were not going to bring any incremental enjoyment. I don’t really care. Nothing but the coolest cake for my special nephew!

Day 85 of 365 Angela Chang Photography

When I stayed at an AirBnB last year, the host had a big container garden with a ton of over-growing kale. She sent me home with a huge bag of it. I was so jealous of her garden. We have no space for multiple containers, but we have space for one. So since early this winter, I’ve been planning a container garden for our tiny little balcony. We finally waited till the time is right, and planted our little container garden. This planting tool tells us exactly how far to space out the seeds. It was fun getting the kids involved in the planting. We are hoping for some good home-grown vegetables this summer!

Day 36/365 {Day 11}

Today is Day 11 at Whistler this season. It has been YEARS since I got this many ski days in!

Whistler Blackcomb received a dump of snow last night, and it seemed like the entire Lower Mainland was headed up there this morning. But aside from the traffic and lift lines, it was an incredible powder day.

It was my first time using skis in powder. I had a blast!


Day 22/365 {Rain or Shine}


We were skiing in Whistler this weekend. This morning, while I was sitting on the chair lift with Savanna, we played a game of “I spy”. It’s our chair lift routine. I love listening to her sweet little voice while she makes me guess what she has seen with her eyes.

After the game, she pointed to the glistening snow and said it looked like ice cream. I said, “Hey, do you want to get some ice cream today?” Ice cream is a special treat, and not something we get on a regular basis. But she had just charmed me to death with her cute voice, and had just showed me a whole morning of great attitude even when skiing got a little hard. I couldn’t resist but offer up a special treat just because she mentioned it. I’m so weak.

We went to Rain or Shine, and she picked salted caramel. She’s definitely my girl!

Day 9/365 {My favorite place}

The first time I tried snowboarding, I was 19. I did it on Cypress Mountain. I fell in love.

There is something about being on a mountain that is covered in snow. I still can’t explain it, but I still love it just as much today. It is one of my favorite places to be in the world.

This photo is taken on my cell phone, during my Monday night skiing lesson.day-9-of-365-angela-chang-photography

This year, Savanna learns to ski

Last year, I nearly had a meltdown after the first day of Josh’s ski school. He was frustrated, hungry and cold, and I denied him pizza as a treat. He cried and screamed while I dragged him back in the car so we can go home.

Luckily, Savanna is the second child, and I had learned the errors of my ways by the time she started ski school this year. Her pockets were stuffed with heat packs to keep her warm. We arrived on the mountain early enough to have pizza first, they get a special snack in the car afterwards, AND hot chocolate is ready waiting for them.

All my failures aside, I really don’t think Savanna needed me to coddle her. I remember when I dropped her off at preschool when she was 2, and she walked in without looking back. When I dropped her off at ski school, she gave me a little wave and off she went.

Yesterday was her first class. For nearly 3 hours, she learned to ski in -9 C. I was so cold that I had to go inside the lodge to wait. When I went to pick her up, she was the only one still practicing while the other kids have had enough. Her cheeks and her fingers were frozen red, and she had a healthy amount of snot running down her face. But she gave me a big smile and told me she’s a great skier.

My heart just about exploded with pride.

Savanna, you never have to be a great skier. Your attitude makes you the greatest skier in my books!


Coming up on the magic carpet



That smallest girl in the purple helmet is my pride and joy.

Two planker

When I was 18, I decided to learn to snowboard. Back in the 90’s, snowboarding wasn’t a popular sport. This was when nobody wore a helmet, and baggy snowboarding pants were hard to come by.

From the moment I got on a board, I fell in love with it. I spent countless hours falling and climbing back up, until I finally learned the balance. The feeling of freedom and wind on my face is addictive. Over the years, I got better and faster. I loved it more. The downside is, I tend to get pretty bashed up when I do fall.

Now that I’m almost 40, I have finally admitted to myself that perhaps it’s time to start preserving this rack of old bones. And timing worked out well that Josh started learning to ski this year, so I figured it’s time for me to hang up the snowboard, and learn to ski.

I am actually having fun learning to ski. It is such a civilized sport. As a snowboarder, I spent a lot of time on my butt, trying to get my bindings done up. As a skier, I can ski right off the chair lift and be ready to go.

Skiing with Josh is a lot of fun. He can pretty well keep up behind me. Skiing with Savanna is completely different–it’s actually good for me. I hold her between my legs and ski down together. It forces me to stay low and make wider turns, actually focusing more on my own technique.

I still go snowboarding, and still love it as much as I did the first day. I hope one day to be able to ski as fast as I can snowboard.



Update on Josh learning to ski

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about Josh’s first skiing lesson and my mommy fail. (Anita, thank you for reminding me that refusing my son’s pizza request will turn him into a serial killer.) Josh has since finished his series for 4-session camp at Cypress, and has not turned into a serial killer. Yet.

When we were in Whistler this week, he requested that I take him skiing.(!!!)

Of course I was happy to oblige, and took him up the chair lift before he could change his mind. I also told him how awesome skiing is, because you get to eat a special skier meal. He got chicken strips, fries, juice and a chocolate pudding–things that are special treats at home–all at once. He was pretty stoked.

I am not ashamed of bribing for enthusiasm.

We spent two days on the hill, and he was improving by the hour. By the end of the second day, there were sections on the hill where I couldn’t catch up to him.




Josh’s first skiing lesson

Yesterday Josh had his first of 4 skiing lessons at Cypress. Before the lesson, he was very excited before the lesson, playing with his skis and boots and goggles at home. I took Josh and his friend Darcy up the mountain for their lessons.

3 hours later, I went back to pick them up. Darcy wanted to stay and ski longer, and Josh had had enough. Josh ended the day in tears. This morning Josh told me he didn’t like skiing very much.

If you have little kids who ski, can you please assure me that this will get better/easier?