December 24, 2009


Merry Christmas!
from Tommy & Bobby
and the rest of
the Blackstock - Mueller Family!!

December 22, 2009

Tommy and Bobby Mueller


For those of you not on facebook, here is an album of our dear little ones,
Tommy & Bobby - my new twin nephews!!!

Angie and Tom were over visiting in Victoria and just packing up their things to leave when her water broke on Sunday, November 15th, 2009.

My parents and Tom took her to the hospital and after a c-section, the boys arrived shortly after 6:30 pm!!!


Tommy 4.1 lbs

Bobby - 5.12 lbs

Grandma and Bobby

Angie and Bobby

The Delivery care was excellent, but unfortunately someone higher up decided that they did not belong in Victoria and arranged to fly them over the next day after we all begged for them to stay. So on one of the stormiest nights this winter, Tom, Angie and the yet to be 24 hours old premies were shuttled by helicopter over to the Burnaby hospital.

Luckily, the babies were both healthy and doing well, aside from needing some tube feeding to get their weight and strength up. And Angie was an absolute trooper and despite the rigamarole of being shoved from one hospital to another, she did really well and was feeling healthy after her surgery.

The boys, Thomas Cole and Robert Michael, spent 2 weeks in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to be observed and supervised with their feeding and health, but did remarkably well!

My parents visited a few times watching them through the glass doors, then later allowed to hold and feed the little guys in a family room.

I had already arranged a few days off to go visit around their original due date, Dec. 1st, so I was with Angie when she got to bring them home!!

Grandma and the Boys

The Boys are coming home!!!

Tommy pushing Bobby..."This is my side of the crib!"

Angie feeding Bobby

All swaddled like little burritos!


I then had a crash course in feeding, burping, rocking, swaddling, and cuddling newborn babies! Exhausting but so wonderful, precious and worth every second of tiredness!! I treasure those few days I spent with them!!


Bobby

Tiny Tommy

Bobby the Burrito Man

Auntie KirKir and cuddly Bobby

Tommy all decked out to go shopping.

Me and my buds!!



Click HERE to view my entire album on facebook (even if you are not a part of facebook!)


October 29, 2009

Willow the wiggly Westie!

Willow is now 9+ weeks and is settling into her new life.
She is getting a bit feisty, likes to bite our feet and hands, but hopefully she'll soon learn that those are not toys.

She has learned "Sit" and "Down" and is pretty good with "Come".

She sleeps through the night in her kennel and is pretty well paper-trained and is starting to learn how to tell me she needs to go outside.

She has also discovered my warm fireplace and likes to bathe in the warm orange glow.









New AVATAR Trailer!!!

video

Here is the new longer trailer for the movie "AVATAR" coming out on Dec. 18th.

I cannot wait to see this movie!
Space, Future, Battle, CGI, Fantasy, Creatures = my kind of story!!

October 6, 2009

Willow

Introducing.....Willow! My new little friend!!

















September 28, 2009

Westie!!!

Yes, in 18 more sleeps I am bringing home a little Westie puppy! I cannot wait!!
I'm sure I will be taking lots of photos and video to share, but for now I am content to search youtube for cute Westie videos.

Here is the best video of two adorable Westies!!

Enjoy!!





September 26, 2009

Project Running

Over a month ago I had a wonderful friend come to town and she took me out for a lovely run....yeah...lovely. Needless to say, she kicked my butt and got me motivated to keep the running going.

So here we have "Project Running" in full swing with only a couple hiccups and misses along the way so far.

I have been trying to run three times a week; Monday on my day off, Wednesday after work and Saturday. I run from my house along the water front and stop at halfway to cool down a bit and do some exercises like push-ups and triceps dips along a low wall. On the way back the last bit is an uphill slope and we ran up it the first day so I have not stopped that routine and pushed to run up it every time since. I have also added another uphill spot when I first start on my way back and have continued that habit as well.

Since the beginning, I have been posting some brief notes about my experiences on my facebook status. This is not at all to brag, for I know there are other people doing much better workouts than myself, but it is to keep me motivated and not in hiding. So, for example, if I were to stop running, people might notice whereas if I hadn't told anyone I could stop and no one would be the wiser. This keeps me getting up and getting my butt out the door. I need motivation, I need those few encouraging words now and then to keep me in the right frame of mind to think I can do this.

I was totally shocked at what a mental struggle this project was for myself the very first time my friend took me out. I was exhausted, in pain and finding it hard to breath, wanting to give up, stop, or give in, but after my dear, dear friend cheered me on and kept me going, after that first time of actually conquering that simple, short run, I knew I actually could do it! What a war waged in my head to get there, though!! That same war is fought every single time my run day rolls around and I try to convince myself I can't do it, I won't go, I'm too tired, I don't need to....But, the better part of me keeps winning the war and I get changed, lace up new new running shoes and head out to another gorgeous day and a great time outdoors.

Another note of interest, I began running with my friend to talk to but since then on my own I have been using my iPod and listening to some audiobooks. They may not be great upbeat, fun pumping music to run to, but I find they keep me interested and distract my mind long enough to get through each run. I finished the New Moon audio book a few weeks ago and I am now on to Eclipse. I only listen to them while running so it gives me another weapon in my mental war to keep me going and looking forward to continuing the story.

For interest sake on how I have been doing in this monumental project, below are my updates from facebook so you and I can see how far I've come. Enjoy.

August 22, 2009
Project Running - after Day 1 - Kirsten Blackstock is a workout/ running/ walking machine!!!! ...okay, so it's a new machine with a lot of parts that are now aching, but this machine feels good!!! And who knew this machine could run UPhill?!?

Project Running - Day 2: Didn't push quite as hard since I am still in pain from Saturday, but I still did a good 50 min hard walk with 5 mins of running, one being UPhill again! This time my R shin and L calf feel slaughtered! But a little ice should calm them down.

Project Running: Day Three - not as bad as before, but still some pain and breathless moments. I took a stopwatch, timed my minutes and am mentally getting better each time! AND I still ran UP that hill on the last stretch!!

Project Running: Day 4 - Felt good before, recovered better from last day, hard work, L calf still going numb, need new shoes, pushed harder, did more arm/leg exercises halfway, enjoying Eclipse audiobook, and still ran UPhill at the end!! PS - running in noon-hour heat = bad idea!

Project Running: Week 2, Day 2 - really did not want to go today...but forced myself out. same routine, felt better half way, did more stretches and exercises, L calf still painful/numb but not as bad. still need new shoes! ran UPhill at end again! Phewph!

Project Running - End of Week 2, Day 3: again hard to get out there but I did, lovely evening, seeing a running club challeneged me to push harder, way more exercises halfway, saw a seal eating a huge fish, much better recovery half way & after..., again ran UPhill at the end (t'was torture!) but I feel good now!!

Project Running - Week 3 Day 1: easier to get going once I got outside, pretty morning with clouds rolling in and waves crashing, managed one more running set than usual, quicker stop halfway, last UPhill run was difficult but I feel good now! Off to buy some new shoes!! Yay!


Project Running...Week 3 Day 2 (missed a couple days): Tried out new shoes!! Asics, very comfy, great support, although different msucle groups really felt it today. Gorgeous outside, saw a cute little brown ermine along the shore, swimming and diving, too!

Project Running, Week 4: good run, better time, less of a cool down break in the middle, new shoes are great! Ran UPhill twice!!

Project Running, Week 4, Day 2: great run, faster time, less of a break in the middle, new shoes are great, I can really feel how they are keeping my feet cooler and more supported! Ran UPhill twice again!

Project Running, Week 4, Day 3: Pushed myself a little more today, 1 min run, 2 min fast walk - no exceptions! Gorgeous evening! I love living by the ocean!! Ran UPhill twice again!

Project Running: Week 5 Day 1 - Awesome beautiful day!! Good Run, pushed myself with less walking intervals in between runs and a bit longer run times, I still can't believe the mental struggle I have to actually get out there, but I did it again, ran uphill twice again, loooove my new shoes!!

August 23, 2009

Movies Shows and Movies

So, I've seen quite a lot of movies and shows over the past couple of months and I thought I'd share some thoughts on what I liked and what I did not like.

Theatre:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - Great adaptation of the book. Of course they cannot include absolutely everything and they had to change a few things to keep the plot rolling in a film. However, I was mad that they basically gave away one of the plot devices right near the beginning where in the novel you are surprised by a certain revelation. Yet I love that we are able to visually escape into the world of Hogwarts and our favourite magical students.

The Proposal - Honestly much better than I was expecting! I laughed a lot and besides a few cheesy moments (dog + eagle), this was a very entertaining, humorous, surprising romantic comedy. PS - I love Ryan Reynolds!

The Hangover - Again, this movie exceeded my expectations! Yes, it had crude, shocking moments, but all of the random, funny bits thrown together in a stew of a night we are all trying to piece together made up for any lack. (from a tiger in a bathroom, to Mike Tyson, to the naked Asian man, to the kooky lone wolf brother-in-law!) PS - Leave right as the credits begin to avoid the most gross parts!!

The Ugly Truth - Not one or my favourite movies of this year. I think Gerard Butler is great but that is about all I liked about this movie. Yes, I chuckled, and maybe smiled a bit, but there wasn't much substance or enough well-written comedy to save it from being just another summer flop.

Star Trek (film and IMAX) - After seeing this movie yes, count 'em three times, once in IMAX, I can honestly say I really enjoyed it every time. Yes I knew the plot and twists after the first viewing, but each time I came away with more details, more insight and more knowledge about this complicated time travel film. Yes, they also totally messed up the original Star Trek timeline and changed a lot of the main character's backgrounds but they made up for that meddling by creating a wonderful new Star Trek world for us all to play in. Kirk was played beautifully, Spock and Uhura's little side plot amused me, but a couple small details really annoyed me each time I watched it. Why in the world would they have had a heavily accented Russian giving all the ship-wide communications? And why in the universe would they ever have cast Winona Ryder as Spock's mother?!?! Both of those silly details get me all riled up! But the movie is an excellent sci-fi adventure, full of battle, comedy, emotion and mind-bending time paradoxes like most Star Trek shows seem to be riddled with.

GI Joe - All I have to say is: some good ideas, cool gadgets...this movie should never have been made. I was actually physically uncomfortable after only about 30 minutes...bad idea.

District 9 - Easily moving to one of my favourite sci-fi films of all time. I have been waiting for this movie to come out; I've read blogs, articles, mock-company websites and trailers all building up this underdog of a film that holds so much more than a simple alien vs human premise. I am very glad they used a non-name actor for the main role or Wikus, a South African 'ambassador' to the alien race that has been stranded on Earth for over 20 years. He begins on the outside, working for the force that is forcing the aliens to live in horrible conditions with little to no rights or comforts, though the aliens have been nothing but easy-going since arriving. But Wikus Van De Merwe (best name ever!), is soon dragged into the aliens life and world living in slum conditions and treated worse than beasts, shot down for no reason. I won't say anything more but I am excited to think there could be a sequel someday. The only drawback is the violence. This movie is basically a war film with a lot of violent warfare and bloodshed. Keep in mind that most of the gore is CG and not at all real (I mean aliens are not real, right?), but once you are in the movie's world, the harsh moments feel very real. Great film, wonderful thought-provoking themes and a good amount of unsettling after thoughts when we reflect the movie upon our own world as it is at present.

Time Traveller's Wife - I admit it...the book is fully superior in telling this unique story of a man who cannot control his physical jumping in and out of different times and the girl/woman he meets who becomes his wife. If you haven't read the book be prepared to need some explanations and helpful hints as the first half simply expects you to be able to guess how and why things happen. My only gripes are that the ending is not in the book at all and that Clare, the wife, does not complain or feel hard done by in the book as much as she seems to in the film. Enough said. Read the book instead.

Julie & Julia - One of the sweetest, real-life, and loveliest movies I've seen in a very long time! A true feel-good movie, even though it does feature 'melt-downs' and heartache and disappointments alike. This movie inspired me, encouraged me, and made me laugh. I highly recommend it!!

Rented:

Outlander - Very interesting genre mixing two very cool types of films; sci-fi meets medieval vikings. Dragon becomes alien and myth becomes reality. A good renter, love the premise and the back story and would even like a movie made about the main characters background. Good special effects and artistry.

Downloaded Shows:

Defying Gravity - from the makers of Grey's Anatomy, very cool new relationship drams/sci-fi show.

Better Off Ted - a mix of something like, The Office, Arrested Development and Bill Nye the Science Guy...no, really! And it's super funny, too!!! (I love shows where the main character speaks to the camera!)

Long Way Round - one of my new favourites already and I'm only a few episodes in!!! Ewan McGregor and his pal Charlie Boorman travel around the globe on motorcycles, 2 men, 2 bikes, 20, 000 miles!!! An awesome travel adventure where we get to see parts of the world never filmed or travelled through. Look it up!!

August 11, 2009

Too Cute not to share....

June 17, 2009

Road Trip Awsome-ness!

It's only been a couple of days since I arrived back home after a week away on a very typical Blackstock-Sieben vacation: a road trip through the Rockies to Alberta to visit family and friends, babies and kids and the city where I was born. I tagged along with my parents on a lovely trip where all I had to do was sit in the backs eat and enjoy the view!!

We started with a quick stop to to see my Mom's aunt, Auntie Shirley, her daughter, Pam, and Pam's granddaughter, Mariah. What a great visit! Of course Auntie Shirley had a mountain of delicious thin sandwiches and Pam had made a wonderful Caesar salad with homemade croutons! Mariah was a darling! So cute and sweet, dancing to her singing duck, "Quack, quack, quaaaack...." and colouring with me.

We then stopped in to see my sister and brother-in-law, Angie and Tom, in Langley. poor Angie had been terribly sick with the flu but the little twins she's growing are a-okay and she is now feeling much better.

We stayed in a very nice little hotel in Langley, had a great complimentary breakfast and headed up the Coquihaula to Kamloops to visit my dad's twin sister, Auntie Bev, and her family.


We chatted with my cousin Dave (and I saw the movie Star Trek again, and liked it even more! But that's for another blog post soon.), enjoyed some time with Aunite Bev and played a lot with my cousin Candace's kids, Brynn and Cruz. They showed us how good they were gliding around on their bikes, played a bit of basket ball...toddler-style, blew bubbles and I learned how to properly toss a football! Fun times!!

After two nights in sunny, warm Kamloops, we packed up and headed further east through the glorious Rocky Mountains. I will never, ever tire of driving through the mountains! My favourite scenery include the glacial lakes, with blues and greens so crisp and bright, keeping a sharp eye for any wildlife (though sadly on this trip we saw very little...does one deer and some hawks count?) and my most favourite part is the end of the mountains where they suddenly stop and become green rolling hills full of life and character!

Of course those foothills lead right into Calgary. The city of my birth and where I lived for the first 6 and a half years of my life. I now find Calgary to be too big, too busy, too dusty and always full of too much construction. The suburbs are planned out so tight and cramped that even though the homes are probably ginormous and cost a fortune, they look like tin-roofed shanty towns where the roofs almost touch and there is nary a tree or green thing for blocks and blocks. Yet, if I had one of those lovely big houses, I'd feel very comfortable and grateful, indeed!!

We had a quick visit with my dad's cousins, Auntie Della and Uncle Manuel, in their picturesque new condo over looking a small hidden lake, and headed on north of the big city to the town of Airdire where my siblings and I attended school while we lived nearby.


Here we found our newly moved-in relatives, my mom's sister, my Auntie Dorene and Uncle Craig, their daughter Kristie and her new baby boy, Oliver. This would be my new home for several days, so I set up camp on their floor and enjoyed every second being with them.

Oliver is such a cutie with such a range of funny expressions, laughs and cries. He was mostly a very happy boy and even when fussy, he seemed pretty easy to calm or play with until we saw a smile or he fell happily asleep. We had some lovely walks around their pretty neighbourhood, some lazy hours just relaxing and Kristie and I had some great late night chats about books, movies and anything else that we could think of!


We also met up with my parents again at my brother, Mike's baseball game. We enjoyed watching him play and watching little Oliver discover his new love for watching a spectator's dog catch a ball. Boy did he laugh at that!


On my final night in Alberta, Krisitie's sister, Katie arrived and us three gals had a great time together! How I wish we all lived even closer together! Perhaps someday we will! For now I will treasure the short times we have together and all the messages and e-mails we share while apart.

Finally we had to depart. A long day of driving lay ahead but I had my trusty Nikon poised and ready for any beautiful scenery or any wildlife that might pop up. I managed to capture a quick photo of a coyote on a hillside, only because he was moving and the tan blob stood out from the grasses behind him. We also took a few good photos at a pretty little rest stop at a place called Finn Creek. I'm getting pretty good at holding my big camera up and taking self-portraits of me and my other forced subjects! My parents were great sports!


We again had a nice night in Kamloops and were treated to the famous Swiss Pastry Shop's raspberry torte! What an amazing dessert!! Thanks Auntie Bev!!!

On the drive down from Kamloops to the Lower Mainland, I popped out my ipod and began listening to an audiobook of Twlight by Stephanie Meyer...I never realized it was so satisfying to have someone read aloud to you! With the pretty green hills whipping by I immersed myself in one of my favourite stories!

Once more in Langley we met up with Angie and Tom once again for lunch. Angie's health was markedly improved and she was practically bubbling over with love and joy! I brought her a few little baby gifts for the twins she is carrying and we had a lovely pasta meal and a good long visit. I cannot wait until we can find out what she is having!! Two boys? Two girls? Or a boy and a girl??? I am so very, very excited!!! My mom and I just keep looking at each other once in a while and exclaim. . . "TWINS!!!" Yay!

We picked up Ruby Richmond at Kim and Brad's house on the way to the ferry. (Ruby's grandson.) And I got to see most of their kids. I love that family and miss them!!

The ferry ride home was pleasant; I picked up a Nature Photography magazine and was truly inspired by some of the wonderful shots. I'd love to be a field contributor someday.

Our trip was perfect; we hit all the major stops and many family members along the way so that the week didn't drag but felt like just the right amount of time away from home. I was excited to sleep in my own bed once again but I already missed everyone we visited.

Thanks for an awesome week away, Mom and Dad, and everyone who took their own time out to host and visit with us!! I had a grad time!!

To see ALL my photos, go HERE --->

May 24, 2009

Moving On, Camping Out

So.
When obstacles like grief and loss are thrown in your path, life does, eventually, move on.
Slowly at first, the thoughts and memories of the one no longer in your life are raw and fresh. You still hear or see them; catch a glimpse out of the corner of your eye, yet they are gone.
And life moves on.
The time spent with family and friends, those close to you who know how to make you laugh and smile become your lifeline, the thread you hang on to to keep you from falling backwards into the sadness that threatens to overwhelm.
My life is slowly moving on.

Last weekend I escaped the city and my quiet house to go camping with a few friends up near Nanaimo. The campsite was busy, full of families and dogs, but he found a little corner of forest to relax, sit around the campfire and just get away.

Here are a few of my favourite images from the weekend:

Our crazy tents - Mine is on the right and Crystal and Derek's is on the left....needless to say they bought the same tent as me the next day!

Crystal looking on while Derek tries to hook up the stove....love the grandma sweater!!

Us girls at the minigolf course.

Golfing Group shot.

Me, trying to hit my MINIgolf ball out of the rough!

Derek - sizing up the course.

Crystal shooting through the tunnel.


Meghan looking through the tunnel!

Rommy...enough said!

Group shot on the cool old wheel. We went for a walk on the hot Sunday afternoon and on the way back had a photo-shoot on this big relic.
Does anyone know what it is or what it was for??

Meghan and Rommy on our evening walk...loved the view from the river!

My first attempt at making baked potatoes in the fire...not too bad!

Sitting around the fire.


Derek shuffling for Sequence! Love it!

Awesome view!!

Table top.


The last night at our campsite...notice my new lantern that illuminated the whole site!




Final night...Crystal, Derek and I around the fire...I love campfires!!

If you'd like to see ALL of my photos...go to my Flickr Album Here.