Happy birthday mom!

Happy 52nd birthday mom!!

Her actual birthday was August 20th but we celebrated on August 15th 🙂

IMG_1433

Even though we celebrated a few days early, I was really happy our whole family was able to spend her birthday together!

Thanks mum for being our biggest support throughout our entire lives and for always encouraging us to be the best we can be doing whatever it is that would make us happiest. We love you!

My sister ordered a key lime cake with buttercream icing. Beautiful scroll work and sugar flowers – they looked so real!

IMG_7607

IMG_7608

IMG_7605

Mommy with Benny – her favourite now

IMG_1446

Proper and complete family photo!

IMG_1453

I don’t… know how my brother does it

IMG_1456

I think the best part of this photo is Franklin, the turtle

IMG_1457

My favourite 🙂

IMG_1461

Cutting the cake!

IMG_1465

Haha, I swear, we can normal

IMG_1467

IMG_1469

So sweet!

IMG_1470

Franklin wants in too!

IMG_1473

Yum, so much icing!

IMG_1475

Presents and cards for mom!

IMG_7611

Surprise week in Ottawa

Aside from my brother and sister, no one in my family knew I had an additional week in Ottawa from August 9 to 15, 2014. Boy was I excited for an extra week with family and friends!

Thank you to my siblings for picking me up at the airport Saturday morning! My mom was working so she had no idea I was home… 🙂

Got home, showered, and then went over to surprise my grandparents. My grandfather was out, but luckily, I had pre-written up 4 pages (he is deaf, so I communicate via writing) with an update on a number of topics including: getting a job and my elective experience in Nanaimo. My grandma was home so I had the chance to catch up with her and leave my letter for my grandpa and visit later.

Elvin picked me up for… you guessed it, lunch at Shawarma Palace, our favourite. What made it even better? The company 🙂 Thanks Elvin, Jenn, Ruixi, Vinh and Tina for joining me for a delicious lunch! Always so nice to see you guys and catch up.

IMG_7580

IMG_7582

At the end of our lunch, my siblings texted to say my mom was done work and they were going to pick her up. Of course, I needed to come too in order to surprise her! Elvin drove me to my mom’s work in order to meet my siblings. But eek! When Elvin turned in, my mom was already standing outside waiting for my siblings. We did a half duck and hoped my mom didn’t notice us. Phew, she didn’t! We ended up turning around and meeting my siblings in a nearby parking lot. I crouched down behind the passenger side and waited for her to notice. She didn’t. I started tickling her, she thought I was my brother even though he was sitting on the opposite side of the car. Finally, I just started laughing and gave myself away. I told her why I was home and how I had to pay an additional $400 for the flight change. Worth it.

Dinner that night? Poutine from Spud’s. A family size ‘Sugar Shack’ – fries, cheese curds, beer gravy, bacon, sausage and maple syrup – delicious!

IMG_1979

Here are some random moments over the week! There are a few special occasions not mentioned here because they will have a post of their own! 😀

Loved getting to spend more time with this guy!

IMG_1980

IMG_1999

IMG_2005

My sister brought a ton of Asian treats back from Vancouver, including Green Tea Aero chocolate – yum.

IMG_1982

With Asian items always comes Engrish

IMG_1986

Everyone was craving my mom’s famous ‘Banh Mi’ (Vietnamese subs). She made BBQ pork and we had BBQ pork banh mi! So delicious, I think we all had subs for days!

IMG_2004

IMG_1995

Enjoyed grape tomatoes, fresh from the garden.

IMG_2012

Mum made coconut sticky rice which was thoroughly enjoyed with sweet ripe mango.

IMG_2007

Wake up guys!

IMG_2035

Can I have some meat with this taco bowl?

IMG_2018

Made blueberry white chocolate scones for the family

IMG_2040

My siblings like to sneak selfies on my cell phone 😛

IMG_2053

IMG_2071

IMG_2073

But all like to take selfies too right?

IMG_7586

IMG_7587

Lunch at Art Is In with the family and Janet! Sorry about the terrible backdrop but you can read more about Art Is In here!

IMG_7589

Yummy, green tea ginger ale

IMG_2056

And buffet lunch another day at Eclipse! My lovely siblings 😉

IMG_7597

I had a very special opportunity with the family this week – shopping for a wedding dress with my mom, sister and brother! Although I can’t say I’ve found THE dress, I have now certainly found THE style of dress. Yay! I was very glad to have shared the experience with my family because I honestly don’t know if I’ll have another chance again, especially being in Australia!

After looking at wedding dresses, we went to get donuts at Suzy Q. Same donut with different toppings, not bad but to be honest, I still prefer Tim Hortons donuts. They could certainly do with a facelift!

IMG_7600

IMG_2049