Another year, another chance to make amends, to purge old baggage (material and emotional) and make room for improvement, to reflect on areas that need a little more attention and to reassess the areas that took to much attention and find a balance, to set new goals and ultimately to create a year of life really lived to its fullest.

Last year's New Years post was a throwback of my past New Years to date.  I think I might be at a place where I no longer need to look back.  And that is great.

This was the first New Year's in the 16 years that I have known Kevin where he made plans.  Well... maybe that's a bit unfair.  Let's cut it down to 12 years since highschool doesn't count.  It was his Christmas gift.  I don't know how many of you have a spouse that is unable to plan, but its painful.  You may or may not have noticed, but if you search through this blog for Mother's Day or my birthday, you will find no traces of "planning" on this guy's behalf.  Can't complain about the day to day because he is amazing but on those few special days throughout the year even the dullest star deserves a few small gestures of love and acknowledgement from one's partner.  This was the first year, on his birthday where I had to fight through years of hurt and bitterness to still go out of my way to do a few small special things for him.

It came to our attention about 6 or so months ago that we needed to really start putting effort into each other. So much energy has been focused on the kids, that the added hours of me working have strained our relationship to its max.  We began doing "date nights" in September and so far it's been good.  We definitely have been making progress, little things here and there including time together.

Nothing could have ended 2013 better than to have him make reservations at our favourite restaurant, Minami, in Yaletown.  For all I cared, we didn't even have to go and have the dinner because I was just so happy that plans were made at all!  That it actually occurred to him that New Year's came after Christmas, possibly had a flashback to every horrible New Year's that we have fought and realized that was no longer an option, and called the resto early enough in advance for reservations.  (Perhaps it was during the same week he was the one planning and running around for Chloe's birthday party while I was trying to catch up on work that he enjoyed the praise and thanks he received?)

Moving along.  Some may say "dirty laundry", I say "keeping it real".  That's what this blog has always been about.  No relationship is perfect, they all need work, amiright?  That said, I am looking forward to 2014.  So far, it's off to a great start.  Check out the super delish 7 course meal we had followed by some silly photos together.

Don't hate/laugh.  I brought my flash but kevin did not let me use it.  It was probably better off since we were sitting super close to other tables, but seriously, I love taking photos of food!  And the two groups that sat to our left were the biggest douchebags everrrrrrrrrrrr and would have deserved an obnoxious flash to the face.  We got dolled up.  Kev in his McQueen dress shirt, Etro Jacket, Diesel dress pants, and thrift shop shoes & tie.  Me in DVF floral dress (hand-me-down from the big sis), Loubs and Forever21 earrings.
Pacific Pimm's: Sake, elderflower, Pimm's cup.
Would drink one of these everyday for the rest of my life.  I wasn't feeling well and I said I wouldn't drink, but after one sip, it was no longer kevin's drink.
He was fine with that.  He ordered a light of Sake
Indigo Wind, Yamadanishiki, & Taruzake
These were also delicious.  Of course I had to try each one... a couple of times.  
We ordered the NYE 7 Course special but still had to order their amazing Brussel Sprout Chips.  I could eat bowl after bowl of these bitter salty crispy balls.  Wanna try?  I'll buy.  Call me.
Appetizer Trio
Five Spice Mirin Glazed Duck, Slow Roasted Beet Salad, Albacore Tuna Kaiso Seaweed Tartare
Details.  LOVE THE LOTUS CHIPS.  Tartare was my fave of the three.
 Saikyo Miso Baked Sable Fish & Kaiso Butter Poached Half Atlantic Lobster Tail with Kale Goma-ae, braised winter melon, yuzu miso sauce, wasabi relish 
By this third dish, the alcohol that went down too easy and too smooth caught up with my poor tolerance.  Of course it would be the fishiest dish.  I couldn't finish it.  Instead, I went to the washroom and vomitted.  Thankfully, it was quick, painless and required no embarrassing heaving.  I returned feeling much better but still a little pale and chilly/sweaty.  After about 15-20 minutes, I gained my second wind and was back in the game.
Just in time for
Beef Tenderloin Wellginton
AAA Sterling Silver, winter vegetable ratatouille, truffled sweet soy peppercorn demi
it was like warm butter disguised as meat as it just melted all over the plate and in my mouth
Palate Cleanser
Salted grape & pear champagne granita
(i had a few tastes and let kevin have the rest.  delicious.)
Aburi Sushi Sampler
Aburi temari, oshi and roll
THESE WERE SO DELICIOUS.  The salmon aburi is the one I have been waiting for with the jalapeño.  All of them were so damn good, I want to go back one afternoon with the kids to let them try it.  Like butter on rice, so melty and creamy and bursting with smoky flavours.
Dessert Trio
Chocolate Truffle, Macaron, Profiterole
My favourite was definitely the Matcha Profiterole.  Close second was the Macaron with the coulis.  The truffle was not to be scoffed at, but the other two really took the cake.
And some gratuitous selfies of yours truly with his truly outside before picking up the kids.
had to play around with the flash a little before getting it right.
Handsome, goofy and mine: he's the guy that make our world go round.  he brings home the bacon, turns it into delicious food, puts the kids to bed and folds laundry to old 1950/60's black and white murder mystery shows on METV.  
he keeps this spontaneous pot of craziness grounded and out of trouble and always puts his little family before all else.  he pinches his pennies throughout the year only to spend more than he'd like to spoil us.  
he has done nothing but support me and help me every step of the way during this first year of doing photography including shopping around for my equipment, setting up and take down, transporting, babysitting, and everything in between.  pretty much, he is the bees knees.
Ringing in the new year with some fun photos of us dolled up together
 the kids went over to my relatives house with my mom for the evening.  we picked them up and came into Tsawwassen at midnight.  the poor little dudes were out cold.
very much looking forward to 2014

blessings are spewing out of my butt.  

Happy 2014 Everyone!!!
All the very very very best to you and your loved ones




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