Expat Diaries // One Year in Canada

Hello friends!  I cannot believe we have lived in Canada for a full year now.
There’s just something about looking back on a year
and remembering all the moments and changes and best parts and hard parts.
Some highlights of our first year in Canada…
(click on any underlined word or phrase to re-read the post!)

Flag-U_S_-Canada

january

We moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada!
After successfully taking Mario on his first flight,
making it through customs, and finding a downtown condo,
we began living our first International experience!
We attended our company holiday party – Winter Gala “Vintage Carnival.”
We registered our vehicles.
We took our first trip to Banff to experience the Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise.
And we attended our first HOCKEY game – Calgary Flames vs. San Jose Sharks!

Favorite Post
Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Relocation

february

We went to a friend’s house to celebrate the Superbowl Canadian style
(which basically means NO Superbowl commercials!!!).
This is also where I tasted my first CAESAR!
I conquered the Calgary Public Bus…and didn’t get kicked off!
We got dressed up for the evening and attended “Schmancy” where
we listened to a Bryan Adams interview and walked through his art exhibit.
And the hubby surprised me with a dozen red roses for Valentine’s day!

Favorite Post
Just Got Sparked!

march

We celebrated our birthday’s (we are 5 days apart) with a weekend getaway
to Canmore!  We used the long weekend to be SNOW SEEKERS –
trying our hand at cross-country skiing and snowshoeing!
This was also our first taste of Poutine…
and I’ll forever be in love with fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds.

Favorite Post
Am I Grown Up Yet?

april

Not a lot happened in April.
Looking back, it looks like after 3 full months in a new country,
I had a bit of a quiet month…a hard month…a lonely month.
I kept my head down and plowed through the weeks of my half marathon training.
I also picked up my reading a bit.
The hubby traveled quite a bit this month.
I’ve realized that having hard times help us appreciate the good times!

Favorite Post
Blog Love: Social Media Buttons

may

Our first “calm” before the storm of months June and July.
I bought my first pair of cowboy boots
in preparation for stampede in July!
I got my NEXUS card – which expedites entry
across the US/Canada border for frequent travelers.

Favorite Post
Liebster Award – Round 2!

june

I participated in my first international half marathon –
the Calgary Half Marathon!
We then celebrated our 7-year anniversary
with a trip to east Canada – St. John’s, Newfoundland.
In St. John’s, we stood on the last piece of land before Europe…
saw colorful jellybean row houses…ate a lighthouse picnic on the cliffs…
went whale watching…and drank iceberg beer!
Once back in Calgary,
I attended my first CFL (Canadian Football League) game –
Go Stamps!

Favorite Post
RUNch Date

july

Participating in my first Canada Day:
Parade – floating down the Bow River – ketchup chips – food trucks – Chinatown!
Attended my first Calgary STAMPEDE and Rodeo with some awesome friends!
We also drove to Drumheller to experience Dinosaurs, Badlands and Hoodoos!

Favorite Post
Summer Sun, Something’s Begun!

august

I saw the musical Wicked with a friend.
I ran a local 5K – The Zoo Run – on a whim.
I also had my first Canadian medical experience.
The hubby and I went on our first hiking adventures,
conquering the Tea House Challenge (solo) and Rockbound Lake (with friends).
We also had a fun Paint Nite Date Night, puffin style.
I celebrated 4 years of running!

Favorite Post
4 Years Ago…I Went on a Run

september

Pretty much 75% of this month was
dedicated to the Calgary Corporate Challenge.
The hubby and I participated by running the 10K,
and cheering on our teams
in volleyball, basketball, ultimate frisbee and foosball!
Our company won not only the GOLD,
but also the SPIRIT award!!
I also tried my first ever round of golf, as part of a team-building event.
I actually enjoyed it!

Favorite Post
Wordless Wednesday // City Skyline

october

I had major stomach issues for six weeks,
which seriously derailed my running!
We hiked 4 mountains in 4 days – oh so much fun!!!
I celebrated my “Canadian Thanksgiving” alone
(2nd Monday in October) since the hubby was in Houston.
I further hindered my running goals when I accidentally injured my foot.
Luckily, it was not fractured…
We dressed Mario up as a Lion for Halloween!
And in order to motivate me to pick up my reading,
I joined a Winter Book Challenge.

Favorite Post
Halloween Round-Up // Couples Costume Ideas 

november

November was the “calm” before the (holiday) storm!
I finally was able to get running again mid-November.
I attended a Lia Sophia jewelry party with some co-workers.
Then the hubby and I got to dress-up for an amazing cause –
the JDRF Hope Gala!
We took a vacation day for American Thanksgiving
and celebrated by eating a lil’ 3-lb turkey and all the fixings!
At the end of the month, we got to try our hand
at cooking a 5-course meal with the Calgary Cook Book Co.
as part of a team holiday party!

Favorite Post
31 Things To Do Before December 31st

december

As the hubby and I left for the States on December 11th
and didn’t return until the new year,
I didn’t write much on the blog.
I did participate in my first Canadian Blogger Christmas Swap
and got amazingly cute Canadiana ornaments!
The hubby and I spent a few days in Washington, D.C.,
being tourists in our nation’s capital before heading home to West Virginia.
We spent a solid two weeks between both our families for Christmas!
I also got my annual cold right before celebrating the New Year…
And I was selected as a 2015 Rock’n’Roll Blogger!

Favorite Post
Canadian Blogger Christmas Swap 2014

looking forward to 2015

Crossing off more items on my Calgary Bucket List!
Running three (3) Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathons as a 2015 Ambassador!
Visiting beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia!
Taking advantage of our Nakiska Ski Pass!
Hiking many mountains in the summer and fall!
Experiencing Calgary Stampede (Round 2!) with family & friends!

final thoughts

Writing this recap and going through the blog archives has made me realize a few things:

1) How amazing one year can be.
How much we can do, change, see, grow, learn, and experience.
I love to look back and think through each month, each year –
especially this year, our first year living internationally!
2) Also, I am so grateful that I have these memories
and records to look back at and remember exactly what we did when.
I truly love this little blog for being a place
I can record our favorite memories and experiences.
Thanks for sharing our first year in Canada with us!  Cheers to 2015.  xoxo.

Jen

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One thought on “Expat Diaries // One Year in Canada

  1. Seems like you guys accomplished a lot the first year! I have to admit that after being here close to 3 years I still haven’t been to a hockey game …

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