Category: Our Family

Team Garside at the Magic Kingdom

Our Disney Adventure

As our kids have gotten older, we’ve tried to take an annual trip with the kids to make some memories that will last a lifetime. We’ve done a Disney Cruise, a week at a cottage in Kingston, a trip to Las Vegas, and this year we decided we’d do a week at Disney World in Orlando.

We planned things out for a while, and I looked into the best times to visit Disney when the lines would be shortest, and the weather would not be punishing. We settled on the week of April 22nd – 30, and booked a Villa in Florida.  Our condo, the 2100sq foot “Ocean Villa Inn” was listed as minutes away from Disney World with a pool, BBQ, and tons of space.

We decided we would save some money on airfare, and planned to drive down to Florida. We talked with a number of people about the trip, and I got some great recommendations on the cities to stay on the way down. Continue Reading

2016 Review, 2017 Goals

2016 In Review and 2017 Resolutions

Each year I write a review and goals blog post, these posts help me to look back on the year, and figure out what I want to do going forward.  There have been a few years I didn’t write these posts, and I regret those years as I can’t look back and figure out where I was at that point in my life.

With that said, this post is primarily written for future me, so if you are reading this and find that it’s braggy, or in some way insulting to you, that is not my intent, this is about me, and for me. I post it publicly so that I have some accountability and can find it easily in the future. Continue Reading

Our Family

First Half of 2015 Report

While it feels like just yesterday we were trudging through mountains of snow, it’s already June, and I’m wondering what it is exactly I’ve accomplished half way through the year.

What did I get done so far this year?

We had a pretty fun family vacation back in February when we took the kids to Las Vegas.  In addition to seeing Red Rock Canyon for the first time in my many trips to Vegas, we went to a Cirque show, did the Adventuredome, and got to see the all new container park that Tony Hsieh is firmly behind. Continue Reading

Our Disney Cruise

Our Disney CruiseClan Garside sailed the majestic Disney Magic from February 24th through 28th, and while it was a welcome break from the ridiculous winter that we’ve been dealing with back home, it wasn’t exactly the “magical experience” that others have raved about.

We’ve been on two other cruises, both by Royal Caribbean…and we were recently spoiled with an all expenses resort vacation to Le Blanc in Cancun (which was one of the most amazing vacations I have ever taken).

This was our first “big trip” with our kids.  The first time either of them have flown, the first time that either have travelled 6-8 hours in a day, and the first time that either of them have been at sea.  I have to say that they were amazing little travellers and are among my favourite people to travel with.  They were easy going, listened well when we needed them to stick with us for safety, and enjoyed exploring off on their own then the opportunities presented themselves.

They had an amazing time – so much so that Maks cried when it was over because he didn’t want our vacation to be done.  This review is just how I felt about things. Continue Reading

My brother-in-law Chris

This has been a trying week for my family.  On Monday my sister Annette’s husband Chris went in for an aortic valve replacement.  He had a congenital defect which was causing his heart to pump less blood than his body needed, and it was making him weak as a kitten.  Chris is a mechanic, so he was pretty happy to hear about a new minimally invasive technique called the “keyhole” technique, which is performed here in London by Dr. Kiaii, the chief of cardiology at London Health Sciences.  He’s got an amazing rating on Rate My Dr, and there are tons of great articles on what he does.

Unfortunately the surgery didn’t go exactly as planned.  In order to perform the surgery the doctors have to deflate the lung, and when they went to re-inflate the lung after the surgery, it didn’t respond.  The doctors say he had an “inflammatory reaction”, and he has been in intensive care ever since.

It’s going to be a long road ahead, and right now they are looking for the smallest signs of improvement as steps down the road.  Chris is a great guy, he’s awesome to my sister, and treats my parents like gold, so it really sucks to see him like this.  Hopefully this is just a slight speed bump, and he’ll recover quickly.

Get better soon brother.

Update – November 17, 2012

Chris is out of the woods now, he’s getting his breathing tube out, and is making great progress.

Update – November 20, 2012

Chris is out of intensive care, and up in a regular room.  He’s got quite a bit of therapy to get his strength back up, but every day he’s getting better.

Pnumonia and Kidney Stones – 2012 Starts Now

My little visitor

This is what a stent looks like inside of a bladder.

Until a few weeks ago, 2012 had been a pretty miserable experience for me, but I’m feeling better, and I’m going to take on the world!

Back last year (all the way back to 2011), I had what I thought was a gall bladder attack, and I ended up going to the doctor and getting a ton of tests done, but they all turned up negative, so we just waited it out.  I had a kidney stone attack in November and ended up going to the hospital to get it checked out, but they couldn’t find anything, and I swear it must have passed.

January started out with pneumonia, and a nice little sinus infection.  My pneumonia ended up requiring two different courses of antibiotics, and I was left with a cough that hang around for three months (they call it a 100 day cough).

The week after I was diagnosed with pneumonia, I was in the emergency room at 6am (after suffering through it from 1am until I couldn’t handle the vomiting and agony any more) with the worst kidney stone pain I have had ever had.  By the time I got to the hospital, the pain had vanished, but they took blood, did tests, and the whole bottle of wax (there was definitely blood in my urine), but again they couldn’t see the stupid thing. Continue Reading

Five London Years

It’s hard to believe that we moved from Ajax five years ago in March, but it has indeed been five years.

Kaylin was 18 months old when we moved here, half of Maks’ age.  It’s amazing to see pictures of her from back then, she was all curls and crazyness.  Now she’s six years old going on twelve, skinny as a rail and still constantly full of energy.

Now we’ve got a second monkey jumping around the house (quite literally, I constantly hear them thumping around from one room to another).

Our house has grown with the finished basement, but we’re still constantly tripping over toys (today I nearly rolled my ankle on a lightsaber on our stairs).

I’ve made some amazing friends in London, and I get to see my childhood buddies whenever I want.

While I occasionally miss Toronto, and wonder what I’m doing in the alternate universe where we stay in the GTA (maybe we move down to the beach to be closer to my hip downtown job?), I’m pretty ridiculously happy here in London.

My Grandma Moo

Grandma Moo

My Grandma Moo

Grandma was born December 3, 1920, but we grand kids wouldn’t get to meet her for another 50 years, until the 1970’s when we all came into the world.

The Muriel Thornton we all got to know was as warm as a fresh out of the oven cookie, caring, kind, and above all else, one of the most good natured souls I’ve ever known.

Sure, she could have a temper, and she could be stubborn as all get out…a trait that thankfully nobody in the family inherited, but by and large, Grandma Moo lived life with a smile on her face.

Continue Reading

What I want in a home office

Work Spaces (by Pottery Barn)

Work Spaces (by Pottery Barn)

Char and I are working on finishing our basement.  We’re going to make two big rooms, and a bunch of storage down there.  The main room will be a fairly large TV/kids room which is where I plan on building my whole hog home theatre with in wall and in-ceiling speakers.  The other part of the basement will be a home office all tricked out with the latest in office fancyness.

My needs are pretty basic, desk, chair, some storage, but I’ve got a few specific things things that would make an office awesome for me.

  • A large drawing surface
  • A place for a scanner, printer, and the home server
  • A comfy chair for reading
  • Good task lighting for drawing, reading, or computer work
  • In-ceiling speakers from the main stereo (connected to the iTunes library)
  • Loads of shelves, storage, and filing spaces
  • Hard surfaced flooring (for rolling around on a chair)
  • Wired internet hookups

What else would make a great office? Any suggestions from those out there who already have great home offices?