The Evolution of Family Game Night

I had the genius idea this year of trying board games with the girls for the first time. Why never before this? My Ladies have attention-span issues. By which I mean their attention-spans are missing. Almost entirely. And when somewhat forced into sitting and paying attention and obeying absolute rules well…let’s say things start on a wicked tailspin which usually ends up in an argument and tears of some kind. Hardly the family bonding experience shown on TV, right? I chalked it up to their young ages & cried into my Cheerios that we would never be as perfect as other families.

Just kidding…I don’t eat Cheerios.

Candyland went swimmingly well. Once Annika understood that the tolerance of her blatant cheating was pretty slim, we flew through a few games of that without incident. Woot! Definitely recommend for the 4-6yrs age group. It’s quick, it’s pretty straight forward, there’s no reading & no strategy needed. Hell, it’s perfect for me after a long workday. Here comes the disclaimer: any younger than 4? Certain disaster. Maelle was all over the fucking place. And I mean that literally. Homegirl was walking the Candyland board to the shrieking ‘NOOOOOOOOs’ of her sisters. So when we decided one night to graduate the older girls to The Game of Life (my favourite), the only stipulation was that Mae had to exit the premises.

goodnight, Fun Governor

And then it was down to some serious business. We let the Ladies each choose a car colour, and if you’ve ever been a girl (weird…) you’ll understand this is no easy task. Both our Ladies chose to go to college, which we were extremely proud of until we noticed that each of them separately landed on the Spring Break: $5000 square. Cue Daddy side-eyes and plans for, once again, placing all Higgison offspring in a bubble.

It’s an interesting lesson to watch your kids pause when you ask them, whether when stopped at the church to get married, if they’d rather have a boy or girl to join them in their car. We make them name their life partners and talk a little about the wedding. They’re girls, this is possibly the most enjoyable part of the game. And I’ll  be able to tell them they’ve been planning their weddings since 2012.

We take out some portions of the game. There are no stocks, everyone just chooses one career card, one salary card and one house. No one pays for their house…it’s like a fuckin utopia over here. I’m always incredibly impressed to see them count and add and subtract their money when it comes time to pay for things like car repairs and a baby nursery.

There are a lot of discussions about perfection and dreams and babies and taxes and some of it flies right over their heads and some of it gives them pause and produces the coolest answers. I was pleasantly surprised by the way they seemed pretty genuinely engaged by the different tiles they got to land on. When given the choice, we always chose babies…every time. Even Daddy. And in this particular game, each one of us had a baby boy in our car- the quintessential fantasy life for this family:)

I declare Family Game Night as a complete & total success. Even if that means that we had to let Annika speed through the last half of her life because she just could not be bothered to pay attention and spin. And even if that meant Bella was bent out of shape that Daddy retired before her and got 100K…we were able to ensure her that the chances of that happening in real life were slim to likely none. Don’t worry, that lifted no one’s spirits. I really can’t even recall who had the most money or the nicest house or the best job. But then…that’s kind of the point really, right? Who even cares?


NO. Just…NOvember

My husband does something very special for November. Not MOvember, just the month of November. There’s a difference, trust. You see, my husband goes hunting with his father, brother and friends in November in the deep woods of the far up north. In order to maintain a proper body temperature, Ryan prefers to properly insulate himself through facial hair. Namely, a disgusting beard.

Think less THIS:

And more THIS:

No. Just…….no.

Because autumn couldn’t BE a nicer time for outdoor family photos. But not for the Higgisons. No, no. We get wait until after Hunt Camp- when it’s nice and cold and the kids are nice and uncomfortable in their bundles of layers.

And while we’re on the subject of it being uncomfortable…let’s pause for a moment and think about the ME in this scenario. Why don’t you just have me kiss fuzzy sandpaper? Same same. Really.

Ryan has always had facial hair for as long as I’ve known him. (Save for a brief period of time in which he shaved it all off and I had a heart attack because he looked like a 12yr old boy.) Truth be told, it was much worse when I first met him. But now…well, I find it less “edgy!” and “cool!” and the statements are turning much more toward the “eww!” and “get that thing away from me!” variety.

I’d appreciate a moment of silence for my sanity until he gets back from Hunt Camp and shaves it off, kthxbai.

And I’m sure HE’D appreciate a moment of silence at that point for the dismantling of a masterpiece of disgustingly epic proportions.

RIP, furry face. Until next year. When I will continue to mock you again. See yah!

40×40, A Bucket List

I read this great idea on the DesignHer Momma blog. Emily put together a bucket list of 40 things she wanted to do before 40. Read it here. Big things, little things, learning things, travelling things, family things, illegal things…ahem:) And it immediately sparked an interest in my head. I want a bucket list. And why not? I’m 30 next year, a decade and a bit is a decent timeline.

And so, with mild trepidation at throwing this out there and holding myself accountable to online minions, I present to you…

40 x 40: Alicia’s Bucket List:

1. Buy a pair of Louboutins

2. Take my family with me and go back to Finland

3. Complete a photography project

4. Attend a World Junior hockey game

5. Eat entirely organic for one full month

6. Buy an old, run-down house and fix it up, vintage style with green retrofits (yeah, I’ve thought about this one for aWHILE)

7. Go to Africa. Go on a safari & help out at an orphanage. (& try not to bring a baby home. Amen.)

8. Get a pair of Toms for each member of the family

9. Buy something extravagant from an estate sale

10. Take each girl on a separate vacation

11. Learn French

12. Drag Take Ryan to a ballet/musical (maybe more)

13. Sew a dress/skirt from scratch (& have it look half-decent, ahem)

14. Set up a projector & big screen in my backyard and throw a backyard movie bash

15. Make a quilt

16. Reupholster an armchair

17. Get my ass back to New York

18. Sit in the audience at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

19. Slowly decorate an entire room with cool vintage/used/antique furniture and linens.

20. Keep considering the adoption question. (<- note: this in no way means we want to adopt. It’s a continuing conversation which is completely closed for now. I would like to table it again some day. Maybe. Or maybe not.)

21. Get a tattoo

22. Renew our vows, alone

23. Adopt a pet from the Humane Society

24. Help replant a forest

25. Take my girls horseback riding

26. Take a ride in a blimp

27. Go see Dave Matthews Band play in NYC

28. Work on a political campaign (subject to a fracking decent candidate I can get behind.)

29. Get published.

30. Find the time to meaningfully volunteer for a charity

31. Fill my entire house with pieces by local artists

32. Live at least 80% off the grid

33. Take Ryan to a Stanley Cup final game. (if it ends up being the Montreal Canadians I’ll have earned my Wife Honour Badge of Life)

34. Take up yoga or pilates…and stick to it!

35. Bury a time capsule…and dig it up when Maëlle graduates high school.

36. Go back to a psychic

37. Take Latin dancing lessons




…it’s still growing…maybe I’ll do 50×50?

In any case, some of these are big, some are small. The idea is the same: do SOMETHING. A woman I once sailed with said something to me that still echos in my head to this very day: “Do something just for you, your daughters are watching.”

I want to be a good wife, a good mother, a good friend…a good person. But I’ve had a hard time learning the lesson that all those things start with being good to myself. Maybe first on my list should be: go see a therapist? (<- ah, the difference between needs and wants.)

This is my step in the right direction. If I lose track of myself, I can come back here, take a look at my crossed-off vs. still-to-accomplish and right myself again. Self-motivation. Brilliant. (…I should totally add BE BRILLIANT as item #40…high fives)