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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

self care

Life. What a journey it is. What a series of mistakes, lessons, triumphs and failures it all is. 
Recently I was talking with my very old and dear friend, Liz. We don't talk often, but when we do, it's like no time has passed. I've known her since I was 10. 
I was telling her about how I have finally (after 7 years of motherhood), come to a point, where I see it absolutely necessary to take care of myself, so that I can be a better mom. 7 years it's taken me. Geeze. 
It's so simple,yet, for some reason I had been fighting it. I never once thought down of mamas who put their needs before their kids, but I just didn't see the value of it. Now I do. It's not selfish. It's friggen essential. 
If I don't eat well, I'm likely going to yell and be super hangry around my kids. If I don't sleep well, yup- cranky and grumpy. If I don't exercise, then I'm tired and have low energy. These are the physical needs. But I am also seeing a very important need to nurture my spiritual side too. Walking, meditating, journalling my gratitudes, breathing, yoga. These are the outlets that allow me to identify and acknowledge my feelings. 

Small Steps ~

I find it so helpful at the end of the day to look at where things went right and/or wrong, to see what I can do to improve it, and then to let it go. 
I also have been trying to take a few quiet moments before my feet hit the floor, to set some intentions for the day. Things like, practice love to myself and my family. Practice patience. Or, just breathe. It's a practice and something that I am always going to be working on, but it feels nice to have the tools to help myself. 

Happy LOVE month. May we all remember to love ourselves, so that we have enough love to give to others. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

halls harbour in black and white

This week, my dear friend Tania and I made a little trip to Hall's Harbour together (with Ryder and Wesley too). 
With our drive-thru Tim's coffees, homemade pumpkin muffins and cameras in hand, we went for a lovely little walk along the rocky beach at low tide. We had the whole beach to ourselves and really just took our time talking and observing our surroundings. It was a lovely day, hardly any wind. 
One of the prettiest parts of the walk were the icicles and little waterfall along the cliff. It was just so gorgeous, and Tania and I kept saying how our children would love to see this. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


I recently had a well meaning friend tell me to "enjoy those baby years", when explaining how busy she was. I had asked her if we could get together for a walk or coffee, and she explained to me how busy life was and she'd get back to me. Kid's sports, volunteering, work ect, life was busy for her and she was reminiscing back to the days, when being at home with a young child meant less going places and less commitments.
While I completely understand that she was coming from a kind place, it hurt me to read that. I was reaching out for some company, because truthfully, I feel very isolated these days, and while I enjoy being home with my baby, I am needing more connection. More sense of community. More than just being a caregiver.
Multiple strings of illness in our family has left this winter to be an isolating one. On more than one occasion, our plans have been cancelled due to us not being well, and the lack of interaction has left me feeling a void. Weeks have gone by, where I don't see, connect or socialize with anyone but my immediate family. I know that I need a balance of social and alone time ... I need that balance for my happiness and well being.
Right now I am identifying a need to connect on a greater level.  The life of a transient RCMP family is hard. Starting over, again and again is hard. Being 2 provinces away from family and old friends is hard. Making close ties and leaving them is hard. Maintaining friendships across the country is hard.
I've been trying to reach out to friends close by, but it seems as though people are just really busy. I turn to social media to fill that missing void and it is simply not enough. It feels hard, and then the self doubt and insecurities set in.
I know that this is going to take work. It's going to take turn downs. It's going to take me putting myself out there in uncomfortable situations, introducing myself to strangers, seeing if there is a friend connection.  I think as I get older, I am finding this more and more difficult.
Update - I wrote this post a week ago - but didn't have time to publish it...
Since I wrote this, I decided to reach out to some people outside of my small circle of friends to see if we might have a connection. I had a fellow RCMP spouse come over for lunch, went for a walk with a neighbour, and had the same neighbour and her family over for dinner.
I think it's been good for me to push myself to meet other people, and to make the conscious effort of trying. It's not always easy or comfortable, but I am happy to say that I've made some connections, and I'm feeling better for it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

walking is good

Over the years, my walks have taken on different purposes in my life. When I was a brand new mama with baby Noah, I remember pushing him for hours in our state of the art stroller, so that I could get him to sleep. I'd walk all over Hamilton. The top of the mountain where we lived, or I'd drive down to the waterfront and take a long walk there.
When we moved to Whitehorse, I remember reluctantly walking the trails behind our house. Always fearful of a bear encounter (never had one). We then moved to a different community in Whitehorse, where I felt braver to walk the trails. I remember enjoying those walks, looking for eagles and cranberries along the way.
When we moved to Beaver Creek, my walks became my only escape during my days. Ryder made me feel more safe about walking the trails. We'd often look for fairy houses, mushrooms and of course, cranberries. I remember feeling that the only way I could push through some of those hard days, was to get out and walk.
It wasn't until this past fall, that I discovered this set of trails not far from our home. On my second or third visit (the kids were with me), we witnessed a beautiful Barred Owl, land right above us in the tall pines. It was magical.
It wasn't long before I claimed these trails as mine (although I know others use it too). I feel so so so fortunate to have this bit of nature right at my door step.
More and more, I am discovering that my walks in the woods are really important to me for a whole host of reasons. They help me clear my mind. Help me to detach from distractions. My walks get me moving, exercising. They help me, in my search for quiet, and help me to slow down and just be present. Being surrounded by nature is very therapeutic, and I am finding that it is very important that I carve out the time in my week for a good long walk.

Monday, January 9, 2017

made and gifted with love :: handmade christmas 2016

This past Christmas, I found myself challenged with a limited budget for gifts. At first I felt stressed out and worried, that I wouldn't be able to give nice gifts to friends, or to the kids for that matter, but after discussing these challenges with friends, I realized that I just needed to find the inspiration to make my gifts.
In the past, I have always enjoyed making gifts for family and friends, so I decided to take a look through some old pins on my Pinterest boards and get inspired.
These really cute and simple wooden houses came to mind, so I asked Winslow to cut some up for me and I made up some simple villages and Christmas tree ornaments.
My second challenge was that I really wanted to buy this play campfire for the kids, but couldn't justify the price. On top of the exchange rate, I'd have to pay shipping, duties and taxes. So I just couldn't afford it. My friend sent me this pin, so I took a look at it and adapted it to my liking.
In the end, I am very pleased with the play campfire I came up with, and love how it promotes open ended play (camping, storytime, ect). Also, it was made with love, by me. I hope the kids know that it was made especially for them.
A few other simple gifts I made and gave this year (no pictures sorry), were homemade potpourri bags like these (for neighbours) and some peppermint bark (to give to Scouts/Sparks leaders and bus drivers).
Hope this inspires you to make and give some handmade gifts!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


I've been spending some time lately, trying to take stock of where I am in my life. The new year does this. It makes me want to look back, to see where I've been, and to look forward to what might be.
Yesterday, I took a nice long walk through the woods with a sleeping Wesley attached to me, and Ryder who was bounding off down the trail. My goal on that walk was to get some fresh air and sun, but also to come to a decision on what my word for 2017 would be.
For the last two years, I have chosen a word to help guide me through my year. A word that would provide inspiration, a push, some support.
For my first year (2015), I chose the word PEACE. I remember I was having a very hard time while I was living in Beaver Creek. I desperately needed to find inner peace with myself and within my heart. That word was almost like a plea with myself. It was so appropriate.
Last year (2016), I chose the word ADVENTURE .... what an ambitious word for a mama with a newborn and two older busy children! I think that I chose the word adventure, to give me the motivation to get out there and just do it. I was truly scared that with 3 children, I would just end up hiding away all the time, and would chose the easy way out. I think I wanted to challenge myself... and I also just wanted to explore our new province. So yes, perhaps "adventure" was a bit ambitious for me, but I'm happy that it pushed me to take my kids hiking, to the beach, out for ice cream just because, to make bonfires on the beach, and to look at sometimes daunting tasks in a positive light.
This year, after meditating on it, I have come to my word for the year. This word was chosen out of need and reflection of where I am in my current role as a caregiver/mama. My word for 2017 is QUIET.
Right now, I'll be honest, my life feels a bit chaotic and, well, loud. I often find myself asking the kids to lower their voices, turn down the TV, or I find myself seeking refuge in silence. For some reason, I find myself very sensitive to noise. The TV, the radio, the crying, the yelling, the fighting, the pots being clanged by Wes. It's overly loud, all the time.
When I take a moment to turn down the radio, get the kids to find a quiet activity, or I finally get the overly tired/crying baby down for a nap, I can just feel the tension start to dissolve, and it's such a relief.
But not only am I seeking quiet in the literal and obvious way, I am also seeking to find quiet in my mind and heart. While I was out on my walk, I came to the conclusion, that my walks in the woods, truly are my way of meditating, and how I just need that time to allow my mind to be quiet (away from demands, away from technology, away from responsibilities). My mind needs time and space to just be, and my heart needs that too.
My word this year is truly an inward word. One that reflects and acknowledges my present day needs. Last year's word was a push to get out there. It was almost an affirmation, telling me that I could do it. This year, I am looking to take care of my needs, in recognition that I can't help anyone else, if I don't take care of myself too.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

my baby you'll be

December 15th snuck up on us. I wasn't ready for it. There was no way that it felt like a year had passed, but there we were, Wesley's birthday. 
Wesley's special day serendipitously, ended up being a snow day for Noah and Katia. So lucky for Wes, he had his two favourite  people in the world, there to celebrate with him. In the morning, Wes was surprised with balloons, a few small gifts, and pancakes and fruit for breakfast. Of course we pulled out the birthday ring for him too! Then it was off to the doctor's (for me) and after my appointment, I surprised everyone by taking them to a sweet local indoor playground/cafe
The afternoon was spent making a delicious carrot cake, playing in the snow, and making Wes' favourite dinner- spaghetti! Winslow had to work, so we had dinner, got into jammies and waited for him to get home so we could have cake. We sang to our little baby and watched him take in his special moment. It was sweet.
And then, 2 weeks later (Dec 31st in the afternoon) just to continue on with the celebrations, we held a little party for Wes with some close friends. Food, drinks, cake, colouring pages+playdoh for the older kid guests. It was simple, sweet and stress free... and Wes looked so cute in his little bow tie. 
To me, Wesley will always be my baby. He's the third born. The one who has it easy, and has parents who know the drill. He's the missing piece to our puzzle, and the one that completes our family. He is without a doubt, so meant to be here.
Happy birthday to our adorable, sweet, piece of the puzzle. We love you.