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Thursday, April 4, 2019

hi there

Oh hi there! It's been a while hasn't it? Life is busy in our household, and while I try to pick up my camera almost everyday, it's seldom that I come here to write. That makes me somewhat sad. I was so good about documenting Noah and Katia's early years, but for Wes, I don't get to do it as much. I should add though, we do have our fun, and I share it quite a bit on Instagram- but a good blog post is definitely in order. 
So what's new in our lives?
This past winter was full of basketball for Noah and hockey and Brownies for Katia. It's definitely been a song and dance, trying to juggle our busy schedules, but somehow we make it work and the kids have had fun with their activities.
I began substitute teaching this past Fall, and continue to do it every week. Right now my schedule only allows for 2-3 days a week, and to be honest, it's a nice amount for us … for now. I would love to get a contract at somepoint, especially if it is for Art, but for now, substitute teaching is just the right amount of work for me.
Over March Break we had a little 2 night family getaway to White Point Resort. We played old games (table tennis, foosball), did crafts, had walks on the windy beach, found bunnies (they are everywhere), enjoyed the music, the bonefires, and swam. There was a lending library of DVDs and card games... and the food! Oh the food was amazing!
What's new with Wesley? Well he's a busy boy, who loves trucks, riding his bike, playing with and BUGGING his older brother and sister. He loves his dog "Ay-wee" (Ryder), and I think it's cute that he gets to spend so much of his time with Ryder. Wes is a bit of a homebody, and takes some coaxing to go out and do things, but more recently he has been up for adventures such a library trips, playing at Cottontale (a local indoor play café) or out with friends.
And for me? I've been challenging myself to be in more photos with my kids. I came up with the lofty goal or producing one Motherhood selfportrait a week, so that is keeping me busy. My goal stemmed from the idea that I really don't get in the frame very often with my kids. Somedays, my shots are of me and the kids, doing regular stuff like drawing with chalk, having breakfast, or skating. Other times, my shots are of just me, down by the water or drinking my coffee- alone! It's just about letting go of my insecurities, and embracing myself as I am (extra weight, grey hairs, leggings and all!).
I also feel the need to share, how over the past year, I have found a real sense of peace and happiness within. I've done a lot of self work over the past year, and feel that I am in such an amazing place in my life. I've made friends here, that truly are the types of people I want to be around, and give my energy to. I'm at a place, where my spending days with my kids, no longer sets me into stress mode- I enjoy our time and days together. Yes, there are still stressful moments- but the way I react (for the most part) is much better. Most important though, I have found a self acceptance that no longer makes me feel like I have a deep void in my life. I used to long for family, someone to help me (us), and I never wanted to be alone. Now I am at this place where I am very happy with the life I/we have. And it feels so good!
The days are turning longer, and we've had a few days of warm sunny weather. We've had our first icecream at Hennigars and two trips to Baxter's Harbour to explore the shoreline. Spring is around the corner and I'm feeling like this is going to be a good one. Hope everyone is having a lovely start to Spring.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


We're at the end of January, and I am just squeezing this in, before the month is over. 
Every year, for at least the last 4 or 5 years, I come up with one word, that is meant to help guide/influence me in the coming year. Past words have included: Peace, Adventure, Quiet, Journey. 
This year, as I was thinking about it, one word kept coming up in my thoughts, and so my word of 2019 is going to be Focus
Last year brought growth and new accomplishments to me. I gained a tremendous amount of confidence in myself, which I feel funneled into my relationships, photography work and family life. 
Last year, I reached some goals and found a sense of focus that had been missing for quite some years, in all honesty, I blame post partum hormones and exhaustion on those foggy years. 
And so for 2019, I want this sense of focus, drive and clarity to continue. 
Focus to me means knowing what I want for myself personally and professionally. It means having a sense of trust in myself. It means not having control over the situation, but having control over myself- knowing that I am responsible for myself, my actions, my reactions. It means calling myself out on my own shit, but also being my own bestfriend. And so 2019 is my year to Focus in on my self and goals. It is to continue on this journey of learning about myself, and to be the best version of myself... for me and the ones I love. 
Happy New Years (on January 30th). 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

christmas magic

We spent a lovely Christmas in Ottawa, surrounded by family and friends. It was busy and loud and we ate a lot. We enjoyed parties and food and visits. As per usual, we packed a lot into our 6 days in Ottawa, and here are some of the highlights. 

full circle

I feel like I have spent the better half of my adult years, searching for a sense of belonging. Part of it is that we are and RCMP family, and for the last 12 years we have been transient, but there is more to it than that, and I’ve been digging away at it for quite some time.
This past year, when we came to our 3 year Nova Scotia anniversary, my better half began to get that all too familiar RCMP transfer itch. Things were becoming a little too comfy and familiar for him. He wanted that shake up, that each past transfer gave him. I on the other hand, had no interest in moving again.
Finally, things were going really well for me personally. Professionally, socially, mentally. I was in a good place. An amazing place. I didn’t want to give it up again.
We had many  late night conversations. I had many  panic attacks. I cried. We fought. We discussed. It was an uncertain time, one that was met with a lot of worry and anxiety (on my part).
After a few weeks of going back and forth, we came to a middle ground, and decided that a protentional move to Ottawa could be the solution. We began to look seriously into it. We looked at work options and housing options. We made the mistake of sharing this with the kids and our family. It felt like it could be right, but it also felt like we were giving up so much.
Perhaps it’s with age. Perhaps we have found the perfect place for us. But when we were going through these difficult few months, all that kept coming back to me was how great we have it where we are. Our town, the community there, our neighbours, my friends that I have carefully made. The photography clientele I have built, the possibilities of continuing with teaching, the options for Winslow. The landscape, the ocean, the camping, the forests. It’s what I have been searching for and wanting for so long, and now we are certain that it is where we want to be.
But beyond the fact that I love Nova Scotia so much, I feel like I have come to a place in my life that I have been looking for, for such a long time. I am at such a peaceful place in my life and I'm not willing to give that up. Yes, we are giving up the dream of living close to family- which is a big pill to swallow, but for the first time in my adult years, I don't feel like I am missing a piece of myself. I used to search for something that was missing... something that stemmed from not having a strong/healthy/consistent relationship with my parents and not having a "family home" to ever return to. I was always missing, grieving, searching for a substitute to that - but I no longer feel that void. 
So here we are. We've come full circle, to decide that this is where we are going to plant our roots. It feels good, so good. And I'm happy. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Katia's Harry Potter Birthday Party

Phew! I feel like I am JUST catching my breath, after this very involved and detailed party that we had for our girl. Katia decided a few weeks ago, after attending the annual Berwick Library Harry Potter party, that she would like her birthday party to be a H.P. Party as well. So right away I got to work!
To begin with, each child walked through our platform 9 3/4 brick wall, to enter into Harry's Land. In the living room, I had created the illusion of letters coming out of the fire place. I used some old stationary I had lying around and fishing line.
Upon entering the living room, each child was sorted into their houses. We had a sorting hat, and our Harry (Noah) reached into a basket to award each child their house patch (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slitherin).
We then went into the Great Hall (with floating candles- thanks IKEA), to make our wands. We used wooden chopsticks and twisted hot glue around them to look spindly. The kids painted them. We put the wands aside to dry and moved onto our potions class (crushed bones, unicorn tears and lizard snot - baking soda, vinegar and green dish soap). They also decorated a paper bag, that would later be used for a scavenger hunt . All the kids enjoyed these simple activities.
After this, we took a break for butterbeer (yum!), snacks and cake!
 After the cake was our scavenger hunt. I had hidden 5 owls around the house that had scrolls at their feet (just used stuffies and some of my owl decorations). Each scroll had a visual clue to the next owl. The final owl led them to Honey Dukes, the candy shop! I had emptied our board game cupboard and put white lights inside. Each kid was allowed to fill a bag at the candy shop.

And that was the party! I gave the short abbreviated version here, but as you can see, it was a lot of work! As my friend Leanne said, "you can't half ass a Harry Potter party".
In the end, I'm glad I agreed to do this party. Over the years, I have learned to tone down my parties (I used to go crazy for every party and stress myself out while doing it), but for this one, I reverted to my old ways and went all out. I feel sentimental towards parties that involve children's books. I know that this time is fleeting and we wont have these years for much longer.