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Friday, July 22, 2016

beach days

Confession. It's 5:30 am and I may or may not have snuck a bowl of left over lobster mac' n cheese. There I said it. Hungry? Perhaps. Emotional eating after Sarah has left? Probably. 
We just capped a short but sweet 4 day visit with Sarah and her 4 amazing girls, Abby, Hailey, Robin and Summer (we definitely missed having Rich here).
To have them here, was so special. We spent 3 solid days by, near or in the ocean. We explored, played, ran, ate, drank, and pretty much lived up summer on the East Coast, the best way we knew how to.
If I had to sum up our trip in words, this is how it would go. 
Beach, sand, sun, play, run, discover, shells, bathing suits, hats, sunglasses, bbq, wine, heat, bags and bags packed for the beach, ice cream, friends. 
The effort it took Sarah to get here does not go unnoticed. She drove for 2 days to get to us, alone, with her 4 girls. It means so much to us, that they came all this way to see us. It means so much to us to have these beautiful memories, stored away in our hearts. 
The nature of the RCMP lifestyle takes us all over the country. It allows us to see places we would never see and make friends who become more like family, than anything else. The Nimans are our "chosen family". We have shared some pretty profound moments in our lives with them, and it's been a blessing to watch our children grow together. 
When we moved to Nova Scotia, I wondered if we had made the right decision. While I was torn that we hadn't moved back close to family and friends, I hoped that our beautiful location would entice our friends and family to come out and visit us, and so far it has!
This morning upon waking up, the first words to come from Noah's mouth were, "Life was better with Abby." I hear ya buddy. Saying goodbye is hard. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

celebrating our boy

We are almost at the 7 month mark of sweet Wesley's first year. There have been so many joys, so much to take note of, but the days seem to go by so quickly. 
Right now as I write this, he sleeps peacefully in the ergo carrier (that I used for Noah and Katia). It is a hot summer night, but this is how he wants to be. So close. 
At nearly 7 months old, Wesley is doing so much! He sits up and crawls. He babbles away. He's eating new foods, he's interested in toys and books, he adores his brother (Kuya) and sister (Ate), and he loves his puppy Ryder (although I keep a close eye on their interactions). 
While in Ottawa, we had a special celebration for Wesley. He was baptized at the Catholic church, by Winslow's family's priest. It was a really special day, where family and friends, came to officially welcome our boy to the world. Many of our friends and family, had not met Wesley yet. So it was very much like a welcoming party for him
When planning the special day, we asked our dear friend Sarah, if she would be Wesley's Godmother. It's hard for me to put into words, just how much my relationship with Sarah means to me. It's not something that I can easily sum up with words. It is deep and beautiful and precious. 
Asking Sarah to be Wesley's Godmother was important to me. I know that she cares for him and I feel a strong connection to her on so many levels. Spiritually, creatively, morally. Sarah is the kind of friend that I look up to. I admire her and she inspires me, to be a better person and mother. We are so blessed to have this amazing person in our lives, ans she fits the bill perfectly to be an  awesome Godmother
And so here we are. A whole half a year old. While I am loving each stage with this sweet and busy boy, I just wish for a moment that I could slow time down. It's going so fast, and I am catching little glimpses of who this little person is going to be as he grows up. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's bittersweet, this whole baby thing. I love to watch him grow, but I will miss it so much when it's all over. Oh my baby boy. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

slow and simple

I know that the term "simplicity" is such a trend word. It's seen on magazine covers, product names and more. Why is it that we are so drawn to a more simple life? And how can it be achieved?
In the never ending quest for a more balanced and peaceful life, I have been making a concision effort to make little life changes. Some are small efforts, that at once, don't seem to make a big impact, but I know they add up to make a difference.
Simplifying our family life, comes in many forms. From the purging of old things that are no longer needed, to creating a weekly meal plan, to keeping a family calendar in the kitchen, where all our appointments, shifts, engagements are seen in one place. It's these little things that once all put together, make a pretty big impact in  how our rhythm pans out.
Then there are the bigger decisions towards simplifying. Such as deciding not to put Noah into any summer camps this year. It costs money we don't have. He doesn't thrive in a busy over stimulating environment. Katia will have a guaranteed playmate all summer long. Our schedule is freed up, for us to go on any daytime adventure we want!
I'm trying hard to find moments in my day to feel present and grateful for what I have. To take notice of the simple things and welcome them into my heart.

Simple things that I am grateful for....

~ a walk in the woods with my kids and my dog. A way to recharge. A way to find quiet. A dog, so joyful and happy to be off leash and bounding through the woods.
~ 2 days of cool wet rain. Permission to slow down. To stay inside. To drink tea, eat popcorn, read books and watch movies.
~ homemade chicken and rice soup for everyone, including Wesley.
~ the summer reading program at our local library. Free programs. Motivation to read.
~ sweet U-Pick strawberries
~ hanging out on the soccer field, watching the kids run around and chase balls in the summer heat

So here's to simple and slow. May it's rewards be easy to find.

Friday, July 8, 2016

ottawa in 8 days

Going back to Ottawa is always a bit of a crazy time for our family. We do our best to pack in as much as we can, into a short amount of time. Visits with friends, time with family, taking the kids to do special "Ottawa" things. 
This trip to Ottawa involved many celebrations, visits and excursions, all jammed into 8 days. Unfortunately, most of us were sick for the majority of the trip, and so our energy levels and moods were not all that great. I found it hard to find the enthusiasm to celebrate Canada Day, and to be fully present for Wesley's baptism...but that's just the way it goes sometimes, and we rolled with it. 

While we were tired, we certainly enjoyed being with our family and friends, and enjoyed making more memories for our family. 
To recap our trip....
A splash pad kid's party. A Canada Day that included a BBQ at my sister's, the Aviation Museum and fireworks for Winslow and N+K. Wesley's baptism and a HUGE feast afterwards. More splash pad and playground fun at  Landsdowne with Roxy and her girls. Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill. The Museum of Nature with Grandpa. Sushi! Mandarin! Icecream! IKEA! A swim and dinner chez Les Nimans. Dinner and icecream with Margaret. 
Yes, we did all this in 8 days. And yes, I am tired...but a good kind of tired. The kind that makes me feel satisfied and full, but also happy to be home and returning to a slower summer rhythm. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

centered again

The news had been getting me down. 
Everytime I signed onto Facebook, there were new stories, opinion pieces, blog posts, memes, ect that were bringing me down in my mood and outlook. I knew that I should just tune out, unplug and try to connect with my immediate surroundings... but I couldn't. I was agitated, irritated, and felt sucked in. 
How do I unplug I asked my dear friend Sarah one day. How do I consciously turn away from all this negativity? I am a tender hearted soul, who feels all the feels. It's so hard. 
I started by picking up my camera. It had been raining for days straight, which made it hard for me with the kids, but was such a blessing to the garden. Our beautiful poppies had bursts open, so on the first sunny day, I went out to photograph, their striking blooms. 
The next step, was booking a spontaneous camping trip for Father's Day weekend. 
Rissers PP, a beautiful spot just under 1.5 hours from us, books up fast for the whole summer, but because school is still in, this past weekend had a few open spots. The weather was promising, so we went for it, and booked 2 nights there. 
Almost 3 days on the South Shore (opens out into the Atlantic) at the beach and campground. We brought the camper, the kids bikes, tons of art supplies, organized a yummy menu of delicious food and ventured off. The only rule? No ipads, no Facebook, no movies, no emails. 
On our first night we made friends with an RCMP family a few spots down, and were told that another RCMP family we knew from the Yukon would be coming down too. The kids had a blast playing with their kids, tearing around on their bikes, going to the playground and playing on the beach. 
3 days of family connecting, of being by the ocean, of not rushing anywhere, of eating icecream and chips (oh yes we did!) and a special Sunday of treating Winslow extra special for Father's Day. 
We all came home exhausted, sun tanned and with a sense of ease. It was exactly what I needed to re-boot. 
Now, with myself centered again, I am vowing to make some small changes for myself. 
I am going to make a conscious effort to take breaks from social media this summer, and to work on making better connection with myself and my family. 
I'm going to make more spontaneous trips to the beach, and to get icecream. Pick my camera up when I am feeling down, and search for the beauty that is right under my nose. I'm going to practice more self care and work on practicing my New Year's word, which was, adventure.