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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. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

breathe in, breathe out, repeat

Looking back on my last post, I am a little bit heart broken over how I let my emotions consume Christmas day. I am thankful for the time that has since passed between December 25th and now. I am thankful for the space, for the quiet, for the calm that comes after the storm. 

Since Christmas, I have been taking walks, talking a lot to good friends and my sister (so so so thankful for listening ears),  been to the emergency room (once again with Wes), been feeling supported by Winslow, been looking forward to good things to come for 2017. 
2016 wasn't easy in many ways for us. Financially we had a rough year. Support wise, we had to learn to juggle 3 kids with no help. Emotionally, we have had to start from scratch in making friends, it's been slow, but I am thankful to have a small handful of people who I count as friends. There have been many lessons that 2016 has taught me, and I suppose, seeing that we are on the other side now, I am in a place where I can accept those lessons. 
There are still a few days left of 2016, and I am doing my best to salvage what is left of the holidays and enjoy our time together as a family. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

merry crappy christmas

This year, Christmas by all accounts was a very difficult one for me. There were many factors that fed into it, but I guess, you could say it was the perfect storm for a bad day. 
Winslow had to work. Wesley and Katia were both very sick. We had no family visiting and couldn't go to anyone's homes (sick kids aren't popular at shindigs). In the end, I felt very lonely and overwhelmed.
Leading up the holidays, I knew that we were going to be spending it alone and without family, so I made plans to have lots of visits with friends, to compensate for loneliness. Unfortunately, all of the plans I had made ( 2 lunch visits with friends, a potluck at the RCMP detachment, church, and Christmas dinner) all were cancelled, because of the kids being sick. I certainly don't blame them for being sick, it is what it is, but it made things hard and I couldn't move forward with our holiday plans. 
Christmas Eve was a bust. Winslow worked all day. Wesley screamed and cried in pain all morning. Katia shot up with a fever. I had to rearrange our plans, and my good friend Tania took Noah to the potluck I had organized, and then to church. I went to the hospital with Wesley and Katia and we were there for nearly 3 hrs. 
I was worried that Wesley might have an ear infection or something. It had been 5 consistent days of throwing up, fevers and crying. I didn't want to spend Christmas in the hospital, so I decided to take them then. The doctor just said it was a bad respiratory virus and a gastro bug. He looked at Katia who was sleeping in the waiting room and said it was the same thing. On the way home Katia barfed all over the car. I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed, angry and wishing I had someone to be there to help me. It's so friggen hard doing it all alone. 
Christmas morning was nice. Winslow was working but could be home with us to watch the kids open and play with gifts. The radio was on the whole time and I couldn't help but feel resentful to Winslow's work, for taking him away from us. 
The kids were spoiled, but in a good way. The gifts they received were all useful and nice. They were grateful for what they received and it was fun to watch them play with their gifts. Noah's favourite gift, was a Bigfoot book (also his skateboard) and Katia loved her special "grown up" art kit. 
Winslow and I kept things simple this year with stocking stuffers. I got some Lush bath bombs, chocolate, underwear, an itunes gc, and some Christmas tree ornaments. Two friends of mine sent some gifts to me, which was very nice. CBC socks, a beeswax candle, some Lush shower gel, some other cute socks and tea towels. I enjoyed having a few phone calls with Katie, Sarah N and Bawkers. 
Throughout the afternoon, Wesley screamed and cried in pain. I was exhausted and was starting to lose my cool. Winslow was at work, and I couldn't even sit down to watch a movie with Noah and Katia. I paced the house with a screaming baby for a few hours, and then we went for a walk. 
Noah used his new scooter and I carried Wes in the carrier and pulled Katia in the wagon that Santa brought. As we walked, I scanned all the houses that had driveways full of cars. I knew that they were celebrating with big groups of people. I felt more and more alone. 
Because we had made plans to go to a friend's for dinner, I never thought about what we would do for Christmas dinner. It ended up being a bit of a hodge podge, and not exactly what I would've liked. Winslow and I had wanted to watch a movie together that night, but by the time I finally settled Wesley, I just wanted to go to bed. I was done. 
The day went on and one thing was really eating away at me, my mom hadn't called. By night time, I was really hurt and basically cried myself to sleep. I was hurt and disappointed in her. Why wouldn't she call when she knew I was on my own that day? Why wouldn't she call to say Merry Christmas and thank you for the handmade gifts the kids had made for her? 
Today was Boxing Day, and thankfully, I woke up feeling 100 times better. The pressure of a perfect Christmas Day was not there. I didn't have to pretend anything for the children. And finally Winslow was home, so we could share the work of the sick kids. 
For some reason, whether it was good or not, I decided to call my mom and confront her for not calling me. The conversation didn't end well, I cried and told her I was hurt and then I hung up on her. I'm sure she's not happy, but I feel better for having said my piece. As someone close to me put it, I'm not out of line for expecting someone as important as my mother to call me on an important day. Those aren't high expectations. I think this is a good time to build up my healthy boundaries that I had let down more recently. I must take care of myself when it comes to my relationship with her, as she is an extremely selfish person.
After a nice hot shower (with Lush shower gel... swoon) I went for a long walk with Noah and Ryder in the woods. The sun, the quiet, the movement, the fresh air... it all did wonders for my mood. 
the rest of the day was nice. I worked away on our Christmas dinner (turkey, all the trimmings and apple pie), while Winslow took on the kids (such a huge help). 
All in all, I am ready to wrap up this Christmas. While I love love love the season of Christmas, I find more and more, the expectations of the actual day are very hard to deal with. As a mom, we do our best to make it magical and special, but it can be a let down for us moms, for many reasons.
I'm ready now to usher in the New Year and to step back from the responsibilities of the holidays. 
I'm looking ahead to my goals and to ways to look after myself better. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

december moments

December is here and I am making sure that I find moments to slow down and enjoy this most beautiful season. 
I have been looking inwards, to try and make some sense of what this season means to me. 
Spiritually, I cannot deny that there is a feeling of anticipation, wonder, renewal and a need for quiet, all in my heart and mind. 
So I make conscious decisions to put down my phone, turn off the noise, and just be. 
At night, I allow myself to feel the darkness, and listen to the little breaths from my babies who sleep next to me. I try to let go of worries. I try to accept and embrace what is. 
In the day, I bundle everyone up, and we head for an adventure in the woods. As we walk further and further, we move away from the development and deeper into the woods. The promise of a hot chocolate picnic keeps the older two in tow. 
At home, I have designated our spare room to my crafting, card writing, and present wrapping. My sewing machine has been a whirring lately. It feels good to know that many of the gifts we are giving this year, are homemade and from the heart. 
In the kitchen we have been enjoying hearty meals by candlelight. Knowing that it is important to come together, to sit, to share, to pause. 
This season, I am letting Christmas be, what it will be. I'm letting go of high expectations and am taking stock of what we have in front of it, and it is more than enough. 
May this season be what you need it to be.