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Thursday, December 1, 2016

connecting


























Welcome December! The most magical, beautiful, cozy and kind month there is! December is here, and I am welcoming it with open arms.
I have so many lovely ideas swirling through my head. Gifts to make. Cards to write. Menus to plan. Memories to make with my family.... and I'm really wanting to make this season a meaningful and present one. This year I am focusing on making many of my gifts. A step towards the way I have always felt Christmas giving should be. I'm inspired and can't wait to show my creations!
A few weeks ago, I was in a slump. I'm not exactly sure what brought it on, but I just couldn't feel in the mood for the season. I had conflicting feelings about it all, and truthfully, I felt disconnected from the usual joy I feel around this time of year.
Thankfully, after talking about it with my good friend, I started to find my groove again. I think it was important for me to stop and pause, and take stock of what this season means to me personally, and then to my family.
What I want and what my family (children I should say) are sometimes two different things.
I certainly enjoy the magic, excitement and energy that my children get from the season,  but I also want moments of calm too.
I want to find moments of peace. I want to find moments of reflection. Moments of quiet. Moments of stillness. I think it is important that I find these moments for myself to enjoy during this season too.
Things like: walks in the woods, enjoying a hot and decadent drink, lighting candles, writing cards to friends, crafting and making, preparing warming foods that nourish us. I am reminding myself that what I love best about December and Christmas is slowing it down, and enjoying time with my family, and that is what I am reminding myself to focus on.

...

Life in November brought us Remembrance Day, a birthday (and a party) for Katia, a visit from Nana, busy days of having afterschool kids in the house, our first snow,  a turkey dinner with Nana, some photo sessions, the beginning of Christmas crafting.

I shall leave off with some pictures from the last few weeks.

xox

May we all find moments to take in deep crisp air breaths, and find the quiet that we need.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

katia's puppy adoption party

















For my standards, this was probably the most simple birthday I have ever done for the kids .... and probably one of the most enjoyable ones too. 

This year, for Katia's birthday, we had an adopt a puppy birthday party. Each guest received a Beanie Boo puppy as their "take home gift" (which I bought in bulk and for sale through Chapters). During the party, the guests filled out an adoption certificate, took their dog to the vet, had a visit to the beauty salon, and made their dog a collar. 
We're trying to simplify in our lives, and in our budget these days too, so I made some conscious decisions to not go completely crazy with unnecessary "extras". We kept the food healthy and simple. Fruit kabobs, cheese+crackers, veggies, pretzels and Katia's favourite chips .... with puppy cupcakes too, of course. I did facepainting for the guests, and then they decorated their bags to take their puppy home in. We kept our guest list to a manageable number (which included Noah and one guest for him). All in all, it was a lovely afternoon, where Winslow and I didn't feel overwhelmed, the guests enjoyed themselves, and most importantly, Katia felt special and loved. 
Our girl turns five in just a week, and I am a wee bit sad to say goodbye to my four year old. 
She's getting so big, and I'm not seeing my baby near as much as I am seeing a big girl. She's kind, helpful, an amazing big sister to Wesley, creative, smart, so social, and such a sweet sweet person. 
Happy birthday Katia. You are so special to us, and we all love you to pieces. 
xox 




Monday, November 14, 2016

speeding by









You know that catch phrase, "I don't want to adult today?"... it so applies to us right now.
After a month straight of being sick with pneumonia in our household (Noah, Katia, myself and Wesley), I some days, just wish I could have someone swoop in and take over all the adult things that we have to do.
Just yesterday, Winslow and I were trying so hard to get in a conversation. Que the crying baby, the little one who wants to tell us about something, and then I stepped backwards and stepped on a Thomas the train. I cursed  and looked at Winslow, and thankfully he grabbed me and gave me a big hug. Right there, I asked him if we could run away, just him and I. I was joking, well kind of.
It's hard right now. I'll say that. It's busy, it's tight, it's hard to not have the extra help... but we'll be ok. It's a season, and seasons come and go, as we all know. Right now is hard, but I have to remind myself that my role at home is important and valuable.

...

Poor baby number three is the typical cliche. When Noah was a baby, I wrote monthly blog posts about his development and day to day life, Wesley is lucky if I've written one! I may not have the time to devote individual attention to him, but I know that he is just as happy and well developed as Noah was at this age.
While he doesn't get the monthly posts, I know that he is happy and surrounded by so much love everyday. Wesley's days are full of adventure and discovery. At 10 months, Wesley decided that it would be a good time to start walking. I suppose when you have older siblings and a dog to keep up with, it's only natural that you would want to move as fast as you can!
Some other things that Wesley loves are: music, clapping his hands, saying Dada (and sometimes Mama if he is really upset), going to storytime at the library, looking at the model trains at the library, and his dog Ryder. Some of his favourite foods include scrambled eggs, yoghurt, apple sauce, blueberries, spaghetti and chicken.
Our baby turns one next month, and I have all kinds of emotions regarding this milestone. In one way, I am excited to see how Wesley will continue to grow and change over time. On the other hand, I have a hard time in knowing that he is our last baby, and this is the last time I will be a mama to a baby. Regardless of the emotions, we will celebrate his day to the fullest and it will be a special day, all about him.

...

And so here we are, mid November and in the thick of our busy season. With two important birthdays on the horizon and Christmas just around the corner, I am really trying to take stock of what this season means to me, and also try to plan and organize where and when I can.
My mind is full... and it's almost overwhelming. I feel as though I really need to remind myself of what is most important right now, and let go of the other stuff.

...

And finally, a few photos of the children. I really wanted some Fall photos of the kids, and because of being sick, I kept pushing them back. Finally one day, I corralled them all together and just made it happen. They aren't my favourite photos, that's for sure. They feel forced and not natural (my main goal in photography these days is to make a natural portrait), but at the same time, I am happy to have a bit more of a "formal" portrait of the kids. If anything, these photos make me pause and say, when did they get so big?


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

beyond words and pictures














When I was a little girl, one of my most favourite things to do was to go for a hike in the Gatineaus during the Fall. Each year, for my birthday party, I would ask that we all drive up to the Gatineaus and go for a hike. I remember then, just as I do now, being so at peace and at home, amongst the bright and firey maples, the soft scented pines, and the babbling brooks. I loved to be immersed in Fall!
The one issue I had with these special hikes, were just how infrequent they were (only on weekends, my parents worked during the week), and how far the Gatineaus were. The drive was upwards of an hour. If I had my way, I bet I would've gone daily if I could.
Now, fast forward nearly 25 years, and here I am, in likely, the most beautiful spot in the country to celebrate and experience Fall.
I've tried to write about just how spectacular Fall is here in the Valley, but I feel my words fall short in doing it justice. I've also tried taking pictures, to capture the colours and bounty, but even my pictures don't amount to the real beauty. Instead I just walk and breathe, and let myself experience it.
Last week, after the kids got home from school, I decided that we all needed to take a walk in the woods. I wanted to take them far, not just the trail that backs our subdivision, but really deep into the woods. I was worried that they would get tired and bored, but we all just kept going ... with the hope of discovering something special.
Katia found a great walking stick, Noah and his friend who came along, threw rocks and picked up sticks... and then we all stopped.
Shhhhhhhh, you guys, look! There, up in the tree. Hold still guys, it's an owl.
And there it was. A beautiful Barred Owl, just starring down at us, following us with it's head.
We all stood there, just watching, knowing that this was special and that we were in the right place at the right time.
The Fall has brought such lovely memories for us all. My birthday (we went to see Beauty and the Beast), a big trip to the Yukon for Wesley and I, family visiting for Thanksgiving, Autumn excursions to apple orchards and corn mazes, and many beautiful Fall photo sessions.
It's a busy time, and I don't always make writing a priority. Instead, I am focusing on being present and enjoying the moments as they come.
Some pictures from Thanksgiving and the Yukon.
xox