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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

who I am

We just returned from a 10 day whirl wind of a trip from Ottawa. Our trip was a well planned out surprise visit, where we showed up on Winslow's parents' door step, completely unannounced. We timed it with the celebration of our niece's and nephew's birthdays, as well as with Easter. And it was good. So very good to go home and be with our people. 
For the first time in a very long time, I have really been pondering the thought of where I see our family living. For years, it felt right to me that we continue on with our adventure of transferring all over the country. Our family was young, and it just felt so right for us to have this solid family foundation. But over the last year, I have found myself asking more and more, should we be closer to our family and friends in Ottawa? 
I'm not sure what the answer is. I really am not sure. I love it here in Nova Scotia. I even had this vivid dream before we knew that we were moving here, that I was pushing Wesley (before I was pregnant with him) in a stroller, while Katia skipped beside me holding my hand, and Noah ran ahead. We were in Lunenburg, on a little day trip. We were living in Nova Scotia. 
There is so much that I love about here. The pace. The easy going attitude. The kind people. The ocean. The vibe. But I can't deny it, I've been lonely here .... and I've given it a good honest go at making friends. 
Last Christmas was undeniably lonely. I had never experienced feeling so far from family, even though we had spent many Christmases away from family before.... this was different. Up North, it seemed most people were away from family too. We banded together, and got through the holidays on a united front, but this year, it was not like that at all. It was then that I realized, most people who live here in NS are from here, and they have their people.... they have their family. 
In an attempt to be honest with myself, I am coming to see that I think, over the past 10 years of being an RCMP family, I liked having an excuse to stay away for the holidays. 
It's not a secret, that my family's dynamics are dysfunctional ( as I child, going through counselling, I knew what that word meant), and being home for the holidays in the past gave me feelings of vulnerability and anxiety. But now, many of these feelings and dynamics have changed and I feel so much more in control of my surroundings. 
I'm not sure why I saying all this. Perhaps it was the long car ride from Ottawa back to NS, that gave me the opportunity to look back at our visit and reflect. Seeing my closest friends. Having the holidays with our families. Feeling surrounded and loved. Seeing my children completely happy with their cousins and friends. Are we missing out on this? Are we denying ourselves something so important? Or what if we just make the effort to come home more often. Thanksgiving and Christmas are on our radar. Would that be enough? 
So here I am. Back home, and back to our lives. It feels nice to be home again, I'll say that. And a walk on the beach is happening ... like as soon as possible. It feels good, so good to be here... but I'll be honest... a little piece of my heart was left back in Ottawa, and it confuses the hell out of me.

Monday, April 3, 2017


I recently read of someone feeling that they had been at a crossroads for the better half of a year. An intersection, where she just couldn't decide which way to go. It resonated with me.
For the last few years, there have been many life  changes for us. 4 moves in 10 years, house sales, babies.. and for the first time in those 10 years, we don't have any expected life changes on the horizon... and it makes me feel restless. Which direction will we go, now that we are here? Now that our family feels complete. Now that we have decided to settle.
I'm 35. No longer a "young mother". My last baby has entered the early toddler stages, and I have so many questions about where that leaves me. My biggest challenge at this very moment is self acceptance and reassurance that this life, is exactly as it should be. I must remind myself daily, that this is it. This is our one beautiful life, and no matter how simple I choose to live, it is more than enough. That I am enough. The competition needs to stop. The comparisons.
We are at the beginning of April, and the ground still has snow on it. Its cold in the mornings and we have fights about whether to wear snow pants or not. My mind drifts ahead to Spring. To my garden. To BBQs and eating on our back deck. And then I remind myself to come back. Come back to now. Look for the joy in the now. Stop looking ahead, it's not useful or good for me. I'm trying, trying so hard to stop that type of thought. In the end, it comes down to acceptance.

Monday, March 20, 2017

catching up

Somewhere between the cold temperatures, the busyness of 3 kids, homework, meal preps, life  and commitments, I have let certain important practices, that I know to help me in my happiness slip.
Instead of prioritizing my walks, time in nature, sleep and  journaling, I have let other parts of my life take over and I am feeling sluggish for it. But instead of beating myself up for indulging in far too many sweets, and not getting to bed at a good time, I am simply going to give myself permission to reset. Yes. More rest. More walks. Better food. More nature.
I realize that life is one big ebb and flow. I'm also realizing that when I let go of these things that I know to help me feel better, that anxiety and pressure start to build up. So, back to the basics for me. Back to prioritizing self care. That's what this is really about.

... catching up on life ...

We've had my dad here now for about 3 weeks now, and it is very nice to have him here. The first few weeks took adjusting to for all of us, but we seem to be falling into a nice rhythm and it's very nice to have the extra set of hands here (especially when Winslow is at work).
But on top of an extra set of hands, it is most nice to see my children form a relationship with him and to build memories. It's the most simple of things, but when I see us all sit down to a meal, or watch them play a board game, I feel so blessed that we all have this time together. Over the past 10 years or so, if there is one thing that I have learned, it is that life cannot be taken for granted. We just don't know what lies ahead for any of us, and so it really is this moment, right now that counts.


In an attempt to socialize more and to feed into my need for creativity, I hosted a women's craft night last week and it was a nice little gathering. I chose a very simple and open ended craft, something I hoped that everyone would feel comfortable making, and asked people to bring a snack to share.
We all ended up having a nice evening of good food, drinks, conversation and creativity.

March Break came and went, with a mix of rest and fun for all of us. A bug ran it's course through the family, and each day, I found the kids and Winslow to be down right tired. Naps were had by all, but we also managed a little excursion, to Halifax. We stayed at a hotel with a pool, went out to eat, went to a library program and did some shopping.
On our last day of March Break, I decided that I would finally give in to the pleas I've heard over the last two years, and we threw a birthday party for Ryder and his dog friend Carly. Simple decorations from our box of left over balloons and streamers, a gift for each dog (tennis balls), cupcakes for the dogs(healthy recipe found online), and cake for us from the grocery store, because... cake. Any excuse for cake is a good excuse by me!


Just yesterday, after what felt like a week or two of missing our outdoor time (sickness, cold temps), we headed out to Baxter's Harbour, a short 30 min drive from our house. Baxter's Harbour is a small village, that sits on the Bay of Fundy and is right between Hall's Harbour and Scott's Bay. It has a lovely waterfall that you can walk under at low tide, all kinds of rocks to climb, and tons a beautiful stones and sea glass to pick through. This will be a place we return to. I can see us having a lovely picnic there in the Summer or Spring.


And finally, we have a reader! Grandpa bought us a copy of Harry Potter, so that we could read it all together, but Noah has taken it upon himself to read ahead sometimes. I let him, because I think it's great that he wants to give it a go, but I am still going to read it aloud, because I don't want him to miss parts, and because reading together is a special thing.

Life is busy and I don't always find the time or inspiration to write on my blog. It takes time and effort to pull out my camera, take the photos, upload them and write a blog post. But every time I come back to my blog, I am thankful that I have taken the time to do this. To document our days. To stop and think about the special moments. At the risk of sounding all philosophical, I feel in my heart that our day to day life is truly a gift to be cherished. To be experienced. The good, the bad, the hard stuff and easy stuff. Thanks for always coming along with me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

february and beyond

Winter finally came to us. In the span of a week and a half, we ended up with 3 back to back Maritime winter storms, which lead to 4 days off of school. We also had a teacher's strike day and a holiday thrown in there, so right now, this mama is running on countless days of the kids being at home. But here's a little secret... I don't mind too much. For the most part (aside from the fighting and extra messes), I enjoy getting this time with my kids to do art projects, play in the snow, try out new activities (snow shoeing), watch movies and play board games. I remind myself that they are growing fast, and as they grow older, family needs to have a strong role in their lives... so we need to foster that now.

And then, just as quickly as it came, winter seems to be taking a little break and we are being treated this week, to sun and warmer temperatures. It's the kind of weather that is making me want to open the windows (even for just a few minutes), and get out for lots of sunshine and walks. Pictures to accompany this streak of weather will undoubtedly follow.

And with it being near the end of February, I find myself day dreaming ahead to Spring. I know it's thinking ahead, but my thoughts have been turning to our garden, to starting our seeds, to Apple Blossom season here in the Annapolis Valley, to ice cream at the petting zoo, to more frequent trips to the ocean, longer days, to puddles and flowers, open windows, bed sheets on the line, bbq for dinner, chalk drawing on the driveway, blowing bubbles, bike rides and walks after dinner and all those good things.

Happy late February days. I hope that the sun is shining a bit longer for you, and that you are feeling refreshed by the longer days.