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Thursday, November 27, 2014

winter days: nesting, crafting, cozying up


















We are well into winter here.
This past week, gave us cold temperatures of - 30. It was the type of weather, where we could not get out for our daily walks,so instead we stayed in, played, listened to Christmas music, read our Winter books, and tidied the house. When we did get out of the house, we made our way over to the Community Club via truck (it was way too cold to walk), and spent time there, visiting with friends, cooking lunch and crafting. I'm glad that we have the Club when the days are so darn cold. It gives us a place to go.
Right now I have crafting and Christmas on my mind. With us being so far from family, and not near any stores, we really have to think ahead and get our crafting done soon.
I've been making my list, planning out my baking, and am trying to get the kids to make a bunch of gifts to send to our far away family.
Our Christmas lights are up, and next week (hoping the weather isn't too cold), we will go out into the bush to cut down our very own little Yukon tree.
For some reason, time seems to be just speeding along for me. The month of December is full of activities, and deep down, I feel this sense of rush and loss of time. I just want to slow down and find quiet, deliberate moments in the month of December.
And speaking of deliberate, I haven't been to church in such a long time.  I do feel like it is a missing piece of the puzzle for me. Church gives me such a feeling of peace and calm. My church in Whitehorse was the first church I had ever truly felt comfortable and accepted at, and I miss it there, especially during this Advent season. But for now, I will just have to look for ways to feed that part of my mental/spiritual health.
I came across one of those pictures that gets shared around Facebook, but this one actually stuck with me. It was about Self Care, and how we truly need  to be our own advocates. Here it is in point form.

If it feels wrong, don't do it. Say exactly what you mean. Don't be a people pleaser. Trust your instincts. Never speak badly about yourself. Never give up one your dreams. Don't be afraid to say "no". Don't be afraid to say "yes". Be kind to yourself. Let go of what you can't control. Stay away from drama and negativity. LOVE. 

Something to try to do more of.
Happy winter days dear friends.
xox

Monday, November 24, 2014

life ... moving along








Life has been busy here in our lives and in this little town where we live.
After a few busy months of photo work,  I finally got caught up on all of my Autumn photo sessions and was able to take a nice deep breath. It felt good to not have those looming deadlines over my head. I always feel guilty that I can't get my clients photos out sooner.
Winslow and I have been busy with volunteer commitments at the Community Club here in Beaver Creek. Community lunches, craft nights, flooding the rink, exercise class, Tot Time, Board meetings. This little place sure has a lot going on, and we are busy running most of it (lol!). You know, I really do think that keeping busy  helps me from going crazy, or maybe it's making me crazy. Not sure, but it sure helps to have things to do during those long winter months.
About a week ago we had an amazing show of the Northern Lights here in Beaver Creek. Winslow and I packed the kids up and went out to get some photos of the lights. It was beautiful, breathtaking and majestic. I begged Winslow to pose for a shot with me where we are kissing under the lights.He obliged, and I am so happy with the shot. Cheesy perhaps, but I will always cherish it when we have moved away from this little place that right now we call home.
The kids and I popped into Whitehorse last week for a friend's birthday and to do some shopping. It was fast, crazy, exhausting but a nice break. We were all very excited to see that the city had put up their lights, so we ran over and took a look. I must admit, I am very much looking forward to the holidays this year.
One of my favourite parts of the holidays are the traditions. These are the parts that we have chosen to be deliberate about. To build into our family's story, and I look forward to them so much. The Nutcracker ballet, Saint Nicholas Day, Advent calendars and candle wreaths, doing RAK (random acts of kindness), sending out Christmas cards, crafting and making. I'm excited to share this time with my family, and to watch N+K take in those traditions.
And while I am blessed to be in the position to enjoy the holidays this year, I know that not everyone is. I know people (personally) who are grieving the loss of loved ones (their first Christmas without those special people), and others who are struggling with other types of loss. The holidays are not always easy for everyone, and I want to remain mindful of that.
And finally, a certain little lady of ours will be turning 3 years old this week and we are busy getting things ready for her special day. I'm not sure who is more excited, her or myself? I do love to plan a good birthday, and I just love to watch my kids to have their special day. To be the center of attention, to watch them feel loved. I'm excited!
This year's birthday will have a "Frozen/Fox" theme. She initially wanted a "fox" party (yay! that is fun and trendy!) but then it turned into a "Frozen" party (boo, no points for originality). So I put my thinking cap on, I was thinking, how can I sneak some "Frozen" in there. I decided  that we would settle on doing "Frozen" cupcakes on her real birthday (28th) and then her party could be "Fox" themed. Problem solved.

Sending warm thoughts to those who need it right now.
xox

Monday, November 10, 2014

refocus











As everyone I'm sure faces, I have had a few rough days as of late. 
It hasn't been one big thing, but a number of little things, all piling up, and leaving me to feel ... well.. down, I guess. 
Without going into the nitty gritty, what it comes down to, is that I am searching for things that I simply cannot find here in this little community. There are things I just simply don't have here (a spiritual community, close friends ect). I am isolated right now, and with that come challenges and difficulties. The good news is that this is not forever, and soon, a new chapter will be unfolding for us. 
I don't want to dwell on the difficulties of this life, instead, I want to focus on how I want to be as a person. Focus on what is important to me. Focus on how to be better. Focus on peace and balance.
Right now I am looking for happiness, and it's through the little choices I make, that I will find that happiness. I may have unfulfilled desires at the moment, but I also have many blessings... the blessings far outweigh the desires. 
And so, to find happiness, we do little things, like go out for a family walk in the snow, hook Ryder up to the sled and have him pull the kids, or just be together and cozy up for the winter. Already, just by writing this, I feel a sense of peace... my family brings me so much peace. 
I'm going to focus on what I can do to make myself feel happier and at peace  and also, I'm going to challenge myself to speak and do more peaceful and kind acts. It's starts with ourselves, doesn't it?
xox


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

lately












 Looking tired after a long day of activities. I picked him up at the community club and pulled him home on the sled. 

Halloween came and went. The children had so much fun dressing up, getting their face's painted , seeing their friends and of course, eating candy. We all enjoyed dressing up for the school party and watching the kids get so into it.
This year, the Community Club (have I ever mentioned that I am on the board?), hosted a big pizza lunch. One of the mothers and I stayed up till 10pm the night before, making 12 homemade pizzas! It was a great turn out and we really enjoyed seeing everyone come out for it.
Now that Halloween is over with, I am excitedly moving forward and onwards.
I am feeling a sense of calm and readiness for this up coming winter, and I think it has to do with a number of things.
First off, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I am excited for what is to come down the road. We know that this will be our last winter in Beaver Creek, so I feel that I can truly slow down and enjoy it, knowing that we won't have this quiet, simple, if not isolated life, much longer.
Another reason that I am enjoying this season in our lives is that I have found a nice rhythm to our days. Our days often include homeschooling in the morning, a family focused community activity of some sort in the morning, a quiet afternoon. We enjoy winter walks, playing at the park (fully bundled up in snowsuits), doing crafts, and watching movies. It's good to remember the things that I do like about winter. It is a cozy season.
Homeschooling is coming along nicely around here. At the beginning of the year, I sat down and made a running list of units that I would like to cover with Noah and Katia. This helped me when it came time to order our books, and to look for ideas online. We purchased a brand new printer at the beginning of the year, which has been amazing. I love being able to pull things off the web, or make things up myself and have it ready that same day. I've also really enjoyed buying lots of books online for our library. It's been so much fun to be able to go on book binges!
And so there we are. Life is trundling along, winter is here, and we are doing just fine.
xox



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

the here and now














We came home from our trip to find winter and snow. I wasn't surprised by it, but still needed to have a pep talk to assure myself that we can do this and that we can get through the coming months, all in one piece. 
Day 3 of being back home and we are still trying to catch our breaths from the busy trip that we just had. It was again one of our crazy trips home, where we try to see and do everything possible in such a short time, but this time around, it went quite smoothly and it was enjoyable because Winslow was there with us. 
Now at home, we are settling into the cold temps (it was -25 this morning) and trying to find a rhythm once again, which can be hard after being away from home for 3 weeks. 
Our days consist of dark chilly mornings and coffee on hand. Healthy food to get us going, smoothies, eggs, peanut butter and toast. Homeschooling is back on again (we took a little break while away), and we are moving forward with new ideas, new found inspiration and enthusiasm. 
Our afternoons are balanced out with Noah going to school and Katia staying home. I've noticed that she is ready for more, and I wish we had a preschool program for her to attend. I have dreams and hopes for next year, when she will be able to join a dance class or music, but for now, I will focus on enjoying our time together. I know that our time together is special. 
Our evenings are quiet and sleep has been coming easily to us all. Maybe we are exhausted from the trip or maybe it's the darkness from winter slowly creeping in. Whatever it may be, I enjoy the quiet slow evenings that seem to wind us down. 
It's not easy coming and going from our life here. I sometimes wonder, where do we really belong and what is next for my little family. The transition from our trips home often leave me missing my family and my people, and asking myself all kinds of life questions. It's easy to feel the pull of our next posting, and in all honesty, it is what get's me through the tougher days in this isolated community, but I know that it is not healthy to live in the past or in the future, it is the present that I need to enjoy and put my energy into. 
So here we are, moving onwards into the winter months, but just to contradict myself,  I will leave off with some of my last photos from PEI and Ottawa. I love looking back on those beautiful Autumn shots. 
xox