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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. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

saying yes and putting doubt aside

I have a tendency to work myself up into a frenzy of worry, doubt and anxiety, when I am faced with daunting activities that involve all three kids, and just myself as the only adult.
I realize that I need to get past this, because  it's just a fact, that these activities (school events, sports practices, Scouts ect) will continue to happen, and I won't always have Winslow to help me out. Also, more often than not, we end up having a great time, the kids handle themselves quite well and basically, it turns out to be a successful outing.
On the weekend, we ventured up to the beautiful and majestic Blomidon Provincial Park, for a Scouts Canada camp out. I had been worried leading up to it, because  Winslow was working, and I had to take all three kids up on my own, but upon turning down the road towards the park, and driving past little cottages beside the sea, my worries seemed to melt away.
So what if I had to pitch a tent by myself? I'd ask for help, and I knew people would gladly help us out. What if Wesley became miserable (he's teething and has a cough)? Well ... I'd cross that path when and if I came to it.
Once we arrived, the kids departed, found their friends and played and ran as much as they wanted.
It was actually pretty relaxing for me, as they were well entertained and only came to me for snacks.
We went for walks, had a big Scout's Canada dinner around the campfire, and took in the amazing views from the top of Cape Blomidon. I am so happy we went for it!  We will be returning to this spot.
It's an interesting life we lead here, as an RCMP family. We are often on our own, without the extra hands of family around to help. If we need help, we have to go out of our way to ask friends and neighbours. We're slowly starting to be okay with asking for help. We're realizing that we can't do it all on our own.
Trying to figure out the logistics of doing activities with 3 kids and 1 adult is hard sometimes. There are times that I think it would be easier to stay home (sometimes it is, sometimes we do). But there is also a certain amount of satisfaction I get from successfully accomplishing an outing, as a solo parent with 3 kids. I feel proud of the kids. I feel proud of us, as a family. And more often than not, I feel so thankful that we went for it, and made the decision to say yes.

Monday, June 6, 2016

date night

Date night. Because life is busy. Because we often can't have a conversation without being interrupted by the three little humans in our household. Because we've been stressed and tired. Because we deserve it. Because it makes us nicer to each other. Because we love each other.
Saturday night was date night at home. It lasted just over an hour and a half, and we were able to fit in appies, wine, and two board games. Hey, you gotta be quick and efficient when the baby might wake at any given moment. On the menu: stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, Blow Me Down Blomidon wine.
It was nice. It felt really good to just be together, and to be intentional with our time and focus. (phones put away ... ok, maybe I took a pic on my phone). It was just what we needed.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

in the backyard

A lazy sunny Saturday. No where to be. Lawn mower going. A new sprinkler to play in. The tomatoes were finally planted.  Dirty earthy hands. Flowers in bloom. I check how the veggies are coming along. Baby in the ergo on my back. Tuna sandwiches, with dill pickles. Lemonade on the deck. A basket of water bottles and sunhats at the ready.  A feeling of ease. A feeling of connectedness, with each other and to our home. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

the official start to the summer



The May long weekend has always held special memories for me. 
Growing up, we would often head up to our church camp in Gracefield, Quebec, where we would be eaten alive by blackflies, take countless canoe rides around the lake, and always have a small set of fireworks. 
To me, making memories with the kids is probably my #1 reason for ever making things happen, and this May long weekend was all about memory making for us. Thankfully, Winslow happened to have the weekend off, so I was able to plan a little bit of extra activities (*if I am alone with all three kids, the expectation meter goes WAY down). 
This weekend was brought to us by a visit with my step-sister and her family, playing in the back yard with the sprinkler, lots of bike rides around the hood (a certain somebody can now ride her bike sans-training wheels!), a bonfire on the beach, a family photo session in the apple blossoms AND ice cream! PHEW!
The weather was lovely (maxi dresses all weekend), and we all have crashed hard at the end of the days, feeling full, happy and exhausted. 
Happy Victoria Day.