Sunny Days

28 Jul

We have been blessed with such a beautiful summer to date.  The girls and I have been soaking up as much sun as possible and taking advantage of a more relaxed schedule.

Today we met up with some girlfriends and littles and went to one of my favourite summertime locations, the Robinpick Berry Farm.  It is about 15 minutes from town and has a corn maze, petting zoo and some play equipment. It is a family run business and where we had Abby’s 2nd Birthday party.

We got there a little after 10 after a necessary coffee stop and turned the kids loose.  Gracelyn loved the animals but wasn’t keen on feeding or petting most of them.  It was so neat to watch Abby this year, because she was so brave with the animals and let them eat out of her hand.

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Feeding bunnies

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Gracie was pumped to see the "hops"

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Gracie and Abby were most in love with Pork chop, the pig.  They giggled and fed him forever, and made two return visits.

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Gracelyn also made several requests to see the “baybee goats” and fed the baby only out of her hand. 

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Freaky thing

The girls also enjoyed a ride on the cow train (I was actually a little shocked Gracie went on by herself) and Abby conquered the slide that bucked her off last year with no trepidation.

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After snacking on some treats and visiting with our friends, we hit the road.  Naturally, the girls fell asleep on the short ride home and Gracie didn’t even wake up to be put in the crib.

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Days like today remind me that I have all the time in the world to make more money and work more hours.  While there are so many areas of our lives we could put more income, I cannot put a price on spending time and making memories with my precious girlies.  I am so fortunate to have a career that lets me have the best of both worlds.

Sisters

24 Jul

Sisters

24 Jul

I was cleaning the kitchen after supper and realized that the girls were being very quiet.  Like, the kind of quiet where you steel your nerves and remind yourself to have patience with whatever you find.  I peeked over the stub wall and saw this:

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Abby is reading to Grace, pointing things out in books while Gracelyn enthusiatically agrees with everything she says.
A: This puppy looks like Ellie, don’t you think
G: Yeah!  Ehl-ly! Yeah!

Be still my heart.

Although nature, fate, and whatever else played a big part, I feel like the best thing I ever did for my girls was to give them a sister close in age.  My sister and I are two years apart, so I know that while this time may be sweet, there are probably rough roads (laden with teenage hormones) ahead.  That being said, I choose to live in the here and now.

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These two really are the best of friends.  Certainly, they fight and argue, but most of the time they play together so nicely.  Abby usually constructs an elaborate game and draws Gracie in, and Gracie is more than happy to join in.

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I have started calling Gracelyn ” two second delay” because she copies everything that Abrielle does.  Even Abby says “she always like to do what I do” because it is true!  Abby is learning that also means she needs to set a good example for her sister.  Unfortunately, these two get in much too much mischief together and while it warms my heart to see them working as a team, I don’t necessarily love the aftermath!

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My heart is full to bursting with love for these girls, not only as individuals, but as sisters.  I never doubted I could love a second baby as much as I loved Abby, but I also didn’t realize how the complexity of my love could change.  Seeing each girl as a sister makes me swell with even more love than I could have ever imagined.  It is a role they will always have, for all their lives, and I hope they are always as good of friends, and love each other as much as they do now.

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They comfort one another when they are sad, kiss owies when the other hurts, share snacks to make the other happy and drive one another crazy.  I feel so blessed to call these two little dolls mine :-)

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You be the bird, I’ll be the feather
We’ll be the best of friends forever

Family Days

21 Jul

Working shift work, I am never guaranteed to have a weekend off.  Now that I am casual, I try to schedule the majority of my shifts on evenings or weekends to save on childcare.  Ty normally works Monday to Friday, but recently had some weekend overtime too.

We usually try to have a family day where we do a purposeful activity when we have a shared day off.  Yesterday after a very lazy start to the morning, we tossed around a few ideas.  I was working at 7pm, so we couldn’t go too far and decided on Waterton National Park, about an hour and half away.

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We packed up the girls and hit the road.  I commented to Tyler how lucky we are to have such good car travellers.  Abby is happy to sit and watch the scenery go by and Gracelyn almost always falls asleep. Although I am sure the day will come, I am grateful we don’t need to pack toys and ipads and distractions for shorter rides like this.  I am so happy they are willing to entertain themselves or each other!

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I took this one on the ride home

When we got there, Abrielle was so excited to see the waterfall. We made it our first stop and took the obligatory picture that neither girl posed for!

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We then went for a little climb, or ” ‘benture walk” as Abby calls it.  This is by far her fave thing to do anywhere we go, and Gracie kept up despite the steep incline!  It was a good way to stretch the legs after a car ride.

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We walked around the town for a bit and decided to grab a late lunch.  The girls were starving and so were we!  We forgot how pricey tourist towns are, but it was still delicious.

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I have poor Gracie that ugly scratch on her face with my nail accidentally that morning! Poor babes.

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After lunch we walked around a bit more and stopped at the candy store for an ice cream.  Gracelyn shared with Ty and Abby and got a sucker instead, and I opted for a fresh popped bag of popcorn.

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Too soon it was time to leave, but we drove up the mountain to see Cameron Lake quickly.  It is gorgeous, and we already have a trip planned to do a picnic and spend the day there soon! 

The girls fell asleep not two minutes into the ride home and didn’t wake up until we hit Lethbridge again.  It was a short day, but well worth the trip.  I hope our ladies remember these little impromptu road trips and times we share as a family, and I hope even more they want to keep doing it as they get older!.

Status

Gracelyn at 21 Months,

8 Jul

My baby,

I can barely call you a baby anymore, because you truly are a big girl. As I type this, you are passed out on my lap, fast asleep as we fly home from Ottawa. I had a great little vacation with just you, showing you off to all of my extended family.

Sweet girl, you are such a pistol. You have just blossomed into such a little toddler, primarily with your vocabulary. Much like your sister, you talk and talk and talk all day long. Your words per sentence are getting quite extensive, such as when you told me “be right back Mama, I go get pickle”. Other favourites are:
-Bless you (regardless of there is a cough or sneeze)
-I love you too (that word, “too”, melts my heart because you aren’t just repeating it)
-Crazy (when I say “you…are…”you proudly fill in the word crazy).
– Where are you? I miss you!
-Dora (this is apparently grandma’s nickname now?)

I love that you refer to yourself as either “me” or “Gaycie”. You are a real trickster too and like to make jokes, such as putting your bunny (or “Hop” as you now call it) on your head and saying “nooooooooo….not hat!”. You like to hide things and reveal them dramatically also.

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You actually stayed awake for the fireworks on Canada Day this year and it was such a joy watching the absolute wonder on your face. You stared with a sweet smile on your face as your sister exclaimed and chattered non stop and loved every minute of it.

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You are teething, and although you were less than good for your auntie when she took you camping, you were and absolute angel for me on our trip. Lots of our passengers commented on how well behaved you were, and you slept through all of our flights.

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You are a smarty pants and can count to twenty and sing most of your ABCs. You know almost all animals by name or sound, and can identify books by name. Your current favourite is My Body and it is adorable to hear you pronounce it. You continue to love to sing and dance as well.

You are joined to your sister at the hip and you two missed each other while we were away. You kept picking up my phone and asking me to call sissy. (edited to add) Now that we are home, you two have been inseparable and it melts my heart seeing you two conspire, giggle and play together. At the spray park the other day you girls grabbed hands and toddler off together, melting my heart completely.

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You haven’t changed much in clothing size, but your feet are now a size 4, still in size 3 diapers, and your soft blond hair is growing and actually getting a tiny bit of curl when wet. Your blue eyes stop traffic and sometimes I swear they were made by a chemical reaction.

Sweet girl, you are pure delight. I am totally and utterly in love with you and your spirit, and am so proud to call you mine.

Love,

Mama

7 Year Itch

23 Jun

Monday (June 16) marked our seventh wedding anniversary.  Both of us remarked how fast time seems to go by, I feel like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle and partying into the wee hours of the night!

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On our first wedding anniversary we planned and took a mini vacation weekend away to celebrate.  This year, I worked and because Tyler had his upcoming team camping trip the following Thursday, we didn’t have the time to celebrate until tonight.  How things change!

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So young!

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We left the girls with my in-laws and went out for dinner.  We enjoyed some drinks and an appy on the patio, and then our main course.  It was especially nice having some time to reconnect after Ty was away all weekend.

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After dinner we drove around new subdivisions looking at houses (a favourite pass time of ours) and stopped for frozen yogurt.

7 years later, and I love my husband more than the day I married him.  I feel so blessed to have such a happy marriage with an amazing partner.  I love his sense of humor, love for life and a good party, his loyalty and commitment.  I am so lucky to be married to a man who kisses me goodbye in the morning, hello when he comes home and goodnight (not to mention the times in between).  Tyler tells me not only that he loves me, but that he appreciates me.  He helps me pursue my passions and makes me feel like the smartest person in the world.  He is a great communicator and I credit his persistence in face of my stubbornness as a reason why we don’t often fight.  Issues get laid out and dealt with in a timely manner, and it is because of him.

There is no one else in the world who has ever made me feel so physically comfortable in my own skin.  Before meeting Tyler, I did not like people in my space, but he was able to break my walls down.  We have been through the deepest grief and the highest joys together. 

Together, we created not only a marriage, but a family.  I am so thankful that Tyler is not only an amazing husband, but a top notch Dad.  I appreciate him being an equal when it comes to parenting, and nothing makes me happier than seeing he and the girls love on each other.  I have said it many times before, but it is such a juxtaposition watching a big man being so tender with tiny little girls, and it melts my heart every time.

So, no 7 year itch here.  I am happy to be celebrating anniversary #7, and hope to see #70 as well!

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Happy Father’s Day

15 Jun

Tyler,

Thank you for being such an amazing father to our girls.  I will never forget your excitement over finding out we were pregnant, tracking our little ones growth with a pregnancy app, and the moment Abrielle was placed in your arms.  She looked like she had always belonged right there, and you never once from that day forward faltered in your confidence or tenderness with our girls.

Thank you for teaching our girls how to camp, stack firewood, ride quads, play hockey and swing a golf club.  Thank you for also playing dolls, reading Barbie books, doing ponytails and twirling around in the kitchen.

Thank you for telling first time expectant Dads all the joy they have to look forward to, instead of telling them that their lives as they know it are over (as so many people told you).  Thank you for being so proud of your girls.

Thank you for establishing special traditions and routines.  I love that you have a special song for each of them, and hold them a certain way when they are tired. 

Thank you for being so tender with Abby and Gracie, and always considering their feelings.  Thank you for not trying to take away their girliness, and for supporting and encouraging them.

Thank you for showing our girls how they should be treated.  Our girls are growing up in an environment rich in love and respect. Thank you for helping to instill in them morals and values so that they will know who will be worthy of their heart.  I am confident that our children will not allow anyone to disrespect or mistreat them, because you have shown them what valueable people they are.

There isn’t a single man on this planet who could be a better father for our little gals.  We are so lucky to have you.

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