Summer Catch Up

19 Aug

This summer has been so perfect.  There are lots of weeks that seem to rush by, but overall I feel like we have squeezed in so much fun over the last few months.

Here is what we have been up to:
Park Dates: I seriously could throw a rock and hit 4 different parks from our house.  I love that Lethbridge has so much invested in kids having fun outdoors.  This picture is from one of the only rainy days this month when we met Nicole and her littles at Henderson.  We stuck it out and the kids had fun despite the dreary weather, and we introduced Roman to the joys of toffee nut steamed milks

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We have hit up the Raymond pool a few more times as well.  It is totally worth the 20 minute drive and wearing a bathing suit in public.

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Side note:  take older cousins with young kids and they do everything together. Scores.

Of course, we went camping again.  This time was for my birthday, and we had a great crew!  About 10 people didn’t show who were going to, but it rained buckets at night so I can’t say I blame them.  We all went and bought new floaties and were SO bummed that the weather didn’t cooperate with us using them .

Danielle picked me up after work and we drove down in the dark…and rain…and lightning…and frogs.  She and her awesome little Soul got us there safe and sound!

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No joke, Tyler made the best corn ever with my birthday supper.  Gracie crushed this thing in no time flat!

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I really appreciated that people drove 2 hours each way to come sit in the rain with me.  Poor Jeremy arrived in a monsoon only to have to leave 12 hours later.  C’est la vie! 

We went to one of our favourite summer/fall spots, the Robinpick Berry Farm for the petting zoo and play yard.  The girls can have fun there for hours, and the people who run it are just the sweetest.  Somehow the owner even remembered they love the rainbow popsicles and dug two out of the back of the freezer!

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Abby was once terrified of this slide, now she can't go down enough

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Embarrassingly enough we didn't find our way out of the hedge maze

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This week is Whoop Up days, so we headed out for the parade.  It was raining that morning so we slept in, but when the sun came out we changed our minds late minute.  Unfortunately that meant we didn’t get a front row seat, but thankfully friends had a spot for the girls up front.  They loved the horses, floats and free swag.  Abby especially loved the trance like music coming from the Jewish Temple float!

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A little chilly to start so the girls cuddled in Daddy's jacket

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They were especially excited to see their cousin's cheer team doing tricks!

After a long nap, we tackled the fair grounds for Whoop Up days that evening.  The girls were both big enough to go on a lot of rides, and Abby even tried out some of the ” big kid” rides with me.  I haven’t been on rides in years, and I am sure I had just as much fun as she did! Turns out the girls are both almost fearless.

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We let them do any ride they wanted, eat what they wanted and would have let them stay as long as they wanted, but at 9pm we eventually coaxed them out to go home.  They had a ton of fun, and can’t wait for next year!

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This morning we found a pancake breakfast that ended at 11 ( we do not get up early enough to get anywhere much before 10) and met Rachel and Beckett there.  The girls packed back pancakes and sausages while listening to an old cowboy sing some mellow tunes.  It was actually really nice sitting in the sun and listening to old songs.  We may or may not even try to get up early enough to hit the one at the hospital tomorrow!

That is our last two weeks or so have looked like.  Next week we are headed to Whitefish, and are going to try renting at a campground before we start our (condo) vacation at Meadow Lake.  Hopefully it will be fun!

Wild and Free

5 Aug

Summer time is so sweet.

I think if I was asked to write down what I would do this summer if I had unlimited funds, it would involve destination vacations, extravagant backyard bashes and some serious shopping. 

Seeing as we don’t have a secret stash of cash laying around that we forgot about, we have stuck fairly close to home this summer.  Trips to the mountains, down to Whitefish and to splash pads and pools in town an surrounding areas. 

Interestingly enough, I couldn’t imagine a better summer.

I love that our kids soak up the great outdoors with gusto and delight.  I think it is amazing that my almost 5 year old can wake after an hour and a half nap in the truck and place that she is close to our favourite camping area by the smell of the mountains.  I am proud that they can amuse themselves with nothing more than a shovel, bucket and a wide open forest for 5 days straight. I admire their adventurous spirit and willingness to literally dive head first into the cold clear water of a creek. 

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A 20 minute drive to a pool or splash pad is a “trip”.  I wash a load of towels and hang little bathing suits to dry several times a week.  We have burnt through no less than 6 bottles of sunscreen so far this summer.  I love the fervor with which my girls run and shriek and splash, only to collapse on a quilt for long enough to grab a snack and start again.

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I love the long days, and having my girls ask us if they can go to bed because they are exhausted after a hard day of playing.  I love having no agenda but to find fun on most of my days off.  I love how almost every car ride home is filled with the soft snores of two happily worn out girls.

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I spend way too much money picking up last minute picnic lunches at the grocery store, and the girls are getting far more treats than I am normally down with, but it is all worth it.  My girls are spending their summer wild and free, loving life and soaking up sun and that is something I cannot put a price on.

Grateful

6 Jul

Today has been perfectly ordinary and yet I am so full of gratitude, I thought I would share my feelings.

I woke up this morning to a kiss goodbye from my husband.  After being apart for 6 days, I am extra grateful for that morning kiss.

No sooner did he shut the front door did Gracelyn wake up and climb into my bed.  A quick snuggle and she was lightly snoring beside me.  Before I went back to sleep I stared at that little face, so peaceful and sweet in rest. I sent up a silent word of thanks for my darling little before catching a few more winks.

I woke up to Gracie saying “Good morning Angel” and dissolving into fits of giggles at her own cleverness.  Together we woke up Abrielle by making the dog jump on her bed, and I was very aware of how full my heart was, watching these sisters wrestle and roll in a princess canopy bed.

At the gym I was so appreciative of the work out plan my friend Danielle made for me, and I was proud of myself that I am getting stronger.  It is a rare day that I can see myself in a mirror, not a swipe of makeup and hair unbrushed and feel so good about myself, but today was that day.  I wasn’t worried about what I was lacking, but instead grateful for what I was accomplishing.

The girls and I picked up lunch at the grocery store and head out to a park.  I sat there drinking an ice coffee and eating lunch and felt unbelievably lucky that this was my Monday.  Mornings like this make up for the weekends I miss at work. 

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The girls played together, pretending to be Rapunzle and Pascal.  I was assigned the role of Flynn Rider and requested to scale this rock wall every 5 minutes.

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Rapunzle, Rapunzle, let down your ginger hair

Our life is 180 degrees opposite from extravagant, but I don’t think there is much that could make me happier.  I am so thankful to have everything I need in this world right in my own little home.  I feel so fortunate to be given the opportunity to parent these precious and precocious little souls.

Week in Review Photo Dump

5 Jul

Maaaaayyyybe time to update the old blog, hey?

We went camping again at Dutch Creek last weekend, and once again the weather was out of this world.  We had just a small group this time, but got the same spot and had a blast. 

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All the butterflies emerged at once and there were hundreds upon hundreds everywhere!

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Tuesday night, Ty headed out to our friends cabin in Saskatchewan and due to me mixing up the dates we were suppose to go, I stayed home.  It was my week of day shift, and we already had childcare arranged so I told Ty to go without me.

Work has been increasingly busy throughout the week, and to be honest I have been pooped.  I try my hardest to do things that are fun when Ty is away, but pretty much would have liked to mail it in.

On Canada Day, there were lots of festivities happening in the park and around town.  After work I offered the girls the choice of checking those out, or going to see Inside Out after dinner.  Thankfully, after a day at the lake with my girlfriend (who watched them during the day), they opted for the movie. 

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Can you tell how tired she is?

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And this one woke up in my arms after being carried into the theater lobby.

I am glad the girls made the decision instead of me, because I felt like a terrible Mom for not wanting to navigate the crowds and stand in line.

The next day we invited my mom to go for dinner with us because we hadn’t seen her in about a week (too long in my opinion).  She then watched them for about an hour while I grabbed a few groceries.  I dont remember the last time I got groceries solo…it was a weird experience!

Friday we went over to my girlfriend’s house to watch her almost 6 month old while she and her hubby went to a movie.  This little man is SO smiley, and the girls love him so much (even Abby, who claims she doesn’t care much for babies).

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Saturday we checked out the Coaldale Candy Parade for the first time.  The girls loved it, and it was the perfect length of time, and not crowded.  Other than a lot of sidewalk smokers (major pet peeve: I know we are outside but it is an event geared towards kids) it was a great experience.  We will definitely check it out again next year!

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We did a little shopping and had lunch at the mall, and then as the girls rested I prepped a salad.  The girls and I got ready and head out for the Faust’s Gender Reveal.

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The girls both wanted fishtail braids, but Gracelyn's hair is too fine and too layered. If she asks you, this was a fishtail braid.

The party was a great get together, and I am thrilled for this expanding family.  They are announcing the gender in person to a few people, so I won’t spill the beans yet!

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A sudden thunderstorm hit, and the rain was absolutely dumping.  The girls decided that was the moment they wanted to leave, and we got drenched in two seconds flat.  We were seriously soaked, through our clothes and even the car seats had puddles in them just from having the doors open.  A little water never hurt anyone, right?

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Ironically, I had a rain coat in my car the whole time

We changed into warm jammies, popped some popcorn and had a movie night in the basement before settling into my bed for a sleep over.  Tyler and I are always pretty adamant that our bed is just for us, but when he is away I bend the rules a bit!

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We probably fell asleep 3 seconds after this was taken, no joke

So that was our week!  Nothing too wild or crazy, but we got through our time without Daddy with lots of smiles and laughs :-)

Dutch Creek Photo Recap

25 May

Oh man, I love camping.  I never feel more relaxed than I do in the mountains, surrounded by beautiful scenery and great friends.  This weekend was no exception.

We went to a slightly different spot this time and I loved it.  We were right on a creek bed, and there were no other campers to be seen.  We were even able to make a fire pit far enough away from our trailers that we didn’t come home with absolutely everything reeking of smoke!

We did…

A lot of creek sitting

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A lot of playing in the sand and mud

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Some pretend fishing

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Some quading (please note that helmets were worn outside of the campsite.  I literally tooled around at about 2 km an hour within the campsite when they were on).

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Some arts and crafts

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Some not so healthy eating

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Freezie time

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Banana boat

Some late night block rocking

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Sad but true, these girls went to bed at 11 pm

Some bubble blowing

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Amber bought the best bubble blowers ever and pinwheels for the kids. Such a sweet friend!

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And some overall relaxing.  We had a slight hiccup when Molly (the dog) took a 6 hour field trip, but luckily she was found safe and sound.  We seriously have such good friends that they all took off to look for her at multiple times during the day. We had people out on quads, on foot and in trucks looking all over Dutch Creek!

One of the things that I like best about camping is how much my kids are just kids. They were so happy just running around, digging in the mud, and playing.
Sometimes I worry that I let my kids have too much time on the tablet, but being away and seeing how easily they can keep themselves amused with nothing more than a stick in the mud reassures me that they are still able to let their imaginations take the lead.

It is always bittersweet coming home, but we kicked off this week with a bang by heading out on a few playdates at a picnic. I hope this nice weather holds out so we can keep enjoying the beautiful sunshine!

Life is….

15 May

Life right now is as it will never be again.  Gone are the days of my cuddling sweet newborn, or planning my outings around nursing sessions.  Although I loved those days, I can’t wish myself backwards one bit, because every day just gets sweeter.

Right now, life is:

-The clickclack of princess shoes across the floor.
-The words “I’m hungry” being uttered 35 times a day.
-Impromptu flying hugs
-The world’s worst knock knock jokes on repeat
-Disney Sing Along channel on Songza
-Listening to peals of laughter across the house and shrieks of joy.
-Sharing a smile, a muffled laugh or a headshake over the latest thing to come out of the girls’ mouths with my husband.
-Endless rounds of the puppy game, or the baby game
-Buckling and unbuckling car seats
-Sleepy snuggles on the couch
-Songs sung with a sweet little voice joining in.
-Earnest prayers of thanks for things such as stuffed animals and purple walls
-Repeating the words “be kind to your sister”
-Smiling over sweet moments shared between sisters.
-Counting down days to special events on calendars.
-Negotiating outfits and hairstyles
-Trying to explain life’s mysteries, like why a fox is called a Fox
-Knowing the names of every Monster High character
– Knowing every word to books like Time for a Hug, and Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You.
-Feeling so content in the way things are right now, and being thankful for it.

People are keen to remind Tyler and I that we will have two teenagers in the house before we know it.  While I am not ignorant to that, and the challenges it might present, I hope to always remember these days.  I am so, so lucky to have this little family.

Mother’s Day Weekend and a Trip to Whitefish

12 May

When we decided not to do Disney this summer, Ty and I made a pact to do a few smaller getaways with the kids, sticking closer to home. When I saw a Facebook ad for an exhibition about dinosaurs (Abby’s current obsession in her quest to become a scientist), we decided to take a trip to Whitefish and check it out.

Normally when we go, we stay in Meadow Lake, in a neighboring town.  We have always had our eye on a KAO campground, so after checking it out online we booked in to a cabin.  Our trailer is old and we weren’t too thrilled with the idea of taking it across the border, so we thought a rustic cabin would be the next best thing.

My wonderful coworkers let me leave a bit early on Friday, so after grabbing some cupcakes for Tyler’s birthday (it was on Friday), I raced home, changed, and we hit the road.  The girls were so excited! 

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Sister made herself comfy for the ride down

I have said it before and I will say it again, I am so thankful that our girls travel well.  Both usually sleep, read books or daydream out the window.  Less than 4 hours later, we checked in to our cozy little cabin.

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The cabin was perfectly tiny, and to my surprise had an electric outlet, space heater and a light!  Although it consisted of nothing more than a bed, bunk bed, shelf seat and small desk, you might have thought we had rented a penthouse suite.  The girls were thrilled with the accomodations, and it made my heart pretty happy that a barren cabin could bring forth such a reaction.

We quickly headed out to Famous Dave’s so Tyler could get a birthday meal of ribs.  It was after 9 when we ate, but the girls held up well and were happy to be there.  When we arrived, Abby declared “this is a fancy restaurant…We should have dressed up!”.  I nearly peed myself laughing.  Girl has low standards!

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Ready to dig in!

We put the girls to bed and capped off the night with beers and a fire. 

The next morning we did a little shopping after breakfast and then set out for Jurassic Quest.  It did not disappoint!  There were probably 35-45 huge, animatronic dinosaurs that were very realistic (some were even bleeding fake blood after a simulated attack!).  The girls rode dinosaurs, went on bouncy houses, dug for fossils, made their own fossils, met and pet baby dinos and got their faces painted.  They had a great time and Ty and I thought it was pretty cool as well!

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After we had seen all there was to see, we grabbed some dinner supplies and headed back to the cabin.  To our delight, the girls made quick friends with a few little girls and they spent most of their free time playing hide and go seek and making mud pies together.

We were having such a good time that we decided to stay just one more night.
Mother’s day started with breakfast for me at the cabin, and a day of relaxing.  We played mini golf, tried to bikes, played basketball and investigated the petting zoo, all at the KAO.  We also went to the girls and my favourite place to eat, HuHot (I am so fancy). Ty then cooked me dinner back at the cabin, and we enjoyed a fire and the mountain air for the rest of the night.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Mother’s day.  I like getting to sit back during potty duty and not cook, but I want to spend my day with my family.  Doing it up in the mountains, reading while my kids played with a cold beer beside me was just the cherry on top!

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This has to be the best feeling in the world, leaning back, staring at the sky and feeling like you are flying

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Such a monkey

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The girls capped off their evening by examining a dead bird (and scrubbing the sh%t out of their hands after admiting to “trying to wake it up” by touching it), catching bugs and relaxing in their lawn chairs. Ty and I had another fire that night and the weather was perfect .

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We sadly packed up today and arrived home in the late afternoon.  It was a great little mini vacation!

Happy mother’s day to all the Mamas out there, whether your babes were born from your womb or from you heart.  An extra special wish for the one I call my own :-). I feel so blessed to have been given the honor of mothering my two little ones, and can’t imagine a greater pleasure in this world.

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