Tuesday, October 11, 2016

#tbt A Walk To Remember*

Earlier this year, we started encouraging the kids to walk a lot. We have The Chariot, and both kids can still fit in it, but it's getting a little heavy to push and it's too big to take on road trips. Rachel has always been a good walker (she's got good stamina and doesn't complain (much!)), but Sam needed a little extra motivation. Thankfully, the Fitbit we got him for his birthday seems to have provided the extra encouragement he needed.
For my birthday, I wanted to walk up the CN Tower but sadly, the climb we were going to do happened to fall the Saturday after Sam's surgery and we didn't want to leave him. So instead I told Dave, "Let's follow the trails in our city and walk to the mall." It was a 12 kilometre (7.5 mile) round trip.
Now lest the photos deceive you, we did have the Chariot with us, and Rachel tripped about forty-five minutes into our two hour walk and rode in the Chariot much of the way. Sam got a little further, but understandably, both kids were pretty tired.
My favourite part of the whole excursion was that, even though we were in the middle of our city, we felt like we were in the country. Most of the time you couldn't hear traffic and we walked along a creek for much of the way. It was so beautiful.
We were definitely ready for lunch when we got to the mall!
And we got to see the actual van from Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope. That was pretty cool.
And then we were on our way home again. We had fun walking under the highway.
It was also fun to try and find baby ducklings.
Like I said, it was hard to remember we were in the middle of the city! And we even got to see our provincial flower, the trillium, in bloom. It was definitely a walk to remember.
*I know Throwback Tuesday doesn't have quite the same ring, but I really wanted to post this today!

Friday, October 07, 2016

October Goals

Since we're currently on a road trip, and I have some time to do some blogging, I thought I'd post my goals for the month of October. Earlier this week we celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and it makes a lot of sense to me that the new year begins in the fall. Especially with the start of school, it just feels like a good time to get into new routines.

So with all that preamble, I have been thinking of some things I want to accomplish this month, even though we're a week into it already. Ha!

1) I want to organize, and clean, our basement. I have to admit, this one is a bit of cheat goal. My friend Karen and I have traded housecleaning days this fall. I helped her wash a lot of windows. She's going to get to help me vacuum the cobwebs out of our basement. Yay?!

2) Drink more water. As I write this post I'm drinking a coffee-hot chocolate so I've got a bit of work to do on this one. Ha! I've said before this is a challenge for me so I really want to work on this. I think I'd feel better in general if I had a higher water intake.
3) Blog two times a week. And I'm already falling down on this one :) As I said last week, my friend Emily inspired me to set "manageable goals" and I feel like this one should be manageable. So look for more blog content coming your way.

4) Get the pictures printed for Rachel's map. My blog friend, Bekah, directed me to this site through one of her "Saturday Six" posts. I thought it was a good companion to Sam's magnetic map and convinced Dave we needed to order it for Rachel. We also found someone who would do a Canadian map for us. So now we need to print some pictures which aren't the regular 4x6 size. I can't wait to show you a picture when it's all done.

5) Find a good work/life routine. Right now, I'm struggling to make the work hours happen. It's only 10-15 hours a week so that should leave lots of time for the rest of life. I need to determine my working hours and stick to them. One of the nice things about going into an office, is it helps define "work time." That's been more of a challenge for me in working from home.

6) Create new kitchen art. I've had an idea in mind for two years! It's time to make some progress on it. The funny thing is that I have all the supplies and think I could do this project in about two hours so it's just a matter of finding making the time.

7) Get more sleep. I am sleep deprived and need to go to bed earlier. Life will be easier if I get more sleep. I'm setting a goal of being in bed by 10, and asleep by 11. I could take the easy way out and make this a "three times a week" thing but I'm going to challenge myself and go for every night. Except maybe Fridays and, once in awhile, Saturdays. Ha!

8) Order our holiday cards. Last year, okay, this year, we were sending out our cards in January. Some of you may remember that! We have family pictures scheduled for next Saturday so that should give us plenty of time to get cards out in a timely fashion.
Family photos 2015

So those are my October goals. I'll check in sometime the first week of November and let you know how I did. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

#tbt On A Friday

One of the reasons I am sad I haven't blogged regularly over the past few months is that I know there are memories which I have forgotten. So one of the things I want to do is write about some events before I lose the memories. I originally thought it would be great to do this as #tbt posts on Thursdays, and that may yet happen, but for this week at least, writing two blogs posts was a challenge, let alone two in two days. Ha! So here we go...

One of the challenges which working parents of school age children will understand is that, every once in a while, schools throw in random days off and your children become your responsibility again. For most of those days this past year, we were able to find childcare, but eventually I got tired of trying to arrange it. So at the beginning of June, I decided to take a "vacation day" to do "the job" I'd done for the past four years -- being a SAHM for one day. And yes, I didn't miss the irony of that!
This particular day was really memorable because it reinforced the fact that I really missed these kinds of days. Our city is undergoing major construction right now, and a few of our main roads are closed, so our uptown decided to plan a whole day of getting people to support various businesses in the area.
Some of the stores were handing out free samples and a few had arranged fun things to do. We spent a few hours playing games, trying out construction equipment, and eating some yummy food :)
Sam and Rachel completed a scavenger hunt at one store.
When our main street was being dug up, the construction crews discovered a corduroy road which was an exciting discovery. The kids got to each saw off their own piece of the road, which was pretty neat.
After all the sawing and trying out machines, we got some free yogurt. Yum!
After that we walked to our pool. I'd love to write a whole post about how much fun we had at our pool this summer. And after we discovered it was only a fifty minute walk to get there, we ended up doing that a lot.
Of course, we usually bribed the kids with Starbucks fraps or a treat at the pool to get them to walk without complaining :
And after a long day of walking and swimming, the kids got to ride in the Chariot. We stopped at Zoup! for supper since Dave was going out for the evening and I didn't want to cook.
Then we came home and watched the Blue Jays game. I probably haven't explained it well, but it was a really great day of hanging out in our city, having fun with the kids, and just enjoying life without being in a rush. It was one of those days which really did feel like a vacation for all of us, and for that, I am so thankful.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Returning To Blogging With "Currently..."

It's been almost a month and a half since I've last blogged, and about five months since I've blogged with any regularity. I've thought about just saying "Good-bye" to the blog world completely, and maybe some of you are thinking I've already done that, but I'm not ready for good-bye yet.

I've also been really slack about my blog reading and commenting lately, but I read Emily's post the other day and was inspired to try and blog twice this week. I figured since it had been such a long time since I last posted, the best way to get caught up was with a "Currently..." post, so here you go.

Currently, I am...

Listening... Well it's September baseball so we've been listening to a lot of Blue Jays on the radio. I'm hopeful they'll get a Wild Card spot and win that one game (no pressure though!) to advance to a playoff round. We love our Blue Jays around here, but you might have guessed that one already :)
 Sam and Rachel got free t-shirts at one of the games
we went to this summer!

Eating... Lots of CSA veggies and lots of muffins and lots of fresh buns. Since September I've had a regular bun baking day every week and it's been great! We've also had muffins in the house continuously since the beginning of September which I love eating for a quick snack. The kids are loving all this baking too :)
It's a little hard to imagine but this eventually 
turns into delicious buns!
Drinking... Well, I'm trying to cut down on the coffee-hot chocolate and Coke but I've not been very successful at it. I have started drinking some flavoured fizzy waters though so I'm hoping that will be a good transition from Coke to just plain water. I don't know why I struggle with this so much.
We've also been drinking smoothies every morning. Yum!
Wearing... I don't know what to wear these days. The mornings are cool and the afternoons are hot and I am not always at home to change in the middle of the day. It's been a struggle although in the past few days I have given in to wearing pants, as opposed to shorts and capris, for the first time in about four months. And I won't even go into the daily struggles I have with Miss Rachel about clothes these days. I thought I had until she was a teenager to fight about clothes. Yeah, not so much.
Let's just say it's much easier to dress the yard for fall. Ha!
Feeling... I'm so thankful for my new job which allows me to earn some money and keep up my work skills a little while also allowing me to bake buns and muffins and take an afternoon nap every once in awhile.

Weather... It's a mix. (See above under "wearing.") I'm glad it's gotten a little cooler since we had a really hot summer. No, it was not as hot as the Southern US but it was still plenty hot enough for me. We've had a lot of rain these past few weeks so I'm thankful for every sunny (read: laundry hanging!) day we get.
Today's a laundry hanging day :)
Wanting... I don't actually want much of anything right now which is nice. Maybe some more time to blog and a few more muffin recipes! Ha!

Oh, I also want the Blue Jays to win every single game in the next week, and the Boston Red Sox to lose every single game so that the Jays will clinch the American League East. Since the Jays are only one game away from being eliminated from that race, and, up until last night, Boston had won eleven games in a row, I don't think this is very likely. A girl can hope though...

Needing... I need to make some time to go grocery shopping. Sadly, this week has been one where I haven't been able to make that happen yet and things are getting a little desperate around here :)

Thinking... About a friend who is going through a really hard time. My friend is constantly on my mind (if you don't mind a bit of ambiguity, she could really use some prayers right now), and I feel a little too far away to be very supportive of her.
I am also thinking about how much I miss
Family Festivals Of Fraps,
as we called them this summer.
Enjoying...The stage of life our kids are in right now. It feels like in the past two months we are having much fewer struggles with the physical stage of life they're in and just able to have a lot more fun. I remember a friend of mine saying that ages six to about eleven are the sweet stage of parenting because the trying physical stage is over and the trying emotional stage hasn't started yet. If these past months are any indication, he is right and we are in a sweet stage. For those of you who haven't hit this stage yet, let me be a beacon of hope to you that it IS coming :)
And that's my life "currently." What's new with you in oh, say, the last six months or so? Ha :)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Travelling: The Saskatoon To Edmonton Edition

One of the things which is really not so much fun is having all four of us sleeping in one hotel room. The kids don't settle well and Dave and I don't sleep well. However, seeing the kids all sprawled out in the mornings is pretty cute! I'd rather be less annoyed and get a little more sleep though :)
We saw the really big buffalo in Jamestown, North Dakota and then we had a really long day of driving to get to Mom and Dad's.
We didn't do much our first few days at Mom and Dad's. Rachel and Mom baked buns and Sam played lots of different games with everyone.
And we had a gathering with some of my aunts and uncles and cousins from my dad's side of the family. Above are Sam and Rachel with two of their second cousins and below is me with two of my cousins.
Last Friday we headed off for a short weekend trip to Edmonton. This is where we lived for the first years of our marriage while Dave was getting his PhD. Both Sam and Rachel were born there and we hadn't been back since we moved, which was over four years ago.
First though, we saw the world's biggest Ukrainian Easter Egg in Vegreville.
A highlight for me was getting to spend most of a day with my New Mom's friends. This group of kids has grown a bit since we all had our first (and second and third and fourth!) kids. This group of women is so special to me and I wish a couple of women who had to miss out also could have joined us.
And after finding out our supper plans for that night had fallen through, four of the five of us were able to spontaneously have a mom's night out at The Melting Pot. I love these women so much and miss them a lot.
We stopped by the house where we spent the first years of our lives together.
And we got to spend a lot of time with my cousins and their kids. Sam and Rachel loved these slightly older second cousins a ton and can't wait to see them again.
And then we were back in Saskatchewan for a few more days. There really is no other place like it. I love this view sooooo much.