Monday, July 15, 2024

Deep Grief

We are currently in the midst of a two week road trip and I'm waking up this morning in New Hampshire. While I have many stories to tell from this vacation, I am posting today only to ask for your prayers.

As we were driving to Fenway Park to see a baseball game on Saturday I checked my email and saw the news that one of our pastors died unexpectedly early Saturday morning. I am not going to share many details on the blog but this pastor was only a few years older than Dave and their kids are Sam and Rachel's ages so this is hitting us all very hard.

We have not only lost a pastor but also a friend, and for Sam and Rachel, the parent of their friends. We are in shock and disbelief and yet, we're also very far from home and ending our vacation now would not serve any purpose. So we are continuing to explore new places and be together as a family, while trying to process this devastating loss.

If you could pray for our pastor's family -- their spouse and children, for our church, and for our family, we desperately need them right now. This loss will be felt for a very, very, very long time.

Monday, July 08, 2024

Currently: July 2024

Even though it's not the first Wednesday of the month, I am going to link up with Jennifer at Overflowing With Thankfulness for her "Currently" post a few days late. You can find Jennifer here. Just as the school year was ending, I got hit with a cold. Yep, two weeks after I had just gotten over Covid. Blah. So my summer has started off with more coughing, sinus pain, and Kleenexes than I was anticipating. And less blogging. I have just been starting to feel better the past couple of days -- just in time to celebrate Rachel's birthday (a little belatedly) as you will see below. So without further adieu, here is my July "currently" post.

 

random picture of us enjoying kicking off summer break

[loving]

 I am "loving" being on summer break. I have gotten together with friends, I have read more, I have gotten a few things done at home, I've spent more time just relaxing -- except for my cold, it's been really great! I really do love not having to wake up to an alarm at 5:30am every day.

I had to do errands with the kids the other day and they took about 100 selfies on my phone. Here are just two of them. Hahaha! Teenagers. 

[looking forward to]

 Well, we leave on our family vacation tonight (!!!) so I am really "looking forward to" that. This past weekend we nailed down a few more plans and I'm really excited to just get going and have fun! You can follow me on Instagram but I'm hoping to be blogging while we're away too. A few nights we're staying with friends or family, but a few nights we'll be in a hotel so I'll hopefully have some time to fill you in on what's happening :)

[savouring]

 As they bloom, I am "savouring" the lilies I planted. Every time a new colour opens up, I text a picture to my parents. This is so exciting and I'm glad that all the ones which were going to bloom did so before we left on our trip. I am so excited about these lilies!!!

[celebrating]

 We had a great time "celebrating" Rachel's 13th birthday with a sleepover party. All her friends were able to come and it was so fun to see Rachel with them. This is a new friend group for her this year so Dave and I don't really know them but they seem like a good (if noisy!) group of kids! They played games, did face masks and nails, watched a movie, ate a ton of food, and had a great time.

And because I want to remember how completely amazing her cupcakes were, here's a picture of just them:

 

We ordered them from a local bakery and they did an awesome job! Rachel and I were both thrilled!

[remembering]

I hope I'm "remembering" to pack everything we need for our trip! I have lists on top of lists on top of lists right now.

So that's what's up with us "currently." Mentally, I am half thinking about the things I want to accomplish at home this summer, but the other half of me is getting ready to head out for a bit. Clearly there needs to be two of me to do all the things! Hahaha!!!

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Monthly Musings: Summer Travel And Traditions

It's the last Thursday of the month and time to link up with with Holly at Pink Lady and Patty at Good, Better, Best for their "Monthly Musings." I love this link up so much and am so thankful that Holly and Patty continue to host it.

 

1) Share your summer plans.

Our summer plans include some housesitting and volunteering for the kids and relaxing and getting things done around the house for me. And work for Dave -- hahaha!!! We have a family vacation planned (a road trip where we'll see some friends and some family, we'll do some of our favourite things, we'll hit some of our favourite places, and we'll explore some new places -- it's going to be great!) and Dave and I have a trip planned for just the two of us which I'm incredibly excited about!!! The kids have a week of sleepaway camp and Rachel will attend a few local camps. Sam didn't want to attend any day camps so he has some different fun of his own planned.

I'm realizing that this summer my kids feel "older" with their own plans. Between volunteering and some paid work, they're definitely not in the "little kid" stage anymore. Time flies.

2) What are your summer traditions?

I answered this question in my last Monthly Musings and you can find it here. Since there were two #3 questions this time, I'm wondering if this question wasn't supposed to be here...

3) What is your favourite summer destination?

My favourite summer destination is one we're not getting to this year -- Saskatchewan!!! I love spending time in Saskatchewan in summer but we just couldn't make it work this year :(

Me in Saskatchewan, July 2023

3) Do you prefer the ocean or a lake?

I prefer the ocean. Although the Great Lakes which are closest to us are huge and feel more like oceans than lakes -- they have very sandy bottoms and lots of waves!

At Lake Erie, June 2021

4) Do you have any pool time planned?

Yes! We need to get to the pool more this summer. We've been a couple of times and I'm hoping to go more once I have more time during the day.

Pool time, Summer 2021

5) Best travel or packing tip?

This sounds dumb but my best travel tip is "plan the travel, take the trip." I was talking with a co-worker and she said, "I love to travel but we never plan it so it doesn't happen." We're always talking about travel around here. We dream about our next destinations, we talk about where we're going, and where we've been. The kids even have their own travel "bucket list destinations." If travel is something you want to do, then talk about it, dream about it, and do what you can to make it happen!

We're already dreaming about our next March Break trip and have booked a big trip for next summer. Like I said, we're always talking and dreaming about travel around here :)

6) Favourite summer movie?

I have a hard time answering this question. I don't love movies in general and I really don't tend to watch them in the summer.

7) Beverage that says summer to you?

A G&T. I love a good G&T, especially if my dad makes it! I also love homemade decaf iced tea with mint and lemon.

With my dad and a G&T, July 2023

8) What songs say summer to you?

Last year a blogger mentioned the Summer Hits of the 80s on Spotify and I've got that on repeat. I love 80s music and this mix just hits all the right notes for me! I also love listening to a Blue Jays baseball game on the radio outside in summer, even if it's not music :)

Folding laundry while listening to the Blue Jays (radio, bottom left), May 2023

9) What do you like on your burgers or hot dogs?

I don't love hot dogs (unless we're at a baseball game) but give me a good veggie burger (as close to fake meat as possible) topped with tomatoes, pickles, BBQ sauce, and lettuce. YUM!!!

10) Charcoal or gas grill?

Does propane BBQ count as "gas"? That's what we have and we use it A LOT in summer.

Dave with our new BBQ, August 2020

Okay, I am sooooo ready for summer! Like I said above, even though this summer will look different than other summers with the kids "more grown up" plans, I'm excited for lazier days, longer nights, some good family time, and the new adventures this summer will bring!

I'm looking forward to reading all of your posts but it probably won't happen until this weekend because... it's the last days of school and work before summer break begins around here. Cheers to summer!!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

What's Up Wednesday: June 2024

Oh my word. Will this school year ever end?!?!?! (Yes, yes it will. Tomorrow for the kids and next Tuesday for me. Phew.) It's been crazy and I am not my best self right now. And I am more than ready for summer break. Four more work days left -- I can do this right?!?!?!?

I really do love answering the What's Up Wednesday questions every month. I like how they help me reflect on the past month and I love having a monthly record of what we've been up to. I go back and re-read these posts often.The questions come from Shay at Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me Too.

image from here
 
What we're eating this week... A main theme of this post is "my parents were visiting us" and that is definitely reflected in our food. Mom and Dad cooked some amazing meals (hello BBQ skewers!) and when Rachel said she wanted cinnamon buns for her birthday, my mom whipped up a batch. The cinnamon buns were delicious and why do mine never taste half as good?!?!?!?
We also celebrated a belated Father's Day for my dad and Dave this past Sunday and made a low country boil up for supper. We love low country boil and we ate sooooo much food! So we've had some pretty delicious eating around here lately.

What I'm reminiscing about... As I may have mentioned a time (or six!) around here, Dave and I are taking a trip just the two of us this summer and I am soooo excited!!! So I've been reminiscing about our last trip together when we went to Iceland for five days for our 10th anniversary. This was in July 2018.
While we have some exciting travel plans this summer, sadly, we won't be going to Saskatchewan (which I'm very sad about) so I've also been reminiscing about last summer's vacation in one of my favourite spots in the world.
 
What I'm loving... My mom made some really beautiful bouquets with flowers from our yard and I have been loving them. I am also getting a flower share this summer through our CSA and I picked up my second bouquet yesterday. The lighting isn't the greatest but these flowers are bringing me much joy!


What we've been up to... June was a blur. We spent the first weekend enjoying baseball, yummy food, and hanging out with friends in Toronto...
Then, Dave, Rachel, and I all got Covid and lost a week of our lives. Seriously, it's all a blur.
Rachel turned thirteen and got a special handmade blanket from Janice, among other things...
...and Dave flew to San Diego for a work conference and my parents came to visit and to help keep things going while Dave was gone.
  

What I'm dreading... These next few days of work are going to be crazy. I am just holding on until summer break.

What I'm working on... When we haven't been recovering from Covid, we've been working on our yard. We planted a new hosta bed, we did a ton of weeding, we planted more annuals. It's been all yard work around here, with moments of enjoying the fruits of our hard work too.
 
What I'm excited about... My lilies are blooming!!! I'm so excited about this!!! Sadly, they have also been infested by the scarlet lily beetle so I am also spraying them with soapy water every day in hopes that I can get rid of it. Some of the plants absolutely won't bloom this year so I'm thankful for every one which has.
 
What I'm watching/reading... We were watching the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup final but unfortunately, they lost the Cup in game 7. That was sad. It was fun to watch the final game in our public square with lots of other people though.
 
As for what I've been reading, not a lot. I am looking forward to being on summer break from work so that I can focus on reading a bit more. I'm going to be reading quite a few library books which are just slightly overdue :)
 
What I'm listening to... Right now I'm listening to the sound of silence and savouring it. The school is really loud right now with excited kids -- they're having fun and singing loud (off key!) karaoke -- but it sure is hard to concentrate :)

What I'm wearing... Later today I'm going to get Dave to take a picture of me wearing my new favourite skort which I picked up at Costco. Hahaha! However, I forgot to get him to take a picture of me last time I wore it. Anyways, if I'm not wearing work clothes, I'm probably wearing my skort.
 
What I'm doing this weekend... It's a three day weekend before I have one last day of work. My and Dave's anniversary is on Saturday and we have some plans to celebrate it. Otherwise, I'll be enjoying our back yard (weather permitting) and trying to deep clean a few rooms in our house. We have no exciting plans and I'm good with that :)

What I'm looking forward to next month... Summer break! Family vacation! Lazy days! Reading in our back yard! Relaxing! There's a lot to look forward to in July!!!

That's all from me today. Tonight is Grade 8 grad and tomorrow is our end of year staff party so hopefully I'll be able to catch up on your blogs this weekend. Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Alive and (Not) Blogging

Hello blog world. Sorry I've disappeared off the face of the planet internet. It's been a continuing cycle of health woes over here (haven't I been singing the same tune since the beginning of May?!?!?), and Rachel, Dave, and I are just getting over a really bad case of Covid. I was off work for a week and Rachel is on two inhalers so it's been good times around here.

Here are a few more reasons I haven't blogged lately, and likely won't for a few more days yet...

1) Rachel turned 13 on Monday! Yes, I am officially the mother of teenagers. Yikes!

She wanted a Starbucks drink and she got a beautiful blanket from Janice.

2) The yard work is out of control. Dave and I put a ton of work into our yard as we started to feel better and, while I've loved most of it, it sure takes a lot of time to go from...

...this to this...
...and this to this...
...and this to this, among other things! I really loved doing it though and can't wait to tackle a few last problem spots.

3) End of the school year. 'Nuff said! Sam has been working on school work for weeks, Rachel is slowly starting to catch up, and I am finishing up this year while simultaneously starting work on next school year (yes, already).

4) The laundry is out of control. I basically ignored it while the yard work took priority and now I'm paying the piper (aka "folding every spare minute I have"). (Although to be fair, my mom folded three baskets yesterday and now things are much better! Thanks Mom!)

5) Dave left for his annual work trip to San Diego yesterday. Since he's not missing our anniversary and the last week of school, I'm less bitter about this trip than I was last year. Hahaha!!!


And most importantly...

6) My mom and dad are here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This might also be contributing to why I'm less bitter that Dave is leaving. Reinforcements are here and I couldn't be happier!!!


So with all that being said, I'll pop in again when I can (and catch up on all your blogs too), but for now, know I'm still around and just trying to keep up with life as best I can.

I miss you and will see you again soon :)