Taking Back my Blog.

Apr 25, 2016

As I type this, a miracle is occurring in my household.  Both of my children are in their rooms, fast asleep, in the middle of the day, at the same time.  My house is relatively clean.  Dinner is cooking. I've been to the gym. I've showered. I've sipped a latte in peace. I've even folded a basket of laundry... that NEVER happens.  I feel like one of those imaginary moms right now. You know... the ones that have it all together.    
Soon enough, the baby will wake up, cry and wake up the toddler. My normal chaos will resume and I'll feel a strange sense of relief.  The silence is wonderful for all of 5 minutes before boredom overcomes me.
My life has become so loud, so messy, so busy, that I no longer know what to do with my down time.  What did I used to do to pass the time?  I think that I read books at one time. I vaguely recall spending hours on the couch consumed by box series of television shows. Oh, and I used to write a blog. I used to sit down at my computer and write whatever came to mind.  Something always did.  There was no blank staring at a screen at a loss of things to say. There were no tiny people begging for Cheerios or making a mad dash for the dog dish.  I could describe even the most boring of events in great detail by adding a few extra adjectives. 
People read my blog.  I had followers who waited for my next post.  One day someone in the cabin crew lounge asked me if I wrote a blog, and after establishing that I was in fact the person who chronicled my work layovers, she congratulated me on my engagement that she'd just read about.  A few weeks later a fellow crew member told me that her mother read my blog and told her that maybe one day she'd work with me.   People told me that I entertained them, and occasionally even inspired them.  I miss that.  I miss writing this blog that people... sometimes people that I've never even met,  read for reasons that I've never understood.  
Being a mother comes with a great deal of sacrifice, and for the last 2 1/2 years I've sacrificed what I now realize was one of my biggest hobbies.  I've held off writing posts because my life lacks the travel adventures that it once consisted of, and nobody wants to read about my daily life with two kids.  I've written about weekend trips and vacations and thrown in a ton of photos to maintain interest.  But in all honesty, I started this blog for myself and the fact that other people enjoyed reading it was just a nice bonus.  I'm taking back my hobby, and whether you care to read about my life as a stay at home mom or not, I'll be writing about it.  
It might take days to publish one post written over the span of multiple naps, and I might never have a chance to proofread, but this is something that I enjoy doing and that I've missed. 
Life as I currently know it is certainly different than it used to be, but this chapter is pretty thrilling to me too.  My baby took her first steps this week, and the smile on my face was even bigger than it was the first time that I strolled under the Eiffel Tower with Nutella crepes in hand.  My 2 year old said "Love you mama." at bed time and I wouldn't trade that moment for sitting in the flight deck on approach to Hong Kong.  This is my life, this is what makes me happy, and I want to write about it... So write about it I will!  

Camping in April!

After a beautiful weekend in the mountains celebrating our anniversary, Ryan and I had finally enjoyed a taste of the mountains after a long time away.  We longed for more... so back we went the following weekend!  
The spring weather we've been spoiled with has been unreal so we've been trying to take advantage of it. (Except for right now, because it's cold and rainy and miserable outside.)  The end of winter always brings on the urge to camp, but with 2 kids and a tent we aren't ready to brave it quite yet.  However, Ryan's parents have an RV and are always game for camping, rain or shine. It didn't take much convincing for them to pack up and head west! We'd have the best of both worlds... cooking over the fire and hiking by day, and going to sleep at night in the comfort of our room at the Holiday Inn.   
Friday was a long evening of driving.  We are fortunate that our girls are such amazing travelers, but by the time we arrived in Banff we were all done with being in the car for the day. We dropped off the dog, visited for a short while and headed for the hotel.  We all needed a good night's sleep, but Briley missed the memo. I woke up longing for coffee, so we packed up for the day and drove to the campsite knowing that I could always count on my father in law for my caffeine fix. 

 We cooked our first campfire breakfast of the season and I ran loops around the campground with Aaralee.  It was a beautiful, sunny morning... warmer than some of the mornings we've woke up to in the middle of summer! 

 After breakfast we drove off to Johnson Canyon for a nice, easy hike.  Ryan and I tend to get overly ambitious from time to time, so we made the decision to carry on past the waterfalls and all the way up to the Ink Pots.   With the kids content (and at one point even napping) on our backs and Ryan's parents happy to join, we made our way up some steep, muddy, ice and snow covered trails. It was a long trek, but the views at the end made it completely worthwhile... at least for me! Ryan may have had a different opinion at that time.  

Once we'd ate our snacks and snapped our photos, it was time to turn around and do it all over again. Fortunately, the return journey was far easier.  Our tiny dog Niko was a trooper and hiked the entire trail with us. The kids also did amazing, but really... what is there to complain about when someone carries you all day long? 

We were exhausted from the hike, so we said goodbye to Ryan's parents and headed into Canmore.  Our friends Carley and Ryan happened to be spending the weekend there as well, so we met up with them for a poutine dinner and to collect a very important item.  In the rush to get out of the house on Friday we'd somehow left without Aaralee's most cherished possesion... her blanket. We failed to notice its absense until over an hour into the drive. Carley and Ryan saved our weekend by stopping at our house to pick it up and bring to us.  We'd made it through one night without it, but we weren't willing to risk trying another.  It was a very, very happy reunion for Aaralee.
We returned to the hotel for an early night. I tucked the kids in, left Ryan to watch hockey, and headed for the hot tub.  It was pure bliss to breath in the fresh mountain air, soak in the hot water, and be too far away to hear if my kids were crying.  I reluctantly headed back to call it a night. It was another night filled with too much time awake... partially due to our baby, but mostly due to our noisy neighbours congregating in the hallway.  Morning rolled around and we sleepily packed up the room, checked out, and went to the campsite for breakfast.  I ate more pizza pies than neccesary, stocking up in case our next trip isn't for awhile.  


We had a long day ahead of us, so it was time to begin the drive.  We stopped in Calgary to visit some friends in their beautiful home and to give the girls plenty of time to get rid of their energy before 4 more hours of driving.  Eventually, we made it home. We were tired (and sore) from a busy weekend away, but at the same time we felt refreshed. 
There is just something about the mountains. It's really a shame that we don't live closer. Please let me know if you'd like to hire my husband for a job in Canmore.  We'd happily ditch the city life for that.  

4 years of marriage!

Apr 12, 2016

4 years ago today, Ryan and I stood hand in hand on the beach and said our vows.  That evening had a bit in common with this evening.  On both nights, we had delicious steak dinners, plenty of laughter, the company of our favourite people... and cake.  
Of course, the evenings had their differences. Tonight, instead of sitting at a fancy head table in the sand, we sat at our kitchen table listening to our demanding 2 year old and our baby who has recently discovered squealing.  Rather than laughing at the speeches and dance moves of our guests, we laughed at our children playing in the living room. Oh, and speaking of favourite people?  We don't love our wedding guests any less than we did 4 years ago, but 2 new people have entered our world since then and have taken over the coveted "favourite" spots.  Our cake was a McCain Deep and Delicious rather than a fancy wedding cake, but if we are being honest, I'd take that chocolate bliss over a wedding cake any day.  

The day is over and it might not have been anything exciting, but it was an accurate portrayal of marriage and real life... the life that I'm so fortunate to call my own.  The kids are in bed. My husband is asleep and snoring on the couch. We won't dance the Macarena on a light up dance floor or go swimming in our wedding attire, but that's okay.  I'm still so thankful for our marriage and for the family that we've created.  I get to live with my best friend and together we get to raise 2 amazing little girls!  

That's not to say that we didn't celebrate this anniversary. If you know Ryan and I, you know that we celebrate everything. We spent the past weekend in Canmore and Banff with Briley while Aaralee stayed with Grandma and Grandpa.  The weather was perfect, and we took advantage of it.
On Friday we had the crazy idea to rent bikes for the day to bike the Banff Legacy Trail.  It is a 26 kilometre path that goes from Canmore to Banff. We rented bikes and a trailer for Briley and off we went! 

I should probably mention that I don't bike. At all. I sold my bike about 8 years ago and haven't touched one since. My husband was once an avid biker, but that was many years and about 50 pounds ago.  It was a long journey to Banff.  Turns out that there is quite an elevation gain in that direction, which made for quite a struggle when combined with the headwind. We did make it though! Our bums were sore from the rock hard bike seats and we briefly contemplated walking the entire way back to our hotel in Canmore.  We ate lunch and set off for our dreaded return journey.  Much to our surprise (and relief) the other direction was a breeze. Downhill, a nice tailwind, and 19 degrees.  We got back to Canmore happy to have conquered the Legacy Trail, but confident that we'll probably never do it again. 

The next day was our real "celebration" day.  We started off at the Fairmont Banff Springs for afternoon tea.  This was obviously more for me than for Ryan, but he was a good sport.  There isn't much better than sipping tea and eating a tower of desserts with one of my absolute favourite views. 

Once we'd stuffed ourselves with cake we drove to Lake Louise.  When we got there, Ryan stayed in the parking lot to do some car fixing stuff (we'll just leave it at that because I'm admitedly clueless about all things car maintenance) so Briley and I wandered to the lake for a little walk.  Last anniversary it was snowing so much that we couldn't even see the lake. This year it was so warm that I could have been wearing a t-shirt.  It was a beautiful, sunny, busy day! 

Once the car was good to go and we'd finished taking the same photos that we take every visit, we drove back to Banff. We had dinner reservations at a restaurant that we'd tried last year.  We were going to indulge in a tower of seafood or steak and lobster... something fancy and delicious. I'm not really sure how it happened, but the suggestion to go for hot wings instead came up and we both were onboard with the idea.  Fancy dinners are nice, but sometimes you just want chicken wings.  We cancelled our reservation for our romantic dinner and instead ate wings, spinach dip, and calamari.  It was so typical of us, and thus a perfect way to celebrate 4 years of marriage.  

When Sunday rolled around we were sad to return to reality and flat land, but excited to pick up Aaralee!  It was the perfect little getaway to celebrate our anniversary. Short, but sweet and jam packed with fun and food.  

Happy Anniversary Ryan! Here's to another year of fun and adventures!