June 30, 2014

the last minute getaway....

Because we were in the U.S.A., I guess it's okay that they put their flag a few inches higher. 
I have honestly never seen someone so excited for bread and water. 
Needless to say, someone was not super impressed that we rented a place covered in hardwood floors. 
A gorgeous sunny morning spent walking through the grounds at Snowline.

Hello friends! Did you have a fun weekend? We had every intention of staying in B.C. to go camping, but with all of the sites remaining being listed as first-come-first-serve, we knew it'd be chancy to drive a great distance with a toddler, only to find the sites full. Plus the weather forecast was iffy, so we moved our plans indoors.  We quickly scanned the world wide web (handy!) for some deals and found a great price on a one bedroom condo at Mt. Baker. ($85 a night). I grew up with a cabin at Mt. Baker, that my family sold approx. a dozen years ago, so I was really excited to show Stella the area.
What do you do when you first get settled into a vacation place? For whatever reason, I always go set up my toiletries. I neatly arrange them around the sink, laying out my toothbrush and toothpaste, neatly lining up my contact solution and moisturizing cream. I have no such display at home, so it always baffles me that this is my go to first move to create that homey feeling. I pulled back the shower curtain to check out the tub, and there to meet my gaze was a giant spider. I showed Stella how brave I am, by grabbing a glass and putting a coaster underneath, and ushered it outside to save this tarantula's life. All I kept thinking was, if this coaster folds in any way, there will be some serious screaming coming from me, considerably breaking this tough facade. I also raised my eyebrow and quickly scanned the condo, knowing full well giant spiders like to travel with friends. 
Sure enough, Craig was greeted by a much bigger version of the spider I just rescued. Or perhaps it was the same spider, pumped on 'roids, coming back to re-claim the place. Craig did the same glass trick, and asked me if I wanted to take a looksy. "Oh no love, I'm good. I'm just busy setting things up." Which loosely translates into, what part of you honestly thinks that I want to get within one inch of that maniacal looking unpredictable eight legged leaper.
Now before you start thinking the condo we rented was located in the heart of Charlotte's Web, it was actually at the base of Mt. Baker, in an area called Snowwater. I grew up in the neighbouring cabin community of Snowline. One thing I really love about the area is that there is no cable and no cell phone service, so it really is a great escape. Before you surmise that it sounds a lot like camping with a roof, it had a flat screen TV with a DVD player. (retro!) (side note, when I saw the rental unit's DVD collection which started at Deuce Bigalow and went downhill from there, I was incredibly grateful we packed our own). (Movie snob!)
In the subdivision we were in, there were gorgeous hiking trails, a giant indoor pool (which we had most times to ourselves), squash courts, tennis, a playground and a nice bar/grill within walking distance. It poured rain the first two days we were there, so that indoor pool was the best. We did so much swimming, I'm sure you won't even recognize our new ripped physiques. And by ripped, I mean waterlogged. 
At the end of the weekend, the clouds finally parted and the most gorgeous sunshine woke us up, so we took Stella for a walk past my old cabin and let her play in the area. I'm not sure if you'd ever consider buying a recreational property. Some people definitely don't like the idea of vacationing repeatedly in the same location, which I completely understand. But on the flip side, there definitely is something to be said for having a place filled with your own belongings, that you can just go to on a whim. As I walked with my daughter around our old area, I pointed out the creek we used to jump over, the giant boulder we used to climb, the pond we used to fish in, the pool we swam in, the court we played pickleball in, the apple tree my mom used to sit under and watch us play. I left out all of the raging parties we used to have. She could learn about that much, much later, like in her early 30s. But it made me so happy to see it all again. Although it was recreational property, we owned it for over 20 years, and spent at least one weekend a month there. I'm more nostalgic about that area than any home I've lived in because of all the fun-filled memories we have there. We truly grew up there. I'm just so thankful that I got to re-visit it with my daughter. xoxo 

June 28, 2014

Happy Weekend!!

Hello Friends! I hope you have a tremendous long weekend! Are you staying in town or getting out of dodge? We are doing a last minute getaway that we booked last night. I'm really excited because it's a destination where I spent a lot of my childhood, so I can't wait to share it with my family. I've been listening to a lot of Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin this morning while we pack, getting in the mood for some nostalgic fun. I hope wherever the weekend takes you, you are able to squeeze in some amazing moments.
Last night we took dinner over to my mom's place, as it was her Chemo day. So, I just wanted to remind you all, that when people say, what would you do if you only had a year to live, that you have to carry that philosophy into your life right now. If the doctors ever tell you that you only have a year to live, you're often too tired or ill to go through that life list. So, really dig deep about what is most important to you and start checking off those items right now. Travel to those places you dream of while you are healthy enough to, start writing that book, organize that family reunion, run that marathon......infuse your days with meaning. xoxo

June 22, 2014

weekend round-up in images.....Summer has arrived!!

Hello Friends! Did you have a fun weekend? Did you do anything special to kick off summer?
We had back to back bbq's which felt oh - so -suburban of us. Here's a few images from the weekend:
The above photo is the new wall I painted with chalkboard paint so our little gal can draw while I cook. It's actually really fun to have an ever-changing wall of art work.
These pretty gems were used to decorate fairy houses. We may have over-shot and gone a bit too J-Lo blingy on these. 
Getting prepped for our friends with our favourite brews.
dining al fresco - my favourite fancy way to say "outside"
The newest member of our family - a giant, inflatable hit
our sunday morning stroll to the farmer's market where I admire the carrots and kale, and opt instead for the handmade chocolates. 
sneaking in a coffee break with one of my favourite funny women
sitting back and appreciating how lucky we are to have both sets of parents over tonight - thankful we live so close and extremely grateful they genuinely all love one another.
Let the Summer planning begin! xo

June 18, 2014

Krause Berry Farms

Have you been to Krause Berry Farms in Langley? It's definitely a great place to take the kids - animals to pet, wagon rides, berries to pick (or you can just purchase them in the adorable store that is loaded with amazing food & gifts). There's also a winery on site if you prefer your fruit fermented. I sure have a lot of respect for my mom after taking my daughter berry picking. It takes a looonnng time to get a decent amount of fruit in that ol basket, and I remember my mom filling up buckets full. She must have had a lot of patience or some mad picking skills. But the berries are delicious - they taste like real strawberries - not the kind at the grocery store that's shipped from California. And they serve up waffles on site topped with heaps of berries and whipped cream. Heaps I tell you! It's definitely worth stopping in.

the bachelorette, toddler style

I thought we'd have fun at this park, you seem like the perfect boy to pick for this date
 I really think we connect, more so than I ever have with Noah L. Noah S. and don't even get me started on Logan. I don't even know if Logan is here for the right reasons.
I think I need to have a moment to myself to see if this process if really right for me. I wish you'd look at me. 
(quietly thinking)
(I wonder if he'll come back.)
Come on, let's take a chance! 
I'll show you how brave I am. 
 It's so sweet how he's there for me.
Run away with me!  

June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

He's been a father for 2.5 years, and he has shown me over and over again, that he was born to do this. I always knew he'd be a natural, because he wanted to be a parent as desperately as I did, but he has made this parenthood gig the most amazing adventure. He is completely involved, helpful, fun loving yet tough when he needs to be, and fills her days with a sense of wonder and enthusiasm. I'm excited for our little gal, because I think she will grow up with so much confidence, knowing that she has this incredible man who is always in her corner, cheering her on. Happy Father's day love. Stella is one lucky gal. xoxo

date night

Hello friends! Did you have a fun weekend? It had almost been over four months since we had a date night, and when my mother in law kindly offered to watch our little gal for an overnighter, we leapt at the chance. We may have said yes before she finished the question. We scoured the internet for local events for the coming weekend and came across this fun listing: CBC Music Festival at Deer Lake Park. We booked our tickets and grabbed a hotel room close by. Do you like staying at hotels? I think I love the hotel experience because I've never been much of a germaphobe (although I did handwash all the mugs and glasses in the room first - trust me, you will want to do that.). I think I love hotels because I can completely relax - ie - I don't look around at any housework/projects that need doing. It also means that my senior citizen pets aren't waking us up 2-3 times a night to go outside. It was bliss I tell you, bliss!!!

We dropped off the munchkin at the in-laws and checked into our room (they upgraded us for free to a suite. Sweet!) We poured some delicious cocktails and got ready for our show. 
I'm sure when a golfer steps onto a course or a hockey player skates onto the ice, they get that same feeling I do when I walk into a music festival. It feels like home. 
No outside food was allowed in, so we got some food truck burritos and brews - perfect concert grub. 
I ran up to the front when Dan Mangan started his set - he is my giant folk music crush. Spoon also put on a tight set - twenty years together, it's not surprising that they are amazing live. Fun Fact, I just read that Spoon's singer, John Britt Daniel, is also the singer/bass player for Divine Fits, another great band.
We were fortunate enough for the weather to hold off most of the time we were there, but after Spoon, it started pouring. We tried to wait it out under a tree, but unfortunately, we didn't make it for the final performance: Tegan & Sara
Honestly, I can't recommend the overnight date enough if you can swing it. We stayed up late, watched this sweet little flick, slept in(YES!!!!) and had a delicious breakie in the hotel. We felt totally rejuvenated and pumped to be reunited with our little gal. 

June 13, 2014

Happy Father's Day Weekend!

Hello friends! Whether you are celebrating the man in your life, who is so straight up amazing at sharing this parenthood adventure with you, or if you are lucky enough to still have your own father in your life to celebrate, let's give these dads props for all the hard work they do. Was your Dad the disciplinarian in the family or a big softie? My Dad was always the more easy going one in our family. I remember if my brother and I ever wanted to do anything, like go to a party, or stay out late, we'd say, "oh hi there Mom, say, have you seen Dad around by chance?" Even though my Dad and I didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things, some of my favourite qualities in myself are easily attributed to him - his sense of humour and his love and respect for nature/animals. One of the sweetest things I remember about my Dad is when he showed up for one of my dance recitals. My mom couldn't make it and I'm pretty sure Jazz dance wasn't my father's forte, but he showed up on his own and brought me flowers. It meant a tonne to me. There's a complexity to my Dad that I appreciate - his ability to be a huge advocate for people's rights, and yet he's extremely conservative politically, but he's also a nature loving atheist who weeps over the death of pets. We love to call him Mr. Busy, because he's one of those guys who always has a huge list and gets stressed out by all of the items on his list, waving the list furiously in the air while he loudly proclaims, "there's never enough time in the day!!" But the list is often an assortment of non-pressing items, for example, one of my favourite lists contained such gems as: sort out nuts and bolts in the garage; feed squirrels. I'm pretty sure the squirrels would be touched they made his list, but I also know the squirrels don't want him to have a heart attack stressing about it. But I can't say enough about how incredible Dad's been helping my mom through this challenging diagnosis, taking care of their home, garden, meals, running her to appointments, and Mom told me he falls asleep every night by her side, holding her hand. I'm giving my dad the gift of exercise as a positive stress outlet for all that he is shouldering right now. I hope you're able to do something great for your Dad this weekend! xoxo