Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mudderella 2015

I recently returned from a delicious weekend away in Whistler. It was a whirlwind of late nights, delicious food, wine, mud, conversation, shopping and a delicious evening at a spa.




 I am so glad Jennifer had her iPhone  in a zip lock bag and was able to take some photos of our actual race.





Saturday, October 3, 2015

The value of time apart

It is days like today that remind me how important it is to give your life partner time. .. time to pursue the hobbies that give them purpose outside their role as a parent or husband. Time to fill up their reservoirs.

Nathaniel uses his "free" time to do a variety of  things. Sometimes it is a two hour jaunt in a tree stand twenty minutes from home. Other times, it is ten day trip into the wilderness to hunt caribou. Sometimes it means searching for bonsai, admiring rare varieties of orchids, doing woodworking in his shop, searching for creatures in tidal pools, tending his bee hives, working in the garden we have at a farm across the road, shooting his bow in the meadow behind our home, snorkeling in the ocean, mountain biking with a friend, working out in the gym, rock climbing, or fly fishing.

Thankfully, Nathaniel also understands how essential it is for me to have hobbies outside of my role as a mother and a wife.  I use my "free time" to run, breath new life into furniture, journal, ride my bike, read, blog, re-arrange furniture in my house, make cards for my friends, take photos, document my family's memories, lift weights, have tea and good quality conversation with a friend, bake, play dress up, and have the odd weekend away with girlfriends.
I feel as though these hobbies allow us to grow and invest in ourselves as well as our relationship. While Nathaniel is my partner in life, I can't possibly expect him to  fulfill all my complex and varied needs. To do so would be unfair and unrealistic. Having time away to pursue our interests allows us to draw from something other than each other to fill us up.  I have NO desire to spend two weeks in the wilderness hunting for some elusive beast, but I am more that happy to send him with a guy who is over the moon to do so. When my husband returns he is beaming from ear to ear, elated, tanned, bearded and smelling of evergreens. Conversely, he has NO desire to spend hours having deep conversations or go trail running through the woods. Thankfully I have girlfriends who are just as enthusiastic as I am about doing those things. *BLISS*
Being away from each other gives us chance to appreciate each other. I KNOW my husband appreciates me on another level after he has taken care of three children on his own for a weekend, and I appreciate him when he returns from a hunting trip because he pounces on me like a wild animal. *snicker*

More than anything, I love that we continue to find one another interesting.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Rough days

It is interesting how you idealize your future when you are young.... who you will marry, what your  children will look like and where you will live.... and then you find yourself sleep deprived and knee deep in toys and crumbs.
Ah motherhood.
 The  couple of days have been hard.
Days filled with disappointment and frustration.
The dishwasher is broken and Nathaniel is away hunting for twelve days in a place that is only accessible by float plane. I haven't slept through the night in over three months. Claire refuses to wear pants, have her hair brushed and has a meltdown nearly every time we leave the house. She complains about her seatbelt and screams for water whenever we are out and have none. Amelia has been incredibly emotional after school and rather aggressive towards her sister. Levi just wants to run and climb and squirm out of my arms. There are markers on faces and dolls, furniture and walls. The other day Claire woke up with impetigo so instead of dropping her off at preschool I spent the morning at the drop in clinic and pharmacy with two disgruntled children.
The other night I climbed into bed at 8:30pm weary to the bone, every fiber of my being having been challenged and stretched to breaking point. I was hungry my muscles her throbbing and I was tired of fighting and cajoling my children.  I longed for them to be helpful and obedient, but was instead. was met with disobedience and laziness.
I wish I could say that my joy is not dependent upon the state of my house or the emotional state of my children, but that is not always the case.
Like I said before, some days are drudgery and other days are bliss.
 I am trying to find joy in the midst of the drudgery.
I find it  when I notice a dahlia the size of  dinner plate growing in the garden, when I get a chance to take a long, hot, uninterrupted bath at the end the of the day, when I see my children engaging in imaginative, creative play, when Levi throws his chubby little arms around me and sinks into my embrace, when my eldest daughter shares her heart with me at end of the day.
It is these things that carry me through the trials and the challenges of motherhood.

Often I find myself asking "how can I enjoy this motherhood thing more"?  So much of the time I just want solitude or some time to create. I don't want to spend this season of my life pining for something that I have had in the past and that I WILL have again in the future. I want to love where I am at RIGHT NOW in the thick of the poopy diapers, sleepless nights, whining and constant disaster.
 I want to be patient, selfless, and present during those moments when I want to run away.

As women, we invite difficulty, heartbreak and utter exhaustion into our lives when we decide to have children, and yet we do so willingly. And some of us decide to do it numerous times. Are we crazy?
No, I think that in doing so we grow - our hearts enlarge, our bodies transform and we catch of glimpse of the heart of God for his children. We experience the most profound love possible, we pour every fiber of ourselves into a tiny, unpredictable humans who deprives us of our basic needs and yet we keep giving. We know that at some point they will break our hearts and leave us to pursue other things, but we give nonetheless. We see aspects of ourselves mirrored in their little bodies and temperaments and we cling to the hope that one day they will be thoughtful, loving humans who will make a positive impact on their world.


Sunday, September 13, 2015


Sometimes I just need to get away from the life sucking monotony but necessary task of washing dishes and sweeping floors and spend the day at the beach...

 and enjoy watching cousins cuddle in a hammock...

 Sometimes I just need an impromptu tea party complete with butter tarts and delicious handcrafted cupcakes (thanks Jill and Momma).

Sometimes I need to pretend I am somewhere like Nantucket. It wasn't hard since nearly half of us were wearing stripes.

Sometimes I need to fantasize about the beautiful waterfront home that Nathaniel and I hope to build some day. I'd buy this one in a heartbeat. I love the windows, the shakes, the stone fireplace and the views.

Sometimes I just need to let my children get naked and swim in September. 

 Sometimes I need to take a break from "clean eating" to relish the Nanaimo bars my dad made in a wood burning oven. Yummy!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Sointula with Dodds family

 I have SO much catching up to do, hundreds of photos to sift through and weeks worth of project life to document, but I wanted to take a few moments to share a slew of photos from our most recent vacation in Sointula with the Dodds family.

Our fun started with a day trip to wild play here in Nanaimo were our herd of children learned how to navigate an obstacle course in the trees.


Afterwards we took a swim at one of my favorite swimming holes.

The back home for some grub. So glad I had an extra table kicking around for all those kiddos.

When we arrived in Sointula, the skies were clear and the sun was warm.

Allan and Julie had arrived  five days before us and  had constructed a fantastic tent city in anticipation of the forecasted rain. It was pretty awesome to roll up and just move in.

We saw orcas from our campsite the next morning and followed them out to Bere point where we hoped they would come to the beach to rub.




I am so glad that I brought a muddy buddy for Levi.

Everything was fine until the cloth line holding up the main tarp snapped just as we were about to leave for the "Salmon Days" festival in town. I am so thankful that it didn't happen during the night during the torrential rain. Julie and I loaded our kiddos into her van and took them into town while the boys spent the next three hours putting up new lines and tarps.

Probably one of my favorites parades ever.

Fresh bannock smothered with berries and whipping cream.
When we got back to camp we found out that we had missed the whales rubbing. Gah!
They literally spent HOURS throwing rocks.

Julie made apple crisp in this cast iron pot. It was GOOD! I was impressed.

Our new tent has proven to be pretty awesome this summer.

When our children got sick of the rain they piled into the Dodd's "fancy" van and watched a movie. I love the look on Eli's face.


Us mommas would dry out the children's sweaters and coats at the end of  each day so that they would have something to wear the next day.

*Sigh* Allan thanks for helping me get this shot. What a pretty moon.


My parents came over from the mainland to visit us. They even brought Sheppard's pie and my dad's version of Nanaimo bars. It was a nice treat.


Updating instagram out at Bere point which was one of the few places that had internet access.

Trying to stay dry in the rain

Milo photo bomb!

We were huddled around the fire at the end of the last day with the wind and rain howling through our camp discussing  which ferry we would catch the following morning, when someone suggested that we try and catch the last ferry that evening. It was as though an "ah ha" moment rippled through our group simultaneously. Within minutes we had started breaking camp with huge smiles on our faces,  relieved that we wouldn't be spending another miserable night camping in the rain. We were impressed at how quickly and efficiently we packed in the POURING rain. It was teamwork at its finest. Within two hours we had washed up the dinner dishes, packed every tote, tent and tarp into our vehicles. Possibly even more amazing was the fact that the children  didn't complain about our sudden decision to leave or the fact that they were soaked.  Instead they happily played in the rain, pouring all their energy into digging a river into the side of the hill. Up and down they would run with whatever receptacle they could find and filling them with puddle water to fuel their stream.  Hurray for an awesome camping trip!