A year ago I started this little blog, as a fun project. I wanted to learn how to build and operate a website (I’m not especially technically inclined) and so I purchased a yearlong domain. The vision and content of the blog…it was about nothing particular and yet anything near to my heart… an open love letter of sorts. As for the audience, I’m very touched that people took the time to read about our ordinary daily life. Honestly, I figured that my mom would be the extent of my readers.  Writing has always been cathartic for me, I can often sort through my thoughts by putting them into words. And as a new mom…. I wanted to save memories of the little things, that would otherwise risk being forgotten. And so the blog helped me to accomplish these goals. I’ll take this as an opportunity to also thank my husband for trusting me enough to share our life on the internet (Steve’s a pretty private person).

The other day I received an email indicating the site’s membership was up for renewal, and I realized that I was ready to let it go. Memory keeping, photo taking, and writing are all things I’ll continue to do for myself and my family… but the forum will change. I can’t deny that blogging takes time, and time is pretty precious especially with a little one around.

“Ruthlessly eliminate the hurry in your life.”

I heard this quote the other day… it hit home for me. How easy it is to ‘try to keep up’ with the busy world. There are so many options for ‘what to do’ right now in life… sign up for this, go here and there, do this, and all the while stress levels are rising. I’m not making a case for staying home and being lazy. But rather – to identify the important aspects in your life and focus on them. My goal is to better organize our time, so less of it is wasted and so that we feel less rushed. I’m trying to focus a little less on preserving the memories and a little more on being present during them.

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These are my important moments right now.

Thank you again.

It’s hard to top a long weekend in the summer. After a very busy month, we decided to be selective about what we scheduled for the second half of summer. This weekend we stayed home, I believe it’s referred to as a staycation. Steve took an extra day of vacation. We’ve slept in, dined at the local breakfast spot, rode our bikes, played at the park and this morning we met up with good friends to pick blueberries. It’s been blissful. Downtime can be hard to come by and in my opinion it’s quite underrated.

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SONY DSCblueberriesSONY DSCSONY DSCThe kids ate their body weight in blueberries, but they were good little helpers. They enjoyed the fresh air and played so well together…followed by an extra-long afternoon nap. In the meantime… I’ll be searching for blueberry recipes.

We are loving our time at the neighbourhood splash pad and pool. What I was not loving were wet towels and swim gear draped just about anywhere and everywhere. It was quickly evident that we needed a better solution.  We brought our old standing drying rack with us, but because of limited space in our new laundry room it wasn’t an ideal option. During a rainy day last week Nolan and I made a trip to Ikea in search of a couple of things, one of the objectives for the trip was a system for drying our wet clothes. When I spotted Ikea’s Grundtal http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/60047896/ I was definitely intrigued. It’s a wall mounted drying system, in a sleek stainless steel finish, it tucks neatly against the wall when not in use and at 20 dollars, the price was right. So I decided to give them a shot. laundryroomWell… I’m here to say that I’m a very happy girl. They’re up, they function well, are sturdy and constructed well. I would definitely recommend the product. It’s funny how sometimes conquering the minor issues is so satisfying. The space functions much better… and while our to do list is a bit daunting, we’re having fun tackling some of the little details.

“What I love most about my home is who I share it with.” – Tad Carpenter

It’s been a month since we’ve moved, and it been a bit of a whirlwind trying to set up a new house. We’ve been busy unpacking, painting, installing… basically just settling in. We’re getting there. We’ve come to the realization that a house can be decorated, but a home is composed of a life collected and evolved over time, and so we’re pacing ourselves.

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Luckily there are plenty of fun distractions. The past month has been full of new experiences. We’re slowly becoming acquainted with our new hometown. We’re new members to a gym, we’ve ventured out to the new grocery store and made a couple of visits to the farmer’s market. A recent highlight, was the three of us dining out on the patio at the local pub. The neighborhood is lovely, we’ve met some great families and there’s no shortage of kids. The community splash pad and pool is where you can usually find us! Safe to say it’s been a memorable Summer.

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Our new home has been dubbed the “blue house”.  There’s a very simple story behind it. When we purchased the house, it was partially constructed and the exterior building materials had been selected and ordered before we entered the picture. When we asked the sales agent the exterior details of the house he pointed to a sample wall and said he was pretty sure it was this one or the other. Long story cut short, we made a trip during the construction stage a couple months after the fact and were surprised to find a blue house. And while it’s highly unlikely that we would have selected blue for the siding, it has definitely grown on us. I think that the blue-ness has a certain charm, we’ve even received some compliments from family and friends on the selection…for which we can’t take any credit. Hence, our blue house… a happy accident.

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It’s been a little more than a week since we moved … and while moving with a little one certainly complicates things, I’m happy to say that we’re settling in. I’m not sure that I have any useful advice to offer about packing, moving or unpacking. It simply takes a lot of work. But, one luxury Steve and I allotted for ourselves was hiring movers. The two men that showed up with our moving truck more than earned their wages. Another big aspect of our move that helped us to get better organized was having a week between closing dates. The weekend prior to our big move, Steve and I did runs back and forth with boxes, clothes and linens. We were able to begin unpacking the closets and cupboards before all our furniture arrived. It was definitely a nice feeling to clean and organize the storage areas ahead of time.

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For me the best thing about our first few days in our new home was all being together (Steve took some vacation time, combined with a long weekend). There’s no denying that there’s something exciting and a little strange about waking up in a new place. Nolan seems to be adjusting quite well. And while there are still boxes to unpack, cleaning to be done and appliances to hook up, we are steadily tackling our to do list. Truthfully, we seem to favor taking advantage of the summer weather and new walking trails outside of our door.

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The momma in me is excited to feather the nest and make this house a home.

It’s a fresh beginning for which we are very grateful.

Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever. 

~ Unknown

This weekend I had the privilege of celebrating my grandma’s 88th birthday. The last while my grandma’s had some health setbacks and so it was extra special to see her well and in good spirits. My family surprised her by picking her up in a limo. She arrived to her party in style, we cheered and sang a round of happy birthday when she made her entrance.

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She’s such a special lady. She’s the matriarch of our rather big family (at last count we were somewhere around 50). She’s an inspiration to all of us. Belonging to a large family is a blessing, the support, love and joy we share together is something I simply do not take for granted; and at the heart of it all is my grandma. She’s a woman of strong faith, she’s a young soul, who appreciates life and all that it entails. She’s wise, a straight shooter, with a great sense of humour. I love to be in her company and I feel very lucky to still have her in my life. Happy Birthday Grandma! FYI she requested a helicopter for her 90th.

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We snapped a couple of final photos of our first home. I’m not sure that they’re of much interest to others, but for us they’re pretty special. Our last glance back was bittersweet, there’s so much to reminisce. The empty space also reaffirmed that a house is only a house, the life comes with you. The moments you share with the people that you love are the difference between a house and a home. It’s a sweet satisfying feeling to know that we left our mark here. It also makes us feel blessed and excited for all of the new possibilities in store for us. I apologize for the rambling, I just find it to be an interesting experience… closing one door and opening another. emptyhouse

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Most times that I think of my dad I instantly smile. His personality was so big, lively, fun and loving. He raised three daughters, he loved us madly, protected us fiercely and brought so much joy to our days. Raising Nolan has in so many ways made me feel closer to my own dad. At times my heart breaks, it’s often bittersweet… thinking about how much my dad would have loved his grandson. I find peace in the belief that they met in heaven. My little boy reminds me so much of my dad, it’s crossed my mind that Nolan was sent in part to us from dad. He’s the perfect blend of sweetness and mischievousness, he’s brave and strong yet so loving and lovable. Nolan’s middle name is Peter, he resembles my dad and already I’ve started telling him all kinds of stories about his Grandpa in heaven.

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Shortly after my dad died, I met Steve. The saying holds true that little girls look for qualities in a partner that remind them of their dads. Although they never met I know how much they would’ve liked each other. My husband is fun loving, he literally wakes up and goes to sleep with a smile on his face, his happy nature is infectious and Nolan and I are so lucky to have him. Nolan lights up when he’s with his dad. He already idolizes Steve, he has special laughs reserved just for when they play together. You’d have to see how Nolan looks at him, the two of them together literally melt my heart. It has been incredible to watch Steve be a dad, happy father’s day honey.

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I’ll also use this opportunity to wish my father in law, Nolan’s “grandpops” a very happy father’s day. Nolan is the first grandchild for both families, he’s spoiled and so loved. Although, there isn’t supposed to be favourites… Nolan’s already claimed his grandpops. The bond they share is undeniable. I read a quote a while ago that said, “A child makes a man of his father, and a boy of his grandfather”. I have truly loved watching their special relationship develop.

So there you have it… this father’s day I’m reflecting on all of the incredible men that have made such an impact in my life.