Our Autumn here in St. Albert has been stunning.  Some born-and-raised St. Albertans have claimed this has been the prettiest one yet.  We have been savouring these days outside as it feels like the nippy early bites of winter are on our heels.  I love the ease with which my kiddos engage with the outdoors, but I am already apprehensive when I think of the stir-crazy days ahead.  Note to self, don't let the weather get ya down, get outside.


The ebb and flow of childhood

Our girl turned 4 this past August and, like most birthdays of hers, I have been observing a shift to a new season of childhood and a newfound assurance in who she is. Do any other parents out there experience this? I hesitate to use the word confidence because it doesn't quite fit, but it is like with each new season comes a new development of self-confidence. Like in their little hearts and minds, something locks into place and they realize, "Oh, THIS is who I am."

I really do love this stage that we are in. The tantrums really peaked when she turned 3, but this year, we talk through conflict and stubbornness, sassy behaviour and bad attitudes. The tantrums are, for the most part, a distant memory and in its place is the day-to-day task of verbalizing and processing little-kid-feelings. Like, "What is the proper response to my baby brother who is all up in my grill when I am clearly constructing a cathedral that will rival the Sistine Chapel? What do I do when I am not included in the neighbourhood girl group? How do I make new friends at school? How do I behave in a group, when I just want to be alone?" This, my friends is the nitty gritty of what it means to parent a 4 year old. New challenges? Definitely. But I love the new maturity, independence, and creativity of this stage. We actually talk. There is far less of the monotonous repetition of toddlerhood and more conversation. What a delight it is to learn more about who my daughter really is - and how appropriate that her self-discovery often leads to a new self-discovery of my own. 



Our son is 1!  ONE!  It really is crazy to watch children develop right before your eyes.  From a snuggly newborn to a little being with a personality and a grin unlike anything I have ever seen, a stare that is a little bit unnerving, blue eyes that rival the Alberta skies, and a laugh that clears away all the clouds.

This year has been tremendously joyful and tremendously tiring.  There were moments where I thought I couldn't dig any deeper and other moments that spilled open and watered a garden that I didn't even know was dry.  Jude, you are loved, you are loved, you are loved.  Happy Birthday!


first family vacation

At the end of September we enjoyed a 5-night stay in the part of our country that truly has our hearts- the Rocky Mountains.  It was truly our first family-of-four vacation, and our first vacation with kids. Period.  I can hardly believe how well our kids did.  Sleeping in a new place, skipping naps, while new activities littered our days there.  We hiked together, swam together, and enjoyed the outdoors with everything we had in us.  The family time was simply, the best.  Our kids were happy explorers and happy sleepers (I know, I'm just as shocked).  What a time to treasure, and what a time to remember.



Spring has come to Alberta!  In true fashion, just when the winter began to feel dreadfully long, a new season was on its heals.

I am enjoying these days with my kids but, even on the best days, we tend to hit a wall mid afternoon.  Zoey starts to get bored, Jude starts to get antsy, and mama starts to get cranky.  And so, I pour coffee in the travel mug, Zoey straps on her bike helmet, Jude happily chirps in the stroller, and we make our way outside.  I think I've managed to have two kiddos who are the most content outdoors.  My girl climbs trees, throws rocks into the lake, and hums while cruising on her bike.  My boy claps, chats, and eats fistfuls of grass.

Here's to the changing of seasons.  These bright warm days have us grinning!


To everything there is a season...

Hello to the few people that check in here from time to time (i.e. HI MOM!). The other day I opened my laptop to upload photos for the first time in months and literally blew the dust off the keyboard.  That was it.  When was the last time I took photos on my real camera?  For FUN?!?!  Sorry iPhone, you are super duper handy, but I need to rediscover the beauty of my sturdy SLR.  I love Instagram and being able to stay in touch with friends in such a meaningful way, but at the end of the day, I want more than a handful of iPhone photos of my family and the life we share.  So, I'm back.  I don't know how much I will be writing, but I need a place to put these images I treasure.  We are in the throws of family life with young children, and for better or worse, I'm gonna toss snippets of my amazing kiddos and sleep deprivation and so-adorable-I'm-dying moments out to the internets.  Welcome!


Day in, day out, kids.

We made it, by golly, we made it.  Here we are, and our Jude is 6 weeks old and our Zoey turned 3! We survived and sometimes thrived and we are slowly finding our way through these new baby waters.  For better, for worse, we are a family of 4 and it is good.  I think the first few weeks after birth are lined up to have you feeling like wonder-woman and a train-wreck all at the same time.  These days have been precious and these days have been tiring, oh so tiring.  But, like most challenging things, the days/hours/minutes seem insurmountable, and you wonder how on earth you are going to keep your toddler busy, let alone liking you in your bleary state.  And you wonder if your baby truly loves you, or if those grins are always gas.  And you wonder if you will ever feel rested again.  And then, after seeing the sun rise and set day after day after day, you suddenly realize, that you're doing it.  Bumbling along, two kids crying, toddler whining, poo everywhere, early morning smooches and baby soft skin.  Chaos and euphoria, day in, day out - but you're doing it.

Thank you to everyone that has and is cheering us along.  We treasure it and boy do we need it.  You are the truest of friends, to be sure!