A boy, a tent, and a flashlight

We had friends come to visit us, and they brought a tent to sleep in. A certain little three-year-old was absolutely ecstatic. As he watched them set it up he got more and more excited - running in circles around the deck. Somewhere along the line he found a flashlight, and I'm pretty sure it was the highlight of his trip. We are definitely coming to realize that simple is usually best, and the simplicity of a flashlight was a perfect match for an adventurous toddler.

Over the course of our vacation we've acquired a lot of beautiful toys and clothes, thanks to my generous mother-in-law. We've also lived in the most gorgeous little cottage, which is around 600 square feet. It's interesting to see how comfortably we could live in a smaller space, and when we get home we are going to have to do some major purging. Having only a few select toys to play with makes clean-up easier, and it also seems to encourage the kids imaginations. Soren has played non-stop with a set of Star Wars characters, taking them swimming in a kiddie pool, lining them up to dry, and climbing 'trees' made out of sticks. He's literally entertained himself for hours on end, and I don't think he would have done that at our home. It's also been wonderful to have had no tv. We don't watch a ton of tv at home, but there are definitely days when I turn it on mindlessly. Without a tv we've read more books - including one for myself! - and taken time to watch the beautiful sunsets. (usually with a glass of wine in hand!)


Hiking with babies

A couple of days ago we ventured through a magical forrest that holds fond memories for my husband. It's a beautiful park/forrest only a few kilometres from our place on the coast, and it has the most spectacular trees. Even though it was an extremely sunny day, only the smallest slivers of light manage to shine through the dense trees, making the walk seem a little mysterious. It's quiet and peaceful, and the hiking itself is more like a 'walk' rather than a hike.

For our little family from the prairies, it was pretty much perfect. I placed Poppy on my back, for the first time, and found it to be super easy to carry her. Soren walked most of the way, and only asked to be carried a couple of times. We had my father-in-law with us, as well as cousins, so we had some backup had we needed an extra pair of arms.

While on this trip we are realizing that many of our plans do not quite go as expected. Soren tends to get really excited about things, but then as soon as we arrive he immediately complains and wants to go home. It's disappointing for us, more so than him, as we'd envisioned these perfect outings in our heads. Soren probably envisions something perfect to him as well, and if it doesn't live up to his expectations then he is over it. Our trip mantra has been 'he's only three'. It tends to make us rethink our frustrations, and realize that perhaps the journey is more fun than the destination. I think his trip highlights are far different from what we may have predicted... but that is completely fine by me.

And Poppy's hiking highlight was by FAR the swings at the end! She was beaming!!


West Coast

We are currently on vacation... soaking up the sun on BC's gorgeous sunshine coast. We have been blessed with the most fabulous weather, and are enjoying long walks on the beach and swimming in the ocean. Even little Poppy's had her taste of saltwater, although she wasn't one hundred percent sold on the cold water. I guess it's a little chillier than bathwater:)

Travelling with two babes has been an experience, and we are starting many of our days at 5am when the sun comes up. It's well past my bedtime now, and I know I'll be regretting it come morning. Tired or not, we've had a lot of fun so far, and we've still got a bunch of days ahead of us. Hiking is on the agenda for tomorrow, along with swimming, of course, and probably eating way too much - because that's what always seems to happen on vacation.


Americana dinner party / celebrating summer

A few weeks back we were gathering with friends when the idea of a dinner group came up. This isn't the first time the idea has arisen, but it's one of those things that is often easier to talk about than actually do. Somehow we picked a date for the dinner party, and agreed on a place. We just needed a theme, which is when one of the other girls suggested 'Americana', since it was scheduled for the 4th of July. And so began our 'Dinner Group', consisting of four couples united by all of the men going to high school together.

As the host I was in charge of the main course, and after debating between fried chicken and ribs, I changed directions and went for braised short-rib grilled cheese sandwiches with pickled red onions. Served alongside were classic american french fries and a roasted garlic aioli sauce for dipping. Our guests rounded out the menu with a delicious watermelon salad, chicken bites as an appetizer, and apple pie for dessert.

While the food was most certainly delicious, it was the setting that stole the show. By that I mean the beautiful deck that my husband works so hard on, the flowers, the perfect weather, the smell of burning mosquito coils (which really worked!), and of course the wonderful company. We sat under the stars and drank wine until late, pausing to put babies to bed and munch on after-dinner cherries. After the last guests left we fell into bed at 2:30, which is a good three hours later than I normally go to bed. I can't say I was even tired… it was one of those nights where everything just clicked and we could have stayed outside until sunrise. (The only problem was my poor baby who developed a fever at 5pm… but I think she's hopefully on the mend now.) A date has been chosen for the next dinner group in two months time, and by then the endless summer nights will be a memory as we look forward to crisp autumn temperatures. We hope this is a tradition that can continue for many years. Good friends are so important:)


Ten things in lowercase. or maybe eight

one - these pictures make me smile. a bathing beauty in her swimming cap:)
two - i'm feeling slightly un-patriotic, as it was canada day yesterday and i didn't do much of anything to celebrate. the weather was a w f u l … but still. we spent the morning sipping coffee and checking out the museum of man and nature.
three - to add to the unpatriotic feeling, i'm hosting an 'americana' themed dinner party on friday. i keep browsing pinterest for decor ideas, which there are no shortage of. ideas, that is. and food, and drinks. but my 'un-canadian' guilt is continuing.
four - soren started his new preschool (aka daycare) on monday and loved it. and we love it. only one day down so far, but we are feeling really good about it.
five - i haven't had a cookie in ten days. this is a big thing for me… considering my serious addiction to sugar. i wanted to last two weeks without eating any deserts/candy/chocolate/junk, but i may have to make an exception on friday - just 2 days shy of 2 weeks. not bad. not great, but not bad.
six - we have a big trip coming up. i'm excited. and a little apprehensive about all the packing i need to do. it will be worth it to see the ocean.
seven - poor poppy fell twice this evening and there was blood. both times. she was so upset that i started crying too. (they are both minor. one cut was on her lip, and the other was a little cut on her chin.) i am debating keeping her in a carrier all day long tomorrow… just so i don't have to handle the sight of a sobbing bleeding baby again. it's just too sad.
eight - instead of buying a new sofa, and a new pair of shoes, and new fall wardrobes for the kids, we have instead repaired the brakes on our car. safety first. paying a massive bill at midas is not exactly my idea of fun.

well, i think eight things is going to have to do it today. there is laundry to fold. and another episode of orange is the new black to watch.