Summer adventures – trains, planes, ferries and automobiles07.16.14

To kick off the summer this year (3.5 days early) the kids and I took the train from LA to Seattle and then a ferry across to Victoria to visit my grandparents.  I was originally planning on driving back to Canada and doing the tour across 3 provinces but when attempting to figure out what that was really going to look like logistically, I found it was not going to work as well as I was hoping.  So this was the best way to at least get back to see the people that could not travel to see us anymore.  At almost 92 and 93, my mum’s parents are doing amazing but I don’t get back to see them as much as I would like to.  This trip allowed my children to see them as well as experience a really fun adventure along the way.

The train trip itself was 35 hours and actually was more like 39 on the way there due to an accident involving a car (the passengers were ok), an emergency stop when a train passenger fell down the stairs (hoping she is ok!) and then wait times for train issues in front of us.  We were not in any hurry so it was all good.  Friends of ours had mentioned that there were often delays and so I had planned to overnight in Seattle before heading to Victoria.  I am glad that we did not take the first ferry out that morning but also wish that I had planned for additional days in Seattle.  I could have spent a lot more time wandering around that city.  I will definitely be heading back there at some point.

We then enjoyed a number of days with family…dinners with my aunt and uncle, picnics and dinners with my grandparents, trips down memory lane, fish and chips with my in-laws (that happened to be on the island at the same time) and time for the kids and I to wander around Victoria enjoying its quaintness and beauty.  Mike then flew in to join us on the back end of the trip.  He had attended Royal Rhodes University (which at the time was a military college) so he had the opportunity to show the kids around his old stompin’ grounds and tell them all the funny stories that went on thereJ.

We then journeyed back to Seattle to enjoy some wonderful seafood.  My kids are such particular foodies that they were not big fans of the traditional battered fish and chips in Victoria but thoroughly enjoyed the seafood restaurant (Taylor’s Market) where we enjoyed Dungeness crab, calamari salad, seaweed salad and prawns.  Then it was back on the train and so nice to enjoy this unique family time together (especially over Father’s Day).

Although the main goal of the trip was to see family, the adventure part was a bit of a trial for trips to come – carrying their own luggage, ensuring kids could keep up with a more rigorous pace, making sure nobody left any items along the way (almost happened!!), trying different foods,…  Although Mike has traveled extensively and I have a little bit, we have decided that this will be a major goal while the kids are with us…we are also hoping that it will ignite enough of a bug that they will want to travel with us when it is really not cool to travel with your parents:).  I have had a very long list of places I have wanted to see for a long time and know that doing this as a family will educate and help all of us grow!

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Personal goal06.17.14

So as I mentioned a few posts ago, I ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in San Diego at the beginning of June.  The run benefits Leukemia and Lymphoma.  The past two years my thoughts were with a number of people that I know that have been (and are still) affected by these diseases but this year I also ran with extreme gratitude.  My daughter underwent a bone marrow biopsy last year to test for leukemia when some tests came back wonky.  THANKFULLY it came back clear but it shook us pretty hard.  My heart goes out to the families that have to spend endless hours in an oncologist’s office.  My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones to this disease.  So despite not training quite as much as my children have been my focus lately, there was still a fire in me to bring me in 3 minutes faster than last year. My official chip time was 2:06 but I stopped my watch at the 13.1 miles.

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New specs05.15.14

So I was trying to get a shot of my son to send to my husband of his new specs…only to find that my iPhone was full…so out came the big camera.  A simple shot turned into a few of these buddies…could not help posting this series of typical shenanigans.   calgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographercalgary family photographer

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Stomping ants05.14.14

Like everyone else, our schedule has been a little goonie lately.  We took on a few too many activities this spring for our family…we like a bit more downtime.  I am so happy that things are starting to wind down as we are quickly approaching summer holidays.  This is one from last week when one of our activities was cancelled (thankfully) and the kids had time to just stomp ants with friends.  I love that the days are getting longer (the days do not get as long in California as they do in Calgary) but it is still nice to have some time after dinner to play.  The ponytail sticking up here makes me smile:).california family photographer

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!05.12.14

I am late with this but took me a bit to get a picture with all three in and looking happy to have their picture taken.  Even the dog does not like having his picture taken.  There have been a few times he has grabbed the camera strap with his teeth…I make sure it is around my neck around him!

So each year, I take a Mother’s Day picture for my mum because I know it would be what she would want.  Amazingly it has been 7 years since she passed and it does not get easier.  Probably because this has definitely been one of the most challenging parenting years we have faced so far and I could have used her expertise in so many areas.  Thankfully we are making it through these challenges though and no doubt they have made me stronger and a better mother having gone through them.

I am SUPER thankful for all of the motherly influences in my life though.  I have truly learned so much from so many people over the last 7 years and I look forward to continuing to learn and try my very hardest for my little people!

Had to include a picture of the chaos and then one my mum would have appreciated more:).

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