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Finding inspiration…

To stick with my theme of being over-committed and overwhelmed over the last few months, I've also felt incredibly uninspired.  I count on photography to let me escape.  For me, a walkabout with my camera and some quiet cures all that ails me.  But lately I haven't felt like picking up my big girl camera at all, even if I do find myself with a few free minutes. While at a cottage recently though, there was beauty everywhere.  It was hard not to feel inspired, especially since the cottage also offered up time to nap, chill, kill time, take long walks and not sit in front of the computer.  You know, be anything but a busy bee... DSC_5421sm

Jaia at 7.5

Celebrating Jaia's half birthday seems crazy to some.  Don't we spoil our kids enough?  I actually think we do spoil our kids enough.  I'm thankful to live a life that allows me give my children opportunities that I may not have had as a child. I am not embarrassed about that.  I'm not embarrassed about being able to sign my kids up for activities or adding an extra gift or two under the Christmas tree.  I am lucky - we are lucky - and I don't take that for granted. What I try my best to focus on, with my kids, is gratitude.  No matter the opportunities afforded to our children, they should be taught to be grateful.  Not just simply uttering the words 'thank you'.  Though lovely to hear, those words can often be said out of habit.  What I want for my kids is to truly appreciate how lucky they are.  And not only for the shiny new toy, but because they have a hot meal placed on the table every night, and a drawer full of clean clothes when they look for it each morning. Our kids are lucky.  And mostly, they know it.  A work in progress. So then you ask, why we celebrate Jaia (and Wesley's) half birthdays?  Because I think that any reason to celebrate a person and make them feel extra special is reason enough.  And not that I need to defend our decision, but our half birthday parties involve a song and some cake.  No presents.  No guests.  No parties.  Just us acknoledging a fun milestone. This year Nana and Papoo were in town and we shared a tiny cake for breakfast.  And there was a song.  And suddenly, she's that much closer to turning 8.  Definitely worth celebrating. half birthday jaia_7.5  
July 14, 2014 - 9:28 pm

Mrs. D - They are very lucky to have 2 lovely parents to nurture them along the way!!

July 16, 2014 - 6:14 am

Heather - 7.5!!! That’s insane. How time flies!

Changing once again.

I remember when her first tooth came in.  Although I was elated at this new milestone, I thought to myself that I wished I'd studied her face a little longer before her gummy smile changed forever.  I knew in that moment that she would never look the same as she did the day before. Fast forward almost exactly 6 years later (a few weeks shy) and I experienced the same feeling in my gut.  After months (and months and months, seriously, and months) of a wiggly front tooth, it finally fell out.  And in the evening of her last day of school, so none of her friends got to see it. But we did.  She wiggled and twisted and it fell out.  And she squealed and jumped and has never looked so happy.  An we celebrated with her.  And we snapped pictures.  And then we made plans to tuck it under her pillow for a visit from the tooth fairy - who, by the way, must have come into some money since I was a kid.  No more quarters under the pillow.lost tooth_sm  Anyway, all the while, I was staring at her new face, knowing, once again that she would never look exactly as she did just minutes before.  And although I was thrilled for her, I was already feeling nostalgic for the face I've been in love with for almost 6 years.  But not sad enough to not enjoy the new, beautiful, more grown up face was looking back at me.  An awesome and brand new face to adore.  I can do this.
July 10, 2014 - 9:30 pm

Mrs.D - I love your “toothless” grin, Miss Jaia

First and Last – 2014 edition

Last year I posted a split of Jaia's first and last day of school.  I love being able to see how much she's changed between September and June.  And now, little brother can play along.  Here they are... Jaia_2_firstlast_smWes_preschool_firstlast_sm Both kids had rain falling on their first day of school this year - and both had crazy, ultra bright sun on their last.  A sign of the super amazing year they both had.  I'd say so. Of note:  these adorable classic letter magnets on the left are the ones we all know and love from childhood (Playskool brand).  You remember them...you had them on your fridge just like we all did.  Turns out they don't sell them anymore.  Well not around these parts.  The girl I asked at our local toy mecca, Toys R Us, said she hasn't seen them in years.  I also checked at Target, Walmart, Superstore, etc.  Nada.  Apparently they are a choking hazard.  So I had to buy new ones since we've lost our second A and our Y in the first set.  I'm sad.  If you are out and about and happen to see them somewhere, make sure to let me know.  Or just send me your A and Y and we'll call it a day.  🙂  
July 10, 2014 - 9:32 pm

Mrs.D - You have gorgeous, lovely children, Mr. Mrs. Fullerton

Best. Summer. Ever.

The last few months have seen me busier than I've ever been.  Ever.  It sounds like an exaggeration - and we all know I am prone to hyperbole - but this is the truth.  I barely had any time to stop and breathe, let alone try to really enjoy some of the big and not so big moments between April and end of June.  I ignored this space, which I really don't like to do, but worse, I barely picked up a camera, I felt overwhelmed and I grumbled a lot.  A LOT. But now it's July.  And most of what bogged my schedule down (including kid sports 6 (!!) days/week is now down to 4 days/week) and I'm feeling like I can get a handle on it.  It may even be manageable.  Maybe.  Some people thrive on keeping busy and I am not one of those people.  *See above. But July (and August) offer far more value to me than a clear(er) schedule.  In September, Wesley begins school.  Not preschool, which he graduated (literally) in June, but full-time, full-day school.  'Big boy school' as he calls it.  And with that, my life changes forever.  No more babies, toddlers, or preschoolers in the house.  Only two school age kids who will spend the majority of their time away from me for the first time in their lives. N4-010-0272.jpg You think that's cute?  Check this: N4-010-0266.jpg I'm bracing myself for the change.  Wesley will do fine.  Quite swimmingly, I'm betting.  And in time, I will be fine too.  But right now I feel my heart and my belly clench up at the mere thought of my littlest being old enough to start school. I can't believe we are already here.  But he is ready (MORE than ready) and excited for school, and so I'll happily play along - for his sake. So, in advance of this, I have the best. summer. ever planned for the four of us.  I'm calling it '62 Days of Fun'.  Today is day 4.  We will be scratching awesomeness off the summer bucket list every single day and trying our hardest to deeply engrave the happiest memories into our brains so we can always look back with no regrets.  This month, and next, we won't be bogged down with over scheduled days.  We will keep the tv off.  We will build sandcastles.  We will go to a drive in.  We will sleep under the stars.  We will roast marshmallows.  We will take a road trip and visit a new town.  We will swim in a lake and fish from a canoe.  We will do it all, but won't sweat it if we choose to sit, enjoy and relax instead.  It is our summer.  The best summer. Ever. Last night, to really kick it off, I (with Auntie Jenny and Casey) took Jaia to Ottawa Bluesfest to see Tegan and Sara for the second year in a row.  This year, though, she was older, more excited, and knew what to expect.  She rocked it out, sang along and anticipated her favourite songs - which they sang - thanks, T&S!  We closed off the night with a Beavertail and we held hands as we walked back to the car.  Within minutes she was sound asleep.  When we arrived home, I carried her up to bed and tucked her in.  As I tiptoed out of the room, hoping not to wake her, I heard her faintly say, "You are the best mom ever". Mission accomplished.   photo
July 4, 2014 - 4:15 pm

Mrs. D - and you are an “awesome” Mum, Shannen – enjoy the lazy,hazy days of summer

July 7, 2014 - 4:15 pm

Lindsay - gwah, I totally got teary eyed at the end of that post.