Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mini Camping Trip 2016

We started off our camping season this year with an impromptu one night camping trip two weekends ago. Dan had been suggesting it for a while but we really didn't decide to actually do it until the day before, so our prep work was a little rushed. But we managed and it ended up being a really nice time.


We headed out in the morning on the Friday and stopped by the Petroglyphs Provincial Park for a quick look around. We didn't stay long though because we had Mia with us and dogs weren't allowed in most of the interesting areas. We arrived at our launch point on Eel's Creek and had a picnic lunch by the river before heading out. While Dan and I ate, Mia lounged in the water. Literally.

Can you spot Mia in the water?
Once we finished our sandwiches, we strapped on our backpacks and made the short hike to the river put in.


Can I just say, Mia in her little backpack is the cutest thing ever. It totally makes me smile the whole time I follow along behind her and Dan.

We paddled up the river for quite a while, getting past the more used areas and making our way to the quieter crown land up past the falls. There were a few portages but nothing too long and it was made easier by our awesome gear and our capability of doing a portage in one trip. Having our little pack mule along helps.

Mia was awesome on the trip and didn't whine too much. She mostly just lay in the canoe watching the world go by.


We chose a lovely little spot to camp for the night and got our tent set up. Once we were settled in, we spent some time fishing and reading (I'll let you guess who did what).



It was so peaceful and quiet at our site, with no one around. We spent the evening relaxing, geocaching, eating supper and staying warm by the fire, with a nice little game of Monopoly Deal before turning in for the night. So nice.


In the morning we ate our breakfast and then slowly started packing up our site. We wanted to get heading home earlier in the day before the heat hit us and we also had evening plans. But the main goal for leaving early was to enjoy the calm still water and to get a bunch of geocaching done. We took our sweet time heading back down the river to our car and really enjoyed the time out in nature together. It was the perfect intro to camping for the year and got us excited for our next trip in August.

I would have taken more pictures but Dan's phone died overnight, so that's all you get. But I will leave you with one last bonus picture of Mia wearing sunglasses. What a good sport she was.


Anyone else getting any camping in this summer? And if so, do you do car camping or back country camping?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I'm Too Young To Be This Old

Yup, you read that right. I'm feeling old despite being relatively young. I'm in my 20's, I shouldn't be so easily winded while walking up a hill or unable to paddle a canoe up a river without having aching arms for days. Our canoe trip last weekend was the kick in the butt I needed to get moving again. It is long past time, but better late than never. Right?

So here is the plan, for now at least. I want to move in some way every day and I have made up a workout schedule for the next two weeks. I want to run 3x a week, strength train 2x a week and then walk/bike/yoga 2x a week. I've even written this all out on a calendar and pulled out my stickers. For some odd reason, I love giving myself a sticker when I accomplish something.

I started on Monday by going to the gym and doing some cardio and strength. I felt good doing it and accomplished afterwards. Plus, I looked pretty cute thanks to some adorable work out clothes I have. I admit, looking cute while working out is a good motivator.


Yesterday I went for a run (which admittedly, was mostly walking) and have officially started the Couch to 5k program! This is probably the 6th or 7th time I have started this program and have yet to ever complete it. Maybe this is the year?


Today I plan to hit up the gym again and do some strength training. I'm starting out pretty slow and not pushing myself too hard, since I want this to be a lasting thing and not kill myself the first week. Although I may feel differently come Sunday...

I even signed up for a 5k run in September, which means I will be able to cross another goal off my goal list! Go me! I will be running with my friend Vicky, the same one who I ran in the colour run with last fall, although she will be continuing on and doing a 10k, because she is totally awesome like that. Maybe next year I will be able to join her for a 10k.

So that's the plan for me, to get moving and put my body to good use. No more lazing about all the time and wasting away before I turn 30.

Anyone else want to join me? Let's keep our bodies moving!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

16 Goals for 2016 - Progress Report #2

Wow, the end of June already. It never ceases to amaze me how fast the year flies by. I'm really not doing well with my goals this year, which is discouraging, but I'm trying not to get too down from it. I'm doing my best and that's all that matters. Here is the recap for the first 6 months of 2016.

1. Run my 4th 5k Still not going well. At this rate, this will totally not be happening.
2. Read 35 books I'm super slacking on this one, by like 30 books or so. Dang.
3. Learn to knit a baby sweater I have the wool but need to actually start it!
4. Renovate main floor of house In progress, the kitchen is currently being done.
5. Journal at least 5 times a month I was great the first few months but haven't been doing so well lately.
6. Take a photography class
7. Try 12 new recipes I lost count after 2...
8. Start one good habit a month January-flossing, February-drinking more water, March-weekly dates with Dan, April-making the bed, and then I stopped starting new habits.
9. Build a big chicken run We really need to get started on this!
10. Take a weekend getaway with Dan The June one didn't happen, so we need to plan another one.
11. Make a monthly budget I hate budgets.
12. Reach goal weight of 117 lbs TOTALLY COMPLETED!!!! Although I have since gone back down, but I'm still counting it as a success because I got there.
13. Try container/raised bed vegetable gardening I have 5 containers going right now with zucchini, cucumber and tomatoes.
14. Go to the gym at least 8 times a month Succeeded in January and then stopped mid February due to chest pains. Since February, I have gone twice. I suck.
15. Complete a French exercise book I have finally started the book, so at least it's now in progress.
16. Find a new go to hairstyle I have totally found a new hairstyle I like and am using quite frequently. You can see how cute I am in it in the picture below.


Still only one thing completed. Sigh, I don't think this is going to be my year for goals. I made too many that depended on being awesome every month, which is too hard. Next year, smaller more attainable goals is the goal.

How is everyone else doing?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day

Today is a day of so many feelings. Feelings of sadness mostly, as I try to keep my chin up and make the most of today. But in all honestly, I find today a little soul crushing.

Today is the day to celebrate fathers and everywhere you look, there appears to be a happy little family out and about with a proud father in the midst. Not us though. Never us.

We don't have any kids to look up at Dan and think he's the best dad in the world. No one to think he is the strongest or bravest or funnest man who ever walked this earth. No one to jump into his arms and give him a big hug and say "Happy Father's Day Daddy".

What we get instead is a sinking feeling as we lie in bed listening to the birds sing and feel the sun stream in. A cloud hanging over us as we get up, get our breakfast and eat in silence. A feeling of jealousy and sadness all mixed into one as we peruse through Facebook and are inundated with Father's Day posts.

We want what everyone else seems to have. We want it so much.

Today is extra hard for me too, because I don't have my Dad here to celebrate with anymore. Even though this will be the third Father's Day since he died, it is hitting me the hardest. I just have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I try my best to get through today.

I miss him a lot. I miss his smile and his humour and his hugs. I miss hearing his voice, telling me he loves me and is proud of me. I miss being able to call him today and tell him he is the best Dad in the whole wide world. I just miss him so much.


Maybe I should stop trying so hard and just succumb to the sadness and curl up in bed and cry. Because today is hard and that is okay. Hard days happen to the best of us.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Kitchen Destruction Begins

I apologize for not getting a post up last week showing pictures of how our house is currently looking, all semi finished and beautiful. But you see, life happened and pictures didn't get taken. And then, then disaster happened and pretty house pictures will have to wait. By disaster, I don't actually mean anything too bad, just that we started our kitchen reno and that was the end of my house looking half put together.


We finally decided to start our kitchen, which meant we needed to begin by taking up the old floors. In case you can't remember what they looked like, here is a nice before picture of our empty dining room, right before we tore everything to bits.


The flooring itself wasn't that bad and we probably would have left it if the previous owners had installed in properly. But alas, no such luck. There were bumps and dips and it was already starting to peel up in some places. So up it came.

There were four layers of flooring total, with two different underlays used. It was quite the job getting it all up, especially when we ran into mold between two of the layers. It turns out that the dishwasher has been leaking but no one knew because there were so many dang layers of floor to hide the puddle! Fortunately, once we got the moldy flooring up, the sub floor was in pretty good condition.


We pulled all the flooring up in the dining room in one afternoon, although it felt like a lifetime with the heat and humidity we were having. We don't have our air conditioner hooked up yet so we were working in a very hot house. The next afternoon, still in the heat, we tackled the staples/nails/screws in the dining room. It was dreadful.


Seriously, it took forever. I guess that's what 40 years and 4 layers of flooring gets you.

Our next step was pulling up the flooring around the cabinets in the kitchen, so as to leave us a working kitchen for as long as possible. We didn't see the need to lose our counters and sink before we needed to.


We lived with these sub floors for almost a week, until Dan went a little crazy yesterday. He had the day off work so while I was working, he tackled the lower cabinets and the rest of the flooring.

These are the pictures he sent to me around lunch time yesterday.



Craziness! Good bye old kitchen and hello renovation mess! Again.

I arrived home to a living room full of kitchen stuff and Dan starting to lay the new flooring.



I, being the wonderful wife that I am, immediately changed into my work clothes and got to work helping with the flooring. By 7:30pm, we had the new floor in and our kitchen back to working order. Minus any counters though.


It feels so nice to have all the same floor everywhere and not have any weird seams or crevices for dirt to get stuck in. And everything feels so open without any lower cupboards. Having no countertops to work on is going to take some getting used to, but luckily for me I am married to a plumber and I have a little dishes station all set up.


Isn't it cute? He installed the sink and I worked out my mini countertop for the dish rack. It's a little precarious, but it works. I have running water in the kitchen and a working stove and fridge. What more can I ask for?

So that is what our current state of renovations looks like. Our next step will be tearing out the upper cabinets and then cutting out the backsplash. Once that's done, we need to repair the walls and paint before moving in our new cabinets and getting counters measured and ordered. So many steps yet, but we are on our way!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Five Things Friday

Sorry that I didn't blog this week, but after writing so many posts for CIAW, I needed a bit of a break. I'm here for a quick stop by to share some random pictures for your Friday viewing pleasure and I hope to be back next week to show off how awesome the house is looking. Until then though, enjoy Five Things Friday!

1) Dan showed me this little meme last week and it cracked us both up. The longer you look at it, the better it is. Such a happy little turtle.


2) I was given a knitted hat probably almost two years ago from a family friend and I have never worn it. It got buried with a bunch of random things in my closet and I came across it while unpacking and thought to myself, "I could totally rock this". Wouldn't you agree?


3) Two weeks ago we babysat our niece Izzy for a few hours and were responsible for feeding her lunch. Dan suggested eggs and bacon and she of course agreed. I snapped this picture of them dipping their toast in their egg yolks and I thought it was pretty adorable.


4) Ever since Mia turned 3, her shenanigans have diminished. But the other day she pulled one off that had both Dan and I shaking our heads. She had been playing ball with Dan and was a little warm, so to cool off she decided to go lie in the small stream we have in the back yard. Except for the stream is more of a mud puddle right now and she got completely filthy right before bed. Silly dog.


5) Dan and I went on our first picnic of the year on Monday and it was so nice! We enjoyed the beautiful weather and watched the boats go through the locks. We hope to do this more often this summer.


What has everyone else been up to? Care to share some random Friday musings?

Friday, May 20, 2016

CIAW 2016 - Support is Key

It's the last day of Canadian Infertility Awareness Week and I want to close things off by talking about the importance of support. For those of us trudging through the mires of infertility, we need the support of family and friends and strangers in order to make it through.

A friend of mine showed me a little video and I thought it was so perfect. I'm sharing it here so that you can listen to it and hopefully take something from it.



Really, we just need to know we are not alone. That is the most important part. You may not fully understand what we are going through, but we need you to sit with us and say you are sorry. That's it. If you don't know what to say, just leave it with "I'm sorry".

If you are a more practical person and are looking for ways to show your support, here are a few ideas that you can start from.

1) Send a card. It doesn't have to say much, just say that you are thinking of us and are sorry. It's nice to know others care.

2) Make us food or send us a gift card. When we are in the depths of despair (literally), we can't think about much and we don't have much energy to cook. But like everybody, we need sustenance. A home cooked meal, a gift card to a restaurant or even a box of cookies goes a long way.

3) Send flowers. This one can go both ways, I have heard some people don't like flowers, especially after a loss, because they remind them of funerals or are depressing when they die. For me, I love flowers and absolutely adore getting them. So if you know your friend well and know if flowers would be welcomed, feel free to send some over.

4) Listen. We need someone to listen to us without offering advice or talking back (much). We need a sounding board, someone who can soak up our thoughts and feelings and not judge us for them.

5) Pampering is always good. Chances are we feel pretty crappy about ourselves, so sometimes getting out for a pedicure or a haircut or something indulgent hits the spot. Even better if we can get in some girl time during the process.

6) Chocolate. Okay, so this one isn't exactly showing support but for me at least, it is always welcomed. Chocolate really does make me feel better, if only momentarily.

7) Honour our loss. Whether we are grieving the failure of a cycle or the loss of a baby, finding some way to honour this pain can be meaningful. Some people like keepsakes, such as Willow Tree Figurines, or maybe a flower or tree that can be planted in the yard. Some sort of token to commemorate this huge loss can mean a lot to someone.

Those are just a few things that you can do, but remember that I am just one person with different feelings and opinions. Not everyone will feel supported in the same way, so be sure to gauge that person's personality before doing something. If you're in doubt and not sure what to do, I would stick with just saying you're sorry in a card attached to a meal. You can rarely go wrong there.

This post wraps up Canadian Infertility Awareness Week and I hope that you have learned something from all my writings. I choose to share my story and bare my heart for the greater cause of raising awareness and advocating for those who do not feel comfortable sharing. If I have helped just one person see things a little clearer, I have made progress, and that is good.

Thank you for reading and for sharing over this past week, it means a lot to me. Now take what you have learned and put it into practice, because I am sure you know someone who is struggling with infertility and could use some understanding along this journey.