Thursday, August 31, 2017

Three Delicious Recipes for the Lunch Box

I recently bought bento boxes for the kids' lunches in order to first prevent waste from individual packaging and lost lids and then save time from trying to find lids and then having to wash individual containers. Another thought going into lunch making is that I want healthy food options for them each day. Well, this has always been my intention but sometimes when life gets busy, pre-packaged foods get thrown hastily into a bag. A recent visit to the naturopath has reaffirmed that we need to be more intentional about things like preservatives and food dyes. 

Here are three recipes that I tried this week that I thought were major hits:

Bento Box Lunch Ideas

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Each week I take some time to write about ten things that I am thankful for as it helps me to stay in a positive head space. So, here we go.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Five Things to Talk With Your Child About Before Kindergarten

My youngest is going to kindergarten in less than a week. You would think I would be emotional, especially being the highly sensitive person that I am, but somehow seeing her brothers go through it and embrace various aspects of school, I'm excited for her. Now I know that the back-to-school outfits, supplies and haircuts are important but here is one other area that I would recommend working on a week in advance too: Preparing them emotionally for the transition.

Back to school conversations

What else would you add to this list? Hope back-to-school goes well for you!


Monday, August 28, 2017

Healthy Living Challenge: Being Present in the Busyness

Welcome to our first Monday Morning's Healthy Living Challenge (and Encouragement). As I reread that sentence I realize it sounds a bit like "Let's all do yoga and eat salad together, friends!" No, yoga is great and I like a good salad (avocado is everything) but this is not a healthy workout plan. This is more like "Hey, my life is messy, is yours? Awesome. Let's look at that". I think I may need to rework what it's called. One reason I write here is because I enjoy sharing what I have learned in my conversations and reading. The older I get the more concerned I am with health; this includes areas such as mental health and self-care to nutrition to our kids' emotional well-being. Each week I hope to discuss a topic and provide a weekly challenge which we can engage with! You in? Of course you are. Please be in. If not, this will be the only one and I'll just "forget" to do another one. You are all a wealth of knowledge and experience and I look forward to learning from each other. Let's get started on this week's topic of being busy.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Our National Park Road Trip From Vancouver to Yellowstone

This summer our goal was to visit Waterton Lakes National Park. When we realized how close it was to Yellowstone National Park (seven hours), we knew we wanted to add that on. In the end we had five national parks on the agenda: Waterton Lakes National Park, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Tetons National Park and Craters of the Moon.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Every week I choose to take a few minutes to reflect on all that I am thankful for. Well, ten things at least. It helps with my mental health and I do enjoy looking back at photos from the week. This past week has been tricky as my friend passed away a week ago, our house is in reno mode and the kids were needing more activity (and we sorted wanted a break from parenting!). Here are some things that I am thankful for this week:

Sunday, August 20, 2017

When You Don't Want to Netflix Alone

Although I love alone time, I also really appreciate cuddling up with Gary at the end of the day and watching a show together. With a snack, of course. Then comes the issue which was never taught in premarital counseling: How to choose a Netflix show that both of you can agree on. If I was on my own I'd spend most of my time on shows like The Fosters and Switched at Birth but Gary is definitely not into that sort of thing. He needs cooking (yes), superheroes and sports. So, here are a few shows that we have convinced each other to watch:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thankful for Alissa {Thankful Thursday}

On Monday my friend Alissa passed away. She was in her early 30's, a mom of two and a Christian woman passionate about children and their needs. Alissa was part of my life during such a transformative time and we were the only two who knew what those five months were like. 

I had left my teaching job after three years to go and live in Kenya volunteering in the countryside at a school. That sounds a bit dramatic but the plan was to go for one year; I had always wanted to go to Africa and a recent break up with a fellow teacher (ahem, Gary) meant that I had more reason to get out of there! I was matched up with Alissa who had been there a few months prior and she would teach me all I had to know. We wrote letters beforehand (because there was no Internet where we lived) and she prepared me the best she could for what it would be like (except for the whole bathroom situation or lack thereof, she let that be a fun surprise!).

Monday, August 14, 2017

What I've Learned Over the Years

Yeehaw! It's my 39th birthday today. What does that mean to me? First, it makes me think of my mom. Anyone else really feel that connection on their big day? I was not the easiest to birth but she did go on to have four more. Thanks, mom. 

In some ways I still feel 26 where I think I'm young and hip (do people say "hip"?) and in other ways I'm definitely feeling my age (turn down that TV so I can think, but wait, turn it up so I can actually hear it).  I'm looking forward to the big 4-0 next year and feel that 40 isn't actually as old as I always pictured it–I feel good! 

Waterton Lakes National Park

Life has not gone as I expected; it's even more complex and meaningful than I imagined. It has been a great learning journey and I'm thankful for the knowledge that I have – not the academic information which has sort of faded and gotten jumbled, but all that I have learned about life and family and love.  For this birthday post, I would like to share some things that I would tell my 20-year-old self. Well, I wouldn't really tell myself half of these things ahead of time because I do learn best through experience but oh do I wish I knew #3 and #23.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Yellowstone National Park in Two Days

As a family we spent just two days in Yellowstone National Park. They were long days and we felt that we saw all we wanted but I would recommend giving yourself at least three days in the park. We had come from Waterton Lakes National Park and drove through Glacier National Park on the Going-to-the Sun Road and ended up in Bozeman for the night. This meant we were still 1.5 hours from the North Gate but it was a great place to stay.  We decided to do the Upper Loop the first day and stay at the West Gate the first night and then save the Lower Loop for the second day.

What were the highs and lows from our Yellowstone adventure?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

We have been home from holidays for almost a week now and I haven`t pulled out my real camera yet! So, excuse the camera phone photos. This week I am thankful for:

Monday, August 07, 2017

Seven Things to See and Do in Waterton Lakes National Park

I have lived in BC my whole life and only recently heard of Waterton Lakes National Park. It is a smaller park located in southwestern Alberta and was the reason for our recent road trip. We drove across southern BC to Waterton and then down to Yellowstone through there. We spent two nights in Waterton Lakes National Park and these are the highlights that I recommend doing if you find yourself there (which you should!):

Seven Things to See and Do in Waterton:

Waterton Lakes National Park

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Thankful Thursday: Mom in the Photos Edition

Thankful Thursday

This week's Thankful Thursday is a bit different. Every week I take the time to write about ten things that I am thankful for. We are currently on vacation and Gary and I are both using our cameras (we both love photography!) which means I'm in more photos than normal. We have had a lot of family time sharing one room/tent the entire time which has been great but exhausting. Although I may not love how I look in every photo, I am thankful that Gary was able to capture many candid (and some posed) photos of me with the kids. Here, without words are some of those photos. As a woman who lost her mom at a young-ish age, I cherish every photo that I have with her. 

So, this week I am thankful for ample time with my kids and the photos for them to hopefully cherish...