Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I bid adieu

In the random case that anyone was actually reading this or managed to hang on during all the large and expansive breaks.  I think that it's time to say goodbye.

I can't quite pull the plug to close the blog because I want those posts, I want to see them and remember them.  Someday when I figure out how to print them or save them somewhere else I may close the blog.  Also it's staying here just incase I realize I can't stay away.

The reason I started the blog was to share my thoughts, write, share experiences and such.  I think in the beginning I might have done that but this year.  2014 I didn't.

The past few years have been very hard and like I said in a previous post, I learned a lot about me.  I learned my strengths and my weaknesses.  I learned that as much as I say my family keeps things close and doesn't share that much, I am the same way.  I learned it well and have mastered it.

I thought I could share them here but I just can't.  Everything seems to personal and I just can't handle the concern.  It's so nice and thoughtful but my defenses kick in and once the concern comes, I start to say and think I mean.  I am fine.

It's not always true but to share is too much.

I feel like I am doing the blog and the people that might follow a disservice by not sharing my real life.  Sometimes I don't even share my real life with my closest friends.  It's all too scary and I haven't quite mastered it.  These are things I need to work on.  While I will still write, it just might not be here.

I need to work on me, my family, my parenting, my marriage, my friendships, my life!  These are the important things that need love, care and my attention.

So with a sad face on, I bid my lovely Kids, Life and Shoes adieu!

Monday, September 29, 2014

more camping!

Too many pictures for one post!

And as I was getting ready to write this, I realized it was actually in August.

Camping camping and more camping.  It's funny but truthfully we only went camping 3 times this summer, that was plenty for me.  We need a few camping recruits so there are other grown ups around!

We thought we would go to a slightly calmer camping zone for our last trip of the summer.  We went to Mactaquac Provincial Park.  I had been so many times with my family when I was little, a few times a summer and every labour day weekend.  I remember so many things about it and hoped my kids would enjoy it the same way as me!

We ended up getting the best spot, we turned our trailer to face the large field and playground and we were set!

 They play, I get to hang out at the trailer!  Win win!
 Water fight fun
Just to prove we were actually both there!
 They have a new restaurant at the golf course, so we voted not to cook one night but went to dinner!!!  So yummy!
 Liam practicing his picture taking skills in Moco Restaurant at Mactaquac Provincial Golf Course!
 Good morning! 
What you don't have tackle practice before breakfast?
 Hiking the beaver pond trail!
 We don't see many animals as my animals are a little too loud!
 love these boys!
 pj's by campfire!
Testing out the sun shade before heading to the beach.
We went hiking, raspberry picking, swimming at the beach, exploring the woods, beach and eating!  We went to the recreation centre many times, played lots of games and played with old toys!
We had a great time but boy was I ready to get back home and rest.  The month just took so much out of me that I was glad August has arrived and was looking forward to a little more relaxing.  Which never happened but it's nice to dream!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

the rest of July! part 1

The rest of July was camping.  The weeks were at work but the weekends were camping.

If you remember from last year, my version of camping doesn't always match everyone else's but this is the only way I survived and if we are being completely honest, I barely survived!

After our first camping trip being in a tropical storm, I had high hopes for the weather, especially since we had a kids with us.

My parents are amazing people, not only did they provide me with amazing camping experience, they are willing to show my kids!

They asked to take the kids for 3 days camping at Jellystone Park in Woodstock, NB.  That place is a kids gold mine, parents sometimes go a little crazy but kids love it!  They spent 3 days bouncing, swimming, mining for gold, mini golfing, crafting and wrangling the boys to sleep!  Once Friday hit, they were very excited to see Joel and I pull up shortly after supper!

My parents headed home for a rest and Joel and I were on duty!

 Joel and I went out to dinner, kid free!  Before duty started!!

Excited for  Mrs. Dunsters donuts!
 Rhys got really brave this summer and started jumping into the water and going over his head....huge progress from last year!  So of course he wanted a picture!  Liam had the most fun when Joel was throwing him across the pool, yes I took a video, no I won't be posting it!
 We were full into the water fun weekend!  Liam favourite part was attacking the wagon ride with water, he recruited the cousins and was a force to be reckoned with!  He was having so much fun that he decided not to go on the water slides.  Finally near the end, he decided he would ride in the wagon and hopefully attack more people in the campground!
 Shooting practice!
 Line dancing lessons are a great way to end the day!
Good morning Yogi and BooBoo!!!!
It's a great campground for kids!  They have so much fun and it's easy for us.  They are never bored.  Tired, exhausted, cranky but not bored!!!
To be continued!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I haven't known really what to write these last few months.  The summer arrived and went without a chance to slow down.

Too many things happened that made the summer too fast.  We live in Eastern Canada which means that summers are short.  They last barely what summer was intended (June 21 to Sept 21ish) so we usually want to make the most of it.  This summer we had so many plans and ended up with so little time.

We didn't have a summer bucket list but I had some ideas in my head.  We didn't do them all but managed to get some done.  I had major plans to relax this summer and I don't think that happened at all!

School has started and our routine is sort of back to a new normal.  A little more time at home and hopefully a little less running.  I am looking forward to a nice fall.  I love the sweaters and the boots.

Happy September!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Vacation" part 2

And we continue....
So I left town again, this time with my parents and my children to Freeport, ME!  Travelling with my kids is not the most fun; they like to run, stretch, yell, etc...  Things you can't do in the car (or shouldn't do in the car)
We spent 7 hours driving a 4 1/2hr drive.  Rhys had to use the washroom many times on the side of the road (his highlight, not mine!)  Finally we had to separate them and give each child a grandparent to play with! 
We arrived in Freeport in time for supper and a visit to a concert and pirate playground!

It's hard to get a picture on the pirate ship, Rhys was there somewhere!!  It was a great playground, too bad I can't remember the name of it.  We listened to a concert while the kids played and made new friends!

Yes Liam is quite high in that tree.  I am all for exploring and climbing trees but I wish I could stop picturing the worst possible situation when they are up there!  I remained calm from the outside but inside was a whole different story.  I don't want to be that parent that doesn't let them do anything, not to take risks.  Being a kid is about taking risks, figuring how to take those but in the safest way.  I hope that I am teaching him those skills he will need in the future (and today) but wow, my heart pounds with concern in those moments!!

Rhys wanted in the tree but thankfully was super happy to stay on this branch with Mommy and Yaya close by!

Of course we visited LLBean and Rhys posed for some pictures.  Shopping with my kids is not relaxing.  I had left the boys with my dad on the lower level and was shopping with my mom.  I found a bunch of clothes to try on, so I headed into the change room.  My mom walked by the stairs to the lower level and saw my dad walking around the fish pond by himself.  The boys had hidden or walked away when dad turned around for a second.  Happens all the time, my kids love to hide in the clothes racks!  So they looked around and then asked the lovely lady with the microphone to page my monkeys!
As I am in the change room, I hear the ding of an announcement about to happen.  Before she even starts I just know it's my kids missing.  As I am throwing on my clothes is says Rhys and Liam please come to the fish pond to meet your party!!
I walk briskly to the pond and there come my kids walking hand in hand towards the pond.  I am quite proud they knew to come to the pond and that they could find it!  Liam was a little disappointed there was no party!!!
After that little adventure my wonderful parents took the kids back to the hotel to swim and let me shop for 2 glorious hours by myself!  Let's just say I have become a very efficient shopper over the years!
Then we went to dinner at the Freeport Grill and Rhys wanted to get close to the girl singing.  He didn't dance or anything just stared her down.  I think he really liked her singing but I have to assume it was slightly intimidating for them!!
The had a open green space and playground fenced in with the restaurant.  Let me just say, brilliant!  The kids could play and run, we could sit and relax and when supper was ready they came back to eat!!!  That's the reason we picked it and we will be back for sure!
 Once we realized the one child/ one grandparents dynamic worked out at the end of the drive down, that's how we drove the whole way home.  I sat in the front by myself listening to music and chauffeured the troops!  Much better time on the way home!
I was so excited to get back home that day.  It had been a long vacation and I was ready to go back to work!!! haha!

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Vacation" - part 1

Vacation is in quotations marks in the post title since it was not at all a relaxing vacation.  It was indeed a break from work but wow, things could have gone a little more smoothly.

It all started with our planned parents get out of town weekend to watch a country concert.  That did not happen, 2 of the 3 couples got to PEI but the third was sidetracked due to the Hurricane Arthur barrelling through the Maritimes!  Yup, we went away camping and a Hurricane comes through, it was actually down graded to a Tropical Storm but that's still a big deal!

Grown ups ready for our weekend without kids!

It was a lovely Friday evening with this amazing couple!

Current fav picture of the hubs and I!

Of course we got lobster in PEI, this was the time we found out the concert was not going to happen and the whole building was creeking from the wind!
Katie made us Blake Shelton shirts and thought we should model them in the wind since we wouldn't get to wear them!
Then we spent the next 12 hours texted home to find out about all the damage and sat in the trailer that at one point (or several) we thought was going to tip right over!
The storm passed and the winds died down enough for us to be allowed back across the bridge and we headed for home to access the damage!
We arrived home to no power but no full trees down.  Lots of big branches, little branches and leaves to clean up.  We were very fortunate!
That obviously caused a chaos and less than fun atmostphere for "vacation".  Work was without power and situations had to be dealt with!
So the adventure continues.....

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mommy and me!

I have always heard and thought that spending individual time with each child is important.  My brother does this and has even started taking his kids on separate trips once they were older.  I think it's a great idea and something we will definitely try!

Then I read about it again on Shay Shull's blog Mix and Match Mama.  I talk like I know her, I don't but I have said it before, I think we would be friends!

She and her husband took their children on different trips, it seems like a wonderful idea.

So Saturday was our day, Liam was oh so excited to go with Joel and search for reptiles.  I was not sad to be missing out on that adventure.  So Rhys and I set out to do our own adventure.

 Every good adventure starts with a photo!

Then a trip to the Northside Market for snacks!

 And update from Joel and Liam with their matching hair styles and shades getting ready to head out on their adventure!

Rhys was allowed to choose anything he wanted and he wanted to go golfing.  So I set out at Carmen Creek Golf course with a 4 year old.  He did an amazing job, after he connected with the ball on the first hole, he got it right on the green.  We lasted 4 holes, which I was impressed by!

Then I piggybacked him ALL the way back while pulling the golf clubs!
Next was a trip to the Country Pumpkin, drinks were needed after our big game.  We bought yummy food, fed the animals and played on the playground.

 By this time we had heard the Joel and Liam were at Boston Pizza.  We decided to meet up for lunch.
After lunch the boys voted to hang out again together and we all went home to watch a movie!
I am always amazed how the boys can be so mad at each other one minute and great buddies the next.  They were super excited to have separate days but were equally excited to reunited!  That makes my heart happy!
Rhys and I had a great morning and I hope to do it again!
Liam and Joel had a fun filled morning of sticky buns from Chess Piece, cd's, video games, reptiles and frog hunting!
Next time, it's a Mommy and Liam adventure!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Saying Yes

I am sure that I have already posted on this but didn't have time to check.

Vacation starts for me in about 20 mins!  Yay!!

Last night all I wanted to do was sit in my air conditioned house and watch tv.  However, we needed to get our trailer we left at the cottage.  Joel ask the boys if they wanted to go (I was silently wishing one would say they didn't want to go); they said yes.

So we grabbed some food and headed out to the cottage.  Luckily it's only 25 mins away.  So once we were there, they wanted to swim.  We headed down the 55 stairs and I sat in a chair trying to avoid the horse flies (they were hungry!!)

I didn't want to swim, I didn't want to do anything.  I was just in one of those moods.

However as I sat there and got to thinking.  I thought there will never be this moment.  There might be similar ones but never this one.  My kids wanted me to go swimming, to jump off the dock and make funny faces.  They wanted me.  That sentence right there.  They wanted me.  I have two little boys and someday they aren't going to want me.  They are going to do everything they can to not want me.  I need these moments.  I need the want mommy moments!

So I said yes.  That one magic little word that makes my little boys eyes light up.  Yes, I will go swimming.  Yes, I will jump off the dock.  Yes, I will hold your hand.  Yes, I will always hold your hand until you won't let me!

And this happened.  This wonderful memory, I have in my mind and also in a photo.  The giggles and joy we all had from this moment.

So worth it!

Say yes, give it a try.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

I am heading to the The Cavendish Beach Country Concert in PEI.  Hurricane Arthur is supposed to be running through right about the time we will be outside waiting for Darius Rucker and Blake Shelton to arrive.  It will be a wet one!

Have a wonderful weekend and I will report back in a week and half!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunny Sundays

I have been reading many books on life, raising children and generally being happy.  Clearly I am a work in progress!

So many messages are saying stop the glorification of busy!  It's so true.  It's not cool to be busy, so let's stop making it seem that way!

The lessons I am learning are enjoy the simple times, make things less stressful and simpler.  While that can't happen every day, it's something to strive to have moments that are simple!

Yesterday was one of those days.  And really it was a whole day of simple!  It was one of my most favourite days in a very long time!

We lazily got up and around in the morning, snuggled on the couch to watch a movie and then made a wonderful breakfast of pancakes, bacon and fruit!  Delicious!

Our only plan for the day was to go to the lake to enjoy the plus 30 degrees Celsius temps (that's around 86 degrees Fahrenheit).

We piled in the truck, rolled down the windows and turned up the music!  Liam got a little embarrassed that everyone could hear our music which of course made me so happy!  I look forward to the days I can embarrass my children!!  Not bad embarrassing but fun!!

Then Rhys turned into our little puppy!

I have decided that this year I am going to swim more with my kids.  Now I haven't really ever been shy about going for a swim.  In my opinion the only reason to be pool/lake/beach side is to swim.  I don't like to just sit and sweat (which sadly I do!), I like to do activities.

However, sometimes I do just sit.  I end up doing something else or I just say no when my kids ask.  Not this summer!  Jill is saying yes!

Here is Alex and I doing our best dives! haha!

The boys wanted to fish.....Rhys just looks so cute and slightly like a little old man fishing from his chair. 

Not sure why we don't have any pictures of Liam but he was using the new kiddie kayaks like a pro!  They paddled up and down the shore line while Alex and I swam beside them.

It's a good day when the kiddies are asleep on the way home!  We had a wonderful day of doing nothing but having fun!

I plan to do the same thing tomorrow to celebrate Canada Day!!!

So to all my Canadian Friends.   Happy Canada Day!

And to any American's out there.  Have a Happy 4th of July!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy Hearts

Hello Folks,

I hope that you are enjoying reading my little blog again.

I read a lot of other blogs and sometimes they lead me to others and sometimes they give me little ideas to use here.  To use and put my own spin on it.  I try to always link that site on here as well.

So this little gem first came from Mix and Match Family , Shay Shull has a wonderful blog and I feel like we could totally be friends except she lives in Texas and doesn't know who I am!! (haha!).  She was asked to do a little post over here on the Hill Collection blog.

So I thought I would give my little version of Happy Hearts.

These three make my heart very happy!
Here are 8 things that make my heart happy:

- big thunderstorms, I love the sound of the rain pouring down, the loud crack and rumble of the thunder and seeing the sky light up with the lightning!  This is only the case when I am happily safe and snuggled in my house!
- watching my kids jump and laugh on the trampoline
- a really great bowl of mint chip ice cream
- a night out with my husband competing for the world.  (we tend to be slightly competitive so when there is something to compete at, it's always for the world!)
- when the Kraft what's cooking magazine arrives at my door
- the fall leaves changing colours, the bright reds, oranges and yellows.
- seeing my boys snuggle on the couch watching a movie (and liking each other!)
- having a picnic with my little family (inside or outside!)

aren't they cute!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Sunshine and rainbows!!

Doesn't that sound nice!  Although rainbows only come out with the sunshine AFTER the rain.

So maybe we have to have a little rain before the rainbows, it's ok.  The rain is good.  Not always fun but good.  Necessary.

These are lessons I am trying to teach my boys.  That we need the rain to help things grow.  They need rain and sunshine.

Same goes for us as people, we need a little rain and sunshine in order to grow.  So those bad things that sometimes happen, sometimes happen for a reason.  We need them to learn or adapt.  They teach us to be smarter, stronger, braver, all while we are just trying to move on.  Secret lessons are happening and we are made better for it.  Or I guess we have the ability to be made better, the choices are ours.  We can choose the good or the bad.  I want to choose the good!

We also need sunshine, we need those great moments, fun times and wonderful family and friends.  We need this sunshine to keep us going, to make us want to choose the good.  To want to help other people choose the good.

So if today is a particularly bad day, be comforted in the fact that the rainbow comes out after the rain.

This is my sunshine when days aren't so sunny!