Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Our Life this Fall

Where our summer was spent a lot of time alone as a couple or often with our daughter and without our two sons - out fall season had been full to the brim with family togetherness . We have loved and cherished every moment 

This is end of Sept!!! me!!

It's as if we all missed each other and are making up for lost time and the kids all seem to have matured so much over the summer that we don't have to force them for family time anymore ( we gently firmly encourage slot maybe ) and it seems like they need to cottage in some ways as much as we do 

Chase in university is a different guy now almost 20 and is shocking us in so many ways . We love that he is living st home but really living his life without us in so many ways . Already nominated as only first year on student government etc he is thrilled and again just like in cégep devotes huge amounts of time to volenteering within the school . Found a new  big gang within 2 days 

Bear at cégep now in health sciences and it's a bit of a shock to his system how hard it is being among so many people so competitive and good in sciences ( he is used to ranking as one of the very top students ) he is finding his way and totally committed and adjusting to English etc . Making also lots of new friends and contacts and impressing us with his disciplined schedule and commitment to working out and study etc . He is such a good blend of a studious student and total fun party guy during his break moments on part of weekend 

And Beauty ... oh my darling Beauty . She is blossoming so so so much . And maturing . And so much close to me -her mama . Hip hop competitions all the way and now lyrical solo competition too . Devoted and committed to her passion and changing every moment 

We went white water rafting one weekend and was so hot for September and awesome ! The next day we spent in the water and on not at cottage between studies . Days like that the five of us is truly what i love for : an adrenaline rush in nature with the ones I love . It was amazing 

funnest day of 2017 for our family white water rafting

 Lots of driving and driving as Beauty dances a lot out of school now so constant driving but I look forward to this time with my girl 

Lots of work on my end . Lots ! And lots of planning for the next 3-7 years for hubby and I where we want to start doing some pretty cool  short term international living and trying to figure out what that could look like and if our kids could swing it for a few months with us ( unlikely but a good dream to aspire to )

The kids all in new schools and programs has been pretty cool . I have been coaching them a lot ( over yummy resto lunches ) upon their requests to give them lots of advice and coaching on school and career decisions 

A few very fun spontaneous family dinners out on terraces which is unusual for us on a weekday but hard to resist when weather was so nice for fall 

Lots of lazier cottage weekends in between major studies where we hang out with usually 2/3 of kids and cook and movies and chats and cleaning together 
And in the week we are all super busy working and studying  and barely cross paths except for family dinner a couple of times a week and a ted talk snuggled in bed if we are lucky . Like a commune it feels like in the week and more of a family on weekends 

Beautiful Lake

Soulkeeper went through a double mascetomy last week if you can believe it and a restructuration :((((( this has been a big part of my summer and clearly hers !! I helped out a lot last week with the kids and Beauty and I took them out for dinner one night . SK Is doing great though if you can imagine - she is honestly the strongest person physically and mentally that I have ever met in my life . So glad that I get her inspiration pretty much daily .

Beauty went to an amazing leadership camp at Csa and was so good for her ( is innprepartion for a possible humanitarian trip )

We hosted thanksgiving here at Trent and had such a nice time . The weather and company was great . Still can't believers hosted this before I leave for cortez kayak wilderness trip in 3 days !!!  ( much more on this next week )

Add caption

Uncle and Aunt:)

I love this pic and the feeling 

My amazing husband who cooked and hosted all weekend!!

Auntie Cheryl

Wish boat ride was even longer !! was so nice in mid october!!

I had my birthday that same weekend as was blown away by the words cards and gifts kids got me . Made my year . When beauty came in at 1:30am to come to bed in our room as everyone was sleeping all over the place and so lovingly and excited woke me up to a big embrace and said " mom ! It's your birthday ! I love you soooo much ! " was the best present ever to have her affection like that after so many years of feeling so alone . Felt amazing and I adore the relationship my daughter and I share that has taken ALOT of work on both sides over the last 4 years . Every single ounce of energy has been worth it 

Thai bday dinner , so yummy

And overall just a bunch of cute things I want to remember about my kids :

Chase and " can I go to sleep in the backseat of car " even at almost 20 one of the most respectful people I know and always kinda asks permission in a very adult way . Beauty is like that too . Bear not so much !

Bear and his gym interview at cottage and the amazing warm way he greets his extended family 

Beauty and everything lately :) simsim came for thanksgiving weekend and was special for them as first time sleot over here . Was a great weekend . They are an amazing(  very young!  )  couple together and very much best friends too 

She is growing up ! The other day the 25 yr old guy in next car was checking her out and winking  at her ! What happensed to my baby girl ???

Marking chase as my emergency contact . Really ? Is he that old now ?

Managing poor bears once perfect skin !

Fall colours at cottage . So so so pretty and watching the boys and beauty and simsim launch his drone in nature 


 Waterproof Packing packing packing packing and organizing for the adventure of a lifetime . Probably one of the hardest things ( of the pot of enjoyable easy wonderful )  I will ever take on . Much much more to come on this 

Series of crazy pics of me on my bday . Not the best pics of me that is certain but where I was at that day of my day  3 days prior to the trip of  LIFETIME

Happy bday to me

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Very Early Sweet 16 Bash for Beauty!

We celebrate Beauty's B-day always 3 months early as all the b-days in our family are within 4 weeks of Xmas. this one was a huge party for her Sweet 16! 

I feel like that the last 48 hrs have been a blur .  Big blur cloud of happiness and sunshine and love and goodness really 

We hosted 20 teenagers at our cottage all weekend to celebrate Beauty's sweet 16 .
Yes you heard right 20 teens and cloud full of happiness all in the same sentence !

It was up there for me with some of my favourite other days and moments of my life . So incredibly happy  moments were  all equally matched  by beauty's appreciation and gratitude . Was worth every penny spent and every ounce of energy invested in this special weekend

That I know for sure .

Some of the many things that I loved about this weekend :

Making it a surprise . She knew the invitees and the date and at cottage and nothing else . I had so much fun planning it with her great fiends and so many hours of secrets and texts and plans . Took a ton of my time but was fun and different and meaningful to me 

I loved the playful young elements to the party . The spongebob bouncy castle and the dollar store prizes . The piñata and the freezie pops . The hoola shirts and hot dogs and corn with paintbrush butter . The coolers full of soft drinks and everyone outdoors and playing all day morning until night . I loved the games we played and the speeches given . 

I loved that is was made special . We rented rooms and a party room at a cozy little family run auberge 5 mins from Trent and everyone got dressed up for the party evening and then pyjamas for brunch . Speeches and karaoke  in the microphones and Karoke contests . Each drink was named after beauty's many nicknames . It all had a flavour of surprises and specialness 

Some of my fave unforgettable moments :

Beauty's reaction when she saw the  huge bouncy castle . I wasn't there yet but hubby said was priceless 

Simon ( her boyfriend ) sitting with me in the front of the car and all the boys in my van in back and him taking a host role throughout the whole weekend 

The teens loving everything at Trent . All the kayaks and paddle boat and spa and bouncy and chairs and hammock and of course the boat and Jetski . The whole weekend had a resort feel to it exactly as we love it 

Simon and Beauty . The are truly an adorable loving couple whom are best friends . So active and connected yet so both independent too which makes them even more special . A loving caring supportive and Fun relationship . I love seeing my daughter Happy and she is truly at her happiest with her amazing beau . Did I just admit this all ? Me who never wanted her to ever have a boyfriend before 17 !? 

All the confidence of especially all the girls there . There were 13 girls and 7 boys . Each girl is unique and diverse and just so strong and powerful . I love these girls ( the boys were great too ! )

The piñata when beauty actually truly cried bc she thought there was no candy Left for her and then Simon comes and gives her a big bucket . We have this in video and it is true ! I peed my pants laughing for real ! Then she goes and sits in a corner with her big bucket and eats it all by herself . Sugar addiction maybe ??

I loved seeing teens outside and in nature all day long for 2 days . Sure phones were around but  given all their friends were in the same spot there was no need to connect ! I love teens in nature and being active on the water 

How respectful they all were . Not once did we leave this gangs side or give them any space . Me and hubby and chase were there with them all days and all evening for every moment . They all included us , talked to us , thanked us many times and didn't seem to think we were annoying ! I got to know each and everyone of them very well and had a blast ourselves !

I loved how they listened to the rules . There was not even a thought of alcohol or breaking rules about sneaking into each others rooms boy/ girl . We made our rules Clear and simple and our expectations  Chrystal clear ( by writing and on microphone !! ) I love kids who listen :) and have a great time ! So many people believe kids can only really party if alcohol . I am here to tell you it is not true ! I had 20 very happy teens on my hands having a total blast !

I loved the party at the auberge when we played beauty trivia and they were so excited to win for the little prizes I bought !

Beauty's speeches at the microphone were so cute . That girl apparently loves a mike ! She thanked every single person there individually and said something special about them . And thanked us too ! It was so so sweet ! I saw a completely different side of my daughter . She is truly adored by this " squad " and loved . Hugs kisses ... so many of them said such nice things to her 

Two bffs made a video of all pictures and videos from childhood of the 5 girls . We all sat in the solarium piled on a couch watching it . Was  so adorable and the cutest thing I have ever seen . Of course I cried the whole time .

We had such simple and fun and yummy food . I loved the corn peeling contest ( all 40 got peeled in 2 mins ! )  the candy bar was a total hit ! Good old fashioned fun in food 

I loved seeing chase take and adult role with me and his dad . All three of us a team together and doing so much of the work with zero complaint . So helpful and fun . And many girls are crushing on him and one completely in love with him . So funny ! And so cute !

Was cute how beauty and Simon were really taking the role of hosting . They gave all the seedoo  rides and cleaned up the harder parts like bathrooms and bigger jobs etc . And handled some of the politics going on at the end . A real power duo they are 

The jacuzzi ! Never seen so many people in it so long and all day . We have to empty it all for sure as yucky water now but man they had fun in it !

Simon saying on video how beautiful emma is :))) so sincerely 

Flipping all the kids in the tube !

The big adventure of boat breaking down with 18 kids in it ! Driven by chase while we were helpless at cottage on cell hearing about it all . He and Simon figured out together how to tow it by the seedoo 

The tube and dock collapsing ! All the kids thought we were so chill for not freaking out but end of season anyways and all can be fixed . We are not fussy about stuff like this . As long as they all help us clean up and fix stuff basket c !

I loved at the end how I have each kid a chore that they were responsible for and they did it . Everyone in that house helped out and was adorable . There was a lot to clean as we let it get messy to just enjoy along the way and everyone did their part 

I love watching our daughter grow . I love how graceful she is and how funny . What a free spirit she has and how fearless . How affectionate she is with everyone and also needs her space her and there ( aka first to fall asleep at her own party ) I love seeing her make choices ... and she is so not a drama queen and I love that too . This weekend we fell in love with our daughter all over again . She was like Molly said a little sunshine :)

I liked how no fuss Beauty is . Her own party and just had no makeup and messy hair and was herself . Even for the evening she knew I bought her an outfit and she just put it on and wore it . I don't even know if she had makeup or a toothbrush ! And shoes were a last minute thought and she borrowed a bra . I love how natural that girl is and so naturally beautiful and carefree 

The weather !!! Was perfect and amazing !! For sept was so hot and not a cloud in the sky . I love how so many people swam in the freezing lake !

The breakfast at the auberge was so yummy 

I liked how the kids all chill together everywhere they can . They are like magnets and cling in communal places .The auberge was amazing for that and they all hung out inside .. outside .. the family room in between the rooms ... the spa outside ... on balconies . It was an expense for sure to do it that way for the evening and sleeping but made it so so special and memorable with the big party room 

It was fun to see our own family of five cooperate together to make this happen as cooperation is not always our strongest quality . Hubby me and chase ran the show and I loved seeing the three of us as a team of adults to make sure nobody drown , drank or did anything dangerous so we could often hover and make decisions for stuff the three of us . Cliff jumping ? Life jackets on kayaks ? Curfew for party ?  Then at home bear held down the fort here as had some social events and made dinner for when got back , cleaned the whole house , cleaned up from us after dinner , returned the car we borrowed . And beauty was also an active part of it all and really played the hostess so well as not easy to have so many teens for an entire weekend . At home I loved those minutes when she thanked us all so heart felt and gave us each huge hugs including chase who did so much for her and she knew and understood it . I loved how bear was concerned for us about the cost of it all and expressed it . I love who are children are turning into as adults . I find when we take the time to not be cleaning studying working I get to soak them in . I get to see them and experience them . My love for all three this weekend was large and immense . So was my respect for them 

All in all there were so many moments of this weekend to love and the above are just a few . Most of all it was seeing our daughter glow . Glow of happiness . She was truly in her element and I got to see her in her tribe . And wow does she ever have a good tribe . I love the people she loves and that just felt so damn good as a parent .

Thank you to all the kids reading this for being wonderful and fun and kind and respectful and adoring our little girl . We loved getting to know you and you are all fabulous people . Thanks for making the weekend a huge success and come back anytime ! ( maybe a few at a time ? ) lol !

Happy early sweet 16 to our meh meh emmabella ! And don't expect another party like this until your wedding !!! 

We love you  Meh Meh!

Special Bday gidt of a lifetime!