REAL LIFE

end-of-summer1 end-of-summer3 Changes happen pretty much every week when they are babies and every other month when they are toddlers, the rate we are hit with growth and changes in the first couple years is pretty intense and unfair (time can be so unfair). There has been many changes that have been extremely emotional for me, some that still bring teary memories to my eyes; when nursing my babies came to an end (TEARS), when they started walking (stop growing), when we said goodbye to the stroller (that change was an end to an era) and when they started saying all those (previously) hard to pronounce words, properly (and so many more in-between). Our home is inching closer and closer towards what feels like a really huge season change, maybe the biggest since bringing our babies home that very first time. Hopefully I didn’t make that all sound more dramatic than I intended, but it feels rather dramatic from where I’m standing.

This moment in time seemed so very far away and then all of a sudden, BAM we were here. Next week, both kids will be in school full time. My main and most important role as a Mom, will forever be changed (dramatic much). It will still be just as important, but it will be forever different. I am mixed with so many feelings of anxiety, sadness and even a little bit of excitement – basically I’m a bit of a basket case. It’s so bittersweet to watch kids grow and each age really is more amazing than the last, yet you wish they would hold just a little longer in each of those moments – this is another one of those, HOLD ON, moments.

Sending babies off to school, means I have much more time for me. Over the past 4 years of staying home with the kids, I have tried very hard to keep what I felt was ME intact and not lose sight of who I am – even though my family is my whole world and plays a gigantic role in helping to define who I am. I tried to not let my talents, skills and passions get mixed up (while focusing) on the crumbs, scrapped knees and peanut butter sandwiches. I feel like I’m in a really good spot, I don’t feel lost but I also don’t feel found (but I many never fully feel found and I’m sorta okay with that). I will be so sad to send both kids off to school, but am excited to be able to come back home and work during daylight hours and then be there to walk them home and talk about their day when school lets out.

I feel like I have big dreams for my life/career and maybe now I can give those a bit of my daylight time. I am excited to spend more time in this space and my brand collaborations, growing and hashing out ideas I previously just flat-out didn’t have time for. Excited to be able to devote more time to hello bee and my columns there. I am really excited to be able to focus and give more to my freelance work (a mixture of mostly apparel design/development and some graphics and social/marketing) and hopefully move quicker, with more gusto (and less fright) towards other business goals and dreams (which totally aren’t ready to be shared). And of course, yoga – still every single day, but with no more missed days sprinkled in.

When I think about all these things, I get really excited – but then I look over at my kids, hear them giggling and see the giant mess in every corner of our little home and I get super sad and very nostalgic thinking it won’t be like this every single day. And just like when nursing ended, they started walking, we said farewell to the stroller, and they learned to say “friends” not “fwiends” – it will never be like “this” again (well until next summer).

photos by King and Harlow

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August 26, 2014 · Daily,Dear Diary,REAL LIFE



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buskerfest1 buskerfest3 Another weekend, another closed down street filled with people and fun. It’s sorta ridiculous the amount of street festivals we’ve been to this year. Many more than the past years and not because there were many more festivals that happened this year, but because I have been much braver and confident taking the two kids to crazy busy places on my own. Not that I’m a chicken, but it’s always a little overwhelming to be around such huge crowds of people with young kids and just me. I finally felt like this year we reached an age where they know the rules when we are out in busy areas and they understand the reasons behind those rules. This buskerfest might just have rounded out our epic festival tour of the summer, considering this is the very last week of summer vacation and all – and I think I’m on a bit of a crowd and noise overload.

bsukerfest4 buskerfest5 Both kids were totally blow away by the street performers and then spent all day afterwards trying to reenact many of the tricks.

buskerfest8 buskerfest9 1 more week till school starts, one more week of the three of us, one more week of a messy, loud and happy house.

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August 25, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE



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open-streets1 open-streets2 *Those people looking our way (behind the kids) they were all looking at the kids (giggles and awwwwww’s a plenty, from the small crowd). All this as the kids just stood there frozen in cuteness chatting with me while I snapped photos (they didn’t notice the people or that I was snapping photos).

open-streets3 open-streets4 On Sunday, large parts of Yonge street and Bloor street closed for a new event called Open Streets Toronto. Streets were closed to cars from 8am-noon, and open for walking, biking and whatever fun stuff people like to do when there is no chance of a car barreling down the street. We do a lot of walking on a regular day, but there was something extra special about walking on an open road on two of Toronto’s busiest streets. It took the kids a while to grasp the idea, they were so confused at first. So confused and worried that we were breaking the law. If you are in Toronto, they are holding another Open Streets on August. 31st and I bet it will be busier and even better. And if you are not in Toronto, well maybe you should just come visit. ;)

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August 19, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE,Toronto



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the-ex1 the-ex2 the-ex3 the-ex4 the-ex5 the-ex6 the-ex7 We planned to go to The EX from the beginning of last week, but never told the kids our plans. Our 5.75 years of parenting have taught us many things, and one of them is to keep most big exciting things a secret. Because, well surprises are awesome and surprising kids is the most awesome – I live for those squeals and watching them vibrate because “everything is just so awesome”. But most importantly, telling two little kids on a Monday that you will be doing something like going on amusement rides that Friday, is a recipe for “is it Friday yet?” line of questions every 2-5 minutes for the entire 4 days leading up. So because Chris wanted to give them something extra to look forward too, but save me from the on-slot of repetitive questions, he told them we were going to the toilet factory on Friday – and then everyday talked up those toilets. Funny thing is, they were super excited about it. Like we probably could have saved all the money The EX sucked out of us and just gone to Home Depot’s toilet isle. Okay not really, the toilet isle wouldn’t have given these them smiles. But maybe something to keep in my back pocket for a rainy day.

As always the exhibition was a great time. We went around dinner time, on opening day – things were pretty quiet, it was great. The kids went on a bunch of rides, we found some healthy food (a carnival unicorn), Chris and I each went on one ride (he screamed like a girl) and we went home wayyy too late – something the kids are still punishing me for.

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August 18, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE



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swimming1 One day seemingly outta the blue she decided she just wasn’t that into swimming and actually grew a little afraid. At swimming lessons she’d just refuse to try new things. Over the weekend we headed to have dinner and a swim with family and Harlow asked if she could bring her mermaid to swim. At first I said no, because it’s just more thing for me to carry home (because that’s how these things always go, Mom carries everything) but  instead I went with it. swimming2 swimming3 swimming4 They had a blast, swimming. Basically Harlow just tossed her around and watched her bob and float along the water, but still! The kids call Chris a Merman when we swim, cause he swims like a dolphin (jumps and flips included). This morning we started a new swimming session, last one of the summer. I was a little nervous, mostly because I wasn’t sure if she’d be into it and if she would still be reluctant to try new things in the water. At first she was iffy, but I could tell her shell had cracked a bit – she was much more into it. After the class I told her what a great job she had done and how I loved that she tried, she said: “did you see, I unleashed the mermaid?!”. The whole way home she talked about how she couldn’t wait to swim like a mermaid in class tomorrow, moral of the story: never under-estimate the power of a mermaid or merman (dad).

 

Screen shot 2014-04-07 at 2.40.44 PM This is part of a group of posts in partnership with #BarbieProject . All words and images are 100% organic and authentic. Thank you, so very much for always supporting our blog and for supporting the sponsors that help support our blog and our household.

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August 11, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE,sponsored



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toronto-food-truck-festival The first ever Toronto Food Truck Festival with our good friends. The dads standing around talking, probably about Bacon.

play-fighting-kids Two against One and the girls took him down.

watching-band-play The band dedicated a song to King, he was beaming – just look at that proud face (and those rosy cheeks). Also, Hi Lesley!

kids-sharing Because it just tastes better shared between friends.

big-toothy-grin Just after she fell face first off the chair, not sure how she did it or how she ever does it – cause it happens quite a lot (klutzy like her Mom).

cuddles-with-mom kids-rock-climbing To the top, they go.

swimming-like-a-fish Swimming like a fish and giving his Mom heart attacks along the way. Actually it was all the belly flops and cannon balls that gave me Mom attacks, luckily Dad was on life guard duty.

dancing-in-the-rain Dancing in the rain.

go-karts-for-kids Anxiously awaiting their turn, my super excited little bobble heads.

family-go-karts Girls against boys go-kart racing. Boys totally kicked out butts. *Polson Pier go-karts

Our long weekend, was fun and relaxation filled. Officially one month left of summer!

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August 5, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE



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baseball1 baseball2 baseball3 baseball4 baseball5 baseball6 baseball7 One of the many awesome things about having school aged kiddos is doing fun stuff together as a family. Chris and I, had always wished to have friends to play sports with, turns out we just had to procreate (that’s what I call a family home run, if I do say so myself). Now we have our own little baseball, soccer or street hockey game going on almost every summer weekend. And yes, pretty dresses are very appropriate for a game of baseball – or so I’ve been told.

[H] Dress C/O GUESS Kids – moccasins: mini mioche  / [K] Shorts C/O GUESS Kids – Tee: The Gap – Shoes: Zara – Hat: Blue Jays

*It has been a bit more quiet then usual on the blog. Summer is kicking my butt, I am going with it and sharing only what feels good and right – rather than hitting you with a ton of fillers and myself with blog guilt. Hope you are all having an awesome summer. We are almost at our summer halfway mark, I’m nervous for it to end, nervous for what’s on the other side and nervous to have my full brain power back. Summer brain is a thing, just like summertime anxiety is.

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July 30, 2014 · Daily,Little Style,REAL LIFE



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what do you do? [an outtake from a post last week. It's me looking at you. so it works here too.]

You meet someone new or maybe you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while – usually the first question that gets shot your way “what do you do?” or “what are you doing now?”.  And you know they aren’t asking what you do for fun or what you do on the weekends, it’s all about what you do and where you work. I have always felt weird (but weird also isn’t really the right word) answering questions like this, half because (so I am often told) that I am humble (and charmingly awkward – I tell myself this one) but half because I have never felt like what I do defines me. Also, what I do these days is super complicated, but that’s another story all together. I have always loved what I do for work. And yet I still haven’t felt like I’m answering this common question, properly when I give an outright straight answer.

I lately answer “what do you do?” with a quick short descriptive word (lately it’s: “I freelance”) and then if they want to know more they will ask (they often don’t and that’s totally cool). Thinking back on these conversations I notice I always talk about projects, things I’m working on or things I’m working towards rather than “job title – company”. It seems to steer the conversation into a more meaningful direction (if they are into it, again cool if they aren’t) and there is often more common ground that is found and much more room for learning about the person (them learning about me and me learning more about them).

Does your day job define you? How do you feel about this question and how do you usually answer it? It’s a pretty run of the mill question, one that isn’t offensive at all (I’ve of course asked it many a time) – but I’m just thinking maybe there are better questions to ask to truly get to know someone and give a fuller picture. What do you think?

*I also find (just an odd little observation) in parent groups or when meeting new moms, this question rarely ever comes up. Maybe because we all already know what the most important job that we hold is.

On another but also sorta the same note: After I received such awesome feedback from the survey you guys did – last month, I don’t think I said it yet (seriously summer just puts my brain in a fog) but THANK YOU so much for those of you who took the time to take it and leave such thoughtful answers. I am trying to work towards flushing out some of the awesome topics you’d like to see more of. One of them a major one that came up, was that many of you are going through a career change, going back to work after kids, or trying to find yourself while at the same time becoming a parent – advice, guidance and inspiration was heavily requested. I am trying (in my foggy summertime brain) to get together a series (or a single post, just in case I’m biting off more than I can chew) that hopefully will offer different view points and maybe some inspiration around this area.  With all this being said, maybe you guys can help me…..have you gone through a career change or know someone really inspiring who has?

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July 22, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,REAL LIFE



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