Painted & Polished

May 18, 2016

on moving away...but also towards ♡

♡ ♡ ♡     1 of 897,487,392 memories made in this sweet home     ♡ ♡ ♡
So, we're moving pretty soon here. It's taken me a little while to write about it. I think I was just trying to process everything internally, and of course, externally with family and friends. Still am, actually. Not because I'm lacking peace about our decision, but more because change requires mulling. Prolonged mulling, when you've got a personality like mine ;) The gist of the situation is this: Ryan has been commuting about 2.5 hours a day to the job he took almost at almost exactly the time we moved to Cochrane and into this dream neighbourhood and home of ours. Formerly, he had been working just up the hill from our new home here in Cochrane, which would have been a two minute commute. 

The timing of this new job opportunity was difficult for us to process at first. Difficult both because we had spent so much time, money and emotional energy envisioning a future for our family here in Cochrane and also because the job was such an incredible opportunity and one that, as a family, we really wanted to pursue. We felt conflicted in that we knew it was the right choice but that knowing, it left us wondering what would become of the future we imagined would be ours.

So, for the last 2.5 years we've been trying to make both things work. The job. Our life in Cochrane. And while we've had some amazing days and some really hard days, it's been the accumulation of the in-between days that had Ryan and I simultaneously reaching the conclusion that our life needed to move towards the wonderful job that was providing for it. See, those in between days were just a little too rushed, left us both a little too tired and frankly, filled with far too little time together as a family. Sure, they were often filled with a sense of accomplishment at work for Ryan and wonderful days with friends enjoying our beautiful surroundings for Navy and I ... but the problem was that they resulted in too little time together, enjoying life as a family. And that's just the whole reason we're all in this thing, isn't it? To relish in as much time spent with our cherished ones as we can.

So, our beloved home here in Cochrane is for sale and we've purchased a sweet little house in Didsbury, that will soon be our new home. It's a precious blank slate...ready to be filled with our family, our furry rascal of a pup and our memories, which should be extra-abundant thanks to all the time we'll have together, yay! Ryan's commute will be 10 minutes versus 1 hr. 15 min, oh happy day! And thankfully, we'll only be about one hour away from our friends and family at the most, and in some cases a bit shorter distance.

So it's not that we're moving so far away we won't see those we love. It's just that, we'll be far enough away for Navy and my daily life, in particular, to change dramatically. And that's what I've been processing most. I feel so at peace with this decision so I don't have hesitation for any of the big reasons. I'm so ready to take this load off Ryan's shoulders. He's done this commute so graciously every day, never complaining because he loved our life here in Cochrane just as much as me. But it's wearing on him and on us. It's time we take this unnecessary burden off our shoulders and most especially, equip him with what he needs to do a great job of his job and even more importantly, what he needs to be here with us as a husband and father more than before.

As for what I'm processing, it's mostly the thought of the daily life I've known since becoming a mom changing drastically...moving away from 'my village'...the people who have surrounded me and lifted me up to help make this new chapter the very sweetest it could be. And also moving to a really small town when all I've ever known is the big city and now Cochrane, my current city-like town. I know we will meet wonderful people in Didsbury. I honestly can't wait to meet them. And I also know that we'll find the time to connect with our dear friends here in Cochrane & in Calgary. I'm just taking this in-between time right now to process that things are changing, that we're moving somewhere that can feel scary but also, that everything will turn out ok. Because it always, always does.

Of course there's more to our reasoning, our timing, our process and this big 'ol story in general (isn't there always?). But a girl can only type for so long before a good night's sleep becomes just too enticing to resist. 

Feb 22, 2016

In Between Seasons

I just love this time of year. It's still brisk out, but not bitterly cold. We still wear our winter gear but we don't need to layer too heavily underneath or always wear our toques, scarves & mitts. The snow has almost melted away entirely revealing the dusty, dormant grass beneath. Everything is the same varied shade of brown and at first glance, doesn't look all that promising that spring growth could ever push through. But inevitably it does. It always does. 

And this in between season feels like a pause almost ... a moment to take a breath as we begin to feel our bodies relax from bracing against the cold all winter long. The mild cold a reprieve from the freezing cold, and even amid the crispy beige and seemingly lifeless landscape, there is the feeling of spring and new life in the air and it's lovely. Just exactly the way it is.  

Little Navy and I took our inaugural walk to the park stroller or carrier. Just her and I, hand in hand. The park is about 3 minutes from our home, but it took us more like 15 to get there tee-toddling at her sweet pace. I have never enjoyed taking forever to get somewhere so much. Life at her pace and from her vantage point is refreshingly sweet and it makes this mama's heart swell each and every day. 

Feb 15, 2016

A Valentine's Day Zoo Date

These two cuties taking in Penguin Plunge at the zoo yesterday? I mean, seriously. Heart's just a puddle on the floor over here. I was trying catch a couple cute pics of them together in these first moments at the zoo but the spontaneous misty mama eyes of joy made it a little hard to focus the camera haha. Blurriness aside though, I consider the moment rather well captured ;)

Tiny glimpse into teenager-hood right here ❤︎

Pointing and waving to every creature she saw. So earnest and heartwarming to see how sincerely she hoped they could all be friends. 

Such a special day with my loves enjoying our beautiful zoo on an especially sunny and warm day in February. Day's where Ryan gets to join along for these kinds of adventures are rare so we're sure to soak up every minute ♡

Feb 11, 2016

We had the sweetest day today, Navy, Lincoln & I. My legs are aching in that really good-tired kind of way after two looooong walks; one with our sweet friends Lee & baby Juliette and the other, an afternoon run for Lincoln with Crystal & Roman. Like two fresh air bookends to a productive day at home. 

Time at home, whether I'm working, cooking, cleaning or playing right along with her, is sweetened by Navy tee-toddling about, her little belly protruding comically and her tiny feet smacking as she cruises around the hardwood. It's almost too cute a sight to bear and very distracting when I'm trying to sneak a couple quick minutes of work in ;)

I read a beautiful quote by C.S. Lewis the other day that really resonated with me and where I'm at these days. "It's not the load that breaks you down. It's the way you carry it." That wise man and his words hey? So good. And such a poignant reminder that perspective and attitude matter. With each new season of motherhood and it's innate beauty also comes challenges, adjustments and learning curves. Right now, Navy's transitioning to only one nap a day (I sure got used to those two naps a day ;) and for every second she is awake she's running around with more energy than I ever thought possible. And that can sometimes lead to bumps & bruises, frustration when she discovers her limitations as well as even more vigilant supervision on my part. At the same time I've started working (from home, so grateful and loving it) and life has just felt busier than usual for a whole host of other reasons. 

The result is that I've been feeling overwhelmed lately. Like the load I'm carrying has left me feeling weary and spent at the end of the day. Not unhappy or ungrateful, just tired and unsure of how I'm supposed to 'do it all' when 'it all' is constantly evolving.

And then I read this quote and it reminded me that keeping proper perspective makes all the difference. Keeping my focus on how blessed I am and how grateful I am as I learn, well, it does wonders for lightening what can feel like a heavy or challenging load. By paying just a moment of attention towards improving my attitude, I feel like a new woman. Calmer, more capable and more productive. Moving forward, I want to 'carry' my roles and responsibilities with confidence, joy and gratitude by focusing first on those good things. I'm confident that moving forward with this intention will help me be kinder to myself and as be a result a better mama, wife, sister and friend ♡

Feb 10, 2016

motherhood // Navy at 1 Year

Our sweet little girl is already 1! It's hard to believe we've already enjoyed one year with her in our lives. Harder to believe that she turned one 2 months ago (!!) and I am just now finding a moment to write about this sweet milestone. Life has been busy, but good, and we are grateful. 

I was so emotional leading up to Navy's first birthday. Something about closing a chapter and moving on from infancy and into baby/toddlerhood had me feeling so conflicted. That push and pull of emotions I've felt since the day I gave birth, it was strong approaching her birthday. Feeling simultaneously proud of all she's learned and how spectacularly she's grown while deeply missing her former dependance and brand-newness. I imagine that will be one of the greatest weights I'll ever carry as a mother and I'm sure it will be with me as long as I am alive. But it's also the most incredible gift. Being able to feel this deeply. To feel both ends of the spectrum fully, at the very same time. It is a beautiful reminder that I am alive, that I am living my purpose and that I am immeasurably blessed to love this wholeheartedly.

The day Navy was born, I was reborn a mother. I emerged from her birth a woman rewired and there hasn't been a moment of this first year with her that I haven't loved my new role fiercely. Of course, there have been challenges, learning curves, worries and moments of concern about how well I'm doing. And I know those hurdles are necessary obstacles along a journey that has shaped me and will continue to. I'm just so grateful that this past year, even during moments of difficulty, my peace and contentment towards motherhood has remained constant. And that might just be one of the sweetest things I'll remember from my first year with this special little girl. 


Navy you are such an energetic little girl, walking with encouragement from me or daddy and crawling as fast as your little arms and legs will allow the rest of the time. You have one little tooth and the tiiiiiiiiniest skiff of hair, which we just love. You're as ready to smile as ever, happy and laughing most of the time. You like days out and on the road just as much as quiet days at home. You're a lot like mama and daddy in that way it seems. You're a flexible baby and have been since day one. If you're crying or irritable, it's because you're teething or getting sick...otherwise, you're happy as can be. It honestly surprises us when you are upset because its just so rare. We're so grateful for your sweet disposition. 

While I cook or clean up the kitchen, you empty every kitchen cupboard and play in the pantry happily. It's the sweetest little surprise when I go to get something after you've gone to bed and find one of your little toys stashed underneath the dishcloths. You're a little pro at playing independently these days. But you also love to find your favourite books in the toy box, walk them over to me, crawl up on my lap and cuddle in for some reading time. It's the sweetest and I love that in between so much activity and running around, you still like to come over to me to connect for a little bit. 

You loooooove Lincoln and say 'puppy'! every time you see him. And on that note, you have quite the little vocabulary these days. So far, you say mama, dada, puppy, baby, doggie, numnum (food), nana (banana), bunny (your favourite stuffed animal who you fall asleep holding every night) and donny (for your little electronic donkey named donny haha). 

You're a spicy little girl and you know what you want. We often say you live life with gusto, and it's true! :) I never want to forget what a happy, truly content, energetic, determined, caring, independent and sweet, sweet little girl you were at 1 year old. Love you forever baby girl. 

Poor little lady came down with Roseola during her birthday. So the big party was cancelled and a small little celebration was had at home with mama, dada and Lincoln followed by lots and lots of rest until she got better ♡

Dec 10, 2015

motherhood // Navy at 11 months + NEW YORK

Our little lady turned 11 months the very same day we flew to New York last month. What a treat it was to reflect on nearly 1 year with her sweet soul in our lives while exploring New York.

New York this time around was lovely and different than our previous visits.  Having Navy along for the trip was just the best. Toting her around between boroughs, we would routinely ask one another if this was real life and if we actually have a mini of ourselves who's now joining in on all our adventures (?!?). Amazing.

This time in New York we spent a lot more time out walking, exploring neighbourhoods and the parks... Central Park especially. Though it was a little cooler than we were expecting based on the forecasts, it was still sooo much warmer than our last visit in November (that coastal air gets this landlocked lady every time! Can never trust a coastal forecast based on the dry air I'm so used to). All I can say is thank goodness for layers, blanket scarves and vests haha. And on that note, the family that vests together, stays together. That's our motto anyway ;)

Beautiful Battery Park ↑  Lady Liberty ↓
That rosy cheeked face!! ⇡ I die ♡
⇡ Juuuuuust about nap time :) ⇡
Upper West Side exploring.
Beautiful Central Park with my favourite people.
⇡ Farmer's Market in the Flat Iron District ⇡
View from our hotel ♡
The Plaza hotel at Christmas...just perfect.
Love this man ♡

Navy, as usual, you are a light that shines so bright. On our flights to and from New York, you amazed us at how composed you were for nearly five hours in the air each way. At home, you don't sit still for more than a couple seconds. So how you managed those flights, and all the time in the stroller or in the carrier while we travelled is beyond us. We worked like crazy to keep you entertained on the flights and you rewarded our efforts with being your sweet, easy going self (we genuinely surprised ourselves with how many games we created to keep you entertained using just a couple food wrappers, the seat pockets of the seats in front of us and all our electronic cables haha). New York was your 11th and 12th flight and like all the ones before, you were such a happy little girl throughout. We can't tell you how grateful we are for your easy going disposition. 

Before we left for New York, you learned how to turn around before going down stairs. I was amazed the first time you did it! Couldn't believe all the times I'd manually turned you around before had actually stuck. Then, when we were in New York, you decided to turn around to get off the bed in the hotel room! Neither of us had taught that to you. I guess you just figured that if it works for getting down stairs, it must work for getting off any other raised surface you might find yourself on :) We were so surprised and proud of you. 

You crawl so fast these days and walk around the living room using anything you can as a support. You want to move so fast and go so far. You are truly the little energizer bunny we always thought you would be (based on your constant acrobatics in utero :) You say 'mama' and 'dada' and are so verbal. Talking in phrases and questions and statements with such impressive intonation. Even though your sentences aren't made up of words yet, it's obvious you are communicating...and passionately at that. Oh how we love it. 

You're a social little butterfly who interacts with everyone we encounter. You take a little time to warm up to strangers or people we don't see as frequently and you cling to my hip as you do. Eventually you warm to most people and by the time we leave the interaction, it's clear you've captured their heart. You're a bright light, that is for sure. 

You have the healthiest little appetite and are eating so much these days while continuing to nurse. We're so grateful for your easy going and hearty constitution. You're a robust little girl who loves her mama, dada and Lincoln so much. You love life and take to adventure like a little pro. We love you with everything that's in us, sweet girl ♡

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