Winter’s Over.

It’s summer. It’s muggy and it’s raining. The windows are open and warm, muggy, rainy, summer breezes are filling every corner of the house. I spend nine months of winter waiting for this moment; the kid’s in their beds, the rain on the roof, the breeze through the window…the nothing, and everything all at the same time. It would mean almost nothing if there wasnt the wait, the anticipation for this one moment. It’s the only good that comes with our harsh Canadian winters – how much they make you appreciate the brief summer months. In one of my previous posts, I wrote about how this winter especially *sucked*, for many reasons. Without indulging, I will say that my belief in the goodness of people was severely put to the test. Even those you believe should be closest to you, can surprise the hell out of you sometimes. People, I’ve decided, are a lot like the seasons. A shitstorm of cold, bitter harshness from some can really make you appreciate the warmth and kindness from others. I have some really good people in my life, and I thank them for being my summer after a long, bitter winter. I’m over the cold. I think it’s time for me to just sit and enjoy the warm, summer breeze for a while.


The Calm

In my last post I talked about my worry of doing an injustice to my children for raising them in such small quarters. (I know, it sounds ridiculous even as I type it.) Even though I am a “practicing agnostic”, I believe the Universe has strange ways of bringing us back to the basics, making us view things in their simplest form; reaffirming where we stand and reminding us of the things in life that bring us pure, unpurchased, wholehearted happiness. Which brings us to last nights camping adventure.

It was a last-minute decision to head to one of our lovely provincial parks. We got there late, ate a quick dinner, set up camp, appeased the kids with a quick fire and s’mores, and packed it in early as we planned on spending the next day at a Birding Festival the park had set up. In bed by 10pm, and knocked out cold by the fresh air and complete silence shortly after. Then, the storm started.

I love a good rainstorm. I even talk about my love for rainstorms in my “about me”. It started out beautifully, raindrops falling around us, lulling us in and out of sleep. Then the thunder started, and the lightening, and then the wind. I counted between flashes and thunder, until there wasnt time left to count. At times it sounded like a train was coming through the woods. We got prepared to dart for our truck when a lull came in the storm, and hoped it would come quickly. It was at that time, when I was huddled with the kids, and staring at my husband, that I was reminded of the source of my happiness. It was all in that tent. At that moment, I didn’t care if my house was tiny. I didn’t care if we could afford to go on vacation this year. I didn’t question whether my son’s room was too small. I have said it before, that “home” isn’t the house you live in, it is where you’re all together. I’m thankful to Mother Nature for reminding me where my home is, and I’ll never question it again.

After the storm passed, we haphazardly packed up our gear and headed out, only to find the single road out of the area was blocked by a downed tree. One of ten downed trees we counted in the park. We didn’t realize the extent of the storm until we had left the park. Thousands without power. A tornado touched down not 10 minutes away from us.

Needless to say, there’s a heightened appreciation for Mother Nature in our household. I’d like to argue that today, at least for this little family, the calm came *after* the storm.

I’m Back.

After a 10 month hiatus, I’m back to the blog. After starting a new job, I lacked both the time to post, and well, anything to post about. I am now home again, and concentrating on our little life, and all things I enjoy.

Winter was especially hard this year. It was long, period. Our house got cut down to 500 square feet (give or take), as it wasn’t realistic or feasible to heat the three season sunroom that has alternated between being our master bedroom and the boy’s toyroom. We’re armed and ready to winterize it this summer, so we can enjoy the space year round. We will have to be prepared come this winter. I can’t survive sitting here staring at each other for 9 months..ever again. There has to be something to do in the winter, no? I also had some trying personal experiences over the winter that were just that, trying. So that, coupled with staring at a blanket of white, desolate, cold, unforgiving snow and blah for months on end made it a particularly depressing time. ‘Nuff said.

With spring, our house is back up to a sprawling 791 square feet. Conner needed, and pleaded, for his own room and we have managed to rearrange the house so we all, incredibly, have our own space in this tiny house. Right now it’s working fabulously. This house was meant to be temporary. We bought it with plans to fix it up quickly and either rent it out, or sell for profit. Then we all fell in love with it. I suppose we will milk living here for as long as we can. The realist in me knows its going to get pretty tight in here with two growing boys. I have been following , and with that has come an endless amount of ideas to utilize what we have here and has changed our views on “needs” opposed to “wants”. Reading stories of people happily raising kids in tiny spaces has assured me I’m not doing an injustice to my own. I know that square footage has nothing to do with a child’s happiness, and it bothers me that I am even concerned of such. I’m chalking it up to typical parental worry.

I stopped eating meat this winter. I can’t give one real reason why. The idea of eating meat has always been really gross to me, and any meat that I was eating was definitely not healthy for me anyway. I would gladly eat anything topped with bacon…and I could probably eat my weight in “street meat”, but I would usually pass on any respectably cooked meat and opt for sides, almost all the time. Derek and I really got into learning where our food was coming from over the winter and although most of the meat I was buying for us came from locally sourced suppliers, some of the videos we watched did nothing for my already nill appetite for it. I am still providing for three healthy meat eaters, which is fine with me. Derek is adamant that meat should be from happy, healthy, local animals and I have no problem serving up anything that came from a farmer whose name I know.

The kid’s are growing up, damnit. Conner now whispers about girls to his friends when he thinks I’m not listening and Cade now walks. I repeat, his feet have touched the ground and he is WALKING. I’m not sure how my back managed three years of carrying that child around, but it did. Why, you ask, was he in my arms so long? I don’t know. Did I baby him? Maybe. Was he spoiled? Perhaps. I suppose carrying him around was just the habit that never died after 16 months of colic and breastfeeding every two hours around the clock. It’s now a phase that’s ended, and we survived.

Here’s a pic of the revamped gardens and our adorable little house that was never supposed to be loved like it is….

House Update!

Here’s some before and after pics of the new house…and a dirty face, just ’cause.

After 40 hours of painting, then trucking our stuff from old house to new, and organizing, with some minor renovations…oh, and all in three days, we’re finally, completely….. 1/4 of the way done..:S

It is entirely way too nice outside to be doing any further indoor reno’s, so, with winter will come the sledgehammer. Aside from the above mentioned, in the 27 days we have lived here, we have completely transformed the gardens. The beds are weeded (considering we have little lawn, that was a HUGE job), and our 20′ by 40′ vegetable garden is currently tarped out and will be ’tilled come fall.

We converted our back sunroom into our master bedroom, so we can literally fall asleep under the stars while listening to the sound of Lake Huron crashing against the shore….bliss….and this is where I throw in that I’m ridiculously fortunate and thankful to have the life I have with the people I share it with.

Fresh Pick…

It was due to happen. I’ve temporarily put my pencils down (actually, I’ve packed them, as we’re moving in 9 DAYS!), and set my seasonal obsession (see post “Arto McCrafty”) toward creating some felt fruits and veggies (and anything else I can find a pattern for). The kids love ’em, they’re super easy to create, and they make my husband laugh. That’s bliss in my book.

I Eat Change For Breakfast…

Is change such a bad thing? You hear people say “ugh, I hate change”, but I’m not sure I’m in their boat. I talked to my sister today, after our parents put their farm up for sale, and we discussed change. As sad as we are that our family farm is on the market, we’re both excited for my parents. It’s the end of an era, but the beginning of a new.

Derek and I have been uprooted several times in the last few years, each time to different communities. We’ve found ourselves complaining about the chaos of moving, and the inconvenience of starting anew each time. I think we just got caught up in how society thinks we should feel about change. Both of us enjoy the excitement of starting fresh, meeting new people, and just a plain ol’ change of scenery. The many moves have ironically mellowed us. We don’t get all worked up about things anymore.

The young one (Conner), looks at change like an adventure, and finds it exciting. He never complains about how he’ll miss his room, or the crawl space under the stairs. We all know that home is where you are all together, and not the house you live in. Sure, we miss the friends we make, but we live in a time of social networking and we make time for those who are important to us. As a kid, I moved around a few times. I don’t remember being sad about leaving the neighbourhood, or missing the tree I planted in the backyard. I was content knowing my family would still be there in the morning, no matter where we lived.

Derek and I have been through devastating careers changes.  Today, after a couple of years of career hell, he is happier than ever in a job he loves (have I mentioned how insanely proud of him I am?).  He leapt at a change he knew would better our lives, and worked hard to achieve his goal.

I feared how our oldest would react when our youngest was born. I feared the change from him having all the attention, to having to share me. Today he is a fabulous big brother, and loves the youngest one immensely. It was a hard change, but a good one. He is more independent now, has a great sense of family, and understands that we all need to work together to raise our family. 

When things seem to get “settled” around here, I find myself thinking “now what?”. Even a new coat of paint, or rearranging the furniture, I feel like things are fresh and different. We don’t get “stuck in a rut” because, when we feel it coming on, we change something.

Although I will be sad to see the family farm go, I know that the changes will be good for many people. A new family will move onto our farm, and make their own memories. My parents will have fresh, new land to tinker with. Our boys will have a new area to roam and discover.

So, although it’s been hectic at times, I’m glad we’ve made the changes we have. It wont be the things, homes, etc. we acquire in life, but the moments we’ve shared with our favorite people.

“Change is surrendering what you are, to what you could become”

Big & Little at the beach. Coolest people I’ve ever met. For realsies.

Previous Older Entries