eleventh anniversary

Yesterday we celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.

As we are preparing to add another new life into our family, I can’t help but reflect on the early days of our relationship. Little did we know when we first started dating where our lives would lead us. In fact, we were planning on living very different lives. I was headed to Edinburgh, Scotland to undertake my Masters degree in Art History, and Geoffrey was finishing his last year of his BA at university.

We had planned on having a very new and very long distance relationship for the first year. However, I ended up not going, and that’s when we really began our lives together. We were quick to become engaged, buy our first place together (with the help of our parents), and then get married. Over the next 5 years, we travelled, worked hard, moved a few times, adopted a few animals, really got to know one another, and truly enjoyed just having one another.

These last 6 years have been all about our family. They’ve obviously been very different, but just as loving and enjoyable.

One never really knows how their life will turn out when they get married, and to me, that is just so fascinating. Hopefully it is for the better, and much comes from your marriage! But whether or not you choose to is completely up to you. I’m just thankful that I did, and we did together.

Happy anniversary, Geo. Pictures were taken by Oarsman Photography.

<3<3

Em

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a quick guide to a successful house move with children

Moving home is something that is cited as one of the most stressful things that you can do in life. If you’re moving with children in tow, whether that is a toddler or a teenager, it can add a little more stress into the mix. If you are going to be moving to somewhere completely far away from where you are now, then it can be something that is troubling for children, especially if they feel like they are leaving friends behind. It can be real tough, that is for sure. That is why having a quick guide to help you to move home when you’ve got children to move with you too, can be a big help, no matter the age of the children.

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Considerations when moving house with children

For some children, they will have only ever lived in one house. They may be school age and go to school locally, as well as have ties to friends and connections in the area. As well as the stress of physically packing to move, there can be an added element of stress when these things are taken into consideration. Some of the stressors will depend on the age of the children. The demands of a baby are just going to be timing things right around feeds and naps, but with a teenager, you’ll be thinking about what they are going through and how stressed they must be themselves. 

What you can do is to offer a lot of reassurance, especially if your child is of an age where they will remember the old home. Keeping them comfortable and keeping them entertained is another aspect to think about. You should also look to get as much help as you can, to reduce the physical moving stress. From removalists like Two Men and a Truck you can get help with packing, storing, and moving your items to your new home. Hopefully, you will have some friends and family on-hand to help too.

Get the children involved

How involved children can be will depend on their age. However, boxes and going through all of their things could be something that is really enjoyable. Give yourself plenty of time to pack, as soon as you know that you are moving, so that things don’t feel too rushed. Children can pack some of their own belongings, as well as help with labeling items and getting organized. When they are involved they can feel like part of the process and that can put them at ease and reduce any anxieties.

Have a bag for move day with you

When it comes to the actual moving day, there can be a lot of things packed away that you will have no access to. That is why having a bag for moving day, filled with snacks, treats, small toys, and things that will be helpful for them (a phone charger for a teenager, for example). This will make the day smoother for you all, so make sure that you have something separate and ready to use on the day.

** This was a contributed post.

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acreage renovation: a basement play and rec room

This was a big renovation that we had no intentions of undertaking until a few years down the road. That is, until our basement flooded in December! Once it did, we were left with no other option but to renovate our entire basement- the majority of which is made up by this playroom and recreational room!

We began by having our old laminate flooring, trim, and bottom portion of the drywall removed. My goodness, was it dirty! The smell alone was that of rotten eggs, and there was just so. much. dust. Fans and heaters were set up to completely dry it out, and it was after a few days. Finally, we were able to start picking out new flooring and baseboards!

Initially I wanted to go with carpet so our basement would feel cozier. However, because of our cistern being located in our basement, there is always a threat of it flooding again. If it did, carpet is one of the hardest types of flooring to dry out- so I was advised against it. Laminate also gets instantly destroyed when wet, as we have discovered. Hardwood was not in our price point, so we ended up settling on a vinyl plank glue down floor. That way, if we do have another flood, we can lift up the flooring, dry it out, and glue it back down. How convenient is that?

We had the vinyl professionally installed as well as much larger baseboards. We also hung shiplap panelling on the one wall. We bought new door handles and switch plates. Then we painted, painted, painted. We painted all of the walls, the doors, shiplap, and stairs! It took a very long time, but eventually, we we were done.

I purchased climbing holds for a rock wall off of Amazon, and we spray painted and hung a makeshift ladder that came with my husband’s vanity on the wall. Now the kids have their own wall that they can just climb on!

We also bought pine shelving, a wood rod, and white brackets from Home Depot. This wall is dedicated for all of their toys, since I didn’t want any of them on the floor. The hangers for their costumes are from HomeSense, the wood crates are from Michaels, and the baskets are from JYSK.

One of the hardest items that I had a tough time settling on was a rug for the rec room. It took me months to find the perfect one. I actually purchased a much larger and greyer rug from Rugs USA, but after putting it under the couch, it just didn’t look how I wanted it to. Then a short time ago I went to HomeSense and was determined to come home with a rug that day. I found two that I liked, and so I FaceTimed my husband and we went over which one we thought would look best. It was between this one and a black and white one. I am soooo glad that we settled on the one that we did! It is just so cute and playful, I feel like it nicely ties in the colourful playroom with the more modern rec room.

I also now have a dedicated spot to get work done, and the kids have a crafting area.

That is our basement renovation in a nutshell!

Emory

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easter egg hunt

In one of the books that I read to Remy, Happy Easter, Little Critter, all of the church-going critter children have an Easter egg hunt in a field. I loved that idea so much, so I decided to have one of our own!

I bought the cutest baskets from Michael’s, eggs from Dollarama, and made them bunny ear floral crowns. Then I waited for a warm day. I told them that the Easter bunny would be coming twice this year- once to do an egg hunt in the field, and once when it was really Easter. They were just so, so, so excited. It was the sweetest thing!

The Easter bunny left them baskets and a sign outside …

then laid out the eggs in the field …

and off we went to find them.

This will now be a yearly tradition for us. I can’t express enough how much joy it brought to everyone. The neighbour even joined in!

Have a hoppy Easter, everyone!

Emory

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winter children

Even though the weather is cold, we still make a point of spending either the morning or afternoon outdoors. Because Remy and Wilder are not yet in school, staying indoors all day long is enough to make us all go crazy. We all feel better (and much more tired) after getting some Vitamin D!

The other day when we were at the park, I was trying to convince them to go back home so that I could start lunch. Remy turned to me and said, “but we are winter kids, mum. We don’t need to go inside. We are warm enough out here.” It was so sweet and innocent and I was really proud of her for saying that. I think that it was about -20C that morning and we had already been out for over an hour, but the cold wasn’t phasing her. If only I had the same ability to always look at life through rose coloured glasses.

This morning we decided to stay home and go sledding on our little hill. We worked on our snow fort and played pirates on the jungle gym. It was just below zero that morning (which is incredibly warm for the end of December), so the cats were sunning themselves on the deck. That is, when they weren’t eating compost with our dogs.

This is just a regular thing that we do everyday and I probably take for granted at times. I wanted to document it at least once, because they won’t be this young forever. I feel lucky to live where we do and with our winter children.

Emory

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