A little flashback for Friday

cousins

Someone once said that cousins are usually the first friends of a child. This is immensely true in my family. I am thankful and lucky. I grew up living close and spending a lot of time with my family.  There was always someone to play with, to grow with, to share family jokes and create memories with. They know all my stories and aren’t afraid to share the embarrassing ones (and there are an abundance of those).


As we’ve gotten older, we’ve come to realize that no matter the distance or the time, we are always a phone call away from each other. We have always been each other’s biggest fans, critics and accomplices. We have laughed together and cried together. I am thankful for my family and the memories we have created.

imagesWe are a large family and sometimes it gets messy. We have come to learn to rely on each other. We don’t always ask for help, because we are too stubborn, but we know in a pinch we will be the first ones at each other’s side when help is needed. When a husband is laid up in the hospital, we know we can call a cousin if we need a break or someone to drink wine with. When we need someone to pick up a child from daycare or watch a child for a few hours, we can be sure our family will welcome them with open arms – and maybe a few smarties before dinner or a new to them stuffy.

fb2_family_Family Quote CLose Call.gifThis is our family, messy at times, in your business, always ready for a laugh and willing to be your pillar of strength when you need it. And this year, I’m glad we have this family, because we can use all the strength we can get.

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Family update project

In June, we decided to purchase a new to us tent trailer. We had a bunch of hopes and plans of family camping trips and fun little weekend trips to the mountains or nearby lakes. Obviously with the recent injury my husband sustained, some of those plans were postponed, but postponement means the opportunity to kick the trailer up a notch.

Our trailer is a small basic tent trailer. With two young girls our first course of action is to add a toilet. With the help of my Dad, we added a toilet. With a bit of cutting the counter top, building a shelf and purchasing a port-a-potty, we have a toilet! This job was completed prior to our baseball trip, and was a fantastic addition, especially for the girls as they didn’t have to leave the trailer in the middle of the night.

While the trailer sat in the driveway, we took to Pinterest and the Pop-up Princess for update/ remodel ideas. I knew that I would be keeping the curtains as they were as they are in really good shape. A lot of the work is cosmetic, but greatly enhances the aesthetics of the camper.

Preparation included pulling out the table, linens, cushions, cupboard doors and drawers. Next, we were lightly sanding down every surface. To cover the wood paneling, we chose melamine paint from our local Home Depot in Behr’s Winters Day White. This made me chuckle and think about Game of Thrones. But back to painting, we painted three coats of paint and we had white cupboards. Already a huge upgrade.

Next, we had to paint the counter tops. We chose a taupe colour in wheat. To give it a more manufactured look, our girls crushed up garage flooring chips in brown. The girls did a great job crushing the chips into tiny little pieces. They then went crazy and spread the ships along the counter top. Once it dried we layered three coats of polyurethane varnish to give the counter top the glossy look, as well as protect and smooth it out. It looks amazing.

While my mom and I sewed and pinned cushions and valances, my dad laid the vinyl plank flooring in distressed brown. The flooring was a bit tricky as most cupboards in travel trailers are not the squarest things.

All in all, the project took six days. That’s a full Sunday afternoon, and evenings after work. For a small trailer, not too bad, the results…amazing. The fabric is a Richloom outdoor fabric, which will be easy to clean and gives the area a pulled together and beach-y feel.  We love it and can’t wait to take it out for a family camping trip.

PB smoothieDuring the remodel, our nutrition was ok. We tried to keep our food choices positive. One way we did that was through drinking our daily smoothie. But one morning, I ran out of bananas, coconut milk, and berries. Ugh. So I opted for a take out breakfast. A new café just opened in downtown Edmonton called KB & Co. It is a unique casual conscious café which focuses on plant based food. They serve smoothies, salads, coffee, desserts, and soups. In fact, if you check it out for lunch, I highly recommend the corn chowder chased with the raw and vegan Nanaimo bar – delicious. This is now my place of choice when I want a protein boost and feel good about my food choices. On a particularly crazy morning, I opted for the PB Power smoothie. *LOVE* It was like drinking a Reese’s peanut butter cup. It was so good that over the weekend I thought about this smoothie. I knew I had to try and recreate it.

In our family, we try to sneak in greens and healthy stuff as much as possible, mainly so we don’t have to eat as many greens. I knew my base would be coconut milk, Kale and Epicure’s coconut protein powder. The verdict, pretty good, not exactly the same, but still great for a healthy chocolate fix.

pB smoothie ingredientsChocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
1 serving

1 cup Kale
1 cup Coconut Milk
1 scoop protein powder (I used Epicure’s Coconut Protein Powder)
½ banana
1 date
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 cup ice

  1. Put all ingredients in blender. Blend until smoothie. Stick a straw in it and enjoy.

The cupcake was pleasantly surprised that she could have chocolate for breakfast. It was very similar to a milkshake, filled us up until lunch, but allowed us a good dose of protein, greens and nutrients to helps us great through the beautiful, hot and busy days.

Throw Back Thursday

2016 can suck it. Last night, I saw this post it made me laugh, but also rings so true.

“Is Quentin Tarentino directing 2016?”

Life has definitely been interesting in our household lately. July was going to be an awesome month. Many of my friends and family have resettled back in to McMurray, things were going to mellow out, and stabilize, and we were going to embark on family camping trips.

We had a ball tournament in Exshaw and we would be using our new to us camper for the first time as a family. It was going to be great, until the fated Saturday where my husband was hurt.

It’s an extremely out of the ordinary injury. Completely accidental, and no way of preventing it – see my husband has always played contact sports, football, rugby, and lacrosse with minimal to no injuries. So, how hurt can a 35 year-old Dad get playing beer league slow pitch??? Well, if he explodes off home plate to race the ball the first, he can get injured BAD. His foot hit the base but his body kept going, he twisted and landed on his hip. He ended up dislocating his right leg from his hip, fracturing his hip and breaking the femur head. All while we were 25 minutes away from the nearest hospital.

It’s a freak of an injury. You don’t break your hip at 35, well guess what, you can. He was medevaced to Calgary, where they reset the dislocation. Actually Hayley Wickenheiser, Canada’s Olympic Gold female hockey team captain, reset his dislocation. He spent three days in the foothills resting and waiting for the prognosis. Thankfully, he didn’t need surgery, which means recovery time decreased from six months to eight to 12 weeks. He’s feeling better each day, and looking forward to getting back to normal.

It’s been an adjustment and a challenge, right from the beginning. Figuring out logistics from getting the girls to a location where they wouldn’t have to sit in a hospital to finding a way home for the camper. All I can say, is thank goodness my parents were close and the Brewers, the ball team, were there to help. My parents, who were in Canmore for a wedding, took the girls to the lake and spent time fishing and swimming with them, so they didn’t have to think or see their dad laid up in the hospital. The Brewers, helped me pack up the tent trailer – extremely quickly, and kept the dogs so we could drive my husband to the hospital, and our lake friends were generous enough to drive the camper back to the lake lot for us.

It’s been three weeks since the incident and things are still hectic in our house. One day last week, I was pretty down on myself and feeling pretty crappy, wondering what other crappy stuff would happen in the world. Thinking how much further down in the dumps we could go. You know the same old poor me, I’m failing at 2016, why is karma such a B-word kind of stuff.

I’ve replayed the incident over and over and over again in the mind. This was one of the times, when something hit me. Right after my husband was hurt, I quickly and calmly got my girls into the car explaining to them that we were going to take Daddy to get checked out. I drove into the diamond and the team carried Kyle to the car. As I was collecting his things and ensuring he was comfortable, a woman asked me if I was going to be ok driving him and taking the girls with me. I answered yes. She looked concerned at me and said, “you seem very calm, this kind of thing must happen lots to you.” I replied, “no, but right now the only thing I can control are my actions and emotions. And it won’t help him or my girls if I’m freaking out. I’ll message the team and let you all know what the hospital says. Thank you.”

It was that conversation that reminded me that in every situation I have the power to control my reaction and how I respond to my actions. While I don’t have the power to control the world or stop the bad things from happen, I do have the power to control how I react, to look for the good, and to make the conscious effort to be the good in the world.

UofCReflecting on my impromptu stay in Calgary, I was able to connect briefly with my best friend and old university roommate L. Which was great and the support I needed. I was also able to spend some time at my Alma Mater, the University of Calgary. I was reminded about how much I love that campus and how beautiful it is. I also had the opportunity to experience some local businesses including CRU Juice and Dirt Belly. Both fantastic local sustainable and healthy eats/juice bars. I highly recommend CRU Juice’s Bad Boy Brown. It’s a blend of cashew and almond milk that closely resembles chocolate milk. I also suggest Dirt Belly’s salad bar and Tealada in raspberry cardamom. Both businesses are on our list of visits the next time we are in Calgary.

CRUbreakfastI hope the next five months are better. Let’s close out 2016 with some good. What happened to you lately that is good? Share it, let’s share our happiness and our hopes.