Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stain, Stain, Go Away...

Our decks have been needing stain for a couple of summers now.  We tend to do one large-ish project per summer and staining the fence and repainting the deck columns have won out.  This year though...it had to be done or we would be at risk of the wood rotting.  We decided to do it all in one weekend, despite it being super hot, so that we could enjoy the rest of the summer without the project looming in the distance.  It was a lot of work but it's done.  And it looks great!  We also did the girls' swingset while we were at it since it was looking a little rough.




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Girls

I knew I would miss the girls while I was gone but I hasn't anticipated just how much. It sounds cheesy but it was like I wasn't complete...like a part of me was missing and not in the moment. I've been  away from them before but this was the longest. I still had a great time and they did too. I know breaks are good for all of us. I think I've just realized what my maximum time away from them will be in the future.

I met up with them in Calgary and we took a slight detour from heading home right away and spent the night at Janice's and then had a fun day at Calaway Park before driving back to Lethbridge. Here's a video of our day:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Yellowknife Trip Recap

I'm back, rested and energized!  My trip was a success and super fun.  It was a bit of a stressful start, though.  Let me explain...

I drove to Camrose Thursday night since my flight left from Edmonton quite early on Friday morning.  I drove through a CRAZY hailstorm.  There were reports of tennis ball size hail and I think the one that did this must have been:

Everyone was at a dead stop on the highway and it was just pounding down.  It sounded like the van roof was going to come crashing down on me.  I'm not sure I've ever been more scared while driving!!  Especially after the windshield cracked like that.  I'm thankful the girls were not with me because they would have been terrified (having mom yelping like a wounded animal wouldn't have helped things either!).  I had to remind myself the rest of the drive to relax my shoulders that were tensed up around my ears and take deep breaths.  I suppose I really am a fair weather driver!

I was able to sneak in a quick visit with Mom and Bill that evening which was a bonus. The next morning I ended up not leaving myself extra time to get to the airport.  Now I am SO NOT a last minute arriver.  I like to get to the airport with plenty of time.  Too much time is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.  Less stress that way.  But, for some reason, I calculated wrong and was still about 20 minutes away from the shuttle parking lot at the time I wanted to be checked in.  I did make it, though, with my heart racing. Once I had checked in and made it through security, they were just starting to board people with disabilities and young children.  For some reason, I thought this would be a great time to wander over to Tim Horton's for a drink.  I was the 8th person in line and I still thought I should wait.  I have no idea what I was thinking!  I got my drink and wandered back over to my gate and sat down to wait.  No sooner had I sat down when I heard, "final boarding call for Natasha Tompkins".  WHAT?!  I almost missed my flight.  What a dope! Those of you that know me well know that this is so out of character for me. My only defence is that I must have been in vacation mode!

Anyway, I made it and had such a nice time.  Chels is a fabulous host. I was welcomed with this:

She wouldn't let me pay for anything and had planned such fun things for us to do. We went out for some lovely meals, had some fabulous meals at home with friends, went on several hikes, attended Folk on the Rocks, went for walks...it really was a relaxing and wonderful time.  I love visiting up there, lots of adventures to be had. A quick look:



Friday, July 18, 2014

Yellowknife Bound!

This morning, I'm on the way to Yellowknife (by myself!) to visit my sister.  We have had this trip planned for months and I absolutely cannot wait!!!  It has been a bit touch and go this week...the van crapped out on me on Tuesday night and it didn't look like I was going to be able to get it repaired in time.  Thankfully it did and I was able to drive to Camrose last night.  We are going to have SO MUCH FUN!!!  Shawn and the girls will be hanging out at home, going on adventures.  I'm going to try and do a little blogging from my phone while I'm away but no guarantees.  I don't have reasonable cell coverage while I'm there and have to rely on wifi and this time it will be even spottier as there are something like 175 forest fires in the area and the residents have been alerted to a possible stoppage of internet and cell service.  Should be a smoky time!  "See" you next week! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Less or More?

Okay, 'fess up.  Are you a saver?  Do you keep everything in case you need it someday?  Are your cupboards and closets bursting with stuff?  Or are you a purger?  Do you constantly donate and toss?

Y'all will shocked to find out I'm a saver.  Hahaha!  I crack myself up.  Just kidding.  I'm a purger.  I'm always throwing things in the garbage.  I always have a garbage bag on the go with things to donate.  The upside to living this way is that there really isn't any dreaded clutter in our house (don't look in the basement).  The downside is that I will often go to use something and realize I pitched it long ago.  I find that I don't mind too much, though.  I'd much rather have our house free and clear of "stuff" than keep something I might use every few years.

Agree?  Disagree?  I have a girlfriend that is reading this absolutely cringing at me!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Best/Worst Friends




Oh, these girls. When they get along, they are the best of friends. It is so much fun to listen to them play and laugh. When they fight? It's like fingernails on a chalkboard. One even bit the other on the bum last week. Left teeth marks and everything!

I don't think I ever did that to my sister. Did I?!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Goals for 2014 - Halfway Update

It seems that the further in the year I get, the less my goals even cross my mind.  I do have them printed in my closet where I get dressed every day but it blends into the background now.  Do you have any tricks to hold yourself accountable?  To keep focused?

Family goals

  • maintain our daily outdoor time. Great!!  Just figured it out...560 straight days of getting outside to play.
  • have a family movie night once a month.  No.  Maybe once every 2-3 months?  It seems harder to do this in the summer when we're not inside as much.  I'm not super concerned about this one.  It's fun to do but if we don't do it, no big deal.
  • date night for the girls every 2 weeks.  We go through spurts with this.  The girls absolutely love this one on one time, we need to try harder at this.
  • date night for Shawn and I once a month.  I haven't kept count but I think we've accomplished this one so far.  Love going for date nights!
  • 2 kid-free getaways for Shawn and I before the end of the year.  We've sort of had one!  When the girls went to Camrose, we had a "staycation".

Health goals
  • finish Insanity by January 25.  Done!
  • run a 5k under 22:00 by the end of the summer.  The closest I've come is 22:30.  I'm not sure I can get it under that.
  • complete T-25. I didn't do the program as prescribed.  I don't love a lot of the workouts so I'm just using the ones I do like.
  • complete the newest P90x.  No.  Perhaps in the Fall.
  •  no visits to Bulk Barn.  I did last for a couple of months for this and then didn't.  I won't keep it as a new goal.  I'm trying something different by eating what I want, when I want...and magically, that's been cutting back my sugar cravings considerably.
  • 10 clapping push-ups by June 1.  I actually forgot all about this!  I think I had worked up to 8 but I haven't done one in weeks and weeks.  I'll change this to be for the end of September.
Personal goals
  • meditate every day.  I tried this but it just wasn't for me.  What I have been doing instead is a yoga video (15 minutes) most evenings.  I have always disliked yoga and stretching but for some reason, I am really liking this...getting old?!
  • Facetime with family minimum once a month.  Good!
  • reduce screen time (nothing before school dropoff, 20 minutes at quiet time and I'll leave the evenings open for now since that's when I do the banking, update the blog, check in with my mama group, etc.).  I suuuuuuuuck.
  • take some kind of class for enjoyment (knitting, quilting, cake decorating, etc.)  Done!  Loved my knitting class.
  • write letters to our grandparents once a month.  Doing great with this goal!
  • go and visit Leora (the lady I volunteer for) once every 2 months.  Sadly, she passed away in April.  She was a lovely person and I really enjoyed getting to know her.  I think I will volunteer for the same program again at the end of summer.
  • have 5 piano students by the end of the year. I have one student lined up for Fall.  Need to get on this.
  • finish 1 knitting project by July 1.  Not only did I not finish a project, I didn't start a project and I didn't even buy knitting needles.  Wow.