Lets go camping

I some times wonder about my husband and his love of camping. He’s fascinated by it. He can spend days, weeks, out in nature. Me? Well I spend an hour and I end up covered in hives. So nature and me aren’t really on good terms. I love nature, I think its beautiful. I just love it from a safe distance.

But marriage is about compromise, give and take, all that crap. So camping we go.

At least this was just a camping trip with the two of us. No kids. So it would be totally restful, right? Right. Completely restful if you don’t take into account having to walk almost 10 minutes each way just to go to the bathrooms.

This was my first camping trip in a while. I was honestly a little rusty. I forgot just how important meal planning actually is. And how super important it is to make sure you actually have all the ingredients for the meals you foolishly planned out in your head but not fully in reality. I also really need to learn how to pack light. I for the life of me can never pack light. Ever. Especially if kids are involved. Which they will be on our next camping trip. (Did I really just say ‘next’?!)

I may not have meal planned all that well, but at least I made pillow cases for the trip! Thats got to count for something!

Did I mention that my husband built a bed to fit in our van?! Crazy right?! More on that in another post. It needs its own post.

It was a a nice escape from reality. Surrounded by nature, having a campfire, no noise, no tv, no radio. And when you have a husband who loves camping as much as mine, and who also likes things just a certain way, there does tend to be very little to do in regards to site set up and take down.

I will admit at first it was very odd to just sit and have no distractions. It is amazing how much noise we deal with in a day. Radio, tv, ads that pop up on websites, on games on your phone. We are forever being bombarded by advertisements. They are every where, all the time, non stop. That part I really enjoyed about camping. It was nice to just be fully in the moment.

I told my husband that. Apparently we will be camping more, and soon. So stayed tuned for tips and tricks when it comes to camping, overlanding, all with 3 little kids.

~ Michelle

 

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Overland

Have you ever heard of Overlanding? Someone being an Overlander? Yeah, me neither. My husband introduced me to it a while ago. And honestly I am still trying to figure it out. Basically to Overland is to travel by car over great distances, days, weeks or even months at a time. Basically it evolves a whole lot of driving and camping. Not really my scene, but other people seem to love it. Some people are even considered “full time overlanders’. Apparently there is a whole Overland lifestyle out there.

So why did my husband who knows how much nature and bugs hate me, want to introduce me to something like this? Simply put, this is totally his scene. He loves stuff like this.

So after much talking, mostly done by my husband, I have agreed to go on adventures known as Overlanding. Still not sure what I have gotten myself in to.

One thing is for sure, this is not a full time thing. At least not right now. I am still very much a fan of running water and sleeping in my own bed in my own room. Plus nature and bugs hate me. I go for a hike and end up covered in hives. So this is going to be an interesting experience.

So as I learn more about this lifestyle, as we go on adventures, you can follow along here and on Instagram.

And if you know anything about Overlanding, tips, tricks, advice, help, please send me a message!!!!

~ Michelle

Cheers To 2017

2017 came in with full force. And not a very good force. I had every intention of starting the year out with an awesome kick ass blog post about how I was going to rock this year. I was going to have a New Years Resolution. I was going to have a focus word. It was going to rock. Completely and totally rock your socks off.

Then reality came. On January 1st I lost an aunt to cancer. Another aunt was in hospital (she is out and better now). And yet another Aunts health is failing. It has been a lot to deal with. My anxiety has been so bad. So hard to deal with at times. This invisible monster is leaving visible scars.

This year I have no idea what will happen. I have no idea what my goals are. I do know that whatever happens, I want to make the most of it. So cliche isn’t it?! But it is true. 2017 is already proving how precious life is, how important it is to take advantage of every day, tell people you love them, let go of things, move forward no matter how scary. My anxiety and depression monsters will not control and dominate me this year. Their lies will not weaken me. (Easier said than done!)

This weekend I will be traveling to the states with my parents and my toddler. Sounds easy enough right? Tell that to my anxiety. I am having non stop anxiety and panic attacks about it. This will be the longest my toddler has been away from my husband. She will not be happy to be away from her daddy and brothers for so long. And I have never had to take her to a funeral before. All of this causing so much anxiety on top of the grieving. The truth of it all? None of this is about me, despite all my anxiety crushing me, this is about a life lost and going to honour this persons amazing life. Like I said before, life is too short, I will move forward no matter how scary. I will face my anxiety monster head on and go on this trip with my daughter.

Days after getting back my daughter has a pre-op appointment and then the next week she will have surgery. My anxiety is not giving me a break this month so far. I will not let this monster have me. My daughter needs me, my sons need me, my husband needs me. Heck, I need me!

So maybe I do have a goal? Kick my monsters butts? Or maybe my goal is more simply put, to take it one day at a time, to survive, to rise above and soar?

Despite not having clear goals written down, not having a focus word, despite the hard start to 2017, I will try my damnedest to rock this year.

~ Michelle

A Weekend Of Gilmore Girls And Christmas Lights

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

I’m in a weekend hangover / Gilmore Girls hangover this morning. Oh Gilmore Girls, how you mess with my emotions! I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I felt about it, so much of it bugged me, but over all I loved it. I have always wanted to live in Stars Hollow. Seriously, I have always thought it was the best little town ever. Oh! Kirk and his pet pig! Loved it!

Back to reality.

This weekend besides obsessing over Gilmore Girls, we took a wonderful last minute crazy drive down to Niagara Falls on Saturday night. We looked at the Christmas lights, it was our first time going there with our daughter. We used to do it every single year but we missed out on the last 3 years. I cried when my toddler declared “Mama! I love this! I love the lights!” Her excitement, oh man, it was just what my heart needed. Everyone in the car totally fed off of her enjoyment! It was magical. However the drive straight back home was a bit much. Sunday I was so tired. Clearly I am getting too old for these kind of adventures.

Speaking of Sunday. Our Sunday was filled with Christmas movies and finishing up the Christmas decorations outside! It was wonderful. Perfect family day. Till my husband showed just how much faith he has in me. I dragged him out to the store real quick, I wanted some plants to put on the windowsill in the kitchen. I picked out two of the cutest little plants (yes plants can be cute) and my husband declared “How about you just get one, and see how that goes.” As if I will make the plant burst into flames or instantly die as soon as I bring it in the house. Day 1 with plant, and it is still alive and not burnt. Just so you know.

Today I am ready to take on the week. I worked out this morning. I cleaned up, I organized. I dreamed big. And now my toddler is completely trashing my house, or as she says she’s “showing off her toys”. Now to clean up again, and then again, and maybe some more after that.

I started out the day wanting to write out some goals. Then I sat down to to do it, and I just wasn’t feeling it. I really have to be in the right mood for it, or there is no point. Today I am running on pure determination and sugar and caffeine. Lots of caffeine.

So now to take on the rest of the week, and to keep my plant alive!

~ Michelle

 

 

Post Vacation Reality

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

We are back from our trip, everything is finally put away, re-organized and tans have already started to fad. Wait a minute. Did we even go on a trip?! Months and months of planing, and just like that it is over in a flash.

The trip itself was some what surreal. It was our first big family trip as a family of 5. Something not too long ago I didn’t think would be possible. Not to mention when did finally make it to Florida, after 26.5 hours in the car (my toddler only had two 2-hour naps that whole drive!), we stayed at my Grandparents house. This was the first time stepping foot in their house since both of them passed. It was so sad. I couldn’t help picturing them there, sitting in their chairs, watching their great-grandchildren play. At the same time it was also nice to feel so close to them again. It had been 4 years since I last visited that house. But this was the first time there since both had passed and since my daughter was born. My daughter that neither one ever got to meet.

I’m still trying to sort through my emotions from the trip, and all the fun we had. So much happened. It was wonderful to spend a week alone, just the 5 of us, going on adventures every day and spending lots of time in the pool! Time spent in the pool is always a good time. Ocean time, boat rides, trolly rides, and dolphins. So much fun, so little time. However if we don’t spend that much time in the car again any time soon, I will be very happy! 26.5 hours straight down, and 3 days, no wait 4 days back in the car? Either way it was a lot of time in the car! A lot. Thankfully my toddler was happy in the car, until the very end when she threw up every where in the car. Never a dull moment in parenthood.

Now the kids are back to school, it is just my toddler and me at home. No road trips on the horizon, but adventures are around every corner and I can’t wait for our next one, whatever it may be.

~ Michelle

Almost Time For Our Road Trip

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Month.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Time is quickly approaching for our week long trip to Florida. I wrote about a million lists and started packing, but that was all put on hold when my two boys and husband got sick this weekend. Fingers crossed they don’t pass it on to my daughter and me. And even more fingers crossed our trip is still on. After months and months of saving and planning I would hate to see it fall apart now.

This week is all about survival and getting all the germs out of my house. Any anxiety I had about this trip before got multiplied by a million when sickness was added to this mix, so I will be working and deal with that this week. Also I will need lots of coffee. Because right now coffee is my very best friend. Coffee makes me feel like I can accomplish anything, it believes in me, it loves me and I love it.

Now back to the trip and packing. Have I ever mentioned that I hate packing? Especially when I am packing for myself, and 4 other people! We are only going for a week but by my list and the things I already have packed you would think we were moving! I didn’t even put this much effort and pack this much stuff when my husband and I went to Kenya for two weeks! Also I am pretty sure that about 60% of the stuff I am packing we don’t actually need. But I like to be prepared. I would rather pack it and have it with me and end up not needing it than needing something and not having it. But still… Holy Crow! Its a lot of stuff!

How do you entertain 3 kids in the car for over 24 hours straight?! Including one toddler that hates the car?! Well stay tuned and I will show you what I have come up with. Honestly, the thought of all this scares me. But I know it will be fine. My parents did it with me and my siblings, and that was long before in car dvd players and iPods and laptops and all that, and some how we all survived. I’m sure we will too. I just don’t know how right now…

~ Michelle

 

 

Things To Pack For The Cottage

Seems like this is a big part of summer for a lot of people, is a trip to the cottage. Whether you own one, rent one, or visit with friends and family. At some point a lot of people will face the hours of traffic for a bit of relaxing and fun this summer.

Here is a small list of things to make sure you pack before you spend hours in traffic.

1. Sunglasses, Sunscreen, and a Hat. Don’t want to get a sunburn on your first day out on the lake just to suffer for the rest of your vacation! Protect your skin!

2. Bathing Suits and clothes. This should be obvious, unless of course you like to skinny dip, or a nudist, in which case, skip this one.

3. Books/Magazines. IF you happen to get a few minutes to yourself, maybe after dark while the rest of the house is sleeping, or early in the morning, it’s always nice to get a chance to catch up on your reading (or gossip depending on what magazine you buy!), or to read if you get stuck in traffic. Also nice to take kids books to make sure you still get to read your kids a bed time story.

4. Life Jacket. Especially if you have kids. Always make sure you have safe, proper sized life jackets, especially if you are boating. Always good to have one on the kids all the time when they are around water.

Cottage

5. Masks/Snorkel. This was a must for my boys when they went to the cottage. They spent so much time floating around with their Life Jackets on, Masks and Snorkel watching “the under water world”.

6. Food/Drinks. And snacks for the car! No fun to show up to a cottage just to realize you have to go back out for food. Come prepared! Meal plan! No point wasting time out shopping for food when you could be rest by the lake.

7. Stuffed Animals! This was my kids idea! They said I had to put this on the list. We took some of their stuffed animals with us. A little piece of home to help make them feel comfortable and sleep better at night! When they kids sleep well at night, everyone sleeps well!

8. Toys/Games. If you have kids, and you happened to get rained out. Make sure you have something to pass the time. Or even in the evening before bed. We played so many card games. It was a lot of fun and always a good laugh.

9. Water Toys/ Pool Noodles. Sometimes even a lake needs a little extra fun. Or if there happens to be a small little beach area where you are, always nice to have a few toys handy for kids to play with.

10. Flash Light and extra batteries for it. Especially if you have a kid like my little one that had to keep turning on his flash light as soon as he thought it was getting dark out. Also super fun for making shadow puppets on the wall with at bed time! And glow sticks! Put glow sticks on the kids once it gets dark out, they think its fun, and it helps keep track of them in the dark if you happen to be out star-gazing.

11. Bug spray, After Bite, and Benadryl. Nature hates me, so these items are a must for me and my family!

What are your must have items for the cottage? 

~ Michelle