Painted & Polished

Sep 30, 2017

Fall Festival in the City

Today was one of those seemingly normal days that turned out to be so incredibly special and most certainly, memorable. We hadn't seen mom (Nanny) in a while and she suggested we meet up for the Fall Festival happening at the Stampede grounds today. There were pumpkin spice pancakes, a mini corn maze, petting zoo, horse carriage rides, face painting, etc. and all for free! Good work city of Calgary! 

Before I had kids, I wasn't really too inclined to go to events like this. But since having Navy, and now Willa, these events truly have taken on new life for me. Seeing the girls take in the magic of a festival like this, well it's magic for mama too. 

This picture cracks me up. It's just so her. Living her life with max gusto. Good gracious I love this child!

Be still my heart. ↑

Willa (11 months now) is at the sweetest stage. She is eager to keep up with Navy and absolutely bursts with pride when she feels like she's keeping up with big sister. ↑ See what I mean?! I can't even handle her expression in that picture. It's just so her these days.  She is the most willing little adventure buddy and contented explorer these days. She seems to have the same gusto for life as her sister, daddy and I and we are positively smitten with her in every way. 

Navy was over the moon about her first face painting experience. For about two weeks straight she's been 'flying' around the house pretending to be a 'butterby with 'parkly pink wings'. So to have one of the exact description ;) painted on her face = major dreams coming true for our little lady. 

As I tucked Navy into bed tonight, just as I was about to walk out of her room she said "Mama, I want to go to another festival tomorrow. And have a another butterfly painted on my other 'cheeker'. I love my face painting sooooo much". I may have teared up as I promised we would find another festival soon, since that's what I call her sweet little cheeks and goodness. What rich joy it is to see her relish in the contentment of savouring good and simple things and sharing them with those you love. And being present to these two little girls delighting in community, celebration, fun and connection sure left mom and I feeling grateful and blessed. 

All day and well after we left the festival I just felt so rooted and so peaceful. Like I had spent the day doing exactly what I should be. Loving on my girls. Paying attention and feeling so overwhelmingly grateful for them and for it all ❤︎

Sep 23, 2017

The Pumpkin Patch - 1 Year Later

Somehow our littlest lady will be 11 months tomorrow (on her daddy's birthday). So today we kicked off the weekend with an afternoon at the pumpkin patch picking the last of the strawberry harvest and choosing some especially lovely pumpkins for our front porch. The whole afternoon had me flashing back to exactly one year ago, when Navy was our only and Willa was still snuggled up in my tummy. 

Looking at the photos from today and comparing them to this time last year, I can hardly believe that we've already enjoyed nearly one year with her in our arms! And yet, her entrance into our lives has been total, consuming magic. The kind of intense magic that needs a year to hold it, really. My heart is utterly besotted as though I never knew a time where I didn't know her and love her. Never could I have imagined such a perfect and complimentary being to join our crew. But here she is. Our gift to watch over with grateful hearts, overflowing. 

And Navy! What change and growth and coming-into-one's-own we've witnessed this past year in her! Our sweet baby-toddler in those pictures from last year has grown into a little girl it seems! Though I'm reluctant to even say that, as my heart knows she's still so little in the grand scheme of things. Still! Emotionally, intellectually and physically, the changes we've witnessed this past year have us wide-eyed and smiling nearly all the time. She makes us belly laugh regularly, swells our hearts with her kindness and generosity and routinely reminds us of the importance of focusing on those things in life which are truly beautiful and life-giving. She is a force of nature in the best possible way. She loves her sister deeply and truly and she has been the most gracious and accommodating toddler as we adjusted to having another baby in the home. Though we worked intentionally to make this transition gentle on her, she chose to cooperate freely and engaged enthusiastically. That has truly been one of the most blessed things to come of this past year in conjunction with Willa's arrival.

I never want to forget the year that Willa joined our lives. And not just for the obvious reason of Willa joining us, but more for the domino effect her presence has had on us all and between us all. Adapting to two children, getting to know Willa, learning even more about Navy, growing as parents navigating uncharted's just enriched the experience of loving this family of mine even more. The love gets deeper and stronger with each passing day and I'm so profoundly grateful for the opportunity to 'do this'. To be their mama and to do it hand in hand with my love. Life is good. 

Jul 24, 2017

A Day Downtown in the Sunshine

We got hit by an unexpected summer cold late last week which escalated to a scary croup situation with Navy early Friday morning. Thankfully the cold air en route to the hospital helped her breathing tremendously and as quickly as it all came on, the laboured breathing & stridor ceased. We were able to avoid a trip to the hospital in the end but rest was still very much needed. So we rested for several days but on Sunday, while not totally well yet, we found ourselves craving some time out of the house (but hoped to do so in a way that wouldn't have us sharing our germs with others ;). So thanks to some inspiration from Nanny recently, we drove into the city, parked downtown and decided to enjoy some sunshine along Stephen Avenue Walk. 

The day was gorgeous, the scenery a welcome metropolitan change from what we've become accustomed to this past year and as kismet would have it, we even stumbled upon a lively festival that captivated Navy for a solid hour. She soaked in the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling big city downtown as did we all. The day was slow, simple and perfect. 

Simultaneously, it made me miss some parts of my former life in the city while also opening my eyes to some really special attributes of the calmer, country life we're now living; quieter blessings that I hadn't really spent much time dwelling on. Always grateful for moments that reveal things when I'm not really looking. Those actually seem to be the most inspired moments, come to think of it. Anyway, overall the day left me feeling grateful for this season we are in and the many more that came before. And afterwards, Ryan and I resolved to make sure more of these simple, mini-adventures are planned moving forward :) 

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