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When your spouse goes away…

Ok, continuing on in this weeks marriage vein, here’s my question: When your spouse goes away do you miss them?

I’m not talking about missing the extra set of hands to help with the kids, wash the dishes or do the laundry (although sometimes those things are nice). I’m talking about the emotional, physical and intellectual connection that you have with them when they’re around.

Sounds simple enough and the resounding answer here is YES. Curtis is missed by ALL around here when he’s not home. Desperately so.

Last weekend Curtis went away to the men’s retreat with the men from our church. I have to tell you I really missed him. A LOT.

I think we noticed it even more this time because not only was he away but he was out of cell range too.

Often when Curtis goes away to a conference or something we’re in pretty constant contact with each other. Really because of the nature of his business we’re in constant contact almost all the time.

I send him texts about our day, what we’re up to, funny things the kids have done, or pleas for sanity when they’re driving me bonkers :).

Because he’s his own boss he can set his own hours and respond accordingly.

Sometimes he’ll ask me not to bug him  because he’s working on a technical project (which is fine) he’ll get back to me later. He also works from 6 am to noon or 1 pm. He’s home by 1pm most days, 2pm at the latest.

All this to say that when he’s not around his presence is missed. I love having our afternoons together. We take the kids to the park, sit on the couch and have coffee, do household chores, and cook dinner together. We’re together A LOT and we like it that way.

We know that we’re really spoiled in this respect and so thankful that he’s able to schedule his day in whatever way works best for our family.

Having him away over the weekend and not even being able to text was a very different experience. I missed our connection to each other and felt really lonely at times.

We filled our time well. Really we had a very busy weekend with swimming, friends and open houses but still. These are things that I’m still often chatting with him about even if he’s away somewhere.

Another thing that’s really normal for us when he’s away is to Skype or FaceTime after the kids are in bed. It’s a great way to see each other, catch up on the day, and just be aware of what’s going on in each of our lives while we’re apart. With him out of cell range we can’t do that. (I call my parents instead, I’m sure they LOVE it when Curtis is away.)

It’s always fun to watch movies he wouldn’t want to watch with me, chat with my Mom a little bit extra (sorry Mom), and spend loads of extra time with friends without feeling guilty about leaving him behind, but we’re always very happy when he gets home.

To celebrate his return yesterday we actually drove out to camp to pick him up then spent the day at the beach. The kids were in heaven, and I love getting to watch them be loved on by their Daddy. It’s pretty special.

Here’s to my awesome man! I’m glad he enjoyed himself got some R&R and got to strengthen his relationships with the men in our church, but I’m SO happy he’s home. I miss him when he’s away. We were made to be together and we like it that way!

2015 Summer Fun List

Last summer we made a Summer Fun List – a list of ideas of things we could do locally during the summer.

It included everything from finding a new local playground, to camping trips, to dinners out, and trips to the zoo.

It was a HUGE success. We didn’t get to everything on the list but we did a lot, and any time we weren’t sure of what we wanted to do we would consult the list. The kids and I did more of it than Curtis, but he joined us for a good many things and it kept us busy all summer long.

Our Summer Fun List was so successful last year that we’re going to do it again. Some things are repeats, some are new, some are free, and some will cost a bit of money. We won’t get to everything and that’s ok. The point is to have some ideas so that when we have a free day to go exploring we don’t waste it trying to come up with something fun!

So here it is:

  • Visit the Fairy Park (Redwood Park in Surrey)
  • Visit the Historic Burnaby Villiage – ride the carousel!
  • Go to the Vancouver Aquarium ( I already have passes I got through air miles, so this is hopefully a given!)
  • Visit the Zoo (again I have a family pass I got through air miles so this should be easy)
  • Hike all of Vedder – we visited the “first hole” this winter but would like to get to the top.
  • Go to Party in the Park
  • Have Pizza at Cultus Lake
  • Plant a vegetable garden
  • Hike Elk Mountain
  • Go on a family camping trip
  • Make S’mores
  • Have a beach day with Daddy in White Rock
  • Find a new game to play at Party in the Park
  • Go to the beach at Hicks Lake
  • Pick Strawberries
  • Pick Blueberries (E specifically wants to do this in a friend’s yard but we’ll have to see)
  • Find a new park in Chilliwack
  • Go to the Water slides
  • Take a family bike ride and have a picnic
  • Write a letter to my favourite cousin Megan ( watch out Meg you have a letter from a 4 year old in your future!)
  • Visit Bridal Falls
  • Go out for Ice Cream
  • Play Mini Golf
  • Go Canoeing
  • Have a beach day at Cultus Lake with our friends
  • Have friends over for Friday Night Pizza
  • Make Blueberry Muffins
  • Pick Vegetables
  • Build a Sandcastle
  • Go to a new Splash Park
  • Run through the sprinkler (we don’t have one but we should be able to do this somewhere!)
  • Go on a Mommy & E only run
  • Find a NEW splash park
  • Visit Othello Tunnels
  • Go on a train ride (if anyone knows how I can make this one happen I am open to suggestions!)
  • Visit the Kilby Store
  • Enjoy a Harrison Lake beach day
  • Take a trip to Birchwood Dairy
  • Go on a family backpacking trip
  • Visit Queens Park in New Westminster
  • Go to VBS

This is our list so far! Feel free to steal ideas, and if you have any great ideas for summer fun then let me know! We’ll add them on 🙂

Paddling with the Fam on Chilliwack Lake

This weekend I was very lucky to get TWO days off in a row.  This is a rare occurrence for me in the summer as I work in a paddling shop so the summer season is our busy time and all hands are on deck for the weekend. To celebrate our two days of freedom my hubby and I decided it was way past time to introduce the little stink to the water.

Paddling has been our passion for a LONG time.  In fact the first summer we were married we lived in a tent and worked as wilderness canoe guides for a small summer camp in Ontario.  In more recent years we’ve mostly paddled whitewater but since having our daughter it’s become increasingly clear that it’s not all that practical or easy for us both to get out on the water unless we’re taking E with us too.

“Ready Go Mommy!”

Friday night I brought a canoe home from work, and Saturday morning we threw everything into the car and headed to Chilliwack Lake.  We were there by 9, and the lake was glassy smooth.  Our plan was to paddle to the end of the lake and park it for the day on a sandy beach that we’ve visited before. We couldn’t have chosen a better location.  The paddle was just the right length – it took us about an hour and a half – any longer and E would have become very impatient, but as it was she rode up front with me, spent most of her time standing holding the hand thwart and taking in the sights.  Regularly turning and saying – FUN MOMMY in her very excited little girl voice.  All I could think was WHY have we waited so long to share this passion with her.

A rare moment – E actually sitting on the center seat.

We spent the day on the beach, fishing, throwing rocks, swimming, going for walks and just loving being together as a family.

“Fishing” with Daddy

Around 2ish we decided to paddle back down the lake to the main beach.  Of course by this time the wind had started to blow and we were paddling into a headwind all the way back. For the Hubby and I this was really nothing major and the conditions were well within our abilities, but I have to admit that when your most precious cargo is sitting on the floor in front of you trusting you intrinsically to get her back home it does change your perspective a little bit.  Thankfully E had not napped yet and fell asleep about four seconds into the ride back down the lake. Somehow despite the constant splashing of water on her head and being bumped around by the waves she stayed soundly asleep until we were out of the wind and about half an hour from our take out. Once she woke she sat and contentedly drank the milk I gave her cheerfully chatting away about the things we had seen that day and asking to “go beach again”.

Havin’ a snooze in the canoe

In the car on the way home I remarked to my hubby that we so often choose not to do things because it seems like so much work to get ready and so many other things that should be done get left until “later,” but putting those things off until “later” is SO worth it for experiences like this one.  It was then that we decided that the household chores could wait another day and we would head out to another local lake tomorrow … but that is a story for another time.