Myself, Roxy & Curtis at the trailhead

Time on the Mountain

Our long weekend was crazy! We had swimming, fundraisers, church, shopping, and parties to fill our time, but Curtis and I managed to eek out a little date time alone on the mountain too.

As I mentioned in a previous post we’ve recently decided that we need to try and get out together a little more often so that we get a bit of a break and some much needed time alone together to reconnect.

Curtis took the lead this time and arranged for a sitter on Sunday afternoon. We decided we would go for a trail “run”.

Up Vedder Mountain we went.

I’ve been up there numerous times but I don’t think I’ve ever been all the way to the top. When you’re taking kids along you kind of go at their pace. Sometimes that pace is SLOW. It’s more about the journey then the destination.

When it’s two adults going things are a bit quicker. As I said Curtis and I were “running” which was really more like a fast hike, running sections here and there. We managed to make the 10km round trip in about an hour and a half. Slowed down mostly by the dog.

It was so fun to get out, enjoy something together that we seldom get to do alone, and chat.

I think Roxy enjoyed the trip too. She often gets overshadowed by the kids when we go as a family and our little hike probably felt a lot like the good ol’ days for her.

It was a little nostalgic for us too to be out together in the woods. We’ve always enjoyed being in the outdoors together so for us it feels a little like we’re getting back to our roots. We both feel most at rest when we’re outside and the conversation flows easily!

How about you? Did you manage to squeeze in a bit of time alone with your special someone this weekend? I hope so!

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 🙂

Family Trip to Hicks Lake

For the second day of my two day weekend we decided to take the canoe out to Hicks Lake for another day of paddling, fishing, and family play time on the water.  This was the first time that I’d ever been there despite the short drive to get there, and truthfully I can’t tell you why I’ve waited so long to head out that way.  It’s such a gorgeous little lake and one that I’d like to explore again! Perfect for a day at the beach and warmer than most.  It does seem to get deep quickly – at least in the places we were in, so it’s not great for wading, but it gave us opportunity to teach E to trust her lifejacket and actually float with it on.  Good times were had by all on the McHale team, and we returned home a very happy family!

Here are a few shots from the day to keep you smiling 🙂

“Helping” Mommy!

Snack Time!


I LOVE this shot of my little girl and her Daddy together!

Floating with Mommy

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.