Lake Minnewanka – Our First Outing with Izze

These photos are from our first real outing as a family of four after Izze was born. We wanted to get some fresh air in the mountains so we headed out to one of our favorite places in Banff, Lake Minnewanka. It’s not a long walk from where you park to the lake, so it’s great for letting a toddler roam and get out their wiggles. Plus, once you’re down to the lake there are endless amounts of rocks to be thrown in the water. Eli was in heaven! It was nice to see him so cheerful and in his element after such a huge change with a new baby in the house. He looked so cute in his little backpack he had just gotten for his second birthday. I think he wanted to pack all the rocks home in it. 
Izze stayed fast asleep wrapped to mama and I enjoyed those delicious newborn baby snuggles while we roamed the lake side with Eli. We took to the trail and did a very minimal amount of hiking because snack time waits for no man. We had some snacks and made our way back to the car because Eli was getting tired and Izze was starting to wake. I nursed Izze in the car and we pulled double diaper changing duty out of the back of the Subaru. It was the perfect mini adventure for our first outing with two kids. I think Dan and I may have joked about having survived it as we drove home, but really looking back I can’t remember feeling stressed about it. I’m so thankful for this sweet little family that are all mine. 
Wrap: Solly Baby – Giveaway HERE!

Where Will All the Target Moms Go?

Target closing in Alberta Canada

Have you heard the terrible news? 
Yes, it’s true, Target is closing up shop in Canada. When they first made the announcement I thought it had to be a bad internet prank. How could they do this to me? How could they do this to us?! Where will all the Target moms go? I’m still feeling rather dramatic about it all. 
When we first moved to Canada there were so many changes happening in our life. So many little things different in a country that in many respects is almost exactly the same (examples). We were trying to settle in and headed to the mall to buy some baby stuff, because moving with a four month old is super easy. Sigh. 
“At least they have Target here! What a saving grace.”
Pick up one of those red shopping carts by the door, stroll my way to the diaper section, with a pit stop in the clothing isle because that’s always necessary. You know the drill. On a cold winter day there’s the trusty Starbucks waiting to warm you up. You take your warm beverage and stroll through the housewares section, even though you don’t actually need anything there. Don’t forget to swing through the grocery section to pick up the one thing you forgot to buy the other day at the actual grocery store.
If you’re like me, the first shopping cart your baby ever rode in was one at Target. You smile as the other moms pass you by. Yes, it’s mostly other moms. There are troops of women with strollers, pregnant women browsing the affordable maternity clothes and peeking at the clearance baby clothes racks. And then there’s the grandma’s, holding a newborn baby for their daughter while she desperately tries to find some clothes that fit post-partum in the Target dressing rooms. 
If your Target has two levels, you will wait in line with all the other moms for the tiny tiny elevator that holds two strollers/shopping carts max. Because of course it makes sense to put all the kids stuff upstairs. But that’s ok, because the chocolate is upstairs too. What’s a little mom-cation to Target without a sweet treat to take away?

Target store closing in Canada
Flash forward to today. A total Black Friday in February, lines piling out the door of my local Canadian Target. Clearance signs hang from everything, but mostly the “deals” are 10% off. The Starbucks is closed. The shelves are becoming empty, and I picked up what will probably be our last pack of Target diapers for a long while.

Where will all the Target moms go? I guess we will shred our Red Cards and hopefully not have to resort to that other store, you know the one I mean. The one that ends in -mart.

Banff Trips | Vermillion Lakes

We have been making frequent trips out to Banff recently because that’s where Dan ended out getting his knee surgery done. I don’t even mind the hour and a half drive out for a follow up appointment because we get to have a fun family outing in the outdoors as a bonus! This trip we scoped out Vermillion Lakes, which as you can see is absolutely gorgeous. There are great views of Mt. Rundle and lots of mountain air to fill the soul. 

So You Live in Canada, Eh?

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends! We are still learning the ropes on living here but I can truly say I love this country. 
It’s been 10 months since we have lived in Canada now. Sometimes it feels like we just got here and some times it feels like we’ve been here forever. I always have people in the US ask me how is it different from living there, so I’ve been compiling a list in my mind and now I’m sharing it with you! It’s mostly random thoughts and observations, and lets be honest, generalizations. And hey, REAL Canadians, correct me where I’m wrong. 
– Kilometers instead of miles per hour. No biggie
– Metric in general people… I still don’t know, and Dan’s a scientist so it doesn’t bother him in the slightest
– It’s part of the Commonwealth
– and with the Commonwealth comes ROYALS! (Will & Kate forever, amen.)
– Gas is usually more expensive πŸ™
– AND lots of gas stations say gas bar on them. I know, what? Let’s go fill up at the gas bar!
Poutine. God’s gift to Canadian food. Most everywhere that has fries also has poutine. Yes McDonalds, I’ll have gravy with those fries, k thanks.
– Actually the only reason I ever went to McDonalds was for $1 fountain diet coke, which THEY DON’T have in Canada. GASP! This was a real bummer for me when we first moved here. $2.48, what am I made of money?!
– and here that would be a pop, not a soda
– The ‘In’ door on the left and the ‘Out’ door on the right for most stores. Maddening! 
– People really really don’t say ‘Eh’ as much as we think they do. Plus, I totally see where it’s useful and correct to use sometimes when speaking. So, I’m all about it!
– Winter hats are called toques (rhymes with kook)
– The CFL, the Canadian Football League! Which I had no clue existed until we moved here.
– Tim Horton’s everyyyyywhere
– Hockey is kind of a big deal
– I really don’t miss paying for Dr. appointments
– A washroom is a bathroom
Nanaimo bars, God’s other gift to Canadian food!
– Zed instead of zee for the letter ‘Z’
– Smarties here are a candy that’s like M&M’s
– their money is WAY cooler looking! Sorry America but it’s got colors, and cool see through parts
– Loonie = one dollar coin
– Toonie = two dollar coin 
– You have to put a dollar coin in most shopping carts to access them in the store. When we first moved here I didn’t realize you got the coin back and was like WTF?! haha (Why am I admitting my ignorance?)
– Most grocery stores you have to pay for plastic shopping bags. I actually think this is great because now we bring cloth bags everywhere! So much better and a habit we will for sure keep up when we move. 
-Thanksgiving is in October (never, ever would I get used to this, but it was fun celebrating twice!)
– Garburator = garbage disposal 
– Postal codes not zip codes
– Referring to the USA as “The States”
– French is very prominent on all packaging
– No pennies
– Spelling: cheques, colour, theatre, etc. 
– People are generally really really nice!
So that wraps it up for now. Whew! I’ll have to follow this up before we move from here some day for a more complete list. Americans, did you know some of these? Canadians, what funny things do you notice about the States?

Victoria’s Day at Grassi Lakes

We celebrated our first Victoria’s Day here in Canada with a trip to Grassi Lakes. We hiked out with some friends, ate a nice simple lunch by the water, talked about Geology, and enjoyed our first hike of the Summer season. We gave Eli his first real maiden voyage in the hiking pack and he was a huge fan. We can’t wait to hit more trails!
^the water color was unreal!
^mini geologist in training
^Eli’s face! I just laugh
^We had some rain sprinkles but nothing bad
Sorry Eli missed out on the family photo op, guess we will have to get used to turning to the side or something haha. After the hiking naturally I wanted some donuts, so he hailed to the closest Tim Hortons (how Canadian of us) and the line was insane, and I abandoned by donut dreams. But that’s ok because that night we had a taco party… I wish I had photos but that food was inhaled, it was so good! So there we have it, a Victoria’s Day wrap up. 

Elbow Falls

It’s no secret we love being outdoors. This was a quick trip one weekend to Elbow Falls on a day that was otherwise filled with to do’s and tasks. We took a break for a quick two hour jaunt to refresh and breath in some fresh air. Boy is that always worth it. The crisp air on our faces, Eli’s diaper butt sticking out of his pants as he took in the view from Dan’s shoulders. It was the best!
Apparently the falls used to fall much more (that sounds weird) but anyway they’ve changed since the flood here last year. I still think it’s a total beauty!
^still getting those legs used to walking on snow

Half Marathon Here I Come!

I’m officially registered for my first half marathon and beyond excited! I’ve been training and feeling great. Mostly on the dreaded treadmill, but for the past few weeks now that all the snow is gone I’ve been getting outside and loving it. Even if I have to push Eli in the jogging stroller to get it done.
Let the countdown begin, 32 days until the Calgary Marathon! 

Royals

grainy cell phone photos ftw of the felt crown Eli played with for like 2.5 seconds!

Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket in the mail before? It’s kind of demoralizing. Like, “hey we caught you doing something bad you don’t even remembering doing,” sucker. Just when I was going to give myself some made up medal for being an official grandma driver, I got one. Well, to be precise, Dan got one, because our car is registered to him here in Canada. But the time and date stamp on that photo of my car show the shame belongs to me. So why share my shame with you? I’ll tell you why! The wording on the ticket was too great not to share:

“In the name of her majesty the queen you are therefor commanded to appear in court.”

COMMANDED you guys!

Anyways, I’m just gonna pay the fine and avoid court, thanks. I’ll consider it as a gift for Will & Kate and baby George. Hey! Speaking of them… are you as obsessed with Kate Middleton as me? Well if you are, here are some great stalker links for her amazing outfits on their latest tour.

This yellow dress, I LOVE it.

Prince George GIFS

That red jacket, so good!

A day at the zoo

-and because of her awesome style this dress sold out in 8 minutes!

-and another sell out dress that I love

-and a total clothes recap πŸ˜‰

P.S. Thanks Mel for supplying me with most of the fodder for my addiction

A Hike to Lake Agnes Tea House

We wanted to do a hike when we visited Lake Louise, so we settled on the hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House. It’s closed in the winter of course, but it has the best views. Like crazy amazing! Below is a serious photo dump from it, but to be honest I pared it down quite a lot. It was gorgeous view after gorgeous view! Eli is such a trooper for our outdoor adventures, but it’s past time we get a proper hiking pack for him. He wants to be able to look around and see everything, and who could blame him. So if you have a hiking pack you love feel free to let me know about it! We are sure to have some long treks in the summer time. (!)
trying on daddy’s hat for size. a bit big πŸ˜‰
Being outside with my family is one of my favorite things. There’s no way to describe the feeling of peace I get from being outside, in the grand world God has created. With giant mountains towering nearby and we quietly sit and eat some snacks. Even in the freezing cold it’s kind of wonderful nursing Eli when we are on our little adventures. The cold quiet air just breezes past our faces as I feed him in the most natural way, out in nature. It’s perfect.