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Trips & Getaways

VLOG: Our Ski Trip To Holiday Valley + A Major Parenting Fail

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VLOG: Our Ski Trip To Holiday Valley + A Major Parenting Fail

Have I ever told you about one of my husband and I's first fights?

It happened on the first snowfall after we got engaged. We woke up in the morning to see the ground covered in white stuff. He was instantly giddy (the man loves all thing winter sports) and I was instantly in a bad mood. 

"What's your problem?" he asked. 

"I hate winter. Like I hate everything to do with winter... If I could hibernate until spring I would" 

Well, we actually got into a heated conversation about my "poor attitude". Apparently he was unaware that that I hated winter when he got down and popped the question.  He and the kids both LOVE winter sports

Always, to make a long story short, I had a choice. I could continue to be the Debbie Downer of winter or I could get myself some snow gear and try and change my attitude.

I choose the second.

Almost 6 years into our relationship, I still prefer the heat over the cold, however I have come to have an appreciation for winter sports, especially skiing. It's actually amazing for "family time".

In fact, skiing has become one of my favourite things to do in the winter (well, other than lying on a Caribbean beach with a Pina colada that is) ... 

A few weeks back, we took my youngest stepson and Reese on a little road trip to Holiday Valley in Ellicotvile. It's our favourite ski resort sand we make a point fo going at least once a season!

Last minute,  the older two weren't able to get off school, so they stayed back with their mom. It was pretty disappointing, but also gave us lots of one -on-one time with my youngest stepson, which is hard to get in a big blended family!  

Always, I blogged the getaway (and a major parenting we had with Reese) ... Enjoy!

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A huge thanks for Holiday Valley for hosting us again this year. As always, it was a phenomenal time! 

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Skipping School, Skipping Work & Hitting The Slopes

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Skipping School, Skipping Work & Hitting The Slopes

Family and friends often make comments about how we are "always on the go". It's true. We are.

We LOVE to jet-set off for a weekend, go up to cottage country, get away from the hustle bustle of everyday life, get some fresh air and just unwind. To say we are a pretty active family is an understatement. My husband and I have a "work hard/play hard" mentality and all about experiences and making memories! 

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There is no such thing as a PERFECT Family

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There is no such thing as a PERFECT Family

So we are back from our vacation up at the cottage, and are doing our VERY best to get back into the swing of things (while still trying to soak up the last that our Canadian Summer has to offer) 

While we were up on vacay, I received some emails from followers referring to my "perfect" family, and asking for tips on how to have the "perfect stepfamily life" 

As much as I LOVE hearing from the fabulous women who read my blog, when I read these emails all I could say was "NO! NO! NO!"

 The truth is, if you're looking for advice on how to achieve a perfectly harmonious stepfamily life, you'll need to ask someone else, because you won't find it here! 

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Summer Loving + Renos + The KICK-ASS STEPMOM Project

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Summer Loving + Renos + The KICK-ASS STEPMOM Project

Just when I thought things couldn't get any busier in our CRAZY, BEAUTIFUL Blended Family Life, they did! 

Amongst all the usual shanigans (aka memory making) of summer, we've decided to a few more things our plate. Which is why things have been pretty quiet over here!

Today I thought I'd take a break from the madness and pop on and give you guys a bit of an update on everything that's been going... and tell you about some exciting things that are coming up for YOU this fall!!

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What Having A Mouse In My Bed Reminded Me About Real Life

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What Having A Mouse In My Bed Reminded Me About Real Life

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I were lucky enough to get away to one of our favourite places... The French River. 

We are members of a houseboat up there. 

Now before you say get this picture of a luxorious houseboat in your head, you need to know this thing is a bit of monstrosity. It's about the next best thing to sleeping on the ground!

Either way, we love it. It's by far our favourite place in the world. But like I said, it's  roughing it. You're parked in nature, a pretty decent boat ride away from anything civilized. 

With all the joys of going off the grid, come certain risks. Risks like rodents and reptiles. Snakes and mice to be exact. 
 

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Our Shift In Mindset + Our Summer Goals

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Our Shift In Mindset + Our Summer Goals

Hey there!

Well, we are officially in our summer groove over here! 

We just wrapped up our first week with the kids and it was full everything that summer should be!

Ice cream runs, batting cages, beach days, sleep-ins, and some serious giggles! 

(My stepchildren come every other week, so because of the schedule, our official summer kick-off was a bit delayed) 

For some reason, I'm more excited about summer than I have been for the longest time. I feel like a kid again! I think it has something to do my husband and I making an intentional mindset shift.  

Lately, there has been all sorts of bad news around us. People getting sick, tragic accidents, shootings, riots, you name it. 
 

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My Newest Stepfamily Stressor & A Glimpse At Our Family Weekend Getaway

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My Newest Stepfamily Stressor & A Glimpse At Our Family Weekend Getaway

When I reflect back on the beginning of this Stepmom Journey, I see that there has been an evolution in our stepfamily stressors. The things that used to stress me out, no longer have the same affect. 

Now I can anticipate and even laugh at some of the stressors that come about (while at the beginning there was no laughing at all). 

The unpredictable has become predictable. 

Stepfamily life has been cyclical. As with many things in life, it's all about the ebbs and flows. 

But that doesn't mean it's all hearts & sparkles in our stepfamily world. 

As the affect of other stressors has lessened, we've developed a new pile of stressors. Ones that involve our baby girl, Reese. Or as the kids refer to her, "Reesey Bear". 

The affect that blended family life would have on Reese is not something I gave much thought. But as it turns out, even though her parents aren't divorced, having siblings with divorced parents, is well, down right sad for her. 

Instead of trying to explain this, I am going to give you an example. 

About a month ago, we decided to take off for the weekend on a Family Ski Getaway. All four kids had an absolute blast

(check out some of our pictures in the video montage I made for my husband below!) 

We returned home on a Monday evening. In our world, Monday is "transition day". The kids are either coming for the week, or going to their Mom's for the week.  On this particular Monday they were heading back to their Moms. 

My husband and I sat in the living room while the kids got ready to go back. Reese was chasing them around the house, giggling like usual. 

If you ask me, she just had the best weekend of her life (all 22 months of it). She was smiling, happy and had so much quality time with her siblings. With our crazy extra-curricular schedule, that doesn't happen often.

As she chased them around the house she was still on the weekend high! I could see it in her sparkling little eyes. My eyes on the other hand, were filling up with tears, knowing what was going to happen when they walked out that door. 

We notice a huge difference in Reese's personality when "the kids" are around. She's happier. She laughs more. She is more playful.

Reese is a very well adjusted toddler. When we leave her, she rarely cries. She knows we are coming back. 

The only time she cries is when her brothers and sister walk out the door. Because in her little mind, she has no idea when they are coming back. She doesn't understand the whole "week-on-week-off" thing. 

I always thought that Reese would have the best of both worlds - an only child for one week and then a child with lots of siblings the next. Right now, it doesn't seem that way at all. 

I have no solution. Nothing inspiring to say about this ... it's one of those situations where at the end of the day "it is what it is" and you just have to make the best of it. Which is a hard things to do when you have a little girl crying for her sister and brothers every time they leave. 

(Cue comments that include..."time to have another baby!")

On a happier note, here's the video I made for my husband with a few of our pictures from our weekend getaway! 
 

Being successful in this step-parenting role (like most things in life) is all about finding a way to deal with the stressors you have no control over... in the most positive way possible. 

 That's what The KICK-ASS STEPMOM Project, launching May 2, is all about!
Finding a way to manage stepfamily stressors & being a KICK-ASS STEPMOM while you're at it.

If you haven't already, click the picture below and secure your spot! 

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A Glimpse Into Our Romantic Weekend Away

This past weekend my husband and I went away, JUST the two of us.
This is the first time in over a year that we have had ABSOLUTE alone time…
Now many people will say, you guys go away all the time.
Yes that is true… but not just the two of us.
Many times it’s full of business conferences, kids or other obligations.
This time, we went away just him + I!

And we literally had to take a 5 hour drive + a 2 hour boat ride to get away from all the hustle bustle of life…

The drive was long and the trip was short, but goodness gracious was it ever worth it!

Now I’m guessing you didn’t predict that this romantic getaway would take place on this … well… trailer on water! But it did!

This is where we have to go to clear our minds + actually UNPLUG! It’s one of my favourite places in the whole world!

ONE of the reasons is that THIS is where it all began for us.

You see three years ago, this is where we went for our first ever trip together (he really pulled out all the stops eh?)

We came up here and spent a full 6 days in that trailer on water, docked on that very rock. 4 of those days we didn’t see a soul.

Prior to that we had been doing the whole dating thing. Late night phone calls + seeing each other whenever there was a free moment. But after that trip we decided we didn’t want wake up without each other anymore (cheesy I know, but it’s what we said!)

So we drove home, picked up my stuff and I moved in! Hell we figured if we could live in such remote conditions for a full week and not get sick of each other, surly we could tackle anything the world had to throw at us!

 

Here’s a glimpse into our short but sweet weekend away!

Morning coffee should always be this relaxing! 

Even in a poor quality iPhone selfie, my husband is a total babe!

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Here's what we do... 
He fishes...

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You can't beat that view! 

It doesn’t get any better!

Now it’s your turn! Plan a weekend, day or night away with your significant other! Get away from the world, unplug and reconnect…

I make it no secret that on top of self-care, my relationship with my husband is my number one priority!

What about the kids you ask? Yes they are right up there too, but I aways make sure that we are feeling connected, strong + united. That relationship is the foundation of our family, when we are strong, we are fully prepared to handle anything the crazy world has to throw at us! And we are way better parents/parents to four amazing kids who deserve to have us at our best!

 

Have a Great week!

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