Monday, April 3rd, 2017
we spent a lot of time looking up. at the trees, toward the sound of the rain, at the mountains, to the sun on our face, searching for the evil queen in snow white’s castle. we also spent a lot of time looking down. for lizards and four leaf clovers, for flowers, at the water, at the sand between our toes. we reached one destination just in time to search for another. we drove and drove and drove. and then drove some more. we got to see a thousand year old tree and black sand and crashing waves and surfing goats and city lights and minnie mouse and a beacon of love in the desert and big rocks and small bugs and old friends and new ones. i can’t believe just how much we crammed into two weeks and i now have a list of places we will have to return to.
for those interested, i decided to limit myself to only my 24mm lens. i knew i didn’t want to lug around a bunch of equipment and only having one lens helped me to engage with my family and challenged me to see things in new ways. please go see the rest of my friends’ childhood unplugged posts as well!
Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
these are the days. the long, dark, wet days. the days we spend trying to distract ourselves waiting for the sun to return. so when it does, you better believe we run to it.
see the other contributors here: www.childhoodunplugged.com
Thursday, September 1st, 2016
the weather took a drastic turn for fall this week and a few of us weren’t ready to let go of summer, so we headed up to the lake and forced our kids into its frigid waters. they thanked us later, i swear.
check out my friends’ stories of childhood unplugged here!
Friday, July 1st, 2016
if you ever see a massive plastic beach ball in the store and you think to yourself “why would I want a massive plastic beach ball?”, just buy it. hours upon hours of entertainment…followed by a few moments of intense fighting and pain. it’s all worth it, just ask my kids (during the entertainment part). more childhood unplugged stories can be found here!
Wednesday, June 1st, 2016
i have a confession to make. i have serious “little red hen” syndrome and if you don’t know what that is, i suggest you track down a copy of the book and give it a quick read. not sure where it came from, maybe it’s because i’m a middle child and slightly obsessed with fairness (insert sheepish grin). all that to say, when the kids say they want something in particular to eat, i’m usually pretty quick to say yes…as long as they help me make it. this time it was strawberry lemonade, so off the the fields we went, in search of “big, dark beauties” (as they like to call them).
this is part of a series called childhood unplugged – lots of other great stories can be found here!
Monday, April 4th, 2016
i’ve had a hard time putting this post together for a couple of reasons; one is that it was a whirlwind and i am struggling to summarize it in words. the other is that the first few days of images from our travels and the build were lost – my memory card was corrupted.
still, i wanted to share a little bit about what we chose to do with our spring break. at the end of last year, one of my goals was to serve more together as a family and to connect on a deeper level with other families in our small community. a couple of weeks later, i was approached by two moms who had kids the same age as ours about potentially going to mexico with an organization they were connected to. to do what, at the time, we didn’t know. i said we were interested right away as it meshed with the goals i mentioned, but as i thought about it more, i began to question whether it was a good fit. looking back, i’m so grateful that we decided to jump in with both feet as it ended up being such a positive time for all of us.
we found ourselves in a small town on a hill, just outside san quintin, mexico, building a three room house for a family of five who had previously been living in a shelter made of scraps of plastic, fibreglass and cardboard. our kids were on site with us all week, helping frame the walls, paint the trim, build bunkbeds and generally entertain the crew. we also had the opportunity to visit a local preschool to do crafts and use our poor spanish to make them laugh.
while there is so so much i could say from how proud i was of my kids to how encouraging it was to build a friendship with this sweet family who had never even dreamt of being able to have a home that was safe and dry, i will just say that this was so much more than a “good experience” – i want this to be our way of life. i want to be looking at ways to love and serve others, i want our kids to think beyond their own needs and try to figure out how to meet the needs of those around them. while i have zero notions about saving the world, i have also been reminded that the small ripples created by loving others in tangible ways can certainly change it for the better.
click here for more childhood unplugged stories!!
Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
growing up, we were a road tripping kind of family. pack the lunches, stockpile the books, cram three little girl bodies in the backseat of the tan (it was actually more skin coloured) corolla, roll down the windows and hit the road. but make sure you went to the bathroom before strapping in because there was no stopping until we reached our destination and if you had to go, you were going on the side of the road. and i loved it. it was all about getting to where we were going and negotiating how long little sister was allowed to lean on each big sister while we were getting there.
so when i got married, i had the same mindset. get there. but now i had this guy that wanted to stop…to trade drivers (“what? my dad always drove! and he had back problems”), to go pee (“you’re a dude, going on the side of the road is SO easy for you”) and to – brace yourself – get fast food (“so you’re too good for the soggy peanut butter and honey sandwich i made you four hours ago?”). it was pure chaos. add children. i was so confused.
6 years ago, our lives took a turn that we didn’t expect. we didn’t have any plans/jobs for the foreseeable future and we felt a little lost. in a moment of clarity (or a complete lack of judgement), we took out our savings, rented a motorhome packed up our three preschoolers and drove across the country. it is one of those crazy decisions that i am forever grateful to have made. we bonded as a family, we saw places you would NEVER travel to as a final destination (read most of nebraska), we connected with so many old friends and made new ones (the motorhome culture is alive and well, folks) and we enjoyed the journey. we saw a “point of interest” marker on the highway and we would pull over. we drove through detroit in rush hour and received so many expressive hand gestures from our road companions that we had to close the curtains as to protect our childrens’ eyes. we celebrated thanksgiving with a dear friend’s family (the friend wasn’t even there) in ontario. we saw a lake, we stopped. we had an impromptu parkour session on some concrete benches at a rest stop in eastern oregon.
the conclusion we’ve settled on in recent years is that for our family, at least in its current state, we need to enjoy the journey. so even on our little trip back from portland last month (5 1/2 hours of driving is peanuts), one of our kids announced they were working on a #2, so instead of finding the nearest gas station, we searched out this amazing playground, got coffee and played monster tag). did we get home an hour later than we would have? yep. was it worth it? absolutely. (check out my childhood unplugged friends’ posts when you have a moment!)
Tuesday, December 1st, 2015
no one ever believes me. they go up to the vine and say, “those look so much like kiwis!”
every year i struggle through the delicate dance of when to pick them and how long to leave them ripening off the vine, but i think i may have finally mastered it. the only way i can get the kids to help is by promising they can keep the ones that look like butts. you think i’m joking.
and if you were ever curious as to what i look like when i’m running a fever, balancing on a lawn chair trying to extend my weak little body to get the ones on the top branches…this is it. thanks to my darling husband for documenting that.
more childhood unplugged stories here!
Monday, November 2nd, 2015
friends that are like family.
more amazing images by my childhood unplugged family here!
Monday, August 3rd, 2015
it’s difficult to even know where to begin when describing the wonder that we experienced on our trip to yellowstone and back. every place was so uniquely beautiful. and the people were even better. when we were looking at our summer trying to plan a getaway, a strategically placed weekend off meant we could make our first trek to visit my sister and her family who live in mammoth on the northern edge of yellowstone park. our route was dictated by the desire to connect with dear friends in high river, so though we took the long way, it was well worth it.
one of the best things about this trip for me was how well our kids handled the inconsistency and the amount of time we spent in the car. we did our best to make fun stops for them and to give them lots of activity (and food) while we drove. books on tape, wildlife spotting, roadside rock skipping and the license plate game were our saviours.
so here it is, the journey from western british columbia to the shuswap to southern alberta to the united states border to northern montana and finally the edge of wyoming. some planned stops, some not, pictures taken from mountain tops and through car windows.
this doesn’t even include our trip back which brought us through idaho and eastern washington…but that will have to wait for now! check out all the other summer adventures of my childhood unplugged cohorts.