Living in the Age of Airplanes

Making A Life Aerial 7

Yesterday, I took my kids to see “Living in the Age of Airplanes” at the IMAX theater. The movie provided a history of travel and got me excited to see more of the world. I take airplane travel for granted as I have been flying my whole life.

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Northwest Deuce Days

Car Show Making A Life 10

As a mom, I find myself spending my time doing things that I have no interest in. I don’t mean cooking dinner (which coincidentally I have no interest in) because that is a necessity, I mean things like spending a Sunday afternoon at the Northwest Deuce Days car show. Before kids I would never have dreamed of spending a hot sunny afternoon with thousands of car enthusiasts. But post kids I did, and will probably do it again.

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Kayaking

kayak4When I was young, single and childless I would escape to the cottage frequently stopping along the way to pick up a rental kayak for the weekend. To get my money’s worth I would go for a couple of paddles a day. It has been at least 6 years since I have kayaked. Life got busy with kids, marriage, work, school and a brain tumour. So when a friend suggested that we get a group of people together and go on a kayak tour I was in. I even managed to talk my husband into trying it out, as he had never kayaked before. He has a good sense of adventure and is usually up for trying new things with the exception of sharing a kayak with me.

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Dîner en Blanc

deb4Recently I attended Dîner en Blanc in Victoria BC. I didn’t know what Dîner en Blanc was until a friend was looking for a date for the event. I will go on the assumption that many of you don’t know what it is either. Dîner en Blanc is a chic picnic in a public space where all of the attendees wear white. Thousands of people with tables, chairs and white picnic baskets converge on a secret location to wine, dine and dance. The concept began almost 30 years ago in Paris and it has now expanded to five continents so there maybe an event close to you. 

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Fireworks

FW1Did you go out this year to watch Canada Day, or Independence Day fireworks? What city were you in? I am not sure but I don’t think that I have ever been to the Canada Day fireworks in Victoria, my excuse is young children. Almost the entire time we have lived in Victoria we either had a newborn or a toddler to take care of, and nightfall was way past their bedtime. Never mind the noise which is frightening to me as an adult. This year with a seven and not quite four-year-old we were able to enjoy the fireworks together as a family. Continue reading

Birthday Books

photobooksWith the advent of digital photography, photos are snapped and lost into the black hole of technology. Some of us do not ever get the photos out of the camera, and some transfer them to computers but then do little with them. The other day I looked for photos that I took last October at the pumpkin patch, and I could not find them. I could not even remember which camera I took them with. I know I took them but finding them has proven to be a challenge. Continue reading

Hiatus

Every once in a while it’s important to take a break. A break from things you love (like writing this blog) and things that you don’t. Recently I went on vacation and took a break from many things including parenting. My husband and I went away for a few days together because it’s important for our marriage. I love my kids but I love my husband too, and sometimes we need to be together without the kids. Thankfully my parents are happy to step in and have let us escape more than once.

We contemplated going on a cruise but I have in the past struggled with motion, and given that my brain is still healing we opted for a land based adventure. I may have been fine on a cruise but when someone was meddling around in the part of my brain that controls balance I am going to air on the side of caution for the next 6 months or so.

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Florida Socks

Our land based adventure involved a fair amount of driving, which for me means a fair amount of knitting. I knit a pair of socks while we were cruising around south Florida. We went to the Florida Keys and Miami. We had a few very relaxing kid free days with lots of time to chat (if you know my husband you understand the humour). Anyway it gave us time to reconnect which is critical to the success of our marriage.

 

We started just south of Tampa and drove to Homestead where we stayed in a dive (which was a bit of an accident), but we survived the night. We also took the opportunity to hit up Red Lobster. It has been years since I have been to Red Lobster (we don’t have one where we live), and those cheese buns are fantastic.

In the AM we made a quick escape to the Keys and drove all the way to Key West where we spent the day, and evening. We didn’t stay in Key West because it’s pricey, instead we opted to stay in Marathon (another of the keys). In the morning after a trip to IHOP (how can you resist) we drove to Miami Beach. Our hotel was perfectly positioned right on the beach. We walked the beach for hours while I took too many photos. We had dinner on the strip and I drank the biggest margarita I have ever seen, twice.

We spent the following day relaxing poolside before the drive back along alligator alley to life with kids. The kids had an amazing time with their grandparents (pictures below prove it), and we had a great time without them. It’s important for them to spend a little time without us, and for us to spend time without them, we all appreciate each other more after a little time apart.

 

Metal Detectors & Landscape Photos

6This week I flew for the first time since I had a shiny metal plate bolted to my skull. One of the top questions from people after surgery was “do you think that you will set off the metal detector at the airport”? I went through one metal detector in Canada and one in the US this week. I was actually a little nervous that I would set them off, need to explain the situation, and flash my scar. It’s not really a big deal if I was flying solo, but I had my kidlets in tow. The whole security process at the airport is difficult even if you are really good at it from years of weekly travel like me, add kids into the mix and I feel like it’s a circus act which I have yet to master.

It turns out that I had nothing to worry about, I didn’t even make a tiny beep, it was smooth sailing except for the need to strip down to get through security and then wrangle the sleepy kids back into their coats. So in case you were wondering if that metal plate in my head would set off the metal detector, the answer is no.

The whole family flying together adventure makes me nervous though. The last trip we took Air Canada gave my two year old a seat in the middle of two strangers mid-plane a seat for me at the front of the plane, and his dad and five year old brother seats together  in the rear of the plane. It got sorted at the gate at the last minute because obviously no logical human thinks that a two year old flying without their adult is a smart idea. It’s bad enough to be seated close to a child but it’s just mean to put an active two year old between strangers. I have been that stranger seated beside a random child when the parent wasn’t within sight, of course I shifted seats with the parent but shame on Air Canada for putting people in that position.

4So when I saw that I couldn’t choose seats when I booked the tickets and I got a notification that they would be assigned at the gate all that I could envision is a situation where the four of us are scattered through out the cabin. I actually contemplated calling the airline so that they could put a note in our file when assigning seats. I was pleasantly  surprised when I went online to check in and they had given us seats together. Kudos to you Alaskan Airlines your computer program that matches parents and children works, now if you could share your logic with Air Canada that would be great. My first thought after I got all of us checked in was “I will sleep well tonight”, it was that important to me. First world problems I know.

If you read this far I think you deserve a treat. Here are some shots that I took from the plane.

 

Family Photos

Gallery 3What do brain tumours and photography have in common? Probably not much. But having been recently diagnosed with a brain tumour has prompted me to yet again have family photos taken. When I told my husband that I wanted to have photos taken his response was “really AGAIN”. It has only been a year since the last batch and I understand his point but I played the brain tumour card anyway. You never know what the future may bring, so while I can get some family shots taken I went for it. Scroll to the bottom to see the lovely pictures that Nicola at Lily and Lane took for us.

We don’t have a lot of family pictures of all of us, there are a pile of the kids, and lots of my husband with the kids. I am almost always behind the camera so just in case something goes wrong and Timmy the tumour wins (which is highly unlikely in my opinion) my family will have some new shiny pictures of me. Until that dark day (holy morbid) inevitably happens sometime in my late 90’s I plan on enjoying the photos. Which means that they need to make their way out of the computer.

Step 1 is getting the photos, Step 2 is getting them out of the computer and into some form that you can enjoy. Hint, hint nudge nudge. I stumbled across this fantastic INEXPENSIVE, EASY, AND QUICK way to display photos. In the image above there is a mix of pictures taken by three different photographers (myself included). In the top row the 3rd and 6th images from the left, and first and fifth images in the bottom row I mounted on wood artist panels. It’s really rare that I come across any DIY project that is all three, so I am pretty excited to share this one with you. This project cost $2.00 for the wood artist board at the dollar store, $3.00 for the 8×10 print, $1.00 craft paint to paint the edges from the dollar store.  I already had a jar of modge podge and a paint brush, but neither of those items will break the bank.

What you need:

Supplies

  • 8×10 photo
  • modge podge
  • Canvas or wood artist board
  • A paint brush/foam brush
  • craft paint to paint the edges
  • Exacto knife

Instructions:

Step 1 – paint the edges of the canvas or wood board and wait for it to dry. Have a glass of wine while you wait.

Step 1 and 2

Step 2 – Apply a second coat of paint if needed and wait for it to dry

Step 3 – Apply a coat of modge podge to the canvas/board and lineup the photo making sure to remove any air bubbles, wait for it to stick

Step 4 – Trim around the edges of the canvas/board

Step 4

Step 5 – Apply a coat of modge podge as evenly as possible over the entire photo to seal it. A foam brush is better than a bristle brush.

Step 5

Photo Gallery

Smile

I am an amateur photographer so I am always behind the camera which means that there are only a few photos of me and the kids. Each year around Mother’s Day we have a family picture taken by a photographer so I actually make it into the photos. Yesterday we went to the beach for the annual picture, and each year it gets a little easier. The kids will look at the photographer at least occasionally, and sometimes even at the same time.

I graduated from a college photography program before digital photography became accessible to the masses. There are those that would say that digital photography has taken away from the art of photography, and I would tend to agree. But I would also say that it has afforded those of us that are inclined to take photos a million more chances to snap a good shot. I remember taking both slide and film photos and praying that there would be at least one good shot in the bunch (to hand in for an assignment) and waiting days for film/slides to be developed, only to have to repeat the shots. Granted a lot was learned though carefully setting up shots, but I can’t even image how many rolls of film it would take to get a shot with multiple children looking in the same direction with their eyes open. I am hoping that Nicola (our photographer) was able to get a couple of good shots of our crew. Here are a couple of quick shots I took while the kids were playing at the beach.

Logan our 2.5 year old has a habit of saying smile (instead of smiling) when someone points a camera at him. His older brother is trying to teach him how to smile in this photo. I took these when we were in Welland last month. Logan is clenching a gummy worm in his hand because when all else fails opt for candy, it’s sure to get a smile.

I needed to throw this one in there because I am keeping it real. Logan was yelling “get this thing off of me”, poor Bennett. Definitely no smiles in this photo.

Kids 1