Painted & Polished

Jul 24, 2015

our life lately // vol. 10


Hello my little journal! Let me blow the dust off these keys so we can catch up a little. It's been too long!

May and nearly all of June we're a couple of challenging months to be sure. I'm not typically one to wish time would pass faster but those two months challenged my feelings about that. Navy came down with a rare collection of viruses and a terrible viral rash that though painful, was thankfully benign. It took us a while to see the right doctor who was able to finally diagnose her and calm our very frazzled nerves. Those two weeks of waiting and referrals and misdiagnosis were awful, I can honestly say. My first experience watching Navy suffer was more emotional than I could have prepared for. But instead of reliving the stressful moments which I'm so thankful are behind us, I'm finding it to be more edifying to reflect on what I've learned instead.

Most importantly, I learned that holding my breath through experiences like that does me no good. And in the beginning, that's what I was doing. We were furiously searching for answers, trying to make sure our little girl was getting the care she needed. And that was honourable and the right thing to do for sure. Other things in life pale in importance when the health or safety of a loved one is threatened. But holding my breath (literally and figuratively) waiting for this storm to pass, for Navy to be back to her usual self only added to the tension of the situation. I wanted the whole ordeal to just be behind us and for real life to resume so I could forget it and how scary it was.

But as I knew then even though it was hard to practice, and I very much know now, life is meant to be lived in each moment. It doesn't mean that every moment is easy. Far from it. But interspersed in those scary seven weeks, were beautiful moments. Every single day, there was beauty to be enjoyed if I was willing to see it. And tomorrow is never guaranteed. So regardless of hard a day might feel, I'm going to do my very best to see the good in it wherever I can. Once I started being mindful of my attitude in this regard, I found the weeks she continued to fight the viruses a lot more bearable. I also found my vision cleared and I was able to more assertively and confidently take action when I had too. My worry was replaced with gratitude for the good things and resolve to do something proactive about the challenging things. And that shift in countenance felt very good.

In early July we took a super quick trip to Vegas for the TPT Convention for my mom and my educational resource business. What a blast! We were there two days and it was a complete whirlwind. Ryan was papa on duty, ducking back to the Venetian convention centre at lunch time so I could nurse Navy in between sessions. It was the cutest. They had some serious quality time together (some shopping, sightseeing and even a solid day at the UFC Fan Expo haha :) and my mom and I left thoroughly inspired and motivated by the speakers and sessions we attended. 


We got back from Vegas absolutely exhausted in that 'soooo worth it' kind of way. Navy was amazing on the plane again, thankfully. So grateful for every flight she manages to take in stride. She's such a flexible and easy going baby. But even with a cool little cucumber of a gal, travelling with a little one in tow is certainly more work than when it was just the two of us. But we keep finding it to be totally worth it. Ryan and I were just chatting about this the other day … the adventure outweighs the inconveniences and challenges. So in that spirit, I hope we do our best to say yes to adventure whenever possible of the course of our lives. It's worth it. It really is. 

Apr 28, 2015

our life lately // vol. 8

When I scroll back through my blog or my Instagram account, I see I have so very many pictures of Ryan and I, Lincoln and now Navy. And oh how I love them. I realized today, however, that these digital memory vaults store a very tiny fraction of images of my friends and other family members  though, especially compared to how often we enjoy their company. We are so blessed to have a seriously healthy number of friends in our life. Many I've known virtually my whole life as well as several other's I've had the good fortune of meeting more recently. That kind of relationship security is something I count very high on my list of blessings. Knowing I have a friend or family member eager to visit virtually any day at any time, well, it makes a girl feel pretty loved I tell ya. 

Anyway, I think somewhere along the line I decided it would be ridiculous if I snapped a picture every time I met up with someone, considering I knew it was going to happen again real soon. But today! Today I broke my 'don't be crazy, snapping pictures all the time' rule and I snapped a couple pics to document our morning with my sweet cousin Danielle, who has only within the past year and a bit moved back to Calgary from Switzerland. She is a mom of four (4!! As if you could tell, given her porcelain skin and energy for dayyyyyyys) and I absolutely cherish her. She is a light to everyone around her and I am always better for enjoying her company. 


Ryan has been working pretty long hours lately, and we certainly miss him when that's the case. But I've come to understand that life ebbs and flows that way and that's ok. Because with these kinds of wonderful family and friends nearby, our days always seem to be filled with community and connection, joy and a deep sense of belonging. 


In Irish Wolfhound related news, Lincoln is a ham. The moodiest most dramatic pup, I swear. Today, as I attempted to take a couple glamour shots for his Instagram account (where's the laughing emoji when you need it, hey?) he appeared to be getting antsy for his supper. And then, I snapped this photo ⇡. It's almost like he was trying to tell me something haha. You'll be happy to know he was fed shortly after ;)

In friend/family related news, I am rethinking my 'Carli don't be silly and take pictures to document EVERYTHING' rule. Because these pics are fun, goshdarnit :)

Apr 25, 2015

our life lately // vol. 7

 CHILLIWACK 

Navy, my mom and I were THE luckiest girls in all the land a few weeks ago. Ryan was going to be out of town (in Phoenix, the lucky duck) for work one weekend. Coincidentally, it was my mom's cousin's 60th birthday party that same weekend in Chilliwack. So the three of us flew out to celebrate with our family out there and to enjoy the beautiful BC countryside. 

My mom has said, for years now, that she would love it if I made it out to BC to meet my cousins on her side (technically my second cousins). And while a couple of us had met in passing, yearrrrrs ago, it honestly felt like we'd never really spent any time together. So when my mom invited Navy and I to finally make the meet-up happen, we jumped at the very sweet opportunity, packed our bags and got ready for a weekend of family and fun. 


To say our my cousins in Chilliwack immediately felt like family is an understatement. Kindred spirits is more like it. My mom's family out there are simply the most hospitable people I have ever met. Just the most gracious hosts with the warmest hearts. 

⇡ Our little cabin at Auntie Alma's ⇡
⇡ Martha Stewart eat your heart out, Auntie Alma knows what's up ⇡
⇡ My mom's cousin's daughters, so my second cousins, my mom and I. But let's just call these girls my cousin-sisters, because sisters feels more like it. Though some of us hadn't met until this weekend and others had met only once, it turns out we are kindred spirits through and through. I just love them to bits. ALSO! Danielle has since had her baby!! A sweet little boy named Nash who we can't wait to meet! ⇡
⇡ Navy making herself comfortable in our cozy cabin ⇡

For me, the good life is all about the kind, wonderful people I'm fortunate enough to share mine with. So when you get the change to go on a little adventure and spend time with some especially wonderful people you just happen to be related to, well you gotta count your many blessings, I say. I left this weekend with new friendships forged and a deep gratitude for the loved ones, near and far, that make my life feel so incredibly rich. 

Apr 22, 2015

motherhood // Navy at 4 months

Oh sweet goodness, our little baby girl is four months old.  I feel like four months means that you're really, officially out of the new born stage and ouch. It kinda hurts to think about that. I remember the early days with a misty-eyed nostalgia already, as crazy as that sounds. They were so sweet and so sacred. And raw, too. Fumbling our way through the first steps of parenthood, bleary eyed and sleep deprived. My body healing from the physical challenge of my life, my spirit bursting with pride and a new found sense of self assuredness from rising to meet that challenge. All consuming love like I've never known, and overwhelming responsibility that was exactly that…overwhelming. 

For all its ups and downs, those first couple months felt like the honeymoon stage of parenthood. We were caught up in the whirlwind of new parenthood and pretty much nothing else mattered. I remember being discharged by our midwives when Navy was about six weeks old and though they were so gentle and patient in wrapping up our postnatal care, I couldn't help but feel like we had been swiftly ushered out the door of the coziest newborn bed and breakfast when in our hearts, we weren't ready for the vacation to end. So. I decided then and there to savour the newness of the experience that remained in my heart and held on to the "newborn" stage a little longer. Sure, we got out and saw friends many days of the week. Antisocial, we are not (haha). But I didn't rush back to real life, to sleep schedules, to meal planning, to trying to sneak a little work in here and there during naps. No. We relished in our baby honeymoon a little longer and it. was. glorious. 

And now, here we are. With a little four month old daughter and life as parents is starting to feel more and more normal. The honeymoon, insofar as you'd mark it on a calendar, is behind us. But the very best parts of it…it's essence… lingers like a fragrance in the air. It was a season for me to learn to be present and to learn to be still. To not worry so much about the "to-do's'' and the "should do's" but to savour the "probably won't happen again"s and the "this is what life is all about"s. 

We're finding a happy balance these days, and I am intensely grateful for the collected wisdom I've received that decided to take up permanent and unflinching residence in my sometimes overachieving and stubborn heart; it is a wisdom that guides me as I try, moment by moment, to be the best mama I can be. 


NAVY AT FOUR MONTHS

Navy, you are a spicy, energetic, seemingly extroverted (wonder where you get that from ;) happy little girl! You are rolling around these days and not just back and forth. Oh no. You've determined that rolling is a means of transportation and you are going places! I have a feeling you plan to keep us on your toes. You insist on standing on our laps…very little sitting for you! You Jolly Jump and Exer-saucer as long as we let you. And then, when we pick you up, you insist on Jolly Jumping some more in our arms. 

You have energy for days, and because you're rarely cranky, I sometimes forget you're such a young baby and you need your naps. These days I'm focusing a bit more on making sure you get your precious sleep, whether in my arms, in your stroller on our long dog walks or in your beloved swing.

We're back out walking with Lincoln daily now, and you love our walks. Most of the time you're in the stroller, but recently I've started wearing you in your carriers occasionally. You seem to really like them, most especially when you are facing outwards. Hello extraverted tendencies! :) 

You speak in a variety of voices these days. Sometimes soft coos, sometimes croaky squeals and more recently bubbles with sounds. You smirk when you blow bubbles, like you know how cute you look. And cute you are, little lady.

You follow us around the room from your exer-saucer and jolly jumper. You reach out for toys with both hands. When we're out at the dog park lately, you grab your feet with each hand. It's very yogic of you ;) You light up when you see Lincoln coming over to give you kisses and your eyes flutter with delight as he does. It blesses me to no end to see how tender and affectionate he is with you, and how much you seem to enjoy his adoration. You will be great friends. 

You've started playing with us, and that has just got to be the cutest! We'll kiss your neck or pretend to gobble up your hands and you throw your neck back or extend your hands up like you want more. It is so rewarding to see that little smile stretch across your face because of something we've done. 

You absolutely melt our hearts and we fall more in love with you each day. What a special little soul you are. 


Mar 31, 2015

motherhood // Navy at 3 months


I remember, especially when I was pregnant, some people telling us that kids change things. With a hint of foreboding, they imparted this …. wisdom, let's call it. And though it is clear they love their children and that their intentions were good, there was no denying the negative subtext to be read from their words. I recognize the struggles they were hinting at are individual most likely, and something I'll never know fully about. But I have to think that on some level they were alluding to some generalities when it comes to kids and so on that tangent….

I tend to ask Ryan often how he feels now that we're parents...now that Navy is here. In a split second he responds with the same sentiments of my heart … he loves it. So then I think back on what those people had to say, about change and such. And I feel this way. Sure. Of course things change. How could they not? This little person is here now, completely dependant on us at all times. That kind of responsibility demands a certain amount of change from how we used to do things. I mean, before, there was no little person ;) But I'll also assert that things haven't changed that much in the ways that truly, deeply matter. We still try to live the life we love, she's just along for the journey. So we nurse here, and we diaper change there. We sneak naps a little more often then we used to. We don't stay out late with friends…. as often ;) But we still adventure. Now as three versus two. And while that reality may now be filled with little diapers and midnight nursings and spit ups when you just changed her into a fresh sleeper…it's also filled with this little mini person who's the most perfect blend of the two of us, who's caused us to smile so much and for so long that our smile lines have reached new depths, permanently etched into the corners of our eyes. It's filled with a joy so deep and so vast that all of a sudden, the sacrifice of some of the more trivial things of our earlier youth is blissfully forgotten in the midst of the embrace of a family hug that is three now, not two. It's filled with loving phrases like 'you're doing an amazing job, mama' and 'Navy girl your smile is calm and truly kind, just like your daddy's' versus 'what movie do you want to go to tonight?'*

So back to those warnings about parenthood… we're trying to think of it this way instead. We want to dive into the adventure of parenthood with the pragmatic understanding that children change things, of course they do! We expect no less. Somedays will be very challenging while others will be deliciously easy, with most falling somewhere in the middle. Our adventure continues on exactly the path it was supposed to. We're doing our best to learn from it and love it. We aim to lift one other up throughout it. We're working hard to be grateful for every single day we get together and to relish in each season of life, dirty laundry, poopy diapers, sleepless nights and all. Because this much is inevitable…mid-season, we can feel overwhelmed by change and challenge. But looking back on the past seasons of our life, most of us would agree we are filled with a nostalgia for the sweetness of that season versus as distaste for the struggles it might have presented. I know I always am. So I'm hoping we relish the sweetness while it's here as well as when we reflect on it many years from now. To do both would be the ultimate in living a joyful, present life. When I keep all this in mind, the 'change' that children bring seems like far less of an inconvenience and a lot more like an essential component of the life I've always wanted. 

NAVY AT 3 MONTHS



Sleeping is still a family affair with your bassinet beside our bed, all cozy in the dark as we settle in for the night, Lincoln snoozing away on the floor. No real regimented schedule has been determined just yet and we like it that way. We all seem to be getting enough sleep and everyone is happy. We're flexible and we're adventuring and you seem to be so happy to be along for the ride. Sometimes you nap in your bed, sometimes in your swing, sometimes on the road and sometimes on me. You're such a happy baby, flexible and easy to have along wherever we go. Sometimes we finish a marathon of a day, where we've been out of the house for 9-10 hours and I'm amazed we did it all with you. We've nursed on the fly, you've caught naps whenever you've felt like it and the rest of the time you're pretty easily entertained. You like your stroller but you also love to be held. And if you're held, you're definitely facing outward. You want to know what's going on at all times. I can see some extroverted tendencies in you and every time I do, I'm like 'I feel ya little lady. I'm the saaaaame way'. 

You're toes get tight in sleepers unreasonably fast because you're the longest, leanest bean :) You wear them as long as you can, and then we snip the toes of the sleeper and cover your little feet with socks because you're too slender to go up another size just yet. So cute. You're easy with your smiles. You flash them for anyone who crosses your path and you seem to make their day when you do. You coo and mimic all the time and it is so sweet. Youv'e started really finding your voice, cooing really loudly and croaking a little at the end with your scratchy little voice. 100% A.DORABLE tell you! We can hear you through the whole house when you do it, which is saying something considering sometimes Ryan and I can't hear each other even when we're trying to yell through the house haha. 

You rolled over for the first time a couple days after you turned 3 months and I was floored. We had a guest over and you surprised us both. Right over into a little push up position :) You've found your hands and you stare at them and sooth with them. You reach out for toys with the greatest concentration and you wrestle them back to your mouth the second you grasp them.

You follow our conversations with great interest and seem to smirk or look perplexed at just the right time. It cracks us up how much you seem to understand whats going on. You are the sweetest little soul and each day with you is better than the last. 


Feb 27, 2015

Vancouver

This past weekend my mom and I snuck away to Vancouver with little Navy to spend some time with my brother Chad and his sweet girlfriend Karly. That's right, a Carli and a Karly in the family…woop woop! Anyway, they moved to Vancouver this past August for Chad to pursue his engineering degree at UBC. Karly is an urban planner so Vancouver THE place to be when it comes to her profession as well. They fit Vancouver like a glove but that doesn't make us miss them any less. 

Fortunately Chad was able to come home for Christmas this year, so he met little Navy when she was only 6 days old! He was home for about a week, but we missed Karly dearly. So our little trip out there was momentous, not only because we got to catch up with some of our favourite people, but because Karly got to meet little Navy for the first time!  

Ryan was away in Washington, DC for work the week leading up to our trip and then our weekend overlapped with his return. Oh man did we ever miss him! He and I both agree that a week away from Navy while she is so little was almost unbearable. It feels like she changes every minute. I've never been more grateful for my iPhone and FaceTime that's for sure! All day, every day, I just spammed Ryan with pictures and videos and updates. It took the sting out of him being away for so long I think. At least a little. And on our end, knowing we had a wonderful weekend to enjoy with two people we love so much made his absence a bit more bearable. 

Anyway, pictures! 

⇡ Coffee shop cruising with these two. They know their java's and we love 'em for it ;) ⇡
⇡ Exploring some of the beautiful viewing platforms and art created for the olympics ⇡
⇡ Overalls!! Cutest gift from Chad & Karly ⇡
⇡ Meeting Karly for the first time!⇡
⇡ This. Smile. !!! ⇡
⇡ And a grumpy face while casually lounging with Uncle Chad for good measure ⇡
⇡ Mama bear voguing it out in gas town ⇡
⇡ Little water taxi over to Granville Island. Navy's second little trek out onto the ocean ⇡
⇡ The guy driving the boat assured me this was safe. He was totally chill about it. I, however, wasn't as cool about it. So I took a picture to remember my stroller, diaper bag and camera bag for posterity sake, in case it fell into the water haha ⇡
⇡ Beautiful Karly overlooking the floating homes in the bay ⇡
⇡ The most beautiful floating homes made up this little floating hamlet of sorts. And of course, we had to take a pic of this pup who has THE coolest life, obviously. I will neither confirm nor deny that we later hatched plans to befriend some of the floating home's residents just to get a glimpse into how they live ;) ⇡
⇡ Exploring Granville Island ⇡
⇡ Water taxi back to Vancouver ⇡
⇡ Sweet little girl, airport lounging and travelling like a pro. Almost breaks my heart how easy she is to travel with. I always think 'you know you are a new little baby, you're entitled to a meltdown every now and then.' In response, she flashes me her signature gummy smile and once again, I am a complete puddle on the floor ⇡

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