Puppy Love

Meet Tess..
A Charcoal Labrador
The newest member to the Pack


She is 12 weeks of age and has been with us for a month already. 
She is sweet and cuddly and very much a typical Labrador at heart. 
The day we brought her home was an exciting day for all for many different reasons. 
Honorable mention … 
The terrible weather I endured. Sun, Rain, freezing rain, snow. The drive which is typically an 8 hr round trip turned into 14, partially due to my must stop at Costco in the city. 
But we could not be anymore blessed than we are with this little girl. She loves her crate, has only had the occasional accident in the house (mainly our fault for not paying attention) and loves her toys. 
She loves our daughter and the other dogs. 
Sam is indifferent with her, hes too old to care, and just wants to know when she will grow up  
Mya has taken on a mother roll with her and Tess is learning quickly
She joins us for walks but by next summer she will joining us  on all of our adventures!
Welcome home Tess

Trial & Error = Lessons Learned

With training for next years summer Hiking season already well underway, today was a day full of lessons learned.

I pack up my bag, load up the pups into the truck and pick up my friend Sarah Burns over at Stop Nothing But Time for our first hike into the WillmoreI have been up here before hiking into Jasper National Park instead. 

Its not long into our hike before I start to realize this will not only be an absolutely beauty of a day but I will learn a lot.


Wild Hay River
Lesson 1: Always remember your trekking poles
This is the one item that I have been on the fence about for some time now. I currently own a cheaper set of poles that I have used periodically along the hikes closer to home. With today being the first real hike of the winter season with approx. 4″ of snow on the ground and a couple of nice inclines and declines carrying a pack at 18lbs (remember I mentioned in training) poles would have been a great tool to have along.
Lesson 2: Remember a ball for crazy brown dog
Seems a bit strange.. I know to say having a ball would be a lesson learned. For those of you who know me already will understand this statement. For those of you who do not,  you soon will. Mya affectionately known as Crazy Brown Dog is my 2.5 year old Chocolate Lab. Like most Labs out there she is full of Spunk and even after a good long hike will want to play fetch when we stop. A good ball (Kong Extreme Ball is one of our favorites) is the best way to keep her occupied while I prepare lunch. Whether it is for fetch or to just have a good chew session with. 


Lesson 3: When reheating Mocha pay attention
Do I really need to explain this one!
I boiled it over and made a huge mess 
Lesson 4: Bring blanket for The Old Boy 
This one is another dog related lesson. Sam my black Lab is officially a Senior. At the age of 11 years young he refuses to stay home. Granted he wont be tagging along on heavy hiking days but can easily still handle 10 kms a day. He does deserve a nice blanket to call his own and to help keep him comfortable. Even if he is camera shy and refuses to give me any pictures! 
Will I always take my dogs?
 YOU BET….Having them with me even if it means I have to carry a little extra is well worth it. Their company and antics are something that I do not ever want to be without.
I am sure that there will be more lessons to be learned and I will happily learn them as long as it means getting outdoors and enjoying my time away to rejuvenate my soul.

Who ever said change was bad

It was back in August that I managed to take some serious time off work! 
During this time my family and I came to realize that me being home for after school and supper time was important. 
This was always something that I had dreamed about but always said “we cant afford it” But really the question was what was I willing to sacrifice for this? The more I looked at it and analysed it the more I came to realize that it was actually easier than I thought!
Armed with my new found desire and knowledge I took that plunge to be home more! I still work outside the home but I was fortunate enough to find something that would allow me to be home with my family after school and on weekends! This change is something that is both a blessing and a challenge.
 The Challenge?
Adjusting to finally having what I refer to as my happy balance point between personal and professional life.  
So no more take out, Tim Hortons and spur of the moment shopping adventures for me! 
This doesn’t mean I can not still do the things that make me happy. Just means I have to be more careful about how I go about it…that’s all. 
Can I still plan my backpacking trips for 2015 …You Bet! 
Can I still hike with my dogs, friends and Family….Absolutely
To all of those out there with a desire and a dream 
Sometimes in life we just have to take the leap, with some careful planning of course!


Vacation… Not for this gal!

So people all around me are always taking vacation….
So what do I do?  I plan a staycation!

After a few years of no extended time off work I was overdue 
and looking forward to the time at home

I get my time booked off and start my planning 

The list I have created for myself was much longer than I was expecting.

Finish cleaning out the junk left in the yard (I had started this a couple weeks prior)

Tear off back section of the deck



Build Garden boxes

Fix fencing

and the list goes on…but you get the idea!

And just like that …. Garden boxes

Will I plan another Staycation? 

You bet. I was finally able to have the time to tackle some of those yard plans I had been thinking about for over a year. Which in the end made me realize that all the things I didn’t like about my yard where just things that I had not had the time to change. Its amazing how life gets away from us with the demands of day to day life. 

Staycation 2015….wonder what I will tackle next

Where did the princess dresses go?

I hear parents all the time talk about how things change drastically with their children as they come into what we call the preteen years. I always told myself this won’t happen to us.

Boy was I wrong!!

At age 11, I get those moments when I look at her and realize to myself she is not a little child anymore, but turning into a young women.

Where did the princess dress go?

Where did all the princess dresses go ~ Family ~ Teenager ~ Tweens

Photo Courtesty of Portraiture by Leanne

Back in June she took her babysitting course and while at the beach one night she walked herself into a babysitting job watching over a little boy from time to time so that mom can get some of her errands done! Next thing I know another mom I know is asking if she can babysit her little one.

So we pack up a few items she will need while babysitting and off we go.

Feeling a little nervous but keeping my cool, I reassure her that she’s got this and I am never very far if she needs me.

Meanwhile …


I am about to leave my baby with someone else’s baby!

Where the days of princess are dresses while fishing?

Where did all the princess dresses go ~ Family ~ Teenager ~ Tweens

Let me poke you with this stick mom!

Or the Days when she liked to be in the outdoors with me?

Where did all the princess dresses go ~ Family ~ Teenager ~ Tweens

Hiking Maligne Canyon ~ Age 5

Or even something as small as a genuine smile for the camera?

Where did all the princess dresses go ~ Family ~ Teenager ~ Tweens

Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia 2009

Now all I get is MOM DONT!!

Where did all the princess dresses go ~ Family ~ Teenager ~ Tweens

The now famous Scowl!

So it’s with the knowledge and words of advice from other empty nesters that eventually you do get the little girl back that I arm myself with lots of patience and understanding to get thru the next few years