Hooked

Back in February, I was getting my hair done at my friend Jenny’s and she showed me all of the things she’d learned how to crochet since Christmas. Her sister Karen — another one of my closest friends — has been crocheting for a long time and it inspired Jenny to buy some yarn and some hooks and watch some online tutorials.

I crocheted as a kid, thanks to my Step Mom showing me how. I made scarves but never took it to another level. She made us blankets and I still have mine, thirty years later. That small conversation with Jenny made me want to get my crochet on, so I bought some yarn and crochet hooks and watched some YouTube tutorials.

I’ve made a bunch of headbands, which came in handy for Emily and I with our post-skiing helmet hair. I made custom bracelets for each of the kids, a headband for Emily’s favorite doll, and a collar for Nathan’s dog stuffy (Paul).

Winter may be over (unless you live anywhere other than the Okanagan), but I want to keep learning and making new things. Nathan requested that I make him a blanket for his birthday in August and I think it might actually happen. Whether it’s sitting at the cabin or at home watching a movie, I can pull out my yarn and a crochet hook and make something while sitting with everyone and taking in whatever they are all watching. A multi-tasking craft? I AM SO IN.

I’m still a huge newbie, and I know that I’ve merely scratched the surface. Karen gave me a booklet that explains all of the stitches, which is a fantastic reference. Many of you crochet, so if you could direct me to some great tutorials, or sites worth buying patterns from, I’d love to hear about them.

Apex!

If you know me at all, you know that I don’t stop moving. I have three kids and five jobs and I run a thousand (or 35) kilometers a week and I never get my daily to-do list completed. I watch only a few hours of TV a week — if that — because there are deadlines and Mount Laundry and groceries to get and meals to cook and it just doesn’t stop. I haven’t been bored in over a decade and I probably won’t be bored until I’m ninety or so.

This past weekend, I made plans to have a few close friends come stay with me at the cabin. Ski season is over, but we have a lovely log cabin in the mountains. I have a few weeks between teaching contracts, my other freelance work is flexible (especially on weekends), so we made it happen. Most of the girls couldn’t come up until Friday afternoon, but Amanda and I headed up there on Thursday night. We talked late into the evening and spent Friday morning drinking coffee, reading, and wearing our jammies until far past noon. This is something I never ever do, but I felt no guilt about it. Zero, zilch, Nada.

We did get our butts off of the couch for a snow shoe in the afternoon and enjoyed being outside in the spring air. We ended up spending the last half of it stripped down to our base layer with our jackets tied around our waists, while soaking up the sunshine. The rest of our afternoon  at the cabin was filled with more couch time, more reading, and more general laziness.

Amanda! Me!

The rest of the girls arrived Friday afternoon. We ate (A LOT) and we drank (a little) and we talked and we laughed and we stayed up too late again, but that’s what we do when we get together. I used a few days of my daily word quota in a five-hour time frame. Saturday morning consisted of an amazing brunch and people leaving when they had to go and then I had some one on one time with Karen, who has been one of my best friends for about twenty years now. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Lazy doesn’t come naturally to me, especially at home, but I loved that I could escape to the cabin to fully check out, while also be recharged by some of my most favorite ladies at the same time. I need to do that more often.

 

I’ve always known that I wanted to be a Mom. I had a pretty good idea of how busy the baby years were, thanks to living with my Dad and Step Mom when they were having their babies. Our own baby years were busy and crazy and chaotic. Our lives are still busy and crazy and chaotic, but instead of diapers and sleepless nights and meltdowns, it’s homework and activities and … meltdowns. At least we can communicate throughout the meltdowns at this stage of life. Kind of, sort of, maybe.

I get hit with reality every once in awhile as I’m shuttling my kids around.

I’m a WIFE.

I’m a MOM.

I HAVE THREE KIDS.

It’s what I wanted, and what my life is about, but woah. That’s a little bit nuts.

It’s also a little bit awesome. I like these three little people who share my DNA. We talk a lot, we laugh a lot, and we love to hang out together whether we’re skiing or watching a silly YouTube video. My babies aren’t babies anymore, but they will always — always — be my babies.

My Three

 

 

Prairie Valley

Last October I wrote about upping my running mileage. I was running three times a week, with one of the runs being 10K in distance. I was inspired to run 10K twice a week, and did so on Mondays and Fridays with a 6-8 km run on Wednesdays. I did that for over two months, until Christmas break hit. I still ran at least twice a week, but I didn’t have the time to run more than one 10K per week.

January arrived, and with it, skiing! Between long weekends at the cabin and days off spent skiing with friends mid-week, I ran three days a week on a good week, but usually ran two days a week. One was always a 10K, and the others a minimum of 6K, but running two 10Ks and another run just wasn’t possible. Because skiing! We spent a full week at the cabin over spring break and we hiked and skied and snow shoed, but I was itchy to run.

Last week arrived and I had the time to run as much as I wanted to. I ran 10K on Sunday (See: Lack of running over spring break), ran 6K with Jennifer on Monday, ran 10K on Wednesday, and realized that if I ran another 10K on Friday, I would break a personal weekly distance record. The sun was shining, I felt like the run was effortless, and then this happened.

36.47

This coming week doesn’t afford me the time to try and even come close to that distance, for a myriad of reasons. One of them is that I’m helping to organize this year’s marathon at my kids’ elementary school.

Two years ago, a friend of mine organized a “marathon” at the school. The kids get a map that tracks their distance, and they spend time running with their class every day around the jogging track behind the school. The teachers do this as a class on top of the regular P.E. class, and help the kids track their distance. Some kids just do the 42.2 km required and some do twice or three times that distance. On the grand finale day, there’s a sponsored booth set up and the principal draws prizes, cheers on the kids, and sings along with the music playing.

My kids (and most kids) come home after school every day and tell us about how many runs they did. Nathan’s a bit ridiculous with the laps he does, but Graham did amazing last year when he was at the school and Emily does more than you would expect from a girl who claims to hate running.

The kids who run a minimum of 42 km over the eight weeks (ALL OF THEM) get a t-shirt. It’s a good-quality t-shirt, the type that keeps you dry, and it has a fun graphic on the front and the sponsors on the back. I’m in charge of rounding up sponsors and we’ve had some great ones sign on so far. If you’re local, you need to be a part of this. It’s such an amazing thing.

The Run

Last year

Part of my volunteering to help is because I love seeing so many kids excited about running, and running far more than they “have to.” On Mondays at lunch, the kids have the opportunity to run over their lunch break to catch up on their laps if they’ve been away, or sick, or want to do more than one “marathon.” Today was the first Monday run and about forty kids showed up to run. I’d run a 10K in the morning, so I brought up the rear with some first grade girls while the other volunteers led the charge with the faster runners. I taught my girls about Fartlek (They giggled at the word), and we ran and walked together as we chatted about anything and everything. I can’t stop smiling.

I love Summerland for so many reasons, and this is just one more. Kids being active and having fun, with huge rewards for doing so, both physically and tangibly (T-shirts!), is the best.

 

This weekend was the final weekend of skiing at Apex, which is later than it has been in the past few years. It usually closes at the end of March, which is kind of disappointing because April is when the best snow happens. We haven’t had the crazy cold winter that the rest of Canada has, but we’ve been hit in our own way. I’d not had any spring skiing days in the month of March. It snowed and snowed and snowed and when the sun came out it was cold and icy and the opposite of spring skiing.

Matthew had a dudes snowmobiling weekend, so the kids and I headed to the cabin to ski for the last time. We had Ben and Sarah sleep over on Friday night and ski with us on Saturday, because their Dad was part of the snowmobiling weekend and their Mom was away for work. Our kids have been friends since birth, and us parents have been friends since long before then, so it was kind of fun to be the solo parent watching them interact. There would be boy time, there would be girl time, and there would be a mix of different kids. They are aged 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. It was a sandwich of fun.

Neverending Story

Monkeys

My five favorite littles

The sun was shining, and we skied with jackets open and gloves off. The snow warmed up and was soft and there were only a few icy patches. Everyone was happy, nobody was whining, and kids even tried new runs. This kid included. The older kids love black diamond runs and I had no other parent to ski with them, so there I went. Not only did I survive, but I had SO MUCH FUN.

It was the best way to end the ski season and I’d be sad about no more skiing, but it’s SPRING down below. The sun is shining and it was 18 degrees Celsius today, with the same temperatures in the forecast for the next two weeks.

Flowers!

So long, skiing. See you in December.

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