Arizona re-cap

The transition from saying good-bye to my former job and starting my new job was made all the easier with a last-minute trip to Phoenix. I knew that if I accepted this position I wanted to have a few days in between the transition to spend time in the sun and with my family. It’s been a wet winter and I know it has been no where near as nasty as anything experienced on the East Coast, but all the same, we were aching for a sunny getaway.

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Having never been to Arizona before I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I knew it would be HOT and there would be a desert landscape. Coming from Victoria, the heat and dryness of the terrain was extremely welcomed. I loved the clear blue skies, the cacti lining the streets, the desert hill landscape, and of course the pool.

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We spent most of our time at the resort, basking in the sun and splashing in the baby pool. Ryder loved every minute of it and we think he totaled up to 5 hours a day in the water. He met little buddies, swam tons, relished in the downtime of the lazy river, and had some epic naps. It was the BEST way to transition into a new job. To step away from the 9-5, to reconnect as a family, and to enjoy the pleasure of being outdoors from sunrise to sunset.

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reminder: there WERE smiles this weekend!

We are in a teething phase right now which means the smiles come and go, but the tears and tantrums are free flowing. I pulled out my D-SLR this weekend to capture some fun and happy moments- to remind myself that even when it seems like the weekend is full of a little boy aching, he certainly had a lot of cherished grins.

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His ride of choice. The “Car”.

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my blue eyed boys

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And the final photo- an image of SPRING!

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Renewal

I needed that hiatus. That time to step back from the blogging -writing world and be inspired by what others have been writing and sharing in their lives. I also needed that time to soak in the awesomeness of running a marathon and then promptly work on healing a sick family. Winter flu, you got us good.

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End of November until the end of January. Not fun. But, our “New Year” was the start of February and with that start came a renewal.

We (as a family) are healthy again.

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We (as a couple) are back to sleeping as two, instead of three monkeys in a bed.

My renewed year has also brought with it some changes. I will be starting a new job on April 2 with BC Campus as a Client Services Manager of Open Educational Resources. I am really looking forward to the change and the renewal that comes with a new position.

I heard the term “work- life integration” used a few weeks ago. It was in response to someone discussing “work-life balance” and how we really need to step away from the need to constantly separate the two and instead consider how best we integrate the two. I bring this up as I see this forming the way in which Got Curls will continue- a platform for my work-life integration. For example, I will post on the following topics:

  • Family (life)
  • Motherhood and general parenthood (life)
  • Open textbook integration (work)
  • Open educational resources (work)
  • Creative work (photography, art projects, DIY)- (life)
  • Creative work involved in work (work) *see already the INTEGRATION!
  • Inspirational stories (life and work)

Hopefully you will stick around with me, to read and follow along with my year (+) of renewal!

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I.AM.A.Marathoner!

It’s Thanksgiving 2013 and I have so much to be thankful for. Family, friends, loved ones, and little ones. But, this Thanksgiving is reserved for my thankfulness in calling myself a marathoner.

I ran a marathon in 2010 and I swore it would be my last. I hated every step of the race. It poured rain. My IT band gave out on me at 6 km. I sat in a port-a-potty at 35 km just to have a place to sit down. At 37 km, I threw my fuel belt at Jeff promising I would never run another freakin’ marathon. And here I was, three years later running my second marathon.

This one was different. It was miles different. 26 miles different to be exact.

I had the strong support of my team mates by my side. We laughed at the start line, joking that the only reason we would stop for each other was if he/she needed a medic. We waved our arms high and wide at family members on the sidelines. We gathered together for a group hug seconds before the gun went off. From the start, I knew this was going to be MY race with MY team.

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“Team Chafing the Dream: Too Slow to Win, Too Stubborn to Quit”

For the entire 42.2 km, I ran with Karli and Lauren. Both incredibly strong runners with incredible positive energy. As we ran, we chided each other to suck it in and “put on big smiles girls” as the race photographers snapped our photos at kilometers 3, 5, and 10. We encouraged each other… “keep it up”, “we got this girls”, “we are so going to do this”. Every step of the way I felt I was carried by these two strong women.

I was also carried by my amazing support crew and personal cheer leading squad- Jeff and Ryder. They managed to find me every 5-7 km. Their waves, cheers, and tambourine shaking made my journey extremely meaningful. This was THEIR race too. The Sunday mornings I rolled out of bed and was out stomping the pavement for fours hours, they were supporting me by encouraging me to get out and run. Every Sunday I felt a twinge of guilt, “I am so sorry this is going to take most of the morning and into the afternoon”. I was constantly reminded “Do NOT worry, enjoy it, get out there, we’ll be here when you get home”. On race day, I knew I had to complete this for them. To let them know that the sacrifices they made were not wasted. Together, as a family, we were going to make it through 42.2 kilometers.

Today, unlike in 2010, I am extremely proud to call myself a marathoner.

I did it.

We did it.

 

Aside

Day in the life

Corinne, Emily and I have been in awe of Rachel’s Week in the Life series and it got us thinking. Why not do a day in the life series? We decided to take photos on Wednesday (Emily did Thursday) and we documented our days from three different locations: Victoria, Seattle, and Kathmandu. Enjoy!

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The alarm goes off at 6:10 am. I realize at 6:20 am that today is the THE day to start the day in the life series so I grab a screen shot of the alarm settings.

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After showering and getting dressed my routine includes: take vitamins, throw some gel in my hair, and put on makeup. So a couple of notes here. 1. Yes, I use Herbal Essences in my hair and YES my hair stylist would probably BAWK at that… but it works. 2. My makeup needs to be replaced. THE STATE of it. I haven’t really paid much attention to it before, but now that I am photographing my daily routine, I am slightly embarrassed.

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…and ready to start the day.

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Head on downstairs to make oatmeal. We have it every morning. I make 1.5 cups of oatmeal with frozen berries for Ryder, Jeff, and I.

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My least favorite chore. Emptying the dishwasher.

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Ryder’s lunch. Admittedly it looks slightly unappetizing. BUT it is very healthy. Corn, potatoes, and leftover tofu enchiladas.

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I run upstairs to pop in and say hi to Jeff. He has been awake since 5 am and on the bike. This is his routine (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings).

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It’s 6:45 and time to get Ryder. I walk in, turn on the lights, and he is clearly blinded by the paparazzi entering the room!

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Minor freakout when we get downstairs that I don’t have his bottle ready. Relieved when I finally get my act together and give him the bottle.

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Time to sit down and eat breakfast. Mine on the left, Ryder’s on the right. Coffee in hand. Jeff still on the bike.

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Ryder is in the car seat and we are ready to roll to do the daycare drop off. He is clearly wondering why the paparazzi is following him to school this morning.

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Heading on in to daycare. Ryder likes to walk in.

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Jeff and I arrive at work. Yup that is our view from the car park. LOVELY. (and yes, we work at the same place- Royal Roads University)

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Yup that’ right. There is a castle on our campus. We don’t work in the castle, but it’s a pretty awesome sight to walk by each morning.

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Well look who is in the office next to mine?! That will be another blog post one day. Working in the same department as your partner.

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It’s 8:00 am. (Yes all of the above happened between 6:10 and 8:00 am- PHEW). Love that this cutie greets me every morning when I turn on my computer.

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First meeting of the morning is with ETUG via Collaborate. (Meeting attendees join in from all over British Columbia).

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Take a wee break and check in with the blogs I follow.

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Check emails. Sometimes my day feels like it is all about email. And yes, that is a small lava lamp on my desk.

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…another meeting via Skype.

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Make a to do list for the day. Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused in between meetings.

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Jeff and I have to run out at lunch to get the car insured. Check!

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…and a quick stop at the grocery store.

IMG_3106Head back to the office and quickly eat lunch. Have to head off to another meeting.

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 Another meeting, but the view is spectacular from our meeting room in the castle. We all work on a collaborative document- thank you Google Docs.

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It’s the end of the workday and Jeff gets his gear on to run home from work. He is super impressed to be in yet another photo :) I head to the car to pick up Ryder from daycare.

IMG_3115Pick up Ryder and he is less than enthused that I have taken him out of school. He loves it there!

IMG_3116We get home and I “bribe” Ryder with hummus and milk. It’s our after school snack time.

IMG_3117Ryder wants to snuggle with me so I decide to take some selfies.

IMG_3120Dinner time. Wednesday nights we eat early at like 5:00 pm- it’s a run club night for me. Thankfully we have AWESOME leftovers. (Thanks Jeff) Curry and rice. Yum.

IMG_3122As we finish up dinner, Emily Facetimes us from Nepal! Love that we get to chat with her daily.

IMG_3124 Jeff is home from his run and now it’s time for me to head to run club. 6:00 pm start and I just love it.

IMG_3125I say good bye to Ryder but he is too pre-occupied with his Alpha Bugs book. Jeff takes care of the night time routine so I can run. It’s a good balance for us.

nightGet home at about 7:45 and quickly shower and throw on my pajamas.

IMG_3137Jeff and I always have something to eat before bed. He has oatmeal and a protein shake and I have mixed berries. We sit down and catch up on the day, I start editing some photos and then we head up to bed.

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I settle into bed with my Kindle. Loving this book “Sutton”.¬†

And then we are both asleep by 9:30 pm. Ready to start another day!

What kids really care about…

Here’s the thing with kids. They live in the moment, at least they seem to at 14 months.

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Kids don’t care how your day was. They don’t care if you had a good day, a bad day; if you had a presentation in front of your boss, your boss’s boss, your boss’s boss’s boss. They don’t care if you kicked ass at work that day or if you still have a million emails to attend to.

What they care about is YOU. They want YOU to be there for them. They want you to be silly, to play, to roll on the floor with them, and sing crazy songs that rhyme with poop or grapes.

Yesterday, as I walked in the front door, my work cape came off and my mom cape appeared. The mom cape transitioned me from the academic, the bureaucrat, the diplomat… into the dancing-singing-rolling on the floor- truck playing-food prepping-wiping the floor-splashing in the bath tub-bed time reading person who lives in the present when she is around her 14 month old son.

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I am not sure at what age they start to move away from being present and start fretting about the future and re-thinking the past, but for now I fully appreciate the lesson I receive on a daily basis from a 14 month old with wisdom as deep as Deepak. Be present, be aware, and like the cliche’ states “Dance like nobody is watching”.

Gettin’ real about camping

Remember that post I wrote about camping with an infant? I made it sound relatively easy, as though camping with an infant just required some organization and a relaxed parenting style?!

Yah, well camping with an infant also requires patience and the awareness that not everything will be smooth sailing. On Friday night as I lay awake, holding a bottle for Ryder to halt the constant crying, I thought “oh man, I just wrote a blog post about camping with an infant and here I am awake at 1:00 am, 3:00 am, and 4:30 am.”

If you are like me, you are more sensitive to the cries and sounds coming from your child. You want to rescue them before they go ballistic and sometimes because of your own selfish reasons. You don’t want to be known as “that campsite” the next morning. You want to avoid being the topic of everyone’s morning chatter. “Did you hear those people in campsite 49?”

If your child is like Ryder, the first night might be rough, but the following nights should be a-okay. It’s an adjustment for the little ones to sleep in a tent and to not be in their own surroundings. (The second night he slept from 6:30 until 6:30 am-yah for outdoor time!!)

The bottom line is that just like everyday parenting, camping with an infant will present its challenges. It will test your patience. It will mess up the sleep schedule for one or two nights. But at the end of the adventure you know it was all worth it and you can’t wait to set up that tent again.

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