Saturday, July 16, 2011

Full swing summer, weiner roasts, beaches & playdates

So we are now in full summer mode.. while most of our days are filled with crafts, hot dogs for lunches, days spent in the sun& at the beach, freezies and walks - doesn't quite take off our mind how much we miss home.. but Im not going to bore you with my longing heart for the maritime air! I WILL tell you how much we LOVE our new home town.
10 Reasons why I love Spiritwood

1- We own a house! -YAHOO... its about time ;)

2- When I go to the grocery store here (not so often because it would cost an arm and a leg) they bag my groceries, load them in a cart.. and bring them to my car and load them in my trunk.. how freakin' awesome is that!
3- Lovely neighbors that bring us supper without even blinking!
4- I can walk to the post office, drug store, home hardware... yup just about everywhere
5- we bought a $40.00 Regional Park pass that gets us into all the beaches all summer long :)
6- My husband loves his job, and is beaming at each end of shift
7-The sun shines from 4:00AM - 10:30PM
8-We have learned Saskatchewan lingo  -- like a hoody is a 'bunny hug' hehehe
9- Are surrounded by the most kind hearted people, and loving community
10- Wiener roasts with our neighbors

So we have now been in our house for 3 weeks now and with each day, we fall in love with another piece and it is concrete of why we bought this house! although we have many little projects that need to be started - we have decided to put most of them on hold and enjoy the summer and so we have!
We have met our neighboors and absoutly LOVE THEM (wink wink, Monique & Lane) they are a young couple just like us, who have just recently gotten engaged and are getting married next summer!
So last Friday night they invited other neigh boors and we all bunked around their camp fire pit and roasted some good ol' fashion wieners! - As we were all preparing our dogs to be roasted Justin mentioned Spider dogs! - and with not much of a sound they all peep'd up at once.. What is a Spider Dog?? "You don't know what a spider dog is???" so we quickly pulled the hot dogs out of the bags got a knife and showed them how it was done.
Please excuse Lane's roasting stick.. a little inappropriate haha
So we had a great night of laughs and getting to know each other over camp fire roast, and straw berry short cake for dessert.. all went home to put our kids to bed, the gathered back at the camp fire for some drinks and smores!

We have spent many days at the closest beach to Spiritwood - it is about a 20 minuet drive.. which is perfect, long enough for the girls to have little power naps before we hit the sand.. and then another power nap after the long day in the sun to hold them over until bed time.. Norah has become a little more out going this summer with the water - by the third time we made it to the beach she was jumping off the dock (into my arms of course) and having a blast.. Reese on the other hand who is my fish is loving all this water time.. and with her life jacket on she is keeping up with the 'big girls' meanwhile mommy gets to veg in the sand with a book in hand and the warm sun wrapping my body.

Beach Bum!!

Sand.. dirty hands.. sand.. dirty hands we run back and forth to the water to wash her hands off more times...

Giving me some 'Pie' from their creation of sand :) 
I love how my girls can be so creative and use their imaginations! We go on speals of different stories, and they use anything at hand to make up some fun for an afternoon - after all- we are to cheap to get TV... so you HAVE to use your imagination in our house :)

We usually end our days with a walk down to the path that runs along Spiritwood.. Keeonah's favorite place to go, as she knows she is going to be able to go off leash for a bit.. Here are a few pics of Keeonah soaking up every moment of 'freedom' hehe

 We truly did get an amazing post.. the land here is stunning..
 Keeonah has just been off leash - she is doing great with her training.. she gets a bit side tracked with birds... but always comes back, we love her!
She sees stuff in the grass and does this Hop into the tall grass



And the adventure continues....



“I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it.” -Rosalia de Castro


The Finlays

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Every Family has a story

Every family has a story that it tells itself, that it passes on to the children and grandchildren. The story grows over the years, mutates, some parts are sharpened, others dropped, and there is often debate about what really happened. But even with these different sides of the same story, there is still agreement that this is the family story. And in the absence of other narratives, it becomes the flagpole that the family hangs its identity from.    -A.M Homes

Our family story started back when we found out that we were having Reese.. not something that was planned, not something that was apart of the journey (or so we thought)... but we have come 4 years round to find our family that has bloomed into something I am so proud to call mine. As our journey progressed and Justin felt called to serve our great country in becoming one of the worlds GREATEST ;) Mounties.. it has brought us to where we are today..
I hope that our Children are able to carry on our family story for years to come as it has been such a God given journey for us and a story to tell!!

On May 16th 2011 Justin took his first steps into the life as an RCMP and the second half of our family's story began.. It was really amazing to have my brother who is also in the mounties be able to be the first to shake Justins hand and congratulate him as the newest member

Nat shaking Justins hand.. seconds after receiving his badge

Brothers by Marriage and Brothers as Mounties

Couldn't have been more proud.. I love you!
The days were long while we were in Regina but we soaked in as much as we could with what little time we had there.

Soon we were back in the Maritimes and saying goodbye to so many memories, friends and family - our family story began at around 4:08PM on a Sunday afternoon. Headed on the highway towards Quebec to begin our journey through the night to meet up with Justins brother and our sister in law with their 3 kids - hitting Edmonston to stop on the side of the highway for some supper and to stretch our legs we ran into a man who was taking his motor bike from Toronto to Nova Scotia - he too, was stoping for a bit of a break took out his trumpet and started playing! The girls were so excited and danced away

Day 1

Driving through the night was a one time thing on this trek - as we have realized that Norah is not one to love sleeping in her car seat :S After 1100KM on our first day, $173.00 in gas, seeing two Moose, drove through 2 provinces, Tim Hortons stop at 11:30pm (Thanks Pastor Jim for the Giftcard) I was pretty thrilled to hear the GPS say "in 1.5 km turn right at final destination" we pulled up to our hotel at 3:57 AM - taking a deep breath and realization that we had made the first leg of our trip was overwhelming, emotional.. but at that point- EXHAUSTED! We quickly checked in, brought our stuff up to the room put the kids to bed and crashed for a few hours until we heard the excitement on the other side of the door. The other Finlay kids were roaring to go... being the bestest wife I am, I let Justin sleep for a little longer as the kids bounced back and forth with stories to tell and hugs and kisses!
Day 2
We stayed put for about a day and a half, soaking in all the love family has to offer! Taking Keeonah for walks going swimming in the pool, finding parks to play and hills to roll down - we really enjoyed our time with family and can't wait to see them again

We found a park that was covered in "sunflowers" Also known as Dandelions.. the girls had a ball walking through and picking bouquets a pun bouquets for us!

Day 3
 We had so much fun with our cousins - brothers and sisters - We can't wait to share another time of togetherness! We miss you guys all the time! but nothing breaks the bonds between cousins!

it wasn't long before we were back on the road again.. the kids were asleep and we were in for a long haul of driving - we had about 10 hours until Sudbury,Ontario
the day was long and uneventful

a regular occurrence of wildlife along our trek

Driving through the rocks of Ontario was a little bit boring.. but exciting if you want to call almost running out of gas 3 hours into the middle of nowhere exciting - watching the gas tank get lower and lower and not seeing a gas station in site had Justins heart pumping a little bit. Luckily we ran into ONE gas station on a 5 hour stretch.. it was scary! which also had a tiny souvenir shop and Restaurant.. we ordered up ourselves some chicken fingers and fries - with some Ice cream to finish!

 This was a saving grace and hidden Gem for us.. our gas light was ON.. remember if you are driving through Ontario if you see a gas station make sure you FILL UP!
  Cotton Candy Ice Cream - YUMMMMMY!

 our tiny little gem that saved our butt and filled our tank! :) even gave us free cake!

we got to Sudbury at 7PM took the kids for a quick swim, fed them and put them to bed. We were not so eager to wake up super early the next morning.. only to realize that I was coming down with a bad head cold.. ordered room service for my lovelies.. hoped in the shower - got the truck packed up then hit Shoppers only to drop about $50.00 on any remedy that would cure me - Advil Cold&Sinus and Allergy meds were popped every 4 hours to help me feel a little better... along with a garbage magazine and two boxes of Kleenex! and we were off!

Day 4 
We are  in Manitoba now - driving across the Manitoba boarder - I never thought I would be so excited to see the Prairies as I was that day.. got out of Ontario and a little closer to 'home' We stopped in Winnipeg in a really nice hotel - the only hotel we could get a hold of that allowed dogs! they even gave us a little doggie treat bag - filled with a toy, dog treats and poop baggies! :) another short stay at a hotel before we ventured off to YORKTON! :) yay.. a close to my heart spot where our dear friends were posted and we got to share in a few days with them <3 


the newest members of the R.C.M.P chatting up with their little darlings

So there it is after Yorkton we packed up and drove 5 hours north to SPIRITWOOD!!!!! -Yes it was a short and sweet type up of our adventure across the country - but I do have two pesky little toddlers that don't allow me to sit at the computer for more then 5 minuets at a time without an issue arising - but for the most part.. that was our journey, and now we are here.. we are here in beautiful Spiritwood, Northern Saskatchewan! Taking in as much as we can as each day passes us by, Justin is in full swing as a member in the Spiritwood Detachment.. we are settling into our new house and have started to enjoy the lakes that surround us!
Thanks to all who have supported and encouraged us along our Story..we miss each and every one of you deeply! but hey.. we are just beginning our story now and hope that we leave a legacy behind that our children and grandchildren can tell in years to come.

LOVE TO YOU ALL xoxoxoxo

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Transition... there is a lot contained in that one word- part 1

"We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today.  I don't think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great.  If you're hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time."  ~Art Buchwald

A quote I stummbled across when I have longed for home and the 'wonder years' with my family surrounding me and friends at my becking call... but to have my hubby home from what we call 'one hell of a journey' coming home from work happy and excited to tell me every detail is nothing more then bliss..

When I actually went to my blog page and realized I haven't blogged since APRIL! I almost freaked.. I can not believe two months have flown by so quickly when the 6 months of depot seemed like death, torture and a trillion years long.. at last we are whole again.

And still can't get a decent family picture.. geesh, some things never change

Where do you even start ???? When you have flown across the country with two eager toddlers to hug and kiss their daddy, took part in one of the most amazing graduation ceremonies of all time, been reunited with your best friend, lover & father of your children, flying back home to say goodbye to our parents, our friends, mentors and leaders - to embark on a family road trip that took us 4,200KM away from home, arrive in a teeny tiny town that is now our new home, check into our cabin that will house us for a month of limbo, become first time home owners, pack up our little cabin and move into our new house... all in 2 months time, can you say WHIRLWIND!
can you find him?

Well first off.. the moments leading up to waking my babies to tell them "Today is the day! we get to go on an airplane to see daddy!!!" Miss R. eagerly replied with "IS IT A PURPLE AIRPLANE?!?!?!" as much as a disappointment it was when I said it was not, she was through and through beside herself that she got to see her dad! The morning couldnt pass by fast enough to get to the airport, check in, wait an hour to load, squeeze a tiny plane packed full and take flight off to DEPOT!
With Justins busy last days we landed to late for him able to pick us up and see us.. but we didn't wait around long the next day as we poped into say hi on his lunch break!.. (Video to follow soon)
nothing like a fathers love..oh how he missed them!
Little R was so excited she came booming out of the Van and leapt into daddy's arms faster then anyone could blink.. for the 30 minuets we stood around Reese never let go of his neck repeating in her little toddler voice "I knew you would come back daddy!.." as I watched my shy 21 month old slowly creep closer to her dad and then finally let him pick her up.. That was it.. my heart could beat again, my family was a unit again. My husband was actually physically there holding our kids we were whole... it was done.
The week of Regina flew by.. Parades to watch, Ceremonies to be involved in, people to meet, stuff to pack up, Badge Ceremonies, Grad Banquets, Pictures and a whole lot more.. and then it was over.. it was time to pack up his six month journey back into a suitcase and fly home to begin another chapter in our lives.

Our flight left at 10:00am ...and we landed in Saint John at 7:45pm with the greetings and hugs of family.. nothing sweeter then smelling the fresh maritime air... things moved very quickly as soon as we got home.. but first things first we celebrated my birthday MARITIME STYLE!

This is my father putting about 6 lobsters to sleep.. standing them upside down and rubbing their noses.. only people who live by the sea know how to do this.... and mmm..mmm..mmm.. they were someeee good  :)

And my kids enjoyed every lick they could get of all the seafood! Muscles&Lobster, Steak&Veggies and of course chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting - birthday tradition in our house!

Reese is a pro at shucking muscles,dipping them in butter and eating them!

Norah chowing down on a lobster claw!



Moments later we were stuffed and I was panning the room and taking it all in knowing it would be the last of my birthdays I would be celebrating at home with my family.. it was a weekend to remember!

8:30am the next morning packers were there to pack up our lives.. the 7 wonderful years we got to spend together in the town we grew up in, get married, and where the births of our children took place.. all packed up into boxes and loaded onto a moving truck to be shipped to the prairies and would be stored awaiting for the perfect house to be found...and it was!
Reese watching all of our stuff being driven away (Yes that is our bookshelf strapped to the back!)

Saying goodbye to friends and family is nothing but hard.. We miss you guys more every day and wish you could be experiencing this adventure with us!
Tune in next time for our trip across Canada!!

"Man's feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell."  ~Jean Paul Richter

Jean Paul couldn't have put it any sweeter... LOVE TO YOU ALL!

~The Finlays~