Thursday, June 12, 2014

Post-partum training

Just get that workout done!
It's never convenient.
It's never an ideal scenario.
But it's always worth it.

Happy bodies make happy moms.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Anniversary - It's only been 9 years!

We were in need of some 9 year marriage counselling...
so we found our marriage therapist.

Wind - Water - Sun - Rock - Climbing


We breathed in the fresh air, hiked through the woods, found some rock and climbed, and spent time just sitting...together.


9 years doesn't sound like a long time compared to the many couples we know that have been examples for us past 20 and 30 years of covenantal love through trial and triumph. 

Compared to them, we feel like babies - hungry.  Hungry for the qualities that make a great marriages, last. 


Here are 3 questions we asked each other today.  Maybe these are questions you could ask your spouse, too! 

1.  In what ways do you see me growing to become more like Jesus?
2.  Why do you think we have a great marriage? 
3.  What do you see me working on (even though it's really hard and I sometimes forget) in our marriage? 


Thanks for following our marriage through our blog. 
We appreciate your support!  


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to travel to a foreign country with little kids

Two times we've travelled to China with little kids and now twice to the Dominican Republic.  Sometimes I wonder if we are a tad masochistic...I mean, really...
ticket lines,
security,
customs,
more lines,
lift off (read: ear aches)
being cramped in a metal box at 30,000 feet with little kids for ungodly hours
descent (read: ear aches)
more baggage lines,
more customs,
kill.me.now.

....it's enough for you to consider an early retirement...from parenting. 

But actually, as we think about it...it's always gone really well.  I can't remember a time when the kids were nightmares in the airport or on the plane or traveling to and fro from destination to destination.  It's amazing, really. 

If you travel a lot with little kids like us, here are some things we've learned that have helped make the experience less nightmarish. 

1.  Talk about the trip for a month leading up to the trip.  We drew pictures of airplanes, told stories about traveling, started packing a week before we left (they got to descide what they wanted to wear....we are all about empowerment here, folks), watched airplane youtube videos, and did bedtime stories with travel themes.  


2.  PHd in the art of distraction.  In the case of the Dominican Republic, it meant that we would be traveling for 24 hours with layovers and multiple flights and bus rides.  That meant we brought: new books, art supplies, new apps, and new music (the frozen soundtrack) -- ...when will that die?!.  Every human gets a carry on and every carry on is packed with new stuff for the kids....it's all about the kids while you're trapped in the air with no escape. So make it fun! 


3.  Don't be afraid to pass dem' babies around.  Seriously, if she looks like a momma or doesn't give  off a creepy vibe...pass those babies off -- it gives you a break, gives others a blessing, and teaches your kids to be comfortable around people of all types. 





4.  As best as you can, create rhythms similar to the ones you have at home. Do you do a date night with your kids each week?....do that on your trip.  Do the kids have a regular bed time and nighttime routine?...aim for it.  The more you can integrate the anchors of home into a new place (especially when they don't know the language)...the better your kids will adapt. 


5.  Fight your anal retentive tendencies. Sometimes you've just gotta go with the flow and you can't control everything your kids experience.  When you're in a new culture you can expect that there are things that are different than what you are used to or comfortable with (like riding in the bed of a truck on a public street).  Sometimes you just gotta go with it.    


6.  Don't forget to have fun.  Seriously, don't forget to schedule in fun for your kids.  Remember, not everything you are doing is fun for them.  Think about what would be fun for them...and go do that! 



7.  Do a daily debrief with your kids.  They are taking in sights and sounds and smells and experiences that are all different.  If you're going through some measure of cultural dissonance, undoubtedly they are too.  Every night before bed, talk about the day's "highs and lows."  We ask, "What made you happy today?" and "What made you sad today?"  You'll be amazed at what you hear. 


8.  Rewrite your "what your kids need" list.  I'm sure if you wrote that list today....sitting at home...it might be pretty long and include a few non-essentials (i.e. like a daily bath).  Honestly, our kids basically need their parents (that's where "home" is, by the way) and on top of that -- enough daily food and sleep, and a place to peepoo (I just made that word up. I like it). They are probably going to survive...and maybe even thrive if you're open to allowing them to live on less that "what you think they need."  


9.  Get ready for no sleep.  If you're a pansy and you need your 8 hours of daily sleep...seriously, why are you traveling around the world with little kids? Just kidding.  You're not a pansy. But stay home.  However, if you're prepared to sleep less so your kids can sleep -- by staying next to them when they wake up in an unfamiliar place during the night, and helping them adjust to new time zones, and allowing them to use you as a pillow/bed/blanket on every airplane/bus you'll travel on....get ready for no sleep.  We think it's worth it. 


 10. Buy special treats in the airport to keep them smiling.  haha.  Seriously, loosen up.  It won't kill them.  They will come to LOOOVE airports because they know some special treats are-a-comin'!       


Hope these 10 tips encourge you go travel with your young kids.
It really is....unforgettable.  


Monday, June 2, 2014

Families hike together

It doesn't need to be far...but make it fun.
It doesn't need take a long time...but make it steep.

Adventure is a state of mind that has to be nourished and rehearsed.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Should I buy all this?

.... for the plane ride?

We're leaving to the Dominican Republic

So excited!
...not about the travel.
LONG flights with 3 little kids could equal becoming "that parent" that everyone hates on the airplane. God have mercy. 

But we are going back, one year later to continue to nurture the friendships we made and continue to learn about Jesus in the context of the DR.  There is a lot for us to learn.







We'd love to know you are praying for us! 



Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Greatness Great Grandparents and Great Grandchildren

Their is a genuine satisfaction watching great grandparents invest in great grandchildren.  Maybe it's because it somehow echoes of heaven where family trees are finally restored in a new Garden.

....or maybe its simply because great grandparents are everyones favourite type of grown-ups.  




Every moment matters....now and forever.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

We should probably blog....

Did you know that Heidi and I have had an active website for 9 years? We've posted just under 1000 times in our digital living room...thanks for joining us! 

Our brother Jameson said that we should probably blog again since he's tired of seeing the same post since January.  He's right....time to dust off the blog and remove the cobwebs.  

How about an adventure story?

DB and I decided that since it's turning to spring, a couple days of spring mountaineering would be fun. So we got into mom's van (it's the name of our new van....but that's another story) and found the trail head to Garibaldi Lake.  


The pace upward was slow....
with heavy packs full of climbing gear, food, water, and camping equipment
and 5000 feet of vertical gain...we were in for a long walk through the woods to get into the alpine.


We walked through BEAUTIFUL forests full of interesting moss.  I'm told that this type of moss grows something like a millimetre a year! 


Garibaldi Lake was amazing.  It's a HUGE lake that's totally still frozen over and surrounded by lots of sweet mountains to climb. 


We found a hut!...helpful, since the weather turned bad...and we had a place to wait it out.


The weather improved though and we picked our objective for the next day.  It's named The Black Tusk...it's one of the most striking and recognizable feature around Vancouver.  We went for a hike without packs to better scope our our line and observe snow conditions. 

While it looks pretty....conditions were not in our favour.  South faces were baking in the sun and showing evidence of pinwheeling (often precursors of wet slab avalanche activity), north faces were all severely wind loaded and corniced and every route we observed passed through complex terrain that could avalanche (and would at some point) given the conditions.      

So we turned home. 
The mountain will always be there for another day.


Time to set up camp! 


The next morning, we set off to attempt Mont Price and Clinker Peak shown here below.


Walking across a huge frozen alpine lake was magical


We didn't summit this mountain either...but I suppose the summits are never the only point.
I mean....Just look at where I am!  


Someone said that laughter is an instant vacation.
They were right
....but so is adventure.
...and you don't need a summit for that. 


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pictures and Effort

Some of the best pictures I've ever been in (read: the ones I like the most) cost me some effort (read: sweat).  I went backcountry ski touring again....hey, the snow is falling.....and it was kinda an ugly day.    Snow/drizzle the entire day....a type of wet-cold that sticks to you.....heavy snow that felt more like concrete...yada yada yada. 

But I was totally happy.
Effort always delivers the goods. 


Traveling on a snowy logging road always feels a little precarious....but rarely a problem. 


It doesn't take long to accumulate some snow....but this snow is wet and heavy.


Somehow selfies in the mountains are WAY better than any snapchat/instagram/LookAtMeImBieber selfie.  Mountain partner selfies are somehow more meaningful.  


After lunch in tree well...it was time to go home.  Avy conditions were terrible...so we had no problem calling it quits. 



These are good days....


Monday, January 13, 2014

Ski Touring Season is HERE!....kinda

Here in Vancouver we've been having a crazy winter.
A no snow kinda winter.
It's like the sky is constipated.

Well....there IS snow....but you gotta go high to find the deeper stuff, 1000m+
In the last 72 hours I've spent the last 10 in the mountains....kicking off the ski touring season.

Here are some pictures from today's trip.  I'll post saturday's pictures in another blog.


It was nasty today.  Freezing level was 2000m and we were hiking between 1000-2000m.  RAIN.  HOURS....in the rain.  Oliver B....why do you do this to me?  

With strangely warm weather, rain, but 100cm in the last couple days of fresh powder, and loads of wind....the avy conditions are going CRAZY.  We dug some pits....assessed conditions and were satisfied with keeping it mellow today.


....and mellow is always OK with me.  I just like getting out.  Today needed to be mellow (read: no steep ski descents) because the snow was some of the heaviest powder cement (very wet snow) I have ever skied in. I felt like a beginner!  


....but I'll tell you. There is no better feeling than getting your body moving, being out in nature, breathing in it's silence and enjoying it's beauty.  DO IT!  


 These are good days....


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