Feb 10, 2016

Its been a tough week. McKenna and Hayley both have had the flu, which they each had for a week. The continuous coughing all through the night and having to get up to give tylenol has kept me from having a good night's sleep for awhile. My body and mind start to shut down when I don't get much sleep. I become a zombie, which means the effort to take care of myself tends to become non existent. No green smoothie's, not eating as well, and no yoga. Basically I've been just trying to stay afloat taking care of a grumpy, needy little girl, and keep up with everything else. Yesterday I told myself enough was enough. I was feeling so gross and literally thought I was going to go crazy. I did yoga in the morning, made sure I had a green smoothie and reminded myself that I would have nothing to give to my family if I wasn't taking care of myself. Hayley was still feeling sick and with her sore throat it was hard to get her to eat anything. I knew muffins would do the trick, so I threw away my to-do list for the day and we baked muffins (which was the only thing she ate the whole day) then with some tylenol in her system we headed outside for a much needed walk. It was a beautiful non windy day and it made both of us very happy. It gave my spirit the boost it needed to get through the rest of the afternoon as H was back to her grumpy, sick self when we got home. Poor little girl. With my spirit renewed it was much easier to get through the day. Even though it was a rough night with coughing and not much sleep, Hayley woke up a happy girl and is back to her regular self. Hallelujah. Light always comes after the darkness. I am grateful that even though we have bad days, weeks, even months, that each new day is a chance for a renewal. A chance to make better choices, live better, love more fiercely, and put the important things first. Life is good.

End of January.

Jan 31, 2016

I seriously can't believe that January is over. I'm not complaining though. Its been windy here the last few days which really stinks, but thankfully Spring is just around the corner.

This week we:

had parent viewing at dance. I love parent viewing. I love seeing what the girls are working on in class and we usually get a glimpse of their year end show routine. Both of the girls are doing awesome and really love dance. This is McKenna's fifth year in dance and it was the first time that Ryan came to one of her classes for parent viewing. Kind of crazy, but I think its because he was always watching the other kids. Now that they can watch themselves it gives us a little more freedom. I think he enjoyed it, but one class for each girl was enough for him.

attended a few birthdays this week. Hayley and I went to her little friend Lucy's birthday party. They had a princess tea party. They had lunch, played some games (although H opted out) and got their nail's painted. I got to visit. We both had a fun time. Ty went to a friends party at the Movie theatre and then we went to my brother's house for my niece's birthday party. We had ham buns, played some games, and then had a wicked dance party. Ty and McKenna stayed for a sleepover.

watched basketball. Nate plays at school and in a community league on Saturdays. He is doing awesome. The school league is for everyone so its a little slow and mostly for teaching the kids how to play. They've only had practice's so far but will start games this week. Nate is one of the best players and feels confidant because he know's everyone. In the Saturday league he is one of the younger kids and he doesn't know anybody. There are also a lot of good players. It is good for him because it challenges him and puts him out of his comfort zone. He gets to enjoy both experiences and he is becoming a better basketball player because of it. I love being a basketball Mom.

Had a playdate with a couple of M's friends from dance. The girls all played and us Mom's visited. I love chatting with these girls and have made some awesome dance Mom friends.The girls loved getting to spend time together outside of dance and were begging to get to play longer. I'm glad we have these friends to help get us through the craziness of dance.

are in house cleaning and organizing mode. We are trying to get the house ready to sell by the middle of February. Ryan is also starting to get into building mode too and is always looking at kitchens, pricing things out, and getting ideas for our house. We went and looked through some show homes today which we really love doing as a family. The kids love picking out their rooms at each house and it really got us all excited about building a new house.

have been watching football. When they were watching the game where the Patriots played the Bronco's Ty came prepared wearing his Tom Brady jersey, once the Bronco's started winning Ty said "That's it" and pulled off his Patriots jersey and had his Bronco's t-shirt underneath. We had a good laugh about that. I think he needs to learn some team loyalty. The Bronco's ended up winning and the boys are excited to watch them in the Superbowl.

January has been great. Bring on February!


Jan 30, 2016

Yoga has become one of my favourite things. Last year I took a couple beginner classes at the College with Brit and it quickly became a new love for me. I love how it connects my mind and body, how it relaxes me, and how good I feel after my practice. I've been doing it for about a year now and I feel like a new person. I feel so connected to my body. When something feels a little weird I notice it right away and I just know what I need to do to correct it, or why it might be feeling that way. Its really hard to explain but I just feel this stronger connection of my mind and body. Its actually great exercise and can even get you sweating sometimes, its great for core strength, and flexibility. I also just feel calmer all the time. Things don't stress me out as quickly or as often when I'm practicing daily. And I just feel happier and more content with life. It has really made huge changes in my life and my outlook on things. It has so many benefits. It maintains the balance of your body, boosts your capacity for self healing, balances your emotions, benefits the heart and your other body organs, aligns your posture... it's basically just great for every inch of your mind and body. Have I sold you on it yet?
And the perfect thing about it is that it is super easy to do from home. Just 20 minutes in the morning makes a huge difference. I don't have the time right now to go to any classes so I just do it from home. I'm sure you tube has a million video's for you to follow, but I love the channel Yoga with Adriene. She has over 200 video's of short 20-40 minute exercises, she takes you through the foundations with some of the main poses, and pretty much has everything you could ever need to know when it comes to yoga. I also got this great book Yoga your home practice companion that takes you through everything yoga and shows a lot of great poses and some sequences that you can do. Easy peasy. And who knows, maybe one day you could even do this...

Health and Wellness.

Jan 24, 2016

Health & Wellness has become really important to me this past year. My Mom was kind of a health nut so I grew up with a good foundation, but once I started having babies it became harder to find a nice balance in my life. I also had 3 kids close together (when M was born Ty was 1, and Nate 3). My Mom died of cancer a few months after that and my life was literally turned upside down. Instead of being in control of my life, it controlled me. I was living each day just to make it to the next. And while I enjoyed life and have a lot of nice memories, most of the last 5 years was a dark time for me. I suffered through some depression and just felt this heavy weight. As time went by and the kids got older things got better too. The depression was pretty much gone but I would get headache's a lot, and watched a lot of t.v. I think I used it as an escape. I finally decided it was time to let go of the things that weren't bringing me happiness and peace, and start really taking care of myself. The last year has been really amazing for me. I've been learning and growing so much and have found that I'm really passionate about health and wellness. I'm a little obsessed with taking care of myself because I want to be my very best self for my kids, for Ryan, my family, friends, and I want to live a long and adventurous life. I would like to share more about my journey of how I go here, but it's pretty personal so I might share as time goes on and I feel more comfortable. But I would like to share how I'm taking care of myself and finding joy, happiness and good health each day. I want to share it for those of you who are also looking for ways to take better care of yourselves. I want to share with my family and friends and whomever might be interested, but mostly for my future self, my children, and future grandchildren. So my blog will continue to be about my family and our adventures, but also about health & wellness and the things I've been learning, and the things I love. I hope you'll continue to stop by.

Party time.

Ty has had a few birthday celebrations this week. Sunday we got together with the Olsen's for all the January birthdays. We had a yummy dinner and icecream cake, and had a fun time celebrating these three handsome boys.

On Ty's actual birthday all the kids opted to stay home from school, which is becoming a birthday tradition at our house. Ty opened his presents from us before Ryan left for work. He got a Jurassic World lego set, a lego watch, and some minion kinder eggs. He loved his gifts and got right to work on his lego. We went swimming at Stan Siwik later that morning and the kids had so much fun playing together. They decided it is their new favourite pool. We pretty much had the whole pool to ourselves. It was nice. Then we went to the toy store and the kids spent some of their allowance/birthday money. Ty bought more lego of course. Then we picked up cupcakes to eat after supper when Ry got home. The kids spent the afternoon playing and then after supper and dance, we sang happy Birthday and ate cupcakes. Ty chose the fun cookie monster cupcake. He said it was the best birthday ever, so I guess that's a win for us!

He had his friends party on the weekend. We were originally planning to go sledding but with the warmer temperatures there ended up being no snow. So Ty decided to go to the movies instead. They went to see The Peanuts Movie and then came back here for donuts and rootbeer floats and to play for awhile. He invited 4 friends but Jack couldn't make it. He came by the day before and dropped off a gift, which made Ty's day. Minion lego. They had fun spending the afternoon playing together. We only had 3 extra boys at the party but it sure felt like 10. They have a lot of energy. He got lego, a pocket knife and money, and a fighter fish. He was so surprised to get the fish and tackled his friend who gave it to him because he was so happy and excited. He named him Bob and is so excited to take care of him. And yes, the little boys Mom did call in advance to make sure that it was okay to gift him a fish. I think it was a successful party.

Two birthdays down, and one more to go before we get a nice long birthday break.


Jan 23, 2016

Ty turned nine a few days ago, which means he's been melting my heart for nine whole years. It first started with that round head, chubby cheeks, and big blue eyes. Now its with that charming personality and smile that lights up his whole face. He really is growing into a fine young man.

He is adventurous and a lot of fun to be around. He isn't afraid to try new things and loves to be outdoors.

He has a great sense of humor and is always making us laugh. Here he dressed up like his Dad.

He lives and sleeps football. He is a natural athlete. He catches on quickly to things, has confidence, and just goes for it.

But best of all he is kind hearted and generous. One morning even though he had a sore arm and had it in a sling he went out and shoveled the snow cause his Dad asked him too, even though his Mom said he didn't have to with his sore arm. When I looked out to see how he was doing he was shoveling the neighbors sidewalk and driveway as well.

We sure love you Tyger! Happiest Birthday. I'm looking forward to many more heart melting moments as I watch you grow.

Winter Fun.

Jan 17, 2016

I hate the cold. By the time Winter is over I am usually begging Ryan to move us somewhere warmer. But this is our home and this is where we are staying, so I figured I better make the most of it. Last year I bought some snow pants, and I got nice snow boots this year so I can fully embrace the winter and enjoy it with my kids. So far we've gone tobogganing, snowmobiling, and skating. The town actually made an outdoor skating area at a local park near our house so we are hoping to spend more time there.

Its also nice to do indoor things when its too cold. We went to the theatre the other night and watched "Norm of the North." It was really cute and the kids enjoyed it.

Hayley doesn't mind being stuck in the house most days. She finds ways to entertain herself and spends most of the day playing toys or dress up. That makes winter more bearable.

This Unicorn costume is way too small but its one of her favourites. I also love winter fashion and I may have a nice collection of toque's going on. I also spend my days in leggings and cute, comfy socks.

I'm going to try and spend the rest of winter finding the positives and enjoying and embracing the cold. Its really the little things that make life great.


Jan 16, 2016

2015 was actually really hard to say goodbye to because it was such a great year for us. I am excited to see what new adventures 2016 will bring us though. I've kind of been digging my heels in with the whole idea of selling and building a house this year. Though I'm excited for the end result it is the work that it's going to take to get there that is making me drag my feet. It kind of overwhelms me a bit. But what is life without some challenges and a bit of anxiety? So, looks like I am picking those feet up and we are going to list our house and hopefully start building a new one this year. I am ready for the time and work that it will take because I know it will be worth it in the end, and will get us that much closer to the life we want to be living financially. If all goes to plan (which rarely does anyway) we will be settled into our brand new, homemade, house around this time next year. Wish me luck.

Living healthy and being positive are pretty much always my goals. I did a pretty good job of it last year, but I'm hoping to take it up a notch this year and put even more effort into eating better.

But when I really think of what I want this year the word adventure comes to my mind. And not just the big adventures but the little adventures of every day life. I really want to focus on that his year. Finding the adventure and making the most out of my everyday life. Life is good. I want to make sure I am enjoying every second of it. That means finding ways to enjoy the mundane things that need to be done too. So, my theme for this year is - living life one adventure at a time. Because that is what life is, one big adventure. I really hope you enjoy and get the most out of yours this year. Here's to a happy and adventurous 2016!

Boxing Day and New Years.

Jan 9, 2016

The Shurtz family was doing their big get together on New Years when all the Malacko's would be at my Dad's in Okotoks, so my family went to my Gramma and Grampa's on Boxing day so we could spend time with them over the holidays. Brit and I cooked a ham and potato dinner and we had a really nice visit. Gramma has cooked for us so many times over the years it was really nice to be able to cook for her this time.

The rest of the week was pretty chill. Ryan and I were both sick for a day or two and we just spent time relaxing.

New Years Eve we headed out to my Dad and Penny's and spent the next couple of days with the Malacko's. We went sledding and the kids had so much fun. Hayley and Ember would go down together by themselves and then each take a side of the sled and walk back up and it really was the cutest thing ever. It was fun until I went down with my Dad and we got some wicked air and I bashed my tail bone. I was almost in tears it hurt so bad, and is still pretty sore. We ate tons of food and played a million games. We put the smaller kids to bed around 10:00 pm, but the older kids were determined to make it till midnight. They watched a movie and then played charade's until midnight then all fell instantly asleep. We had so much fun ringing in the New Year and I actually stayed up till 1:00 am. Such a party animal. New Years day a few of us went shopping to spend our Christmas money. I bought winter boots which I am very excited about. We left for home January 2nd. McKenna had a birthday party in the afternoon and I had a wedding that evening.

McKenna was going to the daughter one of my friends that I've known since grade one's birthday, so I tagged along and hung out with Megs while McKenna partied. We both had so much fun at the party, and its fun watching McKenna and Alivia become friends.

After the party I was feeling pretty exhausted and lousy so I had a bath and went to bed. I was sad to miss my friends wedding but I just didn't feel up to going. The holidays are always fun but exhausting. We are ready for the kids to go back to school and get into a routine again.

Happy New Year friends! Hope you had a fun celebrating and I hope 2016 is exactly what you want it to be.

Christmas Letter 2015.

Jan 8, 2016

So I've sent out a family update letter to family and friends for the past 6 years, but this year I'm sitting down to write it right now as we speak. So I obviously didn't get them sent out this year but still feel its important to atleast get one in my family journal. So here it goes...

2015 has been an incredible year for us. I feel like the years just seem to get better and better. I am definitely enjoying the stage of life we are in right now. We just recently got back from our second vacation to Disneyland and it didn't disappoint. We LOVE Disneyland and can't wait to go again in a few years. The 3 older kids were perfect for riding all the rides with and Hayley was the perfect age for the meet and greets. She loved meeting all the Princesses. It really is a happy and magical place and it always brings our family together and we have so much fun.

Hayley turned four this year. She is growing up way too fast. She loves Princesses and plays, watches, and dresses up like them all day long. She has a few movies memorized and can recite the whole thing. She also belts out all the songs and really loves to sing. She started dance this year and is loving it. She is in a tap and jazz combo class and hates that she only dances one day a week. She loves to play with the neighbor girls and is very social and is always meeting new friends where ever we go. Her and I are really enjoying our days just the two of us. We love to go visit our friends, go to a drop in gymnastics, swimming, or to the park. Such a hard life for me, I know. She starts Kindergarten this year. I can hardly believe it.

McKenna turns eight in a couple of months and is in grade 2. She loves school and is doing well. She is really starting to excel in dance and has dedicated a lot of her time to it. She is in 2 ballet classes, 2 jazz classes, and one tap class. She is also in 3 festival routines and will compete 3 times in the Spring at two competitions in Calgary, and one in Moose Jaw. She loves it so much and I am not going to lie, I love being a Dance Mom. We have both made some awesome friendships. She is such a great helper and an awesome big sister. Her and Hayley play so well together and she is so patient and caring with her, even when Hayley throws a tantrum or is being stubborn. She is starting to draw and color more often, and will sit down and create her own crafts to do.

Ty will turn 9 this month and is in grade 3. He is doing awesome in school and just received the leadership award last month. He is friendly and charming and is well liked by everyone in his class. He played basketball, baseball, and football this past year and is very athletic and learns quickly. He played in a minor baseball summer league this past year and his team ended up taking 4th in the big Provincial tournament. He started his first year of football and loved it and is now a little obsessed. He was one of the youngest on the team but was also one of their best tacklers. He has confidence and just goes for it. He still loves hanging out with Mom and Dad and chats our ear off and loves to play card games with us. He loves being outside with his friends.

Nate just turned 11 and is in grade 5. He is also doing well in school and excels in reading and writing. He took a huge interest in basketball and played for hours out on our driveway all Spring and Summer and is really excited that its the start to the basketball season. He is playing in a mini league at school and is also in a community league on Saturdays. He has improved so much and is turning out to be a really good player. He reads all the time and know's everything about any NBA basketball player whoever played. He played football for the first time too this year and although it was a rocky start he ended up really loving it and is now obsessed with football as well. He loves watching sports on t.v too and playing them on the xbox, especially with his Dad. He is a pretty good big brother and is babysitting all the time, which is extra nice for us. He is definitely a pre-teen who thinks he knows everything and sometimes isn't very patient with his younger siblings. We have to remind him that he too didn't know certain things when he was 4 either.

Ryan started a new job in the Fall. We weren't expecting it but it sort of just fell into his lap and he decided to make the move. It has been awesome for him and he is liking the change. He is working for Southwest Design and Construction as a project Coordinator, so he is in charge of a few different jobs and makes sure everything is running smoothly and things are getting done properly. They do mostly steel commercial buildings. He is loving it. He is anxious to start building our house but I keep postponing the whole process. It overwhelms me a little bit and I am quite happy and content right now in our little house. We are still on the fence about listing our house this Spring so we will see what happens. He helped coach the boys football this year, and got cable for Christmas so he can watch all his sports.

I babysat my cousin's little guy all last year but will now only have him here and there because she is on mat leave. I love having older children and love to spend time doing things with them. I am still as social as ever and love having girls night's and hanging out with my friends. Ryan and I love to play cards together and have started cooking together on the weekends which is one of my new favourite things. I am obsessed with travelling and have a huge list of places I want to visit, and am always planning our next vacation. I love Yoga and try to do it every night. It really centers me and I love how it helps improve my flexibility. I feel like a calmer and happier person when its a regular part of my routine.

Things are really, really good for us right now and we are loving life. I'm not sure what 2016 will bring us. We are still working hard to get out of credit card debt and we might sell our house and start building this year. I guess we will just take it one day at a time. We are happy and healthy and that is all that matters. We love our family and friends and are so grateful for all the love and support we receive from all of you. Merry Christmas! We hope 2016 is your best year yet.

Love the Olsen's, Ryan, Kelli, Nate, Ty, McKenna, and Hayley.