Mini spa day

The mountains called us yesterday and we answered. I can’t remember the last time we actually went out and did something, the weather was nice, and the highway was empty. It was the perfect day to head to Banff.

I love Banff, but it does have a tendency to get a bit busy – the price of a resort town – and the busy is sometimes what makes it fun for people. I, however, love the days when I manage to get there and it’s quiet like it was yesterday. The sun was out, people were smiling, it was just what we needed.

I’d run out of hand sanitizer, so we went into the Rocky Mountain Soap Company because it’s one of my favourite stores, but also because it’s their hand sanitizer that many of the shops use in Banff and I already knew my hands liked their product.

Because of COVID rules, only a few people are allowed in the store at a time, and we were there when we were the only ones (lucky us). The lady working brought us over to the sinks, showed us their hand cleaning products, and allowed us to spend some time giving ourselves a little hand scrub that ended up feeling like a mini spa day.

There was something about the wonderful smells in the store, and the quiet moment we had of washing our hands that was so soothing and relaxing. The lady working there provided us with such a calm environment it made me remember why it’s one of my favourite stores.

Then we wandered the streets of Banff, just enjoying being out of the house, seeing people smiling, the blue sky, and the mountains – I love our mountains.

It really was a perfect day. I’m so grateful for this life.


We are those guys

Yesterday when we were walking around Banff we kept getting behind the funniest two guys who were having the strangest conversations. The first time I heard well, I was doing fine until I sat on me ass for a year eating nothing but shit food, that made me fat and miserable. Later we ended up behind them again and I heard  well, I have to argue with you – you always think you’re right about everything and I have to prove you’re not. Lastly the boy heard them arguing over whether a giraffe or koala was the better animal. They were so funny I couldn’t keep a straight face.

Tonight after the girl had ball we went out for milkshakes and we were having one of our usual insane conversations. We noticed the people in the booth behind us snickering and poking at each other and listening to our conversation.

The boy looked at me and started to laugh and said we are those guys from yesterday – thats us today having this conversation. 

I am so grateful for the relationship I have with my kids. It’s a lot of work for all of us to be this close and work together, but I don’t know how we would do it any other way.


Think Gingerbread Houses

The kids and I took a much needed mental health day in the mountains – it’s a place that grounds us all and life has been so emotional lately we really needed a mountain hug.

My lesson from A Course In Miracles today was to look for happiness wherever I went. Today was the perfect day for that lesson as we seemed focused on finding the light.

We wandered around Banff for a while this afternoon and finally sat down for my first ever Beavertail. I’m not sure I need a second one, but at least now I can say I’ve had one. As we were waiting the kids started each playing solitaire on their phones. The boy allowed me to watch him and for a few seconds I did just that – watch. It wasn’t long though before I was giving suggestions, then pointing, then telling him where to line up his cards.

The girl looked over at me, wiggled her eyebrows, and said think Gingerbread Houses, Mom. Oh. Crap. See, when we do gingerbread houses I have to buy an extra one for myself because I have this tendency to totally interfere with their creations. I can’t help it. I don’t even make good gingerbread houses (think drunk toddler art), but I just can’t stop myself.

So I pulled out my own phone and started my own game of Solitaire. I guess it’s all in the name – a game for one person.

We went to a Wrinkle In Time tonight. I loved the book and it was fun to experience the movie. As with all of these types of movies the kids had to process their feelings of their missing father on the ride home – but they seem to be making peace with that in their own ways finally. The movie actually was a good reminder of how important it is to focus on the light instead of the darkness.

There is a lot of light out there, we need to let ours shine too.


The smoky mountains

We took an impulse drive to Banff this afternoon – how lucky are we that this wonderland is so close to our home. The drive was a little more tiring than I had thought it would be – shoulder is not happy with me – but the trade off was giggles and smiles from my monsters all afternoon. I feel like we’ve missed out on a lot of that this last month and we need to dedicate this last weekend of summer to fun.

The drive was insanely smoky, but interestingly enough Banff has less smoke than we have here so we were able to walk around and enjoy the mountains and the town. Best of all, after the fire last winter the candy shoppe has reopened so the kids got to get a treat. Happy happy happiness.

I definitely feed off the energy of the mountains and every so often I need to stand surrounded by them – in a mountain hug – and recharge myself.

I had coffee with a friend this afternoon and we both agreed we need to be doing some rebalancing. Funny how it’s so much harder to get back to centre than it is to lose it. But we work together and hold each other up and step by step we get there.


Fun with flags 

We went to Melissa’s in Banff tonight for supper – it’s been ages since I’ve eaten there. We were in desperate need of a mountain hug and our feet found our way to this place to eat. 

We played our own version of fun with flags and quizzed each other on the flags that were hanging on the ceiling at the restaurant. The meal was yummy and after having taken a 3 week sugar break I ate an insane amount of fudge brownie dessert – because life is short. 

I love these kind of moments, where happiness just is. Family together in a beautiful place. 


High tea at Banff Springs

We had high tea at the Banff Springs Hotel today to celebrate my niece turning 6 and my daughter turning 12 (today and on Monday respectively). It was a girls only event including the birthday girls, my sister, and our mom. We don’t have girl days often enough – and this one was pretty elegant. 

The difference between 6 and 12

When we were kids our family vacationed a lot on Vancouver Island, and we have many fond memories attached to high tea (and clotted cream). It was fun for us three adults to step back in time a little and reminisce about teas past. 

And fun to share our traditions with the next generation. The girls loved having a fancy tea party 

Her face when she was told she could eat 

She gets it from her mom 

It was a really special day, and one that I will treasure in my memory bank forever. Those family bonds, our sisterhood, it’s pure happiness and there’s so much gratitude in that. 


Candy candy

We took a girl trip to Banff this evening for fondue and the candy store. Jenna’s BFF is just about the best girl one could hope to have as a friend and it delivers me to hear them having fun together.  I got a nice visit with my mom which I really enjoyed. We are fortunate that we have such a great place to run away to so easily – even more fortunate that we have loved ones to run away with. It was cheesy happiness. 

I had another happiness moment earlier today as I broke bread with one of my favourite people. Heart balancing happiness – it is good. 


End of summer 2016

Tomorrow the kids go back to school. I am sad about that, I love having them home and I don’t feel like we did even half of the things we had planned. On the other hand, this summer feels like it’s been kind of an emotional shitstorm and I’m ready to move on from that. It wasn’t summer 2013 bad (which will forever be the bad summer that all bad summers will be measured against), but it wasn’t one of the better ones. Mother Nature played a big role in that with her rain, rain, rain – but it seemed to also be a season where we sorted out and let go of a lot of emotional baggage. That was exhausting. 

We celebrated our last day of freedom with a trip to Banff and fondue for supper. It was nice enough to sit outside to eat, which was a real treat. We all love those mountain hugs. They’re soul healing. We ate, laughed, and shared stories. I love those kiddos and my time with them is precious and always filled with gratitude. We are extremely close the three of us, and I give thanks for that bond every day. 

Chocolate fondue 
On the way home we saw a crazy, big cloud that kind of looked like a dog. I love the big Alberta skies and all our cool clouds 


Come together 

Today was the annual stampede breakfast at our community hall. We were really lucky and had beautiful weather for it. The yard was full of family and neighbours (and as we discovered a lot of them we didn’t know – the difficulty of having missed so many years, or of being super introverted) visiting and laughing. 

Some of the family/community I only seem to catch up with at this breakfast so it’s always an event I look forward to. Although, I have noticed that now that we are home we are able to do a lot more visiting at other times. 

I notice every time that we attend one of these functions that the kids are more and more comfortable and confident as part of the tribe which delights me to my core. Knowing there are strong, stable roots helps give you the strength to fly. 

The hall 

The girls getting ready to head up to the breakfast. 
On top of the happiness of visiting with my people, the kids and I headed west for an evening in Banff. Sometimes you just need that mountain hug (and fondue and candy) being in the mountains always brings me happiness. 

I’ve realized I need to spend more time in conscious gratitude for the awesome gifts I’ve been given. I feel like I’ve been running , putting out fires, and not accomplishing enough. Sometimes the best way for me to accomplish more is by slowing down and doing less.