The Rest of the Summer (So Far)

Bella and Pearl – summer beach buddies

As August quickly approaches its end, we’ve started to look ahead to the fall in our household. Peter’s work schedule changes to its more regular hours in a couple weeks and so the rhythm of our days will revert back to its more ordinary flow. In the meantime, we are enjoying our last days of summer. It’s been a good one.

Beach Pearl

We’ve spent as much time as we can at the beach, whether it’s the one near our house or slightly further afield. We’re fortunate to live in a land of beaches, though most of them tend to be pretty rocky. This summer we’ve definitely had our favourites and have tried to take advantage of low tides where hidden sand bars are revealed. Pearl is not much for ocean swimming yet (she’ll wade) but she’s enjoyed splashing around, building castles, and searching for crabs.

Some dear friends of ours came to visit and we loved being able to host them. These are friends we’ve had since before Peter and I were married and we’ve watched each other get engaged, celebrated weddings together, and welcomed each others children. Pearl falls right in between their two boys age-wise and in previous visits, the kids haven’t interacted much. This time, they quickly became friends and it was wonderful to watch our friendship continue into the next generation.

Klein Lake

After our friends left, we headed up to Pender Harbour for a short camping stint. One night is a good amount of time for us at this stage of our lives so we opted to try out Klein Lake, a place neither of us had visited before. It was the perfect spot for camping with a two year old – quiet and right by the lake. We brought up our rowboat and Pearl loved “rowing”. If you ask her about camping now she’ll tell you that she slept in a tent, ate noodles, and that mum fell on the dock. All true.

Pearl’s first Pirate Pak

We made a quick trip to Vancouver to visit with family (fun!) and go to Ikea (less fun!). The older Pearl gets the more fun she has with her older cousins. She works hard to keep up with them. She also got to enjoy her first ever Pirate Pak. For those not from BC, this is a childhood classic. Basically, the kids menu at a restaurant chain here comes in these pirate boats and you can only order them until you’re ten. We’ve just begun needing to order Pearl her own meal at restaurants so our days of dining out as a family are limited.

Courtesy of her older cousins, Pearl came home with this balance bike. She loves it and is so good at racing around on it already. I love it because it’s turned out to be a great way to get her to the park and back at a decent pace. (We’ve only had to abandon it halfway in the midst of a temper tantrum once so far!)

Seven years!

Peter and I recently celebrated seven years of marriage and we were able to take a night away, just the two of us. (Thank the Lord for grandparents!) This was actually the first time we’ve both been away together since Pearl was born. We didn’t go far – a night at the Ruby Lake Resort in Pender Harbour – but it was so good to get away, just the two of us. We also had an amazing meal at the Italian restaurant there and spent time the next day swimming and canoeing on the lake. I’m so thankful that after seven years of marriage (and ten years together total) we still really like spending time together.

Canoe on Ruby Lake

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30 Day Dress Challenge – Day 4

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(See previous years here and here.)

If I had thought ahead, I would have taken pictures first thing in the morning today – before we headed out to the beach where I sat in the sand with Pearl, waded through the waves, and generally had a fantastic time and came home with my dress wet and sandy. But that’s the joy of a simple cotton dress. You can wear it anywhere and then you can wash it.

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This was a thrift store find in Washington a few years back and I’ve worn it a lot since. It was one of three dresses I took when we travelled through Europe and I’ve been able to dress it up a little or down (or dress it weigh down, as in with flip flops like today).

Pearl got to wear her little sun suit for the first time today and loved playing at the sandbar. She made some mean sand piles, splashed in the shallow tide, and watched Bella the Dog fetch sticks. Fingers crossed it means an extra long sleep tonight!

Sticks and Stones

I’m about six years late to the party but I’m on Instagram now! You can find me @karissareadsbooks if you’re into that sort of thing.

The weather around here has been so good! (Have I mentioned that? Are you tired of hearing it?) I feel like I take more photos when the weather is good. Probably because I go outside more and see more interesting things than just the inside of my house. Anyway, my point is…here’s a bunch of photos of what we’ve been up to lately.

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Saturday we did a little off-roading and searched out the Phareline, a new trail out near what used to be called Wormy Lake but is now known as John Phare Lake. John Phare was a local tree faller killed while fighting the forest fire here last summer. The lake has been renamed in his honour. (Actually, it turns out re-naming places takes a long time and a lot of red tape so the name won’t be official for another year or so. Instead, members of the community went out and put up signs and the lake is known by its new name locally, which I think is awesome.)

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The trail winds through where the fire hit last year and everywhere there is evidence of its devastation. Yet, amidst the burned out stumps and the vanished undergrowth, there is also evidence of life and new growth. Brilliant green bracken ferns have popped up everywhere and the juxtaposition of their colour against the landscape of the fire was wonderful to see.

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These two girls love the forest:

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(This is the last hundred metres or so. We didn’t make Pearl walk the whole way.)

This picture makes me laugh. I caught the exact moment after Pearl picked up a big stick along the trail and her she is showing me her find. Sticks make her very happy. We think she learned it from Bella.

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Sunday was Mothers’ Day in this part of the world. Pearl brought me flowers.

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She caught me picking flowers from our garden and now loves to pick any blooms and leaves she can get her little hands on. She then eagerly brings them over to Peter and I (whoever’s closest, really) and I love it. Our flowers may not survive it but I’ll take it!

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Fortunately, she can’t reach all the flowers.

Sunday morning I made my second attempt at leaving Pearl in the church nursery. I think she lasted fifteen minutes. (She likes us too much.)

Sunday afternoon we spent in the best possible manner.

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Not pictured: Pearl’s extreme excitement at all the little rocks available for picking up on the beach. Sticks and stones don’t bother this girl. She also loves laying down on her belly and making sand angels.

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More than she loves posing for photos with her mum.

A sweet and simple weekend.

And Monday morning:

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Pearl fell down in the greenery in our backyard while chasing after the dog. Bella came back to investigate. (Don’t worry, I laughed and took a picture after making sure she wasn’t upset.)

Garden, Forest, Beach

…with some playground thrown in. (Fair warning: this is mostly pictures of my kid. I think she’s cute.)

Spring is showing up around here and I love it.

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A lilac tree is one of my favourite types of trees.

We moved last summer but the first time we viewed our house was in the spring and the green backyard full of flowers was one of the things that sold us on this place. It’s been fun to see what’s blooming again this year. And it makes me happy to have (free) flowers in my home.

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Pearl saw me picking these in the backyard and has now taken to picking her own bouquets. Here’s her first attempt:

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Sunshine means lots of time spent outdoors and lots of trips to the little park near our house. Pearl loves to walk there all on her own – no stroller or carrier. It takes a little (a lot) longer but makes her so happy.

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She loves to pick up sticks and rocks. We’re starting a collection outside the door. She also likes to put on her own hats, as you might be able to tell.

Pearl seems more grown up to me every day. She climbs to the top of the playground all by herself and then comes down the slide with a little bit of help. Last week we sat on the bench in the park together to eat apple slices.

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And here she is going for a walk by herself:

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Jokes! We’re responsible parents, I promise!

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She’s very much about swings right now.

Warm weather also means beach time.

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…and forest walks!

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If this is a taste of what summer will be like, I’m happy with that!

Things That Happened Without the Internet

We moved! And it turned out that our new house had never had internet hooked up before. So we waited two weeks. They sent a guy. He needed a truck. We waited a week. Another guy showed up. And twenty days later we have internet.

Yet just as it did in the nineties, life exists without internet. Here are some of the things we did:

    • We moved! We’re now in our new house!
    • We enjoyed one last sunset in the boathouse.

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    • We finished renos on the new house! (Depending on how you look at it, we may or may not have finished said renos before we moved in. But they’re done now. Mostly.)
    • I cleaned a house. Then I moved and cleaned another house.
    • Pearl and I went on many long walks to explore our new neighbourhood.
    • Some of those walks were simply so she could nap away from renovations.
    • We also had some good backyard times.

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  • We found the quickest route to the corner store. Important.
  • We explored the local beaches and found the best spots for swimming. While we’re no longer right on the water, there are a couple of really nice beaches just five minutes away.
  • Peter took a week off work so that he could actually enjoy some of his summer.
  • We waited four hours at the ferry terminal! Pearl didn’t seem to mind too much.

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    • We spent a lake day with friends. Pearl did awesome, even taking a nap in our friends’ trailer. We took her swimming in the lake and she liked it a lot better than the ocean. After a gradual entrance, she was eventually clinging to a pool noodle and kicking her legs. (While one of us held her.)
    • We got burgers from our favourite joint and had a picnic at another lake.

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    • I fit into all of my pre-pregnancy pants! (There was one last pair that was holding out on me but they finally gave in.)
    • We went to Vancouver and visited family and got to introduce Pearl to some family for the first time.
    • I bought non-maternity clothing for the first time in over a year.
    • Pearl slept in her own room for the first time!
    • Pearl slept in her crib (not her bassinet) for the first time!
    • Pearl’s going through some sleep transitions so there were a couple of days that looked like this:

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  • (But things are getting better!)

Basically, we are having a terrific summer.

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Dog Days

A few from the last few weeks. Sunny days are starting to be more common around here, though there’s been rain too. Here’s some of what’s been filling our days, including good times with the dog-in-law.

Easter lilies

Easter lilies

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I love cherry blossom season.

I love cherry blossom season.

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I love this sight.

I love this sight.

Magnolias in bloom.

Magnolias in bloom.

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What may look like a nice moment between Peter and Bella but was actually Peter prying something out of Bella's mouth. She likes to find gross things on the beach and try to eat them.

What may look like a nice moment between Peter and Bella but was actually Peter prying something out of Bella’s mouth. She likes to find gross things on the beach and try to eat them.

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Morning - reading in bed and a dog.

The perfect morning – in bed with a book and a dog.

Long Weekend, Long Weekend, Long Weekend

That’s a pretty beautiful pairing of words, isn’t it? Oh, Canada! Thanks for the long weekend!

What did I do?

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Got dressed up and had a fancy dinner out with my handsome husband. We had a gift certificate (Thanks Jen!) to a nice restaurant nearby and ate delicious food while watching the rain fall over the ocean on Friday night.

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Had a delicious breakfast with the in-laws.

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The sun showed up like crazy this weekend (finally!) and Saturday is market day in Sechelt. It was also $5 bag day at the thrift store. I’ll devote a separate post to those findings!

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We spent the afternoon on the beach, after a lovely ocean swim.

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Saturday night sunset at our house.

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Drive back into town on Sunday afternoon:

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Patriotic dessert.

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Sleepy puppy cuddles.

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And just one from the Canada Day parade, but more to come!

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