Thursday, August 30, 2012

{gorgeous moments}: from the river beach

my absence on this blog has become one of those things... a habit dropped and out of focus because other priorities had to come first. and truthfully, one of those priorities has been about nurturing the need to feel insular, reclusive, and guarded. not that there's anything wrong.

i was simply hit with a strain of the aloof virus and for a while there... (and to an extent still, even as i share), i had little desire to see the outside of my own cocoon. before children, i would've probably let myself waste away in front of the television or indulged in emotional shopping. now that the littles are in my life, nursing the aloof virus means a conscious effort to tuck in early, read a good book, choose not to kill myself with housework, with a bit of mindless knitting barely thrown in (for sanity's sake).

it feels a bit strange to think of summer coming to a close. it  has been a good one for my little family. we've taken a lot of time to explore and enjoy the life and light we have at our doorsteps and beyond. the boy and the girl have done a lot of growing up in these last three months. so have i: personally, professionally, and maternally. even the wife and i found new ways to stay connected amid the bustle, fatigue, rigour, and joys of mothering our energetic toddlers.

starting next week, we join a slew of parents readying our families for the new rhythms and routine that back to school with bring. 

but today, and perhaps tomorrow, because i want to linger in the waning summer light just a little longer, i'm going to share some favourite photos from our recent summer adventures. 

these gorgeous moments were taken on our last trip to the river beach (two weeks ago now, maybe). 

we come to fraser river park at least once a month. 

each time, i am always amazed at how much the landscape changes from visit to visit. 

the way the marshes are sculpted by the wind as they dry up from the low tide always takes my breath away.

i even think the wayward beach logs a beautiful addition.

we spent the entire day in what felt like our own private beach.

the boy and the girl had their fill of water and sand play.

we even found some blackberries to snack on along the way. 

gorgeous, gorgeous day (fire ant attack on my feet notwithstanding).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

my three year-old and me

the boy took this picture of me when we were at the pride parade, two weeks ago now. i kind of love it.

shortly after he took the picture, he wanted to be carried.

three must be such a difficult and confusing age. even though he must feel like he should still be a baby,  he's not. and we're demanding so much more of him - nothing unreasonable, to be sure. we just don't let him get away with being unkind, disrespectful, or selfish. which means that he's often seeing only the stern, firm, and sometimes scary side of this momma, because he's three and he's just learning about what it means to be unkind, disrespectful, and selfish.

for my part, just before the outpouring of all the goodness, i wasn't parenting the way i imagined i would before children. stress and just plain being a human being has me defaulting to scary and threatening more often than i can reconsider my actions.

i hope that what the boy remembers of his childhood is that our altercations always end in a hug. i am always ready to forgive (though sometimes after my own "time out"). there's no limit to the number of times we can start over. and i will always apologize when i am in the wrong... or if i'm just feeling wrong. like when i yelled a little too loudly first thing one morning when he wouldn't move to make room for me and his sister on the bed after being asked to do so (nicely) 3 times (before coffee).

despite our trials (everyone tells you about the two's but no one ever warns you about the three's), my three year-old's charming side often wins out anyway.

putting my kids to bed is among my favourite things about being a momma. the conversations i have with my boy and the snuggles i get with my girl, not to mention the opportunity to just drink them in as they surrender to sleep, are the moments i have come to count as most sacred in my short time mothering. 

these nights, the boy babbles before sleep. mostly about fish: the kind of fish he wants to buy, that he really wants to catch a fish with his fishing rod ("so you can cook it and i can eat it, does that sound like a good idea?"). 

the other night, he said to me, "when i'm so big, i can only hug you standing up." when i asked why, he only said, "because i'm so big. i can't hug you like this." surprisingly, it doesn't make me sad that one day he'll be so big he won't be able to snuggle up right next to my chest. i'm excited, instead. 

i'm looking forward to seeing this boy "so big." he can take all the time he needs to do all his growing up... but that night the boy left me with a bit of faith (and bated hope) that somehow we'll weather all the drama we're going to make as mother and son. and that he'll still want to hug me anyway. (fingers crossed.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

goodness + some gorgeous moments from pride weekend

life is full these days. full of work. full of mothering. full of chores. full of adventures. some have been easier than others. 

i've been focused on being present and grateful for the fullness of our lives. i've also been favouring sleep instead of knitting and blogging. 

sleep has been good (despite the game of musical beds we play every now and again in the middle of the night). 

being present has been great. 

you know what else is good? a fully potty-trained three year-old. that's pretty amazing, actually. 

also under the category of good, working from the office. like in my cubicle, in an office building, away from home. i guess i was ready to let my kids fly on their own two wings at home. 

it helps that our nanny is a pretty awesome person, our limited english communication notwithstanding. the good news is that our nanny and friend speaks spanish... which means the girl can understand spanish, which is pretty sweet - even though some of her english words come out with a mexican accent.

anyway, this post features some of my favourite photographs from pride weekend, an entire week and a half ago. because that was such a good weekend.

in the mean time, i'm hanging on and wrapping myself around all the goodness of the summer moments for as long as i can. 

the days are getting shorter, after all.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

four years ago we jumped into the ocean and trashed our wedding dresses

today is a special day. 

while every year, the wife and i celebrate our years together in march, on this day every year, the wife and i celebrate the legal recognition of our family unit.

we got married on granville island, our favourite vancity haunt. and we just had the most amazingly beautiful day. 

we planned our wedding in august so we could be sure to avoid any chance of rain. alas, our wedding day was the only day it rained that month in 2008. 

but the rain always makes for some amazing pictures. 

it really was one of the happiest days i can remember, surrounded by many of our most favourite people on earth. 

including the boy. 

i was six weeks pregnant with our first little miracle (who, by the way, is on his way to being completely potty trained, three-year -ld tantrums notwithstanding).

(wanna see? reminisce with me here. our photographers are amazing. and our wedding day was purdy.)

see the kids in this picture? 

they have two moms, too. i had no idea the day i co-interviewed one of their moms to be my colleague six years that our lives were about to change. 

the long and the short of it is, it wasn't just that we became fast friends as couples and regular babysitters to their truly awesome children (who we love and adore), their little family was the very beacon we followed on our own path to making our family. 

here we are now, four years later: two children each.

celebrating pride 2012 weekend together

our little miracles looking up to theirs. the parallels are enough to make me weep tears of joy and pride. 

see, for me, my wedding day was so much more than just being married on paper - which, don't get me wrong, is more than i ever dreamed possible 17 years ago. 

my wedding day was about liberating myself from my own terribly challenging coming out story. 

it was about giving myself permission to love my wife proudly and openly in front of everyone i'd been hiding from up until that point. 

it was about claiming my right to start over, start fresh, and celebrate our new beginning with the people who have been there to support our fight and light the way to this future - the one where we're two moms with a boy and a girl. we are a queer family. and the challenges we're about to face, we face together.

happy wedding anniversary my love. four years later, the milestones keep piling up. everything, everyday is easier and more beautiful because of you.

happy anniversary, my children. our wedding day was a tribute to the hope and promise of the both of you.


i know i've been away. i'm back. and i think i'm going to catch up backwards. starting tomorrow. you'll see.