Summer 2019 RECAP!

This year was a huge year for us! For starters I have been off work on maternity leave, and it was a huge adjustment. Going from pregnancy, to recovering from a c- section with a infant and a toddler. It was hard.

But I really wanted to make the most of my summer off work. Since we aren’t planning on having any more kids, I knew this would most likely be my last summer at home with my kiddos. So it was extremely important for me to make the most of it.

I tried to take the kids to do some fun stuff and wanted to put together a blog to share all our fun summer memories, so that we can look back on it, and to share some fun things for our friends to do!

1. 2019 Vancouver Top 30 Mom Blogger.

I want to start off talking about this event because it was incredible. I have discussed lots about how I suffer from Social Anxiety, so going to this event was something I knew would be challenging and rewarding!

The event was absolutely awesome, the women I stood next to were incredible, strong, women, and mothers. I am so blessed to have been nominated along side them. It was so great to step outside my comfort zone and meet with women on the same path as me. The swag bags that http://www.vancouvermom.com put together were incredible! I absolutely loved this event, and hope to attend future events as an alumni.

2. Maple Ridge Park

We went to Maple Ridge park a few times this summer. We absolutely love this park, it has a huge water park, a massive playground and access to kanaka creek. It’s got tons of shade and was the perfect place to bring a baby and toddler that was fun for both.

3.Maan Farms Country Experience

Maan Farms is one of our favorite Farms in the Fraser Valley. Pearce absolutely loves it, we made it there 3 times this summer, one time getting rained out, one was a gifted experience from Maan Farms. We are truly blessed to live such a short drive from here. Our last visit we checked out the Beautiful Sunflower festival they put on this year and it was Pearce’s favorite. He loved running around looking for living room set ups and different things to explore. As always we checked in on our friends the goats, chickens, pigs and bunnies to see they are all doing well. I also finally did a wine tasting and I have to say, there wasn’t 1 bottle I didn’t like! Their wine is absolutely delicious and totally not what you would expect!

4. Fraser Valley trout hatchery

For Pearce’s end of the year field trip at preschool we attended the Abbotsford fish hatchery, which I haven’t done in years! It was so interesting to see him learn and enjoy all the fun the hatchery had to offer. His favorite part was going outside to their man made lake and feeding the fish. He didn’t want to leave he had so much fun!

5.Pender Island

We took a day trip to Pender Island to visit my husbands family who lives there. It was a beautiful sunny day – perfect for taking ferries. We spent the day playing in their beautiful yard and then the moms hoped in the pick up and headed to the Twin Island Cider tasting room and tried their delicious cider made with many of the Pender island apples. From their we jetted off to Victoria to spend some time with more of my husbands family before coming home the following morning. It really was the perfect quick get away.

6. Around our hood!

We did lots around our little neighborhood as well. From many many walks to the horse at the end of the street to walking to see the goats and mini horse near by. We also re-did our fence this year which was a big 2 weekend project that is still not quite done! We had many play dates with friends on the street and even took Pearce’s bike on some adventures around town. We also checked out Music in the Park at the Fraser River Heritage Park.

7. BBQ season!

We had and attended tons of fun barbecues this summer. From our beginning of summer bbq across the street to our end of summer bbq across the street there was tons inbetween. My husbands friends hosted a super fun Canada Day bbq where we go all the guys together for group pics with their kiddos and attended an Italian style bbq where the food was so good you ate all night!

8. Cultus Lake Adventure Park and Cultus Lake Water slides.

We were incredibly blessed to be gifted free passes to both parks so we made 2 days out of it. We attended an event in July at the waterslides and Pearce is still talking about how it was so much fun and he wants to go back! He literally didn’t stop smiling all day, we put a full 6 hours in at the waterslides. The adventure park was fun as well, it was his first time going on rides and he had a blast! It was so nice to go somewhere that had so much for toddlers! It was also super nice because it had lots of shade to hide with Brooks while we watched his brother go on rides! They even had delicious spiral potatoes!

9. Birchwood Dairy Farms

I have been enjoying Birchwood Dairy ice cream for years!! So when I was told how close their farm was we made a few stops this summer. Pearce loved playing on the old tractors and Brooks actually picked grass and fed it to the goats who were extremely gentle with him!

10. Savona BC, Grandma’s 90th Birthday

I am incredibly blessed to have a grandma who is still around to teach me lessons daily! She also created one huge family, that loves and adores her. This year my cousin and uncle planned a huge bash in Savona, BC, for her. We drove up early that morning as my Dad lives there and got to hang out with my step brothers kiddos before heading down to the beach to swim, play, mingle and eat! It was an incredible day and completely worth the drive. It is always so relaxing visiting my Dad and Sophie because they are so helpful with the kids that it was actually okay going up without Chris this time! I can’t wait for our next visit!

11. Rolley Lake, Mission, BC

This year we took a few trips to Rolley Lake, it’s one of my favorite lakes in the Mission area and is only 15 mins from our house. It was so relaxing to spend time with friends on the beach watching the kids play and stopping Brooks from eating sand every 2 mins. This is definitely something I will really miss next summer!

12. Whistler, BC

We took a quick trip to Whistler, which was supposed to be kid free however things happen and we ended up with Brooks. While Pearce was at Chris’s dads for the long weekend, going to movies, playing in the ocean, riding trains and getting all out spoiled. We went to whistler with Brooks, our by the pool. Had dinner at the keg – which is my favorite in the summer because it’s lobster season! We also just walked around the village which was super relaxing! We headed back the next morning but stopped in Squamish at a cool little cafe for brunch.

13. Pearce Turned 4!

This year by Pearce’s request we had his birthday celebration at Play abby. This meant that mom couldn’t go crazy because I had to pack everything and it was in a small room. But we made it work, keeping things pretty minimal we had a Secret Life of Pearce theme, a play on secret life of pets. He had an absolute blast and all the kids played and ate cake, and enjoyed snacks. The best part, we didn’t have to clean up! For Pearce’s birthday he got a trampoline, so much of the summer has been spent jumping, putting the sprinkler underneath or hanging in our little pool.

14. Castle Fun Park

We went to Castle Fun Park twice in one weekend. The first day we just played games before Chris went to work. The second day we went back and played mini golf which we realized is probably best done before or after a nap! Pearce was pretty cranky and didn’t want to be the best participant but we made do, and went to birchwood farms after!

15. Agassiz, BC

My sister works at an adorable little shop called Blue Dandelion Gifts and Collectables, it’s a cute little gift shop in Aggassiz, BC. We went and visited her and got ice cream next store. Then checked out the train museum across the street and spent the majority of our time running around Pioneer Park which had amazing views of the surrounding mountains. I am already planning our next trip!

Now that summer is over we are full blown back into busy schedule of junior kindergarten, swimming lessons, hockey practice and me trying to function while being a chauffeur. It was a great summer and it’s incredibly sad that it’s over but I am going to make the most of our fall together before I head back to work! But I’ve gotta know what did you do this summer? Leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite thing was this summer!

xOx Chelsea

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10 Things I Want to do Before Mat Leave is Over

It hit me this week that I go back to work in 2.5 months, and I am emotional about it – but that’s a topic for another blog. What I want to talk about today is the stuff I want to do with the boys before I go back to work. I have spent a lot of the summer being anxious and not doing as much as I wanted to with the boys, but it is turning into fall which means our little 4-year-old gets really busy! So, I have got to squeeze in some fun before I go back to work and here is a list of all the fun things I want to do with the boys before I go back in November.

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Vancouver Aquarium October 2018
  1. Science world – I think Science world would be so much more fun with Pearce now as he is older and would probably really like exploring it.
  2. H.R. MacMillan Space Center – When I was a kid it was called the Planetarium and it was actually one of my favorite field trips, I also think Pearce would really like this place as he is super into the moon and stars and learning about Earth. I think he would be mind blown to learn there are more planets.
  3. The World of Kidtropolis – I have been wanting to check this place out for awhile now it looks so cool and I think any kid would love this place.
  4. The Vancouver Aquarium – I usually take Pearce to the aquarium every year he absolutely loves it, we went last October while I was pregnant, But I think 1 more time before I go back is needed.
  5. Cultus Lake Adventure Park – I have never been to this adventure park not even when it was mini golf! So, I am excited to do this – I think we may try to do this on September Long.
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    White Rock,  Aug 2016
  6. White Rock Beach – Pearce absolutely loves playing at the beach and Brooks is really starting to like it too. One of my favorite things to do with Pearce was to take him to White Rock and play on the beach and get ice cream and fish and chips after. Think we definitely need to take Brooks.
  7. All our Favorite Farms – We are big farm visitors and we are blessed to live close to so many, here are the ones we plan to visit: Maan Farms, Taves Farms, Birchwood Dairy Farms, Chilliwack Corn Maze, Krause Farms, Laity Pumpkin Patch.
  8. The Drive in – I would love to take my hubs truck, throw a mattress in the back and sit and watch a movie under the stars with all 3 of my fav guys.
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    Mill Lake, September 2018
  9. Mill Lake in Abbotsford – Its so funny this spot is so close to me and I never go! I would love to take the boys and do a picnic and spend the day there, maybe bring Pearce’s bike so he can ride all around
  10. Stanley Park – When I was a kid one Sunday a month my family would drive into Vancouver and we would spend the day in Stanley Park, or Gas Town and these are honestly my favorite memories I would love to take my boys to Stanley Park for the day – I think they would love it!
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Laity Pumpkin Patch, October 2018

There is so much more I want to do, like walks around Hayward Lake, Trips to the Library, Visits to Great Papa and Great Grandma, but I want to know what is your favorite thing to do in the Fall in the Lower Mainland?

XoX Chelsea

Cultus Lake Water Park – 35 Year Anniversary

I can still remember being about 9 years old sitting on the couch with my Dad, looking at Channel 2 (if you remember this was the channel that showed you everything that was on one side and on the other was ads). We saw the ad for Cultus Lake Waterslides (now Waterpark) commercial come on and this was the year the Valley of Fear opened. My dad being the razzer he is said, “There is no way you would go on that”, being the natural competitor, I am, I responded “Yes I would”. Weeks had gone by and a new guy had joined my Dad’s soccer team, he had a little girl my age and he wanted to get her to meet some people so he asked my dad if he could take the two of us to the Water Slides.

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My dad asked me that night if I wanted to go – Of course I did, he made sure to bring up the Valley of Fear, and how I needed to prove him wrong. That weekend I did it, I sat in the very front of the three-man tube on the valley of fear. I remember as they pushed us down hanging over the edge as her dads weight in the very back weighed us small girls down, After going down the monstrous drop, I remember almost touching the top of the other side and screaming, terrified but also having so much fun. This was the first time I had ever done something so brave. I can recall we proceeded to go on several more times, and many of the other slides. Still 21 years later this day stands out in my childhood memory as one of the best days ever.

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Driving up to Cultus Lake Waterpark this past week was so nostalgic for me, the beautiful drive by the farms up to the twist and turns as you approach the lake. Its always been a place filled with happy memories for me, always having so much fun, trying to cram as many slides into a day as possible. Always testing out the new waterslides and feeling brave when I concurred something that scared me.

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Its been about 10 years since I had been, and a lot has changed! So many new slides have been added, so many new hot tubs, and the giant pirate ship. It has grown so much, it used to feel gigantic as a 9-year-old girl, but now as a 30-year-old woman with its growth it is still a huge park. Something about going to a place that brought you so much joy as a child and bringing your children is so sentimental.

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When we pulled up to the waterslides Pearce’s excitement was electrifying, the almost 4-year-old little boy looked at the gigantic park and wanted to do it all – With none of the fear I had expected. We were so blessed to have been gifted this experience to make these memories that I know he will remember for years to come!!! I could barely get Brooks changed into his water stuff fast enough because Pearce was so excited to start the day! We spent hours on the turtle slides, in Tot Castle, going around and round in the lazy river, stopping for a quick hot tub here and there, and fighting off the buckets of water at the Pirate ship. The park was so family friendly, we ate at the new Grab and Go lunch spot picking up some 35-year anniversary cups as souvenirs to remember our trip forever.

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Park Owner Chris Steunenberg

While Pearce played with friends, I got to listen to owner Chris Steunenberg who purchased the Park 25 years ago and saved the park from closing with his wife. They have managed to create an amazing family experience that is truly fun for all ages and forever growing as BC’s largest and best waterpark. 5 years ago, the family bought the mini golf course across the street from the Waterpark and created Cultus Lake Adventure Park, an amusement park with 18 rides, catering to all family types from families with small children to older kids or even just to get away as a date night for Mom and Dad. This year to celebrate 35 years they have come out with the anniversary souvenir cups that has customer artwork of Cultus Lake Waterpark and the amazing Family and employees it houses – you can refill the cup all over the park for super cheap, get one before their gone!

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Our Family truly didn’t feel like we could do both parks justice in 1 day, So we stayed at the Waterpark open – close, and to my surprise both the Kids (4 and 3) had 0 meltdowns, 0 arguments, It was only smiles, laughter and running from attraction to attraction and the babies didn’t seem to mind either, having naps along the way in our arms. I never dreamt the day could go so well. I thought for sure there would be some tears, but to Pearce it is the happiest place on Earth – I know this because he told me so and he has asked me to go back a few times a day since we left!

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We plan to head back to Cultus Lake Adventure Park very soon!! This year on every ticket to the water park, you get a $15 off ticket to the Adventure Park, so how could you not take advantage of this awesome deal and spend some time with the family in this amazing place.

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I hope you all get out to these fantastic parks, this summer and help them celebrate 35 years in the business. And Hey, your kids might even sleep in the next day like both mine did!! Thank you again to Vancouver Mom, Destination Cultus (Cultus Lake Water Park and Adventure Park) and Crisp Media for hosting such an amazing event for my Family – We will cherish these memories for always!

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xOx Chelsea