World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day, and I think it is incredible that we have dedicated a day to this. Mental health is a invisible illness that is currently affecting 1 in 5 adults and countless children.

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I have tried to be very open about the struggles I currently face with my mental health. But this topic is so vast and effects so many people around us without us even knowing. This week I took part in the #okaymovement – A movement designed to show people that just because we put a smile on our face for a picture does not mean we are happy. Something that unfortunately has become our norm. The past couple weeks have been very hard for me and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that because I am trying to build my following, I am spending more and more time on social media. Looking at others highlight reels and questioning my life. Am I a good mother? Do I have a good bond with my children? Do my children know everything they need to know?

We are living in a society where the norm is to pretend, we live perfect lives. To not share our struggles, to tell everyone we are FINE. The truth, I’m not fine! I feel good today, but 2 days ago was another story. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to spend time with my kids, I didn’t want to workout, I didn’t want to shower or see anyone.

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Below are a few tips on how I get through the days when I feel like this:

  1. Open the curtains and let the light in
  2. Get outside – even if its raining, or if its too hard to fathom going outside, open a window for fresh air
  3. Have a nice hot shower or bath, as long as you need just let yourself soak
  4. Talk to someone, anyone, even if you do not feel comfortable, more people than you know are also suffering.
  5. Get off social media, take a break from the highlight reel.
  6. Journal

Motherhood is hard and all I was seeing is these pictures of these beautiful mothers, and their perfect children. But you know what I too post these pictures, where my life seems great! So how do we fix it? How do we make people see that it is okay to not be okay?

We talk about it, we normalize it, we tell people we aren’t okay, we ask for help. Today I want to challenge each and everyone of you to join the #okaymovement. You do this by simply taking a piece of paper and drawing a smile, place it in front of your mouth and take a selfie. Post it to your social media taking @okaymovement and using hashtags #letstalk #talktoday #okaymovement and sharing your story about why mental health is important to you then challenge 3 friends to join the movement with us.

Let’s end the saga of being FINE. Lets stop sharing just beautiful pictures and lets start being real raw beautiful people even on our highlight reel.

If you want to help further you can make donations to Canadian Mental health association.

I am going to end by sharing a quote that I shared earlier this week, because I think it may help you to see that sharing the bad times is just as important as sharing the good. 

“The Comeback is Always Stronger, then the set back.”

xOx Chelsea

 

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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

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