Family Trip To Vernon, BC

For May long weekend this year we traveled to Vernon, BC. We usually go to Kelowna as my husband participates in a hockey tournament there, however this year we were brought to Vernon for my beautiful friend Richelle’s Wedding. It was our first time to Vernon, so we went a few days prior so we could do some adventuring around town and of course help to prepare for the wedding.

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My sister came up with us to help with the kids as my husband couldn’t get up there till Saturday morning due to work. So, we left Thursday morning after Pearce’s swimming lessons. Traffic was heavy until we got out of hope – I usually find this if you leave the day before the long weekend in the late morning. We made good time with two kids, only stopping in Kelowna for food and bathrooms, and grocery shopping. Driving to Vernon is absolutely beautiful, you will drive through gorgeous Kelowna, the Stunning Lake Country and come into the picturesque small-town Vernon.

 

When we go on Family Trips we find it easier to stay in Air B&B’s with kids its nice to have laundry and a yard so we got an upstairs to a house with a full yard, that was equipped with a trampoline, swing set, sand box and tons of space to run around for the kiddos. For the adults it has a nice big deck, with deck swing and BBQ to entertain us. The weather was a little uncooperative for our weekend up there, it was sunny on Thursday, Cloudy on Friday, Rained Saturday, Sunny Sunday and Monday. However, we made the best of it! Thursday, I attended the rehearsal dinner and rehearsal, we dined at Temptasians Restaurant and Lounge, the food was delicious, and the company was just as sweet. Then we headed to the Wedding location, Historical O’Keefe Ranch, a beautiful ranch tucked away down a windy beautiful road. Arriving at the ranch you feel like you arrived at a western movie, with its on-site Blacksmith shop, Pottery Shed and General store its like you took a walk back in time – More on the ranch to come!

 

Friday, we took to explore downtown Vernon, Downtown Vernon reminds me of my hometown Mission. It has a beautiful downtown core, with lots of amazing murals painted all around town, Quaint little shops and delicious restaurants all around! My son absolutely loved Vernon Teach and Learn toy store, we may or may not have spent 45 mins hanging out with the Thomas display out front. Going inside that toy store is like walking into a child’s dream. It has the biggest Thomas the train selection I have ever seen, as well as their own Thomas The Train Table for the kids to play, and delicious ice cream that my son may or may not have gotten in my hair. After the toy store, we cruised over to Harry’s fish and chips and had the most delicious fish and chips. I usually find fish and chips a really heavy meal that often leaves me not feeling so hot after, but I found Harry’s to be super light and not heavy at all! They were also super accommodating for the kids making us feel very welcome!

 

After lunch we popped into the Little Plum Boutique which is a adorable store that offers new and used clothing, the new clothing is from local vendors from all over British Columbia and the used she does on consignment for people looking to get rid of infant, toddler and kids shoes, toys and clothing as well as maternity. She also offers a parent’s room in case you need to change or nurse while out and about downtown – if you are ever caught downtown and need to nurse or change your childs diaper they have you covered with free diapers and wipes. We snagged a couple of great pieces here, a pair of pleather converse for Brooks, and a raincoat. Pearce got his first ever potato head and she was so kind to gift him with a toy police car. The owner was so sweet giving us information on the area and letting us know where else to go check out that was family friendly. I wish we had a store like this in my home town, it truly is one of a kind. On the way back to the car we popped into Shambhala Clothing where Pearce picked out a braided bracelet as a souvenir to remember our trip forever. PS – her gorgeous plants in the window aren’t for sale!48389659-2264347380502336-6940580774248710144-o_orig

Later that day Pearce and I headed back to O’Keefe Ranch to set up for Richelle’s big day, Pearce loved running around the ranch and seeing all the animals that the ranch has to offer. Richelle’s amazing team turned the barn into a stunning wedding space for her special day.

On Saturday I headed early to get ready with the girls (I was a bridesmaid; did I mention that?) We had our hair and Make up done by local vendors and enjoyed delicious snacks and soaked in the last few hours of Richelle as a Caldwell. After getting ready I took Brooks back to my sister and headed to the wedding with my husband Chris and Pearce in tow. The Ceremony was lovely taking place in the O’Keefe rose garden, after which we took to explore the ranch and get more beautiful pictures. The Reception took place in their barn with food by EATology — the best food to date that I have ever had at a wedding. The wine was my favorite from The Indigenous World Winery, and the cake and cupcakes were delicious and were supplied from Cupcasions Kelowna. The speeches were heart warming, hilarious and moving, bringing us from laughter to tears in minutes. Richelle and Brandon’s big day was charming, and I feel blessed to have been a part of it.

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Sunday, we had an amazing family day heading over to Lake Country, BC to go to the Kangaroo Creek Farm. My expectations were low for this I thought it would be a little farm with some Kangaroos, but I was blown away, It was a massive space with tons of activities for the kids, endless space for the animals and kids to run around and with a great lay out where nothing felt overcrowded. Pearce loved the goats (of course) and chickens, Brooks was a big fan of the Bunnies and the rest of us really liked the albino Kangaroos. After the kangaroo farm we went back to our Air B&B for BBQ lunch and some naps. It just so happens my dad was in town playing in a golf tournament the same weekend so got to watch him play in the semi finals on Sunday Night. Pearce got to play with his cousins Cylas and Ellody. We had a lot of fun at the game, so we ended up going on Monday to catch the finals where my dads team won 8-1 and then from there we headed home.

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Driving home on the Monday of the long weekend I am usually super stressed about, but it was surprisingly not that bad – I think it may have been because we left around 1 pm and took the Agassiz – Mission way home that our traffic was minimum. Overall, I had an amazing weekend. I always love getting away and exploring new places and we loved our trip to this area of the Okanagan that I think we may just be thinking of another family trip to the same area next Summer. Especially if there’s wine involved!

 

Here is my speech from the Wedding:

 First, I would like to start by saying, how incredibly beautiful you look Richelle – Brandon you look great as well.

I have been bugging Richelle for weeks that I was going to come up here and rap her exes’ names as seen on 5-year engagement however I was struggling to come up with a rap that warren and Geoff, Wissam. rhymed – and no one but Brandon is worth mentioning – you found the right one! I met Richelle in grade 8 and we just clicked, we liked all the same things, and just overall got along really well. If your here today you probably know how incredibly caring, selfless and overall amazing Richelle is. I couldn’t be happier than I am right now standing beside you. Growing up with you has been so much fun, we have countless memories, from playing basketball together, to countless trips to Victoria together. One thing has always remained the same no matter how much time has passed or how far apart we are from one another we always have each other back and are always there for one another and I’m grateful.

Now for a little advice on marriage for both of you. My husband and I have been married 3 years this year and my only advice is to always support your partner, continue to date them, and always communicate how your feeling – don’t let things fester or you might end up throwing a pot at the ceiling – but in all seriousness I wish you two nothing but years of happiness, love, laughter and maybe a couple more babies! Now let’s raise our glasses and toast to the beautiful couple Brandon and Richelle

 

 

Also Here is a list of vendors from the wedding:

Photography: Phil from P.Tography

Videography: Rylan Kinnin

Cake: Cupcasions in kelowna (also did cupcakes)

Make up artist: Blush & Blossom Boutique Spa (Amy)

Hairstylist: Red Sky Hair – Tandi

Food: Eatology

 

We had so much fun at the Kangaroo Creek farm I highly recommend you check it out if you are ever in the area.

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The hardest blog I’ve ever written

It’s been a few months since I wrote a blog, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to talk about it. But it was a hard few months, and I feel like I need to explain myself.

When I was younger I suffered a traumatic event that caused me to develop social anxiety. It was extremely bad and slowly through counseling I was able to make it better. It’s been over 10 years since this happened and I found it coming back these past few months. Sometimes this consumes me, and makes me a very secluded person. I am not sure what triggered it these past few months, but it got very bad.

I think it started in December, the looming date of moving into a home I didn’t like. For the first time in our relationship, I let my husband make a huge decision for us on his own. Selling our first home I was ready for, or so I thought. Then we bought a home that to me didn’t feel like home. We moved into our New home in January and I felt incredibly lost. We went from staying in our friends beautiful brand new basement suite to living in a home with a kitchen with only 2 drawers. No junk drawer – how would I survive. Slowly we started to put our stamp on the home. Although now I am really starting to like the home and I didn’t feel better.

I am anxious about every social outing I attend, my husband is an incredibly social person and thrives in these settings and I feel like I could stay home and be safe.

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Then came February, we found out we were expecting our second child. I was so excited to be pregnant. We had just started trying and I had wanted this for over a year. But this pregnancy has been rough. I have been sick, exhausted and more sick. I didn’t know it was possible to hate every food group. The worst part is the heightened sense of smell has been so incredibly tough to deal with because every smell makes me want to vomit. It was so hard to tough through when nobody knew. I felt like crap all the time and couldn’t tell people why. My incredible husband stepped up so much, taking on so much. He cleaned, he cooked, he cared for our child, while I barely managed to make lunches and do bed time.

It was a weird experience for both of us, I felt great my entire pregnancy with Pearce. I never felt sick, and never felt sad. It made me wonder if I was even happy to be pregnant. We are now in our second trimester and I am still sick, but slowly my energy has come back, and I have started to feel better. Pregnant woman go through so many changes physically, that sometimes we forget just how hard everything is for us emotionally.

I spent the last 5 months feeling really low, and I know it started before December. But I have pushed so many people away and hurt a lot of friendships and relationships with loved ones, just because sometimes It feels better to feel alone. (For a second anyway and then it just feels incredibly lonely). It wasn’t until I talked to my sister and told her how I was feeling internally that I realized my social anxiety was back full force. It feels like everyone is out to get me, Like no good can come from anything. Like nobody truly likes you. The insecurities and sadness that I have felt, and pushed onto those near me has been so hard to deal with, most days it has felt like I have been stuck in a hole unable to dig my way out.

Which is why I decided to share it, talking to my sister gave me relief, slowly I would bring it up with friends and tell them how I was feeling, and slowly I felt better. So I decided to be incredibly raw and truthful with loved ones, strangers, and friends through my blog. It is my passion to write, since I was little and this anxiety has taken this away from me, So I felt like what better way to get out of my hole, then share it with everyone. Although I don’t feel ready to have one on one conversations with everyone in my life, I know this is a step in the right direction, and that I just need to push myself to get out of my comfort zone even if it means feeling incredibly anxious. Baby steps.. before the baby.

I appreciate all who takes the time to read this, and I know that I am not alone dealing with these issues. My hope is that maybe it helps you and something that you are dealing with. May we not suffer alone.

xOx Chelsea 

New Years Resolutions

I told myself that I was going to take a much-needed break over the Christmas holiday and not write. However I find myself on the last day of my holiday reflecting, and thought I would share some of my thoughts!

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Last year was a weird year, I went through tons of self-reflection, and made changes to better suit my values. In some ways it may seem I lost things in life but I feel more complete. I spent a lot of the last year worried about how I looked to other people, how my relationships looked, my appearance and what people thought of me in general. It was exhausting. I was spending so much time making sure that things in my life held value to others that I lost site of what I truly valued.

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These past few months we’re really hard for me, for the first time I felt depressed never knowing what that truly felt like. I challenged the people closest to me and lost myself. It was around this time that I decided I didn’t like how I felt, I didn’t like the pressures I put on myself, so I decided to spend more time examining my feelings and what made me feel this way.

Since becoming a mother I have found it extremely easy for me to put myself last, my happiness, my needs and my overall internal health. Examining myself internally and thinking about what I wanted for myself, my family and my life really helped. Nowhere in those 3 things was their room for other people’s views on myself, my life and most importantly my family. It took time but slowly I let it go and since doing this I feel so much better.

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One thing I love doing is writing New Year Goals. Things to aim for each year, and this years are so different from last but here is an idea of what I am looking to focus on in 2018.

  1. Patience – learn it, use it, be it. So often I find in all aspects of my life that I lack Patience.
  2. Spend less, Save more – Often I feel that I will shop to make myself feel better and it really doesn’t help. So I hope to put away a bit of money instead of spending it frivolously.
  3. Allow myself to be happy with myself – Life is not easy, I may not be super skinny, a person that everyone likes, But I am so blessed by my family, friends, home, everything and I just want to be happy with the person I am. Of course when I say this it doesn’t mean I won’t set goals to achieve but I also just want to stop being so hard and enjoy myself more.

 

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Anyways I wanted to write this in the hopes that maybe you won’t put too much pressure on your New Years resolutions to change who you are, but that maybe you will enjoy yourself more. Happy New Year friends, I hope you all continue to be exactly who you are and love each day.

xOx Chelsea

To humour you all my husbands 2018 goal for me: Fold socks.