Saturday, January 19, 2013

And away we go!

To date all of our family vacations have either been traveling to see family (BC or Cape Breton) or camping around the Yukon, NWT, and northern BC.  Never have the four of us jetted away to some destination for some relaxation.  Visiting family is great, but nowhere near relaxing.  Camping is awesome and we live in our camper every possible moment in spring, summer and fall.  It is fantastic family time, but it is also a lot of work.

We decided to change that this year!  We saved up our aeroplan points and booked tickets for the four of us to jet away to sunny Maui.  Our first hot family vacation!  We have rented a condo and a car for our nearly two week stay.  Plans while we are there?  Not much at all!  An aquarium to visit, a glass bottom boat tour, and a lot of sandcastle construction.  We are keeping this trip as relaxing as possible so we can return home actually feeling rested!  Fingers crossed it works.

My Kobo is filled with a heap of books.  I plan on plunking my butt beside the ocean for hours on end to catch up the list of zombie books I have been waiting to read.  Maybe a hike here and there and a dip in the ocean too when I get cross eyed from reading too much.

The boys are beside themselves with glee about this trip.  They want to see sharks, swim, and dig in the sand.  That is all they talk about!  Oh, and Cavan wants to know if we can go over a waterfall.  Not sure if that one will happen.

Matt?  Well he still isn't too sure about it.  He wants a relaxing trip, but he also hates the heat.  Right now the temperatures in the area we are heading are between +22 and +26 each day.  Not too bad!  I hope he is able to relax and enjoy his two week break from work and winter.  If this turns out not to be his thing, well then I guess our next family trip will be to Iceland, which I have always wanted to see. 

Everything is packing.  The house is clean.  Even the grocery list for our return trip home has been made up.  We are ready!

So away we go!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Crafter's Dilemma

Dilemma time!

There really isn't enough time in the day, is there?

My time right now is spent in these three areas with number one being the top priority:
  1. family
  2. health
  3. craftiness
 Family time.  The best part, of course.  My days are spent hanging out with my boys and maintaining my house, and they are busy days.  The boys and I are always up to something and we all look forward to evenings and weekends when we do things all together as a family.  There is playgroup, library time, sliding, skating, archery, movie nights, snowshoeing, visiting... full days!  We are also very involved in our community through volunteer work and just spend a lot of time outside.

Healthy time.  A good chunk of my time is also given to the healthy changes I have made in my life.  There is meal planning, logging my food intake, and exercise.

Craft time.  I love this time.  It is my time to take a little break from my family and get creative.  My skill set with leather and fur has grown so much over the last six years and I am still in love with my craft.  My business is growing each year and I am continually trying new patterns and ideas.  My husband is a great supporter of my need for craft time and I do get to log quite a few hours every week hiding away in my sewing lair.

So what is my dilemma?

I am one of just eight crafters that has been accepted to sell their wares at the Sourdough Rendezvous festival this February in Whitehorse.  I would be set up in the main performance tent and it would result in a lot of exposure for myself.  Pretty awesome.  Due to our vacation in the fall, I missed out on selling at a big craft show that I usually do in Whitehorse before Christmas.  It is a big money maker for me each year.  So it would be nice to have this craft show so I could use the proceeds to load up on new craft supplies for the year.

But some hiccups:
  • I am getting a lot of custom orders.  Just enough that I can keep up, but enough that I don't have a lot of time to make items to put into my inventory. 
  • We are heading out on holidays this Sunday for two weeks.  That only leaves me three weeks when I return to get ready for the craft show. 
  • Two stores have asked if they could carry some of my items to sell.  One is the store right here in Faro and the other is out in Nova Scotia.
Those are all really great things!  Orders?  Holidays? Stores?  Hurray!

But I have a severe lack of time.  I don't want to take away from my family time.  And my kids and husband don't deserve a grumpy mama/wife because I am stressed about my craft time.  I can't take away from my healthy time.  I am twenty five pounds away from my goal weight and still have a lot to learn about maintaining my healthy lifestyle when the excitement of losing a significant amount of weight has worn off.

So I have to decide pronto what to do.  I am pretty sure family and healthy time will win out.  And craft time will sit on the back burner a bit longer.  It won't be long now until Cavan is in school and I will have a bit more time to dedicate to crafting.  It won't be a big loss though if I do not get to go.  I am a very lucky mama that gets to do so much every day with my kids, husband and community.  As I write this, I realize I am definitely prioritizing my time right.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

This Week In Sewing

Lots of sewing in my house this week!  I am trying to get my inventory up in preparation for the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous weekend in Whitehorse next month.  I am one of just eight vendors that will be selling for that event and I am really looking forward to the three days of selling!  I have been leaving a project on my kitchen table for whenever I have a few minutes to sew plus also trying to get back into sewing in the evenings. 

Over the last week I finished off a few projects that were waiting around half complete.  Three pairs of baby booties and two pairs of kid's mittens received trim.  Then I moved on to make a wolf fur muff, infant mittens, more baby booties, an adult red plaid and black seal trapper's hat, and one kid's red plaid and black seal hat.  I have one beaver fur mitten finished, but his mate is still in pieces! 

I also had a request from my boys to make them their very own trapper's hats and they turned out really sweet.  I love when they have matching items.  The first hat that I made for Cavan turned out a little bit small for his head, so it goes into inventory.  When I did it a second time around I came up with a better way to secure it under the chin for kids who cannot tie- hurray for velcro!

Beaver trimmed baby booties!

The first hat I made for Cavan that turned out a bit too small.

Adult seal fur hat!

Pink leather and black rabbit fur kid's mittens.

Rabbit fur trimmed baby booties.

Thumb-less baby mittens.

Wolf fur trimmed muff.  It is also lined with fur and has a little zipper pouch on the outside.

Matching troublemakers! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Feeling Strong

 My last post was about feeling pretty.  And while that was a nice feeling for a night, I would much rather feel strong.  And be strong.  And well... maybe once in a blue moon feel pretty too.

Over the last week I have gotten back into the exercise momentum that I lost after my holidays in November, then the plague in early December, and the chaos that is Christmas.  It feels good to be back at it and the happy endorphins it is releasing is powering me through the January blahs!

So what did I do over the last week for exercise?
  • Sunday: squash, couch to 5k
  • Monday: squash
  • Tuesday: day off
  • Wednesday: snowshoeing with the kids, couch to 5k, skating lessons
  • Thursday: squash
  • Friday: couch to 5k, skating lessons
  • Saturday: snowshoeing 6k (at -24C!)
  • Sunday: couch to 5k
And in between the formal exercise is the informal chasing of the terrors up and down the snow hills and around the rec centre gym.

I am surprised at how much I am enjoying this new couch to 5k program.  I have only finished five sessions, but it is good!  Today it was a 5 minute warm up walk, followed by 1.5 min running + 2  min walking (repeat x 3), then 1 min running + 1 min walking (repeat x 2) and then ending with a 5 minute walk to cool down.  I covered just over 3km in that time period and had my earphones in and watched part of a tv show!  That really made the time pass quickly.

The snowshoeing trip on Saturday really made me feel strong.  That is my longest trip on my new snowshoes.  It was not incredibly tough, but it was still challenging enough to keep me breathing hard and sweating enough that I had to take off layers even at -24C.  I loved every minute of it and cannot wait to do it again.  The hardest part was trying to coordinate using the darn poles without hitting myself.

Snowshoeing at -24C. The Rabbit Trail 6k loop near our house.

My partner in adventure- Michelle.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Looking Pretty

I don't do dress up.

I have no clue how to do anything with my hair other than throw it in a pony tail or a hair clip.

I cannot put on makeup without looking like a two-bit tramp. 

And dressy clothes?  Nope, not in my closet.  I prefer jeans and rubberboots to dresses and heels.  

But nevertheless, I wanted to get dressed up for New Years.  Thank god for friends with the know-how!

One friend convinced me to wear one of her dresses.  Another offered to do my hair and makeup.  And a few others worked hard to convince me that yes, I did look good! 

I had a case of cold feet though.  I started to think of reasons not to go.  My nerves were getting the better of me in the few days leading up to the party.  I was so incredible nervous to go out!  (I do have a bit of a phobia about being around large crowds of drunk people that was contributing too.)  But in the end I decided I really needed to do this for myself.

So here are pictures.  I guess I do clean up well, especially when I have a team of helpers!
Like my choice of footwear?  Don't worry, I had nice shoes to take with me.

All dressed up at the party!

And my absolute favorite picture of the night.  Matt took this of me right as we were leaving to head home. 

Thank you so much to the friends that helped me look this good, the ones that encouraged me to go out, and to every single person at the party who came over to hug me and say how fantastic I looked.  I was was completely overwhelmed from the loving and supportive comments from everyone that I saw that night.  I am so lucky to live in such an amazing community made up of so many kind people.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

You know, when you just have one of those amazing days?

Most every day is great, but once in a while I have a day that is just amazing.  Today was that day.  There really wasn't anything special, but when I put it all together, perfect.

My early morning was tea, housework, internet surfing, prepping meals for the day and chats with the boys. 

Then we were outside at 10am for a mama and boys snowshoeing adventure.  The temperature was just -1C with a very light wind; it is absolutely stunning for January!  I made trail and my little ducks followed me and we did an entire kilometer today.  I am so impressed with the boys; the distance isn't far yet, but they worked hard!  We stopped to identify all of the animal tracks we saw and think about what the animals were doing when they left those tracks.

We met up with another family for playtime at the park behind our house and then my boys followed that family home for lunch while I got an entire hour to myself!  Matt rounded them up and brought them home for me at 1pm.  My quiet hour was spent cleaning my serger, prepping a hat for sewing and tidying my sewing lair.

The boys came back home and played for an entire hour WITHOUT FIGHTING downstairs in the train room.  Now that hour did end when Hunter decided to explode the all of the train tracks, so there were a few tears.  I was sewing and watched an episode of Dexter while they were playing together.  I was too scared to go down and check on them in fear that I would disturb how well it was going!  Then they watched a bit of tv while I did more sewing.

We headed down to the rec centre around 3pm where they ran for an hour and I got to read my book on the sidelines.  A friend met me down there and we started our running program at 4:30 when Matt got there to play with the boys.  This couch to 5k program is going well, but it's only my third time so we will see what I say in another month or so.

Matt took the boys to the arena for their skating lessons at 5 and I met them over there soon after.  I watched my boys skate and then it was time for my own skating lesson.  I did well and am working hard to get over my fear of being on skates.  I fell for the first time today and while I did hurt my elbow, the fall wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be.

Now I am home, have had supper and the boys are watching old Mickey Mouse cartoons with Matt and gearing up for bed here in a short while.  This evening I plan on finishing that hat, watching some Dexter and finishing off my book.

You know, just one of those days where everything goes right, kids are happy, lots of time is spent outside, heaps of energy is expended, and you just feel fabulous at the end of it.  An amazing day.

Breaking trail in the bush behind our house.

Our tracks on the left, moose tracks cutting through the middle, and the bounding tracks of a coyote or fox on the right.

We had a little picnic snack on our adventure.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals! And a slideshow!

Yesterday I re-visited my goals from last year and now on to plans for this year.  I love setting goals and resolutions!

So my plans for 2013:

1.  Reach my goal weight of 170lbs by summer and have surgery to reduce the excess skin from my stomach in the fall.  The first part of this goal will definitely happen and the second part I am very hopeful about.  I have an appointment next week with a doctor to start looking into the process.

2.  Business growth.  I would like to see a bit of growth from my business over the next year.  I would like to make three thousand more dollars this year as compared to last year.  I am also trying some new sewing ideas to help me stand out from other crafters in the territory.  More of this will happen next fall once Cavan starts school half days and I have a bit more creative time to myself.

3.  More gym time.  I am already playing squash 2-3 times a week and now doing a couch to 5k running program.  But what I need to find time to squeeze in there is some weight lifting.  I did a lot of it last winter and enjoying seeing my strength increase each week.  Oh and on warmish days there is snowshoeing as well.  I never knew how active a lifestyle I would have after my surgery.  It has been beneficial for my entire family!

4.  Hiking training!  I will be hiking the Chilkoot trail this summer and I need to be ready for it.  My treadmill time at the gym will help, but I would like to start doing some 10k walks on the weekends to help me prepare.

5.  Science and math time with the boys.  I have curious boys who want to know how and why everything around them works.  I need to take more time to encourage this curiosity.  We need to make more explosions, more messes, and more lego building.

6.  Double my garden production!  This one will be fun.  My first Yukon garden last year was very successful.  My space for gardening is now nearly doubled and with a bit more planning this spring, I am sure I can more than double my garden production.  I am already excited about this.

And now what I am looking forward to the least:

7.  Organize the rubbermaid of photos and my bins of patterns.  I have a rubbermaid of photos that are from between the time we were married and when we had Hunter.  They all need to be organized and put into albums.  I have been putting it off forever.  And my patterns.... They are in two big bins and during my busy sewing season they have gotten very disorganized.  I think I might even start that one tonight and get it over with.

So that is my year!  Lots of good plans and goals.

Now the slideshow!  I made a slideshow today of pictures of myself from over the last fourteen months to show myself how far I have come with all of my hard work.  Watching the pictures flash by helps motivate me to keep going with my healthy lifestyle and to reach my goal.

2012 weight loss 2-Large from Kara Went on Vimeo.