Canada: be still

Canada was all we needed and more.

Our beloved friends welcomed us to their tiny village in the mountains where we had our own little cabin for two weeks to refresh after a busy insane year. Our days there pretty quickly took some sort of shape – a bit of a sleep in, breakfast with Candice and the kids. We’d go back to our little room for a few hours of work, and then Ben, Shane and I would all come back to the house for lunch together. A few more hours of work in the afternoon, and then Shane and Ben would head out on the bikes or we’d take the kids for a walk. Days were simple and easy. Candice spoiled us with home cooked meals (often three times a day), and we ate, drank and were merry.

We didn’t get any long mountain climbs in, and we only got out rock climbing once (a whole blog post of it’s own), but we got to relax and spend time with our favourites, and that was just the best. We sat in the sunshine, walked around the village and into town, and sat by lakes. And we just were, with our friends, doing life together again.

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I was completely exhausted after a thirty minute ridge hike (definitely the altitude, not my fitness) and so the eagle and the view were really good reasons to keep stopping and taking out my camera. Right?

It’s super easy to spend time with this little family, because they actually have such rad kids.

175A2518Being a kid means dangling your feet when you sit. Here he is, waiting for dad.

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Together we did a little (and really nice) walk up the mountain behind B+C’s house. Apparently a pretty gnarly ride down for Ben and his friend, Paul.

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Shane at the end of Super Mega Death, doing a “Beppe”.

175A3175We loved every day with these kids. My favourite thing about spending time with these two little hearts is how simple your days can be. I love letting myself sink into conversation with this three year old, listening to how he sees the world. Helping him make sense of it. Or just enjoying his completely simple and novel understanding of how it all works. He’s grown and changed so much just in the six months we’ve been away, and it’s so fun to see who he’s becoming. He has the biggest heart. I’m only sad he doesn’t refer to himself in third person anymore…I sort of hoped he’d never grow out of that.

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Dinner was almost always an occasion, and with C often working nights it meant B, Shane and I were feeding, book-reading, and bed-timing. I’m not sure C would approve of all our dinner-time antics, but I had tears running down my face watching Banj laugh uncontrollably at Shane’s songs. We had fun.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetJ-Bear is a feisty creature. She’s independent, loud, and completely beautiful. She can’t sit still, wants to walk instead of be pushed in the pram, and is smitten with Shane (I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual). She loves her big brother to the moon and back, and loves being outside being busy. She made us laugh every single day.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMost of the time, Banjo + Jarrah totally love each other. J is just starting to talk and cracks up Banj all the time. It’s so fun to watch him laugh, sometimes uncontrollably, at her. I think she loves it too.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

B+C rented a gorgeous little place by the lake for one of the weekends we were with them. Shane caught some strange bug so was pretty sick for a day while we were there, but it was such a beautiful weekend. It was slow, easy, and so sunny. The days had no time, just the way they should be.
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The best thing about walking with J-Bear is when she asks to hold your hand. She’s a pretty non-cuddly, non-touchy feely little lady a lot of the time (especially when she’s outside and busy exploring), and this just made my heart melt every time. We walked into town together one day, and she couldn’t stand being in the pram. To make the “walk” bearable she insisted on holding Shane’s hand. Cutest thing ever.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I’m not even kidding.175A2733Truth is that cuddle lasted all of half a second, but the love is there.
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Banj is an amazing mix of curious, cautious and calculated. He’s learning so much, and it was fun to see his excitement about his new school – he’s definitely an oldest child. One of my all-time favourite moments with him was reading books before bed when everyone else was out and J was asleep. By book number two he says “wrap around me, Rae”. It took me a second, but once I realised I needed to let him snuggle in, under my arm, so he could get a better view of the book I just about could have died. He is the best thing.

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Don’t you just want to frolic in that pink fluff? I did. Until Shane told me there was a bear behind me and I jumped back into the car lightning fast with my heart pumping and tears in my eyes. I blame the poor quality of photos on my fear.

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One of my favourite things that I actually had time for in Canada was demanding the car to be pulled over so I could just look. We see so many crazy cool amazing things on the road, but we always have an agenda. In Canada I got to a place where I could just take it all in. I maybe asked to pull over at three mudslides just because they’re so crazy cool – it’s like you get to see this sneak peak of what’s under your feet (or at least what you hope is under your feet and not sliding down the hill…).175A2876

I had a rock collection and a mineral collection in primary school. I did geology at Uni. I have no idea what this rock is or how it became what it became, but I do know that I find it completely amazing and just sitting there looking at it for however many minutes made me love my Creator that much more.

Canada was just the best place for us to be still, enjoy easy company, and remember to breathe. Take me back?175A2887http://www.redmountainvillage.com/

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