The day was warm, the sky stayed pink, sunrise never disappearing.
We bundled the boys up and headed out of the city, drove for about an hour, and ended up at Gouldson Tree Farm.
Out of the truck to choose our sleigh. Last year was Dasher, this year was Dancer.
There was just enough snow for the sleigh to slide along, but not too deep for a 2 year old’s little legs.
Callum decided that the very first tree we came upon was the one. Unfortunately it was at least 12 feet high. It took some convincing, but he agreed to continue the search.
We walked, we discussed, we played. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.
This is one of my very favourite Christmas traditions. I just adore the whole day.
Should that be called the longest title ever?
As a photographer, especially this time of year, I get home, I put my equipment away, and I forget about my big camera. Our lives have been such a whirlwind since Max arrived I have struggled with capturing him as he grows. And holy man – capturing them together?! Nearly impossible.
So we did it. We honestly cancelled half a dozen times, but we changed our minds, and Gareth and I set out with Mason’s mama Nicole, and we spent the evening playing, running and jumping up and down like maniacs to make them laugh.
And in true Callum fashion, he smashed his face into the ground not 5 minutes into this. Blood everywhere, tears from both of us, I thought we were done. But he dried his tears, we cleaned the blood off, and I swapped his shirt with one I threw in the bag not 5 minutes before we left.
And we had an amazing evening.
How I love these boys so.
The lake used to be for staying up late, sleeping in and lounging in a chair all day.
It used to be a place to recharge our batteries, go for a run, and do as much or as little as we wanted.
It used to mean cocktail hour and late night drinks around the campfire.
The lake has become a place of early mornings, long afternoon naps, and countless hours in a sandbox.
It’s a place to throw rocks in the lake, march down a gravel road and head to grandma’s for an afternoon treat.
It’s watching the sunset and night time cuddles with tiny babies.
It’s no TV, no technology.
I wish for Christmas to be full of memories made.
I wish for Christmas to be time spent together. Our laughter mingling loud through the air, our breath hitting freezing temperatures while we play in the snow.
I wish that my children don’t remember what’s under the tree, but who gathers around the tree.
That they baked cookies with grandma every year.
And that we took an afternoon to choose the Christmas tree to call Santa into our home.
I wish for magic. And that can only come with time spent.
Today I’m grateful for a messy house and a healthy boy (who makes the house that way).
Today I’m choosing patience and to be happy for his “help”
Today I’m thankful for my village.
For love and support and smiles and laughs.
For the massive influence they have over Callum and how he’s learning more than he ever could with just Gareth and I.
Today I’m choosing to embrace the crazy.
The whirlwinds, the bustle, the running and screeching.
Today I’ll remember we’re teaching him to be fun, to be playful, to smile.
And that when it backfires it’s my fault!
Today I’m relishing in this small moment of calm.
Today, and every day, I’m grateful for this man who is the best father Callum could ever ask for.
Today I’m feeling so lucky to have this busy, wonderful boy right here beside me. And to enjoy it while it lasts.
Some of these photos I’ve already shared on my instagram feed. So my apologies if you follow me there too. If you don’t why don’t you join me?
Our last days in the UK were spent in London, one of my very favourite cities. Being in a busy, bustling place is a whole different ballgame with a little man. Our usual routine in London is to hit the pavement as early as we can, and see as much as we can in a day. This trip had much slower, relaxed pace.
We played in Holland Park, we cozied up in a few pubs, we visited with one of our very best friends, and we soaked up the last moments of our adventure.
Callum was enthralled with the grass, the birds, the buses, with the bustle that is brand new to him. With the things that spring will bring back to Edmonton that he doesn’t remember. So much of this trip was just for us, he napped and missed much of the excitement.
And just like that, it was time to come home.