The eye of the storm

“Mom, is this the eye of the storm?”

“How long is the eye?”

“Is this it?”

“Approximately when will we see the eye?”

~Elsa and Soren Larson every five minutes during the hurricane

It has been 72 hours and we finally have power. Luckily, we made it through our first hurricane unscathed…here are some pre, during and post hurricane highlights.

First order of business, we picked Sweetie Girl’s apples. Soren gave her a hug and told her to hang in there. We love that tree and she weathered the storm like a true champion.

Board games galore…FYI kids, 9 am is always too early to play Monopoly.

Creative lighting.

Nervous dog who also, oddly enough, happened to love going out during a hurricane. Even during the height of the storm, Honey refused to pee and would much rather chase leaves.

After a light show in the basement, a fair amount of drinking (wine, cider and juice boxes) and a hurricane dance party, we headed to bed in the dark of night, the storm slowly waning.

We woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning and went outside to assess the damage. Like I said, we lucked out…just a lot of branches, leaves and thousands and thousands of acorns.

Sadly, many of of neighbors didn’t fare as well, but it was awesome to see everyone out, checking in with each other and offering help during the clean up.

Pockets of the city had power restored so we were able to get pizza delivery, oh and a generator.

Considering our area wasn’t going to see power for awhile, we decided a generator was must have for future storms in Halifax.

Behold, the technology charging station which we also connected to the mini fridge, nugget ice machine and WiFi…essentials.

Since we turned the generator off by 9 pm (just being neighborly), we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores by candlelight.

All in all, it was a unique experience and aside from the lack of power, we enjoyed our close and dark time together as a family.

Just checking off that natural disaster list!

Tornado ✔️

Wild Fires ✔️

Earthquakes ✔️

Hurricane ✔️

School Days

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”

~Oscar Wilde

I love summer.

Never ending freedom, or at least close to three months of it.

As a kid, the night before the first day of school always created unnecessary distress (self inflicted), which grew into a large belly ache. I’m a worrier and as much as I was excited for a new school year, I wasn’t willing to let go of summer.

Even in college, I would stay up late, overthinking every aspect of that first day and stressing over everything I couldn’t possibly control.

Sounds productive.

One thing that always helped ease my jitters was to ensure I had a stylish, new first day of school outfit.

Essential.

Side note: In 5th grade, I wore a paisley vest, green leggings and a white button down shirt. This was not my best year.

Even though the outfit set the tone and instilled a sense of confidence I needed to start my day, I wish I could have told my younger self to just get some sleep.

Go to sleep Betsy.

Sleep is the best reset button and I don’t think I realized that until I was well into my twenties.

Now it’s the night before school for Elsa and Soren (Sophie started on Thursday) and it’s a mix of nerves as we try to settle them in for the night. Soren and Elsa are moving into a brand new school and are no longer the “new kids” in town while Sophie is the upperclassman at her junior high.

What a difference a year makes…

It’s a nervous excitement…’cited as we call it, but calming (for me especially) to know the morning “should” be void of tears and despair.

Yes, my kids all have a nifty first day of school outfits and hopefully they will get get to bed considering our summer sleep habits. Melatonin should help 🙂

Go to sleeeeeeeep.

Yeah for the first day! Best wishes to all the nervous kids, their parents and especially my teacher friends. Here is to another fun year of learning, shiny new school supplies (my favorite), making lunches and setting the early morning alarm.

Waves

My soul is full of longing

for the secret of the sea,

and the heart of the great ocean

sends a thrilling pulse through me.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We recently stayed at White Point Beach Resort on the South Shore and it was lovely.

On our first day, after some swimming and exploring, we headed down to the fire pit for roasted marshmallows, only to find out they had run out of supplies

No s’mores!? The kids and I walked down to the beach.

The sound.

I didn’t realize how intense the ocean would feel at this moment.

When we first moved to La Jolla, I remember telling my kids as we drove over the hill on Nautilus, down toward our home, “Look at this! Wherever you end up in life, remember you lived by the Pacific Ocean.”

We would fall asleep to the crash of the waves.

I love that sound. I missed that sound.

For the past two nights it felt cathartic to be back living by the ocean, lulled to sleep by the crashing waves.

Road Trips

“How many more minutes?”

~Soren Larson

We are back home in Canada after a four day long road trip from Minnesota to Halifax. I had intentions of blogging after each day, but after a full day of driving, sight seeing and rolling into a hotel close to 10pm every night, I realized quickly I was living in a dream world.

Here are a few highlights of our trip that include driving to Manitowoc, Wisconsin (“Don’t Get Strange”), catching the USS Badger over Lake Michigan, visiting Niagara Falls, exploring Old Quebec City, a drive through New Brunswick and finally home.

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Our kids were stellar travelers, which makes us optimistic for future Larson Family road trips. Parker and I managed some quiet time to talk, but mostly to binge listen to the Crime Junkie Podcast.

With that being said, we are set to celebrate our wedding anniversary tomorrow. During our road trip, I was reminded numerous times how lucky I am to have found a husband who is willing to travel cross country with me, in a minivan, with four kids and still laugh with me along the way.

20 years together, 16 years married, 4 kids and one 30 hour road trip under our belt.

Love you Parker.

Minnesota Detox

Our 25 day visit to Minnesota has come to an end and by my calculations my body is 50% Michelob Golden Light, 25% Coors Light, 20% chips and dip and 5% kombucha.

In addition to all the food and beer, our lives were filled with an excess of family and friends. 100% of our time was spent swimming, exploring, relaxing, shopping, baseball watching, Target-ing and soaking in every possible moment with people the we love.

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Much like my gut needs a cleanse, so do our lives as we head back to Canada adjusting to a quieter life without our extended family and no Target.

I am beyond grateful for the time we had this summer. Thank you to everyone who made the time to see us and especially for making our kids’ time spent in Minnesota magical and memorable.

Fly Through The Sky

“Let’s hear it for America Hip-Hoo-Ray!”

I consider myself a seasoned traveler, especially with kids in tow and I know all the tricks, treats and necessities it takes to make it through a flight with children.

Here are my top three rules for flying as peacefully as possible with kids:

1) Provide lots of candy, especially lollipops (longer lasting).

2) Whatever the youngest child wants, the youngest child gets.

3) Keep your expectations low.

Start there and you will be golden.

We are off to Minnesota. Other than Ellinor conking her head on the terminal floor and spilling Starbucks’ black tea all over our boarding passes, we managed to get on the airplane.

As we took off, we encountered a few sketchy toddler moments that even a lollipop couldn’t fix.

I have to wear a seatbelt!!!!???

YouTube Kids doesn’t work??!!!

No pictures please! 😤

When Ellinor wasn’t looking, I promptly deleted the app from all electronic devices. See?? It doesn’t exist, therefore you can’t be mad.

After two flights and a full day of travel, we made it to Minnesota. I am equally as happy to be off the airplane as I am to see my family.

If you need to find me, I will be soaking in July, summer, friends, family, Target and my favorite holiday (next to Christmas), the 4th of July 🇺🇸❤️.

I will catch you in a month.

June Wrap Up

“School’s out for summer”

~Alice Cooper

It’s been awhile since I last blogged, as we have been occupied with the end of year hullabaloo otherwise known as class parties, field trips, recitals and concerts.

Sophie performed with her school choir.

Elsa had her dance student showcase, performing in four dances. She also received the Citizenship Award for her class.

In the mix of all the chaos, my mom traveled to Canada to spend some time with us in Halifax partaking in baseball, dance, hockey, school, walks around town, lunching and smelling the rhododendrons.

My Mom even got to meet a sloth…dream fulfilled.

Thankfully our goodbyes weren’t sad (we get to see Mema in a few days) and we welcomed Alisha into our home.

As always, I’m grateful for family and friends who make the trek to see us in Nova Scotia. With our long winter, the summer and visitors are both a much needed and lovely change of pace.

Oh, and yes…summer is finally here. The kids completed their first full year in Canadian schools and we couldn’t be more proud of their successes both academically and personally.

Our kids are resilient and continue to work hard and push through the newness of our transition with grace and optimism.

With that being said, we are ready for summer, lazy days, a long month spent in the states and time to connect with family and friends.