2020 Wrap Up

It’s been awhile…

Here’s to a lazy post of pictures and captions, entailing our “adventures” the past months or so.

Winter beach walks
Turning 41…Sophie does freehand design and stitched embroidery. Check her out on Instagram as Sophie Adele Co
Frozen fever is in full effect.
Second snow.
Parker is back on the puzzles.
Good times with family and close friends.
Snapchat filters.
The time Parker and Soren look forward to the most…The 2020 Hockey World Junior Tournament.
My new favorite children’s book, which I read with my Ellinor

“On the highest rock of a tiny island at the edge of the world stands a lighthouse.
It is built to last forever.
Sending its light out to sea.

The fog rolls in, and the fog rolls out.
The waves rise and crash.
The wind blows and blows.

~Sophie Blackall, Hello Lighthouse

Happy New Year friends.

Our Baby Bee Is Three 🐝

Alice: How long is forever?

White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.

~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Ever since becoming a mother, I am much more in touch with my emotions. As someone who never cried easily, was overly stubborn (I still can be) and very type A, motherhood mellowed me out.

I am thankful for motherhood. Not only did it bless me with four wonderful kids, but it softened my edges and allowed me to live outside myself.

Here is Ellinor, her last late day nap as a 2 year old.

Despite the late nap, she declared at 8:30 pm, “Uh, I tired. Mommy, I go sleep in your room and you scratch my back?”


I scratched her back. She said she loved me close to fifty times and we listened to Clair de Lune (her favorite lullaby as a baby).

I cried.

Today she is 3 and I have already cried this morning. There is an intensity to seeing your kids grow up, especially when it’s your last child. It’s experiencing all those first moments for the final time.

Ellinor is extremely attached to me, yet at the same time she is fiercely independent. As Ellinor says, “No! I do it myself!”

Today we are celebrating at home…just the way Ellinor likes it. With lots of cake, a tea party and Alice in Wonderland.

She is the sweetest little 🐝. My gush monster.

Happy birthday sweet Ellinor ❤️


“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
~Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

Our birthday celebrations continue…Sophie is fifteen. 15!!!

She may be a teen, but Sophie is still the same kind hearted, creative, genuine and enthusiastic girl who loves the beach, her family and coffee ice cream.

Happy Birthday sweet Sophie Adele ❤️

Lucky Number 7

I’ve taken somewhat of a social media cleanse. I login to wish people a happy birthday, see if anyone got married or had babies, look at my Facebook memories and promptly sign off.

Those memories though…I love to see them, but at the same time they deliver a punch to the gut.

More than ever, I find myself resting in nostalgia and I wonder, is this good for me?

I found this New York Times article and it resonated with me, particularly Dr. Sedikides, saying “I told him I did live my life forward, but sometimes I couldn’t help thinking about the past, and it was rewarding,” he says. “Nostalgia made me feel that my life had roots and continuity. It made me feel good about myself and my relationships. It provided a texture to my life and gave me strength to move forward.”

Yes. That.

Identified by Johannes Hofer, Nostos in Greek, and the accompanying pain algos, nostalgia at one time was considered a disorder.

But, times have changed.

According to Dr. Art Markman Ph.D, “nostalgia can play a beneficial role in people’s lives. When times are tough, it may seem as though things may never get better. By focusing on positive times from the past, though, people may help themselves to be more connected to others, which can give them the resources to be more optimistic about the future.”

I hope that’s what I’m doing.

So, back to those Facebook memories.

Soren is 7 today.

My favorite boy in the whole wide world.

I’m grateful to celebrate Soren today. Soren’s happiness, ultimately makes us merrier.

To the kindest, funniest and happiest boy I know…happy birthday Soren!

Everything Old Is New Again

When we moved, my hope was that I could make all the big transitions for the kids as easy as possible.

I was willing to meticulously plan and agonize over every decision concerning the kids if it improved their happiness.

A few years and a stomach full of anxiety later, I can honestly say my preparedness didn’t always work.

And that’s okay…I’m learning to chill out.

Even with all the uncertainty, our kids have handled the move to Canada really well. Meeting new friends, starting different activities and changing schools has become second nature, so when we decided to change it all up again last February, the kids were prepared for a new challenge.

Today was the first day of school.

Sophie (Grade 10), attending Sacred Heart School of Halifax.

Verax Tum Audax: Dare to be True

Elsa (Grade 5), Soren (Grade 2) and Ellinor (preschool), attending The Larson Family School For Super Awesome Children.

As the kids and I progressed through our homeschool day, we definitely missed Sophie. Having her home since March has been wonderful and it felt a little weird not having her in the mix. We were all excited to pick her up at 3:35, where she debriefed us on her great first day of 10th grade.

In the past I have shared a little bit about our reasons behind homeschooling, but if you want to know more, stay in touch with my educational blog and website at The Extra School Mom.

With that being said, I wish everyone a happy new school year. No matter what school looks like for you at the moment, may it be filled with happy kids, optimistic parents and one I am sure of, loving and passionate teachers.

Blast From The Past

After a long day outside, I find myself crawling into bed early and watching some television. One or more of the kids will join me and we will flip through, trying to find a new series on Netflix we haven’t watched yet.

Oh. My. Gah.

How? When?

David Ruprecht’s face says it all.

Big Sweep.

Elsa and I spent the next two hours, reveling in my youth, laughing hysterically, rooting for middle aged women running in a grocery store and discussing nineties hair and fashion.

I needed this.

After a few (or five) episodes, Elsa went to bed and Parker and I decided to tackle the laundry pile growing on our floor.

As always, we turned on Netflix…

Could my night get any better?


Note: I would NOT recommend watching the The Berkshires UFO episode late at night. 😳

This episode seems fitting since the Pentagon’s U.F.O. Unit just announced they will make some UFO findings public.

So 2020.

Need a Covid distraction or a reason to ditch social media for awhile, google Commander Fravor and also Bob Lazar.

Besides watching television shows from the 90’s and researching aliens, we continue to enjoy our exceptionally warm and sunny summer.

I finally have a stellar tan.

This season has been a wonderful distraction from all that has happened since March.

I don’t want summer to end.

80’s Summer

I’ve been trying to cram in as much summer fun as possible. With our travel plans to the States put on hold (😢😢😢), I want to capture and recreate some of that summer magic I had growing up as a kid, just in Nova Scotia.

Fact. The best summers of my life were spent at my grandparent’s lake cabin in Wisconsin. My most vivid childhood memories to this day involve our time at the lake, fishing, exploring and swimming with very little adult supervision.

My grandma Audrey would send us out in the morning and we wouldn’t come back until dinner time. We made our own lunches, baited and fixed our fishing poles, swam in middle of the lake, hunted frogs and caught fish, all without an adult ready to jump in to fix our mistakes.

It was the 80’s.

It was wonderful.

I do remember Grandpa Roy working tirelessly on the yard and Grandma Audrey raking the beach, in hopes that it would be less muck-filled and more swimmable. They had stuff to do and were always there if we needed crackers to bait the sunfish or someone to drive the pontoon.

Usually our days would end with dinner, a bonfire and a long evening of card and board games. Monopoly usually lasted well into the next day, the only thing keeping us awake, Mountain Dew and grape pop.

I want my kids to have that.

We did the South Shore a few weekends back and this weekend we headed up to the north shore of Nova Scotia (Tatamagouche). The water is warmer up north and my kids were craving a true summer beach day.

Parker ended up having to work (sea trials), which meant it was just me and the kids.

I tried to summon my inner Grandma Audrey.

The kids fished.

I made a bonfire. Night one was a fire fail, but on night two, a success.

Sophie: Mom, you wouldn’t survive on Naked and Afraid.

Now I know why grandma left us alone…better to be unaware than to manage the chaos. I also remember a cold beer in her coozie at night and as well as a brandy-water in my grandpa’s hand.


We didn’t have wifi, nor air conditioning and at times we were a bit bored and extremely sweaty, but we squeezed out some memories.

The kids’ favorite activity was running the river at low tide and bathing in the warm water of Rushton’s Beach.

In a few weeks, we are off to the Bay of Fundy, the full family of 6, for more Nova Scotia coastal fun.

I want to close with…I miss my extended family and I can’t wait until we can be reunited 🇺🇸.

Love That Dog

when you are trying
not to think about something
it keeps popping back in your head
you can’t help it
you think about it
think about it
think about it
until your brain
feels like
a squashed pea.

~Cheryl Creech, Love That Dog

Diamond was loved, especially by my girls. They grew up together; a childhood spent with the best dog ever.

We are heartbroken.

RIP sweet Dimey.

Love that dog,
like a bird loves to fly
I said I love that dog
like a bird loves to fly
Love to call him in the morning
love to call him
‘Hey there, Sky'”

~Sharon Creech, Love That Dog


Sophie is an easy going kid; she always has been. Moving to a new country as a teen, she never missed a beat and continued to find the silver lining in everything she did.

Sophie is a kind person. She cares about others, is accepting and willing to be your friend.

Sophie is resilient.

Today she graduated from Grade 9 and is onto high school. In the fall, she will be attending Sacred Heart School of Halifax. In true Sophie fashion, she is excited, optimistic and ready for the challenge.

We threw her a surprise graduation celebration.

With the move, Sophie had to endure four years of middle school/jr. high, which is definitely worth celebrating. To say she is excited to start high school is an understatement.

Today also marks Elsa’s last day of Grade 4 and Soren’s last day of grade 1.

There wasn’t much closure and excitement surrounding the last day of school, but I am extremely grateful for hard working and caring teachers who kept my kids engaged and made them feel connected.

As someone who has lived away from family and friends most of my adult life, I understand the importance of connection. To me, relationships have always been paramount and something I never took for granted.

Our vacations have always revolved around family. We look forward to our time spent in Minnesota and now California, to connect with people we love.

The notion that our summer is possibly absent of extended family and friends is something I haven’t fully reconciled.

Onto Summer Break! Or should I say, Summer Break????

Good luck parents!