Back To Reality

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Last week, Parker and I were able to visit San Diego. Knowing it would be a quick trip, we flew my sister-in-law Rebecca to Halifax to stay with the kids.

Rebecca stepped in and managed all four kids, a dog and their schedule with ease and enthusiasm. We are grateful the kids had this special time with her and as Elsa put it, “basically it was the best time of my life.”

For months leading up to our trip, I was stuck in this barrel of emotions; a mix of excitement and apprehension. In going back to California, I would be acclimating back into my “old life” and would be left to sort through some major feelings. I was worried I would spend most of my vacation “feeling all the feels” instead of enjoying California with my husband.

Per usual, my preemptive overthinking was just that. I woke up everyday feeling renewed (except Sunday…post wedding hangover) and when I did cry, it was a cathartic release because memories after all are a good thing.

I am beyond grateful for my brief, but wonderful trip, which afforded me time to be with the people, places and things that bring me immense happiness.

See you in the spring!

We took a red eye flight and it felt great to be back home, with the kids and to hang with Rebecca before she left.

In the time that we were gone, Sophie turned 14!

She may be a teen, but she is still our kind, genuine, creative and sweet Sophie Adele.

Fall Round Up

The kids are settled into their new school year routines and I’m enjoying my time with Ellinor, making sure she gets the same experiences that her siblings did.


She started Kindermusik.

Dancing to the beat of her own music also known as not participating.

Ellinor is also back at gym class, throwing somersaults like it’s nobody’s business and also waiting patiently for the teacher to blow bubbles.

Elsa is immersed in dance and enjoying her Nutcracker practices, making new friends and bonding with her cast mates. Being part of a Nutcracker production is truly a unique and special experience and one in which Elsa (and I) look forward to at the holidays.

Soren is back playing hockey with the Halifax Hawks and was lucky to snag jersey #7, just like dad.

Sophie is anxiously waiting for the announcement of the school musical and kicking butt in math class.

From now until December, our schedule is jam packed, but we managed to sneak away to Noggin’s Farm in the valley last weekend for apple picking, a hay ride and the corn maze.

Our obligatory fall photos that may or may not become part of the Christmas card.

Soren celebrated his 6th birthday (see previous post) and was lucky enough to have his two best friends over this weekend for glow in the dark mini golf, pizza and cupcakes.

Next up is Sophie’s birthday, a quick trip to San Diego (Betsy and Parker) and onto Ellinor’s 2nd birthday.

Life is hectic, but enjoyed and all this action helps us forget the temps are falling and winter is just around the corner.


Birthday Boy

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”

~Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Soren turns 6 tomorrow. He requested a gift scavenger hunt, chocolate cake and a dinner of steak, sweet potato fries and brussels sprouts.

He knows what he wants.

From the day he was born, Soren has been a charmer.

Our little king.

I love you sweet Soren…happy birthday.

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.


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.


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.


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.