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.

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.”

~Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

Parker and I often discuss the best moments of our lives. Aside from the obvious wedding day and birth of our children, we always come back to our road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway in June 2016.

The day after Sophie graduated from elementary school and Elsa from Kindergarten, we packed up the van and headed out on our weeklong coastal California driving trip.

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It was amazing. I’ll spare you the vacation summary, but our best moment by far, the one we both always go back to is our lazy day on the Big Sur River.

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The trees created this beautiful canopy over the cool, clear river water and as our kids splashed around, Parker and I turned to each other, agreeing this was the best ever.  It felt magical.

Recently, Sophie was watching old videos on the computer and she came across our PCH trip. We all convened around the computer and relived our best day.

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I love my family and I’m grateful everyday for the journey we are on, especially for days like Big Sur. Although there are times I miss our lives in California, I’m reminded my family is where I am happiest, which brings me back to where I need to be.

Thank you Parker for sharing in and helping to create these indelible moments.  Happy Father’s Day!

Here is to drinking a Sculpin (or four) this summer, in the good ol’ USA 🇺🇸