giving thanks.

i hope everyone out there in cyberworld who is reading this blog does not assume, that although i moan about the tough times of our day to day life, that i am not truly grateful for where we are today. because i am. so grateful, so happy.

in hindsight it is always easier to say that the bumps along the way were worth the tears and struggle, and that the stress of job loss or questionable health were hardships worth living. whilst it was undeniably hard to go through them at the time, when i came to reflect, i realized that things could’ve been a lot worse. for instance, my friend was being made redundant even though she had been one of the longest-serving employees at her company. it was heart-breaking. but it wasn’t long until she sought legal advice from a solicitor, and she was able to receive some sort of justice. we were both in horrible situations, but it brought us closer because we were managing them together, and everything that we went through was for a reason. and do you know what, i’m glad it happened. i can say that now, because we survived and are doing stronger than ever. but, if those bumps had not appeared on our road we would not be where we are now, here today. and where we are, i kind of like and am grateful for.

my boys are beautiful and healthy. my dear husband is on an upward career path, which is wonderful to watch. i am slowly starting to make plans for my own life. as a family we are strong and busy and full of love.

this past long weekend we were back up north preparing the family cottage for winter. it was a weekend filled with fairy houses, family, fires, reading and amazing weather. the kids, as usual, wanted to run outside and explore the wonders of the forest. bear’s big thing was throwing things onto the water; things like sticks, bark, rocks. lion tried his darndest to keep up, but the uneven forest floor is tough for his wee feet. but, together they played and threw sticks.

what is this fungi on the tree called? in finland we call it a kääpä. this particular fallen birch had several of these fungi growing on it. all a part of the cycle of the forest, of life.

bear had planned this row boat trip in advance. he had asked bubba several times if he wanted to come and was delighted when it was time to head out on the lake. with a bag of pretzels and good company, off they went. apparently the calm lake brought out a quiet, thoughtful bear.

this was the scene on the afternoon before we left the peace of the cottage. bright sun, warm temperatures and two curious cubs exploring the water and its magic. lion got so curious he walked right into the lake and sat down in the water. there is nothing like the wonder of children and looking at the world through their eyes really is incredible. witnessing my kids in nature makes me want to up root and move northwards, to where there are more trees and more quiet.

thank-you for another beautiful summer lovely, family cottage; until next season…

xo, mama lola

when it rains, it pours, even on the sunniest of days.

this week we existed.
it all started on sunday night when dear hubby uttered the words “we’re launching at work this week…” and anyone who is a computer programmer’s partner knows that this means too much work and not enough hours in the day and deadlines that come and go and then come around again. for dear hubby it was made worse as he had to commute to the city four times this week, instead of the usual two times and clock longer hours at the office each day. 

on monday night we had the baby-sitter come, which is a bit unusual, but a friend was performing and we wanted to check it out. dear hubby was arriving at the bus depot at 7pm (and would not see the kids at all that day) and i was supposed to meet him there. i did met him there, but my heart was full of sadness and doubt as both kids had been a mess upon my departure. lion screamed and screamed, while his big brother clung to my left leg begging me to stay through sobs and tears. augh. i peeled his arms off of me, quickly kissed the boys and ran out the door. i was also almost in tears when i climbed into the car. getting a baby-sitter wasn’t supposed to be this hard and make everyone feel so heavy hearted. i was ready to go back home, but we texted the sitter and she told us everyone had calmed down and was ready for sleep. what a relief. dear hubby and i had a wonderful evening listening to great music and chatting with friends.

for the kids the stress of dear hubby’s absence was felt immediately. so, on tuesday we decided to spend a night in the big city with my folks so that the kids could at least see their dad at dinner time and bedtime. but, like any mama knows, when spending a night in a different setting, even if it is the grandparents’ cozy home, things are just that much harder. bedtime got pushed back, diaper rashes flared up and everyone was missing our regular routine.

on our way home, of course bear decided he had to poop just as we got on the highway.

bear has had an especially rough week. he’s been very attached to his daddy since birth and when dad isn’t around enough he takes it to heart. bear’s behaviour becomes more aggressive and hard to be around. he doesn’t seem to sleep as well, which makes for a growly three year old bear. and to top things off his glasses spontaneously snapped and broke, which means because it’s a long weekend he won’t get a new pair until next week. sigh.

lion doesn’t seem to realize his daddy is gone, but when he does see him again his excitement is heartbreaking to watch. he laughs and points with pure joy at his dad. but, he too has felt the stress of this unusual week.

for me, the days have been longer and more draining. it’s exhausting to be the only one doing everything and not really getting a proper break. but, the hardest part about flying solo is the loneliness of missing one’s partner. 

and it’s going to be demanding for a couple of more days. tomorrow the kids and i are off to the cottage with patty. unfortunately dear hubby and his folks will be heading east a few hours to a cousin’s wedding on saturday. that means, dear hubby is renting a car and then after the reception will be booting it to the cottage. sounds absurd, i know, but the cottage is at its best at thanksgiving and lion has never even experienced it yet, so we are determined to maintain these important family traditions.

i am eagerly awaiting to curl up with some good reads in front of the cottage fire with all of my guys. i am looking forward to exploring the forests and enjoying the warmth of thanksgiving with family. i am yearning to experience the wonder that is the cottage rather than exist in my routine at home.


still, i am thankful.

happy thanksgiving!

xo, mama lola

with love.

first, i want to let everyone know, that mr. WJ is going strong and has been home for the last couple of days. our friends’ four year old had some health concerns and he has been diagnosed with asthma, but the family is feeling positive and WJ is happy to be back to his ol’ shenanigans. xoxo

here are the overdue cottage HURRAH pictures. good times, great friends and a life time of memories!

[due to technical issues, i have started to use flickr as a way to share my pictures on this blog. i am still getting the hang of it, so please, bear with me.]

second, i wanted to acknowledge that i have not been as consistent with my writing on here, but it’s only because life has gotten a few gears busier. and i knew this would happen once the regular routine kicked in, so now i am trying to figure out when to write here.

this fall has been a wonderful time of year for us. we have spent time with friends, the kids are both thriving in their own selves, dear hubby signed on as a salaried and permanent employee, instead of staying on as a contract worker, we have been able to sink some money into the house, finally, and we are planning a family road trip to new york, new york. 

after the storms of recent past, it feels wonderful to have the peace and calm of health and happiness. i feel very lucky to be where we are now, considering the struggles we have had to endure. it must be that darn eternal optimist in me attracting good karma [wink].

xo, mama lola

we sang o’ canada countless times on friday.

canada day.
canada. hungary. anthems. music. noon. bourbon. tradition. food. trampoline. bacon. hot dogs. muffins. fire. conversation. beer. friends. hammock. trees. family. love. laughter. blue skies. sunshine. baseball. hats. smiles. 

family. friends. traditions. swimming. splashing. playing. burning building. cabin. sunsets. sleep. water. loons. naps.  chipmunks. forest. trees. pine cones. sticks. waves. boats. canoeing. books. newspapers. conrad black. conversations. tears. memories. history. rock. beer. wine. shandies. food. bbq. deer. flowers. flashlights. walking. advice. raccoons. lost glasses. 
and then we’ll do it all again next year!

xo, mama lola

children of the forest.

we spent a wonderful weekend up at the cottage with some special friends. friends we haven’t seen in about two years as they live on the other side of the pond, in germany. 

we had time to chat and catch up on the important stuff, but also had time to just be together. the kids had an especially wonderful time together playing, running, reading and getting to know one another. 

the cottage is the perfect setting for all this catching up. there are few distractions, no internet or tv. instead there is plenty of nature to stimulate the senses.


there are also some funky, home made toys at the cottage, like this red wheel thinga-ma-doo-der (see pics below) that dear hubby’s grandfather made for him back in the day. it was touching to watch bear run and laugh, just as his dad had done many years before!

we frolicked in the water splashing and laughing, ran amongst the tall hemlocks, climbed over fallen trees and branches while looking for treasures and kept an eye out for the black bears. 

the bugs were almost non-existant, although looking at lion’s wee head that would be hard to believe. he has bizarre bumps and lumps all over his head from the darn mosquitoes!

i know this all sounds too perfect and as though i’ve sugar coated the whole weekend, but really, it was perfect. 

the muskokas have a reputation for being the playground of the rich and famous, but as you can see it’s also fun for the less rich and you certainly don’t have to be famous to enjoy its beauty.

even the kids were mostly smiles and giggles; there were only a few tears and only tiny tantrums, which for one 2.5 year old and one 3.5 year old is pretty amazing. they just wanted to play together and that is what they did!

bear is going to miss his new, lovely, lady friend. 

happy rest of the week everyone!
xo, mama lola
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