Our Trip Up Bear’s Hump

I’ve been begging Brad to do a trip up Bear’s Hump for the last 2 summers and for some reason we just haven’t found the time to do it but Saturday was my lucky day! We were looking at decent weekend weather and nothing else planned so it was a perfect opportunity. We tried to round up our brother and sister in laws and their kids but it didn’t really work out so we ended up taking our 4 kids and our nephew Ace. Off to Waterton we went!

Bear’s Hump is a hiking trail in Waterton National Park. It’s a pretty short hike, depending on your pace, but it’s a steep SOB. The view at the top is so worth it! You can see the whole town, the lake and the beautiful Rocky Mountain range. If you don’t have a stroke on the way up that is.

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Stunning!

We started out pretty enthusiastically but it didn’t take long before my lungs were burning. This is no yoga class. I stopped to “take pictures” but really I was catching my breath.

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On the way up

On the drive there, Brad was positive it was going to be too snowy to hike but we were both surprised at how hot it actually was and we all started shedding our sweaters. The boys of course took off way ahead of us and anytime we got close to them I would hear one of them yell “Hurry they’re gaining on us!”

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The girls were sweet enough to stay with their winded parents 

Brad wasn’t entirely wrong, there was snow on the trail still. Not an abundance of it but as we got closer to the top it got wetter and a few pieces on the trail were covered so we had to watch our step.

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Some man made steps and a lot of rocks

IMG_1410Finally we made it to the top!! There was a lot of people already up there so I couldn’t just lay down and die like I really wanted to. That would’ve been embarrassing. We found the boys because they had been up there for a bit already and made sure we got the obligatory family picture to document our victory.

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It’s been 3.5 years since our last picture up here.

The kids wandered around and tried to feed the squirrels that we’re scampering around while Brad and I took in the gorgeous view and snapped some pictures.

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IMG_1409The kids were starting to get bored and hungry so we decided to head back down. Once again, the boys left us in the dust. The snow that we had to carefully step through in the way up was far more slippery on the way down and it made for some pretty slow going for me and the girls. Brad the daredevil threw caution to the wind and just skied his way down. I decided it would be safer to crouch down low and some what crawl. I was wrong. While crouched on one foot, I started sliding and I couldn’t stop. I figured I better just go with it and I picked up some pretty good speed which caused me to slide right into Brad haha I was officially soaked but we were out of the snow. The rest of the way down Robyn warned everyone we passed that they would be getting their butts wet on the way down. IMG_1353

 

On the way down Brad had the idea to recreate a picture we took the last time we hiked this trail so of course, I obliged  and it’ll probably be a new tradition.

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Haha we got pretty close!

We got to the bottom and wanted to go look around the town site a little before we left. The kids were really hoping the ice cream shop was open but unfortunately it wasn’t so the boys shot hoops for awhile and the girls played at the park

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Look at that background scenery

Then we took a walk over to the waterfall in the middle of town. It’s always a stop when we come to Waterton.

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Cameron Falls

By this time the kids were sure they were starving to death and were starting to get cranky about it so we promised them an ice cream at the first town we hit and called it a day. Of course I had to snap a few pics on our way back to the vehicle.

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Don’t ever pass up a chance to visit Waterton! 

I Survived Easter Break!!

Does anyone else feel like getting through any kind of school break is a huge achievement? I do! By the end of it I feel like yelling “I made it!” While someone hands me a trophy ha! It’s now Friday evening of our Easter break and I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I did my very best to keep my kids busy  and we got really lucky weather wise because it was beautiful all week so on my 2 days off we got to enjoy the great outdoors.

My boys called a friend over on Tuesday and they spent the day out at my inlaw’s acreage working and riding on their dirt biking track IMG_1218

The girls and I hit the city that evening for a little bit of shopping and a movie. Anyone that hasn’t seen the new Beauty and the Beast yet needs to get to the nearest theatre. It was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen!

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They were so excited

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I can’t take these 2 anywhere haha

My next day off I had every intention of doing a bunch of chores but I couldn’t resist the sunshine so me and the kids went to our local fishpond/campground  to roll Easter eggs and wander the nature trails.IMG_1254

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Our egg rolling of course turned into an egg war and pretty soon there was egg shrapnel everywhere. The 3 younger kids then wanted to roller blade the paved trails so we ran home quick, grabbed blades, refilled waters and hurried back.

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Just strikin a pose.

It was so great to finally have some days off that allowed me to get out in the sun and be active with my kids.

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The looks on their faces sums up my life with these kids lol 

Unfortunately the rest of my week was spent at work but I still managed to get in an evening bike ride with Reegan and Briggs and a movie night with Reegan and Brad.

I even ventured outside a couple mornings for a wonderfully relaxing yoga sesh in the sun. What a great way to to get in my “me” time. My neighbors probably thought I was crazy. IMG_1223

All in all, even though it was a hectic week, I survived and had a pretty good time doing it.

Not the Most Exciting Easter

Easter 2014 was spent in Mexico, just Brad and I, having the time of our lives and soaking up the sun.

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Why oh why couldn’t we be here again!

This year could not have been more opposite. Yes, it was just Brad and I again but not even close to as heavenly haha First of all, the weather was cold and windy, we even woke up to snow Sunday morning! Second of all, it was not our weekend OR our Easter with our kids, and third, I had to work the entire weekend.IMG_1183

Dont get me wrong, I love my alone time with my husband but it makes for a really weird feeling on holidays. It was also weird as this was the first Easter in my life I have ever worked.

We kicked it off on Thursday evening  by doing our shopping for our kids. Nothing too extravagant, just little things that they’ve been wanting. The boys got new FOX ball caps and the girls got a fish tank for their room and 2 fish each

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Ok, this was a little extravagant

Friday I went to work and lucky Brad had the day off. Unfortunately for him he gets very bored when he’s home alone. Fortunately for me, his boredom resulted in a very clean house for me to come home to. Yay! After work we headed to a BBQ at my inlaws with my brother and sister in law and our adorable nieces. I stuffed myself silly! Even though there was only 2/4 of the brothers there, brotherly love was all around us

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Anyone else’s family gatherings look like this?

On Saturday Brad took advantage of me being at work all day and headed to a nearby ski hill with a good friend of his to “kick it old school” (his words not mine) and spend the day snowboarding, riding snow mobiles and whatever else they did back in the day. I should’ve known this is where the “boring” part of our weekend would end. On my way home from work Brad called to tell me he had a really bad crash and thought he’d broken some ribs. I wasn’t even surprised. This is how pretty much every outing like this ends for him and of course, he refused to go the hospital. He spent the night whimpering and groaning which meant I spent the night listening to it and not sleeping.

Sunday morning came way too early but it brought some sense to Brads head and he realized he needed to get to the ER. A few hours later he got himself there and found out it was a couple cracked ribs and lots of damaged muscles and tissue. That however did not stop him from driving to the city and picking me up from work so we could get fish for the girls new tank. It also didn’t stop him from going to work on Monday (today). The man is crazy haha

Finally 3:00 Monday afternoon rolled around and it was time to pick up our kids and get our belated Easter started! The kids had a note waiting for them from the Easter bunny with three surprises each hidden around our house and of course they were more than excited about it and the gifts from us. I cooked a ham dinner for the 6 of us and FINALLY it started feeling like Easter!

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Happy Easter Y’all!!

Hooray for the Freakin Weekend!!

Despite the fact I worked all weekend, we somehow managed to have nice mixture of a relaxing yet exciting weekend with our kids.

Friday wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary, the boys tried to go for a ride on their dirt bikes but unfortunately Dylan’s bike broke down. It’s given us nothing but grief for the last year and it looked like it had finally kicked the bucket, very upsetting for him as he LOVES biking. While Brad tried to figure out the problem and I made dinner, Briggs took Robyn for a ride down a dirt road not far from our house.

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This just melts my heart

The evening went on and the girls enjoyed a “spa” night in the bathroom while the boys played video games. I decided to make homemade orange julius’. Ohhh man were they ever delicious and so easy! Great way to end our Friday night.

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Saturday morning I headed off to work as my family slept to their hearts content.  This is one of the worst parts of working weekends, it almost kills me to leave my warm bed and peaceful house. Later in the day Brad called to tell me Dylan had called his grandparents and they agreed to help him buy a new dirt bike! He was so stoked! We are blessed to have several sets of grandparents who love and are willing to help our kids out. Turns out a good friends of ours had a bike Dylan’s size and gave us a steal of a deal on it!

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One happy kid right here!

After work we had plans of taking the kids into the city for the evening. I felt we needed to get out of the house and do something as a family. So we loaded the kids up and away we went.

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Turns out when you have a kid that can drive, you get demoted to the backseat

 

 

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Good thing I had some great company back there!

We decided to take the kids for some pizza at Little Ceasars and mini golf. Once we were sat down and eating, I noticed the mini golf course across the way was having a deal, $5/person got you a round of golf and a frozen yogurt at the shop next door. I was sold! The kids were thrilled.

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Black light golf!

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Those girls are somethin’ else Haha

Have you ever tried to golf with a group of 6??  Wow was that ever chaotic. Good thing there was nobody behind us because we were also slow. We kept score and in the end, Brad won, Dylan and I tied for second followed by Briggs, then Reegan and then Robyn. Off to froyo we went!

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The kids were ecstatic to pile whatever goodies they wanted into their yogurt

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Mmmmm mmmm

We finished up our treats and drove back home for the night to watch movies and get some sleep.

Sunday once again had me tearing myself away from home while Brad and the kids spent the day hanging out with cousins and cleaning up the house so I didn’t have to do it after work. The time came for Dylan and Robyn to go back to their moms and the rest of us had a pretty boring evening getting ready for the upcoming week. Back to reality for the Richards!

TGIF Means Nothing If You Work All Weekend

It’s Friday!! This Is not nearly as exciting g to me as it is to everyone else as I have to work all weekend haha it is however, my day off. Not just A day off but my ONLY day off in 8 days so that alone is reason to TGIF. It’s also a Friday of a weekend all of our kids are home. Once a month we have a weekend our kids are home and I work and depending what else we have going on it can make for a pretty chaotic weekend. Any family activities we want to do have to be done after 3:30pm so it usually turns it into a late night which is fine for everyone else that gets to sleep in.   Me? Not so much. Not only that but who’s house doesn’t get crazy when Dad’s left in charge for most of the time? haha We usually try to keep this weekend pretty chill and do things like family movie nights. Especially this weekend as the weather is not looking great

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It has already rained today

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The wind has also picked up like nobody’s business 

Despite work and rain and whatever craziness is thrown our way this weekend, I know there’s going to be lots of laughs and memories made. Enjoy the weekend!

A Day in the Life of Mom

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This little meme made me laugh so hard because it’s pretty much exactly the sentiment I ended my day with today so I had to share.

A typical work day for me starts at about 5:45….with my snooze button. Then I continue to hit that bad boy for the next half hour, finally rolling out of bed at 6:12am. I then rush like a mad woman to get myself ready and my coffee made and out the door at 6:30 at the very latest because I have a half hour drive to work (the city 30 minutes north of our small town) and I’m usually really pushing my time limit. Today was no different.

I woke up from a night of barely sleeping and was greeted with a raging headache. Ugh. My best friend and fellow coworker picked me up (we usually take turns driving) and we spent the drive in drinking our coffees catching up on each others weekends. It’s seriously my favourite part of my day. Work was nothing out of the ordinary and I spent the day trying not to fall asleep and wishing it was 3:00. The saying “no rest for the wicked” popped into my mind on afternoon coffee break as I quickly borrowed my friends vehicle and rushed to the nearest grocery store to do my weekly grocery shopping. I didn’t have time to do it after work because I had to drive straight home to pick my kids up from school. While marathon shopping I witnessed 2 employees having a full out yelling match right in the middle of the store! As I rounded the corner of an aisle, one employee almost ran me over on his mountain bike! I kid you not. He clearly had enough and was outta there. I couldn’t help but openly laugh as I carried on with my shopping. I probably looked like a mad woman but it made my trip quite entertaining and I thought it was even funnier as I saw the reactions of my coworkers when I got back to work and told them what had happened.

Finally it was 3!! Another 30 minute drive means more quality time with my bestie and I revel in it. Once home, she helped me carry in my groceries which I pretty much just threw into the kitchen and headed back out the door and up to the school to pick up Briggs and Reegan where they were impatiently waiting because I was longer than the 2 extra minutes they like to wait. Back home we went where I was pleasantly surprised to find Brad putting the groceries away. I emptied the dishwasher and reloaded it and then layed on the couch trying to decide between a nap or a workout. Thankfully Briggs came in with a third option, help with homework. Not thrilling but a necessity. I finally mustered all my energy and got my yoga mat and workout plan set up and between Reegan’s 20 questions about why every move was called what it was and my lack of motivation, I think I might have gotten in 20 minutes. It was then I heard the bathtub start calling my name.

Next came dinner. A new recipe of hamburger patties in some gravy mixture and mashed potatoes. Found on Pinterest of course. Reegan despised it. No surprise there, she’s a hard one to please. Dinner time was full of bargaining and negotiating and her very slowly eating this “horrible dinner”. Then of course, there’s dinner clean up which inevitably leads into my most dreaded part of my night….making lunches. I hate this chore with every fibre of my being, sometimes I make the kids do their own but they hate it just as much as me and it’s easier just to get it over with. I sent the kids up to the store so they could buy popcorn for an evening snack and I hammered out lunches as quick as I could, I just kept reminding myself a hot bath and relaxation was in my very near future.

Reegan’s bedtime finally rolled around, hallelujah, and that’s when Briggs decided it would be a good time for him to shower. Are ya kidding me kid? So now my bath was put off for at least half an hour so I could have hot water.

I waited…..

When I thought enough time had passed, I gathered my bathing essentials, Epsom salt, drinking water and reading material

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I was ready!

I couldn’t wait to get in that hot water and just relax and read. It’s one of my very favourite things to do. I hopped in and guess what!! It was COLD!!  Briggs had used all the hot water and my dreamy bath was now just a fantasy. I thought maybe I could tough it out a little bit but about 60 seconds in I was shivering and telling myself to let it go, the bath I was so looking forward to wasn’t going to happen. I got out, found my warmest pjs, made a cup of tea and crawled into bed to do my reading. Not without cursing a little bit of course.

So now this is how my night is going

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Better than nothin

I guess this one can be chalked up to “mom problems” and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that maybe tomorrow I’ll get that bath I’m soooo ready for.  Sweet dreams!

First Bike Trip of the Year

Woo hoo it’s spring time, which means biking season!! At the beginning of the week our forecast was calling for beautiful plus temperatures so we planned a biking trip with friends for Saturday. We should’ve known better. We live in southern Alberta, the forecast around here changes in the blink of an eye. Our destination was Waterton Lakes National Park. It’s a gorgeous little tourist town right at the base of the Canadian Rockies, about an hour and a half from our house. Even though Waterton is beautiful in every season, if it’s cold at home, it’s almost always colder and windier in Waterton. We decided to go anyway.

We woke up Saturday morning to gloomy skies, only plus 8 temperatures and a forecast of wind which was only supposed to get worse. Knowing the weather wasn’t going to get better and that it would be worse on the highway, we bundled right up. Brad luckily has riding leathers so with a few layers he was good to go. I have nothing of the sort so I borrowed Carhart coveralls from my bro in law and dressed in wool socks, a hoodie, winter jacket, gloves and toque for under my helmet. Believe it or not, I was pretty toasty for most of the trip.

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It’s sure nice to have a brother in law you can swap clothes with haha

We decided everyone would meet at our house at about 11:30am. Other than Brad and I, we had 4 other people riding with us. A nice little crew for the day. We were all pretty excited to be hitting the road

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Away we go!

There’s something about hitting the highway on the bike that makes me want to throw my hands in the air and yell “Freedoooommm!!!” It’s seriously such a great feeling. We rode about 30 minutes to the next town where we stopped for Brad to top up our bike with gas. Brad’s bike has a small tank and if we don’t stop frequently we will run out of gas. We learned this the hard way last year. A couple times.

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Brad loves this helmet he borrowed from his bro

After a few minutes of chit chatting, we were back on the road and it was cold and so so windy! There was a time the wind was blowing so bad I couldn’t catch my breath! I was like a newborn outside for the first time. Eventually the highway slightly changed direction and I was fine, the wind was still there though. I’ve made this drive hundreds of times in my life and the scenery never ever gets old. The mountains are so gorgeous and this time of year they still have tons of snow.

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Heading straight for the beautiful Rocky Mountains

Finally we made it to Waterton! I was so happy our first stop was lunch at my favourite place, Weiners of Waterton. The cold, windy ride was totally worth it for one of their gourmet hot dogs with fries and special dipping sauce. I make sure I eat here every time I come to Waterton. I highly recommend this place if you’ve never been before.

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It was so busy inside we actually had to wait outside for a bit

After eating my friend Jessica and I headed across the street to the rec centre to use the washroom while the boys waited in the wind by the bikes. On our walk over we came across some mountain goats. Not an unusual sight in Waterton along with deer, bears and the occasional cougar. Its not the first time I’ve seen mountain goats in the town but it was still pretty cool

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Pretty cool animals

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Some sexy bikes right there!

We decided to brave the cold a little longer and head up into the mountains a little ways to Cameron Lake. In the summer this lake offers lots of different activities such as canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and hiking. In the winter you can rent or bring your own snow shoes and cross country skis and make it all the way to the frozen lake (Brad and I skied there in February and it was so fun!). The drive up was even colder than it was down below but again the scenery was well worth it.

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Look at all that snow!

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How pretty is this waterfall??

We could only make it half way up the road to the lake because there’s still too much snow so the parks crew has it barricaded off. I was surprised at how many people were up there despite the weather. I’m sure they were just as surprised to see us come up on bikes. While we stood around visiting and taking in the view we realized it had started to snow and that was our cue to head back down the mountain and home for the day. We were too cold to do much else and since it was our first ride of they year, our butts were getting pretty sore haha I had Brad ask a stranger to take a picture of our group quick before we left for home. It was a great day with friends and I’m sure glad we did it even in the cold.

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We have some of the greatest friends!