I hate camping.

This past weekend, I went camping with my family.  Just a short trip, for two nights and three days, we ventured to Pinery Provincial Park, on the beautiful shores of Lake Huron.  But I have a shameful secret to share:

I hate camping.

It’s true.  And now I feel exposed and raw and vulnerable.  You now know the real me, one that includes a hatred of camping.

I grew up in the foothills of the Alberta Rockies, and regularly went camping with my parents and brother.  I don’t remember loving or hating it, it was just something we did every Summer, and I would bring my books and fishing rod and head out into nature for a few fresh air sleeps.  Back then, I lived in a small town, and “nature” was a big part of my everyday, so camping wasn’t much of a stretch beyond my normal.  But now, living in a very urban centre, it’s more of an adventure for my city kids to camp.  And they love it.  We go annually, and my husband and I suck up our camping aversions, load up the SUV until we can’t see out the windows, and take our children to a campsite for a few days of marshmallows, lake swims, and free-range parenting.

Logically, I can’t quite figure out my negative feelings towards camping.  I love the campfire part, the fresh air part, the hikes, the swims, the fishing, and the tent sleeps.  But the higher-maintenance part of me wants clean feet and easy access to coffee, and I still haven’t figured out how to cook a gourmet meal on a campfire, like I see our camping neighbors doing.  In fact, just last night I overhead a mother tell her son they were having Tex-Mex fajitas as I choked down my burnt hot dog and lukewarm beans.  Sigh.  And I can’t quite understand the appeal of spending hours making lists, grocery shopping, and packing the car, only to head to a campground to try to emulate the comforts of home.  To each their own, and a true camper I am not.

I am writing this post from my iPad in the car, on our way back to Burlington.  My grimy, exhausted children are colouring in the backseat, and my hairy, sweaty husband (he just wrestled the tent back into its bag.  Another question: WHY OH WHY are tent bags always so small???) is looking for the nearest Tim Horton’s.  In a couple of hours we’ll be home, and I’ll be scraping the filth off of me and washing campfire smoke out of my hair so that I can head into work and look forward to a blissful sleep in my own bed.  But first, we’ve got a few hours of unpacking, de-sanding, and laundry to tackle.

Happy children.  Check, check, double-check.  So I can pretend to love camping for a few days a year.


The Last Time

Well, we survived our move.  Today’s post was written at my desk, looking out an upstairs window into my new front yard.  Life is good.  And yes, I still have this:

101 Ways to Cope With Stress-1

Today is the first day of school for many of you.  A shift in routine from the lazy, hazy days of Summer.  Back to alarm clocks and getting-out-the-door and packing lunches.  It’s back to routine for us at Burlington Sports & Spine Clinic too.BSAS Logo-2  Regular hours for practitioners and staff and regular schedules for patient appointments. Give us a call at 289-351-0301 to get back on track with your treatments.

My six-year-old son starts Grade One today, so there’s a subtle turning of the page in my house (and a whole lotta tears; all mine, not his).  It’s caused me to be very reflective on how exponentially fast the past six years have gone.  It was not that long ago I brought him home and held him in my I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing arms, and here I go, dropping him off to Grade 1.  So to all of the new parents with young children, not yet involved the back-to-school rush, who are feeling like the days are long but the moments are short, have a read, cuz this one is for you:

The Last Time
~Author Unknown

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
When you had freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feeding and burping,
Whining and fighting,
Naps, or lack of naps. It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don’t forget…
There is a last time for everything.

There will come a time when you will feed your baby
for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip,
then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake for this.
One afternoon you will sing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’
and do all the actions,
Then you’ll never sing that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
the next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your
last dirty face.
They will one day run to you with arms raised,
for the very last time.

The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
until there are no more times, and even then,
it will take you a while to realize.

So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them and
when they are gone,
you will yearn for just one more day of them

For one last time.


60 More Adventures…


Whew!  Another busy Summer is in the books, as Fall officially rolls in next week.  The Summer of 2013 brought my family 60 adventures in 60 days, and while we didn’t set out to match that number in 2014, we did try to enjoy a fun experience each and every day.

If you live in the Burlington area, bookmark this list, as nearly everything we did was within a two-hour drive. We re-visited some favourites from last year and found some new hidden gems:


1.  Canada Day 5k race at Spencer Smith Park.

3.  Hot Spring Spas video promo shoot.

2. Hot Spring Spas video promo shoot.  You can watch it here.

3.  Wild Waterworks at Confederation Park.

4.  Fern Resort in Orillia.

4. Fern Resort in Orillia.

5.  Picking strawberries, raspberries, peas, and beans at Uncle Scott’s Farm.

6.  Swimming in friend’s/family’s backyard pools.


7. Watching my husband play touch football.

8.  Outdoor food truck picnic.

10.  Playhouse delivery!

9. Playhouse delivery!  Read about it here.

10.  Feeding the chipmunks at LaSalle park.

11.  My 5-yr-old's TBall league.

11. My 5-yr-old’s T-Ball league.

12.  Within Range driving range and mini-putt.

14.  My son getting his first pair of glasses.

13. My son getting his first pair of glasses.

14.  Alton Village splashpad/skate park.

16.  Safari Niagara.

15. Safari Niagara.

16.  Hosting playdates.

17.  Celebrating 8 years of marriage.

18.  Eating outside, or in the playhouse, as much as possible.

18. Eating outside, or in the playhouse, as much as possible.

19.  Patio nights with my girlfriends.

20.  Crossfit, running, hot yoga; staying active.

21.  The Tim McGraw concert at the Molson Amphitheatre.

21. The Tim McGraw concert at the Molson Amphitheatre.

22.  ‘Planes: Fire and Rescue’ movie.

24.  Burlington Beach

23. Burlington Beach.

24.  Golfing at Lowville.

25.  Tansley Woods library trips and the BPL Children’s reading club.

27.  A Bluejays game.

26. A Bluejays game.

27.  Nelson outdoor pool/splashpad.

29.  Bronte Park outdoor pool.

28. Bronte Park outdoor pool.

29.  Running hills at Bronte Park.

30.  Family skate at Appleby Ice Centre.


31. City bus ride on the Upper Middle Road route.

32.  Orchard park splashpad.

33.  Millcroft Park splashpad.

35.  Our neighbour's cottage on August long weekend.

34. Our neighbour’s cottage on August long weekend.

35.  Helping with my in-law’s basement after Burlington’s August 4th flood.

37.  Hiking at Cherry Hill Gate.

36. Hiking at Cherry Hill Gate.

37.  Mountainside pool/splashpad.

39.  The Brantford Twin Valley Zoo.

38. The Brantford Twin Valley Zoo.

39.  Neighbourhood playgrounds.

41.  The Jordan Harbour shipwreck.

40. The Jordan Harbour shipwreck.

41.  Burlington Mall Farmer’s market.

42.  Oakville’s Valleyridge splashpad.

43.  Central Library’s showing of ‘The Lego Movie’.

44.  Back-to-school shopping.

45.  Lil’ Monkeys Indoor Playground.

46.  The Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls.

46. The Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls.

47.  ‘Camping’ in a tent in the backyard.

46.  Tough Mudder.

48. Tough Mudder.

49.  Burlington Children’s festival.

50.  Backyard BBQs with our awesome neighbours.

51.  The odd (gasp!) sleep-in.

46.  A visit to my sister-in-law's cottage.

52. A visit to my sister-in-law’s cottage.

53.  Giving “Injury Prevention, “Biomechanics,” and “Movement Screening” talks at the Running Room.

54.  Naturopath appointments.

55.  Refinishing furniture.

55. Chalk-painting furniture.

56.  Assumption High School football camp.

57.  Meeting Baby Charlie in Washington, DC.

57. Meeting Baby Charlie in Washington, DC.

58.  Fantasy Football draft.

59.  Skyzone Indoor Trampoline Park.

60.  Ribfest.