It's been a rough past few months. Money has been tight, and it's been hard making things work. If life is a series of ebbs and flows, then we're stuck in an ebb (I'm now doubting that is actually a word, but we'll go with it).
I'm going to be thankful for the things that were fantastic about this summer though, and not focus so much on the stressors that nearly drove me to distraction. In May, we took a weekend trip to Montreal, and it was much needed, and a great way to restart the engines. I loved being around the history of old Montreal, and listening to the french language being spoken by native speakers. It's a rhythmic language and I was surprised at how much I still understand. I guess all those years of French class were not a total waste, after all. We experienced Montreal Smoked Meat at Schwartz's (complete with giant dill pickle), Portuguese Chicken, and I finally got to try a Cronut (Croissant and Donut? Yes, please!). It was in Montreal we found a hilarious book that helps us to appreciate we're not alone in parenthood (Toddler's are A$$holes and It's Not Your Fault, highly recommended to help you look at the lighter side of parenting). The Science Centre was hosting an exhibit on the history of video games, which provided some nostalgia and we enjoyed playing some of our favourite video games from our childhoods.
My niece turned One this summer. She is growing into such a dynamic, beautiful little girl and I love the fact that her and Em are only a year apart. I am thankful that my son has a cousin close in age and that they can grow up together, especially since he doesn't have any siblings of his own. Watching her have her reluctantly dig into her birthday cake reminded me that it's the simple things that really, truly matter.
My brother and his girlfriend came to visit from Calgary in August. They got engaged at one of the beaches we used to frequent as kids. They've been together a long time and this has been long-awaited. We also found out that they're expecting! Our extended family is growing with so much love, it's inspiring! My brother has gone from a child that had a hard time finishing high school to a man that has his own business. He is arguably the most successful of our siblings at the moment and I couldn't be more proud of the man he's grown to be. I can't wait to see him blossom further as he starts the next chapter of his life by becoming a husband and father.
My parents also hosted a barbecue for the family while my brother was in the province, with family and old friends being invited. As always, my mom made tons of food and we had a great day outside and Em got to spend some much needed time with his grandparents. My dad's also had a rough few months and I know that he needs as much time as possible with our kids. My son dotes on his Grandpa and I can see how much my dad cherishes his time with Em.
Em has been speaking more words throughout the summer. It feels like everyday he's coming up with another word and surprising me. He now says words like Thomas (Badis), Yellow (Lello), Walk, Water (waler), and has an unhealthy obsession with Elsa (Eda) and Let it Go, to the point where every blonde lady is now dubbed "Elsa". I've given him his first haircut, of which I'm super proud, although I do miss the baby curls.
We've had an unseasonably warm September and for that I'm truly thankful. Em is still able to wear shorts most days and play in the park without too many layers of clothing. We are now looking forward Em's first Halloween as a trick or treater.
Although we've had a rough summer financially, we've had plenty of fun/happy experiences for which we should be grateful. I can't imagine what life would be like without these bright and shiny moments.