Boston/Cape Cod

This was our first time travelling outside of Canada with the twins. We knew we wanted to hit up a beach in the U.S. but right up until 2 weeks before our trip we weren’t sure where and had nothing booked! Finally one night, we just went for it and used Air B&B to book a quaint little cottage in Cape Cod, MA for four nights. Since we had the full week for holidays, we decided to be adventurous and just grab a hotel in whatever city we ended up in for a night on the way there and a night on the way back. It worked out great! The first day, we drove for 9 hours with a couple stops along the way for food and play. I planned a full days worth of car activities for the twins and will be sharing that in another post this week! We stayed an hour outside of Boston that night. I was so thankful the hotel had an amazing gym and sauna after being crammed in a car for so long! The next morning, the twins were up bright and early and after grabbing breakfast at the hotel, we headed into Boston to explore the city for the day! After grabbing lattes at Cafe Paradiso in Little Italy, we had maybe been walking around for half hour when I decided I was IN LOVE with this city. Just a great feel. The people were friendly and the streets and buildings had so much character. The Boston Market was amazing and the harbour front was just stunning.

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untitled-45We grabbed lunch at Legal Seafoods near the harbour. It was recommended to us by numerous friends that had been to Boston so we knew we had to try it and gosh it did NOT disappoint! We split a seafood sampler ( I know SO much food!) and a risotto roll. It was to die for. Every time we look at this photo, we can taste the meal again. If you go to Boston, eat at Legal Seafoods!

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We headed to the cottage we were renting later that afternoon and after a quick grocery shop and checking out the private beach, we called it an early night. Most of the rest of the week was spent at the beach and touring the quaint town of Brewster. There was so many cute boutiques, antique shops and the sweetest little old-fashioned general store. The boys got a kick out of all the penny candy to look at there!

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One day we drove into Province Town for the afternoon which is the furthest part of the cape. It was beautiful, so colorful and very happening!  The main street, parallel to the ocean, went on FOREVER! There were so many shops and restaurants to choose from. We had heard that the lobster rolls at Canteen were amazing so we opted to eat there and again we were thrilled with our choice! The rolls were delicious and we shared a fish taco too!

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untitled-78-2Ok we totally splurged and bought a piece of fudge to split from this award winning fudge shop on the strip.

untitled-94-2untitled-121The twins LOVED the ocean. We weren’t sure how they would do with the beach as last year they were still a little unsure of the waves and such but we put life jackets on them and they wanted to swim and kick on their bellies. The high tide and low tide of the ocean was so cool because in the mornings, we could walk out on the beach for forever and the twins would just splash in the small streams and puddles while collecting sea shells, rocks and building sand towers. In the evenings, the water was 4 feet deep right at the start so we would all go in and swim together.

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Other then my husband dropping our cottage keys down a storm sewer on the first day we arrived, and a couple normal toddler meltdowns, I’d say the trip was a pretty big success! It gave us the confidence to travel MORE with the kids, something we both love to do.

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The Comparison Trap

I posted a quote on my facebook like page yesterday that went something like this: “The number one reason people quit is because they look at how far they have to go instead of how far they’ve come.” I shared this to inspire but mostly because it inspired me. I read it somewhere else earlier that day at just the right time.

See until yesterday morning, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. I am back down to my wedding weight, I’m feeling strong and confident again, I bought my first pair of shorts in 4 years (yes I lived in jeans and sun dresses for a bunch of summers).

But then I took the twins to the park for play group yesterday morning and when I wasn’t chasing the boys around or chatting with a friend, I found myself doing something horrible. Yes, horrible. I was constantly comparing my body to every other mom in the park…   “Ugh how does she not have a SINGLE ounce of cellulite on her legs?!” “I thought I was looking good but NOT compared to that girl!.” “I workout every single day and I overheard her say that she doesn’t at all and look at her!.” and it went on and on. So bad right? But I’m just being real with you guys. I know that for a lot of us girls, this body comparison thing is an ongoing battle but for me, it seems to have gotten kind of worse as I have been focusing on getting healthy and fit. Kind of ironic I know. But now that I’m actually working at toning and strengthening and clean eating on a daily basis, I am proud of the progress I have made and the changes that have occurred. BUT, I have to be SO careful not to become overly critical of myself as I continue on this journey. It’s so easy to get sucked in by the comparison trap and get down on myself because I’m not as “slim” or “fit” as someone else. But yesterday afternoon, while I was having a giant pity party for myself and contemplating a big bowl of ice cream to make it all better, I caught myself. I read that quote and realized that the only person I should be comparing myself to is myself. I need to keep my focus on my own progress, not anyone else’s. I need to remember that the next mom’s journey has NOTHING to do with my own. Different story, different genes, different body type, NOT me.

So wherever you’re at, I’m encouraging you to just take it one day at a time. Love yourself and keep pushing forward towards YOUR goals. Accept your flaws, (even the cellulite covered legs that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon) and recognize and be PROUD of all you’re doing! If you’re committed to getting healthy, that’s all that matters. I needed that reminder yesterday and I’m choosing to share it because maybe someone else needs it too?

 

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Thanks so much for reading! xo

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Happy Fathers Day

So much love and respect for this man. He’s the twins hero, their best friend, such a hard worker, a committed husband and incredible and loving father. So thankful for the example he is to them daily. Happy Fathers day to you babe and all the other dad’s out there! 13442407_10102746640507781_2250983739089173629_n

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Healthy Toddler Trail Mix

Since I’ve gotten on track with my own health, I’ve become a lot more conscious about what I’m feeding my kiddos too! It’s so easy to grab a granola bar or some cookies for a snack when running out the door, but all that sugar adds up so fast and I think it’s so important that we teach our kids about proper nutrition from a young age! I’ve been telling the twins that when they eat their veggies and fruit, it will make them big and STRONG and they associate that with being able to ride a skate board (since I told them it’s for big kids when you’re older and stronger) so it seems to be working! 😛 But seriously, with two VERY picky toddlers, I’ve been trying to be creative and find things that they enjoy AND are healthy. With park season in full swing, I was looking for healthy snack ideas I could grab and go with. Because I don’t have time to make homemade muffins every day, this easy snack mix was the next best thing and the boys LOVE it! I think they’ll always love cheerios and dried fruit is like candy to them so win and win!  So here we have:

  • pretzels
  • dried peaches
  • dried apple
  • regular raisins
  • yogurt covered raisins
  • cheerios

You can be so creative with what you include but I’ve seen so many on pinterest with chocolate, marshmallows etc., and while thats ok for a treat once and while, I tried to keep this one as healthy as possible! 🙂

 

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Marriage: Love Maps

My husband and I both did our undergrads in the same city we now call home. When we first moved into our residence buildings we didn’t know much about the city at all other then where the malls and movie theatres were.  Over time, we got to know the best spots to eat, fun dessert bars and cafes, the best parks and bike trails, and shortcuts through the city. We became so comfortable and soon fell in love with this little city, so much so that we decided to settle down and start a family here after we got married.

Becoming familiar with the map of our surroundings is very similar to a term that John Gottman calls Love Maps in his book “7 Principles for Making Marriage Work“.  It’s the idea that to love someone you have to know them.

When Ron and I first started dating over 10 years ago (crazy I know) we spent A LOT of time together. We were in highschool and we were young and in love? Thats debatable because I truly don’t think you even know what love is at that age haha. We drove to school together, ate our lunch together, spent most evenings together hanging out at one of our homes. A new relationship is so wonderful and new and you want to learn everything you possibly can about the other person. I think it’s safe to say that in spending all that time together we did get to know each other well. We both had a detailed map of the other. We knew each others likes and dislikes,  each others greatest fears and what made the other laugh.  But over time, people change. They grow and they develop new thoughts and new interests. I am no where near the person I was 10 years ago and neither is my husband. We have both changed in SO many ways.

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It takes work, it takes time, it takes effort. Especially after you throw careers and kids in the mix. New stressors, new circumstances, new challenges, not NEAR enough time to spend getting to know each other, I mean really knowing each other. Not just his favourite color, sports team and what he likes on his sub. I don’t think those will ever change. haha I’m talking the thing that makes him most anxious, his newest passions and life goals, the co-worker that pushes his buttons, and how he would really like to spend his free Saturday.

In his book, Gottman says:

Emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar with each other’s world. I call this having a richly detailed love map – my term for that part of the brain where you store all the relevant information about your partner’s life. Another way of saying this is that these couples have made plenty of cognitive room for their marriage. They remember the major events in each other’s history, and they keep updating their information as the facts and feelings of their spouse’s world change.

So. This is something that we’ve been seriously working on. Because just like the next couple, we don’t have it all figured out and we get so caught up in the every day motions of life that we often forget to keep working at getting to know each other and putting in the effort to stay intimately familiar with each others lives. So little things like making a point to ask each other about our days over the supper table, having what we call “couch time” to connect for even a few minutes each day, going on walks together, regular date nights (not movies!) and both of us making more effort to pay attention to the little details, the ones that get overlooked but are oh so important.

I truly believe that we should never stop learning about the other no matter where we are in our relationship. Building that love map, just like a real map, is the key to truly knowing each other and then being able to love each other in the way that you each need to be loved.

Have a blessed Monday and thanks for reading!

xo Natalie

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