18 December 2014

Happy Holidays and A Reflection on this Amazing Year

I love this time of year...it's no secret...I am such a fan of the twinkling lights, the music, movies like Elf, It's Wonderful Life and Love Actually, catching up with friends old and new, the mugs of hot cocoa I make three times two times once per day, and the general belief that the world really does get better this time of year.  Call me a sucker...I'll take it all...with bunting and bows on the side.

I spent the first part of this holiday season in Bali with Ganesh, serving as an assistant with the School of Sacred Arts on their 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Ubud.  It was an awesome and exhausting month that was finished off with the grande finale of watching 28 students graduate and enter the yoga community as teachers!  I had the chance to reconnect with my amazing teachers - Simone MacKay, Cat Kabira, Bex Tyrer, Randall O'Leary, Tina Nance, Dr. Brown, Eka Sabeh - and friends.  I ate delicious vegan food every day, sipped nut milk lattes under the blazing sun and monsoon downpours, enjoyed immersing myself in yoga culture again and re-igniting my passion for the love, unity and understanding this practice fosters.

It was a little odd beginning the holidays with palm trees and temperatures in the upper 20s (80s) and tons of humidity, but I now realize it was the perfect way as it stoked my inner gratitude fire.

Ganesh in holiday glow.

In retrospect, this has been a year of immense growth and change for me.

January kicked off and it was the first time since the age of thirteen that I didn't have some semblance of a paycheque coming my way!  I had left my job as the National Manager of Diversity & Inclusion at the YMCA of the USA's headquarters in Chicago at the end of December 2013 after much deliberation.  As such, January meant I found myself at The Yoga Loft in Moose Jaw day in and day out, working out my time off on the mat and pondering what my next steps in life were going to be.  I knew I had my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Bali coming up in April, but that was really the next thing on my radar.  Dave and I had time to get re-acquainted with each other living under the same roof (finally!) and we spent time taking walks (yes, even when it was -40 out!), cooking dinners together and just enjoying being with one another.

February brought more of the same and we took a little vacation to the magical land of Canmore.  We enjoyed our mini-break by snowshoeing, hiking in the snow and I even tried my hand at cross-country skiing (read: FAIL).  We spent many a night by the fire, watching the 2014 Winter Olympics unfold, cheering on both the US and Canadian teams (the women's hockey match was devastating for me and a joyous occasion for Dave) and sampling as many dark and luscious craft beers we could find!

Canmore Mountain Goodness
By March, we were both tired from the winter weather and ready for some respite.  I was beginning to get things in gear for my Bali adventure and Dave was looking forward to the end of April and the beginning of May when he would join me for a week in Indonesia.  We spent Dave's birthday weekend (the coldest weekend of the winter) in Saskatoon at the beginning of the month and spent another weekend visiting friends in Winnipeg (little did we know what was in store for us later this year!).  

In April, I boarded several flights taking me from Regina to Ubud, Bali where my yoga teacher training unfolded at The Yoga Barn.  I've written enough about the adventure, but suffice it to say, this training has such a profound impact on me - emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.  I made new friends, learned so much and experienced a space I never imagined I would ever visit in my life. Ubud has crawled its way into my heart and I was so excited at the end of the training when the co-Founder and one of my teachers, Simone, asked if I would be interested in coming back to assist during the November training.  As you well know, the answer was yes and I knew when I departed that it wouldn't be for very long.  At the end of the training, Dave joined me and we ventured into the more mountainous region of Bali to stay at a lovely little spot called Heaven in Bali.  It truly was.  Every morning involved breakfast looking out over a ravine and every night ended on our little porch sipping wine and reflecting on our adventures.  It was a great opportunity for us to share and reconnect after yet another month apart.

Lotus Studio at The Yoga Barn.
At the beginning of May, we returned to Moose Jaw and I then quickly took off again for a US tour to see family and friends.  The trip took me to Illinois, Oregon, Arizona, Georgia and DC where I got to catch up with and hang out with my amazing family and friends.  It was a whirlwind, but one worth being caught up in!  At the end of the month, I began teaching at The Yoga Loft in Moose Jaw (thanks to Robyn Cunningham, the amazing founder and owner).  I love teaching and enjoyed every class and every interaction with the students.  I felt so grounded and so excited to start sharing what I learned and was even more excited to continue my role as a student, learning from the other instructors there and learning from every person who walked in the door of the studio.  As winter turned to spring, Dave and I took more walks and spent more time in Moose Jaw as conversations about where we would be going next heated up.  It was at that point we discovered that we wouldn't be going anywhere but would be remaining in Moose Jaw for the foreseeable future.

June heralded warmer temperatures and yet another opportunity for us to tackle another adventure.  At the end of the month, we made our way to hike up to Abbott's Pass, a climb Dave had done the previous summer with a group of friends, but one I hadn't yet experienced.  It was major!  The weather was quite fierce for that time of year and while the bottom of the climb was sunny and warm, by the time we reached the hut, it was blowing and snowing like it was the middle of winter!  We had a great time there, chatting with fellow climbers, drinking hot chocolate (who doesn't like that?!) and watching the snow swirl outside.  We made it down in one piece and celebrated our adventure in high style by making our way to Canmore to enjoy a "hero beer" and a hearty meal.

July brought major changes as the military opted to send us to Winnipeg!  At the end of the month, we took a week-long venture to the city to determine where we wanted to live and to begin the process of securing our housing for when we arrived at the end of August.  In addition, that meant cleaning up our place in Moose Jaw and getting it ready to put on the market!  Whew!  Our house in the Jaw sold after it's second showing and we found a lovely little spot in Osborne Village in a converted church that we now call home.  

August was moving month and we packed everything up and loaded it on to the U-Haul.  After many goodbye dinners and outdoor picnics, it was time to say goodbye to the place Dave had called home for over 10 years.  There were tears, hugs and lots of laughter as we reminisced with our military family.  We drove out of Moose Jaw on the 28th of August heading East toward the bigger city life that awaited us in Winnipeg.  Bittersweet, to be sure...but, new adventures are always fun.

Moving day...UHaul Fun!

September brought yet another change for both of us as Dave began his new position and I found myself minus work again.  We quickly set up our new place together and I began working on starting my own business, Journeys on the Mat.  Throughout September, my training for the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge (happening in January) ramped up and I was able to explore Winnipeg on foot logging many 30+ miles on the weekends with Dave as my pit crew!  I jogged, ran and weaved over trails and pavement exploring parks, rivers and neighbourhoods.  We spent many nights walking the streets, getting familiar with the city and adjusting to our new surroundings.  Moving is always a challenge and it can cause quite the strain on relationships, but by always keeping priorities in order, anyone can make it through!

October was a quiet month for us.  I continued getting things set up for Journeys on the Mat and was officially registered in Manitoba as a business!  We made new friends and spent time at our local pub as well as with our military family here in the Peg.  I was getting myself ready to return to Bali and Dave continued to settle into work, taking a trip or two to the Jaw to get some flying under his belt.  

And there we have it!  The year in review!  As you know, November had me back in Bali and December is winding down.  For the holidays we are heading out to Vancouver Island (Sidney, Victoria, Tofino and Comox) to spend time with friends and with each other in the place we love the most.  We are looking forward to long walks on the beach, hiking awesome ocean-side trails and taking in the sights, smells and sounds of the season.  

Ah...Tofino life!
I'll end with this...

Yoga means "union" and I fully understand how important this concept is as our lives continue to move faster and we can feel less connected.  This union is what helps us all remember where we have come from, where we are now and all the things we have yet to understand and experience.  I wish you "union" for the New Year - with connection to yourself, connection to family and friends, and connection to those experiences that feed your soul and fuel your inner fire.  Thank you all for your support and love this year...

I wish you nothing but joy, love and peace during this time of year and even more so as we move into 2015. 

23 November 2014

A Little Love Note from Bali

'Tis the season for tinsel, mashed potatoes, hot chocolate and...

young coconuts, tank tops and flip-flops.

I'm back in Bali!  While I am sorely and deeply missing the snow and cold of Winnipeg (seriously, I'm not kidding), it is a certain kind of wonderful to not be freezing constantly and having to wear five layers all day (and that is while I am in the house).  

I am living in Ubud for another month while I assist on a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with the School of Sacred Arts.  It is a fantastic gig and so great to be back in this town, diving back into my old haunts and reconnecting with this beautiful and mystical island.  I've already been here two weeks and I have two more to go...

The days are full with asana (physical yoga practices), lectures, coordination of students and supplies and meditation.  I am so fortunate to be connected to his yoga community and am looking forward to remaining invested and involved.  I'm a lucky gal!

My hearts go out to those in New York who are sitting under all the snow...I am sending warmer vibes (minus the flooding) your way.

03 November 2014

Nature Wonderland

Dave and I love getting out of the city when we can.  Over the past weekend, we met some awesome people in our building and one of them mentioned that we might enjoy Birds Hill Provincial Park, just outside of Winnipeg.

So, we went and it was fabulous!  I can tell this will be our new escape plan when we need a little respite from the hustle and bustle of the cars, buses, trucks, buildings and other things the city offers up on a daily basis. 

We walked, talked and held hands.  
We watched little birds swoop around us and took in the setting sun.  

We appreciated the big prairie sky we found ourselves under.  
We appreciated having this little space of nature to enjoy whenever we desire.  

And...most of all...we appreciated how lucky we are.

17 October 2014

Our Little Neighbourhood

Dave and I are a little over a month into our new home of Winnipeg and I'm excited to report that we couldn't have found a lovelier part of the city to live in.

Our home is in Osborne Village and, as Winnipeg Tourism put it..."Boho and artsy meet kitsch and cool in the community of Osborne Village—recently named ‘Canada’s Greatest Neighbourhood’ by the Canadian Institute of Planners."

We live in "Canada's Greatest Neighbourhood!"  Too cool.  

We have bakeries, mom and pop shops, pubs, restaurants, parks, the Assiniboine River, Legislature, and events galore, all within walking distance.

Here are few places we've checked out over the past month....

Munson Park
A gorgeous little gem that hugs the river and speaks to my heart.  We often go for walks in the evening and it has become a staple that we walk through it.  We saw it in the summer when we came for our house-hunting trip and I fell in love with its towering trees, dazzling flowers and cozy little pathways.  As summer turned to fall, it delivered an array of reds and yellows that stunned and lured you into the next season.

We just went to this neighbourhood pub the other night.  Awesome space with incredible woodwork inside, the friendliest bartender I've ever met and just an overall awesome vibe.  They have special on until 7 and Dave and I quickly realized we would be coming back much more often!

A hidden little tapas joint off the main road of Osborne.  We celebrated our anniversary with dinner here a few weeks ago, noshing on patatas bravas, a cheese plate and some absolutely incredible fried beets.  The wait was long, so if you are planning on heading over - get there early!  The atmosphere is dark and cozy, perfect for long winter's nights when snow is blanketing the ground outside.

So, if you come to visit, just know there will be plenty of things and places for us to do and see!

13 October 2014

Happy Thanksgiving...Love, Canada


Ah, yes...it's that time of year when most of the leaves are off the trees, the weather is turning much cooler and school is back in session for the majority of the students in the area.  That also means it's time for one of my favourite holidays...Thanksgiving!

As an American living in Canada, I feel lucky that I get to celebrate not one, but TWO Thanksgiving holidays in a year.  I just love it...the gathering of people you love, some great food you don't make every day of the year and just time to reflect on how lucky we truly are in this life.

This Thanksgiving, we were fortunate enough to be invited over to the home of our friends, K and M.    We had a good time catching up, playing games (I finally learned what all the hype over the game Settlers is about) and noshing on some great food!  We brought over a salad, this fantastic vegan pumpkin loaf and a vegan stuffing inspired by this recipe.  

In addition, Dave and I took some time this weekend to volunteer over at Winnipeg Harvest for their annual Share the Thanks event.  We sorted cans and boxes of food and bagged up "food kits" for distribution.  We met some great people and it was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday.

Because I will be in Bali for the U.S. Thanksgiving, I really wanted to make the most of the holiday here in Canada...and we did!

Here are a few observations about Canadian and U.S. Thanksgivings...

  • Thanksgiving in French is L'Action de grâce.  
  • There are four provinces where Thanksgiving is an optional holiday, not a statutory one...New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador
  • There are parades
  • The first Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1578 with Sir Martin Frobisher's voyage to the Northwest Passage
  • It wasn't until 1957 that Thanksgiving was given an official day of the second Monday in October.  Prior to that, the day for Thanksgiving was flexible
  • There is turkey, squash, pumpkin and all the fixings that go along with the Thanksgiving dinner
  • There doesn't seem to be a strong connection between Thanksgiving and the kick-off of the "holiday season" as there is in the United States
  • There is football
United States
  • Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November
  • In 1863, it became a federal holiday
  • The first Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1621 after the first harvest of Pilgrims in the New World
  • There are parades
  • There is football
  • It wasn't until 1939, with pressure from the President and department stores (including Macy's) that Thanksgiving was officially moved to the fourth Thursday of November in order to expand the Christmas shopping season
  • There is turkey, squash, pumpkin and all the fixings that go along with the Thanksgiving dinner
  • A turkey is pardoned by the President
If you are in Canada or in the United States...or anywhere in the world for that matter, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  

12 September 2014

First Weekend in Winnipeg

Last weekend was our first "official" weekend in Winnipeg (I don't count the weekend before of unpacking and moving).  We had a great time!

On Saturday, we went with friends of ours to a festival downtown near Legislature called ManyFest.  It was chock-a-block full of people, food trucks and performances.  They had tons of great things for kids to do and they even featured a couple of runs over the course of the weekend.

It was a gorgeous night for it...the sky was blue and everyone was soaking in the final weekend of summer!

On Sunday, I traveled to Fort Whyte Alive for Prairie Yogi Magazine's Prairie Love Festival.  I was volunteering my time and met some amazing yogis while I was there!  I also had the chance to catch up with a few yogis from Moose Jaw who made the trip to Winnipeg for the Festival.  There were DJs, yoga venues, a speakers venue and lots of gorgeous scenery as well.

Fort Whyte Alive is an outdoor paradise just on the edge of Winnipeg.  They hold classes to teach you about canning and preserving, talks to educate folks on nature-related topics, harvest meals to celebrate the Farm they have on site, canoeing in the summer and much more!  I can't wait for Dave and I to explore this little gem further!

05 September 2014

Dear Winnipeg...

Dear Winnipeg:

So, it's no surprise to you that you weren't really our first choice for our next moving destination (I'm sure you've overheard us).  If anything, we wanted to drive our U-Haul in the opposite direction...toward the ocean and mountains and general awesomeness of the West.

That being said, I fully expect to enjoy you, Winnipeg.  I'm going to take advantage and celebrate all that you have to offer.  Every street festival, every outdoor adventure, every snowflake and raindrop and ray of sunshine.

Because...here's the thing.  We make the place.  I learned that growing up - moving from one place to the next.  A lot of people might laugh (or shudder) at the thought of you Winnipeg, but I'm walking into you with open arms and a big goofy grin on my face because you are where I am and I am where you are.  

So, instead of locking my door and closing the curtains on my window, I am going to embrace you like a long-lost family member and make the absolute best of things here.  I am going to love on our little living space and take long walks along the Assiniboine River.  I am going to meet new people and explore the different neighbourhoods.  I am going to approach you like I want to approach every new adventure..with excitement and energy and an adventurous spirit.

Because...you deserve it, Winnipeg.  

Hi, Winnipeg.  I'm Heather...I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.

With adventure in my heart...

02 September 2014

Au revoir, Moose Jaw! Bonjour, Winnipeg!

On the road again...

So, remember all those plans I had to take on Moose Jaw like a tourist before Dave and I headed out across the Prairies to our new home in Winnipeg.

Yeah...that didn't happen.  Taking pictures of murals didn't happen.  The Western Development Museum didn't happen.  A dinner at The Little Red Market Cafe didn't happen.  


What DID happen was awesome.  Time spent with friends that are family to us in Moose Jaw.  And, lots of it.  A swim and soak in the mineral waters at Temple Gardens, long walks under the big sky and a continuation of our minimizing in preparation for our move to our tiny little abode.

It was wonderful and sad and lovely and just perfect.  We really couldn't have asked for anything more.  

That is kind of the wonderful thing about "see you laters" as opposed to straight-up "goodbyes."  There doesn't have to be the last-minute cramming for your departure.  You KNOW you will return and there is something ultimately comforting in that.

Things I am going to miss most about living in Moose Jaw:

Having our wonderful friends nearby.
That sky.  Seriously...they don't call it "The Land of the Living Skies" for no reason.
The yoga community.
Walks and runs through Wakamow Valley.
The first snowfall (usually in October).
Main Street during the holidays.
Coffee at 23 Main Street.
Walks through Crescent Park.
Hikes at Buffalo Pound.
Being only 7 hours from the Canadian Rockies by car.
The big tree that I could see from our upstairs office window in the house.
Our garage - for those cold winter mornings.

Things I am looking forward to while living in Winnipeg:

Exploring Manitoba!
A new yoga community to discover.
Long runs along the Assiniboine River.
Walking everywhere and not always needing a car to get to something exciting.
Exploring a new city.
There is a MEC within walking distance of our place!
Having amazing friends nearby.
Having a parking spot in the city with electricity so our battery doesn't die in the cold winter.
City Farmer's Markets.
Living in a 585 sq. ft. space with my love and seeing if tiny home living is for us.

We are jumping in...both feet...ready to go!

24 August 2014

A Moose Jaw Gem: Wakamow Valley

So much happened in Wakamow Valley while we lived here.  Long walks, longer runs, winter picnics, and play-dates with friends.  It's been cold, it's flooded, the colours explode in the fall and the humidity sticks to the foliage in the summer.  

It's where we go to calm our senses and take in the changing of the seasons.  

I'm really going to miss Wakamow Valley...it's such a gem in Moose Jaw.

22 August 2014

Moose Jaw Main Street

Few things were as striking to me as Moose Jaw's Main Street when I first moved to town.  I mean, really!  There is the cobbler, the coffee shops, the Mae Wilson Theatre.  At Christmas they string lights across the road (think "It's a Wonderful Life" come to life) and in the summer they shut it down for Sidewalk Days and small town parades.  While some things have changed, much has stayed the same for a number of years.

Main Street in Moose Jaw is where you see the tourists pop in for the Underground Tunnel tours and where locals sit out on benches to watch the world go by.  You see more people meeting and greeting on Main Street than anywhere else in the Jaw.  In the winter you might see someone skiing down the middle of the road and in the summer, people strolling by shop windows.

My good friend Daniel visited a few weeks ago and he marvelled at how many people were walking from place to place.  That's the thing about a small town with a Main Street like this...you can walk and talk and slow down and breathe and notice things you just don't when you are whizzing by the miles of strip malls prevalent in so many cities these days.

At one end, Main Street is flanked by the old Train Station, now a Saskatachewan Liquor store, but still maintaining its grace and stature at the end of the road.  The other way leads up, up and away toward Diefenbaker Lake or Saskatoon, depending on your mood.

Main Streets are passing fancies in most places...relics of times gone by.  I'm happy to know that Moose Jaw's continues to thrive and create spaces for the people who live and visit to enjoy their town just that much more.

11 August 2014

Moving Time!

Friends, it's been a hectic summer.  No lie.

Dave and I were in the midst of decision making.  At the beginning of the summer, we were deciding what direction we were going to move in next and then the military, during the first week of July, made that decision for us...

Winnipeg, here we come!

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of cleaning our condo in Moose Jaw, putting it on the market, selling it (including all furniture), visiting Winnipeg for a week for a house-hunting trip, finding a condo there, squaring away paperwork, hosting a friend of our from the States who came to visit...and...just keeping up with life!

We will be moving to our new home at the end of this month.

The change of scenery will be good and lucky for us, we have amazing friends family in Winnipeg that will help make our transition that much easier.

One of the benefits of being in the military...you have friends everywhere!

We are savouring our last couple of weeks here in the Jaw.  We will be doing some things we've always wanted to do...camping at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, visiting the Western Development Museum, taking pictures of murals and enjoying the last little bit of summer with our friends family here in Moose Jaw.

It is a bittersweet time as Dave has been here for almost a decade and this is where we began our life as a married couple.  While we are excited for the change, we are sad to be leaving such incredible people and this friendly community.

Stay tuned.  Lots of updates over the next few weeks.  I plan on being a tourist in this little prairie city...will you join me?

02 July 2014

Canada Day Weekend

Happy belated Canada Day!

Dave and I took off for the Canadian Rockies to enjoy some time in the great outdoors.  For this trip, we decided to make our way up to Abbot Pass Hut, Canada's second oldest mountaineering hut (and location of Canada's supposed highest outhouse!).

I knew going into the trip that the ascent would be fine; however, I was (and always have been) a bit nervy about the descent.  Let's just say I don't like the second half of the saying, "What goes up..."

We drove out on Friday afternoon following my yoga class.  We drove 8 hours, listening to Canada Day special broadcasts on CBC Radio, chatting and noshing on snacks we packed up before we headed out of Moose Jaw.  Our destination was just over the Alberta border, near Field, British Columbia to The Great Divide Lodge where we hoped to catch a few hours of sleep before catching the 8:30 AM bus to Lake O'Hara, where we would begin our hike up to Abbot Pass and hut.

We arrived at the lodge at 2:00 AM, just before they closed the registration desk for the night and quickly made our way to our room to jump in bed and get some shut-eye.  We woke the next morning feeling groggy and chowed down on some tortilla wraps full of bananas and almond butter to fuel us for our ascent.

The nice thing about the Lodge is that it was literally a three-minute drive from where we needed to catch the bus.  We drove over, parked our car and queued up with other hikers to jump on the school bus that would drive us the 20 minutes up to Lake O'Hara.  Some on the bus were doing the same climb as we were while others were just going to up to O'Hara to enjoy the day trails that are there.

The bus rattled and rolled over the rocky road and people were in good spirits as we headed up.  Dave and I chatted and yawned attempting to wake ourselves up.  When we reached the lake, we off-loaded our packs and prepared ourselves for the day ahead.  We had asked about the conditions on the climb and were told that there were a number of snowy sections and that novice hikers had been turned around by the amount of snow that remained at higher altitudes.  Dave and I were determined not to turn around!

The climb begins with a gorgeous trail that hugs the shore of Lake O'Hara.  You are surrounded by pines and can ogle the cabins that rent out there for between $300-$400 per night (much more gucci than the hut we would be calling home for the next two nights!).  We continued on the well-marked trail that would take us to the halfway point - Lake Oesa.  We passed through forest and hugged a river rich with water from melting snow.  We climbed through rocks and boulders left by glaciers long gone and finally saw the icy surface of Oesa in front of us.  We took a brief pause to have a little bite to eat, put on our gaiters and helmets and assess the ascent route up to the hut.

It was clear spring has been slow in coming.  Snow covered the majority of the route and we knew it would be slow going as the snow surface seemed to crumble around our feet with every step.  The snow surface covered slippery scree underfoot and each step had to be made with careful consideration.  I discovered that quickly when, at one point, I placed my right foot, only to have it keep going.  I slid a good body length and when I finally stopped, looked up the slope with tears in my eyes at Dave - scared out of my mind!

After my slip and slide, we continued up - slowly picking our steps and assessing our path along the way.  We followed in the footsteps of those who went before us, relying on their toe holds and matching their ascent plan.  When we finally summited, it was the biggest feeling of relief!

We made our way into the hut which is just...awesome.  There are two large communal tables, a kitchen stocked with pots and pans, a wood-burning stove and an upstairs bunk area that sleeps 24.  The hut itself is made out of huge stones...all of this was brought up by both horse and man and provides mountaineers a wonderful space to get warm, grab a bite and put their feet up.

When we summited, the weather was fairly good, but it quickly turned wintry as blizzard-like conditions set in.  Horizontal snow, cold temperatures and howling winds surrounded the hut for the next two days.  None of the mountaineers who came to summit the two peaks on either side of the hut - Mount Lefroy and Mount Victoria, were able to make their ascents due to the conditions.  Dave and I prepared the food we brought up, enjoyed nips of Scotch and kept the fire burning to keep us warm and dry.  We kept our fingers crossed for better conditions on Monday when we would be making our descent.

Monday dawned and we rose at 3:45 AM with a group of gentlemen who were hoping to summit Lefroy.  Unfortunately, while it didn't work out for them, the weather improved and we all began picking our way down from the hut around 7:00 AM.  While it took us five hours to summit, the downhill only took us two!  We slid our way down and carefully heel-stepped ensuring we weren't going too fast to be unsafe.  I am terrified of going downhill, so Dave's guidance and reassurance were much needed and appreciated during this time!

We made it down and marvelled at how gorgeous the weather was...sunny skies and warm temperatures greeted us as we once again boarded the school bus to take us back to the car.  That night, we celebrated our achievement with pizza at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company in Canmore and a couple of pints of Grizzly Paw Brewing Company's best brews.

These trips are needed.  They give us time to reconnect...to ourselves, to each other and to nature.  Now, on to our next adventure!

For a little taste, check out this video below!

23 June 2014

Today's Letter (inspired by...)

Every day, I send Dave a little love via email in the form of a photo or quote or story.  It's my way of letting him know that I am thinking about him as he starts his day.

While that is OUR thing, I'm pretty excited about the inspiration I find over at Today's Letters.  

I mean...seriously.  Have you ever seen anything so awesome?!?!  
And all because it's true.  
A few words can change a person's day.   
I know a few words have changed mine.

So, here is my go at a letter...

Dear Dave...thanks for thinking so much about our future together.  It means everything to me that you think through each step thoroughly and strive for success with every thought, word and deed.  

Dear Mother Nature...thanks for bringing out the heat and sun yesterday afternoon to provide sunshine for a little impromptu barbecue.  Your rays are the best.  

Dear Port-o-John...thanks for being by the baseball diamond at just the right time on my run yesterday.  Home run.  

Dear patience...thanks for all the lessons you are teaching me these days.  I know we aren't always the best of friends, but you are there when tough decisions are being made and for that, I am grateful.  

Dear Mr. S...we cleaned a lot yesterday and I know it isn't the most fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but look at all we got accomplished!  Clean house for the win!

How do send your love to those you love?

Go check out Today's Letters...just click on the link below!

Today's Letters

13 June 2014

A Friday Virtual Vacation

Friends of mine are currently in Europe.

They enjoyed Paris and Normandy and now they are soaking in the lovely German atmosphere.

M+P...have a little brötchen for me!

In honour of their trip (and because I am always ready for a little travel myself),
I am sharing a little Friday Virtual Vacation.

For your viewing pleasure...a little Paris.

This weekend will be full of gardening, running, yoga, biking and dreaming of baguettes.

Happy Weekend!

08 June 2014

Backtrack to Bali

I've been away from Bali for a little over a month now.

It has been hard for me to describe the experiences I had, the people I met, the emotions I worked through and all the lessons I learned while I was there.

Bali is beautiful, inspiring and overwhelming.  I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to be there!

I was blogging for my yoga studio back in Moose Jaw while I was there.  If you want to check those out...they are listed here:

Post Three:  Departure and Arrival

That being said...I feel very far away from Bali.  Far from the peace and stability I felt in the last week of my training.  Now, granted...when you are doing an immersive training and yoga is the only thing you are living, eating and breathing it is easy to focus on yourself and what your body, mind and soul need every minute.  In the "real world," that becomes a little more difficult.

So, I'm working through this right now as I continue my transition into this new life and new way of being.  I just think it's going to take a little time...

01 June 2014

I'm a Teacher

Starting tomorrow, I'll be teaching yoga at our lovely yoga studio here in town.
I can't believe what a journey it's been.
I know I haven't been posting lately, but so much has happened.
I need to catch my breath, and then catch up here.

In the meantime, here are some photos my amazing friend M took of me when I was in Arizona a couple of weeks ago.  She has mad talent and I am so lucky I got to spend time with her and her beau.