Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A love letter (to family and Fredericton)

Cousin party at Kelly's Creek. I love watching these kids make memories together.
It's hard to believe that 10 months have passed since we first hopped on the ferry to embark on my one year maternity leave adventure in Fredericton. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions we have ever made. Spending time so close to our family and friends has brought all 4 of us so much joy. I don't think Caleb has ever felt more friendship and love in his entire life. The closeness he has developed with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and especially cousins mean so much to all of us. And what an amazing way for Odin to begin life, with so many arms to hold him, so many faces to smile with him and so many people to share in the amazing developments of a baby's first year. Our boys are incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful influences in their lives. How we ever will go back to being on our own, I'm not sure, but I do know that I wouldn't have traded this year for anything.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this year wonderful by celebrating so many special occasions with us - birthdays, mother's day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Patriots games on Sundays, lunch dates with Grammie and Grampie, play dates with Teresa at Kathy and Roland's,  inventions with Greggy, piano lessons with Linda, Wednesday afternoons with Ava, watching Alyssa play basketball and the list goes on  and on... We will especially miss the ordinary days, just hanging out together because we could.  We may just have to have another child so we can do it all again! (**this is a joke, so don't get too excited, Linda!!)

Watching Dada play in Officer's Square
It has also been wonderful to rediscover Fredericton after so many years away. I love this town and I can clearly see why so many friends have decided to stay here to raise their families. Here are a few of the many things we will miss about this wonderful city:

- The Northside market. I have always loved the Southside market, but the Northside location was a new discovery for me. Amazing food (amazing falafels and delicious Ethiopian veggie meals), home baked pretzels (Caleb's favourite weekend treat) and weekly visits with Perley the Magician.

- Fredericton library - living without internet or cable the past few months means we've made several trips to the library for books, music and DVDs. This year's entertainment can be summed up for me with The Gilmore Girls (finished 5 seasons!), The West Wing and Choose your Own Adventure Books  which are as great as I remember.

- The TransCanada Trail. This is where Caleb first learned to ride a bike, and many, many trips soon followed. We stashed our first ever geocache here and found several more. The trails are such an incredible gem in the city.

- YMCA - It felt so good for me to join the gym and regain some sanity by spending an hour away from both kids (thanks mom and dad for giving me this precious time off). The Y is also where Caleb spent 9 months in junior kindergarten making many good friends and memories, and also where Odin had his first swims.  I can't wait to join the Fundy YMCA once we get back to NS.

- Friends! I was able to spend time with many close friends this year. Jill, Owen, Harris, Brent, Sarah,  Leah...the list goes on. I didn't actually get out as much as I thought I might, which may have had something to do with the fact that I had an infant latched onto my side 24 hours a day, but that made the times I did spend with friends all the more valuable and it truly felt good just know you were near.

- The Johnston family and the Alders family who shared their homes and wonderful waterfront views with us. Without them, this year would not have been possible.

Thank you all so much. We are already looking forward to our next trip back in August.
The boys and I took a trip to Bar Harbor with Greg and Linda last week. Lots of exploring and seafood consumption took place!
Tidal pool love
Mt. Katahdin look off
And we are off. Don't worry, there is a rope attached to the canoe!


Anonymous said...

Your going back to NS is going to be different for us too. Going to miss all the get-togethers. However, we are certainly happy to be going for visits to A.R. It somehow feels like going home, and the fact that you are still on St. Anthony St. is wonderful. Love you.

Grandma Linda said...

I'm still wiping away the tears since you left at 6 a.m. this morning. We've had the BEST 10 months with you and your family Ashley! And I think I noticed a tiny baby-bump on you this morning! You can do it! Nana had 2 kids only 11 months apart :)