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Why it’s good to be home in Canada

Leave it to your teenager to be brutally honest with you. “You’re slackin’ on the blog there Mom,” my oldest daughter said the other day. Imagine!!

I had to chuckle because she’s right. It’s been challenging over the last few months to find quiet time to sit and write because our family has been in such a state of flux. We sold our house, moved into a rental house, sold our vehicles, had wonderful goodbye parties, many tears, paid final bills, closed bank accounts, vet-certified the dog to fly, moved out of the rental house, returned the rental van and landed at the Houston airport last week with 8 suitcases, a “jumbo” sized dog and kennel, a larger than life dance trophy and all 5 of us intact. Whew!! Moving is exhausting.

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My husband had to dismantle this trophy so it would fit in a suitcase

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Here’s Charlie getting ready to board the plane to Calgary. We used United Airlines Petsafe Program.

In just a matter of days, we will move into our new house here in Calgary and I’m SO ready to finally feel settled, though I know that too is a process.

Sometimes, it still doesn’t feel real… as we boarded the plane from Houston to Calgary, the kids did their usual bickering about who gets the window seat. One of the girls said, “Ok, you can have the window seat this time, but I get it on the way back.” Oops…there is no way back. We are officially Canadian residents again. And it feels great!

This move has been relatively easy for my husband and I. We are returning to an awesome city where we lived and worked for almost ten years. Two of our three children were born here and we still have a circle of very close friends that we are excited to re-connect with.

But for our kids, it’s very different. My oldest daughter has vague memories of our old house, favorite places and restaurants, but Calgary really is a brand new city for the other two.

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My youngest is so excited to go to the top of the Calgary Tower; of course she doesn’t remember doing it when she was two!! We keep reminding ourselves that they need this time to soak in all the new sights and sounds. For the most part, they are enjoying it. But I know they miss their friends back in The Woodlands. At night, our Wifi slows to a crawl as they SnapChat and FaceTime their friends about all of the new things they’ve seen and done.

On Canada Day, we drove to Lake Louise and I was pleasantly surprised when we learned we would receive free entry to the park in honor of Canada’s birthday.

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We decided to do the moderate 7 km hike from the Chateau up to the teahouse at Lake Agnes. When we lived here seven years ago, our kids were too small for this kind of adventure.  We’ve always been proud Canadians but when the kids asked us if we could buy a Canadian flag, my husband and I looked at each other and couldn’t believe that we’d never actually owned a Canadian flag before!! I guess it takes being away to help bolster the love of one’s country.

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It was fun to watch our kids bask in their Canadian pride. They wrapped themselves in that Canadian flag and just soaked in the breathtaking scenery. We made it to the top and minutes later heard the national anthem being sung by patrons at the tea house. What a moment!!

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Enjoying tea biscuits and maple-flavored tea at the top

Even the most mundane things remind us of how good it is to be home. Our favorite food products – like brown sugar Mini-Wheats, Becel margarine and our favorite Sobey’s brand of pesto sauce. That cool crisp mountain air; it’s sweater weather here all the time! And, the friendly people. While at the dog park the other day, a nice gentleman approached us and said, “Holy smokes, eh, that’s a big lab you got there!” It made me smile…I’ve missed that endearing Canadian accent!!

On a final note, I just wanted to say thanks to you for following along with our Party of Five. I really appreciate each of you who sign up for blog updates and have joined the new Facebook group. I’m excited to blog more about our life here in Calgary and the girls’ transition to new schools, friends, dance and swim teams

Well, we’re halfway there. Give me a few days to get settled in the new house and I should be back with another post soon.  I can guarantee my daughter will hold me to it! 😉

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Michelle
 

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