I’ve always intended to put one of these together for Charly but life does sweep you away sometimes. So thanks to a kind reminder from my Mum and a few here and there from my Dad, I’ve gotten my act together and done a one year video compilation – similar to the one I did for Nae shortly after her 1st birthday.
It’s so funny to see how different they are, yet so alike. I don’t know if that makes any sense when I say it but in my head it sure does. While Nae was a happy baby in her own right, Charly just seems to be a ball of laughter. And they’re both such sweethearts. There’s little doubt that their parents love them oh, so much. That they are just loved oh, so much. And I hope one day when they look back on these videos, that’s the one thing they take away – with no mistake at all about it.
Meanwhile, a little tip of the day… I’ve discovered the Peekaboo Moments app which is just the coolest thing since sliced bread. It’s an online baby journal which magically logs the date stamps on all your photos and puts them all in a timeline for you so you can always refer to how they looked or sounded like at any given milestone. And trusted family and friends can input into the timeline too, so you never miss a moment. Best app find for all tech-dependent mums and very eager family!
It's really hard not to think about Vancouver and miss it a lot.
Is it possible to be soul mates with a place? When I close my eyes and think of the mountains and the clouds, the people and their kindness, the trees and the soul of the forest, it just brings me to a really happy place. I suppose that's a good thing. To have a happy place you can go to in your memories.
This photograph makes me laugh. We'd gone for a little walk that evening and stopped at the bottle shop to get some vino for the dinner that we were going to make in the apartment. Yup, we thought making dinner would be a romantic thing to do seeing as we hardly ever do it back in Singapore anymore! I love that the bottle looks like it's bowing its head in the same direction as Andrew. Deep in contemplation. You know, 'coz life's so hard.
Sigh. Is it possible to be soul mates with a place?
Loving every minute ‘coz you make me feel so alive, alive
Loving every minute ‘coz you make me feel so alive, alive
This morning, Charly pointed at her sister's lap and made some 'I want to sit there' noises.
Being the great big sister that she is, Nae obliged and crossed her legs so her little sister could nestle into her lap.
This was a shot I snapped shortly after she'd parked her little chubby bottom down in Nae's lap.
I can't believe how big my little dollies are getting. Soon, I'll have babies no more!
I find that hilarious – that our pastime of choice was sitting on benches. My theory is that sitting on benches is only for older people or those with children – it’s like a passage of time thing… The seasons of your life. I don’t ever recall us sitting or contemplating as much when we were in Scotland together. We were always off doing or seeing something.
I like it though. And I like that we do it together.
When you come back from a significant trip, it’s easy to talk about where you went, who you were with, what you ate, anything you might have bought.
But the truth is, I came away with a whole lot more than just memories of good food and couple selfies. The real souvenir was a mindset.
Vancouver is an amazing place. I have never seen a more socially aware or responsible society – Recycling is a big thing that everyone does and is conscious of and everyone is incredibly genuine and considerate. I have never seen people more concerned about clearing up after themselves and taking the time to give way or say thank you’s. I have never seen a place more engaged with the great outdoors. And we were only too lucky to discover it through the eyes of two great friends, Grace & Joe, who are living like the locals, biking to their hearts content and just taking in life.
Aside from spending a whole week in Whistler hammering down the bike park, we also had the good fortune of spending some time riding the North Shore with them – and met some of their friends & colleagues at Endless Biking.
Endless is a bike rental and tour company – They provide the gear and the guidance to ensure you get the most of your riding at all the different trail networks around North Vancouver. As soon as we arrived, we spent some time with Darren and Eli who gave us a clinic on cornering, and Ryan who took us through a drops session. Joe then spent most of our rides secretly progressing me by taking me to trails that he thought would challenge me to become a better rider.
And boy, did he challenge me!
Every time we headed out, I’d have this feeling of dread inside me. Oh dear, I’m not familiar with where we’re going. What if I can’t do it? What if I hold everyone back?
Joe was really good and super patient. He’d take time out to explain trail sections, re-affirm techniques I had learnt and reassure me sections were do-able. Grace would sometimes ride ahead of me to show me how very elementary it could indeed be. So I always felt completely safe and confident in my abilities – this meant I always did something new skill-wise whenever we went out and pushed myself to a new level each time. I really loved that! It just felt so gratifying to always improve. And both Grace & Joe would be super supportive as well, letting out great big woops and verbal pats on the back whenever I accomplished something. It made me feel so happy and fuzzy inside.
On one particular early morning, their lady boss friend Kelli Sherbinin came and rode Mt Fromme with us. I was all nervous since Kelli’s got really hardcore bike cred but just like Joe, she was incredibly supportive and patient in trying to get me to progress. Both Joe, Kelli & Grace – and Andrew too – literally waited ages for me to pluck up the courage to attempt what’s probably a very small rock feature to most at the start of Bobsled. And when I did… Well, I just felt I had to go do it again… and again… and again… and again… So I could get over the fear and know what I was capable of.
(you can hear Kelli whooping at me in the distance!)
Have you ever been so mentally caught up in your head that when you finally get through something, you burst into tears? That’s literally how I felt whenever I cleared something like that, whether it was a skinny bit of woodwork or a technical section. I’d quickly turn away from my friends so they didn’t see how choked up I was – They’d be cheering at me for doing it and I’d be a mix of happy and seriously overwhelmed… and scared! But I loved progressing. It was doing a lot more for me mentally than I could imagine.
One of the phrases they kept using was “Just peek and place, Janice. Trust yourself and commit. You’ve got this.”
It took a lot to do it, but whenever I did I realised how much I could accomplish if I truly set my mind to the task.
A week later, I found myself at a business workshop in Dubai doubting some of my abilities. And guess what the little voice in my head was saying?
“Come on, you’ve got this. Just peek and place, trust the rest.”
You take a whole lot away from the trail each time you ride. I think that’s why I love biking so much.
For a bit of Mummy inspiration, read: Mother Puckers on PinkBike.com