So, I left you more than a year ago in buggy Manitoba. We are now back in good old Upper Canada, where life is rather different. I like to start with the bad news and then finish up on a high note, so here's the update:
The title of my blog is no longer entirely accurate. Back in March, we had to have our 16 year-old dog Finnegan put down. Despite having the blood work of a puppy right to the bitter end, he'd been suffering with increasingly severe arthritis since the age of 12, and he wasn't enjoying his life anymore. It's an experience that has clarified a lot for me about issues like assisted death, quality of life, and the importance of listening to my gut. Finnegan's ashes now sit in the sunniest spot in the house, just as he always did. This is how I like to remember him-- a shot from happier times:
To be honest, I'm still not over it, so let's not dwell. Onward and upward!
Relocating from a secluded old farm house in rural Manitoba to a newly-built bungalow in a neighbourhood just outside our nation's capital has definitely taken some getting used to. I love that just about everything is now within walking and biking distance, and that we're so much closer to family. The kids have really gotten to know their cousins, and both have made very smooth transitions to their new schools. The autism funding here is flabbergasting, and we've been keeping very busy running to and from activities, and even when we do need to drive to a nearby town, the scenery alone is worth the price of gas. That said, town living is SO loud! Lawnmowers, chainsaws, sirens--I forgot all about this stuff living in the middle of nowhere! We miss our wonderful neighbours and friends too, but I'd say overall we're very happy where we've landed.
Rather than regale you with paragraph after paragraph about the past year, I'll leave you with a few photos.
The perfect shot detailing the drive from Manitoba to Eastern Ontario. Case of beer wedged between children, cat wandering with impunity all over the car. I'm pretty sure that disposable cup is still on the floor somewhere.
No furniture for the first four days in our new home. Luckily, Firstborn inherited my talent for creativity.
Naturally, when you move to the National Capital Region, you high-tail it right over to Parliament for an obnoxious, braggy Facebook photo op.
Therapeutic Riding is one of the many wonderful activities available here for kids with special needs. You can tell by the look on his face, RB is tired of being embarrassed by his mother and her camera.
It turns out that January in Eastern Ontario is no better than January in Manitoba. So we went to Florida!
The Brevard Zoo is a great stop if you're ever in the Orlando area. Peaceful and lovely, and you can pet the giraffes!
Best of all, we have family in Florida, so no staying in hotels. My sister in-law is a photographer, and despite being 36 weeks pregnant during our stay, ran around the beach with her camera to grab us the very first professional family photo we've ever had done. I am so thrilled with it! Getting my youngest looking at the camera AND smiling is nothing short of impossible, but look at that toothy grin!
And that's our year. You're all caught up! The amusement park is back in business!