Well things have been busy around the McCollum house hold because as of sept 4th we got a PUPPY! As many of you know our dear old Bella who was 14 years old passed away in May. Not going to lie that was actually crushing for our family and even the kids, I really thought we would all be ok because I had been prepping everyone that Bella was old and was going to die one day, although when that day came of course no one is ever ready, we were all absolutely heartbroken and crushed. I figured after Bella passed we would wait a while for a puppy because life without a dog is actually easier…less work, less poop and pee to clean up and less responsibility BUT honestly its not as fun, pets bring so much joy to peoples lives and I wanted my kids to have that for their childhood, I am so grateful I had pets growing up and I am so glad my kids do as well! we only managed to go 4 months without a dog and me knowing I would be taking care of it the most I actually missed having the company around, every little sound I thought was Bella and I just missed having a dog! The situation finding Prairie worked out so well and we were so excited when they sent us a picture of our four week old puppy, we waited three weeks till she was 7 weeks old to bring her home and we were all so happy! She is hilarious, adorable and NAUGHTY. Like we expected although I totally forgot what training a puppy is like, it’s been so many years and the first week was torture she cried and cried in her Kennel at night but I knew we had to persevere and now she is doing so good at night, except still working on the potty training….that one is not as easy, we also have prairie booked in for puppy training classes and were hoping that goes well and teachers her some basics. She also still puppy bites a lot and I am trying to teach her not to especially with the kids, but its a work in progress ;). for now enjoy our pictures of our new Puppy, Prairie.

Lincoln is TEN

We celebrated last month our big kid turning TEN. I can't believe we have a child in the double digits already! He is actually one of the best kids I could ask for, and I don't just say that because hes my son, trust me I have no problem admitting when my kids being a jerk haha but Lincoln really is such a help to me, he is always so helpful with anything I need, he is so kind to his family and I just think hes such a great kid. I know how lucky I am to have him in our lives, especially since we almost lost him when he was a baby, he really is such a fighter and we all feel he is a special little light in our lives. On top of all that I love his hilarious humour and i think he's such a goofball. 

For Lincolns birthday we did a fortnite theme (insert judging moms in 3...2....1), yes my child plays xbox. No he doesn't play with strangers and hears swear words, he plays with 5 kids from school and they actually have so much fun and its a fun way to keep my normally antisocial child socialable, of course we encourage tons of play time outside and a lot less screen time especially in the summer but he loves the game and everysingle boy that came to party does to! They were all hilarious talking about the game and rapping to the theme song, it was a pure chaotic party but I think everyone had a blast! They had a nerf battle, had pizza and cake and then they all took limo ride home! Andrew went in the limo with the boys and I volunteered quickly to drive our car home, which was a peaceful quiet ride haha. Lincoln also celebrated with family at boston pizza (his restaurant of choice) for a special birthday dinner, and then with his other grandparents we had them over for homemade cheesecake, it was a super fun time celebrating our big kid! 

Also me being a space head mom I forgot my good camera to Lincolns birthday party LOL oh well iphone photos to the rescure! 

Thoughts on turning 30!!

A few weeks back I turned the big 3-0! I had a great day with my family and we had a fun celebration! I don't know why we as humans make such a big deal out of numbers but I am guilty of it as well, I remember when I first turned 20 I had all these weird expectations of by this date I better have this and that accomplished by, but over the past ten years I realized life doesn't work linear and its great to have a goal but never an end date, as life is constantly changing and so are circumstances and to be honest I am glad, the goals I had for myself at 20 are probably entirely different than the goals I have now at 30! I can say my 20s weren't your typical twenties, as I wasn't out partying or exploring I was thrown into parenthood with a sick baby, so my first few years were learning how to take care of a tiny baby with very specific and special needs, learning how to travel places with an oxygen tank and as he became a toddler learning how to adapt to his sensory needs as well. It definitely wasn't all fun and games but I can say I am happy how it went in a way because Lincoln prepped me for mother hood full on and I found having Autumn was actually pretty easy and we adapted well! Then of course following with Ryder I can't really say he has been "easy" he's been joyful and busy! Lots of my twenties were filled with travels and excitement and love! of course lots of self discovery (this has been huge), loss and grief. I don't suspect my 30s will be perfect nor easy but I do feel a much more stable state than my twenties! 

Ok I can't say I have too many wisdom's on turning 30 but I do have a few thoughts that I have learned in my 20s!

If i could tell my 20 year old self something it would be

- Intentionally surround your self with people who support YOU. I am not saying people who support you because you have a certain political view, a certain religion or a certain stereotype attached to you. Because those things can be apart of who you are but they don't make up your self worth, they don't DEFINE you. I really haven't found many people who actually support me without those things, I am thankful I have a couple of friends who actually love me for me, and a few family members who take me as I am, and for that I am forever grateful. 

- reevalute your belief system say every 5 years - what title you give your self, stop and question wait WHY? You may decide you no longer feel the same way or you may come back feeling stronger about your choices and beliefs, and either way thats great.

- Travel and explore as much as possible! The more you know the better off you are!

- soak up the love from family and friends and always say I love you, because you never know if those are the last words you may say to them.

- This point is one I don't do enough but HAVE FUN, life isn't meant to always be so serious so give your self time to play! 

- do things your afraid of - everytime I have pushed myself out of my confort zone I normally at the end feel really glad I did it! 


what about you? any valuable life lessons you learned in your twenties!? id love to know!



Scotland 2018

I'm excited to be recapping our trip now! we headed to scotland back in june and it was a lovely trip! We were busy everyday, there was plenty of jet lagg and a few stressful moments (as with any trip) and lots of eye opening experiences! Everyone just thinks I wanted to go to scotland forever is because of Outlander, which is TOTALLY true, im in love the books and show so ya im a super fan! BUT I had wanted to go to Scotland before i even heard of outlander! I think the celtic culture and mystical folk tales about faeries always drew me in, i don't even remember where I first heard about scotlands mystical tales but I thought they were awesome, I always wanted to see my ancestors history in norway and also the celtic culture. Norway hasn't happened yet but Scotland was an easy decision when I realized my husbands main ancestors were from Scotland, so even another reason to venture there! Europe is a tempting place to visit because once you're there you can hop on a train or plane for cheap and not long to go to another country, a lot of people do that and maybe we will for one europe trip in the future but I am glad for Italy and Scotland we just spent our time in one country, I felt I got to see more and really get to know the area as opposed to just one day in each place. Andrew and I decided Scotland is a wicked mix of British columbia (think of all the tall trees, gorgeous vegetation, light rainy weather) and Iceland (sharp cliffs, amazing rocks) mixed in with Castles that are not hard to spot, they're everywhere! oh and my favorite is you know how we have guard rails on our highways? well in scotland they have stone walls short little ones that could have been there for hundreds of years, I just thought that was a cute neat feature. yes in the big cities you still see new roads and construction but up in the highlands its like you don't know what year your in and i loved that!! 

Our first day off the planes we grabbed our rental car in Glasgow and headed straight for Glenfinnan, it was our fanciest place we stayed, we splurged a bit on the room and I am so glad we did, the dinner and breakfast was amazing and the room was huge and we both slept so long because we were so tired! and to the people wondering how the food was in scotland it was amazing!!! I genuinely loved everything I ate (mind you I avoided ALL haggis and black pudding) and they were awesome with my gluten free dietary needs. We also stopped at Midhope castle which is featured in outlander lots, it was so pretty there and maybe my favourite thing we did, also we went down to the creek and little forest there and it was so pretty and I found an adorable toad which I was obsessed with! We also walked to The glenfinnan viaduct which was featured in Harry potter, it was close to where we stayed which was awesome! 

The next few days we spent in Skye, it is so quaint and beautiful there and we loved the little town portree we stayed in, it had cute little shops and houses and the best smell of the misty salty ocean air! I was so excited to see Eilean donan castle as its very picturesque, after touring the inside Andrew and I learnt it was basically the vikings my ancestors and Andrews ancestors who fought lots there haha. We enjoyed the hike to the fairy pools up at skye, this was a popular destination with tourists but it was still enjoyable as well as the hike up to old man of storr, the hike is only about 6km its that the elevation is so high it was like walking vertical, i was huffing and puffing the whole time haha embarrassing. 

The next few days we spent in Inverness with day trips around, we visited Lochness, to me it looked just like an other big lake in Alberta or Bc but due to its fun reputation and stories we figured we still better see it and check that off our list! We also drove up to a cute town called Elgin, theres not much in Elgin besides crazy drivers and tiny traffic circles (haha) except of course old churches and the historic Elgin cathedral ruins. It was built in 1224, like think of that year...thats ANCIENT!!! still the oldest thing i have ever in person seen is the Colosseum in Rome it was built in 70 AD, that still blows my mind, but the trevi fountain was  built in 1732 so seeing something in Scotland so old was super cool, it was neat to see! A lot of the places we went were at least an hour away but we were glad to do them as we felt we really got a feel for the whole country of scotland and the country side is gorgeous! We also visited the Culloden battle field, obviously culloden was a huge part of the highlanders history but theres some speculation with Andrews genealogy that one of his family ancestors could have died at culloden, but we don't have record of that so who knows but there was a very somber vibe while we were walking around, it was something we were both really glad we visited! 

Another day trip we did was to Dunrobin castle, this is a very north castle on the northern eastern side of scotland, it was a stunning drive up there, super quiet towns and beautiful trees and old little stone buildings plus seeing the ocean was lovely as well! It was a gorgeous castle to see I am so glad we took the drive to it!! It was maybe my favourite site we saw? although I think I already said above I had another favourite haha. 

As for our last day of our trip we spent it in Edinburgh, it was such a beautiful city to see! Filled with character and rich history every corner you turn plus beautiful cobblestone streets and trendy cafes and shops, I was pleasantly surprised! I would definitley like to go back and explore Edinburgh more but I still felt like we got to see lots, we walked the whole day and the best part was we got to meet up with Andrews best friend from highschool who now lives in England, him and his girlfriend made the trip to see us and we were so grateful they did! It was so fun to catch up plus see the sites with them, we enjoyed an awesome meal out as well at a cute restaurant and the hotel andrew and I stayed it was lovely so it was a super successful day! 

Scotland is an awesome place to visit if your "new" to traveling Europe, you can still get a rich cultural experience while having some quiet time and being out of the hustle and bustle of the big cities by seeing the country side! Everyone says Canadians are really nice, for the most part I would say that is true...but everyone in Scotland we encountered was super friendly and helpful, which when traveling to a new place is something I really appreciated it! Also I felt super safe and comfortable the whole trip which is also a bonus! I feel so lucky we had grandparents who were willing to watch our kiddies so we could go on this little anniversary trip together, travelling on our own without kids ins't easy because I actually do miss them like crazy and it's hard to leave them, plus we have been so busy taking a week or two out of our schedule is nearly impossible with work (multiple jobs) and stuff on for the kids plus grandparents schedules, I don't know how often we realistically will be able to go on trips together with or without kids so I am cherishing each trip we get! 

Thanks for reading along about our travels! let me know have you been to scotland? did you love it? i always love hearing about others travel experiences! 

Also here is a video we mixed together of some of our Scotland sites!