Arrived ~ Safe (& Tired)

After a nearly 20 hour day we arrived at my parents last night at midnight. We were up early yesterday morning to do the final, final load of our sleeping bags, cleaning supplies and toothbrushes (which I still can't locate). In the morning rush we found one kitchen cupboard that we forgot to pack the day before. Other than that, the day was relatively uneventful but very long. 

There were bathroom breaks and meals to eat. And of course the border to cross where we had to officially say "we're coming back to Canada" and import all our goods.

But we're here. Safe and sound. Slowly unpacking the most essential goods and hoping to find our toothbrushes and clothing bins soon.

I am quite desperate for a sense of normal to return to my life but know that will take time. Thankfully time is something we have now. Our moving deadline is past. We've arrived at my parents and are embarking on phase one, establishing income, of this new adventure.

Tomorrow is Celine's twelfth birthday and the day will be all about her. Her birthday gifts were one of the last bags to be packed. The menu is planned and the cake is baked - my mom did that ahead of time before driving down four days ago to help us move (yes, she's that awesome). We're ready to celebrate. 

I look forward to sharing more of our moving journey (I took some pretty cool photos) and our new digs in the future. For now though I'm trying to chill, trying to not expect too much of myself during these days of transition, and trying to find normal. 

I'll be back here sometime next week. Hopefully sooner than later. 

« Creating An Urban Oasis
A Day for Celine »
  • Jacinda

    Jacinda on May 22, 2011, 5:10 a.m.

    Wow, well done to have got this far. You are making it happen and that's the most difficult part of the journey I reckon. Blessings to your whole family


  • Claudia

    Claudia on May 22, 2011, 9:18 a.m.

    Congratulations on this first part! You must be relieved to finally be "home" (Canada). You all deserve a big rest. Happy birthday to Celine!


  • Cindy

    Cindy on May 22, 2011, 12:38 p.m.

    I, too, am looking forward to reading about your future life.... I'm sure your emotions are flying in every direction. Let them.
    And your mom's house looks like a lovely place for a stepping stone. Love you guys!


  • Ruth

    Ruth on May 22, 2011, 3:23 p.m.

    what a cosy welcoming place to 'come home' to!! and your parents there, to boot!! glad your trip went well - - - enjoy your days there in NS!!


  • Amber

    Amber on May 22, 2011, 3:58 p.m.

    I read this with tears in my eyes. Maybe that's silly, since I am just a reader to your blog, but I am so excited to watch this adventure unfold. I am so happy for your family to take on such a big change. I think I may be living vicariously through you, hence the tears. All the best on this new chapter in your lives.


  • Emily

    Emily on May 22, 2011, 4:12 p.m.

    So happy to hear that you're safe and sound and happy at your parents. You've been on my mind these last few days, and I'm glad that there's time to just breathe. Enjoy this time. And a very happy birthday to Celine. I'm sure it will be a birthday to remember. xo


  • bethany

    bethany on May 22, 2011, 9:51 p.m.

    Welcome the next phase, and may it feel like home, and truly be home, asap! Thanks for keeping us posted, I've become rather invested in your changes and it gives me hope that we'll find a way to make our own big transition soon. So glad you made it safe and sound!


  • Rana

    Rana on May 23, 2011, 12:36 a.m.

    I've been thinking about your family over the weekend, wondering how the trip was going. Glad to hear you made it safe and sound. Your mom and dad's home looks like a wonderful place to get cozy and relax. Now it's time to regroup and get your thoughts in order. Can't wait to see more photos! Take care Renee!


  • Spring

    Spring on May 23, 2011, 1:16 a.m.

    Hooray for respite stop #1 on your adventure! Thought of you while tending my raspberry plants, that look like they're going to FRUIT.. they survived their transplanting well... praying for unexpected early fruit in your "transplanting"... and that you'll be able to discern what you need, and how to go about finding it. xoxo


  • cardinalsbeauty

    cardinalsbeauty on May 23, 2011, 1:57 a.m.

    Glad you have a peaceful place to collect your thoughts before moving forward. Prayers are with your family. Enjoy reading about your journey to date.


  • debra

    debra on May 23, 2011, 2:24 a.m.

    Hurray for you all!!!!! You have all worked so hard for this, and I'm feeling grateful and happy for you! Happy Birthday to Celine and to you, the mama of a twelve-year old...


  • beth west

    beth west on May 23, 2011, 2:33 a.m.

    I'm glad to here you've landed! I pray this will be a sweet time in your life and in your parents. So many times as an adult I've wished I could "go back" and just be with my parents again. I know we can never really go back, but I hope this will be a time you will all treasure.


  • Kika

    Kika on May 23, 2011, 3:14 a.m.

    Very exciting. Can't imagine the range of emotions you might experience now that you're back in Canada - stage one? Your parents have a beautiful home and how wonderful to have their support on this leg of your journey.


  • Laura

    Laura on May 23, 2011, 10:56 a.m.

    Glad you arrived safely! Hope you are getting some rest ~ physical and mental. That house is gorgeous! Happy birthday, Celine!


  • Joan

    Joan on May 23, 2011, 11:58 a.m.

    Wow!!! Renee congratulations, This is a new beginning and a great journey. I'm a follower of your blog and I feel part of it!!! Good luck to all your family.



  • Liane

    Liane on May 23, 2011, 12:52 p.m.

    Good on ya! We're doing exactly the same thing- only from Mexico! Next week after selling all our furniture, packing up our lives, saying goodbye to dear friends and dealing with a stolen car in the midst of it all, we're heading back to Canada after having lived in the US and Mexico for the past 7 years. Calgary is our destination- only first the girls and I are living with MY parents for 6 weeks while my husband finishes up work in Alaska...I've been reading all about your stress and anxiety, as at times it mirrors my own- although I have to say that having moved a number of times over the past 2 years, you get used to it. To examining your life, examining what you really need, and knowing that your children really only need you to make their home. The rest is just stuff...and they know it.

    Take that well deserved rest and breathe some good Canadian air for me- I can't wait to get back to the mountians!



    • renee

      renee on May 23, 2011, 1:05 p.m.


      Thank you for sharing your unique perspective. Calgary eh? We're from Edmonton originally. It's a small world. We had a real eye opening experience as we packed the trailer last week. We thought we had downsized so much, and really we did, but there was still so much stuff spilling out of the closets etc... We are looking forward to downsizing once again when we arrive in QC. Stuff... I'm so tired of it.

      We are breathing the good Atlantic Cdn air, here in NS, fresh off the ocean... 


  • Claudia

    Claudia on May 23, 2011, 2:07 p.m.

    Best wished to you... I've been sporadically following along. I'm thankful it's not me having to move yet at the same time a little envious of a new adventure. Praise the Lord for wonderful parents and family. Looking forward to following you in Canada :) Claudia


  • Naomi

    Naomi on May 23, 2011, 2:34 p.m.

    Yay! Congrats guys! The new normal will begin soon. It has been a two and a half weeks since we moved into our camper and even though we're technically still working on moving projects, the days do have their own rhythm, and I am even able to do FUN things with the kids! Today we are planning our first adventure to our new library. Enjoy your study with your parents. I bet you'll be spoiled! Best wishes.


  • Vickie LeBlanc

    Vickie LeBlanc on May 23, 2011, 5:17 p.m.

    That was a very long drive. You guys deserve a very well earned rest. I'm enjoying reading your blog. I'm just across the province from you, between Digby and Yarmouth - the french shore.


    • renee

      renee on May 23, 2011, 5:36 p.m.


      Very cool! Do you happen to homeschool? I'm looking to find Nova Scotia homeschooling resources. Maybe we can connect some time.

      The drive only takes 11 hours but with getting up early, bathroom breaks, meals, and the border crossing it made for a long day.


      • renee

        renee on May 23, 2011, 5:37 p.m.

        Never mind, I just visited your blog and see that you have grown children. No homeschooling. 

        Our family is putting together our Frenchy's list. We need some "new" clothes.


        • Vickie LeBlanc

          Vickie LeBlanc on May 23, 2011, 11:22 p.m.

          he he he, I was just about to reply. Yup, my two babes are all grown up and have homes of their own. Just Dave and I trying, the best way possible, to live a simple, sustainable lifestyle. You can see from my blog the slow-paced lifestyle we are creating around our very rural farmhouse and property. I love, love, love going to Frenchy's. We have quite a few of them just here on the french shore. I have been pondering the idea of making my own soap for a while and after watching your video I went and bought most of the supplies. I'm going to go for it but that lye is kinda scary :-)


  • Jennifer @ kidoing!

    Jennifer @ kidoing! on May 23, 2011, 5:19 p.m.

    Congratulations! Oh, the Canadian air...I definitely noticed that during my trips to Canada.

    Happy Birthday to Celine!

    Your parents' home looks so warm and welcoming. How blessed you are to have such amazing family. I do have to ask one thing that is cooking related, of that an electric pressure cooker on the counter? I am looking at pressure cookers and have heard electric are great, but they are more expensive. Oh, and I'm curious to know if you have the same eating philosophies and, if not, how you will handle that.

    Looking forward to reading about your upcoming adventures!


    • renee

      renee on May 23, 2011, 5:34 p.m.

      Jennifer, I can't wait to share about our food experience here at my parents. My mom is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and shares very much the same philosophy we do. Woot!  It's going to be so much fun cooking with her!

      My mom has a stove top pressure cooker. I have a Kuhn Rikon and seriously recommend it. I LOVE it. And the warranty is great. 


      • Jennifer @ kidoing!

        Jennifer @ kidoing! on May 24, 2011, 2:10 p.m.

        That is so awesome about your mom. Why am I not surprised?! I have seen the Kuhn Rikon cookers with price indicating they are the Ferraris of their kind. What is so special about them that is worth the price? (It's funny to be on the other side of the fence as I am usually the one buying the high ticket kitchen appliance convincing others!) :)


        • renee

          renee on May 24, 2011, 2:29 p.m.

          I can't say for sure what is so special about them but my Kuhn Rikon kicks butt on my mom's stovetop pressure cooker (also a new generation model, but a different brand). It cooks chickpeas in 10 minutes (with an hour or quick method soak first). It has all these cool pressure release valves which ensure it's safe to use it. I just love it. I would buy another one again in a heartbeat. But because of the great warranty it's been fixed as necessary. 

          Don't get me started on my vita mix (also a necessary and much loved expensive appliance in my kitchen) or you'll get another sales pitch. I really should sign up for some affiliate with them...


          • Jennifer @ kidoing!

            Jennifer @ kidoing! on May 24, 2011, 2:45 p.m.

            You certainly can't beat the time of a pressure cooker - 10 mins is amazing. It's always good to hear an endorsement on a quality product. I have pressure cooker on my list, but I may need to make that an extra special birthday gift - hee hee - if I go with the Kuhn model. I just replaced my old Cuisinart processor for the new die cast one (hoping to make almond butter in less than 25 minutes with the more powerful motor!).

            I am a huge fan of the VitaMix and use it multiple times a day! Well worth the investment. I have talked to them about an affiliate program, too. You should look into it.


            • Kika

              Kika on May 25, 2011, 4:08 a.m.

              Couldn't you make your almond butter in the vitamix? Just wondering b/c I am trying to decide what blender to buy - kind of wanting to buy a vitamix and avoid a food processor?!


  • Granola Girl

    Granola Girl on May 23, 2011, 7:40 p.m.

    Wahoo! Let the actually fun insanity begin! Why is it that the toothbrushes always seem to get lost in transit? They are like the missing sock which gets eaten by the dryer.


  • Penny

    Penny on May 24, 2011, 12:52 a.m.

    Oh Renee, welcome home!

    I am so happy for you all, and how special that Celine gets to celebrate her birthday as you all embark on this new journey. A milestone within a milestone, never to be forgotten. Best wishes to her, I hope her day is fantastically happy!


  • Elizabeth

    Elizabeth on May 24, 2011, 12:42 p.m.

    How exciting and exhausting all at the same time. It is amazing just how much stuff we accumulate when we move. Amazing isn't it?? Glad you made it safe and I look forward to sharing this journey with you. My cousin just got married and moved to Canada. I shared your blog with her.


  • Nicole aka Gidget

    Nicole aka Gidget on May 30, 2011, 5:37 p.m.

    Hi Renee! Congrats on getting moved out and into your parents'! What an amazing kitchen and family room they have! I can't remember if you said this before-- how long will you be living with them? We lived with my parents for 10 months when we were transitioning back to California. It was challenging, but good. I was so thankful to have that opportunity for sure.


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