Scotland, the last day.

This morning we, and by 'we' I mean Kyla and Robbie, woke up feeling the effects of too much ale. Cozy English Pub + Rubber arms + Off terrain vehicle and hangovers, not such a good idea.
Luckily we were staying at the most charming B&B in the geographical centre of Britain, and the lovely owner offered us a hearty English breakfast and anything you could think of for a speedy recovery. If ever you find yourself in Haltwhistle, Northumbria, England, do stay at Chare Close and definitely do attempt to try all the ale at the Black Bull. The food was also phenomenal there.
We were picked up by Gary from Hadrian Wall adventures at 9:30 and were ready for a full day of fun.
I learned so much today. Gary was a very well informed guide, passionate about history and hard to keep up to.
Today I walked where Romans walked, sat on their benches and touched their money. We visited the active archaeologic site of Vindolanda and saw writing tablets from the first century. As old as Jesus! Wowza.
We climbed and trekked through field of sheep, my calves will be paying for this tomorrow and I'm pretty sure my brain may explode from all the information I took in today.
We are now waiting our train to Glasgow where we end our journey. Robbie will be continuing on to see my bro in law, Josh, in London and then on to Spain, while Kyla and I will happily return home to our hot husbands and our beautiful children that we miss so dearly tomorrow night. Super excited to get home, but have loved every minute of this adventure.
The end.
(sorry there aren't any pictures....stooopid technology)

Mommy diaries: the end.

Well that went by quickly!
It has been so much fun reading your responses and comments to the questions posed in the Mommy Diaries and I have to say thank you to everyone who submitted.  I know that some people found this easy while others had to step far out of their comfort zones for me.  So a million thank yous and high fives to you.
This activity was good for me.  It pushed me to look for the good in every person and to find a way to express what I thought about them without sounding like I'm just putting random words together. That was the hard part.  The easy part was sharing these beautiful mommies with you.  Everyone deserves to be appreciated, applauded and loved and that was my goal in doing this.  It's hard being a parent and we often put so much pressure on ourselves without even realizing it and for me I think it's become important that I draw on the experiences and strengths of these great people around me when I feel like I'm not doing a good job.
The mommy diaries came at a very important time for me.  Last week our pediatrician (we're seeing her b/c of L's slow growth) asked that we have Lucia tested for Cystic Fibrosis.  WTF?! Cystic Fibrosis is a scary disease.  Why a test for CF you ask?  Well, it's just the next step to find out why she isn't gaining tons of weight.  We did the blood work, it was fine, so now this.  But WOW, you can't tell me that you want my daughter tested for CF and not expect my world to stop.  I know it was unlikely that she had it (I did my research on symptoms and likelihood and spoke to the specialist) but still, all logic goes out the window when it's your own child at the plate.  Anyway, point being, this was happening to me right in the middle of Mommy Diaries and I found it empowering to think of all the other women and how life never really goes the way you've planned it anyway and somehow they survived.
Much to our relief, Lucia tested negative and we can move on.  We are going to give her some time and let her grow at her own rate, ignoring the pressure to have her tested for this and tested for that.  Why search for a problem when there is nothing wrong with my cute little shrimp.  So thank you to the mommies who held me up during that miserable time. Mommy Diaries couldn't have come at a better time for me.
I have really enjoyed doing this and my hope is that you  found some strength or inspiration in one of these lovely ladies.  I know I did.

In fact I enjoyed this so much that you'll have to join me again in June for the next installment: Daddy Files.

Mommy diaries: Candace

Meet Candace:  I didn't feel right not involving her.  She's one of my closest friends and I think she's going to be a fantastic Mom.  Candace is currently awaiting the arrival of her first baby, come the end of July.  I love being witness to someone being transformed into a mother and really, don't we become one the minute we learn that we are with child?  So it only makes sense that we celebrate a mom-to-be as well. 
Candace is the most loyal person I know, she puts family and friends first and would do anything for you.  She goes out of her way to make sure you know that she cares and without a doubt will be a loving and devoted mother.  I can't wait to see her baby.  It's something else when a friend goes into labour and its absolutely my favourite moment in life when we get that text and we all wait to hear the news.  I can't wait to experience this with Candace & Mike, they will be wonderful parents.
I admire Candace's ability to love my children like they are her own and likewise, my children absolutely adore her.
I enjoy the movie dates and walks we take.  Candace is always willing to hang out with her friends, and I absolutely cherish the time I get with her.
I am thankful for her friendship.  I know that she will be one who will be by my side forever.
I think other moms would enjoy answering her questions :) She is obviously surrounded by experienced moms and is definitely soaking up all knowledge that we have to offer.  It's nice to feel helpful.
This is Candace: 

Mommy diaries: Tara

Meet Tara: she is a friend that I met at work and have really enjoyed getting to know.  She is fun loving, positive and a very uplifting person.  I really enjoy being around her and am sad but happy for her that she'll be moving back to MJ in the fall to be closer to fam.  Totally understand that. But will still miss her and her beautiful daughter. 
I admire her ability to be happy all the time!  I'm sure she'll say I'm full of it, but really, she always seems so cheerful and smiley.
I enjoy our coffee dates with Tara and Elaina. I always leave smiling.
I am thankful for the chance I had to get to know her.  Although she's moving and I likely won't see her often, I'll still stalk her on FB and feel like I am close to her.
I think other moms would enjoy the positive vibes she sends out.  She makes you feel good every time you see her and it's evident that she loves being a mom because she is doing such a wonderful job.
This is Tara:

Mommy diaries: Elaina

Meet Elaina:  we both started teaching at Cross at the same time and have been friends ever since.  Elaina is hardworking, motivated with usually a whole wack of activities on her plate.  Nothing slows her down and she takes projects on with open arms.   
Speaking of projects, when I first sent out the Mommy Diary email to my friends, she was 3 days overdue and obviously not ready to share her journey.  But willing she was and sure enough she was at it almost immediately, carefully documenting what she wanted to say about her new role in life.  
I love seeing Elaina as a mom.  Not only is she disciplined in her readings and learnings on different techniques and products but she glows with this newfound love.  And let me tell you, she's naturally going to be a wonderful mother as I'm sure she'll approach this endeavor with as much finesse and passion as she does every other project in life.
I admire Elaina's willingness to give.  She's is constantly reaching out to others.
I enjoy working with her on photography and hope we can continue with our teamwork.
I am thankful for her friendship.  It was scary and lonely moving to a giant high school with an intimidating number of staff.  She made me feel comfortable and quickly became someone I could turn to.
I think other moms would benefit from the joy and deep love that she has found in becoming a mom.  I find it refreshing to be around her and it makes me remember how precious and fleeting time with our babies are.
This is Elaina:


Mommy diaries: Alynne

Meet Alynne: a most treasured friend who has been in my life for almost 20 years.  Alynne is like a sister to me and I love everything about her.  We've been by each other side through some interesting life experiences and I'm glad to have such a great friend to share my moments with.  Maybe she feels like a sister because she lived with Dan, Kyla and I before there were babies and responsibilities, maybe she feels like a sister because my family adores her and treats her like she is one of us.  Or maybe it's just because of the love that she constantly gives.  Alynne is so warm and caring and has open arms for anybody.  She is a fantastic and devoted mom, who unabashedly loves her boy with everything she is.
I admire her ability to stay true to herself and put her family first.  She's made a lot of decisions that have truly shown that her family is the most important thing in her life.
I enjoy her sense of humour.  She always has me laughing and has a way of reminding me to stay on the positive when I lose perspective.
I am thankful for her years of friendship and love that she shows for my family.
I think other moms would enjoy a good laugh when they're with Alynne. She can light up a room with her amusing tales.
This is Alynne:


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