A rather sunny day and a visit to the St. Ignace Library was in order. About a 30-40 minute drive from us, hot NEW traveler mug of coffee and some snacks for the road and off we went. While I won’t deny, there were some tears on the way there as he had just woken up from his nap and had no desire to sleep or sit in the car, it still panned out to be a rather picturesque drive.

We were library ready, decked out in Goodnight Moon outfit and cool duds.

The library was quite neat! Atticus fell in love with it as soon as we arrived. Its funny to think how I used to watch mothers come in with their little ones and tinker about, probably passing the time as I was, I never saw this as something I would be doing, and while I don’t always jump for joy at this endeavor called life, I do find it has its heart warming moments.

It is crazy to see how mobile he is now! He just crawled and tottered holding on to things that probably weren’t fit for his fat little hands to stable himself.

I love how he has such a curiosity for books now! He just stands and pulls books out to read (or munch on a few, strictly at home). There were quite a few fun books and it brought back the memories I had cataloging or shelving children’s books and would think ‘this would be fun to read to my little one, if I had one, which I won’t’ strange how life takes you…

While searching through the books I found a few I wanted to read to him in the coziness of home, so I snapped some photos to remember to order them in. Piece by Piece, probably more of a mom book than Atti, but no bother!

I also thought the little hedgehog one was a needed rent. I’ve decided it is a good idea to rent books first and then if I desperately need them in his library I can buy them! You know those books where you cannot help but have the book yours, only yours in your grubby little hands?!!! Okay, maybe it’s just me, anyhow, I am excited for them to come in at my library( funny, I ordered them and they’ll probably come from this library but I couldn’t just check them out and send them back….)

I’m not sure why, but I think this one will be a keeper 🙂

All in all it was a fun library trip! We sneaked about, no one really noticed we were there (except for the original hello in the beginning). I loved that Atticus really enjoyed himself! He talked with the stuffed animals, crawled like mad and was not thrilled at all when it was time to leave! His favourite artifact of course happened to be the coat rack. Teehee. I had this strange feeling while basking in the sun that filtered in through the windows that this wasn’t actually my life, I was just watching one of those girls who came in with their child. Did they enjoy life? It always looked like they did, but then…it probably looked like I do too…and do I?

I do love you.

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We Travel Not to Escape Life…

The One Year Anniversary of Mom’s passing crept up slowly, like a dark cloud creeping upon your beach day. I ached thinking about how horribly hard it was and how the past year was just filled with my sadness. I didn’t want to face the day, I didn’t want to have the memories become stronger than they already were, if that were possible. My beautiful, loving Mom just needed to come back home…and of course, knowing that was not possible, it seemed best to get away.

Mom ❤ August 12th, 1954-February 8th, 2018. You are forever in my heart.

My sister and I decided that we just didn’t want to do the whole family gettogether thing, everyone pretending that they are ok, or looking at another member like I don’t know…don’t get me wrong, our family generally all gets along, but it seemed too much this time. So, we decided where best to go but the Inn! Mom would have loved the Inn so very much, it really reminded me of her and I wish to heaven that we had went there before… you know, so many regrets I have… We travelled off, baby in tow, Petoskey our destination. When Mom died I felt like the whole family left everything on Jayne and my shoulders, Taylor (our best friend and one of Mom’s “daughters”) really stayed with us and helped as best you could and Chelsea (another “daughter”) too did so much, flying home from Minnesota she helped with setting up for the Memorial and just being there for us. Therefore, it was only fitting that Tay came with us and we met Chelsea(who now lives there!!!) too. IT was the perfect kind of getaway. Peaceful, yet fun.

Because life needs blissful moments with saucers and tea cups.

We talked about Mom but didn’t mourn over her, that was something either done with for then, or to come later…always more for me. We shopped a little, and then spent the evening at the Inn. It has the perfect little “save my soul” places to hide away at. I have made the decision due to the love they show me there (they all welcomed me back and said once again how beautiful and wonderful my wedding there was) I do plan on staying in every room of the Inn!! At my wedding I stayed in 22 (two twins and a queen in a separated larger suite) and 17(one large king with a canopy! The red room it is known to be!) and then the sister weekend we squished into the tiniest little 34(two very small twin beds). I am excited to see what next I will get.

Room 34. There is 31(yes the numbers are all screwy) rooms in the Inn, I have 28 more stays! 🙂

We dressed up for dinner, I in a stylish wiggle dress that I made( my tummy is fitting much better these days!), Jayne in one of Tay’s dressy shirts and leggings with heels(way more cute and dressy than it sounds, it had polka dots!), Tay in a very business like pencil skirt (with a superbly high slit!) and a flowy pale green blouse, Chelsea in a dark maroon evening cocktail dress and Atticus in formal attire! Pants and vest, the tie was tossed due to a fat neck 🙂

He is rather perfect

He was very stylish and well loved at dinner. We had the Innkeepers Buffet and it was delicious! I ate more than everyone (of course) and thoroughly enjoyed myself! Sometimes I wish I could sit right at the buffet and just indulge! The was all sorts of yummy and seeing I couldn’t order a drink I just ate away my desire! I’m surprised my stomach is as good as it is! 😀

After, too full to move (the other girls, not me) we moved on to the library where we sipped on wine(the girls, not me) and decaf(me!). Atticus crawled about and made friends with all the older people who walked by. It was SO enjoyable. I found I was thinking more of Mom in happiness than sad…which is just what I needed to be doing. Once ready for bed everyone snuggled in(except Chels who just went home) we were pretty snuggly considering the room size! I read a chapter under the old fashion glow of the lamp and then drifted off to sleep…okay, at first Atti woke up in his usual routine of a half hour sleep and then his nighttime scream. I cannot figure out why he does it…but once I soothed him off we went to sleep. Surprisingly he slept quite well and when I woke up I felt rested and peaceful. We enjoyed some morning coffee and then went down for the most delightful breakfast! Atticus was a cutie all styled up again.

Take a moment to enjoy the chairs in this dining area! Oh, and his chubby hands.

I love the Inn, I love everything about it. We peacefully enjoyed coffee in the sunroom after before checking out and popping in at the library where I bought many books at their book sale. It was such a needed joy! The weekend could have been tipping on the edge of despair but it turned out to be a pure and simple happiness. Mom was there with us the whole time, I felt her spirit. There truly is nothing like getting away. I love little travels, big travels, anything that lifts my spirit! I love you, Mom.

Journey forward…

Mommy, I don’t feel so well.

Now begins my here and NOW travels. When baby doesn’t feel a 100% and you cannot take being stuck in the house with him, especially because it is in the negatives outside, it is best to take a drive. Atti just had that look about him, I’m trying to be positive but my teeth hurt and I am stuffy and hot. Poor baby. So, with a hot cup of coffee, a bar for snacks, and a new audio book to listen to we ventured out.

There is just something freeing about driving to nowhere! Esp. with a good book or music to listen to, and without a doubt a snack for me since I get extremely hungry with breastfeeding! It is so relaxing to just see the outdoors pass you by all warm and snug in the car.

We drove my favourite loop. It is down the back dirt (now snowy) road to the big road, then to another smaller road, which we happened to see someone far in the ditch, thankfully I didn’t have to feel bad about definitely not stopping since help was already there! The road pops out in this deserted little town called Detour(must make it only there when you’re on a detour) and then, once through the town you have water on your left…even in the winter I so enjoy water, there is something so blissful about it.

Stopped the car to capture a pretty desolate scene…but beautiful in its own way.

My book rambled on and Atticus snored away in the back(just the medicine he needed). So far we were getting to know the people who are somehow all in touch with the cleaning lady who “fell” down the stairs and died. I have a feeling that it may not be a fall…suspicious I am! We have yet to meet the detective, I know he will come along at some point! And surprise, surprise, his name is Atticus! It is coming along quite interestingly and we happened to finish the whole first disc on our peaceful drive! I so enjoy those drives.

Rest, my love…

It had started to snow and was pure peace…while I knew the evening ahead may be rough, it’s always harder in the night, I felt that this little escape away just put me in a state that I could handle what was ahead. I will be happy for days when I don’t have to drive to find peace, and put baby to sleep, but with what I have I am glad that I can do this. The snow settled on the window as I stopped in the drive…about 2 hours were spend riding along the snow dusted roads…I needed that so. Rejuvenate your soul in any way you can. ❤

Snow holds so much beauty. My Mom always saw it as such a pureness…

Looking back… baby travelled with me to my biggest adventure.

On December 1st, 2018 Atticus travelled with me back to Petoskey to marry his daddy. While we had already been to this place, and it wasn’t a very far drive it was still one of the biggest journey’s yet.

Getting ready to be Mrs. Clegg.

This travel was one where I would head out as a Murray and come home joining my husband and child in name and life forever…the joy(and fear) was surreal. I knew that whatever the outcome, Atticus would be with me for it all.

This was after the wedding, thankfully as my dress was much wrinkled by the many times snuggling my little squish.

Atticus travelled down the isle in style, more interested in gathering the chew toy on the sleigh, but he was there all the same. At the time as people went on how cute he was and how he made the wedding I wondered if it wasn’t the greatest idea, after all, a wedding is supposed to go on before the baby and he therefore wasn’t supposed to steal the show!!! In truth though, I think I needed the little bundle there.

“Gimme those bells ma!”

A little family we already were, but now a little family we were to stay. It was a perfect wedding filled with love and fun, a travel that while not taken alone(or just with Atti) it was one that I felt overwhelmed by joy.

baby had too much.

Looking back…we left the country (and our troubles) behind.

My favourite place in the world is our family cottage. It is nestled on an island near the city of Gananoque Ontario within the Thousand Islands. Whenever I go there I find a tranquility that I never have outside of that world. Usually it is summer and warm! But a few of us decided to venture there in October when it was more chilly…or freezing than not. It could have been a bad choice, it could have been one crying, cold treacherous week, yet it was quite the opposite.

Atticus seemed to have a change there, I don’t know if it was because I had brought and bought only food that would not upset his tummy, or if he felt my serenity about going there, either way, he was a different baby. We drove the 12 hours to the cottage and boated across in inclement weather and he seemed to just BE…he felt and acted like a different baby.

The little cottage was chilly, at times maybe even a bit frosty when the wind howled through the open slats and the little fire just didn’t quite make it into the bedrooms, but that didn’t matter. We (my brother, his wife and one month old) snuggled and talked and read…it was like we had travelled to another dimension of the world.

We were able to cook dinners together while the babies rested or lounged about on the floor. And when we sat in the living room before the fire and I watched my normally fussy and crying little baby roll about in happiness I wondered if I shouldn’t stay there forever. This was a travel that I knew I had needed to take.

There was one rare day, when the others arrived (my dad, brother and his girl, who happens to be my best friend) that day was beautiful!!! It was a day for the books. We bared the bottom and lay out in the sun enjoyed the breeze and peace.

IT was such a perfect day! I felt like I was home. Where I should be. I didn’t even want to think of my true home, another country full of troubles, I couldn’t even see it as a place where my love lived and where I should be happy. I just reveled in the bliss. The now. The here.

Oh sky, oh world, how you have blessed me under the maple leaf.

At one point I realized that my niece was doing more crying than my baby, she had done more crying the whole trip! I know its a strange thing to be happy about, but when it was the common thing to be constantly going for or bouncing my little one as he screamed, it just felt right to finally take a spell and rest. I looked over and my little boy was reaching out to quiet his cousin…four months and he had such a caring soul.

The cottage sun room. Literally, heaven.

It was there on this beautiful voyage, full of loved ones, we celebrated Atti’s first Thanksgiving. (the real and better time for a Thanksgiving holiday, Canadian is in October, where it really seems right). Atticus was a cute little pumpkin and at one point I caught him dancing with his Great Grampa. IT was a sight to behold and I captured it in my heart, forever.

While I had my own mashed potatoes, didn’t get to eat the rolls or dessert, I still enjoyed myself beyond means. It was a day, a time, a trip to be thankful for.


Looking back…continued

Over the summer we ventured a quite a few little excerpts, while not many were alone they blessed our souls all the same. Our first boat ride, everyone was quite on edge not knowing how Atticus would be, he really struggled throughout the summer being happy and feeling ok, so this was a scary event. I’ll never forget the feeling of getting back out on the water, this time with a little one month old baby in tow. I didn’t want to be one of those who brought everything, but at the same time, I wanted to be prepared. Dad was no better, he was a nervous wreck…

Fortunately, it turned out the boat very much lulled our little screamer into a peacefulness that he hadn’t shown very much since being born! We were so blessed, and the feeling of being out on the water basking in the sun was unexplainable! Of course, my body was still at an uncomfortable state, although I did actually wear a swimsuit with a cover up that made me look like a “mother” for certain, oh how I felt like one too. Being something I never planned on doing, it wasn’t something I reveled in. Alas, baby looked well.

First boat ride of my little life! One month adventure.

The adventures didn’t stop there! Many of our little explorations were with my sister, Jayne, she really stuck by my side throughout that hard summer. I know it seems odd to call it that, but having a baby was a hard thing for me to do, and I wasn’t blessed with an easy baby either, it was rare moments on this earth when he was actually peacefully sleeping. Oh those were filled with apprehension and a scarce bit of joy. But, when I was with Jayne, much more joy.

Point Irisqua (ok, I don’t know how to spell that) Lighthouse.

There were those blissful moments where the earth stood still… and this day at the lighthouse where we went so often as children was definitely one of them. We lounged and talked while Atticus slept, it was just a touch of heaven together.

Nothing quite like having your toes in the grass.

Some days when Atti was just so grumpy my heart couldn’t take it we just drove. I remember this day where the sun was warm on our souls, but the wind was a bit bitter, or should I say blustery because it wasn’t actually cold. I was mad at the world for making life so hard on me and I stopped at the house on the way home from our appointment, grabbed a bubbly water and a Lara bar ( I had to live on those because of course Atti was blessed with a very sensitive stomach and nothing went well with my eating) and we drove to the water.

I just needed that peace. I returned in a much better place and Atticus was able to get a nap in that wasn’t in my arms. Such a rare thing back then. There is no feeling that can be replaced as the warm sun on your face, the smell of the water, even though it isn’t the ocean smell its actually better because it is so pure and fresh. Anytime I’m feeling down or claustrophobic I go to the water. It is my serenity. While it was harder to find this summer than any one I’ve ever experience, I still was able to in a small part.

Lake Huron

Then there were those days that actually seemed normal. When Jayne and I would travel out and it felt like it was just us two again… this such day was one of those. We stopped at the cutest café and had little pumpkin coffees (as it was already on to that time of year).

The lady there was so sweet and she reveled over what a good baby Atticus was, that was heaven alone! It was just one of those days where everything pretty much went well. We were off to get Atti’s birth certificate and wanted to make a day of it. We even went out to eat, possibly a first that summer!! It was lovely.

Jayne would finally hold the little bugger since he had put on a sizable amount of weight.

It was a rare thing that I was comfortable to go places with Atticus, he could scream on a dime and it was so very daunting. But as Fall crept in and the weather stayed beautiful I found that I could try and move out on a limb (I hate that word, or sentence as it were) find a little more freedom I will say.

So, I went with Jayne. I would have never made it through this summer without her. She truly was my savior. I think I would have gone mad otherwise, it was SO hard! Atti cried so much and I felt so trapped. I had jumped into so many things in such a short time that I was so not ready for. Found out I was pregnant in the Fall of 2017, got proposed to, my mom died in February 2018 (the greatest horror imaginable),moved in with my fiancé and had Atti in late spring. Everything would have been easier had Mom been there and then of course, Atti could have been a little less ….SCREAMY!

Beach days where there was barely no one around but us three really were perfect.

Then there were the small times when I actually was able to go places that other people might be around, and by myself, and you know what? They weren’t terrible! In fact, I found that felt better about myself and life when I was able to. I grew stronger and bonded with this little life that was entrusted to me.

An afternoon in the Locks, just me and you.

Autumn was beautiful. It really never wanted to get cold. Funny enough that was one year I was waiting for cold so I could have an excuse to hide away! Yet, the warmth hung on and Atti showed his growth as did us as a little family. We were able to travel out more and go on adventures with others. Boat days were much more than we ever expected, and they never failed to make us feel blessed.

They were great nap helpers as well.

I also was finally starting to feel like a person, not all the time of course, but some days I had that Heatherness about me again, and I loved that. I didn’t feel like the broken mess I had felt when I first had him. (I knew childbirth would be hard, but I didn’t realize how scarred and degraded I would feel) So, when I was able to don a swimsuit and actually feel like looked good in it, or lay out on the boat and not feel so guilty for letting Dad care for the baby for a minute or two, it was bliss.

Now, I am not saying I was ready for Americas next top model, in fact, I don’t think I ever will be again. Pregnancy put a toll on my body in a way I never wanted…but it is something I will have to live with. I know that most people would not appreciate the way I look at it, but that is how I feel. It has been so hard on me. Everything of it. I have struggled with the things people say, just because I have had a baby does not mean that I am jumping for joy and cannot imagine my life any other way, I am sorry, it just doesn’t. Now I do love him with all my heart, but I can still see in my minds eye the life I had planned, and how it truly is not going to be.

Boy is he cute though. I guess I traded my body for his cuteness.

The next adventure I was about to take was truly one of those that saved me just a bit more…and Atti was about to venture out of his country at 4 months old. Therefore, I think I will close with a photo of that blessed day of boating with my Dad, fiancé, niece and nephew and of course Atti, we truly enjoyed ourselves. I was finally Heather…for a day.

My niece singing with joy.

Looking back…

Atticus was barely a month old when we went to the beach. It wasn’t far and we weren’t alone. Yet, it was an exploration indeed. For Atti it was smelling the beautiful crisp Lake Huron breeze, the sounds of the lapping waves upon the sand, the warmth of the sun upon his car seat cover and the gentle sounds of his parents and friends enjoying the day.

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For mommy it was just a glimpse at being a real human again. While I was still too big and uncomfortable for swimwear, I still felt the bliss of the sun kissing my skin and the relaxation that the water brings. I enjoyed the conversation and being able to sit with my toes in the sand and not have my arms full of baby for a bit. The thought that this was just the beginning of many adventures together brought a certain peace to my heart.