So, we realise now that it was unrealistic to think we could keep up this family blog! March 30th 2018 will mark our 1 year anniversary of moving to Vancouver. It has been a huge year for us, we have been through so many changes. But we feel so blessed to be here, making it our home after many years of dreaming. We cannot put into words what we’ve experienced this past year, so here are some pics instead.
Since this our first Christmas in Canada, I thought I’d create a “Cheesy North American Family Montage”!
So, we’ve been here 2 weeks now. In some ways it doesn’t feel like it, it still feels like we’ve always been here, despite having to navigate new bus routes, new food (new food standards particularly!), new vernacular, different customs.
We’ve been busy looking for a place to rent more long term and looking at possible schools for the boys to start in September. They’re a little anxious, not sure of what to expect, which is understandable, but if they get into the school we want, I’m sure they’ll settle in and love it. It’s a very small community school of 160 children. There are so many things about the school that are a good fit for the boys; forest school and outdoor classes, healthy snacks available anytime of day, huge library…and so many things that fit with us as parents; restorative justice circles to work through issues (for parents too!), Roots of Empathy programme that look at understanding others’ emotions, standing desks in classrooms so that they’re not sitting too long, working with the local First Nations people…I could write more about the things I love about it!
The difficulty is that the catchment area is so small that we’re having difficulty finding a house in that area, they are either too small or too expensive! I check Craigslist every day (sometimes more than twice a day!) looking for accommodation but I am also reminded of how we found our temporary accommodation 2 weeks before we arrived! I’m sure (I hope) something will work out!
The boys have been really patient with all the admin we have had to sort out. They have been dragged here and there, the bank, the town hall, schools, house rental visits…all they want to do is run and play so we make sure we’re at the beach or at a playground most days.
But we also go because I need to. I’ve realised I can’t be away from the sea or from a mountain view for more than a few days – I start to feel claustrophobic. I need to be standing by the sea and looking at the snow-capped mountains. It’s where I feel alive. I feel put in my place and in awe.
We went to the Easter Service at Vancouver Cathedral today. In his sermon, the bishop talked about how the resurrection story is present throughout the book of scripture, but how the resurrection story is also present throughout the “book of nature” ie creation. As I thought of how standing in front of the mountains made me feel, I noticed that tears were streaming down my face, not because I felt sad but because I felt I understood. Being drawn to the sea, looking out into the vastness, looking at the beauty of the mountains, I’m being drawn into nature, I’m being drawn into and connecting with God.
But we are still finding out feet. We’re enjoying exploring the city, we are not enjoying the rain but having adventures figuring out where we Gibbs’ fit in Vancouver.
Two things we’re not so excited about, however…earthquakes and bears!