This summer is going to be the summer of
This summer my hubby and partner in crime will be leaving on his first big deployment of his military career.
We’ve been lucky, really, to have him home. He was there to hear Ada’s little heart beat for the first time, and to meet my tearful eyes with his from across the doctor’s office as the reality of our growing family sunk in. He was able to wrap his arms around me as my belly grew, and to stand strong as I pulled and pushed and hugged (and bit) my way through a powerful labour.
He’s been here to watch our daughter transform into a quirky, playful toddler, and me into her mother. He has become the best of daddies: the king of the under-duck on our backyard swing, pretty handy with sidewalk chalk, and able to fold himself into a tiny chair in order to attend tea parties.
He is the kind of partner that supports me in all my hair-brained schemes, from swimming 13km from one province to another, climbing a really big mountain, and spending an absolutely goofy amount of time making food and taking pictures of it.
(although I cannot say he is without benefit of the latter)
Deployments are never easy, but over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at finding ways to see the bright spots in and amongst the challenges. I see this deployment as an opportunity to remind myself of my own strength and ability. It’s nice to let my hubby do the things I don’t want to do, or would have to push myself to learn to do if he weren’t around, but I figure a girl can get a much-needed dose of fierce independence and empowerment by, you know, fixing her own damn car.
Among my goals for the next six months is to take Ada camping – just the two of us – with our little 6-foot pop-up trailer. The thing is heavy and greasy and requires a lot of brute force to operate, and the trip will also involve me having to be the brave one when the bushes rustle at night, starting the campfire, and yanking ticks out of my daughters, furry and not-so. When we went on a test-drive of the whole concept last weekend, it took me forty-five minutes to back the trailer into our campsite. Tears were running down my face and the guy in the campsite next to me decided to crack open a beer to watch, but my stubbornness prevailed and, after I sent Dylan and Ada away on a walk and did a short meditation to calm myself, I did it.
And I will do it, this whole thing.
This recipe is a shout-out to one of my favourite local companies, Pure Infused Maple Syrup. I wanted to see if I could make my favourite of their products at home, and lo and behold, I could!
- 2 cups pure maple syrup
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 10 star anise
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the syrup, vanilla bean and star anise until the mixture nearly boils.
- Allow to cool, and store in an air-tight container. I left the vanilla bean and star anise in the syrup for extra flavour, but you could remove them if you wanted to.