Saying good bye…and healing our hearts


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Everyone who knows us, knows how very loved our sweet Barney is. Evan and I got Barney over 12 years ago at the Kootenai Humane Society during our first winter in Idaho. He was our first “baby” and has been an important part of family ever since. He showed our kids what love really “feels like”, he was my running partner in his younger years, Evan’s co-pilot during our move back to Canada, and again back to Idaho, our protector, our loyal boy, our true friend.

Over the past year, sweet Barney started to slow down as his body started to give out on him. He had some scary falls, some accidents in the house, and spent most of his days sleeping. It was such a difficult decision, but we knew it was time to say good bye to our best friend.  On Wednesday July 20th, at 7:30 pm at our home a kind vet helped Barney on his final journey. Although it was so hard to be with him as he slipped away, the four of us were so glad that we were able to be with him. We buried him on our property in a beautiful shady spot, under a pine tree overlooking the lake.

We will always miss him. Our home feels quieter without sweet Barney right next to us, but we know he is at peace and he won’t have to miss us when we set off on our trip. We were so lucky to have had Barney in our lives.

Soon after, we travelled up to Priest Lake, Idaho for some healing and reflection and some distraction from our sadness. We spent 2 wonderful days camping at Priest. It was what we all needed. We laughed, we shared stories about Barney, we grieved in our own ways. We returned home ready for the next chapter to begin, forever grateful for the gift of Barney in our lives.

Good bye our sweet Barney, you will always be with us in our hearts.
Good bye our sweet Barney, you will always be with us in our hearts.
Evening hikes and happy smiles
Evening hikes and happy smiles

Celebrating Barney

Priest Lake healing
Priest Lake healing

Nicola xo


1 month to go update!

Ev, Becca and Jamey on our Father's Day Hike on Tubbs Hill
Ev, Becca and Jamey on our Father’s Day Hike on Tubbs Hill

1 month away…for a trip that seems that it was years in the planning, I cannot believe we leave for this adventure in just over 30 days! After today, I only have 8 more days of work at Coeur d’Alene Pediatrics. I’m too young to retire (ha!), but I am so looking forward to having this time with my family.

Jamey and Becca have been doing great with our 100 mile challenge, both are now over 50 miles in. I’m close behind them and Evan isn’t too far behind me. We have been having such a great time exploring different beautiful hiking trails in Idaho and Washington. We recently found the Pulaski Trail in Wallace, Idaho and this week we hiked the Little Spokane River loop in Riverside State Park. Although we will soon be seeing new awe inspiring sights, I still feel so lucky to live in a place that provides such a feeling of peace in my soul.

Oh the places you'll go Jamey...
Oh the places you’ll go Jamey…

I made a quick trip home last week as my Uncle Rick passed away after a brave fight with cancer. It was wonderful to be able to be with my family to celebrate his life. He was only 56 years old. His funeral reminded me that life is precious, and sometimes too short and to really try to get as much out of it as you possibly can, while you can. It felt so good to be able to hug everyone one last time before we set off to travel.

Evan has found renters for our home while we are away. Our wooden home is in the middle of a forest, so we feel fortunate that 4 fire fighters from Spokane will be our tenants and on guard for us while we are away…

We have been packing up our precious things and giving away things we no longer really need. We have our accomodations for Hong Kong booked, as well as our first week stay in Chiang Mai. The kids have been learning about different parts of South East Asia. I’ve been reading up on how to treat “traveller’s diarrhea” and arranging for our typhoid vaccinations. I’ve called our bank and credit card company to let them know we’ll be travelling. In addition to renting our house, preparing our cars for selling, getting things into storage, Evan has been looking at onward flights from New Zealand, as long as our budget allows, to keep travelling after our time there.

This week I have also been communicating with 2 other families from Canada that have taken sabbiticals with their families. It’s been exciting and informative to hear about their experiences. I have so appreciated their “must see’s” and have enjoyed reading their travel blogs.

Next up, we have to arrange for our International Driver’s Licenses, start scanning copies of our passports and driver’s licenses, buying the curriculum we’ll need for homeschooling and getting all the last minute things we will be needing for the trip.

All that…

and we are still hiking!
and we are still hiking!

Enjoying the ride,