Has our family found our joy? Following up on New Year’s Resolutions

Twins playing

This post was created in partnership with Kids & Company.

This January I wrote about finding my joy again. I was hustling harder than ever while running my own business and there was barely any down time in between. I wasn’t laughing, I wasn’t playing, I wasn’t stopping.

Where had I taken a wrong turn? When did I lose my joy?

We are now three months into 2018 and I am taking a minute to reflect and see if I have stuck to my goal.

I have found joy, and am actively moving towards my goals. But my joy came in a surprising way, in the form of a new family member. For years our kids have been begging us to get a dog. For a long time we kept saying no. It just seemed like too much more work to be piled on.

But eventually the idea of adding a puppy to our already busy house started to make more and more sense. So, in January we welcomed our newest member, Oliver into our family.


Truthfully, half of me was worried that the idea of getting a dog was a pipe-dream, and half was sure it was the right decision. I had visions of this little guy (we knew it would be a boy to balance out all of the girls in our home), sleeping in my home office while worked, getting me outside more to keep the seasonal blues away, bringing us together as a family, and helping our son Holden get past his fear of dogs.

Well someone must have been smiling down on our family from above because not only has Oliver brought all of those dreams to life, but he has brought so much more joy to our home. Oliver is an old soul and he has forced me to create the balance I so badly needed.

But as far as the rest of my 2018 list goes, am I following through? Yes, well mostly.

Am I delegating? Yes! I have now created a team of three other people at Nesting Story and I have finally found my groove as a team leader. I am also taking full advantage of the time I have during the day while our twins are in daycare at Kids and Company.

After all of the drop-offs I exercise outside with Oliver and then get all of my work done before everyone is home, so that evenings and weekends are dedicated to my family.

Have I been playing? Kind of. Last week I finally went skiing, something I have been wanting to get back into for ten years now. I have even signed up for a 10k run in May (more on that another day).


I am continuing to go after what I want, by creating a beautiful and functional home, while purging all of the stuff that was clutter in our lives.

Although I am making great strides towards these goals, I do have to make sure I am constantly checking in with myself, asking if I am experiencing joy, and balancing my time properly.

Finding a childcare that not only gives me time to build my career, but that my kids also love, has been such a wonderful aspect to having more of a work/life balance. Kids & Company has the flexibility I need with my schedule, but also the unique programming, learning opportunities, from-scratch meals and sense of community they provide fills me with such confidence in my choice in childcare.

With locations all across Canada, Kids & Company is a high-quality care and early development centre that parents can trust and kids will love. It started under the leadership of two moms (one with 8 children!), who felt there was a need for flexible care options in a setting with amazing teachers, community, proven development programs and an understanding of today’s families.

Whether it’s their Grab ‘n’Go snacks, parent workshops, or their complimentary care for date nights and shopping days outside of regular hours, nothing has been forgotten.

Here’s where it gets exciting… right now Kids and Company is waiving the registration fee (a $150 value) for Nesting Story readers! Just email amcnaught@kidsandcompany.com to access this exclusive offer.
One waved registration per family for a newly registering child before December 31, 2018. Subject to availability.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kids & Company. While compensation was provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of Kids & Company.

How Anxiety Inspired Me To Start Running And Begin A Two-Week Challenge

A few weeks ago, I was anxious. I could audibly hear every breath exiting and entering my body. Every task, including putting my kids’ shoes on for them, was a struggle. I had a lot on my mind that included worrying about one of my kids, who was struggling, and some tough work-based decisions that I had to make.

anxiety and parenting

I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and I would be crushed at any moment. I wasn’t able to answer my kids’ questions without hearing a quiver in my voice. I was shattering.

One day, as I finally hit send on an email that had been weighing heavily on me, something told me that I needed to run. Physically run away from my problems and gain some perspective. Luckily, my husband Mike was just walking in the door from work at that moment and I was able to leave him with the kids and head out the door.

As I rounded the corner from the streets lined with houses and entered the path through the forest near my house, my feet began to move faster. I was running… fast. My muscles ached as my body tried to comprehend this new feeling.


You see, despite working out and getting my (new) body back after babies, I wasn’t doing any cardio, only resistance training. Up until this point, I didn’t see the need to do cardio. I was getting the results I wanted to see from portion control, resistance training and making healthy dietary choices. Why bother with sweaty, time-consuming cardio? Little did I know that my mind and body had been craving cardio the entire time.


As I continued to run along that path, something incredible began to happen. I stopped worrying. For the first time in a week, I didn’t feel like I was going to shatter. My mind was gaining perspective and new ideas and solutions were bubbling to the surface. My entire being was strengthening and I was flying.


Throughout the next week, I flew out the door each day as Mike came home from work. I was smiling again, and going through my day with ease and confidence. My anxiety disappeared and I was able to tackle each problem that came my way with a clear mind. I even began to feel my body strengthen. But as life with kids goes, illness decided to pay a visit to our home and my runs were put on pause.

Now that everyone is healthy again, I am ready to jump back into my running routine. I am beginning a two-week challenge to be #evenbetter. I will be running each day while maintaining my resistance training and healthy dietary choices. I will also start including my family in my cardio journey, including going on family bike rides and nature hikes.


Because I struggle at times to get enough water, Ocean Spray® will be keeping me hydrated with their Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Waters so I can dial up on all the healthy benefits.

Ocean Spray PACt

So, what are my goals during this two-week challenge? There are three main ones that stand out to me:

  1. To incorporate daily fitness into my routine and help strengthen my body.
  2. To use running as a stress-release and to control my anxiety.
  3. To not only set a good example for both my kids and my husband, but to include them in my cardio journey as well.

Keeping myself (and my family) hydrated with Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water flavours – including Cranberry Pomegranate, Cranberry Raspberry and Cranberry Mango Passionfruit – will make the entire challenge a little more fun and sweet!

Ocean Spray PACt

The last time I was really into running, I either found that I would get bored of drinking so much water, or not drink enough and end up dehydrated. Ocean Spray® has created the perfect low-calorie drink that is full of ingredients I can feel good about putting into my body.

Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water delivers unique cranberry benefits. It contains PACs, or proanthocyanidins – unique, powerful elements found deep inside cranberries – to help protect against certain harmful bacteria from sticking in the urinary tract.

Made from purified water, each bottle is only 10 calories, is naturally sweetened, and contains no GMOs or artificial colours – the colour comes straight from the red cranberries.

I am really excited to start this journey with my family and see what kind of benefits each of us gain from adding more cardio to our daily lives. Make sure to check in in two weeks to see how we did!

Ocean Spray® PACt® Cranberry Extract Water is a tasty and low-calorie way to hydrate in a more meaningful way. Packed with the power of 50 cranberries, PACt® cranberry extract water delivers unique cranberry health benefits. Visit http://pact.oceanspray.ca to learn more and find out where to buy PACt® water at a store near you.


Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Ocean Spray® via Mode Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Ocean Spray®.

The Dentist, Anxiety And A Hair Emergency (Vlog 2)

the dentistTaking all four kids out by myself has become easier and easier, and last week proved that. I took Holden and Beau to the dentist with our twins in tow and it couldn’t have gone smoother. I think the fact that Holden and Beau are becoming more independent is making a huge difference.

Also, in this vlog I open up about my anxiety, and how it peaked recently but what I did to take control again.

Oh, and if life isn’t crazy enough, Beau came home from school with a hair emergency. Watch all of this and more on the today’s vlog…

Don’t forget to subscribe to Nesting Story on YouTube so you don’t miss a video!