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Letters from the Editor

November/December 2013

Christmas has always been my favourite time of year. I grew up in a family where both my mom’s family and my dad’s family lived nearby; this meant the festivities filled a solid three days…if not more. If we weren’t at one grandma’s house we were at the other’s. The delicious food and thoughtful gifts were plentiful, but no one did it like my mom.

I’m almost certain that my mom was related to Martha Stewart; she baked and decorated, selected gifts and hosted holiday parties with the best of them. There was certainly no shortage of love any other time of the year, but at Christmas…especially at Christmas…holiday cheer and love filled our home.

When it was my turn to start a family with my husband, I was so excited to infuse our home with that same holiday cheer and love. With a heart filled with childhood memories, I quickly established my repertoire of perennial baking favourites: whipped shortbread, mint Nanaimo bars, mini pecan tarts; and the Christmas music that I listened to as a child found its way onto my playlist: Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and The Carpenters are the soundtrack of our Decembers.

But even though our kids have only had a couple handfuls of Christmases, I’ve already come to realize that it’s not the traditional baking or holiday music that speaks to our children’s hearts…it’s the feeling of love that reaches their core. It’s that love that nurtures their very being; it’s that love that is growing them into two amazing young people who will one day, I’m hoping, plant that same love in the hearts of my grandchildren.

I realize that that love comes from the special times spent with family, friends, neighbours or even fellow volunteers who are reaching out to others during the season. That love comes from the act of thoughtfulness when picking out that perfect gift for someone special. That love comes from whatever bubbles up within us during this time of year and infuses the season with magic.

So whether or not Christmas is a big deal in your home, our hope is that you’ll find this to be a season of love within your family. Enjoy this issue filled with ideas for enjoying this winter wonderland we call home, and inspirational ways our community is serving one another.

With warmth and love,

Kerri

January/February 2014

Life has a beautiful way of renewing itself...whether through the changing of the seasons, the start of a new week, or the Grand Poobah of new beginnings: New Year’s Day.

New Year’s Day marks the first day of a fresh, unblemished year. There are 365 days of potential awesomeness...365 days lay ahead where you will exercise, eat right, spend more time with your kids, and finally perfect that family budget. Well, at least that’s how you intend on spending the next year!

Does your family make New Year’s Resolutions together? I’d like to say that that’s one of our family traditions, but it’s not. It sure should be, though! One year we sat down with our kids and all came up with resolutions. And you know what? Those two little ones made them and kept them! It was a fantastic lesson in goal-setting...one we truly should keep up with.

But you know what? I might actually have to take back what I said about New Year’s Day being the Grand Poobah of new beginnings. I mean there truly is no newer beginning than the birth of a new baby. And at Gryphon Publishing, that’s why it made complete sense to partner our New Beginnings theme with the idea of a Baby issue.  While one family is gearing up to welcome a new baby, another family might be adding on to their own by creating a blended family. While one family might be grieving the loss of a pregnancy, another might be navigating the transition of having a stay-at-home mom return to work. And so this is the issue where we take on some many aspects of new beginnings, including the addition of a new baby.

So as we embark on this very special new beginning, at Gryphon Publishing we wish you all the very best for 2014!  Here’s to a year where goals are met, relationships nurtured and dreams come true.

P.S. Looking for an amazing getaway this winter? Check out our feature on Jasper. Take it from me, Jasper in January is unlike anything else!

March/April 2014

Life. It’s sometimes challenging, sometimes joyful, sometimes painful, sometimes just plain old boring. At times  it’s even a bit too exciting, when you could really go for a dose of boredom. But to me, the one thing that life should always be is celebrated.

We call this issue of Edmonton’s Child Magazine the “Health Break” issue, but in reality, by devoting this issue to health we’re truly devoting this issue to celebrating life...our own, and the lives of those we love.

By now you’ve seen the most beautiful little six-year-old girl, Elora, on our cover. She’s just one of the special kids that we’re celebrating in “Someone’s Miracle. Someone’s Baby”, a feature on the Edmonton Down Syndrome Clinic and the special families who work with them. Take a look ~ we know you’ll fall in love with these great kids and the support that surrounds them.

It’s not uncommon for the topic of weight to creep up when talking about health. In this issue we have a great article about dealing with weight issues in children, as well as a piece outlining the harmful effects of using the word “fat”.  On that note, be sure to check out our healthy snack recipes...introducing some fresh, fun food ideas is a great way to get the whole family on a healthy track!

With some fun Earth Day-themed party ideas and an easy but pride-inducing do-it-yourself project, we promise to do our best to usher you into springtime with nary a second thought to what has felt like another endless winter.

Now go and enjoy! Meet us back here in May for some more spring fun and summer camp excitement!

With warm, spring-like thoughts,

Kerri  

May/June 2014

It’s for real this time, folks. Spring really has sprung...and summer is just around the corner. I have the feeling that our home isn’t the only one around here that’s bursting with excitement! And in a cooler climate like Edmonton, it would be completely irresponsible of us to not devote this entire issue to the building of summer excitement.

In this issue you’ll find loads of camps, with a special piece devoted to some seriously cool ones in our area. But while working on it, what we discovered is that Alberta has an overwhelming amount of amazing camp experiences...and we could only select a very few! Check them out!

This year, we’ve teamed up with Made Urban, an online marketplace for buying and selling locally made goods and so much more, to bring you our official 2014  Farmers’ Market Finder...a sort of treasure map to help you uncover all that our local producers have to offer in the capital region.

We’ve also laid out a month-by-month listing of all the amazing festivals happening in our city...the reason why we’re called the Festival City!

As always, we’re excited to bring you pieces from our regular sections. We also have a local mom’s perspective on her daughter’s experience with Juvenile Arthritis. And don’t miss ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s recipes for your day-camper’s lunch!

So hip-hip-hooray! Summer’s on its way! Now get to reading and get ready for the summer of 2014!

July/August 2014

I’m just going to say it: Leaving Alberta in the summer is a sad, sad thing to do. Have you looked around lately? Remember all of those lamentations we exchanged with anyone who would listen...our spouses, colleagues, children, strangers in the grocery store...those ones about the never-ending winter? It’s time to file those away in our distant memories and get ready to enjoy the summer!

But not just any summer. We’re talking about summer in our {big} backyard. If you’re one of our faithful readers, this terminology isn’t new to you; we’ve been referring to all of Alberta as our big backyard for quite some time now. But there’s just no other adequate way to describe it! It’s all of our home...and it’s for all of our enjoyment!

And there’s certainly no shortage of enjoyment to be found in Alberta. In this issue we’ve highlighted a few of our favourites, no matter what part of the province you happen to be! We’ve also put together a map of some great museums that you won’t want to miss this summer!

So take a look at what we’ve put together, and consider it your guide to the summer. Boredom will not be an issue!

September/October 2014

I feel like I just finished stretching my hands from writing one of my last letters from the editor...one where I lamented the slow arrival of summer...only to repoise my fingers over the keyboard and start rambling about how summer vacation is all but over and the kids are ready for back-to-school. How did this happen? How did we take a break from making school lunches and shuttling the kids to and from their activities only to find it time to start all over again. But here we are; it’s time for our Back-to-School & Fall Registrations issue.

I’m having a bit of a time wrapping my head around this, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one. But while I love putting together every issue of ECM, I have to say this is one of my favourites to work on each year. With the excitement of the new school year coupled with the start of fall activities, there are so many topics to cover, and often, they’re ones many of us haven’t stopped to consider before.

For example, have you ever thought about what a feat it must be for parents who are in school while growing a family at the same time? Take a look at Amanda Matwie’s story and see how she handled completing her post-secondary education while pregnant...on more than one occasion!

Oxford Learning Centres has shared some great ideas with us about tackling the first six weeks of school and overcoming shyness for the kids heading back to class this September. And for teens struggling with skin issues, Sweet Momma Spa has some great advice on how to tackle them (and  fabulous giveaway to win!).

We know you put a lot of energy into your kids, so take some time for you: sit back, put your feet up, and have a good read before we all blink and it’s Christmas! Enjoy the beauty that is the autumn season in the Edmonton region...we’ll see you back here for our next issue!

November/December 2014

You know that saying, “It’s better to give than receive”? The reality of that statement didn’t truly hit home for me until I was old enough to choose gifts for the people I love, using my own resources...whether the resources were thought, time, or money.  

The thing is, as a busy wife and mother, time is of the essence, and no matter how grandiose my holiday intentions are when I start conjuring them early in the year, by the time November rolls around I’m needing every little bit of help I can scrounge up. Here at  Edmonton’s Child, we’re betting you’re not that different.

This year, in our biggest most ambitious Gift Guide ever, we have put together a massive collection of things we absolutely love, with a focus on locally-sourced inspiration. With suggestions for everyone on your list from the newest additions, to teachers and caregivers and everyone in between, you can easily look no further than our pages and have a clear and concise plan of gift-buying action.

Of course the holidays aren’t all about the gifts...the time spent with loved making memories are the moments we treasure the most. So take a look through our pages and see what kind of memories you can make with your friends and family this holiday season.

So from the family here at Edmonton’s Child Magazine to yours, warmest wishes this holiday season. We’ll see you back here in 2015!

January/February 2015

New beginnings. Those two words hold so much promise...so much possibility...they make up the perfect theme for our first issue of 2015.

Maybe your new beginning is a new baby. Could there be anything more exciting? I remember being wheeled from the delivery room with my first born safe in my arms. Had I not been in a wheelchair, I swear I could have floated to my room...I was on cloud nine! There I was grinning proudly at anyone who would catch my eye...a fact that now mortifies me! Picture it: There I was fresh from a marathon 28-hour induction, full face of leftover makeup and hair matted from hours of lying flat on my back. But none of that mattered... my husband and I were parents...it was probably the biggest new beginning I’ll ever experience!

We’ve filled this issue with lots of articles about new babies...from banking and donating cord blood, to recording baby’s milestones; from how pregnancy affects your vision, to supporting moms and how they choose to feed their babies,we’ve got lots to talk about!

Maybe, like me, your new beginning is simply the start of a new year. But that in and of itself is super exciting! Not only does the start of January mean starting over with a clean slate...it means looking around at our big backyard and taking account of all the amazing things we can fill our slates with! We’re so excited to introduce We Are YEG as one of our newest partners. This fabulous group of photographers is passionate about documenting the individuals, events and businesses that make Edmonton great. Take a look at all they’ve captured and get out to see it for yourself!

Now is also the time of year that Jasper in January happens. It’s one of Jasper’s hottest winter festivals and all I can say is GO. Just go. It’s snowy and magical and I can’t say enough. Whether you’re into dog sledding, ice skating, ice climbing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, or cross country skiing, you’ll have more fun than you can imagine.

Speaking of cross country skiing, check out the Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival! It’s a cross-country ski event honouring the spirit of the Norwegian Birkebeiner legend...great for the whole family! Read more about it on page 19.

So, friends, welcome to your new beginning! Welcome to 2015...all of us here at Edmonton’s Child are looking forward to another wonderful year with you!

March/April 2015

Writing my letter for each issue is a treat. It’s my time to sit back and look over the articles poised to fill the pages of this issue, to truly connect with them, and to reflect on why they made the cut. But when I started to put some thought to the words that would fill this space, it quickly became apparent that I might have a hard time honing my words into a coherent thought; the topic of “health” is a broad one!

This is our Health Break issue. When I think of the word break, I think of a reprieve...a push of the “pause” button. But I also think of something that has been separated into pieces; something that needs a little TLC to be put back together again.

For some people, their health break will mean taking time out of their busy schedules to focus on their health...eating well and exercising...as a preemptive measure. For others, their health break will be fixing the “break” in their health. Perhaps it’s time to fix what isn’t working quite right. Whatever your situation, one thing the team here at Edmonton’s Child Magazine keeps ruminating on is the idea of being kind to yourself.

If you’re pregnant and keeping fit like Delaine Dew on page 6, be kind to yourself. If you’re working out with kids like Deanne Ferguson on page 19, be kind to yourself. And if you’re planning for your kids’ trip to camp this year like Connie Peters on page 24, now’s the time to really be kind to yourself!

Speaking of being kind, our cover kid, Cole, together with the families of some other little people in our region, is being featured with the goal of helping the people to understand what it’s like to be their shoes.

And if you’re looking for another way to be kind, read what Simply Suppers is doing for some deserving families here in our community, and find out how you can help!

So sit back and put your feet up for a read that we hope will inspire you to be kind to yourself and those around you as you get into our Health Break issue!

May/June 2015

Did you go to camp as a kid? Many kids grow up spending their summers at camp from an early age, and for some, going to summer camp just isn’t their thing.

My first experience at summer camp was when I was around 14-years-old, and it seemed like one of the most magical experiences of my young life. It was my first little taste of freedom, with new friends and new experiences. I returned only one time after that first summer...and like most things, it was never as special as that first experience.

Summer camp has been a part of my kids’ lives for a number of years now, in one form or another. When they were really little we’d attend a local camp for a few hours each day, where crafts, activities and snacks all happened in the great outdoors. It was the perfect foray into the summer camp experience: a little bit of independence for the kids, with Mom or Dad nearby if need be.

As soon as they were old enough for sleep-away camp, off they went. Our daughter was the first to pioneer the experience, and she went with her best friend and cousin. I felt great, her dad felt great, she felt great. It was great.

Skip ahead a year to when her little brother could go. He had no friends and no cousin with him. I felt terrible, his dad felt fine, he felt optimistic. I cried the whole ride home. And I’m not much of a crier.

They’re now 13 and 11-years-old; they’ve got their interests, likes and dislikes, and we’ve found that day camps have come full circle in the camp-appeal category. This year they’re registered at DiscoverE, the super-cool camps which are part of a student-delivered initiative of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta. How exciting is that?

Choosing a summer camp is no easy task, so we’ve put together a list of just some of the many options available in our region.

If summer camp isn’t your thing, then maybe camping is. We’ve got a really great piece from Mountain Equipment Co-Op’s Josephine Baran all about Exploring the Great Outdoors with Family Camping.

We’re so excited to have partnered again this year with Made Urban on this year’s Farmers’ Market Finder. What a great way to get out and explore, finding some fantastic locally made goodies!

We’ve also put together a 2015 Festival Finder. Keep it handy because there are lots of great festivals coming up in and around Edmonton!

Enough of me telling you what you’ll find in this issue...just get in to it! Join with us as we plan for a fantastic warm weather here in our Spring & Camp Guide!

July/August 2015

As I sat at my desk pondering how best to put into words the joy that comes with summer, I thought about the cold winter mornings, waking in the dark and rushing to the hot shower to warm up. And then I found a quote that sums it up so beautifully:

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ~ John Steinbeck.

See? Those miserable, cold winter mornings were worth it! They make these warm, sunny mornings oh so much more divine by contrast!

So here’s the rub: Why do any of us bother leaving Edmonton during these hot-hot-hot months? Growing up, my family booted it out of town at this time of year. Now that I have kids of my own, it’s rare that we roam too far away. We live in Alberta, after all! There’s SO much to see and do!

Our summer issue is always a blast to put together. One of our favourite things to do is brainstorm our official list of excursions...the places that we’ve visited, or have on our own summer bucket lists.

Whether you’re looking for something just a hop, skip and a jump away, or somewhere in one of the further corners of the province, we have a section devoted to lots of places you might want to venture to this year!

Our family has discovered some personal favourites from Fort McMurray down to Drumheller, and lots of places in between. In fact, some of our top memories have been made right here in Edmonton...whether on the Edmonton Queen Riverboat, staying at the Hotel Selkirk at Fort Edmonton Park, or getting all scientific at the TELUS World of Science. Where does your family like to venture to in the summer? Use the hashtag #BigBackyardECM on Twitter and Instagram, and share your summer adventures with us!

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s some sunshine with my name on it. We’ll see you back here for our Back to School and Fall Programs issue!


September/October 2015

What {a} summer!

Let’s take a second to talk about that first sentence.

First of all: What summer? It feels like the kids and I just traded a round of high-fives after successfully pulling off another school year, and now we’re staring in stunned silence as the back to school jitters set in.

Second of all: What a summer! The days were hot, many evenings were rainy, and my green grass and reasonable water bill sent a big “thank-you” to the heavens! But here’s what I hesitate to even type in this moment...

You see, I’m sitting here at my desk, nearly a month before you’ll even pick up this issue. I’m sitting here with butterflies in my stomach...butterflies that I had thought were perched on a branch all chill...until I found myself three weeks out from the Edmonton Marathon.

August 23 {will have...by the time you’re reading this} marked the day when I ran my first half marathon. Emphasis on the half; emphasis also on the marathon. Training for this isn’t what I had planned for my summer. Training for this is what happened when my husband mentioned it, and I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to push myself...or let him accomplish something so invigorating without me by his side. (Translation: “Oh, it is ON!”)

I started running a year ago. I remember piling into the car for a road trip with my amazing colleagues, where I proudly but trepidatiously announced that I was taking part in a Couch to 5K program. I’m going to be honest when I say I wasn’t 100% sold that I’d ever hit that 5K mark and feel good about it. But I did, and ran my first three races last summer.

Training for this half marathon has been a completely different beast, though, and what I’ve discovered is that the mental endurance is just as important as the physical endurance. It’s that mental endurance that I’ve had to conjure up when my body has said, “Nope!”

To push through, I’ve heard that having a mantra while running is a good idea. On one of my longer runs, I tried a few:

“I’ve birthed two viking babies...I can do this! I’ve birthed two viking babies...I can do this!”

~ and ~

“Champagne Thursday! Champagne Thursday!” (This one was surprisingly complimentary to my cadence!)

~ and ~

“I am here, now. I am here, now.”

It’s that last one that really resonated with me. Finally, I found that thing that keeps me present. There’s no where else my mind or body can be while I’m running...especially when trying to pull off the long runs. And there’s that certain sense of wonderment that comes when I’m miles from the starting line, pushing myself, and never losing sight of the finish line.

This half-marathon experience has taught me so many things, perfect in this back-to-school season:

  1. Be willing to try...you really won’t know if you can succeed or not, if you don’t try.
  2. Build supports around you. Having people to turn to for encouragement, and to draw from their experiences, is invaluable.
  3. Be here, now. Life can be overwhelming when you think of the future...whether it’s the next phase of life, the next year, next month, or even tomorrow. Focus on this moment, and do what needs to be done until it’s time to focus on the next moment. You’ll get there, but you run the risk of feeling overwhelmed if you look ahead of yourself.

So whether you’re sending your kids back to school for another year, preparing yourself to continue your own education, or just living life in general, let’s all focus on being here, now.

Until next time!

Kerri

November/December 2015

I love a good quote, and I love a good quote to include in my letter from the editor. I mean, relying on sage words of wisdom expressed far more eloquently than I ever could? Hello effective time management!

The trouble is so many of the quotes I found were all real drags. If I heard a sad trombone playing from the other room while I googled “quotes about winter”, I wouldn't have been surprised at all.

Phrases like, “...as winter tightens its grip,” and thoughts that went something like, “The only way I survive winter is to know that spring is coming,” were everywhere I looked. What kind of attitude is that? Let me tell you: It’s way too negative for this nordic gal.

Remember when we were kids? The snow fell and we were the first ones out the door, building snow forts and tobogganing down hills. My kids are the same way! They’re not even that little anymore, but they’ve been strategizing their plans for the backyard once it’s blanketed in snow for months now. And that’s why the team at Edmonton’s Child is so committed to revoking the idea of hibernating, and instead getting out and exploring our big, snowy backyard.

In this issue we’ve put together a Winter Adventures Finder. Tear that baby out, put it where the family will see it, and start to plan your own winter adventures! As you’ll see, the map is covered with lots of fantastic suggestions! Whether you’re looking for outdoor rinks to skate on, breath-taking holiday light displays to enjoy, places indoors to create some holiday gifts, or {my own personal favourite} trails to cross-country ski on, we’re going to help you play your way through the winter, only to look out the window and find that it’s almost spring.

Our team has also pulled together a list of some of this year’s holiday gift ideas...get inspired! And be sure to check for local craft shows happening around the city...they’re a great opportunity to shop local!

As the last issue of 2015, allow me to say THANK-YOU to each one of you on behalf of our team for making this another fantastic year in Edmonton!

Warmly,

Kerri



January/February 2016

January 1st marks the start of 2016. 2016! Can you even?

I remember the last day of the 1900s. On December 31, 1999, my husband (of only a few months) and I were at a New Year’s Eve party where conversations about generators, bunkers, and all things Y2K buzzed around us. Would our bank cards work in the morning? What if the world crumbled around us at the stroke of midnight?

Spoiler alert: It didn’t.  We woke up, looked at our digital alarm clocks, booted up the old desktop computer, and breathed a sigh of relief. The world was just as we knew it.

Is it just me, though, or is that world almost unrecognizable? I had a job that didn’t require a computer. Picture it: I sat in the bullpen at CBC Edmonton News with a notebook and a pen. Tech support wasn’t a thing! The stationary drawer full of more pens and paper were all the help I needed! But the years since then have been full of advances that seem to be happening at breakneck speed. New beginnings are all around us.

Every year we kick things off celebrating the idea of new beginnings, and there’s no bigger new beginning than the arrival of a new baby. We’ve filled this issue with lots of great content to help navigate the challenges and surprises of caring for these new little ones - whether you’re struggling with feeding, coping with crying, or choosing a safety seat for your car.

Of course not everyone is in the new-baby stage of life, so we’re also talking about taming kids’ obsession with technology, and what to look for to know if your aging parent shouldn’t be living alone anymore.

What new beginning is happening in your life right now? Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #NewBeginningsECM.

Until next time, Happy New Year!

Cheers!
Kerri

 

March/April 2016

For most of my life I’ve lived with a need to feel in control...control of finances, control of household tidiness, control of relationships...you name it, I’ve tried to wrangle control of it.

Admittedly this hasn’t always brought out the best in me.

This need for control has been challenged recently, and I know I’m not alone in the department full of people feeling helpless. The current economy has left the majority of Albertans feeling like the rug has been pulled out from under them. The for-sures in life are suddenly uncertain. That smug sense of security has been replaced with a white-knuckled grip while we wait for the storm to pass.

It’s not the start to 2016 that we were all hoping for, but this is our March/April issue which means springtime is near...and there is a whole lot of hope in that.

This is our Health Break issue...an issue that is wide open to translation. My health break might be different than your health break, but at the end of the day, whatever we do to nurture our own personal health is what will benefit us all the most.

My 2016 Health Break started with my New Year’s resolution to “turn down the noise”. For me this meant really pulling back from social media. Nearing the end of 2015 I had found myself putting too much stock in what my social media accounts reflected back to me. I’d question why someone “liked” or didn’t “like” a post. I’d question what someone’s comment actually meant. I’d silently criticize what I saw others doing on social media. And I realized that this never-ending dialogue was really jamming my airways.

Turning down the noise couldn’t have come at a better time, because as soon as I could listen more closely to what was really happening in my real life...not my virtual one...I was able to assess more accurately what was really going on around me. Health issues that I had tried to shut-up with my busyness were finally addressed. The challenges my teenage daughter and pre-teen son were facing suddenly had the amount of my attention that they needed, and the time I’ve been wanting to free up for some volunteering finally found a spot in my calendar.  My life is still noisy, but that noise has a lot more clarity.

In this issue, our articles and feature fit perfectly under a really beautiful umbrella of Health. From the honest first-person accounts from Delaine Dew and Trent Wilkie, to some delicious {and healthy} recipes, tips for caring for yourself and your relationships, to the importance of keeping your house clean, this issue will help you take Health Break!

By picking up this issue of Edmonton’s Child Magazine you’re taking a great first step in your own personal Health Break. Some time for yourself is so important, and our hope is you’ll find inspiration in these pages to live your life in a healthy way, and with a renewed sense of hope as we head into spring.

On behalf of our family here at Edmonton’s Child, all the best until next time!
Kerri

May/June 2016

Is my household the only one that has emerged from the Winter of 2015/2016 feeling like, “What was that, anyway?” It was kind of cold...ish, and sometimes there was a bit of snow, but not enough to feel like we’ve emerged victorious from yet another brutal Canadian winter.

For me it started on New Year’s Eve.  Like most years, our family cuddled up at home to ring in the New Year, but for some reason I can’t even recall now, I was grumpy. So was my husband. And the dropping of the big ball in Times Square live on TV that we watch every single year? It didn’t happen. I mean, I’m sure it happened, but I’ll never know for sure because the telecast cut out before it dropped! Who knew that ball held so much power over me? It seemed to really set the tone for the first few months of 2016...a bewildered, disappointed and grumpy tone.

There’s something about spring, though. Once that first official day rolled around, I could envision myself uncrossing my arms, taking a deep breath, and not looking back. Even the ball hanging over Times Square is a distant memory for me now as I think about all things spring! And with spring comes planning for summer, and that’s why our May/June issue is the one where we LOVE to focus on summer camps!

In this issue you’ll find tons of great summer camps, perfectly suited to any number of interests! Our family has tried a number of local options over the years, with the most recent being DiscoverE at the University of Alberta last summer, and it was a HIT!  Take a look at all of them; if you’re like me, you’ll be wishing you were a kid again just so you could try some of them out!

Of course spring and summer isn’t all fun and games...every day life still has a way of staying put, so we’ve made sure to include great pieces to make sure you’re living well, learning well, and of course, playing well!

So with no looking back, jump into these pages of Edmonton’s Child Magazine and enjoy all spring has to offer!

Until next time...my brightest wishes for you on behalf of the entire Edmonton’s Child family!

Kerri

July/August 2016

If there’s anything I know for sure, it’s this: There is no other place I’d rather be than right here in Alberta.

Over the past weeks our province has pulled together to support the people of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo; we were afraid with them, we were devastated with them, and we vowed to stand with them until their home feels like home again...and for the years that come in the rebuilding process.

The Beast refined our province. It served as a reminder to all of us just who we are. And although it tried to drive many people out of Alberta, we’re not going down like that.

Do you know about Alberta Health Service’s Text4Mood program? I signed up for it when it first launched in January, and as I write this, I’m looking at the message I received this morning: “The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you have come.”

It’s so true. It would be easy, and understandable, to get mired down in the sheer magnitude of the recent tragedies, but we’ve got to keep moving forward. Thank goodness for summer...the perfect time to do just that.

This is our Summer Fun & Travel issue, where page-by-page we’ll take you through some of our top choices for places to explore in our own big backyard. Be sure to check out #VisitRedDeer for Family Fun, an article from our publisher, Wendy Mueller, recounting the fantastic adventures she went on with her family last summer. If you’re looking for somewhere close to home, with an endless supply of fun, be sure to visit Red Deer!

We’re also celebrating with the Fringe as they celebrate their 35th anniversary! You’re not going to want to miss all that they have in store this year!

So sit back, relax, and keep looking forward. This summer may feel different than others, but we’ve got so much to be thankful. Now get out there and enjoy our big backyard!

 

With lots of love on behalf of the family here at Edmonton’s  Child Magazine,

Kerri

To sign up for Text4Mood, text “MOOD” to 7606703130.

September/October 2016

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous (butt) as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favourite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”

Stephen King, Salem's Lot

Confession time: At the start of summer, I had some trepidation. Being used to a quiet home office, I was worried about getting my work done, worried about the kids being bored, worried about the summer slipping away with not much to show for it.

At the end of summer, I worried about it all being over.

It’s funny how a change of routine can feel so uncertain, and yet it takes not time at all to feel comfortable again. In fact, those routines make life feel a bit more purposeful and less chaotic.

The routines of fall bring comfort, even though saying goodbye to summer can feel so crummy.  They feel familiar and reassuring, and are always welcome, especially at our house.

My mom always told my sister and me how she couldn’t understand when parents were excited for the kids to go back to school. She said she’d miss us, and to be honest, I thought she was probably just saying that. But I now understand what she meant...it’s going to be quiet and a little bit lonely without my two kids once school starts up again.

In case you’re feeling the same way, we’ve made sure to include some pieces amongst our regular Back to School focus that will keep the fun of summer going. Elvira Berezowsky has put together a list of five unexpectedly fun family adventures, and our regular “Experience Edmonton” feature is full of great ways to spend these fall months. There are lots of great ways to stay connected with your kids, even when they’ve been away at school all day.

We’ve also got a great piece from Sarah Renner on how to stay organized with a command station, tips for preparing your child for school, as well as a delicious recipe from the Italian Centre Shop to make your weeknights even tastier!

Here’s to another beautiful autumn in Edmonton. On behalf of the Edmonton’s Child family, all the best this Back to School season!

November/December 2016

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

“Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” That line really tugs at me. It’s such a beautiful sentiment, and yet, a little bit sad to me.

In the cold darkness of winter, it’s a very inviting idea to have the blankets pulled over us, to take a long sleep, and wake in the warmth of the summer sun. Here in Edmonton, though, there’s a lot we’d miss!

This time of year is when we really dig deep and find out what we’re made of. In the midst of the busyness of life, the hectic pace and expectations of the holidays are added in, daily routines become a little more packed, if for no other reason than now we’re adding a second round of getting dressed for the outdoors, shoveling, navigating the snowy streets. Everything takes a little more thought: how to dress for today’s weather, how to juggle schedules with all of the added festive fun, how to manage our money when there're all of these gifts to buy!

At Edmonton’s Child, we’re always excited to get to work on this issue. We are a team of people who love this community, and love everything it has to offer, come sunshine or snow! In this issue we’ve highlighted some great events to keep you hopping through November and December...so be sure to get out there and enjoy!

Our team has also curated a list of amazing gifts for the whole family; gifts in every price range, for everyone on your list, with a great focus on local ideas.

Another highlight of this issue is our cover feature with Bailey Dunbar. Bailey is an incredible young woman who has shared a very personal story with us, one that is a very important read.  Bailey is truly making a difference in our world, and you’re not going to want to miss her story.

On behalf of the team here at Edmonton’s Child, we wish you warmth and love throughout November & December. It’s the perfect time of year to reflect on all that’s good, and cherish those close to us.

Enjoy this issue, and meet us back here in 2017.

 

Until then...cheers!

Kerri

January/February 2017

New beginnings. NEW BEGINNINGS! Is there anything more exciting?!

From the moment I missed the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, I knew 2016 was going to be a little off...but I had no idea how off. For me personally, it was an incredibly jam-packed year full of ups and downs and busyness, and although there are a few fantastic things that I wouldn’t trade from 2016, there’s much of it I’m happy to turn the page on.

And so now that it’s officially 2017, I can tell you this new beginning is not going to be squandered! 2017 is our oyster, people, and I say shuck it!

This is the time of year when we can dream, envision, plan, and strategize. It’s full of optimism and hope, and truly, there’s nothing better.

Scratch that. There may be one thing that’s better, and that’s the arrival of a new baby. That is the quintessential new beginning, and one of the reasons we devote so much of our January/February issue to new babies each year.  Within these pages you’ll find lots of articles devoted to babies, as well as some great tips for getting your and your kids active in the new year!

So on behalf of the team here at Edmonton’s Child Magazine, I wish you all the best in 2017. Let’s go out and make it awesome!


Kerri  

March/April 2017


Each year at Edmonton’s Child we carefully curate a collection of articles for our March/April issue that touches on the theme of “Health Break.” It’s an organic process; I start a dialogue with our contributors, giving them a sense of the direction I’d like to see their submissions go in, but truly, with such a great group of writers, it’s really a joy to leave the general theme in their hands, and see what they come back with.

From a personal standpoint, I launched my own take on 2017 with the idea of being “fearless”, and for as much as that may conjure up ideas of “just going for it” {whatever “it” may be}, it has truly become more of a self-reflective process. I’ve been spending more time reflecting on my choices, decisions, beliefs, passions, and goals in order to move forward fearlessly.

And it seems as though I’m not alone when it comes to self-reflection. Delaine Dew is talking about being introverted, and what she hadn’t understood about introverts until recently, despite being one herself. She offers up some great insight into understanding your child if he or she is introverted, and you are not, and the beautiful balance that exists because the world has both.

Trent Wilkie has written a piece called Finding the Monster Inside of Ourselves. He speaks about the importance of empathy, and the value of practicing it on ourselves first. Once we better understand ourselves, we can be more empathetic with ourselves. And once we’re more empathetic towards ourselves, we can be that way with our kids, and the world around us.

You’ll also find “Moving from Just Surviving to Thriving” from Jenifer Horvath; she provides a great life satisfaction exercise that, if you’re anything like me, will really bring some clarity and direction so that you can shift from surviving to thriving.

There is no shortage of great articles in this issue to help you enjoy your own personal Health Break, so without further ado, enjoy!

On behalf of the team at Edmonton’s Child, I wish you all the health and happiness!
Kerri

 

May/June 2017

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

In Bluebeard’s Egg, Margaret Atwood wrote, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

I couldn’t agree more. There’s something so therapeutic about playing in the dirt...mucking about in the soil...that relaxes a person.  And this is the time of year when the excitement for getting outside can’t be, and shouldn’t be, harnessed.

Welcome to our Spring & Camp Guide, where we’re all about getting outdoors, and getting ready for another beautiful set of warm-weather months. In this issue you’ll find a carefully-curated list of summer camps perfect for those little campers in your life.  

We’ve also got a great piece from Phil Bakker of EarthApples; in it he has us getting excited to get our hands dirty with the littles!

Did you know that the week of May 27 through June 3 is Get Outside and Play Week? On page xx we’ve got a great article with simple tips to jumpstart your family’s outdoor nature play.

We’ve also got a great feature on the Children’s International Festival of the Arts, a don’t-miss opportunity to put your kids on the path towards a lifetime of innovative thinking, creative expression and self-confidence.

So as you dig into the pages of this issue of Edmonton’s Child Magazine, we wish you all the best that these last couple of months of spring have to offer!

On behalf of the team at Edmonton’s Child...

Cheers!

Kerri

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