Hi! My name is Hayden Reeve!
You might recognize my last name as I am the daughter of one of the Mamas! I am going to tell you about my experience at YouthWrite®. For a little introduction, it is a non-profit organization with camps for children who love to write. There is also a separate camp for adults who also enjoy writing! Today though, we are going to be discussing the camp for, well, youth!
Something that I think is quite important and an absolutely excellent characteristic about YouthWrite is the fact that they have a figuratively speaking, bubble type of deal around them.
I can still picture the place perfectly. My very own grown-up studio loft. It’s at least 1500 square feet of wide-open space. Long, narrow, two-story, stained-glass windows with arches, frame the room on either side. My bed is centered on the far-back brick wall with soft linen sheets tossed perfectly imperfect. Thin hardwood floors in a herringbone pattern, with markings of time gone by, connect my bed to my art studio which occupies at least 2/3 of the wide-open space. I have come to realize this place I picture is unusually grand for a single room in New York City, but that was my vision.
I think it was about grade 11 that I placed my vision in NYC, but I was about 5 when I decided I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I spent hours sketching Betty and Veronica fashion spreads while I started to picture details of this space in my mind. It’s no wonder I ended up in the interior design industry specializing in textiles.
I’m Teneil Whiskeyjack. I am originally from Saddle Lake Cree Nation and a mother of 2. My daughter is 17 and my son is 7, both at different stages in their lives. As a single mother and working artist, the demands of career, life and our own autonomy in systems that can make us feel depleted, it can be challenging to find the balance in it all. The expectations we put on our ourselves as mothers, always asking “am I doing this right?” Truth is, there is no manual to parenting and parenting looks different for many in terms of culture, values, family traditions and beliefs. Becoming a mother for the first time at such a young age, I admittedly didn’t know myself well enough to give reverence to a tender, compassionate, and patient relationship that I needed within myself. As time moved forward, I wanted to find peace in my journey and the grounding my children and I needed and deserved. I looked at the both of them and wanted them to see a mom that was vibrant, strong, present and healthy. As women, we are taught to put others before ourselves, leaving no room for our own curiosities, or relationships to our bodies and spirit. Going back to my culture and ceremony as an Indigenous woman meant going back to land-based practices, asking myself what it means to me to be a nehiyaw iskwew (cree woman) today, learning to ask for help within safe spaces of community and kin and reminding myself that parenting is one of the most sacred responsibilities we carry as life givers. I believe our children choose us to be their parents before they are born.
I was an artist growing up. I loved to tell stories in various ways. I took a step back from creating all together for many years and what was once my solace, was no longer existent as I allowed myself to live for other’s expectations of me, in the confines of societal pressures, and a life from the choices I made that wasn’t in alignment to my truth. I doubted my aspirations and capabilities until there came a shifting cycle in my womanhood where I wanted to gain deeper insight to who I was and why I walked in footsteps that no longer resonated with me or my heart.
Ready to take your kiddos for a spin?
Mama Chris and her two kiddos, 10 & 11 headed out to Rabbit Hill this weekend to take advantage of the beautiful weather with some tubing. We’ve always wanted to go but hadn’t had the chance, so this was the perfect day for it!
With three choices of slide, even though it was busy we weren’t waiting long to go, and the burlap at the bottom made it so you slow down safely!
The handy magic carpet helping you get to the top, once you have spun (or not haha) down is great. The kids think their dad should put one in our back yard now lol!
It was an amazing way to get out of the house, and really out of the city. We got to spend some time having fun, in a covid-friendly way.
It was indeed, TUBULAR 😉
Chris is a Mom of 2, a 10 & 11 year old, she works as a admin for a local bakery. She loves cider, hanging out with good people and writing about her feelings. She currently resides in our Capital City, however she grew up on an Alberta farm.
*Our visit to Rabbit Hill was complimentary. As always all opinions are our own.
SkirtsAfire Festival in Edmonton is self-described as “diverse, inclusive and daring”, guaranteeing there’s something for everyone at their 10th anniversary festival, running March 3-13 in Old Strathcona. With the ever-changing pandemic climate we’re all navigating, there is one thing for certain – SkirtsAfire will offer 10 days of engaging and entertaining performances and experiences!
We have taken in their MainStage Productions since 2017 as well as Opening Night Parties, and of course, the fantastic SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition. Featuring the work of women and non-binary folks in the arts in Edmonton – MARCH 3-13, 2022. Check out SkirtsAfire, experiencing theatre, visual art, design, music, comedy, and more.
I decided we needed to get out and do something as a family, and I knew from friends that you book time slots at the U of A Botanic Garden, so it would be COVID Friendly. Hubs and I checked the weather, booked it on a day when the weather was supposed to be great and then my husband let me know he’d actually never been. The guy grew up in Edmonton but hadn’t ever been to the gardens so I was excited. I myself haven’t been since the Aga Khan garden opened – doubly excited.
We had to wear masks throughout the whole garden, which was understandable.
My kids love the Japanese Garden so we always go there first, trying to spot the coy fish.
For those of you familiar with the Devon River Valley Trail in Voyageur Park, right on. For those of you who don’t, go. Especially if you have early bird kids, or if you are one!
A friend and I went on a Saturday morning, met at 530AM in the parking lot, and by golly, nary a soul in sight. We didn’t run into one person on the path and upon returning to our vehicle, there were just a few fellas fishing under the bridge.
There are a few fire pits with picnic tables along the river that would just be amazing with the fam jam and the “beachy” part we came across would entertain my kids for HOURS just throwing rocks in. Didn’t bring them this time – mama needed a break but next time!
I am that mom. While we all used to have adventures, tips, and fun stuff to share with you, this pandemic has me at a loss.
My family doesn’t go anywhere.
The most exciting thing we’ve done in the last year is a walk in the River Valley, right after that little dump of snow. It was magical, and our COVID pup Missy enjoyed herself immensely. My poor daughter had a hard time getting back up these stairs, cause, well, we don’t do anything!
And we checked out one of the Edmonton swings, just you know, for something to do on the weekend.
I don’t have the ambition or drive to plan anything.
My kids spend A LOT of time on their devices. Most of the time it is connected to their friends via Kids Messenger while playing games, and this is essentially their socialization outside of school so I’m not taking that away from them. I want to run away completely. The mountains, the ocean, anywhere but here. But hubs and I both work, and we need to work and we are lucky to work. And we don’t really have anywhere to escape to. I also am very cheap and don’t want to spend money….cause maybe if I save it, when this is all over we can go somewhere so far away and cool, it’s like COVID was just a blip.
Hey Alberta, it’s flipping COLD! And with COVID there is no escaping the frigid temperatures so I need to come clean.
I’ve become a binger. There is nothing I like better than escaping into someone else’s made up, or in the case of reality TV, escalated DRAMA. I thought I would share with you what I have been enjoying and maybe, you’d like to share as well!
By myself mindless escape
Bridgerton – I’m a crazy fanatic for the age this is set in. With the music and the naughty bits, it’s just divine. I’ve heard people say it didn’t live up to their expectations – so, go into it with only escape in mind.
Selling Sunset – I might have a small girl crush on Chrishell. It’s like a mix of the best real estate shows you’ve watched with the drama of Housewives.
Emily In Paris – Again, not the most titillating of story twists, but hey, it’s in PARIS.
Bling Empire – Have you watched Crazy Rich Asians? This one is just fun!