A New Challenge!

Posted by Ian On June 5, 2009

I'm pleased to announce that I have started my own little company - mare ad mare, which is latin for 'sea to sea' and part of the Canadian motto (check the cover of your new passports). Our goal will be to build a fresh new brand of clothing for Canadian (and wannabe Canadian) girls. I will be using this blog, much as I have in the past - to continue showing people around the globe (over 50 countries now!) what it's like to be a Canadian girl, tracing the footsteps of our 3 girls as we explore more of this great place we call home.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Now for big girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Fall shirt for Canadian girls

A big pile of leaves for you here! As a Canadian summer turns to fall, the leaves change colours and then fall off the trees. Kids rake them up and play! So go on, Jump into Fall with this Orange T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Pass the Marshmallows!

Summer shirt for Canadian Girls

Summer in Canada is the time for camping, camp fires and of course - Marshmallows! Get ready to go roast some in this summer yellow T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Spring shirt for Canadian Girls

After a long Canadian winter, spring can never arrive too soon! Pull on this Spring Green T and go planting girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

It's not ALWAYS cold in Canada...

Winter shirt for Canadian Girls

How many times have you had to tell someone that it's not always cold here? Well, sometimes it is cold - but to make your point, grab this little winter blue T and let them know that it's not just snow and ice up here all the time! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Girls, grab this little white T, and go get your kiss ;-) Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

For those of you that don't know us yet, we're the McMartin's. We're a family with 3 girls. We started early and gave up on boys after 3 straight girls...
Rebekah is now 15, Meghan is 8 and Emma is 6.

For the past 7 years, we've been living and traveling abroad. We moved to Richmond, Virginia in 2001 - just before Emma was born. It was a very interesting time to be in the U.S. Just over six months after our arrival, 9-11 happened. Despite that chaos and the philosophical differences, we did manage to survive down there quite well for almost 5 years. But after those 5 years in the U.S, we were ready for a change. At that time, we were given the opportunity to move to Germany (No, I'm not with the military...I work in IT, and up until the month before - we were supposed to have moved to Austria!) This allowed us to introduce our girls to a whole new culture and way of living. People ask what it's like to have lived in these places, and my answer (leaving out the details) has typically been that the U.S is pretty far to the right, Germany is pretty far to the left and Canada is sitting somewhere in between quite nicely. The important point in all this, is that for the majority of their lives, my little Canadian girls had very little idea as to what it was like to live in Canada. Aside from a few summer trips (to get away from the horribly hot and sweaty Richmond summers), they had hardly even seen it! After 7 years away from home, we knew it was time to go home - so here we are, finally back home!

So what is 'mare ad mare'? First of all, it's latin and it's pronounced 'mar-ay ad mar-ay'. It's part of our national motto and it means Sea to Sea. My goals with this little family project are to educate my girls about Canada, let other Canadians find out new things about the different parts of Canada and to show the rest of the world what it's like to be a Canadian girl. We're also going to be selling t-shirts to support our activities. I hope to involve our girls heavily in that part, that they can become more familiar with the business world.

I was feeling guilty for taking my family away from their family and from Canada. It's not like it's a third world country that we're trying to escape! I had been lucky enough as a kid to take long vacations with my parents to the east coast and the west coast - getting to see so many different parts of Canada. This activity was going to be my launching point for re-introducing Canada to my girls. Now that we're back at home, I want to show my girls what it's like to be a Canadian. So I'll be taking trips, doing special things with them every week and writing about it here. I hope that this catches on, and others Canadian parents contribute their own stories about what it's like for their Canadian girls. That way, my girls can see too! This is a pretty big country...

Having traveled quite a bit for my work through the U.S, Europe and Asia, I have found that knowledge of Canada is pretty limited. Most people are quite surprised when they hear that I'm Canadian, anyone speaking english but without 'an accent' is assumed to be American. The question or statement is usually 'isn't it cold?' But there is genuine interest from them about Canada. To many, Canada is a special place. They hear great things about it, know that the people are nice but other than being cold - they know nothing of it. I hope that having this site/blog will let others see more about Canada that just cold. If we don't tell them about it and show them - who will?

What else? The shirts! Being away for that long was making us homesick. I'm very proud to be Canadian, and rarely miss the opportunity to tell people about it. I wanted to get our girls some Canada shirts. Looking around there's very few cute Canada shirts for girls. Most of them have a big moose or beaver, and some horribly obvious 'EH!' written across it. So i designed my own shirt for them, created my 'Canadian butterfly'. Initially it was pretty rudimentary, having carved it from coloured construction paper, then glueing it down and scanning the image. Their first shirt was an iron on - it needed work. I started developing the current image on the computer shortly after, and finally came to an image the girls and I were happy with - so after we got back home, I had a few shirts made to start us off and now we're working on the next set of designs. Hope you like them!

Check in next week to catch our first Canadian outing - it's nearing the end of summer, and I already have a couple of stories to catch up on ;-)

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    About Me

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    It's not about the money you make, the toys you have, the clothes you wear - it's about the life experiences you go through, the challenges you face and the stories you tell... Having just moved back to Canada (after almost 8 years in the U.S and Germany), we have lots to show our girls and our friends around the world about Canada. We're going to be telling our stories, hope you enjoy our adventures. Mare ad Mare means 'sea to sea' and we want to show the world, from Sea to Sea - this is what it's like to be a Canadian Girl!