Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Working for Play

Where do you invest your energy?  

This spring, all of our energy, all of our resources were put into a backyard pool.  Having a pool was more about cooling down on a hot day.  For us, a pool was another place to come together and connect; a cool oasis for us to laugh and play with each other.  We needed an easy place to let loose.  A magical space where we could be drawn in, where time would fly and silliness and shenanigans were the only name of the game.  A place were we wanted to leave our toys out so we could come back and spontaneously play once more.  But all that play required work first.

Up until this spring our backyard had a severe slope.  So even though we had enough space to put a pool in, our backyard wasn't suitable.  Sure, we could have an "on ground" pool installed, if we could afford it.  And last year we got quotes for retaining walls, another option that was out of our financial comfort zone.  But we weren't ready to give up.  We decided we wanted it badly enough to do the work ourselves.  

While John was working a busy on call, I started to dig up the backyard.  I didn't get very far, but I got far enough that we were committed.  The next day, we went to Home Depot and rented a sod ripper.  John removed a 15x30 foot section of grass.  There was definitely no turning back now!  With a shiny new shovel in each of our five hands, we went to work.  Bit by bit, and with John and Josh doing most of the heavy work, the slope was leveled.  Next step was building a wall to hold all of that newly moved earth.  On the following weekend, (the hottest of the year) the timber was delivered, hauled to the backyard and built into walls.

We were ready to play.

I think that the work has made the play sweeter.  Working together towards a common goal has brought us closer together and formed new connections between us.  We have a greater respect for our own strengths and skills, as well as for each others'.  Brene Brown says, "Playing is intense engagement in our lives."  I have to agree with her.  Playing with my family makes me feel intensely engaged with what matters most to me.  Loving Connections.  

Josh and Charlie diving for their squids.  

Kenzie girl on her pink floatie.  

John enjoying his family. 

boys being boys. 


sweet kenzie b. 

charlie chillin. 

Because we haven't finished the backyard landscaping, there is still lots of mud, and the mud wasps have been busy making nests.  Mud wasps are not aggressive, and they are fascinating to watch build.  The nest is constructed one row of mud at a time and comes together pretty quickly.  

John cooking lunch for us. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Look at Eight.

Eight was

  • neon shirts and shoes
  • ball hockey
  • learning how to skate
  • running at track and at cross country
  • adult teeth in a child's mouth
  • mustaches 
  • soccer
  • Mine Craft
  • Movies 
  • Nerf Gun Wars
  • tying your own shoes 
  • getting in the shower by yourself ( a man needs his privacy!) 
  • catching on to the adult humour 
  • homework and responsibility 
  • being big enough for the cats to find your lap as acceptable 
  • long, lanky and cool 
  • the year you were no longer "Baby Charlie" and became a kid.
  • more street wise: just because so and so said it, no longer means that you believe them 
Happy Birthday Charlie, xo

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


For the last few years, I have chosen one little word to guide me through the next 365 days.  This year I didn't choose a word, but rather on a cold winter day, the word choose me. 

the silver maple keys rustle against the cold blue sky.
she tilts her face upwards,
her eyes close but her mind opens 
she knows that this breathing space 
will save her.
with a hungry lust she reminds herself to savour; 
to slow down - to delight in 
the cold air that 
tickles and swells into 
the cavity of her chest.  
she holds it there and 
for the moment she is
full, aware, clean and still. 
suspended in the moment where her soul 
warmed the winter's day.

and then when the abundance 
becomes a burden  
she begins to release.
slowly, almost shyly she
lets go, opens her eyes 
and is renewed.    

Thursday, May 29, 2014

dear kenzie,

I’m sitting here with a heart bursting full of emotion and a mind overwhelmed by it all.  I wish I could convey to you just how surprised your dad and I are that the years between kindergarten and grade 12 passed by so quickly.  

When I look at you I see the beautiful strong woman you are becoming and I see all the versions of you that you have been. 

You are the curious baby girl who was full of wonder and happiest when she was held looking out on her world.  
You are the sweet toddler who would enthusiastically greet each new day with a cheerful “Mommy, the sun is up!”  
You are the preschooler with the golden curls who found new ways every day to get messy, explore and learn new things.  
You are the girl with the thick glasses and scraped legs who kept getting back on her bike no matter how many times she fell off.  
You the girl who refused to be confined and longed to be independent. You are the girl who stands her ground and fights for what she believes in, even if it meant marching into the principals office in protest.  
You are brave and bold.  
You are authentic.  
You are emerging. 

“The world is your oyster”.   

There are so many opportunities for you to explore.  Don't be overwhelmed by it all instead:
Be curious.  
Be full of wonder.  
Be happy.
Be enthusiastic.
Get messy.  Explore.  Keep learning.  
Get back up ( which means you have to try and fail first - you have permission to fail )
Be yourself.  Stretch your boundaries.  Stand your ground.  Believe in yourself.  
Be brave.  Be bold.  
Be authentic.

We love you and couldn't be prouder.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My First Texture Tuesday - Free and Easy.

For my first time playing along in Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday link up, the theme was Free and Easy.  Who doesn't like free and easy?  Those two words equal fun, so I paired cheerful pink daisies with a couple of my favourite lighthearted and playful quotes.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

This Is Forty

I hated the movie "This is Forty."  I found it so offensive that I actually turned it off half way through.  If forty looked like my husband faking a bowel movement to hide from me than I wanted nothing to do with it.  I knew that MY forty would look nothing like the movie.

so this is my forty...

  For me forty is all about redefining myself.  Not because I am unsatisfied with any particular aspect of my life but because my life is changing and I either have to adapt to those changes or get stuck in old ways and thinking patterns that no longer serve me.  

This is a time full of possibilities and promise.  There is excitement and passion that lights up my mornings.  Mostly this feeling is exhilarating, but every so often that excitement turns into anxiety and I have to remind myself to breathe through the discomfort.  When I lean into that discomfort, I am aware that the willingness to embrace uncertainty as well as joy and love takes a wide open heart full of courage.

  Forty gives me a broader depth of awareness about the world and myself.  I am more aware of how my thoughts, behaviors and actions ripple outwards and eventually, make their way back to me.  Not always, but more often than ever before I am able to accept that which I can not control.  That acceptance brings inner peace and grace.

    There is now a depth and maturity to my marriage.  Our kids are growing up and becoming more and more independent.  Parenting no longer takes so much effort and we have time to date again.  Dating my husband is great; I get the thrill of a boyfriend with the rich trust of a soul mate.  

  At forty, my body is both softer and stronger. I judge less and I am more flexible.  I may not have the brute strength of my twenties but my body has a well being that it hasn't experienced since childhood days of riding my bike or swimming in the lake.   Forty is more play, more laughter and a lighter heart.  Forty is an acceptance of my unique body and beauty.  

  Forty is the best of both worlds.  Forty is the middle ground where I are able to look back be thankful for the fullness of my life and at the same time I look forward to the possibilities that I want to create.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

reach for the sky

Today was my short day at work this week.  As always, on my short day I stuffed to much into it.  Why do I feel the need to do that?  
Anyways, I'm edging closer and closer towards my goal of opening my Etsy shop!!  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Belonging vs. Fitting In

Fitting is becoming who you think you need to be in order to be accepted.   

Belonging is being your authentic self and knowing that no matter what happens, you belong to you. 

                                                                                                         Brene Brown

Monday, March 17, 2014

- and now here I am...

The only thing I hate more than failing is failing publicly.  And since I haven't posted a picture in a long, long time it's painfully obvious that I failed my fourth 365.  I let everyone and myself down.  This post could be considered an excuse or and explanation but hopefully more an insight to how I was feeling during that time I was away.  

Writing is hard and it takes time.
"If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out through writing or sing in writing, then don't write because our culture has no use for it."   - Anais Nin 

I know this and I was committed because regardless of how difficult the process I love the results.  I write to share and be heard; I write to put my unique story out into the universe.  If you are wondering - there wasn't a single moment where I said, "That's it! I quit!"  I missed a week in December, then another and another.  Catching up became and overwhelming task.  My blog, my labor of love became work.  Work that I resented - work that I rebelled against.  I wanted to play.  I wanted to rest.  I wanted to just enjoy the moment and not write a book report on it.  In my anger and rebellion I forgot to see the light.  I lost my own light. 

I tried to fake it.  I tried to put on the mask.  But each attempt made me more bitter.  I was angry at everything: the weather, lupus, my feet, work, family, friends even the freaking Tupperware drawer that would not close.  I was drowning in anger.  I pushed away those who loved me most.  My relationships were cracking and I felt more alone than I have in a long time.  Maybe it was just a severe case of the winter blues, but  when I couldn't bear it anymore I sought out help.

- and now here I am.  

Ready to come back.  Not for another 365 - but ready to regain my voice. I feel shy and hesitant but I want to share again.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Smoke Free - By The Numbers.

  • 134 -  days being smoke free.
  • 2376 - cigarettes resisted.
  • 8 - pounds gained.
  • 5 - pounds lost.
  • 3 - major temper tantrums 
  • 4 - days spent in full mental breakdown mode.
  • 5 - sessions with a qualified therapist (see above.) 
  • $1046 - saved. 
  • 23 - days of life expectancy gained.
  • 1 - exercise program implemented
  • 2 - hours I can stay awake longer each day.