Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Journaling - Gettin' started!

Blogging about journaling over at today! 

Wanna give journaling a go :)? A few little ideas can be just the thing to get you started! .... Read more at

Whether you are just getting started or have been a journal-er for a while, I'd LOVE to hear from you! What has worked for you? Has been a complete bomb!? What are your pet topics :)?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1-800 - Call Grandma!!

I think it's official. A day without interruptions would be bliss! Unfortunately, my frequent, life-saving, wonderful child care provider - a.k.a. my mom!! - is on the other side of flood waters and my day out alone will have to wait another week or two!

So, in the mean time, we are filling our days with other good things.
 - Picking gravel out of the lawn and garden :P.
 - Topping up the bike tires and heading out for a spin around town.
 - Looking for worms (I will only touch anything that moves on its own if - and only if - I am wearing a good pair of gloves!).
 - Pointing out budding leaves, returning robins and other miraculous wonders of God's creation.
 - Rejoicing that 9 out of 9 strawberry plants survived our Manitoba c.o.l.d.
 - Listening to sweet K experiment with the occassional word and watching her very funny facial expressions!
 - Listening to Little M's continuous life commentary. She has recently asked if penguins poop and pee and if worms have teeth (she is delighted to discover that worms eat dirt AND garbage!!).
 - And breathing. That's the most important one of all. Some days, when patience is short and the days get long, I find myself snapping and growling and reacting in ways that just aren't fine. So, I pray for the strength to slow, breathe, blink and take it all in stride!

And other days, I also call grandma :).

Monday, April 27, 2009

10 Cent Makeovers :)

Hmmm. Make overs. I envision pampering, spas, hair over-haul and special skin treatments.

But we'll have to save that dream for another day!

Thanks to garage sale wonders, Auntie R and the value of a dime :), Little M got her first make up kit EVER! And she couldn't WAIT to practice. Blue and purple eye shadow, way up into the eye brows. And blush blush blush everywhere.

I have not worn blush since grade seven and that terrible day that one of the grade EIGHT girls smirked, then sneered then asked me if I did my own blush that morning. Yes, I had, which I thought was fine, until I could hear her snickering behind me. After that, no more blush even to this day!! :) 

But this weekend I wore more blush than you can shake a make-up stick at. Even forgot to remove the lovely powder when I ran uptown to grab a movie - thankfully it had faded some by then! And it is so fun to have my little one bending down and carefully applying the different shades. Always entertaining to see what she'll come up with next!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ordinary Miracle Today

Child development is a per.snick.ity issue. Nothing like the words "normal" or "delayed" or "slow" or "future unknown" to get this mother hen's feathers (completely, utterly, fantastically!) ruffled.

HOWEVER. I am learning learning learning about the beauty of this journey. Things with Sweet K are moving along quite well, actually, and maybe that makes this so much easier (it does). Yet I have the opportunity to see the miraculous unfolding of learning that most of us take for granted because a) it comes more naturally, b) it comes quicker and c) we're never taught to SEE those incremental - yet just as incredible - building blocks of wonder.

When Sweet K was about 3 months old, I heard Sarah McLachlan's Ordinary Miracle for the first time. It struck such a chord in me. The first time I'd smiled, or hoped, or laughed in months.

In church we will be celebrating Child Dedication (May 24), and I contemplate why I want to participate in this occasion. It is my view that children are a precious gift from God, shared with us for a variety of reasons. And it is my desire to nurture and delight and love and learn alongside, and hold that gift with open hands before the One who created her.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ooh la la!

I may not be an excellent shopper - but I DO like pretty things! And the more internet savvy I get, the more I like ordering them online too!

I remember my first year in college, a friend of mine had a batik wall hanging from Indonesia. It was so beautiful - this country kid hadn't seen anything like that before :).

So, I am mesmerized by the beautiful, artistic creations in Unique Batik (see link on the left side of the blog). There are some fantastic pieces in this shop! I really like the table coverings and the bed spreads are so exotic looking! If you have a hard-to-shop-for family member or friend this might give some ideas :)....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Here comes the bride :)

This summer J & I will pass the 10-year marriage milestone!

Wow. My twenties have passed by in a blur :).

Even with approximately 3559 days of hindsight :), there are very few things I would change about our wedding celebration. HOWEVER, it is still fun to look at glamorous wedding gowns and imagine what it would feel like to try one on!

Let's go shopping at best bridal prices!

Normally, I would probably go for something like this ... If I went strapless (although I'm not sure I could ever get over the fear of accidentally flashin' the crowd!!), I'd go for something more like this...
This is ... different! And this is really really pretty!

Of course, with the 10th coming up, I could probably order something elegant like this or this :) woop woop woop .....

Sponsored by Best Bridal Prices

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm fairly certain that this is not what Stevie T had in mind!

I suspect that it is a safe bet that when Steve Tyler, and the rest of the crew from Aerosmith, recorded their rock music, they had higher aspirations than inspiring this gal's workout routine :). They were probably thinking - rock concerts, screaming fans, oodles of moolah - and here I laugh to myself. Thirty-something, faded work-out pants and an ipod. Oh Aerosmith. Your legend lives on forever!

I've never been particularly ... athletic. 

It's just that sporty and I don't walk hand in hand. 

It's not for a lack of noble effort on my part, either. I did baseball (only I ripped my shorts trying to get off the baseball fence, and only ran the bases as my cousin batted for me so that I could hold my shorts together!), I tried volleyball (if I'm uncoordinated now, I was even less graceful then!) and I threw myself whole-heartedly into basketball (even after that tragic day when I went in for a lay-up on my OWN BASKET and M.I.S.S.E.D.!!).

So, when a dear, wise woman in my life suggested that I get involved with an aerobics class or something to help cope with the post-partum madness that had taken over my life, and thought YES. THIS IS IT!

HA ha ha ha ha. Somewhere, the sport gods are laughing. Hysterically. 

First I tried a yoga class (I love LOVE doing pilates at home). But I was the only one in the crowded room making ... noises ... and then I lost my ball and had to chase it across the room.

Then I tried an aerobics class. And, when they whipped out the upbeat 80s rock album, I really thought we were on to something. They cancelled the class. Yes. They. Did.

So. What's a gal to do!? :) With 5 drop-in spots left on my card, I decided. That's IT! I'll go suffer publicly at the gym :). Inspired by my 80s rock 'n roll tunes on the ole ipod (thank you to Def Leppard, Guns N Roses, ACDC and Aerosmith for your motivating lyrics!), I headed off with my faded work out pants and glaring white runners :).

Feeling like I was back in grade school (shiver me timbers!), I put on a brave front and asked Mona where elliptical trainer was. Uh. Right here. Riiiight. It's just that it looks soooo different from all the OTHER elliptical trainers I have ever used! I climbed onto the gizmo, trying to read the instructions inconspicuously while making it look like I was fiddling with my ipod. He he he. Yeah. It was right about this time that I realized that they'd parked this little beauty right in front of the window facing the parking lot. 

Great. Because really. Wouldn't the flexing, weight-lifting teenagers be a better advertisement than this baby-bootie!? Unless it's more of a sympathy thing - like, well if SHE can do this, than ANYONE can!

I have to admit. It turned out much better than I thought. I may have discovered a new joy in life. At least for the next 4 spaces left on my card :). Can't say I'm not persistent! 

And hey. My sister picked up a pair of snappy sport capris for me on her last shopping outing, and she's a MUCH better shopper than I am! There's that, at least!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Journaling - The Right Fit

Blogging over at this afternoon :)...

Journaling - The Right Fit 
by averysweetlife

Journaling – The right fit ☺ I have talked with many people who have started journaling, but have grown so frustrated with the process and end up feeling like they’ve failed at the whole thing.

Click here to

So excited!

Well, this morning I began the annual chore of scraping rocks off the lawn :). While it's not the most delightful springtime activity, it reminded me of the gardening possibilities to come!

This year one of my goals (other than making sure I water the plants properly, which I have an issue with :)...) is to plant proper flower baskets. So, imagine my excitement when I found a "recipe" for a cute deck planter...

Earthy reds

EarthyReds.jpgContainer: Brown metal with flared top, embossed with acanthus leaves
Dimensions: 45 x 18 cm, 15 cm deep
Plants: 3 ‘Wizard Pastel' coleus, 2 red Million Bells (Calibrachoa), 1 leatherleaf sedge (Carex buchananii)
Notes: Sun to part shade. Calibrachoa was trimmed back every few weeks to let the box show through. Best in front of a light-coloured wall or window for contrast.

I've even bought the "ingredients" for it through a school fundraiser. Except, of course, true to form :), I've decided to swap the million bells for dalias and the sedge for an pansies, I think. So, it's kinda like this, but might not look anything like it at all. 

Sigh. No wonder my gardening is such an ... adventure :).

I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A walk up memory lane...

Admittedly, memory is scarce these days. (Why just today I walked the long way home so that I could note an address, and wouldn't ya know it, by the time I rolled the stroller into the garage, it had been erased from my consciousness forever! Sigh.)

However, nothing like seeing your little one in rubber boots to remind you of the fun (and mischief!) you had as a kid! Puddles that were deeper than the boots and full-fledged mud wars readily come to mind!

This evening I will attempt to enroll Little M in preschool. It's only one morning a week, I tell myself. It's not that big a deal. Right? R.I.G.H.T!? It's only a step - but it's that step towards sending them off into the big, wide world. A thrilling place, as Little M said as we left for our lovely post-lunch walk "We're off on the greatest adventure yet!" (We were headed to the MCC and the mail!!) A place full of mystery, fun and laughter.

However,  it's also a place where hearts are bruised, relationships are strained and things don't always turn out like they should (or we wish they would). And I ask myself - is she ready to start this chapter of the journey? Are we!?

There are a lot of great memories ahead, and today we celebrate the newness and excitement of the beginning adventure.

And we cherish this moment...
"I like you mommy."
"I like you too, squirt."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tiny Fashionistas!

Up front, one of my greatest strengths is NOT fashion. Never has been, never will be. When I shop smart, I usually take someone else with me. Saves time, money and tears!

Consequently, I am letting my little darlings experiment with fashion early in life. I figure a) they can start to get it out of their system now (rather than dressing in all black and looking kinda mopey all the time!) and b) it's easier than dealing with tattoos, piercings and funky hair styles (oh my - that fun that is yet to come!)

Here are a few trends that have been spotted around our house lately:

FYI - those fancy little leg warmers actually belonged
to my CABBAGE PATCH DOLL back in the day!
Oh, and there are actually MATCHING partners for those fancy little numbers :).

Really, which gal doesn't LONG FOR a pair of
tight pink hot-pants to lounge around in :)?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Cadbury Kinda Day

I curse the day that Cadbury introduced the world to the infamous mini egg. Of all the treats that surface around this time of year, this one is my greatest weakness. 

And I'm fairly sure that Paul, when mentioning that when we are weak then we are strong, was NOT referring to this kind of foible!

Sigh. Oh Cadbury. I'm not sure what kind of addictive poison you've infused into these yummy treats, but I'm hooked for life!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dream A Little Dream With Me...

When J & I bought our first home, just one short year after we were married, it totally felt like the twilight zone for this
21-year-old bride! Most kids (yes, I still felt like a kid, yet oh-so-grown-up at the same time!!) my age were maybe polishing off a college degree, traveling the world or something. Well, we were entering into first-time ownership!

I love our home. Albeit, I would never pick this shade of paint if I had been here during house-construction, and even though we've lived here nearly NINE years I'm sheepish to admit I've only repainted 3 rooms (and one long hallway!) a different hue. However, as our family gets a bit older, we contemplate the "different home" conundrum.

And my mind runs wild with the possibilities!

Would I go modern or rustic? Or a pleasant (someone help me with the design PLEASE! is it even possible!?!?!?) combo of both? And so, flipping through mags and websites, I constantly search out and clip 'n save furniture and decor ideas for that "someday," should it ever come!

I've always been drawn to rustic furniture. It feels warm and inviting; cozy and sturdy. With kids, it's gotta be sturdy!!

Scenic Furniture has some beautiful wood furniture! Here are a few favs :) -
- A gorgeous bedroom set - I could envision a beautiful handmade quilt on this bed, 
however, I would opt for a basic lamp rather than the log one :)
- Hmmm, I could probably find a sweet spot for this lovely chair or this bench!
- And I still need a coat tree :)

Not sure how I'd weave in all the things that I'd like, but it's fun to dream anyway! Gotta start
somewhere, right :)!?

Sponsored by Scenic Furniture

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oh so witty!

Little M cracks me up the most when she's not even trying.

And we went through a phase where she definitely was trying because she kept asking me (only a million times a day!!) mama, am I funny yet? Am I funny NOW!? Is this F.U.N.N.Y?!?!? It got old!

Anyway, since the 9th month of her life (and before that, with all her baby-hollering!) she has had a great grasp of the english language. And it often makes me laugh right out loud.

 - Yesterday at the lunch table, I decided it might be a nice idea to hold hands while we prayed. So we did - only M decided our "regular prayer" wasn't appropriate for the high occasion, and started us off with "Dear LORD .... silence ... what comes next?"

 - This lovely afternoon, during - mommy-will-actually-sit-and-play-on-the-floor time :), we were playing "doctor." I had the lovely chance to be the patient - and I make the MOST of the opportunity by asking little M many tough questions. What do I do with a broken arm? Can it be fixed? Can you help me? I could see the little wheels turning and she comes out with ... well the body is a wonderful thing ...

 One more. And that's it (I promise!).

 - We were watching a dog show over at the Brandon Winter Fair. It was w.a.y. past everyone's bedtime (mine included!) and M was still firing questions at us. Mainly about the dogs :). Is Wall-E a boy or a girl? Because I'm pretty sure it's a boy or a girl. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Journaling - The Power of the Pencil!

I'm blogging over at today. Stop by for a visit!

I’ve often been asked why I journal. To most, the concept seems a bit “out there,” confusing, misunderstood, complicated and requiring way way way too much time! Here are a few reasons why journaling has become an indispensable outlet for me…

Life's Learning Curve

It's been building for a while, this action-reaction cycle between Little M and myself. It's been exhausting trying to sort out the best way to meet my three-year-old where she is at and teach her the more... ahem... appropriate ways of speaking to others (mainly her mother, who birthed her into this world and was sure we had a good TEN YEARS yet before dealing with some of this stuff!) :).

As I took a step back, I stopped asking myself what do I do NOW!? and started asking...
What is she trying to tell me?
What is causing these power struggles to begin with?
Where is her tender little heart at right now?

The answer became clear - I need to learn, again, to let go and give her room to explore her independence; to offer her choices so she can continue to learn to make good decisions. To stay firm, but calm, and allow some of these things to become opportunities for u.n.d.e.r.s.t.a.n.d.i.n.g.

Letting go. It starts so soon (too soon!!), it seems! But the beautiful thing is - the more safe space I release for her to grow into, the more she blossoms.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A little bit of rest!

In the past while, I've been reflecting on the necessity for rest

Not just the sleep-kind - although those naps are perfectly delightful as well! 

But the deep-down soul rest that comes from 
abiding in God 
knowing myself 
and treasuring those around me. 

There is an all-out war for our energy and attention. Diverted and easily exhausted, I am left feeling depleted and discouraged. I get to the end of the day and ask, LORD, was I a wise steward of my energy? Of my hope? Of my affections? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And so I reflect and rest and try again.

It was only 21 months ago that we started waiting for tests and results and appointments and information. Sleep was rough and rest was almost impossible. However, time and again these words came to mind....

I will lie down and sleep in peace, 
for you alone, 
make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

~ Perfect rest ~

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bitten by the travel bug!!

Oooh. It's just about this time of year - S.P.R.I.N.G. B.R.E.A.K. time when J looks at me with that wandering wonder in his eye.... he gets the urge to TRAVEL! Pick up the kids and pack the bags and wherever the van goes (um, on our rather planned, yet somewhat flexible itinerary!!) is where we go too!

One thing we had looked into before kids, but have not done yet (have to save SOMETHING for those empty-nest days!!) is international travel. While J has left the continent in search of other cultural pastures, my feet have never left north american soil! 

But that doesn't keep me from dreaming! I came across the  Okinawa Travel Guide and wondered - what would it be like to travel to JAPAN!? I flipped my way through tons of info on Okinawa Japan. What else could a person want to know :)!?

FOOD! Yikes, one thing about traveling (especially outside my comfort zone!) is the variety of palettes out there! However, this site takes some of the mystery out of the meat :) so to speak. 

BEACHES! If there's anything us snow-bound people long for at this time of year, it's the sand and surf! I did not realize that the beaches in Okinawa Japan were so beautiful! I can almost feel the wind on my face!

SLEEP! Maybe it's the sleep-deprived mother in me! Not sure, but I'm a little obsessed with rest these days! I can only dream of staying in five-star resorts like this! WOW!

Well, a girl can always dream  :). Japan - exotic, beautiful, something completely different! 

Sponsored by


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