Friday, January 29, 2010


It has been "time to get out sans babies!!" for quite some time. The last time I was out alone, to putter at my own speed, aside from the ocassional painting project at church or a prayer meeting -- was before Little M's birthday in December. That's at least a month and a half ago!! My "Winnipeg Run" list was getting rather lengthy, and I knew that it was time to take matters into my own hands :).

You see, I used to wait for the "Day Out Fairy" to show up at my door, lovingly tell me that I NEEDED to get out and that ALL NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS had been made. I waited for someone else to give me a break, to read my mind (and all my ornery cues!!!), and to help me "take care of me." 

No such fairy exists in my life. And it's GOOD! Because it has forced me to take responsibility for my own needs, and discover freedom and confidence in that! It's a bit of a balancing act sometimes, but I am grateful for the lesson :).

And let's face it. If the "Day Out Fairy" miraculously arrived one day, in all my stubborn and prideful character, would probably say - I can do it MYSELF, thank you very much!!! Oh what a complicated creature I can be :).

So, this week, when earlier plans of getting out were kyboshed due to weather (gotta love those Manitoba winter storms!), I promptly made Plan B.
I asked a friend to watch the girls (our parents do a lot of childcare for us already, so I wanted to spread out the luuuuv a little :P) and headed off to the city, detailed list in hand.

I am soooo excited! This week I started to tackle the living room, adding personal touches and setting things out again after the Great Paint Project. It has been so. much. fun. I gathered a few items (well priced, fun little do-dads :P) and promptly set them all out to see how it would like. I like what I'm seeing :). I'll post soon :).

In the mean time, it was a perfect way to end a week that has had many many challenges, but some huge blessings as well.
Which is good.
It was time to get out!!

Oh my. This pic was taken many MANY moons ago, long before I was married :).
I spent a fabulous summer at camp in ALBERTA, and my friend LEAH (rare name, it was fitting
we should become such amazing friends!) and I headed to a local petting zoo for an outing.
We thought this was terribly funny.
Still is, to me!
And I haven't seen those jeans in a long long while, either!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Well, it sure ain't ocean front property!!

The grandest sight greeted me as I opened the blinds this morning.
A wall

WHOA! Where did the world go :)?

First, I was grateful that not one of us had to travel OUT in that weather! Yoikes!

Second, of all things, I started to think about G.A.R.D.E.N.I.N.G.!!!

I think this is highly related to the fact that I can no longer see any perennials peeking out of the snow drifts.

I'm not sure what I'll get around to sticking in the dirt this spring. With Baby's arrival due sometime end of May, we may or may not have flowers and/or veggies :). Although, the overwhelming desire for sun-ripened tomatoes, snappy green beans, lovely cucumbers, savory squash and ruddy little potatoes will probably lure me out there to poke a few seeds (and nursery seedlings!) into the ground. And hey -really. What's a Manitoba summer without petunias!! But I'm gettin' the itch to thumb through the seed catalogue. And maybe I will ;), while munching on a bit of popcorn. It's a cozy winter eve after all!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Waiting Game

The other night, a mini miracle happened :).

Does such thing really exist!? A "mini" miracle :)? Are not all miracles grand just by their very nature :)?

I was tucking the girls into bed at the end of a l.o.n.g. day. Rough. The only thing bigger than Mt. Everest was my massive headache!!!

However, it is in these exact moments that the most precious things occur.

As I turned to leave the girls bedroom, I look and see Sweet K blowing me kisses from beneath her quilts.
My eyes filled with tears. My mother-heart soared.

You see, typically these milestones come at 15-18 months. I have had to wait a lot longer than that this time around! Sweet K is already 31 months old, and has just now decided to start imitating us in this way. For anyone who has walked the journey of development issues, you know what a celebration this can be! Milestones that are so often overlooked are savored; sweet moments like this almost erase the waiting.


The more times I see the world revolve around sun, the more I realize that waiting is h.a.r.d. w.o.r.k. It can be very painful. And isolating. It is among life's toughest lessons, like learning to forgive and learning how to fully live. The weight of waiting can weary the soul, can sap your joy and strength and can distract you from the amazing blessings of life.

Just ask the person who is waiting for blood test results.
Or the person who is longing for health and wholeness.
Or the one seeking emotional healing after an experience with trauma.
Or the lover waiting for a reconciliation that may never come.

We learn to function under the burden, but my growing longing has been to live faith-fully, rather than fear-fully, in life's waiting room. To remain open. Hopeful. Honest. Teachable. 

"The Mother of expectation is patience." Henri Nouwen writes. "Jesus changes our history from a random series of sad incidents and accidents into a constant opportunity for a change of heart. To wait patiently therefore means to allow our weeping and wailing to become the purifying preparation by which we are made ready to receive the joy which is promised to us." - Out of Solitude, Henri Nouwen

A joy that is grounded in Jesus.

Practicing such waiting is really hard work! Some days I'd rather do 200 sit-ups in a row (which seems to me to be very hard work ;P) then learn how to wait well. It means that I need to address and surrender anxiety. It means training my mind not to expect the worst, but to hope for the best (and holding that in tension with the understanding that God's "best" is not what I would always think is "best" :)...). It means learning to live fully in the present, so that I can be reconciled to the past and ready to embrace the future. It means a l.o.t. of prayer! Often. 

But such work is good. Because in it, I encounter God. And learn to lean on his promise.

Do you not know? 

Have you not heard? 
The LORD is the everlasting God, 
   the Creator of the ends of the earth. 
He will not grow tired or weary, 
      and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary 
       and increases the power of the weak.

 Even youths grow tired and weary, 
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD 
will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; 
they will run and not grow weary, 
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

"Whereas patience is the mother of expectation, it is expectation itself that brings new joy."
~ Henri Nouwen ~

Technological Angst :)

I have issues.

Several of them, actually, but I won't get into that now!!

My latest one is my love-hate arrrgh relationship with technology. Just yesterday, I went to update my blog page. I had found a new template that I liked, and thought - hey! I've done this before. Can't remember HOW I did it, exactly, but if you've done it once it shouldn't be that hard to do it again.

Case in point as to why I try to steer clear of the word "shouldn't."


Well. I ended up changing the whole thing, getting a bunch of scrambled up error messages, and short of a technological break-through, may have to settle for a bright white screen for a while :).

Oh yeah. I tried to accomplish this during the supper-prep hour.
We ended up grumpy, hungry, and over-all unpleasant :).

On the upside, my wonky oven decided to work and our pizza was thoroughly and entirely baked.
Wonders may never cease!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Glamour girl :)

I don't much think of myself as a glamour girl.
Plain Jane Vanilla is more like it :).

But TONIGHT is different!!!
This very evening I had the lovely opportunity to receive both a MANICURE and a PEDICURE.
Envious :)?
Yessssss. It was given to me by my four year old daughter. Since dear J was off on a guys night this evening, we had to do something to pass the time creatively engage in post-dinner activities :) before bedtime. At supper, which included the ingredients of mac & cheese, sausage, and popcorn - hey anything to make this a tad easier!!! - I suggested to Little M that we paint her nails. We hadn't done that in a while. Sweet K would get her toes done too (she's a finger sucker and at this point is not a candidate for nail polish!).

Can I paint yours too, mommy?

GULP. Yesssss, yes you can. Little M squealed with delight - I don't think she was expecting me to agree to this little idea! Well..... a little nail polish never hurt anyone...right :)?

So here I am, basking in the post-bedtime quietness, all glammed up with cotton-candy pink nails (uh, including toes - not just toe NAILS, but my actual toes!!) and no place to go. Maybe I'll go grab my good book :). Cheers!

PS - Note to self.
1. Make sure it's a wipe-able surface.
2. double check to make sure there's polish remover in the cupboard!
3. Oh yeah, and tether the two-year-old "helper" to a chair or something because she's into EVERYTHING!!

Freebies :)....

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Dr Oetker. All opinions are 100% mine.

Here is a chance at a freebie ;). Head over to 
Dr Oetker Adventure Romantica Contest
fill out a membership form, grab a PIN and enter to win :). It's that simple!
What could you win?

1) Free pizza!! YUM! Okay, I have a bit of a beef about this, since something is totally wonky 
with my oven right now (I think an important thermostat part needs to be replaced, but have 
procrastinated having it fixed for some strange reason!!), and it won't properly bake a pizza!! 
It's incredibly frustrating, but we're working on it :). Free pizza sounds delightful ;).

2) OORRRR pizza and wine! Okay, at 21 weeks pregnant, I don't go near the wine, but a 
pizza and chilled wine night sounds wonderful :). 

3) Or a tour of a winery :). That would be fun too!! I've never had the pleasure of touring a 
winery, however I've toured an orchard where apparently there is a pile of discarded (slightly 
fermenting!) apples and the bears are very happy about it!! Exploring a winery would leave 
me feeling very cultured :).

Hey, you don't have to buy anything, you get access to some lovely little coupons AND the 
opportunity to win free food!
Let me know if you win - I might invite myself over for supper ;).

SocialSpark Disclosure Badge

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm wonderin' the same thing :)....

Yesterday morning Little M wanders sleepily into the living room, where I am enjoying a few quiet moments before dawn. It had been a rough night {again!!!} and we were all trying to shake a few cobwebs out before embracing the start of a brand new day.

Mommy, last night Sweet K kept me awake with all her crying.

Me: Me too, little bug. Me too.

We both sigh.
It is quiet for a couple of seconds (which is rare around here!!!).
You can just hear the thinking!!!

But mom, when the new baby comes, if Sweet K is up at night and the new baby is up at night, when are YOU going to sleep?

Me: Oh little one. I've been wondering the exact same thing!!!

I guess we'll just have to wait and see!!!

A few resolutions I may never EVER make :)....

I have to chuckle out loud.
There are a few resolutions I don't think I will ever set up for myself.

1. Being on time. Ever. With kids. Without kids. Whether it's a meeting or dropping off a kid somewhere or running errands, I'm forever 5-10 minutes late. I've tried many things to offset this. Changing my clocks. Giving myself extra time (seems I just find the opportunity to dawdle anyway!). Driving faster than I should :). Nothing helps. So, I'm I'm just trying to accept it as it is and remember - it isn't as bad as it used to be. I used to run 30-60 min. late!!!

2. Going to bed before midnight. Try as I might, I cannot ignore the inner nighthawk that loves those quiet, precious hours of the evening. I AIM to go to bed early. Would probably feel a little more rested. But  try as I might, a good book is always calling :).....

3. Figuring out how to spell neccessary necesary necessary and occassionally ocassionally occasionally without using spell check. I get it wrong almost every time :).

There are several personal quirks I may never overcome. :). These are three I've encountered over and over again in the past week. And maybe, my resolution for the year is just to become resigned to them :).

Friday, January 8, 2010

Gratitude - Beauty

I've been longing to do a gratitudes post for a while. These holiday weeks, not only have we functioned on far less sleep and a far fuller calendar, but I'VE HAD TO SHARE MY COMPUTER TIME TOO!!! Sheesh! What next :)? With J around, needing the computer every quiet moment we've had around here, my access to the world wide web has been very .... limited :P. But gratitudes have been stirring in my heart none the less. Today I am thankful for a few of the things that I find beautiful. They leave me speechless, transfixed, nurtured and healed in some way.

1. Laugh lines crinkles :).  Especially ones that are featured on the face of someone who is laughing hysterically along with me. Someone who knows me as well, or even better, than I know myself because they have stayed the journey with me. Someone who can laugh and cry with me at the same time - and eat a lot of popcorn with me too :P.

2. The joy of music. I have always loved music. Music with words that say what I'm feeling far better than I ever could. Tunes that tell a story. Songs that convey emotion without uttering a single syllable. These days, I have a few songs on "repeat." They connect me with a deeper sense of abundant life.

You just can't listen to this one quietly at all!!! - I've Got A Feelin...

3. Snow. It is miserably cold. It takes FOR-EV-ER to bundle up the babes, load up the van, fasten the safety belts, just to drive a few blocks to avoid the -40 wind chill. Even my pooch hates going out in weather like this. But it sparkles. And it is soft. And cozy. And when it snows those big fat flakes, I'm stuck in a snow globe all my own. And I love it. To me (from the security of my cozy home :P) it is magic!

4. Home-grown moments. To start our Monday off just right, I played this video for the girls because it is fun and because it brings tears to my eyes every time ;). Love is worth celebrating, right :)? Little M is completely enthralled by all things "marriage" related right now. As we showed J when he got home from work, jumping up and down, she squealed with delight - "Look daddy!! He's marrying her RIGHT NOW!!! He's MARRYING HER. He's M.A.R.R.Y.I.N.G. HER!!" She is so excited to see the bride dancing down the aisle. At J's suggestion, we got out MY wedding dress and showed the girls. It was such a special moment. Especially when each girl got a chance to wear my veil and prance around the house like a princess. It was breath-taking. And I wanted to stop the clock. Because, I'll close my eyes (and after nights like we've had, it wouldn't surprise me if I actually slept years and years and years :P...) and wake up, and it'll be their turn, and time will have gone far too fast.

5. Solitude. There is nothing simpler, grounding, clarifying than sitting quietly, alone. This morning I had a whole glorious hour (the last one by the light of my christmas tree, which was taken down today - BOO!) to ponder faith and life and love. It was spectacular! Also, as is usual, it ends with Little M wandering out of her room, all sleepy eyed and adorable, looking for a warm place to snuggle and wake up to the world. It is good.

And there is more. Usually I am for 10. But I'm tired and don't want to be legalistic about it ;).
I am thankful for beauty and that's that :P!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vision 2010

Ahhhh. It's January. It's gently snowing outside, I am enjoying a hot cup of peach tea, and I can feel the last of the lingering tensions from the hectic holiday pace simply melt away. Life is good.

Periodically throughout the year, I stop, reflect and take stock of where I've been going and where I feel things are headed. Typically, this happens after busy seasons. Summer. December. Even after April, when I was working full time and going to school part time and the end of the semester was a full time. This fall I read a really good novel, Becoming Olivia, and I loved how the main character journeyed through her process of life-discovery, the often-turbulent pathway of finding out who you are, what you believe and who you are meant to be. The process of becoming. These little "time outs" for me are a way of evaluating - Who am I becoming? What is life becoming? Am I okay with all this :)? What needs.... tweaking :P?

This year, I used the same resource I stumbled on last year through a blog I visit occasionally. For me, Vision 2010 helps to sort through some of the thoughts, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses and focus a little more on where I want to go. I love that it is more well-rounded, challenging several areas of life, not just the typical "new years resolutions" categories :). I don't feel the need to fill in "all the blanks" - sheesh, this isn't some crazy home work assignment :P - but jot things down for the prompts that stand out to me. Each month or two I revisit these ramblings and evaluate what is working, what is not, and what I've completely and utterly neglected (or procrastinated :P).

Here are a few aspirations I have for the coming year....

1. Haven Days :). This fall, the activities on the calendar seemed to outgrow the number of spaces available.  I kept thinking, "It'll slow down. It's just this week. We can do it." But it didn't slow down. And though we could "do it," we weren't always "happy about it" :). And suddenly I didn't have as much time (or energy) for the things that matter. Towards the end of the Christmas break, I realized that I would need to make an intentional change about this. A slowed down (reasonably sanely paced) life is not just going to "happen." It requires intentionality. And so, with some careful thought, I decided to set aside Mondays as "Haven Days." Unless medical appointments require it, those days are our days at home. To recover from the weekend. To get our bearings straight for the week to come. To nest and snuggle together with stories and linger in our jammies and not have to "be" anywhere for anyone. At first glance this simply requires some strategic planning (do not plan things on Mondays!) and an active use of the little word "NO." :) However, it has also required me to give up meeting with a moms group that I have attended for four years! Which I've really enjoyed. Which I've been involved with in a leadership aspect until this fall. Which my kids also really enjoy. As much as I knew I'd miss it, I knew in my heart it was the right decision for where we're at right now. With only five months remaining in this pregnancy, with life changing dramatically once again, with two morning commitments per week for Little M AND at least 5-6 development appointments alone per month with Sweet K, I needed to put time with them first. I am so excited about this. I love to start my mornings quietly whenever possible. Starting my week off the same way fits just about right :).

2. Finishing projects. Not every project that I've ever started (Some are best left alone. Trust me.). But a number of projects that I've started this past year but have yet to complete. I am a procrastinator. I am also the type of person that gets a kick out of starting something, but ack, when it comes to final completions, that pile is a lot smaller :). Since we have the arrival of a wee one on the horizon, there is some ... extra ... motivation for me to get a few things done before the end (or mid!!) of May. Like a few corners that still need paint from the Great Paint Project that consumed several weeks this summer. Or like Sweet K's baby memory album. Or a few final touches I have for around the house. In order to get some of these finished, I FULLY intend on asking my dear mom to come over and watch the kids while I paint out a closet or two, finish the banisters and perhaps tackle some moldings. We'll see how far I get!! Oh yeah. And the fronts of doors :). The baby won't care - but I'll know that I won't have to tackle THAT chore again for years, and some how, in the midst of sleep deprivation and serious transition, I know that will feel good!!

3. Capturing moments. Since Little M became more camera-shy (read I WILL NOT WILLINGLY POSE FOR ANY PICTURE, EVEN IF MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!!) I have been less apt to engage my inner shutter-bug. I don't take great pictures. At all. But I like taking them. And I love looking through them. And someday, some of them may even wind up in a scrapbook (ahem, according to #2, I have to FINISH A FEW THINGS before I BEGIN ANOTHER GREAT IDEA!!!). Lately, Little M has allowed me to take her photo, and Sweet K is moving pretty fast (and growing fast too - somehow managed to jump a whole clothing size in 2 months!! Time to clean out the closet AGAIN!!). So, my goals for this year include taking out the camera. Using it. A lot.

4. Live well. Love well. Created to worship the God of the Universe, I long to live this out in a way that glorifies Him. How can I live my life so that I am making the most of every breath He has gifted? How can I love so that He is honored? I don't always live like I should. Too distracted. Too undisciplined. Too self-absorbed. And I definitely don't always love like I should. Too bossy. Too opinionated. Too much with my own personal agenda. There are a few clear steps I want to take with this. Many that feel unclear right now, but I know, over time, will move from mirage to motion. I am ready to embrace and wrestle with the learning.

That's it. In a nutshell :).
Here's to a new month, a new year and a new decade!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Holiday Hooligans :)

Not all of these pics are from the holidays exactly :), but from the days leading up to them too!!

Little M, snuggling our fuzzy little pooch :).
Ahhh green grass. Where hast thou gone :)?
It'll be a wee while before we see thee again!

Oh yeah! That's a WHOLE lotta sass goin' on!!

Little M's first dance recital...
A proud-parent moment where I almost cried....

And laughed so hard I did cry!
As you can see, Little M did not want to be dancing with the other girls.
She spent the entire 30-second experience ducking behind one of the other lucky ladies :)!!! She's giggling and laughing and peeking at the audience.
I'm glad we got it on video, because I laughed so hard I could barely see straight!
That's my girl!!

Little M with her new art easel.
We spend many many many hours drawing :).

Sweet K participating in her "part" for Grandmas's annual
"Christmas program" :).
How'd she get so grown up so fast :)?

I luuuuuuv fuzzy jammies! I couldn't resist these for Sweet K.
Jammies with floppy feet, bedhead and that still-sleepy look

Can you believe that my friend MADE these tutus for each guest at her
little one's birthday party!? They are so delightful.
Sweet K sure gets a kick outta hers ;).

One of my "New Years Ideas" :) is to remember to get the camera out OFTEN! This fall, with all its fatigue and frenzy, it stayed in the cupboard way to much. It's time to get it out again. :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hello 2010!!

Here we are, at the brink of a new decade :). As I look ahead to the coming year, I wonder at the potential it holds. This past year has been about "equilibrium." Finding life's solid ground again and enjoying it very much!! These days, it seems, we've entered a plateau around here. One that it is, for the most part, very refreshing. After climbing several of life's mountains and entering into various valleys over the last decade, a plateau is very much appreciated :). One that I don't take for granted, nor believe is meant to last forever, either. As always, we are journeying on, overcoming new challenges, enjoying new vistas.

This year will see us once again embrace change. We will be adding one more member to our motley crew :), Little M will enter into the school system, Sweet K will likely begin preschool one morning a week, and I will continue to process and transition in the midst of all of this (likely on even less sleep, which should be verrrrry interesting!!!).

But one thing remains: 

Our God is a God of love, and love never fails.
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, 
but have not love, 
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 
2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, 
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, 
but have not love, 
I am nothing. 
3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, 
but have not love, 
I gain nothing.

 4Love is patient, 
love is kind. 
It does not envy, 
it does not boast, 
it is not proud. 
5It is not rude, 
it is not self-seeking, 
it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs. 
6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

7It always protects, 
always trusts, 
always hopes, 
always perseveres.

 8Love never fails. 

But where there are prophecies, they will cease; 
where there are tongues, they will be stilled; 
where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 
9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 

10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 

11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, 
I reasoned like a child. 
When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 
12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; 
then we shall see face to face. 

Now I know in part; 
then I shall know fully, 
even as I am fully known.

 13And now these three remain: 
and love. 
But the greatest of these is love.

My desire for this year is LIVE WELL, LOVE WELL.
More to come on this, as I reflect on my goals that I set last year and form some for 2010.


Related Posts with Thumbnails