Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Fingerprints and Thanks

Tomorrow is Jake's last day of "school" before summer break.  The small play school class has been an important stepping stone for our active little boy. It has provided a space for him to interact, be creative, play, and learn important first lessons - like sharing with others, and listening, and taking direction from someone other than my husband or myself.

He loves it, and we are so grateful to have found this little program that seems so well suited to our boy. But the true heart of this class has been a wonderful young lady who has been so patient and kind, and who knows just the right tricks that get my boy's creative juices flowing.  

So, with a few strategically placed fingerprints (and smudges) we created this little card to show our thanks to a very special teacher.

Thank you Miss Michelle, for all the fun Thursday mornings!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Know Thyself

Over the weekend I went to a yoga class, it is one of the perks I indulge in for having a brother-in-law as a yoga instructor. The theme around the class was value, looking within and knowing your worth, seeing yourself for what you truly are, and never underselling yourself.

There are days when I know darn well that I am worth a fortune (not literally, trust me). Days when I've successfully gone to work, done 3 loads of laundry, made dinner, baked cookies, distracted my two year old from a near meltdown, cleaned the house and got a blog post in all in one day. Days when I have finished the rat race coming out on top, arms held high, doing a victory dance on the podium. Then there are days when it is not so clear to me what I am worth, days when I feel my stock value has gone down and investors are quickly backing out for fear of bankruptcy. Days when I haven't managed to do a single one of those things - or worse, days when I have done a lot and not a single person around seems to have noticed. Those miserable moments when everything you do seems to be worth nothing because all that is visible is what you've done wrong or haven't done at all.

We all have them. Those no good, self deprecating days where the negative thoughts overwhelm the good ones. It's hard to clean off the inner mirror on those days, difficult to clear the cob webs and remember that though you are not perfect there are a lot of lives that would have a hard time getting by if you weren't around to do what you do.

Looking for "beetles" in Oma's garden.
I feel very blessed that I have a husband who makes appreciative "Mmmm's" at dinner, and takes notice when his shirts are not only washed but three weeks worth are ironed and hung in his closet. It gives my heart a squeeze of pride when my little rascal says "thank you" without being prompted to do so. I don't need the gratitude, but it helps me remember that in fact, I am not as dispensable as I sometimes am loathed to feel in other parts of my life.

I find it harder since I have gone back to work. I thought I would feel that my self value would be more because now I am juggling more, doing twice as much, building a vast empire of experience. But I don't always feel that way.  Instead I often feel stretched thin, like my concentration is broken off into so many different duties and responsibilities that I can't possibly afford enough attention to any one task. When I do too much, even if I do it well, does my worth go up or down?

It wasn't an answer I could come up with in a one hour yoga class, but it got me thinking about what changes I need to make and how best to reevaluate my life in order to maximize my worth and increase my value.  My self worth. My self value.

The first step is cleaning off that inner mirror, taking a good long stare at what is looking back at me, then making the most out of her until people are lining up around the block to buy my stock. 

His first lollipop...

Sunday, 13 May 2012



My mama, who is my greatest example in this journey
Sandi, who showed me what patience looks like, and who raised the man I love
Melissa, who has (thankfully) gone before me, and reminds me daily that it's all just a phase
Laura, who replies to all my emails with honesty and encouragement
Patti, the fiercest mama I know
My new mama friends who have walked right beside me these last two years
And to all the mamas who have brought experience, compassion, example, and support into my life during the last two years and all those ones before....

Happy Mother's Day. 

*Dear Jakob, thank you for breathing new meaning into this day for me.  I am proud to be your mama. 

Monday, 7 May 2012

Day Dreaming Mondays

Monday's and I have always had an unstable relationship.  It's the same every week: Monday get's the first jab in by doing something like making me wake up late,  I try to retaliate by getting out the door on time and with a smile on my face, only to have Monday get me once or twice more throughout the day with back handed attempts like dumping a few buckets of rain (or snow) around when I don't have an umbrella, running rude people into my path, or closing the bus doors in my face.

That mountain across the water - that's our home now. If you squint you can even see a crane poking out where they are building more homes for our community.

Normally, I always try to get the last word in by ending my day on some positive note like baking cookies, or watching a romantic movie. But sometimes, sometimes, that first day in the week is so hard and long that the only way to make it survivable is to completely ignore it.  Ignore it and day dream instead.

I've mentioned before that my favorite thing to day dream about on these troublesome Mondays is the weekend, especially when the weekend that just passed was one for the history books. So this morning as I was running - and by running I mean sprinting full speed down narrow woodsy paths, dodging innocent school bound children and their parents, muttering a steady stream or "excuse me's", "coming through's" and the oh so Canadian "I'm sorry's"- to catch my bus, only to see it driving off as I rounded the corner, I knew it was gonna be a day dream sort of day.

So, I sat at my desk dreaming about three things today: a brilliant moon, watching my boy throw a zillion rocks into ocean waters, and the best homemade turkey burgers I've ever tasted.

As usual, it worked like a charm.

This was the view out of our bedroom window Saturday night.
Good night, Monday.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Family Talents

Today the elementary school in our neighborhood hosted a community carnival. It was Jake's first ever such event. Cotton candy, popcorn, pony rides, games, face painting, and musical performances made it a very fun and exciting day. 

But seeing his daddy on stage, performing for all the kids in the crowd, was definitely a highlight for us both. There is something truly special about seeing the person you love sharing his amazing talents and personality, the talent and personality you get to live with every day, with people around you. I was so proud of my husband today. When the concert was over Jake said in a loud proud voice "That's my daddy!" and I thought to myself "That's my husband!" And I love him.  Even if this post embarrasses him to no end.

Husband, I am glad you are mine.

And I hope Jake inherits some of your gifts.

Oliver was digging the pony rides.
Come to think of it, today was an showcase of the talent in my family.  My sister's art set the silent auction on flames.  She donated one of these pieces. It was colorful and brilliant in it's frame, and it was popular - we're talking bidding war popular.
You're awesome, sister! and I love you too.