December Success

Christmas Eve, the day all the children wait for. Presents wrapped, cookies baked, gifts made and meals planned. Today we watch Christmas movies and snuggle on the couch waiting for tomorrow to arrive. Later  a supper with family close and  far and our Christmas is complete.

Surprisingly, I can say I’m ready for Christmas. After such a busy busy December I honestly don’t know how I did it all and have a cold (from which I lost my voice), and still feel ready and enjoy the day without rushing about. I even did a few last minute batches of fudge and cookies today. I managed to make 6 Christmas stockings, 5 teacher gifts, 2 grandma gifts, 7 arm knit scarfs, all the toy shopping and many many batches of cookies. Now to some of you this may be a normal year, but for me this was a big success. I have tried for many years to try and cut back Christmas buying with handmade gifts as I do have many skills if only I have the time. Well this year I MADE time and I’m very proud of what I’ve done. I think my husband is too.

But to me the real success of Christmas is sharing the spirit of Christmas with Friends and Family. The joy, laughter, giving, food and goodies and love of the season is the greatest gift of all. If you can manage to share in just a little bit of the spirit of Christmas then I think that’s the real success. We can get so caught up in the commercial part of Christmas that we forget what it’s really about. So this Christmas Eve take a moment to look around at the ones you love and share a smile, create a memory and enjoy the simple joys. Be thankful for what you have.

It’s been a very big learning year for me and this Christmas is so peaceful and pleasant, this year that is what I’m thankful for. I’ve given of myself and it fills me with peace. That is a big December success! I hope your Christmas is beautiful too, Merry Christmas everyone!

Temperature Changes

Well after the most wonderful and relaxing week on sandy beaches in Mexico, we flew home just in time to get home and hunker down before the snow hit. We turned up the furnace and made soup for lunch while the snow blew all day. With a difference of almost 60degrees I am very proud of my husband for bundling up and going out in the storm to look after his cows. Me and the kids, we stayed in our PJ’s ALL day.

Our week in Mexico was so relaxing and quiet and just what we both needed. We slept the first night for 15hrs straight… no word of a lie. We were celebrating our 10years of marriage, yet everywhere we went people asked and called us Honeymooners… So that was nice.

We were ready to come home on Sunday and see our kids, afterall it was our oldest daughters Birthday and she’s not so little anymore. And as happy as we were to see our kids, I couldn’t help but wish we were still back in Mexico, especially when I woke up the next morning to see knee high drifts in front of my garage, and blowing snow so we couldn’t see the end of the driveway. Sigh….. Mexico was so lush and Warm… I hate being cold, but more than that even though I feel rested and that my husband and I have connected again, I don’t really feel rejuvenated the way I had hoped. When the reality of house and kids and cooking and cleaning hit me Monday morning it sucked my energy and fogged my brain. Maybe it was just everything all at once, snow, cold,kids, house…. but I’m a little sad that I can’t put on my bikini and go sit at the beach for one more day. Oh well. The smiles and giggles of seeing our kids after a week warmed my heart, even if there has been a bit of crying and yelling too. And today the snow has stopped blowing and the trees look nice. I put on the Christmas music to put me in the mood and am cleaning  the house so we can decorate. Christmas does have a way of rejuvenating me, there are many things about it I like, so that will be good to focus on. Since the kids are home because school has been cancelled for two days I thought today Christmas decorating should be fun, unfortunately the christmas tree is in a shed across the yard which is drifted thigh high… so the tree might have to wait. 

It’s funny, when we were leaving Mexico all the resorts were decorating for Christmas in a very festive style, and I thought how strange it was to see fake trees decorated and Palm Trees with Christmas bells hanging from them with beaches in the back ground while the sun shines brightly. Christmas means snow to me, well I got snow didn’t I??? lol. Although I could do with out it being 30below.

Last week was wonderful in the sun and this week in the cold will be busy preparing for Christmas. Talk about Temperature changes…

Here…. Catch This!!

I’d like to say life is like a walk in the park… strolling along, people coming and going, things to see and do…

But I think a better analogy is…. Life is like a game of Dodgeball.

Like it’s saying….. Here see if you can catch THIS!!!!

Some balls are big, some balls are small, some of them you can see coming and dodge them all together.

Some balls come out of nowhere and knock you down, till a friend can help you get back into the game.

Some balls you can catch. The small ones you whip back as soon as you catch them. The bigger ones you need to have a better plan to catch them and then you have to take the time to deal with where to send them.  I’m just glad they are balls and not wrenches…. but then like the line from the movie…..”If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball”   so….. I don’t know….hmmmm   🙂

When I look around at my friends and family who have dealt with loss, sickness, hurt, and other challenges, I feel like my game of Dodgeball is very very mild, but it’s also my game for me to deal with as is everyone else game. We all have our own challenges.

Yes life is tough some days and it doesn’t always go the way you plan. There have been days when life is like a walk in the park, but then it seems one of my children brings me back into the game of Dodgeball,  to keep me lean and limber (HA I wish.lol) More like to remind me to be humble and that life takes hard work.

I do think it’s time for a little Timeout though, a holiday away to rejuvenate sore bodies, and I’m not going to be ashamed if all we do is sleep for two full days and not get up till noon. Dodgeball is tiring…

Mom’s remeber who that Women is?

It’s been a busy week so far. My mom duties have been many and it seems it will get busier before it gets better.

This morning I was getting ready for the day, making a mental list in my head of all the things I needed to do today, the people I needed to call, the things I need to pack, the schedule for the day when a simple thought popped into my head as I looked at my self in the mirror.

I am a Woman too.

This week I have definitely forgotten that. I am not only a Mom,or a friend or even only a wife, but I am a woman too. A woman who wants to feel beautiful, to have the time to do her hair and feel good when she looks in the mirror. But mostly I am women who wants to be desired, not just as a wife who wants her husbands affection, but as a woman who longs for a mans touch, her mans touch. I had forgotten that woman was inside of me and I’m sure sometimes that man inside my husband gets bogged down by life too.

I want all Mom’s to remember that woman, that the goddess still exists inside, even when there are days you can not find the time to brush your teeth for all the things your children need. When life gets so busy your duties as a Mom, wife,employee seem to consume your life,  just acknowledge that she is there…. waiting… patiently. And there will come a time when you can channel that woman and bring the goddess out. 

 

 

 

November Christmas

Yes you read that right, I wrote November, not December. It’s very snowy and chilly here and feels more like the beginning  of December and that Christmas is upon us. Although I discovered it’s not a bad thing that it feels like Christmas for it’s put me in the right mood and the planning has begun.

As I looked at my calendar this past week, and sat down with my cookie recipe book, I realized that when you have kids and family and events to go to, Christmas starts earlier every year. I’ve got Christmas gifts to make, Cookies to bake, Events to plan, Shoeboxes to pack, cards to send out, and most of that before the first week of December. So for me Christmas starts in November as both my freezer and sewing machine will believe. I’m sure there are some people who do Christmas stuff all year round, but my house is too busy for that right now. Maybe when I retire. Some of my projects will wait till the calendar flips it’s page, but I like to get ahead of the game. Even if I just have a tippy-toe in the door of a project now, I feel I’ve got a plan on how to tackle it.

So today I’m going upstairs to bake more cookies for the freezer. Plus the oven will help heat up the house. Today I’m decorating Christmas tree cookies, trying my hand at peppermint cookies, testing out a recipe and modifying a new found favorite.   I hope my husband like sugar cookies for supper, I know my daughter wont mind. LOL. No I’ll get some real food on the table too.

 

 

White Stuff

Yep it’s here! That fluffy white stuff that covers the grass and the trees and tells us that winter is here. That S word, but today on the first day when I see how pretty it is, I don’t mind. Snow!

The first snowfall of the season is one of my favorites. Much like the first flowers of spring, the first snow brings with it the promise of events to come; Family Gatherings, Christmas, a New Year, Winter fun and on and on. We only hope that the winter isn’t too long and that those chinooks come often.

I’m enjoying the soft snowfall and the clean white trees, but ask me again how I feel March 1st, my opinion might be different. 😉

Routine

I hate routine. That’s right it’s just not my thing. Routine bores me and makes me feel trapped. That’s why I really like being a Doula(it’s never the same)and dancing, and zumba, and sewing, because you always can try something different or new.

You know who likes routine???…. Kids, specifically MY kids. They don’t just like it, they NEED it.  My oldest almost can’t function without it. She’s getting so bad I’m starting to call her Sheldon at the dinner table. Her world falls apart if she can not sit in HER spot. Good grief. LOL

Now not all routine is bad. In fact I am sure I could benefit by taking a page out of their book in my fitness routine for example, but some days as a Mom, routine gets so tiring and starts to wear on your nerves. The toast cut just right, the drink before bed, the door closed just to the right spot, etc. But the ultimate routine pet peeve of mine, is that my kids feel the need to remind me every time of these time honored  traditions. Like I’ll forget after everynight for 8 years to turn the hall light on.(Insert eye rolling here) But kids in general just need that reassurance….. Mom will you turn on the Hall light??? (Panic in voice)…..Yes dear I will (semi-annoyed tone)…… Okay(Very relieved). I just shake my head and laugh. You know one day I’ll miss that senario. Tonight, Not so much.

 

 

It’s another Birth……day.

Another whole year has gone by. Wow. Happy Birthday Me. I told my Dad last night that I’m fairly certain as we get older the years go by faster. At least it seem that way. So much has happened this past year that is wonderful to celebrate. My baby boy turned 1, I attended 7 amazing births, we went on Family trips, Holidays with a friend, and at last the harvest is in the bins for another year. So much to be thankful for, much to look forward to.

But today I want to do one thing. I want to acknowledge the women who worked so hard to bring me into this world, and the man who stood by her side always as they witnessed the birth of their first born. To my Mom and Dad on this anniversary of my Birth Day, THANK YOU! And thank you for everything after that until this day. Your love, support, understanding and for being brave in trouble times. Thank you. Today it is my wish that you two know how much I love you and how thankful I am for all the hard work you did for me AND my brothers.

Love your Daughter.

PS. Expect a phone call from me also : )

Keep it Simple

We’ve all heard our parents or maybe our grandparents tell us about the good ole days. A time when things were simpler and people more friendly. Perhaps as teenagers, like I know I did, we rolled our eyes at them and thought crazy ole people, don’t they see how far we’ve come? The advancements that have made our lives better, faster and more efficient? Maybe we still rolled our eyes at them in our 20’s, because look at all the amazing things that have even happened just in the last two decades. Internet, email, touch screen, smart phones, smart TV’s, Hybrid cars, medical advancements in treatments, surgical advancements, social media, and all the like. The ability to access and publish information quickly to a large portion of people. And now as a parent and only since then do I see things in a different light. All of these things have their benefits for sure, but I think there is something to be said for keeping it simple, less is more, and simple pleasures, especially when it comes to the pressure these things place on us.

I’m talking about the pressure to know things, to be informed, to share, to do the “right” things, wear the “right” things, say the “right” things and be with the “right” people. Again all of these can be good sometimes too, like knowing what your buying, or what options are available, but with all things, too much of a good thing can be bad. I’m sure we could all write a blog about how too much TV or Video games is bad, but today I want to focus in on a different issue I see that keeps recurring.

With internet and social media, parents have access to information like never before. Parenting sites, blogs, pages, support groups and research information is everywhere. We are constantly bombarded with articles, letters and posts on parenting.  Again good in moderation, but how do all those articles we read and posts we see about parenting make us feel?

More and more often I am reading encouraging blogs about not worrying if your not a perfect parent or a perfect mom. Articles about enjoying the simple things in life, or letting your kids have more independence and saying no to attachment parenting. And the scary part….. we need to read those articles, we need to be reminded to not be so hard on ourselves. So that got me thinking…. Why do we need to be told these things?

It would seem that sometime in the last two decades something happened to the standards of parenting. Socially have we expected too much, set the bar too high, and made it our business to be in everyone else’s business? Parents are scrutinized and measured up to some kind of standard set by “THEM”. And when we don’t measure up we feel guilty. It seems now that as parents we are taking a stand and saying no to this. More and more I’m reading about being a good mom is being true to yourself and trying your best. How not to be so hard on yourself if there’s toys everywhere and your home does not look like the IKEA catalouge. A reminder that our kids wont remember the clothes we wore, or the color we dyed our hair, but the times we sat on the couch and read them a bedtime story. Those articles truly encourage and inspire me. They remind me that if we really do try our best, show respect and don’t be so quick to judge, that we don’t have anything to be guilty about, except for being human. And maybe that is what we are realizing…. that we are just that Human. We make mistakes and that’s okay. Reading these things makes me hopeful that we have not lost touch with a simpler time, and that maybe we can continue to make our world a better place for our own children’s children.

Gone are the days when Mom gave you $0.25 to go see a double feature at the theatre downtown with your brother on a Saturday and told you to not to come back till supper (True recollection from my Father-in-Law) but is organizing every minute of the day being with your child and then trying to cook, clean, dress and look perfect better? I think we are desperately searching for a happy medium right now, and we are looking for other parents who feel the same way. I know I’m not the only one out there as I have found friends who share this view. Right now I believe we are in the process of trying to learn from the past and grow in the future taking the good things from both. I think we now recognize the benefits of encouraging independence but know the importance of guidelines. I want my children to be aware that people watch everything they do and say but to also not be trapped by this. I wonder what the world is going to be like for my children in two more decades, a thought I never worried about till now. Will it truly be a better place?  Only time will tell.

This mom is going to try putting her guilt and judgement out with the trash, and set realistic expectations. Live by example and not worry if my floors are sticky. I can clean them tomorrow. I will also not try to stress about those 10lbs and remember that my kids care more about hugs then my love handles. As long as I stay healthy and keep my kids feed and healthy, clothed and happy, then the rest can follow. We need to start with the simple things which are the most important. Love, food, shelter and grow from there.

My mom who inspires me always gave me a gift for mother’s day and I think it is a really good reminder…. GOOD MOMS HAVE STICKY FLOORS, DIRTY OVENS AND HAPPY KIDS. My dad who cares about my happiness with all his heart gave me another gift that says: In this house we do real, we do loud really well. we do sorry. we do fun. we do mistakes, we do second chances. we do hugs, we do family. we do love…… So my parents really get it. They know what its like. And these pictures and sayings are out there to purchase, so that tells me deep down our whole society believes it too and we want to bring it back to the forefront. We want to live it daily and for that I am glad.

Cheers to all the moms and dads out there who are trying to keep it real and simple. Be proud, Do your best, Learn from your mistakes and let your kids be kids, so in turn they can do the same.

 

Fall colors

The days grow shorter and the leaves are beautiful colors of orange, yellow and red. The Suns warmth is fading and I know winter is coming. Yet, the vibrant colors of the changing leaves, the bountiful harvest of the field, and the gracious gathering from the garden are all reasons to rejoice and be thankful.
So why is it then that my mood doesn’t reflect the vibrant trees? Why is it I resonate more with the tired grey grass and the wilted lilies? I feel a sadness as I morn the going of summer. I think I was meant to live somewhere warm… All year…seriously. Oh dear I already miss the touch if the warm sunshine.
I shouldn’t feel bad, for today was a perfect fall day. Warm by fall standards, no wind, the leaves crunching beneath my sons feet for the first time. A smile crosses my face. And yet I feel tired, unmotivated, bored, impatient like the evergreen trees waiting for the first snow to touch their branches and show off their true beauty. Yes I feel like I am waiting for something,
My fall color isn’t red or orange or yellow, it’s blue. I guess summer means so much more to me then I thought. So I’ve decided that’s it okay for me to be sad that fall is here, to be sad to see summer go. We need to morn for loss before we can move on. And I know summer will be back if only I can get through the winter. I will hold onto that thought but I hate waiting. I am not nearly as patient as I wish I was. But for my sake and the sake of my family I have to shake this mood. Like a fall tree dropping all its leaves on the ground. Bare, stripped away and ready to start anew. Yes that is what I need to do, let it all go and see the true joy of the colors of fall. That and take my vitamin D. (There’s a lot of truth to that too) : )