Monday, December 31, 2012

stories from my year

this post is gonna be long
and link heavy
i can feel it
found us surrounded by
february found me
 about an odd assortment of things
(some of which i still am)
in march
i remembered
and i was
oh so missing the small ones
and walked our trail in their honour.
found me
reflecting on what i learned in my
oh may,
you were
and so was
but i also made some progress
yay me!
 my illness consumed
 way to much of my days and nights
and there were
 strong emotions
there also continues to be
a love-hate relationship
with cooking
found me struggling with silence
and doing alot of
(that experience feels so very long ago)
(my second favorite month)
there were fresh beginning
posts about remembering.
i decided to send love to my illness
in november
i continued to practice gratitude
even when i don't always want to.
in sweet
i found the
and said
 to a love sharer.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

saying goodbye...part 2

as i have just a few days left
to say goodbye to 2012
i am stealing away moments
to do my closing work.
(they are all playing games at the table just aroud the corner from me,
having the greatest time it sounds like!)
i call it work
 taking a wide, both eyes open look
at what has passed is,
for me
a genuine form of work
soul work
it was time to forgive myself for the
misses of this year.
the places in my life that didn't measure up to what i had truly wanted to happen.
it is easy for me to feel guilty,
(too easy)
overly responsible
 i am sensitive
to disapointing others and myself.
this guilt vein  runs deep
 and i am working to free myself from the limits it places on me.
"i forgive myself"
 journaling prompt
started the process
and in a fairly vulnerable act of openess
i decided
to share part of the list here
because i know
 i am not the only one
who carries burdens
 that need to be laid down.
some lay them at the cross,
some have ceremonies,
and some speak aloud their regrets
i write them out.
i thought to mysef before i began the list
that i would have just a few
but they just keep on coming and the page grew longer and longer.
i was suprised and had to trust the process
and not censor myself.
when i was finished
there was a lightness  i could feel and there is room freed up
for the new beginnings that i so desire and seek.
here we go...
( i left a few out)
i forgive myself for eating gluten, i forgive myself for missed appointments,i forgive mysef for not going to the garden enough, i forgive myself for not always fully trusting H, i forgive myself for using so much hot water with all my baths, i forgive myself for wandering into my way far back past and wishing for a simpler time, i forgive myself for going to Starbucks so often this past fall, i forgive myself for not trusting Owen's love for me enough, i forgive myself for holding back, i forgive myself for the letters that didn't get send and know there is still time, i forgive myself for stopping my gratitude list, i forgive mysef for not visiting little C this year, i forgive myself for the yet to be edited photos on my quickly dying computer, i forgive myself for letting some friendships go, i forgive myself for having to cancel on people at the last minute when i am unexpectedly flaring, i forgive myself for the sharp words i have spoken, especially to myself, i forgive myself for being so tired all the time, i forgive myself for being in the hospital and away from my family, i forgive myself for not taking flowers to my elderly hospital room mate even though i so wanted to, i forgive myself for being sick for so long (this one was particularly hard to write down), i forgive mysef for not always finishing what i start, i forgive myself for not wanting to be an artist, i forgive myself for not exercising.
 i forgive myself.
so much love to you!

Friday, December 28, 2012

saying goodbye...part 1

i adore new beginnings and the hope they hold
but i also
savour the sweet memories of yesterdays.
this year
this 2012 year
was to be the year of wellness.
the year to rest and repair and learn what it meant to care for myself.
this year was to be the year
where our family repaired and returned to itself
and our children,
all of them,
would find lives that were filled with love and safety.
this year
this 2012 year
was to be the year of abundant gardens,
daily art journaling,
chicken rearing,
canning and baking.
this year was to be the year of gratitude
and generosity and letter writing and love sharing.
this year has been a year like no other
and for that i am most grateful.
i want to be continually growing and changing and stretching
and i have been.
this has been a very good year.
all of what it was to be
of course
it hasn't been.
i am still to unwell to return to work
to return to much of anything really.
and i struggle and chaff and hit up against this reality daily,
so much so that my body feels bruised and worn
as if I have been in the fight of my life.
i need to surrender more to this place i reside in.
this year was a re connecting journey
with my curly haired girl.
it was a rocky start
and there were months of anguished pleads and prayers
but oh my how i love her so.
how i delight in spending my days with her.
how privilidged i feel that now
she chooses family.
she delightes in our company as much as we do in hers.
a gift.
truly a gift.
the garden didn't grow as it could have
and there was disappointment
and discouragement
the chickens thrived and
are a humourous and delightful part of our lives.
letters were written
and are written
and that is a whole post
the life changing practice of letter writing.
i am slowly saying goodbye to 2012
this week.
noticing what I am able to let go of easily
and the parts that are clinging to me
get a gentle second look.
this has been a good year.
a harder than hard year
but the abundance of my life
blankets the pain,
the sadness,
the struggle,
 the disapointments,
and i am left
warm and secure
in what has been.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

thank you

i just had a little cookie exchange happen
at my door
and it turned into
a love exchange as well.
"can i just say," she said,
"that you are looking great"
how awesome is that to hear
after battling illness and darkness and so much struggle this past year.
i look great!
and trust me,
i looked just like i always do.
hoodie, baggy jeans, pulled up hair,
chapped lips and probably mismatched socks.
 i don't know for sure what she saw,
and it doesn't even matter
i was able to respond
with a thank you,
and an out loud reilization
that i am feeling better.
everytime i say that outloud,
i get sicker for a bit
and so it would make sense to stop declaring it
but i refuse to.
every day that passes without pain
reminds me that i am getting well.
not on my time, but better than yesterday
and certainly better than last week
and so
my  cookie exhanging friend,
thank you for taking the time
 to mention that i looked,
using your words,
thank you for uplifting me, 
making  my day
by noticing something
so simple
something that many of us take for granted sometimes.
it was a very personal reminder
 to share what we see in others-
the good,
the lovely,
 the little sparkles,
the cute shoes,
the kindness we witness them showing,
the face splitting smiles.
whatever it might be.
we need to share love.
it can change your whole day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

my manifesto

express gratitude
love BIG
be kinder than necessary
write letters
choose a guiding word
hold babies as often as possible
get messy
listen to my heart whispers
the little moments matter
carry benadryl
light candles
surround myself with comfort
go barefoot
trust the process
grow a garden
bake often
share what i have
tell my story
say no as often as i say yes
accept my broken bits
never stop hoping

Monday, December 17, 2012


i just drove to the mailbox
because i have a letter that i want to be
in someone's hands before the end of this week
i also bought some almond extract
because i am making macaroons for owen
and i was listening to
mumford and sons
as i almost always am when i am driving
and my thoughts slowly and carefully
returned to last weeks tragedy
and i
found myself in tears
and i need to tell you why.
i have cried many tears for the families
and the loss and the horror and i have
spent hours pleading and asking for so much mercy
 to pour out upon that town
and those broken hearts
but that is not what the tears today are about.
four of my best friends,
my dearest heart sharing kindred spirits
are teachers.
and each time i allow myself to grieve for the teachers
of last week, i grieve for the teacher friends  i love
the friends that i hold in my heart. 
these women,
and all my other teacher friends as well,
men and women both,
beyond a shadow of a doubt
would have given their lives for their students.
they would have been whispering love and hope
and doing whatever they needed to do
to protect their little ones
and big ones
and that
breaks my heart into a million pieces
because i love them so much.
i am grateful for them.
their love. their devotion. their dedication.
i am sad that it takes a tragedy to remind me of this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

it looks like Christmas..

but it doesn't quite feel like Christmas.
Does that make sense to anyone else but me?
there is a whole lot of hurt going on
in this world
and it has become a bit of a constant uphill climb
for me
to not just roll down to the bottom of the hill
and become overwhelmed.
this has happened to me before
i am aware of others at the best of times
but  it also has to do alot
 with my own personal wellness levels.
if i am hurting
i am super tuned to all those hurting around me
in the whole world.
not just my immediate family
or neighbourhood or community.
it stretches far and wide
and you know,
as i do,
that the more we notice the sadness of humanity
the more we will find.
and so,
i drag myself part way up the hill
and do what i can here.
in my home,
in my neighbourhood,
in my community.
i send emails to orphanages in Thailand
hoping to make a difference even there
when we go
and i trust that others are doing the same
because i know i am not the only one
who feels compelled to change the world.
this is why it doesn't feel alot like christmas
because i am scurring around
 trying to dam up all the holes
 in the people i see
there are yet to be presents under the tree
and the house smells more like boy than gingerbread.
so i stop and take a deep breathe
 and remember
to keep it simple here
and to make memories here
 and to celebrate
that we are here
 together as a family.
i don't stop caring
and helping others
i just bring it into balance again
and i trust.
 next week we will holiday bake
and holiday shop
and wrap and make merry.
and i will trust that i have done all i can do
to make the world brighter
and i will soak up
the family love that fills our house.
(i am so grateful for my family, so grateful, like bubble over grateful you know?)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


had a steak today for lunch.
a steak  and a salad.
and mushrooms and onions too!
that is all.
wanted to share.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gratitude list as of 6:09 pm on this Tuesday of a day

     The security Owen's job provides for us
Safety for all my kiddoes
Warm blankets, comfy beds and pillows 
Blue sky moments
A rainbow that filled the sky
My journal
Anticipating Thailand
Mumford amd Soms Babel album track #6,7 and 11
Good deeds done
Hannah's replacement birth certificate arrived today
The colour yellow and gray
The willpower to keep taking the medicine this week
Anticipating mail
Pinterest eye cNdy
Hot baths
Gratitude lists that ground me again

Monday, December 3, 2012

sitting on the carpet

in therapy
i sat cross legged on the floor
with a sand tub in front of me
(slightly skeptical at first, to be honest)
and i marveled at how i had gotten here
how i continue to seek out full healing of my body, mind and soul
and how similar my therapist
was interacting with me
as i interacted with the young ones
i so delighted in caring for.
i felt as though she knew
 that being childlike
 was the way to win my heart.
now i know that statement puts me in a vulnerable place.
do i need to be treated like a toddler?
why am i playing with sand bins
and crayons?
is there an immaturity in me that only responds to child like approaches?
not at all my friends,
not at all.
she allows me the space and silence to do exactly
what i need to do
at that moment
to work through my story.
she doesn't tell me how to use the supplies
she trusts that i know what i need and i will engage in the process
as i am able and willing.
so like how i would let the little ones
interact with the art supplies, the sensory bins, the rhythms of our day.
it is the same.
young and old.
we are able to access what we need
when we are in a place of safety and trust.
the stories pour out of me like water over a waterfall
and i hear myself starting and stopping
and wrestling until i am speaking what my heart is saying,
not my head.
therapy is new for me.
i am three weeks in.
it is a luxury that i cannot afford to not have.
i am seeing an art therapist
rather than a talk therapist
yet i find myself talking
speaking through the drawings, the sand tray work
(that was a first for me today! it is quite profound!)
i find myself anticipating an hour to myself
with out any outside pressures or obligations.
my family appreciates that i am doing this for me
and they inquire of my time when i return home
(it has opened communication with the curly haired girl and i even more)
i sit on the floor often when i am there,
this wasn't the first session spent on the carpet rather than the chairs
and she joins me,
just as i did the small ones.
always meeting them in their space,
honouring their comfort and rituals.
it is affirming for me
that my instinctual way of interacting
is life affirming and that
i am now having that honour and respect
 returned to me.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Today i am learning 
how to blog from
 my phone
so that when we go to
I can 
be here in this space. 

Phone blogging isn't that tricky
I imagine, 
except I can't seem to post photos
from my phone here
and that makes me unhappy. 
I am determined to figure it out

Today i am enjoying
the lingering smell of play dough
trom when Owen's nieces and nephews 
Were here and the table
BecAme a work space
For play dough angels and cookies. 

Today I am remembering what it feels
like to keep on hoping and believing
when none of the medicine works
and every sip or bite results in 
and despair for those near to me. 

Today I am remembering
the place our family was in last year
the miles seperating the curly haired girl and us
and how utterly impossible that all felt. 
today she is out for sushi with owen
and there is so much laughter and love 
in our home again.

Today I am remembering
that I am enough.
That I need to be intentional in my cheerfulness
(and that is okay, being intentional about attributes we want to attract)
The hours spent on the couch
mean something.
The time invested into wellness is time well spent
even if it feels futile.

Today I am remembering
that I like this space
and coming here is important to me.
It matters not if what I have to share
is important or life changing
It matters because it makes me happy
and that is enough.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

ushering in December

the whisper of my heart this season
is to breathe deep each and every day,
to remember
that my giving is still valuable
even when it feels broken,
to love myself
as much
as i love them.

Friday, November 16, 2012

not my usual blog post...

the blogging community is as vast as we want it to be
as personal and intimate and bonding
i am still new to linking and affiliating
mainly because of my lack of computer skills.
there is a reason my blog looks the same
and follows the same format each post
one day i will recruit a friend and get a face lift in this space
i was given a blogging award from
who is a beautiful woman of faith,
a mother to a precious child
and an authentic, 
words strung like jewels
she is here
please do visit her space and witness her heart.
i think what i love most about receiving this from her
is that she is a young woman whom i had always been
intimidated by for a variety of self imposed reasons
but now,
years later,
a mutual love and respect and kinship has been forming
as we read one another's blogs.
and i love that
and i know that if i were to see her face to face now,
i would gather her up into a hug and feel such love and connection.
i love that about blogging
i do.
friendships forged that would not have the opportunity to become
in the day to day.
this little virtual award comes with 5 questions and after I answer them,
i pass it along to a fellow blogger.
how fun is that.
and, not at all what i usually do
which makes it feel like an adventure.
here we go.
what is your current beauty obsession:
so right away we can see how this blogging  award can take one in a direction they would not normally go.
i don't have any beauty obsessions unless taking an unusually large amount of bubble baths counts. i am hopeless when it comes to fashion, hair styling and makeup.
i have considered interventions but am always quick to remember they wouldn't do any good because i need to be true to me.
casual. natual.unadorned.
that is me.
name one item that you wished you owned:
ha! this one i can answer because i have been working on wanting things and being okay with that!
i wish that i owned a kick ass pair of leather boots.
i want them to go to just below my knees and be flat.
yes flat.
i don't do heels.
and i want them to be dark dark brown leather
and i want them soon....
what is your favorite topic to read about?
i am currently in love with poetry.
Rumi, Hafiv, Mary Oliver,
Lucy Shaw
(whom i discovered on the bottom shelf at the local sally ann)
usually though i am found reading all sorts of magazines
which I then cut up and paste into my art journals
i think i am a seasonal reader.
in the spring
 i have stacks of gardening books
and in the summer
 i occasionaly will read  a novel.
often finds me introspective and my stack reflects that.
 i go back to magazines, craving the glossy photos and colours.
what inspired you to become a blogger?
there were a few false starts with my blogging
and it wasn't until this one began that it really clicked for me.
originally my blog was started as a collaboration
with my friend Suzy who had moved to another city
as a way for us to remain connected and as an accountability piece for her.
that changed and i just kept on blogging.
if you go back to the very first  posts
you will see a back and forth blogging style between the two of us.
she picked the name too and it just stuck.
blogging became a life line for me as i have walked through my illness,
especially this past year being off work.
it is a place where i spill out what i want my heart to remember.
what nail polish are you wearing right now?
i try to always have my toenails painted.
it might be the one girly thing i do.
right now they are...
( i need to look...hold on)
deep purple.
thanks Michaela
i am passing this award on to the lovely Erin