July 31, 2014

on being present

Today felt a little dreamy. When I got home from work, my little gal wanted to put on her tutu and dance with me. We danced to five songs, twirling and raising her high in the air. My biggest passion in life growing up was always dancing, and sometimes I see her pure joy of movement and wonder if that gene was passed along. Time will tell on that one. I don't know if there are many six foot ballerinas out there, but you never know.....
Afterwards, she tossed on her gumboots and wanted to run around the yard with the hose. I showed her how watering my garden was also a super fun game. Hey, it isn't child labour if no one is getting paid. She jumped in the giant mud puddles she was creating in my flower beds and kicked dirt high up into the air. I didn't care at all about the mud flying around because it was more fun to live in that spontaneous moment with her. 

I'm trying my hardest to live in the moment now because it's too much emotionally for me to think of a few months down the road. Also, I want to have that tangible feeling that my days are unique from each other and stretched out. It's so easy to fall into the trappings of daily routines that our weeks can fly by. And right now, more than ever, I need life to just slow the eff down. I need to bask in the time I get to share with my mom. I need to do all the things we can together on her "good" days. I need to be present with my daughter and enjoy watching her grow and change before my eyes.
What do you do to try to stay in the moment? In this era of distractions, it's harder than ever to be fully present. I think adding variety to our days is a huge factor for me - hitting the beach one night, a park the next, visiting friends, having family over, adding some interest to our days so they don't all seem the same. Also, I only give myself a little window of time while I'm sitting on the metro commuting or while I'm prepping dinner to look at my phone because it's such a huge distraction. When my daughter looks at me, I want her to see me, not my face buried in a screen. I also am a strong believer in gratitude. I think that if you look in your days for those little standout moments, whether you just take a mental note, or jot them down at the end of your day, I swear to you, it is one of the best things you can do for yourself to keep your mindset more positive and to make your days feel unique. And if you really want to keep your mindset positive and anxiety at bay, exercise. Yes, the dreaded bastard, the e word. But I swear to you, the endorphin payoff is worth every drop of sweat equity. I'll never understand people who starve themselves on diets rather than choosing to exercise. I'll always prefer the endorphin high from running over eating a rice cake laced with stevia. I have a lot of moments lately of feeling overwhelmed about my mom's health, and exercise immediately calms me down and makes me focus on my breathing, bringing me right back to the present moment.
So, I know nothing I have told you is new. You've heard it all before. But sometimes it's a good reminder to just sit where you are, look around you, hear the sounds, feel the sun on your face, fully engage with those around you. Be present.
I'm going to practice gratitude on this blog in August, inspired by this sweet video.
Nighty night friends xoxo

July 27, 2014

Weekend round up, in images....

Our friends made bbq'd pizza. I think it was the most amazing pizza I've ever had. 
I didn't even know people did this. It's a thing people. And it is amazeballs.
Chatting with her future brother in law. 
This is at the playground. She wasn't incarcerated. Let's hope things stay that way.
 After work, I packed up a picnic and we dined on White Rock beach. I love this place. 
 Sharing gelato is tough. On both of us.
It was a beautiful night to stroll on the pier. A lot of people were taking selfies tonight.
In all my years going here, I've never seen the tower jumpers before.

I hope you were able to get out and enjoy the sun! When the sun shines on BC, there's no where I'd rather be. xoxo

PS, we caught this documentary on Friday: Mortified Nation. Can you imagine reading your teenage diaries out in a club full of people? These brave souls did. 

July 25, 2014

Happy Friday Friends!

Sometimes I love pointing the camera right at the sun to saturate the photos with some extra warmth. I hope you have a wonderful weekend lined up! We're going to get cozy with a movie in a few minutes, so I'll keep this short and sweet, and leave you with this poem I stumbled across today:

All this time
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the

July 22, 2014

An amazing day

Ok, so I've got it people. The answer is love. It's working. The love and support that mom and dad's amazing circle of friends and family have been showering mom with, is having measurable, tangible results. After tomorrow's chemo, she gets a three month break. Three months!! Three months to feel consistently well. Three months to travel with family and friends. Three months to have her here. Her doctor even told her that he's very pleased with how she is doing given what her prognosis was back in February. She's already here longer than the doctors expected and is still going strong. She is phenomenal. So today the grandbabies surrounded her with love. We sat in her garden and had tea and watched the cousins giggle their heads off in the bouncy castle. I had to wipe away the tears of joy that were falling in that moment, having her by my side, watching my brother's kids and mine having the time of their lives, seeing the smile on mom's face.
I don't take anything for granted. I try to savour every moment with loved ones.
I have learned so much going through all of this. Have you heard the song "Let it go" from Frozen? If you haven't, congratulations. Seriously, I applaud you. I hear it everyday. Every. Single. Day. She wakes up singing it at the top of her lungs. So, it's cute in a way, but it's still that song. But I'm bringing it up because it's my new mantra. Let it go. When you get hit with the big things, the life changers, you realize, that so much energy out there is wasted on things that don't matter. Let it go people. Just keep showing up for those who matter most in your life, it's energy well spent. I've seen what amazing things a swell of support can do. xoxo

July 20, 2014


the set up begins
flowers from mom's garden
the amazing spread brought by mom & dad's incredible friends: salmon, turkey, ham, new potatoes and eight delicious salads - it was the best 
baking by my extremely talented friend Tammy - check out her blog here
Aunty Ann's phenomenal wedding cake: raspberries, orange zest, buttercream....hello heaven on a plate
 someone's adorable child...oh wait, she's mine ;)
 Mom and Dad's incredible circle of friends
 Our family (*Wendy wasn't ready when this photo was taken, so I attempted to crop her in, that's why Richard's shirt is quite mismatched in sections, but I wanted her in the photo)
 50 years and still giggling together......

 amazing women
 an animated chat between cousins
 My Uncle did an awesome job on his speech, especially since he just found out from my dad that morning that he was doing it........
Everywhere I looked, people were always laughing - it was like a giant reunion for them all. 
 My uncle receiving some belated birthday gifts
Some of our oldest and dearest friends....
I'm so thankful for every wonderful person here who show my parents so much love and support. And to think it all started with a boy meeting a girl in grade 9 and falling in love.......
Happy 50th Mom & Dad!! xoxo

July 18, 2014

Happy Friday!!

Hello friends!! I hope you've got an amazing weekend lined up!! Tomorrow we're celebrating my parent's 50th anniversary. I know I'm incredibly biased, but I think they look like movie stars at their wedding. I can't wait to see so many faces that I love all in one beautiful spot tomorrow. Mom and Dad deserve to be showered with affection, and this is the perfect event for it.
I put together a slide show for their day tomorrow and was blown away looking at the wonderful life they've created for themselves. They really have surrounded themselves with the most amazing circle of people. Today their friends helped get everything set up for the big day, got their house cleaned, yard prepped and brought them dinner. I mean, seriously, these friends of theirs are beyond incredible. I strongly believe that this circle of amazing support is a GIANT reason why mom is doing so much better than we all anticipated.
Craig and I did the math and we'll be 76/81 on our 50th. I guess we better keep tossing back those multivitamins!

And click here for your Friday laugh, it's a lip synched conversation between two 30 year old men, re-enacting conversations held by two 60 year old women.

Here's a few images from our week, xoxo

July 12, 2014

pumped up kicks

Hello friends! It has been awhile since I've had a moment to write, but the summer busy-ness has definitely kicked into high gear.
Earlier this week, I signed up with a running group and started training for a half marathon. It's 21 kms, which isn't groundbreaking, and doesn't make me an "extreme" athlete by any stretch. But I needed the discipline. My 5 kms jogs done intermittently were not doing a whole lot. I found that ever since I had a baby, I put on weight in areas I didn't even know were things: lower back love handles?!? What is that?
Now, please don't get me wrong, I'm not someone who advocates that we all need to be size 4 sticks. Not by any stretch. But I had done a half marathon before, and remember being in the best shape of my life from that training. I missed that feeling of being committed to a challenging program that pushed me out of my comfort zone and had a specific goal to train for: running a race.
I started to notice changes in myself that also led to this decision - I didn't enjoy clothes anymore - I wasn't buying things I wanted, I was buying things that worked more to camouflage problem zones.  If I was shopping and came across the word "fitted" it would send me running for the hills. I was also avoiding being in photos and would groan whenever I saw any photos of myself. I would love to have some family photos, but so often, I just have photos framed of my hubby and daughter.  So, I teamed up with one of my friends, and signed up through the running room for one of their training clinics. I have to tell you, it was one of the best decisions I've made in a long time. It's only been a week, but I've already logged in three good runs, including a 7.5 km one today in the blazing sun. I felt more energized at work this week. I feel like it's boosted my confidence, that I'm walking taller. And best of all, it's definitely given me a great endorphin high.

It's funny, the night of my first run, my hubby said, "they'll take it easy on you for your first run. Don't worry about packing water." We set out, what was supposed to be a 4 km intro run. 4 km? Cake walk. My hubby was right, I don't need any stinkin water.
But as we began, it was about 30 degrees out, which felt like running through a Hawaiian volcano in two layers of velour tracksuits. Sticky and uncomfortable. We were running and the first thing I noticed is that everyone had on water belts: professional looking of army artillery capacity, loaded with mini water bottles ready to aim at their thirsty faces at any given moment. They were confident in their running because they had like 8 water sources to grab from at any given moment. It was all I could think about. I'm pretty sure whenever I was jogging next to someone, my only topic of conversation was, "wow, that water looks good." Or, "Sure wish I brought some water." Or, "How does your water taste? Can you describe it for me?"
It became my number one fantasy. Forget Ryan Gosling, Water was seriously all I could think about. If there was a bottle of water handed to me at that moment, I would have made sweet love to it.
When we finished the run, the instructor said, "HA! I fooled you. You did 6 km, not 4!" If I wasn't so thirsty, I probably would have clocked her hydrated face.
So, running isn't always entirely fun. But, there's something to be said about having a program to stick to. If you are like me, feeling like you needed a nudge in your fitness routine, why not check out running groups, or join a cycling team, rowing team, bootcamp, dance troop, crossfit, anything that is going to make you more accountable for showing up. Tomorrow morning, we're getting up early to cheer on my hubby in a 120 km cycling race. He is definitely an inspiration for me to push myself further.
Happy fitness training friends!!

July 6, 2014

The weekend round up in images.....

running barefoot in the grass & having popsicles with her sweet bffs, summer has arrived
Bourbon Lemonade - oh, it's on. 
Redwood Park fairy houses. Always enchanting. I get just as excited to find them as she does. 
a gorgeous night at Crescent Beach
A sweet Crescent Beach resident. I hope he appreciates his daily million dollar view.
A beautiful moment before she decided to sit down in some kind of bug infested bush.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend friends! xo