31 December 2014

dear 2014 ...

It's funny how a traditional season and then a season for all things new are lined up back-to-back on our calendar year.  We spend a whole month (December) up-keeping traditions and "things of old" because that's our family's Christmas lore.  Then, once January hits, we are all looking to change up our habits and grow.

I personally like to keep things fresh throughout the whole year (read about my goal setting here) and don't just make new years goals.  So, with that mind set, the change from December to January isn't as much defining the new year to me as it is more of a reflective time thinking back on the previous year.

So as for 2014 ... you were a hard year.  Probably one of the hardest I've had to trudge through.  Yet, within some of those most painful moments, I have the best memories and things that could have happened to me.  Instead of lamenting(!), here are some highlights and things I am over-the-moon grateful about:

. watching my boys become the best of friends (14/52 picture)
. witnessing my husband steadily working to provide for us
. getting breakthrough in my personal struggles 1 | 2 | 3 to name a few
. seeing first-hand how our business has grown exponentially
. having the best camping trip this summer with my little family
. experienced a deeper love (and more patience then you or I will ever know) from Matt
. documenting the simple family times

Hope you all have a wonderful NYE and can find a few minutes to be grateful for the good in 2014 - despite what kind of year you had!

bisous xo

pic pix: family skating excursion, 27.Dec.2014, Lake Louise, AB


What a cool project this has been.  Some weeks were a lot less creative than other weeks, but it was all about documenting, right?  I'm hoping to make a book of each of their 52 weeks from these guys.  It's amazing to see how much these two have grown from the first shots last January ... my goodness, Hunter is mobile and Judah's baby cheeks are gone *tears*.  I hope to continue it for next year, because you can never have too many memories.

Judah West: you are the shenanigan driver and party maker.
Hunter Elias: you are the stunt man and party maker.


Truth be told, I took these a couple days after this week was over, but I figure they still can count.  I call these shots, "the times I caught their awkward faces".

Judah West: you are such a trooper, and it's a joy to see you experience new things.
Hunter Elias: the way you find adventure in everything you do is quite a gift - i smile at your new advances every day.

24 December 2014

merry christmas!

Well ... it's here.  The most wonderful time of the year!

Trusting that each of you will be doing the same, I may be in and out of this space as I'm taking some time to spend with my little family this week and hoping to REST.  Before the new year, I will be revealing a new change to this corner of my world ... I'm so excited (eeee!!)!  Stay tuned.

From ours to yours, we wish you a happy christmas!  May you be filled with the hope and wonder of whose birthday it is that we are celebrating, as it's a pretty cool story(!).  Be blessed and find rest.  And remember to enJOY every moment.

bisous xo

pic pix: we're ready for christmas over here (and some snow too!), Dec.2014, at home

23 December 2014

joy to your world.

My only "house goal" for the month of December was to have a complete clean on our upstairs floor (where all the bedrooms are).  It's December 23 ... and today, I finally did it.  To say this month has been busy, is an understatement.  I'd have to say we are coming out of one of our busiest seasons with our business and commitments (since having kids, at least).  Ironic thing is, only 15% of it was Christmas related!  At least the joy in this season has made it still enjoyable.

That has got to be the hugest thing I am learning/growing in lately - how life needs to be joyFULL.  In every season, through each "thing" that seems bigger than life itself there is a choice to experience joy.

As I was finally cleaning our bedrooms this morning (like seriously guys, I have not gone through Hunter's clothes since he was 3 months!  His closet now only holds what actually fits him...sigh of relief), I got to the baby blankets.  I was just going to leave them out still, but the more I thought about it, I realized that we won't be using them.  Burp cloths, swaddle blankets, small square fleecy blankets and infant bunting bags really aren't useful items to keep in any toddlers room(!).  So I started folding them and putting them away, only to get struck so hard by such sentimental thoughts of how "that season" in my life was over (with the boys at least).  Their giggles in the basement over a hockey game they made up echoed up the stairs, and I couldn't help but smile and cry ... because what mama wouldn't do that at that particular moment?!

As I was holding the blankets and listening to their laughter, I felt stuck in a time lapse.  In between wanting to hold on to the past and yet, jump into the future.  It was then that I realized, "THIS is the present."

Ok, maybe that sounds a little to obvious to you (or you're thinking 'duh!') and maybe you think I'm losing my marbles!  But when you really think in all reality, how often do you live in the very second you're in?  Not chasing thoughts of what needs to be done (future) or what wasn't done (past) but just the very moment.


Just like putting away baby blankets, there is an act of putting away thoughts from the past.  And to not get consumed by what happens next, we need too release all worry and/or fear about what each day holds ahead of us (His perfect love casts out all fear.)

Without joy in your life, you are powerless.  Joyce Meyers

Take a moment right now to be in the moment - away from the past and the future - to find joy and let it affect your world.  Bring joy to your world, not just this holiday season but EVERY moment.

pic pix: a little bokeh from our drive through Spruce Meadows light show the other night, Dec.2014, Calgary, AB

17 December 2014

this tuesday / 05

. just hearing Judah stir for the first time this morning - praise hands for a great sleep in
. glad I got an hour of Hunter time already under my belt - double praise hands because he slept in til 7:45!
. loving that the watch-the-Christmas-tree-in-the-morning tradition carries on.  we really need twinkly lights up all year round.

. picking up cupcakes for our business' appreciation lunch today - how privileged and blessed I feel to be part of such a thing ... a business!
. though wishing I could stuff my face with these cupcakes, I'm just thankful that I didn't have to stay up even later last night making them.
. thankful that Hunter still naps in the car.  now if only Judah would ....

. praise God for His grace!  still getting past my humiliating last 5 minutes of navigating our way through Toys 'R Us to find the bathroom as my 2 year old is yelling as loud as he can that he doesn't want to be takes away from the trucks BUT ... I'm very happy that God gave me the grace to smile back at the scowls and that Judah was receptive to my correction (once we got to the bathroom, of course!).

. praising God once again that the line up for check-out was short and that we can leave this happy crazy place.

. loving that nap times have arrived.

. glad that i had at least 40 minutes to myself - good morning Hunty-bear.

. so grateful Matt brought home dinner tonight, and that we are done eating already.
. pretty excited this darling husband of mine us up for a Christmas lights drive tonight.

. feeling pretty awesome that the boys went down to bed quite easily and with minimal fuss.

. it's nice that the grocery stores are open late so I can grocery shop kid-less .

. love that I'm home from grocery shopping (finally!)
. bonus that my husband will let me vent my grumblings of grocery shopping and tonight's ecpreirnce.
. it's cool that i have all the resources I need to complete little jobs around the house.
. we're so blessed to have food to eat, without even having to think about it.

1:27am (17th)
. happy thoughts about that bath I'm about to have ...

pic pix: frosted tree in our front yard this thankful tuesday, 16.Dec.2014, at home Calgary, AB

16 December 2014


Judah West: you are always so imaginative.  i hope you never lose that creative, ingenious spark about you.
Hunter Elias: you are always so curious.  i love gaining your perspective of life by the things that interest you.

11 December 2014

colorboard / no.34

color: hunter green with gilded gold
word of inspiration: reminiscing
source of word: Clearly, I just love the name of this color ... because of my sweet boy!  But this combination makes me reminisce much too.  My mom has a glassware set along the lines this one that I am swoony over and always keep my eyes peeled to find one for my self.  So finally, I found a small little vase that was similar.  I've used it for little flower buds, as a candy/cinnamon holder and mainly as my creamer.  Until ... I broke it this week.  Guess it'll be something I can remember(!) and I'll once again be on the hunt for some antique green glass with gilded gold.

/1. because i don't have enough throws already  /2. feeling this felt hat  /3. i recently won a gift card via IG to this sweet shop and am eyeing up these fabulous feathers  /4. i need this set and it's counterpart too  /5. if only i could find this a garage sale or something  /6. my kind of locket  /7. always in search of the perfect notebook - love this one  /8. judah picked these out for this board, good taste my boy!  /9. quite like this pullover for moi  /10. and this watch?! wowza  /11. this could be festive, all year round at my house

08 December 2014


Judah West: you take your christmas decorating serious and you do it with much joy.  i love when you have a happy heart.
Hunter Elias: all of a sudden, you love hats and want to wear them all the time.  i don't mind that one bit and i love your kissable, sweet cheeks.

07 December 2014

oh christmas tree.

Due to limited time, we weren't able to get out to the mountains to pick out our tree this year BUT, we were able to get down to Ikea to pick out the very next best thing.  I mean, for $20, you can't go wrong!  Matt has got this knack for picking the "best ones" and he did it again.  We've now got ourselves a full tree (which I don't have enough lights to cover!) that smells oh-so-delicious and is waiting for our simple decorations to cover it.

It's been so fun to see how Judah is computing all of the festivities this year.  Watching him brings me back to my childhood ... in tree lots picking out the perfect tree with my family.  Hunter is great at supporting his brother in any type of antic (dancing in the tree lot for one!), and I love that I get to be part of their memory making in life.  Sigh ... I'm sure sentimental these days (hashtag sorry not sorry).

pic pix: tree picking @ Ikea, 06.Dec.2014, Calgary, AB

04 December 2014

well, hello december.

It's only December 4, and we already are shoulder-deep in Christmas season busy-ness!  I was writing out our monthly calendar, realizing that the few weekends that are in December are nearly full and only to get more compact.  Between balancing our business, church commitments, visiting family and friends and keeping our little family happy, anything extra lately has felt like a mountain to get through.  I'm not here to lament, but maybe vent just a little(!).

Despite the month's occupied minutes, this is still one of my favorite seasons.  Not only does the world recognize the birthday of my savior, but people's hearts are so open - to give and receive.  I think in the midst of chaotic traditions (some of which I totally love, by the way) there is just a rawness in each person.  Allowing themselves to feel.  I've been praying that my heart would be open to bless as well as receive - sometimes it's easy to get caught up just prepping and being part of things that I don't see the blessing people are being TO me.

Like my kids.  Their innocence and pure perspective of life is so refreshing.  We had a rude gas guy come check our lines the other day.  After being here for a bit, he asked Judah what he was going to get for Christmas.  And maybe Judah misinterpreted the question, but his matter-of-fact reply was, "Jesus."  My mama proud meter was clocking in way off the charts as I heard him unselfishly answer, and the hardened man actually smiled and (I believe) was touched by such an answer from a little guy.  If Judah realized what his answer meant or not, the simplicity he shared it with was not only refreshing to me but that man also.

I know I constantly write about wanting life to be simple ... it's because I do, and I can't shake it.  I want simple answers like that to be what changes days or even lives.  I want the unembellished rawness of people to be what I connect with.  And crazily enough, even with all the decorations and trimmings of the season, it's like I said: I feel like people open themselves up this time of year to just be ... themselves.

I hope you open up and receive the blessings that this season have to offer ... whether if it's what I love about it or not.  Embrace what side of the spectrum you need to grow in - if that be receiving more or giving more.  This time is meant to be celebrated, so lets!

pic pix: the start of our advent gifts (still haven't wrapped December 7th and on , 04.Dec.2014, at home

30 November 2014


Judah West: lately, you haven't been letting me take your picture.  i'm sure glad i was able to sneak this one in!
Hunter Elias: trains, trucks, wheels - anything that goes, you need to be part of!  i'm also surprised i was able to nab this picture of you as you are also on the go, all. the. time.

28 November 2014

friday introductions.

Well, it's Friday and I think time for another round of introductions!  The question I ask you (to either blog about or answer in the comments below) this week is:

What are some of your nightly rituals?
I've had a myriad of different phases in my pre-bed routines, but one of my constant ones is a bath ... in the dark.  It may seem weird, but really, it has got to be one of the most relaxing things.  It eliminates any type of screen time before bed and I don't turn on any lights after.  I'd say half of the week nights are spent this way(!).

Currently, I am "into" essential oils (more oily posts to come!) so they are huge part of my nightly wind-down - diffusing, massaging, soaking, you name it!  I'm also a reader, and if I'm not too exhausted, I'll be reading in the tub to relax my brain.  SOCKS - usually, I hate wearing them, but when there are cold nights there is nothing that can help more than a comfy pair of socks!  And warm drinks ... right before bed is the. best.

pic pix: some bath side essentials, Nov.2014, my bathroom

thoughts. things.

1. fried eggs
2. what a typical weekday (not cleaning days) look like over here
3. making shortbread (and eating it!)
4. finally got them happy outside, then they didn't want any pictures taken
5. morning reflections
6. getting out of bed deliberations
7. bath time is always a good time
8. some of the baked masterpieces

It’s been pretty quiet over here on the blog lately <cricket sounds>, but not here in my house, Daily living been a constant whrrrr, and I am grasping to find simple, quiet moments like pictured above.  Let’s just say, it’s been a dream if I even get a chance to daydream, let alone, get in a deep enough sleep to dream!  

As a family, it’s been a very busy season - one that I’ve loved, but also one that I am looking forward to slowing down in.  I laugh, because, the boys are in no organized sports, school, or any other extra circular things.  Yet, I feel like my life as their mom is b-u-s-y!  What the next 10-15 years looks like is going to be fun(!!!).

pic pix: things around home this week, Nov.2014, at home

23 November 2014


Judah West: you've always got a plan up your sleeve ... today's was a motorbike ride with your backpack and an important phone call.
Hunter Elias: your smile these days just lights up my heart.  in other news, your walking/running is always keeping me on my toes.

**I thought it was funny I took a picture of each of them in literally the same spot this week(!).

16 November 2014


Judah West & Hunter Elias: today, you guys weren't really digging the outdoors. but that's ok ... there's always tomorrow.

13 November 2014

joy in EVERY moment.

It's around 6:05am, my husbands alarm song goes off.  Since this the third time he's pressed the snooze button, he declares that he is sleeping in a bit this morning.

Glory be to God.

The kids are still sleeping (if you count the youngest one who's snoozing after he got brought into our bed 20mins ago "still sleeping").  And the morning air in our house is cool and I'm not ready to leave my covers quite yet.

Then I hear it ... < r u s t l e,  r u s t l e,  m o a n,  y a w n,  s i g h,  r u s t l e,  r u s t l e, pat-pat-pat-pat (tiny footsteps hitting the hardwood)>

Noooooo ... sleep, I must sleep.

Up comes our oldest one into the bed, ready for morning cuddles.

Oh, this isn't too bad, we will all just lay here for another hour an....

< P O K E  in the cheek >

< C R A W L  over the head >

< C R A S H  onto my pillow >

I love cuddling (thought with no sarcasm, of course).

It really was in that moment, of total self expectation and selfish desire, that I wanted to just burrow in and ignore the chaos around me.  Take my want for relaxing on the "sleep in morning" seriously.  Shut out any inclination to start the day and sleep.

But it was also, in that split second, did I realize that I could choose to just embrace the fact that I needed to get up and OUT of bed with these boys.  Leaving Matt to get only a few more winks of shut-eye, we went downstairs.

I was not only able to have coffee ready for Matt when he woke up but breakfast too!  I definitely didn't have any intentions of serving my husband this morning, but God took the opportunity of me choosing JOY to then receive JOY as I was able to help Matt out that little bit.

My idea of JOY can be so skewed.  I thought having those extra minutes of sleep would have been joy in all it's glory.  Yet, with just a shift in perspective, I got to experience a real JOY.  Not one that I fabricated, but one that I was surprised with.  How I love a good surprise!

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for JOY and be glad all of our days.   Psalm 90:14

pic pix: a sight that always brings me joy, Dec.2013, Kananaskis Upper Lake, AB

09 November 2014


Judah West: you exude such a passion for everything you do ...  we love that about you.
Hunter Elias: there is a face for everything, and there is not one face that I can't help but love.

07 November 2014

happy weekend.

In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips. ~ Unknown

pic pix: my sister (A-boo to the boys) helped with the boys' halloween costumes last week. we are so blessed to have her around to have fun with! 31.Oct.2014, at home

friday introductions.

There's this hashtag on Instagram #fridayintroductions where people share their answer from the question these two gals (1 & 2) put out there for you to answer.  I feel like it's a cool way to get to know people through this connective vice we call the internet and I wanted to join in ... but over here on the blog!  I may or may not answer their specific questions that they ask on any given Friday.  But will introduce myself in some way, certain weeks.

What would make the process all the more fun (and more relational!) is if you would ALSO answer the question - either in the comments or in a post of your own.  I look forward to hearing and learning about you all more too!

As it's early in the morning and those lovely ladies have not yet put their weekly question out there, I have decided to create my own:

What is something you collected or are still collecting?

As a young girl, I have collected books of many varieties.  When I was the 8 year old Sarah, I bought Janette Oke books and Archie comics.  As a 12-15 year old Sarah, I collected Nancy Drew (original or early editions only) mysteries.  In my 20s, travel books, music books, and resource books.  And my current collection(s) consist of Kinfolk magazines, recipe books, and children's books(!).

As I was thrifting the other day, I came across this old mystery - much like an old Nancy Drew.  For a $1.50 I could not leave it behind.  It stirred up huge nostalgia as I sat and read half of it during the boys' naps yesterday afternoon.  There's just something about an old book ...


And total side note, since when has it been warm enough in Calgary, Canada to be able to sit outside, barefoot, coat-less, snow-less, looking at green grass in November?!  I think never.

pic pix: my afternoon delight yesterday on the porch, 06.Nov.2014, at home

05 November 2014

happy 1st birthday.

I can barely believe it ... my Hunter-bear is one!  Parts of me feel like it was way longer ago, and other parts feel like he should only be 2 months old right now.  This year has been the most life-changing of years for myself and how awesome is it, that I get to sit at the end of it and marvel at this darling boy and the wonderful life he has shared with us.

Hunter Elias, there is no one like you.  Like a family friend mentioned today, you are a little man with giant spirit!  Everything you do, you make that much more epic.  You are an adventurer, a natural leader, a little munchkin, and the source of so much joy and laughter in our family.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't thank our heavenly Father for sharing you with us.  You are such a sweet sweet boy, and I love it that I am your mama.  And I love you so very much, my little bear man.  xo

pic pix: hunty's first go at cake and him loving his new present(s), at home on the counter and in the living room, 05.Nov.2014


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