31 January 2014


Seriously, I am so in love.

These boys rule my life.  My energy, thoughts, emotions, and actions are all put into their very livelihoods, and I love it.  Every squeal, giggle, coo ... my heart does a dippity-doo!

It's hard to imagine that one day, these two little rascals will be strong men taking care of their mama and not vice versa.  I've asked my mom, "How do you go from kissing your kids' adorable cheeks incessantly every time you see them, to just casually saying hello when they walk in the door?".  Thankfully, she answered, "In stages."

Like everything within this parenting world, there have been God-placed stages so that each transition isn't so abrupt.  Having 9 months to process you will be having a baby before having him/her, going through the crawl-to-walk-then-run progression, breastfeeding-purees-solids-normal eating, etc.  There is a natural progression to things, and again, thankfully, we don't wake up one morning after skipping some steps!

Even though both of these cuties are still very young, I look back on some of the stages they've already went through and get sentimental about it.  For example, Judah used to fall asleep on me all the time.  Now, I'm lucky to get a few-minute cuddle because he's an energetic little man!  It's funny though.  I am sad about it, but happy all in the same breath.  It didn't make sense to me until I was talking to my mom about it (she's so smart!).

She related this "mix" of emotions to the example of her adult children moving out.  Her reactions were pure excitement that her child was forging a way, being independent, growing.  But when the day came for them to move, it was sad, hard, nostalgic, among other things.  Yet, that "sad" moment is only just that ...  a moment.  Whereas the excitement to see new paths being taken doesn't get old, it out weighs the bitter, and it comes so naturally - without even trying for it to be that way.

I'm realizing that the term "bitter-sweet" is said in that order so that the taste left in your mouth isn't bitter, but sweet.  That there will always be these "bitter-sweet" times in life.  But usually, the bitter parts will last for moments compared to the long lasting sweet from the result of situations.  My nostalgic, reminiscent thoughts are normal and ok to have, but almost guaranteed, I'll be more stoked than sad that my kids are learning and moving forward.

"When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate.  
And when life is bitter say thank you and grow."

pic pix: my matching boys (shirts from Gigi), Jan.2014, on the living room couch

29 January 2014

spend time with me.


Have you ever felt like the very thing you are supposed to be doing (yet you're ignoring), seems to jump out at you, subtly or obviously, in every area of your life?  From the book I've been reading, my still small voice inside, words found in a magazine ... 

It's been pretty chaotic in my life lately.  I haven't invested time to learn and replenish from God's Word - one source of His voice speaking into my life.  I've felt, at moments, dull with out truth on the tip of my tongue.  I've been lacking.  Missing time spent with Father.

I finished up a book earlier today that highlighted how God's truth--current, recent and up to date in our day-to-day lives--can keep me clear of offence.  Then this evening, my small group leader encouraged us to look through different magazines and pick out "things" that were being spoken to me by God.  And what jumped out at me but:

Spend time with Me.

Lately, my heart and mind have been craving to learn and do just that, but I haven't made the time for it.  I've been distracted.  Until, the words started speaking to me,

What will you discover?  Look deeper (into who I am).  Spend some one-on-one time with Me.

When I opened up to hearing and spending that time with Him, this is what the magazine's images/words spoke to me about God, and His character...


Taking those few minutes to "hear"/discover/etc from Him ... He more than just revealed how good He is to me.  He grabbed my attention and spoke to me and the very matters that have been weighing in my heart lately.

God is so cool.

pic pix: words found from a magazine, 29.Jan.2013, Calgary, AB

28 January 2014

color board / no.24

color: 13 shades of poppy red
word of inspiration: essential [adj. absolutely necessary; extremely important]
source of word: "I love bright red drinks, don't you?  They taste twice as good as any other color." - L.M. Montgomery.  
Doesn't matter how I dress me or the boys, I think it's essential we have at least a splash of poppy red somewhere in our attire ... it "tastes" better to the eye(!).

/1. nifty tweezers  /2. love little card holders  /3. this head scarf: a must  /4. i've always wanted me an eames rocker  /5. block pillow  /6. love kate spade phone cases  /7. if i wore glasses, i'd like these  /8. my new diaper bag, perhaps?  /9. soooo cute  /10. one can never have too many blankets, especially scout blankets  /11. love the ink blot style print on this dress  /12. ummm, yes!  /13. these earrings

26 January 2014


Judah: his posing skills never cease to amaze us.
Hunter: his colic is subsiding (we think?!) = good sleeps

24 January 2014

happy weekend.

"What we hope ever to do with ease, 
we must learn first to do with diligence." 
Samuel Johnson

pic pix: juju - watching papa work, Oct.2013, Black Diamond, AB

23 January 2014


when two brothers met. from Sarah Nadine Arsenault on Vimeo.

One of my goals this year is to get on my documenting game.  I love to take pictures, but don't get to the point where I follow through and 1) develop them or 2) have them organized to leisurely leaf through.  The boys are continually changing and I am continually forgetting little things that I don't want to!

So this year ... I plan on changing that.  And here are some of the lofty(!) goals I have:

. Make a family year book (using this company)
. Print more pictures
. Take more videos
. Write down conversations and moments I'm thankful for

How do you document your memories?

pic pix: the morning after Hunter was born when Judah got to meet him, 06.Nov.2013, Rockyview Hospital, Calgary

21 January 2014


I've been spending too much time browsing other people's sites instead of coming up with some catchy posts myself!  Here's what I've been perusing:

Family Command Center - Little did I know there was such an official name for that spot where all your incoming/outgoing goods and junk sits.  If you look on pinterest for "family command centre", you'll be sure to find some pretty sweet examples.  Including this one...

Inspiration - Bethany's "inspiration boards" remind me a bit of my colorboards.  I look forward to seeing what see gathers this year.

Juicing - Also on Pinterest, I posted 30 days of juicing.  Will need to try some of these recipes!

Swallows - I've been attracted to swallows my entire life, and still am.  They just look graceful and delicate ... almost lady-like.

Music - Ever since Christmas, I've been addicted to these types of tunes (p.s. have you heard of "songza"?  Pretty cool that you can music right at your finger-tips).

Baby wears - Hunter would definitely look cute in this.  He could also use one of these bunting bags.  And, I'd love to get one of these!

Lists - My girlfriend is doing this list challenge ...

Instagram follow - I'd suggest you follow this chica.  Oh, she has a blog too.

pic pix: 'buttoning' up thoughts today has proven to be a bit challenging, Jun.2013, my living room

20 January 2014

conversations lately / fi-fi

Me:  "Judah, say 'excuse me' before you leave the table."
Judah: (every time without fail) "Fi-fi."

pic pix: one time, during dinner before Hunter was born, Sept.2013, at home

19 January 2014


Judah West: loving his hat and being a monkey at yaya & pepere's.
Hunter Elias: cuddling with his auntie boo.

16 January 2014

a redo.

redo: [v] riːˈdu - do (something) again or differently.

Tonight was supposed to be different.  I had plans with a friend that fell through and was feeling pretty bummed that I wasn't going to get out (friend, if you're reading this, please don't feel bad!).  My attitude about the evening was still crummy as my husband shooed me out the door so that I could have some "me" time...with Hunter.  "Whoop-de-doo, if you're by yourself with a baby, what do you do?!", I grumbled to myself.  Yea, I had a bad attitude, because there really is a ton to do if it's just you and one baby(!).

After I got in the vehicle, I felt I should call a friend to see if she was free.  That she was, and I went to pick her up.  Redo no.1.  We then decided to go to the thrift store.  Redo no.2, as that was what my girlfriend and I were going to do initially, before plans changed.  My night was proving to be a wonderful redo of what hadn't actually happened.  To top things off, we were out thrifting: the act of rummaging through a bunch of other people's stuff to buy and ultimately redo the item's life in your closet/home/etc.  The redo no.3 of the evening.  

Ironic, maybe.  But, the parallel of thrifting and my chance to have a redo tonight ... exactly what I needed to give me perspective.  

"There is nothing done or said that can't be forgiven..." - Matthew 12:31

Daily, I take the redos and do-overs of life for granted and do not put any special emphasis put them.  Being forgiven and given the chance to live my life freely and openly is honestly, the biggest redo in anyone's life, guaranteed.

If I could do over my evening and have a better attitude, I would.  But I can't.  So instead, I embrace the forgiveness and opportunity I had to have a redo ... and again thank God for His grace to allow me to live life differently with Him.

pic pix: thrifty finds from tonight, 16.Jan.2014, at home

15 January 2014

{a splash of} our day in pictures.

/1. messy lunch.
/2. juju is starting to get the concept of puzzles *excited mom dance*.
/3. he's such a mover ... getting non-blurry pictures is rare.
/4. a christmas gift that arrived late, but i'm so happy it came!
/5. post-dinner/pre-bedtime DQ treat.
/6. waiting for hunty to finally fall asleep = the rest of the evening.
** missing parts of our day >> ikea walking date, meal planning, mama tub-time **

14 January 2014

colorboard / no.23

color: peanut-ish brown with aqua
word of inspiration: comfortable [n. physically relaxed and free from constraint]
source of word: When I'm most comfortable, it's usually when I'm wearing a peanut leather something with a splash of aqua.  This would be confirmed if you could only see how many pairs of earrings I own (and wear a LOT of) with this combination!

/1. beautiful lines  /2. water-color has my heart ... feathers too  /3. this couch  /4. Pendleton blanket, sign me up  /5. mug cozy  /6. i may have just done this  /7. nice accent for my home  /8. up-cycled vintage blanket into these cuties  /9. i think i need want this bag  /10. got one of these for my husband last year - little lion man  /11. moccasins for this mama  /12. i'd like to sport this

13 January 2014

language of color.

I've always been drawn to color and know that it's always made things make sense for me.  Right down to making sure the different shades of green on my socks and on my shirt "match", I knew it was integral in my life.  Even at a young age, I was told I had an eye for color.  Somehow, shades and hues just speak to me.  Most multiplication answers, numbers, memories, words, etc. have a color association in my mind. One of my roommates used to ask me what I saw when I closed my eyes and thought of specific words.  It became a game of swirling colors!

I knew color was special to me, but it wasn't until I was in my early 20s when I realized how much color meant to me.  It was winter and I had a day off, so I decided to take a drive out to the mountains.  I don't remember the specific place I went, but I do remember the thoughts I had, I wish it was spring, summer, or fall so I could at least photograph something with color.  I still got out of my car and went for a small hike anyway.

As I looked around me, I just saw a white, nearly colorless place.  The evergreens seemed dull and the all the other ground was covered with bleakness.  Regardless of what it looked like, being out there helped me feel closer to God and that's what I was after.  I'd never audibly heard His voice or really felt like I "heard" him before, but I talked to Him anyway.  That day, I remember asking specifically if He'd somehow speak to me.

 At one point, I closed my eyes for a minute or so, and when I opened them again ... I heard Him.

"If you look the right way, you can see the whole world is a garden..." ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett

The gold moss seemed  to pop off the north faces of the trees.  Greys and purples radiated off of the rocks close to me and the mountains in the distance.  Branches and their twigs' ends were like black polka dots.  The trunks of the birches were no longer just white, but an off-linen-white.  What was once insipid and colorless, now spoke life.

Colors no longer were just beautiful, but living.  It's like it just hit me, God speaks to me through His creation, through His colors. 

Now, to me, when I see color, it's God's way of speaking to me.  When I see a pallid landscape, if I just look further and listen deeper, I see the colors.  I hear His voice.  He gave me my eyes to see through, and what I see AND hear is a gift - His voice.  

And secondly, my special language with Him.

pic pix: out my window this morning, 13.Jan.2014, at home

12 January 2014


Judah West: he got a new hat, and looks rather cute I think.
Hunter Elias: he loves looking at the fan.  it's like his smiles are the way he talks with it.

10 January 2014

happy weekend.

You're here to be a light, bringing out the God-colors in the world... 
Matthew 5:14 (the Message)

pic pix: starry light, Kootenay Provincial Park, Sept.2013

08 January 2014

two months ...

My last post about Hunter wasn't exactly his "one month" post, but I thought it passed anyways(!).  Here's the 2 month update on our little guy ...
 I've officially been dubbed with a nickname or two these days - "Hunty", "Hunty- Bear" or just "Baby Hunter" - all thanks to my older brother.  He really loves me and is always trying to pick me and kiss me.  I'll let him get away with that stuff ... for now at least.

Mama's not too sure how much I'm weighing in at these days.  A few weeks ago I was almost 11 lbs.  I must be getting heavier as I hear her grunt every time she lifts me in my carseat.  Speaking of grunting, sometimes I grunt, coo, and giggle just to get her attention.  It works every. single. time.  Any time other sounds are made, I try to mimic them.  Everyone smiles when I do.  Minus those times when when we were at church.

Papa and I have been watching some of the World Junior Hockey games and NHL games together.  Because I am such a night hawk, I get to be part of such fun.  I don't think I'll change my sleeping schedule ... too much cool stuff goes on after what they say my "bed-time" is.

Everywhere we go, Mama shares about my two different colored eyes.  I think she likes them(!).  She also always has so many outfits for me.  I guess it's so I won't feel bad if I get an outfit or two pooped in (which happens ... pretty much every time we head out).  Good thing I make use of all that prep she does.

I got to experience my first Christmas, which I don't completely understand yet, but I know one day I will.  I heard a lot of talk about it being another baby's birthday, so it kind of made me feel special to be a baby around this time of celebration.  We also partied another night where everyone stayed up past midnight.  I'm not sure what the big deal was with that day, because I do that every night!

I'm loving being "out" in the real world, and can't wait to see what this next month brings ... I'm hoping for warmer weather as I am not a fan of getting bundled up.  Just ask Mama & Papa.

Warm or not, I'll be back in a month to share all about it.

pic pix: my little two month old, Jan.2014, at home

07 January 2014

what do i know.

T O  T R U S T  A N
T   O    A
K N O W N 
c o r r i e  t e n  b o o m

unknown: | ,ən'nōn |
(adjective) not known or familiar

Even when we think our lives are dull, there is always an uncertainty in our futures.  An adventure, have you.  As boring as my life may seem or have seemed at certain points, never could I call exactly what would take place in that certain hour/day/week/year.  

It really is a mystery.  

Life, that is.  What comes next...we just don't know.  It can seem like a never ending cycle of being out of "the know" when each day we face is not predictable.  Until we focus on what we DO know.

"And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him..." ~ 1 Chronicles 28:9

Before time began, there was a Creator who created the existence of time.  Before we could think our own thoughts, it was He who thought of us.  Before we could wonder what our futures would hold, He wondrously fashioned our very being...

Now, the question I ask myself (and you!):

Do I trust my God [who I do know] for what awaits me in the future [that which I don't know]?

pic pix: ready to take the plunge into the "unknown", 30.Dec.2013, Calgary Zoo

06 January 2014

color board / no.22

color: champagne pink with rose gold
word of inspiration: admire [v. regard with respect or warm approval; look at with pleasure]
source of word: "Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.  The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God." ~ Proverbs 31:30

/1. gah, this watch!  /2. classy car  /3. i know i could wear these flats every season and in most circumstances  /4. earrings to soften any look  /5. it seems that i've got an obsession with rugs too  /6. my kind of studs  /7. i'm drawn to wearing this color, especially in this blazer  /8. NEED this cutlery  /9. yes, yes, YES  /10. "life is full of little treasures" ~ indeed  /11. another good reason to wear this color

05 January 2014


There were so many bloggers that took on this project in 2013.  I so badly wanted to do it, but didn't see the idea until it was already a few weeks into the year.  And seriously, who jumps into a year project when the year is already a month in?!

This year, I'm ready!  Basically, it's a portrait of my kids, once a week, every week, in 2014.

Let the documenting begin!

Judah West: mini-photographer in the making
Hunter Elias: cutest. smiles. ever.

03 January 2014

happy weekend.

Rules for Self Discovery:

1. What we want most
2. What we think about most
3. How we use our money
4. What we do with our leisure time
5. The company we enjoy
6. Who and what we admire
7. What we laugh at
A.W. Tozer

pic pix: a little guy "open" to learning about himself, Oct.2013, in the kitchen

02 January 2014

embrace it.

There's a lot to be said about going through the process of change when a newborn enters your world.  So much, that I can't even remember it all (and I just had this little fella 8 weeks ago!).  Even approaching Hunter's birth, I felt like I was somewhat prepared as to how the transition and change would be mind blowing.  Wrong.  Balancing two babes and experiencing life with a newborn once again has been more than just "mind" blowing ... it's been "life" blowing!

I guess I DO have a knowledge this time around - the fact that I know that this particular stage (newborn) will pass.  I know that he'll start eating solids, he'll learn to walk, he'll be able to communicate better with me for his needs, etc. ... he won't be a newborn forever.  Night time cuddles will not be as long, the cute coos and sounds will become words, his darling little feet and hands will become more independent, etc. ... he'll become my little boy.

That very thought pushes me to embrace, willingly.  Wrapping my arms around this little babe that will only ever be a newborn once.  And yeah, everything in life right now takes way longer just because this precious boy wants to be held and loved on all the time.  But all of these extra moments to accomplish "important" things are worth sacrificing for if I can hold on to these tender moments with an embrace.

Like any other stage in life, we only get to live it once.  My current stage right now is Hunter's newborn stage.  And so, instead of focusing on what I can't do because my 'hands are full, I'm going to love on him.  Squeeze every last ounce out of him.  I'm going to hug him and be enraptured with this time like nobody's business.

I'm going to embrace it.

pic pix: our facetime selfie, 02.Jan.2014, at home

conversations lately / babies

More often than not, my day carries a conversation that gets me laughing or keeps me laughing.  Some of them, I might never repeat ever again in my life (to save embarrassment), but most of them, I've got to start writing down and sharing.  Especially now that I am starting to have some funny ones with Judah.

Here's one from the other day ...

Me: "Judah what should I make for dinner?"
I ask him, not really expecting an answer but sincerely hoping he will give me an inspiration.  Judah does not answer, he just stares at me blankly.
Me: again I ask, "Juju, what do you think I should make for dinner?"
And again, I get no answer.  Now, I don't really care if he gives me an idea.  It's been a long day and I guess I just want to have a conversation with someone(!).
Me: "Judah, what should I make??" 
Judah: "Babies."

Serves me right for asking a 18-month old.

pic pix: this little man taking a fascinated interest in the penguins, 27.Dec.2013, Calgary Zoo

01 January 2014

bonjour 2014.


I can't believe how packed with blessing 2013 was.  We received our precious boy Hunter, got settled in our new house, our business went through a substantial growth spurt, we made some new solid friends and invested in long time old friends, spent time with our extended families, got to travel ... the more I think about, I can't get over it's fullness.  There was a lot we got to learn, and a lot we were graced in.  Like I posted about at the beginning of last year, we wanted to see His glory and that we most certainly did.

As we started unpacking thoughts and aspirations for 2014, I've sensed a recurring motif with my thoughts toward this new year.  I'm anticipating a year of settling and solidifying - in our family, lifestyle, relationships, daily life, work life, etc.  A year we go yet a bit deeper in figuring out who and what we are.

But before we can even start delving into that process, a thought A. W. Tozer put out there drives a compelling thought:

"We can never know who or what we are till we know at least something of what God is."

It's so simple, and true.

Before I can expect to see another year of His glory and witness His plans and purposes in and through me, I need to search His heart and absorb His very essence.  I must allow His Spirit show me who He is.  When I understand what the Artist wants to portray and present, I can understand it's subject and creation.

I pray each of you would either begin or continue to know and understand who God is.  In it, I guarantee, you will know who you are.

Happy New Year, friends.

pic pix: our last mini adventure of 2013, 30.Dec.2013, Upper Kananaskis Lake, AB


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