31 March 2014

links & a sweet monday to you.

Good monday morning to you!  Not sure about you, but we're sitting at a cool -13 degrees celsius ... lovely spring weather(!).  Our weekend was busy and our week is starting to look busy too.  Not counting today.  So we shall have a quiet day with books, baths, maybe some painting, a few minutes outside to get the cheeks rosy, and of course ... some links!

.  I love this instagrammer's feed and hashtag #ibenaturejournaling .  She inspires me to do the same.

.  Pretty sure the boys would love some wood blocks.  Keeping my eyes open for the perfect set.  (something like these).

.  In the summer, I sometimes go to this greenhouse.  We may go this week for some summery thoughts.  Thinking about it, we may go here instead.

.  The boys are years away from school, but I've been thinking about different options.  In doing so, looking at how other countries "do" education is interesting.  Norway's forest kindergartens are pretty interesting.

.  Speaking of Norway, we want to visit one day.

.  I'd love to try this coffee brewing system (also featured here).  Who wants to join me?!

.  The butterflies are back at the zoo!

.  How to learn calligraphy in 5 days - I'd love to improve.

.  This skillet lasagne looks so good, think I'll make it this week.  Or maybe these rolled up lasagnes.

.  Thought these hikes looked pretty darn cool.

.  Some hikes to do with kids.

.  A cookbook I'd like to add to my collection.

pic pix: last week's lazy Monday, Mar.2014, at home

25 March 2014

this tuesday / 01

For some reason, I find Tuesdays harder to get into than Mondays.  We seem to be more prone to getting sick on Tuesdays, testiness surfaces, it's usually the day of the week that everything is scheduled on and we can't make it to everything fun, etc.....  The only way sure fire way I know how to change a crummy perspective is to find a way to be thankful for whatever it is I'm facing.  "It's never too late to start having a good day," I've been told a time or two.

So here's the start of my journal of being thankful for the beautiful in Tuesdays.

it's a new day.
it's the second night Hunter has slept through (at least 6.5 hours).
I actually feel rested.
we have colds but not bad enough to stop us from getting out.
french class is in 2 hours, Judah's excited.

I have a coffee in hand - this is going to be good day.

the boys are sleeping.
I am cleaning with the products I bought from Target today (an testing easy trip that was).
thankful my mom was there with us.
despite wishing I was reading or doing something creative, I'm happy to have a house to clean.

wishing I had a coffee in hand.

the boys are sleeping after only a few wake ups to this point.
I got to visit with both my brother and sister tonight while Matt worked on stuff.
my kitchen is clean (after 1.5 hours of cleaning it!) and the rest of my house needs a clean.
we have roast chicken and gravy for leftovers tomorrow.
I'm reminded that even though I got super frustrated at points today, God's grace fills in where I didn't/couldn't show love.
I have a bed, that beckons me (like now).
Matt works so hard (like nights like tonight) so that we can be comfortable.

regardless of some of our hiccups, the bit of crying, the coffees I had and wished I had ...

this was a good day.

 pic pix: this photo makes me happy, 25, Feb.2014, at home

24 March 2014

slowing it down.

This winter season has really taken a while.  Once again, it's all white on the ground here and we have colds ... again.  Not to be a complainer, but we (as a family) have not been through a full month without being sick since Hunter was born.  And I have been either sick or have had morning sickness for a year straight.  Then to have cold weather to boot, we have not only felt cabin-fever but have lived in a fevering cabin!  I know there are worse things we could be facing, but this is our battle right now, and we're gonna fight it! (ha, just thought of Meg Ryan punching the air in "You've Got Mail").

The other night, while I was stuck in my thoughts about my dilemmas, I decided that I needed to see a positive from all of this.  Every time that I had talked/shared/thought about it, I never looked past the negative.  There had to be something good that I could take from it.   It didn't even take a minute of changing my perspective for it to dawn on me.

Our pace.

Before being married, I never said no.  If there was an invite, the answer was "yes".  Needed volunteer time, "yes".  Coffees/favors/parties/every & any other fun thing, "yes".  Let's just say, since I've been married and now especially after having the boys, I've had to learn to use the 'n' word.

Still, I somehow I was managing to fill our weeks up to the brim with visiting and socializing.  I've always been one to think, "with my personality, I'm sure this will be a continual battle to find the perfect balance and I'm ok with it, as long as the pendulum doesn't swing extreme the other way."  So when we were faced with a forceful pace slowing, I knew I needed to find a symmetry to these two extremes.

Slow it down.
Through chaos as it swirls,
It's us against the world.
~ Coldplay

Since Judah was born, this is the lullaby I sing to the boys.  I never pre-thought it, it just happens to be the first song that gets in my head when I'm singing to settle them down.  Never did I think that this was supposed to be my mantra, it was just a song.  But now, after singing it daily for the past (almost) 2 years, the concept of the words are actually starting to sink in.

Some of the positives I've been noticing by slowing it down over here:

1. Quiet weeks are bliss - Instead of coffee & playdate written on every day of my daytimer, it now has blank spots with a plan here or there.  Last minute outings/rendezvous come up, but for the most part, I've been feeling more in control of my time.

2. Happy boys, happy mama - When I can give undivided attention more than just an hour here or there in a week, the happy levels at home are good.

3. Rest - I'm not a napper.  Never have been, maybe one day will be, but for now, I can't.  But I do rest.  If it's reading in bed or taking a bath while the boys nap, I need it. 

4. Routine - Just as I'm not a napper, I'm not a "routiner"(!).  Though, the boys really do need it and I have been trying.  Because our time is literally becoming OUR time, we have been able to schedule important things in and stick to them.  This may seem simple to any one else, but this is so huge for me!

5. Music & dance - more time = more dance parties!

I'm still a work in progress but a happier one at that ... especially realizing that from something so depressing (sickness) there can be a real positive change and message to learn from.    

pic pix: us at home having a slow day, Feb.2014

22 March 2014

happy weekend.

"We fill the hands and nurseries of our children with all manner of dolls, drums and horses, withdrawing their eyes from the plain face and sufficing objects of nature, the sun and moon, the animals, the water, and stones which should be their toys. " 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

pic pix: in Joshua Tree National Park, Feb. 2014, CA

20 March 2014

four months ...

Since my last update, I've seen a whole new world!  Mama and Papa took me and my big brother to an amazing place where I didn't have to wear ANY layers at all.  I was allowed to be in my diaper ONLY for an entire week!  Honestly, I can't say I was too impressed with how we travelled down there [Palm Springs] ... I never had a fit on the plane, but I was ready to a couple times (who wouldn't?).  Poor Mama and Papa didn't seem super comfortable either during the airplane ride.  But at least, they were so relieved at the end of each flight!  

Not only was it relaxing to just lounge in the sun, but it was so nice to be eased into a schedule.  I think we all are (still) appreciating it!  Because it was so warm down there, I had the best sleeps and got to experience sipping 'water' - a liquid substance that doesn't come from Mama.  It felt nice on my throat, whatever it was.  I try to drink out of every cup that's in my reach now.  They can't just allow  me to drink that stuff for a week that and expect I won't go for the plunge every time I see a cup now... !!

So I pretty much am called "Hunty" or "Hunty-Bear" by Judah.  It makes me happy that he loves me so much to have a special name for me.  When we go to stores or meet people, he always makes sure that people know my name.  It's nice he does that for me at this point seeing as no one else understands the words I say!  Papa and Mama use the name too ... I think they must have been feeling left out(!).  Anytime I see any of their faces, I smile.  I just love them.

Mama brags that I'm almost sitting up, I love music, I am SO ticklish (I laugh so hard when she touches my feet!), I want to be and do things just like Judah, and that I am too smart for my own good.  I'm not really sure what all of things are, but I like that she talks about me (I just started acknowledging people when they call my name - who knew that would make them so excited?!).

Just sitting up more has given me such a different perspective on life, not even including all the experiences I've had this past month.  I can only imagine all the new stuff I'll have for you next month ...

18 March 2014

color board / no.26

color: driftwood
word of inspiration: spring [noun. the season after winter and before summer, in which vegetation begins to appear ...]
source of word: Springtime in Calgary is rather brown.  But like anything, if you look closer at all the different shades of brown (almost like different driftwood pieces), you see there are many hues, blues, and queues of varying colors.  I actually have grown to love the color driftwood and the season it represents to me.

/1. would love this chair in/outside my house  /2. never enough beads  /3. the colors in this cowhide rug are exactly what i want in my room  /4. matt loves his redwings ... these would be pretty sweet for him too  /5. unique little clock  /6. OBSESSED with this dresser/cabinet  /7. watercolor displaying the different colors driftwood can be  /8. iPhone case, love it  /9. i don't wear glasses, if i did, i'd get these  /10. just admiring how "my" cowhide rug could look in my house!  /11. mancala - have never played, but this board makes me want to try :)

16 March 2014


Judah West: even with a broken foot, he still has a smile and a happy heart.
Hunter Elias: his cuteness sometimes is just too much.

14 March 2014

happy weekend.

"If you're feeling blue, try painting yourself a different color." 
- Hannah Cheatem, age 8

pic pix: reflections off of my stair railings ouside, Feb.2014, at home

13 March 2014

colorfully said & read.

Part of my lineage is french, we live in a bi-lingual country ... naturally, I've always wanted to be able to fluently speak it.  I took basic french in my schooling years and would say, I could "get by" if I needed to, but would really like for my boys to know the language.  And what better time than now to learn it?  So we (Judah, Hunter, and myself) recently started a baby & me french class.  It's very basic but I feel the exposure to the language is a good start.

Some of the rhymes we're learning are lyrically humorous.  Some really fragmented and confusing.   Some are the same what I grew up with - which, I am realizing, were funny and a bit confusing at times too.  Like:

A tisket, a tasket, green and yellow basket ...
Sing a song of six pence, a pocket full of rye ...
... The little dog laughed to see such a sport and the dish ran away with the spoon

Like my grade school french (or mathematics for that matter), these types of things I committed to my memory and never really thought about or got into.  It's like I memorized it and never allowed myself to actually visual it.  Which is funny, as I am a visual learner (so, in this case, did I just remember it and not really learn it?).

When I've sung, "a tisket, a tasket, green and yellow basket..." I don't think once I've actually seen a green or yellow basket in my mind!  I've just always skipped to visualize a love letter being dropped.  *found this interesting way of playing the game ... never did it this way as a kid!  Or, I've never actually pictured a dog laughing at the "sport" of a cow jumping over a moon!

The fact that I've not actually let simple words I've memorized or repeatedly read absorb makes me wonder about more important information.  Like reading God's word.  How many times have I read/heard certain phrases or stories that I've stopped visualizing?  Or stopped knowing what I was reading or even saying?

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein

It comes back to keeping it simple.  Reading/hearing things with a clear mind...with a clear heart.  If I want my heart to be impressed by good things, I can't hold onto garbage because there just isn't enough room for both.  If I want my mind to soak up the meaningful things, I can't let nonsense and "time-fillers" take real-estate.

I want to be sharp, vivid and expressive and have all that I fill my mind with to exude the same.  When sharing or teaching, I want to think clearly and concisely and be able relay information with meaning and color.  So that it sticks for the listener.  Instead of just skimming over words , I want their pictures and meanings to be alive and jump off the page to me.

"Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know 
your Creator and become like Him..."
~ Colossians 3:10

I'd say God [Creator] is pretty colorful, wouldn't you?

pic pix: tulips, 12.Mar.2014, at home

11 March 2014

10 March 2014

day at the farm.

Thanks to the glorious weather taking a turn for the warmer(!), we were able to spend some time outside on Saturday at (great)Grandma & Grandpa's farm.  Judah loved the freedom to roam.  Hunter relaxed in the ergo carrier with the warm fresh air.  Matt helped out his Grandpa by chopping up a pile of fire wood.  And I got to visit, take pictures, and enjoy the moments that seemed to slow down.

We've got to get out there again ... soon!

"What day is it?"
"It's today!" squealed Piglet.
"My favorite day," said Pooh.
~ A.A. Milne

pic pix: a day with great Grandma & Grandpa, 08.Mar.2014

07 March 2014

links & happy weekend.

Oh goodness.  Where has this week gone?  We seem to always do that to ourselves - before and after our vacations, we cram our weeks full.  If we always do it, you'd think we would've learnt by now!  On top of business, our little Hunter man has been having some sleepless nights (yes, mama & papa too).  All to say, not much down time these past 7 days, but being reminded of how blessed we are to have such rich relationships, friends and family, around us.

Here are a few things that have been mulling around in my head, amongst the busy-ness!

. My sister reminded me how much I wanted Toms when she mentioned she wanted to get Juju a pair.  Initially, I wasn't that into them, but now(?) LOVE them.  A pair for me, Juju, and Hunty-Bear.

. Judah is into Curious George shows on netflix.  Found some cool "oo-aa" free printable coloring pages. **oo-aa is what he calls it**

. Thinking about summer ... dreaming about plans for our backyard.  Looking here & here (and everywhere else!) and pinning all ideas here.

. Doing some research on different teaching methods and activities.  Here's a site I've spent some time perusing.

. Does your handwriting ever change?  From italic-slanted, to straight and even, to scribbly handwriting, all caps, no caps ... it seems mine changes like a flavor of the month!  Today, wishing mine looked like this.

. We are getting some company jackets made up with our new logo and cannot wait to get them!!! (logo on this page - sawback builders ... our graphic designer is awesome!! check out her work for inspiration.)

. She Reads Truth.  Love these daily devotions.

. A weekend quote to chew on.

Hope you all have a beauty of a weekend!

pic pix: my view two fridays ago, Palm Springs, CA, Feb.2014


Judah West: post-nap shenanigans.
Hunter Elias: post-nap cuteness.

04 March 2014

three months ...

Ok.  So, where did this last month go?  Tomorrow, Hunter will be four months old and I still haven't gotten these three month pics up (eep!!).  Thankfully I took these a month ago ... he's changed so much since.
Wow.  Where to begin!  My life (as a three month old) has taken some pretty cool turns, and I've been a lot happier about it.  My mama & papa brought me to an osteopath and whatever he did has helped me be a happier dude!  Before, I thought it was just normal to cry for 4 hours straight every evening (amongst other things) ... now, I don't, and we're all so happy because of it.  Mama massages my neck every day.  I look forward to it as it makes me feel better.  Who knew little things could change my life like so?!  My parents both seem very excited about all these changes.  Making them smile makes me want to smile more too.

Another thing I look forward to is my older brother holding my hand.  He says we're "buds".  I like that.  Everyday, he gives me kisses and says "Hunty" to mama whenever I cry.  I love that guy!  I've also come to love the spinny thing on the ceiling.  I hear everyone call it a 'fan' but it's gotta have a cooler name than that.  That thing could keep me entertained for hours ...

The other day, we went and got some interesting travelling pictures done [passport pictures].  The man at the store had to wrap me up in a towel and my mama held me up on a stool and wasn't allowed to have her hands in the picture.  She said I cooperated good and spent the morning at the mall with just me - I must have done REALLY good!  Then, on another day, we had to stand in line for hours just to give someone the picture.  I don't understand why she put so much effort into taking the picture just so we could give it away.  

There's so much to still understand, but hey, I'm only 3 months old ... I've got time to let this all soak in!

pic pix: my beautiful Hunter as a three month old, 09.Feb.2014, at home

03 March 2014

dear joshua tree national park ... i'll be back.

It was SO nice to get away last week to not only relax and get rested but to experience an entirely different beauty than what we're used to.  About 40 minutes outside of Palm Springs, CA, we found ourselves at the national park - called Joshua Tree.  In raw land, dry and dusty.  A.k.a. the desert!

Matt did some rock climbing, but that was halted quickly as he saw a snake a little too close for comfort.  We traipsed with the boys in the sand looking at almost every plant (because they were so different to what we were used to).  Judah learned what an echo was after him and his papa climbed way up high on the rocks.  Hunter refused to nap because of all the new sights he was taking in (I'm sure!).  We all watched the sun quickly go down behind the mountains...which was absolutely breathtaking.  

While we were there, we were already talking about how cool it would be to camp and explore the area.  This makes me pretty sure that we'll be back!

pic pix: our desert adventure, Joshua Tree National Park, CA, Feb.2014


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