Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Okay, so he was only 64% wolf, but still. As the dog headed down the path towards me, I thought this is a wolf. That has to be a wolf. But why would a wolf be on a leash in the middle of town? The dog?wolf? drew nearer and his owner stopped to chat with us. The dog/wolf's name is Zeus and he was friendly but timid. In that conversational pattern one has with dog owners( Oh, what a lovely dog you have! Is he/she friendly? May my children pet he/she/it? What is your dog's name (and gender so I can stop using all three pronouns..this is getting awkward!)? What type of dog is
?), I asked what type of dog Zeus was. It turns out I was right! He is a husky/malamute/wolf cross with the emphasis on the wolf. And such a lovely wolf he was! He was friendly, well-behaved and timid. He doesn't bark and isn't aggressive. He is gorgeous! In general, I'm not a dog person although there are several dogs I like(writing this is causing me to miss Sam, a hyper super-friendly chocolate lab). I think I have added a new dog to my list of likes. Steve, please may I have a wolf dog? :)
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Wasn't today lovely? Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, my friends and I walked to Chapters. There our little ones played with trains while we flipped through bridal books and magazines. Our friend is getting married and has invited us to be part of the process. I think we're both excited and having fun. :)
While the grown-ups were chatting, my wee men were happily exploring. They enjoy playing with the trains and looking at all the different books. Another two year old walked over and began playing. Not being quite sure what I was hearing, I asked his parents what his name was. We both found it both amusing and interesting that Kyan and Kian were playing together. We instantly bonded over shared stories of emailing out the birth announcement and having everyone mispronounce his name. I'm not sure if I'll see that family again, but we had a great conversation around the trains. :)
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sorry for the lack of blogging yesterday. However when I walked in well after 11pm, I decided that I was extremely thankful and also extremely tired in which case I needed to sleep and didn't need to blog. I am tired and currently upset, so tonight I am blogging. Right now, I need to remember why I'm thankful.
Yesterday was amazing. Somehow I ended up eating only at parties which meant that I ate absolutely amazing food all day. Usually some meals are great and others are mediocre. Yesterday, they all rocked! Instead of having a traditional church service, my church decided to have a feast during service. We opened with prayer, worship and a brief talk and then moved right into food. Potlucks rock! Brunch potlucks are amazing! I made a chocolate chip apple cake, several people brought yogurt and fruit, someone made a hashbrown casserole, and there were two absolutely amazing quiches. I haven't discovered who made them yet, but I need those recipes. Sooo good! Yes, I am a foodie.
After the church brunch, I attended an afternoon tea. My cousin and her friend threw an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter's Teaopia Tea Tasting Party. All of the guests had to wear hats which were provided. I wore a knit beret type hat(not exactly), Aris wore a large fuzzy purple hat, and my friend wore a large brimmed black hat. It was very her. :) Our hosts did a fantastic job with both the food and decorations. I really should have brought my camera as words cannot possibly do it justice. And my hand hurts so I should stop typing. I had a fabulous time tasting teas and eating amazing sweets. The meringue toadstools were incredible as was the chocolate raspberry mousse cake. And the best part? They let us load up trays with leftovers to take home! My family was very very happy. We all had cake and cookies as afternoon snacks today. :)
You may be wondering how on earth I managed to squeeze another meal in there. Well, to be honest so was I. We had initially been invited over to our neighbours for sushi on Saturday night. They wanted to thank us and bless us with a special meal. They succeeded. Sadly, the meal had to be postponed because of their exploration of the Ontario Hospital System. Thankfully my dear friend was okay, so we had sushi on Sunday evening at 9pm. Thankfully the lateness of the hour meant that I had room for sushi after all the other yummy treats. D. graciously made sure that I had sushi I could eat(with tuna instead of salmon) and J. ensured that there was always plenty of sushi in front of us. It was a great evening. Although my neighbours still have a mostly empty house, J managed to create elegance. It was stunning! Sunday was also their wedding anniversary so we were celebrating lots of things. We are so blessed by our lovely neighbours and friends. :)
So where does the soup come into all of this? That would be at lunch today. And in Steve's lunch whenever he manages to make it back into the office. My poor man is healing slowly so he worked from home today. Since he was home, I decided to make him soup for lunch. Then I ended up having a neighbour over for the morning. My personal mission in life is to feed V. since she really enjoys my cooking. I like feeding people. :) Whenever she is over, I offer her food and today was no exception. Right before I was ready to serve, my doorbell rang and yet another neighbour came over. T was also given some soup to eat and put to work. V filled my spice containers(she swept my floor too, but I didn't ask her to) and T chopped green onions. We had a lovely impromptu party and even the little ones found food that they would eat. After lunch we looked at wedding gowns, wedding photos and just generally talked wedding stuff. It was good. Last week when I was contemplating what I want to do with my life, having a welcoming home was on my list. I want people to feel welcome, to show up unexpectedly and to be given tea and fed. While we were all seated around my table, I felt so humbled and blessed to see how God is fulfilling this desire. I'm amazed. So if you are ever in the area, please stop in. But I must warn you that there will be chaos. The food will be good, the selection of tea extensive(if I do say so myself), but my house will be...lived in. Yes, that's the right phrase...:)
Saturday, March 27, 2010
In my sacred Scripture, there is a line that speaks of God's mercies being new every morning. This is undoubtedly true as I am thankful for a variety of new things each and every day. Of course, there are some that I continue to be thankful for like my wonderful husband. He made pancakes for breakfast and willingly went to the Maple Syrup Festival with me even though he thinks it's a largely about the money-making. He's right, but I enjoy it regardless. I enjoy it more when he comes cheerfully.
Today, I am also thankful for hand-me-downs that are several sizes too large for my son. I am also thankful that the boxes I store my hand-me-downs in are sorted by size and gender and accordingly labelled. This makes finding pajamas for the little neighbour boy was is unexpectedly staying the night much much much easier.
I am also thankful for a little boy who is sleeping with socks on his hands. Why he is sleeping with socks on his hands, I don't know. But is he ever cute!
I am thankful that I can drive. Today Steve fell and injured his driving foot. We're not sure what he did, but he can't do too much right now. Thankfully I have my license and was able to get us all home. I used to take this for granted, but after finding out several of my acquaintances and friends don't drive, I no longer do.
Now, I am going to be thankful for my nice warm bed and soft pillow. Hopefully in the morning I will be thankful for a good night's sleep. What are you thankful for? :)
Friday, March 26, 2010
Today was an interesting although challenging day. For some reason, there was a lot of unexpected drama in my day. Although I managed to handle all of it with grace, it still took a toll. The final straw was when my wee one vomited at the school movie night. After watching him closely for several hours, we're reasonably certain that this was a result of over-exertion and excitement, not a virus, but I still choose to keep him at home once he was clean and fresh-smelling again. I owe many thanks to the wonderful Laura Gwen for driving us home and keeping me company during the bathing process.
After the rest of family returned, kids were asleep and money was counted(my wonderful husband is the treasurer for the school council), my very wonderful husband went out for comfort food. We enjoyed chicken wings, onion rings and The Big Bang Theory. Sadly, we only had one episode left but the amount of enjoyment we derived from that one episode was more than enough. Thanks to Steve's prayers, hugs, infusion of chocolate, and yummy deep-fried spicy food, I am going to bed quite calm. Tomorrow is the Maple Syrup Festival! Yay! I'm so excited!!! And now that the calm feeling has left the room, I'm off to bed...:)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
No, we didn't eat them! But we did enjoy their company for dinner and games afterwards. The first time they came I had forgotten our plans until about 3 hours before their arrival. My remembrance coincided with me leaving the house to get kids from school. As my house was an absolute disaster, I spent the remaining time cleaning and Steve picked up pizza. At each subsequent visit, I've tried to move the bar a wee bit higher. Today looked like it was going to be a massive failure as I was out for most of the day and absolutely exhausted after climbing/crawling through a multi-level kids indoor playground. Forgetting that I wanted to try a certain recipe tonight, I returned the cookbook to the library on Tuesday so I had to go back there before cooking dinner. And my house was a wreck. But surprisingly I actually had the house reasonably clean thanks to my wonderful hubby coming home slightly early, and I had dinner almost on the table. The dinner party was a success, especially the rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes. University students tend to be happy with whatever they are served, but the potatoes were a huge hit. Definitely a make-again! I am tired, but very happy. Today I fed people, spent some great quality time with my kids, continued to build into my neighbours and my house actually looks okay. This is a win regardless of how I choose to measure success today! :)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sometimes success is only a matter of what lenses I'm looking through. When I feel frustrated, what I really need to do is change my perspective. Other times I need to change me, but that's a whole 'nother post! Today was all about how I saw it.
Today's goal was to clean my house. Both big kids were in school today and I didn't have anything planned so this should have been easy. But I woke up with a headache. Boo! Then my new friend mentioned that she was walking to the grocery store, so I came with. After we returned, I tackled my kitchen and then started lunch because I was starving. My slice of ham was too big for my sandwich, so I invited my neighbour over for lunch. We had a good lunch and then looked at pictures together. She couldn't find low-fat whole wheat bread, so I made her some. I knew there was a recipe for that somewhere in one of my many bread cookbooks, and I was right. Later we walked to school together and then ran errands together. After my wonderful husband came home, he barbequed supper while I took Aris to buy a present for a birthday party tomorrow. After supper, I visited with my friend some more, went to the pharmacy with another friend, and then had my first postpartum visit. It was a busy day!
My house is quite possibly worse than it was this morning. This is bad news because not only did I work hard this morning, I have company coming for dinner tomorrow and a busy day planned. *sigh* Seen from that perspective, today was a resounding failure! However, last night Steve and I had a brief discussion about our goals. There is much more to be decided on, but a big part of who we are is to be a friend. We feel strongly about coming alongside those who are new or alone or in need of a friend. Seen from that perspective, my day looks much better. Although I am often judged on my poor housekeeping, at the end of my life will people place more value on my chaotic house or my friendship? Personally, I'm rooting for the friendship, especially the yummy goodies that my friends get to eat. :) Now to remember to keep looking through that pair of glasses. :)
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
A Facebook friend of mine has written a book entitled Clairveaux Manifesto. He posted about the writing process and I've been curious about what he has to say. The author is one of the small number of facebook friends that I don't know in real life. He made it onto my friends list because I'm pretty sure we would be friends in real life.
His writing is challenging me to much more intentional about my life. Reading this book has spawned a continuing dialogue with Steve about our goals as a couple and as a family. We are re-focusing and re-defining who the Van Bruwaene jr's are. :) At this point we don't really have a firm sense of direction, but we are taking time to talk, think and pray about where we are headed. Neither of us wants to head off without the other firmly in tow and in agreement. This is a time of transition, but I am happy. Which is bizarre because I also feel like there is more to find, that we are being called to more. Feeling this incomplete should be a bad thing, but it currently isn't. Instead I'm feeling very excited about where this journey will take us. I promise to write more as we decide more, but this is about as far as I've gotten. :)
Monday, March 22, 2010
Today was pretty challenging. Most of today was fine, but the end of it sucked. As a result, I'm really not sure what to write. There were some pretty cool things that happened today, but all of the good parts seem to have disappeared from my memories. *sigh* After my huge meltdown, Steve heated up some leftover Chinese for me, pureed and then put away the soup I had made, and got the dishwasher ready to run. I am so very thankful for my wonderful husband and all the ways in which he takes care of me. He is such a blessing. :)
Sunday, March 21, 2010
About six months ago, my life turned upside down. After dealing with some challenging situations for three years in a largely silent manner, I finally spoke out about how much someone else's decision had negatively impacted my life. Although many people came alongside, one of my closest friends freaked out on me and ended the friendship. Several weeks later, I was kicked out of ministry position for the same reason. Other people have either stopped speaking to me or removed me from their friends list on Facebook, but I'm not sure how many friendships have ended as a result. Only one friend has done me the "courtesy" of a face-to-face.
Friends are a huge part of my life. Adulthood has been challenging as my best friends have moved away or gotten super busy. Building friendships as an adult can be challenging, especially as a parent of young children. Being a parent and a friend is often a difficult balance especially when parenting philosophies differ. Although I still have friends and have been making new ones, the last several months have felt almost unbearably lonely.
I'm writing about this because I just got back from a dinner party. I have lovely new neighbours that I currently love to pieces. They've only been our neighbours for about two weeks and this is our second meal with them, not counting snacks and tea. They are wonderful! I have been praying for months for good neighbours that I can be friends with and I really believe that my new neighbours are an answer to that prayer. I'm quickly blogging while I wait for my kids to settle enough to wander back over. We have furniture and dishes to bring back, and of course more laughter to share. There is nothing like trying to communicate in several languages. It's great. :)
Saturday, March 20, 2010
So I was supposed to go to the big city today. But that didn't happen. Needless to say, I am not impressed with a certain person, but we were all very relieved to stay home. Poor Miss Aris was dreading her stay with the other parent. They had an issue several months ago that hasn't been properly resolved yet. Thankfully today we had a great phone conversation and hopefully things will get back to normal. Over the last several months, her mood swings have been even more dramatic than normal so hopefully she will be calmer now.
Today did not start off well. I think all 5 members of our family cried before 8am. This is not normal nor a sign of good mental health in our household. I gathered us all on my bed and prayed for everybody. Shortly after, we got a phone call cancelling our trip. Tensions eased, we had a lovely breakfast including strawberries, pound cake and whipped cream, and we did fun things. The boys played video games and went beer hunting, while the girls went bead shopping and necklace making with Grammy. I did not make any necklaces, but Aris more than made up for my shortfall. She has made 4 necklaces in the last 2 days and is very happy. She is such an artist!
My parents babysat this evening while Steve and I went out on a date. I was hoping for dinner and a movie, but that didn't work so we just saw Alice in Wonderland. I haven't been a Tim Burton fan in the past, but Steve is so I grudgingly agreed. The movie was amazing! At the end, Steve looked at me in his 3D glasses and I cracked up. We are such nuts! Our evening really restored that sense of fun in our marriage and we had a good talk after. We also enjoyed kissing under the stars before coming in to wake up my dad. Steve keep checking to make sure my parents weren't spying on us. It was fun. :) It turned out we didn't need to worry because my dad was so sound asleep on the couch that he didn't wake up until we took a picture of him sleeping. I called his name several times and everything. I should add that my dad is wonderful because not only did I get a night out, I also now have a cleaner house. Daddy, you rock! Although today started very badly, it ended in a much better place on so many levels. Yay!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Today I received a phone call from the Bahamas. I've never had a real phone call from there before! My friend's mom called to thank me for helping her daughter yesterday. I thought that was very special. While returning my neighbour's son today, I was invited to "meet" her mother via skype. J's parents live in Israel. Perhaps this seems insignificant, but I found joy in speaking to people in two far-away countries today. I also got to practice my fledging Russian. Thankfully my neighbours are patient people. :)
Thursday, March 18, 2010
My house remains in a state of chaos. I was really hoping to tackle the dishes, laundry and random flotsam that accumulated during my temporary absence. Unfortunately this didn't happen today, but for a very good reason.
I was on my way in from the market, when I suddenly for no apparent reason decided to visit my friend. So we went and banged on her door until she appeared. At first she seemed fine, but then quickly commented that she needed to eat. That was fine, so we came in and hung out. Within about five minutes of my arrival V was dizzy, shaky and extremely weak. My mothering instincts kicked in and I began scrounging for something healthy and restorative for her to eat. This would have been much easier to do in my house, but Aris isn't quite big enough to send running between the houses yet. I stayed with my friend until her husband came home, and then I took their daughter for a bit in the afternoon.
My house is a disaster, although slightly less of one now that my wonderful husband is doing some tidy-up in the kitchen(I love you, Steve!). There were several moments when the chaos felt overwhelming, but I'd much rather have a messy kitchen and have helped a friend, then a clean house while someone suffered alone. Last year I cleared my schedule to spend more time keeping my house clean, but I think God had slightly other plans. My house is still a work in process and I am continuing to build relationships and serve my neighbours. :)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
According to my best friend, my life is an emotional roller coaster. After reading my blog, she seems to think I experience more emotion in a day than she does in a year. She's probably right. This conversation started after my story about being extremely tired last night. I was so tired last night that I got extremely giddy. Steve has never seen me quite that hyper before. He was a wee bit concerned. I'm choosing to see this as a good sign. Normally if I get tired, I end up getting either giddy or depressed. Over the past several years, if I get tired I get depressed, but this time, I got hyper. I'm choosing to see this as a sign of emotional healing. :) Now to get some more sleep.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Finally, after much anticipation, Jean-Christophe was born at 10:14am. He weighed a surprising 9lbs, 12 ozs(he was thought to be 7 lbs), and was 22 inches long. Although he took his time in being born and his mother was incredibly frustrated, it was a beautiful birth. I was able to take some great pics of him being born and afterwards. This was my first attempt at birth photography and my first official doula birth. Although I'm currently insanely exhausted, I believe both were a success. The french braiding part of the birth process not so much, but every thing else went reasonably well.
After the birth, my wonderful husband bussed to the hospital with the boys so he could drive me home. Apparently driving tired is worse than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so I played it safe and called my wonderful husband. Thankfully the hospital is one of the stops on the "fast" bus so it wasn't an ordeal for them. The boys love taking the bus and were excited about getting to bus with Daddy. Yay for public transportation! :)
Since I hadn't slept for over 30hrs, Steve sent me to bed. I had a good sleep, but then the phone started ringing. All of our phones started ringing, none of which were in my room or being answered. So I staggered downstairs to answer the phone. I can't remember exactly what happened, but after grabbing my mobile another device started ringing. So as I grab it off the counter and answer it, I'm wondering why on earth my iPod is ringing. Did Steve install an app on it? I was so confused. My confusion got worse when Aris' uncle(Terence's brother) asked to speak to Stephen. Not only does no one call him Stephen, but why was that Dave asking to speak to him? It was bizarre. And when did my iPod suddenly become a phone? After hanging up and staring at it for a few minutes, I figured out that this was Steve's iPhone and not my iPod. Wierd....I have had several manic fits of giggles over this. Even writing this is cracking me up. Steve sits and shakes his head. :)
After sleeping for a couple of hours, I met with another local doula. As part of the certification process, I need to find a mentor. Because of how nervous I was, I was hoping to meet before the baby was born, but that didn't happen. However, this worked out perfectly as I was able to debrief. I think I have both gained a mentor and a friend. Yay! She also shares a quirky sense of humour, so it was good. :) Maybe when I'm not so tired, I will write more about the events of this weekend. It has been a good growth experience. I am tired, but happy. :)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I'm very sorry I didn't post last night. Well, it's more that I'm sorry I forgot to ask Steve to post a little blurb saying why I wasn't posting. I was doing something slightly more important than *gasp* writing my blog entry of the day. What could possibly be more important than writing you ask? Since you asked, I was hanging out with a pregnant mama. The wee one hasn't arrived yet, but the process is definitely underway. Unfortunately, it is taking far too long for the mama's comfort, but it is happening. It's been an interesting couple of days, and I am looking forward to my bed, but I am happy. I've spent the day hanging out with a lovely woman and her interesting family. I've had some great chats, spent some good quiet moments, crocheted a lot on my sleeping mat, heard a lot of French, spoken a wee bit of French, understood most of the French spoken around and to me, and eaten some great wings. It has been a good day. Hopefully, for my friend's sake, there will be a baby soon. But until there is, I intend to keep practicing patience. :)
Thursday, March 11, 2010
The pots still sit next to my kitchen sink. The basket of laundry remains unfolded on my bed. Slightly more important things happened today. I walked to the library with my new friend so she could get a library card and find out about ESL conversation circles. Then I walked to Chapters with another friend and chatted about relationships, kids and life. Pointing out all the books I have read or am in the process of reading made me realize that I read a lot. A ridiculous amount actually. That made me happy for some reason though. On our walk back, I made a random remark that ended up being exactly what my friend needed to hear. After our walk, I hung out with my new neighbour some more and we looked at each other's wedding pictures while exchanging stories. I'm amazed at how much I've grown. Several years ago, the thought of carrying on a conversation with that much of a language barrier would have frightened me off. Today was intense, but doable.
Although I have chores that remain undone, I know that my time was well spent. Perhaps my chores will get done tomorrow, although maybe a baby will be born instead. :)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
There must be something about Wednesdays. Last Wednesday, we ended up having an impromptu dinner party with school friends. Tonight it was with our neighbours. Today did not go as planned. It felt like everything that could go wrong did. As we got out of the van this morning, Aris discovered that she had forgotten her bag so I had to go back to get it. Even that simple thing didn't go as planned, but it meant that I got to meet my new neighbour and her son. After introducing myself, I went on my merry way.
Much much later, we arrived back home. Steve introduced himself to our neighbour and we ended up hanging out in her furniture-less townhouse with another neighbour of ours. It turns out that although my new neighbour is from Israel, they speak Russian. My other neighbour's husband is from Russia, so we introduced them. Steve ordered pizza and we all migrated to my house. It was a very fun evening getting to know my new friends. My kids got to bed much later than they should have, but I think it was worth it. :)
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
My wee little girl made dessert tonight. Aris took some leftover pie crusts, rolled them out, cut them out, filled them with strawberry jam and baked them. This was completely her own idea and it turned out delicious. I was impressed and enjoyed it immensely. Thank you, Miss Aris. :)
Monday, March 8, 2010
Yes, that's right. Today I fell. There are only 12 days left in Winter, and I just couldn't make it all the way through. This is my first year of using the back carrier and I've been paranoid of falling. Unlike with the sling, there just isn't a good way to fall with the baby on my back. A tricky patch of black ice got me, and down I went. Somehow I managed not to break anything, or fall on Kian although I ended up reclining slightly on him. He thought this was great fun and started giggling. Well, I guess it's good that he wasn't scared...The good thing about this fall is that not only did I not break anything, my friend was there. She helped me up, allowed me to lean on her mitten to get up and stayed with me long enough to ensure that there was no major damage. Nothing is more reassuring than a good calm friend after a fall.
Because I fell, my mommy came to visit. She brought some cream for Kian's face(he ran into a table this morning), and some lunch for me. We had a very good visit, eating and talking theology and faith. I enjoy deep conversations especially ones that challenge me. My mother and I do not agree entirely and I think we both stretch each other in good ways. Thankfully now that I'm grown we're able to disagree and not have it turn into a fight. Then again, that probably has a lot to do with the fact that I'm no longer challenging her authority.
Part of the reason why it was so good to see my mom is that she's been super busy recently. I've been having a very hard time adjusting to this. In the past, she's talked to me everyday on the phone, but now when I try to get ahold of her she's out. But not only did I get to see her today, but we held Kian's birthday party at her house on Saturday. It was very nice to see both of my parents and Steve's family. Unfortunately, my sisters and his brother couldn't be there, but we had a lovely little party. My parents gave Kian a large dragon that all three kids are enjoying. Surprisingly enough, Kian can now say dragon, quite clearly I might add. I am so thankful for my parents(and Steve's) and for all the time they spend with us. Our lives are much enriched by their presence in them.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Today has been a tough day. I'm not sure I'm going to survive this season of pain or if the dawn will ever come and bring joy along with it. But even in the midst of a hard day, there were some moments of joy. A delightful teenager asked me to be her mentor as she prepares for an internship in Sudan. I was honoured and excited. Currently, we plan on attending a training session together that I was going to audit solo. I'm sure this way will be much more fun and filled with good talks and giggling. Not that I'm a giggly girl, not me! :)
There are very few older couples at our church. Our church is both small and mostly young. I dearly love the oldest couple at our church. They are quiet but very wise. Today R. invited us over for Sunday dinner. Although I grew up with a main meal at noon on Sunday that currently isn't our tradition. Being invited out and served a nice dinner on beautiful china was a blessing. R and M, I love you so much!
Have I mentioned that my wonderful husband is a good cook? He doesn't cook that often, but there a couple of things that he is amazing at. One of his specialities are nachos. For our LifeGroup, we did a nacho night. We each brought different things and then Steve put them together. They were wonderful, especially when combined with my gaucamole. It wasn't the same recipe as my traditional family one, but it was still good. My tummy is very happy and full of nachos. :O)
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Now that the song is stuck in your head, I can tell you about my day. Right now, I'm happily singing and dancing along to the music in my head. Today was good!
Right now, I look absolutely amazing. Seriously! Last night my friend invited me to a pre-Oscars gala party at a fancy Shopper's Drugmart. Who knew? But apparently there is such a thing, and they were doing a very nice party. We got chocolate cupcakes, popcorn, a grab bag, and makeovers. My makeup artist was fantastic! Typically, makeup artists and I don't get along, as I'm Little Miss Make-up Scares Me. I didn't wear make-up until I was 16 and then only because my pastor's daughter insisted. She picked out my make-up, taught me how to use it and then insisted I wear it. And of course she took lots of pictures to prove how much better I looked.
But then I left my church and we lost contact. It's been hard to find friends that don't mind helping me with makeup. Now I have kids, so putting on makeup is....pointless? an exercise in frustration? an invitation to my children to play with said makeup? Somehow my daughter inherited the girly-girl gene and absolutely loves make-up, fashion and doing hair which are all the things I'm clueless at. Since June, I've been wearing more makeup, jewelry and been putting more effort into my appearance. It's nice to actually feel pretty again.
Today was Kian's birthday party, so I decided to look nice. I put on a really nice outfit, but decided to save the makeup part until this evening. I ended up with the sweetest makeup artist who thought I was only 18!!!! That's a full decade younger than I am! This was before she did my makeup. She did an awesome job, so good that even strangers were commenting on how good I look. Steve took pics(he also approved), but they aren't on the computer yet as he's in bed and miserable. Poor husband. :( It is so nice to feel beautiful. Yay for beauty nights out! :)
Friday, March 5, 2010
Once again, the sun shone brightly today. Sunshine, blessed sunshine! Although I had plans of cooking a reasonably nutritious supper today(really!), the sunshine was seductive. So instead of our normal routine, we went to the park once Steve got home from work. Unfortunately, Aris took more pictures than Steve did, and hers are all of animals so I don't have a great photo to post, but it was a great outing. The animals were extra friendly. Aris even hand fed a swan snow.
After our lovely stroll in the sunshine, we had dinner at our favourite local burger joint. Our kids love their onion rings(Steve blames me), and we savour the chance to enjoy the best burgers in our city. Tears were shed over my refusal to buy ice cream for dessert, but it was still a good outing. For me, the best part was that not only did my wonderful husband go along with one with of my crazy, spontaneous plans, he actually enjoyed himself. To top off our evening, Aris sang us an amusing little song she learned at school this week.
Yesterday, I started reading a new blog. It's written by a mom who had four kids in four years. Let's just go with she feels my pain. Not only that, but her blog is side-splittingly funny. Last night, I laughed the hardest I have ever laughed in my whole entire life. My throat was sore and I couldn't breathe because I was laughing so hard and couldn't stop. Steve was sitting on the couch wondering what on earth was going on with his wife. :)
But I think the laughter was actually really helpful. I had a good but deep conversation earlier yesterday. There were some really good things coming out of that conversation, but also a lot of challenging thoughts. These thoughts rambled through my brain and had it not been for my hardcore laughter earlier, I think I would have had a huge meltdown. Instead, the laughter took the edge off. I still have a lot to process which means I'm going to keep reading things that make me laugh and spend lots of time enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. :)
Thursday, March 4, 2010
My posts in the last little bit have been a wee bit more introspective, so today I'm going light and fluffy and very very thankful.
For starters, I'm absolutely loving the gorgeous sunshine and longer days. Although I'm not a big winter fan, I've been really enjoying the snow this year especially when the sun shines bright and the sky is blue. Add in birdsong, and I am a very happy girl. My walks to and from the school have become a joy, rather than a chore.
My kids have been on excellent behaviour this week. I don't know what happened, but they've been doing really well. Aris hasn't had a significant meltdown since Sunday night, although there was a temper tantrum yesterday. The boys have been in great spirits. Perhaps this is because I've instituted daily chores after school. My walls are getting sparkly clean. :) Kian doesn't do well with chores yet although he has lots of enthusiasm for tasks. Sadly, he hasn't quite figured out following directions yet. He had great fun trying to mop my floor and then even more fun making more messes on my clean floor. He's been screaming and hitting much less than normal which has been a huge blessing. Having a better week behaviour-wise has been great. :)
Our meals this week have been excellent. I've done a lot of experimental meals and they've turned out great. Aris made cookies tonight mostly by herself and they also turned out well. The best part: I managed not to lose my temper at all during the making of said cookies. :)
This afternoon, I went into the school to get some work done on milkbags. Kian came with and Zane was dropped off there later. Both boys played beautifully in the hall. They didn't fight, yell or run away. It was great! We have been encouraged to come back to help some more. It doesn't hurt that Kian is so cute. He entertained himself by making faces at the other kids as they walked by. It was funny. During the hour or so I was there, I got to meet more of the staff including another teacher who is involved in a local church that is very involved in our organization. That was cool. My time at the school was both productive and encouraging. :)
I think my list could be longer, but I'm tired. I've searched the house but can't seem to find a gravity adjustor. My body still feels heavy so I'm going to keep looking. :) Perhaps I'll find it soon. :)
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Last night, I had a meltdown. We went to bed at a decent time, but then started talking instead of going directly to sleep. Why, oh why do we always do that? Oh right, because there are no distractions and we can actually have a conversation without interruptions. Anyhoo, during our conversation, I got really upset. I wondered why God has placed me here, if He even has a plan for my life anymore. Beginning this fall, I thought I knew what I was doing. I was involved in a great ministry and just really excited about where my life was heading. Within several weeks, it all fell apart.
Today, I walked to school with another mom, and then walked home with her and another friend. We had a great chat, enjoying the sunshine, warm air and the birdsong. This afternoon after school, we had another family over for tea and then supper. This friend also really enjoys cooking, especially soup, so she comes over and we look at cookbooks. Meanwhile, my kids enjoy playing with her girls. Over tea, we chat about soup, food and of course life with relationships taking centre stage. I made an Indian dinner complete with bhajis, rogan josh curry, rice and saag paneer. Surprisingly, the girls absolutely loved my dinner. It was a great visit. As she left, my friend commented on how much she always enjoys her visits here.
After everyone had gone home and the kids were in bed, I got to thinking. Yeah, my life is completely not where I thought it should be, but maybe God hasn't forgotten me. Instead, I've moved outside of my Christian bubble. After this fall, most of my Christian friends don't talk to me anymore. Now my friends are people within my community, mostly other moms at the school. Although this season has been really hard, I'm really enjoying my new friends. Being involved, really involved, in my community has been a great thing and where I have been wanting to be. I just had no idea this was how I would get there. Thankfully, once again God's plan is bigger than mine. :)
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Sometimes I wonder if the gravity has been changed in my house. Every part of my body feels like it is weighted, including my eyelids. Since no one else is complaining, I'm going to assume that this is exhaustion rather than a gravity change. Yes, I'm a sci-fi geek. Yes, my husband and I regularly have conversations about such geeky things. My favourite are the really long conversations about the ethics of a technology that only exists in a certain s/f universe. Oh we are two happy geeks together. :) But I digress...
I'm tired. Really, really, really tired. One could even say super-duper-luper tired, to borrow one of Aris' favourite phrases. There is always something that I need to do, or somewhere that I need to go. My poor body isn't getting treated well, and boy is it letting me know. So now I need to rest. My yoga teacher often tells us to observe where our bodies/emotions are and then to accept whatever is happening within them. So tonight, I'm coming to terms with my exhaustion and setting limits. Tonight I skipped yoga *gasp* and will go to bed early. Lunches probably won't get made and diapers won't get folded, because tonight I need to rest, and that's okay. Strangely enough, this makes me feel really happy. :)
Today I attended a baby shower for a wonderful woman at Steve's office. It was a lovely time catching up with the other staff( L, you were missed!), especially those I rarely see. We chatted about books, jewelry, babies, birth, babywearing, baby puke, fussy babies, OBs, and lots of other things to do with babies. It was good. Adult conversation, especially with the other women on the office team, is so life-giving for me right now. Uh-oh, my eyelids are refusing to stay open...must go to bed!
Monday, March 1, 2010
Today's title sums it up perfectly. I don't have a clue as to what to write, and I don't know what to make for the potluck lunch tomorrow. Normally, I would have been mulling this possibility over, but for some reason my brain didn't retain the word "potluck" before "lunch" in the evite. Similarly, I have been mulling over what to write most of the day, but I still don't have a clue. There are too many words and themes jumbling around in my head, almost forming a coherent thought before getting tossed around again.
One of today's thoughts has been about extravagant grace. Over the last several years, I have started to really live out the meaning of my name. This is not an easy calling to put it mildly, but I am so blessed by able to share the grace that I have been showered with. Recently, I've had it brought to my attention that I'm not being extravagant with my grace. I've started being stingy and frugal, only wanting to share if I thought the other person deserved it. Between a conversation at LifeGroup yesterday and a blogpost today, I'm realizing how short I fall. Grace isn't about whether or not we deserve it. Forgiveness doesn't come only once we've jumped through the proper hoops. Rather, they are both there free for the taking, one only needs to ask.
I want to show extravagant grace, grace that overflows freely, splashing all around me. I don't want to hold onto anger, bitterness and hurt; forgiving only when I feel the time is right. These thoughts are hard and complicated. My head complains bitterly about the lack of justice, especially in comparison to how I sometimes feel I'm treated. Then a soft voice reminds me of the Cross and how much I have been forgiven. I am thankful for the grace, forgiveness and mercy that were and are lavished on me. I see evidence of that all around me, especially today. We had an amazing day with Aris with very few behavioural issues. I am so thankful! Her changed behaviour isn't because of my fabulous parenting skills, but rather because we both are being Fathered and showered with His grace. And as His grace is manifested in my life, so I want it in turn to spill over into the lives of others.
Now that the thoughts in my head are making sense, I must figure out what to make for the lunch. Chocolate Chip Apple Cake sounds good, but I'm really not sure. Perhaps we'll just grab some good crackers, cheese and dips. Or maybe I'll go look at my cookbook some more before deciding. :)