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Monday, March 20, 2017

catching up

Somewhere between the cold temperatures, the busyness of 3 kids, homework, meal preps, life  and commitments, I have let certain important practices, that I know to help me in my happiness slip.
Instead of prioritizing my walks, time in nature, sleep and  journaling, I have let other parts of my life take over and I am feeling sluggish for it. But instead of beating myself up for indulging in far too many sweets, and not getting to bed at a good time, I am simply going to give myself permission to reset. Yes. More rest. More walks. Better food. More nature.
I realize that life is one big ebb and flow. I'm also realizing that when I let go of these things that I know to help me feel better, that anxiety and pressure start to build up. So, back to the basics for me. Back to prioritizing self care. That's what this is really about.

... catching up on life ...

We've had my dad here now for about 3 weeks now, and it is very nice to have him here. The first few weeks took adjusting to for all of us, but we seem to be falling into a nice rhythm and it's very nice to have the extra set of hands here (especially when Winslow is at work).
But on top of an extra set of hands, it is most nice to see my children form a relationship with him and to build memories. It's the most simple of things, but when I see us all sit down to a meal, or watch them play a board game, I feel so blessed that we all have this time together. Over the past 10 years or so, if there is one thing that I have learned, it is that life cannot be taken for granted. We just don't know what lies ahead for any of us, and so it really is this moment, right now that counts.


In an attempt to socialize more and to feed into my need for creativity, I hosted a women's craft night last week and it was a nice little gathering. I chose a very simple and open ended craft, something I hoped that everyone would feel comfortable making, and asked people to bring a snack to share.
We all ended up having a nice evening of good food, drinks, conversation and creativity.

March Break came and went, with a mix of rest and fun for all of us. A bug ran it's course through the family, and each day, I found the kids and Winslow to be down right tired. Naps were had by all, but we also managed a little excursion, to Halifax. We stayed at a hotel with a pool, went out to eat, went to a library program and did some shopping.
On our last day of March Break, I decided that I would finally give in to the pleas I've heard over the last two years, and we threw a birthday party for Ryder and his dog friend Carly. Simple decorations from our box of left over balloons and streamers, a gift for each dog (tennis balls), cupcakes for the dogs(healthy recipe found online), and cake for us from the grocery store, because... cake. Any excuse for cake is a good excuse by me!


Just yesterday, after what felt like a week or two of missing our outdoor time (sickness, cold temps), we headed out to Baxter's Harbour, a short 30 min drive from our house. Baxter's Harbour is a small village, that sits on the Bay of Fundy and is right between Hall's Harbour and Scott's Bay. It has a lovely waterfall that you can walk under at low tide, all kinds of rocks to climb, and tons a beautiful stones and sea glass to pick through. This will be a place we return to. I can see us having a lovely picnic there in the Summer or Spring.


And finally, we have a reader! Grandpa bought us a copy of Harry Potter, so that we could read it all together, but Noah has taken it upon himself to read ahead sometimes. I let him, because I think it's great that he wants to give it a go, but I am still going to read it aloud, because I don't want him to miss parts, and because reading together is a special thing.

Life is busy and I don't always find the time or inspiration to write on my blog. It takes time and effort to pull out my camera, take the photos, upload them and write a blog post. But every time I come back to my blog, I am thankful that I have taken the time to do this. To document our days. To stop and think about the special moments. At the risk of sounding all philosophical, I feel in my heart that our day to day life is truly a gift to be cherished. To be experienced. The good, the bad, the hard stuff and easy stuff. Thanks for always coming along with me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

february and beyond

Winter finally came to us. In the span of a week and a half, we ended up with 3 back to back Maritime winter storms, which lead to 4 days off of school. We also had a teacher's strike day and a holiday thrown in there, so right now, this mama is running on countless days of the kids being at home. But here's a little secret... I don't mind too much. For the most part (aside from the fighting and extra messes), I enjoy getting this time with my kids to do art projects, play in the snow, try out new activities (snow shoeing), watch movies and play board games. I remind myself that they are growing fast, and as they grow older, family needs to have a strong role in their lives... so we need to foster that now.

And then, just as quickly as it came, winter seems to be taking a little break and we are being treated this week, to sun and warmer temperatures. It's the kind of weather that is making me want to open the windows (even for just a few minutes), and get out for lots of sunshine and walks. Pictures to accompany this streak of weather will undoubtedly follow.

And with it being near the end of February, I find myself day dreaming ahead to Spring. I know it's thinking ahead, but my thoughts have been turning to our garden, to starting our seeds, to Apple Blossom season here in the Annapolis Valley, to ice cream at the petting zoo, to more frequent trips to the ocean, longer days, to puddles and flowers, open windows, bed sheets on the line, bbq for dinner, chalk drawing on the driveway, blowing bubbles, bike rides and walks after dinner and all those good things.

Happy late February days. I hope that the sun is shining a bit longer for you, and that you are feeling refreshed by the longer days.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

self care

Life. What a journey it is. What a series of mistakes, lessons, triumphs and failures it all is. 
Recently I was talking with my very old and dear friend, Liz. We don't talk often, but when we do, it's like no time has passed. I've known her since I was 10. 
I was telling her about how I have finally (after 7 years of motherhood), come to a point, where I see it absolutely necessary to take care of myself, so that I can be a better mom. 7 years it's taken me. Geeze. 
It's so simple,yet, for some reason I had been fighting it. I never once thought down of mamas who put their needs before their kids, but I just didn't see the value of it. Now I do. It's not selfish. It's friggen essential. 
If I don't eat well, I'm likely going to yell and be super hangry around my kids. If I don't sleep well, yup- cranky and grumpy. If I don't exercise, then I'm tired and have low energy. These are the physical needs. But I am also seeing a very important need to nurture my spiritual side too. Walking, meditating, journalling my gratitudes, breathing, yoga. These are the outlets that allow me to identify and acknowledge my feelings. 

Small Steps ~

I find it so helpful at the end of the day to look at where things went right and/or wrong, to see what I can do to improve it, and then to let it go. 
I also have been trying to take a few quiet moments before my feet hit the floor, to set some intentions for the day. Things like, practice love to myself and my family. Practice patience. Or, just breathe. It's a practice and something that I am always going to be working on, but it feels nice to have the tools to help myself. 

Happy LOVE month. May we all remember to love ourselves, so that we have enough love to give to others.