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Famine and Feast!

In our house this week we fought some nasty bugs. 2/3 kids have been down for the count and required constant 1:1. It was good timing that our new Vitamix arrived by Purolator… Kurt used his VISA points to buy this for me for Christmas:

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After the famine of illness, we feasted on new smoothies, and picked up a new 4-level stoneware sprouter from a friend! There’ll be some new creations afoot in my kitchen… send your fav Vitamix recipes my way! Paralleling my food life, as often happens, I have had a famine professionally! I was forced to give up my biggest contract (the one we were relying on for most of our 2nd income) as the company restructured. That was a kick in the teeth. The highlight was the company 1) gave me notice over email, and 2) gave me notice 3 days before the change takes effect. How tacky!

Shortly after the initial crush, scraping my sorry self up off the floor, I got a call from a new referrer who is so excited to refer not one, not two, but THREE children for me to be involved with – the first tomorrow!!! I had not heard from this agency for over 6 months. My very next call was from a respected colleague who saw an ad I ran in a local magazine, and she sparked some brand new, close to home ideas. I have to keep reminding myself to just hop on for the ride of self-employment…. its all new to me!

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Good thing I am going to see Gordo talk IN THE FLESH tonight!! How inspiring is that going to be?!?!? Neufeld is my parenting hero. Put down all other parenting advice, books, and paraphernalia and pick up one of his books, courses, or DVDs… he’s dialed in to 2014.

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Happy Birthday

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For Kurt’s birthday, he celebrated with a hot tub filled with 1 other gentleman, a little boy, and 8 little girls. There is a family who joined us for our 5-family potluck that just moved from Japan last year. Now THAT is a big move! Different language, culture… no one in either of their families has ever left Japan. Incredible. Inspiring. And, their pregnant! Their 2nd girl will be born in Canada.

The icing on the cake was amazing… lift off the solid part of the cream from 3 cans of coconut milk (use the remainder in a curry!), whip it up with a bit of maple syrup (doesn’t need much) and place in fridge for a while before the party… voila! Everyone LOVED it. Dairy-free whipped topping. Better than icing, ice cream… so rich & satisfying. Just dollop onto individual servings of cake, waffles, the list goes on…

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Routines

I have to say with food these days I am going back to my old faithful – recipes I have already shared like pumpkin seed dip, baked beans, chili,… IMG_2150

Keeping things simple and enjoying the basics, like dancing with our little boy. Paying particular attention to the people we encounter… today hung out with M. and her children. M. is a fabulous Quebecois, an OT, and her 2 children got along famously with ours – they even braved a long stretch of concrete tunnel together. They also introduced us to a new beach! The best expression from her son after coming out of the tunnel: “THAT was AWESOME!”. Cheers L. Nice to meet you all… thanks for calling us!

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Connections… step by step… you won’t catch me in the tunnel!

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Sea Life

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There really is no place like home. One mommy described in our class parent evening this week how no matter what chaos is going on around her, if she can just take a moment to look into her children’s eyes… she draws the most energy there. From family. Riding bikes fills up our family’s buckets. This week we were 5/5 on riding our bikes to school. I am thinking with Daria’s endurance it is not long until we head to Saltspring Island on a wee family bike adventure. Today was also one of those incredible, sunny coastal days. I can see why people love the sea:

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Yes, those are my 3 children waaaaaaaaay out there… they were so eager, they left me behind. And I thought it so cute how Daria somehow traded boots with a classmate today… of course the classmate’s boot is now filled with sea water and sand!!

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The smallest sand dollar I have EVER seen. Doesn’t even cover her fingertip. She has a knack for wee treasures.

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This guy will have his roots in the ocean. He even thinks he can do chalk drawings here.

IMG_2123 IMG_2130 IMG_2111IMG_2107 I think I might just be learning to love this place… it has become the best nest. Even for just one day. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. One day, one moment, one breath at a time.

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Touched

Today I am grateful for being touched by these kind, empathetic (and yet simple) words:

“wow, that was a big move for you guys”.

you bet. thanks for noticing. for tea. for ocean views. warmth. an invitation.

IMG_1853 Also feeling grateful for smoked cheddar. Grate a titch on a salad. So amazing. My intake of raw veg has just tripled with the addition of this simple ingredient to my home. The Boerenkaas was meant to be a mild one for the kids… 0/3.

Finally, grateful for my amazing talented Jen friend. What a gift she has. I so wish I was there live. Amazing.

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Highs and Lows

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I remember one thing I liked about being a student was that my year was cyclical – classes, final exam periods, then a BREAK! YAH! I’m a pretty steady person, and I enjoy the intensity of exams and the deep breath that follows.

I try to enjoy the highs and lows of parenting… but it comes less naturally to me. I have to constantly remind myself these are irrational little beings – do not even try to reason with them! They are also energetic – don’t try to keep up! But oh, how I try…

I find my almost 7 year old can usually be there when I need her. My 4 year old brings me painted rainbows when I have a moment of exhaustion. And my 2 year old is full of giggles. Everyone just gives what they can… and that must be enough!

I must admit some 10% (or less) of the time, I find it is NOT ENOUGH!!!! For example, I go absolutely mental when being pinged in the back of the head with cereal and carrot tops while driving. My hands are tied (quite literally). I cannot digest this and react sensibly. I fall short. Some of my other triggers are being shouted at from the other end of the house, having every toilet paper roll I put on completely unrolled… and constant reporting about what the other children in the family are doing. I am well aware! And, tend to ignore for a reason. I can’t stand complaints being broadcasted!!

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And moments later, it is gone for them. And so it must be for me. These beautiful, in touch, eager, flowy little beings… I must learn from them! Just, let it go… move on… grab a cuppa tea with a friend. And make myself smile, instead of screaming.

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Why Blog?

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Recently my bosom buddy put out this question… always a great question-asker, JJ and I have shared a vast amount of treasured experiences the past bunch of years, and one thing I have learned is her questions often lead to new insights. I don’t get asked a lot of questions these days. When I do, I’m not sure people really want to hear the answer. JJ always wants to hear it. Just like her mom. I head-hunted this friend. And I got a gem.

So… I digress, why DO I blog? Initially I thought – I have no idea! I have no real purpose in mind. Even though I believe in purposeful living, sometimes I just blog for no particular reason. Then I realized – it is an incredible process. IMG_2033

1. I believe this time of my life is truly the best. It is too good not to share. Look at these faces? I struggle each day to find ways to share all the blessings I find myself surrounded with. I wonder – can people see, feel, and absorb the joy here that Kurt and I do?? If not, I hope you can meet us halfway… not everyone can have a 2, 4, and 6 year old… so I am here to share that it is absolutely fantastic! IMG_2027

2. I believe each day is an invitation. I accept it. I show up. Even though my life is full of poop (literally!), screaming matches, tattle-tales, laundry piles, chaos, frustrations, and over stimulation… I make the choice – show up. I give what I have, in that moment. I am open to learn what I can that day. And I love it, I do. A great friend and past room mate and I used to nod and agree life is ALL about loving the day-to-day.

3. Blogging also helps me process and understand that just showing up is okay. My days are not full of international travel, outstanding meditations, huge achievements, or deep personal insights. My days are usually nothing to “write home about” (as I did when I cycled across Canada for example!). And as a recovering type A, I must remind myself this is A-OK (though, secretly, I am tempted to join my cousin in this race 2018!).

4. Blogging helps me realize I have options, not just opinions. I am very much by nature a whimsical being (ask my sister for stories!). I have many memories of whimsy… and not many that focus on pain, strife, or weakness. Actually in highschool my whimsical slogan was: “NEVER let your opponent know your scared” and we’d apply this to many hilarious situations… laughing our faces off with no seriousness involved! Only whimsy.

5. As a busy mom of 3 young children in a brand new place… blogging has become a way to reach out from my day and touch someone. Even though I live on an Island, I don’t wish to live as an Island. I will do anything in my power to avoid this. Blogging included. I love anything in the arena of how incredible being together is. Just being.

6. Things matter to me. I don’t want to stop at just thinking about them. I want to share. People don’t always want to listen. I get that. I figure as I blog about just “showing up” for my day, this will be contagious in some way. Perhaps you as a reader will be inspired by some snippet or will pass on something to someone else… or perhaps not. That’s okay too. I’ll still think… why keep this to myself when I can share it? I have more chances being heard with a “readership”… cuz (to be brutally honest) I’m not finding a ton of listening ears out there on the sidewalks of life these days… yet…

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7. I don’t have many talents. I am not an artist or a musician. I cannot juggle or tell jokes. I cannot speak many languages or dance. But I can create something out of nothing with food. And perhaps a blog is in itself also a way to create something from nothing… to slowly over the years chronicle something that I can look back on one day and understand in the rear view mirror… to see better then where all this is leading to.

8. I have often searched for a sedentary past time. I tried guitar. I do enjoy sewing. Knitting. But mostly, if you asked old room mates of mine (or my hubby!) they would tell you I am in constant motion. A whirr of activity. Almost never utilizing my couch. Always multitasking. Blogging is a focus. A place of stillness in my day.

9. I am not a huge fan of FB, even though I have an account. I feel people on FB are exposed to my musings whether they are looking for them or not, they just roll on out… and I find that so passive, and kind of junky like a tabloid or something (!). Blogging gives me an avenue to connect (however feebly) with those people I care MUCH about but cannot reach out in my day and physically touch. If you are a return reader, you are one of those people. In my imaginary neighborhood YOU live right next door.

10. I didn’t pick you, you picked me! Everyone loves invitations. Relationships (even blogging ones!) are never one sided. It takes two to tango. And I believe life is all about relationship. If you return, I am warmed. If you comment, you fill up my bucket.

I also believe life is about action. But I didn’t number this one because right now my “doing” is small. Calculated. And withheld. I am tentative. Tired. I can’t take on a lot outside my family of 5 + God. When I do it is with utmost care and easy, light steps… I sense I must be gentle with myself. And yet, I naturally want to LIVE BIG!!! So, perhaps my blog is my way to reach out from my current fish bowl and join the party of life.

Even in tough times, in such a gypsy year, my blog will archive all the many precious moments God has thrown my way. I hope each of my children can look back one day and smile. And know they were so loved. Admired. Engaged with. Scooped up and cared for. Treasured. Like a precious jewel. No matter what else life throws my way, loving you three is and always will be my favorite past time.

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Now, my question… for the non-bloggers… why DON’T you blog?!?!