Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Recovering



The past eight days have been some of the most restful I have had in over three years. It has been such a blessing to have my husband home to take care of me and our household while I have been recovering from my long anticipated breast reduction. Not only have I ploughed though several books, but I have had time to reflect, to nap when the need arises, and to be present with  my children. Nathaniel has happily tackled a million neglected household projects, built a lemonade stand, and planted our garden. We have slept in nearly every morning, eaten simply and took a trip to Port Alberni just before mother's day. I am still tender, a bit swollen and have to wear my sports bra 24/7 until I am fully healed, but I feel great. Thankfully I am able to shower but swimming won't be an option for me for at least a month. I can hardly wait to buy a new bra and bathing suit. It feel so incredible to have finally done something I have longed for since I was 15. I probably would have had surgery earlier if I wasn't concerned that it would  effect my ability to breastfeed my children.

I saw my doctor on Monday and she indicated that they had taken more than a pound off my chest. She said that she could have taken off a lot more but I knew that my husband would have been devastated if she had. I am confident that running is going to be less of an ordeal and I won't have to wear three sports bras layered over one another.  Today I tried on a beautiful raw silk dress that wore at a friend's wedding many years ago and rejoiced in the fact that I would not longer have to cleverly  duck tape my breasts to wear it. I still feel giddy thinking about all the clothing that has suddenly become an option for me for the first time in twenty years. 

My recovery has been much better than I anticipated. Sleeping was quite a challenge the first few days as I found it difficult to get comfortable sleeping on my back. After a week I was able to warp my limbs around a body pillow and sleep on my side. Nathaniel bought me two long ice packs and I used them a lot the first couple of days post surgery.  My children have been very understanding and have given me lots of time to rest. I find myself smiling when I hear them yelling "dad" instead of "mom". Levi has been following Nathaniel around like a little puppy and has been happy to have his undivided attention.

While I have been looking forward to having surgery to alleviate the weight on my chest, I have also been anticipating the downtime it would provide. It's crazy that it takes having surgery to get some downtime. I have been reading through an incredible book my friend lent me called "Simplify" by Bill Hybels and reading it has brought me to tears countless times. The past two years have been the busiest we have had in our marriage and life only got nuttier when I started working two days a week. While I love our life, I know that I cannot sustain this pace forever without making some changes.  I want to give my best self to my family and I often feel like they only get my "leftovers". I want to be able to help my daughter make cookies and strawberry lemonade for her lemonade stand instead of worrying about vacuuming the sawdust off the stairs because we are hosting connect group that evening. I want to take the time to read books with my children at night and scratch their backs instead of  putting them to bed so that I can pack everyone's lunches, mop the floors, sign permission forms for school, put a load of laundry so that I can flop into to bed at a decent hour. I want to spend more quality time with husband instead of just managing the chaos together. 

I think I am learning that I can't do it all, all the time. I am learning that relationships ARE MORE IMPORTANT than the state of my home, or how many items I can cross off my to do list. I am realizing that I need to prioritize time with my husband. That I need to be more intentional about scheduling date nights even if it feels like we don't have the time or the money to so. I know that I need to make my own self care a priority even when it feels like I don't have the time to do it. 

I feel like I am still trying to figure out how to do this thing called "life". How to do it with all my heart, not fritter away my time on useless things, not obsess over mess, not place productivity over relationship. I recently read another book called "Present over Perfect" that reminded to cherish everyday and to stop doing SO MUCH. Just because I CAN do something doesn't mean I should.

So that it what I am doing now... figuring out how to slow down, simplify our lives, make self care a priority and let some things go. I have six more days until my regular life resumes and I plan to enjoy every last second, while preparing my heart and schedule for the days that follow. 

Thank for all the love, support, prayers and flowers that have been sent my way. I am so grateful. 






Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Currently: May



Listening
to the rain fall softly outside

Reading
 Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist 
Depression and Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim, 
Proof of God by Ptolemy Tompkins
The Book of Mormon Girl by Joanna Brooks
Kids Are Worth It by Barbara Coloroso

Praying
for contentment 

Reflecting
on my current schedule, the pace of life, how I can slow down and give my best self to my family rather than my leftovers

Feeling 
overjoyed for a friend who just got engaged and is getting married next month

Reminiscing
about the lovely weekend I had with my daughters and best friend at Camp Homewood's Mother daughter weekend. 

Enjoying
having my hubby home for two weeks to take care of me and our household for two weeks as I recover from the breast reduction I had on Monday. 

Looking
forward to going bra and bathing suit shopping. 

Wearing
Overalls I purchased a Value Village

Hoping
to catch up on project life while I am "in recovery" . I am nearly seven months behind, but I haven't given up hope yet. 

Blog Loving
The Prouty's: Her photos are captivating

Planning 
on going to this Spring Bouquet Workshop at Alicia's Florals  in Victoria at the end of the this month with a girlfriend. I can hardly wait to get my hands on some peonies and ranunculas. We are hoping to hit up the famed Union 22 on our way up island. So excited!!!

Thinking 
about how I would like celebrate my birthday this year and who I want to celebrate it with.

Trying
to organize our summer schedule and fit some fun things in around our busy work schedules. This summer we are hoping to do some camping on Gabriola Island  and rent a houseboat in the interior with friends. We are also hoping to camp at Sprout Lake and do some day trips. 

Collecting
armloads of dogwood flowers... and soon.. lilacs!!!! 









Friday, April 6, 2018

Easter in Kyuquot

We recently returned from a memorable visit with our dear friends in a remote village called Kyuquot. It is one of the five major sounds on the West coast of Vancouver island and is  accessible only by air and water. The driving portion of our trip was fairly painless-  minimal whining and no puke! The scenery was incredibly and it was interesting to see the children freak out when logging trucks came roaring around the corner. It's so easy for Nate and I to forgot that our children are unaccustomed to dirt roads and pot holes and cliffs. 








It was really neat to drive behind the mountain range that I grew up looking at in my hometown village of Tahsis. I loved seeing it from another perspective.   In  Fair harbour we parked our truck and then took a water taxi for the remainder of the trip. 






There are so many neat homes built on  the various islands in and around Kyuquot. 


I have a friend who lived in in the old schoolhouse portion of this building. Apparently it has been converted into a restaurant. 



The view from Heidi and Steinar's home up on the hill.  They have a lovely protected cove in front of their home and the wild, untamed open ocean in their backyard. 








How I love visiting with this wise, inspiring, kind and thoughtful woman. She has been and continues to be such a gift. 




These are just a few snapshots from the lovely area behind their home they refer to as "flat rocks". 








We got to explore quite of the island. I was blown away by not only the incredible scenery, but also the weather. I had packed for a monsoon and instead we found ourselves  wearing t shirts in March!  It was wonderful! The children thoroughly enjoyed the tidal pools,  untamed beaches,  rock climbing, and beach combing.


The kiddos  found squid eggs, man of war jellyfish, and even some pearls in a few frilly looking oysters they cracked open with the help of Nate's buck knife. 













I love that whenever we needed to go someplace, we would all hop into the skiff and bomb across the bay. Heidi drives a boat like a  pro!


The next day we went out in the punt to explore one of the outer islands. Heidi ferried us in the green canoe to the shore while the men tried to secure the boat with an anchor. At one point the anchor came off the rope but they managed to retrieve it from the ocean floor.




It was so nice to see Heidi's cousin Becky again! She is married now with a sweet baby and lives in a tiny home perched on the edge of mountain. 

 




 







On Easter Sunday, which also happened to April Fools AND Claire's 7th birthday, we had a ton of fun. We started the day with a pancake breakfast at the community hall  and then had an Easter egg hunt with the children on the reserve. Afterwards we attended a Easter Service lead by Steiner.










Afterwards the kiddos enjoyed ANOTHER Easter egg hunt at our friend's home.









The adults got some loot as well! Actually, we had stayed up WAY too late the previous evening stuffing plastic eggs and our faces with chocolate while blowing up balloons for Claire's party. At one point, when we were delirious with exhaustion and sugar, we cranked up the music and got silly. I found myself marveling at the fact that all of our six children slept through it, when only eight years prior we were tip toeing around when they slept for fear of waking them.
What a wonderful change!



Heidi and Steinar have one of the BEST collections of books and I always find myself writing down the titles of books I would like to read at some point in the future. I think this one would be especially helpful for the work I am doing now.



These sweet girls  baked a cake together.



 


Yes, this is six children jumping on an ancient trampoline with no padding and only half a net... and balloons. Doesn't it look like fun?





It was so special to celebrate Claire's birthday with these precious friends. 





And then it was time to return home.