Friday, November 27, 2015

A time out

Some days I just need a time out. An actual time out. Some times the chair in my room does the trick, especially when I feel like a kettle on the verge of boiling over. Other times I need a couple hours away from home to collect myself. Thankfully Nathaniel recognized the "signs" of burnout yesterday and lovingly shoved me out the front door.
Am I the only one that resists taking time for myself even when I know I DESPERATLY need it? Is this a "mother guilt" thing?
In any case, I bawled the whole way to my awesome mom's bible study group and then cried in front of everyone when I shared how I was feeling. I generally don't fall apart in public, but I knew it was a safe place and I needed prayer. They were ever so gracious and loving and spoke beautiful things into my life. I spent the remainder of the afternoon visiting, working out and writing to my heart's content at the "The Vault" downtown. Um, in case you haven't ventured in there, the food is incredible. I enjoyed a Swiss and spinach Panini with a DELICIOUS salad, all the while listening to Steffany Gretzinger on my iPhone.   
It was EXACTLY what I needed.

Oh the joys

Oh the joys of trying to take a decent family photo...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

These Days: November


my workout gear (Addis tank top, Nike pants, an awesome sports bra and FALSE EYELASES (from my fun little make-over at Sephora today with my friend Mari.)

"Eight Woman Taking Photos" by Whitney Otto
Getting out of the house in the morning before Levi's nap and socializing with friends
Earl grey tea with homo milk
about going on weekly dates with my husband

Roasted Queensland blue pumpkin

To "NF" (when I run)
ready to try start sleep training Levi (again)

about influential female photographers throughout history 
to be patient with my eldest daughter

my dinning room again

to re-read "Loving On Purpose: Parenting Series" by Danny Silk and decorate for Christmas

Interested in reading
Anything written by Margaret MacMillan.   
 My fit bit HR charge arrived in the mail (an important button on my other one fell off but thankfully the company sent me another one for free).
to do the insanity DVD series again 
Todd White sermons on YouTube
about history and how it repeats itself


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday morning struggles

Nearly every Sunday, I find myself hustling my whiny children into our vehicle for church and  thinking, "Gah! why am I doing this? It would be so much easier to stay home, make waffles and stay in our pj's till noon".
As you know, it takes a decent amount of energy and patience to get three small humans dressed, fed, and out of the house without incurring a meltdown or revolt of some sort.  My children LOVE being at home.  I literally have to drag them  out of the house regardless of the destination. Thankfully we don't have too many extracurricular activities, otherwise, I would also be having regular meltdowns.

Sunday mornings, however, are non-negotiable.  Unless someone is seriously ill, or has head lice, we go.  I arrive haggard, irritated, undernourished and wishing I had remembered to guzzle down the remainder of my earl grey tea, but then the music begins, and voices begin to rise in unison and before I know it, I am carried away like a cyclist experiencing drafting for the first time. 
I don't NEED church to worship, to connect with my heavenly father, or for Biblical instruction. I can easily satisfy those needs at home with my iPod, praying, and listening to a podcast by my favorite preacher, Judah Smith. I cannot, however, replicate the awesomeness of corporate worship.  There is something so beautiful and powerful about acknowledging and worshiping Jesus alongside other believers. For someone who has never experienced it before, I would liken it to that moment in a concert when the artist turns the microphone over to the audience and the auditorium is filled with thousands of voices singing in excited unison. Corporate worship is a like that, in the sense that it brings people together to enjoy music and sing, but instead of simply listening to an artist that you love or singing along with their lyrics, you are having a conversation with the ONE you love and someone who LOVES you! That person being the one who created you and knows you more intimately that you know yourself.

I just LOVE that and I love watching it happen in the lives of the people around me on Sunday morning. Seeing, friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers experiencing intimacy with Jesus individually as well as corporately, is otherworldly.

I also love listening to my children hum worship songs on the way home and tell me what they learned in Sunday school. I love how it sets the tone of our day and our week. I love being reminded that a church is not a building full of people who have it all together, but instead, a place for broken people, who are aware of their brokenness and are not afraid to surrender their lives to Jesus on a regular basis. A church is a body of believers that long to be MORE like Jesus, but know that they cannot do it on their own.

Sometimes I wonder why I make an attempt to go to church on those mornings when I miss both the worship and the sermon and instead, find myself hanging out in the nursery with a room full of momma's and fussy babies. If my spiritual walk/life/growth was dependent on listening to sermons on Sunday, I would be pretty shriveled up, as Levi refuses to let me leave him in the nursery and is  too loud and disruptive to keep him in the service. But, then I have a conversation with someone that uplifts and encourages me or I find myself listening to someone pour out their heart and have the opportunity to encourage them. Regardless of what "church" looks like on any given Sunday, I always leave encouraged and renewed and thankful I made the effort to go.


Fall florals

What is more exquisite than a fall bouquet? I have been crushing on this particular arrangement for a couple months now. It inspired me so much, that I redesigned my blog header with a similar looking floral arrangement I purchased from OctopusArtis on etsy. My favorite thing about this particular bouquet is the use of dahlias,  hypericum, crocosmia and  blackberry vines!

Feast your eyes on the following bouquets (found on pinterest).




Fall decor

I thought that perhaps, if I document and share some of my fall décor, I might be able to bring myself to take it down in the next week or so.  For the first time in my life, I am no hurry to decorate for Christmas.
Two weeks ago, Nathaniel moved his aquarium out of our dining/kitchen area and I did a happy dance. After trying a few pieces of furniture in that space, I settled on the desk my dad made for me when I was a teenager.  It is the perfect height and size for all my project life paraphernalia. Surprisingly, Levi has left it alone.  
I just might be an addicted to inspiration boards. I love filling them with seasonal images, photographs that don't make it into my albums and pages from magazines. Just looking at it, while I prep dinner, sort paper, clean or feed my children, makes me ridiculously happy.
Doesn't that cranberry, cinnamon and almond tart look AMAZING? I am going to make it someday.
The photo of Levi, Toby and Claire makes me swoon.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the photo of Nathaniel flipping me over his back. I have a GIGANTIC version if it on my bedroom wall.
Our fall bucket list and a bunch of locally picked apples 

What you don't see in this picture are all the dishes waiting to be washed. There are ALWAYS dishes on my counter.

Artwork from preschool and Claire's bouquet.

Making something pumpkin flavored.

I love this string of felt leaves I hand cut years ago while pregnant with Claire. I also have an obsession with felt.
A.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. felt is awesome.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fitness Friday: Best Sports Bra Ever!

Ordinarily, when I go running, I wear two ordinary bras  and two sports bras. If I can barely breath and have a hard lifting my arms over my head, I know that I will have decent support. It's no joke. It's awful, but not awful enough to prevent me from running.
So you can imagine my joy when I had the chance to try on a sports bra I had only read about in fitness magazines. At first,  I thought I would try it on overtop of my everyday bra, because, I didn't think it would provide enough support on its own. I couldn't fathom only weaning just a sports bra. Well, against all odds, I tried "the famed sport bra" on its own and did a little jog in the change room. I call it the "bounce test". I HATE bounce and will do everything I can to prevent it. Well, the bounce test turned into a happy dance. It provided AMAZING support.
*happy sigh*
If hate "bounce" is something you abhor, I highly recommend checking this magical garment. It is called the moving comfort juno. I picked mine up at Frontrunners off Bowen Road in Nanaimo.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gratitude Journal

Sometimes I get into a head space where I ruminate on everything that I think is going wrong in my life. My emotions, intensified by lack of sleep, cause me to spiral into a dark and ugly place. I fixate the clutter, the noise, my husband's absence, the dirty laundry, my inability to find time to workout, my children's naughty behavior, the fact that we can't seem to get a handle on our finances, the grime that continually seems to coat my home, the broken dishwasher,  ... ect. But then the sun shines, I get a decent night of sleep, share a cup of coffee with a girlfriend and suddenly I find myself wondering, "what was the big deal? Why am I letting all this circumstantial,  trivial, first world problems steal my joy and turn me into a crazy lady"?
It's ridiculous!
A couple weeks ago a conversation with a momma of five spurred me to start a gratitude journal. She said that keeping one had helped her through a tough time and became a source of tremendous encouragement to her. 
So I did.
I typically write in it on the days that I wake up snarky and sleep deprived. It helps me notice the awesome, life giving things that happen over the course of an ordinary day.  
Here is a list from the past couple of days
clean sheets
a sunny day
Nate did the dishes
hearing Levi say "puppy"
roasted almonds
running with my new friend Gillian
a new book to read
ranting with Nicole
Adams peanut butter on homemade waffles
my bedroom
the varying colors of leaves
a few moments of silence
the view outside our living room window
that I didn't have to wake Levi from his nap to get Claire from school
spontaneous visit with Charis
watching House of DVF
homemade granola bars
coffee with Cora
Gillian Michael's workout
crunchy green beans
CBC radio
licorice tea
head rub from Nathaniel
being reminded about "Grace" at Bible study
bumping into Karen at Winners
the divinely delicious but healthy cupcake I had at Erin's
being inspired by a friend's décor
shopping for "fashion boots" and painting nails with Claire
clean water
quality time with my momma
Nate's new position at work
the inspiration board in my kitchen
eating Nathaniel's homemade deep fried halibut
that my neighbor Sarah walked my daughter to school this morning
the bouquet of tropical flowers my momma bought me
that Levi napped for two solid hours

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bouquet of kale

My man is not overly mushy, sentimental or romantic, but when he comes home with an armload of kale, I know he loves me. He refuses to eat the nutrient dense, super food and will often joke about whether it is even edible. He once even jokingly asked a grocery cashier  "what is more edible, kale or pineapple tops"?  That being said, I appreciate that he takes the time to plant and harvest something that he abhors, but does so because he knows how much I love the stuff.
Now, THAT is what I call love.