Thursday, January 26, 2012

One Year

This week was my one year anniversary of being a blogger.  I like that word blogger.  I like it because is sounds less threatening than I'm a writer.  I don't identify myself as a writer.  In my mind a writer doesn't start their sentences with And, So, But or Because.  They don't write in fragments or run-ons.  A writer writes drafts and revises and edits and probably knows something about the six traits.  A writer does not whip something up at midnight and hit publish post without proof-reading.

A writer, I am not, but I will accept blogger.  A person who logs the events of our family on the web.  Events like my two sweethearts having their morning cereal...

... it is these everyday moments that I love the most.  The ones that show our true lives.  And if a picture is worth a thousand words I would dare to say I could give you a thousand or so about this one simple picture of two girls and their breakfast.  There is a story for every pixel.  Like the story about why Lexi's finger is blue.  Or why she is still in her jammies and Callie is dressed with her hair combed.  I could tell about the curtains in the background and why they are always a mess.  How Callie came to get the orange bowl and why they are eating at the counter and not the table.  There is a story in every moment of our lives.

New shoes.  She said they were magic like the skates in The  Magic Hockey Skates book.  And they are fast too!

Some days the words come easy.  A steady click, click, click on the keyboard.  I know what I want to say, I am inspired, I am confident.  I am feeling the emotions and putting them out there. Making my mark.  Blogging our memories.

But there are times when I sit to write and I'm not feeling it.  Whatever it is.  Words aren't stringing themselves together. Or the moment I wanted to write about has passed or the post that I really wanted to rock gets cut short because it got too late and I needed sleep. And it is at these times I remind myself of why I blog.  And I have thought a lot about why I blog our life stories over this past year because I started for one reason and when that reason came to an end I continued for other reasons. 

I enjoy it. 
It makes me happy. 
It causes me to take my time and reflect on the small things.
The everyday things.
And it's place to celebrate.
The tiny achievements.
And the big things too.

On those days when my writing feels forced I remind myself that everything does not have to be a masterpiece.  That no one is marking me or grading me.  And I look at my list of 10 followers... my family and friends, and I feel supported and encouragement.  And I know they will be happy with anything I write because they are all in my corner. 

I have to give a shout out to my humble followers... Christine my loyal commenter and Megan my only follower I have never met who stumbled upon my blog and often stops by with kind words.  Shaun, who always calls me with her comments, Jon who sends me a text that says, "great blog today, babe". And the others who email, text, or facebook me your thoughts because you can't figure out how to comment on blogger or you don't want to create an account!  It doesn't take much to keep me motivated to write about my two lead characters.

A year ago, on a random January day, I sat at my computer in the same spot I am sitting in now and I was prompted to enter a title for this blog.  What was this space going to be?  What was I going to say?  How long am I going to do this?  Will I be committed?  Who will read this?  How will I be judged?

What shall I call it?

From The Heart come from my strong belief that if you speak your truth, honestly, from the deepest part of your heart and soul, the answers to all those questions won't matter.  I will keep writing our story until...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Everyday Things

January is made up of mostly inbetween days.  The nothing special kinda days that when I sit down to write about the weeks events I realize it was full of your regular everyday things. 

Take this morning for example.  Around five am Callie comes wandering into our room and begins complaining to her dad that she can't sleep because she is all sticky.  I hear this in my half conscious state and am relieved when Jon gets up to investigate.  I can hear them in the bathroom, water is running , Callie is washing off the stickiness.  Then...CRASH!  Jon knocks a candle off the ledge and it shatters on the tile floor.  Callie runs for cover in bed with me while Jon sweeps up shards of glass and wax. 

A few hours later Callie is standing beside my bed saying, "moooom, get up, my hair is all sticky." Jon has already left for work so I am left to get to the bottom of this sticky situation.  As it turns out, Callie had her bedtime snack in her bed last night.  And the snack just happened to be a strawberry Nurtigrain bar that didn't get eaten before she fell asleep.

So, even before the sun was high enough to create daylight, I had plucked gooey, strawberry bar from Callie's massive bedhead of curls, soaked her in the tub to rid her of all possible stickiness, washed her bedding and finally gave the bathroom floor a once over ensuring there was no remaining bits of glass to be stepped on by little bare feet. 

Like I said... just your regular, everyday, January things.

Here's a few more of this weeks everyday things...

The numbers in my rear view mirror were pretty much the same every morning this week.  Painfully cold even before we calculated for the windchill... 

My new favorite socks.  Hand-spun, hand-dyed, and hand-knit.  Not by me of course.  If this amazingly talented lady had a website I would link to it...  

The standard January fruit selection...

The citrus smell of the sliced oranges is like aromatherapy.  And they are actually quite delicious and juicy for this time of year...

Dry skin, chapped cheeks and lips.  A constant battle...

Look out Grandma and Papa.  Someone can dial numbers...

And anyone who has called our house in the last month has heard Lexi's pleas in the background... "me talk, me talk!".  And the first thing she says to whoever is on the other end..."you come my house?" The last thing she does is push a bunch of buttons...

After bath playtime.  Wet hair.  Cozy Jammies...

Nothing overly special.  Just appreciating the little everyday things today.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Things are changing around here.  Life is happening and heartstrings are being pulled in all sorts of directions.  It is our job as parents to nurture and grow our children, to keep them safe so that they can successfully reach the next milestone.  We anxiously await that first word.  We throw our hands up with delight when those first, wobbly steps are taken towards outstretched arms.  And in that moment, we are the proudest parents.  We are beaming and oozing with enthusiasm at our little peanut's achievement.

These milestones that we greatly anticipate seem to happen in an instant.  One minute our baby is cooing and kicking on the floor and we turn our heads for just a second and she has rolled her little body over.  One day she's crawling around eating carpet lint and the next she takes her first steps. 

And there is no going back.

After the cheers have quieted and the photos of the first smiles and the first steps have been taken...
After these unbelievable accomplishments have been marked on the calendar and properly documented...
After all this, comes the realization that a chapter in their life is over. And although there are many more words yet to be written in their life stories, those chapters are complete.  Unchangeable.

And upon the completion of each chapter, I too must adjust and move on. 

New feet jammies.  So the other ones can get washed. 

This week we officially started potty training.  And overnight, we went from changing diapers to handing out potty treats.  Even "practice treats"  for the false alarms. 

Little sister ROCKED this potty training thing.

There are no more diapers and wipes in my bag.  There is no more change table or diaper pail in her room. The congratulatory potty song and dance is starting to fade.  And even the potty treats that were motivating hundreds of practice potty runs earlier in the week have nearly been forgotten about.

Chapter: Diapers and Potty Training

Now we have moved on to Princess and Dora panties and a skinny little bum in her size three pants.

The only evidence left of our baby is her crib.   

Starting this new chapter in our lives this month is weighing on my mind.  Because this month our story would have been different.  And some chapters are just harder to close and sign off on than others. 

But life keeps happening.  And the proof...

...we are planning a party.  And being 5 will definitely be the start of a new chapter for Callie.  And tonight I can't even let myself think about those changes because of my delicate emotional state.  But I can tell you, I was witness to one of those changes first hand when I took her to her first ski lesson on the weekend.

Girl didn't need any encouragement this time.  She was confident and excited.  She wanted to be fast and first... of course.

All these changes and closing of chapters combined with the recent loss of a family friend, I am feeling vulnerable.  I'm taking extra care and caution.  Being sure to snuggle Lexi just a little longer before I tuck her into bed and approving Callie's request to have quiet time on the couch past her bedtime. 

We are turning the page in our family book.  And we have some great things coming up.  Some of these things may involve pirates and some others may include passports.  I can't wait to see how this story unfolds.

“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, For all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” Helen Keller

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Over for Another Year

It is late. And I am tired.  Today was our last at home day and tomorrow we will return to the rhythm of our routines.  Christmas has officially been boxed up and returned to the storage room.  Old toys have been cleared out to make room for the new.  With so many new things and a promising new year and a wealth of good times with so many people we love over the past two weeks, there has to be some let down. Some kind of leveling off.  And this will happen in about seven hours.  And will likely take about seven days to fully adjust.

Tomorrow's lunch is in the fridge.  Laundry is done.  Bags are by the door. Living room is semi-picked up.  And before I go to bed, one last look ... 

...we are on our second roll of paper on the art easel and the wood along the edges has various colored marks on it.  Looks like we've had it forever.  Loving that.  The marble run has been built and demolished many times this week. wouldn't be Christmas without The Sound of Music.  And I think I hooked Callie in too.  All Jon could say was, "is it really four hours long?"  as he left to go fishing with his buddies.

...Lexi got a scratch on the corner of her eye.  No one knows when, where, or how it happened.  It just showed up. hmmm?

...we colored and we colored but we're not quite finished this work of art.

...Callie's ipad (so we call it) was a hit.  She loves the artist's studio and the photo lab apps.  And I'm sure she would say that her favorite thing about holidays is not combing her hair!

...we went sliding.  We went sliding A LOT.  While most of Canada was having a green Christmas we were getting dumped on.  The snow combined with the mildest temperatures imaginable made for some great days on the hill with friends.

I couldn't stop taking pictures of the kids.

Their faces say it all!

You know in the summertime there are those perfect beach days?  Well this day was winter's equivalent.

Thanks Christine for the group photo.
It is officially over for another year.  Good Night.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A New Year

There is a brand new calendar hanging on the wall with a lot of empty squares. It's like a blank canvas just waiting for colorful brush strokes that mark important dates, appointments, birthdays and holidays. And at it's end you have a masterpiece of events all swirled together titled "Life."

I have sat down about fifteen times this week to write this first post of the year and have come up empty or have been pleasantly distracted with visits from family and friends, invitations for play dates, and requests from the girls to color, make art, build marble runs, read books, play outside... all the things that don't get marked on a calendar.

I had envisioned writing a reflection of the past year... things I've learned or things that continue to be works in progress, but the present day keeps getting in the way.  So my reflection may come eventually but for now I will live in the moment.  Because when you are living in the moment you notice the beauty in things that are right in front of you.  Like the view from the truck window on our long drive.

The snow weighed down the tree branches until they nearly touched the ground.  Thick like frosting on a cake.  And the girls were the cherry on top.  Because each time we make this trip it gets a little easier. Attention spans are longer, patience is increasing, and we were blessed with only a few hundred "are we there yet's".

We headed to the country to ring in the new year and celebrate our anniversary with our friends.  A far cry from new year's eve six years ago when we said I do, but we still rocked it... family style.

Twenty people, an even split of ten kid and ten adults, tore up my BFF's country house in an effort to say good riddance to the past year and sing the joys of the new year with all its resolutions, hopes and dreams.

It was a full house. 
Just the way I like.
Beds on the couch.
Air mattresses on the floor. 
Big kids taking care of babies. 
Late nights. 
Red Solo Cups  for sparkling apple juice champagne toasts .

The first day of my shiny new calendar has been marked.  The twenty-twelve canvas received it's first brush stroke.  We spent the day outside in the farmyard doing what I love best...making memories.

The bride and maid of honor, +6 years.
And being pulled around the farmyard on GT racers are some of the best kind of memories to make.

I'm looking forward to marking up this new calendar.  I like looking forward.  And there is a time and place for looking back...just not today.  Because our new canvas is getting painted on every minute.  Painted with Lexi's smiles and requests for one more ride.  And Callie's squeals as she rides shotgun with Chad on the quad.

(Disclaimer: I could run faster than these machines were moving and I haven't run anywhere in a long time!)

Get busy creating your own 2012 masterpiece.
Happy New Year.