Monday, November 16, 2015

Part II: Chasing Rainbows

Thoughts on Motherhood
Part II: Chasing Rainbows
My childhood was a good one.

I have memories full of fresh raspberries from the back alley, and dirty carrots from the garden. We had a big, beautiful, smelly dog. I dug up worms. We slid down snow covered hills. When my mom made bread she would give me a little chunk of dough to play with. And when the sun would shine through the kitchen window, she would spin the crystals that hung there, so I could chase the rainbows. I got sunburns and mosquito bites. And sometimes mosquito bites on sunburns. We climbed mountains. We slept in tents. My mom read to us when we were young. We got lost together in Narnia, and on the Prairie, and at Green Gables. She sang to me to help me sleep. She would race me to do up my seat belt when we got in the van. My dad let me ride on his feet when I was little, and would two step with me in the kitchen as I got older. He helped coach my basketball camps and my volleyball teams. They taught me to pray. And they prayed for me. They have caught me when I've fallen. Over and over.

I have good parents.

In my rush to get through each day, I have been stumbling past the moments. Moments that are thick with phrases like "hurry up" or "not right now." And this week as my boy's 2 bottom adult teeth have snuck into place, I feel an urgency that is hard to explain. A need to offer him some magic moments. Some rainbows to chase. A feeling that I've failed him. That we've run out of time to experience the magic, and that real life is going to hit any minute.

And if I think hard, about what would stick, even if all magic ended as adult teeth arrived, I realize that he has had magic. Walks through ivy covered forests. Entire days on warm, breezy beaches. Books. More books than I can count. Evenings around fires, and nights in tents. Staying up late for fireworks, and getting up early to catch ferry boats. Imaginary dragon friends. Snuggles, wrestles, tickles and rounds and rounds of "pinchy pinchy pokey pokey." We've had adventures, in stories, and in real life. We've swam in the ocean and lakes. We've dressed up as super heroes, as pirates as ninjas and as animals. We've cried, we've laughed, and occasionally, we have dance parties in the kitchen.

And although I do feel an urgency to start my own collection of crystals, to hang in my window, I realize that we've had truly beautiful experiences together. One day my kids will be able to say "My childhood was a good one." Why? Because they have a mama, who will do all she can to offer them experiences of beauty, love, connection, and magic

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Part I: The Plan

Thoughts on Motherhood
Part I: The Plan

I have always loved children. Their eagerness to learn, how quick they are to laugh, the wonder they express at the simplest experiences. I love their dimpled elbows, their missing teeth, their sticky hands. I have always wanted a brood of my own. And now, with three little ones, plus two big ones (we'll call them foster kids for the sake of not having to spend an entire post on the situation) I have come to a point where I've started wondering, Why?

Why did I want to be a mom again? Why would I think I'd be good at this? Why are me and Ms. 3 year old having the same argument again today?  Why does the sound of Mr. 5 year old's voice make me cringe? Why is Ms 1 year old dropping toys in the toilet? Why, if yesterday was awful, am I repeating it in the exact same way today?

I remember asking my husband, when we first started dating, what he wanted to do with his life - what his hopes and dreams were. He surprised me when he said he wanted to be a father. He wanted to be a good dad, that coached his kids' baseball teams, and was involved in their lives. Needless to say -  I fell in love with the guy pretty instantly. We got married, and this was the plan:

1. Make babies
2. Love those babies.
3. Be the world's greatest parents.
4. Repeat. 

And so, we've followed the plan... at least the baby making part... with 3 in 4 years!
{Thaaaaat sounds crazier than it felt}
I had beautiful deliveries and wonderful babies. But as they've grown I've felt less wonderful towards these babies. Become frustrated by their demands, annoyed at their volume, exhausted by their energy and hurt. Not hurt by them. Hurt by my own feelings of inadequacy, of frustration, of resentment.

Don't get me wrong. There has been immeasurable good as we've built this family up. Pure JOY. More love than I ever knew I could feel. Tender moments where I've felt like I was in the presence of God. There's been fun and laughter. Quiet, gentle moments. Moments of exuberance and hilarity. Moments where I thought my heart would burst because I loved these kids so much and because I was so happy.

But those days don't come every day.

And so, as we build this dream, and follow our plan, I've decided that I need to work out part 3. I need to figure out how to earn myself a "World's Best Mom" mug.

And I've decided that this is the place to do it.

Because in every moment of motherhood: the isolation and the excitement, the joy and the pain, the torture and the adoration, every step of the way I have noticed that there are mothers along the way. Some feeling like casualties of war, some feeling like Victors on the battle field. And regardless of where we stand today - because it may change from day to day - we need each other. And if I can figure out my own plan, then maybe I can help someone else out there find direction as well.

Big thoughts. On my little people. 


Saturday, January 10, 2015


We had the lovely opportunity this Christmas of spending lots of time with lots of family. We spent a week in Edmonton with my family, then a week in Castlegar with Dave's. Over that time I was taken aback - over and over again - by the wonderful women I have in my life - the wonderful women I have in my family

I don't know why we do it, but way too often, as women, it's our first instinct to compare ourselves to other people, and feel resentment because of it. I had this beautifully liberating experience today as I reflected on my beautiful sisters, and recognized that their strengths don't make me weak. In fact, their strengths can strengthen me. What a thought! After reflecting on them and how much I adore them, as well as feeling like I'm ready, in this new year, to make some changes in my life, I've decided that my sisters are just the inspiration I needed to step up and take control of a few things. 

And so, to my beautiful, strong, empathetic, patient and sweet sister in law Lauren, I say Thank you. Thank you for your quiet words, and adorable giggles. Thank you for being such an amazing example to me of hard work and determination. Thank you for being one of the most positive people I've ever met; for making really hard situations seem doable, maybe even enjoyable. Thank you for your testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ. You amaze me. Because of you, I want to work this year on my own relationship with my Savior. I want to invite him more fully into my heart and life. I want my scripture study to be more consistent and my prayers to be more fervent. I want to share with you in your conviction of our Redeemer.

To my darling, sister in law, Laura- with your perfect skin and gorgeous hair. With your dance moves that put the rest of us to shame, your style, your creative spirit, your no nonsense attitude towards things. I thank you, my sweet friend, for your ability to get 'er done. No questions asked. I was overwhelmed with admiration for you this Christmas. You know your needs and the needs of your boys and you set out to meet them unapologetically. You press on with faith, with hope, with grace. You set goals, and you work to meet them. You make quiche that tastes like rainbow's tears and angel's breath. You dip things in chocolate and make cookies that taste like flowers. You don't doddle around a subject - you address it. You inspire me to want to set goals, and look at how I'm going to accomplish them instead of why they aren't going to work. You make me want to be a better friend, a better mom, a better cook, and a better steward of this planet. You make me want to stop asking how or why or when. You make me want to do it. This year, I am going to cook. I am going to look for recipes and make them. For years I felt this looming sense of failure hanging over my head with each and every meal I make. Because of you I'm kicking that to the curb. I'm learning to cook this year. 

To Bonny. The most practical human being I have ever met. So generous and thoughtful, so kind hearted and sweet. So adventurous and loving. So organized, so tidy, so clean. So. Clean. The smile on your face, at the skating rink, when we stepped on the ice with 10 kids in tow will forever more be how I think of you. You are so good at keeping things simple, at stripping away the useless, and making an experience out of the basics. I really just love being around you. After spending almost a week at your house I came home wanting to purge my house of all the excess. I want to declutter. I want to take my kids on adventures and find happiness with them without the trap of consumerism sneaking its way into our days. I want to stop buying junk and eating junk and saving junk. I want to feel content and at peace within my home. The way I feel in yours. 

There are more. My amazing sister Amie - the most inspiring human and mother I've ever known. Shannon, who oozes creativity and ingenuity. Nicole, the most single minded, open hearted lady I've ever met. Janelle, who knows her needs and speaks her mind. My mom, my mother in law, and my other mother in law. I am so blessed to have so many women in my life that I adore. So many women that inspire me to be better. Women that strengthen me and give me hope.

In conversations, lately, about who we would ask to care for our babies if something were to happen to us, we have come to no conclusion. I feel awful admitting that we don't have a plan for this, but we are in the unique situation of not being able to decide between too many wonderful people. We know that if we were gone, our families would be there. To take care of the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our 3 sweet babes. We know some are better suited to care for a wildly emotional 4 year old boy. Some are more well off financially. Some are better at connecting to a certain unapproachably sassy 2 year old. Some will keep them connected to this island I love so much. Some will be better at keeping them connected to both sides of the family. But all of them. ALL OF THEM, would love our children. All of them would do all that they could to shelter them and nurture them and share their wonderful gifts with them. 

These thoughts took a turn I wasn't expecting, but I suppose I went there because I want to share that ultimately I admire these women because they have qualities that I would love my children's mother to have. And if knowing them makes it possible for me to become like them in any way, then I and my children are very blessed indeed. I am so grateful to know these beautiful women and to have them in my life. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas Card

Family, Friends & Neighbours,
What a beautifully busy year it’s been! Dave has been working sun up to sun down with Garage Door Depot. He crushed a homerun in his final baseball game this summer, helping his team become city champs. Mr. Roland (4) has had a fun year with blast ball, (Dave was his coach), swimming lessons and a preschool class. He regularly assigns each of us a new super-identity and will often only respond to the name “Spiderman.” He loves a snuggle and a story more than anything. Our sweet and sassy Violet June (2) is spending this holiday season potty training…and testing our patience. “Though she be but little she is fierce,” She is always making us laugh, especially with her wide eyes and determination. She loves puzzles and songs, and unlike her big brother (who will do anything to avoid solitude) loves to be independent and work things out on her own, Ali loves going on daily adventures with the kids. They are usually found bombing around Victoria, going to the pool, the beach, parks, the petting zoo, the aquarium, or the grocery store. Ali spent the first 9 months of the year growing a baby. Sweet Maebel Anne entered the world at home on Aug 28th. Roly & Vity adore their baby Maebe and are constantly announcing “Baby Maebel smiled at me!” She is an amazing sleeper and is so good to her mama. We have been blessed beyond measure and are so thankful for our little brood and the adventure they provide. Wishing you peace, joy, & love.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Dave, Ali, Roland, Violet & Maebel

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Oh, hey blog. It's been a while. A friend sent me a text the other day and mentioned something from my blog.
"Blog?" I thought. "I have a blog?" 
It got me thinking back to all the good times we've had Mr. Blogerino. The emotional overshares. The embarrassingly revealing details of my life spewed across a page, and put out there into the world for other people to take in. The regret I would feel soon after posting something. How I would sometimes sit, with the mouse hovering over the "delete" button any time anyone would draw attention to the fact that it existed. 
My experience with blogging feels kind of like a junior high slumber party: You have a good time while you're there- staying up way too late eating cheese puffs and not brushing your teeth. But then the sleeping bags are brought out and people start asking "truth or dare." And you start saying things you aren't sure you actually want other people to know, and dropping names you're sure you don't want to reveal. But in the moment it seems fine, even fun. And before you know it you're sitting in science class and the girl who was pretending to be asleep at the slumber party is asking the boy who sits two rows in front of you if he'll go out with you and you are so embarrassed you think you might throw up... or something... ? You know?
So with those thoughts looming at the back of my mind I've decided I think I want to start blogging again. I already overshare on a daily basis via instragram. I might as well make it official and add some thoughts to my constant posting of photos. Right? Maybe. We'll see. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Happiness is such a relative word.
It's amazing what a change in perspective can do to really bring things into focus.
What we need. What we are grateful for. What we love. What makes us happy.

Sometimes it takes a violent sort of shaking; Two hands on your face, forcing you to look elsewhere, and not only to look, but to focus. 

That violence came for me in two forms last week. One was a book. The other a friend.

For book club this month we read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It was enlightening and heart breaking. It caused me to look at my own life, and to see all I have. To see my own freedom- the rights that I take for granted every single day- because I have never know any different. To worship God when, where and the way that I want. To be educated. To have access to health care for myself and my family. To have my basic needs met. Food. Water. Warmth. Shelter.
More than anything, it made me look at my right to choose.
I live my life with the needs and desires of my children and my husband in mind- and I try to do all I can to keep them happy, but ultimately the choices that I make, as a wife, as a mother, as a woman are MINE. I am able to do what I want. Go where I want. Be who I want to be. It is my choice.

A Thousand Splendid Suns follows the lives of two women in Afghanistan. The things they went through were horrific. And they endured, at times, in defense of nothing more than their own lives. They made sacrifices for the future of their children, their families, and ultimately the future of their own country. But those sacrifices to bring about change that they experienced came only after years and years of enduring abuse, neglect, and disrespect from those who should have cared, supported and defended them; their families, laws, government and their country. 

This book left me in tears a few nights in a row. I would read until my iPad was dead, and then I would force myself to turn out the light and try to sleep. I would feel relief if I heard one of my children crying. Relief that I could hold them close and comfort them. Relief that our reality is so different from that in the book. 

I was feeling pretty raw, emotionally last week (I'll blame it on the book + lack of sleep) when a friend shared some news with me. She is young. In shape. She has a beautiful family. And she has cancer. It still brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about it. And thinking about it is a frequent occurrence. 
Dave gave a talk at church on Sunday. Thoughts of my friend and her young family interrupted every discussion we had, as Dave tried to prepare his talk, and as we tried to carry on through out the day.

Since hearing her news I've felt this cloudy sorrow looming; this helplessness, in wishing I could offer some real help- some real comfort or assistance. But at the same time I've felt this desperate sort of affection for the things in my own life. The things I need, the things I'm grateful for, the things I love and the things that make me happy. More than anything else, I felt this heart wrenching love for my husband and children. An adoration that can only be felt at the horrific threat or even thought of loss. And as I felt these things the word perspective slipped into my mind, and has floated there for days. I've had an amazing shift in perspective, as the things that truly matter float into focus.

And so, even though it's been an emotional week, it's been a good one. I have gratitude in my heart for this country. For my freedom. For the amazing individuals that I am blessed to know. I've hugged my children tighter this week. Breathed in their scent and tried to hold on to it. Kissed their tears with more tenderness. Nibbled their sweet toes with more affection. Laughed more. And yeah- cried harder. I've felt more appreciation for my husband. My hands find his more often. My head finds his shoulder with more warmth. I feel a greater measure of gratitude for all that I have. 

And through it all- I have realized something. 
I am happy.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Step by Step

At this moment in time I should be surrounded by the people I love, gorging myself on some delicious homemade Turkey delights- but instead I sit in a silent house, with a sleeping baby on my lap. I sent Dave to his parents with Roly, and I just couldn't join them. I'm not really sure what's going on- I just feel awful, and can't bring myself to be around other human beings (except this sweet little angel) at the moment. I can't pin point the source of my rage, and although I'm embarrassed to admit that I've skipped out on Thanksgiving dinner to blog, the truth is that I just need to do some soul searching, and being near pumpkin pie while I feel like this is NOT a good idea. 
Pumkin Pie seems like a good place to start; I've been off treats for an entire month! It's been great. A lot easier than I thought it would be. I also went on Weight Watchers, and so I've been a lot more aware of what is going in my mouth. Food tastes so good to me now- fruit is so sweet, and my meals are so flavorful. I feel great after I eat. No guilty-gas pains. Dave and I have been running Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I've been going to Zumba on Tuesdays, and trying to do something different (ie: climb Mt. Doug) on Thursdays. In the last month I've lost about 15 pounds (18 if we are talking the dry hair-postworkout-prebreakfast-postpoo-butt naked-weigh in)
Although I've stayed strong with avoiding the treats- this week has not been a good one. I missed 2 of my runs, didn't track anything I ate on 4 / 7 days, and just felt crappy over all. I started feeling sick last weekend, and while my throat feels better now I just can't get passed this exhaustion. This means that I've been impatient with Roland, short with Dave, and hating myself because of those things. For the first time in my parenthood I feel like I'm in over my head in more than one situation per day. Roland is really giving me a run for my money these days, and I am constantly at the end of my rope when it comes to patience. 
I listened to and loved every session of General Conference this weekend. I felt uplifted and empowered as it ended. My desires to be a better parent a more faithful servant of God, and to feel more connected to my Saviour were all renewed. As Dave walked out the door tonight, I sat crying and wondering why I felt like this- when I had felt the spirit so strong over the past few days, and when today, of all days, I should be GRATEFUL for all I have. I opened my scriptures and started reading in Alma, as Alma is telling his son, Helaman, about his own experiences as a young man. As I read the word "bitterness" in 36:18 I realized that I felt that way. I felt this bitter taste in my mouth, towards the people around me and towards my current situation. I wondered why I'm struggling. Why Roland frustrates me so badly right now, why it was so hard to stay active this week, why I need Dave's constant verbal affirmations to feel good about my own physical progress (and feel like trash when I don't get it). This verse describes Alma finding solace in the Saviour. The next verse explains that as he did this, Alma could "remember (his) pains no more." As I read that the words came into my mind "ONE STEP AT A TIME." And I realized that's it. I'm frustrated with these issues because I know I want to get through them. I want to be a patient mother (to a well behaved toddler), I want to be in shape, I want to be skinny, I want to be attractive... But here's the thing! I can't just be those things - I have to become those things- one step at a time. 
And so, with this in mind, here are some steps I will take this week in order to become who I want to be:
1. Wake up and RUN
  • No excuses this week- just run baby!
2. Read scriptures over breakfast every morning. 
  • This is hitting a few birds with one stone.
  •  When I sit down to eat breakfast it means I'm making breakfast first, which means Roly isn't eating cereal (which can't sustain anyone for any period of time).
  • It also means he's not sitting watching Diego. Roland loves cartoons, and prying the iPad out of his hands creates rage from this sweet child like I never see otherwise. He's a lot happier without flashing screens... He just doesn't know it. 
  • Reading in the morning invites the spirit into my heart and our home for the rest of the day.
3. Keep track of eating4. Get a better/ more consistent bed time routine for Roly. 
  • We just put him in a big boy bed! We are all a little frazzled and sleep deprived since the change. 
5. Take time for Roly
  • Read books together before and after nap & whenever he wants. 
  • Paint together
  • Invite him to help me cook
  • Take a deep breath and ask "why is he doing this" when he does something that makes me mad. 
Ok, I apologize for this post... It's a bit of an over share, and probably would have been better as a journal entry, but sometimes you do what you gotta do.