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.