• The One Without a Title*

    As much as I love these gorgeous sunny days, I’m so ready for rain.

    It’s pretty much been 30+ degrees for two weeks straight and my lawn is so brown it’s crispy. I should probably water it… but at the same time I also kinda feel like that’s Mother Nature’s job since my plate is already kinda full with the whole keeping three small humans alive thing.

    (C’mon, Mama Nature. Let’s get it together here.)

    Today was a beautiful, busy day. I woke up early and slipped out for a run–this morning I finished Week 8 of my C25K so there’s only ONE run left until it’s finished. I feel really proud about it! I’m terrible at sticking with any kind of exercise regime so anytime I finish anything I feel like a million bucks.

    We had “Zoom Church” after that. As much as I miss the recharge I get from actually being in the building with my church community, I gotta admit–I love being able to listen from my couch. It’s glorious to not have that hurried rush out the door that inevitably happens EVERY week. Now I can holler at my kids to get into the living room and we can just be together. I like that.

    The rest of the day was a mish mash of getting things done. We went for a drive, tidied up a little and hung one of the doors I painted yesterday. The frame on the other door still needs a lot of work, so I’m not home free yet.

    I made homemade burgers for dinner, and I kinda love that that’s our new thing. I always thought that it was soooo hard to make a good homemade burger, but it’s totally not. I definitely count this as a COVID accomplishment.

    We went for spin around the block after dinner–the kids rode their bikes while M and I walked and talked leisurely in the rear. I love these quiet moments we can steal together in this happy chaos we call life. We FINALLY got P off his balance bike and he’s riding his new (to him) two wheeler + training wheels like a pro. We definitely went too far and he was exhausted by the end, but did it. What a champ.

    The kids all rode hard, so we celebrated with Gatorade, popcorn and our new family show–The Floor is Lava. It’s absolutely ridiculous and we LOVE it. The kids pick their favourites and root them on from the couch. (We’re very supportive.)

    We just finished hauling them into bed, and I came downstairs to find my lovely husband cleaning the kitchen for me, so I thought I’d sneak on here for a minute. You know. Priorities.

    There was a time when P was new that life with three kids just felt so overwhelming and impossible. I couldn’t even imagine this life because I was just so focused on trying to survive each day. I’m so glad we’re here.

    It’s such a good life. ❤️

    (Up next is an exciting evening of budgeting. You wish you were us. I know.)

  • I Hate Painting Doors*

    I am tired.

    We are in “fix-all-the-things-in-the-house-that-have-been-bugging-us-forever” mode. This week M painted the bathroom ceiling and ripped out all the trim to replace it, so today I decided to tackle two doors that desperately needed to be painted.

    It seriously took me ALL DAY to get these doors done. There was a lot of sanding a prep work, then each door needed two coats of paint on each side… which meant each side needed to dry before flipping.

    It was a long, hot day, but thankfully it’s done now. I’m ignoring all the outside cleanup for another few minutes, then it’s time to curl up and watch the second half of Hamilton. I was a little worried that the boys wouldn’t be able to sleep without a door on their room, but they both passed out within 5 minutes.

    I love summer.

  • I Went Out Into the World*

    It feels like a gloriously lazy summer day.

    It’s hazy and hot–the kids of weather that makes you move a little more slowly because it’s too warm to want to do anything.

    I’m currently sitting in a chair in my front lawn, in the last small shady spot that the sun hasn’t claimed yet. I can’t even stretch my feet out all the way… but I don’t mind. As unmotivated as this weather makes me feel, I also kind of love it. I love the warm breeze and the slowness of the afternoon.

    Miss is S cooling down with her feet in our wee plastic pool–she’s “too big” to want to put her swimsuit on for it now apparently. Although she did just tie knot in her dress so she would be able to get her legs wet… I give her another 5 minutes before she’s all in.

    The boys are in front launching stomp rockets, and I’ve only had to solve a million fights over it since we brought it out! That being said, we just went a whole 60 seconds without a fight so maybe there’s hope?

    I can’t believe how much less stressful our days feel now that the “distance learning” is done. Our kids’ teachers were so wonderful, but it was seriously like pulling teeth with S every. single. day. It was this dark cloud that always hung over us… and now it’s gone and the world feels bright and sunny. For now at least.

    I went shopping IN a store for the first time in almost 4 months today. M has been out once or twice, but other than a quick trip into the post office or bakery, I’ve only done curbside pickup or delivery for groceries or other essentials.

    Otherwise we just made do without.

    I got it in my head this week that I needed to go. I’ve been anxious about it, and I knew I needed to just get it over with and do it. I’ve been amassing a list for the dollar store for a while, so I decided to try going just as it opened this morning.

    Thankfully it was fairly quiet while I was in there, but it was definitely getting busy as I left. I noticed that most people wore masks and followed the directional arrows in the store, but there were also a fair number of people who chose to ignore both–and it almost felt willfully. I was about ready to tell off one woman who was shopping in the same aisle as I was–she kept coming in front of me and stopping, and “invading” my bubble. I eventually gave up and left–it wasn’t worth the argument.

    I know not everyone *can* wear a mask… but if you are physically able, please consider it. I know it’s uncomfortable, but I’m pretty sure catching COVID is WAY more uncomfortable.

    Also, even if you can’t wear a mask (or choose not to), EVERYONE can follow the arrows in store aisles and adhere to social distancing. Like it or not, the world has changed. I know it’s inconvenient, but ignoring those changes put in place for our well being and safety is just… rude.

    And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

    It felt good to be back out in the world a little bit. I was able to get some new outside activities for the kids, some new shampoo for me, and RINGALOS, which was clearly the most exciting purchase of the day.

    My shady spot is disappearing so it’s time to pack it in. I guess I have to start thinking about dinner at some point… it might be a cereal night. ;)

  • I’m Not Broken Anymore*

    At the beginning of this year, I sat down and cried my way through this post. I knew my 35th birthday was coming, and I wanted to make some changes.

    I finally felt ready to make some changes.

    That’s the thing though, isn’t it. You can make all the grandest plans in the world, but if you’re not really ready for them, it won’t work. It never does for me.

    It took me a long time to get here, but I am finally learning how to make myself a priority again. I set some goals in that post, but now that it’s been nearly six months, I thought it might be worth sharing a little of what I’ve been focused on.

    At the end of March I woke up one morning and decided that I was ready to try yoga. My back and hips had gone out again, and as my osteopath moved and the world was shut down due to the pandemic, I knew I needed to do something myself. I wanted to stop depending on others to “fix” me. I wanted to feel strong and capable. I wanted to stop feeling like my body would always fail me. I wanted to stop feeling broken.

    Yoga has seriously changed my world. I haven’t experienced ANY back or hip pain since I started–in fact if feels better than it has in years. It has helped with my stress and anxiety, and it’s helped me reframe the way I’ve always looked at exercise. For me, it was always just a means to lose weight and it was never enjoyable. Now it’s my “me time”. It makes me feel so strong, and I LOVE that. I haven’t really lost a pound and I don’t even care. I’m doing things I couldn’t do three months ago… and the feeling of being consistent with something for the first time ever feels AMAZING. I now alternate days between yoga and running and I look forward to that time every morning.

    Best of all, I don’t feel like I need to rely on regular osteo adjustments or massages to help with my pain. I don’t have any pain anymore.

    I also got my chocolate binging under control. I went off it completely for over two months, and still stay away from it as much as I can. Over my birthday I was able to have a treat for a day or two, then I stopped eating it again without the intense cravings. Feeling some control and balance there feels so good.

    One of my other goals was to learn how to indulge a little. I typically don’t like to spend money on myself. I live frugally, my clothes are thrifted and I’ve been using the cheap same skin care and makeup products since I was 15. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, but I also felt like I was ready for more.

    I waited for a sale, then I splurged and bought myself new running shoes–for the first time in years. They feel SO GOOD and I’m sure it’s contributed to the success of my running regime this summer. I also bought myself some new workout clothes, and two pairs of cute overalls–something I’ve wanted for a long time but kept telling myself I didn’t “need”.

    I also decided it was time to take better care of my skin and invested in some new products. I’ve wanted to try some new things for years, but never felt like I could justify the cost. It wasn’t necessarily that we couldn’t afford it, but I just kept telling myself I didn’t need it. It wasn’t worth it. In a way, I think I was telling myself that *I* wasn’t worth it.

    So, I finally went for it. New cleansers, toner, eye cream, charcoal mask– I went full in. I’ve struggled with a stubborn patch of facial eczema for MONTHS, and since switching what I’ve been using it’s finally, finally healing. Most nights I wouldn’t even bother to wash my face because I was too tired or didn’t think it was worth it… but I’ve now started a little night time self-care routine and I love those few minutes to pamper myself a little. TOTALLY worth it.

    Six months ago I looked forward and hoped I could make some changes. I’m here now and I love where I am. I love where I’m headed. I don’t feel like I’m just surviving anymore… I’m moving forward. I’m enjoying. I’m living.

    A friend and I were talking a few weeks ago, reflecting on the challenges we’ve faced over the past three years. I sat and thought about our conversation afterward and my mind turned toward my (then) upcoming 35th birthday.

    Thirty-three was a really challenging year for me. In almost every way possible. If I had to sum it up in a sentence, through all that we went through I felt like I lost pieces of myself.

    I feel like I found them again at thirty-four. Or maybe, I realized that I hadn’t lost them at all… they were still there, but they had been a little broken. I realized that those pieces were healing, and the cracks in my heart didn’t make me less, it made me more. They made me more understanding. They made me more empathetic.

    I hope they’ve made me more kind.

    A friend sent me a quote a few months ago that has really stayed with me. It reads,

    “She knows that God can use her brokenness to do something beautiful, because the cracks allow His light to shine through.”

    At thirty-four I realized that there is beauty in what’s broken, and that it won’t stay broken forever. Like the moon, I don’t need to be whole to shine.

    I don’t know what’s ahead for me this year, but I’m really excited for whats to come at thirty-five.

  • A Mini Fresh Start*

    Happy Canada Day!

    I love July 1st for two reasons. First, I love having a minute to really focus some extra gratitude for where we live. I know it’s not perfect, and we still have work to do, but its home. It’s beautiful. It’s free.

    Secondly, for me, I’ve always sort of looked at the calendar year in two halves. The second half officially begins on July 1st, so it’s like a mini-fresh start in the middle of the year. I like that.

    A friend of mine has been doing this really neat thing each month that I’ve fallen in love with. Instead of having big, grand New Years resolutions for the year, she chose one thing to work on or focus on for each month. She’s focused on reading, spending and social media so far (among others) and this month she’s going to try going off sugar.

    When I saw her post today, I decided to do it with her. A few years ago I cut waaaaaay back on sugar for a few months and I felt amazing. Seriously. It was the best I have ever felt in my entire life… and I want that back. It’s SUCH a difficult thing to reduce, and I know it will be easier for me if I feel like I’m doing it as part of a challenge.

    So, here we go.

    (I’m actually starting tomorrow as I was definitely eating an iced Batman sugar cookie while I read her post this afternoon. Ha.)

    I’m also going to add on a goal of my own: to come here and write every day. I know I do a lot of “micro blogging” on my Facebook page, but it’s not the same. I’ve felt strongly that I need to get back to this again, and since my word for 2020 is “Listen”, here I am.

    July is going to be less sugar and more writing. Let’s do this.

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