Friday, December 7, 2012

Everything in it's own time.

"I don't know why I haven't figured out how to make this blog a priority. I enjoy it, other people can do it - so what's my deal?"

That's the kind of inner monologue I try really hard to ignore. But sometimes the negativity overcomes, and maybe then, is when I really need to think about the WHY. Why am I feeling this anxiety over something so trivial? I don't want to turn this post into some sort of mental health analysis, but I do want to address that overwhelming feeling of "Why can't I do it all?" that I know we have all dealt with from time to time.

I have this constant need for change. It actually feeds pretty well into my other constant need for a "project", most of the time. But sometimes I take a step back and realize "What the hell am I thinking I can refinish my dining room set and a dresser, get the body I want, make 100 handmade Christmas ornaments, train my puppy, raise two children, make our home, and shower every day for?!" That's like, 3 full time jobs in there. For real. No wonder things start to go slack and the walls* start to feel tighter.

All that to say, that I really do love to write, here and in general, but everything in it's own time. A beautiful friend recently reminded me that I am only going to be the mother of small children for so much longer, and while I'd love to be able to document each and every moment with eloquent sentences and breath-taking photos - sometimes I'd also just like to BE IN those moments.

So I will continue to be an infrequent and random blogger, and probably also a person who continually puts too much onto her own plate, but I will be sure to take the time to reflect and silence the self degradation when it occasionally requires silencing. We all do the best we can with what we have. And I have these two, which is, basically, totally unfair for the rest of you. Sorry. ;)

Photobucket *The walls. My clothes. Whatever.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Obviously, you should stop believing me when I say I'll be back in a week to write about such and such. I'd like to blame the delay on a puppy chewed power cord for my laptop, but let's face it, it probably had more to do with priorities and procrastination.

But on that note - I DID IT! I ran the Melissa's 10K! I was really happy with my time and we had a beautiful weekend in Canmore. We got plenty of time to be Auntie and Uncle to Fiona and Cedric because Nana stayed in Sylvan with the girls, and they made us a precious welcome home sign (which I may have only very recently taken down).

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We feel so lucky to be able to go away for a couple of days and come home to our babies, feeling refreshed and, not to mention, to an immaculate house complete with empty laundry baskets and closets full of clean clothes! My mom actually apologized for not having washed the floors. Of course we promptly asked her to leave as punishment. :P Seriously though, such a great weekend.

 Our weather has been changing. Mornings are frosty, the trees are getting bare, the mittens and winter hats are out. We have been enjoying our puppy, and the girls don't mind bundling up to walk him in the mornings. Tessa and I are nestled in to our routine of 1 on 1 time Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Elise is, of course, happy as a clam in Kindergarten. She actually won an award in September for being an excellent school citizen, and this Mama may have cried when the award winners paraded into the gymnasium to "Eye of the Tiger". Just. So. Precious.

  Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket She let me curl her hair for School Picture Day and now I want to curl it every day!

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend complete with two turkey dinners, friends and family. Saturday night, our friends Amy and Dan hosted a potluck. The kids played, men watched sports, ladies gossiped and hogged appetizers in the kitchen. Then we had a fantastic meal, the kids decorated sugar cookies and played some more. It was epic times and I know my kids will remember it. On Sunday morning we drove to High River and my Aunt hosted 20 odd family members for another fantastic meal. (They're odd, I mean it.) Nothing makes me feel more cozy than knowing my babies are making cousin/friend/holiday memories and I LOVE a giant family gathering. We stayed late, drove home in the dark and jammied babies fell asleep almost instantly. Top 10 weekend. For sure.

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We had a lazy holiday Monday, and now lunches are packed, babies are sleeping, and Mumford and Sons are singing me a lullaby. I won't bother trying to say I'll be back in a week or two or whatever because, who knows, what if the dog chews through my new power cord or something crazy?! I will be back though. :)

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

As promised..

I'm back to tell you what my girl thinks of her new digs. Kindergarten, that is.

Since she only goes Tuesdays and Thursdays with the occasional Friday, she's actually only been 3 times. But the bell rings at 8:27 and we don't pick her up until 3:00, so the days are long. She comes home pretty much exhausted and barely makes it through dinner and bath. Her moods have been.... Trying. I anticipated all of this though, and we are just riding the wave of adjustment. The best part, is that she LOVES school. Her teacher is this precious little sprite, who is warm and welcoming - but runs a tight ship. (How could you not, with twenty-one 5 year olds in your care?!)

Photobucket Needing a Mama back rub on afternoon number 2.

Photobucket Homeworking.

The first day, she came home a bit upset over the whole concept of recess. At first she told us she didn't want to stop learning to go outside. And when we talked a little bit more about it, she added that there were "just too many kids out there. Like 600." Poor babe was just nervous. We talked about how some things just take getting used to, and that there are always parts of the day that won't be her favorite, but that they are parts of the day nonetheless. The second day, though, her best buddy was recovered from her sickness and met us at the doors. She had a much better time at recess, with Lila to play with. And we haven't heard a word about it since.
  PhotobucketPhotobucket Mrs. Cocks' favorite color is green. So is Elise's, now. ;)

These sisters have actually been loving on each other a lot more often since school started too. Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Whatever is it, this Mama's enjoying the frequent photo ops.
  PhotobucketMorning 2.

Photobucket Morning 3. Getting chillier.

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Tomorrow, after school, the girls both start dance classes again. They are excited and I am happily laying out leotards, tutus and tights and doing bun practice runs.. I love that my girls love dance.

I'll be back later this week to talk about the Liebster Blog Award, and this lady, who sweetly passed it to Flaird from her own fantastic blog about family and business, here.

Photobucket Happy Hump Day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hello Fall, A Picture Post.

If there were ever a season to follow Summer, I'm certainly glad it is Fall. I love the boat and the sun and the water too much to call Fall "my favorite", but it absolutely ranks higher than frigid Winter or Wet, dirty Alberta Spring. I like the colors, the spicy smells, the tights and boots, the promise of Family get togethers and good meals. I like listening to music that makes me feel Fallish, like Sarah Harmer. And I like all of those things A LOT.
  PhotobucketTomatoes from our garden.

Photobucket Felt banner for our dining room.

Photobucket Cinnamon and Nutmeg, simmering on the stove.

I guess there are some new things I'm going to have to get used to about Fall, too, and maybe come to look forward to. Maybe. But this Mama sure isn't there yet. My baby started Kindergarten today. And I am missing her dearly. But I made it out of the classroom before I cried, and she was happy and brave to stay. I'm choosing to consider those things greatly successful.
  PhotobucketKissing her Sister Goodbye.


I was tossing and turning last night, when I remembered I'd forgotten to get something ready for today. I got up and went into the kitchen and started rustling around with paper and markers and scissors. When I went back to bed, sleep finally came.
  PhotobucketLunchbox note.

Beyond adjusting to new routines for school and extra-curriculars, September is going to be one helluva month for us. Matt and I are spending the weekend of the 22nd in Canmore to run Melissa's 10k. I'm hoping for a beautiful weekend in the mountains with great friends and babies I love, with a generous side of great accomplishment. Matt is also setting out on his own new adventure, and we are happily along for the ride. After enjoying 8 years with the company he currently works for, he has accepted an exciting new offer that promises challenges and opportunity. With great risk comes great reward.

 We're off to get our Sister girl now. More in a later post about what she thinks of indoor shoes and recess and music and hallways and Mrs. Cocks and circle time. :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Five and Mighty

Dear Elise, on your fifth birthday,
You look like yourself. Not like Tessa, who is a clone of me, and not like your baby self who was a clone of Daddy. Just you, your own beautiful, soft features that must be the most perfect blend possible of him and I that could ever be formed.

You love music, mostly good music. And people, all sorts. Your heart is bigger than your body and your eyes know no prejudices. You weigh 38 lbs. The only dark pigmentation on your face is a beauty mark under your left eye, but there will be more. Just embrace it. You are excited to start Kindergarten, not nervous at all. And you love to swim and play the piano. You ride your bike with training wheels, and you have trouble getting uphill. You are starting to enjoy trying new foods, but aren't afraid to say when you aren't a fan. Your vocabulary is unreal.

You are fidgety. You can't sit still long enough to be buried at the beach like your sister does, and if you try, your toes always wiggle their way uncovered before you inevitably jump up and run off to find another adventure. You kiss my arm over and over when we are sitting side by side in a booth at a restaurant. You love like crazy, girl. Sometimes, I tell you to back off, because I start to wig out about personal space, but please always know, that I love how you love, and that I'm thankful. Sister just needs to chill in the already cramped booth, alright?

You are confident, yet timid. You know how beautiful you are. I hope you always know. You never forget to remind the people you love, of whom there are many, that you love them - and just how much. I hope you've learned that from me and I hope you always know the importance of those little, impromptu "I love yous".

You have a bad temper, but are ever forgiving as soon as your fuse burns out. Again, a maybe not so perfect combination of Daddy and I, but a combination, none the less. I will let you in on a little secret, it's actually a really great quality to not take shit from anyone. ;) And I smiled on the inside today when you yelled at that bossy boy on the playground. Stand your ground Sister. You are mighty.
My heart aches with love for you. You changed my game Babe, like you'll change so many others'.

Love Mama.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Not entirely a Lame-o

If you want to read about the kids today, don't go any further. I'm going to talk about myself. I can't promise it will be interesting, but you'll probably guffaw at least once. Unless you have no soul, but then, your boring ass probably wouldn't be here in the first place - would it?

 Anyway, yesterday my friend and I were whining about how it seems like everyone else has something that they are great at and how we're just lame-os who suck at most everything. So, to try and console myself I spent the whole night pondering my "skills". Here's what I came up with.

 Yes, it took all night.

  Are you ready for this? I'm good at music. Not like reading, or writing, or theorizing. Or anything that would typically define being good at music. I have flawless taste, I rock at sourcing new artists. Now, I'm not saying that everyone would consider everything I love to be awesome, but I'd put a money-back-guarantee that you could find at least a dozen songs on my iTunes that you'd want to put on your iPod. Probably a mix of stuff you used to love and forgot about, and stuff that you didn't know existed.

 When Anissa was breaking up with her fiance, (yeah, I just went there - Love you!) I was sitting in her living room amidst several open boxes of chocolates and tissues alike, and I asked her what she needed to listen to. Totally determined to find and download anything my Bestie wanted to hear. Something that made her cry, or laugh or reminisce. Anything. She said "Nothing Jules, that's your thing. I don't want to hear anything." My poor baby. :( She's right though. I need it on. All the time. And it needs to suit my mood. I'm high maintenance drama. I will purposefully put on an album that will bum me out if I need to cry. Instead of trying to brighten my spirits with something quirky. I indulge myself. But now we're not talking about being good at things any more, not good at good things anyway.

 I like music that sounds good. It's so simple. From catchy melodies, to quality production and great speakers, to beautifully strung-together lyrics. Of course, it sometimes runs deeper than those things, a unique voice, words that I relate to, or a new project from an artist I've been loyal to. But generally, if it sounds good, I'm in.

 As for sourcing new music, I can't give away all my secrets, because I'm greedy and selfish and I like to be the one with the great discoveries :p. I will tell you that if you like a particular artist - find out what that artist listens to and inspires from. Oh, and have friends with great taste who also enjoy sourcing and sharing. So that's that. I can string a written word to another, once in a while, and I have great taste in tunes. Yep, total catch! :) I'll leave you with a couple from my most-played.

"Betty" - Brooke Fraser 
"Cats and Dogs"- The Head and the Heart
"Early in the Morning"- James Vincent McMorrow
"Homewrecker"- Marina and the Diamonds
"Sunlight"- Modstep

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Living a bit.

Okay. My kids are in bed early tonight after a long day of being outside. I need to clear my head and I have missed this place, bad. It's not that I haven't written since my last post in November, it's just that none of it has really been share-worthy. To say that the past 7+ months have been hectic for my family, immediate to verrrrry extended, would be the world's largest understatement. I'm not delving into that tonight though, except to say a special thank-you to everyone who has stuck like glue and seen us through. You know who you are and I LOVE YOU. Shout from the rooftops love and appreciate every one of you.

 We have great neighbors. Like, great great, salt of the earth, wisdom sharing, baby loving, do anything for us neighbors. It's June and Roxanne is back. Roxanne is the owner of the house next door, and she actually spends 9 months of the year with her husband and son in Toronto. I saw her van out front on Friday morning and told the girls, who promptly decorated handmade Welcome Back cards which we delivered to her doorstep. Let me tell you a little bit about Roxanne; 2 years ago, when Elise was turning 3, she asked if we could please invite Roxanne to her party. Well of course we could, so she set about making an invitation to deliver. We took it to our dear neighbor, who doted on and praised Elise for making such a lovely card and said she'd love to join us for tea on the day of the party. Fast forward to last summer when I'm in Roxanne's kitchen bumming some sugar, and what is taped to her fridge? The invite from over a year ago. And that's all. <3 I've said it before, the way to the depths of any Mama's heart, is to love her babies. And at that moment, Roxanne had made it to my depths. In a big way.

 As I was showing her around our house full of new flooring and cabinet doors and other to-be lovely, unfinished projects I must have seemed tense and a bit flustered at the state of disarray our house is sort of in and she just took my hand in both of hers and said "Oh Julie, these girls are little, please enjoy as much of it as you can. Your house will be beautiful, stylish and sleek one day, and you'll long for the chaos." Then she turned Tessa's blanket into a swing for the barbies and let Elise show her every single "special thing" she owns, ooohing and aahhhing over every one. Have I painted her in the light she deserves yet? Probably not, but I bet you like her, a lot, and that's what I was hoping to establish. ;)

 Anyway, I know what she said is true, and I try my hardest to be conscious of the seconds ticking by, but loving and gentle reminders are so totally welcomed and appreciated. I can't wait for the next 13 weeks of sharing my garden, and chatting on the porch after bedtime with my lovely part-time neighbor.

 As for me, right now, I'm just "living a bit and seeing what happens". Letting go of the reins and allowing the horse to wander. There will be much sun/summer/beach soaking up in my near future, and for that alone, I am grateful. More another day. Soon, I promise. And at the risk of contradicting the lesson of this post, I will tell you that I have dirty floors and I am wrapping this up to go and wash them.

 No pictures, but I'll leave you with a sweet 'n' sour video of Tessa, playing with her babies, noticing her Daddy is home from work and then getting mad at me for filming her. All in a fantastic outfit.