when we were young…

writing with passion, living with vision and acting with intention


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What’s hard about blogging?

My mind’s a buzzing, my thoughts darting about never landing long enough to provide the contentment that comes with knowing what your plan is and how you are going to move on it. I want to write, I NEED to write, but it’s just not as simple as sit down and put those typing skills to use.

To provide some context, allow me to compose a string of thoughts barely connected if only by the fact that they support my buzzing brain complex.

busy brain, how, mom, wife, career, blogging, business, agh!!

I admire the moms I know who are just there, 100 per cent, fully devoted moms.

I am devoted to my boys but every day, I grapple with the intense need to pursue something outside of mothering. I feel, like my thoughts, I never fully land a patch of time with which to daily dedicate myself to these aspirations.

I am a high achiever, that is, I aim high, not necessarily make it all the way but nonetheless, I am not satisfied with anything less than an A+ whether it be a “successful” day of parenting (when I feed my kids well, they nap on time, they go to bed on time, blah, blah, blah). Chill out, me, seriously.

Making the most of the small moments, like now. Babies are both napping although the older one will wake soon. Stealing minutes to form plans but where to start? Dinner plans? That’s an immediate. Developing my business? Scramble thoughts to identify least time consuming marketing and promotional plan. Long-term living and working plans? Who got time for that??? This time is so precious, so limited and all I can do is ramble some garbled, self-interpretation of the constructive way I would like to make use of these uninterrupted minutes.

Does this happen to you?

I want to make a positive impact – I want everything I write to be useful in some capacity. I want an A+ on time well spent. Curses, it would be so much easier if I was just completely accepting of whatever my best effort produced.

Maybe I am shooting for too much?

I admire you moms who are 100 per cent, here, now, fully devoted to your role as a mother.

Making the most of small snippets of time…currently, those moments are literally anywhere from 20 seconds to 2 minutes in duration. Not really long enough to even zero in on one item to focus brain power. Enter social media – a time wasting trap and a necessary outlet for anyone who works from home.

It would be easier, with regards to blogging anyway, if I was content to write a DIY rag or a journal of what me and my boys did today; sell brands; fashion tips; mommy rants – the makings of many of mommy blog. I’ve dabbled with a few but none hold my interest long enough to really commit to a bi-weekly if not daily posting.

I am trying to slog through through my piles of laundry, list of errands, balancing the budget, keeping up with friends, getting together with other moms and their kids, plan meals, spend time with hubby, figure out who I am since talking with single, childless people leaves me feeling a lot more socially inept than I remember before having kids. The years since graduating from university are nearing four and my anxiousness to put my degree to work is mounting. Throw in learning a new menu at the restaurant I started working at a couple months ago and welcoming a Japanese exchange student into our home for a couple weeks, maybe I am being too hard on myself.

Still, the feeling remains.

Time’s up.

Thoughts still buzzing.

 

 

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Surprise wedding inspiration

Have you ever been to a surprise wedding?

You read correctly.

It was advertised as an engagement party but the happy couple announced about an hour into the party that they were in fact getting married that day!

Weddings make for great photos so this post is just to share some of those and lend some inspiration if you are planning a wedding.

 

wedding, kilt, dressed up, surprise day

Any opportunity for my husband to wear his kilt is readily taken!

 

 

delicious food

caramel, sweet n salty, chedder, jalapeno cheeder, regular

wedding

wedding ceremony, little guy, big guy, heads

 

spontaneous couple

 

having a blast, social guy, loving the atmosphere

beautiful women, all moms

Me with two beautiful women I love and admire, Les (mother of the groom) and my mother-in-law, Barb.

zebra, simplicity, symbolism

Zebras were a simple yet complimentary theme.

long day, wedding crasher

And this boy was partied out by the end.

What is the most interesting/fun/unique type of wedding you have been to??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Not so religious

It would seem I am not one of those “religious” people according to a friend of mine.

I didn’t know if it was a good thing or not that I am not seen as religious.

On the one hand, I don’t feel inhibited or shy about sharing what I believe, but apparently I don’t do so enough for others to realize it’s a big part of my life.

I have been trying to figure this out. There was a time that I had all the “Christianese” words, blessings and scripture verses to offer up. But honestly, back then, it was more for the sake of keeping with the Christian community and looking, talking, acting the part despite really having a naive understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ. Somewhere along the line, I realized that all my religion had really limited my view that faith belonged to “wholesome” individuals. Those who didn’t swear, didn’t struggle with addictions, spoke graciously (at least in public), wore modest clothing, etc. Albeit, these are all honourable and characteristics that can display what is in a person’s heart. But how many people have I known, have you known, who have said and done all the right things and lacked the most important thing of all? Genuine love.

This realization shifted my focus from trying to appear devout to simply accepting that nothing I do changes anything about what Christ has done for me.  I wanted to associate myself with being free in Christ, not bound by religion’s expectations. Religion was something that had earned some black stripes in the ugly history of the church. In the past, religious people have legitimized holy wars, slavery, witch burnings and so on. There are religious people who say they love Jesus and Jesus loves you and then ignore the hungry panhandler on the street. For all the good that has been done in the name of religion, there has been a substantial amount to devalue the true definition of the word.

We who follow Jesus call ourselves Christians. We come from all walks of life, not just the kind that grew-up in the church with a virtuous family life. There are those who have lived a harsh life on the streets, fighting, stealing, numbing their pain with a needle and those from broken, not so very virtuous families. Old habits die hard – it might be hard to tell that these people having a living faith because their faces show the harshness that the years have inflicted. Or on a tamer note, maybe they just aren’t virtuous people by nature and that is a constant battle with which they grapple. What does religion mean to these people? The societal view of religion seems to only stand as a barrier between the real Jesus and those who don’t know him.

Could I stand to be more of a evangelist? Sure. What I don’t want to do is put a wall up between me and those who don’t fit into my virtuous Christian bubble because I’m “religious.”

Those are some thoughts I have, but it’s a huge topic with a range of perspectives and determining life experiences. In any case, I am thankful to my friend for unintentionally challenging me to think about what how I might not be religious enough. 😉

contemplative, religion, faith, Jesus, society, bad rep


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Boating and a hot night in a tent

I asked my husband a question today.

“Is this experience worth the misery that goes with it?”

I was referring to our previous night spent in a tent at Jesse’s parent’s property. It was the first time camping with both boys and in the same tent! Getting them down went fairly well but when Jesse and I came to bed towards 11 p.m., Shae had woken,. The next two hours were spent trying to figure out where and with whom he would be most comfortable amidst the warm, muggy summer night air. It’s funny how long you can let yourself be kicked, rolled on and climbed over in the hopes that the toddler will just give up and fall asleep. I must have almost dozed off five or six times only to be abruptly pulled from bliss to the sound of Shae letting out a frustrated cry, waking Oliver yet again. When he did finally pass out at 1 a.m., it was time for the ever evading mosquito to taunt me as sleep beckoned. I gave up after half an hour of trying to locate the bugger with my flashlight. During the next three and half hours, I woke up twice on account of Oliver and the damn mosquito. By 5 a.m., Oliver was done with his night sleep and I had accumulated about 10 itchy bites.

Thankfully, my mother-in-law took Oliver off my hands so that I could go back to bed for a couple hours. The rest of the day was amazing. We sat around enjoying a prolonged breakfast of berries, yogurt and granola, coffee and good conversation with my in-laws and their friends who had also spent the night. Then we all got in the boat and puttered in and out of bays, enjoying the beauty of the cost, ciders in hand. The heat was pretty fierce, even on the water and my poor Oliver was not fairing so well and would not settle for a nap the entire afternoon until we went back home in our truck.

All that to say, “Is this experience worth the misery that goes with it?”

I mean it’s either we stay home and miss out on time with family and the kids get their naps and uninterrupted night sleep or…

The kids loose some sleep, have a pretty wild adventure (exploring the boat, walking along beaches, searching for starfish, getting off the boat to get ice cream and fish and chips, getting thrown into the water…) crash on the way home.

We concluded, yes, it is.

coast, boating, serious sailor, summer

Shae didn’t remember his first boating experience when he was only seven months old and took this first ride very seriously.

hot baby, watermelon, boating, summer

Keeping hydrated and cool.

summer, hot, ice cream, messy face, cute boy

Another way of keeping cool.

 


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Supporting the families of today and the leaders of tomorrow

I am increasingly looking for more ways to shop local and support small business. Living in a small coastal community, I see first hand how much of an impact on the economy it has when business is taken off the coast. It’s the difference between being able to live in a slower paced society free from rush hour traffic and congestion; attention grabbing signs enticing you to spend more money and not having to move to “the city” as us small town people call Vancouver and its neighbouring cities. It’s the difference between the coast being able to sustain families and young people and not just those with money.

5 reasons to shop small and local

  1. Money spent at local business goes back into our economy and promotes economic growth and stability (not a news flash but a good reminder).
  2. Small business often provide better service and are well educated on the product/s and services they offer leaving you the customer less likely to feel ripped off or like you bought something you didn’t need or even really want.
  3. Reduce environmental impact with less time used in transportation of goods and services.
  4. Decrease unemployment and create more jobs
  5. More diversification in products offered to cater to the individual needs and not corporate marketing plan.

 

It’s not always feasible but I believe that if we all make an effort whenever possible to shop local and purchase our produce from the local fruit stand or shop and take our vehicles to a local mechanic as opposed to a well known chain, we would see growth and prosperity within our communities and country as a whole.

Since starting my own business, I have grown a new appreciation for supporting fellow self-employed folks, especially young families and moms like myself who have little ones not yet in school. I would like to introduce you to a few small business (local within a hundred mile radius of Vancouver, B.C.) to provide some inspiration and ideas for how many various options there are in getting the products and services you require.

 

Happy shopping and keep it local!

support small business, economic growth and prosperity, communities, people, neighbours helping neighbours

 


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Thrifty Wears Thursday on Friday!

Try as I did, Thrifty Wears Thursday could just not happen yesterday.

I started off alright, donned a cute look and reached for my camera (although it didn’t happen as uninterrupted as that; you can be sure there were a couple rescuing the baby from the toddler and diaper changes in there).

And then my camera lens had an error that prevented it from opening.

No worries, that’s why I have two cameras.

Apparently though, my nifty Lumix point-and-shoot does not have the timed photo feature. I contemplated asking my two year-old to take a picture of me and swiftly dismissed that idea with a laugh.

Then I got my “selfie” on. Am I the only one who feels like a narcissistic dummy, taking shot after shot in search of one that can be deemed suitable for public display?

Well that’s as far as I got because I had to put my Oliver down for his morning nap, during which I planted Shae in front of Dora and dealt with a business order that was very time sensitive. This was followed by putting together a couple care packages that had to mailed last week. A glance at the clock indicated that my child had already been watching TV for half an hour so again, blog post was thwarted with a toddler who does not support my writing career.

I could detail the rest of the day but that’s boring. Suffice to say, there was just no time!

All that to say, Thrifty Wears Thursday has been bumped this week!

thrifty, resuse, clothing swap, artisania, selfie, fashion, cute apparel

Today’s outfit is almost entirely from clothes I snagged at a friend’s clothing swap. The top is Forever 21, the earrings are Colombian artisan that my sister-in-law picked up for me during her last visit, and the just above knee length skirt and leather/pleather bracelet have little brand value (not that I care!).

I share this with you not because I think I have fashion sense to impart to you but because I promote reusing clothing and show that you can still look good! I suppose in that sense, I do think my apparel is complimentary to those who prefer a casual and slightly “hippified” look.

Happy Friday everyone!