Be Reading Beth Moore ‘Breaking Free’

I took this book off the shelf this week.

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I put it on the back of the toilet seat to open when I had a quiet moment while I lock myself in the bathroom.

Then I opened the book to this page:

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These last few weeks I have been in a dark tomb of anger, fatigue, sadness and again wondering how to live this new life in the light without my mom. I have many words tumbling in my head, most not rated G. I am thinking thoughts I have never thought and experiencing deep emotions on both ends of the spectrum.

I feel sadness that knocks me over as I watch mothers with their mothers. I cannot move but just stare when I see the grandmas picking up their grandchildren, filled with joy, from preschool. I want my mom by my side on my bike. I desire her steady presence and insight into my life.

I weep.

I don’t know what the next moment will bring, but my heart is full of gratitude for the gift of Beth Moore, books, my ability to read and God weaving everything together.

Holding on.

Tight.

Sitting in my grief.

Damn, it’s hard.

Knowing this will not overcome me.

Trusting.

Being grateful for the life I have.

In Christ alone.

Be in the Perfect Storm

The storm has poured down on me this year, raining on my head, sleet whopping the sides of my face, frozen eyelashes, paralyzing snow. I am in the perfect storm of GRIEF!

Death is disaster.

Devastating.

Debilitating.

Brutal.

I told someone three times in one conversation that I am not going to allow anything bad come from my mom’s life or death. Guess what?

Death is just bad.

Very, very bad.

Sorry, I can’t wrap this one in a pretty pretend ‘good’ package.

Just bad!

Moving sucks.

Lonely.

Agonizing.

Painful.

Trying to find where to get decent produce, gluten free bread and friends that are honest and not too busy flying around like hummingbirds.

Now a teacher’s strike affecting friends, family and dear Sexy Neck.

School ended last Friday for the summer, two weeks early.

The teacher’s strike for class composition, size and wages.

They walk, they wear signs, they do not get paid.

Their journey is honourable.

The negotiations are a schoolyard fight between two people speaking different languages. The teacher’s union and the Government.

The pressure the strike has put on families scrambling for child care and the administration (including Sexy Neck) still left inside the schools is unfathomable.

Most days I don’t ask. Can’t ask.

As I sit deeply in this year of grief layered with mom’s death, moving, watching dad grieve, watching friendships die and now the strike.

20140618-225722.jpg“The Perfect Storm” painted over the last week.
Let a new season come upon our family…

Soon?

Be Celebrating Fathers

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Thank you dad!

This Sunday, the boys and I planned an epic adventure focusing on Sexy Neck and Papa.

Breakfast in bed.

Biking.

Brunch.

Golf.

BBQing.

Let the day begin…

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We went on a 14.6 kilometre bike ride along the lake to Cafe Marmalade.

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We stopped at the car show at the park.

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We rode some more. “Hi Dad!”

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We arrived home with a few presents for the dads.

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Next, it was time to make brunch. The boys were tired but were so excited to make brunch.

Here’s our juice guy:

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Spelt Waffles from scratch:

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Scrambled eggs from our professional egg cracker and scratcher. (CC calls it scratching when you are moving the eggs around in the pan. )

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A little bit of golf then BBQ.

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Everyone is going to sleep well tonight.

Happy Father’s Day!

Fatherhood.

Solid foundation.

Strength.

Humility.

Love.

Dad.

Sexy Neck.

Be Saying Adiós to Diapers

Have you ever made a commitment to do something every day, many times per day for SEVEN years?

I didn’t, but it happened. How, I don’t really know.

I have changed diapers for exactly 7 years, 2 months, and 3 days starting on Friday, April 6th, 2007 and finishing up my diaper changing career yesterday, on Monday, June 9th, 2014.

I have had my fair share of help, Sexy Neck, my mom, random visitors and even my dad have lent a hand.

I think I need a certificate on my wall to mark this day, that’s a lot of bum and crevice wiping as well as money. We probably spent around sixty bucks per month on diapers. Math is not my strong suit, but we spent over NINE THOUSAND dollars on diapers. Woah! (Side note: Sexy Neck, the Math teacher, has informed me that it is more like $5,200, but still a lot of money. Thanks for reading the blog honey and for correcting my Math. We can thank Mr. Crampton for my confused Math skills.)

We are very excited to be starting our diaper-free life.

OC has been ready for many months but after our trip up north and seeing baby G in diapers, the deal was sealed. The diapers disappeared all together. Bye bye diapers. Now the trip training, high fives, floor cleaning, extra laundry and loud cheers ensues for the next few weeks while OC masters the skill of going in the toilet or on the pee tree.

* Just a note about what is ‘trip training’ for all my new mommy friends. The best thing is that you don’t have lengthy discussions or ask multiple times per day, “Do you have to go potty?”. I take OC to the potty at regular times, when I go or the brothers go or before we leave the house. We take a trip to the potty, no questions asked. No screaming or crying for anyone and no special rewards. Just us and our books relaxing on the toilet.

Here are our favourite potty books and OC in ‘action’! We laugh and laugh and laugh about Liam’s poo in the toilet. We relax and read and take deep breathes et viola. Poop in the potty.

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What a cute little tush!

Independence.

Positive potty excitement.

Wiping bums.

Washing hands.

Cheering brothers.

One very happy mama.

Freedom.

For all.

Be With Peeps in the North

A long road north.

Incredible companions.

My boys hearts soared.

Freedom.

Family.

Friends.

Tears flowed.

Time was shared.

Memories created.

Life interwoven.

Past.

Present.

Future.

Celebrating my mom.

Holding a new baby.

My heart overflows.

I pray these photos capture one tenth of this deep, rich trip north to my roots, my branches and my growing fruit.

Glory to God alone for how He weaves EVERYTHING together for good.

Thanks for welcoming me home PG!

Our time with Auntie M, Uncle J and our new baby cousin was sacred and beautiful.

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We also spent time at lake with some very ‘old’ friends.

Past shared moments.

Birthday parties.

Sleepovers.

Walks to school.

University debacles.

Sports teams.

Now our children meet.

My boys meet these incredible women.

Sharing life.

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Visiting mom’s spot in PG! It was a ‘thin place’ for me. We put two types of silk flowers, shells, a silver butterfly and rainbow loom bracelets by JC and CC in the brass base marking Nana’s spot at the cemetery.

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My grandparents:

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See you soon PG!

Be Living with Memories

Memories have been sliding down my cheeks more often these days. In the quiet moments, when the boys talk of their beloved Nana and when I witness my dad’s own tears. I still cannot make ‘sense’ of this new existence without mom. It is completely unbelievably real. The living with ONLY memories is bringing me to my knees. This is neither good nor bad, it just is.

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I have the privilege of being on the front line of receiving mom’s things as dad is ready to let them go. First it was food in the cupboard then mom’s cosmetics, then shoes, jackets and now her clothes. I readily take these beautiful things with tears in my eyes. The memories of mom wearing the clothes and seeing things she had purchased to wear this spring that I am living RIGHT NOW is very difficult to comprehend. (Two biking shirts in particular brought tears to my eyes.).

Here is batman (aka CC) pointing to the two boxes of spring clothes I have of mom’s:

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Unfolding.

Folding.

Memories.

Laying down.

Sitting in it.

Sitting with.

Memories.

As mom’s clothes sit at one end of our unfinished basement, I have been sorting through our boxes of memories at the other end on my newly painted white shelf. What does one do with old yearbooks, jerseys, trophies… Are my children going to want these things? Do I want my children to be going through them. Perhaps my work now is to make space for them to create their own memories.

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Unpacking.

Packing.

Memories.

Letting go.

Giving freedom to it.

Providing space for.

New memories.

Be Painting the Door Blue

Last week, I had white paint on my arm and a family friend that I don’t see very often asked, “Are you still painting?” Yes, last week it was a white shelf for our basement. This week it was our front door.

I paint when the boys nap or in the evening when they are asleep. I find these ‘down times’ are the hardest times to negotiate without my mom’s presence. The memories and sense of loss come often and quickly these last weeks.

I am still in the boat on the ocean of grief. The waves have been still and the sun on my face, but on the horizon I sense a storm brewing. One year ago was when I first started noticing mom wasn’t well. Last June, we were living with mom and dad as we renovated our house. They went to VCity to help my sister. They had a night away at The Hill spa, but all was not well with mom. She thought she had a bladder infection, but how could we know the path that we were heading down…

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So I paint.

I ponder.

I remember.

I keep moving.

Living.

Trying to make sense of a senseless time.

Holding tight to my faith.

My brush.

My day.

One step at a time.

When we lived in Vtown, we had a great intentional friend and neighbour who was very present in our daily lives. Here she is:

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Lizzie in her backyard with the boys.

She has the most beautiful blue door. It is stunning with a handmade stained glass window:

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I decided our front door needed a pick me up colour. Blue it is!

Before I painted the door I drew hearts for our family and every visitor that comes through the ‘threshold’ wishing us all the fruit of God’s spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.

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Love.

Joy.

Peace.

Patience.

Kindness.

Goodness.

Faithfulness.

Self-control.

I pray that all these qualities roll over and through each of us this day no matter the colour of our door.

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