Tag Archives: children

Be The Reason, Not The Excuse

“I don’t have time.”

“My children are too little.”

“My work is too difficult.”

“I don’t have a bathing suit.”

“My home is too far away.”

Excuses pouring through our thoughts and out of our mouths.

Another excuse to do something that you really want to do.

At 6:15am this morning.

My son taught me about the importance of turning my excuses into my reasons.

At 6:15am this morning.

Looking like this carrying his towel and goggles into the swimming pool:

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He had watched me compete in a triathlon on the weekend.

He decided he wanted to start training too!

At 6:15am.

Imagine if I had used my children as an excuse not to train.

Imagine if I would have used my busyness as an excuse not to sign-up.

Imagine if I would have used my body as a excuse not to put my shoes or bathing suit on.

My children, my life, my body are MY REASON!

This is why I do what I do!

What excuses will you choose to turn into your reasons?

Imagine what possibilities could happen!

WOOOOOOAH.

Smooch, Joanna

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As always, feel free to join in on the action on Facebook! Share your reasons!

Be Celebrating Another Nana

This post has been percolating in my mind for many months.  Stewing, forming, mashing all up together in my head and within the deepest part of my heart.

How could I best pour out my words for another beautiful, vibrant, gardening Nana?

Tonight, I just decided to sit down and write.

Tonight, I am celebrating another Nana.

I remember one day after dropping JC off at school in Vtown, a very good friend of mine K walked up to me in the parking lot.  I am not sure where the little boys were, but K and I ended up standing in the parking lot and she shared her news.

Her beautiful mom, Wendy, was diagnosed with cancer and they didn’t think it could be cured.
WUMP!

If you know my friend K, you know both her mom and her dad.  Like my parents used to be, their lives were woven throughout the fabric of their grandchildren and children’s lives.  Nana Wendy was a Super Nana, just like my mom.

I didn’t know at the time, but K and I would walk similar journeys as grieving daughters and mom’s of young children as we watched our Super Nana’s and mom’s live and die with cancer.  My mom wouldn’t be diagnosed until many months later and would pass away two years before Nana Wendy.

On December, 29th, 2015, just two short months ago, I was able to be present and sit as K and her family celebrated Wendy’s life.  Ironically, it was two years to the day that we had celebrated my mom’s own life.

Wendy’s celebration of life was truly remarkable and not something that I soon will forget. Candles were lit.  K read a beautiful poem.  Her brother shared his mom’s life story and some humour to go along with it.  K’s daughter shared her heart.  Family and friends shared stories.  It was the most lighthearted, beautiful, inspiring, celebration of life I had seen.  I felt like I had the opportunity to sit with Wendy, getting to know her more through her family, while in her garden.

This moment reminded me about the depth of character, which we all have, that allows us to grieve deeply, yet celebrate a life.   This same depth allows us to smile at little children and be grateful for an unborn baby that K’s brother’s family was expecting, while feeling sadness about the loss.

Life is created in these beautiful seeming “opposing” moments, created by amazing families, like K’s!

It is about embracing all of lifes beauty at all times.

I am extremely humbled to call K my friend and to have journeyed this passage of time with her through cancer treatments, hospital stays, time in hospice and celebrating our moms lives and deaths.

With gratitude, I pour out these words.

With humbleness of heart for being able to watch this journey unfold.

With a great lump in my throat for the loss we both endure.

With sadness for our children that have lost their Super Nanas.

With love pouring out because of how our mom’s lived their lives.

To the max!

With laughter.

With a good book at their side.

A beautiful garden to tend to.

And a family that deeply misses their presence.

Hugs to our Nanas in heaven.

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Be the Gift of a Vomit Bowl

After my mom died, there were few things that I asked for nor wanted.

Stuff just doesn’t hold much “significance” for me.

One thing that we did take was the two blue bowls that my mom had during her cancer journey.

It wasn’t until this morning that I understood the significance of these bowls and the gift that I had been given.

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Last night, my oldest threw up, eleven times… yup, we counted.

We slept for about two hours and now we are into our day, living our life.

I have learned that we don’t live in a world where everything is perfect or where everything will go as we planned.  BUT we can find comfort in chaos and beautiful moments while cleaning a vomit bowl.

My Sexy Neck sent me this text after JC and I’s long night:

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The gift of watching my mom vomit over and over and over again as she journeyed through cancer.  My mom and I would laugh as we were the two most squeamish members of our family when it came to vomit.

The gift of a bowl to help my children and to be able to walk with them through their sickness.

New beginnings.

New Learnings.

A blue bowl.

The gift of a messy, marvelous life that my mom lived fully.

My own messy, marvelous life that I live with in freedom and grace.

Be Wondering About Weather

As fall turns into winter, there is much discourse about the temperature, the wind as well as the white stuff falling from the sky.

Yesterday, as OC and I walked to preschool, I wondered when does a delighted, excited child turn into a grumbling complaining adult weather watcher?

IMG_7242-1.JPGFeeling alive.

Wind on my face.

My son at my side.

Walking into the weather.

There is a storm a brewing.

Be Seeing Green!

We went to visit Papa.

We saw one of these:

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But it was green.

It was the exact green transport ambulance that brought my mom from the hospital to hospice house last Christmas.

And what did my three year old say as we drove by this green transport ambulance:

“Mom, look! An ambulance! We can tell it to go to heaven, get Nana and take her to Papa’s house!” 

I wish son!  I wish!

My three year old thinks an ambulance took Nana to heaven.

He now calls my parent’s house, Papa’s house.

He wants to bring Nana back to Papa too!

Me too, son! Me too!

In sadness.

With gratitude for these moments with my boys.

Goodnight!

Be Saving a Seat for Nana

I am continually amazed by my children’s insight and childlike faith. I have discovered a deep understanding of the meaning when God asks us to have ‘faith like a child’.

Last night, I shared about the storm that exists for me in my rowboat of grief. I choose to show my grief to Sexy Neck, a few close friends and privately in my laundry room. I don’t expect my children to heal me, distract me or provide for my emotional well being. I sit with them in their grief but don’t expect them to sit with me in mine. But I am always surprised at how God uses them to teach me.

After I wrote yesterday’s blog post, the boys came to get Sexy Neck and I to watch a show. Wasn’t I surprised when I saw three chairs waiting for the ‘Up and Down’ show. The boys seated us and exclaimed as they pointed to the middle chair, “This one is for Nana!”
20140829-120047-43247275.jpg Nana always loved watching the boys shows, school performances and activities.

Childlike faith.

Ever present Nana.

God’s blessing.

Peace.

Love.

Be Hearing Night Night from Nana

I looked out the car window and saw the sun setting through the cloud. I exclaimed, “A slice of heaven!”

Almost three year old OC said, “Nana in heaven!”

Then we had a family discussion on what being dead means.

OC piped up, “Nana talk to me.”

Our seven year old added, “She talks to me too!”

I asked them what does she say.

OC said, “Night night. From her house in heaven.”

Enough said.

Night night everyone. 20140725-212805-77285465.jpg