Tag Archives: friends

Be on a Radical Sabbatical in the Swiss Alps (with a shift)

Feeling surreal in Switzerland.

SURREAL.

GOBSMACKED.

GrateFULL.

Happy Sunday Funday Folks! This journey started on Friday morning.

The 11 months and 10 days we lived in Switzerland in 2004 were some of THE BEST and the darkest time of my life (besides watching my mama die!)

The darkness of living through depression and having no energy but to sleep, to be working in a difficult teaching environment, having Steve away training for volleyball each night and living in a country that is clean and exceptionally beautiful for a reason. They ‘control’ each other. I have never been yelled at more in my life.

The BEST moments meeting friends and students that are still in my life today, living in a pristine natural environment, travelling easily and learning more about myself.

We had such an incredible day on the Rigi.

Being back here now in 2019 with our boys is truly sublime.

Drove from beautiful Milan to the Rigi in the Swiss Alps.

With one stop in Locarno for our last Italian pizza and Calzone.

November 15th

Over 25 tunnels. (We lost count!)

One 17 kilometres long.

17 kilometres through this mountain!!
The tunnel! They do things right in Switzerland! **This picture was uploaded while driving THROUGH the tunnel. Unbelievable.

We arrived in Vitznau about 3 and a bit hours after leaving Milan. What an indescribable drive. I am not sure my pictures can even explain.

One Mountain Train (Rigi Bahn) straight uphill into the Swiss Alps.

Time Lapse of our 20 minutes ride up to the Rigi Kaltbad

We have snow folks!

Meeting old friends that we taught with and their wonderful eleven year old daughter.

A gorgeous place, an incredible meal and amazing hot pools. Kaltbad Rigi

Guten abend von de Schwiez.

November 16th

Guten morgen friends!

We started off with opening the hot pools before breakfast at 8:00am. We had a solo swim and play in the pools.

Then it was fruhstuck time here in the Alps. First, our super juice that helps our bodies deal with stress and goes everywhere with us. #partner

Keeping our super power juice cold!

After a buffet breakfast, we decided to head to the top of the Rigi via the Mountain Train and then hike down. What a gorgeous three hours. And God even gave us another rainbow, like He did on the Eiffel Tower and at Vimy Ridge.

How is it possible for a rainbow to be formed in light cloud without precipitation anywhere in sight?
On the top of the Rigi.

Now an afternoon of journaling, postcard writing, eating Swiss chocolate, shakes and German cookies!

Awe sweet boys! They are learning so much about people and culture.

PLUS another swim in the hot pools before dinner:

Dinner was many hours long, but the boys rocked it and luckily our friend’s play games like we do.

November 17th

This is THE shift! This morning at 7:20am, Steve headed down the mountain on the train to take two buses and another train to the Zurich Airport as he heads home, then travels to Mexico in five days for another fair.

I had tears this morning as we said goodbye. I love this man on so many levels.

We decided I would stay here with the boys until Steve is done his trip to Mexico. I will travel with the boys for 8 days in Germany visiting old friends and then back to Paris for 3 more days for some tourist activities. And surprises for the boys. 😉

BUT FIRST, one more morning on the Rigi, a get together with some Swiss friends at an old school bowling alley with a jukebox near Zurich, then back to Germany.

Hot pools at Hotel
Kaltbad.
A Berliner (donut) with Nutella. This guy is embracing the European life.
Morning game time after breakfast!
This wall in the restaurant was one of my favourite things to look at.
11:15am Mountain Train back to Vitznau.
1:00-4:00pm Get together in Zurich.

This is the building where we were…

Through that little brown door on the left lies surprises and beauty and bowling!

Then a 1.5 hour drive to one of our favourite spots in Germany with people living God’s plan through their lives and delivering a package from a mother’s heart to her daughter.

Finishing off the night with one of these… Sexy Neck would be proud! It was as good as I remembered.

Goodnight sweet friends from the Bodensee. Thank you to everyone for your kind words and for truly living these simple moments of an unfolding dream with us. I wish I could give you a HUGE HUG.

Be Thriving with the six to eight day per year peeps

Summer 2019 is here!

And its SURVIVAL mode for those people being inundated with company, people they see six to eight days per year. I had an epiphany to share with you, one to make you THRIVE this year.

First, start by thinking about those 365 day per year peeps in your life. Who are the people you live with or choose to have in your inner circle? What do you have in common with them and why do you choose to hangout with them? What do you talk about and what do you love to do together?

Now, think about those six to eight days per year people. Next proceed to throw everything that you thought about and love about your 365 day per year people and fling it directly into the bottom of the swimming pool. These peeps that are in your life six to eight days per year, may be old friends or family. They may be colleagues from your spouses work that you attend conferences with or neighbours you only see in the summer.

Here’s my secrets to not only SURVIVE but THRIVE with these peeps.

Remember that everything that you thought and love about your 365 day per year peeps has been flung to the bottom of the swimming pool, now throw any negative thought or judgement about the six to eight days per week peeps in there too!

Get ready to look at you: What are your standards for healthy relationships and how do you want to interact with all people, no matter how often they are in your life? For me, this is pouring love and bringing the joy. I don’t share much about my life or even feelings at all, with my six to eighters, I save this for my 365 days per year peeps. But I do have fun with everyone. We eat nourishing delicious food. We go on and find adventures. We talk about travel. We discuss health. But I do not go into the deep end! Remember all that stuff that you had flung down into the deep end of the pool? Don’t go there! Oh I used you and boy what a mess it made.

These six to eighters can’t keep up with the change that happens in the other over three hundred and fifty days of your life. They can’t embrace the change because it would be like getting hit by a fast moving train. The people who can keep up, are on the train. Invested in you. In your inner circle. Those every day peeps who support and love you. The six to eighters receive the benefit of your high standards and love-filled hospitality. But that’s it folks. You may end up talking about things you don’t give a shit about for hours, but you ask questions and listen. You probably will end up doing mind numbing activities that were never on your wish list, but you will discover the joy and enjoy the ride. You will create space to recharge with who you are as you live these six to eight days per year. I exercise. I read. I spend a lot of time locked in the bathroom. I bring games I enjoy playing. I bring up new topics of conversations and then change it back once I see the six to eighters eyes start to gloss over.

Imagine….

Pure joy.

Overflowing love.

Judgement thrown away.

Negative thoughts too!

Thriving with the peeps who show up six to eight days per year.

Staying on your train, but diverting long enough to embrace other peoples rides.

THRIVING!

Be Observing International Women’s Day

What is a better what to observe and notice International Women’s Day than with words and photos.

This wordsmithing woman threw together some words and founds some pics to show you the faces of the inspiring woman surrounding me.

May the women around you stand by you.

Lift you up.

Hold you up.

Pray you up.

And never stand you up.

The woman in my life that is ALWAYS very present was my Mama.

She made me a better mom to my boys, a more thoughtful friend, a more forgiving wife and always helped me to get over my temper tantrums.

I am grateful for all the women in my life.

If you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with, I am kick *ss.

These are the women in my life.

The ones that truly care and you know that they are there.

Ones that help you with your babies and your business.

Those who nurture your mind, heart and spirit.

Women that help you grow, that you may not even have in a photo. 😉

Thank you to all you wonderful women!

😘 Joanna

Be Rejected 

Sit with me today and ask yourself if you have ever been rejected. I mean really rejected, back-turning, door slamming, get the f* out rejected?  I also want to talk about the simple rejections that happen every single day as we live our lives.

Have you ever been dumped?

Rejection.

Have you ever applied for a job and not hired?

Rejected.

Have you ever apologized and had that person never speak to you again?

Rejection.

Have you put in a business or book proposal and received a denial letter?

Rejected.

rejected
In the sadness, anger and humbleness of rejection, what do we find?

A new way.

A new path.

A new resiliency.

A letting go.

Or holding tighter.

A fortitude to persevere.

Or a desire to walk away.

Rejection is a true gift, a branch of the gifts of grief.

It is ready for us to unwrap in every rejected moment.

gift-giving

We can choose our path with rejection.

We can envision rejection as a branch of a metaphorical tree.

Ponder, with me, how this gift of rejection can help us grow!

Perhaps rejection has come into our life because we have been growing roots in places that weren’t in rich soil.  We may have needed more light rather than darkness.  Or maybe something or someone new may have been needed in our life to bring us new living water. Rejection needed to create space.  Our branches may have needed some pruning so that we could have new growth in our life.

Rejected.

Rejection.

Light.

Growth.

Life.

All symbiotic and much needed in our lives.

Gratitude today for EVERY time I have been rejected in word, thought or deed.

Life-giving.

Gratitude-living.

Rejection.

Be rejected.

Be Celebrating a “Cann”tastic Christmas 2015 

Celebrating friendship, Jesus’s birth, family, and just being together!  We had an amaaaaazing Christmas.  Love a duck, I do have to say it was “Cann”tastic! 

    
 There were so many coincidences and blessings that came our way.  The opportunities we have to talk and sit with people were inspiring.

Skiing.

Skating.

Bowling.

Road Trip.

Lego.

Sleds.

Food.

And discovering a ski sign with our last name on it.

A “Cann”tastic Christmas! 

Be Sh*tty

Tonight, I sit and I ponder.

I stir things around.

In my mind.

In my spirit.

I allow the hamster wheel of thoughts go round and round.

I allow the thoughts to stop the wheel on “I feel sh*tty!”.

I am not one to swear, nor one to go towards the side of feeling sh*tty.

Tonight I do.

Feel.

Sh*tty.

I have a dear friend walking the same journey that I did two years ago.  After a hospital stay and doctors doing what they can to prolong life, my friend’s beautiful mama is going home to die.

I have one of my best peeps in KCity awaiting to see if she has cancer in her body.  She had a biopsy to have melanoma removed from her back last week.

I have a fellow volleyballers who’s servant-hearted Dad is living with Alzheimer’s.

There is a girl in the boys elementary school that starts life-saving, on your knees “hoping for a miracle” treatment for a brain tumour.  This sweet soul was also in Owen’s preschool last year.

My cousin is back in town from up north to have surgery, the second surgery in a few weeks.

And my three wee boys are under the weather.

So, what do I do?

I lean into the people who love me.

I spend time carving pumpkins.

I look at the beautiful autumn leaves.

I take a week off from my teaching job, to sit, to serve and to be.

An opportunity to be where I am.

Sitting with my feelings.

Feeling sh*tty.

With gratitude.

For all I can do.

All of my feelings.

Being a human being.

Be Finding Flow

Oh I want to rap this post, but my words will have to suffice. 

Flow. 

Flowing. 

Flow ‘in. 

I am in the flow. 

My flow is coming in the form of authentic communication.

Communication that is not trying to change someone by resonate WITH someone. 

Communication that flows like a piano duet.  

One part of the duet can be playing the low notes but they stay in harmony wherever they are in the song. 

The people that continue to come into my life, whether it is new or old friends, are part of this beautiful flow that exists in my life right now.  

Nothing holding me back.  

Playing notes side by side.  

Highs and lows. 

All flowing together.  

Where will you find your flow today? 

Will it be in communication?

In movement?

In music?

Alone?

Be find ‘in ya flow!

Peace out! 



Be an Across the Street Neighbour

I am walking upright.

In my comfy clothes.

Intentional about what I do.

Who’s paths I cross.

How much time I spend running around is limited.

I am quiet inside.

My grief is fatiguing.

Day after day, tears flow easily.

The depth of deep loss.

The beauty of great love.

Today, unexpectantly, I was ‘touched’ by two neighbours: L and J from Vtown and ‘Kind K’ from our new hood.

After school, I took the boys skating to the outdoor rink by the lake. It was
more like skate/swimming as it was ten degrees out. We had a great time. We were amazed when we saw these two faces stroll by:

IMG_7341.JPGProfessional pumpkin carvers.

Across the street neighbours.

Card sharks.

Wine lovers.

Great friends.

Dearly missed neighbours.

After skating, I walked in our front door and immediately heard a knock on the door behind me. It was our new neighbour from across the street. She brought me these:

IMG_7340.JPGShe lost her mom to cancer two years ago and she just wanted me to know she was thinking about us as we head into this Christmas season.

The power of neighbours.

The power of thought.

The power of being.

Being a neighbour, there is nothing like it!

I am grateful.

I am humbled.

I am hopeful.

Be Having a Pumpkin Party

What rituals or traditions do you have, intentional or unintentional?

I love me some traditions!

Yearly activities to look forward to.

Our God, seasons and people to celebrate.

Four years ago we started a pumpkin carving party with some very good friends. We have managed to make it happen every year, even during last autumn’s cancer journey with mom. Here are 2013 photos!

My heart overflows with gratitude for this incredible evening we got to share together carving pumpkins.

Simple fun.

Together.

Memory making.

Creating.

Laughter.

Competition.

Food.

Friendship.

Fun!IMG_6592.JPGIMG_6593.JPG

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Look at these creative people:

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Proud boys.

Their very own creations (with help from Papa, Lizzie and Princess Penny).

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