Tag Archives: humour

Be a Toastmaster

Do you feel like you have to increase your life insurance or at least put on extra deodorant when you need to speak to a group of people?

Have you heard of Toastmasters?

Are you afraid of public speaking?

Did you know Toastmasters started in 1924?

Do you find it difficult to listen?

Do you know you have a unique perspective to share with the world around you?

When a mentor of mine told me about his over twenty years with Toastmasters, I was curious. I had never heard of it, nor did I know what it was even about. After being asked to speak in front of adults at my company’s events, I knew I needed to checkout a Toastmasters meeting. Speaking to children is no problem for me. I even find it fun and feel like I can be one percent myself. Speaking to adults, makes my face turn crimson red and the sweat to start flowing down my back.

Thanks to Vic Lindal’s encouragement and support, I googled a local meeting time and went. The meetings are an hour long and there is actually a timer to ensure that we don’t go over time. There are prepared speeches, humour, impromptu conversations, evaluations and amazing growth that happens at every single meeting.

I have regularly been attending meetings for over a year. Jumped this September into the role of Secretary Treasurer. I can honestly say that Toastmasters has changed the trajectory of my personal growth, not only in my public speaking, but my ability to listen and lead small groups with growth.

Last fall, I was asked to speak, with a microphone in hand, to two hundred pre-service teachers and I loved every minute of it. This spring, I am preparing to speak to a thousand plus people about technology and our children at a local university. Speaking has become a place of peace and joy for me.

This last Wednesday at our Toastmasters meeting, I was the Toastmaster, the person who runs the meeting! We had the theme of Winter Wonderland and it truly was the most fun I have ever had as a speaker and leader. I introduced the “Toasties” who had prepared speeches. I kept things flowing and managed to keep us exactly on time.

Now that you have a bit of knowledge about Toastmasters, I encourage everyone to seek out a local meeting to attend to see what its really all about. See how it feels for yourself. You receive three meetings for free and the vibe at every meeting is different in every club. Our OC Toastmasters Club is fun, kind-hearted and growth-focused. We love and desire for everyone to contribute and bring their unique gifts to the meetings.

Now, I must come back to that last question I asked at the beginning. That one about your unique gifts. Find a way to feel comfortable sharing with others what you are passionate about and the unique gifts that God has given you. They are there, I promise you. If you can’t see them, talk to me and I will help you discover them. Once you know what they are, learn to share them, speak them out and listen to the gifts of those around them.

What a journey!

What a life!

Thank you Toastmasters for being the impetus for even greater learning and growth that I could imagine.

Be You/Do You 

Yup, do you!  

Two words that I heard a few weeks ago and they have been spiralling around in my brain like a bad swear word that you wouldn’t want to say in front of your mom.  It kind of sounds dirty but it was profound for me. 

I realized, in a light bulb moment that, I am doing so many other people in my daily life that I am forgetting to ‘do me’! 

Nothing like a good sexual innuendo, isn’t there!  

But, you know me and my fairly open-minded conservative diatribes, so what in the world am I talking about. 


What I am actually talking about is the beautiful metaphor of putting the oxygen mask on yourself before helping those around you.  

As I walk through my life I literally see people running out of air.  I watch them rush to drop off their children at school. Rush to pick them up.  Rush to activities.  Rush to make dinner.  I think you can see the ‘rush’ I am showing you.  This ain’t one of those good ‘rushes’, if you know what I mean!  They are holding their breathes through life, like I have the last few weeks.  

So, what am I suggesting that we do with this naughty analogy? 

🥇 First, stop doing everyone else.  Look around at the people in your life, look at your “to-do” list that you are creating on a daily basis and ask yourself “How many of these things on the list do I want to do?”  

🥈 Second, find a way to ‘do you’.  

Be you.  

From within you and then out to others.   

What pleases you? 

What do you enjoy? 

Doing you. 

How did I figure out how to live this “Do you” philosophy in life? Because really inspiring quotes and words are only great when we create some ‘action’ to go along with them.  Right?  Here’s what I did: 

I looked at the ambiance I wanted to create in my everyday life: I realized that I like having music playing while I make dinner and a candle lit when I am on Zoom calls for my nutritional coaching.  

I wondered about who I do in my life: I saw that I am able to have authentic, real and beautiful relationships without shame. I don’t have to stroll down the ‘walk of shame’ no matter what happens!  That shame thing was old stuff for me.  

Lastly, I looked at my assets and what I could give to the world: I realized I was giving away my greatest gift like a floozy, my time. I can choose what I want to do with my day and what I want to wear while doing it.  I am 100% responsible for my greatest asset, time.  I have started to treasure, organize and find freedom with my 86,400 seconds each day (and not be so free in throwing it away to anyone that walks by.) 

Ambiance. 

Relationships. 

Assets.  

How to ‘do you’! 

What are three simple things you could think of to ‘Be You/Do You’? I know it will be simple.  It may even be fun along the way.  Ponder all the energy and vitality you will have to share if you ‘do you’ first.  

No one else. 

100% you.  

Just you.  

Getting to know you.  

All day long. 

Do you! 

Be Boodangled by Bread

Have you ever been “boodangled”??

Scared and wanting to dangle my bread out the window.

I am a new Costco lover.

And a longtime gluten free eater.

But today I am boodangled as I looked at the expiry date on the bread that I bought.

IMG_9954[1]

Should bread I bought in May not expire until September?

I am scared!

Off to dangle my bread out the window and into the garbage can.

Boodangled!

Be Had by a Hat

I was gotten.

I was had.

By a hat!

IMG_8487[1]

In my beautiful, handmade salad dressing!

This little ditty started way back in 2009… SIX YEARS AGO.

It started with a cake and here is the story.

For over two years, this hat has now been going back and forth between my friend Double D and I.

Last week, I kindly asked my friend Double D if I could get some of her amazing, beautiful balsamic salad dressing that I think she should sell.  I pulled into her house on Friday afternoon, looking for her to jump out of somewhere and throw the hat into my car.  Previously, I had put the hat ten feet up in her tree when she was away on a relaxing weekend away.

I searched the bag and NO HAT!  I looked under the paper in the bag and NO HAT!

Whew!
Relief!

Joy!

Peace!

The hat was STILL in her hands!

But then, alas, I opened the beautiful jar of creamy, delicious handmade salad dressing.

IMG_8489[1]

I fell on the floor.

I groaned and I moaned.

And the boys laughed and laughed and laughed.

I WAS HAD BY A HAT!

A few boys are very happy about the hat!  CC has been wearing it ever since it arrived back in our home via salad dressing.  IMG_8488[1]

Dude!  Don’t mess with Double D.  She is one smart and creative woman!

Be Snowball, Bumps & Jumps and Magic Carpet Rider

Merry Christmas from our boys:

Three Year Old Magic Carpet Rider

IMG_7687[1]

Seven Year Old Bumps & Jumps

IMG_7686[1]

Five Year Old Snowball

IMG_7685[1]

Laughter in the midst of tears.

Winter amidst the desert.

Rowing my boat of grief.

Riding my skis down the slopes.

Taking it ALL in.

Living it now!

Deal with it now rather than later.

I ain’t no sweeping it under the carpet kind of girl.

But I do love riding the magic carpet too!

God is gracious to give me these three amazing boys.

I love you Magic Carpet Rider, Bumps & Jumps and Snowball.

Be Having a Papathon

I am sure you have heard of a triathlon or a duathlon or perhaps even the heptathlon from Olympic events.

But have you heard of one of the greatest sporting events to hit 2014? IMG_6941.JPGPapathon!

A weekend of activity.

Celebrating Papa’s 69th birthday.

Lovingly planned over two weeks by myself, thoughtful Sexy Neck and my three insightful boys.

Papathon began with swimming, a backyard eight hole golf course with prizes, cake, dinner out with my dad, sleepover then skating and brunch before Papa headed home. IMG_6942.JPG

IMG_6943.JPGWe tried to plan a three event weekend, like a triathlon, but it ended up being so much more than what we did.

IMG_6945.JPG

IMG_6944.JPG
Laughter.

Joy.

IMG_6946.JPGTears.

Grief.

Wrapping paper.

Gifts.

Necklace for Nana’s rings.

Lottery tickets.

Golf balls in a dump truck.

Steak dinner at our old favourite restaurant.

IMG_6947.JPG

Swapping lies.

Creating memories.

Celebrating life!

Pouring out love.

For our dear Papa!

Happy birthday Dad!

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.

20140610-160446.jpg
What a cute little tush!

Independence.

Positive potty excitement.

Wiping bums.

Washing hands.

Cheering brothers.

One very happy mama.

Freedom.

For all.

Be Painting with Small Brushes

The walls and kitchen cupboards (photos to come!) of our home are painted.

The outside will have to wait til warmer, more consistent weather.

Time to pick up the small brushes and paints Sexy Neck and the boys bought me for my birthday.

I was out for a sunset walk

20140516-224253.jpgand was inspired by these three trees:

20140516-224239.jpg
They reminded me of my three handsome boys.

I got home, picked up my brushes, started playing with paint colour and off I went.

20140516-224440.jpg
I thought about my wonderful boys.

I poured out love and joy through the paint.

I felt peace and happiness flowing through me.

I created this with my heart and soul.

20140516-224643.jpg
Small triumphs.

Being creative.

Soul care.

Letting go.

Laughing that this Type A jock is painting… and loving it.

Freedom.

To be.

Me.