Tag Archives: mom

Be Leaving a Legacy 

Words often can’t do moments justice, except maybe if you are an Inuit person who has fifty words to describe snow. 

Today, I had an incredible moment where my mom showed her heart and the legacy that she has left myself, my boys, her family and her friends.  I pray that my words will do this moment justice.  

Since my mom died three years ago, there are a few memory making places that I haven’t been back to because of circumstances or choice.  The beautiful Cottage Day Spa with the extraordinary human being, Pam, was one of those places I chose not to go.  The Cottage Day Spa holds a very special place in my heart as it is a place where my mom felt peace and was truly cared for, in body, mind and spirit.   Pam has a gift to share and a beautiful Cottage to share it in.  


For my mom’s last birthday, I planned an elaborate surprise birthday party including a limousine scavenger hunt, poster collage, brunch at her favourite restaurant and an afternoon with Pam at The Cottage for a facial.  

Jump forward three years and I hadn’t made an appointment to see Pam. Before Christmas of this year, was when I ran into Pam for the first time.  I hadn’t seen her in years.  I then ran into Pam a second time in the parking lot of our ski hill about a month ago and I knew it was time to go back for a visit. 

Today, I stepped into The Cottage Day Spa.  The memories of coming with my mom enveloped me. She was always so full of joy coming here.  Truly free and truly happy. Today, I was shocked when I sat down and Pam pulled out this note from my file: 


Before my mom died, she paid for my treatment today! Pam honoured my mom’s legacy gift to me from over three years ago and today I was given the most relaxing, kind, beautiful, mom-inspired facial.  

Legacy. 

Living legacy.  

Loving. 

Learning.  

Giving.  

Thoughtful.  

Kind. 

My mom’s legacy.  

What will you be leaving as a legacy through your thoughts and deeds? 

My hope is to leave a legacy of:

✨ My love of ALL people. 

✨ Being a river of money, constantly supporting and passing on. 

✨ Home being a place of peace and joy. 

✨ My desire to be strong and athletic.  

✨ My moments of creativity and inspiration through solitary actions of writing, painting and photography. 

✨ My gratitude for God’s divine moments in our lives woven through people, greatness, mistakes and living imperfectly perfect.  

My legacy. 

My mom’s legacy.  

My inheritance.  

My heart interwoven through her constant encouragement and presence in our lives. 

Forever and always. 

Amen. 

Be Wondering About Writing

As I wonder and wander through my daily life and hangout with my peeps, many of you have asked, “What are you going to be writing next?”

A few of you might now be wondering, “What do you mean next? What happened to the book that I have been editing for the last year?”  Well this happened:

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I decided that this beautiful book about finding freedom on the inside and outside as a human being was just for ME!  And here is the book cover:

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Yup, it took me slightly over a year to edit and I decided to put this little baby into the filing cabinet.  And I feel free!  It was just for me.  It has been an incredible year of growth and seeing it written on the pages of a book over twelve chapters has been humbling and freeing!  I released it into the filing cabinet and for the last two weeks I have been wondering what WILL I be writing next?

I write every morning to pray and meditate over.  I write to hold and create my vision.   I write to pour out from within.  I allow my words to come out from pen to paper without judgement and without stopping.  It just flows from within, uninhibited, flowing wherever it wants to go.  I write to edify others.  I write to pour out inspiration on facebook.  I write because words do matter, they are the sword of the spirit.  They come from within and wield power.  My sword is covered with white chocolate and is meant to be sweet and easy to savour.  I pray my words always fill the sweet spot in your soul!

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Now what am I going to write, I wondered? And then I remembered these beautiful journals!  Letters to my boys that I started writing when I was pregnant with each of them.  Letters that I wrote daily or weekly about what I was observing as I have the privilege to watch them grow.  Writing between a mama and her boys, from my heart to theirs.  I stopped writing when my mom was living with cancer and since 2013 these journals have moved homes and sat in a cupboard.   And now as I have been set free from the book I completed, I am now going back to my boys.  Backwards to move forward.  Slowing down to speed up.  Writing to them, for them and with them as I watch them grow!

If writing isn’t your thing, what will you wonder about and where will it take you?

Wonder.

As you wander.

Be a human being.

Be present.

Be awake.

Be.

Enough.

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Be Living A Brut-iful Life!

img_8886 As I sit, ponder and let my mind wander, I think of all of you reading this 2017 message. Each of my Facebook friends and all 996 of you that follow my blog. I want to pour out extra love to everyone going through their sprinkling of brutal and beautiful as I did three years ago.  Couldn’t that be all of us?  Isn’t life imperfectly perfect?  What a brut-iful life we are living here in the stunning Okanagan Valley!  A sprinkle of brutal, but ALWAYS beautiful!

Three years ago, I walked with my mom as she was being released into heaven.  I walked as a daughter, an advocate, a pain reliever, a massager, a water getter, a midwife and had to make phone calls that I never thought I would have to, I think back at how brut-iful these moments were.  Brutal moments where I just have to lie down and cry and beautiful moments where I lie down and rejoice!  All magically weaved together into living each day with the gift of grief.

My boys were playing in their “Astronomer’s Lair” a few days ago, and I was very surprised to walk in and see them playing with old Tupperware bins.   I experienced one of my brut-iful moments when they proceeded to inform me that the extra bed was a place for their beloved Nana.  It was a lying down rejoicing and crying kind of moment!  The boys were 2, 4 and 6 when my marvelous Mama went to heaven, but she is still very much present in our lives!   It is slowly moving from brutal memories into beautiful moments.  Don’t underestimate your power to leave an impact on peoples lives!

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As I send  you wishes for an healthy, energetic, adventurous 2017 filled with dreams, may you savour all your brut-iful moments knowing that they are neither good nor bad, they just are.

Day by day.

Beautiful.

Brutal.

Memory-Making.

Healthy.

Living EVERY day.

Brut-iful living.

Brut-iful life!

Smooch, Joanna

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Be In Relationship or Right? 

As I lay my head down on the pillow, I ponder relationships, as I often do.  My peeps.  My random people.  All humans who crossed my path today.   

I shower gratitude over the people in my everyday life: our neighbours, our friends, our teachers, our coaches, our secretaries, our service industry works.  

I feel sadness and wonder what I could do with those ‘lost’ relationships.  I wonder about what I could have done differently and I often come to the conclusion of: NOTHING. 

As I lay my head down on the pillow, I realize that some people would rather be right than be in relationship.  It is truly their way or the highway.  They actually like to be “highway patrollers” telling others how to drive on the highway of life.  For me, my patrollers, are no longer in relationship with me because I didn’t do what they wanted me to do.   I don’t want to drive my vehicle in their style.  They are right and I am wrong.   And I am totally okay with that! 

I may be wrong but I walk in freedom.  Complete and utter freedom.  As a recovering perfectionist, I am no longer afraid of wrong.  I am no longer afraid to fail.  I am failing faster than ever before as I learn about fueling my body and moving out of my comfort zones. (Because we all know that this is where the magic happens!)   I believe our greatest learning happens when we pick ourselves up after we fall down. I am no longer afraid of others judgements or insight in my wrongs.  I am too busy growing myself. I honestly don’t have time or energy to judge what others are doing. Plus, I value relationships over being right. 

I love my peeps, where we can talk honestly and opening about where we are at.  Our lives aren’t all glossy like a magazine cover, it is like a gorgeous diamond bracelet with the shine and shadows.   No one is striving to be right nor wrong but to be in relationship.  

Loving. 

Laughing.  

Learning.  

Living.  

In relationship! 💛

(This post is written in celebration of a group of women who met this morning to share the life and death of their beautiful mamas! #griefgirls) 

Be Golfing and Hobbling Away on Mother’s Day

Golfing on Mother’s Day!  Yup, that’s what I chose.

It’s a comfortable place for me.

I had my high school graduation dinner at a golf course, my wedding rehearsal dinner, my grandfather’s ninetieth birthday party and many weekend meals.   I also spent a year trying to keep up to my amazing older cousins as a junior member!

Golf was my place for this mother’s day.

A place to laugh, wack a few balls, put a hole in one and just enjoy being outside and active with my boys.  Isn’t that the best place to be my fellow Mamas of active children?

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After golf, I thought it would be a fabulous idea to try a new yoga class with my fellow triathlete competitor and Mama from last Sunday, Joan!

She may be cursing me now and I may not be able to walk tomorrow.  That seventy-five minute class was harder than my triathlon last week! I laughed all the way through class as I stretched and moved.  Anyone know the chair pose?  Try that one with a block between your thighs over twenty times!   I am laughing all the way to bed as I hobble there.  I may need help getting out of bed tomorrow!  Bahhhahha…

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Happy Mother’s Day my beautiful friends!

May you continue to live life trying new things.

Outside your comfort zone.

Discovering new muscles in your body and mind.

Create space for new.

Enjoying the people that come across your path.

With smiles and joy.

Loving up those close peeps in your life!

Smooch, Joanna

Be Off Track

I was a racehorse running a race on a track that I hadn’t signed up for.

Living the life that I thought was expected.

Trying hard to be ‘good” to all people, but myself.

I was running hard and fast.

I was constantly pushed around the track by the daily winds and the other horse and riders.

Feeling like I could never train enough, do enough or be enough to run the race.

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One day my main cheerleader, my amazing listener, my main supporter, my incredible mama died.

This horse stopped dead in her tracks.

I chose to hit the pasture in the middle of the race course.

I made a decision to eat some of the best food on the planet right now.

I decided to rest with the other horses on the inside of the race course.

I stopped in my tracks.

I went off track!

Yup, that’s me in the middle of the race course hanging out, living out of this race called life.

I am off the track.

AND I FLIPPIN LOVE IT!

My expectations on myself and those I choose to be in relationship with are GONE!

My idea of what my life could look like has completely changed.

My time is precious, the greatest gift that I can share on this earth.

I am full of gratitude!

I am able to be myself.

Full of thoughts tumbling in my head and words pouring out of my fingers as a Wordsmith.

Energy radiating out of my being as I move through my day.

Love flowing from my heart for those I see living life around me and through the beautiful medium of Facebook.

Peace sitting within my being as I hold and allow myself to be imperfectly where I am.

Honest, authentic and often waaaaaaay to blunt for some people’s likings.

Yup, me hanging out off track!

AND DID I TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE IT?

Love a duck, I am the most fortunate woman in the world.

I have found my path in life, the way I am meant to wander.

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Off track.

In the trees, like I am ten years old.

Playing in the powder with my boys.

Full of emotion, wet kisses and lots of hugs.

Having the time of my life as I play, make mistakes, learn and LIVE in all areas of my life!

I am alive!

Off track.

AND LOVING IT!

 

 

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 Doing What You Don’t Normally Do

I never go to “The Mall”.

Sorry folks, this is just not a place that brings me energy nor life.

The fluorescent lights.

Air conditioning.

And all those choices.

Whew!

Not my thing!

BUT, today I decided to do what I don’t normally do.

I WENT TO THE MALL!

Yup, all six foot of me, walked in and through the mall for a whole ten minutes.

I had not idea what I was doing.

Until, I ran into these two:

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Linda and Lil.  

Linda my good friend, mentor and Principal in Vtown.  And Lil, her friend from Saskatoon.

The craziest thing is that Linda is wearing a coat that my mom had given me as a teacher, that I had passed on to Linda when I gave birth to JC and didn’t think I would return to teaching.

My heart overflows.

My time with these two lovely women was amazing.

The reminder of my mom was a lovely moment.

Heartfelt.

Wonderful.

Women.

I think I may need to go to the mall more often.

Nah!  I think I just need to keep doing things I don’t normally do!

Be Wondering “What to Wear!” NO MORE!

Today is another epic day…. as I head into the second autumn season of life without my mom, I am stretching myself to do things I have never done and I am asking for a ton of help.

On my knees, humbled, baking cakes and asking for help.

Most people don’t know this, but my mom was the force behind my wardrobe for most of my life.  Every Christmas and birthday, I was very, very excited to see what my mom had picked out for me.  (Well, maybe I wasn’t so excited during those teen years!)  For the last two years, my wardrobe has been floundering a little bit.  When you open the bottom drawer of your dresser and wonder, “How did all those black yoga pants and tights get in there?”, you know that you need an intervention.   You know when Sexy Neck dawns the doors of Lulu to buy some undies, that things are getting a bitter tattered and worn.

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Today, I am getting a wardrobe intervention.

I have hired a professional!

A person who comes into your home.

Flings open the closet and dresser drawers.

And takes a close look at what is going on in there!

I have done a whole garbage truck full of inner work and now I am very humbled to have Michelle from “What to Wear” come to help me create a matching outside.   I want a suit of armour to wear as I venture into new realms of possibility and begin living my amazing dreams as an author, professional network marketer and present Mama, always and forever.  I am not sure how Michelle is going to get this six foot frame into something other than jeans, summer skirts and black yoga pants, but I am very open to see what she has in store.

Plus, I am excited to never have to ask “What to wear” again?

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She even asked me to fill out a form ahead of time… you know that we are off to a great start because I do love my forms!