Sunday, October 31, 2010

trick or treat?

My little lamb.

And my hungry shark.

He couldn't get enough of the candy. {I wonder where he got that from?}

We did some trick or treating in the mall where it was a bit of a mad house but Noah got the hang of this "trick or treating" business {it was also a lot warmer inside than out!}.

I'm totally eating candy as I type this.

The beauties of parenthood.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

letting go

Today was a beautiful day.

It was cold. The air had a bite to it that made me wish I had worn my jacket as I left the gym this morning.
It rained off and on today cancelling our plans to go to Strom's Farm with our staff team.

But it was a beautiful day.

I made stew in the slow cooker. Then someone in need came to mind. I called her and asked if she wanted some dinner for tonight. Perfect timing. What a blessing for ME to be able to give to her and her family.

Is it selfish to want to give because of how blessed it feels to give?

We had our staff team over for dinner tonight. I have always loved having people over but I continue to feel more and more comfortable about hosting and hospitality in my home; mess and all. I am not perfect, nor do I want to give off that impression. At some point {not too long ago}, I did want to appear the perfect wife/mother/house keeper.
But I am not.
I have a love of nice, beautiful, lovely, delicious things and so I will always strive to make my home nice, beautiful, lovely and a place of delicious things, but I am learning to let go.

To let go of the crumbs and the dust and the awkward set up and the toys randomly strewn about. To let go of worries and comparisons {the worst} and doubts and fears.

I want to be known. I want to know others.

I want to have a busy, noisy home full of laughter and joy and smiles and memories.
I am taking steps {little steps} to get there.

my thoughts

Light shining through the cup. Focus in the midst of mess & chaos. I want my life to be like that. Focused in the midst of the inevitable mess & chaos.

There is so much swirling around in my mind these days; bullying, yoga, Uganda, breastfeeding/bottle feeding, winter & fall, Christmas, birthdays, personal revival, loving and dreaming big things for Jamie, Children's church, working out and losing weight. So much. Too much. At least for a blog entry. Or even two.

But I did make an awesome pasta salad for lunch today! {Check out the Strickly Food tab for the latest and greatest.}

My house needs cleaning and tidying {when is that ever not the case?}, I need a shower {post-gym}, I need to open my Seeking Him study book and spend time with Jesus, I need/want to bake, cook, give, serve, love, grow.

When I'm old and grey I want to be sweet and kind and gentle; not bitter, judgmental and harsh. To get there when I'm old and grey I need to become sweet and kind and gentle today and not hope it happens when I turn 73.

*an extremely disjointed post, but I needed to write before too much time passed and I got stuck with not knowing where to start.

Monday, October 25, 2010

three years later - the birth story

Three years ago my sweet first born, Noah, was born.
I realized after scouring his old blog that I never blogged about his birth story.
So three years later, here it is:

Noah was originally due on my birthday. Actually, originally he was due on my Dad's birthday {4 days after mine}. But the midwives moved up the date to my birthday. I secretly {or not so secretly} did not want to share my birthday. I knew having kids was going to rock my world and I would learn a whole new meaning of self-sacrifice {and how to love it, too} and I wanted just a little piece of me to be all mine.
Well, my birthday came and went and other than losing my mucous plug that day, life went on.
4 days later...
I woke up at 5:45am feeling restless and so I sat up to go to the bathroom and thought I heard a small *pop* inside me and immediately felt a small gush. I rushed {as fast as I could at 40 weeks + 4 days} to the bathroom and sat on the toilet for a few minutes.
It was then that I started to feel menstrual-type cramping. In fact, it was exactly like menstrual cramps so much so that I thought,
"Oh yeah. I forgot about these bad boys."
I cleaned up and went back into our room and told Jamie,
"Um, I think my water just broke and I think I'm having contractions. But they're so mild, I don't really know." {You never really do for your first.}
We both knew that everyone tells you just to go back to sleep and so I tried, but I couldn't so we timed the contractions {or at least tried to} but they were coming so close together that it was hard to tell when one ended and the next began. They weren't too bad at this point and I could walk around and do things.
To be honest, I have no idea what I did for the next couple hours. It's like my memory of those hours is gone. It's bizarre, really. But I do know that the contractions picked up in intensity and so around 7:45am we called the midwives. They showed up sometime after 8am and by that time I was moaning a little bit and breathing deeply with each contraction.
They attempted to check to see how far I was dilated and when the midwife apprentice said,
"Conservatively I'm going to guess 5-6cm."
I almost yelled,
Because everyone tells you how long your first is going to take. How you'll have so much time to wander the house, watch movies, eat, bake, go for walks around the block, etc.
The next little bit was pretty intense. We hadn't set up our room or bed for the birth {oh yeah, we were planning a home birth - I didn't mention that} so the midwives and Jamie were rushing around trying to find everything that I had bought, but hadn't put out in a clearly marked basket. Poor Jamie had to keep coming and asking me where stuff was. I don't actually remember being annoyed with him, but I do remember that shortly after I started going through transition except I had no idea that this is what was happening.
It wasn't until my midwife came over and laid her hand on my shoulder and said,
"It's okay, you're going through contractions. You are doing amazing." {Again, I wanted to shout, WHAT?!? Because I did not believe I was progressing so quickly and almost at the end/beginning.}
Clearly my panicky moans/wails/moos were cluing her into how far along I was and next she said,
"We're going to try and walk down the hall to your room during your next break."
Again, no recollection of walking down that hall, all I know is I got there and crawled up onto the bed on my hands and knees.

After checking to see how far dilated I was again, I was told I could start pushing whenever I felt the urge. Within seconds of hearing that, I felt this body-controlling, amazing urge to push and so I pushed.
I pushed and I pushed and I pushed and they {there were 2 midwives and an apprentice there - I absolutely adored them all} were so encouraging and supportive of me. I was told to stop grunting/screaming the way I was because I was going to hurt my vocal chords {which I totally did. The next day my throat was raspy!} and then asked if I wanted to switch positions.
I didn't care either way, so I slipped down onto the ground onto the birthing stool with Jamie sitting on the bed right behind me and pushed again.
Apparently I was pushing for about 45 minutes, but it felt like no time at all. I really had no concept of how long it had been or what time it was.
Soon I felt his head crowning. When they asked if I wanted to touch it I definitely said {shouted?} no. {To be honest, that totally freaked me out.}
Then slowly the head came out.
All I can remember is total and complete relief.
And then the shoulders and within seconds I had my baby up on my chest.
Both times I've given birth those first few seconds where you hold your baby immediately after being born is completely surreal.
"You just came out of me? You were living in there all this time?"

It was such an amazing, positive experience.
From start to finish it was about 4. 5 hours. He was born at 10:19am, October 25th, 2007. {His original due date. His Grandpa's birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!}

Noah - days old.

Noah - 3 years old.

I love you, Noah. And in the words of Mariah Carey, you'll always be my baby.

Muffin Tin Monday: birthday edition

Noah turned three today at 10:19am! I did a birthday version of Muffin Tin Monday {okay, so I just put a candle in the grapes} and it was fun!

Top row: 4 meatballs {too spicy for Noah apparently} leftover from yesterday's festivities, red grapes {with candle}, yogurt covered pretzels.
Bottom row: rice krispie traffic light {leftover from the party yesterday}, motorcycle shaped peanut butter toast, cheddar cheese squares.

Of course the beauty of Muffin Tin Monday is that kids can eat their food in whatever order they choose. So one guess as to which thing Noah ate first?
If you guessed the rice krispie traffic light, you were right.
His grapes, a couple pieces of cheese and meatballs are still sitting there, but that will be a good afternoon snack for him should he hunger.

Happy Birthday, sweet boy.

the party

i love birthday parties. going to them. planning them. eating cake. {who doesn't?}

we celebrated noah's 3rd birthday yesterday. it was awesome.

the photo journey of noah from 2-3yrs.

when noah saw the mcqueen banner he said, "oh WOW! McQueen!" it was awesome.

about 30 of our closest friends and family came to celebrate noah's life and to play games, eat cake and shower him in presents.

he got a lot of presents. {to be honest, i was overwhelmed by it all!}

i had the kids decorate their own licence plates with sparkly glue {the big hit at the decoration station}, alphabet stickers {to put their names on it} and tons of fun stickers.

there was also a "tattoo" station where the kids could get temporary tattoos {do you know how hard it is to find non-gory/scary tattoos right before hallowe'en?}.

we played "red light, green light" outside and then the kids found worms in the backyard to play with.

then it was present time {whoa}

and then

the cake! {made by my mom's friend, joanne. thanks joanne! it was amazing!}

it was a fun day and so wonderful to have so many people in our lives that love us and our kids and we are truly, truly blessed.

thanks to all who came and helped and loved and celebrated our noah.

spiderman-noah. he wore the mask to bed. love this kid.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Jude has 6 teeth. 4 on the top and 2 on the bottom.

By this point {15 months}, Noah had his ENTIRE SET OF TEETH. {No wonder months 6-14 were filled with much night crying and whiny-ness.}

I've been wondering when his next teeth will come and it seems they already have been - except he's skipped his "eye" teeth and is getting in the next ones on either side.

I love their differences. I love how it keeps me on my feet and keeps things real and fresh.

Monday, October 18, 2010

depth of field

This guy.

Today he was

is it horrible to say that? sometimes i feel horrible for even feeling it.

I definitely raised my voice at him today. I don't even remember why.

It's the whining. The pulling on my pant leg. The constant want, want, want, want, want, want something from Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama.


I am so blessed.

But today I forgot.

I could only think about me.

we're told to take time for ourselves. "me" time is good. right?

But not every Mother is able to take "me" time. Single Moms. Moms is abusive relationships. Moms who live in poverty. Moms with no support network.

Today I got an hour during the day to go grocery shopping {by myself} to buy some things for Noah's birthday coming up this weekend. {Not to mention the quiet that has followed bedtime tonight.}

I am blessed.

It was a rough day. I blamed it on the day of the week.

but i think it was because all i was focusing on was me instead of my sweet little 15 month old who wanted some lovin' from his mama.

Tomorrow will be better.

Muffin Tin Monday: a family affair

Last week was Thanksgiving so we were busy heaping mounds of mashed potatoes, turkey and stuffing onto our plates instead of using a muffin tin.

So here's this week's Muffin Tin Monday:

Top row: red grapes, Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal Squares, Nectarine Yogurt
Bottom: Strawberry Applesauce, Leaf-shaped grilled cheese sandwich, mixed nuts

Noah was thrilled about the applesauce AND the yogurt and ate them both up quickly. He wasn't so much into the grilled cheese (he turned it over and saw that I had minorly burnt it - oops) but he liked that it was a leaf and Jamie scarfed it down when he got home for lunch anyway (Sure Daddy, you can have my leaf! - definitely a little too eager to share).
Jude ate Noah's grapes and I ate the nuts tonight (okay, so I threw in a few milk chocolate chips) so overall, Noah enjoyed the experience, just not everything I gave him. (He had totally had 2 bowls of oatmeal squares about 30 minutes before lunch so in hindsight, this totally makes sense. He just wasn't hungry.)

So there you have it! Muffin Tin Monday - the highlight in an otherwise draggy Monday.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

the one where I run a 10k race

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
So I do not run aimlessly...but I discipline my body and keep it under control.

1 Cor. 9:24, 26-27

Yesterday was the big race. The Toronto Zoo 10k. And I did it. Not only did I finish the race, but I completed it in under an hour! Okay, so I squeaked in at 59:56 but still! Under an hour!
I'm completely thrilled with my time and so proud that I was able to accomplish this 15 months after Jude was born. I'm also really happy with my time given that the last 5k was almost entirely UP HILL.
There was a point just after 6k that I felt the need to cough but when I did all of a sudden I couldn't breathe and I had to stop and walk and breathe again. For about 10 seconds I walked and mentally prepared myself to start running again. And then as quickly as it started, I was able to breathe properly again and started running again.

The last couple kilometers seemed to go on FOREVER. But it was amazing what a bit of encouragement from the people on the sidelines did for my motivation. As I came to the finish line my legs picked up the pace and were moving as if they were not a part of my body. I sprinted. I finished 4 seconds shy of my goal.

I definitely didn't come in first place (the guy who did finished in about 29 minutes. insane.) but I did get a medal to prove that I did it. And it felt really good. (Although I'm ridiculously sore today!)

Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Choo! Choo!

Last weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving with three groups of our families.
Carting the kids around all weekend is still a lot of work, but I'm really trying to try and make the most of our time before we move next year. The boys are also at really good ages to see and do lots of things and for the most part, we all enjoy ourselves.
On Monday we went to visit with my family and took a trip downtown to see the railway museum where you can ride on a miniature steam engine. It was so much fun and as you can tell from the pictures, it seems like the adults all enjoyed it far more than the kiddos. (Or maybe they just have awesome poker faces.)

Choo! Choo!

Friday, October 8, 2010

he grows

Have I blogged this already? I don't remember.

Lately {as in the past month or so} I've done a double take at Noah and his growth. Not necessarily physically, but emotionally. Specifically how he relates to people, including people he doesn't know or doesn't know very well.

Previously if addressed by say, the cashier at the grocery store, Noah would hide his face or at worst, blow a raspberry at them {embarrassing, but we were working on it - sometimes we still are}. I would remind him that we aren't rude and that when Mommy & Daddy are with him, he can say hello and talk to people he doesn't know.

Well, lately he's been responding and interacting with people - both strangers and people he is less familiar with. It's amazing. And it just started happening right before my eyes. Talking to the cashier. Telling a student at Summit about Lightening McQueen. Answering the doctor's questions {today - don't ask. Both boys have a mouth virus. Extremely contagious. You have been warned.} and telling her that he likes Tigger the best because he bounces on his tail. High five-ing the fantastic and amazing greeter at our church {Mr. Bob}. He is still sometimes shy or hesitant, but when people aren't in his face and show a bit of patience, he does really well.

I'm so proud of him and I tell him so.

He is growing up. He is maturing. He is learning.

It is honestly one of the most amazing things I've ever been a part of.

Thursday, October 7, 2010



I ran 5k and pushed both the boys in the double stroller. Up a gigantic hill.




You know when you have an internal dialogue about whether you can or can't do it? Well that was me the entire time. I just kept convincing myself I could go to the next driveway or next street or stop light. Or half of the hill. And then to the top.

The boys are really good when they're going fast, so they were great. Jude kept saying, "Go! Go!" and clapping for me and Noah kept asking me questions which I found a bit hard to answer sometimes when I was really out of breath, but all in all, they were a great cheer squad for me.

My 10k is next Saturday and I'm excited. I really want to do it in under an hour, but my training hasn't been as good lately (with all the sicknesses and whatnot) so I'm hoping that the last 6 months or so of running will pay off and I'll be able to boot it for my best personal time.

Go! Go! Go!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

GO: it's official

Two months ago, I wrote this.

It's now official.

We are moving to Kampala, Uganda next year (likely late August/early September) for two years.

It's exciting and overwhelming and scary but there's a peace I think Jamie and I both feel that assures us that this is exactly where we need to be. Because even if it's not safe or comfortable, the best place for me (and my family) is wherever God wants me to be.

We'll know more after Jamie visits Uganda in November/December for a set-up trip. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures and getting more of an idea of what to actually expect.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Summit 2010

This past weekend we traveled up north to Camp White Pine for the annual fall retreat (with our organization) called Summit.

It was the coldest I can remember it being. Thank goodness for space heaters. Space heaters FOR THE WIN. For reals.

But it was GORGEOUS, as usual. Jamie looked at me and laughed after we had settled in and then said,

I don't get you. Why do you like to come here? It's cold. It's inconvenient and I work a lot during this weekend.

True. All true. But the pros FAR outweigh the cons.

Usually there are other Moms/Wiveswith their kids at Summit that I can hang out with and get a good fill of social time. This time did not disappoint as I got to hang out with a dear friend, MC and her gorgeous boys who played so well with Noah - he was so thrilled to have some friends his age to run around with, play on the mini golf course and make boy/monster noises with.

Also, the leaves. If you've been up North in the Muskoka area of Ontario, you know exactly what I'm talking about. World class beauty right there.

The kids ADORE spending time outside even if their little fingies are freezing right off!
Noah couldn't get enough of the mini gold course (which was covered in pine needles and sand) and loved the "rope with the tennis ball" (can you guess?) aka the tether ball (and because it was a ball, Jude loved it too!).
We went for a walk (which Jude screamed through because all he wanted to do was GET OUT and CRAWL AROUND in the wet, dirty leaves - which after we got back I let him do and he got completely soaked).

It's really such a privilege to be able to bring our kids and expose them to such great people and places and we realized that with Noah having been to THREE Summits and Jude to TWO, they've been coming longer than a lot of the students!

Muffin Tin Monday: he eats it all!

I love muffin tin Mondays. Noah really does, too! He literally eats so much better on these days (why I don't make them every day...I don't know. Perhaps to hold on to the novelty and not burn my creative juices dry.) and eats EVERYTHING. It's unreal!
So here's this week's muffin tin Monday lunch:

Top row: airplane-shaped slices of apple (cool, eh?), cashews and pieces of a fruit twist (100% fruit!) and cracker Bear paws - or as Noah likes to call them, "Baby Bear Paws".
Bottom row: chopped pieces of a pepperette (still a favourite and one of the first things he goes for!), sticks of cheddar cheese and halved slices of green pepper.

Another successful muffin tin Monday. (I might even start doing a theme!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...