Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Every now and then it washes over me.

I am going to back to Africa. To live. With my husband and children.

My heart begins to pound with a teeny bit of insistence.

Looking at a friend's pictures {on facebook} of the city of Kampala and surrounding areas, the people, the streets, the lush green trees and grass it hit me all over again.

I am moving to Uganda.

Now I'm a fairly adventurous girl by nature. I am mostly laid-back. Low key is the name of my game. In a way, I'm sorta made to live in Africa.

And yet...panic. {Irrational} fear.

but for a moment...

The whole "be still and know that I am God" thing is the alternate beat of my heart.
I want to be still.
I want to let go of my {irrational} fears.
I want to release all of my hopes and plans for the next two years and surrender to His plans for me. For us.

I am not sure I can recall ever having such certainty about a calling on my life as I am about this move to Uganda for our family. At this time.

He wants us there. We want to be there.

His will be done.

In one week I will flying out of Paris with Jamie {2 days in Paris!} and into Uganda to find our home for the next two years and set up some other details before we fly back home several days later.
Would you pray we find the right home?

Monday, May 30, 2011

airplanes, school buses, dump trucks and diggers

It was hot today.
It's only going to get hotter tomorrow.
We are armed and ready with a/c, a kiddie pool, lots of cool drinks and a sweet backyard with lots of shade.

Jude kept asking to go in the stroller {"shooooaa"} to see the dump trucks that were working just up the street from my parent's place.
Noah wanted to stay behind to "help" my Mom with the gardening so off we went up the street to see the dump trucks.
We watched several dump trucks back up onto huge hills of dirt and unload massive piles of dirt for at least 20 minutes {why yes I did just park ourselves under a tree in front of someone's yard}.

Yeah, he totally had to bring his "Daddy's ball" {a Man United soccer ball} and his juice. 

Better than tv, I tell ya.

Jude was absolutely enthralled by everything. There were front end loaders and dump trucks and rollers and airplanes flying in the sky {my parents live 5 minutes from the Toronto airport} and because it was 3:30pm, several large school buses passed by in front of us. It was a little boys' heaven.


one of the construction workers came up and asked if Jude wanted to sit in the dump truck.
I said I wasn't sure but we'd try it out.
Eventually Jude consented to sitting with me and we got our picture taken together.

Oh the things you get to do as a boy-Mom.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dear man mowing your lawn,

I appreciated the fact that you had your two teenage daughters helping you with the yard work.
You are teaching them responsibility, ownership and the value of hard work among many other things.
They'll thank you for it someday, even if they aren't right now.

Also, you had a very nice lawn. Hard work does pay off.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday at St. Jacob's

We knew we were going somewhere today, we just weren't sure exactly where.

We decided on St. Jacob's Farmer's Market near Waterloo.
We browsed, we shopped, we ate.

pinkies up!

Jude happily chows down on the most amazing apple fritters known to man.

It was a pretty good day. 
And I ran 5k tonight.

Friday, May 27, 2011


we still call him "baby jude". 

he's not really a baby, but he still is a baby.

he's my baby.

he got his haircut for the second time of his existence. {that sounds pretty epic, actually.}

we all thought, "oh hello, little noah!" 

he's still ridiculously cute. but i miss the long shaggy hair already. 

it'll grow.

Pizza Swirls

enough with the cupcakes already, right?

okay. for those who are not so much into the sweets {ahem, jamie} i've got something for you.

the other day I came across the cutest idea - skewered pizza rolls. basically like pizza on a stick. cute idea, right?
well, mine turned out a little large so I called them pizza swirls and voila! something new! {sorta.}

anyway, so this is a fun alternate to friday night pizza {and a ton cheaper than ordering in!}. tonight I purchased the pizza dough from a little bakery up the street {for $1.75}. but I might try making my own next time. my friend emily has a recipe for pizza dough on her blog that I'll likely try next time. you can check it out here.

all you need is whatever you want on your pizza. we chose typical pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, red & yellow peppers and ham {why yes it does look fancier when you cut sandwich meat into strips.}.

i also made the pizza sauce tonight from tomato paste, tomato juice {leftovers from canned tomatoes}, some minced garlic, fresh basil, some oregano, salt, pepper and a tsp of sugar. you can make your own sauce to your liking.
roll out your dough until you've got a rectangle {or something that resembles a rectangle}.
put your toppings on but save some sauce and cheese for latah.
once you've put all your toppings on {don't layer on too many as you're going to have to roll it all up} you want to roll it a la cinnamon buns. {roll it length-wise so you have a long log-shaped mass.}
grab your sharpest knife and cut approximately 1 inch slices of your roll.
place the slices on a greased baking sheet or one with parchment paper {I love parchment paper}.

then bake for 12 minutes at 425 F. after 12 minutes put a dollop of sauce and cheese on top of each swirl and then bake for about 5 more minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly and golden.

Enjoy with a big, green salad and a large glass of wine. {You know I did.}

We dipped ours in ranch dressing but you can serve with a butter/garlic sauce or in a marinara sauce if you like. 
Both the boys downed their pizza swirls with gusto {but that's Jude's style with most food anyway}.

also, Jude got a haircut today. *sniff*

make these and enjoy with friends and family. 

inspired by baked bree's blog. you need to check her out. she is awesome.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


this weekend my sister and i went to a cupcake shop that i am hereby pronouncing as my local cupcake place.
it's pretty cute.
and the cupcakes!
o! the cupcakes!
aside from looking scrumptious i always think cupcakes are so pretty.
like a little itty bitty pretty cake.

{i picked red velvet, raspberry, mango, vanilla, lemon-coconut and hostess - and i'm not telling you how many i ate vs. how many i gave away.}

see how pretty they are?
so if you're in the royal york/dundas area and you like cupcakes {who doesn't?} you need to check swirls out.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

lovely day

oh i had such a lovely day visiting in guelph today.

seeing friends, chatting, enjoying some high tea at the boathouse with wonderful women {who generously gifted me with the most gorgeous camera bag you've ever seen - it's purple. me = in love.}, spending dinner and quality time with dear friends.

it was a lovely day.

i caught this shot of jude in my lap {holding a pencil?} and noah across from me {holding some wooden toy} and our feet. 
we are who we are in this messy, crazy, wonderful, amazing world we live in.
i'm glad i get to "do life" with these fantastic people.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

our day

i picked up my camera today.

it was the perfect day.
a cool breeze. the sun out. {psst! i ran again!} a lovely play date. 

so noah melted down multiple times today {not really sure what the deal was with him...} and jude wouldn't listen when i called him back to the house. 
we played! outside! with water!

watering the bird bath so the birds would have "good" water.

sunshine makes me happy too, kiddo.

a vigorous {and happy} clean up - chucking cars back into their bin.

and so ends a good tuesday.
tomorrow we've got a full day of visiting with friends in guelph and i'm kinda {really} looking forward to it.

Monday, May 23, 2011



i haven't picked up my camera in days.

i always find it difficult to blog or know what to blog when there's so much going on.
that's me right now.

living with my parents. in a new {old} city. seeing friends. missing friends. settling in. preparing to move across the world.
you know, normal stuff.

i'm running again.
with moving and settling in and vacationing i kinda fell off the bandwagon and my clothes are telling me that running again - it's a good idea.
i still have a sweet tooth that has a life of its own.

also, jamie just showed me this website and i really, really want to do it. with him. {how psycho cool are we?}

on sunday our pastor talked about the value in reflecting on your life experience and how it's the reflection that causes growth, not necessarily the experience.
i am striving to reflect more.
if only life would slow down enough for me to do that.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


nothing like the first bbq of the season to welcome the warm weather.

today i took the boys on the bus, subway and street car and went to a lovely colombian cafe downtown with my sweet friend shelly.
noah grumbled through the entire meal because it wasn't the mcdonald's we had just passed but both boys gladly scarfed down the empanadas i ordered for them.
i had a black bean and mozzarella arepa and it.was.delish.
if you're in the queen st. w area in toronto, check out arepa for some delish food at a good price.
also, shelly introduced me to the store fresh collective which is a bunch of local artisans who each work one day a week at the store and sell their gorgeous jewelery, clothes, etc. 
i'm in love.
(and i'm going back without kids.)

it was a lovely day. 
how was your thursday?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


my heart is full.
full of hellos and goodbyes and catching ups and excitement and nerves and plans and passions and frustrations and wrestling with thoughts of all sorts of wonderful, scary, challenging things.

life seems really busy/crazy these days.

i remarked to a sweet friend today that it seems that in the last year or less i've stumbled into these deep, real, raw, honest friendships and i ask God
why now?

and almost as quickly the answer comes back. so still. so perfect.

to sustain you while you're gone.

it seems like the timing is off, that just as these amazing friendships are developing i'm galavanting off to the other side of the world.
i don't know how many of these friendships will last, but i do know that all of them will change to some extent.
i also know that i am incredibly blessed to have so many amazing women in my life to call friend, regardless of the season of life or the distance that separates us.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Sometimes you just need to create your own art gallery.
And then pose in front of it with a VeggieTales video.

there and back

I love road trips.
I always have.
Before we had kids, Jamie and I drove across Canada, down through the states to Florida and also to visit friends in South Carolina. We've driven to Chicago with Noah and we've done shorter trips with both boys. 
We really wanted to visit our friends in South Carolina and spend some time with them as whenever they come up to Canada, their time is mainly spoken for by their family (as it should be).
So we left last Monday. In the past, we've just taken a day or so to travel, but this time we decided to try driving through the night.
We left at 8pm and this was Jude

And this was Noah

Oh my boys. So so so different from each other.
Anyway, I didn't pack the little DVD player this time (partially by accident) and no one missed it or asked for it. Love it. (We don't use it much anyway.)
The boys did great on the drive down and were cute and funny whenever we'd stop for gas - all of a sudden they'd wake up and squint from the ridiculously bright lights and point out trucks or whatever they happened to see.
We got to Florence, South Carolina at 11:30am and unpacked and settled in.
It was a great 5 days with our dear friends, having many conversations and laughs in the evenings after the kids were in bed and breaking up fights watching the kids play during the day. (In all seriousness, Noah and Leah played great together, it was my wild child, Jude who kept terrorizing poor baby Steven. *insert Mommy lesson of choosing to teach and instruct your child, rather than be embarrassed and ashamed of them* *also insert a heaping helping of humble pie - it's hard to be the Mother of a "hitter"*)

We also went to the beach and while it started off with a brutal nauseous migraine for me, the wonder-drug ibuprofin kicked in about halfway through our day and I was able to enjoy our time there. 

It's always so refreshing to spend time with good friends and for a short time to be able to "do life" together. {Now if only we could get them to move to Uganda with us!}
Our trip home started a little earlier with us leaving at around 5:30pm and getting back to Toronto at 8:30pm yesterday morning but I think we all had a much more rough time. I couldn't sleep until 2am or so just being kinda stiff and uncomfortable and the boys slept for most of it, but Noah was awake from around midnight 'til 2am (that and he didn't fall asleep until 9:30pm made for a tired boy tonight at 6pm when he was about ready to fall asleep in his dinner!). Also, at 3am Noah woke up and asked for sunglasses because the street lights and car lights in oncoming traffic were hurting his eyes. So there he sat, with my big purple sunglasses on and his fuzzy green neck pillow. This kid cracks me up.
All in all, it was wonderful. We got a taste of summer weather, time to spend with lovely friends and a fun family vacation. 
Perfection as far as I'm concerned.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

my mother's feet

thursday we celebrated mother's day with my mom and family.
jamie sweetly gave me a card as well from him and the boys and out fell a gift certificate for a pedicure for me for friday morning.
such a sweet surprise and extremely thoughtful as we're going to south carolina {and of course i want pretty toes for the warmer weather}!

my first ever pedicure was part of the bridal package i got for my wedding. it was heaven.
and thus i was introduced to one of the most wonderful pampering experiences known to woman {and some men} - the pedi.

i have since had many more pedis {but i could definitely have used more!} but none have compared to that first pedi {it lasted around 1.5hrs!}. still, i love a good pedicure. it's just so relaxing.

today it struck me though, as i took the "after picture" that my mom gave me so many things; my sense of creativity, my sense of wrong and right and the confidence to stand up for what i believe in, my desire to host {and do it well}, my cooking and baking skills, so many mothering "instincts" and ideas, but she also gave me her feet.
because when i look at this picture, that's all i can see.
it just goes to show you that you don't have to have similar genetics to leave a legacy to your children. because while it's kinda neat to point to my feet and say, i have my mother's feet, it`s what my mother taught me that points to her mothering and continues to live on in me and my children.
not our feet.

Friday, May 6, 2011

snack bowl

one of the things i hear jude say a million times a day is "snack bowl". 
basically he wants a snack - you guessed it - in a bowl.
but the way he says it makes us imitate him laugh every time he says it.
he kinda snuffles the "sn" part. it's pretty cute.


a few days ago, jamie and i decided we'd take our vacation next week.
and by vacation i mean, drive 15 hours to see our good friends in south carolina.
we're pretty excited.
both boys do really well in the car and our friends have kids roughly the same age as ours. should be fun!

also, two words;

the shopping.

i have to say, i do love to shop. my sister doesn't. my mom doesn't. but i most definitely do.
and here's a few things i'm keeping my eye out for while i'm in the us of a;

raincoats for me and the boys
adorable crocs for jude {i'm thinking of these - in navy}
size 4 shorts for noah
size 4 tees for noah
more of my favourite gap tees {see them here in share the love}
{vanilla coke}
possibly skirts/capris that are suitable for ugands
a bathing suit
possibly a pretty dress for paris {oh did i not mention jamie and i are going to paris for a couple days in june? well. we are. you may freak out with me in 3...2...1...}
good {but stylish and cute} walking shoes

any suggestions/recommendations? {aka, this is your turn to share the love!}
{also, it's going to be hot. like, i get to wear shorts and capris and flops, hot! i'm pumped.}

Thursday, May 5, 2011


lately we've turned a corner with noah's eating habits.
actually, it's been for some time now, but just recently in a huge way.
my friend jen invited us over for an impromptu dinner. i walked in to see her dishing out bowls of pasta with amazing sauce {i like my pasta sauce full of veggies and chunks of beef - yuu-uum}. then i thought,
oh noah. why won't you eat pasta?
jen looked at me and said, "oh! noah. right." {a good friend knows about even your kids' eating habits.} but i decided to just let it go and see what he would eat. no sense in giving him something else than everyone else and teaching him that it's okay to reject a meal at someone else's home.
well, the boys {noah and elijah} decided/asked to eat outside on the deck at the kids picnic table. as elijah was heading outside, he went by the table, was handed his bowl of spaghetti and walked outside to sit down. so noah followed in suit.
he uttered not a word about not liking "this" or pasta or anything.
minutes later i caught him chewing something out of the corner of my eye.
guys! look! he's eating THE PASTA!!!
we all subtly looked at him and watched as he took mouthful after mouthful of spaghetti. pasta!
he ate his entire bowl.

i asked him after if he liked it and he said he did.
i tried offering him pasta again multiple times after this and he ate it! i sensed that the texture was still a bit much for him at times, but he shoveled it in like he's always loved the glorious stuff.


now the other night he didn't want the larger egg-type noodles we had at dinner, but was willing to try a piece in the end.
i blogged about it before and so it's nice to be able to blog about it but with success in this area.
he just came around of his own accord.
well, that and peer pressure. it's good for some things after all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


the days pass by so quickly {too quickly}.
everyone says
enjoy your kids; they grow up so quickly.
it's true. they do grow up so quickly. the days do pass so quickly. it's the enjoying that i need to continually remind myself.
it's not that i go through the hours and days and weeks with a frown on my face, it's just that the cute things, the adorable things, the funny things; i forget that they are cute/adorable/funny. i get used to them. i forget to cherish them. i don't take time to cherish the moments.

my mother's day gifts will not be elaborate or expensive (if there even are any). there will likely be no big "to-do" about me. and i'm okay with that.
my gifts are the dandelions noah picks for me and waits for me to finish what i'm doing {today it was a diaper changing} so that he can hand them to me and see my delight in his gift to me.
in this moment i thought,
this is it.
these are the moments i need to cherish and enjoy and live in. every day.
and those dandelions?
they are so the best gift ever.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

around here with these boys


jude has been waking up at (the ungodly hour of) 6:30am. my kids have never been "early" risers. they haven't been late risers, but usually between 7:30 and 8am was the norm around here and I miss it!
whew. i'm tired.

jude's nickname for noah is "neeno". the other day i had both boys in the car with me and noah was pretend sleeping and jude would say,

neeno....neeeeeeeeenooooo.....WAKE UP!

ridiculously cute. (and noah usually says, "i'm not neeno! i'm noah!")

jude sings along with me (or jamie) as i sing "jesus loves me" to him at bedtime. and by "sings along" i don't mean actually singing intelligible words, more of a singsonging of random sounds.

jude wanders around the house saying, "jeeesus? jeeesus?" which means he's looking for the children's storybook bible. (oh my heart. how it melts.)

noah did really well at the move. he wanted to help carry things and help unpack, too.

noah likes to take cars to bed with him. usually one or two of his favourites. i think it's cute and inevitably in the morning he can't find one and we have to search for it.

noah is growing like a weed! he's getting too tall for his size 3 pants and i can't wait for shorts weather so he's not wearing flood pants anymore.

my favourite word that noah says is "gigantic" which usually sounds like "juh'gantic". i love his words.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

moving day {or the one where i vow never to rent a truck from Uhaul again!}

first, i'm glad my moving day didn't look like this:

and it definitely could have been worse {it could have rained or been super cold} but it wasn't. in fact it was the perfect day. sunny but not too hot with a cool breeze every now and then.

moving day breakfast and Noah looking as unimpressed as i felt with Uhaul

but when we still hadn't heard from Uhaul {um, how are they still operating?} and it was 8am on the day OF THE MOVE {after numerous phone calls the night before and the morning of and jamie getting disconnected once after a 20 minute hold time on the phone} i was kinda pissed annoyed.
but we made the most of it and people came over when they could and we moved everything out to the garage and drive way and then this happened:

pick up soccer
and this:

watching movies on Daddy's computer {Noah is holding an unopened roll of wrapping paper, in case you were wondering}

and some of this:

naps out in the sun

and then finally! around 4pm {FOUR PEE EM!} we got the truck and started loading it up. jude was a little freaked out about all the moving and boxes {today was we moved some boxes into my parents' attic he was totally freaking out again. poor fella. he hates boxes now.} and was quite clingy and wanting to be with jamie. this time though, i was prepared for it. noah was almost this age when we moved out of our apartment {when i was 7 months pregnant with jude!} and it was quite a traumatic experience for him so i was prepared for this kind of behaviour with jude.

the truck was bigger than we originally booked, but God is sovereign because He knew we'd need the space {sigh. we have so much more stuff than i originally thought. kinda depressing.}. and of course the kids got a huge kick out of going inside the cab and truck. 

when all was said and done, we were out and unpacked in Toronto {our temporary home until we leave for Uganda at the end of August} by around 8:30pm. 
what a day!
not how i anticipated our move to go, but thank God it's over! 

a HUGE thank you to all our family and friends who came to help pack, move, clean and support us through this move! 
{and now i'm off to read articles on the riots in Kampala and Osama Bin Laden's death - my life is good. i have much to be thankful for.}
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