Thursday, August 31, 2017

I Told Myself I Could Like Him

Just over 3 years ago, we met this little boy and his sister for the very first time.  Jonah was just about 6 years old and Ava was 1 1/2 years old.  We met them because our family was in the process of adopting these young kids.

I will never forget our first meeting. It was slightly awkward.  Jonah was aware of what was going on, but not necessarily happy about it.  Ava, well, she was simply cute. New to walking and oblivious of the life changes that were just ahead.  I left the home they were staying in feeling like I could come to like Jonah pretty quickly.  He had a little spark.  Was healthy and energetic.

We went back a couple days later.  And the visit took a huge turn.  I will never forget the feeling I had.  I didn't just 'think' I could like Jonah.  I loved him with all my heart on the very second time meeting him.  I still tear up remembering the emotion I carried home with me that this little boy would be mine to raise to become a good man one day.

What was it?  For sure it was a God thing.  Jonah had found a place in my heart for his endearing ability to show his love.  It's a regular occurrence that I will enter a room and have him find me for a great big hug.  Followed by a sweet, 'I love you mommy'.

He is up for anything.  Give him an opportunity to play a sport and he will work his butt off to learn it and become better.  He shows huge determination in learning in school and has overcome obstacles I thought he would always be challenged with.  Jonah is liked by his peers and teachers.  He is also the one I can rely on to offer to help me with one task or another.

Happy 9th birthday Jonah!  You are one awesome boy and we love you.  We are excited for what grade 4 will bring you and your second season of hockey!  You are a joy and a blessing to us.  Best wishes for an amazing year.


Monday, January 2, 2017

The Science Behind The Snooze

I am a self-proclaimed night owl.  But mornings.... blech!  With all those leaders pushing on getting up early and attacking all the right things; exercise, creative writing, important tasks, I say boo!

Ok, I have tried.  Set the alarm.  Hit snooze a couple times, then reset the alarm for a more acceptable time.  Fail. Fail. Fail!

So last week, Pre-New Years Resolution time, I told myself to get out to the 6:00 am Bootcamp times at the gym.  The first morning, I hit snooze a couple times then was ready to reset the alarm completely.  Only to feel some pride kick in cause I told Jeremy the night before I was getting to the gym early.  So, I got up and to the gym, a few minutes late, but did it.

The next morning session.  Again. Snooze, snooze. Oops.  Reset alarm and miss it!  The third morning. Snooze 1 time.  Then off I went.  My brain said, 'you need more snooze time'.  I said, 'no! I will be late.'  I head downstairs.  See the couch and cozy blanket and tell myself. Ok, 2 more snooze's.  Then... I was late and missed the class and just rode the bike. BORING!

So,  4th morning.  I made myself accountable to getting to the early morning class by offering to pickup my co-worker after the workout and bring her to work.  Smart lady I was.  That morning, my alarm went off, totally wanted to snooze, snooze, reset.  But... I had a commitment, so off I went.  Feeling amazing for it.

I have come to the conclusion that I simply need to set my alarm, giving me time for 3 snoozes, and I am good!  I am mentally ready to get going and tackle the gym.  Ok... maybe that's an overstatement.  But... at least get out the door, make the class on time and feel absolutely amazing afterwards because of it.

How about you?  Early morning bird?  Up and at 'em before the alarm even goes out?  Or... a snoozer?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cayden Turns 12 And We Celebrate Him!

Today is the day my oldest turns 12.    

Cayden has grown from little boy to a gentleman in the blink of an eye.  A mom can never be told too many times how polite and enjoyable her son is to have around.  I especially enjoy hearing this from store clerks who are sure to tell me how well-spoken my son is.  So much that they give him a 'staff discount' on his purchases!

Cayden, you are easy to love and extraordinary.  You have a wonderful sense of humour and are clever and witty.  You are exuberant and I love how you approach life with courage and confidence.  

You are kind. A nice kid and mostly treat others with respect and courtesy. (Your brother and sister may not always agree.)  You are easy going, a go-with-the-flow kid and a breath of fresh air.  

I love that you are comfortable in your skin and you like being you.  Even so much that you will wear pink and think you are cool.  And you kind of are, so no one will even tease you.  

Cayden, you are my adventuring buddy and I love our times together in the mountains and river valleys.  And I am so loving watching you grow into the awesome pre-teen you are.  

Best wishes to your next year of life!

Monday, August 29, 2016

My Boy, Jonah Turns 8

From the moment I met Jonah only a short two years ago, I fell in love with this little boy.   He has been such an incredible joyful addition to our family.  The first day we met, I saw resilience.  I saw spunk and lots of energy.  I saw trust in a better future.  I saw a little boy that had the biggest grin and a sparkle in his eyes.

 He finally turns 8 today.  Yes, I say finally because his birthday has been on his mind months before the big day has arrived.  His wish list as gotten really long and is ever changing with 'the hobby of the day.'

This morning I gave Jonah his morning hug and wished him a Happy Birthday.  I then ask how his sleep was last night.  His reply was that he had a great sleep because he had a really good dream.

So, I ask what his dream was about.  His response was that there was a beautiful butterfly.  And he was able to catch it.  And he has never caught a butterfly before, so it was super special.

Jonah, you are loved.  You are fun, loving and considerate.  You can frustrate me with your persistence and at the same time I admire that persistence.  Because this quality will make you very successful in reaching your goals.  Jonah, we love your helpfulness and how you know exactly when we need a hug from you. You are awesome!

We hope your 3rd grade at school is amazing.  And that your first class birthday is tons of fun!  Keep on enjoying the things of life.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

West Coast Salsa- A 1st Airbnb Experience. No More Hoteling For Me!

Hours of travelling through some beautiful countryside and I finally arrived!  Oh, I should share that it was a very HOT drive!  5 minutes into the trip and my car was stuck blowing heat for the whole ride.  This was after a complete service was done.  So... I was definitely windblown and slightly overheated when my GPS brought me to the front door of my very first AirBnB experience.

The neighbourhood I was was staying in was absolutely gorgeous, and in a great location.  Only 3 round-about's outside of Old District.  The hub of Bend with 29 Craft Brewery's.  Sadly, I only had time to hang out at one of them:(  Definitely going back!

I walked up to the door and politely knocked on the door.  Only to hear a very energetic hostess call out for me to 'come on in.'  I walked right on in to a very homey, confortable and friendly home and was immediately offered whatever drink I fancied.  I was then quickly assured that in this house, BnB did not mean Bed and Breakfast.  But did mean Bed and Beverages.  LOL!

Forgetting  all my gear still in my car, and a launch party that I needed to be at in a few hours, I simply hung out at the Island and enjoyed conversation as if we had known each other for years.  It was crazy and so welcome since I had already spent 9 hours all on my own during the drive.  

Finally after a few hours of hanging out talking about Bend, hiking, breweries, investments, real estate and all kinds of other things I was reminded that I had some place to be.  I was having such a good time, I almost skipped the event.  Oh, and I even had a lesson in Salsa Dancing because Victoria is not only a realtor and AirBnB hostess but a dance instructor. 

The whole time I spent in Bend was definitely made that much more enjoyable by having a great place to stay.  I would recommend to everyone to give it a try.  Not only is it very affordable, but it makes for a very good experience.  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Nine Hours Of Solo Windshield Time: Good For The Mind And Soul!

I have been waiting for this road trip for months!  The day finally arrived for my adventure to begin. All alone.  My car was packed.  Hugs and kisses given and off I went with anticipation of much fun, much learning and new relationships with like-minded individuals.

The drive started with the usual border crossing in Sumas.  It was when I was asked about the purpose and destination of my trip that I recalled the last time I told the Border Guards that I was going to Bend, Oregon.  That time it was a lie!

There was a reason for the lie, although, it wasn't really a good one.  I was taking Jeremy on a surprise trip to California.  He only knew that we were going on a trip, not the known destination.   So when asked where we were going, I didn't want to reveal our true destination this early in the trip. So with confidence I told the guard we were going to Bend, Oregon.  He gave me a very strange look and asked what would possibly take me to Bend in November.  My quick response was, 'Because I hear it's nice there in November.'  He then asked where we would be staying.  My response because I was truly drawing a blank was, 'A hotel that starts with a H.'  That did not go over too well, so inside we went for a passport check. I remained confident and Jeremy was horrified and sure we were going to be locked up!

Anyways, this time it was a breeze.  Summer is a great time to visit this beautiful town of Bend, so there were no more questions asked.  I hit the highways with the expectation of arriving in under 7 hours.  With that much time on the road I knew I had hours to catchup on saved podcasts and music for entertainment.

I didn't really relax and enjoy the ride for the first half of the drive.  I just wanted to get there!  When I finally realized that my trip was going to be 9 hours and not the 7 hours I thought it would be, I finally figured out  that I should just settle in and enjoy the scenery and quiet of the ride.

By settling into the drive I really found enjoyment in the experience.  I was reminded of my trucking days, over 16 years ago,  where solo trips into Oregon and Eastern Washington was what I did on a daily basis.  As I looked at my GPS attached to my windshield I had to chuckle because 'Back In The Day' I had to find my destinations with a plain old map-book!  I discovered on this trip that I would never trade a GPS for a map-book for a distance trip ever.

The hours alone allowed me  to just think about the areas of life going really well, those areas that could use more effort, and my purpose and direction.  I always share that I feel I am truly Blessed in life.  I work in a fantastic family business.   Mom to four kids who definitely keep things exciting.  Great friends and team-mates.  And a great church family as well as many other things that are going really well.  I especially have a great husband who took all four kids on out camping while I was away!  I am sure he found these past few days as therapeutic as I did:)

As much as these things are going very good, I had time to process that we are not simply to 'live a good life' but a life that shares the reality of our  Creator and our Purpose is to share the good news and do great things for others through service.

And so my solo windshield time went.  I recommend a road trip for everyone. It is truly a great way to assess and celebrate life.

By the way, I am not a singer. But with this much time on the road I do have to admit, I did sing out loud.  Just a little:)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Another Planned Trip To The Mountains Busted!

Crabby and disappointed at the last minute change of plans is how I started my day.  Not my normal mood that's for sure, but I felt fully justified to carry this bad attitude around.  

And here is what caused my adult meltdown. 

 I super excited for our annual girls weekend up to Elfin Hut. We really don't know why we put ourselves through the agony and exhaustion each year on this 11 km uphill climb with 45 pounds on our back and snowshoes on our feet.  

Well, maybe we do.  The crazy memories we make each year on this adventure calls our names year after year.  Stories, laughter and feeling of accomplishment is why we do this.  

We decided that we would make the best of today and take our snowshoe adventure to the nearby Windy Joe Trail in Manning Park.  I quickly popped into the nearest Tim Hortons drive thru to get some breakfast and a hot cup of coffee for the drive.  Still feeling a bit crabby, I made my way to the  drive thru window to make my payment.  My order was passed out the window and no payment was needed.  The nice lady in the Honda in front of me had paid for my order! 

Wow.  That was all I needed to get my 'head out of my butt' and accept that I needed to let go of my disappointment  and get excited for our next adventure.  In an instant I had a full reset and I was back to my easy-going self.  And that's the way it went all day.

The day was perfect!  Blue skies and clear highway.  We made it to the trail head in record time and got ourselves geared up to head uphill for the next long while.  The Windy Joe Trail is not a quick little walk in the park, we found out.  16 kilometres later, after a great variety of  conversations of inspirations, encouragements and all kind of randomness  we made it the round trip back to our vehicles.  Completely exhausted.  Completely proud of ourselves.  Completely fulfilled.

Yes, that really is a blue tooth in my ear!  I forgot it was there the whole time.  Made for some really terrible photos:(

To end it all, I barely made my way to the hot tub when I got home. 1/2 clothed I dropped myself in with a sigh of relief.  And got the pleasure to be joined by my girls.  Also, 1/2 clothed:)