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:)


Monday, December 28, 2015

Four Hour Waitlist at Hemlock To Tube- Bust!

Boots. Snow Pants. Ski Jackets. Gloves. Toques. Snacks.  CHECK.

Okey dokey. We were ready to go to the local mountains and enjoy a fantastic day ripping down the mountain with our hair flying straight back.  At least, that was the plan.  And... as I have found out first hand oh so many times, our plans do not always turn out.

After only a one  hour drive, we arrived exactly as I had said I would.  The rest of the crew was already there, and I wondered why they were just hanging around rather than doing their own ripping down the tubing hill.  But, rather than asking, I got all four kids cozied up so I wouldn't have to hear, "I'm cold"  all day long.  Finally, we were ready!

Only to find out that Hemlock's Tubing park was full!  No tubing until 1:00.  Wow, didn't see that coming.  Being the good sports we all were, sleds were pulled out of vehicles and to kill time we all headed up to find a hill to sled down for a while.  So much fun.  Ava absolutely loved it and the faster we could go, the happier she was.  And the same went for everyone else.

1:00 rolled around and we all headed to get these much anticipated sliding passes.  Wow! Again! Sold out until 3:00!  The rest of the group all got 'in', but my little family didn't :(  Truly a sad face on all my kids.  I felt so disappointed for them but there was nothing I could do to change it.

All I could do was stay as positive and cheery as I could possibly be.  And, remind them what a great time we just had sledding on this amazing sunny day.  Three of my four accepted this, but this fell flat on Cayden's ears.  

A quick promise of dinner out and a future trip to Manning turned everyone's mood around and we enjoyed a wonderful drive back into the Valley.

What did I learn?  Plan to be early! 













Monday, November 23, 2015

Fantastic Friends Rock My World






My mind goes back to the old 80's song 'Friends' written by Michael W. Smith when I think about how blessed I am by such amazing friends.  And really, if I was a sobbing kind of girl, I'd likely be filling a bucket of tears right now.

The evening started out with what was going to be a quiet dinner with 3 friends.  And actually was a completely surprise party that included 15 of my friends.   2 of the girls made the drive from Kamloops to help me celebrate the big 4-0, and that was truly humbling.  Cindy is a fabulous party thrower and even had Jodi and Jeremy in on it helping to make it a total surprise.

  And wow, did we all celebrate! Starting with some fire at the Greek Islands.  Hey, the many candles made for some very nice ambiance.  But... when a paper napkin touch's fire, it's sure to not end very well.  My very first Muff Diver was served up.  And being a good sport I dived right in.  A little strange sight I might say for the other guests in the restaurant.  But, it was appropriate for the group I was hanging with for the night.  Just being with this great group of friends made me truly grateful.

 As the evening moved on, we  moved to the local pup.  Where, as the night went on, the crowd got much younger.  By 11pm I think there were ten people in the crowd over forty.  The balance of the place was filled with kids half our age!  And... one of those 20 years olds even bought me a drink! Not sure what that was all about, but I'll take it:)

The laughs continued.   I think the time '2:00' is etched on my brain forever now.   The 2:00 thing is an inside joke that I don't think all of us who were there really understands. But, it gave us something to laugh about all night.  Julie, share sometime what the heck that was about:)

Thank you to all of my friends!  You all impress me in so many ways and I can't thank you all enough for making entrances into my world in various ways over these years.  Thank you for the gift which I will enjoy this week on my little shopping trip.  And Kelly and Julie, my Heart and Soul figure, which will always remind me of my good friends who always make me feel great and encouraged.

Michelle


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wow! 60 Years Ago...




One of the most influential people in my life entered this world 60 years ago.  My dad. And I feel blessed to have such an encouraging and patient man as my dad.

He is a person who can be counted on to be fair and not gossipy.  He is a person that most people in his circle of influence will say, has integrity at his core.  He is a faithful and generous leader and well respected for his passion for people.

When I was young, I was my dad's little shadow.  If there was any opportunity for me to go for a ride in a truck or to town for one errand or another,  I would be there.  If there was work to be done in the yard,  I was there.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are times in which I would go with him  to pick up an evening load of sawdust.  There was always a stop at the same little store for some pop and chips which made it extra awesome.  (I was easy to please:)

I even would go to church every Sunday evening.  And this wasn't something the average kid enjoyed.  The sermons were very long and very dry.  But for me, it meant time that it was just he and I sitting side by side.  Me, with my head on his shoulder just relaxing.

I truly believe I was pretty easy on him all these years.  An easy kid who didn't cause too much stress. That's likely why he appears so youthful. At least 10 years younger. Seriously!

Ok.  There was one time I may have pushed his buttons.  Just a little bit.  Janey Both will often remind me of this time and we chuckle as if it was yesterday.   All anyone could see was me running through the campsite, flying through the air into the tent.  Only a few seconds later there was my dad, running through the campsite, flying through the air right into the tent behind me.  And a bit of yelling followed.  I like to think that I was helping him remain fit and trim with the exercise he got from chasing me through the campsite. LOL.

Our family certainly has been blessed to have been raised by a dad who shows much patience, grace and care.

Happy Birthday Dad!  You are amazing and we wish you many more healthy and wonderful years of life to encourage people to live a life of purpose.