Jul 30, 2012

The Unexpected Bike Ride

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It's been a while... at least several years. I hesitated but then I got on the bike, found my balance and followed my husband as we cycled around the cul-de-sac at the lake. The early evening glow of the sun warmed my skin and a breeze caught my hair. I could smell campfire and the sound of birds singing their beautiful songs filled my ears. 

The gravel beneath the wheels of the bike crunched as I peddled along. 

Memories filled me. Memories of childhood summers spent biking. Peddling to friend's houses, the corner store, and parks. I reminisced about days that started and ended on a bicycle. I recalled bicycling so much that my body ached but the next day I would hop right back onto that bike and go for another ride.

I rang the bell on the bicycle and my husband looked back at me. I smiled. Such a familiar sound.

In this moment I feel free, happy, and young.     

Sometimes it's hard finding the magic in the mundane. Life may be bearing down on you... imposing circumstances you can't control. Sometimes you have to let go, relinquish the control and let it unfold. It seems like in those moments, the unexpected ones, that the Magic of the Mundane takes you for an unexpected bike ride of your own.


Thank you to Sofia from Sofia's Ideas for this blog posting link up.  




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Jul 28, 2012

My Thoughts On Change

1 comment:
I’m looking down at the paper in front of me. I can’t look up at any of my fellow teammates. My eyes are burning… I want to cry. My ears are ringing… I can’t do this. I see the new program changes in front of me and an overwhelming crushing feeling fills my chest. Effective September 1st:

  • I will no longer be working with toddler-aged children.
  • I will no longer be working with the same team members.
  • I will no longer be working in the same physical space.

I can’t handle this. I’m barely coping with returning to work and not even a week later I’m given this news? How can I be expected to cope? How WILL I cope?

The quote on the paper is like a slap in the face…. 

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” ~Raymond Lindquist

Then it goes on to say….

“What is familiar is comfortable. Even though the familiar might be worse that the unfamiliar, we still tend to hold on to it, because going into the unknown is uncomfortable. Having the courage to go into the unfamiliar can be tough, but not impossible. It requires a shift in perspective. Become curious. Become an explorer of life. This is an adventure.”

I still can’t look up from my paper. Tears are stinging my eyes. I keep telling myself… don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry.

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.”

I guess I’m a coward....

It's been two weeks since I returned to work after a year-long maternity leave. It's been one week since I heard this news. It's been tough but something has happened to me over the past few days.... Effective September 1st: 

  • I'm going to be working with preschool-aged children!
  • I'll be working with a whole new team who possess completely different gifts and talents!
  • I'll be working in a new room which I can help set up and redesign!

There's been a shift in perspective.

I live in a country where I get to see and enjoy four seasons... each season is distinct and beautiful. Change needs to happen for those seasons to take place. My absolute favourite place is the mountains... those majestic beauties would not be here if it weren't for change. Every phase of life with my daughters is my favourite; newborn, infant, toddler... they need to change for me to enjoy all these ages and stages with them.


A friend recently shared with me, "life shrinks and expands in proportion to one's courage." ~Anais Nin

Right now, I see my life expanding... and this, dear friends, excites me.

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Jul 27, 2012

{this moment: airplane}

3 comments:
Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to see.

"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves." Maria Edgeworth


Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of amazing moments!



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Jul 25, 2012

Postcard 86

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100 postcards... 100 invitations to send a message. What message would you share if you had a chance to have your voice heard... anonymously?

Postcard 86

Disclaimer
The opinions expressed on the postcards are those of the postcard's author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Deliberate Mom.


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Jul 23, 2012

A Gift

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The wonderful thing about having a smart phone, is that I can look through pictures whenever I feel like it. The other day while sitting on my break at work, I was scrolling through my pictures when I saw one that I forgot I had taken.

My eyes welled up and my memory traveled back to that day.

It wasn't a good day. My baby was teething and my oldest was miserable too. It actually felt like the longest day ever... like my husband would never come home. I put my oldest daughter outside in the yard and caught my breath while watching her play. She was busy. Digging, moving dirt, blowing bubbles... she was having a good time.

A little while later I called her in for a snack. She ran inside the house, kicked off her shoes, ran upstairs, then in a couple minutes ran down the stairs again.

I gave her a snack and sent her back outside to play. 

A short while later, I went upstairs to grab the dirty laundry from the hamper in my bedroom. Then, I saw it.... I exploded into tears, you know, the "ugly" cry that only raw emotions can produce. My daughter had left me a gift... the sweetest gift ever.


It's a dandelion, yes. Nothing is more mundane than a dandelion but this dandelion was an expression of love... a random, loving act. A thoughtful gift. A special treasure. There's magic in a dandelion... the kind of magic that I'm sure many mothers have been the recipient of, at one time or another.


Thank you to Sofia from Sofia's Ideas for providing the opportunity for this blog posting link-up.



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Jul 21, 2012

My Favourite Apps

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Last October, I entered the land of iPeople and got my first iPhone. I quickly realized there was no turning back... I am an iPhone fanatic! In my exploration of this unbelievable Apple product, I have stumbled across some fantastic applications (apps) that I thought I would share with you!

Health and Fitness

My Net Diary
My goodness, do I ever LOVE this app! I can track the calories from the food I've eaten, log in the exercises I've done, track my weight and measurements, as well as monitor my water intake. It even has a scanner so you can scan UPCs to obtain the nutritional content of many foods! At $3.99, this app is an affordable must-have for the health and fitness enthusiast!


My Five Minute Yoga Practice
Too busy to set aside a large block of time for fitness? Then try to squeeze in a few five minute sessions of yoga. I love that there's even a yoga practice to do at the kitchen counter! $2.99


All In Yoga
This is THE BEST yoga app particularly if you want a full session of yoga. The screen displays each of the poses, you have the option to turn audible promptings on or off and you can even select your own playlist to listen to while doing your yoga session! With over 300 poses in the database, there is a range of workouts for all skill levels. There are over 40 ready-made programs but the ability to make your own yoga workout is also phenomenal as you can even select how long to hold each particular pose. This app is a steal at $0.99!


5K Runner
I want to run in a marathon half marathon, but how do I prepare my body for such a challenge? Enter this great little app. Pop in your headphones, press start and follow the commands to walk or run (all while listening to your favourite tunes)! 35 minutes a day, 3 days a week... by the end of the eight weeks, you are running 5k. How awesome is that?! Also, if you are the type of person that needs rewards and accolades, this app also gives you periodic "badges" to commend you for a job well done. $2.99
**There's also a 10K runner app available**


SleepStream 2: Pro
Do you have troubles falling asleep or unwinding after a hectic day? Are you regularly exhausted mid-day or need a boost to get through an afternoon meeting? If so, this is the perfect app for you! Pop in your headphones, customize your sounds (i.e. rain, distant thunder, forest, etc.) and program the app based upon what you need (i.e. instant energy, power nap, pre-sleep meditation, tired to motivated, mood lifter, tired to focused, creativity, etc.). Worth every cent at a very affordable $2.99 but sometimes goes on sale for $0.99.


Organization and Time Management

Scatterbrain
Type in your random thoughts and sort/classify them into categories when you find time later in the day. I love this app because I get many random thoughts and inspirations throughout the day. I've also been using this app to record notes on my baby's milestones so that they can later be added to her baby book. This app helps me make note of (and organize) my many thoughts. FREE!


Home Library
I know I've mentioned this brilliant little app before but I must tell you about it again because it's awesome! Scan the UPC code from your personal books, DVDs or CDs and the picture and details about the item is instantly added to your personal "library". A monetary value is also assigned to your collection! You can record if you've loaned out a particular item and also document items you've borrowed from friends and family! I love that when I'm in the book store, I can just whip out my iPhone, scan a UPC and see if I already own a particular title. This app is a must have... and it's only $1.99!


Fun and Games

Trade Nations
Build a nation. Trade resources with neighbours. Design your nation any way you would like. Much fun... and it's FREE!

Words With Friends
Like Scrabble? Then this is the app for you. Start a game with a friend or a random opponent and play at your own pace. FREE if you don't mind the advertisements.


Other

YouVersion Bible
This is simply the best Bible app. Access various versions of the Bible as well as hundreds of devotionals and Bible reading plans! There's a bookmark and notes feature as well. FREE!


Hipstamatic
I know Instagram is the hot photo app right now, but I love the pictures I shoot with my Hipstamatic. Choose a flash, lens, film, even your camera case and snap a picture. Unique and stylish photos (and so much FUN)! $1.99 for the base model and $0.99 for additional film/flash/lens paks.


TuneIn Radio
My brother-in-law recently told me about this awesome app. Tune into any radio station around the world. 5 years ago my husband and I had a beautiful honeymoon in Kauai. Ever since then we have been nostalgic for Island Radio 98.9. This great app allows us to listen to all that fantastic Jawaiian music that we've been missing so much! FREE! 


Do you have a favourite app? If so, please tell me about it!


Disclaimer
My opinions of these apps are my own and I was not compensated by any means for writing about these apps.

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Jul 20, 2012

{this moment: one}

2 comments:
Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to see.

"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves." Maria Edgeworth


Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of amazing moments!


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Jul 18, 2012

Postcard 73

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100 postcards... 100 invitations to send a message. What message would you share if you had a chance to have your voice heard... anonymously?

Postcard 73

Disclaimer
The opinions expressed on the postcards are those of the postcard's author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Deliberate Mom.


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Jul 16, 2012

First Birthday

11 comments:
A year has passed. A year since I pushed and cried my way through bringing her into the world. She was perfect. She was beautiful. She was a sister for my other daughter and the newest member to our little family.

The past year has been amazing. I have nurtured, loved, stressed, cried, and prayed my way through every day. I have watched this little person grow and I have loved her beyond what I thought I could ever love.

I thought I had the parenting "thing" figured out... I thought it would be easier the second time around. However, this first year with this new little person has been its own unique journey. God blessed our family with a completely different, amazing little girl... cuddly, affectionate, yet busy and curious.

The weeks leading up to her birthday have been a time of reflection for me. It's been wonderful remembering this past year and my husband and I had been planning to celebrate her first birthday in a magical kind of way.

Here are some pictures from my baby girl's first birthday....

We went "crazy" with the decorating. We chose a "retro" theme by decorating with old Golden Books, vintage fabrics and collectible items.

I sewed a happy birthday banner (shared here on my blog). We bought a white tablecloth that can be signed with fabric markers every year on her birthday. I also made her a Waldorf birthday crown.

My husband and I handcrafted a Waldorf birthday ring.


I cut out large triangles from old Golden Books and sewed them to bias tape. We decorated inside and outside the house with the pennants.




I displayed her monthly anniversary photos on a line of bias tape hung in the living room. Each clothespin used to hang the photos was adorned with a picture from a classic Little Golden Book.



We loved watching our little girl open and interact with her gifts. Her big sister was very helpful too!



Then there's the Waldorf doll that I made for her. She loves it! The doll has movable arms and legs, a bum, belly button and even a heart (my husband and I wrote special notes on a paper heart and I placed the heart inside the doll's body before sewing it up). 



Here's a close-up picture of the Waldorf doll. I am so pleased with the way it turned out.


I know first birthdays are magical no matter what you do. However, the "magic" in this birthday is the love and work that went into planning for this very special day. Happy Birthday my darling baby girl. You've blessed us more than you could ever know.


Thank you to Sofia from Sofia's Ideas, for providing the opportunity for this blog posting link-up.



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Jul 13, 2012

{this moment: relaxation}

1 comment:
Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to see.

"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves." Maria Edgeworth

FYI; the time on the clock is wrong... because at the lake, time stands still.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of amazing moments!



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Jul 11, 2012

Postcard 68

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100 postcards... 100 invitations to send a message. What message would you share if you had a chance to have your voice heard... anonymously?


Postcard 68

Disclaimer
The opinions expressed on the postcards are those of the postcard's author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Deliberate Mom.



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Jul 9, 2012

Where's The Magic In This?

4 comments:
One week. That's all I have until I return to work after a year-long maternity leave. My heart is breaking. The thought of being away from my girls all day is overwhelming.

There are so many wonderful moments in my days... the thought of missing even one of them is disheartening. Don't get me wrong... I love my job. If I didn't love it so much, there's no way I would be returning to work. My daughters will be well cared for by their daddy and it's a new phase in our family's life.

So where's the magic in being a working mom? Since I'm returning to work, I thought I would take a few moments to think of the "magic" that I could possibly create out of this situation.

  • I'll need to be more organized... this I know. The absolute necessity for list-making excites me.
  • Those lists need to be organized. I think a trip to Staples to buy a journal is of the utmost importance. Have I ever mentioned how much I love shopping for office supplies? Truly, it's one of my joys in life.
  • Work is easier than parenting. I love being a mom... but to have that "break" away from my children for eight hours out of the day may make me an even better mommy. Parenting is hard work (and is especially challenging when done 24/7).
  • I get to be the "fresh face" for my children after my hubby has been with them all day.
  • Speaking of being the "fresh face", it will be nice to have my daughter greet me excitedly when I get home from work.
  • At work your efforts are recognized and/or appreciated. I thrive on recognition... to get that once again will be uplifting.
  • I'll have a good reason to get out of my pajamas every day. Yes, I'm one of "those" moms; I don't change out of pajamas unless I have to.
  • I have a smart phone to make commuting to and from work less boring. I can check my e-mail, tweet, read my bible, play games, make a grocery list or catch up on my favourite blogs... all while riding the bus. How great is that?!
  • More money. While I was on maternity leave there were two cost of living increases to my salary . How awesome is that?!
  • I'll be in the land of adult-talk once again. I can't believe how much I miss and crave adult interactions!
  • I'll bring a new, interesting dynamic to my relationship with my husband. I won't be talking just about the baby's bowel movements and the cleaning I managed to squeeze in!

Guaranteed this will be a tough transition. I'm sure I'll have lots of teary moments over the next month. But, I made this list to help me see the positive in this new phase of life. Any other advice, tips, magic-making you can suggest would be greatly appreciated.


A special thank you to Sofia from Sofia's Ideas for creating this blog posting link-up. Magic is everywhere... sometimes you just have to look for it or better yet, create it.







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Jul 8, 2012

Critical Parenting Advice

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Every time I go to the bookstore, I am amazed at how many parenting books there are. And really, why not? After all, parenting is absolutely the most challenging "job" there is. You never master it and you never have it all figured out because your children are constantly changing, learning, experiencing and growing.

So what's this critical parenting advice I'm talking about?

My advice is this....

It's not about you.

You heard me. It's NOT about you, it's about another human being who you need to raise into adulthood.

Your child is not a possession. Your child is not an extension of you. Your child is not a boost for your ego. Your child is not here for your happiness. Your child is not here for your entertainment (although they can be entertaining). Your child is not really "yours" at all... they are their own person.

As a Christian mother, I've frequently contemplated the scripture;

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

I used to interpret this scripture as parents literally need to "train" their child, especially when it comes to all things spiritual. Even though I interpret this scripture as partially meaning spiritual instruction, I also firmly believe in Barnes' commentary;

"Train - Initiate, and so, educate the way he should go... according to the tenor of his way, i. e., the path especially belonging to, especially fitted for, the individual's character."

Wow! Powerful stuff moms and dads!

Your child is their own person with their own personality, strengths and characteristics. Think it. Know it. Live it.

Don't make your daughter into a ballerina when she has no desire to dance. Don't force your child to learn the piano when their heart is to play the drums. Don't demand that your child become a doctor because all the women in the family were doctors. Don't force your son to play hockey because you always wanted to. Don't demand straight A's in school, or awards and accolades. Don't place your demands, wishes, dreams or desires on your child... because if you do, you are indirectly telling them that you really don't care about what they want or who they are.

It's hard as parents to take a step back. To allow our children to try and "fail". To allow them to feel and be "sad". To allow them to explore the world when we think we have all the answers. We believe we know what's best but do we really? I encourage you to stop controlling your children and embrace relating to them. Observe them. Interact with them. Encourage them. Let them know that you respect them as individuals. Let them explore their heart's desires and support them along the way.

It's not about you... it's about them... that unique being who you call "your" child.



References
Biblos.com. (2011). Proverbs 22:6. Retrieved June 29, 2012 from, http://bible.cc/proverbs/22-6.htm

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Jul 6, 2012

{this moment: painted piggies}

2 comments:
Inspired by SouleMama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to see.

"If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves." Maria Edgeworth


Wishing you a wonderful weekend full of amazing moments!



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Jul 4, 2012

Postcard 59

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100 postcards... 100 invitations to send a message. What message would you share if you had a chance to have your voice heard... anonymously?

Postcard 59

Disclaimer
The opinions expressed on the postcards are those of the postcard's author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Deliberate Mom.



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Jul 2, 2012

The Lake

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I packed all my necessities into the small duffel bag... shorts, t-shirts, hoodie, hat, toothbrush, a deck of cards, and a stack of about forty Archie comics.

We're going to the lake for the weekend! My absolute favourite place in the whole world. There's acres of treed land, walking paths, the "pit" (which I think was going to be a swimming pool), Grandma's flowers and gardens, the swing which Grandpa made for me, volleyball, badmintin, campfires, storytelling, singing and food... lots of delicious food.

You can kind of see "the pit" here in this picture (it's lined with black plastic).
It was a two and a half hour drive but the monotonous scenery of pavement, rolling hills and farmers' fields was worth it. Besides, I had my Archie comics! I have such fond memories of our family gathering to relax, eat and play.

Me and my dog, Bumblebee. She loved the lake too!
I also remember how much I cried when my grandparents sold their acreage. My summers would never be the same....

Almost two decades later, my parents bought a lake lot. Childhood memories have come back to life as we have tried to recreate some of the "magic" that takes place when you go to the lake.

First there's the excitement of getting ready for the trip. We pack our bags, we listen to music while motoring down the highway, we converse about our hopes and dreams (which often includes plans for how we would spend the millions of dollars that we'll have one day). We sing loudly along to the music that's playing and we stop for Tim Horton's treats along the way.

As we pull up the driveway to the lake lot, we're immediately greeted by my mom or dad, waving and approaching the car to give us hugs. Then there's Mignon who barks and playfully jumps to greet us. My brother strolls up and gives us hugs as well.

We're here.

We get so much joy from being at the lake... building a campfire, roasting marshmallows, making walking paths, riding the "tractor" (which is actually a lawnmower), playing ladder toss, looking at magazines, talking, and relaxing.



I get to watch my girls explore nature... the flowers, the bugs, the butterflies, the grass, and the woodpecker who frequently stops in to look for insects to eat.

Lots of bugs to discover while we're at the lake!
My mom and I talk while preparing supper. Making dinner is often a chore while in the city but out here it's different, almost special. The family gathers around the picnic table and we eat while soaking in the fresh air and one another's company.

My dad ends the day with a firework of my daughter's choice. It's usually around seven o'clock... the sky is still light, but the anticipation, excitement, and sound of the firework is what really matters to her.


We load back into the car. My family stands and watches as we back our car out. They're waving to us... and we're already thinking about the next time we can come back to the lake.

To some, it may seem a simple delight... but to us, our time here is precious, beautiful and magical.




A special thank you to Sofia from Sofia's Ideas for creating this blog posting link-up. There is a lot of "magic" in all of our lives... sometimes you just have to look for it.


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