Februaries: True Grit

I caught a pretty serious case of the Februaries recently. Do you have it? Is it going around? Is it contagious? Should I stay home till it passes?

The symptoms are this:

  1. Do you suddenly dislike most everything?
  2. Do you think that you are the worst, at everything, of all the people, in the entire world?
  3. Do you sort of want to stay in bed most mornings?
  4. Did you just feed your children french fries and hot dogs and call it supper (and then loathe yourself some more?)
  5. Is at least one entire room of your house covered in something that should not be there (master closet = 7 inches of clean laundry)

I know it sounds dramatic, I promise it isn’t. Just one of my hundred or so quirks. I’m really not looking for attention. I’m just telling you…its February…it happens. And when it strikes, strange things happen. Like for example:

In a fit of self-loathing the other day, I deactivated my facebook account. I don’t really know why. I just sort of decided I was sick of myself. I felt like a little old bitty sitting on a front porch making fun of weirdos on the street. My husband came home from work and I told him thirteen things I learned about people on facebook. Barf.

Turns out it was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, so it seems appropriate to fast from something anyways. Apparently mine is facebook. Huh.

It is the season for gritting your teeth, digging deep, realizing that in fact, you are not a monster…but you are only human. Frailty is a gift. It helps you remember exactly what you are.

Entirely Broken.

But in His hand? On that Cross? Absolutely Restored.

Easter is coming (and hallelujah, February is awfully close to over!).


Obviously this was a five minute free write on the theme “grit”. Linking with:

This weekend…

At this moment I am…

Listening to this:

(Great album fella’s! If you haven’t bought it yet? Find out where to get it here! DO IT! You won’t regret it)

Looking at this:

Nothing better than coffee in hand when sun gets to creeping over horizon...

Thinking on these quotes (from a mother’s letter to her child about her Jesus):

“Fight to love with a passion that is scandalous. Fight that need to compete. Fight the lies that tell you you’re less than what you are. Fight the pride that tells you you’re more than just enough.”

and this from a little later in the piece…

“Follow closely this changing figure, who slips in and out of view. When you think you catch hold of Him, and confident you speak his voice, look again that you’re not clutching a mirror.”

(emphasis mine…Just beautiful Tara…excited to read more from you!)

Buying books and ordering articles to start research for my masters thesis. I am hoping if I write it down here that I won’t chicken out… Start date fall 2013 when Emily starts school full-time.

Featured over here for the next few weeks.

Next? Pecan waffles with Maple Pear sauce and perhaps? Just one more cup of coffee.

LOVING lazy Saturday mornings with my little people tucked in tight beside me.

What about you? What are you loving this weekend morning???? Breathe it in deep and don’t rush away from it

Time for Everything & a Giveaway!

Didn’t I just give birth to that giant baby who took days to come into the world? How is it that in just one month he will be five and that he has begun his school life?

It is the intensity of transition that makes mamma hearts ache.

That first one? That one during labour? That one is only the beginning. The rest sting just as mightily. Last weekend I did a workshop for parents sending their kids to university. We were feeling the same, them and I.

Scared. Proud. Sad. Excited. Conflicted.

But still we know. There is a time for everything.

A time to let go.

A time to bare down and fight.

And so we release them over and over again.

We find new stages.

In some ways sweeter.

In some ways harder.

In all the ways…once the transition pains ease, release soon comes.

E and I are making our way into this new stage too. More girl time for us. She is finding her way to new toys and settling in with a good book beside me.

It’s a slow day. Partly because O is not here. Partly because…well a rather large Amazon parcel arrived.

And guess what? I accidentally ordered two copies of “The Rhythm of Family”. So my very first bloggy giveaway! If you would like a copy of this awesome book from Soule Mamma leave a comment and I will get it to you!!!

UPDATE! The winner of the book is commenter number two~ Congratulations Kristie!



Funsies: Things I’m Loving in June



LOVE this website…what a fascinating experiment. This blog is collecting photos and summaries of what people would take with them out of their burning houses. This morning I submitted the above photo and my details. What would you take out of your burning house? Please comment! I’d love to hear!

Other things I’m loving these days:

  • I bought myself earrings at the Farmers Market. Oh how I love the Farmers Market in June! Flowers, strawberries, balloon animals. Its wonderful. My children love it too and I think it is how we are supposed to go shopping. I rarely feel like jumping in front of trucks when I am there (now Walmart is another story entirely).
  • This cook book! SO GOOD! Thanks Missy Jayne!
  • Castanet dog section. Three years before O was born I bought a dog. Now my baby is almost three and I’m looking at them again. Coincidence? Maybe…or it could be that bear I saw. These are supposed to be the leading breed in bear prevention…and how cute is he?
  • I finally got my porch set up this late and rainy spring. My porch is my favorite thing about my house. I bought new cushions and door mat with my birthday money (thanks Mamma and Pappa Fed!) and Joel found the rug in the youth office (if it is yours please claim it ;-). J came home with the lanterns and vase for my birthday…what a guy!

  • Friends…old and new. Hockey parties, patio parties, play dates…Feelin’ the love this week.

  • Team Aylard is on Canadian soil. TEAM AYLARD IS ON CANADIAN SOIL. I can hardly breathe I am so excited!!!!!
  • There is finally things blooming in my yard! SO fun to see what blooms in the spring when you move into a new house!

What are you loving in June? What would you grab first from a burning house????

Friday Funsies

We’ve been raising a ruckus over here today. Daddy is heading out for the week tomorrow and so we jam packed the day with…well nothing except lots of fun and cuddles. Which really are the best kind of days. Speaking of which, I think the world needs more delightful things don’t you? Here are a few of my bright spots this week:

1) Flannery O’Connor. Wow. Hadn’t heard the name until three weeks ago when all three of the books I was reading (this, this and this) mentioned her. I am now obsessed. It is one of those strange moments where I can’t read enough bios and history. I’ve ordered all of her writings (which aren’t a ton as she died young and just when her writing took flight) and I am in LOVE.

2) I got to hold baby Mae on Monday. What a doll. Emily is in LOVE. So am I!

3) I bought this plate for Emily at I can’t wait to put food on it each meal. So cute.

4) Reading this out loud to my kids and thinking there is nothing new under the sun.

Lines Scribbled on an Envelope While Riding the 104 Broadway Bus
By Madeline L’Engle

There is too much pain
I cannot understand
I cannot pray
I cannot pray for all the little ones with bellies bloated by starvation in India;
for all the angry Africans striving to be separate in a world struggling for wholeness;
for all the young Chinese men and women taught that hatred and killing are good and compassion evil;
or even all the frightened people in my own city looking for truth in pot or acid.

Here I am
and the ugly man with beery breath beside me reminds me that it is not my prayers that waken your concern, my Lord;
my prayers, my intercessions are not to ask for your love
for all your lost and lonely ones,
your sick and sinning souls,
but mine, my love, my acceptance of your love.
Your love for the woman sticking her umbrella and her expensive parcels into my ribs and snarling, “Why don’t you wants where you are going?”
Your love for the long-haired, gum chewing boy who shoves the old lady aside to grab a seat,
Your love for me, too, too tired to look with love,
to tired to look at Love, at you, in every person on the bus.
Expand my love, Lord, so I can help to bear the pain,

the corrupt policeman with his hand open for graft,
the addict, the derelict, the woman in the mink coat and discontented mouth,
the high school girl with heavy books and frightened eyes.

Help me through these scandalous particulars
to understand
your love.

Help me to pray.

5) Petty I know…but some people have asked…here are the photos of our new home.

6) Dinner with my brother and his family and watching sweet Nene dance and sing.

7) Lunch with a dear old friend. She asks good questions and she listens well and I always talk to much. She makes me want to be wise and passionate.

How about you??? I would love to hear the beauty spots of your week!

Funsies: Valentine Edition

Happy WEEKEND! I’m so excited to have my man to myself and that we even get to go on a date tonight! Yahoo!

We are giving Local a try. Has anyone eaten there? I read about their focus on local, seasonal ingredients and have been trying to find an excuse to go there!!!

I want these.

These are the Valentines we made for O’s preschool this year. I can hardly wait to give them out!!!

Once they are printed on photo paper, we will slit the paper above and below his hand and put a lollipop in. Adorable right? I stole the idea from here.

This is a really pretty, idea filled blog. I decided I liked it with this sentence, “Who doesn’t like pretty stationery? I think your lame if you don’t”. SOLD

ADORABLE free printables!

Original illustrations for kids available for free downloads?! Are you kidding me? I love creative people.

OR how about this way to contribute to an amazing organization and send beautiful ecards to the ones you love! This is the organization that Lamont Hiebert cofounded.

I tried to do a Valentines Photo shoot for daddy’s present. It didn’t work. I tried all day and finally convinced them after the sun went down and the light was poor. It turned into a game of keep away:

There was also lots of this:

and this:

Maybe we’ll do better next year. Till then hope that this weekend and all year is filled with pretty things and LOVE!

Funsies: We MISS Kara Edition

Kara went to Uganda.

We miss her.

Like… BAD.

Last night we went out on the town, after a long, cold, sickly winter we splurged a little (ok a lot) and had a luxurious girls night. Normally, Kara would be in the midst of this group and so it felt wrong to go without her.

So she came along…

Kara loves herself some hummus and pita.

She preferred the white to the red (though we know it is the opposite in real life).

She got lots of hugs (from a strange horse-faced woman).

She really enjoyed the “Kings Speech”. I have no idea what Rochelle and Lisa are up to here. But I know its awesome.

Here is another beaut. We are talking about something really disturbing like poverty or world hunger. Well that…or breast implants.

We love you Kara Aylard.

(You also really enjoyed Lisas crumble and lots of kisses from Rochelle).

Funsies (Video Hits Edition)

It is the weekend but my kids are STILL SICK. If I have to miss anything else fun, I’m throwing a chair (or myself) out the window. Not really. But seriously…

I did make it out to the square dance last night and thoroughly embarrassed myself with too much exuberance. Being in the house, with sick kids, for one full month, will do that to you.  Thanks to all who came and donated! I think we brought in about $1500! If you couldn’t make it but still want to donate to our awesome friends doing awesome things click here. They could really use some support right now.

While I’ve been at home, I’ve been sucked into this! As if I needed more places online to waste my life.

Steve Hubert is in a movie? I didn’t know that! This is just the trailer, let me know if you can find a way to watch it! Looks like he would be HILARIOUS.

Joined a book club with the old ‘hood girls. Pretty excited by the selection. Also excited for this book to arrive!

New favorites.

Did you know that Joel Thiessen makes films? Did you know he just shot one at the SECRET CABIN!? With emerging (and excellent) Canadian artist named Pat LePoidevin? Super great song.

The conference promo vid for RUSH. These kids are crazy cats. Also love this…it is one of my favorite youth videos in a long time. Oh boy.

I hadn’t seen this video of the youth camp we run! Pretty great!

My dad sent me this super cute video. (DAD! Looks like that video is from here on National Geographic! They post new vids like that often!)

Anyways…hope you have better things to do than watch videos online. I don’t. But enjoy if you are bored like me!


Some fun stuff…

1) We took the kids to their first theatre movie last night. It was 3D! The kids were super cute in their glasses and had a really fun time. Until…the movie started. Then it was too scary. Dang you Disney and your making movies too scary for kids.

2) I made a new friend. She asked me to be her mentor and I don’t really know what that means BUT first and foremost it will mean helping market her fab cd. You can buy it here!

3) I bought the Calvin Klein jeggings at Costco yesterday ($23!). I feel like Liz Lemon.

4) I’m doing this and I’m excited!

5) How fun an idea is Project 365! A picture a day all year! I’ve really enjoyed other friends doing this so am copying!

6) I’m currently recruiting women from WPC to participate in ‘Generations Night’ for February. Interested? Please comment below or email me!

How about you? Any wonderful, interesting or fabulous things you noticed this week?