sPA day our way

Today was a PA day here in G-town and I knew it was coming, so I made a plan.  And of course the plan didn’t end up working.  The Zoo at today’s temperature would have not have been fun for the kiddos, especially Lukas, and so onto Plan B.  

I set my alarm for 6:30 so I could be up ahead of the kids and get the ball rolling on our day of super awesomeness.  Guess who got woken up at 6:00…..yep.  I sent the child back to bed and she cried the whole way there which got everyone to tossing and turning.  Our day of super awesomeness was on the verge of terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-ness.  I was GROUCHY.  I banished everyone from my bedroom, left the baby to cry for a few minutes and got myself re-centered with a few minutes in the Word. 

Then I left my room ready to take on the World. 

ImageWe started off with a pancake brunch and a Bible Story.  (Our new habit for February is reading a Bible Story with breakfast, don’t hand me a cape….yet). 

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While the kids ate breakfast I threw dinner in the crock pot so I didn’t have to worry about it through the day or forget and end up ordering in/trying to find something to make while everyone melts down.  My crock pot, j’adore.ImageThen we took turns through our Spa rotation.  One child had a bubble bath, another got their nails done complete with foot bath and massage, another entertained Lukas and the fourth worked on their homework while waiting for their nails to dry. It went pretty smoothly.  

ImageOoh la la, pretty.  By this point the kids were pretty tired of being inside and cooped up.  I totally get recess.  But I wasn’t about to try anything fun outside today.  As myself I love winter, as a parent it exhausts me.  So we got our exercise another way. 

ImageMovie and a Workout.  (There’s a stay at home date night idea for ya).   I’ve seen them floating around Pinterest; basically take an old school drinking game and replace shots with burpees.  It only lasted about 15 minutes of them watching for the parts and doing the exercises, but that was all I needed to distract them and get lunch on the table. 

ImageLunch was nothing spectacular, (wieners, cheese and chips).  We chased it down with hot chocolate and marshmallows. I had thought this was the perfect opportunity to write our Christmas thank you letters, but my printer mysteriously ran out of ink…..

The kids took to playing with Lego and colouring while Isabella worked on her first out-of-class-time school project.  A diorama of the Arctic. 

ImageShe is making an igloo, dog sled, polar bear and painting the Northern Lights.  I nudged her towards a few revisions because we had some things in the house but not all of them.  But she’s doing it all on her own.  It’s a work in progress.  

Then came dinner, (and daddy got home).  Slow cooker mac and cheese, which I tried to double the recipe but I think my conversions were wrong cuz it was light on the mac and heavy on the cheese.  After dinner Isabella had a play date at a friend’s house so we attempted a Games Night with the other kids.  We’ve tried before to do games night, but the kids were all so little that it was just frustrating and we gave up.

ImageWe will definitely have another one! It’s crazy how quickly the kids have grown.  Brooklyn actually seemed to have strategy at some points in Uno.  Kathryn explained Candyland to Brooklyn since she had never played before.  They even cheated at our Winnie-The-Pooh Seek and Find.  Isabella returned from her playdate and we got cozied up to end the day with ice cream in waffle cone bowls and a movie. 

Image(Excuse the mess, we were busy making memories.) We watched the newest Disney Fairies movie, Secret of the Wings.  Highly recommend.  

We tucked the children in just before 9:30 pm which means this PA day was a 12 hour day for me.  

And we’re doing it all again tomorrow! Different activities, same time frame.  Sometimes I wonder what it is I do all day, nothing really seems to get accomplished, but breaking up my 12 hour work day into bite sized chunks helps me realize I do a lot.  It helps me to stop determining my success by how clean my house is and start defining it by how happy my home is.  

I got all thumbs up at the end of the day, which is a five star rating around these parts.  A lot of effort and that’s all the reward I need. 

Expectation is Exciting.

I am currently working on a couple gift projects for my niece, (who arrived yesterday!) and my nephew, (who is coming so soon!).  I want to wait until those gifts are received before I share them, it only seems fair. 😉

Working on these gifts has reminded me of the exciting days of waiting for a new baby to join the world.  The excitement comes in different intensities depending on how close to the person you are and I have enjoyed it as the mom-to-be, a sister, and a friend.  It doesn’t get much better than that text/phone call/email when a new little person has joined the world!

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Today’s scrapbook page is my favourite, (so far, I still have one to do), from the ones I’ve made for my kids talking about the excitement of expecting them.  Just as each one of those layouts is unique, so was the way I felt the excitement of expecting each time and I am so glad I found a hobby that enables me to capture the pictures and the feelings so that I can share it with them over and over, letting each child know how much I loved them, before I even met them.

A Girl Out Of Time

Emma Stone in Gangster Squad -02

I’m pretty sure I was born in the wrong decade.  This weekend I took myself on a date to see Gangster Squad and I am even more convinced that I am a girl living in the wrong era.  I’m not exactly sure what it is about the 1950’s that calls to me, but it does.  There was so much more colour to life, there was so much more class in the people.  What we consider necessary was utter luxury. SO much tension existed between good and evil.  Life was slower, but change was fast.

GANGSTER SQUAD

 

I probably shouldn’t but I also love the myth of the mob.  When bad guys wore ties and looked and sounded so much like the good guys it was hard to tell them apart.  I really enjoyed this movie because of it’s characters.  Brolin and Gosling did a magnificent  job of being the good guys, Brolin so sure of what is right and wrong and hell-bent on making sure everyone sees it his way.  Gosling knowing he’s surrounded by shady characters but not wanting to stir the pot, not wanting to put his neck on the line….that is until he can no longer deny the devil.  A deliciously cooked typical gangster plot.  With deliciously dressed cops ‘n’ robbers….swoon.  A movie full of characters and gun fights and deals done in the dark- just the way I daydream them.

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Not to mention the fashion and the hairstyles of the women.  I would take the style of the 50’s over skinny jeans and spanx any day.  Of course to dress in the style of the 50’s that I love I would have to have been a high end call girl…….but that’s beside the point.  Even the simpler fashions are pleasing to me; not the patterns of the fabrics so much but the cut of the clothes and the simple accessories and the time consuming hairstyles.  I would have been at the diner in my poodle skirt and bobby socks, rocking a long ponytail, swirling on the dance floor to the sound of big bands, getting from place to place on my roller skates, ending my day with the Tonight Show while my hair was in pin curlers. Dreaming of being Marilyn or Elizabeth and meeting Frank or James.

I was made for those days….I’m sure of it.

Got Ink?

Tattoos are controversial aren’t they.  A form of art that has us divided into two camps: those for and those against.  Those against think that tattoos have to be garish and a question of good judgement.  Something you’ll regret in the morning.  Nothing gets you judged more quickly than a visible tattoo.

Those who are for are like me.  We think it’s art.  That skin is just another canvas.  Folks with tattoo are deep and poetic…

My tattoo is a butterfly and I thought long and hard before I chose it.  It’s s a visual representation of my favourite Scripture verse: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10)  Butterflies are amazing to me.  They are created to be one thing, and then to change into another.  As a caterpillar they aren’t much to look at, but as a butterfly they are gorgeous.  So intricate, so colourful.  Little works of art fluttering around our heads.  Butterflies remind me how I started off as one thing, but have changed into another.  Reminding me that I am God’s handiwork, his masterpiece, his creation made to be uniquely me.

Which is the second reason I chose a butterfly to be permanently inked on my being.  Sometimes I forget who I am.  Or I get stuck being who I was. My tattoo reminds me that change is good.

But change is scary isn’t it?  Moving On.  Starting New.  Letting Go.  Frightening in concept, even more so in reality.  Sometimes change is necessary.  Leaving an abusive situation.  Letting go of someone who has died.  Conquering addictions.  Sometimes change is challenging.  Promotions.  New Ventures.  Daring to be who you always wanted to be.  Sometimes change is a lot of work.  Change of patterns.  Habits.  Routines.  Beliefs.

Changing circumstances happens quite often and we embrace it quite quickly.  But when it comes to changing ourselves it takes a while to get going, and even longer to get others on board.

I look at my tattoo a lot lately.  I am changing again.

When I decided on my tattoo I was literally becoming a new person.  I have a few friends who knew me in high school and in college and I think they can attest to a real change in me. But change isn’t always so drastic.

I am changing again.  But this time the metaphor is different and I think it might be time for sone new ink.  I’ll tell you about it after I get it done.

Introducing…

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Scrapbooking is my drug, i mean craft, of choice.  One of my motivators to start this blog came in the early spring when one of my favourite brands of scrapbooking supplies advertised their call for Design Team members.  I was pretty sure I could put in the effort to create pages based on assignments, test products, write reviews, create with other mediums and share my style with others.  So I grabbed a cup of tea and pretended I didn’t have any chores to do, I sat down to fill out the application and create a portfolio of my favourite pages.  I was excited and nervous.  What if no one else likes my style?  What if I am so behind the trends I’m obsolete?  Do I really have what it takes to be a ‘professional scrapbooker’?

A few minutes into the application I reached a hurdle.  One of the requirements was a link to your blog, your blog on which you showcase crafty things.  I did not have one.  For a moment I thought about applying anyway, but then I thought why not start a blog and apply next year.  There is so much about my hobby that I haven’t even explored, this could be a very fun experiment.  

In 2012 I completed about 10 personal scrapbook pages, lack of time, lack of funds, lack of inspiration.  I made a few gift albums for new babes that I really enjoyed.  I wondered if I could open an Etsy store of paper goods.  My confidence that I could win a space on a design team began to wane.  

The new year has brought with it new hope.  I mentioned the journey I’m on in my very first post and have decided to make one of my 2013 goals to enter myself as a candidate for a Design Team when submission calls go out.  

So you’re going to see a lot about Scrapbooking on this blog.  Pages I’ve created, products I love, challenges I’ve entered.  I’m so curious to see if I have what it takes to get recognized as unique in the hobby I adore. 

Creative Languages

I have been thinking all day what to write about.  There are so many thinks I think and I wonder which ones are worth sharing.  I was up late last night and surprisingly I think much clearer at 2am than I do at 10am.  Last night while I was reading and then letting my mind wander while I tried to fall asleep, I thunk this thought;

There is a creative language that I do not speak.  I know I need to grow in my understanding of the subject and I hope my children will speak it better than I.  I know it is a vernacular I will never be fluent in…the creative language of Science. 

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and see the neat science experiments I could do with the kids, but I don’t because if they start asking questions I don’t have any answers.  I am flabbergasted by how many uses there are for hydrogen peroxide because I never paid much attention in science class.  I look at all things sciency and I marvel at them. The Northern Lights, snowflakes, meteor showers, erosion, chemical compounds, why my green bin bags decompose but the garbage bags don’t.  I think about the way animals adapt and evolve.  The way ecosystems work.  The human body.  Mind. Blown.

It’s a language I would like to speak, not so that I can explain all the things that I find wondrous, but so I can understand them more, so I can connect better with them.

I know that there is this huge disconnect between Science and Religion.  That some would say I have to choose one.  But I refuse to believe that.  Science explains a bit of what God does.  The way a blueprint explains how to build the house in an architect’s mind.  The way the colour wheel gives all painters the same foundation to jump off of.  

If I could speak the creative language of Science better I would know even more about the Creator, like when a singer explains the meaning of a song, or a sculptor talks about the inspiration for a piece.  It’s always so fascinating to learn what artists are thinking, to be let into their world.

Isn’t there a quote by some deep thinker about many paths that lead to the same destination, many textbooks that can shed light on the same subject matter.  

Hmmm, those are the thoughts I thunk last night.  

 

Some Sheeran for the Soul

I have always been a fan of music.  I love how it changes your mood and lifts your spirits.  How it can say so much even without any words.  I love that music has so much depth and is relevant to every age and stage of life.  I love how music is present at every celebration. I love how we all have a playlist we would call the soundtrack of our lives.

Recently I discovered a new-to-me artist, Ed Sheeran.  He was featured on the iTunes festival the past two years, a British singer. It was the only concert I watched all the way through. His music is deceptively simple. I love how music has layers. 

I love music so much that in College I even decided to try my hand at a semester in the Worship Arts program.  It’s always been my desire to sit down at a piano and put music to my feelings.  The happy ones, the sad ones, the ones I don’t even have words for.  So I took a composition class at 8:30 am, (my first creative sacrifice because I love mornings.)

There were about 12 people in the class.  A few of them who had done all the piano grades and taught lessons to earn their spending money.  They were all in bands I’m sure.  Two of them had released their first CDs that year. They sang like angels, they played air guitar with precision.  They spoke in rhyme, they entered rooms to drum rolls. 

I had started playing piano about 12 months earlier.  I’m pretty sure my 4:00 lesson fell in between a 3 year old and a 6 year old.  But my piano teacher was great.  I enjoyed every minute of the 18 months I spent tickling those ivories.

But the kids in the class carried around their strings and brass and music sheets. They walked in time signatures and placed their coffee orders in four part harmony.  I carried around my walkman and drank Slurpees.  I started to think I was in over my head.  

The professor in this class was someone I knew well and trusted, and he confirmed my suspicions after the midterm.  ‘It’s great that you’re trying something new, but this class is just too advanced for you.’ It was Harmony 101, I couldn’t take it down a notch, it was the beginning.  

And I gave up. I stopped going to class and failed out.

I have few regrets in life, but this is one of them. That one fail is a black mark on my almost perfect College transcript.  I tried something new, something that didn’t come naturally to me and at the first sign of opposition I gave up.  The kicker is that at the end of the semester my prof came back to me and said; ‘I looked over your mid-term again and if you had just stuck with it, you would have passed.  Just barely, but you would have passed.’

“I dreamed a dream in time gone by…. ” 

 

(Here is a link to one of my many fave songs, really the whole album is awesome.)

 

 

Creative Living

Lately my kids have started asking me what I want to be when I grow up.  The very question that has tormented me since I knew you had to choose.  I envy those who just knew they wanted to be a marine biologist or an astronaut, a teacher or a policeman, a movie star or a poet.  Usually I tell them; ‘When I grow up I want to be a mom.’ because I am grown up and I am a mom and I don’t want them to think I’m doing something I don’t want to be doing.  

But when I sit down to consider the question deeply I find myself without an occupational answer.  The only thing I know I want to be is creative.  

I love how the dictionary defines the verb: create; to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes; to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or invention. I get that tingling sensation on the back of my neck when I think about it.  So much potential, so much power, so much possibility.  To me creativity is embedded in each of us and cannot be separated from our physical being, our emotional state or our mental faculties. This belief is solidified by my faith; I believe in God.  I believe that He created the earth and everything in it.  I believe that He created me in His image and I believe that means He created me to be creative.  

I’m on a journey that may lead to an occupation based on creativity and I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m going to learn along the way.  I’m on a mission to find more time in my everyday to get my hands and mind into a creative space.  I have a desire to help develop creative thinking and activities within my children.  

I think that just as patience is a virtue to be developed so is creativity, and the pursuit of the creative is one I want to invest in. I hope you will join me and together we can create something wonderful.

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