Friday, April 27, 2012

Dancing the Limbo

 We're in a  bit of a limbo time, my little family and I. A time of transitions, waiting and wondering. Even as I write that, I have to laugh at myself. As a mum, most of my life is spent in transition. My toddler is now toilet-trained and my baby is starting solids. We're going with more a baby-led weaning approach and I'm learning to embrace it. 

I don't think there's any secret formula for any bit of life. We all have to push through some days, knowing that some days we'll feel really great and others, well, they don't last forever. 

I've been thinking a lot while also trying to be fully present for my family. We're learning to dance a new rhythm together and I have never been so excited. 

But with all of that comes a whole slew of emotions and just, you know, stuff. I will be sharing more as it all becomes more clear, hopefully sooner then later. But I will also be a little quieter (perhaps) on here. I'm also working on changing this blog around a little  a lot. I'm rather excited about that change as well. 

We got a new stroller recently. It's a double stroller, Bob Duallie. I love it and yet it took me a little bit to get used to the big beastie of a stroller. I miss wearing my baby and kissing her head but I love looking down and seeing the girls close together, holding hands and sharing a blanket. I'm a double stroller mama now, I kinda rock it. Crowds part for me and I feel like royalty. 

But I had to get there, I had to turn the page to get to the next chapter. Thanks for being here, for listening reading while I turn the page.

And just because I'm curious, how do you read this blog - facebook link, email, google reader, phone, desktop computer etc?

pictures of my Kilmo-girl one perfect evening, just before twilight, with Edmonton's skyline

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pastries and Proscuitto: the First Picnic of the Year

When the weather turns nice and you shed your jackets, when you start to see a glimmer of green in the grass, when the sky is a glorious blue with just enough white clouds to make the blue really pop, there is really only one thing to do.

A picnic.

We riffled through our drawers finding some summery wear, made sure the stroller was in the van and headed off to our local Italian supermarket. It is the most delightful store and really, the only place to go when suiting up a picnic. I was in charge of choosing the meats and cheeses. Jared and the girls picked out some bread and pastries. 

We fit everything in the basket under the stroller and headed out. Where we were going, we weren't exactly sure. The afternoon was fresh, our spirits were high and we had nothing to do except enjoy. We've explored the trails in Edmonton's River Valley over the year that we've lived here, marking places to come back to in the summer and picnic. It was to one of those locations that we headed towards but a missed turn left us on the wrong side of the river and so we found a new site.

We laid out our goodies - aged Cheddar and  Prima Donna, cheeses from England and the Netherlands. Prosciutto and white turkey breast, sundried tomato ciabatta bread, garlic stuffed olives, and sparkling apple juice.

And it was good. 

Kilmeny ran back and forth between the playground and the picnic table, laughing at the sheer delight of being able to do so. Khaira laughed at her sister's antics and the general happiness.
And we, we were happy too. Sharing good food, and conversation. Reading bits of a book aloud and dreaming a little. 

We ate pastries and just swept the crumbs onto the ground. We took time to eat, and to read. To nourish our bodies and our souls. 

And it was very good.  

What are your essentials for a good picnic?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blue Eyes and Green Grass

We've been spending a lot of time together lately, my little girl-baby and I. All through the night and all through the day. She's at one of her most needy stages and I'm the one who can answer her call. Her needs are small and simple. She just wants me. My love, my arms, my whispers in her ear, the knowledge that Mummy is here and that she doesn't have to be hungry anymore.

We went to church on Sunday, and although she was quite happy with her auntie for some time she fussed for me and then she just fussed. So we went outside. I didn't feel like making more of a big deal in a small building where anything and everything I did with her was very noticeable by everyone else.

So we chilled outside, my baby and I. She played in the grass, feeling its rough texture with her soft baby fingers each indented with an adorable dimple. She closed her eyes when the breeze played with her hair, and smiled in the sun's warmth. She talked about everything that was going on in her life through her little coos and noises. She laughed when I danced with her in the sunshine, feeling liberated by the hope of a dream taking root. I tossed her up into the air, her eyes a match for the bright blue sky that was her backdrop.

I walked with her along the country road, undisturbed and quiet except for a neighboring farmer fixing his roof. She fell asleep. And I smiled. That is one of the sweetest rewards for a mother. For anyone who cares for a child.

I know she'll sleep through the night at some point in her life. I know she will. I do whenever I have the opportunity and I'm sure my parents wondered if I ever would sleep all 8 hours. 
I know she'll sit quietly, and learn the appropriate behavior for different situations. So I try not to worry. I try to not stress that much about it.

I know these days will pass quickly and that is both a gift and a reminder to cherish the days. And I want to live each day with my little ones, knowing that being present with both my girls is one of the best things I can do. 

linking up with Mother Letters, a collection of letters written to mothers from mothers.
If you have not yet downloaded and read your copy, you need too. It is beauty.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Project 365- Week 11

April 16- April 22 

1. I love, love, love the children's library at the downtown library branch. It has the most delightful area for children to play and all sorts of interactive puzzles and games. There's even a fish tank built into the wall. We love going there. Kilmeny made herself right at home this last time we were there, took off her shoes and began playing with the farm animals. 

2. Snuggles on the couch. Love my girls so much. 

3.  First picnic of the year!! Food: Italian Centre, Place: Edmonton's River Valley, Date: April 22, Earth day. Not that we really celebrate Earth Day but it is good to be reminded that the earth is God's and He has placed us here to be stewards of it.

4. Chilling on the couch with my Khaira-baby. Her eyes are so big, so blue, and so expressive.

5. Orange julius with a movie at Moshers on a Saturday night.

6. It was a particularly rough day, the house seemed to be a huge mess, and I was trying to get us all ready to get out the door for Dad M.'s birthday. Kilmo who had been, well, two all day totally turned around and started putting the laundry away for me. I was shocked to tears. She grabbed a big stack of my clothes, and opened my drawers and started stuffing the clean clothes in, all with a big smile on her face. It was priceless and such an encouragement. One of those times where I really felt God leading me gently.

7. Kilmeny having her second cake pop of her life. We normally just get her water at Starbucks, I don't want to get in the habit of always getting her something so that it stays a special treat when we do get it. It is so fun sharing these moments with her, her eyes were so big and she kept saying 'special treat, Mummy, very special treat.'

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sweet Simplicity

 Happy Friday!

May your weekend be filled with the enjoyment of sweet things and delighting in the simplicity of life! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A little Soul Nourishment

We took a little time away, my man and I.
 We flew across the mountains to a place by the ocean, where winter's grip has lessened.
 We stepped outside to blue skies and fresh breezes and cheery yellow daffodils swaying in the wind.

I couldn't stop smiling. I took huge gulps of the fresh, salt-scented air, hearing the calls of the gulls, the warmth of the sun on my face and letting my spirit become quiet. It has always been one of my very happy places. I feel at rest inside and everything seems okay when I'm by the water.

We ate. A lot. We had a couple specific restaurants that we were really looking forward to trying as well as re-visiting some favorites. 

We took a lot of pictures, trying in some way to capture the beauty that surrounded us. To freeze those feelings.

We talked. A lot. Life is different when it's just the two of you and a happy, content baby without her spunky, never-sits-still older sister. We slept. We explored new places and got caught in the rain.

 We walked. A lot. Alongside the harbor, past the float planes, amongst the yachts.

We spent time, how much I don't even know, at an old favorite bookstore finding new treasures for our shelves and just soaking up the old book smell and perusing pages of old friends.

We spent time with family, talking and laughing and making new memories to add to the treasure box. 

It wasn't everything that I expected it to be, I'll be honest. There was a little detox that needed to happen, a lot of talking things over, and time to just be quiet and let it all sort itself out.

And in the end, it was all refreshing. I felt re-charged and ready to embrace life again with all its uncertainties, all its hopes and dreams, and all the everyday moments.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cafe Medina: A Vancouver Weekend Brunch

On our recent trip to Vancouver, we planned out where we were going to eat with as much detail as what we wanted to do. But sometimes even with the best of planning, things go differently then anticipated. We booked in at a hotel we stayed in before, we loved it for its close proximity to the waterfront and that we could walk to our favorite places. We planned on walking down to a favorite of ours,  Urban Fare for breakfast and then a leisurely stroll along the water, sipping our coffees and soaking up the fresh air. 

But instead our second morning found us up bright and early and walking purposefully in the opposite direction of Urban Fare. The night before we had heard about Cafe Medina, one of Vancouver's best places for brunch. It opened at 9 and didn't take reservations. We knew we wanted to be there when it opened. 
Khaira woke us up early and we headed out, soaking up the glorious sunshine as we made our way through Gastown on that sleepy Saturday. There was hardly anyone else awake and about, just a handful of runners and business owners heading to work. 

 We stopped several times along the way to take pictures of the old buildings and to marvel at the sunlight streaming through narrow alleys. A lot of the buildings were well over a hundred years old and had been home to a variety of businesses. I loved the brick walls and the way new owners were re-furbishing the old places.

Cafe Medina was far from sleepy as we stepped inside, the aroma of fresh coffee and waffles filled the space and almost every table was full. We chatted with the cafe owner for a few minutes while we waited for a table. They brought our drinks out right away. I was thrilled to see that my latte was served in a glass just like they do in New Zealand. And the latte art, as always, delighted me. We already knew that we wanted waffles, it was just deciding what topping to have with them. There was everything from dark chocolate to maple syrup to milk chocolate lavender or white chocolate pistachio rosewater. I went with mixed berry compote. They presented our sides of sausage and a perfectly poached egg in such style, breakfast has never looked more appealing! The waffles were absolutely delicious and did not disappoint. I loved the presentation and the fresh twist on a classic, I am spoiled for life!

Khaira did so well in all our restaurant experiences, charming the wait staff and enjoying her first introduction of solid foods. We lingered over our coffees, enjoying the eclectic ambiance and the chance to enjoy the morning's gifts together. When we left, there was a line up out the door and down the street, everyone eager for hot waffles.   

Do you plan out your dining experiences or wait and see what suits your fancy?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Project 365- Week 10

April 10 - April 15
Obviously this project has a lot of grace woven into it. I need a lot of grace in my life.  I set off with a project like this thinking that it is going to transform my life and keep me up-to-date with everything and my tenth 'week' only has six days. I'm not consistent in my creating these little collages, my posting or when my weeks start and end. And I'm trying to be okay with that. I haven't made this a huge priority and so it is what is, when I have time for it. 
1. I've never been that big on bathtime pictures. I know they are adorable and all that when it's my naked children covered soap suds but I don't find everyone else's babies always that cute and so I don't post or take a lot of pictures of my babies in the tub. But I decided that Khaira was just too cute with her little hooded towel and the yellow duck so I captured a few moments. 
2. Kilmeny's very first time ever going bowling! 
3. We got our BoB Duallie stroller and I love it! It's so nice having the girls side by side and it is super easy to push or run with. 
4. Jared brought me home some tulips just because, I love them. 
5. Little shoots of new green grass amidst the old brown grass makes me very happy! 
6. And two bowling shots! We went with Byron and Becca, Josh and Ariana, Thomas, Alicia, Kaden and McKenna. It was great fun! 
7. Khaira, basking in the warm sunlight at the park one day.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Small Celebrations

I'm celebrating today. All the little things that make up my everyday life. The occurrences that happen and then they're gone. I'm choosing to celebrate today, in all it's realness. Join me?

My little girl painting her nails, I think she sported three different colors by the time I got to her. Is she not SO cute?


The fact that I can cook for other people. I get to do what I love and fit it around my girls' schedule. It also totally stresses me out, one of those ironic things about being an artist. We love it and we hate it.

My small kitchen. A total mess. I'm not even kidding. The counter is covered in dishes.

Kilmo had granola for lunch while I put the finishing touches on the client's dinner. She loves granola, I make it healthy on purpose, and it kept her occupied when I needed her to be quiet. 

My two healthy adorable girls. I love them more then I can say. All the crazy, frustrating, precious moments. Long nights, long days, and no naps. But they are worth it.

Tea. What can I say? Some days I drink a lot of tea, it's one of my little refreshments. Today was one of those days.

The fact that I have lots on my heart to write but I don't have the time except to do little bursts like this one. But, I can write while my girls dance in the living room. And their giggles give me fuel to go on, choosing to see the beauty in the mundane.

Oh, and that I can take pictures throughout the day and then edit them on my phone while I feed my baby.
Someday, I'll use the 'big camera' but right now I'm just glad to capture life.


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