Monthly Archives: April 2012

finding JOY

After bathing the kids, I began picking out their alphabet and numbers from the lukewarm water.  The last three letters were J O Y.  In that order.  I think someone is trying to tell me something.

I can’t seem to find clarity or purpose these days.  With the exception of those two weeks of summer weather, it has been a grim, cool spring here.  We’ve had a fire burning every day and had a thick blanket of snow covering the peonies and lilies earlier this week.

I go to bed feeling empty and guilty.  I wake up feeling as though too many hours stretch out before me and the time Mike comes home.

As I said before, my life isn’t lacking.  It’s all in my head.  I know what work needs to be done and where I want to be, but I can’t seem to find the gumption.  I busy myself with the tasks of cleaning and tidying with the promise of doing the important self work later.

 

I bake cookies and pies when I should be exercising.

I look at pretty things when I should be creating pretty things.

I scrub toilets and sweep floors when I should be dancing and singing with the kids.

I sleep shallow sleep when I should be awake and sipping the silence.

I make lists when I should just start.

I read blogs when I should be writing my own blog.

I watch tv when I should be finding comfort in my own life.

I look at Facebook and wish I could quit it.

 

They say only boring people are bored, but man, I can’t seem to shake this feeling.  I think when I felt this restlessness before, I would just grab the stroller and numb it with buying fifty cent clothing at the Salvation Army or busy myself with finding the best shampoo or hand soap at the health food store.  Now I am left alone with it and I am faced with finding better coping mechanisms.  Which isn’t a bad thing, but it is a bit of a painful process.

I am fighting the urge to apologize for being anything other than upbeat and crafty in this space.  I don’t write in my journal anymore so this is where it all lands.  This isn’t to be dramatic or woeful.  It is just me working through and rolling with it.  Writing always take me to the answers and the truth is, all the wisdom of the ages rests within each of us.  The hardest part is to listen and then do something with it.

I know who I want to be, but it means breaking some old habits and that is never comfortable, but always worth it.

 

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in life, wellness | 32 Comments

book reviews

The Organic Family Cookbook by Annie Daulter.  

This is a beautiful cookbook full of bright and happy photography by Alexandra DeFruio.   It is divided into seven chapters: Naturally Tasty Breakfasts, Simple Snacks, Wholesome Lunches, Family Favourite Dinners, Savory Sides, Refreshing Desserts, and Homespun Extras.  Each recipe has a nice big picture which is one of the first things I look for in a cookbook!  Many of the recipes are accompanied by a lovely anecdote or inspiring ideas to involve your children in the kitchen and to help your community and environment as well as waldorf inspired activities.  Also scattered throughout the book is ingredient education with basic information on how to make responsible and wise food choices.

Now, I do love healthy food, but I also love comfort food and flavourful food and I must say this cookbook delivers on all three.  She has cleverly used healthy organic ingredients in ways that are appealing to all ages and moods.  She also includes a few raw and vegan recipes. All of the ingredients are easily acquired at your local grocery store, farmer’s markets, gardens and health food stores.

This is a really beautiful, useful, family friendly cookbook.

Buy it here.

 

Ice Pop Joy by Annie Daulter

This book also boasts beautiful and cheerful photography by Alexandra DeFurio and includes pure fruit pops, veggie pops, yogurt pops, tofu pops, herbal tea pops, chocolate pops, and specialty pops.  She give many tips on how to get your young children to eat more healthy foods as well as serving and ingredient tips and education.

It appears she is a master of sneaking healthful ingredients into her creations.  Some of the more surprising ingredients you may not see in your average ice pops include quinoa  and kidney beans, teas and herbs.  I have tried a few of her recipes (one worked as a great dairy- free throat soother in the middle of the night for a croupy boy), and will be making so many more with the return of warm weather.

The ingredients can be easily acquired at your local grocery store, farmer’s markets, gardens and health food stores.  These are not your average ice pops.  They are healthy AND tasty and I love this cookbook!

Buy it here..

 

go gently + be wonderful

e.

 

 

 

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words

Yesterday was a true feather + anchor day in which I fluttered about madly and Mike stayed the course; practical and unruffled.  I really don’t know how he does it.  My goodness how I wish I could be the anchor every once in a while.  I am a little tired of being in this tortured head to be honest.  If only I could settle this flapping in my rib cage and rest on a gentle wave for a spell.

These are the words defining me, keeping me awake, making me think and bringing me peace of late…

I am not a graceful person.  I am not a Sunday morning or a Friday sunset.  I am a Tuesday 2am, I am gunshots muffled by a few city blocks, I am a broken window during February.  My bones crack on a nightly basis.  I fall from elegance with a dull thud, and I apologize for my awkward sadness.  I sometimes believe that I don’t belong around people, that I belong to all the leap days that didn’t happen.  The way light and darkness mix under my skin has become a storm.  You don’t see the lightening, but you hear the echoes.  {source unknown}

I need to start making things again.  My itchy fingers tell me it is time.

 

go gently + be wonderful

e.

 

 

 

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earth’s best sundays

taking advantage of these cool, bug free days

wood pile stacked and drying

breaking  ground on our new garden space

double batch of bagels

double batch of  apple, raisin, flax seed breakfast pitas

first ever batch of meringues {oh.my.}

lots of laundry

filthy dirty children

a few found treasures buried in the garden space

homemade veggie pizza {always on the weekend}

early morning coffee

go gently + be wonderful

e.

 

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the wise fox

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The other night, I dreamed of a fox who told me to “drop into being”.  I awoke still tangled in the stars.

In the limited meditating I have done and the abundant dreams I have had, it is often the fox who comes to speak with me.  He is my wise animal guide.

Hospitals are strange places that make me think.  I walk down the halls trying not to look in each open door as we pass, but my eyes always manage to dart and scan; tableaus of vulnerability as people lay alone or with sullen family members.  My lungs itch as I breath the too-warm air making me wish we hadn’t brought the kids.

I have been doing a lot of thinking  in the past couple of weeks.  Thinking about life, happiness, family, goals, health, mortality, human fragility, mindfulness, priorities.  Death brushed  a little too closely  nearly two weeks ago and it has been on my mind ever since.  I sit under our own apple trees and wonder if I have tasted as many as I could.

The truth is, I don’t feel that my life is lacking anything.  I have two healthy, vibrant, gorgeous children.  I have a handsome, ever present husband who still rocks my every world and takes me to every edge and back again.  We have cupboards and freezers full of good, homemade, organic food.  I am right where I want to be in the heart of our home and family.  Our families are supportive of our choices and help when they can.  We have good benefits and Mike has an incredible job which he loves.

My life isn’t lacking, but I could certainly use some work.  I am just now coming out of the fog of two pregnancies, 2 years of nursing, nearly 4 years of not fitting into my old clothes, and all the challenges of having 2 kids only 18 months apart.  I have rolled and battled with depression, fatigue, resentment, heartbreaking love, and the nagging fear that I would never be the girl I was before I had children.  Sometimes I don’t recognize myself and it is true, I have aged, I have new lines on my face, I have stretch marks and scars.  It is also true that my heart beats about outside of my body.

You see, I realize it is time to take care of myself again.  I gave 110% of myself to my children in the early days, but now after 3+ years I am on the verge of burn out.  The fix is simple:  1) I need to wake early, sip tea, read, journal and meditate as the first light of day slips over the trees and 2) I need to run, stretch and move.  All this so I can be more present and mindful in my daily life and keep up with giving to my children in a more balanced way.  It sounds simple enough, but when Mike tugs gently on my toes to wake me, everything in me shrieks “Not on your effing life!”.  I struggle with mornings; they always seem so unfamiliar and empty, but it could be precisely what I need, so I will keep trying.

I had a light bulb moment when I realized I was looking for the answers of how to be a better, calmer, more patient parent in all of my parenting books.  I became frustrated as each book repeated the same advice again and again which, for the most part, is common sense to me.  Of course we know how we want to parent, but how do we remain composed on those inevitable bad days?  We’re all capable of kindness and patience when the conditions are right, but how do we remain mindful in the turbulence of a messy house, piles of laundry, and milk-spitting-counter-climbing children?  Not only do I want to be a better parent, but a better wife, friend, daughter and citizen of the Universe.

You see, the answer, for me, isn’t in the pages of of those parenting books (though they too hold an important place in my life and bookshelf).  Without realizing my error, I had let yoga, self work, and mindful affirmations fall to the wayside when I became a mother, but now I realize that they are indeed inseparable.

 

This is my pose, this is my breath.

In this moment, I am ok.

The way to peace and health in all chapters of my life  is to learn how to stop reacting and just ‘drop into being’.

 

go gently + be wonderful

e.

For anyone curious, some of my favourites include Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and I just picked up a few of John Kabat-Zinn’s books for my mom.

Posted in family, life, wellness | 17 Comments

good news

Today is the day the Sacred Pregnancy website goes live!  It is the companion website to go with Annie Daulter’s newest book to be released May 1st (available for pre-order on Amazon).  A couple months ago, I read that she was seeking people to review her other latest book Naturally Fun Parties for Kids co-written with Heather Fontenot of Rhythm of the Home.  She quickly got back to me asking if I would be interested in reviewing her other books and also wondered if I would be interested in doing a regular contribution of my favourite links.

And so bits + bobs – a collection of pretties was born (in case you’re wondering, yes, they spelled my last name completely wrong, but I have let them know).  I can’t tell you how honoured I am to be a small part of such a lovely and inspiring website and project.  Annie is delightful and kind and I urge you to check out all her offerings.  I will be writing reviews for her other books Ice Pop Joy,  The Organic Family Cookbook as well as Naturally Fun Parties for Kids during this month, but let me tell you, they are wonderful.

Oh, and since we’re sharing good news, I found out a few days ago that my article query for the Rhythm of the Home Book was accepted!  I can’t tell you how excited I am.

Oh and one more good thing!  Our wee nephew was brought into the world last night and we can’t wait to meet him.

go gently + be wonderful

e.

Posted in bits + bobs, celebration, photography + writing | 7 Comments

keep her in the light


This Saturday my mom went to spend the weekend with her sister at the family farm.  They headed out down the low traffic gravel road on their way to a nearby trail.  As they made their way down the hill, three four wheelers crested the hill.  My Aunt told her they were coming up behind them and all seemed fine.  The bikes slowed, but the first bike was particularly loud and startled both horses.

My mom fell over the front of her horse and his knee took her in the right cheek bone and knocked her unconscious.  Her horse lost his footing in the mud and as he tried to right himself my Aunt watched in horror as he tried to stay off of my mom, but managed to step on her back with his hind leg.  The family who had been on the four wheelers stopped immediately to help.  The woman instantly put pressure on her back where the horse had stepped and said she could feel the instant swelling under her hand.  When mom came to, she fought to get up and was a bit panicked, but they managed to keep her down and still.  The young girl riding the first bike held her head and neck and talked to her until the ambulance arrived.  From the local hospital she was then air lifted to Kingston General.

She has a broken cheekbone, broken wrist, bruised lungs and she broke two vertebrae front to back.  She had surgery to place rods and pins on Sunday morning, and in the words of the surgeon, he stopped counting broken ribs at 6 on each side.  Her head and neck are fine and though the doctors are amazed, her spinal cord was not severed and she is not paralyzed.

It is a frightening moment when you get the news over the phone that your mom has been in an accident and air lifted to Kingston.  Everything you thought mattered, just doesn’t anymore and everything that does can be counted on one hand.  I felt unsettled and maybe even a little orphaned in the time between hearing the news and actually seeing her.  I played it out in my imagination over and over.  I thought about how close we came to losing her and her ability to walk.

I am not sharing this here to be dramatic, but to let you know that I may be a bit absent or inconsistent over the next few weeks.  I also hope that you will hug your mothers, your fathers, your children and your friends as you are reminded of how quickly it can all change.

I want to thank those of you who have already sent prayers, kept her in the light or held her in your thoughts; it means so very much to us all.  She is broken, but I am hoping it has broken us all open so that we may learn to rebuild ourselves and each other.  I found this quote just days before the accident and she liked it.

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ― Louise ErdrichThe Painted Drum.

go gently + be weonderful

e.

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