Category Archives: photography + writing
I am back.
What’s new, you ask?
Well, let me see….
Our little cabin is for sale.
We’re moving to a run down, but lovable farmhouse just a hop, skip and a jump away from my dad and step mom’s farm.
More on that later, I promise.
I made the leap and deleted 340+ friends on Facebook in an act of self preservation and in hopes of getting back to a place of creativity and productivity.
I will still be posting often on
And I can’t see myself ever leaving Pinterest 😉
I am sure there will be more on all of that later too.
I picked up my crochet hook again and taught myself some new moves.
I made a slouchy hat and had so many requests to make them for others that I decided to make and sell a few to do just that.
It feels so good to make pretty things again.
So good that I decided to unearth some beads and challenge myself to more making and story telling.
I will be tucking a pair of the sweetly simple Story Girl Earrings with the first 10 hat orders.
Each pair comes with a little story inspired by the woman who may wear them or the jewels themselves.
I have mentioned before that if I don’t carve out time to make pretty things, I will surely burst.
It feels good to be back.
Tell me what you’ve been up to.
This feels right.
go gently + be wonderful
It’s official. We will be taking a family road trip to Newfoundland (and, may I just say, they killed it with their amazing tourism videos) in the beginning of September. It’s been 9 years. Silas is thrilled that we will be spending his birthday in a yurt by the ocean. I am thrilled that the kid’s “first day of (home)school” will be taken at the rather famous Hopewell Rocks at low tide. It feels like a great rebellion. Our time in Newfoundland will be spent with family, some of whom we haven’t seen in years, and taking day trips to places with names like Leading Tickles and Twillingate. On the way back we will make a quick visit to PEI. Because Anne. When we return, we will be starting our more structured homeschool days. Silas would officially be starting Junior Kindergarten this year.
Poppy would be going into Senior Kindergarten. I chose to go with the Moving Beyond The Page Curriculum this year. It seems like a good fit. Last year we kind of decided to wing it with workbooks from Chapters and informal learning. It was fine. The kids learn. Poppy can read the first two books of the Bob Book Series without help and the third and fourth books with a little help. Reading and writing are what intimidate/worry me most about homeschooling. I have no memory of learning how to read and write. But everything hinges on getting that right. So, I am over the moon that we are seeing progress and that we (us! ) are facilitating that growth with pure gut instinct and a few simple tools. The reality is, they’re always learning. While we read, and bake, and visit, and watch tv, and explore. The world is full of stuff to learn. And they are endlessly curious and observant. It’s a beautiful thing. To be honest, the curriculum is more for my schooled mind. And I am ok with that. We will still have lots of informal learning, but balanced out with structured activities as well. I think it will be good. We’ve also enrolled Poppy in Sparks come Autumn. Which means we will have access to those thin mint cookies dreams are made of. And she will wear a sash and earn badges and foster friendships. It’s all good. And just because it’s Friday, I may as well make it a Fawned Friday… 08) When I was 17 I had short hair so I missed out on this trend. It might just be on today’s agenda. 09) I just love this little gallery wall. 10) This bathroom is perfection. 01) Shake, woman, shake. Love that. 012) I just happen to have $12 left on a Chapter’s gift card… 13) This is pretty damn inspiring. Happy Weekending Deer Hearts! e.
34 trips around the sun.
More sun warmed berries.
Homemade ice cream cake.
A couple of my favourite meals.
A handful of wildflowers picked by my loves.
A pretty little pottered mug.
A walk through the pasture and along fence rows.
Feeling a little like Anne Shirley dreaming about the possibilities.
Kid playing in the old claw foot tub.
It was another nice one.
go gently + be wonderful
A sweet breeze
A freshly mowed lawn
Watching two pretty hipster girls help a turtle cross the road in front of our house
Homemade pizzaThere are so many things. Too many things. All pulling at us Demanding our time Our admiration Weighing us down Distracting us from our own happiness. That is clear to me now. I’d like to retreat. To take a breath and remember what it felt like to live quietly. To remember what it was like to live each moment without a screen or shares or likes. To nail down the insatiable need to be heard, understood, seen, thought of, or defined. To parent our children with guts and heart and without the articles, studies, and blogs telling us we’re doing it wrong. To wander out the door without considering the story or photos ops. To spend hours reading a good book and cheering for our own wins. To cook good food and share it with people rather than Instagram. To see what may come out of the silences we allow. And yet I am terrified too. But OH! All the hours spent refreshing and checking in minutes and moments we can’t get back. All the jewelry I will never wear gathering dust on the dresser All the skinny clothes taunting me from the dark corners of the closet. All the books I will never read begging to be set free All the baby clothes with scents and stains and memories embedded in their fibers Sit, musty, in the basement when they could be keeping another babe clothed and warm. All the broken, chipped, mangled, stained pieces I feel so compelled to hold onto. As though my life depends upon it. With a sigh, I let it all go. I release it into the wild world and hope that it warms a body, decorates a nest, or brings a simple joy to someone else. I welcome the space it leaves behind. I am a collector and a story teller with a gypsy heart. It’s true. But I am trying to reconcile the two in hopes of finding peace art and the incredible lightness of being. go gently + be wonderful e.
- You’ve started to take it upon yourself to pick out your clothes for the day and proudly prancing downstairs to show us your choice of attire. It is often on backwards, but the colours almost always coordinate.
- You are going through a rather new phase as you become more a girl than a baby. You put your hands on your hips a lot and are trying your hand at defiance.
- You continue to adore Clementine and get lots of smiles out of her.
- You continue to love painting and were inspired to paint some flowers. We picked a flower book off the shelf and you spent most of an afternoon painting flowers.
- You are quite enamored with your friends M and N. You draw pictures of them and told me they are your sisters. It’s lovely to watch you form bonds.
- One morning you informed me that “Princesseses are so brave, and soo strong (said while flexing), and sooooo smart!”
- You spent the better part of two days decorating a cardboard box with yogurt labels, glitter, glue, paper bits, twine, tennis balls, spoons, lids, and other random bits. Then your dolls moved in and had a party.
- When I put makeup on the other day, you exclaimed that I looked like a Bratz Doll. Oh boy.
- The other morning while Silas melted down, you donned my sunglasses, laid down on my yoga mat in a bean of sun with your arms folded behind your head and legs crossed while saying “Awwwwww, what a beeeeeautiful day!”. Even though you’re more defiant than usual, you are still pretty easy going.
- One of the most exciting developments is that you peed on the toilet for the first time on March 10th! Since then you have been potty training and wearing big boy undies. You have had two full days (going on three?!) with no accidents, consistently wake up dry, and tell us when you need to go. We are all thrilled.
- In the past few days, you’ve started showing interest in drawing things like treasure maps, lions, dinosaurs and even some letters!
- Silas is already planning for his 4th birthday party…in September.
Me: Who do you want to invite to your birthday party?
Silas: The boys.
Me: Why not the girls?
Silas: Because they will ruin my party and eat all my cake.
- Silas just woke up from a late afternoon nap. When I asked if he had a good sleep he nodded and said:
“I had a dream about a super hero who saved a guinea pig and took him back with his mudder and daddy.”
Then his tone changed to sadness “…and then I had a dream that I had no home and no daddy”
I asked if that made him sad and he brightened, looked around, and gestured all around him “But this is mine home and daddy will be home soon.”
- You make all sorts of
demandsrequests for costumes, and things. Roll the paper up like a map, build me a ship/car/truck/tiger/etc, make me a doggy’s tail, make me a mermaid tale, etc. Most often it is ALL WRONG. We’re working on the “I can’ts”.
- The other morning we had the 90’s station playing on Songza and you broke into spontaneous dance and air guitar. You always make us laugh.
- You don’t often play with actual toys. If I am ever missing a slotted spoon or spatula, I ask you first regarding its whereabouts…in fact, as I write this I can hear you clanging about in the kitchen making a robot face out of lids and butter knives…oh wait, now you’ve donned your pith helmet and are digging dinosaur bones with a ladle and spatula.
- You’ve been sitting up on your own.
- You continue to smile easily, but this week you have been hollering wildly until you’re in someone’s arms.
- Our days have been demanding, but you’ve been waking less in the nights.
- You are wearing 6-12 month clothes.
- You tend to like your food with flavour such as cinnamon or thyme.
- You love mushed brown beans.
- Your hair continues to grow wilder by the day.
- You are Daddy’s biggest fan when it comes to his ukulele playing. You often cry when he stops playing.
- I’ve cleaned off the desk by the wood stove to make space for the sewing machine and have high hopes of sewing a few of these pinafore dresses for me, as well as a couple reversible pinafores for the girls. Like I said, high hopes.
- Brainstorming ideas for article submissions.
- Dreaming of a small addition to our small porch with a screened in area so we can sit outside in bug season.
- Wondering when Old Man Winter will loosen his grip. We are still buried in at least three to four feet of snow.
- Wondering if I should even be posting this stuff on my blog.
- Thinking a lot about breaking up with all the stuff and and finding balance in the online world.
- Project333 seems like the perfect place to start.
- I find myself fantasizing about calling 1-800-GOT-JUNK people and starting fresh.
- Finding great comfort and clarity in Buddhist/Zen philosophy when it comes to daily work and the “point of pointlessness”.
- Looking forward to doing more cooking with the kids each day/week.
- I am compiling a playlist for jogging.
- As the saying goes, “I was uncool before uncool was cool”, but I love me some catchy dance music. This will be on said jogging list.
- We’ve been making smoothies full of spinach and chia seeds and the kids gobble them up. It helps me stay calm when they refuse to eat veggies at meal time.
go gently + be wonderful
This weekend we celebrated Poppy’s 5th birthday. Excuse the cliche, but my, oh my, where has the time gone?
On Valentine’s Day we went to watch the Lego Movie and pick up your requested birthday present; a Princess Anna dress. On your birthday, we had planned to go for a play at the YMCA, but they were calling for freezing rain so we stayed local, picked up some party favours for your guests, made pizza at your request, and watched the Disney Planning DVD that arrived.
On Saturday, you finally got to wear your birthday party dress. Clementine wore her Elsa outfit and Silas had to be bribed to wear his Kristoff/Hiccup outfit for a photo opp. You spent the morning twirling and singing “It’s my BIIIRTHDAAAY! It’s my BIIIRTHDAAAY!”, “Happy Birthday to Poppy!” along with “Let it Goooooo” from Frozen and you could barely keep your fingers out of the frosted blue cake we made.
Soon the house was filled with friends and family dressed as fairies, princes, dinosaurs, unicorns, butterflies, and princesses. Nana made a bunch of the cutest edible Olafs and brought fresh eggs for everyone to take home along with their party bags. You were rather confused as to why people brought gifts and asked who they were for. You were just so over the moon to have your dress and a house full of fun people. There were a couple impromptu story times and a couple crazy accidents (a cracked rib and a somersault down the stairs, but everyone is recovering well). Overall, it was a loud and happy time. It felt like an important party for you; as though you suddenly went from being a baby to a little girl. It made our hearts swell to see you so happy with your friends.
That night, and the next night,you slept in your party dress. You finally took it off and wore jammies to bed last night.
- Your love for your sister grows more intense with each day and you go to great lengths to get a giggle out of her.
- I had no idea you found a bow tie I mad a few years ago and placed it on your kitty, but I got a good laugh when he sauntered out of the kitty litter box what had to be hours later, looking very dapper indeed.
- You love reading the Scooby Doo books, Jillian Jiggs Treasury, and the Robert Munsch treasury.
- You love watching Barbie, Equestria Girls, Frozen, How to Train your Dragon, and Clifford. You love playing with your growing collection of My Little Ponies, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Merida, Anna, Elsa, and Rainbow Dash. (There is a sentence I never thought I’d be writing when my parenting adventure began!!)
- You’ve been singing songs from Frozen nearly non-stop. When I ask if you want to learn more of the words to it you say “No, you learn it.”.
- You adore painting.
- We discovered that your 6 year molar (46) is making an early appearance!
- Last week, we traced your bodies and then drew onto your bodies whatever you pleased. You gave yourself chicken pox, because you’re rather obsessed with drawing chicken pox. You then drew the path your food takes through your body. You asked me to draw a heart in your chest.
- You love watching the Disney Planning DVD to see where the princesses and Captain Hook live.
- You’ve always been one to prefer household objects to toys and I’ve started documenting your rather interesting and entertaining sleeping buddies and quotes. It has turned into a little project that has been enjoyed on Instagram and Facebook. Daddy and I decided if we were to ever create a book out of these pictures and conversations it would be called “Bed Folk + Pillow Talk with Silas”.
- The other night, he wanted to sleep with Poppy. I thought it would be endless playing and giggling, but they fell fast asleep as soon as the lights were out. Silas hates it when the lights first go out and Poppy comforted him saying “it’s ok Silas, you can see me. I’m with you.” I love their love.
- You really do say the darnedest things. Here are a few more examples:
- Silas: I was talking to The Perogie Man.
Me: Who is the Perogie Man?
Silas: Um, just the yummiest guy in the world.
- Poppy: Mom, I want a brown baby.
Me: Well, we don’t have brown skin so we can’t make a brown baby.
Poppy: Oh, right. I love our baby.
Silas: I want some brownies.
- Me: Do you guys want some milk?
Silas: Does it have Vitamin D in it?
Me: Um, yes. I think so.
Silas: Oh, great! I love Vitamin D.
- You hate having your hair washed. The other night you said you didn’t want your hair washed “…because it would turn into a girl’s hair”. After it was washed, you were distraught that your hair “looked different now”.
- Just yesterday morning, you woke up early with Daddy and wanted to wear some red mittens and a toque. Once they were on you exclaimed “Look at me Daddy! I’m gorgeous!”.
- There is no jealousy or animosity, but you keep a safe distance from little Clementine. Every once in a while I see you two sharing a flirty little smile though.
- You love reading the Scooby Doo books, the Jillian Jiggs Treasury, and the Robert Munsch Treasury.
- You love watching Equestria Girls, Clifford, How to Train Your Dragon, Clifford, Barbie, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Dinosaur Train. You play with pretty much anything that isn’t technically a toy, but do enjoy playing imaginative games with Poppy.
- You remain super happy even though I think your teeth are coming in and you have developed a rash/eczema on your back and tummy. We are trying to get to the root of the rash, but can’t be sure yet.
- You don’t often make strange with people. You seem to take your time watching them carefully and then smile.
- You usually wake 1-3 times in the night and nurse right back to sleep.
- We finally captured some giggles on video. It’s adorable.
- You’re now wearing 6 month clothes.
- We’ve started giving you little bits of food (the rash began before food was introduced), but you’re not overly enthused.
- You love playing with the remote and crinkle-taggy blanket I made years ago.
- You seem to have super human ab strength and can do a full sit up.
- Mike saw a big moose sauntering down the middle of the road on his drive home one night.
- We had our big load of logs delivered. $875.
- We’ve begun planning and saving for our Disney Trip 2017. We are super excited.
- We’ve begun working through a grade 4 french workbook to see what we remember.
- Mike continues to enjoy playing his ukulele.
- I am struggling to find my balance in many aspects of life.
- I am starting to wonder if my hair will ever stop falling out.
- In an act of self preservation, I am not allowing myself to even think about spring right now.
- We are hoping to get a YMCA membership for the family. It is over an hour away.
- Our community is lobbying for a recreation center and indoor pool, but I won’t hold my breath.
- Making plans to get the kids and I out of the house more often throughout the week. I am thinking one day out locally (Early Years, Kinder Gym, etc), one day out in either Peterborough or Lindsay (Early Years, Chapters story time, YMCA drop in craft or gym time, groceries, YMCA land class etc.), and one day out as a family to do swimming lessons and other errands.
- I don’t regret moving to the country, but I still struggle with feeling so isolated.
- A second car is what dreams are made of.
- In all honesty and if we had our time back, we would have approached my parents about buying a tiny plot on their farm, and built a tiny home so we could help with farm work and they could spend more time with the kids.
- I often daydream about finding another family to build a tiny house in our woods so we could begin our own intentional village.
- I made my first batch of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. It was delicious and simple. A game changer.
- I still hate meal planning.
- I crave meditation and jogging.
- I have grand plans of writing letters and sending care packages to friends and family.
- I suck at blogging these days.
27 weeks 5 days.
The third trimester always seems to bring with it a special kind of emotional tidal wave. I spend the day counting down to the day I won’t be full to overflowing with a baby, swollen, fat, puffy, charlie horsed, and varicose veined. I then lay awake at night worrying about the c-section, the hospital stay, the transition, the sleeping arrangements, the outings, the patience this will all require. Am I mom enough?!
It all sends me into a tailspin and then I hear an old song that reminds me of who I once was; what I had time for, and I cry. Big, heaping, noisy,wrenching cries that come all the way up from my toes. The cleansing kind that scares anyone who witnesses it, but oh! If they only knew how good it felt to cry and shake and feel every hurt leave my body. Then, as a thunderstorm washes away the humidity, I am ready to love and work again. But, just as this Ontario summer seems to go, the humidity- thunder cycle repeats itself without much reprieve.
I took the car on Sunday. Alone. I had hoped to get a haircut, but she was closed so I went to the drug store instead. I must have spent over an hour there looking at pink lipstick, moisturizers, and skin care products. I won’t lie, it was glorious. I haven’t worn much more than mascara for the past few years because I thought it would bring my skin back to a natural radiance, but the reality was that I just looked tired. So if some BB cream (I didn’t know that was even a thing, but I have been waiting my entire makeup life for it) and hot pink lip gloss (I am not yet, brave enough for the opaque stuff yet!) make me feel a little more like my old self, then so be it.
Being inside my head is exhausting. I miss being creative, but can’t seem to find a solution to the lacking. I love baking, but I also love eating and if I ever intend to feel right in my skin again, I need to strike a balance there. I enjoyed making jewelry, but it is an expensive hobby and I never really made any money at it anyway. I would love to get more paid writing gigs and even do some fun/creative content marketing, but,unfortunately, the Clever Girls Collective is not accepting Canadian members and I don’t know where to start. I enjoy sewing, knitting, and crocheting, but when I am pulled in a different direction every 5 minutes, I can’t focus on counting stitches or any sort of pattern with ease, never mind the cats and Silas running off with the balls of yarn and the dog chewing my needles. Sewing is a no go what with all that tempting fabric to rumple, toss, and use as capes. I like painting and it is something I can do with Poppy with minimal frustration, but I have no idea of even the most basic techniques, and despite nearly every woman I am closely related to being a naturally talented artist/painter, I am not sure that I got that gene. I’d love to take a pottery course again, but know in my heart of hearts that I won’t go in the evenings when I am ready to collapse. Also, once I start nursing, I won’t be going far anyway. This isn’t forever. One day the kids will play and read and imagine hours away quietly. But, I won’t lie, there are days I feel like my brain might turn to mush and run out of my ears from the boredom I feel.
Today, there is a cool breeze and, though the humidity is at 100%, the sun remains hidden. My sprouts are ready for eating. The Postal Service is playing an old song. I find myself thinking of Autumn (sacrilege, I know, but summer and I are on the outs this year). The wild roses by the gate have released the most intoxicating, unadulterated rosey scent I have ever enjoyed. The poppies (the ones I almost gave up on) in the front garden have exploded into life and I can’t help, but smiles back at their happy, papery faces.
And finally, I am so loved. Despite all my issues and frustrations and anger, and mad fluttering, and pregnant hot messiness, I am so loved and it makes me weep more tears of gratitude.
Hold me steady beloved anchor of mine for the wild bird in my rib cage will settle her wings again soon.
go gently + be wonderful
This weekend was a good one. It was, after all, Canada’s birthday. Unfortunately, my camera was either at home or suffering a dead battery so we only managed pictures of Sunday at my dad and step mom’s farm, but I assure you it was good and full.
intensive clean-up + reorganization of our upstairs
buy one get one deals
Combermere Farmer’s Market on a damp and cool morning
a long wait for the best damn homemade donuts you’ll ever eat
a day spent at the cottage with my step dad, step sister and her wee family
sword fights, flower picking, fishing, bbq, bunnies jumping on a bed, grazing, matching jammies
two loaves of dutch oven bread
piling the last few bits of wood (the epic job of 2013!)
Poppy obsessed with riding Dad + Janet’s new horse Nutmeg (or “Meggie”, as she likes to call her)
Grampa practicing his lasso skills on willing grandkids
watering the animals
checking for eggs
naked tub fun
tractor…always the tractor
too tired to stop for fireworks…maybe next year
hulling strawberries while sipping our morning coffee
iron + wine
a new lawnmower (our neighbour repairs and sells them so we traded in the old one)
into town to meet friends for Canada Day celebrations
the anthem + feeling grateful for being born in the best country.
the petting zoo
free Kawartha Dairy ice cream
slowest free balloon service ever!
Waiting in line for food only for them to run out
toads+ coffee in the garden
a quick stop at Kawartha Dairy for chocolate milk + ice cream + waffle cones
that chocolate milk rocked my socks, wondering why I don’t drink it more often
feeling rather smug as we watched all the tourists making their way back to the city
homemade veggie pizza for supper
go gently + be wonderful
rain + sun + repeat
a dirty playful dog
thinking the kids would get more use out of an old tractor instead of a swing/slide set…perhaps with a slide dismount
nana’s popsicles, jello, + homemade ice cream
some raspberries + horseradish to transplant
iced tea outside
lilacs + bee bums
bringing the giant horses in + the kids begging to ride them
grading potatoes with toddlers is laughable
dirty, happy, tired kids
go gently + be wonderful