Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I have had a difficult time logging into my blog account on the road. Some computers have filters that don't allow me to sign in. So, I am excited to have a few moments to write.

We've been on the road 10 days now. On our way to Arizona, we stayed in Portland (OR), Menlo Park (CA), Ojai (CA), Duarte (CA)and then Tucson (AZ) for 4 nights. We are now in Tempe (AZ), getting ready to pack up for a few nights around Northern Arizona (Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and Sedona). The kids have done remarkably well and we are relaxed and very happy to have so much time in the sunshine. Glorious!

I will have more time to write at internet cafe's over the next few days and will share some stories from the road.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tea Cozeys and Pregnant Bellies

This past week felt overwhelming. We packed in too much up-and-outtime with not enough in-and-downtime. And I began to feel it in my body. I woke up with a headache, sore throat and cough mid-week. My energy felt low-low-low. And I have been on neutral, coasting through the days. This morning, my energy levels are rising up, and I am starting to feel out from under the heavy water. I need to remember to let my tank fill all the way up again before depleting it.

We have a lot on the go! I've been encouraged and supported by my church family to coordinate a MOPS(Mothers of Preschoolers) group at our parish. We will begin in October, so I will have the summer to prepare and a weekend away in late September to attend the MOPS conference in Florida. We had a couple of meetings this past week, and I spoke to our Women's ministry group on Saturday morning. There has been an enthusiastic and supportive response to my needs for establishing a leadership team. And it looks like some of the more difficult positions to fill (Preschool-age Childcare Leader and Discussion Group Leaders) are almost completely filled! And with women who are just as excited as I am. I am thankful.

I've been crocheting long, thin, stripped scarves and sewing tea cosys this week. I suppose I have needed the creative outlet to still and quiet my soul as life around me whirls with busyness.

This is the last week before we leave on a month-long roadtrip through the states. This will be our first long, camp-as-we-go trip as a young family. I've been planning on paper and gathering tips for traveling with two kids under 4. It has been more work than I first anticipated. We'd like to bring homebaked snacks along and buy most of our food at grocery stores with some eating out. I've been really busy this week gathering supplies and ingredients for cooking and baking and planning activities to keep miss precious-precocious occupied. I would love to hear some suggestions from the more experienced moms who might be reading this. Please feel free to share your traveling expertise!

My dear friend Meghan is near to having her third baby. We've kept the tradition of taking pregnancy photos of each other. This morning she arrived in her maternity finest with a Tim Horton's coffee (double double!) in hand. How did she know I had run out of coffee this morning?! We enjoyed our brew and then spent an hour in the yard, celebrating this coming child by capturing the final in-utero days on film. I included a couple at the top of this post.

This feels like a random post, in part because I have felt uncentered this week, and a bit random. sigh. I think this is the beginning of getting back where I can breathe the air again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Add to the Beauty

Artist: Sara Groves
Album: Add To The Beauty
Year: 2005
Title: Add To The Beauty

We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

It comes in small inspirations
It brings redemption to life and work
To our lives and our work

It comes in loving community
It comes in helping a soul find it's worth

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful
This is grace, an invitation

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out our best

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

Monday, May 07, 2007

An Ordinary Day

I've been asked by friends what an "ordinary day" looks like in my life. And today felt like the kind of ordinary day I would like on a regular basis! So, I thought I would post about it.

My husband awoke at 4:45 am, like he does everyday (insanely disciplined man!!), and set the alarm for me: ( 6:00am). I stumbled around in the dark, rubbed my eyes, put on my green fluffy (furry? grass-like?) slippers and made a piece of toast and a mug of coffee.

I decided to have one goal for the day: get on top of laundry! I threw in a load right away and set my timer for30 minutes, so I would remember to transfer the clean clothes to the dryer. During the 30 minutes, I got dressed, read, made a fruit salad, boiled 4 eggs, set the table for breakfast and put away dishes in the dish drainer.

Then, I put in load #2. I set the timer again and made a quick sweep of the house: threw dirty laundry in the hamper, straightened the bathroom, and peeked at my calendar for the day.

The kids woke early (6:45) and Soul-baby had royally wet through his jammies, so I drew a warm bath and put them both in. I put on make-up and wrapped my mop of hair into a fun scarf while they washed and scrubbed. Ten minutes later, they were out and dressed and ready for the day. They played together for 15 minutes while I put breakfast on the table. Alley ran downstairs to fetch Bry from his office.

Breakfast came and went in a flash. Soul-baby was already whimpering and rubbing his eyes, ready for a morning nap. While he napped, I washed dishes and swept and Alley coloured and worked on her preschool book.

By now, the first load of laundry was washed and dried, so Alley and I folded and put it away. We played, read some books and prepped for lunch. Soul woke up, we fed him, tickled him, hugged and kissed him. We three, the kids and I, ran some errands around town. When we arrived home, the kids played on the swing while I unloaded the truck.

We had lunch together, washed up and transferred another load of laundry into the dryer. Alley helped me fold another finished load.

Soul ran around for 30 minutes and then began rubbing his eyes again, ready for nap #2!

With both kids in bed, I was free to work on a craft/sewing project I've had on my list. I did this an hour and then weeded my herb garden and part of my veggie garden. The kids needed cuddles, drinks of water, and another "tuck-in" somewhere in there, but then finally fell asleep for two hours.

I prepped dinner and put it in the oven. I finished another load of laundry, read for a little while. I was going cross-eyed from sleepiness, so I set the timer for 30 minutes and then laid down in the sunshine pouring through the window. It felt wonderful. The timer went off, the kids woke up a few minutes later and I set the table for dinner.

I set Alley up with a Berenstain Bear's DVD and Soul followed me around, grinning from ear-to-ear.

I put on my workout clothes, gave hugs and kisses all around and drove to the rec centre for a "Power Yoga" Class. During the 10-minute relaxation/breathing exercise at the end, I fell into a deep sleep. I made a mental note to go to bed earlier!

After the class, I changed into my clay-splattered overalls and drove to the gorgeous property where my pottery teacher lives. He has agreed to let a few of us use his studio over the summer. I spent 3 peaceful hours creating with clay with CBC playing in the background. Lovely.

It was a busy, full-to-bursting day. I wouldn't want every day to be as full. But is was wonderful as I climbed into be,d to know I had spent meaningful time with my maker, my husband, my children and myself.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I'm a Canadian!

On Monday, May 1st, I became a Canadian Citizen. I am officially "Dual": American and Canadian.

I first came to Canada in 1997 on a Student Visa. I later obtained a Work Visa as a Registered Nurse and then converted it into Landed Immigrancy status with Spousal Sponsership. My husband and kids are Dual Citizens as well.

This is a dream come true. Years ago, we talked about working toward my Dual Citizenship so that we could come and go in either country without hassle. In part, it is a symbol of marriage, of two citizenships becoming one. I've been "engaged" to Canada as a Landed Immigrant for 3 years and now am officially "married" and recognized as a Canadian family member.

During the ceremony, we were asked to stand and sing the Canadian anthem, to swear/affirm allegiance to the Queen, to take the oath of Citizenship. The judge took time to share a speech about the rights and privileges of a Canadian Citizen and to welcome us into the family. He read a list of the countries represented and we each stood for applause. There were 115 of us from Bangladesh, India, Korea, Jamaica, England, South Africa, China, Kosova, Germany, United States and a few others countries.

My husband, parents-in-love, brother and sister-in-love and children attended the ceremony. It was wonderful to have them there with me.

I am thankful to be at the end of this journey and to hold Canadian Citizenship. I have grown to love this country and feel honoured to be fully accepted into it.