Sweet things

Seven sweet things

You know things are still kind of heavy around here despite the fact that I have just avoided an insanely major surgery and chemo. All I can say right now is that going through cancer is a lot and it doesn't just end when you get good news. (I wish it would!!) Although you are of course, thankful, you see how much you were just getting through and how much there is to deal with in the aftermath. So I thought I would do just a fun little post of seven sweet things that are getting me through right now. Maybe you have some things that are getting you through too right now, whatever it is you are getting through, be that simply March (in Canada) or something harder.

  1. Koa Blue: Yes we got a dog. Aaron has been searching for years and it felt like time, then we found out I had cancer and I wanted to bail. Aaron however would not bail, which is just like him (fun parent!) and I'm so glad I was too tired to argue and also smart enough to trust him that it would work out. Because I love this dog and three of my four people are dog people and thriving with him in the house. He is basically like a real life stuffie.
  2. Afternoon naps: On the couch while my kids mill around and sometimes bicker. Oh well because they get me through until ten pm.
  3. Fresh flowers: Last two weeks of February and all of March are my very least favourite. Fresh flowers in the kitchen make this last stretch of winter so much more bearable. Bonus if they smell as good as these hyacinths.
  4. Forcing ourselves out of doors: Even though it has been -20 or more and snowing we are going out every day. We bought some wool face warmers and have been skiing, sledding and walking anyway. Bonus had the whole hill to ourselves.
  5. Thinking about my summer garden: I'm not too excited about my veggies this year to be honest, the whole veggie patch may end up in potatoes, but I am excited to hopefully expand my front flower bed and dreaming of all the pretty things I can grow there.
  6. Pray as you go podcast: listening every day through lent first thing in the morning. Helps me wake up purposefully and have a bit of reflective quiet with God and time of gratitude first thing.
  7. Smoothies: after juicing *most* mornings for months, green smoothies are such a treat! Mango, pineapple, spinach my current favourite!

What sweet things are getting you through right now?

 

 

What I'm into: September 2013 (or sweet things September edition)

Linking up with fellow book lover Leigh Kramer to share What I’m Into. I discovered Leigh via Sorta Crunchy who was one of the first blogs I read and handed off what I'm into to Leigh. IMG_4061

What I was mostly into in September was soaking up as much summer as possible before it left. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love summer and I am never ready for it to end. To this end we spent the first week camping in the Rockies. This worked out brilliantly because the campgrounds and all the sights were almost deserted with school having started and all. We marked this down on the ever-expanding list of homeschooling perks. This was a low key trip just lots of time outside, time to read and time to swim. Everyone loved it.

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Then the kiddos and I headed to visit my family who live in one of the hottest places in Canada. It was over 30 every day there and just perfect for us to soak up one more week of fabulous beach weather.

Things I loved about September:

  • hot weather
  • seeing my family
  • solo mama walks in the woods
  • beach days
  • brunch at the Banff springs
  • so much swimming
  • coming home
  • reconnecting with friends after a busy summer
  • leaves and all their amazing colour
  • the sandbox my husband built for our kiddos. We should have done it three years ago when we moved in - hours of fun.

Things I've been busy with since we got home:

  • starting up lessons and some other schoolish stuff
  • spending as much time outside enjoying our beautiful but always fleeting fall before winter comes
  • dealing with saving the end of season garden produce and the load of fruit I brought home from my parent's house
  • three weeks worth of laundry
  • half marathon training
  • getting the yard ready for winter

Books:

The first three books in Madeline L'Engle's The Crosswicks Journal series: The Circle of Quiet is now one of my top two L'Engle books, full of challenging and affirming thoughts on life, God, faith and family. The second two were not as life changing as the first, but still beautiful and I'm looking forward into digging into the third.

What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell: Loved Bell's sharing his research into the universe and how that affects his beliefs surrounding God. Normally Bell's writing style doesn't bother me (if you haven't read a Bell book he is a preacher and often writes how he speaks) but it did stop me from enjoying the ideas as much in this book. Many of these ideas weren't new to me, but I do think it is a worthwhile read if you have ever struggled with just who God is. My favourite section was his section on Jesus, although I wish he would have gone a little further there.

French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon:I read 2/3 of the way through this book several months ago when it was recommended by a friend. Another friend picked it up and loved it so I was inspired to take it out from the library and finish it. To me it wasn't a life changer, in large part because my family follows a lot of her 'food rules' already. I grew up in a home where food was a happy thing (my mom could have written this book) and sometimes I forget how lucky I am that I have no food issues. Our family eats moderate amounts of everything, tons of fruits and veggies and I wouldn't consider any of my kids picky eaters, although my middle one does turn up her nose to unfamiliar things sometimes, she still eats a huge variety of foods. I did like her stories about how healthy and enjoyable eating is supported by the French culture and I do think what she describes in the book is a big change from how many north americans eat. A huge disclaimer for me is that the french infant feeding sections go against everything I have learned as an IBCLC and did with my own children. I strongly recommend not following anything she comments on the French doing with infants. As an interesting FYI if you breastfeed, the breastmilk changes flavour every feeding depending on what the mother has eaten, so no need to worry about your child being exposed to different flavours. Funny how nature takes care of that. Take aways for me were: continuing to have a relaxed and positive attitude about food with my children, eating mostly whole (real) foods, we did change snacking a bit when I first read it and that is working well for us and continuing to allow my kids to fancy up the dinner table (they have been going to town with this).

The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: I read these aloud to my oldest two kiddos who are enthralled as am I. Always so much joy in a well written childhood classic.

Looking forward to finishing up the Crosswicks series in October, getting my hands on Pastrix by fellow Lutheran Nadia Bolz-Weber and adding in some fun yet to be determined fiction as well.

Watched:

Rewatching reruns of season two of Call the Midwife. I am trying to convert everyone I know to this show. I've written about my love for it before.

Eating:

Lots of delicious end of season garden goodies and simple meals surrounding many veggies. Fruit crisps, zucchini lasagna, Brussel sprouts with a fried egg on top are some stand out favourites. One of the best things about fall is bumping up my tea consumption to extend past the morning so that has been happening too. Also eating LOTS. Half marathon training leaves me very hungry.

Pinning:

I tried to get a finger tattoo similar to this one but with interlocking initials to celebrate 15 years with my love but turns out a reputable tattoo shop won't tattoo fingers as it won't turn out well past healing. Who knew? And what's with all the beautiful looking ones online? (Fake or very freshly done according to my new tatoo lady.)

Loved this post on How to Raise an Artist by Erika at new to me blog urthmama

Imagining this fair trade bedspread (made from recycled wedding gowns and saris) in my house. Blue is my favourite.

Going to make these honey chai roasted almonds soon and eat them while I drink this cocoberry tea and watch all the leaves blow off the trees.

Seven Sweet Things

I always enjoy reading people's "things they are enjoying right now" type posts. They are just fun to read, I like gleaning ideas from them and sometimes it's just really nice to enjoy the good and beautiful isn't it? So I thought I would share 'Seven Sweet Things' I am enjoying right now. 1. Reading Harry Potter with my oldest. I read and enjoyed these books on my own but am so enjoying rereading the adventures out loud and experiencing them alongside his wonder and excitement. Reading them out loud with the knowledge of the whole series plot is making me appreciate how Rowling weaved such beauty into the characters relationships from the very beginning. Also how creative she was to set the plan for the whole series from the very beginning. We finished the Philosopher's Stone and are starting in on The Chamber of Secrets. We won't read all the books yet as he just turned eight but I am thinking the first three are okay for his age.

2. Watching Call the Midwife. This is a BBC drama based on a book series by Jennifer Worth about midwifery care in London in the 1950's. I watched season one when it aired on PBS last year and snuck ahead on season two when it aired in Britain. It is currently showing on PBS and was so good I'm watching again. The writing is wise, the dialogue has me writing down quotes and the characters are so real and relatable.

3. Expanding on my tea snobbery. This David's Organic Breakfast has lifted me to a whole new level. A friend gifted me some for Christmas and it has been in my morning rotation ever since. It is the perfect black tea and it really makes the never-ending winter we are having here a bit more bearable in the mornings.

4. This recipe for roasted broccoli is so good. We have been eating it a lot.

5. I have started knitting after many years of wanting to learn and learning very little then quitting. My daughter should actually have a scarf by the end of the week!

6. I have stopped going on Facebook. I haven't quit altogether as there are a few groups I volunteer with that manage things on there but unless I have to add something to those groups I haven't logged on in over three weeks. I cannot express all the ways this has made my life better. Facebook when you quit logging in starts sending you e-mails (different from notifications, which I haven't received any of for a long time.) They say things like you missed a top story: so and so commented on so and so's status. I am sure this is to make me want to log in again but ironically every time I get one I just feel more happy I don't actually know what so and so's status says. The introvert in me feels so freed and peaceful I don't know why it took me so long to cut back.

7. My baby is growing up. I have photo evidence. This day she fell down running to me in excitement in her rubber boots in a gravely area. She skinned her arms, elbows, knees, hands, one knee quite badly. A big kid injury.  See how big kid her face is looking? (List this under bittersweet.)

Haven sleeping

I'd love to hear some of your sweet things too.