Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A Reflection on My Twenties

This is my last night of my twenties.  I really thought that by thirty, I would have everything figured out.  I guess I have four hours to get that done!  Ha ha!  In all honesty, my twenties brought some of the best times of my life and a few of the worst times.  Although I definitely don't have it all figured out, I did learn a thing or two in my twenties that I would like to share with you.

Faith over fear.  This lesson was a big one and by far the most difficult lesson of my twenties.  My faith in God wavered a lot throughout the struggles over the last decade.  I pushed away from Him a lot in my early twenties.  I found my faith again in my mid-twenties but I still had my most difficult challenges ahead.  My husband and I faced years of infertility, which really threw me for a loop.  I became quite depressed and felt hopeless.  It was in my struggle with infertility that I learned a lot about having faith and learning to accept my life as it was.  When we suffered a miscarriage in 2016 I clung hard to my faith and it truly pulled me through.  Faith is the promise that God loves us and is there for us, even when we are struggling.  It is the quiet assurance that this life is not all we have, but that we have something much more beautiful to look forward to.  It is the promise of forgiveness and Redemption.  My faith solidified in my twenties and I am truly grateful for that.

I don't know everything.  I love people in their early twenties.  I love the bold confidence that most of them possess.  I was the same way.  I knew when I was going to get married, how many kids I would have, how I would raise said children and basically what I would do different from all of those people in the trenches who were doing it "wrong".  Youth carries a certain arrogance that is probably necessary in those first uncertain years on your own.  It also makes for a hard thump when reality sends you crashing down.  I met the man of my dreams nine years too "early" and got married 7 years before my "plan".  I learned that the number of children that I will have will never really be up to me.  I also learned that parenting doesn't come with a handbook and that most of us are just doing the very best that we can.  I learned to give grace to others because I myself needed to have grace given to me.  I am much less arrogant about "my way" of doing things.  I trust my gut and try to do what is best for my family and I give the same grace to others.  When someone is doing things different than I am, it doesn't mean that one of us is wrong.  It just means that we are different.  Different is a beautiful thing.

Embrace the little moments because time flies.  This one is cliche but it is also the truth.  Life is made in the everyday moments and it pays to be present.  I can't believe that I turn thirty at midnight.  I can't believe that I have been a wife for (almost) seven years and a mother for three years.  I really try to remind myself to slow down and pay attention to my life.  The smell of coffee in the morning, the feeling of my Hubby's hand in mine and the sound of my daughter's laughter.  It really is the tiny things that make life beautiful.

You never stop learning.  My coworkers are mostly women nearing retirement age.  Boy, did they laugh when I told them that I really thought that I would have had life figured out by now.  One of my coworkers assured me that we never really have life "figured out".  It makes sense because we are always learning.   We are always changing and evolving.  Life demands that we keep moving forward and through new experiences.  It has been in my most difficult experiences that I have learned the most.  The process is never fun but the outcome is a little more knowledge and empathy for others.  It helps you evolve into a better person and get to know yourself a little bit better.

I am grateful for my twenties and all the things that those ten years have taught me.  I look forward to the future and the experiences that await me there.






Saturday, 16 September 2017

High Five For Friday (On Saturday)-16.9.17

I had a wicked headache on Thursday night that sent me straight to bed.  On Friday we rushed off to the city for my OB appointment and then we headed straight to a family event that night.  When I got home my fast food supper had made me very sick and I spent the rest of the night looking quite green.  (And all of the disgusting things that go along with that).  So there you have it.  My list of reasons this post is coming out on Saturday.  Ha ha!  I am linking up with DellaTifBecky, and Katie for H54F.

1.)  Last weekend was perfect!  We basically spent the weekend at home, which was something that I really needed.  I spent a decent amount of time in the kitchen preparing garden vegetables for freezing.  I also baked 4 rhubarb crisps and 2 apple crisps.  Yum!



2.)  On Saturday morning, Miss. E and I made pancakes for breakfast.  She loves helping out in the kitchen!  It was a lot of fun and the pancakes were delicious.


My favourite moments from the past weekend were when we were all gathered around the table, eating and talking together as a family.  I appreciate these little moments and they fill my soul with such gratitude and joy.  There is no place I would rather be.

3.)  We attended a friend's birthday party on Saturday afternoon.  It was a lot of fun.  The kids had a blast playing together and the adults enjoyed spending time together and chatting.

4.)  Work has been incredibly busy but it has been going well.  I am always shocked at how fast my day can go sometimes!

5.)  I didn't have work Thursday so Miss. E and I cleaned house and worked on harvesting our garden.  The weather has finally turned cool so I am a much happier camper.  We got a lot done before my headache hit.  Thank goodness!

Have a fabulous weekend, friends!




Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Road Trip Essentials for the Potty Training Toddler


Potty training and travel do not always go together well.  We are working with our daughter to help her have success with using the potty but long car rides make it difficult.  We recently did 2 major trips with our 3 year old and we learned a few things I would like to share with you!

Things to pack:

A travel potty or small plastic potty.

We set up our daughter's little plastic potty in the back of the Jeep.  When she had to go she would tell us and Hubby would find a safe place to pull over.  We would take her to the potty and we were even able to close the back liftgate so she could have privacy.  Our travels took us to places where there were few bathrooms available.  Having the little potty meant that she could go whenever she felt the urge.

Towels

Accidents are bound to happen on long car rides.  We brought a couple towels to help soak up any mishaps in the car seat.

Wipes

Honestly, you shouldn't go anywhere without these!  They are great for helping clean up mishaps, wiping out the potty and cleaning up your child.

Pull-Ups

We did our best to avoid using pull-ups.  Everything you read says to avoid using them so as to prevent your child from regressing.  This is great advice but I packed a few just in case.  As it turned out, Miss E's tummy was quite bothered by the water in one of our destinations.  This meant that she had about 10 seconds warning before she needed to go potty.  Yikes!  We used the pull-ups and encouraged her to try and make it to the bathroom, which she did most of the time.

Other tips:

Remember to make frequent stops for your little ones.  They don't have the ability to hold it as long as adults do.  We made a point of asking her if she needed the bathroom every 45 minutes and stopping at least every 1.5 hours.  This adds a lot of time onto the trip so make sure you build that time in if you are on a deadline.

Give praise and encouragement.  Like all other potty training, it is important to keep a positive attitude with your child.  We made a big deal every time Miss. E told us she needed to go and thanked her for remembering to ask.  We also praised her for every successful potty break and all the times she stayed dry.

How does your child do on long car rides?  I would love to hear any tips that you may have!




Friday, 8 September 2017

High Five For Friday- 08.09.17

This week flashed by in the blink of an eye.  I am so looking forward to my weekend at home!  I am linking up with TifBeckyKatie, and Della for High Five For Friday.

1.)  We spent the weekend with Hubby's family.  Hubby went to the Labour Day football game with his good friend.  I enjoyed the company of Hubby's, brothers, Auntie and Oma.  We had such a wonderful time visiting with family.  Hubby's family also taught Miss. E to cheer on his team with great enthusiasm.  It was adorable to watch... even though I cheer for an opposing team!  Ha ha.

2.)  Pumpkin spice lattes are back!  I love them and don't often get them as we don't have any coffee shops in our small town.  I was pumped to get one this weekend.  I used a gift card that I had received so I think the coffee tasted slightly better because it was free!  I am terrible about remembering to take pictures, but somehow captured this awkward selfie with my drink.


3.)  I have been fortunate to receive so many delicious fruits and veggies from friends and family's gardens.  I have my work cut out for me this weekend and I couldn't be more excited!

4.)  I had 2 lovely play dates this week.  I absolutely love play dates and getting to visit with my "Mom" friends.

5.)  I had a really bad sinus headache that morphed into a migraine on Wednesday night. (Harvest time is rough on the allergies!)  Hubby was at a course that evening so I just shoved the leftovers from supper in the fridge and headed to bed with Miss. E.  When I woke up, Hubby had cleaned up the kitchen and had done all of the dishes.  It was a wonderful surprise.  I am really thankful to have such a wonderful husband.

I am keeping all of my friends in Cuba and Florida in my prayers.  Please stay safe.  I hope everyone else has a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

August- Goals and The No Spend Year

Another month is in the books.  August was quite busy for our family and we had a really good month.  I am happy with my overall progress this month.

#1)  Complete a no-spend year.

This goal is going fairly well.  I did make a purchase this month, but I am unsure as to whether it is a violation of this rule.  I bought my family planner and calendar for next year.  I always use a planner and calendar in my home to keep all of us on track.  I decided to do my Christmas shopping early this year because our baby is due in December.  When I made my purchase (from one store online) I decided to go ahead and add the calendars to my cart.  I always have my calendars in advance so that nothing gets missed.  That was my only purchase for this month.

#2)  Establish a self-care routine.

This goal is still going well.  I have worked to bring back strength training to my regular routine.  I am happy that most of my routine is now habit.  Despite being quite busy this month, I still made time to properly care for myself.

#3)  Say yes to family time.

We had some great family experiences this month.  Hubby and I took Miss. E to Waterton Lakes National Park.  We had a great time with one another and made some great memories.  Family time was definitely a priority this month and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

#4)  Start school in September.

I know what courses I want to take.  I also know the direction I want to go.  I am not going to start school in September.  With a baby on the way, this goal will be pushed back until everything settles in the new year.  I don't feel like it is feasible to take on course work right now with being a Mom, working and being pregnant.  I will re-evaluate in the new year.

#5)  Learn more about traditional prayers and incorporate them into my prayer life.

This goal went fairly well this month.  I almost need to schedule the days that I plan to do traditional prayers because when I rely on spontaneity I tend to avoid the traditional prayers.  I plan to work on this in September.

#6)  Establish a routine for the blog and stick to the blog's vision.

I am slowly coming along with this goal.  I was better at posting in August and I am learning how to make sure that my blogging work is done.  I have a few ideas that I hope to implement in September.

How are your goals coming?  Does summer throw a monkey wrench into your progress?

Friday, 1 September 2017

High Five For Friday- 01.09.17

Hello September!  This is one of my favourite months.  It is chock full of birthdays in my family (including my own), pumpkin spice lattes are out (yup, I am totally on that bandwagon), the weather turns cooler (Can I get an Amen?) and I can start putting out fall decor.😍  I think harvest time is beautiful, although my allergies would disagree.  I love the turning of the leaves and the need for socks and sweaters.  Ahhhh..........  Fall is my bag of tricks, folks.

I am linking up for H54F this week with BeckyKatieDella and Tif to share 5 photos from our family trip to Waterton Lakes National Park.  We headed out on holidays bright and early Saturday morning.  It borders Glacier National Park in Montana to form an International Peace Park.  It was beautiful!

The view from The Prince of Wales hotel.


Riding a "Surrey" bicycle around the Waterton town site.  I loved that they had a child seat in front!

Upper Waterton Lake.  The hotel in the background is The Prince of Wales Hotel.

Parks Canada put these red chairs in all of their parks this year to celebrate Canada150.

Miss. E loved the playground at Waterton.  It had a small playground for younger children, a larger playground, a rock that you could climb and a spray park.  It was a great setup!

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!  My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you in Texas.


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

New Routines

I am working on implementing a few new routines around our house.  I am trying to make things easier on both me and my family as this pregnancy progresses.  My energy will start to wane and I really want to try to keep things running smoothly.  I am hoping these changes will do just that.

1.)  New bedtime routine for Miss. E

Bedtime just got a whole lot stricter in our house.  Miss. E has been difficult to drag out bed for daycare and on the days when she is tired we seem to have potty accident after potty accident.  I just finished doing some reading on the toddler stage and the book I was reading confirmed what I already knew.  Miss. E wasn't getting enough sleep.  We have always struggled with getting Miss. E to sleep.  She fights sleep tooth and nail.  I made simple adjustments to her bedtime routine and they seem to be working quite well.  I have been incrementally bumping up her bedtime by 15 minutes a week.  By next week she will be at her new bedtime.  Bedtime routine starts at an exact time.  There is no more playing with that.  That was probably our biggest problem before.  I think we started the routine too late and at slightly inconsistent times.  Miss. E was often overtired and wound up and then bedtime was a fight.  Bedtime routine consists of a quick bath, brushing teeth, nighttime puffer, 2 stories and then bedtime songs.  We aim to complete this routine in about a half hour.  She has been falling asleep much easier and much earlier.  It has been helpful with both waking her up for daycare and for successful use of the potty.  I am hoping that this routine will also free up our evenings so that I can get more blogging and housework done at night.

2.)  Dishes HAVE to be done nightly.

I used to be good at this.  When I became pregnant I was super exhausted and everything started to slide.  I am following this rule again.  It makes for a much more peaceful night and calmer mornings.  I hate the sight of dirty dishes sitting on my counter so I make sure they get done immediately after supper.  Hubby gets home quite late so it is easy for me to zip them up while he squeezes in some quality time with Miss. E before she has to head to bed.

3.)  Exercise is a non-negotiable part of my routine.

Hubby and I take turns walking the dog every other night while the other partner puts Miss. E to bed.  I have been good at keeping up with my walking.  However, I have found it easy to let my strength training go when I am tired or busy.  I am no longer allowing this to happen.  I already do short, intense workouts so time never should be a deterrent.  I have started making this a priority for my health and the health of my baby.  I aim to do 2-3 strength training sessions a week and I am sticking to this goal. It helps me to feel strong and have more energy.

Do have any routines that you always stick to that improve your daily life?  I would love to hear about them!