Sunday, November 22, 2015

basketball shenanigans

We had some fun basketball shenanigans over the last while. Amber's high school ended up in their divisional championship. Amber played a fantastic game and although being the high scorer was so neat for her, it was more for me as her mom how she carried herself on the court. I was proud of her athleticism but it was her composure that had me most proud. Basketball is a different world. Players can be cocky and attitudes can run high.  She has at times fallen prey to eye rolls and attitude. Now some of it is being fourteen. She is doing everything she should be doing at this age. I often tell John that deep breaths and not reacting are what is best. However on the court it isn't something we want to see or will tolerate. We talked to her about it.  I told her what a good player she is and even many ways she is on the brink of being a great player and that I want spectators, other players, coaches and officials to see her greatness.  I told her when she rolls her eyes at a call or a play that doesn't go well people will miss her talent. She worked on keeping things in check this game.  She would just think I am crazy if I told her this but I believe that her hard work paid off in the form of becoming high scorer of the game.  An impressive 22 points.  Her number up on the score board with her points.

As well a wonderful article praising her talent in a local paper. Her greatness shone through. She spread good karma on the court that day!  

I also got a kick out of the fact that the other team put a girl just on Amber.  The gal would follow Amber everywhere.  Even when Amber's coach called her over a few times during foul shots to have a quick chat.  It took the team a quarter to figure that out and get around that defense and come out with the win.  It was so fun to watch this win for the girls and for Amber.  It was the first time since 1971 that the high school has won a city championship title. 

I love how so many students came to watch the team. It was awful sweet. 

John has been a huge part of the girls playing ball.  I would never have been able to take on toting them to and from practices let alone his commitment coaching over the years. So they are so very lucky for a dad as fantastic as he is.

My sister was able to come to the game since it was being played at the university she works at. I love this photo we got with Amber. 

I was lucky to have been able to arrange some help for Shelby yesterday so I could go with John to watch Porscha's game. It is a three hour drive to her college and so it does make for a long day but so worth it to she her play. We have been streaming the games we can't make and that is nice but in person is so much better. I love how focused she is and I love how awesome she is doing away at school. They won their game. It was a fun one to watch. Porscha is playing so well this year.  She has such amazing coaching staff on her side and team mates that value her and well that is so huge.  A few cool videos of her in action.



I love watching them play.  I am often in awe of these amazing humans we have raised. We enjoyed some dinner with Porscha and her sweet boyfriend Joel after the game.  At a great burger place called Burger Revolution.  I knit lots and lots there and back!!!  It was a great day!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

we did it......finally

So we did it. We went away just John and I alone for a whole week. We have done the very odd night here and there over the years but a real destination type holiday on our own.....never. I don't think I can truly do this time we shared away justice with my words or my pictures.

A holiday like this I think can be a tricky thing. You are with your partner alone 24/7 with no obligations and I think there are times that can be a challenge for couples.  It was like John and I were blasted back to a time prior to children before the responsibility of life snuck in and made couple time a hot commodity. We spent the week together truly enjoying every second of our uninterrupted time with each other and we honestly loved every frigging moment.

I wanted to catch the sunrise. We dragged ourselves out of bed and down to the beach at 6:30 am one morning to witness this amazing beauty.

After a little photo shoot we walked back to our room and got back into bed. I think that was the latest morning we slept. We got back up around 8:30 am.

I bought a journal. I haven't written in a journal for quite sometime. I use to all the time. This journal was just what was needed to write about our time and our experiences.

Oh the tiles.  These made me smile every time I walked across them. The colors around us were so vibrant. There was an energy in all the colors that was healing and invigorating.  It sounds nuts but I came home feeling ten years younger.  Lighter mentally, physically and in my soul. My mind that was cluttered with life was cleared on this vacation. My body that was so sore and tired has new life. My soul that felt worn has a peace within it. 

I am sure fruity (mostly non alcoholic) drinks and knitting by the pool helped. 

The little friendly resort kitty cat helped for sure.  He was so sweet.  I would get him pieces of ham from the buffet and share it with him.  He was very polite with exceptional kitty manners. 

I painted my own bowl one afternoon.  The design was on it already and they set you up with all the paints.  It took me three hours.  I can't explain how amazing just sitting uninterrupted painting that bowl felt.  There was no thoughts in my head except what I was doing at that very moment.  It was like meditating for three hours.  Worth every minute.  John befriend a British fella at the swim up bar while I worked on it.  

The vendor took it home with him that night to fire it.  So the next morning I go to pick it up and he says how he forgot to fire it.  So in the back of my head I am thinking, "shit...we leave tomorrow."  So I ask him if he can have it for the next morning in time for us to leave. Thinking in my head, "great, I am out thirty bucks and three hours of my time."  So he is sort of hesitating.....humming and hawing over it as he starts digging in his backpack.....then "poof" he pulls out my finished fired bowl!! Firstly.....he would be good at poker....he totally had a perfect poker face and secondly, I am soooo grateful I did not react negatively at first when he started to trick with me.....not that I would have because I am not really like that but there is something to be said for keeping your cool and not reacting badly....that we truly are the ones in charge of how we respond to situations.  Most certainly a practice I plan to continue to practice. amazing bowl!!!

We enjoyed so many wonderful dinners.  The Mexican restaurant was one of my favourites.

The food was so amazing.  The crepes were delicious.  I never found these until just before we went home!  Next time I will eat them everyday!!!!

A self serve soft serve ice cream station.  I am sad that we did not discover this until two days before we left as well.....honestly I would have lived on crepes and ice cream all week!


Everyday we walked on the beach.  I could never tire of this.  It was one of the nicest times of our day.....along with our morning routine of sitting on our patio sharing the orange juice from the bar fridge in our room.

We visited Mayan ruins in Tulum and we snorkeled with sea turtles.  Then we visited cenote and snorkeled there.  Snorkeling in the ocean with the turtles was a little tough for me because I suffered from some motion was hard feeling sick in the water.  It made me panicky a little and short of breath.  I didn't know what was causing it.....I am fit and run and do yoga and I felt like I couldn't physically keep up.  After, I mentioned to the guide that I had felt unwell and he said that it was probably motion sickness....that it was pretty rough out there....the light bulb went off above my head as I walked on the shore feeling better with each step on land.  Me and motion do not do well. Completely made sense.  In the cenote it was nice and calm and much more motion sickness at all!  The guide snapped some awesome photos of us.

We had a bottle of champagne left for us in our room.  We don't really drink champagne but a very sweet couple we met from Ohio suggested we pop the cork and take it home.  So we did just that....we spent ten minutes looking for the cork in the room.  Once we tracked it down we toasted our vacation and had a little taste.

There was so many things I loved about our time away.  I could go on and on.  It was a holiday we needed so completely.  Everything went perfectly at home.  We have already talked about doing this again.  I look forward to when we can!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

we are out of is balanced this weekend

While we were up at John's parents, after my hospital stay back in July....yes it has taken me that long to post about it.....we snuck away for the day to a few spots we have visited before but always re-visit because they are just that awesome that you have to go back.

First my most favourite little pottery studio.  Chetolah Pottery.  I picked up the most beautiful bowl. Her stuff is just so unique and beautiful.  

I have been using this often for my cereal in the morning.  I have tea cups I use daily from other visits.  I follow Tara on instagram and just love seeing the new things she is creating.  

We then took Amber and her friend to the Dorset Lookout Tower.  John and I did not climb up....I don't think my energy levels at that point would have allowed me to due to my hospital adventure (thankfully I am back to my old self....even back running again!) but the girls were up the tower and back down before we knew it.  We walked out onto the one lookout and Amber had snapped this photo of John taking a selfie of us.  My stance on selfies is that they are relatively narcissistic and make you look stupid unless you are with your special someone, a baby or child, or a furry being and even then it is iffy......if you post too many it cancels out any acceptance of them what so ever or if you buy a selfie stick...honestly people.....please don't do that.....please do not waste your money on a selfie stick.  Get someone to take the photo or use a self timer if you can't capture what you want within arms length.  This one passes because I am with someone special and I never do the selfie thing.  I love the the photo Amber took more then the actual selfie to be honest.  

We ended up visiting the Haliburton Wolf Centre.  We have gone there before twice.  One year we saw the wolves.  The other year we did not.  This year we saw all the wolves.  Nine in total including three pups.  It is amazing that the centre has been able to continue.  A few years back people claiming to help these beautiful animals cut the fences and four wolves escape.  Two of those wovles were shot.  So much for helping them.  It was so sad to learn of this on our second visit there. Thankfully they were able to get a new male that the females wolves accepted as their alpha but for quite sometime there was uncertainty.  They have been able to have pups which is very important.  Wolves are painted in such a negative light and so being able to preserve them is important.  They are so beautiful.  We got some pretty amazing photos through the one way glass....unfortunately a lot of the photos are on my camera and with the whole my computer sucks dilemma....getting them off is not a task I can take on at this point.  So I had a few that I did get.



This is one of the pups.  Last year they had pups that died.  They try not to interfere.  Last year the pups died from worms.  So this year they did tranquillize the momma and they went into the den when the pups where ten days old and treat them for worms.  Without the help they may not have survived.  Humans have done a lot that has made their survival very tough.  I am glad there are places like this that are helping to keep the wolf population thriving and healthy. 


While we were there we got to wander down and see all the beautiful husky sled dogs.  They allow you to go into the female pen and love and pet the dogs.  Here they are all waiting for us to be allowed in.  They don't let you go into the male pen because many of the males are not fixed and will pee on you to claim you.  So females it was.


I am telling you it was an amazing experience.  They are the most loving dogs and they just took all the love  in.  The fella in charge knew all their names.  I am not sure how he knew....with 70 dogs that has to be tough.  He pointed out the siblings.  He called to one dog, that was gently nipping at John's legs, to give it a break.  I guess that was her thing...little nibbles.  Honestly they were all so beautiful.

This old gal was a retired sled dog.  I believe she was 12 years old.  She was happy in the shade waiting for you to come to her.

You can actually adopt retired dogs.  I think it would be amazing to do that one day.  If I could have, I would have snagged this sweetheart away!!!  

Porscha is home this weekend.  It is nice.  Life feels balanced with her here.  We are out of milk again.....the first time since she left.  I had given milk to my neighbour the other week because it was close to expiring and was not getting used quick to say she is our milk drinker!!  We have a bit of a busy weekend ahead with the Taylor Swift concert tonight for Porscha and Amber, a wedding tomorrow (my cousin) and Shel has another Comic Con Sunday (costume is about two hours from done).  I am looking forward to Monday....slow and easy with little obligation.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

life is beauty full

Things have been a little busy the last few weeks. It all started with some sewing projects I took on. Well first let me start by saying these sewing projects revolved around Porscha leaving the nest for the first time. She was accepted into a program at a college about three hours away. She is staying in a townhouse with three house mates on campus and she has navigated it all very well so far. I miss her but not in a pining.....oh my gosh she's left kinda way.  It is just different.

I wanted her departure to be special. I never did the whole on my own thing and I have talked before how as a person when you don't.....well I think you miss a very valuable part of life in which you find yourself. So for her to be doing this thrills me more than I can say. It definitely is cause for celebration.

She had asked for some of my recipes.  Like our brownies and those sugar cookies everyone loves. Plus a few others. I made her a little going away to college cook book.

A few months back I saw a pillow in a magazine.......I can't recall what magazine but of course doing what any crazy crafty person would do, I did a Google search for pillows. Stumbled across so many cute pillows. My thought was.....hell to the ya, I totally can make those pillows.

And so I did.

These came out frigging amazing.  I love love love them.  I made a Life is Beauty Full for our living room.  Most certainly would entertain making these again.  So many possibilities....go and Google pillows and you will see!!!  Gawd I love the internet!!

There had to be new jammies.

The bestest project was a quilt I made for her from her basketball jerseys.  She had quite a few over the years.  Originally I saw this idea.  I sort of tucked that idea away in the crafty corner of my brain to be called upon when the time was right.  Well the time was right!

I had a slight pang of anxiety with that first cut.....would she be mad I cut them (for the record I did spare two).....could I finish it in time.....would it turn out????? I am not a quilter but I think it came out frigging awesome!

Now I don't own a walking foot which would have allowed me to quilt the top. Instead I tacked down all the non jersey surfaces.  As well all layers (top, batting and yellow flannel backing) were caught into the binding around the sides.  I think it will hold up fine.  This is her and her boyfriend snuggled up with it after I gave it to her.

The next morning I made up a batch of those favourite sugar cookies and filled a cookie jar for her to take. I felt a little knot in my throat as I finished these and was getting them together.  I didn't cry though....this is a happy time......not a sad time.  We have made and raised some pretty awesome kids and this is our reward....seeing them venture out with confidence to tackle the world.

Jax wasn't sold on the whole idea.  I think he was hoping she would take him.  Poor boy.  You have to wonder what they are thinking.  We have been loving him extra special so he doesn't miss her too much!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

all about the chalkboard

So two projects I had been wanting to share for weeks and weeks and weeks are all about the chalkboard.  Originally I stumbled across the idea on this blog after doing google search for chalkboard bunting and browsing the images (I am slightly bunting obsessed....I google bunting often...fall bunting, Easter bunting, Halloween get the picture) I saw it done as well with a painter's drop cloth here....I picked one up at Home Depot for about $15.00.  I used spray chalkboard paint for both of these projects.

First a chalkboard bunting.  After seeing this idea and thinking about it for a few days I had the thought....why not do this to an apron?  Like aprons could get better....but maybe with a wee chalkboard they could.  I was kind of excited to try this.

Definitely something I had never seen before, an apron with a sweet patch of chalkboard for a special message.

First the drop cloth made four aprons, one was a causality of not getting the paint quite right the first time.  One went to work and was raffled off for Father's Day (I mean that is sort of cute....some dad got a apron with a special message from his kiddos chalked on it), one went to another gal that loves chalkboard shiz as much as I do and I kept one.  I love a good apron.

I am not sure why but I didn't get a huge wow factor from the aprons or the bunting, which I passed along to a friend.  Maybe they hung around in que waiting to be finished for too long, I don't know. Maybe the work to make them outweighed that final product high.......although they really were not that tough to make.  I don't know what it was.  There are times I finish a project and I am on cloud nine with the results.  This time around I wasn't feeling the love.

I have an urge to make more aprons and of course more bunting.  I will just minus the whole chalkboard thing.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

a touch of august

Well holy cow the summer is almost over. I won't lie and say I don't miss those early years and the lazy days of summer because I use to enjoy those times with the girls when they were younger and I didn't work.  I see moms coming into the library with their young ones, enjoying the programs and signing up for the summer reading club.  I miss it but at the same time am glad my time as that busy mom is finished.

The other day I walked past a little spot that use to be paved with cement decorated with large decorative rocks. Shelby would often be pushing the speeding limit as I waited for Porscha, and then Amber when she was old enough, to navigate balancing across these rocks. Construction has taken that little patch away.

Time flows forward so quickly.  That is what has happened with summer. I feel like the last few days have fall walking up our front step thinking about knocking on our front door. I am excited for is my favourite time of year but maybe just a little more summer would be nice before it takes up camp.

I spent some time in the hospital the beginning of July.  Six very unexpected days.  I woke up one morning with a start and my heart was racing out of control.  I had chalked it up to being fatigued.  I went on with my day.  I went into the ER around 10:00 p.m. that night.  Long story short it took six days to get the right kind of medicine cocktail to bring my heart rate down and keep it there. Many tests later there still is no clue as to why it flipped. Right now it is back to normal and my medication has been lowered.  The first while on the medication was frustrating.  My energy was no where to be found.  I felt tired walking up a flight of stairs.  I am so grateful to be finally feeling like my old self.  I have a few more tests and will see the cardiologist for follow up in six months but am strong and healthy.

The night before this happened was a night that brought me close to my limits.  The cat knocking over a vase of flowers.....broken glass and water all over the floor.  As I cleaned it up.....vowing to never ever own anymore pets.....Shel was on the commode.  Well when I got back to her, finally, there had been an issue that required extra clean up and laundry all at about 12:30 a.m.  I went to bed that night angry at life.  Annoyed at the responsibilities that nag at me daily.  Mad at the things I can't change. Just a whole lot of f@%$ my life going on.  I am a very happy person....I look for silver linings....I make lemonade outta lemons people but I allowed the crappy stuff in life to get the better of me that night.  I went to bed wrapped in such negative feelings and thoughts.  They can't seem to find a cause for why my heart went I to atrial fibrillation.  There is a part of me that does feel that our lives.....particularly our bodies.....have some pretty awesome warning signs......letting us know when somethings gotta give.

My family is use to me doing it all. Well that has changed. Clearly me doing it all isn't working anymore. Everyone stepped up to the plate when I was in the hospital and they continue to.  I still have to ask sometimes but they don't complain about it. I think it is scary to see your loved one unwell. They understand that I need their help.

This week started us on seven more visits from workers to help Shelby. I now have four nights a week when someone is coming in to get her into well as three extra mornings that someone comes to bath her.  This was help that I should have asked for ages ago.

I am not really a stressed out kind of person.  I don't sweat the small stuff.  I go with the flow.  Had I fallen victim to any of that over the years I would have succumb to life long ago.....and I probably would yell a lot.  On my end what I need to change is my habit of taking on way too much with only five minutes before I have to head out the door. Time management.  I am getting better.  Knowing that some days starting that sewing project an hour before I have to leave for work and I still need a shower is maybe not the best plan.  Knowing that there are days I am not going to accomplish all I want. I have been having to put my way too busy mind on time outs.

I have always stressed my desire to be good to my mind, body and soul.  Well that is even more so a priority.  Exercise, eating well and taking time to just be still and reflect. Being grateful for being given the chance to remember the important things.....and enjoy the little things.  Fostering those relationships that make me shine.  Being humble and grateful for all that I have.  

John was truly the most amazing and sensitive partner.  It is hard to know how your spouse will navigate this sort of situation.  He made me feel loved and supported.  He came back and forth to the hospital each day.  He did everything he could to make this situation easier for me.  Which included him bringing me movie popcorn one night.  I am so grateful for all he did.

I got a lot of knitting done while I was in the hospital.  I finally finished my sock yarn afghan.

Some stats:
495 squares
approximately 207 hours to finish
675,000 stitches

We were suppose to go camping but my little hospital stay put a bit of a wrench into that plan.  So we spend a few days at John's parents.  I was bummed to not have been able to do our planned week of camping but it would have been way too much physically for me at that point.  So the last square happened on our drive up.  So then there was lots of threads to tie but I finished it and had a beautiful back drop for some photos.  I will say that it was probably better we didn't camp.....the bugs were insane.  Even just sitting out by the water you had deer flies bugging and bugging.  The city looked very good after a few days!

I was very pleased to finish this.  It had been on the needles for years.  It honestly makes me very proud that I can accomplish something so beautiful.  

I have moved onto a sweater I have had waiting in the wings for over a year.  On bigger needles I am making quick work of it.  Jax was helping me double check my stitches. As I started into the second arm hole I thought I had too many but under Jax's watchful eye I was able to verify all was good!  It is going to be an amazing sweater.  It is from Mary Maxim.  You can see it here.

I leave you with a picture of the cutest baby.  That sweet adorable Logan.  He is getting so big.  He is the happiest baby.  I love when he can visit.  This face was beyond excited at how close the cat was getting to him.  At one point he did grab the cat by both ears.  Jax let out the loudest meow and from that point on kept his distance.  I told Lee-ann that I wished I could quit my job and babysit him when she goes back to work!  I would in a heart beat do that if I could.    

Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket!  I would also buy myself a nice new computer.  My old one is done.....I can't charge it anymore.  I have done a good portion of this post on my phone the last few days and snagged Shelby's computer while she was sleeping for the final touches before publishing it. That is blogging dedication I 'd say!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

elementary dear watson

Amber graduated from grade 8 last Tuesday. It is hard to believe how time seems to fly by. I remember her starting school. She was so excited leading up to her first day. The back pack had her sold....I think it was Dora.

As John and I walked her to school her mood changed. She looked incredibly sad.  I remember John saying that she looked as though she was walking the green mile.  She never cried...she was close though.

She had taken a special token for those first few weeks.  A picture of Gran.  Once she got into the groove she really loved all that school was.

I didn't feel nostalgic last week.  I think that I am at the point in life where I have settled into watching my girls grow and change and it does not affect me like it use to.  I wonder sometimes if it is because with each step they take toward becoming independent, there is less on my very full caregiver plate.

I took Amber to get her make up done.  It felt nice snagging her away and having some time with her alone.  That does not happen as much as it use to and so I really did enjoy it.

She let me do her hair which was a total shock with that whole my mom isn't really cool stage she is in.  She wanted pictures in her basketball gear.  I love this picture.  It is a I can be a girl and be strong type of picture.  The type of message I hope they all take with them throughout life.  

And then a picture with the heels.

Amber had a fantastic year academically.  She graduated with honors distinction, athletic distinction and citizenship distinction.  As well she received a co-curricular award which is an award that highlights the fact that she was able to achieve excellent grades while being exceptionally involved in extra curricular activities.  We were so happy for her and very proud.

We were reminded during the ceremony, as one of her teachers made a beautiful speech prior to awarding one of her classmates with an award (her mom passed when she was young and the teacher made a point of acknowledging her mom and how proud she would be of her accomplishments), that life is uncertain.  We must live each day well and with love towards others.  There is no room for mean words....conditional love....there are no do what you do today...what you say to someone today.....this moment, those words, those actions....stay here always.  That sort of thing makes me want to live better.  It was a beautiful moment and it humbled me.

Her and her friend Marissa with a change of footwear ready for their dinner and dance!

Amber has said that she is ready to leave elementary school.  I am sort of happy to be done the whole elementary phase as well....I think again it falls into less being on my well the public system is not getting better...funding is constantly taken away and the schools suffer and ultimately the children I feel like we got out just in time in so many ways.  

She is ready to take on high school.  I think she will do high school well.  I think she will strive to be her best both in the classroom and on the basketball court.  And I know above all else, she will have so much fun getting involved and leaving her mark!  Cheers to you Miss Amber!!!