Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stay Tuned....Please:)

Well, I thought I'd just post a little note to let you know that I AM still here! But with company visiting, one has places to go and things to see! And that one would be....me! We are enjoying a great and busy week full of sight-seeing,shopping, relaxing, good eating, and....unfortunately, no running as of yet! Bad Mommy - as Karys would say! But I am still "into" running and am feeling yucky as a result of not getting out for one in a few days! What is it they say....absence makes the heart grow fonder?? Or...absence makes my heart beat faster!!! Either or...I'm looking forward to getting a run in soon!! And looking forward to posting some pics of the great time we've had with my Mom and Aunt!!! So please....stay tuned! And, be well!

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Great Weekend...

Well, I guess I am like any other normal Canadian, in that I was really looking forward to this weekend! Not that we had anything in particular planned, but it's a long weekend! That term, in and of itself, brings excitement!! Not that Jim even has today off, because he doesn't, but still it gave us an excuse to relax a bit while at work (aka: the lake!) So...we set off for the lake on Friday and got right to work.....
Me...on my tan:)
Karys...on the things 2 year olds do!

And Avery....on being cute!! I personally think she has the easiest of the jobs!

And, as we were busy doing our long-weekend business, so were the guys! Opa was busy getting another semi-permanent dwelling built....

And the guys were busy showing off their new toy to our surprise guest, or as Karys likes to say, "Untle Woo-dee!"

And after a hard days work, it is so nice to just have some fun and enjoy the views!! Karys is obsessed with animals of all kinds and wants to hold them all (even the bear we saw on the side of the road!!) So, the fact that Oma has a dog small enough to be dragged around, squished, and carried anywhere, is quite pleasing to Karys!

As you can see, she enjoys the close quarters (and...being naked in the outdoors;P)

Here she is going on her first boat ride...with Opa!A bit of our evening view!And here we are cooling off in the boat after I went for a run in the afternoon sun!! (Note to self: don't run on a dirt road in 30 degree weather with music so loud you can't hear the dogs - with their teeth showing and hair raised - chasing you!!) Thank goodness for a lake to run into after working up such a sweat!!

So, we enjoyed a few nice days outdoors and just when we were starting to think this May Long weekend might turn out to be unlike any others...

...yup, the clouds rolled in and the rain poured down:) What's a long weekend without it hey?!

Anyhow, I guess I had better sign off for now, I've got cookies yet to make (hubby's orders! I think doing that Craft Fair got him to thinking we will always have baking like that in the house!)and dinner to get ready! And I am hoping to get in a run today too! (still waiting for some recommended tunes!)

But I'll leave you with my favourite picture of the weekend...

Taken while Jim and I got out for an evening stroll up the driveway!! It truly is a breathtaking piece of property we get to enjoy! Seriously... Let me know if you'd like to visit!! And enjoy the rest of your holiday Monday - whatever that means for your family:)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's Official!

Nope, contrary to how it sounds....no pregnancy news here!! But I think that may be easier than what I am about to embark on!

The truth is... it is official that I am doing a 1/2 marathon (or at least going to attempt to train for it and drag my butt out there to see what the end result may be!!)

I have done a lot of thinking....weighing the pros and cons - do I really want to be trying to train for a run in the midst of the summer heat while living in a 'shelter'?!?! Do I really think that this is going to make any bit of a difference in who I am?? Can I really run 21.1kms and not keel over in mass coughing fits, gasping for oxygen and a gurney to drag me across the finish line?? etc...etc...etc!!!!
Yes...I have thought about it all and have rationalized the idea of not training for the sake of enjoying my summer, and just trying to "get a run in" while and where I can; but then what would I be striving toward?? I need something to focus on!!!
Thus.....I will make it official and announce that, in October, I will be running (or whatever you may call my trudging down the road) a 1/2 Marathon with my dear, dear, true kindred spirit!!! We have been though so much together (good and sad and happy and bad) and I am so elated to be able to cross this one off the list of "things we've conquered together!!" We can do it girl!! Or at least I think that I can do it if you promise to be there cheering me on as the last person to cross the finish line!!!
Humbly, I admit, I will do this, and all the while pray that the latter image is not proven true!!! So...wish me luck...and please leave me some suggestions for awesome running tunes...I'm gonna need it!! (Yes, that means you....lurkers!!! You don't even have to leave your name, I just need some groovin' tips!!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tea Pots, Toes and Two-by-Fours

Well, I figured I had better post some pictures in this post as the last was rather lacking! This one will surely host a plethora of updates with no real theme or purpose other than it's our life and what we've been up to!!

Here's my awesome find from the craft fair!! So excited to show these to Karys - we'll be able to have a really fancy tea-party with this real tea-set! For $1!!!!Just a really cute picture of Karys being her usual silly-self in one of her favorite places!
And her she is again having fun being at Daddy's work (read: the far side of our house:) We're so lucky to have Daddy close by most of the time!
And now...on to the lake we go! We've been there every day this week and twice last week so there's been lots of 'firsts' to try and capture! Here are the guys setting up and testing out the mill....

Opa with his first 2x4!! Free lumber=a Menno's dream come true!

Here are the guys with their newest toy, Karys calls it the "excabater"! This is what Jim will be operating at the property! Walking it down the driveway...

It takes major concentration...can you tell:)

The first official bucket-full! My man operates heavy-duty machinery! And...I honestly never thought it would really be that hard...until I got in and tried digging a hole (note the lack of picture to document that occasion!!)

A picture to try and capture the vastness of this tree! Note K at the bottom of the picture, she looks so tiny!

And here she is again "helping" build out first semi-permanent structure!

Daddy taking the time to show Karys how you "really" pound a nail!

Our little cutie after she woke up from her nap - camping style!!

Karys having some fun getting wet and dirty in the water! Nothing like a 2 year-old and miles of lake-front!

Avery assessing the whole situation...or just looking beautiful!?

And the last point from my title...toes! Karys' looking pretty spiffy here because she couldn't decide on which colour she wanted! So...we did both and she couldn't wait to show them off!! Maybe you can't tell with all the frigid water covering them, but they are purple and pink...alternating!

For all you "Dora" watchers out there...we have our own Treasure Island!! Here is Karys showing me that "Oh man my teasure islan so fa away!" (obviously spelled the way she'd say it!!) So maybe this summer we'll be "on a pirate adventure"??

Lastly, sadly, here's proof that my baby is turning into a big girl!!

So, that's it from me for now - as it is this post has taken me over five hours to publish!! Ahh life...better get back to the reality of it all.....Piles of laundry...waiting to be folded! Enjoy your day:)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blessings In THIS Moment

Well I must say...this was my best Mother's Day yet! We have celebrated this day for four years now (first time being when I was pregnant with Karys) and although Jim has done something every year, this year takes the cake! Maybe because I love feeling loved and Mother's Day basically started for us on Friday with Jim taking me out for Dinner - just the two of us! Such a nice treat, and even nicer when you can feel 100% confident in the kids loving where they're left! Then, Saturday was another day out at the lake with the guys setting up the portable mill and testing it out - we've now officially got our own lumber yard! When we got home, Jim did everything! By that I mean he told me to sit down and cuddle the girls while he cleaned everything up and got everything ready for the girls' night-time routine! So with a clean house and a full glass of wine, we sat in content silence, feeling completely blessed with where we are and the family we have! God is good!

This morning arrived awfully early for me as I was up last night preparing everything for today's craft fair until 2am! With everything loaded up - crafts and kids - Jim dropped me off at the hall and then went out to our local "Hot Spot" (aka: Timmy's) and picked me up some breakfast! It's not like he never does this for me, but when I know he's doing them with the intent to make today extra special...it works!! So once he had dropped off the goods and took a peak at my table, he took the girls home for a day with Daddy! And as if that all weren't enough, when I got back from the fun, yet non-profitable, craft fair, I was met with a home-made card! Stamped and embellished to boot! How thoughtful! I know some of you may not be 'card people,' but I am and if there's nothing else but a card...I'm good! So to have all this AND a home-made card...I was great! Then, to top it all off, we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, I got to go out for a run and Jim made dinner! Now the kids are in bed and here I sit composing! What a day, what a husband, what a blessing!
So, having a weekend to bask in the love of family has left me in quite a reflective state of mind. That and the fact that my baby girl has just hit the five month mark last week! (*sigh*)
~Five Months Ago~
~Last Week~

This time has literally escaped me! Since when is my bitty baby jumping in her exersaucer and finding her feet and doing all this 'big girl' stuff?! As I sit and think about how fast this time has gone, I now know what people mean when they say "Cherish these moments!" You see, with Karys I was a first-time Mom and she was our first baby! We couldn't wait for her reach her "next stage"! Eagerly watching and waiting for her to get beyond where she was, we excitedly embraced each newly reached milestone. Until we found ourselves with a two year old who can do more than we ever expected and wondering where our baby went?!

So, with Avery, I was determined to relish in the new-ness of her, all the sleeping and eating and being a baby! And even though I feel like I have done that, she still seems to have "grown up" before my eyes!! (so sad!) Don't get me wrong, I love the stage she's in, but I wanted a 'baby' for longer! Which is the reason for my title today! It seems as though which ever stage of life we are in, we are always looking ahead to the next stage, distracting ourselves from finding the joys and blessings of the moment! For example, when we were dating, we were forever thinking about getting married. When we first got married - young and free - we were consumed with the thought of starting a family. Now that we have both, we look back on those days and think "Man, what did we ever worry about?!" Again, not that we aren't completely happy with where our life has taken us; on the contrary, we are so glad for all the stages and how they came together that we now see (looking back) what people mean when they say "cherish these moments!" So I will! I will embrace the two-year-old-everything-is-mine stage, and the five-month-old-loving-life stage, knowing that I will undoubtedly look back on this time and think "what did we ever worry about!"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due!

...and I know most of you ladies out there are guilty of not doing this! By that I mean: We as women seem to have the tendancy to negate our accomplishments - big or small - brushing them off as "not that big of a deal" or "anyone could do that" and I think that needs to change!

As my lacking "May" entries have demonstrated, I have been busy! Don't ask me with what! But, the idea of sitting at the computer to post was far from my thoughts in the past while, and I think that it may also have something to do with all the thinking that I have been doing as of late!

You see - I am a goal-setter! I like to strive toward a certain something and I try not to stop before I get there! Black and white really when it comes to achieving things: You do or you don't! But when these new "goals" are just sprouting in my mind, doubt plays a big role on my conscience! Although I enjoy setting goals, I am also a pro when it comes to undermining my abilities! I admit it, I have never believed in myself really, and am only now beginning to realize my abilities when it comes to certain things like: being a wife, a mother, cooking, crafting... to name a few! This is where my mind plays ping pong! I see myself as one way, but my actions have shown that I am different than that...and yet my self-perspective remains unchanged!

So, I am officially turning over a new leaf! It is a heavy one, one that may flip back on me several times before I get it turned completely, one that has been long overdue for a flipping, one that, once it is flipped, has the potential of life-changing possibilities!! Seriously! I am vowing to do as my title suggests! Whether it mean towards myself, others or God! It is due, and I will give it!

What has brought about this revelation you may ask?! Well, I'll tell you! And although it may sound a bit 'brag-ish', or like I am tooting my own horn, that is totally not my intentions! But rather I'm trying to accept the past, give credit where it is due, and move on!

Six years ago today I left: all things comfortable, all things familiar, all things convenient, and all things 'normal' to live for 63 days in the unknown! Where we would sleep: unknown. Who we would meet: unknown. When we would get there: unknown! Six years ago today I embarked on a journey that I have honestly NEVER looked back on as an accomplishment! Even as I type this, tears are steaming down my cheeks because in sharing this with you I am admitting defeat! But (turning over that leaf!!) in sharing this with you I am also giving credit to the fact that I did do it! Six years ago (it feels like yesterday!) today I embarked on a cycling trip across the country! With only my two legs to get me where I wanted to go, and only my bike to carry me and my stuff there! Six years ago today I started my cross-Canada trip in hopes to #1) make it! and #2) raise money for literacy!

Me and the friend I went with (Her: an avid cyclist! And me...who bought the bike a few weeks before we left and hadn't even ridden it up a hill prior to embarking!)

My Wheels, aka: my room, my sofa, my car, my friend!

Me on Hwy 16 right before heading into Mt Robson...the beginning of the Rockies! - leaving BC and entering Alberta!

Looking back on these pictures there are so many emotions to deal with! I can remember the monotony of the 7-10 hour days, up hill and down, the smells, the sights, the sores!! And then I can also remember the aspect of the journey that caused things to end before we had reached our goal - that's my ultimate sore-spot! Due to circumstances of personality clashes, close proximity with no chance of alone-time, and 63 days on the road...when we hit New Brunswick...I was done! Newfoundland was our planned finish-line...but really, it's all the Atlantic Ocean! And I started at the Pacific Ocean! So it's a no-brainer, right?! I should admit my accomplishments and be glad! But it's not like that! Black and white...remember! And I didn't cross that proverbial 'finish-line'! Thus...no finish-line, no accomplishment! And that is how I have seen my trip since! My attitude was, "Don't ask so I won't have to tell!"

So, the other day, when I was chatting with a friend about my newly considered goal (running a half-marathon), I voiced some doubt in my ability to get to the finish-line! Her retort to that doubt was disbelief! "Of course you could do it...you cycled across Canada!" Oh yeah! I did, didn't I! Never having given myself credit for that truth prior to...now... I hadn't considered that as a point to cling to when the doubt floods in! New leaf...new hope!

I believe God allows things to happen in our lives to teach us and we can, in turn, use our experiences to help others and ourselves. So, in not giving credit to myself for my cross- Canada trip (among other things) I am not giving credit to God for getting me through those times and also not allowing Him to use those times in my life to teach me about the character and spirit He is developing in me! I did do it...He has gotten me through! Yay me...yay God!

May it never again take me this long to credit #1) God for the events in my life that He uses to develop my character and #2) myself for the accomplishments of goals reached!

I now encourage you to look back and see where you have over-due credit to be given!