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August 24th, 2014

I’m alone on the front porch. The sun beats down on my legs, but my face is sheathed in shade. Wind rustles the trees, transforming their song to that of the ocean waves.

The birds chatter and sing; unfazed by the wind and by my presence.

I can’t look upon myself, but I feel timeworn and weary from the path I’ve trod; experienced in things I wish I wasn’t, and heavy-hearted by the effort.

I recall myself, sitting in this exact spot twenty years prior. The same birdsong, the same wind, the same ocean of trees. Oh, how little that young girl really knew – so confident in her strength to weather the next years of her life, and not truly knowing the journey or the difficulty to come.

Oh, she knew there’d be something, and her heart had sighed at the unknown then; hesitant to continue ahead, yet knowing there was no turning back. Such an easy time that was. I smile at her naivety, and shake my head.

The sun caresses my face now, and it’s time to go. I slowly make my way down, down the rickety stairs, and duck to slide into the back seat of the car.

And as we pull away, I turn to look just one more time, so I can remember.

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Posted in 2014 |
August 17th, 2014

Full day Friday taking care of E and finishing up the back to school shopping!

Full day yesterday keeping some friends’ awesome kidlets busy.

Full day today with church and then children’s ministry lunching and planning for the year.

Tonight we got the kids cleaned up and into bed at a reasonable time. I hard-boiled some eggs and cut the tags off new lunch bags. I prepared bento-inspired lunch containers, made ready to be filled with exciting lunches for the first away-from-home school lunching that is happening tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the first day of school, and the first day of a new jam-packed year. I will be working on career development through volunteering, and will be keeping the household running smoothly; hopefully getting some home improvement projects completed as well. Jon will be switching careers and jobs and working toward his accounting designation in addition to trumpeting with a symphony and continuing his work on the elementary kids’ school parent council – this year as President. Oh yes, and leading our church’s A/V team.

There will be a bible study group and rock climbing and youth group and fitness and children’s events and another school council and women’s events and men’s events and so much more.

What a full and amazing life we have been given! I’m so excited to watch all the wonderful unfold over the next 10.5 months. :D

Here’s to a new school year! Here we go!!!!

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Posted in 2014 |
August 11th, 2014

Today I pulled all of the clothes out of the bags from our vacation and laid them into piles so the kids could put them away.

“I’m never wearing that shirt again,” I heard Daniel say from the couch above me.

“This one?” I asked, as I motioned toward a blue patterned button up dress shirt with a collar and short sleeves.

“Yes, that one,” he replied.

“Why not?”

“Well,” he started, and kind of hesitated for a bit. “When we were at the Y in Winnipeg, there was this boy in the bathroom that was with his friend, and he said, ‘If you had that haircut and those glasses and you wore that shirt, I would call you a nerd.’”

I looked at him with my eyes wide. “He said that to you???”

“Not to me, but behind me.”

“And he was talking about you?”

“Yes.”

“What did you say?” I asked eagerly, as this whole scenario has totally caught me off guard.

“Nothing. I washed my hands and I left.”

“How old were these kids?” The questions were swirling, swirling in my head, and my mouth was trying to pick the right ones to allow through.

“My age,” Daniel replied.

I turned to Josh. “Were you there too?”

“Yes,” Josh said quietly.

“Did you say anything?” I prodded, still in shock that kids could be so mean to other kids that they didn’t even know.

“No. But I gave them the death glare on our way out the door.”

Oh, my Josh.

I told Daniel that he can wear that shirt all he wants, and that he should, because he looks great in it. I assured him that kids around here don’t really care about each others’ clothes. I didn’t realize until now though, that he won’t be going to school with “kids around here” anymore.

And how my heart breaks at the realization that he is entering junior high school, and kids are so so mean, and everything matters there. All I can do is pray every day that his experience is nothing like his father’s and better than mine, and that he finds at least one good, close friend there, so they can walk together through all that is to come.

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Posted in 2014 |
July 19th, 2014

I care so deeply for people and I sometimes just don’t want to.

Sometimes there is a huge struggle within me where one part is screaming that I care too much and that I need to walk away, while the other part is rooted in place with its arms folded, caring too much and refusing to budge.

I know it’s my calling, to care. But with caring comes so much hurt.

Heartache.

Rejection.

People are afraid of love. They are afraid to love and they don’t want to be loved.

To know that heartache lies ahead and still charge forward…eyes, arms, and heart wide open…filled with sorrow for what is to come, yet not straying from the path…not to the left nor the right…

It’s living.

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Posted in 2014 |
July 18th, 2014

Yesterday, my parents treated us to another Fringe Festival show. This was an illusionist show for kids. My uncle and cousin joined us. It was a little hairy getting there because we were so late, and then didn’t park in the right place, and then found another parking lot, and then had to walk to the theatre and had trouble finding it, and THEN they wouldn’t let us in because the show had already started and the doors were closed, AND THEN the supervisor came out and told the people sitting at the ticket table that the closed door policy wasn’t in effect for kids’ shows. We snuck in as quiet as we could and they had to set up more chairs for us and the gentleman doing so muttered that the show is sold out and we shouldn’t be in there…

SO MUCH FRUSTRATION!!!

Anyway, we saw the illusionist, and Claire even got to go up front and help with one part of the show. It was quite entertaining. When the show was done, we checked out the other activities they had for kids, ate some of the snacks we brought and watched some dancing, and when everyone had had enough, we walked back to our vehicles, climbed in and went home.

Delicious pizza was our dinner and the evening was nice and relaxing. It is hard not to relax in the evening when you are on an acreage. The sunset is beautiful. The air is refreshing. The sounds lull your spirit. Totally relaxing. Even for a city girl.

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Posted in 2014 |
July 17th, 2014

Last night, after our lovely afternoon with Anita and her kidlets, the kids and I rushed home so I could get ready to go out with my mom and her besties from her childhood.

We first went for dinner at a restaurant in downtown Winnipeg. It was a very interesting building – stone and cool and trendy. Back when it was built, probably 100 years ago, it was a bank. Because Winnipeg is such an old city, there are so many historical buildings around, and each of them comes with its own story. I love that.

After dinner, we walked to a small theatre that we were to access from an alley. We lined up and waited for the doors to open, chatting with others as we stood there.

We were there to see the daughter of one of my mom’s long-time friends perform in her fringe show. It was a two-person play; no sets, minimal props, singing and instruments. It was amazing.

I was sitting by my mom’s friend as she just beamed with pride over her daughter’s amazing performance. I could feel the joy radiating from her face without even turning to look. And the message of the performance…it was one that went straight to the heart – YOU HAVE VALUE – straight to my heart – EVERYONE HAS VALUE – my very own message to the world played out by these two young girls traveling from one city to the next presenting their fringe festival message.

I know that there were people there who didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. And that is okay. I’m so glad that I got to have this evening with my mom and her friends. I’m so very blessed.

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Posted in 2014 |
July 16th, 2014

Today the kids and I met some friends at a spray park. I have to say that the weather here is fabulous. It is one of the main reasons that I wanted to spend the summer here, and I have not been disappointed (Well, I was disappointed the first day we were here when there were record lows for temps and lots of wind and rain. Brrr!).

So we met up at the spray park and my friend and I chatted while the kids played in the water. It was a great visit, and I’m so glad that we could get together before she headed out of town on her vacation. When the kids were done in the water, we headed to our friends’ home for popsicles and trampoline jumping, and more great conversation about teaching and schools and life! My friend just graduated from university and will be starting her career as a teacher in September! I’m so excited for her – she is going to be such an amazing teacher. :)

It was a great afternoon. :)

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Posted in 2014 |
July 15th, 2014

This year we are actually out here and just the right time to catch the strawberry crops! The strawberries are ripe and ready for picking, so this morning, my mom and the kids and I headed out to Boonstra Farms and filled three big containers with strawberries, picked by us, fresh from the plants. They are so very yummy, and I hope that we’ll find time to get back there and pick some more!

This afternoon, my stepdad’s sister, Aunty Sue came over for a little visit. She is moving out of province, so we may not see her again for a long time. It was great to see her and spend time chatting about everything. Also, she brought each of the kids a little gift that thrilled each of them and kept them busy for awhile; something I’m super grateful for because city kids on an acreage away from friends is a difficult existence, both for the kids and the mama! :)

Wishing my aunt all the best as she moves on to a new, wonderful and exciting life! :D

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Posted in 2014 |
July 14th, 2014

Each time I visit Winnipeg, I am a little disappointed that it is not the same as when we lived here. I know that day to day life is way different from a vacation, but my heart sees the place and feels the memories and doesn’t get the memo that people here are still living their day to day while we are pretty much always free and ready for some fun!

I always preach that people need to value themselves; have confidence in themselves and believe that they are important, no matter what society tells them. However, when I vacation in Winnipeg, I always wonder…why don’t people want to see me? Why aren’t they filling my inboxes with “let’s get together” messages? Have I offended everyone somehow with some offhand comment on facebook? Am I just not worth their time? Is our friendship over??

My brain knows that people are busy.

My heart doesn’t understand.

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Posted in 2014 |
July 13th, 2014

Here I am, in Winnipeg, for one month.

When Jon asked if I wanted to take the kids and spend the summer here, I didn’t really believe that he was actually up for us doing that. But I said yes, and he said, “Plan it.” So, I did and here we are. :)

Right from the start of the vacation, I’ve felt like a princess. My stepdad flew to Calgary to drive us here, in my vehicle, so that I didn’t have to manage the long trip and the children all alone. I’m so thankful!

And then we got here, and it came time to pick bedrooms. I chose the room that used to belong to my grandpa. Yes, he died in that room. No, it doesn’t bother me. Death, though sad, it isn’t a scary and weird thing. It’s a part of each of our journeys. And to be honest, I feel kind of special that I get to stay in this room. I’ve named it “the Princess room” because I feel like a princess with the huge walk in closet and ensuite bathroom. I plan to enjoy it while we’re here, but I hope I don’t get too attached and become ungrateful for my bedroom at home that does not have a walk in closet or an ensuite bathroom! :)

Anyway, we arrived and picked rooms and I got right to work unpacking our clothes, hanging them in the closet and placing them into dresser drawers. I’m SO excited that for the first time since my parents have lived here, we will not be dressing out of suitcases (er – messy piles of half-folded clotheing on top of suitcases in various rooms around the house).

Here’s to a great month in Winnipeg!

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Posted in 2014 |

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