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November 6th, 2014

Well, it has been one month. We did supplements and massage and oils for one week tops, then did nothing because it fell on the back burner. The measurements?

My hair is 8″ long for a growth of 1″ in the past month. That seems like a lot for me. Maybe the crawlies I keep feeling is the fast rate that my hair is growing, and I can stop having my family members check me for lice every time I feel a tickle. LOL

Claire’s hair is 6.5″ long for a growth of 0.5″. Poor girl; she’ll never have long hair, but will always desire it. She wants it so much right now!

So, the hair experiment did not really happen despite our best intentions. Maybe we can have a re-do in the near future.

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Posted in 2014 |
November 1st, 2014

We tried a new thing this year for Halloween and it ended up being the best Halloween yet!

Around 5:00 pm, the kids dressed up in costumes and we headed out as a family to purchase tickets to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day. The kids had decided on this movie as a good movie for all six of us to enjoy.

Once we had our tickets, we made a quick bathroom stop, and headed out on the town to do some trick or treating. We visited an area near the theatre that we have never really even driven around before. The kids visited homes on one side of the road and made their way through the three cul-de-sacs that were on the other side, and back to the theatre we went. We left the candy in the van and got our movie treats and watched a great movie, all together.

When the movie was over, we got back into the van and headed home, sorted through the treats, made trades and shared favourites before bedtime.

It was a fabulous family evening. It happened right smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest times of the busiest year of our lives to date, and it was refreshing and relaxing and was a great reconnection time for us. Times are very rare nowadays that we are all six together in the same building doing the same thing.

I must say, I enjoyed this version of Halloween and I wouldn’t be surprised if this became a new tradition for our family. What a great night!

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Posted in 2014 |
October 31st, 2014

Wow, what a week it has been!! Truthfully, what a month it has been, but who can remember back that far? LOL This week has been such a mixture of adventures and experiences, it’s kind of hard to believe that they all actually occurred. And so many new things that I’ve never done before!

Here is my HUGE bowl of potpourri for this past week:

A dinner and concert date with my sweet third-born, who was happy to help me deliver supplies to a friend on our way to gobble up some ribs. It was amazing to watch him take in the music, and then at the end of it find out that he enjoyed it way more than I expected he would. Love, love, love. <3

Daniel got to go on a two-day band field trip to a local university. He worked with clinicians, swam and was in awe that there was a whole Tim Hortons right inside the school. My heart danced at his excitement over this; I was secretly in awe that my university had a food court and a Timmies in it too. LOL

For the first time ever, I went for a pedicure with a friend. Unfortunately my original date couldn’t make it, but that meant that I got to catch up with another friend that I have not visited with in way too long. And my feet are officially ready for winter. :D

Monday also included learning more about kids (and all people, really) with the Circle of Security program, and I spent the evening sharing yummy tea and great conversation with a long-time friend and some of her other friends.

On Tuesday I was at the height of nasty withdrawal symptoms (my lesson and recommendation is do not give up a daily dose of sugar and caffeine all at once), so after my HEAT (high energy athletic training) class, I came home and sat on the couch with a blanket and hot pack doing my best to manage my horrible headache and nausea. My awesome hubby was off work for the day, so he worked hard to make my life easier on his study breaks. Claire and Andrew did amazing things at their climbing class; they each climbed to the top of the wall blindfolded, and Andrew attempted the hardest wall, also blindfolded. They amaze me.

Wednesday brought my beloved step class, and my first ever gel nails appointment! One of my nail tech friends is offering a smokin’ deal on gel nails to build up her portfolio and experience, and on top of that, she is donating money from every session to a Christmas charity until the end of November. I must say, the whole process of getting gel nails was fascinating to me. I love them so very much! I’ve always had weak, bendy, peely, short nails. Well, now I don’t! I just might have gel nails forever now. ;) And so fun to get to visit uninterrupted with a friend for two hours straight. I wish I could just hang out with friends for a job. Hahaha

I was still feeling pretty horrible on Wednesday, and Jon took over dinner prep and ran Daniel to climbing, and for the first time ever, we all went to connection group IN ONE VEHICLE. The kids were very confused about what was going on!

I did my regular school office shift on Thursday morning, and it is always such a fulfilling time for me. I love being in an office environment. For the most part since school started, I’ve been working my way through school CUM file transfers and volunteer information, filing and phoning. Yesterday I got to add more tasks to my repertoire, and I feel so accomplished. The trust that the office and admin staff place in me is a huge boost and it makes me feel awesome. I love chatting with teachers and support staff that pop in and out of the office. I am looking forward to a career in this, and am getting antsy about refreshing my skills and taking the next huge step of reentering the working world.

I left my post at the school a little earlier than normal so I could pick Daniel up from his school. He was selected to act in a commercial and filming was yesterday. The commercial should air on Global, starting mid-November. I can’t wait to see!

After the filming, I dropped Daniel off at home and headed to have lunch with a friend. It was a wonderful time with wonderful conversation and I’m so thankful for the opportunity we had to sit and chat. I also am thankful for Daniel, that instead of sitting at home alone all afternoon, he went to the elementary school to see his siblings and their friends parade in their costumes, and he visited with an old teacher for a bit. He thoughtfully brought his camera with him and recorded the parade to show me when I got home (which was actually late enough due to a traffic accident that he also picked up all my kids for me and got them home safely and was feeding them hot chocolate when I walked in the door 15 minutes after the school bell rang). I’m so very proud of the young man he is.

The first events of the early evening included meeting three of Daniel’s teachers and discussing his school work up to this point. This was our first experience with junior high parent teacher interviews and I have to say there were some surprises. Some pleasant, some not so much, and when I recover from the shock a little, I am going to have to change some stuff. I am interested to see how the rest of this school year plays out.

After the interviews, the returning my extra child to her home, and the inhaling dinner that Jon and Andrew picked up on the way home from those interviews, we headed to the OTHER school for a family math mystery evening event. I’m always so impressed with the events the school staff puts on for families. I really enjoy the information they present and the way they present it, and it is great to have the chance to visit with the parents of my kids’ school friends, and the teachers.

And today is Halloween!! No school meant that we got to plan a playdate. We spent the morning hanging out with friends, and getting to know them better, and have spent the afternoon just chilling at home. Who knows what adventures this evening will bring…whatever it is, it will be another first for us, because that is what this year/week/month seems to be all about!

Happy Halloween, everyone! :D

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Posted in 2014 |
October 23rd, 2014

The past week has seen me spending so much time with other grown ups doing grown up things that my mind is kind of blown. I really like it. Like really really.

Last Thursday I got all spiffy and went to a gala (a GALA – ME!!) where I was treated like a regular everyday person. Well, a special regular everyday person. ;) People were interested in me, in what I fill my time with and in what my background is. Spending time with the CGA greats was so refreshing to me…it was an amazing evening that renewed my passion for socializing, for meeting people and for dressing up, up, up!

Saturday I faced a fear – singing front of others. When you are in a small group, you are going to be heard, no way around it; especially if you are the only one singing your part. But for once, my time serving God within our church community would not be about children. It would be about music, a love pushed completely to the side during the lowest times in my anxiety journey, and left there in my hesitation to show the emotion that singing to God inevitably brings on. I rediscovered a new part of myself that has been gone for a long time; such discoveries bring a lightness to my busyness, which has lingered.

Saturday afternoon, I crafted with adult friends. It wasn’t the rushed frazzled scramble of crafting with kiddies, but the laid-back chit-chatty or no talking at all kind of adult crafting. Just being with another person while creating has always brought me such peace; the careful work put into something that turns out to be amazing, made from a few bits and pieces that might not even go together at first. Crafting is one of my happy places.

On Monday night I attended an adults-only birthday function where I got to dress up a little, interact with family distraction-free, eat fancy cheeses on fancy crackers and drink fancy drinks. I met new people and had long conversations about life and work, and saw a high profile politician out of the spotlight. I got to cuddle my sweet baby nephew; the only little in the room. And when I walked alone to my van in the dark that I had parallel-parked like a boss, my heart soared at the wonderful time I had had, and I smiled because everything everywhere was taken care of and nobody was needing me and that felt great!

Last night and tonight I got to spend time in non-child discussion with grown ups too. Our Wednesday connection group is always a nice recharge for me; a time to connect with others and hear what’s going on in their lives, and tonight I got to discuss business at the school council meeting. I even had a mission – to bring up parking issues, which are really becoming a big deal for the residents of our condos. I went in as a rep from the condo board to bring light to this problem and ask that we work together to resolve it. I always get a nice rush of pride when I have a planned out ‘something to say’ and can use my big voice to talk to a roomful of big ears. There were so many new faces at the meeting, and seeing parents interested in being there and learning about and contributing to discussions about things that are important to them and their children is thrilling to me. I’m so proud of them! Some families in attendance this evening have only been in Calgary (in Canada!) for a matter of weeks!!

I am so blessed to have had so many opportunities to meet new and diverse grown ups this week. It’s fabulous, and I am just falling more and more in love with socializing every single day, which is honestly something I thought I’d never say. Just this afternoon, a relationship went from acquaintance status to friend – an occurrence that kind of caught me off guard (God is amazing!). And the office admin at the school actually hugged me this morning because she was so grateful for my attitude about a photocopying job she gave me. I thank the secretaries every week for letting me help out in the office and they always laugh at that and say, “No, thank YOU!!” I love them.

These are my people; this is my life. My life has revolved around children for so many years that I’ve been blinded to people my age (and beyond) around me that I can have relationships with, and that want to have relationships with me, simply as me. My kids are growing up, and that is bringing a freedom where I am finding myself in new situations, spending time with people who are fully functional, all on their own, with no help from me and no expectations of me. It seems silly, but there it is. Suddenly I feel like a grown up and not like a child playing house. It really doesn’t suck at all! <3

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Posted in 2014 |
October 22nd, 2014

We got home late tonight to a poor little kitty asking to come in.

We gave him some water, which he was very happy to consume, so we looked through the fridge and cupboards to see what kind of food we had to share. We came up with a can of tuna and hoped it was a good thing to feed a cat. He was very happy with our offering.

The kids all wanted him to come in, but I know he is an outside kitty, and everyone around here takes turns feeding him. He was looking kind of skinny tonight.

We lovingly call him Bruce. Hopefully he sleeps well with a full belly and a happy heart. <3

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Posted in 2014 |
October 21st, 2014

Visiting the dentist has been kind of painful for me in the past. I’m not talking about myself going in for work, but me, taking my kids for cleanings.

A couple of years ago, I made the horrible mistake of booking my children in for cleanings all on the same day. Their dentist’s office only had one hygienist scheduled that day and we ended up being at the dentist for four hours, on a weekday, which meant it was me and them and they all had to sit and wait. To make matters worse, it was over the lunch hour, so lunch was almost three hours late. Ugh, I shudder at the memory.

Our family has been without dental insurance coverage for almost a year now, but Jon finally qualifies – for a few weeks only – through his work. I anticipated this day and called about a month ago to make appointments for cleanings for each of the children. The receptionist was VERY smart in offering today’s date based on the fact that there were TWO hygienists scheduled, which makes my time there very much shorter, and I will be forever grateful that she had the foresight to notice and suggest today based on that. Bonus was that today Jon was off work, and we were able to work together for optimal time management.

I am so proud that my kids were just so polite and respectable and mature today. They didn’t fight in the waiting room. They didn’t run around or jump or yell. They spoke kindly and courteously to the staff instead of pretending to be shy. Claire and Josh sat nicely and patiently alone in the waiting room while I was in with Andrew when Jon had to run home to get some papers. This, again, was over the lunch hour (two hours) and despite some grumbling tummies, there was no whining and no acting out.

After the first two were done, Jon took them for lunch and returned them to their respective schools. I took the last two for lunch and returned them to school. Calm, joy, peace, love between siblings, and thankfulness from my children today. I loved it, and I love them.

Who would think…a school day for the kids, a day off work for Jon, four dentist appointments…among all these things it was a fabulous family day where we were able to spend time connecting with each other, and everyone got their turn with everyone. Oh – and no cavities! Joy. <3

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Posted in 2014 |
October 20th, 2014

Today is a happy day for me. I’m feeling so light and joyful and I feel like I am starting fresh with looking at my days through a grateful heart and mind.

I feel empowered today. I’ve typed freeing words. I’ve told my story of fighting for a better me and getting here. I’ve realized that I’ve beat my daily attacks of IBS. I am so proud of where I am health-wise.

I did not freak out this morning. I did not raise my voice, not even one time. Not when Claire reminded me that I offered pancakes for breakfast last night and I would have to very quickly make some. Not when Andrew was crying about having to go to school. Not when Daniel came up from his bedroom twice still in pajamas, and not when he missed the bus. I didn’t even feel angry driving him to school, and I calmly showed him the way he will need to go to get himself there next time he misses the bus.

I went to my barbell blast class. I did all my barbell exercises with the pink (20 lb) bar, and all of my dumbbell exercises with the green weights (12.5 each?). I loved the way I looked in the mirror today. Strong and healthy and not fat.

I had great conversations with women from different generations. I love when a span of age groups can get together and just chat about one topic and the different experiences are so very interesting!

Once home from the gym, I met with my mother in law and talked kids and adults and parenting as she practice-presented this week’s Circle of Security information to me. I was reassured and challenged and enlightened. If anyone in Calgary and area is interested in going through the Circle of Security program, I highly recommend it – so many “aha” moments in interacting with our children. Let me know; I’ll hook you up.

Now it is 1:00. I have icy joy in a cup and warm joy streaming in through my living room window. My house is a mess, but this light happy feeling is going to remedy that over the next two hours as I clean, clean, clean.

My mom shared a list on Facebook today entitled “18 Great Reminders When You’re Having a Bad Day”. It is spot on and resurrected within me a desire to be joyful and happy and glad. I was already feeling great when I read it, but it just has so many wonderful points that I was so happy to read. I see others struggling so hard against being happy and I have been at risk of being pulled into it. I don’t like that. I am deciding (again) to just be thankful and grateful. I have SUCH an amazing life. SUCH an amazing God who is just showering me with amazing experiences every second.

You know, I was singing on the worship team at church yesterday and it was my first time since we lived in Nakusp in the autumn of 2005. I felt a bit of anxiety flaring up when I agreed to sing, but I wanted to work through it. I almost backed out a couple of times, but I kept telling myself, this is not about me and my anxiety. This is about God. Music is a part of me; a part that God put there. I didn’t back out. I was nauseous as I drove to the rehearsal on Saturday, so I popped a Nervita (kids’ homeopathic anxiety pill) and drank some peppermint tea. I was afraid to sing in front of my fellow worship-team members. But I did it. And it wasn’t scary, and they were all encouraging and fun.

On Sunday morning, the anxiety tingles and intestine twisting started as I was waiting to go on stage. I let them run their course. I acknowledged them, I felt them and I sent them away. And it worked, and I sang on stage with a microphone at my lips and nobody criticized my mistakes, and I managed to keep myself from getting overcome with emotion and crying as I sang. The morning was just a really joyful time for me. Life changing. I did something that scared me a little, and I made new bonds with people I knew, but didn’t really know. I made new friends.

As I was up there singing, I realized that almost every song I was singing mentioned that God frees us from our fear, and I knew that I could not sing that and hold on to my fear of being up there. I had to smile. And I wasn’t scared. Amazing.

So this is my day. I feel triumphant, empowered, free, light, thankful, blessed, and happy. So very happy.

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Posted in 2014 |
October 8th, 2014

This evening I went upstairs to make sure the kids were getting ready for bed so I could tuck them in.

What did I find Claire doing?

She was sitting at the top of the stairs next to the big box of memory stuff that Jon and I have from our childhoods and our dating years and early years of marriage. Without opening this box, she got out each card that she could and was reading notes of love between Jon and I and words that other family members and friends had given to us over a period of a few years.

It was a sight that warmed my heart so much, and I sat down with her and pulled out even more cards, without opening the box. Notes of love and encouragement between Jon and I; and from friends and family wishing us well as we left our lives in Calgary to live in Winnipeg. There are cards signed from Jon or I and our unborn baby Daniel, and there are cards scrawled in old-person handwriting, such treasured words from those who have passed on now – grandparents and our amazing step-in grandparents from Portage Avenue Church.

Seeing Claire sitting there so quietly, just soaking in all this love from words written before she was even born…well, it left me with no words. Her face was glowing, and the feeling just radiated off her to me.

People loved us so much. They wanted us to know that we were loved and that they were rooting for us. We were given such an amazingly supportive few years at the start of our marriage and the start of our family. I’m so thankful, and tonight these words were a very timely reminder of the rich soil our roots were established in.

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Posted in 2014 |
October 5th, 2014

Today is my birthday, but I wish it wasn’t. I am wrapped in depression today and wish that I could stay in bed and not see or talk to anyone. Just my luck it is a Sunday and impossible for me to do that! If we could put off the acknowledgement for a week or so, that would be good.

Here are my smiling 36 year old selfies, taken with a lump in my throat, a tear in my heart and a pounding headache. Onward and upward!

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Posted in Uncategorized |
October 4th, 2014

Claire and I are doing a hair challenge for the month of October. We are being extra loving to our scalps and tresses to see if we can encourage a bit of a faster rate of growth. Any growth will be an improvement, since we both have amazing non-growing hair.

We measured a selected front piece on October 2. Claire’s was 6″ and mine was 7″. We’re doing massage and supplements and oils and masques. Or masks. It will be fun to see the results!

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Posted in Uncategorized |

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