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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 |
October 3rd, 2014

Today is that day where it is definitely getting colder out and you know winter is on the way and you wear all your warmest winter clothes and wonder how you are going to make it through a winter of ACTUAL winter temperatures. I may or may not have used my command start for the first time ever today.

It is one of those days where you are seriously considering calling up the doctor and asking her to order you a hysterectomy STAT because your brain thinks that surely being plunged into menopause has nothing on this misery you suffer every four weeks. Plus, if you have surgery, then you get to rest for six weeks in a warm, cuddly, cozy bed, and have no responsibilities except recovery. Right????

Today is that day that your number one priority is to make a chocolate chocolate chip cake two chocolate chocolate chip cakes so you make a grocery list of the ingredients and drive to the store. On the way to the store, you see a couple of police cars, which remind you that today is the VERY LAST DAY that you can renew your driver’s license before it expires, and you then realize that you are dressed “comfy” today, which is no way to dress if you are going out of the house at all, but feeling craptastic won out and you didn’t even do your hair because the cold weather allowed you to just pull a toque over it (perk of winter!!), so now after you get the groceries, you need to go home and get presentable for the driver’s license photographer instead of making the chocolate cake. CakeS.

Oh yeah, and the kids are out of school at noon today.

It is that day where you get into the grocery store, realize you left the list in the van, and decide to wing it because a) it’s cold outside, 2) you just want to get this over with because you really believe that the best place is at home in bed eating chocolate cake and not curled up in the fetal position on the floor at No Frills, and iii) why didn’t I take pain meds before I left the house? Oh right, because I still haven’t eaten breakfast…

It is when your hubby texts you that he really is not feeling the work thing and is not quite in the right frame of patience to be answering common sense questions from people all over the country, and you text back that he should just tell his boss he is sick and come home, even though you both know that would be a bad thing to do, morally and financially.

Today is THE day where your Fone (capital F intentional) decides that it simply CANNOT stay on because it has reached a mere 64% battery power and that is NOT enough to go…on…living………..

So you don’t get those PC points because your Fone is being dumb. Meh, they aren’t worth anything anyway, right? Definitely cannot be used to help pay for groceries for a family of six with a tight budget. Nope.

It is that day where you get home, turn on the computer to vent your morning grumbles (that are really nothing compared to what some people are going through) to the blogiverse, and find that your wifi is on vacation. So you grab a notebook and a pen to scribble it out. The pen doesn’t work.

I kid you not.

(I typo’d the word “not” right there as “nort” and I really wanted to leave it but I didn’t because I already have annoyed you all by spelling phone wrong above, but sometimes you just need to get your point across, you know?).

And guess what. After I prettied up and renewed my license, I stopped in at a thrift store hoping that they might have a pair of winter boots without holes so I can actually have dry feet when it rains and snows (unlike last year). I found a pair in great condition (and some black dress shoes to wear with pants since mine have multiple holes in them and I am volunteering in an office now so should have hole-less shoes) and bought them without guilt knowing I have birthday money coming. $24 for winter boots and dress shoes. Can’t beat that!

Today is that day where I got home from shopping just in time to pick up children from school, walk them home and feed them lunch, and am just about to get started on putting together that chocolate chocolate chip cake, when I receive a call from my oldest saying he stayed after class to talk to the teacher and the school bus left without him and his water bottle broke and can I please just come and get him.

And at the same time, a text from my hubby asking if I can write my cell number down for my oldest so that he can call me in the future and not him while he is on the phone, working, at work.

And then slow girls who don’t want to get into the van and who forgot how to do up seatbelts, and slow drivers who think going sixty is scary, and me breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeathing on the way to get to my boy, whose school is a bit of a drive and school ended a long time ago.

And it has taken me all day to write this, but now I am going to wrap it up. Because I have cakes to bake. And my boys are play fighting very close to the boundaries between play and real, and I probably shouldn’t be typing anymore when they cross the line. Or maybe they already have…a different kind of line…where they watch The Littlest Petshop kittens “The Kitten Show” on YouTube…

Tonight I’m going to craft with friends; I think I really need to! This day is bananas.

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Posted in 2014 |
September 18th, 2014

“Mommy, Austin is such a gentleman. He always cleans stuff up and puts up chairs for Oceane and me.”

Claire’s class has a regular practice of writing little notes to each other to “fill each other’s buckets”. She does hers on the back of old pictures of herself. Makes me think of movie stars autographing photos and passing them out.

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Posted in Uncategorized |
September 6th, 2014

Today my girl is learning a new lesson. She and her friend have been playing for two weeks in her bedroom, and ignoring my requests that they clean their mess before moving on to a new activity, going to school, or continuing play. In fact, after I said they needed to clean the bedroom before doing anything else at all, they just chose a new place to play – the basement – where they created a whole new disaster that they refused to clean.

Right now Claire is cleaning her bedroom. I am sitting on the bed, not lifting a finger to help. Some will say I’m being too tough, others will ask what has taken me so long to get here. I know, I’ve heard it all. People have been especially eager to advise me in the right way to parent as of late.

What I am hoping is that a lesson will be learned…if Claire does not want to clean a two-person mess, she will need to be more proactive about encouraging her guests to join her in cleaning as they go. Claire walks away from her messes as much as the next guy (or four next guys ;) ), and since she is the only one who still plays with toys, it gets overwhelming fast.

Today I am not feeling well, and laying on a bed watching someone else tidy is kind of working for me. I’m looking forward to enforcing this lesson more in the future.

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Posted in 2014 |

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