happiness

Back to gratitude

I’m being reminded of how important it is to be grateful for my many blessings.

I was driving with the girl today and she was talking about one of her friends and an issue she was having. My girl looked me in the eyes and said “I think what the difference is is that she (friend) doesn’t have the relationship with her parents like I do with you. We can talk about anything, most of my friends can’t do that”.

That’s the relationship I’ve always wanted to have with my kids. It’s why we have uncomfortable conversations, so that they will know they can have them with me. It’s why we spend so much time together, so they learn that family is important and they are loved. It’s why we talk about God, and everyone’s individual relationship without judgement, so they know that they are part of something greater than themselves.

I am so grateful that I get to share my life with them. Whatever I have given them, they have given me more back in spades.

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happiness

Sunflower days

These last few weeks have been a little rough. The end of May meant that it had been 5 years since Dad died and I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing him. Even more than I miss him for myself, I miss him for my kids – they still needed him.

It also marked 5 years since his funeral, which was the last time I or the girl saw Mr. X. The boy saw him one time a year later in a therapy session that went horribly wrong and neither kid has any contact with him at all since. My kids deserved better, so did I. Such is life.

But more than I regret what Mr. X won’t do, I miss what my dad was so wanting to give them. He wanted to be an active part of their lives, he wanted to provide guidance and love and protection. He wanted to see them both fail and succeed and watch how they learned from both.

My dad really was an exceptional man. He was involved in our lives, and he was a master at being fully present and doing what we were interested in. It’s a skill I admired about him, one that I strive for while I’m raising my family.

Now when I see sunflowers I associate them with Dad. I happened to be out on the anniversary of his funeral and came across a giant pot of sunflowers that was calling out to me to come home. So it did. Now when I look out of the kitchen window I am greeted with a bunch of bright sunshine-y yellow faces smiling in at me. It brings me joy and peace, and while I miss him, I know that he gave me all the tools I need to know how to get through things.

I know I can’t be that for my kids, but I sure hope his influence shines through in what I do.

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happiness

Mother’s Day 2020

Mother’s Day can be a weird one for me. It’s my third one since Mom died and that still pings my heart a bit. As a single mom it puts stress on my kids to figure out how/what to get me. And with us staying home because of Covid, I’d decided to just have a quiet day at home.

Really, I don’t feel that mothers (or fathers) need one day to be celebrated. We should show our appreication to those we love every day of the year, and I truly feel appreciated by my kids.

Oddly enough, today was one of the best Mother’s Days I’ve had. I did a few hours of homework, I tried to do yoga and when my kids didn’t leave me alone I turned that time into “let’s clean the house and get chores done” time. We ended the day with a family supper and watching some tv.

The Christmas before Mom died I learned a lesson that I had only held as a theory before. We shut everything down and just spent the holiday together – me, my kids, my mom, and one of her caregivers. It also was one of the best Christmases I’ve had.

The lesson? I really don’t need more than those who I love near me in order to be happy. All of the other things are just icing on the cake. And don’t get me wrong, good icing is important – but it needs the foundation of the cake.

I am blessed.

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happiness

Come to my window

The boy and I went for a walk with the dogs and when we came back found my niece sitting on the deck, visiting through the window with the girl in her bedroom. Brilliant. I’m so happy these cousins had the chance to have a bit of a visit – everyone is getting a bit lonely. Everyone except the pets who all think us being home is the best thing that’s ever happened

Who’s a good boy?
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Pizza and Shepherd’s Pie

Usually when I finish a class we celebrate with pizza from Community Flatbread in Cochrane.

My last class ended March 15 which was just when things were beginning to get real here.
In the last 5 weeks things have changed and Community Flatbread is offering pre-made food for sale (as well as some grocery type food).

These little things are what brings some normalcy to a situation that is anything but normal, and I’m so grateful we are able to enjoy them.
(We also bought Shephard’s Pie from them that is absolutely to die for).

Community Flatbread is also one of the businesses in town who are taking donations so that those in our town who can’t afford groceries at this time can receive some as a gift.
I ❤️ our town and the amazing people in it!!

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happiness

Niagara Falls and Icebergs

We have to be creative with our travels these days. So this afternoon, we took the dogs out for an adventure that involved seeing Niagara Falls and pretending we were on the Titanic and heading towards an iceberg.

Niagara Falls
Iceberg right ahead!!!

I notice how much these walks mean to our mental health and I’m so grateful we live where we do. I also notice how much quieter the roads around us are and I appreciate how we are all working together to make the world a safer place. It’s not easy, but it’s sure important.

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happiness

Easter 2020

Like most of us, we had a much different Easter this year. For the last few years we have been creating a new tradition by going to Victoria and attanding service at the Christ Church Cathederal -which really is ressurecting my old childhood traditions (see what I did there?).

So, while we dream of a moment like this one

Instead we have a moment like this one

And that kind of sums up 2020 so far – not exactly what we expected or had really wanted.

However, instead of walking the logs on the beach, having tea at Murchie’s, going to Buchart Gardens, and having my annual visit with my dear friend, we are doing different things. We are studying, playing cards, visiting, playing, and spending time really talking about the deep things in our lives. That is also a blessing. We are healthy – that is a huge blessing. We are home, safe, and loved.

We are also thinking of those who are sick, or home alone, This is a time for hope and celebration, but also a time for love and showing kindness where possible (and it’s always possible).

Happy Easter – everything will be ok ❤️

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happiness

The sun is back

The sun is out, snow is melting, and mud is everywhere. Springtime in Alberta (which means it could still get cold and snow at any time).

It also means the cows are calving and it brings much joy to my soul to see those babies. We took the dogs out for a walk today and checked out some of the new arrivals.

Even though the three of us have always done a lot together, I’m finding that we are spending a lot of quality time with each other and I consider that a blessing.

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Staying connected

It seems that often in the darkest of times we see the most beautiful rays of light. People are calling each other and checking in. People are using Facetime and Skype to visit and catch up. We are able to spend more time with our families if we live with them, or virtually if we are not.

Of course, this is a more dangerous time if you’re living in a house that was unsafe to begin with and I am mindful to say prayers for those people often.

I’ve got a cousin who is on lockdown in Rome with her family, and over the last few days we’ve been sending videos back and forth instead of texts. All pride goes to the side as we stop caring how our hair looks or what we are wearing, and just send our faces and voices back and forth sharing little moments of our lives.

That human connection is important, and while we may feel isolated in our homes we are so lucky that we have other ways of communicating with each other and we need to take advantage of that.

As an introvert I often find going out of my way to socialize uncomfortable, but I’m discovering that for my extraverted friends being forced to stay at home is the same level of discomfort I experience at loud parties or busy places. These extraverts in my life I’ve allowed to “adopt” me and look after me in stressful busy life situations, and I feel now that it’s the job of us introverts to adopt our extraverted friends and show them how we live life on the inside.

I love all of you, my friends and family. I’m so gratfeful to have a strong circle of love support.

Everything will be ok ❤️

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Silent Movies

We’ve been feeling the effects of being shut up here only seeing each other. Some of these effects are quite good, actually – it feels like sometimes the sun shines brighter through the dark clouds.

For the last few nights we’ve had forced family fun time and played various card games. It’s been a really good mental health break and we’ve done some laughing and sharing, which makes life feel a bit more normal.

Tonight we put on some old music from the 1930s and pretended to act out silent movies. I’m sure it’s just a step further down our descent into madness, but it brought a lot of laughs and lightened the mood of the house. We all need to keep our spirits up and look for our moments of happiness.

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