happiness

Breathe, slow down, smile

The girl finished the last of her exams today – she still has “school” next week, but it’s all fun stuff like swimming and sports day. The stress of exam week is over and the kids can breathe, slow down, and smile. It’s been a hard week. Both kids really want to do well in their classes, both struggle with reading which makes it that much more difficult. The boy has excellent support in place at his school and I’m hoping the girl will get more soon as well. But they both work hard and learn lots and that is what is important.

And now.. some fun. It’s time for that. I’m glad that things can slow down a bit now. Happiness is found in the little moments and when we slow down we are able to enjoy those little moments more.

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happiness

Locker clean out

My boy had his last day of classes today – almost the end of grade 10. I can hardly believe it. It feels like yesterday I was in a panic as to whether to put him in the French or English school in Quebec. And here we are, a whole lifetime later with him in the Catholic system in Alberta after taking a tour of North America.

He’s doing so well and growing into such a great young man. I feel honoured to have been such a big part of his growing process.

He texted me this afternoon asking me to bring garbage bags so he could clean out his locker. When I arrived at school it had a happy energy carried by hundreds of bodies (student and teacher alike) who couldn’t wait for summer vacation to start. This school has been such a blessing for him, we have lived a series of miracles in the last couple of years that’s for sure.

End of year locker clean out – happiness. Happy for him, happy for me. End of making his lunches!

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happiness

End of season

Basketball season came to an end tonight. They have their all every single game. It actually looked like maybe they were going to win for a while tonight. But even when it didn’t they continued to play with heart and with class. 

I’ve learned a lot this year watching other coaches and other parents. Our coach is the one who has taught our boys to play with class and integrity. All the way through he conducted himself in such an admirable way. Such a good example for the boys. 

Happiness moment today was watching my boy sprint out on the court and play his heart out. He’s gained so much from this season.  

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happiness

Cheering each other home

I’m sitting at a basketball game watching both sides play their best. Our boys have lots of heart, but struggle to compete against a lot of these other teams. I have been impressed with them all season – even when the score is obviously defeating, they never give up. 

The opposing team was cheering for their players. One of the younger siblings for our school started yelling over them let’s go thunder over and over. 

Something interesting happened. The stand remained silent, our team remained silent, the opposing team started to smile at this enthusiastic boy and started clapping along with his cheer. The opposing team!!!! And they weren’t making fun of him, they were genuinely enjoying it. 

That’s what sportsmanship is. I am  so impressed with those kids. That is happiness. 

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happiness

Teamwork

I always avoided team sports like the plague. I loved the partnership I had with my horse, but I never really got into being part of a team. 

I have learned a lot watching my son who is so drawn to team sports. It hasn’t left me with a huge desire to go out and join one myself, but I am understanding more and more how important and fulfilling they can be. 

They had a game tonight and I walked into the gym when they were all standing in a little huddle. 


It’s cool to see how they all support each other. Sure, there are some conflicts but they have to work them out so that the team can succeed. 

My boy really needs this and he thrives in this kind of environment. And that is happiness. 

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happiness

Meet the teacherĀ 

The boy went very unwillingly with me to parent teacher conferences today. He pointed out that no other kids had to go and only because he has a damn helicopter mom he had to show up. It’s not like it’s a new thing, I’ve always made both kids to go their conferences. They have the most to gain from learning what their strengths and weaknesses are. 

Secretly that boy likes that I care how he’s doing and that I make him be involved and accountable for his learning. But I pretend I don’t know that. 

My moment of happiness today was hearing his teachers tell me what a joy he is to have in their classes. They all seemed to know and genuinely like him (a huge benefit of a smaller school). They see him for the great blessing that he is and appreciate his quiet kindness. 

Of course there are things to work on, he’s not perfect. But it’s always so nice to hear other people who spend a lot of time with him say what a fantastic human he is. 

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happiness

She can see

Today was Jenna’s first day st school with her new glasses. She was really nervous about having to pull them out – she’s at that age where being different is bad.  She’s always worried kids will tease her about anything that’s out of the ordinary. I still carry some of those issues, so I understand where she’s coming from. 

When I picked her up today she was all smiles. The assistant principal (who is a longtime friend of my sister and thereby my whole family) asked her what was new and she said she’d just got her new glasses. Well, the AP was all excited and made Jenna take her to the classroom so she could admire the new eyewear. 

It made Jenna feel so happy, so secure and proud to wear them instead of being fearful of kids laughing. This is one of the many reasons why I love her school so much. It’s such a safe, loving environment for her to be in. That brings me great happiness. 

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happiness

Sharing Kindness

Wednesdays are my favourite day of the week. It’s the day when we have enough after school activities that we stay in town until 6:30 (the boy stays later for his evening thing), so we have supper out. Every week we eat at the same place and having that familiar routine is something we look forward to. The owner knows us, knows our order, teases Jenna every week like she’s one of his kids, and always makes us feel welcome. It’s a nice break in the week where I don’t have to cook, we sit together at the table and share stories, and it’s super cheap.

I spend a lot of time with my kiddos so I think I usually know what’s going on in their lives, but in these quiet moments where there are no other distractions I always learn so much more.

My dear, sweet, kind-hearted little Jenna told me a story tonight that both warmed and broke my heart at the same time. She said that one of her friends at school had spent the morning very upset, almost in tears, refusing to participate in class, and didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on. When she finally broke down, she asked the teacher if Jenna could join her because she felt that Jenna was a friend who was safe, caring, and had some life experience dealing with the same issues that this girl was sorting through.

The friend unburdened herself of some difficult family issues with Jenna sitting right beside her holding her (the teacher was also there). Jenna said it was difficult and painful – hard to watch her friend suffer, hard to have some old memories of her own brought back up to the surface. But she stayed there and loved her friend through it.

I am *so* proud of her. She’s learned that when the people you love need you, you dig deep and help them, love them, stay with them, hold out your hand to them. It may be easier to turn tail and run, but bless those who stay, who don’t judge, who love. They are the ones who help with the healing.

It is a happiness moment that brings tears to my eyes. She sat in some incredibly uncomfortable emotions of her own today to help out her friend. Hopefully it helped her with some of her own healing as well.

As a bonus happiness moment, I caught up today with some very dear friends of mine. It’s been years since we have had a visit and I found it very grounding, loving, happy, heartwarming…. all those good things… to spend time with them. They have faith that I have always admired.

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happiness

Sick day

Jenna called me from school this morning with an upset stomach saying she needed to be picked up. As I was driving into town I had a moment of gratitude for the fact that I was able to drop everything and go get her. It has meant so much to the kids that I have  been able to provide the time to be with them as they walk through their childhood. It has come with a lot of sacrifices – not only from me but from their dad too over the years – and it is a comfort to know that it makes a huge difference in their lives having that consistent sense of security. 

The fact that so far I have been able to continue to provide that for them fills me with happiness and gratitude. 

I cuddled up with the girl this afternoon and watched a tv show. Her tummy started feeling better and she began acting like her regular self again. A healing happiness moment. 

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happiness

The new year

We somehow managed to get up and get going this morning. The boy and I were up on and off all night stressing about the new school year. I love the schools they’re at, yet there is always a little bit of nervousness when heading back after a long break. It was so nice this year though that both kids were in familiar schools. They already have friends, know the teachers, and understand the school routine. I am so grateful for the fantastic schools they are both in.

 When I look back to last year when we moved here I am reminded of how the kids were picked up and held in love by their school communities. That’s not something that happens everywhere and I’m thankful it happened for them when they needed it so badly. 

My happiness moment was hearing all about their first day as we drove home. I love the excitement and hope for the new year. 

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