happiness

A colorful life 

It’s Easter weekend, and I’m so grateful that we are here with the ones we love. This has been a year full of so many emotions, but at the top of the list is the deep feeling of peace and love that I have now that we are safely back home. 

I find it difficult to even think back on how brutally lonely and isolated the kids and I were those last few years of our life on the road. We have so many people around us now, and life is so busy and full its hard to believe we were so quiet and empty not too long ago. 

Color comes in and brightens everything up. The color and richness of the lives we live now has warmed our souls and made us all such happier people. 

Today was Easter Egg decorating time. Jenna has been patiently waiting for days to get to this. We were a bit delayed due to my accidental, massive egg explosion (eggsplosion?) but finally we were good to go. 

The amount of planning these girls put into their egg decorating was amazing. I love that even though they are getting older, they are still so excited (eggcited?) to have some fun.   
 
After they were done decorating, I suggested they take the dye out and paint the snow. Thanks again to Mother Nature for her showing of second winter over the last 24 hours. 

They decided to color the snow fort they had spent the afternoon building.   

 
These two cousins are such great friends. What a blessing to have family close enough to play with on a regular basis. I will never take for granted the awesome relationships we have here with our tribe. 

It would have been my happiness moment anyway, but the girls dragged me out to show me their fort. They said they expected to read about this on the blog because it must be a happiness moment. 

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happiness

The last day…

Typically this weekend is a sad one. We are usually heading to the airport, crying, and saying goodbye to family. Sometimes we are lucky and a winter storm in Chicago or the East Coast cancels flights and we get to have an extra day or so. But, our hearts always know there is a sad goodbye coming.

This year we don’t have to go anywhere but down the road to our home. We have spent a lot of time this weekend talking about how nice it is to be here to stay and not have all that emotional upset of having to say goodbye to everyone.

I’ve been going over some blog posts from the beginning of this year and what really hits me is how brutally lonely we were back then. I am so grateful that we don’t have to be so alone anymore. Whatever other turmoil the past year brought us, I am thankful that we are back home.

We took the kids out for one last run on the sleds before we are back to the grind tomorrow. I think they had fun….


Hearing the laughter as they flew past me howling in joy was my happiness moment for the day. What a great start to the year. I have felt very held in love by those around us these past few days. It’s so easy to get caught up in negative thoughts, it has been very good to remember that there are loving, kind, fun people to share laughter and life with.

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happiness

Skiing out the back door

I cam home this afternoon from running some errands in town to find ski tracks leading from the road right up to our back door.

I stood in the yard and spent  some time attempting to put together what happened from looking at the snow tracks. As far as I can tell, Jenna put on her cross-country skis inside our mudroom and skied right out from there to the road, joining her cousin. There were ski tracks from the cousin’s place down to the road where the two tracks met up.

The fields around the houses are filled with memories of family, both young and old, enjoying outdoor activities – skiing, sledding, walking, riding, walking, the list goes on… I am grateful that my kids are now a part of that memory footprint.

My happiness moment today – coming home to see the ski tracks leading right out from our back door.

 

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happiness

Dashing through the snow 

Today’s happiness moment is a very simple one because it was a simple kind of day. We seemed to all be pretty tired and there wasn’t a lot of movement. That’s happiness in and of itself, as I feel like we are always on the go. 

It snowed off and on all day which made for a beautiful winter silence. Jenna and I drove over to my cousin’s place in my city car, pretty unsure we were going to make it safely. But that little car dug deep (literally in some places) and we powered through. 

My happiness moment was driving through the snow with my girl as we looked at the deer in the fields. It was a beautiful moment. 

  

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happiness

Ski time

  

I had three happiness moments today. First, I came home to find my daughter and my niece cross country skiing in the yard. How lovely that it was warm enough that they could play outside in the snow all afternoon. 

With the kids out of the house I was able to wrap presents, this has left me bit happy and relieved. 

And perhaps the greatest happiness of all is the fact that  for the first time since Thursday night, as of this evening we have running water again. I have no idea how my ancestors survived without it, but I’m sure it was with more patience and grace than I showed these past few days. I’m so thankful it’s up and running again! 

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happiness

Sun sledding 

Today was one of those perfect Alberta winter days. The temperature was above freezing (not by much, but enough to be warm – or hot when we were running around in snow gear), the sky was blue, our yard still had snow, and there were kids waiting to go outside and play.

Jenna has been waiting all year to get to play in the snow. She spent the entire month of November inside coughing and looking longingly outside at the snow falling.

The “little” cousins were down visiting for the weekend, and one “big” cousin was able to come over and play – along with some happy dogs. It was wonderful to see the yard fill up with happy footprints, snow angels, and snow drawings.

And, of course… the sledding. Sledding is kind of a big deal for us. Or better yet, going out on the toboggan… but that will come later in the winter. Today was about sledding down the small hills.

We had some visitors watching us while we went down the hill by the barn.

The girls did this hill over and over, laughing and giggling. I joined in one time and laughed the whole way down. I may have broken my bum (I don’t bounce like I used to…. and I did bounce a lot! I’ll be sore tomorrow), but it was worth it.

It was an afternoon full of happiness moments. Listening to children’s laughter, sledding, visiting, being outside enjoying the nice weather. We are so blessed to live where we do, back home with our tribe around us.

 

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Canadian stereotype 

We had a perfectly stereotypical Canadian day today, one that involved all the good things that come to mind when people think of Canadians.

It started this morning at Tim Hortons (as any good Canadian morning does) with a really nice gentleman holding the door for us. Actually, as Jacob and I were walking to the store, a SUV pulled up in front of us and as it slowed to a rolling stop a man jumped out of the vehicle, did a hop and a skip and a slip on the ice; and headed for Timmy’s. He reached the door and there was a lady behind him, and then Jacob and I behind her. He stood and held the door open for all of us, then Jacob held the second door open for him (proud mama moment, how great of him to return the kindness),  and then he insisted that we all go ahead of him.

As we were standing in line I joked with him about his fast exit from the car. He laughed and said that he probably shouldn’t do those while it was so icy out, but that life needed some adventure. He went on to say how much he loved winter, loved being outside, and had spent 22 hours since Wednesday shovelling snow.

I shuddered and said I wasn’t acclimated yet to the winter and wasn’t sure I was going to be. He said there were two important things that got him through the cold weather. He lifted up his leg, turned his jeans inside out and said fleece lined jeans, they’re the best invention. Then he went on to add although the very best way to keep warm outside is to get up, keep on your flannel pyjamas, and then just put your clothes on over top of them.

It was so nice to start the morning off talking to someone who was so happy. I love too how all of our happiness is different, how we each need to find it in our own way. Those things that made him so happy aren’t what would particularly get me all excited, but it certainly was his thing.

Tonight Jenna and I downloaded Jann Arden’s new Christmas album A Jann Arden Christmas. Her voice, it is so beautiful… it makes my soul happy.  I  saw her live when we lived in Montreal and it was probably the best concert I’ve ever been to. In this time where grounding and stability are playing such a huge role in our lives, it’s a huge bonus that she’s a local artist. Nice to have such great talent close by, a good reminder that we produce great things here.

To keep it fully Canadian, we also listened to a little of Anne Murray’s Christmas album. Her songs take me back to childhood and that is important this year especially. Dad was a big Anne Murray fan and I have lots of memories of us listening to her music together. I miss him, but he sure managed to leave us a lot of great things to remember him by. Anne Murray may be one of the bigger Canadian stereotypes, and that’s a good thing. There’s a lot of comfort in that which is familiar. Her music reminds me of childhood, laughter and fun.

My happiness moment today was the knowledge in my soul that we are here, we are home, we are safe. The good Canadian stereotypes are something I am proud of – the politeness, the thoughtfulness, that will take you a long way. Life is good.

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Snowballs and laughter 

We had our first substantial snowfall this morning! Well, for me I wouldn’t use exclamation marks as I still have frostbite memories on my ears and cheeks, but the kids were so excited to see the white stuff coming down.

Jacob had the day off from school, so he was looking forward to getting out and playing in his winter wonderland.

I met him at my mom’s, where he tried to pull a fast one on me by hiding and pelting me with snowballs. I scored best mom of the day when I turned and casually threw one that went right in his face. As he was laughing I pelted him again – perfectly on the nose. Thank goodness i hadn’t packed my snowballs hard. He was all impressed with my aim, and I didn’t tell him I had been aiming for his stomach.

We had to go into town where we were surprised to find there was no snow at all on the ground. We laughed at how funny our car looked piled still in snow while it was clear everywhere else. We both got out of the car at the grocery store, turned and looked at each other, grabbed handfuls of snow off the car, and had an impromptu snowball fight in the parking lot.

A man was standing behind Jacob watching us and laughing. He wanted to know where we got all the snow from. As we walked into the store Jacob turned to me and said “well mom, I don’t know about you, but this was my happiness moment for today”. I love that he is also making sure he has a happiness moment each day.

I agreed with him, but inside I thought and my other happiness moment was getting you with that snowball….

However when we arrived home he got me back…

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ayurveda, happiness

Good Vibrations

The case I’m working on right now in my Ayurveda course is dealing with colds and flus – a good topic for this time of year. I believe this is the first year in a long time that the kids and I are going into spring season strong, well rested, and in general good health. If we can avoid being knocked flat by the seasonal illnesses that’s a blessed thing.

In Ayurveda there’s more emphasis put on the host body (me or you) vs. the bacteria, virus, or illness. That is to say that if you have a strong and healthy body there is no place for the virus to take root and grow. It needs a fertile ground in which to plant root and flourish. The reasoning is that if your body is healthy and in balance these dis-eases will not be able to stay.

Western medicine looks at illnesses as something external that attacks the body. In reality we live with millions of bacteria and viruses surrounding us. Not everyone who is exposed to someone who is sick gets sick themselves. It is not the pathogen so much as the state of the host that makes the difference. These viruses, pathogens, bacteria, won’t have a place to take hold in the body if the ground is not fertile. It needs ama (toxins) in order to take hold and grow.

Something else that either prevents or encourages the chances of us being ill is the energetic vibration that we are on. Everything comes from the field of consciousness – humans, plants, animals, bacteria, viruses… That bacteria or virus is a physical form of a nonphysical energy just the same way that we are here in a physical vehicle (our body) for our nonphysical selves. The vibration of these viruses is on a lower emotional field, and in order to resonate with it we must also be on this lower field. The field that they resonate on is the same frequency of fear. Being full of fear can open to the energy of the virus and harmonize with it, allowing it to take root and multiply. When our vibration is high and we don’t identify with the vibration of fear, we are better protected against getting flus and colds.

Think of all the hype that comes out every year about the cold and flu. Every year it’s the worst year yet for being sick. The media throws out scare tactics – we must be afraid of getting sick. Go stock up on medicine, get flu shots (sometimes there is value to these, but not for everyone), be afraid of getting sick. Everything except make sure your body is healthy so that viruses can’t take root and flourish.

I personally can attest that when my vibrational frequency is low I get sick. When I’m happy and healthy and on a higher emotional frequency I don’t get sick. The Law of Attraction follows the same beliefs as Ayurveda – what you concentrate and put your focus on you attract. Think about being sick all the time and you will be sick. Think about being strong and healthy and you push yourself up onto a healthier frequency.

For me, releasing black clouds of doom (mine and other people’s) has put me in a healthier place than I’ve been in years. I can feel my emotional vibrations getting happier and stronger, and I can see my health getting stronger.

I have two happiness moments today for day 32 of the 44 days of happiness. The kids were off school for snow (again) today. I was sitting cross-legged in my chair in my bedroom getting my iPad ready to do my healing light yoga therapy class (there are recordings from the Saturday class we can do during the week if we choose – I’m loving this class). I was hunched over focusing on getting to the right spot in the video when Ella jumped up on the chair beside me. She glared at me and meeeooowwwwed, then jumped up onto the top of the chair. Well, she landed with such force she flipped the entire chair over leaving me stuck on the ground wrapped in the chair much like a turtle flipped on it’s back. I was lying there yelling for help – however when help arrived it was in the form of Jacob laughing so hard he was unable to do anything. Finally I was able to roll myself out of my mess. Because of course as soon as the chair flipped, Ella was out of there. She ran into Jenna’s room and pretended she knew nothing about what was going on.

The second moment came this afternoon when I was driving to the library to pick up Jacob. I was winding down the backside of the mountain and came around the corner to see a boy about 12-14 out shoveling snow. What was fantastic was that he was using the shovel as a dance partner. He was jigging all around, twisting and turning with the shovel. It was such a happy, glorious sight. So wonderful to see someone “dancing like no one was watching”. Made me smile for a long time.

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10 Day Weekend – forced slow down

The kids are presently dancing in the upstairs hallway singing “10 day weekend! Never going back to school!” I’m not sure how funny they’ll still find it when they’re in school on Good Friday and also Memorial Day – but right now in this moment they think that school being cancelled again for tomorrow is the best thing ever.

After waking up this morning to an inch of ice covering the over 9 inches of snow we got yesterday we actually managed to leave the house this afternoon. For a few hours the sun came out, the earth warmed up and people started moving. We jumped in the car and drove to the library for an exciting adventure out of the house. Unfortunately the library wasn’t open (I’m assuming due to the weather), so we were stuck with trying to figure out what to do. Trips “out” have been few and far between this week and we weren’t ready to just turn around and go back home. We ended up doing a walk-about in TJMaxx and then going to two grocery stores (did we need to go to two? No. But again, it was part of that being out thing).

At our Co op we ran into a friend we’ve made who makes jewelry and sells it at the market downtown. We were catching up and I mentioned how much I was enjoying this week at home with the kids, how nice it was to see them totally relaxed. This was something I’d actually been thinking about earlier this morning. This is the first time in probably a year that I’ve seen both kids so well caught up on rest, so relaxed, so stress free. You see, the wonderful thing about not being able to go anywhere or do anything is that you are forced to slow down and relax. The good thing is the three of us are pretty good at hanging out with each other and  only moderately getting on each other’s nerves (sigh). We’ve all spent a lot of time together, so we actually can balance ourselves out pretty well.

We’ve played outside in the snow, played board games, told jokes, cooked meals together, visited, read books, had naps, gone to bed early, slept in, relaxed, laughed – lots of laughter, bonded, even watched a little TV (somehow in this I’ve been trying to keep up with my course work – but it’s been a slow week in that department). It has been one of the best weeks we’ve had in a long time.

Our other long breaks recently have been filled with travelling to Calgary or driving to Virginia Beach or other action activities. All of which have been lots of fun and filled important needs in other ways. But this is the first time in ages where we’ve had a significant amount of time to just be and do nothing. What I’ve discovered is we are all nicer, happier people because of it.

It has been such a blessing to have this down time. The power of recharging is immense. All of us carry a great deal of stress in our busy lives. I have set up our lives to be as simple and as nurturing as possible, but even so there’s always more than we can do. The ability to simply stop the world for 10 days and recharge has been amazing.

Day 28 of the 44 days of happiness came while we were sitting at the table playing the Train board game. We were laughing and arguing and being silly and each trying to outdo the other. The joy of a simple game brought us all great happiness because we were rested enough to enjoy the moment.

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