happiness

Murchie’s time

My Christmas gift to myself this year was an order of Murchie’s tea. It’s my favourite for a few reasons – when we were kids mom and dad used to take us to Vancouver Island for most of our vacations and we spent many happy days getting tea at Murchies, books at Munro’s, and chocolate at Rogers. In the last couple of years I have been able to share that tradition with my kids which makes it even more special. In fact, tea has always been a source of comfort in our family. Grandma always taught us that tea was the solution for any emotion. Happy? Have a cup of tea. Sad? Have a cup of tea. Stressed? Have a cup of tea. Visiting with friends? Have a cup of tea… you get the picture.

So tonight I am sitting in Grandma’s kitchen having a cup of Murchie’s tea. And no matter what else is happening around me, life is good because of that.

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happiness

High tea at Banff Springs


We had high tea at the Banff Springs Hotel today to celebrate my niece turning 6 and my daughter turning 12 (today and on Monday respectively). It was a girls only event including the birthday girls, my sister, and our mom. We don’t have girl days often enough – and this one was pretty elegant. 

The difference between 6 and 12


When we were kids our family vacationed a lot on Vancouver Island, and we have many fond memories attached to high tea (and clotted cream). It was fun for us three adults to step back in time a little and reminisce about teas past. 

And fun to share our traditions with the next generation. The girls loved having a fancy tea party 

Her face when she was told she could eat 

She gets it from her mom 


It was a really special day, and one that I will treasure in my memory bank forever. Those family bonds, our sisterhood, it’s pure happiness and there’s so much gratitude in that. 

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Tea for Two

I love it when I wake up and know in advance that I will have at least one happiness moment to be excited about in the day. Even though we have been back home for almost a year, I still have a small list of friends with whom I have not been able to have a really good sit down visit. Pathetic I know, but when you combine a really busy life with my being a socially awkward introvert, it’s amazing I ever get together with anyone. I am remembering now that I’m back around my tribe how very important it is for me to actually get out with friends and talk and laugh and share.

This afternoon I met with a dear old friend that I have not had a really good visit with in years – like since our kids were all in diapers. Since coming back I have run into her at the grocery store a couple of times which was a great way to have a quick catch up, but nothing like what sitting down over a cup of tea and sharing will do for the soul.

I’m so grateful for this friendship. We are unlikely friends in that we are different in so many ways. And yet, since the first time I met her we have had this strong bond that has drawn us together. Generally I have a really difficult time opening up with people, and she’s one of those very rare people with whom I know I can safely share absolutely anything.

We had a wonderful two hour tea (which turned out to be much too short), and we shared where our lives have gone over the past 10 years since we last visited. Had we shared back then where we thought we would be right now I don’t think either of us would have predicted the paths our lives have taken. It is such a gift to have someone that you can reflect on your journey with – someone who just listens without judgement and shares their own in the same manner.

We left our visit having decided that the time has come for our families to tighten our bond. Her husband is the godfather of my Jenna and they don’t know each other at all. But, now that we are living in the same town and travelling on similar life paths, all of that can be rebuilt.

There are so many gifts that are coming out of what seemed to be such an uncertain and scary time. It helps me so much to know that I have so many people now with whom I can share my journey with – in happiness and in sorrow. That support of the tribe makes the trip so much more enjoyable. A beautiful happiness moment shared over a cup of tea.

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Tea and a birthday party

The day started off with a beautiful drive in the cold, bright morning air. I was glad I was inside my car. Somehow I thought it was about -5c but turns out it was more like -22c. That made it chilly, but oh so beautiful. There was something really peaceful about the time I spent on my morning errands.

The beauty of my morning drive.    
  
This afternoon we had one of those wonderful Christmas break moments where family stopped by for a visit. An aunt and uncle, and another uncle came by and we had tea and left over Christmas baking. Well, I passed on the baking (I may have overindulged already), but I sat and had a delightful cup of tea. I gave up caffeine about 4 years ago, and that has done wonders for my anxiety. But every once in a while I wistfully think of how delightful a nice cup of real tea would be.

Today I made a pot of Murchie’s 2000 blend and I just couldn’t resist, I love their tea. I drank my cup and it was so good! It made me feel happy right down to my toes. Even the caffeine didn’t seem to have much affect on me. Not that that means that I’m in a big rush to start drinking it again. I dedicated my life to pushing panic attacks to the side, and I’ve done a pretty good job of that. I’m in no rush to bring something in that could cause anxiety. But, that one cup was so good! A little happiness moment for myself.

We had a nice visit with the family. I often see my one uncle in the grocery store and we get a little chance to catch up, but to be able to sit down and really visit is an entirely different thing. It’s so nice to be here where there is family to visit with and share our time together.

Jenna and my niece have birthdays coming up very soon so we had our annual the girls are together birthday party and enjoyed a really nice family supper. Naturally followed by present opening and ice cream, because heck – it was a party. I feel so blessed that we can share in these family occasions and be relaxed about it. Usually this birthday celebration is accompanied by tears as we are packing suitcases and preparing to leave the next day. Not this year! I am so thankful that we are here and we don’t have to prepare to say goodbye to loved ones. It lightens the heart considerably.

The peaceful drive, the tea visits, and the girl birthday party. My happiness moments for the day.

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A thanksgiving jar full of gratitude 

We are finishing off our thanksgiving weekend in a blissful turkey and pumpkin pie coma. 

I am so happy that our first thanksgiving back, Jennas first one in Alberta, and our first one without Dad was such a raging success. There are holes in my heart from the sorrow of losing Dad, but I also feel like my heart grew four times bigger with joy, love, and happiness because we are able to spend time with our loved ones. 

Tonight’s part deux thanksgiving supper was another throw back to old times and was held at my aunt and uncle’s place. The only difference being this time I was seated at the adults table (usually I snag a seat at the kids table. It’s where all the fun happens). It worked well until the usual political discussion got heated, and then a couple of us vacated the room to make tea. It took a long time to make that tea. 

We laughed, we shared, we were together. It’s been a long time since we have had our family to be together like this with. Not a rushed visit, but a simple drive over to visit. Something to be thankful for. 

The entire day was one of focused gratitude. I woke up to this: 

  
Just in case there is ever any question as to whether or not I have things to be grateful for, the Universe gifted me with this breathtaking view from my home. 

I spent the day with my tribe, loving the fact that my kids are becoming such a comfortable part of this wonderful extended family we have. 

I finished the day with the kids and I starting a new thanksgiving tradition. We decided a few days ago that it would be a good thing this year to write down at least one thing we are thankful for and put it in a jar. We will keep the jar and add to it every year. That way we will have a record as time goes by of all the things we have brought as gratitude to thanksgiving. It was time to bring some new life to thanksgiving and we believe this will be an excellent way to do that. 

It was a big happiness day today. A whole day of gratitude and happiness. I am blessed. Happy thanksgiving everyone. 

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My fairy godmother. 

I am really lucky in the godmother department. When I was a kid, my godmother really was like a fairy godmother – always stopping by with treats, good cheer, and a twinkle in her eye. She is the standard by which godmothers are set. I’m afraid I’ve failed terribly in comparison in my appointment with my niece, but it is an incredibly hard act to follow. 

This afternoon, her daughter – my sister’s godmother- had us over for tea. Not your North American tea either please and thank you. High tea (they are Scottish) with scones and jam, little sandwiches, butter tarts…. you get the picture. 

We sat outside and visited – something we have not done properly in years. Something that was so important to do with these life long friends who are family. They have been an incredibly important part of my life and it was a very blessed happiness moment to get to spend the afternoon with them.  

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Some Get Healthy Tea

Some sort of bug managed to sneak into our house. Two weeks ago Jenna had a high fever, I got knocked down a bit over the weekend (thus the sore throat of yesterday I suppose), and today Jacob’s home with a high fever.

I have this awesome tea that I make when I’m feeling under the weather and it almost always helps restore me quickly to health (I drank it over the weekend, but I guess I should have had a day or two more and I would have avoided the sore throat). I made a big batch of it this morning to knock this thing down once and for all.

I like to start with a big pot of boiled water, but then I move it all over to my slow cooker and keep it on the warm setting so I can enjoy it all day long. I usually take the tea bags out as they get pretty strong, but I leave the rest in the pot for the day.

Start with some sliced up ginger, cardamom, peppercorn, cloves, a cinnamon stick, and two tea bags (I used decaf green, but you could use black tea as well).

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Boil some water and fill it in your slow cooker (or just leave the pot on the stove if you don’t have a slow cooker), add the ingredients into the water

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Enjoy some nice, warm, healing tea

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Don’t you love the mug? I got it when we were home last summer 🙂

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