happiness

Areas communication competition

The kids were back at it again today with their speeches. The girl’s speech brought tears to my eyes – it’s an amazing speech anyway, so brave and powerful – but this time she was so much more confident and strong.

The boy gave a different version of his speech on communism and won!!! The way that kids talks with such confidence and clarity is amazing. Considering the introverted mom who is raising them, it’s impressive they can do this at all, forget the courageous way they can get up and talk.

I am so glad we are part of this club – in many ways it reminds me of how Pony Club used to be  when I was a kid before all the money and politics came into it. It’s because our club is small and full of really wonderful and supportive people. What a great place for my kids to grow and learn. Best of all the adults in our club are really cool, so I genuinely enjoy going to events and spending time with the club.

Who knew 4H was so much fun?

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happiness

The stubborn gene

If you know me or my people in real life, then you know that the stubborn gene runs deep in our genes. Sometimes it is a good thing – it has created a group of incredibly strong people – sometimes it is not so good – because…. stubborn – sometimes it is just funny.

Tonight Jenna came home and found the back door locked. She went to the window near where Jacob was sitting and started knocking on it and yelling at him to go open the door. He yelled back that she should go to the front door, which was open, and the same distance for her to walk. She refused, wanting to go in the back door. She continued banging and yelling, he continued yelling and refusing. I sat on the couch laughing my butt off at how incredibly stubborn they both were being. It went on for a good 10 minutes before there was a break.

In an interesting turn of events, Jenna gave up and came in through the front door. Usually in a battle of wills Jacob gives up first, preferring the more passive route. It was hilariously funny and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

I had a spontaneous lunch today with a cousin in town. I love that we are back in a place where I run into my tribe on a regular basis. It was lovely to catch up with her and share some laughs. Our bond runs deep, and my lunch time with her was a moment of great happiness.

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Meet the teacher 

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

An Abominable Evening

It feels colder outside today, and when we got home (in the dark) we were hangry and tired. Hungry is bad enough but the hangry combo of being so hungry you are angry can be quite scary!

I made our supper as quickly as possible. I had started a veggie curry soup in the slow cooker this afternoon, so there were just bits and pieces to add to it – the kids each had a steak because they were having a red meat craving. While we waited for supper to start I reminded Jenna that we had some Christmas shows that we could watch at some point.

With a vote of 3-0 we decided to opt for supper in front of the TV tonight and choose An Abominable Christmas. Apparently the kids had seen it before but it was new to me. It didn’t make my list of favourites, but it was cute.

Part way through supper my parental guilt kicked in and I said “tomorrow we will have to sit properly at the table and have a fancy supper to make up for this one.” To which Jacob responded “mom, you’re lucky I’m wearing pajamas.” So I looked at him closely for the first time and realized that somehow he had managed to sit and eat with  only the pajama bottoms on (sadly this is a reoccurring theme in our house). I appreciate his wit though.

I love these Christmas shows – partly because they’re cute and funny – but mostly because it means that we stop what we are doing, cuddle up on the couch, and spend some time together watching a movie. To tie down a teen and a tween for forced family fun time can sometimes be a challenge and I’m grateful that they also look forward to this time. My happiness moment.

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Ride a moose 

Today was a just Jacob  day in the house. We hit the Watermill Bakery in Cochrane for some much needed bread products (mmmmm there is nothing like good, fresh bread), ran some errands, and then headed home for equally needed naps. I love that this kid appreciates his quiet time, mama gets tired.

After a quick shut eye we grabbed my mom and headed to Canmore for a big ole’ mountain hug. Well, and a trip to Nutters because I really wanted to find Spices Sanctuary products and check them out (specifically I wanted hing, it’s not as easy to find organic hing as you would maybe think). I found what I needed and a whole lot more. Even Jacob was excited because there was a giant wall of jellybeans over in the bulk section.

mountain hug
The best past though came later when we were looking in stores. We found this funny little moose, and Jacob decided to go out for a quick ride. I love that he’s free spirited enough to let go and have fun in the moment. We did a lot of laughing today.

ride a moose

My happiness moment was when he said you know mom, I’ve laughed more today with you than I have in a long time. This was fun. I’m so thankful that my teen actually likes spending time with me.

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Wrestling around 

Today’s happiness moment was watching Jacob at his school wrestling match. Again (Like Jenna’s baton), not necessairly a sport I would have chosen, and that is what makes it so fascinating. I love that they feel free to follow their hearts and explore their own sports.

He was so excited and nervous for this match, the first one since wrestling last year in Virginia. He’s grown about 10 inches since then and gained a lot of skill, so this time around it was a completely different experience. He had two really challenging matches and held his own for a long time in the first one, and then managed to win the second one.

It wasn’t really about the winning though (but that did give him a nice confidence boost), I was really impressed with the sporting environment. All the parents were cheering for their own kids of course, but they were also so supportive of all the other kids competing as well. It was a really warm and friendly e contained inside a competitive one. I was really pleased for him that he’s found something he enjoys so much that has such a positive influence.

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Who has your back?

  
The past couple of years I’ve made a very focused effort to surround myself with the kind of people who have my back. I finally realized how important it is to have people in my life who hold me up and make me a better person. Its made me become strong enough to help others and have their backs too. It’s been amazing since I’ve made that my mindset how people who love and support not just me, but the kids as well, have appeared in our lives. 

Jacob has a teacher who is one of these special people. The three of us (with some help from the assistant principal) have been working hard to stop this Caillou name calling, bullying issue at school. Finally it seems we have some resolution. The kid has been moved away from Jacob in class, there has been no more teasing, things are settling down. 

This teacher has really stepped up and it is so impressive how she’s making sure Jacob feels safe and secure at school. I’m so glad she is there and that he was comfortable enough with her to reach out to her for help. 

My happiness moment today was when Jacob jumped into my car with a huge smile on his face. All the way home he chattered happily about his day and the things that happened at school. It’s been a long time since he’s been so carefree and light hearted about school. Warms my heart. 

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School stuff 

Sometimes I think the best thing about getting older is the fact that it puts my junior high years further behind me. I get to relive those trying times through my kids though, and sometimes I think it’s more heart wrenching than when I was experiencing things myself. 

Jacob has settled in to his new school well and has made what seem to be a good circle of friends. But there’s one kid…. There’s always that one kid …  who seems to thrive on making his life more difficult. That kid who calls him names. 

I had a long talk with his teacher today about this teasing/bullying. We spent at least a half hour problem solving. I am so happy that he has this teacher – someone who he likes and trusts, who genuinely likes him, who knows the type of person he really is, and who has his back and wants to solve the issue. 

That was enough of a reason for my happiness moment, she finished our conversation by telling me that it was obvious from our talk what a close relationship he and I have. She reminded me that teens only  open up to people they feel safe with and trust. She said it was really nice to hear how lovingly I talked about him and how I was concerned about making sure he had a comfortable environment to learn in. She said relationships like that come only through consistent and caring work and that it showed in the type of person that he is. It made my heart glow in a beautiful happiness moment. 

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Let’s go riding in the car

We do a lot of driving now that we are living in the country. Most of the time I love it – I take backroads whenever I can so it’s usually stress free driving. This has opened up for us is a lot of time spent together without any other distractions (besides saying ohhhhh look at the sunrise, or look at all the deer, or are those cows out on the road?) and a great opportunity to really talk to each other.

My happiness moment today was driving home with my boy. It’s a bittersweet happiness moment as he was unloading on me all the stress and worries he has about being a 14 year old boy. Sad because I hate to see him struggling with anything, I still wish I could jump in and put a bandaid on everything to make it better. But, it was my happiness moment because it was a beautiful reminder of the bond we share, of the trust he has in me that he will tell me everything that is going on at school. Life at 14 can be difficult, confusing, fun, scary, happy, upsetting, and hormonal – often all at the same time. I feel so honoured that he is taking me on his journey into adolescence and grateful that he’s secure and feels safe enough in our relationship to share things with me.

Love that kid

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I lava you. 

  

It was rainy and cold today. Like 8C cold, and I could see my breath while walking home tonight. Brrrrrrr. Time to invest in some slippers to keep my feet warm. I also could use a nose slipper. I don’t like a cold nose. 

I woke up at 6 and had breakfast. Since the house was quiet I went back to bed and lay there reading. Apparently I fell asleep because the next thing I knew it was 11. The happiness moment in a rainy day – having nothing to do besides relax and recharge. 

After a significant amount of doing nothing,  I took the kids and cousin kids into town to see Inside Out again. It was even better than the first time. It amazes me how that movie has opened the way for discussions about emotions that we would never have been able to have. I find this particularly with Jacob. He uses the emotion balls and the emotion personalities to dig to such a deep level of emotional exploration. Without having been given this vocabulary he would have never been able to express himself so well. I am so grateful for this. It has deepened our relationship- and as he walks farther into these teen years I want him to always be able to express his emotions with me knowing that it is always safe. Extra happiness moment today. 

I love the Lava short film at the beginning. It’s so cute. And deep. And happy/sad. 

  
We go to bed happy and relaxed. Full of all those emotions, but mostly Joy. 

  

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