June 27, 2015

Happy Days of Summer!!


Hello Friends! I hope you're enjoying the first week of Summer! It's without a doubt, my favourite time of year because we max out on our time spent in the great outdoors. Here's a few pics from our week:

Camping with friends to kick off the Summer
 Waking up in a tent with these two cuties....

 Hang time with my favourite faces
 Dining Al Fresco for Dad's birthday
 My Aunt's killer creation
 A perfect picnic spot with awesome friends
 You know the day is going to be great when it starts like this.....
BC fruit
Fish tacos and beer with my favourite date

I hope you're enjoying these gorgeous Summer days! xoxo

June 16, 2015

getting myself back....

Hello friends! I hope you had a tremendous weekend! Are you trying to get the most out of these gorgeous nights? This past month - with mom's passing and our move, has been busy with important matters to take care of, but somewhere along the way, I forgot to set aside time for the little things that make me the happiest. You know what I mean don't you? Where you are so busy, that you've forgotten to pencil yourself into your own busy agenda. This weekend felt like a conscious return to start focussing on the things that I've let slide. I'm making time for fitness again (yes, my body is in shock - what is this dewy substance forming on my brows???), spending more time playing in the great outdoors, dusting off my camera again and enjoying time with my daughter just playing, instead of trying to get through a giant list of errands. Like today, we painted big canvasses in the sunny yard, then threw on our swimsuits and ran through the sprinkler - sure the house needs cleaning, but I know more than anything, kids want our time.  This weekend my hubby and I went on another awesome date night, our first in months - and it reminded me how important it is for us to have fun, just the two of us - too many nights, we're tucking her in and then turning to Netflix ( not dissing the Flix, Still love it!) , but it isn't until we're sitting across a restaurant table, do I realize how much I have missed "us", just having big laughs and chatting the night away. We also entertained friends for brunch one day and dinner the next. It all felt like a great, rejuvenating mix. So when your spirit feels a little depleted, jot down the things that make you happiest (sex, chocolate, wine - just brainstorming to help you start your list) - and make them a priority. Chat soon xoxo

June 10, 2015

'tis the season....






A gorgeous day with awesome friends pickin and patchin. It's these moments. xoxo

June 9, 2015

the simple life...

Hello Friends!! It's been awhile since I've visited this space. Life was really busy there for a bit with mom's celebration of life event, work and setting up our new home. I have to give a giant shout out to all the incredible friends who showered us with their support at the event and made it truly a beautiful celebration of my mom's life. I don't think it could have gone better. It was a joyous event, more than somber, and really tapped in to so many of mom's wonderful quirks and funny stories. And the quality of people that filled the room, just made me so proud - my mom really did collect the greatest circle of people in her life and in turn, I think my brother and I have done the same, surrounded by tables of our life-long friends, and wonderful new ones. There are many gifts we've gained from this experience: Being told our time with her would be limited, and making sure we made that year count, spending as much time as possible together and feeling every last drop of love we could......Seeing the very best people are capable of, the support was so strong that we knew someone was going to be there to catch us if we needed it... that someone was going to remind us that we had to eat, that we had to breathe...and they kept showing up. And one of the biggest gifts it has given us is knowing that life is all so incredibly fragile, that those who we love the most can be taken away in an instant, so appreciate them all now. Now, more than ever, I see so much beauty in my days. I think in part, because I'm looking for signs of my mom. When I sit and listen to the birds, I feel connected to her, when I work in my garden, I think of her hands doing the same thing, when I bake something in the kitchen with my daughter, I think of how I used to love doing that with her. I'm all about the simple life now. And I know each person's version of the simple life is different  - because what makes us most connected to our souls are unique to us.

Some of the simpler things that make me incredibly happy are: hiking with my camera in hand, the day's first cup of coffee, having a great conversation over a cocktail, fresh linen on the bed, a book that you can't wait to get back to, walking barefoot on the beach, funny comedians, sleeping under the stars, sitting around a campfire, yoga, dance classes, icewater with lemon wedges, family gatherings, laughing until you almost pee your pants (or maybe do a little bit), my husband's crepes (they are really crepes, it's not some kind of sexual innuendo), swimming, farmer's markets, animals, instagram, a hot shower, travel planning, making things myself, dancing with my daughter, a new lipstick, netflix, singing in the car, running as fast as I can, hearing the words I love you, making someone laugh, breathtaking vistas, random acts of kindness, dinner parties, setting up our home, outdoor concerts, canoeing, a new magazine, date nights, seeing new places, friday night beers, indian food, stationary, a great movie, cheese plates, riding bikes, homemade happy hours with friends on getaways, my nightly tea/catchup with my hubby, flip flops, 70's style, whiskey sours, dance classes, holding my daughter's hand, my people....
So this is just the list I thought about in the last 10 minutes, I know there's a lot of things I could have added....but try your own list of the little things in life that bring YOU joy...and you'll soon realize how little it costs for those things, and how important it is to infuse more of those things in your day. I think it'll also make you happy just thinking up your list, reminding yourself what brings you the most joy.
Here's a few photos from my simple life:

    This feeling:

Ice water with lemon wedges and fresh mint & a new magazine with one of my favourite funny women:

    Shopping at farmer's markets:

Watching her learn new things:
This pup:

thanks for stopping in....
xoxox




May 25, 2015

resilience





I just wanted to show you, that life goes on. I remember when my mom was first diagnosed, I told one of my good friends that they may have to step in when my mom is gone, to peel me off the floor. I didn't think I'd have the capability to parent my child, I didn't think I'd be able to function in my day to day life. But I'm hear to tell you, the hardest part was definitely the process of cancer, I feel much stronger now than I ever would have ever anticipated. Maybe it was the fact that I was glued to my mom's side during this whole journey, or maybe it was the incredible support we received, or maybe it was watching my mom stare down life with so much strength and humility, but I am embracing my days. Once you face one of your worst fears, life gets a lot simpler. You realize how much stuff people complain about that isn't anything at all. You see with razor sharp focus what is important. You also  gain confidence knowing that you can do hard things. Believe me, I never, ever, would have expected myself to be this strong after everything, but you are a lot more resilient than you think. 

I finally mustered up the courage to go through all of mom's photos last night. As hard as it was to see her beautiful face, and feel all the teary-eyed pangs of missing her,  I was so thrilled to see someone who truly lived her life - so many wonderful vacations with friends, so many sweet moments with my dad, not to mention how absolutely remarkable she was as a mother and grandmother. She loved her life so thoroughly, and only wanted more of it. You can't ask for more than that. That's what I wish for everyone I love - to be so amped about their lives. My biggest goals now are to really enjoy my days and to keep the family bond strong, because mom really was the glue to it all. I think she'd be happy knowing how much my brother, dad and I check in with one another. Since her death I look for little signs of her everywhere. Sometimes a robin will just sit next to me for a long time in the garden, and I'll think of her. I'll see a perfect rose open up, and think of her. I'll feel the sun on my face and think of her. I'll laugh so hard with my daughter and husband, and think, this is how she felt with us. She's really a part of me now, and there is tremendous comfort in that. xoxo

May 14, 2015

and so it is.......

Hello friends, it is with the deepest sadness that I let you know on May 4th, my dear mom passed away.  These past 15 months have been the most profound of my life. I had to learn to say goodbye to someone who meant everything to me and our family. She was the heart of us. It's safe to say I have cried almost every day since her diagnosis, trying to prepare, but never fully able to. On May 1, she was admitted into hospice. When I arrived, I was the only one in the room with her for awhile. I laid down beside her and burst into tears, and told her how much I loved her and how more than anything in the world, I wanted to take this cancer away from her. She wiped my cheeks and said, "I know you love me dear. It's going to be okay, we knew this was coming for awhile." Here she was, in the face of death, and she was still mothering me. She fell asleep shortly after. I never saw her awake again after that. Those were the last words she'd say to me. Well, those words and when she first saw me walk in the room, she noticed I was wearing a black t-shirt and told me to wear brighter colours, which made me giggle. Over the weekend, her hospice room was filled with friends and family members, quietly whispering in her ear, kissing her cheeks, saying their goodbyes. It was incredibly moving.
My mom's doctor came in and said that she had never worked with someone like my mom before, so selfless, never complained throughout her whole year. I was so touched that she told me that. Sometimes I would sit in the hospice on my own by her side, reading and holding her hand. Even though she slept the whole time, I wanted her to know I was right there, that it was okay to die. I really didn't want her to die alone. On Monday, May 4th, she had a steady stream of visitors all morning, and when we had all gone home for dinner, she passed away, just with my dad by her side, exactly how she would have wanted it. We all rushed back and just sat with her in her room for awhile as a family, gathered by her side - walking out of that room was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Then someone told us to look outside, and the sky was lit up by the most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen. It felt like it was stretching right from below her room across the ocean. It was as if she was shouting to all of us that she was happy, that she was finally through this gruelling fight.
This year we learned how truly remarkable our support system is. My mom's circle of friends formed the molly maids, and would visit her regularly to clean her home and fill up their freezer with homemade meals. My mom's good friends would regularly collect her laundry, would bring by dinners almost nightly, would plant gorgeous flowers in her garden for her to look at, they just kept showing up and making sure that she didn't have to focus on anything other than feeling ok. I honestly can't talk about them without tearing up because they put the most positive spin on the hardest year we've faced.
Then there's my incredible friends - whether it was my friend Caroline who visited my mom weekly, bringing her treats or working in her garden, or my friend Janet who would pop in to see mom with specialty teas, or my friend Tammy, who made my mom the most beautiful quilt covered in hearts to remind her that she's always surrounded by love, not to mention that Tammy also fed my entire extended family when my mom was first diagnosed. Or my friend Forbes who dropped off a box full of projects for my daughter and I to work on with my mom. Then there's friends who never even met my mother, like Lynnette, who gave my mom and I matching bracelets, that were infused with positive energy. Or Kim, who gave me a gorgeous stone to cling to for hope. Leah gave my mom a book about survivors of her rare form of cancer. Tricia, who regularly dropped off little gift bags with goodies for my mom or treats for our family to elevate our spirits. It's also friends like Alicia, Kitty, Kerry, Pete who kept texting me to check in and see how mom is feeling. I've always said, it's not the quantity of people you are friends with, it's the quality.
Today was my first day back to work, and it was a good distraction because I work alongside wonderful people. But as soon as I got in my car for the drive home, I fell apart. I wish I could talk to her again. That's the part I'll probably never get used to, because we used to talk almost daily. And even though I've got the most tremendous support system (especially my incredible husband and daughter) - there's still no one who can replace your mom. I am so glad she is through her battle, but I sure do miss her. xoxo


April 27, 2015

a sweet moment

Tonight a weird thing happened at the grocery store. I was standing in line at the checkout, looked on the ground and it was littered in money. $5's, $10's, $20's scattered in front of me as if someone had shouted, "scramble!" and tossed their pile of cash in the air. I picked it up and asked people in the line if it belonged to them. No one claimed it. (Apparently every honest person in the town was in my lineup tonight). I gave it to the cashier and she counted it up: $240. She put it in an envelope and put my name and number on it. She said if no one comes to claim it, then it'll be all mine. (Mine I tell you, mine!! Cut to a photo op of me holding a humungous cheque......)
Then wouldn't you know it, I was cooking dinner and my phone rang. It was the sweetest voice I've heard in a long time - his voice radiated that of an 80 year old man who meets his buddies at the local coffee shop to discuss the day's headlines. His name just had to be Bill or Frank. He called to thank me for finding his money. He was hell bent on finding out where I lived so he could give me $20 for turning in his money. I just couldn't take a dime of this sweet man's money. I wanted every dollar he had to fund whatever cribbage tournament he was likely embroiled in.
He said surely you have to accept $20. I said, I can't, and don't call me shirley. (Kidding). But the last thing I want is to take a sweet pensioner's money (who am I kidding, he's probably living in an ocean view condo, handing out $20s like they are kleenex in his sleeves). But I digress.
He was so sweet and told me he couldn't believe I didn't take any of his money, and that I was one in a million. It really made my night. #thisiswhyI'llnevergetrich