Dear Violet… a year has come and gone…

My sweet baby Vi…

There is a storm brewing outside. I saw a flash of lighting out of the corner of my eye and heard the thunder a couple seconds after.

A year ago we were having the same weather… but a year ago there was a storm raging in my body as well. Sweet baby… when you decided you were ready to come out and meet us, you weren’t messing around! We made it to the hospital just in time. And trust me when I say – it was a noisy, bumpy, and wet ride to get there. I moaned and hummed through my rapidly intensifying contractions and kept the windows of the jeep open despite the pouring rain. I somehow managed to walk from the hospital parking lot (there was no way I was letting your dad drop me off to go park, I didn’t want to be left alone!) to the main entrance… I must have been quite the sight to behold with my enormous belly, sopping wet… and in pretty incredible pain! It was my most dramatic labour by far… like something out of a movie. And then they asked me to pee in a cup –

WHAT? Continue reading

Summer Memories…

(Apparently I’m on a role this week… or feel like I have a lot to share… 3 posts in 1 week, crazy Andrea, crazy!)

Today is officially the first day of summer.

Pretty exciting, huh? Even more exciting when you’re a kid, a teacher or let’s say… someone extending maternity leave for a little while to be able to enjoy a few more sweet moments with the little one. Yes. That would be me. Yay!

Here’s to… soccer, swimming, long walks, picnics, searching for tadpoles and other critters, lazy afternoons, strawberry shortcake, campfires, trips to the cottage, the zoo, the water park, late nights, early mornings, BBQs, sunscreen, bug spray, reading on the swing or hammock, flying a kite…

This week I finally finished updating my family photo albums (a project I had on my to-do list for my year off work) up to Christmas 2012. 1800 or so pictures later (not kidding – I had yearsss to do – making it a rather expensive project)… I noticed something about our picture-taking. Aside from my trip to Kilimanjaro in 2011 (which filled an album all on its own) a really big part of our family pictures are taken in the summer. And they are beautiful pictures… happy pictures… fun pictures.

summer pictures

And pretty soon, this summer will be summed up by a collection of pictures as well. This special summer – where we are ALL off, ALL home, ALL together, ALL the time…

Continue reading

Not completely myself…

periodI haven’t been feeling completely like myself lately.

Anyone who knows me relatively well can vouch for the fact that I am a tad wonky on a good day. I overanalyze conversations, relationships, missed opportunities… I’m a little restless… a little indecisive… I love a good project…. that I don’t want to miss out anything while I’m trying so hard to find a way to do everything (and nothing at the same time…uh…huh?!)…

But lately… oh.my.good.ness… I’ve been seeing RED. Last week I had so much less umph (yes umph) in my work outs. This week I could have boiled an egg with the rage coursing through my veins for what really… was… nothing.  I could have confused a psychologist with the many different directions my thoughts have been taking me… Continue reading

Finding time… to Budget

Who is responsible for keeping track of cash flow in your home? I’m not sure how or why it happened, but I’m pretty sure it’s always been me in ours.

With money management being one of the top reasons for conflict in a marriage, I think that Brandon and I are pretty lucky to share a similar view of, and approach to, money. How we save. How we spend. How we give.  How and why we sometimes fail at following our budget (!)

When I started writing this post I was ready to tell you all how I think I’m pretty good at this whole “budgeting” thing. Continue reading

Finding time… for my girls

If you haven’t already, please meet Layla, Meaghan and Violet. My 3 beautiful monkeys/princesses/goofballs.

I’ve been a “Mom” for just over six years now. Sometimes… I’m not sure I really remember life before kids. I know I’m not the only one but still – is that weird or what?

Getting to where I am today – a youngish mother of three – the increased responsibility, the more mouths to feed, the extra demands, the multiplying hugs and kisses going around…heck… the sometimes overwhelming quantities of dirty laundry (!) – certainly didn’t happen overnight. Continue reading

Pumpkin and Spice – Last Minute – Twice!

I’ve made these delicious muffins to share with friends twice now – both times at the last-minute. The first time was in my untimely scramble to offer something fresh out of the oven to a new mom. The second time was to have something special to serve to one of my favourite coffee date moms, who stopped over with her daughter(s) for a “quickie” play date the other day. I think it is safe to say that I’ll be making them again. Often. The recipe is from The Looneyspoons  Collection (which has been my go to cookbook for the last few months – more on that another time).

ImagePumpkin and Spice and Everything Nice Continue reading

Finding time… for my couple

How do I find time to do the things that I do? Well… for starters (and as previously mentioned…) I don’t manage to always find/make the time for all the things I would like. However, when I do, I can probably attribute a big part of my success to my husband Brandon – for his support, his desire to be around, his chosen career, the things he allows to make demands on his own time and energy… the importance and priority that he places on being an active and present husband and father.

I am blessed to have such a man in my life.

And as our 9-year wedding anniversary approaches it is fitting to reflect a little on how we manage (or don’t) to find time specifically for us, for our couple. With three little girls and all of our other responsibilities, hobbies and interests – it is all too easy to let “us” fall through the cracks.

Picture by PhotoCreationsTZ

Picture by PhotoCreationsTZ

We know how important it is to make the time for one another.

We know that if we put our couple first the benefits will overflow to the rest of our family.

We love each other.

We like each other.

We enjoy spending time together.

And yet…

It seems like so many good intentions are lost at the end of a busy day… a busy week… a busy year… Continue reading

Finding Time…

In the last couple of weeks several people (fellow mothers) have asked me a variation of the same question…

How do you find the time to do everything that you do?

My first thoughts of response are rather confused…

…everything that I do?

The question boggles my mind because when I look at myself, my daily comings and goings, I am often disappointed in how little I have accomplished and how much I have forgotten or let slip through the cracks. When I read the monthly “Chatelaine Woman” articles, scan some of the “mommy blogs” out there, when I hear about the incredible things my colleagues are doing at work – I can’t help but feel that somehow, somewhere, I am coming up short. If only I was more organized. If only I wasn’t so torn between family and work. If only there were more hours in a day… or if only I didn’t have to sleep so much to avoid feeling worn out and falling sick (!)

So I am confused… but I am also surprised. Surprised to find out that there are some (if only a handful perhaps) that are looking at me with any kind of admiration for what I am doing.

And from surprise I go to pensive.  What am I doing these days and how am I finding the time? These are the thoughts and concerns of someone who is blessed. Aren’t they?

I’d like to take a few moments now to make a list and then follow up with individual blogs about each (or at least some – let’s not get ahead of ourselves Andrea!) over the next few weeks. Some would say that I’m “goal oriented” so this should get me to keep coming back and sharing my wacky thoughts a little more regularly (for now!).

Andrea’s List of Priorities/Preoccupations/Time-suckers

(in no particular order  of importance)
One-on-one time with Brandon (Chatting, smooching, laughing, dreaming… arguing… c’mon let’s keep it real!)
My girls (school, daycare, activities… discipline… pulling my hair out… one-on-one time)
Maintaining the family budget (or trying to)
Groceries and Cooking (Planning, Budgeting, Family Meals)
Laundry (Lots of laundry)
Exercise (Jillian Michaels is my new BFF)
 Maintaining (renovating/decorating/obsessing over…) our Home
Enjoying (and taking care of) the Cottage
Touching base and getting together with friends
Touching base and getting together with family
Writing down my thoughts (rarely and sporadically!)
Dreaming about possibilities and ideas for the future
Taking on personal goals/projects
Faith, Church and spiritual “questioning” 
Walking the Dog

I think that’s all I have for now. Some of the items are biggies. Some are just daily thoughts that pass through my head… regardless, I’ll start working on an elaboration of one of the above and hope to post something at the beginning of next week.

Disclaimer: I don’t know why, but I feel it is important for me to add this little disclaimer. I want you to know that just because I am writing about my experience, I in NO way think that I am special or accomplished for it. I in NO way think I am an expert.  Some may look at this and roll their eyes a little because most of what I share is simply daily household “to-do” stuff. Some will smile and sympathize with my approach…and my issues… my dreams… Others might read and wish they had more time. (ha… it sounds like I am assuming so so many will actually read!) Alas… in the end… how we spend our time is so unique to each of us (kind of like how we spend our money – but that is altogether different subject)… so take away what you will. I’m going to start writing some thoughts down either way 😉

Here’s to Spontaneous Memory Moments

From one imperfect Mom to another…

Happy BELATED Mother’s Day 🙂

I think it’s fitting that this comes from me after Mother’s day. It seems like I’m often playing catch-up or checking off items on my to-do list after (sometimes much after) I wanted them done in the first place.

With 3 little girls, a puppy, a house to maintain, a cottage to visit, a budget to keep under control, groceries to buy, meals to cook, papers to sign, activities to go to – and an endless list of tasks to take care of – not to mention fitting in some time to take care of myself, the love of my life and our couple… I am certainly never bored being a wife and mom. Continue reading

Meaghan. Megs. Meggie. Megsi. Magoone…

It’s so obvious that I’m not a true blogger… posting sporadically… starting a post only to come back to it 5 days later in hopes of grasping a little bit of the reality that is my little 4-year-old… at this point in time… alas… this is more for her and me than anyone else but if you’re reading, I hope you enjoy and that some of what I share resonates a little (or a lot) with your own reality is some way.  

2013-04-25

Dear Meaghan,

IMG_6817As I sit here and begin writing, I am looking at the time at the bottom of my computer screen. Four years ago I was holding you in my arms for the first time, taking in your little nose and cute pointy chin, your reddish hair, your lanky limbs and your especially long feet. I don’t think your dad and I had agreed on a name yet and only a handful of people knew that you were officially “here” and no longer wrapped snuggly in my big big BIG belly. Continue reading