Category: Life

Morning Tea

Morning teaThis is the pot of jasmine tea I’m having to start my day today – it started as a hard little tea-bud and opened into such a beautiful flower!tea budsMaybe this is a reminder of the potential held by each new day. Although really it just made me happy so I wanted to share 🙂 I hope the new year is off to a beautiful start for you.

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2012 in Review

I wanted to write a post looking back on 2012, but it’s tricky because… what to focus on? Although I very sweetly thought that Kindness would be my word for the year, I never implemented any kind of follow-up to check in throughout the year, and so as I re-read that post I still love it, but I can’t say I lived it. I am struck by the similarities between that post and this more recent reflection on Joy – that over and over again God reminds me he has to be the source for me to do good things with my life.

Looking back on the year I feel very much that I have been journeying with God and that he has been generous to me far beyond what my stumbling, inconsistent efforts deserve. A year ago tonight I decided to take a break from my church, and over the course of this year I never would have guessed how things turned out. This post is a great reminder of God’s faithfulness and the safety of his love for us even (especially) when we feel really lost.

It’s fun skimming through old posts because the things I remember most from this year are events, not lessons. Every once in a while a post jumps out at me as if I were flipping through old class notes, and it baffles me that I’ve learned so many things that I just don’t remember. I remember starting 2012 with a really healthy cleansing diet and learning that:

  • You have to eat a lot of meat and vegetables to make up for cutting out carbs (I lost some weight because this one caught me off guard).
  • I feel so much better when I eat well.

Almost a year later, I can more or less remember the rules for the different phases of this diet off the top of my head, but re-reading this post on prayer was as fresh for me as if someone else had written it. Why, oh my brain, do you insist on retaining such less useful information? Sigh.

In the midst of all the learning I did this year (the easy way and the hard way), 2012 had some great milestones! In May, Matt and I threw a party to celebrate paying off the line-of-credit portion of our student debt, which was a huge weight off our backs. We both still owe the government money, but having one less payment has been a gift that keeps on giving – any time we get discouraged we can look back and say at least the line of credit is gone 😀 For the record, we paid for the party with what would have been one month’s payment, which was a fun way to set the budget when we planned it all out. May also marked 1000 days of marriage AND was the month we made a baby. It’s funny looking back on my bump pictures because all along the way I have felt sooo pregnant and big, but in hindsight I really haven’t been. I’m curious how my perspective will be different with any subsequent pregnancies, how I perceive my weight gain and the passage of time (this pregnancy has been passing really steadily, not flying by, but definitely not dragging either).

Obviously being pregnant has been a huge focus for me the last several months, but lots else has been going on that doesn’t make it onto the blog and kind of rounds out our life. I’ve been doing lots of crochet lately, learned some new songs on keyboard, and even made my way back to the church I left at the beginning of the year. Whether you are a new or old reader, thanks for taking the time to read my words, to leave comments or send emails, and most of all of journeying alongside me 🙂 All the best in 2013!

Je Regrette

Lest anyone be fooled by my blog-self and think my real-life self is ready for parenthood, let me tell you how sick I feel right now because I ate a chocolate bar instead of breakfast while I typed that last post. And now I don’t have room to finish my high-in-iron cream of wheat, which was supposed to be my real breakfast, to nourish me and my unborn child. And the only remedy I can think of is to try topping it all off with a slice of cold pizza to see if it settles everything down.

Bleh.

Dates!

I have seen two movies in theatres this week, and both times have been so much fun! Most of the time I don’t really care to go out, and this has been one of the most frequent negotiations for Matt and I in marriage – I love being home and he loves going out, and fortunately we love each other, so we do our best to communicate and compromise and usually things work out okay one way or the other 🙂

This week we finally went to see Skyfall, which we had planned a date night for weeks ago, but that got cancelled due to all the essays and sermons Matt had to write (it was also not a great night for my back, but like I said, I really don’t need any excuse to stay home). Now that the semester is over and Matt has had a few days to recuperate from his insane busyness over the last two months, we packed up the cineplex gift cards we’ve (I’ve) been hoarding and had a real, out-of-the-house date!

Skyfall is a COOL movie! I was so entertained, and the Truck was really kicky during all the exciting scenes, and everything was just fabulous. We went to Wendy’s after the movie to talk about how cool it was (and to eat, obviously, because very sadly I threw up my dinner that night). It was a really simple night out, but it was just so nice, and a little bit sentimental because it highlighted how easy everything is right now, compared to all the things that will change when the Truck is born. There were a couple previews for movies that are coming out in January, and I realized that if I want to see them, I’m gonna have to not procrastinate because…. this baby is coming!

My second date night this week was a house date. Matt and Kristen and I saw The Hobbit last night, and it was also such a fun time out together, not to mention a really well done movie. None of the previews intrigued me too much, which is just as well because I don’t want to have to actually live at the movie theatre next month. Again, the Truck was most active when I was most tense, so that was a good distraction, and I was very grateful to make it home safely because there was freezing rain when we came out of the theatre and I felt stressed. Matt and Kristen sandwiched me for stability on the walk to the car, which I was actually not too concerned about, and nobody drove/slid into us on the icy roads, which was my main concern. It is VERY wonderful to have a safe, warm home to come back to.

I think going out twice in the same week has just emphasized the luxurious sense of relaxing and anticipating Christmas. Yes, there are chores to get to, and I feel a bit of an urge to do Christmas nesting, but ultimately I know that Christmas will be here in a few short days whether the floors get mopped or not, so all the little jobs are just ways to make it nicer. If that makes any sense.

Preparations

Christmas tree 2012One week before Christmas I am finally starting to settle into anticipation and soak in the Christmas spirit. I’m really glad because some years December is so hectic it feels like savouring Christmas can’t happen until Boxing Day!

I have been off work for a little over a month now, which has been a blessing. It was definitely an adjustment to be home so much more and still feel like I accomplish so little, but Matt has been wonderfully supportive, and I feel that I’ve learned pretty quickly to respect the new limits my body sets.

KitchenThere was a time when waking up to this kitchen would have stressed me out, but today I know it just means we had stove-top cocoa and a late-night pasta meal after Kristen did the dishes. Someone will clean this up, and it might be me, and it might be today, but knowing for sure is no longer a deal-breaker on my happiness. As long as it’s done before Christmas (and we don’t run out of dishes in the meantime, because that sucks), I’m okay with it, and so far there’s a whole week to slowly and steadily prepare this home as well as my heart for Dec. 25.

Part of that preparation involves letting go more than my housekeeping ideals. For the umpteenth year in a row I had dreams of writing a Christmas letter that have gone unfulfilled. I’d apologize, but if you’re reading this then you probably already know generally what Matt and I’ve been up to this year. I hope to make time for an end of year reflection post because looking back can be helpful for moving forward. But we’ll see 🙂

Truck's cornerSpeaking of preparations, this is (sort of) the Truck’s corner in our room. This past week or so has actually been really productive in terms of getting ready to meet our baby – that dresser will double as a changing table, so it was moved into our room recently, and its drawers are now mostly full of cloth diapers, newborn clothes and blankets. Matt and I had dinner with my brother- and sister-in-law on Sunday and received an amazing car-seat, stroller and high chair that they no longer need. We have been so blessed by many friends and family giving us beautiful new and used items for our baby, and I am so excited that we will have time after Christmas (unless something very unexpected happens!) to focus on preparing to become a family of 3 😀