March 31, 2016
Our younger son moved home on the weekend
with his family. Dh flew out to the coast to
help them out and we all met them once they
arrived in the big city. I spent part of that
morning baking in the kitchen, anxiously
waiting for the call that they were all safe and
sound. We celebrated with warm Carrot Raisin
Apple muffins and fresh butter. Yummy!
I've been so excited to start a
tiny Fairy Garden Project.
Using the beautiful tea cup my
daughter gave me for Mother's Day.
We drove into town and chose some
small plants from the greenhouse.
A mix of tropicals and succulents
and little pebbles for now.
I'll add in some miniatures once
I've had a chance to go through my
stash. For now, the plants are rooted
and thriving. Fun first project for Spring.
Our eldest son is coming home for
a visit in the middle of April.
We'll have our big Easter Dinner then.
Last weekend, we had our "rehearsal"
meal, a smaller version of the big deal.
It was scrumptious and just right.
How was your Easter Dinner?
Small and compact or large and amazing?
March 30, 2016
.... so excited to begin creating our
very first Fairy Garden in my big
tea cup my daughter bought me for
Mother's Day one year. Pics to follow.
Have you started your Gardening yet?
Any Fairy Gardens in your collection?
After two weeks of trying to make the new door fit in the old doorway, it finally happened! I sawed and sawed, measured and measured, sawed some more and suddenly, after a ton of energy and sweat, it finally fit in the opening, now expanded. So excited and now I can see how well it fits, making it worth all the work and initial frustration. Feeling more hopeful all the time that one day, I will get this dollhouse done.
What color should I paint the door is the big question.
Any ideas or opinions? Feel free to share.
March 28, 2016
.... have an actual purpose? Tough question, isn't it?! I'm on a break now from work, finishing last Thursday and not going back until Thursday, April 7th. Two weeks of finishing up our income property, completing the renovations on my counselling office, sending in our income taxes (April 30th deadline) and taking some time for self~reflection on a number of areas I'd like to improve on. I feel happy in my life and have no issues to really tackle. But I am wanting to still make some areas more intentional, revealing more of who I really am in every day life. The nitty gritty, the real stuff!
So that bring me back to my query. Does your blog have an actual purpose? Some bloggers write to share their life, others for income, some to capture and document their decorating talents, or gardening or baking or knitting or sewing, and a few who use it as a place to vent. As I read blogs on a daily basis, the ones I have categorized under "My Blogging Buddies" and some I look for to add to my stash or as a one time read, it struck me how some are so similar and some are so different. And that created my question for me, which is how I ended up throwing it out to you, to the universe, to who ever is out there, reading away in Blogland.
To answer my own question, I'd have to say I originally started my blog as a way to document life. I could see the value in writing about every day. I wanted a spot to capture and share moments. A place to occasionally vent when life is hard. Or gush when it's extra special. I promised myself I would never share something that was embellished or untruthful. I'm careful to not reveal too much detail, so my family has some degree of privacy. I love meeting the few bloggers I have online. Someday, maybe we'll meet in person! For now, I share my love of home, family, writing, reading, art and the transformation of my little dollhouse. I'm learning to garden, grow plants indoors, be a better writer, take more time for myself now that my career is established and the kids are grown, and always working on being the best wife I can be in an equal partnership that has no dominance on either side. Is any of it worth reading? I don't generate a lot of comments, but I do get a fair bit of traffic on posts. I'm pushing myself to write a certain number of posts each month to get in to a better routine of writing. I started a book and get back to it on occasion but know it will never get published if I dilly dally along. So daily writing is now part of this hippy mama's life. Just part of the process.
Dear readers, there is my query for the day. I hope you'll take a moment to comment and share how and why you've chosen to blog at this time in your life .... or send me an email if you'd like your thoughts to be more private. Looking forward to learn how and why others have chosen this unique writing style for capturing life.
Does your blog have an actual purpose?
Has your original intent with your blog changed?
On Friday, my dh flew out to the coast to help
our younger son move home with his family.
After three years, they were finding it too hard
on their budget and wanted to be closer to our
family. We are thrilled and look forward to seeing
our little granddaughter grow up in real instead
of on Skype.She's precious and sweet and so
much fun as this age. A true dream for all of us.
He landed, son picked him up, they went and got the
truck, older brother arrived and together they packed
up their home and life. Out to the pub for a goodbye
drink as older brother and his family will stay on the
coast and then off to bed for an early morning. They
were up early and drove to the mountains on Saturday.
Up early again on Sunday and by lunchtime, they were
all home, safe and sound, with all their gear in tow.
Our younger daughter and grandson came along
for the ride with me. We brought Easter muffins
and pussy willows. It took a few hours to unload
their stuff but much faster then we all anticipated.
Then home we came to a warm Easter dinner. A
miracle for us this special weekend as they were
quite certain they would never be back but here
they are. Back in our lives for real, safe and sound!
How was your Easter weekend?
Any little miracles in your life?
March 27, 2016
March 25, 2016
Dear Bretton~Elijah Lucas,
Twenty years in, you are still transforming our lives.
Weighing a tiny one pound, two ounces & just ten inches long, you could have never realized the enormous impact you had on our lives. You rushed into our arms and our hearts, two hours and twenty minutes after the first contraction, too early and without warning.
You were to be our fifth child, our third son. We know you would have had the same unruly, curly locks that your siblings all possessed as little ones and the same tiny button nose that graces each of their faces. We wonder if your dimples would have been present on the cheeks of your face or hidden away above the cheeks on your bottom. We ponder the question often: would your eyes have been blue or brown, a fifty/fifty chance in our house.
Your four older siblings had all arrived three days past their due dates. Fashionably late but naturally born. You came early and while your birth was also natural, we would have given anything for an intervention-filled birth, if it meant your journey could have had had a different outcome. You were to also be born at home but with the first contraction, we knew something wasn’t quite right and we made the choice to head into the city to the big hospital, with the thought and belief that modern medicine would find a way to stop labor and give you a fighting chance. Instead, you arrived too quickly and nothing could be done. The care we received was compassionate and hands on. Everyone cried with us and despite your incredibly sad ending, our hearts were filled with love and gratitude for your brief moment in our lives.
Bretton~Elijah Lucas, you have transformed our lives by the lessons you have taught us. Before you were born, we were living an intentional, well thought out life that included taking the time to cherish the moments. But when you arrived, those moments had more meaning and we from that moment on, truly embraced all that the universe has offered to share with us. We know you would have found your own creative outlet in our family, a family that includes filmmakers, artists, photographers, musicians, writers and actors. Your birth was the catalyst that created the freedom for the artistic energy that flows through our house on a daily basis. We know that without this experience, we would have probably been more subdued about our creative endeavours but you taught us that we have only one chance at this life and making the best of the opportunities we are given has fulfilled our bucket lists with much more meaning than we could have ever dreamed.
Our journey has been long and at times, painful beyond belief. We wondered if we would survive another day, another moment and would this experience ever end. Exploration of our grief, which each of us has done together and on our own, brought light to the dark and healing to our hearts. But it did not mean that we have ever forgotten you, Bretton.
Healing does not mean forgetting.
As a couple, we were aware early on that many relationships do not survive the pain of baby loss. Love hurts, love heals. Keeping you alive in our hearts has helped us remain focused on who we are as individuals, who we are as partners and who we are as parents.
As parents, we are reminded on a daily basis that you are not present in a physical sense, Bretton, even though we feel you all around us. We parent you from afar and love you just as much as your siblings who walk with us. Like all parents in the community, we are often asked about our family and how many children we have. Proudly, without hesitation, we share who you are and where you fit in our family. For a time, I did struggle with how to answer this innocent, sometimes daily question. My hesitation was centred on the idea that if I shared our story, I would make the person who asked uncomfortable or even sad. What I discovered many times over was that the individual asking sometimes had their own story to share and a healing conversation would open the door. Other times, the shock I expected did not happen but instead a moment of compassion and sometimes a “please tell me about your son”.
Just when we thought we had settled in to the new life that was created after your birth, just when we thought we had made peace with our experience by moving forward to help others, just when we thought it was safe to venture into a new pregnancy and continue with the creation of our family, just when we were hopeful and healthy again, the death of your baby sister, Ciara-Rose Kennedi, shook our world upside down again. With disbelief, we tiptoed forward. But this time, we knew who had our backs and what we needed to do to realign our life once again. It wasn’t harder this second time around but it wasn’t any easier either. We are thankful that we have wise people among us and one of the wisest during this second birthing loss experience was our midwife, who answered our daughter’s Chynna’s innocent question about why this happened to us again. She held Chynna in her arms and said “Bretton is not alone now; he has his baby sister to watch over and to keep him company”. We are often comforted by the image in our head of our babies together forever.
Grief is painful and harsh, messy and exhausting but in the end, worth the heartache, for the moments we had with you and your baby sister. A series of six early losses, treasured and precious babies just the same, have added more dimensions to our baby loss journey. We have not been fortunate enough to have a healthy Rainbow Baby, a baby born after the storm of baby loss, so all our parenting energy has gone into raising the incredible children we were gifted with and now our grandchildren we love so much.
Where are we now, twenty years in? We don’t take anything for granted. Every breath is cherished, every milestone and every moment celebrated. Even the things that don’t go well are honoured. We had hoped to live a life that would not hold regret but until you came along, we couldn’t quite envision what that looked like. You taught us that there are reasons for things to happen, that bad things do happen to good people and sometimes we are chosen for the task. But regrets are absent. There is no time for regrets, only time to celebrate what you have brought to our lives. A peacefulness, a calm and an understanding that what is meant to be, is meant to be. That doesn’t mean it’s never been messy or hurtful. We have lost friendships, had strained family moments and wondered at times what path we were supposed to take. Our spirituality was splintered and today continues to be a place of exploration that we believe will continually evolve as we journey.
In the end, Bretton, our grief energy turned into a community project, a legacy for other’s to access as they too mourn the loss of their precious babies. If we couldn’t have you, we knew we could at least share our story with others who truly understand. And create and spread the awareness that the impact of baby loss on family’s lives does affect the community at large. We started small with our H.E.A.R.T.S. Baby Loss Support Program in Sherwood Park. This quickly turned into what is now the BriarPatch Family Life Education Centre. The legacy piece of this project is injected in the name: Briar is a combination of your name and Ciara’s, and Patch represents the small patched heart we have used from the beginning for the H.E.A.R.T.S. logo. A gift to our community that we will leave here, in good hands, when we one day move back to the West Coast. Another dream but one that we’re not quite ready to take on just yet, as our work is growing and far from complete.
Bretton~Elijah Lucas, thank you gracing our lives and for the path you placed us on that warm spring evening. It has opened a whole new world for us, not the one we planned but now the one we imagine we would have missed if you hadn’t slipped gently into our arms on March 25th, 1996. We miss you daily, we speak of you constantly, we remember every little thing about you and our love for you continues to grow.
Love, mom, twenty years in.
March 23, 2016
March 21, 2016
Well with our weather warnings (Heavy Snowfall) and my recent pictures to show you what Winter looked like at our Little House in the Big Woods this year, I feel I am to blame for inducing one last blast of the white stuff. So in the spirit of "oops", here's a shot I took back in January of the sun going down on a cold Winter's day. Just a snippet of the sun as it starts to disappear behind the house, peaking through the railings of our front veranda. Blue sky that within moments would begin to darken and the stars would soon appear. Such a different sky out here at night. We will truly never grow tired of looking up and seeing bright, twinkling stars and big planets illuminated in the sky. I may share a picture later of the current snow accumulation but I'll wait until the snow actually stops!
It's my day off from work today. I love having Sundays
with my family and then a day on Monday all to myself.
It's often a day filled with tasks I want to accomplish, a
time to "centre" myself for the week and some fun too.
Today I went over to our income property to paint more
walls, got gas for the car and came home to make a big
pot of homemade soup with biscuits. Soup on the first
day of Spring, you ask? Why yes, I reply! Because we
woke up to snow today and as of this afternoon, we are
now under a "Heavy Snowfall Warning". A very
interesting twist to our warm and snow free Winter!
My task of taking down the Peace frame and put away
Father Christmas and the other small ornaments in our
front hall did not in fact take place. Maybe tomorrow!
Did you get a beautiful Spring day today?
Or are you under a Heavy Snowfall Warning?
March 20, 2016
Alright, I'm ending the suspense here and now.
The change in our master bedroom is almost complete.
We moved the one bookcase from the turret over
to the main part of our bedroom and added the
other two end units from my office at our family
centre. We're renovating that space this Spring.
A vignette of art supplies, an Angel, picture and heart.
Simple shelf with a variety of keepsakes to dress it up.
Sweet garland of pretty pink, green and white flowers.
The bookcase unit has lots of space but is still
not too wide to take up the room that we need.
We have to still put the doors on the two end
units and drill holes to put the screws in to
tighten up the whole thing. But we're thrilled to
have our tv higher and room for all our books.
Any changes to your home lately?
Have you done anything to your bedroom?
Time for a change in our master bedroom.
This is how we have set up our tv.
Not very pleasing to my artistic and creative
eye, so this is now serving as the "Before".
Are you wondering what the "After" looks like?
Stay tuned for the next post with pictures!!
The back of our house in January. Typically, the snow
would be up to the deck in our cold tundra. But our
very mild Winter this year created very little snow.
No complaints here as we loved the warmer days.
Was your Winter mild or cold?
Extreme or easy?
A few more Winter shots to show my
favorite time of day, just before dusk.
As the sun gets lower, it casts sweet light
on the snow and warms our home with
the last few rays at the end of the day. This is
when we feel the cozy in our little house.
Soft and warm, bright and shadowy, truly it is
and will always be my favorite time of day!
Do you have a favorite time of day?
What makes it your favorite?
Love our shower but I'm still a fan
of hot, warm, bubbly baths to relax.
Our tiles turned out to be just the
right color for this cozy space.
I can see the tv from my warm spot!
The frosted window our builder surprised us
with. A lovely gift that brings light to our space.
And he added an extra arch above the tub.
Sparkly tiny chandelier ~ gives us the perfect
amount of light without being over powering.
What's your view from your bathtub?
Feel free to share in the comments.