This week has been all about welcoming the new year. From re-establishing old habits to forming new ones, this has been a week of transition in many ways.

As I put away (or got rid of in the case of holiday treats that were still left in the house) the straggling holiday decorations, my mood turned melancholy. Perhaps influenced by the book I was reading last week, Bomb Shelter, by Mary Laura Philpott, I kept thinking of how few holiday seasons I had left with both kids living in the house with us, and not just home visiting over a school holiday. Just as quickly as our family has transitioned from having little kids at home into having a teenager and an almost-teenager, we will transition into having just one kid at home with us, and then to no kids at home with us. These are not a transitions I am eager for . . .

My low mood was not helped at all by the weird weather we have had so far this winter either. Last week consisted of day after day of dark clouds, damp cold, and rain. With temperatures well above freezing, there has been no snow, the grass is practically green again, and it seems as though we have missed out completely on the normal transition to winter. Not that I like winter. In fact, I despise winter. The cold does bother me. And I would much rather exist anywhere where boots are never necessary footwear. However, this lack of winter is almost as bothersome as actual winter is for me. And it certainly meant that in this last week of Christmas holidays, the kids were kept cooped up indoors – there was no tobogganing or snow-man making – there was only hot chocolate to be consumed while we watched the rain fall.

And then of course, there is the fact that the Husband and I have both transitioned into a Dry January, along with other dietary improvements, including a severe reduction in sugar consumption and an increase in our trips to the gym. While I actually feel about a million times better after just one week of this “healthier” regime, I find it very difficult knowing that the only things I have to soothe my nerves are fruits, veggies, and a good workout – reaching for a glass of bubbles or a handful of chips was far easier and one could argue far tastier!

While I will admit to spending most of this weekend searching for ways to escape the dark, damp, dreariness of this week, there has been a lot of good that has come out of this week of transition. By facing my feelings about the kids growing up so fast, I’ve been able to appreciate the time I’ve had to spend with them this week. From watching movies together as a family to family walks and even an outing to the Disney Animation Immersive Experience this morning, we have had some fun adventures that we can always look back on fondly.

Since there is nothing I can do about the weather, and moving to a warmer clime isn’t in the cards for our family, all I can do is learn to endure it. I have tried valiantly over the years to find ways to embrace this season – and came close after reading Wintering by Katherine May last year – but I think these past few years of lockdowns and quarantines have ruined any chance I had of embracing this season of slowing down and enjoying hibernating. However, my inability to embrace winter does tie in nicely with the improvements the Husband and I have been making to ameliorate our dietary and exercise habits. I have decided that at the end of each of these winter months during which I am able to stick to my dietary and exercise goals, I am going to buy myself something. I haven’t quite decided what that something will be (shoes, jewellery, a purse?), but it will be something that brings a material kind of sunshine to my life, and warms me from the inside out. Knowing that I’m 1/4 of the way through this month and that much closer to choosing my reward will hopefully make the next 23 days go by that much faster and make them that much easier to endure.

Next week will see even more transitions in our house, with the kids going back to school, and regular activities for all of us starting up again. However, with a week of practicing our new habits, I’m sure each of the transitions we face next week will seem much easier compared to those we faced this week. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead with nothing but smooth transitions!

Twinkle, Twinkle

This past fall was supposed to be my term of “rest and relaxation”. Yes. I am being slightly tongue-in-cheek when I say that, but hear me out. With some of my more time-consuming volunteer roles coming to their natural conclusion and the kids back in school full time, I envisioned large stretches of time in which I was going to live my best life. Rather than settling into the rhythm of this new time in my life, I spun around like a toy top for most of September, October, and even November. To be honest, I’m not sure what I accomplished in those fall months other than devise elaborate plans for how I was going to accomplish all the projects I wanted to tackle and then proceed not to follow a single one of those plans.

As American Thanksgiving rolled around, and with it the start of the holiday season, something in me shifted and I moved into high gear, working to finish 2 projects that have been cluttering my mind and my office for years. The first involved actually assembling memory books for each of the kids. Since 2008 and the birth of my son, I have been collecting ephemera in the from of school and team photos, certificates of achievement, and various programs for concerts and plays and performances. I had always intended to put all of these bits and bobs into proper “scrapbooks” along with photos taken at each of the events, but had just never gotten around to it. And the longer I waited to start the project, the bigger the pile of ephemera grew, and the more daunting the project became.

The second of these projects involved making a Christmas quilt for each of the kids beds. Again, this is something that I’ve wanted to do since both kids were in big kid beds – but a surfeit of Christmas quilting cotton left over from the mask-making endeavours of the past few years and this discovery of a super-cute and relatively easy quilt pattern left me with few excuses not to get started.

Of course, taking on both of these projects that were so deeply steeped in memories and nostalgia during the insanity of the holiday season left me yearning for something soothing to read when I wasn’t gluing, cutting or sewing, which lead me back to Hand Wash Cold by Karen Maezen Miller. This in turn lead me to listening to some of her Dharma talks, which then got me to thinking a LOT about living in the moment. As in, I tried to remind myself to live in the moment an focus only on the task at hand when my brain started to swerve off into the endless abyss of “what-ifs” (what if I don’t finish these projects in time for Christmas, what if I just abandon them all together, why do my kids need Christmas quilts anyway … they’re essentially both teenagers and they won’t even like them). To my great surprise, this little act of focusing on exactly what was in front of me helped to silence the what-ifs and renew my concentration on what I was doing.

Which, in a very circuitous way, brings me to today, and the start of the new year. As I have done for the past several years, I have chosen a word for my year ahead. This year, I wanted a word that I could truly use as a mantra whenever the “what-ifs” threatened to take control, that would remind me to ground myself in the current moment, and not in all the moments that could follow. Of course, I also wanted a word that felt special, or had a certain “je ne sais quois” about it . . . and so . . . my word for the year is:

Without getting into the etymology of the word, a twinkle is defined as “the duration of a wink” (a moment), but twinkle also has so many wonderful connotations – when has anything malevolent ever twinkled? – that it just seemed perfectly perfect as a word to guide me and ground me this year.

I’m sure you all are desperate to know, before I close off this post, what happened in the end with those projects I was working so furiously to finish and that required so many reminders to ground myself in the present? Well, I finished them both. The quilts (which I actually made into duvet covers for several practical reasons and also because my kids prefer to sleep with duvets over quits) were finished in the first week of December and put on their beds on the first Friday of the month. They were both THRILLED with them (I had somehow managed to keep this project and what I was doing sewing about a million present quilt blocks with Disney-themed Christmas fabric from the family the entire time I was working on them) and equally sad to see their regular duvet covers return the day before New Years. I am SO glad I made these keepsakes for the kids – I honestly hope that one day they can pass them on to their kids – and selfishly, it made me so happy every day of this December to walk past their rooms and see that I made one of my dreams come true.

As for their memory books, well I finished those too, and gave them to the kids on the morning of the 24th. They loved looking through all of the tangible pieces of their history and thinking back on all the happy memories that were made.

And so, on that note, it’s off to start the new year, grounded in the present and guided by my North Star for the year, the word “twinkle”.

Happy New Year!

Don’t Stop Believing

I started the year with the idea that this was the year I was going to believe. Believe, after all, was what I had chosen as my “word of the year” for 2021. I wanted to believe in goodness and kindness in the world, in myself, and, I guess, in the fact that COVID would end and life would go back to some semblance of “normal”. But about a month into the new year, I lost sight of my word, and shifted from wanting to believe, to, well, to enduring; enduring lockdowns and homeschool, and isolation from friends and family, and the things we most love to do.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that last year felt less like a year for dreaming and believing and more like a “keep your head down and keep putting one foot in front of the other and be glad for the happiness you find along the way” kind of year.

I got dragged down more times than I’d like to admit when things didn’t go the way I had hoped and dreamed they would this year. And as I wallowed in what couldn’t/shouldn’t happen, I forgot to do lots of the things that I could/should have done. Instead of working out, I talked to my friends about COVID. Instead of reading and working on projects, I read articles about COVID. Instead of making healthy meals, I spun in circles with worry over COVID. And the more I talked and read and worried about COVID, the further down I got dragged.

But here’s where I digress for just a little bit . . . over the past few days I put all the Christmas decorations away, and started a good cleaning up/out of the house. In doing so, I realized that it was really time to update some of the photos I had on display and between ordering new picture frames deciding what frames needed new photos, I got to looking at all the pictures from the past twelve months. And it turns out . . . that despite feeling like I somehow worried the year away . . . we did have some pretty great times. From family movie nights, to an extended stay at the cottage, and even a stint “Glamping”, there was a lot of happiness that we had this year, and some of it that we maybe wouldn’t have had in the absence of the disruption that was COVID. For all my being dragged down into the pit of COVID anxiety, it was actually a year filled with wonderful moments – including many with our new pal Rosé – the giant inflatable flamingo – complete with glitter in her wings!

Rather than being dragged down by the less than wonderful parts of the year, I could just as easily have been uplifted by the fantastical things that happened.

And so, as I finish reflecting on the past year, and start look to the new year, I can conclude that I should have used a whole quote to guide me these past 12 months, and not just one word . . . and that quote should have been:

Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

On that note, Happy New Year – may 2022 be a year of wonderful things for us all. xo

Welcome 2019 (& Hello to my new One Little Word)

I know the new year is officially here – and by extension I should be tackling all those amazing goals and resolutions I so carefully laid out for myself – but with the kids still off school, we are still very much in a holiday sort of mood.  And by that I mean, we’re in no rush to change out of our pj’s in the morning, there’s far too much screen time being enjoyed by all, Christmas toys are still strewn throughout the house, and the last dregs of the Christmas chocolates and candies are still being surreptitiously enjoyed throughout the day by both kids (and I’m pretending not to notice), and bedtimes have been pushed back far later than ever before.

But all of this holiday indulgence will come to a sputtering end this weekend as activities start back up, and the kids gradually start back into school and regular routines.

Which means, by Tuesday of next week, I’ll be forced to confront all those goals and resolutions I set out for 2019. And I’ll be forced to confront my abject terror of tackling said goals and resolutions.

Yup. That’s right. I said it. Abject terror of tackling my best laid plans.

It came to me this morning as I was writing my morning intentions. I talked about writing intentions way back in 2016 and it’s a practice that I keep coming back to – taking just 5 minutes to jot down an intention I have for the day – and it can be anything from the mundane to the esoteric – seems to set my day off on the right note. But I digress. As I was writing this morning’s intention, this idea of fear of working towards my goals came out of nowhere. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

For the past two years I have used “Power Sheets” as a way to establish and track my goals. I usually spend a morning or two between Christmas and New Year’s to go through the process of setting up my goals for the year and thinking about how to go about achieving them – which is all laid out in the opening section of the Power Sheets Planner. And then each month you can set monthly, weekly and daily goals to help you work towards your big yearly goals.

This year was no different – I set up my goals for the year – and I was quite pleased with them.  And then on the 31st of December, I set up my monthly, weekly and daily goals for January.  And I was quite excited.  And then BAM.  The fear hit.  

You see – to achieve some of these goals I’ve set out for myself, I’m going to have to try new things.  And there’s a chance that they’re not going to turn out quite the way I want them to.  And that fear of failure is preventing me from even getting started.

Which is where my word of the year comes in.

But first . . . one more small digression.  A few months ago, while I was still working my way through my year of “magic”, I came across this graphic on Instagram, and instantly, I knew what I wanted my One Little Word to be.


Yup . . . for 2019, my One Little Word is. . . .Love.

So while I’m still scared to try all the new things I have set out as goals for myself, I am going to do my best to treat myself with love, and maybe, if I can be compassionate towards myself, it will all start to seem a little bit less scary.

And on that note, I wish you all a very Happy New Year – and I hope it is a year filled with love and magic and joy!  





Saying Hello to 2017

I awoke this morning to the first rays of what promised to be an absolutely gorgeous sunrise.  The sky was awash in the most glorious shades of pinks that were so stunning I had no choice but to throw on some clothes so I could get outside and take a photo of it.


Not long after, I found myself at the gym, where, from the vantage point on my treadmill, was treated to the most glorious, half hour-long sun rise I have ever witnessed.  There is something so visually amazing about the sun rising through the clouds against a backdrop of clear blue skies on a cold winter morning.

As my workout ended, I was silently thankful for the beautiful start to my day – not just because I was treated to such beauty, but also because the word I have chosen to live with this year is “Light”, and it seemed like a good omen of sorts to start of this year of light, with a brilliant display of nature’s most perfect light show.

Late last summer, I stumbled on the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley.  I fell in love with it as it helped me to organize my week, plan out how I wanted to accomplish my goals for the week, and of course, because it is the prettiest planner I have ever seen.  (For those of you who live in Canada, like me, try ordering yours from Indigo, not from the Emily Ley site – you’ll save a lot on duties that way).  But I digress.  As images for the Simplified Planner started popping up on my social media feeds, a kind of companion product, produced by Lara Casey, called PowerSheets kept popping up too.  I got curious . . . curious enough a few weeks ago, to order my own copy of the 2107 PowerSheets.

Over the past few days, as the kids have been involved in playing with their new Christmas toys and building lego, I’ve been able to sit down and work through the goal setting portion of the PowerSheets book.  I’ve said before that I don’t like setting goals – I have a tendency to chase them down with an intensity that doesn’t do good things for anyone, or, I simply get overwhelmed by the goals I’ve set and abandon them before they’ve been met.


But working through this book is not about setting goals for the sake of setting goals – it’s about setting “goals with intention” and then providing a framework for working towards those goals, little by little, month by month.  You are also encouraged to choose a word of the year, in order to help guide you with your goals.


Which brings me back to my word of the year.  I loved the process of the One Little Word workshop and I loved working with the word Joy last year.  It brought me a lot of . . . well . . . joy.  But as this year is a year of self-declare new beginnings, I wanted a word that would serve as a touchstone for how I wanted to feel, to be, to live my life.  I was mulling a few different word choices, but as I worked through my PowerSheets, and reflected on what brought me the most joy over the course of the last year (aside from the Husband and the Kids, of course), it was my sky photos, and the habit of looking for the light.  And thus, my word was chosen.

I want to be light and frolicsome
I want to be improbable
And afraid of nothing,
As though I had wings.
-Mary Oliver

As I was reading quotes today from some of my favourite poets, the quote above by Mary Oliver came up.  And it summarizes exactly how I feel today, on this first day of the new year.

I hope these words inspire you as much as they inspired me today.  And I wish you nothing but the absolute very best as you navigate your way through this new year, with all your hopes, your dreams, your goals, and your aspirations.  May they all come to fruition.



Yesterday, I got the best gift ever.  A whole morning with the house to myself.  The Husband took the kids out to run an “errand” (which turned out to be purchasing a new guitar at a specialty guitar store in Mississauga).  And I was left to my own devices.  And I did . . . . absolutely nothing.  I was so excited by all the things I want to do/try/learn/be in the new year, I ran around the house dabbling in lots but never really focusing in on any one thing.  Which meant that when the Husband and the kids walked back in the door, I was kind of disappointed in myself; I had pretty much squandered the best gift ever.

Which leads me to today.  Today we have no commitments until early this afternoon.  Since everyone was up early, we have a huge stretch of time, with all of us at home, to focus in on some of the things that we want to get done.

I titled this post “Beginnings” because tomorrow is, in a funny way, the real start to the new year for us.  Tomorrow is the day that we embark on our annual “dry” January.  Tomorrow is the day that we re-discover fitness routines.  Tomorrow is the day that we re-establish the way and the things we eat.  And tomorrow is the day the kids get back into their routines.

Which means today is the day that I get organized for this new year.

I’ll be tackling my normal Sunday routines this morning; packing the activity bags for the week, printing the kids’ weekly charts (where we track their chores and things like practicing piano and doing homework), and of course, menu planning!

I’ll also be tackling my to-do list; meaning this year I plan to write a giant to-do list for everything that I want to get done in and around the house.  With everything that’s gone on in the last few years, it’s been really easy to let things go around here – we’d all rather just relax and have fun than do chores like cleaning out the furnace room.  This will be a road map of sorts for me and the Husband over the next few months.  And hopefully it will help us all to be able to enjoy our house a little bit more knowing that there isn’t a massive list of outstanding things to do!

And I’ll be sitting down with the Husband to figure out how we will each find time to accomplish the goals we have for ourselves this year.  For him, it’s ensuring that he gets to the gym multiple times in a week.  And given his new guitar purchase yesterday, I’m sure it will also entail making sure he has time to practice.  For me, it’s less about making sure I can get to the gym (because that’s pretty much a given for me given my daytime schedule), and more about finding a small window of quiet time for myself to work on the projects that I would like to accomplish this year.

And on that note, I believe it’s time for me to simply begin working on what I want to get done today!

PS: The image I used for this post came from this site; she’s got some pretty awesome posts on her blog!  It’s definitely worth a look!!!!

Well hello there 2016

Happy new year.

We ended off 2015 in the best way possible; with our house filled to the brim with friends and family all laughing and having fun.

And we started 2016 off in the best way possible too; with a quiet family breakfast.  To be followed by a larger family lunch and an even bigger extended family dinner later tonight.

I’m excited for this new year.  More excited than I’ve been for a new year in quite a while.

I’m excited to work with my “one little word”.  To see just how I can work more joy into our lives.

I’m excited to see what changes the year is going to bring for me, for my family, because I know that if nothing else, this year will bring change.

I’m excited for all the cooking I’m going to be doing; and for all the help the kids are going to give in the kitchen (it started already this morning with the 2 kids asking to and then peeling 5 lbs of sweet potatoes between them).  I love NOTHING more than cooking with the kids.  Nothing.

I’m excited for the travel we’re going to embark on as a family.  And maybe just as a couple.  And maybe just by myself.

And of course, I’m excited to see how my body changes with the work I put in at the gym; what new PR’s I might hit; what new skills I might learn; how much fun I have with my friends at the gym.

I wish you all the very best for this new year and hope that you’re excited for all that the new year will bring for you too.




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