Thursday, December 07, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Keeping the introduction brief today. Every week I write about ten thing that I am grateful for and it seems even more important now as it's been rainy for a month and darker earlier. If you're feeling on the gloomy side of the spectrum, I'd really encourage you to practice some gratitude today. And if you're happy and you know it, being thankful never hurts.

This week I am thankful for:

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

What I Wish I Knew Before Saying I Do

I don't know if I have ever had a bigger mix of feelings than the night before Gary and I got married. I  realized the magnitude of what was to be – til death do us part. There was deep excitement and a whole lot of fear, to best honest. We had a rocky dating relationship (date, break up and repeat) which I never imagined would be the case with the man that I was supposed to be with forever. I figured that when you met "the one" it would be easy from that point on because it was meant to be. Maybe working through those stages helped realistically prepare us for what was to be in a lifetime together.

What I wish I knew before saying I do

The next day, as I stood with my parents about to approach the aisle, I asked my mom to tell me a joke because I could not handle the range of emotions. She told me one about a cow that I wasn't able to processs it but it allowed me to walk down the aisle while staying emotionally intact. It ended up being the best day of my life.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Blogging

I started blogging back when most people used it as an online journal – 12 years ago! I wrote for two reasons at the time: to share photos with friends and family (this was before Facebook which I thought wouldn't catch on) and because it was therapeutic. I had always been a journaller but when we got married I ditched the daily notebook writing for the computer. Three years ago I was nominated as one of the Top 30 Mom Bloggers in Vancouver (runner up, yo) and decided that it was time to kick things up a notch when I realized that more people were reading it than I thought. I'm still a little fish in this pond but have done some sponsored content, am monetized with ads, and have used it as a platform to share on topics I am passionate about: fostering, parenting, marriage and adventure.

Behind the scenes of blogging
At a local media event
I love learning a bit about the behind the scenes of people's jobs and TV shows and therefore will let you know some of what goes on just writing one blog post. This is very general but gives an overview of the process.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thankful Thursday

You know those moments where you experience great joy? Do you sometimes go to the place of thinking about what could ruin it? There is vulnerability in experiencing joy and hoping that it won't end up with us being hurt. We're afraid to fully embrace it and that is called foreboding joy. As someone who has experienced loss, I can go there. According to Brene Brown in Braving the Wilderness.

"The only way to combat foreboding joy is gratitude."

Thankful Thursday

Another great reason to practice gratitude, am I right? Let's allow ourselves to feel true joy.

This week, I am grateful for:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

What Happened When I Joined a Hockey Team

Leaving university was a tricky transition for me. For seventeen years straight I had worked hard at my role as a student; I knew what to do each day and what the end goal was. I had the consistent support of my family and my friends – my village. Once I left the city I had been in and started teaching, it felt like everything changed and I floundered. My friends dispersed into their various roles, my evenings were spent planning and marking, and I had to engage with a new community.

Building new relationships isn't something you can rush. 

Over time, I became connected to the school community I was teaching at. I made new friends and ended up marrying another teacher – how's that for building strong relationships? I joined a flag football team with friends from my university days and within a few years felt that I had transitioned well into my new role as a working and married adult in the suburbs.

What happened when I joined a hockey team. How in person connections lifted my spirits and brought about greater joy.

Getting into the Christmas Spirit with Kid-Friendly Netflix Movie Nights

November can be quite dreary and throw in a busy season of basketball after school hours and we are in the need for some calm and cozy connecting after dinner. Our house may not be decorated for the season yet but it has been the perfect opportunity to start watching kid-friendly Christmas movies on Netflix! Looking forward to the magic of Christmas is always fun and a great change of pace. 

What have the kids been watching?

Advent calendar saying make Christmas cookies and watch a movie on Netflix

Friday, November 24, 2017

Glow Christmas in the Fraser Valley

Glow is a Christmas event geared towards people of all ages in Langley, BC. With four light gardens, a 210-foot musical tunnel, food trucks, and Christmas market, it will definitely get you into the Christmas spirit. It has the beauty of outdoor lights in the cozy comfort of an indoor environment–a greenhouse! 

Glow Christmas at Milner Gardens

Some of the things that we enjoyed were:

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankful Thursday

A wild heart is awake to the pain in the world, but does not diminish its own pain. A wild heart can beat with gratitude and lean in to pure joy without denying the struggle in the world–Brene Brown in Braving the Wilderness.

We know what's going on in the world, we will do our part, we can still have joy in our life.

This speaks to me because at times I feel like "Louise, there are so many big issues in the world. How silly your gratitude is in the grand scheme." But it is good to live in this tension between acknowledging reality and embracing joy. As with each Thursday, this is what I am thankful for today:

Thankful Thursday

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Thankfull Thursday

Wow, this week has been so wet and stormy on the west coast. We had a long weekend full of family time (maybe too much?), Remembrance Day activities and just getting stuff done. Today we have our annual review for fostering. This is where they go through the safety checklist in your home (it's a big one) and we will talk over our contract and what our limits are regarding age and needs. We have this talk often as it's good to assess boundaries and reassess after each placement. Check out this graphic below that Brene Brown emailed out this week, so fitting for Thankful Thursdays, right? Let's practice it, team.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Information Overload: Enough is Enough

On this day five years ago I purchased my first iPhone and my life changed. As convenient as it is, it has become way too important to me. At first I had no data so that I would not be tempted to use it when I was out of my home but with the offer of so much for data for basically nothing (okay, not true, our bill is not nothing but it was a deal!), I upgraded. I'm on it a lot. I use it to google facts, recipes, podcasts, Netflix, take photos, text and email. I also use it to browse Facebook and Instagram. I'm not sure what your social media feed and favourite Internet sites are telling you but this is what I seem to hear each and every day...

Information overload in the age of social media and digital devices