Thursday, December 08, 2016

Thankful Thursday

As I said last week, having an "attitude of grattitude" can reduce your cortisol levels.  Besides, who likes hanging out with a complainer pants? This week I am thankful for:

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Gift of Love: Foster Parenting at Christmas

Last night we placed the ornaments on our tree.  As the kids oohed and aahed over their special pieces, we found the little owl.  On the back is our Little One's name with the year 2015.  A second Christmas with us. We never expected such a long stay as the tentative return date was a year ago.  Among the many lessons that come from being a foster parent, I have realized that plans rarely go as expected.  I am learning to be okay with this and my Type A self is learning to "Let It Go".  A little.  It's difficult to prepare your kids' hearts (and your own) for what's to come if you don't know what is actually coming and when.  For now, we are all excited to place extra presents under the tree for our Little One to open on Christmas morning.  Our kids have all asked to go to the store to spend their own money on gifts for their littlest sibling–true love, friends.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Searching for Joy

When I look back to 15 years ago, I see a girl who got so excited over the smallest things while enjoying huge belly laughs–I was so joyful.  Life was pretty simple in the sense that nothing really bad had happened and most of the things that I had worked towards had been successful...other than finding a husband.  Over time, the reality of life hit when my mom received a cancer diagnosis, my dad had a heart attack, and my mom passed away while I was six months pregnant.  I now saw that life was fragile and unpredictable.  I experienced disappointment and bitterness.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Thankful Thursday

This week in church our pastor talked about this study in the Globe and Mail called How Complaining Rewires Your Brain for Negativity. To summarize: complaining is unhealthy for you and impairs your hippocampus (problem solving), it releases cortisol (stress hormone) and when you spend time with a  complainer it is almost just as bad.  One way to combat this is to have an attitude of gratitude as it reduces cortisol levels by 23%.

I could really use a reduction in cortisol levels so with that said, here are then things that I am thankful for this week:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Capilano Suspension Bridge: Canyon Lights

One of our family's traditional Christmas activities is to look at lights.  We love wandering our neighbourhood and picking our favourite decorated homes and returning home for some hot chocolate.  Over the years we have gone to various venues to see their Christmas lights and this year we were finally able to experience Capilano Suspension Bridge's Canyon Lights in North Vancouver.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Enchant Christmas: What to Know

Last night we experienced the opening night of Enchant Christmas–the world's largest light maze.  It is located in Vancouver, by the Cambie Street Bridge, and open until New Years Eve as I've written about here.  Included on the grounds is the 55,000 square foot maze, Christmas market, food trucks, and a giant fire pit.  

If you are going to Enchant Christmas, these are the things that I would recommend to you:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

If you've been following along with me for the past year, you know I've been watching Gilmore Girls for the first time!  I love having it playing while editing photos or running on the treadmill.  I feel like it's been there with me through so many hard times this year.  The show isn't edge-of-your-seat action, it's just witty banter with some great pop culture references thrown in there (which is funny because my pop culture knowledge is really lacking).  This Friday, Netflix is releasing a revival of four seasons set ten years after the finale of the original series and is called Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

Kaboodles Toy Drive

Kaboodles is an award-winning independent toy store with three locations in Vancouver and one in Victoria.  The atmosphere is fun and unique and the toys they carry are great quality and good value–your kids will get a lot of play time out of them!  From Playmobil to Lego to wooden toys, they have something for everyone (even those Pokemon cards that my boys "have" to have).   Right now they have eight different advent calendars to choose from and we love our Playmobil one.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Choosing Your Values

One of the overwhelming feelings I have is this: I should do more.  When I brought this up with my counsellor she asked me "Would you prefer to do more?" No way. I don't want to do anything else; I'm exhausted.  I feel like there is this strong sense of "Be the perfect wife!" "Be the ever-present best mom!" "Give every opportunity to your foster child!" "Keep your house clean and the food healthy and homemade!" "I should make more money!" There's so much more I could be doing but do I need to? No.  She recommended coming up with five values and focusing my energy on those things.  If you find yourself overwhelmed, check in and see if it fits with your list.