Saturday, November 30, 2019

My 2020 Goal: Not Buying New Clothes

A new decade is upon us and I feel that the awareness of the impact of our decisions is increasing rapidly. Whether the issue is climate change and our carbon footprint, use of social media or the amount of screen time our kids have, most recognize changes could and should be made. In the past, my New Years Resolutions have varied from working on marriage to fitness. There was one simple one in in 2018 where my goal was to wear lipstick each day and offer more hugs–I did it!

Could you go a year without buying new clothes?

My goal for 2020: Not to buy any new clothes for anyone in the family.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Good morning, friends! Thank you for checking out this space which is not getting the time that it used to. Purposefully. Instagram and Facebook have taken over the role of connecting with others and recording memories for me in a way. Also, going through my priorities (have you read "Essentialism"?), this was one area where I had to let things go when I went back to work. However, I will not let this blog go completely as it is a big part of my life; a journal of sorts of the years and a place to connect, share and grow.

What are some things that I am grateful for today?

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Hi friends! It's Thankful Thursday time. I had a rough month with an ulcer and minor concussion (warm-up spiked volleyball to the side of the head unexpectedly...not an exciting story) but I am on the mend. Gary and I had been doing so well running in the morning but when I was sick we got up early and walked and talked–still a great start to the day. We just started running again yesterday.  

Here are some things that I am thankful for today:

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Good morning! I love Thursday mornings only because this semester I have the morning off to get all the things done (laundry, cleaning, errands)–so nice to have alone time. I love October and the fall leaves; I wish the beauty of fall remained all through November.

I've been thinking a lot about my lifestyle...I am a very productive, efficient and passionate person and to some it comes across as stressed (as I've been told). I am actually not stressed, I'm just balancing full days with kids and a job and I'm not worried about it. I don't want anyone to think that I'm not enjoying my life, I truly am. Is it busy? Yes. Am I always running here or there? Yes. Do I take time for myself each and every day? Yes (6-7 am). I wonder if we saw a productive, efficient and passionate man if they would be told the same thing? Anyway, on to my thankfulness for the week.

 Here are the things I am grateful for this week:

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday
Oh do I love thanksgiving weekend! It's not necessarily the family gatherings (we're fortunate to get two with both sides of our family around), it's that:
1. It's a long weekend! If you're a teacher and made it to Thanksgiving weekend, you get a breather!
2. The fall leaves are incredibly gorgeous and the crisp air is invigorating.
3. I love gratitude.
Here are some things I am thankful for in the past week:

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

How to Help Create Balance in Your Life

I am in a brand new stage of life. Our youngest is now seven years old and I'm guaranteed child-free time from 9 PM until 7 AM each day. Our oldest is a teenager and responsible enough to be left in charge of the other two for short periods of time. Heading into another year of work this September, Gary and I talked about our goals as teachers and parents. We both had the desire to balance our physical health with all that was expected of us (I would add mental health to mine as well). 

How to create balance in your life by starting the day right!

In the past I have felt that there was no time. Sure, there were evenings but by that time I was just so tired. I had heard of people getting up at 5 AM but memories of my dad waking us up at that time to go fishing as teenagers filled my head and I just could not do it. I read the book "The 5 AM Club" and decided to go ahead with some of it's main principles. It has been life-changing and let me tell you why...

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday
I probably should make a new Thankful Thursday cover photo.
With the second week of school/work almost under our belts I have to say we are doing okay! The early morning starts (6am) for Gary and I definitely make a world of difference. I mentioned it last week but getting up before the kids to exercise, shower and have coffee makes us much nicer parents and people. Our kids never used to sleep in until 7 am so this is a great new routine. All right, what am I grateful for this week?

I am thankful for:

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Happy first week back to school! I realize this isn't the case for anyone but it definitely is in this family with three kids in three different schools (primary, middle and high) and two teachers. One thing I have been doing each morning is some brief journaling of my stresses and gratitude's (which I'll talk about below) and I'd really encourage you to try it out if you think it would be helpful. It only takes about two minutes/day and I feel it really helps to reset and focus.

Being that it's Thursday it's time to share my thankful list of the week! I am thankful for:

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Hello and thank you for checking this space out once again. I have been here since 2006–13 years, isn't that wild? While I blog only once a week at most now, I do value this space and the community it has allowed me to have. I'm curious how going into another school year teaching will affect Talk Nerdy to Me but I plan to keep updating as I'm able.

All right, after a busy summer, this is what I am thankful for:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Three Weeks in the Netherlands, Belgium and France with Kids

Our three weeks in Europe included two weeks in the Netherlands and one in France. This meant that we were able to spend a day in Belgium on our way to and from France as well. You can see some tips I have give here on what to consider when planning your trip.

Chapmans in the Eiffel Tower

Saturday, August 10, 2019

What to Consider When Planning a European Family Vacation

We recently travelled through the Netherlands, Belgium and France with our three kids for three weeks. The purpose was primarily to connect with my dutch roots and for the kids to experience various cultures. Our hope was to go to all of the museums and attractions that we wanted and to eat local foods yet keep the budget for the entire trip under $10,000 Canadian.

What to consider when planning a family trip to the Netherlands!

Our kids are seven, 10 and 13 which worked well for a trip like this. When planning I had a few questions: How should we get around? Which cities should we see? Will my MasterCard work okay? How much would it all cost?  This is what we did and I wouldn't say there is a right or wrong way; this is just what worked for us.

Here are a few things that you may want to consider when planning your European trip:

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ball Hockey Tournament in Edmonton

The Western Challenge Cup is a ball hockey tournament that includes teams from B.C. through to Manitoba. Every year it rotates being hosted between B.C. and Alberta and Kai has the highest chance of making this team on the years that it is away as he is the older at that time. We weren't sure if he should try out for the U13 team as we had a big trip to Europe planned but he really wanted to and we thought the tryouts would be a good experience. 

Well, he made the team of 15 runners and 2 goalies. Leading up to the tournament in Edmonton, Kai fundraised with bottles and earned $240 to pay for his team fees, "new" back-up stick and gloves.  He also had many practises and exhibition games. Going into the tournament their only loss was to Delta and they tied with Metro. They felt pretty confident and Surrey has a pretty good reputation of doing well at this tournament. 

WCC tournament in Edmonton for Surrey Scorpions U13

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

I am feeling a lot of feelings these days.

Who am I kidding, I always am. Along with the relief of summer holidays and being able to sort of sleep in, there are feelings of nervousness regarding our upcoming trip–how do I fully prepare for three weeks in Europe? Will it cost more than predicted? There are also feelings of frustration as I really wish my body was 100% healthy to do all the activities I would like but my foot still needs to be treated with great care and my weight is at a all time high (other than pregnancy). My kids seem to enjoy arguing with each other yet needing to be right next to one another which brings on some "wonderful feelings" Finally, there are ants in our home and a rat in our backyard which is just annoying. So, there's a broad range of feelings, time to focus on what I'm thankful for this week:

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Tigh-Na-Mara Family Reunion

We just had our third family reunion at Tigh-Na-Mara in Parksville, B.C. There were 33 of us and again, it was the perfect location! Although there is a ferry involved to get there which increase the cost and time, we were able to get home in about four hours from door to door – not bad. We had amazing weather (mid 20's) and the kids had a blast with their cousins. The resort is quite accessible for strollers and wheelchairs to get around and to the beach (but not on the beach) but know that the path back up to the resort is steep. So grateful for this opportunity to hang out, connect and make memories!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thankful Thursday: End of School Edition

Today is the last day of school for my kiddos! We did it. Phew. The main "work" of it all is just the organization–from agendas to field trip forms to birthday parties to band concert information that comes home in that backpack every day, it's a full time management job. Let's take a quick look at the growth (physical and otherwise) this year for each kid. Please note that I'm mostly focusing on the positive. This is not because my kids are perfect but I don't want to embarrass them publicly.

Last day of school!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Good morning! I'd say I've been slacking in the blogging department but when it's a choice of time allotment, it could be said that it's more about managing priorities. I love this space for connecting with others (I've learned so many things!) and for a record of our memories.  So along with this space, here are some other things I am thankful for this week:

Monday, June 10, 2019

Happy 7th Birthday, Nya!

My Nya Bear is now seven years old and is such a sweetheart full of energy. She does have a touch of attitude but I would hope so because it's important to me that she can stand up for herself!

Here are some photos we took and some things that she said when I interviewed her.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Okay, so this past week was a doozy. I don't share extended family stuff here often because this is a public space (as is the Facebook page) but it's been an emotionally exhausting week. It looks like all will be okay in the near future which I realize is so vague. Unfortunately, being that it was so stressful and busy I ended up catching a cold. I know it's not a big deal at all but when trying to parent and teach, I feel so exhausted and just want to lay in bed. Oh well, the weekend is soon and I may be able to rest!

What am I thankful for this week other than the slow return to health for extended family members? I am thankful for:

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thankful Thursday

My sisters often make fun of me (in a mostly loving way) for being emotional. I actually don't cry a lot but I definitely tear up when someone shares something happy or sad with me. That said, I am feeling a lot of emotions lately with work and our schedules and family etc. and found myself crying today. This is all vague but I guess what I'm getting at is that May can be a tricky month for me to begin with and then throw in the wildest of schedules and uncertainty with what the fall looks like and change and relationships, there's just a lot to juggle. So, here we go taking a deep breath and focusing on what I am grateful for amongst these big feelings...

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Hello friends! On Tuesday it was the anniversary of my mom passing away. I had written something (a rough draft) but did not publish it. I may re-work it, we'll see. It was about a card I asked my mom to write for Kai's first birthday because she wouldn't be there for it. Spoiler alert: she never wrote in it. Not sure how this is in any way a segue to a Thankful Thursday post but just filling you in on life.

Thankful Thursday

So, although this week is not my favourite, here are some things I am thankful for today.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Hello, friends! I do want to say a big "thank you" for checking out this space. I know it's not all that exciting anymore (yup, really pumping it up!) but it's our life and I'm thankful to have it documented. I have had some insightful pieces over the years and I'm grateful for this space and all those that have been a part of it. So, what am I thankful for today?

This week I am thankful for:

Monday, April 15, 2019

What to Do When You Have Plantar Fasciitis

Four months ago I noticed that the soles of my feet felt tender with my left one being particularly bad. I was asking Gary for more foot rubs and I remember saying that it felt like I was walking on bruises. Now, this was not too strange for me for three reasons. I had started teaching three months prior which meant long hours in dress shoes on a hard surface. Secondly, I have always had very "bad" feet (fallen arches) and wear runners with orthotics whenever I'm not at work. Finally, I had gained weight which means there was even more pressure on my feet. These are three of the main risk factors.

When it got to the point where I didn't feel better each morning I started looking into what it could be and realized this was Plantar Fasciitis. I went to massage, physiotherapy and finally a podiatrist.
*I am not a doctor so please go and see a professional if you are concerned.* 

This is what I found worked best for treating Plantar Fasciitis:

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

The one thing I really want to write about is my foot. Yes. I will probably do a separate post on it in case someone else suffers from plantar fasciitis, but wow, what a process. I don't do injuries well. Four months ago I started having chronic pain in my foot (I've always struggled with fallen arches) which I later learned was plantar fascisstis. I have tried to be patient and do all I was supposed to in order to heal (massage, icing, cast at night, orthotics, podiatrist, meds etc) and it took soooooooooooooooooooo long. However, I was given the "go ahead" to run this week and run I did. I'm "only" doing 3 km each time but it feels very good to get going again. It is still only at about 85% but I'll take it. Getting older is hard, friends!

So, here we go with my Thankful Thursday. This week I am thankful for:

Friday, March 29, 2019

Our All-Inclusive Vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Our family is normally the adventurous type; whether backpacking, road tripping or flying, we prefer to visit places that include a lot of activity and exploration. I should clarify that this is what Gary and I enjoy, not necessarily our kids, which led us to booking a trip that we had never considered: an all-inclusive trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The kids love food and playing in the waves as we learned on our Caribbean Cruise, therefore, this trip would ideally allow Gary and I to relax and the kids to have a blast keeping busy with all of the activities offered.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Normally I write ten things I am thankful for but to honour your time and mine, here are some things I am thankful for today:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

My Midlife Crisis?

I have been known to contemplate life frequently and maybe more than most people. I'm a type 1 on the Enneagram (Perfectionist/Reformer) and always seeking to improve myself. However, several months ago I realized that the questioning that I normally did once a month was taking over my thoughts throughout the entire day every day. Over and over I would say to myself "What do I want to be doing? What is best for me? For my family? How do I want to spend my time and energy? Am I okay if this is the way my life will be forever? Is there anything I "must do" before the end of my time here?" Was I depressed? No. Discontent? No. Finally, months later, it came to me:

This must be a midlife crisis.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

You know the weeks where you feel like life is sucking up all of your money? 

This was definitely one of those. Gary needs a root canal and crown (make sure your teenagers take care of their teeth, parents!) and has already reached his dental maximum for the year so it's out of pocket. Then we had to pay for Kai's braces (we actually went the Invisalign route). The total of these two is over $7,000 that we have to pay. I feel like every month we're like "next month we'll save!" and then life. Oh well. I'm grateful that we don't have to go into debt over it and we have the money saved but it's such a very unfun way to spend money. Very. Parents of young kids, start setting that money aside! 

This week I am thankful for:

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Our European Vacation Plan

This summer we are taking three weeks to travel through the Netherlands and northern France with our three kids. We want to be able to spend the majority in the Netherlands as that is where all four of my grandparents are from. I've always been a proud Dutch girl but have never been to see what it's all about. I am writing about our tentative plan here so that if you have something you would recommend, I have a chance to fit it in. I realize that in the grand scheme we are not seeing a lot but hopefully in ten years Gary and I will be able to see more of Europe without the kids.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

This week we only have three teaching days which is awesome. I like my job but I also like not working. I was talking with a colleague about what the perfect amount of work looks like, or really, what I would like to do with my life. Overall, no matter the choice, she said it's all just 7/10 and I fully agree! It's really such a "Louise" thing to say; when adding up pros and cons for all the options they all balance out at 7/10. All good choices. Okay, so let's get on with the thankfulness for this week...

I am thankful for:

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Another week has flown by. I often feel overwhelmed on Mondays with "How can I teach four more days?" and then by Wednesdays I'm like "Yahoo, the week is almost done!". Don't get me wrong, I love my job and am thankful for it, but you know, I also love time alone. So what am I thankful for this week?

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

I just started my first week of teaching at 57% (rather than 86%) and my plan was to be spending more time here writing but so far that is not the case. When I'm not on my computer/phone I can get so much done. Not an earth-shattering recognition but wow, so much self-care when I step away from those things. So ya, maybe don't waste your time reading this! Just kidding, take a minute to read and then step away from your device.

This week I am thankful for:

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

First and foremost I am thankful that my brother-in-law had a successful surgery for his stage 3 thyroid cancer. The C-word is obviously a bit of a trigger for me but I am thankful that they found it (quite mirarculously as he went to the doctor for something else) and that he had it removed quite quickly. Praying for great news going forward on that. All the rest here is silly and miniscule in comparison but here are some tiny things that I am thankful for this week. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful for Christmas break. The end. Okay, I guess it has been over for almost a week now but wow, did I need that! It felt so good to be able to sleep in until 8 AM and not have to get up before my body felt ready to. Here are a few things I am grateful for today: