Tuesday, December 31, 2013

No Regrets

I, like many of you, have been reflecting a little this week, taking a look back at 2013 and all the year had to offer. And while this year was not without its bumps in the road, over all the year was pretty darn good. Those bumps provided the most valuable lessons and with them came a lot of growth. I can honestly sit back today, the last day of 2013, and say I have no regrets at all. Everything that happened did so for a reason, and brought me to the place I am today. A place that finds me happy, content, grateful, and so very excited about the possibilities for 2014.

Thank you 2013, you have been amazing!

Monday, December 30, 2013


Quiet has been surrounding us these last few days. The Christmas music has been turned off, actually all music has been turned off and we are enjoying the quiet of our home. The decorations are put away for another year, and there is stillness and peace in our lives right now. It feels good and oh so right at this time of the year.

We have enjoyed time outside, hiking, playing in the snow and sitting around the fire. Inside we have been playing, reading, writing, knitting, crafting and doing a little bit of organizing. There has been time for reflection on the year that was and discussions about the year to come and where we are headed.

These are the in between days, the days after the craziness of Christmas and the days before the excitement of a New Year. We are enjoying the lull, soaking up the slowness and sinking into it for a few more days.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Gift

I joined the hustle and bustle of the day before Christmas, leaving our home shortly after breakfast. While most may not have looked forward to such an adventure, I did. You see this was my gift to me, a little time alone, and I spent it wisely my friends.

My first stop was the yarn shop. You see this lovely little yarn shop closes between Christmas and New Year's and with all my holiday knitting complete it was time to knit something for me, and new yarn was needed. I wondered around, chatted with the owner and left with yarn for two projects. Next stop, the cafe next door where I spent almost two hours writing and reading. It was perfection.

I started to head home after this, happy and grateful for the time alone, but as I passed the conservation area I felt a pull and I surrendered to it. I hit the trails for a little hike. It seems not many people go hiking the day before Christmas, I was alone in the woods and enjoyed every moment. With the sun glistening on ice laden trees I walked, captured the beauty with my camera, and took time to stand still, eyes closed and breathe. I filled my lungs, my soul with the cold chill of winter, grateful for the most wonderful gift...time. Time to do the things I enjoy, time to be alone with my thoughts, time to put pen to paper, time to read, time to connect to the earth, and admire her beauty and time to connect to me in ways I needed on this day.

This was a gift to me, and I am so glad I received it with open arms.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you a holiday filled with peace, love and joy.

Love and best wishes from my family to yours.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Welcoming the Light

As a nature loving family celebrating the movement from one season to another is important to us, and while each shift is special, the Winter Solstice holds a very special place in our hearts. The darkest day of the year and the power of the returning light remind us to slow down, to reflect and to share our light with the world around us. 

We of course hit the woods for a hike in celebration of the beginning of winter, and brought with us all the fixings to make some treats for our feathered friends. We made up the treats, found the perfect tree and hung them on the branches, creating a giving tree for the birds. Reece took the leftover bag of seed, and as we walked through the woods, left little piles of seed here and there.

The trails were a little icy, and the trees and shrubs were coated in a shimmery layer of ice, the beginnings of a large ice storm that blew through here over the weekend. This left the woods pretty quiet, and perfect for a little reflection as we walked. It was nice to have a moment in the dizzying pace of this season to just be in nature, as a family, and listen to the peace.

After safely making our way back to the car, we stopped in for a cup of tea with some friends and then headed home. There were plans for friends to join us for a solstice fire and apple cider, but Mother Nature had other plans, and the ice storm hit full force. Our friends stayed home, but we still enjoyed a solstice fire, just the three of us. 

We sat on a wool blanket, in the snow, listening to the crackle of the fire and the ice settling on the trees above. We talked, we sipped hot apple cider and we celebrated the return of the light. There were moments of quiet and stillness and moments of laughter and playing. It wasn't the celebration we had planned, but it really couldn't have been any better. 

The freezing rain came down a little harder signalling the end to our night outside. We lit a candle from the fire and headed indoors, bringing the light from our solstice fire into our home. This light will guide us through the season and will be a source of hope, love and peace in the coming year.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Winter Solstice

"Winter is dark, yet each tiny spark
Brightens the way to the darkest day.
Shine, little light, and show us the way
To the bright light in our hearts today."

Wishing you peace today as we celebrate the return of the light.
Happy Winter Solstice!

Friday, December 20, 2013

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Make and Listen


~ a winter toque and fingerless mitts for Justin

~ another little lantern girl for a very special little one in our lives

~ a little fun with some tape and paint, Reece added some snowflakes to his

~ and a little more fun with beads and pipe cleaners, cardboard stars and yarn, and a jar, water, a snowman and sparkles


~ Christmas music all day long around here

What are you making and listening to this week?

Joining Dawn

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Reminder

We awoke to another snowfall.
Light, fluffy snowflakes,
falling slowly, delicately to the ground.
In the beauty of the falling snow
a little reminder to slow down,
to sink into this season,
to soak it up, and enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter Bird Watching

We are avid bird watches around here, and the picture above is a usual morning, except there would be a third person with binoculars looking at the birds with Justin and Reece...me.

The binoculars are always close by, ready to be grabbed as soon as a cardinal, blue jay or some other unknown bird shows up in the backyard. The guide books are easy to grab too if we need to identify the birds hanging out at the feeder.

These days we are seeing cardinals, blue jays, black capped chickadees, dark eyed juncos, American tree sparrows, red breasted nuthatches and a few morning doves. We have also been watching a couple of red squirrels as they munch away at the peanuts we leave on the kitchen window sill.

These amazing little creatures great us each morning, singing in our backyard and enjoying the feast we leave for them day after day. We watch them, we marvel at their beauty and we allow them to slow down our days, to remind us of the magic right outside our window.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Our Weekend

Our weekend started with our annual trip to the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District in Toronto on Friday. One of Reece's friends joined us and the two of them walk around the market hand in hand. There was fun on the merry-go-round, hot chocolate in the cafe and a little browse around visiting the artisans. A fun day, filled with charm, and little bit of that old time Christmas feel.

Slow was the key word on Saturday morning, taking time to ease into our day. The Advent gnome left Reece a little note telling him to enjoy an afternoon with daddy. While the two of them enjoyed their afternoon, I headed out for an afternoon with some like minded friends at a workshop with a Waldorf teacher. Time spent with like minded friends, sharing, learning, and deepening our connections was just what I needed. The drive home was a little tricky, a little snow storm started while I was in the workshop, but I made it and enjoyed a quiet evening in front of the fire, with hot tea and a little knitting.

We awoke to quite a bit of snow on Sunday morning. Justin shoveled us out and then we were off to friends for a fun day of skating, sledding and food. It was the perfect way to spend a snowy, winter day. We arrived home, put on some soup for dinner, and relaxed into the evening.

How was your weekend?

Joining Amanda

Friday, December 13, 2013

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


~ for winter sunshine

~ for slow, simple days

~ for friendships that continue to grow and deepen

~ for being "me" in those friendships and being loved and accepted as I am

~ for knowing and understanding my weaknesses and in turn, being kind to myself

~ for taking time to see the little things and appreciate them

~ for cozy evenings at home, candles lit, knitting in hand and lots of hot tea

~ for those moments when I look around and really notice how wonderful this life really is

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Crafting with Nature

A nature walk is not complete without bringing home a few treasures. There are days my pockets come home full of rocks, my hands carry sticks and there might be a few flowers or pine cones tucked in the other pocket. You would think the collecting would get old, but no, every day little treasures come home with us.

We decided to do some crafting with all these treasures. Little twig reindeer were glued together, Reece's with a red nose and googly eyes. And then little pine cone people were made up. Reece had the chance to practice his hand stitching on the hat and then had a go at using the hot glue gun.

The best part about crafting with Reece now is that we work side by side, creating. He might need a little help to thread the needle and get the stitching started, but then he takes over, chatting away to me the whole time. We talk, we laugh, he tells stories and I listen. We are not only creating, we are nourishing each other, filling our buckets. I can feel mine fill up sitting with him as we make together and I know from the look in his eyes and the smile on his face, that his bucket is filling up too.

Gathering, creating, nourishing...who knew a little afternoon of nature crafting could mean so much.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Finding Peace

Where do you go to find peace?
To find the simplicity and the slowness during the hustle and bustle of this season.
To find the quiet that allows you to hear your inner voice.
To find the place to exhale, let go and then inhale, deep.

I have a place I go,
a place that allows me to release,
to listen and find answers,
to exhale and inhale
and to find me, the real me.

It is a special place
where trees grow tall,
animals trust,
the air is fresh
and my soul feels at home.
I find myself pulled to this place often,
with Reece in tow,
birdseed in hand,
we go.

And together we connect,
to the animals,
to the trees,
to the earth,
to each other.

And each time,
as we head back to the car,
back to "reality"
there is a sense of calm,
trust, and contentment.
I am happy.
He is happy.
And I feel peace.

Where do you go to find peace?