Thursday, February 28, 2013


About a month ago, while Justin and I were driving home from a community potluck, I started a conversation about our daily life. We have a pretty good rhythm in our home - mornings, meals, bed times are pretty good around here. The day to day chores get done. We get our nature connection in every day, even if that is just some time playing in the yard. But I still felt like we could be more productive, and find more time for both of our creative interests. So I suggested we sit down and come up with a schedule.

Justin and I are both home during the day. My days usually consist of hanging with Reece, we do our morning circle after breakfast and then usually get started on the activity of the day. Some days that activity is at home, some days it means we get in the car and go somewhere. We might be home for lunch and if not, I pack a lunch for us. The idea of the schedule was to create time in the day which would allow both Justin and I time to work (for me this consists of answering emails to clients, writing, working on protocols and reading blogs, if there is time) and therefore open up our evenings for other things we like to do. Often times once Reece is tucked in for the night I start work and Justin might head out to his workshop if he has something on the go. We both work away and hopefully find a few minutes at the end of the night to sit and relax and do something we enjoy...for me that might be knitting, needle felting or reading, for Justin watching TV or reading. We both wanted to have more time in the evenings, not just a few minutes at the end of a long day.

We sat down with the calendar, I put in a little time in the afternoon right before dinner preparations as my time. Justin took the mornings and early afternoons to be in his workshop. We worked our schedule around a few things that were already booked and stood back, a little excited to try it out.

Well we are now three weeks in and I am so pleased to say it is working like a charm and has had some surprising results. We have enjoyed the amount of time it has opened up for both of us. Before we kinda just went with the flow with our schedules, but knowing what time he is heading out to the workshop and when he will be done is great and knowing I get a little time to work in the afternoon while he and Reece get up to something, well I can't tell you how great that is. I have not done work during the day since Reece was born, so you can imagine the time it has opened up in my evenings. I love it! I couldn't actually believe how well it was working, and how much time it seemed to open up just by putting down on paper the time we needed and creating those boundaries. It created time we didn't know we had.

The time element has been huge, so huge in fact we have also re-evaluated a lot of other outside commitments and let go of a lot of stuff. I have enjoyed the "extra" time, just being and creating in our home and found myself not wanting to head out in the morning with Reece to our activities, but instead wanting to hang closer to home. I wanted to be in my space, our home, to enjoy this little place and the simple life it offers us. We took a good hard look at things we were involved in and weeded out those that either required too much of a commitment on our part right now or were just not fulfilling to our heart and soul.

We want to live simply, and yet somehow, little by little, we had taken on more than our little family could handle, and it didn't feel so simple any more. So we simplified. We let go. We took a step back. And we are feeling lighter, freer and happier.

We got caught up in the fast pace of life there for a bit, feeling like we had to do everything. And now, we are back in the slow lane and enjoying the much slower pace. I am really happy it didn't take us too long to figure it all out.

It has been a good shift, a really good shift.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yarn Along

I am knitting away on my Shalom, learning new stitches and looking forward to trying it on...soon. I had high hopes of having it done before we left for our little road trip but that won't happen. So I will be taking it along with me and knitting away when I get the chance.

Doula reading is still taking up most of my time, but I did crack open When Children Love to Learn, and am enjoying it.

Joining in with Ginny and Nicole

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Seven Things

Joining Lisa today for Seven Things - expressing gratitude for the simple little things, and appreciating the sweet spots of life.

:: Watching the wonderful friendship developing between Reece and his little friend Ben. 
They enjoy each others company, play well together and share a love of nature. 
Being a part of their adventure and exploration of this earth is something I am so grateful for.

:: Happy mail days. Thank you KC!

:: His imagination.

:: The great outdoors, 
the place I feel most at home some days 
and the place where Reece and I connect in ways I could never have dreamed of.

:: Signs of spring...mud!

:: This

:: Being a tree. I took time to stand beside a towering tree. To feel it, observe its presence and become it. I felt the deep roots creating a foundation for it to reach toward the sky. I felt the length of its branches reaching up, extending toward the light it needs. I felt its wisdom, but was aware it still had growing to do. It was only a few minutes, but this tree had lessons for me...I heard them.

What simple things are you grateful for today?

 Please stop by Julie Malony: Health Coach where I am guest posting today, talking a little about myself and our life here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Our Weekend

The weekend got started Friday afternoon playing, reading and laughing. Homemade pizza for dinner and then some reading and knitting.

Saturday morning we had a lovely visit from Reece's god parents, who we just don't see enough of. Hoping to fix that soon. Saturday afternoon found us in the woods with friends tracking. We were lucky enough to find both bunny poop and pee. Then porcupine poop. Then with a little look up, the porcupine in the tree sleeping. What a great find! This is the third porcupine we have found on our adventures and every time it is amazing! Once you find the porcupine the next thing you do is get busy on the ground looking for quills. The group was lucky enough to find six of them and I found two. So excited to add them to our nature collection.

After tracking, we shared our stories over a community potluck while the kids ran around. Good conversation, lots of laugther and wonderful people, I can't think of a better way to spend an evening.

A bit of a lazy Sunday morning that included pancakes and maple syrup. Then I was off to do a little shopping, a swimsuit was in order for our little trip coming up and some fun stuff to keep my little man busy on the drive.

Homemade soup for lunch and then a little outdoor time tapping the trees. This will be our second year tapping the trees. I am hoping to get a little maple syrup making in before we leave, and then the rest will be up to Justin while we are away.

The three of us then took a little drive to visit with Justin's family for dinner. Reece was super excited to see his cousin and I was happy to sit back, enjoy good conversation and a lovely dinner I didn't have to cook.

It was a full weekend on so many levels and exactly what I needed.

Joining in with Amanda

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend Links

:: this

:: a few good reminders we could all use

:: we made these last!

:: the secret of raising a resilient child

:: learning happens all the time

:: these have made this winter so enjoyable

:: this post is getting a lot of views lately...summer must be coming

:: a pretty amazing giveaway

:: I so want to win this giveaway

:: love seeing my hand knits on the little ones I knit them for

Wishing you a day filled with sunshine, laughter and love.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mothering with Mindfulness Sponsor - Mindful Mothering Mondays

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my February sponsors Lydia J Will of Small Town Simplicity.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your blog?

I'm a second generation homeschooling Mama to 5 little ones with one on the way.  We strive to live a simple and small life, making family and faith our main focus.  I am one of 7 children myself, so I am not a stranger to the hustle and bustle of a larger than average family, although some days I truly do wonder what on earth I have gotten myself into!  I love to knit and am learning to sew a bit at a time.  Being a stay at home mom requires me to be pretty frugal with our finances, so I cook completely from scratch and aim to stay well within our budget while at the same time making a warm and inviting home for my family to grow in.  My blog is about our family life, faith, mothering, crafting and homeschooling. 

You began Mindful Mothering Mondays last year, what motivated you to do this?

I began Mindful Mothering Mondays because I saw myself slipping in how I was parenting my kids. With the hurdles of every day life staring you down, it can be easy to fall into a rut of reactive parenting.  I wanted to raise my kids in a thoughtful and intentional way, and I was finding that making the time for mindfulness in this area quite tricky.  Setting aside one day a week to really reflect on my parenting journey and to look ahead to what my hopes and dreams are for these kids at this time gave me the outlet I needed, and has really helped center me in mindfully mothering my little ones, one step at a time.

What does mindfulness mean to you?

Mindfulness to me is all about intentional living - giving thought to what matters the very most to our family and prioritizing those things.

What was your impression of motherhood when you were a little girl? How has that impression changed now that you are a mother?

I was blessed with a wonderful Mother, a great role model who is one of my dearest friends to this day.  My childhood impression of motherhood was one of joy - my Mom obviously enjoyed her children.  In fact, she made it look downright easy, mothering and homeschooling 7 children.  I think my impression has mostly changed in that now I know just how much work it all is - and how much sacrifice is involved in the path that she (and now I) had chosen.  All of that only deepens my respect and gratitude for the way I was raised - never as an inconvenience but always as a loved and cherished member of our family.

In what ways have you grown on your mothering journey?

Mothering has grown me in my faith in ways I could not have imagined, all those years ago.  Early on I think I was fighting against "losing myself," as so many caution against.  It took a lot of my energy and I think distracted me from the blessing of really investing in my mothering journey.  Now, I see that even, perhaps especially, the hard days and sacrifices are blessings, too.  They grow me as a person, teach me lessons that will stay with me long after my little ones have grown and moved on.  A life of serving others is a rich and happy place to be.

You are a homeschooling mom to five, with a little one on the way, what does a day in the life of Lydia look like?

As you can imagine, rather messy, pretty loud, and occasionally overwhelming.  Homeschooling is a good fit for us at this time, and I am trying to enjoy these days when we don't have to be up and out by a certain time, or can't be very flexible in how we spend our time.  We do have a typical daily rhythm that we follow - Bible and Prayer first thing, followed by read aloud time and workbooks. We try to finish up with most formal schooling by noon and do more exploring/creating/reading/playing after lunch.  My littlest one still naps, which gives me some free time to bake or sew or knit with my older kids.  They spend time outside every day, help me make dinner and we do chores in the afternoon, making sure to pick up before Daddy gets home for dinner.  We keep our outside activities very light, so most days are spent right here, in these four walls.  There is a lot of noise, lots of laughter, some tears sprinkled in, sibling arguments and a lot of laundry.  There are also those unbelievable quiet moments when everyone is contentedly in their own little world, and I look around, amazed.  It's a big, full, loud, crazy life.  

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

"Be Kind."  I remember it quite clearly, advice from someone who's name I can no longer recall, someone who was in my life for a very short time as a very casual acquaintance.  She was speaking of her relationship with her husband, specifically, and she said that they had long ago made the decision to treat one another with kindness at all costs.  A simple yet profound snippet of advice that has stayed with me all these years later.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share a little bit about yourself with us. It was wonderful getting to know you a little better Lydia.

You can connect with Lydia a few ways:

Friday, February 22, 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, February 21, 2013

A Journal Entry

I find it hard to say no.
I like to help, to give, to share.
It makes my heart feel full to know I have helped make today a little better for someone else.
But I am at a point right now that has me asking why?

Sometimes I can put too much of myself out there.
I help too much, I give too much, I share too much.
It can sometimes leave me empty,
Questioning why I do it.

I am in that place right now.
It means something has to change.
What, I don't know,
But something...

I had a lovely conversation with a friend the other day.
A few days have passed and I have been pondering some things.
What keeps coming back to me is this:

I need to do some reflecting.
I need to take a good hard look at the helping, giving and sharing I do.
I need to determine if they are in my best interest.
Yes it does make me feel good,
But if too much of it leaves me empty,
And looking for the why,
Then maybe I need to reel it in a bit.
Maybe I need to say no sometimes.
Maybe I need to take a step back.

It is hard, to look deep inside.
To look for the answers that only you can find.
I am looking, searching,
Trying to find a balance.
A balance that will allow me to help, to give and to share,
Just enough,
While still feeling the fullness of it all.

It is there,
The answer.
I will find it.
This process, right here,
Writing it down,
In words,
Has already brought some clarity.
Now, more reflecting,
More searching.
It will come,
If I just give it time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Yarn Along

Reece loved his whale! And I was very pleased with how it turned out and am pretty excited to try more of Linda's patterns.

After requesting a pair of fingerless mitts, I set Reece free in my stash of yarn so he could pick something he liked. He picked red, which didn't surprise me at all. I finished them up on Sunday night and when he saw them Monday morning he squealed in delight making my heart melt.

And then I promptly cast on something for me. I am only a few rows in, but hope to be well on my way by next week.

I also found a little bit of time to do some needle felting, creating some colourful spring flowers that I hope to use for a little bunting. 

Doula reading has been my main focus on the reading front, but I did get a chance to read through this magazine which I received in November. It was my first issue and it is pretty awesome!

What are you knitting and reading this week?

Joining in with Ginny and Nicole

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Feeling grateful today for community. A community of like minded families. A community accepting of our differences. A community that shares and passes on their passions. A community that continues to inspire me each and every day.

I have never gone ice fishing. In fact, I have never gone fishing. It is something Reece would not likely be exposed to had it not been for community.

This weekend we were invited by a family in our community to join them for an afternoon of ice fishing followed by a potluck back at their home. Although the idea of fishing does not appeal to me in the slightest, we jumped at the opportunity to attend. It meant an afternoon and evening with wonderful families who always inspire me. But more than that it meant a wonderful opportunity for Reece to learn something outside of my interests from someone else.

As a homeschooling family I know I will not be the only person in Reece's life that helps to guide him on his journey. I have, from the start, envisioned other knowledgeable people supporting him as his interests develop in areas which I might not have knowledge or experience in. And this weekend we experienced this for the first time and it was truly amazing.

To watch my little man listening and taking in information from other adults, to see him put into action the information he was given and to be by his side through all of it was pretty amazing.

I know this is just the beginning of his life long learning journey and I am so very grateful I have the support of a wonderful community willing to share their passions with us.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Our Weekend

Our weekend started on Friday morning enjoying time together with friends in the woods. Great conversations, the laughter of kids playing and exploring and a fire to gather around. Once home Reece was eager to try out a pair of snowshoes a friend lent him...he loves them!

Saturday morning found me at a cafe with hot tea and my doula books. Then home to prepare for an adventurous afternoon with our community...our first introduction to ice fishing. Although this is not something we would normally do, we had a great time with friends on the open ice. I can't even describe to you how peaceful it is to be out on the open ice of a big lake, the stillness, the quiet, it is pretty amazing!

Our cold cheeks, fingers and toes forced us to make our way back to our friends home for a community potluck. It is so very special to be among like minded families, sharing good food, watching our kids play and feeling like you are at home. Our hosts are so very welcoming and make their home our is pretty darn special.

Driving home there was peace, stillness and quiet as Reece gently drifted off to sleep, tired but happy after an exciting day.

Sunday was quiet. Sleeping in. Baking sourdough bread. Making body butter. Playing games. Popcorn. Knitting. Reading. Hot tea. Family. Fun. Together.

And today, is Family Day, which means a long weekend! We have a quiet morning planned that will include a few preparations for later today. I have a dear friend and her little man joining Reece and I for an afternoon of nature connection. We are heading over to our favourite spot to feed the birds and enjoy some time together. Then back to our home to share a dinner of homemade soup and sourdough bread with them.

It was a pretty perfect weekend, leaving a smile on my face and my heart very full.

How was your weekend?

Joining in with Amanda

Friday, February 15, 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, February 14, 2013

A New Sparkle

I have noticed it.
A new sparkle
in his eyes.
It comes in moments of excitement,
joy and happiness.
It has the power
to melt my heart.
The strength 
to change 
the course of my day.
It is contagious,
this sparkle.
I let it spread,
and welcome the feeling
of innocence,
pure joy,
and love it brings.
This sparkle is different,
giving me a hint 
he sees things differently,
with more passion
for life
and all it has to offer him.
He takes it all in, 
the sparkle
filling his eyes
and my heart.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yarn Along

I finished up another pair of fingerless mitts, again for a friend. Reece is now asking for a pair, so I think I might just cast on a pair for him. I do hope his love of things made by mama continues for a long time.

And speaking of things made by mama, I purchased a pattern from my lovely sponsor and have been knitting it up for Reece for Valentine's Day. I can't tell you how much fun it has been to knit this up. I still have to sew up the tail and add the fins, but it will be ready for Thursday. Can't wait to try more of Linda's patterns.

I have also decided on my next project and am pretty excited about it. The yarn in the background will be perfect!

There hasn't been much reading this week, a little doula reading and that is it.

What have you been knitting and reading?

Joining in with Ginny and Nicole

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Good times have been had in a little place called Myrtle Beach. Every summer from the age of eight to seventeen I would excitedly hop in the car with my family and head down to this little beach town to enjoy some summer fun before school started up for another year. My brother and I loved it. Meeting up with the same "friends" year after year and exploring new spots each summer, it became a second home for us and we anticipated this trip all summer long.

I returned once as an adult, when I was twenty-one, taking Justin with me. We had a wonderful time and managed to make it the nineteen hours there and back in the car together...long trips in a car can make or break a relationship you know.

Now it is time to introduce this place to Reece. My parents having been heading south for February and March for the last three years and this year Reece and I are finally going down for a visit. So I am in planning mode. Planning my route, planning things to do in the car to keep things interesting and fun, planning the food I will prepare and take with us, planning little things for us to do while we are there...planning, planning and more planning.

It is exciting for sure, but I have to admit I am feeling a little leery. I mean, Reece and I alone in the car for nineteen I crazy? Okay, maybe a little crazy. I will be breaking up the trip over three days, maybe four if I have to, stopping for frequent breaks and finding little things for us to do along the way. Today I am asking you for some advice. I know some of you have little ones and have done some traveling, what traveling tips do you have for me? And those of you with older kiddos, did you travel with them when they were younger? What tips do you have to share?

It will be quite the adventure for the two of us, of that I am sure.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Winter Walk in the Woods

It snowed...a lot! It started Thursday afternoon and didn't finish until sometime late Friday night. If I think back to my childhood I fondly remember winters with this much snow all season long, but in the last few years we have had quite the shift in our winter season. We have moved to much warmer winters with much less snow. And while this is lovely, it just doesn't feel right. So when this storm arrived, I was quite happy. We got up Friday morning and cancelled all our plans. We shovelled, we played, we walked up our road, we played some more and then we headed inside to bake and play by the fire. It was one of those days we will remember for quite some time.

The rest of the weekend gave us a ton of sunshine and beautiful temperatures, so away we went into the woods to enjoy it. The three of us ventured along snowy trails, stopping to admire the simple things along the way...the trees, shadows on the snow, nests in trees, some wild turkeys, a bunny hole and a gorgeous sky.

The simple beauty of nature never ceases to amaze me.

Friday, February 8, 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, February 7, 2013

Sharing Our Love

We love feeding our backyard friends. Lately this includes: chickadees, nuthatches, juncos, cardinals, blue jays, red squirrels and a rabbit. Creating these feeders is a regular occurrence, but last week Rosemarie from Sweet Home Days created these feeders and we just had to give them a go.

Reece and I had a great time making them up, and we were happy to see them being used as soon as we put them up.