Wednesday, December 31, 2014


It will be no surprise to any of you that I head to the woods when I need time to think, and this week I made sure to create the space that allowed me to walk the quiet trails near our home, alone. This was time for me, to reflect on the last year, to notice my own personal growth, to create awareness of just how far I have come, and to focus on the path ahead.

2014 has been a good year in so many different ways. Yes, there have been disappointments, and struggles, but all of it has brought me to this place I stand today, and I wouldn't change any of it. I feel more like me than I ever have before. I am living a life that has been carefully crafted, with Justin, over the years. It is far from perfect, but we were never aiming for perfect. We have been moving towards fulfilling our dreams, creating a life that is truly our own, and enjoying the journey, because really that is the most important part, right? 

As I, and we, move into 2015, we have creative goals in mind. Personally, I want to write more...poetry, prose, short essays. I know to become a better writer I need to read more, not gardening, homeschooling or nature related books, but fiction, well written fiction. This list of recommendations will come in handy. I want to explore skills from the past, carving, basket weaving, and fire making. I made a bow drill, and over the last few years have been successful in making a few coals and starting a fire, but it isn't consistent, this year I want to bring consistency to it. Justin has created his own list of creative goals, and as a family we are set up to begin family art nights next week. Family art nights are a way to bring us together to create. We are always creating in our home. Reece and I spend a lot of time during our homeschooling days creating, and Justin is always busy with something artistic in his workshop, but it is a rare occasion when we all sit down together to create. The three of us are really looking forward to this, and can't wait to get started next week.

We, of course, have plans for this little family homestead. There will be more chickens and some ducklings in the spring, we are enjoying our winter garden, and with the tunnels and cold frames set up we will get an early start on our summer garden this year, and hopefully, I will be working with a bee keeper, a gentleman in our area who has offered to mentor me this summer.

The one thing in my reflections I have not been able to pinpoint is a personal development goal. It seems to be eluding me at the moment. At first I thought I might just let the new year get started and reflect a little more throughout January. But then I read this post about choosing how you want to feel as opposed to setting goals. Because as Carrie-Anne says: "when I know how I truly, deep down in my soul want to feel, then I will act accordingly to build a life that sustains me."

So how do I want to feel this year:

~ grateful ~ content ~ joy filled ~ authentic ~ creative ~ inspired ~
~ abundant ~ attentive ~ productive ~ purposeful ~ open ~ connected ~

These are the feelings that will guide me. I will nourish myself through what I think and what I do, based on how I want to feel, and in doing so I will continue to build a life that sustains not only me, but my family.

Thank you 2014 for a wonderful year, you have taught me so much, and showed me that this path we walk is right for us in so many ways. And a big warm welcome to 2015, I am ready for the hope and possibility that you bring.

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Nature Journal For You

In January of this year I shared with you the family nature journal I created for our family. There was a lot of interest in that journal, and a few weeks after I posted about it, I made a copy available free to you, my wonderful readers and friends. I know many of you printed it off, I do hope you enjoyed using it, and keeping track of the nature around you.

Our family nature journal has been filled with our nature adventures from throughout the year, and looking back through it for this post made me smile, a deep satisfying smile. Tucked inside the pages of our journal is a recap of our year in nature, together. Our bird list is long, filled with the birds we have seen and heard. We have recorded our harvesting spots for wild edibles, ensuring we find those spots again next year. When we find or see interesting things we make sure to jot it down when we get home. Sometimes we simply make a short note about a hike we took and the simple things we enjoyed on that hike. It feels pretty magical to read through it, remembering the hikes, and adventures we have had this year.

We don't often take this journal with us into the woods. Truth be told, we don't do a lot of journaling when we are out there. I have tried with Reece, but honestly, he just wants to explore, touch things, climb trees, follow tracks, and when we are by the water, toss rocks. I am okay with this, it is what he should be doing at this age, there will be plenty of time for us to sit under trees, drawing and making notes about the beauty around us. For now, it is enough to have a little record of our adventures, notes about the animals we have seen, and the tracks we have found, places we want to go back to, and the little things we enjoy about each spot.

Since we are approaching the end of this year, I thought it a perfect time to update the journal, print off a copy for my family, and again make it available to you. You can find the journal here, or just click the button in the sidebar and you will be taken right to it. A little gift from my nature loving family to yours. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

***A note about printing the journal:
The journal is created to be printed on both the front and back of the paper, so it does take a little bit of time to print it, but it is totally worth it. I printed ours on a heavy card stock so it is sturdy and durable if we decide to bring it along on a hike or camping. Once it was printed, I punched holes in the pages and then added it to a basic binder.

Have fun and enjoy! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Lull Between

How are you dear friends? Did you enjoy the last few days? Are you feeling the lull that happens this time of year, the lull that allows you to sink into your days and soak up the goodness around you? We sure are, and it has been lovely. Time has been spent with family and friends, there have been quiet moments at home, just the three of us, and of course, time in nature, wandering with no purpose at all except to just be.

These in between days are the ones I look forward to, they are slow and simple, and don't require much of me, or us. There are still things to do around this little homestead, chickens to feed, a dog to walk, and of course meals to cook, but the in between times, where there is nothing to do, those are being soaked up and truly enjoyed.

In the days ahead there are plans to visit with friends, there will be lots of time spent at home, and I am looking forward to a little solo hike in the woods, my chance to connect to myself, and my thoughts as I let go of 2014 and welcome 2015.

Wishing you all the best as you soak up the last of the holiday season, and get ready to welcome a new year.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"
Reece, what a difference a year makes, so many changes, and so much growth, for both of us. I am so proud and honoured to be your mama, to walk your path with you, holding your hand while you hold my heart. I love you little man, and I am so looking forward to seeing what 2015 holds for us.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hello Winter!

Hello Winter!

It feels like you have been here for quite some time already, but today we officially welcome you with open arms. Soon we will join some friends in the woods for a hike. We will choose the perfect tree and decorate it in your honour, with homemade bird feeders, and stringed popcorn, all to feed our feathered friends. Back at our friends home after our hike, our kiddos will play, us adults will chat, and we will enjoy warm cups of Wassail, and a lovely potluck lunch. I already know this day will be wonderful, we are spending it with people who mean a lot to us. You will be the center of attention though, this day, the shortest, darkest one of the year, is something to celebrate, for after today the light slowly returns, guiding us forward along our paths. Later today, back at our home, the three of us will celebrate the power of your light with a fire, outside, under the dark, starry sky. In our hands will be our dinner, bowls of pasta topped with roasted tomatoes from the summer garden. We will sit around the fire, watching the flames dance, my mind will fill with those things in life I am most grateful for, and later my thoughts will turn to those things that no longer serve me, things I want to let go of. I will toss those thoughts into the fire, releasing them so that as I step into the new year I am free to move forward, free to be more of who I am, the real me.

Winter, you are here to remind us to slow down, and to let the light within us shine bright. You are a fresh start for me, a day when I can look back, and also look forward, a day that fills me with hope, and excites every part of my being. Welcome back dear friend. It is good to see you again.


Winter exudes quiet and peace, it forces you inside, and offers us a chance to reflect. I am feeling the pull to move inward, to find quiet and peace in the midst of the hustle and bustle, and to find space for more of the things I love. This space will be quiet this week as we soak up two full weeks of family time...time spent hiking, playing, hopefully snowshoeing, and just enjoying moments together. I will be back for the last photo in the 52 Project next weekend, and on Monday December 29th I have a little something for you, so be sure to stop in.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday season filled with love and magic. xo

Saturday, December 20, 2014


 "A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"
Reece, these hands, your hands, gosh they are so busy all the time. From hand stitching to finger knitting, food prep to baking, painting to drawing, playing to building, they are always busy doing something, and I love seeing them in action. This week you took it upon yourself to create a stuffed Christmas tree. I have no idea where you got the idea from, but I left our home one afternoon and when I returned three hours later you had finished it and were so very proud of your creation. The sparkle in your eyes when you showed it to made my heart melt. To see you so passionate about creating, to see the joy you find when you make something with your hands, goodness that makes me so happy. I hope you never lose that passion, and that you always create from the heart, and with joy.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Little Knitting

I know I said all the holiday knitting was done, but, there is always a but, a few weeks ago I noticed that Justin could really use a new scarf. I think it has been two, possibly three, years since he has had a new one. While I was at the yarn shop searching for wool, I also decided Reece needed a new cowl. So two beautiful yarns later, I was headed home. The cowl was quick and easy, the scarf took at little longer. Whenever I had a spare moment I picked the scarf up, knit a few stitches, put it down, came back to it, put it down, and so on. Slowly, but surely it grew and grew, and on Tuesday night I cast it off with plenty of time to spare.

And with that the Christmas making is done! The needles are still clicking away though, a milo was started the other night, for a friend who is expecting a baby girl, and my February Lady Sweater was tucked away during the Christmas crafting season, but will be making its way back into my hands this weekend.

Are you finished your Christmas making?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Best Gift

When my little man opened his scroll from the Advent gnome yesterday he found a little note inviting him to a lunch date with me. Little did I know when I wrote the note that our morning plans for our weekly nature adventure with friends would fall apart, leaving Reece and I hitting the trails on our own.

We spent the morning at a local trail, catching water drops as they fell from branches, wandering, was so quiet, and just enjoying the peace. At times he held my hand, and I held his, as we chatted away, him asking many questions about animals and nature, and me just listening and smiling at his curiosity. We returned to the car a little wet, and hungry and headed out for our lunch date to one of our favourite spots. The food was good, and the company even better.

I honestly could not have planned this day better, and while I was disappointed when our friends couldn't make it for our nature adventure, what I received in return was a joy filled day with my little man. Really, it was the best gift a mama could ask for.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

One Year, Two Projects

I began this year with plans to complete two year long projects, and am happy to say as we approach the end of the year, I have followed through on both. The first was the 52 Project with Jodie, a photo of my little man once a week, every week in 2014. I am so happy I took part in this project, looking back at the photos, seeing my little man's growth through the is pretty amazing. I have plans to create a little photo book with the photos, and will definitely be creating a few extra books for grandparents and Godparents.

The second project was 52 Weeks of Mail, and began a new ritual for me early in the year. Every week this year I have sent mail to someone. Most times it was a card with a little note inside, sometimes a few nature treasures were added, and other times little surprise packages with homemade goodies. I took part in this project simply because it is a pleasure, a simple pleasure, to sit down with a cup of tea, pen in hand, and write a note to a friend. It has been a project I have thoroughly enjoyed, and out of it, I have connected in new ways with many of you, and that has been wonderful.

As I approach the end of both projects, my thoughts have been turning to the New Year and the projects I will take on. Both of these projects brought joy to me, and I will definitely be continuing them in the New Year. I have a few other thoughts in mind for year long projects in 2015, but I haven't committed yet. When I do, you will be the first to know.

Did you take part in any year long projects in 2014? Do you have plans to do so in 2015?


P.S. If you like to receive little surprises in the mail be sure to email your address to me, I would love to send you a handwritten note in 2015.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Morning, Noon and Night

Morning, noon and night...three little peeks into my day yesterday.

Morning, 10:45am

Noon, 2pm (thank you Karen!!!!)

Night, 5:30pm

***If you would like to play along leave your link in the comments section so I can stop by and visit.*** 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Finding Solace in Nature

While the world around us is busy, swept up in the hustle and bustle of the season, we intentionally move more slowly through our days. We wrap ourselves in the pace of nature, breathing deeply and fully, letting our feet lead us along the path that stretches out before us. We hold hands, sometimes we talk, but mostly we just walk, our minds lost in our own thoughts. We stop to look at nature, identify and follow tracks, listen to birds sing, and watch the waves lap against the rocks. And those rocks, yes, there is always a pocketful that come home with us. As we return to the car we are filled with the feeling of peace and solace that we longed to find when we stepped into nature.

As the holiday season ramps up this week, my hope for you, dear friends, is that you may find solace within your days, in ways that speak to your heart.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


 "A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2014"
Reece, our days are filled with many wonderful moments, but the ones together in nature, those are the most magical for me. Sharing my love of all things nature, and my connection to the earth with you makes my heart sing and brings me so much joy.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project