Monday, November 30, 2015

The First Light of Advent

The first light of Advent is the light of stones
The light that shines in crystals in seashells and in bones
The second light of Advent is the light of plants
Green plants that reach up to the light and in the breezes dance
The third light of Advent is the light of beasts
That shines in all creatures in greatest and in least
The fourth light of Advent is the human light
The light of hope and of thought, to know and do what’s right

~ Rudolf Steiner ~

On Saturday night, once my little man was sound asleep, I spent time preparing our home for Advent. Our dining table was cleared, and placed in the center was our Advent spiral along with our carvings of Joseph and Mary. Every day another candle will be lit as we say our Advent verse, and Joseph and Mary will travel along on their journey. We added this Advent spiral to our traditions last year, and it was definitely a highlight for both Reece and I. When he woke yesterday morning he was so happy to see the spiral, and couldn't wait for us to light our first candle.

I also changed our nature table, creating a rock spiral. Each day Reece replaces one rock with a star as we travel the path towards Christmas. I love this and it allows Reece to be actively involved in this journey. As we reach the end of the spiral a wooden cut out of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus will be added to the nature table.

Our reading during the Advent season this year will include two books. The first is The Light of the Lantern, Stories for Advent. I so enjoyed reading these stories with Reece last year, and look forward to reading them with him again this season. The second book we will read from is Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, A Family Celebration of Christmas. We will of course be reading many other books through this season, books about St. Nicholas will make appearance, as well as many other winter and Christmas related books. As I pulled out our seasonal books yesterday Reece excitedly sat looking through each one, remembering them with a big smile on his face. He was so happy to see them all again.

Rhythm and ritual are big parts of my life with Reece. They guide us through our year, and bring us closer to the earth, her seasons, and the festivals and celebrations that flow through the year. Over the years we have slowly found the rituals that feel right to us, and help guide us through each season, and we welcome them each year with much joy.

How do you celebrate Advent in your home?

Sunday, November 29, 2015


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Reece, my little man, you light up my life, fill my days with so much joy, and make my heart overflow with love. There is not a day that goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars that you chose me to walk beside you on your journey. To hold your hand, to guide you, to be your mama. I love you little man, and I hope you know just how much.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Thursday, November 26, 2015


We woke Tuesday to a gift...snow! Outside our windows was a world covered in white waiting peacefully to greet us. It was the first real snow of the season, and we headed out right away to take it all in. There is something so very peaceful and calming about the earth when it is covered in a fresh blanket of snow. As I stepped out the front door I wanted to tip toe so I didn't disturb the earth as it prepares for its winter rest. The air was still, and quietly singing from a tree was a chickadee or two. We walked in wonder, breathing deep, and expressing our awe at the beauty around us. The sun shone, creating snow sparkles across the ground, and around us, big fluffy flakes continued to fall. This time of year is hard for some, the diminishing light, the cold, but for me that darkness provides a time to tune in more deeply to who I am and where I am going, it allows space for evenings by the fire, reading and knitting, my little man sleeping soundly in the next room, it creates the perfect backdrop for living simply and mindfully, a way of life I try to embody all year round, but during the darkest time of the year seems much easier. As I walked slowly on Tuesday morning taking in the magic of the first snow, I breathed deeply, and when I exhaled the weight I have been carrying lifted, slightly, and in its place, a little light and joy crept back in.

Monday, November 23, 2015

More Making

The making continues around here, and I am having so much fun. From rope baskets, to soap, to body butter, to salves and lip balms, I am in my happy place when I am making things. Some of this making is for the holidays, but a lot of it is to sell. With this new path I am walking as a single, homeschooling mama I am looking to expand my sources of income. You know the old saying not to put all your eggs in one basket, well I am consciously trying to create different sources of income for Reece and I, and selling the things I create is one of the avenues I will explore.

I have, over the years, sold many of my products, but I have never actively marketed them, all my sales are from a small group of people, who continue to be return customers. But with this new path comes putting myself out there, and so I have been spending some time over the last few weeks building up a supply of products to sell.

For now, I am only going to sell locally, and then the plan in the New Year will be to add a shop to Life At Nature's Pace. I have had thoughts of opening a little shop in the cottage in the backyard, a little place where people can come to browse and chat, maybe even have a cup of tea, but that plan is a little further down the road.

There are a lot of ideas floating around in my head, and many things to consider, but I love making things, so it seems like a great idea to give this a go, and see where it takes me. Wish me luck, won't you?


And this is where I do a little self promotion...if you live locally, and would like to support a family in your community this holiday season by purchasing handmade items for gift giving, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Reece, we were both hoping to wake to snow this morning. We had grand plans to hike and play in the fluffy white stuff, but it missed us, and we awoke to sunshine and chilly temperatures. Still, a good day for a hike in the woods, and a little seed pod collecting, which is exactly what we did this morning. We returned home with rosy cheeks and red noses, ready for the first hot chocolate of the season. Goodness, it was so delicious! Watching you in the woods this morning I noticed how much you have grown, both physically and emotionally. This transition we are moving through has brought about big change in our life together, but it has also brought about big change in you. Your confidence is growing, and all of sudden you are very independent, taking on jobs and chores around here without being asked, you are stepping out of you own boundaries, and finding joy as you open yourself up to possibility. It is a joy to witness this growth in you, to be a little part of the young man you are becoming.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Thursday, November 19, 2015

At the End of the Day

If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you know how important rhythm is to me, and in turn to Reece. It is grounding for both of us, and provides security and trust in knowing what is to come, both in our day to day living, and throughout our year. Some of our rhythms change with the seasons, and some of them change and evolve as Reece grows and matures. In the spring I added a little something to our end of the day rhythm, something that has made this time so very special for both of us...I began to ask Reece five questions.

After we have finished reading, and we are tucked in, snuggling under the blankets by the glow of a candle, I ask Reece the following five questions about his day.

What made you happy today?
What made you sad today?
What did you learn today?
What was the most fun you had today?
What are you most grateful for today?

He sometimes has an answer ready, and other times he is quiet for a moment or two while he thinks back over his day. At first, I asked the questions, and he answered, but a few weeks into this new rhythm he turned to me one night and said what about you mommy, what made you happy today? And so, it evolved and changed, and now we both answer the questions as I asked them, Reece always goes first, and then me. It is such a special time for us, sharing moments from our day, and I have to admit always interesting to hear his answers.

Once we are finished sharing bits from our day, I hold my little man and together we say this verse, one we have been sharing at the end of the day for three or four years now:

A star for you to wish on
The sun for warmth and light
The moon for you to think on
Sweet dreams, a kiss and a hug goodnight.

I say it often in this space, but it truly is the simple things that make life so darn amazing, and this addition to our end of the day rhythm is one of those simple things.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Gratitude, my friends, is the open door to abundance. I read that once, and have never forgotten it. I have a gratitude practice that has been ongoing for many years. At first it was a journal I wrote in each night before I went to bed, and then my friend Renee asked if I would be her gratitude buddy. I am sure many of you now this story, I have shared it a few times. Every night Renee and I email each other with our list of gratitude for the day. It is a special practice we share, and out of it, a wonderful, deep friendship has formed, a friendship that has seen me through the last six weeks.

Over the last six weeks, with the exception of one night, I was able to dig through the darkness and find the light. Some nights were harder than others, but I managed to find the simple things in my day to be grateful for, and I can honestly say it has been a big part of helping move through this transition.

I can't think of a time when I didn't look back on each day and offer gratitude, and I am so very grateful each day for this practice I share with Renee.

Now, a list to share with you. Today I offer gratitude:

~ for sunrises that fill me wonder and awe

~ for waking each morning to a brand new day full of possibility

~ for that little being right up there, he fills me with such joy, and I love him so very much

~ for the tremendous support, love and understanding received through comments and emails after my post on Friday...thank you!!!!

~ for my parents, their love and support through this has been amazing

~ for letting go and acceptance

~ for the little bits of light peeking through the darkness

~ for knowing I always have a choice

~ for spring-like days in November

~ for cups of tea, and chocolate

How about you, my friends, what are you most grateful for today?

Saturday, November 14, 2015


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Reece, my wild child, you are at home in nature, finding peace, connection, and so much more. I so enjoyed watching you play in the trees on Friday, friends around you, all of you laughing, climbing, and exploring. To say this week has been difficult for us would be an understatement, but in the woods, among the trees, wrapped in the arms of Mother Nature, we both found solace. We are navigating a new path little man, but I know that together we are going to be okay, more than okay, actually, because we have each other. I love you little man.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, November 13, 2015

New Moon Beginnings

It seems appropriate that as the new moon rises this week, a moon which represents an opportunity to start anew, to refresh dreams, and to set intentions, that I share with you the new chapter I am starting.

I will not share too many details, as this story is not only mine to tell, but also Justin's. What I will share with you is that Justin came to me at the beginning of October to tell me that he was leaving.

Yes, I was shocked, upset, angry, scared, name the emotion and over the last six weeks I have felt it. No, our marriage wasn't perfect, but nothing in this life is. It needed work, it needed care, it needed time, but those things only help when both parties are committed to working towards a common goal. Sadly, it didn't work out that way.

So, here I stand, a new moon rising, and a new beginning for Reece and I. I won't lie, there are moments when I am absolutely terrified, but throughout this there have also been moments of hope, hope for the possibility that stretches out before us. I know this new and different path we walk together won't be easy, gosh it has already been so tough, but I also know that life does go on, one moment, one step, one day at a time, and together the two of us will move forward, hand in hand.


In the photo above are the lanterns we made this week to celebrate Martinmas.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Tis the season, my friends, for making. Well, honestly, around here it is always the season for making, but this is the season of gift giving making, and goodness, I love it so much. There have been many things flying off the needles lately, fingerless mitts, hats, and a hitchhiker. More fingerless mitts are on the needles, and a beautiful ribbed scarf, and a few hats are waiting to be cast on. In the midst of all the knitting, a little hand sewing...another Maggie Rabbit for a special little lady in our life.

Giving handmade feels right to me, with each stitch knit, or sewn, a little piece of me is shared with the recipient, and a little of the love I feel for that person shown. My home is filled with handmade gifts, a lot of them from you, my friends, and every time I walk through my home I feel a connection to the people who have shared their talents with me. When I toss a handmade quilt over my lap, put my cup of tea down on a handmade quilted coaster, lean back on a quilted pillow, or use beautiful linen napkins at dinner, I am reminded of the work, care, and love that went into these creations, and I feel so much gratitude to be the recipient of such beautiful, generous gifts.

I do hope the recipients of my handmade gifts feel the same way.

What are you making these days?

Saturday, November 7, 2015


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Reece, what a wonderful day we had celebrating you. It began early in the morning with a few small gifts and your birthday ring, and was followed by a fun filled day with your homeschooling pal. She and her family treated you to a day at the aquarium in Toronto, complete with a train ride to get there. You had a wonderful time, and it was a joy to share your special day with people who mean a lot to us. 
I still can't believe you are seven, but gosh I am so looking forward to your next trip around the sun, and all the adventure that awaits us. I love you little man, more than you know.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dear Reece

Oh sweet boy, how is it that you are seven (!) years old today. It seems like only yesterday that I held you for the first time, looked into those beautiful brown eyes and felt my heart melt. There are no words to fully explain how you have changed my life. The last seven years have been the most amazing ride, and along the way I have become a better person, because of you.

I am so honoured to be your mama, to hold your hand, to guide you, to walk with you, to laugh and cry with you, to witness the unfolding of the unique and beautiful person you are. It is a pleasure to spend my days with you learning, growing and changing, together. There have been moments over the last few weeks when I have quietly sat back and observed you, and I have seen the young man you will soon become. A caring, sensitive, joyful, stubborn, curious young man who will continue to challenge me, make me question myself, and force me to step up and be the mother you need me to be.

As we celebrate you today, I promise not to look back with regret at how fast time has gone, instead I will offer gratitude to you for making this journey the most amazing one I have ever taken. You are an amazing little man, and I can't wait to see where your next trip around the sun is going to take you.

I love you.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Around the Garden

Without fail, every autumn season brings us a few days of summer like temperatures, and this week was the week. It has been downright balmy here, and I took advantage of this wonderful gift from Mother Nature to get the final chores done around the garden.

Raised beds were topped with leaves, the garlic was planted and covered with straw, the strawberries got tucked in under a layer of straw, and another raised bed was covered with row covers, ready for an early spring planting. I can't tell you how lovely it was to be outside in the sunshine, feeling the heat of the autumn sun as I worked around the yard. It was filling on so many levels, and nourished my soul deeply.

There are still a few things to tend to around the garden. The blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries all need a little pruning and care, and the asparagus needs some care, a top dressing, and a deep layer of mulch. Those things are on the to do list for the weekend. Once those are done the garden will be ready for its winter rest.

There are, of course, still a few things growing in the garden, tucked under the tunnels...Swiss chard, kale, beets and carrots. Every day I sneak out there to harvest a handful of fresh food from the backyard. Sometimes it is kale for a smoothie, or for kale chips, other times some chard to be sauteed for dinner, or maybe carrots and beets, harvested together, and roasted with garlic from the garden as a side dish for dinner. It's a good feeling to be able to harvest fresh food from the garden in November, and if all goes well, I will still be harvesting well into December, and maybe even January.

How are things around your garden?


If you live locally, I have added a few new workshops to the winter lineup at Life at Nature's Pace. Check them out here!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hello November

Reece and I greeted November with a walk at one of our favourite trails. We meandered through meadows slowly finding our way to the lake where we gathered rocks, had a snack, and just soaked in the peace and calm of being by the water.

It's a funny time of year, the magnificent colour of October has fallen from the trees, and now the bare branches reach towards the blue sky sharing with us a different kind of beauty. It's a stark beauty, a "take me as I am" kind of beauty, that feels right at this time of year as we move inwards, accepting the quiet and dark this season brings. As the earth begins to move towards a season of rest, I feel a pull to do the same, to wrap my hands around a hot cup of tea, to snuggle under quilts reading and knitting, to fill my home with twinkle lights and candles, accepting the darkness, and letting myself slow down, rest, and soak in the quiet.

It's a time of year I welcome, and this year more than any other, I need it. October was a hard month my friends, harder than I can put into words right now, and so I am looking forward to November, to sinking into the dark nights, my space aglow with calming light, and my soul wrapped in the warmth and solace of my home.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


"A photo of my little man, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Reece, you aren't ready to put your scooter away just yet. Every day we head out, sometimes twice a day, for a ride, and you do your tricks, ride around in circles and have the most wonderful time. It looks like the week ahead will grace us with some pretty awesome weather, and I know exactly what we will be doing.

Joining Jodi for the 52 Project