Sunday, January 31, 2016


A photo of my little man, once a month, on the last day of each month, in 2016

Reece, how is it that we are the end of January already? Time has flown little man, but not a moment was missed. We have played hard, and studied hard. We have walked in the woods, played in the snow, and begun your introduction into the four processes in arithmetic. We have cooked and baked together, snuggled up for reading, and to watch a movie on movie night, and we have talked about the things we want to do this year.  We are enjoying the extra light that comes this time of year, and soaking up the sunshine any time it decides to shine. It's been a good month for the two of us, mother and son, moving forward on a new path, one that has bumps along the way, but is also filled with so many wonderful moments. I love you, little man, with all my heart, and more. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Sunday Morning Request

It all started with a simple question on Sunday morning...what do you want to do today? His response, let's go to the creek. And so we did!

We walked along the creek, talking and laughing, playing a game that caused us to giggle uncontrollably. At times we stopped to look at ice formations, or to toss a few rocks to see if we could break the ice. We paused to watch two squirrels playing, chattering up a storm as they chased each other from tree to tree. We heard the soft rhythm of the water running under the ice, and we watched as a woodpecker did his rat-a-tat-tat thing on a dead tree. Everywhere we looked we found beauty, simple, untouched beauty, shared with us on a quiet and slow Sunday morning.

It was a good way to spend a Sunday morning, and I wouldn't be surprised if we do it again soon.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Gratitude Gathering

Saturday I had the honour of gathering with the most amazing group of ladies I know. There are no words to really express how much these ladies mean to me. When the world as I knew it crumbled in the fall these are the ladies that were there. They cried with me, hugged me, and held me. They brought me food and care packages. They sent texts checking in, and they ordered knitted hats, rope baskets, and herbal products to help support Reece and I. They were supportive and understanding, provided a listening ear and love, and above all else gave me solace at a time when I felt deeply hurt and alone. In short, they were there when it truly counted. They stood by me, without question, and showed just how much they care about Reece and I. They stepped up and helped me rebuild my foundation, one rock at a time, allowing me to stand tall again, letting my light shine through the darkness.

To honour them I planned a special day of nature connection, crafting, and food. We meet at the conservation area, and hiked through the woods chatting, laughing and enjoying each others company. Back at my place we made tea and sat around the table making kite paper stars, chosen as the craft for the day to represent all the light they shared with me during those dark days, and the light that is now shining in my days again. Lunch was enjoyed and more tea, and then the need for more comfort. My tribe was there when a little bit of darkness clouded the afternoon, and I honestly thank the Universe for the way it all worked out. Again we cried, they held me and they offered love, support and advice. By the time they left, many hours later, I felt much better, and yet again grateful for the ladies I am honoured to call friends.

Thank you my friends, my tribe, for everything. I don't feel it really is enough, those words, but I think you know just how much gratitude comes with them. I love you guys, and my life is full because you are part of it.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Right Now...

:: I am sitting at the dining room table typing this post (it is Wednesday evening 7:45pm)

:: I am enjoying a hot cup of tea made from tea given as a gift from my very dear friend in England

:: I am listening to the pages of a book being turned as a certain little man "reads" before lights out

:: I am struggling with bits of my new reality...there are some things on this new path that aren't so easy

:: I am finding strength in the love and support of friends

:: I am loving the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown...a perfect read for me right now

:: I am smelling beeswax as the candle beside me slowly burns down

:: I am pondering new projects that I know will bring me joy

:: I am learning more about who I am, and who I want to be as I move forward

:: I am soul searching for answers to some deep questions I have

:: I am journaling daily, sometimes twice a day, as I seek to discover more of me

:: I am planning to soak in the tub once lights are out for my little man

:: I am finding peace and joy in the little things, the ordinary of each day

:: I am happy, and excited about what lies ahead, and maybe a little fearful too

Sending a little love your way, my friends, and wishing you a beautiful day.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sharing My Love of Plants

Saturday was a big day here on my little homestead, it was the first adult workshop for Life at Nature's Pace. A few lovely ladies gathered in my kitchen, and while we drank tea, I had the honour of sharing my love of plants, and plant medicine with them. Together we talked about herbs, some of their benefits, and how to use them to keep our families healthy, and then we got to work creating a few herbal potions.

We put elderberries on to simmer for an elderberry syrup, we combined a few skin loving herbal infused oils to make an herbal salve, and we mixed a variety of herbs together to create a mineral and vitamin rich tea that the entire family can enjoy. Working together, chatting and sharing as we did, always makes the workshops I lead feel less like work, and more like time with friends.

I realized something on Saturday, it has been a long time since I have taught a workshop, at least three, maybe four years, and I miss it. I love sharing things I am passionate about with others, I love knowing that I have inspired someone to try something new, and I love that I always finish leading a workshop feeling inspired myself.

Next up at Life at Nature's Pace is a Morning on the Homestead for kids, and then another adult workshop, this time soap making. I am excited about both, and can't wait to share more with those who are attending.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


"I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become."
~ Carl Jung ~

It really is that simple. And yes, life can be that simple, or it can be complicated, that's a choice you make. We make a choice every single morning when we wake up, open our eyes and plant our feet on the earth. We can choose to be present and mindful, we can choose to notice the small, mundane moments that make up our day, we can choose to be happy and content with what we have, and we can choose to be grateful for the abundance our life gifts us. Every single day you have a choice about how you will greet your life. Will you be all in, or will you sit back and let life happen around you? Things happen to us every day, good things and not so good things, but we are not those things. Let me repeat that, we are not the things that happen to us. We are the choices we make. We get to choose...yes, you get to choose. If I have learned anything over the last few months it is this, there is always a choice, always, and you, my friends, get to make it. What will you choose today?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Winter in the Forest

As I hit the trail the snow crunches underneath my feet, a squirrel chatters in a nearby tree, and a chickadee sings her song from high atop a pine tree. Calm and peace is in the air, and instantly it washes over me, and my worries of the day are forgotten as I put one foot in front of the other and let the trail guide me.

I love the forest, really, I LOVE the forest. Every season offers something special as I meander along trails, letting nature sooth my soul. I find the winter forest peaceful and calm, open and free, simple and beautiful. The forest feels bigger in the winter, maybe a little empty without all the leaves, but still so very welcoming to me.

Last week we eased back into our homeschool rhythm with some fun activities, swimming, skating and hiking, with afternoons spent doing a little review and playing. It was a lovely way to transition from the holiday season back to our school rhythm. Our day in the forest turned out to be a beautiful, mild winter day which allowed us to really sink into our time in the forest. We hiked, we stopped to identify tracks, we looked at tree bark, and every once in a while I snapped a photo. When little ones needed a snack, we stopped atop a hill, and while I dug out the snacks, the kiddos played on the hill. Laughter filled the forest as little bodies rolled and slide down the hill, enjoying the snow, the sunshine, and the freedom. Snacks were forgotten as the play continued. I sat quietly in the snow, with my thermos of tea, looking out, soaking up the winter sun, mind still, breathing deep. A peaceful meditation in my favourite spot, with giggles in the background, reminding me just how blessed I am to live out my days with the most wonderful little man, and to share our homeschool journey with his little friend.

Winter in the forest, it's a special time, it fills me up, and makes me happy, and you can be sure you will find me enjoying it a lot over the next few months. How about you, do you enjoy winter in the forest?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Finding Our Homeschool Groove

I haven't written much about our homeschooling journey this year, and with a few of you asking about it, I thought I would share what I could. Truth be told, I have not felt the pull to write about our homeschooling journey. I am not sure why, it is just something I haven't felt the desire to write about. That is not to say things aren't going well, in fact, things are going better than I ever dreamed. Way back in September we easily settled into our new rhythm for grade 1, and Reece and his little friend greeted each main lesson with enthusiasm and excitement. It is such a joy to teach little ones who have a love and desire to learn. Yes, there are days when one, or both of them drag their feet a bit, heck there are days when I have to pump myself up before we start, but most of our days are met with a bright smile, and two kiddos ready for the challenge of main lesson.

We "school" three days a week, and every day begins with a nature walk followed by a snack, and then usually an hour and half to two hour main lesson. The kiddos then have some free play while I make lunch. After lunch we head outside for some fresh air and to check on the chickens, and then we head back inside for read aloud. After that each afternoon has a specific goal. On Monday's we do handwork, with this year focusing on knitting, Tuesday's the kids make soup and bake bread for our dinner that night, and Thursday's we do some watercolour. The days always end with free play before Reece's little friend heads home. I don't schedule any of this by time, but by how we all feel. Some days we stay outside longer after lunch than other days, and have a shorter read aloud time, other days we might be so into our reading that our knitting time is a little shorter, and sometimes they knit while I read. So while we accomplish most things that I hope we will, it is all done at our own pace. It is a rhythm, not a schedule, and it is what I love most about our days. The simple, flowing rhythm that allows us time and space to sink into moments but also allows us to get done what we need to get done. It really is a beautiful thing.

When we are in the midst of main lesson each morning, I am often in awe at the focus and concentration I see. As we began our journey into grade 1 in September, I thought I might blog about what we were doing, sharing a little of Reece's main lesson work, and maybe even little updates on the things we were doing. But when we actually sat down to main lesson and I witnessed the focus and concentration the last thing I wanted to do was interrupt that by taking photos. And not only that, but grabbing the camera would have taken me out of the moment as well, and honestly, there is no other place I want to be during that time then fully present in what they are doing. It feels like a gift, to witness this journey they are on, and three mornings a week I get the privilege of opening that gift.

And so, maybe that is why not much has been shared here about our homeschooling journey this year. And I can honestly say, I don't think much will be shared in the months to come, it just feels right for me to sink into these days with them, and leave the journaling of it behind.


Photos taken during our nature walk on Monday this week, that we actually moved to the afternoon that day, simply because we can.

Monday, January 4, 2016


Hello there, how are you? I hope you enjoyed the holiday season, and are now sinking into 2016. Reece and I enjoyed the most wonderful holiday season. There was a balance of quiet, peaceful, reflective days, and busy, fun filled days with family and friends. It was perfect in many ways, and just what the two of us needed.

These last few weeks were healing for me, Winter Solstice in particular. It is such a simple day, the shortest day of the year, but it is also the time in which we welcome back the light, and open our hearts to that light. This year Winter Solstice allowed me to say good bye to the past and the future I thought I was heading towards, and to say hello to a new path, and journey, that I am moving towards with much confidence and strength. The light from that day was carried forward throughout the holidays and created the perfect beginning for my new path.

During the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on 2015, it is just something we do this time of year. In many ways it was a good year. I accomplished many of the things I wanted to, meet and exceeded some of my goals, connected with many friends in a deeper, more meaningful way and enjoyed this journey I am on. My life is full, and I feel blessed and grateful to be living this life.

2015, of course, was darkened towards the end of the year when Justin announced he was leaving Reece and I. The messiness of life definitely stole a little light from my days during this time, but that messiness was also beautiful in some ways. It has allowed me to reflect more on what I want for myself and for Reece. It has allowed me to discover a strength I didn't know I had. It has opened my eyes to a different future, a future that I am happy to say, I am confidently stepping into. Although it is a process, and will take time, the healing has begun, and there is more light than dark in my days.

There is no regret for anything that happened over the last twelve months, all of it is part of my journey, the same journey that has brought me here, and shaped the person I am today, and will continue to shape who I become. As I move into 2016 there are no goals, no resolutions, no intentions, no guiding word for the year. Instead this year is about just living life, one day at a time, noticing and fully sinking into the every day moments, and continuing on my path of simple, mindful living.

2016 is going to be a good year, not only can I feel it, but I am going to make it happen. Are you ready? I am!


The photos above are a small collection of the moments I captured over the holidays. I didn't take many photos, instead choosing to be fully present, and in the moment over the last few weeks.