Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Ten Things


One
The garden is planted. Seeds are sprouting. I am tending and nurturing. Truth...I spent a lot of time considering the garden this year, not my usual considerations about companion planting, what to plant, and so on, but did I actually want to plant a garden. I know, shocking! Life is full, there is lots going on and I questioned whether or not I had enough inspiration and motivation to tend and nurture from seed to harvest. At first I made the difficult decision to let it go this summer, to just sit in the beauty of summer, hit the farmers market and allow myself a bit more time and space. I am guessing you all know me better than I know myself, and already have guessed that I indeed did change my mind, and the garden is in full growing mode. I was late getting it all in, but it is done, and my heart is happy and my soul alive. What was I thinking letting the garden go? Just a small moment of crazy that quickly disappeared.

Two
That internal discussion with the garden had a lot to do with the time it takes to care for this land I call home. While my homestead is not huge, it still requires a lot of work to maintain, and that at times can seem daunting and overwhelming on my own. But then a friend steps in, offers her hubby up for a morning of chore help around here and before you know it things seem much less overwhelming. On Saturday said hubby arrived ready to work and help me out. He trimmed trees, and bushes, fixed some things on the chicken coop, and brought a happy, loving vibe to my homestead. I felt honoured and blessed to have the help, and am forever grateful to both my girlfriend for sharing her hubby, and to him for taking the time from his weekend to lend a hand. Thank you Holly and Jeremy...your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated and will always hold a special place in my heart.


Three
While Jeremy worked around my homestead, I had the absolute honour of taking their three year old into the woods. Together their little man and I wondered the trails, followed deer tracks, searched milkweed for monarch eggs, examined scat and found animal bones, enjoyed a picnic trailside and climbed trees. I love seeing the world through the eyes of little ones, and spending time with this little person was such a joy.

Four
My little man cut his hair!!! He has been growing his hair for three years, at least, and was pretty adamant he was never cutting it. Then Monday he got up in the morning said he wanted to get his haircut and could we do today? Hmmmm...of course we can. So off we went, and he is now sporting a shaggy, short do...all his decision.


Five
Our homeschool year has wrapped up, and what a year it was. Lots of kiddos on the homestead learning, crafting and playing together. New friendships formed and other friendships deepened. It was a great year, not without it's challenges, but in those challenges we all learned and grew, adapting and changing along the way. It's all about the journey, for the kiddos and myself.

Six
I am ready for summer camp! There will be kiddos here on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for the month of July. Three different camps...herbal kids camp, nature camp and arts and craft camp. I am not sure who is going to have more fun, me or the kiddos.


Seven
There has been a lot of growth in my little business, and lots of interest about what I do on my homestead. Abundance might the word to describe all the goodness that has flowed my way. With growth also comes change, and a big change next year is a slight shift in our days here on the homestead. As more families became interested in my day to day program there was a pull inside to move from a Waldorf based inspiration to a more nature/forest school inspiration. And so beginning in September I will be making that shift, and while there will still be a Waldorf inspiration, there will be a lot more time in nature, and a deeper focus on nature connection. I am excited for this change, and can't wait to bring my ideas to fruition.

Eight
Self care....is that a priority on your to do list? Are you making yourself a priority, taking time to care for your needs? This is always a challenge, isn't it? Finding and making time for yourself comes with many emotions, the biggest one being guilt. I have learned so many things in the last few years, but the most important for myself and my little man is that I need to look after myself...and that means carving out time for the things that make my soul come alive, things that make me feel nurtured and loved, things that allow me to fill my own bucket so I can fill the bucket of others around me. Self care looks different for all of us, for me that includes time in nature, every day, it means an indulgent soak in the tub most nights with a book, it means small moments throughout the day for a deep breath and a cup of tea, it means gathering with friends to share bits and pieces about our lives, it means being creative, it means dancing and moving my body, and most of all it means tuning into my heart and listening carefully to what it needs and craves, and then making the time and space to give to myself. Are you giving to yourself, my friends?


Nine
I am nearing the end of my course with the Journey of Young Women, and my plans for my first girls circle are starting to come together. I will share more about this journey, the circles and my plans as they take shape. I am excited to work with young girls, to help, in a small way, as they move along the path from childhood to young womanhood.

Ten
Life in general has been good the last few months, my friends. Divorce has a way of throwing you into a bit of a tailspin, bringing with it uncertainty and a lot of questions about what lies ahead. In the last few months I feel like I have come out of the haze of that tailspin, finding my footing on this new path, and enjoying the ride. It still has many ups and downs, but after every thing I have been through I feel pretty confident that I can handle pretty much anything that comes my way. There have been many low points on this path, but also some pretty amazing high points. I have learned so much about myself, grown as a person and as a woman, and am excited about what lies ahead for my little man and I.

How are things in your world, my friends?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Random Thoughts











It's Friday morning of a long weekend. Little man woke at 5:30am asking me to read to him. By 6:30am he was asleep again. As I sit, waiting for him to wake, I am lost in the quiet and stillness of this morning. It was grey and looked like it might rain, but the sun is peeking out now, the birds have been active and happy at the backyard feeders, and I have moved slowly, maybe too slowly, through the morning.

Things on the homestead are moving slowly too. The gardens are a little behind, the trees seem to be taking forever to fully bloom, and it feels like the daffodils, tulips and other spring flowers are hanging out longer than ever. I am not complaining about the extra time with those beautiful flowers, just noticing that I get to enjoy them longer than usual. The slowness of it all suits me just fine, I like the slow motion version of nature, watching it unfurl before my eyes, bit by bit, leaf by leaf. It's a magical dance. The one thing that hasn't slowed down is a certain little man who insists on growing up a little more each day.

It goes without saying, that yes, children grow up, it's what they do. I can't stop it, I can't slow it down, it happens and I have absolutely not control over it. What I do have control over each day is what I choose to focus on. I have this quote sitting on the sill of my kitchen window:

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." ~ Annie Dillard

It's sits in a frame, and at least three times a day when I do dishes, I read it. It usually gets read more than that, but at least three times a day, without fail. And it is the perfect and constant reminder that what I choose to focus on, what I choose to do, how I choose to live each day is how I will spend my life.

So, no, I can't slow down how fast my little man is growing. I can't slow down the days, the moments, the minutes to soak them up more fully. What I can do is make a conscious decision to live my days slowly, to be present and mindful, to make choices that allow space to witness the everyday, ordinary moments that make up life, my life. Because, yes, that quote has so much truth behind it. How I spend each day, is how I spend my life.

How are you spending your days, friends?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Right Now


:: My home is quiet, little man is still sleeping, the birds are chirping and the sun is shining bright

:: I am enjoying a second cup of coffee and the quiet, alone time

:: I can't believe it has been almost a month since I have visited this space...how did that happen?

:: The glow of yesterday's beautiful summer like day is still lingering in my mind

:: My body is sore, a good sore, from working in the garden

:: There are fresh flowers on my table...purple tulips

:: In the garden daffodils, tulips and more are blooming

:: The rooster is waking every creature in the forest surrounding us

:: I am thinking about the day ahead, making plans, leaving space to just be

:: There is gratitude in my heart

:: I am happy

What's happening in your "right now", my friends? 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Simple Pleasures


Simple. Slow. Intentional. Mindful. Present.

Those are the words that I choose to live by. The words I choose to guide me as I navigate my way along this path called life. As with any path, there are detours, obstacles, barricades that get in the way, that cause us to stumble, but I am always brought back to these words and this weekend was a reminder of just how full and happy my heart is when my life is guided by these words.

This weekend was a quick visit with a friend who just had a baby. It was a walk along the waterfront, tea in hand, chatting with a friend. It was a Saturday night movie with my little man. It was waking to sunshine and a beautiful day, birds chirping, and the garden calling. It was time spent outside hanging laundry, tidying the yard, uncovering garden beds, and soaking up the sunshine. It was listening to two boys plan and start creating a treehouse. It was a cup of tea on the front porch with a friend. It was an after dinner walk with my little man. It was perfection.

This weekend was all the words I choose to guide me. It was simple, slow, intentional mindful and present. It was simple pleasures, of the best kind, filling me up and reminding me why I choose to surround myself with the people I do and why I choose to live the life I lead.

I needed this reminder, I needed to come back to these guiding words, I needed to stop, and enjoy the simplicity of the every day. And I did just that, and I am grateful I was open to receiving and accepting the message.

How was your weekend, friends?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring






The days are getting longer, the sun shines bright well past dinner, and the sunrises lately...stunning! I am a lover of all seasons, each one provides my heart and soul with joy. I have mentioned before that what I enjoy the most though, is the shift in the seasons; the in-between days when Mother Nature gifts us a little look at what is to come. It's in the shifts that I find the greatest joy, the farewell of what was, and the welcoming of what is to come. In the dark, cold days of winter the spring seems so far off, but then a day like yesterday glows bright and with it a reminder. In the shift Mother Nature reminds us that the dark and cold will eventually move to warmth and light. She sits in the dark, draws inward, reflects and when she is ready she steps back into the light, the abundance. And we, just like her, do the same. Our lives are a mixture of dark and light; without the dark we wouldn't truly appreciate the light; without winter, we can't truly appreciate the return of spring.

Soak it up, my friends. Dance in the sunshine, play in the puddles of melting snow, turn your face to the light and let it fill you up.

Happy Spring Equinox!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Postcards From the Beach











Sunrises, walks on the beach, afternoons by the pool, tourist fun, sunshine, blue skies, knitting, reading and more....we have definitely found our bliss by the ocean this week. This has been a slow holiday, nothing extraordinary, just simple, ordinary days. Each morning we wake with no plans and let the day before us unfold as it would like. It's been a lovely rhythm, and one that I have welcomed with an open heart.

There were no big plans for this holiday, and I didn't intend to actually take a week away from work. I packed my computer, and my notes for website updates, homeschooling plans and more, but the Universe had other plans for me. My laptop, a brand new one, died on Monday. Literally died. I took it in to have it looked at and the estimated work time was two to three weeks. I'll be home by then, so I collected it from the shop, and it sits in my bag, with my work. That, right there, was my sign, a big one if you ask me, to sit back and relax this week. To let whatever I thought I would get done go, and to just soak up the chance to relax. And that is exactly what I have done.

Refreshed describes how I am feeling right now, and full...both heart and soul are full. We still have a few more days at the beach, and I fully intend to sink into them and soak up the ocean breeze, the sunshine and the fresh air before packing up for our drive home.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend, my friends.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Postcards From the Beach







Blue skies and sunshine were waiting for us when we arrived, and we are soaking it up in the best ways possible with walks on the beach, shell hunting, and hanging out poolside. It's been a good first day at the beach and we are looking forward to much more of the same as the week continues.

Have a beautiful week, my friends. I hope wherever you are the sun shines her magical rays of light on you.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ten Things


One
The beginning of last week had us shoveling out from lots of snow. It was a lot of work, but also provided lots of beauty. I walked around the yard with my camera, snapping photos of last summer's flowers covered in snow. So pretty.

Two
Four days later we were enjoying sunshine, blue skies, and spring like temperatures. It happens this time of year, the huge shift in weather, and let me tell you it certainly puts a spring in your step, and fills you up.  The skies this weekend were beautiful shades of blue, the sun warmed my cheeks and my soul, and the snow...it's melting!


Three
We have entered into the stage of sleepovers in our home. My little man's best bud has been sleeping over quite a bit the last month. The first time was a "storm stay". She came for our homeschool day, and the weather made it impossible to get her home, so she spent the night. Since then two more sleepovers have happened, and I'm pretty sure the two of them have more planned. It's another one of those bittersweet milestones.

Four
On Friday evening I gathered with some close friends to host a blessingway for another friend. It was beautiful. We shared poetry and quotes, adding them to a journal the mama to be can look through as she awaits the arrival of her little one, we all made braided bracelets that we will wear until we hear word that her baby has arrived...a small way of connecting us all and a continual reminder to send her love and support, and we each brought stones and crystals and created a birthing bracelet for her. Then we ate, chatted, and the mama to be received a chiropractic adjustment and a foot massage (thank goodness for chiropractics and massage therapists in our beautiful tribe of women). It was a special evening, and I know the mama to be felt loved and supported.


Five
I have shared my morning yoga and meditation rituals on the blog before, and this ritual continues to be a grounding and centering way to begin my day. I am finding the longer I continue this ritual the deeper I connect to myself. Most mornings after my yoga and mediation I settle in to listen to a podcast, something to inspire me, and guide me on my continual journey of growth. Two mornings a week though I tune into my studies....yes I am a student again, taking an online course through Journey of Young Women. I am working towards a certificate to mentor young girls, helping to guide and support them as they transition from childhood to young womanhood. It is something I feel very strongly pulled to do, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me.

Six
I have jumped on the essential oil bandwagon, and I am in love. Young Living essential oils are amazing, and every day I am learning a little more about just how powerful these oils are. I have used some of their products, most notably thieves oil, over the years, and now with more oils in my life I am finding new ways to support the health and well being of my little man and myself with these magical oils.


Seven
The last few months has brought some new people into my life, people I am getting to know better, and am happy to call friends. Some have come through my work, some through friends of friends, and it feels so good to welcome new people into my life, people who bring a sense of joy and abundance to my life.

Eight
My little man and I are getting ready for the beach!!! Yes, we are beach bound again this winter, off to visit my parents. It's our annual trip south, and one we are both looking forward to. This will be our fifth year traveling south and it seems my body and soul now crave this trip...both are aching to be on the beach, to hear the ocean waves crash against the shore, to breath in the salty ocean air. You can be sure there will be a post or two from the beach once we get there.


Nine
Summer planning has begun around here. First up, summer camp. I am putting the final touches on my plans for summer camp and will be posting information over at Life at Nature's Pace in the next few weeks. There has already been a lot of interest, and registrations are coming in. So much interest in fact that I have hired someone to help me out. It was exciting to have so much interest so early, but to be hiring my first employee, well that is super exciting. I mentioned abundance in my last post...this is just a small amount of the abundance that has been coming my way. So grateful.

Ten
With the start of summer camp planning also comes garden planning. I am looking through seeds, putting together seeds orders, and making plans for the summer garden. I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt.

Wishing you a beautiful start to your week, my friends.

Monday, February 13, 2017

February Freshness





February has arrived with a fresh face, and with a fresh spring in my step. I will be completely honest with you, January was a difficult month. It was dark, dreary and grey. It didn't provide the typical winter weather, making our loved winter activities non existent. It seemed to drag on, one grey day after another. I also don't think I was ready for the fresh start of a new year. I wasn't ready to fully jump into 2017 with gusto. Instead I entered 2017 with caution, and a sense of uncertainty. I think that is pretty normal when you are in the midst of divorce and all that encompasses, but it was more than that....I just don't think I was fully ready to embrace a new year, yet.

Something about turning the calendar from January to February changed all that and with a great swiftness I am suddenly ready for 2017. I feel lighter, grounded, centered. It feels good. It feels right. It feels amazing!

Things are starting to become a little clearer on my path. I am figuring out how best to use my gifts to serve others, and as I figure that out suddenly more things and opportunities begin to open up. It's funny how that happens...the moment you open up, with a readiness to receive, there it is coming right at you.

I am grateful for the abundance I am feeling right now, grateful to be opening up my heart to receive, and grateful to those who are walking with me, and offering support. We were never meant to walk our paths alone, and those who choose to walk with us are the little bits of joy and sparkle along the way.

Have the most beautiful start to your week, my friends, may your path be filled with lots of joy and sparkle this week, and always.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Handmade Homemade Swap Party






Yesterday afternoon marked my fifth handmade homemade swap party, and goodness they just keep on getting better. Each swap party brings out the creative talents of my girlfriends, some sticking with tried and true creative talents and others stepping out of their comfort zones and trying something new. There was so much beauty, talent and love represented on the gift table, and it truly was beautiful.

Ten beautiful friends gathered in my home, each arriving with their swap gifts, food and an open heart. We ate, drank tea, shared stories, and then got down to the business of swapping gifts, and what fun it was. For this party every guest brought four gifts, and our names were put into a draw four times. When your name was drawn you headed up to the table to pick a gift. We continued this way until all the names were picked and all the gifts chosen. It was fun, exciting, and truly amazing.

I had plans to snap a few photos of the gift table and our gathering, but alas I was just having so much fun, and forgot to pick up my camera. The photos above are the beautiful, lovingly made gifts I have the honour of calling mine. I am so impressed with the gifts I received, and am so grateful to have them in my home.

Hosting these handmade homemade swap parties has become a beautiful ritual in the rhythm of my year, and they always leave my heart and soul full. Big thanks to all the lovely ladies who joined in, it was a joy to share the afternoon with you. And be ready, we will be enjoying our next swap party under the summer sun.

***Much gratitude goes to the lovely Amanda for sharing her own swap parties, and inspiring me to jump in and give it a go.