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Saturday, January 4, 2020

everyday magic

A New Year is upon us, and it presents us with an opportunity to look back on the past 365 days that we just had. Perhaps the last year brought you hardships and difficult waters to navigate, perhaps it brought adventure and joy. Perhaps it was a mix of everything, highs and lows, ups and downs, good days and bad.
For me, when I take a moment to look back on the last year, I am reminded that while we didn't do a great many BIG things, it was the little everyday things that made our year oh so full and magical.
While we didn't get to go on any big trips as a family,  we adventured instead in our own beautiful neck of the woods- camping, hiking, swimming and eating local.
While we didn't win the jackpot or make a big promotion at work,  we found happiness, fulfilment and gratitude for what have. And boy do we have a lot.
While my husband and I didn't get to go away together, as we have been dreaming about for years, we found ways to make the most of our time together. Little pockets of time in the day, when the kids are at school, or the occasional date night - time we carve out for each other. After all the years, we still love each other and want to be with one another. What's better than that?
And so, here I am to say that life doesn't have to be full of expensive trips or fancy things to make you happy. There is magic in the everyday, and in celebration of that, I am going to list the most magical things that happened to me in the last year.

~ we kayaked on the open ocean. Felt the sea salt water splash in our faces. Bobbed along the water with the seals just feet away from us.
~ I finally hiked the Cape Split trail. Something that had been on my bucket list for years. The view at the end was spectacular.
~ I found sea stars and beach glass with Katia in the city harbour. Treasures, just waiting to be discovered.
~ I poured out my heart to a room full of photography enthusiasts. It was terrifying and liberating all at once.
~ We went camping for four nights in Cape Breton as a family. We saw beautiful coastal scapes, ate campfire spaghetti, had many smores, slept terribly but cuddled together in a tent.
~ I decided to let me hair go grey. No more hiding who I am. No more apologizing for who I am.
~ We rented a cottage in PEI and found it to be the most magical spot. Seals banked on the sandbars, starfish and hermit crabs in the warm waters. Owls swooping overhead at dusk. Coffee on the beach each morning. Heaven.
~ I celebrated 1 year of being sober. I chose to look at my feelings and problems head on. I chose to heal myself, and take care of myself.
~ We planted a little garden box in our backyard and in exchange had many green and yellow beans to munch on. The lettuce didn't do so great, neither did the peppers- but you can always count on the beans- and they taste so great fresh from the vine.
~ Spontaneously, we hired a babysitter, and my husband and I jumped on his motorcycle, like we used to do 14 years ago and went out for Thai food.
~ I held a workshop for creative women to come together and make art, discuss home life, make floral arrangements and talk about photography.
~ We had campfires on the beach with our Ottawa friends. As we watched the sun set, we made sure to give it a big applause. I still remember the sparks flying in the wind and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.

Happy New Year dear friends. This year, I'm choosing to nurture and cultivate a grateful heart. What magical everyday moments happened to this past year? 

Sunday, December 29, 2019


The holidays are nearing the end, and after a rich month, full of parties and celebrations, I am ready to clear out the clutter, simplify after all the excess, and find focus once again. 
I love the holidays, especially Christmas, but I'd be lying if I didn't mention how exhausting the month of December can be to a mama of three- oh and add in a birthday and a trip to Ottawa for good measure! 
December is lovely, but I often feel like I am running a marathon, all on my own, to make it magical and special for everyone. It's exhausting. A good and fulfilling kind of exhausting, but exhausting none the less. 
So here we are, just on the other side of Christmas. As I write this, I am in bed, in a Best Western hotel in Edmunston NB. We are on our way back to NS, after a trip home to Ottawa. We saw our loved ones, ate so many treats, the kids were spoiled with gifts, and we had the opportunity to visit with friends. It was busy and whirlwind, and now we feel ready to return to life and routine. 
This time of year always has me feel renewed and ready to prioritize. I feel a sense of focus and a desire to turn my energy towards intentions. I seek clarity, focus and to lessen the distractions. 
Each year at this time of year, I start to look inwards for a motivational word that will help guide me forward into the New Year. In previous years, I chose words such as: Peace, Adventure, and Quiet. Last year I chose the word Focus and upon looking back at 2019, I can see that the word Focus and 2019 really went hand in hand. Last year was a great year for me in terms of growth in my photography. I led a workshop called, Heart+Hand Creative Workshop and also was a guest speaker at the Sackville Photography Club. I love how the word that I chose really helped to guide me towards some goals that I am very proud of. 
And so here we are, on the cusp of a new year and decade, and I am feeling the pull more and more to live a true and authentic life. As I get older, I feel the need less to participate in all the bull shit that society tells me that I need to do. I've learned a lot over the last few years.  Saying no is good for me,  I don't have to colour my hair, that I don't owe apologies and explanations to people for the decisions I make for myself, that the shape of my body is beautiful and doesn't need to be hidden. I have learned to be proud of my talents. That I am unique and can bring a lot to the table. That my happiness, creativity, sense of self all depend on how I take care of myself. This year I will be focusing on nurturing my self. This year's word will be Nurture.
I'm ready to put the focus on nurturing all aspects of myself. My creative self, my mental and physical health. Some of the ways I plan on nurturing myself are to, carve out chunks of time - just for creating. Practicing drawing once again. Make time for walks in nature. Prepare healthy and healing food , and to find time for quiet and reflection. 

If you like participating in this practice, feel free to share your words with me and the meaning behind them. I love hearing about what others choose. 
Happy New Year dear friends! 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

a little bit of everything

It's just over two weeks till Christmas, and here I am, taking a moment to catch up on where our lives have been taking us.
Fall was beautiful and busy for us. I ticked some big goals off my bucket list, and also discovered some new found time for myself. Winslow and I went on a date to see Jenn Grant (my favourite musician). I hiked Cape Split with my friend Tania- a hike I've been wanting to do for the last 4 years. We hosted a few families for Thanksgiving dinner.
November saw us celebrating Katia's 8th birthday. Of course I always have felt that she is older than her age. For her birthday, we welcomed a sweet bunny into our family. His name is Baxter Bunny.
And here we are in December. We've been busy with choir Christmas concerts, traditions such as cutting down our tree, and our kindness elves. Sometimes it doesn't feel like I have enough time to get it all done- the baking, the crafting, the cards and the gifts, but I'm trying to let go of all those unrealistic expectations (that I put on myself), and just enjoy some of the simple things, such as reading our favourite books and watching our favourite movies.
And so I will leave with s smorgasbord of photos. This time of year is so magical, I just want to capture it all.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

dear fall

Dear Fall, you know I love you. I love your colours, your smells, your cooler temperatures, your permission to slow down. I love your pumpkins of all different colours and sizes. The pale green and pink Cinderella ones are especially pretty.
Fall, I love how you usher in the slow season, with the invitation to eat warm soups and drink spicy tea. I love that it's ok, to cozy up with blankets and a favourite movie . And that orange twinkle lights on the mantle are perfectly acceptable. 
Fall, I love that you bring us back to the heart of the home. All summer, we play and explore our beautiful province, but in the Fall- we cozy up and find comfort inside this place that we love.
Dear Fall, you are my favourite season of all.