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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

140 twinkling lights

Christmas Candles
It’s morning, but the living room is dark. The winter solstice is upon us, but your lightsaber glows and the tiny white lights that surround the fireplace give the room a cozy, safe feel.

140 children will never feel safe again.

You dodge and feint leaping to the left and to the right. You invent a new lightsaber move called the snake and another called the rabbit and still another called the swirl.

140 children will never invent games again.

I hate to break the spell, but school beckons. Clothes need to be put on, food eaten, hair brushed. You look up at me. “What’s wrong mama?” … “Oh nothing …”

140 children will never get ready for school again.

You laugh your big-hearted laugh – so filled with light and life. “Can you pick me up today, and can we go to ‘Science Squirrel’ after school?”

140 children will never giggle and laugh or be picked up from school again.

“Yes, of course.”

140 sparkling, twinkling lights have gone out in Pakistan.

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Lake life

We paused for a week this summer to dive into the magic of lake life. Family came from all over to celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday with wine, limericks and lamb. When we weren’t eating or breaking for mojito time, we were all in an out of the lake for quick dips, lingering floats and epic swims across the lake.  But no one took to the lake more that than the two newly minted four-year-olds who spent hours splashing in the shallow waters,  leaping off the dock in life jackets or wrapped up in double towels. We spent most of our time on the dock hypnotized by the glittering waters, a perfect break from the madness of modern life.

The lake

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Gratitude time again. In no particular order, I’m feeling thankful for:

  • The spectacular fall weather:  Thursday was unexpectedly glorious so we headed to the beach for a little log jumping, seagull chasing and, of course, french fries.

  • Our adoptive parents meetup: I always meet someone with an amazing story at our monthly gathering. Last week, I met a mother who just adopted a sibling group of three young children via foster care.  I also found out that a couple, who’ve been updating us monthly on their adoption wait, will be flying to Africa to meet their new daughter in a matter of weeks!
  • Theo’s love for babies. When our friend’s child was crying, Theo held her, patted her, fed her from a bottle, and broke down when the baby was removed from his care. Apparently, he wasn’t quite up for a diaper change.
  • A sushi lunch with the tinies:  I’m still amazed that a group of 5, 2/3 year-olds made it through an entire seated sushi lunch without scaring anyone, running around or melting down. And yes, even eating the contents of their bento boxes!

  • Great adoption reads: I couldn’t put Mamalita down. This moving memoir chronicles a woman’s journey through the ethical adoption minefield of Guatemala and her commitment to finding her daughter’s birthmother.

What are you grateful for this week?

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June redux

Here’s a recap of realizations and highlights for June, not so affectionately known in Vancouver as Junuary.

Public speaking is nerve-wracking but satisfying.

Despite living in a rainforest, June’s perennial wetness always comes as a surprise.

Barefoot in the rain.

In adoption, we need to nurture our children’s nature not use them to realize our latent hopes and dreams.

Sharing bacon captures the essence of Father’s Day.

Baconaters.

Toddlers can be challenging (file under shocking realization).

Nothing cures a rain hangover like a late afternoon blast of sunshine and ice cream.

Um… that’s MY ice cream cone.

Picmonkey is a photo tool worth getting obsessed about.

Bowen Island is a short and delightful ferry ride from Vancouver.

Ferry love!

How was your June? Any mind-boggling epiphanies?

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You are not alone

When Christine of Vancouver Mom asked me to share the podium with superstars Amber Strocel and Tracy Rossignol at the 2012 Top 30 Mom Blogger event, my first thought  was: “Are you crazy?” Seriously, there’s nothing quite like the prospect of speaking in front of 150 people to trigger a state High Anxiety.

So of course, I said Yes!

Action shot

I worried about my 3-minute speech incessantly for several weeks before the event coming up with clever ways to bail on my commitment: “I have a tickle in my throat; my neck hurts; malaise.” At a certain point, it seemed rude to cancel so I organized my thoughts, edited them, re-edited them, and practiced.  Theo was singularly unimpressed with my delivery turning away to play with his trucks every time I cleared my throat and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper.

Thankfully, the whole thing went off swimmingly much to my surprise. No vocal cracks or shaking, just a light sweat and a feeling of total euphoria when it was over.

What I know now about mom blogging is this:*

You are never alone.

When you think your idea is too silly or ridiculous, blog about it. Someone can relate.

When you think you’re the only one who feels lonely or overwhelmed, blog about it.

If you think, an idea is too common, everyone talks about it, (my child won’t sleep!) blog it. The subject hasn’t been exhausted yet. At 2 am, someone is reading.

If you think, this is too painful, too scary or too dark, blog it.

It matters to someone.

If you believe your child defines the very term adorable, post a photo montage, slide show or video! You have fans.

When you think. My blog is so incredibly lame, I have no idea where to go with it, blog it.

On this, you are certainly not alone.

Not sure how to express yourself? Write a list. There is no blogging challenge that can’t be solved by a series of bullets, numbers or ABCs.

Want to connect? Comment on other blogs, chat on Twitter, join a carnival, link up. There’s always someone listening.

When you think, my writing sucks, know this: Blogging can be about great writing, but at its heart, it’s not about grammar, punctuation and good spelling, it’s about sharing the messiness, the hilarity, the emotions of motherhood for others to relate and respond to.

Blogging isn’t about me or you, it’s about us.

Sure my blog is about my journey. Yes it reflects my voice, and yes it’s my point of view. But really, a blog post is just the start of the conversation that continues in the comments or on other blogs on Facebook, or on Twitter. That’s where the magic happens.

Blogging isn’t about ads or clickthroughs or products. It’s about being part of something bigger than yourself.

Blogging can help you find your tribe whether its adoptive moms, attachment moms, birthmoms, granola moms, urban single moms, depressed moms, lesbian moms, feminist moms, enviro-moms, smartypants moms, working moms, stay-at-home moms, free-range moms, foodie moms, moms of twins or even triplets and of course stylish moms. There are tribes for all moms.

Blogging can take you to dark places but it can be funny and light too. Lets face it, motherhood is where hilarity and despair duke it out on a daily basis.

Your blog will morph and change over time, and you will wonder why you’re doing it, where this is all going and what the point of it is.  And you’ll figure it out. You’ll blog about it.

Blogging is a great way to meet people IRL. I mean really how many of us started blogging thinking we’d be clinking glasses and getting our nails done with over 100 like-minded women.

We are not alone.

Thank you.

* I can’t be 100% sure this is exactly what I said!

Thanks to the Vancouver Museum for being such a spectacular venue and Vancouver Mom for putting on such a great event.

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