Friday, December 31, 2010

what i really wanted to say

I have been struggling with voice the past little while. Every time I go to put words down in cyber-space, I choke up; I type furiously and then erase. It seems when blogger is open, I alter my words for some audience outside of myself. I get frustrated. It feels contrived. I feel like I may never write truthfully, for the heart, ever again. And then I make my way to this blog, and suddenly all things are more meaningful again. I am reminded of the life that I want to lead. I am inspired by the future, of how things might be in our very own home, and eventually with little ones running around. Such soulful words and images, always, that fill me with compassion. That is where I want to be. And so I open a word document and I begin, no pressure.

Yesterday we drove home from Ikea and the late afternoon sky was bright pink, the kind that makes you want to stare in amazement. You noticed it, not I. I was clutching the steering wheel, letting the stress of winter driving and traffic creep up my rigid spine. The bitter part of me was frustrated that you would want me to turn my attention away from our safety to observe something for a fleeting second. How ridiculous of me. I see so clearly now that I was looking for an argument, frustrated about being sick, about the blah-ness going on with my family, about crowds of pushy people and the kicker as always, not having our own space yet. Why would I choose to take it out on you – you, the only person who fully listens to me and is compassionate and giving and true and loves me when I’m coughing and congested and feeling disgusting. Why couldn’t I just give in to that sky and acknowledge its beauty rather than mumble some half-assed “hmm” probably too low and monotone for you to have even noticed. Upon reflection, I can see quite clearly those moments where the rift widens if we’ll let it. Imagine 25 years of this game? Please, let’s not.

A few minutes later, I told you how lucky I was to have gotten a contract in Kindergarten for two years in a row. You asked me with a sly smile if I really thought it was luck. I shrugged and said I think so, plugged into the thoughts of others and letting them influence me, as usual. The truth is, how I really feel is right here, in these words from my favorite blog. This is what I know you meant and how I truly feel but was unable to put into words…

(from my topography)
What do you want to manifest?
I believe in this. I believe in it deeply. I have found again and again and again that the things I ask for manifest when I ask clearly, when I put my greatest, deepest wishes into the palms of the universe to hold.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and endless plans.
That the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred.
A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now. ~Goethe

So. What do you wish to begin this year? What is the wildest, truest thing that you want to have happen?

Well my dreams for us this year are as follows:
To continue creating, day in and day out. Scrapbooking, writing, DIY projects, jewelry. We need to get back into jewelry, just as soon as the space permits. I am most inspired and alive when doing these things.

I want to capture our journeys through photographs, scrapbooking, journaling, blogging.

Job-wise, I will continue this contract until the end of the school year, and then come late August, I will be on the call-back list, of this I am sure. Of course we don’t know what grade or what exact percentage I will be offered (I am confident 80-100) but my greatest wish is to stay right where I am (grade-wise, or at least cycle 1). I know I am mean to be here. I am hoping the connections I have made this year will be a huge help in that department.

For you, I wish you continued success in your practice. I believe in you from the bottom of my heart and know you are amazing at what you do. Sometimes I don’t always express this, or I let the doubts of others creep. I know that this is the most counter-productive thing possible. Your clientele is growing, always, and that is no small feat. I am proud of you for making a choice to get out of a job you hated and start something incredibly meaningful from bare bones. I know that you love it, too, and that is more valuable than anything. Your journey continues in the right directions. Think of all the people whose lives you have shaped for the better.

We will have our house this year, there is no doubt in my mind. And we will make it work for us, whatever way possible. I am tired of stressing over dollars and cents. It’s so ridiculous to me really. Yes, finances are important, but we will not let them rule our lives. It breaks my heart to think of how much we all let money influence us when in the end it will not matter.

And I come back to this poem again and again, that I wrote over two years ago. Time to change my perspective.

Air traffic control, hello?
ADD brain
Soaking the sun rays
Failing to live here, now.
Stressing over nothing
projections in my head.
Projects and ideas, ideas, ideas
That never materialize
Failure to prioritize
Lacking the clarity, depth, reflection
That would make me feel. more.
Second guessing.
Time slipping away…

Why is it not okay
to just slow down with the day?
Appreciate small wonders
Let go those impulse dreams
Of things, things, more things
For happiness and

no wonder your frustration,
so clear in these glimpses
You are all that is true and yet
Sometimes I feel such fury.
My catalogue self screams:
like the tropics can just
Absolve it all

You are so right in
How I’m so wrong.

And yet I still long for the salty calm of the ocean
“because people believe that they’re gonna get away for the summer”

But the time is whenever you are right then,
When you have all the world piled on your shoulders
And corrections up to your ears.
That is when you’re most alive,
When you will stop dead in your tracks one moment
And think how whole you’ve become, or rather
Have been all along and only just discovered.

Live for those rainy days
And quiet sighs
And priceless boring afternoons together.
And the lines on an insect’s back
And the purr of a kitten
And the wonder of your own creations
And all the things that make your soul
That have no price tag.
That can go with you, beyond.
Because all the rest just fades,

And maybe all the stress you hold
In the small of your back
Is all the pent up anxiety of your own mortality
“Terror management theory”
And how you ought to smarten up.


May 2011 be the year of "smartening up" in the right ways.

scrapbooking reflections on a year gone by...

It's the last day of the year. How is that even possible?! Time really flies. The fun thing about blogging and scrapbooking is that I can take a trip back in time whenever I want. It helps me build my time-line when reflection gets a bit blurry (which is often).

I scrapbooked last night and felt elated. The so-called mojo has returned, apparently, to the point where I feel like scrapbooking all day long today, which is unlikely to actually happen, but hey, a girl can fantasize. Maybe this sudden need to scrap is due to the fact that I realized that I have so many pictures for 2010, so many stories, and barely anything to show for it. Okay, maybe that's not quite true. Let me do a tally...

1 Mini-album completed (Trip out West)
2 Mini-albums started (Sweden - okay, barely; Bahamas - about half-way there)
21 Digital pages (many of which never saw this blog because I didn't like them)
14 Paper pages (none of which I have properly photographed or shared on the blog, ooops)

Not terrible. Mediocre, overall. I just wish that I didn't dislike so many of them. There are so many times when I felt like I was pushing things around on the page and then settling. The wow factor was lacking. And that's always why I become uninspired and unmotivated and end up leaving a huge mess on my scrap table only to be tackled weeks later. My seeming inability to take any decent pictures of layouts also needs improvement! Seems like a few resolutions are percolating here.


Well I just took a quick break to take some photos of layouts. It's a cloudy day, the light is not right, but I will make due. I can never take nice pictures of layouts - don't know what I'm doing wrong but will have to investigate. Lessons on how to use my camera to it's full potential would also come in handy here. That aside, and keeping in mind that the story is more important, here is the layout I made to summarize our year.

We are going to Pat's dad's place to welcome the new year. We are breaking our tradition for the first time in many years. We usually spend the evening with friends, but seeing as I am super sick (again - pitiful, no?) I wouldn't want to pass on the cold to Everett. I hope I won't fall asleep before midnight!

I may be back with some more year-in-review type posts if time permits. I wanted to make a list of movies, music, blogs and books that I have enjoyed this year.

Happy New Year everyone :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gym Dreams

I have been dreaming up schemes for our future home gym. There seems to be very little visual inspiration for cool/stylish workout rooms out there, which is unfortunate. I guess we'll just have to come up with our own. Yesterday I was pestering Patrick about ideas for quotes for our gym wall, and he came up with a line from Dodgeball. Brilliant! Not sure how I forgot about that one. Anyways, here is a rough sketch of some print art that I came up with today using Photoshop. Oh how I amuse myself. I also figure we'll have to incorporate his autographed Canadiens jersey. I am drawing my inspiration from what I've seen at Mansfield. Something a bit like this (now just to find one that's a tad more affordable)...

I was also thinking it would be really cool to have some sort of chalkboard calendar/list to write our sets and reps and keep track of them each week. Drawing inspiration from this:

I have a growing folder full of images and links to home decor ideas. Cannot wait to have our own place and start DIY-ing. Sigh. Until then, I will just have to amuse myself with the plans.

Happy hump-day everyone :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Post 25th

The "big day" has come and gone for another year. It always seems to leave me in a daze, wondering how soooo much excitement and build-up can pass by so quickly. Left-overs are in piled in the fridge, boxes are piled on the basement floor. Santa, aka Mom, over-indulged yet again. To the point where I feel almost guilty for the amount of consumerism we succumb to during the holiday season. It's too much, really - I'm almost embarrassed. I feel like next year we should go the minimal route, like one gift each, max, or opt for home-made gifts only. But I am not here to complain. We are lucky to be able to give and receive. And that we did. And so here is a quick summary.

Pat and I got a lot of joint gifts from the family: an ottoman for our future bedroom, a coffee machine, a spice rack, the Magic Bullet, a set of knives, various utensils, a wok, and a Kitchen-Aid standing blender (so exciting!). See, I told you, we are overly spoiled. I am probably even missing a few items.

I got Patrick.... drum roll ... an autographed Habs jersey! My mom takes a spinning class with Gionta's wife and she asked if she wouldn't mind getting him to sign them. She said no prob. My brother got one too. Needless to say, they were two extremely happy campers. The only hitch was that on Christmas Eve, my brother got a Canadiens t-shirt from my grandmother, and as he was opening it, my dad asked if it was the signed one, thus ruining the "big" surprise that was only supposed to come Christmas morning. Patrick decided to open his gift right away, but my brother insisted he was going to open his the next morning only.

Pat also got some tools, other Habs stuff, and a glass tea pot so we can use our pretty flower herbal teas and watch them "blossom" as they brew. Now we just need a proper kettle...

Pat got me some Prada sunglasses and jewelery that come from a pretty turquoise box ;) Incredibly spoiled.

Anyways, more to come at a later date... If I don't get out of blog world soon I will not be productive at all today. I have some gifts that I need to return/exchange (wrong items and things that didn't fit people properly, sigh). I also want to find some ornaments on extreme liquidation since next year I will be decorating my very own tree!!

Hope your Christmas was special :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve

The countdown is on! I am starting to feel the magic, mostly because my mom is home and baking up a storm. If it weren't for all the effort she puts in, I think Christmas would skip our house altogether, seeing as how the male half of our family could not be bothered. But I will not let the grinchy attitudes of some get me down. At least my man is really into it. He bakes with us, he is the perfect gift giver, he helps wrap and put up decorations, he lets me read him the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, and he wears the Christmas pyjamas I bought him a few years ago. I guess I can't ask for much more in that department.

Oh, he even helped me to make snowflakes... We got a little carried away with that once we learned the technique to the 6-point star. It's really addictive. Plus, I just discovered an app called Snodoodle that lets you test out designs on your phone... pretty awesome!

Today I am putting together last-minute touches on home-made gifts, wrapping, cleaning and hopefully working out. Our tradition is going to be modified this year since we will be eating Christmas dinner at Cindy's and Jason's place rather than eating here with my family. Instead my family will have our turkey dinner tomorrow. I think this is a good compromise, and it will mean that Pat and I can more fully enjoy festivities with both families instead of the back and forth game, feeling guilty and rushed.

This year I am way more excited about giving gifts than receiving. I can't wait to see the look on everyones' faces when they open their gifts. I can't wait for Pat to open his gift - I anticipate he will freak out, it's that good.

I hope Santa is good to you all. Cheers.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Somewhere South?

I'm dreaming of this place as I freeze my butt off in the negative double-digits. Where would you be if you could?

But no, in actual fact, I'm not sold on the idea of leaving home for Christmas. Not sure how I'd feel without the snow. Maybe I'll find out one day...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some Everett Love

Because his mommy said it was okay, I just had to share a picture of Alexandra and Ryan's little man, Everett. Is he not the most adorable bundle? Sooo very cute. I bet he's going to be an amazing boy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

in december drinking horchata

I've been waiting all year to use that line. But I have yet to actually try horchata. All in good time my friends.

This evening it is snowing; snow-storming. I just shoveled the driveway and it felt good, although my back was a little stiff. I am hoping, fingers crossed, that enough white powder will accumulate to cause a snow day tomorrow. That would make me very, very happy. It is not very likely, but there is a chance. And if it means catching up on the sleep that I lost last night due to a pressure headache, I would gladly take it.

I have been writing letters to my students this evening, pretending to be Santa. Last year we sent out a batch and Canada Post totally butchered my students' names and gave them all generic copies - literally one-liners written in broken English. Teacher was not impressed. This year, my students had six-graders scribe their letters for them, so they are way more detailed and I have responded to them in detail. I am surprised by how amused it made me. I could bribe them pretending to be Santa, and make up stories about elf amusements parks and such. It's great. I hope they will get a kick out of it.

In other news, my good friends Alex and Ryan welcomed their bundle of joy into the world on December 1st. They named him Everett and he is so very precious. We met him yesterday and it felt surreal to hold an infant. Amazing, really. I took lots of pictures but I will wait for his mom to share on facebook and give the okay before I share on here.

We also started decorating the tree on the weekend while watching Home Alone. Those two factors combined have finally put me into the holiday spirit. I love putting up the tree and leafing through my box of ornaments that all have special stories and memories. This is possibly the last Christmas that I celebrate "at home", meaning at my parents' house, because if all goes as planned, Patrick and I will be settled into our home at this time next year. I'm trying to appreciate all the little things, the traditions associated with this season. I've also been inspired to craft. I am making a pom-pom wreath, and although it is a long process, it is very addictive. Here is where I found the inspiration and go this fab picture. Mine will be similar, I hope, except that I chose two shades of turquoise and purple. It's more challenging than you'd think to level off the poms but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it!

Well enjoy the rest of your week! Cheers.