dream job in summary

backstory: we decided to enrol elliot in private school this year, as a way to transition from homeschool to post-secondary education. with the unplanned expense, i started to consider pursuing a job outside of the home.

the process: i realized that i had asked God to take care of the finances, but then began strategizing ways that i could solve the problem myself. there’s a lot of internal struggle and detail there that i’m just going to keep to myself, but please know that it was a personal process, and i don’t look down on anyone who hands out resumes or seeks employment. for ME though, i felt a call to surrender the details to God, and to stop trying to help Him out. so i prayed “God, if you want me to have a job, then please throw one in my face so that i know it’s absolutely what you have planned.”

time passed, the finances sorted themselves out, and i had assumed that was the end of the story. elliot would go to school, i would stay home with anne, and life would chug along mostly the way it always had.

out of nowhere: i received a text asking if i wanted a job. the person asking said they had been praying about who should fill a specific job role, and that “God gave them my name.” i told them i’d pray about it and talk to derek. i think i broke records for how long a human can hold their breath.

where it got crazy: there were a few parameters that i had set: sort of non-negotiables that God and i had agreed upon. (i know that sounds weird, but invest in spending time in prayer and you’ll notice that it’s not a one-way conversation!) i thought there was no way that this job offer would meet my requirements of no evenings, no weekends, and i absolutely was not going to have any conflict with my husband over the decision. but guess what? derek was totally at peace about it, and the hours didn’t even need to be negotiated with my boss. several more details continued to fall perfectly into place.

the irony: God gave me exactly what i prayed for, but only after He’d shown me that the finances were nothing to Him. He’d already taken care of the issue that was the catalyst for my request, before giving me this new adventure.

to summarize: it’s literally my dream job. it’s busy, fast-paced, always changing, and never predictable. i get to work with and for the people i already adore, and it’s challenging and exhausting in the best ways possible. the best part though, is having confidence that this is God’s plan for this season of my life.

September 12, 2020 at 22:39 Leave a comment


i’ve tried to start this post so many times, in so many ways. i’m just going to get to the point: God worked a miracle over anne, and gave hope to our family when we were feeling pretty hopeless.

literally over night, He took the covid virus away from this girl, and though we tried to find a way to science an explanation, there was none. God stepped in and healed this family physically, mentally, and spiritually.

our response is overwhelming gratitude. to God, to friends who brought us meals and groceries over the last month of quarantine, and to those of you who remembered us.

thank you so much for praying! shout out to my friends and family in the DR, cambo, korea, beligium, UK, USA, and canada. you prayed, God answered.

May 6, 2020 at 16:47 Leave a comment

sourdough everything

this pandemic has birthed bakers everywhere, and it’s amazing to see good rising out of a crumby situation. ( *wink* see what i did there?)

aside from replying to the deluge of messages asking how we are doing as a family (thank you for that! an update to follow soon), i also spend my endless quarantine hours responding to messages about sourdough baking.

i think i’ve tried every recipe on the internet over the last year +, and i have composted dozens of lumps of “bread” in my sourdough experiments. there’s a shortage of flour out there (so i hear), so i thought i’d throw down a list of tried and true recipes for anyone who is interested in not wasting precious resources:

first, how to:

https://www.acouplecooks.com/how-to-make-sourdough-starter/ , or, buy some off of amazon if they have any in stock. if you’re local, i can sanitize a jar and put some starter for you on my porch for pick up. there’s always plenty of starter to share!

second, don’t throw away the poorly named “discard”:

these onion fritters are amazing (and you can bake them at 450° for :15, flipping halfway if you’re trying to avoid gaining the covid 19):

i almost always have jars of this recipe made up and in the fridge. the kids wake up and make themselves pancakes for breakfast/lunchfast:

what is life without bread? i rotate through these two recipes:



and these bagels:


and finally, these two recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth. both of these double as breakfast foods:



hope this list helps all of the sourdough (or aspiring sourdough) bakers out there! if you have a faithful recipe that you’re willing to share, please do!

May 2, 2020 at 14:09 Leave a comment

quarantine AGAIN

team gilmore is back in lock down! after 2 weeks of quarantine because of my illness, and 3 blissful days of freedom**, we’re going back in. derek’s covid-19 test results came back positive, and public health called him last night to tell him the expected news.

i didn’t want to make a big announcement, or draw attention to our illnesses. i’ve sort of let the information ooze out over various social media posts, hoping to avoid adding to the panic.  when someone you know becomes infected, the pandemic seems to stretch it’s claws a little closer to where you’re safely sitting in isolation. i get that, and there’s enough fear out there without my contributing to it.

i’m writing out my story in the hopes that confusion is cleared, and fear is dismissed. i must mention however, that i hate this blog. haha. i started it almost 20 years ago, and it needs serious decluttering. i couldn’t think of a better place to post the information though, so cringe-y blog it is!  do not dive deep!

caution: i’m wordy.
permission to skim: granted.

my most-asked question is “what were my symptoms?”.  i’ve typed these out so many times, in so many private messages. people want to know if they’ve had it, or what to expect, and i understand that.
for about a week, i had a slow onset of sore throat and headaches. those aren’t supposed to be symptoms, so i dismissed them as part of cold & flu season. they intensified though, and then a slight cough came. not a hacking bronchial cough, but more of a polite response to the growing tickle in my throat. at the first cough, suspicion set in. the suspicion grew when a few hours later, my chest began aching.  i started checking my temperature then. often. it cycled between low fever, then back to normal; in sync with a circuit of chills and sweats.
if you know me, you know that i’m super-active. i know my heart rate patterns, can anticipate my energy levels based on the macro nutrients i’ve ingested in the hours preceding activity, and i follow strict schedules of exercise and recovery. this is context for covid’s defining moment in my life:
i walked up the stairs to my kitchen from my basement; stood at the counter to slice some bread. then i watched the kitchen begin to spin and fade. i dropped to the floor, desperately sucking in air to keep myself conscious. the lightbulb turned on as the confusion cleared. all of the symptoms swirled together with this bizarre inability to breath, and that’s the moment i knew.

my second most-asked question: “where did i get it?
my response is always the same- i can’t confidently say.  it takes one random point of contact with air containing the virus. i can tell you that i was diligent to stay safe, though i didn’t stay home exclusively. i went for walks almost every day, and out to the grocery store once a week. everything and everyone that came back into this house after being outside, was thoroughly sanitized.  all i can say to this question is that doing your best is not a guarantee of success.

third-most:  “how are you sure? did you get tested?
most people aren’t asking for my credibility, they’re preparing and looking for direction. i called telehealth as soon as i suspected a lower respiratory infection. what would be required of me? did i have to get tested? after being on hold for an hour and a half with telehealth, the call dropped and i lost my place in the queue. so i called back and chose the “leave a message and we’ll call you back option.”
the next day derek found out about a doctor group set up by his work to provide support for their employees due to the overload on telehealth. so we pursued that route and within half an hour i was on the phone with an actual doctor. he went through my medical history extensively with me, interrogated me on my symptoms, and told me that i could not be tested. testing was reserved for high-risk patients. being otherwise healthy, i would have to do with a phone diagnosis and an order to quarantine for 14 days.  some people do ask me this question to assess validity, so that is my response. i don’t know why anyone would fake covid, but in case there was any doubt: a doctor diagnosed me.

another question i’m always asked: “are the kids and derek okay?
yes and no. the kids had cold-like symptoms about the time that i started collecting mine. their symptoms didn’t evolve into anything concerning, though they’ve certainly been exposed to the virus.
derek is not well. he’s a private man and i respect that, so i’m not going to tell his story for him. i will say that he has been only home for weeks, and yet he contracted covid-19. he actually qualifies for testing, so he went through the multi-day, multi-screening process. he started with telehealth, and that is what we (and our government) advise. start the process early, because it takes a long time to get from the initial phone call to the swab.

i have two more questions that i’m often asked, and then after that i’m done, promise!

how can i help? this one is so hard for me and my fiercely independent spirit. accepting help has been one of the most-difficult yet biggest blessings to come out of this ordeal. i can’t believe how much people actually care about us! thank you times a million to all of the people who have brought us groceries, sent me care packages, and provided for my family in ways that i was unable to.  i’m truly overwhelmed by the amount of people who have lifted our family up in prayer. i know that God’s hand has been on our family, and that He’s been pouring grace over us. thank you to everyone who has gone to our Father on our behalf.

how am i feeling now?  i keep saying that healing is two steps forward, and one step back. this virus truly beat me down. i’m not exaggerating when i say that i wasn’t sure i’d survive it. at its peak, the chest pain and inability to draw a complete breath had me convinced that i would not be waking up the next morning. it’s been a week and a half since my worst day, and i still have chest pain. i’m just telling you this because while i don’t want to contribute to the fear mongering, i also don’t want to feed into apathy.  i don’t want to underplay this thing and accidentally persuade anyone to abandon caution.  if you get sick, you might get REALLY sick. expect and prepare for that. things that really helped me were lung exercises, chest stretches, and lots of hot herbal tea. this virus did some long-term damage to my lungs, and it will take a while to feel “normal” again.  i like to look at the general trajectory versus the day-by-day.

so that’s it. i tried to highlight the topic of each paragraph so that you could quickly find what answers you were looking for. i hope that our story helps you to know what to expect and how to proceed should you suspect that covid is coming for you. please feel free to privately message me. i’m not against answering specific inquiries, i just admire the efficiency of blanket-answering questions.

**worth noting that the 3 blissful days of freedom did not include derek, who was still showing symptoms. the legal protocol is to quarantine for 14 days from onset of symptoms, and end quarantine ONLY if your health is improving at the end of the two weeks. derek was still tanking, so he did not take his infection out of the house, and i wore a facemask to the grocery store. we good!


April 20, 2020 at 11:19 1 comment

the PEI blog

i had such good intentions when i started writing about our 10 day trip out east. i should have realized that school and schedules would drive the memory of vacation to the very bottom of my priorities list. but actually, there’s just not that much to share about actually being on the island.

the basic plan was to get TO the island, and we didn’t actually plan anything for WHILE we were there. the weather was pretty rubbish the whole time, and we really embraced the coziness of being trapped inside a cottage.

during one pocket of sunshine (but not warmth), derek and i borrowed some bikes from our host family, and did a little bit of exploring. i biked on the ocean floor, which was new. we also found an ancient graveyard and read the final summaries of so many lives lived centuries ago.

after that, it rained and rained and rained. we played board games, watched indiana jones, and enjoyed the rest from travelling.

on the only sunny day, we headed out to experience prince edward island, starting with a local beach/park. we explored tide pools, watched hermit crabs, and as the tide came in, ran from shrinking island to shrinking island, building quick sandcastles before they melted in the tide. we chased seagulls, saw adorable plovers, and anne collected some red sand to bring home.

we left canoe cove and drove to port-la-joye to tour fort amherst and hike the trails. i’m always so amazed at the amount of history hidden beneath paved trailes and landscaped lawns. the contrast of a manicured park verses the bloody battlefield of years past, blows my mind every time.

the day was waning, and hunger was growing, so we headed to a tourist hot spot to experience some stereotypical PEI food. main course: boom burger. they use PEI potatoes, beef, and cheese from the cows creamery. (for those of you who know that i can’t eat any of that delicious-sounding stuff: i brought a protein shake with me). i visited paderno while the family was eating, and then we wandered over to the anne of green gables chocolatier briefly before finishing up at cows creamery.

we did a tour of the plant, the kids got some iconic tshirts, and then we bought some of their famous ice cream and enjoyed it in the last few rays of sunlight that we’d see on the island. pictured: sorbet! something that i could actually eat! vacation is so much better when one can enjoy the food.

it rained so much during our final day in PEI. i chose an air b&b with kayaks because “kayaking in the ocean” sounded so dreamy. due to weather and tides, the kayaking didn’t happen. still very happy with the air b&b though, because we DID use the woodstove! buckets of rain were pouring from the sky, but we were nice and cozy with a crackling fire to keep us warm.

having a cozy indoor day with boardgames, netflix, and family was a great way to rest up before travelling back to ontario the next day. it gave us an opportunity to eat up the last of our food, and pack things up at a relaxed pace. when our alarms went off the next morning, it was a very easy transition from cleaned cottage to car.

we didn’t eat seafood, we didn’t see puffins, and we didn’t go whale watching. we didn’t do any of the typical PEI excursions, and in hindsight- i wish we’d had a bit more structure to our trip. i have zero regrets about visiting the island though. we had such a great time as a family, and i’m a big fan of enjoying the journey as well as the destination. i’m hoping that someday we’ll go back and experience more of those touristy trips, but for now the memories of red sand and breathtaking vistas are enough to satisfy me.

October 10, 2018 at 12:27 Leave a comment

GGE, part 2

if the adventures in my last post made you cringe, then i’m sorry/not sorry, because we continued to have more face-palming adventure even after arriving in nova scotia.

our first morning in NS, derek and i decided to go for a run. we’d spent days in the car, and just had a great night of sleep. what better way to explore? damien told us of a great path through the woods, and then went to work. derek and i laced up our sneakers and set off. the path was right where damien said it would be. and then there were more paths, and trees, and paths and trees… it was a bit of a tangle. we ran our 5k, and then started walking back.

i’m not sure at what point we realized we were lost. i mean, i’m pretty much always lost! derek is never lost. we don’t run with our phones, so, not only did we not have maps, but neither of us had memorized damien’s address or phone number.

long story, short (or short run, long): we were thoroughly lost in a strange province with no means of getting back. we walked for so long, looking for familiar landmarks. at one point we asked for help from a kind eastern stranger. he asked where we were going: “um, we don’t know”. he asked where we’d come from: “um, not sure.”

eventually we found a blue barn, which led us back towards the wooded path, which revealed my vibram 5-finger shoe print in the sand. we tracked my strange footprints backwards until 9km of wandering aimlessly after our run later, we found damien’s house.

plus side: the wild blackberries along the path were ripe for the picking and rather sustaining, damien had the best laugh of his life at our expense, and team gilmore became a cautionary tale for all future visitors.

the rest of the visit was more typical: lots of visiting, swimming in the pool, and a few touristy things like visiting the airforce museum, and walking on the ocean floor at lowest tide at a local hidden gem, baxter’s harbour.

i must say, the very best part of our trip was visiting friends. derek and i clearly don’t know how to vacation, but one thing we do right, is to make travelling more about the people than the destination. there’s just no value that can be placed on sustained and continued friendships!

this is my advice from lessons learned in NS:

  • always memorize the address and phone number of your home base.
  • people make the places.
  • locals have better recommendations than google.

August 26, 2018 at 15:04 Leave a comment

gilmores go east, 2018

we’re not great travellers, but we love to travel. a few years ago, we made our way out to newfoundland, but didn’t have time to stop in prince edward island. we’ve long-since regretted not being able to check the island off on our “canadian provinces visited” list.

we were planning to visit our buddy damien this summer at his new home in nova scotia, so we decided to add PEI to the list and declare the east coast done.

we’re travellers who travel with an extremely loose schedule, flexible directions, and no real plans beyond the destination. so when great stuff happens, we’re always pleasantly surprised!

i’m hoping to chronicle our trip on here, but it was 10 days long, and i’m not willing to write it all out in one go.

here are the highlights from the drive to NS:

we’ve been friends with steve and andrée-anne since 1998 or something ancient like that, and they just happened to be home briefly from their mission in cambodia and available to meet up. so good to catch up!

after a really rough night in which we brushed our teeth in a tim horton’s bathroom, then changed in a dark parking lot, then drove to a walmart where the 4 of us attempted to get comfortable for a partial night of sleep in the car; we stopped in grand falls new brunswick to stretch our legs and attempt to feel human again.

we also planned ahead and booked a hotel room for that very night, not willing to risk no vacancy again! the hike was beautiful, the exercise rejuvenating, and the frozen yoghurt satisfying (for the dairy-eating percentage of this family!).

we were only 2 days into the trip and we’d learned valuable lessons: plan a route! then book a hotel! and also, don’t travel on weekends unless we have to.

while i DO have amazing powers of being able to sleep anywhere, i sincerely hope that i never have to sleep in the hatch of my car in a walmart parking lot ever again (although i’m so thankful that sleep in a safe and dry environment was possible).

the trip could have been done in 2 days, but we took 3 so that we wouldn’t be exhausted (ha!). a great night of sleep and some good breakfast later, we were ready to finish the driving and see our friends in nova scotia!

we only made one more significant stop en route, and that was at famous magnetic hill. i don’t have any pictures of it, because the whole thing is nuts. derek has explained it to me about 20 times, but i don’t get it. regardless of the science vs magic debate, it was a great experience!

and then, we were there! rolling into damien & karissa’s driveway and seeing their excited kids who were way too big, was balm for the weary traveller’s soul.

but actually, it was a great drive despite my highlights in this post. the kids were amazing, the scenery was breathtaking. the spontaneous picnics, the quality conversations, and the shared aventures were a fabulous start to our trip!

August 23, 2018 at 17:18 Leave a comment

5 ingredient deodorant

hello friends!

this post has been a looooonnnnnnggggg time coming!

i gave up deodorant about 10 years ago after reading about all of the disgusting toxins that exist in most commercial brands. i wasn’t into making my own products yet at that point, so i just went without! eventally that became…. hmmmm…. unacceptable. haha. i needed to find a solution without exchanging my health for a social circle.


2 T arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

1 T baking soda

1 T coconut oil

1 T shea butter

10 drops essential oil (i used orange)

melt the shea and coconut oils in a double-boiler. while they’re melting, measure out the dry ingredients into a bowl or mug. pour the melted oils into the dry ingredients, and mix them well. then add your preferred scent, mix, and pour into your storage container.

oh!!! i want to talk about this: please don’t buy dollar store cheapo plastic containers for all of your potions! the chemicals in the plastic leech into your “natural products”, and basically defeat the purpose of making your own. i use glass jam jars which can be purchased at canadian tire, amazon, or any department store once canning season starts. they’re reusable too!

as for application of the deodorant- yes, you have to actually use your finger to apply it, and it’s not weird. i mean, you already made the deodorant in your kitchen and are storing it in a jam jar– embrace the fact that it’s an alternate form of odour control with alternate forms of application.

as to the efficacy of the product? i love it! otherwise i wouldn’t share it. it doesn’t leave white marks on my dark clothing (apply AFTER getting dressed), and i don’t stink. it’s an “apply once a day and walk away” product.

let me know if you try this! i know several of you have been using my toothpaste recipe with great results, and i love hearing the feedback!

(LOCAL FRIENDS ONLY: as always, if you’re wanting to try this recipe but don’t want to buy the ingredients- just message me and i’ll give you a sample to try.)

March 16, 2018 at 12:16 Leave a comment

lipbalm DIY

hey guys. just jumping on here quickly to share my lipbalm recipe before my good intentions fall flat.

i love making my own products, not because they’re superior or cheaper or cleaner (although they are all of that). making my own products totally meshes with my “i hate shopping” and “i hate making decisions” personality. there’s no redeeming the number of hours i’ve lost to zombie-mode in the pharmaceutical aisles! plus, i’m a creative sort. playing with ingredients in my kitchen is so much more my speed.

here’s the recipe!

  • 20g beeswax
  • 20g coconut oil
  • 10g sweet almond oil
  • 12 drops wintergreen eo
  • 2 drops rosemary eo
  • 2 inches aloe vera

heat the first 3 ingredients in a double-boiler, and add in the last 3 before it cools and sets. really really easy! let me know if you have any questions!

January 16, 2018 at 12:38 Leave a comment


i wrote a lot last year about my new year’s resolutions, but the posts dwindled as the year progressed. so obviously my NYR to blog once a month, was a bust. here’s a break down of the 10 hopes & dreams i had for 2017:

  1. ✔️bible in a year: done, and doing it again this year- join me!
  2. ✖️blog each month: nope. i did well at the beginning of the year, but time is a speeding bullet.
  3. ✔️don’t waste: i feel like i did so well with this one! a lot of veggies were turned into stock, and i made a “leftovers bin” in the fridge to highlight what needed to be eaten. some foods sadly ended up in the compost bin. overall though, there was definite improvement and i’m calling it a success.
  4. ✔️meal planning: i got the whole family involved with picking meals to add to the menu, and made good use of the “click and collect” feature at my local grocery store. by far this was my favourite resolution of the year, as it didn’t use up my time, but rather saved it.
  5. ✖️woodworking: nah. this was a “good intentions” goal, but my life wasn’t ready for it yet.
  6. ✔️music: i practiced my flute ALOT this year! in the beginning my face hurt and i felt like i couldn’t breathe, but by the end of the year my fingers knew the notes without my having to look up charts online. if you remember, i had planned to reward myself with the purchase of a piccolo. i qualified for that reward, but piccolos are way more expensive than i thought! i might just reward myself with a tune-up on my old old flute.
  7. ✔️stretch: so good. i turned into one of those wierdos who HAD to stretch all the time regardless of the public situation, but my joints and sore muscles are very thankful for the success of this NYR.
  8. ✔️french: french netflix, podcasts, and duolingo got me through. i’m sitting at 61% fluent (according to duolingo), and i accidentally use french words in english conversation from time to time. i’m pleased with my progress so far, and can’t wait to be actually fluent some day.
  9. ✖️knit: maybe i did this one, maybe not. i dunno, i definitely didn’t do one every month, but i did make a lot of things. i just didn’t really keep track, so i don’t feel comfortable marking it as complete.
  10. ✖️home improvement: kind of the same as the knit goal– i did alot! sometimes 3 things a month, sometimes zero. so i don’t know if it averaged out sufficiently.

so i scored a 6 out of 10, and that’s better than any of my highschool grades. i still got a diploma at the end of HS though, so i’m calling 2017 a success. i learned a lot about myself through the successes and the failures, and i learned to keep it simple for 2018.

this year’s resolutions have to compete with another, longer goal that i’ve been working towards. i’ve always been goal-oriented, but flighty. so i’m returning to my monthly resolutions this year to keep me focused on my larger goal, while experiencing smaller victories month to month.

this post is getting long and wordy, so i’ll post about my 2018 goals in a separate entry. i just really hate movies/books/conversations that don’t give me closure, and leave me asking questions that can’t be answered (Inception, i’m looking at you👀), and i didn’t want to do the same thing on my blog.

how about you guys? did anyone make it through 2017 with a completed resolution (or ten)?

January 12, 2018 at 16:46 Leave a comment

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