Posts filed under ‘goings-on’

when life explodes

i’ve been working really diligently at pursuing my hearty list of new year’s resolutions, but the fact is- sometimes priorities HAVE to shift.  this post is about how i intend to have success in 2017, even after my world flipped upside down.

without giving too many personal details: my husband spent all of march sick, and almost all of april in the hospital. he’d been recovering at home since then, until a partial return to work this week.  

with each new phase of his illness, we have had to re-adjust what is “normal” in this house.  schedules have had to alter, and priorities have had to be down-graded.   the details are different in my story, but it’s a familiar scenario to most of us who set goals and try to keep them, no?  you’re in a groove, it’s great, then BOOM.

it’s okay to reprioritize. it’s the right thing to do when your goals are not as important as the moment you’re living in. i want to encourage you in this, because i believe it to be the difference between success and failure.  

my daily goals of practicing french, stretching & reading my bible did not fit with my new daily routine of biking to the hospital/home to feed the kids/back to the hospital.  the reality of life is that there are only 24 hours in every single day, and we are accountable for how we use them.  instead, i climbed 8 flights of stairs rather than using the elevator. i listened to french podcasts while cleaning the house once vising hours were over.  i read my bible more, desperately clinging to My Anchor in this storm. 

life is not static, and our goals and schedules must flex with it.  if you’ve been working on a new year’s resolution and were surprised with roadblocks as well- i encourage you to remember that the real goal is still exactly where it was when you started; it’s not too late to pursue it.

May 19, 2017 at 10:25 2 comments

trying new things

there’s no delicate way to avoid being laughed at for this, so i’ll just come out with it: i’m taking ballet lessons. i started in january, at the request of anne’s ballet teacher. anne’s been struggling to stay focused in class for a little while, and i was “strongly encouraged” to join in the class with her.   

if you know me, then you know that i’m the most tom-boyish, awkward, clumsy, and uncoordinated human in the world. it’s okay if you’re laughing at the idea of my dancing– i certainly laughed for days at the idea of joining the class! i laughed for days, i brainstormed ways to say “no”, i laughed some more, and then i said “yes”.

also this winter, i finally said “yes” to skiing with my friend krista, who has been inviting us to join her for years. we’ve always had something else happening on fridays, but this year the calendar finally supported the homeschool skiing lessons schedule. i’ve tried skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice climbing, and various other winter sports. and although they are a lot of fun, my lack of coordination means that i am good at none of them. 

if you were to ask me what i fear the most in this life, i would answer “regret”. so as much as i had every confidence that i would embarass myself in ballet class, and bounce down the ski hills, i HAD to say yes.  

and now, as ski lessons give way to spring, and ballet transitions into recital preparation; i can say that i’m so glad that i didn’t say “no” to either of these activities. i want to be the sort of person who always challenges herself, is always learning, and one who faces intimidation and fears.  

a year ago, my friend liz and i confronted our fears of “the man section” at the gym, and decided to pursue weight-lifting.  we refused to be intimidated by unfamiliar machines and our own inexperience. familiarity and experience came quickly.

i want to encourage you, reader, to try new things. i want for you to feel intimidation, and the accompanying pride when you overcome.  suprise yourself, and maybe you will inspire others in the process.  as my husband has wisely said to me too many times: don’t let fear run your life.  not great to hear when i’m standing on the kitchen counter screaming that i saw a mouse,  but great life advice nonetheless.  

so, what will you say yes to?

February 26, 2017 at 22:01 Leave a comment

january=success

despite (or maybe because of) the scoffers and naysayers (aka: my sisters), i have successfully completed my hefty to-do list for the month of january regarding my list of new year’s resolutions.  you can see the full post here, but i’ll summarize below:

  1. bible in a year: on track! loving the bible project app, and totally recommend it. 
  2. stretching after working out:  i started out january with an ankle injury and no time to rest it, but modifying my workouts and stretches has kept me successful with this one.
  3. meal planning: stayed consistent with this.
  4. not wasting food: i was far from perfect on this, but i did order my groceries online as planned, and that definitely cut back big time on the wasted food. also, my freezer is full of jars of veggie stock! room for improvement next month, but also experienced an improvement compared to 2016.
  5. blog once per month: yup.
  6. practice flute 3x per week: i’ve loved being reunited with my flute! fave thing to do: put on some beatles music and play along with it.  i’m in the band!
  7. practice french every week day: finally broke the 40% mark! i’ve been struggling with getting out of the 30s for so long, and that threshold felt reeeaaally good!
  8. knit something: i knit a clapotis scarf out of knit picks chroma, and although it was a boring knit, it was a perfect project to get back into the craft, and the self-striping yarn kept me interested.
  9. home improvement:  i mudded, repaired, and sanded every wall on my main floor, plus the back stairwell that has been neglected for over a decade.  huge task, but what a relief to have it finished even if my house is now covered in drywall dust.
  10. woodworking: this was by far the most intimidating item on my list! it had been too long since i’d built anything, i couldn’t make a decision, and i was honestly just intimidated by the whole process.  odd, considering how comfortable i used to be in a woodshop. time does strange things.  anyway,  i eventually settled on an easy project from anawhite.com to get me back into “it”, and i had a lot of fun! the smell of sawdust will always feel like home to me. 

and now it starts all over again! choosing projects for february and finding time to complete them. i’m definitely enjoying the feeling of productivity that accompanied january, and am looking forward to another big list at the end of this short month.

how are you guys doing with your new year’s resolutions?

February 4, 2017 at 15:55 1 comment

i’m in the 8%!

i have literally been obsessing over what my resolution will be for the new year.  i have a healthy post-it note board of options, plus a brain-full that haven’t made it to paper.  

normally i wouldn’t agonize over such a decision, because, who does?  it’s your standard new year’s resolve to try to be better for maybe a month or two.  however!!  i actually completed my NYR for 2016!  the internet tells me that 92% of the people who make resolutions, don’t keep them.  so, i’m celebrating this!

in light of the fact that NYR success is possible, the decision becomes more significant.  as a non-decision-maker, this leads to the abnormal “agonizing” mentioned in the previous paragraph.  there’s just so much room for improvement! 


i was whining to a friend about how impossible it was to choose just ONE area to improve upon, and she shot back “why choose?” –good point!  

my 2016 resolution was to basically become an adult. more specifically, to do dishes, sweep the floors, and clean the bathroom before bed each night.  i know some would cringe at the fact that i wasn’t already there, but we’re all programmed differently!  for me, this was an area of self-improvement that i knew i needed to make.  it’s been so great to wake up to a house that’s ready for me, instead of being presented with a “to do” list each morning.

as for the daunting post-it note list, i want to tackle it all.  i know that it’s too much to focus on, but instead of making cuts to ensure success, i’m going forward with a plan.  you may not care to read it, but part of the commitment process involves “telling others”, so here i go!

  • bible in a year: daily, and with a friend for accountability (already coordinated).
  • blog: basically just take the mental blogs that i write all the time, and actually put them onto the site. aim for once/month, but i’m not going to make up content if i have nothing to say.
  • don’t waste food/ meal planning:  i’m already a pretty decent meal planner, it’s the “going shopping for the planned meals” part that i have a hard time with.  i’ll often grab containers of fruit at costco because i’m already there, but i really only needed 3 apples, not the giganto bag.  not sure if that makes any sense to you, but trust me- it translates into food going into the compost bin.  action plan: shop for groceries online and go pick them up. make something out of the food about to spoil (like apple crisp!), or don’t buy it at all.
  • woodworking: fun fact- i used to be a carpenter.  my plan to get back into my shop is pretty simple: schedule one small project each month. i have a pinterest board of things that i want to make, and i feel like setting myself a 2017 goal is just the kick that i need.  one of the warmer months will definitely be a “clean out the garage” month if i’m to have any success though!
  • music:  leave my flute out of its case, and practice 3 times each week.  i tell my kids to practice their instruments daily, and i feel like this is something that i can set an example in.  also,  i plan to buy myself a piccolo at the end of 2017 if i have been successful in this resolution.
  • stretch: i already have pretty good habits for waking up and doing daily cardio, and my gym buddy and i are lifting weights thrice a week.  so i feel like stretching NEEDS to be added to this schedule if i’m going to be able to stay in it. action plan: add 10 minutes of stretching to each morning workout.
  • french: i’ve always wanted to be fluent enough to speak to my french half of the family.  i’ve been doing duolingo for a few years now, but i need to make it more of a commitment.  action plan: duolingo every week day, 50xp. also, when  costco gets the french smart books back in stock, i’m going to buy and work through them.  goal: to be able to communicate with our host family the next time our youth group does a missions trip to quebec.
  • knit/crochet: i go through phases on this one, and i’m looking to be more consistent.  the plan is pretty similar to the woodworking one: pick a project for each month and do it.  part of the goal with this one is to be off of my phone when watching a tv show with derek, and to stave off carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • home improvement: again, one project per month. some of it will be DIY, and some of it hired out. if you’ve ever been in our home, you’ve seen plenty of half-projects. walls that are drywalled and mudded, but not primed and painted. my goal is to complete our projects.

so there you go. basically broken down into manageable time frames and more set-up for success.  the last thing that i have to do is pick out the monthly projects and schedule them, but i have lists and pin boards already made, so it’s just a matter of picking and choosing. the sticky note wall that i just wrote on, will be at the top of the home improvement list :)

what do you think? am i taking on too much and setting myself up for failure? (if someone says “yes” to that last question, you’re basically locking me into success because i excel at being stubbornly defiant!).  i absolutely love that i completed my 2016 NYR, and am looking forward to a year of seeing my goals accomplished, and wistful regrets disappearing. 

anyone else in the 8% club with me? 

December 30, 2016 at 23:36 1 comment

allergen-free sugar cookies

it’s been almost 4 years since i had to carve out a diet from a stifling list of restrictions.  growing up in a house that always smelled of fresh bread and cookies, meant that giving up gluten was the most difficult of the decisions that i had to make to improve my health.

every christmas, my amazing mom fills freezers and tables with a collection of cookies, breads, pastries, and tarts.  every christmas for the last 4 years, i have stared at the buffet and hated my belly and the restrictions that it has placed on me. 

this year, a friend posted a picture of her gluten-free sugar cookies on instagram, and i was snapped into action.  many of you have commented on the photo that i posted of my own gluten/dairy/soy-free cookies, and with tina’s permission, i am sharing the recipe as requested:

full disclosure: you will hide these cookies from your children, because they are too good to share.


tina’s sugar cookies:

  • ⅔ cup soy-free earth balance (or whatever “butter” you like to use)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond milk (or whichever milk you prefer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup potato starch flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • dash of salt. 

glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • water to establish consistency

wrap up dough and chill for at least 2 hours. roll out dough to ½ inch thickness. Bake for about 10 mins at 350° or until edges start to turn golden brown.  dip cookies in glaze once they have cooled. 

my sister posted a copy-cat recipe of my mom’s famous candy cane cookies with gluten & dairy-free revisions. you should definitely check them out too! because i’m lazy and like to multi-task, i sprinkled crushed candy cane dust onto the tops of some of these sugar cookies, and the result was resminiscent of my mom’s cookies! so, you have options :)

December 26, 2016 at 20:27 Leave a comment

don’t believe my kids

just putting down a quick preventative blog post here about how i’m NOT pregnant.  i haven’t gained weight, haven’t been vomiting in the mornings, haven’t had the irresistable urge to clean anything [ever].  the SOLE reason that my kids are insisting that i’m pregnant:

  
“mommy, who is Addprofile?”  

*groan*

they randomly hug me, then kiss my belly and talk to “Addprofile”.  they tell me about the plans that have for him/her, and ask me when little Add will be born. 

i know they’re just being silly, and that they’ve lobbed onto what they think is the best joke of the century.  if you see my kids talking to my abdomen or overhear them dreaming about their new brother or sister, you have to know: it’s a netflix baby.  do not react. 

rumour=dispelled. thanks!

December 12, 2015 at 15:16 Leave a comment

belgian backstory

in april, derek and i celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary with a trip to belgium.  we got a lot of “why belgium?” questions,  so here’s the back story:

so a long time ago, derek and i both worked at muskoka baptist conference (now called muskoka bible centre).  we went to summit college and stayed on as full time staff.  through mbc, derek and i became friends with a strange european boy with long hair and skinny jeans (before they were cool).  we quickly became a trio of friends, with stephan leaving every few months to head back home to belgium.

L-R: stephan, me, derek

it was during one of stephan’s belgian stints that derek and i both separately began exploring the idea of going on a belgian stint of our own.  when we found out that the other had been thinking the same thing, it pretty much locked the idea in for us.

my journal from first trip to belgium.

so in march of 1999, we said goodbye to our families and boarded a plane for a 3 month adventure.  cell phone technology was very new, and staying in touch with my family would be limited to writing letters, and hoping that the calling card i carried with me would work from across the ocean.   my first time viewing the ocean was from a plane window.

stephan’s family was tied to the mission organization Operation Mobilisation, and our belgian adventure was mostly with the purpose of serving God in europe.   we definitely made time for sightseeing, but the focus was working 5 days/week at the OM base doing maintenance.

a day's work

it was perfect, but a lot of places in this world are.  so why did we want to go back to belgium?

when derek and i were friends, we declared that we wanted to marry each other.  not because we were in love, but because we didn’t want to live our lives without our best friend.  so we decided to start praying that we would fall in love.  at that point our friendship transitioned into courtship (derek even asked my daddy’s permission!)

the bible shows us how to love all over the place, with the most famous passage being in 1 corinthians 13.  it tells us all of the things that love is, and is not.  so we decided to use that passage as an instruction manual.

all of that happened before we went to belgium.  but it was IN belgium when God answered our prayers.  a lot of people ask “how do i know he’s the one?” or “what if he’s my soulmate?” and there’s a lot of uncertainty there.  i believe that yes, God has a match for you, but i also believe that love is an act, and something that we can choose.  when we choose to love, the uncertainty is gone.  there was definitely a moment when i looked across the mission’s base at derek and knew without a doubt, that i wasn’t just “trying” to love him, but that i had fallen in love with him.

this story is more sappy that the stories that i usually like to share, but it’s a story that honours God, and so it should be shared.  it’s also the story that explains why we went back to belgium.

the photos are either of my journal, or drawings from my journal.  i wrote in it almost every day for 3 months, and reading it again tonight brought back some great memories. wish i still had that discipline!  i’ll try to get back on here soon to share some pics and write a little something about our 2015 trip.

June 2, 2015 at 21:04 Leave a comment

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my life in pics

my baby sister is EIGHTEEN!!!! white-girl dance party to wild youtube birthday music, then a mad dash to 7/11 because bday girl has life goals. 
@noah.lebrun @rmal.m great night climbing trees with these monkeys.  family is my favourite :) 3 different types of wool and several froggings later- i finally have my finished star stitch pouch! great pattern by @allaboutami! mistakes aside- i'm happy to have a proper home for my tombows. swipe left to see pics of my creative kids joining me for a crafty afternoon!
#crochet #tombowusa