Saturday, September 24, 2011

Reasons Why I LOVE Fall

1. The food:  pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin chocolate chip squares
2. Walks in the cool, crisp outdoors with crunchy leaves underfoot and lingering fog.
 at the zoo.  Silas seeing a moose up close:

3. Fun fall activities like the Fort Langley Cranberry festival,  the pumpkin patch (with Silas this year it will be even MORE fun) and the pitt meadows corn maze:
 Can't believe this is how little Silas was last year! Can't wait to take him back to the patch this year:
4. Decorating the house with things like this:
 and this:
 and this:
 and this current table decor (although it is always changing):
 candle stands: from our fall wedding 6 years ago, branch pumpkin: from superstore, pine cones: Silas picked them up outside, cloth: extra from bridesmaid dresses, potpourri: from ikea for our wedding!

5. Rainy days to work on home renovations:
Kitchen backsplash (more photos to follow)
handmade quilt made from Ghanian fabrics: (still not finished, but getting there!):

Office painting and renos (not done yet, but here's a sneak peak): before

6. And this fall, can't wait until our 6th wedding anniversary.  Jason and I get to take a weekend and go to Victoria on Vancouver Island while the grandparents look after Silas.  Woohoo!

Loving the fall.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Round and Round

Thoughts are whirring, days are passing, time is ticking.  Lots on my mind these days.  I had a very honest and wonderful discussion with my hairdresser the other day and kind of got a kick in the pants about a few things.  After that discussion with her as well as an honest confessional time at my women's minstry team meeting I've come to a couple conclusions:

I'm going to stop trying to be perfect.  I know, I know, it appears that I have it all together.  Truth is, I'm very good at pretending.  I try to be the best at everything I do but basically that means I'm a perfectionist and I don't know how to rest.  It dawned on me: NO ONE likes to be around someone who is perfect.  It makes you want to pretend too.  It makes you have to compete with them.  It makes you inauthentic, unapproachable, and well, a bit of a snob.  That's how I've been.  I don't like being around women like that, so WHY, oh WHY am I trying to achieve perfection or at least the appearance of it?  

Does it matter if my hand towels match?  Will the sun fall out of the sky if my floors are rarely clean?  Does every meal have to rival Martha Stewart?  Will I somehow lose 'points' in this grand competition if my garden isn't as beautiful as I'd like it or heaven forbid, my child isn't always well behaved?

Nope.  I need to get over this dream of being and doing 'it all' and start being comfortable with my imperfections.  Maybe being the frazzled, harried, work in progress that I am will make others feel more at ease in their loose ends too.  

In keeping with the subject of my post (authenticity) I'm choosing to bare all and show a few lousy pictures of myself.  I'm a genuine perfectionist even when it comes to photos of myself.  For example, taking pregnancy pictures is quite the fan-fare and I give Jason a hard time all the time for taking such unflattering photos of me.  I have to stage it just right and pose at the perfect angle and we take like 20 shots to get a good one (no joke).  BUT truth is, I am not that photogenic (see exhibit a and b).  I'd encourage you in the spirit of authenticity to post a bad picture of yourself too!  (It's very freeing, or humiliating, but we'll go with freeing):
I am walking across the room, but it indeed looks like I can't walk properly or am squatting mid-step.  Ugh.

talk about bad angle- you can see up my nostrils, see my extra neck fat, and it looks like I'm bald.  NICE!

Second realization?  Ecclesiastes does not say "There is a time for everything" meaning NOW is the time to do EVERYTHING.  In fact, it means that maybe, just maybe, some of the things I love to do, have always wanted to do, and were on my schedule for this fall, should maybe wait until another season.  For example?  Leading and hostessing a small group.  J and I have wanted to do this for awhile and were eager, downright jumping at the bit to lead one.  But then it dawned on us:  Now is really not the time.  We have a baby coming in a few months, we have a very demanding and difficult toddler, we have family visiting, courses to finish, other ministry commitments, work and the list goes on...

When, oh when did we think we could fit that in?  We want to be excellent leaders, connected to our life group members and to take the time and energy to really be a blessing to others.  But it's just too busy right now.

Hard to admit we're not super-heroes but the truth is, we hardly had time to talk to each other over the past few weeks let alone really connect as a married couple.  

Sigh.  My quilt will continue to hang, unfinished, by my sewing machine and our office is still not finished being renovated due to a shelf-installation crisis (more details to come) but I feel less overwhelmed knowing that having projects not yet finished is not so bad after all.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

Epic birthday cake for my sister (in law) Karen's big 1-8 made by yours truly and Cheryl-the-great. Details to come... (p.s. thanks to Elise for the idea and to this cake and this recipe for the inspiration.  Oh, and to Wilton, for their perfect buttercream frosting.

We made the cake for 4 people.  Ummm.  Now what to do with the remaining 15 lbs of cake (?)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I had a work shift the other day and it felt like I had braxton hicks contractions ALL. DAY.  I was very close to calling the midwife as they were frequent, uncomfortable, and well- concerning.  However, once I got home and finally put my feet up they subsided.

Phew.  How can I feel this huge, this uncomfortable, and this PREGNANT so soon?  I still have 2 months to go (?) 

Let's just say that this put my nesting into hyper-gear.  Not that I have the time or energy to nest but all of a sudden the million things that need to be done around the house are blatantly obvious to me now and I feel this urgency to get them all done.  Now. Or in 5 minutes.  Finish tiling the kitchen, paint the office, put new vanities in the bathrooms, re-organize the tupperware drawer, or well, every drawer for that matter, get Silas to sleep in a toddler bed, the list goes on...and on...And the biggest problem is that one item on that list leads to a thousand others.  It goes something like this:

"I need to make room for baby's clothes in Silas' room, but that means taking all the boxes that are currently in the closet out, reorganizing them and distributing them into other closets and the garage...but then that means I need to make more room in the garage..etc"


"We need to paint the office, but that means we'd have to also re-do the shelves, and we really need better lighting in there anyways, but I'd have to reorganize everything, and maybe make some pillow covers for on top of the guest bed and I'd have to pick out fabric that would match the wall...etc"
All of a sudden I'm near panicking.  Jason is roped into trying to re-sort massive amounts of baby clothes and toys and make Silas' room accomodate two children instead of one.  Meanwhile, I'm madly running around trying to clean under bathroom sinks and sort through cloth diapers, searching through the internet to find double strollers and sewing my quilt like a madwoman.

What. Is. Wrong. With. Me????

2 months is a little while but I'm feeling a little pressured by all the committments we have this fall and with contractions happening regularly I'm starting to wonder if this little miracle will arrive sooner than expected.

[Okay Shannon.   Breathe.  Note to self: the baby won't care if my tupperware is organized. 
(That one is scratched off my list now)]. 

However, I'm terrified there will be no more semblance of order in our household, ever, again if I don't do everything NOW.  On top of that, add a willful toddler who we are trying to train to sleep in a bed and, that's why I'm stressed.

As my energy level declines and baby's delivery date is breathing down my neck I'm wondering why I was so gung-ho to sign up for every volunteer position in my church this fall and to work until 2 weeks before the due date.

I'm having nesting in-sanity. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Camping Adventure

Again, we found ourselves packing this summer.  What a full summer it has been!  However, despite traveling across the States to Colorado, studying there for 4 weeks, going boating in Harrison with family, working, and having visitors stay with us...what would summer be without one last camping adventure?

Neither Jason nor I had been up the sunshine coast much, so we booked at Porpoise Bay campground just past Sechelt and off we went with some friends.  We had many adventures:

Adventure #1:  fitting 4 adults and one child into our 5 seater Kia Rondo.  Good thing we had a cartop carrier! Mission was successful (except we had to shop for food there)
A#2: the ferries.  If you live in the lower mainland you know that it's possible to sit for HOURS in a ferry line up and keep missing ferry after ferry.  Low and behold, without having a reservation and it being the long weekend, we only had to wait just over an hour to get on the ferry!  The way back was similar- we hardly waited!  
A#3: Silas hadn't been on a 'big boat' before and he loved it!  Here he is (fighting his hat)

A#4: Food.  I can't say this was that adventurous because we came up with some incredible camping cuisine.  We enjoyed: farmers sausage cooked over the fire- piled high with fried onions and fresh corn on the cobb, incredible lentil soup cooked by Gillian (see below), fresh sandwiches, locally baked scones, french-style crepes, etc.  Who said camping had consist of 'packaged' meals?
 Even the squirrels liked it!  (We named this brave fella' Skookum)

 A#5: Hike to Skookumchuk narrows.  4 km each way and we did not bring our hiking carrier for Silas (there just wasn't room!)  He did incredibly well and did a lot of hiking himself.  He surely is (as his namesake means) a 'man of the forest.'

The narrows were super cool.  It's where the tide comes rushing into a narrow inlet creating huge waves.  Such that kayakers frequent the area to do tricks and practice.  VERY interesting.

 Back on the ferry again:

The weather was beautiful, the food was great, the company was awesome, overall we had a great time.  The only thing was...IT WAS A LOT OF WORK.  Not sure it was really that relaxing with trying to get Silas to sleep in the tent, his constant falling and getting into trouble, and well, you know, the cooking.  Sigh.  When will vacations like this be actually rejuvenating?  Then we got home only to find that our washer was broken and were reminded that we still hadn't finished our backsplash tiling project.  Good grief.  Oh well.  C'est la vie.  At least this cutie keeps us laughing and living: 
(showing off his tan line)
 Looks like we'll need a new tent for next summer though.   Until then, our camping stuff is packed away for another season!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...