Front door

A long time ago, in a land far away, a young girl decided that she wanted to be…an accountant. She went to school, she studied, she articled, and she wrote a four-day exam. In November of the year 2000, she learned that she had passed that final hurdle and had earned the right to call herself a Chartered Accountant.

(Boring accounting history aside, she is now a Chartered Professional Accountant with a legacy C.A. designation, which makes her look even smarter thanks to the extra initials behind her name.)

That girl, of course, is me. My designation has served me very, very well as our lives have changed from newlyweds, to young parents, and to parents of teen/tweenagers. I have worked in different areas in the accounting field, but I always come back to public practice. Matthew and friends and colleagues have encouraged me to go out on my own but I never had any desire to.

Until I did.

It took one conversation with a wise friend that sparked me on the journey I’ve been on for the past few months. Obtaining licensing approval, incorporating, getting insurance, having my logo and website designed (Thanks, Susie!), and securing the best location a girl could ever hope for (Thanks, Tim and Kristi!).

As I mentioned in my last post, the doors have been blowing wide open every step of the way. I have encountered no hiccups, no delays, no snags. At one point last week, I wondered if something might not work and Kristi responded, “You’ve had a horseshoe up your butt this whole time. It’s not about to stop now!” She was right. My ducks have been lining up very nicely.

I got the keys to my new space this past weekend, and we went down immediately to cover the windows with Kraft paper and hang my details in the window. Matthew is putting his contractor skills to work in the evenings to get me ready to launch. My last day at my current job is on Friday, and I have to be in Vancouver on Monday for a thing*, so my office doors will be open on Tuesday, May 2nd.

If you’re local, stop by and say hi! If you want to find me online, check out my FB page and my pretty website.

I’m beyond excited, you guys. Here’s to new adventures!

*I have something else amazing in the works that complements this step. Those details will follow. Soon.

Skies

Many moons ago, buried somewhere in the depths of the archives of this space, I wrote about how Matthew told me, “Everything you touch turns to gold.” He was not wrong. It has been the story of my life.

It was a perfect storm for success: A gifted student, who skipped third grade and who exceeded academically through high school and post-secondary. Parents who told me that I could to anything. Anything. Being a pretty girl with big blue eyes and fantastic hair  (I love my hair! I own that) gave me extra privilege, once I stopped being a chubby girl with poor fashion choices.

I also have white privilege. That last one has been simmering in the background since long before the US election and, oh. I have so much to say about that, and I will. I just need to get back to why I blew the dust off of my keyboard. In the meantime, may I point you to my friend Kelly? If you don’t know Kelly, you should. And check out her site Being Black at School. Go.

Back to me and the last…year? A good year and a half. So many changes, and so many things I would use writing as therapy for but I couldn’t and so it was all stuffed inside. A while back friends were linking to a quiz that rated how likely you were to have a nervous breakdown. Moving, job changes, cancer in the family, and so many other things I checked off and I can’t remember the exact result, but it was something along the lines of, HOW ARE YOU STILL FULLY CLOTHED AND IN YOUR RIGHT MIND?

I also lost that feeling that I’d always had — that everything would be good. It’s always good, because I am Angella and it always is. Everything that I touch turns to gold! It’s what happens. Until it doesn’t.

I threw out my internal furniture, and set the remaining things on fire. I was left empty. I had nothing left. Nothing. It was terrifying and freeing at the same time.

I have been taking time to re-furnish my soul and it looks good in there. Sparse, but thoughtfully decorated. No more clutter, and space for the things that need to be added.

Now that my internal house is back in order, everything is falling into place once again. I feel that God gave me a kick in the pants (through some humans I love) to move in a direction. I have always believed that if you move toward a door, it will either be closed or it will be open. My doors are being blown WIDE OPEN.

I know that I’m back on my right path, and it feels good.

Details to follow, soon.

*** NEEDTOBREATHE, of course. I see them live again next month and I cannot wait to sing along with all of my being. Their words speak to my every day.

Winter sky
I’ve been a runner for quite a few years now, and I run three days a week. This is the 5th winter that I keep my running routine outdoors, because I hate running on a treadmill (and I love the outdoors!). Truth be told, I prefer winter running to summer running because your body temperature doesn’t go through the roof.

That said, it is COLD here again. I swapped out two of my runs this week for power walks with a friend because it’s too dark to navigate the icy roads at my running pace. But today! Today I was off work early and the temperature had “warmed up” (-11 Celsius, not including windchill) and there was still daylight. My body was itching to run, so I bundled up and headed out.

For the first 2 km my face hurt and tears streamed from my eyes and my fingers turned to icy blocks inside my gloves. But then! Then my body warmed up and the next 4 km were as good as it gets when you’re wearing YakTrax and navigating icy roads.

I’m home now, and feeling a little bit badass. And also a little bit woozy.

Nathan and Emily both took up baseball two years ago and loved it. They loved it so much that they played it again this past spring at their respective age levels. Nathan then tried out for the Penticton summer rep team, made it, and they went on to play at Provincials. Nathan is now playing Peewee AA fall ball with the same (amazing) coaches he had this summer and they have some weekend tournaments coming up.

We are officially a baseball family.

I grew up in a hockey family and Matthew was/is a basketball superstar, so this whole baseball thing has been a big learning curve. We’re catching on, with the help of our young baseball fanatics. Every Blue Jays game is on our big screen T.V. with all three of our kids completely engrossed in it. (Graham may not have picked up the same love of playing baseball, but he sure does love watching it and cheering on the Jays.)

During one of the Jays games, we decided to look up when they next played in Seattle. Flying the five of us across the country to Toronto is more expensive than taking our family to Mexico, but Seattle is close enough for us to drive to. We took in a Jays/Mariners game last year and it was more than worth the drive down to see them. There were three games scheduled for this September, with the second game being at night and the third game being held during the next day. Two games and only one night’s cost of staying at a hotel? SOLD.

If you followed along on Instagram or Facebook, this is old news, but here are some photo highlights from the trip:

Safeco stadium

The field

If you get to the stadium when they open the gates, you can run down to centre field and watch the teams practice. If there’s batting practice, kids can collect the stray baseballs. There wasn’t batting practice before the day game, but after warming up, a number of the players walked along and gave autographs.

Dermody Estrada and the crowd Estrada Grilli

To say that my kids were thrilled is a gross understatement.

(I got a text from my Uncle Tim as we were driving home that he saw me on the highlight reel standing behind the kids as they got their autographs. Neat.)

Day 2 Seats

It was a very quick trip: We were away from home for exactly 39 hours, took in two baseball games and managed about eight hours of sleep on Tuesday night. Having teens/preteens may have its challenging times (emotionally), but travelling with them is a billion times easier than when they were wee. We all had the best time and this is looking to be the second annual of many more annual trips for our family to cheer on our favorite ball team in person.

Team Dykstra

Team Dykstra

The Beach

If you’re friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a pretty repetitive feed of blue skies and water. I’m working shorter hours for the summer so that I can take the kids to the beach. It means that less money is going into my bank account, but it also means that less money is going out to pay for things like camps and whatnot to keep the I’m Bored complaints at bay. Bonus: I get to go to the beach and read books/flip through magazines while my kids frolic in the water. Everybody wins.

We had talked about whether we should go on a family vacation somewhere, but we live in the Okanagan for crying out loud. It’s where people from all over B.C. and Alberta come to spend their summer holidays. Why would we leave? Plus, we have Apex to go to if we want to escape the heat (Higher altitude) and take a break from our daily return at home.

The kids have embraced summer as well and are at the stage where they sleep over at friends’ houses or friends sleep over here and I can have a Suburban full of beach bums, or I can be down to only one of my own beach bums to hang out with. That happened today, with Graham and Nathan out with their respective friends. Emily and I took the opportunity to rent a couple of stand up paddle boards for an hour and get out on the lake.

SUP

So fun.

Happy! August, friends. Soak it up before September comes and lazy days are just a distant memory.

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