Happy Place

Life is busy, but it will be busy for the next thirty years or so. I’ve come to the realization that getting through the week/month only means that I’ll then have to make it through the next week/month. When one commitment ends, another takes its place, and so on and so forth. Discouraging? A little bit. Defeating? Nope, because we have a great life.

(I just typed out a whole story about how I made the kids understand how great they have it, after they made it clear how entitled they feel, but everything on the Internet lasts forever. I deleted the story, but if you know me in real life you’ve already heard it anyway.)

The moral of the story is that life is busy. Life is stressful. But life is good, and we are blessed beyond measure. We get to live in Canada and better yet, we get to live in the Okanagan. We get to swim in the summer and ski/snow shoe in the winer, and hike all year-round. We are healthy, and when we are not, we have health care. We have an amazing community who loves us and supports us. We have family who are a part of our daily lives, and family that see us when they can and pour into our kids.

We’re healthy and we’re happy and I’m so thankful for it all.

Love Is Messy

Emily has been an Artist for as long as she’s been able to move and create. She sings, she dances, and she draws me beautiful pictures, usually with an “I LOVE YOU MOM” caption. She draws with sidewalk chalk, she uses markers to colour in books, and she uses pencils to draw renditions of characters in the books she reads. She is a creative being and I love it.

On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Masters (Matthew is known as Mr. Matt to the kids in our church, so now that he’s working on his Masters for about forty hours (!) per week (!!) on top of working more than forty hours a week at the church) (All people who have worked at a church/been related to someone who works at a church know what I’m talking about)(ANYWAY, I’ve started calling him Mr. Masters instead of Mr. Matt)(Not that I call him Mr. Matt at home, because that would be weird)(I need to stop with the parenthesis) made the call to take a nap, while I made the call to go for a run with a friend.

When Mr. Masters woke up from his short siesta, he made his way downstairs to discover that our fair daughter had decided to make some paintings, using the splatter technique. She had put on an apron to make sure her clothes were kept clean. The paint she used was acrylic paint, and it was all over the floor, our couch, the iPad, and the coffee table. She likely splattered the cats as well, so their poop in the litter should be rainbow colored. Mr. Masters cleaned up the paint and told me all about the fiasco when I got home from my run. (He needs to be on Instagram, or at least take a photo so that I can share it when situations like these arise.)

Acrylicopocalypse aside, the canvas she painted is beyond amazing. One person threw out “Messy Love” and, yes. Love is messy.

So is acrylic paint.

(I love her so very, very much.)

On top of the mountain

The winter weather where we live is not the stereotypical “Canada weather” that our dear Americans refer to. We live at the top of the Sonoran desert, which comes all of the way from California. We live in an area that happens to get some snow down below, with more snow in the mountains. We usually hover around the freezing mark from November through February, with the occasional cold snap of twenty below.

This winter has been off the rails. We had an epic snowstorm that saw us without power for four days out of seven, which was delightful (hashtag sarcasm). Then the snow melted, and froze (and melted and froze and so on). We had a brown (no snow) Christmas in the first time in at least ten years. At the tail end of Christmas break we were hit with yet another snowstorm. It broke records, which is great for weather geeks, but not so great for my back. Shovelling wet snow is less workout, more unnecessary pain.

Now, we’re experiencing spring in February. The East Coast and the North Coast have been battered by the kind of snow we saw (twice!) this winter, but here in the Okanagan the golf courses are opening and I’m running in capris and t-shirts. It’s crazy, and weird, and kind of awesome, global warming conspiracies aside.

Prairie Valley

So, who’s coming to visit?

Spring in February

(I had every intention of writing about the early spring we’re having (See above photo), but the following came out.)

Cancer is something that we’ve eluded in our family, and in our extended family. I’ve often wondered if there would be some ball to drop that would blow up our world but so far, so good. There is no history of cancer, and no flags of cancer, so we’ve escaped the C-Word. For now.

I have three friends who have been battling cancer over the past year or more. I lived for more than three decades with no Cancer stories and then BAM! Three of the people who have the most giving hearts were diagnosed with Cancer. One has thyroid cancer an the other two have breast cancer. WHY? I don’t know why, but it made me reply to my Doctor’s voice mail about my annual checkup.

(The lump behind my ear is glandular, not cancer.)

(I thought it was just a PAP, but no. They wanted a urine sample (I peed before I got there! I squeezed out a few ounces for the test), and they weighed me. I haven’t stepped on a scale for at least three years, because the numbers mean nothing and drove me crazy. Case in point: The nurse called out the number on the scale and I wanted to set the scale on fire.)(I didn’t, but that would have made for great blog fodder.)

Everything is fine, and I am fine. Back to my friends.

My one friend on the tail end of chemo told me that asking what we can do won’t work. We just need to do for our friends. Show up, bring dinner, clean bathrooms, or do whatever needs to be done. The wheels are in motion for us to do exactly that for the locals in need. A bunch of us also love bombed another friend who is battling Cancer and other things, and the timing could not have been more perfect.

To sum it up:

Cancer = Stupid

Friends = Loving. And willing to take Cancer DOWN. Probably with a neck punch.

Also, hug the person next to you. That’s an order.

Ski Bunny

I was a kid who was not physically active growing up. By “not physically active”, I mean “not physically active.” I walked to school and I rode my bike to my friends’ houses, but I lived in a wee town and it’s not like I had a long way to go. As for team sports, they were not my thing. They never have been, and they never will be. It’s a miracle if I make a basket, baseball consists of me throwing the ball to the opposing team and getting line drives to my thigh, and volleyball is just the stupidest sport ever.

Non-team sports are my thing. Running requires nothing other than legs and good shoes, and the company of friends is always welcome. I’ve been attending a boot camp for seven (!) years now, and I love how she keeps pushing us in both our cardio and our strength. We took up skiing as a family three years ago now, and whether it’s with the family or with friends, it’s always amazing to be out there. Snow shoeing is something that we (mostly I) have taken up as well, and it’s one heck of a workout. There’s something about being in the middle of a quiet forest, surrounded by trees that are heavy with snow, to make you stop and take it all in.

I’ve always prayed that my kids would find their “thing.” Two of the three get the slow metabolism that I was born with (The other one couldn’t gain weight if he tried), and I want them to find their “thing” sooner that I did, so they can be active and healthy and not be as out of shape as I was. All three are better skiers than I am (Yay!) and love to be on the hill. They like to walk and to hike and to spend our summers swimming in the lake.

They have each been finding their thing, which makes me so happy.

Graham is our strongest skier, and cannot wait for rugby to start this spring. He’s as solid as a rock, and is totally built for the sport.

Nathan is a runner like me, and is also playing basketball for his fifth grade team…and also with the sixth graders at the Middle School. A few of the fifth graders were asked if they wanted to play on the sixth grade team, and he’s rocking it. (His Dad — former Captain of the basketball team, and local legend — is now assistant coach. Apple, meet tree.)

Emily is a fish in the water, and I’ve suggested many times that she should be in a swim club. Being the independent girl that she is, it had to come from her. Last week she told me that she wanted to join the swim club. We signed her up for a few lessons (with her best friend) with the plan to start swim club in the fall. She got out of her lesson yesterday (Tired, and) excited and exclaiming how she could not wait for her next lesson.

Three different beings, three different wirings, and three different activities they’re pumped about. I love it.

(We so need to move into town, because I see a lot of driving in my future.)

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