Sunday, December 6, 2009

Help me embrace life!

I've chosen to change things up a bit. After much design-, decision-, digi-despair, I can tell you why I've been scarce around here the past week or so. Introducing:

As much as I've enjoyed my time here, it was really high time to integrate this blog with my creative blog.  The result? Embrace Life has come into being. It is, I believe, the best of both.

Grab a cuppa, put your feet up and come on over and say "hi".

All photos, links and content will remain in this location, but this blog will no longer be updated or maintained. As always, if photos or content is used, linking back is appreciated just send me a note via the new location. Thanks!

Friday, December 4, 2009

TGIF 04.12.09

I'm trusting my children will excel at anything they focus on: school, choir, sports
I'm grateful to have something to do, many things to do, every day
I'm inspired by the encouragement of complete strangers

Want to participate in TGIF? If so, get the scoop over at Ordinary Courage. Even if you don't want to participate, do yourself a favour today and head over anyway. You won't regret it!

Enjoy your weekend. 
Be sure to head back here on Sunday morning for the "big change". Like I mentioned, always something to do, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November Lessons

November started brilliantly enough with such promise; by the time it ended, I was exhausted. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. I am quite happy to see the end of it for many reasons ... but in retrospect, I appreciated it and actually enjoyed so many opportunities to turn shit into sunshine. It was that kind of 30-days. Draining but exhilarating, you know what I mean? Now that it's over and I've had time to digest it all, my primary emotion: relief. Not much of my list got completed as there were constant interruptions, but the laundry is completely up-to-date and around here that is an accomplishment! Other things we managed this month:
  • No snow! According to the weather man, this is the first November in aeons (I think he really said 30 years) that there has been no snow in the Toronto area. It has been lovely and mild. I think that's why the idea of Christmas in twenty four days is coming as quite a shock!
  • Claire has become addicted to The Vampire Diaries and every Thursday night she can be found over at her buddy Marley's house and the two of them watch. I'm still confused by the vampire fascination but happy they have a comfortable weekly routine.
  • I was PUBLISHED! Whoot :)
  • Louis continues as an active member of the MOHA Board of Directors which is a constant source of drama and contradiction.
  • Caden is allergic to homework. I'm convinced it has no known cure. 
  • In additional to a super-secret project for which I am a very happy guinea pig, I participated in: Blogging for Scrapbookers, Sketchapalooza5, 365 Layouts in 365 Days,Yesterday and Today, Unravelling: Further. I'm seriously thinking this may be the last of my e-courses for a while. Hmm.
  • Cole and his hockey team participated and won their tournament in Lake Placid, NY. His favourite part, other than winning, was playing on the 1980 Olympic ice. What a thrill!
  • Colours all around! This is the highest athletic honour a student can receive at school. It is awarded to one student per team per term to acknowledge excellence in sport and for consistent display of leadership. Claire received the honour for basketball. Rarely is it given in the first term to a student in middle school: Cole received it for cross country. Wow.
  • Claire was chosen to play on the D1 Volleyball team at school. They must have much faith in her athletic abilities as she is by no stretch a volleyball player! Or they need someone to keep the bench warm :)
  • Chloe sang her heart out at her very first concert with the Oakville Children's Choir at the Anti Bully event held a the Meeting House.
  • Hockey has taken over our lives, as it does each winter. This experience is such an amazing contrast to last year. Thank goodness!
  • I managed to read The Lost Symbol. Verdict: predictable and contrived. I was very disappointed since I ran out and bought it in hard cover. (Yes, I'm cheap that way.) I've moved on to The Guernsey Potato Peel Pie and Literary Society and I'm hoping for a better story. Certainly the writing is an improvement!
  • Glee, Survivor and The Amazing Race continue to be must-see television around here.  
  • Caden is enjoying filling-in for his brother at practice with George McDonald on Monday afternoons. It really has improved his game and as a result he's proving me right: you can't enjoy anything unless you do it well. All of a sudden my little guy has confidence and loves going to hockey.
  • I participated in Blogging for Scrapbookers and enjoyed every minute of it! I met so many wonderful women all over the world. Such a great class!
  • Chloe is convinced life is like Disney sitcom. I know it's not. She and her brother Caden are now allowed to watch two channels: Discovery and the Food Network. They'll learn good stuff on both! And, on neither channel do I believe anyone talks back to their mother and adults are not trying to be children.
  • Cole was selected to play on the school U14 hockey team. It is a bit different from what he's used to ... no contact, and his defense partner is a girl. Girls are tough, he's played 3on3 with them, I think he's prepared. Looking forward to his first game! He's enjoying learning a different system than the one he's been involved in for the last couple of years.
  • Louis and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. Well, celebrate is a bit of a stretch. He went to Orangeville to watch Cole and his team play and I stayed home with Chloe and Caden. We'll celebrate some other time.
  • Finally found the perfect boots - for Claire. I hope that means we can stop going to the mall. That girl can shop!
  • My parents came out to watch Cole play hockey. He had, as always, a solid game. We enjoyed a lovely dinner downtown afterward. I love winter, I get to see my family! 
  • Caden insisted that I watch the movie "Up". I cried all the way through. Louis is still apologising for buying it!
  • I finished my first digital quick page in Photoshop Elements. I'm becoming, slowly, less intimidated. Now to get it all organized!
  • Claire has been invited to be one of two students to be outrigger canoe instructors at camp the last two weeks of July this summer. It's always wonderful to have something to look forward to!
  • On that note, I've booked our annual visits to Cape Cod. Good for all of us to have something to look forward to ... I'm so lucky to get to go twice!
  • That Grey Cup game was incredible as was the Vanier Cup this year. Both games were great lessons in determination and heart. I love football - both American and Canadian versions. I so wish my boys were interested, but they're not. Good thing I can get my fix on television.
And now December is upon us. I'm doubtful the snow will hold off much longer; the leaves are long gone and the heat has been on in the house for the better part of a month. The lake has taken on the dark grey of winter and the days are getting shorter and shorter. I'm looking forward to decorating for the holidays, baking, spending time in plenty of rinks, enjoying concerts, helping the kids study for exams, family gatherings, mulled cider, gingerbread men, twinkle lights and a nice long break with the kids at home.

I'm hoping for a nice, quiet, peaceful, love-filled, supportive, kind and joyous holiday season with my friends and family.

I hope the same for you, too!

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Best Shot Monday: Sing

Cole enjoyed his first Middle School carol service. I really enjoyed watching and hearing the kids sing. I've always felt comfort in the entertainment portion of chapel :) This was Cole's first event of what turned out to be a very long and lovely day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

1001: Reluctant, not!

 Image found here

Here we are, at post 1,001. I probably would have not noticed if Caden hadn't been standing over my shoulder when I logged in today. When I started blogging in February 2007, I really thought it would be a passing activity, and sometimes it was!

I have learned so much since that first entry. This blog land is populated by so many tremendously talented people filled with great insight and ideas. I hope that I've been able to share with you my favourites and you've gleened a bit about me and the crazy happenings in my family!

As a result of my Blogging for Scrapbookers course, taken with a group of lovely women over at Shimelle earlier this month, I'm trying to decide what changes I should make. In October 2008, I decided to move my "artsy-crafty" stuff over to a new blog: theLINARstudio (LINAR stands for Life Is Not A Rehearsal). Lately I have found it cumbersome to maintain two blogs, provide content on two and maintain two platforms: Blogger here and Typepad there. I do prefer the Typepad flexibility, though I did have a designer make the template and I'm not sure how to mess around with it so I can add/delete stuff like I can at will here on Blogger. I like the simplicity of the Blogger format. I've paid for the Typepad platform, it's free here on blogger.

I'm blathering.

It took me a while to realize that I have an audience, so, now that I am aware, I'm going to ask you which you prefer. In the comments please vote! L2L or LINAR?

And, you're welcome to say anything else you might want me to know, too :)

I'm off to complete my Saturday. I don't know about you, but the weekends here are getting out of control. Today started with ...

a 6AM hockey practice for Caden, then;
a 9:30AM volleyball game for Claire, followed by;
a 12 noon birthday party for Caden (back on the ice again!), then;
a 1:30PM showing of New Moon for Claire and a gaggle of friends, boys and girls; simultaneously
a 2PM Christmas Carol concert for Cole, rehearsal and performance which he has to slip out early in order to make;
a 4:30PM hockey photo session - team and individual pics for Cole, then deliver Chloe to
a 5PM sleep-over birthday party and manage to get to, on time,
a 5:30PM pre-game warm up for Cole, which turns into,
a 6:30PM hockey game vs Orangeville for Cole. My parents are coming in from Toronto to watch, yay! Following that, hopefully victorious game,
we have 8:30PM reservations for dinner with out family, my parents and Cole's teammate and his family and then I'm hoping for
a before midnight bed time, since Louis and Claire have to be at the rink for Sunday at 6:30AM

I expect the highlander will cover more than 200km of roadway and we'll never leave town!

Alas, no crafty time, but I have managed four loads of laundry and one load of dishes so far. Sunday looks somewhat less busy, but still two trips to the rink. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

Friday, November 27, 2009

TGIF 27.11.09

I'm trusting the encouragement given my children continues to far outweigh the discouragement they receive
I'm grateful for children who are able to recover from disappointment and see the bright side of life, there is always more up than down
I'm inspired by the kindness and understanding of my friends, who are kind and understanding even when they have no idea what I'm talking about!

Want to participate in TGIF? If so, get the scoop over at Ordinary Courage. Even if you don't want to participate, do yourself a favour today and head over anyway. You won't regret it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The season of gratitude continues

I found this on the Homegrown Hospitality blog and love it! My gift to you this American Thanksgiving:

Isn't that wonderful?

The season of gratitude continues. I give thanks every day for the multitude of fortunes in my life, and even those misfortunes which are simply opportunities to turn the bad on it's head! Those are the best challenges: being grateful for the misfortunes. It is in those opportunities we learn the most about ourselves and those around us.

*8 Things for which I am most grateful today:
  1. The rain has stopped, for the moment, though this has been the driest November in decades
  2. Claire only thought she forgot her keys, so I didn't have to make a second trip to the school this morning, again
  3. Chloe and Caden make their own lunches, and make sure all food groups were represented, this is new!
  4. Cole remembered to put his hockey equipment on his tree, late, but done
  5. Louis made coffee, and toast
  6. Packages and envelopes have been organized and waiting to go to the post office, no Christmas cards, though, yet ... maybe
  7. Caden finished his homework, with time to spare!
  8. A whole day ahead to get things done, including laundry, before the chaos which starts again at 3:15 and goes, tonight, until 9!
Bonus: I'm even grateful for the chaos

Enjoy your day!