Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mary Did You Know

If this doesn’t get you in the true Christmas spirit, I don’t know what will.  Beautiful rendition and hard to believe no instruments were used.

Counting our many blessings right now, including the love and energy surrounding baby Levi ♥  This rendition I dedicate to our Beautiful Baby Levi xo

I think it’s a perfect day for our Christmas tree to appear Winking smile

Friday, November 21, 2014

A nice reminder in this season of life ♥

Ode to my sister-in-law ♥♥♥

For ten minutes.

I had one of those headaches. You know, the ones where it feels like a dull fork is smashed through your temples making it heard to see or think or hear? I’d been battling it, that constant and building ache, all day. My normal answer, the second cup of coffee, didn’t do anything to cut the continuous drum pounding in ultra volume in my head. Finally, finally, after sitting and staring I told myself to rest.

When are you going to finish that? Do you have time for this?

That was the immediate thought as soon as my pain-ridden head hit the pillow.

Are you going to get everything done? Did you get the laundry out of the dryer? What are you making for dinner? Now you’ll be behind. What about the paperwork? Did you respond to those emails? Did you read to Samuel yet today? You didn’t? You know what they say about kids and reading and now because of you resting upstairs he’ll be behind.

No joke.

I tried to rest and immediately the monologue of every single thing I should be doing raced through my head at 193 miles per hour. All I wanted was ten minutes. Ten little minutes while I waited for the Advil to work it’s magic so that I could continue on the frenzied express of motherhood. Ten minutes. That was it. That was all I was willing to give to me.

The irony is that if any of you had a headache or needed a break or if anyone I know in real life did I would be all over them for stepping back. Stop, now. Rest, rest, rest. You’re worth it.  I’d tell them. Yet, yet, yet…for me it was this lack of grace and instead litany of reasons why resting was pushing me behind.


How about you? Do you have the same? This crazy frenzy of stuff to do all the time and then the moment you declare I’m enough and I need a break or I have to close my eyes then you start to get bombarded with everything that you think you should be doing at the moment?

Notice the word think.

That’s what I’m trying to teach myself.


It’s all the stuff that I think needs to be done.

But, sweet moms, here’s the deal — If we don’t take care of us and then we burn out and then those moments even with our kids in our arms are filled with deep exhaustion. Now, listen, I know that we live in a culture where there is always one more thing that we could be doing. We could be helping our kids get just a bit more ahead. We could be working harder. We could be exercising more. We could be spending more time on meals. We could be cleaning. We could be working. We could, could, could, could.

Just because we could doesn’t mean that we should.

Sometimes the greatest power in life comes in the moments when we can say no to the shoulds and coulds and instead yes to ourselves and what we need at the moment to make us better. That day with the headache? I should have put my head on my pillow hours before I finally relented and did. And, in fact because I waited so ridiculously long in my quest to plow through, my headache was exponentially worse then if I had just taken care of it from the beginning.

From the beginning.

I didn’t want to slow down because I kept thinking that accomplishing more meant putting myself on the back burner. I do that all too often, really. Sometimes I won’t speak up and will instead allow others and their opinions to plow over me or taint my response. I don’t rest because the to-do list is daunting. But, I’m learning. I’m learning that oftentimes being the best me means taking care of me too.

So today, today, today I give you that needed nod, the permission, the it’s totally awesome and important to take care of you words.

Do you know why?

Because so often it’s someone else in my life that will step in and tell me to slow down, rest, go-to bed, let the messy counter go, do something I love and so on — because I’m ridiculously stubborn and would keep going even when I’m under empty on reserves.

So here are my learned words to you:


Take care of you.

Sometimes that means saying no to awesome things. Or yes. Or maybe later. Sometimes it means putting your head on the pillow and not caring that there are 18,392 things you could be doing. Sometimes it means deciding to take a walk just to think. Sometimes it means deciding that all of those shoulds of motherhood are not what really matters. Sometimes it means being the friend that tells another friend to rest.

The shoulds and coulds and to-do list will always be there.

You’ll hear them constantly.

Do you know just one thing that you really should be doing?

Taking care of you.

I should have done that.

Two steps forward. One step back. And forward and back.

And learning grace in it all.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Welcoming Baby Sharratt xox

The past three days have been anything but relaxed… to say the least.  Here’s how it has gone!

On our drive back from Niagara (where we took the girls to celebrate Selena’s birthday), I got a text from my mom who said that there were a few things that caused the doctors to want to keep a closer eye on Jenn.  At that point, I didn’t think much of it and knew she was in good hands.

Later that evening, I got another call from my mom that some of the tests revealed it was best to keep Jenn on bed rest and to be admitted to McMaster Hospital in Hamilton.  With the snowstorm starting and my dad not feeling too well, I drove my mom to meet David so she could drive with him while Jenn was being transferred via ambulance from Cambridge Hospital to McMaster.

With updates galore from my mom, Jenn was stable, the baby was healthy and all was good and they were keeping her there to keep a close eye on things.

Tuesday morning, my mom and I spend the day at her bedside, keeping her and David company.  We left with Jenn feeling good, but still full bed rest.

Wednesday morning, after packing the kids up and ready to walk them to school, the phone rings and mom is telling me that baby could be coming.  In minutes, we’re again driving to Hamilton, this time meeting David halfway since he had gone into work that morning.  We got there with Jenn’s labour slightly progressing (something that the doctors were attempting to hold off).  We spent the morning and afternoon with them, and by the time we left, Jenn again was stable.  We had a text code for David to use if for whatever reason they had to take Jenn in for surgery quickly, so we knew to jump in the car right away.

Little did we know what was to come….

Got home in time to celebrate Selena’s birthday with mom and dad, Karsten and Meaghan.  As the kids were getting ready for bed at 7:45pm, David sent the code!  I dropped everything, told my mom to get over right away.  Less than 30 minutes later, my mom, dad and I were at the hospital with Jenn’s mom waiting for the news.

Baby Sharratt was born at 8:51pm on November 19, 2014.  Weighing 4 lb, 1oz (amazing weight for a baby born at 30 weeks, 2 days gestation), officially sharing his birth date with Selena.  Proud daddy came out to share the news and before we knew it, we were congratulating the new mom and seeing the perfect little boy, all cozy in his new home in the NICU.

2014-11-19 20.47.51


Baby Sharratt is already breathing on his own and doing absolutely fantastic!!


Being an aunt is one of the most amazing feelings in the world!  I am so grateful for this little boy, we are truly blessed to add this little one to our family.  It’s amazing what a new life feels like.  Nothing else in this world can compare to the feeling.  Nothing else matters… it really doesn’t.  I’m so happy for my brother and sister-in-law.  The amount of love surrounding them is impossible to comprehend.

Special thanks to my awesome Jamsie who allowed me to be on-call for three days straight and drop everything to get to the hospital ♥  And to our beautiful girls who excitedly and patiently asked about their new cousin every time mommy stepped in the door.  Selena will have an extra special bond with her new cousin who she officially gets to celebrate her birthday with.

Proud Auntie right here!!  This little one has no idea what he’s in store for Open-mouthed smile  Kisses and hugs and cheek pulling and all that comes with crazy aunt Bre!!!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Belated Halloween Birthday Celebrations

Yes… I am two weeks late on this post!  Life seems to be moving at double time right now.

To summarize:  westMONSTERrun was a lot of fun again this year!  We finally had a day of good weather.  We’re looking forward to next year’s race that will take place on Halloween Day!  and hoping for a big crowd of lots of costumes!  Had a fun little pre-halloween bash at BJAMS afterwards.



James and I have been watching Breaking Bad – My dad has a remarkable resemblance to Heisenberg!! (notice his blue meth in the background Winking smile)


Halloween Day flew by – Daddy got birthday kisses and hugs in the morning, mommy got to spend the morning helping in Annika’s classroom with craft centers, the kids rushed home into their costumes and spent 2+ hours running from house to house with Emma, Caomihe, Caitilin and Ciaran!  …and the day wasn’t over yet!  Off to Meaghan and Karsten’s Halloween bash after the kids were in bed!

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Annika as Frankistein (Monster High)


..and Selena as a Minion



We had a fantastic family hike at Rattlesnake Point to top off the birthday celebrations.


Yes… that is Selena climbing the rocks with a broken arm!  Awesome!


LOVE the orbs in this picture! ♥