What do you do when...

every word you say hits a brick wall?

When obedience turns into a negotiable concept?

When you get so frustrated that you want to stomp and yell and punch the wall?

When the entire household has molasses running through their veins, 
but the schedule races by at the speed of light?

When everyone, including you, needs something dramatic and new,
all at the same time?

When you need to be doing 5 things all at once...
but can't seem to even manage one successfully?
I get excited!

It's when those seasons come that I lean deeper into my Rock. 
He put me here. 
He has made me content to be a wife, a mother, a help-meet, a homemaker, a teacher...
I love watching our home get rocked this way

The outcome is beautiful!

We all emerge clean and shiny, washed by the rain of trials and friction, cleansed by the act of humble submission to our Heavenly Father, 
author of
and peace
giver of wisdom
lifter of the weary
light for those who stumble
encourager of the mommies

protector of their children

leader of the lost.

So, we wait. I pray and observe...both myself and my children. I take notes, find scripture, get ideas from others, pray some more, and let the Lord make a new plan. This happens every so often to us...mostly when I'm feeling puffed up and prideful that I CAN DO IT!

Because, after all, I can't do it! It's only Christ through me that can...

It's a hard lesson learned, one that I apparently need to learn over and over again.
This time seems to be a bit harder than others...and I'm seeing bad fruit from bad choices.


Jesus will be glorified here!

And it will be a beautiful thing...

joys of january

I've been slacking on blogging lately, mostly to spare you all from my boring day to day life. Because really, who wants to read about how I spent the morning washing my hardwood floors by hand, only to decide to bake and end up with flour all over the floors an hour later? Yeah, that's what I thought.
What the heck have I been up to lately? I've been baking. I've been cleaning. I've attempted a few home cooked meals. I've spent every evening at the gym, torturing my body as it begs me to stop. Despite the routine, I've managed to sneak a little bit of fun in the mix too.
Like last weekend. Our friend Rachel isn't able to attend our wedding, so she got us an awesome gift to make up for it. We were the proud ticket holders of the Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oiler's hockey game. It was my very first NHL game, and to make it better, it was my team vs. Ryan's... or the infamous "Battle of Alberta". I proudly donned my pink jersey and headed to the game with my fiancé who cheers for the wrong team.
We arrived super early, planning to make the most of the evening. As we'd parked the car and began walking to the arena, it dawned on Ryan that his car keys were in the ignition of his now locked car. I thought for a brief moment that maybe he was joking, but my hope dwindled as reached the car. It was one of the coldest nights of the year, and being outside for more than 2 minutes was too much for me to bear. We called roadside assistance, only to be told that there would be a 5 hour wait. That was unacceptable. Our new plan was to break into his vehicle, providing that we were able to find a coat hanger. He's locked himself out enough times that he is now an expert on getting into his car. We walked to the nearest home and knocked on the door. We waited anxiously in the cold, and I saw a face peek in the window and then disappear. Clearly they were not looking for visitors. We knocked again, before finally giving up and walking away. As we did, the door opened and the lady apologized, explaining that she doesn't usually open the door to strangers. We begged her for a coat hanger, stood inside her tiny entryway, heard a small portion of her life story, and eventually left with the hanger in hand. After a few minutes of persistence, the car door was open and the keys were safely tucked into Ryan's pocket. I was freezing. So cold that my toes hurt and nose felt like it might just turn into ice and snap right off. I hadn't been this cold in years, and it was a great reminder of why I left Canada not once, but twice. We made it to the arena to find that the doors weren't even open yet. We'd planned on being early, but apparently we were far earlier than we'd anticipated. We killed time and warmed up by walking to grab dinner at Subway. Finally, it was game time. Back to the arena we went. I bought hot mochas to warm us up and give us a necessary jolt of caffeine. We found our seats, and watched the game. Believe you me, it was an awesome game. The place was quiet as my team won 6-2 over the home team. I gave Ryan a sympathetic pat on the back with an evil grin. If the roles had been reversed, I'd have never heard the end of it.
The next week carried on slowly as usual. A lot of gym, sore muscles, and healthy food. The highlight of the week was when Ryan reached his goal weight and we treated ourselves to sushi. We base our goals on his weight since mine hasn't fluctuated much since I was 16.
I spent Friday afternoon baking delicious chocolate peanut butter cupcakes that were strictly banned from our diet, planning to force them upon my friends come Saturday.
Saturday finally rolled along, and it was a very busy day. Ryan had signed us up to be volunteers for the trial of the new terminal at the Edmonton airport. I needed a good dose of airport, as it's now been a month since I've gone anywhere. We were issued fake boarding passes and sent on our way through customs and security. The terminal was swarming with fake passengers, media... and food. We'd long established that this would be a cheat from the diet day, and we took full advantage, loading up plates of free samples from the restaurants and Starbucks. Our tastebuds were overloaded with salt and sugar, things we'd been deprived of for the entire year so far. Regret and satisfaction hit at the same time. Despite being full, we were sent home with a boxed lunch.
It was time to get ready for our evening. We rarely have plans or a social life at all, so this was very exciting. It was the first official party in our new home, and I had a chocolate fountain for the occasion! Our friends arrived, and the drinks and chocolate were flowing. We ate so much amazing food.. Swedish meatballs, pizza, candy, and everything imaginable dipped in chocolate. All together, it set up back about a week in our healthy eating and exercising, forcing us to consider if such binges are in fact worth the short term happiness. Such thoughts make me question the person that I've become. Food used to define me!
The next morning, our house was a mess. We slowly made our way out of bed, and the few overnight guests proceeded home until it was just Ryan, Davey, and myself. We cooked some delicious pancakes using the macadamia nut mix I'd bought in Maui, topping them with coconut syrup. It was a great breakfast, and our last unhealthy treat for quite some time.
Monday rolled around and my Grandma and her husband Gary were in town. Gary had an appointment at the hospital, so my grandma and I hit the mall for some retail therapy. It was a good day and a nice break from spending an entire afternoon at home!
That's my life, and all of the excitement that it has had lately. Can you believe that I'll be married in 72 days? Because I certainly can't. On that note, it's time for the gym!

grounded and grumpy.

Lately, I've had nothing exciting to share with you lovely folks. Nothing. On days like today, when there is a windchill factor of -46°C, I'm fortunate that I have no place to be and no reason to leave the house. Today I'm content staying under my thick fuzzy blanket, sipping chai tea and watching countless episodes of Say Yes to The Dress.
Let me tell you, today is a rare day. As much as I love being home, I'm feeling the need to get out. I need adventure. I need excitement. I need to work.
So you ask, why is it the 18th of January and I've yet to fly? Well, that's a tricky question. You see, I'm all for living life to the fullest. I follow my dreams. For me, that means spending a year backpacking Australia and Southeast Asia, only to move to Dubai just over a year later. Until recently, my globetrotting ways have only brought great things to me.
My current job requires me to obtain a pass to access restricted areas in airports for security reasons. Fair enough. Back in September I filled out the forms, went to the pass office, got my fingerprints and photo taken, and was issued a temporary pass until the permanent one came in. I waited.... and waited. I knew that living in other countries would delay my permanent pass more than it would for a person who'd spent their entire lives in the same city. I was patient. And then earlier this month, I was informed that my application had been denied. What?! Why?! I didn't understand. I still don't understand. I was given the right to appeal the decision and provide more proof that I was actually where I claimed to be and believe you me, I was not going to go down without a fight. I gathered up remnants of my life in Dubai. Anything that had my address on it, they'd be sent. At present time, there is nothing I can do but wait for police records from the United Arab Emirates and Australia to say "Hey, it's me! I lived here and did absolutely nothing wrong!".
In the meantime, no pass equals no flying. I'm grounded. I'm bored. I've got no place to be and nothing to do. My life consists of cleaning the house, going to the gym, sleeping and doing it all over again. Yeah, sure, it's great to be home... but not every day. I'll never be a housewife. I can't cook. Ask Ryan, my attempt at baking yesterday turned into ugly pancake-like cookies. I try to keep the house clean, but I get far more fulfillment in going to work and getting a paycheque to help contribute to important things... you know, like the mortgage. My patience is gone and I feel terrible for my poor fiancé, because I'm certain that I'm not a very pleasant person to be around during this ordeal.
So, that's how my year is shaping up so far. With no flights and no life, my list of things to blog about is dwindling... but bear with me. As soon as I'm back in the skies, I'll find great entertaining things to tell you all!

Fun Pictures!

Lady Bug being cheeky at Christmas...

Give us a smile?...Not happening...

                                            Fooling around in the bath with Daddy and Mommy.

                                                On a road trip to visit some vineyards...

The cheese and wine tasting bar!

                                                              Having fun in the car.

                                                                       At the Zoo.

                                             Fremantle Market on Daddy's shoulders.

Project 366, Leap Year!

Lately I've lacked the inspiration for blog posts. You see, between fighting for my airport security pass and facing an unknown amount of ground time, there really hasn't been much excitement around the house. I wake up, I laze around the house, I work my butt off at the gym, and that's a typical day in the life of me as of late.
I do, however, chronicle a little bit of each and every day through photography. Way back in 2009 I successfully completed a challenge known as "Project 365". I took one photo, for every single day of that year. It was a fun and sometimes frustrating project, but in the end it was a great way to look back on the year. Seeing as how 2012 is set to be a pretty big year in terms of life events, I'm giving it another shot. It happens to be a leap year, so this year I'm working on "Project 366". Every day I take a photo and attempt to upload it that same day. I tend to come up with a lot of photos of food, but that's a huge part of my life! You can find all of my photos on my Flickr page! Along with my photo, I write a little blurb about my day... usually pointless knowledge that interests only me. Kind of like some of my blog posts....
Anyways... here is a glimpse at my year, so far!

January 1
January 2
January 3
January 4
January 5

January 6
January 7
January 8
January 9
January 10
January 11
January 12
January 13
January 14

We interrupt this program...

Today was a good day...

Just a day to stay at home, listen to the rain
learn something, cook some food
clean a bit
snuggle and read
you know, normal stuff!

as soon as I woke up I knew I had to visit my chiropractor.
From all the enthusiastic violin practicing I've been doing with the children
my jaw and neck were hurting
and boy were they in pain this morning!
I could barely open my mouth...

So, a phone call and a frantic hour later
we were on the road.
The appointment was at 11, which meant we had to leave at 10

If you've read previous posts of mine
you'll know that leaving the house at 10 is *yawn* early morning for us!

Thank goodness for extra homemade turkey sausage patties from yesterday in my fridge
and a quick kefir smoothie!

Anyway, after a crazy unexpected three hours in which I began to feel tremendously better,
we pulled in the driveway where I was greeted by a text message from a friend asking
"r u home?"

Want my honest reaction?

*inward groan*
*thoughts of being dishonest*

I don't like to be interrupted!
And we had JUST pulled in the driveway, for heaven's sakes! 
After a morning of a huge interruption!

I replied

And in 15 minutes had an onlooker while I fed the kids and cleaned up the kitchen...sort of

(are you ready? this is big...)


chatted nonstop for several hours with a friend that I hadn't seen for quite a while that used to be one of my closest friends who said she was lonely and unsettled and we got interrupted several times by the kids but it didn't phase me because hey, the whole day so far has been an interruption, right?


And you know what?
It was great!

Yes, the house suffered...
dinner was late...
part of school didn't get done...
violin didn't get practiced...
the children watched a couple movies...

But it was OK!
We had a great time and shared things that needed to be talked about between the two of us.

And, best of all, I was reminded of something.
A truth that MUST be remembered if you are going to be a successful parent.

The interruptions in your day are God breaking in and giving you an opportunity to teach the children something about life, and giving you an opportunity to practice patience, grace, gentleness or any other character lesson He is teaching YOU!

Interruptions are the alarm clock going off, reminding you not to get too caught up in
the busy, but to stop
in the

To be interrupted is a gift.

a post of love

Do you ever have those days when you think "Gosh, I sure have the most fantastic, amazing people in my life" and find yourself in awe of just how truly awesome they are? I do. A lot. Especially today.
You see, I used to live in a far away land called Dubai. While there, fate brought an amazing girl to live in my apartment with me. Her name was Kim and we bonded immediately over our love of chick flicks, chocolate, and butter chicken from the restaurant downstairs. Through Kim, I met Sam, who was just as awesome. Before they came along my existence in Dubai was rather... well, unenjoyable. I longed to go away for work because being home meant being lonely and spending far too many hours wandering the giant overpopulated shopping malls. They brought me out of my shell... but more importantly, out of my apartment. We had great fun adventures and they made me happy.
I was sad to say goodbye to them when I left Dubai in June for the final time. We vowed to keep in touch and promised to reunite. So, guess what?! They are coming to my wedding!!
It's been in the plans for awhile but I just got confirmation today that it's a sure thing.
You have absolutely no idea how happy this makes me. When you plan a destination wedding you have to accept that not everyone is going to be able to attend. I knew that having these girls would make my wedding day even better, but as somebody who has a lot of experience in trekking across the globe, let me tell you.... it's not a short trip from Dubai. The fact that they are travelling all the way to Mexico means the world to me... and to Ryan, because when I'm extra happy so is he! I'm so grateful that all of my closest friends are going to be there with us on the beach in April, but these 2 are flying from so far away that I figured they deserved a blog post of their very own. I love them!
See you ladies with pina coladas in hand in 90 days!!!


falling without warning
like thick grey snowflakes
permanently frozen

sucking me under
frosting my windshield
swerving me off the road
into a safe ditch

no more travel today

my mind shuts down
and simple choices become
a herculean effort

laughter and jokes turn to
ugly noise
amplified by nerves on edge

physical touch is painful
friendly advances seem threatening
eyes can't focus on reality

when the flurries come 
sometimes I can make them melt
not today
today it is a blizzard

no tools for escape
hands fall numb and heavy
no help but to sleep

and hope to wake tomorrow
to sunshine

{does any of this ring true for you? if so, there is hope! you can get help...I did. don't give up, dear sister...there is a plan for your life!}

Explosion at Senses...

A gas explosion hit the Senses resort in Kaslik north of Beirut owned by my sister and her husband, on Saturday morning, the morning of New Year's eve. My mother called me in tears. The whole Senses team went for questioning. Everyone thought it was a terrorist attack. Everyone was screaming and shaking.
Later in the day,after further investigations, the explosion turned out to be the result of a gas pipeline leak, and that the blast was not an attempt to sabotage the resort. The blast caused only material damage, in the main lobby and the restaurant. No one got hurt.

I just want to say to my family and to the team of Senses, thank goodness you are safe, we love you, be brave and we are very sorry to hear about the horrible news but glad that no one got hurt. If there is anything we can do to support you and to help you, please do not hesitate...

Senses official website

Skye's First Camping Trip...Bouncing in the Tent...

Skye on her new bike:

Happy New Year!!

Having a three year old is just an excuse to sleep early on new year's eve. Ok, so we slept at 10:00, but just to enjoy our holiday better rested. We explored South, this time, it was Margaret River for our first camping trip with Skye. Again, surrounded by majestic beaches beyond the eyes to see. We stayed in a tent all three of us and at night when everything was quiet, the kangaroos would sneak up to graze around us. We stayed in a caravan park full of families. There was a bouncy castle, a volley ball and basket ball field, a tennis ball court and they even had an outdoor cinema for the kids under the stars.
Every beach we went to was busy with surfers,windsurfers and kite surfers. We also found an impressive shell museum. It took Michael a lot of convincing to get me out of there. I felt like a kid in a candy shop.
We did not have time for the vineyards and the wineries, unfortunately.

                                                   The view outside our tent!!!!

                                           Daddy and Skye snoring in the tent....Zzzzzzzzz

One of many vineyards we came across. The locals call this one "the chick on a stick".