Tuesday, 23 December 2014

My Christmas Story

Empathy - The intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another.

The Lord has given me an empathetic heart, I believe it is one of my unique gifts.  My ability to consider what it would be like to be in someone else's situation, causes me to make some good choices when I listen to my gut, provides me with various perspectives and also gives me a thought process that allows me to tell stories.

Last weekend we attended The Nightingale Christmas show, it's an annual holiday tradition for us to attend the show as a family.  The music is beautiful and we always leave feeling Christmassy.  This year I paid extra close attention to the songs about Baby Jesus.  I am not sure if there were more than usual this year, or if I am just extra tuned into the Christmas story, but I couldn't help wondering what Mary really felt like knowing her Son was the Son of God and that He had come to save the entire world. 

I have known the Christmas story my whole life, as I get older I do my best to focus on the true meaning of Christmas each year.  This year, the Christmas story was so easy to keep in my heart, I think because I am a new mom.  I have spent so much more time contemplating our Saviour coming to us as a child and what would have been going through Mary's mind as she held her baby boy on the first Christmas Eve. 

If I were Mary I would have been so scared at first, instantly loving this little boy so much and scared of what His big life may hold.

I have also been thinking about how much God loved us all, to have given his only Son to the earth to save us.  Now that I know the love of a parent, I can begin to somewhat understand the love God has for me.  A love I try to accept and feel worthy of, a love we are all worthy of and a love I hope to share with others so they can know the peace and joy I continue to learn more and more about.

I am grateful for this new level of understanding I have for the Christmas story, this year is the first year that it is really filling me with joy.  As I celebrate another Christmas, Luke's first Christmas, I pray to hold the Christmas story in my heart all year and really spread the love of Christmas everyday.  I am grateful for the Christmas story and the hope and peace it brings each year.

Merry Christmas!

John 3:17
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Kale Soup


When the weather gets cold and the sky turns grey, I like to make food that warms my belly and soul.  For me, soup is a go to dish that does just that. While I am a fan of cracking a can of Campbell's, nothing beats homemade soup.  

This week I have been enjoying kale soup and I have shared the recipe below.  My sister in law Ashley, is a whiz in the kitchen.  She has been making some mean soup recipes in big batches then feeling them in muffin tins, popping out the cubes once frozen and storing them in big ziplock bags.  I am totally stealing this freezing strategy from her and stocking my freezer with tons of soup for easy lunches and dinners. 


Happy soup making! 

1 big bunch of kale
1 box chicken stock (you could substitute vegatable stock) 
2 tablespoons of green curry paste 
2 cans of coconut milk 
1Head of garlic cloves 

Wash kale 
Rip leaves from stems 
Peel garlic 
Throw all the ingredients in a pot 
Add a dash of salt and pepper and simmer covered for 2 hours 
Blend with an immersion blender until smooth and enjoy! 

Makes 10 servings 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Maternity Leave Adventures - Christmas Cookies

On Monday we baked Christmas cookies and holiday treats all day, just three moms (me, Ashley and Randi) and our three babies.  We balanced mixing with feedings, timers with nap times and icing with meltdowns, it was seriously the funnest day I have had in a long time. 

The best part about the day was all of us being together, working on a project.  I love being with these girls and their babies, and I have no doubt that the kids will be great friends one day too. 

The three of us get together at least once a week. We attend circle time at the library, take the babies to the pool, drink gut wrenching amounts of coffee and make eachother lunch, most of all we are there for eachother during happy and tough mommy moments. 

I am working on a series of posts I will share here about my emtional highs and lows of motherhood so far, but I will admit I have lots, and without these ladies to talk to and spend time with, I would be lost.  We listen to eachother, support eachother and best of all, relate to eachother. It's a comforting feeling to know your not alone in a difficult time and an exciting feeling to be able share your joy with someone who is at the same place in life.  I have always loved sharing honestly with friends because of the connection that can be forged from relating to others, this is the very reason I started blogging. When I became a mother, the need to relate to other moms was even greater. It's a whole new world, this motherhood thing, and I needed to know my baby wasn't broken and that I wasn't crazy and my mom friends give me that piece of mind and comfort. 

I am soaking up where we are at right now and know we will be fine as we move forward because we have each other. 

As I hand out the Christmas treats to my neighbours and enjoy some of them myself, I count the blessing of these women in my life and the time we have right now to ease into motherhood together and enjoy some things we may not otherwise have time to enjoy. 

Here are some of the recipes for the treats we made if you want to give them a go, most were Pinterest wins!  I hope you are enjoying your time leading up to Christmas. 

Sugar Cookies - Craftiness Is Not Optional 

Scor Bark - Foodie Isms 

Oreo Truffles - Budget Savvy Diva

Peanut Butter Balls - Mommy Octopus

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Lapier Christmas Tradition

I have to admit, when it comes to the holidays, I am a little like Clark Griswold.  I believe that I can create Christmas traditions and memories that are right from a Christmas movie.  Christmas Vacation is my favourite Christmas movie because it's like real life, we make beautiful plans and then things get a little messy, crazy and family doesn't always get along.  All of the unexpected moments are what really create the best memories though, we may not laugh in the midst of the caos but it will become a story that is cherished forever. 

In the spirit of "fun, old fashion family Christmas's" Tyler and I started a Christmas tradition two years ago, we go to Sloan's Christmas Tree Farm  to cut down our tree. 

This year was extra special because it was Luke's first time and we had a group of friends and family with us.  The day was great, we made lunch on the bonfire, rode the train, decorated cookies, went for a hay ride through the farm and of course, picked out the most perfect Christmas tree.  

I would love to hear some of your Christmas traditions, funny holiday stories and how you and your family are getting in the holiday spirit. 


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Luke - 3 Months Old

Month three has been a fun one, I feel like we have a good little groove going! 

You hate tummy time but we are working on placing you in different spots and positions, for short periods of time so you can build shoulder strength.

Your dad and I love you more and more everyday. It's getting harder to leave you with babysitters as you get bigger.  This being said, you have some amazing family members that love to hang out with you so that makes it easier on us.

You are so peaceful when you sleep, your dad and I peek in on you before we go to bed and tell each other how blessed we are to have you.

You have started to hold onto some of your toys, if we put them in your hand. It's really cool to watch you develop.

You made strange with your first person this month, Aunt Meg, I am guessing its because of her crazy curly hair.

Sometimes you would rather listen to me talk then play on your discovery mat so you spend a lot of time in your baby chair with me around the house, I just explain to you what I am doing and your a happy camper.  Because you like the sound of my voice I will read you whatever I am reading, like Food & Drink Magazine. 

You also love it when I sing to you, right now we are singing a ton of Christmas songs! 

When you wake up in the morning you are so happy, after your first bottle we have great chats on the couch while I drink my coffee, it's my favourite time of day with you, a relaxing, slow and happy start to the day. 

You were a little sick today with your first cold and not really into a photo shoot but with a little singing you let me snap a few quick shots. 

Looking forward to the next day with you Luky and all the little adventures that come our way. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Getting Creative - Luke's Room

I was lucky enough to be able to have a month off work before Luke arrived, I would highly recommend this time off to any new mom.  I had a list of projects I wanted to complete around the house before Luke was born, organizational items, cleaning and getting his room ready (nesting is a real thing). 

A few of my projects were creative.  Over the last few years I haven't made time for crafting and hands on projects for myself to complete and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed working with my hands and how therapeutic it was for my mind.

I sewed some throw pillows for our newly renovated living room, created some artwork and finished some painting for Luke's room.  I also spent time knitting and crocheting.  I don't really have a ton of time at the moment to work on projects like this but as we get into a bit of a groove with Luke I plan on making sure I have time to get creative with my hands and allow my mind to wonder.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Thank You

This week I completed writing all of my thank you cards for the gifts we received from baby showers and when we first brought Luke home.  I probably should have completed them sooner then now but hey, I am a new mom and snuggling with my little guy was higher on the priority list.

We received so much love from our family and friends, it was really nice to personalize our gratitude in each thank you card.

Can I tell you, don't under estimate the power of a positive comment.  After becoming a mom, I think I probably could have said some better things to the moms that came before me, those moms new just what to say to make me feel good.  My favourite comment of all was "your doing a great job", its so simple but it meant so much.  Just thinking of this makes my eyes well up a little because you know what, at first, I wasn't sure if I was doing a great job.  Having one of my awesome mom friends tell me I was doing a good job, gave me the boost of confidence I needed to push through the day.

To sum this little rant up, pump up the people around you with love and positivity because I guarantee you, it will go a long way!

"Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." - Unknown

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Gratitude Monday - A New Roof

So this weekend was a great one, we got a new roof!  Tyler worked hard with his amazing brothers and friends through the weekend to re do our house and garage roof.  I love the town we live in, I love our little community of family and friends and I love my hard working husband.

Today I am grateful for the new roof to keep us warm and dry all winter and the hard work from our loving friends and family that went into it.

Happy Monday folks, I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I know some people think it's too early to begin celebrating Christmas but when there are so many fun things to do and enjoy in the holiday season, you have to start early.  Here is a list of things I want to enjoy over the Christmas season.

Watch my favourite Christmas movies
Christmas Vacation 
The Family Stone 
Home Alone 
How The Grinch Stole Christmas 

Hand write Christmas cards 
I love writing the cards with personalized notes and sending them off fills me with holiday cheer.  Receiving Christmas cards in the mail makes my day and I love to do something decorative each year to display the cards I have received, its old school but sometimes you just need a little old school in your life. 

Make my Christmas gifts
This is a new one for me this year and I don't plan on making all of my Christmas gifts but I have ideas for a few.  My goal with this tradition is to focus less on gifts and more on the true meaning of Christmas and giving in general. 

Go for a walk through The Celebration Of Lights
A holiday tradition we are lucky to have here in Lambton County to help us Sarnian's get in the Christmas spirit. 

Spend a day in Bothwell at Sloan's Christmas Tree Village
Tyler and I started this tradition two years ago with our niece Marley and now I am excited to share it with Luke too! Insert the carolling of "Oh Christmas Tree" here.

Bake some delicious holiday treats 
I love to bake so that I can obviously eat the delicious baked goods but I also love to share them with friends and family. 

Attend a few holiday parties 
Holiday parties are the best!  House parties are warm and cozy and events at halls and restaurants always have a little extra glitz and glam this time of year.  I also love the opportunity to sport my sequin clothing and sparkly makeup. 

Give back to the community
This year I have been feeling a desire to donate baby essentials to our local food bank The Inn Of The Good Shepherd .  Having my own child and my own difficulties breast feeding, has made me consider the needs of young families less fortunate than us.  Our focus for giving this year will be on young families.

So, you can see with everything I would like to accomplish to celebrate Christmas, it is essential that I begin in November, Christmas deserves at least two months of celebration!

Merry Christmas! 

I Will Remember

This morning I read "Young Sons" by Bill Mitton.  It was shared by someone I follow on Instagram  and its the first time I have read this poem.  I read it and the reality of this new angle and understanding of the loss that comes from war washed over me.

A mother takes down a photo
And she holds it to her breast
Just has she’d done the child it shows
The little boy she’d washed and dressed.
She remembers how his hair felt
His soft scent still fills her nose.
And one again she curses, 
the path her young son chose.
With boyish smile, and happiness
he’d picked the shilling and the gun
she remembered still the fear and dread
when he told her what he’d done.
Yet she’d smiled and waved him off
as only a loving mother could
If God was good, her smiling son
would return as young son’s should.
but then fickle fate, it knows no God
it makes it’s judgments where it will
and IED’s they don’t discriminate
about who they should maim or kill.
So young son’s often come home
fulfilling all their mothers fears
not with happy smiles and laughter
But, draped in flags and mother’s tears. 
Bill Mitton

When I was a child and they talked about war in school, I wondered what it would be like to have my father go off to war.  As a married women I wondered what it would be like to have my husband fight in wars and now as a mother, with these words in my head, I wonder about the pain a mother would feel to have to send her young son off to war.  Luckily I have never had to experience any of these pains.

Today Luke and I went for a swim at the Petrolia pool and then for a walk through pretty downtown Petrolia.  We stopped at the war memorial for a moment of silence and to show our respect for those who have fought for our freedom.  I read all the names of the soldiers on the memorial, something I have not done before, and I thought about all the people in their lives that were effected by their loss.

I am so grateful, more than ever today, for the great sacrifices of those who fought and fight to protect our country so we can live free.  I am proud to be Canadian and glad to live and raise a family where I do.  I could list all of the things that I am grateful for but my son is starting to wake from his nap.

Thank you to our soldiers and their families!

Lest we forget.


Thursday, 6 November 2014

My Husband Is Awesome

You always hear so much about what a woman goes through during pregnancy as she prepares to become a mother.  (Maybe I just don't hear much of the mans perspective because all my close friends are women.) During my pregnancy I started to consider what Tyler was going through.  His life had not changed as much as mine had yet but I wondered if it would be an even larger adjustment for him because I had nine months of a changing body and lifestyle, to adjust to what parenthood might be like, but for him it would be sudden.

During pregnancy he got our home ready for our baby, supported his emotionally unstable and hormonal wife, stayed focused at work and still managed to make jokes to make me laugh when I wasn't feeling like myself.  We talked about our excitements and fears of becoming parents but he really was my rock through this entire phase.  (Don't misunderstand, there were moments of tension and fighting too.)

I am grateful for my husband, his work ethics and for the way he balances me out - he is more "go with the flow" and I am more "everything needs to be scheduled".  Our differences are what makes us work and what makes us not always agree on everything.  At the end of the day I feel safe knowing we are tackling this whole new chapter of life as parents together.

As an additional note, I wanted to share these thoughts because I thought Tyler deserved some praise.  Our relationship is not perfect but when we do get under each others skin my ability to focus on his great parts and reminding myself that I am not perfect, allows me to navigate situations with a calmer head. 

Today is Ty's birthday, Happy Birthday to my amazing guy!