Sunday, January 25, 2015

Share the love

It seems so simple but to us, this is huge!

Knowing that Baby No. 3 is due just one day before Valentine's Day, I thought I would get a jump start on the kids' Valentine's Day cards. I usually try to do something homemade, and yet simple. This year, I wanted to avoid the candy (since there are an insane amount of allergies in Ella's class) and do a card that could be used for both Jakob and Ella. But given that Ella is a girl in Kindergarten and Jakob is a boy in grade two and the spread of interests and styles is quite vast, it proved quite the challenge. I scavenged the internet and settled on these.

But here is the part that is amazing. Do you see? Ella hand wrote each of the cards for her classmates. In September, she knew how to do an "O" and could JUST write her name. Now look at her!

A-MAZING! This girl never ceases to amaze me. I simply wrote the name in yellow felt and she did the rest, and she did around 15 in one sitting...Jakob didn't even have that kind of stamina in kindergarten. I am so proud of my girl. Did I already say that? Well, I am.

Want to share the love as well? Feel free - you can find a printable template here. I found the bottles of bubbles at Shopper's Drug Mart but you can also find something similar here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

So what do you do?

It caught me off guard again. What do I do?

Vancouver is a funny place. Most jobs, occupations, vocations, whatever you want to call them, are unconventional with unconventional hours and descriptions. Most children in Ella's class have a parent picking him or her up from school everyday because while everyone has to work, as Vancouver is, after all, the second most unaffordable city in the WORLD, they have to find a way around the lack of child care options that also exist in said city. Of the parents I have talked to or overheard, occupations range from working at a restaurant (I have no idea in what capacity) to accountant, to actor, to interior designer. I find it so fascinating to hear about other people's lives. How do they do it? This whole career and family thing? And I think that other people are curious as well...."So, what do you do?"

"uuuuuhhhhh, mumble I work at a church...mumble, stumble and do photography and graphic design?"

Yet again, the question stumps me. When it's on paper, it's easy:

Occupation: BEING AWESOME!

But when someone asks me to my face. What do I say? I do a lot of things.

I am a wife
I am a mother
I am a daughter
I am a domestic goddess (when not on bedrest)
I am an aspiring cook
I am an aspiring historian
I am a Children's Minister
I am a writer
I am a photographer
I am a designer
I am a social media expert ;)
I am a stylist
I am an advocate for the oppressed
I am an advocate for individuals with Down Syndrome

I am searching...

Today, in Bible study, we looked at John 1:19-51.
It starts out with the Jewish priests and Levites asking of John, "Who are you?"
To which John replies, "I am not the Christ."
They ask again, "Who are you, what do you say about yourself?"
To which John replies, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness."

I wish I had an answer like John. In this rat-race world, we too often get hung up on what we've accomplished versus who we are.

Friends is on Netflix...have you heard? The last time I watched the whole 10 seasons back to back was 10 years ago...when Ben and I were first married, living not far from where we are now, in an only slightly smaller apartment. Bed rest however, has provided a great excuse to work my way through them again - from start to finish. Last night was "The One with the Stoned Guy". Chandler gets offered a promotion but quits because he never saw data processing as his career. It was just a temp. job that had lasted 5 years. He wanted something better for his life. He wanted to do something! Be somebody! Don't we all?

The thing is, we are all somebody. Chandler felt he was defined by his job. John on the other hand was defined by who he was in Christ. I have to admit that too often I find my confidence, sense of self worth and definition in my accomplishments. It can be anything from a clean house to a kick ass paper on foreign affairs to an image that speaks to another's soul. When this is the case, however, life takes on a different meaning when you are left powerless with your butt glued to a leather recliner (which is where it is right now). The result? In the last couple weeks I have struggled with depression. It's not severe but I can feel it creeping up on me as evening settles in. These things which would have driven me to hope and action I no longer have the capacity for or have rendered themselves obsolete because it is absurd to consider ambitious career planning when expecting a baby in just three weeks, not to mention other impending, threatening, potential life changes that could turn my world upside down in the blink of an eye.

Another Christian writer echoes my sentiments in one of her recent posts. It's a complicated peace that comes from thinking your are sure of who you are as you anticipate turning the page to a new chapter but instead realizing God wasn't finished with this chapter you are in - he has more work to do.

"This pregnancy has become another altar for encountering God. 
For some reason, mothering is my place of surrender and trust, out of my control and yet such a sweet place of building trust and authenticity."

Children, and babies, in particular have a way of stripping you down to the core - to who you really are. Not what you can get done in a day, or how much money you make. To them, you are just their mother and that has made all the difference.

To Ben, I am his wife and that has made all the difference,

And to God, I am His child...and that has made all the Him and to me.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

32 weeks

I don't want Baby wondering why there are no belly pictures of her...

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