Wednesday, 29 October 2014

In between

I sure feel in between right now.  I was sitting here, thinking about how I haven't written much lately, and that which I have written has been flighty and poor quality.  My churning thoughts seemed to be jammed up in my head and my days are flipping by without much time to sit at a computer.

All this seems to reflect my state of being in between.  In between what, I can't seem to articulate.  Things are moving as usual, the schedule is settled, I read and study and discuss and meet with friends. There are no fractured relationships.  And yet I feel a little like I'm drifting between two somethings.

Maybe in a few days or weeks, or heaven forbid, even months, something will become clear.  Maybe my hindsight will catch whatever shift I seem to be making inside, emotional, spiritual, physical.  For now I guess I'll just keep on trucking and see where this journey takes me.  Experience has proven that it's always exciting.

Student concert

I've had 6 violin lessons now.  This week my instructor told me to start choosing a Christmas song for the concert our music studio has.  I haven't had to play at a student concert in more than two decades.  But I'm feeling all the same old nerves I had back then.  Some things never change.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Getting up a little higher

You know that old idea that sometimes you need to get up a little higher to see the true state of something?  That in the midst of a mess that is piling up high you need to get higher to get perspective.  Yeah, that's where I feel today.

After our first experience buying a home, I gained a firm testimony that God's hand is in the details.  I knew this was going to be an area of my life that I could fully put my trust in him to lead me down the right path.  I wasn't going to have to worry about following my heart the wrong way.  When the right house and the right time intersect, then the obstacles will just disappear.

So here we find ourselves, very, very suddenly, considering a move.  (Anyone else hate how such a major decision and purchase are done so quickly?  I mean, I wouldn't even buy a toaster without researching, looking, price comparing, waiting, looking for a sale, and then buying it.  A house you see twice and then jump into the biggest debt you'll carry in your life!)  As soon as we felt impressed to go forward with investigating it, obstacles popped up, and then were just as quickly stripped away.  Owning a business and getting a mortgage?  Bidding against a friend?  Needing to offer firm instead of conditional on the sale of our home?  Boom, boom, boom, everything fell away.

The only disadvantage of waiting for the right house is that our house is not ready to go on the market.  And due to some roof damage last winter, there is a good chance that the renovations already in the works might not be done in time to get our house sold before the other house is gone.

With a different world view, this might have sent me into a spiral of panic or depression or stress.  And yet, I believe there is a plan.  And my experience in getting up a little higher is coming to good use now.  Last night something popped in my mind, something that if we don't move now, but want to move next year, might have made it extremely difficult to do.  Something that is easy to fix now, but would have been impossible to fix later.  So I find myself saying to James "hey, we should make sure we do this if we decide not to move now."

Wow.  I really love the idea of this house now, and if this renovation obstacle melts away also then I have no doubt this is the right path.  But I take comfort in knowing that maybe this experience wasn't about buying this house but instead about buying a different house at a different time.

I'm liking this perspective thing.  It makes life so much more peaceful.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


I meet with a most fantastic group of women on Tuesday mornings.  We've been meeting just over a year now.  We meet with a purpose, doing some form of spiritual study together during the week and then getting together to talk it through.

My mind is expanding.

Every single week we talk through hard things, fun things, life things.  We lay it all out on the table, even when we are dancing around actual terms due to the wandering children around us.  These are moments when we move past talking about diapers and teachers and last weekend's plans.  These are moments when we want to talk more to learn more, to wrestle and struggle with ourselves during the week and then grow a little under the light of friendship.

I think if I studied on my own, I wouldn't grow as much, not being forced to acknowledge and accept realities out loud.  There is something about having to form an opinion, delicately choose words, and then send it out into the world that makes you do more than gloss over pat questions.  We put our ideas out there, our worries and concerns and questions, and then turn them over and over and over again in our hands, smoothing out the rough edges, turning them into precious gems.

These days slip by so fast I can clearly see the trap of Time, ticking seconds forward whether they are filled productively or not.  I have spent 34 years on this earth so far, and I have changed so much already.  Yet I can see there is more, much more, to be done.  I am not one to live nostalgic for times gone by.  I love and live for these days right now, but I want to roll forward, always forward, into the future.  I don't look back at who I was, but I do want to make sure that I'm not standing still.

Sunday, 12 October 2014


Getting ready to make the drive to my grandmother's for Thanksgiving, Benjamin decided he wanted to make a card for his Papa.  First, he asked me how to spell Papa.  Then he proceeded to meticulously write out a very long letter.

Upon finishing, he proudly presented me with his work.  There were no pictures, as per usual, just carefully crafted letters and words and sentences.  Unable to decipher anything, I inquired:

"What does it say?"
"How should I know?" he replied.  "I can't read."

Friday, 10 October 2014


So I was thinking about a friend the other day who lives far enough away that we don't usually get to see each other.  Through the invention of blogging, we get to look into each other's lives often, but most of our correspondence is limited to that.  I have always a feeling if we lived closer we would be good friends, swapping books and ideas, challenging ideas and notions, stretching each other to grow, and sharing evenings of making music.

As I was thinking about this particular friend, my mind drifted to another friend I've made in the past year, and how much we love to sit in each other's company.  We swap books and ideas, challenge ideas and notions, make music...

It suddenly occurred to me that these two friends were very similar.  And as I thought about it more...they both have large families, both homeschool, both have very strong ideas, both have musical families and husbands, and both even have husbands who are psychiatrists!

Really, the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how similar these two wonderful women are.  I felt blessed to have one in my life on a weekly basis, and a little more melancholy that the other is so far away...

I am grateful for friends from all walks of life.  Really, most of my friends are so different it might be a strange group if I gathered them all together.  But how funny it is to realize the characteristics of two women that I'm obviously drawn toward.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Family photos

Another year, another round of family photos.  The coordination of outfits (my very least favourite part, but we nailed it this year!) and the styling of hair (mine) and then climbing through a wire fence to get to a small spot of trees and grass that reaches to your waist.  I always opt for golden hour, just before the sun sets.  Then we spend 30 minutes trying to keep everyone in order and looking at the camera and smiling without looking strange and please, please, please, let there be one, just one, picture that is usable.

34 years I've been doing this now, and for all the trouble I love that we have a family photo for every single year.  Now off to make prints and create calendars and Christmas cards and all the lovely things you do with lovely photos.

But more than my own photos, I love that I've started taking photos for some other families.  Each year I take out my sister with her family, and my sister-in-law and her family and get some cute shots of their cute kids (and the adults as well!)  I love flipping through the shots when I get home to see what I've got.  This year I had a great one of my sister's nephew (expanding my client list this year) who was adorable, and a fantastic series of my niece who gives a different expression in every single shot.  Gotta love the joie de vie that she exudes!

Friday, 3 October 2014


Juliette: Mommy, can I sit in my cock-a-doodle-do chair?
Mom: Your what? You mean your booster chair?

(Once I said it out loud, I realized she thought it was a "rooster" chair!)